The "utopian enslavement" is coming for you.

Carla Axtman

For Republicans wringing their hands and wondering why their town halls and winning grin didn't float them to victory in Washington County, here's a hint: Don't let your leaders tell the world that the Democrats are communists and part of a vast atheistic cult. In other words, don't let them tell us what they're really thinking. We won't elect them if you do.

Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian

Gary Bray, the new Washington County Republican chairman, has sent out a provocative email to local GOP precinct officials that is raising eyebrows in Republican circles.

Bray, who has a Tualatin-based lumber wholesale business, equates the Democratic Party with communism and says that liberalism is an "atheistic cult."

Adds Bray:

"The Democrats have replaced personal morality with social morality which means to be a good person you no longer have to worry about your personal failings but your societal failings...You can be a drug addict, leave your family in shambles or steal from your boss but, as long as you drive a Prius and are concerned about polar bears, you are a good person."

Bray has long been known for his outspoken comments, both in a blog and in a book, "Brayn Food: For the Tea Patriot Hungry for the Truth," which he self-published in 2010.

Greg Leo, the chief of staff for the Oregon Republican Party, said Bray's remarks do not represent the views of the party or the GOP state central committee.

Clearly they represent enough of a segment of the Oregon Republican Party that they're willing to elect a guy with these fringe beliefs into a position of leadership. So how out-of-step is Mr. Bray, really? Not that much, I expect. After all, one of the leaders of mainstream conservative thought in the U.S has no problem referring to Democrats as communists or to Obama as an equivalent to Karl Marx. That doesn't seem so far off from Mr. Bray's own writings.

When your most popular radio hosts refer to liberalism as a "mental illness", it's no surprise that listeners begin to nod in agreement. When local rightwing radio hosts accuse the President of standing by and watching Americans die and the glorification of fringe right wing hate talk is perpetuated by popular conservative media outlets, I'm not sure what else is to be expected.

Mr. Bray is speaking for a lot of Republicans. Probably a majority of them. This is not a surprise or a shock. They've been spoon fed this drivel for decades.

Bray is simply the messenger.


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    The letter is amazing. "Dirt worshipers"? I need the bumper sticker. Get this guy a mic and some booze! I hope he leads a long and loud life. Precious.

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      I got matching bumper sticker AND button that says "Tree-Hugging Dirt Worshipper." One for each car. Got them from the Dem booth at the State Fair!

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    The question, as far as I'm concerned, is how can so many presumably intelligent, moral people still consider themselves Republicans? I know that it's a dwindling number (and I'm certain that it's a lot smaller number than the Republican voter registration numbers would indicate). But why would a good person want to associate his or her self with a party as bizarrely, immorally wrong about so many things? If people like Bray continue to dominate the leadership of the Repugs, then I think that we'll see increasing numbers of voters abandoning their Republican registration/identification.

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    "...or AIDs affecting heterosexuals"?! With World AIDS Day only a few days ago, to have Oregon Republicans embrace this vile and dangerous claptrap speaks, sadly, to the sorry state of their party. That this person is in any position of leadership should make us all throw up, a little.

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    I can't help but think that if this gentleman gets a chance to speak to currently non affiliated voters, they are likely to say to themselves, "Self, this party has gone completely off the deep end, and the calm, thoughtful math and science based Democrats are looking pretty darn good." As to being atheists, I'm pretty certain my fellow Democrats will join me in a heartfelt Thank You Lord for this bountiful gift of gop craziness!

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    I worry about the people that elected or selected Bray for this position. There are some really strange things taking place west of the Willamette. Then again there couldn't be a better gift for the Washington County Dems.

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    … and they call him "Bray". Which is sweetly, oh-so-sweetly ironic.

    WashCo GOP? The John Birch Society just called … they want their brain back.

    Oh, wait. You ARE the John Birch Society now. Nevermind.

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    I kind of think that those of the Rs who have got to this place may have gotten there by the kind of self-congratulation reflected in these comments.

    Back in college I had an anthropology professor who said "cognitive dissonance isn't all it's cracked up to be." We all live with contradictions. We've all seen folks from e.g. the Pacific Green Party and ask Ds here exactly the same questions about immoral war-making and civil-liberties attacking actions by President Obama, and how can we vote for him? I have different reasoning about voting and what it means than they do, but no matter which way I voted or abstained in the past election, part of my conscience was going to be offended.

    So this guy makes stupid generalizations about Ds. Is calling all Rs "Rush worshipping" really any different?

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    Carla, there is an interesting tension between your calling these views "fringe" and at other times calling them "mainstream" within the RP. You are suggesting that it tends to marginalize the RP as a whole, I get that. Do you worry about it possibly going the other way?

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      Carla is right, this stuff is out there. I'm white and clean cut looking and grew up in Lake Oswego; some of this is nothing new to me -- shades of high school. You may or not be surprised what folks like this guy say when they think nobody else is listening. This guy just got outed; he's far from being alone in these views.

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    We shouldn't be lamenting these comments and Republican leaders or the neo-facist in both local and national radio; we should be leading the applause from the rafters. The more they gin up their rhetoric, the deeper they plunge the knife into the heart of the GOP. They’re alienating folks who might be sympathetic to their economic argument through their reprehensible, overheated and unhinged rhetoric. Most rational people know intuitively that Democrats are not communists and that most progressives would make pretty sorry socialists as well. They also know that President Obama’s not the second coming of V.I Lenin. Rational people generally don’t want to associate with certified lunatics, and the more conservative media and Republican leaders act like crackpots, the fewer GOP politicians will get elected.

    But I wonder if far-right media types and GOP officials like Mr. Bray truly believe what they’re selling. I can’t believe that if you forced the truth from them (water boarding, maybe?) they’d admit that all this folderol is simply part of a business strategy to separate their audience from its senses (and its money). Given the choice between high Arbitron ratings (lining his pockets with money) or winning elections (governing), which do you think Lars would choose?

    Right-wing radio and conservative politicians predicted, literally, the end of the country. Not metaphorically, but the actual end of the country unless President Obama was defeated. For instance, Hannity predicted that "four more years of Obama will end America, the country we love, as we know it.”

    If you take the rhetoric of Gary (Democrats are Communists) Bray and his fellow travelers in media: Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Larson, Taft and all the other far-right political swindlers seriously, then there’s no hope, and it’s time to grab your muskets and take to the barricades -- don’t forget your tricornes and your waistcoats. Good luck with that.

    But some in the GOP are awake: “Greg Leo, the chief of staff for the Oregon Republican Party, said Bray's remarks do not represent the views of the party or the GOP state central committee.”

    I’ll be giggling over that one all day.

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    A rumor is out that the dude resigned. Check the O's comment section, if you can stomach it. It gets terrible there and it has always been that way. :-(

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    Just now:

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      You can go straight to vinegar and skip the wine stage when you have sour grapes.

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        I'm sorry, that is over my head Mr. Hagmeier and I am sorry for that. I do not understand your comment.

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          "Vinegar" is a metaphor for "caustic vitriol" of the type spewed by EX-Chair Mr. Bray. Grapes can make both wine and vinegar. "Sour Grapes" being a metaphor for "poor looser." And "sour" being synonymous to "acid" which is what vinegar is: acetic acid. All in all, an apt analogy from Mr. Hagmeier!

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    O confirms, he is out.

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    The party of the old paranoid bigoted white guys is shrinking, and they have no interest in changing. I'm thinking the GOP is destined to be another Whig party, and those authentic interests that they used to represent in the past will be better represented by another party. Maybe there are enough disaffected rationally oriented former or present GOP that they can form a new party that can offer a positive competing program to the electorate. Koch Bros. rehashed John Birch Society name-calling paranoia is not a real political party, and is certainly not a viable one in the 21st Century.

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    Too bad they let the guy go. I really enjoy good satire!

    It was satire, right? Right???

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