Hate Group Focus On The Family’s James Dobson Admits He Failed

A demoralized James Dobson admits his defeat

by Steveningen

Maggie Gallagher isn’t the only religious conservative to be feeling a loss of optimism in the new year. In his January newsletter, the hate group Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson comes out and admits that “Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat.” What he fails to understand, or more likely admit to, is why. In his newsletter he proceeds to lay the blame for his failures on the doorstep of President Obama, the Democratic Party and the disappointing Judas Iscariots of the Republican party. There is no acknowledgement that in re-electing this President, the country provided a sound repudiation of Dobson’s brand of extremism. It wasn’t any of the factions he cited in his newsletter that brought about his defeat. It was the electorate, who, among other things, has grown weary of the distortions and ugly tactics employed by social conservatism.

Now let me share my heart with you. I’m sure many of you are discouraged in the aftermath of the National Elections, especially in view of the moral and spiritual issues that took such a beating on November 6th. Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat.

Dobson then goes on to apportion blame to the Democratic party as a whole, outlining “four shocking components of the Democrats’ 2012 platform.” The lies and distortions he presents as evidence is typical of this man. Let’s examine two of them.

1. Abortion should be legalized through nine months of pregnancy.Imagine full-term, healthy babies across the nation being poisoned or dismembered a few days before normal delivery. What a tragedy!

Yes, what a tragedy, if it had any basis in reality. I was completely nonplussed to learn that one of the Democratic platform plank called for the willy nilly aborting of full-term babies. Of course the Democrats have proposed no such thing, but Dobson doesn’t let facts get in the way of fundraising.

2. Same-sex marriages should be permitted by law in every state in the nation.In May, Barack Obama was pictured on the cover of Newsweek with the caption, “The First Gay President.” His policies for the family were affirmed by liberal voters on November 6th. The Supreme Court recently agreed to consider the same-sex marriage issue. If they rule that it is the law, they will open the door to a redefinition of marriage in every state in the land. The family and the nation will never be the same. Nevertheless, neither Democrat nor Republican Congressmen have uttered a word of concern about it. They are deaf and mute while the very future of this great country hangs in the balance. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed by an overwhelming vote a few years ago, but it will be overridden if the Supreme Court issues an adverse ruling. But, who in Congress cares?

Clearly the religious conservative cheese stands alone. Only the brave fundamentalists are standing up for inequality. Ha! If only that were the case. The Republicans in the newly minted 113th Congress have made it a priority to continue defending the federal ban on recognizing gay marriage by approving additional spending on outside counsel. But again, mentioning this fact wouldn’t go a long way in helping him get panic donations.Dobson winds up his screed with this oft-repeated chestnut about the tyranny of our Dictator in Chief.

Well, the election is over and we have a president who often ignores the Constitution and imposes dictatorial powers on the American people.

Of course he provides no citations of how President Obama has ignored the Constitution or how he has exercised one iota of those magical dictatorial powers. The rhetoric is as weak as his political significance. Yes, James Dobson, it is true. Everything you have stood for for 35 years has been going down to defeat. It hasn’t been completely defeated though, and I sense you know it. Why else would you still be making these thinly disguised calls for money if there wasn’t still a dime or two to be eked out from your dwindling base of easily manipulated people. This once fully raging river of cash is slowing down to a trickle and when it has finally dried up, my hope is that you will have too.

Zombie libertarianism

Zombie libertarianism

Jacob Weisberg surveys our financial collapse and declares libertarianism dead.  (Hat tip.)  Alas, I wish I could feel as secure as he does on this front, but I’m afraid I don’t, because while it’s true that we can blame deregulation frenzy for our current economic situation—-and that people trying to say otherwise sound like the ripe fools they are—-I fear that the premise of his article is a bit off.  Libertarianism may be extremely unpopular right now, but it’s always been unpopular and that hasn’t stopped it.  In fact, your average pedantic libertarian gets off on the fact that most people wisely hate libertarians, because it confirms to the libertarian that he is a unique snowflake that the rest of the world is too stupid to get.*  Libertarianism isn’t popular, but it will always be well-funded because the class warfare at the heart of it appeals to embittered, willfully ignorant rich people who give money to think tanks.

The problem with libertarianism is similar to the problem with social conservatism, which is that it’s largely based on fantasies that appeal to people who feel thwarted entitlement.  Economic crisis will put most Americans into a reality-based way of thinking, and Obama’s surge in the polls reflects this.  But the more that reality-based liberalism gains ground, the angrier and more bitter you’ll see conservatives of both stripes get, and the more they’ll retreat into their fantasy lives.  Weisberg praises libertarians for having ideological consistency, but I see that rigidity being based in a fundamentally immature, inflexible worldview that Weisberg describes:

The worst thing you can say about libertarians is that they are intellectually immature, frozen in the worldview many of them absorbed from reading Ayn Rand novels in high school. Like other ideologues, libertarians react to the world’s failing to conform to their model by asking where the world went wrong. Their heroic view of capitalism makes it difficult for them to accept that markets can be irrational, misunderstand risk, and misallocate resources or that financial systems without vigorous government oversight and the capacity for pragmatic intervention constitute a recipe for disaster.

Anti-troll disclaimer: I’m not saying that liberals can’t be equally rigid.  Believe you and me, I deal with them all the time, and it’s exhausting.  But rigidity is built into the principles of libertarianism in a way that’s not true of liberalism or even into most forms of conservatism.

The appeal of libertarianism is the same hidden appeal of the call for “states rights”, which is that it’s a way for conservative types to be both pro-freedom and pro-oppression by redefining federal protection of its citizens as somehow anti-freedom, even though most federal protections are established with the belief that all people deserve freedom and equal access to opportunity.  When you get away from the class warriors in high places like the ones that Weisberg excoriates and look at the workaday support for libertarianism, you’re looking at a bizarre phenomenon that doesn’t initially seem that political, in all honesty.  I was reminded (by reader Anne) of one of the touchstone moments of online libertarianism recently, which is the famous hoax where a libertarian blogger pretended to be a woman to see if he’d gain readers and did.  His conclusion was the exact same one that an immature man reaches after being sexually rejected, which is that a) women suck, especially pretty young women (others don’t exactly exist) and b) they have it so easy because they get to reject people all the time.

As a hoax, it was interesting, because the hoaxer didn’t seem aware of why his hoax was so interesting.  His hoax did not in fact reveal anything about the relative ease at which pretty women get through life.  What it did reveal was that a whole lot of online libertarians who have very weird fantasies about women.  After all, the hoaxer didn’t make his female character a middle-aged female libertarian, nor did he try to emulate the writing style and quirks of real female libertarians.  His concoction was Buffy the Libertarian, a pure sexual fantasy of a young woman who spends her time flitting about being a shallow, pointless female who just happened to write about libertarianism.  It said nothing about women as they are in real life, but did inadvertently expose a lot of men who were just a tad too hungry to believe their fantasies were real.

To make this all the worst, the reason it came up was Michael Duff at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote a piece about the hoax where he continued to stroke the egos of libertarians in lieu of making political observations.  Note the blatant sexism:

I believe libertarianism appeals to men, particularly to male geeks, because it rewards quirkiness, independence and an obsession with economics.

I was unaware that quirkiness, independence, and an “obsession” with economics (that doesn’t translate, in libertarians, to an understanding of economics) were masculine traits.

I propose an alternative explanation for why men dominate the ranks of self-declared libertarians.  The fantasy of libertarianism is a masculine fantasy of a return to a prior time when it was easier to dominate women because the veneer of civilization that makes us equal despite the difference in physical power is stripped away.  The mixed economies and regulated markets that define modern civilization give women a great deal of access to the world, creating many opportunities for embittered men to deal with women who aren’t immediately compliant or subservient, which in turn creates many opportunities for such men to retreat to a libertarian fantasy where it’s every man for himself, and women have to accept a lesser station in life in exchange for male protection.  Of course, in any chaotic situation, a handful of women are able to find their own ways to equal the playing field, and female libertarians like to imagine they’d be those exceptional women.  (I’m skeptical myself that either gender of libertarians are generally as tough on the inside as they think they are.)

At the end of the day, libertarian ideology is about making sure that huge parts of our society are put out of the reach of the democratic system, meaning that oppressed people can’t use their power to vote to relieve their oppression.  It’s about declaring that the only legitimate powers are the ones that can be used to keep wealth in the hands of white people and power in the hands of men.  It tends to function that way over and over, and that’s why I don’t think it’s ever going to go away.  Because there’s always going to be people who would rather flush our entire society down the drain than accept equality in it.

*All libertarians are fun to watch when they get into a pity party about how no one likes them, but Megan McArdle whining about the meanie feminists trying to kick her out of feminism is definitely the most fun.  I guess she’s just too smart/beautiful/good-souled/practically perfect in every way for the likes of us.

Theocon Theocrat Ron Paul Courts Religious Conservatives

Saint Paul: Inside Ron Paul’s effort to convince Christian conservatives that he’s their man

As most lizards already know Ron Paul is just a paleocon theocrat in Libertarian trappings
by Randall Gross — Wingnuts

[Link: news.yahoo.com…]

If the press weren’t so lazy they would pin down Paul on the large logical inconsistencies between his libertarian posturing and pronounced theocrat leaning.

During his years in public office, Paul branded himself more as a “constitutional conservative” than a crusader against gay marriage and abortion. Most political observers know him more for his youthful fan base of passionate and, occasionally, rowdy supporters and his earnest defense of drug legalization. But the latest Iowa Poll, conducted for the Des Moines Register at the end of November, found that 17 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers said they thought Paul was “the most socially conservative” candidate in the race, second only to Michele Bachmann with 27 percent. (The margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.)

Only 1 in 10 likely caucusgoers in the poll said Newt Gingrich was the most socially conservative candidate, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney fared even worse with just 8 percent. The same poll found that 64 percent of Iowa’s likely voters considered themselves to be “very” or “mostly” conservative on gay marriage and abortion. In June, a survey conducted by the same group found that 58 percent of likely caucusgoers said a candidate’s support for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples would be considered a “deal killer.”

Paul sides with social conservatives on most issues: He believes that marriage should be defined as being between only one man and one woman and he does not think the federal government should guarantee women the right to have an abortion, a position influenced by his decades as an obstetrician who delivered thousands of babies. In public speeches, Paul often articulates a biblical foundation for his economic policies, framing capitalism as the moral giant among all other economic systems.

Prominent religious conservatives in Iowa, however, object that Paul does not apply his beliefs at the national level. Paul does not support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, and he opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He thinks both issues should be left up to the states.

“I don’t want the federal government dictating marriage definitions nor a position on right to life,” Paul said in March during an event at the University of Iowa. “It should be done locally. It’ll be imperfect, probably, because every state won’t be the same, but what is really bad is when you allow the federal government to define marriage and put the pressure and make the states follow those laws.”