Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…



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 – 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 – on some level, they are afraid of us.


Social conservatives aren’t merely a group with which liberals disagree – they’re a group perceived to threaten our lives in tangible ways.


This perceived sense of attack is especially strong on sexual privacy issues. It’s not so much the substantive disagreement that is driving liberals’ loathing. It’s the perception that the Christian Right would intrude on – and dictate – the most intimate decisions of people’s lives. For many women (and men), the idea of forced pregnancy and contraception bans aren’t abstract arguments – they’re pretty terrifying.

Same deal with Terri Schiavo. Again, what was so oogedy about l’affaire Schiavo is not the abstract philosophical debate about “life.” 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 – in the midst of two wars – to intervene.


Anyway, the larger point is that there actually are substantive explanations for people’s hostility to social conservatives. It’s not that people are snobs or bigots. It’s that they see the social conservative agenda as a direct threat to some of their most cherished and intimate rights.