Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: A Devastating Poll that Needs No Editorializing…The Vanishing Durbin…Quinn’s Plan to Demonize Brady.

                                       Ash Wednesday*
                                     Devastating CNN Poll. 
               Last night’s CNN poll says that 52% of Americans say Obama doesn’t deserve reelection in 2012. Forty-two percent say they would vote to reelect him, less than the majority saying they would prefer to elect somebody else.  The president has a 44-52 deficit among all Americans and registered voters as shown by a CNN/Opinion Research poll released yesterday. The poll, conducted Feb. 12-15 has a 3% margin of error.  
                                        The Vanishing Durbin.
                Wait a second!   You know whom we haven’t seen or heard from lately…on TV and sound bytes on the radio?   Dick Durbin!  
                 Remember not long ago when The Hustler was ever-present on all channels and whenever you twist your radio dial?  Plying the sharpest partisan notes with ingenious style as the Senate’s Democratic whip? Recall when seemingly he was front-and-center everywhere?…attesting for universal health care?…stepping up to the plate for Thomson, Illinois?…ripping Republicans for being concerned that terrorists with Miranda rights would use them to stage a political circus?  Since the Massachusetts miracle produced Scott Brown’s election and the Democratic majority dropped to 59 he has seemingly fallen into a dark hole. 
                 With Evan Bayh’s announcement he won’t run…with his statement that the Senate has lost its old-time civility (i.e. extreme liberalism blocks compromise)…with Harry Reid looking at a double-digit loss no matter who he’s paired against—wouldn’t you expect you’d see Dick at the battlements—cheering the troops on…slashing out at the critics of Barack Obama…defending Rahm from attack for shelling out big federal bucks to shore up Landrieu and Nelson for health care…where are the TV clips from Dick?   
                Now’s the time for Dickie Boy to say Obama’s only been in office a year…give him a chance.  And the CNN poll was against an unnamed Republican.  Is there a Republican who can beat Obama?  I can think of a dozen things for him to say to recapture attention including the same polls say 85% will be reelected in the House.  And lookit, we just captured a top Taliban leader!  But we hear nothing from Dick. Why has he vanished?  
             What do the Democrats have here with Dick—a fair-weather friend?  Someone who’s pressing for TV availabilities when things are going well…but who’s not around when the bottom’s falling out?  You’d think with the prospect that Harry Reid will lose this November, every time you turn around you would see the pantingly available Dick Durbin—who if seniority is to be followed, should be first in line to succeed old Harry in the next session as Democratic Leader—whether Majority Leader or Minority Leader.  
              The other day Barack Obama said that he’d rather be a one-termer and successful than a two-termer and a failure.  That was ominous, the prospect being he’ll be a one-termer and failure.  
                 Now with the CNN poll showing more Americans think Obama doesn’t deserve to be a one-termer, his prediction…at least regarding his tenure not his accomplishments…might come true.  
                Question:   Do you think the Vanished Dick the Hustler might be shying away from Obama and Reid…believing that after November, the Democratic caucus might look forsomeone else…someone  not closely tied to Obama and Reid… to lead them—not an attack-dog defending a party that took a thumpin’ in November, 2010.   
                 In essence, are we to see an extreme makeover done on Dickie boy?  A new, moderate, why-can’t-we-all-get-along Dick Durbin?  Looks like that to me.    
                            Quinn Will Demonize Brady. 
                 If Bill Brady comes through by Feb. 23 and officially snares the Republican nomination for governor, there is little doubt what sanctimonious Pat Quinn will do.  Quinn has to demonize Brady.  And with the help of his liberal media pals including the lockstep Sun-Times with its army of columnists all saying the same thing, they will try to picture the Bloomington lawmaker as a reenactment of Pat Robertson.   
                 You can hear the battle-cries now from Old Watery Eyes:  Brady is…anti-choice!  Brady is a homophobe…Brady doesn’t want everyday, ordinary working families to take home a minimum wage in the Land of Lincoln…Brady wants to force Illinoisans to accept the “bigoted” notion via constitutional amendment  that marriage should be only between  a man and a woman in the Land of Lincoln!   
                  Typical Quinn but it won’t work. Illinoisans know who’s been in control of all the levers of state government from top to bottom and who therefore should be held responsible for the mess the state finds itself in…and this is a little more central to them than to re-ignite the social policy wars.   
      *: Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent, the 40 day season of prayer and penance before Easter. Ashes are produced by burning the palms that were used on the previous year’s Palm Sunday which are mixed with what is called catechumen’s oil which becomes a black paste. After this the ashes are sprinkled with holy water and addressed with incense. Priests and their assistants then apply the black paste on the foreheads of the faithful and declare, “Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.”  
        In my experience, few topics divide believing Catholics from secularists than the mystery of death. Everything significant in Catholicism touches on death—but this is not morbidity but of the highest intellectual and spiritual optimistic significance.  Every sign of the cross is reminder. The Hail Mary prayer is in essence a prayer for what is called a Happy Death (“pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”).  
        Even so, Ash Wednesday and Lent itself is far from fashionable in today’s scale of values. .  Today’s world strives to make us forget it.  But  reflecting on death is beneficial, reminding us that our time here on earth is short while eternity is infinite. Christ’s words about being ready at all times since death comes “like a thief in the night” goes hand-in-hand with His dismissing the value of the world’s riches and power.  Tied to the reality of death is the truth of the Last or General Judgment, imbedded in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds attesting that Christ Himself “sits at the hand of God, the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”  
        For all of us the mystery of death is—or should be-- awesome. While all of us face a Particular Judgment by Christ Himself immediately after our death, what is the significance of the Last or General Judgment?  Answer:   All our actions are submitted to divine scrutiny but the verdict shall not be rendered completely even when one enters eternity but until the end of time. The reason is clear: Sin committed here does not stop after its commission but starts a chain-reaction that continues for centuries.  Likewise virtue imparted by example or act rolls on and gathers momentum long after the one who extends it—via charity, prayer, alms giving, generosity, forgiveness—has died.

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