Blasphemy in the Cult of Bush
Two important items today -- an article from the Times and a Dana Milbank column in the Post highlight the growing (both in terms of numbers and importance) opposition among Republicans to the Administration's illegal eavesdropping program. And yet, as described by Milbank's column, the most blindly loyal Bush followers remain steadfastly intolerant of any criticisms of the Leader.
In that regard, it is noteworthy how true conservative believer Bob Barr -- whose conservative credentials include serving as House Manager of the Clinton Impeachment and being the primary sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act -- was treated like an evil traitor at the Conservative Political Action Conference held this weekend all because he is critical of The President's violations of FISA.
Conservatism in some circles really has morphed into The Cult of George Bush, which is why any criticism of the Leader -- even when the criticism is based on conservative principles -- is deemed to be blasphemous to the Cause. This excerpt from Milbanks column really tells you all you need to know about what "conservativsm" has come to mean in certain circles:
Barr answered in the affirmative. "Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country?" he posed. "I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes."
But nobody said anything in the deathly quiet audience. Barr merited only polite applause when he finished, and one man, Richard Sorcinelli, booed him loudly. "I can't believe I'm in a conservative hall listening to him say [Bush] is off course trying to defend the United States," Sorcinelli fumed.
For them, even to be subjected to the idea that "Bush is off course" is traumatic and wrong. Such an opinion has no place at a "conservative" event, where only praise and reverence of the Commander-in-Chief is appropriate. One sees this time and again: "conservatism" these days very rarely has anything to do with actual conservative principles of government and has come to be distorted shorthand for "George Bush follower."
The more one agrees with and praises the Commander-in-Chief, the more "conservative" one is, even when his actions aren't even remotely "conservative." That really is the definition of a creepy cult of personality, and it has consumed a large segment of the Republican Party.
--Posted by Glenn Greenwald