Republicans Against Sharia

About three or four months ago, I was talking about the 2012 presidential field with someone who leans libertarian, and he was all, "What about Herman Cain?" I confessed to not knowing much about the former Godfather's Pizza mogul, but I promised to keep an open mind. Which is more, apparently, than Cain is willing to muster:

Meanwhile, in a brief squib that beloved former Reasoner Mike Riggs correctly flags as sounding "like it came from a crazy person quote generator," renowned intellectual Newt Gingrich takes another brain-dump:

Newt Gingrich "warned that America is headed toward becoming a godless society unless voters take a stand against President Obama and liberal-minded college professors and likeminded media pushing his agenda," the San Antonio News-Express reports.

He also "called for a return to historic, Christian roots he said were critical to protecting the nation's freedoms."

Said Gingrich: "There's a desperation with which our elites are trying to create amnesia so that we literally have generations who have no idea what it means to be an American."

If this is where the Republican Party is at in 2011, the term "lost the plot" does not begin to describe it.

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  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh.... I was really disappointed by this. I had filmed an interview with him over here at the DC a few weeks ago, and this topic didn't come up at all, and he seemed like a pretty good choice.

    But now... Not so much. Too bad, really.

  • yonemoto||

    Cain blew it at CPAC.

  • Mango Punch||

    Anyone have links to those 2 court cases?

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    I also had some hopes for Herman Cain, he can be an engaging and entertaining speaker who often spoke out about economic issues and political abuse. However, since he has started his "exploratory run" for the white house he been speaking more and more about social issues. Which is highly disappointing.

    While the muslim comments were bad enough, when he started talking about 'no judge should over-ride the will of the people'...it was another nail in the coffin. It still amazes me that someone who would self-identify as a constitutional conservative completely misses the importance of judicial review in the whole checks and balances part of the process. (Not to mention pandering to tyranny of majority rule)

  • JimBob||

    I dunno. I have some very libertarian friends (including former LP candidates) who take a pretty dim view of Marbury v. Madison and nearly every major decision since then.

    The philosophy is that the Constitution doesn't *explicitly* grant the right of judicial review to the Supreme Court, so it's dangerous to read that authority into the Court's role. The judicial review concept, in this philosophy, pretty much neuters a very important set of democratic checks and balances ("democratic" in the sense of the general populace descending upon the capitol building with torches and brickbats).

    I'm not so sure that I agree with that view; a few of the federalist papers discuss judicial review as a serious check on congressional and executive authority, so the idea certainly wasn't unknown to the framers. Plus, the concept has roots in English common law, which is the main basis for American jurisprudence, so I can imagine that such authority might have been assumed by the founding fathers.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    I have heard and read similar arguments against judicial review. I have become less inclined to agree with them as I have studied more about the early days of the Republic. I feel that the founders attempted to create a federal government that would do as little as possible and in general would be unresponsive to "Democratic" or "Populist" whims...and having three branches that act as checks and chokes on each other falls into that view.

    Overall, I beleive our courts give too much preference to the legislature. Judges should never be afraid of tossing away a law and telling lawmakers to "try again".

    I guess what really frustrates me about the "outrage" over so-called judicial activism is how partisan it is (big surprise there).

    It is just another reason I am having more and more trouble supporting any team RED or team BLUE candidate.

  • ||

    What those people don't realize is that you don't need an explicit grant to the judiciary. All you need is a final say. A case winds its way up to the SCOTUS, the SCOTUS says "no", writes an opinion, and that is the end of it.

    You might argue whether juries have or have not the right to nullify law, but it is undeniable that the judicial system itself *does* have that right.

  • AlanS||

    Oh, a lesson on Christianity from Mr. "I dumped my first wife while she was in the hospital battling cancer, and I cheated on my second wife with the woman who ended up being my third wife".

    Newt, just STFU and go away.

  • Jerry||

    There's just too much money in it.

  • Old Salt||

    I just know that when the Grim Reaper finally comes for Newt, he'll find that fat fuck hanging dead by his neck from the ceiling fan wearing pink lingerie!

  • ||

    Newt, just STFU and go away.

    Please cite the bible verse where Jesus preaches extra marital sex and divorce.

    In fact i can find plenty of things in the bible that prohibit what the Spanish Inquisition did....but i will be damned if i can't find anything in there that would prevent what Newt did.

  • Pip||

    "Please cite the bible verse where Jesus preaches extra marital sex and divorce."

    Pro or con?

  • CaptainSmartass||

    How about the one where Jesus said if you look at a woman the wrong way, you've already committed adultery and will go to hell? Does that one count?

  • mark||

    If that's all you can manage to get out of that passage, you are lost my friend.

  • ||

    I think you are thinking of the old testament...and Moses rather then Jesus.

  • mark||

    Look, uh, Matthew 5:27-30 is often misinterpreted. It is saying a whole lot more about desire in general than proscribing a completely natural human motivation.

  • ||

    Matthew chapter 5 (NLT)

    27 "You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye - even if it is your good eye - causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand - even if it is your stronger hand - causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

    31 "You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.' 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

    Oh fuck.

    Well Mathew is now on my shit list.

    And I am wrong about there not being anything in the new testament.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart

    Well I'm toast, then. I have committed adultery probably tens of thousands of times, using that standard. Because I am, after all, a lecherous, sexist bastard male.

  • Boxbot||

    The same passage is in Luke. If anything, it's one of the most authentically Jesus-sourced quotes in the new testament. Same goes for most of the rest of the sermon on the mount, which is equally ball-busting.

    But it's begging the question to assume that he was trying to law down the set of rules that everyone should follow in the style of the religionists of the day. Historically, it's almost certain that the sermon on the mount was an inversion of the usual revolutionary fundamentalism of the day, trying to show how inadequate the leaders were at living up to their own code *cough*Newt*cough cough* and how the nationalistic morality they were pushing wasn't going to usher in God's kingdom like they were saying it would.

    So basically, Newt, 1980 Redux, et al., are pushing a morality and a political system that Jesus consistently and emphatically rejected, and calling it christian politics. FTS.

  • Boxbot||

    Might as well mention that interpreting that passage as the minimum bar of performance is not only pretty flimsy historically, but isn't even the traditional teaching for the majority of church history. The moralistic interpretation may be popular with red-faced preachers who think Judgement Day is scheduled for mid-May, but I can't seem to get too emotionally invested in that fact.

  • mark||

    This! Motherfucking this!

    Jesus, Christians piss me off sometimes.

  • ||

    One note..the Mathew quote is entirely about individual responsibility.

    It is not the state or the tribe cutting out your eye or cutting off your hand...it is your own damn responsibility to do it.

  • emerson||

    I hate how Cain lumps an entire group of people together and thinks they all believe the same thing.

    Typical black guy.

  • cynical||

    I see what you did there.

  • ||

    Yeah--especially when it's an entire group of people who are being lumped together because they all share the same belief system! Why should anyone expect adherents of the same belief system, who identify themselves by referring to that shared belief system, to think even remotely alike?

  • emerson||

    Like Christians! They all think alike!

  • affenkopf||

    Or Libertarians. We never have any disagreements.

  • ||

    Could it be expected that you might agree on some things, if you label yourself similarly?

  • ||

    Hence all Muslims are trying to create an American Muslim theocracy.

  • Apogee||

    Or Libertarians. We never have any disagreements.

    You're totally wrong about that.

  • ||

    No you're both wrong!

    Wait...

  • 1980 Redux||

    That quote doesn't sound crazy at all. It IS a bit hypocritical coming from someone with the marital record that Newt has. But aside from shooting the messanger, everything about his statement is true.

  • Bingo||

    Or, you know, none of it is true. But let's not bicker over silly details like that.

  • ||

    So being American means being Christian?

  • Spiny Norman||

    I used to know a guy named Christian, but he was Danish.

  • ||

    We all must pray to Jeebus!

  • Marge||

    Homer, are you licking toads, again?

  • Homer||

    I'm not NOT licking toads!

  • 1980 Redux||

    "So being American means being Christian?"

    Yes, it does. Many people are now too cowed by the PC monster to come out and state the obvious, but there it is. If you are not a True Christian (i.e. not a papist, accepting Salvation only through Jesus Christ Our Lord), then you have no business calling yourself an American.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're a troll, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    Are you saying you're just coming to that realization?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Between him, Greg Smith, and Pat King...one of them has to be earnest.

  • 1980 Redux||

    That was not me in the second post. Someone is "spoofing" me.

    I would say that yes, you do need to be Christian to be a real American (as this nation was founded by Christians, on Christian principals), but I have no idea where the spoofer came up with "papist". Is he implying that I dislike Catholics? I wonder what the spoofer believes my position on the Eastern Orthodox to be?

  • ||

    I would say that yes, you do need to be Christian to be a real American (as this nation was founded by Christians, on Christian principals), ...

    This retired US Naval veteran atheist sends a big FUCK YOU to the religious bigot quoted above. Your intolerance is only rivaled by your ignorance of the enlightenment principles, not mythical miracle stories and halfway decent philosophy by an alleged person named Jesus, that this nation was truly founded on.

  • ||

    This is exactly what liberals say to the Founding Fathers who formed this nation:

    "Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received…[to offer] humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot [our sins] out of remembrance…and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth “in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

    –Journals of…Congress (1907), Vol. IX, 1777, pp 854-855, November 1, 1777.

  • ||

    You know what else the founders wrote? How about: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    That should put the question to bed. If they had wanted us to be a Christian nation, they would have left that out of the 1st Amendment.

    I'm a Christian, and I think that's pretty well-known on here. I do not, however, want this to be a Christian nation because I want people of all belief systems (religious and non-religious alike) to enjoy the American ideal, free to exercise their beliefs without discrimination.

  • ||

    If you look at their writings, and debates, which we are to do, like the Federalist Papers to understand the Constitution right?

    So we read their writings and understand the 1st amendment refers only to Christianity. To prove that, the framers called us a Christian nation. How could a Christian people allow a buddhist religion to be established? It doesn't make sense.

    T]hat they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.
    --Inaugural Address, In the City of Philadelphia, Saturday, March 4, 1797.

    If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice, by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and such a spectacle must be interesting to all Christian nations as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, freed from all coercive edicts, from that unhallowed connection with the powers of this world which corrupts religion into an instrument or an usurper of the policy of the state...Upon these principles and with these views the good people of the United States are invited, in conformity with the resolution aforesaid, to dedicate the day above named to the religious solemnities therein recommended. [bold face mine]
    --Given at Washington, this 23d day of July, A. D. 1813.[seal.] JAMES MADISON

  • jacob||

    +100

  • Zeb||

    Fuck off, racist piece of shit. The spoof differs very little from your actual response, and both are incredibly wrong and stupid.

  • Sudden||

    There was actually an interesting panel from the UV festival of books on CSPAN2 this weekend regarding the "Is America a Christian Nation?" concept. You probably would've benefitted quite considerably from that one 1980. It should be noted that the Evangelicals of the time were very particular in NOT wanting America to be considered a Christian nation in any sense.

  • ||

    There is no dispute whatsoever. The Founding Fathers founded us a Christian Nation:

    "Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to Him for benefits received…[to offer] humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot [our sins] out of remembrance…and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth “in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

    –Journals of…Congress (1907), Vol. IX, 1777, pp 854-855, November 1, 1777.

  • 1980 Redux||

    Excellent bit of research Oft, thank you.

  • mark||

    meh.

  • ||

    Yes, that crucial founding document... the 1777 National Thanksgiving Day proclamation. HERP DERP.

  • ||

    Haym Solomon was not an American?

  • Trespassers W||

    Yes, that crucial founding document... the 1777 National Thanksgiving Day proclamation. HERP DERP.

    Yeah, but I'm pretty sure that's the only thing the Founders ever wrote on the matter.

  • ||

    Yeah, but I'm pretty sure that's the only thing the Founders ever wrote on the matter.

    On the meaning of Thanksgiving? Yes.

  • Zeb||

    Um, all that illustrates is that some early legislators thought that this ought to be a Christian nation. As I point out below, this is not an issue on which the founders agreed and it is stupid to pretend that a collection of quotes supporting either proposition proves anything. They disagreed then just as much as we do now (which to me seems to indicate that this is not a Christian nation. If it were, then there wouldn't be such a disagreement.).

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Treaty of Tripoli, 1796, signed by President John Adams:

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
  • Boxbot||

    That's unpossible. Are we absolutely certain that Adams wasn't a secret Muslim?

  • Zeb||

    And Adams was one of the more devout among the founders, I believe.

  • ||

    You are forgetting the comma after religion. It's talking about the sense that it is against Islam.

  • JT||

    Well, none of our founders were Eastern Orthodox (there were a few Catholics), so by your logic you cannot be a true American if you are Eastern Orthodox.

  • GILMORE||

    (as this nation was founded by Christians, on Christian principals)

    ...Because the Puritans, the Quakers, the Deists, Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and free-thinkers somehow collectively represented a 'conventional', mainline 'Christian' thinking that can be easily defined...

    ... and that *despite the establishment clause*, these people somehow "founded" the country on explicit endorsement of said (unstated) 'christian' principles... [even though on paper they went specifically out of their way to say that's exactly what they *weren't* doing.]

    Seriously, you have to be either ignorant or knowingly dissimulating of the history of christianity in this country to offer up these kind of blanket statements about "Christian Principles". To assume there has ever been ONE consistent 'christian' view that somehow represented an American national consensus from inception is absurd. You could say that yes, the majority of the population could be nominally called 'Christian' (in the most generic way), but to then extend that idea to the notion that this includes some kind of national consensus that existed that is now being 'threatened' is pure Jesus Riding Dinosaurs fantasy. It's about as useful as saying America is fundamentally "European", simply because most immigrants came from there. It whitewashes the vast complexity and differences that existed in the colonial population and across religious and ideological spectrum.

  • Sleeping Dog||

    Somebody ate a big bowl of "Trollin Pops" for breakfast this morning!

  • nekoxgirl||

    Funny because the majority of my ancestors came to this continent when it was still a collection of colonies, several of them fought in the Revolution and the War of 1812, two fought for the Confederacy, one fought for the Union, one grandfather served in WWII and the other in Korea. But since I'm not a member of a Protestant Church then umm...what does that make me exactly?

  • Pip||

    Cuddly?

  • Zeb||

    French Canadian?

  • Old Salt||

    Quebecois?

  • Old Salt||

    Oh, oh, I know!

    Newfoundlandish!

    Er, Newfoundlian?

    Maybe Newfoundlanden?

    FUCK!!! I gotta go Google Image those two girls in the Newfoundland bikinis again and find out!

  • Trespassers W||

    You know to whom that quote doesn't sound crazy? Crazy people.

  • Bingo||

    He also "called for a return to historic, Christian roots he said were critical to protecting the nation's freedoms."

    Said Gingrich: "There's a desperation with which our elites are trying to create amnesia so that we literally have generations who have no idea what it means to be an American."

    The irony is, of course, that 'Merica was actually one of the first countries to be founded with a decidedly secular government

  • Old Salt||

    What most "American Christians" fail to realize is that the semi-unity among the various denominations is only a recent phenomenon. At the time of the Constitution's creation, most of the Colonies each had their own "official" approved brand of Christianity and to belong to any other group was usually illegal. Didn't matter if you were a "fellow" Christian or not, if you weren't what the State said you should be, then you might has well have been a baby eating Pagan.

    The founding fathers were smart enough to realize that the only way to avoid the various holy/civil wars that Europe had made famous, was to save religion from itself by getting it away from the government. The reason being, who ever is in charge always thinks that THEIRS is the one true way, and will begin using the law to enforce that belief because they think that they're saving the others from themselves. No matter how wise or kind the leaders who start down this path may be, eventually someone much nastier will be in charge and we all know what happens then.

    If history ignorant fucks like Newt ever got their wish and America turned into the Christian theme park that they keep telling themselves that the USA used to be, then they wouldn't live long enough to regret their wish since the various factions would immediately start to slit each others throat in order to establish the one "true" flavor of the month!

  • ||

    each had their own "official" approved brand of Christianity and to belong to any other group was usually illegal.

    Not true. You could generally belong to any denomination, even <gasp> Roman Catholicism. You just couldn't hold public office or get tax moneys for your church.

  • Sleeping Dog||

    Generally speaking, that was usually the case, but not always as there were cases of families and even entire congregations being exiled from cities and towns. Sometimes things got violent and often those in power would use their position to violate the rights of the other Christians (usually via theft of land and property).

  • ||

    I was waiting for the interviewer to be like "OK, but I asked why you wouldn't put a Muslim in government, not why you oppose sharia law in government." Too bad most people are trained to accept political non sequitur.

  • ola||

    The obvious follow-up question is the most underused tool in the bag of modern media. Although the questioner probably saw Cain get out his shovel and start digging and just decided to wait and see how deep the hole would get.

  • ||

    Yeah but I wanted more stuttering and repetitious stalling for time.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    I wish the interviewer had given a single follow-up question:

    "How does this stand compare with the Constitutional mandate that no religious test be administered to anyone seeking or holder elected or appointed office?"

  • ||

    I summon thee GREGOOOOOOOOO!

  • Old Bull Lee||

    Honestly if a politician was saying all this stuff about the Christians' attempts to make our laws reflect their values, it would make sense.

  • ||

    Muslim bashing is getting fucking tiresome. I think the GOP should bring back welfare queens as the demon du jour.

  • ||

    Muslim welfare queens?

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    I saw them at Lilith Fair.

  • Joe R.||

    One of my old classmates (who is gay) has been posting on Facebook about lack of justice for a couple of lesbian arson victims in Tennessee or something. All I can think is, "Lesbian Arson" would be a great name for a punk band.

  • Pip||

    Minneapolis is lousy with them.

  • Sudden||

    And Europe is overrun.

  • ||

    Yeah bring back the illegal immigrant welfare queen hybrid.

  • yonemoto||

    Cain blew it at CPAC.

  • yonemoto||

    crap that was supposed to be a reply

  • Spiny Norman||

    Threaded comment quirks: They can strike at any time.

  • 4chan||

    I really don't get muslim bashing, since we're trying to fight two (okay, updated to 3) wars supposedly trying to liberate and promote democracies in 3 countries that are muslim majority.

    If Cain, or anybody else who espouses these views become president, what does that mean for our misadventures in the Sand countries?

  • ||

    Fight until they're all Christian?

  • Godfrey of Bouillon||

    Caelum denique! Deus vult!

  • ||

    I like your cubes, especially the beef ones.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: heller,

    Fight until they're all Christian?


    Nah. Let's instead impose dhimmitude on them - I am sure they would not mind...

  • ||

    You insightful comment belies you "4chan" name.

    perhaps if you had ended the comment with "new fags!!"....

  • 4chan||

    I really don't get muslim bashing, since we're trying to fight two (okay, updated to 3) wars supposedly trying to liberate and promote democracies in 3 countries that are muslim majority.

    If Cain, or anybody else who espouses these views become president, what does that mean for our misadventures in the Sand countries?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: 4chan,

    If Cain, or anybody else who espouses these views become president, what does that mean for our misadventures in the Sand countries?


    Maybe stop trying to make them "democratic" at bayonet point, and leave them to rot in the sand, for a change?

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    This would be my preferred solution...I kept hoping El Presidente would come out during this Libyan busisness and tell the world that "It is none of our business"

  • Abdul||

    When Obama sold his soul to the devil to have his long-form birth certificate lost, I didn't think he'd have the foresight to ask for such a wackos to be the GOP contenders in 2012.

    For a godless Muslim, he's shrewd at devil-bargaining.

  • Brett L||

    Republicans and Democrats continue to win elections against each other for the same reason a disabled kid wins every Special Olympics race.

  • Boxbot||

    I'm stealing that.

  • BigBob||

    Me too.

  • mark||

    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • kbolino||

    "godless Muslim"

    I do believe that is an oxymoron, much like

    "god-fearing Atheist"

    but I could be mistaken.

  • mark||

  • Tim||

    Gingrich you mook.

  • rather ||

    He also "called for a return to historic, Christian roots he said were critical to protecting the nation's freedoms."

    Quick everybody get married, cheat twice (at least), divorce twice, and marry three times. Dammit, we will be godless , if we don't

  • ||

    You're so fucking stupid. It must be painful, right?

  • ||

    Actually, I think rather has a pretty good point; it's a bit hypocritical for someone like Newt to be espousing a return to Christian values.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    Considering one of the basic tenets of Christianity is that all "have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and need the salvation of Jesus to be saved...the redemption of a sinner like Newt is an appropriate Christian narrative

    ...of course it would help if he would make a serious attempt to live a Christian lifestyle...

  • Boxbot||

    Absolutely. He could stop trying to use religion as a bludgeon, badge of membership, and means of obtaining political power, for starters.

  • Trespassers W||

    Let's not be too hasty in declaring Obama a one-termer.

  • DNS||

    Let's not be too hasty in declaring Obama a one-termer.

    He's a lock for a second term, in spite of the economy.

  • ||

    Um, no. He'll get slaughtered in the general. He's like Carter-.

  • Trespassers W||

    This is no longer obvious to me. We can expect to see increasing, perhaps unprecedented levels of stupid from the GOP over the next year and a half.

  • 4chan||

    Keep repeating that to yourself. Obama may have the worst two years imaginable (And a lot of it was self inflicted), but his pool numbers are good despite that. Whatever you personally feel about him, on some level, people like Obama as the president.

    Getting people like Cain declaring a group of people persona non grata, or Newt being a douchebag are not arguments in their favor.

  • ||

    Please. Did the 2010 elections not happen? Has Obama not crapped on pretty much everyone? He's lost the independents, alienated the base to the extent that they won't pour out into streets in support of him, and, of course, has motivated the right even more than usual. And, most of all, the economy.

  • 4chan||

    They did happen, but they were as much as a bitch slap as anything else. When it comes to actually re-elect Obama vs. the Republican contender, people will go with the devil you know. It worked for Bush 2004, it worked for Clinton 1996. Forget Carter whom, Reason and others tries to link to Obama. Is the Obama presidency more like Bush I? More importantly, is there a fresh face or two on the Republican side that voters in the U.S. will gravitate to, without pissing other large segments of the population off?

    I just don't see it on the Republican side, not this year.

  • mark||

    This.

    Here's hoping the GOP puts up Gary Johnson, cuz at least he will form an intelligible opposition.

  • Trespassers W||

    Did the 2010 elections not happen?

    I think that's the problem, unfortunately. The GOP leadership apparently interprets that, like every other datum, as a mandate to attack public radio, Muslims and gay marriage.

  • DNS||

    Obama may have the worst two years imaginable (And a lot of it was self inflicted), but his pool numbers are good despite that. Whatever you personally feel about him, on some level, people like Obama as the president.

    This is why he is a lock. However much people proclaim that their vote is a rational, well-intentioned choice, it boils down to how a person feels about his or her choice and why they should pull the lever for the candidate. It is therefore entirely an emotional choice. It is how he got into office the last presidential election, and how he will coast into office again.

  • ||

    I don't agree at all. He was a symbolic cipher in 2008. Now he's a known quantity. His incompetence is about as obvious as it could be, and he's making virtually no constituency happy.

    And the economy.

  • peachy||

    I'm leaning towards ProL - sure, the GOP primaries look like they'll be a ratfuck. But a lot of people will line up behind the survivor because he'll be the GOP candidate and they're conditioned to vote for the GOP candidate, and plenty of others will hold their noses and vote for him because Obama has been such a disaster.

    Anyhow, we're mostly hearing from the lunatic fringe candidates so far - the empty suits with establishment backing (Hi, Mitt!) haven't started oozing towards the starting gate yet. The lunatics will mostly annihilate each other (or themselves) before the primaries really get underway (that 2% in Iowa is a killer) and then the empty suits will have the stage to themselves.

  • ||

    I think Obama will get trounced if 1.) the economy continues to suck and/or the war in Libya escalates, and 2.) the Republicans come up with a candidate who has 25% of Obama's charisma.

    The first condition is likely to be met. I have about 10% confidence in the Republicans meeting the second condition.

  • 4chan||

    polls numbers, not pools. But I'm assuming that Obama will do the SI Swimsuit photo shoot in 2012, so he can get the Soccer Moms/MILF vote.

  • ||

    I love ya PL, but the GOP is going to nominate ???

    Yeah, the Republican party could fuck up a wet dream and you know it.

  • ||

    Shit, even Palin would be better than Obama, and the nominee is unlikely to be that bad.

  • NoVAHockey||

    if they are smart, a bland inoffensive governor.

  • T-Paw||

    Thanks for your support.

  • Sudden||

    His name is Mitch Daniels. About as bland as they come.

    Either way, I think a lot of people underestimate the incumbancy effect. To me, its way too early to tell what will happen in the election, but I think it's ludicrious to call it one way or the other for now.

  • Brett L||

    He's running against Republicans. Nothing is certain.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pro Libertate,

    Um, no. He'll get slaughtered in the general. He's like Carter.


    "Never underestimate the power of the politics of guilt!"

    Sorry, dude. Obama, black, and a literary genius. People will not dare vote against him again.

    "The emperor has no clothes!"
    "Silly child! He's certainly a fool! He can't see the Emperor's wonderful garmets!"

  • Tony||

    This meme is wishful thinking on the part of Obama's detractors more than a reflection of reality.

  • ||

    The number to watch is 14%.

    If the sum of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate is greater than 14%, he's toast unless Team Blue nominates either Palin or Huckabee. (At Inflation + unemployment = 17% or more, even a Palin/Huckabee ticket could beat him.)

    12% or under, Obama wins.

  • ||

    I don't think it's that simple, and I think the general contempt for Obama is far broader than people are willing to admit. See, we're uncomfortable publicly criticizing black people in this country, particularly if they aren't conservative.

    Congratulations on the vote of no confidence. As we've previously discussed, the Shatnerian One is tanned, rested, well fed, and ready.

  • ||

    I love the terms of the no confidence motion, which charged the Conservatives with "Contempt of Parliament". My response to that is: "And HOW does this makes them different from the rest of Canada?"

    --

    As for the 14% test: That's the way I'll put my money, unless Teh Terrerists nuke DisneyWorld or Barry gets caught in bed with Barny Frank.

  • ||

    Could you have them nuking Disneyland? Disney World is a little too close for comfort.

    I'm sticking with my position. We're dumb and getting dumber, but this is an obviously bad president. Like with his predecessor, we'll likely throw out our standards to get someone who isn't him or much like him (though that part didn't turn out so well, did it?).

    I think I may be in contempt of Congress right now. I'll turn myself in to the Capitol Police.

  • ||

    Could you have them nuking Disneyland? Disney World is a little too close for comfort.

    I'm libertarian. That means I don't believe in telling other people who they can nuke.

  • ||

    You can't talk about nukes unless you have them. It's like a club.

  • ||

    Argh! "....unless TEAM RED nominates either Palin or Huckabee..."

    Preview, dammit, preview!

  • ||

    Oooh crazy Gingich quotes.....that he doesn't seem to have said--save for the last.

    Those first two are a reporters 'impression' of what he said. They may even have some basis--he was speaking at a church, after all, but they're not quotes.

    That last one--“There's a desperation with which our elites are trying to create amnesia so that we literally have generations who have no idea what it means to be an American,” he said."

    is actually quoted, so it probably is something he said--but is that one crazy? Is there any doubt that our history is being taught from a biased stance? A stance that diminishes our sense of national importance?

    I don't find the single quote listed as very crazy at all.

    And let's be honest, Newt's completely unelectable. Even his current pandering to evangelicals can't help.

  • ||

    He's not completely unelectable. At least, not if he makes the advised name change.

  • Nipplemancer||

    I'd love a Newcular Titties 2012 bumper sticker. Even better would be a Don't Blame Me I Voted for Titties.

  • ||

    I think the problems with nuclear power lately will enhance the name.

  • Sudden||

    Even better would be a Don't Blame Me I Voted for Titties.

    I believe that might be interpreted right now as a Sarah Palin supporter.

  • ||

    Yes, but they aren't newcular.

  • Old Mexican||

    Hey! I would also refuse to appoint a Muslim to a cabinet post! Why, I couldn't trust a guy who does not drink!

  • ||

    Speaking of drinking, if Gingrich is going to select an attribute of our Founding Fathers and tie it to being "American," he should have picked being a drunk.

  • Old Salt||

    Personally, I refuse to trust anyone who refuses to eat a hot dog!

    I judge the value of a person entirely on their ability to eat a 7-11 chili cheese 1/4 pound frank!

    Oh, and bonus points if you can chug a Double Gulp of Mountain Dew!

  • Zeb||

    There are Kosher hot dogs. I imagine there must be halal approved ones as well since it's pretty much the same thing.

  • Abdallah||

    BLASPHEMER!

  • cyto||

    Yeah, but can you find us a Kosher chilli-cheese bacon dog? That's the real quest...

  • Brett L||

    with a lobster roll around it.

  • ||

    Sure, if you like fake cheese and fake bacon bits.

  • Old Salt||

    I doubt that any of the so called "food" in 7-11 has passed ANY kind of inspection regardless of it being scientific or religious!

  • Herman Melville||

    I studied the American for my entire career. I observed his manners and ways and made light satire of him. This Newt looks nothing like the American I knew. I suggest the weirdo be harpooned, and then boiled for his oils.

  • Old Salt||

    With that much liqour in his system, I'd be very careful about exposing him to any kind of heat source...

  • Max||

    Okay, Matt, ow let's have a comment on reknowned libertarian intellectual Ron Paul's notion that the founding fathers envisioned a "robust Christian nation." Why are right-wing "intellectuals" usually crackpots?

  • ||

    Hey buddy, did you finish eating your mom's corpse yet?

  • Max||

    How did you get so clever? I just can't match your wit.

  • ||

    Max, you can't match Ed McMahon's wit.

  • ||

    Harsh.

  • ||

    Hehehe!

    Yes!

    You are correct sir!

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/4122.....-hall-show

  • Max||

    How can I finish eating it whem I'm not done raping it?

  • Max||

    Because it tastes better with sauce.

  • MNG||

    Oh great, another Republican against the stoning of homosexuals.

  • Old Mexican||

    Because Republicans should be in favor of stoning homosexuals, and thus, accept Islam as it is.

    No? Because I can't see what you're driving at.

  • MNG||

    This is a spoof guys.

  • Old Mexican||

    No wonder I did not see whay the spoof was driving at.

  • ||

    his [poll] numbers are good despite that.

    Not especially. His overall approval rating is below 50% (barely) (last I checked), placing him in the danger zone for reelection. And is disapproval ratings are typically in the mid-40s, extraordinarily high for someone to get reelected.

    Perhaps most critically, his ratings among independent voters are sinking and are now somewhere in the 30s.

    These are not the polling numbers of a man with a lock on reelection.

  • Trespassers W||

    Ah, but at the moment he's running against the ideal candidate that each person has in their head. And unfortunately, everybody has somebody different in mind.

  • Bill||

    A lot will depend on how the economy is doing and if unemployment is still over 8%.

    With most of the people who might run against him being right-wing socons, would we be better off if he lost?

  • Zeb||

    Where does all of this hand wringing about the possibility of Sharia in the US come from? I can hardly think of a more absurd non-issue than this, but idiots on the right keep talking about it. Is this more of the same republican strategy of "appeal to the retarded bigoted base" that gave us "McCain has a black baby" and "Obama is a Muslim"?

  • ||

    Agreed.

  • Max||

    Nobody want to defend that racist old fuck Ron Paul and his "robust Christian nation"? What a bunch of wimpering asshole true-believers you dickheads rightwing fanatics are.

  • ||

    What do you mean?

  • ||

    He just called you a racist Nazi.

  • ||

    That's mean. But logically bulletproof.

  • ||

    You're in a Boolean lockbox. No exit.

  • Fartnoise||

    Boolean Lockbox -- great name for a prog band.

  • ||

    Reminds me of Sammy Hagar, too.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    What *was* that song "Three-Lock Box" about anyhow?

  • ||

    Logical paradoxes?

  • Zeb||

    Or perhaps we are pragmatic and see that despite his flaws, Paul is the closest thing most of us are likely to find to a politician who would run the federal government they way libertarians would like it to run.

  • Old Mexican||

    Did the pet yorkie bark?

  • ||

    called for a return to historic, Christian roots he said were critical to protecting the nation's freedoms.

    Kind of fumbled around here...but he is correct to point out that nearly all liberal democracies in the world are christian and that liberal democracy is a christian invention.

  • ||

    If you mean that liberal western democracies tend to have a plurality of christian citizens, you're right. Ironically religious freedom and tolerance are hallmarks of these societies, and few of them label themselves as christian nations, much to the disappointment of a vocal minority. Probably a better characterization would be that LWDs tend to be post-christian nations.

  • ||

    Probably a better characterization would be that LWDs tend to be post-christian nations.

    Depends on what you mean by "christian"

    I do not mean people going to church and having Jesus as their savior. I mean a christian culture seeped in christian political and moral theory, with long standing christian institutions. (I don't mean simply churches...think of stuff like the The Red Cross) Western liberal democratic cultures are no where near being post-christian in that sense. In fact i would argue they never will be post-christian in that sense....well unless the singularity changes everything so much that we may as well say post-everything.

  • Fluffy||

    I do not mean people going to church and having Jesus as their savior.

    Then the people Newt is talking to would call you a secularist, babe.

    And probably a traitor, too.

  • ||

    Then the people Newt is talking to would call you a secularist, babe.

    And probably a traitor, too.

    I am not so sure about that. I do think Newt is mixing up the two ideas more then i would like but I also think Matt (as well as people on this thread) is exaggerating a bit of what he is talking about.

    One does not have to be a genius to see that Sharia law is, if not a threat, at least in opposition to liberal democracy and one only has to to look at the history of the USSR to see how a christian state that abandons its christian history, culture, political and moral theory and institutions can drift away from liberal democracy.

    Most of what I dislike about what Newt said is his rhetoric, his choice of words to describe it...but much of the meat of it is pretty close to the mark.

  • Jim||

    "...one only has to to look at the history of the USSR to see how a christian state that abandons its christian history, culture, political and moral theory and institutions can drift away from liberal democracy."

    Um, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Russia, despite being extremely Christian, only had a liberal democracy gov't for a few months in between revolutions. Before that it was the tsar. The USSR didn't drift away from any liberal Christian roots the Empire had, it was just a continuation of the totalitarian Empire by other means.

  • ||

    The Christan Tzars were far more humane to their dissidents and prisoners then the communists were. They also practiced better due process.

    Sure they were not democrats but compared to what they became and compared to the rest of the none democratic world they were relatively liberal.

  • Jim||

    I really think you're stretching here. Just ask the Jews driven out by pogroms, the "Protocols of the Eldars of Zion", and all that other garbage. Sure the communists were worse, but Russia was in no way integrated into the European idea of "social contract" classical liberalism.

  • ||

    but Russia was in no way integrated into the European idea of "social contract" classical liberalism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....rm_of_1861

  • Jim||

    Ok, so a tsar emancipated the serfs to try and head off boiling anti-gov't resentment. I don't think that single act proves much, esp. since they repeatedly and routinely cracked down on everyone with secret police right up until the revolution, and, as previously stated, the Jews continued to be murdered and hounded whenever convenient.

  • ||

    a christian culture seeped in christian political and moral theory

    But you could also, and just as accurately, characterize these as western european.

  • Jim||

    ^^This^^ Are we certain that Christianity is the causation, and not just a correlation? Why would we dismiss it as racist if we said "whites" instead of "Christians", even though the geographic overlap would be equally applicable?

  • ||

    Why would we dismiss it as racist if we said "whites" instead of "Christians", even though the geographic overlap would be equally applicable?

    Mexico and South America

  • Jim||

    We're talking about historically successful liberal democracies. Latin America does not fit that description. Also, a lot of sub-saharan Africa is Christian, and yet is still unsuccessful.

  • ||

    Venezuela arguably the worst of south America when it comes to Liberal Democracy is by far better then Libya....and Libya is far from the worst of Africa.

    The best of Africa is South Africa....and they are christian.

  • Jim||

    Ok, what about the African nations that suck, and are also Christian? Are they the wrong kind of Christian? And again, what about the fact that Latin America largely is a history of brutal dictators and quasi-socialist gov't up until very recently?

  • Jim||

    You know, the more I think about it, the less I can follow your logic. In addition to being Christian, the nations you speak of were also colonized by European powers, meaning that there would have been some cultural transmission as well, so you still can't single out "Christianity" as being the defining factor in any successes OR failures.

  • ||

    You know, the more I think about it, the less I can follow your logic.

    Thinking that Europe would be Europe without Christianity is a pretty big leap.

    Hell the enlightenment and secularism itself can be directly traced to a religious Christian war.

    Thinking that European political history and political thought was not influenced by Christianity seems a bit out there.

    It would be like saying India's political history was not shaped by Hinduism.

  • ||

    Ok, what about the African nations that suck, and are also Christian?

    I don't think i made the claim that every Christian nation is golden. Only Observed that liberal democracy has its roots in christian societies...and that there is a drought of non-chriatian democracies.

    I can even go further and say that there is nearly zero non-christian liberal democracies that were not heavily influenced by Christians like India and Japan were.

  • Jim||

    But again, why are you arbitrarily plucking "Christianity" out of the air as being what influenced India & Japan? They had heavy contact & were influenced by European nations, but how are you certain that it wasn't any other aspect of European culture which affected them? Basically I think you're in a chicken-or-egg argument. I don't think you can prove that Christianity created European society, in such as way that would exclude the idea of European society being already-fertile ground for Christianity.

  • ||

    But you could also, and just as accurately, characterize these as western european.

    Then explain South America VS Africa.

  • ||

    ""seeped in christian political and moral theory""

    Much of the christian moral theory isn't that at all. Much of it pre-dated christianity.

    I find it funny that people think christians came up with the idea that murder, theft, and such is wrong.

  • ||

    I am not sure that Native Americans, Africans or Asians of the 14th through 18th century were convinced that christians were opposed to theft and murder.

  • ||

    I find it funny that people think christians came up with the idea that murder, theft, and such is wrong.

    Murder theft and were wrong among your own people. Raping killing and stealing from the scum bags down the road...now that was a bit different. It was only a matter if you could get away with it.

    Jesus did away with the distinction between your tribe and the neighboring tribe....it was wrong to murder and steal from everyone in the world....ie everyone is equal under the law of god.

    This last part you will have a hard time finding in other religions.

  • Jim||

    Buddhism also teaches this. It is often not followed, just as such prohibitions were often not followed in "Christian" lands, but point being, it's a major religion that developed with pretty much zero Christian input, and which teaches universalist values.

  • ||

    Buddhism does not hold that everyone is equal under the law.

    In fact their belief in reincarnation prevents holding that belief.

    ie it is ones karma from a previous life that determines ones place in their current one.

    The ideal is antithetical to justice and equality of justice. One rules because it is his karma to rule and one serves because it is ones karma to be ruled.

    This is actually a common meme among non-christian faiths. The idea of karma or fate determining one's place.

  • Jim||

    We were specifically talking about murder and rape of the "other", i.e. those not in the in-group. And Buddhism most definately teaches that it's NOT ok to go around murdering and raping...builds bad karma.

  • A Serious Man||

    Okay, but notice that liberal democracy emerged from the age of absolutism, where church and state were merged. The people that colonized North America were Puritan and those values are relevant to American values like individualism and free enterprise, BUT why is a politican telling us this when our Constitution makes it clear that we are to have no state religion?

    It's one thing to hear this from my pastor on Sunday, but quite anotehr from a guy that wants to be president and that's what makes me most nervous about the GOP.

  • ||

    Only the Mass. Bay Colony was ouritan. Jamestown (Virginia) was a crown colony with Church of England as the official state religion. Maryland was a catholic colony. Pennsylvania a quaker colony....

  • ||

    ouritan = puritan

  • ||

    liberal democracy emerged from the age of absolutism, where church and state were merged.

    Err, not really. In Western Europe through the Age of Enlightenment, you had a constant struggle between various arms of the State, the Catholic Church, and the Protestant movement. There was no unitary anything, with the Catholic Church often standing in opposition to various monarchs on various issues, allying with them against the Protestants, vice versa, etc.

  • ||

    Whoever summoned the blogwhore - can we have a word?

  • ||

    He summoned himself. Take it up with him.

  • ||

    I am wondering if Lonewako is Smith.

    Smith's stuff is better but it has many similarities to good old wako. I am wondering if Wako did not simply get better at what he was doing and changed his name yet again.

  • affenkopf||

    He's more like Dondero than LW.

  • ||

    I thought Dondero and LW were the same person.

  • ||

    One of the editors emphatically denied a connection when I pondered this question back in the Age Of The Wacko.

  • ||

    I probably only read your pondering and missed the Reason editor rebuttal....or forgot it.

  • Sudden||

    I have this horrible, wretched mental image of rectal and GREGOOOOO fucking like Eliot Spitzer and the flavor of the month on a taxpayer-paid sex binge with rectal screaming at GREGOOOOO "pull my hair you filthy bitch!"

    It gives me nightmares and expensive therapy bills. I do not want to see the retarded mutant TEAM PURPLE offspring.

  • ||

    And you just had to share that with the rest of us...

  • ||

    Wow, he even has the same delusions of grandeur that Rectal has.

  • ||

    That was me

  • ||

    A judge refuses a protection order for a woman raped by her Muslim husband, ruling the man’s abuse is allowed under Shariah law.

    I realize you got this from another article...but that article offers no details. What judge? where? when?....none of these questions are answered in your article or the article you link to.

    Your other examples are lesser in extent but valid enough for exploration. Still when you lead an article about Women getting raped, then not tell us one detail about it and start giving us more fleshed out examples about foot cleaners....well it does damage your work a bit.

    Fix it.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Pay me.

  • ||

    If you had a site that gave reliable info you could generate ad revenue.

  • Fluffy||

    Herman Cain is absolutely right, seriously, can anyone justify the University of Michigan spending $25,000 for foot basins so the Muslims can wash their feet before they pray?

    I can't. But unfortunately precedents have been set based on the accomodations made for the religious practices of Jews.

    The majority of the issues you list are mere religious accomodations made by public service providers. I'll be all for getting rid of all of them, as soon as we open the courts on Saturdays and Sundays and tell Jews and Christians who don't want to show up on those days that they can go fuck themselves.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Most people don't want to work on Saturday or Sunday. So what's your beef?

    As for the religious practices of Jews, most religious jews go to religious private colleges like Baruch, Brandeis, and Yeshiva where they don't have issues about women who want to swim in pools and workout in gyms without men.

    If the Muslims win, segregation will be back, except that this time the signs will read:

    No Pork.
    No Alcohol.
    No Men.

  • ||

    Why do you think all Muslims want to force Sharia Law on you? That is the unspoken assumption in Cain's statements and yours.

  • blubi||

    I would also point out that, as far as I know, Jews don´t go around demanding exemptions due to their faith, like women-only swimming lessons or refusing to carry liquor in taxis.

    That said, it´s the confluence of islam AND govt appeasing their demands
    that creates the problem. Most people are not religious but of a religious heritage and dont give a fuck about most of this bs, and are caught between the fundamentalists and the appeasers.

  • 4chan||

    Most people don't want to work monday to friday either. Many people work six to seven days a week. Furloughs days for government insituations usually happen on a weekday. if could, I would take tues and wed off if only because I could get other shit done then.

  • RyanXXX||

    Greg,when's the last time you even saw a Muslim in public?

  • ||

    Haha, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  • Jim||

    There's an officially correct American way to dress now? Does she have to go full trailer-park slut, or will a blouse suffice?

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well, if electronic cigarettes are politically incorrect I don't see why burkas are politically correct.

    Ever heard "When in Rome, do as the romans do." I did not know this was the United States of Arabia.

    So yes, Muslims can dress like cows for all I care, but when we see them, we should yell "Mooo." LOL ;)

  • ||

    Seems to me like Gregoooo is just arguing for the conservative version of PC.

  • ||

    Well, if electronic cigarettes are politically incorrect I don't see why burkas are politically correct.

    A libertarian might tell you that both should be tolerated.

    But yeah you are not a libertarian and simply just another cultural statist.

    The fact that you are a conservative cultural statist rather then a liberal cultural statist does not give you any points here.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Of course I'm a libertarian, a POLITICALLY INCORRECT libertarian.

    You guys walk around saying "we love everybody, la la la." Well, I'm a little more realistic, I don't love everybody nor pretend to.

    I support freedom until Mr. Muslim demands that I spend $25,000 so he can wash his filthy feet. Want to pray? Join a congregation, tithe, and then you can pray all you want.

    But when you go to my public university and demand my money so you can pray, I have an issue.

    This is exactly why I oppose the mandatory student activity fee.

  • ||

    Of course I'm a libertarian, a POLITICALLY INCORRECT libertarian.

    yeah i missed this last part of your post

    So yes, Muslims can dress like cows for all I care, but when we see them, we should yell "Mooo." LOL ;)

    Your dickishness may be libertarian neutral...still it is dickish.

  • Dear Greg,||

    U of M is basically a public university in name only anymore.

  • Jim||

    That's the thing though: our "Rome" has a huge variety of ways that people act and behave. What about punks, or goths, or the Amish? Are you arbitrarily picking white, business-suit males as the prototype which we should conform to?

  • ||

    Rome is a weird allegory. In the ancient world I cannot imagine a more cosmopolitan city.

    Walking the market of Rome in 10 BC I am sure it was common to see fully naked women shopping right along side women entirely covered.

  • Jim||

    I wasn't going to get into it, but I had nearly identical thoughts concerning that particular saying, Joshua.

  • ||

    Greg,when's the last time you even saw a Muslim in public?

    For your information, I was just cited for public indecency outside the local Walmart while violently masturbating to the Rolling Stone photos of dead Afghan civilians on my iPad earlier today. So Ha!

  • Boxbot||

    An iPad? Bah. Apple will never get a penny of Gregory Smith's money. They force Muslim culture on Americans by installing Arabic keyboard layouts and character sets by default. It's basically another form of Sharia law.

  • Draco||

    If this is where the Republican Party is at in 2011, the term "lost the plot" does not begin to describe it.

    Wait, Matt, I thought the Republican Party was just the other stupid evil party, and not the slightest bit libertarian? And yet you seem to think there was a "plot" that they lost in 2011 - and I sense disappointment in your words.

    I'm confused. I'm sure some of the Republican haters here can explain it to me, even if you are too busy to respond.

    Are the Republicans actually somewhat libertarian (e.g. holding out some hope of supporting free markets) and we should be disappointed that they've lost the plot, or are they just the other stupid evil party?

  • kilroy||

    I took "lost the plot" as a reference to the Tea Party and a focus on fiscal issues that gave the Republicans the wins in 2010. From the perspective of limiting government spending and taxation, libertarians and Republicans (at least rhetorically) share an issue.

  • Max||

    The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. --Ron Paul

    Priests and conjurors are of the same trade.--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

  • RyanXXX||

    Was Thomas Paine a "founding father"? No, in fact he died very unpopular in America because of his attacks on religion.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Paine, but your contrasting quotes prove nothing.

  • Shorter Max||

    Government is the only one true religion!

  • Trespassers W||

    Headline: "Christian libertarian is pro-Christianity, anti-state, emphasizes tolerance."

    The monster!

  • ||

    Of course any private organization should be more important than the government.

  • MNG||

    I'm pretty liberal and I see nothing wrong with that quote. It would be great if the state had to do little and voluntary associations like churches performed many essential functions, as they already do to some extent. Nothing wrong with that imo.

  • Old Mexican||

    Cut him some slack. The pet yorkie barks at everything.

  • A Serious Man||

    Well in all fairness:

    "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will." -John Adams

    So I do think there is indeed a correlation between the suceess of America and its very religious background. Our love of captialism and free enterprise stems from the Protestan work ethic and abolitionism and the civil rights push were driven by moral outrage from Christians. So you got to look at the good and the bad on this issue.

  • Zeb||

    An important fact, that lots of people like to ignore, is that the Founding Fathers share a united view on very little (as illustrated by the conflict between Paine and Adams, above). To say that the founding fathers say X is generally pretty silly as they disagreed about a lot, including how they imagined the role of religion in the new country.

  • ||

    To say that the founding fathers say X is generally pretty silly as they disagreed about a lot, including how they imagined the role of religion in the new country.

    lets say you are correct and that the founding fathers were zen masters able to block all christian influence from their politics does newt deserve your scorn for getting this little bit wrong?

    How far off base is he really?

    If the correlation between Christianity and American liberal democracy is simply a fluke of history and a funny coincidence is Newt a monstrous troll for assuming that correlation was causative?

    Certainly thinking that religions history and morality effecting political thought and political movement is not beyond the bounds of reason...if not in the founding of the US then at least it could happen or it has happened at other times and places?

    Is it truly silly to entertain the possibility that the political history of India has been shaped Hinduism? or that Saudi Arabia has been shaped by the actions and writings of Mohammad?

    If not then why is it silly to think that US politics might have been effected by Christianity?

    No one denys Christianity plays a role in American politics in regards to abortions....why is it out of the question to think that it might have inspired equality under the law? or enumerated rights endowed by our creator? Or the writing of the 14th amendment?

  • Zeb||

    lets say you are correct and that the founding fathers were zen masters able to block all christian influence from their politics

    That is not the claim I was making at all. My point is that some founding fathers were very devout CHristians and some were openly hostile to at least some aspects of the religion. Some, like Jefferson, seem to have though it was a nice idea, but wanted to get rid of all the magic stuff. It is ridiculous to claim that the Founding Fathers, collectively, had any opinion on religion, because their individual opinions differed so much. It is equally ridiculous to say that Christianity had no influence in how the country was founded.

  • Fluffy||

    So the other day I downloaded the unabridged Robinson Crusoe on to my Kindle, 'cause it's free and 'cause I like to talk smack about how I don't read no abridged shit.

    [By the way - "unabridged" in this context means "includes a lot of irrelevant shit before the real story". Not everything is Les Miserables, where more is more, it seems.]

    And what struck me is that the narrator expounds at some length about the evil of the Spanish missionaries who exterminated the Indians when they came to the New World.

    And the funny thing is: this was published in 1719.

    The 18th century in general seems to have been full of men who were completely aware of Christianity's many failings both intellectual and moral but who were robust and steadfast Christians nonetheless. So the problem here is that in the modern era, when I hear propagandists talk about having a "robust Christian nation", I know that they're demanding an environment less critical of Christianity than the one made by men who were only a couple of generations removed from dunking witches. And that's sad.

  • NoVAHockey||

    All these guys need to brush up on Matthew chapter 6.

  • ||

    Screw Matthew.

    He is the same D-bag that says I can't look at women.

  • Julián Juderías||


    And what struck me is that the narrator expounds at some length about the evil of the Spanish missionaries who exterminated the Indians when they came to the New World.

    Nothing but British bias and the Black Legend in action.

  • Fluffy||

    Dude, thanks for the opportunity to have a laugh today.

    Until you inspired me to do some Googling, I had no idea there was an intellectual movement out there defending the Spanish Inquisition by arguing that the Jews were asking for it.

  • Jim||

    And from the Wikipedia article:

    "...which sparked a tradition of pro-Spanish history writing, especially within Spain..."

    A tradition of pro-Spanish work, written primarily by...the Spanish. I'm going to start of line of pro-Jim books.

  • ||

    The flip side of that is that if they hadn't been "robust and steadfast" christians that they'd have been disowned by their families, ostracized by their communities, and marginalized as intellectuals. Possibly arrested for blasphemy.

    Jefferson was probably a deist at best but feigned christianity so he could reform from within.

  • ||

    "Two wrongs make a right" seems to be the Right-Wing motto these days. Gingrich (among others) thinks Muslims shouldn't have the right to build mosques in America as long as Christians don't have the right to build churches in Saudi Arabia. So I guess the Republicans want to turn America into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.

  • mark||

    You know what, the next time I hear somebody tell me "Muslims can build mosques in America when Christians can build churches in Saudi Arabia" I'm going to ask just one question:

    Why?

    And go on in that fashion until I have exhausted my whys and my interlocutor has exhausted his stupidity.

    Libertarians, I recommend the same for you. Ask why and never stop asking. Habeas motherfucking corpus. Turtles all the way down. Excelsior!

  • ||

    Libertarians, I recommend the same for you.

    Why?

  • blubi||

    I agree the argument is flawed, but it has meat. Why are there no churches or christians in Saudi?
    Are the people trying to build a mosque appalled at the lack of religious freedom in Saudi?
    Gee, can´t the ummah (1 billion?) pressure the Saudis to allow a small shrine to be built, even if it´s in the middle of the desert and > 100 miles from Mecca?

  • Jim||

    The point is, why does that matter? What difference is it to us, in America, what the hell the Saudis do? We should not base any policy based on the lowest common denominator of our enemies.

  • ||

    yeah the Saudis suck...so our response should be to we become like them?

    Idiotic.

    I would rather argue that then ask why.

    Plus that fact that we can have Muslims and Christians living and worshiping in the same city puts pressure on Saudi Arabia to change....acting like them only legitimizes their stupid policy.

  • Jim||

    You are quite correct; if we behave like them, then it only adds fuel to their fire. This way, we take the moral high ground.

  • ||

    I'm terribly confused about how Newt Gingrich gained a reputation for being a forward-thinking, intellectual man of ideas.

    Newt's not going to get the nomination. He's never had a chance. This is just naked pandering to the Sarah Palin wing of the party, and I think she's got that group locked up already.

  • ||

    how Newt Gingrich gained a reputation for being a forward-thinking, intellectual man of ideas.

    Contract with America and the 1994 congress.

    Also before 1994 Newt would debate to an empty room in congress on CSPAN for hours. That more then anything probably got him his chair and at least partially won the republicans congress.

    Oh yeah....he balanced the budget for the first time in long long long time...an event we have not replicated in the past 11 years and probably won't replicate for another 20.

  • Cruz||

    So a prohibition on Prostitution is not Christian Sharia Law? Not that I'd be interested in prostitutes....

  • Jim||

    No, because that's exploitation. Which of course is also the excuse used by muslims to justify burquas...so that women don't feel social pressure to look like sexpots.

    The difference is, when we say something is exploitation, we are correct. When stupid-dressing people from somewhere else use this same justification, they are wrong. I hope you see the logic of this line of reasoning.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cruz,
    Prohibition of prostitution is not precisely a Christian phenomenon, it's actually more a Progressive idea. You know, to "protect" women.

  • ||

    Most of my female friends, as women, find laws against prostitution and pornography insulting and patronizing.

  • ||

    I think the Christian angle is directed more at adultery, and not at prostitution per se.

    Prostitution, like adultery, is one of those things that many Christian societies said Bad Things about, without actually locking people up.

  • RyanXXX||

    Progressives have a lot in common with religious fundamentalists, even at the policy level. "Saving people's souls" through government action

  • Cruz||

    Listen I don't care if we have to get rid of the Christians and the Progressives... I want prostitution now...

  • Cruz||

    Re: Old Mexican

    Not really familiar with progressive ideaology all that much, wouldn't it be progressive to protect men too? lol

  • ||

    Men are always exploiters, they don't need protection.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cruz,

    wouldn't it be progressive to protect men too? lol


    Yes.

    Next question?

  • ||

    Basically, we can assume Obama will be re-elected, because the Republicans are hell-bent on nominating a drooling imbecile.

  • mr simple||

    No one who thinks they have a real shot wants to run against an incumbent.

  • Woodrow||

    Why does a hard-on with legs like Newt keep trying to pretend he gives a crap about Christian teachings? At least Giuliani was honest and said he wasn't a social con. Why does Newt keep doing this though? Literally noone is buying it!

  • ||

    I still Hope Mitch Daniels will get into the fray. But going up against Rush Limbaugh shows questionable judgment. Limbaugh is going to be a big problem for the Republican candidates if he continues to insist they take a hard stand on the social issues. The GOP can kiss the Independents goodbye if the Tea Party gets taken over by the evangelicals.

  • ||

    What is odd is that Rush isn't a big Jesus guy and yet he clamps onto the social issues...Beck on the other hand is a huge Jesus freak...yet he is the one saying that gay marriage is not that big of a deal.

  • ||

    True believers don't worry so much what other people do. On the other hand, Rush has never done or said anything that wasn't intended to further the politics of conservatism. This time I think he's making a big mistake.

  • Mohamed||

    Try Sharia Law in Arizona to clean your state from drug dealers and criminals. http://www.sharia4america.com/story.php?sid=36

  • Joe Arpaio||

    Sounds good. Where do I sign up?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's clearly working for Afghanistan. No drug dealers or criminals there. Nope.

  • KnowNothing Party 2012!!||

    ""You saw how the Irish came here, infiltrated our government and turned it into a popish slave-state... Now its going to all happen again with teh mooslums.""

    [notable of the rise of the Know-Nothings... they gained traction mainly due to the growing failures of the traditional party system in the mid-19th century... sounds familiar. lesson here? When no one trusts Left or Right anymore...? Become the Party of RealChristianAmericanPeople. It seems to me to be an age old tactic utilized by politicos whose larger party platforms have failed and fractured their base.

    Also, they've already tried it with mexicans, but unfortunately it sort of blew up in their face. The nice thing about demonizing the Muslim 'threat' is that they're still so small a group that one can actually politically afford to make wild claims about them without ever having to worry about losing the 'muslim vote'. Who needs 'em?]

  • Max||

    "Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." --- James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

    Put that in Ron Paul's dick and suck on it.

  • ||

    What does this have to do with the 1st Amendment? Nothing.

    This is against a tax on teachers for secular education with the choice to go to Christian teachers.

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