Professional bloviators inevitably say something stupid. It is the nature of saying so many things so much of the time. Not all of these statements are as mean-spirited or crazy as they sound. Sometimes it is merely a slip of the tongue or a case of not engaging brain before mouth. But in today’s poisoned political well, it happens and apologies don’t make much difference. Each side seizes the opportunity to make the speaker look as bad as possible for as long as possible, often overlooking the nature and severity of the statement.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
America’s politicians are engaged in internecine warfare, but there is a far larger and equally destructive religious war going on. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction in religion. Christians build ostentatious monuments to the Ten Commandments so Satanists want their due. If the Christians and Satanists get their statues the Hindus and Atheists want theirs.
This tit for tat generally infuriates Christians, particularly evangelicals, because they see it as an innocent act that no one should object to. After all, the vast majority of Americans are Christians and most evangelicals see their place as an unquestionable birthright. Non-Christians think this is an improper and illegal affront to their views. They both have points.
If politics is toxic now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. During the reign of St. Ronnie of Reagan, I used to think, “You know, politicians talk some serious shit these days.” But, Reagan was a kindly grandpa compared to the current lot. He may have done a lot of things that the country still suffers from, but he also managed to do some good. And the reason was that Congressional leaders were reasonable people who understood you had to drop the posturing and downright hatefulness at the end of the day and go play a round of golf with the other side.
Flash forward to Newt Gingrich, infant terrible of the right-wing. He came to office with an agenda to shake things up, but not in a good way. He paid the price with a short term, but went on to become the right’s idea of a one man intelligentsia — at least until Ted Cruz came along.
But Newt begat Tom DeLay who wasn’t called “The Hammer” for nothing. Since then there have been a long line of “leaders” from both parties with a penchant for spending a lot of time talking about what assholes the opposing party is instead of cooperating.