Saturday 10/15/16

  1. No Pro-Life Case for Trump
  2. Clinton accusers good; Trump accusers bad
  3. What’s with the Cigar?
  4. Lyin’ Samson’s non-sexual “positions”
  5. “Catholic Spring”
  6. The news Trump’s Loutishness drowned out

I know it’s futile to try to persuade those who have drunk the Trump Kool-Aid, but I want them to have no excuse for their shamelessness.

1

Trump is a walking-anecdote for the various cultural ideologies and trajectories that the pro-life movement opposes. Specifically, by voting for Trump, they endorse someone who in his personal life has not merely lived in, but *reveled* in the moral atmosphere and commitments that stand beneath our abortion culture.

If abortions happen because of the breakdown of marriage, then there is nothing ‘pro-life’ about electing someone who is at best a serial monogamist. If the abortion culture has anything to do with the wider degradation of our society’s sex and morals — as pro-lifers have argued it does for as long as I have been alive — then there is nothing pro-life in endorsing a candidate who has bragged about the number of his sexual partners. It matters that Trump is unwilling to answer whether he personally has funded abortions. It matters a great deal.

Let me be as explicit as possible about what pro-lifers supporting Trump means: It means lending their aid to someone who (with Bill Clinton) was friends with Jeffrey Epstein who was eventually convicted of pedophilia. And Trump knew of it and commended Epstein. I mean, look at this glowing endorsement: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Think about that for a second: conservative evangelicals and other pro-lifers have rushed to find any justification they can think of to vote for a fellow who almost certainly knew of pedophilia occurring, and, for all we do know of him, did nothing to prevent it. At the very least, he was not the one who went to the police about it. That pro-lifers have been reduced to this beguiles the mind, to put it gently.

(Matthew Anderson)

2

By trotting Bill Clinton’s accusers out in front of cameras before Sunday’s debate, calling them “brave,” and insisting their stories be heard, Trump has in a way backed himself into a corner. What makes those women brave and believable, but his own accusers phony? “None of this ever took place,” Trump insists, asking voters to take him at his word while at the same time insisting they should not take Bill Clinton at his.

Of course, this paradox plays both ways. The Clinton camp can’t really use the new accusations against Trump without appearing just as hypocritical. It’s interesting how Clinton supporters think the allegations against Trump are almost certainly true and show he’s unfit for office, while also believing that many allegations against Bill Clinton are probably overblown and totally irrelevant to the presidential campaign. How quick we are to dismiss sexual assault allegations when they do not help our own cause.

(Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry)

3

Any time I criticize sexual predator Trump, someone pops up to say Bill Clinton and his enabler are worse.

But there’s something odd. There’s always a “cigar” that comes into the story.

Not just any cigar, but Bill Clinton’s cigar, which figured in the Monica Lewinsky saga.

But why the cigar? Seriously: why the cigar?

Was everything else about that meretricious assignation perfectly normal? Is the cigar the only offensive element? The most offensive element?

4

The Author of Chosen by God: The Man Who Ate Honey, but Pulled Down Pillars extolls the positions of our modern Samson:

  • Appoint conservative Supreme Court justices
  • Destroy radical Islamic terrorism
  • Secure our country’s borders
  • Restore law and order
  • Negotiate fair trade deals
  • Lower taxes on the middle class
  • Repeal and replace Obamacare
  • Bring back American jobs from overseas
  • Make America energy independent
  • Get rid of political correctness
  • Protect the Second Amendment
  • Balance our federal budget
  • Preserve Social Security
  • Repeal the “Johnson Amendment”
  • Bring education back to the states (abolish Common Core)
  • Take care of American veterans
  • Monkeys, redolent of rose petals, are going wend their winged way from my hinderparts.

Okay, I made up the last bullet point. I admit it.

Quick poll (not really: setting up a poll is too much hassle): Which promise is most delusional?:

  1. Donald Trump destroying Islamic terrorism.
  2. Barack Obama halting the rise of the oceans.
  3. Dubya eradicating tyranny from the world.
  4. Donald Trump really meaning any of his putative “positions.”

5

I’m not letting Hillary of the hook, though.

Mr. Halpin, in another message, this one to his Center for American Progress colleague Jennifer Palmieri, continues the tirade: “[Conservative Catholics] can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they are talking about.”

Thus does Mr. Halpin dismiss what Cornel West, a man of the left but one who is admirably critical of anti-Catholicism, describes as “a deep and powerful tradition of thought.” Mr. Halpin also tosses aside an idea, subsidiarity, that Catholic and non-Catholic political theorists have long found compelling. Though it isn’t shocking that progressives are threatened by a principle of decentralization which posits that decisions should be made where possible by non-governmental institutions of civil society or local rather than central governments.

But what about Mr. Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman and himself a Catholic? Another email went to him, this one from Sandy Newman, founder and president of the liberal activist group Voices for Progress. “There needs to be a Catholic Spring,” the non-Catholic Mr. Newman ordered, “in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.”

Was Mr. Podesta offended by Mr. Newman’s effrontery? Did he rise to defend the honor of the faith he professes to hold? Did he protest the proposal to subvert its teachings? To instigate a rebellion for political reasons?

Mr. Podesta endorses the suggestion and even assures him that organizations bearing the name “Catholic” (but, of course, unapproved by the church and outside its authority) have been created. He claims that the “Catholic Spring” Mr. Newman has called for is already being planned, though it’s not quite ready for execution:

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.” Mr. Podesta and his associates had already set up and funded the front groups to foment the rebellion that they hoped would whip the Catholic Church into line.

Speaking to a trusted colleague, Mr. Podesta felt no need to hide the fact that these groups are political operations constructed to masquerade as organizations devoted to the Catholic faith. He and his allies created them to subvert the church’s teachings and witness—produce the rebellion—not advance them. The groups are progressive and Democrat—not Catholic.

(Robert P. George, Non-Catholics for Church ‘Reform’, commenting on a recent Wikileaks release of Democrat emails)

It has been speculated by a Facebook friend that the GOP similarly undermined Evangelicalism. This election has certainly revealed that the GOP retains an Evangelical loyalty so abysmally deep that even faux Republican Donald Trump can barely shake it (as I’ve lamented repeatedly).

But there’s no evidence of which I’m aware of such deep contempt and conscious subversion of the whole way the extremely splintered Evangelical world views reality.

Evangelicals grasped at power; the GOP told them what they wanted to hear. Rome spoke truth to power; the Clintonites tried to gin up a crowd of dissidents to drown it out.

(Side note: I wonder how must of the “Arab Spring” was ginned up by the U.S.?)

6

If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of …

(Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal, The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins)

For my money, though, Peggy Noonan’s uncharacteristically blunt narrative is more potent than Strassel’s:

Readers of these pages know of the Uranium One deal in which a Canadian businessman got Bill Clinton to help him get control of uranium mining fields in Kazakhstan. The businessman soon gave $31 million to the Clinton Foundation, with a pledge of $100 million more. Uranium One acquired significant holdings in the U.S. A Russian company moved to buy it. The deal needed U.S. approval, including from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

While it was under consideration the Clinton Foundation received more money from Uranium One. Bill Clinton got a $500,000 speech fee. Mrs. Clinton approved the deal. The Russian company is now one of the world’s largest uranium producers. Significant amounts of U.S. uranium are, in effect, owned by Russia. This summer a WikiLeaks dump showed the State Department warning that Russia was moving to control the global supply of nuclear fuel. The deal went through anyway, and the foundation flourished.

Peter Schweizer, who broke the Uranium One story, reported in these pages how Mrs. Clinton also pushed for a U.S.-Russian technology initiative whose goals included “the development of ties between the Russian and American people.” Mrs Clinton looked for U.S. investors and found them. Of the 28 announced “key partners,” 60% had made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation. Even Russian investors ponied up.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.