Why I Will No More Vote for Gingrich than Obama

In which I detail my reasons for not trusting this perfidious man (and, undoubtedly, prove again to some people that I hate God, America, babies and puppies for failing to get on board with the latest joke of a candidate burped up by the GOP).

I can see somebody saying, “Yuck. This dreadful man is somebody I guess I will have to hold my nose and vote for rather than support Obama.” I get that. Politics involves compromise, etc. Duly noted.

What amazes me though are the repeated encounters I’ve had–with *Catholics* no less–who declare, “I will not tolerate a bad word against Newt Gingrich in my hearing!” As though the man is a saint and not the duplicitous self-regarding creep he so obviously is. Hold your nose and vote if you must, but don’t tell me it is somehow wicked to make note of the man’s gross (and in my book, insuperable) flaws which make giving him the Presidency a fantastically bad idea.

The bizarre gift conservative Catholics have for anointing folk heros, elevating them to the status of Unquestionable and attacking all who point out serious flaws as Enemies of All That is Good and Holy–all as a prelude to yet another toppling fall a la Maciel, Euteneuer, Corapi–is breathtaking. I wonder how many times conservative Catholics are going to do this before it starts to occur to them to have a little humility in mixing up their politics with Holy Church? It’s secular messianism every bit as destructive as the Obama worship the Left indulged in.

  • Brent

    Would you call Newt a “duplicitous self-regarding creep” if you were in his living room, Mark?

    • Michelle

      Newt’s in the public square and has opened himself up to rotten tomatoes from those so inclined to chuck a few his way. I personally think a blog is a soapbox and not a living room, but Mark is free to call his blog whatever he likes and enforce rules accordingly.

      The real question is why you are trying to deflect attention from a politician who should be capable of defending himself against public opinion and shift it to a member of the public exercising his right to air his opinion.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        “Newt’s in the public square and has opened himself up to rotten tomatoes from those so inclined to chuck a few his way. ”

        Ah, is that true for anyone then who is in the public square?

    • The Deuce

      I wouldn’t volunteer that information in polite company, but if Newt were to come up to me directly and ask “How would you describe me in three words or less, hyphenation allowed?” that’s the answer I’d give.

      • Joseph

        I hardly know anything about you, but everytime I read your pseudonym, I think of the final result of food digestion. I’m not kidding… “I dropped a Deuce”.

    • The Deuce

      Are you trying to say that we can’t give negative descriptions of *any* public figures, Brent? What’s your opinion on Barack Obama/Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid/etc, and would you say it if he/she were in your living room?

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Are you trying to say we shouldn’t have a problem when anyone gives any negative descriptions of any public figures?

        • The Deuce

          You should have a problem if someone makes negative statements that are false or unfair, but Brent isn’t even arguing on that basis. He’s trying to circumvent the whole question of whether the charges are true by asking if you’d be too scared to say them to a person’s face. That’s ridiculous. Most people are not confrontational, so this standard would make it impossible to discuss the faults of the people we vote into office, even though that’s precisely what we’re supposed to do as citizens in a voting republic. I’m guessing that you don’t have a problem with me describing Barack Obama an authoritarian, narcissistic demagogue (which is exactly what he is), even if neither you nor I would be likely to be brave/rude enough to say those words outright were he in our living rooms.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            Why would you assume that? I’m not a big fan of name calling. And it can depend on the name. To say someone is narcissistic can describe how they are. To say they are sinful scum can go beyond to more judgementalism (not that anyone said that about Obama or Newt, just an example). It depends on what is said. And quite frankly, how it is said and the context. And no, some of how you describe Obama could be accurate, but the way you said it, I wouldn’t say it that way myself. But then, as a former protestant minister, I didn’t do much name calling from the pulpit either, and tended to distance myself from the ministers who did.

      • Thomas R

        I can’t speak for others, but a part of me thinks we should be cautious about calling people we don’t know “perfidious” or bringers of a “Soviet State of America” or whatever.

        Words can have consequences. I believe the Church once used the term “per-fidelis”, half faithful, to refer to Jews. In several places it became “perfidious” and encouraged the dehumanizing of Jews. A cutting off of compassion to them. (And you could say Jesus spoke in harsh or demeaning terms to people, which is a point, but on the other hand Jesus knew people’s hearts better than we do)

        My High School President was a drunk and drug addict. I acted superior to him and he called me various gay-related slurs to goad me. At prom he stole a car and gave the Nazi salute. He died of drugs. Perfidious right? Well in his last years he apparently tried everything he could to get off drugs. He went to the priest all the time and prayed to be saved from his addiction. He would ask about me and how I was doing, but I would avoid seeing him. He didn’t overcome his demons, but I’d like to think maybe I have diminished some of mine. I do not excuse his actions, but I wish I’d seen that he was more than his actions. And that in the future maybe I won’t be so superior acting to people who maybe have a lot of pain I don’t understand. (I’ve had 200 bone fractures and two mental breakdowns, but I don’t know the pain of addiction or negligent/enabling parents)

        I probably seem pretty cynical, most of the time, but I grant this is sort-of me at my more idealistic. And I know I still fail in how I treat or talk of others.

        • Dwayne Van Wyhe

          Thomas R — I just wanted to thank you for this comment. We do all need to be careful about the words we use. This comment is a very good reminder/reflection for this Advent season.

  • Tominellay

    I agree. That was a fine post.

  • Scott

    At the risk of sounding judgemental, you sound like one of the most judgemental men I have ever heard. The Sermon on the Mount is good reading.

  • Elaine S.

    “Hold your nose and vote if you must, but don’t tell me it is somehow wicked to make note of the man’s gross (and in my book, insuperable) flaws which make giving him the Presidency a fantastically bad idea.”

    That is about right. It’s one thing to be judgmental about whether the man has sincerely repented of his sins or whether anyone who votes for him is going to hell — THAT is the kind of judgment Christ warned us to avoid.

    However, being “judgmental” about whether or not he would be a suitable president, or at least better than the one we have now, is another thing entirely… that is not a sin but a virtue called prudence.

    • Joseph

      The problem is this, if held up to the light of Catholic teaching, there are no worthy candidates for president (and probably never will be). Voting is, therefore, always a compromise, that is, if you partake in it.

      While it can be argued that Newt or Obama are not worthy based on the bare minimum requirements of what it takes to be a president, judging them on whether or not they’d make good Catholics basically makes the former assessment irrelevant. A simple, “I don’t plan on voting for either of them” would suffice. Pointing out that someone is a hypocrite (when one is a hypocrite every time they sin… which occurs on a daily basis), is kind of pointless.

      That said, I don’t plan on voting for either of them.

  • Confederate Papist

    I don’t know on whom you’re crashing down upon more, Gingrich or the *Conservative* Catholics…

    I realise and recognise your concerns and problems with him. We will never have a perfect candidate, Jesus will not run. It is very unfortunate that the choices are “who will do the least amount of eeeevil”.

    I really hate that Herman Cain suspended his campaign. He was not perfect, either (i.e., he ain’t Jesus!), but he really resonated with people and I think (my opinion) he was destroyed not only by the democrats and Obama political machine, but also by the GOP establishment. He was a threat to both because of his race, his politcal leanings and the fact he never held office in his life, and he truly connected with people. Time will only tell about the allegations, but I can tell you this; out of over 40 years of his professional life, the only allegations came from one period of his career, and while he was recovering from stage IV cancer?

  • Thomas R

    “I believe the adult who was there, not the child who suddenly comes out with a new story just as daddy is gearing up to run for Prez”

    I have been uncharitable to you in the past, but I’m going to try to deal with this part in a way that is critical but I hope fair.

    It does make sense to trust the source closer in time to the event, but “primary sources” (to get out my historian hat) are not always totally trustworthy either. In this case you have an ex-wife. It certainly seems plausible she could, not that she inevitably does you understand, have some motivation for thinking the worst of her ex-husband. Or interpreting the events in a way worse than the reality she actually experienced.

    If you personally know Gingrich’s ex-wife, and have good reason to believe her on that basis, than of course it’s a different matter. But I think it would be wiser, and more humane, to either reserve judgment or look for a neutral witness to these events. Like is there any doctor or nurse present at the time willing to speak on this matter?

    Now granted I suppose I like Gingrich best of the viable options and although I’m sympathetic to doing it, I’m not totally ready to effectively withdraw from ever voting for President again. However I certainly think there’s much bad about Gingrich, and by that I mean as he is today. He seems a bit reckless in his personal spending, willing to schill for various donors, and say things that end up sounding more fringe than I think he means. He’s not my ideal candidate. However he has some successes in the political sphere and of late he seems less anti-Mexican than many of the other GOP candidates. I may vote for him because, as I said, I’m not yet ready to reject voting at a Presidential level. (Though I have chosen to go write-in once before so I’m not totally ruling it out for all time either. I’d just rather it not be my “go to” response) But it’s not exactly a dance around the maypole doing so.

    • http://www.communionantiphons.org Andy, Bad Person

      He seems a bit reckless in his personal spending, willing to schill for various donors, and say things that end up sounding more fringe than I think he means.

      Really? That’s what bothers you? Not his willingness to deny that life begins at conception, but his willingness to shill for donors (which every single politician does)?

      • Thomas R

        I was being too vague there. I maybe should have been blunter and say he does some things that strike me as conflict-of-interest or just crooked. Also that he’s self-aggrandizing and is somewhat prone to do risky things for publicity.

        As for the other thing, no that doesn’t bother me. Maybe I should desire an ideal Catholic-state, but to me it’s unreasonable and intolerant to demand a majority non-Catholic nation to follow Catholic teaching in matters of law. And I thought even Thomas Aquinas indicated something like that. And that matters because you’re not going to get any rules or restrictions pre-implantation if those have any chance of affecting fertility clinics and contraception. So for all practical purposes implantation or conception pretty much doesn’t matter in all political concerns. And I’ll admit I don’t know the biology well enough to really judge the difference in general that well.

  • MarkC

    Confederate Papist said, “only allegations came from one period of his career, and while he was recovering from stage IV cancer?”

    That is not true. The latest revelations came from a woman whom Cain has been in contact with even in recent months. He has admitted to giving her money and gifts without his wife’s knowledge. Aside from that, Cain was not a serious candidate. As George Will pointed out recently, his was a book tour which morphed into a campaign. His proposal for restructuring the tax system was as radical a restructuring as the Obama health care mess: “We’ll find out what it does when we pass it.” Moreover, Cain is capable of little more than vague and happy sloganeering, “What you talking ’bout Willis!”.

    Gingrich, with his Machiavellian dumping of the unborn is far more dangerous than Cain or even Obama. He cloaks himself in John Paul II style Catholicism and yet acts completely unaware of his core teaching on life issues. In effect he is as integral a witness to Catholicism as Nancy Pelosi or Andrew Cuomo – worse in fact – because the Presidency is a far bigger pulpit.

    Gingrich is a disaster for Catholics ..

    • Confederate Papist

      He met that lady while he was at the NRA. I will concede the fact he had recent contact (via text messaging), but during that 13 year period he was suffering from, and recovering from stage IV cancer. Not a short and easy process.

  • Noah D

    People ask me who I’m going to vote for, and I used to sigh and shrug. Still do, now and then.

    But more often, I reply ‘A Catholic constitutionalist monarch who bends their knee to Christ.’ It makes for interesting conversations…and silences.

    Newt, President? Oh, heck no. Put him in charge of NASA, it’s what he really wants.

  • Dan C

    In what way is Gingrich a disaster for the unborn?

  • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

    Sooooo, why not Huntsman? Mark? Anybody? Bueller? What do people think?

    • Rose

      He seems to be a reasonable person, and thus unlikely to be nominated. He clearly has the most foreign policy experience, but that does not seem to matter to many voters.

      • Confederate Papist

        I could care less at this point about foreign policy. We need someone who is focused on fixing this country…not dealing with foreign countries that are either fair-weathered friends or just plain out hate us.

        I don’t know who that would be, but Obama is not the answer, never has been and never will be.

        • Martial Artist

          @Confederate Papist,

          By

          fixing this country

          I presume that you include reversing the egregious accumulation of government debt (and I do so, because if that isn’t fixed, I see no future in which the term “this country” will remain meaningful to anyone residing in what is now called the United States).

          If my presumption is correct, I would humbly suggest that you take a look at candidate Paul’s proposed 2013 Federal budget. He is the only person, not just candidate, who has actually proposed a budget that will actually restore the U.S. budget to a balanced condition in my likely lifetime. If there is some reason why you have done so, or now do so, and still find him unacceptable, I should be most interested in learning what that reason is.

          Pax et bonum,
          Keith Töpfer

          • Confederate Papist

            I could live with a President Paul. A lot of Southern Nationalists, of which I’m one, really like him, and believe he will do the South right. However, we have to be careful about putting our complete trust in men, flawed as they can be. I am not suggesting that you are, I am just clarifying for myself.
            I really look forward to the day that the US as it is withdraws it’s presence from my state and the states of the Confederacy (and Copperhead States) and leaves us alone. The central government as it is now, was never to be this strong and this large, and anybody, repub or demo, in these times are nothing like the class of people we had at the founding. They were not interested in building empires and controlling their citizens’ lives, they seceded from the British Empire for those same reasons, and now we are all in a much, much worse situation.
            I could go on forever about this, but that’s a different blog subject than what we have here.
            Pax,
            CP

            • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

              Argh. This thread is supposed to be about Huntsman, not Ron Paul. :-)

      • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

        Okay! So he strikes a lot of us as a reasonable person. (As he does me.) So why are we not planning on supporting him in the primaries? Why are we ignoring him?

        • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

          *he being, of course, Huntsman. A Democrat friend of mine (an Obama supporter) says he hopes Huntsman does not get the nomination, since he’ll will beat Obama for sure if he does.

        • Rose

          I think he’s too reasonable for many voters. A lot of people see reasonability as weakness and indecisiveness.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

            If people can’t tell the difference between decisiveness and pig-headedness, then no wonder an idea as fundamentally inhuman as radical feminism makes sense to people.

            As if our choices came down to either Archie or Meathead.

  • Amichel

    There’s always Ron Paul. Not perfect, but against torture, abortion, the death penalty, and our aggresive foreign policy and creeping police state. I doubt he could win, but who knows?

  • High Desert Conservative

    And if Newt and Obama are the only serious (read: electable) choices on the ballot? In that case I’ll be voting for Newt (or the proverbial ham sandwich) rather than give Obama and Kathleen Sebelius (and Eric Holder) another 4 years to work THEIR perfidious evil. Newt isn’t my first choice for the Republican nominee (see Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, in that order…..but they’re not running), but he’s clearly preferable to Obama. And welcome, Mark, to NM for these next 3 days! Schools are closed in Abq today due to snow (it’s still falling)…so you may have an exciting drive up to Los Alamos.

    • Martial Artist

      You are making the assumption that you know who will be “electable,” which when copied by others who think the same way you do becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. That is what has gotten us to where we are over the past 55+ years through which I have lived and can recall. To quote Dr. Phil, “how’s that comprpomise working for you?”

      As long as one votes for the “electable” over the morally right choice, I don’t imagine one is ever going to get what one says one wants.

      Pax et bonum,
      Keith Töpfer

    • Mark

      Anyone who does not vote for Newt if that is the ballot choice for Republican and Obama Democrat is giving Obama their vote. Only a fool cannot see this logic in a country where only two parties are viable and possible. Right now, a good chunk of money is going to be spent by Obama and his party to get the message out that Mark Shea has posted here. He does not have to convince them, just keep them home or voting for someone who has no chance of winning. No getting around this is thus in full support of the president who Planned Parenthood on their own site says is their PARTNER.

      Mark and others with this crazy idea did the same with Republicans before and we have Obama as a result. Now is the time to vote for the best candidate we can get who most closely shows our values. But if we lose and another is selected to run against the abortion mill Partner Obama, it should be an easy choice. Check out Newt Pro Life record. Check out the fact he has entered the Catholic Church and thus has shown that he has put himself into our family.

      Stop the Democrats in their tracks starting with this election by saying no more votes or support until you end abortion and let them know we are giving our vote for now to the Republicans depending on what they do going forward to end abortion.

  • MarkC

    “In what way is Gingrich a disaster for the unborn?”

    Seriously? He recently stated you can’t define an unborn as “human” until implantation because it would raise too many complications.

    That’s like saying you can’t define a marriage until the 3rd adulterous try because it raises too many complications.

    One does not need the teachings of the Church to know that life begins at conception, it is a matter of basic embryology. Mr. Gingrich may find it convenient to add the unborn to the list of those he has abandoned to advance his aspirations but Catholics should not follow him. As Mother Theresa pointed out, if one is capable of abandoning the unborn, what is left?

    • Arnold

      The more correct analogy would be not defining a marriage until the wedding night instead of the marriage ceremony. A bad analogy, I admit, but so is yours. I strongly disagree with Newt’s statement about life beginning at implantation rather than conception but that does not not make him an enemy of the unborn,” a far too categorical a charge. I understand that his office has issued a statement in the meantime confirming his understanding that life begins at conception.

      • Rose

        @ Arnold –with your analogy, you may wish to consider that an unconsummated marriage can be annulled

        • dcs

          It can be dissolved on grounds of non-consummation, but non-consummation is not grounds for annulment.

          • Rose

            Thanks. for clarifying.

      • Mark

        Arnold, not only have they issued a correction on his statement, but have shown where he used the right term, conception, on multiple interviews prior to this mistake. There is no question on Newt on life and his tract record on life during his entire time in congress was 100% pro life.

  • Marv

    To quote Jon Stewart, if no one else has: “Newt Gingrich-the candidate for people who like Herman Cain but think he’s too monogamous.”

    • Confederate Papist

      Yeah, Jon Stewart is where I go for all my Catholic instruction, too….

      • Mark

        Agree confederate. when you start quoting Jon Stewart, it is pretty obvious your values are kind of out of whack in regard to faith issues.

  • Kirt Higdon

    That’s a very powerful case against Gingrich. I certainly wasn’t planning on voting for him anyway, but he’s probably the worst of the Republican field and at least now seems the most likely to be nominated if the polls are to be believed.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/AquinasFTW Chris

    Agree with Mark – how many times do we have to get burned by deifying one conservative or another? The greatest lesson here – AGAIN – is that there is no one worthy of anyone’s complete trust, but God, and if you’re blessed, your spouse.

    That said, on the scale of evil, Gingrich’s “life at implantation” is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz versus Obama’s Satanic kill-em-on-the-table approach to abortion.

    Ultimately, it comes down to this. If Ron Paul has a legitimate shot at winning, he’s got my vote in the primary. If it’s Gingrich in the general election, I have to vote Gingrich, because the ultimate branch of power resides in the Supreme Court, and Obama will guaranteed continue to stack the court with pro-death, pro- gay marriage justices. It will be the lesser of evils.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

      Your spouse is not worthy of your complete trust. But that doesn’t mean you oughtn’t give it to him or her.

  • Tiff

    I think we’re putting the cart before the horse right now if we’re assuming Newt Gingrich is going to get the nomination. Two months ago Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were considered front runners and we still have several months of this before a candidate is decided.

  • Kim Black

    After reading the Agenda 21 article in today’s marquis, I believe I will vote for Ron Paul because he will pull away from the UN who may render the Church useless if it gets it’s way in the Durbin summit. I think we all need to see the importance of this issue which is being ignored by most media but will destroy our country as we know it. We need to get out of the UN or nothing else will matter. May God bless our country from the evils that are confronting it.

    • Rose

      Kim, could you please explain your concern with the Durbin summit? Also, have you read the recent Vatican document on economics and world governance?

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    I’m going to try to get Ron Paul nominated. Failing that, I’ll be inclined to vote for whatever the GOP serves up on its platter, since it’s bound to be better than the rotten dish that will be served on the Dems plate.

    I’m resigned to the likelihood that it will probably be Romney. He’ll have to convince me that he has a soul, which won’t be that easy.

    • Martial Artist

      @Dave,

      Of course Romney has a soul. Long observation of him shows he has the soul of a man who wants the Presidency so badly he’d be willing to consider selling his soul for a guaranteed electoral victory. Where the heck (and what the heck) are his actual principles (always assuming that he has any)?

      Pax et bonum,
      Keith Töpfer

  • Peggy R

    Don’t worry. I think he’s going to hang himself soon enough. To wit, “I will be the nominee.” Promoting wife #3, Callista, as a great potential first lady…ugh. I don’t think the public like Miss Plastic any more than him. Perhaps even less than him.

    If he were to win, I would consider holding my nose and praying for God’s mercy on our nation.

  • jacobus

    I really wish whatever bishop Gingrich converted to had been savvy enough to make Newt take a very catholic, but vaguely ridiculous name and use it in public, like… Theophilus or something.

    • Arnold

      I don’t think that Gingrich converted to any bishop, as you put it. I am not certain that any bishop was involved with his conversion anyway. He converted to the Catholic Church. Unless you were involved directly with the process, it would be better to keep silent about the sincerity of the conversion.

    • Kim

      his name is already Newt. I don’t think a different silly name would have much impact–if Newt can’t derail him, Theolphilus could only help.

  • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

    Wow Mark! Talk about opening up a big ol’ can of whoop-ass! Excellent piece!

  • http://www.BillDodds.com Bill Dodds

    People want to believe they have found the perfect leader but, apparently, often don’t want to believe in the Perfect Leader. (Whose birthday is fast approaching.)

  • The Deuce

    I’m not Catholic, but I’ve had about enough of the crap that the Republican party keeps serving up. Newt wouldn’t be as bad as Obama, but he’d still make things worse rather than better, imo. He’s almost a personification of our culture’s slide into decadence and narcissism – which is the ultimate problem behind all the other ones – and he’s certainly not going to help turn that around by example. I’m probably going to abstain from voting for President this time. Not that it will make any difference, living as I do in Maryland.

    • Thomas R

      “He’s almost a personification of our culture’s slide into decadence and narcissism”

      This is a concern I share too, although maybe to a lesser extent. (Meaning I don’t know if he’s quite that decadent and narcissistic, but he shows more tendencies that appear like that than is good)

  • Mike Petrik

    As has been pointed out, Jesus isn’t running, so I’ll support either Romney or Gingrich in order to help prevent another four years of Obama. That said, mine is a prudential calculus, and while I certainly disagree with those who would sit out the election or vote fecklessly for a third party candidate, I would hardly rebuke them. Mark’s straw man notwithstanding, most of the crowd that has expressed a refusal to vote for Gingrich on character grounds is very conservative.

  • MikeTheGeek

    Well, I guess we should all thank G~d that we’re not like other men. So who is pure enough for y’all? Remember, St. Constantine Liberator of the Church whacked his own kid.

    • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com Scott W,

      I don’t know if you have been here before, but the accusation that we are overly concerned about purity (candidates and ourselves) has been brought up time and time again. And the perfectly reasonable answer is that it has little to do with purity, and everything to do with voting for a candidate that does not vocally endorse any intrinsic evil. Not endorsing evil doesn’t mean the candidate is perfect or pure, it means that he is minimally acceptable.

    • Kirt Higdon

      Constantine is not considered a saint by the Catholic Church and the fact that he whacked his own kid (and wife) probably has something to do with that. And add the fact that he officially practiced paganism his entire life though he had long since ceased to believe in the official Roman cult. Opportunistically he postponed baptism until he was on his death bed and God in his mercy gave him the opportunity. So I think we’ll be encountering Constantine in heaven, but the Catholic Church does not canonize emperorers who behaved in their personal life more or less like Nero. The Greek Orthodox Church does consider Constantine a saint, but their standards for official recognition are a little looser.

      • MikeTheGeek

        (a) Excuse me, but my Maronite CATHOLIC church – and the Maronites have never been anything but CATHOLIC – venerates the icon of Sts. Constantine and Helena annually at the celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Their names are mentioned at the altar among the saints for the month. Please do not be so provincial as to confuse “Latin Rite” with “Catholic Church.”
        (b) Only two of Mark’s reasons for condemning Mr. Gingrich have to do w/ his public positions. The first involves implantation vs. conception. I believe Mr. Gingrich has clarified his misstatement to align himself w/ Church teaching and his prior positions. The second involves whether waterboarding constitutes torture. A pretty fair number of men of good will do not consider waterboarding rising to the level of torture. I have never undergone it; I know a young marine who has and does not consider it torture; we could both be wrong. The point is that it is a legitimately disputable issue and that a willingness to allow for its use is not equivalent to considering the use of torture as a valid option.
        (c) Mr. Gingrich’s personal life is a matter of significant concern as a reflection of character, but we are seeking to elect an president, not a successor to Peter. Womanizing has never seemed to have been a disqualification for serving as president since the earliest days of the Republic..
        Not wanting to vote for Mr. Gingrich is a valid posiiton; he’s not my first choice, either. But to claim your view as the only one suitable for a thoughtful and orthodox Catholic is more than a bit presumptious, and to claim that the tone has not been one of self-satisfaction is self-deluding.

  • http://frenchcookingmama.wordpress.com frenchcookingmama

    My whole problem with Newt is I still don’t believe that he’s sincere about his conversion.

    Now who’s going to tell America that I want to be an expat, my kids that they stink because they were once babies, and my cat because she’s cute ‘n fuzzy?

    • http://frenchcookingmama.wordpress.com frenchcookingmama

      That should say “my cat was given to me by The Dark Lord because she’s cute ‘n fuzzy”.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      That’s not really for us to say.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    I pretty much came to the conclusion a while ago that any candidate is a potential “disaster.” Or at the very least not perfect. That doesn’t mean I won’t vote; I’m not sure right now who that vote will be for except that it won’t be Obama. What it does mean is that I won’t expect much from whoever I think should win. Hopefully, we’ll at least get a competent POTUS this time round who might turn some things around, but I still won’t expect the moon from him.

    The “answer” to our problems doesn’t lie in politics and politicians. The former is basically evil and the latter are fallen and unreliable. I’ve faced the facts; even if the next POTUS is somehow 100% staunchly pro-life without even a single flip-flop in that regard, he’s not going to turn back the clock to 1972 re. abortion in this country. It’s just not gonna happen because politics isn’t the answer to the abortion problem. Even most pro-life politicians don’t really care all that much about overturning Roe or getting a Human Life Amendment passed or any other pipe-dream of the pro-life movement. The answer is a much longer, harder one… changing hearts and minds, getting dangerous clinics closed, etc.

    And We The People have to do that because, by and large, our elected officials only care about staying in office and amassing personal wealth. If they think kissing babies will win them elections, they’ll kiss babies. If they think claiming to be pro-life and/or “born again” will do it, they’ll make that claim. Then when they get into office they’ll do as they please; if they actually do something good for us their constituents, we’re just lucky. That’s how it’s always been, that’s how it will be until Christ the King returns and puts an end to all this nonsense.

    So the best I can do is try to vote for the presidential candidate who will do the least harm in his mad quest for a place in the history books. Sometimes it almost makes me not want to vote at all.

  • Mark R

    If charity could be politically mandated, maybe only then could Catholic Christianity be articulated into politics.

  • MarkC

    I would rather have Obama in office as the visage of the tetrahydron in the Oval Office than a false Catholic like Gingrich. It is bad enough he espouses the “incest/rape/life of the mother” nonesense. If he is going to concede to the pro-choice lobby that pre-implantation stage embryos are not human then … what else will he sacrifice in the future?

    I’m not interested in his “clarifications” that he is pro-life, life begins at conception, etc. Catholics have been swindled by this type of horse trader before – he needs to specifically state why Thursday’s comments were wrong and explain why he made them.

    As for, Rand Paul – give me a break. He won’t even sanction a constitutional right to life; he would leave it to the states to decide (along with prostitution, legalized drug use, same sex marriage, “you name it”). 9/11 was America’s fault? What a wretch ..

    • MarkC

      Sorry, I meant Ron Paul ..

      • Colonel Klink

        Ron Paul’s positions are entirely defensible. He is pro-life, and believes it should be illegal, but that the Constitution does not provide the federal government with authority to ban it. The same goes for gay so-called marriage, etc. If you believe the Constitution does ban these things, or grants the federal government authority to do so, please cite the provision where it does so.

        As for 9/11 being America’s fault, you are mischaracterizing (or not understanding) what Paul has said. Paul’s position is that the U.S. Government’s decades-long interference with the Middle East, in which the U.S. Government has supported (and still does support) dictatorships that violate their citizens’ basic human rights, leads people to resent the U.S. Government and want to strike at the U.S. as a result.

        Paul would be the first to say that does not justify the terror attacks on the U.S., and that those terrorists should be punished for it. But one has to recognize the real-world effects of U.S. foreign policy.

        • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

          FWIW, slavery, while bad, should not be a federal issue and if state A has slaves, that’s up to the people in state A to deal with. Ah, to go back to the glory days of the ‘original’ consitution (by the way, all this talk about ‘we stand on the consitution’ reminds me of evangelical protestants who say ‘we do Christianity the way the early church did it’).

          • Colonel Klink

            You will probably be interested to know that the Constitution bans slavery (see the 13th Amendment).

            The point of Paul’s argument is not to say that abortion should not be banned (he is an adamant pro-lifer), but that the Constitution presently does not ban it. Why that seems to offend you is anyone’s guess.

            • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

              That would be the later constitution, wouldn’t it? That’s what I mean about the ‘protestant’ nature of it. We hold to the ‘constitution’. Usually the assumption is that we hold to the ‘original’ since I know of nobody who really says they ignore the constitution (if you know of any pols or anyone else who says they gladly ignore the consitution, I’ll concede the point). Oh, and I’m aware of the ammendments to the consitution.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        I’m not sure….does Paul oppose a pro-life Constitutional amendment, or does he just say that there are currently no grounds to ban abortion on the federal level in the Constitution?

        • Colonel Klink

          Paul certainly does believe that the Constitution does not ban abortion.

          Whether he supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, I don’t know.

          I have asked you to identify provisions in the Constitution banning abortion, gay so-called marriage, prostitution, etc., but you’ve not yet responded. Please do so.

          • Colonel Klink

            Sorry, I see you are not MarkC, so I didn’t ask you anything!

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Does it really matter whether a president supports a pro-life Constitutional amendment? The Congress makes amendments happen; the POTUS has no role in the process whatsoever. He can’t even veto its proposal or ratification, so who cares what he thinks about it?

          Besides, we’re never gonna have a Human Life Amendment unless US popular opinion takes a major, major turn against abortion someday. Even the most pro-life president can’t make that happen, only the Holy Ghost working through His people can.

  • Faith

    Is faithfulness in marriage a necessary quality in a good political leader? I think there have been many men, brilliant in leadership and pretty lousy when it comes to fidelity to their spouse. I’d love to vote for a saint. If I’m only counting faithfulness in marriage, then Obama wins hands down! I don’t like Newt Gingrich anyway, but the fact that he’s been married 3 times is not a major sticking point with me. It is something that may give me pause but all other things being equal it would not make or break my vote.

    And I am a great believer in faithfulness in marriage, but I just don’t think the sin of adultery automatically disqualifies one from being a political leader. I think it often seems to be a sin that assails those with big enough egos to pursue political careers.

  • MarkC

    Hi Faith,

    This thread is not about Gingrich’s marital issues. It is about his apparent willingness to jettison the unborn to advance his political career. If a supposedly pro-life politician is so duplicitous that he cannot even affirm a basic scientific fact, that a fetus is a human person, with a unique genome, from the moment of fertilization (and NOT implantation) then he is unfit for moral leadership.

    • SKay

      Mark C–

      Father Z has posted Newt’s clarification on this subject.Newt also commented on the kind of judges he would appoint to the Supreme Court.

      I agree Chris–

      “the ultimate branch of power resides in the Supreme Court, and Obama will guaranteed continue to stack the court with pro-death, pro- gay marriage justices.”

      51% of Catholics helped Obama get elected — Obamacare will expand abortion and euthanasia forcing Catholic hospitals and healthcare workers to participate. Under his direction, the military chaplains have been told that they can now perform ss marriages. How will this affect Catholic chaplains?
      Walter Reed Hospital was going to stop anyone coming to visit a wounded soldier from bringing a bible or religious article to give to him/her but a Republican Congressman pointed this out on the House floor and suddenly it is supposed to be changed. Without light being shown on this-it would not have been changed.
      We will lose a lot more if Obama is re-elected-he will have nothing to lose.

      • MarkC

        Skay,

        Sorry, Newt’s “clarification” doesn’t cut it with me. I’m not going to allow him to have TWO positions on when human life begins – one for Catholics, the other for the mainstream media. When he calls Jake Tapper and tells him he needs to reverse his statement then, perhaps, I’ll start to pay attention.

        Catholics have nothing to to gain by providing cover for self-serving politicians who would throw their grandmother under a bus to advance their careers. If we must have a pro-death President, please let him not be Catholic ..

        • SKay

          Newt’s voting record was pro life. That was a long time before he became Catholic.

  • Deacon Nathan Allen

    I find it interesting that so many people commenting on this post, both ehre and at the Register, take it for granted that there will only be two options on the ballot: Obama and whoever the GOP guy is. A vote for a third-party candidate is simply that: a vote for someone other than Obama and the other guy. If the two parties put up Tweedledum and Tweedledee, are we just supposed to tug our forelocks and say, “Thank you, sweet masters! you’ve given us a choice!” Right now, there are only two people in the Republican field I’d even think of voting for in the general election. If the Republicans nominate The Android or The Salamander, I’ll vote third-party. And that vote will emphatically be a vote for the third-party candidate I choose, not a stealth vote for Obama.

  • Observer

    Quote: “…As though the man is a saint and not the duplicitous self-regarding creep he so obviously is.”
    @Mark:

    A defense of someone (i.e. blocking blows of ad-hominem’s and smilar things alike) does not necessarily mean the person is treated like a saint. More so, a saint isn’t someone who gets special protection from a sort of fanfare because he or she is somehow more specially inclinded to be treated immune and invincible from all sins when they were in the world (yes, there are graces. But, the saint still had the disposition to temptation, though it differs from one saint to another. A relative of mind says “We all have the potential of becoming saints.”)

    Also, if by saint you mean a person who here on earth has a reputation of holiness and sanctification, then this has been the dilemma of people defending Corapi for all the wrong reasons in confusing his charism with holiness (i.e. his stance on having preached the truth and following the lesser rule of his order not requiring a vow of poverty in the past) to justify keeping all his wealth and losing his vocation. I might be missing something, though. But, I think every person is granted a gracious defense in charity.

    In Newt’s case, name-calling and not getting down to the tacks and nails of what he has disclosed about his past sins (and what you’re very weary of about a man in his past failings with powers and responsibilities) are not the merit of prudent advice. In many respects, your quotes of Sir Thomas More have been the most fruitful in prudential judgement (as Sir Thomas More advised Richard to be a teacher and telling him to go where a man may not be tempted: A Man for All Seasons; Newt was a history teacher and ought to teach rather than fall into the temptations “at court [being offered] all sorts of things, home, manor houses, coats of arms. A man should go where he won’t be tempted…”: Paul Scofield [Sir Thomas More] – A Man for All Seasons.)

  • Faith

    It is? It seemed to me that his perfidy was emphasized the most. Though Mark does mention Gingrich’s bizarre statement about implantation. I honestly don’t like Gingrich for many reasons, but I guess I assume he’d be like all other Republican candidate and pay lip service to pro life issues but by making that statement about when life begins he certainly showed himself completely out of step with both authentic Catholicism and the pro-life movement.

    • SKay

      Faith-
      Father Z provided this link on his blog. It provides Newt’s clarification of his position (life begins at conception) and also talks about his pro life voting record-something many may have forgotten about.

      http://www.lifenews.com/2011/12/05/gingrich-restates-pro-life-views-says-life-begins-at-conception/

      I think it is worth reading.

      • Mark Shea

        Not a “clarification”. A reversal, because he saw it wasn’t flying with the base. So was he lying before or is he lying now?

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          Yeah, Newt is too smart for it to be an accident. He has one message for the masses, and another for the hardcore pro-lifers. Not that this is unusual for a politician, but it remains very disappointing.

          Let’s all support Ron Paul, even though he supposedly has no chance to win, and see what happens. Hey, even Mark might vote for him, and that’s something!

          BTW, a recent poll showed Paul tied with Obama in a head to head matchup, so at the very least he has a CHANCE to win.

  • Scott

    I was not ripping Mr. Shea for judging Newt on his fitness to be president. I would like to know how Mr. Shea, not being Jesus, could know the sincerity of Newt’s conversion to Catholicism and his sorrow for past sins. I think that is really crossing the line.

    • Mark Shea

      I grant that Gingrich is a Catholic. I do not grant he is a particularly good one, given his behavior, which includes lying about his treatment of his first wife to this day, and attempting to paint his serial infidelity as a result of extremely noble love of country. When he can talk honestly, I will take him for an honest man. Till then, I regard him as… wait for it, another catholic schlub like myself. The question is not whether I think him a Catholic (I do). It’s whether I think him fit to be President. That’s called “discernment and prudence” and is exactly the same faculty you use in deciding whether any other candidate is fit for the White House.

  • Jack

    I’m an englishman so I have no say in your elections, but if was an American I’d hold my nose and vote for obama; anti-catholic he may be, pro abortion and pro fake marriage he may be, but the man has at least SOME experience of being president and when you compare that experience against intellectual midgets that the GOP is currently fielding (Ron Paul perhaps being the exception) I’d rather go with someone who hasn’t managed to make a total pigs breakfast of the job over the past 3 years.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      Actually Obama has no experience as a leader, and his inability to lead demonstrates this. Anyone who has been in a leadership position can clearly see that Obama does not know how to lead. He does not know how to overcome objections. He does not know how to persuade those who oppose him. He avoids. And when a leader avoids confrontations the way he does, when he runs to the hills and lets others fight his battles, it’s clear he doesn’t know what he is doing. The media meme of ‘Obama – the most intellegent and capable leader in American history’ is just the result of saying it over and over. He’s not even that articulate. Take away his prompter and he’s no better than Bush on a good day. As much as I wouldn’t vote for Newt at this point, he or Mitt have much more leadership experience than Obama has after three years of not really leading in the presidency.

    • Confederate Papist

      So shredding constitutional rights, making unconstititional edicts, and forcing marxist dogma makes one qualified to be president?

      Does the Vatican offer political asylum? Just wondering….

      • Jack

        Gentlemen

        The point I was trying to make is that Obama actually has experience of exercising the office of the President of the United States and that compared to the currrent field of GOP candidates, many who think that they could shrink the defecit whilst prosecuting a war against Iran he seems to be the least worst option.

        Consider who republicans have rallied around in the past couple of months, a businessmen whose lack of dimplomacy and foreign policy knowledge would have been exteremely embarrising had he become president, a governer who has sent over 200 people to their deaths and who couldn’t remember the federal departments he would abolish, a congresswomen who has been quoted as saying that a nuclear response to Iran’s program should not be off the table and a man who said that he commited adultery because “he loved America so much”.

        Now I did except Ron Paul as whilst I disagree with certain aspects of his libertarianism I at least think he has some sort coherant intellectual plan and is not simply jumping on bandwagons.

        Now I’m not a paid up member of the Obama fan club, but I also think that in a democracy being a marxist doesn’t automatically disqualifies somebody for public office.

        • David Davies

          Jack. In Texas executions are largely out of the governor’s hands. Read up on it and learn something. Executions happen in Texas because Texans favor the death penalty for egregious offenses. Such as raping and battering to death fourteen year old girls. Sorry buddy. If you have a problem with the death penalty in Texas you need to take it up with the people there, not their governor.

  • Katharine M

    I’m voting for Ron Paul regardless of who gets the Republican nomination. I’m not going to play the “anyone but Obama” game, particularly when the likely (non Ron Paul) alternatives to Obama are as scary as he is. I am very fed up with our two party system.

    As to electability, it’s hard to call. Obviously the media puts hits out on candidates or ignore them if they aren’t the favorite but right now Ron Paul is polling second in Iowa and in a recent NBC Obama vs GOP Nominee ______ poll Ron Paul was the only one who tied with Obama, the others were all behind Obama. He’s also been elected 12 times as a Congressman and gets support from Independents and many disillusioned Democrats are registering Republican just so they can vote for him in the primaries.

    Honestly though, I think “electability” is a stupid reason to vote for a candidate who is less worthy than others, particularly in the primaries where I believe everyone should vote their conscience. What gives us a sense of a person’s electability anyways? The media, that same media that twist many other things that are dear to my heart and like to pretend that thousands go to every pro-choice march and do their best to ignore the March for Life each winter…

    • Confederate Papist

      The fact a NBC poll shows Paul tied with Obama shows that Obama must really be in trouble as we all know that the MSM are Obama/White House shills.

      And you’re right about how they distort everything else. Why should they be the ones that choose the person running against Obama? Hell, they did that in ’08 and screwed Hillary (Obama with testicals) to make Obama the nominee and then, with either the help of the GOP establishment, or not, they give the public a lame candidate in McCain.

      Not only does Obama need to be defeated, congress needs a cleaning, and the media needs to be shown the door.

  • Charity

    Katharine M., I completely agree. At this point, my conscience tells me the *only* person I can vote for without holding my nose is Ron Paul, and so I will do just that, whether or not he has an official party nomination. I believe that the two-party system, and the fact that special interest groups actually run this country, are going to be this country’s downfall. I will no longer allow my vote to be held hostage by the GOP and their lip-service to the pro-life cause. I will now only vote for someone who my conscience tells me to vote for. Too many people I know seem to be Republican first, Catholic second; I refuse to be part of that crowd.

    • Katharine M

      I wasted my first vote when I was 18 lining up where they told the pro-life people to. Now I realize there is so much more to each issue and solutions are rarely as simple as voting for someone who makes pleasing comments regarding the issues.

    • Mark

      Mark job on Newt makes no sense and is based on one thing…his obsession with torture and amazingly how he sees this as even being close to the issue of abortion.

      1. Newt situation on the divorce as to his first wife being on death bed came from article in Mother Jones as part of a hit piece. Newt’s first wife has said she will no longer talk to media about the incident because she believes her earlier words were “misconstrued” and “misquoted.” The daughter has set the record straight on this issue but Mark says he doesn’t believe her. If anyone has been through a divorce, there are often very emotional and testy moments. If Mark says divorce or having affairs makes someone unacceptable, that is fine, but this is not well laid out, only that he does not believe the adult daughter is telling the truth.
      2. Marks number two rant seems to go back to number one and the fact that Newt going into the Catholic Church should not be believed or accepted because he was an adulterer or had two divorces. I have read it a few times and it is simply a rant as he puts Newt into the same camp as Pelosi and Biden. Last time I looked, Newt was 100% pro life and both of these bozo’s were 100% for abortion. In this rant he sounds a lot like the older son who will not allow the younger son to be accepted and resents the fact that some have moved on and forgiven him as did the Catholic Church.
      3. Mark starts off with implantation as his issue here, but since Newt immediately not only issued a clarification on the point, but showed on multiple times prior to this one interview, he always used the term conception. He misspoke in the midst of giving hundreds of interviews in a single week and corrected it immediately. But then Mark goes off on his single issue of torture which allows no dissent from his views. This is in fact the only single issue for Mark and has been for a long time. He is willing to see Obama in power and expanding more abortions a day than the total number of folks who have been water boarded in the entire war on terror.
      Finally, it is apparent that Mark is a Ron Paul supporter and that if anyone beats his guy, he will take his marbles and go home trying to help insure another Obama term in office. Mark seems to have lost all perspective on reality.

  • Patrick

    So, Ron Paul? Is that the consensus?

    What exactly is wrong with Ron Paul? He seems alright to me, for a non-Catholic.

    • ds

      Ron Paul seems un-serious about being president and a little nutty when you look at some of the positions he’s held over the years (black helicopter one-world government conspiracy stuff). That’s my gut about him, without getting too far into the details.

      • Katharine M

        I agree that in 08′ Ron Paul thought the best he could manage in our current political climate would be an educational campaign and he was very surprised and heartened by the number of supporters who came forward and their enthusiasm. It still wasn’t enough and a lot of the financial ruin he was predicting hadn’t come about yet.

        Now a lot of what he was saying in 08′ is no longer predictions, it’s fact. He retooled his campaign for 12′ pulling in more serious help and advisers and this is a campaign to win. He knows that he has the financial and ideological support to pull it off and more mainstream Americans have joined his hardcore supporters thanks to the developments of the last 3 years.

  • Katharine M

    Patrick, If you’re a Catholic who wants his politicians to give lip service to putting Catholic teachings into law then you may be disappointed with some of Ron Paul’s live and let live stances. If you want a politician to leave you, your family and your church in peace and to let you educate, feed and care for yourself and your children as you see fit in then you won’t have issues with Ron Paul.

    The big objections I see from Catholics are that:

    ~Ron Paul doesn’t want to legislate for or against gay marriage on the national level but wants to get the federal government completely out of the “marriage” business and leave it to churches to marry and states to decide if they want to recognize gay couples with a title.

    ~Ron Paul states (I believe correctly) that the Constitution does not currently define life precisely enough (aka: as beginning at conception) and that while an amendment could render all abortion illegal Constitutionally it does not currently exist. His preference, as with many other things, is to give the power back to the states and not legislate regarding abortion on the federal level. That way people can lobby on a more local level for what they see fit. Honestly considering where we are at in the “hearts and minds” part of the abortion battle I think it is impractical to make it 100% illegal at this time even though I do believe that life begins at conception. Ron Paul was an obstetrician and delivered over 4,000 babies and is personally pro-life.

    ~Ron Paul wants to cut down on the “charity” work being done by the federal government. He believes that individuals, churches and communities should be taking care of their poor and are in a better position to see and fill local needs without being taken advantage of. It’s not a priority of his to do away with welfare or Social Security for those currently depending on it (his proposed spending cuts are aimed at inefficient/ineffective government departments and too much war overseas) but in theory he believes that those programs are not Constitutional. Obviously were Ron Paul and others like him to get long term leadership of our country those programs would be phased out eventually. By we would also have significantly reduced inflation, the US would be more business friendly and our tax load significantly reduced so the problems that make so much government charity necessary in the first place would be lessened and we would have more generalized prosperity with which to help those who are still left in need.

    On a more personal level Ron Paul is Episcopalian, has 5 children with his wife Carol to whom he has been married for over 50 years. He’s a veteran.

    He’s been saying essentially the same things politically for over 30 years and he has the voting record to match what he says.

    As a Catholic I have no problem with voting for him.

    • SKay

      Does he still believe in legalizing all drugs?

      • Confederate Papist

        I don’t do drugs, but the “War on Drugs” can be compared to the “War on Terror” and the “War on Poverty”…..they’re all rat-holes down which your and my money is continuously flushed with *no* results.

        Legalise the dang drugs, regulate and tax the hell out of them, like they do alcohol, and the drug warlords will have to go to another country to fight their battles and get rich.

        • SKay

          I am familiar with this point of view and can understand why you might agree with it-but
          a lot of people with children who are or have been drug addicts do not agree.
          I also saw Rep. Paul say that he has no problem with any country having a nuclear bomb including Iran.
          I have a problem with some of his libertarian views.
          Your point about the great War on Poverty is
          absolutely true.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            I don’t agree with all of his libertarian views either, but I agree with him on all of the big issues:
            1) Abortion is wrong.
            2) We should quit spending oodles of money on useless wars.
            3) We need to balance the budget.

            He is also the only candidate with proven integrity, which means a lot. I am not sure I agree with him about legalizing drugs, but as a prudential matter, it might be a good idea. The current “war on drugs” has certainly created plenty of other problems.

            I am of two minds about Iran getting nuclear weapons. I mean, obviously, I don’t want them to have nuclear weapons. On the other hand, if we are going to go to war every time someone we don’t like gets close to developing a nuclear weapon, we are going to be in a state of perpetual war. Like it or not, the cat (of the existence of nuclear weapons) is out of the bag. Maybe we should focus on trying to live in love and peace rather than exerting our will over others. Then again, maybe this is naive, but I’m not sure America can afford to be the world’s policeman any more, even if it were advisable.

            • SKay

              ” Maybe we should focus on trying to live in love and peace rather than exerting our will over others.”

              That would be nice but they are about spreading their brand of radical Islam or die trying and we are in the way.
              I believe Ahmadinejad was very serious when -in a speech in Iran- he said to think of a world without America.
              It is clear he has given it some thought as to how to accomplish that.

              • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

                As I said, perhaps what I said is naive. But I’m pretty sure we will go bankrupt anyway trying to foil the plans of all those who hate us.

                In general, at least, we need to curb our imperialistic tendencies. For the specific case of Iran, I don’t have a great answer. Unfortunately, they’ll probably have the bomb anyway by the time 2013 rolls around, in which case our options will be:
                1) Pray.
                2) Pray.
                3) Pray.

          • Confederate Papist

            They can take half of the money they spend on the War on Drugs, so called, and use it to treat the addicts to get them off of the drugs and we’d still have plenty left over…wait, this is DC we’re talking about…

      • Katharine M

        Yes Ron Paul still believes in legalizing drugs. He thinks many illegal drugs are bad and dangerous but he states that alcohol can be quite dangerous as can legal pharmaceuticals (legal pharmaceuticals actually kill more people each year than illegal ones). By making one class of dangerous substances illegal we are doing a lot of damage for no benefit.

        ~Spending tons of taxpayer dollars (I think over $35 billion a year) on a fight that we are not winning. Even in the most rural places I have lived hard drugs were readily available, not to mention the cities I have lived in (and I moved largely in practicing Catholic circles). If you want drugs you can get them so the war on drugs is a failure as far as the accessibility of drugs goes.

        ~Eroding civil liberties with the kinds of action law enforcement have been authorized to use if they suspect that you have any illegal drugs on your person. Detainment, wiretapping, searches of your person and vehicle with no ramifications for law enforcement if you are subjected to these things unjustly.

        ~Keeping people who are very ill from using drugs that can make them feel a bit less awful without the negative side effects of legal drugs. Marijuana is often one of the only things that can dull the pain of terminal patients without making them totally loopy/lose their personality.

        ~Drug laws are more heavily enforced in underprivileged and impoverished areas leaving a lot of middle/upper class youth who use/deal drugs with a clean record while forever tarnishing the record (and future hopes) of minorities and those who live in less affluent areas.

        ~Because they are illegal these drugs are expensive and their use leads many people into theft, prostitution and dealing drugs to fund their fix.

        ~We’re spending a fortune to incarcerate a larger percentage of our population than any other country in the world and depriving many families of their breadwinner. Those disproportionately high numbers are largely caused by those in jail for drug offenses or crime related to getting money to acquire drugs.

        ~Much overdosing on hard drugs is caused by poor quality control and no real way of knowing exactly how potent each batch is or what exactly is in it.

        ~Illegal drugs funnel billions of dollars into the coffers of some of the most ruthless, dangerous and violent scum of the earth. Drug money often funds armies run by drug lords that are better equipped than their national armies and oversee reigns of terror. Illegal drugs create violent distribution cells all over the world and are the cause of a disproportionate amount of the violence on our streets here at home.

        The drug war is as much of a failure as prohibition was and needs to go away. Once drugs can be grown and produced by law abiding citizens they will be cheaper, subject to sales tax, quality control monitoring will be put into place, appropriate warnings can be affixed and we will defund a huge number of violent people, particularly those scaring the crap out of people on our southern border with their drug trade fueled violence. Securing our borders is a big concern right now and one of the greatest motivations to violate our borders is the money to be made bringing drugs across.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Ron Paul is a practicing Baptist although raised Lutheran. His children were all baptized Episcopalian – perhaps his wife is Episcopalian.

    • Katharine M

      Ok, my bad. I’ve just seen the pictures of him going to his grandkid’s baptisms and such and knowing that he is a Christian assumed he was the same religion that his own kids had been baptized. :-)

  • Ellen

    I’ll hold my nose and vote for whoever the Stupid Party nominates. Four more years of The Won would be a disaster and I just can’t bear to think of it.

  • Bob

    I like the tagline for your blog (very top): “Mark Shea’s Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!” How apropos!

  • Tominellay

    Newt, I think, likes to debate, and likes to think of himself as the smartest guy in the room; so I don’t think his original use of the word “implantation” was unintentional.

  • TomC

    This article by Ramesh Ponnuru nicely captures my misgivings about Gingrich.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-06/heartbreak-awaits-republicans-who-love-gingrich-ramesh-ponnuru.html

    I fear Gingrich has to much baggage to beat Obama.

    • Thomas R

      Yes, those are good points. Well mostly, he might overplay it a little.

  • Laura

    What I find most striking is that your ost completely fails to take into account that he is a ecent convert and that as such he has been forgiven of his past sins. Conversion implies a change of heart and Newt’s RECENT (post conversion) actions, his platform, his contract with America all attest to that he seems to have trul turned over a new leaf. If God Hismelf was able to forgive Newt, and welcome into the Sacramental Life, why then are we sitting here “casting the proverbial first stones?” Read his platform – he channels Catholic Social Teaching. Its impressive. And as for the Implantation thing – the day after that interview he called CatholicVote to make sure his stance on life was not misrepresented – he believes life begins at conception and that the unborn deserve legal protection. That interview was convoluted and Newt and the guy asking questions were not on the same page as to what they were talking about.

    I guess my final thought is, if a conversion implies a change of heart and willingness to look at one’s life and make necessary changes, wouldnt be pretty well off with someone who knows what mistakes he has made, knows how to fix them and has moved forward?

  • Terrye Newkirk

    I have grave reservations about Newt. As a fellow convert, I do believe in redemption and radical personal change. But our fundamental personalities and ways of relating to the world do not change much after childhood. Unlike Mark, I don’t hold anything his ex-wife might have said against Newt; that’s what exes do. But I have a great deal of respect for Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who said that Newt’s leadership abilities were “lacking” when he was Speaker of the House.

    Does conversion improve one’s people skills (other than, perhaps, compassion)?

    If Newt is the nominiee, I will vote for him. I’m not sure I could vote for Ron Paul because of his isolationist positions. But I will not vote for Obama, even by default (staying home). I’ll write in Pope Benedict XVI first.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Laura,

    I only converted 2yrs before Newt. I went to confession yesterday.

    Can I depend on your vote in 2012?

    See, it doesn’t work.

  • Jordan

    I hope someone’s going to print up “Nuck Fewt” bumper stickers again.

    I don’t care about Newt Gingrich’s personal life. That’s for his next confession. However, Gingrich will literally do anything to obstruct the process of government for selfish goals. His government shutdown was nothing more than self-aggrandizement. His impeachment grandstanding against Clinton was not only hypocritical but the height of idiotic political opera. Obama can’t reason his way out of a paper bag with regards to the economy, but at least he’s wouldn’t stoop to the machiavellian machinations of The Newt.

    Yeah, I know Obama’s a high priest of Moloch, but Newt ain’t no saintly mendicant. Why do a number of Catholics delude themselves into believing that Gingrich will “do something” about abortion when it’s clear he only cares about his life and not the life of the unborn?

    What’ll really sicken me is when the successors to the apostles will inevitably fawn over Gingrich with endorsements. The bishops have been tools of the GOP for decades now. They’ll really be happy with Gingrich’s conversion. It’ll just sweeten the bitterness of their enthrallment to their GOP overlords.


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