And so the second Presidential debate is upon us.
I can see from old Blighty Obama sweating, and in fact he might soon do every honour to his initials B.O.
The problem is, the man has to show some semblance of reproductive apparatus tonight, which is not easy for a liberal raised by women. Also, he will have to fight, rather a big problem for someone accustomed to be celebrated because of – and made untouchable by – the colour of his skin, the Endwaffe of the guilt-ridden liberal society. The chap played the race card for all it was worth, arriving in the Senate without having ever really worked, and taking the White House only a few years later in his stride. Not bad for one who would have aborted himself without blinking.
This time, though, it is a bit different, because the shine has gone away from his black skin and he will actually have to put up a real fight rather than simply promising hope, change, peace, and a couple of other cost-free soundbites.
We shall see how he fares, and I am sure he has trained extensively. But the terror that the entire nation may discover he is nothing more than a glorified social worker with a fashionable skin colour certainly will not make things easier.
I will, of course, not watch the debate, as I must confess I do not dislike Romney much less than I do Obama, and do not trust him – in social matters, of course – much more.
I see Romney, and think Cameron. It’s not a compliment. Actually, it’s basically swearing.
Therefore, I will go to sleep and if tomorrow BBC and Classic FM don’t say anything about the outcome I will know who has won, though I do not doubt if Obama does halfway well they will praise him to the sky.
Punctually after a post of mine expressing the quandary in which the American voters find themselves – an atheist enemy of Christianity, or one who would be pretty much like him if he needed to, and makes a decent Christian President impossible through the “just a bit better than Obama” mentality – Father Z publishes a list from a reader about the many ways in which Obama has shown he is an enemy of Christianity and, if he really must choose a religion, is obviously biased toward Islam (I think it’s called “change”, or such like…).
The reading is more than impressive, and if I were an American voter would give me some fuel to at least try to rationalise why I am making it impossible to have another strong Conservative ( answer: because I always end up voting for the RINO the Republican elites pose in front of me) and might still be doing the right thing.
If there is such a thing as a state of Christian emergency in the choice of the President, perhaps we are getting near to that point.
I wonder every now and then what I would do if I were in the fortunate position of having a US passport and were entitled to vote for the elections in 2012.
The answer that I would vote for Romney doesn’t come automatic to me, and whilst I might in such a case end up voting for him I am not persuaded I should do it, let alone I should as a Catholic feel a duty to do so.
I see Romney as the product of a rather hysterical – if extremely democratic, and beautiful to watch – system by which a candidate is selected thinking of what his adversaries will say of his private life and personal circumstances rather than considering what his agenda as a President will be.
Therefore, the choice for many seemed to be not only – or not really – between Gingrich’s robust Catholicism and Romney’s anodyne and flip-flopping attitude, but – all things considered – whether it would be preferable to have your candidate smeared because of his infidelities, or because of his religious ideas and professional past. As a result, we find ourselves with a – undoubtedly, bright and capable as a businessman – candidate who doesn’t drink coffee or alcohol – but is allowed to eat coffee ice cream, apparently ; I give up… – , doesn’t watch TV, believes that Jesus visited the United States and a lot of very strange things with that, and is a flip-flopper like very few at this level before him.
But hey, everyone knows no one is going to nail him with some past fling, so he must be fine.
Now, I am surely not the only one who thinks Romney may be professionally capable, but is also a non-coffee-drinking moral vacuum changing his political convictions according to the advantage they can give him. I think he is consciously flattening his positions on Obama’s ones as long as he thinks he can do so without losing the Republican vote altogether. The reasoning seems to be: “Dear Republican voter, however my positions may stink to you, you will end up voting for me because Obama stinks just a bit more”.
I am not sure we should follow him on this reasoning.
Whilst the comparison between the candidates at hand is a fully legitimate one and I would not criticise the one who decided to vote, obtorto collo, for Romney, I think that there is another legitimate comparison: the one between the candidates these mentality produces, and the ones who would be produced if the “lesser evil” voting behaviour were to be abandoned.
A vote for Romney makes it absolutely impossible to have decent Republican candidates. Not now, not ever. If the principle is accepted that between two candidates one votes for the one who is less bad – Romney is undoubtedly less bad – this means the choice will always be between the liberal candidate and a candidate who is just a bit less bad, namely: merely enough to make him distinguishable. This candidate will then only have to near the liberal candidate as much as he can without being burned to be sure of the votes of all those who choose the “lesser evil”. If it works in 2012, there’s no reason why it should not be tried in 2020 (assuming Romney doesn’t die of excessive consumption of coffee ice cream in the meantime) and beyond.
The choice to skip the vote in 2012 – in the sense of not voting for any of the two – is, on the other hand, a signal sent to the Republicans – both the establishment, and the pavid crowds voting in primaries and caucuses – that if they go on this way they will never ever have a Republican president, because RINOs will not get the Republican vote. Not now, not ever.
A Romney victory would ensure us another eight year of absolute pain, as in 2016 the choice will be between an established flip-flopper like Romney and another liberal madman like, probably, Hillary. If Romney is told to take a hike, perhaps the Republican masses will start to understand that the McCains and Romneys of the world just do not win elections, and in order to win they need a real Republican or can avoid wasting the time.
Mind, it doesn’t have to be a Santorum; Bush was certainly not considered a hardliner in the US (though he always was in Europe; funny people, the Europeans…) , but he won two gubernatorial elections in Texas followed by two Presidential elections, and I dare to say Kerry and Gore were less extreme in many things than Obama is, and therefore the winning of mainstream votes more difficult. In a word, it worked. Compare with 2012, where Perry got out of the race for forgetting a couple of names and having some small blunder in front of the press. If this is the way the Americans select their candidates, it’s no surprise they must now choose between a liberal madman and a flip-flopping Mormon.
In conclusion, I fully understand those who decide to vote Romney after all. But as Romney is perfectly fine with sodomy, was clearly pro-choice until the day before yesterday and would clearly try to keep as much of Obamacare as he can do without openly quarrelling with his Congressmen and Senators, I wonder whether those who vote for him do not in the end simply vote a pale version of Obama, with some improvement thrown in when it was truly necessary (say: his pro-life stance), and probably reneged as soon as he is elected and starts to think about the 2016 campaign (there is videos around of his former pro-“choice” days; scary stuff, and no mistake).
Basically, trying to save the candidate in 2012 automatically locks one in with the worst possible candidate for 2016 and 2020; a candidate who, when President, would systematically try to please the Democrats at every turn, knowing that the obedient Republican sheep vote for him in any way and the only thing he has to do is to attract 10%-15% of the Democratic vote, and Robert is your father’s brother…
No easy decision at all, anyway.
I have spent now more than a couple of sleepless nights following the presidential election in the US. By us it is so, that you can sleep until midnight if you want (I never can), but get up when the going goes though and go to work after having gone through the night courtesy of coffee or energy drinks.
Thinking of the last years, there are some names which I remember as recurring: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania. Other names are rather important (California, Texas) but, if memory serves, in recent times not really contested.
What do Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania have in common? The fact that they all have a sizeable and relatively aged Catholic population. Don’t believe my word on this, though: read it here.
As it stands, it seems to be the radicalisation of Obama’s policies will attract to him only those who would have voted for him anyway, and some of those at the fringes, like sexual perverts, who might be motivated to go vote for him either because they feel particularly flattered – but seriously: how many sodomites and lesbians, zoophiles and pedophiles voted for McCain in 2008? – or because they expect to profit from the social economic policies of the President.
Unless I am gravely mistaken, on the other hand we have…. the real country. The people. Those who wake up in the morning because they actually go to work, complain about the government because they actually pay taxes, care about the economic future of the country rather than about some imaginary environmental catastrophe because they actually have children, and have been married to the same woman all their lives because they believe family is sacred, and marriage a sacred bond rather than a mere “declaration of love” (talking of luv, I’d love to have statistics of the divorce rate of the fags and lesbos who have married in the last years…).
It is of course impossible to say all those among these people who have voted Obama in 2008 will abandon him now and, so to speak, embrace Romney. Still, it seems to me reasonable to say that the demographics does not speak for the wisdom of the President’s tactics, and might well end up in ruin. The main character of a swing state is that it doesn’t take too many swing votes to let it swing, and I wouldn’t want to have the Catholics against me in this, because even if only one in twelve or fifteen Catholics switch allegiances (or better, decides is allegiance to Christ is more important) this might be already a fatal blow.
I think as Catholics we should all be very grateful to Joe Biden.
It had to happen at some point, I suppose, and it has happened yesterday. Rick Santorum had pulled a number of political miracles, but as he is not Padre Pio (for which we do not blame him, of course) at some point he had to face the reality of a race with a fraction of the means of his opponent, a race which family problem did not make easier.
It is reasonable to think Santorum would have not recovered the distance separating him from the well-oiled and extremely well-funded Romney machine, though I must say that he had defied the common meaning of what is “reasonable to think” many times in the lats months. Still, at some point even Santorum won’t be able to defy gravity forever.
Intelligently, the man recognised it was wiser to capitalise (for himself, and for his cause) on the support obtained up to now and, as I see it, enter a new phase of his political life as one of the most influential politicians in the land, rather than the one who insists in fighting for a nomination he won’t get. Perhaps he will be picked as the Vice-President (a wise choice, I would say, as Romney does need to persuade, well, the authentically Republican vote), but even if not I can’t imagine he won’t become one of the most respected and listened to voices in the Country. Not bad for one who had struggled to raise his first $50,000 in funds, and was seen only as an outsider and poster boy of the most reactionary part of the country only a few months ago.
From what I can see, I doubt Gingrich will profit much from Santorum’s withdrawal; at least not as much as to coagulate around him the “non-mitt” vote; and I wonder whether at this point the contrary solution would not have been the best one, and Gingrich’s withdrawal would not have given Santorum the possibility of yet another miracle. One day Gingrich will have to face the reality that he was the one who helped Romney more than any other on the Republican camp.
What remains, is a candidate winning for his message 28% of the Republican vote cast so far, against the 40% of a Romney who has ridiculously outspent him and makes the impression of having been running this campaign since the end of WW I. A candidate, it must be said, who has not only gained popular support, but has done so by remaining remarkably and admirably near to his core convictions, in striking contrast to the flip-flopping Romney, who has now discovered he is, hey, a bit more conservative than he supposed to be only just one month ago. If Romney isn’t just a bleached version of Obama, I don;t think he is – at least in social matters – much better than him. It is nothing short of astonishing that Santorum’s vision, up to some months ago considered very much on the fringe of American politics, has now been catapulted on centre stage, and will not fail to influence millions of voters in the years to come.
Santorum 2012 reminds one of Reagan 1976, and if Reagan went much nearer to the nomination then, than Santorum did today, he certainly did not start from such a difficult position as Santorum did. Santorum allowed real social conservatism to make a big leap and plant its flag in the middle of America’s political discourse, but at the same time planted himself in the middle of the political arena.
I truly hope 2012 will prove, in retrospect, the trial run for a victorious 2016 or 2020 campaign. From where I sit here (=the other side of the Pond) I cannot see any other big rank politician of such personal integrity and commitment to his ideals.
A heartfelt thank from me and, I am sure, from many in Europe who cannot even dream of politicians of such calibre and conviction.
Unless I am very much mistaken, Santorum is a Reagan in the making.
A strange article on the catholic News Agency, citing a recent analysis, makes the hypothesis Obama has not shot himself in the leg with the HHS mandate, but be expressly wooing the non-Christian and non-believer vote, moving from the assumption that the Catholic vote has been slowly drifting away anyway and the numbers are rapidly tipping the scale in favour of non-believers.
Firstly, allow me to say I am perfectly persuaded Obama is a Christian as I am a communist, and if he has some affection for a religion – meant as a cultural, not spiritual phenomenon – this is most certainly Islam, not Christianity.
Still, I think I should examine the argument and say why I disagree and think the Obama people have simply vastly understated the price they would have to pay if they anger the catholic world.
1) It seems strange to me that whilst we have been told for so many years – and have had impressive demonstrations, see G.W. Bush – that the Catholic vote can make Presidents, suddenly it would pay to woo the enemies of Catholicism. Certainly, in the course of a generational change this might happen, but Catholics are not getting less numerous, nor are they getting less Catholic (than they already are). Vocations in the US have been on the increase for many years now, and the vote has been moving progressively to the Republicans,which is certainly in part due not to the fact that they aren’t Catholics anymore, but that they still are (with all the caveats about the state of the US Catholic culture, of course).
2) Which in my eyes neatly introduces my second point: Democrats lose the Catholic vote, at least in part, because Catholics understand Democrats do not protect Catholic values: the idea that as they are losing them in instalments be better to be losing them altogether seems to me a rather suicidal logic. If Obama were not so blinded by ideology, he would be thinking day and night what to do to please them, not to anger them.
3) Catholics are spread only in certain parts of the countries, and are a powerful force only in a dozen or so of them. But Catholics are, most importantly, crucial in key States like Florida and Ohio: who on earth would willingly set to sacrifice their vote in such important battlegrounds?
4) The theory goes that for every Catholic you lose you will earn at least one atheist. Very strange. I think I am not very far from the mark thinking the majority of the atheist vote is already solidly in Democratic hands, and many of the Republican atheists are socially conservative enough not to want to go against established religion even if they don’t believe in God themselves. Where is this huge untapped reservoir of non-voting Democratic atheists only waiting for the HHS controversy to go vote Obama & the gang? On the contrary, the prospective of losing the Catholic vote is painfully real, and backed by the impressive fact of more than 55 millions voters. The idea of willingly cross them is, in my eyes, pure madness. Don’t believe me? Ask John Kerry.
5) The fallout on the Protestants is completely ignored. In fact, Santorum’s candidature is being propelled in decisive measure by protestant votes, and Protestants can be mobilised as well as atheists. Granted, they vote Republican in their majority already, but there is a lot of potential loss here anyway.
In conclusion, it seems to me Obama has, very simply, done something very stupid whose consequences he had not foreseen, and is now trapped by a controversy he allowed to go too far before noticing the quicksand was all around him. If you ask me, there is no “cunning plan” at all, and political analysts merely try to give, in retrospect, some sense to this senseless ideological entrenchment, initially started in the illusion it would not cause any big conflict, and no so difficult to get out of without loss of face. Exit without loss of face the Government has already attempted a couple of times, with the only result of making the choice between all out fall out or retreat more difficult.
But it’s a lose-lose for Obama. If he caves in he loses face, and if he doesn’t he loses desperately needed votes.
Six months of ferocious controversy on the HHS mandate, and good luck in Florida. I so hope Archbishop Dolan & Co. continue the fight to the end, and step up the tone in Summer.
the answer is here.
If you think this man was the, erm, Republican candidate only four years ago, you realise how much better the chances are this year; and, of course, how dangerous it would be if Romney were to win in Tampa.
Est modus in rebus, of course, and the candidate should be able to appeal to broad sections of the electorate. But with the likes of McCain the Republicans run the risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
“There has never been a conviction politician, an insurgent Christian conservative, who has won this many (primaries) since Ronald Reagan in 1976,”
I think this passage of a Washington Post article well gives the idea of what is happening (for those who were too young, in 1976 Ronald Reagan fought an extremely strong campaign, in the end losing against Gerald Ford for a handful of delegates. Gerald Ford was, must be remembered, the President), and it appears to me that Santorum is rapidly gaining not only momentum, but mainstream credibility. As the money keeps flowing – though certainly in small measure compared to the Romney aircraft carrier; apparently Romney has outspent Santorum 10 to 1 up to now and still can’t close the game, this really says it all) and Santorum gains more and more TV time and media attention, he is seen as a real alternative rather than the flag candidate. I must say I am surprised; extremely pleasantly surprised as this always was my favourite candidate, though I thought – with most others, I must say – he would be massacred after the first success in Ohio, which for me was already a miracle and something to thank God for.
We are now – incredibile dictu – at nine victories, and counting. Whilst the largely proportional system puts the concept of “victory” in perspective, I think it is fair to say Santorum is now the number one opponent of Romney, and Gingrich a strong third contender but nothing more than that.
It seems to me Gingrich is unwittingly helping Romney, and his rather stubborn decision to go all the way to Tampa – or so at least does he say now – might, even with the proportional system in place, help Romney to the nomination as a clear “non-Romney” does not emerge or, at least, does not translate in enough delegates to stop him.
What I also find notable is the enthusiasm with which Evangelicals support Santorum. What at the beginning might have looked like a sympathy vote for a nice, outright Christian candidate is now rapidly becoming all-out organisational and financial support. Kudos to them. Let’s hope Santorum will inflame so many of them that the one or other decides to convert…. 😉
I might be wrong (again) but at the moment I’d say the biggest obstacle in front of a non-Romney nomination is Gingrich, who is doing too well to force him to retire his candidature, but at the moment not well enough to compete with Santorum. If he decided to leave, methinks the clear alternative Romney-Santorum would mobilise the party to choose the Republican candidate (pun intended), but if he stays he might drain precious blood from Santorum’s campaign and, in fact, aid the nomination of a man he doesn’t like a bit.
We will see how this pans out. I find Santorum’s ascent exhilarating, and as he has proved me wrong in his ability to attract enough Republican candidates, he could prove me wrong again in his ability to attract the vote of mainstream America; at least considering that mainstream America would still confronted with the thought that the alternative to Santorum would be another four years of Obama.
Let me say at the start Santorum’s victories in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri are not game-changers in themselves, and being rather emotional beauty-contests with no delegate impact were probably more appealing to the core of Republican conservatism than to the mainstream Republicans (in name only?), more likely to vote for the Mormon guy.
On the other hand, this kind of contests – without too much money being spent, or better said without Romney outspending Santorum by a big multiple – are probably better apt to show what happens when no one can outspend his opponent 10 or 20 to one, which is what is going to happen in November.
Still, I continue to have conflicting feelings about Santorum’s successes. On the one hand, I can only look with great pleasure at the rise of this still relatively young politician, a man who seems to have the stuff to become the Reagan of the next decade and must be the ideal candidate of most readers of this blog. On the other hand, I cannot imagine Obama’s advisors being displeased at his rise, as they know they cannot wish a better chance to lead Obama to victory than if he should run against a man, I am not sorry to say, so out of line with the superficial cafeteria, John-Lennon-light, “whatever”-thinking of a great part of the electorate. I can’t imagine a country falling in love with “change” only four years ago and suddenly embracing the tenets of staunch Catholics and evangelicals, a sector with which Santorum will be extremely closely identified, courtesy of the Obama campaign. But I have said all this, and will not dwell on it.
What is perhaps more interesting, is that the decline of the winner-takes-all primaries system makes who “wins” the single contest less relevant. If you look at the delegates count you’ll notice Santorum and Gingrich together continue to have more delegates than Romney; this basically means today’s favourite is, in fact, still not Romney but the one between Gingrich and Santorum who will remain longer in the race, unavoidably attracting the delegates of the other and becoming the official, erm, Christian and Republican candidate.
Another element I notice for today is that Republican core voters seem not to miss any occasion – however symbolic – to send the clear message Romney is not their candidate. Encouraging, though not necessarily positive if they end up with a factually unelectable candidate; but I might be wrong of course, and after Carter came Reagan.
Last but not least, there seems to be a clear indication Gingrich suffers among the female voters. They’ll be happier with the Mormon or the abortionist, I suppose.
Newt Gingrich convincingly won in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I do not think this was primarily due to interventions like the one posted by me a few days ago, but rather to brilliant answers like the one I post above.
Which leads me nicely to my argument: whilst Santorum is – for all of us Catholics I think – by far the best candidate, I think Gingrich is the one with the best cards to defeat Obama. As always in politics, the choice is – in the end – not between our ideal candidate and the enemy, but between the enemy and the candidate who can defeat him.
I am fully conscious that this is the mentality which has brought Romney so far, and I am not ashamed in saying that if there was no better candidate to defeat Obama, my personal support – though not my sympathy – would go to him. But I do think that there is a candidate who can – easily, I think, unless he makes something very stupid – defeat Obama by presenting a radically – if not completely – different world view than the one of the inadequate git brought to the White House on a huge wave of political correctness, coupled with a toothless and flip-flopping opponent.
Santorum is, if you ask me, by far the best. Not only because of his extremely coherent Catholic stance, but because of his extremely clear ideas in matters of foreign politics. He may not have the same tea-party credentials of Gingrich, but he wouldn’t be a squanderer unable to count like the present occupier of the White House.
My problem with Santorum is that I think it is highly improbable that he may ever defeat Obama. Why? Because of his very same extremely coherent Catholic stance, and extremely clear ideas in matters of foreign politics.
I can’t imagine Santorum suddenly converting to his right-wing stance the mainstream of the American voters. I try not to confuse my own preferences with whom I think is electable. I like Santorum’s stance on Iran like few others, but it would be foolish for me to say this is a platform on which you can be elected President. Kudos to him for being so honest, but frankly I can’t see this candidate winning a presidential race. Not in 2012 at any rate.
The results in South Carolina are, I think, an important – though not definitive – confirmation of this, with Gingrich taking away the clear majority of the conservative wing and Santorum performing extremely well all things considered, but still widely behind Gingrich.
Importantly, Gingrich seems to have been the most voted among those who consider both economy or ability to defeat Obama the main motivators of their vote: this is a candidate able to unite pragmatists who would have voted Romney in the absence of better alternatives, and hard-liners who would prefer to lose with a real Republican than running the risk of winning with a fake one.
If you add the votes, Gingrich and Santorum together got around double as much as Romney’s votes. Granted, South Carolina is more conservative than the average, but I’d dare to say the anti-Romney fraction only needs to coalesce around Gingrich and Romney will become, in time, history.
What I hope will happen now is that Santorum stays in the race for as long as money and organisation allow, and then graciously retires and supports Gingrich’s candidature, suggesting his delegates vote for him at the convention. This way the way would be paved for a strong Gingrich campaign against Romney, but at the same time stressing the robust socially very conservative component behind him.
Santorum achieved a half-miracle through his own personal qualities and the fact that his ideas resonate particularly well among a certain part of the electorate. But I still can’t imagine him becoming the candidate able to defeat Romney, much less Obama. Too Catholic, too conservative, too much of a hawk in foreign politics matters, I don’t think he can make it, not in 2012.
What I do think is that scorned women do not have the grip on the electorate they used to have. Thank God for that.
On the day Perry makes way for him and Santorum is declared (more or less) the winner in Iowa, Gingrich’s ex-wife does (really not) surprise us with alleged “revelations” about what her former husband said to her around, let me think, twelve to thirteen years and a conversion ago. Interesting.
Nothing new of course as generally this kind of things finds its way to the media without waiting for a presidential race; but one remains with the impression that the private side of Gingrich is the one chosen by his opponent to put an end to the public one.
This is one of the rare days when I am glad I grew up in Europe, and particularly in a country where private mistakes are left to the confessional and, when they find their way to the media, are not considered the metre by which the work of a politician is judged. You may say that it has his risks (as seen recently), but I still think it reflects a more mature political culture.
I’m not sure in modern times Godfrey of Bouillon, or Richard the Lionheart, would be elected to run a crusade, as their private life probably gave rise to many questions. Rather, some inept chap with irreproachable private life would be chosen, and bye-bye Jerusalem. If you don’t like these two examples, pick whichever else you like, from the drinker Churchill to the gambler Cavour.
Alas, I doubt many will be of my opinion, which is why if the public reacts badly to this interview in the run up to the primary in South Carolina it is now not unlikely the American people will have to decide, come November, between a godless affirmative action idiot and a flip-flopping RINO Mormon.
The private life of a politician is a matter for the confessional. Don’t let a good candidate go to waste because he would have never make it as a Protestant pastor. Most people don’t, and I’m not sure Protestant pastors have such a good record, either.
I must admit I have sometimes my problems with NuEnglish.
What is a “healing experience”? You can’t heal from grief, I was always told and this has always been my experience, though you can come to term with it to an extent. To “affirm a memory” (what?) is also something defying my grasp of the language, though one understands a vague sense of “affirming the value of every human life” must be what is meant.
There is, therefore, something that separates me and many like me from this use of fashionable expressions which, to my ears, sound so much “new age” expression. Oh, I feeel so healed….
Where there is no difference, is in the understanding of what poor Mr Santorum and his wife must have gone through when a child of them died two hours after birth. I can’t even start to understand what it must mean for the parents to have their child born alive, fear for his life – or fear his impending death – for 120 interminable minutes, and then be told that he has died.
Without using strange words like “affirming one’s memory”, it seems to me the decision of the Santorum was the right one, nay, an excellent one: take the baby home, show the new-born to his little brothers and sisters, and have a funeral there.
I can’t imagine a better way to say to a sadly departed child – certainly looking at them from heaven, as here baptism of desire is a given; though I’d love to know if they managed to have him baptised with water – that he is one of the family. At the same time, I can’t imagine a better way to say to their other children that the newly born is one of the family. This is what you do when you think that the newborn is an immortal soul instead of something to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way as soon as practicable.
I can obviously imagine that for some people such a behaviour might seem weird, or ridiculous, or worse. But this is exactly the point, why this is the case. This can only be the case if to one life isn’t sacred, there is no immortal soul, and there is no infinite dignity and beauty in a birth even if, alas, followed by mourning. Those who ridicule Santorum say, therefore, much more about themselves than what they want to imply about him.
I am sitting at home, trying to digest the Iowa results.
What has happened is, to put it bluntly, huge. Those non-Americans among us who have followed Santorum since last summer knew (erm, thought to know) that his was a pure flag candidature, very useful to give more relevance to pro-life issues but without any chance at all to make it to the nomination in real life.
I would be very naive if I would tell you that I have changed my mind now. If the past is any guidance, Santorum will be drowned in the next couple of weeks by the Romney war machine – no doubt, covertly attacking him as they did with Gingrich; it is very interesting how the PACs can be used to outsource nastiness; I think Gingrich will learn the lesson too … – and by the growing awareness that he is, however you try to twist and turn it, not a mainstream candidate. More likely than not, he will be the Huckabee of Iowa 2012. Still huge of course, but not a nomination.
Still, what happened in Iowa shows in my eyes the great force of social conservatism in America, a force we in Europe can only dream about. All those Evangelicals endorsing, of all men, an extremely orthodox Catholic show the ability to coagulate around a man – not this time, most certainly; but probably in future – able to openly defend pro-life and social conservative values and to lead his agenda to Republican nomination and eventual electoral victory.
Perhaps yesterday’s caucus, and the events that will follow until Santorum abandons, will be remembered in the years to come as the equivalent of Ronald Reagan’s “time for choosing” speech(es): as the phase in which he puts himself in front of a national audience as a valid candidate to incarnate serious, solid conservative values for an entire country, not for a minority of hardliners.
I still can’t imagine this will be Santorum’s nomination year. It’s not that I wouldn’t dream of it or that I enjoy defeatism, merely that I do not want my excitement to eclipse common sense. It’s still a very long shot, though the shot has just become a damn good sight shorter. What seems more probable to me is that Santorum has put himself in an excellent position to be a serious candidate in four or eight – or twelve – years’ time, when the pro-life and anti-perversion issued will have had some years to better penetrate the collective consciousness of the American electorate, and a couple of million pot-smokers and Sixty-Eighters will have gone to meet – or not, as the case may be – their Maker.
Yesterday, Santorum and his troop of fighters have made that moment a good sight nearer to us.
One day I might write a post about the US Presidential election as seen from a European. It might be a bit off topic, though.
For the moment, I will be content with commenting about some rather strange remarks from Newt Gingrich: the man who, after a rather sleepy start – and one which let me and others think he was not really serious about the race – has now risen to become the most serious contender of Adolf Hussein Obama, The Nazi Menace.
Well, our (rather) newly converted candidate had surprised pretty much everyone by saying that he thinks life begins at… implantation. “Are we in front of a mini-Pelosi?” I was already thinking. In the end, Gingrich looks like he is peloso (=hairy) enough as it is…
Thankfully, the Catholic candidate has now issued a clarification and unambiguously made clear that life begins at conception. No ifs, no buts, no hairy things.
The statements of the candidate are a joy to read:
As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception
I believe that every unborn life is precious, no matter how conceived. I also believe that we should work for the day when there will be no abortions for any reason, and that every unborn child will be welcomed into life and protected by law.
That is why I have supported, and will continue to support, pro-life legislation that not only limits, but also reduces, the total number of abortions, with a view to the eventual legal protection of all unborn human life.
This is very, very good news and I think it very wise from Gingrich not to be cowed by his advisers and strategist into a “mainstream” position and water down not only what he believes, but what clearly mobilises a growing number of – often, young – American voters.
Always from LifeSite news, I notice that Gingrich has signed the Pro-Life Pledge, and Mitt Romney hasn’t. Shall I, now, add a passing remark about Mormons and Christians? Or shall I leave it at that?
One of the many beauties of Catholicism is that, if properly intended, it doesn’t leave much room for self-made theology. A Protestant can immerse himself in the Bible until he finds something vaguely resembling what he wants to find, and chances are the “church” with the corresponding creed is not so very far away. A Catholic will know what is right, and will not have anywhere to hide. Unless of course he is, how should I put it….. hairy.
Kudos to Newt Gingrich for his clear positioning in matter of abortion, then.