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The crash test

The transcript of Greta Christina's interview with Edwina Rogers is now available. I’ve heard that some other people here at FtB are going to get a shot at interviewing her, too — I was offered a chance, but deferred because…well, because she reminds me of this commercial.

It’s getting ugly. The SCA can’t very well put her in a sealed room and tell her not to do interviews anymore — communicating with people is her job — but I suspect the board that hired her is cringing every time she opens her mouth.

Comments

  1. mferrari says

    It’s like watching a train wreck off the side of the highway, I just can’t turn away even though it pains me to watch (and in this case listen to her open her mouth)

  2. mferrari says

    PZ, I wish you would have interviewed her too, you’re always the best at holding people’s feet to the fire.

  3. robertwilson says

    I am very concerned about the out-of-touchness she displays about Republicans and secularism.

    On the other hand I like the fact that she has a lot of experience as a lobbyist and that she has experience on tax issues.

    Yes, it sucks to hear her interviews and realize she’s not a PZ or a Greta or any number of other prominent atheist bloggers who I agree with on 90%+ of the issues. That doesn’t matter if she can be a successful advocate for the SCA in DC and with state gov’t.

    It’s a pipe dream I think, but what if her experience on financial issues could earn the SCA some wins in that dept? That is one area I would view as near-impossible to make inroads in without someone like her at the helm.

    Lobbyists are advocates, like lawyers. What matters is not whether they are perfectly aligned with your position – though the closer they come the better, all else being equal – but I’ll take a strong advocate ahead of a sympathetic but ineffective one.

  4. says

    Based on that interview, her feet don’t even need to held to the fire. The lack of really aggressive questioning removes the excuse that she was ambushed, although I can hear Sarah Palin in my head complaining about gotcha questions.

  5. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    I bailed out in the middle of the first answer.

    What the frak?

  6. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    What matters is not whether they are perfectly aligned with your position

    i cannot believe how often I’ve seen this ridiculous strawman in defense of Rogers. Why is it such a hard thing to address what the ACTUAL CONCERN ABOUT HER IS?

    No one cares that she’s not 100% progressive atheist – or whatever – we care about the fact that she’s either competely naive or a really bad liar re: the repig party.

    As I said elsewhere – if she would have been upfront about her time stumping for repigs, instead of whitewashing it and the party as she did, I’d have less of a concern about her.

    Instead, this interview makes it clear she was the wrong choice.

  7. mferrari says

    @4

    I think people are more upset that she seems to be clueless about pretty much everything that was asked of her in that interview.

  8. says

    What irks me most about the interview is that Rogers never answered the question Greta Christina kept rephrasing over and over through the whole thing. Are we really to believe that she became and remains a Republican simply because Ronald Reagan made some speeches about being hard working that resonated with her? Seriously – what part of the Republican platform does Rogers agree with? All we can tell from the interview is that she seems to be opposed to everything in the social conservative ideology (despite supporting some serious social conservatives like Rick Perry). Does that mean she’s a conservative because she wants a flat tax and a global display of American military might? Regardless, her views on fiscal policy and/or war must be so strong that she’s willing to support politicians who vehemently oppose her (our) social beliefs.

  9. rowanvt says

    I wasn’t able to get through even the entire transcript because she was making my brain hurt.

    But I hope in future interviews she is faced with such questions as:

    *Why* do you identify as a non-theist? What brought you to this point?
    What are the core values that you think atheists do and/or need to subscribe to?
    Here is the 2008 republican party platform, and here are some polls showing how republicans vote/feel. Please take a few minutes to peruse them. When you’re done, please comment on your earlier assertions that republicans are NOT anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-separation of church and state, etc.

  10. says

    She also comes across as staggeringly inarticulate. I find that surprising in a lobbyist, but I suppose if you’re only dealing with politicians, you need someone at their intellectual level.

  11. robertwilson says

    No one cares that she’s not 100% progressive atheist – or whatever – we care about the fact that she’s either competely naive or a really bad liar re: the repig party.

    Fair enough, this is a point that I should’ve dealt with.

    The thing is I don’t see this translating into her being a bad advocate unless she relies on that outdated information once she is doing her work as a lobbyist. If she does, then she becomes a laughable choice. If she were to defend her position after she was on the job with research in hand showing her that she can’t really bs her way around it, then I’d want her out.

    Right now I want her to get out there and get updated information, get her foot in the door and start to work on some issues like a good advocate should and get results for her client.

  12. says

    Seriously – what part of the Republican platform does Rogers agree with?

    My sense is the market fundamentalist part. Which is, of course, completely separate from social issues. Access to contraception and abortion, for example, have nothing to do with inequality or poverty. Neither does religious organizations performing public functions have to do with cuts to government services. And of course market fudamentalism itself is firmly based in the analysis of reality. Seriously.

  13. Anri says

    …but I suspect the board that hired her is cringing every time she opens her mouth.

    I hope so.

    A worse possibility is that they’re sitting back going, “Hmm, yep, just what we were looking for! She’s doing great!”

  14. says

    I think people forget that Rogers is Executive Director, not some grunt lobbyist employee. She needs to be able to speak to the politicians, but she also needs to be able to speak to us and she’s failing miserably at that. It isn’t enough that she has the phone numbers of people in D.C., she needs to be able to coordinate with secular organizations and leaders to exert the sort of influence that she can combine with her access to create positive change.

    And so far, neither she nor her supporters can convince most of us that she can do either of those things.

  15. says

    SC (Salty Current) has the right of it, with extra sarcasm. Market fundamentalism of the Reagan sort is based in large part on attacking poor minorities and women, reliance on religious charity in place of stripped government social safety nets, and a faith-based worship of “free markets” in contradiction of observed reality.

    The more Rogers talks, the more her goose is cooked.

  16. Randomfactor says

    Access to contraception and abortion, for example, have nothing to do with inequality or poverty.

    Beg to differ. Even if you’re narrowing your statement to read access to contraception and abortion not CAUSING inequality or poverty, that’s STILL wrong.

  17. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Randomfactor, your sarcasm detector is out of adjustment.

  18. mferrari says

    Here is the 2008 republican party platform, and here are some polls showing how republicans vote/feel. Please take a few minutes to peruse them. When you’re done, please comment on your earlier assertions that republicans are NOT anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-separation of church and state, etc.

    dear god, somebody please do this

  19. Matt Penfold says

    Access to contraception and abortion, for example, have nothing to do with inequality or poverty.

    If she was talking about Britain, then she would have a point, given that contraception and abortions can be had for free on the NHS. However, she was talking about the US, and she is talking crap. What about those states with very limited access to abortion and the consequent need to travel long distances to get access to an abortion ? Even if the abortion is free, there is the need to pay for transport, and quite possibly for accommodation.

  20. says

    She keeps babbling about 1994, before Clinton’s re-election, before the impeachment, before the bullshit that was the 2000 election, before 9/11, before Afghanistan and Iraq, before Obama’s election, as though nothing has changed in nearly 20 years.
    And she’s obviously not followed the Republican primaries, where most of the candidates (including the top three) have made explicit statements against secularism, calling it a “religion” and branding it as “elitist.”
    She needs to wake the hell up.

  21. truthspeaker says

    evobiologist says:
    8 May 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Does that mean she’s a conservative because she wants a flat tax and a global display of American military might?

    And if that is the reason she’s a conservative, all the more reason not to have her associated with SCA!

  22. truthspeaker says

    robertwilson says:
    8 May 2012 at 12:17 pm

    No one cares that she’s not 100% progressive atheist – or whatever – we care about the fact that she’s either competely naive or a really bad liar re: the repig party.

    Fair enough, this is a point that I should’ve dealt with.

    The thing is I don’t see this translating into her being a bad advocate unless she relies on that outdated information once she is doing her work as a lobbyist.

    You don’t think the fact that she is either a liar or a fool translates into her being a bad advocate?

  23. raven says

    Access to contraception and abortion, for example, have nothing to do with inequality or poverty.

    This is factually completely wrong. The truth is the exact opposite.

    Teenage pregnancy is highly correlated with life long poverty and child poverty.

    It’s also causal. If you start out falling behind because of a pregnancy and subsequent baby, it is hard to catch up. Others in your age group are going to college, working, and eventually many of them will get married and have a helper with what is a huge task.

    Comprehensive sex ed. and easy access to contraception is known to lower that important rate.

    I’m only slightly following this disaster. Never heard of the secular coalition and now that I have, I’m wondering who in the hell they are anyway. This “lobbyist” is clearly a moron and should go ASAP.

  24. raven says

    You don’t think the fact that she is either a liar or a fool translates into her being a bad advocate?

    She seems to be delusional and her brain exists in another universe.

    Chances are, if you are incompetent in one area, such as perceiving reality, reasoning, and telling the truth, you are incompetent in other areas.

    As little as I’ve seen, I wouldn’t trust her to walk a dog.

  25. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    So to recap, she’s an atheist save for her worship of Regan?

    Non-theist. She doesn’t want to label herself and alienate people. *eyeroll*

  26. tcsf says

    The question I have is this. Given how often the Republican party pushes pro-religion
    positions, I believe you cannot possibly effectively advocate secularism unless you take
    on Republicans disproportionately. Some Republicans simply have to be made to look bad,
    in a principled and professional way. Politics cannot be ignored in a lobbying position.
    And does anybody believe that Romney (and the debt he would owe the religious right
    if–horrors–he were elected) would be better for secularism than Obama? (The whole
    Fox-style of discourse, in which one simply states an obvious absurdity to ones’ own
    benefit, secure in the knowledge that ones power and production values shield one from
    accountability, seems on display in the interview, as others have documented.) So: is
    she willing to help us fight Republicans? Because a good secular advocate these days
    will do a lot more of that than fighting Democrats–on average.

  27. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Citation for my #31:

    The reason I said that it is probably best for me not to be labeled to the nth degree in subgroups is that as someone who is trying to represent the whole group, it is better for me not to be coming from one sector within the movement, and that competing groups might feel like they somehow have lost control, or they’ve lost a voice. So just because of that was the main reason that I didn’t want to be, you know, labeled five or six different ways.

  28. otrame says

    Are we really to believe that she became and remains a Republican simply because Ronald Reagan made some speeches about being hard working that resonated with her? Seriously – what part of the Republican platform does Rogers agree with?

    I will give her a little slack on that. My mother, who was a life-long democrat became a Republican because of Reagan as well. When I tried to pin her down on why she was still voting Republican decades later, given that she is totally NOT a social conservative and today the Republican Party would ride anyone with Reagan’s policies out of town on a rail, she would just dither about “tax and spend”. When I pointed out what the Republican platform actually said, she said “Most Republicans don’t think like that”.

    And my mother is not an idiot. Far from it. There is just a focal lacuna when it comes to politics.

    Not that I think that is what is going on here. Choosing a real lobbyist is a good idea, but appearances count with lobbyists, and not all successful lobbyists are quite so clearly not a progressive (much less secular). I’m afraid this one can’t pass the WTF test even with LOTS of lube. What a mess.

  29. Pteryxx says

    …Why does Rogers keep saying ‘all 50 states, all 50 states’ ? Shouldn’t the SCA’s lobbying activities deal with DC-level issues like federal conscience clauses, discrimination in the military and funding abstinence-only programs? Or does she think it’s only about batting down local school boards ‘one at a time’ ?

  30. says

    My sense is the market fundamentalist part.

    Then why didn’t she just say so in the first place instead of dancing around it?

    And of course market fudamentalism itself is firmly based in the analysis of reality. Seriously.

    I’d say I’m fairly moderate on the freedom of the market. Free competition is good, but money buys power and power limits the freedom of other competitors, so some restraints must be set in place to reduce these problems. If a disagreement on that is the reason Rogers is a Republican, then I’d just like her to say so, and acknowledge that the GOP has lately been an enemy to secular causes instead of dodging on both points. Economic philosophy is a separate issue, so I have no problem with a secular leader being a fiscal conservative.

  31. Rich Woods says

    @Matt Penfold #22:

    If she was talking about Britain, then she would have a point, given that contraception and abortions can be had for free on the NHS.

    …for now.

  32. says

    I will give her a little slack on that. My mother, who was a life-long democrat became a Republican because of Reagan as well. When I tried to pin her down on why she was still voting Republican decades later, given that she is totally NOT a social conservative and today the Republican Party would ride anyone with Reagan’s policies out of town on a rail, she would just dither about “tax and spend”. When I pointed out what the Republican platform actually said, she said “Most Republicans don’t think like that”.

    And my mother is not an idiot. Far from it. There is just a focal lacuna when it comes to politics.

    No no no no no! No slack given? Why should we? She’s not MY mother? Why should we give anyone slack on what is an irrational, irreasonable, and frankly selfish and harmful political view. All respect you want to your mother, I’m sure you love her, but as someone affected by said policies do you think I give a crap about what your mother really thinks as she continues to vote against me? And this woman has even less ‘loyalty’ owed to her. We most certainly should not cut any slack. We’re not the Catholic Church and we should not strive to be like it. You’re responsible for what you say and what you believe and shit ideas are shit ideas.

  33. jamessweet says

    As others have pointed out, we might be able to read between the lines and see that she is a Republican because she is a fiscal conservative, while strongly disagreeing with the party line on social issues. If that were the long and the short of it, it would still be a matter for concern (other commenters have already pointed out why much more clearly than I might), but it would not be the complete fiasco that we are seeing here. She is denying very obvious things about the Republican mainstream. She is pretending numbers and stated policy platforms which directly contradict her statements don’t exist.

    In short, she sounds kind of like a reality-denying Republican spin doctor.

    Forging a big-tent alliance with fiscal conservative/social progressives might be a hard pill to swallow, but I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable. But Rogers is just fucking lying here. Not promising at all…

  34. consciousness razor says

    It’s getting ugly. The SCA can’t very well put her in a sealed room and tell her not to do interviews anymore — communicating with people is her job — but I suspect the board that hired her is cringing every time she opens her mouth.

    I’m not sure about that. She said this at the very end, which leads me to think she’s indicating that she knows what the SCA board actually wants:

    I’m a conservative Republican, and I definitely don’t have any plans to change parties, and I don’t think that the Secular Coalition for America would be as interested in me if I was another person who was closely affiliated with the Democratic Party. They’ve got that covered. They’ve got that covered very well. So the plan is not for me to try to go and be, operate in a party that I have not been. The plan is for me to try to work with Republicans and also with Democrats, and build common ground. Now the coalitions I’ve worked with in the past, they were bipartisan, and this one actually is bipartisan. And you know, that’s what the leadership thinks, that’s what the leadership wants, and they had no problem with the fact that I happen to be a Republican, and we’ve been over my personal position.

    It’s completely beyond me why the SCA thinks they need a token Republican, rather than a competent leader who isn’t so obviously clueless. The executive ought to have a very good big-picture understanding of secular issues and the demographics involved to guide the organization properly, not just cater to a particular niche — in this case, a very small one of Republican secularists. You could have other people in the organization to fulfill that role, if it’s important, or put her into that role and hire someone else as executive.

    But if it’s really important that the executive be a Republican face to put on the movement, they’d still have to be fairly influential with Republicans (she isn’t) because most of them are not going to think about it so superficially that they’ll side with anyone who calls themselves a Republican. They’d also still need some inkling about where Republicans stand on the issues (again, not exactly her forte), and they’d need to represent and communicate effectively with skeptics and liberals who make up most of the constituency (so far this doesn’t look good either).

    It’s just a huge mess. I’d like to hear from some of the other big muckety-mucks in SCA, if there are any who can string more than a couple of words together without lying or evading the point.

  35. says

    I will give her a little slack on that. My mother, who was a life-long democrat became a Republican because of Reagan as well. When I tried to pin her down on why she was still voting Republican decades later, given that she is totally NOT a social conservative and today the Republican Party would ride anyone with Reagan’s policies out of town on a rail, she would just dither about “tax and spend”. When I pointed out what the Republican platform actually said, she said “Most Republicans don’t think like that”.

    And my mother is not an idiot. Far from it. There is just a focal lacuna when it comes to politics.

    I’ll cut Rogers some slack as soon as she’s interviewing to be my mother, and starts up the allowance. I’m sure your mom is a fine mother, but that doesn’t mean I want her in charge of anything to do with public policy.

  36. says

    Forging a big-tent alliance with fiscal conservative/social progressives might be a hard pill to swallow, but I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable.

    FFS it IS unreasonable. Especially if you view those stances as unreasonable views.

    What are we going to compromise with them on? Hmmm? Welfare? Birth control? Whether businesses can discriminate or not.

    Economics and sociology are NOT N.O.M. Economics IS a social issue.

  37. Pteryxx says

    also FYI: Ed Brayton is going to interview Rogers next.

    One argument in her favor is that she may be able to open some doors in Congress that have long been closed to us because of her experience and connections. I’m skeptical about that, but I am hoping to have the chance to ask her about it directly soon. On Wednesday, I’ll be interviewing Rogers for my radio show, to be aired either the 15th or the 22nd.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/05/08/the-scas-new-leader/

  38. says

    I am very concerned about the out-of-touchness she displays about Republicans and secularism.

    I am not sure she is wrong. I think most of the assholes that get elected do so on the basis of lying, about damn near everything, including imaginary threats to things that are not threatened (like being allowed to pray in school at all, instead of just being led it in by a state official). But, I also think she is, as I stated on Greta’s page, the Republican version of a Catholic, who disagrees with nearly every damn thing the church leadership says, and much of what it does/doesn’t do, but still insists that there are enough “meaningful” stuff, that somehow don’t exist any place else (which is the key delusion, I think), to remain Catholic.

  39. says

    @jamessweet:

    Forging a big-tent alliance with fiscal conservative/social progressives might be a hard pill to swallow, but I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable. But Rogers is just fucking lying here. Not promising at all…

    My problem is that Rogers doesn’t even seem qualified to maintain the current “tent” let alone making it bigger. So many people are so very dumb if they believe “ability to talk to our natural enemies” is enough to qualify someone to lead a secular group. You actually have to be able to communicate effectively with your natural allies as well.

    I know the accommodationists support her, because they hate us and she seems indifferent to us and that’s a good fit for them.

  40. says

    I am not sure she is wrong. I think most of the assholes that get elected do so on the basis of lying, about damn near everything, including imaginary threats to things that are not threatened (like being allowed to pray in school at all, instead of just being led it in by a state official).

    You really need to stop presuming that people are lying when they saw awful shit. When they start DOING awful shit you need to stop caring about whether they’re lying or not.

    No theists and republicans really do believe the crazy shit they say.

  41. says

    My problem is that Rogers doesn’t even seem qualified to maintain the current “tent” let alone making it bigger. So many people are so very dumb if they believe “ability to talk to our natural enemies” is enough to qualify someone to lead a secular group. You actually have to be able to communicate effectively with your natural allies as well.

    Why is SCA focusing on Republicans anyway? Why wouldn’t they want to focus on Democrats who while not friendly are not openly hostile, and seem like a much more fertile ground for getting support?

    SCA has to realize that for all intents and purposes, SECULARISM is a liberal cause in America.

  42. joed says

    WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE!
    can’t you see what has happened to SCA?!
    An influential part of the board has been
    COOPTED,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooption
    A co-option (also cooptation, co-optation, cooption) is an act of absorbing or assimilating. It is normally used in the context of a group of persons assimilating a weaker or smaller group, with the intention of neutralizing a threat from the weaker group.[citation needed]

    There have been many cooptions happen recently.
    Susan G. Comen Foundation for one.
    the Christians are the best when it comes to coopting a threat. hundres of local school boards for example.
    I got an email from Eliza Kashinsky
    eliza@secular.org>
    claming that Edwina(Eliza did not use Edwina’s full name)is the best there is etc.
    Anyway, I could go on but whining about Edwina is the least you can do to bring the truth to light.
    My bet says the board of SCA has been coopted.
    And, yelling at me is of no value. Yelling at Edwina is of no value. Put your thinking caps on folks. ask the board of SCA what happened.

  43. says

    @Ing: Overlong Ellison Reference (#43):

    What are we going to compromise with them on? Hmmm? Welfare? Birth control? Whether businesses can discriminate or not.

    This is what pisses me off about the accommodationists: it is always assumed that when we square off against our opponents, it is our job to find thing to compromise about. Why isn’t it ever the job of our representatives to hold fast to a position and make the other side compromise? Why are people looking for a SCA that will sell us out in exchange for less than what we deserve, instead of one that will get us what we need and play hardball and make the other side cave in?

  44. says

    This is what pisses me off about the accommodationists: it is always assumed that when we square off against our opponents, it is our job to find thing to compromise about. Why isn’t it ever the job of our representatives to hold fast to a position and make the other side compromise? Why are people looking for a SCA that will sell us out in exchange for less than what we deserve, instead of one that will get us what we need and play hardball and make the other side cave in?

    In fact it’s only a compromise if BOTH sides give in. That’s the point. otherwise it’s rolling over.

    it’s like they learned diplomacy from old Start Trek TNG where Picard and friends would roll over and take abuse from any asshole race of the week for the sake of ‘diplomacy’.

  45. says

    @Ing & joed:

    Veal pen, babes! They’ve mistaken access for influence. They want a seat at the table, whether or not they have any actual pull once they sit down. I think SCA has been willingly co-opted, in order to get the folks on the board invited to the cool D.C. parties.

    Ask a feminist how well these sort of organizations work for them, when they do NOTHING to sway politicians during the fight over policy, and then use the policy to raise funds for more… something, but not fight since they don’t do fighting any more. They do big celebrity fundraisers where people from both parties show up… actual fighting for causes not so much.

  46. Woo_Monster says

    Rogers,

    And I’m really embarrassed that I haven’t contributed money to every governor, every Republican governor

    Gross.

    Her justification for giving $1,000 to Rick Perry was particularly disturbing. And that is saying something considering Roger’s pathetic and dishonest answers.

  47. says

    The same way they mistake access for influence, they seem to believe that compromise is a principle rather than a strategy. Compromise can and should mean that you have a goal and are willing to give up the perfect outcome for an outcome where you get most of what you want and the other side gets a little too. It doesn’t mean that you give up most of what you want in exchange for a “win” that is merely symbolic once you’ve sold out the majority of your goals.

  48. robro says

    I don’t get it. I was looking around for more background on her and discovered this nifty tidbit:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200703160015

    This is Edwina in 2007 as a “Republican strategist” on Fox News carping a Bush/Cheney line about Valerie Plame. Plame was the CIA operative that was outed by Robert Novak (for Dick Cheney) because her husband went public about the Iragi WMDs BS. Edwina is saying that Valerie had already outed herself by appearing in a Vanity Fair photo article. The Media Matters article is pointing that was true. The photo shoot was 4 months after Novak outed her.

    So far I’ve got a lawyer (JD from Catholic University!), lobbyist, head of some health lobby org, conservative columnist, Bush/Cheney shill, Fox News “expert” talking head, and at one point rumored cast member of Real Housewives of DC (although it’s not clear that dream came true).

    Like I say, I don’t get it.

  49. says

    They seemed to have chosen someone who a big part of the base won’t like…because the NEW recruits are so much more valuable that we’ll gladly sacrifice 5 score that of old troops to win them over!

    Sadly, I also think it’s a bit of “Not-a-Liberal” clout. For some reason, even progressives, seem to think not being liberal gives you more credability on an issue that is traditionally liberal.

    Example

    “Now he’s no liberal and doesn’t believe in AGW, but he supports energy efficiency”

    For some reason progressives gleefully spread the meme that they’re not respectable and that by NOT holding their values someone else is more respectable.

  50. Woo_Monster says

    Melody,
    You should post that at Greta’s site as well (if you haven’t yet).

  51. anubisprime says

    Who in their right mind ever contemplated, let alone give her, a job that she is patently and overwhelmingly unsuited for?

    That was a fucking train wreck and a complete embarrassment…

    The SCA have betrayed their own with a brain fart that will stench up the air for generation unto generation, that have sabotaged themselves…what fucking complete muppet of an idiot signed off on that abomination.
    She has the analytical skill of a dingleberry and the political taste of a cockroach!

    It is a walking time-bomb with no intentions of representing the real issues with any cogency…SHE IS A REPUBLICAN CLONE with no idea!

    Fuck sakes get real…kick it to the curb before she sells the alliance out either by accident or design…she is dangerously stupid!

  52. jamessweet says

    @Ing: My point is that there can be legitimate debate over the value of forging an alliance with a group where you agree on some things but not on others. The debate, of course, is whether the things on which you disagree are deal-breakers. Is fiscal conservatism a deal-breaker? Yeah, maybe it is. But we could at least have that debate.

    What’s not debatable is whether the GOP mainstream is anti-choice and anti-gay. The evidence is in the polls, it is in official platform documents, and Rogers is lying her ass off about it.

    If the prospect here was the SCA being headed by an honest social progress/fiscal conservative, there would be many voices such as yours that would still be not okay with that (and I’m not so sure I would be either), but there would also be many that are okay with it. There’s a conversation to be had there about which values we prioritize.

    But that’s not what happened. The SCA appointed a lying Republican spin doctor to head their organization.

  53. says

    If the prospect here was the SCA being headed by an honest social progress/fiscal conservative, there would be many voices such as yours that would still be not okay with that (and I’m not so sure I would be either), but there would also be many that are okay with it. There’s a conversation to be had there about which values we prioritize.

    You missed the crux of my argument with that. Fiscal and social are not two separate domains. That they are is a convenient lie some people say that “Oh I’m a decent person…save for this area where I’m willing to fuck over everyone for my own wealth”

  54. consciousness razor says

    For some reason progressives gleefully spread the meme that they’re not respectable and that by NOT holding their values someone else is more respectable.

    Too much hashish, maybe.

    I don’t get it either, honestly, but there’s apparently some kind of insane troll logic in which this makes sense. It doesn’t seem so different from any other accommodationist bullshit though, and maybe liberals are particularly susceptible to it. I think the most respect is supposed to go to moderates and independents who use bipartisanship and the golden mean fallacy as their guiding principles, while the rest of us should be ashamed of actually caring about shit and having priorities.

  55. Pteryxx says

    ‘Nother stupid question… is Rogers potentially an appealing lobbyist for the sort of privileged white male, philosophy-wanking, Bigfoot-debunking atheists that the progressive atheist community (yeah I know) has so much trouble with? Maybe they’re okay with all the social conservatism as long as the churchy label’s filed off.

  56. joed says

    If you want to get first hand info on how fucked the SCA is then just email Eliza, but be polite goddammit.
    Eliza Kashinsky
    eliza@secular.org>
    she will tell you all about the real Edwina.

  57. Woo_Monster says

    Hey, I got Rogers to elaborate a little more on what she fancies in conservatism.
    I asked,

    Hello. I was wondering if you could elaborate on what parts of conservatism appeal to you? Secular people tend to vote democrat, as far as I know. Please be bluntly honest and say which ideological positions you think the majority of secular Americans (who are liberal) probably disagree with you on?

    Rogers answered,

    It is true that secular people tend to vote Democrat (certainly a majority, but not all). Pew put up a survey that said that 61% of people who aren’t affiliated with a religion are lean Democratic and 27% lean Republican.
    As far as my beliefs are concerned, a lot of the fiscal and international positions of the Republican party appeal to me. Lower taxes, open and free markets, individual liberties, and all that. I support market solutions rather than having the government take care of things where possible. I’m supportive of strong states and local decision making and a limited federal government.

    I thought Rogers was supposed to be an atheist. She clearly believes in a god. Who does she think the invisible hand of the free market is attached to?

  58. says

    @Pteryxx:

    Exactly for that “privileged white male, philosophy-wanking, Bigfoot-debunking atheist” audience. You can tell, since that dangeroustalk wanker is all over Freethought Blogs defending Rogers. The last we saw of Staks, he was defending his sexism all over the Internet, and now he’s wanking hard for Rogers as an awesome choice.

  59. says

    I’m supportive of strong states and local decision making and a limited federal government.

    Lovely, she stands against secular values in practice, if not in principle. Wow she’s a bad choice.

  60. says

    Fuck, maybe her goal is to get secular Republicans to bite the bullet and vote for Romney, and everything else is just smokescreen?

    SCA, your board of directors are dumb. DUMB!

  61. says

    This is factually completely wrong. The truth is the exact opposite.

    Argh!

    ***

    It’s like a reverse guilt by association

    Oh he’s not a liberal, in fact he’s a Neo-Nazi, but he favors funding the library!

    I had a big argument at Deltoid months back when people were talking about this guy who’s a Mormon Republican politician who accepted AGW, and how great he was and how people like him should be “treasured.” I was attacked for pointing out that accepting the overwhelming scientific consensus on one subject, even one of great importance, doesn’t cut it. People even suggested that those pesky atheist, rights, and justice issues should take a back seat since AGW is so urgent (because promoting reason and addressing social injustice are entirely separate from dealing with AGW*).

    *Note to raven et al.: Please try to read this remark intelligently. Thanks.

  62. jamessweet says

    You missed the crux of my argument with that. Fiscal and social are not two separate domains. That they are is a convenient lie some people say that “Oh I’m a decent person…save for this area where I’m willing to fuck over everyone for my own wealth”

    Okay, I see where you are going with that. Still, however, it’s possible for a person to be simultaneously pro-gay rights and pro-corporate tax breaks, for example. You can consider that an incoherent position, but it is possible to hold that position (and many do).

    Your point is that the division into social/fiscal policy is artificial, and I don’t entirely disagree. But still: People have artificially made that division.

    So let me give an example: Let’s say we are talking about an anti-choice atheist. I don’t even have to think about whether that is an incoherent position; I think opposition to reproductive rights can only be grounded in religious thinking, and I see that as a complete deal-breaker for a secular spokesperson. But even though I see that as both a deal-breaker and as an artificial division, we could still have that conversation. We can talk about whether or not that is a deal-breaker. Should the secularism movement’s tent include anti-choice atheists? I say no (and loudly!), but the question is at least askable.

    Rogers here is not even allowing us to ask those types of questions, because she’s saying “lalala I can’t hear you” about the GOP’s explicitly stated positions.

  63. says

    SC (Salty Current): fuckety really? “Stupid on everything except AGW = awesome!” for real?!?!

    Next, we should “treasure” people who hate us if we both like chili-cheese fries. That makes about as much sense.

  64. says

    SC (Salty Current): fuckety really? “Stupid on everything except AGW = awesome!” for real?!?!

    Yes! It was infuriating. “Treasured.” I realized even an antagonistic discussion was pointless when someone referred to me as male, another person said no, I’m a lady, someone else responded that while I’m female I’m “no lady” (I assume this was in response to my argument that someone could be an “immense douche” on every other subject but this is somehow supposed to cancel that out), and no one took issue with that. I saw a similar dynamic kick in when people tried to have a critical discussion of religion generally there. They’re good comment threads, but with real limitations in my experience.

  65. Anri says

    Okay, I see where you are going with that. Still, however, it’s possible for a person to be simultaneously pro-gay rights and pro-corporate tax breaks, for example. You can consider that an incoherent position, but it is possible to hold that position (and many do).

    Sure, but that doesn’t mean we have to elevate those people over folks that agree wholeheartedly. It’s not that we’re unwilling to listen to both sides of the issues, it’s that we’re wondering why both sides of the issue have to be represented by our side. We’re asking if this was really, truly the best the SCA could do.

    Having half of your players playing for the opposing team half of the time is probably not a winning strategy.

  66. says

    Wow, Salty, just wow. Great discussion of your gender, as though it mattered. It almost doesn’t matter in online discussions, except where focus on it tends to show people’s bias. Anyhoo, it kills me that so many otherwise progressive folks are so blinded by their desire to be “fair and balanced” that they dig through the words and deeds of hateful people, find one tiny sliver of good in them, and then declare that those people should be “treasured.”

  67. says

    Forging a big-tent alliance with fiscal conservative/social progressives

    I don’t wanna forge alliances with walking oxymorons.

    also, why are so many people in this thread sarcasm-impaired? I thought the snark in SC’s post earlier was pretty obvious (and pretty well explains why fiscal conservative/social progressive is an oxymoron)

  68. consciousness razor says

    I had a big argument at Deltoid months back when people were talking about this guy who’s a Mormon Republican politician who accepted AGW, and how great he was and how people like him should be “treasured.”

    Maybe I’m stretching this a bit, but it sort of works the opposite way too. For example, the idea is that it’s somehow extra-super-bad if a black dude is bigoted toward women, gays, atheists, etc. Minorities are held to a higher standard because civil rights are their cause, but not necessarily anyone else’s, so it’s more of a betrayal and harder to comprehend how they could be inconsistent. On the other hand, if a white dude hates the same people while being opposed to racism, somehow that’s better or more understandable because supposedly he can be consistent about hating one kind of person while not hating another.

  69. says

    Anri @#81

    You’re AWESOME!

    I keep wondering the same thing… why does their side get to be 100% for or against something, and our side needs to seek “balance”? Why do we have to give them the advantage by never actually opposing them? If they are all against us, why should we dilute our message by including people who are also against us?

  70. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    *facepalm* I totally knew that! D’oh.

  71. Pteryxx says

    (meta)

    also, why are so many people in this thread sarcasm-impaired?

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t see SC’s sarcasm either at first, but I know the statements sounded odd coming from SC. I did what I usually do, which is wait to see how everyone else reacts, because some of y’all have better sarcasm detectors than I do. *shrug* It does happen. Internet, lack of cues, etc.

  72. Woo_Monster says

    Oh gods, more disappointing answers from Roberts in the Reddit thread.
    Sorry for the text dump,
    KatieHartman,

    What motivates you to represent American atheists and secularists? This isn’t really a question about your resume or even your goals – I’m interested in why you want to do this work.

    Rogers,

    I’m passionate about all of these issues. I’m excited that I finally get to serve in a role where I can put them front and center and make a difference.

    KatieHartman,

    But this doesn’t really tell us anything about you – why are you passionate about these issues?
    (Edit: I’m really not trying to be tricky, here – those of us who are secular/atheist activists all have reasons for being passionate enough to dedicate our time and energy to the work. I think it’d make a huge difference to us to know what those reasons are for you.)

    Rogers,

    I’ve personally seen discrimination against people who are nontheists and find it completely unacceptable. If you go down the list of positions that SCA works on, I agree with all of them. And I think I can make a difference. If I didn’t think I could help, I wouldn’t be here.

    My response:
    Stop trying to nail Ms. Rogers down about which issues she is particularly impassioned about. She has already said, she is passionate about “all of the issues” that interest us. Answered.
    Rogers, here is a tip for you. Go to Pharyngula and search the back-logs of “Why I am an Atheist” posts. There you will find many examples of clear and moving explanations of why the people in our movement are passionate. You clearly have no problem spinning your responses in attempt to appeal to your audience, so use them as a template and emulate them. With some practice, you may be able to convince some of the less-skeptical atheists that you actually are impassioned about atheist activism, and aren’t just taking this job for the pay-check.
    As it is, you have spent more time apologizing for the Republican party than you have speaking for atheism and secularism. I am very disappoint.

  73. Anri says

    Joe:

    I keep wondering the same thing… why does their side get to be 100% for or against something, and our side needs to seek “balance”? Why do we have to give them the advantage by never actually opposing them? If they are all against us, why should we dilute our message by including people who are also against us?

    Well, I suspect that some of it is that we (hopefully) have arrived at our positions through careful consideration, and that we understand that there is a reasonable range of positions on almost any given topic. Inclusiveness by definition tends to make a unified message all but impossible – herding cats and all.

    However, there’s trying to understand all points of view and then there’s automatically assuming they’re all equally valid. Not the same at all.

    And you’re quite right, there’s no good reason that I can see to have our public figures, our champions (to be melodramatic), in the habit of ceding the center of the field before the battle is even joined. Diplomacy has its place, but we could use a little less concern about being called names by people who are wrong by inclination.

  74. says

    Anri,

    “Ceding the center of the field before the battle is even joined” is my entire point. It seems like too many people want to feel like they are being reasonable, so their opening bid is somewhere in the middle, and then they compromise to the right. What we need is negotiators who start from the far-left, and then are willing to compromise closer to the center, but still on our side of the line. What we actually have is people who we can’t respect, who start in the center and compromise so far to the right that we don’t really get anything at all.

  75. madscientist says

    Holy crap! What the hell did they ask her in the job interview? How did such an idiot get that job? Can I have a sinecure too? Does she even know what “secular” means?

  76. says

    Thank you for asking that question, W_M.

    As far as my beliefs are concerned, a lot of the fiscal and international positions of the Republican party appeal to me. Lower taxes, open and free markets, individual liberties, and all that. I support market solutions rather than having the government take care of things where possible. I’m supportive of strong states and local decision making and a limited federal government.

    I…don’t even know where to start with this and its relationship to other issues.

  77. Sili says

    . For example, the idea is that it’s somehow extra-super-bad if a black dude is bigoted toward women, gays, atheists, etc. Minorities are held to a higher standard because civil rights are their cause, but not necessarily anyone else’s, so it’s more of a betrayal and harder to comprehend how they could be inconsistent.

    I’ve certainly been guilty of that – possibly still am.

  78. says

    What’s horrifying to me is that the rest of the SCA seems to be jumping in on her lies and dissembling and ridiculousness instead of trying to fix it. Do they really think we’re too stupid to realize it? They posted a blog today with the most egregious use of statistics I’ve ever seen. It’s just horrible. Why do they keep fucking this up?

    This isn’t just a plug for my blog, but if you’re interested in the bad statistics, I did a write up on it. http://ashleyfmiller.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/sca-really-seriously-what-are-you-doing/

  79. says

    A lot of clichés. A lot of avoidance of the facts by deploying unsubstantiated persona experience. A lot of “well I disagree with you but can’t give you one good reason for my disagreement, but I’m sure I read it somewhere.” Edwina Rogers would rather be polite than right.

    Was it a Republican Governor, or a Democrat that was ready to sign a bill that would forced women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion? Then he got caught and had to settle for just plain old ultrasounds.

    Is it Republican or Democratic Party attitudes that prompts an article containing these paragraphs?

    …It wasn’t long before that hope was shattered. For months I received bags of hate mail, much of it from writers who identified themselves as “loyal Republicans.” A Republican congressional aide called soon after my arrival in Romania to ask whether my partner’s “socks and underwear” had been transported at taxpayer expense. It quickly became clear to me that the organizations that decried my nomination, or even called for it to be rescinded, shared a Republican membership base.

    Grenell surely knows, as I do, many Republicans who believe their party should be more open to gays and more accepting on issues of gay rights. But where are those voices, and what influence do they have? Republican Party leaders continue to allow principles of fairness and equality — so important at the founding of the GOP and, indeed, our country — to be hollowed out.

    Rogers has a serious case of head in the sand. Republicans are passing laws and taking actions that are regressive. Let’s ask her what she thought of a major voting block of Republicans sending the nation to the brink of default over funding for Planned Parenthood.

  80. Woo_Monster says

    She’s a lobbyist who doesn’t believe the people she’s lobbying should have the power to fix any conceivable issue she should be lobbying about.

    Exactly. I would also add,

    1) The people she is lobbying agree with the notion that it is not the gubement’s job to fix these problems anyways, which adds to the ridiculousness of this scenario.*

    2) Rogers denies that the people that she is lobbying are actively against fixing these problems (achieving LGBTQI equality, separation of church and state, reproductive rights…) .

    *it seems like Activism Theater**, someone against the government exercising power, lobbying someone against the government exercising power, while not even believing themselves that the people they are lobbying actually oppose the issues that they are lobbying for.

    **TM

  81. says

    I’m a giant asshole, and I feel like I could answer those questions better. I’m a disaster as a human being, and I’m probably a better candidate for Executive Director of SCA. Ultimately, I feel like I can answer honestly and forcefully any questions to my views and character, to defend myself in ways that Rogers simply cannot.

  82. Woo_Monster says

    SC,

    Thank you for asking that question, W_M

    You are welcome. I was glad to see she addressed it, though she could have been more thorough. I asked her a follow up, I really would like to get response.

    Could we get specific for just a moment? Should employers be allowed to discriminate based on religious grounds? Can they have discriminatory hiring practices? Can they deny workers access to health plans that cover reproductive health, for religious reasons? If you are against allowing employers to discriminate on religious grounds, what do you believe is the best way to safeguard against it? I do not believe, on matters of civil liberties (which I consider this specific example to be), an “open and free market” approach, or “market solutions”, or leaving the decision up to the discretion of “strong state and local” governments, would adequately prevent violations of civil liberties.
    In other words, will you apply your limited federal government ideology to your advocacy for issues like LGBTQI rights, separation of church and state, and reproductive rights? Or, do you feel like for these issues, a strong federal policy is necessary to protect civil liberties?

  83. John Morales says

    What motivates you to represent American atheists and secularists? This isn’t really a question about your resume or even your goals – I’m interested in why you want to do this work.

    Rogers,

    I’m passionate about all of these issues. I’m excited that I finally get to serve in a role where I can put them front and center and make a difference.

    Personally passionate?

    Hm. From the Greta interview:

    GC: Okay. Let’s get started. My first question: before accepting this position as Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, ah, how did you participate in the atheist and secular community? I mean, did you belong to atheist or secular organizations? Did you attend conferences? Were you participating in online discussions and forums? And if so, which ones?

    ER: Well, I was not an active participant in the movement. I’m, I am now, of course. It was something that I’ve always interested in, but I never had it as part of my portfolio as my position as a lobbyist in any position in the past. I mean, there are a number of issues that I care about that I just haven’t had time to get extremely involved in those particular movements.

    So passionate now that they’re “in her portfolio”, eh?

    So… she’s professionally passionate.

  84. says

    Dear Edwina,

    Please review this news segment about Republican obstructionism. There is a right-wing constituency that is passionate about staffing the nation’s judiciary system with judges who have a political agenda.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#47331529

    Courts matter, and the nominees are qualified and completely non-controversial. None of the nominees who were unanimously approved by the judiciary committee will be approved by Republicans.

    Republicans are being stupid and obstructionist because they like themselves that way. If this is just a few of your fellow Republicans, why is it enough to block judicial appointments?

    Your view that most Republicans are reasonable and nicey nice nice just doesn’t map onto reality.

  85. David Marjanović says

    Economic philosophy is a separate issue

    Economics is not philosophy, it is science. It can be, and often has been, tested in large-scale experiments.

    If it’s not a science the way you do it, you’re in good and large company, but you’re nonetheless doing it wrong.

    But, I also think she is, as I stated on Greta’s page, the Republican version of a Catholic, who disagrees with nearly every damn thing the church leadership says, and much of what it does/doesn’t do, but still insists that there are enough “meaningful” stuff, that somehow don’t exist any place else (which is the key delusion, I think), to remain Catholic.

    I think we have a winner.

    also, why are so many people in this thread sarcasm-impaired? I thought the snark in SC’s post earlier was pretty obvious

    It’s obvious only if you read the entire thing (or if you already know SC). Otherwise it’s not clear at all; SC completely deadpanned it. Well, some people jump to conclusions and the ends of paragraphs.

    Edwina Rogers would rather be polite than right.

    Gives me a case of HULK SMASH

    Rogers has a serious case of head in the sand.

    It was half past 1 at night when I read that. I interpreted it as “sand in the head”.

    I think I was right.

  86. says

    Otrame:

    I will give her a little slack on that. My mother, who was a life-long democrat became a Republican because of Reagan as well.

    Yeah, you know, I think there’s a bit of a difference between an ordinary citizen like your mother and some extremely well-paid lobbyist who earns her keep by lying to people. I could be wrong, but I think there is.

    Evobiologist: Ing is correct; social and economic are not discrete spheres. Abortion, for example, is an economic issue for women. Bearing children you can’t care for impoverishes you. More to the point of this discussion, poor people in a country with few to no social services will run into the arms of churches (or synagogues or mosques).

    Improbable Joe:

    I think SCA has been willingly co-opted, in order to get the folks on the board invited to the cool D.C. parties. Ask a feminist how well these sort of organizations work for them…

    Or ask GLBT people about the Human Rights Campaign.

    Ing:

    For some reason progressives gleefully spread the meme that they’re not respectable and that by NOT holding their values someone else is more respectable.

    Yeah, I’m sick of that shit, too.

    consciousness razor, I blame 30+ years of demonization of progressive values, accelerated in recent years by a massively conglomerated mainstream media. The golden-mean fallacy and “bipartisanship” are part of that strategy.

    James Sweet: I think Rogers’ record, combined with her question-dodging, speaks for itself. I don’t see that we’d be having that much different of a conversation if she were being honest, except perhaps the trainwreck factor would be a little lower.

  87. llewelly says

    Woo_Monster
    8 May 2012 at 2:36 pm :

    Hey, I got Rogers to elaborate a little more on what she fancies in conservatism.
    I asked,
    [snip]

    It is true that secular people tend to vote Democrat (certainly a majority, but not all). Pew put up a survey that said that 61% of people who aren’t affiliated with a religion are lean Democratic and 27% lean Republican.

    The important point here is that Edwina Rogers has read the PEW surveys.

    She is not ignorant of the opinions of most Republicans. She is not ignorant of their party platform.

    Yet she nonetheless made several factually incorrect statements about the opinions of most Republicans, and about the GOP platform.

    How could it be more clear?

  88. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    She likes Dubstep so must be “down with the kids”. The last thing that politicians (including lobbyists) should talk about is their musical taste. It never ends well, and we’ve had several instances of it backfiring in UK politics. Desperate.

    Anyway. Back on topic.

    As a Brit I’m not to sure exactly what the SCA do, but whatever it is this appointment smells kind of funny. The interview transcript with GC was weird… Thinking about it, more content-free than anything else.

  89. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    HRC is a perfect example of a group that used to be pretty good, and could still be doing good, except that they are happy not going after the people who could actually make a difference, like the Obama administration.

  90. truthspeaker says

    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc
    8 May 2012 at 8:46 pm

    The interview transcript with GC was weird… Thinking about it, more content-free than anything else.

    Content-free speech is a specialty of American political professionals.

  91. says

    A handful of fringe rightwingers have successfully carried out a coup in North Carolina tonight, despite unwavering opposition from the vast majority of Republicans in the state.

  92. Suido says

    Edwina Rogers:

    Well, I have plenty of values that are a priority to me.

    Groucho Marx:

    Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

    Facepalm.

  93. eigenperson says

    #3 Robert Wilson:

    Lobbyists are advocates, like lawyers. What matters is not whether they are perfectly aligned with your position – though the closer they come the better, all else being equal – but I’ll take a strong advocate ahead of a sympathetic but ineffective one.

    The problem is that Edwina Rogers does not even appear to understand what our position is, or the obstacles we face.

  94. says

    What’s more telling (to me, at least) is that it seems like she hasn’t read the SCA’s own congressional scorecards:

    http://secular.org/content/scorecards/Congress/2011/summary

    Republicans scoring an A: 0
    Republicans scoring a B: 0
    Republicans scoring a C: 6
    Republicans scoring a D: 5
    Republicans scoring an F: 230

    Reading through her responses to Greta Christina’s interview as well as her responses on Reddit, it seems like she’s in denial about the reality of her own party and she hasn’t stated any critical thinking as to why she remains a self-acclaimed Conservative Republican (who is so entrenched in its mindset that she has trouble getting over the automatic referral to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party”).

  95. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Content-free speech is a specialty of American political professionals.

    Aye, truthspeaker, unfortunately our lot are not that bad at it over here either. It might be that we have a little too much misplaced admiration of US corporate culture, and I know about that from experience! ;-)

  96. carlie says

    I’m starting to wonder if she’s not there for a different purpose entirely. Maybe she wasn’t intended to be an actual lobbyist, but more as a very visible trophy: “See, secularism is so good that we even attracted this uber-Republican to come work for us!” It’s the only answer I can think of that makes any sense.

  97. says

    Does she seriously not understand that we don’t give a fuck about Republican voters? Yea, sure. 98% of the Republican voters in this country could be totally pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-church atheists. It doesn’t matter one flying fuck when the vast, VAST majority of Republicans in position to make law are anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-secular theocratic plutocrats.

    That’s what our concern is, and where she seems to be completely ignorant. Voters are there to put people into power. If those people in power are against everything you’re for, THEY’RE the problem.

  98. Parse says

    Does she seriously not understand that we don’t give a fuck about Republican voters?

    Exactly. She’s in Washington to lobby the Republican politicians, and as Richard Lugar just found out the hard way, those Republican politicians have to pander to the most conservative, most religious voters.

  99. David Marjanović says

    Content-free speech is a specialty of American political professionals.

    FIFY.

    A handful of fringe rightwingers have successfully carried out a coup in North Carolina tonight, despite unwavering opposition from the vast majority of Republicans in the state.

    Heh.

    Republicans scoring an A: 0
    Republicans scoring a B: 0
    Republicans scoring a C: 6
    Republicans scoring a D: 5
    Republicans scoring an F: 230

    I shouldn’t be astonished, but I am. Still.

  100. says

    No theists and republicans really do believe the crazy shit they say.

    If all someone can do is say, “This is true, in spite of all evidence I don’t make up myself.”, then its a lie, whether or not they sincerely believe it or not. Also, its fairly clear that some of them know these things are not true, but subscribe to the idea that the best means to keep other people in line is “fear”. But, that isn’t my point. Its not lying about thinking gays will destroy the world that is the problem, or even, “denying prayer in school”. Even if they really, truly, believe those things, they are more than willing to lie about other things, in order to make themselves seem more palatable to what ever audience they are talking to, by pretending they don’t believe in some of those things, or not to the extent they do, or that, like the Tea Party did, that their greatest concerns are one thing, when in reality their **only** concerns are their delusional vision of religious social law, and the idea that everything from hang nails to the economy, is a result of not having enough anti-gay legislation. If they where honest, and said so, 90% of them would have never been elected. So, no, they where dishonest, and claimed that they cared about puppies and snowflakes, then, the moment they got elected, broke out the flame throwers, so they could demonstrate, using those things, what hell would be like, for everyone that didn’t toe the line (figuratively, of course).

    That is my point. I don’t give a shit what they lie about. They can be sincerely bat shit insane, as long as they are honest about being so. When they claim, or hedge, and dance the line, at one rally, about not being bloody crazy, then double down on insanity, the moment they are attending some far right wing rally, where they can be honest, it still means they are lying the 99% of the time that they are not at one of those right wing rallies.

    No, I am well aware that they believe this stuff. My problem is that one of the things they believe is the “literal” OT version of “love thy neighbor”, in which you can do just about anything you can legally get by with, and, if you don’t get caught, even the illegal ones, and their god is OK with it, because they only really need to apply the ten commandments, or any of the other lesser rules, to people that agree with their fundie thinking. Everyone else, you can lie to, steal from, etc. That is the problem, not whether or not they actually think teachers are promoting gayness in real sex ed, or the long list of other stupidities they truly believe in.