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A Touch of Evil

Catholics and the Obama-Pelosi crowd. Fans of Fran Drescher. Shortchanging the nominee. Whose side is Mark Warner on? Plus more.

8.28.08

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THE DARK SIDE
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's American Papists:

Thank you for this article. You have revealed to me an element of the evil of The American Spectator I was not previously aware of.
-- Bob Klahn
Pro-life Democrat
Ohio

While many observant Catholics may nod in agreement about the current state of church-state relations that Lisa Fabrizio describes in her readable account of our current presidential contest, there are a few additional points that need to be made.

Allow me to begin by making a distinction Signorina Fabrizio does not: John Kennedy may have been the first Catholic presidential candidate to make the point that "...being Catholic might be detrimental to being a good American," but the presidential election of 1928 was replete with commentary that claimed the election of a Catholic president was incompatible with our liberty and the U.S. Constitution. What is beyond cavil, however, is that Kennedy's victory in 1960, along with the changes in Church policy and leadership, or lack thereof, unleashed the forces that we see in play nearly a half century later with public officials who call themselves, "Catholic."

It is simply unthinkable that any "Catholic" politician prior to 1965 would have done what Kennedy, Cuomo, Kerry, Biden et al. have done since, viz., consider one's personal beliefs as trumping the Magisterium of the Church on matters of faith and morals. Had they so acted earlier, they would have been visited by the local bishop, or one of his surrogates, informing our "Catholic" public servant of the likely consequences of his decision. Since 1965, however, the overwhelming number of U.S. bishops have been unwilling to call to account those of their flock, especially politicians, who have seriously strayed, but continue to label themselves as "Catholic."

As a result, the appeal to individual conscience, another unintended consequence of Vatican II, now can, and is, used as a fig leaf to cover the Catholic politicians' derriere, because they know that there are no serious consequences to their apostasy. The "I'm personally against..." mantra is a ready, man-made excuse, which, along with the MSM's stilted reporting supporting the politician, makes a mockery of traditional Catholic beliefs. It boggles one's mind to read of the number of politicians who will, gladly, sell their souls to get favorable stories from the NYTimes or Washington Post.

Our author has, rightly, mentioned Bishop Burke, formerly of St. Louis, but currently serving in the Vatican, as one of the stalwarts in making Catholic politicians fess up to their actions. Another is the Archbishop of Denver, Bishop Charles Chaput. In their quest to show how religiously diverse they are, the Democrats invited a host of religious figures to speak at their convention, but, somehow, the good bishop was not amongst those to get the call. Perhaps he was unavailable...perhaps. Might it be that the convention's organizers thought that the good bishop would be inappropriate presence on the stage where the "Catholic" V.P. nominee is to speak? But not to worry: there is always room for the Rev. Michael Pfleger from Chicago.

Pax tecum
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

NOT A PUNISHMENT
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Cheerleader Caucus:

I am admittedly biased, but I want to say to whoever will listen that Fran Drescher is a disgraceful human being.

My 35-year-old wife recently had surgery for ovarian cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy at this time. As a couple, we could not naturally conceive, and we made three in-vitro attempts which failed. Ladies who cannot conceive are more at risk for ovarian cancer, and it is one of the deadliest cancers that females can contract.

All my wife ever wanted to be was a mommy. She cried for hours when the reality sunk in, and this was before enduring the physical pain of an 8-hour surgery and knowing through family history what chemotherapy can bring. And Ms. Drescher is upset that she lost her right to choose. She should thank God that her mother did not exercise that right.

I do not write this for sympathy or in anger at the circumstances, because with the power of God we will handle it. But when you link the words of Ms. Drescher with those of Senator Obama, who has no problem with infanticide and thinks that a poor decision by his daughters could "punish" him with a grandchild, I think you can get an idea about whom I think should NOT be in the White House.
-- Al Pote
Lake City, Illinois

Fran Drescher: "My right to choose was taken away when I was given a radical hysterectomy to cure my cancer," Drescher said. "I hate that I lost my right to choose, and you will, too."

In response, McCain writes: "The logic of that statement doesn't quite hold together -- what Republican would deny a woman the ability to bear children, as Drescher's hysterectomy did? -- but it was nonetheless applauded heartily by the Women's Caucus."

Mr. McCain, can't you understand plain English? Drescher isn't upset because she can't have children, she's upset because she can't have an abortion!
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Robert Stacy McCain didn't go far enough in describing the make-up of the Democratic Party: they are a coalition of whiny grievance groups, each vying for "special privilege," aka a bigger slice of the government pie.

Unity? Hatred for anyone who disagrees with the far left worldview is the only tie that binds -- rather loosely, it appears.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

HE NEEDS DOLLAR BILLS
Re: Philip Klein's Obama Needs More Than Change:

Thank you, very much, for a straightforward, non-biased article. You have indeed "hit the nail on the head." Great job.

Again, Thanks!
-- Ann Armstrong Clevenger

Hillary cannot make the case for Obama. She can only say that she supports him, which she did. I do not see how anyone can expect her to make a case for Obama as president when he cannot seem to make one for himself.
-- Jeff Seyfert

The DNC, still under the thrall of the Clintons', chose their keynote speaker with the specific intent to avoid another Obama. As demonstrated by Madame Hillary's powerful oration but weak endorsement of their presidential nominee, Clinton is preparing for a McCain victory so she can take back her crown. Obvious to everyone, including Obama, Hillary is still in it to win it. If she could put up with her husband's philandering for over two decades, she can comfortably ride out a four-year McCain administration. Gov. Warner gave exactly the type of speech Bill and Hillary wanted from their keynote speaker, one that does little to endorse Obama and leaves the door open to Billary in 2012. Very little happens within the DNC without the Clinton's fingerprints.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

PYSCHED
Re: W. James Antle III's Lukewarm Warner:

The only thing one can say about the Democrats' Convention so far is that it has not been planned well. The message was muddled.

Consider just one anomaly. Attendees produced signs with John McCain's name on them and waved them in a couple of choreographed sequences to show displeasure with him. Someone must have forgotten that 10 million folks would see the signs on TV and be visually reminded of McCain, a different synapse than mere mention of his name in a negative context.

The stage and backdrop with the big DNC made me think of a giant jukebox and the absence of a U.S. flag prominent in the background seemed unusual adding to the feeling that the event was poorly planned.
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Truly, Democratic conventions are always entertaining. For one, all the speakers always outline grandiose promises, making America's central government transform America into some kind of Communist utopia! Inviting massive transfer of wealth, through taxation. Following Krazy Karl Marx's formula: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." An autocratic, Socialist regime where everything is "free."

There is one downside, however: every disparaging remark made about Republicans, and President Bush, is true. Bush Sr. severely damaged the Republican Party to the extent of allowing America's first sodomist President to hold two terms in office! So corrupt, that he narrowly avoided impeachment! Then along comes Bush Jr., and manages to completely destroy the Republican Party. Declared two unconstitutional wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Feckless Republicans in the Congress and in the Senate sealed the Party's fate by funding them. The Party is now a ghost. Unrecognizable.

Between Bush Jr. kissing Saudi princes on the lips, and Condoleezza Rice personally destroying America's power and international credibility, America has become the world's laughingstock. A powerful, but dangerous clown, garnering snickers from even Third World countries who receive billions of Americans tax money every year (unconstitutional!).

Bottom line: the coming general election will feature two undesirable candidates. One, with a dangerous ideology and religion; the other a muddled fence straggler, who endorses the mistakes of the Bush administration at his own peril, and cannot find any new ideas which gain any traction with the American public?

Good luck with that!
-- Samuel A. Hill
Weare, New Hampshire

MISS LIABILITY
Re: The Prowler's A Huge Embarrassment:

The Prowler's assessment of Nancy Pelosi being a liability for Democrats mirrors what a lot of us have thought for a long time. Aside from her ability to apply bare-knuckled tactics in order to flex her political muscle, she is a real lightweight when dealing with complicated issues.

Now we discover Nan is a self-proclaimed church historian and spokesman for the Catholic Church, another job for which she spectacularly unqualified. Pope Nancy appeared on Meet the Press after the "Saddleback Showdown" and made a complete ass of herself as she waded into theological waters way beyond her depth - that would be about 2 inches. She tried to explain the doctrinal positions of the Catholic Church on when life begins and the morality of abortion by stammering and stumbling from one disjointed point to another. The nonsensical gibberish she spouted demonstrates just what an amateur she is. I know why Democrats think Obama is "thoughtful and nuanced" because compared to Madame Speaker, he comes across as a genius of the first rank. It is astounding to me how this nimrod has any standing whatsoever in Congress or how she could have even been elected in the first place. She can scarcely utter a coherent sentence, yet she is third in succession to the Presidency!

Having once been a practicing Catholic myself, I couldn't believe my ears when I heard her remarks. Despite claiming to be an "ardent Catholic," everything she said is the polar opposite of the Catholic Church's well-documented views on these issues. Pelosi is either completely ignorant of Catholic teaching or she is an unabashed liar. If her performance in this interview wasn't so pathetic, it would be laughable beyond measure.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

Please allow me to break one of my cardinal rules in life. I try not to go completely overboard in my public writings or utterances about anyone with whom I totally and completely disagree. I would appreciate being allowed an exception in the case of Nancy Pelosi.

There are stupid people in public life in America. There are evil people in public life in America. There are vicious people in public life in America. There are dangerous people in public life in America. Nancy Pelosi has achieved the monumental feat of combining all four in one person....
-- Ken Shreve

In reference to the above-mentioned article, I include this link. I am a Catholic, and I am not a supporter of Ms. Speaker. However, what she said it is not wrong. At this moment the Church places the beginning of human life at conception, but the history of the church shows otherwise. Ms. Speaker did not move herself not even an inch from the teachings of the church.
-- Adriana Sarramea

Nancy Pelosi is not just a huge embarrassment to the Demockacrats, she's a HUGE embarrassment to the American people.

And she's demonstrated that she, like Barack H. Obama -- or Barry Soetoro, or Barry Dunham, or whatever his real name might be -- is intellectually vacant, morally anchorless and megalomaniac.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

EXTREME MEASURES
Re: Daniel Allott's Pro-Life Democrats Need Not Apply:

Mr. Allott concludes his column thusly: "Could it be that the Democratic Party's abortion position has become even more extreme than that of the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever?"

No, Sir, the Democrat Party platform is simply more honest than the public statements of its nominee for the highest political office in America. The Obamasiah, like Bill Clinton, can not open his mouth without a lie coming out. The only difference between the two is the subject of most of the lies.

As a conservative who deplores the nomination of John McCain, I find the prospect of Obama in the White House indeed scary. Bill Clinton in the White House was a shame, a mistake, and the country deserved better, but he was NOT scary. Heck, he was too occupied with chasing...um, skirts to be scary regarding the very existence of America as the country that it was. I have finally become concerned enough about the very existence of America as a free democratic republic to decide that I will need to vote against the Marxist Obama by pulling the lever for my nemesis, John McCain, instead of not voting in the upcoming POTUS contest, as I had planned.
-- Ken Shreve

MARGINALIZED
Re: Jeffrey Lord's The Slavery Apology Backfire:

Thank you, Mr. Lord, for bringing William Lacy Clay to our attention: "Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept...He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color."

Perhaps Cohen could make a Senate appearance in black face. Senator Clinton could be his speech coach.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The apology-for-slavery idea is absurd. But not for the reasons belabored in this article.

How can people apologize for something their great-grandfathers did? The piece seems to notice that but went on with a number of ignorant observations.

The reality is not as simple as the author of the article seems to think.

Most of the Southern Republicans today were conservative Democrats in the first half of the twentieth century. The Republicans of Lincoln's day were scoundrels who were the first promoters of big wasteful, centralized government. They locked in big government by war against the south and by claiming powers denied to the Federal government by the constitution. The modern liberal is a direct descendant of Lincoln and other proponents of "internal improvements, national currency, and high protectionist tariffs." Lincoln was not a champion of freeing the slaves and readily said so many times.

Check with Professor Walter Williams about the economics beliefs of Lincoln.
-- Kearney Smith

UNSTYLED FOR COMMAND
Re: John Tabin's American Girl and the letters under "Missing the Former Michelle" in Reader Mail's Isn't She Lovely?:
:

Reading all the thoughtful analyses of Mrs. Obama's sales pitch for husband, Barry -- made me wish I were not so superficial and deep down-shallow. I sat through it all. Burbling bathos. Prattling platitudes. To the "And that's why I love this country so..." It came down to this with me. How can this woman not know her bra strap is showing?

She's lost the fastidious dresser vote.
-- Diane Smith

UNPLEASANT MEMORIES
Re: W. James Antle III's Changing of the Guard:

It was a big mistake to put "Uncle Ted" on for Opening Night. Caroline Kennedy is about the best thing the Dems have going, and to use her to praise the old fossil was a waste of her credibility. Then to show a video of how much the old boy loves the water had to leave even Democrats remembering Chappaquiddick...Hardly the "Change You Can Believe In."
-- GFK
Arizona

ASSETS
Re: Eric Edwards's letter (under "Ejection Buttons") in Reader Mail's Isn't She Lovely?:

There are a couple of fairly regular contributors to the "Letters" section that are of African-American ethnic derivation that I believe are a true asset to your emag. Mr. Edwards is one. It is a rare time, indeed, when I find myself not in agreement with him. I found his letter spot on this time also.

There is one observation, however, that seems to be verboten in our society. There are at least a couple of ethnic groups in America that would seem to have a totally ingrained Socialist belief structure. I would particularly mention the black community and the Jewish community. I have thought for a long time that that is what keeps the black voters in the Democrat column by rates sometimes in excess of 90%. The Jewish community consistently votes Democrat in the 60+ to 70+ rate. Jewish folks, many of them, seem to relish being liberals. Black folks don't seem to identify themselves in those terms (liberal vs. conservative vs. moderate). The common thread, it seems to me, is that such a high percentage of the two groups virtually always opt for the Socialist solution to all of life's problems. They each, almost reflexively, chose the government as the solution for all the ills of society, and their position within it.

I do not mean to suggest that we do not have absolute national treasures within each of these groups in America. Within the black community I would suggest Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell just to start the list, with many more to follow. Within the Jewish community, my absolute hero was Milton Friedman, and again that is just the name at the head of my list, with more to follow. That said, one can not deny, or shrug off the percentages in election after election. Nor can one deny, or shrug off, the way that the black community votes in lock step with the very party that exerted every effort to keep them in bondage, in one form or another, even to the present day.

I truly wish that we were allowed to have this discussion in America without being called a bigot or racist.
-- Ken Shreve

KENT STATE ADULTS
Re: Charles Campbell's letter (under "Kent We Get Along?") in Reader Mail's Isn't She Lovely?:

Really, Mr. Campbell, in your letter of today you are only displaying that your education stopped at the university's front door. But I take no offence at your condescending tone; I have been condescended to by twenty-somethings for many years and I have confidence that one day you will grow out of it.

To go on to the substance of your letter, your attempt to equate the stone-throwing brats at Kent State with those Freedom Fighters in China who were standing up to actual tanks in which actual tyrants were actually going to kill them and imprison them for life in re-education camps if not in actual dungeons where they would be held until their organs were needed for harvesting, and to those who stood up to soldiers of an invading army such as happened vis-a-vis the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring is sophomoric. In fact, Kent State resonates more with the 12-year-old crying hysterically that she will commit suicide unless she can go to New York to get an autograph from the Jonas Brothers.

Incidentally, if your political science professors hadn't been so busy indoctrinating you on the sins of AmeriKKKa, you might learn a lot from the way the students and citizens of Czechoslovakia met that invading Russian army. Check it out some day when you can spare some time from YouTube.

And finally, referring to the stone-throwing toddlers at Kent State as "kids" instead of "children" makes no difference. They were neither. They were adults. Oh, except for that 14-year-old runaway who is the one in the iconic photo shrieking to high heaven as she discovered that there are indeed more serious things in life than Mommy refusing to let her wear hot pants to church.

In the immortal words spoken by James Earl Jones to Kevin Costner in "Field of Dreams:" Back! Back! Go back to the sixties before it's too late! There's no place for you here in the future!
-- Kate Shaw

POINT BY POINT
Re: Edmund Dantes' letter (under "This Could Be the Last Time") in Reader Mail's Isn't She Lovely?:

1) There was still no timeframe; therefore you still got your own letter wrong. The 69th was not a part of the 42nd at the time.

2) May I suggest the History Channel or your local library?

3) Should my letter be published, it means others are not bored by the subject.

4) Could it be the reason you say it is your last letter is because you don't want to admit your error?

5) Comparing me to Jimmy Carter and a poodle? How desperate are you? I am along the lines of a Chihuahua. I never give up, know how to charge, and win the victory. I still say one of the great tragedies of American political history is that Governor George C. Wallace was not elected president in 1976 and we could have avoided the mess of 1977-1981. In closing I shall say to you as I have said to the hapless, bumbling backers of the owner of that era -- "You were wrong. Deal with it already!"
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS
Re: Shawn Macomber's Dr. Seuss for President:

"Michael Valentine Smith in '08"
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

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