[FoRK] Why Do So Many Republicans Really Hate Obama?
sdw at lig.net
Thu Oct 18 20:29:16 PDT 2012
If Obama wins, this probably be accepted widely. If not, the victors
will write a completely different story.
But it rings true anyway. Interesting if A) the Left Behind novels had
this effect and B) if they were intended to.
Has anyone read them at all?
> October 3rd, 2012 12:00 am
> Gene Lyons
> Come to think of it, things have been awfully quiet on the End Times
> front. Living in the South, one grows accustomed to hearing about a
> never-ending series of conspiratorial threats and eschatological panics.
> Prophetic fads sweep the region. It's Satan worshippers one year,
> "secular humanists" the next. Subliminal messages are descried in
> popular music; supermarket barcodes harbor the Mark of the Beast;
> logos on boxes of soap suds give evidence of corporate diabolism.
> Under President George W. Bush, a series of preposterously bad novels
> by evangelical authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins became huge
> bestsellers. Dramatizing the Book of Revelation as an action-adventure
> melodrama like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator films, the books
> portray born-again American suburbanites as Jesus's allies in an
> apocalyptic struggle against a U.N.-sponsored "World Potentate," who
> looks "not unlike a younger Robert Redford" and speaks like...
> Well, like Barack Obama, actually. Which I think explains something
> about what appears to be happening in the 2012 presidential election.
> To an awful lot of white Protestant evangelicals across the Deep South
> especially, President Obama has become no less than a secular stand-in
> for the Antichrist --- a smooth-talking deceiver representing liberal
> cosmopolitanism in its most treacherous disguise.
> Dislike of Obama has grown to cult-like proportions across the region.
> Statewide polls show the president losing by thunderous majorities. A
> recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute highlighted in
> The New York Times shows that "among Southern working class whites,
> Romney leads by 40 points, 62-22, an extraordinary gap." In the
> Midwest, Obama leads among the same group. Subtract the
> African-American precincts, and the president might not win 30 percent
> of votes in states like Arkansas and Oklahoma --- one reason many
> Republicans suspect that national polls must be skewed.
> So is it all about race? Not entirely, no. Many of the same voters who
> see President Obama as an African-born Muslim Socialist would very
> likely support, say, Condoleeza Rice. (Or think they would, anyway.)
> Nor, however, are their fears entirely irrational. Because if the
> polls are right --- and a disinterested observer would have to say
> that professional pollsters have grown increasingly accurate at
> predicting recent contests --- the 2012 presidential election may not
> bring about "The Rapture," but it could definitely mark the definitive
> end of a political era.
> Specifically, it doesn't matter how badly President Obama loses the
> five Deep South states won by Alabama governor George Wallace in 1968
> --- along with, say, South Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. Should he
> prevail in most of the nine "swing states" where everybody agrees that
> the contest will be decided, and where Obama currently appears to lead
> by strong majorities, the white, GOP-accented South will find itself
> politically marooned.
> Richard M. Nixon's "Southern Strategy" will have been dismantled and a
> new, moderately center-left Democratic coalition built by President
> Obama. For the first time since 1972, the Rush Limbaugh/Mike Huckabee
> wing of the GOP will find itself with no clear path to power. (Not
> that there's anything remotely holy about Limbaugh; I'm talking
> demographics here, not theology.)
> The existential shock would be considerable. Not since the 1960s, when
> successive civil rights laws overcame the region's "massive
> resistance" and ended legal segregation, have certain kinds of white
> Southerners experienced such anger and trepidation. Boo hoo hoo.
> Moreover, should Obama be successful in rebuilding the U.S. economy
> during a second term, and once voters grasp that "Obamacare" has
> liberated them from the fear of being driven into bankruptcy by
> medical emergencies, the new Democratic coalition could prove to have
> a kind of staying power not seen since FDR and Truman.
> Indeed, it's been Republican anxiety over that very possibility in the
> wake of George W. Bush's spectacular failures that led to the GOP's
> Washington version of massive resistance during Obama's first-term.
> Or, to put it another way, if President Obama can win in this economy,
> how could any talented Democratic candidate lose?
> The temptation for Southern Republicans would be to double down on the
> crazy, because "conservatism," so-called, can never fail, only be
> failed. Also because religious melodrama is really what an awful lot
> of them are really about. That, and Koch Brothers money. They're not
> actually conservatives at all, in the classical sense, but sentimental
> fanatics seeking to purge the nation of sin; adepts of "limited
> government" with their noses buried in women's panty drawers; apostles
> of a lost Utopia located in a non-existent past, most often in 60s
> sitcoms like "The Andy Griffith Show."
> In that sense, fear and loathing of President Obama strikes me as a
> lot wider than deep; a fad, not an existential dread. They survived
> the Voting Rights Act; they'll get over this. However, adapting to the
> new political reality may take some time.
> Too bad, because the nation needs a principled conservative party to
> check the follies of the anti-gravity left.
> Today, it hasn't got one.
> Photo credit: AP/David Becker, File
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