To me, the major problem with conservative sexual morality isn’t the draconian overreach into our personal lives that makes all of us into humorless sex-obsessed scolds with insane neuroses about human behavior…oh, no, wait, it is.
But the part that annoys me more than that is even when conservatives fail their moral code (which happens, you know), the blame never falls on them. It always falls on some pervasive liberal elements that forced them into sin, or, even worse, made what they were doing a wrong in the first place. Rush Limbaugh says that Mark Sanford cheated out of eschatological despaire over the Antichrist Barack Obama ruining everything, while Mark Steyn declares that the only reason anyone even cared that Mark Sanford ran out on his job for five days is because of big-government liberalism.
So, in case you’re keeping score, both Sanford’s infidelity and his abdication of his state duties are because of liberalism. Mark Sanford, to his credit, isn’t blaming it on liberals per se. He’s just declaring himself the King David of South Carolina:
Here’s an excerpt from the governor’s statement, which was released by his office earlier this afternoon:
I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in Bible – who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.
“The Trust Committed to Me,” incidentally, is the title of the book Sanford wrote during his time in Congress.
It’s not just that Republicans have moral failures – we all do. It’s not even that Republicans set themselves up to fail spectacularly by singlemindedly elevating the very bugaboos in which they engage to the level of mortal sins. It’s that once they fail, they both claim forgiveness from the same God that was supposed to consign them to damnation and claim that the moral culpability for their sins falls entirely on liberals. It creates a moral code that goes a step beyond hypocrisy to the active assignment of sin to everyone but the sinner.
I, for one, would love it if I could believe in a God that magically sent Sean Hannity to jail when I held up a convenience store. If I could punch the guy at the movies on his cell phone and declare it Mitch McConnell’s fault, I’d be the greatest hero Transformers 2 had ever seen. But I don’t, because I have a moral code that says that the things I do are my fault. No sky man who has some massive sin refractor that immediately makes Bill Clinton the spirit guide of my penis, no ability to rationalize the objectively stupid things I do as the result of of some decades-long jihad against a vague catch-all evil.
This isn’t to say that the actions of some people don’t contribute to the actions of others. But James von Brunn doesn’t abdicate himself of responsibility for murder because of the decades of threats and promotion of violence by the “pro-life” right, Marcus Epstein doesn’t get away with karate chopping a black woman and calling her “nigger” just because he was indoctrinated by paranoid racists, Jonah Goldberg doesn’t escape responsibility for assigning responsibility for all evil since 1917 to liberalism just because of the constant overdoses of nepotism and diglycerides that keep his shambling idiot mind barely functioning.
Modern conservative morality is dysfunctional because it’s not morality at all – it’s a proxy for constant, unremitting blame and hatemongering, irrespective of logic, consistency or facts. And if any conservative is offended at what I’ve written, I blame Grover Norquist.