The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

House legislation all about "American Values Agenda"

Every time I think reality is about to catch up to neo-fascist Republicans, they go and show the nation just how dangerously unconcerned with reality they are. I thought the House Republicans' bid for reelection, known as the "American Values Agenda" might take a backseat to, you know, reality, and that flag-burning, gay marriage and state-sponsored religion might be off the table in the face of what prominent conservatives are openly calling the dawn of the third world war. It hasn't gotten that bad yet, but intellectuals of all stripes have been openly declaring that the probable locus of the next global conflict would be in the Middle East for well over a decade (for example, Lester Thurow in his excellent and frighteningly prescient 1996 book The Future of Capitalism-- it scared the hell out of me ten years ago, and it's all getting worse).

So what are House Republicans doing to demonstrate their Divine Right as the leaders of America and the free world? Trying over and over and over to pass legislation that will keep them in charge for just a few more years.

The U.S. House voted to bar most federal courts from hearing cases challenging the constitutionality of the pledge of allegiance, a measure supporters said was needed to prevent judges from scrapping the pledge's reference to God.

The chamber voted 260 to 167 to approve legislation that would strip most federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of the right to take cases challenging the pledge's reference to "one nation, under God'' as an unlawful government endorsement of religion.

"The recitation of the pledge of allegiance is one of our nation's most cherished traditions,'' said Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. ``It is shameful that left-wing, activist judges would attempt to censor the pledge of allegiance and rewrite it to suit a narrow agenda that rejects some of the very principles upon which our country was founded.''

Kudos to the article for pointing this out:

Congress added the words "under God'' to the pledge in 1954, during the Cold War, in an attempt to underscore the differences between the U.S. and the officially atheistic Soviet Union.

We're looking at events that will define the global role of the United States for decades, and this is what the party in power is doing. Even worse, as I noted several weeks ago, this is the second time House Republicans have pushed this bullshit-- they failed initially when they couldn't even get a simple majority on a House where they outnumber Democrats by six. What about the potential collapse of the Middle East made them decide it was more important than ever? Getting right with Jesus now that the rapture is here? I don't think a biblical apocalypse is upon us, but the GOP could be ushering in an era of hell on earth for Americans.