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Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009)

de Max Blumenthal

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An intimate, investigative portrait of how the purveyors of the politics of personal crisis and redemption brought down the GOP--and why they're still calling the shots for the party.
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When I picked up the book, I suspected that the focus might be to highlight the affect on society by ultra-religious conservatives, i.e., anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-secular, anti stem cell research, anti Planned Parenthood, anti-condom distribution in Aids afflicted Countries, etc., etc., etc. However, it's more a book which takes many conservatives to task for their individual failings. There are many included in Blumenthal's sights, including the Reverend Ted Haggard, Congressmen Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Senators Larry Craig and David Vitter, and many others. So the book is much more about the weakness and failings of many of our Conservative leaders and leaders of the religious right, more so than the weakness or failings of the movement itself. However, if the leaders are shown to be phonies, it raises doubts about their beliefs in what they preach, and raises the question if their intent is to use their influence for their own ends of power and wealth.
There may well be a group of ultra-conservative Christians, Jews, and Muslims that agree that "shellfish and pork", "usury", or even shaving are forbidden, and could be punishable by death. While some of the most conservative religious believers may try to follow Bible teachings to their fullest, most Americans tend to look past many prohibitions which seem inconsistent with modern lifestyle. Try telling the modern American woman that "wives shall be ‘submissive’ to their husbands" (I Peter 3:1) and women aren't to "wear gold or pearls" (I Timothy 2:9); or "dress in clothing that pertains to a man" (Deuteronomy 22:5). The author makes a point that if the beliefs of the most conservative religious right over-influence our elected officials, the courts, and the laws they support, and the Republican Party adopts the religious platform of the most conservatives, many moderates not tied to these old traditions may be threatened and lost to the Party. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
stunning and horrifying look at the evil of evangeical Christianity in the US. ( )
  clarkland | Dec 27, 2015 |
Lots of cringe-inducing stuff here, plenty of sex and drugs - not much rock 'n roll. Interesting stuff of the machinations of the Focus on the Family folks - mostly because I had to deal with some of this vitriol when I was a Hill staffer. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
We live in scary times. The extreme conservatives are afraid everyone who doesn't agree with them is a traitor going to destroy this country through tolerating more individual freedoms, such as divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and premarital sex. (At the same time many are looking forward to the apocalypse to carry the believers to Heaven while everyone else burns in Hell.)
The liberals are afraid that the Christian Right Wing is taking over the USA and that the individual freedoms which had been fought for then taken for granted here are going to be taken away.
REPUBLICAN GOMORRAH INSIDE THE MOVEMENT THAT SHATTERED THE PARTY by Max Blumenthal discusses those fears. It examines how the extreme right wing had gained control of the Republican party and has pushed its views into government by backing, with money and votes, candidates who agree with its positions.
He writes about people such as James Dobson who have a crippling hold on his adherents and uses it to coerce elected officials to carry out its demands. Its success is obvious by the number of conservative judges and justices appointed to federal benches and the candidates running for elected office.
The group (it refers to itself as the Family), requires everyone to adhere to its rules beginning with being "born again." Serial killers Ted Bundy and David Berkowitz were accepted because they confessed and showed remorse. (Those confessions were also sold to make money for Dobson.) Among elected officials, those who broke their marriage vows via affairs and/or prostitutes or told their wives they were divorcing them via telephone while the wives were hospitalized are acceptable if they repent. Anyone suspected of being a homosexual was OUT!!! The book tells how the movement became so popular and provides possible reasons for the mindsets of the leaders and followers. Many of the leaders were severely abused when they were children.
They have forced candidates to obey them backing their demands with the strength of money and voters.. Mitt Romney's altered positions from his days of Governership is one example; John McCain's accepting Sarah Palin to be the vice presidential candidate on his ticket is another.
Despite their emphasis on purity, the states with the highest number of extreme conservative voters and supporters are also the states with the highest divorce rates, number of teenage pregnancies, number of sexually transmitted diseases, and youngest ages for the first sexual experiences.
To understand how this group is trying to turn the USA into a theocracy and what that means to them, read the book. ( )
  Judiex | Sep 5, 2012 |
Political analysis that is both accurate and flippant has a limited shelf-life, and reading this book is like taking a long, painful, irritating trip down memory lane. I recommend it unreservedly to anyone who has the stomach to spend a few uninterrupted hours reading about the phenomenon of closeted gay Republicans and the back-room deals of huckster televangelists.

The book has some clear strengths. It provides some juicy gossip and is a quick, easy read. Max Blumenthal's views on GOP politics are represented without obfuscation or adornment. Max Blumenthal's psychological assessment of the link between homoeroticism and authoritarianism are unambiguously laid bare (ba da bing!). There is also a good amount of guerrilla journalism on display here; Blumenthal has put in significant time amongst the foot soldiers of the Republican grassroots. The drawbacks? The book relies heavily on front page scandals and obvious trends without factoring in oppositional positions or long-term historical analysis. Even casual political junkies won't be surprised by much on these pages.

All that considered, it's still a well-written polemic. Blumenthal isn't an Ann Coulter of the left (not even close); he largely eschews snotty asides and clever twists of logic. Instead, he barrels ahead with raw data and cogent argument. The narrative, however, is unmistakably determined by the worst aspects of conservative politics. ( )
  Narboink | May 29, 2011 |
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If either [Glenn] Beck or Blumenthal is right about the new populism, then it’s not worth taking seriously.
 
Blumenthal is superb at tracing and narrating how the various strands of the theocratic far right came together into a movement that was anti-abortion, anti-gay, often anti-school integration, pro-"traditional values," and, improbably enough, friendly to big business.
 
As with so many of his enraged brethren, Blumenthal often forgets the forest for the trees, moving from one episode to the next in a plain-spoken narrative that’s a little too shorn of background color or digressions. This is a reporter’s book, not a writer’s book.
adicionado por Shortride | editarPopmatters, Chris Barsanti (Jan 4, 2010)
 
adicionado por Shortride | editarReligion Dispatches, Chip Berlet (Oct 4, 2009)
 
Blumenthal does two things that no one else I have read manages to do–the first of these is that he organizes the network... and in the course of tracing these connections, he informs us, or reminds us, of the crimes and misdemeanors these people have committed.
adicionado por Shortride | editarThe Huffington Post, Jane Smiley (Sep 17, 2009)
 
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An intimate, investigative portrait of how the purveyors of the politics of personal crisis and redemption brought down the GOP--and why they're still calling the shots for the party.

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