Patron Saint of Politicians

Tuesday, November 8, AD 2016

You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat-on, without that horrible moral squint… With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.

Cardinal Wosely to Sir Thomas More, A Man for all Seasons

 

 

 

(A repost from 2010.  It seemed very appropriate today.)

In this political season I was curious as to which saint was the patron saint of politicians.  Much to my shock I learned that on October 26, 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Thomas More as patron saint of politicians and statesman.  It was an inspired choice, but I think the average politician might find Saint Thomas More difficult to emulate.

1.  As far as I can tell, Saint Thomas More always told the truth.  Most politicians seem to regard lying as a job requirement or a job perk.

2.  Saint Thomas More was noted by contemporaries for not taking bribes.  Such honesty was just as rare among politicians then as it is now.

3.  As Cardinal Wolsey, unforgettably portrayed by Orson Welles,  noted in A Man for All Seasons, Saint Thomas always viewed issues of public policy with a “moral squint”.  Most politicians would view this as a severe handicap.

4.  Saint Thomas gave up the highest office in England over a matter of principle.  I am afraid the average politician’s reaction to this would be, “You have got to be kidding”.

5.  Most politicians when viewing the movie “A Man for All Seasons” would probably think that Richard Rich is the hero of the film.

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12 Responses to Patron Saint of Politicians

  • “5. Most politicians when viewing the movie “A Man for All Seasons” would probably think that Richard Rich is the hero of the film.”

    That would be funny if it weren’t true.

  • This list is correct, and has been since ancient Athens to today.

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  • I often pray, “St. Thomas More, pray for us.”
    .
    I suppose politicians need a patron saint.
    .
    I regard St. Thomas More as a government official/public servant rather than a politician.
    .
    Herewith I apologize in advance. I agree with Orwell. Politics are essentially “coercion and deceit.” That being established and considering the Church (shortly to be outlawed by Big Sister’s Supreme Court) provided a patron saint for politicians. Who is the patroness of prostitutes?
    .
    Lock her up.

  • I love More, and I’d have to consider him a politician. But maybe St. Pietro Orseolo is more your cup of tea. A Venetian from a noble family, he was wealthy and a naval hero before he was elected Doge. He served for two years, restoring peace to the city, building hospitals and rebuilding the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s. Then he snuck out of the city one night and become a Benedictine monk.

  • “As far as I can tell, Saint Thomas More always told the truth. Most politicians seem to regard lying as a job requirement or a job perk.”
    .
    Some thirty years ago my state of Michigan–the only one I’ve ever lived in and I plan to die here–was not doing well. I don’t remember who the Republican was who was running, but I well remember the Democratic candidate. I was a teenager at the time and could not vote. But my parents never missed an election.
    .
    But after one ad on the TV, I was ready to cast my vote for the Democrat. He was going to fix our state. He said all the things my GOP-leaning parents were saying. I ran into the kitchen where Mom was making dinner and said excitedly: “Mr. Smith* just ran an ad on TV and he said XYZ. You should vote for him!”
    .
    My mother didn’t even bother to look up from her pot on the stove. “He’s lying,” she said.
    .
    Every time I hear that some politician is going to do XYZ and it is going to be great, I can hear my mother’s words: “He’s lying.”
    .
    *not his real name

  • If my memory may be supplemented by poetic license, my father may he Rest in Peace, used to say, Politicians never lie when the truth will serve”. May Truth prevail. ~Amen

  • In 1529 Wolsey was stripped of his government office and property, including his magnificently expanded residence of Hampton Court, which Henry took to replace the Palace of Westminster as his own main London residence. However, Wolsey was permitted to remain Archbishop of York. He travelled to Yorkshire for the first time in his career, but at Cawood in North Yorkshire, he was accused of treason and ordered to London by Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. In great distress, he set out for the capital with his personal chaplain, Edmund Bonner. He fell ill on the journey, and died at Leicester on 29 November 1530, around the age of 57. Just before his death he reputedly spoke these words,

    “I see the matter against me how it is framed. But if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.” – Downfall and death | Thomas Wolsey – Wikipedia

  • Your contrast between today’s politician and the nature of a ” true politician” as envisioned by St. John Paul is funny. His selection of St. Thomas More as their patron saint is humorous because you provide an accurate juxtaposition of the incongruity of the two. But, St. John Paul was not only alerting us to the current “rigghed” political system as you do, but, also, how to correct it, as well as the price. Comety may be a flawed example.
    Bill P

  • St Thomas More was an inspiration for politicians both left, right and center leanings. Most of all St Thomas More was an man of honesty and stood by his principles

Just How Dumb Are Some Politicians?

Friday, August 1, AD 2014

 

This dumb:

 

During the floor debate over authorizing the lawsuit against Obama, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, suggested that Democrats had the moral high ground.

Even though some Democrats had thought that President George W. Bush had abused his authority when he initiated the Iraq War, the House, while under Democratic control in 2007 and 2008, did not impeach him.

The current resolution to authorize a lawsuit, Jackson Lee said in a floor speech on July 30, 2014, “smacks against the Constitution, which says there are three equal branches of government. Therefore, the executive has the right to perform his duties. I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is, in fact, a veiled attempt for impeachment, and it undermines the law that allows the president to do his job. It is a historical fact that President Bush pushed this nation into a war that had little to do with apprehending terrorists. We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.”

A reader asked us to check whether it’s accurate for Jackson Lee to say, “We did not seek an impeachment of President Bush.” So we took a closer look.

Jackson Lee, it turns out, is an imperfect vehicle for making this charge. Here’s the problem: A dozen House Democrats in 2008 did introduce a resolution seeking the impeachment of Bush. And Jackson Lee was one of the measure’s 11 co-sponsors.

Go here to read the rest.  I might be too harsh of course to attribute this to stupidity.  It may simply be lying.

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27 Responses to Just How Dumb Are Some Politicians?

  • “I might be too harsh of course to attribute this to stupidity. It may simply be lying” Memorable and quotable. May I?

  • The House of Representatives and state legislatures will never cease to amaze, entertain, and delight us all.

  • “The sensation [of intoxication] is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false.”
    .
    The Doctor’s Opinion, Page xxvi, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
    .
    I have long seen similarities between the intoxication of political fame and power, and the intoxication of alcohol.

  • Jackson-Lee has a reputation for being the boss from hell; she’s by all appearances a kook who would be run out of any job which had operational performance standards and/or serious supervision and management unless the personnel office and legal affairs told you to back off in fear of lawsuits (and no doubt she’s litigious as well). Capsule biographies of her have a nine year gap running from 1978 to 1987 and she admits to just two years as a lawyer in private practice (1975-77). She’s managed to keep a husband somehow. He has a law license but has spent most of his adult life in academic administration (a career arc you see again and again and again if you’ve worked proximate to such people). Here, there, and the next place there are these rancid little funk holes in the economy and the people in them are exempt from skill development and maintenance or from the ordinary penalties exacted on people with severe personality problems. The Obamas would be type A and Sheila Jackson-Lee, a bevy of academics who’ve made asses of themselves in recent years (Erik Loomis, Ward Churchill, Timothy Shortell) and a prominent Catholic blogger who shall not be named would be type B.

    Grimes is a lawyer and has no background in the military; you would not expect her to know much about military technology. Regrettably, the position she’s in tempts her to make utterances about things she does not know much about (which I suspect is a pretty general problem among elected officials).

  • Bless Ms. Sheila’s little heart!

    Ms. Jackson is proof positive that liberalism is a mental disorder. At one point in time she was trying to outlaw the operation of conservative nonprofits in her district. If we are talking about dumb and dumber categories–she wouldn’t fit in either–they would have to invent a “dumbest” category for her.

  • “Regrettably, the position she’s in tempts her to make utterances about things she does not know much about (which I suspect is a pretty general problem among elected officials).”

    Back in the late 1990s, we had a former US House member named Blanche Lincoln, also a Democrat, who decided she was going to stay out of politics and “raise her twins” who were toddlers (as soon as she found out she was going to be beat by her next rival if she ran again for Congress. A few months later she decided she would run for a newly opened US Senate seat in our state (her children must have grown up quicker than most–as it takes most folks 18 years to raise their children.) 😉

    I worked on the US Senate campaign of Mrs. Lincoln’s conservative Republican opponent–in his state capitol office. During the campaign, Mrs. Lincoln carried a notebook with her that was alphabetized by general political topics. Anytine she was asked a question, Mrs. Lincoln would thumb through her alpabetized notebook, find the relative subject in her notebook–and read whatever was written for her on that given subject, whether it answetedShe was so dumb that her aides whether it answered the actual question being asked or not, and then refuse to say another word. 5 different questions on the same topic got the exact same answe from her notebook. She refused to allow the public debates we forced her into to be televised so the general public could not see her reading from that stupid notebook. On the rare occasion when a news reporter catch Mrs. Lincoln by herself and start asking questions, one of Lincoln’s aides would rush over and whisk Mrs. Lincoln away. Blance Lincoln was in the US Senate for 2 terms until the TEA Party took her out in 2010. Because of the note book from which she read all of the time, she was forever after known as “Blank” Lincoln. It didn’t help anything when as a US Senator she was publicly unable to name the members of NATO during the debate of important issues related to a vote impacting our relationship with our NATO members. Once elected, Blank Lincoln didn’t have to think for herself as she only repoeated Democratic talking points and voted however the liberal, Senate Democratic leadership told her to vote.

  • “Blank Lincoln was in the US Senate for 2 terms until the TEA Party took her out in 2010.”

    That was one of the sweetest victories in 2010 Barbara!

  • It’s curious under those circumstances that she managed to remain in Congress for 16 years. Looking at capsule biographies, I see her occupations since 1982 have been (1) congressional aide; (2) lobbyist; (3) member of Congress; (4) lobbyist. She has remained in Washington since being voted out of office; he husband has a medical practice to maintain and he’s never actually lived in Arkansas. Come to think of it, since about 1981, neither has she.

    That’s a career path of the Barney Frank – Trent Lott variety. One assumes Mrs. Lincoln is a much nicer person than Barney Frank.

  • “I might be too harsh of course to attribute this to stupidity. It may simply be lying” Memorable and quotable. May I?

    Use it to devastating effect Mary!

  • There are no dumb politicians. There are only dumb people who choose among candidates, and if they choose badly, isn’t it the voters rather than the politicians who are dumb?

    Just kidding. Sheila Jackson Lee’s an idiot.

  • DRM said: That was one of the sweetest victories in 2010 Barbara!

    *tears* + <3

    Very much so for those of us who poured our blood sweat and tears into keeping her from ever getting to the US Senate to start with. We had a core group of 20-30s somethings in AR Senator Faye Boozman's (the conservative Republican who is the brother to the current US Senator John Boozman.) Dr. Faye Boozman, a military veteran who graduated first in his class as an Opthamologist, ran against Blank for that US Senate seat the first time Blank was elected US Senator. One of the editors of the state paper called us a bunch of "young idealists" because we had reflexive, visceral Attilla the Hunn tendencies when it came to big govt, taxes, abortion, and freedom. We were/still are true believers, and we LOVED Faye & his wife Vickie like they were our parents. The reason that I use the past tense is because Faye died a few years after that in a tragic farm accident. We traveled all over the state with him, attended fundraisers and meetings with the "big" dogs just to get someone with his character, capability, values, and intelligence into office. It was a real calling. When that opening for the US Senate seat came up in the 90s, Faye said that he kept praying & telling God to raise up a good candidate to oppose the liberal Democrats for that seat–and finally he realized that God was telling HIM to run! Lol. After losing, the US Senate race, Dr. Faye Boozman was appointed by then Gov. Mike Huckabee as the head of our AR Department of Health where Faye did a fantastic job until his death. As the head of the dept of health, the Boozeman name continued to be before the public statewide which helped set the stage for his brother John Boozman to win a US House seat and then dethrone Blank Lincoln from what she considered "her" US Senate. Glory hallelujah!

    Blank's dethroning absolutely would not have happened without the energy, funding, & spent shoe leather if the TEA Party in our state. When Faye ran against Blank in the 90s the AR Republican Party didn't have even a skeleton of a county committee in many counties or the SE region of our state.

    Now we are working furiously to see that liberal Democratic US Senator Mark Pryor becomes US Senator Mark Prior. 🙂

  • She’s about as dumb as they come. And I don’t care what color she is. She could be purple as far as that matters.

  • Many voters share those some of those same characteristics- not as bright as they think they are, and self serving.
    I think I and some of my friends are bright enough, but we have a tendency to take things at face value. Naive, really, about all the tricks that are pulled even when the same tricks are pulled over and over again. We just don’t really think folks would be that bad or that dishonest. Gosh, is our president just inept? he couldn’t really be doing this on purpose!
    We wait for another shoe to drop to convince us we really should react somehow. He has dropped a whole closet of shoes and we are still wondering if he means it.

  • AD said: “It’s curious under those circumstances that she managed to remain in Congress for 16 years. Looking at capsule biographies, I see her occupations since 1982 have been (1) congressional aide; (2) lobbyist; (3) member of Congress; (4) lobbyist. She has remained in Washington since being voted out of office; he husband has a medical practice to maintain and he’s never actually lived in Arkansas. Come to think of it, since about 1981, neither has she.”

    “That’s a career path of the Barney Frank – Trent Lott variety. One assumes Mrs. Lincoln is a much nicer person than Barney Frank.”

    During Blank’s 1st US Senate race, we did all we could to make a campaign issue of her having lived in VA for around close to 20 years as well as her having her tax returns sent to her VA address–showing that she was no longer truly an Arkansan–however it was to no avail. Blank would appear on TV with that friendly smile and her professional public relations’ prep and her real, slow Southern drawl–and all of those 100s of millions of dollars she had sent from Congress to the crop farmers in this state (with the promise of more cash to come) pointing out that she had “grown up” on an Arkansas farm– with a D after her name-in what was at that time a yellow dog Democrat state (with the exception of a few counties in the NW corner of the state-and kept getting elected until the TEA Party came on the scene and dethroned her.

    It is hard to describe to someone, who has not lived on a yellow dog, democrat machine state like Arkansas was until this last 2 election cycles, why Blank could stay in office so long.

    Blank’s every public move and word
    was choreographed by professional consultants. All contact with the public was strictly controlled. When the debate surrounding Osamacare (misspelled on purpose) was won the first go around–to be lost later when it was brought back up–her staff in her congressional offices quit answering the phone and left voice mail on for the constituents. When everyone else was having town hall meetings in their districts, Blanch refused to come home until finally it became a campaign issue for her. Some of the loudest screaming was coming from the TEA Party group in my home county. She finally scheduled one meeting with a bunch of politicians in my county so she could send out press releases making it sound like she had held a town hall meeting in our part of the state. The problem with Blank’s plan was that Fox 16 out of Little Rock had hired an intrepid young reporter and assigned her and a camera man to cover local community events in our county. This reporter came down to ask Blank some questions and was not allowed access to the a US Senator on her first visit to our county to my knowledge in years. At the same time our county TEA Party leaders, who had been trying to gain access to Blank for a year decided to go hold a protest with signs outside the building Blank was meeting in that day–as all public access was denied to the US Senator. So the intrepid reporter had a ready made story about the TEA Party and the press being denied access to a US Senator–took tons of beautiful video of the TEA Party members & their signs with an interview of the leader of the group and a full airing of their concerns re: Blank and her voting record. This intrepid reporter succeeded in splashing this story all across the state on a state wide news channel. Lol.

    I knew that Blank was a gonner when the AR Democratic Party chair for our county told me he was voting against Blank in the Democratic primary. She had come back one time a while later to the lower end of our county, again in an attempt to make a public relations splash for a supposed “town hall meeting.” My friend, who was the top Democratic elected official on the committee for our county (and who had gotten many Democrats from our county elected for years) was denied access to the “constituent” town hall meeting with Blank because only people who were on a pre-approved list were allowed in. The press was not allowed in either. There is no way I could over emphasize the fact that she behaved as if she were royalty and the contact with the great unwashed had to be strictly controlled at all times. I have NEVER seen any kind of impromptu pic or interview with that woman. Her political image was strictly a political consultant managed creation– like she was the queen of England. It was when her constituents started demanding that she actually provide representation as a legislator that she went down in flames.

    Even access to her congressional staffers was strictly controlled. I participated in a TEA Party protest against socialized medicine outside of Blank’s Little Rock office. We went to her office because her staffers were refusing to answer the phones in person. Again, we were ignored.

    Her husband is an obstetrician if I am not mistaken. I and an older woman, who was a Democratic county chair in one of the big crop farming counties had a public dust up re: Blank & her husband’s career and those twins. The Democratic county chair saw me walking around in a Faye Boozman For US Senate t-shirt campaigning at a public event and promptly confronted me about being a woman working against another woman. I asked her what was going to happen with her twins as US Senators and doctors work 12-16 hour days. The Democratic woman popped off that Blank would put her children in a good day care like the rest of us do. I told this woman that there was no way that Blank’s children would be placed in a day care like normal folk’s kids. I guess she didn’t want to discuss the elite lifestyle Blank lived in the Wash DC area because the Democrat disappeared in the crowd at that point.

    I don’t know how nice Blank is. I know she is a smooth, Teflon based, political operator without a independent thought in her head. She didnt get married until she was well up into her 30s, and there are all kinds of rumors about her wild sex life in DC before she married–however I have no first hand knowledge regarding those activities–thank God.

  • DRM said: “I was transferred to a gentleman on Lee’s staff…’Oh look it here, we have one of those right wing, tea-bagger nut jobs on the phone taking his cues from FOX News.'”

    “He then accused me of being un-American, raising his voice at me while asking me to calm down, and telling me that I am just on some mission to destroy our country. When I calmly asked for his name, he said ‘I don’t have to give it to you because I don’t want to show up on some right wing blog and be on your Twitter account.’ Keep in mind, I never said who I was – he just made assumptions and attacked me… When I reminded him that he gets paid by our tax dollars, he said ‘I doubt you even pay taxes and the IRS will find you soon enough,’ and hung up on me.”

    Uh, that Jackson staffer most likely knows exactly who called Ms. Shelia’s office–God help the poor constituent. Two of my friends are staffers in a US Congressional office here in Little Rock. They have constituent management software that allows them to pull up the name, address, all history of contacts of a given constituent with that office–including an electronic copy of all correspondence such as email, letters, donations, etc. They can reference such access to constituent history by phone number.

    Also, Jackson tried to outlaw the operations of TEA Party groups in her district as such groups were giving Jackson Hell about the time the federal bailout took place and the debate on Osamacare started.

  • “I might be too harsh of course to attribute this to stupidity. It may simply be lying” Memorable and quotable. May I?
    Use it to devastating effect Mary!
    .
    Oh, I have, I have.

  • Barbara Gordon: “Ms. Jackson is proof positive that liberalism is a mental disorder.”
    .
    Liberalism is a spiritual disorder as well. Having sold their soul to the devil, liberals like Ms. Jackson, cannot possibly represent human beings, persons who are composed of body and soul.
    Taxation without representation results when politicians refuse to acknoweldge his/her constituents complete with the constitutents’ immortal, human soul.

  • “She’s about as dumb as they come. And I don’t care what color she is. She could be purple as far as that matters.”

    Ms. Shelia cares deeply about her skin color and everyone else’s. She is one of the most openly rascist federal politicians I know of. Her rascist comments against “white” people are absolutely to the point of being downright shocking.

    http://m.nationalreview.com/article/354894/queen-texas-ian-tuttle

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0nbhijJCGY

    Some more dumb quotes from Ms. Shelia:

    http://conservativenews.me/2014/03/top-16-dumbest-things-sheila-jackson-lee-said-far/

    http://www.dumbocratquotes.com/viewbyperson.php?personid=40

  • Sheila Jackson-Lee managed to pass the bar exam (Virginia’s or DC’s, I believe) and prior to that trudge through Yale and the University of Virginia. Her general intelligence is adequate, though it may have been subject to a great deal of atrophy in the last 35 years. Her problems are emotional, behavioral, and characterological (which may have feedback in the sort of politics she espouses). How she has stayed married is beyond me, though it may help her husband’s peace of mind that he is in Houston and she is in Washington. There are two children, one of whom is apparently in charge of landscaping at the Houston Airport (having done similar work in Atlanta). What they make of their kooky mother is anyone’s guess.

  • Barbara Gordon correctly wrote:
    .
    “Liberalism is a spiritual disorder as well. Having sold their soul to the devil, liberals like Ms. Jackson, cannot possibly represent human beings, persons who are composed of body and soul.”
    .
    Pope Leo XIII would agree, having written in his encyclical Libertas (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_20061888_libertas_en.html):
    .
    15. What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question. For, when once man is firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals; that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as every man’s individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public affairs. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority. But, from what has been said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. To refuse any bond of union between man and civil society, on the one hand, and God the Creator and consequently the supreme Law-giver, on the other, is plainly repugnant to the nature, not only of man, but of all created things; for, of necessity, all effects must in some proper way be connected with their cause; and it belongs to the perfection of every nature to contain itself within that sphere and grade which the order of nature has assigned to it, namely, that the lower should be subject and obedient to the higher.
    .
    16. Moreover, besides this, a doctrine of such character is most hurtful both to individuals and to the State. For, once ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption. With reference also to public affairs: authority is severed from the true and natural principle whence it derives all its efficacy for the common good; and the law determining what it is right to do and avoid doing is at the mercy of a majority. Now, this is simply a road leading straight to tyranny. The empire of God over man and civil society once repudiated, it follows that religion, as a public institution, can have no claim to exist, and that everything that belongs to religion will be treated with complete indifference. Furthermore, with ambitious designs on sovereignty, tumult and sedition will be common amongst the people; and when duty and conscience cease to appeal to them, there will be nothing to hold them back but force, which of itself alone is powerless to keep their covetousness in check. Of this we have almost daily evidence in the conflict with socialists and members of other seditious societies, who labor unceasingly to bring about revolution. It is for those, then, who are capable of forming a just estimate of things to decide whether such doctrines promote that true liberty which alone is worthy of man, or rather, pervert and destroy it.

  • “Sheila Jackson-Lee managed to pass the bar exam (Virginia’s or DC’s, I believe) and prior to that trudge through Yale and the University of Virginia. Her general intelligence is adequate, though it may have been subject to a great deal of atrophy in the last 35 years.”

    Here in AR one of our state university which caters to minorities predominately literally has disciplined professors and entire departments/programs for writing tests that minority students cannot pass. In the case of the Univ of AR at Pinebluff it was the nursing program a few years back. Also the Univ of AR law school had a large number of students fail the bar a few years back–again, the accepted explaination was that there HAD TO BE a problem with the professors’ instruction or the construction of the test. It was just too hot of a political potato to point out it might be a problem with the students’ skill level or their application of their efforts toward their academic subject matter. In a lot of instances, continual receipt of federal monies in educational programs are based on making sure that a certain number of minority races are accepted into and graduate fron a given program. My point is that just because Ms. Jackson has degrees doesn’t mean she actually achieved them.

  • Here in AR one of our state university which caters to minorities predominately literally has disciplined professors and entire departments/programs for writing tests that minority students cannot pass.

    Unless you think the board of law examiners in DC or Virginia gave her a different test than the other applicants received, I cannot see how this is relevant.

  • Cannot say what the situation was in 1975. As we speak, about 43% of applicants fail the Virginia bar exam on their first attempt and 54% fail the DC bar exam. I believe 30% pass the Virginia exam on subsequent attempts.

  • Excuse me, 20% pass the Virginia exam on subsequent attempts.

  • AD said: “Cannot say what the situation was in 1975. As we speak, about 43% of applicants fail the Virginia bar exam on their first attempt and 54% fail the DC bar exam. I believe 30% pass the Virginia exam on subsequent attempts.”

    Re: testing of minorities in the 70s & 80s in the US. US Law PL 94-142 (which eventually came into application as IDEA) and the modern application of Section 504 of the 1973 American’s with Disabilities Act (and their requisite reauthorizations) came about as a result of parents of primarily students with disabilities and minority students/students for whom English is a second language being labeled as having disabilities when they did not because of false low scores on IQ tests as a direct result of testing bias against minorities purposefully and accidentally written into tests–in the 70s and up to the current time this was/is a raging controversy and point of contention at all levels of education. This is related to what quadrants of the Bell curve minorities were falling into test results, etc. I have dealt with this issue as part of my profession for decades–and continue to deal with it. We regularly see test results, IQ being just one of many, that do not have valid results. Testing bias was a RAGING issue at all levels in the 1970s. The relevancy of my comment comes on because of how testing bias was dealt with historically and still is dealt with today. The federal courts have historically assumed that minorities, etc. have been given biased tests when a large number if minorities score low on them. Assumed and actual testing bias often dealt with by 1. Completely ignoring the outcome of a test all together. 2. Throwing out a certain number of low scores of an overall grade. 3. “curving” grades/scores so that a higher number of students pass–either overall or just for given subsets of students such as minorities. 4. Setting lower acceptable/passing scores for certain subsets of students such as minorities/those who speak Englush as a second language. 5. Te administering the test. 6. Read ministering a different test. 7. Throwing out certain items that a large number of people scored badly on 8. Etc.

    Regularly, when there are not a large number of people of certain minority groups doing well or graduating in a given program, the assumption is that there is institutional bias/active discrimination against that subset. Administrators of educational programs work desperately to make sure that Their programs meet mandated quotas of who completes their programs/passes their tests, etc. I have seen funding decreases or eliminated entirely over such issues.

    The brouhaha over the Univ of AR at Pinebluff nursing program due to high rates of failures and the AR law school were a result of assumed bias toward minorities–including African Americans and women. Ms. Shelia is both an African American and a woman.

    There are all kinds of ways to administer a test/program and come out with politically mandated outcomes in re: to race, etc. by manipulation of data and deeming the qualifications of a degree plan met through alternative means. I have seen it for decades now.

    There are a lot of people passing tests and graduating from given programs on paper–who never actually passed the tests nor met the actual graduation standards on paper.

  • AD said: “Cannot say what the situation was in 1975. As we speak, about 43% of applicants fail the Virginia bar exam on their first attempt and 54% fail the DC bar exam. I believe 30% pass the Virginia exam on subsequent attempts.”

    Continuing thoughts from my previous comments re: application of political correctness in higher Ed in order to move people through programs for which they are not qualified on paper:

    1. Testing bias is a real, legitamate problem as I have seen many false testing results good and bad.

    2. The concern re: bias so not so much the overall percentage pass on the first, second, etc. tries on a given test or who Graduate from a given university–the concern is does various subsets graduate or pass or complete various universities/exams, etc at least at the same percentage as is their makeup of the general population. For instance, if Martians were to make up 20% of the US population, then theoretically 20% of those passing the bar exam must be 20%+ or your entire school program risks sanctions/defunding–and there is likely to be a turn over of staff.

  • Pardon me for noticing—but until this report, I had not seen a recent picture of Ms. Shiela Jackson Lee:and so I do say, in contrast to the gauntness of Mr. Lincoln in 1864, she doth seem to have had some mighty fine fare these arduous years in Washington as she serves all of us, the people. Mighty, fine fare, indeed, and a full accounting a glimpse of her she doth give of it.

Patron Saint of Politicians?

Tuesday, October 26, AD 2010

In this political season I was curious as to which saint was the patron saint of politicians.  Much to my shock I learned that on October 26, 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Thomas More as patron saint of politicians and statesman.  It was an inspired choice, but I think the average politician might find Saint Thomas More difficult to emulate.

1.  As far as I can tell, Saint Thomas More always told the truth.  Most politicians seem to regard lying as a job requirement or a job perk.

2.  Saint Thomas More was noted by contemporaries for not taking bribes.  Such honesty was just as rare among politicians then as it is now.

3.  As Cardinal Wolsey, unforgettably portrayed by Orson Welles, in the video clip above noted, Saint Thomas always viewed issues of public policy with a “moral squint”.  Most politicians would view this as a severe handicap.

4.  Saint Thomas gave up the highest office in England over a matter of principle.  I am afraid the average politician’s reaction to this would be, “You have got to be kidding”.

5.  Most politicians when viewing the movie “A Man for All Seasons” would probably think that Richard Rich is the hero of the film.

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13 Responses to Patron Saint of Politicians?

  • Patron saint for politicians??? BARF!

    If a patron for politicians, then a why not a patron for practitioners the world’s “oldest profession”.

    B/G Meagher’s speech from the dock:

    “Proceed, then my lords, with that sentence which the law directs — I am prepared to hear it — I trust I am prepared to meet its execution. I shall go, I think, with a light heart before a higher tribunal — a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as of infinite justice, will preside, and where, my lords, many, many of the judgements of this world will be reversed.”

    Patron of politicians: Why St. Thomas – polar opposite: antipolitician!

    An patron saint for pure (nothing is pure in the fallen world) evil: it isn’t right. If so, I nominate Judas Iscariot and Caiaphas. Take your pick.

    Meagher was sentenced to death, but was transported to Australia from whence he came to America and the rest, as they say, is history.

  • Looks like someone has been watching Letterman’s “Top ten”? Nice blog post!

  • Nicely done, Don. As he is also the patron saint of lawyers, it may have hit a little too close to home if you had explored the differences between St. Thomas More and most practicing lawyers.

  • If a patron for politicians, then a why not a patron for practitioners the world’s “oldest profession”.

    Ask and you shall receive. That would be St. Nicholas.

    🙂

  • “it may have hit a little too close to home if you had explored the differences between St. Thomas More and most practicing lawyers.”

    That post will be coming John Henry, but not today!
    🙂

  • I keep a picture of St. Thomas More on my office wall to remind me what happens to lawyers who tell the truth.

  • Well, T. Shaw, it is supposed to be a patron Saint. The two you identified are not confirmed as saints. They may be more typical of politicians, but the aim should be for the ideal.

  • Pingback: Patron Saint of Politicians? : The American Catholic « Deacon John's Space
  • I apologize.

    St. Thomas More, pray for us!

    My occupational patron saint would be St. Matthew the Apostle, accountants and bankers.

    St. John Baptiste de la Salle, pray for us.

    Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

  • I keep a picture of St. Thomas More on my office wall to remind me what happens to lawyers who tell the truth.

    I have a crucifix for a similar reason.

  • As it regards #7, if I hear one more politician use the words “ship,” “of,” and “state” in sequence one more time, I swear I will explode!

  • As I see it St. Thomas More was not entirely a “politician” in the American sense of the word because he was not elected by vote of the people — he was appointed by the King. His role was more comparable to that of a Cabinet official or an appointed judge, administrator or agency head whose job it is to advise the king/president/governor/mayor/other executive and to help them carry out their policies as wisely as possible.

    When he could no longer support those policies, he resigned — and there have been plenty of instances in which appointed officials, agency heads, etc. have done just that as a matter of principle. (The best known example on a national level perhaps being the “Saturday Night Massacre” during the Watergate era.)

  • Interesting observations as usual Elaine and correct in part. However, in the time of Saint Thomas the posts he held were highly political in nature. The King of course cast the initial vote to place the person into an office. Normally the person seeking to gain such an office would seek to woo the King in a manner not dissimilar to the way today most politicians attempt to flatter and woo voters. Saint Thomas would have none of that. He was appointed to his posts through share ability and character: rather in the same fashion in which George Washington had the offices of commander in chief, President of the Constitutional Convention and President of the United States thrust upon him.

    After a man was appointed by the King in the time of Saint Thomas, the true politics began as the inidividual had to seek to keep happy the King, the Church, the nobility and the commons. If an individual failed in that task, Henry was quite capable of sacrificing anyone, and blaming unpopular policies upon an “evil counselor”. This of course is what happened to Cardinal Wolsey before Saint Thomas, and Thomas Cromwell after Saint Thomas, and a host of other officials of King Henry. Political skills of a high order were necessary to survive. Saint Thomas had those skills, as indicated by his popularity as Chancellor. Yet he chose to sacrifice everything on a point of principle by resigning. I think he knew by doing so it would ultimately cost him his head, since he knew King Henry well, and was quite aware of his vast cruelty when his passions were roused. The “Saturday Night Massacre” you cite is inapposite. Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelhaus resigned to the cheers of most of the opinion organs in our country. They enjoyed highly successful careers afterwards. Their resignations cost them nothing, unlike Saint Thomas, whose resignation cost him everything in Earthly terms. Individuals willing to do that are a rare breed indeed.