Morning Report, 8/23: Credit for Libya, Perry as God of Texas, Martin Luther Kang, and Romney's Mormonism

Morning Report, 8/23: Credit for Libya, Perry as God of Texas, Martin Luther Kang, and Romney's Mormonism August 23, 2011

In the News

1.  While the pronouncements of victory may be immature, it does appear that a successful resolution of the Libyan war is imminent.  I’d suggest this impassioned piece congratulating those who have helped to bring it about.  This was an interesting paragraph:

In truth, the conflict, once more, opposed these two vast parties that are as old as politics itself. On the one side, the eternal family, not so much of enemies of the people or friends of the despots but of those paralyzed by Power, bewitched by Tyranny. This is the eternal family, yes, of those incapable of imagining, and I do mean imagining, that the order of dictatorships is transitory, ephemeral, as are all human orders, perhaps even more. And on the other side, the great party of those whose judgment has not been clouded by this strange passion, this paralysis of the soul inflicted by the Gorgon or by the cold monster, those still capable of conceiving, just conceiving, that dictatorships endure only due to the credit granted them, that is to say the fear they incite in their subjects and the reverence they inspire in the rest of the world. And when this credibility is gone, when it goes flat, like a bad charm or a mirage, dictatorships crumble like castles in the sand or become paper tigers.

In the never-ending American election season, the question of credit is unfortunately inevitable.  Even yesterday, immediately as news was breaking on the rebel occupation of Tripoli, Obama partisans were claiming that his “leading from behind” strategy was vindicated.  And the continuation of the Arab Spring will lead others to say that Bush’s agenda of promoting democracy in the Middle East is further vindicated as well.

2.  From an interesting — if slanted — piece by Lawrence Wright: “Running against Perry is like running against God,” Sharp, who was recently named the chancellor of A & M, has said. “Everything breaks his way.”  Here’s a little more:

Non-Texans are bound to look at Perry and see a reprise of Bush’s swagger and twang. In Texas, however, the two men are seen as very different. Bush has money, a famous name, and two Ivy League degrees. Perry has none of those assets. Bush was a businessman; Perry was a cotton farmer. When Bush was governor, Democrats were still a factor in Texas politics, and he was notably bipartisan; under Perry, the two relevant parties are the Republican Party and the Tea Party.

3.  The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is ready for viewing on the National Mall in Washington DC — and it was Made in China.  Is this a heartening example of judging people on the content of their character and not the color of their skin?  Or should an African-American artist have received the task?  Critics say that MLK looks a bit Chinese in the sculpture.  Has anyone seen it?

***

In the Pews

1.  One of the best bloggers in the business, Elizabeth Scalia (“The Anchoress”), writes a lovely column at First Things on her experience of contemplation in a community of Dominican nuns:

I know what I comprehended, but it was something of such a different order. Imagine finding something—like a stone—covered with a strange writing that you are instantly, in a flash, able to understand. But you cannot translate it for anyone else because, although you know the message, there is no language on earth by which it may be conveyed.

You fall back on one word, “love,” but that word is wholly insufficient—using it is like trying to describe a deluge when the only word at your disposal is “damp.”

The love—it was blinding, mesmerizing, all-encompassing, warm, delightful—I still don’t have the words. One night I wrote to a friend, “I still have a long way to go before I can articulate what I learned there, in the amazing, tender presence ofHim.”

2.  An intelligent case that Romney should explain his faith to the American people as soon as possible.

3.  More on the silly “Jesus was a Socialist” article.

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