Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

Monday, January 4, AD 2010

When Cardinal George requested that pro-life Republicans vote for the Stupak amendment to the health care bill, he was shaming conservative American legislators that they need to stand up for what they claim in public.  Cardinal George discounted reasonable Republican objections  that this was just a ploy by Nancy Pelosi to get pro-life Democrats on board knowing full well that all pro-life language would be stripped in the joint chambers conference committee.

Was Cardinal George this naive to fall for this parliamentary trick?  Can we assume he isn’t this naive?

No, Cardinal George is not this naive because why would the Vatican choose him to lead a diocese?  The Vatican certainly takes its time to make wise and knowledgeable decisions don’t they?  The Holy Spirit guides them in their work, granted that this is done primarily through the teachings of the Church.  Though we can be reasonable enough knowing that the Vatican wouldn’t choose someone who is incompetent to be a shepherd to his flock.

Continue reading...

29 Responses to Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

  • Well, this is no excuse for the Cardinal — but the Republicans who thought about not voting for Stupak were acting on a consequentialist impulse. For all they knew, Pelosi could have had the votes and by their miscalculation, a bill with Capps language could have left the chamber when it could have gone differently.

    You don’t vote “present” and leave the unborn undefended on the presumption that such a provision would be stripped from the final bill. That’s consequentialism. You vote for the provision because it is the morally right thing to do regardless of the circumstances. I agree with the Cardinal because the GOP was behaving according to a moral theory (one that they tend to follow a lot in my view) that is deeply flawed.

    The fact that the Cardinal has not used his position to make statements toward members of the opposite party is open and free for criticism.

    I just don’t think the Republican objections were reasonable — it was a strategy to fight the health care legislation by any means, to the point of compromising basic ethics.

  • Moreover the writer you cite — whose views obviously differ from my own — far from just being partisan in his presenation, which I have no qualms with per se, but it is obviously clear he has not done his homework.

    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99578

    Last I checked, the USCCB has not endorsed the final passage of the health care reform legislation. Actually, the opposite is true.

  • But I do believe the GOP was right to vote against it. The Dems simply didn’t have the votes to begin with. They went against their better judgment, but got out-foxed by Cardinal George.

  • Eric,

    I know the opposite is true, but why the silence on behalf of Cardinal George?

    What will the USCCB do if the bill passes with abortion being funded by the federal government? Will they oppose that one particular premise yet hail the rest of the bill as “good” for America? Splitting the difference, but compromising their moral authority and hence cause a scandal to the whole Church?

  • Well, I will maintain my civil disagreement. I think such a position incorrectly applies natural law norms. In fact, the angered response of pro-life organizations at the news of the GOP helping a pro-life measure sink was quite appropriate.

    The Democrats did not appear to have the votes, sure. But what if for some reason they did? And we did not forsee it? Who forsaw even after the legislation passed in the House that it would survive the Senate hurdle?

    I agree entirely with Represenative Pitts who after the legislation passed, together with pro-life House Democrats and Republicans, reiterated you do not play politics with human life. The unborn should not be subjected to some consequentialist political gamble to stop legislation that one opposes. You vote for the unborn and do everything within the restraints of the moral law to stop bad legislation. I think to act otherwise amounts to moral compromise.

  • Thanks for being civil!

    🙂

  • I have no idea. I’m not speaking in favor of Cardinal George. I am sometimes disheartened because I believe Republicans get a “pass” from pro-life Catholics often because of their opposition to abortion. So, I sometimes see such a thing as “finally.” On the other hand, when it stops for the other side that is problematic — we cannot have a double-standard, which is the very thing I oppose. So I am not defending the Cardinal in that regard — only in his initial criticism.

    The USCCB will surely speak out against the bill. I think they would actively in the Midterm elections advocate that Catholics be conscious of candidates’ position on that issue.

    If anything, the USCCB — if happy with the other provisions in the legislation — would only want the abortion language changed. In other words, roll back the abortion funding only.

  • wow, excellent post. Very revealing..and sad at the same time. If our Catholic leaders don’t stand up for the unborn, who will?

  • Eric,

    I’m with you on that.

    Though the USCCB has criticized the current bill in the Senate, so they deserve that recognition.

    I’m waiting to see the final outcome and see how they respond.

  • Chicago political blogger Tom Roeser has long asserted that the Archdiocese of Chicago is for all practical purposes a subsidiary of the Cook County Democratic Party (which he refers to as “The Squid”). Perhaps that would explain why Cardinal George saves his criticism for Republicans?

    Roeser is a very conservative Catholic (politically and liturgically) and I don’t always agree with everything he says, but he may be onto something here. Here is a recent post by him on this topic:

    http://www.tomroeser.com/blogview.asp?blogID=25127

    I note that the two staunchly pro-life auxiliary bishops he names as having voted in the Republican primary are the two most often mentioned as prospective candidates for just about every episcopal vacancy that has come up in the last few years….

  • Eric,

    I agree that one can never vote for the creation or increase of abortion funding. Moral prohibitions bind, as the latin says, semper et pro semper. But must one always vote against such funding, if one can absent oneself from voting at all? Moral exhortations don’t bind the way prohibitions do. You can never steal, but you can refrain from making a contribution to the poor at times. You can never contracept, but you don’t have to be trying to get pregnant at every moment.

    You raise an important point, and I think it’s worth discussing.

  • Strategically, the Republicans should have voted against the amendmendment. However, the bill passing without the amendment would have placed them in an ethical dilemma and I can see whey they voted for it.

    My outrage is at Pelosi and the top Democrats for using the abortion issue as a bargaining tool to pass healthcare legislation. The bishops should be more outspoken about this point.

  • I don’t see the problem. The bishops opposed the House’s expansion of abortion, and the pro-life congressmen voted against it (actually, voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment which blocked it). The bishops again opposed it in the Senate, and were unsuccessful. When the final bill comes to Congress, if it increases abortion, the bishops (and, I hope, a sufficient number of congressmen) will oppose it.

    It’s not the bishops’ duty to anticipate political maneuvers. Indeed, if the bishops denounced the Stupak Amendment on the suspicion that it would be dropped in conference, that would only weaken their voices. They’ve been clear: nay on abortion coverage.

  • Where is it written that the bishops’ consciences must be represented by the USCCB? If every bishop wrote to the representatives and senators from his district and spoke to the people of his diocese, that would certainly have more effect than the words of the [arch]bishop of Chicago. As Abp. Chaput put it neatly “bishops should not be speaking to politicians. They should be speaking to their flock and the flock speaking to the politicians”.

    Cardinal George is not a sort of American pope.

    The problem, I suppose, is that our bishops have lost much of their credibility with the sheep because of the cover-ups in the sex scandals.

    As far as morality goes, it is the personal effort that counts with Our Lord, not indirect government roles. [“I gave at the office”]. Such problems are best solved locally and one by one.

  • Gabriel,

    I am pointing out he hypocrisy of Cardinal George’s actions, or non-actions.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    I agree though that if the bishops would act more like ‘bishops’ rather than being someone’s friend or a Democratic Party groupie, they would gain the trust and respect of the laity and this country would be in a much better shape than it is now.

  • Lest anyone forget the USCCB sent out flyers to parishes across the country urging parishioners to oppose any healthcare plan that included abortion coverage.

    As Eric and other posters have also pointed out, the Bishops have been adamant about Stupak being included in the bill; this is as far as they have gone, and, frankly, is about as far as they can (and probably should) go, politically speaking. Questions about the intricacies of actual healthcare policy (will a public option work or not, etc.) are not “do or die” moral questions like abortion and euthanasia, but fall to the expertise of individual politicians to decide. It is best for the USCCB to remain nuetral on such matters while insisting that the allowance of any moral evil in the bill (abortions, etc.) impels a legislator to vote against it – which is exactly what they’ve been doing!

    Where is their any proof that Cardinal George is either for or against the House healthcare bill as passed? This article has nothing but speculation – where are the words of C. George himself that imply he supports the Pelosi bill? Did he ask parishioners to unconditionally support a bill that included the Stupak amendment? No. He merely asked that the lives of babies and their mothers take priority over political victories – hence the strong support for Stupak. Eric, Pinky, and Rep. Pitts are right. To vote “no” on Stupak as an amendment is to vote against the unborn – it’s placing a potential political victory ahead of the lives of the unborn.

    I have personally congratulated many people in the Chicago Archdiocese who worked with the Cardinal on this and I asked them to forward my accolades and gratitude to him. I find his actions to be heroic, not cowardly – partisan shill C. George is not, and this article is at best misinformed, at worst a calumny.

  • Andy K.,

    It’s interesting that you accuse me of speculation.

    I made a concerted effort to only report the facts, withholding my opinion.

    He was vociferous in demanding pro-life Republicans vote for the health care amendment, though he is dead silent when it gets revised in the Senate.

    And yes, you are correct, Cardinal George has been conspicuously silent about the bill.

    My speculations are reserved for the commbox. And I will only say he has continued to do nothing at all.

    And having the USCCB send out flyers is not the role of a bishop, ie, hide behind a bureaucratic organization.

    Where are our shepherds?

    Where is our Saint Ambrose?

  • Tito’s final question reminds me that we need to be *praying* for courageous bishops. Frankly, I think that’s the most effective avenue available to the vast majority of us.

  • Chris B.,

    I wish I could have said that.

    You’re right, lets pray for our bishops.

  • I’m with Eric and the Stupakites on this one. It’s hard to say what the result of trying to play it strategically would have been, but gutting the bill of a clearly-worded rejection of abortion would have been a recognized defeat for life.

  • These so-called health care bills are so horrible and anti-Christian and anti-American that abortion is not the only reason to oppose and destroy them. Since abortion is an intrinsically evil act it must be opposed no matter what political ploys are being used.

    To be in favor of these monstrosities is to discount the massive evil perpetrated by every government that has ever entered into this arena. It is foolish to think the National (oh, how I wish it were actually federal and respected subsidiarity) government we are burdened with will be any less evil.

    Cardinal George needs our prayers and it is prudential for us to ask our own bishop to condemn these bills with the politicians he shepherds. Cardinal George is one bishop he is not he bishop of the USA. The USCCB is useless organization.

  • I’m sorry, but this post is ridiculous.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    OK? So? Good thing for Holy Church that Tito Edwards or Ryan Haber (me), despite all we know, aren’t heads over the Catholic Church.

    The simple fact is, as Eric pointed out, that to vote “present” on the Stupak Amendment would be a reprehensible parliamentarism worthy of our esteemed president. A rep can vote YES on Stupak and then NO on the final bill. That’s no problem, and no contradiction.

    Why hasn’t Cardinal George spoken out? I don’t know? I don’t have a bat phone to his office. Why does American Catholic seem to be so much more concerned with him than with some other bishop? What’s their deal? What has Cardinal George ever done to aid or abet abortionists? Where’s benefit of the doubt? Where’s Christian charity in interpreting others’ actions?

    Where’s a sense of deference to the men that GOD, not men, has ordained to lead his flock?

    Good grief. I’m gettin’ pretty tired of everybody knowing just how the Catholic Church should be shepherded. It’s really easy to do somebody else’s job. How armchair quarterbacks actually think they are actually helping anybody is entirely beyond me.

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for your charitable comment concerning my post.

    I have no deference to Cardinal George because he is not my shepherd, Cardinal DiNardo and Pope Benedict are my shepherds, but I do have deference to him as a leader of the flock. I hope he understands what his actions look like when he speaks out. He seems more as a vibrant supporter of health care as an ardent Democrat rather than a Catholic concerned for the well being of his flock.

    Plus Cardinal George spoke up, the only one of all the bishops that said anything to cajole the GOP to vote for the Stupak amendment.

    God bless you my brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • withouthaving seen,

    I guess avoiding parlimentarianism is good if the Supak language stays in the final version. The way the bill is being dealt with now I wouldn’t be so sure. And who’s to say that legislation down the road won’t put it in.

    As far as shepharding is concerned, teaching moral principles is properly the role of the bishops, applying it to the world is the proper domain of the laity. I think some criticism of the USCCB and, possibly, Cardinal George is warranted.

  • Lol, Tito, it doesn’t matter if he were the bishop of Timbuktu, he’d still be successor to an apostle and worthy of the respect of the likes me and you!

    I know that Cardinal George, much like the Church in general, gets trashed by all sides. That, in my opinion, wins him the benefit of the doubt from me.

    To clarify, when I wrote “this post is ridiculous,” I did not mean your comment in particular, Tito, but rather the initial article and the whole thread of follow-ups.

    Stupak and a number of others are threatening to kill the bill altogether if they can, rather than let it pass with abortion funding. Remember, reconciliation and closed-door meetings aren’t the final step. The suits on the hill still have to vote again and both houses have to pass it, and I see no reason why it will be a perfunctory vote in the House of Reps, where the Democrat coalition is shaky, to put it mildly.

    Phillip,

    The USSCB might very well need criticism, as might H.E. Francis Card. George. I know far less about their affairs than they do, and if I knew as much, I still would have a hard time seeing how Christ has ordained me to criticize his ordained ministers.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for the clarification 🙂

    I was careful to point out what Cardinal George did in the post without offering an opinion.

    I placed my opinion only in the commbox because I still don’t know where Cardinal George’s heart is. Is it with the Democratic Party or is it in the Bride of Christ?

  • withouthavingseen,

    Criticize in a constructive way as the non-ordained Catherine of Sienna did the Avignon pope. Truth is truth. The laity has a better sense of the secular order. If there is a problem that the laity discerns in the prudential judgments of the clergy as relates to the secular order, they are within their licit Catholic rights to criticize those prudential judgments of clergy.

  • Thank you for this good commentary. I have been contemplating some of these questions, too. I have written to my Bishop and the USCCB, but there is only silence. Our Parish has sent out a FAX to all the Bishops with our concerns of the health care reform. To my knowledge, only one Bishop responded to the Fax. I have pondered why there is only a handful of bishops who have spoken on the the Church’s teachings of subsidiarity in regards to the health care bill and government take-over. The Stupak Amendment is not 100% pro-life and there is more than abortions which is very troubling in the House and the Senate health care bills. Should not the Bishops be concerned with all the life issues in the health care reform i.e. abortions, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, rationing, sterilization, teen clinics run by planned parenthood, contraceptions, cloning, or any injustice? Certainly, health care can be improved, but it does not require a government take over with individual mandates and loss of freedoms. Any health care reform should do no harm before doing any good. With all the haste, bribery and lack of transparency, I would certainly think this 2000 page plus health care reform is to be avoided. September 2009 I went to a town-hall meeting and my Congressman said this was not about health care but about government take-over and control. I believe he is right.

  • Pingback: USCCB and John Carr In Denial « The American Catholic

Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

Sunday, September 6, AD 2009

Obama Adviser Resigns

Van Jones resigned under pressure from conservatives and Republicans as more information leaked out concerning the character of his person.

After insulting Republicans and being found out as a “Truther”, someone who believes President Bush allowed 9/11 to occur, his past transgressions and militant associations became to much for the Obama administration to bear.

Being a self-avowed Communist and a black nationalist also contributed to his downfall despite the mainstream medias blackout of reporting any news that may harm President Obama.  In the end the American people were able to relay their displeasure at another Obama mishap without ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post doing their best at doing a horrible job of journalism.

This says a lot about President Obama’s character and vetting process.  Especially after spending 20 years attending the racist Jeremiah Wright’s church and his ties to the Weatherman Underground terrorists, it is becoming troubling that our own president even associates with people of such poor character.

A bitter and disturbed Van Jones wrote in his resignation letter that ordinary Americans are “… using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”jimmy-carter

It not only looks like our president shows signs of incompetence, but he also makes some pretty poor choices when it comes to choosing members of his administration.  His vetting process is a lark and the rest of America is finally realizing the nightmare we have on our hands.

Jimmy Carters second term.

_._

To read more on Van Jone’s resignation go to the Washington Times article by Christina Bellantoni by clicking here.

Continue reading...

21 Responses to Obama Green Czar Van Jones Resigns Under Pressure

  • Van Jones definitely did not have the background or the socio-political character for a job in the administration, but as far as I know …

    1. All presidents have problems vetting especially below cabinet level staffers.
    2. CNN actually described some aspects of this guy two days ago, but I agree they have been slow to investigate farther. I saw Glenn Beck’s piece on him and though I don’t respect his opinions or his sophomoric style, he did show some video that we would not have seen on other networks.
    3. Obama will have to go a long way to equal the two presidents who had the worst appointee records (resignations plus indictments) – Reagan and Bush 43.
    4. Obama is finding that his policy of not hiring former lobbyists (except for 2 notable exceptions) has made filling job vacancies more difficult than he expected.
    5. It seems over the top to call this incompetence. Incompetence was installing the Shah of Iran, the Iran-Contra scandal, not being honest with the American public before invading Iraq and then doing so with half the needed number of troops. Those are examples of real incompetence and those examples have far more dire moral consequences than not adequately vetting Van Jones.

    Regarding Beck’s expose, even given the fact that his more militant background was a terrible choice for someone in the WH (and I haven’t really seen the proof yet), the video of Van Jones discussing the changes that have occurred in the environmental movement are actually quite well described. Beck did his smart-alleckey-6th-grader-who-knows-everything best at rolling his eyes in his little picture-in-picture box when Van Jones explained to some audience somewhere that the environmental movement has gone through three phases so far. The preservation phase, which was the initial Teddy Roosevelt / John Muir phase of sectioning off large areas of land to preserve landscapes and specific species. Then in the 1960’s was the war against toxics – with the clean air and water acts ( signed by Nixon of course), that was initiated by Rachel Carson (not “Carlson” like Beck kept mispronouncing).

    Both of these have ended up being pretty important and very popular phases, unless of course you just don’t believe the government has any role to play in anything other than the courts and the military. But at least 70% of the American public perennially supports these kinds of environmental laws and regulations because most people either feel a moral obligation to being responsible to the land or to people down wind, or they see the personal economic and health advantages in having a cleaner environment. Yet Beck twisted his face and rolled his eyes as if they were the dumbest things he had ever heard.

    The last phase that Van Jones mentioned was I’m sure the one that Beck and many objectivists probably thought was the most objectionable, that the big thing now is “environmental justice.” It certainly sounds forbiddingly academic and liberal, and that is probably how Beck interprets it, but it actually just means that people are just as important if not more so than the environment and that environmental degradation tends to most severely affect the poor and least powerful in society. This is far more interesting and important than it may seem at first.

    The idea is that environmentalists have spent so much time trying to protect mountains and regulate acid rain and save the whales, that people have been ignored. This is a pretty sophisticated and realistic blend of conservative and liberal values that is quite powerful. Van Jones’ background meant that he often (I guess, I only saw one clip, but that is obviously enough to condemn him in the minds of most people) saw this as rich white people putting chemical plants and mine tailings in communities of people of color. That is a dramatic overstatement, but it also happens to coincide with facts. It is of course more of a matter of poor communities of every race or ethnic group that ends up accepting the wastes of the affluent communities. And it is mostly the rural who have to have the coal plants or the wind turbines or the vast solid waste dumps that service the urban centers.

    Just think of THIS juxtaposition. It is often the more conservative rural communities that absorb the problems of the perhaps more liberal urban populace and the largely mixed suburban communities. This environmental ethic pushes back on the affluent Greenpeace model of environmentalism – the cadillac environmentalists – the kind that some feel Gore represents. This should be something that someone like Beck should learn about, rather than smirk at.

    This new phase in environmentalism is a far more compelling and based upon a more sophisticated morality than the early forms of environmentalism and I think would be a great thing for Catholics to investigate. There are the Native Americans, loggers and ranchers who sometimes get kicked off land rather than allowed to be stewards of the land. We see the poor in LA breathe the toxic fumes of chemical plants while the rich of LA preserve their beach front views. The list becomes incredibly long when we see both corporations and governments force indigenous peoples out of lands so that they can be clear cut and then ruined or turned into vast national parks, both of which are not sustainable without people living in them.

    As bad as Van Jones was, he did at least articulate this phase and it means there is at least a more sophisticated discussion of environmental policies in the White House than has been there before. I just hope that conservatives can learn about this and see the ethics and basic decency of it before merely seeing it as just another liberal means of government intrusion.

    Too bad that whole message gets lost in the political gotcha-ism that makes for more compelling TV.

  • Tomorrow’s news:

    Van Jones was pushed out because he’s black.

  • Not since Joe McCarthy shuffled off this mortal coil in 1957 has anyone made a career by accusing people of being communists. Glenn Beck has resurrected the practice. Not only has he found a cabal of secret communists, he has uncovered an entire communist corporation chock full of commies. The name of this company, you may ask?

    THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY!

    You heard me right, boys and girls. The network that gave us Uncle Miltie and Ma Perkins has apparently been secretly sending subliminal messages endorsing Marxist doctrine since it was formed in 1926. This would make perfect sense to me. Every time I watched the Rockford Files I had an unexplainable desire to read Das Kapital. But seriously, folks. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, red baiting not only seems silly, it’s also kind of nuts. It’s not-at-all surprising that an organization would give this idiot a forum (after all, he’s on FOX Noise). What’s really stunning is the fact that his ratings are relatively high and that so many Americans take his word as gospel.

    All kidding aside, half-witted ideologues are a dime a dozen. What separates Glenn Beck from his peers is the fact that he is doing some serious damage to the country he professes to love so much. For all of the comparisons to the Nazis he likes to make with regard to Liberals, Beck’s program has much in common with Adolf Hitler’s 1923 screed, Mein Kampf. Eighty-six years ago, Hitler attempted to arouse the anger of his fellow Germans by spouting half truths and utter nonsense – exactly what Glenn Beck is doing in 2009. So much of the insane dialogue that has been spewed forth at these Town Hall meetings across the country in recent weeks might have been lifted straight from a transcript of any of Beck’s programs.

    Beck and his twisted ilk have done the seemingly impossible. They have deflected the blame for America’s current economic distress toward Barack Obama. An incredible feat when you take into consideration the fact that the President is one of the few people in government today whose guilt in the matter is almost nil. They have also let loose with a vengeance the very worst angels of the American nature. Opening this Pandora’s box was relatively easy. Closing it might prove to be a bit of a problem.

    Deep in their hearts
    They do believe
    That they shall undermine someday….

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  • So it’s Glenn Beck’s fault that Obama hired a 9/11 truther? Wow, the left really is a wreck today.

  • Methinks Mr. Degan is googling “Van Jones” and spamming this Beck Derangement Syndrome essay far and wide today. Appears very generically ranty and Kos talking-pointish.

    A bigger question is by what lights can the President can assign $30bn from the public fisc to someone who doesn’t have to be confirmed? The czar proliferation could use a legislative rollback or at the very least a court challenge.

  • Apparently “personal responsibility” is not in the vocabulary of liberal extremists.

    It’s always someone elses fault and not their own.

  • Tito — I suppose I’m infamous for pointing out intellectual double standards but that works both ways in the game of politics. You always blame the other side…

  • ‘You always blame the other side’ is a general statement, not an accusatory one.

  • I agree that the proliferation of “czars” is a problem and that this administration has obviously created more than any other. However I also think that there are real and obvious reasons behind it. The size and complexity of American society has grown at an alarming and almost unnatural rate. The government has grown in size, as seen in the budget, at a similar rate, but has not grown in terms of sophistication. This of course gives adequate fuel for some conservatives to say that the government is far bigger than in 1776 … well, yeah, but so has Wall Street and so has multi-national companies and so has the military and so has the media, etc. Everything is bigger and more complicated.

    Just think of this – even as the population has doubled over the last few decades, and the economy (GNP) has increased several fold, the number of senators, supreme court justices, presidents and cabinet officials have either not changed or changed relatively slowly. Thus when President Nixon saw energy issues as being of such importance and complexity that he did not think the bureaucracy was sufficient he appointed William Simon to be the first “czar” (Time magazine’s term) for a Federal Energy Administration. President Bush assigned William Bennet, the nations first “drug czar” for similar reasons – someone who could push an agenda, but was not stuck in the bureaucracy and thus more independent of the supervisory, management and budgetary responsibilities of the cabinet members.

    Thus liberal and conservative presidents have found “czars” to be useful tools for getting things done and circumventing the traditional territoriality of the more formal departments in government. It is the way presidents can fight bureaucratic gridlock and seem to be more effective, but unfortunately this means they also go without much oversight. Cheney was sort of his own personal national security “czar” when he felt that the State Dept., the CIA and the FBI were not doing the job – with obvious questionable results.

    So as a liberal who tries to be honest and consistent, I think Obama is trying to do too much and is using quicker means to get things done. This has the Van Jones effect of having people in some role of government without legislative oversight and without thorough vetting. I think he should stop creating any more czars, but I also believe that traditional government systems have not adequately evolved to properly keep up with the problems of our hugely diverse economy.

    Tito, “personal responsibility” is absent in the vocabulary of all extremists, that’s why they are called extremists. I’m not sure if you were targeting anyone in particular, but it is not unreasonable to view Glen Beck as an extremist.

    paul, I don’t see anyone as saying it was “Glenn Beck’s fault that Obama hired a 9/11 truther.” So I’m not sure what you mean. It is Glen Beck’s is personally responsible for the accuracy of his claims and the legitimacy of his arguments. My quarrel with Beck is that he is intellectually dishonest, blindly sees only his side of an argument as being moral and uses the tactics of a snarky 6th grader to mock people that he disagrees with.

  • Once again though politics gets in the way of the bigger issues. We need a reasonable, non-partisan way to make decisions on environmental issues and both Van Jones and Glen Beck’s radical politics and character have hurt the cause of honest debate.

  • BTW Andy, no one that I have heard or seen in any media outlet has said that Van Jones was ousted or targeted because of race. I hope we and you are now beyond those easy prejudices and one-liners.

  • MacGregor,

    I don’t believe Glenn Beck would fall under extremist.

    Unless of course he believes Obama isn’t a US citizen and referred to Democrats in a profane manner.

  • My quarrel with Beck is that he is intellectually dishonest, blindly sees only his side of an argument as being moral and uses the tactics of a snarky 6th grader to mock people that he disagrees with.

    Ummm, you just described yourself Mac. I’m not sure what your quarrel with Beck is then.

  • tomdegan’s first line made me laugh.

    Van Jones: I am a Communist.

    Glenn Beck: Van Jones is a Communist.

    The Left: Smears! Wingnut lies! McCarthyism!

  • Paul,

    Could you clarify where you think MacGregor was being ‘intellectually dishonest’? I wasn’t in agreement with all of his points, but they seemed honest enough to me.

  • I can only wonder how many others like Jones are quietly scattered throughout this administration.

    Odd, how President Obama once again finds himself linked to a radical leftist. I’m starting to think it may not be a coincidence.

    Mr. H
    http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/

  • I’m sorry paul, but I have spent way too much time typing arguments and links to ideas that i feel have been honest and largely ignored by you already and so describing Beck’s inaccurate propositions/claims, slanted views, logically invalid arguments and juvenile debate techniques would take far too long.

    If you don’t see it for yourself, then I guess one of us is completely blind and I doubt you would question yourself, so thanks for the debate such as it was.

    Donna: There have been plenty of smears on both sides. Van Jones was/is? a communist. Communists can be decent people (they even can be Catholic) and are not a threat to the American way, but they are not good choices for office in the US govt. and so he is gone. Yay, maybe we can get oil company executives to run our energy policy again! ; )

    BTW T. Boone Pickens had a very good talk on energy on C-Span yesterday for anyone interested in a mega-capitalist who works well with Obama and Reid and found the Republicans of the last 8 years to be pretty useless. Other extremely wealthy and pro-business folks like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison and many others actually agree with Obama’s view of the economy and taxes, while the high priest of Reaganomics at the Fed for years, Alan Greenspan (student of Ayn Rand) admitted to the mistakes of his trickle-down, laissez faire, supply-side economic philosophy during his comments to congress last October.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27335454/

    Sorry that these are msnbc and nbc links, but couldn’t find any FOX video.

    Just a few examples of people who know far more about the economy and capitalism than Glenn Beck. Beck is really just a comic who has gotten a shtick.

    As for Beck’s extemism too many YouTube videos and so little time.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI_0Kt_e3Go

    Here is Beck’s juvenile snarkiness …

  • Sorry, somehow the last YouTube is not the one I thought I had put in for “snarkiness” because he wasn’t snarky there. Wow, I didn’t know these actually got imbedded in posts like that.

  • but I have spent way too much time typing arguments

    No kidding.

  • MacGregor: You’re much more charitable to the movement that murdered 100 million people in the last century than you are to Beck. Jones certainly doesn’t give Republicans (“***holes”) the benefit of the doubt.

    “Communists can be decent people.” Sorry, I take issue with that. If someone truly knows the history of Communism and the crimes committed by the followers of Marx and still calls him or herself a Communist, then no, that person is not decent. You might as well talk of decent Nazis.

    May I suggest reading “The Black Book of Communism?”

    Slurs on both sides, my foot. I am unfamiliar with Beck (I don’t have cable), but the “right wing slurs” in this case consisted of accurately quoting Jones.