Politics Archives

Appeasers and Activists

Yesterday was a big news day with two unrelated events occurring that will each have an impact on this fall’s elections. While on the surface the two may seem unrelated both spell trouble for Democrats.

President Bush, speaking at The Knesset in Israel, used the opportunity to launch an unmerited attack against Senator Barack Obama. At least, that’s what Senator Obama, aided and abetted by the left-leaning media, would like voters to believe. Here’s the paragraph that got Democrats’ collective undies in a bunch from the transcript of the speech: Read the rest of this entry

From the Dept. of Lost Causes:

(And I’m not sure whether it should be routed through the Self-Delusion Agency or Committee on Unwarranted Optimism…)

Bob Barr has just announced his candidacy for President on the LIbertarian ticket.

“My name is Bob Barr and I’m a candidate for the presidency of the United States of America,” he told a small room of reporters, pre-empting them by raising the obvious question himself: “You might say Bob Barr, why are you running for president?”


“Look, I’m in it to win it,” said Barr. “I’m not getting in this race to make a point. … I’m not getting into this race to be a spoiler — I’ve got better things to do.”

Well, apparently not.

This is the counterbalance to Ralph Nader that, I’m sure, Democrats have been waiting for.  But Barr, while he has name recognition going for him, is dropping another name that may make some folks wary of voting for him.

remains a candidate for president even though Sen. John McCain has surpassed the minimum number of delegates to win the nomination.

"Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness," Barr said on the website. "Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have … a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom, in this election cycle."

Of course, that name could also tap into a constituency that has been trying to "revolt" against the presumptive nominee, to little or no avail.  My hunch (and that’s all it is) is that Barr could indeed become a real spoiler for McCain if he can successfully get the Paul supporters on his side.  For now, they’re rather busy, so the extent of this support will probably only be known after the Republican convention. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article notes that the Libertarian candidate in 2004 got a little over 3% of the vote with no name recognition.  (Anyone know who Michael Badnarik is?)  Barr could easily do better.

Left and Right

Two posts. First, Richard Chappell notes:

Some people judge that homosexuality is immoral, because they find it intuitively repugnant. They must also be aware that a few short decades ago people thought that interracial sex was immoral, on the same basis. This suggests that such intuitions provide a very flimsy basis for discrimination. Indeed, I find it completely baffling that homophobic conservatives fail to realize that they are the modern day equivalent of yesterday’s racist conservatives. Why are they not humbled by history? What makes them think that their disgust-based moral intuitions are any more reliable than their grandparents’ were?

There are two aspects to this, one fairly trivial. Mr Chappell goes from “Some people judge … because” to “homophobic conservatives fail … equivalent of yesterdays racist conservatives”. The “some people” goes from an adjectival description that (rightly) describes a small minority, while on the other hand to my reading “homophobic conservatives” is less likely to read as an even smaller subset (those in the “some people” category of before who are also conservative) to a notion that of a notion tarring essentially all conservatives as homophobic.

In the comment trail, Brandon argues for repugnance as a basis for other issues such as incest, which Mr Chappell finds acceptable.  I offer two alternative tests:

 Consider abmnemnopaedophilia, that is hiring young children (from poor family backgrounds) so that one might apply a drug which prevents the creation of long-term memory and then “use them” for the purposes of sexual enjoyment. That is, paying a family to give up their child for a night’s “entertainment” (with material renumeration) along with the application of a drug which prevents the child from having any memory (the next day) of nights events. This, from a purely utilitarian standpoint, should have no issue. That is, no lasting or measurable harm is done, the paedophile gets his “reward”, and the family gets some much needed financial assistance. It would seem that the primary argument against is repugnance (or perhaps virtue ethics).

Consider also the following sort of slave trafficking. In this sort of traffic young orphan girls from third world cities, who have been captured by street elements and sold locally into brothels might then re-acquired into first world, say European or American brothels. In those brothels, these girls are still sexual chattel … but they get better clothes, better food, work more reasonable hours and have a substantially improved lifespan and as well, the third world nation gets an influx of captial. Again a utilitarian can offer no complaint.

I would argue that both of these situations are “intuitively repugnant.” As well, one might be able to hoist reasoned arguments why they are bad, however there also utilitarian reasons why they are “good.” However one might ask those who would support either of the two test cases, “Why are you not humbled by history?” Why do you think your utility-based moral intuitions are reliable? Perhaps instead of proving a reason to doubt “repugnance” might we find instead utility a flimsy basis for ethical decision-making.
Mr Schraub asks:

A new ad out tries to force McCain into that question pro-lifers never want to answer: if abortion should be a crime, how much time should women who have them serve?


I’ve yet to hear a coherent justification (at least, one that isn’t nakedly paternalistic — e.g., women are irrational creatures controlled by their emotions, so they can’t be punished) for why abortion can be outlawed (as murder), but the murderers should get off scot-free. I suppose if someone doesn’t think abortion is murder, but still can come up with a reason for it to barred, they could dodge out of this, but the few arguments I’ve heard on those lines are also pretty paternalistic (it’s a serious decision, and we can’t know if you’re taking it seriously enough unless you’re willing to prove it somehow to the state).

A counter question that “pro-abortion proponents” never want to answer (or offer coherent justification) for is why they are for regulation (are paternalistic?) on virtually every other phase of life/issue, e.g., gun ownership, seat belts, hay rides, retirement, school regulation, and so on …  but when it comes to killing the fetus brook no regulation or oversight at all. Paternalism per se is not a thing from which the left shirks … except in the case of abortion. The “pro-abortion” proponents also fail to offer “a coherent justification” for the notion that the pater, i.e., father, has any rights at all in this matter, which is unfortunate.
Now, the argument for regulation of abortion that I’ve made is not, I think, paternalistic (that is based on the idea that the state is wise but women are “irrational creatures”) but motivated instead by the idea that virtue is the path to happiness and that providing an environment in which virtue can flourish is one of the primary ends of the state. My argument was not singling out young women by any means, but was based on the notion that every serious ethical personal decision that affects society, i.e., marriage, divorce, abortion, and end-of-life issues might rightly be confronted by methods in the public square so that the society might be assured that the person(s) involved recognize that a serious ethical decision is being made. Men or women considering marriage often declaim they would climb any mountain or brave any raging torrent to be with their beloved. Aboriginal American cultures often had such barriers, fasting, vision-quest, or other feats to overcome which one might argue served this purpose. In modern Babylon, i.e., our culture, civil courts currently serve something of that purpose. Currently our courts have a limited set of tools, like prison, fines, and service. It seems likely if we considered the task of the courts to assign barriers to demonstrate one’s resolve, a larger set of tools might be assigned to their disposal, which could then be also used perhaps at a generically higher level, for those who don’t present their case in court.

That is basically a less mocking restatement of the “serious ethical decision” argument. It is one I’d argue for at a local level, so that if/when barriers would be set, they would be made at a micro-scale to be proportionate and be seen as reasonable to those setting them. However, in policy, it is one I don’t ascribe to on a national level. I’m currently of the opinion that these decision of abortion, euthenasia, divorce, marriage, and so on should all be made locally, at the village/precinct level.  At the local level, one response to deciding to forego the regulations put up in these matters is that, you must face the set consequences … or move (preferably prior to breaking the law and facing said consequences).

Multiple Economic Personality Disorder

While I don’t like paying $50 to fill my gas tank, every time I do I remind myself that this surge in oil prices is helping along the search for an alternative energy source.  When oil prices are low, there is little incentive to do R&D, especially if the cost of the new source comes in much higher.  But as the price of oil climbs, the incentive to innovate becomes stronger, and leads us closer to a solution.

But there are some that, while they proclaim they want the latter, also complain about the former.  Unfortunately, all 3 of the major candidates for President are among that crowd.

This tiff over gas and oil taxes only highlights the intellectual policy confusion – or perhaps we should say cynicism – of our politicians. They want lower prices but don’t want more production to increase supply. They want oil "independence" but they’ve declared off limits most of the big sources of domestic oil that could replace foreign imports. They want Americans to use less oil to reduce greenhouse gases but they protest higher oil prices that reduce demand. They want more oil company investment but they want to confiscate the profits from that investment. And these folks want to be President?

Higher prices are doing what they’re supposed to do; encouraging conservation.  This is a good thing.  I know it’s hard to understand when you’re watching the numbers fly up on the pump, but in the bigger scheme of things, it can be an aid to discovering the next big, clean energy source.  I have in the past covered those who are antagonistic to clean, renewable energy (oh please, read those links; just dripping with irony), but these politicians — these allegedly smart people who supposedly see the big picture — should be the ones educating the public on this issue, not pandering and just rounding up the usual suspects.

Prices convey information.  They affect demand.  Artificially manipulating them doesn’t do any long-term good.

[tags]energy,oil,gas prices[/tags]

The Radical Wright

Obama could no sooner disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than he could disown the black community.  Well, at least up until the past few days.  He still hasn’t disowned him per se, but he certainly has tried to distance himself from his 20-year pastor.

But the discussion has been that what one heard from Wright’s pulpit was part and parcel of church in that selfsame black community.  But the LA Times has been asking black clergymen in LA and finds that, no, Wright’s rants aren’t necessarily mainstream.

In a series of nationally televised appearances over the last few days, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has defended his controversial remarks as "prophetic theology," and said criticism of him amounted to an attack on the black church.
But most black church leaders and members reached Tuesday disagreed.

"This didn’t have anything to do with the black church — it was basically an attack on the individual message he proclaimed, which hurt some individuals," said the Rev. K.W. Tulloss of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Boyle Heights. "My own members were offended by Rev. Wright’s words. His views have cast a wedge between people, and that’s the exact opposite of the unity Jesus represented."


Bishop John Bryant of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who has known Wright for 30 years, said he would have used less provocative language.

"How one speaks is as important as the right to do so," Bryant said. "If it is done in an inflammatory way, the substance of the message gets lost in the rhetorical style."

Kerman Maddox, a member of First AME church in Los Angeles, said that he had listened to hundreds of sermons in black churches nationwide as part of his political and community work, and that Wright’s messages did "not represent mainstream black thought on Sunday morning."

He said he had never heard pastors curse America or proclaim, as Wright had, that the U.S. government caused AIDS among blacks. He said the common pulpit themes had long been unity, personal responsibility, loving your neighbor and improving your neighborhoods.

But the biggest concern Tuesday among local black religious leaders — and across a wide swath of black Los Angeles — was not about Wright’s words per se but about their impact on Obama’s historic campaign.

It’s been a while since all this came out; why didn’t anyone in the media think to ask these questions earlier? 

But the main question to me is this; what does this say about Obama himself?  He’s not running on experience — he’ll lose to McCain if he is — so one of main things to consider is his judgement.  If he’s shocked to find out that his own pastor is so far out of the mainstream after spending 20 years with him, that does not reflect well on that judgement.

The Politics of Voter Fraud

John Fund has a good round-up of the recent Supreme Court 6-3 ruling upholding Indiana’s voter fraud laws.  There was one thing, however, that the justices were unanimous on.

In ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID law – the toughest in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.

Even Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the three dissenters who would have overturned the Indiana law, wrote approvingly of the less severe ID laws of Georgia and Florida. The result is that state voter ID laws are now highly likely to pass constitutional muster.

As much as the Left has tossed that word around (and at times incorrectly), this is indeed a crushing blow to budding Mayor Daley’s of the world.

But read the whole thing.  The case was from Indiana, and there’s a very close Obama connection.  You’d expect him to want to avoid voter fraud, right?


[tags]John Fund,Supreme Court,Indiana,vote fraud[/tags]

Pull the Troops Out

The violence has continued to increase, with no end in sight. 

An outburst of gunfire rattled the city during the weekend, with at least nine people killed in 36 separate acts of violence.


They included gang shootings, drive-by attacks, and even one case in which someone used an AK-47 to shoot up a plumbing supply store.

I think that if either Clinton or Obama are elected President, we need a timetable for our troops to pull out of Mosul Chicago.

[tags]Chicago,Hillary Clinton,Barack Obama,Iraq[/tags]

New "Human Rights"

Should a painter be allowed to decide what he or she paints?  Should a musician be allowed to decide what music to play or write?  Should a photographer be allowed to decide what pictures to take? 

In New Mexico, the answer to that last question is a resounding, "No."

The New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled on Wednesday that an evangelical Christian photographer discriminated against a lesbian couple by refusing a job to photograph the couple’s same-sex commitment ceremony. Religious rights attorneys plan to appeal.

The commission ordered Elaine and Jon Huenins, owners of Elane Photography in Albuquerque, N.M., to pay the lesbian couple $6,600 in attorney fees.

"It is just a stunning disregard for the First Amendment," said Jordan Lorence, a senior legal counsel for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the photographer couple in court.

Canada’s Human Right Commission has been, at the same time, busy accusing Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and others of thought crimes (covered by the Shire Network News podcast here and here with many more details at FreeMarkSteyn.com), with the idea of "free speech" being considered foreign.

In fact, for an organization that is supposed to promote "human rights," the HRC’s agents seem curiously oblivious to basic aspects of constitutional law. In one famous exchange during the [Marc] Lemire case, [Dean] Steacy [HRC investigator] was asked "What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?" — to which he replied "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don’t give it any value." (I guess Section 2 has been excised from his copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights.)

If a photographer doesn’t want to take pictures at a same-sex commitment ceremony, but will get fined if she doesn’t, how soon before the First Amendment become a value-less concept within our own borders?

And this is not just a general free speech issue.  From the original article:

"[Vanessa] (Willock) had requested via e-mail for Elane Photography to conduct photography for her commitment ceremony, and the owner of Elane Photography responded that she would not perform that photography session because it was a same-sex commitment ceremony," [Carrie] Moritomo [public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions] told Cybercast News Service .

No punitive monetary damages were awarded because Willock did not seek damages, Moritomo added.

Lorence said the Huenins, who are fervent evangelicals, politely declined the request because they did not want to use their art to disparage traditional heterosexual marriage. That should have been the end of the matter, he said.

"The Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling people to promote a message they disagree with and thereby violate their conscience," Lorence said. "Christians should not be penalized for abiding by their beliefs.""

Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School professor, constitutional scholar and contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog (where he’s blogged about this issue separately from the new story) is quoted, noting parallels to hypothetically requiring a freelance writer being forced to write for a pro-Scientology web site words that he does not believe in.  He also points out a bit of inconsistency.

"The law says that only when there is a ‘compelling government interest’ and applying the law is essential, only then can the government compel someone to violate their religious beliefs," Volokh said.

The fact that New Mexico does not recognize same-sex marriage makes it hard to argue that government has a compelling interest in protecting same-sex commitment, he added.

Human Rights Commissions are becoming less and less aptly named, and are instead becoming mere tools in the hands of liberal interest groups to silence dissent.  Where the legislative avenue doesn’t work, these commissions and activist judges are the Left’s next front to get their way in social law when the people are clearly against them.

[tags]New Mexico Human Rights Commission,free speech,Christianity,religion,homosexuality,same-sex marriage,Elaine Huenins,Jon Huenins,"Vanessa Willock,Alliance Defense Fund,Ezra Levant,Mark Steyn,Eugene Volokh[/tags]

Will He Get The Ferraro Treatment

Uh oh, don’t these Democrats realize that you simply can’t talk about this sort of thing in polite company?

Wading back into the Democratic presidential race, billionaire businessman Bob Johnson said Monday that Sen. Barack Obama would not be his party’s leading candidate if he were white.

Yes, apparently Mr. Johnson does recall Geraldine Ferraro’s remarks, and in fact agrees with them.

Johnson’s comments to the Observer echoed those of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She stepped down as an adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton last month after saying Obama wouldn’t be where he is if he were white.

"What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called `Jerry Smith’ and he says I’m going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote?" Johnson said. "And the answer is, probably not… ."

"Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial … it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything."

Well, I wouldn’t say Ferraro’s skin color was a "problem" in the general sense, because that shouldn’t have mattered.  Equally, Bob Johnson’s skin color shouldn’t matter either, but if you click here and pull up the web page for the article, you’ll notice that he is black.  Not only can he say that Obama’s color is a factor in his popularity, he can also say that it was a "problem" for Ferraro to say this because of her color.

Whether or not you agree with Johnson’s assessments, I highly doubt he’s going to come under fire nearly as much as Ferraro for what amounts to a restating and expanding of her comments.  Obama himself may take a shot back, but the uproar, or lack thereof, over this will be telling.

And again I have to come back to the question; who it is that really has a problem with this?  It’s Democrats, the ones who insist they have more common cause with Dr. King.  It’s not just that talking about racial issues (which they, like Obama, insist they want to have a conversation on) can be taboo, but it’s a different sized taboo (or none at all) depending on the race of the speaker.  Your opinion is simply not tolerated unless you are of a particular race. 

Isn’t that, y’know, the very definition of racism?  Isn’t this allegedly what political correctness — AKA liberal sensitivity — was supposed to remove?  And yet liberals find themselves yet again in a bed, nay coffin of their own making.  Identity politics is ripping the party apart, and now oversensitivity to racial issues is continuing the breakdown. 

The facade that is the Democratic party has some gaping fissures. 

Co-Dependence in the Press

The Columbia Journalism Review, no member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy ™ they, is calling out the press corps on their (lack of) coverage of a pretty blatant lie.  First they repeat the context in which John McCain said we may stay in Iraq for 100 years, picking a number out of the air while noting our lengthy, continuing presence in S. Korea (~50 years) and Japan (~60).  But then came the lie about it.

It’s clear from this that McCain isn’t saying he’d support continuing the war for one hundred years, only that it might be necessary to keep troops there that long. That’s a very different thing. As he says, we’ve had troops in South Korea for over fifty years, but few people think that means we’re still fighting the Korean War.

Nevertheless, back in February, Obama said: “We are bogged down in a war that John McCain now suggests might go on for another hundred years.”

And, on a separate occasion: “(McCain) says that he is willing to send our troops into another hundred years of war in Iraq.”

But the big deal for the CJR is that journalists aren’t journaling.  If their job is to report the facts, they’re derelict.  Instead, they’re burying the lead or completely ignoring it, becoming co-dependents.

Still, some outlets continue to portray the issue as a he-said, she-said spat. A long takeout on the controversy by ABC News, opining that McCain’s comment “handed his Democratic opponents and war critics a weapon with which to bludgeon him,” is headlined: “McCain’s 100 Year Remark Hands Ammo to War Critics: McCain Haunted by January Remarks Suggesting 100 More Years in Iraq.” And today’s L.A. Times story, headlined “Obama, McCain Bicker Over Iraq,” is similarly neutral.

To be fair, the ABC News piece does provide the quote in its full context, giving enough information to allow conscientious readers to figure out the truth. That’s better than the L.A. Times piece, which says only that “McCain has stressed since then that he meant that U.S. troops might need to remain to support Iraqi forces, not to wage full-scale warfare”—instead of simply telling readers that it’s clear from the context that McCain did indeed mean that. Still, neither piece stated high up and unequivocally that Obama is distorting McCain’s words.

(Emphasis mine.)  When those who lean left can’t keep quiet about leftward bias in the press (and when they make their case in a journalism magazine), the game is up

[tags]media,Columbia Journalism Review,John McCain,Barack Obama,Iraq,media bias[/tags]

On Children

A gift from God.

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

Well, unless they’re not planned or wanted. Then they’re a punishment, right Senator?


[tags]children,Barack Obama,Psalms,abortion,sex education[/tags]

On the Religious Left, and abortion

Along the lines of Doug’s The Religious Left post, via Treaders, is Russell Moore’s editorial Alma’s Mater, from Touchstone Magazine (July/August 2007). From Moore,

“Peace and justice” Christians are insistent in telling us they do not wish to move away from the protection of unborn life when they point to other social issues. They simply seek to “expand” Christian social witness from the “Religious Right’s” narrow focus on abortion and marriage to the full range of life issues.

We’re not pro-abortion, they assure us. It’s just that we believe that life doesn’t begin at conception and end at birth. We believe, they say, that global warming and quality daycare and an increased minimum wage are pro-life issues too.

The Religious Left

The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has, as it’s quick mission statement:

The Mission of the Acton Institute is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.

Among their web site’s many features is the Acton PowerBlog, and a podcast of the various lectures and radio appearances of Acton staff as well as their recently-started "Radio Free Acton" with a bit more production value (hosted by an old blogging friend of mine, Marc VanderMaas). 

Recently in the podcast stream was a talk by Acton President Rev. Robert Sirico entitled "The Rise (And Eventual Downfall) of the New Religious Left".  It is a 35 minute speech in which Rev. Sirico covers the fallacies of the Religious Left by noting history, scripture, and church writings.  He particularly notes the Left’s penchant for increasing the power of government (which history shows never ends well) in the name of caring, when the role of the church in society is to change hearts and allow human society to come naturally along. 

I’d like to suggest this quick listen to all my SCO comrades, and those, both on the right and the left, who would like to hear a well-reasoned examination of the role of government in Christian charity.  (The page linked above has an embedded audio player.)

Tough Times for Democrats?

Our contributor Tom said recently, "These are tough times to be a Democrat."  A commenter, noting that line, replied, "It still appears that McCain can’t even beat Clinton – with her huge negative ratings – much less Obama."

If you put your stock in opinion polls, McCain’s looking better all the time.

The poll showed Arizona Sen. McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, is benefiting from the lengthy campaign battle between Obama and Clinton, who are now battling to win Pennsylvania on April 22.

McCain leads 46 percent to 40 percent in a hypothetical matchup against Obama in the November presidential election, according to the poll.

That is a sharp turnaround from the Reuters/Zogby poll from last month, which showed in a head-to-head matchup that Obama would beat McCain 47 percent to 40 percent.

Now, as I’ve said, I’m not a big fan of opinion polls.  They tend to judge emotion moreso that anything else, as I think this one does.  Nonetheless, I think Tom’s point stands, especially when you consider, as he did, the primary season debacle.

So now Democrats find themselves in a thoroughly uncomfortable position. Their nominee will ultimately be selected by the party’s elite, unelected delegates rather than by the millions of voters who turned out in during the primary season. Depending on which way they go, they run the risk of alienating a huge portion of their base. They could potentially disenfranchise millions of voters (particularly if they cannot resolve the Michigan/Florida problem). It’s rather ironic that the same party that since 2000 has routine accused Republicans of disenfranchising voters may do the same to their own base. How they solve these issues in selecting their nominee could mean the difference between a huge victory in November and utter self-destruction.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, right Yogi?

[tags]politics,Democrats,John McCain,Hillary Clinton,Barack Obama,presidential primary,disenfranchisement[/tags]

New Poll: The Religious Wright

Senator Barack Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia yesterday on race issues.  The speech was precipitated by connections being drawn between Obama and his black liberation theology pastor of 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Many people have been turning to the Internet to view statements by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who suggested in one sermon that the United States brought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on itself and in another said blacks should damn America for continuing to mistreat them.

Obama rejected Wright’s divisive statements but still embraced the man who brought him to Christianity, officiated at his wedding, baptized his two daughters and inspired the title of his book "The Audacity of Hope."

Not disown, perhaps, but much of that association has been scrubbed from Obama’s website and elsewhere on the Internet.  And that’s begging the question; are Rev. Wright’s view extreme for black liberation theologySee here for Mark Olsen’s look into this.  If they are extreme, what does it say about the candidate who supports that church by his attendance and, likely, his money?  If they aren’t extreme, what does it say about the theology, in addition to the candidate?  [UPDATE: James Taranto reports that they may be more mainstream than some would like to think.]

So then, are a candidate’s pastor’s views fair game for consideration on the campaign trail?  Before you answer, consider how the occasional words of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell have been used to paint evangelical Christians with a broad brush, both in the media and in the blogs.  But Falwell wasn’t, and Robertson isn’t, the pastor of the vast majority of those people for whom the Left likes to suggest they speak for.  Obama, on the other hand, attends by personal choice.  If the Left wants to make Robertson the spokesman for millions who may have not heard him speak, doesn’t that standard then apply to someone with a 20-year, close association with a presidential candidate? 

Or is there one standard for the Religious Right, and another for the Religious Wright?

Please vote in the poll on the right; do you think it’s fair game?

[tags]Barack Obama,Rev. Jeremiah Wright,race issues,Jerry Falwell,Pat Robertson,Religious Right,Christianity[/tags]

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