Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Christian "Conservatives": Rhetoric or Reality?

I was one of the first bloggers to call for the resignation of Senator Larry Craig. He probably will resign, but now I wonder if I was too hasty. I assumed there was some verbal solicitation or groping of the undercover policeman, and apparently there was none. It may be more a case of physical clumsiness and bad judgment in pleading guilty. The policeman was totally out-of-bounds in making assumptions about Craig's character. I may have rushed to judgment. (Note: The policeman said he didn't care about Craig's supposed "sexual preference," itself a loaded and suspect term, but what were the police doing in the men's room? It now looks like entrapment to me. ) -- Stephen R. Maloney

After the piece below about the bogus "social conservatives' (Craig, Vitter, and Foley), I will point in several links to pieces that give a good insight in who Gov. Sarah Palin is and what she's acccomplished. Will be up at 9 p.m. EDT.

I can't tell you how distressing this whole matter of Senator Larry Craig of Idaho (see the column below) is to me. No, I don't want him boiled in oil or drawn and quartered or made to wear a Scarlet Letter. Frankly, I just want him to go -- to resign.

In his thoughtless actions -- and now in the lies he feels compelled to utter to save his sorry skins -- he disgraces himself, his family, and worst of all, the Republican Party. The Democrats accuse us of hypocrisy, and people like Craig (and many others) give them the ammunition. They soil us.

He has been what we generally call "a tireless advocate for traditional marriage and ethical behavior." And he didn't mean a word of it. He was appealing to "social issue voters," most of whom are sincere in their beliefs, but he perceived rightly that such people are easily deceived.

In my discussions with Larry Perrault, which I've enjoyed a good deal, even though we both occasionally exasperate each, I've explained that I'm increasingly suspicious of "social values" politicians. They push our buttons to get elected, and in a practical sense they accomplish nothing.

Specifically, I want candidates to stop identifying themselves with slogans. It's fine to be, for example, "pro-life" as long as that isn't some meaningless and cynical designation a candidate uses to appeal to Christian evangelicals and traditional Catholics. I'm not exactly impressed by candidates who propose constitutional amendments that have absolutely no chance of passing.

Mitt Romney is being criticized for flip-flopping once again on the issue of abortion in adopting his current position that abortion should be an issue settled by the states. I have no idea of Romney's real feelings on abortion, but he is right about the states' responsibility. There will be no consittutional amendment on this issue in our lifetimes. As was the case pre-Roe v. Wade, this is question for the 50 states, period. It's a lot easier to exert influence at the state level than at the federal.

Reportedly, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana had said -- before it was revealed he was a customer of the so-called "DC Madam" -- that the most important issue facing Americawas . . . gay marriage. That at a time when we're facing the dilemma of the Iraq War and the approaching disaster of $100 trillion in unfunded liability for entitlement programs, among many others.

Senator Vitter emphasized the gay marriage matter because he believed -- and probably still believes -- the voters of Louisiana are stupid people. Is he right? We shall find out. Gay marriage or civil unions or whatever it's called is an absolutely trivial matter. It's one of those famous "wedge issues" that deserves about one minute any sane person's time. If Bob and Andy and Sue and Debbie want to "tie the knot," we should wish them all a long and happy life and then go on to more important things.

If Senator Vitter and Senator Craig, as well as some other "distinguished" elected officials, had concentrated more on doing real work on behalf of the nation we'd all be better off. Instead, they pandered to . . . us. All government officials hereby have my permission never to pander to me. I prefer that they talk honestly, even when I don't completely "like" what they have to say.

As a group, we Christian conservatives have to look into our own hearts. We have to ask what we want from candidates: rhetoric or some semblance of reality. If we desire the Mark Foleys, David Vitters, and Larry Craigs, who are willing to scratch us where it itches and nothing more, then God help us.

(I'd love to get some comments -- any comments -- on this short post, but I fear the response will be silence. We've been hoodwinked, my friends, and it doesn't feel good at all.)

Stephen R. Maloney

Ambridge, PA

I've spent much of the week trying to get Mike Huckabee supporters involved in the campaign to get Gov. Sarah Palin on the Republican national ticket. The thing that impresses me most about her, as I told KTUU-TV in Anchorage, is that she is a very loving wife and mother. The second thing is her absolute honesty -- something that has isolated her from the state Republican Party, including its chairman whom she cited for ethics violations. What a wonderful role model for every girl and woman in this country!

Many Huckabee supporters have "signed up" as supporters of Gov. Palin for the vice-presidency, and others are close to doing the same. In their actions, they're helping to rebuild the foundation of the Republican Party, something that will take years -- perhaps many years -- to complete.

I have spent 1,000 hours so far working on Gov. Palin's behalf. I don't regret one minute of that time. I'm doing it mainly for my children and grandchildren -- and for yours. It's hard work, because she not nearly as well known as she deserves.

Join me. Join us. Join her. This is a remarkable woman and, at some point in 2012 or 2016, she will be the President of the United States. Let's just make sure she's THE FIRST female President and not the second.

To all elected officials: Saying the right words is fine as far as it goes. Doing the right things is better. .

The following are important pieces about Sarah Palin, her life, her views, and her character.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin (Short and accurate biographical)

http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/013/851orcjq.asp (outstanding piece on Sarah by Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard and FOX News analyst)

http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/08/17/235529.php (SJ Reidhead (Cindy), Article by the "Queen of the Blogosphere" on the Character and Potential of Sarah Palin)

http://columbian.com/opinion/news/07252007news173060.cfm (Essay by editor emeritus Tom Koenigger on Alaska and its remarkable Governor)

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/vassilaros/s_517252.html (Essay by conservative columnist Dimitri Vassilaros in praise of the GOP's "Beacon of Hope")

It might take a half-hour to read all these pieces. It will be time well spent, because Sarah is at least a step ahead of nearly ever elected official in our nation.


Larry Perrault said...

The fear about Mitt Romney us whether ANY position on abortion matters as much as his political fortunes. It's possible, but I sure don't see a reason to be confident about it, either in his explanation or his (lack of) consistency.

The people can not only express themselves TO the states better, but the society of the states can better influence the consciences of their people.

ThinkAware said...

I apologize for the overposting. Blogger was being quirky, feel free to erase the extras. -Treva

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I certainly agree that it's a tough undertaking to influence the consciences of the entire nation. This is one extremely BIG country, and it is extremely diverse -- much more so than the European countries. My biggest problem is the "food fight" that results when people throw slogans at each other (Pro-Life! Pro-Choice!) and that seems to suffice! Dangling a constitutional amendment in front of people is demagoguery, nothing else. What can we do to make things better -- not to make things "perfect?" If a parent has a difficult teenager, the point is not to make him or her like one of the kids on 50s sitcoms ("Ozzie and Harriet?"). Instead, the best approach is to get the child headed in something roughly approximating the right direction. The same is true of politics (the influencing of public policy decisions).

ThinkAware said...


Still reading up on Sarah Palin...talking around. For now I'm going to add you on my blogroll and keep up with your posts. I'm not ready to make a full commitment to support her, but I imagine I will have a handle on that one way ro the other quite soon. So far, I have not discovered anything about her that I do not appreciate. One thing that stalls me is that Huckabee has said clearly that he is not currently discussing running mates because he feels that would be quite presumptious, and in my opinion he is right. Of course that doesn't mean is not privately thinking about it, and I'm sure he is. It also doesn't mean I can't support a person as a potential VP. So for now I'm going to link off my page to your site, without making any official kind of decision. Feel free to delete this comment if you prefer. Thanks for your efforts, you are obviously very dedicated to spreading the word about Governor Palin.-Treva

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Treva, thanks for the continuing interest. In the blog done by the "Federalist" (Blogger for Mike), he says "It's time for Mike to take some risks," and I do agree, but on the other hand, Mike is the candidate and I'm not. In 1976, Ronald Reagan named a potential V-P nominee (Schweiker from PA) well before the convention. Schweiker was known as a moderate-liberal, and Reagan named him because he needed the PA delegation to win (being frank about the reason). Well, President Ford won anyway, but if I'd been Reagan, I would have done the same thing. I don't look at politics as a bunch of backroom deals, but sometimes frontroom deals are necessary/inevitable. Probably more than you are, I believe half-a-loaf politics is unacceptable. Heck, even a crust of bread is better than nothing. I am so impressed with your views on the need for cross-over votes, which are absolutely essential when Democrats have a big majority (which they do) in registration. I suggested that Mike think about a female running mate and even a female Hispanic running mate. If it would help him win the nomination, still a longshot proposition,then he should think about doing so early. There's nothing "wrong" with so doing, although he might have a different strategy now (keep all the "girls" thinking he's going to invite them to the dance or the "boys" that he's going to name them starting pitcher.) To get in politics (or life) you sometimes have to give. No one should compromise his or her deeply held principles, but compromising everything else is . . . politics.