Ralph Reed? Didn’t he slither permanently away through that crack at the bottom of the kitchen baseboard following the scandal when the original version of The Christian Coalition that he founded with Pat Robertson collapsed nearly bankrupt in 1997? Apparently not, as Reed was recently resurrected by a top-secret group of wealthy and powerful individuals to assist Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fight the bid to recall him from office.
According to Reed, his new Faith & Freedom Coalition contacted six hundred thousand conservative Wisconsin voters to help Walker in his fight to remain in office, this despite substantiated charges of corruption against Walker. Perhaps on the basis of this, and despite his long-time association with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Reed was tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention last month, where he asked the delegates and viewing faithful to pray for seventy two days straight to defeat President Obama. He did this despite the fact that he believes Mitt Romney belongs to a cult and that he is not a Christian. Romney, of course, warmly accepted Reed’s support.
Reed met both Abramoff and Grover Norquist, the GOP’s main anti-tax darling, whilst an undergrad at the University of Georgia in the early 1980s, as all three were heavily involved with the College Republicans. When Abramoff was hired by the Mississippi Choctaw tribe to help them maintain the tax-exempt status of their casinos despite the fact that the tribe had in their coffers billions of dollars in casino profits, Abramoff enlisted Reed and Norquist to help, with which all of them commenced extracting millions of dollars from the Choctaws for themselves. When the Mississippi Choctaw tribe later asked Abramoff and the rest of his troika to help them eliminate competition for their own casinos, Reed preached against gambling, in general, to his enormous flock on fundamentalist Christian grounds despite the fact that he was living high on Choctaw gambling profits.
“The money spigot was now wide open. Abramoff was being paid millions as a lobbyist. Reed was being paid millions to dupe his fellow Christians. And Norquist was feeding cash to his political operation by acting as their front. The one-time College Republicans had turned the conservative revolution into a racket.”
Art-itorial by Barbara Broido. Visit Barbara’s Doodle Blog for more of her art, design work and socio-political commentary.