Mike Pence’s Fugue State

Indiana Governor Mike Pence appears to have been walking around in a fugue state for the last week. Somewhere between my empathy and my thirst for comeuppance lies a certain curiosity about what it must be like to be in his shoes these days. His world – or at least his political world – has turned upside down and back again in record time.

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Revenge of the Right

If you think that dislike for Mitt Romney comes exclusively from the left, a quick gambol around the internet will provide you with some pretty extreme hatred of Romney from the right.

For many in Massachusetts, Romney’s term as governor left a really bad taste in their mouths because of failed promises and his abysmal jobs record.  But for at least one Bay Stater, Romney was far too liberal:

I’m particularly fond of her criticism of Romney’s CPAC speech.  In Romney’s attempts to be all things to all people, he spoke at CPAC.  Liberals questioned his blatant pandering to the uber-conservatives.  But for the uber-conservatives, he just wasn’t conservative enough; there were apparently about ten or twelve litmus tests that he just didn’t pass.

And check out this video.  Contrada apparently holds Romney responsible for everything  from every initiative the Massachusetts Department of Social Services took during his term to what the lesbians were wearing during the pride parades:

Whew.  I had no idea any politician had that much power.

Then there are the religious doomsayers.  Literally.  It’s kind of hard to tell if they’re serious or if they’re just being hucksters and trying to sell books and DVDs:

This kind of marketing hawking of wares is worthy of Newt Gingrich.

So far, I don’t think that anyone on the left has claimed that Romney is Satan. Attribution of demonic traits to a candidate is generally the purview of the right, but this site pulls no punches:

For the author of this site, even Pat Robertson, Sean Hannity, and James Dobson are not crazy enough for his taste, because they’ve endorsed Mitt Romney.  It’s clear that Romney’s religion is still a significant barrier for some.

There’s one more site that’s a compendium of all things Mitt in Massachusetts (at least, from the ultra-right-wing perspective):

According to these folks, the problem on issues like gay rights, abortion rights, and health care isn’t that he’s too far to the right.  It’s that he’s too far to the left!  Glad we got that cleared up.

With all the focus on the economy, I wonder if these issues will even register at the polls.

Liberals, women, the LGBT community, and racial minorities  have all to often been on the receiving end of this kind of hatred from the radical right.  But it’s instructive to know that someone as extremely to the right as Mitt Romney can be the target of folks like this.

It’s just more proof that, in the last couple of decades, the left has moved right, and the right has moved even farther right.

Suffer the Little Children

The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana, is today’s winner for purveying hatred in the name of religion. I don’t think there are any Grammy’s in their future, but they have put together an original song, with a new child star.

Could this be the next Rick Santorum? (He’s already got the sweater vest.) Was indoctrination like this the cause of the current Rick Santorum? We may never know.

Note the congregation cheering and clapping at the success they’ve had teaching their children to hate. Lemmings? Sheep? You decide.

The Hate Keeps On A-Comin’

North Carolina can now lay claim to another preacher who advocates violence in the name of religion. Watch how this pus-necked hatemonger recommends rounding up gay men and lesbians, surrounding them with electrified fences, and letting them die off.

I can’t decide which is worse — that there is someone who is so hate-filled that they would hold these beliefs and preach them in the name of religion, or that there are actually parishioners who sat in the pews and listened to this without objection.

Can you imagine being a kid struggling with his or her sexual identity and being dragged to church by your parents to listen to this kind of viciousness, week after week? One only needs to talk to adults who have been subjected to this hatred to understand the damage that continues to be done.

This kind of abject hatred is unbelievably objectionable wherever it occurs geographically. But there sure is a lot of evidence that there a whole lot more of this in the red states than in the blue states. You know, those states with the highest concentration of evangelicals and obesity, along with the lowest levels of education. Oh, yeah, the highest concentration of Republicans and tea-partiers, paired with the highest dependence on those government handouts that they object to so much.

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. North Carolina, if you don’t want to be considered a backwoods haven for peckerwoods and rednecks, you gotta do something about this.

And, by the way, if there were ever an argument in favor of getting rid of tax-exempt status for churches, this guy just made it.

NAACP: Equal Equals Equal

In a somewhat surprising move, the NAACP passed a historic resolution endorsing marriage equality.

President and CEO Benjamin Jealous made the following statement:

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Although the endorsement carries no specific legislative weight, the significance of the largest and arguably best known civil rights organization in the nation making such an endorsement can’t be ignored, particularly since there has been such disparity in polling numbers between the black community and the community at large when asked about marriage equality.

Opposition among blacks is often attributed to black churches.  The text of the NAACP’s resolution addresses that opposition in a somewhat roundabout way:

“The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.”

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