Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I've Got Yer Future Of The Republican Party Right Here

Reading Neal Gabler's opinion piece in Sunday's Los Angeles Times seemed a "must-do" kind of thing for anyone wanting to comment on the burgeoning debate within the Republican Party over how it should proceed in light of the monumental losses it suffered in last months elections. So, read it I did (Yes, that's a "Yoda-voice" moment), and all I have to say is you should read it, too. He begins:
Ever since the election, partisans within the Republican Party and observers outside it have been speculating wildly about what direction the GOP will take to revive itself from its disaster. Or, more specifically, which wing of the party will prevail in setting the new Republican course -- whether it will be what conservative writer Kathleen Parker has called the "evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy" branch or the more pragmatic, intellectual, centrist branch.


The basic problem with the Goldwater tale is that it focuses on ideology and movement building, which few voters have ever really cared about, while the McCarthy tale focuses on electoral strategy, which is where Republicans have excelled.

McCarthy, Wisconsin's junior senator, was the man who first energized conservatism and made it a force to reckon with. When he burst on the national scene in 1950 waving his list of alleged communists who had supposedly infiltrated Harry Truman's State Department, conservatism was as bland, temperate and feckless as its primary congressional proponent, Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, known fondly as "Mister Conservative." Taft was no flamethrower. Though he was an isolationist and a vehement opponent of FDR, he supported America's involvement in the war after Pearl Harbor and had even grudgingly come to accept the basic institutions of the New Deal. He was also no winner. He had contested and lost the Republican presidential nomination to Wendell Willkie in 1940, Thomas Dewey in 1948 and Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, three men who were regarded as much more moderate than he.

McCarthy was another thing entirely. What he lacked in ideology -- and he was no ideologue at all -- he made up for in aggression. Establishment Republicans, even conservatives, were disdainful of his tactics, but when those same conservatives saw the support he elicited from the grass-roots and the press attention he got, many of them were impressed. Taft, no slouch himself when it came to Red-baiting, decided to encourage McCarthy, secretly, sealing a Faustian bargain that would change conservatism and the Republican Party. Henceforth, conservatism would be as much about electoral slash-and-burn as it would be about a policy agenda.

There's much more that needs to be read and digested here. I would only add Newt Gingrich to the mix, because, like McCarthy, I do not believe Gingrich cares one whit about anything other than keeping Newt Gingrich's name in the news, making sure Newt Gingrich is still considered a "player" in Republican circles, and, from his history, making sure there is a ready supply of young Republican women willing to throw themselves at Newt Gingrich.

I would submit for your consideration a few examples of the future face of the Republican Party. While it is true that, in many ways, from an electoral point-of-view, I believe the Republican Party is now pretty much a regional party, limited to the Deep South (minus Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia), and the great sweep of the Plains from Texas north to the Canadian border, with the mountain states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming tossed in, as well as Utah, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I think that in terms of what the Party will stand for are neatly summed up by what follows.

First (and please excuse the mention of my name here; apparently Marshall thought I was saying something really bad at some point):
This is a post about homosexuality. I want to say right out of the box that I don’t intend to temper my comments, so the more sensitive should beware. I was provoked to touch on this topic by a variety of reasons. The first regards my last post, “Stock In K-Y Should Soar”. Geoffrey’s first comments referred to it as a “homoerotic” reference that he found interesting. Clearly the title suggests a forced anal assault, so I wonder how that sounds “erotic” to Geoffrey. Perhaps he gives himself away?

But that is just the beginning. After the election tragedy, I was understandably down and blogging was not feasible. I could not concentrate on how to express my dismay that so many Americans are so stupid (“We didn’t like Bush, McCain is just like him, so we’re voting for something worse, damn it!”). What little I did post now looks weak and beneath the low standards I’ve set for myself.

So I decided at one point to review the sites under the heading “Left Ones” to see how they reacted to the election. As far as I had gotten, any celebrations I found were as shallow and substance free as the entire Obama campaign and its support. But then I went to Geoffrey’s site, where I found this little gem. In another screed of untruths and mis-characterizations, Geoffrey continues with his nonsense regarding hatred at the heart of people like Neil from 4Simpsonsblog. In the comments section, he gets reinforcement in his drivel from others, particularly Alan, who lurks about without posting comments, except on blogs where he might find more like minded individuals with whom to find similar reinforcement. That’s OK. He can post where he likes.

But I had thought some progress was being made between Alan and me after a long and civil discussion that took place at ER’s blog. In that discussion, he made reference to what he termed my “jackassery”. Yet at Geoff’s blog, his own jackassery was as out as he is.

But I digress.

No, wait. I’m not digressing at all. You see the point of Geoff’s blog was to re-iterate the need to continue the fight against hate-filled, hypocritical bigots supporting “discrimination” against the homosexual community.

But the hate is coming from their side, and if not for the Fred Phelps’ of the world, it would be overwhelmingly from their side. There’s the hate for the real Word of God. There’s the hate for those who live by that Word. There’s the hate for thousands of years of tradition. There’s the hate for truth, particularly in the realm of science, as there is none that supports their insistence that they are born that way and beyond the ability to change. There’s the hate for the notion that should such evidence ever be found, that it still wouldn't justify their behavior. There’s the hate for settling for what Thomas Sowell recently called their most solid ground, that everyone should respect their privacy. There’s the hate for those who rightly feel that they have no right to impose their morality upon us, as they insist we not do so with them. And of course, there’s this hate. Add to that the recent story regarding the old woman accosted by another “tolerant” Prop 8 protester.

That’s where one finds the real hatred. It is NOT hatred to relate the true teachings of the Judeo-Christian doctrine. To remind others, as Neil says, that:

* 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
* 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
* 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
* 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.
* In short, to advance “same sex marriage” is to be perpetually shaking your fist at God in rebellion.

It is NOT hatred to consider how state sanctioning of homosexual marriage would naturally lead to marital arrangements of any other kind, and to have legitimate concern for how that would impact our culture. It is NOT hatred to feel that such a drastic change to the definition of the word and institution of marriage should NOT be based on lies and unproven beliefs. This article describes one of the very first lies that started it all. And it is definitely NOT hatred to find silly, selfish and immature the notion that marriage and all the laws based upon it should be changed to satisfy the demands of such a tiny portion of the population (2%) and how they choose to pleasure themselves.

Sowell is right about what their best argument is. All the rest are lame and/or more easily rectified by addressing each point individually. What they hope for, be it marriage or civil unions, has little hope for improving society or can be abused and likely in ways we have yet to imagine. So I say to them, back up and consider how ridiculous it is to let your urges dictate any legislative change, and how weak you are for letting them rule yourselves.

Finally, another point or two:

It is said by some that the victory of Prop 8 represents a growing tolerance as the 52% that passed it is smaller than previous votes on the subject. I say it shows that woeful lack of resolve to do the right thing no matter how difficult, how much time it might take, or how expensive it might be, that shows itself in issues from fighting radical Islamic terrorism to raising honorable and disciplined young men and women who abstain from sexual activity before marriage.

Geoffrey finished his diatribe by proclaiming that he will not remain silent in supporting homosexual rights as he feels he did by not posting on Prop 8 before the election. First, whereas he used to feel it wasn't his place to dictate to those in other states, he now feels he must, that the principle is too important. That's pretty funny. Do you feel that way on an international level? If not, why not? Truth, actual truth, not your truth, should be proclaimed everywhere regardless of man-made boundaries. Secondly, rest assured that those of us on this, the righteous side of the issue will also not desist in opposing the misguided beliefs of the homosexual community and their enablers.

In keeping with the intent of this blog, that of chronicling the “descent” of America into a maelstrom of fascism and moral degeneracy, I believe we must understand the process by which the descent of America is most likely to occur.

We’ve pointed out Obama has plans for implementing his vision for the future of America here. But it is important for us to know and to recognize the steps he plans to take toward accomplishing his goal:

The Socialization of America.

Vladamir Lenin, as we have discussed, created a Socialist political system in Russia through a bloody, prolonged revolt, but if Obama intends to change the United States of America into the United Socialist States of America, he must be much more subtle than that.

History (or should I say, the knowledge of history) has put him at a disadvantage.

Many Americans, particularly those old enough to remember, and those who have studied history before the revisionists changed it, have an understanding of the far reaching negative consequences of creating and maintaining a Socialist system. Those consequences are listed in the post previously linked. Those Americans who don’t know or remember, would do well to talk to any person who had the good fortune to escape Soviet Russia, Communist China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc.

No, Obama will have to implement his plan incrementally, taking baby steps as it were, if he is to accomplish this monumental change.

Now, it would appear that the former "Manchurian Candidate" may very well be the "Manchurian President".

We don’t know exactly how he hopes to accomplish it, but we know from his speeches, writings, and interviews what things he specifically wants to change first.

Perhaps the interjection of a caveat would be in order at this point. We must keep in mind that any speculation about Obama’s intentions must be predicated upon the word, “if”.

If Obama is telling the truth. If Obama really believes in the changes he proposes. If Obama was not simply being a politician who will say whatever he believes it will take to win your vote.

What he says he will do and what he actually does may not necessarily be the same thing.

He has stated the first thing he will do as President is work to effectively disarm the military by cutting spending on “unproven missile technology“, ending the war in Iraq (surrender), and reducing the stockpile of nuclear weapons, etc.

Curiously, he also promised Planned Parenthood the first thing he will do is work toward passing the Freedom of Choice act.

How many other things does he plan to do first?

We have all heard the term, “slippery slope” being used to describe the possible ramifications of impending legislation that might open the door to possible Constitutional abuses in the future. I suspect Obama will use the proverbial slippery slope to his full advantage, if he indeed intends to Socialize America.

Many Conservatives, particularly talk radio show hosts, warn of us that Obama, along with a Democrat controlled Congress, will attempt to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine. A Fairness Doctrine would be a first step toward restricting, or even outlawing free speech, which is currently a fundamental right guaranteed us in the First Amendment to the Constitution. This suggestion has been refuted by Obama apologists, however, there is ample evidence that many Democrat lawmakers do indeed want to pursue that legislation.

It is a first step on that slippery slope. Other incremental policy changes could be additional steps. And then, if we are not vigilant, we may be find ourselves in a hole from which we cannot dig ourselves out.

Thus, I am reminded of an old joke:

Rueben, after enjoying a few drinks at his local tavern, and finding himself a bit too inebriated to safely drive himself home, decided as he often did, to forgo the drive and walk home, which was a short walk, particularly if he took a short cut through the local cemetery.

On this particularly dark, rainy night, there was little light to illuminate his path, but he had made this trip many times before, so it quite surprised Rueben when he fell into a freshly dug grave, which hadn’t been there previously.

He immediately began scratching, clawing, and jumping, trying desperately to climb out of the grave to no avail. Finally, after several minutes , exhausted by his fruitless efforts to extract himself from his predicament, he decided to make himself as comfortable as possible and wait for morning, when he knew someone would arrive to ready the graveside for the upcoming funeral service. He knew he would be rescued at that point, and it being a warm, though wet summer’s night, he would be uncomfortable, but safe until then.

So, he sat down in a relatively dry corner to await the dawn.

Presently, another inebriated man came by, and like Rueben, fell into the open grave. He didn’t see Ruben crouched over there in the corner. Ruben watched with some amusement as his new grave-mate scrambled and clawed and scratched at the slippery mud inside the grave.

Finally, Ruben spoke:

“Friend, you aren’t going to get out of here.”

But he did!

Many on the left accuse us on the right of fear mongering when we attempt to warn others of the possibility of impending fascism in America.

I submit fear is perhaps the only thing that can save us.

Consider yourselves forewarned.

Finally, from the oogedy-boogedy branch:
While many atheists are quite reasonable and charitable when discussing religious matters, I think one of the strategies of the New Atheists is to run around with their Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites to distract you, waste your time and plant seeds of doubt with bad arguments. I addressed many of their standard lines in Poor arguments to make with theists. (In fairness, I had previously addressed Poor arguments to make with atheists, because theists also make poor and uncharitable arguments at times.)

If there were any legitimate objections in this list of 194 alleged contradictions that DJ Black Adam pointed me to then they were lost in their overly literal and transparently false interpretations. You don’t even need any Bible knowledge to debunk most of them. The skeptics just misread the text or read it out of context. I also think that their dictionary doesn’t contain the word paradox, though most of the items on this list don’t even approach that level of sophistication. I pray that they would take the text seriously and accept its life changing message.

Their conclusion starts with this charming, question begging personal attack:

Every one is aware that there are contradictions in the Bible, except for the fundamentalist idiots.

First, let’s recall the definition of a contradiction:

1. the act of contradicting; gainsaying or opposition.
2. assertion of the contrary or opposite; denial.
3. a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous.
4. direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency.
5. a contradictory act, fact, etc.

So mere differences aren’t contradictions. To be a contradiction something has to be the opposite.

Just for grins, I grabbed a few of the 194 “contradictions” to see how robust they were.

#4. The angel told Joseph. Mt.1:20. The angel told Mary. Lk.1:28.

Let’s look at the two verses in question:

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

So the angel went to Joseph and to Mary. That is simply not a contradiction. Why they would include something like this is beyond me.

#11. Satan tempted Jesus. Mt.4:1-10; Mk.1:13; Lk.4:1,2. Satan had no interest in Jesus. Jn.14:30.

I agree that Satan tempted Jesus, so there is no need to review those verses. But let’s look at the second claim and see if it states that Satan had “no interest” in Jesus:

John 14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,

The plain reading of the text shows that Satan has no hold on Jesus. It does not claim that he has no interest in Jesus. Why do they think that is a contradiction?

#27 The people were not impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Mk.6:52. The people were very impressed with the feeding of the multitude. Jn.6:14.

Mark 6:52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

John 6:14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

At first glance the skeptics appear to have a point. After all, Mark 6:52 seems to indicate that they didn’t have a strong reaction. But did you notice that the first word of the verse isn’t capitalized? I wonder what the previous verse says and why it wasn’t included . . .

Mark 6:51-52 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Ah! Maybe the skeptics left it out because it annihilates their “contradiction.” It turns out the people were impressed after all. You just have to go back one half sentence, or one word for that matter. So are these guys really that ignorant or are they truly deceptive? Do they just assume that people won’t open the book for themselves?

I may come back for more later. The Tektonics Apologetics Encyclopedia is a good site to bookmark (it is in my Apologetics links to the right). You can quickly look up a passage to see thorough responses to common objections.

There it is in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen. You won't hear much about this kind of thing in the media, because these folks are so out there as to be just inside the atmosphere. Yet, I would submit that this small sample is indicative of exactly what the Republican Party will look like in the near future.

Let us hope so.

Virtual Tin Cup

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