God On Their Side
Perhaps you remember Michelle Bachmann remarking in May, 2011 in Iowa “Well, every decision that I make, I pray about, as does my husband, and I can tell you, yes, I’ve had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do.” Coincidentally, that same month at a fundraiser in Texas, Governor Rick Perry commented "God was dealing with me. At 27 years old, I knew that I had been called to the ministry. I've just always been really stunned by how big a pulpit I was gonna have. I still am. I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will." (Perry prayed to the Almighty also last year to put an end to the drought in Texas. God listened but apparently didn't give the Governor the answer he was seeking, as the drought grew worse.)
There was Mr. 9-9-9, Herman Cain, who six months later told the Georgia Young Republicans "I prayed and prayed and prayed. I'm a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I'd ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. 'You've got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'"
Even spouses of candidates were not precluded from claiming divine sanction. Karen Santorum, who said it was the passage of "Obamacare" that "put fire in my belly," maintained it was "God's will" that her husband run for the GOP presidential nomination.
Neither Bachmann, Perry, Cain, or Santorum ever had a chance to get the Republican nod. (Of those in the race, only Newt Gingrich ever had a chance to derail Romney.) So perhaps God chose not to intervene in the race or instead did so, deciding to hand each of the four an unequivocal defeat. None of the four, however, was a darling of the mainstream media, perhaps because (the first) three were marginally serious candidates and arguably, simply not serious at all.
But the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan of Ohio, an Ayn Rand acolyte and spokesman for the 1%, has been portrayed by the naive media as a thinking person's politician and breath of fresh air. Then on Sunday, Ryan on ABC's This Week contended
What Ms. Kennedy and others were saying is that this is a new government-granted right. We disagree with the notion that our rights come from government, that the government can now grant us and define our rights. Those are ours, they come from nature and God, according to the Declaration of Independence — a huge difference in philosophy.
In a thorough take-down of Ryan's remark today, a dailykos blogger points to this portion of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
Ryan did not pause to tell us why God decided to punish the citizens of, say, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and mainland China with few rights. Apparently, neither nature nor God decided to extend generosity, at one time or another, toward billions of people throughout the world.
Fortunately, the Repub heavyweight, thought to be on Mitt Romney's short list of running mates, probably is not so ignorant of the Constitution and devoid of common sense to believe what he said. Already idealized by the Village as an "economic conservative" (i.e., someone who wants to drop taxes on the wealthy and explode the budget deficit), Ryan likely figures he has to shore up support among cultural conservatives in the party. Still, his statement is part of a pattern of politicians in the Gas and Oil Party to imply that they, and they alone, know the mind of the Lord and have his cell phone number.