For me reading Max Blumenthal's Republican Gomorrah--Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, (Nation Books) is like looking into a mirror. That might be because Blumenthal extensively interviewed me and drew rather heavily on my book Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back as a reference for his in-depth exposé of what has gone so very wrong with the Republican Party. He's on my turf so I happen to know he's telling the truth as its not been told before. But there's more.
Republican Gomorrah is the first book that actually "gets" what's happened to the Republican Party and in turn what the Republicans have done to our country. The usual Democratic Party and/or progressive "take" on the Republican Party is that it's been taken over by a far right lunatic fringe of hate and hypocrisy, combining as it does, sexual and other scandals with moralistic finger wagging. But Blumenthal explains a far deeper pathology: it isn't so much religion as the psychosis and sadomasochism of the losers now called "Republicans" that drives the party. And the "Christianity" that shapes so much "conservative" thinking now is anything but Christian. It's a series of deranged personality cults.
I am really fascinated by what Frank Schaeffer has to say. I just started reading Crazy for God after seeing an interview of Schaeffer by Rachel Maddow (I think. It could have been Keith Olberman -- I'll come back later and add a link). After reading this article today, I ordered Blumenthal's Republican Gomorrah.
I was especially interested in Shaeffer's assessment that Blumenthal is the first "get" what's happened to the Republican party:
"But Blumenthal explains a far deeper pathology: it isn't so much religion as the psychosis and sadomasochism of the losers now called 'Republicans' that drives the party. And the 'Christianity' that shapes so much 'conservative' thinking now is anything but Christian. It's a series of deranged personality cults."
I understand the "psychosis" claim more in terms of Lacanian structural theory, and from that point of view I would have to agree with Blumenthal and Schaeffer. But I'd like to read more of both guys' books before I write more on this subject of extreme right and extreme left politics. Interesting stuff!