Like Democracy?

If you think this past election was a good example of “Democracy in action,” then you should keep an eye on the coming court battle in California over Prop. 8.  I’m guessing Democracy is going to die a quick, painless death-by-judge there.

Timotheos

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History-Making Elections

I know I said I was done, but there’s something that’s been bothering me.  And that is all the triumphalist rhetoric issuing from every corner of our society over the fact that “we” have elected the first African-American president in our history.  I agree, that’s history-making.  And I can imagine how that might feel to African-Americans who have felt some sense of injustice in this country, especially if their (great-great-)grandparents were slaves.  I can imagine how it might feel if all the presidents up to this year were black, and we finally elected a white president.  But that makes me feel sort of slimy.  I mean, is that it?  Is that the final barrier to true equality?  Is that the marker of the fact that our country is now finally done with bigotry and intolerance?  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

And I keep hearing people say that the best thing about Pres. Obama is that he’s a uniter and a healer, that he’s going to bring this country together.  Besides the fact that it’s the same Lefty therapeutic blather we’ve heard for the last forty or fifty years (or longer), what evidence do we have of this supposed coming unity?  All we have is the fact that a majority of both black and white people elected him president.  Which is all sort of curious, because it’s so circular.  See, a majority of black and white people elected him because he promised to bring unity and change; he’s brought unity and change because a majority of black and white people elected him.  There is no substance there whatsoever.  His vague platitudes and smooth talk convinced a majority of people to vote him into the highest office in the country.  For what?  We shall see.  But since Barack Obama has voted nearly always with the Democrats (more times, let’s remember, than John McCain voted wtih Pres. Bush), and since he wants all the same things Democrats want–no restrictions on abortion, more and bigger government running more and bigger programs, higher taxes on those who actually create jobs, etc.–where is this unity and change going to come from?  So far, it’s come from the fact that his presidency would make history (read: the color of his skin).  If that’s not about the farthest thing from a good reason to elect a person to the presidency, I don’t know what is.

You know what would prove that Pres. Obama is a uniter and not a divider?  Appoint Sarah Palin to a cabinet position that has some actual authority, say, something having to do with energy policy.  Then I might be able to finally believe the hype.

UPDATE: I also wonder what the pundits would be saying if someone like Alan Keyes were elected.  And: what will the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do now?

And: here’s Touchstone‘s Mere Comments (you should all read James Kushiner’s editorial in the most recent Touchstone) on the same topic.

Timotheos

Yeah, That Probably Won’t Get Used Much

From CNN:

CNN projected that voters in Washington approved a citizen initiative allowing adults with six months or less to live to request lethal medication prescribed by a physician. A physician is not required to comply, and anyone participating “in good faith” with the request would not risk criminal prosecution.

If you’ve only got six months, why would you want to get it over with now?  Yeah, spending six more months with your family is probably a bad idea.  Or maybe you don’t have a family, and then you’re basically worthless anyway.  I wonder how many people will kill themselves and have autopsies done showing the doctor was wrong?  Who defines “good faith”?  Oh, and: how can anyone be sure six months is all that’s left?

Questions abound.

Timotheos

Some Random Post-Election Thoughts…

…and then I’m done (at least until our President-elect signs his promised multiple pieces of anti-life legislation).

1. Do you think that this will finally stop the Left from whining about Pres. Bush?

2. We all know that this election was about change.  Did anyone bother to ask what the change might be?

3. We all know we’ve got a steep climb and we’re going to get there.  Did anyone bother to ask where “there” is?

4. I can’t wait to see what more government and more spending looks like.

5. Do you think Pres. Obama will get the credit for the low gas prices?

6. How many different attempts have you heard by pro-life people to justify their Obama votes?

7. Is it really better to make sure live people have health care than to make sure people live?

8. Progress requires actually knowing where you’re going.  Do we?

9. I wonder if the people who are glad we made history in the U.S., and who are telling those who did not vote for Obama to just “let him govern,” would have said the same thing if history was made by having the first female Vice-President.

10. Will Pres. Obama listen to the voices of Democrats for Life?

11. You’re not happy?  You racist, intolerant, right-wing, fanatical bigot!

12. How much of our money will Al Franken waste proving he was not elected?

13. Pray for our President, Congress, and an end to the culture of death (why do I feel so queasy putting those three together?).

The end.

Timotheos

Richard John Neuhaus on “Political Utopianism” and Voters

[From “While We’re At It” in the Nov. 2008 issue]

Once again the rhetoric of political utopianism is in the air.  And once again it will collapse into disappointment; without, one hopes, having done too much damage or leaving too much bitterness in its wake.  As the saying has it, God looks out for drunks, little children, and the United States of America.  And he has blessed us with a constitutional order that cannot be easily overturned or undermined.  Which is certainly not to say that elections make no difference.  This one could make a very big difference with respect to the preeminient concern for the protection of the unborn and resistance to the biotechnological redefinition of the human.  More particularly, that difference will be made in the courts, the busiest little engines given to overturning and undermining.  For starters, it is quite likely that the next president will appoint one or more new members to the Supreme Court.  It strikes some as passing strange that a politician declares that this is the greatest country in the world and is therefore in need of dramatic change.  But that, too, is very American: the confused coexistence of idealism and realism, of the utopian and pragmatic, as they are expressed in the endless permutations of what is called liberalism and conservatism.

A great many people make their political decisions on the basis of party alignments.  Relatively few do so on the basis of “the issues” — meaning that they study the policy wonkery and conclude that one or the other course will better serve the common good.  In any event, most wonkery is in the service of party alignments.  And, of course, voters beyond numbering go with celebrity appeal or whether they “feel comfortable” with the candidate projected on the television screen. … Except for the critical issues mentioned above, the substantive differences between the major candidates are not so great as fervent ideologists on the left and the right want them to be, leaving them to complain once again that they are disenfranchised.  Which is pretty much what the Founders had in mind. …

If anyone (else) tells me that he/she voted for someone based on how that candidate made him/her feel, I’m going to want to feel a face with my fist.  Who cares if you could drink a beer with the candidate?  You’re not going to.  Vote on the single issue that will actually last between the next six months: who will appoint the right judges to the Supreme Court.  Health care will be figured out, no matter who’s in charge, because so many people are mad.  Same with the financial situation.  Focus on the Supreme Court, the FOCA, and similar items, where the president will actually do good or do damage.

Timotheos