FRC III: Abortions for Some, Miniature American Flags for Others

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8:42: "Our media friends are not just watching the candidates," says FRC regional director Gil Mertz. "They are also watching you! So please refrain from shaking, book-burning, chanting, speaking in tongues, and snake-handling."

8:51: Speaking of snakes, here comes Bill Bennett's snake-oil version of the war on terror. "We knew who attacked us on 9/11," so we invaded Afghanistan and ousted "the terrorist-sponsoring Saddam Hussein to begin a reformation of the Middle East by reforming those states."

8:53: "We were at war with, let us say it, Islamic fascism." He's brave enough to say things the president says!

8:54: Bennett gives praise to our modern hero: "Not Leonidas of the 300 Spartans, but Petraeus of the 300 million Americans. Let us praise Him. Point him out to your children and say 'There goes a noble man.' Perhaps even a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. One advantage of giving David Petraeus the Nobel Peace Prize is that he has actually brought peace. And we honor peacemakers."

8:57: Finally, Bennett equates liberals with fictional hellspwan. "Battlefield surrender comes from cultural surrender," he says. "Cultural surrender comes from befuddlement, from being befuddled." The term comes from Screwtape's advice to his nephew, to "fuddle" Christians. "And so, we are being fuddled."

9:00: This is amazing: Bennett's entire speech is crediting Screwtape with the perfidy of liberals and libertarians. Screwtape "might advise" us to do the litany of crimes assigned to Alan Colmes: Abiding by the Geneva conventions, inviting Ahmedenijad to Columbia, so on down the line.

9:03: "He might advise that we allow journalists to make public classified information, and then we stand aside as they give themselves awards," Bennett says. He informs the audience of the shield law just passed in Congress that protects journalists from having to testify to prosecutor if they expose classified information. "When they do this they do not deserve awards, they do not deserve Pulitzer Prizes. They deserve investigation and sometimes they deserve jail."

9:04: "Preemptive cultural surrender will be the defining issue of this upcoming election."

9:05: "The Democrat candidates for president cannot bring themselves to denounce an ad calling our general in Iraq a traitor, a betrayer."

9:06: It's the pointless culture war skirmish greatest hits! Bennett's on to Obama and his flag pin. "The flag pin is not a substitute for anything. It's just a pin. But it's a pin of our flag. And its placement tells you where our bearer's heart is."

on to Giuliani…

9:10: In the list of reasons to love Giuliani, Mertz says "former First Lady Nancy Reagan gave him the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award."

9:11: "I try to spend as little time in Washington as possible," Giuliani says. "There's something in the air here." From Congress or from the irritating interest groups that keep biting his ankles?

9:12: Rudy's history of Christianity: "Non-believers saw the love of Christians and said 'I wanna be part of that."

9:13: He compares modern FRCers to the dudes tossed into the arena to scrap with lions. "They were truly defined by what they were for, not what they were against."

9:16: "I'll be always be honest with you." The theme is bubbling up: I offend you by telling the truth, Romney offends you by lying. "I come to you with an open heart and an open mind." He gets his first applause saying he's never been a liberal activist: "Just read any New York Times editorial from when I was mayor of New York City."

9:17: "Isn't it better that I tell you what I really believe than pretend to change my positions to fit your preconcieved notions?" Big applause. Take that, Mitt. "What you're entitled to from me is the sum total of my beliefs." It would be dishonest "for me to twist myself all up"–he twists his hands as if knitting with molten lead–"and tell you what you want to hear."

9:19: It's not excruciating, but it's close. Giuliani clearly has a few applause lines embedded in this thing, and when he hits one he looks up very fleeting for some audience member who's finally come around. He's met with some scowling granny or a guy with his arms crossed over a Target-bought suit and tie.

9:23: Giuliani finds a groove talking about cleaning porn shops out of NYC. "I understand where you come from when you feel your values are under assault by a culture that's moving in the wrong direction."

9:24: "There is no outrage from the politically correct crowd when Christian icons are desecrated." If he wins over religious right voters, he's not going to do it by opening avenues of mutual respect. He's going to get them through symbolism and pandering.

9:26: "The government should never be required to give out taxpayer money to art that desecrates religion." Woooo! "It's just plain wrong." Woooo!

9:28: The law enforcement plank: President Giuliani will protect your kids from drugs, crime, gangs, "or some of the newer threats, by mandating tougher penalties for riminals who prey on children using the internet.

9:29: And he'll fend off "lawsuits that attempt to remove Under God from the Pledge of Allegiance."

9:30: "Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion!"

9:31: Some welfare reform talk, which goes over well.

9:32: The awkward part is over, and Giuliani's on to school choice, an easy applause-getter in this crowd.

9:33: Rudy still wants to convince the crowd he's talked with Jesus once or twice, so he counts down, on his hand, the parochial schools he went to. "The first time I went to a class that didn't start with a prayer was my first day at NYU Law," he says. "I was so confused that I began making the sign of the cross and people started looking at me."

9:34: The dog whistle nearly blows apart as Rudy quotes Rick Santorum. "Really, the ideal? It takes a family, not a village, to raise a child."

9:37: "You and I and all Americans share the same goal: A country without abortion," achieved by changing hearts and minds.

9:38: Abortion promises: Veto any change in impact of the Hyde Amendment. Support "any reasonable suggestion" that promises to reduce the number of abortions. "I continue [ed-really?] to support the ban on partial birth abortions."

9:40: Almost on its own the word "judges" starts a wave of applause. The part of this bloc that wouldn't leave the party if Rudy was nominated (the majority of the bloc, actually) is willing to swallow him for that reason.

9:41: Ted Olsen's name is enough to get applause here.

9:42: "If you need a yardstick," he says–take this and stop bothering me–he'd appoint judges like the four conservative members of the SCOTUS.

9:43: "Our goal in Iraq should be clear: Victory."

9:44: "Our goal for the broader war on terror is the same goal Ronald Reagan had for the Cold War." Ah, we know where this is going. "They lose, we win." Hooray, cant!

9:46: The Israel section goes over like gangbusters; Rudy has never, ever been shy about demogoguing this.

9:46: Under no circumstances will we allow Iran to become a nuclear power."

9:47: It's another section with lots of G-bombs, but I think the crowd has warmed. "We serve God best by serving others," he says, and there's spontaneous applause.

9:48: "We lose trust not when they're imperfect. After all, they're only human. We lose trust when they're not being honest."

9:50: "I'll continue to extend my hand to you and I hope you'll take it." Notice who has the power in this formulation.

NEXT: Broken Comments

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  1. Woohoo! Comments are back. It’s just cruel to give us a straight line about Christians being fuddled while comments are broken.

  2. Woohoo! Comments are back.

    Damned collectivist squirrel labor action, I’ll bet!

  3. 9:23: Giuliani finds a groove talking about cleaning porn shops out of NYC. “I understand where you come from when you feel your values are under assault by a culture that’s moving in the wrong direction.”

    Has it completely gone down the conservative memory hole that Giuliani roomied with a couple of gay dudes?

  4. “Not Leonidas of the 300 Spartans, but Petraeus of the 300 million Americans. Let us praise Him, Point him out to your children and say ‘There goes a nobel man.’ Perhaps even a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. One advantage of giving David Petraeus the Nobel Peace Prize is that he has actually brought peace. And we honor peacemakers.”

    Just when I think my opinion of Bill Bennet had reached rock bottom, he spouts this nonsense. Apparently, there are unplumbed depths of my disdain for this man.

  5. Just when I think my opinion of Bill Bennet had reached rock bottom, he spouts this nonsense. Apparently, there are unplumbed depths of my disdain for this man.

    Indeed. When I hear talk like this, my knee reflexively jerks – in sympathy with a vision of giving this clown a good, swift kick in the nuts…

  6. As they say on the Fark, I see what you did there wrt Rudy.

  7. “Not Leonidas of the 300 Spartans, but Petraeus of the 300 million Americans. Let us praise Him, Point him out to your children and say ‘There goes a nobel man.’ Perhaps even a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. One advantage of giving David Petraeus the Nobel Peace Prize is that he has actually brought peace. And we honor peacemakers.”

    Let me be “un-PC” as the right likes to say. Fuck General Patreus. Turning him into a demigod and giving him Fellatio every two seconds isn’t going to win this war, you right wing dipshits.

  8. yeaaaa!

    *waves aborted fetus painted to look like a miniature flag*

  9. 9:26: “The government should never be required to give out taxpayer money to art that desecrates religion.

    I’d say that is fixed for a libertarian audience but the REASON types probably think only that kind of Art deserves taxpayer funding.

  10. Fuck General Patreus. Turning him into a demigod and giving him Fellatio every two seconds isn’t going to win this war, you right wing dipshits.

    The cult of morale turns up every time there’s a war to shout their usual predictable stuff. It’s a confusion of levels and scale; morale does affect the performance of troops on the battlefield, but that’s the more the sort of day-to-day morale that is the business of their officers to worry about. The bigger issues of the conduct of the war do affect the feelings of troops about their mission, but that’s not the same kind of thing – particularly when it’s applied to generals, who aren’t in combat and who need to be responsive to the big picture.

    The War on Terror has consistently failed in its objectives because its being treated as a front for the Culture War, which distorts information and is incompatible with the completion of any kind of pragmatic mission.

  11. Giuliani seeking to reduce the number of abortions, by funding them:

    http://tinyurl.com/24bce9

    He says the taxpayers should pay for abortions for the poor because abortion is a constitutional right, by which of course he means a right invented by the US Supreme Court. What constitutional law scholar Giuliani fails to mention is that the very Supreme Court which invented the right to abortion also said that this right does *not* include a right to public funding.

    Maher v. Roe:

    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_1440/

    Harris v. McRae:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/448/297/case.html

  12. This convinced me to vote for Hilary.

  13. SIV | October 20, 2007, 3:36pm | #
    9:26: “The government should never be required to give out taxpayer money to art that desecrates religion.

    I’d say that is fixed for a libertarian audience but the REASON types probably think only that kind of Art deserves taxpayer funding.

    Right…

  14. The key to understanding the War on Terror is that the neocons really think it is Jews vs. Muslims, and the Values Voters really think it is Christians vs. Muslims.

    Thus the War on Terror really does involve a Clash of Civilizations, ie Modern vs. Medieval.

  15. The key to understanding the War on Terror is that the neocons really think it is Jews vs. Muslims, and the Values Voters really think it is Christians vs. Muslims.

    I think the respective leaders do not believe that. Only their followers are made to believe that. And they do. As long as they do, the neocons and the mega-churches will continue to increase their power and/or wealth. It is all about popular consumption.

  16. Giuliani is not very bright, he doesn’t know his audience. He tries to push his religion by mentioning making the sign of the cross. That was a stupid move. These people are fundamentalist Christians and a very high percentage of them don’t think Catholics are Christians but are the anti-Christ religion. It is one thing to play politics and fake being more religious than he is but he shouldn’t remind that he is a Catholic anymore than Romney should remind them he’s Mormon.

    The fundies dislike the Mormons more but if Romney plays down his Mormonism but plays up his faith he’ll have an edge over a Catholic who reminds fundamentalists that he’s Catholic.

    I attended a debate on the whether some deity exists and the pro side was a fundy pastor. It was a libertarian audience and the pastor’s main ally in the audience was a well known Catholic libertarian. During the Q&A I asked the pastor if his Catholic ally was a Christian. The guy heemed a bit and said; “I’m trying to decide how to answer that.” I suggested “Truthfully.” He looked uncomfortable but finally said that no, Catholics are not Christians. The fundies may cooperate on moral issues with conservatives Catholics but that is temporary. And the reality is that many fundamentalsits would just as much use the state to close down the Catholic church as they would a porn shop.

  17. Reason types and libertarians. Like those circles don’t have a pretty big overlap on the Venn diagram in your mind?

  18. He’s brave enough to say things the president says!

    hahahahaha

  19. I attended a debate on the whether some deity exists and the pro side was a fundy pastor. It was a libertarian audience and the pastor’s main ally in the audience was a well known Catholic libertarian. During the Q&A I asked the pastor if his Catholic ally was a Christian. The guy heemed a bit and said; “I’m trying to decide how to answer that.” I suggested “Truthfully.” He looked uncomfortable but finally said that no, Catholics are not Christians. The fundies may cooperate on moral issues with conservatives Catholics but that is temporary. And the reality is that many fundamentalsits would just as much use the state to close down the Catholic church as they would a porn shop.

    That’s changing a bit, but more for the Pentecostal/evangelicals who are somewhat more Catholic-friendly than the Baptist/fundamentalist foks.

  20. Giuliani is not very bright, he doesn’t know his audience. He tries to push his religion by mentioning making the sign of the cross. That was a stupid move.

    That is true. Despite some warming on the pentecostal side and overall, catholicky things like the sign of the cross (at least he didn’t say rosary beads!) don’t go over well with a fundamentalist audience.

    It’s not exactly stupid, it’s just Northeast/New York provincialism where the only known religions are Jewish and Catholic.

  21. Reason types and libertarians. Like those circles don’t have a pretty big overlap on the Venn diagram in your mind?

    Not as much overlap as one would think.
    This goes for the writers and the commenters.

    Widespread support for Government funding of embryonic stem-cell research for example.

  22. Widespread support for Government funding of embryonic stem-cell research for example.

    There’s widespread support for government-funded stem cell research here? I must have missed that memo.

  23. “Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion!”

    I hate this meme so much. Hey atheists, your lack of faith mortally threatens my own. Get back in line!

  24. Mike Laursen writes: “Has it completely gone down the conservative memory hole that Giuliani roomied with a couple of gay dudes?”

    ***

    Right on! And that Jesus Christ dude was even worse … hanging out with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners.

    TRUE conservatives only associate with others as morally spotless as they are, right Mike?

    It’s sad to see how Family Research Council/Focus On The Family types have perverted Christianity … hammering on gays and abortion, two subjects NEVER EVEN MENTIONED by Jesus, while totally ignoring the sins Jesus spoke vehemently against, like hypocrisy and divorce.

    But what did Jesus know! He befriended sinners and never realized the REAL PURPOSE of Christianity is to turn your back on sinners and feel superior to them … right Mike?

  25. The same ones who support abortion are the same ones who have SAVE THE REDWOODS,SAVE THE WHALES,SAVE THE SPOTTED OWLS,SAVE THE FLOWER LOVING FLY,SAVE THE MANATIES bumper stickers on their cars

  26. @Steve O.

    Mike Laursen writes: “Has it completely gone down the conservative memory hole that Giuliani roomied with a couple of gay dudes?”

    Whoa, cowboy! Hold your fire! If you were familiar with Mike’s postings, you’d realize he was being sarcastic. Save your ammunition for someone who deserves it….

  27. Fuddle: my new favorite word.

    Oh, and Bennett’s still a butthead…

  28. I always thought of my folks – devout Baptists – as fundies, but they would never say something as asinine as “Catholics aren’t Christians.” When I joined the Catholic church 10 years ago, my dad wasn’t thrilled, but he certainly didn’t think I was joining a cult or forsaking Jesus. But then again, my dad drank a margarita every Sunday, which I believe some Baptists would view as indicate he wasn’t a real Baptist. Cos they’re stupid.

    And the “Target bought suit” is a perfect example of why I can always – ALWAYS, and I’ve never been wrong – tell a Weigel post without reading the byline. He’s incapable of writing anything without some adolescent snark.

    So what does cheap suits have to do with it? Are you telling us fundies dress badly? Ok, and so? If they wore Brooks Brothers or L’Uomo they wouldn’t be so absurd? Or maybe the Target suit marks them as poor – which explains the fundiness, cos only poor people are ignorant enough to be fundamentalist? I’ve noticed a lot of fundamentalist Christian women wear white plastic shoes – and after Labor Day, if you can believe it! I wonder what that indicates.

  29. Sorry, Pig Mannix, if I missed Mike’s irony. This is my first time on this site and I’m a little baffled by the ideological orientation here.

    But lots of interesting posts … please accept my apology if I misunderstood.

  30. Thanks, Pig Mannix. I was indeed being sarcastic about Rudi’s sudden change of stripes.

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