Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And Jill Came Tumbling After

Jack & Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down,
and broke his Crown,
and Jill came tumbling after.

As I read about the various Abramoff-related scandals, that Mother Goose nursery rhyme keeps running through my head. It certainly applies to Jack Abramoff and his bevy of Jills.

Bob Moser has written a devastating portrayal of one of those "Jills" -- Ralph Reed, the founder of the Christian Coalition (a/k/a, the ABCC, the Anything But Christian Coalition), for The Nation.

Reed is the epitome of what I call the "Ted Bundy" phenomenon. There is a tendency to "trust" someone with an attractive appearance, no matter how wicked the inner personality may be. So long as the person is personable and presentable, we are reluctant to accept the evil within. Moser alludes to this, noting a recent appearance as "vintage Reed, the incorrigibly boastful, smooth-talking operator who long dazzled--and blinded--evangelical Christians, big-money Republicans and mainstream journalists. Now 44, he still looks like a million bucks, his elfin face perma-tanned to a brick red, his pencil-thin body subtly bulked out by a well-tailored suit."

However, in The Devil Inside, Moser explores the depth of Reed's true faith and beliefs. His worship of money and power. God is a logo, a brand, that he uses to sell his "evangelical politics." Reed has finally been exposed, for all the world to see. Like many others, has been tainted by Abramoff and is now feeling the effects.

He amassed a fortune selling himself as "the Right Hand of God." But "Divine intervention" has now interfered: his "first campaign for public office--lieutenant governor of Georgia, a position Reed and his fans envision as a stepping stone to bigger things--has turned into a waking nightmare."

In fact, if you were a true believer, you would believe that God has tweaked Reed. He let Ralph follow Jack up that hill. And now, this "Jill" is tumbling down, down, down.

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