A Party on Its Knees: Who knew Democrats had such pious longings?

George Neumayr American Spectator

Normally Democrats urge their candidates to expunge God and morality from politics. Even the word morality grates on them. It is a far too judgment-laden term for their taste. How about the insipid term “ethics”? Okay, if you must — goes the attitude — but don’t use the loaded term “morality.” Yet what are we now hearing from the Mike Barnicles and Nancy Pelosis? That Kerry didn’t talk about God enough. That he failed to satisfy the public’s hunger for spirituality and morality. Like children who recently learned a new phrase, liberals are giving Kerry a post-mortem drubbing for not speaking to the “moral values” of America.

Tina Brown, a high-brow vulgarian who has bragged about tarting up the New Yorker, turned prim in Thursday’s Washington Post. “Who among us,” she wrote, “is not sick and tired of hearing the Cialis ad discuss four-hour erections while we’re sitting there trying to watch TV with the kids?” Brown related that she chats with other moms about “how much we worry and strategize and push back against the tsunami of pop culture sleaze that seeps into our kids’ psyches.”

Who knew Democrats had such pious longings? Who knew sexual, let’s-not-repress-the-children liberationists had such distaste for Cialis ads? Tina Brown even dropped the pom-poms for Anthony Lewis’s wife, Margaret Marshall, the Massachusetts Chief justice who, as Brown put it, “forced her state to authorize gay marriage.” Forced? Boy, that’s a very right-wing way of putting it. Usually the left says “freed.” Karl Rove should give her a “big bouquet,” said a piqued Brown. Got that, Marshall? Don’t ever turn up the heat so fast that the frogs jump out again. Remember, duping the American people into avant-garde morality takes time and finesse and you lack it. No more invites to Tina Brown’s parties for you.

Read the entire article on the American Spectator website.


5 thoughts on “A Party on Its Knees: Who knew Democrats had such pious longings?”

  1. You can have a deep faith in God without being pro-war. Indeed, it is the very religious beliefs of some that compel them to disagree with the use of force for insufficient reasons. Even when these beliefs are errant (and who really knows if they are or not except God), they still often arise out of moral convictions based on religious doctrine (such as what is the “just” or “merciful” thing to do in any situation).

    What many conservatives are saying is not only “We believe in God and you don’t” but that “We KNOW more about what God thinks than you do”. The first is a great (and often erroneous) assumption, the latter is pure arrogance.

    Should we assume that all those who oppose military force are doing so out of cowardice or because they feel that tyranny and oppression should continue unabated? I think in most cases, no.

  2. James,

    There are many reasons to oppose war in general or specific wars. You are certainly correct that a deep religious faith is one reason to oppose war. The deliberate choice to harm and/or kill other human beings for one’s own political purposes (regardless of the justice of those purposes) should never be undertaken lightly.

    As I have written in other posts, I genuinely admire a true pacifist, i.e., one who believes and acts in a manner that precludes any direct harm to any other human beings by force. As Fr. Alexander F.C. Webster points out in his book,The Pacifist Option, however, pacifists are faced with a dilemma. They are faced with the fact that their inaction allows others to come to harm and may even lead to their own unnecessary death. The actions they are required to take in obedience to their principals involve prayer, fasting, almsgiving, suffering for others. One is not a pacifist just because one is against war. Nevertheless, because their conscience does not allow the use of force, people will die.

    Even those who oppose a particular war such as Iraq on policy grounds or insufficiency of reasons are faced with that dilemma. Not going to war would have allowed Saddam’s killing of his own people to continue unabated. Inaction may very well have allowed Iraq to produce more useable WMD and enabled them to distribute those weapons to our enemies. [A side point, we did find enough sarin gas to kill at least 500,000 people.] The point usually made by war opponents is that the possibility of such an occurrence was not sufficient to invade and cause the actual deaths of our own soldiers, Iraqi soldiers, and civilians as well as destroy the existing civil order (bad as it was).

    In our system of government, the choice to commit to use of military force is in the hands of the President and the Congress. In the case of Iraq, use of force was approved. IMO, absent clear and overwhelming evidence that the decision was wrong, unless one is an absolute pacifist, as a citizen of this country, we have an obligation to support our country’s action. Such support need not be active, but at the very least, one should remain publicly silent.

    My problem with those that oppose the war in Iraq is that many of them do not oppose it on grounds other than their hatred of Bush. That’s not good enough. It was quite apparent that John Kerry could never make up his mind–one major reason he lost. Many of the liberals who have voiced opposition to Iraq, strongly support the U.S. intervention in Kosovo which was done without U.N. approval and continues to be a mess and a quagmire. The use of inflammatory ad hominum language against our President, members of his administration, the soldiers, and citizens who support the war only weakens any case that might be made in opposition to the war, yet the vitriol continues. Kerry never repudiated those types of attacks, which given his own Viet Nam testimony would have been difficult to do.

    While I appreciate the ideal of pacifism and respect those that have a genuine calling to such a course of action, I am not so called. We must not just reject pacifism however. People of faith need to continue the dialog to re-establish a firm, shared understanding of just warfare, without such an understanding we risk sinking to the level of our opponents. The pacifist vocation plays an important role in maintaining virtue in war. We need both the pacifist and the warrior. But right now, we must reclaim the notion of virtue in warfare and the vocation of just warrior so that we can avoid the trap of becoming like those we fight.

    In times of crises, where a society is threatened by those who would kill and destroy us, the innate emptiness of secular pragmatism reveals itself. Without depth or principal, the only recourse or the pragmatist is either to tyranny or to appeasement, collaboration, and cowardice. Yet a just warrior cannot serve either an unjust ruler or an unjust nation. IMO, many that oppose the war feel that the United States has lost the moral right to wage war. We are so corrupt as a society and the leaders we choose so deep in that corruption (regardless of party) that any use of military force by us is ipso facto, unjust and immoral. We have even forfeited the right to defend ourselves. The greed and destructive wastefulness of consumerism and unbridled capitalism, the lasciviousness, voyeurism, viciousness, and vapidity of our mass culture have made us both ripe for and worthy of destruction. Often they view politically active, conservative Christians as mindlessly supporting the corruption–making the state the object of worship rather than God.

    Of course there are those that are so immersed in the rapaciousness, vapidity, lasciviousness, and greed (like Michael Moore) that they just don’t care. The folks in this column are the left wing fundamentalists. They are so given to their passions that any call to God or non-relativist values is an affront to their self-established kingdom in which they are both god and king and from which they do not wish to be saved.

  3. Michael writes: “Even those who oppose a particular war such as Iraq on policy grounds or insufficiency of reasons are faced with that dilemma. Not going to war would have allowed Saddam’s killing of his own people to continue unabated.”

    Of course, the counter-argument — not even a pacifist argument — is that a military intervention produces unpredictable results. In other words, once the shooting starts you lose control of the situation and it can be difficult to know what the long-term outcome will be. This is especially true in Iraq. Witness the disappearance of the hundreds of tons of HMX and RDX. At least under Saddam we knew where the stuff was. Where is it now? Iraq? Israel? Iran? Kansas?

    “Inaction may very well have allowed Iraq to produce more useable WMD and enabled them to distribute those weapons to our enemies.”

    Well . . . I suppose that is possible in the sense that anything is possible. You have to assume that Saddam Hussein would have been willing to part with the crown jewels, so to speak, and turn them over to some other group. But what many don’t realize is that you don’t need a government in order to make chemical or biological weapons. You can make the stuff yourself, just exactly like the Aum Shinrikyo cult did in Japan. Note: all terrorists attacks that have occurred in the U.S. have been accomplished with materials obtained here. Want nuclear materials for a dirty bomb? No problem; that stuff is shipped all around the country every day to unsecured docks at hospitals, industrial plants, and universities.

    Michael: “A side point, we did find enough sarin gas to kill at least 500,000 people.”

    Source? I know about the one artillery shell with the old sarin, but never heard of anything else.

  4. Jim,

    Obviously, we did not know where the WMD was when Saddam was in power. We still don’t know although it is highly unlikely that it is here in Kansas.

    We all would have been better served had the war opposition in Congress made cogent arguments instead of ideological ones. If the Democrats had just dropped Florida and the 2000 election instead of letting it fester in the craws and color everything they did or thought poltically, we would all be better off. A stonger Democrat candidate would have been found to challenge Pres. Bush and the Democrats might have won. Even if they had not, the war in Iraq might have gone better.

  5. Michael writes: “We all would have been better served had the war opposition in Congress made cogent arguments instead of ideological ones.”

    There almost wasn’t any significant opposition in Congress. The only thing I remember in the Senate was Robert Byrd’s speech: ” . . . To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war. Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent — ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing. . .”

    Back before the war you may recall that the right-wing media in the country were pratically foaming at the mouth over the prospect of war. Anyone who opposed the war was either a traitor or a deluded appeasing leftist. In the wake of 9/11 and with the administration’s river of false intelligence and pronouncements (e.g., Rumsfeld’s “we know where the WMD are”) flowing throughout the Republican propaganda network, the senate’s opposition to the war crumbled, if there was any to begin with. In fact, they never did vote on the war. The senate simply gave a blank check to Bush to cash in whenever he felt like it.

    The lesson here is that if the Republicans want reasoned debate on an issue, then they need to provide a context in which that debate can occur. The flip side is that the Democrats need to understand who they are dealing with.

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