Another Prominent Conservative Takes On The New Right
Michael Fumento becomes the latest prominent conservative to criticize what conservatism has become.
As Steven Taylor noted last night, Michael Fumento, who once worked for President Reagan and has written over the past 30-odd years for conservative publications ranging from National Review and The American Spectator to The Washington Times and more, has become the latest prominent conservative to criticize what he sees in modern American conservatism:
Nothing the new right does is evidently outrageous enough to receive more than a peep of indignation from the new right. Heartland pulled its billboards because of funder withdrawals, not because any conservatives spoke up and said it had crossed a line.
Last month U.S. Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican recently considered by some as vice-president material, insisted that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party, again with little condemnation from the new right.
Mitt Romney took a question at a town hall meeting this month from a woman who insisted President Obama be “tried for treason,” without challenging, demurring from or even commenting on her assertion.
And then there’s the late Andrew Breitbart (assassinated on the orders of Obama, natch). A video from February shows him shrieking at peaceful protesters: ”You’re freaks and animals! Stop raping people! Stop raping people! You freaks! You filthy freaks! You filthy, filthy, filthy raping, murdering freaks!” He went on for a minute-and-a-half like that. Speak not ill of the dead? Sen. Ted Kennedy’s body was barely cold when Breitbart labeled him ”a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” a “prick” and “a special pile of human excrement.”
The new right loved it! Upon his own death shortly after, Breitbart was immediately sanctified and sent to lead the Seraphim. He was repeatedly eulogized as ”the most important conservative of our time never to hold office,” skipping right past William F. What’s-his-name Jr.
There was nothing “conservative” about Breitbart. Ever-consummate gentlemen like Buckley and Ronald Reagan would have been mortified by such behavior as Breitbart’s – or West’s or Heartland’s. “There you go again,” the Gipper would have said in his soft but powerful voice.
Civility and respect for order – nay, demand for order – have always been tenets of conservatism. The most prominent work of history’s most prominent conservative, Edmund Burke, was a reaction to the anger and hatred that swept France during the revolution. It would eventually rip the country apart and plunge all of Europe into decades of war. Such is the rotted fruit of mass-produced hate and rage. Burke, not incidentally, was a true Tea Party supporter, risking everything as a member of Parliament to support the rebellion in the United States.
All of today’s right-wing darlings got there by mastering what Burke feared most: screaming “J’accuse! J’accuse!” Turning people against each other. Taking seeds of fear, anger and hatred and planting them to grow a new crop.
Perhaps not surprisingly, so far at least there doesn’t seem to be much commentary on Fumento’s piece from the conservative blogosphere. That is, perhaps, not surprising, because the kind of conservativsm that Fumento describes isn’t terribly given over to introspection and self-criticism, unless of course it’s criticism for those who would dare to stray from the mainstream. I suspect that his invocation of Brietbart’s name, along with those of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Michelle Malkin, later in the piece will evoke commentary at some point, but I think we all know that said commentary won’t really be a reasoned discussion of what Fumento says in this piece so much as it’s likely to be his version of the same condemnation that men like Bruce Bartlett, David Frum, Andrew Sullivan, and David Stockman have gotten in recent years when they too dared stray from the New Right orthodoxy.
It’s too bad, really, because Fumento’s criticism is one that it would do well for the people on the right to take to heart even if they do disagree with it. Even from a rhetorical point of view, there’s no denying that the New Right of 2012 sounds absolutely nothing like the conservatism that existed when Ronald Reagan was running for President. The optimism and good will that were such an indelible part of Reagan’s personality, and which other conservatives inevitably picked up on, has been replaced with the bitter, vile, hateful rhetoric of people who spend most of their time trying to find something, anything that they can use to destroy their political “enemy,” even if it’s a stupid hashtag on Twitter. Whereas political wives used to be treated as off limits, snide and ugly comments about the President’s wife are now a regular part of political discourse on the right. And, perhaps more importantly, that Reaganesque sense of hope for the future has been replaced by a bitter, angry, gloom-and-doom philosophy that arguably makes any tactic no matter how vile acceptable.
Would Ronald Reagan have really been okay with Allen West personally insulting a female Member of Congress, or accusing nearly every member of the opposition caucus of essentially being treasonous? I hardly think so, and yet, today, Allen West is a hero on the right and the men and women who try to work together with their opponents to get legislation passed are viewed as the enemy. So it’s not surprising that the heroes today on the right are the Allen West’s and the Andrew Breitbart’s rather than the people who actually want to get work done in Washington. There’s nothing fun about work, after all, and if you want to accomplish something you can’t go around constantly insulting your opponents.
Fumento closes with this:
You cannot be identified by what you oppose, only by what you stand for. But this curious creature’s main claim to the title of “conservative” is that it hates liberals – as do liberals and lots of others on many points of the political spectrum. Obama is routinely bashed in such places as the Nation. The right-wing Nation?
Indeed in any violent anti-democratic revolution – Jacobite, Bolshevik, National Socialist – the first goal is to eliminate the real competition, those with ideals. The guys who really believed in liberty, fraternity and equality or rule by the proletariat were identified, isolated and eliminated early on to leave only two extremes to choose from. “It’s us or the Bourbons! It’s us or the Romanovs!” In Germany, the conservatives and liberals were dispatched to the labor camps before the Nazis felt safe to send the Jews to the death camps.
The new right cannot advance a conservative agenda precisely because, other than a few small holdouts like the American Conservative magazine or that battleship that refuses to become a museum, George Will, it is not itself conservative. Pod people are running the show. It has no such capability; no such desire.
The right didn’t create this reservoir of fear, anger and hate. But it has both tapped into it and roiled it. Indeed, the right-wing mass hysteria is what sociologists call a “moral panic.” It occurs when a society is undergoing a wrenching transformation. Somebody then comes along and creates a “folk devil” both to provide an explanation for bad conditions, real or imagined, and a target. Kill the devil; eliminate the bad conditions. But the right has no serious incentive to help solve or ameliorate these problems. Indeed, as with the reelection of Obama, it will benefit from their continuation or worsening.
So animosity has now reached levels both hysterical and historical. The last time anything like this occurred was during World War II, when at least it was aimed outward. Before that? Just before the Civil War.
Back then a tall bearded Republican declared, ”A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Just another one of those idiot, moron, “duplicitous bastard” RINOs.
Analogizing to the Civil War is, of course, extremely inflammatory and risks one being accused of being ridiculous, but I’m not sure I disagree at all. With a few notable exceptions, the right does not appear willing to actually do the hard work of advancing an agenda if that means abandoning the ability to be the ones standing on the street corner condemning the perceived evil. Even the ones who do want to do something find themselves hamstrung by the fact that any perceived deviation from orthodoxy on their part will result in a problem on their right flank, just as Bob Bennett, Lisa Murkowski, Richard Lugar, and Orrin Hatch about that. Since conservatives will never have the super-majority control of the Federal Government that they would need to push their agenda forward unimpeded, they will either have to recognize that the path that have chosen was a mistake, or the will fade into irrelevance.
Richard Hofstadter’s “Paranoid Style in American Politics” (1963) and “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” (1965) should be required reading for pundits today. The same trends we deplore today have been around since the founding of the Republic when Freemasons were hiding behind every tree waiting to do…something really bad…to America. And suspicions about city-dwellers have been around since before we had real cities: a real American was a FARMER, dammit!
The only differences between then and today are technology (when all you had was a hand-printing press your distribution circle was pretty limited) and money (there’s now big bucks in what’s been called wingnut welfare). William Kristol’s career is pretty much inexplicable with both these differences.
Fumento is incredibly naive. He acts like the eight years of the Bush presidency never happened and there were never 6 million mentions of Bush and Nazis on Google before Obama was ever elected.
The 2000 election pushed the left over the edge. They spent eight years dragging discourse into the mud. Professional operations like HuffPo took that to a new level where ever comment, facial tic or joke by the right got attacked. And so now the response is the fault of conservatives?
You must be joking.
This is the culmination of Lee Attwater’s Southern Strategy which resulted in a base that requires a constant source of red meat to keep them engaged.
@Dan Gainor: No, it’s not the fault of conservatives, just as the article states;
Today’s conservatives are so in need of blaming for everything. The only person they can blame for their behavior is themselves. Yes other people may have behaved poorly before, but you choose how you respond.
Dan Gainor is incredibly naive. Remember the election of 1992? And a few years later Hilary Clinton murdered Vince Foster?
Well, this is a representative government. If you don’t like how the GOP behaves in Congress, vote them out.
… ah, that’s the action you’ve been supporting, right? No, wait …
Sullivan, Frum, Bartlett, this guy.
But hey…who needs W. F. Buckley when you have Rush Limbaugh and Allen West?
The GOP has turned into a joke.
We elected Bush to a second term…so absolutely anything is possible…including a President Romeny. But I just can’t imagine this party in control of anything. Look at Congress…it has accomplished nothing since being elected but the downgrade of the Nation’s credit rating.
Dan Gainor is pretending 8 years of the Bush administration never happened…there were no unpaid-for tax cuts exploding the deficit, no unpaid-for war of choice in Iraq, no unpaid-for expansion of the Medicare entitlement, no torture, no Abu Gahrib, no outing of a covert operative, no Enron, no Mineral Management Services, no 9% contraction of the GDP in a single month, no economy shedding 700,000 jobs a month…it was just Liberals dragging discourse through the mud…none of the criticism were justified by the rank incompetence and foolishness of Bush and Cheney.
If there were 6 million mentions of Bush and the Nazis, surely you can cite say 6 of them that came from people as prominent on the left as Breitbart, Coulter, Limbaugh and Malkin are on the right. Throw in one from an elected official like Congressman West.
With a few notable exceptions, the right does not appear willing to actually do the hard work of advancing an agenda if that means abandoning the ability to be the ones standing on the street corner condemning the perceived evil.
Standing on the corner screaming has become quite profitable in recent years. Unless the American Conservative and George Will start raking in the millions by being thoughtful conservatives, nothing will change. The base isn’t interested in actually governing and accomplishing policy goals, they are interested in destroying the enemy.
The reason they will fail where others have succeeded in history is their enemy, their “folk devil,” is not a small segment of society that is already widely distrusted by many, a scapegoat, but rather anyone and everyone who does not achieve absolute purity on multiple levels of ever-changing orthodoxy (how’s that for an oxymoron?). That’s a recipe for self-destruction. Thank goodness they can’t see that, or they could be a real danger to our society.
it is interesting how you ignored the 8 year Hate Fest that characterized the Republican response to the the Clinton Presidency.
The fact is Conservatives have not considered the last two elected Democratic presidents to be legitimate. As soon as Clinton was elected Republicans did everything they could to remove him from office, and it culminated in the impeachment. Obama? As soon as he was elected we had the Birther’s (at one point a majority of the GOP) challenging Obama’s legitimacy.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but did Democrats initiate impeachment proceedings against GW Bush once they took control of the House in 2007? I don’t think so.
Random shit on the internet is not the same as the most popular public figures and leadership of a political party.
Also, Clinton was a drug-dealing pimp. Remember?
Yet, the new right is just one bad-decision-by-a-Greek-politician away from Republican control of all three branches of the government.
Since there is apparently no political price to be paid for crossing the line, is there any surprise that it is done so frequently?
I’m not terribly impressed by Mr. Fumento’s come to Jesus moment. He hasn’t actually realized the policies are nutty – he’s still a believer. He just thinks the message is out of whack. Just now. In 2012.
Well knock me over with a feather.
@Dan Gainor: “He acts like the eight years of the Bush presidency never happened and there were never 6 million mentions of Bush and Nazis on Google before Obama was ever elected.”
And just to be precise, the “Bush is a Nazi” stuff didn’t start until after the invasion of Iraq, the PATRIOT ACT and a bunch of other things. Some liberals reacted hysterically to those things, but they were reacting to stuff that actually happened. The conservative hysteria about Obama is in response to…what? Him cutting taxes? Vigrously killing suspected terrorists? Embracing a Republican concept of health care reform?
Please excuse the redundant posting (I also mentioned this on the other thread). If you liked the Fumento article, you should also see what Mike Lofgren wrote last year: “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.” I think he shows deeper insight into what the GOP is all about.
The Bush is a Nazi stuff also wasn’t mainstream Democratic thought.
Nearly 40% of Republicans think Obama was born in another country, and around 60% think he’s a socialist. Party leaders call Obama a socialist. I don’t remember Democratic leaders calling Bush a Nazi. Maybe I missed some.
I’m suspicious of guys who take years to see what has been obvious for a very long time. The right lost its mind. That’s not news. As noted above, Dan Burton was shooting melons in an attempt to prove Mr. and Mrs. Clinton had shot Vince Foster what, 15 years ago?
Conservatism was hijacked by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, turned into a profitable commodity built on white panic, and that didn’t happen yesterday.
But hey, better late than never.
And yet this man is a neocon who represents the worst element of the Republican Party. Seems his main criticism of the New Right is the growing element of people who are skeptical of wreckless wars and foreign adventure. Fumento just loves endless war
@michael reynolds: Isn’t it funny? It has been clear since all of the Bill Clinton Murderer & Drug Runner crap that the GOP has been running straight for a cliff ledge. Apparently, you don’t get credit if you pointed this out in 1994.
Just like the Iraq war, where everyone who said it was a bad idea from the start were just stupid dirty hippies and ignored. Only those who supported it at first and then realized it was a hopeless clusterfuck 3,000 deaths into it were invited on the Sunday chat shows and given big op-eds.
@Scott F.: I’ll make it easy, in small words so you can understand, MSNBC, Olbermann. Just for starters.
@MBunge: Hmm, Obama spending nearly a trillion dollars on a stimulus that hundreds of economists said wouldn’t help the economy. Or maybe Obama forcing nationalized healthcare on an unwilling public. Or maybe his trouncing the Constitution in a variety of ways up to and including forcing Catholic institutions to deny their faith.
Can someone help me out with a wingnut to English translation here? “hundreds of economists”, “forcing”, “nationalized”, “unwilling”, etc, none of those words would seem to mean what the author thinks they mean.
@David M: Sorry, next time I will write at kindergarten level for you.
The problem with Fumento’s piece, ironically enough, is that by focusing on the fringe and on one random and minor event concerning Romney he undercuts his major thesis, which does actually have merit.
West is a back bencher with no real power and no real influence. Nobody outside of the blogosphere — which is not representative of the larger body of conservatives, much less Republicans — ever would mention West and VP in the same sentence. If West held a statewide office then, yeah, there would be some merit to focusing on him. Otherwise it’s somewhat ridiculous. It would be like a Republican pointing to the likes of McDermott, Rush, Sanchez, Moran, Conyers, Waxman, McKinney, Kuninich, et al., concerning the political left.
Castigating Romney for not rebuking a prospective voter at a town hall meeting is a bit off the rails, especially given the cited circumstances. I mean, sure, at Salon.com that idea makes sense, but that’s like saying in a psych ward being bipolar is a badge of honor. Read the quoted exchange again between that woman and Romney. Let’s go ahead and assume it’s not a fake but accurate report. Even still Romney did the same thing that anybody would have done. He answered her question. He didn’t address the throw off line of ad hominem within that question. That is a normal response. That’s how normal people communicate.
Beitbart never ran for public office, never held public office, never had any power, never had any real influence. To focus on Breitbart is analogous to a Republican pointing at Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz, or Chris Matthews, as talismans of the left.
In any event, there have been problems on the right since the days of the John Birch Society. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Only the names have changed and the microphones have gotten louder. Ultimately, however, unless and until the likes of Angle, O’Donnell, West, etc., attain leadership positions within the GOP, it’s really much ado about not so much. Until that time, if ever, color me unalarmed.
The same Catholic institutions who accepted the same conservative and republican-based insurance mandates in the states (and did not exercise opt-out clauses) are now being forced to deny their faith because a Democratic President proposed them?
No wonder the Catholic Church hierarchy, the same one that countenanced a child molestation scandal of biblical proportion, is widely seen as hypocritical and phony in their opposition to the President on this issue.
@al-Ameda: I can always tell when Catholic bashers know nothing when they immediately go after the church and accuse it of child molestation. To do so shows ignorance of the concept of the sacrament of confession, forgiveness and more.
And no, not all Catholic institutions accepted such a mandate and many are not run by people who adhere to their Catholic faith in anything reflecting what the church says. Hence, more than 40 filing suit about it.
Sorry Dan, I am a Catholic, and the Church long ago ceded moral authority on many issues. the Curch is acting in a transparently partisan political manner on this insurance mandate issue. they accepted the mandates in the states and they oppose it now because it is politically expedient for them to do so. They’ve put their chips on the GOP in the November election.
Sorry, next time I will write at kindergarten level for you.
Are you sure you can jump that many grade levels? Pace yourself.
@al-Ameda: You claim you are Catholic, but you treat the church like it’s the enemy. So I will treat your comments as they deserve to be, anti-Catholic. And, given that Obama has violated their 1st Amendment rights, I don’t blame them if they oppose him in 2012.
@Dan Gainor: OK, I’ll pretend to take this seriously:
False, the stimulus spending was approx $550 billion and the tax cuts were approx $275 billion
False, the majority of mainstream economists believe the stimulus had a positive impact.
False again. Obama did not force anything, Congress passed a law with a super-majority in support. Health care was not nationalized. A majority of the public favors keeping or strengthening Obamacare.
False, Catholic institutions are exempted from the recent birth control regulations.
Pretty impressive, I’m fairly confident not a single thing in your post was true, although I have to give you credit for knowing the President’s name.
How are my comments anti-Catholic? (1) The Catholic Church did countenance a child molestation scandal, one that most (not all, but most) Catholics would agree weakened the perceived and actual moral authority of the Church, and (2) Church hierarchy accepted in many states, insurance mandates that they now purport to be outraged by – that is true also.
Anti Hypocritical Church Hierarchy? Sure.
@David M: Where to begin. Your total for stimulus is off by a couple hundred billion. You must work in DC. http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/bailouttracker/
When you spend more than you have, every penny you commit in some way or another costs taxpayers today, tomorrow and forever till it’s paid. Our debt and deficit are out of control and neither party is for reining them in enough for things to work.
Funny, Cato ran a huge ad with 250 economists opposing the stimulus and got hundreds more to sign on at its website. Opposing economists still oppose while NYT economists still want to spend trillions more.
Actually, polls show Americans don’t want Obamacare, even now. He used the bully pulpit and the media which is in his pocket to force through something majority opposed.
No, institutions are NOT exempted. It’s just an accounting gimmick. And if you doubt my view, why not ask Catholic leaders. Oh, they might be busy because they are suing Obama over it.
@al-Ameda: Funny, you claim to be Catholic but ignore the sacrament of Confession. You might try reading about it and then debate again when you know something.
You are combining multiple programs, some predating the Obama Presidency with your link, while my numbers were for the stimulus only. If you are talking about things other than the stimulus, you should say so.
Cato’s list of “economists” is not worth much, and most decidedly not the mainstream view.
You are misinformed as usual, as a majority of the county supports Obamacare or something stronger and more liberal, and has for a while now. Counting people who would like health care reform to have included single payer with people who want the entire law repealed and not replaced makes no sense.
You may not like the exemption for Catholic-affiliated institutions, but it is there and exists. They are not paying for birth control, end of story.
The bail outs (most of them begun by George W. Bush) are not the stimulus package. Bail outs are a debate worth having, but they aren’t all Obama’s doing so it is dishonest to blame him for all of them.
The stimulus package was supported by the overwhelming majority of economists, including Nobel Prize winners not named Krugman. Even the Wall Street Journal’s survey of economists showed that a majority either supported the stimulus or thought it should be larger.
The people who have decided to “mention West and VP in the same sentence” include Cain, Palin, Gingrich and Nikki Haley. Palin said “top of my list is Allen West.” Those four people are definitely “outside of the blogosphere” and are indeed “representative of the larger body of conservatives [and] Republicans.”
Do you have to make it so easy?
@David M: That the stimulus ended up costing more than originally advertised is simply fact. And that you don’t like Cato economists doesn’t bother me in the least.
Except that no one is being forced to “deny their faith.” No one is forcing you to hire a BC user. If a religious institution thinks that it’s immoral to fund BC use, then it can and should refrain from hiring BC users. This is a simple solution to the problem they are whining about.
These institutions are perfectly content to hire BC users, even though they are then paying salaries which effectively fund BC use (and there is no moral distinction between funding BC use via salary as compared with via an employee benefit; they are both forms of compensation). They already have this moral problem, which they are making no effort to address. Here’s the most parsimonious explanation: they don’t care that much. Which means that no one else should take their complaint seriously.
@David M: 72% seem to think Obamacare is unconstitutional. That’s a pretty strong majority. I know. facts are pesky: http://www.gallup.com/poll/152969/Americans-Divided-Repeal-2010-Healthcare-Law.aspx
And, given 43 Catholic institutions are suing, they seem to think it doesn’t exist. And, given it’s THEIR freedom at stake, I vote with them.
Shorter Dan: If you add things that aren’t the stimulus to the stimulus, the cost increases, so I don’t like
I’ve consistently claimed there was mainstream support for the stimulus, and the opposition to it was partisan. You seem to be confused which side of that divide the CATO economists are on.
I can’t think of a more meaningless statistic. Any survey that simply asks “repeal / keep” is useless, as people that want the law changed and strengthened (single payer, public option, medicare for all) should not be included with people who want the law repealed and not replaced.
What I want to ask them is why they not only tolerate, but actually run cover for priests who are raping young boys. Until the church deals with this, they have no moral high ground. None.
Just a picky note about this. Obama didn’t “force” healthcare on anyone. Neither in fact did Congress.
Or to put it a different way, if healthcare is forced, then every law that a government passes is forced.
Like it or not, it was legally passed by duly elected representatives of the people. And yes, you can argue that the shift in congressional leadership was a reaction to that. Perhaps even this upcoming election will be.
But ultimately, the law was passed via democratic means, and if it is unwanted it will be ended by the means laid out in the Constitution.
Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean its “forced.”
No offense, but given that the entire question of constitutionality rests on complex legal issues — and divides constitutional experts — pretending that a survey of the general population is any guide to whether or not it’s constitutional is absurd.
Or to ask in a different way, should the Supreme Court uphold the law in part or in full does that mean that they got it wrong? I.e. that the average population understand constitutional law better than the supreme court?
@Dan Gainor: Money spent can’t cost more than was spent and there was no second or supplemental stimulus. You don’t appear to have an understanding of fiscal operations.
“And, given 43 Catholic institutions are suing, they seem to think it doesn’t exist. And, given it’s THEIR freedom at stake, I vote with them.”
And about 98% of Catholic women of childbearing age have used contraceptives. I confirmed this with the HR director of Catholic Charities for a large southern state. So do we support the people, or the institutions?
Funny, but you have a problem with understanding just what the Sacraments are for.
So tell me, why would I need to go to Confession for the transgressions and sins of Church Hierarchy with respect to the child molestation perpetrated by Church priests?
@Dan Gainor: Shorter Dan Gainor: If you think the Pope was wrong for shielding child molesters, you hate the baby Jesus.
Let’s see if got this right….when the subject of child molestations by the clergy was raised, Dan Gainor of bumfuckegypt didn’t condemn the actions, rather he delves into the sacrament of confession….in other words….the Priests can just confess their sin, say a few hail marys and voila….all is forgiven, it never happen, move-a-long, nothing to see here….heck, under that scenario, Dan Gainor of bumfuckegypt is free to commit any short-eye act with the knowledge of the sacrament of confession riding shotgun…..nice….
@anjin-san: Again, your ignorance of Catholicism means discussing it with you is like discussing Latin with someone who barely grasps Pig Latin.
@WR: If I known this was a complete RINO zoo, I would brought more treats for the animals.
Your hatred for Catholics oozes from your post.
@al-Ameda: Now you are just being deliberately dense. When the offenders confess, they are told go forth and sin no more. That is part of the sacrament. Your sins are forgiven and you get a new lease on life. This isn’t about you, shocker I know.
@steve: And here’s to your bogus stat: http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/98-percent-of-catholic-women-use-birth-control-oh-really/question-2525447/
Let’s see if got this right….when the subject of child molestations by the clergy was raised, Dan Gainor of bumf*ckegypt didn’t condemn the actions, rather he delves into the sacrament of confession….in other words….the Priests can just confess their sin, say a few hail marys and voila….all is forgiven, it never happen, move-a-long, nothing to see here….heck, under that scenario, Dan Gainor of bumf*ckegypt is free to commit any short-eye act with the knowledge of the sacrament of confession riding shotgun…..nice….
The article you’re citing says this:
Is that materially different from the statement you rejected? No, it’s not. The “sexually experienced” part is obviously implied, even if not stated.
@Dan Gainor: You’re outclassed and outsmarted Dan. Give it up. But I must say, watching mattb, jukebox, ben, peter and wr smack you around for awhile has been amusing. You should be thankful Michael Reynolds didn’t show up.
@Dan Gainor: First of all, I can’t be a Rino. I have never been a Republican, I never will be a Republican — not only in name only.
And no, I don’t hate Catholics at all. But I despise the current pope, his criminal conspiracy to protect men who raped children, even if it meant destroying the victims, and I loathe the way he is trying to use the power of his position to take the church back a hundred years so that it exists only to service the rich and powerful. And I have nothing but contempt for the right wing bishops who pick and choose which sins they’ll condemn — freaking out about sexuality while giving a free pass to wars of choice and the execution of innocent men.
@Dan Gainor: “Now you are just being deliberately dense. When the offenders confess, they are told go forth and sin no more. That is part of the sacrament. Your sins are forgiven and you get a new lease on life.”
Is that why priests who raped children were sent off to new parishes where they could rape more children? Because once they were told to sin no more, the church leaders just believed that would be the end of it, so there was no need to alert the authorites to multiple felonies, or even to keep the offenders away from children?
Say, if I were to murder six people tonight and confess it to a priest, would that mean it was okay for me to murder more people tomorrow?
@ Dan Gainor
Ah, so… if I only had a better understanding of Catholicism, I would be ok with priests who are serial abusers/rapists of children – is that it?
Perhaps you could show what is factually incorrect about my earlier statement, and explain exactly how my POV displays ignorance. Think you can manage that? I really want to know what it is that lies beyond my veil of ignorance that makes is ok for men in positions of trust and power to, you know, rape children. And why it is excusable that their superiors not only fail to hold them to account, but actually act as enablers.
And Dan, before you, yet again, trot out the sacrament of Confession again, I remind you that this is a nation of laws. Child molestation is illegal. Rape is illegal. They are some of the worst crimes on the books, and those who commit them are despised even in prisons.
Perhaps God forgives even these sins. I really have no idea, I don’t claim to know God’s thoughts. But here in the realm of mortals, the concept of justice is a cornerstone of civilization. And going to church to seek forgiveness does not place one beyond the demands of justice. This is not a complicated issue.
But maybe you are just ok with the buggering of young boys. I certainly don’t hear even a tiny hint of rage at these acts in your remarks. Your anger seems to be reserved for those who want to see these criminals brought to justice.
@Peterh: Wow, Peter, I had taken some of the people here to be intelligent. Clearly, you are an exception. I think sane humans universally condemn child molestation. That concept must have passed you by.
But to condemn a faith because it practices its faith and part of that faith is to forgive sinners is outright bigotry. Good luck with that.
@WR: Ah, so you are just a doctrinaire lib who hates anyone on the right. So, I guess that excuses your ignorance bigotry.
@anjin-san: Yes, we are a nation of laws under the Constitution that doesn’t allow people to violate their faith. Their faith here believes in the concept of sin and forgiveness.
What’s warped is that you want to blame the church instead of the cabal of pedophiles who abused that faith.
Conservaitves are mad because politicians who ran as conservatives have been such massive failures. Maybe when the economy is booming, voters will tolerate bad leadership. However, when the economy is doing badly, the voters are are doing to be angry.
Maybe the conservatives voters are mad and frustrated because of the horrible leadership of the Bush family. When politicians run on smaller government and fiscal sanity, then voters will get mad when the government expands, the deficits get bigger, and the government treats everyone like they are criminals.
If conservatives leaders want to lessen the anger and frustration of conservatives, then they must achieve real results while acting as conservatives.
Progressives have made a career for 40 years in nitpicking the right without making any real proposals. Look at how progressives want to raise taxes by a huge amount while avoiding actually talking about how will have to pay and what the effects on the economy. It is easier to scream greedy rather than discussion real fiscal issues.
@Rob in CT:
Isn’t it progressives who believe in fantasy land. How do progressives plan on lowering the impact on the environment while maintaining open borders and unlimited immigration. How do progressives plan on having the U.S. compete in the world economy while the poorest people have the most children and the richest have the fewest. How do progressives plan on having high paying jobs while regulating most job creators, other than the government, out of existence?
Watching Chris Hayes on MSNBC this morning, it was humorous to watch five private university graduates talk about how the public schools are great if they just want more money and more effort was spend on busing white kids to bad schools.
In 1992, the Democrats had a discussion about how to have employees without employers. Now in 2012, the Democrats are having the same discussion. How can the U.S. compete in the world marketplace with the party that produces urban decay. If more cities are like Detroit or Los Angeles, will we all be better off?
As I’ve told you before, this “unlimited immigration” stuff just makes my eyes glaze over. I can’t be the only one.
You are telling us right up front that you have no grip on reality. No country that I’m aware of has “unlimited immigration,” where you just show up and you are in, as a citizen.
The policies that virtually all progressives support is everyone who is currently in the U.S. gets to stay, everyone who makes it across the border in the future gets to stay, everyone who made it into the U.S. qualifies for free education, free college, free health care, and ethnic set asides.
Progressives solution for unlimited legal immigration is unlimited legal immigration.
Unless progressives are willing to give specifics on how the number of immigration will be limited, then the default becomes that progressives support unlimited immigration and thus, open borders.
One of the reason that many conservatives are mad at RINOs is that RINOs seem to care more about illegal immigrants and cheap labor than about producing more private sector jobs that can support a middle class or better lifestyle.
@superdestroyer: Actually, I think most Americans are disgusted that GOP and Dems both overspend. Bush bought off Dems with overspending and they helped. But that didn’t stop under Obama.
So the Bush blamers, who seem common in this thread, seem naive and think he was an absolute dictator or something.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t make the effects of the sin go away. If a given priest confesses, his sins may well be forgiven but God does not retroactively go back and time and make the molestation that took place go away. The victims and their loved ones still have to deal with it. Further, just because the confession and forgiveness has taken place doesn’t mean that the church hierarchy had to cover out the sins.
Forgiveness of sins does not take away the responsibility for the actions in question.
Glad you took the time to “Google” Sacraments and inform yourself.
Now, tell me why it is that everything will be okay of the Church collectively gives itself a ‘time out’ and goes to Confession? That will will somehow result in the Church regaining its moral authority?
As long as you actually said the 10 Hail Marys and 10 Our Fathers that the Priest asked to you to do, then yes, you would be free to go forth and sin again. That’s what Confession is there for.
Think of it this way, Confession is the original Etch-A- Sketch
Democrats do not care about the level of government spending. Look at how Democrats cheer Krugman’s call for $2 trillion dollar deficits. All Democrats care about it not getting stuck with the cost of a massive government entitlement system.
Bush and Rove believed that there was a free lunch and all the Bush Clan (along with Hastert and Senate majority leader Frist) care about was handing out goodies to their friends while not paying attention to the long term consequences.
Molestation, and subsequent cover ups appears to be a systemic problem within the church. It is not a few bad apples.
You might want to slow down and try and write a more coherent sentence.
I note that you have not explained how my first post shows me to be ignorant in matters regarding the church. If you are going to show up and start talking about ignorance and lack of intelligence on the part of poster here, you might want to do a bit better in those areas yourself – so far nothing you have said is impressive. We already have enough guys who spout right wing boilerplate and then pat themselves on the back for being clever.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Completely correct. The Lord’s forgiveness does not trump Man’s justice. Thus while the individual who seeks forgiveness may be cleansed of sins, they still must submit to the Justice system.
Note the “must” there — you cannot seek true forgiveness without paying the necessary tolls — which includes (a) publicly admitting the crime, (b) seeking the forgiveness of the victim, and (c) seeking the forgiveness of the community. To admit the sin to God, but continue to hide from the real world repercussions is fundamentally not good enough.
@Steven L. Taylor: Sins revealed in a confessional can’t be revealed elsewhere.
@al-Ameda: Google? Try 12 years of Catholic school. And moral authority clearly exists to about a billion Catholics, even if you are not one.
@anjin-san: People who think it’s a cover up again show their ignorance of Catholic doctrine that forgives a sinner and keeps the sins within the confines of the confessional.
How do you know how many priests that are molesters have confessed? How could you possibly know? My guess is that you are quite ignorant of the specifics of this matter. You are simply making an assumption.
The sins can’t be revealed by the person who accepts the confessional. But that same person can urge the person who is confessing to confess those sins to the authorities. And that should have been done in these cases.
Additionally, at a minimum the Church officials could have drummed these individuals out of the Church — permanently removing them from contact with future potential victims of abuse.
The issue is that some Church officials felt that there was no need to have the priests who had sexually abused members of their congregation to (a) inform the police, (b) inform their current congregations, or (c) inform the congregations/churches that they were sent to.
The result, as we now know, was that many of the priests in the wrong remained in the church were shuffled between dioceses by knowning overseers who intentionally kept everyone in the dark because it was for “the good of the organized Church” — not for the good of the communities the Church served. And the end result, in a number of cases, was the same individuals continued to commit the same crimes just in different areas.
People who think it was a cover up have seen the preponderance of evidence that demonstrates that coverups took place.
Further they, as I mentioned, note that the Confessor could have strongly compelled the Priests to go to the police or other local authorities. It also ignores the fact that in some cases other Priests suspected that abuse was going on and said nothing.
Finally it ignores the fact that many priests were sent to retreats that were specifically intended to help them overcome their desires and weaknesses before being reassigned to new Diocese which had no knowledge about the previous concerns about certain Priests behaviors.
For those who would like a more fact based view of the situation, I suggest starting at the Wikipedia page:
@Dan Gainor: “Sins revealed in a confessional can’t be revealed elsewhere. ”
By the priest taking the confession. But he can tell the sinner that the only way to be absolved is to turn himself into the authorities.
Or are you now making the ludicrous claim that if a child rapist confesses to a priest, he’s then forbidden to confess to the police?
In particular those think it was a cover-up because of cases like Cardinal Law in Boston where investigations found that:
Note the part that I italicized.
Unless you want to try and convince us that all of those discussions and all of that planning took place in the confessionals, I have a hard time accounting for how you can defend the actions of Cardinal Law in this particular case.
Further, before you suggest that Cardinal Law was simply a bad apple, realize that you then need to explain why the heck the Church kept him on and transferred him to the Vatican versus publicly separating themselves from him.
And the victims? They live with these sins, every day of their lives. Go tell them the sin stays within the confines of the confessional.
Guess they just don’t count. At least in your book.
Yo…dan gainor of bumf*ckegypt….how you responded earlier to me is of little relevance and given how you keep digging your hole deeper in justifying forgiveness over the atrocities melted out by your faith actually makes me stronger in my revulsion of your ilk….you’re sick….your faith is sick…..dan gainor of bumf*ckegypt, I hope you die by fire…..you’re just not worthy of the tag of human….
As I say, “no grip on reality.”
Obama’s Record-High Deportations Draw Hispanic Scorn
@Dan Gainor: Here’s a more recent case of a leader of the Catholic Church claiming the Neurinberg defense about the suppression of internal information about Sex Abusers that was clearly circulating outside of the confession booth:
Then you ought to know better.
However, the fundamental flaw in your overall reasoning (and it is a big one): these crimes were found out via the confessional. The notion that the Church could not better manage this situation and punish the malefactors involved is simply nonsense and one cannot use the sacrament of the confess as an excuse.
Dan, I am not a Catholic (anymore). The Church was my enemy (and once again is).
I was 11 years old when first sentenced. For 2 years I and my classmates endured abuse at the hands of a Nun and no one, NO ONE, would stop her….. until finally, FINALLY…. she ripped a child’s face apart with the keys in her hand (87 stitches).
I found out very young what courage was: It was an 11 year old boy standing in the face of an unmerciful beating as a woman twice his size in black and white and wielding undeniable power and a yard stick tried to tell him what to do, and he answered,
That was his only weapon. The word “No.” And for using that word, he was inflicted with 10-20 minutes of physical abuse and pain.
I would like to say that I was that 11 year old boy, but I wasn’t. I was not that brave. But I did learn what true courage was that day…. and I learned the true price of courage that day.
Eventually I, and most of my classmates, learned the fact that “What are they going to do? Send us to Sister Kathleen?” and began to terrorize the entire school.
I am not proud of some of my actions during those years. I did some pretty horrendous things then, but even the 8th graders avoided us… what were they going to do…. Beat us up? We already got that.
(and if you think, “What can a 6th grader do?” I know of one class who thru their 83 yr old Nun out a 3rd floor window and insisted…. all of them…. in individual interviews with the police…. That “She jumped.”)
So again, F*ck you. Their religion does not trump my freedom. They are an ongoing criminal conspiracy (anyone check out what is going on in KC of late?) Screw you. F*cking little boys up the *$$ is not a religious right. If it is…..
Get me out of here.