Sunday, February 19, 2012

Theology and Politics

Rick Santorum has received criticism for saying that the president's energy policies had roots in a "phony theology."  He later said that he was faulting the president's worldview, not his religion.

There is a long history of referring to a political opponent's belief system as a "theology."  Critics of the Reagan Administration, for instance, spoke of "Star Wars theology" or "supply-side theology."


In 1997, President Clinton said:

We passed the family and medical leave law. There were a lot of Republicans who voted for that—I'll give them credit for that—far more Democrats. My predecessor had vetoed it twice. Why? Because their theology said—their theology said it's a nice thing if people can spend a little time with their new-born babies or if someone in their family gets sick, but we couldn't think of requiring it because it would hurt the economy and the economy is always the most important thing.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer last fall, Mr. Clinton used similar terms to explain why Republicans did not embrace the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan.
CLINTON: Ryan rejected it because it was against their theology. Because it had both new revenues and spending -- but all I can ask the American people to do is to, you know, inject some reality into this. 
The theology of the modern Republican Party, it's an ideology, is that every tax is bad especially if an upper income person has to pay it. 
At a December 13 press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said:  "Now, what we have seen from Republicans in Congress is the promulgation of this idea that passing a tax cut for middle-class Americans is somehow a favor they would be doing for the President of the United States. Most of my adult life, the Republican theology has been tax cuts for everyone are the highest priority. "