Sunday, January 27, 2008

The mind of Hillbilly Huck

I’m no fan of Mitt Romney. I was far more sympathetic to his candidacy before he went whoring after the votes of the Christian Right by abandoning his previous support for individual liberty in regards to social issues. But he decided that the “base” for the Republican Party is a gaggle of socialists of the soul. He had a “revelation” (such things are popular to Mormons) and stabbed freedom in the back for his chance at the White House.

Here is the funny thing. While trying to pander to the fundamentalist fascists Romney is under attack by them. And the main reason for the attack is that he isn’t a fundamentalist.

Rev. Huckabee, the dumbest and most dangerous of the candidates, has been bitch-slapping Romney rather consistently. The Politico column at CBS found this interesting. That column noted that the Hillbilly Huck “continued to attack former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, while offering implicit support for his other rival.”

Rev. Huck, the former televangelist knows a thing or two about hypocrisy. Considering some of the shenanigans from fundamentalist ministers I suspect they have an entire course on hypocrisy in Bible college. Rev. Huck praised John McCain saying “we have a civil approach to presidential process. Neither of us has sought the office by cracking the kneecaps of the other.” He then attacked Romney for lying.

So immediately after saying he has a “civil approach” to seeking the presidency he acts totally contrary to that position. Rev. Huck is blatantly dishonest about his morality. Remember when he commissioned a hit television commercial on Romney and then pulled it. He calls a press conference to praise himself for his own vaunted morality citing the fact that he was refusing to run this hit piece on Romney. And then he immediately shows the commercial to a room full of reporters in order to guarantee that the contents of the commercial are widely disseminated.

This is like someone saying: “I never slap my wife like this,” and then hitting her across the chops in order to illustrate his point. Among Romney’s sins, outlined in the hit commercial, was Huckabee’s whine that Romney didn’t have people executed when he was governor. This is the “who would Jesus execute” theory of religion.

Now why all this animosity toward Romney? I think I know. If you want to understand you have to think like a fundamentalist. If you don’t want to go through the pain of a lobotomy then shut down your critical faculties and go tribal.

In fundamentalist circles there are Christians who believe exactly what you do. These are “real” Christians. Then there are Christians who believe most of what you do but differ on some small points. These people are like second-cousins that you acknowledge exist but with whom you prefer not to associate.

Then there are those believers who differ on issues you think important. That means you define them out of Christianity entirely. You call them apostates, heretics or whatever. You crack their kneecaps every chance you get. And among these “unbelievers” you have a gradation with some being more heretical than others.

Now the typical fundamentalist is convinced that everyone who isn’t involved with some backwater tent revivalist, or who isn’t trapped by black/white literalist thinking, is morally evil. This includes, of course, most people who think of themselves as Christians.

I remember a debate between a fundamentalist mullah and George Smith, author of the book Atheism: The Case Against God. In the audience was a friend of mine who is a Catholic. He, of course wanted to side with the fundie on the question of a deity. So he tried to offer some suggestions regarding how to debate George on the matter

But the fundamentalist was then asked, during the Q&A period, if he considered his Catholic supporter to be a Christian or not. He hemmed and hawed for a bit of time and said: “I’m trying to figure out how to answer that.” The questioner suggested he try doing it honestly. Rather reluctantly the minister confessed that anyone who was a good Catholic was not a Christian and was doomed to hell.

This is the fatal flaw of the Religious Right and one which has not been exploited by the opponents of these theocrats. The fundamentalists who are the core of the Religious Right hate their fellow campaigners and believe that conservative Catholics and Mormons are doomed to eternity in hell. They avoid the issue because their immediate goal is political power. After they get power they confess that they will be quick to strip away religious liberty from heretics and sinners. Merely demanding answers from them, regarding their hatred for other believers, will splinter their coalition.

The Mormons, for instance, are fine as long as they vote for the fundamentalists. And Mormons flocked out of their temples to put George Bush into office. It was a campaign of Mormons for Morons. But the fundamentalists aren’t too keen to return the favor. They don’t want to turn out on behalf of a Mormon no matter how conservative he becomes.

John McCain, however, is Episcopalian. That is suspiciously similar to Catholic to the fundie but sufficiently Protestant to be considered a Christian heresy. But Romney’s Mormonism is completely beyond the pale.

I suspect this is the reason that Huckabee is being sweet to McCain while cracking Romney’s kneecaps every chance he gets. The fundamentalist view is clear. Mormons are satanic -- more so than even Catholics. Huckabee’s position on Romney is not political. It is theological. And it is one indication as to why Huckabee isn’t fit to sit in the White House.