The blogosphere is positively throbbing with indignation over Kathleen Parker’s column in the post where she coined a lively new phrase for the branch of the Republican party that most troubles the rest of us:
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.
A lot of type has moved over what exactly she meant by oogedy-boogedy. Those looking to be offended thought she was just being rude about religious beliefs and superstition but I think Publius explained her best:
Personally, I think the oogedy-boogedyness stems from fear â€“ on some level, liberals are simply afraid of social conservatives. Fairly or no, liberals perceive them as a direct and credible threat to their own personal liberties.
Interestingly, this same fear is precisely why social conservatives loathe liberals â€“ on some level, they are afraid of us.
Social conservatives arenâ€™t merely a group with which liberals disagree â€“ theyâ€™re a group perceived to threaten our lives in tangible ways.
This perceived sense of attack is especially strong on sexual privacy issues. Itâ€™s not so much the substantive disagreement that is driving liberalsâ€™ loathing. Itâ€™s the perception that the Christian Right would intrude on â€“ and dictate â€“ the most intimate decisions of peopleâ€™s lives. For many women (and men), the idea of forced pregnancy and contraception bans arenâ€™t abstract arguments â€“ theyâ€™re pretty terrifying.
Same deal with Terri Schiavo. Again, what was so oogedy about lâ€™affaire Schiavo is not the abstract philosophical debate about â€œlife.â€ It was that a group of frenzied social conservatives decided to intrude on the Schiavos’ privacy, publicizing and overruling a private and wrenching family decision. Even worse, they actually convinced Congress â€“ in the midst of two wars â€“ to intervene.
Anyway, the larger point is that there actually are substantive explanations for peopleâ€™s hostility to social conservatives. Itâ€™s not that people are snobs or bigots. Itâ€™s that they see the social conservative agenda as a direct threat to some of their most cherished and intimate rights.