Monthly Archives: October 2008
Granting that this isn’t exactly a substance-heavy topic, I’m curious about the politically-oriented commentary (i.e. not hard news) blogs and websites that the contributors and commenters of AC visit. My first visits after I wake up on the 5th (and probably the last before I go to the night before) will most likely be:
Last week I linked to a Deal Hudson article on Inside Catholic where he threw out the claim that 61 bishops had thus far issued “clarifications” of Faithful Citizenship in which they emphasized the preeminance of the abortion issue in this upcoming election.
Michael Iafrate of Vox Nova responded with a post entitled “Misleading numbers, misleading claims” in which he remarked with characteristic restraint:
In this election there have been a spate of conservatives who have endorsed Obama, including Christopher Buckley, the son of William F. Buckley, founder of National Review. Most of these Obamacons have chastised Senator McCain for choosing Governor Palin as his running mate. I have been struck by how much of the Palin hatred is simple class snobbery.
Helen Jones-Kelley, pictured above, supports Senator Obama for President.
The latest poll* that came out today, the Fox News Poll, show’s that Catholics are still trending away from Senator Obama and towards Senator McCain. The poll today show’s whiteCatholics are now evenly split, 46-46%, between Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Previously in the Fox News Poll it showed Senator Obama with an 11 point lead among white Catholic voters over Senator McCain (emphasis mine).
The race has tightened in part because of changes in a couple of important swing voting groups. Independents back Obama by 5 percentage points today, down from a 9-point edge last week. Similarly, among white Catholics, Obama held an 11-point edge over McCain last week and today they split 46-46.
In many ways, I find that I wear the label “conservative” rather well, both by temperament and according to where the political and moral needs of our current time drive me. However one area in which I find myself at odds with much of the conservative movement is in immigration policy, though in this particular area I seem to be at odds with most people.
Being descended from Irish and Mexican immigrants who entered the country more than a hundred years ago, when there were no limits on immigration other than a basic health exam, I feel strongly that those trapped in socially, politically and economically backward countries should have the opportunity to come to the US and see if they can create a better life for themselves. So I have little to no sympathy with the “seal the borders and keep those damn foreigners out” approach. We were all foreigners once.
We seem to be teetering on the edge, and there is fear that a President Obama will push us over into the long descent into the night. Those of us who value life and cling (bitterly or not) to our religion are, if not terrified, at least horrified at what Obama intends to do in office. Pass the Freedom of Choice Act, an attempt to legitimize abortion across the board. Make a national health insurance fund that is more appropriately labeled as health care. Raise taxes on the rich and give tax credits and refunds to the poor (definitions of “rich” and “poor” still pending) in order to “spread the wealth around.” Focus on Afghanistan to the detriment of Iraq and, in general, the War on Terror.
What if the polls this year are wrong, or more wrong than they tend to be in most presidential election years?
Whether the next four years are spend under an Obama administration or a McCain administration, one thing that may be said with certainty is that conservatives are going to have to do some serious thinking over that time in order to come up with an agenda that can bring conservatives back into political success — and bring the GOP back into something like conservatism. Either administration will be enough to make principled conservatives cringe — though I think that an Obama one would visit greater damage upon the country.
There are lots of contenders out there wanting present the new conservative policies that will bring the GOP back to relevance. Ross Douthat is very much at the forefront of that, with his Grand New Party out in bookstores.
The drug problem in the United States, specifically cocaine, is very severe. The U.S. is the number one user of this drug in the entire world. Hollywood continues to glamorize the drug and the American public has an insatiable desire for it. Greed and gluttony play prominent roles in creating this epidemic. Many Americans seeking shortcuts to attaining the American dream sell drugs that feeds this gluttonous appetite for cocaine. Unfortunately there are serious side effects that aren’t as widely publicized.
What are often overlooked are the victims of this drug trade. Not necessarily those that are addicted to the drug simply because they chose to do so, but the innocent victims that are caught up in the drug trade. Especially those that stand up to drug traffickers like that of the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo.
Some time ago I wrote a post in which I tackled the claim that Democratic administrations are better at reducing abortion than Republican ones because they reduce poverty more. I had hoped I’d have a chance to do a second round looking specifically at the unexpected pregnancy rate and abortion rate for women in poverty. (A large percentage of the women who have abortions live at less than 200% of the poverty line — but that same demographic group also has a much higher unexpected pregnancy rate than other women.) However, things have been very busy at work lately and there’s a limit to how much statistical analysis a fellow can do in a day before he needs a tall drink and a good book — not to mention some time with the offspring. So it’ll have to wait till after the holiday retail season.
However, someone rather more qualified than I is on the case. Michael J. New of the University of Alabama has an article at The Public Discourse in which he looks at the data supporting the claim (which, surprisingly, has become controversial in some quarters) that anti-abortion regulations reduce the number of abortions. Some highlights are as follows:
With apologies to Dolph Lundgren. Another tune for the Obama kid singers?
Michael Iafrate of Vox Nova condemns the United States for a brutal act of “terrorism” in conducting a strike into Syria against an al Qaeda facilitator.
In typical fashion, Michael likewise insinuates that Sarah Palin approves abortion bombings and alleges that, by virtue of the fact that nobody at American Catholic has yet commented on the story, we are quite obviously racist:
Of course the “pro-life” Cathollic barfosphere, so vocal in the “defense of human life,” remains utterly silent in the face of the Bush administration’s ongoing acts of terrorism. Of course, these weren’t cute white babies who were slaughtered, were they? That explains it.
Michael’s penchant for profanity, libel and general elementary school antics does nothing to enamor readers of his position or the Catholic blog he represents. Yet I think he deserves a response (however meager) …
I’m sure everyone’s response to the title of this post is a variation, more or less, of “well, duh!”. But remember who it’s coming from: the guy who is always insisting on the importance of moderate rhetoric, reasonable discourse, etc.
I just want to be clear that I recognize that sometimes, it’s all for nought.