May 6, 2013

"Save it for the blog"

So it has been a pretty wild couple of months here.  SOF lost her mother back in February, and then her father last week.  Needless to say, that has been difficult and continues to be so.

In the middle of that, we attended my niece's graduation, which was very cool and inspiring.  So proud of her and her sister for becoming such amazing and interesting people.  We had such a nice time with friends and family.  It was all more than worth the mad scamper there and back.

The one "but" in the weekend came in the graduation speaker.  Turns out the President of this University is friends with Representative Louis Gohmert.  Do I really have to note that he is a Republican?  I think not.  Friday night, while waiting for a table, I saw a man walk into our restaurant with a confederate flag patch on his shirt.


So back to Gohmert.  For a rundown of his greatest hits, go here.  The man is one of those accusing Hilary Clinton of hiring a Muslim extremist, has suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood has influence in the Obama administration, which is why he continually says that "everyone knows the threat of Islamic terrorism except this administration."  Like so many of the far right, he is convinced that gay marriage will lead directly to bestiality, and that any gun control will lead to a complete confiscation and all guns being illegal.

My niece M warned me about the speaker, and told me to bring my Ipod.  When I said anything before the ceremony, she cut me off with "save it for the blog."  :)  And she was right.  After I realized just how dumb the speaker was going to be, I approached it as an anthropological exercise--where I could observe a right wing Tea Partier speak to many in their choir.  (I say many, in that I heard some applause, but know there were several who had to find him as annoying as we did).

His speech was actually better than I expected.  Better in that he didn't accuse Obama of being a Muslim from Kenya.  And he actually opened up with a couple of relatively funny jokes.  Not Jon Stewart funny, but still, not bad.

But then he started in on us liberals.  He was there to speak the truth (just ask him) and the truth could be summed up in the following propositions:

  1. Liberals are more intolerant than any conservative, and in fact, the only people you can be intolerant of are Christians.  
  2. Political correctness allowed the Boston bombing because, of course, Obama doesn't regard Islamic terrorism as a threat.  Or something.  
  3. Christians are under attack and are persecuted.  
Throughout the talk, he repeated right wing talk about Boston, or about how the Pentagon is making Christianity illegal, or that, in fact, 50% of America got more from the Federal government than they paid in taxes.  That last part was in the portion where he said that we were in danger of losing America--not that it was bad that so many people were poor.

I seriously was glad that he didn't go birther on us, but the basic talk was a series of outright lies preceded by a claim that he was there to speak the truth.  That was very disheartening.  And disingenuous   In one part he spoke about the past when we could disagree with each other, but "fight to the death for your right to disagree."  That had been replaced with, he said, attacks on Christians for their beliefs.  Not enough to disagree with persecuted Christians, they had to be persecuted as well.

All with absolutely no sense that conservatives had defended Japanese internment, Red Scare witchhunts for communists real and imagined, or that they had defended attacks on liberal patriotism for those who might disagree with the Iraq war or Patriot act.  (Has anyone forgotten that Saxby Chambliss accused a triple amputee--Max Cleland--of siding with Saddam for his opposition to Bush's Homeland Security bill?).

No, in Gohmert's world, Christian conservatives are only the victims of persecution.  This complete lack of perspective or honesty--all shrouded in his belief that he was speaking the truth--made him the perfect Christian conservative Tea Partier.  After all, when facts are inconvenient, you just ignore them.


steves said...

What university? I will say that at least it was more "interesting" than the usual boring rah rah speeches that are common at graduation.

Streak said...

Letourneau U. And maybe you are right. But the perpetuation of falsehoods doesn't exactly make me happy.