Things I Wish I Had Said

Dick Armey:

In an interview with Ryan Sager, author of the book “The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party,” Armey said the GOP was “adrift and rudderless” in its commitment to small government.

When pressed by Sager about what he feels is wrong with today’s Republican Congress, Armey – who became majority leader when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994 and retired in 2003 – said: “The criteria of choice in just about every behavior you see in Congress today is politics. Where in the hell did this Terri Schiavo thing come from? There’s not a conservative, Constitution-loving, separation-of-powers guy alive in the world that could have wanted that bill on the floor.

“That was pure, blatant pandering to James Dobson. That’s all it was. It was silly, stupid, and irresponsible. Nobody serious about the Constitution would do that. But the question was will this energize our Christian conservative base for the next election.”

Sager asked why it seems that Christian conservatives are more powerful now than in the 1990s. Armey replied: “To a large extent because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There’s a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn’t work unless it’s dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic.”

Armey, who was first elected as a Congressman from Texas in 1984, toned down his remarks – but only slightly – in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 23. He again brought up Dobson: “The national representatives of the social conservative movement used to be sophisticated and tolerant. Today, they are sophomoric and angry. It’s an embarrassing spectacle seeing leaders bullied around by the likes of James Dobson, or watching the Christian Coalition team up with MoveOn.org in support of bigger government.”

To be h0nest, I think I have said all of that. And what are these ignorant fools, these acolytes of the lunatic Christianist movement, Dobson’s merry band of thugs, up to now? Assaulting the Constitution:

With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act – H.R. 2679 – provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

Praise the Lord! Congress is saving us all from… well, nothing.

And just for some extra fun, here is ignoramus James Inhofe speaking at the Values Voter Summit:

In a sense, Inhofe was one of the most honest politicians to speak at the summit. He said he supports “core conservative values,” which, when you look at them, he explained, “you’ll find these things are all scriptural.’

“I could name about 10 of them – you can talk about flag burning, you can talk about ‘one nation under God,’ you can talk about homosexuals, you can talk about abortion – but I will only use two just as an example, and they are the abortion and homosexuality,” Inhofe stated. “When we talk about ‘litmus test,’ to me a litmus test is something that’s scriptural. If it’s scriptural, it’s a litmus test, and it should be. So I’m going to give you the scriptures … so when you go out among other people that don’t believe, you’ll be able to carry something with you.”

Good thing that buffoon doesn’t do anything important, like chair Senate committees. Who knows what crazy shit he might do if he had any power…






33 replies
  1. 1
    Eural says:

    You know what these guys want – a return to the good ole days. And by that I mean England circa 1650. It strikes me that our government is rapidly devolving into Cromwell’s England – everything purified legally to be in accordance with their interpretation of religious scripture while kicking ass and taking names with overseas military campaigns against those other nasty heretics (back then the Irish, today the Muslims).

  2. 2

    With little public attention or even notice, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that undermines enforcement of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. The Public Expression of Religion Act – H.R. 2679 – provides that attorneys who successfully challenge government actions as violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment shall not be entitled to recover attorneys fees. The bill has only one purpose: to prevent suits challenging unconstitutional government actions advancing religion.

    Perhaps.

    But they can’t stop me from giving them money. If this law passes the Senate, I’ll donate money gladly.

  3. 3
    Richard 23 says:

    The national representatives of the social conservative movement used to be sophisticated and tolerant. Today, they are sophomoric and angry.

    Gee and I thought it was only The Left that was angry.

    “…but I will only use two just as an example, and they are the abortion and homosexuality,” Inhofe stated.

    Gotta stop those homosexuals from having abortions!

  4. 4
    Proud Liberal says:

    Its good to see diehard conservtives like Dick Armey finally speaking out. And he is not the only one. True conservatives are appalled by what is going on with the Republican party. As I have said many times before, this is not longer about liberal and conservative. This is about the very nature of our government. Are we going to become a fundamentalist religious nation? Are we going to look to scripture to decide policy?

    We are at a crossroads in our country. That is why this election is so important in my eyes. The Republicans need a thumping. A repudiation of what they have let happen under their watch. Hey, I might like Lincoln Chaffee a lot more than some Democratic Senators.. but he votes with the Republican caucus so he has to go. You may say I’m just being partisan? Fucking A I am. I no longer trust that the Republican party has any desire to protect the Constitution. To them it is a mere hinderance.

    I am with Andrew Sullivan when he says vote them out. Vote Democratic. Straight down the fucking line.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    No no no. There must be some mistake, John. For the past five years my national media outlets have been telling me its the Democrats who are off-message and without a coherent platform or strategy. Clearly there has been some sort of aggregious mistake.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    It’s an embarrassing spectacle seeing leaders bullied around by the likes of James Dobson, or watching the Christian Coalition team up with MoveOn.org in support of bigger government.”

    That said, wow… I must have totally missed the MoveOn/CC alliance. Did anyone else catch that? I mean, I admit that I also totally missed when and where MoveOn claimed to be for big government, so maybe I’m just not as politically savy as I thought.

  7. 7
    Andrei says:

    Can’t wait to read your review of Jesus Camp.

  8. 8
    Skip says:

    I call a friend “pushpin” because he is the last Bush supporter on the map. All the others have bailed.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    Nice catch, John.

  10. 10
    Tsulagi says:

    Well said by Armey. Where the hell is that type of thinking now in the Republican Party? And if there are Republican politicians and “leaders” still thinking it, where is their spine to voice it as McCain once did in 2000? Instead, they’ve become mavericks in the big-government, big-spending Party of Dobson and Stupid.

  11. 11
    tBone says:

    That said, wow… I must have totally missed the MoveOn/CC alliance. Did anyone else catch that?

    Both groups are part of a coalition supporting Net Neutrality – not sure how that qualifies as big government, but whatever.

    To a large extent because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies. I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There’s a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn’t work unless it’s dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic.

    Why does Dick Armey hate God and freedom and America? He must have a book to sell.

  12. 12
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I saw Jesus Camp yesterday. I predicted it would be fascinating and frightening. I was right. Mostly, though, I just felt bad for those kids.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    Mostly, though, I just felt bad for those kids.

    Seriously, how much must you hate your little munchkin to make him worship cardboard cut-outs and go into kiniption fits over abortion? And to be honest, if I decide to become a “soldier for God”, I’m turning Islamic. At least they get the virgins.

  14. 14
    chopper says:

    i just wonder what his wife “vagina coastguard” thinks about all this.

  15. 15
    trifecta says:

    It really is the Southern Strategy coming back to bite the GOP. Social conservatives left the democratic party in droves. They were opposed to liberal positions on social issues. That didn’t make them conservative. They like big government to ban abortion, gays, and to enforce religion, etc.

    There is a wedge that is about to be created if the democrats weren’t so stupid. Libertarian leaning democrats are being very successful in the mountain west on this. They are pro gun rights, pro freedom, pro farmer and hunter, and they are getting conservative votes because their opposition are bible thumpers, not conservatives.

  16. 16
    Alan says:

    The GOP has been doing this kind of shit for quite a while. But it took the Shiavo fiasco for the scales to fall from my eyes. Now I know what’s been going on. Even years ago when the GOP took control of Congress, my own Republican Representative, Tillie Fowler, tried to get them to moderate their anti-abortion initiatives.

    “Enough is enough,” she counseled when the GOP scheduled more than a hundred votes to restrict reproductive rights in the Congress led by Speaker Newt Gingrich.

    The GOP is now modeled in Rush Limbaugh’s hypocritical version of conservatism. Here’s a quote from Rush’s May 25, 2001 show where he was asked to define conservatism:

    Eric in Cape Cod: Why wouldn’t you say conservatives believe in the conservative use of government and liberals believe in the liberal use of government?

    Rush Limbaugh replied: Well because conservatives, and I’ve always made this case, conservatives are for big government in many cases. They want big government to make sure that there’s not abortion. They know they’ve got to have a government agency or a law or something to say that. Conservatives are not just…they’re not anti-government, they are anti-intrusive government. But the things they want government to do are things that are oriented toward those things the Constitution orders the government to do. Which is basically defending and protecting the Constitution itself, the traditions and institutions that made the country great, the law…and you need people and agencies and things to enforce the law and elements of the Constitution…that’s the best answer I can give you to that.

    The idea of “limited govenment” is dead. To these “conservatives” Goldwater turned liberal in his later years. But in fact, it’s conservatism that’s changed. Goldwater was right, the GOP has been taken over by a bunch of kooks.

    BTW, take a look at the new “conservative” ownership of the formerly Heritage Foundation owned TownHall.com. These are the kind of people defining conservatism today.

  17. 17
    stickler says:

    Eural:

    You know what these guys want – a return to the good ole days. And by that I mean England circa 1650. It strikes me that our government is rapidly devolving into Cromwell’s England – everything purified legally to be in accordance with their interpretation of religious scripture while kicking ass and taking names with overseas military campaigns against those other nasty heretics (back then the Irish, today the Muslims).

    Think back a little farther. There were some early Puritans who bailed on Charles I’s England long before Cromwell could get around to ‘purifying’ it (and cutting off the King’s head in the process).

    Those earlier Puritans washed up at Plymouth Rock, and sure as shit, they founded a nice, Christian government. Which had a habit of going all medieval, you might say, on anybody who believed different. (Thus, for example, Rhode Island, founded by refugees from Massachusetts.)

    Perhaps a juicy irony: the Puritans hated anyone who rejected infant baptism. Like, say, Baptists. And by gum, they burned ’em at the stake, drowned ’em in sacks, and squashed ’em under rocks. And the current direct descendant of the Puritan church? The United Church of Christ, which nowadays runs ads inviting homosexuals to worship with them as equals.

  18. 18
    Wickedpinto says:

    Actually, I think that the republicans in ’94 felt as though they had been cast out of public life, and ignored, and the only embodiment of conservative ideals that was worthy of respect was reagan, meanwhile the rest of the ‘pubs were seen as just one more batch of transients filling a gap until the dem’s came back into office.

    The Dem’s mastered the art of coordinated indifference thanks to johnson, thats why johnsonn was the VP, so that kennedy could use him to finesse the congress. In ’94,(actually 5) the ‘pubs under gingrich overreached a little, but got away with it since Clinton had no personal ideological scruples.

    The problem is that NOW! the ‘pubs rule the two branches, and still act as though it is infinately us or them, rather than allowing the big tent to speak for themselves.

    I would say it isn’t necessarily bushes fault (theres a lot to judge bush on, but you can’t say he half assed it in outreach, and if you do, you are full of crap) but the real failing was in the congressional hierarchy, where the leaders were willing to sell out the big tent for specific outcomes that were not always in bushes favor. THAT I place on delay, and others.

    I also place it on the Dem’s who hated bush so much that they didn’t care the outcome as long as ‘pubs lost, this whole “it’s iraq stupid” thing is a lie, the dems were laying a lot of vile crap on bush from day one, and they are rehashing old crap all over again.

    The dems need to learn that a LOT of the energy for the ‘pubs has nothing to do with the ‘pubs, it has to do with a distaste for the dems. I don’t like bush, never voted, and never would have voted for him, but the democratic hatred of bush has pushed me to realize that it is VERY hard for me to vote for a dem.

    Carnival mirror politicians believe that only the ‘pubs have screwed up. Everyone else must be stupid I guess. Or maybe they can’t afford the listerine bills to wash the taste of voting DURBIN! out of their mouths.

  19. 19
    Richard 23 says:

    I would say it isn’t necessarily bushes fault

    Why, because he’s such a uniter?

    but the democratic hatred of bush has pushed me to realize that it is VERY hard for me to vote for a dem.

    Wow. Hook, line and sinker.

  20. 20
    KC says:

    Hook, line and sinker.

    Ball and chain.

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    The dems need to learn that a LOT of the energy for the ‘pubs has nothing to do with the ‘pubs, it has to do with a distaste for the dems. I don’t like bush, never voted, and never would have voted for him, but the democratic hatred of bush has pushed me to realize that it is VERY hard for me to vote for a dem.

    Fuck you.

  22. 22
    sglover says:

    The dems need to learn that a LOT of the energy for the ‘pubs has nothing to do with the ‘pubs, it has to do with a distaste for the dems. I don’t like bush, never voted, and never would have voted for him, but the democratic hatred of bush has pushed me to realize that it is VERY hard for me to vote for a dem.

    Hey, no shit, genius?

    There are so many fundamental differences among factions within the GOP coalition (libertarian ideologues & fundamentalist Christians & Fortune 500 executives have so much in common?) that the only glue holding them together right now is hatred of “liberals”. There are so many gaping contradictions between Republican pronouncements and, well, reality that the only thing that keeps the suckers coming back for more is, again, hatred of “liberals”.

    (In fairness, I shouldn’t omit the reach and bias of corporate-owned media. They’ve been doing a job that any Pravda staffer would envy.)

    Do Dems “hate” Bush? I do. You bet. Here’s why: When he was elected, I figured he’d be your basic plain vanilla center-right Republican. Not my cup of tea, but I could live with it. But then he started gutting the public budgets, exploiting national tragedies, launching strategic disasters, and topping it all off with incompetence and criminality. What’s not to hate? What would you have me say, “Golly, I think that guy is destroying my country for the benefit of his cronies. Gosh that irks me!”

  23. 23

    The idea of “limited govenment” is dead

    I don’t think you understand.

    When Republicans talk about small government, they mean a government which permits people to do less.

    So having a law which bans gay marriage, or abortion, or pornography, alcohol and cigarettes. These are examples of smaller government, because the number of things you can do is less.

    Seriously. That’s what a wingnut coworker of mine told me once.

  24. 24

    The dems need to learn that a LOT of the energy for the ‘pubs has nothing to do with the ‘pubs, it has to do with a distaste for the dems. I don’t like bush, never voted, and never would have voted for him, but the democratic hatred of bush has pushed me to realize that it is VERY hard for me to vote for a dem.

    Just curious.

    Did the Republican hatred of Clinton push you to realize that it is VERY hard for you to vote for a Pube?

    Otherwise it’s really hard to take that argument seriously, don’t you think?

  25. 25
    Ted says:

    ’ you can talk about homosexuals,

    I wish these people would stop beating around the bush and finally come to a consensus about what they need to do with us. They always allude to the problem of our existence, but they never come right out and say just what they plan to do about it. ‘Homosexuals’ are an issue that needs to be addressed by ‘core conservative values’, but they never explain what the ‘solution’ is…

  26. 26
    Richard 23 says:

    Why, use blind fear and hatred of you to win elections, Ted!

  27. 27
    sglover says:

    I wish these people would stop beating around the bush and finally come to a consensus about what they need to do with us. They always allude to the problem of our existence, but they never come right out and say just what they plan to do about it. ‘Homosexuals’ are an issue that needs to be addressed by ‘core conservative values’, but they never explain what the ‘solution’ is…

    I think their PR apparatus is working on something that focus-groups a little better than “Final”.

  28. 28
    Ted says:

    Why, use blind fear and hatred of you to win elections, Ted!

    Yeah, that’s what they tactically do, but they never explain to their own devout followers what their plan of action is on the ‘homosexuals’. They speak of us like one talks about high energy prices, or infant mortality rates, but they never come right out and say what their plan is to eliminate the ‘problem’.

    Maybe they’re content with us going back in the closet, but with civil liberties being what they are (such as they are today), I’m not sure how they plan to accomplish this. I mean, don’t you have to deliver on your promises to your base at some point?

    I think their PR apparatus is working on something that focus-groups a little better than “Final”.

    Paul Weyrich testified before Congress during the American AIDS crisis back in the 80s, and his testimony included this particular (almost verbatim) quote, “…I think what we are looking at is the extermination of homosexuals…” I could never figure out if he meant by AIDS, or by people as a means to stop an epidemic. Maybe I’m just being naive.

  29. 29
    capelza says:

    Did the Republican hatred of Clinton push you to realize that it is VERY hard for you to vote for a Pube?

    It wasn’t hatred..it was spittle flecked obsession..to the detriment of the country. It was obsession to the point that when most of the country said no..they still impeached him, blew off any constructive conversation about terrorism or healthcare…and their mouthpieces like Limbaugh carried water for them with slanderous accusations that Hillary killed Vince Foster and oh yeah…she was a lesbian.

    Hatred..that is too mild a word for the GOP in the 1990’s.

  30. 30
    Skip says:

    I think I read that Fitz cost $1.4m, as compared with $72m for Ken Starr’s dress stain debacle. But by God, the latter had to do with prurience, so all you frothing Cotton Mathers out there are fine with it, nose pressed to the window pane.

    Damn, if only H.L. Mencken were alive! Karl Rove would be in a spider hole.

  31. 31
    Krista says:

    i just wonder what his wife “vagina coastguard” thinks about all this

    Beat me to it.

    And Ted?

    Maybe they’re content with us going back in the closet,

    I think it’d be more than content. I think they’d be delighted beyond all reason.

  32. 32
    tzs says:

    I think what they’re hoping is to pin it all on Magical Thinking:” if we wring our hands enough and jump up and down enough bleating about how Horrible Teh Gay is, maybe they’ll all dissappear.”

    Too anal to live with gays as equals, too squeamish to say openly what they really want.

  33. 33

    […] Sure, there may be some people out there who think this stuff makes sense, but the Republican leadership and the false idols at the top of the power structure of the religious right don’t. They understand that what is at stake is not the future of our society as a “Christian nation,” but their position of power and luxury at the top of the federal gravy train. Some Republicans are honest enough to point this out, although it isn’t surprising that the ones who are willing to speak out are not running for ofice. Queue Dick Armey (who has been a one man wrecking crew the last few weeks): […]

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  1. […] Sure, there may be some people out there who think this stuff makes sense, but the Republican leadership and the false idols at the top of the power structure of the religious right don’t. They understand that what is at stake is not the future of our society as a “Christian nation,” but their position of power and luxury at the top of the federal gravy train. Some Republicans are honest enough to point this out, although it isn’t surprising that the ones who are willing to speak out are not running for ofice. Queue Dick Armey (who has been a one man wrecking crew the last few weeks): […]

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