A random assortment of thoughts, rants, and whatever else is left over after a day spent writing for a living.
In Which My Experience from 2006 Colors My Opinion of 2008
In 2006, I wrote a couple of blogposts that gathered a good bit of attention. They both turned out to be completely and totally mistaken. In the first, written in February, I argued that the Republicans would actually gain seats in 2006. (Yes, I was serious.) In the second, written on the night before election day, I argued that while the GOP would lose a little ground, they would maintain control of both houses of Congress. That post included the line "I know 1994. 1994 was a friend of mine. And 2006, you're no 1994." Oh well.
I give you that background to explain what I'm feeling about next week (and to have one more helping of crow). It's commonplace to call an election "the most important of our lifetime." But this one really is. We're on the brink of making major negative structural changes to the framework of our government that won't be easy to undo. We're still living with the fallout from FDR and LBJ. Once those massive programs are put in place, they don't go gently into the night. And BHO is a more radically committed big government guy than those two put together.
So is there any room for hope? (Keeping in mind who's saying it...)
Short answer: I have no idea.
Long answer: Today Gallup's traditional voter model (they have no idea either; they're issuing three sets of numbers!) has the race at 2%. Today Pew (the second most accurate poll in 2004) has it at 15%. Obviously they can't both be right. Take your pick.
There are so many straws floating in the wind that it's simply impossible to know which one to grab. You can read stories on blogs across the Internet of Democrats who have never voted Republican doing so this year...and vice versa. Will those groups cancel each other out? How big are they really? Does the parity in early voting indicate a close race? Will the Democrats really outnumber Republicans by 15% on election day (as Pew shows)?
I want John McCain (though he was my fifth choice among the Republican candidates in the primary) to win so badly that it's hard to be objective. I look for hope where there may be none. The odds were always long this year. Only 4 times since 1880 have we elected a new President from the incumbent President's party after eight years or more in office (Taft, Hoover, Truman, Bush 41). The war and the incumbent are both wildly unpopular. I would like to think that I live in a country where a man who attended a church that hates our country for 20 years would not be elected our leader. I hope the PUMAs really are prowling; that the Shy Tories are lurking; that election night will cause Keith Olberman's head to explode.
I was sadly and badly mistaken in 2006 in what I convinced myself would happen. And yet...
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733
Can a Christian in Good Conscience Vote for Obama?
Obviously there are a number of people who are Christians who will vote for Barack Obama next week (or who already have in early voting). They have various reasons for doing so. My question is whether there is a valid Scriptural justification for such a vote.
I believe the answer for anyone who takes the Word of God seriously has to be a resounding NO.
I'm not like some who believe God has a tax policy, complete with Bible-approved brackets. I do think there are principles that can be applied to that as to any question, but I've never seen issues like that as ones of obedience to Scripture. But there are moral issues that matter on which God has clearly expressed His opinion.
The most obvious one is abortion. I've seen Christians say that abortion shouldn't be a deciding issue in how we vote because the GOP hasn't ended the practice. That's folly. Obama is not just pro-choice, he is actively pro-abortion. If he's elected, he has promised to promote the Freedom of Choice Act, which among other thing would guarantee taxpayer funding of abortions. It would also wipe out all current state restrictions, things like waiting periods and parental notification laws. This is not theory. The bill is already written; it just needs the vote of what will certainly be a Democratic-controlled Congress and a president without a moral compass to sign it to become reality. That is what you are bringing to pass if you vote for Obama.
There are a host of reasons to oppose him. He's clueless about foreign policy. His economic "spread the wealth" ideas will make Carter's years look like good times. He has never successfully done any serious job in his life. In fact, if Obama were to serve as president for four years, it would be the longest stretch in his life when he's held a full time job! He's way too chummy with so many people that hate America that it's hard to believe it's all coincidence.
But on a moral basis--issues like abortion and gay rights--he's not just wrong; he's actively working as described in Psalm 2:2 "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD." That's not something any Christian should support.
The Game that Matters Most
Like all Alabama fans, I hate Auburn. When Rhonda was born, someone said her hair was auburn colored, and I said, "No, it's not!" I don't care what you call that color, it's not that! By the way, do you know how to get an Auburn grad to stop hanging around on your front porch? Pay him for the pizza!
Anyone, although I hate Auburn, the game that I most want to win every year is against the Viles of Knoxville. That partly comes from growing up among the prison jumpsuit clad ranks (and I do mean rank) of Big Orange fans. This was the game every year that brought me the most grief if we lost. This was the game every year that brought me the most joy and opportunities to rub it in if we won. Fortunately when I was in high school, we won every year.
Lately UT's program has been in decline, but until recently they were still beating us. Now the tables have turned. Phat Phil Fulmer and his box of jelly doughnuts are about out of ideas. In fact, if we win tonight, he's almost assured of a losing season, and probably getting fired. No one on the planet deserves that fate more. His cowardly (and almost certainly illegal) underhand deal with the NCAA to bust Bama in exchange for overlooking his own cheating cost us dearly. But the Tide has turned. We're heading to Knoxville to put a whipping on the Viles. I can't wait till kickoff.
Is There a Chance?
For the last month, the news for the McCain campaign has been mostly bad. The media trumpets polls (although there are a few contrary indicators) showing Obama with a big lead. So here's the question: is it over?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Ugh. It doesn't look good. And yet, despite all the polling, the media that is more than twice as negative about McCain, despite the hype, I am stil holding on to at least a little bit of hope. Here's why:
1) Nobody really knows what the voter turnout is going to look like. Gallup is putting out THREE different sets of numbers. Every pollster makes assumptions to weight their responses. And this is such an unusual election. First black candidate...first GOP woman candidate...first election since 1952 not to have either an incumbent or a VP on the ticket...war...economy in a mess...the list goes on. All of it adds up to a great deal of uncertainty about what the voting pool will look like. And that means the polls may be way off. Using historical numbers, it's a margin of error race still.
2) Far left candidates don't usually do very well in national elections.
3) Here's an odd fact from Colorado. This is a state Bush won in 04, and one McCain desperately needs. Polls show an Obama lead (on average) of six points. Yet according to the Secretary of State, early voting is almost exactly 50-50 Republican and Democrat. Of course that doesn't account for independents, and no one knows how many crossover votes there will be between the parties. But we've been hearing about this massive early-voter turnout operation for Obama. If he's really ahead and they're really bringing out the vote, wouldn't there have been a bigger spread?
Regardless of what you hear, I beg, urge and plead with you to vote anyway. It's my firm belief that there is an intentional effort being made to depress Republican turnout. Don't fall for it. We may not win, but don't let it be because we stayed home discouraged.
Two Weeks Notice
In fourteen days, we'll hold the most important Presidential election of my lifetime. They always say that, but this time it really is. We are facing the starkest choice in memory. America has never had a far-left socialist as president...yet. We've never even had a candidate close to Obama before. The closest thing to him is FDR's Vice President Wallace, who thankfully he dumped for Truman in 1944.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that after four years of Obama we'll see a repeat of 1980. Obama isn't Carter. He's as clueless about the world as the peanut farmer was, but much more ruthless, willing to do literally anything to win. And the supply of Reagans is pretty limited too. The last time we elected a liberal (although compared to Obama FDR is Reagan) in an economic crisis, we got twenty years of policies that made things worse.
And there is a massive, organized and carefully plotted strategy going on to discourage Republicans by painting the race as already over. The polling data that is being used is so far out of whack with historical norms--they're giving the Democrats a higher percentage of the vote than they had during Watergate in some polls--that the numbers are skewed. It's possible that Obama is ahead by three to six points. He is not ahead by 12 or 13. The only way he wins big is if the propganda works and the GOP gives up. All the legitimate polls, that means the non-media ones, have showed the race getting closer over the last week. Battleground (the most accurate in 2004) has it as a one point race.
I'm not optimistic, but it is still winnable. If McCain plays his cards right over the next two weeks, he can still be the 44th President. God willing, we'll be spared the socialist future Obama has planned for us.
Not Dead Yet
In May of last year, I wrote an obituary for the McCain campaign. I did not expect him to win the GOP nomination...but he did. Lately a lot of people are writing obits again. An Irish bookie is even paying off bets on Obama--three weeks before the election! But if you look at the polls (not what the media types say about the polls, but the actual numbers), this election still isn't over. So with an assist from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, here's a look at how the Media and the Obama Campaign (but I repeat myself) are trying to make sure McCain doesn't win:
The Media: Bring out yer dead. [a man puts a body on the cart]
The Obama Campaign: Here's one.
The Media: That'll be ninepence.
The McCain Campaign: I'm not dead.
The Media: What?
The Obama Campaign: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
The McCain Campaign: I'm not dead.
The Media: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
The Obama Campaign: Yes he is.
The McCain Campaign: I'm not.
The Media: He isn't.
The Obama Campaign: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
The McCain Campaign: I'm getting better.
The Obama Campaign: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
The Media: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
The McCain Campaign: I don't want to go on the cart.
The Obama Campaign: Oh, don't be such a baby.
The Media: I can't take him.
The McCain Campaign: I feel fine.
The Obama Campaign: Oh, do me a favor.
The Media: I can't.
The Obama Campaign: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
The Media: I promised I'd be at Wall Street. They've lost nine per cent today.
The Obama Campaign: Well, when's your next round?
The Media: November 5.
The McCain Campaign: I think I'll go campaign for votes.
The Obama Campaign: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?
The McCain Campaign: I feel happy. I feel electable.
[The Media glances up and down the street furtively, then silences the McCain Campaign with his a whack of his club]
The Obama Campaign: Ah, thank you very much.
The Media: Not at all. See you on Election Day.
The Obama Campaign: Right.
Children for Princes
When God judges a nation, He has many options. He can send economic distress, military defeat, or evironmental disaster. All of these are found in the pages of the Old Testament, particularly in God's dealing with Israel. But there is another kind of judgment, less immediately visible, but no less devasting than these. God can give a nation childish, immature and unqualified rulers and allow them to suffer the consequences.
Isaiah 3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
My prayer for the next 27 days is that we will get mercy instead of justice. America deserves Barack Obama. We deserve to be "led" by a hard left lightweight who doesn't appear to believe anything unless it's convenient for him at the moment. We deserve to be "led" by a man who sees nothing wrong with killing off babies who survive abortion attempts. We deserve to be "led" by a man who sees nothing wrong with launching his political career in the home of terrorists who attacked the very country he wants to govern. We deserve to be "led" by a man who bought his home with the help of a convicted influence peddler. We deserve to be "led" by a man who attended a church for 20 years that preached "No, no, no, not God bless America! God damn America!" We deserve to be "led" by a man who has never successfully managed anything in his life.
We deserve Obama because have turned our backs on God, flaunted our independence, rejected His laws, rejoiced in our evil, shed innocent blood, and refused to listen to His demands for repentance. And yet though that is all true, there are still ten righteous people in Sodom, so I will continue to beg God not to punish my children and the country I love by placing this man in power.
But make no mistake--we deserve Barack Obama. And that fact should scare us more than any of the consequences of his election. Thomas Jefferson (hardly a member of the religious right) said it this way, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever."
The Hard Bigotry of Media Expectations
There have now been three debates--two presidential and one vice presidential. Not one question from the liberal media arm of the Democratic Party about abortion. Not one question about gun control. Not one question about Barack Obama's radical education "reform" projects. Not one question about Obama's hard-core gun control programs.
Think they're protecting him a little?
A Quick Correction for Joe Biden
During tonight's debate, among his many "interesting" statements, Joe Biden said that John McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act he (Biden) had written and passed. That, unlike so many of the other things he said happens to be true. But Biden left something out. McCain wasn't the only one to vote against the VAWA...
...so did the Supreme Court! In United States v. Morrison, the Court ruled that much of Biden's law was an unconstitutional power grab by Congress of rights reserved to the states. So voting against just demonstrates McCain's superior intellect and/or commitment to Constitutional government.