Thursday, July 28, 2005

Don't Let the Screen Door Hit You
My online reading list often looks like the rest of my life--cluttered with things I mean to pay attention to but often don't, because I'm distracted by other things I have to pay attention to. This morning I resolved to read some of the things I've been meaning to read, and I found some stuff worth passing along to you.

The American Prospect
reports on the candidacy of Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran running for Congress as a Democrat in a solidly Republican district around Cincinnati. (The special election is next week.) You may have seen this race mentioned on Daily Kos and Eschaton earlier this week--both sites have reported on attempts to swift-boat Hackett, as Repugs suggest that his service as a civil affairs officer in Fallujah wasn't really all that great because he wasn't actually in combat. Never mind that he had to lead troops into Fallujah after we were finished blowing it up, thus having to deal with the unhappy, non-rose-petal throwing civilians who survived. And never mind that the soldiers who get blown up every week in roadside convoys aren't really serving in combat, either. Neither are the chickenhawks at home--and to his eternal credit, Hackett has used the word to refer to his opponent and to Bush. With about a week to go, Hackett is within five points. (In the last four elections, the Democrat has gone down by 44, 48, 51, and 54 points.) Swing State Project reports that his opponent is tanking and Hackett is winning the ground war--but remember, this is Ohio, so he'll need a lot more votes to win than his opponent will.

Earlier this week the Smirking Chimp reprinted an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Christian Exodus movement, which is trying to bring enough fundamentalist hardcores to South Carolina to take over the state's government and turn it into a theocracy. And if the federal government tried to interfere, then they'd secede. How's it going so far?
The group's goal is to have 2,500 members in two upstate counties by September 2006, and as many as 12,000 by 2008. That, [Exodus founder Cory] Burnell said, would be enough to elect local candidates and snowball into a statewide force. Soon, enough right-thinking officials would be elected to force a confrontation with the feds.
Yes, but how's it going? Well, so far five families have moved. Even Cory Burnell is still in California, but he says he's going to move, really.

I am reminded of the words of South Carolina Unionist James L. Petigru, who said after his state became the first to secede from the Union in 1860 that South Carolina was "too small for a Republic and too large for an insane asylum." But hey, if anybody reading this (especially in a blue state) thinks that Christian Exodus is a good idea, give me a call. I'll help you pack.

(Note: An earlier version of this post refered to "evangelical hardcores." "Fundamentalist" is a more accurate term for the folks being recruited by Christian Exodus. Sorry about that.)

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