Friday, August 15, 2008

The Prince and the Pariah

Kathryn Lopez at NRO writes an insightful piece on the reaction to the John Edwards scandal and asks a few incisive questions:

The reaction of the American Left to John Edwards's sex scandal is nothing short of flabbergasting. Since when is sex outside of marriage a disqualifier for merely speaking at a political convention? Since when is having sexual relations with that woman in your office anything wrong? Since when do we judge?

The difference here seems to be that Elizabeth Edwards has cancer. So only fatal disease makes the bonds of marriage sacred?

Although the last thing I want to look to be doing is making excuses for adultery - what he did was wrong - the John Edwards incident begs Americans to look in the mirror. If we think what John Edwards did with Rielle Hunter is wrong, why do we think it's wrong? Because marriage is at the foundation of our society and we should do what we can to protect every last one? Or simply because having fun while your wife is fighting a fatal disease is a lousy thing to do?

I don't know how we can condemn John Edwards when Americans have been known to cheer for cheaters in movies, watch celebs do it all the time as a form of perverse entertainment, and even insist we're not sure what exactly "marriage" means.

There's another question about this sordid business that K-Lo doesn't ask but might have: Why is Edwards banished from the Democratic convention but Bill Clinton is awarded a prominent role to play? Edwards isn't a past president, to be sure, but he's not nobody either. Surely his infidelity was no worse nor more embarrassing to the party than the revelations of Clinton's priapic predilections, including credible allegations of rape and sexual assault. People say they're upset that Edwards lied to them about his affair, but so did Clinton - under oath, no less. Yet Clinton will be feted and honored like a prince of the party while Edwards is left to slink home a political pariah.

Liberals sure seem confused when it comes to morality in general and sexual morality in particular.

HT: Jason.


God's Politics

It's a good thing to be able to find silver linings in dark clouds, but Jim Wallis at Sojourners reminds me of the guy who has been wiped out by thugs and yet praises them for not punching him in the nose during the robbery.

The Democrats have come forward with their platform plank on abortion, and Wallis is delighted that they affirm the right of a woman to choose to have a child if she wants it:

The Democratic platform has taken an important first step. They took an important step beyond the traditional position on Roe vs. Wade by also supporting a woman's decision to have her child.

Why, isn't this wonderful. The Democrats recognize that a woman should be supported in her decision to bear a child that she's carrying. The big tent Dems recognize that a pregnant woman shouldn't feel obligated to have an abortion, and Wallis sees this as a noteworthy act of good will instead of the window into the liberal heart of darkness that it is.

Republicans have long made a strong opposition to abortion a central issue in their platforms and campaigns. Yet their symbolic commitment to making abortion illegal, even with a Republican in power, hasn't made any change in the rate of abortions in America.

Somebody needs to inform Mr. Wallis that it takes a lot more than having a pro-lifer in the White House to get Roe v. Wade changed. The way to reduce the number of abortions is to let each state decide it's own policy, and that means we must have Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe, and that takes more than just a pro-life president, although it certainly does take that.

Of course, it is now up to the Democratic candidate to interpret the platform and shape the issue. In an interview with Christianity Today, Barack Obama said, "I do think that those who diminish the moral elements of the decision aren't expressing the full reality of it."

It's passing strange that in talking about Barack Obama's views on abortion Mr. Wallis neglects to mention that as an Illinois state senator Mr. Obama actually voted against a bill that would have prevented infanticide.

Is Jim Wallis really the non-partisan prophet he fancies himself or is he just carrying pro-choice water? It's hard to believe that passing up an opportunity to castigate a politician who voted to let babies die a slow death is God's Politics.


Big Fish

ABC's Brian Ross has some interesting thoughts on the capture in Afghanistan of an MIT graduate named Aifia Siddique. The woman is apparently a major terrorist and the data obtained from her apprehension provides a "treasure trove" of information on al Qaeda operations both abroad and within our borders. There are also some possible links to the Democrat convention in Denver this month:

When she was arrested in Afghanistan last month, Aafia Siddique allegedly had in her possession maps of New York, a list of potential targets that included the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the subway system and the animal disease center on Plum Island, detailed chemical, biological and radiological weapon information that has been seen only in a handful of terrorist cases, as well as a thumb drive packed with emails, ABC News has learned.

That haul of information has led multiple government sources to describe Siddique, a 36 year-old MIT graduate, as a potential "treasure trove" of information on terrorist supporters, sympathizers or 'sleepers' in the United States and overseas.

"She is the most significant capture in five years," said former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who said she lives up to her reputation as an alleged terrorist 'Mata Hari.'

Exit question for liberals: Suppose the authorities had good reason to believe she had knowledge of a mass terror attack planned against the Democratic convention in Denver. Thousands of Democrats' lives hung in the balance. Should she have been waterboarded if that was the only way to elicit the information?


What Hillary Wants II

Maureen Dowd knows precisely what Hillary wants and skewers her for it in this essay in the International Herald Tribune. Dowd writes:

While Obama was spending three hours watching "The Dark Knight" five time zones away, and going to a fund-raiser featuring "Aloha attire" and Hawaiian pupus, Hillary was busy planning her convention.

You can almost hear her mind whirring: She's amazed at how easy it was to snatch Denver away from the Obama saps. Like taking candy from a baby, except Beanpole Guy doesn't eat candy. In just a couple of weeks, Bill and Hill were able to drag No Drama Obama into a swamp of Clinton drama.

Now they've made Barry's convention all about them - their dissatisfaction and revisionism and barely disguised desire to see him fail. Whatever insincere words of support the Clintons muster, their primal scream gets louder: He can't win! He can't close the deal! We told you so!

Hillary's orchestrating a play within the play in Denver. Just as Hamlet used the device to show that his stepfather murdered his father, Hillary will try to show the Democrats they chose the wrong savior.

Hillary feels no guilt about encouraging her supporters to mess up Obama's big moment, thus undermining his odds of beating John McCain and improving her odds of being the nominee in 2012.

She's obviously relishing Hillaryworld's plans to have multiple rallies in Denver, to take out TV and print ads and to hold up signs in the hall that read "Denounce Nobama's Coronation."

Read the rest at the link.

During the nineties when the Clintons were in power they could do no wrong. The left apologized and defended everything they did. Hillary was a heroine, a wonderful role model for women. But now she stands in the way of the coronation of a young charismatic black man who's much more reliably left than they perceive her to be, and she's quickly becoming the crazy aunt in the attic. They can't get rid of her, but they certainly wish she'd go away.

Here's a challenge for the historically minded: Name one Democrat who attained a position of prominence in the last forty years but is no longer in that position today, who is still admired in the Democratic party. I can think only of Al Gore, but he doesn't really count since he's probably more prominent today than he was as Vice President.