“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.