The Culture War as Farce

The Culture War, as Pat Buchanan envisioned it, was supposed to be about the superior moral standards of conservatism as opposed to the indulgent amorality of liberalism. This is from Buchanan’s 1992 RNC speech endorsing George H.W. Bush:

The presidency is also America’s bully pulpit, what Mr Truman called, “preeminently a place of moral leadership.” George Bush is a defender of right-to-life, and lifelong champion of the Judeo-Christian values and beliefs upon which this nation was built.

Mr Clinton, however, has a different agenda.

At its top is unrestricted abortion on demand. When the Irish-Catholic governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, asked to say a few words on behalf of the 25 million unborn children destroyed since Roe v Wade, he was told there was no place for him at the podium of Bill Clinton’s convention, no room at the inn.

Yet a militant leader of the homosexual rights movement could rise at that convention and exult: “Bill Clinton and Al Gore represent the most pro-lesbian and pro-gay ticket in history.” And so they do.

Bill Clinton supports school choice–but only for state-run schools. Parents who send their children to Christian schools, or Catholic schools, need not apply.

Elect me, and you get two for the price of one, Mr Clinton says of his lawyer-spouse. And what does Hillary believe? Well, Hillary believes that 12-year-olds should have a right to sue their parents, and she has compared marriage as an institution to slavery–and life on an Indian reservation.

Well, speak for yourself, Hillary.

Friends, this is radical feminism. The agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America–abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat–that’s change, all right. But it is not the kind of change America wants. It is not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God’s country….

… Yes, we disagreed with President Bush, but we stand with him for freedom to choose religious schools, and we stand with him against the amoral idea that gay and lesbian couples should have the same standing in law as married men and women.

We stand with President Bush for right-to-life, and for voluntary prayer in the public schools, and against putting American women in combat. And we stand with President Bush in favor of the right of small towns and communities to control the raw sewage of pornography that pollutes our popular culture.

We stand with President Bush in favor of federal judges who interpret the law as written, and against Supreme Court justices who think they have a mandate to rewrite our Constitution.

My friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe. It is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton & Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And so, we have to come home, and stand beside him.

Pat Buchanan is still alive, by the way. I checked because I hadn’t heard anything about him lately. It’s possible he’s been turned into a toad, but I have no confirmation of that.

Obviously, this is a very authoritarian view of morality, devoid of compassion and respect for human dignity, that is entirely about the tribal dominance of conservative Christianity, socially acceptable sex and keeping women in their place. And, of course, “rewrite our Constitution” is code for respecting the civil liberties protected in the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment, which conservatives prefer to deny. And today’s Republicans are still fighting this war, which ultimately is what the Kavanaugh nomination is about.

A few days ago I happened upon a right-wing comment thread on Kavanaugh in which the deplorables were loudly denouncing liberals for their immorality. And I was tempted to write, “Hello? You’re the ones defending sexual assault.” But of course, there’s no point, since these are the same people who think Trump is godly. One might as well teach physics to a tree stump.

But now that movement conservativism has devolved into a cesspool of white supremacy, misogyny, jingoism and just plain stupid; and their Dear Leader is a con man and all-around amoral sleazebag; and they’ve been put in the position of having to overlook credible sexual assault allegations to seat an obvious liar on the Supreme Court; we probably shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, deep down, these people probably do still think they are on the side of morality and liberals are not.

See also After the Kavanaugh Allegations, Republicans Offer a Shocking Defense: Sexual Assault Isn’t a Big Deal.

From WaPo:

“It’s the culture war on steroids, an incredible divide and intense to the point where people won’t talk to each other in some cases,” said William J. Bennett, a conservative commentator and former education secretary in the Reagan administration. “You have the anti-Trump resistance, the MeToo movement and the Supreme Court making for a perfect storm of controversy.”

You’ll remember that Bennett used to make a good living writing books and giving speeches about morality until it came out that he was a compulsive gambler who lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas. And, of course, more recently we had the wonderful moment when Ed Whelan, the president of something called the Ethics and Public Policy Center, made a complete ass of himself by naming someone else as the guy who assaulted Christine Blasey Ford. Whelan is now taking a “leave of absence” from the “Ethics and Public Policy Center.”

I really would like to resurrect Pat Buchanan from wherever they’re keeping him and ask him if he still thinks Republians stand for morality, because from where I sit they left even a pretense of morality behind several years ago. There’s nothing left for them now but exercising power.  Well, we’ll see what’s going to happen with the Kavanaugh nomination soon enough. Seems to me it could go either way. And, while we’re at it, I’d like to ask him about his beloved Catholic Church and whether it has forfeited its right to moral authority. Seems to me Pat’s vision of “morality” is looking a tad tarnished these days.

19 thoughts on “The Culture War as Farce

  1. "Seems to me Pat’s vision of “morality” is looking a tad tarnished these days"

    Wasn't it always tarnished? These wing-nuts are now and have always been about only one thing: concentrating as much power as possible in the hands of an elite white male majority. That is all it's ever been, they use props along the way, props like:"Culture War". "pro-Life", Tea-Party", "Judeo-Christian values", "fiscal responsibility", "Free Trade", America First", "2nd Amendment" I could go on buy why………. The GOP is and always has been an empty vessel of slogans aimed at enriching the few at the expense of the many. They actually believe none of it!

  2. Money Power Domination is all they are about.

    One of reasons the left is in take no prisoners mood, is because of the 40 year legacy of self righteous sanctimonious bs. 

    Millions of women have held in for years their particular experience of the double standard. Kavanaugh is a walking talking example of it. Worse than trump being in office for a few years, he represents Domination of individual rights that could last many many years. I have feeling women aren't going to take this anymore. 

  3. The voice from the conservative Christian right regarding Trump and his values is clearly saying.. "Give us Barabbas!"

  4. Last time I heard about Buchanan was in 2008, when he published his before-its-time book, Hitler Was a Nice Guy and Churchill Forced Him to Murder the Jews

  5. "These wing-nuts are now and have always been about only one thing: concentrating as much power as possible in the hands of an elite white male majority. That is all it's ever been, they use props along the way, props like:"Culture War". "pro-Life", Tea-Party", "Judeo-Christian values", "fiscal responsibility"


  6. The cartoon says it all and I would like to go a little farther based on the culture of the 50s when I was a teenager.  He is not responsible because he is a male and the male sex urge is so strong he cannot control himself.  Therefore, all the responsibility is put on the female.  This was very much emphasized by the magazines I read.  So girls always had to be careful, don't trust anything a boy says because he will tell you anything to get you to have sex.  I even had one guy tell me you don't buy a pair of shoes without trying it on.  Someone must have stayed up nights to come up with this stuff.  Times and culture do change but there is always great resistance from the ones in power, in this case the male gender.  By the way, my mother used to tell me that reading those magazines would drive me crazy.  She had a point.

  7. "These wing-nuts are now and have always been about only one thing: concentrating as much power as possible in the hands of an elite white male majority. That is all it's ever been, they use props along the way, props like:"Culture War". "pro-Life", Tea-Party", "Judeo-Christian values", "fiscal responsibility" 

    I couldn't agree more.  


  8. grannyeagle…My mother used the expression- "any port in a storm" – to convey to my sisters the insincerity of the motives of any boys who were pressuring them for sex.

     She also used to tell a little joke that ended with the punchline…”Because when I'm hard I'm soft, and when I'm soft I'm hard.”

  9. Right before 7, Ari Melber announced that yet another accuser – a FOURTH! – came forward.


    Maybe Kavanaugh is less like Mr. Rogers, and more like Ted Bundy?

  10. Kavanaugh has already conceded that he did engage in some underage drinking, he sometimes had occasions where he over indulged with alcohol, and there were events in where his behavior wasn't entirely conducive to maintaining the standards of behavior that society expected of him.

     That sounds like cracks are starting to appear in his foundation.

  11. Pat Buchanan, it has been a while. But it is good to review what we had to listen to for years. What struck me was the vehemence against Hillary as much or more so than Bill. I rremember she was attacked but this piece freshly reveals the misogyny directed toward her from the very beginning.

  12. "What struck me was the vehemence against Hillary as much or more so than Bill"

    I keep asking the same question over and over: how could someone be so fucking stupid to vote for Trump? My wife who is sick of me asking that question always has the same answer: They hate Hillary!

  13. I'm writing from the hospital. Not a plane crash. 🙂  Back and chest pains of a non-corranary origin. They're gonna check GI afflictions. Blood tests ruled out failure of a bunch of unrecognizable organs.

    All this happens after a trip to Louisiana to pick up a gyroplane. I haven't flown it yet but saw it flown by the previous owner. Get some brush up time with an instructor and I'm back to flying. It's part of a plan. Legal. Trust me.

    Re Frat Boy, I think it will be obvious to all but the Blind Trompsters that the side making the accusations are willing to undergo FBI scrutiny and risk jail. The GOP is running a kangaroo court. (One round of 5 minute questions)

    It's true we may never prove guilt, but the hearing is not a court of law. The testimony of 3 other potential vitims is bei d ignored. So there is a reasonable doubt that Kavanaugh has the moral character to be a judge on ANY federal court. By the end of the day, that will be obvious to all who are not blind. Will the GOP Senate veer off? It's all about holding the Senate now.  What will the GOP calculate LESS likely to cost them 2 seats?

  14. I hope you are out and about soon, hopefully, gyrocoptering again.

    I'm sitting in an airport wasting time.  Ever

  15. Doug, I hope you are out and about soon, hopefully, gyrocoptering again.

    I'm sitting in an airport wasting time.  Everyone I've spoken to has Trump's number, maybe a more equitable system of education pays off after all.

    I have taken a rest from most of the news, but, Trump's statement about possibly changing his opinion upon hearing the testimony makes me think he might try to dump this whole fiasco on the Republican establishment, while distancing himself, claiming moral superiority.


  16. The upside is that (a) Dems can point out that the GOP is the party of the rape culture in their campaign ads and (b) it just might transpire that the Dems grow a pair and respond to the theft of Merrick Garland's seat and the confirmation of a man strongly suspected of rape (he was in the line, after all) by rehabilitating the idea of court packing.

    Or maybe they could just impeach Kavanaugh on day one for gross moral unfitness and then fill the open seat with a sensible woman.

    The GOP and their fellow travelers in the press will scream bloody murder but, really, how can the party of Trump claim standing to protest at anything at all the Dems do, after all the crazy and vicious shit they have done?

    Fuck the deplorables and the orangoutang they put in the White House.

    They and that bulwark against demagogues, the Electoral College.

    And they should abolish the filibuster completely so they don't need a supermajority in the senate to repeal all the idiocy passed by the GOP in the last couple of years.

    Bozo will veto it all, but after they let him disgrace the GOP even more they can impeach him for numerous violations of the law, unconstitutional acts, and manifest and revolting unfitness.

  17. Doug:   Unrecognizable organs?   Hmmm.  Are you an alien?  Hope you are discharged from the hospital soon.  It is not the most comfortable place to be and also very expensive.

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