Perhaps the best way to start is by explaining how I decided on the name "Fundamentalist Redneck Fourth Reich".
I don't think anyone can reasonably dispute the administration's attempts to suck up to the fundie wingnuts. Whether it's a gay-marriage ban, outlawing abortion, school vouchers, faith-based initiatives, whatever, the Republican Party is desperately wooing the fundies. Fortunately, thus far, preznit has stiffed them; aside from some half-hearted support for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (for which he mouthed support, but refused to commit to politically), virtually all of the fundie wingnut advances have been on the state and local levels.
For the administration hierarchy, this is an exercise in hypocrisy. Bush, Cheney, and the rest are not Christians, no matter what they claim. They -- especially Bush -- profess great devotion to the tenets of Christianity, but they betray those very same tenets with their actions. How could the "culture of life" that demanded keeping a brain-dead Terri Schiavo alive and that demanded an outright ban on abortion also be responsible for hundreds of executions? How could the "culture of life" be so cavalier about the thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan?
There is additional hypocrisy in the administration's approach to gays: the administration has repeatedly claimed to be in favor of a Constitutional Amendment proclaiming marriage to be "between one man and one woman" -- and hence legalizing (nay, encouraging) discrimination against gays -- despite the embarrassing facts that Dickless Cheney has an openly gay daughter (who must be ready to kill herself, with The Maximum Prick as a father), Lynne Cheney penned a highly-erotic lesbian encounter in one of her books, and several high-ranking Republicans (Ken Mehlman and company) "decline" to openly state their heterosexuality.
Christians -- true Christians, that is -- are generally accepting of other religious beliefs; Bush has repeatedly shown his disdain for all but his fundamentalist born-again brethren (not that he actually does anything for them, of course; his only true loyalty is to his corporate sponsors). True Christians are pacifists; Bush, as the International Herald Tribune pointed out several weeks ago, "wants to rule the world", preferably by force of arms. True Christians assist those less fortunate than themselves; Bush's "charity" is restricted to the wealthy, while he guts social services spending for America's neediest. True Christians accept people for who they are; Bush and his sycophants got their knickers in a twist because a cartoon sponge might be gay.
Instead of true Christians, however, Bush has pseudo-Christians like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson in his corner.
Dobson is president of "Focus on the Family", a far-right religious group that pushes abstinence-only sex education, and believes (in effect) that women are nothing more than baby factories (and should be ecstatic with that status). Dobson is the one who said Bush "needs to be more aggressive" about pressing the religious right's pro-life, anti-gay rights agenda. He has compared the recent steps toward gay marriage to Pearl Harbor and likens the battle against it to D-Day. He is, of course, wholly in favor of completely outlawing abortion. He's also the one who started the "Spongebob is gay" brouhaha.
Falwell, a fundamentalist Baptist "hellfire and brimstone" preacher, was the founder of the "Moral Majority" (which was neither), and is best remembered for having blamed "abortionists", gays, feminists, and lesbians for the 2001 terror attacks. This quote is a perfect synopsis of his "thinking": "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." Falwell was also instrumental in the claims that "Tinky Winky" -- one of the "Teletubbies" -- was gay because the character was purple ("a color symbolic of homosexuality"), had an inverted triangle on his head and carried a handbag.
Robertson, who took over as host of "The 700 Club" after Jim Bakker (another hypocritical "Christian") had his little extra-marital fling, is the one who called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. He agreed with Falwell that the 9-11 attacks were caused by "pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the ACLU and the People for the American Way." One of his most memorable quotes: "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist".
Then there's the entire so-called "Intelligent Design" crowd: the loonies who claim man coexisted with dinosaurs (I guess they use the Flintstones and early* Warner Brothers cartoons for proof). These are the cretins who claim "Intelligent Design" has nothing to do with religion -- then scream "religious discrimination" when they don't get their way.
Additionally, we have the fundie wingnuts who decry the progress of the last 100 years or so -- the ones who feel the Voting Rights Acts went too far, the ones who claim Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Roe v. Wade were the result of "activist" judges or "judicial dictatorship." These are the people who felt burning witches was perfectly acceptable. They're also not fond of Miranda, Escobedo, Gideon, Mapp, and the rest of the Supreme Court decisions that pointed out that even accused criminals have rights.
To put their hypocrisy in perspective, let's look briefly at one of the major tenets of Christianity, the Ten Commandments:
(1) Then God spoke all these words: (2) I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; (3) you shall have no other gods before me. (4) You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (5) You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, (6) but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. (7) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the LorSabbathnot acquit anyone who misuses his name. (8) Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. (9) Six days you shall labor and do all your work. (10) But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work: you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. (11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (12) Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (13) You shall not murder. (14) You shall not commit adultery. (15) You shall not steal. (16) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (17) You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Now, let's compare what the Commandments say with what the Administration does:
- "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me... .."
The Administration appears to be trying to elevate George W. Bush to the stature of at least Jesus, if not of God Himself. This may be seen in the oft-quoted phrase, "I have a God-given talent. I got it from my father." Bush has also be quoted as saying the Lord speaks directly to him. There is also the unspoken implication -- though not terribly thinly-veiled -- that to disagree with Bush is to agree with the "terrists" (and hence, the Devil).
- "Do not make a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..."
While it's not as widespread as pictures of the Pope in Catholic homes, a disturbing number of "the faithful" have portraits of Bush in places of honor. Some probably even have them in shrines. (Black velvet Bush, anyone?).
- "Thou shalt not swear falsely by the name of the LORD..."
This one is almost too easy. One need merely look at all the various Rethuglicans who have been nabbed for perjury (i.e., Scooter Libby, et al.), and at all the various ways Bush and company have violated their oaths to "support and preserve the Constitution"... the oaths all end with "So help me God."
- "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy"
Some of the most evil shenanigans of the Bushistas have been planned (or at least announced) on Sundays. Obviously, though, the administration did obey this one at least once: the Administration did absolutely nothing while the great city of New Orleans was drowning.
- "Thou shalt honor your father and your mother..."
Okay, I have to admit Bush does honor his father (or, more correctly, both of his fathers) and his mother. The fact that Mommy Bush is an evil, nasty, hardhearted shrew really has nothing to do with it (but it certainly should). I suppose one could argue that Dubya has dishonored his (temporal) father by beginning and continuing an invasion that Poppy realized was futile.
- "Thou shalt not murder"
Again, too easy: Carla Fay Tucker, 2,000+ American servicemen and women, God only knows how many Iraqis and Afghanis, not to mention 3,000+ in New Orleans, plus all the folks starving, freezing, or otherwise needlessly dying because Bush and his cronies don't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves.
- "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Since to the fundamentalist, there is no such thing as divorce, any self-proclaimed "Christian" who remarries is ipso facto an adulteror. I'm ignoring, of course, all the fundamentalist preachers who have been caught screwing women (usually children), to whom they are not married.
- "Thou shalt not steal."
This is not understood as stealing in the conventional sense, since theft of property is forbidden elsewhere and is not a capital offense. In this context it is to be taken as "do not kidnap." Even in this interpretation, the Bushistas lose: Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, and various PATRIOT Act provisions for "preventive detention".
- "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor"
Yellowcake, Saddam's WMD's, Iraq's connection to (or direction of) the 9/11 attacks, etc..
- "Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's house..."
Iraq, Afghanistan (although one could argue Afghanistan was justified), and soon, Iran.
It should be obvious that, despite the lip service, the current administration has no respect whatsoever for the Ten Commandments. How, then, can they claim to be "Christian"?
Another Christian tenet often cited by the right-wing neofascists is the "Golden Rule": "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". How many of you think Bush, the heartless prick Cheney and the rest would feel if a Democratic administration -- especially under President Hillary Clinton-- were to use the "powers" "granted" to the President by the PATRIOT Act? No, to the Rethuglican crooks, it's "Do unto others before they do unto you". This, of course, could just be "institutional memory" handed down from their real Lord and liege, Tricky Dicky.
Bush tries to push his "aw, shucks" cowboy image, especially to the mouth-breathin', Bible-thumpin', hooker-humpin', sister-marryin', rifle-rack-in-the-pickmup crowd that he allegedly considers his "base".
Bush was born in Connecticut. In New Haven, if fact, which is home to Yale University. As I recall (from news stories, not personal knowledge), his family was living in the Greenwich area at the time. He was educated at Andover, Yale, and Harvard. He summered with his folks in Kennebunkport, Maine. He still vacations there, in fact. Not exactly your typical redneck/cowboy upbringing. He is, as the Pace commercial says, the guy "who gets his salsa from New York City".
Bush also likes to be shown "clearing brush" from his "ranch." Not unlike all those pictures of the displaced from New Orleans, and the various rescuers pressed into duty to accompany him, the brush-clearing pictures are nothing but carefully-staged photo opportunities for an all-too-gullible media. Bush's ranch is about as realistic as a "Cracker Barrel Country Store".
He feels that by mangling his words, and by trying -- unsuccessfully, by the way -- to adopt the "mush-mouthed Southern accent", he will be accepted as a "regular guy", the "guy you'd like to have a beer with." Given the records of Bush's outbursts when he was drunk (such as challenging his own father to go "mano a mano"), most people wouldn't want to run that risk.
Further, his pathetic attempts at typical Southern "glad-handing" are abject failures (just like all his other actions). He tries to express sympathy and solicitude; he demonstrates, however, only supercilious, smirking arrogance. A true Southerner would open his/her home to those displaced by Katrina (as many of them did, of course).
But for some reason, many of these attempts to simulate a "good ole boy" seem to be remarkably successful, at least among the trailer-trash crowd. That the slack-jawed, drooling "Deliverance" clones continue supporting him -- even though he has done NOTHING for them -- is truly remarkable, and just a little bit frightening.
Bush and his cadre also tend to support many of the causes near and dear to the redneck heart. First among these, of course, is the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
First of all, most rednecks manage to miss the first clause completely. Those that do spot it seem to function under the (mistaken) belief that "militia" refers to groups like the Michigan Militia, and the other right-wing extremist, racist, paramilitary groups that tend to spring up whenever three or more rednecks are in one place. These morons do not understand that the "militia" referenced in the Amendment is, in effect, the Colonial Army and its successors.
Second, the "arms" referred to were those used by military personnel for military purposes. The Bush "base" tends to claim that any type of armament may be kept by the average citizen, including assault and other automatic weapons.
Third, they (again) disregard the clear intent of the Framers when they claim a "Constitutional" right to use any weapon for any purpose whatsoever.
It is these people to whom Bush tries to suck up, by supporting the gutting of the Brady Law and other gun-control laws. They even want to remove the requirements for background checks (I guess because too many of the "base" wouldn't qualify for carrying a squirt gun after a real check).
Bush also tries to cuddle up to the Nascar crowd, even though the closest he ever came was trying to evade the Kennebunkport cops when he got bagged for drunk driving (and imagine how the neocons would howl if Hillary had concelaed a DWI...).
The reality is no matter how much Bush may want to be a "good ole boy" and no matter how hard he may try, he is nothing but a spoiled son of Yankee privilege.
George Bush, Dickless Cheney and the rest of the Administration obviously have hopes of extending their iron-fisted control over America for the next thousand years, just as Hitler viewed his regime as the start of the original "Thousand Year Reich". Their established proclivity in stealing elections, purging the electoral rolls of "suspect" classes (blacks, Hispanics, and others who tend to vote Democratic), pushing for electronic voting machines that do not have "paper trail" capabilities, discovering precincts in which the number of votes cast (for Bush) is greater than the number of eligible voters (never mind the votes cast for Democrats in those same precincts), and so on, is well-know (see here, for instance).
The Chimpster and his gang are also using other well-known tactics of previous fascist regimes: silencing the media, harassing protesters, imprisoning members of opposition groups in violation of Constitutional requirements (and international law, in the case of "enemy combantants"), warrantless searches and seizures, secret courts, etc. Just recently, a brave (and probably soon to be out-of-office) Federal judge in Detroit ruled that the warrantless spying conducted by the NSA under Bush's self-proclaimed "plenipotentiary war powers" was unconstitutional.
The Administration's spurious claims of "national security" are too numerous to go into here (but see Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, AmericaBlog, Atrios, Digby, and countless others for the gruesome details).In addition, much like Adolph Hitler did, George W. Bush is holding himself out as the only person capable of "saving the world". While we have not yet seen "Bush Youth", we have seen the loyalty oaths required for admission to taxpayer-funded Presidential appearances, we've seen Secret Service agents (and the initials "SS" are just as scary now as they were in the 30's and 40's) dragging "unauthorized" people out of these same taxpayer-funded appearances, we've seen Little Ricky "Man-on-Dog" Santorum using uniformed Delaware State Police officers to forcibly remove two teenagers from a book-signing at a Barnes and Noble store.
We've seen "free-speech zones", where protesters are kept far from the president, in clear violation of the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech [...] or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."), these "free-speech zones" enforced by those who swore to uphold the Constitution.
In fact, the Administration's entire concept of the Constitution of the United States may be seen in this one quote from Dubya himself:
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a Goddamned piece of paper!"
[Source: Capitol Hill Blue, 12-09-05]
These are the people running (and ruining) our great country.
WE MUST VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE BEFORE THEY DESTROY US.
* And I do mean "early". I'm thinking of that one -- pre-Loony Tunes -- of the caveman with the pet dinosaur; you know the one I mean: the caveman throws the stick and so on.