As I stated in my last post, I have realigned my political affiliation. I set out to find previous posts I’ve written here which no longer reflect my opinions, and I didn’t find much. Most of the things I would write differently if I were writing them today would differ in tone more than content. This confirms my suspicion that it wasn’t me who changed as much as it was my party.
To be fair, I’m quite happy with many of the things the current administration has done. The Supreme Court has a nice balance now, regularly confounding people who expect party-line votes from what is supposed to be a non-partisan institution. There are now enough strict-constructionist justices that the Constitution is being followed much more closely. And, for as much scorn as I’ve heaped on “the resistance,” it’s been nice to have a press that sees how unjust many of the things our government has been doing is. It’s a shame they lose interest when it’s discovered that prior administrations also did those things - or they choose to ignore that, acting like every shame is a new shame that should be borne solely by the current administration.
What changed (or what was revealed) is the character of those in the party, not just the guy at the top of the ticket. It is a perfectly defensible position to say that you agree with the political job that someone is doing, and still lament their character. Pro-life judges don’t excuse callous mocking of deceased political opponents. Increasing religious freedom doesn’t eliminate adultery and hush-money payments. Yet among the vocal Republican majority, it does. For the “character matters” warriors from the Clinton administration, this is hypocritical; among Christians, this is absolutely devastating to our witness.
(begin evangelical Christian-targeted rant)
Yes, King David was anointed by God to lead Israel; that doesn’t mean his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah were fine, because he was “God’s anointed.” For those making the “Trump is appointed by God” argument - you’re not wrong, but I don’t think that argument makes the point you think it does. I wrote on my devotional blog about Paul’s writing to the Romans; his words in Romans 13 were written about Nero. Remember, too, that the only reason Israel had kings was due to their rejection of God as their ultimate ruler. King David is a terrible analogy to use if you’re wanting to speak positively about our current President while ignoring his personal and professional misconduct; maybe you could draw a parallel about pride, but that’s not really what I think you’re wanting to highlight.
As a faithful Christian, I can no longer maintain a political affiliation with the Republican party. And, while I’m still part of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” against Hillary Clinton (which, of course, is tongue-in-cheek; there is no such thing, as much as she’d like to blame them for her failures), that is no longer the best description of my views. So, the new tagline here is “Conservatarian at Large” (a nod to Jon Gabriel and Stephen Miller’s podcast portmanteau), indicating both a convervative (AKA “classically liberal”) and libertarian viewpoint.
I will also unequivocally state that I do not think that Christians who make a different choice are somehow going against what God wants them to do. There are many different ways to parse our current nuanced environment. Those who believe just as I do may land on continued support for Donald Trump, and advocate for giving him 4 more years at the helm of the good ship USA. As long as they are not seemingly blind to his faults, in my view, they are following a path which they feel God has directed them. That’s the nice thing about a proper view of God’s sovereignty; He can make His followers have different viewpoints - sometimes to call others to change, and other times to cause them to think.
As for me and my conscience, though, I cannot continue with the GOP. As I alluded in my last post, I’ll be exploring the relationship between conservative Christianity and libertariansm in the near future. That won’t be the only thing about which I’ll write here, but it will probably be the first thing (unless I find some time to resurrect the “good, bad, and ridiculous” thing for 2019).
Housekeeping-wise, the college football posts from 2012-2014 have been removed; those URLs will return a 404. If anyone misses them, you can turn this site’s URL into an e-mail address and let me know.
In recent US Presidential elections, legislators typically lose to executives. Going back to 1952, this hasn’t always been the case, but since 1976, whenever a legislator has opposed an executive, the executive has won. As clarification, legislators are people who develop and pass laws; listed below is an impressive array of Representatives and Senators. Executives are people who are responsible for enforcing laws and for the direction the organizations they lead take; mayors, governors, and military or business leaders fall into this category. These two jobs are different branches in our government, so a legislator running for President, the chief executive office, is an attempt at branch-hopping. (This isn’t wrong - it’s just an observation.)
In 1952, Eisenhower, a military leader (executive), defeated Adlai Stevenson II, a former governor - twice.
Kennedy was a legislator, his 1960 opponent was Nixon, whose only executive experience was as Ike’s VP, so this was legislator v. legislator.
Kennedy’s VP, legislator Johnson, assumed the presidency when Kennedy was assassinated, and defeated legislator Goldwater in 1964.
Nixon then defeated former-mayor-turned-legislator and Johnson VP Humphrey in 1968, and legislator McGovern in 1972.
With Nixon’s resignation, legislator-turned-VP Ford lost to executive Carter in 1976.
Executive Reagan defeated executive Carter in 1980, and defeated legislator-turned-Carter-VP Mondale in 1984.
Reagan’s VP, George H. W. Bush, does not neatly fit into our categorization. He was a legislator-turned-VP, but he also served as the director of the CIA for the last year of Ford’s presidency, an executive position. However he’s categorized, he defeated executive Dukakis in 1988.
In 1992, executive Clinton defeated Bush, and he also defeated legislator Dole in 1996.
Legislator-turned-VP Gore lost to executive George W. Bush in 2000, who went on to defeat legislator Kerry in 2004.
2008 brought legislator v. legislator again, with Obama defeating McCain (a rare pairing of legislator for President with executive for VP).
This brings us to 2012, where legislator-turned-President Obama faces a challenge from executive Romney. Of course, presidential political patterns are made to be broken, but they remain interesting just the same. This breakdown doesn’t fall neatly into one party or the other; both vacillate between nominating executives and legislators, sometimes choosing legislators over executives in the primary elections.
(And, just a quick note for Joe Biden - if Obama wins a second term, things don’t look too good for you. Pure legislators-turned-VP (Ford, Mondale, Gore) have done even more poorly than legislators running for the presidency.)
The accusations continue to swirl about Herman Cain and harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association. I have a few thoughts on the continuing saga.
Does anyone remember Clarence Thomas? This is eerily reminiscent of the false accusations leveled at him during the course of his confirmation hearings. In Justice Thomas’ case, these were shown to be unfounded. However, the accusations themselves were a distraction, and gave his detractors the ability to brand him as an “alleged” harasser.
If you were harassed, would you wait 20 years before coming forward? Keep in mind that 20 years ago, harassment was front-and-center during the Thomas confirmation hearings (see #1 above). There was both easy justice and notoriety to be had by being one of the first successful enforcers of the no-harassment policies implemented at that time.
If you want to look like you’re telling the truth, hiring Gloria Allred is the wrong move.
And finally, even if Cain made a gesture and gave a compliment as alleged, is the party of Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Anthony Weiner really going to lecture us on harassment? Give me a big-time break.
That’s not a denial, folks; that’s an assertion. “Factually inaccurate” means that the story could have the wrong date, or inaccuracies in the timeline - the phrase sounds nice, but it had a different meaning than “substantively inaccurate,” which is how I would describe something like that. (Actually, I probably would have called it a “pack of lies” or somthing like that…) And to his next phrase - he can’t bring himself to say “I didn’t do it,” he uses the cop-out “There’s not a shred of evidence of that.” (If you’ll recall, he’s used that phrase before - when speaking of Mark Rich, the fundraising of Charlie Trie (paragraph 3), even when describing his own life. I saw that one person said “The proper way to parse that statement (“There’s not a single shred of evidence”) is ‘There are many shredded pieces of evidence.’” And, as if that’s not a wishy-washy enough statement, he preceded it by saying “as far as I know.” Does this mean he’s not sure whether there are shreds of evidence (or maybe even whole pages his staffers missed)?
This is the sort of pedantic double-speak that makes Clinton so dear to his party, and so frustratingly annoying to those not in his party. I would think that someone who was trying to rehabilitate their reputation would start talking straight. Ladies, think about it - if you accused your husband of having an affair with someone, and he said “As far as I know, there’s not a shred of evidence that we ever had an affair,” would you be satisfied with that answer? What you would hear is something like “We did, but we covered our tracks really well, I think.” Back when the Godfather (Rush Limbaugh for those in Rio Linda) came into popularity (way back during Bush 41’s presidency), one of his most common themes was that “words mean things.” (Sounds like a no-brainer, right?) Through Clinton’s use of terms like this, and his creative narrowing of common terms such as is and sex, he harmed the moral fabric of this country immensely.
This mysogynistic, impeached rapist, who was held in contempt of court while seated as this nation’s top executive officer, needs to go back into the shadows from where he came. The policy differences some folks have with our current President are nowhere close to Clinton’s pattern of personal corruption, abuse of power, and illegal activities. Let’s just hope against hope he doesn’t become our first “First Gentleman”…