Politics @ SUNY Fredonia Last Night

19 Nov

The Observer put our panel discussion from last night on its front page. I had a great time, and the questions from the audience were very good and insightful. My understanding is that there will be video and audio available shortly, and I’ll post them here when it’s up.

On Sarah Palin:

“She has more then carved out her own persona in the past two weeks to the extent that she has become a superstar in the party, although that can very much change,” McCarthy said. “Don’t forget she reflects everything the Republican party stands for and has some personality to boot. The other part, in four years probably continuing as Governor of Alaska, she will have an record that is enhanced tremendously by that time and she’ll have some stature.”

“I think a good campaign doesn’t cancel on Letterman and say they’re going to Washington when they’re doing an interview in the same building,” Cornell said, referring to how poorly he felt the McCain campaign was organized, even from an entertainment standpoint.

I added that it was up to the Republican Party to decide whether it was going to back to what it had stood for pre-Bush II, or whether it was going to continue down the spending, big government, Christianist, anti-intellectual, anti-thought ways of the present. If they go for the former, then someone like Romney or some other person with conservative credentials will be the standard-bearer. If they pine for Bush II, then Palin will be a lock.

(Photo by the Observer)

27 Responses to “Politics @ SUNY Fredonia Last Night”

  1. Elmer Ploetz November 19, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    Cool. I didn’t realize the Observer had someone there!

  2. BuffaloBloviator November 19, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    “I added that it was up to the Republican Party to decide whether it was going to back to what it had stood for pre-Bush II, or whether it was going to continue down the spending, big government, Christianist, anti-intellectual, anti-thought ways of the present. If they go for the former, then someone like Romney or some other person with conservative credentials will be the standard-bearer. If they pine for Bush II, then Palin will be a lock.”

    Yes, if the Republican party rediscovers conservatism -small government, intellectual, thoughtful ideology – then even you Pundit may pine for your own past Republican party affiliation.

  3. hank November 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Christianist?

    Is that a word?

    Why I thought you went to church, or believed in God as the founders did is past me–perhaps that was in your Republican days.

    Not all liberals are atheists, but many many atheists are liberals.

  4. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone November 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Not all liberals are atheists, but many many atheists are liberals.

    Not all Republicans are ignorant morons, but many, many ignorant morons are Republicans… so, what’s your point?

  5. The Humanist November 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    “I like your Christ….I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

    – M. K. Gandhi

  6. BuffaloBloviator November 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    My beef is that atheism has been hijacked by the Secular Progressive religion.

    I can no longer call myself an atheist because I do not have faith in global warming nor am I a devout evolutionist, nor do I consider my own belief system to be an indictment of traditional organized religions or their accomplishments.

    My proof that Atheism is now faith-based religion (my apologies to traditional tolerant faith-based organized religions) presents itself by way of its adherent’s faith-mandated defense of “Atheism” as the only legitimate truth. When any religion in the USA fails to recognize itself humbly as being one religion in a community of religions, and instead defines itself as the end-all absolute truth, and preaches freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion, then it has defined itself to the rest of us as a fanatic force for intolerance.

  7. Jon Splett November 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm #

    “I can no longer call myself an atheist because I do not have faith in global warming nor am I a devout evolutionist, nor do I consider my own belief system to be an indictment of traditional organized religions or their accomplishments.”

    Wait, so you’re an atheist who doesn’t believe in evolution? I’m curious….what theory do you buy into for the origins of man?

  8. BuffaloBloviator November 19, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Jon,

    I don’t know the origin of man. Answering that question with specificity if above my pay grade.

  9. Jon Splett November 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    Well I can’t argue with that because I don’t know either but if I had to make an educated guess on the topic, I’d go with evolution.

    So let me rephrase my original question, why do you reject evolution and if forced at gunpoint to give your guess as to the orgins of man, what theory do you back?

    I don’t mean to be combative. I’m legitimately curious because I don’t think I’ve ever met an atheist who didn’t at least accept evolution as the most plausible working theory. ‘Who knows?’ tends to be more an agnostic response.

  10. Starbuck November 19, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    up to the Republican Party to decide whether… it was going to continue down the spending, big government, Christianist, anti-intellectual, anti-thought ways of the present

    Presidential primaries and caucuses attract the most committed party members. Here’s the popular vote from Republican 2008 primary/caucus season, via Wikipedia:

    John McCain – 9,840,746 (47.25%)
    Mitt Romney – 4,525,036 (21.73%)
    Mike Huckabee – 4,179,514 (20.07%)
    Ron Paul – 1,163,078 (5.58%)
    Rudy Giuliani – 591,384 (2.84%)
    Fred Thompson – 273,806 (1.31%)
    Uncommitted – 91,504 (0.44%)
    Alan Keyes – 58,251 (0.28%)
    Duncan Hunter – 38,011 (0.18%)
    Tom Tancredo – 8,513 (0.04%)
    John H. Cox – 3,341 (0.02%)
    Sam Brownback – 2,838 (0.01%)

    By my count, three of those could be considered “Christianists”: Huckabee, Keyes, and Brownback. Total vote for those was under 20.4% (20.07 + 0.28 + 0.01).

    That leaves well over 75% of the most committed Republican voters choosing one of the secular candidates: McCain, Romney, Giuliani, etc. That might disappoint some people who enjoy conventional “wisdom” talking points.

  11. Jon Splett November 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Well, to be fair, McCain wrapped up the nomination in what, like the begining of February? How many Christianists voting in primaries after that bothered to come out once it didn’t matter? 17 states had yet to hold primaries including bible thumping strongholds like Texas, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.

    If a viable Christianist candidate was still around at that point, I don’t think it’s a giant stretch to assume we aren’t talking 75% of the republican electorate voting for a secularist.

  12. Starbuck November 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    Jon, Huckabee the Cristianist stayed in until almost the bitter end of the primaries. McCain voters would have every bit as much reason to not show up in later primaries either.

    But if you don’t want to look at actual voters, there’s similar evidence from polling data at the time. Huckabee’s RealClearPolitics.com national poll average when the field narrowed to the final three candidates (him, McCain, and Paul) was 26%. Some of that 26% might have had other reasons for supporting him, but let’s suppose all who supported Huckabee did so because of his Christianism instead of his economic populism or whatever he called it. Again, that would still leave around 3/4 of Republicans not supporting the Christianist candidate. That’s very close to the fraction I mentioned in the previous comment based on primary voters.

    If any pundits want to make the argument that 1/4 is a large fraction of Republicans but 3/4 is a small fraction, they should go ahead. But it might be hard to convince me that’s based on reason and real data.

  13. The Humanist November 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    @Starbuck – And yet McCain did the dutiful round of pandering to the fundie nutjob mob that have pulled the strings of the Republican party for almost 30 years. What with his appearances at Bob Jones U. and Falwell’s repugnant Liberty University, his supplication at the feet of the charlatans Hagee and Dobson to get their blessing, his statement that America was founded as a “Christian” nation that should have a Christian president…and so on and so on. The John McCain of 2000 was long gone.

    And the crowning moment of his trainwreck of a campaign? Selecting a Christianist buffoon as his running mate. A woman who thinks that rape victims should be forced to pay for their own rape kits and be made to bear the child of their rape or incest. That is the future of the Republican party Pundit was referring to…McCain is yesterday’s news.

  14. Buffalopundit November 19, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    @Starbuck: counterpoint.

    And Sarah Palin. She was the red meat McCain threw to the Christianists to pacify them. They love her. I hope she embodies the future of the Republican Party. Because if she does, it’s doomed.

  15. Starbuck November 19, 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    The back of the envelope numbers I cited showed about a 75-25 ratio, two different ways. Okay, yes, 25 isn’t zero. It’s also about 3 times less than 75.

    But hey, maybe you guys and Kathleen Parker are right. 25 is bigger than 75. Huckabeeism does reign supreme. That’s why he got under 21% of the vote nationwide and a similar number in polling averages – because his views are dominating. James Dobson basically runs the Republican Party. That’s why the one Republican candidate Dobson very publicly worked hard against and said he’d refuse to endorse was the one who easily won the nomination in a landslide. Because Dobson is so powerful.

    Uh-huh, thanks to the punditry echo chamber for explaining all this.

    Btw, when the Reverend Jackson ran for president and got 21% of the nationwide Democrat primary and caucus voters one year, that meant the Christianists of some other churches were in control of the party, right? Reverend and all, mentioned Jesus quite a bit. 21% was bigger than 79%. Right. And when Democrat candidates over the years visit and suck up to Reverend Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame at his churches, that meant the churches were still running the party because… oh no wait, that fraternizing with nutcase preacher Sharpton was totally different from Republican candidates visting other nutcase preachers because… well it’s so obvious why it’s different, there’s no point in even saying.

    What was I thinking to look at the actual numbers of people who showed up to vote and see what choices they made? How lame of me. I’ll just ask CNN what I should think and try to fit in better. Carry on.

  16. indabuff November 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    I’ll venture to say that most people in both parties are close to the center. The extreme left and extreme right make for good blog fodder and press.

  17. Buffalopundit November 20, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    @Starbuck – you really think that the radical right wing Christianists in the Republican party have negligible clout? Then I wonder why they’re pandered to day in and day out.

    I guess Terry Schiavo never happened.

  18. BuffaloBloviator November 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Pundit,

    Why the need to coin a new phrase, “christianist”?

    Whats next, “jewist”?

    What in their sensibilities prevent people from referring to Christians as “Christians”?

    If you have a legitimate beef with a group, then you shouldn’t have to attempt to mitigate any bigotry or intolerance with wordsmithing.

    Christianist. That term sounds absolutely horrible. I don’t think this language will properly serve any legitimate cause.

  19. Buffalopundit November 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    I didn’t coin it. Read more about what it is here.

    This country is founded on its constitution and laws – not on the Bible. Christianists disagree.

    And you’re only partly right – it’s not the word “Christianist” that’s horrible, it’s what the Christianists stand for that’s horrible.

    You could also read this about Christianism, if you like.

    Anything else you need?

  20. Snarky Snarkmore McSnarkamaphone November 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    Christianist. That term sounds absolutely horrible. I don’t think this language will properly serve any legitimate cause.

    And not at all like the epithet “Democrat Party”

    Christianist- a Christian who votes and puts Christian values and themes above other considerations in casting said vote. It’s only insulting if you are one.

  21. BuffaloBloviator November 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Snarky,

    It insults me and I’m not one.

    There may be an argument made to support the innocence of the term but it just doesn’t play well.

    It is like using the word “niggardly”.

  22. Jon Splett November 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    How is it a horrible term? If anything, I think it serves christanity quite well as it separates the Christian who doesn’t let religion define their politics from the one who does.

    I know plenty of Christians who support gay marriage, abortion rights and the elimination of religious influence on government. To lump those people in with religious zealots bent on shoving a 2000 year old zombie into government isn’t reflective of Christianity as a whole. Some Christians can separate the irrational part of their lives from the rational one. The ones who can’t are Christianists.

    You complain about atheism being branded as the secular progressive religion but you’re okay with lumping religious zealots in with the entire christian population? How does that make any sense?

  23. Barney Frank November 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    God hates fags.

  24. The Humanist November 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    Shorter modern Christianity:

    “You can’t call us Christianists because that offends us, but we will rail against homosexuals, Islamists, baby-killers, feminazis and anyone else we find offensive because Jeebus commands us to”

  25. Jon Splett November 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm #

    Humanist- Don’t forget the “We’re victims and a persecuted minority despite the fact we’ve controlled the western world for majority of recorded history!” part

  26. The Humanist November 20, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    @Jon – and also the immortal “Our belief in Jeebus gives us the right to cast our Holy Finger of Moral Rectitude at you wicked sinners…it also gives us a pass on harboring and protecting child rapists for decades”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Buffalo Pundit » Blog Archive » The Party of the Stupid - November 20, 2008

    […] Starbuck says that the primary results reveal that the Republicans have shunned the Christianist ultra-right wing of the Republican Party by picking McCain. The problem is that McCain won by default, as the more conservative so-called “values voters” split between Huckabee and Romney (and others). (Also, in my analysis in the post to which he’s referring, I didn’t merely hone in on the Christianists – I also pointedly referred to the anti-intellectual, anti-thought dogma now controlling that party.) […]

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