Prayers Over Politics

Tuesday, October 21, AD 2008


Senator Obama is leaving the campaign trail on Thursday until Saturday to visit in Hawaii his gravely ill maternal grandmother Madelyn Dunham.  I trust that all Catholics, especially Catholics who, as I do, support Senator McCain, will pray for Madelyn Dunham and Senator Obama.  Catholics understand the neverending need for God, especially at moments of grave illness, and that all of us are totally dependent on God’s mercy, grace and love.  This is a useful reminder that people we oppose politically are still, like us, poor sinners who need our prayers, as we need theirs.

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4 Responses to Prayers Over Politics

11 Responses to Biden and Def Con 1

  • Donald,

    Both you and Joe Biden may be correct. Some U.S. adversary might underestimate the conciliatory Obama and make some threating move (think Krushchev and the Cuban Missiles). Obama, needing to prove to the country that he is not a pushover, overreacts.

    They say that only Nixon could have gone to China, because he did not have to prove his anti-Communist credentials. Obama will not have that luxury, either in ideology or “toughness.”

    Either event, of course, is not a foregone conclusion, but it does give one pause . . . .

  • I share the same line of thinking, Don. I suspect we are more likely to find ourselves fighting another war(s) over the next four years under an Obama administration than a McCain administration.

  • I’m curious about your comment Darwin. I guess it depends on the baseline probabilities (.5% v. 5%, or 5% v. 15%), but it doesn’t seem very plausible to me that the U.S. will be eager to engage in any significant military commitments apart from Iraq or Afghanistan over the next 4 years. Also, I think that the idea that Obama will need to prove he’s not a pushover could mean a variety of things.

    In its more modest forms (e.g. Russian aggression in areas that are not of significant strategic interest to the U.S.), I may agree that there will be some attempt to get a read on Obama, but the likelihood of a large-scale conflict seem very remote to me. However, if it means a significant international challenge to our strategic interests, I think that is unlikely, as foreign governments are aware that the U.S. sometimes has a tendency to over-react to perceived threats, a lesson the Iraq war illustrates.

    Also, I don’t know how likely it is that Obama would overreact. He is very inexperienced, but he seems to surround himself with talented people (cf. Bush, McCain). Also, he is unlikely to feel a need to respond decisively out of insecurity, given that he likely will enjoy a convincing electoral victory, both houses of Congress, and exceptionally favorable media treatment.

  • Fair points, fus01.

    I’d tend to lean away from expecting a large scale conflict, expecting instead more of the “small vicious wars” of the Clinton era. The big possible exception to that being if Iran and Israel end up in a war, which would almost certainly end up drawing the US in to one extent or another — especially since Iran is placed right between the two theatres of operation we’re already involved in.

    The issue as I see it is that although Obama is certainly popular in the rest of the world, I get the sense one of the reasons he’s popular is that people are seeing him as a promise for the US to become more like the EU on the international scene. And no one really feels all that shy about defying the EU.

    The likely situations I would see are:

    -The Obama administration decides to attempt a humanitarian intervention in some African country (such as Sudan) and gets in way over its head — think a somewhat more drawn our corrollary to Somalia.

    -The Obama administration explicitly takes a slow track approach to letting Ukraine and George into NATO, and Russia decides to take that as license to invade one of them. My guess would be that with Georgia we’d probably leave them out to dry — with Ukraine there’d be the possibility of supporting air strikes or selling them arms. A true worst case scenario would be if the Russians attacked Poland in which case we would unquestionably have a war on our hands. But I’m thinking that unless Obama was truly imploding on the international scene, that would be unlikely.

    -Through a combination of supporting democratic elements in Pakistan (which are generally not pro-US) and agressively “rooting out” bin Ladin, we manage to involve ourselves peripherally in a Pakistani civil war. This becomes a worst case scenario if India gets sucked in because of Kashmir.

    -And the true worst case scenario: Through some combination of Iran thinking it has more latitude under an Obama presidency and Israel thinking it has to act first because it will have less explicit support, war (possibly dirty bomb or nuclear bomb) breaks out between Iran and Israel. Of all those options, that’s the one I’d see as being most likely to involve us in a large scale war.

    The big questions here are probably how competant an Obama administration turns out to be. We’ve all been told that he surrounds himself with competant people, but that was very much the wisdom about Clinton as well, and yet many of these talented people turned out to be highly inexperienced and at odds with each other (though very educated) once they actually got to Washington and tried to set up rule.

    As for whether he’d think he had to prove himself — we’ll have to see. I suspect his administration will be trying hard to retain its campaign season popularity and will find it hard to do once they hit the realities of Washington. We’ll see.

  • I think a lot of those scenarios are plausible, although I would be very surprised by full-scale hostilities between Iran and Israel, given the imbalance in nuclear capability. I am not convinced that an Obama administration would be the type of causal factor which would make it more likely that the U.S. would go to war. Unfortunately, I am as skeptical about McCain’s judgment as Obama’s. He has more experience, but I have been very unimpressed by his campaign.

    I certainly hope both that Obama will respond appropriately to international crises (if elected) and that he finds it hard to maintain his popularity once in the White House. It is hard for me to imagine the media treating him any more favorably.

  • While I’ve often been unimpressed with McCain’s campaign — I don’t think my lack of confidence in him as a campaigner spills over at all into lack of confidence in him as a potential president.

    But then, one of the things that strikes me watching McCain campaign is that he’s much more comfortable just serving the country than telling people why he ought to be elected. Obama, on the other had, seems to exist to campaign — I’m not sure what happens if he actually gets into office and has to focus on his current job rather than running for the next one.

  • Well, I think that a candidate’s campaign organization tells us something about he candidate. Bush had a very efficient, tightly-controlled organization. His presidency was fairly controlled also, and that was one of the major problems with his administration – it became insular and inflexible.

    McCain’s campaign has seemed fairly unfocused to me and uninterested in (domestic) policy. That doesn’t seem like a flaw that would disappear once McCain was in office. I agree that McCain is an awkward campaigner, but I am not sure that his rather idiosyncratic record (e.g. McCain-Feingold, his petulant swing left after W.’s election etc.) can be described as an interest in ‘serving the country’, or in self-promotion.

    I agree that we know much more about Obama’s ability to campaign (tremendous) than his ability to do anything else, but it should be acknowledged that he has run a well-disciplined, focused campaign. My worries about Obama (aside from him being the worst candidate I could imagine as a pro-lifer), are that his campaign is too insular (which stifles dissent), that he has a certain hubris or overconfidence about him which can lead to serious mistakes, and, of course, that we have no idea whether he can lead a country. Furthermore, I find the unwillingness of the press to present his background fairly, or to fact check beyond a brief call to Obama’s campaign manager very worrisome (although that could just be election-year paranoia on my part).

  • I worry about Obama’s lack of any military experience. He lacks the knowledge and the experience to weigh adequately military options presented to him by his advisors. His determination that the Surge would fail puts an exclamation mark on my lack of confidence in Obama’s ability to make good decisions in this area.

  • Well, a lot of people thought the surge would fail, and Obama had to oppose it in order to have any shot at the Democratic nomination. While I think Obama has received far too much praise for initially opposing the Iraq War (it would have been more difficult for him to support the War in his district), I think criticism of him on initially opposing the surge has been overblown.

  • “Well, a lot of people thought the surge would fail”

    Agreed, and a lot of people were wrong, unlike McCain who had been calling for a Surge strategy for years. Obama looked at the Surge as a political issue and not a military problem. However, he flatly said the Surge would fail and thereby either was making a military judgment or was simply saying it would it would fail for political purposes. My guess is that Obama was honestly giving his best opinion based upon the evidence that the Surge would fail and that concerns me.

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3 Responses to The War on Joe the Plumber

  • I believe I said earlier that if they’d hack Sarah Palin’s email, they’d do anything, to any of us. This sad case only demonstrates once again the evil of the left, their contempt for those whom they seek to rule, and the points out the alarming progress we are making towards the day, if it is not already here, when an ordinary citizen must know his place, and keep it, lest he suffer the penalty for trying to get above it.

    We have all been saying, as we do every four years, that this is the most important election of our lifetimes. But I really believe that the twin cases of Sarah Palin, the ordinary citizen who dared to seek high office, and Joe the Plumber, the “regular guy” (if you’ll permit me) who asked a question, really raise the stakes to something not seen in America since the Civil War, if ever: we face an election in which our most basic rights, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, are really threatened by a candidate who would sweep them away.

  • Anybody who effectively and memorably challenges a politician will now face criticism suppression fire from partisans. Some unearthed report or factoid could cost him his job, even if the citizen hasn’t done anything wrong.

    In the world of YouTube, this will have a horrible chilling effect on public speech from Everyman.

  • Less than 24 hours after his appearnce, NPR had already made a fake commercial ridiculing him. Their expose also lied about him (they said he didn’t want to pay taxes, when he said in the interview, word for word, “you have to pay taxes, everybody has to pay taxes). Then they said he “owes $1200 back taxes.” (Only someone who has never run a business would think this is a big deal. I owe that much sometimes too. It is pretty simple and not a crime. When it turns out at the end of the year that Uncle Sam owes you a tax refund, is that a crime?)

    Really disturbed me that they would tear a private person apart like this. I can’t believe I used to be a Democrat. They are scum.

3 Responses to Compare and Contrast

The Lighter Side

Friday, October 17, AD 2008

I have always admired Al Smith, the Democrat who was the first Catholic to run for President on a major party ticket in 1928.  Each year the Al Smith dinner is held in New York to raise funds for Catholic Charities.  It is traditional each Presidential election year for the major party candidates to appear and give humorous speeches.  Senators McCain and Obama observed the tradition last night and I thought both their speeches were well done.

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6 Responses to The Lighter Side

13 Responses to Culture of Life

  • Thanks for a good post on Palin. For what it’s worth, I seem to have been banned by Henry over at Vox Nova, because I dared to say that he had no evidence for his claims that Alaskans “realize they had been had with [Palin]; when looking for a way out of corruption, they got someone WORSE.” Oh well, it’s all for the best; commenting there is like trying to wrestle with a pig.

  • You are more than welcome to comment here SB.

  • Don Mac- ad multos annos to you and your homies. When I sniffed out at Dale’s blog that you were part of this dance party, I rejoiced. Your wisdom and uncompromising nature on All Matters Life-Oriented have always been of great admiration by me. May you and the boys continue to cry aloud and spare not. 48.5 million lost souls are counting on us.

  • High words of praise Gerard for which I thank you. I have always stood in awe of your skill in whipping mere words into elegant creatures of your will in comboxes! We will win the struggle for the unborn no matter how long the road or how uphill the fight.

  • Dear Donald,

    Please don’t t think ill of me for saying this, but Sarah hasn’t always been a friend to the “special needs” community.

    Shortly after she took office, she slashed the SN budget by 60%.

    Perhaps, blessing her with a special needs child of her own was God’s way of making her see that our children really do matter.

    Based on her change of heart, I’d say that His plan is working beautifully.


    Adonya Wong

    Author/Autism Warrior
    “In My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism” (Tate Publishing, 2008)

  • Actually Ms. Wong she didn’t. Here is the truth of the matter:

  • Humorous post.

    My wife and I just had a kid yesterday under the Canadian system. Feel free to email me for details on what a “culture of life” really looks like. I’m willing to share.

  • Congrats on the new birth, Michael! Meant to say something at VN, but this works, too.

  • Congratulations on the child Catholic Anarchist! Kids, in my humble opinion, really do put so much zest in life! I know mine do, and I can say that even after my daughter, and youngest, tied with me in a “bowling for babies” event yesterday to raise funds for the crisis pregnancy center in my county. I figure that next year when she is 14 she will complete my humiliation on the bowling lanes!

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

  • Come on SB, give the Catholic Anarchist some slack. Anyone who can attempt to mix Catholicism and Anarchism with a straight face obviously is engaged in some sort of comedy enterprise that we in this frame of reality find difficult to comprehend.

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

    The humorous part is the insinuation that Sarah Palin is pro-life.

  • To insinuate that Palin is pro-life is not inherently any more humorous than insinuating that you are pro-life, Michael.

    You are in no lesser need (indeed, given the pride your studies give you — perhaps somewhat more) than far right wing pro-lifers of recalling that the definition of pro-life is not “agrees with me on every conceivable issue”.

Joe the Plumber?

Thursday, October 16, AD 2008

For those of you who were wondering during the debate last night, who the heck is Joe the Plumber?, here is a video of his encounter with Senator Obama.

Here is Joe’s reaction to the encounter:

I have run a small business, my law firm, since 1985.  It provides the entire livelihood for my family.  The first decade of the business we scraped by.  Now it provides a pretty good living, and, God willing, will allow me to pay for college for my kids.

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18 Responses to Joe the Plumber?

  • Of course Obama is going to view any successful business as a cash cow. His very words implied as much when he says, “When you spread the wealth around, it helps everyone.”

    What Obama does not realize, fundamentally, is that having successful businesses that create jobs IS spreading the wealth around. Everyone who has ever attempted the experiment of heavily taxing the rich to “spread the wealth around” has discovered that there is far less wealth to spread around in the end. I don’t know what they think people do with profits. I guess they think rich people hide all their money under the bed, because:

    1) Spending profits on necessities and peripherals helps support jobs that are existing

    2) Reinvesting profits in the business helps the business grow, offering more jobs

    3) Lending the money to banks for long term investments allows banks to then in turn lend money to other people to start up new businesses.

    When you place huge taxes on the wealthy, what is the result? Less money going to existing jobs, which means people laid off. Businesses stagnating, which means no new jobs. Less money for loans to start up businesses, which means fewer jobs created.

    Where do new jobs come from, then? Well, maybe a bunch of private citizens come together to start up a new business, or someone starts a business really small, already within his financial means, and that is a hard climb up. We certainly cannot expect the government to provide new jobs (except for those jobs created to feed the ever-expanding bureaucracy) with the money it receives in taxes. Maybe the fact that we’re running a $400 billion/yr deficit escaped Obama’s attention, and that all those taxes he raises are going to have to go to cover that deficit if he’s at all serious about balancing the budget.

  • This is where Obama’s complete lack of understanding of the private sector shows through.

    Obama’s take is simply, “Joe used to be middle class, but now he’s saved up a lot of money and can afford to buy a business, and so we need to tax him and give the money to those ‘behind him’ who haven’t yet got as far.” What he doesn’t seem to understand is that if he taxes Joe sufficiently heavily, Joe won’t be able to buy and run that business, which means other people won’t have jobs. Getting a $500 tax credit at the end of the year is no substitute for having a job all year round.

  • The guy lacks a professional license…

    He was probably a plant; the McCain campaign needs all the help it can get.

    Also, it turns out–as the major networks have ably reported–that Samuel (His real name) would not be affected by Obama’s plan.


  • A plant! Give me a break! Yeah, the Republicans must have used mind control to cause Obama to have a conversation with him.

    Plenty of unlicensed plumbers work for plumbers who have licenses.

    The Obama plan will hurt him if he buys his bosses’ business.

    The Senator made a potentially fatal mistake with his “spread the wealth” meme.

  • Mark’s comment perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with this electorate. He takes at completely face value a media report, and completely apes it because, well, it confirms his preconceived notions of who Joe must be. He sits there watching CNN, and decides that he doesn’t actually have to do any research, but instead will just parrot the media talking points. And of course Mark will turn around and say that I am the one who is narrow-mindedly ideological. No, I am just intellectually curious enough not to snookered by the MSM.

  • crankycon,

    How mavericky of you…

  • He was probably a plant

    I hear he’s an illegal immigrant.

  • Mark, speaking of tools and potted plants. It sounds like you are one for the Socialist Utopia. Obviously, if the state says you aren’t a plumber you aren’t one. I am sure Marx would be proud of you. Not far from me, Amish men build homes and women set up to sell their crafts and food stuffs. Perhaps, I will remind them that according to you they don’t know what they are doing, because the “state” doesn’t sanction them.

  • Mark,

    I hear he was on special leave from Guantanamo for good behavior.

  • Mark should read the relevant Ohio law instead of parroting Obama talking points. Amazing. This man asks a POLICY-RELATED question of a candidate, and the Mark Ds of the world feel the need to try to destroy him.

  • Hey Mark, I’m a plumber. Guess what? Any decent Dad can who remember righty-tighty, lefty-loosy is a beginner plumber. I can cut and weld pipes without any government functionary sanctioning my actions. The real definition of a plumber to Obama is someone dumb enough to give money to a corrupt union that will funnel money to the Dem party coffers.

    Bottom line: I’ve gotten help from plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. I don’t get help from politicians.

    Also, Mark please tell us you are not so foolish as to think we plant people in their own front yard to trick Obama into saying ridiculous socialist BS.

  • Mark DeFrancisis’ World: Ask an unloaded, straightforward question about Obama’s policies and get the politics of personal destruction visited upon you. We’ve had more media investigations into Joe in the past 36 hours than we have about Obama during the entire campaign.

    Moral of the Story: Only ask questions that lead to a scripted moment with Obama. Got it.

    That’s change you can believe in!

  • Pingback: Obama, ‘Joe the Plumber’ and Catholic Social Teaching « American Catholic
  • Have any of you read the Obama tax plan?

    If there is a one-man or two-man plumbing business whose owner ( and worker) are each clearing a quarter million dollars in net profits per year (or taxable income for the employee), then I have to wonder how much that plumber is charging his customers per hour. That plumber also must not have many business expenses (business expenses are not taxed as income.)

    $250,000 / 2080 hours = $120/hr
    note: the nominal work week is 40 hours x 52 weeks per year = 2080 hours) So, this is 40 billable hours of work per week (i.e. no travel time to the job sites) with no vacations, no expenses, no sick days, no vehicle costs, no gasoline, no tools, no holidays at all (ie. can’t take a break for Christmas day unless it falls on Saturday or Sunday), no plumbing supplies, no phone bill, no advertising costs, no insurance premiums, no state taxes, no sales taxes, no office supplies, no utilities expenses, no FICA expenses, no half-days off to meet with the children’s teachers, no business expenses on any sort etc.

    In the real world, a plumber netting $250,000 per year, probably has to bill, at a minimum, somewhere between $250 – $300 per hour, and probably more likely $400 per hour. (I know that I won’t hire a plumber at that rate.)

    Then, only the income /profit above that level will be taxed at the higher marginal rate.

    I hope this clarifies the impact that the Obama tax plan will have on Joe the plumber in Toledo, OH

    (note: many small businesses don’t turn any profit for the first couple/few years of existence and only after time begin to show small profits. The tax code is set up to allow this in order to give small businesses a chance to grow and improve their bottom line as they become established.)

  • Larry, a plumbing business often has several plumbers as employees. One of my plumbing clients has seven other plumbers working for him. Last year he netted over half a million.

  • Donald, I think that is great. And, if he (or she) is truly clearing over a half a million a year, I don’t have a problem with that. I also think that the marginal increase on the second quarter million of their net is not going to cause them to lay off one of their employees. (But if they do, I guess that is on them.) If, the seven other plumbers all have taxable income over $250,000, then I also don’t have a problem with each of them paying an increased rate on the amount of taxable income above that quarter million. Let’s not conflate small business revenues with profits or with taxable income.

    I was writing about Joe the Plumber and the Obama tax plan effect on his hopes to own a one-man or two-man business.

    By the way, what was the gross for that 8-man business?

  • The gross I don’t recall. I remember his net only because of a legal matter where that fact was rather important. I also don’t recall Joe the Plumber indicating to Senator Obama how many plumbers he ultimately hoped to have working for him. As for the 250,000 threshhold, I suspect that would vanish as quickly as did the middle class tax cut in the Clinton administration in 1993. Some members of Congress are now calling for a second New Deal, and even confiscatory tax rates on earners making over a quarter of a million dollars a year wouldn’t raise enough revenue for spending of that magnitude, assuming that a President Obama would agree with such an agenda.

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Father Duffy and the Fighting 69th

Wednesday, October 15, AD 2008







When Father Francis P. Duffy, pastor of Our Savior parish in the Bronx, was appointed chaplain of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard in 1914, he was already an old hand at being a military chaplain, having served as one in 1898 during the Spanish American War, although he never saw  duty overseas during that brief conflict.

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4 Responses to Father Duffy and the Fighting 69th

  • Pingback: The Divine Lamp » Blog Archive » Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day, Rememberance Day, Poppy Day
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  • The first husband of my grandmother, Alice Cregan, was Charlie Chambers (otherwise Joseph Chambers). I understand that he was killed in the first world war when fighting with the fighting 69th. Where can I get any information on his involvement with the fighting 69th?

  • Dear Paul, If you would be so kind as to wait a couple of weeks, i will forward to you what information I can with regard to Charlie/Joseph Chambers. I am the grand nephew of George Patrick McKeon, who sailed off to france as a member of the 165th NY Infantry (Old 69th) and was KIA at the second battle of the Marne on July 16, 1918. I have done a great deal of research on the men of the 69th and should be able to tell you something once i consult with volumes of source material and records. Presently my computer died, but I will try to get back to you as soon as i can. Please give me your e mail address so that i can forward to you what i have. -michael

13 Responses to Guilt by Participation

  • Keep it up, Mr. McClarey.

    It will be an Obama landslide.

  • I hope you are a poor political prognosticator Mr. DeFrancisis. In any case, if the American people choose not to think it important before the election that Senator Obama had no problem working with an unrepentant terrorist as a politcal ally, I have no doubt that in time they will find that it is very important indeed.

  • “What is that spirit we want to connect to? That spirit of rebellion. The spirit of resistance. The spirit of insurgency.”

    Finally. This is what has been found wanting in all the Ayers talk. McCain, Palin and their supporters have failed to articulate this properly, and have finally done it using Ayers’ own words (contemporary words nonetheless). Much ado has been been made about the association with a terrorist, leaving the opposition to narrowly view this as a guilt by remote association thing. I have a lot of problems with both candidates, but much more so with Obama, and this being one of them. The problem for me isn’t so much that Obama served on boards with a guy who planted bombs 40 years ago, it’s that the guy is still a subversive trying to move the nation to despotism. The tactics have changed, one of which is to support fellow revolutionaries get in office and work from the inside out as well, this is the concern over Obama’s relationship with Ayers.

    Now granted, some people, and apparently a few Catholics, might think an Ayers sort of revolution a good thing, but I think the common man, including some who might currently be supporting Obama, would balk at such a thing. The question is, is Obama part of the Ayers movement, a willful agent of sorts, or are the two just equally opportunist?

  • The problem with the Ayers connection is that his blatant terrorist activities are long in the past. Why else would the pundits on the left keep referring to the fact that Obama was only seven or eight when the bombings occurred? It is because they know that the American populace doesn’t have the attention span to care about something an individual did thirty or more years ago. The fact that he hasn’t bombed anyone else in that time (that we know of) must indicate some amount of reform, right? Who cares about his education policies. Everyone “knows” that the religious nuts on the right are trying to indoctrinate our youth, whereas Ayers is just giving them another viewpoint, as legitimate as any other that doesn’t mention the whole G – O – D word. This point is crucial. While independents may not see it this way, the left certainly sees Ayers as having done nothing wrong in all the time since the bombings.

    In my opinion, Rick, the answer is that both are just opportunists. The association isn’t as deep as I think pundits on the right are trying to make it seem. I think they both thought they could use each other, and perhaps they have to the mutual benefit of each. I could be wrong, though.

    While I do think the Ayers connection casts a stain on Obama’s record, it isn’t something worth pursuing in the campaign setting. McCain’s focus should be on how Obama’s plan will further destroy the economy, and how McCain himself intends to fix it. McCain needs to spell out loud and clear where the problems came from, and he must not spare even his Republican allies who share in the responsibility; he must spell out loud and clear how Obama’s health care plan is the equivalent to shooting ourselves in the foot; he must spell out how his economic plan is the best option. And he’d better be sure it is the best option.

  • Apparently McCain is announcing new economic proposals today:

    A good thought experiment in regard to Ayers Obama is to imagine if a person McCain had associated with during the same time period were an unrepentant Klansman who had bombed churches during the Sixties or someone who had bombed an abortion clinic. Imagine then if the bomber were now teaching at some evangelical college and had become an authority on homeschooling and was well thought of within his academic community. Somehow I think the coverage of the mainstream media in regard to that type of connection would not be as blase as their coverage of the Ayers Obama connection has been.

  • The problem for me isn’t so much that Obama served on boards with a guy who planted bombs 40 years ago, it’s that the guy is still a subversive trying to move the nation to despotism. The tactics have changed, one of which is to support fellow revolutionaries get in office and work from the inside out as well, this is the concern over Obama’s relationship with Ayers.

    Sol Stern has a series of articles in City Journal examining Ayer’s “education reform”:`

    Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer. (If you find the metaphor strained, consider that Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times reporter covering the Soviet Union in the 1930s, did, in fact, depict Stalin as a great land reformer who created happy, productive collective farms.) For instance, at a November 2006 education forum in Caracas, Venezuela, with President Hugo Chávez at his side, Ayers proclaimed his support for “the profound educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chávez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.” Ayers concluded his speech by declaring that “Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education—a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation,” and then, as in days of old, raised his fist and chanted: “Viva Presidente Chávez! Viva la Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!”

  • Donald,

    I see you are an alumnus of U of Illinois. Have you attended alumni functions recently or received such newsletters? If so, you are indeed palling around with…

  • “I see you are an alumnus of U of Illinois. Have you attended alumni functions recently or received such newsletters? If so, you are indeed palling around with…”

    Pretty weak Mr. DeFrancisis. I am an alum of the U of I Champaign-Urbana. I of course had no say in the decision of the U of I Chicago in hiring Mr. Ayers. If my opinion of the hiring decision had been requested, it would have been unprintable.

  • Nr. McClary,

    It was a weak joke. 🙂 Sorry.

    BTW, McCain looked today like the man I voted for in the 2000. Relatively impressive!

    Hopefully, BOTH campaigns rise somewhere remotely close to the seriousness that our representative democracy deserves in these trying and important times.

    Unfortunately, I see only glimmers of hope.

  • Sorrry about my butchering your name so badly–someone interrupted me while I was typing…

  • No problem Mr. DeFrancisis. I butchered your name initially so badly when I made my last comment that I deleted it in order to correct the spelling of your name! In regard to the candidates, I have never been a fan of McCain, although I do respect the courage he displayed as a POW, and I think I have made my policy differences plain as to Obama. Whichever of these men is elected, I hope God will grant him grace and wisdom. I am afraid the nation is in for a rough few years no matter who wins come election day.

Lincoln and Liberty Too

Monday, October 13, AD 2008

I live in the Land of Lincoln.  I sometimes joke that we call ourselves that because Lincoln was the only honest politician ever to come from Illinois.  Each summer the family and I go down to Springfield.  We see the Lincoln museum and go over to the Lincoln tomb.  We say a few prayers for the soul of the Great Emancipator.  “It is all together fitting and proper that we do” that, but why do we do it?

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2 Responses to Lincoln and Liberty Too

Anger and Politics

Sunday, October 12, AD 2008

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit says it all:

“NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE? So we’ve had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers’ bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it’s a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It’s nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note — but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that’s before we get to the Obama campaign’s thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)

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41 Responses to Anger and Politics

  • It’s becoming a case of a candidate having to try to protect himself from the craziness (and ambition) of his loose supporters (and VP pick, along with her admirers):

    London Times

    “With his electoral prospects fading by the day, Senator John McCain has fallen out with his vice-presidential running mate about the direction of his White House campaign.

    McCain has become alarmed about the fury unleashed by Sarah Palin, the moose-hunting “pitbull in lipstick”, against Senator Barack Obama. Cries of “terrorist” and “kill him” have accompanied the tirades by the governor of Alaska against the Democratic nominee at Republican rallies.

    Mark Salter, McCain’s long-serving chief of staff, is understood to have told campaign insiders that he would prefer his boss, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, to suffer an “honourable defeat” rather than conduct a campaign that would be out of character – and likely to lose him the election. “

  • Speaking of crazed supporters of political candidates:

    Left wing sites are filled with this type of raw sewage.

  • Michelle Malkin has a good article on the rage on the Left in this campaign which the mainstream press sedulously ignores.

  • I know I am outraged by denial of habeas corpus; abuse of executive power (for which Palin apparently has some state level training); concocted intelligence to sell an unnecessary invasion; unjust war; Palin’s fear and hate mongering; cronyism and incompetence from the Justice Deparatment to Katrina to the economy; and my ex-party’s never delivering on a 5th SC judge to overturn R v. W).

  • “and my ex-party’s never delivering on a 5th SC judge to overturn R v. W).”

    Well Mr. DeFrancisis you can’t be very outraged on that score, since Obama, the man you are supporting for President, is pledged to appoint only judges who will support Roe. Admit it, the fight against abortion is of zero importance to you.

  • Donald,

    I will not be duped by the GOP again. In speaking to PUMA Clintonites, for example, McCain touted his votes to confirm the 2 Bill Clinton SC appointees.

    Additionally, Bush has created such an anti-Republican beacklash across the nation that you would have to be a fool to think that there would be enough Republicans in the Senate to stand by McCain, if he is courageous enough to insist on no one but a anti-Roe v. Wade judge. And he is too unpersuasive and uncommitted, IMO, to raise the sentiment for a culture of life, in preparation for such an endeavor.

    Reagan and Bush I caved in the end. I see McCain less as a man of principle, who would not bow to poltical expediency.

    To me, the abortion issue, as much as I am pro-life, is thus a complete wash judicially in this presidentail election.

    But unjust war (intrinsically evil, btw, if it’s unjust), torture and racism are at play, as McCain will most likely go into Iran in a very bad way, and has already waffled as to the latter two, other intrinsic evils.

    And in the light of my judgement that there will not be a 5th judge for uswith either candidate, I weigh which candidates economic politicies will actually most decreae the incidence of abortions procured; here I judge Obama as the better candidate.

    Lastly, with what Roberts has said about Roe v Wade as ‘settled law” and his judicial temperament, I am not sure he’d actually vote to overturn R v. W. And his and Alito’s pro-executive powes rulings have been very dangerous to the precious balance of powers in our country, imo.

  • Actually Obama’s judicial appointments might be irrelevant at that, at least on the abortion issue, since he is pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act which I discussed in a previous post. With a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a greatly enlarged Democrat majority in the House, I think a President Obama would probably get his wish to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. How anyone who is pro-life on the abortion issue could not view the prospect of an Obama administration with anything but horror is a mystery to me.

  • Perhaps if you could step out side of yourself for a moment and listen to your interlocutor, it would not be such a mystery.

    A fellow, locus61(?) already more of less rehearsed my argments in another thread below.

  • “Perhaps if you could step out side of yourself for a moment and listen to your interlocutor, it would not be such a mystery.”

    No, I understand what you are saying, but it simply doesn’t make sense for someone who cares about stopping abortion to vote for Obama. I think you care about other issues much more, and the fight against abortion simply isn’t high on your priority list.

  • Mark,

    I’m a Democrat and I — like you — don’t think the Republican Party gives abortion the primacy it deserves and it’s an issue that they use for the most part to win elections. I know and understand your position and I think it’s critical.


    George W. Bush has in fact signed a timetable on Iraq. We have an agreement with their government and the war is going to, in fact, end.

    In regard to abortion, it is NO small matter. It is the greatest issue of our time. Capital punishment in this country since our founding days is 4 days of abortion. The war in Iraq? At best 15 days of abortion. There has been nearly 7,500,000 abortions since the war in Iraq began. It’s not that I don’t care about any other issues. I do care about them, but the issue of abortion is so insurmountable that I cannot in good conscience get around it.

    If my reasoning is clear, I hope you may at least reconsider your support for Obama. Obama supports the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which in effect would wipe out every pro-life law since Roe v. Wade. That means doctors who are protected by conscience laws from performing abortions would lose that protection and the fight of forcing them to perform abortions would rise. There will be no parental notification or consent laws. No laws against cross state borders. No laws requiring women to wait and think it over 24 hours. No laws mandating that women be allowed to view an ultrasound or even be told scientific and medically accurate information about abortion and human life development. No law that whatsoever restrict abortion.

    Obama would solidify the pro-choice Supreme Court for another generation and he will undermine the Hyde Amendment and fund abortion via the medium of Title X and under the label of “healthcare” with his plan. We’ll be subsidizing it more directly with our tax dollars and women can receive free abortions. And if the Democrats reach 60 in the Senate and gain more seats in the House, there will be nothing to stop them.

    The entire fruits of 35 years of the pro-life movement will be eradicated in a single blow and that is a disqualifier. I don’t care how fed up with the Republican Party one might be. I’m very disenfranchised by the GOP and I would love nothing more than to cast my vote for my own party.

    But, the party is dominated by hyper-liberal special interests whose view of the human person is dominated by Enlightenment thinking, whose view of society is of the same mentality, and you combine this with moral relativism and you have a problem.

    Democrats support fighting AIDS in Africa, but they use contraception which does not at all solve the problem. In fact, AIDS is not declining. Moreover, the virus itself is smaller than the pores in a condom and can still readily pass through. As Catholics, we know that contraception does not help the problem whatsoever and creates more vice.

    Democrats want to expand embryonic stem cell research. McCain while he supports it, arguably would avoid doing it because of the pro-life GOP base. Arguably. But with Obama, there is no uncertainty.

    We could potentially face the legalization of euthanasia, or even find it in our healthcare system. Obama when asked what’s the one thing that he regretted as a Senator said he regretted voting to save Terry Schiavo. Thats abhorent. (Look here:

    This man opposed bills to save babies that survived abortions and these babies, in fact, were left to die in utility rooms for the few hours that they could survive without medical care.

    I don’t see how you can say all the other issues can help you get around this. If you’re pro-life, you are an abolitionist. Slavery abolitionists didn’t say let’s reduce the number of slaves. The pro-slavery bunch were not really in for the elimination of slavery. Neither are the pro-choice lobby. No one ever voted for Hitler saying “I don’t want to be a single-issue voter. Genocide is bad, but hey, he supports universal healthcare.” Certain issues are a disqualifier because no good society can be built on such thinking.

    The GOP is far from perfect. But a man who thinks babies who survive abortions have no basic right to medical care and no basic right to life has no business leading a nation. A man who was only a U.S. Senator 143 DAYS before he started running for president. He has no legislative accomplishments that qualify him for the highest office.

    If you simply must speak about peace and war and thus vote for Obama, then do so standing upon the right to life if you wish to be morally coherent. Call abortion what it is: an objective, aboherent evil. Admit that Obama’s position on it is terrible. But criticizing the other side only and not your candidate who has unspeakable positions make your claims look dubious and paper thin, when you as a pro-life Catholic are voting for the most pro-abortion candidate who will eliminate — if he has his way — any chance to end abortion for at least another two generations.

    The argument is not that McCain will succeed in ending abortion, it’s that Obama will succeed in expanding it.

  • I want to add something. (I know, I know — this kid isn’t done yet?)

    Abortion effects our foreign policy. The Clinton Administration withheld aid from third world countries to pressure them into allowing the creation of abortion facilities and we were funding those industries with tax payer dollars in other countries. We funded abortion in Mexico as well.

    George W. Bush, as terrible as a president he is, turned that money faucet off. If Obama is elected, he will turn it back on. Somewhere in the range of 46 million abortions occur worldwide in one year — 365 days. And this is the case from roughly since the 70s. It was higher in the 90s, but in recent years has declined about 4 million or so. But no one would say that 42 million is any more acceptable.

    Add up WWI, WWII, deaths from AIDS, from cancer, from the holocaust, from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Darfur, from 9/11…and abortion still wins.

  • Eric

    Such numbers are a unrevealing game. I used to think that way too.

    How many abortions has the Republican judiciary-centered approach actually really prevented?

    As abortion on demand has been virtually the law of the land these past 30+ years, I’d venture that it’s close to 0.

    The Partial Birth Abortion Ban was a really only a moral victory, as other procedures are available, expediting pre-late month abortions.

  • I guess Mark Defrancisis is polluting these comboxes too with his lefty rhetoric.

  • Tony is a completely binary thinker.

    He is simply paralyzed by the fact that America does things which the Vatican and out Catholic faith oppose.

  • Eric,

    You downplay the atrocity that will be Iran and minimize the unnecessary loss of 100s of 1000s of human lives in Iraq.

    It’s like saying that we broke into a house, killed half of the family members, but now negotiated peace with the remnant relatives.

  • Mark,

    In all seriousness, do you think that the Freedom of Choice Act is irrelevent to the pro-life cause? If the Republicans are as you arguing playing with the pro-life movement what is to be made of a Democratic party that has no place for any legal restriction on an unlimited abortion license at all? This would be the equivilent of a Republican administration not only codifying all the administrative practices that produced torture (that includes the rendition protocals tht both Democratic and Republican administrations have employed) but then illegalizing any efforts to undermine or challenge these. Call the Republicans cynical on pro-life issues if you will, I find the honest determination of the Democrats, particularly Sen. Obama, to eliminate any and all efforts to protect the unborn in law to be terrifying in their sincerity and honesty. I am honestly curious as to how you can think that such a forceful, unambiguious affirmation of abortion as a good is compatible with any claim of concern for pro-life legislation at all.

  • Isn’t it funny that there were less abortions under the Clinton administration than there were under past GOP admininstrations?

    And Bob Casey Jr spoke at the Dems’ convention.

  • Mark,

    Bob Casey Jr. had a scripted speech where abortion was never mentioned.

    And there were more abortions under Clinton than W’s eight years.

  • Mark,

    You miss my point. I’m a pro-life Democrat. Why? Because I’m suspicious of Republicans and their sincerity to help the unborn. But that does NOT immediately qualify a vote for the other side. It does not.

    America engaging war with Iran is not necessarily the future. It can go either way. McCain has repeatedly said that he would is Secretary of State and lower level officials engage in diplomacy and advocate the U.N. to impose economic sanctions on Iran. Barack Obama has said basically the same thing with the minor difference that he himself may sit down with someone and negotiate.

    Republicans may be half-hearted in fighting abortion. But there are Republicans who are sincere and advocates of the unborn. The list begins with Sam Brownback and these Republicans are of status in the party. There is only one proven 100% pro-life Democrat in the U.S. Senate and that’s Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

    Though you cite several instances of where the Bush Administration has gone wrong, you have to qualify a few things.

    Barack Obama claims that he is going to unite the country, but he has the most partisan record of anyone in the Senate. He votes partyline 97% of the time, when John McCain has gone against the GOP on taxes, on torture, on immigration, and on climate change. Have you ever seen Obama do that?

    Look up Obama’s legislative history. There is ONE bill that he introduced with a Republican and it’s a government transparency bill that no one opposed. Is that really, risky dangerous bipartisan legislativion that makes him anything more than a run of the mill Democrat who have 143 days in the national scene for whatever reason decided he should be our next president?

    You ignore the “number’s game” but 46,000,000 million abortions in one year in 365 days is no small matter. This is an overall decrease since 1995 which I think was the last peak. But if Obama turned the ‘money faucet’ back on, we would be subsidizing abortions overseas. There would be no pro-life law and abortions will be free in the U.S. as it would be subsidized by our tax dollars.

    Not only that, do give me a break that a Republican judiciary is the only reason abortions haven’t ended. Have you noticed that pro-choice Democrats have been fighting them — the sincere pro-lifers like Sam Brownback — tooth and nail? The Democratic Party won’t even link to the Democrats for Life of America on their national website. The Democratic Party rejected DFLA’s conscience clause on abortion from the platform and wrote the most pro-abortion platform ever, i.e. the Democratic party “unequivocally” supports a woman’s right to an abortion “regardless of ability to pay,” meaning we’ll subsidize it.

    Margaret Sanger, the lunatic racist who founded Planned Parenthood is still honored by the organization. Ever notice that Planned Parenthood pops up in the socio-economically disadvantaged areas where blacks and hispanics live? Abortion is an industry and they have targets so they can make money. Abortion has been declining and it’s no wonder that the Democrats — who receive millions in funds from pro-choice groups — are positioning themselves to make abortion at any point in pregnancy enshrined in federal law and protected by the Supreme Court for another two generations.

    It’s not just “bad Republican policies” or apathetic conservative judges, it’s the fact that the pro-abortion groups are expanding their services. Case in point, 1 in 2 African American pregnancies end in abortion. Nearly 2,000 of the 4,000 abortions in a day are unborn African American children. My city Houston is facing the establishment of the largest Planned Parenthood facility in the western hemisphere. This effects abortion directly — those who provide it.

    “The Partial Birth Abortion Ban was a really only a moral victory, as other procedures are available, expediting pre-late month abortions.”

    By the way, Mark, your candidate for president opposed that. And he will protect the “other procedures” and enshrine them into law as a fundamental right.

    If you can vote for a candidate that thinks that partial birth abortion is a legitimate procedure and even opposes protecting children that have been born, fine.

    But don’t pretend that it’s the more ‘pro-life’ thing to do.

    I don’t think that the immense problems we face are going to be solved by John McCain. But I do know that we will not find any justice under Barack Obama who will eradicate the pro-life movement, expand embryonic stem cell research, and perhaps even legalize Euthanasia, and with it, gay marriage — Connecticut just joined California and Massachusetts.

    Do these issues not matter? Or are they just a few issues among many?

  • -It’s not that I don’t care about any other issues. I do care about them, but the issue of abortion is so insurmountable that I cannot in good conscience get around it.-

    I feel the same way. I’m not a republican and never have been, but I can’t vote Democrat anymore becuase of this issue.

  • Organic fertilizer, Mark De Francisis.
    Please read this:

    Abortion rates skyrocketed during the 1970’s (Ford and Carter, only one of whom was GOP and certainly not a conservative) They peaked around the time of the first Reagan election, and subsequently began a steady decline. The decline became a fairly precipitous drop late in the George H.W. Bush admin and continued during the early Clinton years when it levelled off slightly. It nonetheless continued to drop through the Clinton and George W. Bush admins. Not only that, actual numbers of abortions dropped under W. Bush according to the factcheck page.

    It is intellectually dishonest to lionize Clinton for a trend that began over a decade before he ever had any control over it. The most that can be said for him is that he failed to implement policies that might have reversed the trend.

    Casey, Jr. may be pro-life up to a point but I doubt he got that convention spot without compromising his principles somewhat–the endorsement of the Senate’s most rabidly pro-abortion member, a man with a fairly scanty paper trail in almost every issue but abortion, being the prime example there. And surely you haven’t forgotten the shabby treatment his father got at the hands of the Democrats before him?

  • Mark,

    In re the “abortions declined under Clinton” meme: The abortion rate has declined in a straight linear progression with a 90%+ correlation to the number of years since 1980 for the last 28 years — with only the most minor of deviations. Now, I suppose that one could claim that the constant hammering of pro-life Republicans (and the small number of courageous pro-life Democrats) at the local level has not been any factor in this gradual reduction over time, but frankly I cannot as an analyst imagine any responsible way in which one could ground the claim that removing _all_ local restrictions on abortion plus providing funding would not increase the number of abortions.

    As for balancing that fear against that of a war with Iran: Count me with the group that finds it more likely we’ll end up in a war with Iran if Obama is elected than if McCain is. Iran will bet that they can be the Kruschev to Obama’s Kennedy and try to push him around in ways that would not be the case under a McCain administration.

  • Even George Will has said that a McCain victory guarantees war with Iran.

    With the way McCain acts with his enemies, it will end up being not just a war with Iran.

    Expect a conflict of WW4 proportions.

  • cminor,

    scatalogical headers for you?

  • Even George Will has said that a McCain victory guarantees war with Iran.

    Argument from authority?

    I think George Will is wrong.

  • From the mouth of the Maverick:

  • Try “scatological”, dear.

  • Thank you for the correction; you are more of an expert on the matter, I see…

  • Enough to know it when I see it, dear.;-)

  • Gentlemen, I enjoy a good combox tussle, but let’s make sure it doesn’t get personal. Thanks.

  • “Even George Will has said that a McCain victory guarantees war with Iran. With the way McCain acts with his enemies, it will end up being not just a war with Iran. Expect a conflict of WW4 proportions.”

    I have (many) doubts about McCain, but this isn’t really one of them. I thought it was interesting in the most recent debate that Obama kept saying that he would attack Bin Laden on Pakistani soil without the cooperation of their government, whereas McCain was arguing the need for diplomacy and caution. I think the whole exchange was nonsense on Obama’s part – bluster without substance (is killing Bin Laden himself such a big deal at this point?) – but it was interesting listening to Obama advocate a policy which would anger a country with nuclear capabilities, while the ‘war-monger’ McCain was advocating caution.

  • Cminor,

    My apologies for my snide retort.


    My interpretion on that exchange in the debate was that McCain essentially ageed with Obama, but was trying to score points about his contender’s purported amateurish, in “telegraphing” to the enemies of our possible actions.

  • Mark – I had a different take. I thought Obama was trying to score cheap points. “Bush hasn’t gotten Osama, isn’t that terrible!!!” Never mind that there’s no real evidence, other than Osama being alive, that he’s a serious threat for anything other than a razzie for worst home-made threatening video. I also thought Obama stating that he would carry out attacks within Pakistan’s borders without their approval needlessly provocative. McCain may have agreed in substance, but I think he had a legitimate point: it’s silly to antagonize other countries by talking about hypothetical attacks on their soil just to look tough in a debate.

    To be fair, I thought McCain was buffoonish when he said “I know how to get Bin Laden.” He’s said that before, and every time I think – “well then, why haven’t you passed that knowledge along to anyone over the last seven years?”

    In any case, to your original point, it’s highly unlikely that McCain would go to war in Iran – do you think any President will be able to lead the U.S. into war anytime soon with Iraq so fresh everyone’s minds? Perhaps you have a different read on the mood of the country, but I don’t think it at all likely that a President will be able to garner the support of the country for another war for at least 10-15 years. Frankly, I never understood how 2/3 of the country supported the war in Iraq.

  • FusO1,

    I can easily entertain your interpretation of the exchange as a legitimate one. I still am inclined yo mine, however.

    Believe me, as much as I defend the Catholic choice for Obama, it has been a difficult one for me.

    I wish there was a politician around like Bob Casey Sr.

    He was my governor and is my political hero.

  • No offense taken, Mark. Shall we both tone down the snark? Posting remarks made exclusively for the purpose of provocation really doesn’t advance reasoned discussion.

  • By the way, I have to agree with fus01. If Obama’s purpose is to portray himself as a diplomat par excellence, the noise he’s been making at Pakistan has been extremely unfortunate. Particularly with a new, potentially friendly president coming to power there.

  • why do people try to make it sound bad to be a one issue voter?

    abortion is the only issue, nothing else matters.

    obama rates 0% on the pro life meter.

    if mcain rates anything higher than that guess who I’m voting for?

    it really is just that simple.

  • What if only an anti-abortion Neo-Nazi ( I know, that would be a strange combo) were running against Obama?

    Or only a strict, Shiite Muslim, who is anti-abortion 100%, but wants to impose Islamic law on all Americans?

  • I think it’s implied when people say ‘abortion is the only issue,’ they mean that none of the other issues in this election are of equal significance. They do not mean to make a universal statement that a pro-slavery, pro-sharia, pro-whatever-evil-thing-may-be-worse would be better as long as they were pro-life.

  • Worse than a shiite muslim who wants to impose sharia law… I would vote a democrat who promises to tax everyone in excess of 75% and use it to plant baby seals in the everglades, if they promised to work day and night on a constitutional ammendment guaranteeing the right to life for the unborn.

  • That is the odd thing A.Rowe. I lean towards being a fiscal conservative, but would certainly vote for the Democratic party if (in a Sliders-like alternative universe) the Democrats were pro-life and the Republicans were pro-abortion, even if nothing else changed in the platforms of the respective parties. Abortion is not the only issue I vote on, but with the coming budget shortfalls I don’t think either party will be able to accomplish much over the next four years other than appointing Steven’s and Ginsberg’s replacements.

Palin On Abortion In Johnstown, Pennsylvania-October 11

Saturday, October 11, AD 2008

For years pro-lifers have dreamed about a national candidate who is not only pro-life, but who actually talks about it, and not just to pro-life groups.  We have such a candidate in Sarah Palin.  Here is the text of the relevant portion of her remarks at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania today:

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13 Responses to Palin On Abortion In Johnstown, Pennsylvania-October 11

  • One of my favorite quotes from Governor Palin:

    “as defenders of the culture of life”.

    One of the most despicable quotes I’ve heard from Senator Obama:

    “punished with a baby”

    This is the far left position that Senator holds that can be summed up nicely by the late “Senator Moynihan, a Democrat, described partial-birth abortion as “too close to infanticide.” Barack Obama thinks it’s a constitutional right, but he is wrong.”

    For a full disclosure, I’m voting for the McCain/Palin ticket.

    With that, I believe this rally today is the turning point of the election right now for the Pro-Life ticket to pull ahead of the Pro-Abortion ticket for the POTUS.

  • If McCain wins, and in the teeth of adverse polls I believe he still has a decent chance, it will be because he was dragged across the finish line by Sarah Palin.

  • Donald,

    I have no delusions of the predicament that the McCain/Palin ticket find themselves in. I agree, if McCain wins, it’s because Palin dragged him across the finish line.

    Regardless of the outcome, we need to remember not to make the mistake of nominating McCain (of course if we can nominate the Democrat, we would try, but it isn’t happening because of the party’s embrace of the culture of death). We should definitely follow up with Palin as a nominee. And ram it through the primaries in 2012.

  • I’m really glad to see some solid words out of Palin on this topic. Goodness knows, if there is someone who has the standing to say them, it is she. And I hope they win — though if the stock market doesn’t stabilize fast I don’t see how it’ll happen.

    But I’ve got to admit that I’m not clear yet how Palin would be as presidential material. We’ll have to see how she develops on the national stage over the next four or eight years — win or lose.

    Certainly, we’re desperately short of solid conservative talent on the national scene right now, but right now she strikes me more as a potentially solid number two than top of ticket material.

  • What if…..Palin were Catholic? Would she have been in this? And if still chosen, how roasted would she have been? A pro-life Catholic candidate would not be allowed…..? As far as ever being #1, who’s in support would be the deal maker or breaker.

  • -What if…..Palin were Catholic? Would she have been in this?-

    That is an interesting question. I think the answer is absolutely not. There is no way any candidate would have picked a pro-life Catholic to run with him. Palin’s selection was surprising enough, but a pro-life Catholic would suggest the “bowing to Rome”, which would drive away liberals as well as conservatives.

  • Actually two pro-life Catholics were seriously considered for Veep: Governor Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Brownback of Kansas. Jindal is quite impressive, only 37, and I think he will ultimately be not only the GOP
    nominee for President, but will one day hold that office. A Palin-Jindal or Jindal-Palin ticket would be my idea of political heaven!

  • Criticism of Senator Obama’s record on abortion is needed, but we also need pro-life leaders who can effectively negotiate the twists and turns of politics in their representation of the unborn and who will make building a culture of life a top priority. We need pro-life leaders who will give the life issues the kind of attention that President Bush has given to terrorism and the Iraq War. How precisely would a McCain/Palin administration defend the unborn when faced with a Democratic controlled congress and a culture that largely celebrates choice? What priority would they give to ending abortion?

  • Donald,

    That would be the strongest ticket ever! I pray for that day!

  • This is one of the many reason this woman rocks!!!!!!!!!

10 Responses to The Foggy Dew

  • Did your link to Little Green Footballs fail you for the weekend?

  • No Mr. DeFrancisis my internet connection is working fine. I was just reading an article on Liberal Catholic Bigotry Against Sarah Palin. Here is the link.

    No doubt you and the other folks over at Vox Nova can have a merry time this weekend being enraged over that article. Enjoy!

  • Donald,


    Anti-Americanism and heterodoxy, they go hand in hand over “there”.

  • Tito, I certainly disagree with the perspective of several of the contributors at VN, but I don’t think that their views merit the term heterodoxy, unless you’ve seen something I haven’t.

  • Chris,

    I was thinking heteropraxis/heteropraxy when typing.

    It should say heteropraxis.

  • Given that one of the things that rubs me the wrong way about some of their contributors is a tendency to draw the lines of orthodoxy very narrowly (claiming that people are ignoring Catholic teaching when they’re really not) I’d be in favor of being very careful about casting any aspersions accidentally ourselves.

  • Darwin, I think you are correct.

    Actually, though, I stopped by the comments to thank Donald McClarey for the post–it’s a very moving song. I’m used to hearing it with a different melody and tempo–this version is quite militant!

  • I agree with Darwin.

    Thank you crimnor. This version by the Wolf Tones is my favorite version of The Foggy Dew. I also like the video because of the skillful use of pictures to relate the history behind the song. I think it is masterfully done.

  • I hadn’t realized till I was reading up on the start of the Great War recently how close things had gotten to the Brits allowing Irish independence before the war broke out in 1914. And with that, there had been serious fears that there would be a civil war because the British army and navy were so heavily populated by Ulster men who were prepared to mutiny if the South were set free.

    And then not only was the whole thing put on hold when the was started in 1914, but they were conscripting Irishmen into the British army and sending them out into the trenches. No wonder they ended up with a rebellion on their hands…

  • Pingback: The Easter Rising 1916 « The American Catholic

31 Responses to Palin on Obama and Abortion

  • Mr. Echevarria, I deleted your comment in this thread. Although you and I agree about about abortion and further agree in supporting McCain-Palin, the vehemence with which you expressed your sentiments are not acceptable.

  • Of course, Palin’s ugly anti-intellectualism warms the most rabid in the “pro-life” base.

    But, most likely, her Father Coughlin-ism–if allowed to run its full course– would set back tremendously the effort at really advancing politically a true “culture of life” in America– repelling the middle like never before done since ’73…

  • Mark, Gov. Palin certainly isn’t an intellectual, but it seems that “not being an intellectual” is being conflated with “being anti-intellectual”. If this isn’t so in your case, can you explain why you think she’s actually anti-intellectual?

  • Witness her rallies….

  • “Of course, Palin’s ugly anti-intellectualism warms the most rabid in the “pro-life” base.”

    Completely untrue Mr. DeFrancisis. Since you have no evidence to back up your claim I will not ask you to cite any.

    “her Father Coughlin-ism–”

    Hurling epithets is not an argument. Palin has as much in common with Father Coughlin as you do with Bugs Bunny.

  • “Witness her rallies….”

    A good response to this mantra of the Left was made by John Leo:

  • Donald,

    About comment 1 :I do not need evidence on this thread. It’s provided.

    About comment 2: “He does sot see America like you and I do, so much so that he palls ’round with terrorists.” I call a spade is a spade.

    And who is the real Donald McClarey? I would not wish that you be subject to such ridiculousness…..

  • Mark,

    Your are being a little ridiculous.

    Obama does pall ’round with terrorist’…

    Ayers and Odinga are two that come to mind…

    so to say that she is hurling epithets would be incorrect.

    Palin has facts to back her statement up.

  • I am so out of here….

    No need to ban me Tito…

    You poor fellows are willing slaves to the fallen human desire to scapegoat…

    I bet that’s why a large majorityof you chanted with Bush in ’02-’03 during his unjust invasion of Iraq and still do not admit fault in your judgement…

  • Mark,

    What are you talking about? Scapegoat?

    You make these accusations….. you don’t back them up… and you get mad?

  • I suppose it’s frustrating for Mark to post in a forum that is unreceptive to his opinions, but I am surprised by his reaction. One can debate how relevant it is that Obama had fairly lengthy relationships with people like Ayers and Wright, but it’s certainly true that he did. I do not know why Mark finds it surprising that Obama’s political opponents would use these relationships to question his judgment.

    Obama has a very liberal background and record; Columbia, Harvard Law, Chicago. He has presented himself as a moderate, which is both essential for a candidate running for President and in tension with some of his prior positions and associations. Making voters aware of these associations is part of politics. Obama certainly has showed no reluctance to return the favor with his comments about Keating, or his (deplorable, race-baiting) spanish-language ad disingenuously linking McCain to Limbaugh.

  • Listen, I think that taking the Ayers association tack is poor strategy on McCain’s campaign’s part… I agree with Ross Douthat that McCain should be focusing on addressing the needs, concerns and fears of the middle-class, for whom Ayers and earmarks don’t mean a heck of a lot right now, right or wrong.

    Having said that, it’s also true that Ayers is unrepentant about his actions and views as a Weatherman, and Obama exercised extremely poor judgment in associating with him. To point this out may be poor strategy, but it isn’t inaccurate.

  • Agree completely Chris. Terrible political strategy, but not unfair or inaccurate.

  • Chris,

    I think you can lump Ayers with Obama’s poor judgement of men… and show also that poor judgement in this Financial Mess… with his support of Fannie Mae and their support of him, Franklin Raines being on his campaign staff, and how the Democrats let Fannie Mae get away with it….

    He needs to show that De-regulation wasn’t the problem… it was the lack of oversight by the Democrats.

    But If I was McCain….

    I would attack him on the following (not in this order):

    1) Ayers
    2) Odinga
    3) Fannie Mae
    4) Acorn
    5) Rev. Wright
    6) Franklin Raines
    7) His Economic Policy of Taxation

    He must repeat this… over and over and over… he should do what his ads do, and not what he does in debates.

  • Chris & FUS01,

    Indeed. And (not to overuse my own terminology) I think that’s where the tribalism in politics becomes apparent. I don’t think we need to doubt that if a Republican presidential candidate had launched his political career in the living room of a member of the John Birch Society, much less someone along the lines of Timothy McVeigh (which is perhaps a more exact analogy) where would be a perception that the association was “fair game” — even if said Republican candidate had never showed any interest in political violence himself. (And clearly, if someone suggests that Obama actually approves of political violence, that would seem to be complete slander. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to see it necessary to distance himself from those who do.)

    That said, I agree that the McCain Campaign’s choice to focus on Ayers rather than the economy right now is deeply foolish and in danger of loosing them the election. (Which is unfortunate, because if Obama keeps his campaign promises promptly he’s in serious danger of making the economy even worse.)

  • I also wish he would talk about a Culture of Life, but I think that is Palin stick…. not McLame’s

  • I am so out of here….

    No need to ban me Tito…

    You poor fellows are willing slaves to the fallen human desire to scapegoat…

    I bet that’s why a large majorityof you chanted with Bush in ‘02-’03 during his unjust invasion of Iraq and still do not admit fault in your judgement…

    Who needs The Cafeteria Is Closed? Looks like all of Gerald’s former readers have found a new home for their orgy of hate.

    This blog had interesting original goals, if eyebrow-raising. Seems it’s already gone down the tubes.

  • Thank you for your opinion of the blog Catholic Anarchist. We shall carry on nonetheless.

    Being against Obama because he is pro-abortion is an orgy of hate? We shall have to agree to differ on that point as on all other points.

  • Michael,

    Let’s see, the post starting this thread pointed out that Palin is anti-abortion while Obama is pro-choice — that’s not exactly a surprising contention given that Obama has one of the most pro-abortion records of any politician and Palin proved via her actions that she accepted life in a situation where 90% of parents choose abortion.

    Donald delete a comment in which a commenter accused Obama of being a Muslim.

    And then several of us differed with Mark DeFrancis’ claim that Palin is anti-intellectual and a quasi fascist.

    Based on this you conclude that we are hosting an “orgy of hate”.

    I can understand that you resent our opposing Obama, but “orgy of hate” I’m not seeing.

  • Darwin,

    If you look at his links at his blog, you would understand why he came to that conclusion.

    Vive le Vende!

    That’s for you Tito

  • Oh, I know…

    Michael and I have gone the rounds over the years. But, you know, this Dante-loving Classicist is such an “americanist” that he can’t quite follow Michael’s thinking. 🙂

  • ‘Orgy of hate’? Is that a joke? It seemed like rather mild criticism to me.

  • Mark & Michael,

    You do your perspective a disservice by refusing to see through a discussion with those you disagree with and leaving in the manner you did.

    I urge you both to reconsider and rejoin the conversation. Have confidence in the power of reason to persuade, whatever the odds seem to tell you. 🙂

  • -orgy of hate-

    I’m getting real tired of this accusation from people who support a child murderer.

  • Obama is not a child murderer, and Catholics in good conscience can support him. I can’t, but it’s not fair to write somebody off simply because of their conclusions on the difficult issue of selecting a candidate to vote for.

  • Fus,

    Would it be better to say that Obama supports child murderers?

    I can’t imagine anyone with a good conscience voting for Obama… now I can understand voting Third Party who doesn’t support abortion (because of Mclame’s support of e. stem cells), but let us be real…

    good conscience should never be used in the same sentence with voting for Obama.

    I will definitely argue that their conscience is misinformed… BIG TIME!

  • I agree with Archbishop Chaput:

    “8. So can a Catholic in good conscience support a “pro-choice” candidate? The answer is: I can’t and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics — people whom I admire — who will. I think their reasoning is mistaken. But at the very least they do sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And even more importantly: They don’t keep quiet about it; they don’t give up their efforts to end permissive abortion; they keep lobbying their party and their elected representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can support “pro-choice” candidates if they support them despite — not because of — their “pro-choice” views. But they also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it.

    9. What is a “proportionate” reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life — which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.”

    I also agree with Archbishop Nauman and Bishop Finn:

    “Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason. ”

  • You can’t go wrong with Chaput.

  • Well, I couldn’t vote for Obama, and I don’t want to create a strawman, but I could see some combination of the following assumptions leading one to the conclusion that a Catholic could vote for Obama in good conscience:

    1) McCain has never shown great affection for social-issues voters; there’s little evidence it’s a top priority for him personally.
    2) McCain would be able to do little to impact the legality of abortion with a Democrat Senate majority voting on his SCOTUS appointments.
    3) McCain and Obama both support ESCR.
    4) As there is little chance of change in the current abortion regime, and even the FOCA would only have marginal effects (arguendo), the other issues become more salient.
    5) Obama’s proposals to expand health care coverage, his initial opposition to Iraq, his willingness to expand programs that care for the poor etc. are more in line with many parts of Catholic Social Teaching than Obama’s.
    6) Obama shows the type of temperament and intelligence that we should look for in a President.
    7) As many conservatives have noted (e.g. Will, Noonan, etc.), McCain appears to react instinctively, finding ‘bad guys’ rather than reflectively. Given the challenges the next President will face, it would be best to have a President more adept at analytically addressing problems.

    I don’t agree with many of these assumptions, but I think someone reasonably could hold them (or others) which make Obama the lesser of two evils.

  • I think (and I could be wrong) that what we are discussing when we argue whether a good Catholic could vote for Obama is really about interpersonal relations. What I mean is how do we rationalize a dear relative or a good friend supporting and voting for a candidate that we find personally abhorrent? For example, my aunt & god-mother is a wonderful Catholic woman, she raised 12 children, she is active in her parish, volunteers at the local hospital, etc, etc. However, she grew up in the 20’s and 30’s when most Catholics leaned to Democrats politically because of the sense that they “cared.” Whether they cared or not didn’t matter they conveyed a sense of caring which was well received. Even past 80 years of age she still votes the party ticket. There is no doubt in my mind that she does not support the evil that that party now defends. When we rationalize some people voting Dem despite the evidence of their complete support of abortion on demand it is to acknowledge some don’t fully make the connection between the vote and the result.

    Bottom line: I could never understand a Catholic voting for Obama or others of his ilk. However, I can’t reconcile that with my love for my aunt. That is what makes this issue more confusing than it ought to be.

A Poem For Our Times

Friday, October 10, AD 2008

The Gods of the Copybook Headings



As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.


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