Thursday, March 24, 2005

Cage Match

Maureen Dowd on the Holy Terror:

Oh my God, we really are in a theocracy.

Are the Republicans so obsessed with maintaining control over all branches of government, and are the Democrats so emasculated about not having any power, that they are willing to turn the nation into a wholly owned subsidiary of the church?

Frank Rich raises a Holy Racket:

…American moguls, snake-oil salesmen and politicians looking to score riches or power will stop at little if they feel it is in their interests to exploit God to achieve those ends. While sometimes God racketeers are guilty of the relatively minor sin of bad taste – witness the crucifixion-nail jewelry licensed by Mel Gibson – sometimes we get the demagoguery of Father Coughlin or the big-time cons of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.


It is a full-scale jihad that our government signed onto last weekend, and what’s most scary about it is how little was heard from the political opposition. The Harvard Law School constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe pointed out this week that even Joe McCarthy did not go so far as this Congress and president did in conspiring to “try to undo the processes of a state court.” But faced with McCarthyism in God’s name, most Democratic leaders went into hiding and stayed silent. Prayers are no more likely to revive their spines than poor Terri Schiavo’s brain.

The Democrats, wisely or not, have been largely silent in the Schiavo case itself. They have stood strongly against the overreach of Congress and the hypocrisy of the Republicans who want to extend universal health care to only one person, but they have probably learned their lesson that when your opponent is going out on a limb, the best thing to do is let him carry his own saw while you stand back and watch. That may draw the ire of some, but in the long term it may just work.