Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Personal Asides: No Big Deal About Either Froehlich or Dillard…The Sad Death of Common Sense…Paul Potts…Christopher Hitchens.


No Big Deal.

Republicans have much more to worry about than fuming about Paul Froehlich who moved his tent from Republican to the Democratic side of the House…or State Sen. Kirk Dillard who seems compelled to praise Barack Obama on the basis of having worked satisfactorily with him in the legislature.

Froehlich appears to have been in an untenable political situation…alternately worrying about primary opposition from conservatives and, if re-nominated, having to face a tough Democratic candidate in a district which has been turning Democratic. Not gifted with many political skills, he decided to switch parties and avoid at least one fight anyhow. For one born without much philosophical ballast, it’s understandable.

There’s a kind of aura about Obama in exurbia where country clubbers pursue narcissism…where they support trendy candidates for what luster the candidates bring to them rather than what they really feel on the issues. When you’re sipping Chardonnay it’s something of a status symbol to say…fluttering your eyelashes to indicate you’re an intellectual…that, “I really do want to see Barack elected—because he gives me hope.” That’s all you have to say and some of your fellow country-clubbers will think you are, oh, so deep, so feeling, so above the pettiness and grubby business of politics. Kirk Dillard knows better but his base consists of lots of people like that—so he talks fondly of how nice Barack has been to work with. Harmless, really…even when he does a commercial about it.

If it strikes you as phony, so is all politics…all the players I have met in more than 50 years have been replete with contradictions… so shut up and make the best of it.

Death of Common Sense: (1) Southwick.

Contributor Frank Nofsinger has sent me an excellent piece called “the death of common sense” which I will relay to you one day. In the meantime, I have culled these two examples of its death—and see if you agree.

The Democrats get themselves so tied in knots trying to pursue their radical pro-homosexual agenda in order to please their base, that they are more to be pitied than condemned. Take the case of Leslie H. Southwick, appointed by President Bush to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A meticulous attorney and superb jurist, his nomination is being held up by the ten-member Democratic majority on Senate Judiciary because…guess?

His “homophobic” beliefs. Southwick served as deputy assistant attorney general at Justice and as a member of the Mississippi court of appeals from 1995 until 2004 when he deployed to Iraq with the state’s National Guard’s 155th brigade combat team. But he falls short of political correctness with two cases for which he was intensively grilled by the Democrats at his confirmation hearings.

In one, Justice Southwick voted to uphold a ruling awarding custody of a young girl to her father instead of her bisexual mother in a decision where he actually referred to…gasp!...”the homosexual lifestyle!” Everybody knows there’s no such thing as a homosexual lifestyle; everybody knows it’s a phrase of derogation. Look at the Gay Pride parade and you will see they behaved just like anyone else on that occasion. That’s one count against him with the Democrats. The second has to do with a ruling Southwick made agreeing with the majority in which the court ruled that a white social worker, accused of uttering a racial slur against a co—worker, citing that while the slur was “demeaning” he agreed with the Employee Appeals Board’s decision that use of the term “had not sufficiently affected the workplace” to warrant her dismissal.

Because he had not acted in accordance with political correctness on these two issues, the Democrats are refusing to allow him to get an up-or-down vote.

Death of Common Sense: (2) Medical Board.

A North Carolina jury has sentenced Allen Holman to death for chasing his estranged wife while driving a car at high speed and ramming her from behind in full view of a police officer. A jury sentenced him to death in 1998; he dropped his appeals, fired his lawyers and has repeatedly asked the state to impose his death sentence.

But a Wake county (N. C. ) judge has delayed his execution. Why? The state requires a doctor to be in attendance to certify that the criminal is really dead and to sign some forms. But the state medical board says it will censure any physician who does so because a doctor’s participation in capital punishment is “unethical.” North Carolina is one of 13 states where the death penalty is on hold because judges cite concerns that inmates could endure extreme pain if lethal injections are administered improperly. Then, too, the AMA’s code of ethics points out that it is unethical for a physician to participate in an execution—and “participation” includes everything from administering the injection (well, I can understand this at any rate) to monitoring vital signs (here I cannot).

Here you who know me as a pro-lifer have guessed it. Of course the AMA or the North Carolina state medical board has no qualms about doctors participating in abortions.

Paul Potts.

I don’t know if you saw it the other night but a snatch was played on one of the networks from the Great Britain singing show, “Britain’s Got Talent.” It’s more than a takeoff on “The American Idol” but vaguely reminiscent of the old gong show, i.e. it’s entirely possible that somebody can walk out on the stage and stink up the joint. Anyhow, the experts were ready to laugh the next candidate off the stage when he walked out. Name: Paul Potts. Occupation: a South Wales mobile phone salesman. Potts looked like Jackie Gleason’s takeoff of “the poor soul.” Ill-fitting suit, terrible haircut, lumpy figure. Then he swung into “Nessun Dorma” and the audience including Britain’s top critic Simon Cowell (also of “Idol”) leapt to its feet at his conclusion. You can watch it again on YouTube.

Christopher Hitchens.

The other day after my friend John Powers and I finished coffee at the Corner Bakery at Old Orchard, we took a turn into Barnes & Noble. John went one way, I another. I spent a good hour and a half there browsing through Christopher Hitchens’ “God is Not Great”—a defense of his atheism. Of course is received a rave review from liberal critics including “The New York Times” but just a few instances convinced me that it is the most insufferable hyperbolic bunch of crap I ever read. Herewith:

o Religion produces a “maximum of servility.” Of course, just as Abraham, Moses and Job exhibited when they argued with God.

When I was young I imagined I could debate with God on some things. He was a very fair debater, allowed me time to make my points and meticulously observed the rules. And He has forgiven me all my sins. I am sensitive to His omnipotence but I don’t think I am servile to some of His bishops. (Perhaps I should be.)

o “No statistic will ever find that without [religious] blandishments and threats, [atheists] commit more crimes of greed or violence than the faithful.” But statistics with which I am familiar show that those who find God…particularly those in addiction…have much lower recidivism than others.

o Religion “does not have the confidence in its own various preachings even to allow coexistence with different faiths.” Graphically insupportable as the frequent collaboration between Christians and Jews will show. Of those who believe in Islam I am not so sure.

o “The nineteen suicide murders of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania were beyond any doubt the most sincere believers on those planes.” Again, dramatically insupportable. Todd Beamer, a young graduate of my own school, St. John’s in Minnesota organized the counterattack with the phrase “let’s roll.”

So as you surmised, I didn’t buy the book.


  1. Tom, you're right about Froelich and Dillard. I wouldn't waste five minutes either celebrating or getting apoplectic about either one.

    But on the topic of party switchers, didn't the esteemed Winston Churchill switch parties, Conservative to Labor, then some years later change back to the Conservative Party and lead Britain through the war?

    Now I won't put Froelich and Dillard in the same class as Churchill, but I would lay off haranging them. You never know what the future holds.

  2. Tom,

    Only caught your blog secondhand today, which my brother read highlights to me while on the train. He mentioned..."had coffee with John Powers, what an insufferable bunch of crap"

    I told him Tom should have had a cinnamon roll, as they were very tasty.


  3. Tom, you said with regard to the 2 traitors:

    ". . .so shut up and make the best of it."

    I guess that should be the response from all of us the next time you take up one of your pet little causes Tom.

    For cryin' out loud Tom, a guy who was a party official and a public official joins the other side. I can't remember the last time that happened in the IL GOP. And have you ever heard of a senior GOP officeholder anywhere doing an ad for a liberal presidential candidate?

    Tom, no wonder in your time as a "conservative leader" you've watched while the IL GOP has gone further and further down the crapper.

    Lead, follow or just get out of the way. Please.

  4. I would be concerned about the loss of Paul Froelich's seat in the legislature. Schaumburg may be changing, but it ought to remain Republican for a few more elections. Topinka provided an awful drag on the ticket last November and the Democrats were free to put resources into what had previously been safe districts for the GOP. Cross needs to begin recruiting solid candidates for the next election. Some of these seats ought to be in play.