White Horse Prophecy Redux

Now that Mittens is covertly running for president―the clear implication of his desperate call for GOP voters to deprive Dumbledore Drumpf of delegates by voting for whomever has the best chance of beating him one state at a time―it’s time to revisit the Mormon White Horse prophecy.

Now That’s Leadership

ToomeyRepublican Senator Pat Toomey makes a Kinsleyan gaff: Tells the truth about GOP obstructionism

Today’s GOP, split between its traditional Wall Street moneyed interests and its hyper-ideological Teabagger contingent, the reincarnation of its former discredited Bircher wing, has reached new levels of political dysfunction. (Its other faction, Christian fundamentalists, has been rather quiescent of late, most likely due to a paucity of pending national social legislation.)

It’s as if GOP icon Ronald Reagan had, after firing the air traffic controllers, replaced them with the inmates of Ken Keseys Cuckoo’s Nest and Christopher Lloyd’s Dream Team.

Politico captures the mood:

Less than two weeks ago, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy walked upstairs to Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Capitol office to discuss a sensitive issue: Why did Cantor schedule a vote before McCarthy had the chance to survey Republican support?

The meeting — described as “tense” by several people familiar with it — ended with McCarthy abruptly standing up and storming out of the room. Aides downplayed the exchange. But a week later, it turned out that McCarthy’s pique was merited: The health care-related bill was suddenly pulled from the floor in what was the most recent stumble for House Republicans.

The GOP leadership is dealing with an unprecedented level of frustration in running the House, according to conversations with more than a dozen aides and lawmakers in and around leadership. Leadership is talking past each other. The conference is split by warring factions. And influential outside groups are fighting them.

The chaos has led to a sense of stalemate for House Republicans, who have been in the majority since 2011.

Of course, if you listen to the Beltway Insiders, it’s all President Obama‘s fault for the resulting political gridlock. His failure to herd these crazy cats into an actual functioning body of legislators is proof positive of his “lack of leadership.” At Wednesday’s news conference, for instance, O was asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl whether he had lost his “juice” to get things done. O replied:

“But, Jonathon, you seem to suggest that somehow these folks over there have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job. They’re elected — members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and for the American people.”

Not surprisingly, MODO disagrees:

“Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.”

Excuse me if I think that is just plain stupid. Mitch McConnell promised from the very first day that Obama took office, the GOP’s first priority was to prevent the duly elected President of the United States from implementing any part of his agenda. Four and half years later, that dedication to obstructionism hasn’t changed a wit, as Senator Pat Toomey acknowledged when explaining the defeat of a greatly watered-down bipartisan gun safety bill that would require mandatory background checks on all gun purchasers:

“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so polarized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”

Some? Okay, maybe there are some vestigial traces of moderation among “some” members of the GOP.  But the promise of “scoring” by lobbying groups like the NRA and the various Koch Brothers funded organizations means that if individual GOPers even thought about compromising with Obama they’d have their asses primaried in a heartbeat.

The logical end point of this blind ideological obstructionism is that the Rethugs have rendered themselves incapable of taking yes for an answer. Take the Affordable Care Act. (Please.)  Though Obama thought nothing of pissing off his progressive base by refusing to pursue a public option, let alone a simple single payer expansion of Medicare, he instead adopted the Heritage Foundation‘s individual mandate construct that Mitt Romney implemented when he was governor of Massachusetts.  Notwithstanding that Senator Max Baucus, the chief architect of the Act, adopted the individual mandate as the core principle of “Obama Care”; and furthermore, made numerous changes demanded by the Rethugs, not a single one of them voted for the Act. How’s that for bipartianship delusion, Mr. President?

MODO concludes with her best advice on how to transcend GOP obstructionism on the issue of closing GITMO:

“The senior senator from Kentucky has been a leader in Keep-Terrorists-Offshore.  Maybe, if the president really wants to close Gitmo, he should have a drink with Mitch McConnell.  Really.”

Really?  Maybe Obama should order Marine One to deposit him on the track at the Kentucky Derby Saturday afternoon, walk down the steps dressed like a Southern waiter with a towel over one arm and a tray with a frosty mint julep on it, straight over to Mitch’s box seat, bow and say:

“For you, Massah McConnell.  Is there anything more I can do to pleasure ya’all?”

Now that’s the kind of leadership the Village courtiers would really appreciate.

 

Wingers’ Disenfranchisement From Reality Continues

A Teabagger has serious regression issues when told that The Black Man in the White House was re-elected 

Anyone who thought that losing the election as badly as the Teabaggers did last month would provoke them to do some serious reality checking– hold it! Wait right there!

Putting the word “reality” in the same sentence with “Teabaggers”, in the sense that there could be an actual positive correlation between the two, would have the same effect of the Ghostbusters crossing the streams of their proton packs:

There’s something very important I forgot to tell you! Don’t cross the streams… It would be bad… Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.” – Dr. Egon Spengler, inventor of the nuclear accelerated proton pack.

The explosion thus far seems to have been limited to the Teabaggers’ heads, as evidenced by the latest PPP poll. PPP proved to be the most accurate of all the polling firms in the 2012 election, and this week they released their first post-election poll . Their lede reads:

Republicans not handling election results well

About as well as a teenager being told that her parents just cut off all her social media access.

Four results are of particular interest to anyone trying to understand the winger psyche. The first concerns the peculiar, conspiratorial architecture of their denial:

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama.

Neat trick, that, since ACORN was forced out of business by the GOP in 2010, when they filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors. Perhaps watching the number one cable drama, The Walking Dead, has further confused their sensibilities. They seem to believe that ACORN is still wandering the countryside, registering their fellow zombies and turning them out at the polls, feasting on GOPer brains along the way.

 The second concerns secession:

Some GOP voters are so unhappy with the outcome that they no longer care to be a part of the United States. 25% of Republicans say they would like their state to secede from the union compared to 56% who want to stay and 19% who aren’t sure.

Which represents a mutation from a previous incarnation of the Teabaggers, the “America love it or leave it crowd.” Today it’s the “America hate it and leave us out of it” crowd. Hey, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

The third concerns party identification:

One reason that such a high percentage of Republicans are holding what could be seen as extreme views is that their numbers are declining. Our final poll before the election, which hit the final outcome almost on the head, found 39% of voters identifying themselves as Democrats and 37% as Republicans. Since the election we’ve seen a 5 point increase in Democratic identification to 44%, and a 5 point decrease in Republican identification to 32%.

With the raw id of the wingers exposed for what it is, an authoritarian mindset with racist and misogynist overtones, it’s not surprising that a growing number of Republicans are disassociating themselves from the party. Now that the crazy uncle has escaped the attic and is screaming at everybody about what to do and how to do it, it remains to be seen if the saner members of the household will continue to let him get away with it.

The fourth concerns their relationship to the unreal:

 The 39% of Americans with an opinion about Bowles/Simpson is only slightly higher than the 25% with one about Panetta/Burns, a mythical Clinton Chief of Staff/former western Republican Senator combo we conceived of to test how many people would say they had an opinion even about something that doesn’t exist.

Perhaps the GOP should replace their elephant mascot with a glitter farting unicorn.

In related news, on a vote of 398 to one:

The House voted on Wednesday to strike the word “lunatic” from all federal laws and only one lawmaker voted against the measure: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).It was unclear initially why the Tea Party favorite opposed the change, and a Gohmert spokeswoman did not return a request for comment. The point of the bill, which cleared the Senate in May with no opposition, is to strike language from current law that contributes to the stigmatization of mental health conditions.

If the Teabaggers do succeed in taking over the GOP, the House might want to reconsider their vote, reserving the word “lunatic” for that special breed of politician that eschews reality for ideological fantasy and denial.

[Lead image found here.]

Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, & The White Horse Prophecy

Mitt Romney’s attempt to satisfy the White Horse Prophecy is going up in flames

In 1835, Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, aka the Mormons, wrote in his collection of prophecies and insights titled Doctrines and Covenants:

“If ye are faithful, ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies.”

One has to assume, if one is to believe in the efficacy of Smith’s prophecy, that his fellow Saints were less than faithful; or alternatively, that their sense of entitlement was ill-conceived; or that Smith was just another BS artist. Because, a mere three years later, after a successful voter suppression effort by 200 non-Mormon settlers in Gallatin on August 6, 1838 that led to a wider, catastrophic war, he and his entire community were driven out of the state of Missouri, lock, stock and barrel.

His petition for redress to President Martin Van Buren in 1839 was refused for starkly political reasons. Four years after that, Smith is said to have uttered another prophecy that became known as the White Horse Prophecy (WHORP) . Bill McKeever over at Thom HartmOnenn.com describes it thusly:

Another of Smith’s predictions, the “White Horse Prophecy,” gets its name from the biblical book of Revelation. The prophecy has been given a dubious distinction since there is no evidence that Smith ever gave it in a public setting. Instead, its pedigree goes back to two Mormons, Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley, who said they personally heard Joseph Smith give this prediction at Smith’s home on or about May 6, 1843. Smith allegedly gave numerous predictions in this prophecy, but the portion that is most repeated speaks of a day when the Constitution of the United States will “hang by a thread.” It will be “preserved and saved” by a White Horse, A.K.A. the Mormon Church.

Seven generations of Mormon leaders, while jettisoning various parts of the prophecy including the violent overthrow of the US government, have nonetheless, kept hope alive. McKeever again:

In 1963 [Evra Taft] Benson again mentioned this prophecy in a conference message: “The Prophet Joseph Smith said the time would come when the Constitution would hang as it were by a thread. Modern-day prophets for the last thirty years have been warning us that we have been rapidly moving in that direction. Fortunately, the Prophet Joseph Smith saw the part the elders of Israel would play in this crisis. Will there be some of us who won’t care about saving the Constitution, others who will be blinded by the craftiness of men, and some who will knowingly be working to destroy it? He that has ears to hear and eyes to see can discern by the Spirit and through the words of God’s mouthpiece that our liberties are being taken” (Conference Report, April 1963, p.113).

Shades of the Tea Party, who never tire of warning us that “our liberties are being taken.” One has to assume that was a major selling point on the part of the Romney campaign to gain the support of the Teabaggers, whether they believed in the overarching validity of the prophecy itself, they were certainly down with the ‘they’re stealing our liberties’ stuff. One Teabagger who does believe wholeheartedly in the WHORP is the Mormon Mad Man, Glenn Beck. As Dana Milbank wrote at Huffpo:

“In one of his first appearances on Fox News, Glenn Beck sent a coded message to the nation’s six million Mormons — or at least those Mormons who believe in what the Latter-day Saints call “the White Horse Prophecy.”

“We are at the place where the Constitution hangs in the balance,” Beck told Bill O’Reilly on November 14, 2008, just after President Obama‘s election. “I feel the Constitution is hanging in the balance right now, hanging by a thread unless the good Americans wake up.”

[…]

Was it just a coincidence in wording, or was Beck, a 1999 Mormon convert, speaking in coded language about the need to fulfill the Mormon prophecy? A conversation on Beck’s radio show ten days earlier would seem to rule out coincidence. Beck was interviewing Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, also a Mormon, when he said: “I heard Barack Obama talk about the Constitution and I thought, we are at the point or we are very near the point where our Constitution is hanging by a thread.”

“Well, let me tell you something,” Hatch responded. “I believe the Constitution is hanging by a thread.”

Days after Beck’s Fox show started in January 2009, he had Hatch on, and again prompted him: “I believe our Constitution hangs by a thread.”

Large numbers of Mormons watch Beck…

Earlier, during his 1999 run for the presidency, Orrin Hatch was quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune: “I’ve never seen it worse than this, where the Constitution literally is hanging by a thread” (“Did Hatch Allude To LDS Prophecy?” Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 11, 1999).” Mormons of a feather flock together.

Which brings us to the question: Does Mitt Romney, a bishop in the Mormon Church, consider himself the embodiment of Joseph Smith’s prophecy?

Well, it would explain a number of things about the way he has managed his presidential campaign, beginning with the issue of how he has managed his presidential campaign. See, for example, Mitt Is On Fire, a collection of conservative wailings about what is arguably the worst GOP presidential campaign since…John McCain’s.

Additionally, it would explain his and Ann Romney‘s sense of entitlement, which Ann summed up in her best elitist manner: “It’s our turn.”

Then there’s his attitude towards withholding a more extensive release of his taxes that, in contravention to his own father’s example of releasing 12 years worth, would give American voters a better understanding of how he became so filthy rich.

And finally, it would explain his cavalier attitude to providing any meaningful details about his policy imperatives. As with his refusal to provide same with regard to his taxes, the overarching goal of saving the Constitution must take priority over such quotidian concerns.

Of course, all of these infirmities of the Romney campaign can be explained using CW political analysis. But, as every novelist or screenwriter knows (written a few  of the latter myself), understanding a protagonist’s formative beliefs provides insight into his character, and ultimately, his motivations and actions.

If I be permitted a prophecy of my own– Romney’s presidential bid will go down in flames. The only question remaining is how much damage he will do the the immediate, mid-range, and long term goals of the GOP. As conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham warned:

“If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people. Because this is a gimme election, or at least it should be.”

We should be so lucky.

Romney’s Raiders (Update) (Update2)

When vulture capitalist Mitt the Ripper comes to town

In Need Of A Bigger Boat

Having chummed the Teabagger waters with so much bloody offal, the Grand Obstructionist Party is now reeling in their catch.

Twilight Zone Candidates

Watching the likes of  Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich these days, I feel like I’ve been ‘ported to The Twilight Zone.  In the classic intro to the original Rod Serling series,  the shattering window pane is the Overton Window of radical right wing craziness, pushed off the edge of the …