The impending debate in the United States Senate over the nuclear option is now a religious battle according to Senator Bill Frist. That's what today's New York Times is reporting today in a front page piece titled "Frist Set to Use Religious Stage on Judicial Issue." Scary stuff. The Senate is now a theocracy:
As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.So, on the one hand, we have DeLay and Cornyn threatening judges, we have some of the right wingers talking about invoking Stalinist "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." techniques to deal with judges...and now, the Senator leader had decided the filibuster debate is about not only about God, but the "godless" Democrats.
Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."
Almost unbelievable. This is clearly Frist's attempt to break out of the pack in the race for President in 2008 which the Washington Post covered in their "nuclear option" story today:
The strategy carries significant risks for the Tennessee Republican, who is weighing a 2008 presidential bid. It could embroil the Senate in a bitter stalemate that would complicate passage of President Bush's agenda and raise questions about Frist's leadership capabilities. Should he fail to make the move or to get the necessary votes, however, Frist risks the ire of key conservative groups that will play big roles in the 2008 GOP primaries.So Frist is cozying up to the right wingers in a big, big way, like by turning over the Senate agenda to them. Dr. Frist will be in the company of the leaders of theocracy wing of the GOP at their judge bashing gathering, the Times reports:
Some of the nation's most influential evangelical Protestants are participating in the teleconference in Louisville, including Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Chuck Colson, the born-again Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; and Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.There was a time when Senate leaders took a more measured view of God and politics. Back in 1987, during the Iran-Contra Hearings, former Senator George Mitchell (D-ME) said to Oliver North "Although he's regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics."
Those were the days. Now, we are faced with a Senate Leader who is running a theocracy and attacking the religious convictions of the opposition party. This is really scary stuff. It sounds like something that should be coming out of Tehran, not D.C. The Democrats have to stand strong, engage the remaining few normal Republicans and shut this debate down once and for all.
We all have to make noise too. Between the theocracy and the threats of violence, the GOP has given us the talking points.