Lunatics Taking Over the GOP Asylum

Rod Dreher looks at how the battle lines are shaping up.  Basically, in one corner you have the establishment types: servants of corporate oligarchs.  In the other corner, you have a fevered mob of crazy people who seriously believed that if the GOP had just gone ahead and burned down the global economy, a just God would have magically banished Obamacare, given them the White House in 2016 and miraculously overturned Roe.  The servants of oligarchy, recognizing that this thinking was, ‘ow you say, barking nuts?, summoned the minimal courage it takes to not do something utterly and completely insane–and now the lunatics are doing what they can to dynamite their party for its refusal to dynamite the global economy.

These people are right on track to give the election to Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden in 2016 and somebody else in 2020, 2024, and 2028.  And when they do, somebody will most certainly write to me the day after the election and blame me for it. Brilliant.

And when the power struggle is all over, the GOP will compromise (perhaps just throw in the towel and merge with the Dems) and be the party of the incredibly rich *and* of abortion, gay “marriage”, limitless war, the police state, *and* torture. (Not to mention pre-emptive nuclear strikes on countries with whom we are not at war.) It seem to have a genius for learning all the wrong lessons.

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  • Dan C

    Ross Douthat has that some of the populists, those labeled “the crazies” have some of the most unique policy ideas and perhaps creative possibilities. At the same time, the nihilistic role these radicals perceive for central authority someone sucks all the oxyxgen out of any momentum for these ideas.

    • Isn’t it interesting how people can be completely rational and competent in one context and just plain crazy in another?

    • W. Randolph Steele

      For an interesting take on how all this happened read “Rule and Ruin” > it was published early last year.

  • kirthigdon

    The US formally repudiating its debts rather than the sneak default of inflating them away would not have burned down the global economy. It would simply have immediately accelerated the transfer of economic power to those who are actually producing something besides dollars, arms, and porn. The economic power transfer itself is actually a good thing for the US and the world and will be followed by transfers in military and cultural power. But it is better that it continue to take place gradually and be executed by people who sort of know what they’re doing, which is clearly not the case with Ted Cruz et al.

    Kirt Higdon

    • It would simply have immediately accelerated the transfer of economic power to those who are actually producing something besides dollars, arms, and porn.

      How? I am genuinely interested in any plan that would transfer economic power to people who actually produce stuff other than dollars, arms, and porn.

      • kirthigdon

        There’s nothing you need do. As the US continues its debt based economy and the Fed constantly creates more money to pay off the debts in cheaper dollars, those countries whose economies are overtaking the US will insist on a reserve currency other than the dollar – perhaps a weighted basket, perhaps a return to the gold standard. China and other countries are already making noises about this and cutting bilateral deals outside the financial framework of the dollar. The end of the dollar as world reserve currency will mean the Fed can no longer export US inflation. Expansionary monitary policies will have to cease lest the US become Argentina writ large. With less to spend and borrowing more difficult, hopefully purchases of discretionary items such as arms and porn will decline. Loss of international power, economic, cultural, and military, will hopefully have good effects at home.
        Kirt Higdon

  • melianthus

    Spending within our means would have put off default and would not result in a destroyed global economy. I can’t believe you buy into that media narrative, Mark. Really, it’s surprising to me. The choices weren’t simply default or raise the debt ceiling. There was another choice: cut spending. They simply won’t do it. And the media doesn’t even recognize this as an alternative, despite the fact that we are now over 17 trillion dollars in debt (and if you include promises on future payouts we are looking at about 60 trillion in debt). We are simply screwed by a President who will not offer a budget that has any chance of passing and a Congress who won’t do what it takes to get a budget passed through their Houses. A pox on all of them really.

    • chezami

      I have no brief for this President. But the fact is the GOP bailed on Obamacare after a couple days, but stupidly chose to prolong the shutdown to the brink of default long after their ostensible reason for the shutdown was past. They are behaving like nihilist and nihilists should not be holding the levers of world-destroying power. Even the Koch Bros. are scared of these nuts. Scorched earth is no way to govern.

      • Jonenred

        you lousy bum Shea

        • orual’s kindred

          Not sure if trolling, and I’m not sure which is worse: indulging some pent-up frustration using cuss words, or tepid name-calling.

      • kenofken

        Time to bring in John Goodman as Walter Sobchak.
        “Are they gonna hurt us, Walter?” “No, Donny, these men are cowards.”

        Ted Cruz’s ear lofting heavenward, contrasted against the black night sky….:)

      • melianthus

        I thought the shutdown was extraordinarily stupid, but they are the stupid party, so what do we expect. But, the notion put forward by the media which the people seem to have fallen for hook line and sinker, that the shutdown would result in the impending doom of the western world, was nothing but propaganda for the Democratic party. This country has a problem with out of control spending and until both Democrats and Republicans are willing to cut their pet projects, we will never have a budget and these looming debt ceiling deadlines will happen over and over again. Unfortunately, the only lesson people seem to have learned from the shutdown is that Republicans are assholes.

      • The Deuce

        Hitting the debt ceiling isn’t the same as default, and most Tea Partiers would dispute the notion that it would destroy the world economy.

        I’ll go one further. The idea that hitting the debt ceiling represents economic Armageddon is ridiculous, paranoid Chicken Littleism, nuttier than you believe Ted Cruz to be, and mindlessly regurgitated by people who don’t know what they’re talking about but assume that repeating the consensus of the left-wing Chattering Class makes them sound smart.

        Perhaps before you start dismissing your opponents with rhetoric mindlessly cribbed from MSNBC, you might actually try to learn their position.

    • Marthe Lépine

      It seems to me that your country’s debt would not have been so big, without all those war expenditures. You can blame Obama all you want, but it’s Bush’s GOP that started the Iraq war in the first place… Granted, Obama should have done something to stop it, but he would not even have had to bear that responsibility if that unjust, immoral and illegal war had not been going on for a few years when he was first elected.

      • melianthus

        What Obama has done is wholly on Obama, not Bush. If he had wanted to change tracks he could have, but every thing he promised the left about ending the wars was just a big fat lie. He actually escalated them when he came into office. I was never a fan of Bush, in fact, I thought he was a warmongering psychopath, but I think pretty much the same thing about Obama. I think it is a totally ideological reading of the current situation in Congress to blame the Republicans more than the Democrats. Both of these parties are responsible for the horrible situation we find ourselves in. I’m not letting either one off the hook. The shutdown was nothing but bad theater. It meant nothing (except to the people whose vacations to the national parks were ruined). What will, in the end, ruin our economy, is not petty GOP tactics, but unsustainable debt. Both parties are responsible for this.

        • Chesire11

          Eight years of irresponsible tax cuts, unfunded wars, as well the collapse of the dot com bubble turned a large federal budget surplus into a large and growing deficit. Deregulation of the financial industry (dating back to Clinton and before) created a fiscal collapse, which in turned ballooned the deficit as the economy contracted and tax revenues declined. The only way to stave off collapse was aggressive intervention injecting liquidity into fiscal markets, and stimulative spending. That meant more deficit spending.

          The sudden fit of the vapors that struck the party of “fiscal responsibility” was oddly coincident with the inauguration of a Democratic president, and has consistently worked to thwart economic recovery. In spite of that, the economy stabilized and has slowly strengthened, reducing deficits in the process.

          (BTW, the historically low rates on T-Bills is at odds with your claim that the debt is “unsustainable.” If it were, they would have to pay higher yields to attract investors. Ironically, a default on the debt would have caused rates to spike, ballooning the deficit in the process)

          • melianthus

            “The only way to stave off collapse was aggressive intervention injecting liquidity into fiscal markets, and stimulative spending. That meant more deficit spending.”

            After WW2, the Keynesians were rabidly opposed to ending government spending in the economy because without it, they claimed, the economy would collapse. Luckily the President didn’t listen to them because they were wrong. The government quit pumping money into the economy and the Post War years, after 1948, saw the greatest economic boon in the history of this country. The Keynesians learned the wrong lesson from WW2. Intervention isn’t the savior. In the market, it brings us nearer to collapse. And, you might want to look up what reducing the deficit actually means in the present context. They reduce the deficit by raising the debt level. It’s just a shell game.

            But I agree with you about the hypocrisy of the Republicans in Congress. They have no interest in spending less money. Nothing must stand in the way of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex, which currently holds a 78% share in the international arms market so it must be continual war, all the time. It’s a nasty stinking business all around.

      • Clare Krishan

        Marthe, new debt is incurred DAILY as the Federal Reserve adds monthly so-called quantitative easing computer credits to the Treasury’s accounts for floating Treasury bonds to our creditors… at the rate of $85 billion a month, that’s almost $3 billion a day, that’s $2 million a second of play money from foreign investors to spend (in addition to the taxes they collect from citizens). If the Government didn’t “use” that money it would stay on the computer accounts as “credit” tempting them to use it for a new war. If the Fed stopped QE they wouldn’t have access to those funds. If the association of American bank governors that are “the Fed” stop approving QE? Apparently there’s no cash left to pay for oil or other materials we buy offshore… we’re technically broke (we have ALREADY defaulted IOW) but no one wants to be Dorothy and look behind the Wizard’s curtains… its just too plain scary to stare the truth in the face so we dissemble instead…. hence Micah’s suggestion to focus on acting justly, let’s start by stopping lying to ourselves… we took a leap a long time ago, what we should be arguing over is how to stop the spilled milk going rancid… instead its all about “Did anyone see someone spill milk? No? Me neither. Those alarmists complaining about a rancid odor are lunatics… or worse doing the devil’s bidding trying to clean up a mess we haven’t trodden into yet”

      • Clare Krishan

        Also, here’s why its now impossible to do much about the debt democratically speaking:
        “There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the

        fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested
        government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released
        this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were
        101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That
        included both private-sector and government workers. None of the people
        getting means-tested government benefits will ever vote to reduce them,
        nor vote for any politician that will reduce them. … The
        Senate will never vote to fire itself. So we must in fact subtract
        21,880,000 from the full-time worker count. In other words you’re
        outvoted by 36%.”

  • Michaelus

    May I be the first to congratulate Mr. Dreher for not renouncing his US citizenship yet and moving to some other country?

  • Weston

    This tea party depiction is really bad. It is straight out of Anderson Cooper’s ignorant and slanderous “teabagger” ethos. The spirit of the actual tea party is concern from civic-minded people who understand our problems are coming to a head and are trying to do something. Let’s not leave justice on the cutting room floor when we strive to be above power politics. I love this blog, btw.

    • Chesire11

      The teabaggers are what happens when emotion minus thought = activism. It’s all about how they “feel,” it’s about uninformed outrage that pretends away subtlety, and complication.

      Teabaggers are the hippies of the political right, and they’re just about as coherent.

      • The teabaggers are what happens when emotion minus thought = activism. It’s all about how they “feel,” it’s about uninformed outrage that pretends away subtlety, and complication.

        Teabaggers are liberals? 😉

        • Dan C

          Liberals haven’t behaved like that since the 1980’s. You have missed the slow roll back of conservativism. The antics and shrieks are largely the Tea Party with their very very wealthy crony capitalist enablers.

          • Liberals haven’t behaved like that since the 1980’s.


            I think this is more a case of blindness on your part, Dan. You just happen to think that their ’emotion minus thought’ and ‘how they FEEL’ and ‘uninformed outrage that pretends away subtlety and complication’ is A-OK, so long as you agree.

            You need only look at any topic regarding gay marriage, abortion, contraception, gun control and most other things to see otherwise.

            You have missed the slow roll back of conservativism.

            Not at all. I often lament the advance of gay marriage, the continued defense of abortion on demand unto the day of birth, the casting of blind eyes towards Kermit Gosnell, and more.

            Social liberals thank you for your support on these fronts, and humbly request that you continue to do so. In exchange, they will gently pat you on the head and inform you that you are a good person – which is, in the end, a good share of what matters. Yes?

            • Dan C

              1 If you think I seek praise of liberals, you have little knowledge of me.

              2. Liberalism has focused on success and technique. (see neo-liberalism) Policy compromise is routine. In fact, gun control was typical. It was the conservatives for whom there was a religious embrace of weapons. Plenty of blog posts and commentator response noted that when a conservative suggested wisdom would dictate policy changes on gun control, a huge number of nervous, anxious, and near-revolution-spouting conservatives flooded responses with emotion and fear. There was no technique.

              3. You don’t get to throw Kermit Gosnell on me. I did my part. And I thought the lack of media attention helped the jury focus.

              • The Deuce

                “And I thought the lack of media attention helped the jury focus.”

                LOL, now that’s the dumb rationalization of the century. If you didn’t care what liberals think of you, you wouldn’t twist yourself into such knots, putting a smiley face even on the Gosnell blackout, to avoid being in strong opposition to Team Liberal.

                • Dan C

                  You were there? You were part of the trial?

        • Chesire11

          They are radical ideologues, they crop up on both sides of the political spectrum, and are used by both sides to discredit rational opposition.

      • kmk1916

        Could we drop the “teabaggers” crudity? Or can we come up with a rude and disgusting name for every party? Are you pretending that you don’t know what that slang means?

        The childish potty-mouth name-calling is part of the problem. The only answer is prayer and fasting, and having a Christ-like attitude towards those with whom we disagree. Problems tend to be solved, saints tend to bubble to the surface and solve issues when we sincerely do that.

        Pretend that Blessed Mother is in the room. Would you use that terminology in front of her?!

        • to_tell_the_truth

          Um, how short some people’s memories ARE. The Baggers CHOSE that terminology. They were the first to use it.
          Maybe if they’d stop wearing those ridiculous hats with, um, TEA BAGS hanging down from them at YOUR conventions, we’d let it go.

          • Um, how short some people’s memories ARE. The Baggers CHOSE that terminology.

            An interesting claim. Can you back it up? They chose association with the Boston Tea Party. Not the name ‘teabaggers’.

            Do you also use the slang for ‘Santorum’? Let me guess: the blessed mother would approve of that too, so long as Santorum continues associating with a political party you despise?

            • to_tell_the_truth

              Of course I can back it up.

              “Enough with the whining! ‘Teabaggers’ actually introduced the term they now claim is a slur”

              “The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was “Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.” A protester was spotted with a sign saying, “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.” So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.”

              More at the link:

              And …

              The current Tea Party movement initially came up with the ‘clever’ idea of sending Tea bags to members of Congress. It was in their initial rallys that they started referring to this act of sending their representatives boxes of tea bags as ‘TEABAGGING”:

              “The term teabagger was initially used to refer to Tea Partiers after conservatives used tea bag as a verb on protest signs and websites. Some members of the movement adopted the term as a verb, and a few others referred to themselves as “teabaggers.”[211][212][213]”


              And …

              “The current Tea Party movement initially came up with the ‘clever’ idea of sending Tea bags to members of Congress. It was in their initial rallys that they started referring to this act of sending their representatives boxes of tea bags as ‘TEABAGGING”:

              (What follows is a delightful picture of a woman holding a sign saying, “I’m TEBAGGING for Jesus.” but the copy & paste function does’t seem to allow for a picture, so if you want a nice visual proof, go to the source: )


              And … well, Google can be YOUR friend too.

              • kmk1916

                Yet, you and others choose to take advantage of the ignorance of a few of the older generation who don’t know the crude and vile definition (sort of like how I have to manage “The Owl and the Pussycat” and all older poems and stories with “gay” with my school-aged children nowadays) and continue to use it. Right?
                And my question still remains: Would you use the term in front of the Blessed Mother?

          • kmk1916

            You are assuming I am a tea partier, or even a Republican. I am not. I am an Army veteran mom of 7 children, and I can spot childish potty-mouth, with the “what are you talking about” wide-eyed pretend look, and am sick of it. So what if they are attempting to invoking the spirit of the Boston tea party? Why wouldn’t they use tea bags? But for those like Senator Barbara Mikulski who deliberately use the vile term, I say why don’t you call the women (like my mom) at the rallies foolish c**** and be done with it. That term is in the same category.
            If you can’t argue your point without using really vile terminology, then you have nothing intelligent and coherent to say.
            As for putting tea partiers, Democrats, Reps, and anyone else in the Pharisee versus tax collector category, wealthy snobs, whatever, the thing I love about America is that people are extremely generous and if someone in any political category is in a bad situation and word gets out, the donations poor in. I see it countless times. There is much quiet generosity in this country, on all sides.

            • kirbys1916

              PS They didn’t choose the terminology. People my mom’s age didn’t realize that slang terminology then, but they sure as heck do now and if you are behind the times, send me an email and I will catch you up.

        • Chesire11

          Teabagger is the term by which the members of the “Tea Party” originally referred to themselves – until they noticed people giggling at them. I merely adhere to their original request, not out of crudity (I would never coin such a crass term, myself), but out of ironic amusement.

    • George Lower

      My personal experience with the TEA party is one of well to do upper middle class people attempting to balance the budget on the backs of the poor…even so crass as to compare a little old disabled lady who needed busing service to get to the doctor to someone who is being greedy and always asking for more. No, the lady was asking for a county service on which she depended and had paid taxes to support during her productive years to continue so she could get to the doctor. that is how the TEA party defines greed…anyone who is in desperate need is greedy and must do without…funny thing is TEA party people never seem to want to sacrifice their basic needs to balance the budget (i.e. let’s turn off every other street light on their cul de sac…or try opening a privately funded half way house on their block)…it is everyone else that is the problem…never them.

      • Clare Krishan

        Ted Cruz and his yummie-mummie Goldman Sachs executive wife* aren’t the people who are up in arms, they’re just the ones clever enough to angle the disquiet to their own political advantage, jockeying for future influence in a mess of dysfunction. As much as I disapproved of the shutdown, kudos to Ted Cruz for recognizing the supreme injustice of his family getting more government ** handouts than the poor do; or middle income folks like us (who up unti now got no such tax break for being self-payers and individual insured, and we got *discontinued* last week, adding us to the rolls of the ‘great unwashed’ uninsured for no reason whatsoever than the caprice of the legislators who “approved” no delays in implementation, lily-livered sell outs all of them….!)
        * whose tax exemption for their estimated $20,000 in-kind tax-free salary benefit for family health insurance that doesn’t save the government money IT ROBS THE PUBLIC PURSE OF $1000s IN PERSONAL INCOME TAX THUS AVOIDED that could have gone to help pay for… Medicaid expansion, but instead went to Cruz paterfamilias’ healthcare expansion! Do you see the warped logic of tying insurance to the provider and not to the subscriber? Grant the man that at least – he’s standing up for what’s right even tho it means his wife would lose out on a significant perk of her Wall Street employment .

        ** tax break to Goldman to buy their executives generous healthcare plans that cover them and their dependents (with our TBTF bail our dollars, don’t forget!!! Goldman would be bankrupted like Lehman if all their highly leveraged CDO vehicles were to unravel — as they should for being fraudulently merchandised — in a true mark-to-market reality not their own inhouse risk-management imaginary premiums )

    • to_tell_the_truth

      If there WERE an “actual tea party”, you might have an “actual” point. There isn’t and you don’t.
      They haven’t either the intestinal fortitude nor the integrity to ‘actually’ FORM a real political party with an ‘actual’ party platform on which to assess them.
      They ALL – every last crazy one of them – hide behind the “R” that inevitably follows their names.

      • The Deuce

        Please. “Hiding behind the R”? That “R” is nothing but dead weight in terms of public perception. They’re sticking with the Republican party (for now) because they think it’s their best means of effecting the change they want.

        • to_tell_the_truth

          Thanks for proving my point.

  • It is ludicrous to think the US would have defaulted on our debt and therefore thrown the world into some sort of economic chaos. The only way it could happen is if Obama broke the law and deliberately not paid the interest on the debt. In fact, he is required by law to pay it first before anything else and the amount of this is infinitesimal compared to our daily tax revenues. There is a long time battle for control of the GOP starting with Goldwater and carried on through Reagan and now beyond. It pits the more conservative form the less conservative. I stand with the more conservative. I do not believe McCain, Alexander et al are truly concerned about our national debt and our freedom. I find the Tea Party continually exciting in our national politics and good on them…

  • Robert

    Joe Biden is not Barack Obama. Neither is Hillary Clinton. Biden and/or Clinton could never win the presidential election.

    • chezami

      Obama should never have won a second term. But the GOP managed to pick a candidate so awful that he did anyway. Never underestimate the GOP’s ability to give away another election to a weak Dem candidate.

      • Chesire11

        But all of the polls said that Romney was a shoo-in!

        Well, once they were “unskewed,” lol!

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Um, I thought you said that the tea partiers were the crazies who would sink the party? Whoever it was who put Mittens in place, it sure as heck wasn’t them.

        • The Deuce

          Yes, well, the goal-posts have to be moved as the situation demands to make sure that Republicans are tarred as horrible bad people no matter which ones nor what they’re doing.

      • to_tell_the_truth

        Re: “Obama should never have won a second term.”
        Tell that to the majority of the people who voted for him. I think you’d get some ‘feedback’.

    • Chesire11

      When opposed by the party that seriously considered intellectual giants like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry as presidential material…well, let’s just say that I have several old shoes that are more qualified, and more electable!

      • Rick Perry managed to take a decisive stand against abortion in Texas. If that is the act of an intellectual lightweight, then intelligence is overrated.

        • to_tell_the_truth


          Taking “a decisive stand against abortion in Texas” is like being in favor of air.

          • Marthe Lépine

            And maybe he has not been so good about the death penalty?

        • Chesire11

          He also autographed Bibles while campaigning for President, and held public prayer sessions for rain in his capacity as governor. Yes, he is an intellectual lightweight, and a politician of the worst stripe.

    • to_tell_the_truth


      • Clare Krishan

        As Ross Douthat said, Sen Santorum has a lot of work to do to stay on message, I’m not convinced his mercenary canard “Patriotic Saudi-Janisseries unite! Back the Sunni jihadists bombing Syrian Christians into oblivion” isn’t just a scratch below his recent ashes and sackcloth reversal…. I don’t trust him with national political power and to be perfectly honest I don’t really even like him ever since he backed abortion-on-demand Specter over Toomey to please the local GOP lackies…

  • RT


    • chezami


      • Dan C

        Did I miss the invitation to all caps day? Is tomorrow all italics day?

        • orual’s kindred

          Yes is is! 😀

    • to_tell_the_truth

      Moses told me to tell you to find the ‘caps lock’ key and TURN IT OFF.

    • Adolfo

      Yeah, the Founders had SUCH a high opinion of Catholics…

  • erin

    I continue to fail to understand how a group of people who works to implement fiscal responsibility and limited government becomes “a fevered mob of crazy people.” And according to your post, there is no good answer because the tea party is full of crazies, and the GOP will compromise anyway in the end — what to do?
    I have grown to think that trying to play strategically is less important than playing honestly. Since the Dems have no lowest point beyond which they would never go (whereas I do, and I will only support people who recognize moral boundaries, few though those people are), the game is always rigged in the Dems’ favor. I’m the one who has to live with myself, after all, and more importantly, answer for my actions at the throne.

    • Chesire11

      Ummm…the Tea Party is anything but fiscally responsible. They are, frankly, nutters having very public emotional tantrums.

      • Clare Krishan

        count me in – now you know one of the nutters in person – my very public emotional tantrums are frankly because we have been nothing but fiscally responsible since hubby was let go five years ago and continued our individual plan per the Georgetown U’s Health Policy Institute list of state plans ( responsible for offering continuation for Cobra-eligible policy holders individual catastrophic care – hospitalization only, we pay all doctor’s dentists vision prescription drugs etc out of our own pocket)

        In other words we were promised “you can keep your insurance, you can keep your doctors” ….

        Well NEWSFLASH we got cancelled this week.

        ITS A LIE, YOU CANNOT KEEP INSURANCE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NOW BANNED under AHA as illegal economic activity. BIG BROTHER won’t allow us to pay $10,000 annually anymore to take care of ourselves… we have to go to their (nonfunctioning) website and buy a (much more expensive plan) that covers abortions birth control and sterilisations, gender reassignment surgeries and more …. which we dont want and consider sinful to materially cooperate with.

        There’s nearly a million such cases in Florida alone I hear… this was supposed to lower the uninsured…. its increased the number here by 2 as of January, because unless Chris Smith’s bill passes and the 18 plans that we’re eligible to apply for (doesn’t mean we’ll be accepted by any of ’em) tell us which ones are not offering ABORTION BIRTH CONTROL AND STERILIZATIONS (hint hint none of em, they all have to by law) we’re not buying. Go ahead and fine us… its called civil disobedience and Catholics are good at it, we’ve been through this a few times over the last 2 millenia… our faith is more important that your political parties or the reputation for a paper currency that can be easily replaced by a number of powerful coutries currencies vying for the privilege the US has squandered these past four decades since the French asked for their central bank deposits and took receipt, The Germans did the same last year, and were told to get in line and wait – its going to take Fort Knox about seven years to find where those German central bank deposits got stashed away (if you believe that you’re as gullible as poor old Angela who believed friends don’t spy on friends)

        • Chesire11

          1) Actually, I know several nutters in person…in point of fact. my own stability has occasionally been subject to question from time to time, but in fairness to me, my wife is hardly a competent authority in the matter.

          2) As long as insurance meets minimum requirements, you can keep your insurance. The problem is that, though you might be happy with a low premium, high deductible policy, they are used by many employers and insurers to provide minimal coverage, and the tax payer is left as the effective insurer of last resort. Such plans are banned as substandard products that adversely affect the market – much as “Big Brother” won’t allow us to buy dinner from restaurants that fail to meet health standards, thereby compelling us to dine at more expensive, hygienic restaurants.

          3) Purchasing an insurance policy that includes coverage for morally offensive things like abortion, birth control, sterilization, and gender “reassignment” surgeries does constitute mediate material, but not formal cooperation with evil – albeit vanishingly negligible – and is therefore morally licit. If you chose a plan which covered such procedures when other alternatives were available, then a case could be argued that you were more immediately, though still only very tangentially complicit, but it would still be pretty tenuous as you do not avail yourself of the objectionable “benefits,” are not approving of the illicit acts facilitated by the insurer, did not design the plan, and particular plan is not dependent upon your patronage for its continued viability. That is not to say that it is a legitimate exercise of power for the state to require all plans to include such coverage, or to require religious employers to offer it, but it does mean that a person who purchases such a plan, in compliance with the laws passed by the properly constituted civil authority, is not violating their religious or moral duties against such evil acts.

          • Marthe Lépine

            I think what you are saying does make a lot of sense, but since I live in another country that instituted its protection scheme against medical costs (I do not want to call it “medical insurance”, since illness and death are inevitable parts of human life) some 50 years ago, before abortion became an issue, I cannot really give an opinion on Obamacare.

            • Clare Krishan

              indeed Marthe, the crux is exactly what is the correct definition for affordable healthcare. Only then can we parse the act the law named to pursue this end as a suitable means. Sadly the legislators passed the 900-odd pages without attempting to parse the logic rhetoric or grammar of their actions, when some of us got right royally riled by their acquiescence to evil they got a little uppity at being called on their rudeness. Now it seems even the best of the best of America’s IT talents couldn’t program a website to adhere to the law’s incoherence and so they’re being blamed too, and they understandabley got a little tetchy when called to testify to the truth TRANSPARENTLY PATENTLY obvious to most of us that this policy is bombing under the weight of its own incongruences and finally let the rest of us in on the secret – the Dept of HHS had no “general contractor” (Mrs Sebellius may not have gone to business school prefering to pursue a career in public service instead, so without the benefit of appropriate education she none-the-less decided to implement one of the worlds’ largest hi-tech start-ups ever conceived, comparable to the NSA’s syphoning up of global communications signals, she wanted all our private data to be revealed to her, before she would reveal her cards, ie what she was going to offer us in return. And since there is no way of knowing what the law “is” until it “is”… that’s why disgruntled folks like me protest its being not funded now that its passed – the law has the power to expropriate me of my health insurance policy with nothing in return but a malfunctioning website and I have no power of redress other than my democratic voice/vote. Well my voice is loud exactly for Pete’s sake, since I’m Catholic and St Pete will great me at the pearly gates !!

          • Clare Krishan

            Cheshire11 I’m not sure how old you are or perhaps your professional vocation involves some kind of elementary padagogy, but sorry to inform you and unsettle your comfortable preaching perch… you’re wrong.

            1) you called folks like me nutters. what terms spouses use to insult each other is immaterial to how you chose to insult others not related to you by a conjugal bond (other than via the Bridegroom’s sacrifice on the altar at Holy Mass, but we’re talking the difference between prudential judgement and the demonic per Mark, its not that flippant and I’m still not smiling Cheshire-Cat like or otherwise…

            2) we are an “unemployed” family that has used our precious life savings to buy a perfectly legal product offered on the market to those who expired from COBRA ( that we found via Georgetown U’s HPI webpage, one of the few resources in the nation that served the interest of price discovery in this egregiously non-free-market “market” for health insurance. Note we purchased a financial product for catastrophes. We paid for our own health care ourselves in cash, with mail order meds from Canada – this was irregular but absent a regular stream of income, regular can’t be guaranteed and certainly not insured (that’s logic not a political charade of “minimum” requirements which is what we are now being coerced into) – at great expense for at our age the premiums were anything but “low” you are misinformed if you think otherwise. I predict we’ll be told we’re Medicaid eligible if we were to ever decide to apply, as it appears most of the applicants thus far are also… that’s not a minimum requirement to purchase, that’s a scam of preposterous Ponzi proportions that IMHO is much more diabolical than what we were doing as late as Sept.: protesting for our religious freedoms, which sadly most political pundits have again conveniently swept under the rug of the increased deficit ceiling. “Banning plans that adversely affect markets” would be the job of the SEC as public financial watchdog! Who’s taking care of the human rights of the subscribers? There is ZERO transparency to this mandate and 100% restriction to healthcare providers within my rural county – perhaps I can find a cheaper doctor across the street (we live on the county line)? BANNED !

            What authority stops me from dining in whatever county I want – your simile falls flat? The reason the law (and the IT code) was written the way it was is to permit a massive data capture re: price discovery – they the sellers have that info NOT we the consumer customers. They can and will scam us in real time (its called high frequency trading and is state of the art programming on Wall Street and in most credit collection agencies worldwide – they can watch their accounts’ profit and loss minute by minute with each financial transaction billed and paid for. YOU CANNOT, YOU ARE NOT CLEVER ENOUGH (says you, not me – the authority’s know best right?) IT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS TO YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE IF YOU DISCOVERED HOW MUCH YOU ‘RE BEING OVERCHARGED BECAUSE OF BUGS IN THE SYSTEM. SO LONG AS YOU”RE ON THE HOOK FOR A YEAR’S WORTH OF COVERAGE, SAYONARA. Count me out. I’m not playing that kind of fools game. After two decades in the high tech industry and two more in community volunteering I have watch this country lose all sense of probity and grounding in reality. The national debt is already 4 times larger than the current net worth – that’s only 7% of the total wealth — of the bottom 70% of Americans… We can’t afford their prices any longer, the plethora of hospitals, doctors and allied health professionals may have to learn to do without private insurance carriers guaranteed rates and readjust to PAYGO – pay what your patient can or else offer to care for them as an act of charity (old fashioned idea that gave birth to monastic centers of welfare that flourished until the Reformation “secularized” the idea that the powers that be know what’s best for us…NOT!

            3)I wasn’t born yesterday … “Purchasing an insurance policy that includes coverage for morally offensive things like abortion, birth control, sterilization, and gender “reassignment” surgeries does constitute mediate material, but not formal cooperation with evil – albeit vanishingly negligible – and is therefore morally licit.” duh, till this month we were purchasing a plan idiot! When unemploted ‘geezer’ subscribers like us are offered ANY kind of a plan we can afford, we didn’t go asking questions about what else our money is going to be used to fund (we had only catastrophic hospital coverage, so likelihood was low that the morally repugnant services were on the list, they’re usually in the health maintenance part of insurance we weren’t buying, we paid cash for that ourselves) and we paid faithfully with clean consciences UNTIL WE WERE DISCONTINUED by the company folding to the new coercive law’s requirements to meet Federal Government’s “minimum” mandate. So the company is off the hook – but now we don’t have ANY care, not even the magnanimous safe minimum you profess to believe is out there and that we can afford…. your blase naivete passing for compassion is HIGHLY OFFENSIVE and this is what drives us even more nuts: the government is s****ing us over in the name of taking care of the poor and uninsured people, (that’s us now, by the way, we didn’t belong into that class until the government’s arbitrary and capricious conduct put us there) you – those who are least affected ‘cos their insurance is a tax-free salary benefit of their employment status yet who perhaps voted for this tomfoolery out of some misplaced liberal tendencies (you know what’s liberal? Don’t tread on me, leave me alone to make the best of a bad situation don’t come riding in telling me you intend to do good when its patently obvious you done bad already and I don’t want your help thankyou) pontificating on high to us put-upon victims of the debacle! NUTTY d**n right I’m nutty….!

            • Chesire11

              Clare, I’m afraid your rambling disjointed manifesto is a prime example of the type of behavior that is all too typical of the activists I dismissed in my original comment. Rather than presenting a reasoned case for your point of view, you spouted barely coherent, humorless emotional outraged rant, and there is no purpose served in trying to reason with emotion For Pete’s sake, your last paragraph was three sentences of 56, 97 and 127 words. If you want a discussion, take a breath, calm down, and collect your thoughts.

          • Clare Krishan

            Cheshire11 see my most recent comment above

            tied to Mark’s thesis on what constitutes “nutty” ie who is it doin’ the Devil’s bidding here? The Gadarene swine were a majority when they took the leap, no, permitted to do so by our Lord’s prudential judgment that it was better they perish in order to heal the demoniac… perhaps to rid us of our global hubris we will be permitted to destroy our “reserve” currency privileges that do so much to subsidize the culture of death on distant shores and earn us the revulsion of so many, allies and non-aligned alike)

            • Chesire11

              This is the sort of hysteria that discredits arguments. Satan-pigs, and divine retribution for monetary policies with which you disagree? However sincere, and lovely a person you may be, that just comes across as…well…nutters.

              • Clare Krishan

                Cheshire11, Mark introduced the natural simile to “lunatics” while you added “nutters” re: letting the new law and the debt ceiling raises ride unopposed as ‘prudential’ and reasonable (which I agree with incidentally, the GOP has no business complaining, since they were the ones who pushed the MA model right?) and then Mark raised the game with his supernatural simile referencing Satan, so its not my rhetoric, its yours gentlemen. If any of us are to be dissuaded from our rhetorical misalliances, what [logic and grammar] does the Lord want from us?

                May I suggest Micah’s motto as suitable? Act justly • Love mercy • Walk humbly with your God
                | Factual feature | justice is an old fashioned rational virtue not requiring theological convictions or the operation of sanctifying grace, the silver rule at minimum: do not do to others what you do not want done to you, the logic of the natural law: if you’re in a hole the most prudent thing to do is stop digging?

                | Advantage | love is ‘willing the good of the other’ so all are owed the benefit of the doubt re: their ignorance of the truth about the human person (beginning with their healthcare in utero), a rhetoric proposing wounded concupiscence is deserving of healing implies recognizing unintended consequences for original sin: man’s free choice of ends and means can be oriented to generation or to corruption. Transparency helps us tell the difference, while collusion or secrecy or coercion tend to obstruct – nay even deny – free will and thus moral right action aka prudence.

                | Benefit | all is gift, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! We are temporary stewards not owners of the means at our disposal, we have no right to these means, ie to health insurance; we are given a responsibility for our own health and for securing the universal destination of goods used to pursue health care for all, including the unborn, those with disabilities and the elderly.

                Social insurance may or may not be a prudential means to attain the logical features, rhetorical advantage or grammatical benefits I lay out according to Micah’s motto. Dialog will tell. Insulting your discourse partner as a nutter or nutjob who threatens Armageddon isn’t dialog its diatribe.

    • chezami

      So what you are saying is “Let us do evil that good may come of it.” Here. This is for you:

      • So what you are saying is “Let us do evil that good may come of it.”

        Where did Erin say anything close to what you just paraphrased? Are you saying that ‘a limited government’ or shrinking the size of government is itself evil?

        • chezami

          No. Keep thinking. I’m sure you can figure it out.

          • No. Keep thinking. I’m sure you can figure it out.

            I beseech you, in the name of Christ, to help me in my ignorance. I do not understand how ‘Let us do evil that good may come of it’ was taken from Erin’s words.

            Help me understand. Please. Because if Erin is supporting evil, I have to know, so I can avoid it.

            • chezami

              So you really can detect *nothing* morally problematic in this “I’m in favor of cheating to win and I’ll just have to go ahead and risk judgment for it later because it’s so darn important” paragraph:

              “I have grown to think that trying to play strategically is less important than playing honestly. Since the Dems have no lowest point beyond which they would never go (whereas I do, and I will only support people who recognize moral boundaries, few though those people are), the game is always rigged in the Dems’ favor. I’m the one who has to live with myself, after all, and more importantly, answer for my actions at the throne.”

              • kirthigdon

                It seems to me that Erin is saying just the opposite of what you accuse her of. She’s saying that it’s better to be honest and lose than to “play strategically” and win and then have to answer for cheating before the throne of God.
                Kirt Higdon

                • to_tell_the_truth

                  No, she isn’t saying that.

                • chezami

                  I don’t think that’s what she meant. I gathered she meant that it’s so important to win that she would rather do so dishonestly and take her chances with judgment later. Rather like the Liars for Jesus who claim that it is so important to defeat aborttion that we should lie in order to do it. If I’m wrong, I hope she will correct me. But that’s what I took her to mean. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve run across this in allegedly Faithful conservative Catholic circles. It has fueled advocates of Live Action and the advocates of torture for a decade and it is what animates zealots for the nukiing of Japan too. Consequentialism is equally beloved by both lieft and right dissenters from the Church’s teaching.

                  • kirthigdon

                    Mark, she explicitly states that she considers playing strategically less important than playing honestly and that she will only support people who recognize moral boundaries. How in the world is this consequentialism? Don’t be so eager to make enemies that you attack people who are on your side.
                    Kirt Higdon

                    • chezami

                      You know what? You’re right. I totally misread that. My apologies to Erin. I don’t know how I got that so wrong. D’oh!

                    • I knew, if you kept thinking, that you’d be sure to figure it out.

                    • chezami

                      Fair enough. My mistake.

              • The Deuce

                Er, how exactly did you manage to read that paragraph to mean the exact opposite of what it means? Are you so incapable of civil, good faith debate now that you literally see words that aren’t there rather than deal with your opponent’s actual position?

                • chezami

                  What can I say? I misread it. And when I realized I misread it, I admitted it. What do you want?

          • Robert R

            Doing evil for good. Like exaggerating the size and threat from certain groups of traditionalists and being devisive in order to move the Overton Window to where you think it should be.

            • chezami

              Greaaaat. Glen Beck paranoia alloyed with Reactionary self pity. Bye!

        • Dan C

          Maybe it is.

          Limited government is not a default structure for any understanding of the set point of Catholic social teaching. This is jot that there isn’t discussion to be had, but one must clearly undersntand that Europeans of a certain age have been the folks advancing this.

          Then, one starts to have to defend one’s small government posiition against what is posited as good. Then one has to explain how these “no government” strict libertarians are really just for modestly, safely, and smoothly for shrinking government while retaining proper safe measures to assure good regulation of the economy and public safety against capital and private business.

          The absolutist government nihilists are not working for pridence, justice, or the poor. Thusly they are not on God’s side in the least.

          • Limited government is not a default structure for any understanding of the set point of Catholic social teaching.


            Then one has to explain how these “no government” strict libertarians

            Who are these people? Name them. Name the people who want there to be ‘no government’, period. All of the elected officials will do fine.

            Hell, just a few of them.

            The absolutist government nihilists are not working for pridence, justice, or the poor.

            Name them. Who are they? Who are you talking about? Who are these ‘no government’ strict libertarians?

          • Clare Krishan

            pls define ” absolutist government nihilists” from where I’m standing — see elsewhere in thread for background on the situation — its the Government that ARE the nihilists…. and absolutists to boot!

  • Any bets the Republicans take the Senate while holding on to the House in 2014 and elect a president in 2016? They are crazy like a fox.

  • Evan

    Can we just save time and preemptively blame you now for any and all future republican losses?
    I mean, I already know my refusal to vote for the pro-abortion, pro-gay “marriage,” republicans in my local state elections means that it is my fault that the democrats win most seats by over 60% majorities.

  • In the other corner, you have a fevered mob of crazy people who seriously believed that if the GOP had just gone ahead and burned down the global economy, a just God would have magically banished Obamacare, given them the White House in 2016 and miraculously overturned Roe.

    If the GOP went ahead and let the US default, the government would have shrunk – period. It would have been terrible, it would have caused massive problems, but overreaching wars, and a forever-growing government would have been a thing of the past on the instant.

    No God or magic required.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      IOW, bring on Armageddon and to Hades with the people.
      Nertz ta THAT, say I.

      • Nertz ta THAT, say I.

        Well gosh, I’m not sure how they can stand up to the sheer force of that intellectual reply.

        • to_tell_the_truth

          Just wanted to match the intellectual content in your post. They say imitation IS the best form of flattery.

    • Elmwood

      The world wouldn’t have ended if the country went into default. They had enough money to get them through into November before they defaulted on any debt. Even then nobody really knows how bad that would have been, the president could have moved money around and kept the important services funded indefinitely.

      But doing so at the expense of 800,000 jobs is morally unacceptable. The US bishops called for them to avoid default and keep people working. Only right-wing ideology thought differently.

  • Robert R

    Nothings getting fixed. Buy a cow and some chickens. No politician can stop what’s coming. Jesus I trust in You.

  • Bob W

    I wonder if FAITHFUL Catholics will allowed to vote in 2016?

    • to_tell_the_truth

      There is no religious test to vote in America. Thanks be to Zeus.
      But, if there were, you’d first have to define “FAITHFUL Catholics”. The majority of lay Catholics disagree with many (if not most) of their church’s teachings.

  • to_tell_the_truth

    The lunatics have been running the GOP asylum since the day of Obama’s inauguration in 2009, when they met for the sole purpose of making him a ‘one-termer’. And, sadly, they’re still operating with that ‘mind’-set.
    They are destroying America (and came darned close to destroying the world’s economy) ALL for the sake of ideology that the majority of Americans rejected at the polls – TWICE!

  • Elmwood

    Cheney is still pounding the war drums proclaiming that war is inevitable in Iran and is critical of the inaction of Obama in Syria (hasn’t Obama armed the rebels?). He’s a despicable war monger of a politician that should have realized by now that he should shut up about war.

    Funny how some of the biggest promoters of war have never fought in them.

  • The Hermit of Littleton

    Mother Angelica had an expression that goes something like ….’ If one is not willing to do the “insane”; God can not do the miraculous…’

    • chezami

      You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. Doing something insanely irresponsible and expecting God to bail you out is was exactly what the devil suggested Jesus attempt when he told him to leap from the temple. Unwise.

      • Clare Krishan

        Mark watch that video I linked to from Snoring Scholar – is not the insane irresponsible thing *increasing* the debt ceiling… ICYMI we just took that leap…

      • Clare Krishan

        Cheshire11 – the chart on Rod’s thread puts the interest on the current national debt at circa 1/5 th of the tax revenue stream in less than a decade. Everyone keeps saying America is a rich country, but its conditional on the fact that on average 3/4 of the folks wealth is dwarfed by a three-fold larger deficit of their share of the country’s debt. The people are not as wealthy as they’d like to think they are… the wealth is held in titles to assets that foreigner’s may have encumbered as part of collateralized debt obligations, financial vehicles that permit us to mortgage our children’s and childrens’ children’s futures … the 1% with 40% of the wealth are only encumbered with their democratically “legitimate” 1% of the burden – we’ve been taken for a ride people: we took the leap a long time ago…

  • Clare Krishan

    re: “be the party of the incredibly rich” that’d be the 1%, so not enough votes. To win a majority of us over it’d have to be a Banana Republic kinda deal of “bribe/buy enough votes” to give a semblance of moral “legitimacy” according to CST… did you see Snoringscholar’s Sarah Reinhard pinned this video?

    its not funny anymore, its gettin’ scary people…. oligarchs can only make money if we’ve got some to give ’em. while the government’s not in quite the same quandry since they can borrow whatever sums they want (before the debt ceiling gets renegotiated in February 2014) via the Federal Reserve printing ’em some more Treasury Bonds to use to pay the Chinese and Gulf oil states for the stuff we import from them on hock (its FIAT paper, a form of debt obligation backed by… zilch, nada except the good faith trust in the financial power of those 99% not-so-much-wealth owning citizenry. The 1% like Mitt Romney don’t pay taxes, they receive ‘dividends’ from tax-protected financial vehicles that hold their wealth investments in a blind, to the tax man anyway, trust)…or they’re TBTF and we help them out with bailouts like in Zimbabwe… until there’s no more “there” there.

    I’m surprised not more folks are “…‘ow you say, barking nuts”?

    • Marthe Lépine

      I fully agree with what you are saying, and that graph is indeed scary. However I have read in the past, in another “Catholic” blog, that such talking is feeding envy, and envy is a sin. I have also read that talking about any kind of redistribution, particularly through taxation, is “coveting other peoples’ property” and that also is a sin. Then the same people will claim that taxation is “confiscating” from those who “have worked to earn it” the fruit of their labour to give it away to those who are too lazy to work. It is true, I DID read such things in so-called Catholic blogs (which I am not naming, but could if you insist…). And at one time it made ME wonder about MY faith: Did I really miss something there?

      • Clare Krishan

        I’m not a distributist Marthe nor a Marxist, no subsidiarity contradicting envy from me. I’d just like subsidiarity to be MUTUAL the way God intended, ie those who have ownership rights to vast wealth may not usurp the rights of ownership I have to the little wealth of mine that remains that I use to support my impoverished relatives who are elderly, unemployed, disabled and a single parent also dependent on us for material assistance in meeting their needs, while extending what we can to our socially disadvantaged neighbors. Note the idea that most taxation is raised from wages is erroneous, its mostly from the traditional definition of “income” – from entrepreneurial industry of those with material wealth, ie land or financial assets, not laboring industry levied on a man or woman or youth’s ‘time’. FYI levying taxes on labor was considered a sin as late as 100 yrs ago… no King or Queen ever did that, just sayin’ … democracy did that.

      • Redistribution is the goal of CHARITY. There is no such thing as government charity. And, yes, the government confiscating from one to give to another is theft. My husband and I feel strongly committed to give alms. That is an entirely different thing than confiscatory taxes.

        • chezami

          Redistribution is the goal of taxes and government and *always has been*. And, within reason, that’s perfectly legit. What else do you think happens when you pay taxes? Money is taken from you and used for the common good. That’s what taxation is.

          • Paying for the common good, like roads, traffic signals, rest stops, the courts, etc. is legit. That is NOT redistribution of income. It is sharing the cost of legitimate government functions which are strictly limited by the Constitution. When government overtaxes one citizen to give money to another (or free cell phones) — that is redistribution of income. It’s not only unconstitutional, it’s immoral.

            • chezami

              Of course it’s redistribution of income.

              • No it isn’t, but you are acting like a typical liberal who makes a statement and responds to a fact by restating your opinion as if it is a gospel truth.

                If I join my neighbors and we all go together to pay to have our common private road (which we all use) resurfaced that is not redistribution of income. It is sharing the cost of something we all need. If I, on the other hand, give my neighbor a donation to help pay medical expenses for a sick child, that is my voluntary redistribution of personal income. The government has no constitutional right to coerce me to do it! They certainly have no right to compel me to pay for a welfare recipient to live in a home under Section 8 that is well beyond the price range of most middle class Americans.

                But perhaps you need to define your terms. How do you define redistribution of income?

                • chezami

                  When the state takes your money and redistributes it for the common good, that is redistribution of income. I’m sorry you dislike that fact, but it is a fact. This is why the complaint about “redistribution of wealth” is so silly. It’s what the state *does*. The question is not whether the state should redistribute wealth, but what constitutes a just redistribution of wealth. Instead of looking at that, you make the incredibly stupid claim that I am a “liberal” (the name-call of choice for the Thing that Used to be Conservatism). Dude, I’m not a liberal. I believe all that the Holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims is revealed by God. I oppose abortion, gay “marriage”, ESCR, artificial contraception and support both capitalism (within the bounds of Catholic moral teaching) and just war. Hell, I voted for Reagan twice. Stop the reflexive yarking about “liberals” and use your brain.

                  • Well, we actually have much in common, but not in the current discussion. Redistribution of income was very far from the Founders’ intentions so I still disagree with your premise. Socialism uses redistribution of income as a tool illustrated in their motto: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

                    Actually the Church’s social teaching is NOT redistribution of income in the sense of Marxist socialism which is where the liberals are taking us. The Church opposes usury and unbridled capitalism which puts production and trade in the hands of the few. Leo XIII condemned that in Rerum Novarum. But he also condemned socialism which “make(s) the goods of individuals common to all” and lets the “men who preside over a municipality or who direct the entire State…act as administrators of these goods. They hold that, by such a transfer of private goods from private individuals to the community, they can cure the present evil through dividing wealth and benefits equally among the citizens.” Pope Leo stressed that the worker has a right to retain the fruits of his labors which current usurious tax rates make impossible. The pope especially called for the rich to “religiously avoid harming in any way the savings of the workers either by coercion, or by fraud, or by the arts of usury,” something the government is every bit as guilty of as big corporations. Thanks to government, many homeowners lost the value of their largest investment in the housing collapse. Where I live the community has still not recovered. That’s why Chesterton spoke against both “Hudge” and “Gudge” and supported distributism.

                    Oh, and by the way, thanks for the lesson in charity. I’ll try to find my brain. Must be around here somewhere. LOL!

                    • chezami

                      And I repeat: redistribution of income is what ever government since the dawn of time has always done. That is what taxes *are*. The question is “What is the just way in which those monies taken from us (by force, at gunpoint, by the state) shall be redistributed for the common good?”

                    • Chesire11

                      “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That’s communism. Socialism is state ownership of the means of production. Of course you can get to socialism from the right just as easily as from the left, if you allow the “means of production” to capture the power of the state, which is by far the greater risk in the 21st century, and is actually being played out through things like the collapse of the middle class, widening disparities of wealth and income, and the Citizens United ruling.

                • Chesire11

                  When the state collects taxes from me to repair a road that I never use, or a public school that I never use, that is a legitimate redistribution of income. The cost of those things which benefit society as a whole are distributed across all members of that society whether we personally avail ourselves of them or not. Similarly, though I may never avail myself of Section 8 housing, society as a whole benefits from addressing the threat of homelessness, as a society indifferent to the plight of its poor is morally depraved, and a government which fails to relieve it is not worthy of allegiance.

                  The government is not a person, and therefore cannot engage in the theological virtue of Charity, but each citizen IS a moral agent and is subject to judgement based upon whether he uses his vote to support policies which clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and house the homeless, or prefers to use his vote in pursuit of his own narrow, material selfish self-interests.

  • The Deuce

    Obamacare and the HHS mandate must be resisted at all costs…

    …unless it involves the Treasury having to prioritize payments on discretionary spending! Oh the humanity! Anything but that!

  • Eve Fisher

    There will always be a political party that will be anti-abortion; they will never, however, abolish it, because it makes such excellent campaign material. The proof of this is 2003-2007, when the Republicans had control of the Presidency, House, Senate, and Supreme Court. And not one single attempt was made to overturn Roe v. Wade in those 4 years. And don’t tell me that was because we were at war: it didn’t stop them doing a lot of other stuff, like cutting taxes for the rich, and installing all the NSA/Patriot Act stuff that everyone is irate about now… a decade later…

    The truth is, politicians (of any party) are addicts: they are addicted to politics, being elected, continuing in power. In pursuit of this, they will say anything, do anything, imply anything it takes to get elected – just as an alcoholic does to get a drink or an addict a fix. And they know what works: the hot button social issues will indeed fire up the base and get them voting. But the politicians never actually follow THROUGH on it, because it works so well. Pay attention, folks. You’re being played.

    • to_tell_the_truth

      They will never abolish it because it is a Constitutional right, according to the SC(R)OTUS.
      My take is, If it isn’t your uterus, you don’t get a say in the matter.

      • DK

        Since it is not my uterus don’t make me pay for it!

      • IRVCath

        The courts have called a lot of injustices rights. Doesn’t make them actual rights.

        • Chesire11

          It doesn’t make them right, but it does make them constitutional, however much I object to their logic.

          • IRVCath

            Perhaps. But, thankfully, the Court is not actually infallible, as much as some of our Protestant friends in the past have believed. Courts have, of course, reversed themselves.

            The problem, as said above, is that there exists a large enough part of the Republican Party and the conservative movement – I will not say the majority – that indeed uses it as nothing more than a vote bank, like how the Democrats use the all-too-real examples of societal racism as a means to turn out minorities. Both are cases where the politicians refuse to solve the problems because it means they could no longer campaign on the issue (what would happen if we eradicated extreme poverty in South Los Angeles? Or if Mississippi passed that referendum two years ago?). There are a few true believers (arguably Santorum was one, as well as those like former State Senator Roberti from the Democratic side), usually Catholic. But a good number see this as a smokescreen to smuggle in policies detested by practically all Americans.

      • orual’s kindred

        …and if it isn’t your penis, you don’t get to say where it shouldn’t go?

    • Gary Keith Chesterton

      “Under the show, the struggle for power. Deep down below it all, deeper than honour, deeper than pride, deeper than lust and deeper than love, is the getting of it all. The seizing and the holding on. The jaws locked, biting into power and holding on.” (Francis Urquhart, “To Play the King”)

  • If you had been around in the 18th century, you no doubt would have considered the tea partiers of that time crazy lunatics as well. Heck, they were willing to face the entire British empire and destroy everything they’d built up in America sacrificing their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What a bunch of loonies! As for giving the White House to Hillary in 2016, are you serious? The establishment Republicans will put up another “moderate” spouting Democrat lite who can’t possibly win. That’s who will give the White House to Hillary!

    Yes, I support the tea party and I’m a pro-life activist. As for dynamiting the party, I’ve been watching that from the inside for two decades as a precinct chairman and member of a country Republican committee.

    I’m through with supporting moderates. I will NEVER vote for a George Bush, a John McCain, or a Mitt Romney again. As for the “fevered mob of crazy people,” those who support the establishment Republicans seem to fit that description. After all, doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. But that’s what the establishment Republicans do every season! The Whigs collapsed due to disagreements over slavery and polygamy. Seems like the Republicans will collapse over the new slavery of abortion and the new marriage perversion. History repeats itself!

    • Chesire11

      Yes…because the guy with the tea bags hanging off his novelty tri-corner hat holding the sign demanding that the government keep its hands off’n his Medicare is the equivalent of the Founding Fathers. (sigh!)

  • Clare Krishan

    Rod’s roost has another thread that has a very pertinent video clip from a recent gabfest in DC that is worth 2 hrs of your time if you are serious about dialog about style vs substance… “I’m pretty obnoxious even without drinking” that lady speaks for me, and like her, I’m not apologizing!
    “Medium is the message” of incarnate freedom to become all that God wants for us