Ron Paul

That Old Rugged Cross

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Mike Huckabee's commercial "What Really Matters," the most talked-about ad since… that other Mike Huckabee ad, is being picked apart like a game hen. Wearing a red sweater and looking into the cameras with soft, come-to-Church eyes, Huckabee says:

Are you about worn out of all the television commercials you're seeing? Mostly about politics. I don't blame you. At this time of year, sometimes it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends. I hope that you and your family will have a magnificent Christmas season. And on behalf of all of us, God bless and Merry Christmas.

Byron York has the full story of the ad here—general agreement is that's a home run, a velvet-wrapped attack on the less Godful candidates complete with an unmissable window backrgound brace that looks like a cross. The ever-dippy hosts of Fox and Friends asked Ron Paul for a comment.

I haven't thought about it completely but it reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said, that 'when Fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.' I don't know whether that's a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross like he is the only Christian, or implying that subtly.

Host Steve Doocy reacted with utter confusion. A literary reference! Fascism! Scary! But Paul was referring to Lewis's much-abused bon mot and his 1935 novel It Can't Happen Here about the reign of President Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip. Lewis even wrote a little of Windrip's manifesto:

I want to stand up on my hind legs and not just admit but frankly holler right out that we've got to change our system a lot, maybe even change the whole Constitution (but change it legally, and not by violence) to bring it up from the horseback-and-corduroy-road epoch to the automobile-and-cement-highway period of today. The Executive has got to have a freer hand and be able to move quick in an emergency, and not be tied down by a lot of dumb shyster-lawyer congressmen taking months to shoot off their mouths in debates. BUT–and it's a But as big as Deacon Checkerboard's hay-barn back home–these new economic changes are only a means to an End, and that End is and must be, fundamentally, the same principles of Liberty, Equality, and Justice that were advocated by the Founding Fathers of this great land back in 1776!

Demands for more executive power… a call for the government to get more involved in economics decisions… an unlettered argument that the founders would want it this way. No, doesn't remind me of anything.

Also, check out the surreal second part of the Fox interview, when a co-host asks Paul to give one-word answers to a series of topics like "Mainstream Media" and "War on Terror."

NEXT: Bonds for Babies

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  1. Paul’s response strikes me as being overkill, and makes him sound a little paranoid. (What, he says a fuzzy-kitten commercial by a rival and the first thought that pops into his head is “Fascism on the march!”?)

    Maybe better to say. “Gosh, Steve, I’m not sure what that video Christmas card has to do with being the leader of the free world. What do you think?”

  2. Steve Doocy is such a jackass. He talks to Dr. Paul like he’s an alien, or a robot, or an alien robot. I guess he’s not used to being around one of those freedom-loving radicals.

    Although, I can only dislike Doocy to an extent, because it is tempered by Steven Colbert’s hilarious faux-adoration.

  3. I dunno, I don’t see how this is conducive to running for president. Your crown isn’t supposed to come while you’re on earth:

    1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    the emblem of suffering and shame;
    and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
    for a world of lost sinners was slain.
    Refrain:
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    and exchange it some day for a crown.

    2. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    has a wondrous attraction for me;
    for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
    to bear it to dark Calvary.
    (Refrain)

    3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    a wondrous beauty I see,
    for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    to pardon and sanctify me.
    (Refrain)

    4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
    its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    then he’ll call me some day to my home far away,
    where his glory forever I’ll share.
    (Refrain)

  4. My wife just bought me that book. She rocks.

  5. R C Dean,

    Agreed. Most voters don’t even know who Lewis is…

  6. …when a co-host asks Paul to give one-word answers to a series of topics like “Mainstream Media” and “War on Terror.”

    Uh, “ignorant,”…”Guiliani?”

  7. Well, I think that a broad familiarity with Huckabee’s general Peronist attitude toward government might make one hypersensitive to evidence of his fascism in even innocuous settings.

  8. That’s strange…how come that book is listed under “fiction”?

  9. Forget Fox, here is a good interview with Joe Scarborough. Ron did great! Joe is implicitly endorsing him.

  10. Dear Priest Huckabee:

    You are in the middle of a contentious political season. So, no, it isn’t “Merry Christmas,” it’s “why the hell should I vote for you?”

  11. I keep waiting for Chuck Norris to come crashing through the window in the background….

  12. And look who is on the front page of CNN.com!

  13. Does it seem to anyone else that the level of the Huckster’s campaign seems, way, way out of what one would expect to be his league? He seems to have gone from Andy Griffith to Huey Long in no time.

  14. Host Steve Doocy…

    is a dipshit.

  15. Huckabee and his religious ilk are pretty damn scary to me and they most certainly are draping themselves in a flag and a cross. I don’t see anything wrong with Ron’s quote.

    Forgive me if its nice to see a prominent politician making literary references after 8 years of hearing GWB mispronounce the word nuclear.

  16. Cesar- Just saw it. Finally! Make sure to past a thank you note for them being good boys and gals.

  17. And look who is on the front page of CNN.com!

    The most ridiculous part of that article is that it quotes Ron complaining about the media focusing on the money and not his message…while never stating any of Paul’s policies. Not one.

    The media really is impossible to parody sometimes.

  18. Perhaps a bit of overkill on Paul’s part, but I can’t imagine any of the other GOP candidates saying something that. Refreshing.

    I imagine Romney now: “Given the chance, I might have been there with nails. It was all part of our salvation…”

    Too much?

  19. err, “something like that”

  20. Actually, if this is just the Christmas-card-writ-large that Huckabee claims it is, rather than a political advertisement, can’t he get into hot water with the FEC for misuse of campaign funds?

  21. The problem with candidates who talk about their faith is that they tend to act like the Pharisees were the real heroes in the Gospels.

  22. The screenshot above is priceless. The Hucklebee add with the Ron Paul Fundraiser overlay is way cool.

  23. Forgive me if its nice to see a prominent politician making literary references after 8 years of hearing GWB mispronounce the word nuclear.

    NOOK-you-ler. It’s pronounced NOOK-you-ler.

  24. “Paul’s response strikes me as being overkill, and makes him sound a little paranoid.”

    That is because he is paranoid. It is too bad that the guys on Fox didn’t just let Paul run. Give him five minutes and he would have been talking about how Huckabee is trying to create a North American Union by supporting the federal reserve and covering up 9-11 or is it supporting the North American Union by supporting the federal reserve? I can’t keep my moonbats straight anymore.

  25. Who are you supporting, John?

  26. Mike Huckabee = http://www.taxhikemike.com
    Huckabee wants to ban smoking nationwide.
    Nazi Germany banned smoking nationwide.

    If there is anything he isn’t a fascist on and he doesn’t have a stance on he steals directly from Ron Paul. In fact, Dr. Paul did a Merry X-mas ad on Dec. 8 and he was wearing a red sweater. Huckabee did his on the 14th. Same red sweater.

    Ron Paul has been fighting to eliminate the IRS and Fed for 30 years.
    Huckabee decides he wants to eliminate the IRS (except he wants to do same amount of tax just sales tax vs income)

    Huckabee is a Jr. member of the CFR, in fact his foreign policy adviser is Richard N. Haass president of the CFR.

    I hate Guiliani but I would vote for him before voting for Huckabee.

    Why not vote Ron Paul at least with him we know exactly where he stands on stuff. He isn’t going to change his mind according to what suites him like doub-ya.
    Lobbyist do not even bother coming to his office because they know he is not for sale. If that alone doesn’t make you want to vote for him nothing will.

  27. The problem with candidates who talk about their faith is that they tend to act like the Pharisees were the real heroes in the Gospels.

    zing!

  28. “Hi I’m Mike Huckabee. Are you sick and tired of all the talk about politics these days? Me too. At this most holy time of year let’s step back and remember the important things. Namely, let’s remember that homosexuality, environmentalism, sadomasochism, and necrophilia make baby Jesus cry. Stop the necrophilia America. Merry Christmas, and God Bless.”

  29. Zevatron, that wuz cool.

  30. I dunno, I don’t see how this is conducive to running for president. Your crown isn’t supposed to come while you’re on earth:

    Yeah, excellent point. Not that I think a lot of fundamentalists hang out at H&R, but is anyone aware of a reasonably sophisticated theological argument for including Christian morality/philosophy/ethics in government? Not that they should necessarily be excluded, but it seems that the overall theme of the Christian message does not indicate that Christians should seek temporal power. Leaving aside arguments about what “true” Christianity is, I’m just wondering what people point to in the Bible when they try and justify behavior like Huckabee’s.
    I’m genuinely curious, because while I am by no means an expert on the Bible, it seems that most of the discussions about government therein suggest that Christians should not be concerned about government, with ideas like:

    Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

    Be not of the world.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself.

    Jesus saying that his kingdom was not of the this world.

    Paul? saying something along the lines of accepting the civil government.

  31. The most important thing on the front page of CNN. Its official, Peter Jackson is producing The Hobbit!

  32. BYoung,
    Nazi Germany did not ban smoking. Hitler liked the idea, and they took steps in that direction, but ultimately Hitler felt prohibition was a step too far and abandoned the inititative. So don’t try to equate Huckabee with Hitler. Hilter was far more reasonable.

  33. The REALLY funny coverage of the Huckabee ad was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Mika Brajinski (sp? sorry) carping about the “cross” in the background, while a portion of the set, over her left sholder, was illuminated in the same manner and very similar appearance.

    Ooooo scary! Crosses on television seem to upset people who are easily upset. And vampires too, perhaps?

    OT: Bummer, missed the secular Christmas party last night at Reason HQ 🙁 did not check mail early enough. Hope all had fun.

  34. “Hi I’m Mike Huckabee. Are you sick and tired of all the talk about politics these days? Me too. At this most holy time of year let’s step back and remember the important things. Namely, let’s remember that homosexuality, environmentalism, sadomasochism, and necrophilia make baby Jesus cry. Stop the necrophilia America. Merry Christmas, and God Bless.”

    P.S., I’ll happily sign tax hikes.

  35. Its official, Peter Jackson is producing The Hobbit!

    My guess: MGM wouldn’t let New Line do The Hobbit without Jackson, so they finally paid him the hundred mil he wanted because they’ll make far more than that with two more movies. Smart move.

  36. Second paragraph of the front-page cnn.com article:

    His campaign said it raised $6 million-plus in 24 hours earlier this week — one of the largest single-day fundraising totals in U.S. election history — but he remains low in the polls. (emphasis added)

    It was my understanding this is the largest single-day amount bankrolled by any presidential candidate ever, beating out his own $4.3 mil from Guy Fawkes Day. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, MSM!!!

  37. I wish Reason would have an article on what I think was the most important thing to happen in the past few days, Senator Dodd filibustered the FISA/Telecom Immunity bill and it was withdrawn from the floor…finally a bit of damn courage from a Democrat.

  38. This comment might get more play than the “they attack us because we’re over there” comment and that’s a good thing. The more outlandish the comment (and true) the more attention he gets, and so far, it’s all been for the better.

  39. Its official, Peter Jackson is producing The Hobbit!

    Sounds like a great reason to light up a little pipe-weed in celebration! Smoke it if ya got it!

  40. cnn.com also has an interactive map of Paul’s state-by-state fundraising totals. Although not per capita and not current (totals as of Sept. 30 ’07), it is a general indication of where the mouth-breathers reside among the states.

  41. Peter Jackson is producing The Hobbit? Boy, that welcome news removes the furrows from my brow. CNN, The Most Trusted Name in News. That’s why I tune in.

  42. [I]s anyone aware of a reasonably sophisticated theological argument for including Christian morality/philosophy/ethics in government?

    As a practicing Lutheran (though no theologian), I would concur with your assessment that Christians should not be concerned about government as it pertains to their faith. Luther preached of the two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. Luther astutely pointed out that if a government (the kingdom of man) were to interfere in theological matters (the kingdom of God), it runs the risk of getting those matters wrong and then forcing those wrong beliefs/practices on the masses. As Luther believed strongly that faith was a matter of conscience, he had a serious problem with government forcing people to exercise its version of religion when that might conflict with an individual’s personal beliefs. Naturally, the only way to avoid such a problem was to keep the government out of religion.

    On a side note, most Protestant faiths were strong supporters of the separation of church and state until the mid-twentieth century. As frustrated as many of you atheists and agnostics are with fundamentalist Christians, I assure you there are many Christians like me who are just as frustrated at the insecurity and lack of critical thinking exhibited by many so-called evangelicals.

  43. Ceaser,

    Niether Huckabee nor Paul. But I would vote for the devil himself before I voted for Huckabee. Frankly, I may not vote this year. Unless the Dems put up a real crackpot like Edwards or Obama, who I am convinced will be another Jimmy Carter, or the Republicans nominate Huckabee, I really don’t think it will make a whole hell of a lot of difference who wins. At this point, I don’t think any President will make a difference domestically and Clinton, Biden, Richardson or any of the Republicans sans Paul would end up doing the same things with regards to the war against radical Islam. Perhaps I am cynical but I am just not too charged up about this election.

  44. Steve Doocy is such a jackass. He talks to Dr. Paul like he’s an alien, or a robot, or an alien robot. I guess he’s not used to being around one of those freedom-loving radicals.

    To my ear it sounded like he was trying to make small-talk with his Alzheimer’s granddad. “Gosh, gramps, are you sure you want bourbon with your oatmeal? How about a nice glass of juice! Yum, juice!”

    Steve Doocy would fit nicely on a sharpened stick. Oh noes, a violent remark! Hide the wimmin!

  45. Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself.

    Um, the point of an election is to, you know, judge the candidates.
    Anyway, I prefer, “Judge and be prepared to be judged.”

  46. ClubMedSux,

    Yeah, everytime I see some evangelical on TV talking about God and government I want to grab the guy by the throat and yell “when the fuck did Jesus ever promise you anything in this world besides suffering, ridicule and eternal slavation in the next world?”

  47. “Steve Doocy is such a jackass.”

    Yeah…surprise surprise….frankly the idea that anybody is surprised about the FoxNews morons is what is shocking. Tell me, WHO exactly is the demographic for FoxNews? The clan? Uneducated angry middle-aged white men? Who?

  48. ridicule and eternal slavationin the next world?”

    I get that slavation thing when I’m in an IHOP. The smell of them flapjackes just gets me ta droolin’.

  49. As frustrated as many of you atheists and agnostics are with fundamentalist Christians, I assure you there are many Christians like me who are just as frustrated at the insecurity and lack of critical thinking exhibited by many so-called evangelicals.

    CMS, We intelligent atheists and agnostics know, and appreciate it.

  50. cnn.com also has an interactive map of Paul’s state-by-state fundraising totals. Although not per capita and not current (totals as of Sept. 30 ’07), it is a general indication of where the mouth-breathers reside among the states.

    While I’m not proud that Mississippi ranks at the bottom on that map, I should note that we rank at the bottom of most lists and therefore should be given the benefit of the doubt. Physics, you see. Inertia. Not our fault.

  51. The Internet is now abuzz with folks trying to determine if Sinclair Lewis really said what Ron Paul attributed to him. Just for clarification, something like it — “If Fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag” — is most usually attributed to Huey Long. But even that attribution does not seem to have been prove.

  52. Paul’s response strikes me as being overkill, and makes him sound a little paranoid. (What, he says a fuzzy-kitten commercial by a rival and the first thought that pops into his head is “Fascism on the march!”?)

    Maybe better to say. “Gosh, Steve, I’m not sure what that video Christmas card has to do with being the leader of the free world. What do you think?”

    Not at all. I had lunch with my Democratic-Lefty-Hippie mother. As we
    set there, I decided to see how Paul’s statement would go down with some one whose politics are nearly the opposite of my own. When the video finished, she clapped her hands, laughed and said, ‘oh, that was really good.”

    It is an election year where the people are sick of the narrow confines of the beltway definition of what is acceptable political discourse.

  53. “I had lunch with my Democratic-Lefty-Hippie mother”

    I would guess (and I have nothing to prove this), but I’d guess that a substantial amount of support for Ron Paul comes from the far Left. I say this as a Lefty who has several other lefty friends who like Paul.

  54. Sulla: I am not a fundamentalist, but I have probably read more theology than the average H&R poster. IMHO, the Christian theology of political power was created retroactively as a justification for state power after Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity and used it for his political ends. Much as Republicans abandoned limited government once they had the government, so, too, the political power of this world suddenly became not so bad once they had a hold of it. And from this historical accident (or inevitability) came the doctrines of divine rule, papal infallibility, etc.

    The difference, IMHO, between Christianity and Islam (or even Judaism) is that “political Christianity” is an aberration of the teaching of the New Testament. Islam and Judaism are much more inherently political — far more concerned with the ordering of THIS world. BUT there are limited government Muslims and Jews, so I have to believe that religion or atheism are always matched by the individual’s desire to institutionalize their personal beliefs.

  55. ClubMedSux,
    Yeah, even though I’m Catholic (though not great at it), I agree mostly with Kierkegaard who drew inspiration from Luther (even though he criticized the Danish State Church).

  56. I wish Reason would have an article on what I think was the most important thing to happen in the past few days, Senator Dodd filibustered the FISA/Telecom Immunity bill and it was withdrawn from the floor…finally a bit of damn courage from a Democrat.

    I was thinking the same thing.

    If I had a subscription, I’d threaten to cancel it.

    But I can say:
    For a place that purports to have a love affair with the Constitution, they tend to not give much love to events regarding the Constitution.

  57. I suppose I should add that it is a minor miracle that Western Christianity ever re-invented the concept that church and state could and should be separate. Such a doctrine is a rarity among any philosophy, religious or otherwise.

  58. “If I had a subscription, I’d threaten to cancel it.”
    I dunno, they did miss this but Sullum has had articles on FISA here if I remember correctly. They have experts on a lot of subjects, they can’t always cover them all. Lord knows I disagree with Reason a lot, but they do a good job covering a wide variety of topics (where else can you read Jesse Walker talk about Soviet Rock, Dave Weigel on the campaign trail, Nick Gillespie covering the MLA convention and Mangu-Wards, oh, I dunno, ode to eating octopus or what-not, all in one magazine?).

  59. I don’t think Ron Paul was solely addressing Mike Huckabee’s ridiculous ad. He was addressing the broader question that was simultaneously asked of him: what role should religion play in politics?

  60. I dunno, they did miss this but Sullum has had articles on FISA here if I remember correctly. They have experts on a lot of subjects, they can’t always cover them all. Lord knows I disagree with Reason a lot, but they do a good job covering a wide variety of topics (where else can you read Jesse Walker talk about Soviet Rock, Dave Weigel on the campaign trail, Nick Gillespie covering the MLA convention and Mangu-Wards, oh, I dunno, ode to eating octopus or what-not, all in one magazine?).

    My statement was made with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.

    I was trying to be the caricature.

    Sorry if that wasn’t obvious.

  61. Jesse Walker talk about Soviet Rock, Dave Weigel on the campaign trail, Nick Gillespie covering the MLA convention

    You left out Balko cherry-picking bad-cop stories.

  62. For the record, we have someone working on an article about FISA, but it’s a developing story so it’s taken a little while.

  63. BTW, this is the quote taken from wikipedia:

    “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Lewis

  64. You left out Balko cherry-picking bad-cop stories.

    I can certainly see why someone posting something as ignorant as that would want to remain anonymous.

  65. DJ,
    Thank you, that’s what I was looking for.

    As soon as someone starts basing their theological arguments on the Old Testament, I ask them when they are going to start following ALL of the commandments found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

  66. “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    Really though, there isn’t much difference between the New Right(Which has little to do with Lincoln or old school Republicans or conservatism) and a form of soft-facism or authoritarianism.

  67. You left out Balko cherry-picking bad-cop stories.

    Cherry-pick?! Bad-cop stories are becoming so common in this country that it’s the good-cop stories that have to be cherry-picked.

  68. “I can certainly see why someone posting something as ignorant as that would want to remain anonymous.”
    I second that Brian. If its just cherry picking of a few bad apples how come it seems that in the stories in question the police department nearly always says “We haven’t done anything wrong here and don’t plan to change the related policies and actions.”

  69. OT: Sounds like that stupid 35 MPG CAFE requirement passed and the president planns on signing it.

  70. BTW, this is the quote taken from wikipedia:

    “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    Yes, but it is, in most places I’ve seen, attributed to Lewis’s 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here” but a quick search of the online version of the book the quote is not included. In fact, while the sentiment may be accurate, the style seems a bit out of place after a (very) brief perusing of the work.

  71. I’m confused – it seems there’s considerable disagreement on what American fascists will wear, when they finaly show up – Lewis says it will be a cross and a flag, George Carlin says they will be wearing Michael Jordan jerseys and sneakers with lights on them, and Jonah Goldberg says they will look like female second-grade teachers from Swarthmore college.

    I don’t know who to believe anymore.

  72. I’m pretty sure the fascists will be wearing Malibu police uniforms and hurling coffee mugs.

  73. jaybird,

    A historical fact is that most hard core fascists got into it for the fashion. I suggest checking the BRAVO and E! channels for clues on the impending invasion.

  74. AND THE CAB DRIVERS WILL ALL LISTEN TO THE EAGLES.

  75. …and the SS will obviously not be golfers…

  76. I don’t expect much more from Fox or the people who watch it than I expect from TBN and its viewers.

  77. Cherry-pick?! Bad-cop stories are becoming so common in this country that it’s the good-cop stories that have to be cherry-picked.

    Har har. You’re the perfect audience for Radley’s skillful propaganda. Of the thousands of warrants served every day, how many go horribly wrong? A tiny percentage, correct? That doesn’t qualify as cherry picking? Be honest, little puppets.

  78. Mike Huckabee reminds me of the principal from “The Breakfast Club.”

    WHAT WAS THAT RUCKUS?!

  79. You left out Balko cherry-picking bad-cop stories.

    Well, there is a whole damned orchard of them to choose from, isn’t there.

  80. “As soon as someone starts basing their theological arguments on the Old Testament, I ask them when they are going to start following ALL of the commandments found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.”

    Sulla,

    Here’s my answer: Just as soon as the Israelites level the temple mount and build the third Temple. You can’t follow The Law without the Temple.

  81. “I’m pretty sure the fascists will be wearing Malibu police uniforms”

    Actually I am pretty sure they will all dress like LT. Dangle.

  82. Of the thousands of warrants served every day, how many go horribly wrong? A tiny percentage, correct? That doesn’t qualify as cherry picking?

    That qualifies as unacceptable to me, particularly when reforms or simple diligent police work can prevent the “horribly wrong” execution of said warrants in the first place.

  83. Har har. You’re the perfect audience for Radley’s skillful propaganda. Of the thousands of warrants served every day, how many go horribly wrong? A tiny percentage, correct? That doesn’t qualify as cherry picking? Be honest, little puppets.

    Is it noisy under the bridge, MORON?

  84. I am the walrus.

  85. The proper way for a christian to get folks to change is to get them converted. Ya can’t do that from the floor of congress or the white house. My only concern with non-believers should be about the condition of their eternal soul. It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if weed is legal or abortion is available at wally world.
    But the warm and fuzzy sanctimonious bullshit ads play real fine down here in south alabama. If you can show us your jesus tie we will believe you are lookin out for us and will bend over and ignore everything else. The baptists down here love W. cause he is saved.
    Just once I would like to see God just bitch slap the freckles off of these idiot politicians tradin on His good name.

  86. Graphite | December 18, 2007, 4:16pm | #

    WHAT WAS THAT RUCKUS?!

    Can you describe the ruckus sir?

  87. This is the closest I can come to in “It can’t happen here”:

    Like David, now ten years old (and like twenty or thirty million other Americans, from one to a hundred, but all of the same mental age), Emma thought the marching M.M.’s were a very fine show indeed, so much like movies of the Civil War, really quite educational; and while of course if Doremus didn’t care for President Windrip, she was opposed to him also, yet didn’t Mr. Windrip speak beautifully about pure language, church attendance, low taxation, and the American flag?

  88. Of the thousands of warrants served every day, how many go horribly wrong? A tiny percentage, correct?

    Probably true, but not terribly reassuring if you’re the victim of one of those few.

    The reason why Radley’s examples are important is that they illuminate an attitude of law-enforcement leaders in this country. From the shoddy prior investigation of informant leads, to careless reading of addresses, to the lack of visible remorse afterwards, the impression is that the individual rights of innocent people aren’t that important, and police pursuit of virtually any official objective is more important. The railroading of our rights is acceptable collateral damage.

  89. “Nonsense! Nonsense!” snorted Tasbrough. “That couldn’t happen here in America, not possibly! We’re a country of freemen.”

    “The answer to that,” suggested Doremus Jessup, “if Mr. Falck will forgive me, is ‘the hell it can’t!’ Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical–yes, or more obsequious!–than America. Look how Huey Long became absolute monarch over Louisiana, and how the Right Honorable Mr. Senator Berzelius Windrip owns his State. Listen to Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin on the radio–divine oracles, to millions. Remember how casually most Americans have accepted Tammany grafting and Chicago gangs and the crookedness of so many of President Harding’s appointees? Could Hitler’s bunch, or Windrip’s, be worse? Remember the Kuklux Klan? Remember our war hysteria, when we called sauerkraut ‘Liberty cabbage’ and somebody actually proposed calling German measles ‘Liberty measles’? And wartime censorship of honest papers? Bad as Russia! Remember our kissing the–well, the feet of Billy Sunday, the million-dollar evangelist, and of Aim?e McPherson, who swam from the Pacific Ocean clear into the Arizona desert and got away with it? Remember Voliva and Mother Eddy? . . . Remember our Red scares and our Catholic scares, when all well-informed people knew that the O.G.P.U. were hiding out in Oskaloosa, and the Republicans campaigning against Al Smith told the Carolina mountaineers that if Al won the Pope would illegitimatize their children? Remember Tom Heflin and Tom Dixon? Remember when the hick legislators in certain states, in obedience to William Jennings Bryan, who learned his biology from his pious old grandma, set up shop as scientific experts and made the whole world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution? . . . Remember the Kentucky night-riders? Remember how trainloads of people have gone to enjoy lynchings? Not happen here? Prohibition–shooting down people just because they might be transporting liquor–no, that couldn’t happen in America! Why, where in all history has there ever been a people so ripe for a dictatorship as ours!

  90. “Not that I think a lot of fundamentalists hang out at H&R”

    Yo, what am I, chopped liver?

    (Perhaps I *would* have been chopped liver, if I’d lived in the Ukraine during the terror-famine engineered by the *atheist* Josef Stalin – the victims often resorted to cannibalism, and I might have ended up on the menu. But I digress . . .”

    “but is anyone aware of a reasonably sophisticated theological argument for including Christian morality/philosophy/ethics in government?”

    Is anyone aware of a reasonably sophisticated theological argument – by Christians – for *excluding* Christian morality/philosophy/ethics in government?

    And don’t say Roger Williams. He thought Christianity *prohibited* the government, from meddling in Church affairs. His interpretation of Christianity may have been right or wrong, but he was certainly basing his philosophy of government on his interpretation of Christianity.

    “IMHO, the Christian theology of political power was created retroactively as a justification for state power after Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity and used it for his political ends.”

    What is it with the Constantine-bashing? What Constantine did for the Christians was (a) issue the Edict of Milan, ending the persecution of the Church and restoring its confiscated property, (b) allowing litigants to take their disputes to the Christian bishops in preference to the notoriously-corrupt Roman judiciary, (c) excuse bishops from being tax-collectors (rich people could be ordered by the govt to collect a certain amount of taxes, and make up the difference out of their own pockets if they came up short), (d) call the first Nicene Council together so that the Church could deal with a big theological dispute they were having, and (e) side with the Church against the Donatist splinter group in North Africa.

    Oh, I forgot – he also destroyed the Merovingians. Or was that the Trilateral Commission?

  91. One problem with Paul’s statement is that it is no longer necessary for fascism to come to America. It took up residence here some time ago.

    When the governing party favors aggressive war, extrajudicial detention, torture, systematic government surveillance, a substantial welfare state, pervasive military and traditionalist symbolism, and in general subscribes to the idea that the perception of safety for the group always outweighs the rights of the mere individual, you are living in a fascist state.

  92. When the governing party favors aggressive war, extrajudicial detention, torture, systematic government surveillance, a substantial welfare state, pervasive military and traditionalist symbolism, and in general subscribes to the idea that the perception of safety for the group always outweighs the rights of the mere individual, you are living in a fascist state.

    That about sums it up.

  93. Oh, I forgot – he also destroyed the Merovingians. Or was that the Trilateral Commission?

    No, it was Neo.

  94. MadMax — Your A-E list on Constantine gets worse as it goes. He called Nicea because he wanted to use the Christian hierarchy to strengthen his own political hand, precisely because the secular authorities were so corrupt. And in times prior to Constantine, the Donatist controversy would have been settled by a mutual live-and-let-live agreement — not the way he settled controversy, by force.

    Constantine is the ancestor of Huckabee/Romney/Falwell/Robertson/Cromwell/Henry VIII…

  95. What should have happened:

    Doocey: Give me an explanation of Huckabee’s ad but you are only alloted one word for your other responses old man.

    Ron: Can’t I just raise my hand instead? Oh wait that was the worst debates in history last week because it was not choreographed, “Rudy, Romney, Rudy, Romney, continue to argue over your progressive records…Fred here’s your cue to give us a sarcastic one liner…”

  96. Fuffy, and the Republicans are just as bad.

  97. @Lamar

    I keep waiting for Chuck Norris to come crashing through the window in the background….

    ROFLMAO!!! Best line of the day! You owe me a keyboard!

    @R C Dean

    Paul’s response strikes me as being overkill, and makes him sound a little paranoid.

    Yeah, overkill, and I kind of cringe when I think about the backlash a tactless remark like that has the potential for setting off.

    The other side is it’s refreshing to hear from a politician that’s rude enough to say what he actually thinks. Maybe it’ll touch off enough of a scandal to get him some press finally.

    I get the impression Paul really doesn’t like Huckabee, for reasons above and beyond being a competitor for the nomination.

  98. Fox and Friends? I know there’s no such thing as bad publicity but jeez.

    Am I the only one who sort of kind of likes Huck? Only because the Rep Establishment doesn’t bother even concealing their pants-filling terror that teh fundies have escaped the attic but still. I wonder why we haven’t heard the “black love child” rumor yet.

  99. Yes you are the only one. Nah, “the black love child” comment would only be used on McCain but all those people who propagated that smear have McCain’s hickeys all over their asses so we won’t see a sequel.

  100. More sinister subliminal messages from Huckabee!

    It is being reported by AP, CNN (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/18/huckabee-denies-subliminal-christmas-message/) and others that Mike Huckabee “poked fun at critics who said a bookshelf in his new Christmas-themed ad that appeared to highlight the shape of a cross was meant to send a subliminal message.”

    “‘Actually I will confess this, if you play this spot backwards it says “Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead, Paul is Dead,”‘ the presidential candidate joked to reporters in Houston Tuesday.”

    If that’s not a subliminal command to evangelicals to eliminate Ron Paul–with extreme prejudice if necessary–I don’t know what is.

  101. What?! In his comments, Huckabee says the thing behind him is a bookshelf.

  102. crimethink,

    Apparently, the bookshelf ic a ‘crypto’ Cross.

    Up next: if the sounds from the tape a re rearranged just right, Gov. Huckabee recites the Lord’s Prayer.

  103. I’m not sure how the “fascist” statement will help or hurt Paul, but watching him say such a thing to a bunch of Foxtards was very satisfying. I could hear the panties bunching up all over the studio.

  104. They should use that “one word response” format in the next debate. I might even watch.

  105. “They should use that “one word response” format in the next debate. I might even watch.”

    Daze, Do you still beat your wife? Please respond with a one word answer.

  106. Daze, Do you still beat your wife? Please respond with a one word answer.

    Nes. *Stares at camera*

  107. I’m not sure how the “fascist” statement will help or hurt Paul, but watching him say such a thing to a bunch of Foxtards was very satisfying. I could hear the panties bunching up all over the studio.

    One of my main reasons for liking Ron Paul is his ability to bunch panties. It’s like he goes around trying to piss off the pompous every chance he gets.

  108. It’s like he goes around trying to piss off the pompous every chance he gets.

    I suppose if one has spent a career seeing folks with their heads sticking out of a twat, that it might be difficult to be much impressed or over-awed at any of one’s fellow man.

  109. I don’t imagine that proctologists have much patience with pompous asses either.

  110. Fox News anchors strile me as coming from the Stepford school of journalism. Their condescending, dumbed down prattle about minutiae contrasts with a guest like Doctor Paul, who seemed amused when his literary reference not only went over the heads of the FOXophiles, but sailed clear across the room and hit them in the backs of their pointy little heads! Boy did Steve Doocy scamble when the Good Doctor forced him off of Roger Ailes Daily talking points and into the real world!

    I’m glad to see Dr. Paul getting more confident in challenging the idiotic and juvenile way he is treated by the media. The FOX Folks are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to marginalize Dr. Paul, as viewers can see the disconnect and end up investigating ROn Paul on their own, since FOX refuses to give them any relevant facts on him or his campaign.

    The smart journalists are now dropping the pretense and treating Ron Paul with the respect and coverage a Top-Tier candidate like him not only deserves, but has EARNED. TIghtly scripted propaganda outlets like FOX continue to look more and more out-of-touch, except of course to the kool-aid drinkers who actually BELIEVE their B.S. machine.

    xtrabiggg
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  111. I agree with Warty, the video of him calling that drug warrior a fatty makes me giggle everytime I see it.

  112. He should have answered the one-word questions in the spirit of the inane premise of the whole excercise:

    “Mainstream Media?” “Q-Tip.”

    “War on Terror?” “Cantaloupe.”

  113. “I haven’t thought about it completely but it reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said, that ‘when Fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.’ I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross like he is the only Christian, or implying that subtly.

    Further confirmation, if any was needed, that Ron Paul is a total fucking idiot. But every time the moron says something stupid, Reason insults the interviewers who elicited more stupidity distilled straight from its nutty source. Ron Paul is not fit to be president of the local jaycees, much less the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

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