I want to identify central contradictions between what GOPers pretend to believe and actually believe; the same for Democrats. More important, I want to urge the media to focus on these breaking-points relentlessly, to the extebt of interrupting politicians when they speak Talkingpointese. (Chris Matthews, not my favorite person, pointed out last night that Michelle Bachman is actually Manchurian-Candidate like in interviews. Her stare goes blank, and she repeats, repeats one talking point. C.M. noted that there is a place in Maryland that trains GOPers on such techniques. Sadly, David Gregory seemed over-matched by the technique in the clips C.M. showed. The video of Bachmann is truly spooky: I have to give Matthews his due).
The Dems may be dispatched quickly: Media-types should keep asking, ‘What makes you different from a more or less reasonable Republican?” Let’s take President Obama as an example: against trials at Guantanamo then, for them now. Was going to close Guantanamo then, keeps it open now. Kept the two wars going. What’s he done about the Black prison population, poor folks, and that sucking sound you hear from the Midwest, owing to manufacturing leaving for parts East. How has he regulated Wall Street so as to prevent the next disaster (which will not be a disaster for Wall Street, of course). How has he regulated mega-lopolies and media conglomerates? What’s he done for the environment? Why is he letting the Wiki-leaks solider to be tortured? Etc. Dems are against invasions until they’re asked to vote (although Obama did vote against the Iraq invasion). Dems pretend to be for the little guy, but they genuflect in front of mega-corporations. Okay, you get the picture. As usual, the Dems are easy pickings. Consider John Kerry, who ran an excellent campaign against himself. The photo of him on a wind-sailing-board enough looked like it had been photo-shopped by Rove. No. It was from Kerry’s own campaign. As my students like to say, WTF?
Now for the GOPers. One word: Christianity. All of them wrap themselves, not just in the flag, but in the shroud. It allegedly drives them to oppose abortion and gay marriage, although neither are mentioned in the Bible. In Leviticus, the Bible cautions against men lying with men, but I always took that to mean that men should not tell untruths to men. (That was a joke, by the way.) Moreover, a few lines down, slavery is mentioned in favorable terms. Paul is repelled by the excesses of Rome (he was from the hinterlands and had hit the Big City), so he groused about promiscuity. He needed a better hotel and a hot bath.
The media must pound away relentlessly on these contradictions: At every crucial juncture, Jesus represented the poor and the oppressed. So why are the GOP, George Will, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Governor Walker, Pat Robertson, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and the rest FOR the following: unchecked, excessive wealth, the God of Mammon; capital punishment (Thou shalt not kill; hereafter, “thou shalt not kill” shall mean “thou shalt NOT kill”); policies that oppress the poor: example–Walker, Wisconsin Cheese-Whiz Ranger, wants to rip up public schooling in the middle of Milwaukee.
Thou shalt not bear false witness: Mike Huckabee lies like a dirty mattress. Shame on him. Newt Gingrich. He looks and acts like one of Caesar’s most corrupt, most unctuous hangers-on.
As you treat the weak, the ill, the disenfranchised,etc. so do you treat me, suggested Jesus. How are the Republicans treating the least powerful, least wealthy, and most afflicted in society? Like shit. On purpose.
The media must pound the GOPers relentlessly on this key rhetorical (logos) contradiction, which also reveals the GOPers’ corroded ethos, their (lack of) character. What charities do the GOPers give to? How much? Do they walk with the poor and the infirm, as Jesus did?
In American football, a venerable technique is to keep running the ball at a defensive line until it proves it can stop you. The media should take the same approach with GOPers and Christianity.
And as the media should with the Dems and their illusory differences from GOPers.
Keep it simple, media: make them explain the contradictions. If they change the subject, tell them the interview is over, and thank you very much. Tell them to go with God.