At the old digs, I asked about Sen. George Allen of VA:
Can we please have presidential candidates who are not psychological basketcases? … Is it possible for the Republicans to nominate someone who is not cracked in the head? Please? Just in case.
(Shakespeare’s Sister, by the way, thinks not).
By way of Mondo at the Carpetbagger Report comes this charming childgood tale of James Dobson, right-wing nut and conservative ‘Christian’ extraordinare:
Myrtle Dobson was an amiable and social woman, but she didn’t hesitate to whack her son with a shoe or belt when she felt it was required. Consequently, Dobson writes, he learned at an early age to stay out of striking distance when he back-talked to his mother. One day he made the mistake of mouthing off when she was only four feet away and heard a 16-pound girdle whistling through the air. “The intended blow caught me across the chest, followed by a multitude of straps and buckles wrapping themselves around my midsection.” The girdle incident did not dampen his defiance, however. One evening, after Dobson’s mother forbid him from going to a dance, the recalcitrant teenager told her that he was going anyway; she picked up the telephone and called her husband. “I need you,” she said.
The article continues: “‘What happened in the next few days shocked me down to my toes,’ writes Dobson.”
His father canceled the next four years’ worth of speaking engagements, put the Oklahoma house up for sale, and took a pastor’s job in San Benito, Texas, a small town near the Mexican border. Dobson had two years of high school left, and when he started classes he found himself the target of a couple of bullies. Rather than turn the other cheek, Dobson wheeled around and threw his schoolbooks in the face of one annoying youth. “By the time he could see me again I was on top of him,” Dobson writes. Dobson also tried a little bullying himself, targeting a boy whom he sized up as a “sissy.” But the boy gave him such a thrashing that Dobson concluded bullying wasn’t for him.
Elsewhere the story notes that in the Dobson household there were “a million rules…regulations and prohibitions for almost every imaginable situation.” Dobson recalls being “chewed out for using the expression ‘Hot dog!’ and forbidden from uttering ‘darn,’ ‘geez,’ or ‘dad-gummit’ because they were considered shorthand swear words.”
Even more alarming, Dobson admits in one of his books that as a child he arranged a fight between two mismatched dogs. The battle involved a tenacious bulldog and a “sweet, passive Scottie named Baby,” and Dobson provoked it by throwing a tennis ball toward Baby. He writes what happened next: “The bulldog went straight for Baby’s throat and hung on. It was an awful scene. Neighbors came running from everywhere as the Scottie screamed in terror. It took ten minutes and a garden hose for the adults to pry loose the bulldog’s grip. By then Baby was almost dead. He spent two weeks in the animal hospital, and I spent two weeks in the doghouse. I was hated by the entire town.”
This man, who tortured small animals for fun, is now a prominent figure of the religious right, and has written books to aid parents (and corporal punishment is featured in these books). Writes Mondo (italics mine):
…now I think I better understand why Dobson constantly tries to use the raw power of the state to cram fundamentalist Christianity down our throats: He had a lousy childhood.
There is a better way, Jim. Admit that these childhood demons still haunt you. Get help. Find a counselor. Talk it out. You have issues, dude. There’s no shame in that. Get the help you need and quit trying to gloss over your crummy upbringing by messing up the entire country.
I remember during the 2004 election all of the pseudo-psychoanalysis of John Kerry by the Mandarins on the Potomac. Compared to George Bush or James Dobson, Kerry is wonderfully normal. There’s a lot to be said for that…
What’s odd is that these stories have the ability to surprise anyone.
Let’s take a look at funamentalist Christianity, that has as it’s deity an unpedictable, wrathful, hateful deity who wants his ass kissed or he’ll have you tortured for eternity. Their god (I can’t bring myself to capitalize it) is a sadistic psychopath.
That’s their role model. No wonder they attract the insane and the sick.