Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tripped up by a 35,000 year old flute: the New Victorians ... by gimleteye

In the 1960’s, conservatives were fixated by communists on the rise and a youthful culture supine with drugs and rock 'n roll. They set out the foundations of a new Moral Majority to combat these dire threats. The precepts of the Moral Majority were Christian, mainly, Republican, mainly, and meshed neatly with Chamber of Commerce values. SC Governor Mark Sanford is only the latest politician whose values knocked down the limbo stick.

Sanford who spent the last five days “crying in Argentina” voted, as congressman, in favor of three of four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, citing the need for “moral legitimacy”. It is not just conservatives, of course, caught up by the limbo stick "on the Appalachian Trail": Senator Gary Hart (Monkey Business) and Congressman Wilbur Mills (Silver Slipper). The list goes on: former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer (Most Expensive Night). Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (Dear, I have something to tell you). House Majority leader Newt Gingrich and Senator John Edwards (Dear, you have cancer?). US Senator Larry Craig (Foot tapper in airport men's room). And the judiciary: US District Judge Samuel Kent of Texas (sexual assault).

These moral transgressions are so ubiquitous, I misread the other big news today: “35,000 year old flute found in German cave” and assumed it was another story about infidelity.

The Victorian Age, that spanned the 19th and early 20th centuries, was notable—mainly in Great Britain—for its obsession with covering up impulses of men and women through high manners and layers of clothing: tight bodices, hoops, and other paraphernalia meant to contain and restrain what might burst into the open. But the Victorian Age also represented an emotional response to massive economic dislocations.

We should look back to the Victorians to understand to our obsessions with conformity in a time of unparalleled change. The ascent of the Moral Majority was not just an assertion of religious values—as its proponents largely contend—as it was to the transformation of corporate America and especially the rearrangement of industrial America from its bases in the northeast (God-less) and the Rust Belt to the fast-growing areas of the south and southwest.

In the past two decades, changes to the US economy have been even more momentous. We are no longer an industrial nation manufacturing our own goods. We are consumers caught in a world made smaller and flatter by technologies we helped to create but not master.

No wonder we fall for the allure of 35,000 year old flutes.


17 comments:

youbetcha' said...

Sanford who spent the last five days “crying in Argentina” voted, as congressman, in favor of three of four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, citing the need for “moral legitimacy”.

I do not give a flying hoot about anyone else's sex life. They can party and dance and make whoopie all they want---it is not my business or yours. However, if they chose to do that, they should keep their mouth shut about other folks. By the way, this also shows, that things in life change at the drop of a scarf. One never knows what is coming down the road for you and how it can change your opinion on a subject.

I do think though the Governor should have left at least one person with a "call me" number for an emergency. At least, someone knew where Clinton was. (and maybe someone with the governor did know, but isn't telling since there was no emergency, which is a novel concept)

I don't want to read about Jon and Kates sad mess or the governor's. That is not useful news for any of us. We must have miserable lives and a pea brain if that type of news is entertainment.

Who knew South Carolina could be so hot? said...

That was one heck of a beautiful email the governor wrote to his lady-friend. His wife was not lying when she said he was a writer. He has a way with words.

sparky said...

Well put. I would just add that much fundamentalism is simply a reaction to change, in the US and elsewhere.

South Florida Lawyers said...

I give the guy major props for a stunning press conference performance. He raised the bar big-time.

You forgot Chuck Robb and his champagne/hot tub/massage.....

Viva la France! said...

In France this wouldn't even be news

Gimleteye said...

You're right: the catalogue challenges my memory bank, or, RAM as the case may be.

Anonymous said...

Vote Republican: all will be forgiven!

Anonymous said...

Also forgot Sen. Ensign, R. Nevada--only two short weeks ago-- Florida's own Mark Foley, R. Palm Beach, Sen David Vitter, R. Louisiana

Jill said...

The point is that Republicans are very good are moralizing, but not so good at practicing what they preach.
The only reason it became a story is because the idiot left town without telling anyone where he went. You can get away with stuff like that as an average person, but when you are chief executive and responsible for being able to react at a moment's notice if there is a disaster in your state, you can't without someone noticing.
And I always love hearing Republicans try and rationalize how it is nobody's business when it is one of there guys with their feet to the fire, but when it's a Democrat, they are obligated to expose the moral and ethical decrepitude.

Anonymous said...

I can't act surprised well enough to vote republican.

Anonymous said...

. . . Sen John Ensign, R. Nevada, Rep. Mark Foley. R. Florida, Sen David Vitter, R. Louisiana . .

Anonymous said...

Wasn't all of the infidelity started by the Kennedy boys? As a matter of fact one woman (MM) od'd and Teddy swam away from his GFE.

How's the memory now?

Anonymous said...

And Ike cheated on Mami

Some spicy meat-a-balls said...

Italian PM Berlisconi announced that his wife owes him an apology for her comments about his 18 year old mistress.

That's some shiny brass.

Of course, besides being a dog, he doesn't then moralize over the behavior of others (except his wife I guess).

Watching another morally superior Repug flame out on their own hypocracy is always sweet.

I could live without reading the emails on the news though. Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Stewart said it best-
conservative minds, liberal penises.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good campaign slogan for the next Republican candidate for US Senate from Florida.

youbetcha' said...

Sounds like a good campaign slogan for the next Republican candidate for US Senate from Florida.

LOL, what a hoot! The Herald Ad section can design the campaign literature.