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Advice for the Democrats

I know I’ve been talking a lot about Sarah Palin on this blog and criticizing Barack Obama. So now I will in part make up for it by giving the Democrats some friendly advice. In doing so, I will explain something that they apparently do not understand:

Stop the condescending, snarky, personal attacks on Sarah Palin. See, ordinary Americans really like her. They can relate to her and they can identify with her. So when you make your little jokes about her that you think are real zingers, when you insult her and pick on her family, ordinary Americans–since, remember, they identify with her–take it as if you are doing that to them. This makes them defensive and resentful of the attackers. This makes them like Sarah Palin MORE.

So “going negative” against her just doesn’t work. Indeed, it is counter-productive, doing the opposite of what you intend. Now do you understand? (I will waive my consultant fees.)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    Yes, I see how you are moving on from the Palin topic. Quite.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Some jokes are just funny – as lots of political jokes are (ie caribou barbie). Some are nasty & sarky (I’m not mentioning any). I have no problem with the former, but lots with the latter. From all sides. We need to take our politicians with a hefty dose of salt, not gall.

  • Carl Vehse

    The Party of Murder and their political supporters need to repent for their plank on abortion:

    “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

    … Although Nuremberg-style trials against the abortion leaders and legislators should still be held.

  • jim claybourn

    Listening to Obama’s “lipstick and fish” lines yesterday, I realized that not only do the elites view most of America as the “flyover states”, they view us as “talkover states”. They make their snarky insider jokes to their fellow elites, their sycophants and the media, thinking that we middle americans won’t get the joke, much like parents talking to each other when children are in the room.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sigh. This isn’t so much advice as it is extending the complaint, is it?

    “Ordinary Americans” like her, huh? I love the Republican delusion that those who disagree with them are not ordinary Americans. There’s good ol’ hard-working Americans driving pick-up trucks, listening to country music, living outside the city center and always voting Republican, and then there’s, you know, freaks. Transvestites, terrorist Muslims, and Chomsky readers. Those are the only two choices!

    The person who first told me about the Palin pick (from Texas, by the way) was incensed by the pick, calling it insultingly cynical. But you can ignore her because you’ve already labelled her as abnormal. Convenient. Just like you can ignore everything you don’t like in the media.

    Look, I get that the Republican base — including most here — loves Palin, and I have no doubt that that’s why McCain picked her. I mean look at how rabid things have gotten here! People who once talked about voting third party are all up in arms over Palin, to the degree that I’m not sure they remember (or care) McCain’s still running. That said, the Republican base does not define “ordinary Americans”. Sorry to break it to you.

    And exactly who is the argument here against? Some nameless Democrat making some unspecified “snarky” attack. You’ll pardon me if I’m reminded of the would-be list of 71 or so “vicious lies” (which I addressed in comment on a previous entry), which seems to be more of an attack on the left than it is a representation of the left’s attack.

    Anyhow, I’d love it if we all moved on to Palin’s actual positions on the issues. Or, you know, McCain’s. I hear he’s still running. But I can only comment on the conversation, not start it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@3), you are aware that, in a discussion, there is this thing called a topic, right?

    Jim (@4), that is now the third time I’ve heard a reference on this blog to the phrase “flyover states”. Each time, it was made by a conservative. And, really, “elites”? Are you serious. As opposed to John Sidney McCain III, son of a four-star admiral and grandson of a four-star admiral? Or George Herbert Walker Bush, Yalie son of a President, himself the son of a U.S. Senator? And you think I’m an elite? Look, I’m sorry if you don’t like where you live or something, but don’t take it out on me.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    tODD, I really recommend the article Joe cites in Veith’s other Palin post today. Perhaps that more open Democratic view is what Veith has in mind and actually might open the party to folks like me. Have you read it yet?

  • allen

    Sarah Palin makes me feel like I could be President.

    (How does one spell that sound Lurch used to make when Gomez was expounding one of his outlandish schemes?)

  • Jonathan

    The more we praise Palin as the candidate of the “ordinary American,” the more we call attention to the fact that Obama, a black man, is not one of “us.” Yet he has an “ordinary American” family, a wife (his first and only) and two young kids, who seem quite well adjusted. He publicly believes that Christ died for his sins and has been baptised. He was raised by a single mom, with help from his grandparents. He studied hard and got into some good schools, where he did very well. He makes a good living, but he does not appear to be consumed by greed. He got millions of votes in the Democratic primaries and accoriding to polls currently he is supported by many millions of Americans.
    Wouldn’t many WELS, ELS and LCMS Lutheran parents would be pleased to see their children acquire a similar resume? Yet he’s not the “ordinary American.” It’s not because of his points of view.

  • Anon The First

    Carl, exactly. The best advice is that they repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, take up their cross and follow Him. That is the most important thing that they can do by far.

    Repenting not only of personal sins, but of their support of abortion from conception to an unspecified number of weeks or months *after* birth, the brutal murder by thirst of the infirm, and their insistance of forcing the black mass of homosexual “marriage” down on all of us.

    That has to be of the first priority for them.

  • Michael the little boot

    What Bryan said @ 7 really sums it up: “I really recommend the article Joe cites in Veith’s OTHER PALIN POST TODAY. (Emphasis mine)” As tODD remarked, way to change the conversation.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon the First @ 10,

    Um, where does abortion fit here? I’m all for banging a drum, but come on. Wasn’t Carl’s comment enough?

  • Anon The First

    Obviously not, caligula, or it wouldn’t have stung you so.

  • Michael the little boot

    AtF,

    Awesome. You learned one meaning of little boot. Did you learn it here, when it was also pointed out to me?

    It didn’t sting, I just thought I would reiterate what tODD said to Carl in his comment @ 6.

  • Rose

    Oh dear, Obama brought it up again on Letterman:
    “Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig, just following the logic of this illogical situation,” Obama said.
    Now it doesn’t help to personify a woman as a mere cosmetic accessory.
    Nor it doesn’t help to identify the pig as McCain (or his policies). Didn’t one of the three little pigs have a sailor hat? Small eyes? Bristly white hair? For the candidate to make this comparison is too subliminally on the mark.
    And McCain is certainly not a ‘Porky’.
    OK, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”
    It’s just too much fun when Obama is off script!

  • Carl Vehse

    The more we praise Palin as the candidate of the “ordinary American,” the more we call attention to the fact that Obama, a black man, is not one of “us.”

    Pulling out that racist card, Jonathan, is not going to cut it.

    Read this slowly so that it has time to sink in: Palin is a candidate of the “ordinary American” in large part because she is pro-life, not pro-murder, as is Obama. And when I use the expression, “ordinary American,” I am putting the emphasis on “American.”

    In my view, promoting, supporting, and voting for murder-by-abortion politicians is as American as Benedict Arnold.

  • BKW

    Yes, it appears as if you are ready to move on….

  • Anon The First

    Michael, I knew the meaning of caligula decades before you posted. I assumed you know what it meant when you used it for your handle.

    tODD has nothing interesting to say, just talking points from the Daily Kos.

    And I reiterate what Carl and I said previously here about what advice we’d give the Democrats.

    Carl, that’s just plain unfair to Benedict Arnold.

  • Carl Vehse

    My apologies for any offense to the character of Benedict Arnold by associating him with pro-abortionists.

  • Michael the little boot

    Guys, keep on singing the same song. It’s not about murder, it’s about not feeling superior enough to make everyone else’s choices for them.

    AtF, you are aware words have multiple meanings? I explained my name a while ago. It has nothing to do with Caligula.

    If you think tODD has nothing interesting to say, you haven’t been reading what he’s written. And he’s taken me to task multiple times, so don’t think I’m just defending a friend. You can’t just dismiss what a person says when it comes with the kind of care, attention and intelligence tODD brings, simply because you don’t agree with him.

  • Jonathan

    Race is an inconvenient truth, Carl.
    You’re wrong with respect to abortion. Palin’s alleged views don’t appeal to the ordinary American, if ordinary means most Americans. Even McCain doesn’t hold Palin’s views, and most Americans don’t quite share McCain’s. So her appeal must lie elsewhere.
    But it is not unAmerican to reject Palin.

  • Don S

    AtF @ 18 — OK, I am going to step in here. That statement was really out of line. tODD is a very thoughtful and talented proponent of his views and I, for one, am glad he is on this blog. I understand the liberal point of view, and how it might be integrated with a normative conservative Christian faith, a lot better because of tODD’s posts. We profoundly disagree on almost everything, but I think we all benefit from the exchanges. Michael is also a thoughtful contributor.

    Your style of argument using black and white unsupported pronouncements is not particularly helpful or persuasive. I have seen you do better, and would ask that you return to a more thoughtful approach.

  • Don S

    Now back, at least somewhat, to the topic. The latest talking point the Democrats appear to be promoting (first uttered by Donna Brazille last weekend, but repeated on the House floor yesterday) is “Jesus Christ was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor”.

    Could anything be less “ordinary American” than that? Do Democrats think a cheap attack on Palin like that is going to be effective? Do they think this will give them greater credence with people of faith? Do they have any idea whatsoever what the Christian faith really is about?

    They seem to be coming unhinged.

  • Sam

    Don S. @23, do you think a Christian can be a Democrat?

  • Rose

    If anyone is interested, the reason abortion is/was/always will be a lightning rod is this:
    God revealed Himself to us as a Father who does not abort his children, inconvenient and wayward though they may be. The serpent tempts us otherwise: “You will be like God”. But it’s a lie. God doesn’t take a life for His convenience.

  • Don S

    Sam @ 24 — I think you should re-read my post.

  • Michael the little boot

    Don S @ 23,

    “Do they have any idea whatsoever what the Christian faith really is about?” Those Democrats who are Christians probably do. I suspect the POLITICIANS among Democrats who claim to be Christians, however, are Democrats first, and Christians second. So that comment was in keeping with their priorities.

    Which is not to say it was a good analogy! A pretty cheap shot, in my opinion, and apropos of nothing.

  • Sam

    Don S @ 26 -
    My question and your post are unrelated.
    Do you think that a Christian can remain a Democrat? I’m just curious. This is not a trap.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Sam @ 28: I suspect your question is strongly connected to the issue of abortion. If so, till fairly recently, there were pro-life Democrats, like Kucinich, who has changed his stance since then. But so is there pro-choice Republicans.

    But back to a previous issue mentioned here – somebody claimed a specific choice/vote was pro-American. Last time I heard that type of argument was in apartheid South Africa, where I grew up. Same as the “between the lines” insinuations some debaters here have been employing.

    Really people, you might strongly disagree with somebody’s politics, but you still have to love your neighbour, even your cyber-neighbour.

  • Don S

    Sam @ 28: Why did you reference my post if your question is unrelated? Read my post @ 22 concerning tODD and his Christian faith and I think you will have your answer. As for the post 23, I was referring to those who are promoting such a stupid slogan, not to all Democrats, obviously.

    As for the slogan, putting aside the lack of theological insight it promotes, it is crazy politics. Obama is already derided as the “Messiah”. Why would you further that concept by equating him to Christ?

  • Sam

    Scylding, your point about loving our neighbor is well taken. My question to Don was mainly connected to abortion. Carl (and likely others) advocate that Palin’s “American” views on that topic are why the ordinary American likes her so. Her views, to the extent that they can be discerned, are way out of the mainstream. Even if you agree with her, you’ve got to admit that most Americans do not want abortion criminalized. But because she is sold as pro life, she’s acceptable to the typical right-leaning evangelical. I don’t say that to be snarky. Palin’s already been proven false about opposing the so-called Bridge to Nowhere, yet she keeps saying it, and no evagelical seems to object to that lack of truthfulness. So, to my amazement, pro life trumps honesty every time.
    There are, by the way, plenty of prolife Democrats (e.g., Nat Hentoff and thousands more), just ,as you mention, there are plenty of prochoice Republicans. It should go without saying that an American may feel comfortable as a D or R without accepting every last plank in the party’s platform.

    On another point, maybe some R’s here who have derided Obama as the Messiah can explain why that didn’t offend them as Christians. While I certainly disagreed with that attack, I did so in part because it seemed to mock the name of our Lord. Because Messiah means Christ, it was the same as mocking Obama with the name of Christ. I could see why nonChristian conservatives could do that, because to them, Messiah is just a term to throw around. But I always winced when Christians here and elsewhere used the term as a kind of reproach. Your opinion of Obama aside, should Christians use the name of Christ to mock a political opponent?

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Messiah can be used as a non-Christological term, and some are comfortable with it. I’m uneasy, and probably won’t do so. But I’m more uneasy with the wedding of Christianity to a very specific, linear political view (wether R / D / L / others). This does even more harm to the Name of Christ, I believe.

  • Don S

    Sam @ 31: What does the phrase “well out of the mainstream” mean? I know the media frequently uses it to paint Republicans as being right wing extremists, but those Republicans then go on to win their elections oftentimes, so I guess their views weren’t so far out of the mainstream as the media had supposed. The truth is, that Obama’s views are likely far more out of the mainstream than Palin’s.

    Besides, shouldn’t Christians have views that are out of the mainstream of the world’s views? We are to choose the narrow winding way that leads to life, not the broad path that leads to destruction. Right?

  • Sam

    Scylding @32, those are wise words.

  • Sam

    Don #33 – “Well out the mainstream” means that it is not held by a large majority of people. Or it can mean that the view is held by a small minority. I was speaking of Americans generally, not Christians, much less conservative Christians. Palin allegedly believe that abortion should never be legal, unless to save the mother’s life. McCain and Bush believe in other exceptions. While I have no poll numbers handy, I can say confidently that the majority of Americans (and Republicans) do not share Palin’s view.
    The truth is, abortion does not control presidential outcomes. Abortion is legal in the US and will be until Roe v. Wade is overturned (and jurisdictions affirmatively pass laws outlawing abortion, something that likely won’t happen) or the US Constitution is amended to outlaw abortion.
    What matters most to Americans is the economy and the war in Iraq, etc. On these topics, neither Obama nor McCain have views that are well out of the mainstream, given that their poll numbers are close.
    We talk about abortion on this blog likes it’s the only issue out there, but the rest of America does not.

  • fw
  • fw

    FACT CHECK CALLS MCCAIN/PALIN AD DISHONEST.

    Would it be bearing false witness to call these McCain/Palin ads and DELIBERATE distortions “sleazy” and “vicious”? Especially when they distort the findings of a neutral third party endorsed by our host here?

    Fact Check has NEVER issued a statement like this one before. Unprecidented. Amazing.

    So much for integrity on the part of Palin and MCCain:

    Quote from the FactCheck web site follows:

    Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn’t come from Obama.
    Summary
    A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama’s attacks on Palin “absolutely false” and “misleading.” That’s what we said, but it wasn’t about Obama.

    Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

    The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to “dig into her record and background.” The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to “dig dirt.”

    Update, Sept. 10: Furthermore, the Obama campaign insists that no researchers have been sent to Alaska and that the Journal owes them a correction.
    Analysis
    We don’t object to people reprinting our articles. In fact, our copyright policy encourages it. But we’ve also asked that “the editorial integrity of the article be preserved” and told those who use our items that “you should not edit the original in such a way as to alter the message.”

    McCain-Palin 2008 Ad:
    “Fact Check”

    Announcer: The attacks on Governor Palin have been called “completely false”…”misleading.”

    On screen: Photo of Obama, FactCheck.org banner, “‘completely false’ . . . ‘misleading’ 9/0/08″

    And, they’ve just begun.

    The [Wall Street] Journal reports Obama “air-dropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers” into Alaska to dig dirt on Governor Palin.

    As Obama drops in the polls, he’ll try to destroy her.

    Obama’s “politics of hope”? Empty words.

    McCain: I’m John McCain and I approved this message.

    Less Than Honest

    With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that FactCheck.org said “completely false” attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin.

    They call the ad “Fact Check.” It says “the attacks on Gov. Palin have been called ‘completely false’ … ‘misleading.’ ” On screen is a still photo of a grim-faced Obama. Our words are accurately quoted, but they had nothing to do with Obama.

    Our article, posted two days earlier, debunked a number of false or misleading claims that have circulated in chain e-mails and Internet postings regarding Palin. There is no evidence that the Obama campaign is behind any of the wild accusations that we critiqued. There is no more basis for attributing these viral attacks to the Obama campaign than there is for blaming the McCain campaign for chain e-mail attacks falsely claiming that Obama is a Muslim, or a “racist,” or that he is proposing to tax water. The anti-Palin messages, like the anti-Obama messages, have every appearance of being home-grown.

    Digging for “Dirt”

    The ad also quotes the Wall Street Journal as saying that the Obama campaign “air-dropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers to dig dirt on Governor Palin.” That’s also a distortion. The Wall Street Journal opinion article did not say that the Obama team was there to “dig dirt.” It said they were there do “dig into her record and background.” Maybe the McCain-Palin campaign knows something we don’t about what’s in Palin’s record and background.

    The full quote, from an item by conservative columnist John Fund, dated Sept. 9:

    WSJ’s John Fund, Sept. 9: Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau and Mrs. Palin’s hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background. My sources report the first wave arrived in Anchorage less than 24 hours after John McCain selected her on August 29.

    Fund said the opposition researchers were mainly interested in a controversy surrounding Palin’s firing of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan. Monegan has claimed he was dismissed because he wouldn’t fire a state trooper who was in a divorce battle with Palin’s sister; the Alaska Legislature is investigating whether Palin acted properly. Fund also stated that the Palin family has accused the trooper of “using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson, drinking in his patrol car and illegally shooting a moose.”

    Now, that’s “dirt.”

    Update, Sept. 10: After this article was posted, the Obama campaign contacted us to say that John Fund’s article is wrong.

    Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor, Sept. 10: John Fund’s claim that we “air-dropped” 30 lawyers into Alaska is false. No one from the Obama campaign or the DNC has been sent to Alaska. We’ve asked Mr. Fund for a correction.
    Footnote: At least one Obama spokesman has repeated an allegation that we debunked in our story, that Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan. However, the Obama campaign was not the originator of the claim.

    –by Brooks Jackson

  • Sam

    fw, you’ve done the cyber equivalent of igniting a stink bomb in your neighbor’s house. So bear with us while we do the equivalent of opening the windows so the stink can escape. (Several minutes go by, no one speaks.)
    OK. I think it’s gone now.
    Now let’s go back to discussing that awful and unfair criticism of Palin.

  • Michael the little boot

    Aren’t politicians by definition outside the mainstream? They’re usually just spouting rhetoric to win over some segment of the voting block which they don’t currently have in thrall. It’s pretty hard for me to take what any of them say at face value. Don’t know about the rest of you, but they can say one thing and then do another only so many times before I stop trusting ANYTHING that comes out of their mouths. I guess it’s the old “Fool me once, shame on you…”

    I’ll forego the rest of that statement for all you GWB fans out there…

  • Michael the little boot

    Sam @ 38,

    You’ve done the equivalent of…no, wait, not the equivalent. You outright dismissed what fw said, offering nothing of your own in return. If you think it a stink-bomb, why not do more than simply open windows?

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Michael tlb, I think Sam made a humourous comment on the lack of response to fw. But your statement in #39 is oh so valid – we need bags of salt at election time (yes, its that time in Canada too, if nobody noticed…)

  • Michael the little boot

    The Scylding,

    Oh man, my sense of humor is not working today. Thanks for getting my head on straight! I’m turning really red, not a good look for a bald man…

    (Sam…apologies…)

    I’m ordering salt now…they don’t have it in bags here, but I’m looking at other bulk-buying options… :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Scylding (@41), what is it with you Canadians and buying things in bags? Milk, salt … :)

  • Sam

    No problem, Michael. As Scylding saw, I was trying to poke fun of the fact (ridicule it, really) that fw’s relevant contribution will be ignored; it does not fit the story line.

  • jim claybourn

    tODD,

    Sorry for the delay, but our internet service has been down.

    Look at my post #5 again. I INTENTIONALLY did not use the terms liberal or conservative. I INTENTIONALLY used the term “elites”, to refer to decision makers and those in power, not specifying a party or belief system.

    YOU jumped to the conclusion that I was a conservative and that my use of “elites” referred to liberals (only).

  • jim claybourn

    typo in #45, look at my post #4

  • Sam

    Since I’ve got a moment, I’ll add a point to @44. We’ve talked here about how to argue, etc. One problem I’ve noticed (and may well have committed) is the all-or-nothing type of argument. One’s side has got to be always right. No exceptions.
    Today’s script is that Palin is a victim. Now, there certainly have been unfair attacks made on her, as there have been on all candidates, and these attacks should be roundly denounced. But one can denounce an unfair attack and still acknowledge that Palin herself can make such an attack, as fw has shown (I’m attributing whatever the McCain/Palin campaign does to McCain and Palin personally).
    What we should be about here (on political topics anyway) is not the idolotrous worship of any candidate (or demonization of any opposing candidate), but a discussion of ideas and how those ideas can be best implemented. One can honestly think that McCain/Palin is much better than Obama/Biden and thus should be elected. Well and good. Make your case on ideas, not on the discredited notion that because you like Palin, she is a saint. The same for those who like Obama. I support the guy, but he’s got plenty of faults. But in the main I like his ideas and think that tempermentally he’s the better candidate. I could be wrong.
    But the discussions here would be so much better if we (I) could give some ground now and then.

  • Michael the little boot

    Sam @ 47,

    Bravo! Discussion is useless if no one is willing to look at the other side without first deciding which position is right or wrong. God knows, I’ve been guilty of this as much as anyone. Thanks for the call to civility!

  • Don S

    Sam @ 47: You are missing the entire point of Dr. Veith’s post. Sarah Palin is not a victim. She is perfectly capable of standing up for herself and she is doing just fine.

    The point of the post was that the Obama campaign and its surrogates are revealing an awful lot about themselves and their character by the way that they have chosen to attack Palin, without provocation. Dr. Veith is warning them away from these types of attacks, because they are bound to backfire on themselves.

  • Sam

    Don @49 -
    And your point about fw’s post @ 37 was … ?

  • Don S

    Sam @50 — I didn’t have an hour to read through Frank’s post. But I said “and his surrogates” in my post, didn’t I? Campaigns usually use surrogates these days to do their attacking so they can keep their own hands clean. I’m being non-partisan here, both sides do it that way.

  • fw

    AMAZING how post @37 is simply being ignored and not responded to in any detail.

    pretty clear that people here do not want to be confused by the facts.

    when a group who´s neutrality would be hard to impugn says palin and mc cain are lying shamelessly….. silence….

    Imagine the hewn cry were the fact check article about Obama misusing fact check´s information????!!!

    What could be more vicious and shameful than Mc Cain accusing obama of supporting sex education for kindergarteners. wow. here we have silence on this…. where is the indignation.
    again see what fact check has to say about this shameful Mc Cain / Palin ad.

    Also note that in post #37 Palin and her husband are leveling some extremely dirty and vicious accusations at someone. shooting a taser at a child, drunk driving, shooting a moose illegally… whew!! what about that???? Let´s all assume that the palins would never make such malicious accusations! but maybe this is a case of “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword.”

    Palins convention speech after all was nothing but standard republican attacks and most of them were distortions or childish sound bites. (eg obama is “worried about reading the terrorists their rights!!!!!!”) sheesh. Tone down the partisan rhetoric for pete´s sake….

    amazing. where is the righteous indignation?

  • Sam

    Don @51, you’re copping out, bro. It takes less than 1 minute to read fw’s post.
    And the culprit here is the McCain/Palin campaign, not surrogates. Indeed, McCain himself said he approved of one factless commercial.
    fw @52, be encouraged.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FW (@52), regarding FactCheck.org, you called them “a group whose neutrality would be hard to impugn”. Would that it were so. But some here have gone ahead and impugned them, anyhow. I guess it’s easier than dealing with the facts they’ve presented.

    However, as for the accusations leveled at the trooper, I believe those were vetted by the appropriate board, and some were found true — he was suspended for a short time for those actions. What’s not clear is why Palin is stonewalling the investigation after she said she would cooperate fully. But then, that was before she was nominated.

    (Also, I think the phrase is “hue and cry”).

  • Don S

    Sam @ 53: I’m not copping out. I just don’t think there’s much there. Best I can tell, the McCain camp put out an ad touting FactCheck’s resolution of some of the false accusations made against Palin in the last week. That much is true. They stated or at least implied that these accusations and the army of lawyers and investigators in AK were made/sent by the Obama campaign. According to FactCheck, that’s false, it wasn’t the Obama campaign.

    So I already dealt with this. It wasn’t the Obama campaign, it was surrogates for the Obama campaign. That’s how things are typically done these days, so campaigns can keep their fingers clean. The ad was wrong and shouldn’t have been made that way, no doubt. But it doesn’t seem like much of a deal to me.

  • Sam

    ABC has posted excerpts from Charlie Gibson’s interview with Palin. In my view, she sounds none too smart about, particularly, foreign affairs. She did not know what the Bush doctrine was and seemed to repeat the same answer in the same words as Gibson tried to get her to elaborate. But read it for yourselves.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=5782924&page=1

    She sounds like, well, an average hockey mom.

  • Don S

    Wow, Sam @ 56: You may have just really stepped in it with that last comment.

  • Sam

    Don @ 57
    But Don, at least I didn’t say that the lies the McCain/Palin campaign are telling are not “much of a deal”!
    McCain himself says that Palin is so appealing because she is an average hockey mom. That’s not my phrase, but his.
    There’s nothing wrong with being an average hockey mom unless your understanding of foreign affairs is no better than that of the average hockey mom. The ABC interview confirms, in my view, that Palin isn’t really up to speed to lead the US. I’m looking for a gentle way to put that. She kind of commits to war with Russia in answer to one question.

  • Michael the little boot

    Dude, Don, seriously, you should read the bits Sam linked to. You “step in it” every time you say things like that without first reading what the relevant information happens to be.

  • Michael the little boot

    Sam,

    Thanks for that link. Scary, indeed.

  • Carl Vehse

    Gene Veith wrote: “Stop the condescending, snarky, personal attacks on Sarah Palin. See, ordinary Americans really like her.”

    However, tODD (@6) twisted his response to Gene’s assertion by saying: “I love the Republican delusion that those who disagree with them are not ordinary Americans.”

    This response has nothing to do with Gene’s comments, other than providing another snarky, personal, unsubstantiated, and off-topic attack on Republicans (i.e., the party that doesn’t promote murder-by-abortion of unborn Americans in its platform for the past three decades).

    tODD also makes another snarky and unsubstantiated claim: That said, the Republican base does not define “ordinary Americans”. Sorry to break it to you.

    Well, again, tODD, your opinion is pretty much only that.

    According to a Rasmussen report, the GOP base, by its majority (89%) approval of Sarah Palin does define the independents’ majority (59%) approval, and even the overall majority (58%) approval. Only those whose party and presidential nominee advocate murder-by-abortion are defined as giving Palin a less-than-ordinary minority (33%) approval.

  • Don S

    Sam & Michael:

    OK, I forgot the smiley face with my comment at 57. I was referencing Sam’s comment that “She sounds like, well, an average hockey mom”. It was a joke, playing on Sam’s apparent disparagement of average hockey moms. I guess the point is, who is Sam to say that average hockey moms don’t know much about foreign affairs?

    I have read the article now, however. Palin seems to have come across quite well, and to have been quite articulate in explaining her views on the world, despite ABC’s snarky and unnecessary comment that she “obtained her first passport only last year”. Good grief, I obtained my first passport only two years ago, so I guess I don’t know what I’m talking about either? Wait, don’t answer that :)

    Of course she commits to war with Russia, under the hypothetical terms of the question. She has to. Charlie asked her if the U.S. would have to defend Georgia IF Georgia became a member of NATO, and Russia again invaded. Well, she’s right, we would. That is the requirement of the treaty. You would have to answer the same way, like it or not. Note that he didn’t ask her if she would promote the admission of Georgia to NATO.

    Re the Bush Doctrine, I didn’t see from her answers that she doesn’t know what that is. Explain, please.

    I hate it when people throw around the word “lies”. We don’t know if the campaign knew the source of the “lies” being told about Palin when it threw up the ad that is referenced, first of all. Second of all, there is quite a blur, typically, between what is actually done by campaign staff and what is done by “surrogates”, who are often requested to handle things campaign staff doesn’t want to directly handle. Third, are you seriously taking the view that this is the first potentially misleading political ad ever put up by either side in this or any other campaign? Give me a break.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh Carl (@61), are you now opposed to snark, not to mention unsubstantiated or off-topic posts? Why the change?

    Anyhow, I won’t deny the first charge, but of course what I said was a direct response to Veith’s post, so I’m not sure how you figure it was “off-topic”. As for “unsubstantiated”, well, I’ll spell it out for you:

    Veith addresses his post to Democrats. He says they should stop attacking Palin because “ordinary Americans really like her”. It’s obvious that Republicans (particularly the base) really like her, and it’s also obvious that Democrats do not. Do you see how this works? Ipso facto, Democrats are not “ordinary Americans”! Tada! (I, of course, disagree.)

    Even if you take into account the one survey you pointed to, 42% of the country (as of a week ago, so who knows where it is now, given how these things change) did not hold a favorable view of Palin. Does that mean that 42% of the country is not “ordinary”? And if we are to believe that surveys of the general American public define what “ordinary Americans” believe, what are we to make of the fact that, from that same survey, 60% of Americans do not believe Palin is ready to be President? That’s even more than who view her favorably! So “ordinary Americans” like her, they just don’t seem to think she’s qualified.

    But I’m fascinated by your not-quite-counter-claim that the Republican base might actually define “ordinary Americans”. After all, the Republican base is pretty much the only group still in favor of President Bush. Ordinary Americans long ago stopped favoring him. But if you’d prefer, we could break it out by issue and see how various positions poll with Americans. (Sad to say, I don’t think that the ordinary American agrees with you and me on abortion.)

  • LAJ

    Shall we speak for a minute about what the country could look like if Obama is elected? Do we really want the government running our health care or socialized medicine? Do we really want our children indoctrinated by the government from the age of 3? Obama wants universal education starting from pre-school. He claims he will continue to support faith-based programs, but in actuallity he will destroy them because these groups will be forced to hire people based on what the government mandates.

    Back to Governer Palin. She initially supported the bridge to nowhere, and then withdrew her support. Both Senator Obama and SenatorBiden voted for the bridge both times it was voted on. Senator McCain voted against it both times.

    Sorry the first paragraph is off topic. Do check out Glenn Beck’s program on CNN. He is equally tough on Democrats and Republicans and tells it like it is.

  • fw

    would it be unchristian to call this add by palin/mc cain SLEAZY???? dishonest? viciously distorted?

    ttp://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/off_base_on_sex_ed.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@62), as for passports, you’re not running for national office, either. :) The governor of the state of Oregon has been abroad on trade missions several times, I think. Palin and McCain have both touted that Alaska is next to Russia, but did she actually visit there for any diplomatic or political reasons? Seems not.

    “Note that he didn’t ask her if she would promote the admission of Georgia to NATO.” Um, I think you missed this part:

    GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
    PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

    By advocating for the admission of Georgia to NATO, she’s elevating the possibility for her commitment to war with Russia from “hypothetical” (as you put it) to not-all-that-improbable.

    “I didn’t see from her answers that she doesn’t know what that is.” Really? I’ll wait to see some video to see what doesn’t come across from a mere transcript, but this does not look good:

    GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
    PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
    GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?
    PALIN: His world view.
    GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
    PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
    GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
    PALIN: I agree that a president’s job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    LAJ (@64), you asked, “Do we really want the government running our health care or socialized medicine?” Well, the last time I heard, the elderly were quite happy with Medicare. And average people who aren’t on Medicare seem rather unhappy, on average, with their employer-provided insurance, assuming that their employers actually provide that benefit, which is getting rarer.

    As to the Bridge to Nowhere, guess which campaign is making its centerpiece the idea that its candidates are a bunch of mavericks who’ll fight earmarks? McCain once ran an ad specifically attacking the Bridge to Nowhere. He mocked earmarks funding research involving bear DNA. Then he picked as his vice presidential candidate the governor of the state with by far the largest per capita earmarks, who had supported the Bridge to Nowhere and larger amounts of earmarks for research into seal and crab DNA, among other things. So is McCain really opposed to earmarks, given that he picked her? And what does it say about Palin’s believability, given how she talks tough about pork now that she’s no longer trying to appeal to just Alaskans?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    That she doesn’t immerse herself in Bush political ideology. Could we also not view that as a good thing?

    Personally I’m attracted to the candidate who has been immersed in world politics less than the ones who feel it is there prerogative as Americans to stick their noses everywhere. McCain probably doesn’t have that strength, but perhaps Palin would. There’s a lot still to know about both parties international policies.

    Hasn’t Obama shown at least a little foolishness on the international scene as well?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I also would welcome a return to “average Americans” serving short term in both local and national governments.

    I know I have said before that I like Palin more than McCain. That still remains true for me. You know, I would actually like her more, if she promised to limit her federal carreer. Wouldn’t that be something. I would like Obama better too if he did something like that. Its too late for the other 2 old guys.

  • Carl Vehse

    Gov. Palin did an excellent job in avoiding being trapped in several ‘gotcha’ questions from a completely condescending Gibson.

    Furthermore, in “Charlie Gibson’s Attempt to Twist Sarah Palin’s Words” Newsbusters showed that any hubris belonged to Gibson when he twice quoted parts out of context and even out of complete sentences which Gov. Palin had said at her church. When she noted that one excerpt was not her exact quote, Gibson said “Exact words.” (but taken out of context within the complete sentence). The Newsbuster article provides links to what she actually said.

    The next time he tries something low like that she should give one of her great smiles, pat him on the head, and respond, in her best mommy tone, “Now, Chuckie…”

  • Ryan

    Few notes and then back to “homework”.

    Post #37 – Political add stuff disappoints me greatly, run a good add on issues… where they too dumb to know people would find this out. I don’t like this stuff from any party and politician. Bad form!

    I just found out I’m politically equivalent to a hockey Mom or the average American! How embarrassing. I thought I was informed politically, you know… watch the blogs, research politicians and their votes, follow the new and keep up on the foreign news from BBC and the like. But I could not answer Mr. Gibson’s question. I did not know Bush’s doctrine from 2002. Quite frankly I thought his policy was “p*** everyone off globaly”.

    Did everyone here know Bush’s doctrine? I do remember talking alot about Just-War theory and Augustine in 2002 (I was in Seminary).

  • Don S

    No, Ryan. It was rather an unfair question. Check Wikipedia to see how the definition of the “Bush Doctrine” has changed over the years. It was clearly intended as a “gotcha”.

    Now that I have had a chance to view the interview, Palin did just fine. She didn’t knock it out of the park, but given her experience she did much better than I would have expected in a very high pressure situation with an experienced interviewer who was clearly out to trip her up. My main fault with her is that she was too direct in answering some of the questions. When it comes to foreign policy, you really shouldn’t answer hypotheticals like the Russia question, the “would you invade Pakistan” question, and the Israel/Iran questions. Dodge ‘em, tell the interviewer that you can’t answer those types of questions because you don’t want to impact diplomatic relations on the basis of hypotheticals, but don’t directly answer them. Just my opinion, mind you.

    The question about her videotaped prayer in church was a low blow, if intentional. Deliberately left out a key part of her quote, and then told her it was an exact quote, when she questioned it. Specifically, she was admonishing the congregation in that prayer and said, “Pray that our national leaders are sending our troops on a task that is from God.” When he quoted her, he left out the admonishment to pray and said her quote began with “ Our leaders are sending. . . That totally changes the meaning, implying that she thought the war was from God and a holy war. But, her answer, referencing Lincoln, was a home run.

    The question referenced above, in earlier posts by tODD and Sam, regarding Russia, was not that bad, either. She did say that Georgia should be made a NATO member, but that is a mainstream view. In fact, it is the view of Joe Biden (op-ed in the Washington Times 4/27/08 co-authored with Richard Lugar, entitled “Stand Up for Georgia!”). Regarding the war question, she equivocated, essentially saying that we would have obligations under the NATO treaty to come to Georgia’s aid, but those measures could include embargoes, etc. short of war.

    So, overall, she did a more than adequate job. And this was clearly the toughest part of the interview for her, as the domestic issues are much more playing to her strengths.

    When is Gibson going to subject Obama to an interview of this intensity, I wonder?

  • Anon

    Scylding, there still -are- pro-life Democrats among the rank and file, but I don’t believe that they are having any influence on the national level, and the national party platform is very strongly pro-death.

    And to whomever claimed that it wasn’t about life and death, but about power; it really is about life and death. Do you then believe that all laws against murder be dropped, indeed all laws, since you don’t believe people should have authority over other people’s choices, specifically including a particuarly brutal form of murder?

    Sam, we weren’t using the title of Christ to mock BHO, but were calling the warning that there were masses of people treating him as though he -were- the messiah, and since it is Jesus Who is, then he would have to be an antichrist.

    The abortion issue is of such great importance, Sam, because it is about the brutal murder of roughly 50 million Americans, and countless more worldwide. That is why it is more important than the speed limit, or whether or not to have a leash law.

    fw, FactCheck is owned by the left-wing Annenberg Foundation, which supports BHO, hired BHO, helped him get his political career going, etc. As such it isn’t a reliable source of information.

    Sam, what is relevant about left wing talking points? What does that have to do with the topic, other than illustrate it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’ll grant that Gibson used her quotes about the Iraq War and God out of context. That said, I don’t see how you can read her quote (which I transcribed myself, from the video, to try to get the most accurate punctuation for it) and conclude that she doesn’t think the war is a “task that is from God”, that it’s “God’s plan”. At best, her statement is ambiguous:

    Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right, also, for this country. That our leaders — our national leaders — are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan, and that that plan is God’s plan, so bless them with your prayers.

    When you read that, do you really think she’s saying the Iraq War isn’t a task from God? What impression do you get about what she thinks God’s will is?

    Complicating matters (or rather, adding more context), she also said in that same speech (no out of context here — look it up!), “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built. So pray for that.” So even if she’s iffy on whether the Iraq War is keeping pace with God’s will, she’s pretty clear on where God stands on the pipeline. Hmm.

    Now, was the “Bush doctrine” question “unfair” (@72)? I have a hard time believing McCain would have responded like Palin did, since I think he’s quite familiar with foreign policy, and the Iraq War in particular. So do people just have lower expectations for Palin? She did, after all, tell Alaska Business Monthly in 2007 that “I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”

    Even if one argues that she couldn’t have known what the Bush doctrine is because, in regard to his foreign policy, there are a number of changing rationales that have been used over the years*, Gibson specifically mentioned “the Bush Doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq War”. Not too much confusion on that one. Now, that might seem like an arcane question for some, but hopefully those people aren’t running for national executive office.

    Regardless, Gibson spells it out for her: “The Bush Doctrine as I understand it is that we have the right to antipatory self-defense, that we have a right to a pre-emptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?” Palin replied, “Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.”

    Whoops. The Iraq War doesn’t qualify by that definition. “Legitimate” intelligence? An “imminent” strike?

    Gibson then asked, “Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?” (He actually had to ask her three times to get something close to a firm answer.) Palin replied, “I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hellbent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.”

    Whoops again! That’s the same answer that Obama gave last year, when everyone jumped on him! In particular, McCain called Obama “naive” for his answer, which was similar to Palin’s. But then, we recently found out that Bush ordered ground assaults in Pakistan recently. So who’s right here? McCain? Or Obama, Palin, and Bush?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Forgot my own footnote (@74).

    *Honestly, Palin’s summation of what she thinks the Bush Doctrine is — “his world view” — may be the most accurate. That is, there isn’t much of a consistent doctrine, other than what Bush thinks. First it was that any states harboring terrorists (a.k.a Afghanistan, but for whatever reason, not Saudi Arabia) were essentially terrorists themselves, and subject to attack. Fair enough. That lasted for all of a few months.

    Then it was that we can pre-emptively attack any country we like if we feel — or at least assert — that they’re a danger to us, or might somehow be a threat, someday. And, wouldn’t you know it, that meant taking our focus off Afghanistan and the people who actually did bomb us, and put us in the middle of Iraq for 5+ years (could’ve been any number of countries with those qualifications, but we picked the low-hanging fruit, since we’d already defeated them once before). That was the doctrine (as such) that was spelled out in 2002.

    The Wikipedia article Don (@72) points to also mentions this nebulous, quasi-doctrinal notion about supporting democracy throughout the world, although, of course, not in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Egypt … really, it’s hard to call that a serious doctrine, although it certainly sounds nice.

  • Sam

    You’ve got to give Gibson credit for not laughing out loud at Palin. That took a lot of self control.
    Years ago, Pres. Nixon appointed a man to the supreme court that many thought was mediocre. The nomination was defeated by the Senate, but one senator said in defense of the nominee that mediocre people need representation on the supreme court. I feel that same way about Palin. Ignorant people need to have a voice in Washington. She will be elected and she will be that voice.

  • Michael the little boot

    Don S,

    Just got back to the party. Chalk yesterday’s gaffe’s (mine) to a bad starter on my sense of humor. It was coughing and choking all day. I’m gonna have to pull it and replace it. So all comments today will be sans humor. And I’ll skip the snark, too, just in case I keep missing the funny and “step in it” myself.

    Oh, and APOLOGIES!!

  • Don S

    Even if you think Palin is not ready to be VP, there is no justification for Sam @ 76 to call her “mediocre”. On what basis do you call her that? She is clearly an extraordinary and accomplished person who has done a lot of wonderful and varied things in her life. Ignorant? Good grief, Sam, if Palin is ignorant, there’s no hope for the rest of us. I thought we had all decided we were going to rise above these kinds of personal attacks and keep it on the issues. Guess not.

    tODD @ 74/75, you are thorough as usual, but the bottom line is that Palin did not hurt herself with that interview and I think you know that. In fact, she did exceptionally well, considering she was set up as an ignorant, mediocre person. Remember, thanks to the typical elitist personal attacks on her and her intelligence, the bar was set really low, and she easily exceeded it. Democrats always seem to shoot themselves in the foot like that. Someday, you guys will learn to build the Republican candidates up so that their actual performance falls short of the raised expectations. Take a lesson from football coaches, and the way they build up their opponents before the big game, and you might actually win a presidential election.

    As to the merits, I easily read the prayer as a prayer that the soldiers going to Iraq are in God’s will. She is not presuming they are, she is exhorting the congregation to pray that they are, because she wants God’s protection on them. Nothing at all wrong with that prayer, and her reference to Abraham Lincoln and his words regarding that issue, in response to Gibson, particularly after he had tricked her by taking her words out of context, was outstanding.

    If you think the public is going to fault Palin for not knowing what Gibson meant when he asked the obscure Bush Doctrine question, you are naive. If 5 out of 100 viewers knew what he was talking about, that would be a high number, and they are not going to fault her for not knowing what they didn’t know. They are going to fault Gibson for not explaining his question better. Her answers were fine. And how is she hurt by answering the same as Obama? She is only running to be VP, not President. Hard to see how the Obama campaign is going to use that against her (“Palin’s as dumb as Obama, so how can she be ready to be President?” — probably not a winning ad).

    McCain is the presidential candidate. He had 25 or more years of federal service, so he obviously knows this stuff a lot better than either Palin or Obama. Palin will sit under McCain’s tutelage, and is obviously a quick study, so she will be fine. What we should be worried about is that Obama would be in charge from day one.

    By the way, when is Gibson going to subject Obama to this kind of hard-hitting interview?

  • Don S

    No problem, Michael @ 77. I enjoy it when you are around. You add a lot to the conversation, and have both an excellent sense of humor and a relaxed debating style which makes things a lot less tense.

  • Sam

    Don @ 78

    You are depressingly correct. “If Palin is ignorant, there’s no hope for the rest of us.”

    /s/ Hopeless.

  • Michael the little boot

    Just a thought: could we stop calling that bridge project in Alaska the “Bridge to Nowhere”? I mean, unless it’s just a shorthand or something. It’s most definitely NOT a bridge to nowhere. It’s a bad idea, to be sure, since the bridge would cost a HUGE amount of money and serve a very small population. But it’s just getting increasingly lame that everyone refers to it in this way. And I don’t just mean here. It’s especially funny coming from Palin, given she at one time defended it AGAINST that moniker.

  • Michael the little boot

    Thanks, Don. I’ve learned a lot about how to be more relaxed right here on this blog. You’ll remember I haven’t always been this way… :)

  • Michael the little boot

    Carl @ 61,

    Stop the insanity!! Your hyperbolic statements about “[the] party and presidential nominee [who] advocate murder-by-abortion” do nothing to further discussion. They are just inflammatory and serve no other purpose. Once again, the party to which you refer – and people who are pro-choice in general, regardless of political affiliation – is not PRO-MURDER. I am pro-choice, and it is because, as I’ve said many times, I don’t feel so certain and confident that I am always right about everything. So I want to leave people’s decisions up to them. If you are so confident you’re right, why is that? What evidence do you have to back your position so absolutely that you feel justified in tossing out epithets which add nothing to a dialogue?

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 73,

    I’m gonna guess you were referencing me when you said “And to whomever claimed that it wasn’t about life and death, but about power; it really is about life and death. Do you then believe that all laws against murder be dropped, indeed all laws, since you don’t believe people should have authority over other people’s choices, specifically including a particuarly brutal form of murder?” I never said it was about power. I said it was about not wanting to make other people’s decisions for them. I don’t believe abortion is a good thing. I also don’t think I know everything. I try to make my decisions the best I can, and I leave it to others to do the same.

    But, just so you know, YES, IN THEORY I think all laws are ridiculous. People who are about personal responsibility that then go and flog law discussions don’t make any sense.

    That being said, I am a coward. Laws are good for cowardly people like me, because it gives us a false sense of security, which is the only security that really exists. (I’m not being sarcastic here.) But, if I am going to be murdered, let us not split hairs: a person who WILL murder someone else has no respect for laws. Law-abiding people seem to have, to differing degrees, internal morality, and therefore don’t need laws. These laws about murder ARE about protection, but I think it’s not clear whether they actually protect us. The only way to find that out is to abolish them, which isn’t happening anytime soon.

  • Carl Vehse

    “people who are pro-choice in general, regardless of political affiliation – is not PRO-MURDER.”

    Michael, this is a satanic-inspired delusion. In his Large Catechism explanation of the fifth commandment, Martin Luther states:

    189] Secondly, under this commandment not only he is guilty who does evil to his neighbor, but he also who can do him good, prevent, resist evil, defend and save him, so that no bodily harm or hurt happen to him, and yet does not do it. 190]… So also, if you see any one innocently sentenced to death or in like distress, and do not save him, although you know ways and means to do so, you have killed him. And it will not avail you to make the pretext that you did not afford any help, counsel, or aid thereto, for you have withheld your love from him and deprived him of the benefit whereby his life would have been saved.

    191] Therefore God also rightly calls all those murderers who do not afford counsel and help in distress and danger of body and life.

    Recently Gene Veith posted a number of statements from the early church against abortion.

    When you, Michael, vote for a pro-murder-by-abortion candidate, you fail to afford help to unborn Americans, and thus you are as guilty of murder as if you had performed the abortion yourself. Repent from your “pro-choice” way of helping murder unborn children.

  • Michael the little boot

    Carl,

    Thanks for illustrating my point, and beautifully, I might add. I will not be changing my stance, nor will I repent. Perhaps you should question why you quote LUTHER here rather than God? Oh, right. You don’t actually know what God thinks about this subject. Too bad you feel so certain.

    The Church Fathers are not scripture. I find it funny you don’t actually quote from the Bible. Apparently Luther is more important to you than the God you purport to serve…

  • Carl Vehse

    Scriptural references are in a Lutherans for Life discussion, as well as an article, What About Abortion by former Missouri Synod President Al Barry.

    Earlier church statements given in Gene Veith’s earlier references are congruent with how the Missouri Synod Lutherans understand Scripture. Of course, if you are not Lutheran or Christian, Scriptural understanding and the appliction of the fifth commandment to unborn children may mean little to you. This would seem to be the case, given your final retort, “Apparently Luther is more important to you than the God you purport to serve…”

  • LAJ

    #86 What could be clearer than God’s commandment, thou shalt not kill (Deuteronomy). Can you prove that an unborn baby is less human than one who is born? How could God put it any clearer? Did not His Son die for the entire world (John 3:16) including unborn babies also? How can we say it’s okay to kill those whom Jesus suffered and died for?

  • Carl Vehse

    In their article, ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin Interview Newsbusters shows that substantive sections of Chuckie’s interview of Gov. Palin were not telecast. In one case ABC even cut part of Palin’s sentence to change the meaning of what she said. Other cut sections were not just boilerplate or irrelevant chit-chat, but discussions that provided important context to her telecast remarks, demonstrated her knowledge about some of the discussed issues, and, in one case, showed Chuckie agreeing with Gov. Palin.

    Here is the complete transcript with the ABC-censored comments underlined and in boldface.

    All this should not be surprising. Manipulative editing an interview to remove context and slanting the telecast is all in a day’s work for media clymers.

  • Carl Vehse

    A video has been smuggled out showing a recent meeting in the Democratic Party War Room.

    The viewer is cautioned that parts of this video may have been edited or manipulated to alter or slant some of the statements, just as ABC News did with Gov. Palin’s interview.

  • Michael the little boot

    Carl,

    Sorry, I thought you’d been here long enough to know I wasn’t a Christian, nor a believer in God. That has little to do with my position, which I’ve held since I was a Christian. I am pro-choice because I don’t take responsibility for the choices of other people. I also see life as being too complex for me to boil down to concepts which can be applied universally. That’s just how I see it. But I do not agree with abortion. I’m just not into legislating my personal beliefs. I’m down with taking responsibility for myself, and for no one else. You can call that a satanic lie if you want.

  • Michael the little boot

    LAJ @ 88,

    I hope my response to Carl above makes things a little clearer.

    No, I can’t prove an unborn baby is less human than one who is born. I just don’t think I’m good enough or smart enough to put myself in everyone else’s shoes and make their choices…oops, I mean DECISIONS for them.

    And proof-texting snippets from the Bible isn’t really good enough. Is it? I’m sure I could back up almost any point doing that. But it’s not really a responsible use of the text to do that.

  • kerner

    Michael, come on. Carl may be getting upset, but you are withdrawing into a purposely vague position.

    Look, ALL criminal law is (in a sense) the government’s attempt to make other people’s decisions for them. The government says: you can’t do that; you may WANT to do that: you may feel justified in doing that, but never the less, you can’t do that; or at least, if you go ahead and do that, we’ll put you in jail.

    So, if you believe that there should be any criminal laws at all, you actually DO believe that you (or your governmental representatives) DO have the right to make some decisions for other people. None of our discussions have lead me to believe that you are an anarchist, Michael, so what do you say we talk about practical matters here.

    Since we agree that the government has the right to make SOME decisions for other people and punish SOME types of behavior, the question really is: What are the characteristics of the behaviors that the government may legitimately prohibit or punish?

    So you tell me, Michael. What are the types of behavior that a government may legitimately criminalize, and why?

  • Michael the little boot

    kerner,

    What is it about my vague position that seems different than normal? I’m vague because I don’t think reality calls for something more. I am actually surprised you haven’t found my theoretical anarchism in all the interaction we’ve had. I fear actual anarchy only because I’m not convinced people could handle it; but I actually DO think the world would be better if people would internalize morality more than we are taught to do. Sorry to say – and no offense to your profession – but I am not a fan of laws.

    Not to say I am so naive as to think I don’t benefit from living in a society such as this; I just wonder whether there’s more. I think if people could trust themselves more and we could be more rational, we would be able to transcend our emotional impulse-slavery. And we might learn to relax a little, too. That’s definitely idealistic, I’ll admit. It’s my hopeful side. :)

    But you bring up an interesting question. I don’t know what types of behavior I am comfortable letting the government regulate. None, probably. But that’s not the nature of our society. I wish to live in a free society where I can make my own decisions. Until then, I’ll settle for limiting the decisions of others as little as possible.

    Not a perfect idea. Not clearly defined. I’m still working it out. Feel free to tear it apart!

  • kerner

    No offense taken, Michael. I am actually pretty libertarian in my outlook myself. Like you, I wish to live in a free society where people are free to work out their own destinies. And, I think the government should stay out of people’s lives and decisions as much as possible. Chalk it up to good old Lutheran two kingdom theology, or just Lockean love of freedom, but I don’t want an intrusive government and I don’t want the Church mixing with the government very much. Not because I think the Church will harm the government; rather because I think the government (which screws up so many things) will inevitably harm the Church.

    But here comes that collision between the theoretical and the practical that invades our discussions so often. As much as I want few laws, I can see that there would be real problems if we had no laws. But don’t hold back now Michael, and take all the time you want. Unless you really want to live in a society with no government at all, if you want to live in a free society it is pretty important to formulate a good idea of what kind behavior the government should be able to prohibit and the proper limits of government authority. I have my own ideas, but I don’t want to influence you here. So, I’ll wait till you have thought it through.

  • Michael the little boot

    kerner,

    Interesting! To get libertarian views from someone involved with law…NOW we’re getting somewhere! I will take some time to think about it. You’ve raised good points.

    One thing I like that you bring up is I think the most important reason for the establishment clause: to keep gov’t out of religion and religious (or non-religious) life. My dad and I have this fight all the time when I bring up the establishment clause. I keep telling him it’s there to protect HIM from the gov’t taking HIS religion away, but he disagrees. I think you’re right. It would definitely be religion and religious freedom getting the short end of the stick were the establishment clause absent from the Constitution.

  • fw

    Mc Cain Palin lies. and more lies….

    http://www.mccainpedia.org/index.php/Count_the_Lies


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