Father Martin Meet Father Martin

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015

Haters

 

Father James Martin, SJ, is concerned about a lack of civility in discourse among Catholics, judging from a post in America, the Jesuit rag not the country:

I’m disgusted with malicious slandering that passes itself off as thoughtful theology.  I’m disgusted with mean-spirited personal attacks that pass themselves off as Christian discourse. I’m disgusted with the facile use of words like “heresy” and “schism” and “apostate,” passing itself off as defenses of the faith.  Basically, I’m disgusted with hate being passed off as charity.  Needless to say, this is not entirely Mr. Douthat’s doing, or Mr. Reno’s doing, or Mr. Dreher’s doing.  And I know that they are good and loyal Catholics (and in Mr. Dreher’s case, formerly-Catholic, now Orthodox). Obviously. But they and others–who are far more culpable–have engaged in enough of that kind of uncharitable behavior to have fostered an atmosphere of hatred and mistrust in our church. Instead of Thomas Merton’s famous “Mercy within mercy within mercy” we get “Hate piled on hate piled on hate.”

Invective.  Disdain.  Contempt.  Attacks.  Insinuations.  And hate.  An endless river of hate that is the result of these kinds of articles and essays and speeches and tweets.  

That is not theology, and it does not flow from the love of Jesus Christ.  It is a malicious desire to wound people and to score points. To “win.” And if you think it’s amusing, then you’re missing Jesus’s point about not calling people names and praying for our “enemies.”  And by the way, if you take Jesus as your model, and feel the need to judge people, and call them names as he did, like “hypocrite,” feel free to do so when you are the sinless Son of God.  We risk being so Catholic that we forget to be Christian.  

So I wholeheartedly support fully anyone’s right to write whatever he or she wants, including Ross Douthat, whom I respect.  And, as an educated and faithful Catholic layperson, much of what he writes is thoughtful, insightful and deserving of our full attention.  But be sure that whenever you’re reading ad hominem comments, thinly veiled attacks on people’s fidelity to the faith, snide insinuations and malicious twisting of words, you are not reading theology. 

You are reading hate.  

 

Bravo!  He needs though to have a good talk with Father James Martin, SJ, at least judging from this post last year by Father Z:

 

 

Just in case you were wondering what sort of people were on the other side of the issue, this is a Twitter exchange between the Jesuit James Martin and Massimo Faggioli, a liberal academic in St. Paul:

Card. Burke is compared to the late Archbp. Marcel Lefevbre. They invoke “schism”.

Schism?

Will they next say that St. John Paul II was a Lefebvrite?

St. John Paul issued Familiaris consortio and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and everything that Card. Burke has said can be found in both.

For a liberal, Lefebvre is the equivalent of the bogeyman, Hannibal at the gates, the monster under the bed.

If “ideologue” is now liberal code for “faithful”, I suppose that “schismatic” is now their code for “believer in the Magisterium”.

I hope that these guys have a fainting couch.

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18 Responses to Father Martin Meet Father Martin

  • For a man who says he’s all about the mercy, there seems to be an incongruous lack of charity for those whose opinions differ from his own. And then there’s the “hate” thing. Fr. Martin wields that word the same way a professional feminist wields “sexism,” or a professional race agitator wields “racism.”
    .
    My guess is that the upset isn’t so much about what’s in the final relation, but about what’s not in it.

  • It sometimes seems that religion faculty, divinity faculty, and seminary faculty are all con men whose object is word play, cushy employment, and, as Mr. Price puts it ‘virtue signaling’. It’s exceedingly demoralizing. Our separated brethren are coping with a mess of sinecure holders at evangelical institutions spreading the line that upon reflection homosexual pseudogamy is totes okay. It seems part of the corruption of the age that every academic and professional discipline outside STEM is suffused with humbug. Law, theology, literary criticism, art criticism, sociology. The value of academic life is near on ruined.

  • I don’t waste eye sight reading “America” (not our country) or the NYT.
    .
    I saw this (below) at Instapundit. It seems to be appropriate. I believe it is wrath which is both an emotion (ergo irrational) and one of the seven capital sins.
    .
    Rod Dreher: “The tempest-in-a-theological-faculty-teapot over the pissy letter an (ever-growing) list of Catholic theologians are sending to The New York Times to complain about the traitor-to-his-class Ross Douthat is most revealing for what it says about the rank intolerance of the Catholic academic left, and the fragility of theologians, who fall to pieces in the face of the tiniest microaggression.”

  • “If the omnipresent Rev, Jim Martin from A___a magazine praises you for some
    thing you say about the Faith and you don’t have a collar or letters after your
    name, it’s worthless.”

    .
    I must apologize in advance to any readers here who’ve slaved to earn their
    degrees in Catholic theology, but I’m of the opinion that the title of ‘Catholic
    theologian’ has become worthless, at least in this country. Consider that our
    bishops have renounced pretty much all meaningful oversight over Catholic
    universities. Theologians are required by Canon Law to obtain a mandatum
    from their bishop before they may teach– but our bishops have decided that
    whether or not a theologian has actually done so is a private matter, not
    public record. As a result, we faithful have a hard time knowing if in fact
    a theologian actually has a bishop’s permission and approval to call himself
    a ‘Catholic theologian’. Our bishops, in effect, refuse to tell us.
    .
    So who is putting the stamp of approval on Catholic theologians if not our
    bishops? It appears to be the hiring and tenure committees of our increasingly
    decadent Catholic universities, and the editors of the increasingly loopy
    theology journals who are deciding who is a ‘Catholic theologian’. (And
    keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to be Catholic to be either an editor or
    on a tenure committee). In my opinion, that’s why we’ve come to the point
    where there is no sin so perverse one cannot find a ‘Catholic theologian’ to
    advocate for it, nor a Dogma of the Faith so fundamental there isn’t a
    ‘Catholic theologian’ to deny it.
    .
    Theology was once the “Queen of the Sciences”. Now she’s a laughingstock.

  • Three progressive mathematicians had a highly complex dispute about the value of 2+2.
    They decided to enter dialogue which always handles things properly without the usual conflict and bitterness..
    Math man 1 ventured 2+2 to equal 5, while Math man 2 said he was wrong and claimed that it equaled 6, the third, call them well-schooled, but wrong and stated emphatically that 2 plus 2 effectively equaled 3. They dialogued some more, and as progressives, in the spirit of compromise, they agreed to accept as the correct answer the average, in order to offend no one. And so, ever since in the progressive world 3 plus 3 equals 4.66666666666667.
    To any that might disagree, they could submit their own equations to a “blue ribbon” committee of experts who would dialogue in order to resolve their concerns.
    I file the call for dialogue, alongside my files about “free lunches” and “survey’s prove.”

  • Clinton suggested something noteworthy: that every Catholic theologian is required by Canon Law to obtain a mandatum from his bishop to teach theology. That reminded me of the practice for qualification as a reactor operator on board my old submarine. There were the usual academic subjects to study and exams to pass, as well as the qualifcation cards to fill out and the final oral exam board. Everyone did that – mechanical operators, electrical operators, technicians, etc. But for three people – reactor operators, engineering officers of the watch, and engineering watch supervisors – there was one extra step: the final oral examination by the ship’s captain, which everyone dreaded. It didn’t matter if you passed all your exams with flying colors. What finally qualified you to pull rods and bring the reactor critical without adult supervision was the captain’s mandatum. And he had a vested interest that you knew your stuff inside and out, because if you didn’t, then both you and he and about 100 other people would be breathing seawater sooner or later.
    .
    These bishops have no vested interest in whether a theologian does or teaches the right thing or not. Maybe if they had the experience of captaining a nuclear submarine with 100 sailors age 18 to 20, realizing that without providing the required adult supervision, their lives would end horribly, then maybe they would wake up an do their freaking job.
    .
    And as far as I am concerned, overseeing the state of the souls of the faithful is orders of magnitude MORE important that overseeing the state of a submarine nuclear reactor at power with young men barely out of their teens at the rod control in-hold-out switch.

  • “We risk being so Catholic that we forget to be Christian.”

    A fascinating sentence, speaking volumes. However unintentionally.

  • Back in the 90’s, there was a fascinating article in the National Catholic Register
    about the mandatum and our bishop’s decision to render it meaningless
    by refusing to make it public. In the article, I recall, a priest-theologian at the
    Jesuit-run University of San Francisco referred to the mandatum as “a joke”,
    and declared that he didn’t know of anyone on the faculty that had bothered to
    seek one. I wasn’t amazed at the priest’s attitude– we all know those folks exist–
    but I was astonished that he had the chutzpah to go on record in a
    nationally-circulated Catholic publication and give the game away.
    .
    In addition to making a mockery of the mandatum, our bishops have also
    largely gone out of the business of issuing an imprimatur and nihil obstat
    for theology texts. Whereas all theology texts once had to obtain such clearance
    from a bishop prior to publication, current Canon Law only requires that texts used
    in theology classrooms obtain episcopal approval. Is anyone out there so naive
    as to believe that theology faculty are using only materials cleared for use by
    our bishops? It is to laugh.
    .
    Our bishops have, Pilate-like, washed their hands of any meaningful oversight of
    the theologians out there calling themselves “Catholic”. These people are shaping
    formation of our future priests and bishops and are spreading their views amongst
    the laity. They are remaking what passes for “Catholic theology” along their own
    lines, without any meaningful connection to the Church outside the faculty lounge.
    As Paul Primavera put it above, there is no adult supervision.
    .
    So, Fr. James Martin SJ and the dozens of ‘Catholic theologians’ who signed the
    letter to the NYT objecting to Mr. Douthat’s column object that the man has no
    professional qualifications to be writing about a matter involving Catholic theology.
    I think if I were Mr. Douthat, I’d take that as a compliment.

  • I apologize for my badly justified margins above– I unthinkingly posted
    before I checked to make sure the margins fit. *sigh*

  • Anthony Esolen has what I think is an apropos parable on mercy without justice over at The Catholic Thing:

    One day [the prodigal son] recalled the holy feasts he had enjoyed at his father’s house, and he shed a tear, which he wiped soon, and said to his bedfellow, “Pedophilus, let us arise and go now unto my father’s house, for there they enjoy holy feasts, which this land is empty of.” So they set forth.

  • I am not apologizing to philosophers or theologists. Philosophy is the study of making up stuff about stuff. Theology is a system of making up stuff about God. I’ll cleave to revealed Truth as found in Holy Scripture and 2,000+ years of Catholic Teachings, thank you very much. The Truth is not subject to opinion (is not truth: Plato) and speculation.
    .
    To paraphrase Dr. Sheldon Cooper, “I have no respect for the fields.”

  • Father Martin is not all that upset about Douthat. What Father Martin is upset about is that he has been discovered. He and Rosica and their little team of people who try to cheerlead for homosexual causes, for changes in church doctrine, etc. And now he is getting flack for it, and he is lashing out like a little girl, calling everyone haters.

    What a child.

  • Timely exposition. I see that the wolves in sheep’s clothing like to howl as Halloween looms–

  • One year of false mercy v. eternity of damnation. Math is not Martin’s strong suit. Although, on the bright side, SSPX confessors are included in this year of mercy – can’t wait for Martin to spread his love to them.

  • I actually do respect philosophers and theologians – true ones. Not the vast majority of present day ones who spew garbage. To some extent, the “publish or perish” maxim has ruined these disciplines, forcing candidates to come up with new garbage, when, in fact, “there is nothing new under the sun.” But, if done right, theology is the Queen of the Sciences, and philosophy the Queen’s hand maid.

  • Isn’t it amazing that the progressives, such as Fr. Martin, take issue with clerics and Catholics who adhere to church teachings? The pope, another progressive, said after the synod that the conservative clerics were hiding behind the teachings of the church. Hiding behind them? I would think that they were reaffirming the teachings of the church.

  • There is no way to coexist with folks who are content to advance & practice evil while attacking those who live & believe what is right. A house divided shall not stand. In my mind it is just a question of when & who keeps the physical assets.

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And a Happy Labor Day to You Too Hoffa

Tuesday, September 6, AD 2011

James P. Hoffa, current boss of the Teamsters’ Union, and son of former boss of the Teamsters, and gangster, Jimmy Hoffa, whose mortal remains no doubt reside in various locations around the country courtesy of his gangland cronies, took the opportunity yesterday to declare his Union members an army for Obama and to spit on the morality of the mothers of those who oppose Obama.

I look forward with eager anticipation to the civility police on the political Left in this country swinging into action and condemning Hoffa’s use of gutter language and apparent confusion of next year’s election with a war.

Obama got the endorsement of the Teamsters in 2008 by suggesting that he was open to less federal oversight of the Teamsters.  The federal oversight has been going on since 1991 as part of an ongoing effort by the feds to rid the Teamsters of mob influence.  The Teamsters’ Union has long been opposed to the federal oversight, for reasons that I will leave to the perspicacity of my readers.

President Obama, at the rally where Hoffa gave vent to his inner thug, immediately condemned the intemperate remarks and renewed his call for greater civility in politics.  Naah!  Actually President Obama praised Hoffa.

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16 Responses to And a Happy Labor Day to You Too Hoffa

  • The only thing missing was the brown shirts.

  • Anthony Provenzano was a gangster and Jackie Presser was as spurious as he was odious. The elder Hoffa was an unscrupulous man (in his work life) and co-operated with the Mafia in a mutual exchange of favors. He was, however, an authentic labor leader.

    In an act of bad taste and nostalgia, the Teamster membership put his attorney son in charge of the union. However, it was the Teamster membership that did that (and they have made worse choices on the local level). The Teamsters as a whole are likely cleaner than they have been at any time since 1927 or therabouts, and more democratic in their internal procedures.

  • “The Teamsters as a whole are likely cleaner than they have been at any time since 1927 or therabouts, and more democratic in their internal procedures.”

    That ain’t saying much Art:

    http://nlpc.org/stories/2010/04/01/colombo-mobsters-charged-extortion-theft-teamster-benefits

  • “The elder Hoffa was an unscrupulous man (in his work life) and co-operated with the Mafia in a mutual exchange of favors. He was, however, an authentic labor leader. ”

    God save the working man Art from such authentic labor leaders:

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/jimmy_hoffa/2.html

  • Oh yes it is. See David Witwer’s history of the Teamsters. They had a chronic problem with mob infiltration from 1928 onward, first in Chicago and then, from 1930, in New York. Nevertheless, there was considerable variation in the character of the men at the union’s apex and core. The rap on the Teamsters, ca 1988 was not merely the presence of the mob and general corruption, but the degree to which the union functioned as a dues collecting machine that did little for its members. Hoffa-pere was recalled fondly because he was unlike his successors in this regard. Both he and his predecessor David Beck were repellant characters in many ways, but they both were successful pavement level organizers in their day (one of warehouse workers, the other of laundry workers).

  • In other news: True to form President Failure and Class Hate refuses to condemn union leaders’ violent threats.

  • The new “civility” at work, post Tucson

  • Bunch of red raggers. Bring on the Revolution.

    How would you like that bunch in the workforce of your business?

    Not on your nellie!!

  • “Bunch of red raggers.”

    Thank you Don! That goes into my little black book of quotations that I stea- er borrow, for future use!

  • Seriously? Disagree with the ideology of his rhetoric all you like, the speech itself was really pretty tame — one okay-for-daytime-TV off-color phrase notwithstanding. The intent was to get the core voters excited, not have a quiet and frank discussion of policy.

  • Very seriously. If Hoffa had been a conservative the Lamestream Press would be shouting about this for days as further evidence of the violent proclivities of those dangerous right wingers. Obama set the rules of the civility game by his speech calling for an end to violent rhetoric earlier this year, and he sits tamely by as Hoffa calls his adversaries sons of female dogs. Hyprocrisy and irony competed for first place in regard to the Hoffa-Obama performance yesterday.

  • Very, very seriously, the Obama propaganda machine went into full gear to advance “civility”, when a GOP judge was assassinated in Tucson, at the same time his evil minions were liberally lying about the dangerous tea party and calling anyone that disagrees violent threats to public safety. When you can’t win the debate you . . .

    PS: Obama on Labor Day – Should have said, “Sorry, I killed your jobs!”

    PPS: The Zero sounded like Al Sharpton.

  • I’m going to regret commenting, but since the Teamsters were discussed, their Local 456 is the Union Local for the Security Guardforce at the Indian Point Energy Center for nuclear power plant units 1 (now decommissioned), 2 and 3. Units 1 and 2 were owned by Con Ed and sold to Entergy Nuclear, and Unit 3 was owned by the New York Power Authority and also sold to Entergy Nuclear. The International Utilities Workers Union of America provides union representation for operators, mechanics, electricians, and other technicals. Teamsters does for the Security Guard Force because regulations prevent the same union representing both sets of people. Anyone feel secure, now?

  • Being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry.

  • In keeping with the “new tone:”

    Authorities are investigating a carjacking and assault that occurred Thursday during protests by union activists concerning their right to work at a Washington state grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

    According to a Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) press release Friday, law enforcement officials with multiple agencies were forced to back off from their defensive position during the ILWU protests over fears for their safety.

    “Our teams of four or five officers were confronted by baseball bat and axe handle wielding protesters.” Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said.

    Oh, and another story has this little note:
    Scott Mason, president of the ILWU Local 23 in Tacoma, said some of his members have joined in the Longview effort, but he doesn’t believe they were involved in illegal activity. He blamed the company for provoking the response and warned that more activity could be coming.

    Only reason I heard about it was because the local talk radio this morning was complaining that our worthless Obama-chasing governor hadn’t managed to even respond to any of this. >.<

  • I found it richly ironic Foxfier that the story involving the ILWU and the mass criminal activity they engaged in occurred so soon after Hoffa’s speech. None of this should be news. Violence engaged in by Unions is not a rare event and such incidents are rarely punished by the legal system:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/09/union_violence_of_little_interest_to_media.html

    http://www.nrtw.org/files/nrtw/Trumka%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

    Too often the political powers that be are completely in the pocket of the Unions and look the other way. Hoffa may not realize it yet, but he may have helped stir up a reaction to this tolerance of Union thuggery.

Hey, You Filthy Right-Wing Bigots: Stop the Hate!

Friday, August 12, AD 2011

Ah, but Klavan on the Culture, Conservatives, because of their ideas, are by definition always uncivil, while Liberals are always civil, at least according to the Mainstream Media, also known as the Media fewer and fewer people pay attention to.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air took a look at an example of this recently:

 

 

“Froma Harrop, a member of The [Providence] Journal’s editorial board and a syndicated columnist, has been named president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers. The NCEW is a 64-year-old professional organization. Its members include editorial writers, editors, broadcasters and online opinion writers. One of its new missions, the Civility Project, endeavors to improve the quality of political discourse.”–Providence Journal, April 15

Morrisey noted the above and then had this example of Harrop being civil in one of her columns:

“Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States–threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate. . . . Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that’s what Obama has been doing. . . . That the Republican leadership couldn’t control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama’s passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children. The GOP extremists would ask Obama for his firstborn, and he’d say, ‘OK.’ So they think, why not ask for his second-born, to which he responds, ‘Let’s talk.’ ”–Froma Harrop syndicated column, Aug. 2

 

That dig apparently annoyed Harrop, who responded on her own web site yesterday.  Her explanation is, to say the least, entirely self-serving, and she twists the definition of “civility” into knots in order to explain her double standard:

I see incivility as not letting other people speak their piece. It’s not about offering strong opinions. If someone’s opinion is fact-based, then it is permissible in civil discourse.  Of course, there are matters of delicacy, and I dispensed with all sweet talk in this particular column. And I did stoop to some ad hominem remarks, I’ll admit.

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6 Responses to Hey, You Filthy Right-Wing Bigots: Stop the Hate!

Bees in the Mouth

Thursday, January 20, AD 2011

All the recent hubub  about our political rhetoric led me to re-read a book by Peter Wood called A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now. It was published in 2006, so at the time Wood focused mainly on the angry political rhetoric of the left.  He didn’t claim that political anger was solely a phenomenon of the left, but most of the examples of heated rhetoric came from left-wing sources. (This, by the way, is where I got that quote from Paul Krugman that I cited last week.)

At any rate, Wood concentrates on what he terms “new anger.”  He acknowledges that there has always been heated political argumentation, but that stylistically much has changed.  People worked hard to suppress anger – witness George Washington’s dedicated attempts to control his quick temper.  Now anger is celebrated.  It has become something of a performance art in our modern society, and we celebrate expressions of righteous anger.   As someone who titles his personal blog (tongue-in-cheekly) the Cranky Conservative, I can see the merits of his argument.

Though Wood makes many decent observations, there are two problems with his book. 

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2 Responses to Bees in the Mouth

  • Over the years, I’ve found that some folks feel that any sort of strong or critical remark is “mean-spirited” or “harsh” or “nasty”, as if rendering judgment on the logic of an idea or the veracity of an argument were was somehow an outright hate crime.

    I find that to be fairly common here in the rural Midwest. People put great store on being “nice” and not offending anyone. A person who’s conservative at heart will listen to Limbaugh (for instance) and come away arguing the liberal position — even if he himself was arguing Limbaugh’s side the day before. They feel a blunt, confident argument as an attack — usually not on them, but on someone weaker than them — and feel a need to defend against it.

    I’ve had conversations where I made the exact same argument someone else did, but because I couched it in wordy language (weasel words, sometimes) and sprinkled it with disclaimers, I got credit where the other person got condemnation. I’ve learned that if I’m going to talk about how bad the schools are, for example, I have to start and end with a disclaimer about how much I love teachers, my mom was a teacher, teachers are our future, blah blah blah. Otherwise, I can talk about grade inflation, indoctrination, sexualization, bullying — everything but the teachers — and all the person will hear is, “I hate teachers!”

  • Paul, there really is no difference between then and now except, as you suggest, we’re in a sound bite age where words travel much faster and the lack of time between expression and consumption does not allow for any amelioration. But consider, too, that angry language and accusations in the past often led to sword fights or gun duels for the sake of honor alone, which pretty much died out with the Victorian Age. Now there is a lot more shouting perhaps but after the obligatory huffing and puffing and public apologies and mea culpas, the media move on to more spats to cover.

    More recently, just as an example who can forget Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal nearly coming to blows during their famous debates — both of whom comported themselves as gentlemen otherwise.

    Interesting piece, Paul. Last word goes to Aldous Huxley, who once said, “Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons.”

Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care

Friday, October 2, AD 2009

Garrison KeillorYesterday Rush Limbaugh said that Democrats should be denied health care.  No, no, wrong radio personality!   If Rush had said anything that stupid, rest assured that you wouldn’t have had to wait to read about it on this blog to learn of it.  The networks would have been shouting the news and condemnatory editorials would have been thundering from newspapers coast to coast.  Instead it was just Garrison Keillor, National Public Radio’s Mark Twain wannabe, who decided that there are just too darn many Republicans and by gosh something should be done about it.  (As they would doubtless phrase a call for gopcide in Lake Wobegon.)  Writing in the Chicago Tribune,  Keillor has this charming sentiment:

When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.

Denying health care on the basis of political ideology.  Nice guy.  Of course Keillor was merely joking.  He has a long history of hating Republicans,   but I am sure he merely jokes, and perhaps fantasizes, about the deaths of those who have the temerity of disagreeing with him politically and in reality he would never harm a fly.  At least a Democrat fly.

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38 Responses to Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care

  • Keillor is a typical “progressive” idiot. He has a platform and a reputation bought with out tax dollars and he acts as thought that gives him the right to do our thinking for us. God save us from such fools.

    By the way, where did he acquire the reputation for being a humorist? I have tried on several occasions to listen to his radio show and found only low grade witticism no better than what fellow workers produce freely in the course of the workday. And if I’m driving, I am constantly in danger of being put to sleep and driving off the road.

  • I confess Jim that my wife and I in the mid to late eighties listened to Prairie Home Companion. We stopped, partially due to the politics that began seeping in, but mostly because Keillor simply was recycling the same gags and skits in the show with minor variations. It got boring to us, a cardinal sin when your goal is entertainment.

  • I remember coming across the show quite by accident in the mid-80’s. Keillor was talking about being raised in the austere sect of the Plymouth Brethren and his secret boyhood wish to be Catholic (specifically an Italian Catholic – red wine, spaghetti, paintings of nekkid ladies, and “Let’s do the motorola!”) I laughed so hard I cried.

    I think the politics began seeping in because there is only so much material you can squeeze out of Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery and a small handful of characters. How many Norwegian farmer jokes can you do?

  • Oh, and it’s one thing to bring politics into the show, but Keillor has gotten increasingly bitter and spiteful about it. For a guy who places such a high value on “being nice to each other” – well, apparently conservatives are barely human (we’re all rich and greedy too), so there’s no need to be nice to them.

  • I recall that one Donna! Keillor definitely had his moments.

  • Keillor used to be pretty funny — mostly back before he started retiring with a big farewell episode every year and then coming back again. (Which was, what, 15-20 years ago?) Though even then there was a certain amount of off-key political ranting about Reagan.

    Well I remember the NPR lineup of Prairie Home Companion, following by the BBC imports My Word and then My Music. Ah, youth…

    But this editorial piece of his is just moronic. And then, of course, we have the Democratic congressman from Florida calling saying we need to pass the Obama bill now in order to stop the holocaust.

  • I peg the date that Keillor stopped being even remotely funny and started being a partisan hack at roughly November 1994. He completely went off the deep end and became unbearable to listen to right about 1998.

  • I think some folks here are being lead around on their nose by their ideology. Feigning may be a skill in court, but it is tiresome in writing. I also find it interesting that you don’t just have to disagree with Keillor’s column, but you also can’t find him funny, entertaining, or even like him.

  • I think some folks here are being lead around on their nose by their ideology.

    Unlike you, of course, who is the world’s last independent thinker. Never mind your recent penchant for defending any piece of left-wing agitprop, no matter how silly or offensive. Oh, if only the world had as many courageous, independent minds like Mz Discalced Yooper Forrest.

  • That one should be left up to show how the intelligentsia thinks.

  • “Old men shouldn’t be allowed to doze off at the switch and muck up the works for the young who will have to repair the damage. Get over yourselves. Your replacements have arrived, and you should think about them now and then.” Keillor

    Though given M.Z.’s last comment perhaps its the middle aged that should take over.

  • I deleted MZ’s use of the colloquial term for fornication and e’s quotation of the same. I trust that people can express their thoughts adequately without using some of the language prized by the felons I defend in criminal matters.

  • Donald (?):

    Thanks for cleaning up M.Z.’s mess.

    M.Z.:

    You’re fortunate that the TAC moderators were kind enough to wipe that little expletive of yours off the record. You might want to exercise a little more retraint. To resort to such profanity can only worsen your case, not to mention, reveals certain aspects of your character, too.

    God bless.

  • Donald: So it was you! Just wanted to bring to the attention of the TAC moderators that little expletive of M.Z..

    I appreciate greatly how promptly you attended to it. Needless to say, such profanity is undeserving a place here at TAC.

    I find it ironic that just a little while ago, Vox Nova, of which M.Z. & Michael Iafrate are part, looked down on such comments as these and even devoted an entry to address the matter with such supposedly noble intention that they would hitherto not allow that kind of foul commentary on their blogs.

    I guess that doesn’t apply to the Vox Novans themselves as far as their own participation goes on other blogs.

  • I knew your intentions were honorable e.

  • If you’re going to go to the trouble of taking down my comment, take them all down, and at least remove my name from Paul’s comment.

  • Nothin’ like some good ad hominems

  • I have no idea of what has transpired in the past 90 minutes, but if MZ would no longer have his full name associated with his comments, then it’s fine by me if you delete that portion of my comment.

  • MZ I have no problem with Paul’s comment or a rejoinder from you so long as no language better left to lock ups is used.

  • Uhhhh… Paul, I believe that little expletive of M.Z., which subsequently followed your comments, was meant for you.

    I can’t be sure, but perhaps it was something you said that enraged him so?

  • e:

    I have no idea what MZ said in response to my comment. I went out for lunch and came back and saw only the aftermath of the controversy.

  • If I see either of you in real life, you’ll regret it.

  • M.Z.

    Was that a threat?

    Hopefully, Paul hasn’t divulged his personal information or the results could prove disastrous.

  • Now my comments make less sense. But they’re still billiant!

  • Yes, e, the *natural* reading of “If I ever see either of you in real life, you’ll regret it” is a physical–albeit conditional and not immediate–threat.

    Having been repeatedly accused of issuing a threat myself (since graciously retracted by the accuser), I hold out hope for another explanation.

  • e.,

    Please stop provoking M.Z. You can say the same thing without having to use certain adjectives and adverbs.

  • Hold on, now —

    Before M.Z. sics his mafia hitmen on me, let me just say that it was Paul who provoked M.Z.’s ire; not me.

    I only entered into the scene because I deplored M.Z.’s subsequent comment to him which contained uncalled-for profanity.

  • e.,

    I know what you’re saying, just being your friendly taco tracker and making sure this doesn’t escalate anymore.

  • Before M.Z. sics his mafia hitmen on me, let me just say that it was Paul who provoked M.Z.’s ire; not me.

    Oh come on e, that’s just not fair. I now have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, hoping against hope that some crazed albino assassin doesn’t whack me while I’m out for a stroll along the Potomac. For the love of humanity, one of his co-bloggers knows exactly where I am every Sunday morning. What chance do I have?

    Time to write that will.

  • Back to GK’s statement. I get the humor and don’t mind it at all. I just don’t get the math. He seems to forget that the 32% self-identified GOPers pretty much pay for their own health care insurance and are almost certainly aggregate net contributors to the care of the other 68%. No money to be saved there unless one expects the GOPers to pay for nothing, which as I think about is probably just shorthand for the public option.

  • Thank you Mike for bringing this back to the post. All further comments on this thread, please focus them upon the post.

  • There’s nothing more spiteful and mean then a Liberal that’s been disagreed with!

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  • Reading this blog entry has made me choose to abandon this blog altogether. There are so many things in this world to complain about – why don’t you choose one of the real ones?

  • Suit yourself LTN. This is a fairly eclectic blog when it comes to what we write about, and part of our blog brief is to write about American culture and politics.

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On Glenn Beck & Other Crazy People

Monday, September 28, AD 2009

I am allergic to political cable tv shows, talk radio, and nightly news. I cannot watch or listen to these programs for longer than fifteen minutes without subjecting anyone within earshot to a lengthy rant. And so I won’t pretend to be deeply familiar with Glenn Beck’s work. Instead, I’ll rely on Joe Carter at First Things:

There isn’t much I could add to the criticisms—from the left, right, and center—that have been made against him in the last few weeks. His recent comments have shown that he’s a naked opportunist who will say anything to get attention: If he’s on his television show on Fox he’ll pander to the audience by saying that President Obama is a racist who is ushering in an age of socialism, if not the apocalypse; then, when he is in front of Katie Couric and CBS News, he says that John McCain would have been worse for the country than Obama (which begs the question, “What exactly is worse than the socialist/communist/fascist apocalypse?”).

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100 Responses to On Glenn Beck & Other Crazy People

  • If anything, we need to keep in mind the media is not in this for us or for the ‘good.’ The media is in the drama business and will promote any sort of mass hysteria.

    You are absolutely right, Eric. When all is said and done, the raison d’etre for these programs is to sell dishwasher detergent. Perhaps Joe will have some comments about the degradations of capitalism to insert here (and they would have merit).What I find frustrating is that some Catholic conservatives either look the other way, or, worse, defend this type of cynical ratings ploy. And, of course, it goes without saying that the same is true of many Catholic liberals.

  • Apologies, Eric. It looks like I quoted part of a comment you decided to delete. If it’s ok with you, I’ll leave that quote in my comment (if not, feel free to delete the comment).

  • It’s fine John Henry. I was deleting my comment about Republicans and ended up deleting the whole thing and was too lazy to move ‘back’ so the changes would not go into effect. I just let everything be deleted. 🙂

  • Glenn Beck is trying to get the people of this country to wake up! he is doing a far better job of
    telling the truth and mobilizing folks to educate themselves on the Constitution than are many in the media. He is the parent of a child with severe cerebral palsy. Who the hell are you to judge him?
    Why don’t you get the lumber out of your own eye first before removing the speck in your neighbor’s???

  • I don’t much appreciate sensationalism from Glenn Beck, any more than sensationalism in attacking him as has been done above and on First Things. I think, John Henry if you consider a few of the sources of your post, aside from First Things you’d find that you’re actually pulling data from the loonies on the left, to attack who you’re calling a loon on the right.

    That said, I won’t defend Beck, though many of the complaints are based on out of context quotes.

    I will say, as one who sympathizes with his notion of restoring a government actually based on the founding documents, I do have some concerns about the 9/12 movement, and Glenn Beck, as well as the “5000 year leap”. I’ve just started reading it and so will perhaps have more to say another time.

  • For those interested, ‘Kate Sullivan’ is a new commenter who has never commented on any other thread. I think it’s likely that she is either a Democratic astro-turfer (who else would suggest the medical condition of one of Beck’s children places him beyond criticism?), or an overly enthusiastic Beck supporter using Google Alerts (a la the kind Joe Carter described above). All of which is a long way of saying, respond at your own risk.

  • KateSullivan: Now that is a heroic statement, honestly, we need to know what is going on. That is for certain.

    I don’t think mentioning someone has a child is saying they are beyond criticism. It’s saying, hey, he’s probably a good guy. No, I wouldn’t go marking anyone, especially with a Catholic name like “Sullivan” as saying they have found this through some questionable means. It doesn’t change the fact, that her remarks are right on the mark.

    Fox showed this morning how some public school around San Francisco showed some sort of gay oriented cartoon to kids. This is a very random example, however, I do believe it points to the fact, that we do need people out there telling us what is going on.

    I’m not into Glenn Beck, I like Hannity a lot. I don’t really get into Beck’s show that much but I’ve heard good things from him. This James Trafficant was on Hannity’s radio show today and I understand was going to be on tv. Something about Trafficant being a former congressman who got sent to prison. I have heard of him but don’t know his story.

  • Beck goes on it seems about some things, once being an alcoholic, etc. But I’ve heard him speaking about the existence of God! Spot on! It was about the first time I ever heard him as they were playing his show during the evening hours and he did indeed testify. So, although, some odd quotes seem to be taken out on him and I haven’t read his book, I’d like to see these quotes about his faith quoted. I think I’ve heard he’s a Mormon but again, he really hasn’t caught my interest that much but I don’t find fault with him. I do admit he may say somethings that sound like kneejerk reactions and seem to be made too rashly.

  • John, I tend to agree with you on political cable TV shows and talk radio, although I’ve found a singular exception to the talk radio phenomenon, a conservative who is principled and not simply in it to “sell soap”: Dennis Prager. He’s an observant Jew and a neo-con to some degree (mugged by reality as a young adult, etc.), but his show focuses only about 50% of the time on politics. The rest is society, religion, ethics, and the most random topics that tickle his fancy. For example, his producer and best friend, Allen, has the hobby of collecting honey from around the world, so once a week or so he’ll have a “honey update.” He also has an excellent segment for an hour every Friday called the “Happiness Hour,” which completely eschews political topics and focuses on the human condition.

    As a Catholic I find his views on some sexual issues too libertine (e.g., he thinks men looking at girlie magazines is normal and should be encouraged by wives to keep their husbands from straying), but otherwise he is an honest and very wise man who really enjoys digging deeply into issues and debating/discussing them with callers and guests representing a wide variety of viewpoints. Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity can’t hold a candle to him intellectually, or I would even say as hosts.

  • Beck is an entertainer above all and not to my taste. However, his popularity in the ratings is I think more attributable to the fact that he covers stories that the mainstream media simply ignores. For example he led the charge against Van Jones in the Obama administration. The first story in the New York Times about the Van Jones affair was published on the day when he resigned.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Why-did-the-press-ignore-the-Van-Jones-scandal_-8210602-57658222.html

    When clowns are reporting the news because journalists are too biased to do so, people are going to be tuning in to the clowns.

  • , is there even any political benefit to defending this type of lunacy?

    I don’t really like Beck, but I don’t think the criticisms of him are completely fair. So while I will continue to not watch his television show, I don’t think jumping on anti-Beck bandwagons are completely worthwhile, not when there are much more important things to worry about. Then again, I don’t begin every day wondering how I can suck up to people who disagree with me.

  • So I express disagreement with you, Paul….and your response is to accuse me of sucking up to people I disagree with? Was I too polite? If you want me to go further, I could say something like “you’re lame and noncommittal attempts to defend Beck because he happens to be a Republican are an embarrassment, and the ‘let’s talk about something else’ routine with an ad hominem and an et tu quoque tossed in on the side reminds me of a certain Minion.

    I suppose we could trade insults and I could try and exonerate myself from the charge of being a suck up. But that’s not a very interesting subject. I’d rather just reiterate the questions I asked in the post: why do you think people like Beck are successful? Do you think there is a political benefit from this nonsense, and, even if there is, should Catholics be defending him?

  • Awww, John, did I touch a nerve? Frankly, I don’t really care about this topic, and I’m not going to delve further into this stupidity. But I’ll leave you free to criticize Beck and Limbaugh – that’s a really important priority. I mean it’s not like there are people out there defending human cloning or other things which actually may affect our lives.

    So fight the good fight, you crazy culture warrior you.

    BTW, Beck’s not even a Republican, but why waste some good sanctimony.

  • I don’t think I’ve watched Glenn Beck more than two or three times. I have explained in the past why I cannot stand even to listen to Rush Limbaugh for more than a few minutes at a time so I’m probably not missing anything by not watching Glenn Beck.

    Years ago I was chatting with a DRE in the parish I was attending at the time. He mentioned that he had once aspired to be a writer of political satire but eventually gave it up because, and I quote, “it kills your soul eventually.” And this was before the internet and blogging really took off.

    One only has to look at the effect the “take no prisoners” approach to political discourse has at times even on people like us, who are for the most part conscientious Catholics, to see what he meant. ;-(

  • The “gasoline” incident, which I just watched for the first time, would have played much better as an SNL sketch. When you can’t tell the difference between a real show and an SNL parody version, something’s wrong!

  • Paul,

    It’s true of almost every post in the history of the blogosphere that it could be devoted to something more important. If you’re not interested in a subject, just don’t comment….

  • When clowns are reporting the news because journalists are too biased to do so, people are going to be tuning in to the clowns.

    It’s a good point. The Times coverage, or, rather, lack thereof, of the Van Jones and Acorn scandals has been inexcusable. To rephrase what you said slightly, if all journalists are clowns, the ones with the most outlandish outfits will capture the viewers.

  • Never heard Beck, myself. Those who find talk radio obnoxious might try listening to William Bennett’s show occasionally. It’s generally civil and smarter than your average bear.

  • What I’m curious about is why people find this type of nonsense appealing. After all, it’s fairly obvious that elections are determined by independents and swing voters.

    People do not play those angles when they elect what to listen to on the radio. Crude radio programming is a function of declining standards of taste. The question which has been unanswered for upwards of forty years is where the bottom is.

  • Watched Beck a few times a couple of years ago. Have listened a few times on radio. Listened a few more times since the left has erected him as the new boogie man (no more Bushitler and railroading Limbaugh hasn’t worked.) Stopped listening again after a couple of shows. Too conspiritorial and over the top. Not as bad as an Olberman or Maddow. Actually more sane than them. But who will critcize the latter two?
    Has his good points. Very pro-family. And then there’s this about Obama’s asinine commment on “a baby as punishment”:

    “This is the amazing thing. This is what you can — this is what you need to take away from Barack Obama on this. What you learned from Barack Obama in, you know, I don’t want them punished with a baby is this: That he sees children as a punishment, not for everybody but for some children are a punishment. Others, children is a blessing. A child is a blessing because you are trying. You are trying to avoid it. So it’s a punishment. The point is the baby becomes an “It.” The baby is just it. So he doesn’t see the sanctity of life is something that can punish you or bless you. I’m sorry but that’s an abomination in the eyes of God as I would see it. I can’t imagine how a baby could punish you. A baby is a gift at all times. A baby is the closest to perfection that we get at all times. We should be striving to be more like that innocent child than trying to just say, I don’t want them to be punished by a baby.”

    So on this point he is a lot more sane than our President.

  • As far as Glen Beck and the value or spectacle of his cable TV show ranting, one needs only to acknowledge some of the very obvious results he has produced, some would say almost single handedly but it is safe to say that he had assistance from Hannity and Limbaugh.

    Washington DC was recently deluged with throngs of “common folks” who came from all over American to protest the sudden new intrusion of big government into their lives and openly express their objections to the policies of the current administration as well as the desire to protect the nation they love from the onslaught of a socialist agenda. Limbaugh had been educating the public and Hannity had called for the freedom express across the country but Don’t even attempt to deny that, especially if you admit you didn’t bother to watch it unfold.

    The president’s beloved and highly praised favorite community organization which he worked for and ignited his political career, ACORN, was involved in voter fraud and voter intimidation charges during the recent election. The MSM had little or nothing to say while several states had lawsuits pending against them. Many Americans who were paying attention to the issues had every right to believe ACORN had more in its agenda than “voter registration”. So who do we thank for exposing the deception and outright corruption we now know was part of Obama’s beloved before but suddenly now not that much aware of what was going on at ACORN? No one more so than the GB show!

    The agenda set for the very inexperienced Barack Obama was obviously too big for him to handle, community organizing was child’s play next to being president, so he needed lots of help if it was to “fundamentally change” America and establish his personal goal of redistribution overnight as intended. Enter the far left’s most radical group of elitists and Marxist leaning liberals along with the usual batch of Washington insiders. The anointed one, possibly at the urging of the many “catholic” cronies flocking to help the most pro-abortion president in history, quickly assembled and incorporated “Czar City” for “The One”. These Bishops of Bureaucracy were given lots of money and the power to spend it anywhere to further the Marxist inspired presidents “social justice” initiatives. Oops! The Audacity of Arrogance, scum rose to the surface. Van Jones the race baiting self proclaimed Communists somehow had taken a seat beside the president as the MSM continues to ignore their job. So how will the American people be privileged to the truth?
    Enter Glen Beck! You can’t deny he has been accused of personally exposing this heavy handed Obamination.

    Now as far as Beck sounding crazy and causing a ruckus, well a while back I seem to remember the liberals in their inevitable way of trying to persuade the hearts of Christians to their point of view to compare them to Jesus the “radical” as a “community organizer”.
    Now children , back to reality on the count of three 1 2 3
    Mmm Mmm Mmm Barack Hussein Obama Mmm Mmm Mmm

  • For the record I really don’t like any of the talking heads on TV or radio, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin, O’Reilly, Meadows, etc.. How anybody can listen to an a**-**** like Levin for more than 30 seconds is beyond me. There use to be a time in the early ’90’s when I found Limbaough to be extremely entertaining, but then he began to believe his own press and merely became the drug and vice addicted shill of the Republican party.

    However, I find it extremely interesting that Beck was never criticized by fellow “conservatives” as long as he was defending the Bush war and torture atrocities and Bush’s building an ofincreasingly bigger and intrusive Federal government and called crazy those on the right those who criticised Bush, e.g. Ron Paul, crazy.

    It is only now that Beck is increasing in his criticism of the Republican party that he is being increasingly criticised by his fellow “conservatives”. He has had the audacity to point out that big givernment is not the fault of Democrats alone. Would McCain have been worse than Obama – yes, because he would have advanced basically the same programs – perhaps at a slower pace and under different names – but he would not have faced resistance from the Republicans and conservatives because he was one of them. Just as Nixon was able to flush Taiwan down the toilet because he was an “anti-communist” and Bush was able to push Socialist corporate bail -outs through with minimal Republican opposition. Government continues to grow no matter who is in power. Presidents continue to accumulate executive powers no matter what party they belong to. They just use different rataionalizations and move at different speeds.

  • John Henry,


    When clowns are reporting the news because journalists are too biased to do so, people are going to be tuning in to the clowns.

    It’s a good point. The Times coverage, or, rather, lack thereof, of the Van Jones and Acorn scandals has been inexcusable. To rephrase what you said slightly, if all journalists are clowns, the ones with the most outlandish outfits will capture the viewers.

    You didn’t rephrase what he said, you changed it. Regardless of a degree of ‘clownishness’, people listen to Beck because of the news that the MSM does not present.

  • All right, let me try this with a little bit less snark. Here’s where I’m coming from – I am not a particular fan of Beck. I used to listen to his radio show from time to time when he was on in DC, and he wasn’t quite as, well, crazy as he is now. He hasn’t been on in this market for probably about a year, and the Fox show is on at a time when I am almost never home. This was the first time I had seen much of it, and I am not really impressed. I think he is hyperbolic, and frankly his idol seems to be William Shatner at least when it comes to over-acting.

    My only point is that I think there is an over-reaction against him as well. I really don’t see him as being any kind of particular threat to the well-being of the republic, nor am I much concerned that he’s doing the conservative cause any significant harm. In the grand scheme of things, he probably attracts as many people as he repels, and perhaps actually gains more, but I can’t prove that one way or the other. When there are so many worse pundits out there – people who are advocating things like cloning and genetic engineering and all sorts of horrible things, why waste this much ink on people like Beck. I recognize that not all blogging has to be about one thing – you can certainly castigate me for putting up posts about the red zone channel rather than the situation in Honduras. But when I see these kinds of posts again and again, it gets wearying.

    One last thing. I found your reaction a little funny because when I cross-posted my thoughts on Back on Southern Appeal, his defenders acted as though I had blasphemed. And now your reaction is to say that I am (tepidly) defending him. It’s all a matter of perspective I guess.

  • JH,

    If you’re not interested in a subject, just don’t comment….

    It’s you’re thread man, but a comment to the extent that too much concern is placed in an area to the distraction of others is a completely legitimate opinion that deserves to be heard.

  • Awakaman: I was not aware that the Congressionally Approved Iraq War is exclusively Bush’s War. Furthermore, we do see the Washington Post has in fact, defended the use of enhanced torture techniques versus the unpatriotic Americans who would not mind seeing our citizens blown to smithereens.

  • TomNSDAPSVDP:

    I agree TomNSDAPSVDP the Democrats have just as much blood on their hands as the Republicans do for these unjust and bloody wars. War=bigger and stronger federal government and that is something to which both parties can agree.

    So, TomNSDAPSVDP, the Washington post is now your Magisterium? How special! Who are these unpatriotic Americans you’d like to have enhanced torture techniques used on? I’m sure that your list would differ from that of the Obama administration. Please give specific instances where American lives have been saved through the use of torture.

  • John Henry said: “If you’re not interested in a subject, just don’t comment.”

    One could hardly blame Paul for commenting when it was YOU who linked to his post and, unfairly in my view, accused him of offering “tepid support” for someone of whom he had been somewhat critical.

    Paul said: “It’s all a matter of perspective I guess”

    Paul,
    It’s a matter of triangulation. If Tony A looks bad, and you, on the other end of the political spectrum, get compared to him (i.e. you also look bad), then guess who comes out smelling like a rose by comparison?

    There are a lot of Douthat/Dreher/Brooks/Frum copycats popping up these days. They see the mileage that those guys have gotten from triangulating to make themselves look “reasonable” by comparison.

    John Henry and I have discussed this before, and we’ve both made our positions on the matter clear. I certainly wish him no ill will, and we probably agree on far more than we disagree, but I disagree with him on how he chooses to handle these particular situations.

    For the record, I didn’t even know what Beck looked like until I saw a photo of him on the internet a few weeks back. I don’t watch Fox News (or any TV news programming for that matter). And I don’t listen to (nor do I particularly care for) Rush Limbaugh. So, on that basis, I hope it is clear that I am not offering “tepid support” for any of them.

    I agree with you, Paul, that this triangulation BS wherein a few self-appointed “reasonable” conservatives feel they must denounce “those people” in order to maintain some semblance of credibility (with whoever they’re trying to remain credible) is beyond wearying.

    I have absolutely no connection to the afore-mentioned media personalities or organizations because they are not even on my radar screen. I don’t care for them, but neither do I feel particularly compelled to denounce them either. And those who act as though I have some such obligation are playing with a sick form of guilt by association. I won’t denounce Fox or Beck or Limbaugh, primarily, because I don’t dance to their drummer in the first place (so why should I feel so compelled since they’re no reflection upon me to begin with?) And I won’t denounce Fox or Beck or Limbaugh, secondarily, because neither do I dance to the drummer of their detractors.

    I’m not playing that game.

  • Jay Anderson,

    You (and Donald) articulated my feelings exactly.

    I’d like to throw in there Mark Shea who seems to get a lot of traction attacking traditional Catholics and conservatives on the most minuscule of issues.

  • Awakaman can not argue, NSDAP stands for Nazi. I will not address you! But when you fly lies which is the reason for this person’s sordid and sorry personal attacks I will address it.

    Anti-War Nuts say torture: Well, it would be torture to even go to a minimum security prison. I am sorry that you can not make any kind of argument without resorting to the most vile personal attacks.

    And by the way, you take issue with my using the word “Unpatriotic Americans”, well you started it by saying “Bush’s War” when European Intelligence showed Saddam was trying to get everything to make Weapons of Mass Destruction. Likewise, is labelling torture the same kind of technique.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/morality-and-enhanced-interrogation-techniques-15125

    The Washington Post indeed does represent a liberal view in this nation. If they see Enhanced Interogation as having thwarted terrorists attacks, it shows you really are digging to start hurling personal attacks at someone. Better to keep your closed and narrow mind to yourself.

  • Awakaman: My heritage is Polish. There is no country that felt the wrath of the Nazis more and murdered many of on par with their other victims, Jews, Gypsies etc.

    SVDP get it through your mind means St. Vincent De Paul of Charity.

    You have no shame and you have no integrity.

  • John Henry,

    I agree with you on this topic in full.

    Glen Beck is an embarrassment. I dislike him for the same reason I dislike Sarah Palin: his appeal is to the mob, to the lower and baser instincts in man.

    Appeals to man’s lower nature are almost always more profitable than any attempt to elevate or enlighten. Like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck doesn’t challenge you. If you agree with him, you’ll love him. If you don’t, you’ll hate him. But one thing you’ll probably never do with either of those two is say, “hmm, I never thought of it that way before”, or “hmm, now there’s an idea that, even though I am of the opposite political persuasion, I think I can accept”.

    This I understand, for all movements need such types. The troops must be rallied. But as in all things, there is a hierarchy of priorities. When rallying the troops becomes of far greater importance than trying to build a broader tent, priorities are out of order.

    Neither the Republican Party nor conservatism – in spite of whatever anger at Obama might be unleashed in 2010 (backlash is always out there) – will not survive in the long run if its public face is Palin/Beck. It will rightfully be regarded as a shrinking sect of angry, aging, white reactionaries who won’t surrender even an inch of ground for the sake of political progress.

    Obama’s appeals to common ground might sound hollow to some, and he may not even take them that seriously himself, but they still need to be made. Political polarization is NOT something we want. As Catholics we cannot compromise on life issues – on everything else, we really must reject party lines and forge new solutions.

  • Tom:

    My grandparents came from Poland also. My grandfather fought in the anti-bolshevik wars after WWI. I agree that Poland suffered greatly under Nazism due to torture and war. But the lesson I learned from that was not to engage in such tactics with others no matter what the supposed justification.

    Invoking the name of St. Vincent DePaul of Charity to advance war and torture? How can you seriously ask who lacks shame and intgrity here? May SVDP pray for you.

    Well, I’ve sidetracked these comments enough. Back to work.

  • Joe,

    t will rightfully be regarded as a shrinking sect of angry, aging, white reactionaries who won’t surrender even an inch of ground for the sake of political progress.

    tell it to the million or so people who marched on the Capitol a couple weeks ago.

    You’re a thoughtful guy Joe, look beyond the emotion, and see what the underlying principles he’s putting out there are.

    9 Principles, 12 Values

    9 Principles, 12 Values

    The 9 Principles
    1. America Is Good.

    2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
    God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.

    3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
    Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington

    4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
    Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson

    5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
    Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson

    6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
    Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson

    7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
    Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington

    8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
    On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington

    9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
    Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson

    The 12 Values
    * Honesty
    * Reverence
    * Hope
    * Thrift
    * Humility
    * Charity
    * Sincerity
    * Moderation
    * Hard Work
    * Courage
    * Personal Responsibility
    * Gratitude

    I’m not sure if you agree with all of them, but they’re worth discussing. It would be much better to look at this rationally then to just jump on the bandwagon of visceral reaction.

    I started reading “The 5000 Year Leap”, while I am cautious about it, so far it’s very good, I’ll have more to say about that later.

    For the record: I listen to Laura Ingraham, Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher, and Hugh Hewitt mostly, along with Praeger sometimes. I take each one with varying grains of salt. I don’t watch or listen to Beck’s show, nor Hannity very often. My interest is mainly about principles, not particular policies.

  • Ok, lets look at these nine principles.

    1. It depends. To take that as axiomatic is simply impossible. America has done evil things – one can say that slavery wasn’t unique to America but what I think was unique was the Constitutional reduction of black people to something less than human, something no classical slave society ever did so formally. Then there is the treatment of Native Americans. And there are a few other issues. Point is – America is not built on goodness alone, and NO country is.

    2. As far as I am concerned, it is idolatrous to have this as number 2 behind “America is good”. God is good – America is made up of human beings with free will who can and often have chosen evil, like all other peoples in all other countries.

    3. Ok.

    4. Ok – but society (meaning neighbors and extended family, if not the state as well) has a right to intervene in cases of manifest abuse and neglect.

    5. Ok, provided only that the punishment is proportionate to the crime. Justice can be blind but it must also be, to what extent it can, merciful.

    6. Of course. No one really wants equal results. Even Marxists don’t want equal results. What I want is an established minimum and maximum within which there can be variation.

    7. Everyone has a moral obligation to contribute to the common good, including, but not limited to, the payment of taxes. That is in the Catechism and cannot be thrown aside.

    Catholic social teaching has established that the state has a role to play in promoting the common good. Government cannot force you to be charitable in your heart, but it can morally compel you to contribute to the common good. HOW the money is spent, we can debate, yes – but NOT whether or not it is moral to collect and distribute it at all.

    If you wish to have it out on this particular topic, my recommendation is that we do it on a new post that I will make upon your request.

    8. Of course.

    9. That sounds nice, but I don’t make any plan of action on that premise.

  • For me, it’s not about party. I’m a member of no political party. I denounce plenty of so-called “conservative” postitions on the issues when I disagree with them (which is a lot, by the way – see, e.g., immigration, waterboarding, war, etc.). But I denounce them on my own terms, not as part of someone else’s feeding frenzy.

    I’m just not into playing the game, which, at its core, is a sort of guilt by association: you MUST denounce this person or else have the face of your entire movement tarnished (i.e. you don’t want to be one of the “other crazy people” alongside Beck/Limbaugh/Palin/etc., do you?). It’s Alinsky 101 (actually, it’s Alinky’s Rule 12):

    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

    Demonization. Sorry, not going there, whether it’s President Obama being demonized or Governor Palin being demonized. Or whether it’s Fox, Beck, and Limbaugh or MSNBC, Olbermann, and Maddow.

    I don’t see the need to continue to denounce and demonize and disassociate. And I’m not going to do it. Or at least not on someone else’s terms and as part of someone else’s agenda because they think I need to speak up lest I be “tarnished” by association.

  • “But I denounce them on my own terms, not as part of someone else’s feeding frenzy.”

    I respect that fully. For my part I don’t demand denunciations of a person in order to befriend them or work with them. I don’t like Sarah Palin but there are plenty of people who like her that I do like.

    So I’m with you on this 🙂

  • Beck certainly was not responsible for calling Obama a racist just for the remark of calling Police stupid, however, when you combine that with Obama making “Special Olympics” jokes on that one late night show, I definitely consider that a bigotted statement against challenged individuals. Likewise, sometimes bigotry is okay as the course, crude remarks Letterman made about Sarah Palin who to her credit, after Obama’s attack on handicapped children, Palin said how special her child was who was inflicted. Liberals tend to dislike someone who did not opt for their sacrament of abortion. She challenges their secular beliefs. Making jokes about mentally or physically challenged people just appeals to the lowest and most crude instincts of mob mentality.

    Gerald Ford never was a stumbler in any way, yet, Saturday Night Live had no problem doing all of those skits and Chevy Chase himself said that was to help elect a new president. With the Mainstream Media so biased, Glenn Beck and his like offer a valid alternative. This is what the left does not like, counter opinions.

  • What Jay said.

  • One could hardly blame Paul for commenting when it was YOU who linked to his post and, unfairly in my view, accused him of offering “tepid support” for someone of whom he had been somewhat critical.

    Ok…did you miss the part where Paul left three comments and wrote a post for two different blogs about a subject, then insulted me for talking about it? I wasn’t criticizing him for commenting, but rather for commenting multiple times about how irrelevant it was, having posted on the subject himself. If it’s that irrelevant and not worth talking about…then why is he talking about it so much?

    It’s a matter of triangulation. If Tony A looks bad, and you, on the other end of the political spectrum, get compared to him (i.e. you also look bad), then guess who comes out smelling like a rose by comparison?

    This is just b.s. I criticized Paul’s method of disputation – an ad hominem and a ‘let’s talk about something else’. Sure I pointed out that it is the exact same thing Tony A does, but it wasn’t to make myself look good. It was because Paul’s argument was erroneous in the same way Tony A’s are. I’m not trying to curry favor with anyone (unlike, for example, Conor Friedersdorf, who’s trying to make a career out of this).

    There are a lot of Douthat/Dreher/Brooks/Frum copycats popping up these days. They see the mileage that those guys have gotten from triangulating to make themselves look “reasonable” by comparison.

    Again, this is b.s. I’m not writing to get paid or to make a name for myself or to get mileage, any more than you’re writing to improve you’re street cred. Blogs are completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I get no benefit from this, I’m just expressing my opinion.

    For the record, I didn’t even know what Beck looked like until I saw a photo of him on the internet a few weeks back. I don’t watch Fox News (or any TV news programming for that matter). And I don’t listen to (nor do I particularly care for) Rush Limbaugh. So, on that basis, I hope it is clear that I am not offering “tepid support” for any of them.

    For someone trying not to support them, you sure are intent on attacking anyone who criticizes them.

    I agree with you, Paul, that this triangulation BS wherein a few self-appointed “reasonable” conservatives feel they must denounce “those people” in order to maintain some semblance of credibility (with whoever they’re trying to remain credible) is beyond wearying.

    Again, my on-line credibility is not the issue; the issue is that I find people like Beck repulsive. Listening and watching that stuff is like taking a long, hot bath in a large tub of stupid. Some people can’t tell the difference, but imo the people who can should point out that these types of shows are pernicious.

    I have absolutely no connection to the afore-mentioned media personalities or organizations because they are not even on my radar screen. I don’t care for them, but neither do I feel particularly compelled to denounce them either. And those who act as though I have some such obligation are playing with a sick form of guilt by association. I won’t denounce Fox or Beck or Limbaugh, primarily, because I don’t dance to their drummer in the first place (so why should I feel so compelled since they’re no reflection upon me to begin with?) And I won’t denounce Fox or Beck or Limbaugh, secondarily, because neither do I dance to the drummer of their detractors. I’m not playing that game.

    Yeah, but you are playing the game, Jay. You’re just as involved as anyone else. You just wrote several hundred words and two comments attacking me for criticizing them. I didn’t bring you up in the post or link to you; you just decided to comment. I didn’t implicate you. If you want to criticize people including me for criticizing Beck, be my guest. But don’t claim that I’m trying to force you to comment, then say you won’t comment, then comment, and then criticize me for forcing you to comment when I never addressed you in the first place.

  • John Henry:

    I actually took the time to read *all* of the combox entries before I responded to your post, to ensure that I wasn’t merely parroting someone else’s much more sage rendition.

    I have a problem with, not just you, but *anyone* criticizing a public figure like Beck or Limbaugh with no background for doing so. It’s as bad as the mischaracterization of the Church that goes on every day by folks who don’t know what we teach and believe (only what they’ve been told or *assume* we teach or believe).

    I think it’s a good idea to listen to someone for a time before lambasting them as “crazy”. Does Beck have some “interesting” ways of presenting info? Sure. Does he employ theatrical devices to make his point(s)? Sure. But is he the political right’s equivalent of a 9-11 truther? I don’t think so.

    Beck’s criticism of Vann Jones was, by all appearances, spot-on. His analysis of things that are going on in the Obama administration? At least plausible (I found this morning’s exposition of the relationship between the President and the head of the development organization responsible for Chicago’s Olympic bid interesting, to say the least).

    Glenn Beck is a radio personality. He is not a mouthpiece for the Republican party, in my estimation, mainly because he criticizes them too much. But all of that falls into the realm of Personal Opinion, and is not germaine to the discussion.

    What *is* germaine is this: how can we, as followers of Christ, publicly lambast even a *public* figure only on the basis of third-party testimony? I’m not sure, but it seems like that would be scandalous, at minimum.

    Here’s my challenge: Listen to him for a week or two. Actually spend the time separating the things that are said for their comedic value, and things that are put forward seriously. The man’s show tag-line is “The fusion of information…and entertainment>” It is up to *us*, as listeners/viewers, to discern the line between the two. N’est-ce pas?

  • Btw, let me be clear that Jay and I probably agree on 80%-90% of matters related to public policy. We’re basically having a meta-level disagreement about how debate plays out in the public sphere; I don’t think it’s completely unimportant (obviously), but it’s pretty small beer in the grand scheme of things. Maybe it would be better discussed over a large Shiner’s than in a com-box.

  • Ok…did you miss the part where Paul left three comments and wrote a post for two different blogs about a subject, then insulted me for talking about it?

    I wrote one post, then simply put it on another blog. That’s not writing two posts. And I’m not insulting you for talking about it, I am criticizing you for harping on the evils of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh when there are other more important issues to tackle.

    This is just b.s. I criticized Paul’s method of disputation – an ad hominem and a ‘let’s talk about something else’.

    For someone trying not to support them, you sure are intent on attacking anyone who criticizes them.

    You see, this is your problem, John. You express all this sanctimony about civility in discourse, and then you basically excoriate anyone who doesn’t feel exactly as passionately about the issue as you. Jay, myself, Donald and others have all said the same thing – we don’t much care for Beck, but we don’t think that he merits the derision thrown his way. And for that we’re labeled as defenders of Beck because we simply don’t hate him and think him as dangerous as you do. This is like all of the BDS-afflicted leftists who made it sound like anyone who didn’t hate Bush with as much passion as they did was a Bush sycophant.

    the issue is that I find people like Beck repulsive.

    That’s your prerogative. Where you go off the rails, again, is getting all huffy when we don’t exactly share your sentiment.

  • Well, I have read about Beck, but I have never watched his show. Too busy at the office when his show is being broadcast. This thread has awakened my curiosity. I guess if we are going to debate the man it might be a good idea to have a sample of his show. Here he is on Obama’s science czar.

  • I wrote one post, then simply put it on another blog.

    In other words, you wrote “a post for two different blogs,” right? What am I missing there?

    I am criticizing you for harping on the evils of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh when there are other more important issues to tackle.

    Again, Paul. There are nearly always more important issues to tackle. The same could be said of nearly every post in the history of this or any other blog. As I said, I don’t find this criticism particularly helpful.

    you basically excoriate anyone who doesn’t feel exactly as passionately about the issue as you.

    Uh, no. I didn’t excoriate anyone. I said I thought Beck deserved more criticism than you provided. And I objected to you taking personal shots at me rather than addressing the subject matter of the post.

    And for that we’re labeled as defenders of Beck because we simply don’t hate him and think him as dangerous as you do.

    That’s a complete distortion, Paul. First of all, I didn’t say anything about Don, much less label him a defender of Beck. I agreed with and quoted his comment above approvingly. I didn’t call Jay a defender of Beck, although I may have implied above after he he accused me of being an opportunistic triangulator for having the temerity to criticize Beck. With regard to you, I said that your post amounted to a tepid defense of Beck. Feel free to dispute that characterization. But don’t accuse me of saying things I didn’t say about people I didn’t say them about.

    This is like all of the BDS-afflicted leftists who made it sound like anyone who didn’t hate Bush with as much passion as they did was a Bush sycophant.

    Well, it might be like that if I said the things you accuse me of saying. But I didn’t.

  • Chip,

    I appreciate your comments, and that you took the time to read through the thread. As I said, I am not deeply familiar with Beck, but I have seen several clips of him, and I’ve read quite a bit about him. I was careful in the post to link to several people who are more familiar with his work. I will try as you suggest to catch his show once or twice in the next two weeks – I’m on travel for work, so it should be manageable. I probably won’t post on this again, though. I find the weird dynamic of people attacking me for criticizing Beck, even though they don’t want to be called defenders of Beck a little wearying.

  • But don’t accuse me of saying things I didn’t say about people I didn’t say them about.

    Whatever John. You malign my motives, accuse me of not providing quite a Catholic enough critique of Beck, and generally distort what I have written, but far be it from me to accuse you of saying things you haven’t said. It’s getting cold here in the north, and I can use the warm glow of your sanctimony to keep me comfortable.

  • Joe Hargrave Tuesday, September 29, 2009 A.D. at 11:01 am
    “John Henry,
    “Glen Beck is an embarrassment. I dislike him for the same reason I dislike Sarah Palin: his appeal is to the mob, to the lower and baser instincts in man”.

    Interesting. GKC remarked that it the mob – with its low and basic instincts – [lege human instincts] – which is the basis of democracy.

  • Paul,

    I appreciate you rescuing me from having a monopoly on sanctimony. You did accuse me of saying things I didn’t say; and I invited you to correct my interpretation of your remarks. Why the attitude?

  • Joe,

    I think I would have preferred that Gov. Palin and her daughter ignore requests for interviews from People magazine. That aside, just what is ‘low’ and ‘base’ about her?

  • Joe Hargrave writes Tuesday, September 29, 2009 A.D.
    “I don’t like Sarah Palin but there are plenty of people who like her that I do like”.

    If I may respectfully suggest, all this talk about liking someone or not liking them is more fit for a television psychology afternoon show. [I name no names].

    What has “like” or “dislike” to do with the discussion? Do you dislike Mrs. Palin because of her hairdo? her glasses?

    Come, come. Get off the personal reaction and discuss the issues.

  • Why the attitude?

    Gee, can’t think of any reasons.

    And, even if there are political benefits, shouldn’t we see more Catholics denouncing people like Beck, rather than offering tepid defenses?

    attempts to defend Beck because he happens to be a Republican

    So you impugn my Catholic credentials because I refuse to condemn Beck (I hardly defended him – if what I said is a defense I’d hate to see how you’d react to this post), but that’s neither here nor there. You then falsely accuse me of coming to Beck’s defense because he’s a Republican, which is ridiculous especially if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time. I have absolutely no qualms about attacking Republicans, and for about a six month stretch this year I think I put up more posts attacking the GOP than the President, which I now kind of regret.

    Finally, I am somewhat, I don’t know, bemused that you spend so much time attacking Beck for his over-the-top rhetoric, yet in this very thread you have one commenter calling another a Nazi, and that you pass over in silence.

  • “I find the weird dynamic of people attacking me for criticizing Beck, even though they don’t want to be called defenders of Beck, a little wearying.”

    It’s not the criticism of Beck. At least not for me.

    For me, it’s the notion that people are feeling compelled to “denounce” people like Beck or else be seen as offering “tepid defenses” or, worse, being cast as part of a “crazy fringe”. For example, I saw a clip the other day where Joe Scarborough said that every time he had a prominent Republican or conservative on his show he was going to put them on the spot and get them on the record either denouncing Beck or else being seen as expressing support for him. (Never mind that it’s my understanding that Beck isn’t even a Republican or a conservative.) That’s just a form of guilt by association. Next, I suppose Scarborough will ask them when they stopped beating their wives.

    And it’s not that I don’t want to be called a defender of Beck, it’s that I wouldn’t even know what I was defending if I were defending him (I’ve never watched him … I didn’t even watch Don’s video posted above). It’s not that I don’t want to be called a defender of Beck; it’s that I’m not actually defending him.

    My whole point is that the denunciation game is getting wearying. I’m tired of watching what can only be called a “movement” on the right to cast out the “wrong kind” of conservatives. Whether it’s calling Palin “a cancer” (by Brooks) or Bob Novak being called unpatriotic (by Frum, not to mention any number of recent Frum attacks on those whose “conservative” credentials are far more impeccable than anything Frum has to offer).

    Ideas and policies, I’m all up for discussing and even denouncing. Personalities? Not so much.

  • Thanks Jay, for putting it a little more eloquently than I did.

  • Thanks, Don, for posting the video. My mother absolutely adores Beck and has been admonishing me to watch him all year. Now I can finally say that I have! And he did a pretty nice job taking down Holdren and Erlich.

    Beck may be a first class jerk and opportunist, heck if I know. But let me ask you this, John Henry. Why not spend some time taking down Holdren rather than going after putative crazy people. The truth is Beck isn’t a danger to anyone, really, but Holdren is.

  • As a person who sometimes listens to Beck and Limbaugh, and finds them entertaining and informative, I admit I get a kick out of their outrageousness . Not being Republican, (or even American) I perhaps miss what the benefit of going after these guys might be. Is there one?

    Personally I appreciate that I have someone to listen to that has some of the same concerns I do about the culture of death and the repression of personal freedom… and they give me the occasional belly laugh as well.

    I have to say, as a Canadian, I don’t much care for the ‘David Frum’ approach. Seems to me there should be lots of room for free expression without unnecessary chastisement by ‘intellectual’ elites. Also, as a (non-aligned small-c) conservative Canadian I perhaps enjoy the vicarious employment of free expression a bit more than Beck’s detractors do.

    pax

  • Is Glenn Beck the problem with conservatism today?

    I don’t think so. Popular pundits play toward popular opinion – they always have and they always will. You have to consider them for what they are. They’re not austere scholars; they’re part entertainers, part opinion-makers.

    Anyone who takes them more seriously than this, I think, is mistaken.

  • Don’t mind Awakaman’s remarks. I should not have said unpatriotic Americans but on the other hand, it was way off topic. Dennis Miller is probably correct in saying something like “who cares about these Terrorists”… that’s fine, we heard last week, Abortion was legal per the Constitution just the way, Slavery was legal per the constitution, a Slave was 2/3rds of a human being. This is what the Democrats stood for. Are we making progress??

  • I don’t have cable. I have only seen YouTube clips of Beck and since those are taken out of context I am not going to express an opinion until I actually see his show. I don’t feel qualified to say much about Limbaugh either, since I’ve only spent about 5 minutes of my life listening to him. Contrary to what many liberals seem to think, all conservatives are not spoon-fed opinions by Beck and Limbaugh.

    However, Beck performed a great service by reporting on the Van Jones story and ACORN. What’s the greater evil here – that Beck may sometimes say extreme things or that certain ACORN workers did not appear to have much of a problem with 13 year old prostitutes? Who else was reporting on those stories? Not the “respectable” NY Times.

  • I am not trying to change the subject, but what I am really finding disturbing today is how many in Hollywood are defending admitted rapist Roman Polanski on the grounds that he is a great artist who has suffered tragedies in his life, etc.

    Whoopi Goldberg saying that the drugging and forcible sodomizing of a 13 year old was not “rape rape” is many degrees more disturbing than anything Beck has said.

    HuffPo has quite a few articles up defending Polanski. The heartening thing is that HuffPo’s own liberal readers disagree and are (mostly) agreed that Polanski should face the music.

    The dividing line on this one does not appear to be left/right but the artistic/media elite vs. everyone else. Don’t any of those people have daughters?

  • TomSVDP,
    It looks to me like awakaman Godwin’s Law’ed himself out of relevance early on, actually. Such overreaction to a little criticism betokens a mighty thin skin.

  • Off-topic or not, Donna–Amen! And a very intriguing observation about the divide.

  • Glenn Beck, by his own admission is NOT a journalist. He is an entertaining commentator. The frightening things is that he is a better journalist than most who claim to be.

    If anyone expects to agree with everything he says then they are going to be sorely dissappointed – that just isn’t possible.

    For most of us on this site it is ABSOLUTELY impossible. He is a Mormon convert. Nevertheless, he is an America loving patriot and he is right about many issues. Republicans suck. Democrats suck. And the rest of us DO SURROUND THEM.

    Do I like his 912 project? Not really, but then again I am more informed than most people. I also happen to be a news junkie. Not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s OK. What Beck has been able to do is amazing. People that had no interest in politics. People who don’t know the difference between Iran and Iraq, those who haven’t read the Constitution, etc. are NOW paying attention and getting active. That is great becuase we are duty-bound to participate in our own governance.

    If you defend him rabidly all the time you are probably nuts, if you attack him rabidly all the time you are definitely nuts. If you can respect his influence and that it is mostly positive and beneficial then you have seen his show, read his books and/or listened to him on the radio.

    If you haven’t then you are buying into the packaged spin and sound bites about him. The fact that everyone is attacking him, tells me he’s on to something and the twisted, lost, confused leftist anti-God establishment in this country is scared.

    Good.

    Also, do not confuse the messenger and the message. Beck has an odd sense of humor and some honest quircks that belong on a radio morning show and not prime time TV. I get it — I enjoy it. Some won’t. Don’t let that make you miss what he says. Sometimes, he’s off his rocker. Most of the time, he makes a great deal of sense.

  • Donna V.

    The Holy Father tells us to watch out for the dictatorship of relativism. That dictatorship already owns Hollyweird.

    Polanski didn’t rape the 13 year-old girl. She wanted it. As the adult he obviously knew that before he proceeded to violate her. We Americans are so prude. What’s wrong with a little underage sex?

    If you think the above is sick then you haven’t seen a Hollywierd movie in the last two decades. This is exactly what they promote. How can they see anything wrong with what he did since that is what their craft is all about these days.

    That’s like asking the toilet to be offended because there is fecal matter in it.

  • Um, no more comments about Polanski here. Jay did a good post on it earlier today; I’d refer you there if you want to talk about it. Here’s the link:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/

  • Here are my final thoughts on the post.

    1) I appreciate everyone’s comments.

    2) I intended the post to prompt a non-partisan discussion about a) what people find appealing about people like Beck; b) whether such personalities help or hurt their cause; c) how Catholics should view such theatrical political commentary (I think it’s pernicious). The discussion kind of touched on those topics at points, but for the most part it failed, and I’ll take primary responsibility for that. At the same time, many of the comments were quite thought-provoking, so I think the post was at least an interesting failure.

    3) I apologize to Paul if I misrepresented his post (we disagree about that, but I may just be too stubborn to see that I was wrong…if I was wrong 😉 )

    4) Have a good night all.

  • Art,

    Palin uses crude gimmicks to enhance her appeal to “Joe six-pack”, to use the phrase she used. She challenges no one’s beliefs, does not demonstrate that she has even a rudimentary grasp of the positions and philosophy of her opponents, does not clearly articulate her reasons for taking the positions that she does, takes her own positions for granted and thus does not develop convincing rhetoric to promote them among the electorate, and was appallingly unprepared for the rigors of a political campaign.

    Instead she trades on slogans, on physical gestures such as winking, on folksy turns of phrase, and other mindless gimmicks to make an appeal to a culture that is hostile to anyone who “sounds too smart”. Her ignorance and lack of erudition were actually celebrated by many of her fans as evidence of her “authenticity”, and her whole candidacy lent legitimacy to the completely erroneous notion that our leaders ought to be “just like us”.

    It is sad and unfortunate that so many educated people in this country are so hostile to traditional values, but I am quite positive that we can do better than Sarah Palin. I don’t want a leader who is just like “Joe six-pack” or who primarily appeals to “Joe six-pack”. I don’t want “Joe six-pack” in charge of the country. “Joe six-pack” needs to be challenged and elevated, not placated and coddled.

    Gabriel Austin,

    Please stop the needless nitpicking and hair-splitting with words. Expressing like or dislike is not logically connected to emotion or subjectivity. It does not logically imply something petty or vain.

    It is a simple way of expressing the fact that I do not believe that Mrs. Palin ought to be the or even a leader or spokesperson for traditional moral values, that there are many who are more experienced, more articulate, and more intelligent than her that are suited for the task, that her presence on a conservative platform diminishes its potential effectiveness.

    Rather than state all of that each time to satisfy the petty nitpicking of people who automatically ascribe inferior or demeaning motives to anyone who dares criticize one of their beloved political icons, in a sentence that actually has nothing to do with my opinions of Mrs. Palin but rather with the fact that I actually don’t reject a person as an intelligent or decent human being because they actually do like her because I think reasonable people can disagree on this topic, I choose, for the purposes of expediency only, to say that “I don’t like her”.

    But way to completely misread the sentence, invent motives for me I don’t hold, imply feelings for me that I don’t have, in a petty and ultimately unnecessary attempt to defend the honor of Mrs. Palin. You have a lot to be proud of.

  • Actually Joe Palin challenges the beliefs of those who currently consider themselves the cultural elite of our society. Consider their reaction to Trig and her decision to bring a Downs Syndrome baby into this world. Their beliefs need challenging much more than those of the people who do most of the work in our society, as demonstrated most repulsively by the defense of some elites of the child rapist Polanski.

    Since resigning as governor she has helped derail ObamaCare, given an impressive address in Hong Kong, begun emerging as a leader in the Republican campaign to retake Congress in 2010 and is now poised to have a best-selling memoir Going Rogue. With the epic fail of the Obama Administration, and at this point I think that is a given, I believe she will be a formidable candidate for the White House in 2012, if she wishes it. I view her as the politician with the greatest potential I have seen since the first time I saw Reagan give a speech in 1968.

  • Don,

    I don’t reject the possibility that Palin can polish herself and become the sort of candidate I could accept.

    But I absolutely detest gimmicks and pandering, I loathe all celebrations of ignorance, I am not at all convinced that Palin is capable of making the sort of appeal that is absolutely necessary to independents, moderates, and conservative leaning Democrats, and I wouldn’t count the Obama administration totally defeated within its first year. Bill Clinton was thwarted on healthcare and the Democrats were swept out of power during his first term, but was still reelected. That could play itself out again.

    I don’t care what anyone says – love or hate Obama on the issues, he presented his positions skillfully and respectfully during the campaign. He brought an element to political discourse during the campaign that I appreciated very much, in spite of disagreeing with him so vehemently on life issues. I give credit where it is manifestly due, and criticism likewise.

    Now if comments like that are going to earn me insults and petty, vicious attacks, (I know they won’t from you, Don) I think that’s really sad. I know they’re coming, I know that writing article after article in defense of life and Church teaching will mean nothing next to one kind word for Obama and one criticism of Palin, but, that’s the way it is.

    So here I am, ready to catch your refuse. Fling it boldly!

  • As always Joe I respect your opinion. In regard to Obama I have always regarded him as a glib empty suit and that is still my opinion. His policies are the same liberal bromides that have been staples of the left of the Democrat party for decades. Note how he simply repeats the same message about health care ad nauseum. The man is unable to adapt to the fact that his health campaign is flailing and he needs to try different tactics. The same thing could be said about the stimulus package that manifestly did not stimulate the economy. He appears to have great difficulty in knowing what to do next if his initial plans fail. His overall inability to get his policies through a Congress dominated by his party illustrates both his lack of experience and his unwillingness or inability to develop an effective legislative stragegy. A turn in the economy could save him in 2012, but with his current policies I expect mini-recoveries followed by rapid recessions. There is nothing in the current business environment to encourage long lasting recovery and the government is doing everything possible to make that environment worse. I also, and I pray I am mistaken, expect serious foreign disasters and domestic terrorist attacks, and I think Obama is ill-equipped to deal with either.

    As for Palin her next test will come in 2010 as she hits the campaign trail for Republicans. Reagan honed his oratorical skills stumping for Goldwater in 64 and I expect Palin to do the same next year, assuming she still wishes to be a force in politics, and I suspect she does. I disagree that Palin celebrates ignorance. What she recognizes however is that elite opinion and that of most Americans radically diverge on almost every issue of substance confronting the nation. This divide I think is one of the salient facts in our current national life, and I believe Palin understands that. I will be curious to read her memoir and see how she addresses this point.

  • I know it’s a little late in the debate, but I want to offer an apology to John Henry for accusing him of “triangulation”. In my zeal to defend Paul – whose post on Beck I still maintain was unfairly described – I crossed the line and impugned John Henry’s motives.

    There is no doubt in my mind that there is a certain sort of “conservative” pundit who makes their living engaging in such “triangulation” to make themselves more palatable to their more liberal readers. I refer, of course to the aforementioned Douthat/Dreher/Brooks/Frum/etc. In fact, on occasion, some if not all, have admitted to such a strategy. Douthat, for example, has written:

    “There is unquestionably a sense in which center-right scriveners who work for institutions more liberal than they (or merely exist in a climate more liberal than they) have both personal and professional incentives to criticize their own side as often as they do the other one, and to advance arguments and strike attitudes that drive more committed partisans up the wall. I’m flattered that Julian Sanchez’s list of conservative writers in this position includes David Brooks and, well, me, but I think it’s pretty easy to come up with a longer tally – it would include everyone from Rod Dreher (one of the very few explicitly-conservative writers at Beliefnet and the Dallas Morning News, I believe) to Christopher Buckley (Forbes FYI editor, New Yorker contributor, and now Daily Beast blogger) to various other (Peggy Noonan, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, etc.) with one foot in the right-wing intelligentsia and one foot in the MSM… And while I’m sure that these writers and talkers are striving for objectivity in all things and at all times, I’m also acutely aware, from my own experience, of the way that peer effects – the desire to be perceived as the “reasonable conservative” by friends and peers, the positive reinforcement from liberal readers, etc. – can subtly influence the topics one chooses to write about and the tone one chooses to take.”

    That is “triangulation” any way you look at it. John Henry, on the other hand, I know to be genuinely interested in raising the tone of dialogue and maintaining civility in discourse. I have no doubts that his principle concern in writing this post is that he is worried that people like Beck are poisoning the political well.

    It was wrong of me, therefore, to insinuate that he had ulterior motives such as “triangulating” to make himself appear more reasonable than the rest of the herd. For that, I apologize.

  • Is it time to close the comments on this? 🙂

  • I apologize to Paul if I misrepresented his post (we disagree about that, but I may just be too stubborn to see that I was wrong…if I was wrong 😉 )

    No worries John. I replied immediately with snark rather than engage your post. As I said, I actually found it funny more than anything considering the feedback I received on Southern Appeal. So I apologize to you for derailing the conversation.

  • John Henry,

    I thought the discussion was pretty fruitful and engaging.

    Awesome job in keeping us all on our toes!

  • love or hate Obama on the issues, he presented his positions skillfully and respectfully during the campaign.

    The trouble, Joe, is that ‘presenting his positions’ is what he does. You will in vain look at his career in law and teaching for the achievement of any professional benchmarks. He never founded a law practice, never was granted a partnership in any extant practice, never was granted tenure or hired for aught but an adjunct position in the academy, and has only one very brief scholarly publication to his credit (penned when he was a student). Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, and Jimmy Carter had superintended state governments with tens of thousands on the payroll; B.O. has run voter registration campaigns. As legislators, Bill Bradley was notable for persistent promotion of tax simplification and Albert Gore for a running critique of the prevailing wisdom in the Democratic Party on foreign policy and the use of force; B.O. was notable for absences and voting ‘present’.

    Palin uses crude gimmicks to enhance her appeal to “Joe six-pack”, to use the phrase she used.

    Which?

    She challenges no one’s beliefs,

    Joe, the neuralgic reaction to this woman is an indication that her public remarks are a challenge to a certain subculture.

    does not demonstrate that she has even a rudimentary grasp of the positions and philosophy of her opponents, does not clearly articulate her reasons for taking the positions that she does, takes her own positions for granted and thus does not develop convincing rhetoric to promote them among the electorate,

    I draw a blank, Joe. Not in my lifetime have campaign speeches ever been occasions for discourses in political theory. That aside, Gov. Palin’s entry into political life was in the realm of municipal administration, where explicit references to architectonic principles is fairly unusual.

    and was appallingly unprepared for the rigors of a political campaign.

    ?

    Instead she trades on slogans, on physical gestures such as winking, on folksy turns of phrase, and other mindless gimmicks to make an appeal to a culture that is hostile to anyone who “sounds too smart”.

    Some years ago the psychologist Margaret Singer was asked to provide some expert testimony at the trial of Patricia Hearst, most particularly to examine various communications from the Symbionese Liberation Army to ascertain who among them was the author of each. She said her own longitudinal research indicated that people’s verbal styles were fixed fairly early in life, by age 17, in fact. I will wager she has been using the same turns of phrase for 25 years or more.

  • Art,

    So then you agree – Obama presents his positions well. That’s all I contend.

    As for Palin, you are being easy on her to the point of what I think is, and please pardon my saying so, absurdity.

    All one has to do is contrast her response to questions about abortion to a candidate like Mike Huckabee. Your trying to let her off the hook by arguing that campaign speeches are not occasions for political theory is simply unbelievable. If all she is suited for is administration, then she should stick to administration and stop pretending that she can lead. A leader MUST have a grasp of “architectonic principles”, must be able to articulate clearly why what they advocate is objectively good – at least in order to win my respect and support.

    I don’t want a mayor who can talk folksy with the commoners. I want a person who understands and can articulate clearly what he is fighting for and why he is fighting for it. Palin does not provide that.

    Aphorisms and sound bites repeated ad nauseum about “big government”, “high taxes”, and “cutting spending” are as appealing to me as a bucket of puke.

    As for the final paragraph, do you really, honestly expect me to swallow any of that? All of Palin’s appeals to “Joe six-pack” are politically calculated down to the last muscle movement.

    I don’t know why you and others seek to stretch your own credibility to the breaking point in defending this woman, but I refuse to play along. If and when she shows some refinement, class, and genuine passion beyond the same old stupid red-meat slogans, I will give her another chance. Until then, make mine Huckabee.

  • Thanks to Paul, Jay, and Tito for their comments above. I was in meetings this morning, so I couldn’t respond sooner. In the future, I’ll try and provide a more focused discussion (and I’ll try not to lose my temper and impugn motives so easily).

    I would close comments now…but actually, I’m not sure how – and if Joe and Art Deco want to continue their discussion, Joe’s a contributor and can monitor that going forward.

  • More, more.

    I like the banter about Obama as ‘articulate’ and ‘effective’ – whatever that means — I think he stammers and hmms and uhs a great deal and cannot articulate an idea that isn’t some begnign sounding socialist slogan. He doesn’t even give credit to Chavez (Julio not Hugo) for, ‘si se pueda’.

    Palin may not be the ideal ‘conservative’ candidate but I think she is effective and genuine. The future is yet to be written but I think that an honest and genuine leader is exactly what this government needs if it is to be true to its Constitutionally mandated mission.

    Remember that if the Executive were to act as the Constitution dictates their power is severly curtailed – for that matter so is Congress’. Without the heady appeal of increasing power bordering on absolutism we’d have more leadership like Cincinatus than Ceasar.

    Palin is cast in the Cincinatus mold. Obama is cast in the Manchurian candidate mold.

  • Regardless of what conservative elites say about Palin, she has “it” and the American people respond to her.

    Peggy Noonan can eat her crabcakes and crumpets until the cows come home for all I care.

  • Joe Hargrave writes Tuesday 29 Sept.
    “Gabriel Austin,
    Please stop the needless nitpicking and hair-splitting with words. Expressing like or dislike is not logically connected to emotion or subjectivity.

    The word is expressive of emotion.

    “It does not logically imply something petty or vain”.

    Never said it did, but you seem to “feel” that it does.

    “[It is a simple way of expressing the fact that] I do not believe that Mrs. Palin ought to be the or even a leader or spokesperson for traditional moral values, that there are many who are more experienced, more articulate, and more intelligent than her that are suited for the task, that her presence on a conservative platform diminishes its potential effectiveness”.

    Now all you had to do is delete the first part and begin with “I do not believe…”. And then you can give reasons. [As against the unnamed others, it my opinion that her defense of her Down baby is a major experience. It seems to have raised the hackles of the non-maternal female talking-heads: “How dare she keep a Down’s baby”?].

    I had thought that I was doing you a favor by pointing out a lapse from logic into emotion. And that you are viscerally reacting against Joe Sixpack. All things told I believe that the instincts of Joe Sixpack are sounder than those of poorly educated college students. And much of that depends on making clear distinctions {“nitpicking]. It was the genius of GKC that he spent his life nitpicking. Must be where I picked up the habit.

  • Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was dealing with the next GK.

    “The word is expressive of emotion.”

    Really? I wasn’t informed that preferences were the equivalent of emotions now.

    “Never said it did, but you seem to “feel” that it does.”

    So you didn’t mean to imply that by suggesting that my comment reminded you of, I think, Dr. Phil? Oh I see, that was a compliment. How silly of me to have mistaken your charitable compliment with an implication of pettiness.

    “it my opinion that her defense of her Down baby is a major experience”

    That is not a qualification for office or leadership of a political movement, no matter how admirable a thing it may be.

    “I had thought that I was doing you a favor by pointing out a lapse from logic into emotion”

    Right!

    “All things told I believe that the instincts of Joe Sixpack are sounder than those of poorly educated college students.”

    I’d say they suffer from different problems, and that we are fortunate that there are more options than these.

    “And much of that depends on making clear distinctions”

    That had nothing to do with your post. No one is more on top of making clear distinctions than I. In fact, I’ll make one right now – a clear distinction between making a clear distinction, and nitpicking for the sake of scoring cheap points in a round of comboxing.

  • Noonan is a classic neo-con. Don’t be fooled by the word conservative in neo-con — they aren’t conservative. They are the same ilk that is on the left they are simply employing a pincer move to flank us on both sides.

    Fair-minded people will run from the ‘extremist’ neo-cons o the right and we will fall hard into the hands of their ‘opponents’ on the left.

    It is far better for us to stay away from extremists like Palin and Beck as well as extremists like Van Jones and Valerie Jarrett. We should just stay right in the middle where it is safe and we aren’t too hot or too cold.

    Oh, wait, I remember Someone telling me that He hates lukewarm more than hot and cold. He promised to spit me out of His mouth for being lukewarm, middle-of-the-road. . .mediocre. Hmm. Makes you think.

    Neo-cons and lefty-loony liberals are on the same side and this false Left/Right dichotomy, created during the Reign of Terror!!!! is not real.

    Assuming you want to use a right-left model. Then the right is anarchy and the left is absolutism. Both stink. What we need is a balanced approach, um, sort-a, kind-a like the one some wise, old, dead, white guys came up with.

    Defending it extremely isn’t a vice. The Constitution has no tolerance for neo-cons, like Noonan, or liberal/progessive/socialist/fascist/communists.

    The discussion about Palin and Obama seems to center around which one of them is better at articulating this point. Are we in America today, Constitutionalists, or are we anti-Constitutionalists?

  • Hey now, don’t put Noonan on us neo-cons. Someone who’s been reflecting on the golden past since end the end of the Reagan administration is hardly “neo”.

    Nor am I clear how you see neo-cons as being the same as liberals. If you were to go for a rough definition, neo-cons are conservatives who are not isolationist (and in some cases are actively interventionalist) in regards to foreign policy. One might also specify that they’re free market in economic orientation — to the extent that some paleo or traditional conservatives are protectionists. That’s about all the “neo” generally can be taken to predict in regards to distinguishing “neo-cons” from conservatives as a whole.

  • All these labels are confusing. You’d think that was the point. Oh, wait a minute it is the point.

    I like simple things.

    As far as the visible political spectrum is concerned I see it flanked by no authority and supreme authority. I don’t like either option and frankly each pole has a heavy gravitational pull. Commies, et al suck you toward the black hole of absolutism. There is no such thing as a little communism unless it is a tactic to get you more communism.

    No authority is absolute chaos, look at the lefties protesting the G20 meetings and all the violence and problems they created. Now if it wasn’t for their anarcho-communism, they may actually have gotten the nice “joe six-pack” tea party folks to join them. Becuae the G20 disaster is just another supernational organization seeking to take us to absolutism.

    Either way the devil wins – at least for a little while.

    So what are we to do? We need to look beyond the visibile political spectrum and look at the invisible.

    First order is to obey God and His law. For us that is the Magesterium, Tradition and Scripture. For others – it is a ‘personal’ relationship with Christ (I don’t know how much more personal you can get than eating Him). Either way, we know that He is the King and the only true sovreign. So how do we square that with the temporal order. Promote FREEDOM. Freedom to choose Him, or not. That can only exist in a Christian culture.

    So first order of business is respect the Christian basis for our Republic no matter what religious, or non-religious beliefs people have. Next, set up a temporal sovreign authority that is checked and limited by RULES and SEPERATION of powers. Then defend it — becuase it will be attacked – perpetually.

    If these two things, which we already have, are respected then the shades of political discourse eb and flow along a narrow spectrum becuase they have to be within the limits of the Constitution and God’s Law.

    That excludes all forms of communism (socialism, fascism, etc.). So the difference betweent he so-called left and right would be rather thin, as it is now, the difference is both parties would be much farther to the right, with their eye above.

    Our politics is inherently CONSERVATIVE and LIBERAL. It is conservative in that we wish to conserve that which has been handed to us. Adam gave away our freedom and Christ returned it – that is conservative. We are liberal becuase we are conserving freedom, which is liberty, which is liberal.

    Essentially, we have a broad range of freedom but it has limits. In that simple range, we are as liberal as we want to be so long as we remain within the conservarive boundries that we’ve been given.

    All this other stuff, is window dressing. We are arguing about whether government should give us a tax break or a tax hike. If they should give us a little more or a little less socialist security. We argue about if we should go to war in the Balkans or in Iraq. It is a fool’s game.

    Neo-cons, paleo-cons, liberals, progressive, blue dogs, blah, blah, blah. Come on. I’m not buying it.

    God or no God.

    Abortion or Life.

    Private Property or Communism.

    It is all about extremes, the shades in the middle are put there by someone who wants us lost and confused becuase he is mired in darkness.

    I opt out.

  • Oh, and Noonan is a neo-con. So there.

  • It seems the White House watches Glenn Beck. Also is concerned with “Fox News Lies.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Reality-Check-Turning-a-Point-of-Pride-into-a-Moment-of-Shame/

  • I don’t care if Noonan is a neo-con – her column on Palin’s departure from the political scene was one of the most agreeable things I have ever read.

  • I tend to agree with some of American Knight’s sentiments.

    Neocons are not conservative in any way; they are not merely interventionist and free-marketers (as how DarwinCatholic has defined them, which by themselves, aren’t really bad qualities) but, more importantly –and worse, are for BIG GOVERNMENT!

    Moreover, they are far more dangerous than anything on theh Left.

    Because neocons tend to disguise themselves as being seemingly conservative, they are the ones actually responsible for moving conservatism farther & farther towards the Left, just how the many policies of Bush Jr. did!

    Hence, the sad and sorry state of genuine Conservatism today!

  • I don’t care if Noonan is a neo-con – her column on Palin’s departure from the political scene was one of the most agreeable things I have ever read.

    Hmmm. I found it bitter, catty and vile — and that even as someone who doesn’t think that Sarah Palin has a political future (or necessarily should) at this point.

    But I suppose that starts to get rather far off the topic.

  • “I found it bitter, catty and vile”

    I think that pretty well sums up the pretentious Peggy Noonan. For those who think Darwin exaggerates here is the Noonan rant.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124716984620819351.html

    “What she is, is a seemingly very nice middle-class girl with ambition, appetite and no sense of personal limits.” In other words, how could this Alaskan multiple mom with a degree from a no name school accomplish more than the superbly accomplished Peggy Noonan who has four honorary doctorates, and who, next month, will sell more copies of her book than Noonan could if she lived for a thousand years. I expect another Noonan anti-Palin column about that time.

  • Stuart Schwartz has a mediation on Noonan’s obsession with Palin.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/peggy_noonan_sarah_palin_jealo.html

  • If you take the major issues of the day they are boiled down to two simple things.

    Is more government the answer, or, is even more government the answer?

    I don’t like either option. Government is not the answer. Government is simply the handing over of our individual, God-given sovreignty to keep our appetites in check. Note that is a very, very limited definition of checking appetites.

    They do NOT get to decide what I eat unless it is another human being, or some such horror. If I want trans-fat I can choose to eat trans-fat. If that kills me, that is my choice and I’ll be called to judgement on it. If I choose to eat another human being, then first I have to kill them or steal their body. That is not a dietary problem, that is murder or theft and we have laws agains those because God forbids them in His Law.

    That is pretty simple. Anyone can wrap their brain around that. The problem is the Left wants to tell me what I can and can’t eat and the ‘free-traders’ on the Right want 1000 page treaties to determine where I can get foreign food from and destroy domestic production in the process. Neither activity is legitimately allowed by our Constitution.

    This is what Glenn Beck has hit on, and although I am a fan becuase I think he is well intentioned and entertaining, I am not foolish enough to think that he is some kind of hero or leader. He’s a guy with a TV and radio show. Often he makes sense. Usually he entertains me.

    His appeal is that we need to return God to His rightful place as the true sovreign of our country (it is a whole other discussion to address the fact that he is a Mormon, essentially a poly-thiestic, false religion – but he might not know that). He also does his best to encourage others to adhere to the Constitution. People are responding, either positively becuase in their gut they know that is right, or negatively becuase they are so mired in darkness that they actually hate the USA and probably God too.

    If we simply follow the rules of order, both eternal (God’s Law) and temporal (the Constitution) our life together will be better, or at least not as bad. The attacks, both foreign and domestic, will NEVER stop. Which is where most libertarians lose it becuase their God is the market. God made the market, but the market is not God. Neo-cons lose it becuase they want more government (as e. pointed out above) but they want it to use for ‘good’ as they define, or rather don’t define it. Right, trust me, let me have all the power, I will be a ‘good’ dictator not like that other guy. Come on, who buys that? Liberals lose it because they want government to be God.

    True conservatism is about adhering as closely to the Constitution and the Commandments as possible and being prepared for a vigorous defense of both. Defense is first religious, then cultural, then intellectual and finally sanctioned force. Not adventurism, not isolationism and not necessarily non-agression. It is certainly situational and the closest adherance we can maintain to just war doctorine will be best and mistakes will be made becuase we’re idiots. But at least we would know what we are fighting for – to perserve our Constitution and the freedom to worship God.

    Beck’s popularity is stemming from the fact that he articulates that and he does it in a way that appeals to a wide, relatively unintellectual, yet, intelligent audience. An audience that would be far more intelligent if they were not educated in the government schools of the leftists and the neo-cons. Derida sucks and so does Straus.

  • What was so wrong with Noonan’s so-called “rant”?

    Besides, what she said at the beginning:

    It is an opportunity they should take. They mean to rebuild a great party. They need to do it on solid ground.

    …is precisely what the Republican Party needs to do: rebuild the base by reclaiming its Conservatism, indeed, its very identity.

  • the ‘free-traders’ on the Right want 1000 page treaties to determine where I can get foreign food from and destroy domestic production in the process.

    Actually, the free traders on the right want simple, open trade with no tariffs or restrictions except for a few banned substances perhaps (weapons, fissionable materials, etc.) What results from them trying to work this out with established interests is a 1000 page “free trade” document. But if you look at actual free traders (say, Milton Freedman) they don’t seek 1000 page free trade deals, they seek free trade.

    But I will give you that Beck is populist. It’s just that that is exactly why I don’t like him or consider him a real conservative.

  • No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

    No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

    Article 1, Section 9

    That is all it takes to create a free-trade zone. Congress also has the power to charge a fee to all economic entities outside of the “US free trade zone”. As long as they are uniform across all actors and industries then that is a far preferable way to raise government revenue than taxing us.

    Now I agree that has become a ‘conservative’ principle, but the Republicans, as a party only pander to this. McCain kept talking about being a free-trader during the campaign, in the words of Joe Wilson, “He lies”. So although it is technically correct that free traders are on the right, the Republicans who tell us they are on the right, don’t qualify as authentic free-traders, they are managed-traders just like the Demoncrats on the left, except that they pick and chose different criteria and granted, for the most part, they can be better trusted to protect national security. I say for the most part becuase so-called Republicans like, Ike, gave away so much that we may as well have raised the hammer and sickle above the White House.

    As far as Beck goes, yes, he is somewhat of a populist, a neo-populaist if you will. He is relatively conservative, but that is a slippery label for him. He is most certainly an entertainer. He is not going away, his popularity will increase and so will his influence and that has dangerous consequences, not becuase he is dangerous, but becuase it means that people are playing follow the leader again and not thinking for themselves and not reading and following the rules.

    This Republic was made for a moral and (Christian) religious people who are educated enough to know what the Constitution actually states.

    Immoral, irreligious and dumb mobs will lose their freedom for a charismatic and powerful figure-head who will be managed by the trans-national banking elite. Oh, wait, I think that is already happening.

  • American Knight:

    This Republic was made for a moral and (Christian) religious people who are educated enough to know what the Constitution actually states.

    You might want to re-educate yourself on American History as well as the Constitution; in particular, Article 1, Section 9, among other things.

  • e.,

    Huh?

    Since I quoted Article 1, Section 9 in the previous post the only thing I can think is that you disagree with my interpretation of it, yet, you quote another section of my post that has nothing to do with that section.

    The part you quoted was in reference to John Adams and I think he may have known a thing or two about the Constitution and its context.

    Please clarify.

  • …Peggy Noonan…

    I’ve already was suspicious of her hallow Catholicism, and when she went after Governor Palin the ruse was over.

    She is out of touch with mainstream America, or at least the underclass and unrepresentative. Her many guffaws (I thought the mic was off excuse) pretty much nailed it for me that she talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

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