Rachel Maddow’s T-dance with the Devil
If you’re gay, like me, or are related to/work with/care about or know someone who is gay, like most of us, this has been a particularly wonderful week. And it was just lagniappe, as they say in The Big Easy, to sip a Sunday morning cup of joe while watching Kindly Doc Maddow shoot conservative fish in a barrel.
David Gregory hosted Maddow, along with Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed on Meet the Press to discuss fine points of conservative social policy in the wake of SCOTUS’ “extremist” decisions on marriage equality as well as the abortion bill train wreck in the Texas Senate, last week.
Conservatives showed up lumbered with their grab-bag of outdated, debunked polls and “scientific studies” designed to prove that their zombie social policies still walk among us and have some sort of relevance to some sort of American people.
The fellows in the suits settled in for an hour of pedantic bloviation about the impending Fall of Western Civilization should teh gayz be permitted to destroy traditional marriage and the lives of their children. And to trot out their new abortion meme about how closing abortion clinics and mandating pre-abortion trans-vaginal ultrasounds for all are just their way of saying “we care about the safety of women and babies.”
That might have been very boring because we’ve a) heard it all before b) it’s all debunked bunk c) it’s un-American clap-trap or d) all of the above. What made it fun, exciting and downright good TV was watching the triumph of logic and intelligence over ideological cant, hypocrisy and affected piety.
Most of us know when we’re engaged in a losing battle, when we’re fighting to swim upstream against popular opinion, scientific fact, logic and rationality, and have the good sense to keep our heads down and our mouths shut in such circumstances.
Republicans know enough not to appear on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. It is a rare Republican politician who will actually walk into Maddow’s UFC armed with only a fig leaf and an anachronistic party line for defense. Maddow politely obliterates such fools, just as she did on David Gregory’s patch, this Sunday.
So why, you might ask yourself do these guys who are supposed to be conservative “thought leaders” expose themselves to rationality and reasoned debate, like this? I’m beginning to think it’s because they are cultists.
Here are some of the recognized attributes of a cult:
- the group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law (see Pres. Ronald Reagan)
- questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished (see RINOs, see Republican Primaries)
- the leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (see the C Street Family; Karl Rove; Dominionists; the Republican Study Group)
- the group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (i.e., the group and/or leaders are on a special mission to save humanity)
- the group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society (see TEA Party)
- the group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (see GOP)
- the leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion (see Grover Norquist)
- the group is preoccupied with bringing in new members (see GOP Growth and Opportunity Report)
- the group is preoccupied with making money (see RNC; see AEI; see the Brothers Koch; see US Chamber of Commerce)
- the “true believers” feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group (see Republican Primaries; RINOs; Ted Cruz)
Pretty familiar, eh?
Next question: do we really want some crackpot cult planning our future?
Of course not . . . I, for one, prefer to be represented by someone who believes in things like the statement in the photo at the top of this post. So remember that we still get to choose and when those 2014 mid-terms come along? teach ‘em what a tsunami of Democrats and Independents look like.