As a perfect snapshot of the brain rot affecting America's ruling class, consider the following juxtaposition:
Gingrich Calls For Federal Ban On Shariah Law In US
Evan McMorris-Santoro | September 18, 2010, 12:05PM
The second morning of speeches at the Values Voter Summit here in DC was dominated by a man who is swiftly becoming the nation's spokesperson for Islamophobia -- former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Fresh off the release of his Islam-focused film "America At Risk," Gingrich told the crowd at VVS that it's time to take federal action to prevent Shariah Law from infiltrating courtrooms in the US.
"We should have a federal law that says sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States," Gingrich said to a standing ovation from the audience. The law will let judges know, Gingrich said, that "no judge will remain in office that tried to use sharia law."
Gingrich made a not-so-subtle reference to the right wing meme about freshly-minted Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan which claims that Kagan is "sympathetic" to Shariah and -- as some suggested during her confirmation hearings -- might allow it to be recognized as law in the United States.
But beyond the Kagan hit, Gingrich's anti-Shariah talk inserted him directly into the most extreme end of the Islamophobic push-back against mosque projects all over the country.
Opponents of Islamic building projects in New York City, Tennessee and Temecula, California and Florence, Kentucky have often raised fears that the goal of Muslims seeking to build new houses of worship is to slowly make America comfortable with Shariah before using political power to allow it to become the law of the land.
Of course, there is zero evidence of sharia law having any influence on American law. And zero chance that it could have any such influence, not least because of the First Amendment, and the separation of church and state. But that's not the point. As the above report makes clear, the purpose of this absurd meme is to "justify" the bigoted attacks on American Muslims exercising there First Amendment rights. As a matter of history, religious minorities have always been the staunchest opponents of imposing religious doctrines on others, for a very simple reason: They're the minority, stupid!
OTOH, global warming--which could wipe out entire low-lying countries and whose reality is supported by the entire peer-reviewed scientific community--is not a problem according to all the GOP Senate candidates, according to Think Progress:
GOP Senate Candidates Oppose Climate Science And Policy
by Brad Johnson, ThinkProgress Wonk Room Climate Editor
Updated September 14. View the original version here.
A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that "the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change" because global warming is "caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for - and in many cases is already affecting - a broad range of human and natural systems."
This finding is shared by scientific bodies around the world. However, in the alternate reality of the fossil-fueled right wing, climate science is confused or a conspiracy, and policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.
Remarkably, of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, no one supports climate action, after climate advocate Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) lost his primary to Christine O'Donnell. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) now toe the science-doubting party line.
Many of the Senate candidates are signatories of the Koch Industries' Americans For Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge and the FreedomWorks Contract From America. The second plank of the Contract From America is to "Reject Cap & Trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation's global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures."
And, of course, it's not just the Senate, as Think Progress identified "The Top Climate Races This November"
Seven key climate races in the Senate (with the 538.com estimated likelihood of a Republican pickup):
Eight key climate races in the House:
The pervasive disconnect from reality wxhibited by this juxtaposition indicates that today's GOP is operating more like a cult than a traditional political party.
Think Lyndon LaRouche.