Putting the Con Back In Neo-Con
Somebody better get me a beer. (Cool, dark, bitter.)
Bill Frist has defied George Bush and come out in favor of expanding stem cell research. And Rick Santorum says that creationism isn’t scientific after all. The next thing you know, Zell Miller will say that John Kerry is “one of this nation’s authentic heroes, one of this party’s best-known and greatest leaders–and a good friend.” And George Pataki will veto a bill expanding contraception. Oh, that happened too.
I feel like Isaiah in the year of King Uzziah’s death, the ground shifting under my feet, the Temple of Republicanism crumbling under the weight of too many easy solutions to too many hard questions. I suppose it was inevitable: this many goose-steppers were bound to miss the lock-step sooner or later.
It’s really one more example of the demonic nature of the powers and principalities ruling America today. These people will take positions designed to endear them to the lunatic fringe (think Reagan on abortion or George Bush I on taxes), then do precisely the opposite to stay in power. Bill Clinton may have been a philanderer (or worse), but at least when he said he would balance the budget and end welfare, he did it.
Time was when conservativism in America meant a belief in smaller government, a balanced budget and strong military. Today, conservatives want a government that will regulate people’s sexual morality, that spends money faster than it can be printed, and that makes ill-advised war against enemies it neither understands nor can defeat. It’s what happens when you confuse power with truth and empire with the spread of freedom and democracy.
The funny, sad, hopeless thing of it all is that the majority of Christians in the U.S. are no different. They rail against the godlessness of the Supreme Court, even though it installed their guy after the disputed 2000 election. They condemn transfers of money from the government to the poor, yet beg for transfers of money to “faith-based initiatives.” They decry the loss of moral values in the public square, yet rally around people like Karl Rove, who has made a career out of destroying the character of his adversaries. No wonder they voted for the neo-cons by a two-to-one margin in 2004.
It’s like Jeremiah said:
An appalling and horrible thing
has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests rule as the prophets direct;
my people love to have it so,
but what will you do when the end comes?
Apparently, what we will do is reelect them.