Friday, August 6, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Here’s Eddie McClelland with Helpful Advice to Republicans (Ignore the Conservative Base)…The Flaws on Fox.

     Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.* 
                    Who’s Ed McClelland Again?  Remind Me. 
       Folksy liberal Edward McClelland who writes the Channel 5 NBC blog Ward Room is filled with unsolicited sucker advice for the Illinois GOP.  My question: Ed, anent your helpful suggestions to the GOP, when was the last time you voted for one of its candidates?  Was it 2008 for McCain? 2004 for Bush?  2000 for Bush?  I thought not.  
        Anyhow he just got up yesterday morning and decided to give the party a lot of gratuitous and unsolicited advice.  This is from the same outfit that told Mark Kirk it wasn’t interested in getting any more news releases disparaging Giannoulias about the mobster loans he made from his family’s bank.  
         McClelland’s free-for-nothing advice: Republicans don’t need to court the right.  In other words: skip the Fox Network Glenn Beck-Andrew Breitbart session scheduled here. Kirk is going but then I’m not surprised.  He has the inner resolve of a limp noodle. Brady isn’t going either—by which I am surprised. If anybody needs recognition from the base aside from downstate, it’s him.   
         Of course McClelland’s “advice” is duplicitous. The first rule in politics is to energize one’s base.  The base of the GOP is resolutely conservative. And to capitalize on an energized base, a candidate should show his/her face and identify with it. Fox has the most TV watchers and its commentators rank with the most popular in the nation. Beck’s viewers rank into the millions and is the fastest growing commentator in the U. S. now.   Breitbart is close to joining the same league.   
        Already another would-be Republican well-wisher, Capitol Fax has hectored Republicans to stay away: All this advice for the good of the GOP, you know.  Gene McCarthy used to say that most newsies hang together like blackbirds on a telephone wire.  One settles on it and is soon joined by a flock.  Talk about Journ-a-List and its litany of anti-GOPers: In this Squid state where 90% of journalists either belong or are straight Dem voters, Journ-a-List isn’t needed. They just think the same without corresponding with each other.  Did you ever hear Carol Marin talk so warmly of “Jimmy” Warren, the ex-Trib editor who now purveys his liberalism to The New York Times two days a week (Friday and Sunday)  via a special foundation grant and good old  WTTW-TV?   
         Capitol Fax thinks it odd…and is compelled to tell its readers this…that Bill Brady attended a fund-raiser here in town for Sharron Angle the GOP Senate nominee opposing Nevada’s Harry Reid, the majority leader.   Oh-oh-oh, Brady: Mustn’t do!  Sharron Angle is a…gasp…conservative!  A far-right nut, don’t you understand?  Memo to Capitol Fax: She’s tied with Reid in the latest CBS poll. I really get a kick out of these trembling media Democrats who want to spare Republican candidates “embarrassment” with the so-called “moderates.”  BS. They want Republicans   to placate the Left. As if the Left would ever vote for Brady. 
          And lookie here, another faux GOP “adviser,” Bernie Schoenberg, a columnist for the Springfield Journal-Register has already flown in to take a spot on the telephone wire with McClelland and Capitol Fax.  Schoenberg cares very deeply about Republican welfare too so he’s issuing his own advice.  
            What it is, is less of advice than a media threat. Don’t attend this meeting, do you get it?  But just to soften it a bit so that it seems like friendly advice, McClelland says “Republicans don’t need to be seen with Beck and Breitbart any more than Democrats need an endorsement from Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore.” The analogy is inept. Lesbian outer Maddow is far less known than any Fox contributor and she’s on the slightly watched MSNBC.  Aside from producing a film every few years of so that intrigues The Daily Kos, Moore is not well known. 
         So understand this: The supposedly “friendly” advice is duplicitous. But it also carries an implied threat to Republicans. Meaning obviously, if candidates show up they’ll be fodder for Schoenberg’s liberal-slanted columns in the future.  
            Just a few words of friendly advice…or threats…from our collegial lefty media folks who have so distinguished themselves in the past for dissing Republican candidates and issues.   Don’t kid yourself, like blackbirds sitting on a telephone wire as purported “friends with advice” to the GOP  they are…and as November 2 approaches, first one and then the flock will fly away to vote for and write in behalf of Squid candidates.  They’ll do an “agonized recapitulation” and wind up supporting Quinn and Giannoulias.  Count on it. 
                                          Where Fox Has Flaws. 
           I find the best news show extant on television is Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier shown here at 5 p.m.  One of its highlights is its Fox All Stars panel which features two superstars commenting on domestic, international and military affairs—Charles Krauthammer, a nationally syndicated columnist and holder of a Pulitzer prize for commentary and Stephen Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard.  
          Just to illustrate what Aquinas said about nothing in this world being perfect, both men have…for my taste…a soft acceptance for gay rights.  A few months ago both agreed that repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the military is the right way to go because…as Krauthammer said…times are changing.  That’s a hell of a reason.   Times are changing and cultural mores are changing to decadence and the answer is not shrugging acceptance.  
      Last night Krauthammer lamented…correctly so far as it goes…that the action of a justice [a self-proclaimed gay: my comment] on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals justice in San Francisco (where else?) to up-end the vote of Californians to up-end the gay marriage ban…was a mistake. Why?  Not what you think.   He cited the fact that some years ago the vote against same-sex marriage in California was much heavier than it was last week—signaling a change in popular attitude.  Why not wait until the public comes around rather than having a Court overturn it?  
      He noted that it is a similar mistake made by the U. S. Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade.  Some major states…New York and California among them…had legalized abortion but the Court’s action which overruled all popular statements prompted bitterness and acrimony that has extended from 1973 until now…and certainly will go beyond this year into the indefinite future.  I agree with that so far as it goes.  If the Court hadn’t stepped in and written a highly criticized ruling blocking legislative change, we’d be involved in state-by-state repeal. 
            Hayes agreed with Krauthammer about gay rights.  But the two of them negated any judgment of absolutes endemic in Judeo-Christian belief that both abortion and homosexual practices are morally wrong—and are moral absolutes. These beliefs are part of the woof and texture of thought on which America was founded.  Krauthammer and Hayes thus reflected utilitarian thought, foreign to most of the founders: that which is agreeable to a seeming majority should be passed.  Or as they said last night: Just stick around and attitudes on  gay rights will begin to go further Leftward—so there’s no need for a Court ruling.  But they gave off the view that gay marriage is preferable and inevitable without Court action.  Meaning no absolutes.  
            If I knew Krauthammer who seems to be the intellectual superior of the two, I’d say: Hey, Charlie—if there are no absolutes and we must be guided only by what we see in the ever-shifting sands of public opinion, what about the trend of American public opinion slowly swinging away from ideological defense of Israel—even with the Jews themselves? .  How about that?  I’m sure his answer would be one of horror. He is an absolutist on Israel—as is Hayes (working for the pro-Israel Weekly Standard run by Billy Kristol, a Jew).  
           Israel, to Charlie and to Hayes, are absolutes. As it is with me. But as for them, social issues affecting the moral status of the nation don’t count, apparently.   
           All the same, Special Report is still my favorite of all television news programs.  Just pointing out a tic in the panel that recurs whenever Krauthammer and Hayes are on and gay rights as an issue is raised. Otherwise they’re all right: in fact, brilliant. 
     *: The Transfiguration of Our Lord.  The wildest, most death defying Mercedes-Benz ride  my wife and I ever had occurred 15 years ago as our guide-driver leaned back unperturbed while we  roared up the narrow, twisting and turning road shorn of fences or roadblocks separating us from many hundreds of feet in a sharp drop…leading to the top of Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. . We were sure we were  going to plunge over the precipice to join (hopefully) those  who witnessed the event more than 2000 years ago: Peter, James, son of Zebedee and John (the beloved Apostle).  But we made it and also survived the terrifying  descent averaging at least 60 mph. (our eyes shut tighly, lips intoning the Act of Contrition).   But we did view the vista from which Christ was transfigured as recorded in all the Synoptic gospels  and where He became radiant, spoke  with Moses and Elijah…the two preeminent figures of Judaism and was called “Son” by God the Father: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.  Hear ye Him!”. 
         Aquinas has called it the greatest miracle since it happened to Jesus Himself (not others) and demonstrated the perfect happiness of heaven. It also demonstrated that He was the Son of God.  Christ tells them not to tell others what they saw until He had risen on the 3rd day after his crucifixion on the cross.  All authentic Catholic theologians agree that Moses and Elijah represent the Law and Prophets respectively.  Christ’s conversation with them represents how He fulfills the Law and the Prophets.

1 comment:

  1. That circuit judge is attempting to overturn a law of nature, not just a moral law.