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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Monday, 29 March 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Interesting commentary...

Ezra Klein has this to say on Spain...
The reaction the right had to the Socialist victory in Spain upset me in a way most partisan conflicts don't. The audacity it took to demand that the Spanish continue to fight a war they never wished to enter, all for the ironic purpose of promoting democracy, astonished and offended me in a way few positions do. Forget that the defeated Government immediately attempted to twist the attacks for political gain, forget that the Socialists were within the poll's margin of error for victory, forget that the constant proclamations that the cowardly Spanish had allowed the terrorists to win certainly reinforced any victory the terrorists might have claimed, the very idea that we could somehow evaluate their foreign policy's morality through the lens of our own interests mere days after a vicious terrorist attack showed how little these people understood 9/11. For a group that is quick to grasp for ownership of the tragedy and quicker to remind us of its significance, they completely lost the ability to treat a grieving country with even a modicum of respect.

That, much more than the arguments over whether or not the terrorists won, is what incited my ire. But it's not the first time a government had given into terrorists.

Ronald Reagan's major military action was in Lebanon, where he deployed peacekeeping troops in the aftermath of Israel's 1982 invasion. Not long thereafter, a terrorist drove a truck packed with explosives into the headquarters of the First Battalion, killing 241 American servicemen. A few months later, Reagan pulled the troops out of Lebanon, placing them on offshore ships instead. Explained spokesman Larry Speakes: "We don't consider this a withdrawal but more of a redeployment."

So a terrorist killed hundreds of Americans in the hopes of getting us out of Lebanon and quickly succeeded. There was no other explanation, no other motivation for the "redeployment". In the face of terrorists, Reagan promptly gave into their demands.

So I want to know. Was Reagan an appeaser to terrorists? A coward? Unable to stand up to evil?

And if not, then how dare you open your mouth to criticize the Spanish.

And Jesse Taylor on Bush, Kerry and religion:
A Bush administration representative has said that it was ""beyond the bounds of acceptable political discourse" for Kerry to mention Scripture in his rebuke of Republican policies.

Does this strike anyone else as the biggest steaming pile of horse manure ever dragged out and plopped onto the stage of the national discourse?

Conservative Christian Republicans, headed by a man who said Jesus was his favorite philosopher, who in turn appointed a man who said we had no king but Jesus to the AG's office, are now assaulting a man for speaking accurately in religious terms.

If you believe that your faith calls you to political service (I don't, but many do), then James 2:14-17 is a perfect summary of what you are called to do:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

A party that's crafted its appeal to voters in explicitly religious terms, often claiming to be better Christians than its opposition (to the point where its opponents are evil - see Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, for instance) has no business whatsoever criticizing anyone else for their use of the Bible. None.
Things are getting hot.

Posted by Alan at 10:14 PST | Post Comment | Permalink

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