Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family My Ass

A lesson in irony: one of my pet peeves about the poisonous Faux News is their use of fear and anger and lies to sell their partisan view of the world. Glenn Beck (and Hannity and O'Reilly and Coulter, etc., etc.) bounces from one world-threatening conspiracy to the next, all in the guise of "exposing the sordid truth which the liberal media is trying to keep from you."

It's funny how often these claims are a spooky mirror-image of reality, an attempt to obscure conservative attempts to perpetrate exactly the sin of which liberals are accused.

In my current read, Republican Gomorrah (review to follow), the book's author Max Blumenthal talks about a secret society called The Family, a powerful organization centered in Washington, DC that seeks to implement and spread a fundamentalist christian worldview. It is an anti-democratic entity, one dedicated to gaining power and influence without the burden of making its case to the voting public. The modus operandi is rather to gain power by secretly supporting candidacies of Family members to elected positions, thereby packing the halls of power with Family-friendly minions. It's all secretly done, of course; no one openly admits 1) to being a Family member, or 2) what the Family's goals are; no candidate admits to getting support from the Family, nor do they run on a Family platform. Blumenthal names a number of politicians who belong to the organization (Wikipedia names 11 current Senators and nine Representatives as current members, among others), none of whom, naturally, will talk about the Family or confirm / deny their membership in it (though lots of people will acknowledge the Family's influence in their lives). Many of them live at the organization's properties in Washington called the C Street Center.

Today I was reading up a bit about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment--a fascist little 11th hour addendum to the House health care bill, a sop thrown to white men which played some role in getting the bill passed. And I was surprised to learn that a number of Democrats voted for this bit of institutionalized misogyny.

All are reputed to be "Family" members.

This led to a very interesting little exposé from Rachel Maddow:

Her guest here is Jeff Sharlet, author of the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (rapidly added to my to-read list). I'm interested in the Catholic angle he talks about at the end. It's like a clever little escape valve for public anxiety. I wonder how calculated this is? Or are Catholics just happy to take credit for someone else carrying their water? We can all roll our collective eyes at the Catholic Church's desire to implement a theocracy here; but it appears there's a new enemy of democracy in town. One which no one will talk about.

We should be outraged. Just like Glenn Beck says, except for real reasons and not the lies that keep him eating lobster every night.

That any woman would support (let alone celebrate!) this amendment--a group of white men determining en masse what all women should and should not be allowed to do concerning their own bodies!--is absolutely stupefying. What's next? A repeal of voting rights? The illegalization of mothers working? Why not just mandate the wearing of a large No. 2 on the outer layer of clothing to connote women's second-class citizenry?

I'm accustomed to conservatives hypocritically crowing about Freedom while blithely working to restrict the freedoms of others; I did not expect this war on women from Democrats.


BrianAlt said...

This can be described as tyranny and, eventually, traitorous.

wunelle said...

It's certainly anti-American. Their version of freedom insists on the right of one group to restrict the freedom of another. So long as they get to do the restricting, they're fine with that.

It always stupefies me that these fundie religious groups so totally fail to grasp the essence of the Establishment Clause. So long as their religion is ascendant, they are eager to perpetrate any tyranny against others. But it takes no imagination at all to see a different religion in an ascendant position--let's say Islam--and then you can imagine their cry of unfairness and unconstitionality.