Movement Conservatives Are Not Like the Rest of Us

In an excellent article detailing the ugly underside of the libertarian movement, Mark Ames wonders what the hell Silicon Valley types are doing hanging out with a socially conservative Republican congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (boldface mine):

Rep. McMorris Rodgers was homeschooled by her father, and got her higher education degree at an unaccredited Christian fundamentalist institution, Pensacola Christian College (PCC), which bans homosexuality, open Internet (PCC until recently banned all Internet access), and mixed-gender stairwells (male and female students are required to use separate stairs and doors). Pensacola Christian College is the publisher of A Beka textbooks for K-12 pupils, which teach kids that Islam is a “false religion,” Hindus are “incapable of writing history,” Catholicism is “a monstrous distortion of Christianity,” African religions preach “false religious beliefs,” liberals and Democrats are crypto-Marxists, and the United Nations is a “collectivist juggernaut that would crush individual freedom and force the will of an elite few on all of humanity.”

In the mid-late 90s, McMorris Rodgers took office in the Washington state legislature and co-authored a bill banning same-sex marriages, then later earned notoriety for blocking a bill that had already passed unanimously in Washington state’s upper house to replace the pejorative “Orientals” with “Asians” in official state documents. As reported in the press at the time, legislators were dumbfounded as to why McMorris Rodgers would do something as gratuitously mean-spirited as blocking a bill undoing racism against Asians; a few, including the bill’s Korean-American author, literally broke down in tears. McMorris Rodgers’ excuse, as reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

“I’m very reluctant to continue to focus on setting up different definitions in statute related to the various minority groups. I’d really like to see us get beyond that.”

Since coming to Congress, she co-sponsored a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, voted against bills that would protect the LGBT community from hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, against the equal pay bill for women, against federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and she opposes legal abortions in the case of rape or incest (unless the mother’s life is in danger). The Pensacola Christian College grad did, however, co-author a bill “recognizing Christianity’s importance to Western civilization.”

For forty years, conservatives have argued that libruls aren’t like ‘real’ ‘Muricans. But McMorris Rodgers–who isn’t some loon on a compound in the middle of nowhere, but a U.S. congresswoman–is really far outside of the mainstream. If she sounds vaguely familiar, she gave the Republican response to the State of the Union in 2014*. She’s not a backbencher.

Republicans are mainstreaming people really far outside of the mainstream. This will not end well–and hasn’t worked out so well so far either.

*The networks decided to let two Republicans respond in 2014. Not sure how or why that happened, but Republicans get extra stuff, I guess.

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