Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Here's one reason...

...why I'll never put a Jesus fish on the back of my car:

DeLay scored 2/3rds of the [primary] vote without lifting a single finger in the district... His field people zeroed in on the evangelical (and other core constituencies) vote like a razor. For example, every house with a car sporting one of those Jesus fish magnets was targetted. Those voters were bombarded with DeLay's direct mail and urged to turn out and vote. (Source)

[In full disclosure, my wife has one on her car, but it was placed there before we met. :) ]

Bruce and others can probably set me straight, but from what I understand of politics, so much rides on the "framing" of an issue. In order to come out looking good no matter the circumstances, one must spin an issue into a pre-conceived frame so as to shut out any contradictory opinions and buttress against attacks.

Some of you may remember the "prayer alerts" issued on behalf of Mr. Delay as indictment rumors swirled. Despite obvious signs of corruption, arrogance, and blatant disrespect of our nation's core values, the former Majority Leader has survived so far by framing his situation as a "Christian Statesman" under attack.

Folks of the Texas 22nd Congressional District - you were used. You were identified because of your beliefs, and more than likely you were fed a combination of sympathy for Delay plus fear of what happens if he isn't elected. How will he repay you? Oh, he may fight for the issues you hold dear, but unfortunately one of the side effects of his career in DC is blatant and unapologetic corruption. Yeah, he's a real stand-up guy.

How many Republicans were decrying the lack of character in Washington circa 1999? You may call me a liberal (un-true), but I have a problem with a Christian Statesman acting in very un-ethical and un-American ways. The issue isn't what he believes or what he fights for - it's how he fights.

For too many Christians (see "Southern Baptist Convention, take-over of;") the ends justify the means. Growing up, I was taught that leading a Christian life is a journey in which the means very much affect the end.

Until the opposition party can emboldenly frame their religious beliefs as being consistent with their politics (a huge thank you to Governor Tim Kaine for blazing the trail for other future candidates, not only in Virginia but also nation-wide), the GOP will continue to use its religious base by generating sympathy and fear to gain power - I for one am sick of these character-less tactics. There has to be a better way.


  • Bravo! Great post... I totally agree...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, March 15, 2006 12:37:00 AM  

  • It's not like DeLay didn't have other republicans running against him. There were 3 to be exact. Yet he still came out smelling like a rose courtesy of his "christian" base who are brainwashed by their church leaders. Fortunately for me I don't live in District 22. If I did, I'd move.

    By Blogger Marty, at Wednesday, March 15, 2006 8:01:00 PM  

  • Nathan,

    as usual your analysis is "shock and awe" inspiring to me. you really hit the nail on the head with the framing issue. wikipedia had a great explanation here on the "Lakoff" perspective at:

    the thing that i took away from the framing thing is that the Delay's of the world really do framing well. and the rest of us merely aspire to frame. Frank Luntz is the master

    this is why we need to be more about open goverment (see the frame "open is better than closed") the citizens need to be more hooked into the process and the politicians need to take, as you said, several pages from Tim Kaine's book.

    one of the things that seem to be happening is that the Delay tactics seem to work less well in general elections than in primarys. could it be that the voters in general are smarter/more aware?

    thanks for being here...


    keep up the great work.

    By Blogger bruce roemmelt, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:17:00 AM  

  • As usual, great post.

    By Blogger Vivian J. Paige, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:24:00 AM  

  • Hey all, thank you for the comments and compliments.

    Bruce, I fully agree that more open government is necessary - Chesterfield County, VA is currently struggling with that issue. I am worried, though, that we live in a society where people crave more information about their American Idol than their American government.

    Marty, I wondered if you were in his district... I figured we would have heard about it if you were. Enjoy time with your son! :)

    By Blogger Nathan, at Thursday, March 16, 2006 8:27:00 PM  

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