Class Warfare Blog

September 4, 2012

You Are Known By the Company You Keep

According to the Bill Moyers & Company television program, Ralph Reed is making a political comeback, this time as the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, another “nonprofit” that is collecting dark money, swearing to the IRS that it spends nothing on politics, and then spending all of its money on politics.

Reed seems the same as he was in the past, with one recent quip delivered to a FFC audience quoting the Bible “My people perish from a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4: 6 , KJV) and basically telling them that people need to be told how to vote. Of course, the biblical quotation means nothing of the kind; in fact, the knowledge referred to was religious, not political. Ordinary knowledge and political knowledge are given short shrift in the Bible. So, Reed is back to his mealy-mouthed ways.

If you don’t remember Reed, he was the creator of the “Christian Coalition” a group which told conservative Christians how to vote. (At least he is consistent.) Reed was one of the “Three Amigos” of Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, and Jack Abramoff who lobbied Congress under the Bush administration and bilked clients out of millions of dollars. Only Abramoff went to prison, Norquist and Reed somehow escaped prosecution. Norguist even escaped political banishment, but Reed did not.

I wish I could remember G.W. Bush’s quotation about “Fool me once, . . .” because it applies here. Ralph Reed constantly appeals to his “conservative Christian values” when he addresses his audiences, but it is hard to determine which of his two faces he is speaking from. Reed’s new organization is accumulating millions of dollars, he says he is going to use to inject religion into politics. Since Reed’s religion is apparently “power” this does not seem surprising.

Conservative Christians, though, should hold up some of their vaunted values to Mr. Reed’s performance in life and see him for the snake oil salesman he is and not end up with his taint liberally smeared on their faces.

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