Gutter Politics and the Republican Party

After today, the Republican Party and their representatives no longer have the moral right to complain about gutter politics or the quality of political discourse. Mind you, they lost that right long ago, right about the time they started accusing a sitting president of murder and gun-running and the media not only let them off, but aided and abetted them in the act, but it's time for yet another rhetorical kick in the balls to what once was the party of Lincoln, but is now only the party of, well, insert your own expletive here.

Let's start with Ann Coulter, who in her column today as described by Jesse Taylor at Pandagon, not only tackles the Bible, "she chop blocks it, kicks it in the head, and as it's getting up, she pulls out a knife and stabs it in the back 70 times 7 times (she read that somewhere), all the while claiming self-defense."

Here's her article. I'll clip out a few of her more egregious errors for your perusal.

...the unavoidable conclusion is that liberals haven't the vaguest idea what Christianity is....

But the loony-left is testy with Gibson for spending so much time on Jesus' suffering and death while giving "short shrift to Jesus' ministry and ideas" – as another Times reviewer put it. According to liberals, the message of Jesus, which somehow Gibson missed, is something along the lines of "be nice to people" (which to them means "raise taxes on the productive").

You don't need a religion like Christianity, which is a rather large and complex endeavor, in order to flag that message. All you need is a moron driving around in a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"). But to call it the "message" of Jesus requires ... well, the brain of Maureen Dowd.

In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It."

I don't make this stuff up, folks--I'm not that good. In one act of verbal assassination, Coulter manages to insult liberals, Christians, and Muslims (why am I surprised she didn't actually call them Mohammedans?) and neglects the largest part of Christ's ministry, namely the turn away from the Mosaic Law and toward the Golden Rule and the two greatest commandments, which as I recall can be summed up as "Love God and Love your Neighbor as yourself."

But hey, Coulter is a columnist and even some of those on her side don't like her because they think she's a loon. It's not like she's a Republican Congressman saying that a vote for Kerry is a vote for Bin Laden. And yes folks, he did say it, even though he's trying to crawfish out of it today.
U-S Representative Tom Cole might have stirred up Democrats by saying a vote against the re-election of President Bush is like supporting Adolph Hitler during World War Two. Or supporting Osama bin Laden now. "If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election," Cole is quoted in this week's edition of the Yukon Review which covered the recent meeting of the Canadinan County Republicans where Cole was a speaker. The newspaper says Cole claims if Bush loses his re-election bid, the enemies of the U-S will interpret it as a victory for bin Laden.
I'd be shocked, shocked! if this were the first time something like this has happened, but we know this is old hat for the Republican party. Three words to prove my point: Senator Saxby Chambliss.

But hey, he's just an Oklahoma congressman, after all, and certainly not indicative of the mindset of mainstream Republican thought and political discourse. Well then, how's about we take a look at the reaction to the President's new campaign commercials.
The Bush reelection campaign yesterday unveiled its first three campaign commercials showcasing Ground Zero images, angering some 9/11 families who accused President Bush of exploiting the tragedy for political advantage.

"It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. "It is unconscionable."

Gabrielle and several other family members said the injury was compounded by Bush's refusal to testify in open session before the 9/11 commission.

"I would be less offended if he showed a picture of himself in front of the Statue of Liberty," said Tom Roger, whose daughter was a flight attendant on doomed American Airlines Flight 11. "But to show the horror of 9/11 in the background, that's just some advertising agency's attempt to grab people by the throat."

Mindy Kleinberg said she was offended because the White House has not cooperated fully with the commission and because of the sight of remains being lifted out of Ground Zero in one of the spots.

"How heinous is that?" Kleinberg asked. "That's somebody's [loved one]."

Firefighter Tommy Fee in Rescue Squad 270 in Queens was appalled.

"It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics," Fee said.

Now first things first--the Bush administration has long said that they would not attempt to exploit the 9-11 attacks for political gain, even though they raised funds with a picture of Bush taken on 9-11, ran attack ads against Max Cleland equating him with Osama Bin Laden and are holding their national convention in September in New York and have even considered using Ground Zero as one of the places to stage speeches or that the President has refused to meet with the 9-11 commission for more than an hour while they continue to investigate. Not that they have a lack of credibility on this issue or anything.

No--the really bad part of this is that Karen Hughes, Bush's top campaign adviser, said "I can understand why some Democrats might not want the American people to remember the great leadership and strength the president and first lady Laura Bush brought to our country in the aftermath of that." Some Democrats? To my knowledge, the party affiliations of the people interviewed for the article, the people who were leveliing very valid criticisms of the commercials--not his time in office, mind you, just the ads--were never mentioned. But it had to be Democrats, because they're criticizing the President.

So that's my screed for today--Republicans don't have the right to talk about gutter politics anymore, not until they cut this shit out and start kicking their own people in the teeth.

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