Dept. of Unpersuasive Arguments

Speaking of evangelicals, I've been meaning to take note of this passage from Daniel Gross' Times review of Kevin Phillips' Bad Money:

... [Phillips] also argues that the hostile takeover of government by finance was made possible by evangelicalism. The popularity of the "prosperity gospel" and the fact that at least 30 percent of Bush voters were said to be end-time believers caused the increasingly down-market Republican coalition "to accept a period of speculative indulgence and conspicuous favoritism to the upper income brackets." (Who cares about income distribution when we could all, rich and poor, be raptured tomorrow?)

I'd heard the rapture thesis advanced (by Kevin Phillips, naturally) to explain the Iraq War, obviously, and I'd heard it advanced (by Bill Moyers, among others) to explain conservative indifference to global warming. But the rapture as an explanation for the Bush tax cuts is a new one on me.
 

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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