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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Bush Worship

Rick Perlstein in the Village Voice has a good piece on the true believers who back the president no matter what. He went to Portland, Oregon, and spent some time with some nutty Bush fans.

Says Delores: "There is an agenda--to get rid of God in our country."

Chirps the reporter: Certainly not on the part of John Kerry, who once entertained dreams of entering the priesthood.

I'm almost laughed out of the room.

I ask why Kerry goes to mass every week if he's trying to get rid of God. "Public relations!" a young man calls out from across the room. "Same reason he does everything else." Cue for Delores to repeat something a rabbi told her: "We have to stand together, because this is what happened in Europe. You know--once they start taking this right and that right. And you have the Islamic people..."

She trails off. I ask whether she's referring to the rise of fascism. "We're losing our rights as Christians: yes. And being persecuted again."

I ask why so many liberals believe the administration lies, if there might be anything to the suspicions. What about the report of the Los Angeles Times that morning, that the State Department dismissed 28 of the claims the White House demanded Colin Powell bring before the U.N. as without foundation in fact?

Delores: "You make mention of a paper in Los Angeles that made such and such a report; well, that doesn't mean it's accurate or complete or unbiased."

I respond that the report came from a memo reproduced in the recent report of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican-dominated. I'm not sure whether she hasn't heard me or just has decided to change the subject. "John Kerry attended a party in which there was bad language, bad humor, being evidenced in all quarters!" she cries. Kitty chimes in: "And Kerry said it reflects American values!"

Excellent writing, I recommend it in full. Perlstein concludes that the mindset he witnessed "is why conservatism is verging on becoming an un-American creed."

UPDATE: I forgot to credit TBogg with finding the article.