Opposition research

How political campaigns are waged these days:

Rick Santorum’s surprising momentum at a critical stage in the presidential race has forced the Obama campaign to reassess its reelection strategy, which for months has revolved around the likelihood that Mitt Romney would end up as the president’s Republican rival.

Obama’s Chicago-based reelection team has begun digging into Santorum’s background, diverting opposition researchers who thus far had been focused on Romney. They also blasted an e-mail to supporters in Pennsylvania, asking them to submit their most damning recollections of Santorum, a former senator from the state.

via Obama campaign turns attention to Santorum – The Washington Post.

Instead of arguments about policies and positions, much of our political discourse today consists of revelations of embarrassing things that opposing candidates once said or did.  To what extent is that valid and to what extent is it just the ad hominem fallacy?

In the meantime, if you know anything bad about Rick Santorum, tell the Obama campaign team.

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.

  • Tom Hering

    If only we could return to the good old days of the 1800 campaign, and the high principles of the Founding Fathers:

    Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

    In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

    As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward.

    Even Martha Washington succumbed to the propaganda, telling a clergyman that Jefferson was “one of the most detestable of mankind.”

    … Jefferson hired a hatchet man named James Callendar to do his smearing for him. Adams, on the other hand, considered himself above such tactics. To Jefferson’s credit, Callendar proved incredibly effective, convincing many Americans that Adams desperately wanted to attack France. Although the claim was completely untrue, voters bought it, and Jefferson stole the election.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-08-22/living/mf.campaign.slurs.slogans_1_jefferson-family-sally-hemings-vice-president-jefferson?_s=PM:LIVING

  • Tom Hering

    If only we could return to the good old days of the 1800 campaign, and the high principles of the Founding Fathers:

    Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

    In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

    As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward.

    Even Martha Washington succumbed to the propaganda, telling a clergyman that Jefferson was “one of the most detestable of mankind.”

    … Jefferson hired a hatchet man named James Callendar to do his smearing for him. Adams, on the other hand, considered himself above such tactics. To Jefferson’s credit, Callendar proved incredibly effective, convincing many Americans that Adams desperately wanted to attack France. Although the claim was completely untrue, voters bought it, and Jefferson stole the election.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-08-22/living/mf.campaign.slurs.slogans_1_jefferson-family-sally-hemings-vice-president-jefferson?_s=PM:LIVING

  • Michael B.

    I agree with Tom that negative campaigning has always been part of political elections. Nice comment.

    Furthermore, the mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum are at least truthful. Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control (see example quote below). Compare this to the attacks against Obama, which claim that Obama is a fascist, socialist Muslim that wasn’t even born in the country.

    “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” — Santorum

  • Michael B.

    I agree with Tom that negative campaigning has always been part of political elections. Nice comment.

    Furthermore, the mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum are at least truthful. Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control (see example quote below). Compare this to the attacks against Obama, which claim that Obama is a fascist, socialist Muslim that wasn’t even born in the country.

    “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” — Santorum

  • larry

    The precedent is well historically founded, and everyone knows this already (its learned in 9th grade high school civics along with its historical precedent). The question: “To what extent is that valid and to what extent is it just the ad hominem fallacy?”
    It’s never valid (logically) and is in fact shear ad hominem no matter what party or time it is used. It works because most are emotionally driven and few (especially en mass) can divorce their emotions from their reasoning and conflate the two constantly. This is why politicians, to their defense, all of them, get “sucked into it eventually”, even if they attempt to avoid it. I.e. the real guilty finger actually goes back to the electorate, if we squeal for slop, slop we get.

  • larry

    The precedent is well historically founded, and everyone knows this already (its learned in 9th grade high school civics along with its historical precedent). The question: “To what extent is that valid and to what extent is it just the ad hominem fallacy?”
    It’s never valid (logically) and is in fact shear ad hominem no matter what party or time it is used. It works because most are emotionally driven and few (especially en mass) can divorce their emotions from their reasoning and conflate the two constantly. This is why politicians, to their defense, all of them, get “sucked into it eventually”, even if they attempt to avoid it. I.e. the real guilty finger actually goes back to the electorate, if we squeal for slop, slop we get.

  • Trey

    It is valid when the question is regarding their virtue. This tells us how they will rule (as sinners). Sensationalism and lies are not. This is the problem. The Luther’s explanation of the 8th Commandment reminds us that we are to put the best construction on our neighbor’s actions while refuting the things he does that are harmful and false.

  • Trey

    It is valid when the question is regarding their virtue. This tells us how they will rule (as sinners). Sensationalism and lies are not. This is the problem. The Luther’s explanation of the 8th Commandment reminds us that we are to put the best construction on our neighbor’s actions while refuting the things he does that are harmful and false.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Oscar Wilde, in a rare moment of profunity, once said (and I’m paraphrasing): Don’t worry if your opponent successfully argues his case against you in an argument; you can still prevail by slinging mud and calling names.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Oscar Wilde, in a rare moment of profunity, once said (and I’m paraphrasing): Don’t worry if your opponent successfully argues his case against you in an argument; you can still prevail by slinging mud and calling names.

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Ad hominem arguments are the standard of most political arguments today, sad to say. Being a history professor, while I also love Tom’s example, to me the big differences between then and now are that (1) the number of eligible voters in that historical period was much lower, thus, such arguments had less effect than on today’s ill-informed, larger electorate, and (2) our instant media culture of today makes it easier for mud-slinging to be effective and gain an audience. All it takes is a click, and since much of it is ad hominem, if you don’t like what you see, go to another site that says the exact opposite.

    It may be nothing new, but it is still disturbing…and the scale of it today is appalling.

  • HistoryProfBrad

    Ad hominem arguments are the standard of most political arguments today, sad to say. Being a history professor, while I also love Tom’s example, to me the big differences between then and now are that (1) the number of eligible voters in that historical period was much lower, thus, such arguments had less effect than on today’s ill-informed, larger electorate, and (2) our instant media culture of today makes it easier for mud-slinging to be effective and gain an audience. All it takes is a click, and since much of it is ad hominem, if you don’t like what you see, go to another site that says the exact opposite.

    It may be nothing new, but it is still disturbing…and the scale of it today is appalling.

  • kenneth

    We could ask the Chicago thugs what it might do for them or to them if we told them that Santorum is a “sinner”from his birth. That his home town was concieved in sin and that applies every where across the world. Maybe, do ya think, they might listen to the Gospel message? Probably not.+

  • kenneth

    We could ask the Chicago thugs what it might do for them or to them if we told them that Santorum is a “sinner”from his birth. That his home town was concieved in sin and that applies every where across the world. Maybe, do ya think, they might listen to the Gospel message? Probably not.+

  • Joe

    Brad – your argument makes an assumption that is not supported by any facts I am aware of – that being that past electorates were somehow better informed than they are today. The fact that they were smaller is in no way indicative of whether that smaller group paid any better attention that the current, larger group. I would assume a similar level of apathy an stupidity (on a percentage basis) across all electorates in our history.

    Your point about media being faster is valid, but lets not forget about the yellow papers of the founding era. Those were expressly partisan rags masquerading as newspapers. Very much like the commentators on cable news channels today.

  • Joe

    Brad – your argument makes an assumption that is not supported by any facts I am aware of – that being that past electorates were somehow better informed than they are today. The fact that they were smaller is in no way indicative of whether that smaller group paid any better attention that the current, larger group. I would assume a similar level of apathy an stupidity (on a percentage basis) across all electorates in our history.

    Your point about media being faster is valid, but lets not forget about the yellow papers of the founding era. Those were expressly partisan rags masquerading as newspapers. Very much like the commentators on cable news channels today.

  • Joe

    This is instructive:

  • Joe

    This is instructive:

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 8, it’s been shown that people in the 19th century read a lot more (a LOT more) and were very well informed, politically. Even the average working man. They also had the capacity to listen to speeches and debates (and sermons) that went on for hours and hours.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe @ 8, it’s been shown that people in the 19th century read a lot more (a LOT more) and were very well informed, politically. Even the average working man. They also had the capacity to listen to speeches and debates (and sermons) that went on for hours and hours.

  • kerner

    J. Dean:

    Oscar Wilde’s moments of profundity were many and frequent, not rare at all.

    Tom H. @10: Well, yeah, but they didn’t have anything else to do, and you can get a lot more information in a much shorter time now.

  • kerner

    J. Dean:

    Oscar Wilde’s moments of profundity were many and frequent, not rare at all.

    Tom H. @10: Well, yeah, but they didn’t have anything else to do, and you can get a lot more information in a much shorter time now.

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 11, they really didn’t have anything else to do? Wasn’t life a lot more labor-intensive (= time consuming) back then? Especially for farmers – the vast majority of Americans?

  • Tom Hering

    kerner @ 11, they really didn’t have anything else to do? Wasn’t life a lot more labor-intensive (= time consuming) back then? Especially for farmers – the vast majority of Americans?

  • Tom Hering

    I think they spent what free time they had listening to speeches and debates, reading the newspapers, and gathering to talk about the issues of the day, because politics was the most exciting thing around. America was still a very new experiment. Far from a done deal.

  • Tom Hering

    I think they spent what free time they had listening to speeches and debates, reading the newspapers, and gathering to talk about the issues of the day, because politics was the most exciting thing around. America was still a very new experiment. Far from a done deal.

  • DonS

    Well, sad to say, but we as an electorate get the campaigns we deserve. Negative campaigning moves poll numbers, and those who run only positive campaigns tend to lose. We, as an electorate, don’t care to engage the issues. It’s crazy that Obama’s plan is to continue to spend 30-40% more than we take in every year. It will obviously lead to our ultimate ruin, but we don’t care. Don’t cut our goodies, even a couple of %! How can you run an intelligent political campaign in the face of that mentality?

    Michal B @ 2 reflects this mentality: “Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control”. Talk about an absurd soundbite — being opposed to state-sanctioned marriage for gay couples and to the government providing free contraceptives and abortifacients is hardly the same as being “against gays” or “against birth control”. But that is the world we live in, and it is definitely the world politicians live in.

    Obama’s record is horrendous. He can’t run on that and hope to win, so this campaign, no matter who the Republican candidate is, will be extremely dirty and nasty.

  • DonS

    Well, sad to say, but we as an electorate get the campaigns we deserve. Negative campaigning moves poll numbers, and those who run only positive campaigns tend to lose. We, as an electorate, don’t care to engage the issues. It’s crazy that Obama’s plan is to continue to spend 30-40% more than we take in every year. It will obviously lead to our ultimate ruin, but we don’t care. Don’t cut our goodies, even a couple of %! How can you run an intelligent political campaign in the face of that mentality?

    Michal B @ 2 reflects this mentality: “Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control”. Talk about an absurd soundbite — being opposed to state-sanctioned marriage for gay couples and to the government providing free contraceptives and abortifacients is hardly the same as being “against gays” or “against birth control”. But that is the world we live in, and it is definitely the world politicians live in.

    Obama’s record is horrendous. He can’t run on that and hope to win, so this campaign, no matter who the Republican candidate is, will be extremely dirty and nasty.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Brad – your argument makes an assumption that is not supported by any facts I am aware of – that being that past electorates were somehow better informed than they are today. The fact that they were smaller is in no way indicative of whether that smaller group paid any better attention that the current, larger group. I would assume a similar level of apathy an stupidity (on a percentage basis) across all electorates in our history.

    Back then the franchise was more limited, and it was limited to those with characteristics that correlate with being better informed. The most glaring of which is the absence of women. Women are more likely to vote and on average are less informed than men. That metric alone supports the assumption.

    For example Pew research has a weekly political quiz. After you take the quiz, you can look at the correct responses by gender, education and age. Men demonstrate more knowledge than women on every question every week.

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Brad – your argument makes an assumption that is not supported by any facts I am aware of – that being that past electorates were somehow better informed than they are today. The fact that they were smaller is in no way indicative of whether that smaller group paid any better attention that the current, larger group. I would assume a similar level of apathy an stupidity (on a percentage basis) across all electorates in our history.

    Back then the franchise was more limited, and it was limited to those with characteristics that correlate with being better informed. The most glaring of which is the absence of women. Women are more likely to vote and on average are less informed than men. That metric alone supports the assumption.

    For example Pew research has a weekly political quiz. After you take the quiz, you can look at the correct responses by gender, education and age. Men demonstrate more knowledge than women on every question every week.

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Michal B @ 2 reflects this mentality: “Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control”. Talk about an absurd soundbite

    Don’t you know if you don’t give some group everything they want all of the time then you are “against” them? LOL

    I am just guessing MichaelB isn’t old enough or anyway doesn’t yet have a child who is say kindergarten age and has told him that he hates him sometime when he didn’t get his way. Those of us who have experienced our children’s tantrums just laugh them off as the childishness that they are.

    It just isn’t possible to get 100% of what you want 100% of the time.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Michal B @ 2 reflects this mentality: “Santorum is clearly against gays and birth control”. Talk about an absurd soundbite

    Don’t you know if you don’t give some group everything they want all of the time then you are “against” them? LOL

    I am just guessing MichaelB isn’t old enough or anyway doesn’t yet have a child who is say kindergarten age and has told him that he hates him sometime when he didn’t get his way. Those of us who have experienced our children’s tantrums just laugh them off as the childishness that they are.

    It just isn’t possible to get 100% of what you want 100% of the time.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Jefferson hired a hatchet man named James Callendar to do his smearing for him. Adams, on the other hand, considered himself above such tactics. To Jefferson’s credit, Callendar proved incredibly effective, convincing many Americans that Adams desperately wanted to attack France. Although the claim was completely untrue, voters bought it, and Jefferson stole the election.

    Correlation? Causation?

    Is it really certain that the thing that swayed the mushy middle of voters was the smear campaign by Callendar? Of course I don’t know, but really does anyone know for certain that it was definitely the cause?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Jefferson hired a hatchet man named James Callendar to do his smearing for him. Adams, on the other hand, considered himself above such tactics. To Jefferson’s credit, Callendar proved incredibly effective, convincing many Americans that Adams desperately wanted to attack France. Although the claim was completely untrue, voters bought it, and Jefferson stole the election.

    Correlation? Causation?

    Is it really certain that the thing that swayed the mushy middle of voters was the smear campaign by Callendar? Of course I don’t know, but really does anyone know for certain that it was definitely the cause?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Obama’s record is horrendous.

    What? Are you high?

    He has a perfect record of doing what makes his friends money and protects their interests. GoldmanSachs employees are not his biggest supporters for nothing.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Obama’s record is horrendous.

    What? Are you high?

    He has a perfect record of doing what makes his friends money and protects their interests. GoldmanSachs employees are not his biggest supporters for nothing.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

  • Joe

    Tom – the fact that they read more doesn’t mean squat unless you can also demonstrate that they 1. had more reliable sources of information, and 2. cared about what they were reading.

    Sorry, but I’m not going to accept your unsourced statements about the better-ness of past electorates anymore than I am Brad’s.

  • Joe

    Tom – the fact that they read more doesn’t mean squat unless you can also demonstrate that they 1. had more reliable sources of information, and 2. cared about what they were reading.

    Sorry, but I’m not going to accept your unsourced statements about the better-ness of past electorates anymore than I am Brad’s.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It seems there was an awareness in the past that the electorate was too uninformed/uncomprehending to responsibly exercise the franchise which lead states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to implement literacy tests. Nowadays polling organizations like Pew document that education correlates most strongly with being informed.

    Interestingly women still lag behind men despite there being more women than men in college.

    I don’t anticipate Pew disaggregating educated male and female scores any time soon as they have quit tracking gender differences in their political knowledge reports.

    http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/07/what-the-public-knows-in-words-and-pictures/

    They really seem to want to tell the truth, but are probably smart enough to know that people don’t really want the whole truth, anyway, some don’t.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It seems there was an awareness in the past that the electorate was too uninformed/uncomprehending to responsibly exercise the franchise which lead states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to implement literacy tests. Nowadays polling organizations like Pew document that education correlates most strongly with being informed.

    Interestingly women still lag behind men despite there being more women than men in college.

    I don’t anticipate Pew disaggregating educated male and female scores any time soon as they have quit tracking gender differences in their political knowledge reports.

    http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/07/what-the-public-knows-in-words-and-pictures/

    They really seem to want to tell the truth, but are probably smart enough to know that people don’t really want the whole truth, anyway, some don’t.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If you want to look at who knows what over time, these Pew reports go back to April 2007. As late as 2010 they were still tracking male/female differences. But after seeing a politically incorrect pattern establish itself, they likely felt it would be in their self interest to stop reporting it.

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If you want to look at who knows what over time, these Pew reports go back to April 2007. As late as 2010 they were still tracking male/female differences. But after seeing a politically incorrect pattern establish itself, they likely felt it would be in their self interest to stop reporting it.

    http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/

  • Helen K.

    +1 for @3 and @6.

  • Helen K.

    +1 for @3 and @6.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Knocking Santorum for any sort of excessive social conservative views he may or may not have will not play well right now in the race for the nomination amongst Republican voters. However, were Santorum to get the nomination (a long-shot if the current reports are accurate that he is considerably behind Romney and Paul on current projections for national delegates), such attacks on his social conservative views may play very well in the presidential race, at least in the ears of centrist, independent voters who are fiscally conservative but not necessarily socially conservative. This is why Romney will get the nod—though Paul would have attracted the most independents, there is just too much money behind Romney for him to not get the nod and contend with Obama.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Knocking Santorum for any sort of excessive social conservative views he may or may not have will not play well right now in the race for the nomination amongst Republican voters. However, were Santorum to get the nomination (a long-shot if the current reports are accurate that he is considerably behind Romney and Paul on current projections for national delegates), such attacks on his social conservative views may play very well in the presidential race, at least in the ears of centrist, independent voters who are fiscally conservative but not necessarily socially conservative. This is why Romney will get the nod—though Paul would have attracted the most independents, there is just too much money behind Romney for him to not get the nod and contend with Obama.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B., #1, you really need to get this straight if you care to wage valid arguments. If you don’t, please ignore this post. You commit the fallacy of equivocation by comparing what you claim as “mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum” with what are not mainstream attacks against Obama. Thus, the argument falls flat on its face.

    This type of thing is fine for hit-and-run trollers but don’t expect to actually make any respectable points this way.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B., #1, you really need to get this straight if you care to wage valid arguments. If you don’t, please ignore this post. You commit the fallacy of equivocation by comparing what you claim as “mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum” with what are not mainstream attacks against Obama. Thus, the argument falls flat on its face.

    This type of thing is fine for hit-and-run trollers but don’t expect to actually make any respectable points this way.

  • John C

    Depends upon your definition of mainstream doesn’t it?
    The notion that Obama is a socialist is a fundamental tenet of Republican conviction.
    We all know that Obama is secretly a Muslim and according to Franklin Graham, he is both a Christian and a Muslim. This does not matter because Santorium reckons leftwing Christians and their liberation theology are not really Christians .
    Is Santorium part of the mainstream or is he just another maddie?
    Sometimes, it is difficult to tell when the marginal slides into the mainstream. We will know more in November.

  • John C

    Depends upon your definition of mainstream doesn’t it?
    The notion that Obama is a socialist is a fundamental tenet of Republican conviction.
    We all know that Obama is secretly a Muslim and according to Franklin Graham, he is both a Christian and a Muslim. This does not matter because Santorium reckons leftwing Christians and their liberation theology are not really Christians .
    Is Santorium part of the mainstream or is he just another maddie?
    Sometimes, it is difficult to tell when the marginal slides into the mainstream. We will know more in November.

  • Michael B.

    “You commit the fallacy of equivocation by comparing what you claim as “mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum” with what are not mainstream attacks against Obama.”

    I actually wish you were right. Unfortunately, the idea that Obama is a socialist, fascist, Muslim from Kenya is not considered extreme in the Republican party. Jerome Corsi’s book about Obama being born in Kenya was number 6 on the New York Times best seller’s list.

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Growing-Number-of-Americans-Say-Obama-is-a-Muslim.aspx

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/31/birther-book-soars/

  • Michael B.

    “You commit the fallacy of equivocation by comparing what you claim as “mainstream Democrat attacks against Santorum” with what are not mainstream attacks against Obama.”

    I actually wish you were right. Unfortunately, the idea that Obama is a socialist, fascist, Muslim from Kenya is not considered extreme in the Republican party. Jerome Corsi’s book about Obama being born in Kenya was number 6 on the New York Times best seller’s list.

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Growing-Number-of-Americans-Say-Obama-is-a-Muslim.aspx

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/31/birther-book-soars/

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “there was an awareness in the past that the electorate was too uninformed/uncomprehending to responsibly exercise the franchise … women still lag behind men.”

    It doesn’t surprise me. Should women really be voting, let alone leading? I think we should follow First Timothy’s advice on the matter: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

  • Michael B.

    @sg

    “there was an awareness in the past that the electorate was too uninformed/uncomprehending to responsibly exercise the franchise … women still lag behind men.”

    It doesn’t surprise me. Should women really be voting, let alone leading? I think we should follow First Timothy’s advice on the matter: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B, #26, you’re calling Jerome Corsi a mainstream Republican? Seriously? You do know that the his last foray into politics was under the Constitution Party, didn’t you? Whatever you think of the man, he’s not mainstream Republican.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B, #26, you’re calling Jerome Corsi a mainstream Republican? Seriously? You do know that the his last foray into politics was under the Constitution Party, didn’t you? Whatever you think of the man, he’s not mainstream Republican.

  • WebMonk

    Hey formerly just steve, yes, Jerome Corsi is a mainstream Republican, at least as an accepted and commonly heard voice within the mainstream of the party.

    I talked with two US Representatives within the last 12 months, and both referenced his book “The Obama Nation”. World Net Daily is quite popular in Republican circles, unfortunately. The Washington Times uses Corsi as a perfectly reputable source in quite a few of their articles. Like others mentioned – his books hit best seller pretty easily. The birther nuts are still extremely common in Republican circles, and Corsi is a popular voice among them.

    I can imagine ways to define “mainstream” so that it doesn’t include Corsi, but it can’t be denied that he is a very loud voice in a very large portion of the Republican party. In my mind that makes him a “mainstream” Republican.

    The Republican party is pretty wide, and so the “mainstream” can be pretty varied, but he’s definitely in it.

  • WebMonk

    Hey formerly just steve, yes, Jerome Corsi is a mainstream Republican, at least as an accepted and commonly heard voice within the mainstream of the party.

    I talked with two US Representatives within the last 12 months, and both referenced his book “The Obama Nation”. World Net Daily is quite popular in Republican circles, unfortunately. The Washington Times uses Corsi as a perfectly reputable source in quite a few of their articles. Like others mentioned – his books hit best seller pretty easily. The birther nuts are still extremely common in Republican circles, and Corsi is a popular voice among them.

    I can imagine ways to define “mainstream” so that it doesn’t include Corsi, but it can’t be denied that he is a very loud voice in a very large portion of the Republican party. In my mind that makes him a “mainstream” Republican.

    The Republican party is pretty wide, and so the “mainstream” can be pretty varied, but he’s definitely in it.


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