No Sift next week. Back on March 5.
Much of the current conservative movement is characterized by this sort of historical amnesia and symbolic parricide, which seeks to undo key aspects of the Republican legacy such as Reagan’s elimination of corporate tax loopholes, Nixon’s environmental and labor safety programs, and a variety of GOP achievements in civil rights, civil liberties, and good-government reforms. In the long view of history, it is really today’s conservatives who are “Republicans in name only.”
— Geoffrey Kabaservice, Rule and Ruin (2012)
In this week’s sift:
- Republicans Have Gone Crazy Before. The new book Rule and Ruin reminds us just how wacked out Republicans were in 1964. But by 1970 the party was mostly sane. Could it happen again?
- When the Priests’ Scandal Becomes Relevant. I usually cringe when someone responds to the Catholic bishops’ attacks on reproductive rights or the Affordable Care Act by bringing up the pedophile-priest scandal, because it’s almost always a cheap shot. But when priests strike heroic poses in the imaginary War on Religion, it reminds me how little courage they showed when faced with a real moral challenge.
- Santorum’s Education Commissars and other short notes. Rick Santorum expresses his small-government philosophy by calling for the feds to impose political “balance” on college faculties. The Grand Nagus is a socialist. Citizens United is coming back to haunt the Supreme Court. Why aren’t young couples marrying? The government subsidizes Big Macs over salads. Same-sex marriage hits a tipping point. And hats off to John Fairfax, whose obituary is much more interesting than mine will ever be.
- Book recommendation of the week: Rule and Ruin by Geoffrey Kabaservice. Not only does it provide this week’s quote, it figures prominently in “Republicans Have Gone Crazy Before”.
- Last week’s most popular post. What Abortion Means to Me got 488 views. Religious Corporate Personhood also did well, with 277. The most-clicked link was the cartoon Religious Exemptions for Piety and Profit, followed by the Squirrel is Purple. (Follow-up: Purple Squirrel in Pennsylvania Provokes a Host of Theories.)
- This week’s challenge. The billionaire Koch brothers are spending millions to keep Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in office and to defeat President Obama. If you’d like to throw the stubborn ounces of your weight onto the other side of the scale, you can support the Walker recall or the Obama campaign.