Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Tempting Faith" : How Karl Rove Played the God Squad

It looks like the Religious Right has to repent again, but they're good at that. A new book called "Tempting Faith" describes a White House that used evangelicals like cheap sluts and didn't even give them cab fare home. The author is David Kuo - the former #2 offical in the White House's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. He claims Karl Rove's people viewed the evangelicals as vote-delivering whack-jobs. The deception's not much of a surprise, really. This White House lives to decieve.

I always suspected President Bush was just using religion to get off the booze, and the Christian rap wasn't real. He wasn't following in the steps of Christ - he was following the 12 steps. This became clearer when he got into office. Even basic tenets like "Thou shalt not kill" seemed to be inoperative, and rather than appear Christian, he now seems like the head of his own religion with the Messiah being himself. The only thing W. worships is power. How else do you get to be the living law of the land?

If we had to have a religious leader as President - and I think it's a terrible idea - too bad it wasn't the Dalai Lama. In that religion, they believe they have to come back, which is a damn good incentive to try and get the national debt under control. But if we have a religious president can we at least get a real one? Right now, we've got a phony Christian who hurts the poor and helps the rich. He also believes in preemptive strikes. The only genuine part of the Christian religion that he seems to be following is the belief in the end of the world. President Bush may actually be one of those twisted mean people who use religion because they can't deal with who they really are. They need to con society and themselves into thinking they are good so they present a holy person to cover up the wretched true nature of their tormented souls.

But why dwell on one individual? Let's leave President Bush out of it, which shouldn't be too hard. Let's say that he's a genuinely devout Christian man. Maybe he ignores the Bible the same way he ignores the Constitution - because Condi or Laura never got around to reading it to him. Let's say he's sincere when he says God told him invading Iraq would be a good idea. And maybe Jesus told him to give the downtrodden millionaires a break so they could become billionaires. But what about the rest of the staff? You know....the A Team as in A-holes?

The new book says Rove's people refer to the Christian leaders as the "nuts". Apparently being religious gives you a proclivity for being gullible, because Rove and his team of weasels played the religious crowd like street hustlers taking care of some easy marks. They might think they're doing God's work, but Karl Rove played them for suckers. And I don't care how blinded by the light you are, you have to take some blame for letting this happen. By now the Religious Right should have denounced these page-humping scum-bags for what they really are. Instead they continue to support the Republicans and make excuses for their horrific behavior. Maybe these celebrity religious leaders have fallen in love with the power themselves. Why else don't they denounce the doctrine of preemptive strikes and torture? I don't recall reading about Jesus torturing anybody.

The sad part is that the Religious Right sold out so cheap. They really only get the flash: The access, the meetings, the appearances. If the Supreme Court doesn't ban abortion outright, they'll know. In fact, they're beginning to wonder what's taking so long. But they still get those fancy meetings at the White House. Then after they go Karl Rove grins, knowing this was how he duped his way into power. He also knows these same lost sheep could still help win the next election. As long as Jesus tells them it's the right thing to do.

Crooks and Liars � Olbermann Exclusive: Dissecting new Book: Tempting Faith


At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you ticked off that the Bush Administration 'used' the fundies? Because I thought part of your beef with the Bush Admin was that they were creating a 'Theocracy'. Well, if this book is true, then the theocracy was just smoke and mirrors to get fundies to the polls, so you should be happy now.

Karl Rove never hid his agenda. Immediately following the 2000 election, Rove said Bush didn't do as well as he expected because 4 million Evangelicals didn't go to the polls. His 2004 strategy focussed on getting them to the polls. Is that a bad thing? I thought Progressives were all about higher turnout....or is that only when the turnout favors Democrats? (rhetorical question...of course it is)

I'm waiting for the book that comes out explaining how Democrats have been lying to blacks and other minorities all these years to convince them they are all about equality and to get them to vote for them. Its worked pretty well so far. Dems regularly draw about 90% of the black vote. Pretty interesting way of doing it. Label you Southern white bubba President as the "first black President".....even though the most elevated black person on his staff was the Surgeon General...until he fired her. Get the NAACP to label black Republicans as "Uncle Toms" or "House N**gers"....that worked out pretty well too. Have them label black Republican house candidates as "Oreos", run campaign ads comparing Bush to the men who chained a black man in Texas to the bumper of a car, or ads saying that if you vote Republican, black churches will burn. Yeah, that book hasn't come out yet.

So lets see if we can write a book about duping fundies into voting Republican. Afterall, its not about coming up with an agenda to rally people to your cause, its about trying to suppress your oposition's supporters and keep them from the polls.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

You forget the guy at the top. It isn't much of a surprise that the staff is actually cynical - politics is full of phony religious types.
But we still have a theocracy. It's just a religion called W-ism.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not a Theocracy....its a Cult of Personality.

Religious outreach is only one finger of the R's appeal. Others are strong defense, a robust business environment, lower taxes, and less whiney yuppies.

Same goes for the D's. They appeal to enviromentalists, union workers, minorities, and Hollywood divas who fancy themselves political commentators.

I'm probably the least religious person you'd ever meet. I'm not an aetheist, but I certainly don't subscribe to any organized religion.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Religious outreach is only one finger of the R's appeal. Others are strong defense, a robust business environment, lower taxes, and less whiney yuppies."

Religious outreach:
R's will say anything (but DO only if convenient) to dupe this demographic (an easy task to date).
Strong defense:
the veneer is certainly off that what with the Iraq fiasco.
Robust business:
The less than mega-corps need not apply.
Lower taxes:
Again, the less than elite need not apply (hey Butch, you're making this too easy).

RE "only one finger":
yep, that pretty much sums up the R's.


At 11:34 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

What about smaller government and getting government off our backs? Or did you retire those?
The conservative movement is a fraud. The religious part is fake and the stuff about individual rights versus a strong government is the worst con job of all. I really thought the conservatives would go nuts if a president tried to seize these powers from the individual citizens, but you're right there, buying into it.
I agree with some conservative ideas. My problem is that they're just used to dupe gullible people. I would love it if the federal government had much less power. The conservatives always go and on about it but only till they're in office. The religious right is not the only faction of Bush supporters who've been duped here.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to big government, Bush is - in my view - the lessor of two evils. My biggest beef with Bush is in the way he's expanded government with the new Rx entitlement and Homeland Security. But should I have expected a Democrat to pull that back? I don't think so.

And I still don't know what 'powers' Bush has seized from US Citizens. To me, that whole line of argument is more hyperbolic blathering from the left.

PS - anonymous, if I made it so "easy" for you, how about supporting your rhetorical statements with actual facts? Naw, liberals don't need facts when the rhetoric paints such a pretty picture by itself.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I also get frustrated when conservatives talk about a strong defense. Our military budget is greater than all the other countries in the world combined, and we use it for offense. If we were just protecting ourselves that would be one thing. A Republican President warned of a military industrial complex taking control of Washington and he was right.
If you don't get the lost rights you have to take a closer look at the detainee bill that just passed.
While conservatives think they are sounding tough with their fake macho talk on "defense" they are actually going to go down in history as cowards because they traded our rights for the illusion of safety. It's a disgrace, and a great testament to the propaganda machine that it can be sold in such patriotic terms, when it really represents the end of the American experiment.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

This Butch guy is a real piece of work. No matter what lie Cheney and Co. are caught in, he manages to somehow say "The Dems did it too, the Dems did it too. Nah Nah Nah."

I wish the whole country could have heard Keith O. and Lewis Black on Countdown last night. Bill, you might be out of a job soon. The administration is making comedy too easy!

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Our military budget is greater than all the other countries in the world combined..."

Misleading to say the least...and simply not true. Actually, our military spending is very much in check if you compare it to percentage of our Gross Domestic Product. As of 2003, our military spending was 3.7% of GDP. That's less than it was at any time since 1948.

And as a percentage of GDP, our military expenditures rank way down the list compared to other countries. When compared to GDP, we rank BEHIND China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Greece, Congo, Myanmar, Syria, Singapore, North Korea, Pakistan, Kuwait, Colombia, Angola, Egypt, UAE, Libya, Chile, Algeria, Oman, Indonesia, Qatar, Serbia, Jordan, Armenia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Bahrain, Yemen, Brunei, Bosnia, Botswana, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Djibouti, and Liberia.

And I can see where the detainee bill can be interpreted by some as an erosion of our rights, but I don't view it that way. It is restricting a right in response to being at war. And it isn't for an "illusion" of safety....its for "safety"...period.

You talk of your 'frustration'. Well, I grow frustrated by those who think, even in the wake of 9/11, that the status quo was just fine and dandy.

I also get frustrated with those that blame Muslim hostility toward the US or the West on Bush's policies. During the Clinton administration, U.S. bombs fell on the Serbs, Somalis, Albanians, Afghans, Iraqis and Sudanese. Our interests were attacked repeated around the World. Bush didn't start the 'War on Terror'. He merely turned the cours from reaction to action.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

As a percentage of GDP? You mean you're going to gauge the size of our military spending by a number made much larger by our military spending? And I'm being misleading?
Do you realize how many bases we have in other countries? Is that to defend our country or influence theirs? If France wanted to put a base here in Portland to defend France would you agree to it?
Oh, and when do you think terrorism started between the Middle East and America? During the Clinton years?
We've been dealing with this for decades, and it's not because we were waiting for a genius like W. to figure it out. The only change he made was to make it much worse. As with the fake reports out of Iraq, you are still taking the position that things are much better. As with progress in Iraq, I fear there will be a time when you won't be able to claim that anymore.
It will be too obvious you were wrong. That's odd, isn't it? Where have all the stories gone about the schools we're painting and how the media doesn't report the good stuff?
It's like the conservative small government stuff - sometimes it's just topo hard to sling the BS.
Actually, even to debate this is playing into the Neo-Cons hands. The War on Terror is not about a War on Terror. It is supposed to get worse. That's why they talk about World War 3 and a clash of civilizations.
While they have you focused on that they intend to take over. And they're well on their way to doing it.
It's not about preserving our way of life. It's about ending our way of life.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a percentage of GDP? You mean you're going to gauge the size of our military spending by a number made much larger by our military spending? And I'm being misleading?

Thank you for pointing this out, Bill.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And I'm being misleading?"

Why yes, you most certainly are. As a percentage of GDP is the only fair measure. Your assertion that our GDP is "made much larger" by our military spending is pure BS. That would be true if we were spending 20%-40% of GDP on military spending....but its on less than 3.7% so your rhetorical argument, although humorous as it was, is empty.

Interesting that liberals are always willing to throw out comparisons to our GDP when discussing foreign aid or our UN dues.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are the 2005 military spending estimates according to the CIA World Fact Book (

By % of GDP:

By total $:

The US comes in 26th on the % of GDP list, behind most of the countries Butch mentioned. It is in keeping with the % most countries are estimated to be spending.

Our $518 billion that we're spending actually is close to being the same as the amount spent by the 168 other countries on the list (I stopped adding after country #25, but the drop dramatically afterwards, but the numbers seem close.).

To be fair, the statement "our military budget is greater than all the world combined" seems fair in light of these facts. Our allocation of resources towards military spending is normal and in keeping with most of the world, but what that amount ends up being absolutely trumps the rest of the world's military spending, and I don't think that's misleading to point out.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to go off topic for a moment, but this cannot go unnoticed. Breaking on AP news right now, Mark Foley wrote a letter to Gov Jeb Bush in 2004 stating, "Have I done something to offend the White House? ... I am always getting the shaft,"

I'm not making this up.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Good one, but you know why the % of GDP is a poor standard?
We are talking about military match-ups here. So what they spend on their military is more relevant as that is who we would be facing. It doesn't matter if we spent 1% of our GDP if it was 10 times as much as the rest of the world. You would say we had enough and should cut back. Or at least you should.
My memories of economics class tell me that each dollar pumped into the GDP by military spending funded by future debt, shows up multiple times in the GDP. The guy from Boeing buys more groceries, etc...
What you have not counted is all the weapons we sell to the world. That's in our GDP but not in our military spending, even though the developement is
a result. So in addition to wasting our money in "defense" spending we are arming others, often both sides of a conflict like Pakistan versus India. I think Eisenhower was more correct than you are. This is not the result of some carefully thought out GDP analysis. This is a military industrial complex out of control.
In addition, I believe you also predicted the Trib would not respond to Steve Duin's column - they'd just let it die out. Die out? There's been virtually a new Ross Island story every day since in the Oregonian with a cartoon thrown in.
The Trib may have to respond.

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush administration sure is all about manipulation, and at any cost. Wow. Does America need a wakeup call or what!?!?

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