Subscribe via email


Monthly Archives


Post Categories

Tag Index

1st Corinthians 1st Peter 1st Timothy 2nd Corinthians 2nd Peter 60 Minutes 1970s A. G. Sertillanges Abby Abortion Absurdity Academia Accordance Adoration Advent Aesthetics Affluence Agenda Aging AIDS Alan Keyes Alasdair MacIntyre Alexander Solzhenitsyn Algebra Al Gore Alienation Alvin Plantinga America American Culture American Enterprise Institute Americanism Amnesty International Anand Giridharadas Andrew Hacker Andrew R. Grainger Andy Rooney Angela Merkel Anglicanism Anthropocentrism Anthropology Anti-Bullying Anti-Christ Anti-clericalism Antigonish AP Apologetics Apostle Thomas Appearances Archangel Raphael Archbishop Charles Chaput Archbishop Harry Flynn Archbishop Sean O'Malley Art Asininity Assassination Athanasius Atheism Audio Books Austria Authority Avery Cardinal Dulles Balkanization Banality Barack Obama Barbara Bellar Barney Frank Beatles Belgium Belief Ben Johnson Berlin Wall Bias Bible Bible.org Bible Explorer Bible in English Bible Software Reviews Bible Translations BibleWorks Bill Cottle Bill O'Reilly Bill Whittle Bishop Robert Morlino Bitterclinging Black Friday Blackmail Blessed Sacrament Bloggers Unite Blogging Bloomberg Bobby Jindal Bob Schieffer Bono Book of Tobit Book of Wisdom Books Bosco Peters Boston.com Boston Bruins Boston Globe Boston Pilot Bourgeois Ethics Boyhood Boys Bozo BP Brendan O'Neill Bullying Bureaucracy Burial Cacophony California Campaign Funding Cancer Canon Law Cap 'N Trade Capitalism Car Seats Catechesis Catechism Catherine Lawless Catholic Church Catholic Culture Catholicism Catholic Lane Catholic Schools Causation CBA CBO CBS CCD CEB Celebrity Celebrity Psychopath of the Week Censorship Certain Urgency Charismata Charity Charlie Baker Chattering Class Chernobyl Chicanery Children Children & Media China Chris Christie Chris Squire Christendom Christian Art Christianity Christina Harms Christmas Chuck Colson Church Citizenship Civics Civility Civilization Civil Rights Civil Unions Clarence Dupnik Clergy Sexual Abuse Close to the Edge CNSNews Coercion Cognitive Dissonance College Culture Comedy Commerce Clause Commonweal Communism Community Commuting Competition Compromise Computing Condoms Confiscatory Taxation Conflict Congregationalism Congress Congressional Powers Conservatism Constantinople Constitutionality Consumerism Contempt Contraception Conversion Coping Cosmology Counterculture Cover Up Creativity Credentialing Credo Cremation Criminality Crisis Magazine Cult Culture Culture Wars Dad Daily Mail Damien of Molokai Dante Darfur Darwinism Dave Bainbridge David B Hart David Brooks David Frum David Linsky David Mills David Thompson Daylight Saving Time DDC Death Debt Deficit Commission Deficit Spending Definitions Dehumanization Democracy Democratic Socialism Democrat Party Department of Education Dependency Der Spiegel Despair Deuteronomy Deval Patrick Development Devotion Dichotomy Disbelief Discernment Discipline Discrimination Disease Disorder Dispensationalism Disrespect Dissent Dissipation Diversity Divinization Do-Goodism Doctor Assisted Suicide Douglas Farrow Dred Scott Drinking Dualism Earth Day Easter Eastern Religion eBooks Ecclesiology Echo Chamber Economic Crisis Economics Ecumenism Ed Markey Ed Morrissey Ed Schultz Education Edward Feser Edward Winslow Egalitarianism Eleanor Clift Election '08 Election '10 Election 2012 Electronic Publishing Elizabeth Scalia Elizabeth Warren Empathy Empiricism England Enlightenment Entertainment Entitlement Entitlements Environmentalism Envy Ephesians Epiphany Episcopacy Episcopal Church Epistemology Equality Equating Eric Holder Eschatology ESV Eternity Ethics Eucharist Eugenics Euphemism Europe European Union Euthanasia Evangelization Evolution Evolutionism Ewald Stadler Experience Experts Extortion Ezekiel Facebook Faith Faith & Reason Faithfulness Fall of Rome Family Fascism Fashion Fast & Furious Fatherhood Fausta Wertz FCC Fear Felix Just Feminism Fidelity First Amendment First Things Folly Forgiveness Founding Fathers Fourth Estate FOX News Frances Titchenor Franciscan University Fraud Fred Baumann Freedom Free Lunch Free Speech Free Will Friendship Funerals G. F. Handel Gabrielle Giffords Gaia Galatians Garage Light Gay Marriage Genesis George Carlin George Orwell George Tiller George W Bush George Weigel Georgia Warnke Gerry Dembrowski Gerush92 Glenn Beck Global Warming Gnosticism God Good Good Friday Good Samaritan Gorecki Gospel Gospel of John Gospel of Luke Gospel of Mark Gospel of Matthew Gospels Gossip Government Grace Graciousness Great Britain Great Entitlement Society Greece Green Movement Grief Guardian Gun Control Gunwalker Handel & Haydn Hannah Arendt Hans Urs von Balthasar Harry Christophers Harry Potter Harry Reid Hating HCSB Health Healthcare Healthcare Reform Heaven Hegel Henri de Lubac Henry E Hudson Heresy Heritage Foundation Hidden Treasure Higher Education Hiroshima History Hitler Holiday Season Holiness Homosex Hope Hospitality HotAir Housing HTML editors Hubris Human Dignity Human Flourishing Humanities Human Nature Human Rights Humility Hypocrisy Hysteria iBreviary Idealism Ideas Identity Ideology Idolatry iEducation Illness Imago Dei Immorality Imperialism Incarnation Incivility Individualism Indulgence Infantilism Insipidity Insurance Intellect Intercession Intergenerational Theft Interiorizing Culture Iona Iowahawk Irony Irresponsibility Isaiah Islam Italy J.E. Dyer J. Gresham Machen Jack Wagner James Pethokoukis James V. Schall Janet Daley Jay Rockefeller Jazz Shaw Jefferson Starship Jeff Jacoby Jeremiah Jesus Christ Jewish Advocate Jews JFK Jill Stein Jimmy Carter Joanne Hogg Joe Biden Joe Carter Joe Scarborough Joe Wilson John Henry Newman John Jalsevac John Kerry John Locke John McCain John Roberts John Sommerville John the Baptist John Ziegler Jonah Jonathan Last Jonathan Sperry Joseph Stalin Journaling Journalism Joy Joyce Judaism Judgment Judgmentalism Judiciary Jurisprudence Justice Just War K-8 Kant Kathryn Lopez Keith Olbermann Ken Cuccinelli Kermit Gosnell Keynesianism Killing King David Kingdom of God KKK Knights of Columbus Knowledge L'Osservatore Romano Labor Laity Language Larceny Law Lazarus Laziness Learning Lectionary Leftism Legacy Legality Lent Leprosy Letter to Hebrews Letter to Romans Leviathan Liberal Education Liberalism Libertarianism Liberty Libraries LibraryThing Libretti Libya Licentiousness Lidwig Feuerbach Lies LifeSiteNews LifeWay Light Light Dawns on Marble Head Limited Government Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Liturgy of the Hours Logos Lordship Love Luciano Storero Lumen Gentium Lying Macintosh Magi Manhattan Declaration Mara Hvistendahl Marcel Guarnizo Marco Rubio Margaret Becker Margaret Marshall Marketing Mark T. Coppenger Marriage Martin Cothran Martin Heidegger Marxism Mary Eberstadt Mary Magdalene Mary Rose Somarriba Massachusetts Massachusetts SJC Massasoit Materalism Maternity Mathematics Matthew Hanley Matt Labash Mattress Girl MaybeToday.org Mayflower Meaning Media Ethics Media Hype Medicaid Medical Ethics Medicare Memory Mercy Methodology Mexico City Policy Michael Hanby Michael Moore Michelle Bachmann Michelle Malkin Mike Pence Milos Forman Miracles Misanthropy Misbehavior Miscenegation Mitch Daniels Mitt Romney Moammar Qaddafi Mockery Modernism Modernity Modern Scholar Mom Moral Doctrine Moral Imbecility Moralism Morality Moral Philosophy Mortimer J Adler Motherhood Mother Teresa Motives Movies MSBA MSM MSNBC Music NAB NABRE Nancy Pelosi Nanny State Naomi Achaefer Riley Nasta & Yulia Natick National Council of Churches National Day of Prayer Nationalism National Review National Socialism Natural Rights Nature NEA Negligence New American Bible New English Translation New Marriage News Product Newsweek New Testament New York Times Niall Ferguson Nigel Farage Nighttime Nihilism Noli me Tangere Nonsense Now Reading NY Times O Antiphons ObamaCare Occam's Razor Occupy OEB Old Testament Olive Tree Ontology Operation Rescue Opinion Ordinary Time Organ Sales Origen Original Sin Orthodoxy Osama bin Laden OWD Paganism Papacy Parables Parenting Partisanship Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry Passion of Christ Pat Caddell Patheos Pathology Patriarchy Paul Erlich Paul Ryan PC Study Bible Pearl of Great Price Pederasty Pedophilia Pentecostalism Permissiveness Perpetual Outrage Perseverance Personhood Pete Jermann Peter Augustine Lawler Peter Kreeft Peter L. Berger Peter Sanchioni Peter Seewald Peter Thiel Phenomenology Philosophical Naturalism Philosophy Pieta Pieties Piety Pilgrims Pink Floyd Planned Parenthood Plato Plenty Plymouth Plantation Poland Political Correctness Political Discourse Political Economy Political Resistance Political Science Pop Culture Criticism Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Leo XIII Pop Music Pornography Postmodernism Poverty Power Pradis Prayer Preaching Priestcraft Priesthood Principles Priorities Prison Fellowship Prisons Privacy Private Schooling Privatization Pro-Lifers Procrastination Producers Progressivism Propaganda Property Property Rights Propheticism Prosperity Prostitution Protestantism Pseudo-Morality Public Discourse Public Order Public Schooling Public Spending Punishment Puritans QotD QuickVerse Racialism Racism Radicalism Rape Rape Culture Rationality Rationing Ravi Zacharias Reading Reality Rebecca Reconciliation Redemptionis Sacramentum Reform Regeneration Regensburg Regulations Relationships Relativism Religion Religiosity Religious Art Religious Dialog Religious Liberty Religious Repression Rent Seeking Repentance Republican Party Rerum Novarum Resomation Responsibility Resurrection Revelation Revolutions Rhetoric Richard Fernandez Richard John Neuhaus Richard Nixon Richard Wright Rick Santorum Rick Wakeman Rick Warren Righteousness Rita L. Marker Robert Barron Robert R. Reilly Robert T. Miller Rock Music Rod Decker Roe v. Wade Roger Vinson Roman Empire Romans Romanticism Romneycare Ronald Reagan Ron Dellums Ross Douthat Rush Limbaugh Ruth Ruth Marcus Ryan Messmore Sacrality Sacramentalism Sacraments Saint Augustine Saint Francis Saint Francis de Sales Saint Ismeria Saint Jerome Saint Maximilian Kolbe Saint Nicholas Saint Paul Saint Paul School Saint Peter Salvation Same-Sex Marriage Sanctification Sanctity Santa Claus Sarah Palin Satisfaction Scandal Scapegoating Schooling Science Scott Brown Scott Harrington SCOTUS Sean Bielat Self Discipline Self Knowledge Sentimentality Sermonizing Sexuality Sexual Revolution ShareThis Sharon Angle Sigmund Freud Sin Singing Slander Slavery Smoking SNAP Social Contract Social Engineering Socialism Socializing Children Social Justice Social Studies Sociology Socrates Solidarity Solutions Sonia Sotomayor Soteriology Soul Southern Poverty Law Center Soviet Union Speeches Speech Police spiked-online Spirituality SSM St. Augustine Church St. Patrick Church Standardization Statism Stem Cells Stephen Kinzer Stephen Prothero Sterilization Stewardship Strange Fire Stress Study Study Bibles Stupidity Subjective Objectivity Subjectivism Subsidiarity Suffering Sunday Readings Supernatural Superstition Symbolism Syncretism Tabernacle Talk Radio Taxation Tax Shelters Teaching TEA Party Technology Ted Kennedy Ted Koppel Temporizing Temptation Terl Bryant Tetragrammaton Thanksgiving The Catholic Thing Theism Theology Theology of the Body Theosis Theotokos Therese of Lisieux The Telegraph TheWeek.com Thinking Thomas Aquinas Thomas F Madden Thomas G. Guarino Thomas Jefferson Tim Cahill Time Timothy Dalrymple Tolerance Tom Coburn Tony Blankley Tony Melchiorri Touchstone Townhall.com Trade-Offs Tradition Training Transcendence Transhumanism Transparency Treasure Trinitarianism Trivia Troy Donockley Truth Tunisia Turkey TV Tyranny U.S. Senate U2 UFOs Unbelief Unintended Consequences Unionism United Church of Christ Unity Universal Declaration of Human Rights Universalim Universities Upon this Rock USA Today USCCB US Congress Usurpation Utilitarianism Utopianism Vatican Vatican II Verbal Engineering Verbum Vice Victimhood Victor David Hanson Violence Virginia Postrel Virtue Vocation Voluntary Insanity Voters Voting Vulgarity w.bloggar W. Norris Clarke Waiting Walk for Life Wall Street Journal Walter Russell Mead War Warren Buffett Washington Post Watergate Wealth webEdit Weekly Standard Wesley J. Smith Western Civilization Wicca Will-to-Power William Callahan Will of God Windows Live Writer Winter Wisdom Witchcraft WordPress Words WORDsearch WORDsearch 5 WORDsearch 7 WORDsearch 8 WORDsearch 9 WORDsearch 10 WORDsearch 11 Work Works Worship WWJD Yes Yom Kippur Youth ZBS Zero-Tolerance ZfEval-Searching Zondervan

Tag Archive: John McCain

Final Election Verdict: Throw the Journalists Out

Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 (10:26 pm), by John W Gillis


I’m trying not to pay attention to the election results coverage tonight. Not that I’m not interested, but I can’t stand the thought of listening to the television network infotainment blowhards passing their usual gas. To some extent, I will admit, this attitude is sour grapes over the way virtually every TV news media outlet (other than Fox, of all places) has been in the tank for Obama since… well, face it, since the DNC convention in 2004. The conventional wisdom has the journalist class succeeding in this election in getting their man in, but I’m still holding out hope that enough John McCain voters will come out in key states to tip the final tally into the Republican column. But, yes, I’m avoiding the news in a probably vain attempt to stave off depression.

I voted on my way to work this morning, and did not at all experience the kind of long lines that have been reported throughout the day as existing all over the place. I was in and out within a few minutes. Naturally, every vote I cast has come up on the losing side of the ledger in Massachusetts, according to early projections (OK, I peeked). But I felt good voting today for the first time in a while. I’m not a big fan of John McCain, but at least I could support him without serious reservation. It’s been a while since I could vote in a general election without holding my nose.

But whichever candidate ends up losing this struggle, the biggest loser will be the republic, as yet again the blowhards and morons who have anointed themselves the arbiters of American political discourse have succeeded in reducing the most important political process in the world to trite sloganeering and posturing. The candidates are not above responsibility for this situation themselves, but I think the lion’s share of the blame needs to be placed on the shoulders of the journalist class. They are a disgrace. They seem incapable of even understanding that political questions might consist of competing ideas, being instead thoroughly wed to the imbecilic reduction of everything to competing opinions. They are an impediment to intelligent political discourse, not only in how they frame the struggle in reporting and analysis, but even in how they manipulate the candidates themselves. And they are the lens through which almost the entire democracy views the problems to be solved!

Watching the four presidential and vice presidential “debates” was an exercise for me in how not to manage stress. Again, it’s not just how the questioning tended toward addressing controversy instead of meaningful content, but there were even occasions when the celebrity News host was striving to keep the candidates from addressing important matters (such as each other) in order to keep themselves front-and-center in the process. I nearly fell out of my chair at the end of one of them (can’t remember which) when the celebrity host announced that the next “debate” would be on such and such a date, “with celebrity host B” (again, I forget which one – as if I care). Is it even possible that Senators McCain and Obama themselves might star in the next episode of Presidential Debate ’08? No, no. They may be there playing the contestant roles (who cares?), but the star would be Fred Flintstone – or was it Barney Rubble? Or Captain Kirk? Or Oprah? Or was it George Stephanopoulos? No, George would be needed afterwards to analyze the candidates’ facial tics.

The bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, is that these buffoons have to go if American democracy is ever going to rise back above the level of bumper sticker philosophizing. We do need someone to facilitate the public presentation of political process, but these people are incompetent, and we need to find a way to throw them out. Changing the politicians will avail nothing if the gatekeepers remain the same.

But where do we go to find suitable replacements? The universities? Ugh. The public sector? No point giving the inmates the keys to the ward… The religious sector? Can you imagine the uproar that suggestion would cause on campuses and in latte shopppes across the land? But it might actually be the most responsible (and practical) approach. The private sector has clearly failed badly, and the universities are wastelands of trendy inanity. The public sector itself is a non-starter. Maybe the religious leadership in the country could, collectively, provide a balanced framework for serious discussion of serious matters…

But what am I talking about (sorry for stealing your line, Senator Biden)? I’m just thinking out loud – I have no idea how any such thing would work – but I can’t help but think that the folks who might have the best chance to drive our political discussion past the ratings-driven diatribe of controversy and opinioned buffoonery just might be those whose lives are ordered to the transcendent, yet who understand profoundly (pastorally) the sufferings of the world.

RNC Night 3: Sarah Barracuda Night

Posted: Thursday, September 4, 2008 (5:39 pm), by John W Gillis


Watching the Republican convention last night, I was struck by how poorly some of the speeches were delivered. I’m not saying this to pick on the Republicans – this seems to be a general malaise in our political system. Admittedly, I tuned in and out early the evening, but I was not impressed with what I heard.

I couldn’t even listen to GOPAC chairman Michael Steele, who’s supposed to be good at this kind of thing. Then, the ranting guy who looked so much like Mitt Romney – well, I’m not sure what was up with him. But the worst of the night might have been Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. She was brutal – pausing for grudgingly offered applause after almost every sentence. It was tedious.

Fortunately, the bigger lights performed well. I could listen to Mike Huckabee anytime. And Rudy Giuliani: as much as I might dislike his cross-over politics, he is certainly a master of the microphone. I really wish I could like that guy more.

The night, of course, belonged to Sarah Palin. And while she lacks the stage charisma of Giuliani, she has a disarming grace about her that exudes a rare combination of confidence, competence, and earthy approachability. She certainly had her audience in the palm of her hand. Even while staying away from the social issues that really would have had the house rocking, there was an excitement evident that I haven’t seen in the GOP since I don’t know when.

The more I think about this appointment, the more brilliant I think it was. Palin brings to the McCain candidacy the one thing it was lacking most: passion. It’s not so much her age, or her gender, or her good looks, or her “Sarah Barracuda” reputation – all of these elements play a role, but there is a magnetism about her (not unlike Barack Obama) that just makes her very easy to like. . . a lot.

That was McCain’s political weakness, as I see it. He’s respected, he’s trusted, but nobody was excited about him. I’d see poll after poll showing, in so many words or less, how much more supportive Obama’s supporters were of him. I tried to think it wouldn’t much matter, as McCain’s supporters – even the lukewarm ones – would eventually end up voting for him. But I did have nagging doubts as to whether too many of the more or less conservative folks would stay home, while the Obama wave crested.

But I think the game is altogether changed, now. The conservative base is thoroughly energized by this woman, and some other folks are seeing the Republican party in a whole new light.

Who would have thought that the future of the GOP would be a “hockey mom” from the tundra? But she just might be. . . and if I were Joe Biden, I would not be looking forward to October 2nd – although I sure am!

McCain/Palin ’08? I Can Live With That

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2008 (11:44 am), by John W Gillis


Sarah Palin? Even if I had known who she was, I don’t think I would have seen that coming. I had been hearing the whispers of Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman as possibilities, and saw how McCain’s logic might have steered him toward them. He’s never really been conservative, and has always been ready to play the maverick, and I could see how he might consider the constituency-broadening appeal of a pro-choice running mate. I hate to say it, but I don’t think the prospect of a pro-choice VP would have concerned McCain. And it would have built bridges into new voting constituencies that would have made him very hard to beat this year.

Of course, the social conservatives would have been furious, but what could they do? They still would have voted for McCain (this year) – the alternative would be an Obama presidency (enough said). I could really see McCain doing this – it seemed like a move that would be right down his alley. It would have worked in 2008, but very possibly could have fractured the Republican base for years to come. It would have marked a potential parting of ways of the pro-life movement and the Republican party – a marriage that is more circumstantial that intrinsic to Republicanism, anyway.

I think there are a lot of Republicans who would like to be rid of true conservatism – much of what they consider the kooky religious right of the party – in order to pursue unmitigated Republicanism – which is really good old fashioned liberalism, as confusing as that may be to moderns who don’t have a grasp of European history over the last, say, 350 years. Some might argue that Libertarianism already offers that option – which is a pretty good argument, but I think most modern Republicans are looking for a greater level of social conservatism than Libertarianism embraces, even those who could do without the religious framework.

Anyway, so I got to wondering whether the Republican party or the pro-life movement (and traditionalism in general) would fare worse in such a split, if it were to turn radical. I wondered if the social conservative movement was coherent enough, apart from the Republican party, to pull together a political force that could compete for serious political office in this country. I’m not sure it is, but I do think such a scenario would have provided an opportunity to put a political platform together that was not so beholden to economic liberalism as the Republican party is. The idea that the corporate consequence of unmitigated personal greed and self-interest will somehow produce the common good is a rather idolatrous proposal, after all. I also wondered if it might provide an opportunity for the “religious right” to divest itself of the statism particular to political conservatism, which tends toward slavish subservience in the face of any form of state-sponsored violence, and seems incapable of honest, objective evaluations of judgment criteria such as just war theory.

So I saw a potential opportunity for social conservatism in the U.S. to cleanse itself of some dubious bedmates. More specifically, I saw a potential opportunity for the development of a political force that was rooted in Christian values that cut across the lines of modern liberalism and conservatism.

Since I know more than a few of them – including some very dear to me – I often wonder what it would take to get Christians out of the Democratic party, with its unabashed commitment to the destruction of innocent human life, its open hostility to marriage and the family, and its infatuation with using state power to achieve its ends – in a nutshell: with its relentless misanthropy. Honestly, I don’t know what it would take, because they usually think they are taking the moral high ground themselves, standing up for the little guy (as long as the guys aren’t too little I suppose, but we won’t go there, since many of these folks try very hard not to think about that much). Still, to offer them a political alternative that was not wedded to economic Darwinism might be enough to open the eyes of many of them to the innate misanthropy of the Democratic platform.

But all this may have been wishful thinking. It’s entirely possible that a Republican party divorced from its Christian conscience would only join forces with the Democrats in fostering a more and more radically progressive and intolerant form of political liberalism, hostile to any kind of religious values in the public square, and effectively outlawing Christianity as anything more than a privately held neurosis. Given the political vibrancy of the “values” constituency in the U.S., this might seem far-fetched, but one doesn’t need to look far to see its manifestations in countries not too different from the U.S. Making the outrageous claim that marriage is a covenantal bond between a man and a woman just might get you hauled before a Human Rights Commission on hate crime charges in Canada, and convincing a pregnant woman not to subject her baby to a brutal death in an abortion clinic will now apparently get you two years in prison in Great Britain. It’s a brave new world out there…

All of this is moot now, however – at least for the time being. McCain managed to make the kind of reach-across gesture I imagined him doing, but he did it without courting the pro-abortion vote. In fact, in picking a mother of a Down’s Syndrome baby, he picked the anti-Obama, a woman who could be the poster model for true human decency, respect, and dignity. You don’t build a bright new future by killing it one baby at a time, Mr. Obama. I don’t know much about Governor Palin yet, but I really like what I’ve seen so far, and I think this may have been a master stroke of political genius by McCain – a man I didn’t really expect that from. Before she’s done, Sarah Palin may be the first woman president of the United States. I can sure think of worse fates.