Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Unholy Family

Frank Weathers has engaged in an interesting conversation with Timothy Dalrymple here

Dalyrmple is pushing for a "Business Contract with America" from the Republican party that would set a clear timetable for repeal of Obamacare and that would energize the voters in November - a clear Plan.  Weathers replies, "Forget the Plan!  It's the Principles that are important."

I just added a comment, which I think is worth sharing on this blog as a stand-alone post, as it addresses the real issue at hand - an issue echoed by Dale Ahlquist in his editorial of the current issue of Gilbert Magazine entitled "Why I Won't Be Voting for Romney", and echoed more and more on the internet as well as on the street.

My comment -

It seems, unless I’m reading this wrong, that Mr. Dalrymple is arguing that a specific “contract” focuses the attention of the electorate on the specifics behind the principles, such as a timetable for repeal, etc. Mr. Weathers is countering not so much with a rebuttal of that contention, as he is with attacking a foundational assumption in Dalrymple’s approach – the assumption that any of these people can be trusted, or that any of them gives a fig about the good of the U.S.A. Thus Frank says principles matter more than plans, and Timothy says you can’t have one without the other. Clearly they’re both right as far as that goes, but clearly the underlying issue – can we trust these guys? – is not resolved.

I personally think the proof will be in the pudding. Romney will shy away from any “contract” or any bold proposal for repeal of Obamacare, as he and his handlers seem scared of taking such a stance. Why would this be? Any sane American knows that this is the issue to win or lose on in the November elections. But then again, any sane American knew that Bob Dole and John McCain were, to take just two examples, the last people in the world who would be elected president. Why is there this disconnect between the voters and the parties? Why do paid campaign advisers not see the obvious strategy in front of their eyes – a strategy that you’d hear in any bar room in America?

The only answer is that there’s more at steak here than the interests of the American people. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will repeal Obamacare; not because both parties recognize the need for some form of universal health care, but because big insurance and big pharm are running the show, not the voters – except in so far that the voters want something for nothing.

This is the Unholy Family – Big Business Daddy married to Big Government Mommy, raising a spoiled electorate Brat they refuse to wean from a teat that gives make-believe milk.

1 comment:

Tom Leith said...

Stake. There’s more at stake here than the interests of the American people. I'm having steak for dinner tonight (really).

I read Dale's article, and a reviler friend of mine who may not inherit the Kingdom insists very loudly, sometimes crudely that he also will not vote for Romney.

I could understand how voting for a realistic long-shot (say Ron Paul after a loud write-in campaign or something) might satisfy the duty to meaningfully engage. Loudly engaging in the write-in campaign surely would. But I don't understand how simply staying home can. On the third hand, our individual votes are meaningless anyway even if we don't sink to the depths of cynicism that Kevin sinks to here. No, without what have have been called Acts of Social Justice (skip the foreword and just read the excellent paper) our acts of individual justice, i.e. satisfying the duty to vote, are rendered nearly meaningless.

It seems to me that "vote for" is not the same as "support" so we can dispense with that moralism: one does not "support" Romney (say) by voting for him. Just as I'd have been thrilled to have the chance to vote for Ron Paul in spite of his Libertarianism, not because of it.

What's left us is a teeny-tiny bit of individual influence we could use to keep some things from getting worse with the full knowledge that other things will get worse. Then we must examine those things in light of a hierarchy of goods and make a decision. As things stand now, there's only one decision I think a Catholic (or indeed any Christian, Jew, or Moslem) can make whether he's a Jeffersonian-style democrat or a Hamiltonian-style democrat.

So as I said to a correspondent yesterday, we have a lot of work to do: we must first cast out the beam out of our own eye; and then shall we see clearly to teach all nations. Or something like that. I'm sure if I was a Baptist I'd know.