Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.This seems to be an accurate assessment (at least the first sentence) but whether that leads to people identifying badly with evangelicals remains to be seen. As I noted, consider the following item, on the number of self-professed non-believers in this country. They now constitute some 15% of the population, and as Uygur notes, much more than the 1.4% that Mormons comprise. It has always struck me that for all the whining about Christian persecution, no one ever runs for office as an atheist (well, mostly never, and certainly not for President). Let's just say that this is just one reason It is hard for me to believe that the American people will associate evangelicals with enough bad things to cause a major collapse. Hell, conservative evangelicals essentially supported a torture regime in the White House.
Update--Just saw a discussion on this poll on non-believers that noted that the number 15% was 8% in 1990. That seems like a pretty quick uptick. It also seems that many believe that "non-believer" in this context is no the same as atheist. At least it seems that way to me.
Chuck Norris' open call for revolution against Obama seems to be a trend among the wackjob right. A friend asked me yesterday if I was arguing that liberals are more moral than conservatives because I don't acknowledge the idiots on the left. I noted that we do have idiots on the left, but they just don't have the following that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (who also called for a resistance from conservatives) who have millions of listeners and followers. I have made this analogy before, but it is if the right's center, or mainstream, is now around the 10 yard line (football field metaphor, with mythic middle of the road American at the 50 yard line), while the left's equivalent 10 yard line wackjobs are firmly outside the liberal mainstream. In that setting, Chuck Norris may be a little extreme, but not so much that it really bothers the average conservative listener. But again, the average conservative listener was not bothered by torture, so why should an American celebrity calling for armed resistance to Obama?
Frank Schaeffer finds the modern right appalling, and as he notes in this angry letter to "the Republican Traitors (From a Former Republican), the Republican party wasn't always like this. I am not completely sure I buy his entire view of Reagan and Goldwater, but it does strike me that the party has shifted dramatically to the right, while so many Republicans seem to not have noticed. Their own allegiance is to the party (even if that allegiance is not very firm) and to a few code words about low taxes and less government (even if that second part has never been true) as well as a few nods to those worried about the gays and abortion-seeking flag burners. I have argued to my conservative friends for the last 8 years--that their party no longer represents their values. Mostly, this argument has fallen on deaf ears.
And finally, this item (can you tell I was reading through the Huffington Post this morning?) on the so-called Obama "class warfare". (After all, he is a socialist, right?) I have always been annoyed with the language of those critical of higher taxes, because it so often includes phrases like "punish the rich" or "it takes away incentive to make more money." I have never been convinced that our taxation policy turned rich people into not-rich people. And this piece very clearly notes that difference. He links to a Chait article on an unbelievable ABC piece on a dentist so upset by Obama's "war on the rich" that she will purposefully make $70,000 less to come in under the $250,000 cut off for the higher rate. Similar to the Ayn Rand people calling for some kind of "going Galt" response, I guess, but equally stupid. As Chait points out, those who make more than 250K don't all of a sudden pay that higher rate on their entire income, they just pay that higher rate on that those dollars they make over that threshold. And when you factor in deductions, that dentist would be foregoing an additional $70,000 to avoid paying $2,100.
I am clearly no financial wiz--I could never get a stock show on CNBC, for example--but even I see the problems with that kind of math. Perhaps the wealthy dentist needs to return to school for a little remedial math. Perhaps she can then take a class on basic civics and see if she can get Chuck Norris to join her. Perhaps either one of them might consider taking their head out of their ass.
Speaking of CNBC, here is Jon Stewart once again going after Jim Cramer--