Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Seamless Robe and The Sleazy Rube

Members of the politerati immediately seized on the most conventional explanation of Paul's 1990s obsession: As a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, he was taking an early stab at sullying the Clinton brand to do harm to Hillary Clinton's possible campaign and, perhaps as a side benefit, taint Bill Clinton prior to his joining Grimes on the campaign trail.

Paul's waving of the Monica flag has been dismissed by pundits on the right and left as odd and irrelevant (though a sign of an unpredictability that could shake up Republican presidential politics in the coming year or two). But Paul's fixation on Bill Clinton's tryst with Lewinsky—and his claim that this has a bearing on current political matters—ought to draw attention to his own approach to issues that involve women. His voting record on what might be called women's issues shows he's motivated more by libertarian ideology than concern for women contending with abuse or pay inequity. He was one of 22 Republican (and male) senators who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Woman Act last year, noting that he believed that programs to counter domestic violence should be funded only at the state level. In 2012, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have provided women with new means to fight pay discrimination in the workplace. He compared that legislation to efforts made by the Politburo in the days of the Soviet Union to control the price of bread. And though as a libertarian he often decries federal encroachment on the rights of states and individuals, he does favor amending the Constitution to criminalize abortion across the country.
-- for the same reason that church authorities display the Holy Robe of Christ:
Cathedral of Trier Carries Seamless Robe of Christ
by Brian Kelly May 16, 2011
The Empress St. Helena, known for her pilgrimages to the Holy Land, reportedly brought back the Holy Robe of Christ from Jerusalem and entrusted it to her son's new church at Trier. The Holy Robe is the seamless garment said to be worn by Christ during the Crucifixion.

The Robe made its first appearance in written documents in the 12th century. In 1512, the Holy Robe was first displayed in Trier for a period of 23 days, during which more than 100,000 pilgrims came to venerate it.

The next year, a wooden balcony was built onto the west front of the cathedral in order to display the Holy Robe and the other Trier relics to crowds gathered in Cathedral Square. It has been periodically displayed since then, attracting ever-larger crowds.

The last display of the relic, for three weeks in 1933, drew two million pilgrims. In 1959, the relic was sealed in a splendid shrine in its own chapel, where it remains today.
Because to the faithful, they are both sacred relics -- sacred relics which began their journey to the reliquary as soiled garments, figuratively or literally handed down from antiquity and made holy by the removal of any shred of the actual, historical context of their origins.

Of course, the analogy fall apart once you understands that, for Republicans, "antiquity" means everything that happened between Genesis and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.  For them, nothing existed prior to  January 20, 2009, except  monsters...and demons..and the pillar of pure light and freedomy goodness that is Imaginary Reagan --

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-- which is why Rand Paul can move in that world, saying ridiculous things like this with complete impunity:
Well, you know, I mean, the Democrats, one of their big issues is they have concocted and said Republicans are committing a war on women.  One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office.

And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this.  He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office.  There is no excuse for that, and that is predatory behavior, and it should be something we shouldn't want to associate with people who would take advantage of a young girl in his office.

This isn't having an affair.  I mean, this isn't me saying, "Oh, he's had an affair, we shouldn't talk to him."  Someone who takes advantage of a young girl in their office?  I mean, really.  And then they have the gall to stand up and say, "Republicans are having a war on women"?  So, yes, I think it's a factor.  Now, it's not Hillary's fault.

Senator Paul does not have to worry about anything David Corn has to say, because the meatsticks whose votes he is trying to secure not only do not know or care who David Corn is, buy very likely either literally do not remember that Bill Clinton was impeached (or, for that matter, remember any of the roaring, paranoid, rage-drunk, conspiracy mongering with which Republicans filled the 1990s), or have just given the entire entire Clinton Administration the Etch-a-Sketch shake-shake-shake and made it disappear.

Hell, I'd give bankers odds that most Republicans have no recollection whatsoever of the long, rambling, conspiracy-laced treatise Rand Paul's crackpot old man laid down on the subject just before the House voted to impeach Bill Clinton:

The day the Right chose to go all-in on Collective Strategic Forgettery was the day that rise of creatures like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz became predictable.

And the day the Beltway chose to let them get away with it was the day that Senator Paul playing his GOP primary hand in this way became inevitable.

1 comment:

Unsalted Sinner said...

Please proceed, Senator. I have two words for you: Aqua Buddha.