Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Circus News

The most persuasive chatter I heard Monday about what Little Ricky Sanctimonious is up to suggests that he is pounding on Rabid Christian Right issues not only to assure those voters in Michigan (voting next Tues.) and Ohio that he's authentic but to get the attention of voters in the South who will be voting on Super Tuesday, March 6, outflanking Casino Newt, who has all but disappeared from the news and the polls.  

The problem for him might be that he's overplaying that hand in Michigan.  Richie Richney is closing the gap in the polls there and I wouldn't be surprised if by the weekend he's gone slightly ahead.  The perception game, which last week figured that even a close Richney victory would be spun as a defeat, has changed already, and with Little Ricky opening a bigger lead in the national polls,  right now any Richney margin of victory would be greeted as a big victory.  Of course, that's now, and the election is a week away.

What is perhaps more meaningful than this inside baseball stuff is that Ricky is articulating his version of a fundamentalist Christian line.  When he talked over the weekend about President Obama holding a theology that doesn't come from the Bible,  he was talking about the biblical command that humanity assert dominion over the Earth.  To Rick, any ethics that sees other lifeforms and the Earth itself as having any sort of "rights" or autonomy is anti-Christian.  It so happens that President Obama is not making that argument--his environmental policies have to do with sustainability and human health--the planet as what sustains human life.  Ricky is talking about me, more than about the policies of the Obama administration.

But that's par for the GOPer course.  They are all running against a fictional character, created largely by FOX News and Rabid Right institutions, who they cleverly named "Barack Obama."  Or rather, Barack Hussein Obama.

Arthur Schlesinger used to talk about the Party of Hope as the Party of the Future versus the Party of the Past.  That's never been more true.  GOPers as represented by Ricky are old wealthy white men who want to wring the last possible billions out of fossil fuels, the planet and the future be damned. They are culturally old white men losing control, trying to get back at women and people of color.  We maybe forget the racism that has often been uglier in urban areas like Detroit and  elsewhere in Michigan (where state appointed white dictators right now reign over black communities without elected representation) than in the deep South, where it is also alive and well, if camouflaged.

But women are already more than half the electorate, and the population.  They are the present.  People of color are moving towards a numerical majority, first in a few states, and then generally.  They are the future. The views of younger people of all races and genders are vastly different on these issues than the GOPer standard view.  As a rapidly aging white man, I've felt unfair assertions made, prejudiced analysis and other forms of prejudice towards Dead and Soon-to-be Dead White Males,  as well as the unpleasant intimations of obsolescence.  I hope some of us have more to say and do that's helpful, and one of those observations might be from the memories of more overt racism, and the signs that it is still alive and motivating.  It may not be the rationale, but it is providing a good deal of the energy.

Anyway, to get back to the circus itself, there's a debate in Arizona on Wednesday in advance of the Michigan and Arizona primaries next week.  It may be a very important one for these candidates.

Update later in the day: A story confirming the doctrinal reading of Sanctimonious on "dominion," and beginning evidence of Richney moving even in Michigan polls.

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