8 GOP Primary Moments That Would Make Jesus Weep
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Since this past Christmas season coincided with the final campaign push before the Iowa caucus, every Republican candidate for president worked extra hard to out-pander one another in claiming that God is supportive of his or her particular flat-tax plan.
But you have to wonder watching some of the Republican debates and press conferences if the GOP hopefuls have actually read the New Testament. Say what you will about Jesus, but he didn’t seem like the sort of guy who would support showering rich people with tax cuts, gutting social programs for the poor and middle-class, or launching multiple wars with Middle Eastern countries. Yet these are the sorts of things that his purported acolytes have been endorsing throughout the year, all the while claiming to be Jesus’ number-one fan in the whole world.
In this article we’ll tackle the five most cringe-inducing moments of the GOP primary, where candidates and their supporters have wantonly broken the Lord’s Commandments with seemingly gleeful abandon.
1. Candidates fall all over themselves to kiss the asses of rich people and trash the downtrodden.
Jesus once said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Well, the Republicans must want to compensate for this by making rich peoples’ time on Earth as heavenly as possible through a wonderful blend of tax cuts and blatant ass-kissing.
The entire Republican economic philosophy can basically be boiled down thusly: Rich people are magical wealth-creating leprechaun fairies who sprinkle their sparkle dust over all of us worthless dirtbags to bless us with the gift of employment. But if any nasty populist ever says anything relatively nasty about rich people, they will vanish from the realm and take their magical job-creating powers with them and none of us will ever work or have food to eat ever again.
You can see this pretty clearly when you look at the way Rick Perry has been pushing Texas’ tax system as a shining model for the rest of the nation. As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy [PDF] has shown, Texas’ regressive tax system ensures that the poorest 20% of its citizens typically pay more than four times in state and local taxes as a percentage of their overall income than the wealthiest 1% of Texans. How can this be, you ask? Well, Texas relies heavily on sales and excise taxes to fill its coffers, meaning that poorer people pay a much larger share of their income in taxes since a much larger share of their income goes toward consumption.
Nonetheless, Perry has described this system as “a tax policy in place that allowed for our job creators to not be burdened, still delivering the services that the people desire in the state of Texas.” Well, yeah, if by “services” you mean a pathetic social safety net that leaves more than one quarter of the population without health insurance, I guess that’s good.
Perry wasn’t alone in giving a big, sloppy kiss to the rich. Herman Cain’s infamous 9-9-9 tax plan would have slashed the income tax to 9% while at the same time implementing a 9% national sales tax that would take a huge chunk out of Americans in the lower income brackets while at the same time saving “a taxpayer in the top 0.1% who makes more than $2.7 million” an average of $1.4 million a year, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Speaking of Cain, he also wins the award for the most obnoxious class-warfare statement of the entire campaign when he said that “if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.” He also went on to say that it was foolish to protest the greed and corruption on Wall Street since Wall Street bankers are “ the ones who create the jobs.”
And then there’s Mitt Romney, the patron saint of the 1%, who has shown a similar lack of empathy for our nation’s economically downtrodden. When asked what he’d do to help solve the massive foreclosure crisis that has put millions’ of families’ homes underwater, Romney replied that the best course of action would be to halt efforts to “stop the foreclosure process” and thus “let it run its course, to hit the bottom and let investors buy the home.” Or put another way, Romney wants to allow people to suffer so some rich asshole can swoop in and make a profit from their misery. That’s right Christian of you, sir.
One gets the feeling that Jesus wouldn’t do very well if he ran in a GOP primary since throwing money changers out of the temple would leave him vulnerable to charges of socialism.
2. GOP debate audiences and candidates celebrate death.
When the scribes and Pharisees brought Jesus an adulterous woman and asked him if she should be put to death for her sins, Jesus replied to them, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
But if Jesus had found himself in a similar situation with some Republican primary voters they would have responded by saying, “Give us the damn rocks, hippie!”
The ungodly trouble all started this past summer when NBC’s Brian Williams noted that Texas under Rick Perry had executed 234 death-row inmates during his term, “more than any other governor in modern times.” While no one expects anyone to be particularly sympathetic toward death-row inmates, we should expect that most decent people will refrain from erupting into bloodthirsty roars. And yet that’s just what the GOP debate audience did earlier this year.
If this were the only instance of Ancient Roman-style bloodthirst we could perhaps forgive it. But members of Republican debate audiences expressed similar enthusiasm when asked whether we should let Americans die if they lack health insurance. Cain, meanwhile, got a big round of applause during a speech when he said that he wanted to keep immigrants from entering the United States by building a “barbed-wire fence” that’s “20 feet high” and “electrified.” While Cain acknowledged that some people would find electrocuting immigrants to be an insensitive policy prescription, he said that the immigrants were the truly insensitive ones for “sneaking into America.”
This is all pretty weak sauce for a party that claims to be the direct disciples of the Prince of Peace. After all, when Jesus healed the lepers he never asked them whether they were personally responsible enough to buy insurance from Aetna. He just, you know, helped them. What a commie.
3. Which Muslims would Jesus bomb and torture?
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus informed his audience that “peacemakers” were “blessed” and would be considered “sons of God.” Many Republican candidates, however, seem content to be God’s creepy nephews who enjoy burning off insect legs with magnifying glasses.
During the Republican presidential debates, several GOP Godheads such as Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann went out of their way to defend waterboarding, the form of torture that had been employed by American intelligence agencies against terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. For those of you questioning whether waterboarding is actually torture, try having yourself drowned for five minutes and let us know if it was an enjoyable experience.
Bachmann, for one, said that torturing prisoners was justified because it was “very effective at getting information for our country.” Perry went a step further and said that he would defend the use of torture techniques such as waterboarding “until the day I die.” Herman Cain wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as Bachmann and Perry, as he hedged by saying he wasn’t sure whether or not waterboarding constituted torture and would instead “trust the judgement of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture.” The military, of course, aren’t supposed to be the ones making the laws, but you can see why Cain would blindly trust their judgment since he doesn’t know where Libya is.