Every four years our political discourse suffers an acute case of national colitis, induced with characteristic malice and fatuous aforethought by ungodly demagogues and unsaintly pretenders boorishly attempting another forceful entry into the bowels of what should be our secular debate as to who should lead us.
Accordingly I give you, or rather the Washington Post gives us, the face-painting, night-traveling, body-bagging Ralph Reed -- the Harold Stassen of Christian infidels gussied up as the politically pious. Your writer is no Christian -- I am, rather, a confirmed, devout Wonderer, baptized in a million questions -- but even the likes of this wretch finds himself consistently astounded and occasionally shocked at the soul-sickening depths to which Reed is so willing to travel and to tempt righteous wrath. Were I Mr. Reed, that is, presumably a true believer, at the sight and sound of every electrical storm I would say to myself: This is it, it's all over, I'm toast.
Of what, specifically, do I speak? Perhaps the greatest sin committable by an essayist or commentator is the intentional misrepresentation by the commentator of what he regards as some opponent's original sin, as originally expressed; in brief, to deliberately misquote, to twist, to distort, to fabricate -- to lie. One would think the celestially virtuous would be downright allergic to such an underhanded tactic, since having Almighty God on one's side would be, or so one would further think, enough. But for Reed, it's not. For Reed, resorting to mendacity is merely his way of keeping his many fish on a hook.
I quote from his WaPo piece:
One columnist alleged in the Daily Beast that Santorum would use the power of the presidency to impose "his ideal of a Christian America" on the nation.
Now I'll quote from the Daily Beast's "quoted" columnist, Amy Sullivan:
Santorum has made it clear that if he won, he would use the power of the White House in part to protect his ideal of a Christian America.
The last Christians to genuinely confuse the definitional difference between "impose" and "protect" were illiterate, Crusading medieval knights. And even then, the "genuine" were in a delicate minority. Most were just cutthroats; you know, of the face-painting, night-traveling, body-bagging type.
God help us. We've months of Reed & Co.'s unholy crap to inflame us.