MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Sunday Reads

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For your reading pleasure: Lawrence Henry in the American Spectator discusses things a president can’t say.

But consider President Bush’s situation — the situation of any President in wartime, faced with an ad-lib partisan debate. There are far more things he can’t say than those he can, because the President actually is in the game of world politics.

What he says could fracture alliances, end relationships, start wars. And some of his best ripostes are barred to him because of that.

In two debates, for example, Senator Kerry has insisted that he would eliminate the “nuclear bunker buster bomb program” from the United States’ arsenal. Unfair, don’t you know. Asking those other countries like Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear arms programs, and then we go ahead developing new H-bombs. Hardly sporting, what? Not diplomatic. Everybody in the world — take that literally — knows why the United States is developing those bombs. But can the President say something like, “You want to eliminate nuclear bunker buster bombs, Senator? What are we going to do about rogue nuclear powers when sanctions don’t work? I haven’t noticed they’re too responsive to talk.” Even implying that threat in a public forum could cause an act of war.

Then we have Zev Chafets’ view of Kerry’s gay-baiting during the debate.

[Kerry] was crying Mary to send a message to presumably homophobic Christian voters: Just in case you hadn’t heard, the vice president harbors a practicing lesbian in the bosom of his family. Despite Kerry’s angel-faced sanctimony, this was a piece of premeditated gay-baiting (John Edwards used the same gambit in his debate with Cheney) whose transparent purpose was to keep some of the GOP’s evangelical voters from turning out on Nov. 2.

This was a miscalculation. Since the debate, the Christian right has been rallying to the side of Mary Cheney. Well-known political preachers like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson have gone out of their way to defend her right to privacy. Conservative radio talk shows and Web sites have been flooded with denunciations of Kerry and support for Mary.

This reaction doesn’t mean that the evangelical community has changed its doctrine, or its mind, on the sinful nature of homosexuality. It does reveal, however, that most born-again Protestants are not nearly as extreme – or as politically one-dimensional – as Kerry evidently imagined them to be.

And for those of you more curious about the role Pope John Paul II played in the end of the Cold War, here is an older piece from First Things by George Weigel.

Enjoy!

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Written by martinipundit

October 17, 2004 at 10:24 am

Posted in General

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