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An Activist Named Grover

In defense of Linda Chavez. Plus: Obama's hundred-year lie. The Episcopal world divided. Diane (heart sign) Frank. Plus more.

4.11.08

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LET'S GO TO THE AUDIO TAPE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Winning With Grover:

Apparently R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., wanted to write a column praising Grover Norquist's new book, which is fine. He then decided that the column needed a catchy opening, and so accused Linda Chavez of dissing Norquist on Fox News's "The Live Desk." This is not fine, because it's not true.

In the Fox News tradition, you judge whether Chavez refers with "condescension" to Norquist in "chill terms" as "an obscure" and "margin[al]" figure of whom she "does not approve." Here's a transcript of what she said:

"All of this [speculation about Condoleezza Rice as John McCain's running mate] started because she showed up at a meeting of Republican activists -- a meeting that is run by an activist named Grover Norquist -- and she's not the kind of person who normally comes to those meetings, and so people thought that, well, maybe she's doing that in order to shore up her base among conservatives."

Wow! How will Norquist ever recover from that! Oh, but you think that perhaps it was the way she said it? Fine, here's a link to the show itself (at about the 3-minute mark).

As I said: absurd. Mr. Tyrrell owes Ms. Chavez an apology.
-- Roger Clegg
President and General Counsel
Center for Equal Opportunity

What a great and uplifting article. I, too, am amused when I read or hear pundits trying to relegate Grover Norquist to the dust heap of political irrelevance. Republicans everywhere still remark with reverence on the Wednesday Meetings. We need Grover and Bob Tyrrell now more than ever especially as our more liberal brethren and the Democrats have just nominated a pseudo-conservative to run on the Republican ticket for President.
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

From one of the many voices of the members of the Leave Us Alone Coalition, a card carrying Libertarian, to the current administration, including Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and hopeful candidates, a simple message regarding expanding federal powers and enlarging bureaucracies, LEAVE US ALONE.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

SO MUCH FOR CONTEXT
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Obama is Lying:

I think YOU are lying about your Obama is lying headline. I heard McCain myself say we should stay in Iraq one hundred years if we have to.
-- John Scagliotti

Get a grip, lady! What rock did you just crawl from underneath? It's been televised a thousand times already, McBush said "100 Years." You have got to be either real bias, stupid, or blind to reality!
-- Donald Frey

So what else is new? Yes, Obama lied and continues to do so. He evaded and continues to do so. He deceived and continues to do so. He libeled and continues to do so. He's arrogant and will continue to be. He's been clueless and will continue to be.

But I suspect, at least until the fall, if he's the Democrat candidate, it just won't matter how much more any of us beat the dead horse whose body is his lies, evasion, deceit, etc. Given his arrogance, you know he's counting on this.

What I can't imagine is that he and his team are creative enough to imagine how much his prevarication, among many other things, will get center-stage treatment until Election Day, should he oppose Sen. McCain.

Then we'll see how well the public accepts candidate Obama bolting from a news conference, refusing to entertain questions, as he did recently when asked about his relationship with Tony Rezko.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Jennifer Rubin opines "it is much harder to lie than it used to be." Little lies perhaps, Ms. Rubin. The big ones are still repeated often enough they become the truth.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

MORE LIKE A SLOW DOWN
Re: Quin Hillyer's Episcopalian Showdown:

For those of a certain age -- mine -- you should recall that it was considered uncivil to criticize another person's religion or politics in public. Those were, indeed, private matters, and throughout my early and later education, never once did I hear a teacher or professor discard that rule. But the world turned upside down in the 60's, and ever since, either, or both, of those areas has become fair game.

So as a man of traditional mien, I ask for His forgiveness in responding negatively to the state of affairs within the Episcopal Church, not because I wish to criticize Episcopalians, that is a private matter between them and the Almighty, a battle, I fear, they are losing, but, bizarre as it may seem, because there are still some in the Catholic hierarchy who consider the Episcopal Church worth joining or, worse, emulating.

It has been more than 40 years since the first discussions were held in establishing the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, better known by the acronym ARCIC. This Commission, a result of the efforts by Church "progressives" towards ecumenism in the heady days following Vatican II, was aimed at encouraging communication and easing tension between the two religions, and, ultimately, joining in some loose ecclesial confederation, the outlines of which were never made clear. Still, all the right notes were sounded, and the appropriate visits made, but somewhere along the line, reality got in the way: first, the Anglican Church ordained women priests; then, it allowed openly practicing homosexuals into their clergy; and, finally, the US Episcopalian Church went one step further and consecrated an actively homosexual bishop, with no rebuke or sanction by the Archbishop of Canterbury. By their actions, both the Anglican and US Episcopal Church's hierarchy let it be known what their theology -- or lack thereof -- included and excluded. If the folks in CANA could no longer abide the U.S. Episcopal Church's descent into nihilism, imagine what Traditional Catholics were thinking?

Even before the consecration of Bishop Eugene Robinson, however, ARCIC was a dying, but not quite a dead, issue. As long ago as December, 1991, in its joint communiqué, the Catholic cohort at ARCIC admitted: The Catholic Church judges that is not yet possible that substantial agreement has been reached on all issues, this twenty years after the first organized meeting, and matters have only worsened. After the Robinson consecration, Pope John Paul II, an earlier advocate of ARCIC, suspended further talks.

The upcoming visit of the new pope to the U.S. will have no effect on the legal issues before the Virginia courts, but it does provide an opportunity for Benedict XVI to do something that, in my view, would help the parishioners in CANA to strengthen their case and cause: close the doors permanently on ARCIC, for there is little hope that, as currently constituted, the US Episcopal and Anglican hierarchies can avoid consigning themselves to oblivion. By taking this step, the pontiff would also signal a subtle support of the efforts of the embattled conservative Anglicans not only at Truro, but throughout the country. To you, my friends, my wish is simple: God speed!

Pax Vobis
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

I grew to adulthood and was married in the Episcopal Church, specifically All Saints Episcopal Church, on Chevy Chase circle, on the border betwixt Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, Md. At the time of my growth within the church, this was considered what was call "high Episcopal church," as opposed to the National Cathedral, which was "low Episcopal." It is/was a beautiful old stone church with stained glass windows and a congregation that adhered to the old time Anglican church in all its particulars. That was back when our pastor was called a priest. Back when you were expected to shut your mouth upon entering the sanctuary and make only those verbal responses called for in the Book of Common Prayer. Back when, once the particular part of the service having to do with Communion started, you got on your knees and stayed there until you rose to go forward to partake of the bread and wine. That was back when the sermons were about sin, why we were sinners, and what to do about it. We did have the occasional political reference, as the pastor was extremely anti-Communist (imagine that). Back when there were no female priests. Back when there were no known homosexuals within the clergy. Back when the altar boys were actually boys, and no girls need apply. Back when the congregation stayed in the pews and the lessons, and prayers, and readings, and administration of the communion was actually handled by the ordained clergy.

I say the above only to establish a certain minimum level of bono fides on this subject. Quin, may I humbly suggest that the division of the church began in earnest when the church rewrote and "modernized" the Book of Common Prayer. It was sold to us as merely exchanging modern words for the language of the times of King James. We were snookered. Next the Hymnal was "modernized" to conform to the rewritten liturgy. All of a sudden there were no men or women in the Anglican version of Christianity. Everything within the books of the faith was gender neutral. It wasn't long before women started helping serve as ushers, as helpers in administering the communion, and other roles that had been reserved for males, going back to antiquity. In no time at all, the first of the female priests were ordained. Now the rush was on, and the very old, very conservative, almost stodgy Episcopal Church of America was racing pell mell to lead the way to liberalism and political correctness.

To this day, the leaders of this once great religious sect cannot, or refuse to, connect the exodus from the church to the liberalism that started it all. Once the liturgical particulars and the language used in the books and the services left us, there was no longer any reason to go out of you way to attend church on Sunday when you could just as well go to the Methodist church, or the Lutheran church, or whichever that was so much closer to home. Oh the folks making the way to the exits were just a trickle at first. I admit to being among those in the early movement away from the Episcopal Church USA. I have made the effort, however, all these years to keep up with my "home" church, and I know that the trickle has become a veritable flood tide of escapees. Maybe some will come back to the CANA churches that are so much more familiar for many of us. I know that, if a CANA parish were to be established nearby in New Hampshire, I would investigate it, for sure. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen in my lifetime. You see I am in the geographical territory claimed by Bishop Eugene Robinson, the open, practicing homosexual whose elevation to Bishop seems to have been the straw to break this particular camel's back.
-- Ken Shreve

I just read your article -- well written. One quibble: I am a communicant at the ADV parish, Church of Our Saviour, Oatlands, and we are a '28 Prayer Book parish. No "Evangelical enthusiasm" for us. So there is diversity among worship styles within ADV (and CANA.)
-- Stephen Price
Leesburg, Virginia

Quin Hillyer replies:
I thank Mr. Price for his letter. Sorry about the lack of clarity. I did not intend to make it sound like ALL 11 churches did that; that's why I wrote "... CAN tend ...toward Evangelical enthusiasm" rather than a more definitive statement. But I can see how the distinction, which was definitely intentional, could get lost in the shuffle.

As a lover of the '28 Prayer Book myself, I am particularly sorry that I did not make it clear enough.

I'M SUPER, THANKS FOR ASKING
Re: Alex J. Pollock's The Greenspan Gamble:

As long as Wall Street is allowed to leverage investments at a 32-1 ratio (NY Post, March 31) Americans will be at risk for a financial meltdown. Think of it as the same thing as having made slightly more than a 3% down payment on a house. If things go south, you can walk away with little loss to show for it -- while sticking the bank with a piece of real estate they have to sell for a steep discount.

As it stands, Wall Street can stick it to America the same way.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

REVERSE QUERY
Re: Frank Stevenson's letter (under "Fragile and Reversible" in Reader Mai's Staying Put:

Any chance of getting Frank Stevenson on board to replace Mehan? He has a remarkable understanding of history and geography. Remarkable, sadly because we have become a nation that thinks history was what happened yesterday. Being a reader and saver of old issues, I have at least 40 years of American Heritage magazine. Picked one up the other day that ran some time in the early '70s, I believe. In it there was an article describing the genesis of OPEC, its effect, world wide, on oil prices and also the creation of "the idle rich" in that region. It touched on the children of the oil rich -- no problems, no purpose in life. Uneducated (then) and adrift. What was that saying, "Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind."?

As to the hearings themselves, why does no one remind Obama when he says we had no reason to go to war with Iraq, of just a few of the reasons? He is another example of people who wake up to a new world each with no memory of what went on before. Does he not remember Saddam Hussein's boasts of having the nuclear means to vaporize the entire continent on which we reside, if it amused him? How were we to know it was the boast of a man, when found in his spiderhole, had a storehouse of two things, Viagra and black hair dye. Did Hussein's 35-year reign of terror escape the attention of Obama? That lunatic had been nursing a major grudge against the U.S. ever since he had occasion to rue the day he didn't put back-up lights on his tanks, after threatening us with the Mother of All Wars over Kuwait. Perhaps Obama is unaware of Hussein's playing fast and loose with unkept promises to the UN. As you can see, I am not a historian, myself. But I know more about why we are in Iraq than Barry does.

It would have been a sight easier getting out if there had been a country called Al Qaedistan with battalions of uniformed soldiers armed with artillery rather than a bunch of cockroaches making roadside bombs.

If we would modify our rules of engagement and let our military fight a war without the impediment of consulting Miss Manners, that would also help. Finally, if we could gag Jack Murtha, Dick Durbin, Jean Francois Kerry, et al for the duration, it might improve morale at home.

Seriously, give Frank Stevenson a by-line. It will keep elderly gadflies like me from criticizing former EPA "suits" who have a limited understanding of their subject -- although I was agreeably surprised to see I was not alone on this one.
-- Diane Smith
California

GONE COASTAL
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Return of the Warm-Monger:

Yet again, Mr. Homnick has either misunderstood or intentionally distorted the claims of the scientific community. Scientists do not believe, as Mr. Homnick seems to think, that anthropogenic climate change will actually destroy the earth. In (rare) cases when such language is used, it is shorthand for "rendering the earth unfit for human occupation." As Mr. Homnick points out, over the course of geologic time the earth has experienced great fluctuations in climate, but has obviously managed to endure such perturbations. He's absolutely right -- the earth (and life in general) is very robust to change. In the grand scheme of things, if the icecaps melt and sea level rises, the earth will be fine. Bacteria, algae, and arthropods will be fine. But humans, who generally insist on living near the ocean, might not be so fortunate.
-- Nat Johnson
Charleston, South Carolina

SELLING ONESELF
Re: Kaz Long's letter (under "No Gimmie") in Reader Mai's Staying Put:

I wouldn't brook Mr. Long's right to vote for whomever he chooses, however, with a first choice of John Edwards and a second choice Barack Obama, I would question his judgment. Both Edwards and Obama have taken so many prostitutional positions that they could qualify for the Kama Sutra of politics. My question to Mr. Long would be: Which one of those kaleidoscopic positions on gun control and gun ownership does he believe, and why does he believe that particular one?
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

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