How can liberals and educated people fight back against religious extremism without seeming intolerant?

Right wing religious folk are interfering in the political process with their superstitious, regressive, dangerous views.

Their support for Republicans is destroying the country and possibly our environment, causing disastrous wars, corruption, torture, economic injustice, climate-change denial, attacks on science, attacks on women’s rights, etc, etc.

Reasonable people need to fight back.

One way to fight back is to go on the offensive and ridicule them by stating the truth:

Most Religion is puerile, superstitious nonsense

Saying that religion is nonsense is akin to saying the emperor has no clothes: most (educated) people know it’s the truth, but people are afraid to say it.

But is ridicule the best way to deal with the religious right? I’m not sure. Maybe it will just antagonize them and drive them to further extremism.

Yet in the long run, I think their superstitious views must be suppressed.  Yes, in the short term, you sometimes have to appease bullies and fools.  But in the long run it’s best to put them in their place and promote wiser viewpoints.  They will fight back, charging their opponents with intolerance or even hate crimes.  So, the campaign to stop religious extremism must be waged skillfully.

By the way, I have nothing against moderate religion. Even within the Catholic Church (which certainly has many reactionary elements), there are many liberal believers who support social justice.   It’s the conservative believers, who often follow literalist interpretations of religious stories, that are aiding the forces of regression.

Along with the long-term strategy of educating people about alternatives to superstition and dogmatism, there are less oppositional approaches, such as the approach of the lefty  religious advocacy group called Faithful America. It aims to reclaim ground from the Religious Right, who want you to believe they have a monopoly on piety.  Faithful America’s latest campaign is to oppose Cardinal Nolan’s apparent endorsement of Romney and Ryan:

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is listed prominently among the invited speakers being used to promote the Values Voters Summit, at which Ryan and a host of other Republican politicians and far-right figures will appear.

The bishops have condemned the Ryan budget as inconsistent with Catholic teaching, because of its “unacceptable cuts” to “essential programs that serve poor and vulnerable people.” So why would Cardinal Dolan even consider appearing with Ryan during the campaign season?

It’s not too late for Cardinal Dolan, who recently called Ryan a “great public servant,” to publicly refuse this invitation and make it clear that he is not in the business of partisan politics. But he needs to hear from thousands of Catholics and other people of faith immediately.

The left should naturally be the allies of Christians and other people of faith.  After all,  according to the Bible, Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.Matthew 19:23-24.

Jesus kicks out the bankers

Jesus kicks out the bankers

The End of Loser Liberalism

Economist and Co-Founder of The Center for Economic and Policy Research Dean Baker has released a free, online edition of his book

The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive

end-of-loser-liberalism

“Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair.

This is not true. Conservatives rely on the government all the time, most importantly in structuring the market in ways that ensure that income flows upwards. The framing that conservatives like the market while liberals like the government puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers.

Listen online here or below to Baker talk with Jay Acroyd on Virtually Speaking.

Listen to internet radio with Jay Ackroyd on Blog Talk Radio

http://www.cepr.net/http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/books/the-end-of-loser-liberalism

Follow @ceprdc @JayAckroyd

 

 

 

In a breathtaking act of betrayal, Democratic Rep. Deb Eddy endorses Republican Steve Litzow

The other day I got a glossy campaign mailing from State Senator Steve Litzow (Republican, 41st LD).  It says front center:

Dear Neighbor,

As community leaders and mothers concerned for our children’s futures, we urge you to support re-election of Steve Litzow to the State Senate. His record of independent leadership on education and the budget is moving Washington forward without being swayed by political parties or special interests.

Please support Senator Steve Litzow for re-election.

State Representative Deb Eddy [Democrat] & Bellevue Deputy Mayor Jennifer Robertson

To the right it shows Eddy’s smiling photo with a “(D)” after her name.  Above there’s an endorsement from the Seattle Times.

Litzow mailing

Litzow defeated progressive Democrat Randy Gordon by about 200 votes in 2010 with help from Koch Brothers funding, as explained in How the Koch Brothers worked to defeat Democrats in Washington State.

This is unacceptable behavior for any Democrat — even a centrist “Road Kill” Democrat who is not running for re-election.

Concerning the issues of Democratic support for regressive candidates, Carol Davidek-Waller writes:

WA blue dogs are all supported by a ‘who’s who’ of corporate lobbyists http://www.thestand.org/2011/08/hobbs-fundraiser-a-corporate-lobbypalooza/  and in DC http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/blue-dog-bark-backed-by-insure.html There is a simple solution to all this. Make them run as GOPs or Independents. (Ishmael)

They are dangerous to the 99% but the Democrat suits like them. They allow the Dems to play both sides; pretend to be populists while raking  in the dough from corporations.

The blue dogs are stealing from voters who believe they are electing a Democratic majority.

I wonder how much money Deb Eddy got from the State Democratic Party.

Progressive blogger and activist Digby reports on Hullabaloo:

“(DCCC Chairman Steve Israel) is spending gargantuan amounts of money and energy on hopeless Blue Dogs … (rather) than working on winnable campaigns for independent-minded, progressive Democrats,” said Howie Klein, the co-founder of Blue America PAC, an organization devoted to promoting progressive candidates.

“Those 17 Democrats didn’t just suddenly join (Rep. Darrell) Issa’s witch hunt and stray from the Democratic fold. All 17 — no exceptions — are among the Democrats who vote with (Speaker John) Boehner and (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor most frequently for the far right’s anti-family agenda.”

This is the truth. There are winnable campaigns out there that could really use some help. But these people are throwing good money after bad to elect people who won’t even commit to voting for the Speaker. This is a huge problem that relates to my earlier post suggesting that professional Republicans and Democrats alike believe that the most conservative candidate is always the best.

Some Democrats would argue that moderate Democrats are better than Tea Party Republicans and we mustn’t be too severe on the centrists. But the so-called centrism of these DINOs greatly destroys the credibility of the Democratic Party, leading many progressives and Independents to think there’s not much discernible difference between the two parties. Many would accuse President Obama of greatly weakening and dividing the Party by protecting Republicans from persecution and by triangulating and compromising with Republicans in such a way that the country has moved further to the right.

What happened to the three Road Kill Democratic state senators who voted to approve the GOP budget earlier in the year?

Time soon for a house cleaning.

Maybe if the Dems lose badly in November, the party move back home to the left where it belongs.

Regressives

In The Truth About Obama’s Tax Proposal (and the Lies the Regressives are Telling About It), Robert Reich uses the word “regressives” to refer to our ideological opponents, who are often called “conservatives.” But regressives don’t conserve much of anything, except perhaps the wealth and power of the privileged few.

Reich points out the lies and distortions in the regressives’ arguments against President Obama’s proposal to end the Bush tax cuts for incomes about $250,000. “The only people who’d have to pay substantially more taxes under Obama’s proposal are those earning far in excess of $250,000 — and they aren’t small businesses. They’re the fattest of corpulent felines. Their spending will not be affected if their official tax rate rises from the Bush 35 percent to the Bill Clinton 39.6 percent.” But regressives such as those at the Wall Street Journal are trying to spin the tax proposal as unfair and as a jobs-killer.

I love the term “regressives.” I wonder if Reich coined it.   [Apparently not: see Robert S. McElvaines’ 2010 HuffPost article Let’s Start Calling Them ‘Regressives.]

I sometimes call Republicans “repugs” — and that accurately reflects my feelings about what those bastards have done to our economy, our civil rights, our way of life, and our moral standing.  But calling Republicans “repugs” is tantamount to name calling.  In contrast, calling them “regressives” is much more descriptive.

I love the term “regressives.”

Uncle Sam Drowned by Republicans