The New Mack Daddys: Pimpin’ The Poor
The New Mack Daddys: Pimpin’ The Poor
by Bob Fitrakis
April 26, 2005
The political consequences from Ohio’s stolen 2005 presidential election have been made manifest. The two loudest and most unprincipled men in the state, Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and the World Harvest Church’s Pastor Rod Parsley, have formed a disingenuous ebony and ivory right-wing political alliance.
Their goals are clear: to be the new Mack Daddys of the Ohio Republican Party and to pimp and play the economically desperate Ohioans.
Since the presidential election, the stats are now familiar: during the first four years of the Bush administration, Ohio lost more jobs than any state except Michigan; in the year prior to the 2004 election 330,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared from the Buckeye landscape, the most in the nation; and Ohio leads the U.S. in outsourcing well-educated young adults between the ages of 18-44.
Amidst this economic unraveling, Rod Parsley has published a disturbing book Silent No More: Bringing moral clarity to America . . . while freedom still rings. Parsley praises Blackwell – the man most responsible, other than Karl Rove, for stealing Ohio’s election for Bush – with these words, “Thank you for your courageous and outspoken support of moral values and for your invaluable involvement during the Silent No More tour.” Blackwell responds with a blurb confessing that “I was privileged to travel with Rod Parsley in the fall of 2004 as we made the case with congregations throughout Ohio for a constitutional amendment to defend marriage.”
When Ohio’s two loudest anti-gay bigots pledge to be “silent no more,” the far right is about to roar.
Blackwell offers, “This book should inspire men and women of faith to build on those victories and make ‘value voters’ a force that politicians can no longer ignore.” Roughly translated, this means, “I’m a black man and I screwed my own people. Vote for me for governor.”
The myth of the ‘value voter” is essential to Karl Rove’s cover up of the election theft. In a recent Frontline interview, Rove puts forth the mythologized version of these rural value voters racing, at the last second, to the polls to vote for Bush after the Harris poll, Zogby poll, and the media consortium Mitofsky poll all predicted a Kerry victory.
You recall that these female Republican ‘value voters’ were shy in the afternoon and wouldn’t talk to exit pollers, just about the same time the server for the consortium exit polls inexplicably went down.
But, Blackwell and Parsley know that the only reason the vote was close enough in Ohio for Rove to steal it, was the hatred stirred up by Issue One and its attack on all forms of domestic partnership and gay marriage. Parsley, with Blackwell at his side, embarked on a 30-day tour in the fall of 2004 holding 16 rallies to counter “the staggering moral decline witnessed in our culture.” Hence, the question is, what are the values of the voters that Blackwell and Parsley plan to unleash in the Ohio gubernatorial primary next year?
Parsley admits that he spent “a lot of time encouraging Christian voters to go to the polls” and rightly credits himself and Blackwell, whom he calls a “dependable public official,” for Issue One getting 62% of the vote.
Parsley’s book is written in the style reminiscent of Ronald Reagan prose in Boy’s Life and Reader’s Digest. That is, it’s written in a non-nuanced style of talking points and power phrases.
Let’s see, the founding fathers were all “geniuses,” but now we live under a “judicial tyranny.” Parsley conveniently ignores the Deist writings of the framers and gleans any reference that would make it seem like, if they were living today, they would be in the pews at the World Harvest Church.
Parsley predictably attacks Justice Hugo Black for his ruling in the Everson case that resurrected Jefferson’s words about the need for a “separation between church and state.” Parsley yearns for the good old days and denounces “the scene today” where liberal judges reign.
Parsley points out the obvious, that “Sunday morning is still the most racially segregated time in America,” but to his credit, he’s managed to create an integrated congregation by admitting to racial and economic inequalities and promoting black middle class aspirations.
Still, he ignores a couple hundred billion dollars in corporate welfare while attacking the Kennedy-Johnson War on Poverty as a racist failure. His analysis is simple: blacks are kept poor because of “the implementation of liberal poverty programs”; second, that these policies cause the “disintegration of poor families”; and third, because liberal poverty programs “actually provided incentives to avoid work.”
Parsley conveniently ignores the fact that progressives have long argued that the family unit should remain intact and that husbands should not be forced to leave their wives because they’ve lost their jobs.
More importantly, he ignores the direct correlation between the outsourcing of jobs from Ohio and the United States and the destruction of the family. Not to mention, that the War on Poverty was lost when the money was dumped into destroying Vietnam rather than rebuilding America.
Parsley spends a chapter attacking gays and another attacking Islam. Just like Blackwell’s predilection for comparing himself to Martin Luther King and Gandhi, while disenfranchising and repressing black voters, Parsley compares himself to the martyred Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller, who died in a Nazi concentration camp.
The rising theo-fascism in Ohio, pink triangles in hand, comes cursing Hitler in a new authoritarian crusade, unleashed by Bush and Rove. And this time, God forbid, they may actually win the election.
Bob Fitrakis is Editor of the Free Press ( http://freepress.org) and was on the legal team that filed Moss v. Bush and Moss v. Moyer to challenge the election results in Ohio.