My apologies if this is a re-post or posted in the wrong section.  I'm a TA noob.  I saw this article this morning and thought this community would be interested.  Enjoy:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/25/arizona-rep...

 

Tags: Arizona, Republican, loyalty, oaths

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The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly since the 19th century that it is unconstitutional to require an oath (religious or otherwise) to receive the benefit of a public trust (such as a high school diploma). If the law is passed it won't survive a legal challenge.

That's precisely why I'd welcome its passage. Every time a Republican crackpot staples God to the government it creates an opportunity for a legal challenge to God in government in general.

The current Roberts Supreme Court has a plurality of pro-God GOP kangaroos. But Obama is appointing federal judges for the next four years. Beyond that, Americans are voting ever more progressively. So I like the prospects for a more secular-friendly Supreme court over the next decade. And I'd like to get as many 'under God' cases in front of that court as possible.

- - -

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." - The Constitution for the United States of America, Article VI, Clause 3

Gallup, you make several good points. I just hope that by November of 2016, the low information US electorate doesn't react to what many perceive as Obama's "liberal" 8 years by electing a (neo)conservative dingbat whose Supreme Court and lower court picks make Antonin Scalia look like Rachel Maddow.

I just hope that by November of 2016, the low information US electorate doesn't react to what many perceive as Obama's "liberal" 8 years by electing a (neo)conservative dingbat whose Supreme Court and lower court picks make Antonin Scalia look like Rachel Maddow.

You're right. It's a possible scenario in 2016. But I think it's an unlikely one over the long haul, since the electorate is becoming more progressive and diverse.

Meanwhile the GOP has split. We have the marginalized 'traditional' GOP which is capable of competence and compromise. Then we have the mainstream 'crackpot' GOP-- the Tea Party-- which is incapable of competence or compromise. As such the GOP ultimately faces a choice between running a 'smart liar' or an 'honest dingbat'.

Mitt Romney was the 'smart liar' model. He has the political record of a traditional moderate Republican. He doesn't believe the Tea Party nutbags. But he needs their votes. So he lies to them ("severely conservative!") and puts a Tea Party crackpot in his stable (Paul Ryan). Romney isn't one of them, so he must pretend he's one of them. This hurt him badly: he seemed wooden and fake (much more than usual) so the voters didn't trust him.

Sarah Palin was the 'honest dingbat' model. She sincerely believes the moronic things she says ("death panels!") so she comes across as more genuine and likeable. Thus the Tea Party crackpots adore her. But traditional Republicans, independents, and swing voters don't like stupidity no matter how nicely it's presented.

So they're stuck. How do they appeal to both groups within the split GOP without alienating the crucial swing voters? The answer is, at least for now: they don't. I think the GOP will keep trotting out the 'smart liar' models for the Presidential elections. A truly exceptional liar has a better chance of winning than one of the honest dingbats.

You're spot on, but that's just the thing: because the Republicans see themselves losing due to this shift, they're actively considering and endorsing some major changes to the way states award Electoral College votes. If swing states like VA, PA, WI, and OH go the way of Maine and Nebraska, which award Electoral College votes by the winners of congressional district, then we could have a problem with either a "smart liar" or an "honest dingbat" because either could easily be sent to the White House despite a loss of the popular, increasingly progressive, vote. VA just drafted such a state bill, but at least Bob McDonnell, VA's Republican governor, along with a couple other key state Republicans, seems opposed to the idea. One of the most cogently written pieces I've seen on the flaws in VA's recent proposal to award Electoral College votes this way is at Real Clear Politics:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/01/25/virginias_ill-...

Every party gerrymanders, every politician abuses his or her authority, yet there's something particularly insidious about VA's Republicans' latest actions. Your points are well taken about the progressive shift of the electorate--makes me think of Dawkins' frequent references to the evolving moral zeitgeist of different periods of history--but, just as an animal is often most unpredictably dangerous after it's been wounded, the more furtive and cynical Republicans at the state level, cheered by Reince Priebus at the national level, are poised to strike back at their recent losses and looming decline by lashing out at our voting system itself. Just look at their efforts to restrict early voting and military voting, to enact draconian voter ID laws, their closing of polling places in poor and minority areas, etc.

I kind of wish AZ's loyalty oath were the least of our concerns!

 

That's an interesting article. I wasn't aware of the GOP's efforts on that front. I'll be looking into it a bit more. I found the author's conclusion interesting that "in a simple cost-benefit analysis, the benefit conferred upon whichever party enacts the change [of electoral college gerrymandering] is likely to be short-lived." I don't think a gamble like that is going to cure the GOP's ills. 

I put it like this last November:

The problem with the GOP is that the future always looks like the past.

Consider the year 2000. Low unemployment. Balanced budget. Strong economy. The Republicans take over, look around, and say gosh, now is the perfect time for:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Making savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The result was the near-collapse of the commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance industries, a doubling of the national debt, and the destruction of the real estate market, 30,000 businesses, and 20 million American jobs.

Before the GOP's deregulation scheme, the super-rich CEOs who caused the financial crisis collectively would have received several thousand years in prison. Instead they received million-dollar bonuses and the $700 billion TARP bailout, on top of the massive tax cuts they'd already been given.

Jump forward to 2008. The GOP crackpots look around and say gosh what a mess. So they produce the Tea Party and demand an injection of fresh ideas into conservative politics, such as:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Making savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The GOP loses big, and Obama is elected.

Jump ahead to 2012. The GOP looks around and says gosh, Obama really isn't picking up this mess fast enough. We need change for America, something that'll really get this country back on track. So Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan produce a batch a new ideas they say will solve all of our problems:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Making savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The GOP loses big again, and Obama is re-elected.

Jump ahead to 2016. I'm sure Bobby Jindal and the other "new stars" of the GOP will come up with some kind of fresh, new platform to run on. Care to guess what it'll be?

That's the problem. The electorate is changing and change is the antithesis of the GOP. They give it a new name ("compassionate conservative!") but the product is ideological dogma ("Norquist pledge!") so they can't change it.

The product is getting tougher to sell. Maybe too tough. The GOP needs to genuinely change some of its stances-- particularly on social issues-- and become more moderate. They might do it eventually but with the Tea Party albatross hanging on their necks it'll be a long time coming.

Barring things like scandals and other political disasters, I like the outlook for the Democrats in the 2016 Presidential elections and beyond. I even like the long-term outlook for the GOP which is: be moderate or be marginalized.

Yes, I'd welcome another chance to see a challenge, but not at the expense of lots of students having their diplomas withheld for the several years such a process usually takes.

I'm so ashamed of my state of residence....  All our local sports teams suck, but they look like champions compared to our politicians.  (Well, not out hockey team, who've been ownerless for years).

My high school principal, (1969) called me to the office a few weeks before graduation to tell me that "no atheist, communist, was gonna graduate from his school!"  (I was not then, nor have I ever been a member of the communist party.)  So, I contacted the ACLU who wrote him a nice letter after which he was most supportive of my graduating

WOW this is some wild ass BULL SHIT right there

Such a waste of a B.S. bill that doesn't help the students there in any way. 

  My ex-wife, a member of an ethnic minority, lives in Arizona, BY CHOICE!  How ironic is that?

@Dale   I'm sure that's no reflection on you.  (but I have my fingers crossed just in case)

I would be willing, with about a 1000 of my closest friends, to take this oath, after extensive legal advise of course:

"I of generally sound mind and functional intelligence, promise, along with my peers and fellow citizens, to never again offer any intellectual suspect Republican or Democratic candidate, my vote, support, or signature gathering, if they continue to pursue laws, ordinances, or mandates, that obviously would fail on constitutional  grounds, or create second class, and marginalize any members of the electoret."  

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