Your lying eyes

Leftover from the Democratic convention, Peggy Noonan’s review:

Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he’s thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There’s too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We’ve done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?. . .

Beneath the funny hats, the sweet-faced delegates, the handsome speakers and the babies waving flags there was something disquieting. All three days were marked by a kind of soft, distracted extremism. It was unshowy and unobnoxious but also unsettling.

There was the relentless emphasis on Government as Community, as the thing that gives us spirit and makes us whole. But government isn’t what you love if you’re American, America is what you love. Government is what you have, need and hire. Its most essential duties—especially when it is bankrupt—involve defending rights and safety, not imposing views and values. We already have values. Democrats and Republicans don’t see all this the same way, and that’s fine—that’s what national politics is, the working out of this dispute in one direction or another every few years. But the Democrats convened in Charlotte seemed more extreme on the point, more accepting of the idea of government as the center of national life, than ever, at least to me.

The fight over including a single mention of God in the platform—that was extreme. The original removal of the single mention by the platform committee—extreme. The huge “No!” vote on restoring the mention of God, and including the administration’s own stand on Jerusalem—that wasn’t liberal, it was extreme. Comparing the Republicans to Nazis—extreme. The almost complete absence of a call to help education by facing down the powers that throw our least defended children under the school bus—this was extreme, not mainstream.

The sheer strangeness of all the talk about abortion, abortion, contraception, contraception. I am old enough to know a wedge issue when I see one, but I’ve never seen a great party build its entire public persona around one. Big speeches from the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, HHS Secretary and abortion enthusiast Kathleen Sebelius and, of course, Sandra Fluke.

“Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception,” Ms. Fluke said. But why would anyone have included a Georgetown law student who never worked her way onto the national stage until she was plucked, by the left, as a personable victim?

What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think—and her party apparently thinks—that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they’re not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That’s not a stand, it’s a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, a slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.

And she was one of the great faces of the party in Charlotte. That is extreme. Childish, too.

via The Democrats’ Soft Extremism – WSJ.com.

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.

  • Stone the Crows

    Ah dear Peggy being a bit more lucid than usual; her assesment of Ms. Fluke is spot on.

  • Stone the Crows

    Ah dear Peggy being a bit more lucid than usual; her assesment of Ms. Fluke is spot on.

  • Tom Hering

    Breaking News: “Political Convention Highlights Absurdities!”

  • Tom Hering

    Breaking News: “Political Convention Highlights Absurdities!”

  • Patrick kyle

    Fluke is angry because the rest of us don’t want to fund her promiscuity, or more precisely, fund that which will allow her to be promiscuous without the consequence of pregnancy. While it may be her right to conduct her sex life any way she sees fit, she has no right to claim that others must pay to aid in that pursuit.

    Also, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t birth control cheap or free at planned parenthood and other such ‘clinics’?
    Fluke strikes me as smart enough to know that the Catholic School she attends was unlikely to support the use of or provide birth control in the first place, so her ‘outrage’ smacks of political opportunism and grandstanding.

  • Patrick kyle

    Fluke is angry because the rest of us don’t want to fund her promiscuity, or more precisely, fund that which will allow her to be promiscuous without the consequence of pregnancy. While it may be her right to conduct her sex life any way she sees fit, she has no right to claim that others must pay to aid in that pursuit.

    Also, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t birth control cheap or free at planned parenthood and other such ‘clinics’?
    Fluke strikes me as smart enough to know that the Catholic School she attends was unlikely to support the use of or provide birth control in the first place, so her ‘outrage’ smacks of political opportunism and grandstanding.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s baffling to me that Democrats thought Ms. Fluke and her story were significant. It’s twice as baffling to me that Republicans find her doubly significant. I mean, they can’t stop talking about someone who deserves no more than a shrug of the shoulders and a bored “Whatever.”

  • Tom Hering

    It’s baffling to me that Democrats thought Ms. Fluke and her story were significant. It’s twice as baffling to me that Republicans find her doubly significant. I mean, they can’t stop talking about someone who deserves no more than a shrug of the shoulders and a bored “Whatever.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Patrick kyle @3,

    With the antics of Sandra Fluke you provided in your post, Rush Limbaugh’s description of Fluke as a (politicosexual) “slut” is essentially accurate.

  • Carl Vehse

    Patrick kyle @3,

    With the antics of Sandra Fluke you provided in your post, Rush Limbaugh’s description of Fluke as a (politicosexual) “slut” is essentially accurate.

  • Stone the Crows

    I particularly thought it amusing that Bill Clinton bemoaned the anger and acrimony of the current political climate, apparently he didn’t listen to the rest of the covention’s guest speakers.

  • Stone the Crows

    I particularly thought it amusing that Bill Clinton bemoaned the anger and acrimony of the current political climate, apparently he didn’t listen to the rest of the covention’s guest speakers.

  • DonS

    Stone the Crows @ 6 — +1 . The politics of envy and anger — that is the Democratic platform of 2012.

    Tom @ 4: Republicans don’t find Sandra Fluke doubly significant. They find the fact that the Democrats find her significant doubly significant. It shows the extent to which that once great party has sunk into the gutter.

  • DonS

    Stone the Crows @ 6 — +1 . The politics of envy and anger — that is the Democratic platform of 2012.

    Tom @ 4: Republicans don’t find Sandra Fluke doubly significant. They find the fact that the Democrats find her significant doubly significant. It shows the extent to which that once great party has sunk into the gutter.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, yes it does. But hey, at least it wasn’t a skit involving an empty chair and a display of presenile dementia. Not that such wasn’t appropriately symbolic of the host party.

  • Tom Hering

    Don, yes it does. But hey, at least it wasn’t a skit involving an empty chair and a display of presenile dementia. Not that such wasn’t appropriately symbolic of the host party.

  • Joe

    I thought it was significant that the Dems basically repudiated the “safe, legal and rare” position from 2008 and seemingly replaced it with the idea that abortion is a positive good.

  • Joe

    I thought it was significant that the Dems basically repudiated the “safe, legal and rare” position from 2008 and seemingly replaced it with the idea that abortion is a positive good.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, I think its significance was in the fact that it was hastily-assembled response to the Akin affair. Since neither candidate is running on substance, all that’s left is to jump on whatever opportunity the other side throws your way (like the administration’s Cairo/Libya response). It’s all I expect to see between now and November, i.e., more of the same.

  • Tom Hering

    Joe, I think its significance was in the fact that it was hastily-assembled response to the Akin affair. Since neither candidate is running on substance, all that’s left is to jump on whatever opportunity the other side throws your way (like the administration’s Cairo/Libya response). It’s all I expect to see between now and November, i.e., more of the same.

  • Jon

    Does it matter?
    Romney’s comments last night lost him the election. On to ’16!

  • Jon

    Does it matter?
    Romney’s comments last night lost him the election. On to ’16!

  • DonS

    Hey, Jon @ 11 — with thinking like that, you could work for the MSM ;-)

  • DonS

    Hey, Jon @ 11 — with thinking like that, you could work for the MSM ;-)

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

    @12

    How do we know he doesn’t work for the MSM?

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

    @12

    How do we know he doesn’t work for the MSM?

  • DonS

    Good point, sg!

  • DonS

    Good point, sg!

  • Jon

    I need a new alias.

    Too many Jons and Jonathans out there. Don’t want to be confused with liberal/progressive Jon/athan like @11.

    How about “Formerly Just Jon”?

    Or am I looking at a trademark infringement from our Formerly Just Steve?

    Other ideas?

  • Jon

    I need a new alias.

    Too many Jons and Jonathans out there. Don’t want to be confused with liberal/progressive Jon/athan like @11.

    How about “Formerly Just Jon”?

    Or am I looking at a trademark infringement from our Formerly Just Steve?

    Other ideas?

  • Jon H.

    Jon @15
    I’m “Jon” who posted above. Keep your moniker.
    I’ll now and hereafter use “Jon H.”

  • Jon H.

    Jon @15
    I’m “Jon” who posted above. Keep your moniker.
    I’ll now and hereafter use “Jon H.”

  • Jon

    And yes, it sure is funny how the MSM are all in a lather about Romney’s statement.

    What he said rings true. 47% of the votes are firmly in Obama’s camp, not going to change their minds. They have a vested interest in desiring Obama to win–he wins, they get more stuff.

    It doesn’t matter to them what Romney says “about” them or anything for that matter.

    And I don’t think its going to sway the 3-4% undecided independents that are going to make the difference in the election. Most of them are not that over sensitive. They are rational.

    Face it, what Romney said is tantmount to Obama’s “You didn’t build That” kerfuffle.

    The issue–for those who actually will decide the race–is the terrible economy and dismal future outlook given the failed policies and the ginormous amount of debt this administration has racked up.

  • Jon

    And yes, it sure is funny how the MSM are all in a lather about Romney’s statement.

    What he said rings true. 47% of the votes are firmly in Obama’s camp, not going to change their minds. They have a vested interest in desiring Obama to win–he wins, they get more stuff.

    It doesn’t matter to them what Romney says “about” them or anything for that matter.

    And I don’t think its going to sway the 3-4% undecided independents that are going to make the difference in the election. Most of them are not that over sensitive. They are rational.

    Face it, what Romney said is tantmount to Obama’s “You didn’t build That” kerfuffle.

    The issue–for those who actually will decide the race–is the terrible economy and dismal future outlook given the failed policies and the ginormous amount of debt this administration has racked up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, I’ve noticed there are several Jo(h)ns out there, with notably divergent opinions. It wouldn’t hurt if you all picked more unique handles. I have a hard enough time keeping all the Ste(ph/v)e(n)s apart, as it is.

    Also, as the resident blog elf, I might be able to change the handle on your past comments to whatever you choose to use going forward. Just to avoid confusion. Depending on my free time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, I’ve noticed there are several Jo(h)ns out there, with notably divergent opinions. It wouldn’t hurt if you all picked more unique handles. I have a hard enough time keeping all the Ste(ph/v)e(n)s apart, as it is.

    Also, as the resident blog elf, I might be able to change the handle on your past comments to whatever you choose to use going forward. Just to avoid confusion. Depending on my free time.

  • DonS

    Romney turned the tables today on that story. He referenced a tape of Obama from 1998 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3aGJfDSg4 where Obama says that he actually supports redistribution.

    Something tells me that if those two tapes become paired like that, the MSM will quickly drop the issue, because it will be hurting, rather than helping, Obama.

    As I said yesterday to FJU when this tape of Romney first surfaced, this will ultimately help Romney’s campaign, because it puts the focus back on entitlements and redistribution — not a good thing for Obama.

  • DonS

    Romney turned the tables today on that story. He referenced a tape of Obama from 1998 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3aGJfDSg4 where Obama says that he actually supports redistribution.

    Something tells me that if those two tapes become paired like that, the MSM will quickly drop the issue, because it will be hurting, rather than helping, Obama.

    As I said yesterday to FJU when this tape of Romney first surfaced, this will ultimately help Romney’s campaign, because it puts the focus back on entitlements and redistribution — not a good thing for Obama.

  • helen

    Tom Hering September 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    Don, yes it does. But hey, at least it wasn’t a skit involving an empty chair and a display of presenile dementia. Not that such wasn’t appropriately symbolic of the host party.

    What is “presenile dementia”?
    Do you accuse everyone over 3 score and 10 of it?
    (How old are your parents?)

    As Mollie Hemingway wrote, out in the middle of the country
    there were people who found Clint Eastwood funny.
    And I don’t think they were all in nursing homes. Mollie certainly isn’t!

  • helen

    Tom Hering September 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    Don, yes it does. But hey, at least it wasn’t a skit involving an empty chair and a display of presenile dementia. Not that such wasn’t appropriately symbolic of the host party.

    What is “presenile dementia”?
    Do you accuse everyone over 3 score and 10 of it?
    (How old are your parents?)

    As Mollie Hemingway wrote, out in the middle of the country
    there were people who found Clint Eastwood funny.
    And I don’t think they were all in nursing homes. Mollie certainly isn’t!

  • helen

    Jon (?) @ 17

    and the ginormous amount of debt this administration has racked up.

    Not that I want to defend this administration, but a lot of that debt came from Bush wars, Bush tax cuts, and a burst bubble in housing that was being inflated since Congress gave away the store under Clinton already.
    And who let the banks gamble with our money?

  • helen

    Jon (?) @ 17

    and the ginormous amount of debt this administration has racked up.

    Not that I want to defend this administration, but a lot of that debt came from Bush wars, Bush tax cuts, and a burst bubble in housing that was being inflated since Congress gave away the store under Clinton already.
    And who let the banks gamble with our money?

  • SKPeterson

    Ginormity of debt is a decades old phenomenon which came about with our complete abandonment of commodity-backed money, and the wholesale adoption of fiat currency. We’ve printed our way into this mess, and most of the DC/Wall Street axis has a vested interest in making sure we keep trying to print our way out of it.

  • SKPeterson

    Ginormity of debt is a decades old phenomenon which came about with our complete abandonment of commodity-backed money, and the wholesale adoption of fiat currency. We’ve printed our way into this mess, and most of the DC/Wall Street axis has a vested interest in making sure we keep trying to print our way out of it.


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