Erick Erickson’s Misogyny Indicative of Larger Conservative Crisis

erick_erickson_misogynyThe modern conservative movement officially looks like that Three Stooges short in which Moe, Larry and Curly try to fix the plumbing. The modern right-wing has attained new heights of clownishness — it’s utterly clueless, rudderless and disconnected with both reality and basic rationality. And the movement has Erick Erickson to thank for its arrival at this level of total incompetence and backwards, archaic incoherence.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Erickson, a Fox News and Red State right-wing screecher, and his twisted appearance on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Channel show (yes, Dobbs and his unwieldy gigantic teeth are still on television) when he attempted to justify with “science” the commonly held far-right idea that a woman’s place is in the home and “bringing home the bacon” is a purely a man’s job. Not only that but Erickson also tried to say that working moms are “anti-science” and damaging to families. Erickson used scientific suppositions ostensibly yanked from his squinty bunghole to illustrate how throughout the animal kingdom and the history of humanity, men have been the dominant gender, and it’s worked out pretty well, so let’s keep going with it.

Predictably, Erickson was very, very wrong in terms of both his so-called science and his overarching support of male dominance. But we know this. What’s not entirely evident is how this cuts to the core of why the modern American conservative movement is so detached from what reasonable people consider to be reality.

Specifically, conservatives only cite empirical evidence when it suits their upside-down worldview, as Erickson flailingly tried to do on the Dobbs show. And, worse, whenever they try to incorporate science, they get it entirely wrong. Almost always. Fortunately, on Megyn Kelly’s show the next day, she revealed actual scientific studies to Erickson and Dobbs, and, in classic modern conservative form, Erickson tried to discredit Kelly’s scientific evidence as having a political, liberal bias.

Are you following the logic here? Erickson bungled the science regarding animal and human gender roles, then, when confronted with actual science, denied the validity of the actual science, while, on Red State, he whined about opponents calling him on his horseshit. This is absolutely a microcosmic example of everything that’s wrong and terrible about modern conservatism: Bullshit science is real and real science is bullshit.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that even though there isn’t any real science to back up Erickson’s cave-man misogyny, there’s ample biblical evidence to support it. On his radio show, Bryan Fischer from the American Family Association backed up Erickson’s claims:

“From a biblical standpoint, men are designed to be the bread-winner of their families. That’s the way God set it up. That’s the way he designed it. Husbands are to use their stamina and their strength and their brain power — not that they’re smarter than women, I’m not saying that — but God’s given them a brain and the purpose for using their mental ability is to provide for their families, to use their physical strength to work hard, to work long hours, to use their physical strength to protect their wives, to protect their children and be providers.”

Evidently, men can also use their physical stamina to churn out run-on sentences of ersatz gibberish.

So it appears as if Erickson’s use of science is likely just a hamfisted attempt to blur the line between science and mythology/religion — not unlike those awful shows on History Channel in which they seek out scientific evidence of Noah’s Ark. By doing so, religion and science intentionally overlap, thus undermining science, and, as Fischer shoehorned into his rant, we arrive at intelligent design — the ultimate blurring of the wall between science and faith and the back-door infiltration of creationism into schools and elsewhere. Worse, this “design” involves male dominance over women, not unlike the way the Bible has been used to justify white Christian male domination over, well, everything including slaves, women, other religions and ultimately dominion over the planet itself (Genesis 1:26, 28).

And what have men done historically with this providential capacity? In a broad historical sense, men are genocidal, entitled megalomaniacs responsible for just about every destructive thing in the world — ever. Throughout history, white Christian men have exploited the Bible’s authority (surprise: it was written by men!) as carte blanche to justify the oppression and subjugation of not only women, but also ethnic and racial minorities, not to mention thousands of years of catastrophic bellicosity. Male dominion has literally brought the species to the brink annihilation on several occasions because we refused to cede power to anyone else. Good job, men! The horrors that have been perpetrated at the hands of male self-superiority continue today and will surely echo deep into the future regardless of what societal changes are in progress now. As Louis CK said in his most recent special, “There is no greater threat to women than men. We’re the number one threat — to women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. We’re the worst thing that ever happens to them. That’s true! You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease.”

Consequently, I strongly believe that men have forfeited any right to be taken seriously when it comes to grievances about feminism, civil rights, equality and so forth.

Not only was it laughable to hear, but it’s inherently dangerous for Erickson and Dobbs and the modern conservative movement to sustain and cultivate these ideas in the name of their pathetic bumper-sticker agenda. It’s dangerous for the movement itself as it systematically paints itself into a demographic corner (I don’t mind this so much), but it’s also dangerous for the people who too often fall victim to this horrendous worldview.

Adding… Dovetailing with the Erickson stuff, the great Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker on All in the Family, died over the weekend. Edith was the dutiful, nurturing, submissive wife to Archie Bunker’s domineering alpha-male conservative doofus. The dynamic between Edith and Archie, as well as the general intent of the show, was aimed at satirizing white male conservatism in the 1970s — and it still holds up today as, sadly, we’re having many of the same debates that appeared on the show nearly 40 years ago. This scene is particularly appropriate:

  • kfreed

    Sorry, my keyboarding skills suck. Sticky keys don’t help either;)

  • kfreed

    Amended: typo corrections (original comment disappeared after being held up in moderation due to links)

    Thank you. It’s long past time we addressed the religio-politics of the theocratic right.

    “there’s ample biblical evidence to support it.”

    Yes indeed. And these “biblical” justifications offeredby conservatives in support of all manner of bigotry and oppression extend to the economic realm as well.

    That right there is where the Tea Bag Brigade gets itis ridiculous ideas. The notion of “Biblical Capitalism” (courtesy of Ron Paul’s BFF Gary North) is probably the most absurd but it is what the likes of Paul Ryan use to justify their regressive
    economic schemes. Most of their religious claptrap is little more than Christianity turned on its head.

    Academics who’ve spent years researching the intersection of religion and politics amongst conservatives have been trying to warn us for decades that this day would come. Even now, as the evidence is piling up, few on the left appear to have the
    courage to address it.

    Slavish devotion to the notion of a “Christian Nation” is what’s wrong with the modern Republican Party thanks to the advent of the supposedly libertarian
    Koch-sponsored “Tea Party” (comprised mainly of evangelical fanatics). What they mean when they say, “America is a Christian Nation” is not what most people think it means, i.e. that America as a nation is comprised of a majority of Christians or that America has a Christian heritage. What they mean is that they want to abolish the principle of separation of church and state(Scalia for example) and “take their country back” to the pre-constitutional era in order to impose mosaic (biblical) law. This isn’t me interpreting their motives as such. These are their words.

    ·
    The legislation they are proposing and passing provides ample evidence of it.

    For the sake of distinguishing this brand of evangelical from the mainstream,
    researchers refer to them as dominionists.

    A bit of background plus current events on this topic:

    Background (this is an academic website, unfortunately named, see the videos associated with the “download materials” tab to the left:

    http://www.theocracywatch.org

    Current issues/Events:

    People for the American Way: (pfaw.org). News updates featuring audio and video associated with PFAW: http://www.rightwingwatch.org

    Talk To Action: http://www.talk2action.org

    Americans United for Separation fof Church and State: au.org

    Political Research Associates: http://www.politicalresearch.org

    Until liberals wrap their brains aroud the mindset driving Tea Party Republicans, we will continue to incrementally lose our grip on maintaining democratic governance. Consider it opposition research. You can’t fight what you don’t understand.

    P.S. Here’s the blueprint (strategic plan) they developed to impliment their ideas (do these tactics seem familiar?):

    “Paul Weyrich’s Teaching Manual” (Paul Weyrich, Founder: Heritage Foundation;
    American Legislative Exchange Council; Free Congress; National Policy
    Institute) -“The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New
    Traditionalist Movement” (discusses enlisting libertarians):

    Excerpt: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/WeyrichManual.htmlIn
    Full: http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/FreeCongressEssay.html

  • kfreed

    Thank you. It’s long past time we addressed the religio-politics of the theocratic right.

    “there’s ample biblical evidence to support it.”

    Yes indeed. And these “biblical” justifications in support of all manner of bigotry and oppression extend to the economic realm as well.

    That right there is where the Tea Bag Brigade gets it’s ridiculous ideas, the notion of “Biblical Capitalism” (courtesy of Ron Paul’s BFF Gary North) is probably the most absurd but it is what the likes of Paul Ryan use to justify their regressive economic schemes. Most of their religious claptrap is little more than Christianity turned on its head.

    Academics who’ve spent years researching the intersection of religion and politics amongst conservatives have been trying to warn us for decades that this day would come. Even now, as the evidence is piling up, few on the left appear to have the courage to address it.

    Slavish devotion to the notion of a “Christian Nation” is what’s wrong with the modern Republican Party thanks to the advent of the supposedly libertarian Koch-sponsored “Tea Party” (comprised mainly of evangelical fanatics). What they mean when they say, “America is a Christian Nation” is not what most people think it means, i.e. that America as a nation is comprised of a majority of Christians or that America has a Christian heritage. What they mean is that they want to abolish the principle of separtion of church and state in order to replace it with mosaic (biblical) law.

    The legislation they are proposing and passing provides ample evidence of it.
    For the sake of distinguishing this brand of evangelical from the mainstream, researchers refer to them as dominionists.

    A bit of background plus current events on this topic:

    Background (this is an academic website, unfortunately named, see the videos associated with the “download materials” tab to the left:

    http://www.theocracywatch.org

    Current issues/Events:

    People for the American Way: (pfaw.org). News updates featuring audio and video associated with PFAW: http://www.rightwingwatch.org

    Talk To Action: http://www.talk2action.org

    Americans United for Separation fof Church and State: au.org

    Political Research Aociates: http://www.politcalrresearh.org

    Until liberals wrap their brains aroud the mindset driving Tea Party Republicans, we will continue to inctementally lose our grip on maintaining democratic governance. Consider it opposition research. You can’t fight what you don’t understand.

  • JozefAL

    “Edith was the dutiful, nurturing, submissive wife to Archie Bunker’s domineering alpha-male conservative doofus.”

    Well, until you paid CLOSE attention to Edith. She did NOT back down from something she truly believed in. She was truly a lioness when it came to her family. She defended Archie; she defended Mike; she defended Gloria; she defended the Jeffersons. Hell, she even challenged God following the death of Beverly LaSalle. Quite honestly, Edith was THE strongest character on the show, and any “submissiveness” she presented was something SHE wanted to do. She didn’t hesitate to call out Archie when she knew that he was being a jackass (but she also knew the old proverb–“You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”).

    • cleos_mom

      Of course, there’s always the question of why anyone would want to catch flies (especially when swatting them is so much easier). But we’re not supposed to talk about that. Because roles.

  • http://www.jamesonstarship.wordpress.com/ Jameson

    “Bullshit science is real and real science is bullshit.” I loved that. It reminds me of a recent article written here (if it was yours, bravo), that pointed out the conspiracy theorists obsession with batshit insane conspiracies while ignoring ACTUAL conspiracies.

    It appears that conservatives have untethered themselves so far from reality that strength of evidence has no meaning.

  • zombie377

    As Bob usually says “keep going republicans, you’re doing great!”

  • trgahan

    The only way people like Erickson can be great or exceptional is to spend their time making up rules, quoting junk science, and/or misinterpreting scripture to restrict the freedoms of others. On a level playing field, they would quickly be outcompeted and they know it.

    Of course, rigging the game so a small group wins every time largely through restricting access of others while at the same time wrapping yourself in the flag of “FREEDOM!” is pretty much conservatism in a nut shell.

    • jezebel

      That was a brilliant take in a neat little nutshell, thanks for sharing.

  • joseph2004

    Witness, the premise behind everything Bob Cesca:
    Men are the enemy!

    Speak for yourself.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      “Men are the enemy!”

      WRONG.

      Conservative men are the enemy, since, you know, guns, misogyny, and general stupidity, do not make friends.

    • muselet

      A swing and a miss. That’s strike … well, I lost count round about 84.

      I’m still waiting for those links, by the way.

      –alopecia

    • Lady Willpower

      What the Christ are you babbling about?

    • villemar

      Reason #42345 why you are alone and will always will be.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      You are the asshole, joey buttcrack!