For whatever reason, conservatives don't do irony. They don't understand how it works, or what it's for, or when it's being used. I suspect that this isn't a coincidence. They're conservatives because they're so self-absorbed in their own small-minded greatness, which is why they imagine the world should allow them to do whatever the hell they please. And so it just makes sense that they wouldn't understand how to think outside the narrow confines of a particular statement enough to see how its true intent mocks the literal claim of the statement.
And so it is with RedState's Erick Erickson, who attempts to parse the "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor" line, as a way of showing how this is bad for Democrats. Now granted, I personally thought the line was a bit too sappy for my taste and don't think it should be repeated too often. Sure, it was funny the first time. But it loses its bite each time, and could be misconstrued.
But the strength of the line is obvious from Erickson's reaction to it. It clearly got under his skin. Why? Because it's the exact sort of bumpersticker logic that his team likes so much. It's quick, gets an easy laugh, and when you think about it, it has a definite logic to it. In fact, for as much as I don't think the line should be repeated too often, it really is better than most of the bumpersticker slogans the Republicans come up with (Freedom Isn't Free, anyone). Usually, it only takes a little thought to realize how stupid their slogans are; which is obviously more thought than is readily available to them.
And worst of all for Erickson, is that he then has to spend 440 words to knock back a quickie little slogan. And that's the sort of trap that usually dooms Democrats. And for much as the RedStaters only know how to frame each post as an offensive attack, it's obvious that he's totally on defense on this one. He really HATES that slogan. And I suspect that the part that really bugs him is that his inner conscious (which surely is hidden quite deep) really does see how his team is closer to Pontius Pilate than to Jesus. And so he has to thrash around, desperately searching for some way of beating back that creeping feeling he has that he just got totally burned.
Lucifer, Our Hero
And if it wasn't bad enough that Erickson was even bothering to knock back that slogan, his argument against it is simply dreadful. It basically amounts to this: Saul Alinsky, a famous grassroots organizer, once wrote that Lucifer was the very first radical. And that means that Lucifer was a community organizer. And so by saying that Jesus was a community organizer, we're saying he's like Satan.
You think I'm shitting you? I quote: "To say Christ is a community organizer treads too near comparing Him to Satan." And wow, just wow. That's a real mind blower right there. And all based upon the fact that a famous organizer wrote that Lucifer was the first radical. But of course, as Wikipedia points out, Alinsky was being ironic. It was a little joke. I mean, come on! It ends with him referencing the fact that Lucifer's radicalism got him banished to Hell. Are we really to imagine that Alinsky thought highly of this outcome?
Unfortunately for everyone, conservatives can't comprehend these sort of jokes. Were they to understand irony, they'd have the brains to realize what douchebags they really are and then I wouldn't have anyone to mock on my blog anymore.
Saul Alinsky: Admitted Fraudster
But Erickson didn't stop there. No, there was his explanation for why Lucifer really was a community organizer. I quote:
"Lucifer was a community organizer in the Alinsky model. Lucifer convinced Adam and Eve of a reality not quite real and caused the world's problems. That is what a community organizer does. He convinces people that a problem barely perceived is very real and incites the community to fix the problem -- no matter that the problem may be nonexistent or, if existent, a small matter. That is why Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer."
That's right. Saul Alinsky, famous grassroots organizer, dedicated his book to Lucifer because Alinsky was admitting that organizers don't do anything except to make communities fix non-existent problems. Right. It's not enough that we're to imagine that Alinsky seriously dedicated his book to Lucifer, but that Alinsky did so as an outright admission that he was a fraud. Right.
And just to set the record straight, according to the Wikipedia: Talk page, the book wasn't dedicated to Lucifer. It was dedicated to Irene. The Lucifer part was on the next page, along with quotes from some other people. Now, perhaps Irene was also a fraudster community organizer who caused the world's problems, but Erickson doesn't say so, so I don't know what to think.
And lest you think Erickson ended there, you'd be wrong. Oh no, he was so burned up about this dreaded slogan that he had to steal a page from every angry preacher you've ever seen, using the threat of fire and brimstone to warn us away from ever using it again. For you see, by suggesting that both Jesus and Obama were community organizers, we are "equating" them, which is offensive and blasphemous. Presumably, this rule would also apply to people who say that Jesus was a carpenter; though Erickson doesn't say.
And here's how Erickson ends this high holy warning:
"Blasphemy is the eternal, unforgivable sin. You continue this analogy at your peril and at my political victory. But your soul is far more important than any political victory. So I suggest you stop. And if this post just emboldens you to make the comparison even more, you are most likely already lost."
Wow, thanks for the warning, Erick. I had no idea. But I've got to admit that this "unforgivable sin" thing kind of threw me for a loop. I mean, God will forgive murder, rape, and the re-election of Bush; yet won't forgive us if we suggest that Obama had the same job as Jesus? Really?? I know I'm just a dumb atheist here, but I really don't see how it works that way.
And sure enough, I looked it up and it turns out that Erickson was in WAAAY over his head when he tossed out that threat. The best summary of the "unforgiveable sin" rule Erickson was trying to invoke is that God won't forgive you if you reject him and don't want to be forgiven. And that just makes sense, as it seems a bit presumptuous to be forgiving people who don't want to be forgiven; even for an all-mighty creator. And so Erickson got that part totally wrong and his god might still forgive us for saying that Jesus was a community organizer. Whew! That was a close one.
But still, the fact that Erickson had to pull out all the stops with this eternal damnation nonsense is the best proof of how much he's afraid of that slogan. I mean, geez. As far as blasphemy goes, this doesn't even register on the meter. The only people equating Obama with Jesus are conservatives like Erickson, which they do as a derisive strawman to explain why people like Obama so much. And the worst part for Erickson is the deep down realization that he's not the grassroots agitator he feels like, but has been on the side of the Establishment this whole time...and yet still, there is no Heaven on earth.