Back In The Saddleback Again

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Memo to John McCain: NO THEY DON'T.

In my ongoing and apparently increasingly necessary series on Reasons Not To Vote For John Fucking McCain Already, I would like to point out this little nugget of joy. As you may have heard, last Saturday, both presidential candidates appeared at a forum on faith at Rick Warren's Saddleback Theme Park, Gift Shoppe And Religious Experience.

Now, Rick Warren is seen as a moderate by the conventional wisdom, at least as evangelical Christians go. Of course the CW defines "moderate" as "anyone to the left of Dick Cheney and to the right of Joe Lieberman", so all Warren had to do to earn it was write a hugely popular self-help and not blame any natural disasters on the homos. Apparently being a moderate gives him the right to compel the two presidential candidates to visit his megachurch and answer a series of questions designed to determine to within one decimal place their exact godliness.

One of the questions was "At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?" Now, in a sane world, this sentence would have immediately caused all the cable news cameras covering the event to spontaneously combust. At ten words, that sentence is fully fifty percent dogwhistle-framing-code words by weight. First there's "point", which means there's a specific event, a demarcation, a hard and fast line at which the event occurs. Second, "baby", obviously. Third, "entitled". And fourth and fifth, "human rights". It's the kind of sentence you'd expect to find, with numerous misspellings, on a hand-lettered Operation Rescue sign. NOT MODERATE.

It's also an incredibly leading question, and John McCain knew exactly what it was leading to. And he was happy to oblige. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"At the moment of conception."

This is the point, by the way, that you should be stark raving fucking terrified of this old bastard occupying the Oval Office. John McCain just expressed his support for full and equal human rights for TWO CELLS, and the media is treating it like he won the fucking Super Bowl. It's full-on, naked, undisguised red meat to the embryo-fetishists, and it ought to be treated like the mind-blowing radical notion it is, not as the correct answer for a cheering crowd of purpose-driven fucktards.

Human rights for fertilized eggs. Think about it. That's not just an attack on abortion. It's an attack on contraception. It's an attack on stem cell research. It's an attack on miscarriage. It's taking the fetal personhood fight halfway up the fallopian tubes. And it's not based on science, or knowledge, or evidence. It's based on the raw superstition that conception is the point at which a human Christian soul is created. Since we're talking about an undifferentiated blastula here - fewer cells than you kill by idly scratching your balls - it has to be based on something intangible and mystical. Which should be an unacceptable basis for public policy, but, you know. Again. Sane world.

And fuck the "pandering" excuse. That's the McCain Hypnotoad Effect kicking in again. "He doesn't really believe it. He's just saying it to get elected. He won't actually govern that way." People said the same shit about Dubya eight years ago, and were wrong then and are wrong now. Since he's said everything at one point or another, there's no way to know what President McCain will do. Therefore it's prudent to at least plan for him living up to the worst of what he's said.And even if he is pandering, how is that better? Nobody panders to ME. I thought John Edwards was pandering to me for a while there in the primaries, but it turns out that was just afterglow and pillow talk. Where's my dogwhistle? Where's my secret code? Barack Obama's never, EVER gonna get to stand in a room full of scientists with John McCain and answer a question in a sly way that lets me know he'll be bombing the Creation Museum a week after Obama takes the oath of office. Even if he doesn't really mean it.

It's just one more example of how far out of whack everything is in American politics right now. As the country crumbles around our ankles, the populace casts its gaze upon the people in charge, every last one of them carrying sledgehammers. And as one, they point at Barack Obama and say "Oh yeah? Well, he doesn't wear a flag pin and kills babies*." And suddenly everyone's blaming anti-American baby-killers for $5/gallon milk and the foreclosure crisis. And it won't get any better once fertilized eggs have the right to vote.

*Keep an eye out for the words "Obama" and "infanticide" to start gaining the same kind of proximity as "Iraq" and "9/11".