Saturday, August 25, 2007

Some political thoughts...

It's been awhile since I offered any political observations here. There are a couple of reasons: first, I've been too busy to blog as much as I used to, which is why mainly I post texts of talks and homilies; some things require time to think out and develop. The second reason is that while I don't apologize for my political interests, I figure as a priest, I should keep that low profile. As my heading says, I should be about preaching Christ crucified.

That said, I think we can chance these political observations...

The National Intelligence Estimate. This is the report from the various U.S. spy agencies about the situation in Iraq. Opponents of the war waved it around. Funny, that--weren't these the "experts" who got us into this war: the WMD threat was imminent?

Someone observed that the report describes the situation from several months back--i.e., it's out of date. Makes sense--if you want a bunch of bureaucrats to write a committee report, how long will that take?

Gambling in Ohio. Governor Ted Strickland and Attorney General Mark Dann are going after some machines, in taverns and clubs I assume, that pay out prizes, and they claim are gambling; the machine company says they are "skill based" and that's legal.

"We expect the interest controlling illegal gambling in Ohio to do anything to protect their profits," Dann said in a press release.

Ah, but of course, the state of Ohio is preserved free from any such base motive!

Don't you love how, when private parties do it, it's "vice"--but when the state does it (the lottery), it's somehow transformed into virtue?

Meanwhile, Governor Strickland is being talked about as a possible veep candidate for Hilary Clinton (according to Bob Novak this morning). Makes a lot of sense, and that would let the Governor off the hook from explaining what he's ever going to do to draw jobs and development to our state. As the national economic expansion continues--and tremors in the markets raise fears it may end (these things go in cycles)--many parts of this state never experienced any recovery--the are still in "recession."

Governor, we need jobs!

Politics is...'complicated.' There's a video circulating on the Internet, and hold on while I describe it, you're going to be confused.

It purports to be a pro-Giuliani video, supposedly by "Gays for Guiliani"; except it's produced by a Democratic activist who never supported Giuliani, and doesn't now. It happens to be true that Giuliani was favorable to "gay rights" as mayor of New York City, and the ad calls attention to that. But it does so by depicting gay men in very stereotypical fashion. In a word, it's derogatory to gays in the way it depicts them. The fellow who made the ad is, himself, gay.

The idea apparently is to incense GOPers against Giuliani by connecting him with gays. (As a side note, Fox News chose this story as an opportunity to run one of many pictures of Giuliani in drag. Make of that what you will.) As the excellent Instapundit says, "Because sometimes it's necessary to save the homophobia in order to destroy it."

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson is poised to dive in...poised, mind you...I'm really thinking about it...

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich is threatening to run...

Meanwhile, more of the Democratic candidates for president want you to know they were for the surge, before they were against it; or something like that...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nah, Al Gore will run. He'll win ang will, while petting a Siamese cat in sub-basement forty-five of the Pentagon, hit the button that deploys nukes calibrated to blanket the entire globe with EMP. All technology will be destroyed, global warming will end, there will be massive famine, and Al Gore will die from a heart attack trying to jog up forty-five flights of stairs in the dark.

Thom said...

>>Meanwhile, Governor Strickland is being talked about as a possible veep candidate for Hilary Clinton (according to Bob Novak this morning). Makes a lot of sense, and that would let the Governor off the hook from explaining what he's ever going to do to draw jobs and development to our state.<<

In his defense, Father, it's pretty difficult to undo in one year what it took Gov. Taft 8 years to screw up. Heavens, I miss Voinovich the Governor.

Dan said...

I can say that after becoming home to the Catholic Church, I have lost all interest in politics. I use to be a political junkie, however I have found that the politicans out there do not believe in what values that I have come to embrace fuly with the church. I thought I was losing it here but it seems like they are just slaves to the polls and not to what is right.

Father Martin Fox said...

Thom:

I don't miss either of our GOP governors. They had such opportunities to make such positive change in this state, to strengthen the economy by creating a positive environment for job-creation.

The basic recipe isn't complicated: keep taxes both simple and low, and have a favorable regulatory climate.

Instead, Voinovich and Taft both pursued the old Rhodes "spend and spend" philosophy, which of course has been President Bush's approach, only Bush at least did cut taxes. Remember: Voinovich and Taft had Republican majorities in the legislature too.

Thom said...

I agree, Father. But at least with Voinovich, I could drive down the road without my car being swallowed by a crater in the highway! :-)

Give Gov. Strickland a chance.

Even if he turns out to be terrible, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for a while. He's from my part of the state- a part that many Ohians barely consider being part of Ohio!

AND... he's not Blackwell, and for that, I am grateful.

Peace.

Father Martin Fox said...

Thom:

I don't mean to be unfair to Gov. Strickland, I would love to have him succeed.

But I am reacting to his campaign; he did not, to my way of thinking, offer much that addressed the critical need for an expanding economy.

For example: he put through a tax credit for seniors to have help with their property taxes. I am happy for the seniors, no question it can be tough for many of them, but...

If you look at how each age-group in this country is doing, senior citizens have better wealth than people in the working- and family-raising ages. I know I'll hear from those who aren't, but I'm saying, overall, they're better off. After all, how many of them own their own homes, without any debt, no children to be responsible for, and their income is more secure than that of wage-earners in a state with slow job growth.

My point is, that wouldn't have been my first move; because how does that tax cut -- and I am for all tax relief, across the board -- do much to generate job growth?

He also said he would shift spending around for job training, or improved higher education; again, okay, assume that will be well spent -- it's still not getting directly at the problem, with is: getting new businesses to start and/or locate here.

Sure, we all want better higher ed; but it's not like we're Liberia or someplace, we have very good higher education. Plus, companies, once located, recruit from all over these days, and people who live in Ohio, go to school all over. The problem is, when they can't find work here, they don't come back.

So I hope he does well, but so far, haven't seen anything that speaks to job creation and so forth.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Father, I'm always interested in your political insights.

A few reactions to your comments:

Giuliani: I didn't see anything in that video about the Mayor that wasn't true. Or undeserved. As for the stereotyped characters, that's a video to keep for the next time they tell us how offensive stereotyping is.

Thompson: I think one of the largest problems with America today is that so many people who have half a mind to run for officee -- do so. I really think Thompson has missed the boat.

Strickland: I don't know much about Ohio politics, but Jean at Catholic Fire had some amusing remarks about the possibility of your governor as Vice President.

NIE: I don't ever recall being told that the WMD threat was imminent. I do recall the President saying that he wouldn't wait until it was imminent to do something about it.

Gingrich: To my mind, Gingrich's hopes of the presidency died after he spent his first year as Speaker writing a book and having an affair, instead of ending abortion and the income tax, which was what I wanted him to do.

All best!