Chuck Norris, Revolutionary and President of Texas

Liberals often complained that George Bush had committed a variety of infractions including restrictions on civil liberties, ignoring Constitutional checks and balances on the presidency, and lying the country into a war. Conservatives responded by declaring that liberals had Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Despite this supposed derangement, the most that liberals advocated was utilization of Constitutional measures such as impeachment. On the other hand, Chuck Norris takes objection to a president’s actions to a new level.

On the Glenn Beck show (figures) Norris quipped that he might run for president of Texas. At WorldNetDaily he further discussed the need for violent revolution. This is primarily in protest against Obama’s spending measures, but he also throws in the usual conservative revisionist history which denies our heritage of separation of church and state with a secular government. (If you need to cherry pick a statement by John Adams as reason to ignore First Amendment rights you are getting pretty desperate.)

If liberals showed derangement for opposing Bush’s violations of the Constitution, what do we call someone who calls for violent revoluton because the oppose the president’s spending policies and oppose our First Amendment rights?

Modern American Republican: More Extreme Than British Conservatives And Former Republicans

In recent years the Republican Party has fallen under the control of extremists who would never had been considered viable candidates in the past–and who are too extreme for most other countries. The Osterley Times compares Republicans to British conservatives:

There simply is no British equivalent to the Republican party, unless one reaches towards the BNP and other extremists. The Tories might sound like them on matters like tax cuts and deregulation, but when it comes to social policy they simply wouldn’t dare make the arguments that are regularly made by the American right wing.

Any British politician who proposed teaching creationism in schools would instantly be regarded as on the outer fringes of intelligent debate, but Bush argued for that very thing and was seen as playing to the base, rather than as someone who had blatantly lost his mind.

The notion that David Cameron could hope to get elected by opposing abortion is silly on it’s face, and yet the Republicans put forward Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President precisely because she held such views.

Imagine what the Republican base would do if McCain, or any candidate for the Republican ticket, said this:

“I stood up in front of a Conservative conference, my first one as leader, and said that marriage was important, and as far as I was concerned it didn’t matter whether it was between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman,” he said.

“No other Conservative leader has ever done that. I don’t think any Labour leader has done that. Even since then. The good thing was that they applauded.”

And yet that is precisely what David Cameron did. The sky did not fall in and there were no calls for his head. Indeed, the Conservatives realised that they needed to change their stance on a lot of these issues in order to have any chance of ever getting re-elected, which is why they applauded.

In the US, the Republican party appears to have been kidnapped by radical extremists.

And, it’s only when one compares them, as Greenwald has done, to right wing political parties in a country like Britain, that one can clearly see just how wacky these buggers really are.

Being controlled by extremists is responsible for the Republicans being thrown out of office. Any degree of a rational foreign policy has replaced by the “wacky buggers” promoting neoconservativism and the war in Iraq.  The dominance by the religious right has turned the party into one which cannot handle the twenty-first century world or appeal to modern voters.

The extreme social conservatism of the Republican Party is a recent change. Barry Goldwater rejected the religious right and in his later years considered himself a liberal in response to the changes in the conservative movement. Secular Right has also pointed out that the battle lines of the culture war are a recent development:

Remember that Ronald Reagan signed a bill which loosened abortion laws in California in the late 1960s. George H. W. Bush had supported abortion rights until 1980, and his father had close ties to Planned Parenthood. This is not to say that I deny that those who oppose abortion do so sincerely. Rather, my point is that the “Culture Wars” which we see around us today may seem clear, distinct, and natural, but their shape was far different even a generation back.

Conservatives Discover Separation of Church and State

The creation of an atmosphere in which basic Constitutional rights were ignored under during the Bush years might be contributing to this bizarre measure introduced in the Connecticut legislature which would “remove control of Roman Catholic parishes from bishops and place them instead in the hands of lay panels.”

Despite the many efforts by elements on the right to promote a revisionist history denying separation of church and state, conservatives did not manage to make the entire Constitution irrelevant during the Bush years, no matter how hard they tried. There is little doubt this measure would quickly be declared unconstitutional if it ever passed and went to court.

There is one benefit from this. While historically it was often religious groups which most strongly defended the principle of separation of church and state as intended by the Founding Fathers, in recent years part of conservative dogma has been that separation of church and state is an anti-religious attitude. In reality, separation of church and state is essential to guarantee the rights of all to worship, or not worship, as they choose.

By linking to any particular conservative blogs I do not intend to suggest that any particular individuals or blogs were involved in the promoting the revisionist history which denies separation of church and state. Conservatives, like liberals, hold a variety of views. Still, there is some value in readers of conservative blogs seeing support for the concept of separation of church and state in conservative blogs such as here and here. Perhaps this will remind them of the importance of this principle.

Of course some conservatives continue to promote their revisionist history thinking you can defend basic rights when you agree with them while denying such rights when you find them inconvenient to your political beliefs. Such selective support for civil liberties risks loss of such liberties by all.