Pro-Patriarchal Militant Piety Isn’t Pro-Life — Much Less Presidential

18 08 2008

UPDATE – so now it’s not just cheating by having his staffers crib the test questions in advance and feed answers to him in the car. It’s stealing now too, did you hear the latest, about McCain’s stolen cross-in-the-dirt war story? The right wing called McCain out on this fib first back in 2005, when they found “his” POW story in Solzhenitsyn.

Will the news media dare to cover this, or are McCain’s complaints to corporate media honchos about bias calculated to keep his own honor and integrity out of the fray, rendering his words bulletproof no matter what lies they be?

Hey who cares, he doesn’t know any better, he’s an old fighter pilot, not a scholar. Just like our current president . . . (Well, at least instead of making up sniper fire a la Hillary Clinton in Bosnia, McCain’s story was real. It just wasn’t his own — so his rave performance for churchfolk was brought to us by cheating, stealing AND lying? Go Moral Majority!)

All’s fair in love and war, right? Your job is to win one for the Gipper by killing the gooks. Oh, and impregnate the adoring women, who will then raise the children in your image. Very macho stuff.

But how in anybody’s 21st century straight-talk, can offensive fighter pilot jokes, bluster and [plagiarized] war stories be defined as “pro-life” much less presidential?

(Whether it is straight-talk and “patriotic” rather than “treasonous” or “useful idiocy” to set one’s military policy based on advice from a staffer who simultaneously is on the payroll of a foreign head of state, will have to be fisked another day.)

“Militant piety” is a phrase coined by former nun and brilliant theological historian Karen Armstrong. After seeing the Saddleback — um, “event”? — I see it as a straight-talking definition of John McCain.

To his admirers, Mr. McCain’s tough response to Sept. 11 is at the heart of his appeal. They argue that he displayed the same decisiveness again last week in his swift calls to penalize Russia for its incursion into Georgia, in part by sending peacekeepers to police its border. His critics charge that the emotion of Sept. 11 overwhelmed his former cool-eyed caution about deploying American troops without a clear national interest and a well-defined exit, turning him into a tool of the Bush administration in its push for a war to transform the region. “He has the personality of a fighter pilot: when somebody stings you, you want to strike out,” said retired Gen. John H. Johns, a former friend and supporter of Mr. McCain who turned against him over the Iraq war. “Just like the American people, his reaction was: show me somebody to hit.” [Sound loving and prudent and “pro-life” and New Testament to you? ] Read the rest of this entry »