Govern Us If You Can - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Govern Us If You Can

Re: William Tucker’s “Let This Guy Govern” Again:

William Tucker is out of line when he says “In case John Kerry won, I said, conservatives should stand by the election without carping about skullduggery or fraud. The Democrats had already introduced this poison into the system by spending four years disputing the results of 2000. My appeal was that Republicans not do the same.”

There is a difference here. The Democratic (ACORN, the media, etc) actually are cheating; the GOP didn’t cheat in 2000 (or 2004).

Tucker illogical advice is like a pro-abortionist chiding the opposition because they may favor capital punishment. And just as there’s a distinct moral difference between executing a guilty murderer and ripping an unborn baby apart at the whim of the mother, so is there a fundamental difference between the false charges of Gore that Bush cheated and the valid claim that Obama and the liberal establishment rigged the 2008 election from start to finish.

Mr. Tucker can lay down to an Obama Administration, but I won’t. The man is illegitimate as far as I’m concerned.
Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Mr. Tucker must be wearing his rose-colored glasses. I will not dispute that the pendulum may eventually swing the other way. In the meantime, the destruction that ensues will not be pretty. I think the most delusional portion of Mr. Tucker’s piece his suggestion that “If Obama does get elected, then America is not a racist society.” I am quite satisfied that any criticism of Obama, his policies, or any mention of mistakes of even the most minor sort will be demonized as an outburst of residual racism. Mr. Obama is a divider, a separator. He will separate the races just as he will separate us from our wealth. Our balkanization will continue at an accelerated rate with this guy setting the tone.

I am not content to see my offspring enter their professions in the midst of a government-mandated economic blight.
Bud Hammons

I’ve said for years that going to church doesn’t make one a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car. The label “Christian” doesn’t mean much anymore, even for many people who claim the title. But, I’m not the judge. I’ll let Jesus’ words speak for themselves. In Matt 7:21-22 Jesus said,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

Do issues of abortion and homosexuality, etc., etc., etc., matter to God?
Bill V.
Holland, Michigan

Five problems, William. 

First with control of the House and anything like 57+ Democrat Senators it won’t be a question of letting them “govern” but “rule.” The three, four liberal Republican Senators will be all that stands to stop legislation and they have a proven track record of voting with Democrats most of the time. It would take a miracle to change that imbalance in 2 or even 4 years under the best of conditions. Nothing will stop judicial appointments by gentlemen’s agreement now. This nation is ruled by the Court system not by the other two branches of government as required in the defunct Constitution.   

Second, regarding “Foreign wars are never popular,” when were WWI and WWII “popular? With whom? The issue is not popularity but commitment to win. You win wars one way and only one way. We tried to redefine winning three or maybe four times now and lost every time. We lost Korea, Vietnam and the First Gulf War (battle in effect) because we weren’t committed to winning in the only way that validates our sacrifices.  Not finishing the job in the first Gulf War led directly to the second attempt with less than half the forces to do it with.  The same thing can be said of WWI in effect as it’s after effects directly led to WWII.  

Third, every criticism of the Messiah’s policies will be seen as a racist thing by his devoted followers. Some will act in the same ways as those peace loving followers of another popular religion when their Prophet is questioned. Nothing good will come of this either through intimidation of free speech rights or outright violence against those that oppose the “One.” You under estimate the emotional attachment to the symbol that half this population will in effect worship. 

Fourth, the damage Marxism has brought on this Nation is cumulative. Neither Reagan nor Bush made any attempts to roll back the underlying damage. Both governed in a very pragmatic way and tried to grow us out of our socialism burden. That only works if you stop growing socialism. Tell me, what about our Public School system and an 80% Democratic Media do you think is going to change that and stop growing ignorant masses of future socialistic voters? A little bit Socialistic is like a little bit pregnant. Both are myths and the first is the product of a very Big Lie that there aren’t enough voters to overcome. Marxism has never voted itself out of existence.   

Fifth, the “One” does not want to directly destroy the Coal industry. He wants the tax revenue from it. He knows he can’t replace fossil fuels on a mass scale and he knows what cold and fried voters will bring with power shortages. What he is doing is prepping the battlefield so he can demonize fossil fuel production and use and just tax it as part of his spread the wealth scam. Nuclear power is going nowhere because that would actually solve something. That is not what BHO is about. 

Between number one above and number four the cumulative damage done over the last 60-70 years is just going to become impossible to overcome. Name me a former Socialist society thieving today? The question of letting him “rule” is almost certainly moot at this point in time.
Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Can America Come to Its Census?

Should Democrats obtain a filibuster-proof majority in Congress, it will be time to turn one of their tactics against them. Republicans should start shopping now for sympathetic federal judges who will serially block any significant Democrat legislation, upon any expedient pretext, at least until the congressional elections of 2010, by when enough voters will presumably have returned to their American senses.

Alas, willfully ignorant human beings are a feeble stuff upon which to reconstruct a democracy every four years.
David Govett
Davis, California

…is the day we need to circle the wagons. It is to be expected that a Democrat will be in the White House come January 20, and larger Democratic majorities (poor Joe Lieberman) will be in Congress. And there shall be no adversary relationship between government and the libmedia. (That happens only when a Republican is in the White House.)

The Republican performance has been disappointing since 11/8/94. A Tennessean was quoted a few days after the 1994 election as saying that the GOP had become the party of the people. Alas, that didn’t happen.

Instead, the Republican leadership sought to ingratiate itself — in vain of course — with the Washington media and had no clue how to respond to post-election Democratic mean-spiritedness. (The test for getting to the truth in Democratic accusations against Republicans: just turn the charge against the Democrats.)

The GOP had nothing to brag about after the 1996 election, which began a series of ballotting that whittled down the Republican majority in Congress until it disappeared ten years later.

The GOP was ineffective against the zealocrats and, instead, tried to emulate them only to this extent — remaining distant from the people.

I have contended since 1994 that Federalist 57 (among others in the Federalist series) should be a working guide, not an academic exercise.

I expect that the Zealocrats will now — to use a phrase of the late Alexander Bickel –“kick over the traces” in governing us. I don’t know that the GOP as presently constituted has the capacity to engage the Zealocrats, much less prevail.

Republicans who are unable to battle the old order in Washington should be encouraged to join the Democratic Party. Americans who believe in cooperative free enterprise, and in government of, by and for the people should gather under the banner of a political party committed to “the common good of the society.” (Federalist 57.)

The Republicans had an opening after the 1994 election — and walked away. Newt should have paid a bit of attention to the observation in “The Prince” that reformers will not succeed until the people on the sidelines are convinced that the old order is vanquished.

In truth, I believe, notwithstanding the results on November 8, 1994, the Republicans never did vanquish the old order. In fact, each election after 1994, as noted above, saw an ever greater decrease in the GOP congressional majority. That such decrease did not send the alarm bells ringing after 1996 is testament to the ineffectiveness of the Republican leadership. (I would contend that a few pages’ study of The Federalist Papers is worth all the political consultants political contributions can buy.) 

I expect that given the decline of the GOP after 1994, historians may well conclude that arrogant, power-hungry, zealously partisan, demagogic, authoritarian Democrats who have no interest in serving the common good, lost on November 8, 1994 in accordance with the observation all of the people cannot be fooled all of the time. That is to say, in 1994, the Republicans did not win control of Congress; the Democrats lost control for alienating voters who, apart from Republicans, had no viable alternative to express displeasure. (And I recall that such expression incurred the wrath of the media.)

Regard Washington after tomorrow — the arrogant, power-hungry, zealously partisan, demagogic, authoritarian Democrats, who have no interest in serving the common good are…back.

Americans in the main, I believe, understand that liberals are actually illiberals, who are taking us away from the Founding legacy. They would favorably respond, I believe, to a call for a “Common Good” gathering that drafted a program faithful to our Founding legacy, with the aim of combating the Neo- aristocratism, again quoting from Federalist 57 that seeks the “ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few.”  Our Founding legacy is, I suggest, threatened not by socialism but by a resurgence of the aristocratic mentality that the Founding generation rebelled against. 

I  believe that the American people may well have concluded that if  Republicans, faced with the demagoguery and artifice of the Democratic party, won’t stand up for themselves, how can they be expected to stand up for the people? I further believe that Americans will rally behind a party committed to vanquishing the old order (not merely changing congressional chairs with Democrats every few years) and restoring the legacy of liberty given us by the Founding Fathers. That is to say, it is my view that Americans still await the party of the people that Republicans were mistaken for by a Tennessean, quoted in The New York Times, fourteen years ago.
David R. Zukerman
Lonely Pamphleteer Review

Re: Mike Dooley’ letter (under “The Council of TAS“) in Reader Mail’s By His Bootstraps:

Regarding Mr. Dooley’s response to my previous letter, I wish to make a few remarks, and then I think the two of us should take this conversation off line, though it is interesting and would like it to continue.

Taking Mr. Dooley’s points in order:

1.  The Roman magisterium has spoken. Curial documents endorsed by the Bishop of Rome have normative teaching value in the Catholic Church. That is why I referred repeatedly to the “Clarification on the Procession of the Holy Spirit” (technically, The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity: The Procession of the Holy Spirit in the Greek and Latin Traditions), which can be found here, for those interested. It includes the following statement, which is magisterial in its content and intent:

“The Catholic Church acknowledges the conciliar, ecumenical, normative, and irrevocable value, as expression of the one common faith of the Church and of all Christians, of the Symbol professed in Greek at Constantinople in 381 by the Second Ecumenical Council. No profession of faith peculiar to a particular liturgical tradition can contradict this expression of the faith taught by the undivided Church.”

As Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have acknowledged this statement and incorporated it into their teaching, it must therefore be considered as “received” within the Latin Church, part of the Depositum fidei.

2.  Mr. Dooley is quite right that there are some things Rome will never say in an explicit manner. As a Byzantine Catholic, I am ideally positioned to comment on both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox approach in such matters. If the Orthodox Way is “Never explain, never apologize”, the Roman Catholic Church lives by the maxim, “We may not always be right, but we are never wrong.” That is why, instead of explicit repudiations of previous doctrinal statements, we have “clarifications” that effectively reverse without reversing. Once cannot read the Clarification in conjunction with the Acts of the Councils of Lyons II and Florence-Ferrara without immediately recognizing that the Catholic Church has walked away from its previous position.

3.  A great many old theological disputes are in fact just terminological differences, or worse, polemics used to mask political or cultural disputes. It is this that enables both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches to issue Agreed Theological Statements with the Oriental Orthodox (formerly known as “monophysite”) Church and the Assyrian Church of the East (formerly called “nestorian”) — an examination of the substantial beliefs of each Church regarding the relationship of the human and divine in Christ, without regard to specific modes of theological expression, found all sides in essential agreement. Chalk 1500 years of Christian disunity up to the fallen nature of creation. With regard to the Filioque, it is clear from the writings of Maximos the Confessor that in the 7th century, at least, there were Greeks who understood that the Latins meant the same thing as the Greeks when they said the Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son, but by the 11th century and later, this was not so clear, and by the 15th century, it is quite clear that the Latins mean something very different. The Clarification moves the Latin Church back to the position it held in the first millennium.

4.  It is true that Rome’s ecumenical dialogue extends to the Protestant communities as well as to the Eastern Churches. However, if one was to prioritize, it is clear that Rome places a much higher value on reestablishing unity among the Apostolic Churches first. This is in some regards the easier task, since all of them are in agreement on almost every substantive issue except the nature of Papal Primacy, whereas the differences between the Catholic Church (and all the other Apostolic Churches as well) and the Protestants are far greater in extent and more variable in nature.  Once unity exists among the Apostolic Churches, a common dialogue with the Protestants is more likely to bear fruit.

5.  I am still puzzled as to why Luther would retain the Filioque, when he should have known that it was a later interpolation — unless he bought into the polemical position of the Latin Church that the Greeks had actually removed it from the original text (I kid you not!). However, Mr. Dooley underestimates the importance to those of us who are Eastern Christians of restoring the original form of the Creed to the liturgical rites of all Churches. That, as a Byzantine Catholic I am both in communion and recite the Creed without the Filioque represents an anomaly, one which all Eastern Catholics recognize and wish t eliminate. As this is a constant irritant to the Orthodox as well, and as the Catholic Church in fact teaches that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, bringing liturgical practice into line with catechesis is the right thing to do. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

6.  I have heard a lot of Western theologians harp on the deficient pneumatology of the Western Churches, but I have never heard anyone suggest that the Eastern Churches, with their essentially trinitarian outlook and explicit invocation of the Holy Spirit, somehow have an “underdeveloped” understanding of the Holy Spirit. If Mr. Dooley has some references in this regard, I would appreciate it.

Regarding his conclusion, I will only say that an increasing number of Orthodox churchmen and theologians recognize the historical reality and the ecclesiological necessity of some form of universal primacy, which historically has resided with the Church of Rome as the “Church that presides in love” (Ignatios of Antioch). The dispute is not about the existence of primacy, but of how that primacy is to be defined and exercised — whether it is one of jurisdictional power, or of authority within a concilium. In his Encyclical Ut unum sint, Pope John Paul II called upon the other Churches and ecclesial communities to work with him to find a definition and modality of primacy that was both acceptable to all and relevant to the Church in the third Christian millennium. It is sad that so many, on all sides, have chosen the comforting cocoon of old polemics, rather than embracing the challenge that was laid before them.
Stuart Koehl


I notice that your staff are all middle aged white men. Just like the delegates to the Republican convention.
Rick Taves

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