Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Texas GOP: fighting scared, and loving it

Dave Mann thinks they're on a crusade:

You can always tell a politician's desperate to win reelection when he or she describes an election as good vs. evil, us vs. them, the fight of our lifetime. Or, as Gov. Rick Perry put it last night, "a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation."

Perry unleashed that beauty in a speech to the Texas Eagle Forum, as The Dallas Morning News reports.

It amazes me how candidates must over-hype elections these days to ensure their loyalists turn out. Sure, elections are important, but it's a damn midterm, people. Let's not go mistaking it for Antietam.

By my count, I've lived through the "most important election of all time" at least three times in this decade alone: the 2000 election was supposed to be the great struggle for the soul of America. So was 2006. Then, 2008 was billed as the most important election of our lifetime... or the next two years, whichever comes first, I guess.

Meanwhile, the governor was in rare form last night, casting this fall's election in stark religious terms:

"We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left....

"Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?"

I'm surprised they came out from under their bed long enough to have a convention. Of course, maybe the stench of the soiled mattresses from all that bed-wetting just forced them out.

Wayne Slater thinks they're under siege:

For a party in power, there seem to be a lot of martyrs in the Texas GOP.

Rush Limbaugh says Democrats are the party of victims. But it was the Republicans at their state convention in Dallas this weekend who clearly saw themselves as the oppressed and mistreated.

“The fox is in the henhouse,” said congressional candidate Stephen Broden of DeSoto of the myriad enemies bearing down on conservatives. “And they have one thing in mind — fried chicken salad.”

For all the Republicans’ success in Texas, the barbarians are apparently at the gate: liberals, atheists, socialists, Hollywood, the media, a White House at work on wrecking the country and ruining their lives.

Everywhere you looked at the Dallas Convention Center, people were wearing their victimhood.

Republicans in Texas as the persecuted minority. Victims. Martyrs. That is just classic, isn't it?

At the Voice of the Martyrs booth was a map of Christians persecuted for their religion. The John Birch Society was selling a book, Inside the Terror Triangle, in which Washington, Moscow and the Middle East have collaborated against hapless American families.

Even Gov. Rick Perry, in a speech to delegates, complained of unfair treatment.

“This administration,” he said of the Obama White House, “has a target on the back of Texas. I don’t think he likes us.”

The tea-party movement is mobilized around fear of government and resentment of elites that it believes looks down on conservatives. Aggrievedness is built into the blueprint.

“Conservatism is an oppressed minority today,” Limbaugh said on his radio show last year. “If ever a civil-rights movement was needed in America, it is for the Republican Party.”

You couldn't make this shit up if you were taking Oxycontin and hydrocodone in doses strong enough to kill a horse. Unless you're Limbaugh, of course.

At Saturday morning’s prayer rally in advance of convention business, Pam Faraone, who heads a support group for border sheriffs, called on something higher.

Faraone prayed for divine intervention to seal the US-Mexican border to stem the tide of illegal immigration: “Because of iniquity, the United States-Mexican border is shrouded in spiritual darkness.”

Still, pending God’s help on the border, there are some things the victims on this side can do, she said — noting in her prayer the sheriff of Hudspeth County, who is urging Texans on the border to arm themselves.

In the midst of the booths selling buttons and T-shirts just off the convention floor, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson struck just the right mood of a people besieged. He draped his campaign space with green camouflage, as if it were something out of Apocalypse Now.

Patterson’s full-page ad in the convention brochure shows him against a pockmarked wall, grim-faced, as if at war.

I think maybe Slater juxtaposed that description of Patterson: his face is pock-marked and the wall is grim. Oh well, he will always have his arsenal to console him after he leaves office at the end of the year.

"Clinging to their guns and Bibles" is a perfect description of the Republican Party of Texas.  They believe that the 2010 statewide elections -- like every other election year -- are a holy war for the future of Texas and Murrica.

And I'm not certain anyone should disavow them of the notion, since when they lose in November it benefits them the most to drop their security blankets and reassess their lives.

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