Still catching up on some of the post-election commentary. Realizing I need to let it go, this may be the last summary of post-election wailing, gnashing of teeth, reaction and bile. I want to note at the outset that with posts like this , this and this, it looks like Orcinus will provide valuable insight into what awaits.
Meanwhile, unbelievably, some Democrats have displayed a spectacular lack of a learning curve by insisting that the party hasn’t been centrist enough. This, after the 2002 debacle which followed numerous concessions to Repubs; this, after Daschle and Kerry, aq, both lost. If milquetoast both of whom voted for the authority to go to war in IrDems were mice in a Skinner Box, no amount of electric zapping would deter them from going after the cheese the same way. Note to wimpy Dems: No matter how you vote, your record will be distorted and your character demonized, so you may as well vote what you believe.
It wasn’t just another election. Something broke this week.
More than half the US electors have voted for smirking evil. They’ve voted for a President who openly believes he is above the law. They’ve voted for torture, tyranny and aggressive wars of conquest. They’ve voted for religious obscurantism. They’ve cast a vote of confidence in the past four years, and asked for four more years like them. They’ve done all this because they believe that this is what it will take to make them safe. They’ve voted against liberty for a little temporary safety, and they deserve and can expect but little of either.
If you voted for Bush, God damn you. You have condemned countless thousands of innocent people to death with the punch of a chad or the touch of a screen. If you voted for Bush, you endorsed the torturers in Bush’s gulags at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. You deserve to feel every volt of electronic current, hear every scream, sink into the despair that comes with knowing that you have done nothing yet you will die in an anonymous prison. If you voted for Bush, you are to blame for the coming fiscal crisis, when there will be even less money for schools and roads and, yes, armies. If you voted for Bush, you will never be forgiven. You will never deserve respect, for the decision was simple yet you deliberately chose not to do what was right.
Similarly, an excerpt does not do justice to Elaine Cassell’s post Running From The Religious Right:
Before Tuesday, I never thought we had evil in the White House. Those of you who hated Nixon, Johnson, and Clinton will look more kindly on them when you watch a puppet for Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson try to destroy your life. In a couple of years, we will all be longing for the moderation of a Rehnquist Supreme Court. You think weapons of mass destruction was a lie? Wait until you hear the lies that will be told in the name of religion. Wait until Bush tells you that God told him that all Unitarians or Jews who don’t “accept” Jesus can’t get a passport. Wait until he tells you that AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and more are God’s way of punishing you for sins past. Wait until he tells you that if God meant for you to have health insurance he would have given you a job to pay for it. I know this will come to pass because this is what they believe. This is what they say. This is what they do.
Finally, Michael Feingold more strongly echoes in the Village Voice what I said in my last post:
For make no mistake, this is the election in which American Christianity destroyed itself. Today the church is no longer a religion but a tacky political lobby, with an obsessive concentration on a minuscule number of social topics so irrelevant to questions of governance that they barely constitute political issues at all. These are the points of contention tied into what are blurrily referred to as “moral values,” though they have almost nothing to do with the larger moral question of how one lives one’s life, and everything to do with the fundamentally un-Christian and un-American idea of forcing others to live the way you believe they should. The displacement of faith involved is eerie, almost psychotic: Here are people willing to vote against their own well-being and their own children’s future, just so they can compel someone else’s daughter to bear an unwanted child and deprive someone else’s son of the right to file a joint income tax return with his male partner.
If this isn’t Christianity—and it isn’t—still less is it in any respect like democracy. The whole meaning of America was predicated by the founding fathers on the right of citizens to practice their own faith and conduct their lives as they saw fit; to interfere actively in others’ lives, on the basis of “moral values” about which there is no agreement, is the most radical repudiation of constitutional values in our electoral history, reducing the word conservative to absurdity. Today the Republican Party is not the right wing of anything; it is a band of violent radical reactionaries preaching medieval totalitarian bigotry. And Christianity as currently preached and practiced in Middle America is virtually Satan, by the standards of anyone who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Yes, I need to let it go. But the disgust, fear and rage are just so overwhelming.