Reconciliation won’t happen. It is a fraud; the ultimate bait and switch to allow Nancy Pelosi to whip up enough votes to get the Senate version of health care “reform” through the House and on to the President’s desk. It is an inducement to get the Blue Dog Democrats to vote yes. After which, they will be abandoned having served their role as cannon fodder in Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s great cause to recast America as a socialist paradise.
Before any reconciliation bill can even be crafted, the Senate version of health care “reform” must pass the House completely unchanged. Nancy has no leverage in modifying even the most obscure preposition in that bill. All she can do is promise is a whole slew of fixes on a companion bill.
But, if she succeeds in scaring up enough votes to pass the the Senate version, a bill will have passed both houses of congress and can proceed to the Oval Office to be signed into law. At that moment, health care “reform” will be the law of the land. And, with that presidential signature, all incentive to compromise will evaporate. Because, for all its “imperfections,” that bill, that law will go a long way to expropriating, banana republic style, one sixth of the economy. What isn’t directly in the hands of the federal government, will now be tightly controlled by a vast, newly-created federal bureaucracy. What’s left will be taxed to death by this same said bill.
For the hard left partisans of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, what’s not to love. More taxes, more government, more regulation. Even a back door to publicly fund abortions. Public option? Who cares.
And, what deficiencies will be corrected? If anything, sans the limitation of a sixty vote super-majority, a companion reconciliation bill will be used to pile-on. It certainly won’t be used to “reach across the aisle” in the name of bipartisanship; that was written all over Obama’s face at the health care summit of last week. Reconciliation won’t be used to reward the Blue Dog Democrats foolish enough to go along and take yet another bullet for Nancy and vote yes. With back door abortion funding in the Senate bill, what’s the incentive to make Bart Stupak happy? In fact, Nancy can take huge electoral losses next November. All she need is to re-elect 218 Democratic representatives and she and her hard-left allies who control the key chairmanships will remain with their power intact.
But, why even bother with reconciliation and give health care “reform” another thought? Obama, Reid and Pelosi have so much else to do to gin up all sorts of pork laden spending bills to buy votes for the coming November elections. The Blue Dogs are expendable.
Others have remarked on the gross inappropriateness of Obama giving the commencement speech at Notre Dame. Here we have the most prominent and, in the eye of the American public, the most recognized Catholic institution in America showcasing the most pro-abortion, anti-life politician that’s come down the pike. I would hazard that Norte Dame, as a Catholic institution, is more recognized as such than the Pope.
What ND President, The Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., a fully ordained priest of the Catholic Church, has given the most pro-abortion president ever a forum at the most premiere American Catholic institution. And, with this forum, ND will hand Obama a Catholic imprimatur to speak out on moral issues, including abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research and birth control. As pointed out by on either the American Spectator or Hugh Hewitt’s web site (I can’t exactly remember where) Obama, will now, on such occasions, use the cudgel of the antecedent phrase, “as I said at my speech at Notre Dame.”
But, there’s a deeper undercurrent here. It’s been my impression that the American Catholic hierarchy has been in bed with the Democratic Party for a long time. There’s an affinity that is probably only rivaled by the MSM. And, what we’ve seen is a glossing over of the inconvenient subject of abortion; “social justice” in the form of high taxes and entitlement spending being a so much greater priority.
I remember the late Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” of life. This seamless garment turned out to be a litmus test consisting of a liberal wish list that included opposition to abortion. But, it also included the “social justice” song and dance, opposition to any reasonable defense policy, opposition to the death penalty, and so on. While on the face it did address a whole host of life and justice issues, it became, for a lot of liberal politicians a pass on abortion if you checked off on the rest of the agenda. All, with a knowing wink from a lot of Catholic prelates. And, that wasn’t to hard since this amounted to gutting defense policies and spending for uncontrolled entitlement spending. Opposition to the killing of unborn life wasn’t enough. To qualify for the Cardinal Bernardin club house, you had to buy the seamless garment; Democratic party style.
And, so, in the spirit (not Holy), of dialog, we have Notre Dame handing Obama a seamless garment to cover the ugliness of abortion on demand. An abortion stance so extreme, that it would outlaw conscience provisions and overturn restrictions on partial birth abortions. So now, Obama get his Catholic moral bona fides in the seamless garment club; publically bestowed by Notre Dame. It’s otherwise called an “honorary degree.”
The American Catholic leadership better start treading with care because it may one day find itself on the ash heap of religious history along with the other gutted mainstream Protestant denominations. As in the Episcopalian Catholic Church of America.
Hugh Hewitt points out that the Catholic vote may be critical to McCain in winning this election. This in turn may hinge on whether that vote listens to its clergy about the importance of abortion in making a voting decision. Especially with Obama’s position that goes beyond abortion on demand to abortion at the drop of a hat. Most notable are the public pronouncements on the part of Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia.
Hewitt’s concern is that the Catholic vote will not trend to McCain and that in turn will question the effectiveness of the Catholic clergy in communicating matters of vital moral importance to their respective congregations.
But, communication is a real problem since much of important moral teaching gets lost in the excrement from the pulpit on the subject of “social justice.” No, it tends not to be as bad as some of the mainstream Protestant churches, especially the Episcopalians. But, there’s always been a political liberalism that creeps into what is supposed to pass for church doctrine.
Particularly pernicious is the “seamless garment” doctrine. This merely allows many in the clergy to give their favorite liberal politician a pass on abortion if you hold the correct views taxes, public spending, and the death penalty. It give ammunition to use against a conservative candidate who opposes abortion yet doesn’t support the other issues. Most Catholics have picked up on this and have turned off the white noise from the pulpit. Most Catholics know the difference between fundamental doctrine, abortion is a moral abomination, and political positions that do not reflect Catholic Church doctrine.
If the clergy fails to connect on abortion, then it is the fault of turning off an congregation who already knows that killing unborn innocents is a mortal sin.
But, also know that public social welfare programs are not charity since they all involve forceable takings, via taxes. The politician who proposes such and the taxpayer who pays such neither gain treasure in heaven because one the former spending other people’s money while the latter having “charity” involuntarily enforced.
And, also know that killing the innocent is very different that killing, in the gravest extreme, evil persons who would harm others. Oh, yes, many in the congregation know what “evil” is and are unafraid to call evil such. And, yes you use lethal force to stop such persons. Yes, you even go to war.
The same said congregation also knows that the death penalty is sometimes needed for persons who, through unspeakable evil, cross a line that carries only one punishment.
If the Catholic vote ignores its clergy on the subject of abortion, then maybe the clergy needs to really bone up on what really constitutes Catholic doctrine. And, keep their political opinions to themselves. Frankly, the next time I hear the word “social justice” I’m going to just barf right there and then in the pews.
The private ownership of firearms is a rebuke to this utopian zeal. To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state. It is to reserve final judgment about whether the state is encroaching on freedom and liberty, to stand ready to defend that freedom with more than mere words, and to stand outside the state’s totalitarian reach.
Palin’s own life is a rebuke to the liberal mindset. Her decision to knowing carry to term a Down’s baby was a slap in the face of the NARAL crowd. And, that has been commented upon by many others.
But, little mention is made about guns. The Democrats make little mention because their last anti-gun crusade lost them both houses of congress in 1994. Their fellow travellers in the MSM tiptoe around the subject for the same reason.
Oh, to be sure, Palin’s moose hunting skills are news in the MSM. Such highlighting adds “color” to the story. And, such highlighting, in the minds of the MSM, without saying as such, is there in order to portray Palin as a missing-tooth rube. But, once again, gun ownership and Palin’s marksmanship skills are common in red-state America. What may be a slight intended for the oh-so-knowing bi-coastal elite only serves to emphasize the commonality that Palin has with the rest of America. If the MSM is not careful, it only serves to further emphasize the “bitter” comment Obama made at the Getty San Francisco digs.
But, this skillful gun handling bothers the Obama’s fellow travelers in their drive for a statist utopia. The first reason is the mere fact that lethal force in the hands of the private individual creates a barrier to have some of Obama’s more objectionable ideas forced down unwilling throats. Since the founding of our republic, the armed citizenry has always provided a quiet and unspoken check against a temptation against excesses, that in other countries, have degenerated into bloodbaths–the reign of terror in the French Revolution, the Final Solution or Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans. The Second Amendment’s purpose was to allow for self-defense against criminal threat whether from the common street variety or agents of a criminal government.
The temptation remains. Look at this quote from Michelle Obama (via power line):
Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.
No, this isn’t from the man running for president, but this is from a person who has actively campaigned for him. More importantly, it represents a mind set that you will do what we think is good for you. It’s frankly Orwellian. And, it contra this mind set; it is this reservation of the person, the individual outside the totalitarian reach of government; that most upsets the statist mindset. It is the individual that defines the state; not the other way around.
And, excuse me, but I’ll be just a cynical or as isolated or as comfortable as I choose to be. I’ll push myself to be better because I choose to be. I’ll engage when I feel like it. No, I’m not going to show up for a daily shout-fest like the Two Minutes of Hate.
A firearm is not a talisman that will allow you to shoot your way out of any problem. Rather, it creates a clarity of mind that comes by having the means to handle the situation should it degenerate into the gravest extreme. But, free of the paralyzing fear of the gravest extreme, you can consider other options to face the problems that the world may throw at you.
It also starts to leak out into other arenas. An independence of thought that begins to pervade into a lot of other areas not just related to self-defense. And, it begins to reflect an independence in action and deed. Heck, you’re already politically incorrect as hell by just having the fire stick. What does it matter if the rest of you becomes politically incorrect as well?
At the very least, Palin can feed her family with out resorting to food stamps.
As a parting thought, it is interesting to note the fear, deference and self-censorship many publishers and newspapers have shown in the face of jihadist threats. Dhimmihitude. The Mohammed cartoons come to mind. Or, Random House’s spiking the release of The Jewel of Medina. It’s no concidence that the editorial offices of these publications are in Second Amendment-free zones. I very much doubt that such jihadist threats would carry a lot of water in the editorial offices of Guns and Ammo.
Via Power Line, we find this. It seems that Palin’s decision to keep baby Trig despite the foreknowledge of Down’s syndrome may result in more women being inspired to do the same; resulting in less abortions.
This is obscene. It is one thing to have abortion availiable as an option. It was supposed to be so a woman could have control over her body. It was, if one follows the orginal rationale of Roe v. Wade, supposed to be for privacy. The abortion option was supposed to be a key building block for female empowerment. Abortion was supposed to be the parachute clause for truly intractable problems caused a set of circumstances that would otherwise destroy a young woman’s life. It was supposed to be a second chance, so to speak. It was supposed to be, according to a recent ex-president, an option that was supposed to be “safe, but rare.”
But, “choice” seems to be a one way street. God help you if your “choice” goes off-script and becomes a choice for life.
Now the decision of Palin, to keep Trig, is now a blot on her public persona by not creating a “positive” abortion-for-Down’s-baby role model. Keeping a Down’s baby entails a lot of work above and beyond what a child not so handicapped would entail. I’ve been blessed with two healthy girls, so I cannot know the day-to-day efforts such a decision entails. But, I, as a physician, do treat children so handicapped and can appreciate these difficulties.
And, are there genuine medical situations where the continuation of a pregnancy is simply incompatible with the life of the mother. One must choose–mother or baby. Those are the times when the physician must make a truly gut-wrenching decision; a decision hopefully guided by a strong moral grounding.
Yet, a woman steps up to show the world that there is another choice. That there is a choice based on life and love. A woman steps up to shoulder the responsibility that saving that life will entail. But, in the process, she steps on the toes of a eugenics movement that never died. And, so we have Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in Ottawa worried about less abortions.
The real contribution of Hippocrates, as the “father of medicine,” is the concept that the physician, at least the Western sense, was this. To be a physician, as opposed to the healers, pagan priests, witch doctors and the like that through history functioned like physicians, was to reject the option and power of death many of these healers held. The physician, in the tradition of Hippocrates, would only preserve and support life. Yet, some two thousand years later, we are, especially with late term or partial-birth abortions, no better than our forbearers of antiquity who simply threw unwanted babies into the town dump.
Break out the blood hounds. And, while your at it beat up on a pregnant 17 year-old. Another designated “minority” has escaped from the liberal plantation and is actually thinking for herself–and succeeding.
She has the temerity to actually make her own decisions and not check in with the proffered wisdom of NOW and NARAL. She’s got five kids and should, in deference to NARAL, aborted the last. She’s supposed to be a ward of the state with all those kids; but instead of collecting food stamps she shoots a moose and feeds her family with said animal. We’ll pass on the Second Amendment implications integral to the moose murder.
Sarah Palin is a big threat to the Obama campaign. Even before her selection as McCain’s running mate, Obama’s campaign was running on fumes. What was supposed to be a triumphal coronation was turning into a squeaker. And, the Democrats are beginning to realize that the Messiah is really damaged goods from the Chicago Democratic political machine.
Obama’s just like Jimmy Carter back in 1976. He sounded fresh and new. But, under the hood it’s just the same liberal boiler plate. Back then, the MSM was able to hide Carter’s true liberal bona fides and maintain the southern born-again Christian facade; at least until after the election. Thanks to the internet, the MSM’s monopoly on information control is broken and we know of Obama’s less than sterling “post-partisan” credentials.
Enter Palin. She’s serves to highlight Obama’s weaknesses even further–chief being his inability to reach out to the other half of the Democratic party that voted for Hillary. And, her two year tenure as governor is experience that only further highlights Obama’s lack of accomplishments.
But, Palin’s real crime is her divergence from the holy scriptures of the liberated woman; Democratic style. It’s okay to be conservative if you’re white and male. But, if you fall outside that demographic, the liberal establishment is going to be particularly vicious in beating down the upstart. Savaging conservative minorities is no longer reserved for blacks. This is a successful woman who presents with credentials that would go entirely unrecognized on Martha’s Vineyard or the Hampton’s. And, this is a successful woman who is pro-life and shoots a gun and looks good all at the same time.
This is a woman who, in the eyes of the bicoastal elite is way off-script. An affront. She’s supposed to be divorced, have bad teeth, smoke, maybe with a GED, who’s supporting her kids checking out groceries at the local supermarket. This is a woman who must be destroyed immediately. Strangled in the cradle. Even if you have to drag her pregnant 17 year-old daughter into the fray to make the kill.
It’s one thing when you talk about character in a college dorm bull session. Or, debate ethics in a college ethics seminar. But, what really matters is not when the sun is shining. The true test of institutions, intentions and ethics matter when things start to go wrong; really wrong. It is in these conditions we begin to see how truly committed we are to the principles we articulate.
What we have with Sarah Palin and John McCain are two very fallible human beings for whom life hasn’t worked out perfectly. Palin’s selection for the vice president slot wasn’t a matter of low expectations or poor vetting. It’s rather a situation of two good people who had to deal with very bad situations. It is how these two acquitted themselves that speaks to their character and ability to deal with a crisis under pressure. I think that both have done well in that regard.
In McCain’s case, we have his honorable performance while he was a POW in North Vietnam. Specfically, he could have been release far earlier then he was. But, he refused. POW’s would be release in the order in which they came. First in, first out. Oh, in this day and age he could have gotten and taken the early out. And rationalized it with most people not giving it another thought. But, McCain didn’t. He stuck to his guns and principles and endured five years of captivity.
Sarah Palin’s case involves two babies. First, her fifth child’s Down’s syndrome. Then, her 17 year-old daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy. In both cases, abortion could have been an “easy” out. And, again large swaths of the electorate would have not noticed. In fact, the abortions would have easily buried for one, if not both, babies as news media fodder until November. No one asked for either of these situations. And, these things occur, despite the best of efforts and intentions. Family life, like a lot of public policy (especially foreign relations) is a matter of choosing between a bad choice and a worse one.
But, Palin stuck to her pro-life guns and the consequences that keeping both babies will entail. Obviously, the decision to keep the Down’s baby was Palin’s. And, keeping Bristol’s baby was, in part, Sarah Palin’s too. A frightened 17 year-old is going to turn to her parents. And, Bristol’s decision is going to reflect the her parent’s influence. Sarah Palin was in a position to convince (or pressure) Bristol into just about any decision that would have suited Sarah Palin. Bristol’s decision was Sarah’s in very large part; in part because I’m sure Bristol knows that she and her baby will be supported.
Courage and convictions have a way of wilting under the pressure of real life crisises. We have a true measure of this man and women when view through the lens of these very real life situations when normal and perfect break down. And, we have a measure of the resiliency of their beliefs and convictions when the rubber meets the road.
Mr. William Katz of Urgent Agenda cross-links to an NRO post in his post Obama and the Kids. The NRO article concerns Obama’s slippage in the polls among young voters. McCain seems to be winning forty percent of the young vote.
But, why should this be surprising. In general, political affiliations are familial. Much like showing up at your 25-year high school reunion and finding everyone there just like their parents (which we all swore we’d never become), so it is with voting. See any of the Kennedy clan running as Republicans? See any of the Bush clan running as Democrats?
But, abortion is killing, disproportionately, the Democrats. Statistically, the more liberal, the more likely you’re going to get an abortion. So, what’s left from the most aborted generations of the last forty years? The children of conservatives. Its roughly a 60/40 split, so you still have plenty of young folks to show up for Barry’s rallies.
But, what the MSM fails to show are a huge number of young folks that didn’t show up. There’re off doing their homework. Or, patroling the back streets of Iraq and Afghanistan. They really know the stakes; they have a legacy to protect; they have a country to run.