Here’s another church sign.
“What?” you say, “It is just an expression of appreciation for the pastor.”
But on the other hand, it is a Carrico sign, and Carrico is the Republican running for Congress. The name is not the same, but what is one “r” in a sound-alike look-alike name 50 yards away at 35 mph? Who can spell anyway?
I have driven by this church several times a week for years, and their sign usually bears scripture references or homilies, with an occasional announcement for a special service. This week, election week, it bears an appreciation message for the pastor. The question is of course whether the pastor would have been appreciated at this time and in this way if his name were Boucher or Webb and not Carico.
Of course, there is no visible proof of intention to influence political opinion. And I am a liberal, so I have to credit that maybe there is no such intention. However, the church signboard committee probably believes in the last judgment, so, if they have political intent, they are probably working on the assumption that God (like the lock-step Republican leadership) believes the end justifies the means. Like they do on torture, for instance.
And of course, this is just our little corner of Southwest Virginia. From the L.A. Times, GOP at a loss? Karl Rove has an 11th-hour plan to win – He taps government resources to boost candidates in need, a story by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writers October 29, 2006, we read about a timely whirlwind Rove trip to a storm-stricken area:
But the most significant element of Rove’s effort to help four-term Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds keep his job may have occurred behind closed doors, when the White House strategist met with a federal disaster relief official contemplating how to respond to the storm. Four days later, Reynolds announced that President Bush would authorize millions of dollars in federal disaster aid for the area.
The timing was perfect: Reynolds broke the news hours after testifying before the House Ethics Committee about his role in the Mark Foley sex scandal, knocking reports on the scandal out of the spotlight.
And this strategy gets approval numbers:
Reynolds’ fate Nov. 7 could be a bellwether for Republicans in the Northeast, in the midterm election as well as the long term. And his poll numbers crashed after revelations that he had known about suspicious e-mails the former Florida congressman had sent to male congressional pages. In the wake of the announcement about federal aid, a survey by a Buffalo television station showed Reynolds regaining a narrow lead over Democrat Jack Davis.
The White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will provide the funds, say Rove exerted no influence on the decision to grant relief or on the timing of the announcement.
“The stars were aligned. It was a coincidence,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Now we are all hearing the Bush administration say that the worsening conditions in Iraq are the terrorists trying to influence the U.S. elections for the Democrats, which is just ridiculous. The Republicans have won by playing the “fear of terrorism” trump card since George W. Bush’s ill-fated drive into Iraq. If Iraq were calm, what would they campaign on? It is in their interest to maintain the conflict, which they are doing admirably. Their failure in Iraq has been their success at the polls. Their failed economic policy keeps the stock market up and drives working people’s wages down. It is in the Republican interest to maintain insecurity and fear in the U.S. voter.
If we were thinking ahead to the future, voting our hope and confidence in each other, we would all be voting for Democrats.
The only way the Republicans can get votes is to stay the course — continue to hike the fear and insecurity. Use the gay marriage issue to make people afraid of their neighbors for no reason, and to keep churches campaigning for them. Use abusive and restrictive laws and profiling to separate one group of citizens from another — the rich against the poor, the immigrant against the native-born, the Christian against the infidel. Their plan is working so well it even got their own party bickering so that they had to round them up and explain the plan again. So now they are back in step. Campaign by innuendo and insinuation. Make racist comments that can be termed a “slip of the tongue” in public and re-phrased in private. Pander to the fundamentalists in public and deride them in private. Keep voters afraid. Keep voters from thinking. That is the only way you can get free people to follow a bully who keeps making bad decisions.