Victory Is Coming Sayeth The "Lords" To The Hordes genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

False Prophets

In the wake of the 2006 midterm elections little has happened to predict how Republican voters will ultimately respond to the strong Democratic showing. I suspect that it would be difficult to make definitive conclusion as to what led more voters to back Democratic candidates across all regions of the country. No doubt opposition to the war in Iraq was a factor but I'm anxious to see the degree to which voters may have been dissatisfied with the far right's level of influence within the GOP.

At the same time, it remains completely unclear if GOP voters can find enough common ground to rally around one presidential candidate and whether that consensus will be sufficient to overcome the voter shift witnessed in 2006.

If compromise is to be a part of the GOP equation, it doesn't appear that influential members of the far right will acquiesce on the positions that have catapulted them to the forefront of the party, allowed them to wield ever expanding influence, and rapidly grow their ranks and their coffers. Perhaps James Dobson of Focus on the Family is offering us a clear preview with his firm rebuke of Rudy Giuliani in an editorial published today on

The jig is up. Rudy Giuliani finally admitted in a speech at Houston Baptist College last week that he is an unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand. That revelation came as no great shock to those of us in the pro-life movement. His public pronouncements as mayor of New York, together with his more recent tap dances on the campaign trail, have told a very clear story.

How could Giuliani say with a straight face that he "hates" abortion," while also seeking public funding for it? How can he hate abortion and contribute to Planned Parenthood in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999? And how was he able for many years to defend the horrible procedure by which the brains are sucked from the heads of a viable, late-term, un-anesthetized babies? Those beliefs are philosophically and morally incompatible. What kind of man would even try to reconcile them?

Like Bill Clinton, who told us glibly that he wanted abortion to be "safe, legal and rare," Rudy wanted conservatives to believe he had undergone some kind of an election-eve conversion, more or less. Then the contradictions began catching up with him, which often happens to those who play games with words. No, this leopard has not changed his spots – as revealed again as recently as Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate. Giuliani now admits he is what he has been all along. Or as Popeye used to say, "I y'am what I y'am and that's all I y'am."

This self-styled defender of marriage says he is "proud" of having submitted, as New York's mayor, a bill creating "domestic partnerships" for homosexual couples. Admittedly, many liberal Americans will agree with the social positions espoused by Giuliani. However, I don't believe conservative voters whose support he seeks will be impressed. Presidential elections are won or lost by slim margins. Rudy has an uphill slog ahead of him, even though he is the darling of the media.

There are other moral concerns about Giuliani's candidacy that conservatives should find troubling. He has been married three times, and his second wife was forced to go to court to keep his mistress out of the mayoral mansion while the Giuliani family still lived there. Talk about tap dancing. Also during that time, the mayor used public funds to provide security services for his girlfriend. The second Mrs. Giuliani finally had enough of his philandering and, as the story goes, forced him to move out. He lived with friends for a while and then married his mistress. Unlike some other Republican presidential candidates, Giuliani appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife.

It may be presumptive on my part, but that certainly sounds like the laying down of the gauntlet. Its hard to say if this threshold of accountability would hold true for Newt Gingrich or any other GOP candidate who may have the bones of the bogeyman not so neatly tucked away in a closet...but it does demonstrate that the far right intends to erect some formidable hurdles for candidates to navigate if they hope to be the anointed one.

Harry Truman asked, "How can I trust a man if his wife can't?" It is a very good question. Here's another one: Is Rudy Giuliani presidential timber? I think not. Can we really trust a chief executive who waffles and feigns support for policies that run contrary to his alleged beliefs? Of greater concern is how he would function in office. Will we learn after it is too late just what the former mayor really thinks? What we know about him already is troubling enough.

One more question: Shouldn't the American people be able to expect a certain decorum and dignity from the man who occupies the White House? On this measure, as well, Giuliani fails miserably. Much has been written in the blogosphere about his three public appearances in drag. In each instance, he tried to be funny by dressing like a woman. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, who loved a good joke, doing something so ignoble in pursuit of a cheap guffaw? Not on your life.

My conclusion from this closer look at the current GOP front-runner comes down to this: Speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of any organization or party, I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. It is an irrevocable decision. If given a Hobson's – Dobson's? – choice between him and Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama, I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran – or if worse comes to worst – not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life. My conscience and my moral convictions will allow me to do nothing else.

It looks as if the far right has decided that it isn't going to wait as long to voice it's displeasure with candidates that fail to clearly champion their issues. While we saw some grumbling prior to the last two elections, I don't recall hearing any such unequivocal pronouncements from Dobson or his compatriots. I suspect this early and emphatic warning won't bring comfort to a party that is trying to recover from a midterm election that the president called "a thumping".

Yes, we did hear hints that evangelicals were considering sitting out the last election...and perhaps some did...but I'm inclined to think that this presidential campaign is going to sharpen the differences within the GOP rather than soothe any past or festering wounds.

No doubt the naysayer’s will suggest that sitting out an election serves no purpose and harms the efforts of the evangelical agenda...which would mean they should and will vote for the GOP candidate regardless. Always the contrarian, my impression of men like Dobson is that bravado may supersede practicality since I view their absolute inclinations to be the prevailing appeal they have with those they lead...and thus it is the means by which they hold the power they seek and the money and the influence that it provides. With that assumption, any action that can be viewed as weakness or an admission of defeat would be tantamount to suicide...and we know that is unacceptable and considered sinful.

As such, this dynamic creates a double edged sword for the purveyors of the far right's agenda. Part of their appeal is predicated upon success...success that is framed and therefore becomes synonymous with rightness...all of which originates from the approval and assistance they believe is provided by their designated higher power. The absolute nature of their dogma dictates the taking of absolute positions. In as much as the Bible is touted as the very absolute word of god, so too is the requirement to never waiver when administering and advocating the rightness of the higher power's words.

I think it’s helpful to look at an analogy. The notion of momentum is frequently associated with sports and that momentum serves as the basis to motivate the players to push forward in order to achieve victory...not a tie, not a well fought loss...but a victory that becomes the vanquishing of the enemy and the validation of the victor. Note how frequently the victor in a sporting event cites the assistance of the source of the talent, the will to win, and the strength to prevail.

I've always mused that such a notion seems to suggest that god has a vested interest in competitive sports...enough so that he weighs the merits and prayers of the competitors and grants victory to the worthy while smiting the unworthy. At the same time, there is no objective means or reasoned justification to measure and confirm that premise...yet the words of the victor frequently imply as much.

I see the efforts of the far right in the same light...guided by the same rationale and therefore driven to achieve the same outcome...absolute victory. Further, those who lead this movement are keenly mindful of the power of momentum...which also means they understand the compounding nature of momentum lost. Defeat to the far right is therefore akin to conceding one's rightness and to suffer defeat serves to undermine that rightness (and the fact that it is granted by their affinity and kinship with the one true god) and the loss of momentum must be avoided at virtually all costs because it can begin to unwind the very blind mystique that fuels its existence.

Allowing an alternate awareness to succeed not only undermines the institution but it unravels the mechanism that attracts the individual...that being the assurance that one is living a right life which is repeatedly ratified by one's ongoing proximity to victory. Living that right life comes with the means to manage the terror of mortality and the far more acceptable promise of an idyllic after life. Being right...or achieving victory reinforces this premise.

Our human construct of faith is therefore fatally is constantly seeking confirmation and it first requires an origin that cannot and must not be questioned or disputed. Once that absolute Holy Grail is in place, all actions are undertaken to prove the founding premise and victory becomes the fundamental means by which that can best be achieved and verified. Faith is thus maintained when success in human events affirms the rightness of the believers.

James Dobson and the handful of those who lead the far right may give many voters reason to dislike them...but one should never underestimate the degree to which they have discerned the essence of our human frailties. Notwithstanding, this knowledge comes with some inherent limitations. The choices they have at their disposal which allow them to maintain their hold over those who follow are necessarily restricted by the very human frailties they have identified.

I view Dobson's words to be an anticipatory shot across the bow at the politicians who could damage the standing of the far right...but more importantly I view his words as an acknowledgment that 2006 put his power over those he leads at risk. If my hypothesis is correct, those aligned with Dobson will counter intuitively draw a much clearer line in the sand with regard to the 2008 election. Losing the election is secondary to losing the hold they have on their followers.

Conceding doctrine in order to win an election is far worse than losing an election. As long as the adherence to doctrine is maintained, rightness can be affirmed. If rightness can be affirmed through leadership’s unwavering and willful demonstration of faith, (even in the presence of predictable defeat) then that faith can be extrapolated to and embraced by the flock. That negates the risks associated with the possible negative attributions that may result from the previously identified human frailties and that might befall the individual followers should they perceive that their cause is lost (and their beliefs invalidated).

Therefore it is essential that the enemy remains clearly identified as well as the need to persevere. In order to achieve the promised victory, the wrongness of the opposition must be magnified in order to allow momentum to intervene and sustain the faith of the followers. Victory will have been postponed but never conceded. That leaves the identified and established fundamental beliefs and their absolute premise intact and available to employ in the maintenance of unquestioned and unchallenged power.

In the end, leadership reassures the flock that victory remains the goal and that it remains attainable...but only through blind adherence to the doctrinal interpretations of the leadership because they are the individuals who have exhibited sufficient will and faith to sustain the flock. The end goal has been delayed but the ending remains unchanged. The movement lives on and the benefactors live well in the here and now. Everyone else is asked to be patient, to contribute to the cause, and to anxiously await the rewards of the afterlife.

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Daniel DiRito | May 17, 2007 | 12:57 PM
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