links for 2009-12-24
Senate Passes Health Care Reform

The True Spirit of Christmas Is...

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Let me turn the microphone for a minute over to Mobutu Sese Seko:

Et tu, Mr. Destructo?: Our God Is an Awesome God and a Crappy Shot: [A] caller and teabagging enthusiast asks Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) why Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) wasn't able to attend the health care vote.... [T]his guy starts openly weeping on the phone because he thinks that he or Barrasso have killed Inhofe. Why? Because Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) got on the floor of the senate and urged all Republicans to pray that certain people would be incapable of attending the health care vote, that God would somehow prevent them. The implication in Coburn's prayer was pretty clear, as the very ill and 92-year-old Robert Byrd (D-WV) was expected to cast the filibuster-proof 60th vote for the health care bill. Thus, Coburn's exhortation was little more than the Christian dog-whistle equivalent of asking God to kill Byrd.... The whole clip is barely a minute long, but it's absolutely captivating television. This man is openly weeping, not because he asked a merciful and loving God to murder another person for a political victory, but apparently because he thinks that Senator Barrasso failed to pray hard enough, or that he himself failed to pray hard enough, or perhaps that his omnipotent and all-knowing God somehow got the wrong signal at the end of the God Switchboard — like he shook his God Cell Phone as it garbled, stared at it, furrowed his brow, then said, "Well, I'm God and all, but how the hell am I going to figure out what he just said? I know—f--- it—I'm gonna kill Inhofe."

God is a vicious, impatient and intercessory God. The New Testament never happened. God waits by the blower eternal, ready for the impious to be smitten, brought low and then completely f---ed up.... God has watched every John Mellencamp "This Is Our Country" Chevy Silverado ad and is even now making an executive's finger hover over an office telephone button, ready to commission more. God thinks Mexican food sucks everywhere outside of Texas, including Mexico.

And the best part of all — despite the fact that Byrd is alive, was wheeled into the senate at 1:00 a.m. with a runny nose, rheumy eyes and a handkerchief before casting the 60th "aye" vote and literally fist-pumping while he did it — is the righteous and emotional investment the man has in an ethos he clearly knows nothing about. He cares enough about America and about Christianity to weep openly about them and to pray intensely without ever connecting a health care bill with lessons that Christ taught about healing the sick, a rich man's limitations, the meek's inheritance. or the goodness of surrendering material wealth for the enrichment of all. He's managed to internalize his belief strongly enough to sob about it on national television while giving the whole mercy/tolerance/cheek-turning thing a complete pass.

In the season of peace, honoring the birth of a God-made-man who raised his hand to no one and instead chose to die to save us all, this caller chokes up with impotent despair that his plans to kill another fucking human being went awry...