OUT OF HAND
Re: G. Tracy Mehan’s Social Conservatives as Scapegoats:
This blaming of Sarah Palin for the election loss has gotten out of hand. It is being fed by “progressives,” many of whom are simply uninformed; a conservative colleague as of yesterday told me he understood that Governor Palin had said that she did not believe in evolution!
Mrs. Palin is the epitome of the All-America gal. Independent, pretty, smart, patriotic, a loving wife and mother. She is a great success as governor, managing a $7 billion budget and 11,000 state employees while running a budget surplus. She has an unheard of 80% approval rating. She’s also a self-made woman. She has not ridden her husband’s coattails like Hillary Clinton or had a wealthy father or husband finance her political career like Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein. In the art of governance her accomplishments far exceed those of Barack Obama. Yet she is called provincial, anti-intellectual, parochial, frightening, shocking, ignorant, even stupid, by resentful feminists-as-victims like Norah Vincent and self-important elites like Mark Lilla. But I expect such vicious and ignoble behavior from the likes of them. What is Peggy Noonan’s, Kathleen Parker’s or David Brooks’ excuse?
The qualities that she exhibits, that used to define the American creed and American “exceptionalism,” and that were once a role-model for young people, are a danger to the left in this country, where statism, corporatism and the subordination of the individual to the group, led of course by the left’s elite, are the new models. The saddest part is the degeneration of so many self-described conservatives into what Margaret Thatcher called “wets,” who are nothing more than modern day liberals on a slightly slower schedule.
— Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Mr. Mehan makes some very valid points…about the general election. Unfortunately, however, we social conservatives can be blamed for this loss. It started back in the primaries when social conservatives refused to support Romney for his “late” conversion to the pro-life position along with his Mormon faith. Social conservatives lined up behind Huckabee, who allied with McCain to torpedo Romney, who would have been a much stronger general election candidate. And for that, they got McCain, who had a very inspired VP pick in Palin (I was and am very much in favor of her being on the ticket) but immediately mishandled her. Who refused to attack Obama in areas near and dear to social conservatives such as infanticide and the Freedom of Choice Act. Who basically ceded the culture war to the Democrats.
But the larger question is, primary election influence notwithstanding, do the social conservatives have much clout? In several swing states where there was a high evangelical turnout, like Minnesota, Obama got about a third of that vote. Evangelicals have certainly shown themselves to be lured by things like environmentalism. The Dems’ message that it is a pro-life issue seems to have some influence. Can the acceptance of socialism be far behind? And young voters are certainly less exercised about abortion and homosexual rights. That is the future, especially with Obama’s and Ayers’ colleagues in charge of our schools. In addition, our pulpits are filled with the message to love the sinner and hate the sin. A fine Christian sentiment, but, when carried into the political realm, it lets people off the hook for policy decisions as well. Obama may support infanticide, but shouldn’t we overlook that because we love him? I think that social conservatives still have a lot of clout, especially if you look at exit poll numbers, but if we will not stand united, there is little need to bother with us.
— Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Tracy Mehan piece on the ritual scapegoating of the social conservatives, usually led by those uber-courageous, raging “moderates” (a code word for spineless RINO) of the Christine Todd Whitman persuasion. After virtually every election whether Republicans (conservatives) win or lose, these Little Johnny One Notes emerge from the fog to tell conservatives the only way to win is to, and they say this with a straight face, become Liberal Lite, which may sound reasonable on its surface, but is actually a recipe for political New Coke.
We lost the ’08 election in good part because the candidates (with an Alaskan exception) mounted an incoherent and chaotic campaign which failed to address the single prominent issue of the election; i.e. after eight years of Bushian “compassionate conservatism” and GOP congressional stupidity and corruption could the voters trust the GOP to actually govern on conservative Reaganesque principles? The voter’s answer was obviously an emphatic no! The irony that voters would turn to the party that has given us a Pelosi-Reid Congress with a 9% approval rating to lead the country was not lost upon me.
Let me remind those alleged Republicans who want the party to divorce itself from all that inconvenient social conservatism of a key historical fact. It was a largely social conservative movement, growing out of the Great Awakening and rooted firmly in our churches which stood four square for the abolition of slavery which created the GOP in the middle of the 19th Century and gave us our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln.
— Frank Stevenson
Well, this is comforting news.
“The challenges that we are confronting are enormous and they are multiple. And so there are times during the course of a given day where you think: ‘Where do I start in terms of moving — moving things forward?'” Obama just said that on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
We have an incoming president who doesn’t know where to start.
Several times every day.
No wonder he wants to have Republicans in his administration.
Add to that Mehan’s notion about scapegoats and it suggests another reason — so he can co-opt them in 2012 when they won’t be able to place all of the blame on him.
My advice to any Republican asked to serve in an Obama administration? You can run away now or you can run away later!
— A. C. Santore
GAY BY CONSTITUTION
Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Gay Rights, Gay Rage:
If marriage is a Constitutional right, then everybody can marry anybody under any circumstances. By definition, Constitutional rights cannot be taken away. People would be allowed to marry their parents, children, relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
One problem with the language used in gay marriage bans is not specifying the biological sex/gender of both partners. I understand in England, a person can change their gender at any time by signing a piece of paper.
I’m very pessimistic right now; I believe the future U.S. Supreme Court will discover gay rights exist in the Constitution.
— Paul Hoffmann
San Antonio, Texas
I’m waiting for the Federal Courts to welcome these new perpetrators of hate crimes into their courts to prosecute them fairly and swiftly…
Is it not a hate crime to engage in acts of violence against people and/or their property because of their religion?
To quote your author:
“As the California activists spewed their fury — allegedly vandalizing Mormon temples, making terroristic threats toward Catholics, and hurling racial epithets at African-Americans (who voted 3-to-1 in favor of Prop 8, according to exit polls) — their vitriolic rage highlighted how the progressive rhetoric of “rights” undermines and destabilizes political consensus.”
I’m afraid today’s political environment will not make this possible…
Lady Justice is no longer blind but a tool of the government to impose its socialist will.
— Boris Nazaroff
There you go again, dear Spectator, fulminating against gays, for there are so few people left to lash out at. I have no answer that you would accept, but surely there are questions you refuse to answer. To whit:
Until you and gay activists come up with a convincing reason for the existence of gays and our desires and proclivities neither you nor left-leaning gay activists can come up with a reasonable response to the issue.
Are we gay from birth? Were we straight and do we become gay? At what age? Are we made gay? When? And by what method or process or force? Forced into it by forces unseen? Did, and pardon the pun, a little fairy make us gay? Is it chemical? Genetic? Is it an allergic reaction? Psychological or psychiatric? Is it just a craven disregard for the future generations? Are we recruited? Do we chose to be gay?
There must be some reason for so many gay people all across the world, no? How could something so alien to humankind, as you pretend we are, be so imbedded in, well, humankind?
Against nature per Judge Moore? Why, from the reality in front of you gayness is as natural as an apple.
What is that reason? And why are you not proposing, ever, to find that reason, so that you might more intellectually argue for or against us and our claims and desires?
If gays are created by our Creator, then surely we are entitled to certain inalienable rights, regardless of others’ repugnance of the acts in bed, on which so many seem to be fixated. And we should be free from all legal penalty and prohibition. If our churches want to marry us, then they should be free to do so. If your church refuses to marry us, then so be it. But to have your religion deny our religion such a right means the state establishment of one religion over another, as if the Catholics could ban Jewish marriage, as the Hapsburgs did.
If gayness is shown to be genetic that would solve a lot of the mush that passes for debate, no? But both sides, and those in the muddling middle, refuse to look for any such genetic component(s) lest they find one, or some, or none.
Now, what if gays are psychological misfits? Then it was our straight parents who started the process, or was it our uncles? or Aunts? Or teachers? Or neighbor down the block? Who knows? But both sides are refusing to look at it in any way, hardly the stuff of intellectual rigor there. But if we are psychologically gay, shouldn’t we have the right to sue our parents for depriving us of our “natural” state? Shouldn’t there be a law, then, penalizing straight parents who raise gay children to the detriment of the Republic? Oddly, for decades it was said that gays “chose” this psychological imbalance. We self-caused our own psychological problems — the only known psychological conditon not caused by external factors. Shouldn’t you want to know so that you could propose the correct psychological corrective action to rid the Republic of the danger? How’s that for a government program, eh?
If gays are psychiatric misfits, then surely that is a proof that we are indeed “natural” — how else could it be? Does anyone think that gays create their own psychiatric condition? Psychiatry has proven to a rather strong degree that every psychiatric condition is a chemical imbalance. What are gay people eating, taking or ingesting somehow to cause this imbalance? No one will look at that little bit of scientific inquiry either. Oddly, this was exactly the tack taken by so many psychiatrists for years, and it was the only known psychiatric condition self-caused. And if we are psychiatric cases, why are you not proposing to look for the drug or drugs or whatever appropriate therapy would be required to, once again, protect the Republic?
If gays want to use the civil marriage laws, what is the big deal? We don’t have children? Many heterosexuals have no children, indeed, are biologically unable to do so, — are they prohibited from being civilly married? No. Are elderly widows and widowers prohibited from marriage because they are past the age of procreation? No. So that means that not having children is not an impediment to marriage whatsoever.
Is it because divorce is legal? So that heterosexuals wantonly disregard the Creator’s commandments? Why don’t you argue for the illegalizing of divorce? That would protect marriage far more than preventing gays from getting civilly married.
Want to protect children? Well, gays not having children would surely leave us out of the abandonment problem, the child abuse by parents, the infanticide, the children killing going on around this country.
Is it because gayness leads to the plague of abortion? No, gays, having no children, would of course not be invovled in this discussion at all. Surely we can’t be blamed for that slaughter, can we? And surely killing a baby is far, far worse than not having one, no?
Is it because there is an increasing number of gays — and somehow if everyone was gay there’d be no future generations? No, it appears that the number and percentage of gays in any given population has remained static since time immemorial. The increase in the number of gays is never bandied about by your anti-gay commentators, rather it is a leap from some unknown, but obvious percentage, to the all encompassing “if everyone was gay” idea. And not even radical left-leaning gays have proposed this. The reality remains that all people will never be gay. Only that small percentage will be gay, as has been the reality since humankind began.
Yet, alas, both sides refuse to count the number of gays, or determine our incidence. To the anti-gay people to come up with any number or percentage would perhaps give a number too high for them to contemplate or stomach.
For the gay activists coming up with a number or percentage would perhaps come up with a number too low for them to contemplate or stomach.
So we are left with a vague 1% to 10% range, depending on one’s political predilections. And never stated is exactly where the dividing line for counting even begins. Is it at the age of 21? Or 18? Or 10? — When does gayness manifest itself? No one seems to even want to look for an answer, lest it blow their dreams out of the water.
If gay sex is to be outlawed, as it was for so many centuries, why don’t you argue for the recriminalization of it? You don’t, for the practical absurdities would manifest themselves. So funny that from the moment of the first gay pride parade in 1970 to 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas, during this time when gay sex was outlawed, the heterosexual police establishment was simply unable to find any gays to prosecute. Odd no, that millions of gays marched, and you found no gay people? Surely you didn’t look very hard.
And if gay sex was illegal again, would that mean that the police state, which you so competently rail against in so many instances, would have to go house to house to look for the severe threat to the Republic you seem to think, and certainly imply, we are? Are there even enough cops? Are there enough prisons? Or is the law to be just selectively imposed? Whenever you chance upon two gays having sex in the privacy of their own home you’ll arrest them. And since you can’t look inside the house this law has all the consequence of a bubble emanating from a child’s play toy.
But once again, you come up with mush on the issue. Pure emotional mush, and not one shred of intellectual rigor. Have you, the editors of your otherwise fine magazine even considered this issue? It is clear that your contributors don’t.
Why not delve into these issues? Surely, since virtually every issue you published for the nearly 30 years of my reading you has had some commentary on gays, you would venture to devote a little more thought? A little more reason? A little more science?
If gays are this threat to the body politic you claim we are, then it behooves you to do so. Otherwise it is the bitter screed of malcontents who are afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun. And that enrages and alarms you.
Cheers, and have a nice day, and try, just try for once, to think this out more concretely.
— Jim Hlavac
INTERNATIONAL MAN OF INANITY
Re: Ken Bond’s letter (under “Out the Window”) in Reader Mail’s Expletives Deleted:
Gee Ken, can you express your hated of Bush for us? Let’s get the facts straight; Bush never claimed “victory” on that aircraft carrier. You are obviously referring to the banner that was hung on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln displaying “Mission Accomplished.” That banner was requested by the crew of the Abraham Lincoln to denote the ship’s successful 10 month deployment during major combat operations. The public went wild, Bush’s popularity soared, and the Democrats and the liberal news media were panic-stricken that this Republican president’s favorability ratings were so high. So the Democrats and the corrupt media disingenuously reinforced the idea that Bush was claiming total victory in Iraq and did everything they could to minimize the initial gains that we achieved instead of allowing the country this huge morale boost it needed after mourning our losses from the 9/11 attacks.
Furthermore I assure you Bin Laden isn’t laughing as you suggest; his plan for religious war to defeat the U.S. and her allies not only failed but resulted in the extermination of Iraq’s corrupt leaders and many of Bin Laden’s faithful terrorist followers; converting that country to a democracy and diminishing fascist Islam’s influence in that region. I’m sure packing up and moving to a new cave every day or so to avoid discovery and seeing the financial network that funds his war interdicted and the continuing shrinking of numbers of al Qaeda fighters isn’t inducing any belly laughs from the “bearded one.”
— John Nelson
Mr. Bond, from down under, apparently doesn’t think much of our current president and his efforts since 9/11 to protect us. Fortunately, not everyone in Australia believes as Mr. Bond does. Indeed, many of us here in America greatly appreciate the Aussie military support provided to the United States in the war against islamofascism.
Mr. Bond apparently doesn’t understand what is at stake here; thankfully wiser minds are in charge.
— Garry Greenwood