Reality-challenged GOP presidential candidates

What’s going on with the Republican Party? Their candidates keep getting further and further out in right field.  The Tea Party libertarians are more extreme than typical Republicans in their opposition to government and taxation. And the new breed of Christian conservatives are more extremist in their religious beliefs and in their willingness to let those beliefs guide their political positions.

Forrest Wilder of The Texas Observer writes in

Rick Perry’s Army of God

“Rick Perry, who is running for President of the United States, is a self-proclaimed prophet…The pastors told Perry of God’s grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was ‘The Prophet State,’ anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role.”

Indeed, Texans can be at ease, because their governor is praying for them.

Rick Perry’s Unanswered Prayers
by Timothy Egan
August 11, 2011

A few months ago, with Texas aflame from more than 8,000 wildfires brought on by extreme drought, a man who hopes to be the next president took pen in hand and went to work:

“Now, therefore, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.”

Then the governor prayed, publicly and often.  Alas, a rainless spring was followed by a rainless summer. July was the hottest month in recorded Texas history. Day after pitiless day, from Amarillo to Laredo, from Toadsuck to Twitty, folks  were greeted by a hot, white bowl overhead, triple-digit temperatures, and a slow death on the land.

In the four months since Perry’s request for divine intervention, his state has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.  Nearly all of Texas  is now in “extreme or exceptional” drought, as classified by federal meteorologists, the worst in Texas history.

Lakes have disappeared. Creeks are phantoms, the caked bottoms littered with rotting, dead fish.  Farmers cannot coax a kernel of grain from ground that looks like the skin of an aging elephant.


GOP co-front runner Michelle Bachmann may not be a prophet, but according to her The New Yorker article,  Leap of Faith, Bachmann is a great admirer of Dominionists  Schaeffer and Rousas, Nancy Pearcey, and John Rushdoony.  Dominionists believe in biblical inerrancy.   According to Sara Diamond, Dominionists such as Shaeffer believe that  “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”

The New Yorker article also reports on Bachmann’s frequent habit of distorting facts about her past and about her ancestors’ appearance in Iowa and Minnesota.

She has refused to distance herself from far right John Eidsmoe, who was kicked out of a Tea Party meeting for his racist views. “In 2005, he spoke at the national convention of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a defiantly pro-white, and anti-black, organization.”  Eidsmoe once said “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”   Bachmann has called him “a wonder man” and “absolutely brilliant.”

When, in 2005, the Minneapolis Star Tribune asked Bachmann what books she had read recently, she mentioned two: Ann Coulter’s “Treason,” a jeremiad that accuses liberals of lacking patriotism, and Pearcey’s “Total Truth,” which Bachmann told me was a “wonderful” book. [Pearcey has written , “There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she writes in “Total Truth.” “Nevertheless, the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false.”]

Bachmann enrolled at the new O. W. Coburn School of Law, at Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Bible, not the Constitution or conventional jurisprudence, guides the curriculum. For several years, the school could not get accreditation…  Among the professors were Herbert W. Titus, a Vice-Presidential candidate of the far-right U.S. Taxpayers Party (now called the Constitution Party), and John Whitehead, who started the Rutherford Institute, a conservative legal-advocacy group. The law review published essays by Schaeffer and Rousas John Rushdoony, a prominent Dominionist who has called for a pure Christian theocracy in which Old Testament law—execution for adulterers and homosexuals, for example—would be instituted. In a 1982 essay in the law review, Rushdoony condemned the secularization of public schools and declared, “With the coming collapse of humanistic statism, the Christian must prepare to take over, he must prepare for victory.”


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