The ‘Oogedy Boogedy’ Conservative

Kathleen Parker at the WaPo must looooove hate-mail.  Her latest piece talks about the ‘Oogedy Boogedy’ conservative– you know, the one who clings to guns and God– and then demands the GOP toss the Evangelical Christian aside because they’re too loud about their religion.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth — as long as we’re setting ourselves free — is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

Jonah Goldberg has an excellent rebuttal.  I highly recommend you read it.  And here’s mine.

Christians are called to Jesus and God, and part of that calling is evangelization.  Some believe it’s done through preaching, others by works.  In any way, we are called to Christianity and to follow its precepts in total.  We can’t be closet Christians.  In fact, last Sunday’s Gospel from the Catholic year was exactly about that.

14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’


24“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

So, if we do as Kathleen suggests, and “keep religion in our hearts where it belongs”, then we are turning our backs on our mission and are behaving like the wicked servant with one talent!

I happen to believe the GOP can do both, be a Christian party and be a Conservative party, and it’s a matter of priorities on how we get elected.  Conservative fiscal policies will win us the next election, and reducing the size and interference of government in our lives will be the best policy.  None of this is anathema to Christianity.  Building a solid society must come first, but a society that is moral and just, and religion plays a big part in that.

Kathleen suggests it’s the White Christiany Oogedy Boogedy-ness of the GOP that cost them the election.  She’s wrong in many ways, and to cannibalize the morality of those in the party to further some political dream is nonsense.  We lost the election because people were a) still upset about the war, b) upset about the economic downturn, c) unable to get behind McCain because he was a centrist and d) disgusted with the latest rounds of GOP scandals.  It had nothing to do with G-O-D.

But in a way, I agree.  We can’t run primarily on social issues.  That’s the domain of the Democrats.  Run on strengths of foreign policy and economics and you’ll defeat the Democrats.


4 Responses to “The ‘Oogedy Boogedy’ Conservative”

  1. November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Another point against Parker’s filth is that a large number of these “the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP” stayed home on Nov 4th because McCain wasn’t a suitable candidate for them. If McCain had played more to that base he might well have won the election.

  2. 2 James
    November 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Yeah it isn’t like the Republicans are losing college-educated voters…oh wait they are. McCain did play to the base hard, with the Palin pick, which is why Obama won those white college-educated, and rich voters (you know the kind who used to vote Republican). And that was with all the “he’s a socialist” rhetoric.

    You miss the point of Parker’s column. The Republican candidates are trapped; play too much to the base and you lose the moderate voter, play too little to the base, and the oogedy-boogedys will eat you for lunch. 10-12 years in the wilderness should solve the GOP’s evangelical problem.

  3. November 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Strange, James – exit polls showed McCain picked up slightly more than 50% of the independent voters and twice as many Dems as Obama picked up Republicans.

    This really wasn’t a unifying election; it ended up being a base-to-base conflict that Obama won due to being more on point with the Liberals than McCain was with the Conservatives.

  4. 4 Matt R.
    November 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Think I’ll get drunk, mumble over my beads and squeeze off a few rounds now.
    Jonolan has a good point. He only has 52% (and not Missouri) so why is being portrayed like a landslide? While the MSM seems ready to annoint Obama, wise Dems will look on the result with a lot more caution.
    Oh, expect more gerrymandering. That’s how Dems usually try to hold onto power.

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My name is Doc. Welcome to my blog. If you're visiting from another blog, add me to your blogroll (and I'll happily reciprocate). I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and live in Wisconsin. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. My email is docattheautopsy at gmail. (No linking to deflate the incredible spam monsters).



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