“I think [Pope Francis] is a complicated man. And I wrote at the time of his ascension, because I knew something about his passion/compassion for the poor, that he should not simply be judged on where he stands on gay marriage or abortion, but that we evaluate him also and think about him and the fact that he lives a life of such humility. He wants to feel connected to those at the bottom. My qualm, right now, with the political left is that it is so taken over by sexual issues, sexual questions, that we have forgotten the traditional concern of the left was always social class and those at the bottom. And now we’re faced with a pope who is compassionate towards the poor and we want to know his position on abortion. It seems to me that at one point when Pope Francis said, “You know the church has been too preoccupied with those issues, gay marriage and abortion…” at some level the secular left has been too preoccupied with those issues,” – Richard Rodriguez.
Archives For: Yglesias Award Nominee
“Like many other anti-Communists and Cold Warriors, I feared that releasing Nelson Mandela from jail, especially amid the collapse of South Africa’s apartheid government, would create a Cuba on the Cape of Good Hope at best and an African Cambodia at worst … Far, far, far from any of that, Nelson Mandela turned out to be one of the 20th Century’s great moral leaders, right up there with Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. … So, I was dead wrong about Nelson Mandela, a great man and fine example to others, not least the current occupant of the White House. After 95 momentous years on Earth, may Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela rest in peace,” – Deroy Murdock, National Review.
“Some advocates of war [with Iran] seem gripped by Thirties Envy, a longing for the clarity of the 1930s, when appeasement failed to slake the dictators’ thirst for territorial expansion. But the incantation “Appeasement!” is not an argument. And the word “appeasement” does not usefully describe a sober decision that war is an imprudent and even ultimately ineffective response to the failure of diplomatic and economic pressures to alter a regime’s choices about policies within its borders,” - George F Will.
“I would like to know that our national home has clear borders and that we hold the people sacred, not the land. I would like to see a national home that is not maintained by occupying another people. I say this even though it’s not popular: we need an agreement now, before we reach a point of no return from which the two-state solution is not an option any longer,” – Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel’s Shin Beit until two years ago.
“The problem of poverty is complicated, different in important respects from in the past, and defies simplistic partisan explanations. The solutions certainly extend beyond the actions of government. Indeed, misguided government policies have done a great deal to perpetuate inter-generational poverty. But it’s hard to argue that politics and government don’t have significant roles to play, direct and indirect, both in putting an end to failed policies and in supporting what works. And certainly the Republican Party has to do better than declaring utter indifference to the poor (which was the approach some otherwise very impressive individuals took in the 2012 presidential race).
Helping those most in need should be considered more than a peripheral virtue; and like Jews and Christians of old, we should all make more room in our moral imaginations for the care of the poor. Certainly if we’re told that God identifies with the least of these, so should we,” – Pete Wehner, Commentary.
“What Democrats know keenly — and Republicans seem never to learn — is that positive beats negative every time. Thus, we see MSNBC’s clever montage of Republican negativity: A series of unfriendly faces decrying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with apocalyptic language. Which would any everyday American prefer? The healer or the doomsayer? The elves or the orcs?” – Kathleen Parker.
“If our generation of conservatives wants to enjoy our own defining triumph, our own 1980 — we are going to have to deserve it. That means sharpening more pencils than knives. The kind of work it will require is neither glamorous nor fun, and sometimes it isn’t even noticed. But it is necessary. To deserve victory, conservatives have to do more than pick a fight. We have to win a debate. And to do that, we need more than just guts. We need an agenda,” – Senator Mike Lee, who recently threatened to destroy the entire global economy to make a point.
Hey, it’s a sign that the fever may be subsiding.
“You have to explain to people, people like me, that the rest of the world doesn’t think the way we do. That’s upsetting for people. But if we want to have our party be effective, we have to accept opinions like that,” – Susan Geddes, an Iowa Republican activist and devout social conservative, on marriage equality.
“[The Obamacare defunders] hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party … These are the people who said, ‘Plan: Step One, Invade Iraq. Step Two, It turns into Kansas,’ Could I ask if there’s anything in between Step One and Step Two? ‘Oh ye of little faith,’” – Grover Norquist.
Update from a reader:
Just wanted to point out that Norquist didn’t have much criticism for the Republicans during the shutdown. Here are some of his tweets:
“It is true that, according to Real Clear Politics, Americans disapprove of ObamaCare, 51 percent to 40 percent. It is unpopular. But it is not wildly, devastatingly unpopular — though given the fact that it is now rolling out and appears to be as incompetently executed as it was badly conceived, it may yet become so.
If ObamaCare had been as unpopular as conservatives believed, their plan for the shutdown — that there would be a public uprising to force Democratic senators in close races in 2014 to defund it — would’ve worked. It didn’t. Not a single senator budged. Their tactic failed, and now what they are left with is House Speaker John Boehner basically begging the president of the United States to negotiate with him,” - JPod.
It’s been interesting to me to see gung-ho New York Republican stalwarts like Pete King and John Podhoretz lead the charge against the Randian Cruzniks. These are not usually faint-hearted types. My sense is that they are motivated mostly by national security issues, crime, Islamism, and similar neoconnish hot-buttons. And they are getting a feeling that the libertarian surge that is now intertwined with the Tea Party and Christianist take-over of the GOP is not their natural ally. But there are precious few Republicans behind them.
“Perhaps because compromise as a concept is so unpopular these days–at least if my recent correspondence and conversations with those on the right is any indication–it is important that those of us who are conservative remind ourselves of its virtues. To point out that compromise is not always synonymous with weakness. That our problems, as significant as they are, pale in comparison to what the founders faced. And that compromise still belongs, in the words of Rauch, in the “constitutional pantheon.” Even the Obama presidency, as frustrating as it might be, cannot undo the marvelous handiwork and enduring insights of James Madison,” – Pete Wehner.
I have to say, though, that I fail to see any way in which this president has refused to compromise on almost anything, except his constitutional right to govern as president. I think that’s what so enrages them. Does this symbolic figurehead not know his place?
“I understand that congressmen say stupid things from time to time. And I understand that Mr. Farenthold is an obscure back-bencher who doesn’t speak for most of his colleagues. Still, the fact that a member of the House of Representatives would treat lunatic theories as serious is a problem. It does reflect poorly not only on Farenthold but the party he represents. And what he said is damaging, since it will confirm in the minds of rational people that at least among some of its elected representatives, the Republican Party is comprised of conspiratorial nuts,” – Pete Wehner, Commentary.
“I’d be leading the charge [for defunding Obamacare] if I thought this would work. But it will not work … You’re going to set an expectation among the conservatives in our party that we can achieve something that we’re not able to achieve. It’s not an achievable strategy. It’s creating the false impression that you can do something when you can’t. And it’s dishonest … You’re not going to stop the funding, but what you will do is shut down the government. Among that group of senators that has been considering this, I was the only one who was here for that. The president is never going to sign a bill defunding Obamacare. Do you think he’s going to cave? The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House,” – Tom Coburn.
I agree with my friend Dr. Coburn: “Tom Coburn: Campaign to defund Obamacare ‘dishonest,’ ‘hype’” http://t.co/qARiderRAj
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 26, 2013
There’s some small shred of sanity left, it seems. Combined with Behner’s slapdown of Steve King, lets hope it gains more steam.
“Mike Huckabee is not only recruiting Jesus to be a foot soldier in the culture wars; he’s trying to raise money for his political action committee on it. I understand that how one views this is entirely subjective, but I for one find this kind of thing to be, at a minimum, tasteless and crass. We all get the game that’s being played: the Supreme Court renders a verdict on a hot-button social issue –and within hours ‘Jesus wept’ is used as a fundraising tool. One has to strike while the iron is hot, after all. Still, you might think that a Christian would use a good deal of caution when it comes to leveraging poignant verses about Jesus into three dollar donations for HuckPAC. …
I will say that on policy, Mr. Huckabee and I are fairly close in the views we hold (though certainly not identical). But what troubles me, and what I would hope would trouble Huckabee, is we’ve seen what happens when Christians use their faith as a blunt political instrument. It isn’t good for politics; but it’s a good deal worse for Christianity. A politicized faith is discrediting. It pushes people away. And it frankly distorts who Jesus was,” - Peter Wehner.