Monthly Archives: August 2007

Sen. Larry Craig Joins the CCC Honor Roll

Republican Idaho Senator Larry Craig is the latest Conflicted Conservative in Crisis (CCC) to be caught with his pants down. According to Roll Call, Craig was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom.

I have no idea what Craig’s alleged lewd conduct consisted of, but he has faced pointed pointed rumors of same-sex affairs in the past. Craig responded to these allegations with strident denials. Now, as details of Craig’s recent arrest emerge, he seems increasinly cock-eyed, so to speak.

To be sure, this story would not matter if Craig wasn’t using his position to advance the Republican Party’s officially homophobic agenda. In November, 2006, Craig flamboyantly endorsed Idaho’s successful anti-gay constitutional amendment, HJR 2, which banned gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in the state.

Craig is up for re-election in 2008. Will his alleged carnality in public restrooms put an end to his career in public life? Idaho conservatives may be willing to reward bigotry, but lying is another matter.

Jamie Kirchick has had a rough debut at the Daily Dish. Now, Scott Horton and Dish co-blogger Steve Clemons have rebuked him for his out-of-the-blue attack on me. Horton and Clemons are leading experts in foreign policy and human rights, and more than that, they are real mensches. I hope Kirchick learns something from them.

Horton has a theory about Kirchick’s motivation:

One other thing really sticks in my mind. Max Blumenthal has been out there busily defending The New Republic from the onslaughts of Bill Kristol and the Weekly Standard over the last two weeks. It looks like Kirchick is giving him repayment in kind. Remind me please: which of these publications is Kirchick actually working for? I think we just found out.

Hateration

I hung out with Andrew Sullivan this year’s CPAC and he has posted my videos on several occasions. He is presently on vacation. One of the people keeping The Daily Dish warm in Sullivan’s absence is Jamie Kirchick, a self-described “homocon” who serves at the pleasure of Marty Peretz. I hear from a TNR source that Kirchick has rewarded his employer by helping web weirdo “Throbert McGee” leak inside information to the Weekly Standard to assist the neocon rag’s swiftboating of “Baghdad Diarist” Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

Now, Kirchick has decided to go after to me for daring to say in my Q&A with the Forward that my videos have been viewed by an audience outside what I described as the “liberal intellectual bubble.” He calls that assertion “laughable.”

But what did I do to earn Kirchick’s wrath? Perhaps Kirchick is angry that Sidney Blumenthal is my father (Kirchick inexplicably quotes Sullivan’s negative review of my father’s book, “The Clinton Wars,” to buttress his attack on me). Maybe he is jealous that my interpretive dance moves so perfectly evoked the brilliance of Jose Limon. Or maybe it’s this. Who knows? For now, all I will say in response to Kerchick — I actually pity him for some reason — is that while I welcome his promotion of my interview, he needs to stop sipping that haterade.

Matt Yglesias was also baffled by Kerchick’s weird post, and takes him to task for poor reading comprehension.

Why My Blogging Will Slow Down Until Next Year

I have made a verbal agreement with Nation Books to author a book for them that will (hopefully) appear next summer, during the height of election season. Our contract has not yet been finalized, but it should be completed shortly.

My book will encapsulate much of the work I have done about the right during the past four or five years. I plan to focus my narrative on the political psychology and underlying culture of the right by revealing how a cult of personal crisis animates the movement’s politics of resentment. Over the years I have encountered countless high-profile right-wing activists whose extreme political behavior was galvanized by the existential crises they suffered. In their attempts to purify the land of sin, they hope to purify their souls as well. For them, conservatism is more than ideology — it is a unique form of self-medication. It is no wonder that the most influential figure in the Christian right, James Dobson, is not a preacher or theologian, but a child psychologist. Dobson understands the cult of personal crisis and has exploited it to his advantage.

I have a short period of time to write this book. This will make it hard for me to keep blogging on a regular basis. It has already been difficult for me to maintain a regular blogging schedule given all the other projects I have taken on. So until next year, this blog will mainly serve as a bulletin board for updates about my work. I won’t be blogging on the news or taking on other projects, so don’t look for any new videos or lengthy articles, though I do plan to continue researching for Media Matters. For those of you who have trafficked my blog since the beginning, back in 2004, or kept up on my reporting and videos, I hope we’ll meet next year at a book event in your town. Until then, check in here for updates.

Federal Funding for GOP S&M

Looks like the White House’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has been sending your tax dollars to Love Demonstrated Ministries, the evangelical S&M youth camp where a counselor dragged an allegedly lackadaisical teenage girl from a truck. This is from the 2003 White House budget for HHS:

Partnering with Faith-based and Community Organizations

The San Antonio Weed & Seed Coalition consists of 120 community, neighborhood, and law enforcement organizations whose mission is to reduce drug-related crime and victimization. The coalition has helped to reduce crime in San Antonio by 43.5 percent from 1992–2000. One of the coalition partners, Love Demonstrated Ministries (LDMI), is a faith-based organization which focuses on youth offenders, gang members, and high risk youth. Over the past three years, 135 of 165 young offenders entering its Life Skills and Parenting Camp have graduated from LDMI, a success rate of 82 percent.