Monthly Archives: October 2012

Richard Mourdock and the Illogic of the Rape Exception

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is in trouble. When talking about his opposition to abortion and whether he believes that there should be an exception in the case of rape, he had this to say:

“I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view, but I believe that life begins at conception,” the tea party-backed Mourdock said. “The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said, appearing to choke back tears. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

There have been hysterics from the usual quarters, and Mitt Romney has even had to distance himself from the remarks. Pro-life candidate for governor, Mike Pence, even called on Mourdock to apologize.

Apologize for what?

Mourdock’s phrasing was awkward in that it he could be interpreted as saying that the rape itself was God’s will. Clearly Mourdock is referring to the pregnancy. Therefore what Mourdock is relating here is the true pro-life position. It’s nowhere near as bad as Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments, and therefore those trying to make hay out of these comments are simply being disingenuous.

I was irked by something that Drew M at Ace of Spades said on this topic. Even though Drew thinks the backlash is unwarranted, he had this to say about Mourdock’s position:

I think Mourdock’s position is appalling (not his thoughts on God’s unknowable plans but the idea a rape victim should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term)

Normally I agree with Drew, but how can one find Mourdock’s position appalling, especially if one is otherwise generally pro-life? I can understand why people take the pro-life with exceptions position, and I would definitely accept a political compromise that prohibited abortion in all cases except rape, incest and where the life of the mother is at risk (though I think the practical application of such a law would be fraught with difficulties, but that’s for another discussion). And while I certainly don’t want to distance myself from people who are with me 99% of the way on an issue that is of the utmost importance, the pro-life with exceptions stance is logically untenable.

If you are pro-life it is because you presumably believe that life begins at conception. So if you advocate for the prohibition of abortion while simultaneously allowing exceptions, are you saying that the lives of those conceived via rape are somehow not fully human? Does the means of conception somehow instill greater value in certain forms of human life than others? If you are pro-life “except for rape,” what you’re basically saying is that abortion is murder and unacceptable, but murdering a child conceived in rape is somehow permissible. Well why should the method of conception matter?

In truth I understand why people are reluctant to commit to a 100 percent pro-life position. It is uncomfortable arguing that a woman who has experienced a brutal crime should then be forced to keep her child – a child that is a result of no choice of her own, and which could compound the trauma of what she has gone through. But by doing so, you are allowing sentiment to override reason.

The “with exceptions” pro lifers concern me because I wonder if they have fully thought through their positions. It is why polls that show a majority of Americans now turning towards a pro-life position are not necessarily cause for rejoicing quite yet. Again, I do not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, and in no way would I want to turn these people away from the pro-life movement completely. Yet I think the instant revulsion to the sentiments expressed by Mourdock on the part of even some pro-lifers is worrisome.

The Clever Economics Behind Romney’s Tax Plan

One of the things which the candidates sparred over repeatedly in the debates was Romney’s tax plan, on which Obama has repeatedly charged “the math doesn’t work”.

Romney’s plan, as it has been presented, is to reduce tax rates by 20%. Thus, for example, the top rate would go down from the current 35% to 28%. Deductions and credits would then be reduced such that while the middle class would experience a net tax decrease, those at the top would continue to pay the same amount in taxes as they do now. Romney suggested how this might be done in the first debate:

[W]hat are the various ways we could bring down deductions, for instance? One way, for instance, would be to have a single number. Make up a number, $25,000, $50,000. Anybody can have deductions up to that amount. And then that number disappears for high-income people. That’s one way one could do it.

The idea here would be that for a family making, say 60k/yr that currently takes a total of $15k in deductions, the deductions would remain untouched while their rate would go down, resulting in lower net taxes. For a family making $400k/yr that currently takes $70k in deductions, their deductions would be capped at $25k but their tax rate would be lower, so they would pay about the same as they do now.
Continue reading

Religious Bigotry and the Left

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One of the tools that some Obama supporters have been utilizing in their quest to give Obama another four years to transform the country in his image is the raw sewage of religious bigotry.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of Mother Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has their number:

 

If the desperation of the left is any indication, the 2012 election of Mitt Romney to the US presidency has the same air of inevitability that Barack Obama’s election had four years ago:

I was on a conference call yesterday regarding intelligence gathered from a highly placed source that liberal Obama surrogates are planning to target Evangelical mega-church parking lots with bigoted anti-Mormon flyers the final weekend before the election in key battleground states like Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Mega-church pastors are being notified to have parking lot attendants be on the lookout for such a lit drop. But please forward this post to all pastors of both Protestant and Catholic churches, particularly in battleground states.

The GOP’s all-important social conservatives may be getting more comfortable with Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith – but liberals are increasingly wary about the candidate’s religion in the run-up to November, according to a new study.

The study found anti-Mormon attitudes have increased since Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and are highest among liberal and non-religious voters….

The study found attitudes about Mormonism among Evangelicals has largely remained unchanged since 2007 – when 37% said they were “less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for president,” compared with 33% this year.

However, that sentiment among non-religious voters increased from 21% to 41% over roughly the same period.

Among liberal voters, 43% said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon presidential candidate in 2012, compared with 28% in 2007.

Then there’s Andrew Sullivan who takes shrieking hysteria to a whole new level. Continue reading

Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death

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In the political season we are engaging in currently, with its frequently petty back and forth, it is easy, all too easy, to lose sight of the great principles on which this country was founded.  As a reminder we turn to a speech by Patrick Henry.

A fine video is at the beginning of this post on the great “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death Speech” of Patrick Henry delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.  It is a remarkable speech, made even more remarkable when we consider that Patrick Henry was in deep mourning for his beloved wife Sarah who, after years of fighting a losing battle with mental illness, had died in February of 1775. ( Henry refused to have her committed, against the advice of his physician, to the appalling insane asylums of his day, one he inspected would have had his wife chained to a wall, and cared for her at home, bathing her, dressing her and keeping her from harming herself.)

Henry was perhaps the greatest American orator in a time of great American oratory.  It was said of him that cold print did not do justice to the passions he roused in his listeners with his speeches.  American school children used to memorize passages from this speech, a custom I hope is revived, because his speech goes to the core of what it means to be an American.  Here is the text of his speech, as it has been reconstructed, as no manuscript of it survives and our text is based on the recollections of men who heard it: Continue reading

So I Am Voting for Kodos After All

Jeff Goldstein left this comment on his own blog.

The wife and I reversed course and did in fact pull the trigger for Romney. But only as a stop gap to get Obama out.

Having voted for him, I now own part of him, should he win. And I’m going to be a very very very strict owner.

Beyond that, though, I think whatever the outcome of this election, the GOP establishment and the conservative / classical liberal / TEA Party base are going to engage in a huge existential battle. And I think the GOP is either going to have to get in line with us or head over to the Democrat side. Which won’t be terrible, because it’ll dilute the hard left with a lot of moderate mushiness and move it more toward the Democratic party of, say, JFK.

I agree with those of you who say enough is enough, and no more lesser of two evils. And I don’t begrudge you voting libertarian or writing someone else in. I really don’t. I just feel like we can not afford 4 more years of this guy without bringing the whole thing crashing down. And with two small kids, that literally terrifies me. In my state, every vote counts.

But it will be moot if we don’t also take the Senate and the House, and not with establicans, either. Any GOP office holder who has pimped for a Democrat instead of a TEA Party challenger should be primaried and cast out, whatever his or her voting record. There cannot be a permanent ruling class. And it’s time these entitled suited monkeys learned that.

We also need to change leadership — at least in the House. I think McConnell will, confronted with the reality of a bunch of new conservative / TEA Party Senators (should we get them; the GOP isn’t too terribly concerned with helping most of the serious ones, many of whom are in tight races), act in the interests of that particular trend. Boehner, on the other hand, needs to go. As does Cantor. Period. Full stop.

To me, it’s completely unacceptable that the GOP is allowing the Dems to beat up on Bachmann, King, and West — along with a number of very good constitutional conservative Senate candidates.

And that needs to be made clear as well, forcefully, once this election is over.

Ditto.

As I type this I am watching the third party debate on CSPAN. Yes, I am watching more of this than I did the debate that took place between Obama and Romney last night. Here’s the thing. While it’s nice to say that you are going to vote third party in protest, the people who are actually running for president on third party tickets are, shall we say, less than serious. Jay Anderson’s friend Virgil Goode seems like a decent man and the one third party candidate who is tethered to reality. On the other hand, the rest of the people on the stage seem more interested in vital issues like ending drug prohibition and combating climate change. Gary Johnson is under the impression that when he’s inaugurated he will wipe out the income tax and balance the budget, evidently as unicorns and mermaids dance around the maypole. The candidate of the Justice Party, Rocky Anderson, seems like he has gotten a head start on the end of prohibition. And then there’s Jill Stein of the Green Party, who makes one long for the seriousness of the Nader campaign.

All of the candidates for president – those polling in the 40s and those polling in the .40s alike – are simply not attractive. As is almost always the case we have to choose the least bad candidate. The least bad candidate of this election cycle happens to be Mitt Romney. It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but when the available protest candidates are even more revolting than the primary candidates (and my only options in this state are Johnson and Stein), then there is little choice.

That being said, I think that Goldstein’s points are going to be worth keeping in mind. Assuming that Mitt Romney is elected as the next president of the United States – and I believe he will be – that is but the first stage in what is going to be a long battle not just between Republicans and Democrats, but between Republicans and Republicans as well. (And presumably there will be the same serious soul searching internally for the Democrats.)  But that’s a post for another time.

As for now, I’m going to watch Larry King do a better job moderating the clown debate than anyone who moderated the “real” debates.

Why Polling Skews Against Political & Religious Conservatives

Some 20 years ago as I was finishing graduate school, I worked for a polling company. It was longer than I wanted to but it gave me some valuable insights on that business before I moved into the line of work that I wanted. I got to know the man who ran the company; he ran polls for national and international companies and occasionally dabbled into political polling. He was meticulous and it became very clear that this job was his life. Now I don’t know his politics but I would guess that he was left of center, at least on social issues. However, he was nearly fanatical about being impartial and getting the true response. Some twenty years later, all of this helps me to understand how political polling works, and believe me it is very difficult. In other words, if political polling isn’t done exactly right it becomes a terrible slanted mess.

Here’s how live polling works. Automated computer dialers call randomly generated phone numbers, which are often are disconnected, faxes and or not in service. In a four hour shift you would be lucky to get 8-10 complete surveys per poll taker in a hotly contested political race. Now mind you that was 20 years before cell phones, my understanding is that now because of cell phones and caller id many polling agencies are using brief computer automated voices to ask questions. Most polling agencies have given up on live survey results on such things as your favorite bar of soup, breakfast cereal, shoe company etc. Believe me there were nights that we would put in a four hour shift and call over 150 people and get one or two complete surveys concerning your favorite shampoo.

When it comes to political polling my old boss (who is a Ph.D and widely respected across the country) would fret about the way we ask each question, our tone and our attitude. He would drill into us that he needed unbiased surveys for his clients. He would remind us, and this is very important in today’s world, that conservative oriented people don’t like polling as much as liberals because liberals believe in proselytizing their views while conservatives feel their views are a reflection of their values, as well as their cultural and religious upbringing. This is why liberals tend to be oversampled in polling. By and large they don’t hang up on pollsters and surveys because they view it as their duty and mission to get the word out. Again, my boss was not a conservative and he could see this 20 years ago. Continue reading

Who Was Presidential?

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I have to give the Republican National Committee credit this year when it comes to being quick off the dime in producing web videos.  The above was put out immediately in the aftermath of the debate contrasting the calm demeanor of Romney from the somewhat frenetic and combative stance of Obama.  This clip was typical of the entire debate:

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Cuban Missile Crisis Speech

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The world came very close to nuclear war half a century back.  The above video is of the speech that President Kennedy gave fifty years ago on October 22, 1962.  Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in placing nuclear missiles in Cuba brought the world to the brink.  The crisis was ultimately resolved by the removal of the Soviet missiles in exchange for two agreements between the US and the Soviet Union:  1.  No invasion of Cuba by the US;  and 2.  The removal of obsolete American Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Southern Italy.  Unsurprisingly the US kept secret the removal of the Jupiter missiles.  Surprisingly the Soviets also kept mum about the removal of the Jupiter missiles which led to the perception abroad and within the Soviet Union that Khrushchev had lost his confrontation with Kennedy, and paved the way for the Central Committee coup led by Leonid Brezhnev which toppled  Khrushchev from power in October 1964.   Here is the text of the speech: Continue reading

The Debates Are History!

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And what an interesting history, up till this night, the debates have written in this election contest.  In the first debate a lifeless Obama and an energized Romney turned the election on its head with Romney taking the lead from Obama.  The second debate saw an aggressive Obama, full of sound and fury but ultimately signifying little as Romney turned in a very good performance and Obama gained bupkis from his efforts in the polls.  Here are my thoughts on the third and final debate.

 

1.  Libya Missed Opportunity-Libya was the first question out of the box and Romney didn’t attempt to lay a glove on Obama.  Mistake.

2.  I Am Not a Hawk- Romney went out of his way throughout the debate to refute Obama’s argument that he is a hawk.  My guess is that is correct.  If Romney is left to his own devices I believe he would be tightly focused on getting the American economy moving.  Unfortunately American presidents often are not allowed to engage in “of the world forgetting and by the world forgot”, as 9-11 demonstrated.

3.  Lacklustre-Of all the debates I found this one the most dreary.  I think both Obama and Romney were repeating talking points from previous debates and the entire debate had a “been there, done that” feel.

4.  Obama on the Attack-Like most candidates who are behind, Obama was on the attack all night.  It would have been much more effective if he had not also been sneeringly condescending while doing so.

5.  Hollow Military-Romney effectively challenged the reductions in military strength that have been the hallmark of the Obama record on defense. Continue reading

2012 Election – The Senate (Part Three)

We’re in the home stretch now as we look at the final set of Senate races. Each of these contests are either complete tossups or utter blowouts.

Pennsylvania - Republican: Tom Smith. Democrat: Bob Casey (Incumbent).

This race had flown under the radar as it appeared that Casey was cruising to re-election. Smith started gaining momentum at a time when nearly every other Republican was losing it, and he has now narrowed the gap. Even when Casey was well ahead he was failing to poll at the magical 50% number. Casey’s problem is representative of the shift in the Pennsylvania Democratic party. While his father was a true social conservative, and therefore a good fit for the state, the younger Casey pays only lip service to abortion and other issues. I think that Casey will survive, but only barely, and for just one more term. Prediction: Democrat hold.

Rhode Island - Republican: Barry Hinckley. Democrat: Sheldon Whitehouse (Incumbent).

A Republican polling firm has this race in single digits. Until I see other polls showing it that close, it still looks to be a pretty safe seat for Whitehouse. Prediction: Democrat hold.

Tennessee - Republican: Bob Corker (Incumbent). Democrat: Mark Clayton.

Corker was just about the only Republican to win a close election in 2006. He won’t have to sweat this time. Prediction: Republican hold.

Texas (open R) - Republican: Ted Cruz. Democrat: Paul Sadler.

Democrats in Texas must feel like Republicans in New York and California. One would think in a state as big as Texas, as Republican-dominated as it is, Democrats would be able to field a semi-competitive candidate. As it is, the real election occurred over the summer when Cruz upset the state’s Lieutenant Governor in a primary runoff. The only question about this contest is how big Cruz’s margin of victory will be. Prediction: Republican hold.

Utah - Republican: Orrin Hatch (Incumbent). Democrat: Scott Howell.

For once Orrin Hatch had to battle for re-election, but it wasn’t the general election that he had to worry about. Hatch was able to avoid the fate of his former colleague, Bob Bennett, and successfully fended off a tea party challenge for the nomination. Hatch had a little more conservative credibility than Bennett, obtaining the support of figures like Mark Levin. Having won re-nomination, Hatch will cruise in the general. Prediction: Republican hold.

Vermont - Republican: John MacGover. Independent: Bernie Sanders (Incumbent).

If there is a silver lining for Republicans, it is that this will continue to be technically a non-Democrat seat. Yeah, I’m stretching. Prediction: Independent hold.

Virginia (open D) - Republican: George Allen. Democrat: Tim Kaine.

In a year of tossups, this might be the tossiest-up of them all. Allen is running to regain the seat that he macaca’d himself out of six years ago. Allen has done better than he did during the last campaign, when he spent the better part of the Fall running negative ads against Jim Webb in a desperate effort to deflect attention away from his macaca moment. The 2006 election was one where partisans on both sides wished both candidates would just go away. Now, in an election pitting two former, relatively popular governors, once again it seems there is surprisingly little enthusiasm. At times it appears that both candidates are kind of going through the motions to win a seat neither really desperately wants, but feel compelled to run for out of some sense of party loyalty. It is truly a strange dynamic, and the voters have expressed their own confusion by failing to break for either candidate. It’s almost impossible to pick a winner, but I’ll go with Allen to win back the seat. No matter who wins, I sense that this will be an open-seat contest again in 2018. Prediction: Republican pickup.

Washington - Republican: Michael Baumgartner. Democrat: Maria Cantwell (Incumbent).

Another seat that the Republicans had some hopes for at the beginning of the year, but this was never a race. Prediction: Democrat hold.

West Virginia - Republican: John Raese. Democrat: Joe Manchin (Democrat).

Manchin has done a masterful job of persuading Mountaineers that he’s a rogue independent while siding with his party when it really matters. Prediction: Democrat hold.

Wisconsin (open D) - Republican: Tommy Thompson. Democrat: Tammy Baldwin.

This race has followed a path unlike most of the others. When former governor Tommy Thompson won the nomination this seemed like a prime Republican pickup opportunity, and Thompson did hold a double digit lead over the summer. Baldwin received a nice post-convention bounce, and she and Thompson have swapped leads it seems with every other poll. Thompson may have seemed like the safe choice for many Republicans in the state, but this is a case where the other candidate’s relative youth may be too much to overcome. Prediction: Democrat hold.

Wyoming - Republican: John Barrasso (Incumbent). Democrat: Tim Chestnut.

I don’t anticipate we’ll be up late waiting to hear a winner announced here. Prediction: Republican hold.

FINAL ANALYSIS: I have the Republicans picking up Florida, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Virginia, while losing Maine. That would be a net gain of five seats for the GOP, giving them a 52-48 majority (assuming the independents caucus with Democrats). I’m starting to rethink my Florida and Missouri calls, though I can see Ohio, Pennsylvania, and especially Wisconsin breaking in their favor (though Massachusetts can also swing the other way). Whatever the case may be, my most fearless prediction is this: we will know the identity of the next president much earlier in the evening on election night than we will which party will control the Senate.

Former Catholic Priests Come Out for “Homosexual Marriage”

With a Public Religion Research Institute poll indicating that 59% of Catholics nationwide support so-called “homosexual marriage” (52% of the general public supports the

notion), it shouldn’t prove surprising that the State of Washington’s Democrat-controlled legislature voted to legalize homosexual marriage earlier this year and the state’s Democrat-Catholic Governor, Christine Gregoire, quickly signed the measure into law.

Politically, it’s a “no brainer”!  After all, even the majority of Catholics apparently support the notion.

However, opponents organized to submit a petition to bring the law to voters in November, thus blocking the law’s implementation until after the referendum takes place.

According to the Associated Press, a group of 63 former Catholic priests whose members back homosexual marriage in the State of Washington responded with a political jujutzu.  The group challenged the state’s Catholic bishops who had lobbied against the law’s implementation, contending  that the bishops’ efforts to defeat the law represented a threat to religious liberty.  The former Catholic priests wrote in a statement:

We feel the bishops are abusing their power in attempting to direct Catholics on how to vote on this civil matter and impose their position on all citizens, Catholic and non-Catholic. (italics added)

The petition’s organization, Patrick Callahan, who was a Catholic priest for 15 years and  continues to attend Catholic church, told Reuters:

Progressive-thinking Catholics need the reassurance that there is more than one authentic Catholic position. (italics added)

“Need the reassurance” that there’s more than one authentic Catholic position?

Did anyone teach these ex-priests logic when they were seminarians?

How can there be more than one authentic Catholic position?

Of course it’s not possible.

This isn’t about reassurance.  It’s not about being logical.  And it’s really not about Church teaching.

It’s all about how those 63 former Catholic priests “feel.”  And that’s what they believe  the foundation of Catholic teaching should rest upon.

Feeling not the Rock. 

 

To read the Associated Press report:
http://news.yahoo.com/former-catholic-priests-back-gay-marriage-washington-state-025531378.html

Age of Unbelief

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Tying in with my co-blogger Dave Hartline’s post, which may be read here, my favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson has a brilliant column today on the cynicism towards government that has justifiably grrown like Topsy during the period of Obama’s presidency:

Do you believe any more that some of our Secret Service agents — once the most esteemed of all professionals — on presidential assignment will not get drunk and womanize in their evening spare time? Do you believe that the grandees at the GSA — once the stern penny-pinchers that frowned when bureaucrats wanted a new bookcase — won’t flaunt the waste that they incur? Do you believe that the government will never sell assault rifles to drug lords? Or do you believe what the president, the secretary of state, and the director of national intelligence will say to us when the next embassy is hit? And do you believe that there were “shovel-ready jobs” and “millions of green jobs” that arose from the “stimulus”? And what is a “stimulus” anyway, but borrowed money, in the manner likewise of “investments”? Did any of you believe that Solyndra was the wave of the future?

We don’t even believe that a commission on presidential debates will ensure us unbiased moderators, or that the candidates will have equal time in speaking, or that the supposedly quiet crowd won’t boo or clap to affect the tempo of the exchange.  From now on, will debate moderators bring preselected transcripts to the forum, wait for a key moment, interrupt one of the speakers, and then wave a piece of paper to proffer authority to contradict him — eliciting applause from the supposedly neutral and silent audience, and affirmation from the president? Do you believe First Lady Michelle Obama — of “never been proud/downright mean country” infamy — when she accuses Republicans on talking down the country?

Do you believe that the Department of Labor always assesses its data and offers disinterested conclusions? I don’t.  I suspect partisan grandees, perhaps in California, will massage the data on the principle of the ends justifying the means. The same is true of Libya: the noble idea of a reset Middle East, appreciative of the unique heritage and ideology of Barack Obama and his bold attempt to reformulate America, was simply too precious to be imperiled by al-Qaedist thugs who hate us as much as ever and will kill until stopped.

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I also never believed in a “war on the women” simply because mostly upper-class, liberal, highly educated white women seemed to be angry that Catholic institutions d0 not wish to include free abortion and contraceptive pills among their generous benefits packages. Did I miss something? Who were supposed to be oppressed, and how and why? Could Ms. Fluke — who addressed an audience of ten in Nevada this weekend — and her partner not split the cost of a pack of ten-dollar prophylactics? Are not more women graduating with BAs than are men? To the degree there is a gender crisis, I think it may be more young working-class men without college degrees who simply cannot find jobs in the muscular industries and for whom society apparently has little need. Is the “war on women” what the long road from suffrage to equal pay has come down to — a psychodrama of the most privileged generation in civilization’s history?  So I simply do not believe that there is a war on anyone, much less women. To the degree there is a war, it is on fiscal responsibility, a war on paying bills and keeping solvent — something lost last week in more of binders, Big Bird, the war “in Iran,” Joe Biden’s continued gesticulations, and “Romnesia.” Continue reading

Debate Advice-Round Three

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I gave debate advice to Mitt Romney for his first two presidential debates here and here.  Here is my advice for the final round tonight:

1.  Foreign Policy -This debate is about foreign policy.  Normally Americans are only interested in foreign policy if we are at war or Americans are getting killed.   This probably would have been the debate with miniscule ratings but for the excitement of the first two debates and the Benghazi attack.  As it is I think viewership will be about as high as for the first two debates.

2.  Things Fall Apart-The Obama foreign policy is beginning to resemble Yeats’ Second Coming:

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You have used the phrase unraveling in describing Obama’s Middle East Policy.  Hit that hard.

3.  Libya-New revelations have come out that our ambassador was constantly calling for more security in Libya.  Why didn’t he get it?  Why were we relying on Libyan mercenaries for security instead of US Marines?  The questions almost ask themselves.

4.  Bob Schieffer-If he tries to pull a Candy Crowley and assist Obama, do not take any guff, but point it out.  My guess he will not due to the negative flack that Crowley has gotten, but be prepared.

5.  October Surprise-It looks like one of the October surprises will be direct negotiations between the US and Iran.  Be prepared for Obama to make some sort of reference to it in the debate.  Respond that you are always in favor of talking, but serious progress must be made and not a mere endless bout of hot air while Iran gets ever closer to nuclear weapons. Continue reading

When the Believers Lose Their Faith In The Religion Of Big Government

President Barack Obama’s debate performances could never equal the expectations of the secular faithful. Many on the far left envisioned an American society where religion was about as important to the populace and politically influential as it is in Sweden. The land of the midnight sun has been a great hope to liberals ever since religion began to erode there in the 1950s and abortion became commonplace in the 1960s. Governor Michael Dukakis famously poured over Sweden’s great Welfare state enterprise to see what he might learn, which of course led to his electoral demise in 1988.

With all of his rhetorical skills, President Obama could never make Americans have a come to Pierre Trudeau, Willy Brandt, Jose Luis Zapatero (pick your favorite Western Democratic Socialist) moment like many Americans have a Come to Jesus moment over failings in their lives. Instead of realizing that not everyone can be suckered into buying Big Government swampland, the Left has taken their frustrations out on the President. If only he were talking more about rising and falling oceans and making them believe we are the ones we have been waiting for; the Left attacks the messenger and not the message.

Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist laments about this in a long New York magazine  article. The writer for the Old Gray Lady states the Americans are somehow too dumb to become like Europeans and surrender their lives to government and not God. He sees little hope and concludes the Tea Party will always prevail in the American persona rather than government control. Talk about a brain trust, can you imagine the anti-religious nuggets thrown around the water cooler when Bill Keller, the former New York Times editor was present. You may recall Keller infamously dubbed himself a “Collapsed Catholic,” fortunately reported to us by former Newsweek Religion Editor Kenneth Woodward, who is not Catholic and hardly a friend of conservatives, but a principled man who couldn’t take any more of the Times’ hypocrisy directed at the Church. I would strongly suggest you read this The New York magazine article for if conservatives mouthed these same thoughts about minorities instead of suburbanites and rural residents, we would be blacklisted.

In my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn, I note how the Left turned on Al Smith (the first Catholic standard bearer) after he formed the Liberty League in the mid and late 1930s and told Americans he could no longer support President Roosevelt. This startling development occurred after a number of questionable instances came to light including the Supreme Court Packing Case and the Roosevelt 1938 purge of Conservative Democrats. By 1940 unemployment was still at 14% and if had not been for World War II who knows how long unemployment would have remained in double digits. Continue reading

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