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What's the difference between the way American right and left wing families live their lives?  Not too much, really.  

Our unmarried teenage daughters get pregnant, our teenage boys father kids out of wedlock, our spouses get busted for driving while intoxicated, we flirt with stupid political parties and philosophies, we bully people we don't like, we take Peter Principle jobs.  

We also love our daughters and sons and help them when they get in trouble, forgive our spouses for their DWIs, try to live down our embarrassing political affiliations, regret our bullying tactics, and try to do the best we can when we get in over our heads at work.  

The difference between right and left is not in how we fail or take care of our own, but in how we treat the rest of the world. 

Liberals recognize the truth in the Biblical story of Jesus coming upon a crowd ready to stone an adulteress.  Jesus puts a stop to it by writing the sins of the stoners (lol) on the ground in front of them, letting them know that he is aware of their own failings and that they are no better than the woman they seek to kill for hers. 

Liberals work to create programs and cultures where the sin is less damaging to the sinner.  We know that we are all going to fail or sin or make huge fricking mistakes and that each of us needs forgiveness not just from those who love us, but also from the people who might make up the stone-throwing mob. 

Religious right folks don't get that, even though they profess to be Christians.  They will protect their daughter, son or spouse from the mob but will join the mob when your daughter, son or spouse sins or makes a huge fricking mistake.  They know everyone has foibles and at any time could be the stonee instead of the stoner, but they don't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect their own.

It's the very basis of their philosophy, and the basis for It's OK If You Are Republican, or IOKIYAR.  It’s how they can consider a divorced man like Ronald Reagan who cheated on his first wife as a moral paragon.  It's how they can support a suspected coke-head and twice convicted drunk driver like George Bush for President.  It's how they can back a man who cheated on his wife, married his mistress a month after the divorce, and called his second wife a "cunt" in public like John McCain for president. 

It's how they can consider Newt Gingrich, who handed his hospitalized divorce papers so he could marry his mistress and resigned after multiple scandals, a hero of their movement.  It's how they can consider Tom DeLay, who advocated maintaining a system in the Mariana Islands that encouraged rape and forced abortions against workers making clothes with the "Made In The USA" label, as a moral leader. 

There's no difference between liberals and conservatives when it comes to moral failings, screw-ups, loving our families or anything else.  The difference is that liberals are honest about it, and the right wing nuts are judgmental pricks except when it affects one of their own.  If a right wing conservative has a foible, then praying makes it OK.  If a left wing liberal has a foible, then it's proof that liberals are in league with Satan.

Here are the things I have learned about the Republican Party's nominees and their families from the last couple weeks:

  • Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain cheated on his first wife, and married his mistress just one month after his first divorce was final.
  • McCain says that families of candidates should be off-limits, yet he told disgusting jokes about Chelsea Clinton while she was the first daughter.
  • McCain was caught performing favors for felon Charles Keating in the 1980s and received a slap on the wrist for his unethical behavior.
  • McCain's wife has two half-sisters she refuses to acknowledge, calling herself an "only child" on regular occasions.
  • McCain's running mate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is under an ethics investigation for firing the state police superintendent after he would not fire her brother-in-law after repeated pressure by Palin's husband, Palin's staff and Palin herself.
  • Palin will be deposed on the issue at the request of a bi-partisan legislative commission, complete with Republican support.  She's lawyered up at the expense of the Alaskan taxpayers.
  • Palin was a member of a conservative Alaskan party that advocated holding a vote to secede from the United States.
  • Palin secured $27 million in federal dollars for her town of 7,000 residents, a whopping $38,000 per resident.  She also supported the "Bridge to Nowhere" before it became unpopular and changed her mind.
  • Palin was a sponsor of Senator Ted Stevens' 527 political committee.  Stevens is under indictment for taking bribes of at least $250,000.
  • Palin has a four month old son with Down's Syndrome who she will be forced to ignore for at least the next two months as she campaigns and potentially for the next four years if she wins the election.  Being Governor of Alaska with a special needs infant is hard – being Vice President in that situation is impossible.
  • Palin's 17 year old daughter is unmarried and 5 months pregnant, even though Palin is staunchly anti-sex out of wedlock.  Palin is also anti-contraception even in the marital bed, a lesson her daughter apparently learned.
  • Palin's husband was arrested for driving while drunk, risking the lives of others on the road.
  • McCain invited George Bush (two DWIs) and Dick Cheney (one DWI) to speak at the convention, then withdrew the invite, then renewed it.
  • McCain invited Rudy Giuliani to be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, even though Rudy Giuliani married his first cousin, cheated on his second wife, married his mistress, used government funds to pay cops to walk his mistress' dogs and take her to a vacation home, put the disaster communications center in the tallest building and attractive terrorist target in New York City against his advisor's wishes, and was a lobbyist for states suspected of supporting terrorism.  Due to Hurricane Gustav he will not be speaking in the keynote spot.

This is not about the daughter.  Or the husband.  Or the Pres. And VP nominees.  It's not about any of these issues or people.

It's about the rank hypocrisy of lecturing all of us on family values, morality, Godliness and the like from a pulpit made of dross.

Originally posted to huntsu on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:18 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hypocracy (9+ / 0-)

    Family Values? Obama and Biden epitomize family values.

  •  From today's Enquirer website: (4+ / 0-)

     

    Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to quietly have her daughter Bristol get married before news of her pregnancy leaked out, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its new issue.
     

    Palin planned for the wedding to take place right after the Republican National Convention and then she was going to announce the pregnancy.

  •  Run Levi run (6+ / 0-)

    Some poor boy from Alaska has just had his life sucked into a Steven King novel.

    the blue sea seethes with reason

    by howth of murph on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:24:18 AM PDT

  •  You (4+ / 0-)

    Could have just posted the Title and I would have recommended, Spot On!!

    And a three letter word missing from this so called Christian Religious Beliefs of modern times:SIN!!!!

    Do We Need Change, You're Damn Right We Do, And The World Needs Us To Change, Now!!

    by jimstaro on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:24:41 AM PDT

    •  yeah, but then ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimstaro, LynneK

      someone would have just said it was a wasted diary since I didn't have anything to say.  :-)

    •  But why should they be the ones to define "sin"? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arkylib, jimstaro, Hastur

      I find that a good operational definition for "sin" is intentionally hurting other people for your own gain, or being grossly negligent in a way that hurts other people.

      Unfortunately, the so-called Christian right has conveniently come up with their own definitions that excuse their actions that hurt other people, while persecuting people who aren't hurting anyone else.

      Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

      by bushondrugs on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:36:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to mention homosexuality, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkylib, Philoguy, Hastur, LynneK, Katie71

    which they speak about with great anger and venom, until it's own of their own.  And even when it's own of their own, their reaction is denial rather than compassionate acceptance.

    Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

    by bushondrugs on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:25:52 AM PDT

  •  GOPcrisy (3+ / 0-)

    Personal responsibility matters...for poor people, pregnant women and Democrats. Everything else is IOKIYAR.

  •  Exploiters of Religion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, Leila, LynneK, bushondrugs

    Right-Wing in General:
    Exploiters of religion to further political agenda.

    •  These people are PERVERTING religious faith... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, LynneK, bushondrugs

      as they use it this way and for this purpose.

    •  While there is certainly (0+ / 0-)

      an emancipatory and revolutionary kernal to Christianity-- or rather Christ's teachings...  Sometimes I think Christianity is the greatest of conspiracies against Christ --the idea that the rightwing is perverting Christianity strikes me as deeply inaccurate historically.  Throughout history Christianity has functioned as an apologetics for repressive political power.  Take monarchies and kings.  Where does the kings power come from?  From the people.  The king can't function as a king unless the people recognize the legitimacy of his power and obey him.  So the monarch, recognizing this, tells a nice little story about how he rules by divine right and the position of the peasant is a part of the great chain of being or the divinely ordained natural order, and the church backs him up because the church also gains economically and politically through this arrangement.  This has been the rule rather than the exception throughout history.  Even today religion functions to pacify large segments of our population by justifying massive economic disparities.

      •  Your argument applies to Ancient Egypt... (0+ / 0-)

        and the pharaohs as much as it applies to Christianity, Philoguy.  

        Religious faith has always been used like this.  Faith in anything has always been used like this.  Take for instance 9/11 and Iraq.  Bush uses America's faith in the power of our patriotism to support his agenda to go to war.  Examples run the gambit from nationalism and ethnic hatred to Jewish Zionist expansion and Islamic militant fundamentalism; from green jello vs. orange jello.

        It would be wrong to single out Christianity.  Using people's beliefs to divide them or bring them together for action outside of those beliefs is a strategy employed by the snake oil salesmen and the fascist leader alike.

        Because, historically, Christianity (as well as every other set of "values" or "beliefs" or "convictions") has been used perversely, doesn't make it perverse itself.

        •  No disagreement here... (0+ / 0-)

          My remarks about Christianity were only due to the fact that it happens to be the dominant tradition in our particular context, that's all.  At any rate, I think there's historically been far more in the negative column than the positive column where the history of Christianity is concerned.

          •  That is one way to look at it... (0+ / 0-)

            However, as Christianity is the "dominate tradition" of the actors in Western History, any analysis of one is an analysis of the other, as the two cannot be looked at exclusively from one another.

            Your columns of negative and positive would not accurately be negatives and positives of the "History of Christianity" as much as negatives and positives of larger "Western History".

            IMO

  •  You have hit it squarely on the head. (6+ / 0-)

    It's about the rank hypocrisy of lecturing all of us on family values, morality, Godliness and the like from a pulpit made of dross.

    This diary puts into words what most of us have been thinking the past 8+ years. Thank you.

  •  One of the things (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philoguy, Hastur, karmsy, LynneK, bushondrugs

    I've always loved about my party is our ability to support and our ability to forgive. Our political ideology typifies those fine qualities. Deeply proud to be a democrat/incredibly proud to be a liberal!

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:31:03 AM PDT

  •  A bit hypocritical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bushondrugs

    ..when you realize the left will embrace a strong woman as long as they are on the correct ticket.  Enter one on the opposing side and the hypocrites speak out and go on an attack against her and her family. An attack that would make a demon blush.  

    Take the beam out of your own eye first.

    •  When they enter a strong woman on their ticket .. (6+ / 0-)

      I'll be OK with it.  

      But they didn't.

      No one had a problem with Libby Dole, and we only didn't think Condoleeza Rice should run because we hate our politics.

      Having a negative opinion of Palin has nothing to do with sexism -- it's about her as a candidate.

      •  I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philoguy, Hastur

        The Religious Right is afraid of strong Republican women. They really don't know what to do with Olympia Snowe, or Condoleeza Rice. Heck, they STOPPED Palin  from attending Phyllis Shafly's pro-life event yesterday at the convention.

        This community saved my child from suffering. Thank you all.

        by SlackwareGrrl on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:49:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How is it hypoceitical (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arkylib, Philoguy, Hastur, bushondrugs

      During Hillary Clinton's campaign, she was attacked by many on the left just as viciously (if not more so) as Sarah Palin is. What is "hypocritical" about pointing out a candidates utter lack of ethics and constant pandering? If one of the male candidates had the same skeletons in their closet as Governor Palin does, no one would be accused of "hypocrisy" in exposing same, so why should it be any different in this case, simply because the candidate in question happens to be female?

      "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

      by LynneK on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:40:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So the left should embrace (0+ / 0-)

      a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger simply because she's a "strong woman"? Despite that her political views represent everything the left despises?

      And furthermore, where is the evidence of her "strength"? I've seen some reports of her bullying, but nothing about real strength except for Republican insistence on it's existence.

      We are all droogie6655321.

      by Indexer on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Her strength (0+ / 0-)

        is what you all fear and your insult in your first sentence proves that you do.  She is raising a family of five, had the guts and moral conviction to give birth to a downs syndrome baby, has taught her daughter to be responsible for her actions (yes I know you all hate that), defeated an incumbent Governor, and has an impressive record in her office as Governor.  

        You all have faked photos and false rumors, can't prove she was a member of the AIP (speaking of "insistence on it's existance") and in your simplicity, resort to insults like "mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger".

        •  I'd like some details (0+ / 0-)

          of this "impressive record" as governor.  She is under investigation for abuse of power after all...

        •  and no liberal has EVER (0+ / 0-)

          given birth to a Downs Syndrome child, or raised a family of five, or supported a daughter's choice to bring an unintended pregnancy to term.

          Had a Democratic candidate for VP had a 17 year old pregnant unmarried daughter who was going to marry the boy who got her pregnant the right would be eviscerating her as evidence of liberal failings.

          But, IOKIYAR, when it happens to the Republican candidate it is evidence of moral strength.

          You're a hypocrite.  It's that simple.

    •  What is this hypothetical scenerio (0+ / 0-)

      you speak of?  There are no qualified women on the Republican ticket this year.

  •  You've iterated the core (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, LynneK, bushondrugs

    difference between the progressive and neoconservative movements:

    There's no difference between liberals and conservatives when it comes to moral failings, screw-ups, loving our families or anything else.  The difference is that liberals are honest about it, and the right wing nuts are judgmental pricks except when it affects one of their own.  If a right wing conservative has a foible, then praying makes it OK.  If a left wing liberal has a foible, then it's proof that liberals are in league with Satan.

    Thanks for a substantive and thoughtful diary.

  •  IMHO: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, bushondrugs

    this was a huge mistake for the GOP to choose as part of their platform. Only now does this come back to haunt them.

    Religious right folks don't get that, even though they profess to be Christians.  They will protect their daughter, son or spouse from the mob but will join the mob when your daughter, son or spouse sins or makes a huge fricking mistake.  They know everyone has foibles and at any time could be the stonee instead of the stoner, but they don't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect their own.

    "Aristocrats... fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society." --Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1825. ME 16:96

    by donkeykick on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:40:16 AM PDT

  •  true 'values voters' must be aware (0+ / 0-)

    on one side we have an attractive black family who have succeeded not on the basis of affirmative action but by the manifest strength of their abilities.
    Contrasted with cronyism and pork and government welfare, but that is not the most galling...
    the unwed teenage daughter is about to be vaunted to celebrity status and have her behavior reinforced by being the center of not just attention, but the center of a huge public spectacle with people applauding like crazy. The real message could not be clearer- teen pregnancy is WONDERFUL! Last year Juno, this year Juneau.
    I would assume that some repubs are at least a little squeemish about the whole thing. Maybe not.
    memo to self:always pay attention to what liars do, not what they say.

  •  Stated another way... (0+ / 0-)

    the winning Republican philosophy is: "The world is screwed up, and it's not my fault." (Don't think about any logic behind that very hard for very long).

    They identify with their side because they are blameless, even when things go wrong. Palin's daughter is 17, unwed and pregnant -- that's OK because of her "family values." Hypothetically put a Democrat like Obama in the same fix, and there aren't enough phone lines existing to the right-wing radio stations for all their folks who would be out there this week waiting to scream about that. (And, of course, adding race to the mix would just be the perfect clincher).

    Most ironically, though, is this quandary: I don't know how we go about finding redemption for these folks -- as citizens.

    The Republican Party: Reinventing government, the same way they reinvented New Orleans

    by QuestionableSanity on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 08:57:56 AM PDT

  •  Tribalism 101 (0+ / 0-)

    Nothing unusual about any of this.  A member of your tribe automatically gets the benefit of doubt, because your tribe is good and the other tribe is evil.  A failing in a member of the other tribe is simply proof of anyone 'other' being... evil.

    Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

    by Kingsmeg on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

  •  Recommended (with one small corr./suggestion) (0+ / 0-)

    Good diary, and great frame.

    One small thing:

    Re:wikipedia, Giuliani married his second cousin, not his first. It's small but important, since marrying his first cousin would be an illegitimate catholic marriage, and that would be a hypocrisy worthy of yet another diary like this all by itself.

    Most people say that what some people say is pretty stupid.

    by nullspace on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 11:11:26 AM PDT

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