Still Want to Defend Romney and Bain?

Wednesday, January 11, AD 2012

People are crying crocodile tears about Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry attacking Mitt’s record with Bain Capital.  While I think some of the rhetoric has been excessive, I also don’t think this line of attack is completely out of line.  As conservatives we tend to reflexively defend all market institutions without first considering that some institutions are a little shady.  Moreover, I find it incredibly amusing that people are using this as a cudgel against Gingrich and Perry when Romney was the one who attacked Perry from the left on social security and basically charged him with wanting to take people’s social security away.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Whether or not you think this line of attack on Romney is fair, Mitt is going to have to come up with a better line of defense than this:

On the heels of his decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney took the attacks on his private sector record used by GOP rivals and turned them against President Obama.

Romney’s critics have accused him of destroying jobs in order to increase profits for his investment firm, Bain Capital, but speaking Wednesday on CBS, Romney said that what he did was no different from the Obama administration’s auto industry bailouts.

“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business,” Romney said Wednesday on CBS.

This is a preemptive strike against a potential line of attack in the general election, but does Mitt really want to imply that what he did was not much different than what Obama did with the bailouts?  He’s already got Romneycare hanging around his neck, and now he’s volunteering a comparison with President Obama that most conservatives are not going to find flattering.

Hey, Mitt, you haven’t sewn up the nomination quite yet.  You might want to keep that in mind before opening your mouth again.

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14 Responses to Still Want to Defend Romney and Bain?

  • Cronyism or crony capitalism is wrong no matter the party of those who do it. I want the Amendment forcing Congress to give up insider trading and having them live by the rules they set for the rest of us! (Of course, I’d require the penalty for a Congresscritter violating this to be citizenship forfeiture.)

  • Laughing, David Axelrod said, “I love it when conservatives trash capitalism!”

    How to stay healthy when obama gets re-elected: don’t get old. (see Instapundit)

  • Yes.

    All the pundits are talking about is how Obama is going to run ads quoting Newt and Perry attacking Romney’s time at Bain. I can excuse Perry because he’s a child. Newt knows better. He just doesn’t care because he’s a horrible person.

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  • It is good that Mr Gingrich is falling on his sword to take out the crony capitalists. Such men as Neutron Jack who squeezed “efficiencies” by firing janitors and destroying middle-income pesitions and Carl Icahn – who mutilated a high-tech icon like Motorola should be spoken of in terms reserved for rapists and child molesters.

    David Axelrod said, “I love it when conservatives trash capitalism!”
    He wont be laughing so hard when the guns are trained on Obama, beholden as he is to Wall Street, Solyndra and Jeff Immelt.

  • Over at a more liberal blog, there’s a discussion about why business experience or governing experience even matters. The president can’t repeal a single mandate. In other words, he can’t change what government does, at all. He can hire and fire but how much experience do you need for that? Governing experience seems even less useful. The president’s legislative authority is probably better utilized by someone with congressional experience.

    Also, Obama will have 4 years of executive experience including foreign policy experience, something that Romney has none of. So really does the experience argument hold any water?

  • It is good that Mr Gingrich is falling on his sword to take out the crony capitalists. Such men as Neutron Jack who squeezed “efficiencies” by firing janitors and destroying middle-income pesitions and Carl Icahn – who mutilated a high-tech icon like Motorola should be spoken of in terms reserved for rapists and child molesters.

    1. The word is ‘positions’.

    2. Carl Icahn has been a minority shareholder of one of the two successor companies to Motorola. He did not have a controlling interest.

    3. A ‘crony capitalist’ is one who is able to extract rents derived from his connections to government officials. That does not describe Mr. Icahn or Mr. Romney even in your renderings.

  • He can hire and fire but how much experience do you need for that? Governing experience seems even less useful.

    1. Read Jim Manzi’s posts on The American Scene on this subject three years ago.

    2. Read John Dean’s memoir of the Nixon Administration, Ron Nessen’s account of the Ford Administration, and Richard Nathan’s The Plot that Failed on the Nixon Administration. Contrast what you read with contemporary news reports on the Reagan Administration’s inner workings.

    The president’s legislative authority is probably better utilized by someone with congressional experience.

    Of which Obama had very little.

    Also, Obama will have 4 years of executive experience including foreign policy experience, something that Romney has none of. So really does the experience argument hold any water?

    Yes, and we have been watching how he performed.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time.

  • I was expecting more from Manzi’s post. All he did was lay out correlating facts based on past presidents. Anybody care to explain why business experience matters or how governing experience is any more useful than legislative experience?

  • What is GE worth now? As others have pointed out Neutron Jack bailed out exactly at the right time to keep his reputation as the greatest manager since Josef Stalin intact ie just before Sep 11. The secular trend in the stock markets when he was around would have doubled GE’s value without any effort on his part. Corporate raiders such as Icahn do nothing to enhance the technical competence of companies such as Motorola. Their gambit is to come in as minority shareholders and spread discontent among the other shareholders. Pandering to greed they sow discord in the management ranks. The suitably riled shareholders then prevail on the paternalistic ruling family – in this case the Galvins to move with the times. The upshot is Motorola loses its technological lead as the engineers and salesmen are forced to count beans and watch their backs. And all for nothing, as Motorola soon found out after the locusts left – loosing its lead in both communications and computing.

    Agreed that I used the term “crony capitalist” erroneously.

    Pres Lincoln would have called the wrath of the Prophets down on Icahn, T Roosevelt would have lashed him onto the back of his horse, Howard Taft ridden over him with a water buffalo, Eisenhower would have included a dark reference to such “capitalists” in his farewell speech and Nixon would have ordered a nationalisation. I do not see why the Republican Party of these presidents should carry water for such people.

  • Anybody care to explain why business experience matters or how governing experience is any more useful than legislative experience?

    That may be the most obtuse question I have been posed in the last six months.

  • RR,

    As someone who works for the Executive Branch, I can tell you that these things matter more than you can imagine. There is tremendous wiggle room in the way federal law is interpreted, implemented, and enforced down at the agency level. And some of it (not all) flows down from the Chief Executive. The chain of command matters greatly, because it is their expertise at managing or lack thereof that will affect all kinds of people.

  • Unless you’re a cabinet-level official, the president himself doesn’t affect your job much. The department head calls the day-to-day shots. Sure, it’s important for a president to be able to work with his cabinet but much more important are the president’s legislative and commander-in-chief functions. In terms of legislation, LBJ, former Senate minority leader, is considered one of the most successful presidents. One of the most successful commander-in-chiefs was FDR who was Assistant Secretary of the Navy for 7 years (back when the Navy was it’s own cabinet-level department).

  • Remind me again, how many bondholders did Bain stiff and how much of its money was looted from the taxpayers?

Newt Gingrich Attacks Fashionable Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Sunday, January 8, AD 2012

I assume that only hard core political junkies like me watched the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate last night which is a shame.  All of the candidates acquitted themselves well, including Ron Paul who came across as avuncular Uncle Ron, instead of crazy Uncle Ron.  Go here for a first rate overview of the debate.  It was a debate heavy on substance and each of the candidates dealt with the questions adequately.  I think Rick Santorum, who had quite a bit more air time last night than he did in previous debates, did himself a lot of good.   However, the standout moment of the debate came when Newt Gingrich dealt with a question about gay marriage.  The question was phrased as one would expect by denizens of the mainstream press, asking the candidates how they would talk to a gay couple who wanted to get married.  When Gingrich’s turn came, he was having none of it.

“I just want to raise the point about the news media bias,” Gingrich said. “You don’t hear the opposite question asked.

“Should the Catholic church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?” Mr. Gingrich asked.

Mr. Gingrich finished his comments by criticizing the media for not covering “anti-Christian bigotry.”

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8 Responses to Newt Gingrich Attacks Fashionable Anti-Catholic Bigotry

  • I watched it. Newt proved his point by the fact that the live-blog I was following was incredulous when he said that Catholic Charities shut it’s adoption services because it was required to service gay couples. Even political junkies are unaware of it.

    Romney had the best night, highlighted by his exchange with George Snuffleupagus over contraception. The audience actually booed George and it made the entire GOP look good. It proved without a doubt that Romney is the best debater in the bunch. Ron Paul also had a good night highlighted by his exchange with Newt over serving in the military. Paul actually came across as a patriot. Those were the highlights of the night.

    Huntsman had an okay night. He managed to convince people of his foreign policy bona fides. Perry had a completely forgettable night. Newt managed to attack free enterprise in his vain attempt to attack Romney’s record at Bain. I think that was the least conservative moment of the night. Santorum didn’t have a bad night but he failed in his argument aimed at Romney that the president isn’t a manager or CEO.

    A couple of minor but revealing points. Romney endorsed the Bowles-Simpson plan minus the cap gains and dividend tax hikes. I agree with him and it’s a pretty wonky statement which confirms that Romney really knows his economics. I found the “right to privacy” question very interesting. Romney’s a lawyer. Did he really not know the Supreme Court decisions at issue or was it an artful dodge? Ron Paul didn’t know what he was talking about. Paul loves the Constitution but he doesn’t know case law at all. Santorum directly quoted a Supreme Court decision and I don’t think anybody but lawyers would’ve caught it. He knows his constitutional law.

  • I watched and Romney did not steal the show for me. He did okay, but I liked Huntsman and I liked Perry. I also liked Santorum. Newt spoke very well to the anti-Catholic but for me that was his ONLY shinining moment. Of all of the candidates Newt and Ron Paul are my least preferred. Had the debate actually given the other candidates more time or at least the same as Romney I think there would have been CLEAR winner and it would not have been Romney.

  • Also watched the Sunday too-early debate. Everyone was ganging up on Mitt. Huntsman’s best moments came when it was attacking Mitt. He finally showed some spark. But the real memorable part for me was when one of the moderators tried to pin candidates down on gay rights again.

    Romney: If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or in any way suggest that people who have a different sexual orientation don’t have full rights in this country, they won’t find that in me.

    Moderator: When’s the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?

    Romney: Right now.

    ….

    Moderator: What if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?

    Santorum (without hesitation): I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it and I would try to do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.

  • With Cain and Bachmann out and Perry pushed to the end of the stage and steering clear of the topic of illegal immigration, these last two debates were good PR for the GOP.

    I will say however that while Santorum has a working-class friendly economic plan, his talk about ending welfare dependency can be perceived as cold-hearted. He’s better off sticking to talking about the economic opportunities he’ll create.

  • In the wrap up, after they had to tell what they’d be doing if not for…, George Smugapolis started on their lost opportunities to be less than honorable gentlemen. Off button.

  • Newt has the ability to make a provocative statement at the right time. Catholics should understand that they have been used. Democrats want your votes, but they have little time for pro life, anti gay marriage or health care and teacher conscious issues. If it makes Catholic Democrats feel good that they are willing to bankrupt their country to provide for illegals, gay self esteem, and unions in the private or government organizations then more peace to you. Our country needs less hands out and more hands pitching in.

  • “I will say however that while Santorum has a working-class friendly economic plan, his talk about ending welfare dependency can be perceived as cold-hearted. He’s better off sticking to talking about the economic opportunities he’ll create.”

    I agree with you to a point but if we’ve gotten to the point that we are afraid of pointing out the obvious, that the welfare state has not solved anything but has created a dependent class that we can’t afford to support anymore then no amount of economic growth will save us…the sooner we admit the war on poverty has been lost the better we will be.

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Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

Thursday, January 5, AD 2012

Rasmussen is first out of the gates with a national poll of the Republican candidates following Iowa.   Santorum has risen 17 points to 21% with Romney at 29%.  Gingrich is at 16% and Ron Paul is at 12%.  Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry are both at 4%.   Romney seems incapable of moving out of the twenties in any of the national polls on the Republican nomination.  Santorum has a lot of room to grow, and Romney seems to have hit a firm ceiling for his support in regard to the nomination race.

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21 Responses to Romney 29%-Santorum 21% Nationally

  • Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:

    http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/fplaction/the-catholic-case-against-rick-santorum/

    Perhaps we can start to take these points one by one to show how some are using CST for rank partisan purposes.

  • “The baby is born when the baby is born.” Barbara Boxer is such a deep thinker.

  • That poll proves that Romney hasn’t hit a ceiling. The previous Rasmussen poll had Romney at 17%. It’s true that Romney has never hit above 30% in any poll (with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator). It’s also true that nobody has hit above 40%. It’s hard with so many candidates. RealClearPolitics has Romney at the highest level of support ever. Higher than Cain ever got. There’s no reason to believe it won’t rise further.

    On Intrade, Santorum’s rise has hurt Gingrich but it hasn’t affect Romney. In fact, Romney’s numbers have improved, presumably because Santorum is the less threat.

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  • with the exception of PPP which seems to be a random number generator

    LOL!

  • “Of course the Catholic Social Justice types are out now with their denunciations of Santorum:”

    Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.tldm.org/news7/ratzinger.htm

  • Yes, they always seem to put a letter from Cardinal Ratzinger down their memory hole

    Not in this particular case. The blog Phillip linked to brought up perfectly legit issues working against Santorum and it made no attempt to compare them to abortion and euthanasia. Catholics who ignore bishops’ (and popes’) pastoral guidance on these matters in order to vote party line do so at their own peril (in my opinion).

  • Well Spambot the Pope noted that their could be a legitimate diversity of issues on issues such as war and peace and that not all moral issues carry the same weight. I tend to attempt to not be more Catholic than the Pope. Then we have the fact that the group putting this tripe out is a George Soros funded machine to attack all Catholic politicians to the right of Ted Kennedy:

    http://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/soros-money-funds-faith-based-community.html

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/why-is-atheist-george-soros-giving-money-to-a-faith-project/

    http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/faith-in-public-life-socialism-cloaked-as-christianity/

  • CatholicVote.org endorsed Santorum today. That doesn’t hurt.
    http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=24668

  • Just saw Santorum on The OReilly Factor last night. I was a little disappointed. Bill completely misrepresentation regarding Catholic Teaching on birth control and Santorum really seemed to back off from calling him out on it. In fact Bill gave him an opening to go into social issues more and Santorum dodged the question.

    In fairness, I know that Santorum has limited time to respond to questions thrown at him. I am sure he was completely caught off guard by the question.

    But it really seemed as I was watching the interview live that Bill needed to be corrected on his. He completely butchered Catholic teaching on birth control. Santorum made some silly faces after Bill said it, but never followed up on it. Considering millions of people were watching it seemed to me the sort of thing that really needed to be corrected. Especially since Bill brought it up and gave Santorum the chance for a follow up on it.

    For those uninformed people watching the exchange you would probably think Bill was right about birth control after the exchange.

    I guess the very fact that birth control even came up is a good thing

  • O’Reilly was doing his best to torpedo Santorum last night. He brought up the fact that when asked a question on the subject Santorum had said that states do have a right to ban contraception. O’Reilly then asked Santorum if pressing for such a law would be a priority in a Santorum administration and Santorum said absolutely not. O’Reilly is buffoonish at best in most areas of knowledge and normally I would ascribe his questioning Santorum on a non-issue to simple ignorance, but I believe he had malice aforethought against Santorum in the interview yesterday.

    Santorum of course was making the point that a state could ban contraceceptives because he believes that Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1967 US Supreme Court decision holding state bans on contraceptives to be unconstitutional under a right to privacy, was wrongly decided. Griswold set the stage for Roe. Of course all of this is far, far beyond O’Reilly’s knowledge base.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    But I want to pin down Santorum’s exact position. So he’s personally opposed to contraception. But he’s said that he doesn’t want to ban it. I guess that’s morally permissible if you think banning it would do more social harm. But Santorum has voted to fund contraception. Is that morally permissible?

  • Spambot,

    I think the only places one can legitimately (though not necessarily correctly) critique Santorum are on torture and war. The former I think Santorum would agree is wrong but he believes that certain techniques performed during the Bush Administration are not torture. Perhaps if the Church clearly stated Enhanced Interrogation Techniques in all circumstances were torture and he persisted in his view, one could then say he is clearly out of line with the Church. I think he has a harder time with attacking Iran.

    The remaining items in the link regarding income inequality, immigration etc. seem so fraught with prudential judgments that it merely is a laundry list of the liberal establishment. Prudential judgments, even by Church leaders, do not bind one’s conscience. Unfortunately, most of our Bishops do not make that fact clear.

  • I think Santorum handled the O’Reilly interview pretty well. Santorum knows that debating contraception isn’t going to win him any votes. No sense in dwelling on the topic.

    I would agree except that Bill framed it as a “Catholic” position, and not a general “conservative” or “republican” position. It seemed that framing it that way relieved Santorum somewhat in that it became an issue of what Catholic teaching is. Basically a case of one Catholic correcting another Catholic on an aspect of the faith.

    I am not skilled in the ways of politics, and most likely naive regarding this. Very likely a battle regarding Catholic teaching wouldn’t be a good political move. But it seemed like the opening existed for more to be said and just maybe a little clarification would have been a good thing.

  • Why should we trust a one day poll of 1,000 GOP over Gallups three day averages? I desperately want to believe the rasmussen poll (and now that Bachmann is gone I am for Santorum either way), but isn’t the 11% number more likely? I want to believe it isn’t.

  • I have high trust in Rasmussen’s numbers Ike based upon my prior experience with him and other pollsters. We will soon have more polls to draw comparisons with. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few showing Santorum ahead of Romney by this time next week.

  • Still waiting for someone to explain to me how Santorum’s support for funding contraception is morally permissible.

  • Phillip & Don,

    Thanks for the replies. I’ll keep it all in mind. (I think what concerns me is that it’s not one bishop saying one thing and another bishop saying something else. On the issues discussed in the link, there seems to be a set of fairly unified and consistent positions among the bishops who have expressed opinions. Not risng to the level of inerrant teaching, but not something to ignore either.)

  • Spambot,

    Fair enough. However, a quick response. The bishops uniformly opposed welfare reform. It passed anyway and most likely had a positive effect on poverty, work and the common good.

    Prudential judgments, even by the host of bishops, remain prudential judgments.

  • Spambot,

    This from Vox Nova by commenter “A Sinner.” An excellent rebuttal of the prevailing distortions about CST by some and better worded than I could:

    “I don’t like all these things about him either. But “show me the dogma.”

    Vox Nova’s tactic has fallen ridiculously flat of trying to “give the conservative heresy-hunters a taste of their own medicine” by trying to draw equivalency with disagreement on the prudential question of the concrete means of implementing social teachings (of which the absolute abstract moral principles in themselves…are much broader and more vague than you’re making them out to be, and there IS plenty of room for debate on whether this or that given solution fulfills the criteria).

    Now, albeit, I do generally believe the in the approach of the Vatican and USCCB towards economic questions and immigration and war, etc. But to act like Catholics have to toe the line on specific policy questions like that is very dangerous. The conservatives may (with things like the culture wars and abortion and gay issues) bring religion too much into politics, but the sort of “obedience” to “Catholic social teaching” you are proposing here would bring too much of politics into our religion!

    I support both positions, to be sure, but amnesty for immigrants or supporting Medicaid or opposing the Iraq War…are simply not De Fide questions, and there is certainly a lot more room for debate and disagreement about the application of various moral principles there than is about the statement ‘the State has a duty to defend unborn life.’”

  • Vote counters in Iowa are saying that one precinct erred and gave Romney 20 extra votes. So Santorum really won by 12. However, there’s no recount process so Romney is still the official winner.

January TAC GOP Presidential Poll

Tuesday, January 3, AD 2012

UPDATE 1-8-2012:  We have eliminated Ron Paul due to spamming issues.  If you feel the need to cast a vote for Ron Paul, please do s0 by leaving a comment.

John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Buddy Roemer, and Paul Ryan never announced their candidacy for the GOP nomination as some had speculated, so they have been removed from the TAC Poll.  In addition, Gary Johnson has removed himself from consideration the moment he accepted the Libertarian Party Nomination.  Herman Cain has suspended his campaign which is nothing more than preventing the inevitable.

Here’s our latest poll so please vote in anticipation of the Iowa Caucuses (voting ends 7pm this Friday):

 

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  • I am surprised to see that Santorum is doing so well on this poll. Is it because he’s Catholic? I hope not, because the Catholic church teaches, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” I do not see this practiced by Santorum in his legislative ethics, nor in his strident efforts to promote war with Iran, and now countries in South America (see the Iowa debate).

    The candidate who truly espouses peace is Dr. Ron Paul, and he has my support in the hopes that his administration would be one of peace & goodwill.

    whyronpaul.com

  • There is a difference between espousing peace Cynthia and being a naive fool about foreign powers that mean harm to us. Ron Paul crossed that line long ago. His viewpoint of course is that the rest of the world can go to Hell while America huddles down in Fortess America. Somehow I do not think that foreign policy lives up to the admonition of Christ that you cited.

    In regard to our Civil War Ron Paul believes it was completely unneccessary. Go to the link below explaining why he was wrong:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/08/23/ron-paul-and-the-civil-war/

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  • Two Paulbots have been banned for their charming attempt to recycle a slur against Santorum hurled by homosexual activists. All such additional attempts will go into the trash where they belong and the attempted commenter will be banned from this site.

  • It’s been pretty ugly for Santorum as the Militant Gay Lobby has been harrassing Santorum with their KKK tactics all throughout his Iowa campaign. It’s no coincidence that Paulbots are doing the same to Santorum considering that Ron Paul wrote racist newsletters up until the 1990s.

  • Oh look, the Paulbots are stacking our poll:

    “Little poll that sanatorium is winning…

    Submitted by Howimademy on Wed, 01/04/2012 – 19:54.

    Thought it’d be fun to just knock him out of first…silly, maybe…fun, yes. 🙂

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/01/03/january-tac-gop-…”

    http://www.dailypaul.com/199365/iowa-caucus-night-info-open-thread?#comments

    Of course this has ever been the tactic of Ron Paul cultists. Too bad for them that they can’t win elections in real life.

  • Too bad for them that they can’t win elections in real life.

    Or friends or jobs or a life . . .

  • What bothers me (off topic just a bit), is that Sarah Palin are warning Republicans to not alienate these 9/11 Truthers, ie, Paulbots.

    Of course, this came a day after she said that “its not (Michele) Bachman time”. Considering that she has almost zero executive experience, I found this truly rich.

  • Ron Paul is no doubt the most Biblical candidate for 2012, if you are a true believer you would support Dr. Ron Paul. Here is a short series explaining as to why he is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tYk5mEli68&feature=BFa&list=PL0E27AFB852E14B16&lf=player_embedded

    I urge everyone to watch this series so you can understand as to why he is the most Biblical candidate and why believers should support him and no other candidate. If you don’t you are just lying to yourselves and/or others.

  • Most Biblical? Indeed! Here is exclusive video of Ron Paul leading the Paulbots out of Iowa and across the Mississippi:

  • Are you proud to mock your religion?

  • I am a Catholic John. I mock the Ron Paul Cult that you are obviously a card carrying member of. Read back your original comment to yourself. It would be too much if applied to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, let alone Ron Paul. It comes across as completely over the top and invites the type of mockery that I gave it.

  • We will see.

  • They are just like cochroaches aren’t they…the Paulinista’s…they seem to be everywhere…I gotta give them credit…they are organized, but then so were the borg.

  • It was bound to happen in one of these polls that the Paulbots would manipulate poll. They know they can’t win, so instead of letting poll develop organically they spam it. Fortunately, that doesn’t work in politics. We can pretty much throw out the Ron Paul vote, meaning that Santorum has the Catholic vote behind him.

  • I am all in favor of ending the IRS.

    Thats one of the reasons I am voting for Ron Paul. (as if thats not enough by itself)

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  • I would say, there is no greater media cheerleader for Ron Paul right now than Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is Catholic. Regarding Rick Santorum, I must ask, “What could be more ‘pro-life’ than peace?” What does “waterboarding” have to do with “family values”? I apologize for “Paulbots” who may have offended you. However, I am genuinely concerned that a President Santorum or a President Gingrich would start World War III in the Middle East by bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities for no good reason except political expediency.

  • I do not think Catholics can take Santorum seriously. Although he spouts pro life rhetoric at times, he places a higher value on politics. Why did he support Arlen Specter’s candidacy for Senate over Pat Toomey? Toomey was pro life while pro choice Specter was head of the judiciary committee and had fought Robert Bork.

  • Santorum was always a pro-life leader in Congress. He fought hard for every pro-life piece of legislation and always voted pro-life. In regard to the Specter endorsement in 2004, as the tight Presidential polls that year indicated, there was every prospect that 2004 was going to be a bad year for the Republicans. The Democrats had slightly more seats up than the Republicans, 19-15 in the Senate that year, but the playing ground was fairly even. On election night Kentucky, Florida and Alaska were fairly close, and South Dakota was won by a hair. Control of the Senate would have shifted if those elections had gone the other way, and they might well have.

    Santorum extracted a pledge from Specter that he would support every Supreme Court nominee sent up by Bush. This pledge was crucial if control of the Senate had shifted or if the Republicans had come back with a diminished majority .

    I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe. Bush lost Pennsylvania to Kerry, and I think it likely that Toomey might well have been defeated that year, considering that he only got 51% of the vote in 2010, the best election year for Republicans since Calvin Coolidge was in office.

  • “would say, there is no greater media cheerleader for Ron Paul right now than Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is Catholic.”

    He is also a paranoid conspiracy nut like Ron Paul. He is a 9-11 Truther among other charming conspiracy theories he partakes in.

  • Ron Paul does not ‘work well with others’ as the old grade school report card used to say. Whatever his viewpoints, if one hasn’t that power to sway other powerful and intelligent people to your side it is wasted. In all his years in Congress he has been a moody, strange loner. He’s like the kid who sniffed his fingers and his mother attach his mittens to his snow suit so he wouldn’t lose them. No one wants him on a team.

  • These folks make a habit of just spamming polls:
    http://www.dailypaul.com/200240/a-whole-bunch-of-polls-have-at-em

    Because nothing says your candidate is a massively popular guy on his way to winning a nomination than having to spend your entire day spamming meaningless internet polls.

    Well, at 8.6% unemployment, it’s understandable how they have the time to dither their day away. Doing arduous things like brushing up on that ole resume is just a bummer activity.

  • Completely counterproductive activity since everyone knows that the Paulbots do this, but they persist in it anyway merely to be annoying. Juvenile and delusional which basically sums up the Ron Paul Cult.

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  • “I think what Santorum did was reasonable at the time, assuming that one’s goal is to have Supreme Court justices on the Court that will overturn Roe.”

    This is where I would take issue with you.
    Let us examine the nominees of Bush:
    Roberts: pro life, but I doubt he would overturn Roe v Wade due to his belief in Stare Decisis.
    Harriet Myers: ???
    Alito: Pro Life, but it is not clear he would overturn Roe V Wade.
    Digging deeper, it was Arlen Specter who reportedly dissuaded Bush from nominating Alberto Gonzalez.
    So, by making the political bargain Santorum did, he passed on opportunity to remove a staunch pro choicer in exchange for gaining no headway in overturning Roe V Wade. I am not sure I believe Toomey was a sure loser against Spectre, as Spectre generally won by thin margins, though you make a good point. I see Santorum as playing party politics rather than sticking to his stated principles. I really do not trust him. I am from Pennsylvania and have followed his political career going back to before he was elected to the US House when he upset Doug Walgren.

  • Considering that Alberto Gonzalez is a pro-abort I think it was a very good thing that Specter talked Bush out of nominating him, although I hadn’t heard that. In regard to Roberts and Alito, judging from their votes in a partial birth abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart, I have little doubt that they would vote to overturn Roe if the opportunity presents itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Carhart

  • I am a Ron Paul supporter. I’m not a Paulbot, not even sure what that means. I’m also a pro life follower of Jesus Christ. I’m not a pothead and I don’t spam polls. I do however go to any poll I can find and cast my vote for Ron. There are 3 people of voting age in my household and many times we can’t all cast our votes for Ron because most polls only allow one vote per IP address.

    I would like to personally apologize for the knuckleheads who tried to post the Santorum stuff on here. Something to consider though. We have a lot of young people in our camp, young people don’t really care to much for what us older folks would call propriety. I guarantee you, if you were to come over to Ron Paul forums or the DailyPaul and meet some of the people there that we are mostly, such as yourselves, kind and decent folk.

    Most of us only want to live in peace with our neighbors and the world. We love our country and see it slipping away from us. We are losing our God given rights buy the day, bankrupting ourselves with endless wars and entitlements, etc, etc. We love America, we love our neighbors, and we want to be free.

    You can hate us if you want to, not a very Christian thing to do but what the heck, live and let live. We are people just like you but with a different perspective, one that we did not get from CNN or FOX news. Many people don’t realize this but there is not one main stream media news network that isn’t owned by a larger enterprise that makes most of their money from the military industrial complex. Don’t take my word for it, look it up.

    As I said, I am staunchly pro life as many of my fellow Ron Paul supporters are, but for us, being pro life extends beyond the womb. There are 75 million human beings living in Iran, approximately 50 million women and children. I personally am not willing that even a single one of them be sacrifice so that I might sleep a little better at night. Besides, God has not given me a Spirit of fear, it’s in the Bible, you can look that up too.

    Please get the facts about our candidate before you dismiss him entirely, there are hundreds of videos all over the internet of Ron Paul in his own words. The media misrepresents Ron Paul and often flat out lies about him or puts words in his mouth. For example, Bill O’Reilly just said last night that Ron Paul said he didn’t want to be President, a bald faced lie. These are the kind of things that we are fighting against and some of us take it a little too far at times.

    God bless you all, and have a great day.

  • I agree, Don. I certainly think that Roberts and Alito would *like* to overturn Roe. As principled jurists (unlike Roe’s authors), they do have to take stare decisis principles into account, which does make the outcome harder to predict. That said, beyond reversing Roe outright, pro-life forces certainly favor judges who are sympathetic to their strategy of chipping away at Roe so as to limit its applicability as much as possible, and certainly Alito and Roberts fall within that description.

    I think the criticisms directed toward Myers were over the top and unfair. In any case I have no reason to believe that her jurisprudence vis-a-vis Roe would differ from that of Roberts or Alito.

  • In any case I have no reason to believe that her jurisprudence vis-a-vis Roe would differ from that of Roberts or Alito.

    The objection to her nomination went beyond how she’d decide cases to the potential quality of her jurisprudence. But that’s a debate for another time.

  • Ditto what Tito said re: “KKK tactics”

    Rick Santorum 2012!

  • Archie, I do want to commend you on your thoughtful comment. I do wish that more Ron Paul supporters were as reaonable and polite as you – frankly it would help his own cause if he didn’t have his supporters making such disgusting attack ads as this one against Huntsman.
    http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2012/01/05/you-stay-classy-ron-paul-supporters/

    Please get the facts about our candidate before you dismiss him entirely, there are hundreds of videos all over the internet of Ron Paul in his own words.

    Archie, the reason most of the people here think he is so far out there is precisely because of what we’ve seen Paul say in his own words. Frankly people like O’Reilly are full of hot air anyway, and I don’t need to listen to him in order to come to my own conclusions.

  • Paul, thank you for your kind words. I saw the video you posted, silly really. I’m not sure what they were trying to prove. Huntsman is a decent enough guy and a very successful businessman, he obviously is not my first choice but I wouldn’t rule him out were he to win the nomination. My son speaks Chinese as well, so I’m really not sure how that’s a bad thing. What can I say, it’s politics, sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes just plain ridiculous.

    In fairness, Huntsman ran a very biased and misleading attack piece on Ron Paul as well, taking his words out of context and basically saying he was crazy. If you don’t agree with Ron that’s fine, but his views are particularly well thought out, not crazy. Concerning foreign policy, he has been supported by some of the better minds on the subject. The CIA has written and warned about “blowback” and the 9/11 commission report agreed with much of what he has been saying for years.

    Those of us in the Paul camp who have lived a little longer are a bit easier to deal with and welcome rigorous intellectual debate on the issues. If there is something that you have heard Ron say that troubles you or gives you pause, I am very interested to know what those statements may have been. BTW, I’m very pleased to hear that you are not one of the mindless drones who takes every word from FOX as if it came down from Mt. Sinai.

    Love and Peace in Jesus Christ

  • Father of five, Knights of Columbus Grand Knight here. Ron Paul is the only option for me when I size up the candidates against my faith. We don’t want the world to go to hell in a hand basket. Evil countries, evil men, and evil ideas around the world need to be stopped. It’s just the the US Federal Government should not be in charge of this. It’s not their role. The US Federal Government isn’t the only way to combat evil. We can combat it here in our north western hemisphere and the other countries of the world can pick up their own slack.

  • “We can combat it here in our north western hemisphere and the other countries of the world can pick up their own slack.”

    The Ukranian man made famine under Stalin, the Katyn Massacre, the Rape of Nanking, the Cultural Revolution, and the list could be endless, shows how well that tends to work out in practice.

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  • Donald, I understand your point. I’m not saying Americans shouldn’t do anything about these horrible atrocities around the world. I’m just saying that tax should not be collected from all American’s to fund a military operation across the world.

    What I believe should happen is what happened before we became the police of the world. Allow American’s to join foreign armies in times of need so that if an American is willing they can make a difference. If 51% of able-bodied American’s joined a foreign force to combat evil and/or contributed funds to these causes I think we would see evil be defeated in many cases.

    If you think that 51% of able-bodied American’s would not serve or fund other countries across the world on their own… then you and I have something in common. If 51% of American’s would not give money or risk their lives for other counties, then why the hell is our Federal Government doing this in the first place? Is it because “it’s the right thing to do”, or because it’s “just and righteous”? That’s what they told us about Iraq and i have to say I don’t believe them anymore.

    This is why I have changed my mind. I will (or want to) contribute my time and money to causes I feel are “just” and “righteous”. I don’t want the government taking my money and giving it to who they feel, or just say, rightfully deserves it.

  • “The Ukranian man made famine under Stalin, the Katyn Massacre, the Rape of Nanking, the Cultural Revolution, and the list could be endless, shows how well that tends to work out in practice.”

    What did the US do about any of that?

    We did not bomb or invade them.

    Should we have bombed Ukraine, China, etc. to stop killing innocents?

  • We should do what we can T. Shaw to stop innocents from being massacred. Sometimes we effectively lack the power to do anything about it, but we should never rest our foreign policy on the presumption that murder of innocents abroad is none of our business. In regard to China, if we had effectively supported the Nationalists, corrupt though they were, in their war against Mao in 1945-49, how many tens of millions of lives might have been saved? After the Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1919, the US and its allies had an opportunity to support the Whites against the Reds. Instead the US and its allies tired of the conflict, pulled out of Russia and the Soviet Union was established, with the consequences to the world that we are all familiar with. When we refuse to fight evils at the outset, the evils often do not disappear, but grow in strength and end up killing hordes of innocents.

    This section from Proverbs 24 has always hit home to me in this area:

    10 If you falter in a time of trouble,
    how small is your strength!
    11 Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
    12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
    Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

  • It was Catholics who put the worst president we have known in our lifetime, even over Jimmy Carter, into office. How can we do this again by voting for someone who cannot win with his crazy conspiracy theories and his isolationist thinking?

    Are we doomed to repeat history because we ignore it? Does anyone here think that the US has done anything to make clearly religious extremists, BIGOTS, whose religion like it or not, gives them permission to kill the infidel…that be us…just for existing into assassins hell bent oh no, paradise bent to kill us all. The entire Western Civilization.

    I have never heard Judge Napolitano espouse the conspiracy theory that the Truthers espouse but regardless, they are crazy. Ron Paul is pro life, thank God, but he is not prolife if he thinks he can negotiate us to peace with these people. They are more prolific than us, because most Catholics do not practice a prolife mentality and they are not unwilling to die. All I can see is that we are not willing to do what our fathers did, we are willing to die for our freedom and that of our brothers and sisters.

    How said for people like my father and I am sure many of yours or your grandfathers and mothers who laid down their life. Or was Hitler more of an enemy than a Islamist extremists who insinuate themselves into our culture, take advantage of our education, and good heartedness until ready to blow themselves up for what? 70 Virgins….doesn’t that offend anyone?

    When I stand before Jesus, I will have to answer for voting for someone who may use techniques of war, IN war, that I don’t necessarily care for, however, I feel better being able to say that I voted for a lesser evil in order to end the reign of a decidely anti life, scoundrel who has lied to us about everything and is not only trying to control our birth and death but how, when and where we can practice our faith, in fact I would venture to say, Obama would like to replace our Christian faith with a secularist faith based upon the ideology of green. To be a steward of this gift of earth is our task but climate change and all that has attached itself to it is not about science it is about ideology and a way to replace Christ, expecially in the minds of kids, with mother earth.

    We need a pit bull to go against the obama machine, not someone who thinks, much like Carter did (and look what that got us) that we can negotiate or worse just stick our heads in the sand and pretend there is no other world out there…no enemy by us.

    I am so saddened that we may be the reason for another 4 years of hopey changey until the only change will be our Church muzzled and more of us blown up.

  • Hello Chris, May I offer a brief rebuttal from the Ron Paul side? Sir, you are completely mistaken or misguided when you refer to Ron Paul’s foreign policy as isolationist. I know the media says it all the time but it simply is not Dr. Paul’s view. Ron Paul has stated repeatedly that were a significant threat present itself he would deal with it swiftly, vigorously, and completely, and then he would come home. That to me, does not sound like a man who is weak on defense, but rather a man who is wise on war.

    Ron Paul’s foreign policy is non-interventionist. Ron Paul wants free trade and friendship with all nations. When Ahmadinejad made serious overtures at the U.N. recently, that he was ready to negotiate, Obama wanted none of it. War has been the game plan from day one.

    Here’s a clip from General Wesley Clark stating as much in no uncertain terms.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uswDmTjLog

    I could go into greater detail of course but if this clip doesn’t at least get you to look into what I’m saying a little deeper, any additional words on the topic would be meaningless.

    In regard to the evil horde of Muslim extremists eager to destroy us and our way of life. Sir, as someone who has shared tea and tobacco with Muslim men, who has done business with Persians (Iranians), Saudis, Yemenis, Lebanese etc. I have to tell you, I just don’t see it. My son who works in Naval Intelligence (no jokes please) doesn’t see it either and he is far more in the know than I am. I know these people personally. Most Muslims, Middle Easterners, Africans, what have you, they simply want to be left alone.

    Are there Muslim extremists? Absolutely. But there are Christian extremist, Hindu Extremists, every religion has it’s extremists. Here is something that so many people rarely ever think about. Of all the people in America who claim to be Christian, how many of them would you call fundamentalists, and out of the fundamentalists, how many would you label as extreme, and out of the extremists, how many are blowing up abortion clinics on a regular basis? I hope you are beginning to see my point. Islam is no different than Christianity, Muslims are no different than Christians or Mormons or any other group. Religious practice in the middle east is as cultural as religious practices everywhere else in the world. They are no more devoted to their faith and all that faith entails than the average “Christian”. Most Muslims don’t know the Koran any better than most “Christians” know their Bible’s.

    When we place sanctions on countries who have done us no harm, starving their children, devastating their economies and overall quality of life, when we threaten them with war and regime change, we create the very extremists that we fear.

    In your comment above you spoke of “our Christian faith”, I share that same faith. In my 20 plus years as a Christian, and a Christian who takes his faith perhaps a bit more seriously than some, though admittedly not as much as others, I have yet to discover this concept of Christ honoring preemptive war. If you can direct me to the appropriate scriptures supporting this position I will consider them with prayer. Until then, may I leave you with a verse from 2 Timothy,

    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’.

    God Bless

  • I see Ron Paul is way ahead in this poll. I do not believe it is true Catholics who usually view National Catholic Register voting for Paul. The paulbots find polls over the internet and tell all of their paulbot buddies to go that site and vote for Paul. To love thy neighbor means help those all over the world. That’s what America’s been doing since her birth, starting at Tripoli, and part of why she’s been so blessed.
    God Bless America.

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  • Archie,

    I too have sat and laughed and kibbitzed with may people of Middle Eastern background, including Muslims. Sufism is a lovely mystical version of Islam. Sufism was one man’s attempt to bring to Islam what we believe, that reason and faith are compatible and should work in cooperation. He was not successful because of the Koran’s religion and the pressure of the mainline groups, so it went the way of mysticism. But those who truly still adhere to it are lovely hearts. As a Middle Eastern Major in college, I have always had a love of the place, the people and the history. But I am not naive about their religion or their cultural ways. Are there extremists in all religions, heck yes, but how may certainly in this day and age blow up people of other religions for no reason. We have the nuts who go to military funerals and spew their hatred, but they don’t kill people, they don’t send their young children or mothers to die. The cool aid drinkers who think one or another of their prophets is Jesus incarnate or another Messiah tend to kill themselves rather than others. It is quite different and the difference come by the fact that we do not worship the same god…worshipping one god does not make it the same god. Their story is Abraham Isaac and Ishmael with the emphasis on Ismael. They cannot know God in any real way, a personal God for them is anathema. Jesus is just a prophet and not the last or with the last word.

    Have christians done bad things over time yes, and people always want to bring up the Crusades, but defending our own in the Holy Land was not necessarily doing wrong when we were asked in and it was a different age. We constantly judge our ancestors by our own 21st century values. We give everyone else a pass…loh that is their culture, we can’t comment or dislike it but when it comes to ourselves we say, how dare the Crusaders do this or that.

    Do not put Christian fundementalists in the same light with these people that is completely to twist the truth. If you are going to do comparisons, do them in this time and place. When was the last time CHristians savagely attacked any one of another religion without provocation, other than our religion/our God (to whom we are slaves remember that is the case for muslims) tells us it is what we should do?

    The Iranians are NOT going to negotiate. Iran is no different than STalin was or the Japanese even for their part back in the 30s and 40s. You are not dealing with honest people. Have you so soon forgotten Jimmy Carter’s debacle in that respect? While I have no use for Obama, he had to listen to HIlary and the people who know with whom we are dealing…zebras do not change their stripes.

    How about Obama’s tour of Mea Culpa at the beginning of his presidency, telling everyone how the US is to blame and we are sorry and we would just love to negotiate and work with you. Where did that get us? Perhaps that is why Obama stepped back a bit. He found out all he did was expose us to being considered weak and a target.

    I think Obama set out to wreck the country, period. All his ‘friends’ are out in th eopen communists, socialists and anarchists. He found out, we the people are in line with that and while most of his appointees drink the same cool aid, don’t think Hilary, does though I wouldn’t vote for her either. Like her or not, she is clearly working her tail off from the looks of her and she has here hands full.

    Can’t you see by the outcome of the so called “Arab Spring” that we are in for the biggist struggle of our lives. As soon as I saw the first country rise up, I began to pray, knowing full well it ws not going tobring a spring but a long winter of extremism.

    What does Ron Paul consider imminent danger? And I don’t want us to negotiate or give money to these people through the government. I am a believe not in redistribution of wealth, perhaps Distributionism but I don’t trust the government not to make that into socialism and communism as it is almost impossible for power not to corrupt. I believe in Subsidiarity whether it is here or abroad. When three planes are flown out to kill us for no reason other than we are who we are, we vote, we respect others’ religious rights, women’s rights…or we did before the feminist and gay rights movements and the cowtowing that the Obama administration is doing to their causes…that is a declaration of war. That you can’t pin point a country but must admit to a cultural enemy doesn’t change it. Makes it far more difficult and requires some not so typical tactics of war, but it still requires us to accept it for what it is and protect ourselves and our country.

    I do understand the culture and the religion. I don’t listen to the msm or anyone else on this one. I study history and I am tired of the tail wagging the dog in this country. Mostly I pray…and I would suggest we all do that rather than just listening to televisions and debates. I want a pit bull to go up against Obama and that isn’t Ron Paul and frankly it isn’t Ron Santorum though I admire him. It is Newt because he is knowledgeable and he has made our government work together before. One of the very few who have. He has the intelligence and the experience.

    If we were voting for a saint none of these people would deserve our vote. But we are not, we are voting for a man or woman who can reign in this government and it’s tenticles on both our money, our human rights and our religious rights to name the most important. We have ideologues on both sides and the only one who has ever been able to cut through that is Newt Gingrich. Like him or not, he converted and he was absolved ofhis sins. Who are we to second guess Christ. Is his personality great no, but this isn’t a personality contest. This is a contest for our country…is there a real monetary crisis coming…hell yes and no matter who gets in it will not be averted, perhaps mitigated but not averted.

    Let’s listen to history and to our God…let’s us pray for our country and that whomever we put into office, we will as a people put God back in the center of our lives and the life and laws of this country. That is where I stand.

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  • So nobody’s supposed to vote in this poll unless you’re a regular on this site? How is it fair to completely remove a candidate from the poll based on that? Seems pretty biased to me!

  • Josette,

    You don’t have to be a regular at TAC, but Spamming does not reflect the electorate.

  • Ron Paul 2012!

  • first of all, just because we believe in the message of Ron Paul does not make us dishonest, cheaters, or less valuable in the eyes of the Lord or the United States. we each get 1 vote and believe me, we don’t have to cheat to have enough voters to beat any of the other candidates. We are also willing to support him from our pockets too. he does not take money from Lobbyists, churches, Wall street or big Government supporters. He attends Church ever Sunday, has raised a good, god Fearing family, has great values for himself and his offspring. How can you not support a man who is truly a Christian, a Military Hero, and honest person and a true Statesman? I do not need the Catholic Church to tell me who to vote for, nor do I need them to tell me right from wrong….I have been led to Christ with no help from you or your pope…..or any of your lying, child molesting priests! so, kick us out of you poll that has now become useless for anything but glorifying your bias and closed minds! I am so glad that I was not allowed to join your church and raise my boys under the catholic doctrine! I am Happy as a Methodist thanks! In Jesus name, may your lies and bias be unveiled to your congregations!

  • “I do not need the Catholic Church to tell me who to vote for, nor do I need them to tell me right from wrong….I have been led to Christ with no help from you or your pope…..or any of your lying, child molesting priests! so, kick us out of you poll that has now become useless for anything but glorifying your bias and closed minds! I am so glad that I was not allowed to join your church and raise my boys under the catholic doctrine! I am Happy as a Methodist thanks! In Jesus name, may your lies and bias be unveiled to your congregations”

    Initially Sour Melody 00, I put your comment in the trash where the rantings of anti-Catholic bigots like yourself normally end up at this site. However, the sheer stupidity of coming to a Catholic website to urge support for a candidate, and while you are doing so spitting on the Catholic Faith, was so monumental that I had to share it with my fellow Catholics for their amusement. Thank you for the laugh that your bitterness, bile and bigotry produced.

  • Mel’s a typical paulbot [email protected] I had favorable feelings for Paul (he’s right on the Fed for the wrong resaons). I never thought libertarians were worth the powder it would take to shoot them.

    After Mel’s hate-filled tripe, Paul can go to Hell and so can his freaking son Rand.

    To ensure Paul never got elected; if, in some nightmarish scenario, Paul were nominated by the GOP, I’d vote for Obama. Then, I’d go to Confession because that would be a mortal sin.

  • Mel you black-hearted protestant murderer.

    Now, I remember why I always threw in when they passed the hat for the IRA, you rat.

  • I second Donald.

    I initially was going to trash your bigoted rant, but Donald did the right thing to show how vile your hate is to all the world.

  • “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be the children of God”

    Mathew 5:9

Separation of Powers is sooooooo 18th Century

Monday, December 19, AD 2011

Good or bad, this is what you get with Newt Gingrich:

GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich said Congress has the power to dispatch the Capitol Police or U.S. Marshals to apprehend a federal judge who renders a decision lawmakers broadly oppose.

Gingrich says if there is broad opposition to a court decision, Congress should subpoena the ruling judge to defend his or her action in a hearing room.

When asked if Congress could enforce the subpoena by sending the Capitol Police to arrest a judge, Gingrich assented.

“If you had to,” Gingrich said. “Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall.”

Gingrich cites the 9th Circuit’s decision that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional as a prime example of why such a reform would be necessary.  It’s easy to use examples like this of judicial indiscretion in order to justify such drastic action.  Yet what of judicial interventions where the Court and not the legislature is acting in accord with the Constitution?  I can think of several examples where conservatives cheered – rightfully – when the Supreme Court overturned an act of Congress.  In US v Lopez, US v. Morrison, and Citizens United v. FEC, just to name a few cases, the Supreme Court acted on the side of the Constitution as opposed to Congress, and did so presumably against the majority will.  As we speak the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments about the individual mandate and other aspects of Obamacare, and once again conservatives (again rightfully) will be hoping for the Court to rule against the democratically elected branches.

No one is more aware than me of how out of control the judiciary has been, particularly since the age of FDR.  What Gingrich and other populist-conservatives fail to appreciate is that the judiciary’s wholesale assault against the Constitution is but a symptom of what plagues this Nation.  After all, how did we wind up with a judiciary willing to disregard the Constitution?  They didn’t just appear out of magic.  Years of progressive education instilled these judges with an attitude that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document that ought to bend to the whims of the age.  More importantly, it was democratically elected leaders like FDR who put these men and women on the courts.

Furthermore, it is odd to suggest that one of the ways to stop the politicization of the judiciary is to further politicize the judiciary.  Will judges act as independent arbiters of the Constitution if they know they are going to be hauled before the legislature for making the wrong call?

Long story short, I don’t think Gingrich is entirely wrong to highlight the problems of the judiciary.   It absolutely must be a theme of this and any federal campaign.  But Gingrich is missing the forest for the trees in singling out the judiciary when it’s an entire political philosophy – and, for that matter, political party – that is the problem.

Another thing that strikes me about this statement is how unrealistic it is.  Even if Gingrich becomes president and has resounding Republican majorities in both Houses there is virtually no chance that anything like this will happen.  This is mere bombast.  Now, it is perhaps an exercise in rhetorical exaggeration used to highlight an important issue.  But ultimately this reveals a problem that goes beyond Newt, and it is the absurdity of our presidential campaign system.  Each candidate feels compelled to offer pie in the sky proposals in an effort to appeal to some constituency.  Even more troubling is that the underlying attitude is that the president is some kind of emperor as opposed to the chief executive of a constitutional republic.  Even though this particular proposal is likely going nowhere, it is a sad fact that the presidency has become a hyped up institution that has grown well beyond the powers outlined in the Constitution.  So the ultimate irony is that while Newt is proposing a radical plan under the guise of restoring balance to the Constitution, he is only furthering the imbalance of the Constitution and the respective powers of each branch of government.  And while the Star Wars prequels may have been otherwise useless, at least they taught us a valuable lesson about trying to “restore balance” to anything.

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31 Responses to Separation of Powers is sooooooo 18th Century

  • So… steroid use in a private enterprise, subpoena away, but a judge rules dogs are persons while fetal humans aren’t, and no explanation is needed. *wry smile* I know you’re probably totally legally correct, it just strikes me as funny; either it’s a punitive type thing, in which case why can it be applied to normal people who haven’t done a crime, or it’s supposed to be an information thing, in which case loonie judges have a special right to not answer questions. (Unlike, say, managers of large businesses.)

  • (I have got to get around to writing that difference-between-fair-and-right post on parenting.)

  • I’m probably the worst person to use the steroid example with because I thought that whole affair was farcical.

    Obviously Congress should have the authority to investigate criminal malfeasance in the other branches, and impeachment for corruption and criminal matters is an undeniable right. But if Congress should start digging around on what are matters of interpretation, then you’re butting up against the separation of powers.

    That being said, it’s also true that the judiciary should not be treated as the final arbiter of what is and is not constitutional, and I should have emphasized that in the post. Congress should have some oversight authority – but to be honest I’m not one hundred percent certain how far they should go. Gingrich’s proposal goes too far in one extreme, but maybe at least it’s the germ of an idea that prompts more cooperation.

  • Of all branches, Congress has been the most deferential to judicial decisions. By intent, of course – they want to leave the unpopular calls to those who do not need to fight for re-election. Congress could perhaps use its impeachment power a little more for truly off-the-wall decisions, but then individual Congresscritters would have to take a public stand, wouldn’t they?

  • I’m probably the worst person to use the steroid example with because I thought that whole affair was farcical.

    Why I used it, actually. I’m sure there was a perfectly reasonable series of events that resulted in it… but DANG.

    C Matt’s response seems reasonable…though unlikely.

    Shouldn’t there be some sort of way to hit these “I made the ruling because it’s Historic!” rulings?

  • If any Republican is elected president, Kennedy will retire, Roe will be overturned, and all talk of reshaping courts will dissipate.

  • The Founders did what they could to block the effects of “Original Sin” – even if they did not name it such- by separating the three powers of government, based on their 18th century experience of the Old Country and their own there in the Colonies with the Monarch George 111. We shall continue to see the pendulum swing and the seesaw teeter-totter as each branch grabs power or tries to correct the imbalance ofthe other , as that branch sees it. The “unredeemed” – those who have not addressed the Dragon living in the dark recesses of our own cave, and making a pact with it – will not bring peace if they have no peace and will only create or perpetuate a system whereby the Dragons will roar and puff smoke and fire.

  • I find striking that Americans talk incessantly about judicial overreach but don’t even twitch at the forays into Congressional authority by the Executive Branch. Yes, the Judiciary needs to stay in its own turf but it is the general assault on liberties through the Codes of Federal Regulations, agency memoranda, and Executive Orders that most frighten me.

  • but it is the general assault on liberties through the Codes of Federal Regulations, agency memoranda, and Executive Orders that most frighten me.

    Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! Every administration has been bad in this regard, but the current one seems to view the Constitution as nothing more than an inconvenience to be ignored.

  • I find striking that Americans talk incessantly about judicial overreach but don’t even twitch at the forays into Congressional authority by the Executive Branch. Yes, the Judiciary needs to stay in its own turf but it is the general assault on liberties through the Codes of Federal Regulations, agency memoranda, and Executive Orders that most frighten me.

    I must run in odd circles… I’ve been hearing a LOT about this, for years. Of course, I also have lived in places that took the brunt of the “endangered species act” type stuff, including a nice little old retired couple that lost the right to use their home because they refused to kill the endangered bird that was living there before he was spotted.

    People complain about what touches them.

  • Your observation about noticing what touches you is well placed. I never imagined that freedom of religion would be an election issue for me but it will be so in 2012.

  • In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Justice Scalia summed up what is wrong with the modern judiciary:

    “What makes all this relevant to the bothersome application of “political pressure” against the Court are the twin facts that the American people love democracy and the American people are not fools. As long as this Court thought (and the people thought) that we Justices were doing essentially lawyers’ work up here – reading text and discerning our society’s traditional understanding of that text – the public pretty much left us alone. Texts and traditions are facts to study, not convictions to demonstrate about. But if in reality, our process of constitutional adjudication consists primarily of making value judgments; if we can ignore a long and clear tradition clarifying an ambiguous text, as we did, for example, five days ago in declaring unconstitutional invocations and benedictions at public high school graduation ceremonies, Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992); if, as I say, our pronouncement of constitutional law rests primarily on value [505 U.S. 833, 1001] judgments, then a free and intelligent people’s attitude towards us can be expected to be (ought to be) quite different. The people know that their value judgments are quite as good as those taught in any law school – maybe better. If, indeed, the “liberties” protected by the Constitution are, as the Court says, undefined and unbounded, then the people should demonstrate, to protest that we do not implement their values instead of ours. Not only that, but the confirmation hearings for new Justices should deteriorate into question-and-answer sessions in which Senators go through a list of their constituents’ most favored and most disfavored alleged constitutional rights, and seek the nominee’s commitment to support or oppose them. Value judgments, after all, should be voted on, not dictated; and if our Constitution has somehow accidentally committed them to the Supreme Court, at least we can have a sort of plebiscite each time a new nominee to that body is put forward. JUSTICE BLACKMUN not only regards this prospect with equanimity, he solicits it. Ante, at 943.”

  • I disagree with G-Veg and Paul. While I disagree with many executive orders and regulations as a matter of policy, rarely do I see them as an unconstitutional encroachment on another branch’s powers or unconstitutional at all. To me this is just the conservative’s expression of the same conceit normally held by the Left, which is if I disagree with something it must be unconstitutional. While the Framers (most of them anyway) may not have envisioned or preferred a large and intrusive federal government, they embedded that possiblity via the commerce and necessary & proper clauses. Perhaps the Framers employed imperfect language given their intentions, but words have consequences.

    I do agree with Donald regarding the Supreme Court. Of the three branches, this so-called (by Hamilton) “least dangerous branch” has been the most mischieveous for the reasons outlined so well by Justice Scalia. In my view the Framers did not anticipate the inevitability and implications of Marbury v. Madison and for that reason did not properly foresee the need for more effective constitutional checks against Supreme Court misbehavior.

  • Mike,

    There is no constitutional justification for many of the actions and guidelines put forward by the likes of the EPA and other elements of the bureaucracy. Granted, Congress is partly to blame for abdicating responsibility, but these agencies have accumulated vastly more power than what was envisioned even by the legislators who okayed them coming into existence.

    While the Framers (most of them anyway) may not have envisioned or preferred a large and intrusive federal government, they embedded that possiblity via the commerce and necessary & proper clauses.

    The misinterpretation of the commerce clause and the 14th Amendment has been carried out equally by all three branches. That the Framers did not predict how horribly future generations would twist the plain meaning of the constitutional text is no fault of theirs. We now have a president who really doesn’t even pay lip service to the document. This isn’t a matter of just disagreeing with policy. Oh, sure, the administration’s policies are awful – it just so happens that a lot of what this administration does doesn’t come close to passing constitutional muster.

  • The fear was expressed when the Leislatures’ term limits were voted by the people that the bureaucrats in the several states would have too much power. I am no longer liivng in the USA but I feel that, at the federal level, one term of five years for a POTUS and severe restrictions on the number of terms for serving in Congress, two years is too short for the cost of re-election today for the House would help. The exorbitant cost today, the heavy reliance on lobbyists’ gifts and the Supreme Court decision to not limit corporate donations, and allow them anonymously as “fictional” persons has destoyued the idea of a democratic republic.

  • Paul,
    We’ll just have to disagree with the plain meaning of the commerce clause. While you may well be right as to its “intent” (though discerning the intent of a legislative-type body is tricky stuff to say the least), the plain meaning strikes me as quite expansive unfortunately, and plainly broad enough to justify the Congressional creation of the EPA as well as its empowerment to promulgate regulations.

  • FR FRANCIS,
    Or we could employ the Illinois term limits model: one term in office followed by one term in prison — seems to working ok.

  • and the Supreme Court decision to not limit corporate donations, and allow them anonymously as “fictional” persons has destoyued the idea of a democratic republic.

    Huh?

    You mean the case where they ruled you can’t censor a movie because it has political content?

  • Foxfier, I believe he’s talking about Citizens United.

    Because, as we all know, constraints placed on campaign donations have worked such incredible wonders. /sarc

  • With respect Mike, I think Administrations directly and unconstitutionally encroach on congressional prerogatives all the time. The previous administration did so in its war on terror and the present on its war on faith. I believe that most of the New Deal and of the War Powers Act are direct assaults on the Separation of Powers and, thus, on the Constitution.

    It may well be within Congress’s authority to declare citizenship and nationality to be factors that must be considered in making visa decisions. It most assuredly isn’t the Administration’s role to add levels of review beyond those established by Congress. It may well be among Congress’s powers to tax and spend to sure up the economy. It most assuredly isn’t among a President’s powers to levy new taxes.

    It is not within either of their powers’ to abrogate the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

  • I read that ILL joke recently. No one as I said in my first post has a system to overcome greed, power and other addictions that tend to destroy humans and our instiutions. Original sin gets us all.
    I do not understand the “HUH” comment re the corporate donations. Did I misunderstand the ddecision ?

  • I do not understand the “HUH” comment re the corporate donations. Did I misunderstand the ddecision ?

    I’m afraid you did, yes; I suspected you meant CitUnited, since the way you phrased it is in line with the lib spin, but wasn’t sure.

    Short summation: the government side argued that there was nothing legally wrong with censoring a movie, or book, because of political content. They’re not centrist by any means, but this article has enough stuff for you to find more, if you like. Sorry I can’t find a better source, cleaning house.

  • Thank you. I squirmed when you suggested I am a lib! Shall research that further, thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Whoops, looks like Foxfier was right about the case FR Francis was referring to. My bad.

  • Thank you. I squirmed when you suggested I am a lib! Shall research that further, thanks for taking the time to reply.

    No insult intended! Seeing as I class most of the media as lib, and that’s all I hear out of them, it’s not really indicative of anything but not having heard about the gov’t lawyer actually telling the supreme court “sure, we could ban a book because it’s got political content.” (Part of why I mock Banned Books week is that there was NOTHING on that that I saw….)

    Point of blogs, no?

  • I think that Gingrich’s position is a little bit different. From the Face the Nation transcript, it looks as if he was talking about making judges testify in the context of impeachment proceedings. He was talking mainly about each branch’s responsibility for obeying the Constitution. His choice of examples presumed that the listener would understand that Dred Scott was wrongly decided – and maybe that was a mistake on his part. He could have made it clearer that Dread Scott was both manifestly wrong and Constitutionally wrong.

    So I get Paul’s point. But as a practical matter, if a Southern Republican said that the Dred Scott decision was narrowly wrong, he’d be run out of town.

  • There is no constitutional justification for many of the actions and guidelines put forward by the likes of the EPA and other elements of the bureaucracy. Granted, Congress is partly to blame for abdicating responsibility, but these agencies have accumulated vastly more power than what was envisioned even by the legislators who okayed them coming into existence.

    1. The budget for composing and enforcing federal regulations (as opposed to the federal police and prison services or tax collection) is generally quite small. (~$20 bn) This is somewhat obscured because agencies like the FCC and EPA have dual mandates which encompass regulations, patronage, and works projects. (About a tenth of the budget of these two is devoted to strictly regulatory tasks).

    2. Techological adaptation has been such that an escalating proportion of transactions occurs between parties in different states. In addition, effluvia can injure whole watersheds or be transported in currents which do not respect state jurisdiction.

    3. A notable exception to the above concerns aspects of labor relations and retail trade. A great deal of what goes under the heading of ‘civil rights legislation’ would not survive a rectification of jurisdictional responsibilities. Sounds like fun.

    Should note Robert Bork’s observation that the culture in the legal profession and the haut bourgeoisie is such that judicial review is no longer compatible with self government. He is right.

  • I had not left the USA when that decision was announced by the ” Supremes.” I do recall when 44 broke protocol to chastise them in the State of the Union message and my hero Scalia showed disapproval. I should have pursued it then. Glad to be enlightened, I read the summary online.

  • “I think that Gingrich’s position is a little bit different.”
    -Pinky

    Much media spew “is a little bit different” from reality.

    Media mouthpieces have been busted passing untruths about Gingrich on numerous occasions, this is another.

    One can always count on the Establishment Media to be a source of error about the Church; I see I must add Gingrich to the list of subjects on which they cannot be trusted.

  • ME:

    Please name one subject wherein the media’s definition of “news” is NOT that distortion, distraction, exaggeration, fabrication, misdirection, omission which serves the regime’s war against our liberties and our property/pursuit of happiness.

  • TS-
    kitty rescues?
    *considers*
    Never mind, just remembered my city has no-warrant searches by anyone authorized by the animal control agency if you’ve got a registered pet, to protect the fluffy kitties.

Shorter Glenn Beck: Please Pay Attention to Me Again

Monday, December 12, AD 2011

Oh look, Glenn Beck said something outlandish to gain attention for himself.

“If you have a big government progressive, or a big government progressive in Obama… ask yourself this, Tea Party: is it about Obama’s race? Because that’s what it appears to be to me. If you’re against him but you’re for this guy [Gingrich], it must be about race. I mean, what else is it? It’s the policies that matter.”

Glenn Beck is like a lot of not very smart people who dabble in philosophy and history.   He’s read a couple of Ronald Pestritto books and now he reduces everything to the same paradigm.  Everyone who deviates slightly from Beck’s brand of conservatism is just a re-incarnation of Teddy Roosevelt.

Now is Beck completely off about Newt?  No, as I’ve said before, Newt is a conservative technocrat, which is really no kind of conservative at all.  But to state categorically that there is NO difference whatsoever between Obama and Newt, and to indicate that any conservative who supports the latter over the former is a racist, means that you should not be taken seriously.

And that leads me to a couple of general comments about conservative critics of Newt Gingrich.  First, stop acting like the man is a closet Bolshevik.  Many of you have made fine points about Gingrich’s less than conservative instincts.  But not to content to make subtle points, you choose the headline grabbing THIS GOES TO 11 hyperbole that only weakens your argument.  Second, if Newt is so terrible please indicate which of the other candidates you prefer.  I can understand the establishment pundits looking to engage in intellectual jujitsu in order to weaken Gingrich in favor of Mittens, but what is the aim of conservative pundits?  If you actively support Perry or Santorum or even Bachmann, fine.  All of the above are certainly more conservative than Newt, and in the case of the guys named Rick are also much better candidates.  But then you have to make the case for those candidates and not simply the case against Newt.  Because if you’re not crazy about those candidates either, then you simply come off as a purist crank who won’t be content until the re-animated corpse of Ronald Reagan emerges as the front-runner.

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16 Responses to Shorter Glenn Beck: Please Pay Attention to Me Again

  • I’m not so sure about Reagan.

  • If we’re going to resurrect, I would prefer we resurrect Goldwater.

  • Sadly, c matt, for some conservatives today Reagan would fail their test of purity.

    And are we resurrecting the pro-choice libertarian Goldwater?

  • “Glenn Beck is like a lot of not very smart people who dabble in philosophy and history.”

    I am definitely going to repeat that and pretend I thought of it. That’s just beautiful.

  • And that leads me to a couple of general comments about conservative critics of Newt Gingrich.

    He’s a politician, and he’s got issues in his past. Not as bad of a politician as some others, and his issues aren’t as big as some others. *shrug* It’s always a matter of who will screw up the least and screw us over the least.

  • Beck’s comment is idiotic, but it seems to be a new stupid Newt comment coming to the surface every day. The effusive praise of Andy Stern in 2008 is the latest recent Anewteurysm to come back to haunt the front runner.

    A choice between Svelte Romney and Chubby Romney pretty much the definition of a Hobson’s Choice.

    Third look at Perry.

  • Glen Beck is a loosely wired ignorant man and this comment demonstrates that fact. In regard to Gingrich, I will say one thing for him: the debates show that he is unafraid to fight and to get bad press from the media. Romney strikes me as a Tom Dewey redo of the 1948 election, a man who believes he can coast to victory. I have little love for Gingrich Lord knows, but if it comes down to the Weathervane and Gingrich, I reluctantly go for Gingrich. It is still quite early however, and I could see some other member of the pack coming to the fore and getting the Anyone-but-Romney-vote which I think will be the decisive factor in this primary contest.

  • “And are we resurrecting the pro-choice libertarian Goldwater?”

    To say the least. He arranged an abortion for one of his daughters in the fifties. His wife was a big time supporter of Planned Parenthood in Arizona. When it looked like he was going to lose in 1980 he came out in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban abortion and right to lifers went door to door for him making the difference. He then did an immediate about face after he got re-elected and spent his last term making caustic comments about the right-to-lifers who saved his political hide. In retirement he was a reliable talking head when the networks wanted some Republican who would give them a pro-abort comment, be pro-gay rights or criticize the religious right.

  • I am an independent and won’t vote in a GOP primary.

    In 1952, Eisenhower basically could have been a Dem or a Rep.

    Romney is no Supreme Allied Commander, and he has some seriously bad “baggage.”

    One wonders, with the money Romney has and the professional GOP party support he seems to enjoy, why no one has thought to “package” him as a self-made, successful man who alone can solve America’s problems.

    Too bad he has such horrid baggage (which he refuses to disavow) and, like Beck, is a light weight.

    I thought his father was okay. What happened with Mitt? Why would anyone name his kid Mitt?

    For me, it is anybody but Romney. Rich, sleezy [email protected] offer $10,000 bets to tell the rest of us to shut up the eff up.

    Only thing I want to say about Goldwater: maybe he would have fought the so-called war in Vietnam.

  • For me, it is anybody but Romney. Rich, sleezy [email protected] offer $10,000 bets to tell the rest of us to shut up the eff up.

    To be fair, I do somewhat the same thing when I tell my husband or other family member “betcha a thousand bucks” or “betcha twenty bucks” or “fill in the blank large amount of money” on a topic. I wouldn’t phrase it as “shut the eff up” but that’s because I actually say “shut the Eff up” if I mean it. It means “look, you do NOT know what the heck you’re talking about, so stop blowing smoke.”

    I can’t believe I’m actually somewhat defending Mitt in some shape, but there’s that. The phrase doesn’t automatically mean “I am a rich moron.” If anything, I’m a lower middle class baka.

  • I considered going to find a clip of the exchange to see if I could detect the annoyance that accompanies my use of that phrase, then I realized that I doubt I’d be able to tell if he was annoyed.

  • A choice between Svelte Romney and Chubby Romney pretty much the definition of a Hobson’s Choice.

    This exchange between the two affirms that.

  • ‘ “… If you’re against him but you’re for this guy [Gingrich], it must be about race. I mean, what else is it? It’s the policies that matter.” ‘

    Oh brother.

  • Beck is a Mormon convert. His old FNC shows were chocked full of Mormon theology.
    http://youtu.be/NgnRN-GOLLI
    The DVD he mentions is also Mormon in origin and has been denounced by the Ohio Historical Society.
    http://ohio-archaeology.blogspot.com/2010/12/commentary-on-lost-civilizations-of.html

  • Foxfier – Have I been watching too much anime lately, or did you just slip into Japanese? (“Both” is an acceptable answer.)

    T. Shaw – What makes you think of Romney as a lightweight?

  • Pinky-
    C, all of the above and having a love of gratuitous Japanese. ^.^ It’s got to be possible to watch too much anime, but I haven’t hit that line yet myself….

The State of the Race

Thursday, December 8, AD 2011

We need to rewind a little bit before we address the madness engulfing the presidential primary season.  During the runup to the 2010 midterm elections and in its immediate followup there has been some internal GOP strife between purists who want to select only the most ideologically pure candidates and those of a squishier stripe whose primary concern is electability.  This has been an ongoing warfare, and has continued on into the GOP presidential primary.

So now Newt Gingrich is atop of the polls.  A mere few months ago Newt had been written off as a candidate, especially by the purists.  Gingrich reviled the base right at the start of his campaign by deriding Paul Ryan’s budget reform plan as right-wing social engineering.  This was just the latest in the string of rhetorical and other slights against the right.  He had endorsed Dede Scozafava, sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi for that silly global warming PSA, and had otherwise served as a negative symbol of the establishment.  But a few great debate performances – and I emphasize the word performance here – plus the flameout of various other non-Romney candidates managed to put Newt at the top of the polls.

So now the same establishment voices that urged moderation are attacking Gingrich in full voice.  Pundits like Charles Krauthammer and others are questioning Gingrich’s bona fides.  George Will went so far as to suggest that Newt is some kind of Marxist, and Mark Krikorian implied that Newt’s heart belonged to the French Revolution.  This, in turn, has angered the conservative firebrands, who perceive that the establishment is attacking the new conservative hero.  In other words, for questioning Gingrich’s conservatives purity these writers are basically being written off by purists who think that these commentators are manifesting a clear lack of purity.  The anti-purists, meanwhile, are writing off a candidate because of his, umm, lack of purity.  So the anti-purists are clearly RINOs because they think someone who the purists themselves thought was insufficiently pure not that long ago is not in fact pure. On the other hand the purists are upset that the non-purists are questioning the bona fides of a previously heretofore believed to be impure candidate, and in doing so are demonstrating that they are tools of the impure establishment.

Yeah.

I am convinced that if National Review wanted to derail the Gingrich campaign all it has to is endorse Gingrich.  As I have written before there seems to be a contingent of the GOP electorate that is motivated by spite, and they will flock to any candidate that the establishment criticizes.

It’s an astoundingly insane situation.  Frankly, I think that Gingrich is neither a Marxists-Leninist, nor is he the modern embodiment of Ronald Reagan.  Gingrich is a conservative technocrat.  He thinks that we can achieve conservative outcomes through just enough social and government tinkering.  He’s not quite a big government conservative, but I think Jonah Goldberg has a pretty good feel for Gingrich’s political instincts.

Gingrich probably agrees with the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan more than any other leading conservative. “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society,” Moynihan observed. “The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.” A constant theme of Gingrich’s career is a desire to use government to fix the culture. Indeed, there’s no Republican in the field with a more robust faith in the power of government.

So in this crazy, upside down primary season the segment of the Republican party that agrees with Gingrich is trying to eliminate him from the race, and the segment that is turned off by this sentimentality is outraged that anyone could question Gingrich.

Personally, I am ambivalent about Newt.  He’s a better candidate than most, and think that he’d ultimately make an adequate president. And while I don’t that it is unfair to dig deeper into a candidate’s philosophy and question his fitness for office, some of the assaults on Gingrich are a little absurd.  When John Sununu is on the attack against a candidate and questioning his conservative record, well, let’s just say Sununu is probably not the best judge of conservative character.

But to me the race has come down to two men named Rick.  Which one will I ultimately vote for?  If it were purely about ideology it would be Santorum, but other factors – including executive experience – ultimately matter as well and weigh in Perry’s favor.  I’d be perfectly content with either candidate.  Neither is looking particularly strong in the polls right now, but considering all that has taken place over the past few months, we should expect either to be the party’s nominee.

In all seriousness, neither is as much of a longshot as they appear right now.  You see, there’s this election that takes place in Iowa.  Despite the fact that Iowa is a rather small state and has a method of voting that is one of the dumbest and most confusing methods of selecting a candidate known to man, the Iowa caucus is crucial.  And so, this completely outmoded and overrated caucus may very well cause a darkhorse candidate to jump to the front of the line.  Both Santorum and Perry appeal to the socially conservative element in the state, and victory is obtainable in a state where the election hinges on non-traditional forms of electioneering.  I’m not suggesting that Perry or Santorum will in fact win, but if either does – especially in the case of Perry – then it will fundamentally alter the narrative of the campaign.

Of course, if either takes (or in Perry’s case, reclaims) the lead, then expect the establishment to get the knives out.  But then at least the battle lines will make sense.

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13 Responses to The State of the Race

  • Intrade has Santorum and Perry in 5th and 6th respectively in the Iowa Caucus. In 2008, Fred Thompson was polling much higher than either of them in Iowa and still won zero counties.

  • America must be saved from Obama.

    Obama ist kaput.

  • America must be saved from Obama.

    Obama ist kaput.

  • Have you heard Mrs. Newt’s very authoritative use of the first-person plural? Clearly she means to be a co-president following the Michelle model, and that just won’t do. No more empresses.

  • “Intrade has Santorum and Perry in 5th and 6th respectively in the Iowa Caucus.”

    Yeah and Intrade in December 2007 gave Obama a one in ten chance of being the Democrat nominee in 2008. The predictive ability of Intrade is nil, except when the result of an election is obvious to all.

  • At this point in 2007, Intrade accurately predicted the Iowa Caucus results for both parties.

  • No surprise there RR as most political prognosticators at the time expected Obama to beat Clinton in Iowa.

  • Don, you raise an important point. Iowa is a lot more moderate than people think. 2008 was the only time the more socially conservative Republican candidate won Iowa.

    Any Republican will nominate pro-life judges so I’m in the “let’s get an electable nominee” camp. Going with anyone but Romney or Huntsman is gambling on abortion. Romney is the better politician but Huntsman has less baggage so I think it’s more or less a draw on electability.

  • If (God forbid) Obama wins in 2012, we will be partying like its 1012 AD.

    In 2012, the choice is not Obama or Bachmann/Gingrich/Huntsman/Paul/Perry/Romney/Santorum/Trump.

    In 2012, the choice is Obama vs. America, one nation under God.

    “You can’t maintain a civilization with 12-year-olds having babies and 15-year-olds killing each other and 17-year-olds dying of AIDS and 18-year-olds getting dipolmas they can’t read. The welfare state has just plain failed because it reduces human beings from citizens to clients, because it . . . subjects them to rules . . . that are anti-family, anti-work, anti-property, and anti-opportunity. The challenge of our generation is to replace the welfare state.”
    Hon. Newt Gingrich (R.-Ga.) 11-10-93

    “The wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century.” Obama 12/5/2011

    In fact: the federal income tax code is now more progressive than it was in 1979, according to the Congressional Budget Office. IRS data show the richest 1% paid almost 40% of federal income taxes in 2009, up from 18% in 1980.

  • Rick Santorum is the best candidate, and I wish more Catholics and all Americans would take a serious look at Mr. Santorum. If people base their opinion and vote on poll numbers, Rick Santorum has no shot. However, if people vote on principles and who is the best person to lead this country, Rick Santorum is the man. Rick Santorum has my vote!

  • Sadly, Rick Santorum has no chance. Santorum has admirable social conservative views, but no hope of winning.

    Both Pittsburgh newspapers – the socialist rag and the libertine rag – spent his entire second term savaging him. Santorum lost to an empty suit Democrat by almost 20 points in 2006. Santorum has a career as a lobbyist or a lawyer, but not in elected office.

  • You guys may be happy to know that Santorum just surged past Newt in Iowa in both the latest CNN poll and Intrade. He’s in double-digits for the first time.

The Left’s (Self) Duplicity on Gay “Marriage”

Thursday, December 8, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich’s lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, has taken advantage of her half-brother’s moment at the top of the polls in order to get an appearance on a pseudo news program.  In the most anticipated public political pronouncement by a relative of a presidential candidate since Meghan McCain like totally said something like totally profound, she indicated that her brother’s opposition to gay marriage means that she will be voting for Barack Obama.  This will undoubtedly send shockwaves through our fair polity and could possibly sway hundreds if not thousands to shrug their shoulders in complete apathy.

This wouldn’t even be worthy of comment if it did not perfectly symbolize the complete stupidity of the American left.  Newt’s sister won’t vote for him because he’s opposed to gay marriage, so instead she’s going to vote for a guy who is also opposed to gay marriage.

Oh, forgot about that, huh?  Yeah, you see Barack Obama is still on record as opposing gay marriage.  Yet that hasn’t stopped the left from basically talking out of both sides of their mouth.  You see, Obama’s official position on gay marriage is trotted out whenever they want to persuade those bitter clingers that he’s not so radical after all.  Then, after they issue their press releases and mouth their talking points, they all just wink at each other and nod in some kind of secret, knowing way that he’s not really anti-gay marriage.  In his heart of hearts dear old Barack is with them after all.  He just has to tell those rubes out there in the hinterland that he is on their side.  Well, they’re just a bunch of stupid homophobes, so it’s totally okay to lie to them in order to serve the greater good.

Basically either the left is lying to us about Barack Obama’s position on gay marriage, or they’re just lying to themselves.  If it’s the latter, they’re not alone in this.  After all, in a world of Doug Kmiec and the Catholic left, Obama sycophants will believe just about anything about their guy in order to justify supporting him.  Cults of personality are such amazing things to behold.

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7 Responses to The Left’s (Self) Duplicity on Gay “Marriage”

  • This sister from the netherworld has been feeding off her brother’s notoriety for years in columns bashing him:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/candace-gingrich

    Without her connection to her brother of course, no one would give half a hoot what her opinions were about anything.

  • For the left truth is that which serves the left.

    I didn’t know Newt has a sister.

    Is she as handsome as he?

    If you were to write a book of Obama lies, it would be longer than War and Peace.

    Obama never open his mouth without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.

    Investors Business Daily, “One thing is certainly true about President Obama — no matter how many times people point out the falsehoods in his speeches, he just keeps making them. Case in point: his latest ‘economic fairness’ address. In that speech Tuesday, Obama once again tried to build a case for his liberal, big-spending, tax-hiking, regulatory agenda. But as with so many of his past appeals, Obama’s argument rests on a pile of untruths.”

    “• Tax cuts and deregulation have “never worked” to grow the economy. There’s so much evidence to disprove this claim, it’s hard to know where to start. . . .

    “ Bush’s tax cuts on the rich only managed to produced “massive deficits” and the “slowest job growth in half a century.” Budget data make clear that Obama’s spending hikes, not Bush’s tax cuts, produced today’s massive deficits.

    “• During the Bush years, “we had weak regulation, we had little oversight.” This is patently false. Regulatory staffing climbed 42% under Bush, and regulatory spending shot up 50%, according to a Washington University in St. Louis

    “The “wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century.” Fact: the federal income tax code is now more progressive than it was in 1979, according to the Congressional Budget Office. IRS data show the richest 1% paid almost 40% of federal income taxes in 2009, up from 18% back in 1980.

    “• We can keep tax breaks for the rich in place, or make needed investments, “but we can’t do both.” Not true. Repealing the Bush tax cuts on the “rich” would raise only about $70 billion a year, a tiny fraction of projected deficits. With or without the Bush tax cuts, the country can’t afford Obama’s agenda.”
    The foregoing was in Re: The Lying Sac of Excrement #Occupying the White House.

  • Doesn’t anyone really believe that Obama opposes gay marriage? I’ve never heard the pro camp argue that he opposes gay marriage to prove that he’s not radical. I have heard the anti camp trot it out when they want to accuse the pro camp of hypocrisy. All other times, Obama loves gay marriage. Now that’s hypocrisy.

  • Why, it’s different because Obama opposes same-sex marriage out of cynical calculation, and Newt opposes it out of moral reasoning. That’s why Obama is genuine and moral while Newt is a big, cynical phony who shoots unicorns….

  • Foxfier,

    Stop being so logical and reasonable.

    You need to be more loud and YELL your point with a bunch of hand-waving.

    And throw in a couple of insults and profanity, that way you seem so “cool” and witty with your point of view.

  • K…

    *cough*
    U r al horrible bad nasty poeple who hate teh gayz and are realie gayz yourself and watch thz video of a guy givin speech about hiz mothers, and ths little girl asking h8erz if her mommas are evil, and you’d be pro-abort if the fetus was GAYZOR!!!!

    *re-reads* Dang it, forgot profanity.

    (All above examples are mangled to differentiate from the originals I’ve seen in the last month.)

  • Pingback: FRIDAY MORNING EDITION | ThePulp.it

Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist

Saturday, December 3, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich was interviewed by Sean Hannity a few days ago where the topic of conversation were his thoughts on his presidential run.  During the course of the conversation the topic of faith came along in which Speaker Gingrich spoke about receiving the Eucharist.

Look for his comments on the Eucharist at the 00:52 exactly.

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5 Responses to Newt Gingrich on His Catholic Faith and the Eucharist

And It Begins

Friday, December 2, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich may not be my first choice this primary season, but I have a sinking feeling that left-wingers are going to help me get over whatever reservations I may have.  Newt is getting hammered for comments he made yesterday:

“Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” the former House speaker said at a campaign event at the Nationwide Insurance offices. “So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of  ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”

Gingrich lately has been unspooling an urban policy, beginning with his comments at Harvard University last month when he discussed child labor laws. “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods,” Gingrich said then, “entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid.”

Children in poor neighborhoods, he said, should be allowed to serve as janitors in their schools to earn money and develop a connection to the school.

Yes, what an absolutely crazy notion – allowing kids to develop a work ethic early in life.  I mean it’s not like we’ve trained an entire generation of people to just simply expect handouts:

“Somebody needs to be held accountable, and they need to pay.”

But yes, let’s attack Newt Gingrich for suggesting that young people develop work skills at an early age.

I also wonder how many socially “moderate,” economically “conservative” types will see this video and grasp that inconsistency.  Maybe Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint have a point after all.

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7 Responses to And It Begins

  • The problem with his remarks is that slum populations thirty years ago were a jumble, containing low-wage workers, episodic dole recipients, elderly pensioners, and the chronic welfare and career criminal population. (In the intervening years, the number enrolled in the principal long-term dole for the working-aged (AFDC/TANF) has declined by about two-thirds). There are a great many people in the slums who have not properly and truly entered into adult life. However, it is wrong to speak as if no one there has a proper job (though that may be nearly true in certain housing projects).

  • “Children in poor neighborhoods, he said, should be allowed to serve as janitors in their schools to earn money and develop a connection to the school.”

    Having hired people do this work is a fairly recent innovation historically speaking. Prior to World War II many schools would have teachers supervise kids in cleaning schools. Minor repairs were often done by students or their parents.

  • But, but, if kids do some very minor work as early as high school, how will they prepare to do nothing when they hit college?!?!?! What on earth will happen if they get the idea they should work for what they get?

    /sarc

    It bucks the recent flow of history, but I like the idea of making it easier for kids to work. It is a mindset, and it is getting less common.

  • Parts of what Newt said about welfare should divide Republicans. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/fact-checking-newt-gingrichs-food-stamps-claims/

    “So more Americans now get food stamps therefore and we now give it away as cash. You don’t get food stamps. You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We’ve had people take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii. And you know, they give food stamps now to millionaires.”

    Food stamps is a stupid program. People will buy food without you having to police them. Sure, they may buy other stuff too which is actually great. We don’t want people buying food they don’t need. Food stamps is an obesity promotion program. Just give them cash like Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan wanted to do. I might entertain a more paternalistic welfare program when children are involved though.

    As for food stamps for millionaires. It’s happened and it’s legal because eligibility for government programs is usually determined by income, not assets. Do you want a new government bureaucracy auditing assets?

    I do like the the Gingrich make-work program to give people the dignity of work in exchange for welfare. I have suggested the same thing on this blog and it has been discussed (I think it was DarwinCatholic who posted it) and dismissed by most here. Now that Gingrich supports it, it’s taken more seriously. Just goes to show that sometimes perception matters more than policy.

  • I washed dishes and scrubbed floors at the Country Club in my small town all through high school. They paid me the princely sum of a $1.15 per hour, I was allowed to do my homework in slow periods and they fed me a good meal each night. I saved up $3,000.00 for college which was a considerable sum in 1975. I probably learned more that helped me in my future life from that job than in all in my high school courses combined. Before I entered high school I worked at detasseling corn and rogueing corn.

  • Won’t help.

    The weak link – the common denominator – is in that “community” the two parent, father and mother family doesn’t exist.

    I blame Bush.

  • Comedian Larry Wilmore who has a contrarian streak has a devastating piece on the Daily Show about Newt’s child labor program: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-13-2011/newt-gingrich-s-poverty-code

    This is yet another example of Gingrich’s “passionate embrace of shallow ideas.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-problem-with-gingrichs-simplistic-attack-on-sharia/2011/12/12/gIQAv0nZqO_story.html)

Why Aren’t More Conservative Catholics Supporting Rick Santorum?

Thursday, December 1, AD 2011

Most of you have an immediate response to the question posed in the title of this post, but please indulge me for a moment.

In this seriously flawed Republican presidential primary field is a candidate who is a Roman Catholic.  He is a man who clearly lives his faith.  He has no skeletons in his closet (that we know of, naturally).  He is the father of seven children, and has demonstrated a devotion to the pro-life cause in a manner that is second to none.  He is unapologetically conservative, and is willing to take stands that go against the grain.

In other words, we have a candidate who it would seem should be drawing a large chunk of the conservative and Catholic vote.  Yet he regularly polls somewhere in the 1-2 percent range.  Considering the number of Catholics in the country and within the Republican party, this suggests he can’t even win the support of even a fraction of the most conservative Catholics.  Heck, even the conservative and Catholic author of this post has not really fully supported Senator Santorum.  I oscillate between the two Ricks, but have generally leaned towards Governor Perry.  So what gives?

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59 Responses to Why Aren’t More Conservative Catholics Supporting Rick Santorum?

  • “His 2006 loss looks bad, but it was a difficult environment for any Republican, particularly in a leaning blue swing state.”

    True, however he lost by the largest margin ever for any sitting senator in the state of Pennsylvania, 59%-41%. Any Republican running that year for the Senate in Pennsylvania would have lost that race, but I would have expected a veteran Pennsylania politician running for his third term to have made a stronger race of it. That gives me a lot of pause in assessing the political skills of Santorum.

  • Sorry to be a bore on this point, but we have been for nearly three years learning the hard way what happens when you put someone with no administrative experience atop a public bureaucracy with 3.4 million employees. Mr. Santorum is appealing for a host of reasons, but he is unsuitable (at this time) for the position he is seeking. If he had had a tour as Allegheny County executive and some time as a federal bureau chief, he would not be unsuitable.

  • People should vote for the most conservative electable candidate. Santorum might have the highest negatives outside the right of any candidate. People really hate the guy. I’d prefer him to Gingrich but at least Gingrich can conceivably beat Obama. The candidates in order of electability from most to least: Huntsman, Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Paul, Santorum. I think it’s a fair assessment of electability without the wishful thinking. The last 4 can be regarded as unelectable. Gingrich and Bachmann have an outside shot. If you want a Republican president support Huntsman or Romney. If you’re willing to take risks, support Gingrich or Bachmann. If you want Obama to serve a second term, support one of the others.

  • I don’t think anyone as socially conservative as Santorum could’ve done any better in the 2006 Senate race. He had no base. The left hated him and Casey ran as social conservative with the name to back it up.

  • You’re not being a bore, Art. It’s an absolutely legitimate point, and I can’t believe I missed pointing that out myself.

  • I should add that though I agree it’s a negative, I wouldn’t say lack of executive experience is an absolute disqualifier.

  • I did not vote in the US elections, but, if I would, my candidate would be Santorum for sure. He is the best clearly for me.

  • As a southern baptist I can say I intend to vote for Santorum , he is the true conservative in this race. Time will tell but I believe he’ll do much better then expected, he’ll carry the South and become our next President. He is the best man for the job.

  • My parents used to live in his district and they HATED him. They are liberal, but they lived in a very conservative district and everyone hated him. I’ve asked them a couple times what was so bad about him, but they just say he was terrible. They told me they used to ask their friends why they voted for him if they thought he was so bad… I guess they stopped doing that, didn’t they?

  • Santorum is a diehard supporter of the Bush doctrine and this seriously turns me off. I don’t want a president who thinks it’s responsible to send soldiers to die in war against an abstract noun.

  • There was nothing abstract about either 9-11 or the menace to his own people, neighboring states and the US posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. That Santorum understands this increases my regard for him greatly.

    Santorum predicted the on-going disaster in Egypt back in June in the well-written, and prescient, piece linked to below:

    http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.4479/pub_detail.asp

    He has a series of these types of analyses of foreign policy issues:

    http://www.eppc.org/scholars/scholarID.88,type.1/pub_list.asp

  • As the article clearly indicates, Mr. Santorum is unelectable. Defeating President Obama in 2012 must be THE top priority. Mr. Santorum may have the best policy positions of any of the Republican presidential candidates . . . but he is unelectable.

    Zach, the majority of Democrats in the Senate voted to authorize the war in Iraq and “. . . send soldiers to die in war against an abstract noun.” Leaving the 2008 election rhetoric aside, President Obamas’ policies to date in Iraq and Afghanistan are virtually indistinguishable from the policies that would have been pursued by a Republican Administration.

    And based on early signs of a parliamentary election victory in Egypt by Islamists/the Muslim Brotherhood, as Mr. Santorum predicted, the political situation in Egypt may soon get much worse.

  • Defeating President Obama in 2012 must be THE top priority.

    This is wrong for a couple of reasons. Merely defeating President Obama. He must be replaced by someone who will be willing to enact significant changes. A placesitter who is merely better than Obama is insufficient.

    Second, as stated in my post, predicting who is electable at this stage is an exercise in folly.

    The rest of your post I totally agree with.

  • He must be replaced by someone who will be willing to enact significant changes.

    You will need in addition:

    1. A secure plurality in the House of Representatives with like inclinations; and
    2. The same in the Senate conjoined to the abolition of the filibuster.

    Not holdin’ my breath.

  • Paul, my point was that beating President Obama in 2012 must be the top priority in choosing a candidate. A candidate who is unelectable does not meet that key criterion. This does not mean that you nominate “anyone” regardless of their policy positions, because you deem them electable. It means that unelectability is an automatic disqualifier for the nomination. In my mind, losing to now-Senator Casey in Pennsylvania by 20% in 2006 is a pretty good indicator that Mr. Santorum, as much as I respect him, is unelectable.

    Many Americans, myself included, would like to see significant changes in our politics and policies. Given our present political balance-of-power realities, however, it is hard to envision many significant changes becoming reality in the near term. If only for future judicial nominations, the top priority for selection of the Republican nominee must be that he/she is electable. Whether a candidate is electable or not is part of the vetting process that Republicans are currently engaged in.

    Given the importance of defeating President Obama in 2012, non-electability must be at the top of the list of qualifications that disqualifies someone from being the nominee.

  • Again, Tom, who are you to decide who and who is not electable? Each person that has jumped to the head of the polls within the GOP primary has also led Obama in polls. Newt Gingrich, who most people (including yours truly) wrote off months ago now edges Obama out in polls. President Obama is at sub-40% favorability in the polls, sitting on 9+ percent unemployment, and several swing states that voted for him last time are all but written off for him. I don’t necessarily think that every one of the candidates can defeat Obama, but I think whoever gets the nomination has a very good chance.

    As for this:

    Whether a candidate is electable or not is part of the vetting process that Republicans are currently engaged in.

    Is just plain wrong. The only reason Mitt Romney continues to do as well as he does is his perceived electability. Time and again on other conservative blogs I’ve seen Romney supporters mention his electability – and only his electability. If anything GOP primary voters are overly concerned with this aspect of the election.

    Given our present political balance-of-power realities, however, it is hard to envision many significant changes becoming reality in the near term.

    If that is really the case then we might as well write off this republic of ours.

  • Why do we think we know who can or cannot beat Obama… Is not God in charge?! God can and does do mighty things with the least of His children. In acts such as this – we truly see the glory of God. Should we not work, promote and vote for the candidate who most clearly keeps Gods laws?! To me that is what we are called to do… and then, let God be God. We are not in charge of anything beyond our own actions. I for one am supporting Rick Santorum, I could do no less – as I try my best to live out my faith. It is Rick Santorum who defends the sanctity and dignity of Life, and of Marriage.

  • wow Spector, Casey and tone? These three “reasons” are flaky and flimsy. Especially the tone one… I think people who have met him and spoken with him personally may have an edge on seeing that sunny side that is not portrayed to people who look up information about him on the internet, or from liberal or conservative neighbors who can’t articulate why they hate him.
    I wish I lived in Iowa! I would caucus for him. We have to stand up for the truth, not for who is politically correct with the masses… at some point we have to trust God. …think Lepanto do the right thing. and trust that people will vote for the best person.
    Just defeating Obama is not enough– we should be replacing him with someone who is good.

  • With all due respect Paul, I will not “decide” who is electable or not . . . I ultimately have one vote in this process, just like you do. And one voice in this very important discussion, just like you do. Others will have to judge the merits of our opinions.

    I agree, President Obama is very vulnerable – there is no doubt. All the more reason that we must defeat him in 2012. That the Republican presidential field as it is currently configured is, shall we say, less than perfect – there is also little doubt. Just consult the polls concerning the opinion of the current Republican field, even by Republicans. And Newt’s electability would take more discussion than there is room here to provide.

    Ultimately, if we do not defeat Obama in 2012, having fielded the “nearly perfect candidate” will offer little consolation.

    I think it is a bit much to say that the “only” reason for Mitt Romney’s standing in the polls is his electability. It is one key component, but certainly not the only one. I understand that many conservatives do not like him as the candidate in 2012. I have not yet decided whether Romney is the best nominee. Like many other Republicans, I personally would like to see someone else enter the race.

    I, for one, will never “write off this republic of ours,” no matter how dismal the political realities may be on the ground. We must stay in the fight, expending most of our efforts united toward the goal of defeating President Obama in 2012. Now let’s all focus our efforts on defeating President Obama, respectfully voicing our opinions and making the substantive case for each of the current nominees, taking all the important aspects of this election into consideration.

  • Whiny and arrogant tone? Stomp up and down and throw a hissy fit? Who have you been watching? That’s not Santorum at all. What I’ve seen for months now are debates in which he is consistently and purposely ignored, while all the attention and questions are directed at the media’s anointed “leaders.” I can recall more than one debate where Santorum did not get asked a single question for over an hour. He has every right to point out the bias and lunacy of that treatment, and to interject himself and demand an opportunity to be heard. If you call that whiny, then you need an afternoon with a roomful of preschoolers.

    In Santorum I see a man of much grace and steadfastness. I see a highly intelligent and thoughtful man, who walks the talk every single day. I see a man who does not back down when push comes to shove, and when the arrows start flying he doesn’t duck under his desk. He is the only candidate who is willing to speak the moral truth and defend it without apology. I see a man with integrity; a man who has been personally tested and has the inner mettle we need in a President.

    If Catholics do not put their support and their vote behind such a man, then we absolutely deserve the mess our cowardice will create for our country. Shame on us if we once again throw our votes at the candidate deemed to be more “electable” or God forbid, Obama again. The fact is, we have President Obama now only because of Catholics, and that means we have much to answer for.

  • For those of us living in Pa during the republican primaries in 2004, I think many of you are really underestimating the impact that supporting Spector over Toomey had. It was nothing short of devastating for the “grass roots” loyal pro-life republicans. It took the wind out of our sails.

    In my opinion it was the beginning of the end for Santorum in Penssylvania. The “base” never recovered to support him with any strength against Casey. Casey can barely pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time but he just ran all over Santorum. Santorum.

    Say what you will, but that is the truth. I remember many of us were in shock over that endorsement. To date I have never heard him recant that endorsement, or say something like “boy, I really blew it on that”.

    What I have read from various sources was just his reasons for defending that endorsement. I am sure he regrets it, but because it hurt him politically, not because it was a bad endorsement.

    Say what you will, but he wouldn’t even win Pennsylvania against Obama in a general election.

    He would be a good appointment to HHS or some other federal level position.

  • Paul – There’ve been five waves of he’s-not-Romney candidates: Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Gingrich. All of them have been grassroots surges. If people who write columns in Washington had their way, none of those candidates would have stood a chance, and Romney would be running against Huntsman. It seems like most every second-tier candidate has had a moment on the first tier. So, while most years I would agree with you about not dismissing someone on the basis of percieved unelectability, if a candidate never got noticed this year, it says something. Lots of debates, lots of opportunities.

    I was sure that Pawlenty was going to find his footing, as sure as I was of Thompson four years ago.

    Now, if memory serves, you’re a fellow Marylander, right? I think it’s great that the US cordoned off the worst decision-makers in the country into one state with a late primary and few electoral votes, just so they couldn’t do much damage. They let us drive, which is clearly a mistake, but otherwise the better 49 are unaffected by our stupidity. I think that living in Maryland is affecting the way I follow politics. I still love it, but I’ve been zapped by the Skinner box so many times that I don’t expect a treat when I pull the lever.

  • Jennifer:

    Even though I’ve learned to look past it and think that it’s really not that consequential of an issue to me, it is a recurring theme among people who have either written off Santorum or have not supported him. At times I do think he has come across as petulant, particularly when he has pestered other candidates and did, at one point, even suggest to another person speaking that their time was up and that he should stop speaking. Others see that as aggressive and something to be applauded, others think it comes across as bullying.

    I do agree he’s been overlooked and that frustration has seeped out. Rightly or wrongly, people take superficial concerns about tone and other behavior seriously. I mean Rick Perry’s candidacy just about tanked because of “heartless” remark, as well as his otherwise emotionless appearance during the debates. Don’t underestimate people’s ability to be impressed by style over substance. Like it or not, it’s how a lot of people determine the “winners” of these debates.

  • Pinky,

    Yes, I am a fellow Marylander. What’s funny is that not only is our general election vote of little consequence, but even our primary vote is fairly meaningless because of how late our primary is being held. As you say, that’s a good thing for the rest of the country. And at least we’re better drivers than Virginians, if nothing else.

  • Who is it that is a great supporter of Romney then?

    No one here has said they like him or want him to be President. No Republican I know wants him as their candidate and this is true of even the “nominally republicans” I work with.

    How can it be that this guy is the front runner likely candidate when all I hear, whether in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Coastal Georgia, is “I just can’t vote for him”?

  • G-Veg:

    I really don’t get it. The man is actively reviled by 75 percent of the party. I’m not talking about an unwillingness to vote for him, I’m talking about deep revulsion. This is a guy who four years ago couldn’t beat out John McCain, and yet now he is supposedly the only human being alive who can beat Barack Obama. Sometimes conventional wisdom is based on nothing more than wishful thinking repeated often enough.

  • Paul Zummo, I read your criticism of Ramesh Ponnuru @NRO and thought it was a pretty devastating take. I disagree with him, too (that Romney’s victory is likely, so let’s get excited about it), but still think Ramesh is a thoughtful & conservative thinker. So, hopefully you will reconsider at some point.

  • Ramesh actually responded to me over at my personal blog, and I wrote him back.

  • To Chris from PA: I’m not downplaying at all the betrayal pro-lifers felt by Santorum’s support for Specter. But I can assure you, Rick definitely regrets the decision, and not merely because he lost re-election. He understands it was a bad move. He’ll readily say he should have listened to his wife, who was adamantly against it. He did it for two reasons: Roberts and Alito. His intentions were good — truly. But he will acknowledge that it was a mistake and he is sorry.

  • Jennifer,
    Fair enough. I don’t agree with the intentions, but at least I know where he was coming from.

    I still remember for the first time watching him on WNEP raising Spector’s hand with a big smile on his face at some campaign rally while thinking to myself “I feel like I need to vomit now”…..

    Ultimately I agree with TomD who I will quote
    “Defeating President Obama in 2012 must be THE top priority.”

    For what its worth, in my mind it’s between Romney (who after a couple of endorsements I feel is genuinely pro-life now) and Gingrich. What I really like about Gingrich is he “gets” radical Islam and has spoken out about the plight of the Coptic Christians in Eqypt.

  • Jennifer, you are right on! I interviewed Santorum in 2007 and he told me that Guiliani was the only viable candidate, as most establishment Republicans said. He defended his support of Specter based on the same wisdom.
    Then his daughter Bella Maria was born, in 2008, with trisomy 18, and his world was turned upside down. Trust, me I had the same thing happen when my daughter was born with Down syndrome. He admitted just before beginning his presidential bid, that she has caused him to re-order his priorities. He contributed a wonderful article he wrote about her on her second birthday “Two Years Worth Every Tear” to my book “A Special Mother is Born”.
    Last Monday, I presented a copy of the book to him in a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire, he seemed genuinely flattered by my calling him a pro-life hero. He had a conversation that day with a virulent defender of abortion, remained calm and reasonable as he staunchly defended the right to life of the unborn.
    He has my vote, and my prayers that Catholics will see his pro-life convictions and believe in his deepening of faith.

  • The only reason Mitt Romney continues to do as well as he does is his perceived electability.

    1. He is a familiar name;
    2. His domestic life has not caused any embarrassing distractions;
    3. He has notable experience as an executive in the public and private sector;
    4. He has experience with commercial and industrial restructurings and will have some critical engagement with what is told him by and about the financial sector, something none of the other vigorous competitors for the presidency could have said at any time in the last fifty years. This sort of understanding is regrettably salient at this time.

  • Santorum’s foreign policiy is essentialy Bush Redux. If you like that, then he’s your man. If not, then that is a perfectly substantive reason for not supporting him.

  • c matt
    you want to explain what you mean by bush redux?

  • What’s the alternative to ‘Bush Redux’?

  • Who would have thought that an inexperienced community organizer with no work history would become President? Santorum is consistant and principled. He is a true conservative. He knows foriegn affairs, he can get things done in Congress, he will protect life, why isn’t he the choice of the people? The country club republicans want a big government guy, the liberals can’t argue morality with him, so he loses out with those groups, but if the everyday hard working church going gun toting folks out there would listen to him they might change their minds. It shouldn’t be about who can beat Obama, because he is doing a good job of that on his own. It should be about who will support us and who best represents our morals and beliefs.

  • Paul Zummo says about Romney, “The man is actively reviled by 75 percent of the party. I’m not talking about an unwillingness to vote for him, I’m talking about deep revulsion.”

    If the measure of “actively revile” is 100 minus your poll numbers then Gingrich is actively reviled by a similar percent of the party. Polls show Romney viewed favorably by over half of Republican voters.

  • I’ve forgiven Santorum for the whole Specter debacle; it’s his current support for waterboarding that bothers me.

    His foreign policy positions don’t really bother me, given my strong interventionist streak; while I don’t think we have the resources to militarily overthrow every tyranny on earth (nor perform the post-overthrow nation-building adequately), the “traditionalist” and “non-interventionist” foreign policies seem to say, “Your tyrant not affecting us/our national interests? Well then, screw you!” Not a sentiment I share, to say the least.

    I haven’t really been following the primaries, but the candidate I somewhat have been “rooting for” is Perry, as he seems to be (or at least “seemed” – I don’t know now) the most electable and sensible “social conservative” candidate that has a chance of winning.

    I do think a Romney win in the GOP primaries would be disasterous for the nation, as it would indicate to Republican politicians that issues like abortion and gay marriage are no longer important, and thus the political atmosphere would be even further into the culture of death even more than it already is…

  • Don’t be obtuse, RR. Romney’s poll numbers haven’t budged an iota despite the fluctuation in the rest of the campaign. It’s clear that lines have been drawn in the sand between his supporters and critics, and he is not moving any higher in the polls. Perhaps not every single one of the 75% of his non-supporters revile him, but he is clearly and deeply unpopular.

  • Santorum is at least as pro-life as the other candidates. His aggressive foreign policy does bother me but that’s not a major issue this election cycle. His economic plan which creates a special carve out for manufacturing is too interventionist for me but there are worse ideas out there. His emphasis on the middle-class should have very wide appeal and is a winner in the general elections. His demeanor is off-putting but the Gingrinch is even worse. His perceived hostility towards gays is a major problem for him, especially because it’s so well known. Fairly or unfairly, he’s defined by it. His position on DADT makes no sense. It’s one thing to oppose repeal, but he says repeal targets gays for special privileges not enjoyed by heterosexuals. That goes far beyond rational argument and warrants suspicion of unjust discrimination and that’s one thing voters will not forgive.

  • Santorum is a very good man & was a solid senator, but I have read the comments of other readers who are correctly critical of his neo-conservative, nation-building policies. I agree with those critics and believe that Rep. Ron Paul is correct in his overall assessment. Both George Washington and Ike Eisenhower offered powerful farewell addresses that reflected the Constitution wisdom of the U.S. being wary of foreign intrigues as well as the military, industrial, congressional complex. Once Rick jumps off of the neo-conservative bandwagon, he’s got my vote.

  • National defense. Santorum.

  • “No Republican I know wants [Romney] as their candidate”

    I really believe that he, and maybe Perry, would be good presidents. I suspect that the next president is going to have to implement some serious austerity – necessary in the long run, but recessionary in the short run. He’s going to take a lot of heat for it and be considered a failure. Right now, Romney’s the one I trust most to be able to do it.

  • I have the complete opposite feeling about Romney, Pinky. He is precisely the type of individual who would be unwilling to use any of his political capital in order to advance difficult measures.

  • Both George Washington and Ike Eisenhower offered powerful farewell addresses that reflected the Constitution wisdom of the U.S. being wary of foreign intrigues as well as the military, industrial, congressional complex. Once Rick jumps off of the neo-conservative bandwagon, he’s got my vote

    1. George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower could not have faced more dissimilar configurations in international relations.

    2. There is no constitutional provision which prescribes a specific foreign policy.

    3. His commentary on the ‘military-industrial complex’ notwithstanding, annual military expenditures during the Eisenhower administration averaged in excess of 10% of domestic product and incorporated conscription to boot. Mr. Bush and the ‘neo-conservative bandwagon’ made do with 5% of national product and a professional military.

  • My favorite Eisenhower quote, from his state of the union address in 1959:

    “America’s security can be assured only within a world community of strong, stable, independent nations, in which the concepts of freedom, justice and human dignity can flourish.

    There can be no such thing as Fortress America. If ever we were reduced to the isolation implied by that term, we would occupy a prison, not a fortress. The question whether we can afford to help other nations that want to defend their freedom but cannot fully do so from their own means, has only one answer: we can and we must, we have been doing so since 1947.”

  • “The United States ought not to indulge a persuasion that, contrary to the order of human events, they will forever keep at a distance those painful appeals to arms with which the history of every other nation abounds. There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”

    George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, 1793

  • Also, Washington’s farewell speech originally called for no foreign entanglements – for twenty years. He wanted the US to get on its feet so it could be an equal in its agreements.

  • We seem to be missing the point about Santorum. He is a staunch conservative, he is not Bush redux except for the fact that he is steady, consistant, and does not waiver. His opposition to DADT is right. We have now created a special protected class within the military and are attempting to undermine the Chaplain’s role in the military. If you have every heard Santorum discussing homosexual issues you will hear a person who is Christian/Catholic to the core and truly loves his fellow man. He is demonized by the radical left because he takes a moral stand that our Church dictates. The reasons some people give for not supporting Santorum is his support of Spector and his strong national defense stand especially against Iran. The other candidates have more skeletons in their closets(with the exception of possibly Ron Paul). Newt has supported embryonic stem cell research and is/was a proponet of “climate change” legislation, has cheated on two wives, but is probably the most intelligent candidate(intelligent does not always equate to being correct) . Romney has changed his stance on abortion through thoughtful investigation and is accused of being a flip flopper, and lest we not forget Romneycare. Cain is being lynched by accusations and has but one theme, 9-9-9. Perry can’t speak intelligently in a debate. Bachmann comes off as shrill. Paul has great ideas but personally I don’t like alot of his foreign policy stands. Huntsman, et al are hanging around. Why is Santorum laggin in the polls?

  • Thank you for your many insights and points of persuasion – Mr. McClarey, Pinky, Sid, etc. From Mr. Zummo’s 3 reasons: 1) Sen. Santorum’s ill-advised support of Spector is a minor factor; 2) his thumping lose to Casey, again, it carries some weight in PA, but is still relatively a small factor; 3) the “arrogant, whiny” factor may well have more to do w/ the media’s politically correct posture in favor of the liberal agenda. And now that sodomy and bestiality are okay in the military, we can see just how “professional” our troops are will become. Many of our fellow Catholic readers & thinkers have made excellent, thought-provoking points concerning the need for a top-notch military, ready both to defend and fight. However, the question of America’s role to a significant degree – as a “policeman-of-the-word” must be weighed both on the scales of our laws as well as on the financial ledgers. Are we following both the spirit and the letters of our Constitution by trying to build democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are we responsible stewards to present and future generations by spending vast sums of money for such aims and enterprises? The bottom line on Sen. Santorum for me remains one of considerable admiration and respect for his skills, courage, fervor, honesty, goodness, and judgment. My sole objection is his view of America as some messianic, military savior who is obligated to be the perennial enforcer on the international playground whenever significant political-military-economic-&-cultural issues come to a head. During one of the debates I heard two young men say in so many words, “That Santorum dude would be a-okay, but he needs to tone down the war drums on Iran.” Fellow readers, I realize that the issue with a nuclear Iran is serious and complex, but I think that all of our politicians could learn from the pastoral attitude of our Holy Fathers who pleaded with nations – before the conflicts in Iraq – to seek diplomacy unceasingly, while remaining well aware of duplicitous and deceiving tactics of real and potential enemies. The bellicose tone of Sen. Santorum and other quality candidates needs to be tempered. Congress must be engaged fully – as required by the Constitution – be the U.S. involves itself in wars. We remain on a trajectory of selecting Presidents who exercise unilateral powers. We, the people, must demand a return to a more balanced approach, which includes the needed funding for intelligence and an honest assessment of each situation, but is governed by the denominator of the voice of the voters in the House and Senate. Representative Ron Paul – a military veteran and a superb defender of pro-life policies and liberty – understands those distinctions well. It would be encouraging to see Senator Santorum to reassess his stance in the aftermath of the primaries because he is so vigorous a champion with much potential for future office. The latest Newt flip-flop on life begins at implanation – not at conception – is something that Santorum would never do. Like Rep. Paul, Sen. Santorum is a true-believer in that sense. And for that – despite his neo-conservative position – I could vote for him, knowing his honesty and his vast superiority over President Obama. Alas, barring a series of nearly impossible developments, neither Sen. Santorum nor Rep. Paul will garner enough electoral support. But, of course, we should be focused on the task of selecting whom we believe would be best, not selecting or predicting the ultimate “winner”. Oremus.

  • hard to imagine any “Holy Fathers”, esp since Leo XIII being libertarians.

  • “maybe people should actually just vote for who they like best”

    There in is your answer. People do vote for who they like the best. Rick, for all of his good points, is not likeable. However, he’d be a good V.P.

  • Sarah Palin said: “It is RICK SANTORUM”:

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/02/sarah-palin-lavishes-praise-on-rick-santorum/

    I love this woman. She is fantastic.

  • I watched Santorum last night on the Fox forum. This man has obviously thought a huge deal about the issues, knows them cold and knows what we would do as President. Even though I do not think he has much of a chance, I am going to support him.

  • Now that Cain is basically out, it should be interesting to see if there is any movement in Santorum’s direction as his voters defect to various candidates.

  • Have any of you been polled? I ask because I harbor doubts about the validity of polling.

    I’m over 40 and would expect to have been tagged at some point. The subject came up at a birthday party a couple of months ago and no one in my extended family has been polled in at least 20 years.

    “Statistics lie and liers use statistics” and all so, other that to steer elections, what validity do the polls actually have? Do they actually represent the support of rank-and-file Republicans?

    Maybe the answer to Paul’s query above is that the party really doesn’t support Romneyand the polls are garbage.

  • Like most others who fail to see the big picture of the Spector endorsement, you do not mention that the GOP held the slimmest 51-49 margin at the time. Toomey, less conservative in 2004 than the 2010 version, would have never beaten the Democrat that year. Spector was the chair of the juduiary committee and pledged to Santorum that he would vote for any Bush juducual appointee. Roberts passed thru with no opposition, Alito not so much. So, no Spector, no Alito. Could Toomey had delivered that? You know the answer. Santorum was looking at the long term not political expedency. Isn’t that what has been missing in our leaders for so long? Get over Spector. Support Rick Santorum.

  • So, no Spector, no Alito.

    The final vote on Alito’s confirmation was, I believe, 58-42. The GOP held a 55-45 advantage after the 2004 election. So your math does not hold up.

    And if Specter had lost to Toomey, contrary to what you said, Toomey very well could have won his general election contest. And with a Senator Toomey instead of Specter, no 60th vote for health care.

    Also keep in mind that Snarlin Arlin was one of the main reasons Bork was defeated, but let’s not bring up really old news now.

    Get over Spector. Support Rick Santorum.

    I kind of said that (minus the blanket endorsement for Santorum).

  • I was a Cainiac, now I’m a Santorumite! Rick Santorum is the most Conservative in the race. His record is solid Conservative. His efforts to protect the unborn are well-known and go back to his first position in the Congress. He is smart, thoughtful and unafraid. I think he is the best candidate for POTUS and I will be voting for him in my state’s primary in March!!

Newt Gingrich: Receiving the Eucharist Brings Me Peace

Wednesday, November 30, AD 2011

Just listened to parts of the Newt Gingrich tonight by Sean Hannity while I was working and Speaker Gingrich said in the most Catholic language imaginable how receiving the Eucharist brings him peace and comfort.

That was an incredible line.  As soon as I can find it on YouTube, I’ll post it, but I may begin budging towards Gingrich based simply on his faith!

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33 Responses to Newt Gingrich: Receiving the Eucharist Brings Me Peace

  • I am glad Newt found faith, but he needs to find many more things before I would willingly support him. This is a pretty good Ron Paul ad, and I am not Ron Paul fan.

  • Sounds likes he is against same sex marriage and has taken actions that follow his convictions. On the other hand, if a state decides to support same sex marriage, then that is their choice even if he disagrees with it.

    Ron Paul is not my guy. He is off his rocker when it comes to foreign policy. Nonetheless, his ad on Newt is good.

  • I watched the same interview with Hannity and had the same response. I have never in my adult life seen such an open expression by a nationally known politician like Newt give such an embrace of the Eucharist as he did tonight. For me, if a person (Catholic) expresses himself/herself by speaking of the gifts of the Eucharist as he did tonight, it gives a good sense as to where he/she would be on most major issues of the day to our nation,party, and religion.

    Looking for more good stuff to come from his candidacy. The interview really woke me up to this guy who I have grown so used to over the last 20 years or so.

  • And Joe Biden says the rosary daily.

    Newt is a scumbag. I wouldn’t say that about any other candidate. Looking at his personal life, you can’t reach any other conclusion.

  • RR,

    Of course you’re going to say that, if all you get your information from the liberal media.

    Your comment really says a lot about you.

  • RR – so funny how far you are from understanding the thrust of this article and comments on this thread. First off, I could care less about what he did or did not do in his past that is already known. Our Lord did not come for the saved, he came for the sinner. I am impressed with Newt’s embace of our faith in the way he is doing. What he states now and his actions now are what should count. Second, your use of that foul term on this site indicates that you are far from bringing any valuable comments to inform anyone here.

    Thanks for the try but a place you might enjoy spending time would be titled soethin like the following …..www.msnbc.com

    Thanks and God Bless.

  • You raise an interesting question about expressions of faith in public life and I’m notsure where I come down on the answer you suggest.

    If there is something wrong with holding a man’s faith against him as he seeks public office, surely the opposite is true too? Yet, can we honestly say that we don’t prefer “our guy” when a candidate expresses himself in a way that taps into the core of our being?

    I think the opposite is true too for I cannot imagine how I could bring myself to vote for one who publicly declared himself to be an atheist. (I’m not alone in this regard and I think this is why candidate Obama worked so hard to establish “Christian” credentials – not because he’s a closet Moslem but because he believes in nothing and couldn’t say so for fear that it would be held as a defect by many.)

    Perhaps, then, the problem is with the underlying idea that faith isn’t a thing to be considered in candidacy. Perhaps it isn’t honest for the candidate to hide his faith or lack of faith and it isn’t honest for voters to pretend that faith isn’t an issue in elections.

    But, if so, how can a republic survive the resulting fracturing? If candidates were to declare themselves on faith matters, surely parties would spring up to allign those interests. What would be the difference, then, between us and, for example, Turkey or Lebanon?

  • It is obvious that Newt has totally forgiven himself for his adulterous behavior and all his political profiteering. How honest he is in his soul with God, only God knows. But from what I can see of him that is public, he is a real snake. Watch out Church–Newt is a user of the first order. God can take care of Himself, but us mortals need to be on guard against this guy. Never enough sex, glamor, money or self-importance. If he gets to be president, he will sit on the throne like a pompous little king. He sure doesn’t have my vote.

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth so I’ll enlighten you on why thinking conservatives don’t think too highly of Newt.

    “Newt Gingrich will not be the nominee because, despite his daughter’s rebuttals to the horror stories of how Gingrich divorced his first of three wives, Jackie Gingrich told the Washington Post on January 3, 1985, “He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery.” Gingrich went on to cheat on the second wife with the third. Regardless of the actual facts or even the spin, he won’t win women.” – Eric Erickson

    Richard Land says evangelical women will not vote for Gingrich under any circumstances.

    “He believes that what he says in public and how he lives don’t have to be connected.” – Marianne Gingrich, Wife #2

    And to top it off, he says he cheated on his wives because he loved his country so much!

    I won’t even get into the flip-flopping on everything from cap-and-trade to the health care mandate. He has a nasty attitude as evidenced by every debate. The exchange with Maria Bartiromo made him look like a fool. He complained about only having 30 seconds to answer so Maria said he can take as much time as he needs to which Newt responded, “that wouldn’t be fair to the others.” Yeah, that’s why it’s 30 seconds, idiot!

    How do you think he’ll work with John Boehner who led the eventually successful effort in the 90’s to force Newt to step down? Boehner, now there’s a Catholic I can get behind.

    I’m even skeptical of the conversion story. How convenient that he found religion while preparing to run for president.

    The moment I discovered he wasn’t even as smart as some made him out to be was when he released his tax reform plan. Few people even know about it because it really can’t be taken seriously. I’m not saying that I don’t take it seriously. I’m saying that NOBODY takes it seriously. He tried to one-up Perry before everyone criticized Perry’s plan. Newt’s plan is Perry’s super-sized.

    Then came the CBS foreign policy debate and I figured out why people think Newt is smart. He knows his history. Every answer he gave was a history lesson. The problem was that he doesn’t know how things currently work. He could only think in historical analogies. He doesn’t have coherent guiding philosophies unless you count political expedience as a guiding philosophy.

    If I had to vote, I can vote for any of the Republican candidates except Cain and Gingrinch. Cain because he doesn’t know anything about public policy and Gingrinch because he’s a horrible person.

  • I have little use for Gingrich as I indicated in this post:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/05/19/gingrich-and-the-fine-art-of-political-suicide/?preview=true&preview_id=30473&preview_nonce=acb56a2ead

    If he obtains the nomination, and that he might just do that is a tribute to the strong antipathy most Republicans, including myself, have for Romney, I will certainly vote for him in his race against Obama. He certainly is far from my ideal of a Republican standard bearer, but compared to Obama, it is an easy vote. I am by no means convinced that Gingrich will get the nomination, since I believe he has a talent for political suicide, but we shall see.

    As for the Paul ad, attack ads by Paul (R. Pluto), are certainly preferable for his campaign than his attempting to defend his usually infantile, and always dangerous, foreign policy positions.

    However, politics is one thing and religion is another. Gingrich has given no evidence that his conversion is not sincere and whole-hearted. I am glad that the Eucharist gives him peace and comfort, and I pray that we all may feel the same.

  • I have many concerns about Newt base on past behavior, but I’m more inclined to believe the eyewitness account of his daughter vs. the second/third/or fourth hand account of someone else.

    He definitely has baggage, but his ideas are very interesting and his ability to reason and articulate are second to none.

  • More than once I have heard Newt described as half genius and half crazy. Normally I would not vote for someone like that but if he is our only alternative to a president who is ALL aggressively liberal, anti-life and anti-Catholic, I may just have to.

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth

    I think this one sentence pretty much sums up why I ignore most of the things you say.

  • Since we, as Americans, appear to have lost our moral conscience, the Holy Spirit will play a major role in this election. God often uses “characters” throughout history to effect His Plan. Liberal or Conservatives will agree , we all need God to help this world through its current calamities

  • I pray that he has found peace through his conversion.

    But, man–Gingrich’s record is a mess. Personally and professionally.

    This slate is really the best the GOP can do?

    Of the people who have polled more than ten percent during the cycle, I can’t see myself voting for Romney (Every person you need to be), Cain (remarkably inept on anything not brought to you by the number 9), and Paul (isolationism combined with naivete is a crap sandwich) or Bachmann (inexperienced at anything other than backbencher bomb-throwing).

    [Though in Paul’s case, I respect and understand the appeal of his candidacy.]

    I’m close to feeling the same no-go about Gingrich, even conceding his political skills and functioning wonky brain.

    I’m still most inclined toward Perry, though his implosion probably means he’s not viable any more, sad to say.

    “If God wanted us to vote, He’d give us candidates.”

  • I know many of you don’t get any news that doesn’t come from Sean Hannity’s mouth

    I think this one sentence pretty much sums up why I ignore most of the things you say.

    Mea culpa, it was background noise and when I heard him mention the Eucharist I literally fell out of my chair.

    Mea maxima culpa.

  • wow Dale , I often find what I fear most in others , is hidden deep within myself

  • I echo Dale’s sentiments. I like the two Ricks, but combined they aren’t polling into the double digits. I think things will pick up for one or both of them as Cain continues to plummet and more conservatives remember Newt’s foibles. I’ve actually been a Perry guy, but considering Santorum is just about as viable now and he’s the one who I agree with on more issues, I might wind up backing him (though by the time the primary gets to MD, it will be a moot point). Newt is more palatable than the rest of the field, but that’s primarily due to the rest of the field’s weaknesses.

    But we are deviating from the post topic, and I do appreciate Newt’s sentiments. That said, is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea of a twice divorced, re-married man receiving the Eucharist? I know those marriages took place before his crossing the Tiber, but they still count.

  • wow Dale , I often find what I fear most in others , is hidden deep within myself

    Meaning what, precisely?

  • That said, is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea of a twice divorced, re-married man receiving the Eucharist? I know those marriages took place before his crossing the Tiber, but they still count.

    I am.

  • I understand the repentant sinner requires forgiveness. Nonetheless, some damage caused by sin remains. The damage caused by his infidelities is for God and Newt’s family to work through.

    The worrisome part of Newt’s marriages, how they came about, and his infidelities is they are examples of a serious lack of judgment. It shows he possesses an impulsive nature, which might be okay when choosing between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but not when it comes to maintaining a monogamous relationship, especially in the vows of marriage.

    This impulsive nature is intrinsic to Newt’s personality. It explains what so many have pointed out, his ability to commit political suicide. He says things without fully thinking the ramifications of them. He participates in ideas because they seem advantageous at the moment without thinking what long term messages he is sending. The words or ideas seem like a great affair to be involved in, so he marries himself to it and is faithful until the next opportune moment comes along.

  • He is off his rocker when it comes to foreign policy.

    Yes -because billions of dollars and countless lives later, everyone else is so spot on.

  • If he gets to be president, he will sit on the throne like a pompous little king.

    Not much different from the current occupant.

  • Besides Kyle Miller’s response, it appears that other posters are willing to drag up events in Newt’s life from a “SIN” standpoint and are not willing to forgive and forget bout these acts as it relates to his run for the Presidency. How shallow a position – with all do respect – to have given how we should except the major premise of our faith which is Forgiveness and non-judgment of others.

    To form an opinion of ones abilities as president based on previous actions and what they say today is one thing. However, to flog someone in a public forum like this should tell us that we may have to review the foundation of our faith first before we are to pull lever for or against someone.

    Comments expressed here about someone receiving the Eucharist after a divorce seem to be ill informed comments at that. If the person has asked for gods mercy and has gone through the process (as it appears Newt did) of preparing themselves to receive the Eucharist with a clean soul, it would not matter how many times the person was “divorced”. That is what our faith is about….forgiveness of our sins by our lord..if we truly mean it. If we do not believe this for ourselves and others of our faith….what good is our faith. As St. Paul says…we are still in our sin.

  • Good to see I’m not the only one who dislikes the Gingrinch. As for forgiveness, he didn’t wrong me. I don’t need his forgiveness. I’m not letting a former child molester, however remorseful, near my children and I’m not letting a horrible person, however remorseful, sit in the Oval Office. It’s not like, Newt was a child. He did these things as an adult including as Speaker. You can’t dismiss it as a previous life. You don’t change that much from age 56 to 68.

  • Yes -because billions of dollars and countless lives later, everyone else is so spot on.

    They’re less wrong, which is pretty horrifying to think about.
    I can’t support someone who wants us to abandon those who have been good allies to us, and for us to abandon the commitments we forced on others– Hello, Japan– just because fully legal military actions didn’t turn out so great. That’s totally ignoring that the long-term effects would be horrific for our nation itself.
    It’s like arguing that because cops in LA are sometimes criminal jerks and haven’t managed to remove the gang problem, we should withdraw from LA entirely.
    (If one more person waives his being a military surgeon for a few years, decades ago, as a card to show that he’s automatically right on military matters– or brings up that worthless “he got more military associated donations than everyone else before the candidates were chosen”– of over $200, with less than a hundred total– I may scream. Right up there with folks “informing” me that Obama is all my fault because I’m part of the “youth vote.”)

  • RR – that’s the point. He did not do anything to you for you to forgive him – it’s between he and God. And yes, he is not a child molestar -thank God. By bringing up that subject you show that you are comparing apples and oranges.

    I just hope you reflect on your own private life before posting how big a sinner Newt is. While you are reading this (right now at this very moment) remember God is looking at you….is your soul as clean as you expect of others? I hope so.

  • gregory rogsn, so you would let a repentant former child molester babysit your kids?

  • “I believe in . . . the forgiveness of sins; . . . ”

    Who can say?

    Maybe Speaker Gingrich has trully converted to the Holy Catholic Church.

    Maybe Newt Gingrich has repented of his sins.

    Maybe Gingrich has Confessed for all the sins of his past life.

    Maybe Newt has done penance.

    Maybe he has resolved to amend his life and through good works glorify Almighty God through Christ our Lord.

    Maybe some commenters have lowered bar for detraction to new depths.

  • RR – please know that I will pray for you today as well as the former Speaker of the House. We all need prayer and a true understanding of God’s love and mercy for all we do wrong in our lives. I will also pray I will not judge anyone involved in my life either publicly or privately.

    God Bless.

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Are Primary Voters Superficial?

Wednesday, November 16, AD 2011

Rachel Masden has a column up lamenting how Rick Perry’s gaffe in last week’s debate demonstrates our obsessiveness with image over subtance:

As in real life, politicians, voters and the media all get caught up with entertaining but petty nonsense. Case in point: Rick Perry stuck his cowboy boot in his mouth during a recent debate performance, unable to recall one of the three agencies of government he’d euthanize if he were to become president. Turns out it was the Department of Energy — which for a Texas governor to forget about would be a bit like the prime minister of Great Britain forgetting about Buckingham Palace. OK, funny — but really, so what?

For at least 24 hours, the mishap represented arguably the single most globally widespread American news item. I even saw it broadcast and translated on French television in Paris. This is the media and political culture of today — all about stagecraft, showmanship and ratings.

As a political strategist, let me tell you a little secret: Debates are easy to fake. All you need to succeed is a good policy-prep team, a competent spin doctor to distill that policy material down to snappy bite-sized talking points, and the memory and delivery capabilities of a C-list Hollywood actor. Perry just didn’t remember his lines. That’s all.

But what about the other guys who lucked out and did remember all their lines this time? Isn’t it the job of media moderators to recognize boilerplate spin and slice through it on the fly? There’s one reliable way to do this, but it’s rarely seen: In response to a candidate’s prepared take, a media moderator need ask only one question: “What precise action in your background or experience illustrates this principle?” In other words, when a candidate says that he would do something, what has he previously done in his career to demonstrate that value through tangible action? Do you know who any of these candidates really is beyond what he or she claims to be? If not, then thank the style-over-substance media.

The column is timely because I’ve been having some second thoughts about the primary process.

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9 Responses to Are Primary Voters Superficial?

  • How come they don’t use the same microscope on Obama?

    He said there are 57 states and that Hawaii is in Asia.

    And his policies are dangerous. Case in point: President Obama told the Muslim world in Cairo in June 2009 that no government has the right to stop any nation from developing nucular weapons.

    “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.”

    Compare that to 20 seconds not naming a wasteful agency Governor Perry would shutter.

    So, look at Texas’ success with years of Governor Perry and compare that to the mess the US is after three years of the genius.

    In conclusion, everyone knows Hawaii is on Monday nights on CBS . . .

  • Agree or not with his substance, at least Ron Paul has substance.

  • If Republican primary voters are seeking intelligence, Cain never should’ve gotten this far. No, the spite wing of the party is looking for an anti-Obama, however unintelligent.

    I also take issue with the idea of Newt as the “ideas man.” He’s a history buff with legislative experience and some speaking ability. That isn’t ideas. That’s knowledge. Wikipedia can’t come up with any ideas. All it can do is search its memory bank and that’s exactly what Newt does. When faced with a new problem, he looks around to find an analog then takes it to the logical extreme and people applaud it as genius. Take his tax plan which is exactly Perry’s plan with a lower rate. Or his foreign policy which consists of repeating lines from books on WW2 and the Cold War. I have seen no evidence that he has an analytical problem-solving framework.

  • And can you imagine submitting to the microscope handlers on those interview occasions? So much chaos in the whole world since 2008 that contenders should have a chronology of events for reference, while the handlers contemplate people in glass houses throwing stones. Would love to know what Jesus wrote in the sand when a crowd was testing His judgement.

    Human compassion and humor won’t be going the way of the insidious cynics, jokers laughing and clapping to the tune of MSM while Satan sneers (?). The Office of President should be about work success, not ratings, parties, cameras, catchy phrases (like one week no boots on the ground) and raising/wasting money.

    By the way, MSM is losing Regis Philbin, to whom the VP paid a short, standing up visit this a.m. but showed audience his back mostly while he said something about Irish Catholic. Regis was gracious and will be missed.

  • If Republican primary voters are seeking intelligence, Cain never should’ve gotten this far.

    Sure. Any idiot can run a national restaurant chain or a consequential trade association. Seats on the board of Federal Reserve Banks are passed out in Cracker Jack boxes.

  • “Agree or not with his substance, at least Ron Paul has substance.”
    Yes, and I believe the substance is tin foil.

  • I think Santorum is strong on substance, but he has attacked fellow republicans in the debates. He attacked Perry in the early debates. Remember those debates? When cordial manners were not the fashion and Perry entered the ring, 6 vs. 1, with Gingrich abstaining. I think it was Gingrich who toned the candidates down on attacking each other. Romney owes a huge thanks to Gingrich for that. It’s unfortunate no one on stage can point out to Romney how philosophically wrong Romneycare is. He’s still embracing as recently as today.

  • We know that poll responses are superficial. But primary voters, I don’t know. This race has so far been dominated by Romney and whoever looks strong enough to take on Romney. But typically voters sober up as the primary approaches, as they did famously when they dropped firebrand Dean in favor of staid Kerry. They’ll probably settle on two candidates, a moderate and a conservative, and those two will slug it out. That’s what happens on the Republican side most of the time.

  • That’s what happens on the Republican side most of the time.

    That happened in 1976. There were never any but two candidates. One was the incumbent President.

Gingrich and the Fine Art of Political Suicide

Thursday, May 19, AD 2011

Newt Gingrich is the fastest GOP presidential candidate political suicide since Mitt Romney’s old man George Romney cratered in the Republican Presidential primaries in 1968 after claiming that he had been “brainwashed” into supporting the  Vietnam War.  Gingrich has received near universal conservative condemnation for attacking Paul Ryan’s budget plan on Sunday on “Meet The Press” on NBC and seeming to endorse a form of ObamaCare.  How ironic that Gingrich, who has always prided himself on his futuristic innovative thinking, was done in by attempting to appease non-conservatives on a low rated show of the increasingly irrelevant lamestream press.  The new media, talk radio, blogs and conservative outlets on the net, ran with it, Gingrich is now political toast and he simply can’t believe what has happened to him in such a short time span.

In response to this, Gingrich released this incredibly delusional statement:

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.

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21 Responses to Gingrich and the Fine Art of Political Suicide

  • Newt Gingrich is a new Catholic convert. I suspect that he has thus been taken in by the blathering about social justice and the common good that goes on in what passes for theological thinking within much of the Church in the West. I could be wrong, but why else would such an ostensible conservative as Gingrich sell his soul like this?

    I will now remind all the liberal readers of one immutable fact: there is NO social justice, NO common good without righteousness and holiness, repentance and conversion. You do the later before you get the former. The Kingdom of Heaven is about saving souls, NOT feeding bellies. Should we as Christians feed bellies? Absolutely! BUT that is NOT the goal. Jesus Christ is the goal.

  • “I could be wrong, but why else would such an ostensible conservative as Gingrich sell his soul like this?”

    Gingrich has always been like this Paul, at least since he became Speaker of the House after the 94 election. He has always wanted to hunt with the hounds and run with the foxes. The problem for Gingrich is that he has been out of politics since the nineties when his adultery with his present wife blew up his second marriage. He didn’t realize how swiftly things move now with the new media and how many regular Republican activitists watch every political move in microscopic detail on the net. Futurist Gingrich simply couldn’t adapt to changing technology and the irony is rich.

  • I’m Catholic, but I could never vote for Gingrich. He has too much moral baggage, and he’s a recent convert who needs to do a little more growing up before he aspires to higher office.

  • I thought Gingrich was going to be the #1 guy this coming election, then he opened a can of worms with this one. Unless Rick Perry does indeed run for Presidency, we may be stuck with Mitt Romney.

  • Gingrich is living proof that one can be rather bright and have all the judgment of a stunned duck.

    WIN!

  • As long as he lives there exists the fervent hope that he (and all of us!) confesses; does penance , amends his (our lives) life and through good works glorifies Almighty God, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with God the Father Almighty in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

    That Gingrich “hound don’t hunt.” Newt placed himself squarely in the “politics of personal destruction bear trap.”

    The dems have nothing positive about which to “brag.” So they will as usual 24/7 and with $$$ billions in free campaign air time provided by their MSM propaganda organs, assassinate Gingrich’s character.

    Why must the GOP eat its children and serve as an echo chamber for lying, liberal detractions?

  • Gingrich is living proof that one can be rather bright and have all the judgment of a stunned duck.

    What else is there to say?

  • Gingrich made to many enemies when he was Speaker when he opened his mouth.

    His own mouth got him into trouble and delivered a golden egg to those he rubbed the wrong way (too many times).

    . . .that and he underestimated how the new media, as Don said, has transformed politics from a weekly news cycle to a second-by-second news cycle.

    He’s nearly ruined his campaign, if not destroyed it.

  • I could vote for a new Catholic, a new ex-Cathoic, a bad Catholic, or anyone else who has not lived his life in perfect standing with the Church. Given a choice between two identical candidates, I’d vote for the Catholic, but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations.

    How about the rest of you?

  • I would have voted for a Protestant Ronald Reagan a 1,000 times and never for a Catholic Ted Kennedy. It is the positions of a candidate, and their character and leadership skills, not their religion, that determines my vote. (I doubt if I would vote for a public atheist, although my guess is that their political positions would differ enough from mine that I would not vote for them in any case.)

  • I voted for George Bush in 2004 primarily BECAUSE John Kerry was Catholic. I would have voted for almost anyone over John Kerry because I didn’t want a President claiming to be Catholic while also supporting abortion.

  • but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations

    1. To what extent does the candidates formal affiliation influence his thinking and behavior?

    2. One’s understanding of creed and code influences one’s thinking on social questions. To what extent are the candidates conclusions within a range of permissible conclusions?

    3. To what extent are the candidates views when getting down to the brass tacks congruent with views that might have been reached beginning with the premises of the Church?

    4. What does the candidate’s affiliation indicate to you about how he will approach questions as yet unaddressed?

    Affiliations of all kinds are salient bits of information about how and what a candidate thinks, what he fancies is respectable, and to whom he wishes to appeal.

  • Art, those are some good questions. In a perfect world, my answer to all four would be “Bill Bennett”. I don’t think that there are many politicians with an integrated set of principles which animate their faith and political beliefs, though. So I think that with regard to the first question, the answer is going to vary a lot.

    With the second and third questions, I’d bet that a random evangelical or Mormon would be as likely to govern consistently with the Catholic Faith as a random Catholic would. They might not catch every nuance, but they’d be more likely to be clear on the basic rules of civilization.

    I’ve been thinking in terms of policy so far, but your fourth question opens the door to another consideration, character. I know that’s not exactly what you asked about, but the unexpected mistakes an elected official makes are more often matters of character than of unforeseen policy issues. I wish that we could judge a man’s character by his creed, but there are too many people like me who believe all the right things but can’t be trusted to do anything right.

  • but a candidate’s religion wouldn’t be among my top ten considerations.

    I wouldn’t necessarily put a candidate’s religion in my top ten considerations, but in others situations I might.

    That the politician had recently had a high profile change in religion (depending on how he explained it) might tend to push it up on my list of considerations, whether positive or negative.

  • I’d just like to denounce everything Pinky said (that jerk!). If the head of the budget committee is exchanging letters with the Archbishop of New York, maybe more people understand the relation between religious and political thought than I typically assume.

  • In the blink of an eye, Gingrich morphs from maverick, to the wizard of oz, to the leader of the tinfoil hat brigade.

    I am very impressed. That must have taken some work!!!! LOL.

  • As a lifelong Catholic, I can’t for the life of understand what part of Catholicism (other than to Catholic Vote) that fits with Newt Gingrich’s personal and political views. The part of the Trinity I worry about with him is Three Wives and Three Faiths.

    I find him part of a growing segment of Elitist Converts to Catholicism for nothing more than political gain,,,,, whose experience they feel can help the catholic Church add new members to dwindling parishes.

    As a Graduate Student of Politics interested in the effect of Religion in Politics, when Newt entered the political arena, he was moved to convert from Lutheran to Southern Baptist who was baptized by Influential Southern Baptist Leader G. Avery Lee.

    He entered the Catholic Church after his marriage to politically connected Catholic Callista while creating non-profit organizations aimed at religious conservatives, Renewing American Leadership, or ReAL, appointing to the board evangelical leaders such as Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California and David Barton of the Texas-based WallBuilders.

  • “Vote Gingrich. Are You Better Today Than You Were Three Wives Ago? “

  • Kurt,,, cute — gives new meaning to “MOURNING in America”, doesn’t it????
    What a mess.

  • Gingrich lost MY potential vote when he abandoned his first wife right after her cancer surgery. I don’t think he can possibly win the Republican nomination, but if he does, you can be SURE the Dems will (hypocritically) play up his moral failings and enough women will be unable to hold their noses and vote for him. Worst possible outcome: a second term for The Obammunist.

Politicians and Church Platforms

Thursday, September 16, AD 2010

MM is leading a campaign to protest a book-signing of Newt Gingrich’s latest book to be held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. The book is “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Regime” and Amazon provides a description.

For once, I agree with MM: the book-signing is a bad idea. I’m a very big believer of separation of church from state, and I don’t like the appearance that the Church is being co-opted here. The book isn’t religious; it’s political. Even if I would agree with what he says in the book, I’d rather it not be promoted by being offered at a Catholic bookstore, much less be publicized through a book-signing.

Unfortunately, this is not the grounds that is offered to oppose it. Instead, we find references to Newt’s “hyper-partisan” nastiness, his racism, and his serial adultery. I don’t wish to get into an argument about the virtues and vices of Newt’s career or his potential presidential candidacy (in part b/c being of the generation I am, I have little knowledge of what Newt did). However, I do find it useful for thinking about how the Church interacts with politics, in part b/c it’s not the only example in the last week. Tony Blair wrote a column published on the front page of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in anticipation of the Pope’s visit to the UK. There are a number of problems with Blair’s political career from the Church’s view, including his support for legalized abortion, gay marriage  and  the invasion of Iraq. While it doesn’t appear that Blair has political aspirations any longer, it brings up the question of how much past political failings ought to deter Church officials from granting a stage to politicians, particularly repentant ones?

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25 Responses to Politicians and Church Platforms

  • When you write of Newt’s racism what exactly are you refering to?

  • I’ll emphasize that I have no idea whether he is racist or not, but the comments he is being criticized for at VN are comments he made about the Kenyan origins of some of Obama’s socialist beliefs. MM writes:

    No, this has everything to do with Gingrich’s hyper-partisan nastiness, and his deliberate strategy of appealing to the worst in people with ugly and offensive statements – the latest being an attack on Obama for having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview. Even worse is Gingrich’s tendency to make insulting and inflammatory statements about Muslims, including by likening them to nazis.

  • Even worse is Gingrich’s tendency to make insulting and inflammatory statements about Muslims, including by likening them to nazis.

    Yes, we are all familiar with Vox Nova’s notorious aversion to likening others to Nazis; it obviously troubles M.Z. very deeply.

    Newt’s remarks about Muslims are pernicious, no doubt about it, but I can’t imagine MM would be this up in arms if Ted Kennedy had done a book signing a couple years ago. And this isn’t nearly as much of an endorsement as the ND/Obama commencement speaker episode, about which I don’t remember MM being particularly upset. On balance, sure, maybe Gingrich shouldn’t have a book signing there; but of all the things to call or write about it, it seems pretty far down on the list to me – at any rate, the primary motivation seems to be partisan in this particular case.

  • Given the way that MM and michael so cheaply throw around the term “racist” (usually for the purposes of status-posturing), it’s not particularly helpful to focus in on that point (although an open and charitable discussion about the meaning of the term would be welcome).

    In any event, the issue is a good one. Gingrich and Blair are poor examples of living the Catholic faith for a public figure, but they are also converts little experienced in the faith, and that point is true of every public figure (some, granted, are worse than others, and few worse than the current Speaker).

    I don’t see a big problem, and would be fine if Pelosi had an event there. Providing a platform does not suggest endorsement as much as it does dialogue, although providing an honor is a very different story.

    It might be best to keep all politicans out unless they are taking Communion or giving confession, just like anyone else.

  • Of all the goofy books one can find at many Church run book stores, this one has to be protested? Whether Newt has truly repented for his many moral failures is known to God and his confessor. However, to protest against him when we have all matter of nutty left wing Catholics signing books and selling them in Church owned stores is beyond me. Michael, you say the book isn’t religious. Maybe to Newt and those who will read the book, it has a religious componenet to it. As liberal government and liberal Catholicism goes down in a ball of flames, the best way to help them is to bring them into the light, not stand there and protest with them.

  • Meant to write that almost all public figures fail to live out the Catholic faith very well.

    Anyway, why not offer speaking platforms on occasion and honor no elected official? This especially makes sense for Catholic universities, as a credential does leave a stamp of approval upon its recipient.

  • Providing a platform does not suggest endorsement as much as it does dialogue, although providing an honor is a very different story.

    I think that brings up an interesting question. I wouldn’t have a problem if a Catholic university invited Obama to give a speech about his belief on abortion rights-as long as there was some other worthy figure them to provide a counter-balance.

    My question is then this: how do Catholic platforms manage to be more than simply a platform and more a place of dialogue? Does simply providing a situation where dialogue can occur be enough or should Church leaders strive to build into the events/platform some kind of dialogue?

  • Has anyone bothered to even check if “To Save America” is the book/dvd that Gingrich is signing? Because he also has a recent documentary on John Paul II’s involvement with the Solidarity movement called “9 Days that Changed the World.” He’s been promoting that fairly heavily to Catholic organizations, and held some screenings and sales of the DVD out in my neck of the woods a few months ago.

  • No, this has everything to do with…hyper-partisan nastiness, and his deliberate strategy of appealing to the worst in people with ugly and offensive statements

    Pleased to see Minion repudiate Paul Krugman and Bradford deLong.

  • I imagine that’s the DVD, but there’s no book attached to it to my knowledge. I couldn’t find out what’s being offered.

    It does change things if it’s just the DVD; however the DVD with the book doesn’t change anything to my mind.

  • I’ve spelled out my own opion on this over at Vox-Nova, but I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has seen the DVD “9 Days That Changed the World” whether and to what extent it *is* primarily religious/spiritual/heck even cultural and not a political propaganda piece. That this video is produced by the same group, Citizens United Productions, which produced America At Risk, and whose website speaks for itself(http://www.citizensunited.org/ makes me suspicious about “9 Days”–not having seen it.

  • I’m uneasy about the signing, though it is hard to form a confident opinion without more facts. But as a matter of principle it is important for the Church to not behave or appear partisan. This concern for church/state “separation” is not grounded in the First Amendment (which does not speak of any such separation), but in the values and integrity of the Church.

  • Michael – to be (somewhat) fair to the Basilica, the medium Gingrich is promoting is his religious-themed one, not his Obama-is-Hitler one. Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal. Let’s say Nancy Pelosi decided to publish a book of her favorite prayers, and all agreed that the prayers were beautiful – should a Catholic church host a book signing? I think that would be most imprudent (and the same goes for Ted Kennedy, since somebody mentioned it).

    It’s funny how people around here were so quick to express their frustration with “Bush Derangement Syndome” and “Godwin’s Law” during the Bush years. Now, it is apparently no big deal that one of the most senior Republicans can claim that his opponents are more dangerous than Nazis, or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    As for the Blair situation, I have not been following it, but I certainly do not hold Tony Blair in high esteem. He seems to have converted without any understanding of the consistent ethic of life.

  • The Nancy Pelosi example actually does not trouble me that much. It would be more scandalous to bestow upon her an honor ala the honorary degree awarded by ND to Obama. Simply giving her a forum to share her favorite prayers does not strike me as crossing the line, though I appreciate others might differ.

  • Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal.

    How can the two be separated? I would have less concern with Pelosi hawking her “Favorite Prayers” book in a Catholic forum than her “Augustine: The Doctor of Abortion” book.

  • or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    Your complaint on this point is contrived.

  • “Your complaint on this point is contrived.”

    And mundane given how the racism card is played against every critique of Obama.

  • Michael – to be (somewhat) fair to the Basilica, the medium Gingrich is promoting is his religious-themed one, not his Obama-is-Hitler one. Still, the issue is not the content of the book, but the grave public scandal.

    Is there a book attached to the DVD though? I mean, it says book & DVD signing but I only see a DVD about the JPII/Solidarity, not a book. Perhaps I need to keep up more with Newt’s offerings lol.

    Now, it is apparently no big deal that one of the most senior Republicans can claim that his opponents are more dangerous than Nazis, or play with racist fire by calling the president a “Kenyan anti-colonialist”.

    Well, he’s out of office and has been so for a long time. If he actually runs for president instead of profiting off of people who want him to, then of course higher standards will apply (i.e. any stupid comment he makes, he gets roasted). That said, I think his comments about Nazis are over the top and his comments about Kenya appear to have very weak justifications.

    On another note, is there a distinction between Newt & Obama? I remember you thought the outrage over Notre Dame was unjustified (if I’m wrong about this, correct me) and I’m curious if there’s another line you think has been crossed here that wasn’t with Obama.

  • Yes, we are all familiar with Vox Nova’s notorious aversion to likening others to Nazis; it obviously troubles M.Z. very deeply.

    You’ll have to help me on that one.

    As to Newt, I tend to avoid commentary on him. Yes, I am scandalized that he was married in a Catholic church. As long as he isn’t speaking from a pulpit, I don’t really care what what public venues he avails himself. Too much effort is spent attempting to discern an implied intent so people can be scandalized. Sometimes folks just want to be scandalized. I’m not claiming this is a particular case, just saying.

  • That doubtless is a reference to the Catholic Anarchist’s charming habit of calling everyone but himself and God a fascist, and I don’t think he is quite sure about God. However I do not think he is currently writing at Vox Nova, but is on detached duty with his parody blog entitled, what else?, The American Fascist.

  • The statement on “embracing the churches teaching on Social Justice” makes me crazy.

    The catholic left likes to wear this on their sleeve and wave it about anytime the ‘orthodox” Catholics speak to the issues of life (abortion, gay marriage, contraceptive). I believe that social justice can be summarized to mean allowing each person the right to have enough of the basic necessities to feed and shelter oneself and ones family, and making sure each person is treated fairly under the law. To hear some people talk the only way you can get to heaven is if you support big government welfare programs. This is one of those issues that allows for differing opinions. I believe that the best way to bring about social justice is to allow for a climate that promotes job growth and allows people to earn their own way. You know teaching a man to fish versus giving them a fish.

    Sorry, the social justice tag line is a pet peeve of mine.

  • Why make this so complicated? Not everyone who professes Lord, Lord is a friend of the church and Jesus warns of wolves wearing sheep clothing. You have noted that these men have converted to Catholicism, why judge your brethen so harshly and let the fruits of their labor post conversion be their judge…and what of you that have plank in your eye? and who without sin can cast the stone? There is no merit in the auguments of separation of the church and state…it is rhetoric usually uttered by enemies of
    truth and faith. Lastly it is a gift store, who says because it is run by the church it should limit it inventory to religious items…so if the bhudda belly found its way there…would you say, oh it should be catholic, religious items? Your points are worth consideration but Newt and Blair aren’t the moral compasses…the Bible, Magisterium, and Catholic tradition as basis for all matters.

  • Winkyb:

    Other than “don’t judge,” I honestly have no idea what you’re trying to say.

  • @Denton I thought I was clear…regarding your judgement. What is it you don’t understand?

John Paul II: Nine Days That Changed the World

Monday, July 12, AD 2010

Nine Days That Changed the World is a film produced by Citizens United, Newt Gingrich’s, former Republican Speaker of the House and Catholic convert, group.  That Gingrich produced it will probably reduce the number of people who will see the film, due to the fact that Gingrich is subject to legitimate criticism for his past infidelities to his first two wives, and because he is a devil figure for the Left.  That is a shame because this film is a thoughtful look at one of the pivotal events in the last century:  the unraveling of the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, which began in Poland and was directly sparked by the visit of John Paul II in 1979 who inspired Lech Walesa and other Poles to found Solidarity and give voice to the Polish cry for freedom that ultimately prevailed.

In his address to the civil authorities in Poland on June 2, 1979, the Pope touched upon the never ending desire of the Poles for their independence:

We Poles feel in a particularly deep way the fact that the raison d’être of the State is the sovereignty of society, of the nation, of the motherland. We have learned this during the whole course of our history, and especially through the hard trials of recent centuries. We can never forget that terrible historical lesson—the loss of the independence of Poland from the end of the eighteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. This painful and essentially negative experience has become as it were a new forge of Polish patriotism. For us, the word “motherland” has a meaning, both for the mind and for the heart, such as the other nations of Europe and the world appear not to know, especially those nations that have not experienced, as ours has, historical wrongs, injustices and menaces. And thus the last World War and the Occupation, which Poland experienced, were still for our generation such a great shock thirty-five years ago when this war finished on all fronts. At this moment there began the new period of the history of our motherland. We cannot however forget everything that influenced the experiences of the war and of the Occupation. We cannot forget the sacrifice of the lives of so many men and women of Poland. Neither can we forget the heroism of  the Polish soldier who fought on all fronts of the world “for our freedom and for yours”.

We have respect for and we are grateful for every help that we received from others at that time, while we think with sadness of the disappointments that we were not spared.

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The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Throughout the last few years and specifically the last decade or so, the voluminous number of kooky quotes and statements coming from religious believers (heterodox Catholics included) and non believers alike is mind boggling. It can’t but help push the reasonable minded into the Catholic Church. Most casual observers are familiar with the number of high profile converts and reverts to the Catholic Church in the last 25 years or so. They range from theological luminaries like Dr Scott Hahn and Dr Francis Beckwith to political figures like Deal Hudson, Laura Ingraham and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Many like them have come to the Church after years of study and reason, but many also have come to the Church after years of seeing their particular religious denomination become unrecognizable.

The latest world calamity has given us two examples of sheer kookery coming from a religious leader and a secular voice. After the horrific earthquake that left the western world’s most impoverished nation in tatters, the Reverend Pat Robertson chimed in with a quote that was not only tragically insensitive but historically inaccurate. The onetime presidential candidate (who actually came in second in the 1988 GOP Iowa Caucus) and a leading voice of the Evangelical world blamed the earthquake on Voodoo, a cult that sadly far too many people practice in Haiti.  Robertson voiced his opinion on his popular 700 Club television program. Robertson repeated the fundamentalist canard that in the early 1800s the leaders of a slave revolt fighting against French colonial forces forged a pact with the Satan to thrown off the chains of their oppressors.

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12 Responses to The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

  • Since when is pro-abortion Brown “the truth”?

  • Who said he was? I never mentioned his name in the article. However, when the people of Massachusetts (the only state who voted for George McGovern) can see the craziness of the left, you can rest assured that they are not alone.

  • “As evidenced by the stunning results in the Massachusetts special election seat vacated following the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, even in the most liberal of locales the public will eventually clamor for the truth.”

    You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.

  • “You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.”

    Hmm, I didn’t get that from this statement. In any case, one doesn’t have to be impeccable to demonstrate the principle that the mind of the people is changing. Brown is obviously not perfect, but I don’t think Dave is talking about his politics or theology so much as the change that his election represents.

  • The change the election represents I don’t think is exactly as Republicans are making it out to be; while some of it might be on Obama, and other aspects of it might be on health care, another aspect people have to remember is Coakley assumed the seat was hers and didn’t campaign properly. That, I think, is the lesson all sides might want to remember: don’t assume you are a sure-win and do nothing because of it. Nothing, however, to do with “truth.” Nothing in the results shows truth wins — since abortion does.

  • I agree with Henry.

    Brown did make the centerpiece of his campaign as a referendum on ObamaCare, though other factors such as Coakley’s poor campaigning certainly played a factor into it.

  • “I agree with Henry.”

    Tito, that’s the first sign of the apocalypse!

  • The truth that believing Catholics shouldn’t be barred from working in emergency rooms certainly won.

    Brown is quite problematic (and it’s not like I sent him money), but at least we are spared the spectacle of another Massachusetts Catholic baying for abortion in DC.

    I’ll take my silver linings where I can find them.

  • Dale

    So, what silver linings do you find for Obama? Can you find some?

  • I questioned authority relentlessly. Holy Mother Church had all the answers.
    Some retreat to the Church, others flee or are driven, some even backtrack, and many seem to crawl, but, always, the door is wide open.
    Inquisitive mind + Road To Damascus (TM) moment = conversion/re-conversion. Sweet.

  • Despite the badly-concealed sneer with which you pose your question, Henry, sure. Haitian relief, support for a limited range of renewable energy sources, uniting (briefly) the country after the Fort Hood terrorist massacre, helping a limited range of distressed homeowners and credit card and equal pay protection come quickly to mind.

    But, as you know, he’s been a pro-abortion stalwart–deceptively so–when it comes to the protection of human life and issues of conscience.

    Thus, my great relief that a putative sister in the Church–one who expressly finds the Catholic faith disqualifying from life-saving work–will not be able to work on a national stage to implement her bigotry, nor be able to lend her support to the most problematic parts of the President’s agenda.

    Your mileage evidently varies.