Veteran’s Day: Why We Remember

Sunday, November 11, AD 2012

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today

Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Infantry Division at Kohima.

World War I was a ghastly conflict with tens of millions of men slaughtered in all the horrors that war in the industrial age was capable of mustering.  After the War which ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Veterans Day was set aside on November 11 to honor those men who had fought with courage for their country.  In our country Veteran’s Day eventually came to honor all those who had served in the military.  As Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “It is all together fitting and proper that we do this.”  Why it is important that we do that I will leave to Father Francis P. Duffy who served as a chaplain with the Fighting 69th in France in World War I.  You may read prior posts about him here and here.  Father Duffy was a man of faith and courage, so much courage that it was proposed that he be nominated for the Medal of Honor until he laughed at the idea.  His leadership skills were so valued that General Douglas MacArthur even briefly considered placing him, a chaplain, in command of the 69th, which would have been a first in American military history.  When the 69th got back to New York after the War Father Duffy wrote about its reception and why it was important to honor the men who had served, and, especially, the silent victors who remained in graves in France:

It was a deserved tribute to a body of citizen soldiers who had played such a manful part in battle for the service of the Republic. The appreciation that the country pays its war heroes is for the best interest of the State. I am not a militarist, nor keen for military glory. But as long as liberties must be defended, and oppression or aggression put down, there must always be honor paid to that spirit in men which makes them willing to die for a righteous cause. Next after reason and justice, it is the highest quality in citizens of a state.

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13 Responses to Veteran’s Day: Why We Remember

  • Your account of how General MacArthur wished to give Fr Duffy command of the 69th reminds me of another remarkable Allied chaplain.

    In 1939, Père Louis de la Trinité was Prior Provincial of the Paris Province of the Discalced Carmelites. He had served with distinction as a naval lieutenant during WWI and, as a member of the Reserve, he was recalled to the navy; members of religious congregations were not exempt from military service. After the Fall of France, he escaped to England and volunteered as a chaplain in the Free French Navy on 30 June 1940.

    Alas, such was the shortage of experienced officers that De Gaulle successfully applied to his superiors for him to take up the appointment of Chief of Staff of the Free French Naval Forces. He commanded the naval forces at the landings in Gabon and the combined operations at Dakar. Having undertaking several naval commands and diplomatic missions during the war, after the Liberation, he was sent to Indo-China as High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief.

    In 1947, Admiral Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu, Inspector-General of Maritime Forces, retired and finally returned to his convent at Avon-Fontainebleau.

    On a personal note, in 1955 he clothed me with the scapular of the Third Order of Mount Carmel.

  • I think it is more than fitting that the Gospel reading for the Mass today is from 12:38-44 about the poor widow who gave everything she had and that today is also Veteran’s Day. A fitting coincidence.

  • As I was holding my squirming 11 month old son, it was hard to concentrate on the Gospel. I took my family (despite my wife’s reluctance) to the Pittsburgh TLM this morning. I am tired of wishy washy Masses. I do not want to hear a Marty Haugen hymn ever again.

    One other significant thing to note – today, November 11, is Independence Day in Poland. As World War I concluded with the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary, independence was reestablished in Poland after 123 years. Poland fought several battles against Germany to reclaim the portion of Poland that Germany continued to occupy (Greater Poland) after WWI until about March 1919.

  • I’m old enough to remember when November 11 was “Armistice Day.”

    I read (I guess it’s true) there is no living WWI veteran: faded away.

  • “I read (I guess it’s true) there is no living WWI veteran: faded away.”

    Sadly correct. The last Doughboy, Frank Woodruff Buckles died last year at 110:

    https://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/taps-for-the-last-doughboy/

  • Another Catholic fact about 11 November. It seems it’s Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin, which is commemorated by traditions in various European countries.

    Famously, St. Martin, as a Roman soldier, cut his soldier’s cloak in two to save a beggar from freezing. Again, appropriate to the “Widow’s Mite.”

    The WWI Armistice echoed Eurpoean Martinmas traditions.

    From Wikipedia (for what that’s worth): “In many countries, including Germany, Martinmas celebrations begin at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of this eleventh day of the eleventh month. Bonfires are built, and children carry lanterns in the streets after dark, singing songs for which they are rewarded with candy.”

  • “I’m old enough to remember when November 11 was “Armistice Day.”

    Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day and was observed to recall the ending of that conflict on November 11, 1918 and to honor the American veterans who served in it. After World War II, veterans of World War I, many of whom had sons who served in World War II, spearheaded a move to change the name to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans. Legislation changing the name of the holiday was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower on May 26, 1954.

  • “Sadly correct. The last Doughboy, Frank Woodruff Buckles died last year at 110:”

    He will be voting next year in several blue states.

  • I believe 11 November is also Gen. Patton’s birthday.

  • “He will be voting next year in several blue states.”

    Here in Blue Illinois where the graveyards always vote Democrat, I imagine he is already registered to vote in ten Chicago precincts! 🙂

  • “I believe 11 November is also Gen. Patton’s birthday.”

  • Well, well, well. a Thomas C. Joyce from Buffalo, who I assume is the Thomas C. Joyce who teaches English Lit at Canisius, the Jesuit college located there, dropped by to unleash what I assume he thought was a clever stink bomb:

    “It is good to remember that war is good. There are many many wars in the Old Testament. When Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek, he meant as an individual in limited circumstances.

    God favored many wars up until the Gospels, and Revelation is the most honored book of all and it foretells furious war.

    We need namby pamby tree huggers to stop giving sermons and get back to the kind of slap in the face esthetics that General Patton preached.

    The left favors peace as part of their misunderstanding of Jesus Ministry. Jesus came to sow dissension, not to create a generation of sissies.

    Thanks for the old fashioned salute to War! Whether these are the “End Times” or not, a war on those who defile the Temple would be a very good fight to start.”

    Ah professor, I truly hope that you are not brain dead enough to be unable to distinguish celebrating war from honoring those men who risked their lives in service of our country. I know that you are an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama. How do you balance your Peace Now! sentiments with his foreign policy? Do feel free to drop by whenever you are not too busy with your teaching duties and spreading the True Faith of liberalism among your hapless charges.

Happy 237th Birthday to the Corps

Saturday, November 10, AD 2012

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced, to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth – and the amusing thing about it is that they are…You should see the group about me as I write- dirty, bearded, their clothing food-spattered and filthy- they look like the castoffs of creation. Yet they have a sense of loyalty, generosity, even piety greater than any men I have ever known. These rugged men have the simple piety of children. You can’t help loving them, in spite of their language and their loose sense of private property. Don’t ever feel sorry for a priest in the Marines. The last eight weeks have been the happiest and most contented in my life.

 Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War

 

Resolved, That two Battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.
Ordered, That a copy of the above be transmitted to the General.

Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775
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9 Responses to Happy 237th Birthday to the Corps

  • As a former Navy man, I have some connection to the Marine Corps. I spent two and a half years giving Marines rides around the Pacific on my first ship.

  • A good friend of mine was a Navy Corpsman Greg and served with the Marines in Vietnam. After his discharge he joined the Marines, went to OCS, and was assigned to the Fleet Marines. He likes to say he joined the Navy and slogged through the mud with the Marines, and then he joined the Marines and sailed with the Navy!

  • The ship I was on USS Dubuque (LPD-8) embarked up to around ( I think) about 1500 troops.

  • Speaking of Navy Corpsmena in Vietnam, one of dad’s cooworkers lost one of his sons, a Navy Corpsman who was KIA in Vietnam while serving with the Marines.

  • Please pray for my brother-in-law. He is going to undergo a procedure next Weds. to determine if he has lung cancer. I spoke to him the day after the election and he coughed so violently he could barely get a sentence out. He has had numerous health issues and surgeries over the past 5 years and my sister, who is a RN, is very afraid the diagnosis will be dire. He is 6 ft. tall and now weighs 125 lbs.

    He is one of the kindest, most generous men I know, my conservative ally when we talk politics with our liberal relatives. He has helped me and others, financally and in other ways, many times.

    Please pray.

    I was in mourning for my country earlier this week. Now I am in very real fear of losing a man who is more like a brother than a brother-in-law to me.

  • Please be assured that my prayers are already on the way. My dad served in the Royal Navy ,fleet air arm in WW II and got his flying training in the US in Lewiston ,Maine and Pensacola. So I have a particular affinity with and am grateful to the US navy Without whose help I might not have been born. I too served in the Royal Navy latterly with 3 Commando brigade , Royal Marines. Best job ever! I prayed to St Peregrine patron of cancer sufferers. I pray too that your faith will sustain you through these difficult times. AMDG.

  • Thank you, gentlemen.

    Right before the Walker recall election, I went to confession and told a young priest of my fears for my country and my state. (BTW, this priest is an interesting character – he was a college football star and was going to be drafted by the Cleveland Browns when he heard and obeyed the call to the priesthood. He is a very strictly orthodox priest. I’ll wager that very few make a transition from the gridiron to the priesthood. )

    He told me that that I should not put my faith in princes or politicians, but in the Lord. He told me faith is especially important during these trying times when the culture has become so debased and ugly.

    I am remembering his words now. It is a time of great trial for all of us, and a very difficult time personally. I appreciate your prayers very much.

  • James hughes, I know a (now retired) Marine who conducted joint training operations with the Royal Marines back in the 1980’s and his respect for them was very great. He said they were a crack outfit full of fine, dedicated men.

An Admiral and Two Generals

Saturday, November 10, AD 2012

 

 

Well, I have to hand it to the Obama administration.  Obama reelected on Tuesday, they are already getting a start on the scandals that tend to plague most second term Presidents.  The resignation of CIA Director, retired General David Petraeus, over an alleged affair, a week before he was to testify before a Senate committee on Benghazi, brings to three the number of high-ranking officers connected with Benghazi, or its aftermath, who have seen their careers abruptly cut short.

Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group in the Mediterranean in late October.  Such a removal is unprecedented.  The Navy denies that the removal was in regard to Benghazi, and indeed the Stennis was in the Pacific on 9/11/12.   However the Navy has issued a fairly cryptic statement that the removal was for “inappropriate leadership judgment” during the deployment of the Stennis to the Middle East and has stressed that this does not involve any improper personal conduct by the Admiral.  All very mysterious.

The Combatant Commander of Africa Command  on 9/11/12, General Carter F. Ham abruptly retired on October 18.  Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz reported that in an interview he had with General Ham in Libya that the General told him that in regard to the Benghazi attach he had never been asked to provide military assistance.  The internet is ablaze with rumors that General Ham attempted to send assistance to Benghazi during the attack and was told to stand down.  Thus far the General has remained mum.

In regard to General Petraeus there are many questions.  Allegedly the  affair came to light months ago when the FBI caught his alleged paramour attempting to access his e-mails.  One might be curious as to why the FBI was involved in this and the answer is quite simple.  The FBI and the CIA have been at war with each other since the creation of the CIA’s predecessor the OSS in World War II and routinely keep track of the higher-ups in each organization.  (Yeah, I know:  our tax dollars at work.)  Apparently the affair has been known for at least several months, and I find it hard to believe that both the CIA and the FBI did not know of the affair before Petraeus was onfirmed as CIA Director, the background checks for such a position being extremely comprehensive.  This all raises the question as to why the affair triggers a resignation now.  His wife Holly works for the White House and unless she was in the dark on the affair, and considering how gossipy the military community tends to be I find that hard to believe, presumably the affair was known at the White House.

Petraeus is up to his arm pits in Benghazi, having denied that it was the CIA that failed to provide military assistance to the two brave Seals, Ty Woods and Greg Doherty, who died heroically leading the defense at Benghazi.  Now that he is retired, his deputy Mike Morell will testify next week.  Eventually I assume Petraeus will also testify, he has indicated post resignation that he is eager to testify, but now the story in much of the Mainstream Media will be pertaining to his affair rather than to his testimony.

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23 Responses to An Admiral and Two Generals

  • Maybe enough of this will come to light that not even the Democrats in the Senate will be able to ignore it. One may hope.

  • I think it will eventually. Too many people know pieces of the story regarding Benghazi for a coverup to succeed longterm, although it did get Obama through election day with the help of the lapdog Mainstream Media.

  • Oh, all of it will come out, but nothing will harm Obumbler. Nothing Clinton did ever hurt him. Democrats have a license to lie, cheat and steal.

    There are other rumors and reports around saying that Obumbler wants to sign on to a UN treaty that effectively bans private ownership of guns. Any treaty must be ratified by a 2/3 Senate vote. Let him try it.

  • Morning’s copy book is all over the ‘extra-marital’ affair for its good readers. Gen. Ham was inside small print. I don’t actually read it, and would cancel if my mother didn’t, so I missed the Admiral story.

    Transparency has a new dimension. It is obvious that these men are not convenient for the Benghazi hearing on the terrorist attack of 9/11/12 so out with them, no – wait, I mean, ‘how can this immorality be allowed in such a moral government’ and ‘we need people who work the way we work for the … country’. Transparency is in the eye of the beholder now.

    The words ‘affair’ and ‘extra-marital’ are good to deflect those who may wonder, with the added bonus of good posture for those who cheat, lie, and steal.

    Imagine the laughing that goes along with this plan or someone saying, that’s the ticket – an affair!. The copy book writers seem more mindless than ever.

  • Penguins Fan,

    Snopes provides information which disagrees with what you wrote about the UN Small Arms Treaty, resolutions on which you can find here:

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/SALW/

    Snopes specifically states:

    The Arms Trade Treaty has nothing to do with restricting the legal sale or ownership of guns within the United States. The aim of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is to combat the illicit international trade of arms by “tightening regulation of, and setting international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons” in order to “close gaps in existing regional and national arms export control systems that allow weapons to pass onto the illicit market.” The text of the proposed treaty specifically “reaffirms the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems,” so even if such a treaty came to pass, U.S. rights and laws regarding the sale and ownership of small arms would still apply within the United States.
    No such treaty could “bypass the normal legislative process in Congress,” as all treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory must first be approved by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate before they are considered to be ratified and binding.
    The President of the United States cannot enact a “complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations.” The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, and in the 1957 case Reid v. Covert, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate.

    Please read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/untreaty.asp#BKvhTE3UaFA2sjyz.99 

    I myself own a mini-14 rifle. I bought it after Obama’s first election. I had never wanted to own a firearm, but with the rise of “National Democracy”, I thought I should take advantage of my Second Amendment right. I have used the rifle only once or twice at a firing range. Perhaps when my left leg heals from my recent quadriceps detachment accident I will be able to use it in hunting deer, but that won’t be till next year. Outside of the shooting range and hunting, I hope for no use of the rifle (well, I will teach my children how to care for, handle and shoot the rifle, but that will be at the firing range). I truly do not see how the UN can outlaw such ownership and peaceful use of firearms. Private ownership of fully automatic weapons and sensible regulation of revolvers and other small handguns are a different matter. Let’s keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and in the hands of honest citizens.

  • i never used to think of myself as suspicious, but I changing I guess. I have read that an Illinois politician who Obama needed out of the way was suddenly discovered to have had an illicit affair and O then won that election handily.. that this kind of thing has occurred more than once.

  • That was two politicians Anzlyne: Blair Hull in the Democrat primary for the Senate nomination in 2004, who was expected to win, was effectively knocked out of the race by the Chicago Tribune, at the behest of the Obama campaign, getting his divorce records unsealed. The same exact slimy tactic was then used against his Republican opponent Jack Ryan, who had been married to Jeri Ryan, the Borg Babe on Star Trek Voyager. Ryan dropped out as a result and was replaced by Allan Keyes, who I voted for, and who even I was convinced was crazy by the end of the Senate race. Keyes got 30%.

  • Don, there is nothing “alleged” about it, the general admitted to it. My theory is Petraeus quit to avoid falling on his sword for the so-called intelligence failures of the spooks. Same thing happened with Dubya when he blamed “faulty” intelligence by the CIA on Iraq nukes, which gave him cover when no WMD’s were found. Remember, the CIA has always been the President’s “private army.” Whenever something goes wrong, as it did in Benghazi, it’s not the general who gets the blame but the grunts.

  • There is much that remains “alleged” about it including the identity of the person he had the affair with. Until she confirms it I will keep the “alleged” firmly in place.

  • I look forward to other administration officials who have been involved in affairs to be resigning soon.

  • good one Phillip

  • “I look forward to other administration officials who have been involved in affairs to be resigning soon.”

    The man who saved Obama’s hide in the last election, Bill Clinton, could probably direct the President to some of the female officials who have had affairs.

  • I doubt BIll Clinton will incriminate himself in revealing those women who had heterosexual affairs lest he be so implicated. 😉

    As for the rest who may not be heterosexually inclined and who engaged in affairs, such disclosure would be met with all approval and accolade for a “coming out of the closet” by both Administration and News Media alike. 😉

    Sexual promiscuity is accepted – even welcomed – except when it is a tool to be used to smear an otherwise impeccable record of honesty and attention to duty, hence the situation in which General Petraeus finds himself. Even if the confession of an extra-marital affair is correct, why is it not as forgiveable as the adultery that William Jefferson Clinton committed in the public light with Monica Lewinsky, and his subsequent lying about it to the entire nation? That is a rhetorical question and requires no answer.

  • Thought provoking isn’t it? this kind of thing would provide no leverage at all for O against the C’s should he want to get them out of play.

    Paul FirstTruth is right– nothing is really scandalous anymore unless the persons involved are Believers. For those whose lives are a scoff– it doesn’t matter.

  • “nothing is really scandalous anymore unless the persons involved are Believers. For those whose lives are a scoff”

    It’s only significant to the Left because they feel believers are conservative or at least Republicans and they can make political hay. I have heard several Dems brag about it quite openly with me. They said “our guys have no standards to meet unlike your guys. That’s a big advantage. It doesn’t matter what they do or how they lie.” I asked one, “If they are willing to lie to the public why wouldn’t they lie to you as well” Silence.

  • Anzlyne, you are correct. If a 30 year old priest is accused of a sexual relation with an 18 year old boy, it’s all over the News Media as priestly sex abuse and pedophilia. if a 30 year old actor actually does have a sexual relation with an 18 year old boy, it’s called consensual sex that we have to approve of in order to demonstrate our tolerance and kindness and Christian charity. I for one am disgusted and depressed and angry. Did General Petraeus screw up? Possibly, but unlike William Jefferson Clinton, he did the manly thing and confessed in contrition, something no godless depraved Democrat is capable of doing. Ok, no more ranting. Let’s pray for General Petraeus:

    Hail Mary, full of grace
    The Lord is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among women
    And blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God,
    Pray for us sinners
    Now and at the hour of our death.

    Lord Jesus,
    Please remember General Petraeus
    And be with him in his hour of need.
    Please be merciful and forgive the contrite heart,
    And bring to justice the real evil doers.
    Amen!

  • Strangely, at this time there are more details out there about Petreus and his alleged mistress than there were about Benghazi at a similar point.

  • “Strangely, at this time there are more details out there about Petreus and his alleged mistress than there were about Benghazi at a similar point.”

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  • The MSM is unlikely to present a coherent pcture until it doesn’t matter or at least until after others have forced their hand. We saw this in the aftermath of Vietnam and the Cold War. Fellows who for all practical purposes were either on the other side or indifferent developed all manner of scruples that led them to denounce Communism, and proclaim the virtues of the free market with religious freedom for all. When in the name of these same values Messrs Regnery, Encounter and the Hoover Institute among others published accounts of life under communism and drew attention to the actvities of their supporters and fellow-travellersin the West , they were dismissed according the prevailing fashion as CIA think-tanks, antisemites or imperialists. It appears that we are now in a repeat of the Pravda years, where those would like to be informed have to flter and piece together factoids from RT, AlJazeera and the fringe press.

  • Maybe enough of this will come to light that not even the Democrats in the Senate will be able to ignore it. One may hope.
    Paul W. Primavera

    Hope really hard. Senate Democrats enjoy tremendous powers of ignorance.

O God Our Help in Ages Past

Saturday, November 10, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  After the election results this week, I suspect that O God Our Help in Ages Past, sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford, will be of consolation to many of us.  Written by Isaac Watts in 1719 it is a magnificent hymn based on Psalm 89. (Psalm 90 in Protestant Bibles.)  The hymn is sung to the tune of Saint Anne written in 1708 by William Croft.  Here is the text of Psalm 89 which reminds us of the omnipotence of God in spite of the transitory events of this life that preoccupy us:

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7 Responses to O God Our Help in Ages Past

  • You are a gem, Don.

  • Thank you Mike! Tennessee Ernie Ford had an unforgettable voice and hearing him belt out this hymn never fails to raise my spirits.

  • when a bit discouraged- just a bit– I have sighed o God and then realized my sighed expression was in the same interval of those notes of this song– and then of course happily and naturally go on to our help in ages past

  • An an apt morning and night Hymn for the American Catholic Faithful at this time when all seems lost.

  • That’s what our adversaries would like us to think Mary. We have lost a battle not the war. The political pendulum will swing back as it normally does, and much sooner than the doomsayers think.

  • You are the eternal optimist, Donald. I again pray your prognostication is correct.

  • You are spot on Paul. Donald is absolutely right. Always remember the Scandal of the Cross which became the Key to our Salvation. The Catholic Church is strongest when She appears defeated. The Church Triumphant is “in the trenches” as I write this to rescue the Church Militant

The Election in Two Images

Friday, November 9, AD 2012

I’ve been mostly offline the last couple days due to a business trip — leaving early the morning after the election. I may write a bit about the election itself in a few days, but since I’ve spent the last couple days deeply immersed in ways of visualizing data, these two versions of the election map struck me as really interesting in showing what went on Tuesday.

This first image shows the size of the winning candidate’s margin for each county. (click for a larger view) [source]

This second image shows the direction of change in the vote of each county as compared to 2008.

UPDATE: Okay, one more image because with all the discussion of re-alignment and emerging majorities I couldn’t help putting one together:

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44 Responses to The Election in Two Images

  • The updated graph is important and something I’ve tweeted about. Obama barely cracked 50% after gettting 53% in 2008 – the only 2 times since 1976 that Democrats achieved popular vote majorities. The partisan political ramifications of the election are less grim that people are suggesting, though there is clearly work to be done on the GOP side. There are about a dozen states that GOP has failed to carry since Bush I, and basically Texas is the only of the big 8 states reliably in the red column. But that can be addressed.

    The real problem, as Jonah Goldberg said in his G-file today, is what the results of the election signify for where our country is headed in the immediate future.

  • Am I reading those two maps correctly? In the country, away from the major conurbations, not only was the vote Republican, but in the MidWest it was strongly Republican against 2008. If so, then the GOP needs to rethink what it did in centralising its apparatus at the last conference and buy into Ron Paul’s grassroots strategy.

  • Yeah, I think one of the things people miss when talking about this alleged “coming Democratic majority” is that majority status reliably oscillates between the major parties. It could be that we’re heading into a 50/50 period like the 1880s when, for a variety of reasons, neither party could assemble a reliably large lead over the other despite each having some die-hard interest groups, but given an ideological market place and just two major parties you just don’t get permanent majorities.

    Yes, there are a few things that need to change, like needing Hispanics to regard the GOP somewhat more favorably than a sharp stick in the eye, but even looking at the history of ethnic politics party loyalties peal off or splinter over time. This doesn’t mean that the GOP doesn’t need to make any changes, but first of all we’re not seeing either party command the kind of huge majorities that were common until 24 years ago, and secondly even if the GOP does go into a decline the chances that the GOP would fail to adapt quickly and rebuild a coalition capable of winning elections are historically really low.

  • That second map is deceptive. Each county = one dot? As the first map hints at, some dots are more important than others. Colorado looks redder than red, but four of those dots account for 40% of the state’s population.

  • The big problem if you look at the first map is how many impregnable castles the Dems have. I mean large blue circles that indicate supermajorities. There are only 2 moderately large red circles. Everywhere else a small amount of change can flip the state. I predict the RM states will all go Dem just from ex pat Californians. Even now the only totally reliable ones are ID, UT and WY . If the Dems get anywhere close to 50% they probably will carry the EC easily as seen in 2012.

    There may be millions more Hispanic Dems added if the GOP Establishment has their way. You are also overlooking the states that are trending Blue (Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado). In return the GOP since 1992 has picked up only WV. Absent some catastrophe for the Dems (and 10% unemployment no longer qualifies) , the Repub nominee has to work hard to get to 200 EV let alone 270. If the Dems weaken TX and they will put that project in overdrive thats the ballgame. Not meant to be gloomy just cleareyed.

  • One other consideration is that it has only happened once since 1896 that a party has lost the White House after only one term. When people talk about the track record of incumbents losing, those incumbents mostly lost after multiple terms for his party: Hoover (3), Ford (2) and Bush (3). First term incumbents almost always win.

    The exception that proves the rule, Carter. But he had a bad economy, was elected in a close election, faced a strong opponent and was Carter. The only ones that applied here were the first, but the economy was weaker in 1980 and the fourth. Well the President is Obama in this case, but pretty much the same thing.

    The point is that this was always going to be an uphill battle so we shouldn’t freak out too much.

  • MD says The point is that this was always going to be an uphill battle so we shouldn’t freak out too much.

    I agree. Other than nationalized healthcare, attacks on religion, galloping increases in dependency, financially ruinous policies and impending national security crises, what me worry?

  • There’s an Army saying that the enemy is always four feet tall or ten feet tall. Right now, Republicans are feeling like the Democrats are ten feet tall. But we have 30 governorships, the majority in the House, enough to block votes in the Senate, and four pretty reliable votes at the Supreme Court – three of whom are under 65, and I can’t picture Scalia stepping down in the next four years. We’re still trying to figure out what the lesson from Tuesday is, but once we sort through it, we’ll learn it. That second map does show some positive trends, including an improvement in the Pacific Northwest that I didn’t expect. I’ve heard, although I haven’t confirmed it, that the Democrats saw a sharp drop in the Jewish vote. Along the Great Lakes, we’ve got most of the governorships, and Pat Toomey’s from Pennsylvania. We’ve also got a decent B Team for the first time since the 1980’s. We even had a Massachusetts Senate seat for a few years, and we had no right to expect that. I’m not happy this week, but the wounds we took are not necessarily fatal.

  • Careful Pinky, you are giving calm reason instead of following the approved mantra of this week:

    When in trouble, when in doubt,

    Run in circles, scream and shout!

    🙂

  • “GOP since 1992 has picked up only WV.”

    No so. The GOP has also picked up Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, all of which used to be swing states as the electoral maps in 1992 and 1996 indicate. Grief, in 1996 Clinton even picked up Arizona.

  • The world feels very different from 1996 though. Things that were unimaginable then are almost required parts of the politically correct orthodoxy.

    Those maps only show political parties. They don’t speak to policy or ideology. That’s the issue here; it’s not about panic but being honest about the shifts in ideology. I know plenty of people who self identify as GOP or conservative who are quite ok with gay marriage et al.

  • My point about freaking out was only about this idea going around that the Republicans would never win another election. Please feel free to freak out about what Obama will do with the next four years, or about what we will not be able to rescind.

  • I remember an election guide for the 1996 election. Indiana and Kentucky were the first states to close their polls. If Dole won Kentucky he was on his way to victory and if Clinton won Indiana he would be on his way to victory. If Dole won Indiana and Clinton won Kentucky it would be a long night. Kentucky’s profile has certainly changed.

    It is funny looking back at the swing states for 2000. Sure Florida and Iowa were on the list, and I guess Pennsylvania. But the other ones included Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee.

  • If we are viewing political parties as sports teams then with only 2 there will be position flips of course. Remember the UK in the 70s Mr Wilson and Mr Heath. If you are willing to ignore the asymmetric substantive legislative trends towards Leftism and have a party do whatever it takes to win then you have the NY legislature. I was just noting the asymmetry of the supermajorities in the first map which does have practical political implications in national elections. Flipping Oregon to the Repubs for example doesn’t change that asymmetry.

    Having control of a state legislature is all well and good but an autocratic central government will wear them down with the help of the Federal courts. It seems pretty clear from the Senate elections that the voters in the Midwest, swing states like FL and VA as well as blue states really are not that concerned about Federal power grabs or wild spending or attacks on the Church. They couldn’t have voted in large numbers for very left wing Democrats if they did. The GOP losses will make it doubly difficult to take the Senate in 2014. That’s just a fact that needs to be considered.

    NB: I meant WV as a reliably blue state switched. I wasn’t talking about swing states changing one way or the other.

  • A very important fact that is left out of this analysis is the number of voters who stayed home. Clearly, they were turned off by Romney. Romney got less votes than McCain got and I did not believe that would happen.

    Obumbler has a cult of personality. He is a celebrity politician. In the eyes of his hardocre supporters he can do nothing wrong.

    Should this country survive until 2017….something I am not sure will happen, the Party with the Jackass Logo will be hard pressed to follow Obumbler with another celebrity. Clinton was a celebrity and was never elected with 50% of the vote. Gore would not have won the so-called popular vote if the networks had not called Florida for Gore when they did.

    John FARC Kerry (google FARC) was a golddigger. Go back further, and you will see Mondale and Dukakis were losers.

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  • “The GOP has also picked up Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, all of which used to be swing states”

    Just dropping in for a little bit to ask a couple of questions… wasn’t the main reason Louisiana turned “red” its loss of a large Dem-leaning population from New Orleans after Katrina?

    Also, for those who are convinced that California expats will turn the Western states blue: why assume that everyone moving out of Cali is liberal? Wouldn’t conservatives be just as likely (if not more) to move out as well, especially if they are small business owners, entrepreneurs, etc. impacted by its ridiculous taxes and regulations?

  • Lousiana had been trending red for some time Elaine, but the reduction in New Orleans’ population definitely speeded up the process.

  • If I’m reading the “trend” map correctly, EVERY county in Illinois — even Cook! — voted at least slightly more Republican/less Democrat in the presidential vote than in 2008; and the veering of the political winds to the right is particularly pronounced south of I-80, as one would expect. Yet, thanks to convienient gerrymandering and a lame state GOP organization, you wouldn’t know it to look at the Congressional and state legislative results (Dems now have a veto-proof majority in both General Assembly houses).

    The map appears to show two “waves” of “more Republican” voting, one sweeping across MO, IL and IN and splashing over into WI and MI until it crashes into a big blue obstacle in OH, and another blowing across WV and PA, then hitting blue territory east of the Appalachians.

  • The Dems own the fate of Illinois completely now Elaine. As bad as I think the next two years will be, I think that will give us an opportunity to make gains in 2014, especially assuming Quinn runs for reelection.

  • If you look at the results, not a terrible amount of space separated Romney from Obama in Georgia. Given demographic shifts, Georgia will turn Democrat in four years, and it will be reliably liberal after that point. Texas will fall in the next eight years due to the absolutely booming Hispanic population, as well as migration from northern states.

    The problem is primarily one of ideology, though. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are overwhelmingly white. So are the areas of Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts outside of the urban centers. The issue at hand is that these voters support government. Not excessive overreach, but the Tea Party libertarian anarchy either. So, the GOP needs to reject its support of Grover Norquist’s infamous objective of shrinking government down to a size that “can be drowned in a bath tub.”

    Government is not the enemy. Abused and misued government is. ANarchy is not the answer, and in 2012, the GOP was wiped out, again, in New England.

  • Louisiana saw a very slight (yet insignificant) increase in support for President Obama. One of only a few states to see such. Otherwise, it overwhelmingly went towards Mitt Romney.

  • “Government is not the enemy. Abused and misused government is. ANarchy is not the answer, and in 2012, the GOP was wiped out, again, in New England.”

    Anyone who thinks the GOP is the party supporting anarchy obviously missed all the support the Occupy Wall Street movement initially received from the Democrats, and is deeply confused on what constitutes anarchy when it comes to government. I rather suspect that the GOP will win both 2014 and 2016 as the Democrats prove once again that they are much better at winning elections than they are governing a nation.

    My sympathy for you in California as one party Democrat rule of the far left variety is busily transforming the Golden State into the Fool’s Gold State.

    “LIFE IN THE PROGRESSIVE HAVEN OF OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA:

    A KPIX news cameraman was punched and robbed during a live broadcast outside an Oakland high school, the latest in a spate of holdups targeting the media, police said Thursday.

    Reporter Anne Makovec and cameraman Gregg Welk were on the air shortly after noon Wednesday outside Oakland Technical High School near the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway. They were at the school to do a story on the passage of Proposition 30, the tax measure preventing deep cuts to education.

    As Makovec was finishing her report, police said, five men rushed up and grabbed a $6,000 camera from the tripod. Viewers saw the live picture being jarred and turned sideways for about two seconds.

    One of the assailants punched Welk in the mouth before the group fled in a Mercedes-Benz, which apparently was accompanied by a Lexus, police said. Welk declined treatment by paramedics but saw his doctor.

    “He is fine, and he is actually working today,” KPIX spokeswoman Akilah Bolden-Monifa said Thursday.

    Bolden-Monifa said the station would continue to report in Oakland but declined to specify whether any changes would be made to protect its crews.

    Sources, however, said all KPIX crews covering stories in Oakland would be accompanied by security guards, day or night, effective immediately.

    Wow, now you need armed guards escorting your camera crews? How third-world. But then, that’s how things usually go in progressive havens.”

  • . Given demographic shifts, Georgia will turn Democrat in four years, and it will be reliably liberal after that point.

    Georgia, like several other southern states, experienced an uptick in African-American voting due almost exclusively to Obama’s candidacy. Georgia is not on the cusp of being a Democrat state.

    Texas will fall in the next eight years due to the absolutely booming Hispanic population, as well as migration from northern states.

    Romney’s margin of victory in Texas was about four points higher than McCain’s, roughly in line with the overall national average. The Hispanic population of Texas has proven time and again to be more favorable to the GOP than it is in the rest of the country. To an extent, yes, Texans have more to fear from northern migration and the influx of Yankees, and as such I have joked that they should take more securities on their northern border than southern. However, the flight of Yankees into Texas also will include many frustrated with their liberal northern neighbors, and as such may actually provide a net increase of Republican-leaning voters.

    So, the GOP needs to reject its support of Grover Norquist’s infamous objective of shrinking government down to a size that “can be drowned in a bath tub.”

    In other words, Republicans should be more like Democrats.

  • Ben,
    There is zero chance of Georgia turning Dem in 4 years. Zero. While I’m no fan of Norquist, your credibility evaporated with that claim.

  • I think that the large number of Baby Boomers that are/have volutarily retired or forced out has had a far greater effect on voting than has been discussed.

    The Democrat ground game draws on college kids, the urban unemployed, and a large, extremely competent and creative group of retirees with nothing to do. Older white women and college kids canvassed my neighborhood on behalf of the President at least a dozen times over the three months prior to the election. Romney’s very nice college-age boys made a harried pass through the neighborhood with a list of regular Republican voters in a get out the vote measure on the Sunday before the election.

    My point is this, there is a “perfect storm” (an overused phrase but fitting here) of demographics in play that are beyond our control and have a short shelf life. Lots of Baby Boomers, reliving the Sixties as the wish they were and having nothing to do. Lots of college-age or recently graduated kids with no work and no responsibilities who see politics as a social activity. Lots of blacks who are “in” the process because Obama bills himself as a black man. Lots of unemployed or soon to be unemployed union workers in key electoral college states.

    Before we lose our minds over this, we should remember that the Democrat machine is winding down and will have to be completely overhauled by 2018. We have a window to re-learn this political game.

  • ” We have a window to re-learn this political game.”

    Something that has happened time and time again in America.

  • “My sympathy for you in California as one party Democrat rule of the far left variety is busily transforming the Golden State into the Fool’s Gold State.”

    The residents really don’t see it that way unfortunately and wouldn’t understand your sympathy. I know first hand because of family and friends out there. They learn to blame whomever they are told to blame. (Strangely enough many often are conservative in their personal behavior such as minimizing taxes, a work ethic etc.) Yes the population goes down slowly but they apparently never make a connection between the policies and the outcomes. Many of the people fleeing the state don’t even learn it as their behavior in their destination shows.

    Looking at Europe there seems to be a dichotomy between countries with strong and aggressive public sector unions (eg Greece, Italy, France) and those with more docile ones (eg Germany Switzerland). We see the same thing here in the different states. Of course even FDR warned against them. I see these two issues as the main bases of the problem. A bit more progress has been made on the second issue than the first. Without a better explanation and more aggressive communication (and more consistent conservatism too) from Repubs its going to be difficult to get anyone’s attention on the first issue. If Dems for example can say that Bush caused the financial panic without providing any coherent explanation of the connection and Repubs sheepishly agree, don’t expect voters to figure it out.

  • “The residents really don’t see it that way unfortunately and wouldn’t understand your sympathy.”

    They will eventually because California is a state on a very short route to bankruptcy:

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/07/20/california-goes-bankrupt

    The same goes for my state of Illinois where the Democrats controlling redistricting led them to attain veto proof majorities in the legislature. This, in spite of the fact that Illinois under their governance is effectively bankrupt.
    http://www.graham-benson.com/2012/04/12/illinois-going-bankrupt/

    A very sharp day of reckoning is almost at hand and it will be brutal. Amazing how an economic catastrophe can be a reality wake up call and that is what blue states are heading for, with California and Illinois in the van.

  • I don’t see that day of reckoning coming, though. No state is going to sign up for Obamacare without a massive bribe. It’s not going to be called that, of course; it might not happen in the same year. But every state that goes out on that limb is going to require federal money to make it work (unless Obamacare ends up saving us all money – heh heh). So sometime in the next couple of years there’s going to be an “unexpected” need for a state bailout measure which will be in no way, at all, even remotely, caused by Obamacare. Congress will be unwilling to say no, and won’t be competent enough to blame it on the healthcare reform. Republican and Democratic governors alike are going to suckle on it. It’ll cost half a trillion dollars, minimum.

  • Your point is well taken Pinky. There are situation in which there is but one opportunity to act. Stopping this, the largest government program in history, was either going to happen with this election or never. Romney and Ryan were right to put repealing Obamcare at the center of their campaign but their call had a hollow sound because GOP candidates at every level avoided the topic for fear of alienating “independent” voters.

    What is done is done. Obamacare will grow and grow. It will creep into other entitlement regimes, create new organizations in a host of agencies, and become a system that so many people count on that even desperately needed reforms can’t be achieved.

    This is the new Social Security and any State that holds out is pissing in the wind, kicking the can down the road, deluding itself. In the end, all states will go over.

    The best bet is for the states to band together now to extract the best regulatory concessions possible. Even this administration could be enticed to treat the application of Obamacare as a pass though. If they do that, the odds are good that the Administration will restore enough of the states’ authority that the program more resembles welfare benefits than Social Security benefits.

  • “a state bailout measure”

    Never make it through the House, especially since Democrats from Red States that have their fiscal house in order will be under intense pressure not to agree to it.

  • We can’t even pay for Social Security and Medicare, let alone a new Social Security. This will come to a screeching halt because our ability to conjure money out of thin air will come to a screeching halt. People have no idea how close to that day we are.

  • Which is why the states need to aggressively pursue their interests now! If they count on their representatives to modify Obamacare tomake it useful, functional, and palatable, they are doomed.

    When you lose a legislative battle like we lost this one, you have to accept the loss and turn to the regulatory evironment for relief.

  • Nope. People are remarkable in their ability to delude themselves. Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy are all seeing just how strong the drive to retain benefits is, even in the face of proof that there is no way to pay for it.

  • “People are remarkable in their ability to delude themselves.”

    Oh agreed on that. But almost half the people in this country have a firm grasp on reality, and the House will likely stay in GOP hands for quite a while. Additionally, no amount of self delusion can overcome the money running out. The Blue State Model is in crisis and is on a death watch.

  • It is always easier for people to delude themselves when those of us who know better fail to have to stones to tell them so. That is another thing that has gone on for far too long.

  • Hopefully and perhaps… Still, if I were a governor, I would support a repeal while pursuing regulatory relief.

  • Once a country goes over the cliff it never (well hardly ever) comes back as it was. Historically I can only think of Germany that suffered economic ruin and actually ended up (decades later) with a better grasp of economic reality in the population and leadership. Of course it also took a cataclysmic military defeat and the US as rescuer. Note that our Constitution did not come about in a period of war or major civil unrest. If the public believes both parties are equally complicit in the problem, there is an even greater chance of demagogues. This is what bugs me the most about the Repubs’ eagerness to be a Democrat punching bag for every ill or a happy accomplice.

    People need to take the example of the unraveling of the UK with its NHS and Marxist unions much more seriously because we have a shared culture to a large extent.

  • “Once a country goes over the cliff it never (well hardly ever) comes back as it was.”

    France and Italy, among many other nations I could name, have regularly gone over cliffs throughout their histories and still remained themselves. Poland’s history has been little but one cliff after another since the Eighteenth Century! As for the modern welfare states, I think we are nearing a worldwide breakdown of this experiment in wishful thinking as fiscal and social policy.

  • I am a classical conservative; I am pro-life, I support mom-and-pop businesses, small farms, local food, and the conservation ethic. I believe holistic beauty trumps cold efficiency. That is not a very present mindset within the modern-day conservative movement. Money is Lord in today’s GOP.

    Romney did improve his winning percentages over John McCain, but they were well under George Bush in some states, like Texas. Georgia will go Democrat to the the explosive growth of the Latino, Asian, and nothern American relocation to the state. Look at Atlanta for what will happen to Georgia. Same for Texas- Travis County, Harris County as primary examples.

    Urban sprawl is your culprit. It’s funny how libertarian-minded land developers (aka, pave-and-developers) are turning once reliably Republican areas into Democrat strongholds. Look how California changed with the onset of mass immigration- San Jose and San Diego as huge examples of what urban sprawl does to conservative areas. Look at Northern Virginia (NoVa), where more and more residents have no original ties to Virginia.

    Republicans can’t even win a majority of Virginia now. An astounding shift. North Carolina will be that way again. Look at Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem. Sprawl folks. Stop it, before it drastically alters your area for good.

  • Georgia will go Democrat to the the explosive growth of the Latino, Asian, and nothern American relocation to the state. Look at Atlanta for what will happen to Georgia. Same for Texas- Travis County, Harris County as primary examples.

    Ben, repeating an assertion doesn’t make it any more true. There is no basis for this assessment, as was pointed out earlier.

    Look how California changed with the onset of mass immigration- San Jose and San Diego as huge examples of what urban sprawl does to conservative areas.

    California was never truly a Republican state. It voted Republican on the presidential level, and elected governors like Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson, but was internally much different than, say, modern Texas, which is truly Republican on every level.

    There is some validity to your statements about urban sprawl and the changing demographics, particularly with regards to Virginia. But you are badly over-estimating changes throughout the electorate.

  • “California was never truly a Republican state”

    The Democrats have controlled the state legislature of California every year since 1970.

  • “Money is Lord in today’s GOP.”

    A return to a more pastoral past is not going to happen. What I think we will see is a shrinking of core Urban centers and a more diffuse population geographically within states. Insomuch as the strongholds for Dems tend to be urban centers that is bad news for them. Another long term problem for the Dems is the migration back to the South of many blacks and a weakening of their vote totals in Northern cities. Michigan is an exaggerated example of what is happening throughout the North with blacks also going to the suburbs in greater numbers and small towns.

Beached Killer Whale

Friday, November 9, AD 2012

 

 

Yesterday in my post on how the Republican Party can find its way back from the political wilderness I wrote this:

1.  Professionalism-The Democrats and their campaign staffs approach politics as a business, if not a war.  Republicans have for far too long tolerated well-meaning amateurism as a substitute for professional competence in politics.  Politics is a job like any other, and professional staffs can help take a lot of the ineffectiveness and clumsiness out of our campaigns.

A prime example of what I was referring to is contained in this post mortem by Breitbart of the disastrous Orca get out the vote project of the Romney campaign:

A source within the Romney campaign agreed to share his reflections on Project Orca with Breitbart News:

    It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.

    Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.

    I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.

    Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.

    I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.

    Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…

    Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems — every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM — and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.

The problems with Orca appear to have been nationwide, and predated Election Day itself. At Ace of Spades, John Ekdahl reported his frustrations as a volunteer in the field:

    From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

    Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

Ekdahl describes how volunteers were expected to print their own materials, and were mistakenly not told to bring their poll watching credentials to polling places. Attempts to communicate with the Romney campaign to ask for assistance were unsuccessful:

    By 2PM, I had completely given up. I finally got ahold of someone at around 1PM and I never heard back. From what I understand, the entire system crashed at around 4PM. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I decided to wait for my wife to get home from work to vote, which meant going very late (around 6:15PM). Here’s the kicker, I never got a call to go out and vote. So, who the hell knows if that end of it was working either.

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30 Responses to Beached Killer Whale

  • Donald, I am sure your analysis is correct. However, too many Americans are either apathetic about who rules them so long as their life style isn’t severely impacted (a situation whichh is becoming worse and worse for more and more), or they simply want the continuation of bread and circuses. Romney was the sane choice. I work with two liberals who are engineers. They are smarter and more knowledgeable than I. They love Obama. Period. No logic, nor reasoning, no facts will convince them otherwise. Did the Romney campaign screw up? Probably. But the real problem is the American people themselves. We get the govt we deserve.

    BTW, no sarcasm intended – I mean this sincerely. Have you tried your hand at politics? You’re articulate, well informed and better yet, a student of history. Additionally, you have the good sense to leave engineering and science issues to people who are real engineers and scientists.

  • I ran back in 1984 in a Democrat district for County Board in Coles County, Illinois against an entrenched incumbent. I fell short although I got more votes from that district than any Republican had in many a moon. My opponent next year was indicted for mail fraud and eventually went to prison. I haven’t run for office since for three reasons:

    1. Raising a family and building a law practice.
    2. I despised going door to door and asking people for their votes.
    3. The party meetings were congealed tedium.

    The Romney campaign Paul fell down on a basic aspect of politics: in an election you need to get your voters to the polls, and that includes the apathetic, those in poor health and those who lack transportation. This alone, as tight as some of the states were, may have cost Romney the election. Obama’s vote total was down ten million votes. With a little bit of Politics 101 competence from the Romney campaign we would now be discussing expectations of the Romney administration.

  • I had not read about this ORCA app. But, I feel that any computerized part of elections is much more prone to hacking than other systems that have no enemies.

    Here in MD, a computer science profesor who also volunteers and an election judge in Balto County, was allowed to used the touchscreen system before the election (2008 or 10, I believe). He assigned his students to break into the system and sabotage the vote. In his review of the results, he stated that he thought it could be done but didn’t realize it would be so quick and easy. Every one of his students accomplished the task within one hour.

    We still use that system, and based on the “results” of the question 4 gerrymandering vote, we will until the collapse of the state.

    I think that ORCA app was sabotaged, possibly from the inside. And I hope that in the future, some human intelligence will reveal a few of the other episodes of this crime.

    Cynical? Why, yes i am.

  • Correction: Question 5 (not 4) was the gerrymandering. Sorry folks.

  • Interesting. The one thing that never made sense to me was the low Republican turn out. I thought people were biting at the bit to go vote against Obama. I was starting to be convinced that the dems hacked key precincts computers and were able to wipe out X amount of Romney votes. Is it possible that the people who set up this “hi-tech” get-out-the-vote project were part of a sting operation?

  • I smell a birth certificate.

    Republicans would be wise not to immediately suspect the other side for their failures. Dems in 2000 and 2004, and Republicans in 2008 ended up looking foolish by doing so.

  • Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University…for those that wish to read more. I heard him interviewed on the Ron Smith show.

    But don’t want to belabor that one system. There is plenty more where that came from.

  • Another metaphor: the voters “pulling the wagon” are outnumbered by the voters “riding the wagon.” N.B. most blue states are huge, fiscally bankrupt, and will need Federal bailouts ala Greece.

    Eventually, the system (states and entitlements) will collapse of its own weight.

    It’s not the common good, “least of my brothers”, or KUMBAYA. It’s mathematics and the “gods” of the copy book headings.

    So, eat, drink and be merry as they did before the Flood.

    Those people have four more years, unexpectedly, to ruin everything and confiscate what’s left.

  • My ultra low opinion of Republican political operations has been expressed already so I won’t belabor it. However devoting massive resources to the day Of the vote rather than the days Before the vote is so mindboggling that my expectations have once again been decreased. This is like an Army General training hundreds of soldiers to simultaneously signal how things are going on in their little foxhole in the middle of the battle rather than worrying about the ammunition, supplies and recruitment of the soldiers. If this is true you have just shown Romney to be a fraud at organizational strategy and analysis and as out to lunch as Obama. Just so Repubs know next time, Dems were going door to door around here the days Before the vote to pressure their voters to get to the polls and troubleshooting transportation issues.

  • “Just so Repubs know next time, Dems were going door to door around here the days Before the vote to pressure their voters to get to the polls and troubleshooting transportation issues.”

    Dems always do, because traditionally their voters are less reliable at showing up. That is one of the reasons why they put such an emphasis on early voting and absentee ballots. Republicans usually just need to worry about getting out ten percent or less of their voters on election day, and apparently this year the effort to get out that crucial ten percent was thoroughly fouled up.

  • Have you tried your hand at politics?

    Once was enough.

  • They love Obama. Period. No logic, nor reasoning, no facts will convince them otherwise.

    That is your problem. Political choice has deteriorated into a species of consumer preference or identity statement. Politics degenerates into a series of painstaking negotiations over patronage among social pillars. See Lebanon, ca. 1955.

  • Don,

    The level of organization by the Dems this year was far beyond what I have seen in the past. Despite their voters being extremely unmotivated they turned them out. The Repubs now need to turn out 15% of their voters.

  • Art Deco wrote, “That is your problem. Political choice has deteriorated into a species of consumer preference or identity statement. Politics degenerates into a series of painstaking negotiations over patronage among social pillars. See Lebanon, ca. 1955.”

    We should never compromise with the infanticide of the unborn or the santification of the filth of homosexual sodomy or the stifling of religious freedom. One does not negotiate with either satan or his minions.

  • Come on, Paul, no one’s talking about that. The House, Senate, and administration have to work together on some matters; that’s all.

  • Yes, Pinky, I suppose you’re right. Even at my place of employment I work side-by-side with two engineers who are liberal, progressive Democrats and we get along very well so long as the topic is “neutrons ‘R us”. But I avoid every discussion of politics with them. I have nothing in common with them on that topic, and I cannot afford to lose these two as friends and working partners simply because we can’t stand each other’s politics or religion. So yes, I understand. BTW, the majority of engineers with whom I work are conservative, not liberal, and Christian, not pagan.

  • Sure, it’s always easy to talk about neutrons, but conversations about protons and electrons are so charged.

  • Yeah, I actually wrote that. Shame on me. But the more time non-religious people spend with reasonable religious people, the more they realize that a person can be religious and reasonable. Princple and charity on matters of principle; charity on all other matters.

  • Ha! Ha! “Sure, it’s always easy to talk about neutrons, but conversations about protons and electrons are so charged.”

    Since a few days before the election I have been wearing my St. Benedict Crucifix to work – I am in a tie and sweater vest with the Crucifix proudly visible. No one – not even the irreligious – have voiced a problem with it. Even a senior manager from a European country saw it and never said a word.

    I can be religious, and be charitable and reasonable. In fact, doesn’t the religion of Jesus Christ require that? Rhetorical question.

  • First of all, if you have any questions if the democrats view pplitics as a war, you’ve haven’t paid close attention to politics. If we viewd the War on Terror as much a war as the dems view politics as a war, al Qaeda would have run up the white flag long ago.

    Speaking of white flags, with the election hardly over, you have John Boehner already indicating he is ready to cave. When Bush won reelection back in 2004 and the republicans padded their majority in the senate, did then minority leaders Reid and Pelosi run up the white flag? No. They dug their heels in and kept fighting. They took back both the House and Senate two years later.

    Before we even talk about the need for professional campagin organization, we need to come to terms with the fact that the republican leadership, Boehner, Cantor, McConnell needs to be replaced. We need to learn how to fight hard. We don’t have to be dirty, like the left. But we do have to fight hard. As much as I despise the left, I do admire thier willingness to not give up. We need to start emulating thqt, sans the dirty part.

    Any professional restructuring in our campaigns needs to be placed at the service of the grass roots conservative movement, not one that looks down on them like the establishment goons Rove et al. Whatever faults the Tea Party has, and yes they have some faults. After all, they are relatively a neophyte movement and as such they will make neophyte mistakes. BUt if it wasn’t for the Tea Party, there would be no Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Rob Johnson, or Gov. Scott Walker (why Walker isn’t on more people’s short list as a 2016 presidential candidate is beyond me). They gave us the 2010 midterm victory and all they got in return is crapped on by the “professional” establishment. Oh, I almost forgot to mention what thaat idiot Cardenes who is now the head of the American Conservative Union said about the problem with old white guys. Yeah, parroting La Raza talking points is gonna be a winner for republicans…..ooookkkkaaayyy!

  • you have John Boehner already indicating he is ready to cave

    Re taxes and public sector borrowing, the accounting is fairly unforgiving.

  • Paul, when you have Boehner saying “Obamacare is the law of the land.” and giving up the fight against it on an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, you get a sense that he is willing to cave on other things. At least he could have played it smart and shut his damned mouth!! You never ever, ever go into a political saying what you are willing to compromise. You go in projecting strength by having high demnds. So whe you compromise, you give up things that you never intended to get anyway. If you shoot for a whole loaf, you stand a better chance to get half the loaf. You shoot for half a loaf, you don’t even get crumbs.

  • Boehner should agree to a tax increase with the following provisos:

    1. The elimination of a mass of agencies and programs, large and small. The Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm Security Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, all of three components of the Department of Health and Human Services and all but a residuum of two others, all of the Federal Highway Administration other than the component which builds roads on federal land, about 50 free standing agencies, &c.

    2. The elimination of every kind of grant to local governments other than small indemnities and every kind of grant to state governments other than those for Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Interstate Highway maintenance, and general revenue sharing.

    3. The elimination of every kind of grant to commercial or philanthropic agencies.

    4. The elimination of every kind of deduction, exemption and special credit in the tax code; the inclusion of every kind of receipt in the definition of personal income other than gifts, Medicaid, and Medicare; and the inclusion of real capital gains and real capital losses in that definition.

    5. The institution of a non-discriminatory value added tax to meet extant Social Security obligations and debt service obligations (with automatic rebates to the public at large of any excess collection).

    6. The elimination of payroll taxes bar general income sequestrations to fund private retirement accounts.

    7. The end of collective bargaining for federal employees.

    8. Funding (going forward) of all civil and military pensions and fringes (bar benefits for in theatre war veterans) by clipping federal employees’ stated wages and salaries (with no ’employers’ contribution).

    9. Maintaining Medicare and Medicaid expenditure as a fixed share of domestic product through adding an escalating deductible each year.

    10. Placing the federal retirement age on a cohort-by-cohort escalator so as to attain and maintain a fixed ratio of retirees to workers.

    11. Structuring personal income tax liabilities as follows:

    (Income x common marginal rate) – x$ per household member = due

    People with a negative liability would receive standard contributions to medical and long term savings accounts and (in some cases) a bit of free cash capped at a particular share of earned income.

    12. The placement of all manner of federal assets on the auction bloc (the Postal Service, AmTrak, the Export Import Bank, the Farm Credit System, various and sundry loan portfolios, &c.).

    I doubt you could get the Democratic caucuses to agree to even one of the above.

  • I doubt you could get the Republican caucuses to agree to any of that either other than the Rand Paul caucus.

    Mitt Romney was explicitly against major cuts in spending as opposed to restraining growth which is all that Paul Ryan’s supposedly draconian budget does. I believe Connie Mack had the most draconian plan which was actually reduce spending by 1% each year for 5 or so years. Of course he couldn’t even beat Sen Nelson in FL.

    Given the far left Dems added to the Senate this cycle I think the country is in for a hard landing. And since NV and CA went easily for Obama with double digit unemployment a crash might only raise the Dems totals.

  • You have reconceptualized the Democratic congressional caucus as Nietzchean supermen: anything that does not kill them makes them stronger. George Will thought this way about the Iraqi insurgency. It’s dumb.

  • “1. Professionalism-The Democrats and their campaign staffs approach politics as a business, if not a war. Republicans have for far too long tolerated well-meaning amateurism as a substitute for professional competence in politics. Politics is a job like any other, and professional staffs can help take a lot of the ineffectiveness and clumsiness out of our campaigns.”

    Yes — politics/government IS the business for Democrats — it is how they and their constituents get money and earn a living — public sector jobs and government programs. Republicans are capitalists who are busy running businesses for money. Capitalists can always move their concerns to other countries if doing business in the U.S. hurts their bottom line — ex. the many firms who have relocated to Mexico and China. Republicans don’t necessarily rely on a friendly U.S. government for their paycheck. They have less incentive to get involved in politics and change how this country is run. It is too easy to go elsewhere.

  • No Art I think they are very ordinary people. It’s their organization and zealotry that are making the difference. They repeat the message in a variety of different venues as Mr Zummo noted in another post. The omnipresent saturation of their talking points is evident when I talk to people not particularly political who blindly repeat it. I cited two very specific examples in NV and CA which perfectly illustrated my statement. You missed the chance to respond or dispute it in a specific way. I could have also cited other examples in a number of European countries who support the same destructive policies all the way down and riot for more. Some countries there have pulled back from that spiral such as the Scandinavian countries. It might be worthwhile to see what makes the difference.

  • the person above who mentioned the Democratic tactics post-2004 (when they didn’t have a majority in either house) is apt.

    If there’s one thing I’d advise conservatives to do, it is: do not listen to any of the media talking points on how the GOP must “reform,” or the Beltway squishes who echo it. That isn’t to say certain things don’t need reform, whether we’re talking tactics, policy, candidate choices, etc. Just that the particular reform suggested by the media will obviously get us next to nothing with the intended groups. We cannot out-left the Left.

    i’m sure people on this site understand this, and i hope others don’t fall for it

  • Here’s another side to the election story. In St. Lucie County, Florida, 144% of eligible voters voted and in some districts 99% voted for Obama. In how many swing states was this scenario repeated? This is from the official St. Lucie County website. Take a look: You might find this interesting – vote totals in St Lucie county Florida. 141% turnout! Amazing. A very effective political machine there:

    http://www.slcelections.com/Pdf%20Docs/2012%20General/GEMS%20SOVC%20REPORT.pdf

George W. Obama?

Friday, November 9, AD 2012

 

 

 

“History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes a lot.”  Attributed to Mark Twain although it cannot be found in his writings.  Looking at the 2012 election I am struck by how much it reminds me of the 2004 election.  The Democrats that year were as confident of victory  as we Republicans were this year.  Bush derangement syndrome was in full bloom among the Democrats as it had been since the battle over Florida’s electoral votes, and the Iraq war, which the Democrats increasingly opposed as the insurgency went on, added to their Bush hatred.  Bush presided over an infinitely better economy than Obama in 2012 but the public was increasingly uneasy about Iraq as the insurgency went on and the casualty lists grew.

Democrat confidence rested upon their erroneous assumption that the wider public largely shared, to some degree, the antipathy they felt for Bush.  Additionally, with Gore having won the popular vote in 2000, it was assumed that Bush would not be that hard to beat.  John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts liberal Senator, was not a particularly inspiring nominee, but he kept close to Bush in the polls, occasionally taking the lead, and performed well in the debates in which Bush seemed somewhat tongue-tied and tired.  Election day closed with the Democrats gleefully examining exit polls which predicted a sweeping Kerry victory.  Alas for the Democrats it was not to be, as Bush, with the assistance of a good GOTV operation in Ohio, amassed a popular vote victory over Kerry by 2.4% and an electoral vote total of 286.  The Republicans padded their Senate majority with a total of 55 Republican senators at the end of the election and gained three seats in the House for a total of 232.

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8 Responses to George W. Obama?

  • What 2012 has proven to me is that the choice to vote for the lesser evil, just brings more evil

  • What 2012 has proven to me is that those who abstain from the political process on exaggerated moral scruples often help ensure the triumph of the worst candidate.

  • Seeber and all people that think that way: you are responsible for what “unexpectedly” will happen to your country.

  • What it proves to me…the catholic population at best is around 22% in the US. It could be that half maybe less voted for obama…your views and beliefs, although correct, are a big minority in this country…at the moment. Keep working, but stop fighting. Be proactive instead of confrontational…it’s your worse trait.

  • I rather think FD that a worse trait is not to proclaim Truth loudly and tirelessly, whether it be accepted or not.

  • Oh dear, Donald. I don’t want to think that francodrummer believes what he has just written. For his information, I feel bound to humbly remind him that God and Truth do not follow the Popular Vote. They are JUST ETERNAL and nothing can change that. The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church does not go by Percentages and Popularity Contests. She just stands for the Truth which Christ brought to the World, the Truth which She has preserved, protected and proclaimed unchanged these 2,000+ years and which She shall continue to do until the End of Time.

  • I am intrigued… What is the difference between “working for” and “fighting on behalf of” our faith? Is it form of expression, venue, substance?

  • And when He had taught this, most of His disciples stopped walking with Him. then He turned to His Apostles and asked them. “Do you also want to Leave?” And Peter answered to Whom shall we go, You have the Words of Eternal Life”.

    Does that paraphrasing ring a bell, G-Veg?. God’s Truth does not fight nor does it CHANGE to please the majority. IT IS and the Author said: “I AM WHO AM”.

Is Media Bias An Even Bigger Problem Now?

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

One of the reasons my more pessimistic (and, as it turns out, realistic) friends cited for believing that Mitt Romney would lose is media bias. I dismissed this not so much because I don’t believe that media bias isn’t an issue, but because I thought that there were enough countervailing forces to push Romney over the hump. Whoops.

I’m still leery of citing media bias as a principle cause of Barack Obama’s victory because doing so would diminish the more serious issues, and there are no shortage of reasons explaining why Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney. That said, it’s clear that a compliant media helped. From Candy Crowley giving a big assist at the second debate, to media silence over Benghazi (which followed years of silence on Fast and Furious), to harping on every minor (and not so minor) GOP flub, it’s clear that conservatives have been swimming upstream against a media tide.

But Ronald Reagan dealt with a biased media, and he managed to defeat Jimmy Carter, and then went on to win an even bigger landslide against Walter Mondale. Moreover, Reagan accomplished that in an ere where the only major national news sources were left wing networks and a handful of national daily newspapers. Now there are institutions like Fox News, talk radio, and blogs and other alternative media outlets. Haven’t these leveled the playing field?

Well, the problem is there are left-wing new media outlets, and they are just as well-read and well-watched as the right-wing outlets. Sure Fox is the king of cable news, but the sum total of the other television and cable networks outdraws the Fox viewership. And while talk radio may be dominated by the right, the left has outpaced the right when it comes to electronic media.

More importantly, while right-wing alternative media outlets may draw some non-partisans, we have become a polarized country even when it comes to our sources of news information. David French linked to a very informative graph that shows how conservatives and liberals are simply digesting news in very different ways, and left-leaning sources are ones which are very influential in the broader culture. We may shake our heads in disgust over the fact that many young people actually rely on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a credible news source, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As French notes, so-called moderates tend to read or watch left-leaning sites and programs, thus the new right-wing media isn’t penetrating the core demographic of younger voters. As someone perhaps more tuned into pop culture sites than most in these parts, I can testify that there is a definite leftist tilt that certainly influences those who are otherwise not especially tuned into current events.

I would also argue that the 24/7 news cycle hasn’t redounded to the right’s advantage. Sure Rather, Cronkite, Jennings, Brokaw and others were heavily influential, but they were on for 30 minutes a day – 22 if you factor in commercials. If a conservative politician made a blunder, they could plaster it on the nightly news, but then it was largely forgotten for another 23 hours. Now that blunder will be tweeted and re-tweeted, blogged about, joked about by Colbert and Stewart, mentioned on “apolitical” humor and culture sites, and broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and even Fox. There’s no place to hide. So while news outlets ignore the  president’s dithering while his ambassador was killed, everyone is sure to hear about “legitimate rapes” over and over again.

I maintain that there are bigger problems than media bias to overcome, but it is a larger problem than I had thought previously.

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44 Responses to Is Media Bias An Even Bigger Problem Now?

  • Don’t forget the “educational” establishment either. The teachers and textbooks are in sync with the soundbites heard elsewhere. Leftists can’t run a country worth a hoot but agitprop is their game and they are pros at it

  • G K Chesterton, who had worked for George Cadbury’s “Cocoa Press,” which always faithfully reflected the proprietor’s political views, once remarked that the power of the press is to suppress.

    I do not know the American press well, but this certainly remains true in Europe: a speech in parliament by a right-wing politician may have a column devoted to it in the right-wing press, but simply not be reported at all in the left-wing papers. Reports of party and trades union conferences are the same; each paper may cover two or three speeches, but seldom the same two or three speeches. More generally, there is a wide difference between what the left-wing and right-wing press deem newsworthy (or of interest to their readers). This is noticeable in book and theatre reviews.

  • Speaking of Fox News, it is Murdoch owned. I recall that his papers in the UK which were behind Mrs Thatcher, changed sides during Major’s rule, endorsing Tony Blair who is perhaps the most effective liar we’ve seen in a long while.

  • I’m a lifelong reporter/editor and also a retired very conservative elected public official.

    Media bias had very little to do with Romney’s loss. Cultural changes had every thing to do with it. I’ve been addressing that on my blog, http://www.catholicfaithandfitness.com. There were two errors: tactical and cultural.

    On the tactical level, Romney’s failure to respond to the unrelenting attacks on his character over the summer was a serious, perhaps deadly, mistake. Former Sen. Alan Simpson’s line that “a charge unanswered is a charge admitted” is very true, and Romney didn’t answer those attacks immediately. (He probably couldn’t, because he didn’t have the money.) At any rate, long before the GOP convention Romney had been cemented in many voters minds as an evil person who delighted in shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

    A second tactical failure was not anticipating that the economy might get better during the campaign, which is what apparently happened.

    But the biggest factor was cultural. We’re in the midst of a cultural change and those who advocate for traditional values have done virtually nothing to address this. Just one example: An overwhelming percentage of younger voters think gay marriage is just fine and don’t understand why anyone would oppose it. How often, during this campaign, did you hear anyone offer a reasoned explanation of why gay marriage is a bad idea — and how to otherwise address the legitimate desire by gay people to be able to make the same (hopefully lifelong) commitment that straights can make?

    Finally, the U.S. Catholic bishops didn’t help on the culture front. Their response to the HHS Mandate was a narrow legalistic argument about religious liberty, based on the U.S. Constitution. But most Americans believe that religious liberty means to be able to go to whatever church you want on Sunday — or to no church at all. The concept that designing a health benefit plan for a hospital or a school can be an exercise in religious liberty is totally foreign to them.

    The Obama campaign simply ignored the Constitutional argument and said it was all about women’s health care, that contraception (for instance) was essential to women’s health. The bishops and other pro-life groups did not respond to that, and that’s a real shame because they have some powerful arguments on their side, beginning with the fact that the World Health Organization has said the pill is a Class I carcinogen, just like tobacco and asbestos.

    Media bias had nothing to do with these factors. Nor did it have anything to do with the fact that Republicans have systematically alienated many Hispanics in recent years with a send-them-all-back immigration policy. Hispanics are now a larger voting block than blacks, which made this approach particularly stupid.

    I’ve been addressing some of this on my blog, http://www.catholicfaithandfitness.com.

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  • I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you wrote, Joel, although I would add that media bias does compound the cultural issues, especially when you’ve got the likes of Stewart, Colbert, Letterman and others influencing younger voters. But there are much deeper problems, as I said in the post. The media bias thing is less a post-mortem rationalization of the election results and more an expression of how it is more of a problem than I previously realized.

  • I think you are right, Joel. I think that the phenomenon of moderates gravitating to leftist media is a symptom. Most kids grow up in an environment that inculcates attitudes conducive to that and have done for decades. Even intelligent, “educated” coworkers of mine in their 30s and 40s are blissfully ignorant on a whole range of issues and are OK with that. They don’t care what a debt to GDP ratio is as long as they can live their comfortable consumerist lifestyles, and when I try to explain the connection I might as well be speaking in Mandarin. Some think of themselves as logical but logic for them is nothing at all more than “sounds appealing to me.” People feel and emote in Pavlovian fashion and mistake it for thought. No wonder they gravitate to politicians (and their media cheerleaders) who make their appeals on that level.

  • You’re talking about the Confirmation Bias Media. No one tunes into Fox News or MSNBC unless they’re prepared to agree with what they see. I made a comment about this earlier – the right wing new media used to be a counterweight to the mainstream media; now it’s a counterweight to the left wing new media. They’re places to rally like minds. And let’s be honest, fellow choir members: we’re preaching to each other on this site. That serves a purpose. But it also leads us to speak different languages and rely on different facts to shape (or confirm) our world view. There are some great writers and commenters on this site, but in general, the new media allow us to deepen rather than broaden ourselves.

    A good analogy is Yahoo versus Google. When you went looking for something on Yahoo, you’d find related topics, similar things, opposing views. When you search on Google, you’re looking for an exact match. We don’t run across things that might steer us in a new direction any more. There are debates within a community, but not between communities; further, a debate within a community is likely to end with the creation of two separate sub-communities.

    A couple of people so far have pointed out that the default position for “non-political” culture is liberal. Movies, late-night talk shows, newspapers, et cetera. That’s what’s striking. The New Evangelization and the New Atheism face off, but the central culture just continues on its secular way.

  • I have to disagree with Joel that this did not cost Romney the election. If a Republican had been office, Benghazi would have been plastered across the media. Shows for weeks would have been asking, “Can Generic Republican win with the Benghazi scandal at the top of the news?” Said Republican might have been able to survive, but I wouldn’t have bet on it.

    That is not to say that other things couldn’t have been decisive, such as culture, fundamentals, candidate quality and GOTV efforts. However, given that it was only a 2% margin, the totally-corrupt news media might have been decisive as well.

  • Media bias is there. The Obumbler campaign to demonize Romney was also a big part of it, but the most troubling trend is the way young people think.

    To young people, pop culture is their religion. Movies, TV shows, popular music…this is what defines what young people’s opinions. It does not help that education stinks, from grade school through the many worthless university degrees, but look at the direction of entertainment.

    I am 49. When I was a child, TV shows consisted of the likes of the Wonderful World of Disney, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Lassie, National Geographic, and the Six Million Dollar Man. Kids could watch those shows. The crime and detective shows of the day were nothing like CSI and Law & Order.

    TV and movies were somewhat respectful of religion in the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. Through the 1970s & 1980s, they began to ignore religion, but were usually not critical of it. Today pop culture trashes religion. There is nothing on network prime time TV that I could let my son watch right now.

    The facial piercings, the tattoos that are everywhere, ear plugs, pants that hang down past the hips….if these people vote it will never be for anyone like Mitt Romney.

    Our American culture stinks. It elected Clinton twice and it elected Obumbler twice.

  • “if these people vote it will never be for anyone like Mitt Romney.”

    Oh, I don’t know about that. There was many a student protestor and hippie in 68 who was voting for Reagan in 80. Let’s see how we do in 14 and 16.

  • Mr. McClarey, thank you for being a voice of calm and reason.

    What I fear about today’s youth is that so many of them will never grow up. Pop culture used to be rather bland. Today it is rather disgusting.

  • Thank you for your kind words PF. I have lived through worse political defeats in my life than the current situation, and hopefully that has given me a bit of perspective.

    Much of popular culture is toxic PF, there is no denying that. However, I think most of the young will eventually get jobs, marry and have kids, and all of that tends to have a sobering impact on most people who go through it. I also take comfort from the fate of the old Soviet Union: materialism as a philosophy of life is a bleak dead end. We do the materialism much better of course than the old Soviet Union, but I think most young people will eventually tire of the hook up culture and spending time in Mom’s basement playing video games. That, and the disasters that await in the Obama second term will doubtless cause more voters to desert his standard, which happened after his first term, although not quite enough to win the election for Mr. Romney.

  • In thinking about and watching outlets for comparison the other day, it occurs to me that Left-leaning and Right-leaning outlets approach coverage from entirely different places.

    Foxnews, for example, covers the highest interest stories, whether good for the favored political position or not. They spin the daylights out of the stories to be sure but the cover them. The MSM slants the stories too but they choose not to cover them as well.

    This seems to me to be the crucial difference and it may explain my observation that the Right has a far greter grasp of interconnected events. The Right knows what happened, even if their views is skewed. The Left very often hasn’t heard the story and, so, signs off discordant information as fictional.

  • “but I think most young people will eventually tire of the hook up culture and spending time in Mom’s basement playing video games.”

    Problem is, Donald, many of these “kids” are playing video games in Mom’s basement well into adulthood. That’s the big difference between and when we were growing up. Whatever flaws my parents may have had, the understood that making living at home as a young an attractive option was not a good one. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the house. Which was a big reason why I joined the Navy right after high school.

  • Problem is, Donald, many of these “kids” are playing video games in Mom’s basement well into adulthood. That’s the big difference between and when we were growing up. Whatever flaws my parents may have had, the understood that making living at home as a young an attractive option was not a good one. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the house. Which was a big reason why I joined the Navy right after high school.

    C’mon Greg. You are treating suburban practices adhered to ca. 1975 as if they were universal norms over time, space, and social strata. The evolution of housing costs, the distribution of earnings over age cohorts, and the physical vigor of the parents all influence people’s propensity to live at home, as do shifts in the manner in which different generations tend to interact and the precise emotional dynamics and physical properties of given domestic situations. My grandmother lived at home until she was 29, and not because she was in the least puerile. A friend of mine married an Australian bloke in 1984 and spent a number of years living there. It was quite unremarkable in that time and place for bachelor sons to live with their mothers. As long as the young are earning a living best they can, share in household chores, contribute to the mortgage and maintenance expenses to their ability, and avoid assaulting moral norms or sensibilities (by being blotto in front of their mother or fornicating the bedrooms of her house), you can be laconic about their living arrangements. The U.S. Navy currently has about 350,000 personnel. That amounts to about 17% of a single male cohort. It is not a solution for aught but a few.

  • True Greg. One of my friends came home from high school graduation and found his dad outside with his bags packed. He had been something of a hell raiser in high school, and I think both he and his father were ready to no longer live under the same roof. His dad told him he would drive him wherever he wanted to go, and he chose the Air Force recruiting office.

    Prolonged adolescence is a problem, although I think as the economy worsens, and I very much fear it will, I think sponging off Mom or Dad or both will become a less viable option as the parents increasingly have a hard time making ends meet.

  • Greg, I was 17 when I enlisted in 1987. San Diego for Boot and A School. Tin Can out of Norfolk – America Battlegroup.

    My life has been greatly blessed. God sent me to the Navy because I was a mess… A whiney little turd of a prima dona, convinced that my petty angst was significant. I went to college 4 years later on the GI Bill.

    The Master Chief gave our welcome, saying “If you boys give my Navy the respect she deserves, She will give you more in return than you deserve.”

    He was right in every way. These kids need to put down the controllers and do something, anything with their lives. God gave me to the Navy for 4 years and that has made all the difference.

  • By way of example in our own time:

    1. Much of the domestic housing stock was constructed with larger households that we have in mind

    2. The young are weighed down with student loan debt. Not as severe a problem in 1975 and not much of a problem at all in 1950.

  • His dad told him he would drive him wherever he wanted to go, and he chose the Air Force recruiting office.

    That’s nice. My father was an Air Force veteran, and wanted me in ‘the Service’. There were a couple of impediments.

    I recently had a flip through an edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States published in 1969 or 1970. They had some interesting statistics on military recruitment and service histories of various age cohorts. Military service was modal even for those too young to serve during the 2d World War. The service histories of the cohorts born during the years running from 1930 through 1938 are as follows:

    55% Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines
    9% National Guard or Reserves
    12% No service, NOS
    24% disqualified on various grounds, predominantly medical.

    The was simply not an option for a great many, for reasons they could do nothing about (including me). That was true when they were Hoovering up every young man in sight. It is even more true today.

    Prolonged adolescence is a problem, although I think as the economy worsens, and I very much fear it will, I think sponging off Mom or Dad or both will become a less viable option as the parents increasingly have a hard time making ends meet.

  • Again, one reason prolonged adolescence is a problem is the wretched hypertrophy of higher education and the rot of secondary education. That is a problem for those in late middle age to address. God forbid any vested interests be offended or any elected official have the least imagination.

  • “The was simply not an option for a great many, for reasons they could do nothing about (including me).”

    I had a friend whose father served as a fighter pilot in World War II. He wanted to stay in the Army Air Corps after the War but he was told his eyesight was too bad. During the Korean War he was recalled to active duty by the Air Force flying fighter jets. After the war he was promptly tossed out again on the grounds of bad eyesight!

  • Excuse me, but so what? What would your friend’s father have done had the Air Force recruiters told him he did not qualify? He could have tossed him out on the street, I suppose, but that is a strange way of dealing with your 18 year old son (as opposed to a 21 year old son who misbehaves chronically and cannot keep a job).

    Macroeconomic problems are what they are and do constrain the options of the young. Also, all decisions are made prospectively. The young have to make decisions with the past they have, not the past you think they ought to have (really, we all do). It just does not do to go about assuming they are operating in bad faith (“sponging”) and that with a little toughlove everything will work out well. Some of them might benefit from being dealt with severely and some of them not.

  • By the way, G-Veg, The video game enthusiasts I know best are ages 30, 30, and 52. All are married. All are employed in occupations requiring considerable technical skill. One has post adolescent children in their early and middle 20s. The other two have a newborn. One of the fellows killed along side Ambassador Stevens was a video game enthusiast. (It is a hobby I do not cotton to myself).

  • “Excuse me, but so what? What would your friend’s father have done had the Air Force recruiters told him he did not qualify?”

    My friend would have found a job Art, as countless generations of young men before him found jobs. It probably would have been a lowly job but in time he would have worked his way into better jobs. I had a job washing dishes at night, and scrubbing the kitchen floor once a week, all while I was going through High School and at a $1.50 an hour I saved $3,000 dollars for college. Sheesh, today we make the simplest things complicated.

  • “All are married. All are employed in occupations requiring considerable technical skill.”

    I play games virtually every night Art. The problem is not the games but that too many of the young do that or similar activities instead of obtaining full time employment and sponge off their parents while doing so.

  • Art Deco, Your responses seen visceral. If I offended, I am sorry.

    My point was only this: military service is, for many, a safe place to come of age. I do ot think my experience is unusual and I commend it to those who lack the resources and/or the wherewithal to move out and on there own after high school.

    With regards to my slight at Gamers… It is a subjet to which I have not given much thought. My reference is the use of steriotype with no evidence of the validity of tt steriotype. I therefore beg that I should be permitted to take it back.

  • My friend would have found a job Art, as countless generations of young men before him found jobs. It probably would have been a lowly job but in time he would have worked his way into better jobs. I had a job washing dishes at night, and scrubbing the kitchen floor once a week, all while I was going through High School and at a $1.50 an hour I saved $3,000 dollars for college. Sheesh, today we make the simplest things complicated.

    Then what is the point of his father making a show of tossing him out of the house on the day he completes high school? A youngster finding work, setting aside the funds for a security deposit, finding a roommate, &c. is a banal story; it occurs routinely then as now, though a somewhat higher percentage than was once the case attend one or another sort of tertiary institution (as often as not a community college) full time or fitfully. A middle aged man packing his son’s bags the third week of June and preparing to dump him at a bus station (or on the side of the road) is…atypical. That’s why you told the story.

    There is nothing complicated about it, I did not assert there was anything complicated about it, and you know it. We have, however, acquired some chronic problems with the labor market in recent years which have a more severe impact on younger workers. That is too bad. Some of the young are punks and some are just having problems in living. There were punks back in 1975 as well. Youth unemployment was less severe but then again, crime was more severe. Take your pick. I do not see in the social statistics that behavior of youth has deteriorated to such a degree that it justifies pompous or gaseous admonitions from third parties.

    G-Veg, there is nothing visceral about my response. I just have very little patience with people substituting the issue of their imagination for social reality. The young could improve in various ways. Big deal. I was around in 1975 and in 1987 and have no recollection of these can-do youth who can teach today’s young a thing or two. I just remember people getting by and the usual run of shabby characters along with them. It is not always thus. I do not think any set of young adult cohorts compares well with my parents’ contemporaries. My parents contemporaries are now octogenarians. Most I know are not particularly opinionated about their grand-children.

  • C-Veg, I went through boot camp at San Diego from Febto April of 1985. Went to BT A-School in Great Lakes. Spent two and a half years on the Dubuque, reported onboard the day it arrived in it’s new homeport in Sasebo, Japan. Then spent another two and a half years on a tin can USS Robison (DDG-12).

    Although I didn’t think it at the time, the Navy gave me more in return. I landed a decent job working for the Navy after I got out. Got to see a lot of the world…maybe a little more than I should have.

  • In the rural area where I live three-generation households are and always have been the norm. Virtually all my own forebears were born, lived and died in the same house.

    It is very common to find men farming in partnership with their sons – sons who have never left home and the same thing is true of many small local businesses.

  • “Then what is the point of his father making a show of tossing him out of the house on the day he completes high school?”

    Perhaps Art that now he was a man and needed to find his own way in the World? What a revolutionary concept in today’s World thirty-seven years later!

  • Art Deco – I very much agree with you that characterizations of whole generations is a losing proposition. My generation are supposedly the selfish Reagan generation – consumed with greed. We grew upr at the end of the ColdWar, after the tumultous Sixties and Early Seventies. Are we thus? Or, asked a better way, is a large enough percentage thus that we can be lumped together that way?

    I suppose there are experiences that shape a generation. The Greatest Generation and those who lived through the Great Depression came of age during a time of great trial. Experience had to leave its mark. But, did that make them great? By what measure?

    My children are virtually blind to race. That isn’t my doing. The world they are geowing up in is intolerant of racism and, so, they don’t know a single Polish joke and wouldn’t have any context for it if they heard one. My Grandfather, a poor North Carolina farmer, was not overtly racist but he had a clear understanding that God did not intend the races to mingle. He literally had a farm on the opposite side of the tracks from a black neighborhood. (“Neighborhood” in rural NC usually meant houses stretching up the road without cross streets.). He got his sodas and such from a little store with some “nicer nigra folks” and, when my cousins and I worked on his farm during the summers, he had no problem sitting on the store’s porch, shooting the shit with blacks… But there was a caveat, they stayed on their side of the tracks.

    Was his generation the Greatest Generation? Depends on the measure. He was my grandfather though and, thoguh very human and deeply flawed, I remember him fondly.

    Your father’s generation is highly esteemed in your eyes and that is as it should be because we are supposed to look fondly back at our families. But I suspect you are talking about the person, not the generation.

    With regards to the generation of workers entering the workforce now, I get more than a little agitated as management training courses on how to handle their differences. I don’t see it on the ground. One new hire will fit well with our team and give it all they have. Another will sit on their ass and wait for direct instruction for everything. Same generation, different people.

    I try to take everyone where I find them, hence my embarrassment at applying the steriotype of the “Gamer” to the discussion. I agree with you but I wouldn’t carve out a special place in your argument for the “Greatest Generation.” I would just acknowledge that your father was a great man.

  • You are evading the question. If the Air Force gambit failed, what was plan B? Somehow, I think leaving your kid at a bus station with no legal address is not a conduit to improving his chances of actually finding work (which was proportionately more plentiful in 1975 than is the case today).

    And you all keep ignoring the 80% of youngsters who actually are employed. It is a reasonable supposition that the unemployed population differs from the remainder on average, and in ways that indicate they are more problematic. However, you did not see a trebling of youth unemployment rates in the last six years due to a sudden outbreak of laziness, any more than that was the case in the far more rugged society of 1930.

  • “You are evading the question.”

    I’ve answered the question Art and you didn’t like the answer. My friend was able bodied and of more than normal intelligence. He would have found no difficulty finding employment so long as he was willing to, what is that quaint four letter word?, work.

  • Greg – USS Ainsworth, FF-1090, Sonar Technician.

    The key thing that I got from the Navy was a better understanding if the direct relationship between what I did and how things went. On-board, everything that you do privately is immediately known widely and is magnified. Every screwup comes around againa and again and it forces an awareness that your actions are intimately connected to others’ wellbeing. For example, on thes second midnight watch of the second day across the Med, I broke the coffee pot. It wasn’t my fault – in the sense that the ship took a roll and it smashed against a bulkhead – but breakingit meant that my section had to go to the Mess Decks to get coffee. 37 men irritated at you for nearly 3 weeks because their coffee tastes like shit and is cold before they can get back to their station gets your attention I can tell you. (The lines were barely tightened in Naples before I sprinted off to find a new coffee pot.)

    The military isn’t for everyone and I’m not advocating for a draft but it has got to be better than being unemployed or underemployed, living with one’s folks because you have to rather than because you want to, waiting for adulthood to start. It seems to me from the outside, for I haven’t personally experienced it, that lingering childhood is bad for people because they lose precious time and development takes an hiatus. That can’t be a good thing and, while I was wrong to use the stereotype, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that young people in that place would be better to get up and out than to stay there.

  • I love you, Mac.

    Media lies won’t save lost youth and assorted others that will suffer the end of the republic.

    Add public school indoctrination and progressive propaganda disguised as college/university “scholarship”, and the sordid, cesspool culture to media propaganda to tote the sum causes of their impending doom.

    “Let’s see how we do in 14 and 16.”

    You’re an optimist. What of anything that we hold dear will survive into 2014 or 2016?

    Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.

  • “What of anything that we hold dear will survive into 2014 or 2016?”

    The Faith, my family, my country and TAC! What else could I reasonably ask for?

  • Mac,

    Your “Faith, family and TAC”: Yes.

    Your “country”: Maybe.

  • Ah, the US will always remain for me T.Shaw, no matter what the fools and villains currently in power do.

  • I’ve answered the question Art and you didn’t like the answer.

    No, your answer is sanctimonious and and fundamentally non-responsive. You are assuming the young in question are indifferent to employment, and, indubitably, some are. In the circumstances we face, most are experiencing elongated periods between jobs because of sclerosis in the labor market. It is the situation, although they may have more trouble coping than do others due to personal failings which would not have been decisive in better circumstances. Many live at home because of a large overhang of student loan debt. Some of them play video games in their spare time, some do not. Some might be candidates for military service, most not.

    The young today are less likely to be criminal and less likely to be welfare dependent than was the case 37 years ago. They are more likely to have elongated periods of unemployment, unsustainable debt, and to adhere to corrupt and shabby notions with regard to sex and family life. As for the last, they are farther down a slope the society as a whole started rolling down around about 1958. As for the debt, they did not build our wretched educational system, they have just had to navigate within it. As for the first, the younger cohorts were not the ones who slashed mortgage lenders underwriting standards or bid up the price of real estate to ludicrous levels. They just have to navigate through the detritus of that.

    The old always have something to teach the young. They usually cannot, in our own time, point to their own youth for positive examples.

  • “No, your answer is sanctimonious and and fundamentally non-responsive.”

    No my answer was factually correct and not to your liking. Even in this pig of an economy the fast food places around here are always seeking new workers and there is a reason for that. Too many people simply do not believe they have to work at jobs they think are beneath them, and too many of the parents of these individuals subsidize this attitude.

  • The conversation in this thread is now far removed from the subject matter of the post. I would kindly ask that folks move on.

  • Your father’s generation is highly esteemed in your eyes and that is as it should be because we are supposed to look fondly back at our families. But I suspect you are talking about the person, not the generation.

    Nope, I am talking about the run of men and women in his social circle at each stage of his life and the medians and means of behavior you can observe through examining social statistics. About him and him and me, some other time.

  • As far as every screw up being magnified aboard ship is something I know only all too well. I had my share of screwups during my days in the fleet and paid dearly for them. I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker in my Navy days. I’m more of one know. But my recollection was that if the lifer juice DIDN’T taste like crap somehting was wrong.

    Oh, and one last thing C-Veg, there are only two types of sailors Snipes and Passengers!

I Am Shocked, Shocked!

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

10 Responses to I Am Shocked, Shocked!

  • So,

    Who’s the governor and who controls the legislature? The sad thing is they didn’t need to cheat. I don’t think the Dems had 300k phony ballots although you never know. Do Nothing Casey won by a huge margin. He had the magic letter D by his name. The GOP Senate hopefuls across the country ran far behind Romney. They were about as popular as ants at a picnic.

  • My gut tells me that this election was rigged. If that makes me sound like a nut, that’s ok, I’ll take the hit. I refuse to believe that Romney got less votes than John McCain who was a weak candidate who ran a weak campaign. His votes either went down a rabbit’s hole or they flipped enough votes for Obama to “win.”

  • Siobhan,

    I think many Repubs stayed home. The Dems made many phone calls and mailings calls I believe concerning religious affiliaition and anyway many Repubs were not going to vote for another RINO as they saw it. This was known as a potential issue from last year. It happened. Not discounting massive cheating but a 2.5 million ballot difference is quite a lot.

  • “2.5 million ballot difference is quite a lot.”

    they think big don’t they! I agree with Siobahn. I don’t know how exactly, but that is my gut feeling too.

    Also I have always wondered why the Repub officials in Iowa couldn’t bring themselves to come to a Santorum victory count– what was up with that? I think the R muckety mucks always wanted Romney

  • Folks,

    Sorry but this is just evasion to not grapple with what happened. There is 10% unemployment (really) with another 10% underemployed. There is declining income, a shrinking workforce, an unpopular healthcare bill, EPA attacks on coal and oil, an impending debt crisis and a northeastern Repub moderate can’t obliterate the incumbent in PA, NH, OH, MI, WI and MN?? It should have been a wipeout but not a single poll ever indicated that, even Rasmussen and Gallup. Also how do you explain the even more miserable performance of the Senate candidates? If the national vote difference was a couple hundred thousand I would agree it was stolen. Here in VA I saw how efficient the Dems were in getting out their vote. They were a sullen and morose bunch but they went and pushed the D. The Repubs voter efforts were a joke by comparison.

  • I agree with you Rozin, with Mr McClarey, with the idea that a significant part of the electorate is seriously deficient in critical thinking skills, and with 50 years of liberal media suasion– and with Siobahn. I’m voting “all of the above”.

  • 1. The ‘new MS’ electronic machines that needed rebooting to begin etc.
    2. Where were those machines discovered that wouldn’t read R votes, only D?
    3. The vehement opposition to Voters showing ID’s. (Galls me)
    4. Murals of O in some polling place, I saw a report.
    5. How could the great numbers of people at Mitt Romney rallies compared to the numbers at O rallies have not voted?
    6. The popular vote is not so far off, considering the relationship of the admin to numbers, greed, and honesty.
    7. The admin’s overexercise of influence on media probably happened with areas of voting and incompetent workers.
    8. Nothing honorable or trustworthy about admin as precedent to believe this operation of 11/6 was properly done.
    9. Why aren’t the results more widely published for we the people?

  • Rozin, I hear what you’re saying, but I can’t get pass the fact that Romney and Ryan appeared so confident of victory to the point that Romney didn’t even prepare a concession speech. Maybe they were just good actors and maybe Romney was done in by hubris, but what about Michael Barone – the best analyst in the business. How could he be so off? The polls all showed a tight race, but they also showed that the enthusiasm was clearly with the people who wanted Obama gone. I know it can never be proven, but it just doesn’t add up.

    Here’s something interesting from The Ulsterman Report. Yes, I’m aware that we have to be careful with sites like this, but he does make some interesting points.

    http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/11/07/data-points-to-a-powerful-romney-campaign-and-yet-he-lost/

  • Siobhan

    Go look at the Drudge Report and the “Romney shellshocked” link. They got the polls saying that Dem turnout would be high but they didn’t believe them. I said that the Dems I saw voting looked totally depressed but they had been pushed to the polls. The Dems didn’t bother pushing them to the rallies. Very smart.

  • Pennsylvania and Ohio have GOP governors. PA Governor Corbett – when he was attorney sought and convicted a LOT of Democrat state legislators. He could have done something about Philly voter fraud. Kasich, the Ohio governor, and a native of the Pittsburgh area (McKees Rocks) could have done something about the Cleveland fraud.

    What did they do? Nothing much.

It’s All The Social Conservatives Fault!

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

I really, really wish I were joking about the title, but I’ve actually heard several folks seriously suggest this.  (Hugh Hewitt show had a co-host/guest suggest “dropping the abortion issue,” for example—thankfully, Hugh pointed out that was…not a great idea.)

In a campaign where social issues were not focused on, where the SoCon vote was assumed, where the entire point would be “It’s the economy, stupid” and our turnout dropped hugely… we should really ditch these social conservatives entirely and try to peel off some Democrat voters.  I was one of the folks that was saying at the beginning that we could not just assume we’d get our own base and that all we needed was to go after other groups, though I—like many others—thought that things were obviously bad enough that maybe the base could be taken for granted.

We tried the “shut up about social issues, focus on the financial short-term disaster.”   Shock shock, it didn’t work.  The “of course” votes didn’t show up, as best we can tell at this early of a time.  Of course there was fraud and probably voter suppression, but we knew from the start that we’d have to win so big that they couldn’t cheat.

I know the thinking Libertarians believe that Social Issues hurt us, and if we’d just drop them it would improve—but they ignore that if you let people do all the stupid stuff they immaturely desire, they are going to want to be saved by someone else.  (I’m ignoring the sub-group of thinking Libertarians that thinks having children at is a “personal choice” with no serious effect on the future of society, and mostly only something that ‘women want while they leach off men.’  I wish that last part was not a very slight paraphrase.)  Of course, thinking Libertarians think social issues hurt because when thinking Libertarians recognize the cause and effect of libertine personal actions in creating demand for a leech-State, they become at least isolationist conservatives, rather than Libertarians.  But I’m digressing.

So, we tried assuming that the rah rah Abortion!! stuff on Obama’s side would be enough to 1) get half our base out, and 2) get them to vote for Romney.  Clearly, that was wrong.

We focused on the economy.  I think we did pretty well on that, considering that Obama and Co could lie their tails off about what we actually said.  (It’s a given, sadly.)

That makes me think that we maybe should’ve beat on the military side of things a bit more as well.  I  have friends who are still active duty who thought I was blowing smoke up their rears when I told them there was never a protest when the Ambassador was killed, when that was known just days after the attack.  (Power Line linked an interview in a UK paper that included quotes from the guys who were opening a hospital with the Ambassador; they were on the phone when the attack started, and there was no mention of a protest, which would’ve been a pretty big deal.)

So, we need to actually make our own case, try to win the base before we try to peel folks off, and probably improve our communication networks.  I’m going to work even harder on applying this in person—when someone says something incredibly untrue in person, I’m going to politely correct them.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable and socially awkward, but that is what the other side’s tactics depend on.  At some point, the drunk in the party has to be confronted.  We’re there and past.

This is going to be especially hard on religious people.  There are a lot of very nice people who…well… voted for Obama because that’s what “nice” people do.  It’s never easy to stand up to family, no matter how wrong you know they’re being.

Continue reading...

25 Responses to It’s All The Social Conservatives Fault!

  • You know what, I agree that it is Social Conservative’s fault, but not in the way most people think. We have utterly failed to transform the culture. Jesus gave us the commision to “Go out and make disciples of all nations”. If we had been doing that, this whole debacle would never have happened. It is time to get off the sofa and get out there and evangelize. 50% of Catholics voted for Obama. That is disgusting and needs to change.

  • “Of course, thinking Libertarians think social issues hurt because when thinking Libertarians recognize the cause and effect of libertine personal actions in creating demand for a leech-State, they become at least isolationist conservatives, rather than Libertarians. But I’m digressing.”

    We call ourselves Ron Paul supporters, or as I also like, paleo-libertarians. It’s just the Old Right.

    But to be clear: we are not “isolationist.” 18th century Japan was isolationist. 18th century America under the leadership of the founders was non-interventionist, foreign and domestic. Meaning the federal government stays out of both the lives of people living in other countries and the people living in this one as well. As for diplomacy and free trade, we are all for it, unlike isolationists, who aren’t. Along with Thomas Jefferson and Ron Paul, I also don’t object to the use of military force abroad if it is used to stop aggression against the U.S.

    I just think we’ve had the troops in the wrong parts of the world. They belong in the narco-terror state south of the border.

    It’s all a digression from your main point, though, with which I agree. Good post. We won’t be driven into silence by “libertarians” who fail to understand the connection between strong families and strong economies, or who blindly give into the demands of the totalitarian homosexualist movement.

  • We call ourselves Ron Paul supporters, or as I also like, paleo-libertarians. It’s just the Old Right.

    Roughly what the other Thinking Libertarians say as their evidence for why you’re not Libertarians…probably doesn’t help that they also exile the unthinking type college libertarians?
    (It’s a bit like the issue with children and abortion and such– a sizable chunk of the TLs want the woman to be responsible for their own and the man’s “fun,” with children being non-beings without rights or responsibilities. Yes, it’s all male, that I’ve spoken to. Most annoying thing about Ricochet….)

    Glad you like the broader point, though.

    I wonder what the effect of “GOProud” and those idiots that tried to claim the TEA party was all about ditching social issues had on turn out….

  • Well I suppose all the “smart people” will tell us that Santorum can’t be that guy next time because he has too much baggage. Why we should listen to them I have no idea, but I think building off what he did in the primary would be a big advantage and he’ll have surely learned alot about how to get his message across.

    Again the “Smart People” will tell us that women still hate him, but I can’t see how we can truly get less women than Romney got and Santorum is much more attractive to the base and to middle class and to the hispanic community than Romney was.

    Too bad the Smart People will tell us he can’t win, like they told us Romney could.

  • I would never support Rick Santorum in a GOP primary. If he somehow won a GOP primary to become a presidential candidate, I still wouldn’t vote for him. At that point I would simply not vote or vote 3rd party. He is explicitly pro-war and would bankrupt this country through military adventurism.

  • “He is explicitly pro-war”? Parrot Ron Paul much?

  • Do you think it’s time that the Christian Conservatives just say the heck with both parties and form their own? Perhaps with people like Sarah Palin and Allen West leading the way? They certainly have the charisma to jump start it. In hindsight, during the primaries, Romney was much tougher on Santorum and Gingrich than he was on Obama. There seemed to be a deliberate effort to exclude the socons from political influence which has turned the GOP into democrat lite – so what’s the real difference? The people need to have a party that truely speaks for them and their beliefs with no compromise on the moral/social issues.

  • My only option is Rand Paul. He isn’t completely anti-war (neither am I), but at least he understands that fiscal conservatism is incompatible with Wilsonian idealist adventurism abroad. He is also a social conservative, opposing abortion and “gay marriage.” And of course he is his father’s son and would do as much as he could to dismantle the intrusive federal bureaucracy that is attempting to take total control of our lives.

    Yes, I “parrot” Ron Paul, but only because he parrots the founding fathers as well as the greatest economic minds of the 20th century.

  • There is such a party. It’s called the Constitution Party. Here is its platform: http://www.constitution-party.net/party_platform.php

    BTW, here is a link to Rick Santorum on the issues. He is a hard right Conservative. But he isn’t a war monger.
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Rick_Santorum.htm

  • Such a party would ensure overwhelming Democrat political domination for the next generation and cause the enactment of social policies in every state diametrically opposed to the beliefs of social conservatives. There are precious few Democrats who are social conservatives who would join such a party and such a party would need to have stands on all the issues which would quickly lead to the same sorts of divisions that currently exist in the Republican party on economic and foreign policy isssues. For myself, I am a plain old conservative: economic, foreign policy and social.

  • Paul P,

    I deleted the offensive portion of my comment and your reply to it. I went too far, I acknowledge that.

  • David Frum was singing the same song – the Republicans need more social diversity – after the 2008 elections, and I am sure his clones would do the same now. Giving them credence will bring death to the Republicans, for at the bottom what animates most of these social libertarians is a hatred of Christianity.

  • Here’s a must-read for conservatives. (Paulists probably don’t need to bother)

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/333010/election-and-right-yuval-levin#

  • I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.

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  • Daisy observed the following, “I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.”

    If the GOP abandons its support for the life of the unborn child or for traditional marriage between one man and one woman, then I will vote for a third party such as the Constitution Party. We should no longer put our trust in the princes of this world. Furthermore, I do not think that it matters any longer who wins because the culture has become so thoroughly pagan and hedonistic that nothing save utter catastrophe can reverse things. That was the case in ancient Israel and Judah, and we are seeing history repeating itself again.

    Now there are others here at TAC who are far more optimistic than I and believe that we can salvage something using the political process. I pray that those individuals are correct and I incorrect. But after seeing the filthy advertisements on national TV and on the internet that the Democrats ran (a girl saying that voting for the first time is like having sex for the first time, so do it with the right guy – Obama), the general rot and refuse on popular TV, the barbaric body piercings young and old alike sport in public places, and all the other disguting stuff, I am convinced that short of the miracle of God’s grace, we as a nation are headed towards the fall that we so richly deserve. Popular entertainment TV shows like the Mentalist or Castle or Elementary that show dominate women and weak men as a norm to be emulated are merely symptoms of a decay that has long progressed into terminal cancer, except the patient isn’t aware he will die because he is feeling no pain. This exists all over, so when Obama runs his war on women theme, he wins – either people don’t care, or people do care and support him.

    Nope, I won’t support the GOP if it gives up on social conservativism. And if the country goes to hades as Israel and Judah did, then that too is a part of God’s plan. Viva Cristo Rey! The persecution the Cristeros faced will be repeated.

  • I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.

    Probably by the same folks that urged the “don’t talk about it” tactic for this election….

    Paul: watch something else! Good heavens, Warehouse 13 manages to have a very masculine guy… he acts like a goofball, and then goes and is utterly awesome nearly every episode. *grin* Need more decent, upbeat goofballs.

    Sure, TV sucks. Seems like it always has…..

  • Love WHSE 13, Foxfier. Usually watch the Science Channel, though, or H2.

  • I know the thinking Libertarians believe that Social Issues hurt us, and if we’d just drop them it would improve…
    –Foxfier

    If only those TLs (thinking Libertarians) could explain why the Libertarian “no social issues here” Party vote didn’t crack 1% of the total vote despite the millions of voters unhappy with Social Issues talk.

    P.S. When I remind TLs that the Democrat party is chock full of its own Social Issues agendas, they suddenly want to change the subject.

  • The Democrats always bring up their social issues. Abortion (strike that, it’s the right to choose, but they never finish the sentence), gay marriage, etc.

    Romney did not get involved in social issues and it is still the social conservatives’ fault Romney lost. Yeah, right. I heard Ann Coulter thinks this. Coulter can pound sand.

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  • If the news outlets would quit pretending the 400,000 marchers in DC didn’t exist…

The Road Back

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

 

 

About one day of being depressed over the election results is as much as I can stomach.  Here are some practical suggestions for electoral comeback:

1.  Professionalism-The Democrats and their campaign staffs approach politics as a business, if not a war.  Republicans have for far too long tolerated well-meaning amateurism as a substitute for professional competence in politics.  Politics is a job like any other, and professional staffs can help take a lot of the ineffectiveness and clumsiness out of our campaigns.

2.  The Mainstream Media are an Arm of the Democrat Party-Republicans often react with shock and helplessness when they learn for the millionth time that most of the Mainstream Media owe their entire allegiance to the left-wing of the Democrat party.  It is not a fact to bemoan, but one to accept and to plan for.  Attack the media constantly for its bias and have plans to go over the heads of the members of the media to reach the voters.

3.  Conservative and Proud-Too often conservatives act as if they are ashamed of being conservatives for fear of alienating voters.  This is a mistake.  Confident assertion of what a candidate believes in is the only honest and effective means to win votes.

4.  Leave no Attack Unanswered-Romney left unanswered a constant barrage of attacks against him, husbanding his resources for a media blitz in the final weeks.  The election results demonstrate what a mistake this was.

5.  Outreach to Minorities-The Republicans cannot win national elections when they lose 95% of the Black vote and two out of three Hispanic votes. Conservative groups among Blacks and Hispanics must receive large funding from the Republican party and not just in election years. We have many able Republican members of minority groups who can spearhead this effort.  This is not tokenism or racial spoils, but an effort to engage conservative members of minority groups in forging a movement that can convert and inspire all Americans for the benefit of the entire nation.

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49 Responses to The Road Back

  • Good points. I would like to bring up a thought for discussion about the professional /amateur politicians part.
    The word “amateur” has to do with love. Amateurs are lovers whether they are tennis players or oarents. The laity at church who volunteer to do the weekly reading, lead the Christmas pageants, sit on the school boards, town council– all amateurs.
    Some amateurs are more brilliant than others! George Washington for example, who was not a career politician, but a gentleman farmer who loved.
    if professional means hired hands with degrees and knowledge of marketing as qualifiers–I can see that– but first of all they should be amateurs– who love.

    If the republican party goes to decision makers who do not love the ideals that now signify the GOP they will have lost the most important thing. Those ideals are winning people over.
    Many people just beginning to trust the Republicans left the Democratic party (or it left us) over so called “social” issues. All issues are social. All issues come down to love (Deuteronomy)

  • I was thinking Anzlyne of staffers who actually know the nuts and bolts of politics: how to set up an effective get out the vote campaign for instance. If they are dedicated conservatives all the better, but for too long the Republican party in campaigns has tolerated truly reprehensible shoddy staff work.

  • The Romney Campaign website is a good example of your point Don. When Ryan was selected as his running mate, there was plenty of momentum because Ryan is an articulate and attractive guy… So my wife tells me anyway. However, a search by Ryan’s name didn’t bring you to the official campaign website. The first two pages of a Google search led to blogs and unrelated pages aince his name is common. Not so for the Dems since their official site was always first in search results by “Biden” and “Obama”.

    I looked into this and both of the IT folks I asked told me that a relatively minor expense would move the Romney sit up in the rankings if the campaign paid a provider to “hit on” the site with searches.

    Simple trick, not terribly costly, and not immoral…

    The GOP acts like the campaigns of yesteryear will suffice. They won’t and rewarding “loyal” rank-and-file with influential positions in campaigns is daft. Merit should be the primary consideration.

  • It’s just as important to recognize Trending Blue States as it is Trending Red States. The Repubs are increasingly playing a game of thread the needle. The results are obvious,

  • yes- I am for for efficient and effective! I guess underlying my worry was keeping the raison d’etre. There are no doubt things that can be learned and improved.. but remember why R attracted so many ex D (who after all see themselves as lovers!)

  • #2 – I read an article recently, maybe on Slate, about how the conservative alternate press has lost momentum. It developed in response to the mainstream press – talk radio, MRC, Fox News, et cetera. The left responded to online media critics with Media Matters-type organizations, who are critics of the conservative media. They converted MSNBC into a Fox News-type format. The “mainstream” press looks more mainstream when it’s got critics on the left and right, and the Confirmation Bias Left has a steady stream of material just like their counterparts on the Right.

    #5 – I was listening to Chris Corr’s radio show this morning. He opened it up to only Hispanic callers, asking them what the Republicans need to do to make inroads. The consensus seemed to be: amnesty. Not freebies, not something for nothing, but amnesty for those in the US.

    #8 – Libertarianism is cool among the kids. That’s a problem. At least when liberalism was cool, there was a sense of commitment to the common welfare. Now it’s social liberalism and fiscal conservatism – or, from a religious standpoint, selfishness. I worry that the cultural difference between the average kid and the evangelical kid makes it tough for the traditional moral code to find its way into the mainstream lexicon.

  • I probably have a more dystopian view of the nation now. Many of the items listed are items mentioned before the election, and many followed through on it. Result: Failure.

    My view is dystopian for the following reasons:

    1. A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills. They accept an argument at face value, e.g. “I have the right to choose,” and are unwilling or unable to delve into the argument any deeper. Too many live lives on the FM dial rather than AM. People laughed at Obama for doing interviews at all those pop culture outlets during a campaign. Turns out that was very wise because the content on those venues exhibits the depth of too many people’s thinking.

    BTW, I think this a challenge for the Church too. Understanding the Catholic position on some issues requires thinking… thinking deeply. I call Catholicism the “thinking man’s Christianity.” The others are very emotion driven, which is a close cousin to the FM society.

    So, for much of the recommended list to work requires a thinking society. And with a broken education system, this isn’t going to happen soon.

    2. The absence of a virtuous society. Much of America is self-serving and obsessed with convenient and expedient solutions. “What’s in it for me? And, don’t bug me about getting it done or its costs.” This runs against the grain of conservatism because it sometimes requires giving up personal gain. It requires evaluating worthiness of solutions, weighing the costs with the benefit. To the FM society, this is selfless, laborious and too time consuming. Just give out free birth control if someone wants it. Done!

    This is a two edge sword for conservatives because while it cuts, it has also served the conservative argument on cutting taxes. The problem is many supported lower taxes because they saw what’s in for them, more money in their wallet. They did not support lower taxes because higher taxes represented a reduction of freedom and rise of government power or because it was a good economic argument that money in the private sector being more productive than money in the government.

    For an additional take on a virtuous society, watch the first 30 minutes of Bill Whittle’s video. I don’t quite get the remaining hour of it. A conservative’s Angies List maybe.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s02SypCcYIc&feature=g-user-u

    3. They don’t get “it” until it all comes to a grinding halt. I believe no argument is more persuasive than disaster. For example, no conservative speak enough hours on the dangers of terrorism and radical Islam and be as persuasive as 9/11. People simply don’t want to think about, deal with or having anything to do with issues until they see evidence of a problem that personally affects them. The debt could be $160 trillion, and the general populace will not care at all about it if day to day life is generally unaffected.

    There are more reasons for my view, but those are the top 3. I have personally tried recommended item #4. I have walked liberals through their arguments until it hits a brick wall and under normal conditions, they would have to change their mind. Any sense of reasonableness would cause the mind to change or at least request more time to think on the issue. But, they either go silent with no answer or resort back to their superficial argument, e.g. “People have a right to do what they want with their bodies.” And, they are not going to request more time to think on it. See my point #1 above.

    I think America will continue its re-uniting with Europe socially, politically, intellectually and culturally. American exceptionalism, altruism, personal responsibility and freedom as outlined in the Declaration will be relegated to the list of archaic notions.

  • I thought of my point 4. Still not in top 3, but a serious challenge to conservatives and the Church and a contributing factor to the top 2.

    4. The color of gray. Making good choices requires understanding there is a right and a wrong path. For too many, when they are unable to clearly understand issues fallback on the argument that nothing is really right or wrong. Everything is gray. People maybe get this way out of laziness or they are constantly being fed the hero/anti-hero line in pop culture.

    This spills over into politics. “Both parties are equally corrupt and have basically the same answers which neither will deliver on. No one party offers anything truly better than the other.” This is partially what feeds the third parties, especially with the confused youth of today. They embrace third party as a way to stay in the gray zone. It’s a comfortable place. And when the two major factions rip each other up and achieve nothing, they can say “Well, don’t blame me.” They never have to stick their neck out because the parties never have enough power to be in a position to take that risk.

  • Hogwash. I’m with you on the rest but third parties aren’t the result of looking for an easier intellectual path. Third parties tend to be very specific and directed towards a narrow concern that the major parties won’ address as radically as third party members want.

    Look at the Green Party. They did surprisingly well in local races around the country. (For the record, I don’t see the connection between the state and local entities and between the Greens in the states. They look like individual entities of loosely affiliated groups.) They argue that neither party is serious about environmental causes and they certainly look to have a point. There is no lack of specific proposals or specifically identified evils.

    I’m with you on the rest, but not on this last point.

  • Kyle Miller wrote in part, “A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills. They accept an argument at face value…”

    This is true not just of members of the general public, but sometimes even an otherwise quite erudite and well-informed blogger or two here at TAC. Example: a blogger wrote in a totally unrelated post something to the effect of the following, “Fukushima continues to threaten all life on Earth.” The statement is ludicrous at face value. Yet without any substantiating web links to reputable nuclear engineering and radiation protection sources, it was made.

    I use this not to get side-tracked about an irrelevant issue to the topic of this post, but to point out that even otherwise well-educated people sometimes lack the ability to apply their critical thinking skills when the topic involves something to which they may have an emotional attachment or on which they lack education, and that criticism which I am making applies very much to my own self (as most of you already know). I am guilty as charged.

    What all of us have to do is engage our brains before our mouths or our keyboards, and again I am guilty all too many times of failing to do that (hence Donald McClarey’s oft repeated warning to back off or calm down). We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be. That means using history as it is and not as it is re-written (a subject in which Donald is expert and I amm ignorant), and using real science (a subject about which I know a thing a two), not the false scientism of materialistic evolution or the anti-nuclear eco-wacko propaganda from those who haven’t spent a day of their lives working in a nuclear power plant (to refer again to my example).

    Only Truth matters whatever the subject or topic may be, and Truth is NOT a thing but a Person – the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

    OK, enough of my ranting.

  • KM lists 3 points

    1.A significant portion of the public has under developed critical thinking skills.

    When has this statement Not been true. Perhaps in the past people were less insulated from the consequences of bad choices and thus had more common sense. Take the McGovern $1000 grant. Even low info voters back then understood that this was ridiculous. Today they would say why not $10,000?

    The answer has to be figuring out a way to communicate the message (different than changing the message) to the low info voter. The problem is that Repubs have fecklessly allowed their microphone to be taken away and they never tried to get a new one. The Repub establishment really hates the alternative media as well so forget that

    2. The absence of a virtuous society.

    Again this is a relative thing although I think it’s on sounder ground. In such times there’s a feeling “that you have to grab it fast because you know it will not last.” Thus Obama’s advocacy of partial birth abortion is no big deal but some one-off statement from Mourdock or Akin is finis.

    3.They don’t get “it” until it all comes to a grinding halt.

    Again like #1 when has this Not been true. But Dems seem to able to convince voters that Repubs will take away their b/c pills although it never happens.

  • As far as outreach to minorities a couple of things need to be borne in mind. 10 Our appeal to hispanics and other minorities have have an inclusive tone in that we need to appeal to them as Americans, not as whatever hypen they have. All too often repulicans try to pander to Hispanics by defending illegal immigration, thinking that’s gonna get more Hispanic votes. All the while, the Democrats not only defend illegal immigration but also put them on the welfare dole.

    I have believed for a long time that the left will continue to play the race card so long as conservatives allow themselves to be intimidated by it. Conservative response to left race baiting is Pavlovian. I mean the response to Rick Perry owning a piece of property having the word “Niggerhead” written on a rock, should have been “So, what?” All the while it’s the left that are the real racists and need to be called out as such. It’s time to demonize the demons. They need to start running ads on how leftist policies victimize minorities, especially blacks.

    They need to put the correct back in political correctness.

  • Greg M. stated in part, “All the while it’s the left that are the real racists and need to be called out as such. It’s time to demonize the demons.”

    A truer statement has not been made. The left supports abortion that disproportionately murders more black babies percentage-wise. The left supports Planned Parenthood that started as a eugenics program against black people. The left is the Democratic Party which supported slavery 160 years agot. The left supports social welfare programs that keep minorities including black people dependent on the teat of the public treasury instead of being independent and self-supporting. The left is nothing but racist in all that it does.

  • I’m with you on the rest but third parties aren’t the result of looking for an easier intellectual path. Third parties tend to be very specific and directed towards a narrow concern that the major parties won’ address as radically as third party members want.

    I tried to carefully word that point because I knew there were people here with an affiliation with or affection for 3rd parties. So look at what I wrote… “This is partially what feeds the third parties,” I work with youth and every one of them that are third party are there for the reasons I stated. Third party adults are sometimes a different story.

    I realize there are third party members entirely because of other reasons. Addressing some of those reasons is another post.

    The Green Party didn’t do well in Texas. 😀

    We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be.

    True. But what do you do when someone is faced with every logical argument and there is simply no way out for the receiver to slip away from reason? “So, you see? The sun does rise in the east.” Response: “Yes we can!” (face palm)

    This mental stubbornness, this inability to take in new information and come to new conclusion, is where we are. And why the stubbornness? I used to think it’s a pride problem. It still is, but I think it’s mostly because truth threatens self-interest.

    Rozin,

    1. I mostly agree, but I think on average, America of the past was more reasoned, more rightly skeptical. Maybe I’m a romantic. Back then, information came at a slower pace. Decisions are formed by the intake of information and processed by reason and conscience. Today, there is more information coming at a faster pacer and with lots of noise. Combine this with unnurtured reason and a malformed conscience, and you have the recipe for making a bad decision. That’s what we have today.

    2. Why do you think people get more angry about a bad call by substitute refs vs. a president covering up a Libya debacle or (insert hot topic here)? I’ve seen more people get passionate about the NFL substitute refs than the long list of issues that really matter. These are people I never see show passion about anything. That’s just one example.

    3. I guess I should have specified “it” being truth or the consequences of bad decisions. The public buys propaganda for all the reasons I mentioned above, but that is not evidence of them getting “it.”

  • I largely agree with Rozin’s response. The Catholic emphasis should be on improving the morals of a population. Improving their thinking is more of an Enlightenment approach, and it’s not necessarily a winner.

    Kyle made a great point about tax cuts. It’s a Republican hallucination to think that everyone became a supply-sider in 1980. The truth is, they heard “taxes lower blah blah blah” and it made sense. Now they hear “someone else’s taxes blah blah” and it makes just as much sense. I made a comment earlier equating libertarianism and selfishness. I probably overstated it, but the idea is similar to Kyle’s. Morally, the idea of sexual license and low taxes isn’t much different from the idea of sexual license and raising other people’s taxes, unless the tax argument is grounded in a notion of human freedom. There is a legitimate libertarian instinct that’s compatible with Catholicism, too (nod to Bonchamps), but an immoral libertarianism doesn’t do anyone any good. This goes back to the morals vs. intellect question.

  • Pinky says The Catholic emphasis should be on improving the morals of a population. Improving their thinking is more of an Enlightenment approach, and it’s not necessarily a winner.

    Yes yes yes. Morals come first then critical thinking. Unmoored rationality seems to result in desperation and nihilism.

  • Kyle M. said in part, quoting me at the beginning, “‘We have to use logic – dispassionate reason – passionately. And we have to get the facts to the last decimal place if need be.’ True. But what do you do when someone is faced with every logical argument and there is simply no way out for the receiver to slip away from reason? ‘So, you see? The sun does rise in the east.’ Response: ‘Yes we can!’ (face palm)”

    Perhaps this is crude, cruel and crass, but sometimes people have to suffer and die as a consequence of their decisions and no amount of compassion and reason to the contrary can save them. This is exactly like the alcoholic who knows that he has a terminal disease for which there is no cure, and the only respite is complete abstinence and attendance at 12 Step meetings. To see what our society is like, go to the middle paragraph on PDF page 3 or physical page 32 here:

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

    Then go to PDF page 6 or physical page 35 and read Jim’s story that lasts until PDF page 8 or physical page 37. Jim is typical of the average person in our society that is drunk with sex and luxury.

    Now the example is alcoholism, but really, how is that any different from the sexual addiction that enslaves far too many people today? This is exactly what St. Paul wrote about in Romans chapter 7 when he was discussing our enslavement to sin and asked rhetorically who would deliver us from such bondage. The answer is Jesus – only God’s grace. That’s always the only answer. And when Bill Wilson wrote AA’s Big Book and used those examples which I cited above, I feel certain that he had St. Paul’s writing in mind.

    One cannot reason with a committed liberal progressive Democrat any more than one can reason with an alcoholic who hasn’t reached his bottom yet. I fear, however, in our case that the bottom will be a lot more painful than what an alcoholic has to reach before he goes into recovery – and some don’t make it that far. They die. My 2nd sponsor told me that some people have to die that others may live. We know that’s true – Deicide, Crucifixion of our Lord. That’s the reality. St. Paul knew that. So did Bill Wilson.

  • KM

    I think points 1 and 3 are converging with the idea of practical knowledge of action and consequence. No question that there was a better sense of that in the past. Maybe it will return in the near future.

  • MT 25:35-26 For I was…a stranger and you welcomed me.

    Full blown immigration welcoming is in order if the Republican Party is to survive. No way around that. As simple as that. Doesn’t Jesus command us to welcome the stranger anyways? And these strangers are practicing catholics to boot! Sheesh it seems like a no-brainer. Is having someone like Barrack Hussein Obama president worth not embracing the stranger wholeheartedly? Really?!? Can people sleep at night better thinking, well we might have Obama president but at least we haven’t given amnesty! Seriously?!

  • The GOP and conservatives DO welcome immigrants. So much so that we wouldn’t find ourselves being absurdly unfair to people who come here legally at great personal expense by turning a blind eye to people who simply cross the border.

    Anyway, you are confusing precepts of personal morality with national policy, and meanness with concern for the cultural, fiscal, and territorial integrity of the United States. Mass illegal immigration is not sustainable, and it isn’t desirable. By all means be kind to the people you meet in your daily life. But as a matter of policy, support the survival of your country and the rule of law. Catholics don’t get a free pass to do whatever they want from other Catholics.

  • I’ve had to delete and rewrite so many times because this is a very educated blog and I didn’t want to go all uneducated on ya’ll but they’re so many things wrong with what you say that I feel the need to reply something, so I’ll just bare bone it:

    Opening Thesis:

    Option A: Godless elite leading America= not good

    Option B: God-fearing servants leading America= very good

    Body:

    Option A will remain if it continues to get elected.

    Option B must take up cross, trust in the LORD, embrace the stranger and get e-l-e-c-t-e-d

    Conclusion:

    The LORD will Bless land with people who trust in him with option B leadership.
    The LORD will have a harder time helping land that falls further into abomination with the help of option A leadership.

    Bonus:

    Legal immigration is a total nightmare to go through. You can’t imagine how hard it is to want to do things right but having the hardest time trying to do so.

  • It IS sustainable to embrace the stranger because the LORD blesses you!

    E.G.; Heartland Draws Hispanics to Help Revive Small Towns
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443696604577645500654098514.html

    Check out this rant by a liberal fearing Rep Governor Susana Martinez in 2016:
    http://frankwu.livejournal.com/384100.html

    Now re-evaluate Susana Martinez’s GOP convention speech:

  • Well, I’m glad you opted for a logical argument.

    I would quibble semantically with “Option B.” I don’t side with the GOP because it is “God fearing.” George W. Bush was supposedly God-fearing, but he did little to solve the deep structural problems of this country. I salute his pro-life efforts, quite a bit was accomplished, but on foreign policy and/or immigration he was as horrendous as any of his Democratic predecessors from Clinton down through LBJ and as far back as Woodrow Wilson.

    On the other hand, Rand Paul doesn’t strike me as particularly “God fearing” though I imagine he is a believer of some kind. He is pro-life and pro-marriage for many of the same reasons I am: reasons that are almost entirely secular. He’s my choice for 2016 and the day he announces his candidacy is the day I join the campaign.

    I reject the notion that you have a pipeline to the LORD, through which he communicates to you his party and policy preferences. Unless you can point out some precept of the natural law or divine law that forbids the establishment of territorial boundaries or laws that regulate the flow of people through those boundaries, you really have no argument to make. “Welcome the stranger” does not necessarily or likely mean “open the borders, dole out billions in welfare and benefits to non-citizens who send most of their income abroad in the form of remittances, and fail to demand linguistic and cultural assimilation.” This punishes the citizen who pays taxes and the legal immigrant who waited in line. I don’t see anything particularly moral about that.

    Just be honest, at least. Stop hiding behind “the LORD” and tell the truth: you want the GOP to radically alter its policies to appease emotional demands for votes. If you think that’s a viable strategy, fine. I think it stinks.

  • “It IS sustainable to embrace the stranger”

    This is semantic B.S. To identify your policy preferences with the moral precept of “embracing the stranger” is illogical and dishonest. I do welcome strangers in my midst. What I don’t embrace are policies that will destroy my country.

  • Long time reader, first time commenter. I have to admit I read sites like this just as people rubberneck after a car crash. The complete lack of self-awareness among you people is fun to read, and many of you would meet Hegel’s definition of a “beautiful soul”: people too caught up with principle to fully engage the world. I don’t believe I have to elaborate, but I think sooner or later the people who pay the bills for your quixotic crusades are going to make all of your change your tune, even so they can just get their money’s worth:

    http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/11/quote-day-americas-billionaires-are-pissed-karl-rove

    And pace what everyone has said here, that is going to mean getting down from your hobby horses and outright lying. After all, that’s what Obama does, which is why I voted Green. It’s all just smoke and mirrors, and until the GOP embraces that, they are going to have their asses handed to them. I can say this because I live in a solid Red State. Trust me, this ain’t the future, and if it is the future, there is no hope for humanity. (There might be no hope anyway, but this path is particularly dismal.)

    Then again, you can double-down on your fundamentalisms on human reproductive parts and natural law theories (basically marrying God and Mammon), but that would only remind me of fellow commie Bertolt Brecht’s poem written after the first anti-Stalinist uprising in 1953:

    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  • Of your Responses I read, few are pointing out the Will of God in what has just happened to your beloved Country. Can someone dig into this and explain what God is telling America. Of special interest to us who have been praying for you is: what is He telling the Bride of Christ in America???? If we can discern His message here, we can begin to know what He wants us all to do. Remember, nothing happens without His Will and Permission, even the Evil things like this Disaster of epic proportions which has just befallen the U.S. of America

  • “Long time reader, first time commenter. I have to admit I read sites like this just as people rubberneck after a car crash. The complete lack of self-awareness among you people is fun to read, and many of you would meet Hegel’s definition of a “beautiful soul”: people too caught up with principle to fully engage the world. I don’t believe I have to elaborate, but I think sooner or later the people who pay the bills for your quixotic crusades are going to make all of your change your tune, even so they can just get their money’s worth:”

    No one gives us a dime. We are all unpaid volunteers, so that means we can engage in our “quixotic crusade” forever.

    “And pace what everyone has said here, that is going to mean getting down from your hobby horses and outright lying.”

    What lying?

    “After all, that’s what Obama does, which is why I voted Green.”

    Well, that means that you are a far left zealot undisguised which gives you a point for honesty if not for judgment.

    “Trust me, this ain’t the future,”
    Leftists have such a charming, albeit completely erroneous, belief in their ability to discern the future as they completely misunderstand and misinterpret both the present and the past.

    “Then again, you can double-down on your fundamentalisms on human reproductive parts”
    The sacredness of innocent human life is a concept as foreign to you as algebra is to an albatross isn’t it?

    “and natural law theories”
    I doubt if you could define natural law if your soul depended upon it and wikipedia is of no assistance whatsoever.

    ” After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?”

    I have always liked that poem. Then I recall that initially Brecht supported the measures to crush the protests implemented by the East German regime, and any disgust he felt thereafter never caused him to give up his status as a “kept intellectual” of the regime. He thought he saw the future in East Germany and thank the God in which Brecht did not believe that he was wrong about that also.

  • “I doubt if you could define natural law if your soul depended upon it”

    Oh, he can. It just makes him all the more culpable.

  • [email protected]

    Recall that, through Jeremiah, God twice calls Nebuchadnezzer “My servant” (Jer 27:6, 43:10) and through Isaiah, he calls Cyrus “My servant” and “His anointed” (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1). Whether they knew it or not, they were God’s instruments, fulfilling His hidden purposes.

    St Augustine explains, “But God, just as He is the supremely good Creator of good natures, so He is the most just exploiter of evil wills; so that, while they make an bad use of good natures, He makes a good use even of evil wills.” (my translation – Sed Deus sicut naturarum bonarum optimus creator est, ita malarum uoluntatum iustissimus ordinator; ut, cum illae male utuntur naturis bonis, ipse bene utatur etiam uoluntatibus malis) [De Civ Dei, XI, 17]

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  • I don’t want to have to argue with you people, since it ruins the entertainment value of reading. but my understanding of the natural law flows from the pithy scholastic axiom: operatio esse sequitur. That is: action follows from being. In the sexual realm, one could say that “Tab A enters Slot B”. A thing must act according to its being. Humans’ ultimate end is God (homo capax Dei), but they could only achieve that end through grace, though grace builds on “nature” but doesn’t do violence to it (gratia perficit et non tollit naturam). Theologians, riffing off of Aristotle, thus began to conceive of “natural ends” to human endeavors: natural hierarchies between classes, sexes, races, etc. Ultimately, these ends were accepted in a fallen, unredeemed cosmos as absolute in themselves, and coming directly from the nature of the very individuals in question (thus, Aquinas accepting that a woman was inferior in her nature and thus by that token subordinate to a man). Of course, people like John Paul II updated such conceptions to suit modern tastes (see his theology of the body), and in the political and economic realm, such theorists as Murray Rothbard, Alasdair Macintyre, and others have tried to recuperate the theories with mixed success. In Catholic theology, the voice that perhaps undermined the idea of natural law the most (perhaps not intentionally) was Henri Cardinal de Lubac, in his work on the problem of the supernatural in Catholic theology, at first rejected by Pius XII in his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, but later widely adopted as having a point in most Catholic circles.

  • Try again. Think of Cicero. Perhaps one of our contributors or commenters could give EML a hand?

  • It is possible that Jesus would count as a racist today. He insulted the Canaanite woman pleading for her daughter’s life, by making an unkind reference to dogs. What I take away from this portion is that it appears alright to put one’s own tribal affiliations above that of outsiders. He did of course cure the woman’s daughter but that is another part of the story.

    Welcoming the stranger is all very good, but sometimes the stranger is here to take your job or at least drive you to a seventy-hour week in desperation. it happened in the software industry where sometimes one had to train a newbie who would in turn pressurise one’s own wages. How then is one supposed to welcome this stranger whose labour profits only the financiers? Supply and demand dictates wages, but in the topsy-turvy world of finance capitalism this becomes a call to issue H1B visas. Now software programming doesn’t require an Einstein (and there are precious few Einsteins anyway), it can be handled by the locals at the right price. The Americans managed to put man on the moon in what is the greatest technical achievement in history (with some help from old Germans) but somehow cannot find enough programmers to handle routine C++. The moneyed class set their own rewards with what is effectively an old boy’s network – the question is why is labour effectively on a Dutch auction while the wages of say American bankers are set by themselves in the name of outstanding talent? Why don’t they follow the pay scale of Japanese or Germans bankers who run much larger banks? The Catholic Church is out of its depth on this and should stay out. Further isn’t it the duty of Catholics in Mexico to look out for their own poor? Isn’t NAFTA supposed to spread so much prosperity around that Mexicans no longer need to travel outside for work? The American border controls are ridiculous. When a friend of mine was seconded to work in South California for a few months, he faced no end of harassment on his daily commute across to Mexico where he had his lodgings, while all manner of travelers manage to get across through other channels.

    President Reagan amnestied three or four million illegals in 1984. what proportion of them and their children vote Republican? It is a certainty that all the new immigrants will continue with the same shell game over and over again.

  • That all sounds reasonable enough to me, El.

    I just find it unfortunate that you really believe this is about “reproductive parts.” Maybe it is sheer projection, something you just can’t stop thinking about yourself so you assume we do it as well.

    This is about me not wanting to live in a society that can do horrific things to human beings on a mass scale, that can legalize it, sanitize it, sanctify it, obstruct and obscure the truth about it, lie about it, and mouth pleasant, sanctimonious bromides about it. Abortion is an incredibly violent act of aggression against living beings, human beings, that are innocent and defenseless. It has produced over 50 million corpses since its legalization 40 years ago, an entire generation wiped out – workers, taxpayers, citizens, brothers, sisters, etc. We are not better off as a society for it, regardless of what some people say about the crime rate. It has made us a more cruel, callous, and selfish people. It has taught us that human beings are disposable, that parental obligations aren’t inviolable, and that the fundamental questions of life and death can be overridden by nine men in black robes.

    If THAT is the future, I look forward to my own death.

  • I’d try if ELM had a relevant point, so far its only some assertions.

  • Don, I know you think Ron Paul is from Pluto, but he is correct in saying, post-election, that the U.S. is already over the cliff. Paul could have engineered genuine change, but Obama and Romney would govern in a “business-as-usual fashion.” The notion that true conservatives ought to move left to be more like the Democrats is absurd. The reason Romney lost is that he was too much like Obama, as validated by the third debate where there was virtually no difference between the two on foreign policy.

    Paul, who is retiring after 12 terms in the House, said voters rejected Mitt Romney mainly because he had opposed the government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.

    “The people in the Midwest voted against him: ‘Oh, we have to be taken care of!’ So that vote was sort of like what we are laughing at in Greece,” Mr. Paul said.

    “People do not want anything cut,” he said. “They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don’t believe that we’ve gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can’t have a budgetary solution if you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.”

  • I used to think like that but I started to see some basic stuff:
    Rand Paul is republican.
    No republican will ever get into the White House without the Hispanic vote ever again.
    Especially Rand Paul who is willing to modify the constitution to stop citizenship at birth from illegal immigrants.
    He will never get Hispanic vote.
    Again, without that vote no one will ever be able to get into office.
    I repeat, republicans—Hispanic vote = no White House.
    What is the only policy stance that can change on the republican side that can get many votes without going against God?
    That one.
    Blessedly it is one that can be justifiable to God. Softening on abortion or gay marriage or forced contraception all go against God. Embracing stranger doesn’t. I’m not saying that Jesus mandates an open immigration policy, what I’m saying is that somehow we need. To. Get. Votes.

  • “Don, I know you think Ron Paul is from Pluto,”

    And would stand a better chance of being elected President of Pluto than President of the United States. Paul’s analysis is the counsel of despair and ignores the more important factors that contributed to Romney’s defeat, and the lack of political competence, an aspect of which I address in the post linked below, is not the smallest of those factors.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/11/09/beached-killer-whale/

  • Bonchamps @ 7:56 am – well said.

  • Don, always have respect your views, however much I may disagree. At any rate, thanks for allowing me to have a say after being in limbo awhile. As Obama would say, “Forward!”…to the fiscal cliff.

  • “Bonchamps @ 7:56 am – well said.”

    Indeed. Outstanding. Bravo!

  • Mr McClary

    Yes Romney and the Repubs have no operational competence. But you are ignoring the dog that didn’t bark. Repub Senate hopefuls (non incumbents) were mowed down on Nov 6 Despite having many fewer seats to defend they Lost ground. Most of them ran far behind Romney!!! That means millions of people were Voting For Romney and then voting for the Dem in the Senate! You had an absolute Freak Show on the Dem side and now in the Senate. For example ND sent a Dem to the Senate where they can support the EPA to shut down oil drilling! So many voters wanted Romney as President but wanted to saddle him with a loony left Senate that would block anything he wanted to do including repeal Obamacare. Can anyone explain that in a way that doesn’t validate what RP said?

  • North Dakota has a long history of voting for Republicans for President and sending Dems to the Senate. Adkins and Mourdock were victims of hoof and mouth disease. George Allen lost by a whisker in Virginia as did Romney. Tom Smith, although he ran a great campaign, was always a long shot against Casey. Denny Rehberg should have been able to defeat Tester in Montana, although Tester was the incumbent and a former governor. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin never was able to raise the money to get in the game against his opponent and Josh Mandel, in many ways an attractive candidate, in Ohio ran up against a very successful GOTV campaign by the Democrats in OhIo against Romney with the Democrats, as they usually do, voting a straight ticket.

  • El Mono Liso

    Cardinal Henri de Lubac knew exactly what he was doing

    The Neo-Thomists had developed a theory of Natural Law, based on Suarez’s interpretation, or rather, travesty of St Thomas. They have talked of a “natural order,” governed by Natural Law, consisting of truths accessible to unaided human reason, as something that can be kept separate from the supernatural truths revealed in the Gospel. This “two-tier” account of nature and grace was based on this view that the addition of “grace” was something super-added to a human nature that was already complete and sufficient in itself and apart from any intrinsic human need

    In the memorable exchange in 1910, in Blondel’s publication, L’Annales de philosophie chrétienne, between Maurras’s Jesuit defender, Descoqs and the Oratorian Lucien Laberthonnière, Descoqs, a follower of Suarez’s interpretation of St Thomas had allowed the political sphere a wide degree of political autonomy and he was prepared to detach “political society” from “religious society.” Laberthonnière had retaliated by accusing Descoqs of being influenced by “a false theological notion of some state of pure nature and therefore imagined the state could be self-sufficient in the sense that it could be properly independent of any specifically Christian sense of justice.”

    So far as I know, this exchange has never appeared in English, which is astonishing, as it was what united such disparate thinkers as Blondel, Maréchal, the Dominicans, Chenu and Congar and the Jesuits, Lubac and Daniélou. It was a fundamental moment for the Nouvelle Théologie, much as Keble’s Assize Sermon had been for the Oxford Movement.

    Thus, Maurice Blondel, insisted that we must never forget “that one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order”

    Jacques Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being . . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account”

    What de Lubac denied in his controversy with Neo-Scholasticism was the claim that the natural and the supernatural have utterly separate ends in and of themselves. He spelled this out in two of the most important theological works of the last century, his 1946 work, « Surnaturel » , but then, more decisively, in his 1965 book, « Le Mystère du Surnaturel »

    The Neo-Thomist view of Natural Law is now utterly discredited. The much more modest theory, as propounded by John Finnis at Oxford and Robert George at Princeton shares little with it, except the name and it has, very wisely, no theological pretentions whatsoever.

  • I don’t want to go on and on about this but I will restate my point. Millions of people voted for Romney but then voted for far left Dems in the Senate who would then block whatever Romney tried to do. This is sort of what Ron Paul alluded to. I am Not a Paulbot at ALL. I’m just pointing out that to turn around the country it would have taken more than Romney as President even assuming he was any good. However, people were not remotely on board for whatever reason.(Maybe they were reachable and Repubs blew it.) You can always come up with reasons why this or that candidate lost. I’m just saying that RP’s point that the voters are not going to put enough sensible people in Congress in time seems to have been validated this election.

  • If I get your drift here, Michael Paterson-Seymour, God has just given America Obama as a Whip with which to punish her for the massacre of the unborn, the horrendous immorality and depravity which makes Sodom and Gomorrah Saintly nations and as a wake-up punishment to the American Catholic Church Faithful who have trashed His Faith and Morals’ Edicts and Precepts. Well, if that is what you mean, I totally agree with you.

  • I do not agree. When God punishes, it is dramatic… All Sodom and Gemorrah and Great Flood. God has removed His Grace. Not the same thing.

    When God punishes, only the righteous survive. When He removes His Grace, mankind is given the chance to turn away from sin.

    We are Ninevah, not Sodom. Question is, do we take the lesson from Ninevah or not. God’s love is eternal, His patience is not.

  • Oh, G-Veg. Do you honestly believe God will not punish America for the massacre of the millions of the unborn babies you have annihilated and which annihilation will now be accelerated to horrendous proportions?? And do you surely believe He will just wink at the depravity of homosexuality, lesbianisism, sterilization of teenagers, sniffing out the lives of the aged like this 74 years’old grandmother??? Well, if you do, read the Scriptures again and again. I do pray for your country but by pushing viciously the promotion of these bestialities, your Country shall surely pay, and pay dearly. God’s condemnation of these intrinsic Evils is unambiguous. God is Truth. His Word is Truth. And God does not change. He is the Same yesterday, today and for ever.

Electoral Defeat-1780

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

 

 

“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

(I originally wrote this post in the wake of Obama’s election four years ago.  It tells the story of how the great Edmund Burke suffered electoral defeat in 1780 for standing up for principle.  It reminds us that fighting for that which one believes in, no matter the outcome at the polls, is never a real defeat over time.)

So wrote Edmund Burke, brilliant writer and member of Parliament, of the Catholic penal laws in the Eighteenth Century.  Son of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother, suspected in his lifetime, probably incorrectly, of being a secret Catholic, Burke was a man who fought during his life for many causes:  reform in Parliament, support for Americans in their fight against oppression by the English government, prosecution of Warren Hastings for his misrule in India, his crusade against the French Revolution, all these and more engaged his formidable intellect and his luminous pen.  However, one cause he championed from the beginning of his career to the end of it:  relief for Catholics in Ireland and England from the Penal Laws.

What were the Penal Laws?  A series of statutes dating from the time of Queen Elizabeth I, and codified and harshened after the so-called Glorious Revolution in England in 1688, to transform Irish Catholics into helots in their own land and to keep English Catholics a despised and helpless minority.  Burke summarized the penal laws nicely in a speech to his Bristol constituents on September 6, 1780:

A statute was fabricated in the year 1699, by which the saying mass (a church service in the Latin tongue, not exactly the same as our liturgy, but very near it, and containing no offence whatsoever against the laws, or against good morals) was forged into a crime, punishable with perpetual imprisonment. The teaching school, an useful and virtuous occupation, even the teaching in a private family, was in every Catholic subjected to the same unproportioned punishment. Your industry, and the bread of your children, was taxed for a pecuniary reward to stimulate avarice to do what Nature refused, to inform and prosecute on this law. Every Roman Catholic was, under the same act, to forfeit his estate to his nearest Protestant relation, until, through a profession of what he did not believe, he redeemed by his hypocrisy what the law had transferred to the kinsman as the recompense of his profligacy. When thus turned out of doors from his paternal estate, he was disabled from acquiring any other by any industry, donation, or charity; but was rendered a foreigner in his native land, only because he retained the religion, along with the property, handed down to him from those who had been the old inhabitants of that land before him.

Does any one who hears me approve this scheme of things, or think there is common justice, common sense, or common honesty in any part of it? If any does, let him say it, and I am ready to discuss the point with temper and candor. But instead of approving, I perceive a virtuous indignation beginning to rise in your minds on the mere cold stating of the statute.”

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3 Responses to Electoral Defeat-1780

  • Regarding the Relief Act of 1791, the Sheriff Court Books of Ayr show a flurry of people taking the oath in late September 1807. A lineal ancestor of mine did so on Monday 14 September. This pattern is repeated throughout the country.

    I believe the reason for this is that they had probably just received news of the death of the Cardinal Duke of York (Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brother), which took place at Frascati on the 17 July, bring the direct Stuart line to an end. Many Scottish Catholics had religious scruples about acknowledging “the Elector of Brunswick-Luneberg” as king, in the lifetime of “King Henry the First and Ninth,” as they would have called the Cardinal Duke, after his brother’s death in 1788.

  • “If, from this conduct, I shall forfeit their suffrages at an ensuing election, it will stand on record an example to future representatives of the Commons of England, that one man at least had dared to resist the desires of his constituents when his judgment assured him they were wrong”.

    Taking Edmund Burke’s eloquence out of context and applying it to the result of Nov. 6, 2012; Mitt Romney, due to both his support of the Constitution of this republic and his desire to repair its economy, could say much the same. It seems that in 2012, we are in the pre-Penal Law stage of history being repeated given the admin’s treatment of Catholic population. In light of the Middle Eastern and African oppression of Catholics, for whom Pope Benedict asks prayer, there is cause for grave concern.

  • This is why I enjoy TAC. Masterfully you bring out the history that aptly fits into today.

    ….we lost all measure between means and ends and our headlong desires became our politics and our morals.

    Blue state mentality.

What Is To Be Done?

Wednesday, November 7, AD 2012

The narrative game has begun. One of the major memes we can expect to hear now that the GOP lost the presidential race is that “extremism” is to blame. Many of us know that it was absurd to label Mitt Romney “extreme” on anything. Even those on the other side willing to concede this point will say something like “the GOP is being held hostage by the extreme right” and “the Tea Party is to blame for the GOP defeat.” This is all, of course, complete nonsense, but many Republicans will buy it.

I honestly don’t know if it is possible to isolate and eliminate the factors that are ultimately responsible for Barack Obama’s reelection and Mitt Romney’s crushing defeat last night. What I do know is this: in 2004, President Bush was said to have won primarily because of a surge of evangelical voters who stormed the polls to defeat gay marriage initiatives in key swing states. Last night, voters approved gay marriage in three states and defeated two GOP Senate candidates because of remarks they made to the media about rape and abortion. Neither “extremism” in general or the “Tea Party” is to blame; commentators have been quick to point out that Akin was not a Tea Party choice and that perfectly moderate Republicans such as Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin went down in defeat last night.

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25 Responses to What Is To Be Done?

  • I have lived through worse electoral disasters than this: 1964, 1974, 1976 and 1992. The saving grace after each such defeat is that it tends to bring new faces and ideas to the fore and sharpens the party for future victories. That, and the Democrats always overreach, as they will this time. The party actually is in better shape at the state level across the nation than at any time during my life. Quite a bit of potential there.

    A good post Bonchamps and I will be coming up with some other practical suggestions for the way out of the political wilderness tomorrow.

  • Leadership. The country and the conservative cause is in sore need of a strong leader. Back in the Vietnam era while I was a candidate in Officer Candidate School, I’ll never forget the description of what a true leader is; “he can tell you he’s going to take you to hell and back and you look forward to the trip!” Now theologically we as Catholics, have an issue with the details of that, but here is a point to be made by the statement. In my lifetime only one President comes to mind who fills that bill.

    The demographics of the country are rapidly changing. I have never been comfortable with the Republican strident stand on immigration. I’m not advocating amnesty, but we do need to confront reality. There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. In a few years, Texas may well be a purple state.

  • . There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. :

    Rubbish. Either allow people to settle or send them home. You import indentured servants you are asking for trouble.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.

    Hispanics who are here legally ought to be in favor of upholding the nation’s immigration laws. If their position is essentially that we ought to not enforce the laws or create new laws that do nothing to address the problems associated with mass immigration, we cannot possibly endorse it. It is criminal and immoral to do so, in fact.

    We are under no obligation to endorse open borders, lax enforcement, and the cultural disintegration of our country. We have other options besides appeasing La Raza and MEChA, you know.

  • This is the kind of stuff, Bonchamps, that you’re really good at analyzing and articulating. I may not agree completely with everything in your post, but you make good sense and your facts seem correct. And since I am a nuclear engineer and not a political scientist, I will defer to your wisdom in such matters.

  • So what is the answer to selling the Conservative position to blacks and latino’s? Enlighten me. How do we get there? Or perhaps you believe it doesn’t matter?

  • I don’t know how we get there. I know what we don’t do to get wherever “there” is, though.

    Ironically, getting tougher on border issues could swing some of the black vote our way. Who do you think takes all of their jobs? Our angle could be, “vote for us – you won’t get as much welfare, but you’ll definitely have greater job opportunities as we send your main competitors packing.”

    It’s one option, anyway. But I certainly will not acquiesce to the notion that we sacrifice our cultural and territorial integrity for the sake of voters in this country who believe that the laws are meaningless and will punish the party that tries to enforce them. If that’s what this country has come to, then no election will change anything.

  • I live in Florida. I quite frankly resent the accomodations to Hispanics with language. You live here, learn the language. Music in Spanish at Mass or diocesan functions drives me nuts. Our parish as a ministry supports the mission that works with the field workers who pick the vegetables and the fruit. Americans will not do the work. They are illegal, but without them the vegetable and fruit industries are not viable. They wouldn’t be able to compete with imports from Mexico and South America. That’s what I mean by a guest worker program. Know who they are and create a record.

    As to the rest of the latino community, we best recognize that their numbers are growing legally. They are becoming an ever growing percentage of the population. They vote. They have issues that need to be respected. They are by and large Catholic and family oriented. They are conservative and should be voting with us, but they are not.

  • And what are those issues, exactly?

    Open borders and handouts. That’s what they want.

  • Family oriented voters are concerned about having enough for living expenses whether or not the funds are earnings. It seems that this concern trumps all others. From Instapundit:

    ‘ “The first day of the ‘next 4 years’ is starting in a very auspicious fashion. First, the market crashes. Then, a major blue chip company, Boeing, just announced it would cut 30% of management jobs from 2010 levels. And finally, the US Treasury just added $24 billion in debt, or enough to fund Greece for over one year, sending the total debt load (the US is now at 103% debt/GDP) ever closer to the debt ceiling breaching $16.4 trillion.”

    Posted at 10:50 pm by Glenn Reynolds

    I QUESTION THE TIMING: A reader who works at Yale emails:

    I found it interesting that this email came out today from Yale benefits:

    Dear Colleagues:

    We would like to make you aware of a significant federally mandated change which will impact Yale’s healthcare flexible spending account benefit. Effective January 1, 2013, as a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the annual contribution limit will be capped at $2,500. Currently, the maximum amount of pre-tax dollars you can set aside in a healthcare flexible spending account is $12,000.

    As a participant who contributed $2,500 or more in 2012, we encourage you to keep this in mind as you begin to plan for your 2013 out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses. You will soon have an opportunity to re-enroll in the flexible spending account benefit plan during Annual Benefits Enrollment (December 3-17). As a reminder, you have until March 15, 2013 to incur expenses against your 2012 contributions, and until April 30, 2013 to submit claims those for reimbursement. We hope that this grace period is helpful for maximizing your flexible spending benefit for 2012.

    If you have any further questions, please contact an Employee Services representative.

    What interesting timing! I did know about this, as a former CPA/tax accountant, but how many did?
    Today my husband came home and told me that his boss informed him today that a layoff is planned. Small aerospace/manufacturing plant.
    We are worried. We were worried before the election that if the direction didn’t change, we’d face an ugly economic future. It may already becoming true for our family.

    I think a lot of stuff will be coming out over the next few weeks and months that was carefully kept off the radar before Election Day. ‘

  • To answer Jerry’s question I think the state Republican parties are a big part of the problem. More than a few seem indolent or dysfunctional (Bob Michel syndrome). They are often exclusionary in orientation. The VA Repubs spend most of their time fighting with the :”non approved” conservative types. Their get out the vote effort in VA this election was pathetic as far as I could tell. I asked them a couple of times since they didn’t want Tea Party types then what voters were they seeking to make up the difference? Never got an answer. I fear the only remedy is to get some disaffected Dem operatives to run the effort. At least they know what they are doing. If the state and local party is doing nothing on outreach a Presidential candidate showing an ad is not very effective. You can’t show up once every four years and expect a warm welcome.

    Obama got his toughest media questions from the Hispanic media over Fast and Furious. Good grief what a missed opportunity for Romney and Ryan. Here the Admin that so loves Hispanics is covering up the murder of many many Mexicans by ATF provided weapons. Except for the first debate I don’t think Romney made much attempt to explain how his policies would be better for voters including Hispanics than the Democrats policies. Most of his ads were just awful. In a 2 party system you always need to remember voters have a choice.

    Bush 43 got plenty of Hispanic support. He spoke some bad Spanish but the Bushes had a Hispanic wife or two in the clan I believe, That kind of acceptance speaks volumes. The Dems co-opt community leaders to vouch for them. They set up media networks to promote the Dem party indirectly. They also try to make association with the Repubs a form of betrayal. That way they neutralize a Hispanic Repub. Did you see any outcry from Hispanics when Bush43’s AG Gonzalez got in trouble?

    Repubs also don’t call enough attention to Dem’s hostility to religion (except Sharia Islam).

  • PM my thoughts and prayers are with you. I’m very sorry for you and many others. This is purely a national self inflicted wound which makes it doubly frustrating. The same post election angst is occurring in Argentina and France who also have voted foolishly.

  • “They are by and large Catholic and family oriented.”

    this means nothing, it’s like saying that well-to-do suburban Democratic family is “conservative.” Conservatives said the same things about blacks during the Bush years, they’re more religious/socially conservative, we can get them to break. it’s not really that simple.

    the GOP will not outbid the Dems on immigration. That doesn’t mean we have to outright antagonize them/that no change is necessary, but we also don’t have to embrace a position that will earn us nothing with Hispanics and lose white working-class votes in the process

  • I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ? How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.? Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out? How about majority rule, as it should be. The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago. Employment up, home prices up, stock market up, inovative companies, false war in Iraq over, bin laden dead. extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on? You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme . And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry . Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .

  • With respect, there are many palatable ways to turn the immigration problem on its head, to turn it from a losing to a winning issue for Republicans. However, we can’t respond to every proposal as though what is good for aliens is bad for America. Whether you accept it or not, our future is as tied to theirs as it has ever been.

    For example: the technology non-immigrant visa is, for the most part, the H1B. It is on this visa that most of the IT workers enter the US to underbid US jobs.

    It can get complicated but, at its core, the process entails a company filing a petition for a worker and demonstrating that 1) they have tried to fill the post and couldn’t, 2) they have work for them to do, 3) the company can pay the prevailing wage, and 4) bringing in a worker won’t violate union rules. Sounds reasonable.

    The problem is that the system was established for “brick and mortar” enterprises in the old economy. The underlying assumption is that there is A job at A location, like designing medical equipment at a plant. IT doesn’t work that way and, so, the H1B system has to be twisted to fit this important sector of the economy.

    There is rampant fraud but most is subtle and disastrous for the US economy. A common scheme is for an Indian company to send a few representatives to the US to set up an US corporation. They, in turn, petition for highly skilled computer professionals from their own corporation. They then establish a servicing contract with the foreign corporation to show cash flow. The petitioned-for aliens are then installed at large US corporations to look for work that can be outsourced to the Indian company.

    On paper, everything looks legit… US corporation? Check. Cash flow? Check. Contract requiring a worker? Check. Only it isn’t legit. The worker isn’t a $62,000/year Programmer Analyst, they are a $120,000/year manager, finding work that can be outsourced.

    So, accept for a moment that I am being truthful… That little tale should make your blood boil. It does mine and that it plays out tens of thousands of times a year concerns me greatly.

    We can get mad and insist on wiping out the program altogether but that argument, right or wrong, will never garner more than fringe support. We can impotently rage against the Indians but that is mean and stupid. We can throw up our hands – as Congress does but that just gives legislative consent to the slight of hand.

    The cleverest remedy I’ve heard is also the simplest: eliminate the petition provision so that workers can work wherever they want, for whomever they want and let the market control their wages. I favor this proposal for two reasons: any rule of law that encourages deceit is a bad rule and greed is a sound foundation for market systems.

    Whatever the IT workwr’s loyalty, they know what they can get in the open market. The Indian corporations would have to compensate sufficiently to keep that worker working for them. US corporations, unable to get discounted labor from overseas would have to at least conside hiring US workers and paying them fairly and training in-house. Finally, you wipe out the economic insentive for the dummy corporations that make the fraud work.

    There are lots of changes to immigration systems that yield high economic dividends for the US economy and advance the interests of legitimate immigrants. We won’t reach them though if we on the Right react negatively to immigrants generally and immigration proposals as though they are inherently bad because they benefit immigrants.

  • Ben,

    I approved your pathetic comment just to pick it apart for fun. I wish I didn’t have so much time on my hands.

    “I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ?”

    Yes, you know, the stuff Obama pays for from his “stash”, i.e. our tax dollars, things like free birth control for Sandra Fluke. Yes, mob rule, the people who threatened to riot and murder if Romney was elected. I know the media outlets you likely frequent don’t bring such things to your attention. Time to leave the MSM bubble perhaps. Google is your friend.

    “How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.?”

    Who said anything about that? Let me clue you in: as anyone who frequents TAC will tell you, I am opposed to Bush’s wars and think all troops should be brought home immediately. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one. And veterans are entitled to benefits, because national defense and related matters fall under the Constitutionally legitimate duties of the federal government. I know its hard for you to imagine a consistent political philosophy, but it does exist, I do espouse it, and you should look before you leap and make assumptions about others.

    “Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out?”

    The military usually goes Republican. I know some soldiers. They’re all either GOP supporters or 3rd party. And they all despise Obama.

    “How about majority rule, as it should be.”

    Who said anything against it?

    “The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago.”

    Excuse me while I finish LMAO.

    “Employment up,”

    Real unemployment is higher than it has been since FDR’s administration – 17% and rising.

    “home prices up,”

    They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.

    “stock market up,”

    The stock market tanked as soon as Obama’s reelection was called. So did the dollar, because the rest of the world knows that Obama will print trillions more dollars, creating imaginary money to pay for political fantasies.

    “inovative companies,”

    ::laughs hysterically::

    “false war in Iraq over,”

    Bush began the withdrawal process, and Obama is murdering innocent children with drones in Pakistan. Your president is as much a warmonger as W.

    “bin laden dead.”

    Well, I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist. I think he died in 2002 or sometime shortly thereafter, having already been on kidney dialysis well before that, and that whomever they bagged wasn’t bin Laden. We’ll never know, since Seal Team 6 was, on an entirely unrelated note, placed on a defective, outdated helicopter that blew up and killed them all.

    “extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on?”

    No, poor discipline is to blame. Discipline is required to defeat the kind of people who mislead simple people, like yourself.

    “You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme .”

    Huh?

    “And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .”

    Its endless when it doesn’t end, when it becomes a way of life sustained by the labor of others.

    “come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry .”

    Yeah. We’re supposed to do it as a free act of love, not because men with guns and badges will throw us in prison if we don’t.

    “Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .”

    Well, given the level of basic grammar and command of the relevant political facts, I don’t think I’m going to take your criticism too poorly.

  • “home prices up,”

    “They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.”

    How true. Most homes around the nation during the reign of the Southside Messiah have lost 20 to 30 percent of value. I would wager that Ben does not own a home.

  • Sure he does… If by “own” you mean “borrow” and by “home” you mean “mother’s basement.”

  • Seriously though, “you can’t fix stupid” and the West is becoming increasingly stupid.

    Ignorance can be addressed in individuals. It tend to think of the word in a positive way, as in “I don’t know anything about that. Could you tell me something more so that I am not as ignorant?”

    Stupid strikes me as willful: as iin “I voted for Obama because Romney didn’t have an economic plan.” You see, in this statement, I betray that 1) having an economic plan is not really a requirement or I’d know that Obama didn’t present one and 2) I know that having an economic plan would be a positive thing for a candidatet but I choose to not investigate the matter.

    People are ignorant until they are informed but you can’t inform the stupid.

    The GOP can’t reach the stupid and we shouldn’t try, lest we be dragged down to their inarticulate, carping fom the sidelines of life existence. Don’s post above, forgive me for paraphrasing, calls for the GOP to inform, to correct ignorance. We simply can’t fix the Ben’s of the world; only He who let the blind man see can.

  • The analysis needs to go further. The very conversation itself here is using Liberal Democrat terms and concepts. Class designations are the tools of the left and the GOP cannot win any debate using concepts and descriptions created by the enemy.

    Republicans need to create a brand new paradigm from the ground up, standing on the principle of servant leadership, using the essences of Scriptural wisdom. No more collectivist terminology regarding race, sex, or any other demographic facet. That language must be continually attacked as dehumanizing and insulting to the sanctity of the individual person, from conception to natural death.

    The whole “War on Women” theme could have been wiped off the map, simply by saying “Our mothers, sisters and daughters are, like our fathers, brothers and sons, full and necessary participants in a society whose goals are civil prosperity, secure families and communities, and respect for every individual person regardless of station or circumstance. If all you believe women to be are mobile genitals, then you have that right, but we take a higher view.” Not just once, but time after time after time, from male and female spokespeople, and every variation on the theme should have been based on that principle.

    As well, compartmentalization of issue is a Leftist weapon. It must be recognized that all issues today, from business overregulation to gay marriage, are inter-connected and that by appealing to the commonality that all share – while pointing out the politically-motivated faux issues created by the left to maintain class warfare and societal division – the whole tone of the battle can be changed.

    The media will be the easiest target since they’re the least intellectually nimble of the bunch. All that’s needed are disciplined, principled and consistent answers to any given challenge on any given aspect of the paradigm, and the respondent silence will speak as loudly as any other potential reaction. Akin and Mourdock failed because they were politicians and not principled public servants. The GOP can turn those losses into huge gains by learning and applying the lessons. They must take the example of Edmund Burke, as posted today by Don, of service before office and the nobility of sacrifice of privilege for the sake of principle. This will be the greatest weapon, if in fact the Republicans can find enough principled people to wield it.

  • And THAT, WK Aiken is the best articulation of the issue I’ve seen in years. Thank you!

  • Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    Aiken is right – dump the demographic paradigm. Clinton was right – it is the economy. The GOP did not do enough on calling out the MSM on their lies about the state of the economy. I would have taken EVERY announcement of job cuts over the last four years and put that front and center.

  • Rozin @ 11:56: That comment was only an observation for the demographic discussion, meaning that it seems that living expenses are a basic concern for voters across the differing constituencies, not a personal statement about my preferences. The D campaign used the strength of that interest in a different way from the R campaign. Each side ‘scared’ the other as to income security, so I thought it might be something to look at by campaign planners. That for the good thought though.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.

    Agreed.

    Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    The “Hispanic” vote means that section that votes on open borders and support for the same. It doesn’t include the folks who vote conservative because that’s the world-view they have, same way that I’m not part of the “women’s vote”– abortion, birth control and single parenthood support– because I am a conservative.
    That is what the terms mean when the Dems use them, and if we talk about taking that group, we’re about the same sub-section.

    The GOP deals with what people think instead of what they were born. Buying into the Dem’s “born that way” mindset is dangerous, and seems to be getting more popular. (followed by those buying in being unable to figure out why they’re not as good at it as the guys they’re copying)

  • There was nothing wrong with Romney. We lost because of turnout – period. The democrats have a great ground game going now. The republicans are still relying on the appeal of common sense. It does not work this way. A community organizer can beat a republican time and time again.

    How do we rebound? We need to get organized and galvanized around a single carefully selected leader. We need to stop thinking of our individual causes and start thinking about whether this country will exist for our children and grandchildren.

A Mother’s Promise to the Nation

Wednesday, November 7, AD 2012

I know I speak for many, many other mothers out there this morning and I know they would say the same thing I am about to say.

The United States has just elected Barack Obama to a second term as President. News reports tell us that the narrow victory may have hinged on the women’s vote. It appears that the “lady parts” rhetoric about how women’s rights depend on contraception and abortion resonated with enough American women that it affected the election.

They didn’t want to “do it with just anybody.” No, it had to be with a “really great guy.” The one who will give them free contraception and abortion.

But America, I promise you that not all of us mothers raise our daughters to think this way. I promise you that there are plenty of us mothers and fathers out here teaching our daughters, and our sons, that real freedom comes from something beyond themselves, something greater than themselves.

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21 Responses to A Mother’s Promise to the Nation

  • Stacy-
    God bless you and the strong families you describe. I know them. I love them. I share in their sorrows and joys…in their birthday celebrations and at their funerals.
    Some mothers home school five or more other families children and with excellent results.
    This is the resurgence of Holy Spirit filled children of God and NO disfunctional society will trump it! You and like minded mothers are filling your lamps with oil. The lamps of your children and teaching neighbors how to fill their lamps also. This is who you are.
    The bridegroom will come and you dear Stacy will have prepared well your tribe.
    Onward into the night.

  • Good for you. I for one am tempted to renounce my citizenship in an effort to teach my son that life actually matters.

  • Stacy, you are inspiring to us all! I’m not a mother yet, but you and the mothers you describe – that’s the kind of mom I want to be.

  • The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

  • Stacy, I had the same discussion with my 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter this morning. They had to watch me cry last night when Obama won a second term. I told them my tears were sadness for this country, for the pathetic reasons so many voted him in again. For the rights of the unborn that will, once again, be denied at a government level in lieu of a woman’s right to kill her own child. But I also told them that in times like these, God is urging us to be better people, to be examples of what we want to see in our country’s leadership. I also told them that we live in the greatest country on earth. And that now, more than ever, we need to pray for our country’s leadership…and for the United States.

  • Stacy – Don’t worry. We’re not going to blame you. I’ve read a lot of analysis suggesting that the gender gap is mostly a race gap – that is, more black women than black men vote, and so the higher percentage of blacks among women voters increases the percentage of Democratic votes among women. I don’t know if that holds true for this year, though.

    Anyway, you’re girls, and you’re cuter than us, so we’ll always forgive you.

  • I am ashamed of my gender today.

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  • Excellent post Stacy, my wife shares your frustration. As we watched the returns come in last night, I reiterated to my wife that this was a long time coming, 50+years of the far left’s indoctrination. We have free will and this is what can happen. However, prayer can change many things and we do have many great Catholic parents and many young priests and sisters, along with seminarians and novices who will show us a better example than they were given.

  • And that is where this is going, to remove women and men who have traditional values from being able to either have children or to be allowed to raise them. This is so clear.

  • I blame the Church’s lack of effective catechesis for where we are today. While we as parents do all we can at home to raise faith-filled children, Church leadership is not helping us in our effort. Pastors are too afraid to speak the truth – to call a sin a sin. When is the last time you’ve even heard a priest use that word in a homily?

    I teach 7th grade “religious ed” (hate that phrase) and the lesson plans my parish gives me are a joke – all circuses, no bread. I end up spending hours each week trying to craft a meaningful lesson plan that actually teaches our faith, not some touchy-feely, no judgment nonsense. I fear for the future of our Church if our leaders refuse to see what’s happening in their parishes.

  • Stacy-
    This past year I worked for Eric Scheidler and Stand Up for Religious Freedom grass movt.
    His father Joseph is the founder of Pro Life Action League.

    Just moments ago I received an E-mail from them. I would like to make it available for anyone who might be interested.
    Thank you.

    http://prolifeaction.org/election 2012

    Joe and his family know disappointment. He has been at this for 39 years and 10 months.

  • I am so happy to see a true Catholic mother, who is teaching her children according to God’s will. Unfortunately, not all pastors are teaching their parishioners in the same way. A few weeks ago, I attended Mass at a parish where the pastor threatened (from the altar), to personally remove any pro life material distributed in the parking lot. When I said to him after Mass that abortion was not a political but a moral issue, he told me to go to Mass somewhere else.

  • Thank you for writing “never shut up” ~ I don’t plan to as far as raising my children is concerned, but I thought I might forget about speaking up and pushing back with my computer keys. Maybe not. Maybe I won’t shut up.

  • That was beautiful! You have taken my thoughts and put them in an article with out even meeting me. Thank you!!!!!!

  • Karl speaks the truth: “And that is where this is going, to remove women and men who have traditional values from being able to either have children or to be allowed to raise them. This is so clear.”

    Karl, i feel your pain. People did not believe me, even though it is all available (this administration did not lie re the “transparency” statement) but people are too uninformed and/or too lazy to do the research.

    You would think that after 4 years of this (well 3 at the time) people would have learned you look at what they are NOT saying. There was nothing to be gained by the Contraception Mandate against the Church, nothing. But the majority of our ‘elite’ academics (mostly men) and almost all the Bishops and Cardinals (one of which i despise, and i truly believe he knew all along) fell for what was meant to be a diversion, and a wildly successful diversion it was. While they were all wringing their hands over the Mandate, they failed to see the ‘laws’ the IOM was implementing.

    Chief among them that should be of great interest to ALL women, not just Catholic women, is that they have now codified that the “intergestational” or “interconception” period that is best for “maternal and child health” is 2 years from the last pregnancy to the start of a new one. There will “home vists” by “public healthcare workers” to ensure that women are adhering to this new law that is “for their health and that of the child they have” — which adds the subtle threat that you are putting your current child at risk (and THIS new state we live in I am sure will make the child removal process a lot more expeditious than it currently is).

    And just to top it all off, there are new levels of inquiry’s that the “public health care workers” must make at their lil social visit to your home – “is there ANYONE in your life that is teaching you that it is not in your and your child’s best interest to contracept? (their preferred method is IUD at the 2-week checkup after delivery) If someone is telling you such rubbish (not to contracept) LIKE YOUR PRIEST, that is “interpersonal violence” and will not stand.

    True Priests (God Bless you), buckle up, it is going to a hell of a drive.

    (Oh, and may i add that all this “research” was paid for via the “stimulus” plan!?)

  • I am at a loss for words about the outcome. I like the great article you wrote. I cannot feel kindness right now in my heart. I have grown children and grandchildren and some old enough to make me a great grandmother…but it looks bleak out there to me at this time. We have to look to folks like you to see any hope and also spend a lot of time on our knees. This country has lost all respect for woman and womanhood…..When a pill or an abortion is the answer…I feel as tho I could weep, but I,as I started, am at a loss for words. Blessed Mother Mary keep us close to you…and ask you Son to help us rise in His Light.

  • I say God bless you women with faith and conviction.
    You women who have given your life to your husbands and children, gone through childbirth, cooked and cleaned, dried the tears and bound our wounds all the while praying to God to guide and protect us have the natural gift of eternal love and survival for those around you. Men may be physically stronger but we tend to be short sighted looking only at what is affecting us at the moment and what to do about it. We are the first to mope about when things go wrong instead of accepting life as it comes to us knowing nothing good comes with out some pain or discomfort. It is in the nature God gave you to be the heart and soul of what we call humanity. Neither Man nor earth was complete until woman came upon the scene and made life fruitful and abundant. Don’t let anyone try to deny this truth.
    And the woman God made especially for Himself, our Mother Mary Queen of heaven, also naturally with her heart of eternal love wants to gather all of Gods children under her maternal care and lead them through Christ to the Father. Like you women she has taken it as her duty and commitment as His bride to care for the children of God. Bless you!!

  • @Mia, I did not know that..*awesome*
    Bill Sr. Thank you for your kind words.

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50%-48%

Wednesday, November 7, AD 2012

Well, a nation divided down the middle has chosen to re-elect the worst president in our nation’s history while keeping the Republicans firmly in control of the House.  This ensures that no major piece of legislation will get through Congress in the next two years.  So the people collectively have voted for Obama and gridlock.  What lessons should be taken away from this debacle?

1.  The Triumph of Identity Politics -The mainstay of Obama’s victory were groups that he assiduously courted:  Blacks, Hispanics, single women and homosexuals.  That Obama has been a disaster for the nation in his economic and fiscal policies, and presided over a truly lousy economy, mattered not one whit to substantial majorities of these groups.

2.  Divide and Rule-Obama pursued a strategy of winning by getting his supporters to the polls and demonizing his adversaries.  The strategy worked and will no doubt be copied in the years to come, as politicians seek success through division.

3.  Vote for Revenge-Obama and many of his followers will no doubt assume that he has received a mandate to pursue his policies.  That is a mistaken view.  Through the manner of his winning, Obama has ensured that half the nation will be actively working against him and all his works until he leaves office.

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102 Responses to 50%-48%

  • OK, so Obama won. Now the Catholic Church has to really energize itself to stand up, light its lamp, gird its loins, and preach and act on Catholic teaching and Catholic values. We have good leaders we can count on: Dolan, George, Fr. Barron among them. Obama does not stand for much besides a godless quasi-European style socialism. This is not true to American values and standards. The USA is greater than Obama and the government teat-sucking secularists who want us to use our tax dollars to pay for their sexual escapades. We are better than this! Obama pandered to the lowest, crassest inclinations people have to be lewd, selfish and self-indulgent. We have to man up and oppose these tendencies in our culture so we can make a decent world for our children. The abuse scandal is behind us. It is the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization. Onward Christian Soldiers!

  • Don – any word on how the Catholics voted? There was a graphic on last night that showed a breakdown that included how weekly Church-goers voted, but I don’t recall the numbers? Have you seen anything yet?

  • This is the fruit of liberal control of our school system and liberal infection within the Body of Christ for 50 years. This will result in persecution of the Church first by economic measures, and then by more severe measures. It will affect all of authenticate Christianity in the US, not just the Roman jurisdiction. If at work you don’t sign statements in company retraining saying you support gay equality and women’s freedom – euphemisms for perversion and murder – then you’ll lose your job. Just last year my company came out with on-line training about gay equality. It will now be govt mandated. And yes, Don, with all due respect, I fully expect blogs like this one to be labelled as hate speech and outlawed. You say no. But you had me even thinking I was wrong that Obama was going to win. I always hope you’re right in predicting these kinds of things. But I saw what my company did last year and is doing now. And one last thing: with Obama’s opposition to both coal and nuclear, we can expect less and less reliable electric supply with higher and higher prices.

  • ” Have you seen anything yet?”

    Not yet Larry.

  • “I fully expect blogs like this one to be labelled as hate speech and outlawed.”

    Don’t get ridiculous Paul. Such a law couldn’t get through the Democrat controlled Senate, let alone the Republican controlled House, and would be flagrantly unconstitutional in any case. I am depressed over the election results also, but there is no need to darken the stink weed with fears that have no chance of coming true. What we and the nation will confront during the next four years will be bad enough without summoning up imaginary fears.

  • I think that Romney was completely blindsided by the power of identity politics. He was running for CEO and presented a good case.

    I also think that the Republicans had a few “own goals” from the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. The Republicans overplayed their hand after 2010, especially at the state level, much like the Democrats did after 2008.

    And yes, the media was actively campaigning for Obama.

    I believe Obama lost white Catholics by a significant margin (and won Latino Catholics by an even larger one). But the real story is the collapse of the evangelical right. I know a lot of young people who were raised in evangelical homes who no longer go to any church and voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

  • I hope that I am being ridiculous and you are right, Donald. I really do.

  • Is it possible that the shenanigans in the GOP, in taking too long to choose its nominee, because so many stayed in the race, left little time for the GOP to concentrate on giving the American people an idea of who Romney is, until the first debate? (I say this as someone who followed Paul’s campaign rather than Romney’s).

  • A portion of today’s reading I found especially comforting:

    Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
    that you may be blameless and innocent,
    children of God without blemish
    in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
    among whom you shine like lights in the world,
    as you hold on to the word of life,

  • Welcome to Europe! Oh, but without the architecture, art, music, deep historical roots, or religion…

  • I don’t think certain blogs will be outlawed. Democracy is really good at fooling people into thinking they aren’t under secularist dhimmitude. I recall a scene in the final episode of The Prisoner when Number 6 was allowed to approach the podium and speak his mind. Complete freedom of speech, but every time he opened his mouth, the crowd spoke at the same time and drowned him out.

  • Related to the Catholic vote, Deacon Greg @Patheos assembled news stories showing that Catholics supported that guy in greater numbers than the general population, about 52% – 45%.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/11/obama-wins-with-the-catholic-vote/

    We have a lot of work to do. Economic concerns were a big factor, and it would seem that many Catholics expect to need federal government assistance in getting a job or getting aid if there is no job. I have not seen stats on social issues and Catholic voting, yet.

  • Another thing we should learn is that you can’t run a candidate that represents the power within the Republican party. That is, those whose only concern is tax rates, deregulation, and bloated defense budgets. The social religious voters, the right to bear arms people, etc, are just along for the ride because there is nowhere else to go. These are the people who bring the numbers to the polls for the Republican party but they are getting sick of doing all the grunt work when the leaders have no real concern over their issues. Santorum could have been just what was needed but he also ran as a war-mongering tax slayer.

  • I’m less shocked or dismayed about the Presidential election (seeing it as a symptom) as watching the three social issue Amendments here in Florida getting defeated by a wide margin. I think some of the Fox analysts were dead on in that this is no longer a center-right country. People are, by and large, more socially liberal and fiscally thoughtless/irresponsible than ever before and the results show that.

  • H.L. Mencken summed it up best: “Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.”

  • Susan: As long as we have you and strong, committed Catholics like you, there’s always a chance. I’ll pray for, and with, you.

    “This is the fruit of liberal control of our school system and liberal infection within the Body of Christ for 50 years.” Amen.

    It is no accident that education, media and government, the three places where morality is sustained in a modern society, are now strongholds of the Godless left. They attacked slowly and stealthily, using deceit, obfuscation and generationalist strategy in true Maoist – Leninist form. Worse yet, those of us who do see it are derided as fools.

    1. 1 Cor. 1:20-25 – ‘Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs, the Greeks search for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

    Don: “Such a law couldn’t get through the Democrat controlled Senate, let alone the Republican controlled House, and would be flagrantly unconstitutional in any case.”

    Parroting Scott W, legislaive action is the last tactic they’d use, for that very reason. IRS audits and police surveillance are but two non-legislative tools in the fascist box. They don’t have to outlaw anything. Simple allegations and ‘investigations’ that make freedoms too expensive are all that are necessary. Watch your back.

    Solly makes a valid point; the Left does a much better job of Poster Child demagoguery, so the GOP’s belief in honest competition can be a liability, unless a once-in-a-generation Great Communicator or Great Emancipator comes along.

    “I think that Romney was completely blindsided by the power of identity politics.”

    Excellent variation on Solly’s theme. This, unfortunately, is the new normal in a society of video-eaters and slogan-bearers, and the GOP machine will flounder trying to find a conservative fit. Substance and consequence are no longer majority considerations; if something breaks, even if the government causes it, the government will fix it just like Mummy and Dadda always have. May the best Nanny win.

    @Will Leamon: When your ears and heart are open to the voice of The Lord, there are no coincidences. That reading was meant for today.

    Spambot: “We have a lot of work to do.” No kidding. But the Lord gives graces to His people even in adversity. The opportunities for service will be over-plentiful soon and very soon. He does not call us as a nation; He calls us as His individual, created children. Our nation was founded and dependent upon that; as the majority turn from it, it is our duty to remain steadfast so that when the Chastisement comes we will not be found wanting. Observe the Sacraments. Stay reconciled. Pray the Rosary daily (those who don’t, who must number few here.)

    Matthew 25:40 – “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

    Sheep and goats, grain and chaff, all are being sorted now. We know who wins, so let us continue the preparations with renewed vigor, purpose and faith in the Almighty, Eternal One.

    And, two years hence, when The People’s House and a third of the Senate are up for reelection, perhaps The Lord will grace us with an impeachment- and conviction-capable majority. I believe it will come to that, so stay strong in the tribulations that will be necessary for its emergence.

  • I’m sorry but the inevitable “why didn’t we nominate a conservative?” perspective that will likely be all over radio tomorrow is totally wrong. Mitt may very well have ended up a pretty centrist, technocratic president, but the problem is that he was perceived by a good portion of the electorate to be some kind of extremist (or, at least, “captive” to alleged extremists)

    does this mean we gotta go all Jon Hunstman next election (which fortunately sounds almost impossible now given how he’d be mocked as Mitt v2?) no. I think the whole “if the GOP ditched the social issues they’d’ve won” perspective is off too, although that certainly played a role to an extent. i’m thinking the projection of a more populist (which does not have to = leftwing) message next time will be very important.

    Rick Santorum had elements of this but obviously, it wouldn’t be Santorum. who, we’ll eventually find out i guess.

  • The Obama Victory means is that Americans are becoming more like Europeans. Decay of Faith and Morals. Unfortunately. You need a New Evangelization. My country, Brazil also needs very …

    http://algosolido.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/barack-obama-and-the-white-house-in-cube-form-1/

    http://algosolido.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/barack-obama-and-the-white-house-in-cube-form-2/

  • “Its is the fruit of liberal control of our school system”

    Thank you, Paul P.

    But this must also be understood for what it is, which goes far deeper than merely liberal control of the system. Anytime you have state control of education your will inevitably churn out little minds that have been formed and molded in the image and likeness of the state. I have seen no figure or organization call for what needs to be done to restore this nation: the end of government run education on every level.

    No society can remain free which accepts the state as a source of intellectual formation. Its high time for separation of Education and State.

  • I was going to write a separate post on this but instead I will leave this as a comment.

    Here are the silver linings:

    Republican control of the House. If Americans had clearly rejected Republican policies, as some suggested, then the GOP would not have maintained control of the House. Additionally, it seems that the Congressional defeat means that Nancy Pelosi will be out as minority leader, so an election result that means Nancy Pelosi is punted to the sidelines isn’t all bad.

    GOP bench vs. Democratic bench. Republicans should have a field of excellent candidates in 2016. Among the leading candidates for the Democrats, on the other hand, will be Martin O’Malley. Yeah.

    Supreme Court. This isn’t so much a silver lining as a caution against pessimism. I think we can take it to the bank that Ruth Bader Ginsburg will now retire soon and will be replaced by another younger leftist. I’m uncertain about Breyer. However, barring health issues, there is no way Scalia or Thomas will retire over the next four years, and I am somewhat confident that Anthony Kennedy will stick around. Furthermore, it seems as though the Obama presidency has turned AK back into some kind of judicial conservative. I also think that the election results might convince Chief Justice Roberts that his attempts to split the difference judicially are unwise. Of course, that could be naive optimism on my part.

  • Of course there are plenty of reasons for pessimism, and anyone looking at my twitter feed last night knows that I am not exactly feeling great about last night’s results. But sometimes you have to look at the bright side in order to keep from going insane.

  • “But sometimes you have to look at the bright side in order to keep from going insane.”

    There are no final defeats or final victories in American politics. Our adversaries had a good night last night and a bad night in 2010. On to 2014!

  • All recent Presidents have found their second term frought with difficulties or embarrassments (the 1937-38 recession, the Korean War, the 1957-58 recession, the Watergate scandal, the Iran-Contra scandal, Monica Lewinsky, Hurricane Katrina and the breakdown in law & order in Iraq). If Obama is fortunate, his problems will extend no farther than blabbermouth sluts, rogues in the NSC staff, and ordinary business recessions. Somehow I suspect the bond market will see to it his problems are somewhat more consequential and intractable. Congratulations, Mr. President.

  • Republicans should have a field of excellent candidates in 2016.

    I’m sorry, Paul, but who are these excellent candidates? Rubio? Jindal?? Scan their records; has any one of them ever pronounced anything remotely socially conservative? If so, you can forget them as viable candidates… Chris M is right; the Presidential results are a symptom. This country is turning left on social issues quickly, and the media machine will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t come along for the ride. Sure, the R party might be able to get someone into the WH next time around, but it’s going to be someone who is hardly recognizable as a conservative. Apparently, even a horrible economy is not enough for those “moderate” voters to overlook their pet issues of the identity/sexual politices variety.

  • Let’s not go overboard on the gloom and doom J. Christian as tempting as it is this morning. Obama won a narrow popular vote victory and that is hardly a reason to jump to the conclusion that a social conservative never can win. Social conservatives win routinely all the time in this country, but it requires the ability to defend one’s positions forthrightly and articulately.

  • The demonization of any Repub candidate will occur years before the election when they have limited funds to fight back (cf Romney).

  • Social liberals win routinely all the time in this country, and it does Not require the ability to defend one’s positions forthrightly and articulately. A pretty big advantage.

  • I have to agree with donald on the social issues front- I took this election as framed by the Republican Romney side as Economics 101- The Repubs wanted to win based on a prudential judgment re: economic theory and practice and view of federal gov’t oversight and regulatory powers. I think pretty much all eggs were placed in this basket. The narrow loss indicated that as many or a bit more believed that Obama’s economic views are not socialist but rather more along the lines of FDR. I believe that since many conservative traditional values individuals also agree with the Romney et al economic vision- they collapsed the social issues and economic issues into one Big Issue with little or no separation. The fact that Romney spent little or no effort to take the offense on the Big Three (abortion, gay marriage, religious liberty) which were the only real non-negotiables in the the mix- this was the chink in his armour. He tried not to offend on these issues to play to swing indies- but obama did go on the offense with his planned parenthood shout-outs and ads. We really haven’t had a big time Republican national candidate for president go out and try to educate and convert the general public on the social issue fronts- they go behind closed doors to offer some promises but really play it down in public- and that doesn’t work when you are relying on a majority to agree with you on a prudential judgment call of economics and role of the Fed.

    I think that the Pro_life leaders need to be convincing and say to the Republican establishment – give us a chance – put us front and center- let’s get the facts out and debate with relish not embarrassment on these cultural/moral issue fronts. If Republican is just another name for a particular judgment on economic theory- then I don’t see where the passion beyond that ideological base is going to come from- there are many Mark Shea-types out and about in the Catholic universe who want to cheerlead on these issue fronts but need solid trustworthy political leaders who do more than shout “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” and then expect social issue Catholics to get excited. I would like to point to young bloods in the Party like my old college buddy- Jeff Fortenberry- as the point man for a better vision that hits more non-negotiable territory with passion and intelligence- and is maybe less ideological on the prudential economic front.

  • Then why Rozin does the House have a solid pro-life majority along with most state legislatures?

  • There are no final defeats or final victories in American politics. Our adversaries had a good night last night and a bad night in 2010. On to 2014!

    Agreed.

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  • GOP bench vs. Democratic bench

    Well, the GOP may have a deep bench, but only one can candidate can run.

    With that, whomever we choose, doesn’t stand much of a chance against Hilary Clinton with both the Chicago and Clinton Machine’s united.

  • Don, the answer is gerrymandering. I did not say there is no support for conservatism. But it has trouble now even in most statewide elections, let alone national elections. Akin could speak inarticulately in his district but not in a state that went big for Romney. The Repubs were saved by Obama’s ineptitude in having a blowout in a census year. The Dems will wait it out until 2020 and try to undo it then. Look at what happened in Illinois yesterday where they controlled the gerrymandering. The lesson is that philosophy has to be out front and the results of that policy centered. Far too many empty talking points go unchallenged or even tacitly accepted.

  • How does Barone earn the title of “the most knowledgeable man in American politics” after predicting a Romney landslide? I think Brit Hume was much more salient and accurate when he said Americans reside in the center-left rather than center-right as many so-called pundits claimed.

  • “With that, whomever we choose, doesn’t stand much of a chance against Hilary Clinton with both the Chicago and Clinton Machine’s united.”

    let’s take a breather, we have no idea what things are gonna be like then.

  • Well Donald I agree with you on #6. The rest seems to be result of your lopsided view of American politics. All Christians should be pleased that health care for 30 million Americans, many of the children will not be threatened. Immigration reform will be possible, progress towards alternative energy will not be thwarted and much more.

  • #6 – That is really distressing. The realization what little influence our Church and its shepherds have on society. Lots and lots of stray sheep.

    There is a direct correlation between the lack of defense of religion and the moral morass that’s building. We lost a good number of battles in the culture war this election. Homosexual unions were approved by voters in 2 states for the first time. Pro-life measures, like prohibiting the funding of abortion in FL, lost. Liberalization of controlled substances via legalization is on the fast track. Many cultural warriors lost their races.

  • “All recent Presidents have found their second term frought with difficulties or embarrassments”

    Art, I think that’s been true of all Presidents. Washington had a rebellion on his hands. Jefferson’s former VP was tried for treason. To my knowledge, every second term has been less focused and more scandal-ridden. Part of it is that you bring in your best people at first, but by the second term, a lot of them have retired and you’re stuck with the second-tier or party hacks.

  • “many of the children will not be threatened?”

    Oh, except for the millions who will be butchered in the womb, and even out of it, when they are left on tables to die.

    And the children who are alive will be in serfdom to the federal government for their entire lives to pay for the selfishness and short-sightedness of their elders.

    Under Obamacare, I wouldn’t be surprised if women carrying children with Downs or some other serious birth defect come under increasing social pressure to abort their babies. Carrying such a child to term will not be seen as selfless, but as the opposite. How dare these women burden the national healthcare system with defective offspring. Why, a real patriot would abort!

    I can’t see the bright side of any of this, at least right now. I was initially not enthused about Romney but I came to see him as a good man and capable manager. Ryan is one of the brightest, most able men in the country. We are no longer a country of serious adults, but a nation of Honey Boo Boos.

    I never again want to hear any Obama voters complain about how pols lie to them. Mourdock made the mistake of telling the truth and that doomed him. Lizzie Warren’s lies made her a national joke – and yet she’s the one who got into the Senate.

  • “All recent Presidents have found their second term frought with difficulties or embarrassments”

    And Obama will continue to blame the “obstructionist” GOP House for standing in his way and the MSM will continue to peddle that line.

  • With several times the money, Romney couldn’t get out as many voters as McCain.

    That is a pretty significant lesson, too.

  • Donald, I think it’s telling that on a Catholic blog, the first thing you talked about in the aftermath of this was the economy, religious freedom not until #6, and abortion and gay marriage not at all.

    You were not wrong to do so in the context of a post-mortem of this election–but that is the whole problem. The issues that matter most to the Lord and to us were not even a factor…or more to the point, to the extent that they were a factor, it was because Obama’s people brought them up, because that campaign was the one that stood to gain from them.

    We lost this country long ago on the things that are really important, and have long been reduced to running stealth campaigns that hide behind issues like the economy and hope to sneak in changes that we couldn’t get approved openly.

    That was the source of my deep skepticism of the Republican spin of the polls. Such a defense, rooted in misdirection and even deception, could not stand forever–and with Obama’s re-election locking in the HHS mandate, the preservation of Roe, and likely gay marriage across the land (once the Defense of Marriage Act is struck down without defense from this administration, and the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution is applied) it has now been taken away from us.

    There is no longer any hope of opposing these evils in the political realm. A sinful and unrepentant nation has been delivered into the hands of the leaders it deserves, and for the faithful remnant…

    Gird your loins. To steal a line from John Zmirak just before Obama was elected the first time: “This is not where persecutions end. This is where persecutions begin.

  • “I can’t see the bright side of any of this, at least right now.”

    Catholics don’t have to believe that everything has a bright side. We have to believe that everything has a purpose.

  • “There is no longer any hope of opposing these evils in the political realm. A sinful and unrepentant nation has been delivered into the hands of the leaders it deserves, and for the faithful remnant…”

    Oh really? The almost half of the nation that opposes this gets the leaders it deserves? I think that is bad theology and worse politics.

  • “All Christians should be pleased that health care for 30 million Americans, many of the children will not be threatened. Immigration reform will be possible, progress towards alternative energy will not be thwarted and much more.”

    Go peddle your Junk elsewhere Jay, I am in no mood for brain dead liberalism today.

  • “With several times the money, Romney couldn’t get out as many voters as McCain.

    That is a pretty significant lesson, too.”

    Our vote totals were down by two million and Obama’s vote total was down by ten million. Some of that doubtless was as a result of Sandy but more I suspect of people simply tuning out from political involvement. I suspect we will see more of that in the future, especially if the next four years are as rough as I expect them to be.

  • Pinky, reminds me of the scene in “Fiddler on the Roof” where Tevye receives bad news about a “small demonstration.”

    “Dear God.
    Did you have to send me news like that today of all days?
    I know, I know we are the chosen people.
    But once in a while, can’t you choose someone else?”

    So, Dear God, I know there is a purpose to everything, but couldn’t you choose another election to shows its purpose?

    To all except Jay, Hats off to the many varied points in this thread.

  • Some months ago when I suggested there were only minor differences between Obama and Romney, I was practically run out of TAC. Most of the contributors here have tried to show the contrast between the two but I humbly ask you to consider the following:

    Judge Andrew Napolitano nailed it when he said, “Barack Obama loves Big Labor; Mitt Romney loves Big Business; but they both love Big Government.”

    Steve Baldwin, a former California State legislator and former Executive Director of the Council for National Policy, said:

    “As someone who was asked by one of the presidential candidates to investigate Romney’s gubernatorial record, I can assure you there is little in Romney’s background to suggest he will be a Reagan-type president willing to undertake bold action to save our economy and restore our culture. I know every bill he signed and every statement he made as Governor. I know who his appointees were and the liberal vision that governed his actions. As Massachusetts Governor, he sided with the big government types in every crisis he faced. Indeed, he repeatedly sold out constitutional rights–freedom of religion, the 2nd amendment, etc., every time he had the opportunity to do so.

    “He raised taxes on the private sector, destroyed job creation when he implemented RomneyCare, and came out in support of amnesty for illegal aliens. Most of his judicial appointees were to the left of Obama’s two appointments to the Supreme Court. As governor, he led the country in advancing three of the left’s most sacred issues: Cap and Trade, socialized medicine and gay marriage. Romney even supported Obama’s bailouts and the useless $8 billion stimulus. And he’s hostile to the notion of engaging in serious budget cuts, telling one reporter, ‘I’m not going to cut $1 trillion in the first year.’

    “Let’s not also forget that Romney’s advisors actually met with Obama’s advisors on a dozen occasions to assist them with designing ObamaCare! It’s no surprise that Romney is refusing to call ObamaCare a tax, even though it’s the largest middle class tax hike in American history. The reason for this is because, while governor, his RomneyCare plan–the model for ObamaCare–was attacked as a tax and he argued it wasn’t.

    “In other words, ObamaCare has been taken off the table as a campaign issue because Romney is afraid of being portrayed as a hypocrite for his past statements on this issue. This is reason number 167 why Romney should never have become our nominee.

    “I don’t care how his campaign portrays him today, his record as Governor is far more indicative of how he will govern than his campaign sound bites. If you’re not familiar with what I am disclosing about Romney, it’s because the truth about Romney was kept from Republican voters. Yes, the conservative movement sold out to Romney. Starting in 2004, Romney created a slew of PACS and foundations that funneled thousands of dollars to hundreds of conservative groups, think tanks, grass roots leaders and GOP entities.

    “In return, many of these entities that normally would have attacked Romney during the presidential primary went silent or even promoted him. I’ve tracked all of Romney contributions to conservative and GOP groups and it’s disgusting. It means that the leadership of our own conservative movement is up for the highest bidder and cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Even National Review, the nation’s leading conservative publication, took money from Romney and for the last six years blocked all articles critical of Romney. Instead, they published a slew of articles portraying him to be a conservative superstar. It was all phony and I can prove it.”

    As Chuck Baldwin (no relation to Steve), a columnist put it, “Even though Romney will promote at least 85% of the Obama agenda, conservatives have no fear or trepidation of Romney because he is a Republican, whereas Obama scares the pants off of them because he is a Democrat. Ah, don’t you just love partisan politics?”

  • I feel so sad for USA. We Indian Christians had been praying that America will vote for a Government that respects religion, protects human life from conception, honors marriage and supports family. As GK Chesterton said humanity has become a people without chest. Our mind and heart has ceased to guide us, sad to say, we are guided by our loins.
    America beware! You will soon be overtaken by societies – Indians, Chinese and Muslim nations – which respects God (China already has the biggest population of born-again Christians) and are founded on cohesive families. Remember America was great because America was good. America will cease to be great when America ceases to be good.
    But let us pray. Let America return to God and godly values. May God bless America.

  • “Oh really? The almost half of the nation that opposes this gets the leaders it deserves? I think that is bad theology and worse politics.”

    Abortion, gay marriage, and (to a lesser extent) religious freedom were buried deep in Romney’s campaign where it was hoped that they wouldn’t be spotted except by those looking for them, and you’re assuming that everyone who voted for Romney–less than half the nation to begin with–agreed on those issues?

    Even after this debacle, you’re still indulging in wishful thinking.

    So yes, Donald, I do think that. All power is granted from above–that’s explicit Scripture. Sin is its own reward, in this life just as surely as after death, and America has been sowing this harvest for a very long time.

  • One recalls the scathing words of the abbé Laberthonnière, written a hundred years ago to those French Catholics, who hoped that L’Action française would lead to “the triumph of the Church in society.”

    “The triumph of the Church in society? That would be excellent. However, it would be necessary to examine by what means our religion permits us to pursue it. Moreover, it has not been promised us. And then, it is not, perhaps, the most pressing of our tasks…

    Her power does not consist in giving orders, to which external obedience is required, backed up by threats or favours. Her power is to raise souls to the life above. It is to give birth to and to cultivate in consciences the supernaturalising obligation to live for God and for others, through Christ, and to pass through temporal defeats to a triumph that is timeless.

    Do not indulge in childish dreams, when you have in your grasp eternal realities that invite you. Understand, all you who would triumph and reign on earth – Et nunc, reges, intellegite.”

  • Jay Junk stated in part, “…progress towards alternative energy will not be thwarted…”

    This is correct, but is no source for rejoicing. Alternative energy such as wind and solar are exceedingly ephemeral, having capacity factors of 20 to 30% at most. This is obvious in observing that on windless days, there is no wind energy, and on days too windy, wind turbines are locked down.

    Likewise with solar energy: at night there is no solar energy, on cloudy days it is much reduced, peaking only happens when the sun is positioned at maximum, and fall and winter months give shorter than 12 hour days.

    Geothermal energy is constrained by availability, and releases far more radioactivity to the environment from naturally occurring radionuclides such as Radium, Radon, Thorium and Uranium that occur naturally at subterranean levels.

    Tidal energy is constrained by location availability of good tidal areas, and by the non-constant level of tides.

    Renewable energy has a devastating environmental impact. Wind turbines are known to kill a great deal of raptor and bat populations, and are notorious for leaking lubricating oil. Solar cells have longevities of typically five years before replacement must be made, and their manufacture requires rare earth metals. Additionally, the manufacturing process uses very hazardous chemicals and invariably results in a great deal of land pollution. Solar thermal units use heat transport chemicals other than water because of an inability to maintain the high temperatures necessary for steam turbine operation. Often these chemicals are explosive and constitute excessive environmental hazards. And when the sun sets, the heat source is lost.

    All forms of renewable energy except geothermal require a large footprint because of low energy density. For example, a 1000 MW wind turbine farm can take up scores of square miles of land area, and still produce only an average of 300 MW, and that is only when the wind is blowing at optimum velocity. A similar thing is true with solar photovoltaics or solar thermal plants that use mirrors for concentrating sunlight.

    In a word, renewable or alternative energy is a joke, and the bankrupcy of Obama-financed Solyndra demonstrates an example of that. Yes, alternative energy if planned carefully could supply 20% of the electric grid, but no more than that due to instabilities caused by unavoidable and unrepeventable variations in energy source, whether wind, solar or tidal is irrelevant. 80% of the grid has to come from stable sources of electrical generation such as coal, natural gas, oil or nuclear.

    Of these choices, only nuclear can safely generate the energy we need for as long as we need it, Fukushima, Chernobyl, TMI and Windscale notwithstanding. The new reactor designs use passive cooling systems that obviate the conditions at those plants which resulted in accidents.

    The Fukushima BWRs never upgraded their designs the way US BWRs did, and the plants were built right on the seacost so when a tsunami happened, the diesel intakes got flooded and electricity for core cooling was lost. Neverthless, only six people died – plant worker volunteers; no member of the p[ublic died, contrasted with a renewable energy hydro-electric dam the cracked because of the Sendai earthquake and killed thousands by flooding.

    Chernobyl was a graphite moderated, light water cooled reactor with a positive void coefficient of reactivity designed to be a plutonium weapons breeder; this type of government design was always “outlawed” in the West, and US light water cooled and moderated reactors cannot by the laws of physics undergo a Chernobyl event.

    TMI unit 2 was a Combustion Engineering once through steam generator PWR; even so, when the worst happened, the radioactivity was contained in containment and no member of the publc was injured.

    was a British graphite moderated reactor whose graphite blocks caught fire; no such plant is licensed in the US.

    And as for spent fuel, that is an energy resource – NOT waste – whose long-lived actinides can be consumed in fast neutron reactors or Carlo Rubbia energy amplifiers, leaving behind only short lived radionuclides that decay in mere hundreds of years contrasted with the never-decay of the mercury released by coal fired power plants.

    All these things can be done with Westinghouse’s AP1000 design, GE’s ESBWR design or PRISM design, or a myriad others, but Barack Hussein Obama opposes these. He appointed anti-nuclear activist Gregory Jackzo as NRC Chairman and when Jackzo began abusing women on the job, he replaced him with geologist Allison MacFarlane who has not an ounce of nuclear or engineering experience or training and whose husband is an anthropologists of anti-nuclear activists. Obama’s DOE Secretary, Stephen Chu set up loan guarruntees for a new plant at Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliff’s site in Maryland, and the terms oof the agreement would have bankrupt the company. Yet useless solar cell and wind turbine companies get hundreds of millions of dollars, often borrowed from communist China.

    Now how do I know these things? 30+ years of training and experience starting as a submarine reactor operator and continuing in the commercial nuclear power industry. A small pellet of uranium the size of a pencil eraser contains as much energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, or 1,780 pounds of coal, or 149 gallons of oil, and this pellet weighs approximately 7 grams. And all the “waste” (really just used fuel waiting to be recycled / reprocessed) is completely contained and sequestered, unlike coal and oil and gas whose refuse is dumped into the environment by 100s of millions of tons per year, and that refuse contains carcinogens which never ever decay away.

    Too many people mouth the liberal lie of renewable energy because public schools controlled by liberals teach neither critical thinking skills nor any real science (yet we conservatives are called anti-science – go figure!). It’s all physics – a 7 gram pellet or uranium or thorium or plutonium has the energy of almost a ton of coal, and when that ton is burned, where does its waste go (which still weighs a ton)?

  • Of course, I’m very disappointed by the outcome, but surprising I feel at peace. Maybe it’s because I now have clarity. There’s no more false hope of a political solution to what is a deep spiritual sickness. In the spiritual realm, I believe that Our Lord is dividing the sheep from the goats and preparing us for a purifying chastisement of some kind. I just hope and pray that I and everyone here, remain faithful to Him despite everything that will come. Another thing, the schism that took place in the American Catholic Church over Humanae Vitae will come out officially and the establishment of an American Patriotic Catholic Church loyal to the state (Obama), and not Rome is a real possibility. When I hear discussions from liberal catholics, especially at my place of employment, believe me, they would welcome it. “Gird your loins” indeed! We on the Christian right are up against a Marxist Left who has made common cause with Islam, and a ruling class that constantly stabs us in the back. Plus, “Vichy” catholics within the Church who may collaborate in that persecution. We may very well be reduced to a Gideon’s Army, but will ultimately become the corner stone of the new America that will rise out of the ashes

  • Sorry, Donald, that I got carried away w/ myself again in that response to Jay Junk. It isn’t possible to “sound-bite” a complex topic like energy and liberal mis-management thereof. An understanding of physics and engineering is required along with an accurate history what the politicians did. An ability in logical reasoning is also required. Too many are subject to the disinformation of the media and don’t know the facts, or have never been taught to actually think critically.

    That said, I do believe there is hope – Faith, Hope and Love. I do not know if the Republic can be saved, but I for one will not surrender. I won’t just give up on what I know to be best and truest of America. And while I may loathe and detest Obama, the right thing to do is shower him with prayer, not hate him. I was thinking about that at lunch time as I was limping along in my leg brace for exercise and praying my Rosary. How often have I prayed the Rosary for our elected leaders? Maybe I shouldn’t complain. Maybe I should pray the Serenity Prayer a lot more than I have been.

    BTW, today is the Glorious Mysteries. The victory was already won on Calvary, and all we are seeing is the Devil squirming. He lost back then, and while this battle didn’t go for us as we would like, God has been good to each of us, so I need to put some gratitude in my attitude. Please remind me of that in the next post comment when I go off the deep end – again! My short term memory sucks.

  • With several times the money, Romney couldn’t get out as many voters as McCain. That is a pretty significant lesson, too.

    I am not sure what the lesson is. It looks as if voter turnout is returning to historical norms, having been quite elevated in 2004 and 2008.

  • Art,

    The lesson is that unless the money goes right into the pocket of the voter, campaign spending doesn’t increase turnout among people disinclined to vote. The only other way that it might have an effect is if someone personally cajoled each such person and offered to stand in line for them until they got to the check in table. I predict the Dems will have email voting by 2020.

  • Maybe, Art. But it may also point out a structural flaw in the GOP’s organization–it can raise gobs of cash, but it can’t get out the vote.

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  • The GOP largely relies on volunteers to get out the vote while the Democrats largely rely on paid staffers. I think the days of relying on volunteer ad hoc organizations to get out the vote may have reached its shelf life. The Democrats actually stood in awe of the Republican get out the vote effort in 2004 in Ohio which was quite successful. They copied it and have improved upon it.

  • @Paul Primavera
    Thank you for your post. As a female, Catholic, chemist, I get tired of the “liberals love science”/”conservatives are knuckle dragging morons” narrative. It is government regulation that keeps us from building the new nuclear reactors. It is liberal government that perpetuates the “green energy” canard.
    When the “green energy” folks start talking, I want to tell them: “Until you can tell me the ideal gas law equation and do a simple calculation using this equation, don’t talk to me about science.”

  • The GOP largely relies on volunteers to get out the vote while the Democrats largely rely on paid staffers. I think the days of relying on volunteer ad hoc organizations to get out the vote may have reached its shelf life.

    When I volunteered outside the polling place yesterday, I had to bring my own table. I had no banner or any other means to identify that I was affiliated with the GOP. The Democrats had a large tent, and at least three groups of people rotating – one handing out a Democrat sample ballot, one advocating on behalf of question 6 (gay marriage), and one pair of volunteers advocating for all the ballot initiatives.

    Now this is the bluest part of a blue state, so it’s probably not really fair to compare. I’m sure there was some poor Democrat equivalent to me in west Texas (though noticeably warmer). But, there is definitely a lack of a solid organization that could at least put the state more in play.

  • Thanks, Deb!

    Ideal Gas Law Equation: PV = nRT

    Hour 1 of day 1 in Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in US Naval Nuclear Power School, circa 1977.

    But I am a knuckle dragging, Bible believing, Mass attending Christian conservative.

  • “The GOP largely relies on volunteers to get out the vote while the Democrats largely rely on paid staffers. I think the days of relying on volunteer ad hoc organizations to get out the vote may have reached its shelf life.”

    Money in the pocket is a consistent motivator. not the best motivator or a noble motivator but the most consistent. My experiences in VA echo Mr Zummo’s. No contest in the “on the ground” organization. The Dems also knocked on doors of registered voters or maybe voters who had recently voted to pressure them to vote.

  • Paul Primavera, I always enjoy your posts.

    The logic of what you say gets overwhelmed by the nonsense of things like The China Syndrome and half-baked attempts at reporting what goes on in nuclear power. Just like coal, radical envoirnmentalists hate nuclear power and that is that.

    I have worked doing financial and regulatory reporting in health insurance since 1989. Obamacare likely means the end of my job and career sometime in the future. The lamestream media has long blamed health insurance companies for all if the ills in health care.

    What we have in the majority of the electorate consist of the multiple pierced and tattooed, with ear plugs, the faithful readers of the supermarket magazines who swoon over all things Kardashian, Hollywood – who shapes culture now, and I could go on but I won’t.

  • Paul W. Primavera, your posts concerning the pros and cons of various energy sources have always and will continue to fascinate me. I’m not scientific, just endlessly curious. Thanks!

    America may not seem at all like the same country many of us were born into (i.e. pre-Roe vs. Wade) but I don’t feel like giving up on my homeland quite yet. Hard not to be afraid, though, afraid of what comes after this unnerving election. Padre Pio, pray for us worriers.

  • Paul Z – You were the first one to point out what a lackluster campaign both Senate candidates in VA were running. That really did stand out to me. The best lacked all conviction, while the worst kind of lacked conviction too. I think the power has been shifting toward Northern VA for a while now. Also, the Democratic Party didn’t really suffer the same devastation as in other Southern states through the 1970’s to 2000’s. Part of that probably has to do with the one-term governorship, which has required both parties to push new talent forward. Though “talent” may not be the right word.

    I can’t shake the feeling that the VA Republicans just wanted to sit this one out. I think the same thing happened in FL, where they’ve been on the wrong end of a national co-dependent relationship, always being asked to carry an extra burden. They seemed exhausted after getting Rubio in office.

  • Maybe, Art. But it may also point out a structural flaw in the GOP’s organization–it can raise gobs of cash, but it can’t get out the vote.

    OK. The thing is, campaign techniques come to matter because these elections are so closely contested.

    ===

    Just to re-iterate: the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in three years and the majority caucus increases in size. Masses of young people are unemployed, and they vote for the incumbent party by a large majority. There does appear to be a durable shift toward the Democratic Party in presidential contests in recent years in spite of flagrant fiscal mismanagement and in spite of imposing on the public a medical insurance scheme that that public dislikes. (And, yet, the Republican Party had its best back-to-back performance in contests for the House of Representatives since 1928, go figure). Making sense of this would tax just about anyone’s skills.

    A while back, Donald Douglas said we had developed a terrible problem of collective action. I think we can see this comes not only from institutional defects which have been manifest for at least a generation, but from cultural ones as well. People disagree about whether the restructuring of the political economy during the years running from 1933 to 1947 was wise, but the people who undertook this restructuring could at least keep simple accounts and organize common activities. Public sector borrowing was kept within bounds prior to the war and national mobilization and demobilization were expeditious. Imagine that now.

    Elite positions are occupied by creatures such as Harry Reid, who has no sense of stewardship, and nothing they do persuades a decisive segment of the electorate to get rid of them. One might say we will learn the hard way that this is no way to run a government, but our problem may be less tractable than that. It may be that the way people process experience robs it of its power to teach. We saw what this looked like in the Southern Cone of South America a generation ago: a long period of relative economic decline and intense political contention before exasperated military officers put worthless politicians and their clueless constituents on a half-generation long time out. If we are fortunate, our junta will be run by officers like those in Chile and not those in Argentina.

  • Art says “And, yet, the Republican Party had its best back-to-back performance in contests for the House of Representatives since 1928, go figure)”

    Its due to an off year landslide coupled with census based gerrymandering. That will work only to 2020.

    “The U.S. Senate has not passed a budget in three years and the majority caucus increases in size. ”

    From the standpoint of the public a budget is passed every year. They don’t understand the difference between a regular budget and a continuing resolution. A CR technically hamstrings new spending but Obama operates the Executive without much financial oversight so he moves money around and redefines legislation to suit the Dems. The budget is so bloated that there’s enough money sloshing around to keep everyone quiet.

  • As I have stated before, help is on the way in the Church via younger priests, nun, seminarians and novices who actually believe what the Church teachers. Unfortunately, they are having to combat 50 years of societal indoctrination by the Far Left. Historically, we have been through this before and we will eventually prevail, though I hate to count the cost.

    In the meantime, we need to pray that our country doesn’t go the way of past world powers, disappearing into the mists of history.

  • “Its due to an off year landslide coupled with census based gerrymandering. That will work only to 2020.”

    In 2010 the Republicans won in districts that had often been gerrymandered against them. Your argument also does not explain 2006 and 2008 where the Republicans suffered huge losses in the House.

  • “The budget is so bloated that there’s enough money sloshing around to keep everyone quiet.”

    People did not keep quiet in 2009 and 2010 and I doubt if they will keep quiet in 2013 and 2014. Pessimism should always be tempered by reality.

  • “OK, so Obama won. Now the Catholic Church has to really energize itself to stand up, light its lamp, gird its loins, and preach and act on Catholic teaching and Catholic values. We have good leaders we can count on: Dolan, George, Fr. Barron among them”

    ROTFL – if anyone thinks that the Bishop who sits and laughs with the abortionist in chief, or the Bishop who allows “Fr. Phleger” a continuing pulpit (and that is only one of many errant priest – I know because I live in this diocese) are going to lead anyone into battle for the sake of Catholic principles they are kidding themselves. I also have had the opportunity to watch a few of Fr. Barron’s “Catholicism” series and can not believe that someone who make the religious equivalent of Obama’s apology tour is likely to take up the cause either.

    We have been assured that the Church will prevail in the end – surely God alone will gain the glory as he seems to have no one to fight for him and for his children save himself.

  • Sigh. Harry Reid.

    You know, I was aware that Romney might not win. It was no sure thing. But the Senate is what really knocked the wind out of me today. The Republicans were supposed to pick up 7 seats this year. They ended up losing two. Every close race broke the other way.

    I know. At least we kept the House. But there aren’t many sentences that begin with “at least” that can describe this election. Maybe I’m feeling it worse, as a Marylander, where we apporved gay marriage, a ridiculous redistricting (seriously, you’ve got to look up the map for it, it’s unbelievable), and that horrible casino expansion. But two other states went for gay marriage too, and a few states expanded the use of marijuana. At least we kept the House. And at least Joe Donnelly is good on the issues. And at least Deb Fischer isn’t Bob Kerrey. But that’s about it.

  • Donald, I was referring to the people or various special interest groups taking the money as being quiet about the lack of a budget, not conservatives. Conservatives have been pretty even handed about criticizing Repub and Dem administrations on this, agreed.

    As for the House, obviously a landslide can’t occur without some overrunning of established district preferences. Even gerrymandered districts differ in degree with some more tenuous. We have had an unusual string of Congressional landslides in a short period. My point is that absent a landslide the gerrymandering will prevail. There was no landslide in 2012 obviously so the gerrymandering was effective. I specifically noted the counterexample of Illinois which the Dems gerrymandered in 2010. Lo and behold Repubs lost most of their seats there this cycle. I just want to caution folks about reading too much from a policy standpoint in the Repubs doing so well in the House. The landslide of 2010 was particularly well timed because it came in a census year. This also affected the state legislatures. I do not expect the Repubs to lose the House until 2020 at the earliest. You see what happened with the Dems when they had a landslide but couldn’t re -gerrymander the districts as well. They were swept out rather easily in 2010.

    Unfortunately with an autocratic President control of the House means less than it otherwise would, particularly where the Repubs won’t refuse to pass a CR.

  • “Sigh. Harry Reid.”

    I believe that Dingy Harry will be very effective at electing Republicans in 2014. This election was a disaster and there is no way to sugar coat it. It is especially disturbing because it comes after a disastrous first term for Obama and the expectation of victory. However, the vote totals were closer than in 2008 and I do not think this was an ideological election, but rather that the Republicans got taken to the cleaners by a superb get out the vote machine of the Democrats. One advantage of being beaten is that it can be a great learning experience, and there is much to learn from yesterday.

  • Sorry I meant 2022 at the earliest. Gerrymandering is becoming more of an exact science than it was in the past so the Repubs should be fairly safe for this decade.

  • It was a good election result in many ways. No amount of money swung the votes in Romney’s favour which shows that a substantial proportion of the Republican pool are a principled lot. He was unlikely to have gone against the various oligarchies – http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/david-stockman-mitt-romney-and-the-bain-drain.html. I hope this marks the end of the elusive “values bloc” with Latinos and migrants from Asia, who supposedly put family values above their sectarian interests. When the beans are counted it is their votes which were decisive in putting Obama over the top. The Republicans need a bruiser like Richard Nixon, but whether such a character can rise up through the crybaby primaries remains to be seen.

  • “It was a good election result in many ways. No amount of money swung the votes in Romney’s favour which shows that a substantial proportion of the Republican pool are a principled lot.”

    Rubbish. Almost all Republicans greatly preferred Romney to Obama.

    “The Republicans need a bruiser like Richard Nixon,”

    Nixon was a crook Ivan and a big government man. Wage and price controls ring a bell? He set the party up for one if its biggest electoral losses in its history in 1974.

  • “The Republicans need a bruiser like Richard Nixon,”

    For what? Political patronage? Mr. Nixon had his virtues, but they found little expression in public life.

    1. The man was a wretched administrator. Read the accounts of John Dean and Richard Nathan about how business got done in the Nixon Administration. There was little mind given to political appointments. They could not trust their own patronage recipients to actually implement (much less design) Administration policy and not to be captured by the permanent government and then attempted to supervise them by manufacturing a hypertrophied White House Staff.

    2. An aspect of that was Nixon’s wretched inner life. He could deal with only a few people one-on-one without a prepared script in hand and found it nearly impossible to fire anyone. Read Ron Nessen’s memoir of the Ford Administration. Henry Kissinger was always a difficult man, but he never attempted to jerk Ford around in the manner that was routine with Nixon.

    3. Nixon was about Nixon. He had little in the way of an ideological or programmatic center of gravity and went to and fro according to the kultursmog of the political establishment and calculations of electoral advantage. Much to the exasperation of pols like Robert Dole, he manifested little committment to building the Republican Party as an institution. Dole recalled the 1972 election as an abnormal opportunity “and we spent it all on the presidential race”.

    4. A consequence of factors 1 & 2 was the Watergate scandal. Behind all that were men whose deficit of scruple finally caught up with them (John Mitchell, H.R. Haldeman), a whole crew of people who had no business holding responsible positions (the young Charles Colson, John Dean, Howard Hunt, Gordon Liddy, John Ehrlichman), men lost in their own apparatchikiness (Jeb Magruder, Dwight Chapin, Egil Krough), and various rogues who just needed the work (Donald Segretti, Anthony Ulaszewicz, Bernard Barker &co.). They were pursuing (among other) a mess of others who had no business holding responsible positions (Morton Halperin, Daniel Ellsburg) or were just plain rogues (Jack Anderson). It was not until the Clinton years you had such a collection of non-talent in one place.

  • “The Republicans need a bruiser like Richard Nixon,”

    Nixon was a crook Ivan and a big government man. Wage and price controls ring a bell? He set the party up for one if its biggest electoral losses in its history in 1974.

    But at least Nixon won the presidency twice.. Romney couldn’t even beat a man who made Jimmy Carter look like George Washington.

  • Some Catholic bloggers give up blogging for Lent. I’m going to have to give it up during election and immediate post-election season because all the gloom and doom and handwringing is beginning to drive me barking mad to the point that my husband and daughter are noticing it, which is not good. I spent literally all night in front of the computer last night and was an emotional wreck this morning thinking about all this. Of course when I get like this my husband cites it as evidence that I “take religion and politics much too seriously” and should be doing something more useful like cleaning house… grrr… but maybe he’s right. Anyway, in order not to spend the next few months getting ready for the men in white coats, I’m going to have to take a hiatus from visiting this site until we all get the election out of our system. In the meantime I will just say extra prayers every day for you all and concentrate on serving my family and the public well and treating everyone with respect and kindness. Blessings to all.

  • Obama did not win the INFORMED AND FAITHFUL Catholic vote. Only uninformed and/or unfaithful secularists who claim to be “Catholic” voted for Obama. There’s a Pacific-sized difference between those two demographics as in opposite ends of the spectrum.

    We have a lot of education work to do in the New Evangelization.

  • The main thing that makes me so sad about this is how so many people here are so sad about this. Forget whether four years of Mr. Weathervane, hardly the local favorite back during the primaries, would have really turned the game around given that everyone knew the election was going to be close. Forget the fact that rejoicing when gay marriage loses by only a few points and wailing when it wins by the same amount is a tragic example of simply not getting it. One would still hope that Catholics, of all people, could be more far-sighted and circumspect regarding how our plight compares with *real* setbacks over the last two millennia. To take just one example, it took about five centuries of heroic effort, diluted by incessant Christian infighting and betrayals, to drive the Ottomans out of Europe. Granted, it wasn’t Don John or Jan Sobieski who did as much to knock them out as it was the Mongols, and come to think of it, another half century of socialist multikulti might put an ironic epilogue to that particular saga, but my point remains. Why would anyone expect socialism to be a less intransigent foe than were the Ottomans?

    Get a spine, people. Leave the hyperventilating to the liberals.

  • On the subject of “alternative energy,” it is interesting that, in France, the whole green agenda has come under attack from the Hard Left, particularly the Anarcho-Sydicalists, Anti-Globalist and Anti-Capitalist groups, who see it as a pretext for state control:

    “Without ecology, nothing would have enough authority to gag any and all objections to the exorbitant progress of control.

    Tracking, transparency, certification, eco-taxes, environmental excellence, and the policing of water, all give us an idea of the coming state of ecological emergency. Everything is permitted to a power structure that bases its authority in Nature, in health and in well-being.”

  • [T]he inevitable “why didn’t we nominate a conservative?” perspective that will likely be all over radio tomorrow is totally wrong. …the problem is that he was perceived by a good portion of the electorate to be some kind of extremist (or, at least, “captive” to alleged extremists).
    JDP

    Mitt was perceived that way because he was painted that way by the Establishmen Media.

    Here’s something extra to think about: if another person had won the Republican nomination, what other charges of “extremist!” could the Establishment Media have pinned on him? Speaker Gingrich has been married 3 times? Santorum is — ewww — Catholic? Rick Perry is from Texas and owns a gun?

    [D]oes this mean we gotta go all Jon Hunstman next election…? no.

    I agree, JDP. The Obama campaign and its Establishment Media bylined operatives threw about all the nasty and invented charges they could throw at any conservative Republican at Romney. Nominating Milquetoast Mitt, former governor of Massachusetts (hardly friendly to hard-core conservatives!), didn’t cause the leftists to hold back any of their vitriol, cheap shots, and dirty media tricks. So I ask, next election why not go with a real conservative who’ll stand up for America’s core Judeo-Christian values?

    I think the whole “if the GOP ditched the social issues they’d’ve won” perspective is off too, although that certainly played a role to an extent.

    I agree with you on that too, JDP.

    If there was anything to be gained by “ditch(ing) the social issues” the Libertarian Party candidate would have – in my opinion – climbed to double digit percentages of the total vote, a record. (Even 1.1% would have been an all-time LP high.) Didn’t happen.

    I do expect to see talk on the social issues to increasingly become talk about fiscal responsibility. The effort to defund Planned Parenthood is a prototypical example of such a move. In a welfare state all social pathologies cost the public treasury money so there’s lots of opportunity to curb social pathologies by turning off the cash spigots that directly and indirectly pay to enable them.

  • “But at least Nixon won the presidency twice.”

    Nixon lost the presidency in 1960, almost lost the presidency in 1968 at a time when the Democrats were engaging in self-immolation, won a landslide victory in 1972 when a ham sandwich running on the Republican line could have done the same, and then immediately threw his victory away by refusing to immediately come clean on the Watergate mess.

  • “Blessings to all.”

    Blessings to you Elaine. Politics is always a business of, as Kipling said, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;”. The victories are never final and the defeats are never lasting. The important thing is to learn from both and to use that knowledge next time around to advance the causes you believe in.

  • If 50% of Catholics voted for a pro-abort candidate, how will the Church be persecuted? They obviously don’t adhere to its teachings preferred to betray her Savior than to change their evil ways.

    Kyrie Eleison.

  • Donald,
    RM Nixon in comparison with the men of his time was no great crook. He did not have an extended and powerful family like Kennedy to handle the skullduggery, hence the presence of unsavory characters in his kitchen cabinet. The man was subjected to a constant stream of villification and had to defend himself with no help from the press. A personal hobglobin in the form of Jack Anderson pursued him throughout his career and the East Coast set hated him from his HUAC days.

    He was a pragmatist in taking the US out of the unsustainable Gold Standard and imposed a temporary wage and price freeze based on sound advice. The effect of going from trust based on gold to one based on government fiat is different from the “oil shock ” which came during the Yom Kippur War during his term. In the former, there is no reason for relative prices to change drastically unless the US government itself collapses in which case some caudillo would have already made out with the gold in Fort Knox; in the latter there is real inflation based on the drastic rise in the price of a basic input. The EPA which came in his term was necessary for ensuring a clean environment, a task that no private sector company would have undertaken since there is no money in it. Government is a neccesary evil when it comes to safeguarding the commons. The problem is that in the US it is often captured by the incompetent and corrupt.

    Dr Kissinger was often taunted as a court Jew and had to show his mettle by embellishing his record. His account does not comport with the Nixon who saved Israel by ordering the massive airlift over Kissinger’s timidity. Nixon didn’t allow Israel which had at that time no great friends in the US after Liberty to “twist slowly in the wind”. In the middle of a war against a ruthless enemy in Vietnam, the press was going full court in undermining his efforts, his defects pale in comparison to their treachery. It wasn’t just to save his hide that tried to salvage Watergate, I surmise that he suspected correctly that the press and the anitwar faction were going to blow it up out of all proportion, in order to destroy his war effort. Sun-Tzu the military theorist who seem to have distilled all the wisdom of village crones advised tha “the one who betrays a secret must be put to death along with the one he told it to.” Now there is little doubt that the Vietnamese and Chinese for whom this would be mother’s milk, understood that when Nixon could not stop Ellsburg from publishing the Pentagon Papers, that he had lost control, his mojo even for while the Vietnamese had no hope of defeating the US in battle they knew that they could rely on their friends in the US to deliver victory to them.

  • MPS wrote in part, ““Without ecology, nothing would have enough authority to gag any and all objections to the exorbitant progress of control….”

    Progress – economic, industrial and technological – can only be safely pursued by access to low cost, reliable energy. Dr. Bernard Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Pittsburgh, tells us how, particularly in his work, The Nuclear Energy Option (http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/BOOK.html):

    http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/

    Just scroll down the wbe page for all the various links to his papers. Kindly read what a real scientist has to say:

    Test of the linear-no threshold theory …. (8.8 MB PDF)
    Update of test of the linear-no threshold theory …. (4.0 MB PDF)
    Cancer Risk from Low-Level Radiation
    Catalog of risks (17.0 MB PDF)
    Risk Analysis of Buried Wastes from Electricity Generation (5.0 MB PDF)
    Discounting in Assessment of Future Radiation Risks (5.1 MB PDF)
    Treatment of Confounding Factors in a Test of the Linear-No Threshold Theory, or Test of Linear-No Threshold Theory: Rationale for Procedures (186 kB HTML)
    Test of the Linear-no Threshold Theory-Recent Semi-popular (71 kB HTML)
    The Cancer Risk from Low Level Radiation (601 kB PDF)
    Probabilistic risk analysis of a high level radioactive waste repository (37 kB HTML)
    Perspectives on the risks from buried high level waste (98 kB HTML)
    Book-The Nuclear Energy Option (1.5 MB HTML)
    Instruction for accessing data file (6 kB HTML)
    Response to The potential for bias in Cohen’s ecological analysis of lung cancer and residential radon (23 kB HTML)
    Response to suggestion by Puskin of an alternative explanation of my data
    Response to Mossman Letter to Editor, Health Physics News, July 2003
    Understanding the Toxicity of Buried Radioactive Waste and Its Impacts

    —–

    God has provided enough thorium and uranium in Earth’s crust to power human civilization at the energy consumption level of the average American for tens of thousands of years without polluting the environment. That is no exaggeration. We don’t do it for the same reasons that Obama got re-elected: sin – the sin of greed, the sin of liberal-ISM: I-Self-Me.

  • “RM Nixon in comparison with the men of his time was no great crook.”

    Oh yes he was Ivan. The fact that other politicians of his time, LBJ comes to mind, were also great crooks does not negate this reality.

    “The man was subjected to a constant stream of villification and had to defend himself with no help from the press.”

    Poor baby! Such villification is a common fact of life for most Republican politicians. Reagan got just as much without engaging in the criminal and stupid actions that Nixon did.

    “imposed a temporary wage and price freeze based on sound advice.”
    The advice was foolishness and did nothing to curb inflation. Even a cursory look at history would have shown him that such a move was self-defeating, but for all his self-vaunted intellect Nixon never did give much evidence of learning from history.

    “The EPA which came in his term was necessary for ensuring a clean environment,”

    Absolutely not, and it has been a curse on this country ever since.

    “Government is a neccesary evil when it comes to safeguarding the commons.”

    Government is often a cure that is worse than the illness it seeks to correct. Nixon was one of the prime builders of the modern US welfare state.

    “Nixon didn’t allow Israel which had at that time no great friends in the US after Liberty to “twist slowly in the wind”.”

    Actually Israel was overwhelmingly popular on both sides of the aisle in Nixon’s time.

    “I surmise that he suspected correctly that the press and the anitwar faction were going to blow it up out of all proportion, in order to destroy his war effort.”

    Nixon was always a paranoid fruit loop and that destroyed him. McGovern was absolutely no threat to him politically. A 15 minute speech denouncing aides who went too far would have solved the whole mess for him, and the idiot instead destroyed himself with a futile coverup.

  • A 15 minute speech denouncing aides who went too far would have solved the whole mess for him, and the idiot instead destroyed himself with a futile coverup.

    It would not have worked. The ‘aides’ in question included his campaign director, (who was also the former Attorney-General), the deputy campaign director, and the general counsel to the Committee to Re-elect the President. The treasurer of the CRP and one of H.R. Haldeman’s secretaries also had some knowledge of what was up, though they were not implicated. The whole business was an extension of the Plumbers operation, so coming clean meant taking out anyone implicated in that (John Ehrlichman, for one). Given that the chief of security at his campaign headquarters was among those arrested (walking around with phony identification), it is amazing the whole mess took as long as it did to unravel. Nixon’s personal relationship with John Mitchell precluded coming clean.

  • Ivan,

    Again, I refer you to Ron Nessen. Gerald Ford maintained a cold contempt for Richard Nixon and took years to forgive him. The reason for that was that Nixon had violated codes that politicians observe amongst themselves. Barry Goldwater’s views were similar. Read some of George Will’s early columns to get a sense of what Gordon Allott and his staff thought of Nixon. The Kennedys were godawful (and treated with kid gloves by the press) and Lyndon Johnson was thorough in his absence of scruple. Nixon was not the singular figure that hackademics and hack journalists claimed he was. Doesn’t make him kosher. We could have done better (and did, before 1961 and after 1974).

  • Government is often a cure that is worse than the illness it seeks to correct. Nixon was one of the prime builders of the modern US welfare state.

    Ivan has a point. Common property resources and externalities are market failures. The EPA’s methods and specific policy decisions can be criticized, but an appratus like the EPA is legitimate and useful at all levels. We need a better EPA, not no EPA.

  • Nixon was one of the prime builders of the modern US welfare state.

    He wasn’t. Nixon, with the assistance of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, made a failed attempt to rationalize federal welfare programs and grants to the states generally. He did succeed in arranging for the dismantling of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Great Society’s most misbegotten agency.

  • Everybody knows that Kennedy stole the election in 1960, which was razor close. In any event, it can be safe to say Nixon waw far better at winning presidential elections than Romney, who, let me repeat, lost to the man who made Jimmy Carter look like George Washington. Donald, as one who studies military history, you know that when fight to not lose instead of fighting to win, you usually lose. And Romney fought to not lose. Oh, can we now say that Michael Barone was wrong…again?

    Another thing, listening to pundits like Karl Rove Charles Krauthammer make asses of themselves post election would be funny if it wasn’t so painful. Krauthammer’s “He won, biut he doesn’t have a mandate.” was a classic for the ages. Since when has that stopped Obama? Did he have a mandate to inmpose Obamacare on an American public that anoverwhelming majority of Americans did not want? If the Consitition doesn’t stop him from making recess appointments while the Senate is not in recess or imposing this HHS mandate, what’s a lack of a mandate.

  • Everybody knows that Kennedy stole the election in 1960, which was razor close.

    Umm, no. There is a reasonable inference that the electoral votes of Illinois were stolen. Illinois would not have sufficed for Nixon.

  • The Kennedy myth may or may not be true. Historians differ, arguing over the facts in IL, TX and MO. After reading many of the arguments, I’m inclined to think that Kennedy did steal it, but I’m not remotely certain — and no reasonable person can be.

  • “Nixon’s personal relationship with John Mitchell precluded coming clean.”

    Mitchell would have gladly taken the fall for Nixon and John Ehrlichman, if he had been assured of a pardon down the road, would have also. Haldeman would have gladly died for Nixon.

  • “Everybody knows that Kennedy stole the election in 1960”

    It was LBJ who did the stealing in Texas. Daley stole elections in Illinois as a matter of course.

  • “it can be safe to say Nixon was far better at winning presidential elections than Romney, who, let me repeat, lost to the man who made Jimmy Carter look like George Washington.”

    Nixon did not have the demographic problems confronting Romney, and Obama is a far abler politician than Humphrey or McGovern, both of whom were leading the Democrats at a time when the party was falling apart. Nixon in both 68 and 72 had a cakewalk compared to Romney this year. Not that Romney is a great politician, but Nixon was a truly miserable one, at least in his post Veep career. I do enjoy viewing his Checkers Speech however which amply displays Nixon’s talent for prevarication, schmaltz and self-pity. It saved his neck however, and in some ways Obama reminds me of Nixon but with much greater political skill.

What’s Done Is Done . . .

Tuesday, November 6, AD 2012

Now that the polls are closed in the great swing state of Ohio that I call home, I am more reserved than I was all day.  Except for the counting, the re-counting, the hanging chads (electronic or otherwise), and the law suits that no doubt have already been drafted and need only be filed … what’s done is done.  The winner has been picked and only needs revealed.  As I, along with the nation, anxiously await the results, a thought struck me, not like a ton of bricks, but more like a whispered prayer.

The great miracle of history is how the God of the universe manages blessing in all situations.  This is obvious in cases where good triumphs over evil.  Yet the contradiction of the Cross demonstrates blessing even in the darkest moments of humanity.

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7 Responses to What’s Done Is Done . . .

  • No matter what, things will work out.

    Can be very, very painful on the way, but things work out.

  • Seeing the inevitable unfold… thank you for reminding me of this “the salvation of the world does not fall in the person of Mitt Romney, president or otherwise”. My catholic brothers and sisters in the states: you’ll be fine. Despite everything, you’ve done well this past 4 years and will do even better the next 4.

  • So much for the influence of Bishops telling catholics not to vote for those that support the evil of abortion. Catholics contributed heavely to President Obama’s re-election in the norteastern states.

  • Ever so little sleep and I woke with a start… I have the lesson from this entirely wrong.

    Secularism is the explicit turning from God to rely on man. Similarities there may be between the corrosive effects of wealth on empires but these are the symptoms, not the causes of woe. The proper parallel is found in the Old Testament.

    The OT is, essentially the story of God’s repeated efforts to turn Man back to Him alone.

    Adam relied on God alone. The First Commandment was satisfied for Adam could not help but love God with all of his being. Then God made Eve and the Second Great Commandment was satisfied for Adam could not help but love Eve as himself for she was “flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.”

    They fell and turned from their Creator, learning to place trust in themselves rather than God. Indeed, Adam was thrust out of God’s protection and nature was set against him. Cain kills Abel because God receives Abel’s sacrifice and blesses him for it – in essence, because Abel places his trust in God rather than his own strength, God blesses him, He restores some measure of His protection.

    The Old Testament is replete with variation on this theme.

    Abraham is blessed because he places his trust in God’s strength, not his own. Isaac and Jacob too. We see David vacillating between a state of complete trust in the Lord and trust only in Man. We see God blessing the Israelites only when they place their trust EXCLUSIVELY in His strength rather than their own. He uses elaborate schemes to dwindle the strength of the Israelite forces so that no one can claim that it was Man’s strength that won the day. They march around Jericho blowing trumpets and men who drink directly from the Jordan rather than cupping the water and drinking from their hands are unworthy to face their foes.

    Again and again we see this theme – that you are on your own when you trust in Man. Only completely giving yourself over to God is acceptable to Him.

    The message I should have taken from tonight is that America is being left to our own devices to teach us the same lesson He has been trying to teach our beloved race since the beginning; that we can do nothing good independent of Him.

    As America has turned more and more to the strength of Man – our ingenuity, our intellect, our passions – we have adopted a philosophy that justifies our turning from Him – Secularism. We re-cast our history to show religious fervor as the enemy of Reason so as to convince othrs that salvation for Man rests in the restraints of Reason – as though Reason can restrain Satan, that great delusional beast whose Reason failed him as assuredly as did his Faith.

    Obama is an emblem, a sign of a deeper cancer, gnawing at the body politic. He is the dark bruise on the flesh of the fruit, indicating and yet hiding the putrification beneath. The key then is not to find the right people to lead us, but to let it go and trust that nothing but He that Is can take care of us, that no amount of vetting, spinning, polling, or messaging will make things right, that the “reasonable” thing to do is abandon Reason and put our trust only in Him.

    Weird. It took a sleepless, depressed night to see what is repeatedly and specifically stated in Sacred Scripture.

    How’d I miss THAT.

    Good night friends. I am going to sleep now and let God take care of tomorrow.

    Vivat Jesus!

  • I haven’t slept all night, either. I just couldn’t fathom the stupidity. Thanks, G-Veg; your message is right on the money. I am going to sleep now, too.

  • Today, right now, there are millions of souls in Purgatory who need our prayers. If I spent half the time praying that I spend whining, I could clear out a good chunk of Purgatory myself.

    Anyway, it’s November. If you’re feeling sad and impotent today, we can do something that can concretely change the lives of those who need us.

Election Day and Night Live Blog

Tuesday, November 6, AD 2012

So the day has arrived at last.  Our political adversaries are not orcs, but I must say I have been waiting for this day through four long years, and I am as eager to vote against Obama and his party as the Rohirrim were eager to smash the army of Sauron at Minas Tirith.  This is our live blog for this election day and night.  All contributors to TAC are welcome to post on it.  Passions no doubt will be running rather high today, and I will be attempting to keep these words of Abraham Lincoln in mind:

I thank you, in common with all others, who have thought fit, by their votes, to indorse the Republican cause. I rejoice with you in the success which has, so far, attended that cause. Yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.

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127 Responses to Election Day and Night Live Blog

  • From the 1928 BCP:

    ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • In keeping with President Lincolns suggestion I
    walk with purpose to the poll. An envelope filled with voter guides. May brotherly love still my heart which so longs for an Obama defeat. If you want, I will give you an update from the parking lot of the polling center.
    Just a comparison of 08′ temperament vs. today.

  • May God bless America.

  • I’ll be going to the polling place in about 30 minutes. I’ll come back and give my impression of the mood and description of the turnout.

  • Thank you Larry. That is precisely the type of report I want to see in the comboxes all day.

  • Hey, who knows? If it’s exciting and raucous and overrun with Union thugs, I might even have accompanying video!

  • That’s what I’m counting on! 🙂

  • I was at my precinct as it opened today at 6:30. There were nearly 100 people lined up. I live in Delaware County, Ohio, just north of Columbus, which is a GOP stronghold. Here’s hoping we election day voters are enough to swamp the Democrats early balloting electioneering.

  • I think this will be a Pauline Kael election for the media Darwin!

  • An American’s Prayer for Forgiveness
    Heavenly Father, we as Americans have lost our way, we have forsaken your love and gone our own way into self indulgence through our desire for personal gratification in every aspect of our lives.
    We have lost our grip on your eternal truth. We have chosen comfort over compassion; want over worship, pleasure over perseverance, personal satisfaction over eternal salvation, and now entitlements over personal efforts or sacrifice. Many now depend on the words, power, and promises of “Caesar” more than your eternal word.
    We want to come home to you as prodigal sons and daughters seeking your mercy upon us and our nation that we may be forgiven for our many offenses marked by our willingness to permit evil intent and false doctrines espoused by our own leaders to creep into our lives and society.
    We have not been vigilant, we have hidden our lamps under the bushel, and we have often remained silent as your tenants were judged unworthy by our authorities. As your word and laws were being removed from public buildings and our schools within the sight of our children we mumbled to ourselves rather than witness our faith to those who deny you. We’ve allowed evil to infiltrate our culture one “benefit” or “right” at a time.
    We seek through your mercy and forgiveness that within our nation your truth may at last be saved from corruption by those evil forces that care not for your law or love.
    We ask through this prayerful petition that for the sake of all the faithful here and in heaven that you might come to us as did the prodigal’s father and lead us back into your graces and grant that our beloved America may yet be returned to the one nation under God it once was and our founders intended it to be.
    Amen

  • Hamilton County, Indiana: In line at 5:30 for 6:00 open. The polls opened promptly at 6, at which time the voting machines equally promptly refused to accept the initialization cards of the poll volunteers. For 10 minutes there was panic and stress, until somebody theorized they might be Microsoft products. So they rebooted, and viola, a-voting we did go. This is evidently a county-wide issue, so hopefully the light shone through everywhere else, although I’ve heard tell already of hour-long delays.

    Overwhelmingly Republican area, and easily 150 people in line at 6AM.

  • Rasmussen has party id R 5.8 which is unprecedented.

    I think that is an indication that Rasmussen’s polling should be regarded with reserve. The Roper Center has some historical statistics available on the self-identification of exit poll respondents. Democratic respondents have generally exceeded in number Republican respondents, by a median of 11.5%. As for non-aligned voters, the median figure is 26% of the electorate. One’s single best guess concerning the composition of the electorate would be 39% Democratic, 35% Republican, and 26% non-aligned. The implication of the polls we have seen, which have the number of Democratic respondents exceeding Republican respondents by 20%, 30%, or (in one case) 80% imply a durable shift in the composition of the presidential electorate, which is interesting considering that the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives is almost as large as it ever has been in the last 80-odd years. Usually, a candidate’s support among non-aligned voters does not run more than about 16% ahead or behind his support in the general electorate. I just saw a poll reported in the New York Post which had Romney’s support among non-aligned voters exceeded that in the general electorate by 49%. That is very peculiar and certainly unprecedented in the set of nine elections Roper has polled.

    Something very peculiar is happening with this election. Either the relationship among these variables has undergone a phase shift or the samples are junk.

  • “Something very peculiar is happening with this election. Either the relationship among these variables has undergone a phase shift or the samples are junk.”

    Rasmussen couldn’t believe his own data Art, and today he predicted a D-2 election which, if correct, is bad for Obama. At this point I am sceptical of all the Presidential polls. I think technology has largely passed telephone polls by, with the number of people that can wall themselves off from unwanted calls, and the breakdown of stable party allegiances among various groups.

  • OK, here’s the report from SE Michigan, Oakland County, Small Town. From the moment I got in line until I cast my ballot to fire the Marxist by electing the 45th President of the US: about 20 minutes. I was ballot #188. Mood was light, and there were no ruffians at the gate. Which is typical for my town.

    Looking forward to watching the results this evening – with adult beverages and unhealthy snacks on hand…

  • “Mood was light, and there were no ruffians at the gate. Which is typical for my town.”

    I was hoping Larry for a tale of how you had to battle your way through a cordon of Obama Youth in order to cast your ballot! 🙂

  • I was hoping Larry for a tale of how you had to battle your way through a cordon of Obama Youth in order to cast your ballot!

    Sorry to disappoint, Don. There wasn’t even broken glass to crawl over!

  • Went to the polling place and voted. Same mood as the Wisconsin recall election. Long lines and everyone in a hurry. Seemed like most people were are on mission.

  • and the breakdown of stable party allegiances among various groups.

    Actually, it looks to me as if party allegiances are set in marble (in comparison with election cycles prior to 2000). The thing is, phase shifts in party allegiance have occurred in the past. You can see that in the Roper data for 1976, 1980, and 1984. Most self-identified Democrats given to cross-over voting decamped elsewhere and about 40% of the non-aligned voters chose a side (with Republicans garnering the bulk). This particular phase shift was unsurprising and part of a social process that was ongoing and visible for three decades prior. If we are looking at a phase shift now, it certainly was not manifest in any measure six or seven years ago.

  • Update from NW Michigan-

    In two hours very positive response from public vs. last year this time. Guides were happily received.

  • “Actually, it looks to me as if party allegiances are set in marble ”

    I don’t think so Art. The suburbs for example. For a very long time they were Republican bastions. Then they began to lean Democrat. Now, who knows?

    Another example is Catholics. For ages a solid Democrat group. This began to change with McGovern in 1972. Now, who knows?

    I think it is much harder to make accurate demographic and geographic assumptions than it was previously for pollsters.

  • Voting place was packed. Stood in line 45 minhutes. Never seen it like than on an election year, even in an “on year”. Some people definately on a mission, a few jokes here and there. Others afraid.

  • I went to vote in the northeastern part of Charlotte, NC at about 0920 hours. Turnout was light. There were the usual Democratic supporters – almost all black – right outside the voting place. People inside were nice and cordial regardless of the accident of skin color. One of the record-keeping ladies wanted to assist me when she saw my cane and leg brace for my quadraceps – patella injury. I told her I was OK and then proceeded to where I could cast my vote. I used a cheat sheet from the Mecklenburg GOP. One of the overseers – a black gentleman whose duty it was to activate each electronic voting console prior to each vote – apparently saw it but said nothing. When I was done, he was very kind to give me directions on which exit to use, and I thanked him. It was different than the entrance, and I consdered nothing of it, thinking that perhaps the gentleman wanted to keep ingress and egress traffic separated. But the exit led directly to the large trash bins outside the facility and no one else used the exit after my departure. I was truly most amused. This is indeed quite laughable. That is the best that the Democratic opposition can do – to direct me to the trash. Ha! Ha! I wish that that black man knew that the person whom he apparently favors (a) supports the legal infanticide of the unborn which disproportionately impacts percentage-wise more of those of his own race, and (b) those policies and programs which keep such people – in fact, any people regardless of the accident of skin color – enslaved to the teat of the public treasury. Sad. Very sad. I hope for the best for that man and everyone else: the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama.

  • (Don’s wife Cathy here): I voted @ approx. 8:30AM local time (roughly 1 1/2 hrs. after Don did). The polling place for all 4 precincts in our town is the parish hall at our local Catholic church. Fairly busy parking lot, but not packed (I’ve seen it much more crowded for a Lenten fish fry, f.ex.); cars entering & leaving throughout. Short line to check in at my precinct’s table, but no line to wait for a voting booth. Livingston County overall is a heavily Republican area, with typically no Democrats bothering to run for local races or the state legislature (as was the case today). Our oldest son voted down at his college town (couldn’t find his voter registration card from when he registered up here, so registered down there).

  • I trust that the Lord God remains in control, that the world proceeds according to the will of Divine Providence, and that UPS will deliver the extra 10,000 rounds of .223 that I ordered before the polls close this evening…

  • I also voted at about 8:30 a.m local time, in a downtown Springfield polling place. There was no line and no waiting and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. However, when I tried to vote early last Friday (at the Sangamon County Courthouse) there was a long line of people (I’d say at least 30 people) waiting to get in so I gave up and decided to go on Election Day. I suspect that a lot of people, at least in this area, voted early which reduced Election Day turnout.

  • Headed out to vote soon in the People’s Republic of Montgomery County, and will be spending most of the rest of the day at my polling location handing out literature and manning a table. I just drove by to put up signs, and the Democrats have an entire team in place, naturally. Not too busy right now, though it sounded as though it were fairly crowded this morning. As I mentioned in a tweet, I drove by a polling place in central DC at 10 and there was a line down the block. So this is looking like a high turnout election on both sides, and it will come down to who turns out the most.

  • For what’s its worth. Newsmax reporting that Michigan is tied thus far in early morning vote tabulation. Could be a great sign of things to come.

  • And by the way Don, I am feeling much better and didn’t need a barf bag.

  • If, God forbid, Obama gets four more years, he can blame himself for the mess he inherits.

    Mike,

    When the unsustainable inevitably collapses of its own evil you can use the ammo for barter.

    I too am stocking up: Scotch Whisky (purely for medicinal purposes). I’m looking at building a home distillery, too.

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  • Prince George’s County, Maryland – About one and a half hours. Roughly the same wait as in 2008. The ballot initiative that’s gotten the most attention is casino expansion, but there’s also gay marraige and the DREAM Act on the ballot.

  • Pinky – there was a ballot question about casinos? Do tell. 😉

    For those outside the Maryland area, we probably were inundated with as many ads on the casino as those in swing states were with presidential ads. The capper was Lavarr Arrington, the former Redskin, showing up in advertisements to shill for the casinos to urge folks to vote for question 7.

    I did get a robocall from Mike Huckabee to vote against question 6 (in other words to vote against gay marriage).

  • Report from the western suburbs of Denver, Colorado, ImportantSwingState.

    Arrived at my polling place shortly before the 7 am MST opening, and was 13th in line. Was able to vote against every incumbent, and election judge even correctly pronounced my last name correctly when she announced my ballot cast. Went to my children’s elementary school, which is also a polling place and they had a line out the door, for the 45 minutes I was there for “donuts with dad” Our neighborhood is in the competitive 7th CD, but with a long history of Democrats in the statehouse.

    “O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife.
    Who more than self their country loved
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine
    Till all success be nobleness
    And every gain divine!”