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Reconciling the Religious Right with the South Park Republicans: A contractual obligation piece, part VI

It's been a while since I pledged to write pieces in exchange for tsunami relief. I've rationalized my procrastination by saying to myself that I did, indeed, fulfill five of them, but there were two others that I didn't get around to writing. That always preyed on me, and they've never been far from my thoughts, but it was only last week that I finally hit upon the answer to one of them.

Rightwingsparkle challenged me to argue how the Religious Right and the South Park Conservatives can get along after the War On Terror has subsided, and to argue it from the Religioius Right's perspective. It's not been easy -- the Terri Schiavo case highlighted some of the major differences between the two camps, and showed just how they could develop into major schisms -- but I think I have a handle on it.

The Religious Right places a great deal of stock in morality and moral behavior, and that's the key to the solution. They need to look hard and honestly at the political realities, and recognize some very uncomfortable facts:

1) The South Park Conservatives (of which I may be considered a fringe element) are NOT traditional conservatives. They actively reject a great deal of traditional values, and will not be swayed by appeals to such.

2) The South Park Conservatives are not overly enamored of the tradional conservative leadership. In fact, they have determined that they don't like a lot of it -- but under the "lesser of two evils" principle, have decided that they like liberalism a lot less.

With that in mind, it's time to take the advice of one of the greatest politicians of the 20th Century, Lyndon Baines Johnson. When he assumed the presidency, there was pressure to replace J. Edgar Hoover as head of the FBI. Johnson saw the value of keeping a critic close, where he could exercise a modicum of restraint, as opposed to cutting him loose. He phrased this in his typically vulgar fashion:

"It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."

And that's the key to "handling" the South Park Conservatives. They are a force to be reckoned with, and not to be taken lightly or for granted. They will have their say on the American body politic, and right now they're aiming their fire at the opponents of the Religious Right. They're sinners doing God's work.

The smartest thing the Religous Right can do right now is to simply stand back and let them wreak their havoc, with occasional words or gestures of support. There will be plenty of time later to bring them to the Path Of True Righteousness and Redemption. In the meantime, though, they're doing plenty of good on their own.

And afterwards, it will be the time for soft words and kind gestures of persuasion. Hellfire and brimstone won't work on this bunch -- they LIKE the heat. It'll take a special kind of evangelism to bring them around.


Comments (30)

I think you have a good han... (Below threshold)
Sherard:

I think you have a good handle on this, but as a South Park Conservative, let me make one thing clear:

If the religious right wants to make sure the South Parkers are on the outside of the tent pissing in, keep on thinking you a) know the path of true righteousness and redemption, and then b) can inflict it upon us.

BAD.IDEA.

Excellent post!Lik... (Below threshold)

Excellent post!

Like Sherard, I think you have an good handle on this.

I especially like your observation that South Park Conservative are more annoyed with with the far left than with the far right. Personally, I think I could take Pat Buchanan in a fight. Michael Moore has a clear weight advantage.

Let's get one thing straigh... (Below threshold)

Let's get one thing straight: The GOP is NOT 90% "Religous Right" (social conservatives?) with a dash of "Sout Parkians" -- it has many many factions:

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=949

I'm doing God's work?... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I'm doing God's work?

Good to know, just yesterday I was condemned to hell in another thread.

I was a South Parker (or whatever you want to call it)long before the Pat Robertson's and their ilk (I say that in a good way) became a major presence. FYI, the religious right does NOT have the power in the Republican party that the left and the MSM would have you believe. There are extremists on both sides, but, ours seem to be less nuts. State by state, convention by convention, delegate by delegate, there are acutally more of us than you.

So, whose tent is it? And who is really the one being kept close?

Watch where you pee.


Rightwingsparkle challen... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Rightwingsparkle challenged me to argue how the Religious Right and the South Park Conservatives can get along after the War On Terror has subsided

Well, first of all the WOT is not going to subside anytime soon, especially they way we've been fighting it, but nevermind that. What makes you think that social conservatives give a shit about getting along with anyone but themselves?

They need to look hard and honestly at the political realities, and recognize some very uncomfortable facts:

These of course are the same people that throughout history couldn't deal with uncomfortable facts like: earth travels around sun, witches don't exist, slavery is wrong, and of course, more recently, evolutionary biology and the benefits of scientific research. They believe the human body is a filthy, sinful thing that shouldn't be looked at, that schoolteachers should also preach, and, recently, Democrats should be kicked out of churches. And you want to cooperate with these people? These are the same people who have been working to replace Republicans already in office with ones more closely subscribe to their "culture of life" (ha!).

The disturbing part to me is right here:

The South Park Conservatives are not overly enamored of the tradional conservative leadership. In fact, they have determined that they don't like a lot of it -- but under the "lesser of two evils" principle, have decided that they like liberalism a lot less.

Ah, yes, the lesser of two evils principle. Because you have to be a conservative or a liberal, right? These so called South Park Conservatives couldn't just, I don't know, think for their goddam selves, could they? No, they must join a club, apply a label, and unify with whatever nutjobs they can find to support them, right?

I'll take Daily Show liberals over South Park Conservatives any day, at least they realize that both sides are full of shit, and that social cons will not play nicely with others, even those on their own side. They want to take South Park off TV (and every other damn thing they find indecent), for crying out loud!

I don't think you should call them South Park Conservatives, but rather Vichy Libertarians.

Whatever you want to call u... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Whatever you want to call us Mantis, we will still welcome the disenfranchised former Dem's with open arms.

Million, by ever increasingly alienated million.

Keep up the good work.

See you in 2008.

Well, mesablue, I'm not a D... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, mesablue, I'm not a Democrat, and I think they're just as full of shit as Republicans, as I said. As far as alienated millions go, have you been paying attention lately? I believe the social cons (Shiavo anyone?) have been doing plenty to alienate people.

See you in 2006.

I think the more I think of... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the more I think of this, I don't think there is this huge schism in the GOP between the groups anyway.

Neither side welds the true power in the party as it is, sure there are the occassional nods to one group or the other, but the GOP, contrary to the MSM and those who think the religious right (although I think that is a poor label absent a definition anyway, since some would toss me into the religoius right catagory, but I hardly am on the same platform as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell who would probably shove me somewhere else) us really more of a big tent party, and they seem far more willing to tolerate differences as long as the party stays united in the main goals of the party. I think the MSM plays up the two groups, more in an attempt to cause a schism, than in reflecting the reality.

Some SPC's might try to blame some of the positions on gay marriage stuff as being from the religious right, but the religious right isn't even a majority in the GOP, and anti gay marriage amendments have passed in every state they have been on the ballots-so far more than the "religoius right" supports this one.

I'm not a Democrat, and ... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I'm not a Democrat, and I think they're just as full of shit as Republicans

Mantis,

Why do you even bother to vote? If you believe as strongly as you say about these things, why aren't you out there trying to affect change?

Your little soapbox may as well be in the middle of a hurricane for all of the good your spouting off does. Whether you like it or not, for the near future ours is a two party system and if you EVER want to see a party that you feel represents your views, you've got to pick one and get involved in it.

Tell THEM how you feel about things. We (most of us)are not the people to try to convince.

Hmmm.1. " They're ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1. " They're sinners doing God's work."

Sophistry, trite, tripe and utter rubbish.

What "God's work" are SPC's actually doing? What "God's work" is being accomplished by rolling over and submitting to the SPC's demands for more porn on TV?

I'm not a member of the RR, but even I can see this is complete nonsense.

2. "outside tent"

Frankly the GOP is really a coalition of the unwilling and the unwanted. The only real "glue" holding things together is the GWOT. Without that, the GOP would probably disintegrate into it's component parts. One of the driving forces isn't the RR disposition to the SPC's but rather the reverse. I've encountered some frankly ludicrous statements, such as "uncomfortable facts like: earth travels around sun, witches don't exist", which shows just how "moderate" some people are.

People may be described as "moderate" in their politics but that doesn't prevent them being idiots in their attitudes.

3. Personally I've debated this nonsense with any number of people and I've rarely gotten a good answer. The simple fact is that conservatves, the traditional kind, have been completely shafted by the GOP. Fiscal conservatives have largely been screwed by the GOP in it's rush to buy votes. Social conservatives have been screwed because they've gotten absolutely nothing for their support. Religious conservatives have been screwed even more because, for all their support and money donated, they've been marginalized severely.

The simple fact is that the current GOP agenda has almost nothing in common with conservative issues or agendas. It's also constructive to note that the current GOP leadership largely doesn't give a rat's ass about conservative issues or agenda. Otherwise why has it taken 5 years for this judicial nomination of conservatives nonsense? Which of course hasn't been resolved yet.

So far the current GOP leadership playing entirely to the moderates, libertarians and the SPC's and completely ignoring conservatives. The problem with this is that, without conservatives, the GOP is a minority party. When Bush41 went up for re-election the conservatives shunned him and he lost. It wasn't until conservatives once again supported the GOP that it finally became a majority party.

The simple fact is that most traditional conservatives have a large swath of issues that we agree on. There are of course marginal issues and side agendas that either don't elicit support or aren't agreed upon. But there is a great deal more political cohesion amongst conservatives than amongst many other groups.

IMHO conservative participation in the GOP is set to fade. I'm shunning the GOP in 2006 and I might not bother in 2008. The GOP doesn't reflect my values, issues or agenda. If they're not going to represent me, then I won't bother supporting them.

Then again this is personal opinion so take it for what it is. *shrug* I can only speak for myself and about twenty other solid politically active conservatives. The GOP has lost me, and them. So 2006 will be interesting. It'll be a curious thing to see how many conservatives have become disaffected.

It amazes me how Pat Robert... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

It amazes me how Pat Robertson's name gets bandied about in these discussion as if is some kind of Republican spokesman. The fact is, neither Pat Robertson nor Jerry Falwell has virtually any influence in the today's GOP and havn't for at least a decade now. Yes, I know the MSM always goes to them for quotes, but I think this represents a lot of wishful thinking on their part. That is, they all agree that these two are complete morons and would dearly like to believe that they are thus perfectly representative of the Republican Party. But such is not the case. Oh, I suppose that these guys did have a following at one time, back in the days of the Moral Majority in the 1980s, but that organization hasn't been around for mnay years. When these men talk,
they speak for nobody except themselves. So I would advise all the lefties, libertoids, and South Park cons who make a habit out of demonizing these marginal figures to update their boogey-man files accordingly.

Mantis hates Christians bec... (Below threshold)
Tom:

Mantis hates Christians because he thinks they are all haters. He is ironically challenged.

I don't hate Christians, an... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I don't hate Christians, and I never said so. I dislike fundamentalists who want to control everyone's behavior according to their religious principles, and to us government to do it. I believe this is a small but influential portion of Christians as a whole. My family and many of my friends are Christians. In truth the Christian part doesn't matter, it includes all true believers who want to impose their beliefs on others (Islamic fundamentalists and the like). I am not ironically challenged, and unlike you, I can read.

I agree with most of your c... (Below threshold)
justathought:

I agree with most of your comments, except your claim that South Park Conservatives were on the other side of the Schiavo case.

I think SPC's are a version of libertarians, and they believe in having control over your own life and death. Teri's death was decided by someone else, a concept the LEFT embraces. If she had written up a living will, SPC's would have supported her right to die, even if her husband tried to keep her alive.

Wanna watch a Libertarian ... (Below threshold)
DAveP.:

Wanna watch a Libertarian change colors? Tell him you're a Christian, that you plan to vote based on what your faith tells you is right, that you plan to enter public office and serve there in a manner illuminated by your faith.

All of a sudden, all of that BS about respecting freedom of religon and freedom of speech just goes right out the window...

"They're sinners doing G... (Below threshold)

"They're sinners doing God's work."

I love it! Exactly how social conservatives should look at it.

Ever notice how, even though Jon Stewartites say they despise both sides, they almost always swing to the left? Dems not giving you socialism quickly or hipply enough?

Some just prefer fundementalism from a different point of view.

The garden-variety SPC wasn... (Below threshold)
JD:

The garden-variety SPC wasn't on either side of the Schiavo case. They were just tired of the whole damn mess. Given the choice, they would have been lined up with shovels in hand to dig the grave and bury the body in the hope that we could go on to discussing more important topics. Ya know, like Paula Abdul or The Runaway Bride.

Perhaps the best illustration of the SPC view on things is as follows (most recently by Homer Simpson): "Some see the glass as half-empty, some see the glass as half-full, but I see the glass as being twice as large as it needs to be."

" Wanna watch a Libertarian... (Below threshold)
McCain:

" Wanna watch a Libertarian change colors? Tell him you're a Christian, that you plan to vote based on what your faith tells you is right, that you plan to enter public office and serve there in a manner illuminated by your faith. All of a sudden, all of that BS about respecting freedom of religon and freedom of speech just goes right out the window..."
--davep

Why would that statement bother a Libertarian? One is free to run on any losing platform they wish. And what a blowout loss such a candidacy would see! Anyway, this fictional candidate would need to start a new party -- that isn't any Republican's platform.

Very good commentary by all... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Very good commentary by all on this thread.

But, ed -- where are you going to go?

Like I said to mantis, if you are not happy with the way things are going -- do something about it. There was a reason that you made a shift, the worst thing you can do is shift another way. We are stuck with the system that we have, the only way to work it is from the inside. The last thing we need is another Perot scenario (fiasco/Clinton or Clinton II).

I was lucky enough to be involved in electorial politics for many years and see so many people giving of themselves for what they believe in. Kind of like the blogosphere, this blog espescially.

There are a few people in politics that screw it up for the rest of us. There are a LOT more people that truly believe in public service. I love what term limits has done to my state. Do the work and then move on, no time for a personal agenda. No time to over legislate.

The last thing I will ever do is become jaded, I've seen how it works in the rest of the world, and like it or not we've got the best thing going.

Suck it up, follow your beliefs and get involved -- give of your time. It will be the best thing you have ever done for yourself and society.

Any conservative who leaves the Republican party now is leaving way before last call.

Hmmmm."But, ed -- ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

"But, ed -- where are you going to go?"

*shrug* Where? Where I have always been. A Conservative.

I'm not a Republican, I'm a Conservative. Being a Republican is a matter of convenience only. If the Democrats offered a better deal then I'd be a Democrat. Heck my family is mostly Democrat and I was one, mostly by tradition, up until about 15 years ago. I have no particular love of the GOP, especially considering it's complete abandonment issues that I hold dear.

The problem with your argument is that it doesn't work. Work within the system? I've been doing that for more than a decade now. I've stuck with the GOP from the minority party days. When the GOP was hungry, they listened. Now that the GOP is the majority party they can't be bothered. This is not a winning strategy.

And how MUCH time do I need to wait? How MUCH patience? This disussion is almost a reprise of two similar discussions on Jeff Goldstein's blog (protein wisdom). The point being made on that blog was that conservatives had to suck it up and be patient and accomodating of moderates/libertarians or else they'd leave the coalition. The argument being that anything other than total capitulation by conservatives would drive the coalition apart.

I then asked what was in it for the conservatives?

Why should conservatives stick with the GOP? And I have yet to get a good answer. Fiscal conservatives have gotten NOTHING. Not one damn thing. The GOP is spending money even FASTER than the Democrats did. Clinton did a lot of things but even he didn't spend $1 trillion f-ing dollars in one shot! And, again, the social and religious conservatives have gotten nothing either.

You say be patient. I'm asking why should I? The GOP want's my money, I donated the max $2k last year. The GOP want's my vote. The GOP wants my time and energy to volunteer in my district. And what do I get in return? The unfulfilled promise of not a whole lot? The opportunity to be told to be "patient"?

There is a massive amount of dissatisfaction amongst conservatives. It is barely visible, but it is most definitely there. And I have yet to see one good reason why I should be patient.

Hmmmm.Yes this is ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Yes this is indicitive:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1402061/posts

"Senior aides to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) reached out to conservative leaders Tuesday afternoon to explain the decision to consider President Bush’s embattled judicial nominees next week instead of this week, as many conservatives had hoped and expected."

Yeah right. Frankly I expect this to get dragged out until autumn, when the 2006 fundraising season begins. After all it's been such a good cash cow up until now. It's only been dragging on for 5 years.

What nonsense. Why should conservatives even bother with the GOP?

Why is it so easy to stereo... (Below threshold)
Zsa Zsa:

Why is it so easy to stereotype christians and liberals?... I believe I am a christian. I have a rather odd story about going to a bible study. A woman at the bible study decided that God had told her that I was not SAVED! OK...I couldn't believe my ears. Soooooo anyway, I basically didn't fit the mold of that particular bible study group because of the way I looked! That is my theory anyway. everyone in this group had long jean skirts and oversized sweatshirt on. It just so happens that some people say I look like a cross between Goldie Hawn, Marlyn Monroe, and Dolly Parton... Trust me that is just what alot of people say! It isn't like I walked in wearing a bikini or a mini skirt. I had jeans and a oxford cotton button up shirt...I really think stereotypes are hard to shake, but I belive in the golden rule Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.....THANKS! Bye bye!

I guess I should have clari... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I guess I should have clarified when I wrote I think Democrats are as full of shit as Republicans. When I say that I mean on a national level, meaning the party leaderships and most members of Congress (though certainly not all). I am active in local politics and have known many, many people here who are absolutely devoted to public service. Maybe it has something to do with how much compromise most politicians have to make with special interests to get to a national level, maybe its the old "absolute power corrupts absolutely" axiom, but I tend not to trust most politicians on the national stage, and I usually end up being right in that conviction. This, of course, does not apply in any way to normal citizens who ally themselves with one party or another. And as far as working within the system, I let my politicians in D.C. know what I think on issues that are important to me, and I'm too poor to donate money much, so what else can I do?

First of all the term "Reli... (Below threshold)
WarriorInChrist:

First of all the term "Religious Right" is a hateful epithet. You don't go around calling different ethnic groups by racial slurs do you? The correct term is "Christian", you probably haven't heard this term before living out in Hollywood or whatever little liberal hold out you live in.

Secondly, no one can call themselves a Conservative if they are a fan of a show as liberal and offensive as South Park. One might as well be a "Christain Communist". Jesus himself said no man can serve to masters. You can either be a Conservative or you can be a fan of the liberal South Park.

And lastly, George W Bush won in 2004 because People of Faith turned out in record numbers to vote for him. George W Bush, Republicans and Conservatives have a clear mandate in this country. The majority of people have spoken and we have said that yes we are Christians and we demand that America return to it's Christian Heritage. This is the first time this has happened since the 1960s when America rejected God and turned to hedonistic liberal secularism which gave us such "culture" as your South Park.

Yes we were not able to save Terri from being horribly starved to death, but that was only because of the liberal Judiciary. George W Bush and the Republican Congress realized this and are working to correct it, just as hard as we worked to save Terri. We will get a Conservative Judiciary and We will bring this nation back to God.

Real Republicans, Christians, are now in charge of this nation and we don't need hangers on watering us down.

"Secondly, no one can call ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Secondly, no one can call themselves a Conservative if they are a fan of a show as liberal and offensive as South Park."

Just curious but have you actually watched South Park? South Park is anything but liberal. It is in reality quite conservative although with more of a libertarian bent than classic conservatism.

But it sure isn't liberal. I don't generally watch the show-it is just a little too vulgar and irreverent for me to enjoy, but the episodes I have seen promote conservative ideals and mostly poke fun of liberals.

Thanks for finally putting ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for finally putting this up Jay, but the Religious right doesn't want to bring SP Republicans to the "true path of righteiousness." Not politically anyway, we just want ya'll to stand back and let us fight for what we believe in.
It seems to me that on most social issues, ya'll don't really care that much. Well, we do. The Republican party is all we have and this is where our fight will stay. Get used to it. (and I mean that in the sweetest way..;) )

Yes, you're right, RWS, it ... (Below threshold)
Erik:

Yes, you're right, RWS, it will work for awhile, common goals and all, but the more your faction flexes it's muscle, the more independents and libertarians will drop off and potentially make you the minority party again. As a Democrat, I am seeing the makings of 1994 in reverse, with the majority party overreaching and interpreting a small margin for error as a vast open-ended mandate. Dems are reorganizing. It's too early to say whether we are doing it right or doing it seriously enough to win, but the louder the social conservatives get RWS, the better the chances of Democrats making a comeback. You would have people believe that our ideals are far from mainstream. I think you're wrong.

Crazed theocrat wanna-be's ... (Below threshold)
andy:

Crazed theocrat wanna-be's like WarriorInChrist are the precise reason we "South Park Conservatives" need to abandon the GOP in a hurry.

I long for a day when South Park Conservatives and moderate Democrats come together to form a third-party that can push the religious right and the moonbat left to the fringes where they belong.

Yes, I know it will not be in my lifetime.

Andy, no- not in your lifet... (Below threshold)

Andy, no- not in your lifetime or mine.

Get use to it....

;-)

oh... and God bless...;-)

I am joking with Andy above... (Below threshold)

I am joking with Andy above, but this is how it is. We religious conservatives have been fighting the good fight from the grassroots level for literally 30 yrs now. No help from the media, no help from ANYONE. Church by church. Person by person. We got people to CARE about the issues that we saw as injustice. The issues that we saw as infecting our children like a disease. We have fought long and hard for what we believe in. We elected 2 Presidents that we believed in. And we are not going ANYWHERE. That is all I am saying. You are free to disagree. This is a democracy after all. And if you want to vote for a democrat, you go right ahead. But we are in the Republican party TO STAY. We will continue to elect those who care about the issues we care about. And thats it my brothers. We want you on board, but we haven't come this far to wimp out now.
We fight the good fight. You can fight with us... or not. That is up to you. But fight we will.




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