I felt pathos on January 10. Our nation heard eloquence and saw class, dignity, and poise bundled in a farewell speech. I’m already nostalgic in the face of a creepy future filled with belligerent tweet storms from a philandering, dictator-friendly, fact-denying president with microscopically thin skin. Hear the cracks of arctic and Antarctic ice amid […]
Tag Archives: Obama
July 14, 2014
Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.
June 25, 2013
Many are expressing surprise at President Obama’s speech on climate change at Georgetown University today (see the comments at 350.org). This is the speech.
August 19, 2012
The all-American picture of the All-American family struck our Facebook walls hours after the announcement: A trim dad, donned with a baseball cap and a sweatshirt, sits on the porchswing beside his beautiful wife. Three children smile on their laps. The headline pleads above: “Please say a prayer for the Ryan Family.” The caption explains below: “They are about to face a terrible and merciless onslaught of lies, rumors, and smears from the progressive/Democrat propaganda machine known as the, ‘Impartial and Objective Main Stream Media.”
So the culture-war detonates with a prayer, sealing Mitt Romney’s vice presidential designate from criticism because he’s a pity-worthy victim. Political discourse – always filled with passion and never for the faint-hearted – is no longer about reasonable verses unreasonable or practical verses impractical. It’s good verses evil, the wholesome verses the malicious, the decent verses the vile. Think of that harmless family. Think of the children.
I actually sympathize as they face the potential onslaught. I have no reason to doubt Paul Ryan’s sincerity or his religious devotion. I honestly wish him no harm. He might be a great guy. Perhaps we’d be friends. Maybe he’s one of those give-you-the-shirt-off-my-back libertarians, individualy charitable but suspicious of candy-doling but power-hungry governments. I should listen – especially if he’s the admired GOP intellect and policy wonk. At the same time, my American citizenship obliges me to gauge a candidate’s intellectual coherence, what previous generations called wisdom – and, since he’s a self-advertised Christian, his representation of Christ and his teaching. Romney opened that door when he played the religious card, apparently forgetting how the deck was once loaded against him. He hailed Ryan’s Catholicism and, in a Virginia campaign ad, accused the president of waging a war on religion. Many are leaving churches of all stripes because the faithful are seen as Bible-heaving, take-no-prisoners zealots, so I need to see what we’ve been dealt.
October 1, 2011
I hear the echoing booms. The Family Research Council is hammering nails into the coffin of its own credibility – and, once again, it drags the rest of us into its grave. I’ll crawl out and obsequiously plead before my agnostic friends: “I’m sure the FRC is well-motivated … they care … they’re sincere … law-abiding … love dogs and cats … but (that inexorable “but”) … not all of us are like them.”
My friends are not stupid. They see the organization’s mockery of its proclaimed anti-abortion stance; they see how the FRC is not genuinely pro-life; they see through the chimeras and phantoms and figments and find no resemblance with the New Testament lifestyle. It’s evident: The FRC is a ventriloquist’s doll for the Far Right fringe, complete with a Bible tucked beneath its wooden arm (witness the clone like resemblance between its budget cutting proposals and the Republican Party’s, here and here). The ventriloquist preaches from Ayn Rand’s notes while neglecting the baby in the womb as well as the infant in the crib. They want nothing to do with our ilk if it means resembling the Family Research Council.
September 18, 2011
President Obama read this psalm in New York on the 9-11 tenth anniversary. Hear the words and then replay them. They’re good words. We might even want to take them seriously.
November 9, 2010
One member of the YouTube VlogBrother duo dug deep and emerged with the tell-all answer to the perenial question: “Is the president a Muslim?” He gave us the inside scoop on the issue that won’t go away — primarily because people want to believe what they believe despite all evidence. Here he is, in full, with no commercial breaks.
December 2, 2008
Think of me as an accidental iconoclast. I’m a pro-life, Bible-thumping, holy-rolling evangelical Christian and … a registered Democrat.. Even worse, I’m no blue dog. I’m a real-life Roosevelt “liberal” who voted for Obama and wept for joy as the returns came in. I baffle non-church goers when I rebut the politics of Falwell, Dobson, and Robertson. I break their mold. Evangelicals question my orthodoxy and integrity, claiming – at the very least – that I wilted under pressure and swooned before Pied Piper charisma during the 2008 election. I break their mold as well. Witness the dismay from the internet plea of a sincere 21-year-old: “the platform McCain stood on was miles closer to lining up to God’s Word, and in so many cases was spot on.” She adds: “It grieves me that many Christians could not separate the issues from the man.”
She’s not alone. Colleagues at breakfast meetings freeze. It’s as if I’ve breathed ice on their scrambled eggs – although a few pull me aside later, their eyes darting as if they fear spies, and mutter: “Thanks for speaking up. I’m a Democrat too.”
Keep it hush-hush. Otherwise, the Monty Python gang might smash through the door and holler: “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”