Scratch Virgil Goode

Scratch Virgil Goode October 20, 2012

He’s another member of the Rubber Hose Right, eager to restore America to her former glory as a torture state (see the second question from the bottom).

What is it with the Thing that Used to be Conservatism and its fascination with brutality (always, of course, done by ordering somebody else to do it) as a substitute for courage, wisdom and reason?

One of the marks of mortal sin is a high and noisy self-regard for one’s own courage in advocating evil and a denunciation of all warning voices as weak, prissy and effeminate. This is, curiously, true especially for pro-abort feminists. Nobody is harder on pro-life women for their alleged spineless submission and “cowardice” than some butch pro-abort with a bullhorn shouting about how proud she is to have had an abortion. False courage is one of the sure markers of evil. And false courage is one of the sure markers of support for torture.

Look for it all to return in spades–and nowhere more loudly than from “prolife conservative Catholics” should Romney win. They supported torture in percentage large than the ordinary American population during the Bush years. And because they had to muscle down an awful lot of obvious Church teaching and obvious objections of conscience to do it, they were particularly loud about how much courage it took to advocate for torture and how prissy, weak, effeminate and pharisaic opponents of torture were. Once Romney is in, they is absolutely no evidence that one thing will have changed–which is why I insist that one of the main things we need to look at is the impact of the vote on the voter. Nowhere more than in the prostitution of the “prolife conservative Catholic” to the will of the GOP on torture, and its active and energetic subversion of the Church on this point, is the corrupting effect of our politics on our faith more clearly seen. “Prolife” enthusiasm for torture and unjust war has done irreparable harm to our witness to the next generation. And for what?

Meanwhile, I think I’ll vote for Joe Schriner, a Catholic pol who actually seems to believe Catholic teaching and not just cannibalize it for use in manipulating demographic blocs.

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  • How about Joe Schriner? I like everything I’ve read so far:

  • I think that the anti-torture side has truly missed a great framing opportunity to forge practical bridges to get their public policy goals into law. The pro-interrogation side has two major components to it, those who just like the rough stuff and those who were horrified that we’d let ourselves slip so badly that emergency measures of a temporary variety could possibly be accepted if they weren’t too rough. Too rough and temporary is the weak point of the pro-interrogation alliance and the anti-torture side could, but generally does not frame questions to hammer that vulnerability to wedges. A proper question 76 in my estimation might be one or more of the following:
    1. After 11 years of using enhanced interrogation shortcuts, is it time to return to normal policies that are sustainable and keep the country both safe and honorable?
    2. Is keeping the difference between what is permitted and torture so narrow safe for our interrogators?

    I’m sure that others can think of other wedge questions. The point of the game is to make people think along lines which will make them more likely to agree with you. The asked question achieves the goal of broadening the pro-interrogation coalition as much as possible. That is not something that should pass without challenge.

  • DarthJ

    Virgil Goode is the best candidate that’s out there- and the only 100% pro-life one.

    Virgil Goode 2012!

    • TheRealAaron

      He may be 100% opposed to abortion, but I’m not sure the term 100% pro life applies to someone who is in favor of the death penalty, torture and a war of aggression in Iran.

    • Mark Shea

      You can’t be “pro-life” and pro-torture. That so many “prolife” people think you can is just more evidence of the corrupting effect of our politics on our faith.

  • Elaine S.

    Well, even if there is no 100% truly pro-life candidate for POTUS out there, that doesn’t mean conscientious Catholics should just give up and stay home on Election Day! There are still plenty of Congressional, Senate and state/local level races to be decided, plus a number of important referenda, as Rebecca over at Public Catholic points out:

    • Adolfo

      Where does Mark advocate staying home and not voting at all?

      • Elaine S.

        He doesn’t. I just don’t want his readers to forget there are other important races and questions out there besides the POTUS election. It’s easy to do that with all the relentless focus on the presidential candidates.

  • Evan

    I think Tom Hoefling is 100% prolife. And so far, I have not discovered any grave intrinsic that he supports. However, he won’t be on the ballot in many states, but we can still write him in, which is my plan unless I discover something highly problematic about him. Hoefling is also the only candidate I’ve found who understands that it’s not left versus right but our ruling class versus the rest of us.

  • Dan Berger

    Bravo, Mark! Joe Schriner may be quixotic, but at least he walks the walk.

  • quasimodo

    Virgil Goode? Really? Never heard of him. He’ll get about 5 votes. Important subject.

  • Blog Goliard

    Straining at gnats here. Y’all have good reasons to not vote for either Romney or Obama. I don’t entirely agree, but I respect your reasoning and your decision.

    At a certain point, however, it becomes silly and a waste of time to fret over whether Virgil Goode is pro-life enough for you to support, or whether Joe Schriner is exactly the man he says he is. Well, okay…”waste of time” isn’t necessarily true, if this is a fun hobby for you and helps you relax. But it’s no more than that. As far as the rest of America who isn’t you is concerned, you’re sitting out this election for President. Leave that part of your ballot blank, vote for Joe (if you even can…is he on the ballot anywhere?), write in your own name or Daffy Duck’s…it doesn’t matter.

    Yes, I know…how you vote matters to your own soul. That’s a fair point. But once you’ve decided that it’s best for your own soul to sit this one out, I seriously doubt that the manner in which you decide to express sitting it out will be of all that much importance. The first time I was eligible to vote for President, I wrote in Gene McCarthy. Would I have been a different man then, or a different man today, had I written in Pat Paulsen instead? I don’t think so.

  • Jeff Beyer

    What do you think about Tom Hoefling?

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Remember when the United States used to stand for freedom and liberty? When we were a beacon throughout the world? It wasn’t all that long ago, folks. It was in my childhood, and I’m not that old.

    Where did we get off track so badly, and how do we get back on?

    • Kristen inDallas

      I think the same thing a lot… but then I remember that when I was a child I was much dumber, illiterate, and more easily duped. In my mind, Carter and regean seem like nice old grandpa-like chaps, but then I hear stuff (from repubs) about Obama being “as bad as Carter” or all of Reagan’s “warmongering” and I have to wonder, if maybe it’s just my memories of building snowmen, PB&J, and Bob Ross on TV teaching me to paint, making everything seem better…

  • Gary Keith Chesterton

    Hooray Mark! Join us on the Average Joe bandwagon!!!

    • ivan_the_mad

      I’m just reading his platform and policies for the first time … I like what I see so far.

  • Ted Seeber

    Thank you. I’m going to grab my ballot tonight, write in Tom H., vote my more local issues that I care about, and send it off.

    Voting day in Oregon is three weeks long, and I got my ballot Saturday.

    • Ted Seeber

      I ended up voting for Will Christensen- apparently the Constitution Party of Oregon feels the same way you do about Virgil- that he isn’t very Goode.

  • Hank

    You should stick to writing about scripture.

  • I’m voting for the ONLY 100% pro life candidate who is Tom Hoefling. (Don’t knock me for it, I can’t in good conscience vote for anyone who elects to kill any babies, and probably wouldn’t vote at all if I had to.) You should check him out. And if you read this after the election, he will be running next time around, so lets get him in the top choices in 2016!