Doin’ the right thing. the white stuff

Simple. A simple government.Common Sense. “Family Values” Its a common refrain that wraps up a political agenda into a wider context of right wing reactionary politics in which the apparent simplicity of the message is not detachable from a politics of exclusion, racism, militarism and acts as subtext, all wrapped in a particular vision of “God” Mike Huckabee is on the book hustings, peddling his “Do the Right Thing” sequel, ”A Simple Government” as a thinking man’s Sarah Palin, or the used car salesman populism of Pat Buchanan.

The subtitle “Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don’t!)” sounds very much like the twelves steps of AA and it gives the reader an inkling of pretty dumbed down soft demagoguery. You can read the twelve steps from the   a onetime Baptist preacher on how to “fix”  government.It seems catered to the white trash ; pablum to keep them dancing around the bonfire praying for some vanities to torch, but not fiery enough to ignite a peasant uprising.  The Huckabee vision is not marginal however: it really points to a situation of irreconcilable  differences and the potential “civil war” peaceful divorce that seems inevitable.

Read More: an estimated 55,000 people turned out for Saturday rallies at the capitol, mostly in opposition to Walker's plan. Several thousand more packed the building on Sunday, sending up a rousing cheer when a group of firefighters -- who, along with police, are exempt from Walker's proposed bill -- joined them in a show of support. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Walker denied complaints that he was trying to break up public employee unions. But he said that collective bargaining has hindered local governments' efforts to manage their finances "time and time again."Read More:

“In an interview with radio talk show host Michael Medved that took place on Monday but that’s getting traction today, Huckabee said that Portman’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy was “troubling.” “It’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea” of having children without being married, Huckabee said on the program….”Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing.” …”You know, right now, 75 percent of black kids in this country are born out of wedlock. 61 percent of Hispanic kids… across the board, 41 percent of all live births in America are out of wedlock births. And the cost of that is simply staggering.” Read More:

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Its all very predictable. Blame the victim which automatically throws out a straight flush of the race card. Separate but equal. A two-state solution. Rather than reflect that the problems Huckabee belabors are endemic to a lack of leadership which has always chosen to throw money at a problem instead of a systematic review of the relationship between leadership and responsibility. The following is a critique by ballet critic Katharine Kanter on the fact only 3,000 people attend ballet in France, and the art finds itself dying. The dynamic describes the same process in America  and the reactionary politics of the Mike Huckabee stripe  that are spawned from scavenging among Church parking lots looking for bones and handouts.

"Mike Huckabee suggests that political messages are not what really matters in his Christmas message. Huckabee has received a bit of flack for the way the white bookcase in the background forms a cross -- a subliminal message?" Read More:

Kanter: He will not know that most of the Africans and North Africans he sees live, or rather vegetate, when they are not working at sub-standard wages, either in Ghettos like the Goutte d’Or, or in what are, quite literally, Bantustans. Built in the 1970s over an hour’s train journey from the centre of every major town, the Bantustans are fetid tower blocks that the French call “rabbit hutches”. Before they were put up, the living conditions of immigrants often resembled those in a concentration camp. I would suggest that readers who doubt that, see a 1997 documentary film entitled by Yamina Benguigui, entitled Mémoire d’Immigrés.

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France is a country of Apartheid. Individuals born in Africa or North Africa, whose parents or grandparents were, or who profess the Muslim faith, are not considered to be truly French. They “cannot be trusted”. But, if we are to go by the latest statistics provided by La Documentation française, roughly eight percent of the population officially profess the Muslim faith in France, i.e. something like 4.2 million, out of a total population of sixty million. Religion aside, individuals of African and North African origin or of so-called “mixed” race, represent, at this point, well over ten percent of the population overall, and probably more like fifteen percent, although here, no precise statistics are available….

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"Check out Kung-Fu Election. Choose your candidate and your weapon and proceed to dominate the filed with extreme prejudice.I played as Mike Huckabee and totally decapitated both Mitt Romny and John Edwards, but I hear that Obama-san is a real sonuvabitch to beat. Read More:

Huckabee, as a preacher, knows he dynamics of exciting the senses of the soul. There is an obvious appeal to those whose critical faculties are a burden and are almost willing to deliver themselves to authority. The appeal bears some resemblance to the fear-mongering and hysteria that Philip Roth wrote about in ”The Plot Against America” and how reactionary politics from main street to mall street is always based on an exploitation of the tolerant and by extension the subtle and complex since it contradicts a large part of the right dogma based on ” one fixed point of truth”. There is a sense of eternal damnation, persecution, if that elusive upper hand could be grasped.

"I wrote about Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appearing on the Tyra Banks Show. The quasi schadenfreude I experience when watching this talk-show continues, as Tyra continues bridging worlds that are as diametrically mismatched as ketchup on cornflakes. It gets so uncomfortable on that set that I often bury my head under covers, just watching from my sofa." Read More:

…Open the thousand-strong binding of the Bottin Administratif, the Year Book of France’s mandarins. Flick to the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the Culture Ministry, at cabinet level, at Directorate level. Try to find a Muslim name, an Arab-sounding name, or an African name. Do keep trying.

In the 18-to-25 age cohort, even officialdom would admit that roughly half the youth of North African and African origin is, de facto, unemployed, unless one calls delivering an occasional pizza, or unloading an occasional piece of furniture, a proper job. In France’s Bantustans, just as in South Africa, dealing in dope and weapons has become the sole avenue of advancement. Apart from the “shoot’em on sight” law-and-order crowd, the dominant attitude amongst the Mandarins is that of Mitterrand’s protégé Jacques Lang, formerly Culture, now Education Minister. In the 1980′s, Lang set up Graffiti Ateliers (sic) in the Bantustans. These are the people who have been throwing money hand over fist at Modern Dance, and are now promoting Hip Hop and Break Dance Studios for the “darkies” in the Bantustans. Read More: a

"Mike Huckabee may or may not win the Republican presidential nomination, but he is certainly giving Sarah Palin a run for her money as chief conservative controversialist. The former Arkansas governor, who consistently polls among the top three potential Republican contenders for 2012, last week matched the former vice-presidential candidate’s knack for grabbing negative headlines when he erroneously claimed Barack Obama was raised in Kenya. He surmised that Obama had, as a youth, been instructed in the evils of British conduct during the Mau Mau rebellion, becoming infused with an anti-colonial, anti-Western attitude. Apart from the fact that Americans, of all people, should not have a problem with anti-colonialism, Obama did not visit Kenya, the land of the father he barely knew, until he was well into his twenties. Under pressure the next day, Huckabee explained he had “misspoken” – a familiar excuse used by American politicians after a colossal gaffe. " Read More:

Mike Huckabee: Why does a person commit a heinous crime—use a deadly weapon to rob someone, vandalize a school, rape a woman, murder a hapless victim for twenty dollars, or steal millions from investors (perhaps including friends and relatives) in a Ponzi scheme? Are these acts caused by incomprehensible wickedness? Are these people just plain bad? No, it’s really very simple. These are people who failed to grasp—or were never off ered—the simplest lessons of self-discipline, respect for others, and a strong sense of human decency. And where should those lessons be taught and learned? It’s not the job of a school, a workplace, or even a church to provide these most basic of life lessons (though we shouldn’t forget about them there either). And besides, even when we do rely on institutions for these lessons, they usually fail.

No, these lessons cannot be taught by a teacher, boss, or minister. In order to create truly valuable and respectful citizens, these lessons need to be taught at home. By the time we enter school or start a job, we should have learned how to behave. I’m not usually a pessimist, as you probably know, but I’m afraid that if a child has not learned to behave by age four or so, he or she never will. Read More: a

"During an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday night, Huckabee called RomneyCare the “800 pound gorilla in the room for him” and said that the Massachusetts governor should just fess up and admit his health care program’s not working. “The position he should take is to say: ‘Look, the reason Obamacare won’t work is because we’ve tried it at the state level and we know it won’t work,’” Huckabee told AP. “It cost more, waiting times were higher, quality of care went down, people were greatly dissatisfied and it ended up having almost the polar opposite effect of what was intended.” Despite Huckabee’s assertions, countless surveys found that a majority of resident overwhelmingly approve of the state’s health care overhaul. " Read More:

And inevitably, the specter of Communism, Stalinism has to be dusted off: ….”As parents and even grandparents, what can we do? Simple. We fight back. What happens in our day to the traditional family will determine whether we remain a morally healthy nation of self-reliant families, for the most part, or degenerate into a decadent welfare state of shattered, chaotic, and dependent families….

Tabatha Southey summed Huckabee and his “vote commerce” up brilliantly:That’s why it’s almost painful to watch him speak something I’ve come to think of as “pidgin birther.”Pidgin birther is a cobbled-together language of vote commerce. It allows the speaker to communicate with birthers enough to secure votes without actually going native – which would be fatal in a presidential run. Mr. Huckabee offered another example of the language when, later in the week, he said, “Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas …” This translates, as all pidgin birther does, to: “Obama may be literally American, but he’s not spiritually American.” …

… ( Huckabee): If you think I’m exaggerating, a little history lesson might be in order. (Many of us somehow managed to get a high school diploma even with a meager knowledge of history, but I digress…) In 1917, when the communists seized power in Russia, they immediately and frankly set out to destroy what they saw as the two biggest threats to their authority: religion and the family. According to an article in the July 1926 issue of Atlantic Monthly, the Bolsheviks hated the institution of the family with a fierce passion…. Read More:
Neither of these classes seems to exist over here, in the mass of Protestants. Religion is observed much the way medicine was taken by our fathers in the month of May: It may not do any good, but neither can it do any harm, and anyway, people seem to say, it’s best to abide by the general rule.

In America, Protestantism is astoundingly fissiparous: Sects have divided into an infinite number of subsects. Picture if you will concentric circles around a fixed point, which is the Catholic faith; with each successive circle, religion draws that much closer to pure deism.

Under these circumstances, how does one cope? As far as I can tell, almost all thinking Protestants find themselves mired in doubt. The reformed religion is clearly a species of compromise, the religious equivalent of “representative monarchy”; it may span one era or bridge two, but it is only transitional and is nearing its end.

Protestants of every persuasion — Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Quakers, and a hundred others — form the core of the population. They are practicing and indifferent; they live from day to day, grow accustomed to a peaceful “middle ground,” in which the proprieties are satisfied, if not much else. These sectarians live and die in the wishy-washy, without worrying about the heart of things; they no longer proselytize.

Above them are a handful of Catholics, exploiting the tolerance of their former adversaries but themselves remaining as intolerant as ever, intolerant in the way that “believers” are. For them, there is only one fixed point of truth; eternal damnation lies to either side. They live in the midst of a civil society but won’t associate with the religious groups around them. I already see that their tenets on freedom of conscience comport with those of the European Church and suspect that they would start persecuting if they had the upper hand. These people are mostly poor, but zealous. Their priests are pledged to the cult of sacrifice they’ve embraced, quite unlike Protestant ministers managing religious affairs in a cut-and-dry way. And the Catholic population has multiplied. Many immigrants from Europe add to the number; but conversions abound. New England and the Mississippi basin swarm with them.

It is clear that Protestants who are naturally inclined to religion — the blunt, earnest sorts who have grown weary of sectarian complication but who need religion — despair of finding the truth, and deliver themselves, neatly tied up, into the arms of “authority.” Their critical faculty is a burden that weighs upon them, and they happily cast it off. They become Catholics.

Moreover, Catholicism excites the senses and the soul: it appeals more strongly to common people than the reformed religion. Most converts therefore belong to the working class.

That’s one extreme. At the other is a Protestant sect that is Christian in name only, called “Unitarianism.” Among Unitarians — that is, among those who deny the Trinity and recognize only one God — [Jesus Christ] is seen as an angel, a prophet, or a Socrates. They are pure deists. They invoke the Bible because they would rather not scandalize a largely Christian public, and they hold religious service on Sunday. To judge by the service I attended, one hears verses of Dryden or other English poets about God and the immortality of the soul, then a speech making some moral point. And that’s the end of it. This sect is gaining converts as successfully as Catholicism, but it recruits them from the upper classes. Both thrive at the expense of Protestantism.

It is clear that citizens given to argumentation — Protestants with dispassionate, logical minds, and men of intellect and learning — welcome the opportunity to embrace a philosophical sect that thinly veils their deism.

One therefore sees the two absolute principles of “reason” and “authority” breaching the walls of Protestantism, itself an amalgam of reason and authority. Close observers may find the spectacle pretty much everywhere; but here it is flagrant. Because no institution or body of opinion in America hinders the progress of intellect and passion in this regard, they follow their natural bent.

As I see it, the two extremes are bound to confront each other before long. What will be the ultimate outcome? Here my mind enters a dense fog, and I lose sight of the horizon. Will deism ever suit all classes of a nation, especially those most in need of religion’s interdictions? I’m not convinced of it. I must say that what I observe makes me more inclined than in the past to believe that natural religion, as it is called, can suffice for the upper classes — provided it stands staunchly behind the two or three great verities it teaches, and, with the trappings it borrows from established religion, enables its adherents to profess those truths openly. But the populace, unless it undergoes some radical transformation, will conceive this natural religion to be merely the absence of belief in the afterlife and fall plumb into a doctrine based on self-interest.

Admirable, isn’t it, the feebleness of our nature. One religion sways people’s wills, dominates the imagination, and begets real, profound beliefs. But it divides the human race into the blessed and the damned, creating divisions on earth that ought to exist only in the next life; it fosters intolerance and fanaticism. The other religion preaches tolerance, cleaving to reason, which it makes its symbol, and what is it? An inert fellowship, feckless and almost lifeless.Read More:

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