This Still Seems Reasonable to Me

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  • Chas

    I’m finding it interesting that all of a sudden Libertarians and Distributists are getting along in supporting Ron Paul and condemning Santorum as a bad Catholic. Strange, n’est-ce-pas?

    • Mark Shea

      Conservatives seem to love conspiracy theories. Unfortunately for your theory, this was made in January.

      • Chas

        I have no conspiracy theory, I just find it interesting that this seems to be the case. I’m wondering what are the points that draw the two very opposed camps together at this point. To me, this is a mystery, not a conspiracy.

        • Mark Shea

          I don’t see what’s so strange. Libertarians and distributists have a common enemy in the crony capitalist DC tool whose solution to everything is to beef up the state and Gigantocorp against the individual and the small business.

        • Kirt Higdon

          It seems to me that both Distributists and Libertarians favor a broad distribution of private property and a decentralization of economic and financial power. Libertarians also favor a decentralization of political power. I’m not sure what the position of Distributists is on that, but it is counterintuitive for me to think that Distributists favor more centralized power at the heights of government. So it seems to me that the two groups have a lot in common although they could always argue over details or tactics.

          Of course, common ideas could make it more likely that they could conspire together, but in the example cited, that would presume that support of Ron Paul is an evil thing. A conspiracy is not just an agreement to do something, but an agreement to do something evil.

        • Maiki

          That isn’t so weird. I’m a Libertarian, and hae always had a soft spot for Chesterton and distributism. I think both Libertarians and Distributists both see the danger of “Hudge and Gudge” — and we even agree on some other things of outlook, such as looking a problems from the point of view of what the individual and civil society should do. There are some major disagreements, of course, but I would assume both types of people would see that good meaning individuals of either side might be “good medicine” at chipping away at the current “ruling Class”.

  • I’ve read enough of Tom Woods to realize that he is to Paul what supporters of other candidates are often accused of being.

    • Chas

      You mean a schill?

      • I mean I’ve found nothing in his writings or talks to suggest he has any problems at all with Ron Paul, that he doesn’t think Paul is right about everything. Maybe he has issues, but I’ve not been able to find him saying so.

        That is often a charge thrown out at people, such as Catholics, who support Santorum (or other candidates for that matter). I’m sure there are some who say Santorum should be the fourth member of the Holy Trinity. Most I’ve read or listened to, however, seem to suggest they have issues with some of Santorum’s record, or disagree with A, B, and C, but still feel he’s the best of the lot.

        Woods, on the other hand, not so much where Ron Paul is concerned.

        • Dave

          Funny, I was reading on a Ron Paul site that someone was complaining that Woods wasn’t behind Paul strongly enough. I guess you can’t please everyone.

          Obviously, Woods strongly believes that Paul is the best candidate and advances his reasons why. I really doubt that he finds him perfect. I thought I read him taking exception to Paul’s misleading statement in the debate that the morning after pill was basically the same as the birth control pill.

          • Based on some Paul supporters I’ve heard, I have no problem believing there would be some who think Woods isn’t zealous enough in his devotions.

  • John Barnes

    Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t seen it. Glad to see something of a frank discussion about Santorum’s failings on a number of issues. Neither he nor Romney strike me as candidates truly prepared to stop the country from falling into the fiscal abyss that awaits us. I’m not even certain they grasp the magnitude of the problem. Sad that the only candidate who does is considered “the crazy guy.”

  • Mark,

    So, does the Church say the Government should or should not sanction traditional marriage?

    • Scott W.

      You can read it by googling the Vatican document on homosexual unions. Check out the conclusion which reads, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”

      • This is why Catholics and Catholic bishops have been reluctant to simply divorce civil “marriage” from the Sacrament of Matrimony.

        However, the U.S. legal system has for some time (arguably from the very beginning) only recognized the individual as the primary unit of society. In other words, the conflict between a Catholic understanding of the common good and an American one is inevitable, and this is simply the latest manifestation.

        The Church has managed to hold strong in the face of no-fault divorce (the real bullet to the head of marriage), but it has become increasingly clear that the legal system means something different from the Church by the word “marriage.”

        So my question is, is it an option to simply declare independence from the State in marital matters? Can we simply say, we won’t recognize your marriage, and we don’t care whether you recognize ours or not? Or would that be permitting a governmental system so fundamentally contrary to the common good that the system itself is unjust?

        This is a real question, not a rhetorical one. I’m trying to sort out the best and most realistic response to our current situation.

        • Kirt Higdon

          That’s pretty much the case in most European and Latin American countries. Civil and religious marriages are entirely separate, occuring in different venues at different times and even dates, and with different official witnesses. Given that what the state calls marriage is not remotely similar to what the Church calls marriage, it’s best to separate the two as much as possible. A good start would be for clergy to stop functioning as civil servants when they preside at weddings. Let the couple go to a justice of the peace if they think they need any government benefits.

  • Colonel Klink

    We need to remember that when the chips are down, Santorum is not dependable, not even as a cultural conservative.

    In 2004 in Pennsylvania, he supported the viciously pro-abortion Arlen Specter over pro-life Pat Toomey, in a very close race. I was a Pennsylvania resident and recall how outraged we in the pro-life community were at Santorum’s act of treachery.

    • William

      Colonel, as a Ron Paul supporter, that’s exactly what I’ve been telling Catholic Santorum supporters. Ask the pro-lifers in PA what they think of Santorum!

    • That is certainly one of the big hits against Santorum. Not that he did it that one time, which was bad enough. But there are many who are convinced that it wasn’t a single fluke, a bad call, but rather was a trend that could be repeated.

  • Scott W.

    Why is the blog accusing me of being spammy and rejecting my comments?

  • Tom

    Mark, I have to admit that I watched only the first minute or so before I got the general drift of Woods argument and what his style of argument is. I get it. Ron Paul is the limited government guy — Santorum a participant in Government’s failings. Ron Paul is perfect and Santorum has made mistakes. Fine. Forgive me but I still want to give the guy who proudly proclaims his Catholicism the benefit of the doubt here. I see nothing to suggest that he is CINO, at all. And while some seem to want to eliminate candidates on the basis of a single wrong decision or policy viewpoint — I don’t. No candidate is perfect and certainly not Ron Paul or Rick Santorum. I don’t know the entire story about the Specter vs. Toomey deal — but, I am willing to take Santorum at his word. It’s too bad that Catholics aren’t judging Ron Paul by Catholic standards. If he were, I suspect the Catholic blogosphere would rip him to shreds as well. Funny how he gets a pass with you and Woods and Catholics like Santorum and Gingrich aren’t good enough.

    • Tominellay

      Is Santorum better than Gingrich, or is Gingrich better than Santorum? Why?

    • William

      Tom, as a Catholic, if I needed a lawyer to defend me, I would rather have a Baptist lawyer whose an excellent lawyer than a Catholic lawyer who isn’t a very good lawyer. I’ll take my chances with a Baptist Ron Paul over a Catholic Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich any day!! And no, I do not think Ron Paul is “perfect”.

    • Dave K

      Lets not leave out Santorums rejection of the Just War doctrine of the Church. He is a complete stooge for all the Zionist war propaganda and fear mongering that has lead to the atrocities in the Middle East. He learned nothing from the Iraq disaster and would like to see a greater disaster with Iran.

  • Ivan

    Woods makes a persuasive case. If only Ron Paul took himself seriously as a candidate. Unfortunately, he seems to have turned himself into Romney’s stalking horse.

    • William

      Ivan, if you think Ron Paul doesn’t take himself seriously, maybe you should go to one of his rallies.

  • Barbara B

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve been very unhappy with the candidates so far, and hadn’t really given Paul much thought.

  • Tom

    I guess what I want to know is why Catholic bloggers never talk about Ron Paul’s anti-semitism, racism, belief in conspiracy theories such as those who blame the US government for 9-11, support for legalization of marijuana and other drug usage, etc. IF you google Ron Paul you get more than limited government. And don’t think that isn’t going to come out if he is the candidate. He may satisfy Wood’s definition of subsidiarity but he is hardly “Catholic” in his beliefs. Even if it is not true or merely accusations without merit…Why do Catholics tear down their own for this guy? It sure seems like people are willing to believe the worst about Gingrich and Santorum and yet Ron Paul gets to ride on a white horse? I don’t get it.

    • Tominellay

      …and when you’re out of garbage, throw the pail…

      • Tom

        You just made my point. Thank you very much. Should we not give Santorum and Gingrich the same benefit of the doubt. OR are you only so picky when it comes to Catholic candidates?

        • Tominellay

          You missed the point; I was remarking on your muckraking…

          • Tom

            I see — so its Muckracking if the target is Paul, but its open season on Catholics? You sir, are an empty sack. I’m done with you…you aren’t worth the time.

            • Tominellay

              …it’s not muckraking to campare the voting records of candidates, and I recommend we do; it’s not muckraking to compare their public stances on pre-emptive war and torture of prisoners, and I recommend it; it IS muckraking to introduce to the conversation charge(s), as you put it, “even if it is not true or merely accusations without merit”. Our Catholic candidates are getting shellacked in this forum because of what they say and do.

    • William

      Tom, I’ve carefully studied Ron Paul for almost 5 years. He is no racist (ask the head of the NAACP in his district), he no anti-semite (go to FB and ask “Jews for Ron Paul”, his views on 9/11 refer to the “blowback” as defined by the 9/11 Commission, he thinks it’s not the job of the Federal govt to waste trillions on ineffective drug laws. You really seem to have been brainwashed by the MSM.

      • Tom

        William — that really isn’t my point. There are people who post here who are quick to attack Catholic candidates and believe every negative thing uttered against them and even worse imply they are really “phonies” or “CINO”. I don’t know Ron Paul at all — I just did a simple Google search and that is what I found. I don’t know if its true or not. My point is that he gets a free ride from Catholics (I guess because he is “non Catholic”), and his beliefs are not similarly vetted.

        As to your remark above concerning Baptist and Catholic lawyers, I think it is sensible. But, that choice is not so clear here. Is Ron Paul the better candidate? By whose standard? The MSM (with the help of the Republican Party) has been trying to destroy any candidate that is a serious challenge to Romney. Between us, I wonder which is more influenced by the MSM?

  • James

    Talking about Santorum and foreign policy, Woods mentioned that the Iraq War was a matter of “prudential judgement.” I’m not Catholic, but I’ve heard other commentators make this point — that abortion, e.g., is strictly verboten, but that the Church hasn’t made a formal declaration on the Iraq War.

    Although I only have a vague understanding of the term, how does something called “prudential judgement” have anything to do with supporting a war based on lies? Or, even if you really believe that Dick Cheney is a super honest guy, that the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon wasn’t really cherry-picking evidence, but just made some mistakes, or that the Downing Street Memos and the first-person accounts of Paul O’Neill, Wesley Clark, Scott McClellan and others don’t suggest that the “intelligence” was, in fact, being fixed to fit the policy of going to war, how can supporting the Iraq war still be a matter of “prudential judgement”? Just the other day, someone was making a similar argument about torture, that it’s a matter of “prudential judgement” rather than, I dunno, basic Christian morality. Any help on this?

    • Dave

      You want to apply prudence to a prudential judgement? The nerve!

    • dcs

      When they say “prudential judgment” they mean that the Church has not made a declaration that is binding on all of her subjects, not that the Church doesn’t have an opinion. It was clear that both the late Pope John Paul II and his successor, then-Card. Ratzinger, opposed the Iraq War. For whatever reason, the Pope did not wish to bind the faithful to this judgment. Perhaps he was thinking of all the devout and not-so-devout Catholics who would have dissented.

      • James

        “Perhaps he was thinking of all the devout and not-so-devout Catholics who would have dissented.”

        Thanks. That’s an interesting point. I remember c. 2003 many so-called conservatives ridiculing John Paul II for even talking about the Iraq war, so perhaps he was wise in the decision in that regard. On the other hand, has any pope in the modern era issued a binding declaration on a particular war?

  • Me too. His video on Catholic/conservative foreign policy is very good, too, and echoes many conversations my husband and I have had. We, too, were duped into supporting unjust war and torture in the past, but it is painful to see our faithful Catholic friends and family blind to this issue. We do refuse to be labeled “bad conservatives” for taking a position held by Russel Kirk!

  • Consistency


    You think Santorum has bailed on his principles just once for the party? How about raising the debt ceiling five times, voting to fund PP, favoring torture, the death penalty, and every government increase and war that came up for a vote while he was on office?

    Find me just one single instance of Santorum splitting with the party and refusing to compromise his principles. Please let us discuss records.

    • Mark S (not for Shea)

      Keep in mind that raising the debt ceiling is the Ultimate Act of patriotism — as long as a Republican is in the White House. If a Democrat is sitting there, it amounts to treason. At least that’s the reasoning of all the candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul.

      Remember Cheney saying, “Deficits don’t matter.” ???

  • Telemachus

    Are there other Catholic candidates besides Ron Paul running? I didn’t notice.


    God bless,

    • Tominellay


  • Ted Seeber

    I cannot bring myself to vote Libertarian- or even libertarian leaning, for I know from where that philosophy comes. Despite his flaws, Rick’s the closest thing that the Republicans have put forth to my beliefs in 30 years; I will be voting for my Brother Knight in the primary (assuming he’s still in the race after Super Tuesday).

    Tom Woods, to me, has embraced an atheist form of economics that naturally leads to crony capitalism, and holds NO protection for small business at all.