The Iowa Caucus votes have come and gone and there were really no surprises. Republicans are struggling with finding a suitable candidate and right now “none of the above” would garner a majority vote, but instead we saw a 3-way split. This split is actually representative of the fracture that exists within the GOP – Romney/Santorum/Paul.
Romney is palatable to moderates but he is Mormon and is so uncomfortable mingling outside of his 1% zone that it is painful to watch him; Santorum appeals to the “Evangelical” base – the Dominionists who are not mainstream Christians, but rather extremists who pine for a day when America is structured as a theocracy; and Paul is a magnet for an eclectic group that ranges from the uber-conservative political Christian on the far right to the fringe left who only hear what they want to hear and leave the most heinous information on the table.
The result was that there was no clear front runner and a sign of the ideological schism among conservatives in America today. The Republican Party has been infested with various factions including Theocrats, Secessionists, Libertarians, Plutocrats, and a host of others who make being a proud Republican virtually impossible for many in 2012. Some of the GOP 2012 candidates embody one or more of these characteristics and beliefs, but there is one thing they all know, and that is they must court the Dominionist voting bloc in order to win.
All politicians are adept at glossing over their resumes and putting on a show face that fits the audience, but this is more about religion than politics. Even though it is nearly impossible to listen to political pundits, conservative or liberal, without the conversation dominated by discussions of the candidates religious views and pandering, I find it perplexing that I am still met with accusations of exaggerating the religious influence in American politics today. It could not be more overt.
Here is a brief reaction on Iowa from my co-researcher, Alex Bird to the rise of Santorum which many saw as a big surprise:
“As it is, part of the reason for coalescence around Santorum is simple–he, Gingrich, and Ron Paul are the only three candidates left in the GOP primaries seen as both “Dominionist friendly” and electable”.
They all have serious liabilities, but so far we are more familiar with Newt Gingrich’s issues that were broadcast in a multi-million dollar ad campaign in Iowa for all to see - (courtesy of Romney). As for Ron Paul, the deeper we wade into his world the more alarming the concerns and he could be seriously compromised in a general election unearthing of these facts. Paul jumped out in 2008 but there is speculation that he may launch a 3rd Party bid this time. If that happens we will see more information surface such as his associations and extensive linkage to neo-Conservative and racialist groups (see photo posing with the fellow who owns Stormfront.org) to the point he’s starting to earn the nickname “Klandicate”.
Paul is skillful at keeping the dialogue going about anti-War and legalizing drugs which is effective in distracting his audience and ingratiating a different group who are not political Christians. These diversions make it hard for most to recognize that his disdain for government has little to do with liberty and freedoms and far more to do with eliminating regulation that will allow for a fertile ground of religious Corporatocracy. He is simply seen as a bumbling country doctor who wants liberty for all and that is what makes this little 76 year-old con-artist so dangerous…people are actually buying into it.
Alex goes on to explain about the hidden side of Santorum:
“Basically Santorum is the only one left that hasn’t had his Dominionist cred seriously challenged even though he is an ultramontane Catholic, one of those who is actually a known Opus Dei member at that…
The major intersections of where the ultramontanes and the Dominionists/New Apostolic Reformationists (NAR) meet up are in two areas – general religio-nationalism or theocracy and especially anti-family-planning activism. (In fact, anti-abortion and anti-family-planning protests have been an area where NARasites have infiltrated Catholic churches.)
The best example I know of with that particular intersection is with the Duggar family (who are pretty much the public face of Quiverfull and particularly Bill Gothard’s Bible-based cult within that movement) explicitly endorsing Santorum–because both ultramontane Catholicism and Quiverfull Dominionism call for the establishment of a theocracy as well as activism against all known forms of family planning (even the rhythm method and other forms of “natural family planning”) in favor of having as many kids as possible to essentially “breed the heathens out”.
The really interesting thing on that is the Duggar family are apparently “independent fundamentalist Baptists”, (who according to some reports have incorporated their particular cell-church into a legal nonprofit using the “church loophole”), whilst Santorum is an ultramontane Catholic–these are groups that would normally be at each other’s throats like few other orgs, but in the name of theocracy and the War Against Family Planning they pretty much set their differences aside. With heavy use of “cell churches”–NARasites and groups heavy into Quiverfull–figure they’ll end up infiltrating the ultramontanes, while the ultramontanes figure they’ll eventually convert the Protestant heretics; seeing as NARasitic groups explicitly targeting Roman Catholic churches for steeplejack DO tend to do false conversions to Catholicism (for purposes of infiltration and steeplejack) they tend to think they have the upper hand in this).
That said–ultramontane Catholicism in the United States is intimately linked with Dominionist groups across the country, and not just in the anti-family-planning side of things”.
So as you might imagine, this is just the tip of a lengthier discussion about Rick Santorum and Ron Paul and their extreme religious nationalism world view. They truly believe that if you are not the right kind of believer then you essentially have no say and that it is their job to impose biblical guidelines and morals for us as they know what is best after all.
There was an informative article written today at AlterNet on “Rick Santorum’s 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements” by Igor Volsky. Read this and really consider that Santorum isn’t just a blunderer, he devoutly believes. I will keep writing about these candidates as the field narrows and this election year builds steam, but let’s not take our eyes off the ball because they will simply re-emerge in 2014 and 2016 and …
Here is an excerpt from an article on Theocracy Watch.org from the Bush era discussing elected Dominionists…including then-Senator Rick Santorum.
“Before the midterm elections of 2006, Dominionists controlled both houses of the U.S. Congress, the White House and four out of nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. They were one seat away from holding a solid majority on the Supreme Court. As of January 1, 2007, Dominionists will not control the leadership of either house of Congress, and the President will no longer be able to so easily appoint Dominionists to the federal courts.
Five of the Republican Senators who were unseated on November 7 received whopping scores of 100% from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Voter Scorecards. Those Senators are: Conrad Burns (R-MT), George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), James Talent (R-MO), and Mike DeWine (R-OH). Rick Santorum was the number three ranking Republican in the party. Santorum and Allen both had Presidential ambitions. (FRC and FOF are the most politically influential of Dominionist organizations.)
They are driven and persistent. Recognizing who they are now will serve us well in the future. Bill Moyers made this statement a couple of years back and it rings true today:
“It is true, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals … it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties. The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is, and they are driving American politics, using God as a a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on.” - Bill Moyers, Journalist and television host.