Culture wars are not meant to be won; they are meant to be continuous. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. Culture warriors constantly pick fights, ignore the needs of others, and install idiocrats to further that agenda. Over the last forty years, the Republican Party has learned to treat politics as the continuation of war by other means; and for a time, militant partisan discipline proved successful for them.
But the surges of Islamophobia, immigrant hysteria, and assorted fearmongering have reached fever pitch because the right has already lost so many battles. Nineteen years after history 'ended,' the right is arguing whether to stay still or go backwards.
Much more after the jump, which is after another loud mash-up I made before the Alabama primaries:
My friend Chez Pazienza wrote last year: "It’s too late for opponents of gay marriage; they’ve already lost. The genie is out of the bottle, he’s fabulously dressed, and there’s no putting him back in." Glenn Beck, of all people, gets this; so does Ann Coulter, who has found herself disinvited from
Wing Nut Daily World Net Daily's Miami bash (link is wearing a condom). The growing acceptance of gay rights (represented by the phallic graph below) has crept so far even within the conservative movement that David Frum says the Republican Party is dropping the issue:
Gay marriage is ruled a federal right for the first time and the response from the GOP is… tepid. Not one nationally prominent elected official thought the issue was important enough to get worked up over. The only cries of outrage were from politically active religious groups.
Those "religiously active groups" are still a big part of the Republican Party coalition, though a shadow of their former selves. Many of the biggest organizations in political Christianity (Family Research Council, the Christian Coalition, etc.) have dissolved or sunk to measures of irrelevance. Self-appointed candidates step into the savior-role. Newt, who began his 2012 bid by converting to Catholicism and whipping up anti-pagan hysteria, is even less popular than Sarah. Mike Huckabee has given his tepid endorsement of Islamophobia, but he doesn't excite FOX News the way Palin does.
Meanwhile, FOX attacks the Cordoba House for its ties to FOX's own second-largest shareholder. Meanwhile, young people are increasingly checking out of church. As the GOP is still a white southern party, Republicans have pandered to anti-immigrant hysteria. That has turned Hispanics and Latinos against the GOP, just as Muslims are increasingly wary of the Republican Party because of the Cordoba House nontroversy.
And then there's this item:
In several high-profile races where the small-government activists have been a factor, standard rules of political etiquette dictating primary losers to graciously throw their support behind the party nominee aren't being followed.
Sometimes, it's because conservative insurgents aren't willing to toe the party line. In others, party veterans haven't been able to swallow their disappointment over being elbowed aside.
Which brings me to the Alabama primary results. Almost no one in the video above did well; Dale Peterson, the man in the cowboy hat, was a complete unknown who still finished third in a field of three. Tim James did his best pandering act and surged from third place in a field of four to almost-second, but still third. Despite his best impression of a tea party Republican, Parker Griffith lost his primary battle against a tea party candidate. Bradley Byrne -- seen above marching in formation at shoulder arms with his sons -- lost his runoff battle even though he pandered to creationists. Even Artur Davis, the only Democrat in the video, lost after running against Obama.
Only Young Boozer, advantaged by his namesake Alabama political dynasty, won a primary. You'll note that his ads included flags, people, and a sane-looking man WHO ISN'T HOLDING A GUN.