How Do God And Jesus Always Get Wrapped Up In The Murky World Of GOP Politics?

The mixing of politics and religion on the campaign trail always makes me nervous, and mindful of what my old civics teacher in a small Wisconsin school taught me.  The two should not meld in our form of government.  Ever.  He was a bright man and a respected teacher.  I think he passed away a few years ago, but know with certainty that he would hate this election cycle. 

As I follow the political news I find more and more to be troubled by as we wind our way to Iowa early next year.  I do not need to know about what Mormons think the afterlife is like, or desire to know Mike Huckabee said, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.”  That is just not what the Founding Fathers designed, or intelligent people hope for in this land.

A robust and detailed examination of foreign policy would be ideal, but trying to become the minister of the nation is not what this election is all about.  Or any election.

The way that some of the candidates are trivializing the race for the White House should anger us.  We have endured 7 years of Bush and Company treating the Constitution like a piece of toilet paper, and we are instead listening to a yokel who once said that school shootings are “the winds of spiritual change in a nation that has forgotten its God.”  What the hell………!

How do God and Jesus always get wrapped up in the murky world of GOP politics?

I am not alone with my utter disgust over the shameless way that the GOP is using religion this year.  Today a wonderful column was printed in the St. Petersburg Times that demands a read.

When the church, either deliberately or inadvertently, separates people along what I consider to be artificial lines — ethnicity, sexual orientation, wealth and political affiliation — it is a primary source of the nation’s toxic culture wars.

And so we have Romney, the Mormon, and Huckabee, the Southern Baptist, vying for the presidency. Romney claims to believe that every word in the Book of Mormon is true. Huckabee professes to believe that every word in the Holy Bible is true.

Many voters say they do not care about a politician’s religious beliefs. I do. In fact, I do not want religious beliefs to enter into government and policymaking in any form.

Religion should be a private matter.

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Keith Olbermann Takes President Bush To The Woodshed

While I am not an avid viewer of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, I was tuned in last week when this powerful segment of his show pushed me back into the sofa.  One can hardly not say loudly “RIGHT ON!” as Obermann calls it exactly as it is in Bush’s White House.

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“Managing The Presidents Message: The White House Communications Operation” by Martha Joynt Kumar

No matter who they are, or what political party they belong to, there is always something fascinating about the stories presidential press secretaries have to share.  I am biased in my point of view given that I have a high degree of interest in how any White House manages the flow of news, and attempts to spin the story.  Also, I have a deep appreciation for the journalists who cover the President, and try to understand the facts and inform the nation.

I mention this after a friend sent me a link to a new book that looks like one I will much enjoy.  “Managing The Presidents Message: The White House Communications Operation” by Martha Joynt Kumar analyses the past four presidents in terms of their media and communications operations.  Some might think this to be dry and boring until you recall President Bush generated a needless war in part from such operations.  In addition to the present operations of the press operation, she also reviews the past attempts by those who sat in the Oval Office to manage the news.

I found this link today online and it also provides background for the book.

The assassinations of presidents James Garfield and William McKinley made the media realize it would lose out on page one stories unless it had representatives attached continually to the president. And early press secretaries tended to be former news reporters, who spoke the language of the covering media. Teddy Roosevelt was known for off-the-record press briefings, a tradition most presidents have continued.

The practice of presidential presentation of the State of the Union address to Congress began with John Quincy Adams but was discontinued until Woodrow Wilson picked it up; it’s been continued by each succeeding president. Wilson also created the Committee on Public Information, creating the foundation for the modern White House press office. President Coolidge delivered the first State of the Union address over radio, a development owing more to technology than personality.

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