Archive - Aug 11, 2010

Witch Hunt Wednesday

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Memo to Ted Haggard, Brian Sandoval, and (Not That) Terry Jones: REMEMBER TO LEAD THE BROOM BY A COUPLE OF FEET.

The British have their fox hunts. The campers have their snipe hunts. But in America, we have the witch hunt - a handy concept that does double-duty as both a way of marginalizing and eliminating unwanted imaginary enemies for your own personal gain, and something to conveniently blame your accusers of when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. And the cookie jar has a gay prostitute's dick in it. Which is a bit of an awkward metaphor, I know, but all will become clear in this week's installment of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church... I over-repented. If I was arrogant, I would have gotten a job in a farm bureau co-op somewhere in Iowa, changed my name and never been heard from again." - Ted Haggard, discussing the aftermath of his drugs-and-gay-hooker fall from grace in the Wall Street Journal.

Haggard is also quoted as using the phrase "witch hunt" to describe his church's investigation into his misconduct, but since the Wall Street Journal reporters are more interested in cradling the balls of hedge fund managers and religious hypocrites than they are in providing me useful information, only those two words in quotes. But he said it.

And that means "witch hunt" can be lined up next to "need" and "arrogant" as words Ted Haggard doesn't understand. I mean, he's using the fucking Mark Sanford defense, for fuck's sake. That keeping his power and money and position is somehow the harder, more nobler thing than giving all that up to toil in obscurity. It was bullshit when Sanford tried it, and at least Sanford wasn't paying for what Haggard innocuously refers to as a massage that went awry. By which I presume he means his happy ending had a really rough denouement.

I will let the theologians amongst you play with the concept of "over-repentance" like a cat plays with a ball of yarn.

"It wasn’t long ago that he said in an interview on Univision that he vehemently supported Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. In reference to the same law, he was asked how he would feel if he his children were stopped in the street and asked for their papers. He answered, with a note of pride in his voice, 'my children don’t look Hispanic.'" - the Las Vegas Sun, reporting on a Univision interview with Brian Sandoval, a Republican running to be, as he claims, Nevada's first Hispanic governor.

Now, you want to talk witch hunts, then you want to talk Arizona's immigration law, which gives state law enforcement powers Salem wished it could have. But Brian Sandoval doesn't mind, because nobody in his family will ever be suspected of making Mrs. Brewer's prize ox die, or causing Judge Arpaio's fields to wither.

By the way, Sandoval has vehemently denied being a witch... hunter, but the Sun went and tied him to a stake with the videotape from Univision, set him on fire, and he used some kind of black magic to not only escape, but maintain a double-digit lead over Democratic opponent Rory Reid. What kind of world do we live with when xenophobic honesty helps you pull ahead? The same one we've been living in for far too long.

"What we’re also doing by the burning of the Quran on 9/11 is we’re saying stop. Stop to Islam. Stop to Islamic law. Stop to brutality. We have nothing against Muslims, they are welcome in our country... We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times." - Dove World Outreach Center Terry "Not The Good One At All" Jones, talking to CNN's Rick Sanchez.

For some reason, Sanchez seemed unconvinced by Jones' argument that his plan to burn the religious text of the devil-worshipping, hell-bound, deceptive, violent, brutal Muslims isn't meant to make Muslims feel unwelcome. And I don't think that's fair. I mean, the guy runs the Dove World Outreach Center!

Dove - a symbol of peace. Or, possibly, a symbol of both cleaning and moisturizing - having not seen their logo, I'm not sure whether Jones is referencing the bird or the soap. World! Who can argue with the world? It's where we all live out our earthly lives before we die and, unless we're members of the Dove World Outreach Center, go to hell. Outreach, of course, is a wonderful thing, the kind of thing Christian missionaries have been doing for centuries to more primitive peoples without any problems at all. And as David Broder knows, "center" is the second-best word in the English language, and can only be improved by adding "-right" to it.

So really, anyone who thinks as kindly-named a place as the Dove World Outreach Center would be engaging in some kind of witch hunt just because they're setting fire to things they don't like are probably engaging in a witch hunt of their own. There. I've run rings around you logically.