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Hardrock69
04-05-2006, 05:14 PM
By Kevin Phillips
Sunday, April 2, 2006; Page B03

Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.

We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before -- in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.

Indeed, there is a potent change taking place in this country's domestic and foreign policy, driven by religion's new political prowess and its role in projecting military power in the Mideast.

The United States has organized much of its military posture since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks around the protection of oil fields, pipelines and sea lanes. But U.S. preoccupation with the Middle East has another dimension. In addition to its concerns with oil and terrorism, the White House is courting end-times theologians and electorates for whom the Holy Lands are a battleground of Christian destiny. Both pursuits -- oil and biblical expectations -- require a dissimulation in Washington that undercuts the U.S. tradition of commitment to the role of an informed electorate.

The political corollary -- fascinating but appalling -- is the recent transformation of the Republican presidential coalition. Since the election of 2000 and especially that of 2004, three pillars have become central: the oil-national security complex, with its pervasive interests; the religious right, with its doctrinal imperatives and massive electorate; and the debt-driven financial sector, which extends far beyond the old symbolism of Wall Street.

President Bush has promoted these alignments, interest groups and their underpinning values. His family, over multiple generations, has been linked to a politics that conjoined finance, national security and oil. In recent decades, the Bushes have added close ties to evangelical and fundamentalist power brokers of many persuasions.

Over a quarter-century of Bush presidencies and vice presidencies, the Republican Party has slowly become the vehicle of all three interests -- a fusion of petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex. The three are increasingly allied in commitment to Republican politics. On the most important front, I am beginning to think that the Southern-dominated, biblically driven Washington GOP represents a rogue coalition, like the Southern, proslavery politics that controlled Washington until Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860.

I have a personal concern over what has become of the Republican coalition. Forty years ago, I began a book, "The Emerging Republican Majority," which I finished in 1967 and took to the 1968 Republican presidential campaign, for which I became the chief political and voting-patterns analyst. Published in 1969, while I was still in the fledgling Nixon administration, the volume was identified by Newsweek as the "political bible of the Nixon Era."

In that book I coined the term "Sun Belt" to describe the oil, military, aerospace and retirement country stretching from Florida to California, but debate concentrated on the argument -- since fulfilled and then some -- that the South was on its way into the national Republican Party. Four decades later, this framework has produced the alliance of oil, fundamentalism and debt.

Some of that evolution was always implicit. If any region of the United States had the potential to produce a high-powered, crusading fundamentalism, it was Dixie. If any new alignment had the potential to nurture a fusion of oil interests and the military-industrial complex, it was the Sun Belt, which helped draw them into commercial and political proximity and collaboration. Wall Street, of course, has long been part of the GOP coalition. But members of the Downtown Association and the Links Club were never enthusiastic about "Joe Sixpack" and middle America, to say nothing of preachers such as Oral Roberts or the Tupelo, Miss., Assemblies of God. The new cohabitation is an unnatural one.

While studying economic geography and history in Britain, I had been intrigued by the Eurasian "heartland" theory of Sir Halford Mackinder, a prominent geographer of the early 20th century. Control of that heartland, Mackinder argued, would determine control of the world. In North America, I thought, the coming together of a heartland -- across fading Civil War lines -- would determine control of Washington.

This was the prelude to today's "red states." The American heartland, from Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico to Ohio and the Appalachian coal states, has become (along with the onetime Confederacy) an electoral hydrocarbon coalition. It cherishes sport-utility vehicles and easy carbon dioxide emissions policy, and applauds preemptive U.S. airstrikes on uncooperative, terrorist-coddling Persian Gulf countries fortuitously blessed with huge reserves of oil.



Because the United States is beginning to run out of its own oil sources, a military solution to an energy crisis is hardly lunacy. Neither Caesar nor Napoleon would have flinched. What Caesar and Napoleon did not face, but less able American presidents do, is that bungled overseas military embroilments could also boomerang economically. The United States, some $4 trillion in hock internationally, has become the world's leading debtor, increasingly nagged by worry that some nations will sell dollars in their reserves and switch their holdings to rival currencies. Washington prints bonds and dollar-green IOUs, which European and Asian bankers accumulate until for some reason they lose patience. This is the debt Achilles' heel, which stands alongside the oil Achilles' heel.

Unfortunately, more danger lurks in the responsiveness of the new GOP coalition to Christian evangelicals, fundamentalists and Pentecostals, who muster some 40 percent of the party electorate. Many millions believe that the Armageddon described in the Bible is coming soon. Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence.

The potential interaction between the end-times electorate, inept pursuit of Persian Gulf oil, Washington's multiple deceptions and the financial crisis that could follow a substantial liquidation by foreign holders of U.S. bonds is the stuff of nightmares. To watch U.S. voters enable such policies -- the GOP coalition is unlikely to turn back -- is depressing to someone who spent many years researching, watching and cheering those grass roots.

Four decades ago, the new GOP coalition seemed certain to enjoy a major infusion of conservative northern Catholics and southern Protestants. This troubled me not at all. I agreed with the predominating Republican argument at the time that "secular" liberals, by badly misjudging the depth and importance of religion in the United States, had given conservatives a powerful and legitimate electoral opportunity.

Since then, my appreciation of the intensity of religion in the United States has deepened. When religion was trod upon in the 1960s and thereafter by secular advocates determined to push Christianity out of the public square, the move unleashed an evangelical, fundamentalist and Pentecostal counterreformation, with strong theocratic pressures becoming visible in the Republican national coalition and its leadership.

Besides providing critical support for invading Iraq -- widely anathematized by preachers as a second Babylon -- the Republican coalition has also seeded half a dozen controversies in the realm of science. These include Bible-based disbelief in Darwinian theories of evolution, dismissal of global warming, disagreement with geological explanations of fossil-fuel depletion, religious rejection of global population planning, derogation of women's rights and opposition to stem cell research. This suggests that U.S. society and politics may again be heading for a defining controversy such as the Scopes trial of 1925. That embarrassment chastened fundamentalism for a generation, but the outcome of the eventual 21st century test is hardly assured.

These developments have warped the Republican Party and its electoral coalition, muted Democratic voices and become a gathering threat to America's future. No leading world power in modern memory has become a captive of the sort of biblical inerrancy that dismisses modern knowledge and science. The last parallel was in the early 17th century, when the papacy, with the agreement of inquisitional Spain, disciplined the astronomer Galileo for saying that the sun, not the Earth, was the center of our solar system.

Conservative true believers will scoff at such concerns. The United States is a unique and chosen nation, they say; what did or did not happen to Rome, imperial Spain, the Dutch Republic and Britain is irrelevant. The catch here, alas, is that these nations also thought they were unique and that God was on their side. The revelation that He apparently was not added a further debilitating note to the late stages of each national decline.

Over the last 25 years, I have warned frequently of these political, economic and historical (but not religious) precedents. The concentration of wealth that developed in the United States in the bull market of 1982 to 2000 was also typical of the zeniths of previous world economic powers as their elites pursued surfeit in Mediterranean villas or in the country-house splendor of Edwardian England. In a nation's early years, debt is a vital and creative collaborator in economic expansion; in late stages, it becomes what Mr. Hyde was to Dr. Jekyll: an increasingly dominant mood and facial distortion. The United States of the early 21st century is well into this debt-driven climax, with some analysts arguing -- all too plausibly -- that an unsustainable credit bubble has replaced the stock bubble that burst in 2000.

Unfortunately, three of the preeminent weaknesses displayed in these past declines have been religious excess, a declining energy and industrial base, and debt often linked to foreign and military overstretch. Politics in the United States -- and especially the evolution of the governing Republican coalition -- deserves much of the blame for the fatal convergence of these forces in America today.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/01/AR2006040100004.html



HR69 Note: That is what is wrong with this country.

It is when Chimpy becomes delusional and starts blathering incoherently that he was Chosen By God to be President (instead of Diebold), and the Retardlicans begin to enact all kinds of legislation to prepare the U.S. Population to get ready for The Neo-Con Christian-Fascist State.

The Declaration Of Independence states it is our duty to remove from office those who would rule by Tyranny.

And that definition fits Chimpy and his Neo-Con Shitbags perfectly.

Warham
04-05-2006, 05:22 PM
When did Bush say he was chosen by GOD?

American publications only, please.

FORD
04-05-2006, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by Warham
When did Bush say he was chosen by GOD?

American publications only, please.

If you want the truth, don't expect it from the corporate whore media.

On the other hand, the British press (except for the Murdoch papers) still do their job well....


Bush says God chose him to lead his nation

Book reveals how President's religious and political beliefs are entwined - and claims he did pray with Blair
Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 2, 2003

Observer
President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian.

'If you change their heart, then they change their behaviour. I know,' he said, referring to his own conversion, which led to him giving up drinking.

Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger.

Few US Presidents have been as openly religious as Bush. Now a new book has lifted the lid on how deep those Christian convictions run. It will stir up controversy at a time when the administration is keen to portray its 'war on terror' as non-religious.

The book, which depicts a President who prays each day and believes he is on a direct mission from God, will give ammunition to critics who claim Bush's administration is heavily influenced by extremist Christians.

Bush is already under fire for allowing the appointment of General William Boykin to head the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Boykin, who speaks at evangelical Christian meetings, once said the war on terror was a fight against Satan, and also told a Somali warlord that, 'My God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.'

Bush has also been accused of a 'creeping Christianisation' of federal government programmes. In September, the government made more than $60 billion available for religious charitable groups. Critics say the groups will be able to use the cash to promote their religion. One group that benefited from previous grants was an Iowa prison project that entitled inmates to televisions, private bathrooms and computers - in return for Christian counselling.

Now Bush is likely to face intense scrutiny. The book, The Faith of George W. Bush, was written by Christian author Stephen Mansfield. It details numerous incidents where Bush's faith has been shown to be at the centre of his political thinking.

Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this.

Mansfield, however, says that, while there were no witnesses, aides were left in little doubt as to what had happened. He told The Observer: 'There is no question they have shared scripture and prayed together.'

The book also shows that in the lead-up to announcing his candidacy for the presidency, Bush told a Texan evangelist that he had had a premonition of some form of national disaster happening.

Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

In another incident, Mansfield recounts how, on Palm Sunday last year, Bush was flying back from El Salvador aboard the presidential jet Air Force One and seemed to be destined to miss church.

However, knowing that Bush hated to miss a service, some officials suggested they worship in the air. Bush agreed, and soon 40 officials were crammed into the plane's conference room. The service was led by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, while the lesson was read by close Bush aide Karen Hughes.

The author also proves anecdotes about Bush that had previously been dismissed as false. Rumours that he had prayed with a young soldier who had lost a hand in Iraq were thought to be myth, but Mansfield tracked down witnesses and a hospital chaplain who said that Bush had prayed with the man, ending by kissing him on the forehead and telling him he loved him. 'For me, that sums up Bush's beliefs. He really believes Jesus is taken up in his heart and soul,' Mansfield said.

A woman rammed a car carrying her children, aged three, five and eight, into a building where Bush was campaigning in Mississippi yesterday. Betina Mixon, 29, was dragged away at gunpoint and charged with aggravated assault.


link (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1075950,00.html)

FORD
04-05-2006, 05:39 PM
And let me add that people like Chimp and DeLay claiming to be disciples of Jesus Christ sickens me to no end. As I'm sure it does the same to Him.

Warham
04-05-2006, 05:40 PM
So Bush told people he felt like GOD wanted him to run for President?

Is that something unusual for a Christian to do?

jcook11
04-05-2006, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by FORD
And let me add that people like Chimp and DeLay claiming to be disciples of Jesus Christ sickens me to no end. As I'm sure it does the same to Him.

I voted for the chimp twice and cant' believe how utterly dissapointed I am. He is completley fucking up on Illegal Immigration, and when he had the balls to say that America is addicted to oil when thats how his family made their fortune paaaaaaleeeeeezzzzze! As far as him saying that he believes God told him to run, I don't have a problem with that. Christians do still have a right to claim their faith.

FORD
04-05-2006, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Warham
So Bush told people he felt like GOD wanted him to run for President?

Is that something unusual for a Christian to do?

Satan is more of a Christian than Chimpy. At least the Devil's telling the truth when he says he's talked to God.