The Left Defends Astrologer Jerome
Now that it has been revealed that Jerome Armstrong of MyDD fame used to give advice about politics and stocks based on astrology, a lot of people have been relentlessly mocking him for it — as well they should.
But, some of his compatriots on the left are rising to his defense. Digby claims that it’s just as dangerous politically to mock astrology as it is to mock religion:
“Let me tell you, it is as big a faux pas to disparage astrology or any of the new age or non-traditional spiritual belief system as it is to put down mainstream religion. I found this out the hard way when I wrote a very snarky and admittedly insulting post one day and got more angry feedback than any post I’ve ever done. These beliefs in the aggregate may be as widely held as a belief in God and it cuts across all political and cultural lines. Call it kooky if you will, but those who think secular liberals should STFU about traditional religion would be well advised to STFU about this too.”
It’s funny that the left never seemed to apply that rule to poor Nancy Reagan, who got so upset after the assassination attempt on her husband that she started regularly consulting an astrologist because of concerns over her husband’s safety.
Then there’s this from Atrios:
“In 2003, 31% of the population, including 27% of Christians were believers (down from 37% in 1998 with 37% of Christians believing). I’m not entirely sure how to classify astrology, but presumably it falls under the general umbrella of religious/spiritual beliefs.
For an agnostic/atheist like myself lots of religious beliefs sound pretty nutty to me, but as Amy Sullivan keeps telling us we keep losing elections because people like me aren’t sufficiently respectful of religious beliefs even though, you know, we generally are. And, now, from left to right, from Tap to TNR to the wingnutosphere, people are falling all over themselves to mock someone who had a perfectly mainstream belief apparently shared by millions and millions of Americans.
I find that rather odd.”
Astrology is not a religious belief. It’s pure, unadulterated, worthless crap drawn up by charlatans and fakers.
That being said, there’s a difference between reading a horoscope and writing the horoscope. There’s a difference between playing with a Ouija board on a lark and being a professional medium who conducts seances. There’s a difference between having your palm read for the fun of it and being a professional palm reader.
The readees in my experience, are usually just curious, want to try something new, or at a minimum, give minimal credence to what their horoscope says.
But, professional psychics, palm readers, astrologers, and witches who actually offer their services to other people and live and die by this stuff? They’re either nuts or crooked.
This is the category that “Astrologer Jerome” falls into and can we be perfectly honest here? If say, Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin, or Hugh Hewitt had written things similar to what Jerome has about astrology, they would have been mocked mercilessly by the left AND right side of the blogosphere for it.
Moreover, can you imagine the reaction to a candidate who had hired one of those people as a consultant after all of this became widely known? If let’s say, George Allen had hired a Republican blogger as a consultant who used to do astrological predictions on the net and who was involved in a stock swindle — and then refused to fire him after that came out, all hell would have broken loose — which makes you wonder: why is Mark Warner keeping Jerome Armstrong around? Is it for the stock advice? Does Jerome Armstrong tell him which state to campaign in first based on how bright Jupiter is?
On the other hand, if Warner is just hanging on to Armstrong at this time based on his friendship with Kos, what does that say? Did he hire him to get his advice or just because he thought he could insure that Mark Warner got good press on the biggest liberal blog on the planet? Does that mean that if Jerome Armstrong switched from Warner to Clinton, Kos would suddenly start talking about how wonderful Hillary is? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time that Kos had done a 180 on a candidate after Armstrong got on board with his campaign. Of course, as Armstrong might say, maybe Kos’s positions were all in the stars anyway…