The God's Truth, By God
The Carolina morning started beautifully, then it rained, then the sun returned, then it rained, then somewhere there was the sound of a jet invisible above, then the sun came out again and then began to decline after dinner and some distance to the west there was the Iowa Straw Vote and the TV was following the action. What we saw was a person we thought was Tina Fey doing an imitation of Michele Bachmann. It was amazing, how she manages to look like these people and makes you laugh mostly by quoting stuff the women have actually said. “I can see Russia from my house.” Well, a lot of people can do that, depending on what they are smoking.
We were screaming to the wife to come see this hilarious imitation, when, to our surprise, an announcer appeared and we realized that this was not a female impersonator. What made us think so was the style and content of her speech. She was gesturing wildly and God, she was using the word God every other God knows word, like God I love God, you love God, and I love you, I love you all, by God, and God willing and God bless America and I hope that God breaks Rick Perry’s freakin’ legs…
It is, of course, unfortunate that Newsweek’s cover made the woman seem deranged. She is simply playing to what Jimmy Breslin referred to as “a low IQ” audience. Actually, Jimmy referred to low IQ states, which included any state, usually southern, that wasn’t up to his high intellectual standards. In this case, however, it was only a fraction of Iowa people involved and these were pious souls, God fearing by God they are, offended by ungodly conduct and ready to cheer any God-fearing woman.
Some people find linking God and the flag distasteful campaigning, in the spirit of Richard Nixon at his worst. Remember the parody from some 50 years ago: “I’m glad you asked that question. Pat and I were talking about it at home the other night in front of the fire. Pat was knitting a flag; I was reading the Constitution...”
Of course, Nixon was a God-fearing man who would never lie unless he had to. He was in the great spirit of American family values which has marked so many of our distinguished presidents. Rarely has a president questioned the value of having God in his camp. Abraham Lincoln, in the depths of the Civil War, mused that both sides prayed to the same God and he wondered how God could be on both sides at once. But he made up for this blasphemy in his second inaugural. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right…”
Note that Lincoln did not say he loved God, or that God even liked him; rather, like John Templeton, who has his name on a Fort Lauderdale building, praying before financial decisions, he hoped God would send the lights of his better angels to clear our collective minds in a time of turmoil. Other presidents, while not so eloquent as Lincoln, have consistently boosted family values, which is God’s way. President Clinton managed to leave office with a surplus, largely because he valued family values. Harry Truman put a nice spin on religion when he vowed to “give em hell.” Gen. Sherman came on a little stronger – he declared that war is hell, and had little time for preachers. However, he kept his wife at Notre Dame throughout the war and God, who is a big Fighting Irish fan, permitted him to march through Georgia without the devil to pay. And the great John Kennedy proved that spreading love around – a little to a movie star, a little to a mobster’s girl – did not impair his judgment when it came to avoiding nuclear war.
The beat goes on. In many parts of Florida it is almost impossible to get elected unless you praise God and favor carrying assault rifles openly to church. And our legislators in Washington carry on the great tradition of family values, personified by the Palm Beach congressman who loved little boys as well as himself, and after he lost, was replaced by another dude who beat him on a family values plank and proved his sincerity by using his plank with as many families as possible.
Oh my God!!! The wife just turned on Chris Matthews, who stupidly doubts that JFK was murdered by our own government, and he’s ranting about Rick Perry and he just said, swear to God, that Perry is selling the Tea Party “no taxes” line like a religion.
And that’s the God’s truth.