Thursday, February 3, 2005

New ID Blog

The Discovery Institute has a new blog that focuses on media reporting and misreporting of the Darwinism/Intelligent Design debate. The news media in the U.S. seem to have rediscovered the controversy, but unfortunately, much of their coverage has been sloppy, inaccurate, and in several cases, overtly biased. Evolution News and Views aims to offer a corrective, and anyone interested in the issue should check it out.

Conservative Inconsistency

Andrew Sullivan, who, by the way, is largely shutting down his blog for a couple of months, relays to conservatives this question from a friend:

WHY NOT AN ANTI-ABORTION AMENDMENT? Here's an interesting question, posed by my friend Jon Rauch. The Senate Republicans have vowed to push their anti-gay marriage amendment, even though it won't stand a chance of getting the necessary 67 votes. The point is political and rhetorical. They are trying to build momentum, raise money, and keep the cause of banning same-sex unions alive. So why not push an anti-abortion amendment instead? They have one such amendment on hand. Both proposed amendments are allegedly against judicial meddling. Both will fail. But one deals with a much graver issue, by the religious right's reckoning - an immense loss of human life, rather than the grave evil of two human beings committing to one another for life. So why this priority? Surely, abortion is a more important matter than same-sex marriage - even for the religious right. Or is it?

Good question. In fact, Viewpoint will go one better. Why should this be a matter of one or the other? Why shouldn't conservatives be arguing for both amendments? If the marriage amendment is necessary to protect marriage, and it may well be, surely an anti-abortion amendment is necessary to protect the lives of unborn children and is long overdue. It doubtless would not have been possible to get such an amendment through congress before now and may not be possible to get one passed even now, but shouldn't the arguments for it at least be raised?

That some conservatives have gone on record calling for the marriage amendment, but none appear to be interested in a constitutional corrective for Roe v. Wade, a decision many believe to be a clear case of judicial overreach that has resulted in the sacrifice of millions of lives, seems at best a little inconsistent.

The Democratic Definition of Freedom

The Democrats have vowed to fight President Bush's Social Security reform proposals with every weapon at their disposal. The President wishes to give people control over a portion of their retirement, and the Democrats are opposed. A number of commentators have noted the irony of liberals insisting that people have a constitutional right to choose whether their unborn children live or die while at the same time refusing them the right to choose how to invest for their retirement (or, for that matter, where to send their children to school if indeed they should choose to have them).

For the freedom-loving folks in the Democratic party freedom to choose extends little further than whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. For them, freedom's just another word for nothing left to choose.

Free At Last

After the Civil War there was a massive migration of blacks from the south to the cities of the north. They came looking for opportunities and a better life. There are signs that another African-American migration is taking place in our own day only this one is political, not geographical, and it is causing alarm in liberal precincts. Apparently, the Republican party is beginning to make serious inroads into a demographic group that Democrats have had locked up for sixty years, and if they are successful it would have serious consequences for the future of the party.

An article in the Los Angeles Times sounds the tocsin. Here are a few excerpts:

Black conservatives who supported President Bush in 2004 and gained new prominence within the Republican Party are launching a loosely knit movement that they hope will transform the role African Americans play in national politics.

The effort will be visible today at the Crenshaw Christian Center, one of Los Angeles' biggest black churches, headed by televangelist Frederick K.C. Price. More than 100 African American ministers are to gather in the first of several regional summits to build support for banning same-sex marriage - a signature issue that drew socially conservative blacks to the Republican column last year.

Before the meeting, one prominent minister plans to unveil a "Black Contract With America on Moral Values," a call for Bible-based action by government and churches to promote conservative priorities. It is patterned loosely on the "Contract With America" that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich used 10 years ago to inaugurate an era of GOP dominance in Congress.

A separate group with ties to Gingrich will announce a similar "Mayflower Compact for Black America" later this month in Washington, which includes plans to organize in key states ahead of the 2006 and 2008 elections. And at the end of the month, the Heritage Foundation will cosponsor a gathering of black conservatives in Washington designed to counter dominance of the "America-hating black liberal leadership" and to focus African American voters on moral issues.

"I am frightened by what is happening," said Rep. Major R. Owens, an 11-term Democratic congressman from New York who has been conferring with colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus. "Our party is in grave danger. This Republican movement is going to expand exponentially unless we do something."

Failure to respond to the GOP investment in black communities, he said, could allow Republicans to add five percentage points to the 11% they received among African American voters nationwide in 2004.

Republican officials, such as outgoing party chairman Ed Gillespie, have said they think the percentage could rise to 30 in the next presidential election - a prediction that even some GOP strategists called overly optimistic.

Even if it rises 5 percentage points, Owens said, "the Democratic Party will be paralyzed."

Owens said the GOP strategy of courting church leadership was on target. "The churches are the last institutions alive and breathing in some of these neighborhoods, and people look to them for leadership," he said.

African-Americans are evidently tired of being snookered by Democratic leaders, both black and white. They are at last beginning to realize that liberal policies since the 1960s have often been counterproductive at best and dysgenic at worst.

Now comes a Republican president who may have done more for black racial esteem than all the liberal multicultural/diversity/ethnic/racial pride celebrations of the last three decades put together. He has actually elevated blacks to some of the most prominent positions of his administration, something no Democrat ever did. He also understands that what is good for America is good for African-Americans, and has steadily worked to improve the economy, create jobs, and set a positive moral tone for the country. Moreover, he has steadfastly refused to do what is standard practice for many Democrat politicians - he has refused to pander to blacks, or to treat them as if they just can't be expected to manage their own lives.

To many liberals blacks are the white man's burden, and African-Americans may finally be growing resentful of the implicit racism of this patronizing attitude. Perhaps they are tired of their indenture to the Democratic bosses and have become a field ripe for a conservative harvest. If so, a significant African-American defection would quite likely signal the demise of the Democratic party.