Well, the whole filibuster thing is old news at this point — for now, anyway. However, I’ve had something on my mind that I’ve been meaning to write about when it came to the reactions of various factions on all sides. Most interesting is the statement made by James Dobson, after news that a compromise had been reached on the filibuster. The segments below interest me most (emphasis mine):
This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats.
I am certain that these voters will remember both Democrats and Republicans who betrayed their trust.
It’s this language that really puts the icing on the cake, for me anyway, with regards to the way Dobson has been reacting for the past several years.
I don’t deny that Dobson has always been a social conservative with values based in his particular brand of the Christian faith. However, I see the vitriol that he spews these days, and in my mind, it differs a great deal with the stuff of his that I read as a kid.
When I was younger, I was given a Dobson book — already somewhat dated at the time — about coping with adolescence. I can’t remember the title, and didn’t really get a lot out of the book, but the key parts which I remember come from a “round table” discussion, transcribed in the book, which took up a fairly sizeable portion of the text. In this discussion, Dobson spoke casually with teenagers, running the gamut of teen issues.
What I remember in the book seems to run counter to Dobson today. Not in terms of the values, these all run the same, but in his general demeanor and attitude.
When it came to “modern pop music” talking about love, he quoted a few Partridge family snippets, and reacted with something to the effect of, “c’mon, that’s not love at all!”
When it came to self-conciousness, he talked about a somewhat humourous anecdote about when he was once at a meeting with a large group of women, and there’d been a tray of breakfast snacks and coffee across the room. He noted that, amidst the two breaks in the meeting, no one dared venture across the room to get any. Finally, during a third break, he went over there and was followed by a “trail of women” who had been, apparently, too self-concious to get up and do it themselves, first. This story resulted in a bit of giggling by the teenagers in the group.
Finally, I remember a section where one kid was talking candidly about drug use in his school, with regards to a time when some fellow classmates had been smoking dope in the bathroom, and all the kids in a nearby classroom knew the “unmistakable” scent, whereas a teacher reacted, stating, “my, what is that wonderful smell?”. This got a large laugh from the teens on the round table.
In any case, this book, while touching on issues important to Dobson’s moral values, nonetheless had a somewhat lighthearted feel to it, and Dobson himself didn’t spew any fire and brimstone about these things. He let the conversations go on in a relatively sane way, and whether it was conscious or not, at least appeared to try and be “hip” and “with it”. Whether one particularly agreed with his beliefs or not, he at least evangelised his beliefs in a civil way, contrasting these “roadblocks” that teenagers encounter with what he felt the Bible had to say about these issues.
So I remember those things, and I see the way Dobson is acting lately, and frankly, I wonder if he has gone off his rocker, if the political power he has accumulated has gone to his head, or both. The man is a total smouldering inferno, an embodiment of the Eye of Sauron.
And now that I think about it, it really seems like he’ll stop at nothing to get his hands back on the One Ring.
Dobson, I’m sure, still has his faith, as misguided as it may be these days, and I don’t really think his moral compass has changed all that much. His reactions as of late, however, as compared to his earlier attitudes and behaviours, really seal the deal for me, when I ponder if he’s just (ab)using his position amongst the faithful, and abusing his very faith, for political purposes.