Monday, October 11, 2004

Dred Scott and Other Code-Words For The Imminent Second Coming

In the debate last week, Bush mentioned the Dred Scott case. Much of the blogosphere started scraching their heads, trying to figure otu what it all means. Soon enough, some people figured out what it was all about: a code-word for abortion. Bush told his base, the same people that stayed at home in 2000 and Rove wants so much, that he will apply a litmus test for the choice of Supreme Court judges: overturning Roe vs. Wade.

These were the first three bloggers I saw who made the connection:

Paperwight's Fairshot (October 09, 2004 at 11:19 AM)

Alexa on JREgrassroots (Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:20 pm)

Kynn at Daily Kos (Sat Oct 9th, 2004 at 20:46:00 GMT )

Soon, this was picked up by a number of other blogs and websites, including:


Washington Monthly



Mark Kleiman

Blogging of the President

Prometeus 6

We are all eagerly awaiting the promised commentary by Publius at Legal Fiction

It is funny to read comments by lawyers and legal scholars, all bogged down in nitty-gritty explanations what Dred Scott case really meant in the 19th century, using terminology that only professionals can understand. They are completely missing the point. George W Bush is no legal scholar. But he is an evangelical, and he's heard the Dred/Roe connection a million times. I don't know if he was surprised by the question, or painfully prepped to say exactly this, but he surely skillfully threw red meat to the base.

Are the bloggers who connect Dred with Roe correct? Of course - just check these anti-choice sites:

Now, let's put this into a broader perspective. As I argued several times before, the Conservative ideology is losing a historical battle with The Enlightement. It is a wounded beast, lashing out, rolling its bloodshot eyes, lolling its tongue, fighting dirty for sheer survival. And when I say "conservative", I am not talking about the GOP from the 1970s - I am talking about Judge Moore, Hagelin, Lott, Helms, Thurmond, DeLay and Zell Miller (who forgot to change his registration about 25 years ago). I am talking about the GOP of today, an extreme right-wing, crypto-fascist, pseudo-Christian party that laughs at the notion of fair play. They are in it to win, and if they need to kill people, they will. If they need to pay Osama and give him a couple of Boeings to play with, they will (perhaps they already did in 2001 - the jury is still out on this conspiracy theory, but NOTHING will surprise me from these guys any more). This has nothing to do with democracy or electoral politics or negative TV ads. This is a life and death battle. An Armageddon Election. We better get prepared. This is a machine that is ready to crush bodies to win in November.

At least Kerry campaign should hire a person with personal experience with evangelicals, someone who can immediately spot and translate the code-words as they come (and who knows how many we have already missed?), someone who can work with people like Lakoff to design a workable counter-offensive and send talking points to all staffers, candidates, speechwriters, and TV spinmeisters, so everyone is prepared to respond immediately.

For further education, read my post below on Rapturists, as well as following articles:
Where did the middle go? How polarized politics and a radical GOP have put a chill on measured debate
Cracking the Code
How To Deal With The Moral Bankruptcy Of The GOP, Its Power, And Their "Stepford" Supporters
This all turned out to be right interesting
Left in the wings The looming fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party

Go out and post on blogs, spread the word about the Dred/Roe connection, compile other code-words, send letters to the media about this. Here are some examples of recent mentions of the Dred Scott mention in the blogosphere:

Everything You Know is Wrong !NEWS2U Global News Blog

HLS Federalist Society Ex Parte

The S.I.C.L.E. Cell

Blogrilla : The big scary monkey of blogs!

The Facts Machine

525 Reasons to Dump Bush


Jarrett House North :

Kara Kerwin: a work in progress . . .

The Lincoln Plawg

mmmm, brains

Weird scenes inside

Truth About Keyes


Outside Report

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: A Weblog


Hughes For America!


.: Digital Orrery :.

Dangerous Times


The Pajama Pack

gregor samsa's diary



Crimson and Cream Report

famous and nonfamous strangers

Rain Storm

PBD - Progressive Blog Digest

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Dubliner in Japan

The National Outrage


Matthew Yglesias

Lawyers, Guns and Money


Fuzzy Puppy

Linda Robertson@50plus

Steamed Rice

Intellectual Conservative

Mere Sketches

Southern Appeal



Two excellent articles that confirm our suspicions:

Words matter How Bush speaks in religious code

Bush's Code Cracked
A University of Chicago professor says he's figured out how the president is winning evangelicals' support. He's only partly right.

Timothy Noah caught onto this and wrote a good piece in Slate, with several excellent aditional links:

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 1:15 AM | permalink | (2 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink