Monthly Archives: October 2008
This started out as a reply to Chris’s “We’re All Socialists Now” post, and just kept going, so I decided to make a whole post out of it instead of clogging the comments.
There is a huge intellectual dishonesty in all of politics, in which it is never so important to simply call a spade a spade, but to distort it for political benefit. A spade to one party is the earth-tearing, vegetation-mutilating instrument of doom, while to the other party it is the vehicle of agricultural and personal independence.
Senator Obama is leaving the campaign trail on Thursday until Saturday to visit in Hawaii his gravely ill maternal grandmother Madelyn Dunham. I trust that all Catholics, especially Catholics who, as I do, support Senator McCain, will pray for Madelyn Dunham and Senator Obama. Catholics understand the neverending need for God, especially at moments of grave illness, and that all of us are totally dependent on God’s mercy, grace and love. This is a useful reminder that people we oppose politically are still, like us, poor sinners who need our prayers, as we need theirs.
One of the things that quickly tires me is overblown political rhetoric; although it’s easy to give in to the temptation (I sure have a time or ninety), it simply serves no good purpose in advancing a civil and constructive political discourse. I’m all for making arguments for and against candidates (see the post below), but demonization is practically the standard, not the exception these days.
It occurred to me recently that the typical Pro-Life Catholic Obama Supporter finds himself in a bit of a pickle… on the one hand, he obviously hopes (and prays?) that Senator Obama wins the presidential election; on the other hand, in order for his repeated assurances that there’s just no way that Obama’s abortion extremism will ever come to pass, he must similarly hope (and pray?) that the Illinois Senator’s party does not do as well as it appears it will, because if the Democrats do succeed in making substantial gains in the House and especially the Senate, then that abortion extremism has a very good chance of in fact becoming law.
So… go Obama, go GOP???
Amy Welborn had a post the other day making a very important point, summing up much of what I’ve been thinking but not successfully putting into words for much of the interminable lead-up to this election. Amy asks:
[I]s Catholic politico-talk, particularly in the present moment, as most of us are engaging in it, taking place essentially on the level of vague assertions, associations and concepts? And – are we avoiding and ignoring the way that government and political processes actually work?
She singles out two particular areas in which Catholic bloggers have often imbued politics with too much weight, and thus divorced it from what it is.
Joe Biden, Democrat candidate for Veep and human gaffe machine, dropped his unintentional comic relief personae and became very serious in a meeting of Democrat fund-raisers on October 19, in Seattle, Washington. He predicted that within six months of the election of Obama an international crisis would be generated to test the mettle of the young and untried President.
My wife’s grandfather, Dave, died Saturday night after a long fight with a rare form of Lou Gehrig’s disease. As opposed to the more common forms that start in the appendages and work their up, this started immediately at the head and worked its way down. In his last days, he could not feed himself, speak, bathe himself, or even write to communicate with others what he needed. It was a difficult time for everyone; for my wife’s grandmother, who has divorced once and buried a second husband already; and for the rest of the family, who have felt as though they were just marking time, especially as week by week the reports of his health bore increasingly bleak news.
Since Joe Wurzelbacher asked a question of Senator Obama on October 11, 2008 which proved to be potentially damaging to the Obama campaign, the following has happened to Mr. Wurzelbacher:
If you’ve been watching only the network newscasts and CNN and MSNBC as well as reading only the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe you would think that the U.S. presidency was all but a done deal for Senator Barack Obama to win the White House. Poll after poll shows Senator Obama with 10, 11, and 12 point leads over Senator John McCain. With traditional red states like Virginian and North Carolina showing Senator Obama with leads of up to eight (8) points McCain supporters should be worried.
I just read over at Vivificat that former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for President. To tell the truth, although Powell is a Republican, I am not surprised. I am shocked and saddened though that another African American political figure has decided o support the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the US. Does Gen. Powell not know of the genocide of his people, not in Darfur but here in the abortion mills of America? As I stated months ago on my personal blog, as much as I would love to see a black President I can never support an African American candidate like Obama. Despite his smooth words, his downright hostility to the pro-Life cause is sickening and keeps me from ever supporting him, even if I agreed with his other economic and social policies. It saddens me to see that so few of the black electorate and elected officials care at all that the future of their community destroyed.
Something for the weekend. Two versions of Franz Waxman’s immortal Ride to Dubno, aka Ride of the Cossacks: dueling pianists and the full Hollywood treatment in the 1962 movie Taras Bulba for which the song was composed. Great to listen to if you need an energy boost.
Earlier this week, Donald McClarey introduced us to “Joe the Plumber”, referenced by McCain in the third presidential debate.
The website Family Security Matters carries a exclusive online interview with Joe Wurzelbacher. Some excerpts:
See, I believe in working for what I get. I don’t want to say it’s a handout, but essentially that’s what it comes down to. You’re going to tax someone else more that’s been working hard to fulfill the American Dream and you’re gonna give it to other people who – I’m not saying they don’t work as hard, but I’m sure some of them don’t – and I don’t think it’s right just to give it to them or reduce taxes on their part and hike it up on my part like a teeter totter to bring it back even. So no, that wouldn’t – well, let me rephrase that. It would appeal to me because back then I was struggling. That kind of thing appeals to me – anybody wants to cut my taxes, I look at it very seriously, it’s like, it sounds great. But you gotta see what the other hand is doing too. […]
Tonight Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput gave an address at a dinner for the national Catholic women’s group ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women), in which he critiqued the arguments of Prof. Doug Kmiec in favor of voting for Senator Obama, despite his stance on abortion. A condensed and adapted version of the address can be found online here at the Witherspoon Institute’s website (the same place one can find the essay by Prof. Robert George on Obama’s abortion extremism which other contributors have previously mentioned).
There are two poles, I think, to Christian attitudes towards the state.
At the one pole is a catacomb mentality. Here Christians think of the state as an unrelievedly secular force, and they seek to render what they must unto Caesar while keeping themselves aloof from its corrupting influence.
At the other pole is what might be termed the New Jerusalem mentality, in which the Christian sees the state as a means to achieve a more just and loving society which will reinforce virtue.
I have always admired Al Smith, the Democrat who was the first Catholic to run for President on a major party ticket in 1928. Each year the Al Smith dinner is held in New York to raise funds for Catholic Charities. It is traditional each Presidential election year for the major party candidates to appear and give humorous speeches. Senators McCain and Obama observed the tradition last night and I thought both their speeches were well done.
As the father of an autistic son, who is one of the lights of my life, I find it hard to convey adequately how much the pro-life witness of the Palins means to me. This video, which discusses Palin’s “special base”, does the job for me.