The Faux News Meme

Thursday, December 1, AD 2011

The last refuge of a leftist flailing away in an argument, be it in person, on the radio, or the internet, is to accuse his conservative opponent of getting all their information from Fox News.  Actually, they don’t say Fox News, they say Faux News because they have all the creativity of a discombobulated yak.  Be that as it may, this line of argument amuses me on several levels.  First of all, the left’s ire about Fox News is completely hysterical considering the left-leaning tilt of just about every other major news organization.  In fact it is a sign of the overall leftist tilt of the mainstream media that left-wingers are so obsessed with Fox News.  You see there are so many left-wing news stations and major news publications that skew left that conservatives can’t really focus their ire on any single one.  Meanwhile, the major right-leaning news organizations are pretty much Fox and perhaps the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.

What’s more, from the sound of the complaints you would think that every conservative in America was tuned into Fox at all hours of the day, receiving our marching orders before heading out into pitched battle with the forces of the left.  Sure, Fox News does better ratings than all the other cable news stations combined.  But if you take a closer look at the numbers, Fox’s dominance has as much to do with the fact that nobody watches cable news.  Fox attracts a bit more than a million viewers a day on average for its programming.    That’s impressive . . . until you consider that the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (the show that is pretty much single-mindedly obsessed with attacking Fox News for its news coverage) gets more viewers than any show on Fox except Bill O’Reilly.  So the same people who mock conservatives for being Fox News drones are basically getting most of their news from a satirical show on Comedy Central.  Yeah.

Fox News is a killer whale in a local swimming pond.  So the idea that legions of conservatives are largely just aping Fox News is simply laughable.

Personally, the only time I watch Fox News is when I occasionally watch Special Report with Brett Baier (the guy who got Mr. Cool, Mitt Romney, completely off his game the other night), and then only to watch the final 20 minutes for the All-Star Panel.  So I basically watch Fox News once a week or so if that, and then only to watch pundits talk about the issues.  I also tend to watch Fox over the other networks on election nights, but that’s because I think it has better coverage – after all, they’re the network that has Michael Barone.  Based on conversations I’ve had with most of my conservative friends, I think my viewership is par for the course.

So, I’m curious, do any of you actually watch Fox with any regularity?

Continue reading...

29 Responses to The Faux News Meme

  • I watch Fox News once in a while. I NEVER watch “news” (that is to say, faux news because that’s all they provide) from:

    ABC
    CNN
    CBS
    NBC
    NPR
    PBS

    And I haven’t watched news from those networks in quite sometime.

    OK, I’ll admit to watching CNN when Robin Meade is on – but the volume is turned all the way down. 😉

  • I don’t have cable. I watch reruns of Red Eye on Hulu. I can’t unconditionally recommend that show on a Catholic website, though. It’s a humor show rather than a news show, and the humor can be very offensive.

    The few other times I’ve watched Fox News, I’ve noticed two distinct styles. There are the news format shows, and they seem solid. Then there are the opinion panel shows, and, well, they do typically have a spokesman from the left onboard, but the other people are spokesmen from the right. I wish they’d stuck with a really fair-and-balanced approach to news and left out the infotaining personalities.

  • Don’t have cable so don’t watch.

  • No cable, and our house was designed in a way that we can’t even pick up the local FOX affiliate.

    Listen to radio news– at the top of the hour– but only caught the Fox one once or twice.

    I do remember the last time I watched the Fox news channel a lot– back when I was in the Navy on shore duty, and they were covering the RNC. Mostly because their news coverage was the only one that didn’t have me wanting to bang my head against the wall due to the massive amounts of proud ignorance.

    I have left-wingers accuse me of watching it far more often than I watch ANY TV!

  • It’s not about Fox News.

    It’s about liberals. All they have are fantasies, lies and unicorn farts: not much help for the cretinous agenda.

    Facts and truth are . . . facts and truth. The truth is not susceptible to wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  • Aha! You have all clearly been brainwashed by Fox News to not watch Fox News just in order to make left-wingers look foolish. That rascally Rupert Murdoch. Such a manipulator.

  • “I have left-wingers accuse me of watching it far more often than I watch ANY TV!”

    Foxfier – I think if you get your news from anywhere outside that Washington Post / NBC / Huffington Post zone, liberals will recognize it as different, and since Fox News is the only news source outside the zone that they’ve heard of, they make the assumption that that’s where you got it. I’ve found that a lot of financial news media have very good international coverage, and certainly there are religious sites that I go to and get non-partisan news. I get some things from talk radio or right-wing blogs, but I double-check them depending on the source. So if only 20% of my news consumption comes from sources that liberals would go to, they assume that the rest must be from FNC.

    And to be honest, a lot of the things I get off National Review Online, for example, probably are identically-spun to what’s happening on FNC.

  • I can’t remember the last time I watched a news or pundit program. I get most of my news from the radio (KYW and NPR), on line, and in print. On line, I go to FoxNews, Drudge, and the BBC – in that order. In print, I go to the Economist and, about once a week, the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    I think Drudge is a bit of a game changer in that it acts as a clearinghouse rather than a news outlet.

  • I am new to your site- and as a Catholic, very happy to find you!
    My husband and I watch Fox regularly, especially Brett Baier, and O’Reilly. New favorite since Glenn Beck went away is The Five…
    But we do switch over to CNN and MSNBC for comparative study, and are ALWAYS amazed at the skew, the skewering, and the frequent vile behavior we catch there.
    Additionally, we try to catch – every once in a while – the local news on ABC and CBS. I won’t watch NBC anymore. It is absolutely amazing how little is reported on any of the channels. I don’t know what they find to fill the news half hours, since they never mention what is happening in the world, the nation and especially our government!!!!
    I bless the internet for Drudge, The Blaze, and my all time fav blogs for keeping me informed. I look up almost everything I read about, to verify. Have been doing that since Glenn demanded we not take HIS word for ANYthing. I sincerely doubt that any of the anchors from the “other” Cable outlets would recommend THAT!

  • I feel so honored to have sparked a post. Or rather that my caricature sparked a post. Back when I used to watch TV news I watched Fox News daily and BBC occasionally.

    However, I also watch the Daily Show and read countless online sources. BTW, if you want to read what’s getting the most hits Blogrunner is a great resource (http://www.blogrunner.com/top/d01.html).

    For someone who gets information from a variety of sources, this post is so easily demolished.

    “In fact it is a sign of the overall leftist tilt of the mainstream media that left-wingers are so obsessed with Fox News. You see there are so many left-wing news stations and major news publications that skew left that conservatives can’t really focus their ire on any single one. Meanwhile, the major right-leaning news organizations are pretty much Fox and perhaps the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal.”

    Like how the right-wingers are so obsessed with NPR and the NY Times? You see, there are so many right-wing outlets: Fox News, WSJ, NY Post, talk radio, book publishing, and lots of websites. Complaints about the left-wing media sound exactly like the left’s whining about Fox News.

    And there is a false equivalence here. Yes, the mainstream media leans left. But not usually by conscious design (MSNBC excluded). It’s because most people in the business are liberal. On the other hand, the right-wing media is right-wing by conscious design. They are intentionally bias. This is where the left-wing criticism goes wrong. Fox News isn’t the BBC. Limbaugh isn’t 1010 WINS. Coulter doesn’t write almanacs. They are self-described conservative pundits. Complaining about their bias is like a right-winger complaining that Michael Moore has a liberal bias. That’s what they’re paid for!

    Now how about a post on how anyone critical of the not-Romney Republican candidate of the month is constantly branded a liberal even if the criticism has absolutely nothing to do with the candidate’s conservatism?

  • I feel so honored to have sparked a post.

    I had this post planned out last night. Your comment was fitting, but hardly the inspiration behind it.

  • Pinky, I always thought that the best way to debrainwash a liberal would be to sit them down to watch Red Eye for a week. What, conservatives don’t foam at the month? They actually act like me and my friends?

  • I feel so honored to have sparked a post. Or rather that my caricature sparked a post.

    Probably not you, unless you were posting as “Torch” over on the #OWS and Polish Politician post.

    It’s because most people in the business are liberal. On the other hand, the right-wing media is right-wing by conscious design. They are intentionally bias.

    Any attempt to correct for a known bias creates a bias– that is no reason to not attempt to correct for a known bias, especially when it makes good business sense to do so. “Bias” does not mean “incorrect” or “bad”– incidentally, I seem to remember that Fox’s staff are only slightly more to the right than any other media outlet’s folks when you look at their giving.
    If you remove the straight out opinion shows from accounting–since those are just the crafty, crafty sales technique of appealing to 50% of the national population– their actual reporting is middle-of-the-road. They error on the left and right for those issues where I have personal knowledge, as opposed to other outlets where an error to the right is incredibly surprising. It looks like it’s to the right because everything else is knee-jerk left. (I have some local friends who think that MSNBC is the only barely decent news source, other than the daily show, because the rest are just far too conservative. They also argue that Obama is too conservative– the most moderate says he’s dead center of the political spectrum, while his friends say Obama is too right-wing. Yay, Seattle.)

  • , unless you were posting as “Torch” over on the #OWS and Polish Politician post.

    Even that comment didn’t really spark this post as much as something that Lanny Davis said on the radio the other day. Honestly, it’s something that’s been peculating in my mind for a while – that just helped jog my desire to write about it.

  • Even that comment didn’t really spark this post as much as something that Lanny Davis said on the radio the other day.

    *funny voice* It’s everywhere! It’s everywhere!

  • The main reason why I began watching Fox News was because of the presence of Brit Hume, one of the best newsmen in the business. With his retirement my watching of Fox News has declined quite a bit. Of course most of my news I get from a wide range of sources on the internet, something probably true for almost all TAC contributors and commenters I would say.

  • I have many muses Foxfier. 🙂

    It’s funny, but sometimes my posts are a gut reaction to some news story or other blog post, but just as often it’s something that’s been stewing for a few days or even weeks. As evidenced by my most recent post, sometimes it’s a combination of everything.

  • Yay, Seattle.

    Heh.

  • I may be a little slow on the uptake, but I stopped watching mainstream news channels and websites after the lack of coverage of World Youth Day this past summer. If the young people would have been rioting or protesting, that would have been a big news story to be sure. A million or more people gathered for something wonderful was virtually ignored and that really opened my eyes. Not to mention the embarrassing trash in the comments on the mainstream media websites. There are much better sources of news and truth online, it just took a bit to find them. I will occasionally still check out a mainstream story if it is linked on the pages I follow or if there is a major, rapidly breaking news story, but not looking at them every day anymore, they seem to be getting exponentially worse at a rapid rate. Fox may not be as liberal, but they have the Catholics on ignore only slightly less than the rest.

  • Okay. The problem with the Obama-worshiping, enabling propaganda organs is not that they alibi and lie for the 0. It’s that the average journalist is ignorant of anything but is a glib ideologue.

  • It’s the little things about the liberal media that bug me. I listen to CBS radio news a lot, and invariably when either party moves to the center in a standoff, Democrats “offer compromise” while Republicans “change course”. It’s a little thing, but Democrats come off as selfless and moderate while Republicans look haphazard and erratic. When neither party moves to the center, Democrats are “fulfilling a campaign promise” while Republicans “take a hard line.” etc.

    I am not fan of Fox News, but I do check in because they cover stories that other networks won’t touch, and that is their most important contribution as far I am concerned. I check in with Al Jazeera English and other news sources big and small for the same reason. So liberals who ignore Fox are missing out — not just opinions, but facts and events — on things they should probably know about.

  • RR –

    “What, conservatives don’t foam at the month? They actually act like me and my friends?”

    On the one hand I agree with you. On the other, if someone can’t intuit that his opponents are human beings, he’s very immature, no matter what side he’s on of what issue.

  • I watch Fox News about one hour a day. I like O’Reilly, and enjoy the All Star Panel. Basically I read the Wall Street Journal. It is the only secular paper left that doesn’t tilt totally left. I watch local news for weather and traffic in the morning. I will admit that I am an EWTN addict. Just don’t take my books and DVDs away from me.

  • Never watch it. But that doesn’t stop the leftist drones from accusing me of getting my “talking points” from Faux News. Liberals are such unimaginative dumbasses.

  • WOW where to begin? Just surfin and bumped into this site. Is this the American Catholic or The Republican Catholic?……………..Univ. of Maryland study finds Fox News viewers to be misinformed on key issues.

    MSNBC and NPR audiences were found to be least misinformed on the basic questions of fact. The study points to Fox News as the chief misinformer among the three major cable news outlets.

  • Ah yes, the famed University of Maryland study that was shouted from the rooftops by liberal bloggers a year ago. From a look at the study at Patterico’s Pontifications:

    “It’s really kind of a tedious thing. Every week or so, liberals come up with another allegedly scientific study declaring that conservatives are stupid, misinformed, psychologically abnormal or something. Today, it comes from an organization I never heard of before, called World Public Opinion. This study is being touted by the spectacularly misinformed TPM as proof that Fox News leaves viewers misinformed.

    But the hilarious part is that the authors of the study themselves are misinformed. For instance, their first question is this “is it your impression that most economists who have studied it estimate that the stimulus legislation: A) created or saved several million jobs, B) saved or created a few jobs, or C) caused job losses.” The first option is marked as correct.

    Now first, that is an ambiguous question. Do they mean net or gross? In other words, do they mean the number of jobs “saved or created” numbered in the millions with or without it being offset by the number of jobs lost? Because it is self-evidently true we have lost more jobs than we have gained.

    But here’s the funny part. Scroll down to the part where they allegedly prove what is the correct answer and read closely. They offer two pieces of proof of their claim that the first answer is correct. First they say:

    “[The] CBO concluded that for the third quarter of 2010, ARRA had “increased the number of full time-equivalent jobs by 2.0 to 5.2 million compared to what those amounts would have been otherwise.”

    But there are two problems with that. First, um, we are going to trust the government to estimate the success of the government on this? Really?

    Second, that utterly fails to relate to the question, which is whether a majority of economists who studied the question believe this to be the case.

    They do a little better with their second piece of evidence:

    “Since 2003, the Wall Street Journal has maintained a panel of 55-60 economists which it questions regularly, in an effort to move beyond anecdotal reporting of expert opinion… In March 2010 the panel was asked more broadly about the effect of the ARRA on growth. Seventy-five percent said it was a net positive.”

    Which is better, but again doesn’t prove the assertion. First, once again, there is no evidence that this represents the majority of economists. Second, there is no evidence they studied the issue—they could just be shooting their mouths off, or maybe even just trusting the CBO. Third, growth is not the same as creating (or, barf, saving) jobs. And fourth even then all they said was it was a “net positive” which lines up with answer B, not answer A, which they marked as correct.

    They don’t fare any better with the next question: “Is it your impression that among economists who have estimated the effect of the health care reform law on the federal budget deficit over the next ten years: a) more think it will not increase the deficit, b) views are evenly divided, and c) more think it will increase the deficit.” Allegedly A is the correct answer.

    And once again, they go to the CBO, which everyone knows was manipulated by being required to make assumptions, like that Congress would not pass laws (like the Doc Fix) it ultimately did pass, stating that:

    In March 2010 CBO released an estimate of how the then-pending health care legislation would affect the deficit if passed. CBO calculated that the net effect through 2019 would be to reduce the deficit by $124 billion (this figure excludes the education provisions that were also part of the legislation). Beyond 2019, the CBO estimated that the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit by roughly 0.5% of GDP.

    But not only does that suffer from the same problem of having nothing to do with the opinion of economists who study it, but it’s also contradicted by later reports. For instance in August of this year, the Washington Times wrote:

    The [CBO’s] latest projections suggest that the net increase in the deficit attributable to the federal health care law will exceed a quarter-trillion dollars over the next decade.

    And meanwhile they don’t even bother to quote the WSJ (why not?), but instead quote from Medicare Trustees:

    Regarding Medicare’s contribution to the overall budget deficit, the 2010 annual report of the Boards of Trustees of the Medicare trust funds stated that “The financial status of the HI (Hospital Insurance) trust fund is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act. These changes are estimated to postpone the exhaustion of HI trust fund assets from 2017 under the prior law to 2029 under current law and to 2028 under the alternative scenario” (a model that made harsher assumptions). The trustees assessed that overall, “The Affordable Care Act improves the financial outlook for Medicare substantially,” although “the effects of some of the new law’s provisions on Medicare are not known at this time.”

    Which not only doesn’t support their assertion in any way, shape or form, but if anything tends to undercut their claims. If Medicare is in better financial shape does that suggest a reduction in spending? It seems to me that the more well-funded a federal program is, the less likely we are to see deficit reduction. Indeed an increase in spending necessarily results in an increase in the deficit unless it is offset by cuts somewhere else.

    What this study is, is really a political paper pretending to be a scientific paper. Which shouldn’t be surprising given the list of supporters they have. Its funny how the same people keep turning up.”

    http://patterico.com/2010/12/17/world-public-opinion-proves-it-is-ignorant-about-significant-facts/

    The organization behind the study is World Public Opinion.Org, and here are the usual suspects funding them:

    Rockefeller Foundation
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Tides Foundation
    Ford Foundation
    German Marshall Fund of the United States
    Compton Foundation
    Carnegie Corporation
    Benton Foundation
    Ben and Jerry’s Foundation
    University of Maryland Foundation
    Circle Foundation
    JEHT Foundation
    Stanley Foundation
    Ploughshares Fund
    Calvert Foundation
    Secure World Foundation
    Oak Foundation
    United States Institute of Peace

    Go to the link below and see some of their other polls, which appear from their titles to be agenda driven.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/governance_bt/index.php?nid=&id=&lb=btgov

  • Are we sure David Green isn’t making a joke? I mean, reading a post that points out that very few of us here actually watch Fox News, and responding by acting like we called it the One True Source, then offering a debunked study as evidence….

    (Of course, the study is kind of amusing, too– it showed that those who watch Fox news were the least likely to share the glorified assumptions of those running the study.)

  • Liberalism would be a hilarious joke if it were not killing millions and not reducing the American people to a lowly state of collective impoverishment.

E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire

Tuesday, September 28, AD 2010

In a recent column Washington Post columnist, E J Dionne noted that the Tea Party movement is a great scam. Quite an indictment coming from the self described progressive Catholic who still thinks government can never be big enough and the Church should tell the faithful more about the teachings of the agnostic Saul Alinsky than that of 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church. Dionne has made it his business to comment on all matter of politics and religion for quite some time. His partner in left wing chicanery is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who never hesitates to go for the jugular.  Though she says he she comes from humble Washington DC roots, you would never know it by how she mocks those who really came from humble surrounding and never forgot it. She probably grew up with many Sarah Palin’s and Christine O’Donnell’s around her. Yet, I doubt she mocked many to their face as she gleefully does now to the backs of Palin and O’Donnell.

Dionne and Dowd seem to have it backwards, they don’t think citizens should voice their views about the fallacies of liberal Big Government, but they do believe everyone knows better than the divine about religion. This is quite common for liberals who often seem to think they are divine. Dionne and Dowd are part of a movement who thinks they should control government and religion, and those who disagree with them are often labeled as unintelligent; the worst sin as far as liberals are concerned. However, who is the unintelligent one? Big Government has never worked. It has only brought huge debt which has to be repaid by future generations. Individuals who go into debt face a series of tough measures. Yet Dionne and Dowd seem oblivious to this and advocate the same disastrous path for the government, the end result being tough measures for everyone.  In other words Big Government is a disaster that doesn’t work.

However, Big Government isn’t the only disaster Dionne and Dowd advocate. They want the Catholic Church to turn her back on its 2,000 year old teachings and embrace the Dictatorship of Relativism, so named by Pope Benedict XVI. Dionne and Dowd are happy to embrace dissident Catholics who espouse this sort of thinking. It seems Dionne and Dowd are more comfortable with the views of Marx, Alinsky and Freud than they are with Christ, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, St Joan of Arc and Pope Benedict XVI.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire

  • Apologies in advance: Top ten reasons to vote dem:

    10. I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

    9. I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

    8. I vote Democrat because Freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

    7. I vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

    6. I vote Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

    5. I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies through abortion so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

    4. I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.

    3. I vote Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the democrats see fit.

    2. I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

    1. I vote Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my @$$ that it is unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

  • T Shaw did you come up with this? If you did something tells me that this might show up across the internet. Who knows old EJ and Maureen might heartily approve, not realizing your satire (well at 2-10.)

CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

Sunday, September 26, AD 2010

It would appear that those in the mainstream media who want to do hit pieces on Pope Benedict XVI need to take a number. The latest to engage in Yellow Journalism is CNN. The “network of record” dispatched Gary Tuchman to do the dirty work. One might recall that it was none other than Tuchman who remarked how distressing it was travelling in the heartland during the 2008 Election campaign. He complained that some who recognized him told him that their Middle American views and ideas were repeatedly mocked by the mainstream media, all the while those of the liberal establishment were hailed. Tuchman’s words were quite revealing when it comes to this story.

CNN has been advertising their hit piece on Pope Benedict XVI as if he was already guilty of some sort of cover up, even though during the Abuse Scandal it was none other than the New York Times who praised then Cardinal Ratzinger for tackling the tough problems. What tough problems did he tackle? The most notable example being Father founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Father Marcial Maciel was one of the few prominent conservatives caught up in the Abuse Scandal, most of the abusers were Church liberals who wanted to change the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger took on Father Maciel at the height of his power and popularity. One might recall that Father Maciel was quite close to Pope John Paul II. So from this example we can see that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) showed no favorites and pulled no punches. The Legionaries of Christ were shaken to the core and as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI removed their leadership and installed his own, hardly the work of someone who was timid.

The CNN piece was perhaps even more despicable than the New York Times hit piece, because in the interim much of the modus operandi of the Old Gray Lady was exposed. Still CNN used the same material and claimed that they had something new. There is nothing new here. The crux of their argument comes from material provided by Jeffrey Anderson the attorney who has made millions off the scandal. Anderson says he is one a mision to “reform the Church.” What kind of reform would that be? Some Catholic dioceses have been forced into bankruptcy, which means the poor whom they dioceses assisted through their social programs are left in the cold. For all his concern of “reform”  Anderson hasn’t provided a penny to these particular poor.

Continue reading...

18 Responses to CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

  • This is a message for Dave Hartline:
    I was in Woodlawn in Chicago during the early years of
    The Woodlawn Organization when it was taken over by the
    Alinsky operatives, including, Fr. Egan, Nick Von
    Hoffman,et.al. I was one of two clergy who opted out
    of the movement for moral and ethical reasons. I read
    your article with comments on Alinsky and the”Radical”
    modus operandi in Fr. Dick Kim’s blog last week. You
    have a far different perspective than the Chicago Diocese at that time. Interesting.

  • Thank you for your post. I do believe there were many people like Alinsky who had great influence on those in the pre Vatican II Church. It was reported that Pope Pius XII wanted to convene the Conference but became too ill to do so. In some US Archdiocese, as well as a few in France and Belgium, movements arose that today one would view as being heretical or schismatic. I do recall the Catholic author Dave Armstrong (who was brought into the Church by Father Hardon SJ) saying that Father Hardon would often say, “The Revolution began…” Dave Armstrong couldn’t remember the precise date but it was sometime in the 1930s or 1940s.

    Anyway, what I am getting at it is before the modern communications era there were folks like Alinksy who claimed to be in line with what the Church was teaching (even though Alinsky was an Agnostic.) In reference to those who say that Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” which was dedicated to Lucifer among others was really sort of tongue and cheek. One generally doesn’t dedicate books to the leader of the dark side as some sort of joke. I find that dedication intersting because it happened in 1971, the twilight of his life. Why didin’t he dedicate his previous books to Lucifer? The reason I feel this happened is because it would have caused a stir. Perhaps in the twilight of his life, Alinsky was being more open about his agenda.

    The first time I had heard of Alinsky occurred in my freshman year of college when some radical graduate students were quoting him like most fervent believers would quote the Gospel. In the turmoil that was the Church in the 1970s, I don’t think many people paid much heed to the role of these radicals until recently. However, I dare say that the likes of Father McBrien were quite familiar with the lofty aspirations of Alinksy and those of a similar mindset. This doesn’t even touch on those in the media who were influenced by Alinsky, and who today run those organizations. Does anyone think that the hit pieces on Pope Benedict in particular and the Church in general would have been possible had not these poeple been calling the shots?

    Fortunately as I have said before the tide is turning. I can’t help but refer back to a priest I know who was ordained some five years ago. There was quite a stir when he made no bones about his orthodox or conservative views. I spoke with him recently and he laughed saying, “those in the seminary now make me look like a milquetoast moderate.” Now that is what really drives the left up a wall, they thought the Election of 2008 would end any talk of conservatism prevailing in any sector of society. With the coming election, it appears that it is liberalism whose back is against the wall.

  • For my taste, Mr. Hartline, you seem too optimistic.

    Also, not just from you but from others I keep hearing of how good “new” seminarians are but I have not seen much to bouy my spirits among those have seen.

    Benedict is too little too late. The trials are upon us.

  • Karl with all due respect, it isn’t about your taste or mine, it is about facts. The fact is the Church was ruderless in the 1970s, Pope Paul VI said as much when uttered his famous words, “The Smoke of Satan had entered the Church.” However, Pope John Paul II’s Springtime of the Evangelization is here. We didn’t get into the mess we are in overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight either. However, with Pope Benedict at the helm (perhaps fulfilling St John Bosco’s vision of the Twin Pillars) we will make great strides. The trials have been upon us many times before; the Islamic Invasions, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, the 1960s Cultural Revolution, and yet here we are still Fighting the Good Fight!

  • I see the same facts but interpret them differently. It is not about taste though, you are spot on. The shoes we walk in influences our take. I remember into the early sixties. I have lived throughout this tempest. I believe we have seen, nothing yet.

  • In light of the customary, infernally low level of intellectual honesty in the Commie News Net pile-on piece of journalistic excrement, here’s my proposed response:

    Keep the Faith.

  • Karl, I certainly agree with you on your concluding point. However, I think we are in much better shape that we were 35 years ago. Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI, through their leadership and those seminarians, women religious and laity whom they influence, are at least beginning to waft out the Smoke of Satan that had entered the Church.

    T Shaw, the Haku War Dance. I wonder if the Knights Templar did something similar before battle? May God Keep Us All Safe from enemies within and without!

  • “All one has to do is read the writings of those who started the French Revolution (which is often widely praised and celebrated in the West)…”

    During the 1780’s, many who made up the Third Estate, particulary the bourgeoisie (merchants, bankers, lawyers, etc), were fed up with the inequities of the ruling class.

    The First Estate (Clergy) and the Second Estate (Nobility) were a small minority of privileged men who made up the Aristocracy. As a result of the blurred lines between the two classes,(holding high positions under the Church’s provision, for example) the Aristocratic ruling class was exempt from almost all taxes. Many of the bourgeoisie were also exempt, which left the burden of paying for wars, affairs of state, etc. on the backs of the peasantry.

    The causes of the French Revolution were many and historians still argue over them but there are aspects of the Enlightenment that conservatives, particularly American conservatives, should appreciate and identify with.

    Those who advocated for change at the time, pushed for positions in government, the Church and the military to be open to men of talent and merit. They fought for a constitution and a Parliament that would limit the king’s power. Religious toleration and fair trials were also part of their agenda.

    Now, as we all know, the French Revolution got totally out of hand but there are reasons for those of us in the West to identify with the philosophes of the 18th century.

  • DP

    It was Louis the XVI who called the Estates General. The likes of Robespierre, Danton et al were not interested in what you suggest above they wanted real power and to remake society as they saw fit. They wanted to import their revolution to all of Europe.

    You know sort of like Lenin and Stalin.

  • Afghani Stan, excellent point. I would also ask that our friend DP consider that some of the ideas that Enlightenment is given credit for dates back to the Magna Carta. In addition, there were already primitive forms of government in some Swiss Cantons (Catholic cantons at that) which espoused early democratic ideals. Sadly, Ulrich Zwingli tried to put a stop to that, which in some ways was the start of the Left’s War on Rural Inhabitants.

  • If memory serves (John Robinson, Dungeons, Fire and Sword), the Templars entered battle assuring each other that, “Whether we live or whether we die, we are The Lord’s.”

  • Stan and Dave,

    Yes, Louis XVI did convene the Estates General at the last minute but only after a hiatus of 170+ yrs and to no avail.

    Robespierre was, of course, an extreme leftist and a tyrant as well. But there are other Enlightenment notables such as Locke (a champion of America’s Founding Fathers), Newton and Montesquieu who contributed a great deal with regard to the expansion of thought and science in secular society.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XIV respected Montesquieu and the advances of the Enlightenment (especially tolerance) even though many of his bishops didn’t share his sensibilities at the time.

    In any case, some of the ideas and ideals of the philosophes should be celebrated by both the West and the Church.

  • Pingback: E. J. Dionne & Maureen Dowd Are Playing With A Dangerous Fire « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: AP’s Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR’s Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: AP’s Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR’s Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course: The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • Pingback: Midterm Election Results Show The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Midterm Election Results Show The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy : The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • Pingback: In An Unprecedented Move, Left Leaning Bishop Kicanas, Vice President Of US Bishop’s Conference Passed Over For Right Leaning Archbishop Dolan | The American Catholic

Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:

I. Keep the health insurance you have now.

1.  Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.

2.  No spending caps set by insurance companies.

3.  No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.

4.  Limit on out of pocket expense.

5.  Minimal requirements of coverage.

II. Public Option & Exchange

1.  When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.

2.  Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.

3.  Tax credits for small businesses.

4.  In theory this will not lead to a government take over.

Continue reading...

39 Responses to Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

  • For me the oddest statement in the President’s speech was the claim that “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.” I’m not sure this can even by classified as a lie, as lying requires an intent to deceive, and I can’t imagine Obama thought anyone would believe him when he said this (so then why did he say it?)

  • I think President Obama actually believes that statement he said about not a single dime towards our deficits.

    So I’m not sure if he can be accused of saying a lie. But if it does happen, does it qualify as a lie after the fact?

  • This proposal doesn’t come off as “reform.” Rather, it comes off as more of what we currently have: tons of regulations that introduce more cost and curb competition.

  • It’s not clear that Obama could even hold true to his promise for the length of his speech. Nine paragraphs after making his “not one dime . . . Period” pledge, he says that his plan would cost $900 billion, and that “most” of this would be offset by cuts in existing health care programs. Perhaps by most he means $899,999,999,999.91? Or maybe he means his pledge literally. He won’t sign a bill if it adds exactly a dime to the deficit, but if it adds billions that’s okay.

  • For full disclosure, I am not an expert on how the Health Care industry works.

    With that said I do like the first portion of his speech that says pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage, no spending caps set by insurance companies will be allowed, coverage won’t be dropped in the middle of an illness, there will be a limit on out of pocket expense, and there will be minimal standards required in basic coverage.

    I’m not sure if this will make insurance costs go up, drive companies out of business, and eventually result in a single payer system over a period of time.

    But if this is possible without any of the above scenarios, I like it!

  • Tito, on another thread I was calling you out, takin it back now.
    Really! If we could fix the pre-existing condition and employer control thing in healthcare, who could argue?

  • Master C,

    I was busy typing up this posting when you left that message.

    I like the portion I outlined, but without the public option.

    If some regulations could be set up for the insurance industry without the public option then that would be ideal!

  • We need this change…YESTERDAY!

    Millions of Americans presently have no health care, others who do, when faced with an illness go bankrupt, and others find out that suddenly they don’t have any healthcare at all and still others are covered but face high costs.

    I’m 52 years old..and my job was outsourced 4 years ago.
    Thankfully I have family but I pay $450.67 per month and my Asthma inhaler costs…$211.00 OUT OF POCKET.

    Others are in worse shape.

    Any Catholic that cannot see the good in this isn’t Catholic!

  • P. Edward Murray,

    I certainly sympathize with the problems that you are facing.

    Though I have to say that just because some of us oppose certain points of President Obama’s speech doesn’t make us not Catholic.

    If you could explain why then we have a starting point, but just simply saying this doesn’t make it so.

    Also you can’t force others to pay for something they don’t want to pay for nor are required to pay for.

  • “Primary school taunting”?

    No, he just told the truth. Would that Palin and FOX NEWS would do the same.

  • Mr. Murray,

    I have no health care. I pray that my health does does fail. I haven’t had a full-time job in nearly a year. I do fear bankruptcy if I experience any health programs.

    That said, anyone who tries to get me health care on the backs of dead babies is not doing me any favors. I’d rather face financial ruin than see one more baby slaughtered.

    In Christ,
    Steve

  • Heather,

    Denying that there are End-of-Life-Decision panels, aka, Death Panels?

  • Steve,

    First, I know quite well where you are..I’ve been out of a job for 4 years…

    I thought I had finally found a good company to work for and was promoted a Team Leader at our Panasonic National Diagnostic Center. So I was part of the management team lowest level.

    One day I came in and learned that my entire office was to be sold. We were. And we were led to believe that we would just move to another location.

    That didn’t happen.

    At one point, we had 75 people working at our facility.

    All the remaining jobs were outsourced to Manila.

    I blame GWB and all Republicans..they didn’t give a care.
    To all of them…outsourcing is just another way of making more profit.

    And that is why I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live.

    The lie and cheat period. They only care about themselves and other rich …very rich people.

    As far as abortion is concerned you needn’t worry because this is what the president said…

    “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    And to anyone else reading…

    We are living in a Depression…currently I have a brother & sister-in-law out of work. I have an Aunt & Uncle..both in their sixties…out of work and they are trying to start business.

    Millions of Americans are in the same boat as Steve and I and if you aren’t yout of work you should be counting your blessings because it isn’t over yet.

    Being unemployed for a long time is very hard but I’m also

  • I’m also caring for my 74 year old mother who has cancer and is still working and is partially disabled with a bad back so I must take her to work and back in a wheelchair.

    This is what George W Bush did.

    I know this is where Jesus wants me to be..to take care of my mother…something that many middle aged Americans face..caring for their elderly parents.

    We need this change and we need the jobs to come back.

    If this doesn’t happen then God help us because there is going to be a heck of a revolution!

    Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!

  • Tito…

    Have you ever heard of

    “A living will”?

    Please don’t tell lies.

  • P. Edwards Murray,

    There will be abortion funding in the bill. You know better that the public option will offer coverage for abortion.

    This is your first warning. If you’re unable to keep your emotions in check and call me a lier one more time then you will be banned.

    You know there are End-of-Life Panels, aka, Death Panels, in one of the two congressional bills.

    I can tell you my sob story as well, but I’m not here to score cheap political points.

    If you really believe a revolution will occur if this bill doesn’t pass then you are beyond logic and reason.

    If this bill does go through, one thing is for certain, we’ll have an entirely new executive and legislative branch come 2012. That is change that I can believe in.

  • Personally having witnessed the outrageous statements at my former Parish…St. Ignatius of Antioch Yardley PA..statements made just after the election…that voting

    “The Economy” was wrong and that “Jesus would have something to say to me” I left that Parish in disgust.

    Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.

    And some are really Catholic.

    I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion…

    Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor?

    Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”?

    Yes we sing that song and Pope John Paul II talked about
    “A Consistent Ethic of Life”?

    So remember…

    Your vote is an action and actions speak louder than words.

    Is it better to vote for one who says they are pro life but clearly discounts everything else that Jesus has said?

    For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.

    One final note…

    When I left St. Ignatius I could hardly believe that any priest or deacon could have said such a thing. Clearly sometimes priests forget that they live by charity.

    The Deacon in question…his other job..is a

  • Tito,

    I will not remain here and will never bother you again.

    Say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  • P. Edward Murray,

    You are more than welcome to say your peace, but please say it in charity.

    It seems you are the one struggling with your Catholic identity vs. being a Democrat.

    As for me I am not a Republican nor do I vote a clean GOP ticket.

    I’ve donated all of my money to the local democratic party and have voted for many democrats, yet I vote as a Catholic, not as a republican nor democrat.

    The life of a human being, especially an innocent child, is the utmost important issue.

    If you feel that getting a free bottle of aspirin forcibly paid by someone else is more important than the life of an innocent child, then that is between you and God.

    I’ll put you and your family in my evening prayers.

  • Catholic Anarchist,

    Your disrespectful comments and vicious attack on the writers of this website will not be tolerated.

    It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.

  • “He chastised those that would dare say the Public Option would eventually take over the Health Insurance Industry.”

    A Kool-Aid stand was set up in the lobby for those who have yet to see the light. Name ONE government program that has ever gotten smaller.

    Buehler…BUEHLER…ANYBODY ?

  • “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    “For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    Taken at face value, these comments add up to saying, essentially, that one must be a Democrat in order to be a “real” Catholic (never mind the Democrat-sponsored legalized murder of all those dead babies).

    “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    So, then, unless you support this particular version of health care reform, prepare yourself to be denied the Catholic funeral that that paragon of Catholic virtue Teddy Kennedy received.

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    Mightn’t there be an even greater number that proclaim themselves to be Catholic that are more Democrat than really Catholic? There’s a whole generation of Catholic Democrat politicians, for example, that ignore Church teaching on fundamental issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and marriage. It’s funny: I see very few pro-life Catholics who proclaim themselves members of the Republican Party as readily as this gentleman proclaims himself a Democrat. Tito’s not a Republican. I’m not a Republican. And even those who are self-proclaimed Republicans tend to be willing to vote against the party when it comes to a “pro-choice” candidate (witness Catholics Against Rudy). Sad that we don’t see that same commitment from Catholic Democrats.

    “I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion… Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor? … Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”? … For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    It’s ironic that whevever someone proclaims themselves to have a “consistent ethic of life”, it is almost ALWAYS the unborn who get short shrift, whose right to life is given a lower priority than whatever other policy issues happen to more closely coincide with that person’s own preferences. They proclaim a concern about “the least of these our brothers” without a hint of irony that they’re leaving out of the equation (or at least minimizing) the least of the least of these – the unborn.

    I agree that we should all have a consistent ethic of life. That universal access to health care – in whatever form it is delivered – is part of that consistent ethic. But as long as our culture accepts a legal regime that fails to recognize the inherent humanity in the least of the least of these our brothers, such a consistent ethic of life is impossible. And, quite frankly, a government that provides legal cover for the murder of the innocent is unfit to run anything remotely resembling health care.

    And besides, how dare anyone believe that their other policy priorities somehow take precedence over the very right to experience life that is endowed by the Creator upon the unborn? With apologies to Charles Dickens, it may be, that in the sight of Heaven, the millions of poor children in the womb have a higher priority in seeing the light of day than does someone in having the government pay for their “free” health care. So, yes, let’s have a consistent ethic of life, but let’s get our priorities straight about what that means, and stop using it as a tool for ignoring abortion in favor of a particular party’s big government agenda.

  • “It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.”

    Tito. I know. You’re going to start thinking I’m singling you out. But…the reverse happens just as frequently and just as viciously. And at least on this blog, the latter tends to be quite tolerated.

    Jay,

    I agree. Catholic Democrats really do not live up to their vocation as Catholics. Many are cowards. Many use the “seamless garment” as cover for voting for pro-choice candidates without even resisting pro-abortion legislation while performing some sort of intellectual gymnastics to distract attention from such a reality. But really, we are told that they are really pro-life because they are reducing the number of abortions by expanding access and/or funding to it.

    But…I think concerns that “other issues” — and I’m not talking about everything else on the “progressive” agenda — are unfortunately neglected, or voting for pro-life Republican candidates, which some Catholics imply is mandatory (even you choose to try to opt to not vote for anyone at all over voting for a Democrat), might strike your conscience as endorsing a number of policies that you simply do not agree with and do not believe is good for our country.

    In a sense, there is a sentiment that I don’t totally endorse — but I am very sympathetic to — is that many left-leaning Catholics feel boxed in. It is practically non-negotiable that you support a party that you fundamentally do not agree with and whom we tend to be suspicious about in regard to their commitment to actually stopping the evil of abortion — and I’m not saying the Democrats are the solution. I’m not trying to draw failure of one side to excuse the other. I am merely saying, these concerns — valid or not — usually are dismissed or there is a legitimate sentiment that right-leaning Catholics either totally reject such considerations or really don’t care. Whether that’s true or not is one thing, but it can seem that way. I repeat: it can seem that way. I’m not sure.

    But to the plight of an orthodox pro-life Catholic Democrat, I am very sympathetic. Obviously, I am one. I did not vote for Obama, but if he were pro-life, I probably would have campaigned for him.

  • If Obama were pro-life (and I mean TRULY pro-life, not Harry Reid “pro-life”), I would probably vote for him, just to reward the Democrats for nominating a pro-lifer.

    If the Democrats ever wised up to the fact that being pro-life was actually a political benefit to them, then we could really do something to end abortion in this country, and Democrats would likely become a permanent majority.

  • Eric,

    I know you personally so don’t worry, your intentions are pure and I need someone like you (I have many) to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Your comments and critiques of me are appreciated and spiritually humbling.

    🙂

    …and yes, it does go both ways, though for the moment, in my humble opinion, the GOP, conservatives, independents, and moderates are getting more of it than the liberals and democrats.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Obama spent a rather long time last night composing what I believe will be remembered as the epitaph for ObamaCare. I have never seen a more inept performance by a President addressing a joint session of Congress. He is approaching lame duck status in his first year in office with his party in overwhelming control in both chambers of Congress. In the teeth of an economic and fiscal crisis of vast proportions there is effectively no one directing the ship of state. God help us.

  • Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    With respect, Mr. Murray, that’s simply not true. It did, and it does, as Michigan Representative (and Democrat) Bart Stupak recognizes.

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1918261,00.html

    But you are absolutely right that health care is a human right, and you should have coverage. I just wish the pro-abortion pols would stop jeopardizing the possibility of health care reform with their games.

  • I think there are flaws in Obama’s proposal, I would prefer that any public option only be state- or region-level co-ops, and I’m sceptical of its ability to control healthcare costs as long as most healthcare is fee-for-service. But overall, I think it has a lot of good in it. I wish some pro-life Republicans like Chris Smith would tell Obama that they’d vote for it if it includes the Stupak amendment. With around 20 pro-life Republicans in the house supporting it and the 20 Dems who wrote the letter on abortion and healthcare, that would be enough to pass it and give it some bipartisan credentials, which Obama wants, and it would protect life.

  • You’re right about that, Zak. If the Dem leadership would be willing to maintain the status quo of no federal funding for abortion by including the Stupak amendment, then health care reform would pass with bipartisan support and the blessing of the USCCB.

    I think it telling, however, that the administration that promised to find “common ground” on abortion is not even willing to maintain the Hyde Amendment status quo, despite its being the overwhelming majority view of the American people that tax dollars should not pay for abortions.

  • I think Zak is in the ballpark with the co-ops, but as a Catholic I would rather forget the state/regional level (implies government run) and take it a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    There are the beginnings of such a move in the diocese of San Antonio TX by the Catholic Medical Association – see:

    http://www.cathmed.org/issues_resources/blog/new_guild_in_san_antonio_forming/

    Imagine a network of Catholic medical clinics around the country (and world) like the Tepeyac Family Center

    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    and Divine Mercy Pharmacy

    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Also – Catholic hospitals (like many colleges) need to reclaim their Catholic identity.

  • JB, I like that idea.

  • What these folks who keep talking about a consistent ethic of life don’t seem to get is this very simple concept:

    A consistent ethic of life begins with life.

  • Jb,

    a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    A fantastic idea. Unfortunately the current regulatory environment (ie. massive government intrusion) makes such an idea very difficult to implement.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know if it would be hard for a diocese to set up a healthcare coop that Catholics could buy into except for government demands to cover certain things. The trouble I see is when the co-op refusedto pay for contraception and gets in trouble with the government like Belmont Abbey College. One fears the government might also eventually mandate that insurance plans participating in its exchanges cover abortion too.

  • Zak,

    agreed, but there’s a lot of other issues in the state level regulations as well regarding non-discrimination and covered procedures, etc.

  • Matt – what came to me as I read your response is to reaffirm what I said about reclaiming the high ground.

    The battle cry of the feminist movement all these years has essentially been “this is MY body” – (sounds vaguely familiar), The regulations (and health care “reform”) have been a steady march towards telling people of faith that “your body has to follow our rules” regarding contraception and abortion – especially when we’re paying the bills.

    Their “solutions” to every problem is always more and more of the same thing that got us into the problem in the first place, and things continue to get worse. It’s like a person that beats their head against the wall every day because it feels so good when they stop.

    I believe that places like the Teyeyac Family Clinic and DM Pharmacy were raised up by God to say to the world “we’re getting off this merry go round”, and the result speak for themselves.

    Many of the Dr’s across the nation that have stopped prescribing contraceptives and referring / performing for abortion have initially seen their practices suffer – only to come roaring back stronger than before.

    To me – the logical place to put these kinds of places is where the people are – in the diocese. That’s how the non-profit Catholic Hospitals got their start – we need to get back to our roots.

    God will do the work if he can just find a “few good men (and women)” to enlist. Now is the time to be bold – not timid. Remember the walls of Jericho !

  • Jay,

    I’m not sure if the absence of abortion would win the bill any new votes. As far as I can tell, people object for various other reasons. But you might be quite right.

    In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

  • In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

    Amen, brother knight.

    Though at this point they are probably effectively barred from it by the fact that you can’t offer health insurance across state lines. If that were removed, and voluntary associations could form pools in the same way as employers, I would think we could see a huge amount of positive change right there.

  • Eric, Darwin… I agree, the KofC seems like an excellent means of offering health insurance. As Darwin aptly noted, they are prevented from doing so by the regulations preventing insurance across state lines. Additionally, removing health insurance coverage as an employment benefit would serve to assist in this endeavor. Voluntary associations with interstate portability… sounds like a winner to me.

Diagnosing contemporary conservatism's ills.

Monday, June 22, AD 2009

Apropos of DarwinCatholic’s post on the meaning of conservatism, the following comment from Francis Beckwith (What’s Wrong With The World) struck a chord:

“Conservatism–as a philosophical, cultural, and political project–does in fact have boundaries, and those have been set by the cluster of ideas offered by such giants as Burke, Lincoln, Chesterton, Lewis, Hayek, Chambers, Friedman, Kirk, Weaver, Gilder, Buckley, and Reagan. There are, of course, disagreements among these thinkers and their followers, but there is an identifiable stream of thought. It informs our understanding of human nature, families, civil society, just government, and markets.

“What contemporary conservatism has lost–especially in its Hannitized and Coulterized manifestations of superficial ranting–is the connection to a paternity that is necessary so that its intellectual DNA may be passed on to its progeny.

Continue reading...

16 Responses to Diagnosing contemporary conservatism's ills.

  • DEAR GOD! YES! YES! YES!

    Christopher, this is one of those moments when someone puts fragmented thoughts into coherent words.

  • This also reminds me to write that letter to FOX as to why I think Sean Hannity should just be taken off the air.

  • I confess I don’t see much of a identifiable stream of thought among the figures mentioned. Some of them, no doubt, would have been horrified at being identified with others in the group, or explicitly disclaimed any conservativism.

    The intellectual foundations of conservativism have always been something of a post hoc affair (I’m not saying this is unique to conservativism). The way people talk, you’d think the average Goldwater voter could have quoted you chapter and verse from Russell Kirk. I doubt it.

  • Perhaps our writer would like all conservatives to be nice and polite and drink tea with pinkies upended. When the world of ideas is a moshpit where knees and elbows are needed. He forgets that William F. Buckley Jr. of blessed memory, an elite by birth, used very sharp elbows and knees in public debate. Firing Line was the model for many of the Fox News programs- Buckley would invite liberal guests, only to undress them clothing article by clothing article. In the Media World, conservatives operate at a disadvantage of numbers and resources. Hannity, Coulter, et al, even with the ratings dominance of Fox, must compensate with honking rhetoric at times. Meanwhile, El Rushbo gets bigger numbers than anybody anywhere. Mostly on the strength of his ideas.

  • Blackadder — true, it’s not that cut and dry. On that note, I had recommended this introductory essay on the other thread — on the disparate influences and intellectual threads of “American conservatism” and their points of agreement.

    I found George Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 is also a good read.

    Regarding Beckwith’s criticism, while before my time, I’m disappointed that we don’t have a television show of the calibre of, say, Buckley’s Firing Line.

    The wasteland of Fox News’ “pseudo-conservative” television has to some degree been replaced by blogs and online interactions. Websites like “First Principles” and the various journals (First Things, Weekly Standard, etc.) which might encourage such a return to and examination of conservatism’s intellectual sources.

    Due credit to Ann Coulter, however — apparently she did recommend Chambers’ Witness in one of her books and prompted a number of them to take it up.

  • *laughs* Of course the TV guys aren’t known for their great philosophical arguments!

    They’re not dealing with highly philosophical folks who want to listen and reason– they’re dealing with folks who either already agree, or who are disposed *not* to agree and will only consider their words if they’re sufficiently startled.

    Sweet Mother, most of the folks watching will be results of the public school system– the same one that has more years of sex ed than history ed?

    Would we also be surprised at sidewalk preachers who appeal less with sweet reason than with ways to get your attention, then direct you to places you can get more information?

    Sure, they’re shallow– but they get the ideas out.

    I’d argue that right thought is less suited to this style of being spread, which is why left thought is so much more common in the area.

  • There has to be some kind of middle ground where we are able to firmly articulate our beliefs backed by a fairly in depth understanding of our historical roots. I’d agree with Frank and with Chris on the boorishness of Fox News and most of its talking heads, though I think he’s underestimating Laura Ingraham and, to a lesser extent, Coulter.

    What we’re seeing time and again in these blog debates are two groups kind of talking past one another. There are a group of conservatives that are tired of taking what seems to be the Marquess of Queensberry approach to political debate, and another concerned about the crassness of some of the political commentary. While I can understand the hesitation on the part of the latter group, it does seem that there’s a subtext to this debate as often the people who cry the loudest for a more temperate tone also want a more temperate kind of conservatism, one that abandons some of the core principles and policy positions of modern conservatism. This only angers the other side even more, and so the rhetoric becomes even more intemperate.

    And as much as it pains me to say this, perhaps we should stop being overly academic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong – and it’s in part necessary to understand the philosophic roots of conservatism. But we’re not going to make that many advances with master’s theses and doctoral dissertations (that was a very painful sentence to write). We should be able to convey the eternal principles of conservatism without boring the masses to sleep, but without the gutteral thoughtlessness of people like Hannity.

  • It strikes me that part of the thing here is that if one has a political movement which a larger percentage of its voters are actually interested in, it will have a fairly loud/populist tone to many of its spokespeople. One can only get away with having a calm, elite, academic tone to all debate if one’s actual voters are such absolute sheep that they don’t bother following any of the movement discussion.

    The solution is simply to have layered communication vehicles, some of which are okay with remaining small because of the limits of their appeal. Fox News and talk radio by their nature need to appeal to tens of millions of people. Magazines like National Review, American Spectator or First Things necessarily take a higher brow approach, and have a smaller appeal.

  • “Sure, they’re shallow– but they get the ideas out.”

    Well said Foxfier. People like Rush, Hannity, Levin, Ingraham and Coulter have to entertain in order to stay on the air. They also carry the conservative message to a mass audience, something that National Review and blogs simply can’t do. I would also note that when WFB started National Review it was attacked as sensationalist and boorish. I recall one initial review stating that the country needed an intelligent conservative journal but National Review clearly did not meet the bill!

    There is more than enough room in the conservative movement for both conservatives of the head and of the heart.

  • To the extent that Rush Limbaugh can communicate the core convictions and ideas of conservatives and/or the Republican Party in a popular medium, he has my wholehearted support.

    Where I get off the Limbaugh train is, say, his off-the-cuff loose cannon remarks — for example, on the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib:

    “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation, and we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it, and we’re going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?”

    and taking a cavalier “it’s not torture if you can survive it” approach to waterboarding.

    To the extent that these kind of remarks become — given his popularity (and Hannity’s, and Coulter’s, et al.) — the public face of American conservatism for the masses and the media alike, I see that as an impediment.

    And I don’t think even William Buckley himself, despite his penchant for “sharp elbows and knees”, would have approved.

  • I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.”

    So, as long as we’re talking about superficial ranting, which Buckley did plenty of times, I don’t really see the difference between him and Hannity, except that Beckwith uses him to make his alleged point.

    By the way, Beckwith compares favorably with Hannity, Coulter, et al., in his own ignorance of his tradition when he speaks of Catholicism.

  • Nemo,

    On Beckwith and his comprehension of Catholicism (as a convert to such): irrelevant and stick to the topic.

    Paul,

    Completely agree w/ your comments @ 11:03 am.

    I admit these days much of what I see — from the pundits at Fox News to the recent RNC resolution to call on the Democratic Party to rename itself “Democrat Socialist Party” to Michael Steele’s “the GOP needs a Hip Hop makeover!” and rationally-challenged articulation of pro-life principles — makes me wince.

  • I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.”

    Buckley once called Vidal a queer during a heated exchange in which Vidal had referred to him as a crypto-Nazi. I doubt it was an exchange he wished others to emulate.

  • In regard to Michael Steele Christopher, we are in complete agreement. The man can’t seem to make up his own mind as to what he believes, let alone lead the RNC!

  • It’s on youtube if you’d like to see it in context, too.

    Frankly, I can’t say an accurate sexual slur rises to the level of offense of “you are a wanna-be mass murdering, eugenically-minded quasi-pagan trying to take over the world.” Not very productive, but I’d have offered to clobber the tootaloo too.

  • “I believe it was William F. Buckley, he of the upended pinky and refined manners, who referred to Gore Vidal as a “fa___t.” ”

    Buckley said it on nation-wide television, although he used the term “queer”.

    Here is a link to the video and the transcript:

    http://concordlive.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/william-f-buckley-jr-vs-gore-vidal-1968/

    As far as I know Buckley never expressed any regret for what he said, and considering it was said to Gore Vidal, good novelist but rancid human being, leaving completely aside his sexual preference, I can understand why.