Onward Christian Leaders

You can bitch about German political chat-show hosts like Sandra Maischberger or Anne Will all you want.  But trust me, people — they look like geniuses next to the oaf who shapes American political discourse, Tim Russert.  Here’s how he moderates a Democratic Presidential debate:

"There’s been a lot of discussion about the Democrats and the issue of faith and values.* I want to ask you a simple question. Senator Obama, what is your favorite Bible verse?"

When Obama finished his answer, Russert said to the other candidates, "I want to give everyone a chance in this. You just take 10 seconds." Predictable banality ensued. A foreign visitor unfamiliar with our presidential campaigns might have scratched her head and said, "This is how you decide who will lead your country?"

Alas, it is.  If only I were a famous journalist, I’d ask them for their favorite verse from the Bhagavad Gita.**

* This "discussion" refers to the suspicion that Democrats (who are by and large anything-but-radical, mainstream church-going bourgeois reformists) do not openly discuss God and the Bible and their faith enough, and therefore may not be as devout as Republican politicians (claim to be).  For reasons that have always mystified me, this issue is considered important by many American voters

** An American presidential candidate who could actually name a verse from the Gita would, of course, be doomed.  By the way, my favorite Bible verse is Leviticus 14:14 — as if you had to ask!

5 thoughts on “Onward Christian Leaders

  1. As for Bible verses, nothing beats the seventh Song of Solomon. Enough feet, thighs, jewels, navels, liquors, bellies, lilies, breasts, hair, grapes, and vines to make staunch unbelievers swoon. I wish the whole of that fat old tome was written in style, not to mention some other unnamed holy books. Anyway: while bigot Tim Russert asks Muslims for Bible verses, we have socialists like Lafontaine praising Islam for its intersections with socialism, without finding resistance in his party worth speaking of. Others, like Santiago Carillo, General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party for 22 years, declare Islam to be a “powerful revolucionary instrument” against “Western values represented by the USA”. I could go one for hours, as hardly any EU socialist differs on that issue. So it’s suum cuique – I wonder if morons over the pond are just different. Of course, US socialists aren’t smarter or less devious, but they are fewer. Thank God, or whomever. As for la journaille europeénne, I’ll concede that mostly they’re more glib and erudite when translating our socialist’s reborn fundamentalist dementia for the liberal masses, compared to Mr. Russert and his ilk when they share their vision of things fair and proper with the illiberal populace.

    Speaking of liberal–eerily Dirndl contained–masses: here‘s former Green Party chairwomen Claudia Roth, making an unbelievable ass of herself. Or is she rather a chairperson? Yes, that does make sense, doesn’t it? Anyway: bellies, breasts, grapes, and seemingly liquor cum vine aplenty, too, but so much less pleasurable. While folks like EU justice commissioner Frattini tell of our dire and yet so predictable future (85% unskilled migrant labour for us, 5% for the USA …and guess where that unskilled labour comes from?), Fatma Roth ensures that this is the path the we shall be going full throttle, embracing Börek, murdered poets, and, um, conflict. Silly and completely unrelated? Check the video, it all makes sense to some great minds.

    Jesus Christ, Ms. Roth, art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight? Art thou but an explosion of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from some heat-oppressed brains? Thou marshallst us the way that we were going – it is a bloody business which informs thus to our eyes, and wicked dreams will abuse curtaind sleep.

    Indeed: a bell rings, or it should – can somebody call the doctor, please? Be it Islamophilia, Turkophilia, or a brain direly laking the essentials – neither is Rock’n Roll to me. Good Heavens, Mr. Roth, though you are beautiful, you don’t blind us with science.

    Basti, Andy – sorry about the burst, again. It’s zis urge I can’t control – you know. Ms. Roth is not the only one entitled to some occasional license in public. Shed some tears for us creatures of the night.


  2. If I had been in Obama’s place, I’d have quoted the one that warns “do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets”. Although, I’d probably not been as quick-witted (or audacious) enough, either.


  3. Marek,

    The Roth video amazes and confounds. It must have been a mix of alcohol, psychoactive drugs, and sleep deprivation that produced this spectacle.

    The poor woman deserves a rest, even from her critics.


  4. Yes Marek, the immigration situation continental is very interesting.

    I am a US citizen, clean record, and hold permanent residency in the UK, but there are very few countries on the continent where I am able to work without a practically unobtainable work permit. I’m a skilled worker and would be an asset to any employer. I’d love to try France, Italy, Spain, Nederlands – perhaps Germany also. But no.


  5. I don´t know, but asking a presidential candidate about his /her fauvourite Bible verse, seems to be as silly as asking a Miss Universe candidate about her favourite book.

    Brazilians are – mostly – religious people in their odd way, but I hope I will never have to see a journalist making such a question over here…


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