Everything is Different Now

 

As recently as this past Friday, I would still have said that the single, overriding issue in this election year would be the economy.  Yet in the past 100 hours, Planned Parenthood and its pro-choice supporters in the press have savaged the Komen Foundation; the Obama administration, which might easily have backed down from its regulations forcing Catholic health care institutions to provide contraceptives in direct violation of Catholic teaching, has instead mounted a public relations offensive to insist upon its position; and the Ninth Circuit has ruled unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8, issuing its decision in language so self-righteous and so bald that it could only have been intended to insult the millions of Californians who supported the ballot measure.

The sacredness of human life.  Freedom of religion.  The ancient understanding of marriage. Whether we have all become the subjects of an arrogant, overweening judiciary or whether we can reclaim the right to govern ourselves.  Those are now the issues.

Already the highest in a generation, the stakes in this election have just risen.

There are 31 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @IsraelP
    Bluenoser: It seems like the best candidate to address these issues is about to win the caucuses that are being held in Missouri and Minnesota today. · 15 minutes ago

    It may be that Santorum suffers here. First of all, people will focus on social stuff at a time when he wants to (or should want to) get on to other issues. He is already seen as one-dimensional.

    Second, although he may deal with social issues better than Romney, that’s not what the swing voters want to see on the agenda.

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    @CUDouglas
    Israel P.

    Bluenoser: It seems like the best candidate to address these issues is about to win the caucuses that are being held in Missouri and Minnesota today. · 15 minutes ago

    It may be that Santorum suffers here. First of all, people will focus on social stuff at a time when he wants to (or should want to) get on to other issues. He is already seen as one-dimensional.

    Second, although he may deal with social issues better than Romney, that’s not what the swing voters want to see on the agenda. · 1 minute ago

    That may be, but too often GOP candidates rush to get the swing voters before they have even begun to solidify their base.

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    @PaulARahe

    The stakes have not risen. They are merely more visible.

    • #3
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    @DavidWilliamson
    Paul A. Rahe: The stakes have not risen. They are merely more visible.

    Indeed – the Obamacare chickens are coming home to roost, and if Mr Obama wins (as per Rob’s prediction) we will in the next few years be up to our necks in chickens.

    I hope Mr Santorum does well today – he may be our only hope.

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    @MattBartle

    Here’s hoping an uproar about this that causes Obama to back down, plus perhaps a Holder resignation/firing over Fast and Furious, creates a storyline of “the wheels are coming off the Obama administration” just before the election.

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    @FricosisGuy
    Paul A. Rahe: The stakes have not risen. They are merely more visible. · 28 minutes ago

    Double plus like! Oops, slipping into our possible future tongue.

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    @DrewInWisconsin
    Matthew Bartle: Here’s hoping an uproar about this that causes Obama to back down, plus perhaps a Holder resignation/firing over Fast and Furious, creates a storyline of “the wheels are coming off the Obama administration” just before the election. · 1 minute ago

    Yes, but someone has to write that story. The press? Hmmm. Nope, I don’t see it happening.

    The press is going to cover for Obama like never before.

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    @flownover

    Peter,

    Would you like the Orange Pekoe or some Earl Grey ?

    Sugar ?

    So nice you could make it to the party.

    • #8
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    @GusMarvinson

    Some of us have gone near deaf from beating this drum, Peter.

    • #9
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    @rosegardensjdad

    Even better: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Supreme Court Justice, for goodness’ sake, today is quoted as saying that that the U.S. Constitution isn’t really the model for modern states. NYT clears the space before her. The Left is tired of being constrained by constitutional democracy and will use Obama’s 2d term to push harder for increased freedom to do whatever it thinks will advance the cause of Social Justice, because Social Justice trumps all. Woodrow Wilson is smiling somewhere.

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    @dogsbody

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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    @RobertLux

    What’s sad in all of this is that many libertarians — Tommy De Seno prominently — cannot see that SSM is intrinsic to the very logic of the welfare state. Marriage was never understood, contrary to Tommy’s imposing of anachronistic readings onto history (he seems to think marriage was always a thorough-going private matter), as unions between discrete, autonomous individuals. This goes directly to my point in my “cleavage” post about libertarian autonomy and its tendency to paradoxically exacerbate the very problem (the welfare state) that it seeks to correct.

    In correction of something Tommy said in comment to a post from yesterday, coverture laws were not about “dominance and submission.” Coverture laws were a way of treating a man and a woman a single person in a marriage — i.e., prior to postmodernism, people did not conceive of human beings primarily as discrete, autonomous individuals.

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    @RobertLux

    (Cont’d)

    Coverture laws, were aimed primarily at directing the passions of men to morally salutary ends, i.e., the protection and support of women and children. Strictly speaking, marriage was less about sex than it was about sex roles.*

    The state, therefore, was understood to have a legitimate interest in and rational basis for supporting marriage between heterosexual couples. The denial of legal marriage to same-sex couples is not a denial of civil rights because marriage is principally concerned with shaping sex roles, not validating personal relationships, sexual or otherwise.

    —–

    * With the assertion of pure individuality as the defining cultural norm today, we see the emergence of what Harvey Mansfield calls the gender neutral society. Sex roles be damned.

    • #13
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    @WhiskeySam

    There are two paradigms that are diametrically opposed fighting for the country. One thinks the answer to every problem is more government control; the other thinks the answer to every problem is less government control. There is no room for compromise between those two positions. Instead of swinging the pendulum back and forth and getting us nowhere, there needs to be a decision made: are we to continue wasting time pleasing neither side, are we to have one side acquiesce to the other (whether peaceably or due to violence), or are we to go our separate ways and dissolve into regions governed by their own preference? We waste much time and resources vacillating between the two every other election cycle.

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    @Grimaud

    Whiskey Sam: or are we to go our separate ways and dissolve into regions governed by their own preference?

    Whiskey, we tried that already and it did not work out so well for the South. I do agree there is no compromise to be made. The politicians who are trying to stake out the common ground are the problem.

    And, for the record, I submit that the Tea Party is not diminished but they are at work. As the election nears, their/our presence will be fully palpable again. Someone has to keep the country functional. That’s who the Tea Party is.

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    @

    I fear, when the Obama Admin walks this back, that my fellow Catholics will go back to their comfortable slumber.

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    @RonEspeseth

    I don’t see why a conservative favors any level of government involvement in marriage. Let’s be consistant and reduce the role government plays in our lives… even when we disagree with the choices some might make with that liberty.

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    @JosephStanko
    ron espeseth: I don’t see why a conservative favors any level of government involvement in marriage. Let’s be consistant and reduce the role government plays in our lives… even when we disagree with the choices some might make with that liberty. · 16 minutes ago

    That depends I suppose upon your definition of conservative. If it’s something along the lines of “one who favors minimizing the size and power of government” then you have a point, but I would argue that’s not the meaning of conservative, that’s the definition of libertarian.

    While conservatives and libertarians agree on many issues and can often form a working coalition, they have quite different underlying political philosophies and world views.

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    @JamesOfEngland
    Tristan Abbey

    Bluenoser: It seems like the best candidate to address these issues is about to win the caucuses that are being held in Missouri and Minnesota today. · 5 minutes ago

    Well, the best candidate to talk about them, maybe…but if you want to get something done, talk to Mitt. ;-) · 5 hours ago

    Santorum’s been pretty effective in these fights, too. Mitt has the advantage of sounding more moderate, but Santorum’s got years of practice with these arguments, while Mitt interacted with them relatively little until he became governor. Obviously, it was one of the dominant fights of his administration, and he’s much more fluent now, but he’s still stiffer than Santorum. Either would seem certain to be somewhat effective in fighting this; they’ve show both the ability to do so and the will.

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    @EdG
    ron espeseth: I don’t see why a conservative favors any level of government involvement in marriage. Let’s be consistant and reduce the role government plays in our lives… even when we disagree with the choices some might make with that liberty. · 2 hours ago

    You’re not new here, but maybe you missed one of the many ssm threads we’ve had. Take a look if you want to see why conservatives are against ssm. For most of us here it has nothing to do with disagreement over choices and has everything to do with the nature of marriage itself.

    • #20
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    @katievs

    May I say how glad I am at this moment that we don’t have a frontrunner who has declared a pre-emptive truce on social issues?

    • #21
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    @GeorgeSavage

    If only we had a candidate who could identify with and reach out to blue collar Catholic Democrats and Independents; someone who could wrap his free-market principles in a populist package promising the return of high-wage manufacturing jobs from overseas; someone who wasn’t just pandering to the political moment in resisting Obama’s contraception-or-else edict but was a solid pro-lifer from the get-go. Oh, wait a minute…

    • #22
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    @TroySenik

    For those of you who are curious, my sources confirm that, yes, George was in fact wearing a sweater vest when he posted this.

    George Savage: If only we had a candidate who could identify with and reach out to blue collar Catholic Democrats and Independents; someone who could wrap his free-market principles in a populist package promising the return of high-wage manufacturing jobs from overseas; someone who wasn’t just pandering to the political moment in resisting Obama’s contraception-or-else edict but was a solid pro-lifer from the get-go. Oh, wait a minute… · 7 minutes ago

    Edited 6 minutes ago

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    @TheKingPrawn

    Peter, you’re not suggesting some kind of conspiracy by which the left energizes the dem base, are you?

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    @PeterRobinson
    The King Prawn: Peter, you’re not suggesting some kind of conspiracy by which the left energizes the dem base, are you? · 2 minutes ago

    Can’t tell you about the Dem base, but I can tell you that I’m energized.

    • #25
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    @TommyDeSeno
    The King Prawn: Peter, you’re not suggesting some kind of conspiracy by which the left energizes the dem base, are you? · 2 minutes ago

    Actually King I’m hoping for the opposite.

    This may be the kick in the rear the surprisingly quiet Tea Party needs to get back in gear. It could also cause the Libertarian Tea Partiers and the Social Cons to put down their weapons in the war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and pair up against the liberals like they did in 2010.

    • #26
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    @Bluenoser

    It seems like the best candidate to address these issues is about to win the caucuses that are being held in Missouri and Minnesota today.

    • #27
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    @EJHill

    So who will be the first idiot to ask Gov. Romney about polygamy in light of the Prop 8 decision?

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    @TristanAbbey
    Peter Robinson: The sacredness of human life. Freedom of religion. The ancient understanding of marriage.

    And you don’t need to believe all three are under attack to get energized — any single one is enough to get our people fired up.

    • #29
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    @TristanAbbey
    Bluenoser: It seems like the best candidate to address these issues is about to win the caucuses that are being held in Missouri and Minnesota today. · 5 minutes ago

    Well, the best candidate to talk about them, maybe…but if you want to get something done, talk to Mitt. ;-)

    • #30

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