I don't know if any of you have seen the Bill Maher "New Rules" bit from last week, but it actually relates to our conversation about moral authority, and the late Internet Monk's comments about conservatives listening more to Limbaugh and Fox than thinking about their faith. You can watch Maher below (f bomb warning), as long as it plays in my template and that HBO has not yanked it. (If that happens, you can read some of the transcript here).
In this case, Maher is talking about Newt Gingrich's common tactic of invoking Saul Alinsky to somehow disparage Obama and liberals. Alinsky, as it turns out, was a community organizer who tried to get African Americans and poor people to actually push for political change. But in Gingrich's world, there is something nefarious about "community organizing" (and I wish I had some money for each time a conservative has thrown that at me online).
But Maher's bigger point was that conservatives have created a bogey man in Obama that is constructed out of nearly whole cloth. As Steve noted in one of the recent comments, there are things to be concerned about with Obama on rendition and detention, but conservatives don't complain about those. They like them, in fact, but they don't give Obama credit for that. Instead, he is soft on defense, anti-business, wants to take your guns away, and doesn't actually like America. Or, as Maher notes, he is supposedly anti-work, while Republicans love it.
That hit home after several of my recent talks with conservatives. Almost word for word, they said that Obama was soft on defense, anti-gun rights, and anti-American. He has raised our taxes (not true) and wants a huge government (government employment is down, which is part of our economic crisis), and wants to read terrorists their rights. Yeah, whatever.
The bubble is pretty striking. And disheartening that people who claim to read the Bible, pray, and attend church regularly have such little regard for the truth. I shouldn't be surprised, I understand. But I still am.
(NPR also did a story on Alinsky, and even noted that Gingrich used an Alinsky tactic in his debate the other day. Irony.)