Saturday, August 22, 2009

Charming Liar?

As you watch and listen to the embed keep in mind that it was taken from Air America, the leftmost radio network in the nation. The male voice you hear is that of Greg Palast a journalist so far to port that he's in danger of falling off the ship. The left is understandably upset that the man in whom they invested so much of their emotional and economic resources has broken several campaign promises in order to do a deal with "big pharma" that guaranteed they wouldn't have to lower the price of their drugs. This deal came after the President had promised on several occasions in the campaign that he would not do precisely what he has done.

Listen to the exchange between the host and Palast and note the promises Mr. Obama makes in the video clips:

The left is a long way from giving up on Mr. Obama - he is, after all, one of them - but the wind in their sails has faded to a zephyr. If he doesn't deliver on the public option in the health care reform bill the perception among the lefties will be that he's a sell-out, and internecine warfare will break out in the Democratic party.

HT: Hot Air.


ELCA Crosses the Rubicon

Delegates of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA), meeting in convention in Minneapolis, voted Friday to permit homosexuals to serve as leaders, including pastors, in the church. The ELCA has for many years been moving ineluctably toward this position and it was just a matter of time before they could muster the votes to get it passed.

The resolution carried 559 to 451 and states that people in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships" will be allowed to serve as rostered leaders of the church, i.e. they'll be allowed to serve in pastoral ministry.

The fear among many Lutherans who believe that legitimizing gay relationships is a repudiation of the scriptural teaching on homosexuality is that this step will trigger a mass exodus from the ELCA. It remains to be seen whether it will in fact have that result, but it seems certain that the denomination will be forever changed by this vote.


Political Cynicism

The Wall Street Journal Online has a piece that illustrates the cynicism with which democracy is viewed by some of our public servants in Congress:

Senator Ted Kennedy, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has sent a letter to Massachusetts lawmakers requesting a change in the state law that determines how his Senate seat would be filled if it became vacant before his eighth full term ends in 2012. Current law mandates that a special election be held at least 145 days after the seat becomes available. Mr. Kennedy is concerned that such a delay could leave his fellow Democrats in the Senate one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority for months while a special election takes place.

"I therefore am writing to urge you to work together to amend the law through the normal legislative process to provide for a temporary gubernatorial appointment until the special election occurs," writes the Senator.

What Mr. Kennedy doesn't volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons. John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004, and Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry's replacement. "Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy," reported the Boston Globe in 2004, "Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace U.S. Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency." Now that the state has a Democratic Governor, Mr. Kennedy wants to revert to gubernatorial appointments.

When it looked as if a Republican governor would get to appoint a senator Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed to prevent that. When it looks like a Democrat governor will get to appoint a senator Mr. Kennedy wants the law changed to allow that. It's all about power and whatever works to get it and keep it. No wonder the folks at town halls are showing such contempt for their elected representatives.


Taking Fire from the Left

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes a column to express his dismay and that of his fellow leftists' with President Obama. As far as he and his progressive amigos are concerned President Obama is betraying them, not because his policies are too socialist, but because they're not socialist enough. This is fascinating. The most left-wing president in history is insufficiently left to suit progressives like Krugman:

According to news reports, the Obama administration - which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the "public option" for health insurance - is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.

Well, I'm shocked and surprised at their shock and surprise.

A backlash in the progressive base - which pushed President Obama over the top in the Democratic primary and played a major role in his general election victory - has been building for months. The fight over the public option involves real policy substance, but it's also a proxy for broader questions about the president's priorities and overall approach.

That the President is not as radical as his supporters would have him be is modestly good news, I suppose, if you're a conservative, but it raises an interesting question: If conservatives who criticize Mr. Obama and his proposals are motivated by racism, as many liberals have claimed, either explicitly or implicitly, are Krugman et al also racists? Just wondering.