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Adam Serwer offers a level-headed critique of my new book, American Taliban:

In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban. The American Taliban -- whether in their militaristic zeal, their brute faith in masculinity, their disdain for women's rights, their outright hatred of gays, their aversion to science and modernitiy, or their staunch anti-intellectualism -- share a litany of mores, values, and tactics with Islamic extremists.

This thesis is indefensible on the facts. Ross Douthat may oppose same-sex marriage, but he's not an advocate of publicly executing gays and lesbians. Hans von Spakovsky may want to suppress Democratic votes, but he's not going to sever the fingers of Democratic voters or bomb polling places in Democratic precincts. Jim DeMint wants Obama to lose the 2012 presidential election, not beat him bloody and hang him from a lightpost on the Mall as the Taliban did with Mohammed Najibullah. American conservatives are, in fact, quite easy to distinguish from the Taliban.

That's the nut of the left-wing critique of my book: Because Douthat doesn't want to execute gays (at least publicly), he's not like the Taliban!

But look what I wrote, and what Serwer highlights -- the American Taliban and Islamic jihadists share a litany of mores, values, and tactics. The only valid counterargument would be that they don't share that litany of mores, values and tactics.

On the issue of homosexuality, there is undisputedly a shared hostility toward gays and lesbians. HOW they express that hostility is a function of our respective societies. In the Arab world, anti-gay sentiment is more freely expressed. In this country, the American Taliban is constrained by our legal and cultural norms (like the leader of the Montana tea party crowd found out).

But the core value remains -- the belief that homosexuality is a perversion that shouldn't be tolerated by society. It's shared. Both sides have it. So to pretend the American Taliban doesn't share that value, merely because they go to jail when they string up their Matthew Shepperd's, is to wear blinders as to the true motivations and goals of our homegrown extremists. Right-wing reactionaries will always push to the limits created by their respective societies. We certainly know what our right-wing extremists will do when given the chance. We don't even have to go that far back in our history to see it in action:

lynching

That atrocities like that aren't commonplace today is a function of our working constitutional and legal framework -- a framework that restricts the worst such abuses. That's why they've spent years trying to erode that framework -- from religious liberty, to habeas corpus, to due process, to the direct election of senators, to subverting the judiciary by screaming about "activist judges". All of that is an effort to erode the credibility and authority of a legal system that has protected the minority from the tyranny of an oftentimes bigoted majority.

The American Taliban also seeks to subvert democracy -- not by cutting off fingers, but by caging and other voter suppression efforts. So what if the method is different? The end goal is the same -- to subvert the democratic will of the people in order to impose their regressive mores on the rest of us.

In his review, Serwer goes on and on about how a "direct comparison" is impossible, even if Serwer himself certainly has made such direct comparisons several times (like here and here). And such a direct comparison was certainly made by his boss in this article titled, ironically, "American Taliban". Indeed, direct comparisons are fairly easy to find. And while Serwer's examples might be hyper-specific (his defense), fact is, there are a lot of people like that in America, and they're fueling the arch-conservative takeover of the Republican Party.

But ultimately, the "direct comparison" argument is a straw man. The issue here is of clear shared values -- hatred for gays, opposition to women equality, the creation of an ideological bubble to keep out facts and science, bizarre sex hangups, and a propensity to resort to violence.

And yes, violence is a key one. There is a massive nationwide shortage of ammunition in the United States, as right-wing fanatics horde ammunition and guns. In fact, the weapons sector may be the healthiest in this current economy. They can't build bullets fast enough to satiate their desire to arm up. A few of these crazies have actually opened fire (detailed in the book), another flew his plane into an IRS building in a suicide mission. You can argue these are isolated incidents, or you can see them for what they are -- worrying signs for an increasingly agitated and militant opposition. When you have Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee for Senate in Nevada, arguing that if the GOP fails to take Congress, they may have to resort to "Second Amendment remedies", then you have to take this stuff seriously.

We can pretend that they are all hat and no cattle, that exterminationist rhetoric means nothing, that the weapons hoarding presents no danger. Yet when the American Taliban fails to get what they want electorally, and resort to violence (as they started to do after Obama was elected in 2008), those same people can't sit around, shrugging, and saying "well, nobody could've predicted."

And that's not even getting into their most overt militancy -- the orchestrating and cheering of unnecessary wars in Iraq and probably Afghanistan.

The point of the book is that it's ridiculous for conservatives to say that liberals want the terrorists to win, since those terrorists and American social conservatives share the same values and goals. HOW they go about accomplishing it? Who cares! They are two different cultures and societies, so the methods of how they accomplish that will differ. In the end, they want the same thing.

Finally:

That brings me to another point, which is that many of the qualities of the American conservative movement Markos finds reprehensible--the homophobia, obsession with traditional gender roles, fear of sex--are all fairly common to religious sects that consider themselves traditionalist. These qualities aren't unique to the Taliban, but I'm pretty sure while tossing around ideas for the book "American Lubavitcher" never came up as a potential title [...]

Markos' book is at its strongest when it is attacking the arguments and actions of conservatives on their own terms. I would agree, for example, that many conservatives "long for a citizenry that is equal parts frightened, ignorant, militant and dogmatic, a citizenry eager to hand over the reins of power in exchange for the illusion of certainty and security." This doesn't make those conservatives like the Taliban. It makes them American conservatives.

Actually, it makes them like every right-wing extremist movement in our history. This is an issue of human nature. We are a brutish species, and there are always those who'll exploit our inherent bigotries and fears for gain. That's true whether in Afghanistan, or the United States, or Liberia, or Russia, or Germany, or pretty much anywhere else.

The reason conservatives were compared to the Taliban in this book is because the right-wing has spent the last 9 years claiming that we want Islamic Fundamentalists to win and that we want Sharia Law in this country. If the Chabad Lubavitch movement (I admit it, I had to look it up) launched a terrorist campaign against America, and if then American conservatives spent the next nine years claiming that Liberals wanted to Lubavitchs to win, then yeah, "American Lubavitch" might make sense for a title. But believe it or not, that hasn't happened.

It's clear that the American Taliban shares social values with Islamic fundamentalists, just like it's clear they share their militancy. Just read up on the recent Values Voters Summit if you have any lingering doubts. So what's at the root of progressive distaste at the American Taliban monicker? I think Glenn Greenwald nails it here:

I believe what's driving the discomfort with the comparison is that we all know people who cheered for the attack on Iraq, America's torture regime, lawless imprisonment and the like.  They're our relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, political allies and sometimes even ourselves.  But few of us know supporters of the Taliban.  Thus, as is always true with people we don't know, we're perfectly comfortable with extreme, two-dimensional demonization of Taliban sympathizers and other Islamic extremists, while taking offense at the notion that the people we know -- like that funny, kibbitzy guy down the hallway in The Atlantic offices -- could possibly be anything like them, notwithstanding their support for similar, extremist actions.

That's probably it. The issue here isn't that people doubt the shared social values of American conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists. The issue is that the Taliban are monsters, and it's beyond the pale to refer to Americans in those terms.

If that's the core reservation, then I can agree to disagree with those who believe in American exceptionalism. I certainly don't. But if the argument is that American conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists don't share the same goals, then that's just delusion.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More proof --- the Taliban and the US fundies (17+ / 0-)

    hate us liberals equally.

    They resent free women, contraception, porn/free speech, education, etc.

    Liberalism - once won - is NEVER revoked in a society.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:50:21 PM PDT

    •  I wish liberalism was never revoked (17+ / 0-)

      but that is not always the case. Sadly, freedom is always vulnerable to attacks by authoritarians and can never be taken for granted.

      •  Since the Father of Liberalism - John Locke (0+ / 0-)

        established the foundation of it I don't know where it has been revoked in a democracy.

        Look at the WW II Axis powers Germany, Italy, and Japan.

        this is a good historical issue - tell me where a democracy has retrogressed?

        I may be wrong..

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:02:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Germany was a liberal democracy (10+ / 0-)

          that happened to elect Nazis. There is no reason to think something similar could not happen here.

          •  ok, Germany retrogressed from (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            QuestionAuthority

            Bismark to Hitler I readily admit that.

            It was won back at great cost.

            "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

            by shrike on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:12:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is the most important lesson of the 20th C. (6+ / 0-)

              "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

              by LeftOfYou on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:13:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  sorry no (6+ / 0-)

              Germany progressed from knucklehead monarch to one of the most liberal democracies of its day (the Weimar republic) and out of that, "retrogressed" to the Nazis. Even Russia, if you look at the real history, established a liberal democracy first, before it was toppled by the Bolsheviks. (But there, one can rightfully doubt if Kerensky´s republic was ever in firm control). But unfortunately, the evolution of societies is by no means a one way track. Turkey went from liberal democracy to military dictatorship. China went from the attempt at liberal democracy of Sun Yat Sen to the catastrophe of civil war and following. Pakistan has a core of liberal democracy that has all the time been struggling and oscillating back towards autocratic dictatorship (though not of the islamist variety). Greece´s democracy collapsed more than once in recent times. Look at Brazil, Mexico. it just isnt so as you think it is. There´s no inherent rule that "the good side will win ultimately". (Quite the opposite; I´d think that chances of preserving anything like liberal societies through the century that´s coming up are slim).

              Ici s´arrète la loi.

              by marsanges on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:33:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but not a well established one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shrike

            Germany had barely more than a decade of democracy from 1919 to 1933. It was easy to make the argument that elections and parliaments were some alien un-German innovation.

            Sarah Palin ... speaks truth. It remains to be seen if this nation has enough sanity left to put her in office. -- A RW blogger.

            by Kimball Cross on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:24:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  this is unhistoric (5+ / 0-)

              and frankly (mildly) offensive (I´m a german). We had elections and parliaments at least since Napoleonic times, and in good measure a traditional root of popular representation going back to the middle ages (quite exactly in the same way that the British and French had, out of whose long experience the American revolution was born).

              Ici s´arrète la loi.

              by marsanges on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:36:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Reichstag from 1871 (its founding) to 1919 (0+ / 0-)

                was set up to give predominant power to landowners living in the Kingdom of Prussia. Voters were divided up into three classes to make sure of this.

                Only in 1919 were all property qualifications for voting eliminated and universal sufferage introduced. That's why I stared it at 1919.

                Sarah Palin ... speaks truth. It remains to be seen if this nation has enough sanity left to put her in office. -- A RW blogger.

                by Kimball Cross on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 04:53:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Citing John Locke, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, marsanges

          One of the fathers of private property, anti corporate ideology doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in your concept of progress.  I've heard countless conservatives mocking liberals for not knowing what liberalism really is and telling them they need to read locke.  Locke is among the foundational figures of conservative free market policy.

          •  Did you read Locke? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DigDug, G2geek, Matt Z

            One of the fathers of private property? Meaning what? That there was no private property or any theoretical defense of such property prior to Locke? Pssst! I gotta copy of Plato's Republic to sell ya.

            More to the point: are you arguing that the existence of private property or the defense thereof is anti-Progressive? This is going to come as a big shock to an awful lot of Progressives, many of whom don't believe themselves to be either socialists or communists.

            Finally, when you do get around to reading Locke, you'll discover an extremely inconvenient truth—the intellectual parentage of much of what passes for liberalism and conservatism in this country is pretty much the same for both sides, with both sides claiming Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau (e.g.) as their own, if emphasizing different aspects of their thought. It's part of what makes politics in the USA so weird to foreigners—that there is so much agreement on principle, even if there is little on practice.

            •  In my view, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              you don't fall in the progressive camp if you're a big fan of Locke.  It's as simple as that.  And yes, I've read Locke and Plato, what with being a philosophy professor and all.  It's rather odd, however, to hear people on a liberal blog extolling the virtues of private property as a foundational value.  That's a conservative position and the Europeans are categorically right about the absence of leftist politics here.

            •  Ah you're a centrist (0+ / 0-)

              no-nothing who doesn't understand how the concept of private property has functioned in our legal system to generate the plutocracy we have now, where 98% of our population has little or no representation.  Very likely you're one of those fools that believe that free market solutions are the best solutions.  Your profile makes everything clear mr user I'd 206,000.

              •  Actually, I'm probably an idiot (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Spoc42, Matt Z

                on account of being a philosophy professor and all. Probably shouldn't have tried teaching those courses on political philosophy all these years. Probably turned me into a know-nothing. Thanks for setting me straight on the role of private property—and for the condescension.

                •  You're berating me for (0+ / 0-)

                  condescension after your initial response?  Wow.  I am not suggesting the abolition of private property, if that's what you're thinking.  I was pointing out that it's not a very good idea to have all rights and your political system flowing from the concept of private property.  This is how we've arrived at things, for example, such as corporate personhood and is a core premise surrounding ideas about unfettered markets.  These things have not exactly worked out well for the vast majority of the world's population.

                  Your offhand remark about Plato's Republic is just bizarre to me.  Private property is neither foundational to Plato's concept of Justice, nor a central focus.  This is not merely textually true, but historically true as well.  Private property doesn't arise as a core social concept until the period between the fourteenth and eighteenth century.  Reading Plato in this way is anachronistic to say the least.  Moreover, Plato's concept of justice is based on the concept of the body politic functioning as a harmonious organism where each group serves a function like an organ of the body.  It is not based on the rights of individuals.  For Plato, if someone murders another this is an injustice not because it violates that individual's rights or property, but because it creates social disharmony.  Take Socrates's arguments for not escaping or going into exile in Crito for example.  The Lockean would likely say Socrates should escape because his rights have been violated by the trial.  Such a thing never even occurs to Socrates and he decides to face his sentence because violating the law would undermine the legal system, I.e., the harmonious functioning of the body politic.  The horror contemporaries experience in reading the Republic arises precisely from the absence of any regard for the individual, rights, and self-determination.  Plato proceeds on the premise that what is good for the polis is good for the individual.  Note also that he thinks the leaders and soldiers should live lives of poverty and be raised collectively.  This is because he recognizes that wealth and cronyism stand in the way of governance.  Do you know what you're talking about?

                  •  Yeah, I know what I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

                    It would be interesting to see just what you believe rights flow from, if not self-ownership and privacy. And, by the by, it would be equally interesting to see to what impetus you would attribute the steady growth of technology that, for all its problems and inequities, feeds, clothes, houses and heals a huge number of people who, without these, would still be wallowing in the mud.

                    Your own remarks about the Republic are not merely bizarre, but make me wonder if you ever actually read the thing. Private property not a central focus?? In a discussion that begins from a definition of justice as giving back what you owe, and which from there moves to the creation of a guardian class whose very hallmark is that its members have no private property, no private possessions, not even "private" spouses and children?? All in the name of a justice whose perfection apparently requires the abolition of thine and mine, i.e., of private property. Amazing. Go back and reread.

          •  Ack, iPad really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            messes up comments.  "anti corporate" should read "anti government".

            •  iPad is a graphics device first... (0+ / 0-)

              .... and a text device second or third.  

              If it has a USB port you can buy a regular Apple keyboard for $50 and plug it in, and that solves that.  A mouse is also better for text than all the "gestural" stuff on touchscreens & trackpads.  

              •  Keyboards (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                I use a Bluetooth keyboard, also usable on a Mac, for my iPad.

                FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

                by Spoc42 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 01:43:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  better than nothing but highly insecure. (0+ / 0-)

                  If you knew how insecure bluetooth was, and how far away it can be intercepted from, you'd crap in your pants.  

                  Just don't use that keyboard for high-security stuff such as accessing your bank account or anything of that level of importance.

                  •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    That I do at home on my secure notebook, which has wireless and bluetooth turned off.

                    It's mainly for making the occasional note. Even then, I'm just as likely to use the virtual keyboard on the screen.

                    FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

                    by Spoc42 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 03:01:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  It depends on who is free. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coral, Philoguy, Spoc42

        Freedom of oligarchs, nobles, elites and other rulers hardly ever encounters meaningful restraints. Freedom for the rest of us is more problematic.  

        "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

        by LeftOfYou on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:13:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  unfortunately uncorrect (7+ / 0-)

      look at Weimar germany - especially in the context of the times - and what follows. (and noone here will be sadder about that than I). also look at the current evolution (devolution) of the Netherlands. Its unluckily not true that societal evolution is a one way arrow. Gains arent secure, they can be lost, and have often all through history been lost - to folks like the Taliban, and their brethren, everywhere.

      (the history of Islam itself is another example. It was the hoard and saviour of civilized, enlightened humanity - once.)

      Ici s´arrète la loi.

      by marsanges on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hate the War in Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Because it is the main reason President Obama's numbers are in the tank.

      And ...

      The number one reason Democrats are not motovaited to go to the polls

      All that money and lives to fight 500 Al-Qaeda ...

      A HORRIBLE political calculation on the part of the President

    •  You forgot something else they resent now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Matt Z, QuestionAuthority

      ...masturbation

  •  Um, yeah, kos. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges

    The issue is that the Taliban are monsters, and it's beyond the pale to refer to Americans in those terms.

    Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

    by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:51:26 PM PDT

    •  When I was a child, I believed in American (10+ / 0-)

      Exceptionalism.

      Then, I tried to figure out slavery, Jim Crow and lynching.

      We've had 200+ years of Americans being monsters (in the modern sense) whether as individuals, mobs, political parties, or as governmental entities.

      It's not that hard to believe a political movement could arise (and this one's been building for the last thirty years, since the days of the Moral Majority)that, at some point in the future, could turn revolutionary and violent, it's in the American DNA.

      "Reason is six-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors. "Intelligence is what the enemy uses," said another.

      by Misterpuff on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:15:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't know it, it's easy to hate America (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight, Jon Says

        Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

        by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:16:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I barely learned that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        ...and then moved to the Caribbean. I got a real eye-opening view of how others think of the US. There are valid reasons for other countries to be somewhat wary of the US. Our history of interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean is one long cautionary tale for them.

        "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

        by QuestionAuthority on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:01:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do Americans ever have monstrous values? (4+ / 0-)

      "My point is that the radical right in the US shares many values with the Taliban."

      "But they do different things! Sarah Palin doesn't mutilate women."

      "Yes, but my point is that they share the same values."

      "But Newt Gingrich isn't killing gays!"

      "Yes, but my point is that they share the same values."

      "They don't share the same actions, though!"

      "Not usually, but my point is that they share the same values."

      "But Dick Cheney never shot anyone in the face, er, engaged in a bombing campaign that killed thousands of civilians, erm, blew up the WTC!"

      "Yes, but my point is that they share the same values."

      "We're here with Markos Moulitsas, whose new book, 'American Taliban,' makes the startling claim that Pat Robertson's actions are identical to Osama bin Laden's."

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 07:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're right, kos (17+ / 0-)

    Absolutely right. The character structures are the same. Only the way it is expressed (or allowed to be expressed) is different.

    I was talking about McCain and you're talking about McConnell. The assholes are all interchangeable. - JNSD, Daily Kos

    by RhodaA on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:51:26 PM PDT

    •  Not yet. The same could be said of the Taliban, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mooshter, Matt Z, RhodaA

      once.

      Finding our true selves is key to empowerment in whatever life situations we face. ~Oke

      by denig on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:15:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "The way it's allowed to be expressed..." (4+ / 0-)

      Exactly!

      I've believed, for a long time, the only reason Cheney et.al. have not committed overt atrocities in this country is because of the social and political constraints that are in place in this country.

      "It's a great life if you don't weaken..." ~ an old friend's mother

      by mooshter on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:19:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gays, blacks, and women (11+ / 0-)

      have been attacked and murdered with impunity. Abortion clinics and doctors have been attacked and murdered.

      Many on the right defend to some extent those actions.

      Many recently elected GOP candidates advocate against abortion rights even for women who have been raped or are victims of incest. Some oppose abortion when the life of the mother is at risk.

      I think Taliban is exactly the correct term for the right wing in the U.S. today.

      Some of this type, in the past, opposed anti-lynching laws, and desegregation in the South.

      There is a great tradition of violence in the American right wing, going back the to KKK.

      So, Markos, more power to you and your fabulous new book!

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:36:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They probably share delusions, too! (6+ / 0-)

    But if the argument is that American conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists don't share the same goals, then that's just delusion.

    "I could buy a parrot and train it to say, `tax cuts,' but at the end of the day, it's still a parrot, not a conservative." -DE GOP chairman Tom Ross

    by Tuba Les on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:51:37 PM PDT

  •  ah, thank you, kos... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, Kimball Cross, lams712, Matt Z

    another day i wait for the library to call, but this day you give me a review to chew on.

    blessings on your servers!

    The Addington perpwalk is the trailhead for accountability in this wound on our national psyche. [...you know: Dick Cheney's "top" lawyer.] --Sachem

    by greenbird on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:51:46 PM PDT

  •  You have nothing to apologize for, Markos (14+ / 0-)

    If people don't like what they are seeing in the mirror, maybe they should try washing their faces before they argue with the mirror. Do we have to wait to be butchered by these people before we can say uncharitable things about them?

  •  That's the "nut" of the left-wing critique ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane

    Don't you mean nub ?

    BTW, I agree your american taliban framing.

    Get in Gear. 2010 or Bust.
    A kossack hears more ridiculous opinions than a painting in the museum.

    by amk for obama on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:52:02 PM PDT

  •  Just like Talibans, T-Baggers are against (11+ / 0-)

    masturbation too !

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:52:23 PM PDT

  •  ah delusion (11+ / 0-)

    The life blood of American conservatives: preach it, practice it, profit from it.

    In solidarity with Gov. Brewer republican candidates in AZ will observe ten seconds of silence daily.

    by Lahdee on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:54:33 PM PDT

  •  Serwer seems to accept that traditionalism is (8+ / 0-)

    somehow a defense, in and of itself.

    It's not: some traditions are now being seen in a more fair light than in the socially hierarchical past: extreme bigotry, bias and class warfare - primarily perpetrated by far-right conservatives and accepted by much of society as general momentum of any cultural movements that take ground and are based on accepting mutual fears.  To take sides against such values in public would make you an enemy.  And, as kos points out, we've seen how enemies are treated when far-rightists - expressing traditional values - are unencumbered by legal protections for the oppressed parties in their sights.

    I didn't know much about this fellow beforehand, but he doesn't seem terribly good at seeing past his current contacts or even the present day with much context.  Or, perhaps he just likes to sound smartly contrarian.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:55:49 PM PDT

  •  Haven't read the book yet, but I remember about (14+ / 0-)

    a decade ago Ben Barber wrote Jihad vs. McWorld, which essentially made a similar argument: they're both fundamentalists, just worshippers of different gods: Allah and the Corporation (with a healthy dose of Christianity tossed in).

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:57:47 PM PDT

  •  Right wing's islamic envy: (12+ / 0-)

    Gingrich wants to emulate Saudi restrictions on religion, Cheney wants to replicate the secretive, top down model of al Qaeda, O'Donnell wants society to hide sex and sexuality...

    These people really think that our society is inferior and LOSING to fundamentalist islam, radical islam, and we should be more like it.  

    Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

    by Inland on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:59:14 PM PDT

  •  Good point about gun/ammo shortage... (11+ / 0-)

    ....and "2nd Amendment solutions". A major reason why the American "Taliban" isn't as monstrous as the real thing is that the American Taliban hasn't resorted to those tactics yet. Give it time.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:59:54 PM PDT

    •  we can use that to our advantage. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lams712

      Progressives who practice their 2nd A rights and know the scoop, can talk to people at the ranges about this:

      "Having a tough time getting ammo?  It's those racist crazies who are all in an uproar over Obama and stockpiling for Civil War II..."

      Middle-of-the-roaders who hunt or do target shooting may have their eyes opened by that, and thereby be vaccinated against extreme right memes.  

    •  Considering the abortion shootings, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bartcopfan, Matt Z

      clinic bombings, the IRS airplane attack, I'd question your comment, lams712. I think they have been testing the waters for violence.

      "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

      by QuestionAuthority on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:07:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greenwald grabs a hammer. (8+ / 0-)

    He could not have hit the nail any harder on the head.

    In fact, that core reservation was clearly on display in a recent diary that devolved into a picking on the title of your book to a picking on you, your person, your character, and your personality.

    A fucking shame, that diary and some of the comments.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:01:20 PM PDT

  •  Did Anyone see Bill Maher on Hardball tonight? (6+ / 0-)

    There is a book behind Maher's left shoulder that seems to be "American Taliban"?  But the cover is different from Markos' Book.  Is that Markos' book?

    Clip of Maher Interview on Matthews

    Sorry, folks, I couldn't figure out how to embed it.  maybe someone else smarter than me can do that, if they want.

    If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

    by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:03:49 PM PDT

    •  has maher ever done stewart or colbert ?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle

      'couse he should!
      he gets to ny everyone and then...
      and conversely, how come stewart/colbert have never been on RT ??

      "teabaggers say: i want my country back. well, i say: i want my country forward! ... " (bill.maher)

      by CoEcoCe on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:10:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Connecting two very close dots (14+ / 0-)

    Ross Douthat may oppose same-sex marriage, but he's not an advocate of publicly executing gays and lesbians.

    Meanwhile, at a Saxby Chambliss Senate office:

    "All faggots must die."

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Lots of them would be thrilled at public executions of gays.

    What could BPossibly go wrong?? -RLMiller

    by nosleep4u on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:04:03 PM PDT

    •  To be fair, Sen. Chambliss has NOT taken (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimball Cross, QuestionAuthority

      responsibility for that message, even though it has been traced to his office. I'm sure an intern will be blamed and sacked shortly.

      And they will apologize IF somebody was offended.

      "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

      by Uwaine on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:18:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now that's an excellent combination (8+ / 0-)

    Someone who knows how to argue to win, and who happens to be correct.  We don't see those two things together very much, at least in our part of the ideological landscape.  

    What Serwer and Yglesias and the rest of the critics don't understand is that you don't compare things because they're identical (how boring would that be?), but because they have non-trivial similarities that have some heuristic value...they help you understand both things better.  

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:05:30 PM PDT

  •  Do African/South American tribal wingnuts share (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Misterpuff

    the same general sorts of obsessions?

    I wonder: if you go find the most remote communities on earth and ask the local folks to identify the wingnuts and the free spirits, would the wingnuts have fixations comparable to what our wingnuts have?

    If so, it seems as if that would support the idea that wingnuttery is at least partly biological in nature. Maybe someone in a lab somewhere could figure out how to use cold viruses to cure wingnuttery. Unfortunately, the some genetic engineer could probably create a cold virus that could somehow strengthen expression of the wingnut gene, but a girl can dream.

  •  Maddow is on fire tonight.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Kimball Cross, Matt Z, SeaTurtle

    And has put forth an excellent reason for Obama to executiveorder DADT away.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:06:54 PM PDT

  •  So difference is the SENTENCE for gays? (7+ / 0-)

    Ross Douthat may oppose same-sex marriage, but he's not an advocate of publicly executing gays and lesbians.

    Well, there's plenty of conservatives who still want homosexuality made illegal, and while it's nice that they only want jail terms and not execution, the goal is the same: force people to stop being homosexual or at least having homosex in their own homes.  THat the conservatives here think six months in the county lockup would do it and the taliban thinks that death is the only way seems more like a difference in degree than in goals.

    Some feel more comfortable with the certainty that comes from losing power and letting republicans stab them in the front. It's a failure of nerve.

    by Inland on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:07:02 PM PDT

    •  They want to execute them in private. (6+ / 0-)

      They don't want to get caught.

      That's all.

    •  Come on... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, Jon Says, hmi

      I hate being told who I can and can't marry.  But it is in no way, shape, or form the same as someone wanting to kill me for who I want to marry.  Have we truly lost the capacity to distinguish between the two?  It's absurd to think that everyone who is against same-sex marriage secretly wants to kill all gays.  Does someone who wants to boycott Israel secretly want to kill all Jews (or even all Israelis)?  Does everyone who want to restrict Christian religious expression secretly want to kill all Christians?  Is the difference merely one of "sentence"?  Some perspective here, please.  We're right on the issue.  It weakens our position when we paint everyone who disagrees with us on fundamental issues as equivalent to the Taliban and the KKK.

      And Kos - that picture you put up is 117 years old.  Not for nothing, but there are lynchings about 60 years more recent that you could have used.  Or you could have used Shepherd.  Just an odd choice of image...plenty of more recent examples out there.

      •  And of course... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight, Jon Says

        ...this is not to say that SOME of them don't secretly wish that.  Some do.  Just like there are some anti-Israel folks who are anti-Semites and who do want to kill all Jews.  But painting with the broadest possible brush isn't going to convince anyone unless they agree with you already.  So I don't see how this is a constructive approach if the point is to expand the number of people who understand the dangers represented by teabaggers and other conservative Republicans.

      •  but as I said above , there is a group who will (6+ / 0-)

        hide their head in the sand while someone commits a hate crime against gays and they are the enablers. They think hate crimes are not hate crimes and that discrimination happens and says Oh well.

        •  as when enough are enablers and do not protest (0+ / 0-)

          discrimination and gay bashing..they truly enable those who do.

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight

          That actually goes to the point I was making.  My issue is simply with the notion that there are only three possible categories of people:

          1. Those who agree with us
          1. Those who secretly want us to die
          1. Those who openly want us to die

          Telling someone "agree with us or else be painted as a Klan member" is not an effective tactic of persuasion.  It's also, you know, not a realistic depiction of what many people who are opposed to gay marriage actually think.

      •  Another person who (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight

        misses the entire argument.  The argument is not that they wish to kill us, but that like the Taliban they have absolutely no interest in liberty and wish to impose narrow religious law on the rest of us.

      •  Some American Christians (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, wsexson, Matt Z, QuestionAuthority

        want to stone you to death.

        Other American Christians have counseled Uganda on how best to deal with their gay problem.

      •  You're in the hospital desperately ill.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight

        ..... You might die soon.  And there's a bigot at the gate keeping the one you love with all your heart, from being able to visit you and hold your hand.

        That bigot may not be holding a carving knife to your neck, but forcing you to face death without your partner at your side is pretty damn close.

        •  No. No, it is not "pretty damn close" (0+ / 0-)

          First off, the most recent poll I've seen showed that 86% of the country thinks that gays should have hospital visitation rights (http://www.newsweek.com/2008/12/04/a-gay-marriage-surge.html).  So we're talking about a very small proportion of the country who holds the view you describe.  And the number will keep getting smaller...unless we make the mistake of painting everyone who disagrees with us on any gay rights issue as a bigot.  That tactic generally doesn't sit well with people who don't already agree with you.

          Second, even for the 14% of people who oppose hospital visitation rights, there is a HUGE difference both ethically and practically between being holding callous and bigoted views and being a would-be MURDERER.  And if you think that there isn't, then you really, truly have lost all sense of perspective.

          •  dude, Taoism 101. (0+ / 0-)

            Not-doing is doing.

            "Letting" is "making."

            "Letting" someone die without their loved ones by their side, is equivalent to "making" them die without their loved ones by their side.  

            The moral culpability is the same whether the thing they are dying from is a bullet you shot them with, or an illness, an accident, or whatever.  The shooting or stabbing is an additional moral culpability, but after that point, the scenario is the same.  

            Good to hear it's only 14%, but that's 14% too many.  

            And BTW, those DOMA laws in various states, usually specify "or the rights and benefits of marriage," which include hospital visitation in hospitals where the rules for access to the ICU are "spouses, parents, and children."  

      •  Obama is being politically lynched (0+ / 0-)

        Wikipedia has some background on the story of the lynching photo. (The New York Times article from 1893 asserts his guilt.)

        But more importantly...

        Philip Dray's 2002 book, At the hands of persons unknown: the lynching of Black America, sheds light on the current extremism in US politics (including Glen Beck's disgraceful usurpation of MLK's "I Have a Dream" date and venue). Dray writes:

        "[there is an ] anthropological basis for viewing lynching as a form of tribal sacrifice... the kind of painful spasm a community 'needed' in order to regain a sense of normalcy, and many lynchings did occur in a climate of acute preexisting racial tensions -- [including] competition for jobs, an escalating exchange of insults, or the spread of damaging rumors. Sociologist Orlando Patterson has explained the obsessive, ritualized killing of black males in the 1890s by suggesting that the South's dominant fundamentalist Christianity, combined with its Lost Cause ideology to create a belief system in which the black man was perceived as an enemy within Southern society... The black man of the 1890s, particularly one who was sexually, physically, or intellectually threatening, became a logical sacrificial scapegoat in a region mournful of its past and anxious about its future. ... Patterson writes, ... 'every participant in these heinous rituals of human sacrifice must have felt the deepest and most gratifying sense of expiation and atonement.' ... Christianity was unique among the world's religions in promulgating the idea that Negroes--the children of Ham--were beings of darkness..."

        We're all aware of the general background of US racism. But Dray's book helps put it in historical context, and provides a much richer, deeper insight into the tribal passions we are witnessing today.  

  •  how do they react when accused of these (0+ / 0-)

    strategies and tactics ?
    does they head-fuse blow up ??
    or do they go into automatic denial ?

    "teabaggers say: i want my country back. well, i say: i want my country forward! ... " (bill.maher)

    by CoEcoCe on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:07:27 PM PDT

  •  Someone should tell that columnist (10+ / 0-)

    that James Taylor isn't really a steamroller, either. He doesn't have hydraulics or anything.
    Every time he compares himself to one, he totally cheapens the singer/songwriter experience and makes his conclusions about love and passion worthless.
    All snark aside, however, there is no doubt in my mind that if the safeguards in our government get eroded enough,the AT's would start fucking people up. They can't do it right now because they are trying to be "the softer side of fascism"

    "Republicans are the heartless party." --Alan Grayson

    by chicating on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:11:08 PM PDT

  •  If anything, you've been too kind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Matt Z

    Check out www.talk2action.org and check out Sarah Palin's and Sharron Angle's ties to Dominionism and Christian Reconstructionism.  These radical Christians and the right-wing politicians who love them, believe that gays and lesbians should be stoned, and I don't mean smoking weed.  

    Check out Leah Burton's www.godsownparty.com and her warnings about radical Christian influence in the Republican party.  

    No, you say, there's no way that American Christian radicals are anything like THE TALIBAN.  That's REALLY meeee-an.  Oh yeah?  If you love theocracy in action, check out the Ugandan government.  So far, the Ugandan legislature has threatened to pass a bill that would sentence gays to death.  In addition, the Ugandan government has passed a censorship law so stringent that it not only bans familiar canards such as Playboy, but also the Sears lingerie catalogue and Michelangelo's David sculpture.  Christian evangelicals such as Rick Warren and Scott Lively (who preaches that Hitler and his friends were actually a homosexual cabal) view Uganda as a perfect laboratory for a Christian  theocracy.  

    I really don't know much about the personal lives of Taliban and Jihadist leaders.  I don't know if they cheat on their multiple wives, the way Ted Haggard, John Ensign, and Mark Sanford did.  I suppose allowance of plural marriage probably cuts down instances of adultery.  If Osama gets the hots for another woman, he probably marries her.  I don't know if Jihadist leaders do drugs, the way Ted Haggard did, while he was cheating on his wife.  And I don't know if Jihadi leaders cheat on their wives with MEN, the way Ted Haggard and Larry Craig did.  

  •  Critics (0+ / 0-)

    No sense of humor. Nor perspective.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Has the book hit the NYT Bestseller List yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimball Cross

    If Coulter and Beck can do it, Markos should too!

    Anything less will be seen as failure.

  •  Well, I liked the book (7+ / 0-)

      And I don't get so-called liberals rushing to the defense of Reconstructionists. It's bizarre.

     The religious right always seems to regenerate after a setback -- and many liberals' refusal to take them seriously for the sheer EVIL they represent is perhaps the biggest reason why they never go away, and every time emerge scarier than the previous iteration.  

     The comparison is more than appropriate. And its effect on the Overton window is more than valuable.

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:17:54 PM PDT

  •  "All faggots must die" (12+ / 0-)

    and now there is the comment... apparently from a Saxby Chambliss staffer... that all faggots must die.

    But no. American Taliban aren't at all like Afghan Taliban.

    It is a matter of degree not substance and for some of their more unrestrained followers it is not even a matter of degree as Matthew Shephard and far too many others testify.

    REBOOTNY.org - Time to reboot the New York State Senate

    by Andrew C White on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:19:07 PM PDT

  •  O'Donnell makes her cowardice official.... (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm not going to do any more national media."

    http://twitter.com/...

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 06:20:15 PM PDT

  •  The last lynching in the US was in 1980. (8+ / 0-)

    Randomly chosen victim.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    and of course, there's always Matthew Shepard.

    I'm sure there are other more recent examples to show how the thin veneer of civilization is ready to be stripped off by people like Palin, the merchants of hate radio and TV, the morons of the right.

    They're just itching to kill people.

    Jay Severin is a good example of someone many here have never heard of, yet he is part of the greater right wing hate narrative.

    On a 2004 broadcast, he compared US Muslims to a fifth column, and when a caller suggested that the United States should befriend Muslims, Severin responded: "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."

    And yet, he was hired back and then suspended again in 2009 .. "after calling Mexican immigrants "criminaliens," "primitives," "leeches," and exporters of "women with mustaches and VD," among other incendiary comments."

    http://www.boston.com/...

    This hateful person is still on the air in BOSTON, of all places. Right in the 'heart' of liberalism of one of the Bluest States in the nation.

    Given the chance, there are millions of Americans who would just as soon cut the throat of any black, brown or 'funny looking person' they come across. The veneer covering them up is barely being held in place.

    Jews in Central Europe had discussions like this in the 1920s and 1930s, about what happening all around them. Some didn't want to register that it could happen then, but they learned the hard way.

    And with the media megaphone held by the haters on the right, it most certainly can happen here. The politicians are echoing all the major points now, they have bought into the racism, the hatred. They are helping to amplify it.

    It's similar to what I read about in the 20s and 30s, what I heard growing up talking with people who grew up in the States, wondering if Father Coughlin was going to bring the same hatred to the streets of America. Different in some ways, sure.

    But it's right here, it's happening right under our noses.

    Deny this at your own peril.

  •  Your hyperbolic writing is one problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel, Jon Says

    In their tactics and on the issues, our homegrown American Taliban are almost indistinguishable from the Afghan Taliban.

    It undermines whatever valid points you make. Obviously, the tactics of the American and Afghan Talibans are not "almost indistinguishable." Whether that's due to legal and/or other cultural constraints is immaterial to your assertion being false.  

    •  then you haven't read those people in their own (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight

      words.

      Go look up Institutes of Biblical Law by Rousas Rushdoony.  

      Go look up the articles by his pal Gary North.

      Go watch the videos that Troutfishing discovered & exposed, of Palin and her pal Muthee who is literally a witch-hunter.  

      Go read the lengthy quote I posed from Pastor Steven Anderson.  

      Markos didn't invent that phrase "American Taliban," it's been around for years, in use by people who research & write about the extreme religious right.  Markos used that phrase as his title because it's spot-on and it's terse and it gets the point across.  

      This is not hyperbole.  

  •  Newt accuses Democrats of wanting to impose (11+ / 0-)

    Sharia law in America. How ridiculous is that? Sharia law is a lot more akin to republican social conservative (the-constitution-is-just-a piece-of-paper) ideology than to anything in the Democratic party. But the republidrones are likely to believe it anyway.

  •  The biggest difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    We have a system of government and laws with a built-in separation that keeps religion out, at least in theory.   The Christian fundamentalists (and too many "mainstream" conservative Republicans) want their religous tenets incorporated into our government, and constantly argue that our laws are based on their religious tenets.  Exactly like Muslim fundamentalists who argue in favor of sharia law.
    Their goals are exactly the same - it's their tactics that differ, and in our case those tactics differ because we don't allow them to implement their extremist Christian views.

  •  You Nailed It (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Matt Z

    Kos,

    I don't always agree with you but then I rarely always agree with anyone.  However, you are really on to something here.  This is human nature.  The fact that the right wing in this country share so much with Islamist Extremists is not coincidence.  It is the same side of the same psychological coin.  it's been the same thing throughout history - essentially a power play using fear, ignorance, and bigotry as its fuel.

    However, you will never get mainstream folks even the mainstream left to admit this.  They are too far invested in trying to be reasonable and moderate (which is really just another way of allowing themselves to be bullied).  I don't know how far this has to go before society gets a wake-up slap in the face.  Fortunately your effort here will wake a few people up.

  •  What a crazy review. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, G2geek, Spoc42, Matt Z

    Certain folks on the left need to lose their blinders and open their eyes.  Jesus Christ, all we need is one major economic disaster for the violence of these folks to be let loose.

  •  They're cut from the same cloth. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    The only difference is our "liberal" constitution, which the American Taliban has worked (and is working) tirelessly to undermine.

  •  The American Taliban is alive & well in Missouri (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Spoc42, fabucat, Matt Z, Misterpuff

    They shut down all the adult oriented businesses thru legislation. No book stores, no video, no strip clubs.

    In the case of strip clubs, they've hilariously allowed them to operate while wearing full bikinis. You can't serve alcohol while semi nude performances take place on your property. Specifically, one of the provisions is that the gluteal clef is not allowed to be exposed. The ass crack!

    What's next? Burkas?

    To quote the Senator that wrote the bill, Matt Bartle, he said "we all know that when you mix alcohol and women, bad things happen.".

    Now, if that isn't Talibanesque, I don't know what is.

  •  Some liberals are... (6+ / 0-)

    WEENIES!

    That's what I take from some of those who posted replies. You are afraid to fight back and speak the truth because you are scared you may hurt their little feelings.  

    Well, the Religious Right are the American version of the Taliban. They may not kill as much but how many abortion clinics have been bombed and how many young gay kids have been murdered? Why are women still fighting for choice? All in the name of RELIGION!

    This is supposed to be the United Fucking States of America, where people are all treated equal, where gays can walk without fear, where gays can get married, where women can make their own choices without backlash from the government.

    Sadly, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  •  For a glimpse of what's possible in America, try (5+ / 0-)

    Without Sanctuary:  Lynching Photography in America at www.withoutsanctuary.org.  Hard to look at.

  •  The Christhadis Moved to Uganda.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    ...because they couldn't take over the USA just right now:

    From Professor Culhane over at www.365gay.com:

    I want to broaden the focus this week from the usual legal analysis of the LGBT movement in the U.S., and ask this question: What’s really at stake in the pending anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda?

    As readers of this site likely know, proposed legislation in that country would make certain kinds of homosexual behavior punishable by death, while seriously criminalizing other acts. For the increasingly visible LGBT community in Uganda, of course, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But what happens there – whether this law gets passed, and if so, how much it’s enforced – could have huge repercussions for the international human rights movement, and possibly even for the advance of our rights here in the U.S.

    Let’s start by looking at how this ugly piece of legislation originated: with the "counsel" and support of some American fundamentalists, who have made company with Ugandan politicians and its leader, President Yoweri Museveni (somehow overlooking that he’s a dictator) because of what Jeff Sharlet has called "the evangelical zeal of his regime."

    Sharlet’s long-form article  in this month’s Harper’s is compelling reading. He connects the dots between the mysterious American evangelic group known as "the Family" or "the Fellowship" and its Ugandan equivalent, which is ensconced within its Parliament.

    Frustrated by their failure to create a government sufficiently grounded in Christianity, U.S. "Family" members have tried, like big tobacco before them, to export their product to places where it still sells. Members include high-profile men like former AG John Ashcroft and Rick Warren, who infamously delivered the invocation at Obama’s Administration. According to David Bahati, the Ugandan member of Parliament who introduced the legislation, Warren told his Ugandan brethren that "homosexuality is a sin and that we should fight it."

    There’s no evidence, of course, that American evangelicals want to kill us.

    But at least some of the most fundamentalist among them do want to eradicate homosexuality by curing it.

    Others would be satisfied stuffing us back into the closet. Since the first is a marginal and mostly ridiculed failure, and the second effort is collapsing by the day, perhaps these men think that success in a place like Uganda will one day be transported back to the U.S., even if in some watered-down form. Or maybe they’re just frustrated and looking for others with whom they find common ground.

    As I’ve written,  some (but not all) of the evangelicals who met with Ugandan leaders shortly before this unspeakable bill was introduced have beaten a full retreat; others, not so much. (Read especially about one Scott Lively, who seems, well, sinfully proud of his effort.)

    But the blood of our LGBT brothers and sisters is already on their hands: the scapegoating of sexual minorities that has accompanied the introduction of this bill has already led to such atrocities as "corrective rape" – which is supposed to have the effect of making a lesbian into a straight woman and violent and, according to the article, was carried out under clerical supervision in at least one harrowing case. None of these domestic evangelicals are idiots (except morally), and can’t have been surprised at the product of their toxic rhetoric.

    In a larger sense, this struggle is but a piece of a much broader conflict between the liberalism (both religious and secular) of the human rights community and the forces that resist modernity – in this context, I found particularly telling one Ugandan’s worry that the iPod, of all things, was an insidious agent of gay recruiting.

    Fundamentalist Christians and radical Muslims are the two most visible examples of these reactionary forces, but their ability to attract a huge global audience speaks to a primal fear of threats and change that many understand little and like even less. In Uganda itself, as Sharlet notes, "the homosexual" serves as a convenient bogeyman for the dictator to use to hold onto his power.

    The advances of the LGBT movement here in the U.S. can lead us to forget that things are much worse in many parts of the world. Even at the U.N. level, there are currently competing statements about how to treat sexual minorities, with mostly the Western countries (and, since early in the Obama Administration, the U.S.) supporting gay and gender identity rights as part of the broader recognition of human rights while a number of other nations (mostly in the Middle East and Africa, and including Uganda) have signed onto a counter-statement that, among other misstatements, links homosexuality to pedophilia.

    There’s so much work to do, and the most critical of it isn’t here at home. But it’s hard to know what to do about these atrocities taking place so far from us, both geographically and culturally.

    John Culhane is Professor of Law and Director of the Health Law Institute at Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Del.

  •  Mebbe Cyberbullying does not = beheading but.... (0+ / 0-)

    The Michigan Asst AG's creation of a hate-blog dedicated to the first openly gay University of Michigan student president is pretty reprehensible:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  "Break the teeth in Obama's mouth" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight, meatballs

    IF anyone doubts Markos' analogy, here's a direct quote from one of them.

    Pastor Steven Anderson:

    --- begin quote ---

    Psalm 58:6, boy let's get into the prayer life of David, right?  With David in the prayer closet.  Ya' know, we should put out a little brochure on this, ya' know?  In the Prayer Closet with David:

    Break their teeth, o God!, in their mouth!  Good night!  Break out the great teeth of the young lions, o Lord, let them melt away as waters which run continually.  When he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces, as a snail which melteth, Barack Obama.  Since you want to use your salt solution, to kill babies in this country, Barack Obama, YOU'RE GONNA' REAP WHAT YOU'VE SOWN, BECAUSE ONE DAY, BARACK OBAMA, YOU'RE GONNA' BE BURNING IN HELL, AND YOU'RE GONNA FEEL THE BURNING SENSATION ALL OVER YOUR SKIN, WHICH WAS THE SAME SENSATION FELT BY EVERY BABY THAT WAS ABORTED IN ITS MOTHER'S WOMB!  AND DAVID IS PRAYING AND SAYING, AS A SNAIL WHICH MELTETH!  

    See I was very scriptural when I brought up about snails being salted.  He said, as a SNAIL WHICH MELTETH, LET EVERY ONE OF THEM PASS AWAY!, LIKE THE UNTIMELY BIRTH OF A WOMAN, HE SAID, LIKE AN ABORTION, right?  LIKE A MISCARRIAGE, that's what an untimely birth is.  He said, LET BARACK OBAMA PERISH LIKE AN ABORTION!  LET BARACK OBAMA perish like a miscarriage!  As the birth of an untimely wom-, uh, like untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun!  

    Let me tell ya' something.  Somebody needs to abort Barack Obama.  It's true.  Now I'm not gonna' do it, I'm not saying vigilante-ism, I'm not saying that somebody, should, should go kill him, I'm saying that there should be a government in this country that, you know, under God's authority, that takes Barack Obama and aborts him.  On television.  For everybody to see in the whole world.  Did ya' hear me?

    I'm not saying I'm gonna' do it, I'm not a vigilante, but I'm gonna' tell you something:  If there was any justice in this country, if the judicial branch in this country meant ANYTHING, they would TAKE BARACK OBAMA AND ALL OF HIS COLLEAGUES, and they would take him and they would abort him.  They would melt him like a snail.  That's what they'd, they'd break the teeth out of his head, my friends.  (Unclear:  possibly "They say") oh, I can't believe you're threatening the President, I'm not saying I'm gonna' do it, I just wish God would do it!  (From audience: Amen!, Amen!)  And he will do it my friends, and I wish we had a government that would act on God's behalf, like the government is supposed to do.

    You know, the government is supposed to carry out God's laws.  They're supposed to enforce God's laws against murder.  Against stealing.  Against lying.  Against deceit.  Against adultery.  That's the purpose of human government.  And so I'd like to see Barack Obama melt like a snail.  I'd like to see the teeth knocked out of his head.  I'd like to see him perish, just like an abortion.   That's what David preached!  That's what he prayed to God!  

    Let's read it one more time.  As a snail which m-,  I think this is Barack Obama's life verse.  If you're not, if you're one of those people that doesn't write in your Bible, fine.  But if you like to make notes in your Bible, just put Barack Obama's name next to Psalm 58:8.  I think this is a great verse for him:  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away.  Like the untimely birth of a woman that they may not see the sun.  Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind.  Both living, and in his wrath.  

    The righteous shall rejoice!  When they seeth the vengeance.  He shall wash his feet in the blood of Barack Obama.  I'm sorry: He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.  So that a man shall say:  Verily there is a reward for the righteous!  Verily he is a God, that judgeth the Earth.  (End: 25 minutes 18 seconds).  

    --- end quote ---

    Keep in mind that to these people, abortion is murder, so when Anderson calls for Obama to "perish like an abortion," he is calling for someone to assassinate the President of the United States.  Notice how he backpedals just a bit and then keeps going, and he does it more than once.  

    And yes, the feds are aware of this guy and presumably keeping an eye on him.   This I'm sure of because I sent in a Facts-In-Evidence report on him, from which I just pulled the above quote.

    BTW, having had to listen to that filth multiple times in order to transcribe it, was truly sickening.  The guy's voice is a voice of pure evil.  Listening to his voice is like looking at crime scene photos.  

    And there are MANY more where he comes from.  

    •  Vomit! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Matt Z

      FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

      by Spoc42 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep i nearly did too. (0+ / 0-)

        After a few times of rewind/fast-forward/play, hearing that guy's voice repeating that crap so I could transcribe it, it made me sick to my stomach.  

        First because the sheer hatred in Anderson's words and voice are just so disgusting.  If you heard it you would understand what I'm talking about.   He goes from rage mode to weaselly insinuation to petulance and around again, and it's clear he's enjoying it, like some kind of cannibal.

        Second because he comes within a hair's breadth of a criminal threat to the life of the President of the United States, regardless of who holds the office.  I would have reacted the same way if he was talking about Bush.

        Third because frankly I love Obama even when I'm grousing about this or that difference of opinion about policy.  So Anderson pushed my "tribal defense" button same as if someone was threatening a friend.  

        Anyone who doubts that we have Talibans and Al Qaedas right here at home should listen to the actual recording.  Anderson is one, there are plenty more where he comes from.  

        The ones who cross the line of the law need to go to prison.  The ones who step right up to the edge of the line need to be kept under surveillance because for all we know they could be waiting for just the right moment to shoot someone or blow something up, or send someone else to do so.  

        And the ones who do it nice & legal by running for office and so on, need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the bright sunlight where everyone can see them for exactly what they are, and repudiate them the way we repudiate the Klan and the Nazis.  

  •  The basic premise is correct (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight
    But the reality is we don't know what the ultra right wing would do if they had unchecked power.  At least not lately.  Or so they would have us presume.

    We saw what the Taliban did when they had unchecked power - and we continue to see what the male, hard line religious dominated cultures of Afghanistan and Pakistan with unchecked political power.  They stone those to death who do things we here take for granted.  We think it barbarous, unconscienable.

    I think we have an idea what the racist fringe in this country would do if they had nobody to answer to.  We saw it in Jim Crowe, but not in its fullest extent - because there was still outrage to answer for dating back at least 200 hundred years in this country.  Jim Crowe was a moderately supressed version of what the Kos likes to call the "American Talibani" does with power, only removed now 45 years.  You want a realistic impression of what that group would do with completely unchecked authority?  Try slavery.  De-humanization.  Subjegation.  Forced labor for the sake of profit and privaledge.  Its what they did for 350+ years in this country.  I'd argue that we've also seen what white supremacist eugenics was capable of in Europe.  The Nietzschean ideal of the ubermensch, the "overman", those that are better, the super race, the Aryan...  They lined up those that they thought were lesser and sent them like cattle on trains to factories of mass murder.  Then they picked out whatever items of value that escaped confiscation from their dust and bones and called it the final solution.

    We like to pretend we are better over here.  That we have an evolved sensibility and a more gentile moral awareness, but we forget that about the insurance executive who seeks to deprive coverage for a child suffering with cancer.  The Social Darwinism that attacks the protections of those less fortunate, that allows for the erosion of the social safety net.  The poverty, the hunger, the death in this country is real.  The callousness involved in the mental rationalizations substanting these policies are mind boggling.  How about the pundit who champions these practices?  The couch potato passionately cheering on the culture which make these things permissable?  How can we dare to pat ourselves on the back when there are scores of individuals within our ranks that are complicit in the deaths of 10s, perhaps 100s of thousands of Iraqi civilians in a war fought under false pretenses?  Widespread death of women and children.

    Whether death results from cast stone or red ink, death is death and culpability is culpability.  Does death justified by the creation of immense wealth somehow make it more palitable?  Are we not just more refined artisans of death?  Our death is more sophisticated, more creative, more sublime, we are the Roy Lichtenstein's of death, therefore ours is acceptable.  Their death is crude, rediculous and offensive.  Its not even remotely plausably deniable.  Not even Fox News could explain away their death.  Not even Rush Limbaugh.  Not even Glenn Beck.  How rediculous their death is?  How incredulous?  We often find ourselves, not just the "American Talibani", making excuses because somehow we can connect the dots back to our victims and assign blame there, but we forget about those that profit from death.  Follow the trail of benefit and most assuredly you'll find those that authetically deserve blame.  The problem is that en masses we fail to recognize the truth, that as human beings we all hold equal value. When this is lost and/or forgotten, then some extremely distasteful leaps of logic occurs.

    The American radical right, the strict social conservative finds bravado in championing the values of yesterday.  They wrap themselves in tradition.  They fight against things like reproductive freedom, feminine equality, rights for homosexuals, affirmative action, etc...  Kos points to the hearts of these groups and individuals.  He points into their souls.  He finds hatred there caused by a repressed sense of superiority.  The issues they put forward with moral claims are hypocritical and meaningless methods meant to shape the social, political and certainly economic dymnamic of society.  Its not the individual issues that grip their following, its the underlying message that they are better.  That's why they will shout every fronted absurdity as if it were the most sacred truth.  They love every rationale that reinforces their vision of superiority.  They are self righteous connoisseurs of death and human sufferring.  What makes them especially despicable, is that they get off on their successful denials.  Over and over and over they keep saying that red is blue and white is black and yet they retain credibility.  They LOVE it.  MONEY DEATH BLAME - MONEY DEATH BLAME - MONEY DEATH BLAME...

    "Ubermensch" is German for "Douchebag"

    by meatballs on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 09:36:18 PM PDT

  •  The book's effectiveness is beyond doubt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Matt Z, jan4insight

    And the proof is in the reactions. Good work.

  •  I do fear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Matt Z

    that today's current incarnation of right-wing hysteria could turn the U.S. into an autocratic society. Markos is right that the only thing keeping these people in check is our legal system and culture. But a catastrophe - say, a financial collapse - could unleash the full-blown despotism right-wingers want to impose.

    I fear that the apathetic among us are going to stand by and let it happen. The question is: what steps do we take now to prevent a dictatorship from happening when so many are effectively disenfranchised by our corrupt electoral system?  

    "Bad politicians are elected by those who don't vote."

    by mooremusings on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 11:40:35 PM PDT

  •  Never forget (0+ / 0-)

    "This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy." - U.S. Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times 3/23/05)

    A Graveyard of Elephants:song about 25 years of destructive Republican policies by Opir.

    by spencerh on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:12:21 AM PDT

  •  American exceptionalism (0+ / 0-)

    is an illness going back to Greek exceptionalism in Aristotle- a racist concept.

  •  Rule: Republican't Accusation = Confession (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quell

    ...the right-wing has spent the last 9 years claiming that we want Islamic Fundamentalists to win and that we want Sharia Law in this country.

    Yep, it applies perfectly.

    Conservatives want to impose a theocracy on America, thus they accuse liberals of wanting to impose a theocracy on America.

  •  Cognitive anthropologist Pascal Boyer (0+ / 0-)

    would find many behavioral similiarities between islamic fundamentalists and christian fundamentalists.  Both groups endorse fervent fundamantalism and return to a more pure interpretation of "sacred texts"-- both groups incorporate a fervent wish to return to a time of power and universal allegiance-- the islamists to the time of the Caliphate, the christianists to the 200-year old constitution and the anglo-saxon protestant electorate.
    America is not really a secular nation-- it is a protestant nation,interchangeably used in today's teaparty vernacular as a "judeochristian nation".  America owes more to Martin Luther than to Plato, in other words.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer thus got it right when he characterized American Protestantism as "Protestantism without Reformation."
    That is why it has been possible for Americans to synthesize three seemingly antithetical traditions: evangelical Protestantism, republican political ideology and commonsense moral reasoning. For Americans, faith in God is indistinguishable from loyalty to their country.

    Christianists are threatened by the demographic timer, Islamists are threatened by modernization.
    The difference is only one of degree-- if there was "judeochristian law" in this country, christianists would exhibit the same degree of violence that islamists do.  They are isomorphs.

    "When they ask how I died, tell them....still angry."

    by quell on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:08:40 PM PDT

    •  the secular judiciary protects out-groups (0+ / 0-)

      in America. :)

      Pascal Boyer– (Religion Explained)

      Fundamentalism ….is an attempt to preserve a particular kind of hierarchy based on coalition, when this is threatened by the perception of cheap and therefore likely defection.

      Another typical tactic of fundamentalism is to burn the middle ground, to force moderates into the extremist camp. Also fundamentalists feel threatened by memetic dilution, so they enforce message purity……”conservative values”.
      Thus the bonfire of the RINOs.

      "When they ask how I died, tell them....still angry."

      by quell on Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 02:15:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taliban At Heart (0+ / 0-)

    Because Douthat doesn't want to execute gays...

    Who says he doesn't? Everything the right fights for: denying civil liberties, trying to impose their religion on our public institutions, wishing for a paternalistic society wherein a few men make all decisions for the rest of us, women and children and minorities with no rights, resources and wealth are reserved for same said men, etc. tell us they would if they could. I am sure Douthat and his defenders would disagree by I am not in any way convinced he doesn't (or wouldn't) want to execute gays if given the chance politically.

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