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Friday, August 24, 2012

Does Dana Milbank Have A Point?

Note: This post may dismay some of my Christian friends. So be it. The topic is matter about which I've been concerned for a long time and one which may well reap a terrible harvest in November 2012.

Check out this August 21, 2012 opinion piece in the Washington Post (copied and pasted in full because the WaPo has tightened up on access without a subscription):
Signs of divine intervention for Republicans?

Has God forsaken the Republican Party?

Well, sit in judgment of what’s happened in the past few days:
●A report comes out that a couple dozen House Republicans engaged in an alcohol-induced frolic, in one case nude, in the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is believed to have walked on water, calmed the storm and, nearby, turned water into wine and performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Rep. Todd Akin, Missouri’s Republican nominee for Senate, suggests there is such a thing as “legitimate rape” and purports that women’s bodies have mysterious ways to repel the seed of rapists. He spends the next 48 hours rejecting GOP leaders’ demands that he quit the race.

Weather forecasts show that a storm, likely to grow into Hurricane Isaac, may be chugging toward . . . Tampa, where Republicans will open their quadrennial nominating convention on Monday.

Coincidence? Or part of some Intelligent Design?

By their own logic, Republicans and their conservative allies should be concerned that Isaac is a form of divine retribution. Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann, then a Republican presidential candidate, said that the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene — another “I” storm, but not an Old Testament one — were attempts by God “to get the attention of the politicians.” In remarks later termed a “joke,” she said: “It’s time for an act of God and we’re getting it.”

The influential conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck said last year that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami were God’s “message being sent” to that country. A year earlier, Christian broadcaster and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson tied the Haitian earthquake to that country’s “pact to the devil.”

Previously, Robertson had argued that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for abortion, while the Rev. John Hagee said the storm was God’s way of punishing homosexuality. The late Jerry Falwell thought that God allowed the Sept. 11 attacks as retribution for feminists and the ACLU.

Even if you don’t believe God uses meteorological phenomena to express His will, it’s difficult for mere mortals to explain what is happening to the GOP just now.

By most earthly measures, President Obama has no business being reelected. No president since World War II has won reelection with the unemployment rate north of 7.4 percent. Of the presidents during that time who were returned to office, GDP growth averaged 4.7 percent during the first nine months of the election year — more than double the current rate.

But instead of being swept into office by the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, Republicans are in danger of losing an election that is theirs to lose.
Mitt Romney, often tone-deaf, has allowed Obama to change the subject to Romney’s tax havens and tax returns. And congressional Republicans are providing all kinds of reasons for Americans to doubt their readiness to assume power.

The Politico report Sunday about drunken skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee gave House Republicans an unwanted image of debauchery — a faint echo of the Capitol page scandal that, breaking in September 2006, cemented Republicans’ fate in that November’s elections. The 30 Republican lawmakers on the “fact-finding” mission to Israel last summer earned a rebuke from Majority Leader Eric Cantor and attracted the attention of the FBI. The naked congressman, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), admitted in a statement: “[R]egrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit.”

A boozy frolic at a Christian holy site might have been a considerable embarrassment for the party, but it was eclipsed by a bigger one: Akin’s preposterous claim on a St. Louis TV program that pregnancy is rare after a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Republican leaders spent the next 48 hours trying to shut Akin’s whole thing down, but after a period of panic (a no-show on Piers Morgan’s show led the CNN host to show his empty chair and call him a “gutless little twerp”), Akin told radio host Mike Huckabee on Tuesday that he would fight the “big party people” and stay in the race.

The big party people had a further complication: In Tampa on Tuesday, those drafting the GOP platform agreed to retain a plank calling for a constitutional amendment banning abortion without specifying exceptions for cases of rape. In other words, the Akin position.

For a party that should be sailing toward victory, there were all the makings of a perfect storm. And, sure enough: Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service forecast that “Tropical Depression Nine” would strengthen into a hurricane, taking a northwesterly track over Cuba on Sunday morning — just as Republicans are arriving in Florida.

What happens next? God only knows.
In my view, the a lot of those on the Christian Right have set themselves them up for what Milbank is saying.  In fact, I've been waiting for the Christian Right's "day of judgment" because of the many outlandish statements made over a period of decades, particularly during the Information Age, when statements travel around the world in a matter of a few minutes.

As my long-time boss used to say to us teachers, "Make sure that brain is in gear before engaging mouth."

Frankly, I'm not feeling very optimistic about the November 2012 outcome after some of the GOP's recent stumbles, which may be too kind a word.

Addendum: Check out the comments section at the WaPo web site. As of this moment, there are 4591 comments!

36 comments:

  1. Food for thought. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

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  2. All of this makes me start to wonder if these boobs aren't some sort of sleeper cells!

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  3. I have got to believe this election will be decided on the economy. There are evough fools in both Parties to fill a small nation. Don't let the crap get you down, AOW.

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  4. In my view, the a lot of those on the Christian Right have set themselves them up for what Milbank is saying. In fact, I've been waiting for the Christian Right's "day of judgment" because of the many outlandish statements made over a period of decades, particularly during the Information Age, when statements travel around the world in a matter of a few minutes.

    Yes! I imagine you wrote this with a sense of trepidation, but it needed to be said and you did it brilliantly.

    What Christians of all political stripes should fight for and vote for is the freedom to practice their religion.

    I never understood the urge to hijack government and ram your sectarian agenda down everyone's throat. That is un-American.

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  5. Whew! Well, at least Dana Milbank remains on message. This is very typical of Dana Milbank; he is a man who vigorously attacks conservatives whenever possible. This article is not unlike the propensity of liberal press to claim that a shooter is a “right wing extremist.”

    Yes, there are religious zealots in American society. Who didn’t know that already? What Milbank seems to ignore with amazing consistency are the non-religious zealots, the American hating Jews, or the white-hating black Muslims —easily 100% of whom are Democrats/Progressives/Communists, and I have yet to see him question the “Christianity” of the lying Barack Obama who is as much a Christian as I am black. I am a conservative, but I am no right wing radical. Amazingly, we never hear Milbank warn us about the left-wing radicals; he even alleges left-wing shooters are members of a right wing conspiracy.

    I don’t think God has left the Republican Party because I don’t think God has a political preference. It is possible, however, that the American people have turned away from God, which I think places this into the proper perspective.

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  6. Divine retribution? Nope.

    Global Warming....

    There IS a secret cabal that seeks to undermine the Republican Party. It's called the "RNC". And THEY don't have anyone's back, but their own.

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  7. Hope springs eternal that one day the RNC will FINALLY stop shooting themselves in the foot, and go for a head shot and put us ALL out of our misery.

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  8. Remind 5 friends of President Obama's accomplishments despite Republican obstruction and regardless of Romney lies:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php

    The GOP is out to destroy the economy and allow the middle class suffer by filibustering dozens of Dems sponsored jobs bills so they can take power and finish the job in destroying the middle class.

    Smart people know this. And there are enough of them to give Obama a landslide over these two jokers.

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  9. Isaac is a product of Obama's weather machine.

    Looks like it's going to miss anyway. He can't do anything right.

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  10. This is what gives the tea party to be misunderstood. It is brushed with the innuendo of values.

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  11. Even if you don’t believe God uses meteorological phenomena to express His will, it’s difficult for mere mortals to explain what is happening to the GOP just now.

    --------------

    It's not difficult at all.
    However, you should revise the statement to state "what's happening to the American political process".

    We are all tools of the oligarchy and like damn fools we are fighting each other and dancing to their tune.

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  12. Liberalmann: "Remind 5 friends of President Obama's accomplishments despite Republican obstruction and regardless of Romney lies"

    I can think of several things Obama has accomplished despite the Republicans trying to block it, such as Obama's massive increase in unemployment and his record yearly deficits.

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  13. Ducky said: "We are all tools of the oligarchy and like damn fools we are fighting each other and dancing to their tune."

    Paranoia will destroy ya, dude. We have much more to fear from the growing government, not imaginary cabals.

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  14. Hmm... interesting. It kinda makes sense, but IMO something makes MORE sense.

    Yes, the GOP is having horrific 'luck' (for lack of a better term), but these disasters have been hitting both sides, and all Americans.

    If you ask me, its the USA that's going to get its comeuppance, not necessarily the GOP (God I doubt cares about politics, and there are Christians on both sides). We were a nation founded on Christian principles, and that's what made us great. Now though? We have, for the most part, turned away. Even Isreal got its punishment for doing that, and now it seems it's our turn.

    As to why we are losing this race? Well, assuming the above is true (Assuming!) It kinda makes sense. Obama will ruin the USA and make it into... I dunno. Not the USA. The punishment we would deserve for turning away.

    Maybe I'm crazy, but it's an idea of mine.

    -Wildstar

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  15. Wildstar, I don’t think “we” are losing the race. Americans have always squabbled with one another over politics. During the early days of the American Revolution, only about one-third of the colonists thought we should declare our independence. Many today argue that it was an unnecessary war. Had these few colonists not rebelled, the United States today would still be independent from Great Britain, but perhaps a member of the British Commonwealth —a relationship little changed from what it is today.

    In any case, religion should not divide Americans. We are a secular society based on the idea that everyone has the right to pursue their own religious beliefs —without government interference. Barack Obama has attacked these time-tested principles, but that isn’t what Milbank is writing about, is it? There are loons in the Republican Party, who if given their way, would nudge the GOP toward a theocratic platform. Most Americans reject this with the same vigor they rebuff the communist ideology of the political left.

    So let us continue to bicker, as we always have. Bickering is better than armed conflict. If we must battle one another for primacy of political ideology, let it be a battle of words. Besides, the political left provides us with much needed comedic relief.

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  16. Liberalmann: With a few exception, that ridiculous list of "accomplishments" reads more like a bill of indictments.

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  17. Since Ducky recycled his "Weather Machine" comment, which I admit I find funny, I'll recycle my riposte:

    If Obama built a machine to control the weather, it would probably instead spit out bananas, or cause a mine cave in or a dam to burst somewhere.

    Even if by some miracle he could get his weather machine working, Uncle Joe Biden would stagger in and damage it with a hammer or somehow render it unusable.

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  18. the Founders wanted to get rid of the royals- who could take anyone's Life - Liberty or Property---

    The motto of the 1776 Revolution was-
    "No King (royalty) but King Jesus"...

    That being stated- let us look at the 'royals' on both sides of the aisle - an vote them OUT!!

    BTW- the IRS ('royal' edict) can take your PROPERTY at will---so- it looks like we are backward- not forward...

    Carol-CS

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  19. dmarks,


    "massive increase in unemployment and his record yearly deficits"


    "Accomplishments"? I would be interested in finding out, in his own words, what Liberalmann thinks these may be; juxtaposed to what his objectives are.



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  20. Reason has forsaken the Republican party not the divine. Someone should tell the Tea Party that N.H. is in play.
    --------

    "WMUR-TV and the Bedford, N.H., Patch reported Szabo’s initial comments on Wednesday.

    “The big issue here is the sheriff is supposed to protect all of its citizens,” Szabo said initially. “Just because a person is not born yet doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t have same level of protection. Someone needs to stand up and tell federal and state officials they’re wrong if it’s in the best interest of citizens ... but my main point is deadly force is always a last resort.”

    That's right, immediately after the "legitimate" rape idiot you have a candidate for sheriff who thinks he can use lethal force to stop a legal abortion.
    You need to purge the nut logs.

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  21. dmarks said: "I can think of several things Obama has accomplished despite the Republicans trying to block it, such as Obama's massive increase in unemployment and his record yearly deficits.

    No those would be as a result of GOP obstructionism. And Bush. Yup-I blamed the source again, lol!

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  22. " ... 'what's happening to the American political process'.

    "We are all tools of the oligarchy and like damn fools we are fighting each other and dancing to their tune."


    HURRAH!

    Ducky finally deserves to say BINGO!

    Well, even a broken clock gives the right time twice a day, so I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. But even at that I'm always willing to give the devil his due.

    Yes, Ducky, that is EXACTLY what has been happening to us for a VERY long time -- longer than either of us has been alive.

    What damages your credibility, however, is your incessant defense of the indefensible machinations of the DNC. If you TRULY BELIEVED in the Oligarchs, you would know that BOTH PARTIES are IN ON IT in more or less EQUAL MEASURE.

    So why defend Obama-Biden, and constantly pooh pooh Romney-Ryan?

    But yes. ALL of us are wasting our time indulging in fruitless mental masturbation fantasies -- probably out of habit as much as any real sense of hope that things could possibly change.

    Our behavior during this election cycle is highly reminiscent of the band that continued to play while the Titanic was sinking.

    Everything we think, say and do is an exercise in futility. But isn't that the perfect definition of life, itself?

    From "mewling and puking in the nurse's arms to "sans teeth, sans hair, sans eyes, sans everything" in six or eight decades -- IF we're lucky. Many don't have even that much time.

    Personally I'm sick of the vituperation. There are better things we could do with our time -- like watching reruns of I Love Lucy or The Beverly Hillbillies.

    Thank God for they're running The Twilight Zone again. It's a great help in trying to maintain a grip on sanity.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  23. I'll put Republican politician standards up to those of the Democrats any day.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  24. Re Rep. Todd Akin's comment: His choice of words was unfortunate, but the impetus of his comment came from Dr. Fred Mecklenburg, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School at the time, who wrote, in 1972, "“The Indications for Induced Abortion: A Physician’s Perspective".

    In the article, he posits that pregnancy resulting from rape “is extremely rare,” and cited as an example the city of Buffalo, N.Y., which had not seen “a pregnancy from confirmed rape in over 30 years.” Other cities — Chicago, Washington, St. Paul — also had experienced lengthy spells without a rape-caused pregnancy, Mecklenburg wrote.

    The reasons were numerous: Not all rapes result in “a completed act of intercourse,” Mecklenburg wrote, adding that it was “improbable” that a rape would occur “on the 1-2 days of the month in which the woman would be fertile.”

    Mecklenburg’s third reason seems to have been picked up by Akin. A woman exposed to the trauma of rape, Mecklenburg wrote, “will not ovulate even if she is ‘scheduled’ to.”

    Although the above position has been roundly criticized in the medical community, but oddly, mostly by abortion on demand advocates, it has never been proven to be incorrect. Nor has it been proven correct.


    Akins statement was stupid because he used the word, "legitimate" instead of the more accurate word, "forcible", but other than that, he had what he thought was a legitimate argument. Sadly, the whole thing could have been avoided if he had simply said, "Aborting a baby because it was produced by rape is punishing the baby instead of the rapist". Why kill an innocent baby for the crime of his father?.

    The only reason he should drop out of the race is because he is providing the Democrats with more ammunition to attack Republicans by his poor choice of words.

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  25. Mark,
    Thank you for bringing up Dr. Mecklenburg.

    However, I wonder if he is an unbiased source. From this source; furthermore, he seems to have backed off somewhat, apparently because he resented his statements used by politicians:

    In 1988, Pennsylvania state Republican representative Stephen Freind, claiming to rely on Mecklenburg, publicly argued that rape prevents pregnancy with the odds of pregnancy being “one in millions and millions and millions.”[18][19] Mecklenberg responded in a prepared statement that he regretted his opinions were used to support Freind's position.[20] Go to the above link to read footnote 20.

    I vague remember the Freind controversy.

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  26. Mark,
    Why kill an innocent baby for the crime of his father?.

    Good point.

    But so is the following: Why punish a rape victim by forcing her to carry a baby to term?

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  27. Having a baby as a result of rape wasn't a big deal in the olden days; the Semites would just stone rape victims to death, which is something that might appeal to Margaret Sanger and Hillary Clinton.

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  28. Jack,



    "in the olden days; the Semites would just stone rape victims to death"

    I thought that the "Rag Heads" still did this.

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  29. I think Jon is right ... some ME cultures continue to stone women who are victims of rape. It's part of that whole "We are threatened by women because they're smarter than we are" thing.

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  30. As to Akin...he said something stupidly. He admits he was really on old "science". Perhaps he should have read more current science but then again we have a Congress that passed Obamacaretax without reading it by their own admission. The guy has apologized repeatedly. I was in the crowd demanding he step down but I ask each of you honestly have you never said anything you regreted? Did you ask for forgiveness? and should you have lost your job other your misstatement??? I am more troubled by the media that covers up the misstatements of Democrats who are unrepenttent.

    I predict he wins in November. I realize I am going against the grain here but people are easily distracted by all the news. This story is already on the back pages. In another week or so, the matter will disappear from the news. And if Obama brings it up in the debate, Mitt can say we mad our position clear.

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  31. How can I say this without coming off preachy......

    Republicans are not the answer...not exactly. sure any one beats Barry. Barry wants us toecperience the dream of his father...communism in America. But to say Republicans are our saviours is as misguided a belief as the Obamatons have.

    We need to a return to Constitutional principles. We need citizens serving in these elected roles not career politicians.

    We face an uncertain future even if the Republicans take control of the WH and Congress. They will have to undo the damage done to our Republic and I am not certain they are up to the cahllenge or will even want to undo it all.

    Both parties have members who enjoy their positions of power and influence far too much for the good of the Republic.

    Either way we face very dire economic times. My family started stockpiling food slowly so months ago. Now it seems like I run into people all the time that are doing the same thing. Why would so many people be thinking the same way?

    It is truky troubling for I have never lived in such a time of fear.

    Your story about the skinny dipping Republicans does not help that fear for Republicans are supposed to get it. If can not avoid acting like some band of sophomoric college students on spring break, how are they going to manage the pressure of the decisions that will have to be made in 2013??????

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  32. Unless they are Obama supporters, almost everyone I know is stockpiling food; some are stockpiling ammo and weapons.

    In my lifetime, I saw this happen around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Home bomb shelters, bomb shelters in the shopping centers, bomb shelters at schools, bomb drills at school -- the fear was palpable. Our little rural town had a siren that blew so that we could do shelter drills. I clearly recall keeping family photos and the cat near me so as to scoop all that up and head down to the cellar bomb shelter.

    Even if Romney is elected, this economy isn't going to turn around quickly, However, a change of leadership may give a shot of confidence to capitalism. To a certain extent, capitalism runs on confidence.

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  33. Blogginator,
    Akin may pull off a win.

    But what he said has done damage to the GOP, particularly among women in metropolitan areas.

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  34. The thing is, who's going to experiment to find out, scientifically, if women are less likely to get pregnant from a rape?

    Todd Akin shouldn't have to defend retracted comments.

    I predict Akin will get more votes here in Missouri than Romney does.



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  35. Beamish,
    I still can't get over that Akin actually let those words pop out of his mouth.

    I'm not speaking only of Akin now....I do wish that men would pipe down on the topic of rape. In my view, most men don't have a clue as to the realities involved -- for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with genitalia.

    I have zero clue as to how Missouri will vote. But I'll rush out onto a limb and state that I doubt that Akin's statements will hurt his election chances in that state. Missouri isn't the D.C. metro area -- and I state that without any intention of insult to the people of Missouri.

    If Akin lived in this area of Liberaldom, he'd not only lose the election but also be tormented, fired from his job, etc. Frankly, we in Liberaldom are consigned to living miserable lives and have to weigh every single word we say outside the privacy of our own homes.

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  36. AOW agreed and perhaps that is why I was one of those so harsh on him. I too have to vigilantly guard my words and actions to avoid even the apppearance of racism even though I work side by side with minorities and I have learned to communicate in Spanish to help this miniroty group in my community.

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