Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alabama Has Apparently Driven Off the Deep End…

Take a look at this advertisement being aired by “True Republican PAC” against Bradley Byrne, a candidate for the Alabama Republican gubernatorial nomination:

Wow! A Republican PAC attacks a candidate for believing in … gasp … evolution! So how did Bradley Byrne respond? Did he stand up for science and a belief that church and state should remain separate? Yeah, right.

•    I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that every single word of it is true. From the earliest parts of this campaign, a paraphrased and incomplete parsing of my words have been knowingly used to insinuate that I believe something different than that. My faith is at the center of my life and my belief in Jesus Christ as my personal savior and Lord guides my every action.

•    As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.

Stop and think about that for a moment. To one political action committee, belief in evolution instead of creation is a valid point of political attack. But apparently, in Alabama, a Republican who does believe in evolution is unelectable because the targeted candidate quickly, and in harsh and strident terms, disavowed belief in evolution and stated his clear belief in creationism. Those who believe in science are apparently not eligible for the GOP’s nomination to be Governor of Alabama.

Of course, one of the other candidates, former Judge Roy Moore (yes “Ten Commandments” Judge Moore) also felt the need to insert religion into the campaign:

Moore said the U.S. has the best form of government that has ever existed and one firmly founded on a belief in God as the source of basic rights.

“President after president have [sic] recognized that our constitution exists because there is a God,” he said.

Moore also said the happiness mentioned in the Declaration of Independence is synonymous with the idea of justice as defined in the Bible.

“You can’t be happy if you don’t follow God’s laws,” he said. “If you follow God’s law, you can’t help but be happy.”

Not to be totally left out, Tim James, another candidate for the Republican nomination, is airing this lovely bit of nativist racism disguised as a campaign ad:

Note that the issue isn’t road signs; it is simply whether the test would be given in other languages. Of course James makes his feelings perfectly clear by telling people to learn English. Hey, I have no problem with the suggestion that people in the United States, especially American citizens or those wanting to be American citizens, learn English. It’s a good idea that will serve them well. But do we really want to suggest to people that they’re not welcome unless they learn English? Boy, that seems like a good way to encourage investment in Alabama. Think about it this way: Did James ever mention illegal immigrants in his message? Nope. All he talked about was learning English.

But those aren’t the only crazy advertisements currently running in Alabama. See how many Republican and/or Southern clichés you can spot in this advertisement for Dale Peterson, running for Agriculture Commissioner.

I was almost expecting him to turn around and punch his horse (think Mongo in Blazing Saddles). What exactly was the point of showing us his really big gun? Is he going to shoot people who disagree with him? Then again, you know what they say about people who feel the need to show off their big gun. Anyway, I’m less frightened by his actual message than I am by the fact that anyone would think that a message like this would be appropriate in the first place or, even worse, that the people of Alabama might actually be swayed by an ad like this one.

And just so you know that all of the craziness isn’t isolated to campaign trail, there’s this story from earlier this week:

A Jefferson County teacher picked the wrong example when he used as­sassinating President Bar­ack Obama as a way to teach angles to his geome­try students.

The teacher was appar­ently teaching his geometry students about parallel lines and angles, officials said. He used the example of where to stand and aim if shooting Obama.

"He was talking about angles and said, 'If you're in this building, you would need to take this angle to shoot the president,' " said Joseph Brown, a senior in the geometry class.

Very classy, don’t you think? Maybe Dale Peterson was going to help the teacher demonstrate the right angles to use. He does have a big gun, after all.

Oh, and remember when windows were broken in Democratic Congressional offices following passage of the health care reform legislation? Well guess where the idea for mass window breaking was born? Yep, Alabama.

Can somebody tell me what is going on in Alabama to cause this degree of craziness?

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