26 Responses to Palin On The Giffords Shootings

  • Haven’t seen the video, but the quoted statement is outstandingly good.

  • I hope her fans take her advice and don’t overreact in reverse.

    People can also get a lesson in civility from Glenn Beck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKMtHGeHuik

  • I hope her fans take her advice and don’t overreact in reverse.

    Yeah, that’s the problem here.

  • You don’t put out a fire by pouring more fuel on it. While well-intentioned, Palin is only opening herself up to more ridicule. She should go shoot a moose or something to relieve the stress.

  • How much may I donate to http://www.sarahpac.com without her getting viciously and dishonestly attacked by Paul Krugman?

  • “A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked].” — A “humor bit” from the Randi Rhodes Show

    Lovely liberals . . . Making the world a better place . . .

  • “President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them”

    Ironic that Palin could see the beauty of a Catholic mass, but not the beauty of Catholic teachings on original sin, the structures of sin, and the common good (not to mention common sense — i.e., proper attention to the psychotic in our society could reduce psychotic violence).

  • As soon as you start getting civil with lies and hate, you become a permanent victim of oppression.

    That’s not God-like or Christ-like. Palin’s speech is about as civil as a rational human being can be while having the rhetorical equivalent of burning feces shoveled at her at high speed from 12 different directions.

  • Nate,

    It strikes me that one of the major differences between progressives and conservatives is the extent to which they believe in free will.

    Obviously, everyone agrees that actions of society have some effect on the actions of individuals. I’m not aware of anyone holding the position that the actions of individuals occur in a total vacuum, uncause and unaffected by outside actions.

    However, progressives generally tend to focus nearly entirely on societal causes, to the point of suggesting that if someone is poor or oppressed or abused as a child, etc, they must commit crimes and can’t be blamed at all. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to emphasize that while someone may be motivated by such outside forces, each person decides himself whether to commit a crime or not, and those who choose to do so should not be excused because of those motivations.

    The same divide applies, to a great extent, to discussion of “structures of sin” within Catholic circles. Progressive Catholics often seem to feel that all one ever need focus on is structures of sin, and that if they can somehow be eliminated (how exactly this is going to happen is never exactly clear) no one will sin. Conservative Catholics acknowledge the power of temptations and occasions of sin in driving people commit sins, but they at the same time hold that it is the individual person’s responsibility not to sin.

    I suppose that, out of context, one can worry that Palin’s comment (and the quote from Reagan it includes) suggests that the wider society has no effect on a criminal, but I think that pretty clearly her actual intent. For instance, many (especially on the right) have observered that given that this fellow had been making death threats against various people in his community for several years and the police had done nothing about it, there was a very clear opportunity for this whole tragedy to be prevented. I don’t think anyone is against such an idea.

  • And I agree with her 100%, by the way. Maybe she should be the president – nothing would make the left finally make good on their promises to move to France or Zimbabwe than a Palin presidency.

  • Nate,

    I don’t know that Palin can’t see the beauty of the Church’s teaching on original sin and the structures of sin or not. I don’t think the remark follows from what was said by her or the Reagan quote. While I will agree with you that our societal handling of the psychotic appears to be lacking, I’m not so sure that it constitutes a genuine structure of sin. Nor do I think that because societal sin exists, that there is no such thing as personal sin. If we were to weight structural sin and directly connect it to every personal sin there would be no personal guilt, a denial of free will and original sin even. In fact, I would consider a system that faults itself for every person’s choice to be a structure of sin!

    Directly to the our deficiency with the mentally ill, I think it’s a very hard call. Currently the default is to err on the side of a person’s will rather than the needs of the collective. It may help ensure justice for individual people, but could lack the the justice due the common good. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible to create a system to benefit the common good at the expense of justice due to individual persons. I think the most unfortunate thing is that state funding for mental health services is not sexy and not something politicians are likely to prioritize. OTOH, stuff like that is prone to become unnecessarily bloated, expensive, and abusive. I think ideally what we need are some specialized charitable orgs that states can contribute funding to and maintain some generally reasonable regulatory oversight. Of course, there are always pitfalls to that too!

    See…that something is not perfect, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is bad. It may be not as good as some, or better than others, but to think there could be any sort of mental health system (or any system for that matter) that could not be accused of being a structure of sin is not dealing in reality. It all hinges on the free will, knowledge, intelligence, and selflessness of these things we call fallen man.

  • While well-intentioned, Palin is only opening herself up to more ridicule.

    How so?

  • My respect for her went up, not down.

  • Yeah, the statement is actually one of the best written and most balanced ones that has come out from a major politician. I was pretty impressed.

    Well, okay, I’ll admit that I also thought, “Wow, I wonder who her writer is,” but then, that’s the case with any politician. Even the notoriously silver-tongued Obama writes virtually none of his own stuff.

  • “Ironic that Palin could see the beauty of a Catholic mass, but not the beauty of Catholic teachings on original sin, the structures of sin, and the common good…”

    Of course authentic Catholic teaching on original sin teaches that one can avoid mortal sin in all cases (murder included.) It also teaches that structures of sin are the result of individual, personal sin and not impersonal forces that one is overwhealmed by. It also teaches that even in the face of structures of sin, the person is free to resist sin and live a life guided by grace.

    That is the beauty of Catholic teaching.

  • The Catholic teaching on structures of sin:

    “Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2, 1984), n. 16: “Whenever the Church speaks of situations of sin, or when she condemns as social sins certain situations or the collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations and blocs of nations, she knows and she proclaims that such cases of social sin are the result of the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins. It is a case of the very personal sins of those who cause or support evil or who exploit it; of those who are in a position to avoid, eliminate or at least limit certain social evils but who fail to do so out of laziness, fear or the conspiracy of silence, through secret complicity or indifference; of those who take refuge in the supposed impossibility of changing the world, and also of those who sidestep the effort and sacrifice required, producing specious reasons of a higher order. The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals. A situation – or likewise an institution, a structure, society itself – is not in itself the subject of moral acts. Hence a situation cannot in itself be good or bad”

    I find it interesting that identified as contributing to structures of sin are those who “exploit” evil. That is certainly the case of those seeking to make political hay out of this event. Even some of our fellow Catholics.

  • The last major politician I can think of to write most of his own speeches was Reagan. He would use speech writers, but he would almost alway use their efforts as first drafts, and he would make extensive changes and revisions, not counting the changes he would make often as he was giving the speech. Most politicians act as if they haven’t even read the speech written by staffers before they deliver it.

  • the structures of sin

    Nate, I am not sure that phrase means what you think it means. Some of the biggest “structures of sin” are perpetuated by progressives – the legality of abortion, the twisting of freedom into license, the attempt to destroy the family structure, the promotion of the culture of death, and on and on. It seems many progressives are the ones who fail to the the beauty of the Church teachings on the structures of sin.

  • I wish that all the sons and daughters of the Church who hold elective office in this Country had the same position on abortion as Palin does. If they did, abortion would be illegal before the end of the year. When it comes to abortion, Palin is a lot more “Catholic” than many people who claim the title but don’t walk the walk.

  • The whole “the right is to blame because of its vitriol” is classic projection by the left.

  • Art, by taking the bait, Palin will spark yet another round of name-calling (see separate post with twitter comments), ratcheting up the rhetoric. However, I understand her reaction and I suppose it is necessary to counter the ‘blood libel,’ as she puts it. In defending herself, however, she will be recast as the ‘aggressor’ in the eyes of some. Either way, she can’t win.

  • The problem is that she has already been cast as a bad guy in the minds of her detractors. Nothing she can say or do is likely to change their minds or hearts. However, to the degree that she states the truth it matters not what else they say or how they think of her.

  • Palin 2012!

    Sarah Plain is pro-life, pro-family, pro-personal responsibility, pro-economic growth and development. She is closer to true Catholicism than the hypocrites that habitually vote for abortion; gay privileges; brainwashing public school children into ignorant, useless, immoral hellions; class hatred and warfare, i.e., any dem candidate, e.g., Obama.

    I’m pretty sure you won’t be getting into Heaven if you vote for all-abortion, all the time dem candidates . . . Lord, have mercy.

  • On Intrade, Palin’s odds of winning the GOP nomination is down 25% since the shooting and is now at the lowest point since resigning as governor. Romney’s up over 20% but still well below his high. The odds of a 2nd term for Obama are also up sharply but well below its high.

  • Art, by taking the bait, Palin will spark yet another round of name-calling (see separate post with twitter comments), ratcheting up the rhetoric.

    And you’re holding her responsible, you poseur. She is not under any obligation to adopt the psychology of the wife-beater.

  • Excuse me, the psychology of the battered wife.

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

Tuesday, September 28, AD 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electoral Revolt

Wednesday, September 15, AD 2010

In a year of political stunners, last night’s result in the GOP primary in Delaware still stood out.  Christine O’Donnell, Palin-endorsed tea party activist, upset Mike Castle, former two-term Governor of Delaware and long term GOP congressman, who, until last week, was expected to be an easy victor, both in the primary and in the general election.  Castle is the archetypal Republican Rino and O’Donnell a life long conservative activist, and the GOP Delaware voters decided that counted for more than electability.  I view O’Donnell as a highly flawed candidate due to instances of bizarre behavior in her life, but nevertheless if I lived in Delaware I would have voted for her.  James Antle of of the American Spectator explains why:

For how is it a victory to elect a liberal with an “R” next to her name rather than a “D?” What does it profit a movement to win an election but lose its soul? Conservatives are saying to the Republican Party: for years you have taken us for granted. Now you can either win with us or lose without us. And if a conservative candidate loses anyway, so be it.

Rank-and-file conservatives no longer trust the Republican establishment. They don’t trust big-spending incumbents. They don’t even trust conservative magazines, websites, and commentators who in their view run down conservative candidates.

Are there drawbacks to this approach? As one Mama Grizzly might say, “You betcha.” Ideology and values are vital, but qualifications matter too. So do local conditions and regional differences, where one size doesn’t fit all.

Finally, few RINOs are as brazen as Castle or Scozzafava. They now have learned to talk like conservatives and check the right boxes on conservative litmus tests even as they expand government once in power. The George Romneys have become Mitt Romneys, the George Bushes George Ws. Will conservatives be as demanding of them?

But for now, this much is clear: Grassroots conservatives picked Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle, electoral consequences be damned. If it can happen in Delaware, it can happen anywhere.

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52 Responses to Electoral Revolt

  • I have had a feeling something else was going on this race that was not exactly send Washington D.C a message. I thought this person hit it right that it might not have been what people have been thinking. That is the social dynamic

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/246617/long-overdue-overhaul-delaware-republicans

    That being said I can’t see this as anything but a disaster. I am praying it is not. The stuff Karl Roves was talking about as well as other conservatives concerning well Character and ethical issues cannot be swept aside by charges of RINO and estabishment.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere perhaps someone can explain to me if we are going to have a conservative WHY HER. Is this the best they got?

    This very well could backfire. If she becomes in the media’s eye or public eyes the symbol of the Tea party and these eithical problems and other issues are true then we have a major problem on our hands.

    So as soon as someone can get me the talking points on how to address these “quirks” so I can look at them it would be appreciated.

    The interesting thing about that race if the above article is correct is perhaps Castle lost that race on the GUN issue. He did seem very stubborn on the Pro-Gun Control stance though it was clear the countires mood had shifted. IF he has moderated on that he might have picked up enough votes in those Southern Counties to win it last night.

  • Well, the lawsuit allegations are pretty run of the mill for a discrimination suit. Some of the statements (implying currently taking classes at Princeton vs. planning to) may have been some miscommunication between her and her attorney.

    I also don’t get how she could have sold her house to her boyfriend if the bank had already foreclosed, unless she got the money from him and paid of the mortgage before the sheriff sale, which is perfectly legal in most states. I don’t know about Delaware, but in Texas, foreclosure can be a nonjudicial proceeding, so you are not “sued”. You are usually given notice of default, notice of acceleration of the debt, then notice of foreclosure, and notice of foreclosure sale (first Tuesday of the month). Usually, the sale isn’t done by the sheriff, but by a disinterest 3rd party (usually lawyer or representative of the bank/mortgage co.).

  • That Weekly Standard story you linked was either a vicious hit piece with loads of dubious info- or quite disturbing as to the qualifications of O’Donnell for leading anything- There is a similar disconnect with Florida’s Rick Scott and his leadership of a corporate entity that ripped off government monies- This isn’t about ancient history- I have noted in running for office myself that you have to be really cautious to vett candidates because a lot of people are drawn to political leadership and political activism with serious personal issues that they are seemingly working through in very public ways- like high-wire risk-takers they are drawn to media glare like bugs who just want to get zapped- I would recommend that whoever is responsible for directing Tea party monies slow down a beat and consider the consequences of having some serious melt-down characters- reminds me of Ross Perot when he was positioned to win the presidency and he went off half-cocked with some crazy story of Bush harassing his daughters or some such thing, and he dropped out and came back and still ate up votes because people are that hungry for something non-establishment to turn up that is viable- the usual case is for shady or crazy multi-millionaires to come crashing into the party trying to buy their way into political leadership.

    For me, the Tea Party would get serious consideration only if it put the Pro-Life issue at the top of the heap- I recently dropped my own association with a major party because I could not make any headway in Florida as a pro-life Democrat and if I am going to go around and say that ‘a life is a life no matter how small’ then one would have to conclude that we have a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children in our country and any party or psuedo-party that makes the claim that they are pro-life and understand the seriousness of systemic killing of unborn kids- will have to be putting that kind of thing on the front-burner- even more so than tax and spend issues – If that isn’t happening then the public witness will go down as something like this: “Well yes I believe we have a genocide of killing unborn children going on- and I am pro-life, but what really ticks me off is Obama’s stimulus spending and repeal of my tax cuts- and don’t get me started on his socialist health care”. That approach is what I consider a lukewarm kind of ‘realism’ ‘pragmatism’ that smacks of Jesus’ warning to be hot or cold, the lukewarm He will spit out. I tried going the route of covert subversive as a pro-lifer inside the Democratic party fold- i’ve given over that role so I can now be as open as I want to be- but I have little sympathy for those who are ostensibly belonging to a party that makes pro-life claims but does precious little to prioritize Pro-Life issues when economics, taxes, and immigration seem to be so much more pressing and passionate causes for most Repubs and Tea Partiers I have known or read about.

  • I wouldn’t have voted for either one.

    O’Donnell seems to be a burrito short of a combo plate (“Castle operatives are ransacking my house!”), not to mention a permanent campaigner with no resume’. The “Did you hear the rumor Mike Castle is gay?” ad was despicable, too.

    That said, I wouldn’t have eaten the crap sandwich labelled “Mike Castle,” either.

    You could have picked two people at random out of a Wilmington phone book and done better.

  • This is not good – Coons, a dedicated leftist, will win, and the Senate will be more left-wing (Delaware is a Democratic state and he’s going to hold the seat, absent a scandal). Castle would have won, and he would have disappointed conservatives some of the time. Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    Sometimes, the GOP establishment is right. Palin and DeMint and the Tea Party folks were wrong in this case – which will become evident probably before November, given her history of instability and emotionalism.

  • Therefore, conservatives have lost, because he would have been an electable rightish figure in that state.

    That argument doesn’t carry weight anymore. Conservatives sucked it up to try to push McCain and got the lousiest campaign possible and an Obama presidency. Who knows whether Castle would have won? I have no idea whether she was a good candidate, but she sold herself as truer to conservative principles and, just as the Dems did in 08 when they picked Obama over Clinton, the party base decided to take the risk in order to get the candidate closer to their views. It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

  • It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.

    I am not sure I disagree with your conclusion, but I would caution against using McCain/Obama in 2008 as a basis for conclusions on statewide elections in 2010. It’s hard to disentangle the causality, of course, but I think any Republican would have lost the Presidential election in 2008; once the financial crisis hit, the Democratic candidate (whether Obama or Clinton) was going to win. In closely contested state-wide elections, sometimes moderates may legitimately have a better chance; that said, I will not be shedding any tears over Castle.

  • It seems some conservatives are fond of Buckley’s quip about being governed by the first 100 people out of the Boston phonebook (or something to that effect) instead of the graduating class of Harvard (or whatever it was) until it really happens.

    O’Donnell may be a little odd. But I am far past the point of expecting or demanding that politicians be perfect human beings, or anywhere near. I don’t doubt that people will be working overtime to make sure that the poor woman does have a meltdown, but if she can hold it together, good for her.

  • “It just doesn’t make sense anymore to vote based on who might have a better chance in the general election.”

    It does if conservatives believe that elections matter (I do) and value a conservative movement (which will contain, unfortunately, a lot of right-liberalism) capable of defeating candidates of the left (I do).

    I understand the reservations about Castle, but O’Donnell is a terrible candidate with a terrible history. Populist insurgents should find better candidates if they want to take on an establishment (Joe Miller, for example).

    Selling principles is not relevant in an electoral campaign if the candidate is unstable and unsuited for the electorate. Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.

  • I haven’t sorted through the allegations to see which are true. I’ll say this, in general: there’s always a risk going with inexperience. This is why sports have farm teams, and political parties are active at the local level (because let’s be honest, most issues that the city comptroller has to deal with aren’t found in the D or R platform).

    The Republicans haven’t been building up a good farm team. A lot of them turned out to be sleeping with staffers. There’s the occasional Christie or Jindal, sure, but on another thread where potential 2012 presidential candidates were being discussed, I was really struck by the weakness of the Republican bench (mixed sports metaphors, I know).

  • I’m torn between the thought of taking the Senate with Castle vs. sticking with a conservative and potentially not taking the Senate. In the end I have a very hard time with someone like Castle who is essentially a liberal Democrat with an (R) after his name and am glad he went down.

    Given that there are plenty of politicians out there who can’t pass the decency test (look, Rangal just won his primary challange) I think the GOP should move forward and support her.

  • Yeah, what Michael Denton said.

    How any pro-life Catholic could justify a vote for Mike Castle is completely beyond me, unless, of course, the goal is merely to elect Republicans.

    Mike Castle is a Catholic who, despite claiming membership in the Catholic Church as well as the party that touts itself as pro-life, has a 100% NARAL rating, a 0 rating from National Right to Life, and is (at least until January, heh!) probably the biggest supporter and sponsor of embryonic stem cell research legislation in Congress.

    From a conservative (but not necessarily social conservative) perspective, he supports cap & tax, gun control, restrictions on political speech (see Disclose Act), etc., etc. As Don notes, Castle is the archetype of the RINO.

    To support Castle would be to say that there is no Republican who is too anti-life and/or too far to the left as to be undeserving of our vote. Our call is to vote our values, not vote for the most electable person with an “R” next to his name.

  • I agree with jonathanjones.

    DE will now elect a Dem Senator (RCP just switched DE from red to blue and they are right), and given CO’s baggage it is probably for the best.

    I just don’t understand the logic of some commentators. Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal. It stands to reason that it makes sense to support the conservative over the moderate in the primary only if you think he or she has a legitimate shot to beat the liberal Dem. This is especially true in the US Senate where key votes usually are decided on party lines.

    The Tea Party has produced some good candidates, and they will show well; CO was not a good candidate and she will lose badly. Oh well.

  • I’m not sure that Castle was even a moderate. Sounds like he was about as liberal as they come.

  • Phillip,
    Even if that is true studies confirm that party matters greatly on key Senate votes. A liberal GOP Senator will vote more conservative than a liberal Dem Senator. Politics is a practical game. Purists lose. The constitutions framers knew that and anticipated compromises born of checks and balances. And no one understood it better than RWR.

  • Its a practical game I agree. Which is why I disagree with a lot of Catholic bloggers who insist on purity. But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties. Even more simply, who is to know if he would pull a Snowe or Collins. Studies say what a population will do, not what an individual will do.

    But Castle’s votes on abortion, stem cell research etc lead one to consider one’s vote beyond a practical level.

  • Fair enough, but a couple points:

    First, as odious as Specter and Jeffords are their desirablity in the Senate can only be judged in comparison to the alternatives, which is true also of Castle.

    Second, as much as I view abortion as by far the most important policy issue of our time, I do not think it is sensible (let alone morally required) to vote for a pro-lifer destined to lose over a pro-abort who could win if that pro-abort is likely to be less damaging than his ultimate opponent. A GOP pro-choice Senator is less likely to obstruct pro-life judicial nominees than a Dem pro-choice Senator.

    In the end, these are prudential decisions of course. And I certainly share one’s frustration with RINOs, especially pro-choice RINOs. But we can’t let those frustrations allow us to play our hand poorly. I suspect that many good people did just that in this case. I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.

  • I don’t know what the alternatives were to Spector and Jeffords as I’m still not sure what there were to Castle (or O’Donnell for that matter.) Perhaps there are some reading who know Delaware politics.

    But if there are no good alternatives then, as you say, we are stuck with prudential judgment. I also agree one is not obliged to vote for a pro-lfe candidate that has no chance of winning and take in the calculus of supporting a Republican majority that will be more pro-lfe than a Dem. majority. As I’ve said I’ve disagreed with Catholic bloggers who hold such can’t be done. I accept your point of view in this regard. I just don’t agree with it in this case.

    As far as not voting to block a pro-life judicial nominee, that’s moot at this point. There won’t be any. At least not until 2013. And perhaps by then we could have secured a Republican majority that is truly conservative.

  • Yes, I’d rather have a true conservative than a moderate. But I’d also rather have a moderate than a liberal.

    That, I think, is what’s up for debate. Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats. Yes, a moderate might be better than a liberal but if a moderate is only slightly better than the liberal it makes far less sense to abandon the opportunity to vote for a person who truly represents you view (i.e. the possible gain is slim in moderate whereas the potential in the conservative is great).

    It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented.

    And if Castle is such a great candidate, why the heck couldn’t he beat O’Donnell?

  • Conservatives have been told for years that moderates are better when quite frankly most of them are only marginally distinguishable from Democratic counterparts and worse on most issues than Blue dog Democrats.

    See Ehrlich, Robert L., Jr.

  • ” I wish the Tea Party had been able to launch a better candidate.”

    Exactly. And if she has ethical problems are we suppose to go oh well she is pro life?

    Problematic to say the least

  • “Castle would have (poorly) advanced the conservative cause from his position (one of 100 is a big deal when the state is Democratic) and Coons will actively oppose it.”

    Plus coons could have that seat forever. Castle was 71. Chances are he would not have ran again in 6 years

  • “It’s not puritanical or a lack of prudence; it’s a different assessment of the gains moderates have given us. From my perspective and many others, that’s not been much, especially as one who cares primarily about abortion and I’d rather have my views represented. ”

    You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

  • Agreed on all counts, Jh. Overall I have been pleased by the Tea Party alternative (i.e., anti-establishment) candidates. But I’m afraid this is not electable, which is probably for the best given her embarrassment potential.

  • Committees mean squat if they don’t have the votes on the floor.

  • Michael,
    But the fact is that party matters when it comes to votes on the floor. When a representative changes parties his voting record changes promptly and considerably, even if his views obviously have not.

  • I think that is characteristic of the last 15 years, when party caucuses have been more uniform than they were previously (and refers to the pressures on legislators, not executives).

  • Agreed on both counts, though party discipline has always been a material factor on important votes. And I agree without reservation that this phenomenon is largey irrelevant to executive branch offices.

  • The arguments put forward here in favor of Castle would also apply if he were running in the General Election against a moderate pro-life, pro-2nd amendment Democrat.

    I mean, if the majority is all that matters, why not support support the pro-abort, radically pro-ESCR, anti-gun, pro-cap-and-tax “Catholic” RINO over the pro-life moderate Democrat?

    Again, it all seems to come down to voting for the “R”. Well, I don’t buy it anymore. I’ve been sold that bill of goods for far too long and with far too few REAL results to play the part of the pro-GOP-at-any-cost lemming.

    I won’t be going over the cliff for Mike Frickin’ Castle, believe you me.

  • But who is to know if Castle wouldn’t pull a Specter, or a Jeffords and change parties.

    Spector was a former Democrat with a long history of buffoonish and histrionic behavior. Jeffords changed parties due to a dispute over dairy subsidies or some such. You could investigate Castle’s history to see if these sort of antecedents were present.

  • Not true, Jay. The argument being put forward is that a liberal Republican is better than a liberal Democrat, and that therefore it is sensible to vote for a liberal Republican who can defeat a liberal Democrat in the general election over a conservative Republican who cannot defeat the liberal Dem in the general election. No one is suggesting that it is better to vote for a liberal pro-choice Republican over a moderate pro-life Democrat should such a circumstance actually present itself. I regret if any of my comments suggested otherwise, but I think a fair reading of them in the context of the exchange is pretty clear.

  • I don’t think that is what you are saying, Mike.

    But many (most?) of the arguments in favor of Castle have focused on the GOP effort to regain majority status. If regaining majority status is the goal of electing Castle, then, yes, it does seem to be an argument in favor of electing him over any Democrat.

    But given Castle’s horrific record on virtually every issue that matters most to me, I don’t think I’d vote for him under any circumstances, even if it meant the seat went to a leftist (for whom I wouldn’t vote either).

  • And Jay, to be clear. The point I was making (and I think Art and jh were largely supporting) is that the argument in favor of supporting a conservative Republican over a liberal Republican in a primary election when one believes that the conservative has little or no chance of defeating the liberal Dem in the general election while the liberal has a good chance of defeating the liberal Dem is weak insomuch as it rests on the assumption that the liberal Dem and liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, which is empirically very unlikely to be the case. My apologies for the run-on sentence.

  • Let me amend my previous comment: I KNOW I’d never vote for Mike Castle under any circumstances. Period.

  • Jay, I have re-read my posts and am surprised that you think I’m saying anything different than what I posted in the comment to which you responded. Puzzling really.

  • AD,

    If Jeffords could go over dairy subsidies I don’t see why Castle couldn’t go over being defied about abortion, stem-cell research or any other thing.

    I do not think the psychological profiles of a Spector or Jeffords are necessary precursors for Castle causing problems.

  • The more interesting question for me is whether I’d support a pro-life Dem over a a pro-choice Republican. The likely answer is yes, but this too is a prudential decision since the empirical evidence suggests that legislators usually discard their personal beliefs in favor of party unity when their vote is critical. One can of course simply say that this is just partisanship masquerading as prudence, and it could be in some cases. But not for me.

  • Mike,

    I just told you that I didn’t think that was what you were saying, so I’m not sure what you find puzzling. In other words, I was agreeing with you that you were NOT arguing the GOP majority card, but that others were.

    As for whether the liberal Dem and the liberal Repub are functionally equivalent, I am of the opinion that the liberal Repub is actually worse because he gives bipartisan cover to such mischief as ESCR, cap & tax, and the Disclose Act.

    I mean, seriously, people should look up Castle’s role in sponsoring ESCR legislation and being one of the most vocal critics of Bush’s executive order and subsequent vetoes of ESCR legislation. If ESCR (not to mention abortion) is really what we and the Church claim that it is, I just could never in good conscience vote for such a person. Especially one claiming to be a Catholic.

    It’s just simply not enough to me that he will be a vote for Mitch McConnell (cough, cough) as majority leader. And, again, Mike, I don’t believe that is what you are arguing either.

  • Oh, I understand now, Jay, thanks. I took “I don’t think that is what you are saying” as disagreeing with my immediately prior comment in which I took issue with your interpretation of prior comments as making arguments that would apply in the context of a choice between a pro-life Dem and and a pro-choice Repub. I see now that I simply misunderstood you.

    I have no specific quarrel with you at all re Castle. Your observation about “bipartisan cover for mischief” is certainly a fair prudential consideration, even though I think I would ordinarily give it less weight than you.

    In the end it does seem to me that the case for opposing Castle may be stronger than the case for supporting CO.

  • Jay,

    You are completely right about Castle. The difficulty, however, is that:

    1). He (very likely) would have won.
    2). His “moderate” stance has fit Delaware for some time now.
    3). This is a lot better than the activist leftist soon to win this seat.

    Tea Party people:
    Advocate for better candidates. O’Donnell is a terrible one, and she’s going to lose by double digits.

  • Jonathan,

    I agree that the tea party folks need to field some better candidates. I’m not an O’Donnell defender in the least.

    But I also believe that Ed Morrissey (as quoted above by Don) raises a valid point that, in the context of the present national mood, the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years. In a year when conservatives are expected to make big gains, the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball by choosing someone more center-right:

    <em"They stuck with a liberal, establishment candidate in a cycle where liberals and establishment figures are uniquely unpopular. Had the Republican leadership been in touch with Delaware Republican voters, they might have found a more suitable candidate for the popular mood, and would not have had to deal with Christine O’Donnell and her outsider bid. They have no one to blame but themselves."

  • the GOP establishment in Delaware couldn’t come up with anything better than a 70+ year old retread who’s been in public office for 45 years…. the Delaware GOP didn’t even TRY to advance the ball…

    Welcome to New York.

  • Yeah, if Castle really was the only thing standing between the GOP and the majority, then they deserve to sit in the minority for another 2 years. If it’s that important, but out the effort to find a candidate who isn’t going to get smoked by someone as “nutty” as Rove put it as O’donnell.

  • People forget that Castle, for all his pro-abort tendencies, at the very least supports the PBA ban, parental notification, and judges that would overturn ROE. That makes him better than Biden by a notch, and certainly better than Coons.

    O’Donnell’s website right now is simply a donation page; she is doing everything she can to prove all of her critics right. I really don’t trust her. Sorry.

  • She has raised over half a million since last night. Harry Reid’s “pet” is in for the fight of his life.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/15/harry-reid-chris-coons-is-my-pet/

  • Pace Richard Brautigan, “Palin Drives on Deep into Egypt.” Her influence is a phenomenon. Palin attracts flawed candidates who dislike making a deal with the Devil. She plays chess while the establishment plays checkers.

    I grow weary of comments that a given candidate does not measure up to the moral and intellectual excellence expected of politicians. If everything said about O’Donnell and about Palin are correct, they would rank somewhere in the top quartile of American political figures. It’s a pretty sorry bunch, American politicians.

  • The complaint about Miss O’Donnell is that she shows evidence of being an incompetent human being. Gov. Palin has been for 22 years married to a man she’s been appended to since high school, has five children, and a dozen years under her belt as a public executive. Generically incompetent she is not. As for the Governor’s critics, they may have a reasonable point her or there, but the disjunction between their assessment of her and their assessment of the President suggests they equate intellectuality with intelligence and confound articulateness with intelligence.

  • Agree with AD. People who comment on blogs often fancy themselves as intellectuals and favor candidates who appear intellectual. But intellectualism is not the same as intelligence. Palin is hardly the ideal presidential candidate, but the argument that she is less fit than the person who now occupies that post just doesn’t wash.

  • You will never get gains in the first place if you don’t have majority controls of the committees.That is just the fact.

    And you won’t get more coservative candidates if you keep voting for more moderate ones. That is also a fact. So what to do?

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Mama Grizzlies, Ewoks and Sarah Palin

Thursday, September 2, AD 2010

One of the more notable events in November this year will likely be the election of a record number of conservative pro-life Republican women to Congress, statehouses and state legislaturesTheir impact could be enormous.   Sarah Palin launched a movement in 2008 which may well be, long term, the most significant political event of our time:  conservative pro-life women running for political office. 

Of course every movement has its critics.  Emily’s List, the pro-abort group that supports female candidates who hold sacred the right to choose to slay kids in the womb, has put together the video below, which I believe should be entitled:  “WHEN EWOKS ATTACK!”

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17 Responses to Mama Grizzlies, Ewoks and Sarah Palin

  • Great post, but I couldn’t watch more than 10 seconds of the Ewok thing. Too embarrassing.

  • Essentially humorless partisans attempting to make an intentionally humorous attack video has a certain surreal quality that I enjoy.

  • Sarah Palin: Accidental Politician turned Opportunist Extraordinaire.

    In case you missed it, these Emily’s List women PURPOSELY went over-the-top to prove how over-the-top the ridiculous “mama grizzly” story is. If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

  • What choice are you supporting?

  • It’s unfortunate that grizzlies, not unlike leftists, have as little sense of shame as humor. Since I watched the entire thing I’ll have to be embarrassed for them. Rawr!!

  • Apparently, a woman can’t reach her full potential if she is unable to legally slay her own offspring in utero.

    I suppose, Amy, that your defense of your cubs is conditional upon whether or not they’ve been born? Born or not, they are still your cubs, your own flesh and blood.

  • Sarah Palin: Accidental Politician turned Opportunist Extraordinaire.

    Becoming an accidental politician is like becoming “accidentally” pregnant.

    In case you missed it, these Emily’s List women PURPOSELY went over-the-top to prove how over-the-top the ridiculous “mama grizzly” story is.

    There is a fine line between “over the top” and “creepy.” These women hit the creepy side of the scale when they began roaring.

    If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.

    I’m sure you would, but any ideology that cannot respect the innate dignity of your “cubs” from conception is one that is poorly equipped to truly protect them.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

    I admit, with the bears in the video and this “FACT,” I was reminded of Dwight K. Schrute of the Officer. FACT: Black bears are betters. Bears. Beets. Battlestar gallatica.

    In seriousness, I have a real problem with the notion that you can be pro-choice/pro-abortion and still be a feminist. The most significant aspect of femininity to me is the ability of a woman to carry a child. That beautiful connection between a woman her child is amazing to me as a man who can’t experience it, and I think that above all us if we are to be truly feminists we must protect that connection.

    However, the culture of abortion directly attacks that beauty by telling women that pregnancy and child-bearing is bad. Indeed, abortion feeds into a capitalistic culture that tries to turn women into more perfect cogs in the machine by reducing the inconveniences pregnancy has for a career via abortion. In essence, abortion attempts to turn women to be more like men by denying the particular beauty of pregnancy.

    Furthermore, there is plenty of statistics suggesting that abortion is used in places like China against female fetuses rather than male ones. Between the women told that their femininity is a bother so “go take care of it” and the women who are not alive with us today because they were aborted, it is difficult to understand how one can be a feminist and support abortion rights.

  • Thank you Amy for providing evidence to support my contention as to just how truly humorless pro-abort ideologues tend to be.

  • “If you think as a liberal, pro-choice mother that I would NOT defend my “cubs,” think again.”

    The ones you chose not to slay in utero?

  • Denton – That reminds me of something that Chesterton said: in the battle of the sexes, all of a sudden women gave up and decided to become men.

  • Thank you Amy for once again using the tired lefty playground “shut up you’re stupid” argument to support your shallow position–rroooaaaarrrr!! Feel better now?

    People like Amy feel so morally superior to others with different thoughts that they’re willing to risk their eternal souls to redefine morality on their terms. You and the ‘Ewoks’ shouldn’t argue with us–your argument is with God. They’re not our laws but we realize that following them enriches and brings real joy to our lives in ways we could’ve never imagined.

    The fact that so many women who’ve had abortions are scarred for life should drive real concern if you really care about feminine causes. That and the other inconvenient truth that over 50% of abortions involve coercion–some choice.

    Lefties ‘love’ to make up personal/emotional/gooey stories to support their socialist evil claims so let’s include a real story with real evil:
    http://www.lifenews.com/state5405.html

    “Thou shall not kill”
    Each individual gets to make the choice to follow God’s laws or make up their own according to their rationalized (lustful) desires. I just wish everyone would realize that committing sin moves you further away from Christ’s love and degrades your spirit which ultimately makes you more miserable long term. We’ll pray for you Amy–‘Ewoks’ too.

  • As a woman, I was embarrassed by that moronic video. A pro-abort lawyer dressed up as an ewok? Oh, yes, dear, that makes her look like a woman of substance, someone who should be taken seriously. I imagine that video gave Palin a good laugh. Her enemies constantly make prize asses out of themselves while insisting she’s the stupid one.

    FACT: “Anti-choice feminist” is an absolute oxymoron. Get with the program, idiots.

    And who made amy and the NOW/Emily’s List gang the judges of what is feminist? Why on earth do you get the deciding vote, princess? Unless I agree with you that murdering children in the womb is somehow a wonderful expression of womenhood, I’m not a feminist? Our “choice” trumps the right of other, innocent beings to live? Millions of women disagree with you. And we could care less about getting the little seal of approval from the grim harridans at Emily’s List or NOW.

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  • According to Amy’s peculiar “logic,” a Chinese woman who aborts her daughter because the woman can only have one child and is culturally conditioned to believe sons are more desirable than daughters is a feminist. Palin, a woman from a humble background who has run a business and a state, challenged the entrenched Murkowski dynasty in Alaska, and has endured all sorts of obscene slander, much of it coming from the liberal “sisterhood” – Palin is not a feminist because she favors the right of girls and boys to be born.

    ‘Cause the Emily Listers don’t really give a rip about an individual woman’s achievements, or character when it comes right down to it. Like Hugh Hefner, they’re focused on the ONE really important thing – what’s between women’s legs and women’s absolute right to do whatever they wish with said naughty bits without, as Obama said, worrying about being “punished with a baby.”

  • Excellent post, Templar. Here’s an interesting article by the daughter of feminist icon Alice Walker.

    But the truth was I (Walker’s daughter) was very lonely and, with my mother’s knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

    Now I simply cannot understand how she could have been so permissive. I barely want my son to leave the house on a play-date, let alone start sleeping around while barely out of junior school.

    A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things.

    Although I was on the Pill – something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend – I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don’t remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

    Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I’d never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

    Ah, yes, we should all aspire to be like that great pro-choice feminist Alice Walker! What a wonderful mother! What a great role model, right, amy? Not like that creepy Sarah Palin!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

  • If one goes beyond the initial embarrassment of looking at the video, one discovers that these supposed “mama bears”…….. demand the right to kill their cubs.

    Something is seriously wrong here but I doubt whether they can even see it.

    Next time the ladies want to make an attempt at humour, they should at least try to be halway coherent.

    I do hope that the video reaches a wide audience.

    M

  • If Amy thinks “pro-life feminist” (not “anti-choice”, thank you very much)is an oxymoron, her feminist history doesn’t go back any farther than Alice Walker. Before feminism was co-opted by the eugenics and population control movements ca. 1960, to be feminist was almost without exception to be pro-life. Read up on Alice Paul’s views on the matter, for example. Or Cady Stanton’s, Anthony’s (the subject of much contention recently, but a few editorials from her paper The Revolution should make the point)Woodhull’s, Claflin’s, Brinkerhoff’s, or Gage’s. Go back clear to Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote the seminal A Vindication of the Rights of Women and gave birth to a daughter outside of marriage at a time when doing so guaranteed her pariah status. And yes, abortion existed even then.

    Oh, and zoologically speaking there’s nothing “ridiculous” or “over-the-top” about the “Mama Grizzly” analogy. We don’t have grizzlies in the East, but as an Appalachian girl I could recite numerous accounts of the noteworthy protective behavior of Mama black bears.

Tea Party Claims Another Scalp

Wednesday, August 25, AD 2010

Pro-abort incumbent Lisa Murkowski, apparently was defeated in the Republican primary in Alaska for the US Senate nomination by Palin endorsed pro-life Joe Miller, a tea party activist.  This is the most stunning political upset thus far this season.  Miller was widely viewed as a sure loser going into election night, especially by the internet Journal Slate which began a story on Monday with this opening:  On Tuesday, in her home state, Sarah Palin’s favorite will probably get trounced. Joe Miller is widely expected to lose by a large margin to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary—an embarrassing defeat for the former governor, who has endorsed Miller, but also to Miller’s other major backer, the Tea Party Express.  Go here to read this monument to far sighted political prognostication.

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9 Responses to Tea Party Claims Another Scalp

  • Here are other bits of wisdom from the author of the Slate piece.

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/author?id=2232

    This broad is the news director of a television station in Alaska, a position acquired after working at an opinion magazine. Fred Barnes said a while back that in his years at the Weekly Standard, he could scarcely recall a single member of the staff or intern who had been hired by an ordinary metropolitan newspaper. Funny how that works.

  • Political reporting in this country Art is mostly 90% “That is what I hope happens” and 10% “Well this is what the facts say”.

  • The dnc propaganda organ, you call it the media, spews 90% fiction to advance the mythical liberal narrative.

  • I just hope IF he wins I hope he can beat the Democrat.

  • The only time Alaska has elected a Democrat to Congress in the last 36 years was when the Republican was under indictment.

    Miss Gutierrez offers her post-mortem here:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2265056/

    Some of the commenters proceed to hand her her ass.

  • I haven’t seen an exact tally of how many Tea Party candidates have won in the primaries, but I heard that not all of them have been as spectacular. However add a Sarah Palin endorsement and voila! Tea Party score. So is Palin the codeine in the Tea Party Tylenol?

    I think she is the secret ingredient. The reason in short, IMHO, is that the Tea Party people are focused on economic issues, and I don’t fault them for that. But to put it bluntly, Palin brings God and Guns to the party. That completes the “Reagan coalition” on the issues.

    Please disprove me on this if I am off; as I said, I don’t have an exact tally.

  • Pauli, her endorsement of Clint Didier didn’t help him beat out Dino Rossi to win the primary here in Washington state.

  • Dino Rossi. Yeah, sounds like a good fella. Maybe he can fit Patty Murray with a pair of concrete overshoes.

    Either way, I ain’t sayin’ nothin’.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman!

At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

Monday, August 23, AD 2010

Marian apparitions have always been a sign of God’s love. It truly is one of His greatest graces, which physically shows us the Blessed Mother along with her love, words of encouragement and warnings about the world in which we live. Sometimes the Church Militant heeds her call, but sadly often it doesn’t. This article will only cover a handful of Church approved apparitions (this can be a little tricky, more on this later,) but what it will show is that often the Blessed Mother appears in lands that have experienced great suffering with often more suffering to follow. Her message to bring the world closer to her Son and live according to Jesus’ teachings is one of God’s greatest graces, something that is often met with violent, evil attacks. The miraculous events surrounding her appearances often take place in the presense of great vistas; a window of sorts into God’s loving handiwork. The said could be said about Jesus at The Transfiguration and the Sermon on the Mount.

Something to keep in mind before we begin; during the early days of the Church investigative bodies were the last thing the Church was worried about at a time when the Church was trying to literally stay alive during an array of persecutions. Following the Protestant Reformation, a more detailed structure emerged for investigating appartions. They often took a long time to investigate in order to prevent any hoaxes. Most reported modern day apparitions are not approved. In the 20th Century only 8 of the 300+ reported apparitions were approved. This link from the University of Dayton, a Marianist institution, which houses the largest collection of Marian Apparitions, might be a helpful.

The year was 1300. Though parts of Spain remained under Islamic control, a liberated area, near the Guadalupe River would reveal an amazing find. A cow herder named Gil Cordero would be told by the Blessed Mother to dig, and there he would find holy treasure. Though laughed at by his fellow villagers, his faithful dig yielded a secret burial vault that would house many relics including that of a lifelike carving of the Blessed Mother. It was said to be carved by St Luke and transported to Spain in the sixth century by Bishop Leander, a relative of Pope Gregory the Great.

The vault had been placed there as Islamic armies were making their way to Spain.  The lifelike carving, which still exists today, was said to have been processed through the streets of Rome around the year 590 AD, at the direction of Pope Gregory the Great. He had been given the famous carving while he was Papal Legate in Constantinople.

The famous pontiff had ordered this procession during a terrible plague and famine that had engulfed the city, some one hundred and fifty years after the Roman Empire had collapsed.  As the procession ended, the assembled crowd saw the Archangel St Michael sheathing his sword, signifying that the famine and plague were over. (One can still see the statue of the Archangel St Michael atop the Castel Sant Angelo which commemorates this momentous event.)  The carved statue of the Blessed Mother was then sent to Spain where it remains today, seemingly unscathed after spending years underground during the Muslim conquest.

Years later a young Italian navigator named Christopher Columbus would come to pray at this now famous shrine. He was at the end of his financial rope in seeking backing for a “new way to India.” Soon after his prayer, he was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and the rest is history. Few know about this religious side of Columbus. Even fewer know that when he first caught sight of what would be known as the Americas, he had minutes before ordered his crew to pray the Rosary. In gratitude, he named one of the islands he discovered for the site at which his prayers were answered back in Spain, the isle now known as Guadeloupe.

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41 Responses to At Marian Apparition Locations, Great Trials & Tribulations Often Occur Before & After

  • Thanks for that excellent post David.
    I had not heard of those earlier apparitions of Our Lady, so that’s very informative.

    God Bless your work.

  • Guadalupe, Mexico, near present day Mexico City. Though the modern day mainstream media may glorify the Mayans and especially their doomsday prediction of 2012, living under their thumb often resulted in death; ritual human sacrifice was very common in Mexico and the neighboring countries to her south.

    Are you perhaps confusing the Mayans and the Aztecs? Both practiced human sacrifice, but the Aztecs were more concentrated around Mexico City; the Mayans were more to the south and the Yucatan peninsula (as well as further south of Mexico itself).

  • No C Matt I am not confusing the two. Both civilizations power bases were essentially destroyed by the time the Blessed Mother appeared at Tepeyac Hill. True the Aztec power base was in the north, however, their influence was not greater than the Mayan people. In the south of Mexico even though the Mayan Culture’s power base was dead their descendants still numbered more than the Aztecs. At the peak of the Mayan Civilization, their numbers were over 20,000,000.

  • Nice article, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention Medjugorje, especially given how profoundly connected Kibeho is to Medjugorje. I assure you that Medjugorje is the real deal, and one of the most important Marian apparitions in history. The fruits of Medjugorje are worldwide, the conversions are in the millions, and if you take a look at the medical testing done on the visionaries by some of the world’s top doctors and scientists, you will be very surprised. Of course, the devil HATES Medjugorje and has done everything he can to plant the seeds of confusion among God’s children. But look around you and you will see that we’re in battle! God bless you.

  • Dave,

    This is the best article I have of yours yet!

    Wow.

    In the church in Zeitoun where Mary appeared, that church has a high concentration of saint’s relics. In addition the apocryphal story states that Jesus, Mary, & Joseph, stayed in or near Zeitoun during their time in Egypt.

    These two facts alone can help explain why the Blessed Virgin graced her presence there.

  • Sean, I would think that Medjugorje wasn’t mentioned because it is not an approved apparition.

  • Yes, Mary, nor is it unapproved. What the world needs now, more than ever, is the message of peace and reconciliation that is flowing from Medjugorje. I’ve been to Kibeho, and I’ve been to Medjugorje many times, and they are the same message. The Kibeho visionary Alphonsine actually went to Medjugorje in the nineties, and the priests at the Kibeho shrine believe the two apparitions are linked. I just would have liked to see Dave mention Medjugorje, even with a caveat of it still being under investigation, because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.

  • Sean, the author mentioned in the beginning of the article that he would only deal with approved apparitions. Medjugorje is not approved. Your reaction and defensive stance makes it seem more like a cult with cult-followers. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be seen as unauthentic, which I won’t go into here. Perhaps its popularity is just a sign of the evil times that we live in and the weak-faithed.

  • I concur with Sean. But I think it is out of prudence that Medjugorje should be treated in a future article. Dave, I’ll be waiting on this one.

  • I concur with Katherine. There are many reasons as to why Medjugorje can be viewed with skepticism and may not be authentic. Peace and reconciliation not rooted in truth has no foundation. The last thing the world needs right now is any false concept of peace and reconciliation possibly rooted in and further promoting a worldwide ‘Dictatorship of Relativism.’

  • Medjugorje is not an approved apparition…

  • The apparitions at Cuapa, Nicaragua, May 8 to October 13th, 1980, fully demonstrate that when apparitions like those that took place then occur, trouble is ahead. The country had just gone through a bloody uprising against an entrenched dictator, and 50,000 casualties.
    When the apparitions took place, the so-called “Contra War” was getting underway, and before it was over a decade later, another 50,000 had died. The purported messages of the Most Holy Virgen were of much comfort to Nicaraguans throughout, and a continuing sign of the merciful presence of God. I was there then.

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  • kATHERINE:
    Though Medjugorje is as yet not been approved I, for one, can truly say, without a doubt, that I know Our Lady is appearing there. I was there in 1987. One only has to go there to understand that truth. I would stake my life on it. Her presence is so apparent that no one leaves that place without believing it. Of course, I know that we need to wait for total church approval. It was also said, concerning these apparitions, that when they totally end that decision will be made. Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.That is not hearsay, it is documented.He met many times with some of the visionaries.Anything that you think could be used against these apparitions is most probably wrong information that you have heard.

  • I don’t know about the legitimacy of that medjugorje apparition. I do know about the negative comments and rebellion by its followers when a statement by the commission possibly restricting or rejecting begin to rumor. There were no presence of humility or obedience rather defiance and arrogance displayed. More than fruits will need to be considered for legitimacy. There is no spirit of poverty surrounding the visionaries like at Fatima…we must wait til the church makes a decision. I am concerned about one message that says don’t pray for others nut pray for yourself…that’s not like Mary our Mother who say forget your brother when you come before God in prayer! It is neither here nor there that you bet your life on medjugorje nor does your belief or disbelief assures its legitmaticy…only the church can do such…

  • Like Anita, I know what I have experience in Medjugorje is sincere and pure. Our Lady has given me to her son, Jesus through his presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I have come to know God’s love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I have seen, heard and know the fruits of Medjugorje. It is all about Jesus and being Roman Catholic who loves our Holy Father in Rome.
    For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. God bless everyone!

  • I have seen Marija and Ivan in person and I can say that they are as human as anybody else, but yet very humble and prayerful. My understanding is that the visionaries have been obedient to the Church. My family and I have been to Medjugorje and stayed there for 5 days, and though I have not seen any startling natural phenomena except for the water that constantly flows from the knee of the Resurrected Jesus (at the time, I thought it was moisture on the bronze statue forming every day), I always have believed in the apparition there, yes, even long before we visited the place, back in the late 80s when I first heard about it.

  • Excellent article. Only one comment: Christopher Columbus was from Spain

  • The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus.

    Medjugorje is the most important apparition of Blessed Mary in history, and I will say flat out so as to be unambigous, it is heralding the Second Coming of Jesus.

    For those who don’t listen to their Mother and turn back to God now, it will be too late, as Blessed Mary herself says. She said those waiting for the sign – for many it will be too late. She means that the sign is a ways off yet, and so before then many will die of natural deaths etc. w/o having converted or turned back to God because they were waiting for the sign. It is very possible that Jesus will return BEFORE the Church rules on Medjugorje and many will not be ready.

    But alas, I also believe when the warnings come, many will convert and the Church will urge them to do so too – the Church will finally approve the apparition, but it will be too late for those who have not converted between 1981 and then.

    Sad, really. God bless you.

  • “The saddest part about the Medjugorje episode is that so many Catholics, who should know better, are ignoring it. It reminds me of how many Jews, who should have known better, ignored both John the Baptist and Jesus…”

    Seriously? You’re going to compare the rejection of the Messiah (God incarnate, whose coming was essential for salvation) by His own chosen people to skepticism over an unapproved apparition, belief in which (regardless of whether the Church ever decides to speak to its authenticity or lack thereof) is NOT essential to the faith?

    It’s the over-the-top certitude of such statements with regard to Medjugorje in the face of the Church’s caution that (1) causes many to remain skeptical and (2) makes me glad that assent to private revelation is not essential for one to be a faithful Catholic.

  • Jay, maybe you don’t “need” Medjugorje because your faith is already so strong and you are on the right path. That’s awesome for you, and I commend your devotion. But, as I’m sure you know, you are the minority in this world. There are so many lost and faithless people out there (I, myself, was one of them) and Our Lady is trying to reach them through Medjugorje. I’m certain that if you ever go there, you would agree with me. Just as Jesus himself said that He came not for the righteous but for the sinners, Our Lady has come to lead the nonbelievers and the lukewarm to her Son. What happens in Medjugorje? It’s not some crazy place where fanatics are running around looking for miracles. On the contrary, it is a shrine filled with people praying, confessing and worshipping God through the Sacraments. It is a place of conversion. You can FEEL it when you’re there. I’ve traveled to approved apparition sites all over the world, but no where is there such a sense of peace and holiness as there is in Medjugorje. Again, it sounds like your faith is strong enough that you don’t need Medjugorje, but I urge you, and everyone who shares your viewpoint, to be patient and not persuade anyone from going there to see for themselves. It could be the difference between life and death for that person, eternally speaking of course.

    Have a look at this video of an apparition:

    http://www.medjugorjevideo.com/mirjanavisionary.html

    I challenge anyone to show me someone — an actress, perhaps — who can cry on command while staring up at thin air, without any wavering of the focal point of her pupils for five minutes straight, and who can turn her voicebox on and off inexplicably (scientifically impossible), and whose brain waves go to such a heightened sense of awareness in a split second (during the apparition) that doctors have never seen it before.

    Medjugorje is 100% real. I’m no fanatic and I don’t believe many things, but this I’m certain of, and one must only go there with an open mind to see God’s work in action. I am incredibly thankful to Our Lady for leading me and my entire family to the Catholic Church. My wife (also a convert after going to Medjugorje) and I are raising our little children in a strong Catholic setting, something that would have been inconceivable to us before Medjugorje ever came into our lives. Our story is no exception. There are millions of us out there. WE NEEDED MEDJUGORJE, and thank God no one told me not to go before I did that first time. God bless you all.

  • Sean, you forgot to mention about the Adoration of the Holy Eucharist from sunset till late evening. Aside from long lines of Confession and full-packed Masses, this devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is one undeniable proof that God is Present among His people in Medjugorje. Who else will know the sure way to lead us to Christ? Who, but the one who nursed Him and lulled Him to sleep while yet He was a baby, and who was there at the foot of the Cross during the last moments of His life?

    All these are tangible manifestations of God’s love for us, while yet we have time. Let’s help bring conversion of everyone to the LORD! Our Lady is here to help us. According to St Louis de Monfort, Mama Mary is the surest way to Jesus. She’s bidding everyone of us to come and go to Him!

  • It’s not about whether I “need” Medjugorje for my faith to be strong or not. I’m as much a weak and sinful person as any other Catholic. But the depth of no one’s faith should be made dependent on whether or not they assent to any private revelation.

    I make no judgments about the authenticity of Medjugorje, other than to note (1) that the Church has not yet spoken on it and (2) that statements like those Bob made comparing skepticism over Medjugorje to the rejection of Christ as the Messiah are WAY over the top.

    I have great respect for many who do believe in the authenticity of Medjugorje. In fact, one of the priests I most admire – the Dominican priest who brought me into the Church and who just so happens to be the Prior Provinical of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph – has been to Medjugorge on a number of occasions. That fact, alone, is enough for me to give some credence to its authenticity.

    But I’ll wait for the Church before giving full assent.

  • Sean,

    You said, “because it has, after all, become one of the most visited Marian shrines in history.” Sorry to disappoint you, but I can’t allow you to mislead anyone reading these comments. You are sadly misinformed or purposely being misleading. Medjugorje is NOT A MARIAN SHRINE, the Catholic Church has not currently raised the status of any Church in Medjugorje to ‘Shrine’.

    Anita,

    You said, ‘Pope John Paul II, said, in many interviews, that if he were not Pope he would have already been in Medjugorje.’ Did JPII say that, or did someone else say he said that? Please produce the article showing the direct quote. Let me also remind you it is a well known fact that Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, was a stalwart supporter of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the disgraced, recently deceased founder of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi.

    For anyone truly interested in discerning the ‘fruits’ of Medugujorje, I recommend the following links. In the meantime, LETS BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!

    http://medjugorjedocuments.blogspot.com/2010/02/ecclesial-disciplinary-actions-against.html

    http://www.rickross.com/groups/caritas.html

    http://unitypublishing.com/Apparitions/MedjugorjeIndex.html

    http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

  • A few points before this thread winds down. I will be happy to write about Medjugorje once the Church takes an official stand on it. In the meantime, perhaps the prudent thing to do is for those who hope the Church rules favorably on the apparition is to politely say “for your discernment.” I believe this is the approach Michael Brown uses. The evil one loves drama and disunity in the Church. I think we can all agree that whatever we believe, we don’t need to give the evil one any new ammunition. We should trust the Holy Spirit.

    In addition, I believe someone corrected me by saying Christopher Columbus was a Spaniard, no he was an Italian born In Genoa. Finally, what the disgraced Father Maciel has to do with Pope John Paul’s view on Medjugorje is immaterial to this thread. Father Maciel was an evil deceiver who fooled many, so we can’t condemn all those who might have liked the Father Maciel they thought they knew.

  • Dave,

    Please understand, my reference to Father Maciel was not a condemnation of anyone. The purpose of the reference was to highlight how easily we can be deceived and the illogic of using an uncomfirmed JPII quote as evidence of authenticity, an idea I stole from Patrick Madrid:

    http://patrickmadrid.blogspot.com/2010/04/medjugorje-and-maciel-effect.html

  • No problem Dismas. God Bless, take care and have a nice weekend!

  • Dave,
    You’re right in saying that Medj supporters should include “for your discernment”. That would help diffuse things. It would also help diffuse the inflated rhetoric if Medj opposers would also not pull out the “Cult Card” every time the topic comes up. Can we agree?

  • Great article.
    You may want to research the first apparition of the Blessed Mother in the last millenium.Our Lady appeared the last saturday of April 1001.
    The structure of the present church was approved by St. Pio and Pope John Paul II visited there both before and after his election.
    The shrine is outside of Foggia in so. Italy and is the site of many pilgrimages.
    Your article is very eye-opening and very necessary in our “morality deprived” depraved society.

  • Joseph Forina, sounds like something I will have to research. GB, I certainly agree with your post!

  • Dismas, to me and to many other people, Medjugorje is a shrine. Please note that I didn’t capitalize the word shrine. You capitalized it, out of context, and then claimed I was being misleading (or misinformed). Please look up the definition of the word ‘shrine’ and I think you might reconsider your harsh words towards me.

    Please understand that Medjugorje changed my life incredibly, and I’ve seen it change the lives of so many others, so I am passionate about it. I wish everyone could go there to see for themselves.

    Those links you presented from Unity Pub. are not even journalism. They are tabloidism. They’ve been proven wrong many times. Would you like to be judged by the same measure as the people who penned those articles (ie, Unity Publishing)? The one about Caritas is about a group that claims to be related to Medjugorje, but please note that they have no official connection to the parish and should be judged on their own.

    As for documents about what John Paul II said about Medjugorje, please see the book “Medjugorje and the Church” by Denis Nolan, which contains photocopies of actual signed letters written by John Paul to some Polish friends, in which he expresses his belief in Medjugorje. Those letters are available for anyone to see. The book also contains letters from Mother Teresa which indicate her belief in Medjugorje, as well as quotes from numerous priests, bishops, cardinals and clergy — all stating their belief in Medjugorje. If nothing else, it’s an interesting read.

    I will end with this: don’t be so quick to condemn Medjugorje without knowing enough first-hand about it. Be a first-hand witness if you choose to talk about it. Only then will you know.

    God bless you all. Oh yes, this post is for your discernment.

  • Sean,

    I appreciate you considering the evidence I presented and bringing the conversation back into the realm of the rational. I ask for your prayers.

    I have no doubt that Medjugorje has changed your life incredibly and many others as well, that is not the issue of most importance here.

    The fact of the matter, regarding Medjugorje, is the Catholic Church by the local Bishop of Mostar has declared it Non constat de supernaturalitate. The Commission prepared a draft “Declaration” in which were listed the “unacceptable assertions” and “bizarre declarations”, attributed to the curious phenomenon. The Commission also stated that further investigations were not necessary nor the delaying of the official judgement of the Church. The bishop duly informed the Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See, and he then informed the public during his homily in Medjugorje in 1987.[19]

    For the sake of converstion lets throw out the Unity Publishing evidence as well as the Caritas Articles. Let’s soley focus on the Official Bishop of Mostar documents which I notice you conveniently avoid? http://www.cbismo.com/index.php?menuID=98

    Based on these findings and statements of a Bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church and faithful to the Magisterium, anyone in opposition to his statements and teaching is in grave spiritual danger. Anyone enticing or tempting anyone else to disobedience to the Bishop of Mostar’s statements not only puts themselves in grave spiritual danger but is now responsible for the demise of others as well.

    Pax et Bonum

  • Sean,

    I neglected to respond to your Shrine argument. A Shrine defined within the confines of the Catholic Church is:

    In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon law, canons 1230 and 1231 read: “The term shrine means a church or other sacred place which, with the approval of the local Ordinary, is by reason of special devotion frequented by the faithful as pilgrims. For a shrine to be described as national, the approval of the Episcopal Conference is necessary. For it to be described as international, the approval of the Holy See is required.”[11]

    I have to point out to you that neither the local Ordinary or an Episopal Conference has raised any church in Medjugorje to the status of Shrine.

    I apologize that you found my words harsh, however they are truth. Once again I have to point out the grave spiritual dangers of pride, ego and disobediance that allows anyone to put themselves outside or above the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the safe Barque of Peter.

  • Again, you capitalize the word shrine, thus taking my comment out of context.

    Still, I’m confident that I’m on the right side of things here. This may be of interest to you:

    Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb, a member of the Bishop’s conference that studied Medjugorje, said: “After three years of studies by the Commission, we, the bishops, have accepted Medjugorje as a Shrine, as a sanctuary. This means that we have nothing against the veneration of the Mother of God in accordance with the teaching of the Church and our faith… This is why we leave this question to further studies of the Church. The Church is not in haste.”

    So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?

    Here’s more on that:

    http://www.medjugorje.org/tenyrzadar.htm

    You accuse me of pride and ego, and yet in the preceding sentence you classify your words as “truth.” Maybe you should write a letter to the cardinal who called Medjugorje a Shrine and give him the “truth.”

  • Thank you for bringing this article to my attention. I advise you give this article further discernment and reflection. In response to your question: ‘So, if this cardinal, a member of the Bishop’s Conference, calls Medjugorje a Shrine, then why can’t I?’ If not solely for the sake of prudence and caution, then because both local Bishops of Mostar; Bishop Zanic and his successor Bishop Peric are not in agreement with the Conference of Yugoslavia and have the support of the Holy See. Please see the excerpt from your article refuting the findings of the Conference of Yugoslavia:

    Nevertheless, Mgr Pavao Žanic, Bishop of Mostar, interprets the Declaration of Zadar as a negation of the supernaturality of the events of Medjugorje, and as a document forbidding pilgrimages. The Ordinary of Mostar continues to uphold this position: “The Ordinary has on several occasions warned that the supernatural character of the apparitions cannot be spoken about nor announced publicly in churches, as it was not possible to state that Our Lady is appearing. This is why official pilgrimages to Medjugorje are not allowed”, writes Mgr Ratko Peric, successor of Mgr Pavao Žanic. (See Prijestolje Mudrosti, Mostar 1995, p. 282) And he continues: “Neither the diocesan bishop, as head of the local diocese and Church of Mostar-Duvno, nor any other competent person, have until now declared the parish Church St James of Medjugorje as a Marian shrine, nor confirmed the “cult” of Our Lady based on the supposed apparitions. On the contrary, because of its contestability, he has on many occasions prohibited to speak on the altar or in the church about supernatural “apparitions and revelations”, and to organize official pilgrimages in the name of parishes, dioceses, and generally in the name of the Church. These and similar warnings were published also by our former Bishops´ Conference and by the Holy See itself. Anyone acting in an opposite manner, is acting expressly against the official position of the Church, which, after 14 years of supposed apparitions and developed commercial propaganda, are still valid in the Church”. (Ibid, p. 285-286)

  • I urge you, go see for yourself, and in the meantime, don’t squelch the fruits that continue to flow from Medjugorje.

    This will probably be my last post here because I’m off to La Salette and Medjugorje. All the best and God bless. Please pray that I have a safe journey, and I will in turn pray for everyone here. God bless.

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Political Miscellania 6/16/10

Wednesday, June 16, AD 2010

1.  As the above video indicates, Congressman Bob Etheridge (D.NC) does not realize that he is living in the age of video cell phones and Youtube.  His GOP opponent, Renee Ellmers, reminds him of the current facts of political life.

2.  If you are a Democrat, you know that political times are bad for you if National Public Radio runs a poll which indicates that your party is going to be creamed in November.

Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger conducted the first public battleground poll of this election cycle. They chose the 70 House districts experts regard as most likely to oust incumbents this fall. What they found was grim news for Democrats.

For this poll, Bolger and Greenberg chose the districts where incumbents are considered the most vulnerable, and, in the case of open seats, the ones most likely to switch party control in November. Sixty are currently held by Democrats — many of whom won these seats even when voters in the same district preferred Republican John McCain for president in 2008. The other 10 districts are the flip side — held by Republicans in the House, even though their voters went for Barack Obama in 2008.

These are this year’s swing seats — the political terrain where the battle for control of the House of Representatives will be won or lost. In this battleground, voters are choosing Republicans over Democrats 49 percent to 41 percent.

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One Response to Political Miscellania 6/16/10

  • Nothing like speaking in clicks and grunts then grabbing a juvenile by the scruff of the neck. Cavemen everywhere are embarrassed by Bob E. who obviously left his large club behind in the bar, or perhaps the bordello.

My Body My Choice, Drill Baby Drill, Hmm… Not So Much

Sunday, June 13, AD 2010

There are two political mantras which have come to symbolize big problems in our mainstream party choices- “My body, my choice!” and “Drill baby! Drill!”. The liberal and conservative camps get so excited when their political heroes shout out these short catch-phrases. For me, they represent some really huge moral deficiencies.
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30 Responses to My Body My Choice, Drill Baby Drill, Hmm… Not So Much

  • The problem is the mixed economy you were mentioned. The government nominally regulates the oil companies, not to mention forcing them to drill off-shore (much riskier than on-shore) and then they are forced to operate in deep water environments compounding the risk. Then the contribution heavy legislators try to protect the oil companies by capping their liability. If they were fully liable for damages does anyone think they would not have taken many more precautions, like the acoustic shut-off valves required in Europe?

  • Perhaps if corporations were made fully liable as well the personal riches of their Executives- then if they would say well, no we aren’t going to be able to go offshore and take the risk- come up with another plan for domestic energy or allow us to drill on public lands with the same liability, with the public getting generous royalties, and maybe since all the right parties are made accountable, and The People are given financial reward- either by each citizen getting a check or by having the money earmarked for some for very obvious public work that has popular support- something like this could work better since corps would have more ammo for making the case that they can do the drilling on dry land if given the chance, and do it much more safely than at Sea- but are also willing to hang their profits and Executive net worth out as collateral to keep everyone honest- could work as the government would still have a hand in seeing to it all such agreements were met, and that plans and sites are inspected by competent, neutral parties to make sure nothing sinister is in the works by real baddies who are at the level of James Bond villians!

  • If they were fully liable for damages does anyone think they would not have taken many more precautions, like the acoustic shut-off valves required in Europe?

    Me. They are fully liable for clean up costs. Only their civil liability is capped and even that can be lifted upon a showing of gross negligence. You think billions isn’t enough of an incentive to install shut-off valves? What we should have learned from the banking crisis and Enron and Worldcom before that is that large corporations left to their own devices, will take excessive risks. Poor corporate governance (including poor executive compensation structures) is partially to blame but there are also unavoidable agency costs.

    I never had a problem with “drill, baby, drill” but I never understood the cost until this tragedy. Sometimes the risks are just too great in relation to the potential benefits. If deep-water drilling can’t be 100% safe, it should be banned entirely and I’m very skeptical it can be made 100% safe.

  • What would be the effect on the economy of $10 a gallon gasolin/heating oil?

    As if THE OIL SPILL (an accident that big gov and big oil can’t fix, big gov inspected and didn’t shut down the rig or ensure safety violations were corrected!) is the moral equivalent of 47,000,000 murders of unborn babies that big (the one you voted for) government sanctions, protects, and funds.

    People employ moral and intellectual contortions to salve their consciences for voting for Obama and abortion.

  • BIG government refused (Jones Act a relic of Depression econ protectionism) to allow many foreign specialized ships to help mitigate the enviro damage.

    The environazis are giving Obama a free pass on this one, too. Also are Obama-worshiping imbeciles . . .

  • T. Shaw wrote:

    What would be the effect on the economy of $10 a gallon gasolin/heating oil?

    As if THE OIL SPILL (an accident that big gov and big oil can’t fix, big gov inspected and didn’t shut down the rig or ensure safety violations were corrected!) is the moral equivalent of 47,000,000 murders of unborn babies that big (the one you voted for) government sanctions, protects, and funds.

    People employ moral and intellectual contortions to salve their consciences for voting for Obama and abortion.

    I do not think this very well written article was attempting to draw a moral equivalency between the spill mismanagement and the abortion holocaust. I did not get that sense at all. The author was attempting to bring the light of faith to bear on two current problems in our society – and they are both current problems – and the deficiencies in how partisan political factions have addressed them. Christians owe it to society to offer something more than mere party spirit – which St. Paul calls a work of the flesh (Gal 5:20). We owe it to society to provide a critique based on the Word of God.

    The author’s point stands, and stands correctly: it is wicked to brutalize the living space entrusted to us by God for the profit of a very few; it is also wicked to murder children. One does not detract from the other. A Christian is not bound to rush off and vote Republican because they pay lip service to the pro-life cause (they have now fronted pro-choice presidential candidates and the chairman of the party is on the record as being pro-choice). We cannot in conscience vote for an abortionist, either.

    We must start looking for and thinking of third options.

    T. Shaw, your response kind of demonstrates the need for the underlying principle that the author is applying. I have gone to the March for Life 23 or 24 of the 33 years I’ve been alive. I’ve spent hundreds of hours praying outside of abortion clinics. And I can honestly say that some pro-lifers go ballistic about the topic. If one says abortion is a big problem, another flips out and says it is the problem, and that moreover the first person – praying at the same clinic – is “soft” on abortion because they didn’t use the same word choice or because they think terrorism is also a problem. This attitude is uncharitable and often counterproductive.

  • hey have now fronted pro-choice presidential candidates

    Rudy Giuliani went nowhere in 2008, and no pro-choice GOP candidate has really made much of a dent in the presidential primaries.

    and the chairman of the party is on the record as being pro-choice

    Michael Steele has said many stupid things in the year and a half that he has been chairman, but he has not ever said that he was pro-choice.

  • Mr. Zummo,

    You are incorrect, sir. Michael Steele said in an interview with Lisa DePaulo of GQ on 11 March 2009:

    Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
    Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

    You do?
    Yeah. Absolutely.

    Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?
    I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

    Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
    The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

    Do pro-choicers have a place in the Republican Party?
    Absolutely!

    (http://tiny.cc/1hg4q)

    Note the interviewer’s shock at his answer. His subsequent clarification flatly contradicts what he said in the interview. Flatly.

    Laura Bush made some choice pro-choice comments early in her husband’s tenure, including that she thought Roe v. Wade should stand. She has recently reiterated these sentiments.

    These aren’t insignificant slips. This is the chair of the RNC/GOP and the wife of a president-elect (at the time of her first instance). How strongly do you think Bush could feel about it to marry a woman who might very well abort her own child? How strongly do you think the GOP in general can feel to allow Steele to stay in his position after a tip of the cards like that?

    Moreover, these aren’t isolated. RINO is getting to be a bit trivial when it comes to abortion, given the number of votes cast in Congress in favor of abortion with (R) after their name.

  • Michael Steele answered that question as horribly as he could, I won’t deny, and he’s been cringe inducing at times as chair as the head of the RNC. But he is not pro-choice.

    Laura Bush made some choice pro-choice comments

    I didn’t realize that Laura Bush ever ran for President or was a GOP candidate.

    ow strongly do you think Bush could feel about it to marry a woman who might very well abort her own child?

    This is honestly one of the silliest comments I have ever read, and the leap of logic here hurts my brain.

    RINO is getting to be a bit trivial when it comes to abortion, given the number of votes cast in Congress in favor of abortion with (R) after their name.

    Which votes in Congress “in favor of abortion” have occurred recently where there were large numbers of Republicans voting for said measure. Specifics please.

  • If deep-water drilling can’t be 100% safe, it should be banned entirely and I’m very skeptical it can be made 100% safe.

    That’s a pretty high hurdle, and I’m not sure the cost-benefit calculus justifies it. Yes, this is a major environmental accident, and there is a need to reconsider the engineering involved in deep sea drilling, but there are vast deepwater oil reserves that will probably need to be tapped even if we make a best-case switch to alternative energy.

  • If driving/flying/the Church/schools/electricity/fire can’t be 100% safe, it should be banned entirely and I’m very skeptical it can be made 100% safe. Really?

  • Michael Steele is pro-choice. He said it. He wont’t say it any more, but he is. Wisc. Congressman Paul Ryan said on MSNBC a few days after the Michael Steel affair:

    “There are pro-choice Republicans in Congress. There are pro-choice Republicans that is I represent in Wisconsin. We are a big tent party. I’m pro-life. Michael Steele is pro-choice. And you know what? We both fit within the tent of the Republican Party.”

    Hmmm…

    I do believe that George W. Bush is pro-life. As for Laura Bush, she was the president’s other half. Would you marry a pro-choice woman, Mr. Zummo? I do not think it a trivial point at all that a “pro-life” president did.

    Republicans in Congress are voting pro-life now because they are voting anti-Obama. They were singing a different tune when Dede Scazzofava was running for Congress, weren’t they?

  • Steele’s comments during the interview may have been sincere or may have caught him off guard. Here is his clarification after the interview. Take it as you will:

    “I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.
    I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a “choice” before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did. In my view Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed. I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue.
    But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.”

  • Would you marry a pro-choice woman, Mr. Zummo?

    I almost did.

    Republicans in Congress are voting pro-life now because they are voting anti-Obama. They were singing a different tune when Dede Scazzofava was running for Congress, weren’t they?

    This comment makes no sense to me whatsoever. What does Dede Scazzafova’s aborted (sorry for the pun) candidacy have to do with pro-life Republicans and how they vote? There are non sequiters, and then there are comments like this.

    And again, I ask you to identify the votes in “favor of abortion” that large numbers of Congressional Republicans have made. Perhaps you’re thinking of the health care bill, in which a whopping zero Republicans voted in favor of? Specifics would help.

  • Today is Flag Day and the 235th anniversary of the United States Army.

    Pray for our gallant troops!

    Pray for Victory and Peace!

    God bless America!

  • Charlie Crist, prior to running for governor of Flordia described himself as pro-choice. Now an independent, he just vetoed an ultrasound/informed-consent law (http://tiny.cc/vw6yr).

    Arlen Specter sat as Republican senator for Pennsylvania for twenty seven years with an increasing approval rating from NARAL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlen_Specter). He has switched political affiliation, but not his voting pattern.

    Reps. Lance and Frelinghuysen of NJ are both Republicans who consistently vote pro-choice.

    Tom Ridge, former governor of PA, was on the record at the time as being pro-choice.

    Rob Ehrlich, former governor of my own fair state of Maryland, a Republican, voted consistently pro-choice except in the most extreme cases. He is joined by Wayne Gilchrest (R, MD-1) in this basic stance. Connie Morella, a Catholic and Republican, served Maryland for 16 years as a congresswoman, never failing to get NARAL’s ringing endorsement.

    George Pataki, New York’s governor for eleven years, was pro-choice the whole time, and proud of it. Susan Molinari served New York’s 13th in like fashion through most of the 1990s. Sherwood Boehlert served three different districts from 1983 to 2007-ish, pro-choice the whole time. Benjamin Gilman who served three districts from ’73 to ’03 was on NARAL’s good list – he scored 100% with them. A Republican.

    Do I really need to continue? Really?

    Paul, we’re getting pretty far afield from my point and from the author’s. I am not trying to gun down the GOP. I am not going to sell my soul to them, either, just because “the Dems are worse.”

  • “Do I really need to continue? Really?”

    You mean, since you didn’t really answer the question asked?

    “I ask you to identify the votes in “favor of abortion” that large numbers of Congressional Republicans have made.”

    I’d say yeah, you probably need to continue.

    No one denies that there are pro-choice Republicans (but, interestingly, you seen to only be able to name a couple of EX-Republicans, some FORMER Governors, and a handful of FORMER congresspersons).

  • Ryan:

    Everybody knows about these particular men. I never said that the GOP was perfect – far from it. Clearly there are numerous pro-choice Republicans; however, they are the minority. You still haven’t responded to my question about specific votes where large numbers of Republicans have voted “pro abortion.” You can’t find it because no such vote exists.

    Even the list you gave is pretty weak. Crist has been exiled in favor of a strongly pro-life candidate, Specter is gone and would have lost to Toomey had he not switched parties, Pataki is gone and is considered a joke by most Republicans, and Ridge is also no longer active in politics. And then of course we see what happened to people like Giuliani and then Scazzafava.

    Yes, there are pro-choice politicians within the GOP. You have not made your case that they represent a significant enough interest within the party to continue this holier than thou third party shtick.

  • And I write what I wrote above as someone who comes fairly close to despising the Republican Party. The GOP has its own culture-of-death issues that make membership in that party untenable.

    But, honestly, it’s not even a close contest for who bends over backward the most in service of Moloch.

  • T. Shaw – My juxtaposition of these two mantras is not meant to convey that I believe that the mass killing of the unborn over long decades is on par with the current ecological disaster brewing in the Gulf- sorry if you misread my intent there- re-read my article to re-assess if you will.

    I am someone who tries to follow the lead of the popes and the Holy See- and they do spill – no pun intended- a lot of ink on issues other than abortion- and there is no way one could miss that the Catholic Hierarchy stands strongly for the unwanted, unborn child. I am also similarly predisposed to care about every life threatened by avoidable actions leading to human and environmental damages. The Gulf Leak is a big concern- bigger still for those of us living in the region- you have to be able to walk and chew gum sometimes- it’s called multi-tasking- we do it all the time as parents- say one child is sick or all of your children are sick- you prioritize yes, but you don’t neglect any of your children and use the priority system as your cop-out excuse. We Catholics have a lot of battles to wage, but only One War- the War for souls starting with our own- I am following my conscience and continuing to properly form my conscience my doing in-dept readings of Scripture, and the Catholic official documents- like the pope’s encyclicals and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church- from these sources I am picking up the idea that there is a strong interrelationship between all of the Church’s social teaching themes- it does the cause of pro-life no good, to act like all other social concerns are lame or not to be considered at all.

    If lives and God’s creation are at risk- I bet God is concerned, and He is my guide- not partisan political pundits. Catholics should always be at the forefront of any and all good fights for the causes of justice for all and protection for the weak, vulnerable, and for the sustainability of life here on earth for our children’s children and beyond. That’s living a both/and Catholic theology out in the real world where we are tested and ultimately judged by the standards of “The Judgment of the Nations” and “the Beatitudes” along with the Ten Commandments.

  • j. christian, my position on this has change. Had the leak been plugged early, I would have no problem with deep-water drilling but this has proven far costlier than I’ve ever imagined. Costly enough to consider an outright ban.

  • Oh Please!
    “It seemed to me that in the “Sunshine State” this would be the perfect place to begin bold and broad experiments in net-metering solar energy- turning every home and business with a roof into an energy producing unit- start with one county and see how it goes. The very idea of just mindlessly supporting more drilling in the Ocean to get at more oil without exhausting other less polluting options- seemed like the type of thinking that leads to the groupthink of machismo- macho men who like drilling holes and blowing up stuff, drilling random women ( if they could), and parading their toughness in public to perhaps offset their own deeper masculine insecurities.”

    So, green weenie senstitivities drive a stake in the heart of on-shore, and shallow water drilling. So companies are (maliciously I would say) left with the most dangerous, most potentially disastrous (in terms of liability), and most dangerous (to the environemnt and other living things) option of drilling deep offshore.

    If you saw this happening in a horror movie, you would be shouting at the screen “NO! Don’t go through that door!”

    Then somehow, we seem to get to the author’s point; the people doing this drilling are testosterone-crazed mysogynists who offend the more refined among us.
    Please excuse my disgust as I call you what you deserve to be called- a petty little wimp!

    And while you are huffing and puffing, please explain how all the solar collectors and wind farms in the world obviate the need for even one reliable fossil or fissile-fueled plant. If you have fixed the ultra-high capacity electrical charge storage problem, then you ought to be too busy becoming a trillionaire to spend time on this blog.

  • RR,

    I suppose our expected value calculations are just different. Although this spill is very bad, I look at Ixtoc I and conclude that it is not a world-ending disaster. There are clear engineering lessons to be learned from this — BOP rams actuated manually or by secondary means, anyone? — and I expect the likelihood of another such accident to be remote.

    On the other hand, most of the large reserves left to be put into production are of the deepwater variety, such as the recent discoveries off Brazil. Like it or not, oil is the whole energy game right now. Unless it becomes economically viable to produce oil from kerogen shale, I don’t see where else it’s coming from. What other choice do you think we have?

  • I don’t know how much oil we get from deep-water drilling off American shores but I’m sure it’s a much less than we get from other sources so I doubt a ban would add more than a few cents at the pump. A small price to pay in my guesstimation, especially considering that we have relatively cheap gas to begin with.

  • And it’s not like the oil is going anywhere. If future technology makes it easier to get at deep sea oil or we get desperate, it will always be there.

  • I took “ban” to mean indefinite and global; what you and BA are saying sounds more like a national moratorium, which is a sensible conclusion given the current state of the technology and regulatory regime.

  • Though part of the problem seems to be that BP may not have followed standard industry practices. Time will hopefully sort out the truth:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704324304575306800201158346.html?mod=MKTW

  • The problem I have with Kevin in El Paso- besides the fact that he calls me “a petty little wimp” is that my criticism with the “Drill Baby” crowd had more to do with the blind enthusiasm for drilling off-shore- it was not typical to hear the fine-tuned critique that the deep off-shore drilling was a risky business- that is hardly the message being sold out there in the mainstream. Back before this BP disaster, the primary noise I was hearing was that any and all drilling anywhere/anytime should be going forth- that is the attitude I compare to machismo- now it is fine to go back and try to correct the record- but the mainstream candidates certainly did not do a good job of using the bully pulpit to lead the populace into more uplifting debate on the facts and choices we must deal with.

    Myself? I publicly support Green options like Nuclear energy with some very specific qualifications like standardized plant designs making it easier for authorities to keep inspections current and simplified- also I put forth the idea of having more passively-safe small plant designs such as the type I promoted when I spent a year in the Czech Republic in the year after their Velvet Revolution- I met personally with President Havel and handed him such materials and also had a formal meeting with their Industrial Minister- Havel did have positive things to say about such nuclear possibilities but I don’t think the country could afford to implement the newer technologies unfortunately. I also supported the French-mode of recycling the nuclear waste instead of having to deal with all the storage issues- but again we are not having very edifying discussions on nuclear energy, oil drilling options, or solar energy/net-metering at the national popular levels- which leaves the discussion in the hands of opportunistic political hacks playing to the liberal/conservative groupthink and the mass media dumbing down effect. Too bad.

    I’m one who is always open to constructive dialogue and sound facts and rational planning- don’t know if that puts me in the “petty little wimp” camp- but I know that blessed are the meek and blessed are the peacemakers and suffering insults well can actually assist my journey to sainthood- so thanks for your remarks:)

  • I’m sorry, but it’s just hard for me to take the article seriously. It calls Sarah Palin a “she-male,” it says off shore drilling is some form of machoism, it gives no summary of the events leading up to the spill- in which government’s culpability is severe- it somehow associates “drilling random women” with looking for and aquiring oil (and come on; who is traditionally more promiscuous, environmentalists or conservatives), and it assumes that the government can somehow breathe life into solar technology, and through an act of legislation, cause a break through in technology by willing it (pumping money into a project doesn’t count as much more).
    The autor doesn’t address any of those concerns, and is just plain intellectually dishonest in his conjured associations between promiscuity and offshore oil drilling.
    As I finish the post, I question my sanity that I commented on this article. I won’t be commenting again, so take my objections for what they are.

  • Ike- I would agree that religious conservatives would tend to be less promiscuous than liberal religionists- at least in theory given their more traditional take on moral values- but with secular conservatives I wouldn’t necessarily take that bet that they are more chaste than secular environmentalists- I’ve encountered many different sorts of political conservatives – some religious some not- it makes a big difference- many secular conservatives would seem to me to be very inclined toward machismo in many ways- sexual attitudes, attraction to violence and so forth- Rush “Elizabeth Taylor” Limbaugh and the neo-conservative Straussians, along with some of the male libertarian Randian-types also seem to be cut from the macho groupthink that would be seen lustily cheering on the sound of Buzz saws cutting down old growth forests or shouting mindlessly- Drill baby, Drill! I’m not a fan of ideologies or ideologues so I’m not interested in carrying the water for liberals/conservative, Dems of Repubs-

Palin Derangement Syndrome

Tuesday, June 1, AD 2010

Hattip to my friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative.  One of the bright spots in life during the ongoing disaster that is the Obama administration is the way in which so many people, most, but certainly not all, Leftists, completely beclown themselves when the subject of Sarah Palin arises.  Case in point:  the Washington Post has a reporter David Weigel who reports for the dwindling Post readership on that small, only 40% of the American public, cult known as American conservatives.  The column is always good for a dose of unintentional humor, but on May 25, 2010 Weigel outdid himself.  Responding to the news that Sarah Palin had welcomed stalker  journalist, Joe McGinniss, who decided to rent a house next door to Palin as he is preparing an anti-Palin tome, with this light-hearted response, Weigel thundered that Palin was “despicable” for being a bit put out.  As Paul Zummo notes, 

A journalist rents a house next door to Sarah Palin with the sole intent to write a book about her, Sarah Palin writes some fairly tongue-in-cheek things in response to this development, and it the latter who is “despicable?”

Gee, I wonder why the Washington Post has roughly zero credibility at this point.

The indispensable Iowahawk explains what is going on for us in the daffy world of Palin obsession:

Knockity knock!

Oh hi there! I was out shooting caribou on the Arctic Cat and saw your synapse lights on, and so I said to myself, “now, gosh darn it, Sarah, you’ve been living inside this nice person’s cerebral cortex for, what is it, almost two years now? By golly, it’s about time you dropped in at their frontal lobe with a plate of your famous homemade Alaska welcome wagon cookies and introduced yourself.” So anyhoo, I sure hope you like ’em. Don’t want to give out a family recipe, but the secret ingredient is baby seal. I clubbed ’em fresh this morning!

Oh my goodness… you look kind of confused. I get that a lot! You were probably thinking, “hey, I only wanted to move next door to Sarah Palin — now what in the goshdarned heck is she doing inside my brain?” Well ya see, the deal is I’m not Sarah, but boy I gotta tell ya, we sure do get mistaken all the time! No, I’m just a plain ol’ homunculus Sarah Palin that your own id created to sublimate your deep-seated psychosexual neuroses. Or so those egghead books say, anyway. But if you ask me that sure sounds like a lot of elite Anti-America liberal professor gobbledegook! By the way, your id says hi.
Gosh darn it, where the heck are my manners? Here I am, gabbing away, like some plainspoken chatty old chatterbox, while you’ve probably got things to do. I imagine you’ve got an important op-ed or comedy skit to write about that other Sarah Palin, the one from corporeal reality. And why she’s irrelevant and ridiculous and such. Oh no, don’t worry, I won’t take it personal. After all I’m not her, remember? Though I bet it can probably get confusing trying to keep straight which one of us is which, and who really said what. Tell you what — why don’t you just take the cookies as my gift, and I’ll drop by later when it’s more convenient. Or, if you like, I’ll just be on my way and let you live in peace. You tell me. After all, I’m really only a figment of your imagination. Just stop thinking about me, and poof — I’ll mush the ol’ dogsled straight back to your subconscious forever.

Alright, if you insist! Like they say, you should never be too busy to visit with those obsessive hallucinations who live in your head. Now you go brew up a hot pot of Folgers, and I’ll take the Saran wrap off those cookies. Mind if I take a quick look-see around while you’re fiddling in the kitchen?  I gotta say this sure is a beautiful anterior conscious you’ve got here! I absolutely love the open floor plan. It reminds me a lot of Andrew Sullivan’s brain. How many square feet did you say? So spacious and clean and open minded, with the neutral colors. I could really see myself in a place like this, especially with a few moose heads and Eskimo dolls to brighten things up.  

Say now, that’s one heckuva bookshelf you’ve got! Mind if I browse? Not much of a reader myself, other than the good book of course… let’s see… 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sarah Palin… Going Rouge: An American Nightmare … Sarah Palin’s Secret Diary … Terminatrix: The Sarah Palin Chronicles … The Lies of Sarah Palin … Thanks But No Thanks: A Voter Guide to Sarah Palin … You Betcha!: The Witless Wisdom of Sarah Palin … Hockey Mom: Sarah Palin’s Shot at Glory … Going Rude: Sarah Palin … wow! With all that heavy reading you do, it sure must be hard keeping up with your housework!

Oh, there we are! By golly, that coffee sure smells great. Skim milk no sugar for me thanks, gotta watch the ol’ figure. How about the two of us have a sit down on the couch and get to know each other, because I have a feeling we’re gonna be spending a lot of time together. You betcha, a whole lot of time. I always say it’s important to get to really know folks, especially if you’re gonna be camping out in their cerebellum for a few years. Because sometimes you can get off on the wrong foot, ya know?  I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. Ya know, as much as I go off and complain about those goshdarn Washington and Hollywood elites, I gotta say those folks are just about the most welcoming, hospitable people on God’s green earth. I swear, once they invite you in their head, they’ll insist you help yourself their last neuron! Take that Tina Fey for instance. She’s pretty much given me the run of her place, rent free. Her id says it’s because she has severe body image anxieties, but if you ask me I think she’s just lonely and needs somebody to talk to.

Say, do you mind if I use your little girl’s room? I just realized I’m going into labor. Back in a jiff!

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4 Responses to Palin Derangement Syndrome

  • Most of the time I see the plausibility of the arguments of those I disagree with, but in the case of Weigel’s “critique” of Palin… I have no idea.

    Would Weigel really not care if someone who wrote negatively about him moved into the house next to his for five months? Really?

  • On NBC’s Today this morning, McGinniss said that he rented the house next to the Palins simply because it was a great deal ($1500/month) for a spacious house (so his family can visit him) while he’s working on his book.

    And he didn’t think this was imprudent? C’mon.

  • Chris, I always tell my clients never to ask me to say to a Judge or a Jury anything that I could not say with a straight face. Mr. McGinniss’ claim fails that test, especially since he has been seen looking at her house through binoculars.

    http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2010/05/26/megyn-kelly-on-joe-mcginniss-deplorable/

    Sheesh, Joe, simply admit that you did this in order to drum up some cheap publicity for your book and in faint hopes of catching the Palins doing something that would aid sales of your book.

  • I’m no fan of Palin to say the least. I read Weigel’s piece fully expecting another Palin-being-stupid moment. Even I have to admit that it turned out to be a Weigel-being-stupid moment.

Palin: The Temptation of Abortion

Friday, May 14, AD 2010

Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who is on a pro-life role today.  Sarah Palin in her address to the Susan B. Anthony Celebration of Life Breakfast.  Go here to see a video of Palin’s speech.  In her speech Palin made it clear that she understands the temptation of abortion.

Speaking at the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of Life breakfast, Palin said that when she learned during her pregnancy that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, she “had no idea how I was going to handle the situation of raising a special needs child.”

She said she was struck by “not knowing if my heart was ready, not knowing if I was patient and nurturing enough.”
While she had previously believed that “God will never give me something I cannot handle,” she said, she was left thinking, “I don’t think I can handle this. This wasn’t part of my life’s plan.”

As a busy mother who already had four kids and who was serving as Alaska governor, she wondered how she would handle raising the child, she said. She wondered if her sister, who has a child with autism, would have been better equipped to raise him.

Palin said the experience helped her understand how a woman would consider “even for a split second” having an abortion, “because I’ve been there.”

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2 Responses to Palin: The Temptation of Abortion

Family Guy Actor Sides With Palinth

Friday, February 26, AD 2010

Patrick Warburton, who the true geeks among us will remember as The Tick, sides with Palin over the FamilyGuy attack onTrig episode:

Cast member Patrick Warburton told TV critics Wednesday he objected to the joke.

“I know it’s satire but, personally, that [joke] bothered me too,” Warburton said on a conference call to promote his other primetime show, CBS’s sitcom “Rules of Engagement,” which returns for a fourth season on March 1. (On “Family Guy” Warburton does the voice of the wheelchair-bound police officer, Joe.)

“I know that you have to be an equal-opportunity offender, but there are some things that I just don’t think are funny.”

Shhh. Wait. It gets better:

“Look, I have fun. I like Seth [MacFarlane, the show’s creator]. He’s got a great comic mind and I think that the show can be fantastically funny. But I do believe that it can be hurtful at times,” Warburton said in response to a question about the episode posed by WaPo Team TV’s “Family Guy” bureau chief Emily Yahr. […]

“A show like that … is going to offend everybody at one point or another,” the actor said.
“My mother actually believes my soul’s in peril for being on the show,” he added.

Hold up, for the Post felt it needed to make sure readers knew Warburton was being sarcastic with that last line:

Note to Ms. Palin — he was making a joke.

Phew. And I thought he was being serious.

Warburton is a Catholic, and he and his wife have four kids.

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9 Responses to Family Guy Actor Sides With Palinth

  • He may be The Tick to geeks, but to us dorks he’s Puddy!

  • I’m a dork. The episode where Puddy gets religion jumps to mind.

  • If we’re going to play this game, I suppose I should note that Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who played the girl on the Family Guy episode (and who herself has Downs Syndrome) thinks Palin was the one who was out of line.

  • “My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.”

    Yeah, she’s a real sweetheart BA.

  • Ms.Friedman seems to be doing the part of the house “low life African-American” for the Family Guy IMHO.

  • Marv,
    I see you haven’t changed. Still wrong about pretty much everything, including contributors and commenters on this site. How very sad for you.

  • Oh, my goodness!

    That last comment actually interrupted the finishing touches on a homily that has to be delivered in 25 minutes!

    Judge much, Marv? “Her children are heavily involved in sex and drugs”? Scandalize much, either, for that matter?

    what do you know of what Chelsea Clinton has or has not done (not that it matters)? the one thing everyone knows about Chelsea Clinton is that she hasn’t given birth to a child. We know *nothing* else. (not that I care to, but there it is.)

    And it would not be inappropriate to moderate that little puppy out of the conversation.

    I’ll pray for y’all at Mass.

  • In all honesty, haven’t had a chance to read the comments re Pat Buchanan. I’m not singling you out, Marv, really. I’m singling the comment out.

    Re Sarah Palin and her motherhood, well…she ain’t Catholic. Is she a good role model for young women? I like much of what she does in public. MILF? Perhaps the carnal man might think so. But I choose to TRY not to think of ANYONE in that way, so as not to degrade either her or myself. Seems like she gets an awful lot of bad commentary based on the gifts god gave her. it isn’t like she spent millions on plastic surgery to look the way she does.

    Lastly, “judge not” in the context of Scripture doesn’t mean that we should never call anything wrong because we all sin. Right and wrong are OBJECTIVE. Just because I smoke crack doesn’t mean I can’t call someone else wrong for doing it; it just means I recognize that I am wrong too. And your comments really do verge on being awfully ad hominem (what difference does my opinion about Sarah Palin’s politics OR body have to do with the correctness of her criticism of Seth Macfarlane (the correct answer is, “none”)?

    We’d all be much more effective debaters if we stuck to the facts, and those conjectures and opinions supportable by facts. Whether Sarah Palin is pretty or not has no bearing, does it?

  • Marv, one of the joys of being a blog contributor is being able to pick and choose who I allow to comment on my threads. I have deleted your comments and you are now banned from commenting on my threads. Have a nice life.

Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

Tuesday, February 16, AD 2010

Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin respond to the vile Family Guy attack on Trig, her son with Down’s Syndrome:

People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, “when is enough, enough?”:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. – Bristol Palin”

– Sarah Palin

Perhaps it is partially because I have an autistic son, but words literally fail me to adequately describe people evil enough to mock a handicapped child because they differ with the mother of the child politically.

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79 Responses to Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

  • Family Guy is commonly about as tasteless as the imagination permits, exceeded in this only by South Park. It is an indication of how corrupted the media have grown in a modest time frame.

    Amy Carter was overexposed but given only the mildest ribbing by the likes of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players and Chelsea Clinton was left in peace (bar for being called a ‘dog’ by Rush Limbaugh). I think one of Geraldine Ferraro’s children is named ‘John’; do you recall the other two?

  • It is quite amazing that people who allegedly have their full faculties and imaginative creativity will act like the effin’ retards they ascribe people with actual special needs as being.

    The fact is people with mental retardation, autism and other impairments are more enjoyable, joyful and pleasant to be around than any of these monkeys who like to throw mean words around without considering the feelings of those who have impairments and the loved ones who care for them

    If you ask me, that is pretty effin’ retarded, especially when the goal is to attack a defenseless child simply because his mother makes you feel uncomfortable and intimidated.

    Do you think that the fact that we consider children a burden and a punishment for recreational sex or a simple ‘choice’ to kill has anything to do with considering anyone with special needs as a burden on society and fair game for ridicule?

    Sick.

  • One of the things Palin has unquestionably achieved (to her sorrow) is giving the hard left a chance to show the entire country how utterly despicable and hateful the “caring” party can be.

  • Southpark usually has a nuanced and valid point to make, even if it is one we disagree with. It has had pro-life episodes, and many shows about the humanity and dignity of disabled people.

    I simply can’t put that show in the same class as Family Guy, which is nothing but one-sided propaganda.

    In addition to being intrinsically evil, making fun of a down-syndrome child is mind-bogglingly irrational and stupid if your goal is to somehow oppose Sarah Palin.

    In the end this is the same show that depicted Jesus as a pedophile, God as a selfish womanizer, and all Christians as mindless, book-burning, hate-filled bigots. It’s the kind of stuff I might have thought up as an angst-ridden teenage atheist in rebellion against the Church. I’m glad I grew up, and I’m sad others are still stuck there.

    And you know what MacFarlane’s defense always is? And its the same one used by all of these guys: either we can make fun of everything, or we can make fun of nothing. Everything is sacred or nothing is sacred. And somehow our first amendment embodies this idea. Of course this is irrational, illogical, and childish.

  • When a culture makes everything profane, nothing is sacred.

  • I seem to recall that Joan Rivers was interviewed in 1983 or thereabouts and said her aim was to be “the meanest bitch in America”. Asked if any topic was off limits, she said, “deformed children…and religion I’m very careful with…”. Well, that was then.

  • I deleted your comment restrainedradical. No one in this thread will be allowed to speak in defense of this vile assault on human decency. All such comments will be deleted.

  • In my misspent past as a teen, youth, young adult and sadly full grown man I would have found this funny. In fact, I used to like the show as well as other prurient interests. Then I was assaulted by God and only by His Grace I came to my senses and returned to the Church of my Baptism.

    Making that decision meant that I was all in. Of course, I only think I am all in because everyday I am reminded of how not-at-all-in I really am. Yet, I know that morality is not in me it comes from God alone. Adhering to His standards renders this and other things I would have found entertaining and funny in my past as sick and twisted.

    I certainly am not ‘politically correct’ and I don’t think we need to allow coercion, government or social, to limit artistic expression. Yet, I think that social standards, based on ‘mere Christian’ morals must be infused into our culture.

    This ‘joke’ was not funny because it maligns children with inherent limitations and not because it attacks Sarah Palin. She’s a big girl and can take care of herself and she chose public life. I think that children with mental retardation, physical disabilities, Down Syndrome, etc. have a greater opportunity for sanctification than fools that find this kind of crap funny.

    I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.

  • The sad thing is that Family Guy is capable of being hysterically funny without being radically offensive.

  • Sadly, I read restrained radical’s comment before it was deleted. It’s an appalling enigma to me how the left is so adamantly against torture, but at the same time can applaud a wicked and evil cartoon which could be considered one of the most deadly of weapons, the most harmful poison. Society must be nourished with good, not evil, and evil is being preached to an immense audience. Evil such as this corrupts and kills souls. But then, the principles of God’s kingdom and the principles of the world are vastly different. That cartoon caused unnecessary pain to the Palins and countless others. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a perfect time to contemplate Jesus’ crowning with thorns. Mother Teresa said that mental illness is Jesus’ crown of thorns. Although children with downs’ syndrome are certainly not mentally ill, I think we could extend the meditation to include the parents of these children who suffer greatly with mockery, taunts and insults directed toward their beloved children.

  • restrainedradical is a valued commenter here at American Catholic. This thread however is not one where our usual free-wheeling debate format applies. I feel quite strongly about this and no comments defending the Family Guy spit in the face of decency will be allowed. If handicapped kids can be mocked as entertainment or political attack, then we truly are a culture that is sick unto death.

  • Surprisingly (at least to me), The Anchoress is defending “Family Guy” and criticizing Palin for speaking out:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress/2010/02/16/family-guy-goaded-palin-into-a-mistake/

    I responded somewhat negatively in her comboxes.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

  • “I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.”

    American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity. To me, the realization of how we were wrong in the past explains why reconciliation is the greatest of the sacraments.*
    Bill

    * Unless my wife is reading and then my answer is marriage is the greatest sacrament.

  • I’m missing something. I get “former governor of Alaska” is referencing Sarah Palin, but how does Trig fit into this? I don’t get it. I second the call for an explanation.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    The Huffington post author here is clear as to what Seth MacFarlane intended.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/15/family-guy-trig-palin-vid_n_462522.html

  • Jay, the Anchoress is simply clueless on this. The insult was directly aimed at Trig as you pointed out. That the Anchoress can’t see this astounds me.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

    I think MacFarlane was trying to cover his ass by recasting Todd Palin as ‘an accountant’ and Trig as female.

  • I had deleted this comment but on second thought I am going to post it. It came from someone, now banned from this blog, calling himself FascistHater. His name is apt, but not in the way he intended. It is a monument to the type of hatred that motivates people to attack those they disagree with by attacking their kids. Such hatred ultimately consumes those who revel in it.

    “What a bunch of “knee jerk assholes” you all are. Did any of you watch this entire show? The girl with downs syndrome is treated as a self assured young women who is the superior of the “normal” Chris Griffin. I’m certain if he had made inappropriate suggestions involving a Lufta she would have shoved it up his ass. If only Palin’s “Normal” slut daughter was as self assured and bright as this cartoon character.

    By the way Don sorry about your son but maybe someone with genes as defective as yours shouldn’t be reproducing. Hey . . . if my comments going to be deleted might as well make it good.”

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    Okay, but how is that an attack on Trig?

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

  • Don, I caught that comment last night but refrained from commenting because I knew it would be deleted. Obviously the person is quite filled with hate and apparently a proud fascist too (they often go hand in hand dontcha know), but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by. I was inclined to think it was the typical leftist type of drive by because I only know of a handful truly hatefilled semi-regulars but their names are well known and they seem to have no shame about associating their name with their venom. However, I got to thinking that this person probably knows more about you than can be ascertained from the post. Nevermind, I’m fairly sure who it is. Sad.

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

    I grant that it was a reference to Palin/Trig. That much is obvious. What I don’t get is what is insulting about it. The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me, and even if she did, Trig isn’t a teenage girl, so it’s not like these attributes would be ascribed to him.

    I agree this isn’t rocket science, why is what makes the unwillingness/inability of people to say what was insulting about the clip somewhat mysterious.

  • I think I may have watched family guy once, maybe twice. Never thought it funny or entertaining – mostly just stupid. No reason to ever watch it.

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people. I guess we’ll see how this plays out and how many other people fail to see what I think is an obvious attack on a child with Downs Syndrome simply to vent political hatred.

  • FWIW, I could see the, “Well, this isn’t all that offensive,” point were this more or less in isolation. However, given that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

  • “but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by.”

    Deliberately didn’t attempt to Rick. The person involved wasn’t worth that much effort on my part. Whoever it was I feel pity more than anything else. Living with that level of hate must be like wearing an emotional hair shirt.

  • The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me

    She rebukes him for not helping her to her seat and then rebukes him for not asking about her person. You wouldn’t mind?

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people.

    I’m asking why you thought it was insulting. Saying, “well I and a lot of other people thought it was insulting” doesn’t answer that question.

  • It’s pretty incoherent, which is describes the MacFarlane’s humor in general. Throw everything against the wall and hope to elicit a response.

    South Park actually had a dead-on hilarious parody of the Family Guy writing style during the notorious censored Muhammad episode, depicting FG as being written by manatees who nudge random balls labelled with pop culture references into a mixing machine, thus leading to the attempted gags.

    After having watched the clip, it sure looks like a manatee job. I agree that it’s offensive, and a secondary shot at Trig, but I think it’s more of an attack on Sarah Palin than her son, projecting the latter’s handicaps on to the former. I say “secondary” because the depiction of the impaired character as an obnoxious, attention-mongering glasses-wearing diva is a direct attack on the former Governor herself.

  • [G]iven that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

    I can understand this as a psychological explanation, but if past attacks make people conclude that any reference to Palin is per se insulting then I think they are overreacting.

  • BA, I’ll try this one last time with you and I’ll put it in personal terms. My son is autistic. He is a constant joy to me and to his mother. He is unable to carry on a normal conversation, although he can answer yes and no questions. His autism may have caused retardation although with autism this is difficult to say. He can read although how much he retains is often a mystery for us and his teachers. His autism gives him all sorts of behavioral quirks so that he will never be able to live independently or work outside of a sheltered workshop. Things that other people can do without thinking, he, sadly, will not be able to do. Compared to most people his life will be hard, something thus far he has coped with magnificently.

    If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me. That you fail to understand why I would be livid, and why the Palins are livid, I find baffling.

  • If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me.

    This begs the question of how it was an attack, which is what I was asking. If I comedy show attacked my family I would be livid too. But I don’t see how the above clip constitutes an attack.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself. Kids of politicians used to be off-limits. Now it is open season on disabled kids of politicians. I guess common deceny is a thing of the past.

  • BA,

    I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period. I’ve watched the Family Guy before and found certain bits extremely funny…even some of the very offensive ones, but this one wasn’t funny and is quite transparent and unnecessary. It’s clear that it was framed with Sarah Palin in mind, which in itself isn’t a problem, but that the cudgel is Down Syndrome because of her son is rather distasteful.

  • Exactly, Don. It wasn’t that Family Guy necessarily depicted the disabled person in a negative light. It was the fact that the show’s creator felt the need to draw the connection between the disabled person depicted and a 2-year-old disabled person actually in existence.

    It would have been objectionable to use ANY of a politician’s kids to make a dig at that politician; to use a politician’s 2-year-old disabled child to do so makes it all the worse.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    Absolutely. And not only has the Left revealed how vicious the “compassionate” can be, they have managed to show that their socialist policies aren’t really motivated by compassion for the poor and downtrodden after all, as they like to pretend. If that was really their motivation, they wouldn’t behave this way.

    Which brings us to the question. If the Left’s socialist policies aren’t driven by compassion, then what’s their real motivation? The answer, I think, is a combination of a desire for control over others, and the worship of the state which they have divinized in their minds.

  • Let’s make it clear, if Rush does it, it is wrong. If Family Guy does it, it is wrong. There. Left and right — are both of them lacking compassion because of Rush or Family Guy? I think many on both sides are; but many are not. Don’t do guilt by association; Family Guy isn’t like Rush, though — one of the big differences is Family Guy is a rude, crude, nasty show and a “comedy” with its axe to grind but yet — it isn’t gearing itself as a piece of political opinion to help energize politics. Rush and Beck and people like them — are. But that doesn’t make Family Guy good. It’s a show which makes Beavis and Butthead look intelligent.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself.

    Defend himself from what? All of your comments make sense only on the assumption that the Family Guy clip above constitutes an attack on Trig. What I’m asking is, how is it an attack?

  • I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period.

    Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

  • I watch family guy – it’s very left, it’s very offensive, and occasionally it’s very funny, but that’s hit or miss. I’m generally irritated by the hyper-sensitive jump to offense behavior of people a la the recent hoopla over Rahm Emanuel’s comment which was clearly not directed at or referring to mentally handicapped people (incidentally, the much smarter and funnier South Park recently had a good show about about just this thing except instead of “retarded” it looked a homosexual slur that has now been adopted to mean something else in the culture, but I digress). However, I can understand how this could be hurtful b/c it’s definitely targeted at Palin and her son (the former to a bigger extent than the latter I think). I sort of see what blackadder is saying in that it doesn’t seem like an attack against the DS girl, but rahter that DS was used to tie her to Palin. I think the point is that whether he intended to mock DS itself (or Trig himself), the writer clearly used the real life handicap of one of Palin’s children to mock her. And I do think that crosses a line.

  • BA

    I agree it might be difficult to see, but the girl is not Sarah Palin. The girl represents Sarah’s children morphed into one. It is a girl and apparently has Down’s Syndrome. And it is being used to goad Sarah Palin — mock both her daughter’s dating choices as well as Trig. I can see where it is coming from, and I can see why this is not respectable at all (just like attacks on Chelsea were not respectable). If the girl were Sarah and she was shown careless with her children, that would be one thing; but taking it out on her children for their mother, no, not good.

  • The line goes that once you explain a joke, it’s not funny. This joke wasn’t funny in the first place, so far as I can tell, but we seem to be struggling with a situation where an insult isn’t insulting once you explain it. I’ll give it a shot, though.

    The gag here (to the extent that there is one) appears to be that Chris goes out on a date with a somewhat bitchy and demanding girl who speaks in a “retard” voice. When he asks about her family, she explains that her mother is the governor of Alaska. I guess one could see this either as a “boy, they all seem to be retards in Palin’s family, don’t they” joke or as “oh, Down Syndome, heh heh, Palin, heh heh” joke. Either way, it seems to get what little steam it has from associating mental disabilities and disagreeableness with Palin.

    Now, I suppose one could say, “Why is it offensive to associate Down Syndome or retardation generally with Palin’s family? She has a child with Down Syndrome, but there’s nothing shameful in that.” This would be true in a limitted sense, but it ignores the fact that in the instance in question it’s clearly being treated as something which is humorous or derisive, not just a “Oh, by the way, did you hear a child of the former Alaskan governor has Down Syndrome?” This is where the fact that Palin has been routinely mocked by the left for having a child with Down Syndrome would come into play.

    I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas. Now clearly, there’s nothing wrong with being black, so one could question how this was an insult, but the obvious answer would be that the show was attempting to make “Obama’s kids are black” an insult, and thus serving as both racist and anti-Obama.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indicated by the way that she speaks.

    Thanks for the explanations. But as I watched the clip, my impressions were that reference to the former Alaskan governor was nothing more than a non sequitur. I saw the date as merely having a speech impediment, nothing more. Downs Syndrome never came to mind, because the character’s demeanor was very different to that of people with DS that I have encountered.

  • I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas.

    That would be offensive. But unless I’m misinformed, there isn’t a stereotype that people with Downs Syndrome are bitchy and demanding.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities, and assumed that eating watermelons and “Black English” would be the equivalent stereotype in regards to race.

  • Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that carries with it various physical characteristics that are easily identifiable even to the average observer. It’s pretty clear (to me anyway) that the intention was to illustrate the character as having Down Syndrome.

    Still, regardless of how ill conceived or executed the scene was, it’s clearly intended to be a dig on Palin which in itself isn’t a problem. Using Down Syndrome to do it would be tasteless in itself, but it’s certainly no coincidence that that means was employed because she has a DS child.

  • employed ugh

    [Fixed it for you Rick. 😉 – Tito]

  • Maybe I’m slow to catch on…

    The physical attributes I get. However, animation is a poor medium to convey that. Upon re-listening, I see your point about the speech, Rick. However, my initial impression was that of a woman with a lisp combined with an Elmer Fudd-ian style of pronunciation. DS never came to mind.

    Oh well, I guess I shall retreat back into my bubble where most pop culture influences do not dare enter.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities

    I’m not sure having speech problems is a stereotype about people with Downs as it is a reality. I mean, the actress who plays the girl has Downs Syndrome. That’s her real voice.

  • Let me also make a side point. Both from watching the clip and from reading about it in general, a theme of the episode seems to be that people with Downs Syndrome aren’t all that different from the rest of us. We live in a world where 90% of couples who are told there child has Downs abort, perhaps in part because they have an exaggerated image of the problems associated with Downs. The message of the show, in other words, is one that people desperately need to hear, and particularly for the FG viewer demographic I’m not sure if there would have been a more effective way of getting that message across.

  • Thanks Tito. I’d type this in huge letters if WP would let me. 😉

    BA, so yes, the speech issue is a reality. And based on what you just wrote, the voice actress has DS. Her character claimed to be the child of a former Alaska governor. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to assume that whole gag is about Sarah Palin due to her having a DS child. Yeah, it’s not like they were attacking Trig directly, but it is reflective of a rather nasty attitude. I mean, with all the things someone could use to rib Palin like her botched interviews, writing on her hand, leftist stereotypes of conservatives as dumb hicks, it takes a pretty vicious mind to use their child’s birth defect in an attempt to score a point and/or laugh.

  • Rick,

    Again, I’m not denying that the reference was to Palin. That’s obvious. I just don’t see what’s insulting about it, either to Trig or to Palin.

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people eluded Seth MacFarlane who manfully responded to the controversy by sending out his publicist with this statement:

    “The Times asked “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane for an interview regarding the matter. But he opted to send a statement via his publicist: “From its inception, ‘Family Guy’ has used biting satire as the foundation of its humor. The show is an “equal-opportunity offender.””

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

  • Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

    Just a cobbled together guess, based only on the clip and the one previous bit of venom directed at Palin (Stewie in an SS uniform wearing a “McCain/Palin” button). I bow to anyone who watched the whole thing for context. For my part, it would not have occurred to me in a million years that I would be carefully parsing FG episodes for narrative context. 🙂

    After all, the show peaked with the Benjamin Disraeli sight gag…

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people…

    It’s not that I think mocking Trig is good for handicapped people; it’s that I don’t see how the show was mocking Trig.

    My comment about the effects of the show generally was, as I said, a side point. As I understand it, many of the people here who think the show was offensive only have a problem with the reference to Palin, not to the show’s treatment of Downs Syndrome generally (certainly your comments have focused in this direction). So whether you agree that the show could serve a useful purpose in demystifying Downs is separate from whether you think the reference to Palin was out of line (and visa versa).

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

    I’m not really seeing this. The girl in the clip doesn’t look like Bristol Palin, Chris neither looks nor acts like Levi Johnson, etc. The only reason I can see for saying that she must be Bristol is that as a teenage girl she obviously can’t be Trig.

  • A link to Seth MacFarlane’s campaign contributions:

    http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Seth_MacFarlane.php

    Then we have his comments about the election when he was stumping for Obama:

    Then we have the McCain-Palin are Nazis scene from the Family Guy.

    MacFarlane is a bitter partisan of the Left. That is his right. When he decides to give vent to his hatred by mocking a disabled child of someone he hates, that should go way over the line for any civilized person.

  • Anchoress did not say Palin should not have spoken out. She said she should have done so differently, in a way that would have turned the tables on Family Guy.

  • I speak as a big-time critic of Sarah Palin as a potential political leader- I don’t see any valid point in targeting her as a parent of a child with a disability- she’s a human being- not one of us would find it acceptable for someone to take us on as public bloggers and start picking on our kids- especially our youngest most vulnerable children.

    Joe has pointed out that it is perhaps possible to include the disabled in a joke line that isn’t just picking on someone, but makes some larger relevant point about some issue related to being disabled. But clearly, making sly reference to a politician’s disabled child is cruel and unusual- and unless that part of the Left wing is ok with their alter-ego part of the Right wing, perhaps targeting Obama through sly put-downs of persons meant to bring to mind his daughters- then I would say the more reasonable folks should be able to bring public shame to this type of “humor”. With public shame in the offing, most commercial artists will learn that there is no pay-off for continuing such a trend. Public shaming has a role to play- it can be a check on out-of-bounds expression without having to resort to some kind of direct censorship.

  • I agree with Tim.

    If the tables were turned and a Family Guy clip had Mr. Seth McFarlane mocking President Obama’s precious little daughters using derogatory black stereotypes all hell would break loose in the form of constant media attacks in characterizing conservative Americans as hateful bigots.

    My two-cents worth.

  • A couple months back there was an episode of 30 Rock where one of the characters tried to infiltrate Obama’s “inner circle” by befriending one of his daughters. There were scenes of him talking on the phone with the daughter, etc. in which he adopted a valley girl voice and basically talked like a stereotypical schoolgirl. I don’t recall much of a fuss about this at the time, presumably because while the show quite clearly was referencing the Obama family there was nothing insulting about what was being said about them (one could argue that it was insulting to imply that Obama’s daughters act like little girls, but then they are little girls).

  • BA,

    So acting like a little girl is equivalent to a derogatory black stereotype?

    😉

  • Interesting counter example, BA.

    As per previous discussion, though, I assume that if the 30 Rock character had used a heavily “Black English” voice rather than a schoolgirl voice, people would have seen that as more offensive — because although some black people do indeed talk that way (though not the Obamas) it’s seen as connected to a negative stereotype about black people.

    I think the reason people are taking offense in this case is that although it’s true that people with Down Syndrome do have speech impediments, the social perception of those speech impediments is pretty uniformly negative.

    By which I guess I mean, it seems to me that simply making “hey, did you hear Palin’s kid has Down Syndrome” references (at least in a comedy show, especially one that emphasizes sharp political satire) will end up coming off as derogatory all on its own.

  • I don’t know Blackadder. I guess there are different thresholds or considerations people take into account on things. For example, I have a son who is developmentally delayed. He’s not classified as autistic though he has some similar symptoms. In fact, it sounds like he is not much unlike Don’s boy in functionality and prospects for his future. I didn’t take offense Obama’s Special Olympics joke a few months ago, yet many others did. I didn’t view it as a dig on special needs kids nor indicative of an underlying disrespect or contempt for them. I viewed it as a bit of self-deprecating humor on behalf of Obama and have used the same type on myself (still do in fact).

    In this case, it’s more a matter that I can see how many could be offended because there is nothing really humorous in it though it was an attempt to use a DS as a pretext of slamming a political opponent or at best forcing in a political jab where it has no business. I guess I’m looking at it more from where something like this must have come from. Unfortunately I think there are a number of hate filled people like that Hateful Fascist guy who insulted Don. It’s one thing to have such a hard heart and express it, it’s another to use or tear down innocent or powerless people to vent that hatred. It’s certainly not something in our Christian understanding of the dignity of the person that there is any room for, but it strikes me as the type of thing that just about anybody of good will would avoid. Nay, that it’s not even something they would conceive of. I guess I’m just offended that people think that way and act upon it.

  • Rick,

    I have to admit that President Obama’s joke was self-deprecating.

    The GOP and conservatives were politically opportunistic in bashing him and were not justified in their anger.

    In contrast, I believe Mr. Seth Mcfarlane was deliberately being nasty in this clip. Unfortunately I do watch FG from time to time (rabbit ears television) and I can say that Mr. Mcfarlane is a bitter left-winger who takes every opportunity he can to disparage the GOP and conservatives. Although he “claims” to be an equal opportunity offender, the balance is skewed grossly in disparaging conservatives than liberals by a 10-to-1 margin.

  • I’ve FG a fair number of times myself. I don’t particularly care one way or another about the politics. If something is funny, it’s funny. My uneasiness with the shows I have seen are some of the religious things. Unfortunately I have a higher tolerance for religious jokes than I ought, but FG can still manage to offend me in that regard. However, I find great humor in many of the gags whether they be G rated or R rated. The funniest gag I’ve seen on the show was quite R rated, but was right up my alley from a setup/punchline point of view (the scene with the blow-up dolls).

  • I don’t mind the unbalanced attacks as well. I like to laugh and whatever does it for me makes me happy.

    But you have to admit, FG is definitely not on the family viewing list. In fact if I were blessed with children I would stop viewing FG for the sake of the children not catching me watching such filth.

  • Largebill: “American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity.”

    I don’t know if I am mature, but I am certainly more mature than I was when I was caught up in the Spirit of the World. It is easy, tempting, alluring and seductive to go with the flow of the present darkness because when you are in it, it doesn’t seem dark. In fact, it seems fun, light and quite right.

    It isn’t. FG could be funny at times; however, when it disparages the defenseless it crosses the line. That doesn’t mean that people with physical and mental limitations cannot be funny or even made fun of in a lighthearted way, but this was clearly mean-spirited.

  • AK

    I think a good example where there is a lighthearted way this was done, and yet misunderstood, was Tropic Thunder. The whole point was to ridicule the way some people with disabilities are used by Hollywood for the sake of self-glorification instead of any real concern for them. But many people felt disturbed by its representation, not understanding the point.

  • HK,

    Tropic Thunder!

    That is a funny movie, enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • HK,

    I did not enjoy the movie as much as Tito, but it had some good parts. I think those actors have so much talent (acting talent, they seem vapid in everything else) that more could have been done.

    Nevertheless, the scene you reference is funny and I agree, it is not offensive because the object of ridicule is not people with mental retardation or other handicaps.

    Stiller does not seem like the kind of guy who would cater to low humor as pertains to people with special needs. Mary’s brother in Something About Mary, which was funny and extremely inappropriate was not disparaged even though he was made fun of. Stiller’s character comes to his defense. Additionally, Dillon’s character refers to people with special needs when he is lying to Mary about how much he likes working with them as ‘retards’, but he is clearly portrayed as a man with very low moral character.

    We cannot be offended at the slightest mention or inappropriate view about sensitive things without referring to the context. I have noticed that many of us, me included, oft times have a knee-jerk defensive reaction when the Church is portrayed in most media. Sometimes it can be done well, I think Doubt was well done and not offensive, Bill Mahr is another matter all together.

    Humor, even off-color humor, can still be funny without being mean.

  • It will come out shortly that Palin used a couple of babies for publicity, and that Trig is NOT her son. I got this info from several non biased observers of the Internet.

    While I have no comment about Palin not getting an abortion (she certainly considered one), I also do not think she has told the truth about the delivery of her baby. I truly do not think the baby she calls Trig is HER baby. Maybe it is her daughter’s, maybe not. The fact is, we do not know for sure what is real and what is not.

  • Michael,

    It is HER baby. The problem is that she was inseminated by a space alien from Zorcon. The delivery was kept secret because it was performed on a Rian spaceship in the Torary Sector. This is what is real. I got it from non-biased sources. It really is.

  • Phillip,

    I’m afraid your ‘sources’ were a bit confused; insemination implies pregnancy and Palin was not pregnant. Trig was transported from the Zorconites via a Rian spaceship (you’re right about their involvement – too many sources have confirmed it at this point), and given to Palin during her flight back to Alaska from Texas. I am still combing through ‘Going Rogue’ for hints about why she was chosen, though.

  • John Henry,

    They’re Zorconians not “Zorconites.” How can I trust you if you can’t even get that right.

  • Pingback: Family Guy Actor Sides With Palin « The American Catholic

The Hands of Sarah Palin

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

My colleague Eric, a man of the Left, and someone who has my strong respect due to his pro-life commitment, has posted that Sarah Palin had a few key words written on a hand as a mnemonic device during the teaparty convention.  Much of the Left is of course in a feeding frenzy about this, betraying  the unending obsession they have with Palin.  This of course is more fun for them than concentrating on the abysmal failure of the Obama administration and that their agenda is only slightly more popular currently with most of the American public than the bubonic plague.  Palin, with the good humor that has been her characteristic response to the nuttiness from the Left, wrote on her left hand “Hi Mom” for her appearances the next day to give the Lefties something more to read.

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65 Responses to The Hands of Sarah Palin

  • I’m eatin’ up with a spoon.

    1. Disbursements under the TARP program are complete.

    2. Our observable experience with fiscal priming over the last year suggests that the economists who offered the cautionary that public spending crowds out private spending and the estimate that it only begins to stimulate when unemployment rates exceed 12% were correct.

    3. Maybe Eric Brown will explain thus the utility of a 50% nominal increase in federal expenditure over a three year period of time in which one might expect the growth of nominal domestic product to be about 10%.

  • Yes, thank God we have the “competent” and “post-partisan” guy with the “first-class temper” in the White House as opposed to having this crass philistine with ink-stained hands a whole heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    😉

  • “Wait, she writes notes on her hand instead of having a teleprompter for every single talk? Oh NO! Wait, what if she uses note cards AND writes on her hand? Frenzy!”

    I took public speaking a number of years ago as a college course. We were told, if you’re not good at memorization, or not good with impromptu, then have note cards with major points on them. Seriously, is this different?

  • I am utterly in disbelief that anyone of sound mind- on the Left or Right- is taking Sarah Palin seriously as a political leader. My impression of her went from hopeful when I first heard about her- to “Oh, no” after I heard her first speech. There are those individuals who could make a pretty good case for “conservative” leadership- Pat Buchanan always struck me as fairly solid even as I completely reject the very notion that faithful Catholic social doctrine understands blends neatly into liberal or conservative ideologies.

    Sarah Palin comes across to me politically as a rank opportunist, transparently so. I can’t speak to her personal life, only to what I see and hear of her in public speeches and interviews. It is true that many Leftists would necessary dislike her first and foremost because she talks the talk of pro-life, pro-traditional family. But I am not complaining over that- in fact my first strong reaction against her was that in her first big speech at the Republican convention she failed to make the pro-life issue- The Issue- or even a issue.

    The bottom-line here is that if someone on the Right believes that the only people who are completely turned off by Palin are pro-abort Lefties, think again- my wife and I are walking evidence that there are at least some pro-life, pro-family types, who just don’t get the Palin attraction- at all.

  • Sorry, Phillip. I have not been able to stomach Vox Nova for a year now. I am sure the article was…..good…..

  • Sarah Palin comes across to me politically as a rank opportunist, transparently so.

    Educate me, Tim. How is she opportunistic in manner or degree in ways other politicians are not.

    I am utterly in disbelief that anyone of sound mind- on the Left or Right- is taking Sarah Palin seriously as a political leader.

    The current President is Barack Obama. In the line of succession are Joseph Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Byrd, Hilary Clinton, and Timothy Geithner. Thems our leaders.

  • Art,

    Opportunism, inexperience, inability to speak without a teleprompter, and populism are only important when it’s a Republican. Otherwise, why would Ben “Buyout” Nelson, Nancy “Family Fly” Pelosi, and President Barack “Narcissomegaloegomaniacalkleptoutopian” Obama get free passes on many of these same things?

    🙂

    -J.

  • I look forward to the day when the outright hysteria that left-wing Catholic bloggers exhibit over Palin is reserved for the scandal that we face everyday having a pro-abort, anti-American, anti-Catholic, radically secular President.

  • Eric said that he would rather vote for copy toner than vote for Sarah Palin.

    I think I’d rather drink the copy toner.

    I’m sick to death of this being reduced to a childish “left-right” issue. Please, fellow Catholics, stop abandoning reason to rigid ideological affiliations, as if “right” and “left” were your teams at the Super Bowl, and Palin was your team’s mascot.

    I am certainly no leftist, and I think Palin is less fit than Mayor McCheese for public office. I don’t abandon my ability to think, reason, and form independent evaluations because I adopt one set of values and reject another. Yet that’s what it sounds like some of you want.

    “Accept Palin’s validity as a political figure or you’re a stupid leftist!”

    I reject Palin for the same reasons I would reject a return of George W. Bush, or for that matter, another round of Obama. It isn’t even about her ignorance anymore. It’s about her willing devotion to continuing policies that would further expand the police-state and the military-industrial complex in the name of defeating terrorism – a lie, spending us into bankruptcy, increasing federal power at the expense of local power, and pursuing an insane foreign policy of adventurism and brinkmanship.

    She would be like an Obama for conservatives – promise a million things that sounded great, then deliver none of them as she implements the real agenda of the people who usher her into power, like Bush Jr., like Obama. Every candidate promises a “new era” in politics, and because suckers are born every minute, there are always enough people around to believe them.

    I think its sad that Palin has hijacked the tea-party movement, which was at one time as opposed to big-government Republican neo-conservatism as it was to big government Democrat neo-liberalism. Now it has been reduced to an appendage of the “warfare” side of the “warfare-welfare” state.

  • It also frightens me to death that some of you are unable or unwilling to look into Palin’s past and look at the means and ways in which she rose to small-time power – cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby.

    This woman is even more ambitious than Obama, more intoxicated by power. And yet some of you will wail and cheer because she is on “your side”, she’s on “your team”, just like Obama was for so many now regretful, mournful liberals and leftists.

    It’s not worth it.

  • cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby.

    You are welcome to discuss it, with references, rather than merely assert it.

  • Couldn’t disagree with you more Joe. Palin is on my side on the issues that matter to me especially the issue of abortion. As to her position regarding national defense, it coincides with mine. Those who do not believe we are in a life and death struggle with people who would not hesitate at nuking an American city once they have the capability are living in La La Land. As to your comments about cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns and intimidation, do you have anything to back up these allegations, or were you merely venting your spleen?

  • I agree with AD. I get suspicious when a critic strings together a series of vague and somewhat synonymous nouns to describe someone. Looks like smear to me.

  • Joe- Your projections on how a hypothetical Palin Presidency would be a failure are self-defeating. In the first respect because there is no moral equivalency between an avowed supporter of infanticide and a mother of a Downs child. On the second account because this only serves to reinforce the idea that this is most definitely a left-right issue. No one could possibly equate a Palin to an Obama without ignoring the secular radicalism that Obama represents…in other words, without having an ideological blindspot. You don’t have to be a Palin fan to see that.

  • Yes, circle the wagons.

    I’m not going to write a Palin expose here, at least not now. What I refer to is common knowledge about her history – either look it up, as you did with Obama in order to scrutinize him, or conclude that it doesn’t matter.

    As long as we can agree that one doesn’t have to be some radical leftist to want nothing to do with Palin, that’s fine.

  • Eric said that he would rather vote for copy toner than vote for Sarah Palin.

    I think I’d rather drink the copy toner.

    I want to go on record as saying that I’d rather vote for Sarah Palin than drink copy toner.

  • I look forward to your eventual expose of Palin Joe, since I am rather familiar with her career and I can think of very little in it to warrant the colorful charges you have made. However, as I always tell adversaries in litigation, I am always open to new evidence.

  • “I want to go on record as saying that I’d rather vote for Sarah Palin than drink copy toner.”

    I want to go on the record as saying I would rather Joe drank copy toner than I vote for Palin.

  • Yes, circle the wagons.

    I haven’t any granular knowledge of Alaska politics, Joe. I tend to think if her political enemies had any serious dirt on her they would not have been reduced to filing ethics charges which made an issue of the logos on her clothing and her husband’s clothing, or to filing ethics charges pseudonymously (with the name of a character on East Enders).

  • Isn’t there a choice besides Palin, copy toner, and Obama? I understand some people argue that because Palin is pro-life, they’d have to pick her over Obama. I don’t understand why they want her to be the Republican nominee. Besides the fact that she has huge negatives (almost half the country has negative perceptions of her, and that can’t be because they don’t know anything about her), I don’t see how she can be argued to be among the more competent or intelligent Republican candidates.

  • Tim and Joe, you both have literally spoke my mind.

    Don — While I am a Democrat, I can hardly be judged to be ignoring the “abysmal failure” of the Obama Adminstration, on the contrary. I didn’t even vote for this failure-of-a-president.

  • Just FYI: toner is a powder, not a liquid. Perhaps the brave volunteers could try snorting it rather than drinking it?

    Call me crazy, but my theory is that either:

    a) Palin will prove to be more substantial than generally considered or

    b) She won’t be winning the GOP primary even if she runs.

    I’m pretty happy leaving things to that process.

  • Tim Shipe writes Tuesday, February 9, 2010 A.D. at 8:13 am
    “My wife and I are walking evidence that there are at least some pro-life, pro-family types, who just don’t get the Palin attraction- at all”.

    You seem to need to spend a little time in that large area between the coasts.

  • Joe Hargrave writes Tuesday, February 9, 2010 A.D. at 11:13 am
    “It also frightens me to death that some of you are unable or unwilling to look into Palin’s past and look at the means and ways in which she rose to small-time power – cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, smear campaigns, intimidation – it’s as if she were nurtured on Machiavelli instead of milk as a baby”.

    Sounds like FDR, JFK, LBJ, et hoc genus omne.

  • Joe fires off a string of generic assaults on the intelligence and character of Sarah Palin, then he whines about those unimpressed by his less than stellar takedown of “circling the wagons.” Yawn. Wake me up when any of these guys has something substantive to say.

  • Jonathan,

    Can you sing this word to the Mary Poppins song?

    “Narcissomegaloegomaniacalkleptoutopian”

    It’s almost as cheeky as Sara’s “Hi Mom” on her hand.

    I didn’t know if she could take the heat from those that wanted to destroy her. She has gained some points in my book for this 😉

  • Paul,

    I didn’t even really say anything about her intelligence. But there you go, assuming that I did. I’ve even said a number of times that I actually don’t think she’s stupid at all. Ignorant, yes. Unfit to lead, yes. But not because she is stupid. At least, that’s not MY reason, even if it is for some others.

    This is just a sad thing to watch. It’s sad because all of you – Paul, Don, Art, Gabriel, and others – are men whose intelligence and knowledge I respect. I think you’re all being hoodwinked by Palin.

    You may not see it now, and I hope she is never in a position to prove me right.

    One last thing, for Don:

    Engaged we may be in a struggle with Islamic jihadists, but that will NEVER serve as an excuse for aggression against other countries or for the loss of civil liberties at home.

    I am sure we will disagree on the extent to which those phenomenon have taken place, but lets say in theory that you recognized the wars abroad and expansion of police powers at home for what they were – my sincere hope is that you would not agree with those who would trade constitutional rights for a phony sham of “security.”

  • I fail to see any acts of agression against any other countries Joe, or any diminution of our civil liberties. This war actually is fairly unusual in the non-impact on our civil liberties. Many American wars, the Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, to a much more limited extent Vietnam, did involve substantial restrictions on civil liberties for the extent of the conflict. Of course holding enemy combatants for the duration of a conflict is standard practice in all wars and has nothing to do with our civil liberties.

    In regard to being hoodwinked by Palin, I believe I have an accurate assessment of her. In any case, if she ultimately becomes President and disappoints me in some areas, that will be no different from any other politician I have supported in my lifetime including Reagan. For me politics is always a matter of comparisons among alternatives. As of now I believe Palin is the best pick for a 2012 run for the GOP if she chooses to enter the race. My opinion could alter if someone abler appears during the primary contests.

  • It’s sad because all of you – Paul, Don, Art, Gabriel, and others – are men whose intelligence and knowledge I respect.

    Joe, then I must ask with all due sincerity – shouldn’t you re-consider your assumptions about Palin?

  • To clarify – if all these people whose opinion you respect (and the feeling is mutual with the exception of this one issue) differs from your own, is it just to conclude that they’re all being duped rather than perhaps that your own opinion is misguided? Just something to consider – we could be the ones out to lunch.

  • Conservative politicians seem to have the amazing ability to be both Machiavellian and dumber than sticks of gum – at the same time. It astounds me, since in real life, I have certainly met people who are not bright and (unfortunately)I also have run into a few Machiavellian schemers who still give me the chills when I think of them. But they weren’t the same people. In fact, to be Machiavellian you really have to be pretty sharp.

    Yet, somehow Reagan managed the feat of being both stupid and calculatingly evil. To say nothing of Dubya, who was at once the Prince of Evil and a complete dunderhead in the eyes of his opponents. And now Palin has been revealed as not only a bimbo, but an evil one as well. To Andrew Sullivan, she’s our own homegrown Evita Peron.

    There is no contradiction in the leftist mind, because if you disagree with their political philosophy, you must be either stupid or evil. If you are smart and good, you are a leftist, say the leftists. Palin survived being labeled stupid, so let’s haul out “evil” and see if that sticks. The problem is that many Americans of genuine goodwill have accepted the left’s characterization of her.

  • Don,

    “I fail to see any acts of agression against any other countries Joe, or any diminution of our civil liberties.”

    I figured you would. We will, I suppose, disagree over what constitutes an act of aggression. As for civil liberties, we just had a new “cyber security” bill passed in the House that allows the president (Obama) to shut down the internet to combat “cyber terrorism.” I doubt it will fail in the senate.

    Why should we assume that this power will always be used for good? Of course this is only the latest example.

    We’ve had examples of violations of Posse Comitatus in Pittsburgh recently as well.

    http://fromtheold.com/news/pittsburgh-mayor-calls-national-gaurd-do-police-work-2010020916569.html

    I mean, these are only two examples that come to mind of a creeping police state – I could dig up thousands of links if I had the time or inclination. I just read the news every day. And every day it seems, in the name of keeping us “safe”, government is asserting authority or control over some new area of life, declaring new institutions, organizations – what is this new “Council of Governors” established by Obama? And why should anyone, let alone children, submit to naked body scans at the airport? Why should they be forced to take vaccines they don’t want to take? Or pay “carbon taxes” on the basis of the biggest scientific fraud in history? It’s not just about the war, though that is part of it.

    I think a lot of conservatives can see that Obama is doing his best to expand the police state – what they won’t acknowledge is that he is simply continuing what Bush started. And when Obama leaves, and Palin or some other neo-conservative continues HIS policies, then they will go back to justifying them.

    Paul,

    “is it just to conclude that they’re all being duped”

    Is it “just”? I don’t know. But it’s what I think, based on what I’ve discerned for myself about Palin.

    Donna,

    It might be too much to ask for, but I sure hope I’m not included in this “leftist mind.” I don’t think Palin is dumb.

    Let me say it again, for effect.

    I DON’T THINK PALIN IS DUMB.

  • I take it back – not what “Bush started”, but what really kicked into high gear under Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

  • Diminution of civil liberties in war time Joe is a fascinating topic. During World War I people were sent to prison for sedition, speaking out against the government. During World War II, as I noted in my Go For Broke post, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were interned. During the Civil War, martial law was freely used, papers supressed, men held for long periods without charges, a Democrat Congressman exiled to the Confederacy, etc. During the Revolution Tories enjoyed no freedom of speech, were expelled from their homes in many areas and their property confiscated. The British of course, usually with the eager assistance of Tories, engaged in similar activies in areas they controlled. Compared to such enormities as these, what concerns you does not loom large to me. I am not saying you are wrong to be concerned, just that from a historical standpoint what you have cited is pretty small potatoes.

  • Joe,
    As you know, I’ve come to agree with some of your criticisms of Palin, but I do wonder *which* movement she’s co-opting–the Tea Partyers or the neocons. After all, it was the neocons who initially rejected her.
    At this point, I agree that you’re either absolutely right or not, if that makes sense. Palin’s whole mystique, besides living the pro-life message, is her “rogue” image, the claim that she’s an outsider, and I still believe she is. Of course, as you noted on Facebook, the fact that she may not be a member of the Dominant Class doesn’t prevent her from being her own evil.

    But I *do* believe her views are essentially libertarian. She endorsed Ron Paul in the early 2008 primary; she was also a Buchanan supporter before that. She has raised eyebrows by endorsing Rand Paul in KY. I really think she’s essentially a libertarian pretending to be a neocon, not a neocon pretending to be a libertarian.

    When I first heard of Obama in 2004, I knew he’d be president in 2008. I knew he was totally an instrument of the Machine. Palin didn’t give that impression at first, but, increasingly, she does.

    Three governors fought the made-up bailout money: Jindal, Palin and Sanford. Jindal caved. Palin was forced to resign. Sanford had his adultery outed.

    If Palin had any real scandals, they’d have forced her to cave in or they’d have come up with something the way they did against Sanford.

    If her resignation was sincere, she did it for her children. If she runs for president in 2012, I will not vote for her, because her resignatoin speech was thus insincere. She needs to wait till her kids are a little older if and when she runs for office again.

    As for palmgate, my understanding is the *less* notes you need for a speech, the better. When I delivered my master’s thesis, I never went beyond the table of contents. I still needed some kind of prompt to remember my material, but I didn’t have to look at the text itself, which really impressed my committee.

    Whether the notes were lecture points or “core principles,” she probably just needed the prompt.

  • Palin as a libertarian?

    Her enthusiasm for war with Iran, or war in general, and her endorsement of Rick Perry in Texas instead of the actual libertarian candidate Debra Medina, throws some cold water on that idea.

    Maybe the Palin of early 2008, who was chummy with Alaskan secessionists and apparently supportive of Ron Paul would have understood and agreed with the anti-war position of the Pauls and all of their supporters.

    The Palin of 2010 is beating the neo-con war drum.

    http://rawstory.com/2010/02/palin-war-with-iran-would-help-obama/

    She wants Obama to declare war on Iran? This is probably another example of her extreme carelessness with words – especially since, as we all know, this country doesn’t declare war anymore, and hasn’t since WWII. But she obviously wants Obama to pursue an aggressive policy with respect to Iran.

    Agree with that or disagree with it, but don’t pretend that Ron Paul libertarians would have anything to do with this madness.

  • She endorsed Ron Paul in the early 2008 primary; she was also a Buchanan supporter before that.

    There were some media reports to this effect in the weeks after McCain announced Palin as his running-mate, but they turned out to be incorrect.

  • The business/function of the US Government is more than a grand marionette ‘show’ run by ‘others’ with a ‘cheer-leader’ at the helm. It seems to me as neither ‘LEFT’ nor ‘RIGHT’ that Ms. Palin’s function was and has always been a ‘rah-rah’ girl, under her husband’s tutelage in AK and the ‘paucity’ of notes she had detailed on her hand; not much substance between the ears–not enough to ‘lead’ anyway, when the going gets tough…she gets gone.

  • No, Joe, I don’t include you in with the “left.” But plenty of sensible nonleftists seem to accept the left’s valuation of Palin. Look, I don’t think Palin should be president either. I like her in her present gadfly role, because she is a. making points that need to be made and that the GOP has forgotten, and b. because she drives the left absolutely nuts. The delicious part of this is that if they had not attacked her and her family so viciously and personally and kept on with the attacks after the 2008 election, she would have probably disappeared from the national scene. Sure, Cinnamon, she’s a dolt, controlled by her husband. You just keep right on telling yourself that.

  • Just like Reagan, Sarah has an incredible ability to piss-off intellectuals on the so-called right and the left. It is fun to watch them squirm.

    This is testimony to her popularity, which is far greater than any of you give her credit for. Debate her all you want. She is the most powerful force in politics right now and she isn’t in office nor running for it.

    The progressive establishment on both sides of the false political spectrum is frightened. Sarah will be a focal point in all the coming elections for quite some time, whether she runs or not.

    Go cry your pretty, little intellectual brain to sleep. Americans are overwhelmingly more honest, down-to-earth and straightforward than any complex poll, editorializing journalist or political hack can ever understand.

    Most of America gets Sarah. If you don’t it indicates an out-of-touch view. That is not a personal insult, it is an objective observation. Examine yourself as to why she sends you into fits and spasms. I don’t mean you have to agree with her, but why get so violently upset?

  • Look my friends- I was raised in Ohio so I’m not a coastal limo liberal, and I did not take my impression of Palin from the liberal msm, and I brought up that my first impression of her from reading about her was positive- both my wife and I were encouraged by reports that she was pro-life, had a downs-syndrome child she was proud of and all of that. My buzz kill was her opening speech at the convention- my wife and I were totally aghast- she didn’t get around to using the bully pulpit to preach pro-life values, she came across to us as someone very petty, very divisive, a champion of American warfare- hiding behind the dubious notion that this is what being a patriot is all about. I’m sorry to say that beyond this her whole approach to pro-life is one that is popular in conservative circles- but not in my house- the idea that one can go around and say that you have to respect the original intent of the Constitution framers and thus exclude the unborn from all the current Amendment- and so Palin et al can go into friendly pro-life audiences and claim to be 100% pro-life, and then go in front of a mixed crowd on national tv and say- well these are my personal beliefs, but really this is all about overturning R v.Wade and turning this debate back to every state. It is the conservative attempt to sound sophisticated and ‘progressive’. Meanwhile in the conduct of war pretty much anything goes- geneva conventions become quaint.

    Palin wastes her time in the bully pulpit, she spins a ‘hate national government’ message which I don’t find supportive in the official Catholic social teachings where the whole business of governance is in providing assurances for the universal common good- meanwhile the ‘onservative’ notion that while government is inherently untrustworthy, multinational corporations are the ones doing good for everyone- even though their whole purpose in existing is to merely provide increasing profits for the investors in said corporation- if one were to look for an institution that has more probability in being a force for good- I would go with representative government, not to take over the roles of businesses, but to find the proper regulations and oversight that are always needed in our fallen universe. So- no I don’t buy into the Hate Government pitch to get angry taxpayers to buy into another agenda which is designed to allow non-democratic corporate power to wield decisive power over all levels of governance. I am suspicious of all forms of power, I don’t buy into the Left or Right thesis that only government or only corporations or only trade unions are to be feared- all have their weaknesses because of the human dimension- but we need to go back and look at the founding purposes of each such institution and try to locate references back to official Catholic social teaching documents. On that basis we may find some common ground- otherwise we Catholics will remain as lost as Fox news commentators vs. CNBC- those guys will never find any common point or shared vision.

  • The shorter version Tim is that you are a Democrat and you do not support the Republican policies that Palin proposes. I find that quite understandable. I would hope that you understand why I, being a Republican, do support her policies. I do not agree with your characterization of those policies but I can understand that is how a Democrat would view those policies. Honest policy disagreement is always a good reason to oppose any politician. That is why I would never support Obama for any public office.

  • I am not a Republican because that party has been hijacked by the socialist progressives of the Rockefeller/Bush I/McCain ilk. Thank God I am not a Democrat because that party jumped the shark with the Great Society and their anti-life/anti religious agenda. So why do I like Sarah?

    Because she speaks to plain Americans in easy to understand language. For you intellectual elites that language is simple American English. What the elite and their fellow travelers consider unintellectual is just common sense (natural law) principles in bold primary colors. For those of you confused and mired in pastels she will not make any sense – ever.

    Is she going to be an office holder or a king maker? It doesn’t matter. The days of the false left-right dichotomy and the Hegelian dialectic are coming to an end – at least for a little while, like a couple of hundred years.

    As for Church teaching being in favor of big national government, hmm? That is a tough one Shipe. How do you square massive centralization of power, wealth, command and control with the principle of subsidiarity? Also, why is it that most Democrats receive more contributions from large corporations than most Republicans if Republicans are the corporate party? Wall Street bankrolled Obama and seems to really, really like him still. Remember the corporatist Mussolini was a leftist and the ultimate blend of politics and corporations was in Germany under the leadership of the National Socialists. How exactly is the Left against corporations?

    One of my favorite past times is to go to some lefty, elite coffee house (preferable one based in Seattle) and loudly yell, “Sarah Palin!” with a smile on my face and watch the progressives have seizures. Try it some time – it is a hoot. 🙂

  • Sarah Palin is a Libertarian with Neocon views on foreign policy in the Middle East. Her Neocon foreign policy views are largely shaped by her religious views regarding the Second Coming of Jesus and the Rapture.

  • “Her Neocon foreign policy views are largely shaped by her religious views regarding the Second Coming of Jesus and the Rapture.”

    Wrong. Feel free to try again.

  • Sarah is a libertarian as Ronald Reagan as in small l. Libertarian economic and property principles are completely congruent with authentic conservative Republicans. Most of the rest of the libertine Libertarian ideology is incompatible with traditional views of Christian people, yes, even our separated Protestant brethren heretics as they are.

    As for Neocon – I am not sure that is Sarah or if that was McCain campaign influence. She hasn’t sounded like a Neocon except about support of the modern nation-state of Israel but then again blind support of Zionists isn’t limited to Neocons.

  • She is annoying. Why be a sheeple and follow this buffoon.

  • “She is annoying. Why be a sheeple and follow this buffoon.”

    Who could argue with this blinding logic?

  • Sarah is an attractive woman with charisma and energy – the reason I think many like her. But, she is not seasoned enough to be President of the U.S. Her zeal for conservative values such as being pro-life and pro-family, should be put to use supporting a virtuous candidate who has potential of defeating the Democrats.

  • My beef with those so-called political leaders who seem to feed on the hatred of government- particularly national governments- the idea that national forms of governance are inherently evil or always wrong when it comes to regulating things like the economy- that seems completely off from the totality of the CST- subsidiarity does not imply that some things must be handled at national and even international levels of political authority.

    I believe that Sarah Palin is one of those politicians who is going too far with her criticisms of government when there is a lot of blame to spread around- government-yes, but also the greed that propels the corporate world, the corruption of labor union reps, and the lack personal initiative of most citizens for taking up their own civic responsibilities- all of these targets are fair game- both the decidedly left and right among us are only selecting out one or the other, and this is why I believe we keep catapulting back and forth between two big failing parties and the limited, inconsistent ideologies that they are using as their intellectual foundations. All I ask is that Catholics use the complete social doctrine of the Church as their primary intellectual foundation- and then see where we all might meet up- and I don’t think it will be at obama or palin’s camps.

  • Agree that there is a false dichotomy between left and right and that each may choose things that are closer to their own intellectual hearts. The problem is that people do have intellectual premises that can lead to quite different conclusions even given the principles of CST. This is even a principle of CST as it does not necessarily imply that we “might meet up.” In fact CST clearly states that people of good faith may come to completely different solutions to the same problems. Yes, let’s agree on the principles. But let’s not say that this agreement will lead to the same conclusions.

  • Tim this country was founded by men who had a healthy distrust of government. Considering how close we are to national bankruptcy as a result of hare-brained mismanagement and overspending by government, I’d say the Founding Fathers were justified in their admonitions against large and expensive governments.

  • Well- my plan is to take as many pieces of the official social doctrine – as found in such things as the most current encyclicals, the Compendium of Social Doctrine and at times Scripture and the Catechism, and just put it out there- be it an explicit principle being defined as such, or suggested applications for one or more of the principles. The fact is that there is plenty of solid food in these documents which we are compelled as faithful Catholics to at minimum take into our consciences to be well-formed- even if one concludes that the application of a formal principle of social teaching which is found in an authoritative source is to be rejected, and replaced with some other viewpoint or expert source.

    The fact cannot be avoided that what the Magisterium puts down on the record in official documents concerning the temporal order cannot be simply ignored, or bypassed in one;s Catholic conscience formation. The teachings in the encyclicals and the Compendium must be received with “religious assent”, now it’s not clear to my understanding exactly how we are to interpret this type of assent, and if it applies to the writings contained in authoritative sources which are not just explicit definitions of formal moral principles, but may also apply to the elaborations and suggestions offered by the Popes and Holy See as found in these authoritative sources. By “religious assent” I am thinking that that would imply that one could disagree with the Church’s thinking in one;s private conscience, but to publicly reject this official Church expression one would need to tred very lightly and perhaps need to explain how they are going against the tide of the official Church’s view- like for example in taking a position on the role of political authority in general that certainly goes against the general lines given us in the relevant sections of the Compendium, or to say that government is not in the business of working to ensure the common good of society, or that the only good global economy is a completely unregulated one- these kind of positions would not be found to be connecting to the general treatment of such subjects in formal Church documents relating to the social order.

    The fact is that I am American, yes, but I am Catholic first. As Scott Hahn has stated, “the best gift we can give to America is our Catholic faith”. Nationalism and ideologies of every stripe serve to confuse many, but if one sticks to Mother Church closely, in her many authoritative teachings, and doesn’t take a minimalist approach, I think there will be a lot more common ground to be shared by Catholics who are free of ideological shackles.

  • Tim, I do not think there is anything in the teaching of the Catholic Church that in anyway mandates big government or big government solutions. In the 19th Century the Church was hostile to Liberalism and virtually all manifestations of the modern world as typified by Pio Nono’s Syllabus of Errors. In the early 20th Century the Church was quite hostile to socialism of any sort. Since World War II the Church has had several popes more or less comfortable with a social welfare state. None of these passing political predilections of individual pontiffs have much more long term significance for the Church than the condemnation of Magna Carta by the pope of that time. People are always tempted to have the Church baptize their political beliefs, but other than abortion and a very few other issues, the Church, long term, has usually left Catholics free to determine their own political courses.

  • I am a Catholic first and an American also. This does not dilute my identity as a Catholic as being a husband and father does not also.

    Yes religious assent to moral principles. Principles that also recognize the value of the free market, the right to private property and the impairing effects on personal development by welfare states.

    But there are also in the social encyclicals matters of prudential judgment. Several encyclicals note that what they present also admits of prudential judgment. The key is to discern the moral principles from prudential judgments.

    The ideological shackles can be quite broad and hard to discern at times. They include those who don’t think they have any.

  • “but other than abortion and a very few other issues, the Church, long term, has usually left Catholics free to determine their own political courses.”

    Free to make sound prudential judgments within the constraints of certain moral parameters and obligations we have to others — how one accounts for that in their judgments is what we’ll debate about, but it really is non-negotiable in principle. You don’t develop a theory that totally ignores subsidiarity and pretend the Church said “its okay” because it’s not abortion. You don’t make a prudential judgment that is contrary to preferential option for the poor because it’s not abortion. I hope I’m preaching to the choir.

  • When it comes to politics Eric, even a cursory study of the history of the Church will find various political views held on a great many issues by the leaders of the Church at various times. A few examples. The Church today stands four square for religious freedom. Throughout most of her history the Church did not support religious freedom. The Church today is friendly to democracy. Until circa 1930, the Church was extremely skeptical of democracy. Today the popes are content with the Vatican State. Throughout most of the history of the Church the struggle to hang on to the Papal States was one of the chief political issues for the Church. The Church today supports equality. In past times the Church lent support to aristocratic systems of government. My point is that when we see the Church veering with the times on political issues over the history of the Church, this might imply that the positions taken on those issues have more to do with the political attitudes of the men at the head of the Church than they do with the teachings of Christ. The morality preached by the Church has been quite consistant overall since the time of Christ. Implementing this morality in political action through the Church has often been shifting and frequently contradictory over time.

  • Don raises many valid points.

    This article really changed my thinking on the application of CST.

    http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/ron_paul_and_pius_ix/

    Zmirak makes points that I could simply no longer ignore or try to counter. That is why I can call myself a libertarian-distributist – because these two ideas working together are the best chance we have of implementing CST at the local level, which is the only level we will ever be able to implement it on in America.

  • Eric,

    I suspect you are preaching to the choir. In fact I suspect, given my age, I’ve been in the choir longer than you.

  • Pingback: Palin: The Alienator « Vox Nova
  • In political terms, Palin lost me when she supported Rick Perry: an arrogant frat boy whose in the pocket of companies like Merck, supported the pro-choice Guiliani (remember that?!) and has had way too much time in office

Going Rogue

Thursday, December 17, AD 2009

A guest post by Paul Zummo, originally posted at his blog, The Cranky Conservative.

It’s probably not a good idea generally to buy a book out of spite, but in some ways that is precisely what I did when I picked up Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.  We had had a meeting at work, and several of my co-workers were amusing themselves with some anti-Palin jibes.  So at lunch time I decided to take a stroll to the local book store and pick up Palin’s book, prompting the “Oh, Sarah Palin” observation from the clerk, who must be wondering why anyone in the middle of enlightened Dupont Circle would be interested in the right-wing Neanderthal. And I have to admit that I also delayed reading the book until after I got home from Thanksgiving vacation so that I could proudly read the book on the Metro.

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7 Responses to Going Rogue

  • Great review Paul.

    As I thought she was perturbed by the questions Couric was asking her. Though her responses should have been more ‘presidential’ thank emotional.

  • I believe Mrs. Palin was caught short by the cattiness of Ms. Couric’s questions, and by her attitude.

    There is that about television interviewers / commentators which seems to lead them to think that they have enough political experience to be valuable thinkers on the political scene. They have not. They are mostly graduates of some political science [whatever that is] course, in which they learned techniques of debating, looking to score “Gotcha!” points. Their knowledge of history and of foreign countries and cultures is abominably shallow.

    I wonder how many can speak and read a foreign language.

  • Reading Palin’s book on the D.C. Metro? My, you’re a brave man, Mr. Zummo 🙂

    Gabriel: Actually, I believe most journalists, whether of the vanishing print breed or the TV kind, have “communications” degrees. I believe Canadian novelist Robertson Davies (who was a newspaper man for many years) said it takes a couple of hours tops for a bright kid to learn how to write an “inverted pyramid” news story – it’s not something you should build your education around. He thought a grounding in history, English lit, foreign languages and cultures, etc. was far better preparation for an aspiring reporter, and that the mechanics of the business should be part of the on-the-job training.

  • And I too find it heartening that she is influenced by Sowell. Reading “A Conflict of Visions” completed my own journey from left to right. The country would be in better hands if we had a president who uses Sowell, rather than Alinsky, as a guide.

    One area where I still have lingering doubts about Palin is foreign policy. Yes, she’d do better than Obama, but that’s setting the bar low. It’s a mindfield out there, and I am not sure she’s given it adequate thought. Does she say much about it in her book?

  • Donna:

    She doesn’t touch too much on foreign policy except in the context of energy policy and the need for “energy independence.” She does mention that as Governor of Alaska she did have to deal with the Canadian government on various border issues. As I said, she doesn’t get into a lot of policy detail in the book, but she doesn’t sound like a complete babe in the woods.

  • I second Donna’s endorsement of Sowell. I was first introduced to him in 1979 watching the PBS Free to Choose series hosted by Milton Friedman. He impressed me then and has never stopped. I also enjoyed his Conflict of Visions book. He truly is a first rate thinker.

Palin vs. Shatner

Saturday, December 12, AD 2009

Shatner has been giving dramatic readings of some of Palin’s twitter tweats, so Palin was returning the favor.  Alas, Shatner has reached the stage in life when being mocked at by a beautiful woman is about all the former Romeo of Star Fleet can hope for.  It was a funny bit and demonstrates yet again that the old political campaign rule book has been tossed out the window by her.  And rest assured this is a campaign. Polls this week showed a single point separating her and Obama as to favorability, with Obama falling and Palin rising.  I think Palin is rewriting the old Klingon proverb of revenge is a dish best served cold.  I suspect she believes it is a dish best served laughing.

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14 Responses to Palin vs. Shatner

  • Well, I’m not sure if having an approval rating similar to President Obama’s says much at the moment.

    It is interesting to note that RealClearPolitics has hypothetical 2012 match ups and if there were an election happening today, Sarah Palin would not succeed against President Obama. Could things change? Sure.

    I think there is a difference in liking her as a national personality (which I don’t) and a difference in wanting her to hold elected office, particularly the presidency (which I don’t).

  • Eric, the direction is all important in politics. Obama has fallen considerably this year, as Palin has risen quicly in the past 30 days. He has a long way to go until 2012. He could bounce back, or he could make Jimmy Carter look like a master political strategist. Also, don’t underestimate likability. That is a key asset in politics, as Obama is finding out now as he finds his diminishing like sand through his fingers.

  • If Palin wants to run in 2012 (and we don’t know that she does), there are 2 big hurdles she needs to overcome. One is the trashing she received at the hands of the MSM during the campaign. The other is the perception that she simply doesn’t know enough or has thought deeply enough about the issues facing the country both domestically and globally to hold the office of president.

    Her appearances on the Tonight Show and Oprah are helping immensely with her “image problem.” She’s coming across as a warm, good-humored woman who is utterly unlike the Tina Fey caricature. Like Reagan, she is a “Happy Warrior.” Likability is very important in politics. So is toughness. A woman who was treated very brutally last year dusted herself off and came back with a smile and a quip.

    And if it’s hard policy you are looking for, her Hong Kong speech, her recent WaPo article on AGW, her Facebook criticisms of Copenhagen, healthcare reform and other matters are excellent starts.

    Let’s see what she does in 2010. I suspect those numbers will continue to shift in Palin’s favor.

  • Ramesh Ponnuru made a good point about not getting *too* excited about the polls, in that they compare Palin’s likeability to Obama’s job approval, two very different metrics… I didn’t see the numbers, but Ramesh indicated that Obama’s likeability rating is considerably higher than Sarah’s.

    Frankly, I hope she *doesn’t* go for Pres in ’12… I’d rather see her attempt to make a more indirect impact, perhaps analogous to what Oprah has done (Sarah’s impact being for the better, of course). Focus on the culture, Sarah!

  • I recommend Palin as Energy Czar, with Jindal as President and Ron Paul as Veep.

    Sadly I don’t think Palin can be an effective President because the has an entire branch of government opposed to her personally.

    Our five branches are: Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, K Street, and Media. It is the fifth branch (column?) which is personally opposed to Palin. This fifth branch is set up to represent a powerful check on the Executive, and a partial check on the Legislative. (It exercises no day-to-day check on the Judiciary, but it does represent a check on the Executive’s ability to populate the Judiciary with jurists of a conservative stripe.)

    With such a powerful branch of government against her, I’m not sure Palin would be able to do anything effectively unless there were another, and more long-lasting, Republican takeover of Congress as well. (Not, I think, very likely.)

    Honestly what’s needed is someone who’ll govern like Palin but speechify like Obama: A mix of movement conservatism and libertarianism and traditionalism in actual policy, but camouflaged in a smokescreen of just enough mealy-mouthed liberalism and apologizing for America and Christian-bashing to make the Mainstream Media think he/she is “one of them.”

    Not sure how likely that is.

  • I’ll admit it up front. I like Sarah Palin.

    It is only partially because I think she has true moral and ethical values (as much as any politician around nowdays).

    Maybe it is more because I can’t stand all the liberal swipes at her for no good reason other than the fact that she is a conservative woman. The fact is if the mainstream press is for something it is probably wrong and if they attack someone it means that person has personal values and threatens liberal principles – and they are once again wrong.

    Sarah Palin is really endorsed for me by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Couric and other “liberati” who don’t have the intellectual credentials to carry Ms. Palin’s bags.

    Would she be a good president? I would say yes as she is a lot smarter that people think and even if she is not a member of Mensa it does not take a genius IQ to run a good team. Just the ability to pick good people. In fact, some of the presidents considered to be the smartest were not good at all for the country. Take Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (who actually gave us this recession) and now Obama versus Ronald Reagan who was vastly underestimated.

    As to the question of whether she can be elected? Right now I would say no based on the fact that she would be running against other candidates, the mainstream press and Hollywood. On the other hand, I will never underestimate the ability of this current President and Congress to screw up and push the American voters over the edge between now and 2012.

  • RC: When push comes to shove, the media will always side with the pols with D’s after their names, as John McCain discovered in ’08. The trouble with a conservative candidate hiding behind a “smokescreen” of mealy-mouthed liberalism is this: how can us ordinary folks know if it’s a smokescreen and not simply a squishy pol discarding conservativism for the liberal conventional wisdom? When conservatives became libs, the media say they’ve “grown in office.”

    Besides, your suggested approach signifies that there is fundamentally something wrong with being a conservative, and a conservative pol needs to dissemble and misrepresent in order to get elected. (In fact, that is truer for liberals than it is for conservatives. Both Obama and Clinton had to present themselves as moderates during their campaigns. One of the reasons Obama’s poll numbers are dropping is because independents in particular are realizing he isn’t a moderate.)

    What we need is someone who can stand up for conservative principles and eloquently explain why they are sound. Reagan did that – I don’t think anybody who voted for him was under the impression that he was secretly liberal in many ways. Palin has been far from eloquent in the past, but then, this is a woman who was abruptly dropped on the national stage a little over a year ago and then mismanaged by the McCain campaign. I think she’s been doing a wonderful job of finding her own voice lately.

    As far as the mainstream press – well, they’re having their own problems these days, aren’t they? After the election last year, I would have agreed that the damage done to Palin was fatal on the national level. I am coming to believe though, that their role in selling Obama might very well have been their last hurrah. Fox is far ahead of its’ competitors. Daily papers, including the NY Times, are experiencing serious financial problems. Maureen Dowd sneered at Palin, but it’s Dowd who might exit the national stage long before Palin does. The MSM doesn’t have the power it had even a year ago. And Hollywood? If voters really listened to Tinsel Town moguls and actors, we would have become a one-party country 40 years ago. Gay marriage would have passed in 31 states rather than being voted down in 31. I think even the celebrity-striken among us realize that movie stars live in a lala land bubble, and their pronouncements and decrees have nothing to do with the real world.

  • Polls this week showed a single point separating her and Obama as to favorability, with Obama falling and Palin rising.

    This is incorrect. Palin’s favorability rating is 46%, compared to 55% for President Obama.

    As Chris notes above, the ‘almost tied’ meme comes from comparing Palin’s favorability rating to Obama’s job approval rating (which is lower than his favorability rating).

  • As far as the mainstream press – well, they’re having their own problems these days, aren’t they?

    I think the worst case scenario for them (that their economic position resembles that of vaudeville houses ca. 1930) has a passable chance of coming to pass. From 1948 to the present, you have had three national newsmagazines of consequence: Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News has adopted a monthly format and emphasizes subject matter that has been derisively referred to in other contexts as SMERSH* and Newsweek has reconstituted itself as an opinion magazine (thereby making explicit what a complacent crew had been writing for and editing the publication, not to mention clarifying (by way of contrast) the talents the sort of journalists who have been producing opinion magazines for decades). The word is that Newsweek‘s ad revenue (like that of many other publications) is in a free fall. Another report has it that the New York Times has laid off 30% of its staff. Editor & Publisher is ceasing publication after 125 years. Our ol’ buddy Rod Dreher is departing the newspaper business for a position on the staff of the Templeton Foundation. I am going to miss newspapers and magazines (even though their product was often mediocre) and it is difficult to see what sort of trades their staff can enter with their extant skill sets. There cannot be that many jobs in PR and advertising.

    *Science, medicine, education, religion, and all that sh**

  • Art Deco: I think many of them would be well qualified for positions in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

  • A good point BA, although I imagine Obama finds his personal approval rating fairly cold comfort today when Rasmussen has him at 46% job approval, with 42% of respondents strongly disapproving as opposed to 23% who strongly approve.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/12/13/rasmussen-obama-passion-index-hits-new-low/

  • I imagine Obama finds his personal approval rating fairly cold comfort today when Rasmussen has him at 46% job approval

    True. But if favorability ratings tend to be higher than job approval ratings, that suggests that were Palin president right now her job approval numbers would be even lower.

  • Would depend upon what she did over the time since she took office BA. Any president finds it tough to remain popular during rough economic times. The problem for Obama is that virtually all of his policies have a negative impact on a robust recovery, certainly one that will make much of a dent in unemployment figures.

  • This was really funny, and everyone involved was surprisingly gracious to Palin considering all the flak she’s been getting of late. As I’ve said before, I’m not quite ready to bet on her (or vote for her) for president, but she certainly has a future as a public “face” of the conservative movement, provided she just decides to be herself and let the chips fall where they may.

Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

Wednesday, November 4, AD 2009

Under the surface, and largely unbeknownst to the mainstream media, the tide has been turning to Catholicism for some time. The pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI along with events such as an increase in orthodox minded seminarians, young priests and young women religious, a return to devotions and a reform of the reform of liturgy have shown us that indeed the tide is turning. However, for some time now western culture has been moving in the opposite direction, where any, whim or opinion that holds that orthodox minded religious thought is antiquated and even harmful is held in high regard. How could this jibe with the turning tide within the Church? Who would win? Didn’t Jesus promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church after He gave Peter the keys (and the 265 subsequent popes) to lead it? The answer is the same answer that has always been, the Church eventually always wins and it will this time as well.

Following the Election of 2008 when liberalism was on the ascendancy, many in the mainstream media joyfully proclaimed a new era, where one could read between the lines and see that traditional views of society, family and religion were on their way out and big government was in. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution, many Americans refused to go to the Bastille with pitchfork in hand. Americans view of revolution was almost always in line with George Washington’s view of limited government and not Maximilien Robespierre’s view of war against society, family and religion. Perhaps the Election of 2008 was a pox on both their big spending houses that was wrongly construed as a vote for Big Government.

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7 Responses to Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

  • Thank You Dave for constantly reminding us of our faith and our needed prayers and continued efforts to overcome those who pick and choose in the Church whether laity or heirarchy. These young priests and current seminarians are a godsend for the Church and we are fornunate to have one sheparding our parish by hs example, homilies, and teaching.

  • Bravo Dave. History is not a straight line progression to a progressive paradise no matter how many of our friends on the Left believe it to be.

  • I’m still going to thumb my nose at the elites.

  • Thanks again Dave! I wish you the best on your journey. God Bless you and your family…

    Robert from Michigan

  • Indeed the elections, as Catholic League’s Bill Donohue put it, made for a “big night for Catholic values.” The gay marriage proponents must be seething that our Tortoise of Truth passed by their Hare of Relativism in Maine like it did in my state of California last year!

  • I don’t know how much we can say the election results foreshadow a turning of the tide. The two new republican governors both ran campaigns that did not stress their stance on moral issues – they won by not splitting the social conservatives from the moderates. Let’s be honest, the people who vote solely on morals (at least until a race with two moral candidates comes along) are in the minority. I worry that the lesson the Republican party will learn from this election is to shy away from moral issues. Of course, if the Democrats learn the same lesson and stop shoving abortion down everyone’s throats, maybe we’ll actually see more social conservatives in both parties.

  • Thanks again, Dave!

Political Parties Must Stand For Something: Sarah Palin Endorses Doug Hoffman

Thursday, October 22, AD 2009

Sarah PalinIn the 23rd New York Congressional District special election, Sarah Palin has tonight endorsed the pro-life Doug Hoffman, running on the Conservative Party ticket, against Dede Scozzafava, the pro-abort leftist Republican, a race that I posted about here earlier in the week.  Sarah Palin’s statement is as follows:

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26 Responses to Political Parties Must Stand For Something: Sarah Palin Endorses Doug Hoffman

  • She is amazing.
    Guiliani,Romney,Huckabee,Pawlenty,Jindahl – have you nothing to say about this? Too risky to intervene in a congressional race?

  • Sarah’s appeal has been her genuineness from the beginning. Notice that it wasn’t until the psudo-Republican McCaine machine got hold of her that she started making mistakes.

    I doubt she’ll fall for that again.

    The current climate does not favor the over-reaching Demoncrats but the Republican’ts need to be wary because America doesn’t trust them either.

    Conservatives can take the party back and this move by Sarah may be the first national salvo in the fight.

    I just wish she’d come back to the Church of her baptism.

  • We shall see how this works out. It carries risk of course and I am not reaaly on board with the slamming of the GOP nominee in this case and espcially those that feel compeeled to support him

    I pretty much agree with the statements of Dan Riehl here

    “Scozzafava Candidacy: Not the Fault of DC GOP”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/scozzafava-candidacy-not-the-fault-of-dc-gop/#

  • Palin is nothing but a pretty face on a hot body; that’s all.

    To capitalize on her political capital (when there is none, actually) is, quite simply, to play the fool.

  • “Palin is nothing but a pretty face on a hot body; that’s all.”

    You completely misread her e. Palin is a phenomenon in politics, the likes of which I have not seen since Ronald Reagan flew off into the sunset. The fact that a defeated vice presidential candidate and former governor has a national political network , constant media attention and the power from a facebook page to have a vast impact on our politics indicates that she is something new and different on the political scene. She is not a conventional politician, and she is about to blaze a new path to the White House. Sit back and prepare to be amazed.

  • Donald I think you are 100% correct. Of course, we don’t know what will happen, but her impact cannot be ignored.

    Americans are overwhelmingly fed up with business as usual, which is why someone with no experience, no accomplishments and a horrible ideology can win the White House based on unspecified change.

    People don’t want more of the same and Americans want someone who is a ‘regular’ person with a beleif in our common values: God, country, personal responsibility, community, small government, free enterprise.

    A candidate who is, well, candid and committed to authentic conservative principles will appeal to hard core conservatives, traditionalists, libertarians (most of them anyhow), anti-Communists and even traditional-minded liberals. Only the small lefty loonie minority in the White House now will show disdain.

    This is what propelled a former actor, union leader, ex-New Dealer and supporter of AuH20 to the White House and invented the Reagan Democrats. It will happen again. Is it Palin? Perhaps. If not, it will be someone else. But it is coming.

    I think McClarey is right, sit back and prepare to be amazed.

  • Ditto Tito… Go Palin Go!

  • To e. says, yes Sarah Paln is a pretty face, for 45 years old she has a hot body, but what you choose to ignore is that she has a political mind that will prove to be the brightest in our lifetime.

    First she has only been involved in politics for less than twelve years yeat she has gone up the ladder in record time, City Council, Mayor, Governor, VP candidate.

    She uses Facebook to bypass the Drive By Media and has more impact than any other political figure

    Her first Paid Speech garners $300,000 and is complimented by Wall Street Journal and even the New York Times as thoughtful, insightful and that the current administration could take a page in dealing with China

    She writes a 437 Book in less time that many authors could even come up with an outlineand it becomes # 1 within hours of a Title and date release. Unthinkable in the Publishing world.

    She endorses an unknown candidate in NY 23 and he garners $116,000 within one day and now hasan actual chance of winning the election.

    She challenges the GOP elities that politics as usual will not be tolerated in this election cycle, for the grassroots have spoken and they better head the message.

    All of this without campaign strategists, no poltical machine but just a belief that to serve is serve the people and therewishes. Palin has a motto ” Get out of the way I will do it”

    Enjoy the next three years for we will see a campaigne that will be in the record books for years to come and we will have a President that we will all be proud of.

  • For the comment that Sarah needs to come back to the church of her baptism, I pose the question should the church come back to its people?

    As a life long Catholic I have become dissappointed in how the Church has handled the Pedophile priest and now how there are dealing with illegal immigration? They encourage breaking the law for the ” Better Good” Are they any different than what the heads either political party do to there constituents on a daily basis?

    This is a case where separation of church and state is very appropriate1

  • “Palin is a phenomenon in politics, the likes of which I have not seen since Ronald Reagan flew off into the sunset. The fact that a defeated vice presidential candidate and former governor has a national political network , constant media attention and the power from a facebook page to have a vast impact on our politics indicates that she is something new and different on the political scene. She is not a conventional politician, and she is about to blaze a new path to the White House. Sit back and prepare to be amazed.”

    In polls, she loses to just about everyone. Her unfavorable rating even among Republicans is very high. Palin is popular like Rush Limbaugh is popular, i.e., not popular enough to be elected.

  • Another similarity with Reagan restrained radical. Prior to his victory in 1980 Reagan polled poorly in Presidential horse race polls. Even in 80, most of the polls showed the race dead even until the weekend before Reagan crushed Carter. Like Palin however, he had extremely dedicated supporters among the conservative base of the party, and a dedicated enthusiastic minority can often sway the outcome of an election. Like Reagan, Palin is always underestimated and that is almost always to a politician’s advantage.

  • it is amusing that so many of Palin’s supporters believe that she is poised for great things and that Democrats and liberals greatly fear her (which is why they attack her). Truth is, Palin is just another Joe the Plumber, one more bumper sticker populist for the under-informed and under-educated. A palin candidacy would be the greatest gift for the Democrats…the Democrats do not fear her, not one bit, she would hand them the most lopsided win in history. There are actually intelligent and knowledgable republicans out there – pick one.

  • Precisely what they said about Reagan, Shawn. “A washed up hack B actor.” “He is senile.” “We’ll beat him easily.” Clark Clifford, a fixture of the Democrat establishment in Washington for half a century, summed up this attitude when he referred to Reagan as “an amiable dunce”. Many Liberals rarely understand Conservatives in this country, and I thank God for their blindness and condescension.

  • Donald,

    It seems that many Republicans don’t get conservatives either.

    I expect to never be amazed by political pragmatists, although, it is particularly unnerving when it comes from people of faith.

    Why should we seek the pragmatic candidate rather than someone with conviction of principles?

    I am hearing many alleged pro-lifers stating that she is splitting the race in NY, etc. Why does Sarah get the blame? Why not correctly blame the supporter of child murder?

    Dismissing her is odd for anyone with true conservative values and it is particulary sickening by alleged pro-lifers and Christians, especially Catholics. She is taking a very pro-life stance and for that she should be applauded not derrided.

  • Funny for someone the Democrats supposedly don’t fear, they sure seem to go out of their way to express how much they don’t fear Palin every time her name is brought up. Me thinks they doth protest too much.

  • Excellent points Paul.

    I am not a registered Republican, but I’m all for a national Conservative Party. Though we may not get majorities in either House, we could certainly work with non-RINO-Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to get legislation passed.

  • I don’t wish to digress too much from the focus of the actual topic of this column. But I am rather interested in the “RINO” and “DINO” labels.

    By all counts to a Democrat who agrees entirely with the platform, I’m a Democrat-In-Name-Only. But why should we have such rigid political orthodoxy?

    I’m not saying that a party should not have agreement on a fundamental vision and philosophy, or principles, which is necessary for unity. But if there is not room for disagreement on means to the same end, there is very little room for intellectual freedom and creativity that actually allows for constructive criticism from within the party and viable and practical solutions to problems we face as a society.

    If anything, we benefit from Democratic Senators like Ben Nelson who is opposed to the public option, who is opposed to the “opt out” compromise, and who most certainly will not vote for a health care reform bill with abortion in it. He is being attacked as a “fake” Democrat. I can’t see how such dissent is a bad thing — maybe because I’m pro-life?

    Perhaps, I am misunderstanding one’s definition of a “RINO” or “DINO.” Is it someone who is so antithetical to the whole platform that they belong in the other party? Can someone be pro-choice and completely conservative on everything else and not be a “RINO”?

    Sorry to divert to a tangent, but it is something I have always been confused about and quite obviously it relates to me since my political views cut across the political spectrum, unevenly at that.

  • Actually Eric, I don’t normally like the term RINO. Yes, moderate and left-leaning Republicans annoy me, but a political party is different from an ideological movement, therefore the term itself is problematic. The Republican party, while generally the home to conservatives, is not an ideological entity per se. There are of course party platforms, so political parties should have some kind of general outlook. But we don’t have to enforce complete orthodoxy on all issues.

    That being said, Dede Scozzafava isn’t even remotely Republican leaning in any meaningful sense of the term. At least Senators Collins and Snowe occasionally display backbones and ally themselves with conservatives on important issues. Scozzafava, however, is pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro stimulus, pro ACORN, etc. It is almost impossible to figure out how she is even remotely related to the Republican party. So she’s one of the unique cases where the RINO label is very apt.

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  • She’s pro-gun.
    Is she really that different from Schwarzenegger or Giuliani? Is she that far from Nixon, Ford, or Bush 41?

  • She’s pro-gun.

    Oh, the horror!

  • Pro-gun? Really. Who in their right mind is pro-gun. A gun is a tool, saying you are pro-gun is as stupid as saying your are pro-mop (unless its a Marxist mop:)). Big Tex is right that’s horrible – the Marxist mop, not the guns.

    She is pro gun-ownership rights, which is just a sadly needed reactionary defense of natural property rights.

    And of all of her positions that is a really lame one to point out. Anyone who is pro private property and is sane and rational will be pro gun-ownership, whether or not they shoot moose, or is that meese 🙂

  • I wasn’t going to reply but I just read this quote from a Hoffman volunteer in today’s Economist:

    Ms Johnson describes Ms Scozzafava as “practically a Democrat”, but does “give her credit for being pro-guns”.

    http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14753792

    American Knight, I suggest you call up the Hoffman office, ask for Ms. Johnson, and educated her on why she’s not in her “right mind” and that what she said was “stupid.”

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