Are Pro-Lifers Stuck With the Republican Party?

Sunday, November 9, AD 2008

Every election cycle, the New York Times and similar publications run op-eds or features discussing the ’emerging trend’ (always emerging, never quite emerged) of pro-lifers reconciling themselves to voting for the Democratic party. These articles vary widely in quality, and range from intelligent and provocative (if flawed) to embarrassing, but the most common feature is disenchantment with the current state of the Republican party. I will grant that the case has been easier to make this year given the widespread dissatisfaction with the Republican party (particularly among the chattering classes).

Nevertheless, I think the answer to the title of this post is that, yes, pro-lifers are stuck with, or at least would be best served by, support for the Republican party. Some points for consideration:

21 Responses to Are Pro-Lifers Stuck With the Republican Party?

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  • John, I agree that in the short-term, we’re stuck with the GOP. But I also think that we need to have a longer term strategy, which might include assimilating the Dems, looking to the possibility of a Christian Democratic party, etc. Guessing that you’d be in agreement, I’d rather have *multiple* options for pro-lifers than just one… better for the cause, but more importantly, better for the goal.

  • Chris, you raise a good point. The last 4-8 years in particular have made the disadvantages of being allied with one party painfully clear. On numerous issues, the initial invasion in Iraq, torture, etc. many pro-lifers have been strongly opposed to the positions taken by the Republican administration. Ideally, there would be a range of political options. Working toward that ideal state creates a bit of a collective action problem because of the outsized influence of the Presidency, made particularly difficult for pro-lifers by the Roe decision.

    Any third party would resign themselves to the political wilderness in Congress and national affairs for the foreseeable future. It may be at some point the wilderness is the best place to be, however I am not sure we are there yet, given that one party is fairly sympathetic to pro-life concerns. I would be open to exploring Christian democratic political options if they were on offer, but in the short-term I see little evidence that the two-party system is losing its hold on the electorate.

  • “Are Pro-Lifers Stuck With the Republican Party?”

    For the foreseeable future yes. The Dems don’t need pro-lifers to win elections and the Republicans can’t win elections without pro-life votes. The third party route is as useful as tossing ballots into a shredder instead of a ballot box. If in the future the Democrats lose enough elections due to pro-lifers voting Republican they may be open to changing the position of their party. Don’t hold your breath. The core value of the Democrat party today is adherence to abortion on demand. Everything else is negotiable, but not that.

  • I think it’s an absolute necessity that we vote for pro-life politicians. So I guess that means we’re stuck with the GOP for now.

    That said, I don’t think politicians are going to bring about the end of abortion in America. I think it’s going to be a grassroots effort on the ground: Crisis pregnancy centers, 40 Days for Life, sidewalk counselors, etc. are going to continue to dry up the business of abortion–particularly in rural America. I think we’ll see this trend continue until abortion facilities are scarce outside of NYC, California, etc.

    As this changes, I think we’re going to see laws changing at the state level (I could be wrong, but I don’t see FOCA passing) in a lot of the traditional red states. Whereas we got abortion in bang-bang fashion with Roe v. Wade, I think abortion will end with a gradual erosion. I expect by the time abortion is outlawed, people who support, provide, and procure it will be few and far between and that the legislation will be, essentially, a formality.

  • any meaningful political changes will only occur on a local basis. that means city council members, that means mayors, and that means state congressional seats.

    it is the only way to change things. which mean we all have to get up off of our collective butts and go talk to people in the real world.

    do we have the energy or initiative for that? I doubt it.

    therefore we got more moderates for the conservative causes and continue to lose power on the federal level.

  • Despite its anti-abortion platform, the GOP has, for me, lost its credibility as a viable instrument for outlawing abortion long term. Republican leaders, particularly in the current administration, have undermined the law itself in their efforts to institute a torture policy through the Office of Legal Council. The problem for the GOP isn’t just the acceptance and even embrace of torture, but the reality that those who undermine the rule of law cannot credibly champion particular just laws. They destroy the foundation on which they build. For this reason I think the pro-life movement shouldn’t stick with the GOP, not with superglue, anyway. To the extent that the GOP undermines the rule of law, it undermines the pro-life cause, even while working to promote it.

    I would still encourage the pro-life movement to work politically for legal protections for the unborn, and this work in practice means working with the two parties, but it should be very careful not to unite itself with either party. Its alliances with political parties should remain fragile, especially as both parties are, to an extent, hostile in their own ways to the movement’s objectives.

  • In my view, if the pro-life movement wants any shot at ending abortion, support cannot come from only one side of the political spectrum. If Barack Obama weren’t such a leftist, out-of-touch liberal with no experience, I would have found it much more difficult to vote for John McCain after the last eight years of George Bush.

    One thing that does concern me — and this isn’t a generalization of all pro-life conservatives because I haven’t met everyone — in my experience with pro-life conservatives, they often demonstrate to me little knowledge of or concern for other issues and that’s very disconcerning. It’s one reason why I never, and may never, join the Republican Party aside from sincere disagreement.

    I’ve spoken about the food shortage crisis that effected third world countries because of the production of ethanol from corn — to some people, this was not only news, but just a terrible, I hate to say it, side-note at best. “Thats horrible,” they would say to me. And thats it.

    You mention the fact that 47 million people don’t have health care insurance and all you get in return is that people are irresponsible and the nation shouldn’t subsidize them. Point well taken, but how do we solve the problem — especially for children and vunerable populations?

    Then you mention that the GOP is running pro-choice candidates, even allowing one to run for the nomination to be at the top of the ticket, or John McCain may want to change the GOP platform on abortion (to be more inclusive) and they’re ready to write a letter to someone and make some phone calls.

    Does anything else matter to them? I oppose abortion, but doesn’t Christ have brothers and sisters effected by other evils as well? I often wonder this. I’m sure this isn’t the case for all conservatives, but in my experience this has frequently been the case. And from what I’ve discussed and read from many pro-life Democrats, they are simply turned off by the *seeming* lack of concern for other issues that garners hardly even a response to some people. And they genuinely fear that a vote for a pro-life Republican will lead to countless policies they don’t agree with and not much progress on abortion. I think their priorities are misplaced, but I sincerely sympathize with them.

    Another point, to many of my friends, Obama is nothing short of the Antichrist, the devil incarnate, and he is going to destroy the world. Such talk I find to be very ignorant and against any sort of ecumenical dialogue. It cuts off all rational discourse and leaves us with a never-ending culture war. Just today I was talking to a friend about abortion. He is pro-choice. He never knew my views. He knows I’m a Democrat and assumed I was pro-choice until he discovered I voted for McCain. In the middle of the conversation he said to me, “Well, you oppose abortion so much right?” I answered in the affirmative. He then asked, “Do you support the death penalty?” I answered, “No, not at all. I think it should be abolished.” He was shocked. He didn’t know what to say. He realized that my opposition to both was very consistent. I began to discuss things such as abortion and breast cancer, when human life began, how society defines personhood based on convenience and on functions (being autonomous, self-aware, conscious, independent) rather than on what something is by nature — human, the right to life as the foundation of all rights, moral objectivity, and so forth. I addressed his concern about the emotional struggle of the woman and I was welcoming to his points and I acknowledged his sincerity and didn’t put him down. You know what? He was very receptive to the pro-life position and asked to talk about it again later. He admitted that he’s possibly very wrong.

    The greatest temptation in politics — particularly on moral issues — is to attack the other side with ad hominem attacks. It works well if you can pass the other side off as the devil and evil. Nevermind the challenge of modernity, the challenge of relativism, and a culture that conditions us to affirm these things. I spent 10 years of my life as an atheist. Why? Because I thought that was facing reality. I was an atheist because I hadn’t heard a *better* case. Thats what I experienced today talking to my friend Jeff.

    The pro-life message transcends party lines and I think one thing the pro-life movement must do to succeed is to look less partisan. Right now it seems you have to be a Republican to support the sanctity of life and that alienates some people. The creative way, in which we do that, without compromising our mission is the question. But the current method, in my view, is not going to win us any victory as quickly as we’d like it nor as quickly as we need it.

  • “One thing that does concern me — and this isn’t a generalization — in my experience with pro-life conservatives, they often demonstrate to me little knowledge of or concern for other issues and that’s very disconcerning.”

    Eric, as someone who is a political junkie, I have found that is not at all unusual in either party. Most people have a very few issues they feel passionate about, and have thought little about other issues. Sometimes I think they are the sane ones. I spend a fair amount of time keeping abreast of a great many issues, and I can easily understand the unwillingness of many of my fellow citizens to do so.

    It is intriguing as to why conservatives generally oppose abortion and liberals generally support it. I think it boils down to three main factors: 1. The Sexual Revolution; 2. Feminism; and 3. Religion. Liberals in this country, since 1968, have generally embraced the Sexual Revolution, championed the most extreme forms of Feminism and tended to look askance at religion. Conservatives, while just as likely to commit sins of the flesh, have generally looked askance at the Sexual Revolution as a threat to the family; generally viewed radical feminism with distaste; and generally regard Religion as the source of moral conduct. It is no accident, as the Marxists say, that conservative Republicans fight against abortion as the destruction of innocent human life, while liberal Democrats champion it as a constitutional right. One can point to liberals who oppose abortion, for example my personal hero Nat Hentoff, and conservatives who champion abortion, the late Barry Goldwater for example, but the philosophical underpinnings of both parties easily explain why the abortion battle has become a partisan issue. I would love for pro-life democrats to change this equation, but I do not see this happening for at least a generation, or after some great national calamity that will demonstrate to all how precious human life is.

  • Eric Brown,

    I’m one of the 47 million uninsured. I’m also one of the dreaded people who puts abortion above every other issue.

    But I’ll put my so-called “right” to medical care that’s been around for less than a century of human history in the back seat to stop the ongoing slaughter of innocents any day.

    Steve

  • I do feel stuck with the GOP. I am pretty upset about it. Believe it or not, I like Obama in many ways. I find his position on abortion deplorable, but I still like a lot about him.

    I just didn’t vote. I couldn’t vote for the Republican party. I think John McCain is a very impressive man, but he had to go and pick a running mate who has no business in the White House except on the guided public tour. And, if he ran a country like he ran his campaign, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have much faith in him being an effective leader.

    Things like the Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, and the treatment of US Citizen Anthony Padilla may not outweigh the issue of abortion, but I just can’t bring myself to vote for a party that has eroded basic civil rights and abused so many human rights.

    Finally, as someone with a chronic medical condition who cannot get health insurance, I had to move to another country just to get medical care. I was very lucky to have that opportunity. I’d like to come home, but I can’t until the health care situation is sorted out. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy the right-wing arguments against socialized medicine.

    I know, I know… none of that outweighs abortion. Being told that to vote for Obama in spite of his abortion views was still a mortal sin is why I didn’t vote at all. I’m not sure I believe that it’s true, but I am afraid to argue with a bishop.

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  • Kyle wrote: “To the extent that the GOP undermines the rule of law, it undermines the pro-life cause, even while working to promote it.”

    I agree completely, and that summarizes the feelings of many pro-lifers who have voted Republican. I think the debate was too easily caricatured given the perceived (or real) security threats involved, but the actions of the administration ranged from questionable to appalling. That said, it is important to remember that 1) George Bush will not be running again and this was his decision, 2) torture is not part of the Republican platform. It seems to me that the question is: where do we go from here? I submit that it will be increasingly difficult for Obama apologists to defend his record on pro-life issues, and, in the absence of a third party, we should work to ensure the Republican party will represent pro-life concerns going forward.

    Eric – You raised a number of good points (your response would have made a good separate post). I would echo Donald in observing that many, many voters are ignorant of basic political realities in both parties, and additionally that there is an unfortunate tendency on both sides for insults rather than dialogue.

    katy – I would encourage you to read the bishop’s statement. It certainly does not say that it is a sin (still less a mortal sin) to vote for Obama despite his abortion views. Catholics should not, however, vote for a pro-choice politician with the intention of furthering pro-choice policies.

  • Did you know a record 31 Democratic Party pro-life candidates were elected to Congress?

    According to Democrats for Life of America, five new Democratic pro-lifers were elected, joining 26 pro-life incumbents who were re-elected.

    “This will be only the second time in 30 years that the number of pro-life Democrats increases instead of decreases,” Kristen Day, director of Democrats for Life of America, told Lifenews.com. “The first time we made gains was in 2006 due to the work of pro-life Democrats all over this country advocating on behalf of the pro-life cause.”

    The first task confronting Congressional pro-lifers from both parties in the next Congress? Forging bipartisan alliances across the aisles of the Senate and the House of Representatives to prevent passage of the abortion lobby’s Freedom of Choice (FOCA) legislation.

    The real question is how are we going to support pro-life politican regardless of them being democrats or republicans? We Catholics cannot find home in either party for many reasons but we must work within both affect REAL change.

  • John: I know that the USCCB’s statement said it’s OK to vote in spite of pro-choice stances, but then I’ve read several very strongly-worded statements by individual bishops contradicting that.

    I do agree that it’s not a mortal sin if you genuinely believe that there will be less abortions with Obama in the White House. Whether or not that’s correct is certainly up for debate, but being mistaken does not qualify as being in a state of sin.

  • If you’ve chosen to enter a state of denial over (or intentionally avoided receiving the information regarding) Obama’s record, rhetoric, and campaign promises, then I’d say it’s not possible to ‘genuinely believe’ given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    I’m not saying there aren’t folks who didn’t just ‘genuinely believe’ out of ignorance, but I think it’s probably rarer than I’d hope.

    What really saddens me is the defeat of all the anti-abortion legislation. Makes me think that there will be plenty of GOPers caving in to the abortion lobby to save their jobs (given the trend amongst voters) and the new pro-life Dems won’t rock the boat with the abortionists champion now running the show.

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  • It seems to me that not being a single-issue voter would be pretty useful, in this case.

    Also: how does national healthcare fit into your theology? Or war? George Bush (and McCain) is anti-life on both of those fronts. How can a Catholic vote for the party which supports the death penalty?

    Last, but not least, anyone who thinks that Republicans will over turn Roe v. Wade is fooling themselves. They pull in tons of voters (like you, apparently) who would not otherwise vote for them, just by running this farce up the flag-pole. Not to mention that outlawing abortion wouldn’t stop abortions any more than outlawing liquor stopped drinking. We had illegal abortions in this country, and so many women died that good, thoughtful, caring people, said that a change was needed, and that if something like this was going to happen, it should at least be done safely.

    This whole post is silly. I came here hoping for a thoughtful, intelligent post, weighing the issues, and get a lot of foolishness.

  • I wouldn’t call either George Bush and John McCain “anti-life” on those positions. I happen to disagree with them on all of those fronts, actually. It is debatable whether or not the two wars in the Middle East are justified, it is arguable if universal health care is the most efficient way of providing medical care to all Americans. Lastly, a great number of Democrats support the death penalty including Senators Obama and Clinton.

    Lastly, overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t stop abortions, but it would enable many states to outlaw abortion and give people the opportunity to work toward its end in a way they cannot now. I’ll have to find the studies, but I just looked up the abortion rates state by state and surprisingly, the states with almost entirely Democratic regimes have higher abortion rates, particularly New York and California. You’d think all that economic support for women would really have dramatically done away with abortion entirely, while the conservative states in the Bible belt have a notably lower abortion rate and their method has been placing legal restrictions on abortion for the most part.

  • This whole post is silly. I came here hoping for a thoughtful, intelligent post, weighing the issues, and get a lot of foolishness.

    Sorry to disappoint. I had a similar experience reading your response. It seems to me that you either mis-read or misunderstood the post. I’ll risk a response, although I am not sure, based on your tone, whether it will win a hearing.

    George Bush (and McCain) is anti-life on both of those fronts

    The post is not about McCain (still less for Bush). The argument is about what pro-lifers should do going forward.

    how does national healthcare fit it into your theology? Or war?

    If you read the post, I conceded that for many Catholics, both parties are deeply flawed. I suggested that the Republican party may be more open to reform on an issue like healthcare than the Democrats will on abortion. After all, McCain had a plan to improve healthcare this election; Obama offered FOCA and the removal of ‘rare’ language from the Democratic platform to offer pro-lifers. Regarding foreign policy, unless you have a crystal ball into 2010-2012 it’s a little early to compare approaches to foreign policy. Whoever the Republicans nominate, it won’t be McCain or Bush.

    Last, but not least, anyone who thinks that Republicans will over turn Roe v. Wade is fooling themselves.

    Possibly, but we likely have four votes on the Court that would overturn or severely limit Roe. What we know is that Obama has a record of extreme hostility to any abortion restrictions.

    Not to mention that outlawing abortion wouldn’t stop abortions any more than outlawing liquor stopped drinking.

    That’s ridiculous. Abortion restrictions reduce the number of abortions. Does the number ever reach zero? No. Can the number be substantially reduced? Yes. The abortion rate doubled after Roe. Studies have shown that restrictions such as parental consent laws, etc. reduce the number of abortions. Keep in mind, overturning Roe wouldn’t make abortion illegal – it would mean the issue could be addressed legislatively.

    We had illegal abortions in this country, and so many women died that good, thoughtful, caring people, said that a change was needed, and that if something like this was going to happen, it should at least be done safely.

    I recommend reading a history book rather than a NOW pamphlet. If you view abortion as a good, then you are not really the intended audience for the post. In any case, abortion wasn’t illegal everywhere prior to Roe v. Wade; it was left up to the states. Many states had recently relaxed their abortion restriction laws prior to Roe, but some had not. If by ‘good, thoughtful, caring people,’ you mean seven Supreme Court justices, I guess you are entitled to that view. It seems rather uncaring, bad, and less than thoughtful to bar states from trying to protect human life to me, but, again, perspectives differ. Regarding safety, my understanding is that abortion is quite hazardous to one of the two people involved in the procedure.

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  • He didn’t support an executive order either… Obama is going to bypass the legislative branch to kill human life….

    yea, now I know I was misinformed about the ONE… no wolf in sheep clothing here.

  • i meant to say that the One is going to support an executive order.

  • Time to organize and fight back against this. Pro-lifers were beaten in a battle last Tuesday, but if the pro-aborts believe they have won the war they are deluded.

  • To use a phrase fron The One/That One, I’m fired up and ready to go!

  • Wow, you can hear crickets in the background.

    Where are Michael I., Mark DeFrancisisis, Radical Catholic Mom, and MZ Forrest now that their ‘pro-life’ candidate is ready to begin the wholesale mass slaughter of humans?

  • Did those who supported Obama somehow not think that things like this (and the Mexico City policy change) would happen, and happen virtually immediately? These are the consequences of an Obama presidency, and they were foreseen, at least by the pro-lifers who opposed Obama’s election.

  • The “Mexico City Policy” denying funding to NGO’s which perform / promote abortion will likely be reversed as well.

    This is hardly a suprise. It was instituted by Reagan, rescinded under Clinton, reaffirmed by Bush Jr., and now will likely be repealed, allowing for taxpayer promotion of abortion overseas.

  • Walter,

    Are you ready to get in their face… to use the language of That One.

  • And in addition to the slaughter, women being exploited as livestock for egg harvesting.

    Some champion of women’s rights.

  • I’m glad to see that our new president — who is ever conscious of a variety of positions, reflective, and inclusive — has mused over the “difficult” issue of embryonic stem cell research and has decided that the best course of “common ground” with pro-life Americans is to make them pay for it.

    We’re off to a very bipartisan start of 4 years of Unity……….

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  • Okay – Obama is our next president, like it or not. Let’s stop whining about and pouting that we lost. Our marching orders are clear: Pray for Obama and our country, work with him where possible to achieve the common good, and fight like a Maccabee when he oversteps his bounds — all the while remembering that November 2010 and 2012 will be here quicker than we think. There is much we have to do.

    What about us supporting at a local level pro-life politicians (democrats and republicans) who are willing to take the abuse from the pro-abortion side? The reason we have few to no strong pro-life politicians on the national scene is because of the lack of local support. Maybe we should be encouraging people to support pro-life PACs to get these candidates some visibility and support. I would love to hear what catholics on doing to to courage pro-life politicans in the cities and states.

    What about praying and fasting for President-elect Obama to have a change of heart (maybe like St. Paul – it is the Year of St. Paul) and courage to stand up to his own party leaders on matters of the sanctity of life (abortion, ESCR, euthanasia and death penalty), of marriage, and of expanding the war in Afghanistan? If he is as reasonable and open to the views of pro-lifers as his Catholic proponents claim him to be, then I’m sure he will appreciate those prayers.

    Let us go into the world and make a difference in our own lives, families, and work. That is the leaven the first century Christians brought to the Roman Empire, with its debauchery and hedonism similar to our modern society, and that changed the world. They put their faith in the concrete reality of Christ’s promises and the example of his life not the promises of any man or the pleasures of the world. We need to do the same!!

  • Katerine,

    I love your enthusiasm.

    “Fight like a Macabee”.

    I’m all the way in on this revolution.

    Maybe we should start with our own churches and purge them of cafeteria Catholics?

  • Thank you, Tito. Yes – praying for and encouraging our priests and bishops to be strong and courageous and being good role models of what the “pro-life” movement can and should be in our own churches is key.

    There is too much to do to waste time being depressed or maudlin or self-righteous. I intended on living my life in obedience to God and each day is filled with choices, many of them having nothing to do with whoever was President.

    I believe our mission as Catholic hasn’t changed–and wouldn’t be any different if McCain had been elected. We have a lot of work ahead of us for the culture of death in all its forms has a strong foot hold in the United States.

  • I dont know why all of you rely on just ‘faith ‘ to decide what is right ffor the human race. i mean come on. if you think about it yeah the whole stem cell thing is sort of wrong but it could save alot of lives. all of those people who have terminal illnesses , think of how they feel. they had no hope whatsoever about living and now they know that they may still have a chance at life. everything happens for a reason and if you want to drag Christ into this then fine. He put us here and created our destiny so what has happened has hapened because He wanted it to. it was bound to happen one way or another.

Interesting Blog Alert!

Sunday, November 9, AD 2008

One of the joys of the internet is stumbling upon something new and wonderful, at least to the stumbler.  I have always had a strong interest in science fiction.  I recently came across the Sci-Fi Catholic blog which explores the genre from a Catholic perspective.  The proprietor of the blog, D. G. D. Davidson, is a convert to the Faith and a graceful writer.

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Schubert's Ave Maria Sung By Luciano Pavarotti

Saturday, November 8, AD 2008

In my opinion Luciano Pavarotti’s Ave Maria is one of the most well sung I’ve ever heard.  Andrea Bocelli just can’t compare when singing Ave Maria.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Bocelli fan, but Pavarotti is just much more masculine, vibrant, and lively when singing this particular rendition of Ave Maria.

A Persecuted Church?

Saturday, November 8, AD 2008

st_petertotal

A very liberal friend in California challenged my support of Proposition 8 and homosexual “marriage” by stating that the faithful would still be able to “discriminate” against them in churches. Well, beside the utter ridiculousness of her statement, it looks to me like she was wrong. Los Angeles saw a massive gathering in front of the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. From what I saw in the video tape, there were folks trying to scale the gates surrounding the building. Now from World Net Daily comes proof that the most militant of homosexual rights activists are calling for violence against Christians and destruction of our places of worship. One person quoted in the article stated:

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  • This reminds me of something….

    Get ready… this is coming…

    If we want to save our country and our Western heritage, we need to start taking a stand… and encourage each other to take stands. We need to preach the Gospel in season and out of season. We need not Be Afraid.

    This is our calling.

  • This is also a fear that I have, and it’s why it’s so baffling that Catholics are voting for their own marginalization. I think these centrist Catholics in mostly red states who voted Obama aren’t aware of the kind of intolerance the Left routinely preaches.

  • My lovely alma mater here in the blue state of California recently ran a story in the school paper about student protests following the passage of Prop. 8. Just to give you a flavor of the kind of thinking behind the protesters, here’s a sample comment to the story (my emphasis added):

    It has been speculated that proposition 8 won because of remarks made by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, to the effect of “We’re going to allow homosexuals to marry whether you like it or not!” After these remarks, made at a time when the measure was losing in the polls, the support for proposition 8 skyrocketed, and the trend was reversed.

    Why? Because of the Culture War. For those of you not versed in this perverse evangelical undertaking, I encourage you to read about it.

    Words such as Newsom’s frighten and infuriate these dolts, and, quick to anger and prone to exaggeration, they lash out. By protesting the results of this election, we are giving them more fodder. And you know what? If we keep doing this, they’re going to keep winning. Our side isn’t good at demagoguery. It’s not our forte. It’s like trying to run a dirty campaign against a Republican–if you stoop to their level, you will lose.

    Tuesday’s decision greatly upset me. But it made me realize something. When it comes down to it, we’re fighting against the Catholic church, AM Talk Radio, and the Evangelical Superpower, manifested in the Moral Majority. We’re not going to win against these organizations, because they have more funding, their members and adherents are more pliable. Not to mention, as far as they’re concerned, it’s our word against God’s. How the hell are we supposed to beat God?

    (snip)

    By democratic process, proposition 8 passed. But the people who voted yes on 8 did so because their church told them to, and the church is disappearing from our weekly lives, as reason takes over. The era of the Moral Majority is fading on its own.

    We must respond to the vitriol of the pundits with reasoned argument–they simply don’t know how to take it. Ask them to leave their Bible and home and talk to them about the real issues involved, from a legal point of view. They won’t know how to take it.

    The way to fight the hydra of brainwashing churches is through reason. It is their weak point, after all.

  • There is certainly reason for concern. We may be headed toward some dark days.

    But let’s never forget that the darker the days, the greater the abundance of Grace. Things looked pretty bad on a Friday afternoon 2,000 years ago, too.

    I’d expected a lot of saints from the coming generations.

  • “The way to fight the hydra of brainwashing churches is through reason. It is their weak point, after all.”

    Tell that to Saint Thomas Aquinas. I wonder if this person has ever heard of him let alone read any of his works? Pretensions of intellectual snobbery are often held by those who have precious little in that area to be snobbish about.

  • Donald,

    That’s precisely why I sigh when I think about all the lost opportunities during my “education” at this university.

  • Steve,

    I too believe in Sunday… but I believe it might be a very long Friday and Saturday…. so the saints might be martyrs.

    And I pray that some will come from my seed.

  • What’s so twisted about this outcry of Prop 8 passing is that homosexuals are not being persecuted.

    They are still free to stick their wee-wee wherever they want and live in whoever’s house.

    This is ridiculous.

    They still have their rights. The state (thankfully) just voted they believe marriage is defined as man and woman…woopy-do. This kind of fuss in the video is ridiculous and we need to remember to keep it simple in debate – no one is losing any rights!

    CA just simply stated that marriage is defined as man and woman. This does not restrict homosexuals as free individuals to engage in this or that activity. Marriage, even from a biological standpoint, is between man and woman. To say otherwise is a lie.

    Nobody is getting persecuted…except the minds of those that persecute themselves with “victimhood”.

  • Let me clarify the last sentence – nobody is being persecuted because of Prop 8…

    Now let’s just hope nut-cases like these in the video don’t hurt Christians, Mormons, or whoever else they might target as an enemy just because they believe the definition of marriage is between man and a woman.

  • But Prop 8 supporters- just wait until next Supreme Court vacancy. Stevens is closer to 90 than 80. Ginsberg is no spring capon. Health problems may befall others. Allow your Messiah to find one successful candidate who will pull Anthony Kennedy in his direction rather than that for those horrible Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas people. No problem.

  • I’ve talked with several of my friends in California, many of whom are Catholic and oppose prop8. For the life of me, I can’t convince many of them about natural law and why it is in the public interest to have laws that protect natural law. Every reason and argument in opposition to prop8 is emotionally driven. And the equating of same-sex marriage to interracial marriage is the most absurd argument of all.

    There are already three challenges to prop 8 in the form of lawsuits that are submitted before the CA supreme court. I half expect the court to overturn prop8 using the same argument it used to overturn prop 22.

  • “Allow your Messiah to find one successful candidate who will pull Anthony Kennedy in his direction rather than that for those horrible Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas people. No problem.”

    My understanding is that the Court is quite happy to leave this issue to the states. After the prolonged and continuing backlash to Roe, I expect the Court will be reluctant over-rule the states on this issue unless and/or until there is broader public support for gay marriage. Additionally, Kennedy generally adopts a type of opinion-poll approach to deciding controversial cases; for example, in Casey he upheld Roe because it was supported by most of the country, but he voted to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban.

  • So i’m thrilled that Prop 8 has been challenged. I am not gay. However I am good friends with those who are. I simply do not understand just what the big deal is all about gay people having the exact same privileges we have now.

5 Responses to A Peaceful Canon

One Response to Chicago Style

  • Much of what our voting brethren failed to consider this Tuesday. Uh oh stomach hurting again but I started typing here so I’ll finish it. Rahm is your basic hardcore political streetfighter. Seen with derision when GOP partisans show it but got oohs and aahs from MSM. As though Obama would select a non-loyalist as his principal gatekeeper. Also keeps Crazy Uncle Joe squared safely away in White House attic. Will let him downstairs only for parties, holiday celebrations, and Redskins games no doubt.

Scandal

Friday, November 7, AD 2008

So I sit on the couch watching Thursday Night Football, cringing at the poor performance of the Denver Broncos, and alternatively trying to work on my writing and my reading. And then it pops up during one of those lulls in action. Spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. My stomach rumbles, and I immediately consider the benefit of running down to Wendy’s and ordering some. The store is just a few blocks away, the nuggets are only 99 cents a pack, and I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I stand up, contemplating, and then with a sigh I decide to eat the leftover stew from the previous night.

3 Responses to Scandal

  • You had a better alternative that didn’t involve behaving petulant adolescent hellbent on dereliction of duty?

  • “Did the potential of defeating Obama truly outweigh the scandal provoked by voting for a candidate that is all for embryonic stem-cell research, and is only half-heartedly pro-life? Does it make any difference in retrospect, now that Obama won? What we view as the greater evil has now taken office, but it would it have been anything but a pyrrhic victory if the lesser evil took office, instead?”

    Yes, yes and no, as we shall see to our dismay during the course of the Obama administration.

  • It’s the scandal you don’t see that’s the most dangerous, friend.

Examining the "Youth Vote"

Friday, November 7, AD 2008

Ever since McGovern, Democrats repeatedly staked their electoral hopes on an expended avalanch of young voters. This year, it appeared to happen, with Obama winning the votes of 18-29 year olds in a landslide:

Democratic brand domination was the corollary to Obama’s 66%-32% blowout among 18-29 year-old voters. The youth also voted 63%-34% for House Democrats. So, young voters also voted straight ticket for the Democrats down ballot. The real story about the youth vote is not how many “new” voters Obama got to show up, but rather how he produced a gargantuan 34% differential in the youth, versus a 9% margin for Kerry in 2004.

In 2008, 18% of the electorate was comprised of 18-29 year-olds. That figure, when multiplied by the 34 percent differential in Obama voting equals 6.1 points, or a majority of Obama’s popular vote margin. Had the Democratic 18-29 year-old vote stayed the same as 2004’s margin, Obama would have won by about 1 to 2 points, and would not have won 73 electoral votes from Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, or Indiana. “The Electoral College result would not have been the same, nor can we say that Obama would have won the election,” said Greenberg.

Does this overwhelming Obama victory among young voters represent a strong likelihood that the Democrats have a long rule ahead of them?

3 Responses to Examining the "Youth Vote"

  • It’s probably also important to look at what was happening when these kids grew up. For Bush 2004, the 9/11 generation got to vote for the first time. For Obama, it’s the Iraq war generation.

    I think in general the youth vote is fickle. Bush voters in 2004 were very optimistic, then disappointed, then Obama supporters. With the hype and hope for obama super-high among the youth, Obama is doomed to disappoint. The question is how much and how angry they will be. Counting on the youth is a good move for the challenger but not so dependable for a re-election.

  • Only makes sense that our youth would favor the hip young Democratic candidate over the old guy on the GOP side who always looks ready to blow a gasket. But in reading stats, numbers, analysis above, I conclude:

    1. If you are a political candidate and you expect young voters to carry you to victory, think again. This Rock The Vote and it’s hep to the jive to vote and such silliness is still an illusion. Most young people know little about politics and care less. Just as well. Real Life will run over them like an 18-wheeler sooner or later.

    2. I get the logic that people are inclined to vote Demo tend to be rootless, restless, devoid of kith and kin, not occupying space in church pew. They also tend not to be people who reproduce other rootless restless types. In fact, they tend not to reproduce at all. Thus the conundrum of the Death Party. Not producing enough future Democrats. A little too much like their Western European models- the distinct aroma of Eau de Death Wish.

    3. Obama brought the many and varied Democratic coalitions together as one- African-Americans, unions, enviros, gay/lesbian/transgender communities, etc. They will fly apart in the mad dash to monopolize his attention and plead for the superiority of their individual causes. Amazing that the majority of feminists who supported La Hillary opted for him with little fuss. If their concerns aren’t heard- possibly my least favorite lib cliche of the moment- those voting patterns can very easily go askew as early as the 2010 midterms. The only certainty about voting patterns is that there are no certainities. Except for- don’t rely on the youth vote.

  • Hep to the jive?
    From one oldster to another, take care! You’re dating yourself.

Team Sarah

Friday, November 7, AD 2008

teamsarah

An important component of a political comeback for conservatives will be grass roots organizations.  During the campaign Team Sarah sprang up to support Governor Palin.  The campaign is over but Team Sarah is still going strong.  It is a predominantly female group, my wife and daughter belong, but men are welcome too.  Here is their website if you would care to take a look.

32 Responses to Team Sarah

  • Sign me up, Don Mac. Just reminded in a cartoon posted on the esteemable lucianne.com. Panel one- page one shows BUSH WINS 51% DIVIDES COUNTRY. Panel two- another page one, showing OBAMA WINS 52% UNITES COUNTRY. Sorry libs- the ball is still in play. Sarah is The Player on the GOP team. Time to build a winning franchise around the star. I likes me some Bobby Jindal as second banana but could be persuaded by others. In any event onward and upward. You betcha.

  • Where can I send my money to help her reimburse that private donor for all of her excessive Neiman Marcus purchases?

  • Where can I send my money to help her reimburse that private donor for all of her excessive Neiman Marcus purchases?

    Because serious, critical thinkers take all the off-the-record rumors bubbling up from a defeated campaign apparatus at face value.

  • That’s a great logo they have. Looks like the logo of the official Sarah Palin sweatshop-produced clothing line, for sale at Wal-Mart.

  • Mark D-
    you mean the outfits the campaign bought, so she would look professional, which are to be raffled off at the end?

    Seeing as she’s the only one at the end who WASN’T hugely personally wealthy….

    This kind of BS is why I’m going to support Team Sarah, and I’m betting my husband and most of my family will as well.

  • “Where can I send my money to help her reimburse that private donor for all of her excessive Neiman Marcus purchases?”

    The web-site for donations is wasillahillbillies.net, I believe 😉

    Look, it is disloyal, unprofessional, self-serving etc. for these staffers to engage in this type of behavior. It is also odd that they think it makes them look better to trash the VP candidate they selected, but there is no point in treating it as if it is the end of the world. McCain did not lose because of Palin. Palin also did not help the ticket as much as they hoped she would. She may have a national future, she may not; we’ll have to see. But it’s ok to make jokes about it at this point; the election is over and we can relax a bit.

  • The Obamabots are not only humorless they are bad winners. How surprising.

    As for the clothes purchased by the campaign, they have been donated to charity as was always the plan.

    Enjoy your day in the sun Catholic Anarchist and Mr. DeFrancisis, it won’t last long.

  • It seeems uas the the GOP, not Obamabots are throwing poor Srah under the bus.

    Eitther way, I wonder how much the clothing value has decreased after their wear?

    I know GoodWill really recuperates costs well.

    And I am sure that every down and out female needs a 4 figure suit for here job interview.

    O.K. They will auction it off to all of the conservative populists how LOVE Sarah. But I am surprised that Macy’s is not the upper limit with these folks.

  • If this is how Obama Catholics respond in victory, I feel even more sad for them in defeat.

    Simply no class at all.

  • It is a bit odd for Mark and Michael, supposedly advocates for the poor, to make a big deal of mocking their opponents for allegedly having a lower/working class aura.

  • A propos of nothing, I noticed that the jacket Palin was wearing when she voted on Tuesday was the one I used to own (got it at Wal-Mart, naturally). Last time something like that happened to me was when it turned out I owned the exact style of sneakers that all of the Heaven’s Gate folks wore. Now that was an awkward week.

  • I stopped wearing polo shirts for a while when Jeff Gilloolly was all the rage during the skating wars and wearing the same.

  • It is a bit odd for Mark and Michael, supposedly advocates for the poor, to make a big deal of mocking their opponents for allegedly having a lower/working class aura.

    On the contrary, it seems quite obvious to me that Sarah Palin does NOT have a “lower/working class aura.”

  • I signed up… because Sarah Palin ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What about the $700,000 the DNC spent for the big Obama show in Berlin last July?

  • Ah, but, Elise– that’s from the unverified, untraceable credit card transactions! Tis very possible the world payed for that “citizen of the world” speech. ;^p

  • So what?

    Obama does not package himself as a small town loving/American East and broader world hating shopper at thrift stores, who saves his clothing money, in order to pay for the supposedly more imporatant things to himself–such as recreational moose hunting and luxury suntan booth bathing….

  • Mr. DeFrancisis-
    that she DOES shop at thrift stores is why the campaign had to dress her up– it may have escaped you, but NONE of the folks on the stump are dressed cheap.

    And if you think that getting enough UV light during Alaska’s dark season is “luxury” then you’re flat ignorant– even the US Navy recognizes that light therapy is needed to keep people, especially women, from getting depressed in dark seasons.

    Oh, wait, you’re not looking for actual facts or reason– you’re just trying to attack someone you don’t like. My bad. I’ll stop trying to apply logic.

  • There is a big gap between thrift stores and Neimun Marcus, don’t ya think?

    And they told her to buy three suits and get a stylist. In response, she spent $20000 on her family, $40000 in luxury stuff for Todd and about $150000 on herself.

    It seems as though you have the problem in squaring your view of Sarah with the facts.

  • Mark,

    you are delusional…. when did she have time to go shopping for her family? You know full well that the campaign did all that… not her.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7717558.stm

    It is your hatred for Sarah and what she stands for that has cloudy your mind.

    Go drink some Obama kool-aid… and spare the hatred for Sarah on this blog.

  • Mark,

    You are delusional. Stop letting your hatred for Sarah and what she stands for cloud your mind. You know full well that she did not have time to shop for her family.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7717558.stm

    Go drink the Obama Kool-aid and stop spreading your hatred of Sarah on this blog

  • Bret,

    These facts have been widely reported by many, many reputable U.S. national news outlets.

    ……..

    Additionally, The Daily Telegraph in London reports this about your Lady Madonna:

    “Sarah Palin’s attacks on Barack Obama’s patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign.

    The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.

    The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling “terrorist” and “kill him” until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.

    But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.

    The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.

    Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”

  • Now that you mention it, Foxfier, German health insurance covers spa visits–it wouldn’t surprise me at all if solarium visits fell under that as well.
    Evidently they don’t consider these “luxury” items.

    I wonder if we’ll all get free mineral baths and solar therapy under the Obama heath plan?

  • No one, I report no one said this at her rallies..”terrorist” and “kill him”

    This has been proven time and time again…

    Even the secret service said so…. So, stop drinking the Kool-aid.

    If you want to see some rage… here are your leftist friends… not included is a hanging Palin for Halloween.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/12/crush-the-obamedia-narrative-look-whos-gripped-by-insane-rage/

  • Hello…Bret…there is a world out there, beyond the garble from Michelle Malkin and your select Fox News Commentators.

    Try Fox’s Carl Cameron, who broke much of the Sarah stuff….

    Actually, believe that Sarah is THE future of the GOP. and has done no wrong .In fact, have her run with Joe the Plumber in 2012.

    Your party will veer into the oblivion…And pro life it is not, BTW.

  • “Try Fox’s Carl Cameron, who broke much of the Sarah stuff….”

    Actually Mr. DeFrancisis I heard Carl Cameron being interviewed on Friday. He said that he reported the smears but he knew that the attacks on Palin were rubbish based on his personal observations of her during the campaign.

    As to the Republican party going into oblivion, that is as laughable as your contention that the party isn’t pro-life. Compare and contrast the party planks on abortion, or this gem from the candidate you voted for:

    “Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. HOWEVER, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President.” That is from his bizarre Hope and Change.gov.

    After years of “Messiah” government I think the Republican party will be in fine shape in 2010 and 2012. Enjoy yourself, it won’t last long.

  • John Pedesta was just on Fox News… He just said that one of the first things that “The One” is going to do is sign an executive order on stem cell research.

    Yeah, some pro-life guy the O man is.

  • Anyone else notice DeFrancisis attacking the the source of the information instead of the information itself?

    And that he keeps ignoring information that isn’t what he wants?

    On the supposed “kill him” yelled for BO at a ralley:
    http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/news/story/secret-service-discounts-any-threat-in-kill-him-shout/

  • On the supposed “kill him” yelled for BO at a rally:
    http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/news/story/secret-service-discounts-any-threat-in-kill-him-shout/

    A reason for the spike in “death threats” to Obama:
    http://ywc.blogtownhall.com/2008/10/03/secret_service_intimidates_private_citizen_for_obama.thtml
    They also informed me that it would be easier if the next time a supporter calls me I just say “Yeah sure count me in, or just hang up” apparently so she won’t get her undies in a bundle and give them more useless trips. Yeah right. I said “Look, someone calls me unsolicited on my cell phone to ask me to support their candidate and I can’t tell them why I don’t?” I said I was sorry they made a wasted trip but if they had a problem with some made up lie they needed to go talk to her about it because it wasn’t my fault they had to drive from Houston for nothing

    DeFrancisis –
    If you don’t believe Fox, then attack their information; acting as if they’re automatically wrong because they’re Fox is…well, foolish.

  • Hey, Foxfier,
    I followed up on the story “Secret Service Intimidates Private Citizen For Obama.” I’m not certain those were real Secret Service Agents. Their behavior was unprofessional and they refused to show their badges. Secret Service types are normally real sticklers for protocol and are required to show their badges on request.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if those “agents” were the same goons from the Obama office. In which case they were in violation of various laws, impersonating a Federal agent primary among them. That lady ought to file a police report pronto and get to the bottom of the matter.

  • Palin-Wurzelbacher 2012

    And Away Go Troubles Down the Drain . . .

  • Troll, you do have to keep up with the news better:

    “Palin and Africa, Etc. [Rich Lowry]

    I talked to Steve Biegun, the former Bush NSC aid who briefed Sarah Palin on foreign policy, and he considers the leaks against her on the international stuff “absurd.”

    He says there’s no way she didn’t know Africa was a continent, and whoever is saying she didn’t must be distorting “a fumble of words.” He talked to her about all manner of issues relating to Africa, from failed states to the Sudan. She was aware from the beginning of the conflict in Darfur, which is followed closely in evangelical churches, and was aware of Clinton’s AIDS initiative. That basically makes it impossible that she thought all of Africa was a country.”

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YWViMjhiZjI4ODlkZjg0NDg5MTJmNmIwYmFiNDRmNWU=

2 Responses to Defeat in Victory?

17 Responses to While some herald a new era for "reproductive rights"; a Catholic for Obama muses: "was it ever about abortion?"

  • “Pro-lifers need to reach out to Obama, knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Yes, like the issue that makes them pro-lifers. If only we had possessed such wisdom at other times:

    “Abolitionists need to reach out to Jefferson Davis knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Capitalists need to reach out to Joe Stalin knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Jews need to reach out to Hitler knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Pro-lifers reaching out to Obama is as pathetic as it is stupid. Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.

  • The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery. Just saying.

  • “… the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    Actually, the CSA wasn’t around to “agree to end slavery”. The USA ended slavery when it passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • “The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    2,000,000 Union soldiers ended slavery.

  • I’m no Civil War scholar, but is it accurate to say that the CSA “agreed to end” slavery? Certainly, very late in the war, it agreed to lselective liberation in return for military service, but only when their backs were against the proverbial wall anyway. If they’d been ready to give up slavery to start with (indeed, not even that — just face its gradual diminishment) there wouldn’t have been a war in the first place.

    I understand and to a limited extent sympathize with those who see the South as having been right as regards states rights. But it’s an odd defense for those who somehow put hope in the newly elected administration — given that said administration strongly endorses the power of the Federal Government to force tolerance of moral abominations upon unwilling states.

  • The Confederate Congress on March 13, 1865 passed a law authorizing the use of slaves as troops. http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/csenlist.htm

    This was a twenty second before midnight measure when every rational Confederate knew they were facing military defeat. The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on Palm Sunday April 9, 1865.

    The Confederate Constitution forbade the Confederate Congress from impairing the right to own slaves: “(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

    The Confederate Act specifically required the consent of the owner before a slave could be enlisted and spelled out that there would be no change in the status of the slave as a result of his enlistment:

    “SEC 5. That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.”

    Enlistment of black troops was a last desperate act of the Confederacy to win the fight for independence and thereby to preserve slavery. The Confederacy agreed to end slavery in the same way that the Texans in 1836 agreed to relinquish the Alamo to Santa Anna.

  • The irony here is that when people object to the analogy of abortion to slavery in the antebellum South, they typically aren’t doing so because they think it is unfair to the antebellum South.

  • “Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.”

    Exactly. The problem isn’t that these Catholics who voted for Obama really believed what they said about abortion, i.e., it cannot be won but can be reduced through dialogue with Obama. The problem is that these self-professed Catholics do not have a problem with abortion. Apparently they have a problem with Sunday Mass and regular confession, too. What on earth keeps them Catholic beyond the name?

    It’s about clear and authoritative teaching. And they’re not hearing it from their catechists/bishops. Bidens, Pelosis and other Catholic public figures are causing scandal, and their own bishops are tolerating it. It becomes very easy for the average Catholic to then conclude that the matter is far from grave and certain.

    What was it that the Lord said about scandals and the lukewarm?

  • Let’s accomodate Obama on abortion: cue to hysterical laughter. As though values and principles can be sold like the khakis on sale this weekend at Your Favorite Department Store. Ms. Keenan- funny how so many feminist & pro-abort leaders have Irish or Italian last names, musta broken away from The Church- isn’t very accomodating. John McCain was accomodating during his presidential campaign. John McCain returned to the Senate on Wednesday. Time for the purification process. In the Church, in the GOP, in the pro-life movement. Not pretty or easy. Might be the best thing to happen to us in any or all of these categories.

  • Jeff,

    He says that He will take our lampstand away… aka we will be the dustbowl of history… St. John discusses this in Revelation.

  • I would have thought that the writing on the wall is clear, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Abortion is not just a life issue, but an economic one, as well. To some small extent, I can understand people feeling the need for abortion in case of rape, incest, and the extreme case of either the baby dies, or both die. But a vast majority of abortions are performed for essentially economic reasons. Abortion interferes with career, can’t afford a baby, still in high school, and so on. So let me spell out what I say, and anyone who wants can jump on me.

    1) Abortion is the choice of the material over human life. The material is not just financial, but sexual.

    2) A blanket law making abortion legal in call cases gives justification to the primary cause of all abortions, i.e. rampant promiscuity.

    3) Rampant promiscuity gives rise to many ills, such as STDs, but also one of the biggest problems facing us now: single parent households.

    4) Not only are such households typically below the poverty line, but the children from those households are at much higher risk of drug use, abuse, criminal behavior, and dropping out of school, thus increasing the economic woes of the lower class.

    Furthermore, it seems highly doubtful that better economic conditions will help reduce the number of abortions. As I said before, abortion is about choosing the material over a human life. I suppose that suggesting that if a person had the opportunity to a slightly larger slice of the pie while still keeping the baby, it might prevent that person from having an abortion. But it seems to me, rather, that for such a person, the opportunity for an even larger slice of the pie if she doesn’t keep the baby won’t prevent her from having an abortion, anyway.

  • Jeff Tan, Gerard E., Bret Ramsey, and Ryan Harkins,

    Excellent analysis and commentary. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts.

  • What does the pro-life movement have to be part of either party?

    What about praying and fasting for President-elect Obama to have a change of heart (maybe like St. Paul – it is the Year of St. Paul) and courage to stand up to his own party leaders on matters of the sanctity of life (abortion, ESCR, euthanasia and death penalty), of marriage, and of expanding the war in Afghanistan? If he is as reasonable and open to the views of pro-lifers as his Catholic proponents claim him to be, then I’m sure he will appreciate those prayers.

    What about us supporting at a local level pro-life politicans (democrates and republicans) who are willing to take the abuse from the pro-abortion side? The reason we have few to no strong pro-life politicans on the national scene is because of the lack of local support. Maybe we should be encourage people to support pro-life PACs to get this candidates some vissibility and support.

    And then there is supporting women who face crisis pregnancies. Have your parish adopted a ciris pregnancy – financially and with volunteer hours. Pro-life groups like Feminists for life who work on educating college-woman about abortion and managing unplanned pregnancy in college. Planned Parenthood called Feminist for life one of the more dangerous movements against them because it strikes at the core. They have get materials and speakers. Have them speak at all the christian universities. There is STILL so much we can do if we pray and work without ceasing.

  • Katerine,

    Well said. I believe most, if not all, of us pro-lifers are of the same mind. I hope that many, like myself, are working at the grassroots level. I certainly support any party, either Republican or Democrat, if they are serious about the sanctity of life.

    What you said needs to be told over and over. We need to behave as Christians not only during Mass on Sunday’s, but each and every day. It is a way of life.

    We certainly will do our part. And praying for Presiden-Elect Obama’s conversion is at the top of the list. Like you said, it is the year of St. Paul after all.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Do you all know about the the 40 days for life campaign which just ended? It was a cross-country effort, in many cities, 24-hour vigils in front of clinics, priests coming with the host exposed, Masses being offered, and in that forty days, at least 441 babies were saved, and several workers at the clinics quit.

    We must changed hearts through prayer and we must support women who are caught in seemingly hopeless situations where they must choice between their child and their education, their boyfriend, their family, and/or their job.

  • Katerine,

    You are my sister in Christ!

    I participated in 40 days for life with faithful prayers.

    We need to continue changing hearts and minds.

    If we change the culture, we can change the law of the land.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

Many of us on the conservative side of the spectrum have been sounding a tad cranky the last couple days.  Still, occasionally this frustration is channeled into well deserved directions.  Commenter and fellow Steubenville alumnus FUS01 pointed me towards a great piece by Ross Douthat, part of an open discussion on the future of the GOP over on Slate.  In response to Kmiec’s now familiar comlaint that GOP pro-lifers are unrealistic in wanting to defeat Roe, and his claim that Obama is a natural for pro-life voters, Douthat dishes it out to him in a way that Kmiec richely deserves:

20 Responses to Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

  • Ross nails issue big time. Not sure who is more worthy of my contempt- the anonymous McCain staffers dropping info about Sarah The Trailer Park Shopper or Kmiec The Useful Idiot. Time was that I thought Dougie was angling for some fancy gig like Deputy AG. Might well be he was ideoligically motivated to twist and turn the Church’s position on abortion like a South Philly pretzel maker. Makes him all the more pathetic. No more of his ilk in either U.S. Catholicism, Sharper More Focused More Battle Ready Pro-Life Movement, or a GOP free of impediments like the leakers, seeking a More Moderate America. Moderate- bleh. Armadillos get smushed in the middle of the road. Go back to Pepperdine, Dougie, and leave the heavy lifting to others.

  • “embarrassing shill”

    An accurate assessment of Kmiec.

  • A pretty hyperbolic diatribe. I can understand how distraught we all are, but this may have been unconstructive.

    I don’t want to be a party pooper and I certainly agree where the emotions are emanating from, but maybe we should all get this out of our system now and quickly so we can return to the issue at hand.

    Protecting the unborn, reversing Roe v Wade, ie, promoting a culture of life.

    I for one will be having a pint or two and vent with friends this weekend, after that, full steam ahead with the Pro-Life Movement!

  • Ordinarily I would agree with Tito’s sentiments. In the case of Kmiec, however, I am willing to make an exception.

  • Tito, I did not find this hyperbolic. It was accurate. In my mind, Douthat should be credited for having the courage to say what he said in a hostile forum like Slate. George Weigel, Robert George, Ramesh Ponnuru, legal scholars John Breen, and Rick Garnett have all made the same point. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Kmiec was acting deliberately in bad faith. See, for instance, Kmiec’s endorsement of the pro-choice position in this LAT op-ed:

    “Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God’s, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kmiec17-2008oct17,0,2107469.story

  • I understand that the pro-life position on abortion does not command majority support in the United States and that people of good will can disagree on the subject.

    I disagree that informed and thoughtful people of intelligence and goodwill can disagree on the question of abortion, any more than they could on questions like slavery or the Nazis’ “final solution.”

    Science teaches us that human life begins at conception. Theology teaches that human life has inherent dignity and rights. Just law must take this into account.

  • Two items of context that may help:

    1) Douthat is normally such a moderate voice that hearing him put the hammer down like this is both fun and gives his words more impact than if they came from someone who was a fire breather by habbit.

    2) Kmiecs essay yesterday in the same round-table which Douthat was directly responding to was so weasley and indeed bordering on incoherant I figured he deserved it in the immediate as well as the general sense.

    That said, I do agree that wallowing in recriminations at this point would help no one but our opponents and I’ll try to avoid falling into that.

    Lord, make me irenic… But not quite yet.

  • This is a topic that is going to keep coming up, but we can be both forceful in our opposition as long as we’re fair. While hyperbolic rhetoric is not helpful, at the same time I don’t think we need to walk on eggshells every time we open our mouths or write a post or column. And as DC said above, this is pretty stark rhetoric considering the source, much as it was shocking to see Byron York – also normally reserved – really take it to McCain’s staff.

  • I agree with how we are characterizing Kmiec.

    Let’s get this out of our system, but let’s get prepared come Obama’s inauguration.

    I hope I wasn’t too harsh. It is not a reflection on anyone at all.

  • I hope I wasn’t too harsh. It is not a reflection on anyone at all.

    No prob. I think we’ve established pretty well over the last couple days that a bit of mutual criticism is fine around here. 🙂

    And I do agree with you about not wanting to become nothing but a grudge-central — though I flatter myself there’s little long term danger of it.

  • Mutual criticism is fine and welcome by me (and hopefully others).

    🙂

    I don’t want a grudge-central as well and share your sentiments et al.

  • …a bit of mutual criticism is fine around here.

    Refreshing. Nothing says you can’t be on the same team, so to speak, and have some genuine disagreement, and most importantly argue it publicly. That’s far more respectful than silently circling the wagons or just being snarky and quarrelsome to one another.

    People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. -GKC-

  • I had the same thought when I read Ross today… I’d read his initial piece (along with Manzi’s and Kmiec’s when Ross linked all of them the other day) and then saw his link today… his description of the post is as follows: “The Slate dialogue continues, and I say some very unkind things about Douglas Kmiec.”

    As DC noted, for Ross Douthat to get that strong in tone is unusual, and says something in itself.

  • Who is this Douthat guy and why does he think that people of good will can disagree on the subject of abortion?

    It has been fully resolved that if you buy abortion, you don’t have an intellectual pulse.

  • I see P. Diddy has beaten me to the punch here. The statement that leaps out is:

    “I understand that the pro-life position on abortion does not command majority support in the United States and that people of good will can disagree on the subject.”

    That’s a huge concession from Douthat isn’t it? And yet we obviously look at Robert E. Lee and other southerners before the abolition of slavery as men of good will. But right about now I don’t think at pro-choicers that way.

  • “That’s a huge concession from Douthat isn’t it?”

    Not really, unless you think that 70%-80% of the country is not only wrong, but of bad will. Presuming bad faith on the part of anyone outside the pro-life movement is counter-productive to the goal of enacting abortion restrictions. If we are going to make progress, we have to recognize that many Americans are conflicted about abortion, and continue to work to persuade them about the importance of protecting human life in the womb.

    Even limiting abortions to the first tri-mester (which would be supported by a majority of Americans) would reduce abortions by around 10% (saving roughly 100,000 lives a year). These types of modifications in the law are not the end goal, but they are worth aiming for – and in that process we need to presume good faith on the part of people in the mushy middle on abortion.

  • I’m unimpressed with a strictly numbers approach to determining whether a group is of good will. That’s part of the reason we don’t have a democracy but a representative form of gov’t. Should Germans during the Nazi regime be let off the hook?

  • “I’m unimpressed with a strictly numbers approach to determining whether a group is of good will.”

    You are free to presume bad faith; good faith and bad faith are difficult to prove, and I will certainly not try to persuade you one way or the other about a group as diverse as 70-80 Americans. Only honest discussions with people who are pro-choice will do that. As I said, however, it would be disastrous for the pro-life movement as a whole to presume bad faith. People who are not of good will cannot be convinced to support abortion restrictions, which makes argument useless. Similarly people who are of good will do not like to be addressed as if they are not. We should nearly always presume good faith rather than bad when we are trying to extend legal protection to the unborn.

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America's First Secular President?

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

president-elect-obama

 

Damian Thompson from the Holy Smoke blog in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has declared Barack Obama as America’s first secular president.  Not far from being the truth some would say that Bill Clinton was pretty secular as well.  But I believe the point that Mr. Thompson was attempting to get across was the simple fact that the majority of church-going Christians voted for Senator McCain than did Senator Obama.  What is more revealing is that ‘Christians in name only’ voted overwhelmingly for Senator Obama.

The breakdown of voting figures in the US election indicates an extraordinary gulf between churchgoing and non-churchgoing voters. Barack Obama hoovered up the votes of non-churchgoers to an unprecedented extent: 65 per cent of them voted for him. I’ve thought for a long time that American agnostics and atheists are a growing force, under-represented in opinion polls. Obama will be their president.

 

He’ll also be the president of non-practising Catholics who, according to Beliefnet figures, voted 61 to 37 per cent for Obama. That’s no surprise: the Democrats were always the party of Catholics.

 

27 Responses to America's First Secular President?

  • America’s first secular president was Thomas Jefferson.

  • His mother was a stone-cold atheist and I have always suspected that he is too. Certainly it is a more reasonable suspicion than to swallow his story that Jeremiah Wright led him to Christ. Obama is intelligent and I doubt if he would have confused what Wright was peddling with Christianity.

  • Black Adder IV,

    I was thinking the same thing. Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.

  • Donald R. McClarey,

    My suspicions are the same as yours. I also think that Mr. Obama’s mother was an atheist as well as his grandmother.

  • There have been plenty of secular presidents — what is perhaps more apropo is that Obama could be argued to be our first truly post-Christian president, both in terms of his philosophy and the base that brought him into office.

  • Blackadder’s right, but if I understand the author’s thesis, he’s talking about the voters and the not the candidate himself.

    I was thinking the same thing. Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.

    It’s never a good thing to get me started on TJ, but he was fairly hostile to organized Christianity.

  • Obama ends the pretention about presidents and religion. Surveying the gents who held the office throughout our previous century, hard to pick out those who one would expect to occupy a church pew out of devotion rather than lookit me see how religious I am during campaigns. Jimmeh Carter is an obvious exception. I sense the lack of enthusiasm from most of you who just read that name. JFK was a hipper cooler kind of Catholic- more like James Bond than Devout Catholic Layman. Bush the Older, Ford, even the Gipper- liked talking to the Big Guy but maybe not formally. Nixon- way too weird. Slick Willie- snicker snicker. Say what you want about the late Jesse Helms, but he saw no need to frequent the Sunday morning chat shows that feature the same old secular humanists or say Nancy Pelosi mangling Catholic theology. Jesse really was in church. Would be fun to see if Rev. Wright becomes the Billy Graham for the new millenium. Stranger things are known to happen.

  • Utterly ridiculous….

    BTW, Is this going to turn into an IMPEACH OBAMA website next?

  • “Utterly ridiculous….”

    Speculation on a President’s religious convictions is utterly ridiculous in what way? Or do you hold that the religious convictions of a leader plays no role in assessing how they will perform their duties and what policies they will adopt? Get used to this Mr. DeFrancisis. The election is over now and Obama is President Elect. Not only his adversaries will be asking probing questions about him now.

  • Mark,

    Where did you get that from the column and/or the postings?

    We at American Catholic wish President-elect Obama well. We will look forward to engaging him since he is willing to listen. We will in good faith work with him in order to achieve the common good.

    This isn’t the Huffington Post or Daily Kos.

  • Didn’t know being secular was impeachable. But if so, let’s do it.

  • Phillip,

    THAT made me laugh!

    Thanks.

  • People too often confuse liberal Protestantism with secularism. Both are rather indifferent to theology and tradition, both advocate abortion and feminism, both preach the “social gospel,” both complain a lot about low-church Evangelical Protestants, both talk like they think Jesus is a Democrat, if not a socialist.

    There are distinctions here. Arguably, secularism is liberal Christianity without God. Understand liberal Protestantism, and you understand a lot about secularism, but even then you must consider how differently they act with or without God.

  • In the case of President-elect Obama, he has been enlightened by radical anarchists.

    Huh??

    eople too often confuse liberal Protestantism with secularism. Both are rather indifferent to theology and tradition, both advocate abortion and feminism, both preach the “social gospel,” both complain a lot about low-church Evangelical Protestants, both talk like they think Jesus is a Democrat, if not a socialist.

    If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.

  • “In the case of President-elect Obama, he has been enlightened by radical anarchists.”

    Instead of learning the classics, he learns from Jeremiah Wrigth and Bill Ayers that helped form who he is today. (as examples, that and declining state of the US public education system).

  • If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.

    Ah, but Trinity United is not a member of any of the historic Black Protestant denominations, and the UCC is pretty much a classic, White, liberal Protestant group.

  • “Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.”
    No doubt true, Tito, as a well-educated man of his day would have been–but based on my readings of some of his letters I’d say he also succumbed to some pretty flaky theology and questionable theories about Christianity. And his grasp of Christianity didn’t seem to dissuade him from an unseemly enthusiasm for the idea of violent revolt as political purgative.

    “Obama ends the pretention about presidents and religion.”
    Not sure how that works, Gerald–as far as I can tell the guy is a thorough secularist, yet he makes claim to being a Christian and seems to be able to quote chapter and verse when it suits him. Don’t know what to call that if not pretense.

    “If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.”
    Michael, while I make no claim to clairvoyance I think Kevin was suggesting Rev. Wright’s church is a type of liberal Protestantism–not really an arguable point if you ask me. I’ve lived most of my life in the South, myself, and it never occurred to me to view black Christianity as monolithic in anything except perhaps certain points of worship style. I’m not sure why you assume this view.

  • Maybe what they were trying to say is that Obama will be the first President to be actively hostile to religious activity in the United States?

  • CMinor,

    I agree on Jefferson’s ‘exploration’ of Christianity. He certainly had other influences that shaped his unique view on our faith.

    Zach,

    I believe there may have been other presidents that have been hostile, but I may be confusing anti-Catholicism with that.

  • Michael, while I make no claim to clairvoyance I think Kevin was suggesting Rev. Wright’s church is a type of liberal Protestantism–not really an arguable point if you ask me.

    It certainly is arguable if you know what the precise meaning of “liberal Protestantism” means from the perspective of theological studies and church history. Liberal Protestantism is precisely what black theologians like James Cone critique.

    I’ve lived most of my life in the South, myself, and it never occurred to me to view black Christianity as monolithic in anything except perhaps certain points of worship style. I’m not sure why you assume this view.

    I didn’t say anything about them being monolithic. Certainly they’re not monolithic.

    Maybe what they were trying to say is that Obama will be the first President to be actively hostile to religious activity in the United States?

    What evidence of this would there be?

  • Almost by definition, a UCC church would be the quintessential example of “liberal Protestantism.” Indeed, I was stunned when I first found out that there was a black UCC church — the UCC probably has fewer black people than any other denomination in existence. If not the fewest, they’re certainly in the running.

    Anyway, if Michael is interested in “black Christianity,” he needs to widen his experiences. People like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, etc., are much more representative of black churches in America.

  • Anyway, if Michael is interested in “black Christianity,” he needs to widen his experiences. People like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, etc., are much more representative of black churches in America.

    I’m responding, of course, to the charge that JEREMIAH WRIGHT’s particular church is a “liberal protestant church.” He is obviously influenced by theologians like James Cone and Dwight Hopkins and they are not part of the theological tradition of liberal Protestantism. They explicitly reject it.

    I know it’s hard for you, S.B. but try to respond to what I actually said.

  • But you labeled it as “black Christianity,” which is way too broad a brush.

  • Besides, after you concededly lied about my discussion of the Third World, you have no standing ever again to complain that someone is misreading you.

  • “try to respond to what I actually said.”

    Well, I did, and you dodged, Iafrate.

    Your response to Kevin Jones
    “If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.”
    was a pretty obvious. attempt to change the argument. I don’t think you had any reason to assume that he was speaking about anything other than Obama’s specific church background (i.e. Trinity UCC) but you conflated the comment to encompass all of black Christianity. You then backpedaled from your own implication about black Christianity (i.e., that it was not liberal) although black Christianity encompasses many denominations and independent churches (to include some predominantly black urban Catholic churches) and certainly includes everything from the very conservative to the very liberal. I have to conclude that my comment about having never seen black Christianity as monolithic must have hit close to what you wanted to insinuate about Kevin, as your response was to deny having called them monolithic. Granted that you didn’t use that word youself: what you did, however, was to paint all of black Christianity as a single entity when it is not. I can only conclude that you did this because you could not adequately answer the point as it was presented.

    I believe a couple of the gentlemen responding above have already dispensed with the issue of whether Obama’s home church qualifies as a “liberal” denomination, so I won’t belabor that point.

    You might find your arguments are better received by readers here if you will subscribe to some basic principles of integrity in argumentation. Personally, I’m raising my third and fourth teenagers and am neither fooled by nor have much patience for standard adolescent dirty debate techniques, especially coming from adults.

  • To clear things up, I did indeed have Obama’s UCC affiliation in mind when suggesting he’s a liberal Protestant, though it’s clear his former church is almost sui generis.

    It is possible that American religious disputes echo the Broad Church/Low Church or Modernist/Fundamentalist distinctions of Anglo-American history. Both groups formed in reaction to each other.

    Fundamentalist/low churchers cast aspersions on the piety of their fellow Protestants, while Modernists/Broad Churchers don’t share their disputants’ style of vocal religiosity and look upon them as zealots.

    I’m not a scholar of this, so if my betters can correct me I welcome it. If my descriptions are generally accurate, their influence on American Catholicism would be quite a topic for study.

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Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

crying-jackass

Shazam, as Gomer Pyle used to say in the Sixties!  The Iraqi government claims that Senator Obama has reassured them that he will not precipitously withdraw troops from Iraq, and it appears that the end of 2011 might be a target date.  To my anti-war friends on the Left I suggest that if I were in your shoes I would not hold my breath about US troops being removed from Iraq even before the 2012 election.  You were useful to Obama to win this election, but you will be of little use to him now that he is President.

4 Responses to Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

  • Did Obama actually promise, absolutely and regardless of the consequences, to remove all troops from Iraq by a certain date? If so, then I could see this as a broken promise. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a stretch to characterize this statement of Obama’s a broken promise. First, Obama campaigned, especially once he sealing the deal, not as an anti-war candidate, but as a pro-war candidate who thought the War on Terror should be fought elsewhere around the globe. He wants to increase American military power in the world. Second, and more to the point, Obama cannot really promise a specific date for withdrawal because too many factors outside his control effect his ability to see it through. Pushing back the deadline from what he earlier envisioned seems in keeping with his pragmatism and temperament. If peaceniks supported him thinking he was anti-war, that’s their folly.

  • Kyle it’s been a moving target for Obama. Early in the campaign he talked about immediate withdrawal. Then it was by the end of 2008.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/12/politics/main3253449.shtml

    Then it was 16 months. In this story he talked about two years.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/22/obama.mideast/index.html

    Now we are at 3 years. I don’t think he ever has had any intention of withdrawing all troops from Iraq and I agree with you that the support of the anti-war left for this fellow was the sheerest folly as, I predict, they will painfully discover in the coming years, especially if we invade Pakistan.

  • Or when Ahmadingdong decides that downtown Tel Aviv would look so charming as smoking ash and acts accordingly.

  • …I agree with you that the support of the anti-war left for this fellow was the sheerest folly as, I predict, they will painfully discover in the coming years, especially if we invade Pakistan.

    Yes, folly for sure. And indeed, what Senator Obama had proposed before would have been disastrous, so let’s be thankful that at least as far as the withdrawal from Iraq goes he’s being sensible now – though his views on Pakistan are quite troubling. However, I don’t think there will ever be a painful day of reckoning with his supporters regardless of what he does. I think a fair amount of opposition to the Iraq conflict was merely partisan politics, and I think if, Heaven forbid, Obama opens hostilities in Pakistan there will be little grumbling from the left, and most likely calls for us to get behind president, etc. I don’t look for much to be said about Iraq during the Obama years, and when it is spoken of it will be positive coverage of what is being accomplished, etc. – something they (MSM and Dems) have refused to do thus far.

2 Responses to The Road Back

  • This was a wonderfully written essay, and it was also very edifying. After reading the essay, I agree the whole-heatedly with the principles that US Representative McCotter wrote about.

    I especially loved this quote:

    Thus, Republicans must heed Demosthenes’ plea to his endangered fellow Athenians — “In God’s name, I beg of you to think!”

  • I agree with the principles, but I believe the owner of those core principles was misidentified. The principles are not those of the Republican Party; they are, rather, the principles of Conservatism in America. They belonged to Republicans only as long as they embraced their conservative history; as soon as they abandoned that legacy (most recently left to them by Gingrich and company), they became just another bad choice available to conservatives as the lesser of two evils. And the Other Guy (Elect) did a great job of sounding like a viable alternative.