Posts about Politics

Uh, Senator…

I’m eager for the transcript of this morning’s Face the Nation to come out, because as I was listening to a discussion of Bill Frist and stem cell this morning, I thought I heard Sen. Sam Brownback say that this would be the first case of using taxpayer money to intentionally end human life. Uh, Senator, what about capital punishment… and war?

UPDATE: Yes, he said it:

SCHIEFFER: So you’re going to let this go then? You’re going to be for this?

Sen. BROWNBACK: No, what I thi–no, I’m not going to be for this. This is a big step. This will be one of, I believe, the first time we’ve ever used taxpayer money to pay for the intentional destruction of human life and that’s what this does. But what I’m focused on is let’s get a package of votes together. Let’s do this one but then let’s also take up the issue of human cloning. Let’s also take up the issue of the creation of embryos, just human embryos, just for the purpose of researching. Let’s do all those together. Let’s vote on all of them. Let’s move the whole package and have this debate with the country.

Don’t do it, George

I’m not the only guy who thinks George Pataki shouldn’t run for President. John Podhoretz thinks that, too.

Certainly, the answer is no when it comes to the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. No, not just no. More like: No No No No No No.

He does say that Pataki should run for the Senate if Hillary tries to move back into the White House.

It’s a joke, right? Tell me it’s a joke….

George Pataki running for President? There isn’t a duller politician in America, not even in Indiana. He drones. He pisses off the people who should be his friends. He makes decisions like a wishy-washy pol. President? Ha!

Poor Bernie

In the off-camera chatter before CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, Howard Kurtz said that Bernie Goldberg’s publicists were calling media outlets all over before Donny Deutsch’s show was aired.

I had heard that they were giddy about the way Deutsch’s show went and well they should be, for it only garnered him more publicity.

In the heat of the moment, as Bernie was apparently blowing a gasket, Linda Stasi turned to me and said that she thought it was all just his publicity stunt. I shrugged and said I doubted that, silly me; I said he was just a little too far off: “What’s the frequency, Bernie?” But I think Linda was right: He used it to get back onto Fox — on O’Reilly, no less — and onto Rush and into the Washington Times, not to mention on TownHall. It sure beats hawking a book at a time in Coral Gables. It was a brilliantly calculated move. And it’s working. So good for Bernie. Capitalism is what makes America great. And it’s not screwed up.

Bernie — and Bill and Rush — still try to play the victims, the underdogs, the little guys fighting them big, bad ol’ liberals. What’s amazing is that they can still pull it off. Look at Bernie’s own list and you see a bunch of losers: Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky haven’t gotten us out of Iraq; Al Franken and Janeane Garolao are nowhere next to Rush and Bill; Dan Rather’s all but unemployed (and Mary Mapes is); Howard Stern has been forced off the air; Phil Donahue defines has-been…. The conservatives are in power, solidly in power, and yet they still hold to the M.O. that got them into power: playing outsider, victim, paranoid.

But it still works. It sells books.

Higher authority

Ed Williams, editorialist at the Charlotte Observer, asks what I’ve been wondering on John Roberts and the Catholic Church:

I wonder what the Catholic bishops who objected to John Kerry’s separation of religion from politics are thinking now that President Bush has nominated John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some bishops favored denying communion to Kerry because of his support for abortion rights. Some even suggested that it’s a Catholic public official’s duty to work to make the law reflect the church’s position on abortion.

Roberts, described by friends as a devout Catholic, could someday be in a position to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision. If he were given the opportunity and declined to do so, would these bishops favor denying him communion? Would that possibility affect his service on the court? Surely some senator will ask.

It is a question that should be asked and answered. If a justice or a president said that they answered to a higher (human) authority, then we not selecting them but the person they obey.

Williams quotes at length John Kennedy’s speech on religion from the 1960 campaign:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President — should he be Catholic — how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all….

I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office….

I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to none….

I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views — in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.

Quite the litmus test.