I’m not big fan of Amanda Marcotte. I think that she often sacrifices truth to polemic. My scrupulous efforts to remain neutral in these electrons should indicate the degree to which she tickles my skeptic bone.

Nevertheless, I think she is on to something in her attempt to make sense of the embrace by Rand Paul, self-styled sort of glibertarian, of the right-wing religious politics of pervy preoccupation with the sex lives of others. Here’s a bit from her piece at TPM:

In their pure, ideological forms, libertarianism and Christian conservatism do seem at odds. In theory, libertarians should have a hands-off approach when it comes to social issues, not wanting to tread on the individual’s right to get gay-married or have an abortion if he or she wants. In practice, however, many so-called libertarians like Paul are just as rabidly anti-choice and anti-gay rights as their conservative Christian brethren. But politics is often more about optics than policy, and Paul is struggling to gain the trust of evangelicals whose enthusiasm for bringing the government boot down on the neck of gays and women understandably makes them wary of the word “libertarian.”

This problem is made all the more difficult by the fact that Paul is still running a campaign trying to convince younger voters that he’s out to protect their civil liberties, a message that’s hard to convey when you’re simultaneously pandering to religious right voters who want said liberties stripped from gays and women. Paul’s attempts to thread that needle have been largely incoherent, telling religious-right audiences that he’s totally on their side and then turning around and telling others that he doesn’t see attacking abortion or gay rights as a priority.

Then there’s the other, simpler explanation, the one I favor:

A “Libertarian” is a Republican who’s ashamed to admit it.


Some persons wrap their prejudices in the flag; others wrap theirs in the cross. Some use both as packaging. When you see such packaging, though, it’s a fairly safe bet that truth-in-labeling has naught to do with it.

Look closely and you can peer through the camouflage. Neil Elliott, responding to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, does just that. A snippet:

Pence (the writer of the column to which Elliott responds–ed.) would, I presume, be shocked — shocked! — to find himself compared to racist groups. After all, he counts himself among the benevolent white Christians who “sent clergymen to march­— and then . . . federal troops to protect” after the racist bombing of a church that killed four black girls in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. But perhaps he forgets that the Birmingham bombers were themselves Christian extremists, disaffected from the Ku Klux Klan, who felt empowered by a righteous cause, one of them invoking “the Lord” and “Judgment Day” at his sentencing.

The unreflective racism is just beneath the surface. Pence writes of our nation’s “Christian heritage,” but is especially concerned to excoriate President Obama for not galvanizing Americans to holy war. He wants us to unite with “black Christian nations”: Are we, then, a white Christian nation? He writes of “us” finding common cause even with “the brown-skinned neighbors who have been growing our food and roofing our houses for the last half-century.” In his mind, do all of us who are neither Christian nor white just cease to be American?


If the truth is not on your side, make stuff up. It’s the Wingnut Way.

20 July 2015 · Comments Off on “Playa!” · Categories: Culture Warriors

Republican Pick-Up Artists:  trying to charm the ladies by taking away their reproductive rights.

Click for a larger image.

Via Kos.

17 July 2015 · Comments Off on “Born in the USA” · Categories: Culture Warriors

Badtux cuts to the quick:

In the end, there are no nation lines on the globe when you look at it from outer space. Nations are an invention of Man, not of God, which makes it hilarious that there are so many patriotic “Christians.”

Follow the link.

13 July 2015 · Comments Off on “Can You Give Me Sanctuary, I Must Have a Place To Hide” · Categories: Culture Warriors

Thom looks at why “sanctuary cities” came to exist in the first place.

13 July 2015 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works: The “Heritage” Con · Categories: Culture Warriors, The Secesh

Steven Conn explains how it works. A snippet:

The results of history reveal the complexities and contradictions of the human experience and force us to grapple with nuance and paradox. It is intellectually challenging and can often be deeply unsettling.

Heritage, by contrast, is a mythologized version of the past, stripped of all the unpleasant parts. Heritage remains largely impervious to historical evidence and relies instead on a past-as-we-wish-it-were version of events. It trades in emotions and personal connections, putting itself beyond debate or reproach. History is often not lovable, but everyone loves his or her heritage.

Do please follow the link and read the complete essay.


Michael Smerconish, who from time to time displays a level of common sense that belies his label as a “conservative commentator,” explains how Bill Cosby shot himself in the foot through his own hectoring moralizing. Here’s a snippet.

Beyond the legalese, that was the true predicate on which Judge Eduardo C. Robreno based his decision to unseal documents related to a civil suit filed against Cosby 10 years ago.

“This case, however, is not about defendant’s status as a public person by virtue of the exercise of his trade as a televised or comedic personality,” wrote the judge in his 25-page opinion. “Rather, defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, child-rearing, family life, education, and crime.”

Citing precedent, Robreno concluded that Cosby had “thrust himself into the vortex of these public issues” and had “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.”

11 July 2015 · Comments Off on Making Book, First Edition · Categories: Culture Warriors, Political Theatre

Subtitle: How To Game the System in an Attempt To Get Ghostwritten Hackery on the Best-Seller List

If you prefer, here is the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book version.

06 July 2015 · Comments Off on Tears of Fears · Categories: Culture Warriors

Catholic homophobic group unwittingly skewers itself.

Thinking about it, I realize that it’s not unusual for persecutors to see themselves as persecuted. After all, that’s how they justify persecuting.

05 July 2015 · Comments Off on All That Was Old Is New Again · Categories: Culture Warriors, The Secesh

The things that wingnuts and Christianists are saying about the gay marriage ruling remind me of what segregationists said after Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka et al back in the olden days, when I was young ‘un growing up under Jim Crow.

The tune is the same. Only the lyrics have changed, and they but slightly; the hate remains intact.

04 July 2015 · Comments Off on Well, That Takes the Cake · Categories: Culture Warriors

An Oregon bakery is being ordered to pay damages of $135,000 to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake, Oregon Live reports.

The ruling by the Oregon Labor Commission upheld a previous finding that Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the couple based on their sexual orientation, Oregon Live reports.

“Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion,” the Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a press release.

The bakery owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, were ordered to pay Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer $75,000 and $60,000 each, respectively.

They probably look at this as being punished for their convictions. I guess that, in some warped world, bigoted hate sincerely-held can be considered a “conviction.”

02 July 2015 · Comments Off on Family Values · Categories: Culture Warriors

It would seem that murder is a family value.

Words fail me. All I have left is profanity.

01 July 2015 · Comments Off on Word Scaliad · Categories: Culture Warriors

Via TPM.

01 July 2015 · Comments Off on The “Traditional Marriage” Con · Categories: Culture Warriors

Tony Norman investigates the scam.

The folks sitting grimly in the corner gnashing their teeth are those most convinced that marriage equality is an affront to everything they hold sacred. As far as they’re concerned, the Supreme Court repudiated several thousand years of civil and religious tradition.

Never mind that most religions once defined marriage in ways that would scandalize even the most tradition-bound American in 2015. You’d be hard-pressed to find a religious tradition that didn’t sanction polygamy, child brides and treating women as property whose market value was determined by a set dowry price, their potential fertility and the perception of how a marriage would help the groom’s social standing.

It’s true that the rituals accompanying marriage ceremonies were designed to encourage the perpetuation of the species, but historically they were also about reinforcing whatever the presiding economic order happened to be.

More traditions at the link.

01 July 2015 · Comments Off on Denial Denied · Categories: Culture Warriors

Persons complaining that the Supreme Court has denied their right to deny the rights of other:  denying them the right to deny gays the right to marry, the right to deny health insurance, the right to deny health insurance claims, and so on.

Via Kos.

01 July 2015 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Culture Warriors

Full mental jacketed frolickers.

28 June 2015 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: Culture Warriors

Twits longing for the good old days.

27 June 2015 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: Culture Warriors

Westboro Baptist twits.

27 June 2015 · Comments Off on Role Reversal · Categories: Culture Warriors

Via Kos.