Opinion

Opinion

GOP field leaves N.H. voters uninspired

December 4, 2011

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— It sure is quiet up here, so still that you can almost hear the snow fall.

In the coffeehouses and restaurants there’s scant talk of politics. There’s hardly a bumper sticker in sight, and only a handful of lawn signs. No breathless activists wearing buttons or stickers. No indefatigable canvassers walking the neighborhoods. In fact, it’s easier to find a leaflet for Story Land, a well-loved amusement park that closed for the season Oct. 8, than for any of the contenders in the New Hampshire primary, which occurs Jan. 10.

Drive around Carroll County, the only county in New England that Barry Goldwater carried in 1964, and you’ll find almost no evidence that the first primary of the political season is but five weeks away. The television stations are starting to carry advertising, to be sure, but the urgency is for the shopping rush of the December holidays, not the political passions of the January primary. Republicans here and around the country are fervent in their desire to defeat Barack Obama, but they’re not all that worked up for any of the GOP candidates.

Voters unmotivated

Washington has its budget deficit. New Hampshire has a motivation deficit.

That’s in part because none of the candidates inspires real enthusiasm. The rocky roadsides here are littered with candidacies that never were: Rudolph Giuliani, Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush. For months, activists waited for one or more of them to set their cap for the nomination, infusing each with the qualities the real Republican field lacked, which is to say the ability to ignite the ardor and devotion Obama inspired in 2008, forgetting of course that Obama did not win the primary here.

Another explanation for the motivation deficit: the lack of a narrative to the 2012 presidential campaign — so far.

Four years ago, there was the apparent death and then the dramatic revivification of John McCain, a storyline that had resonance here, where McCain was remembered for his 19-point victory over George W. Bush in 2000. The Arizona senator and Vietnam war hero went on to win the nomination.

Gingrich rises from the dead

Now, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, pronounced dead by all the smart people only six months ago, is surging and even has a Manchester Union Leader endorsement in his pocket. This looks for all the world like a second revivification, though history doesn’t always repeat itself with such poetry and symmetry. A candidacy needs a better rationale than the notion that it is treading a well-worn path, particularly in a state that claims a poet who argues that roads not taken make all the difference.

That same erstwhile poet-chicken farmer, in a verse titled “New Hampshire,” once called these environs “a most restful state,” which it is right now, though “the paper,” as the Union Leader is often called, has stirred things up a bit, the way it did in the old days, when William Loeb was publisher. His successor once removed, Joseph W. McQuaid, said the paper’s search “for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job,” led it to Gingrich.

No subject, save the weather and maybe the Red Sox, has been debated here more fervently than the influence of the paper, which counts among its endorsed candidates Robert A. Taft (1952), John Ashbrook (1972), Pete du Pont (1988) and Steve Forbes (2000). Only twice, in 1968 (Richard M. Nixon) and 1980 (Ronald Reagan), did the paper’s choice prevail. And already the supporters of Mitt Romney — whose father, Gov. George Romney of Michigan, was derided as “Chihuahua George” on the front page of the paper nearly a half-century ago — are offering the theory that independents and moderates will find the Union Leader’s imprimatur on the Gingrich candidacy an odious mark.

It is true that the new threat to Romney posed by Gingrich makes this a more interesting and, perhaps, more vital contest than it might otherwise have been if a former governor of a neighboring state was holding a steady if not impressive lead with no apparent challenger. Now Romney’s forces will have to work hard to win and, if they do, they will have earned a victory more significant than simply a perfunctory buss to the cheeks from their cousins down the road. And, of course, the good neighbor policy doesn’t always work here, as the supporters of Edmund S. Muskie of Maine learned in 1972.

On the surface, there should be enormous interest in this race. It’s the first time in 16 years that the Republican race stands alone for the attention of New Hampshire voters, who include independents, a potentially important force.

Focus on conservatism

Though this state (and county) voted for Obama in 2008, the emphasis in this primary will be on conservative positions and values. A generation ago it was not uncommon even for Democrats here to distribute yard signs that pronounced their candidate as “honest, experienced, conservative,” the implication being that the three words were synonymous with virtue.

That emphasis on conservatism is back, even for Romney, who until midway through his single term as governor was resolutely moderate, if not a tad liberal.

Today Romney says he wouldn’t have undertaken one of his father’s signature battles in Lansing, the fight for a state income tax. In those days, the elder Romney was considered a formidable challenger to Goldwater, whom he eventually refused to endorse in 1964. In recently released taped musings, Jacqueline Kennedy says of her husband: “He was nervous about Romney.”

Now it’s conservatives who are nervous about a different Romney, which is why Gingrich, who is also muscling up in right-leaning South Carolina, the next battle, went out of his way last week to say he was “a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney.”

For all but the supporters of Ron Paul, who is a lot more conservative than either of them, the motivation gap is a palpable presence in this race. Voters have ample reason to ignore the polls at this stage of the season, but this single finding, in the latest Pew poll, bears watching as the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary draw near: The only major candidate whose favorable ratings outweigh his unfavorable ratings isn’t on the Republican ballot here. He is Barack Obama.

David M. Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His email is dshribman@post-gazette.com.

Comments

Gandalf 3 years, 5 months ago

"Gingrich rises from the dead"

Are all rightwing teapubs zombies?

its_just_math 3 years, 5 months ago

Since "The One" appeared, can anyone ever inspire again? I'm just sayin'.

roadwarrior 3 years, 5 months ago

republican re-cycle. Perhaps the NASA guide to surviving a zombie invasion IS a worthwhile read after all. LOL.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Looks like there is every reason to not vote when the choices are that bad.

Rudolph Giuliani, Haley Barbour, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush all have plenty of dirty laundry as well. Number one they are all incumbents and experts in raising corrupt campaign funds.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Cain drops out because of multiple affairs so all of the GOP sex addicts hop to Gingrich (who claims he did it for "patriotic" reasons. Say what?? Yeah. Right.) 13 years ago the GOP impeached Bill Clinton and spent two years and millions of tax dollars on a special prosecutor all because of Clinton's "infidelities". Now it seems the party of "morality" and "family values" and "marriage defenders" is perfectly willing to embrace a serial polygamist (who served his dying wife divorce papers while in her hospital bed) with the morals of a rutting goat. Now tell me again just how gay marriage undermines the "sanctity of marriage"?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

"13 years ago the GOP impeached Bill Clinton and spent two years and millions of tax dollars on a special prosecutor all because of Clinton's "infidelities".

Can we say $53,000,000 (millions is correct).

Corey Williams 3 years, 5 months ago

Of course, it usually helps if the party of "family values" has some "family values". Otherwise, they're just hypocrites. Like "small government" republicans.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

What a crock. Seems like Anthony Weiner was forced to resign in shame and he didn't have an affair at all but the GOP leadership harped on the issue until he had no real choice. The GOP hypocrisy would be astounding, if it weren't so damn consistent. The GOP backed Bush, carte blanche with the grand snipe hunt for WMD in Iraq, never whined once that he never budgeted for either war...they didn't mind that he didn't budget for NCLB, never budgeted for his gift to big Pharm...they echoed his lies that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" right up to the day he bailed out Wall St...they stuffed bills with pork knowing Bush's veto pen was out of ink, $800 billion slid by on his watch...but now suddenly they're all about fiscal responsibility? The Bush tax cuts for the rich did not stimulate the economy or create jobs, only added almost $2 trillion to the deficit and they can stand there straight faced and say tax cuts never have to be offset....then demand an offset for the payroll tax holiday and expect everyong to buy into their nonsense that ending Bush's "temporary" cut is somehow a tax increase. It's not astounding, but it is disgusting.

Sean Livingstone 3 years, 5 months ago

"Liberal establishment media"... you do have the choice of not watching it... and find ways to debunk such media if you think they're not reporting the right stuffs. American democracy is in crisis... because most voters are ill-informed... it's just a war between your news network and my news network. The right choice? Stop watching television.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, he lied.

About sex.

If you think that he's the only politician to ever have an affair and lie about it, I think you're vastly mistaken.

Was it bad behavior? Sure.

But it's quite common, and to single him out for it, and spend millions of taxpayer dollars to catch him at it seems like a witch hunt to me.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

"Yes, he lied". While under oath. Clinton had a law license. He, more than anyone, should have known that lying while under oath is different than other lies. He was undermining the judicial process that we all rely on for justice. Remember, he was not being asked about his sex life for heck of it. He was being sued by a woman who claimed she had been fired from her state job because she had been sexually harassed by the then governor. She went to court seeking justice. She went to the one place where we are all equal, where truth is currency.
Clinton wasn't just lying to his wife or to his political opponents. A very real victim had accused Mr. Clinton of wrongdoing and she wanted justice. She deserved justice, as do all victims of illegal sexual harassment. She deserved the truth. For his own reasons, he denied her what she was entitled to. I don't know how many of you out there have been placed under oath. But it's different. The expectations placed upon us is greater. We are expected to reflect upon our words, choose them wisely, so that we can be sure that our words are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Mr. Clinton, an officer of the court, failed on that day.
Whether or not one believes he was a good president because he left us a surplus, or if you admire his pro-choice stance, or you agree with his foreign policy, the fact remains that on that occasion, he failed miserably. The "witch hunt" was 100% of his own making.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree he should have known better.

For that matter, he should have kept it in his pants in the first place, and remained faithful to his wife.

My recollection of the whole thing may be flawed, but what he lied about was Monica Lewinsky, not some other woman, wasn't it?

And Lewinsky wasn't suing him.

The right wing made a very concerted effort to "get" Clinton, and succeeded.

I would be willing to wager that very few politicians would survive that sort of an assault - they generally exhibit poor judgement, lack of morals, etc.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

He was being sued by Paula Jones. During discovery, she had a right to ask if there were similar instances of sexual harassment. (Remember, if a person believes the question is not appropriate, they may go before the judge and ask for a ruling. The judge ruled that the question was appropriate). It was Paula Jones who had been fired. It was she that went to court seeking justice. The President of the United States, himself an officer of the court, denied that to her.
Whether or not Clinton should have been impeached, whether or not other politicians exhibit similar poor judgement, whether or not Republicans were out to "get" him, are other issues. What is not accurate is to say he lied about sex. He committed perjury by lying under oath. He obstructed justice. BTW - If the CEO of a major corporation has an affair with a secretary, and the secretary's job is adversely affected, that's usually defined as sexual harassment. If a married President of the United States uses a cigar in unique ways upon an intern, who then suffers, that too is sexual harassment, whether or not she then sues. In retrospect, we can only conclude that the original question in the Jones case was indeed appropriate. Now if Clinton had a consensual affair with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then it would have been nobody's business.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

They're not "other" issues - they are pertinent issues.

I agree Clinton acted badly, in a variety of ways.

However, I think that many, many politicians act badly, in similar ways, all of the time.

He did in fact "lie about sex" - he did so under oath., as well.

I guarantee you that if the right had found out about a consensual affair between Clinton and Ginsburg (there's a mental image I'd like to erase :-)), they'd have come after him about that.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

I didn't mean to suggest the other issues were not pertinent. Just that my comments were more narrow. Just as you suggest, if the Republican had information about a consensual affair between two equally employed adults, they may well have come after him. But not for perjury and obstruction of justice. A vendetta can be seen for what it is. But glossing over perjury and obstruction of justice, and denying Paula Jones her day in court, with a "he lied about sex", that's so misleading as to be a lie in itself. And it deserves to be corrected.
I too want to erase the mental image. I just brought her name up as someone who would be on equal footing with the Presidents of the United States. :-)

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

He did in fact lie about sex, under oath.

It's not at all a lie to say that.

You may wish to say it differently, which is fine.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

It's a half truth. Or maybe even a quarter truth. It's misleading. It leaves out the most pertinent parts. Your first post in this thread, and Merriill's first post that dealt with this subject, both failed to mention the "under oath" part. Both didn't mention the obstruction of justice part. And neither mentioned that a citizen of this country was denied justice in a court of law because the chief enforcer of the laws of this country made a decision to deny her the truth. As bad as infidelity is, that was only the tip of the iceberg.
I asked the question before, have the posters here testified under oath. There's something very different about it than just coming home to your wife and telling her a lie. And as an attorney, Clinton knew better than most about that difference.
Imagine if I went hunting yesterday, fired three shots. No deer. Oh, well, you might say. Bad day hunting. (psst. I did hit a human being, killing him by accident). Now remove my last statement. I've left out the past about hitting a person. Am I really telling the truth. "Went hunting, 3 shots, no deer". That's not the truth unless I mention the killing a person part. If I leave it out, everything else is bull****.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

My post was a response to somebody who said didn't he perjure himself?

I didn't think I needed to specify under oath when I responded that yes, he lied.

As far as the rest, I didn't remember all of the details as well as you seem to (I'll have to take your word for it).

But, I maintain my main point that many, many politicians act badly, in many ways, and that the right set out to "get" Clinton in any way possible, and succeeded (with his help, of course).

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Excuse me? Lewinsky never claimed to be a "victim". She wouldn't even give up her dress until it was subpoenaed! This was a very well orchestrated witch hunt where the GOP backed Clinton into a corner and forced him to either lie or go very public and embarass his wife and 14 year old daughter. The fact that he chose his family first should mean something to you "family values" types. But noooooo you'd rather have a man who served divorce papers to his dying wife while he was playing around her and used prostitutes or a man who had a 13 year affair that he's refusing to acknowledge even now!

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

Cait - If you really believe that Bill Clinton lied under oath to protect his wife and daughter, that's fine. But in my opinion, you're delusional.
And in no way will I defend the actions of Gingrich or Cain, to whom you reference.
While you say Lewinsky was not a victim, would you say the same about a rape victim who does not report it? Not reporting or not suing does not diminish the victimization. But again, it was Paula Jones who did sue and it was she that was cheated of justice. And it was Clinton's lies that caused the injustice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

If Clinton had been impeached, Al Gore would have become president, and very likely would have won election in 2000, and then re-elected in 2004, thus sparing us the nightmare of one of the most corrupt and incompetent administrations in the history of the Republic.

So that's one witch hunt that should have succeeded, even it if all we could see at the time was the hysterical frothing of Republicans.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

Impeached and then convicted by the senate, that is.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

While I agree that Bush Jr. will go down in history as one of the worst presidents we've had, what would have a Gore presidency done in reaction to the dot.com bubble bursting? What would have been his reaction to 9/11? Would countries around the world tested him in ways very different than they tested Bush? It's all guesswork.
However, you did a great job of changing the subject from Clinton's lies to Bushes failures.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

The most serious economic effects of the dot.com collapse didn't come until after the election. 9/11 may have affected the outcome of the 2004 election, but 9/11 and the chest-thumping war mongering that followed actually helped the Bush administration cover up for both its incompetence and corruption with just enough voters to get re-elected (and it didn't hurt that John Kerry was a real putz of a candidate.)

But it's also possible that Gore wouldn't have ignored the warnings about bin Laden and al Qaeda, and 9/11 would have been prevented.

Anyway, it's all speculation, but I think it's not going too far out on a limb to think that Clinton's removal from office could have prevented Bush's selection in 2000.

"However, you did a great job of changing the subject from Clinton's lies to Bushes failures."

Actually, the subject has meandered considerably from "GOP field leaves N.H. voters uninspired." If you want appoint yourself sole arbiter of what the subject is at any given point in time, be prepared to be consistently disappointed.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

Looking for similar situations in history, I'm drawn to Nixon's "removal" from office. Ford assumed the presidency without winning election on his own merits in the next election. I'm not at all convinced Gore would have fared much better. As to the dot.com bubble, the wheels had been set in motion. Bush inherited that bubble, just as Obama inherited the mess of Bush.
And you're free to wander wherever you want. I was just pointing it out. I even complimented you on it. We're cool, right?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

The situations between Nixon and Clinton are significant. Pretty much everybody wanted to see Nixon go, while Clinton was still quite popular. He screwed up big time with his philandering, thus leaving himself vulnerable to attack, but his impeachment was almost completely politically motivated-- finding weaknesses, real and perceived, of Clinton and attacking him over them was a rather significant cottage industry from the time he was first nominated, motivated to a large extent by a long-standing desire by Republicans to get payback for Nixon's being pushed out of office.

I've heard more than a few pundits speculate that one reason Clinton wasn't thrown out of office was because cooler heads in the Republican Party believed that with nearly 2 years before the general election, Gore would have had ample time to establish himself as a true "incumbent," and incumbents are historically hard to dislodge.

Yes, the dot.com was a collapse not of Bush's creation (but really, not of Clinton's, either.) Regardless, it really wasn't an issue in the election in 2000.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

The post above should begin "The situations of Nixon and Clinton are significantly different."

Kirk Larson 3 years, 5 months ago

Gore would have carried on with Richard Clarke's program to fight terrorism, instead of shelving it like Bush, so 9/11 likely would not have happened.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

My crystal ball is broken, so I'll take your word for it.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 5 months ago

The GOP field is a sad lot. Santorum is a lame Bible thumpin crusader, Paul is an insane dinosaur, Perry needs help spelling "cat", Bachmann is bat excrement crazy, Romney is a flip flopper who touts his business savvy that amounts to buying companies, gutting them, firing the employees, then selling the patents, and finally the shell. Gingrich is an elitist who fancies himself smarter than anyone on the planet and claims credit for a lot of things he did not do and denies things he's said, distorts things he's done. He was thrown out of speakership for more than 70 ethics violations and became a lobbyist - the last thing we need in the WH. Huntsman is sane and moderate, two qualities for some reason the GOP primary voter considers liabilities. The first hijacking of the GOP was by the religious right, lately the tea party loons and most notably Grover Norquist. I'm an Independent and though it won't ever mean much in red KS, with this kind of choice it's easy for me to cast my vote for Obama and be confident in it.

jaywalker 3 years, 5 months ago

Ain't just NH voters who are uninspired.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Ralph Nader for President - an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government.

Issues:

Adopt single payer national health insurance

Cut the huge, bloated, wasteful military budget

No to nuclear power, solar energy first

Aggressive crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare

Open up the Presidential debates

Adopt a carbon pollution tax

Reverse U.S. policy in the Middle East

Impeach Bush/Cheney

Repeal the Taft-Hartley anti-union law

Adopt a Wall Street securities speculation tax

Put an end to ballot access obstructionism

Work to end corporate personhood

Defend, Restore and Strengthen the Civil Justice System

Adopt the National Initiative

http://www.votenader.org/issues/

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 5 months ago

Ralph Nader would impeach Bush and Cheney.
Will Harold Stassen be his running mate?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

I think like most "progressives," Nader respects Paul for his sincerity and consistency, and for his stands against militarism and the cozy corruption between Washington and Wall Street, but otherwise there are as many policy disagreements as agreements. I doubt that you'll ever hear him endorse Paul for president.

Getaroom 3 years, 5 months ago

Nicely summed up jayhawxrok! But wait, this news just in from The Strawman: What is beyond this drawn-back curtain? Ah, a dimly lit club house, where a group of wannabe sophisticated filthy rich men(possibly women) are playing "fantasy government" and the leader who's code name is "its_just_math" and some of the other clubhouse members are, with great intensity, casting votes on which black man they dislike the most. Is it Obama or Leonard Pitts? These two black men seem to stand in their way somehow, what could it possible be that is so troubling? The votes outcome? Well, that doesn't matter, they are both equally unlikeable it in their minds and no stone is left unturned to come up with the harshest of comments for either.

Getaroom 3 years, 5 months ago

Meanwhile back at the ranch and while the rest of us were distracted with observing the "trivial pursuits" going on in the club house an even more ominous group of deciders, The Senate, was busy dismanteling The Constitution by passing a law making it legal for this government to arrest citizens, as enemy combatants, for any reason they see fit, but of course they deny any such powers. Sounds great right? First step is of course to require ID's to vote and National ID cards soon to follow. Homeland Security at it's finest, yes siree!
These beloved Senators from both sides are hot on the trail of usurping human rights - both right and left - and what? No one blinks an eye? Yup, that's right roll over play dead and all will be just fine when you roll back over to greet your fascist rulers. Oh! my, did he say Fascist?! Horrors to Betsey!! Never, not here in the USA, flags waving with greatness in the breezes of high morality, honesty, peace, prosperity and world dominance - whoops! that just slipped out. How dare anyone acknowledge anything other than this perfect Democracy, or should one just cut to the chase and say The United States of the "Free Market". Anyone confused? Well does this sound familiar to anyone: "Fascism should be thought of as a tool, used by corporate elites to gain and or retain more wealth and or political power. The corporate elite desire a government powerfull enough, to promote their interests but yet deminished to the point of not being able to promote the general wellfare of the common people." Is it possible that we already have this home grown infestation, but still flying the Stars and Stripes? The reality is, this is a global condition and owned outright by the dreaded 1%. Sure we currently have the freedom to write words such as this, but if some of you clubies don't wake up - this too is going down as history, while you bicker about Presidential candidates merits. If you think Brownbacks little stab at a highschool girls unwanted text was something just you wait, much much more to come. Don't mess with Corporate America (also known as the US of A) - or else. The Terminators "SkyNet" has arrived in your time, see the movie - be the movie. Isn't that just so ZEN! Cameras with facial recognition on street corners(for your personal safety), data bases full of personal information all married together. What the heck, you never did anything wrong, what's the big deal? Go figure.
Not to worry I already put the tinfoil back on and feeling much better. Well, if only Fox News would stop blatantly lying every minute of the day I might stop watching, but I can't seem to get off it - it's like a drug - more please more......... Fzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

verity 3 years, 5 months ago

This article by Jim Wallis (who is an evangelical preacher, but not popular with the radical right) explains very well how evangelical Christians can support someone like Newt Gingerich. This is something I have often wondered about and I found the article very enlightening.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/evangelical-consistency-a_b_1123046.html?ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=120111&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

"One of the greatest failures of Christians in this country is when they don't think and act as Christians first. Instead, they think first as Americans, consumers, partisans, and sometimes even as Red Sox fans. This leads to bending over backward to justify un-Christian behavior and attitudes to fit these other identities. The biblical name for this behavior is idolatry." . . . "A piece by Michelle Goldberg in Newsweek chronicles some evangelical voters in Iowa trying desperately to contort their values in order to justify supporting Newt Gingrich. She quotes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council as saying, 'Under normal circumstances, Gingrich would have some real problems with the social-conservative community... But these aren't normal circumstances.'"

While I am not a Christian, I think that Mr Wallis speaks to all of us in how we rationalize what we want to see and believe.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Google the Christian Left. It's highly emlightening. Just imagine; a group of Christians that actually believe that it's Christlike to heal the sick and feed the poor!

verity 3 years, 5 months ago

I also found this part of the article fascinating:

"I was surprised, as were many others, when a headline in Christianity Today a few months ago read, 'Survey: Frequent Bible Reading Can Turn You Liberal.' While many studies have shown a correlation between frequent church attendance and conservative political views, a new study from Baylor shows that frequent Bible reading increases opposition to the Patriot Act and the death penalty, while broadening one's concern for social and economic justice."

It goes on to explain how the study was set up.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Does the radical religious right have any idea how closely they resemble the illiterate peasantry in medieval times? They had mass in a language they couldn't even understand, relied on priests to interpret for them and allowed the Church to amass immense power as a result of their ignorance. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

verity 3 years, 5 months ago

The illiterate peasantry in medieval times had an excuse---education was not readily available to them. Now education and those who are educated are being attacked. I guess that is not surprising, considering that some people would like to take us back to the era of theocracy.

What is surprising to me is the number of people who seem to glory in their ignorance and contort their views to support those whose values are really not what they claim to believe.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Believe me, there is a huge disconnect between "Supply Side Jesus" and the real deal.

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Looking at the complete lack of support for the Republican frontrunners here is pretty telling. Not one person is disputing the lack of general support for Romney or Gingrich, or coming to their defense.

Instead, it appears that people really are serious when they say they will not vote for Bill Clinton to be President in 2012.

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Not much support for the Affordable Health Care Act in a story about GOP candidates? Gee, what a shocker.

Or are you just upset because it doesn't afford health care to zombies?

Armstrong 3 years, 5 months ago

Let's keep this in prospective. The GOP is running against probably the worst president in recent history ( close tie with Carter ). Anyone see Hope and or Change around the corner, yeah me neither. In Barack's own words " If the economy is still bad by my third year in office I will most likely ba a one term president."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree that Obama has been a major disappointment, but for different reasons than you'd recite (he's black and not a Republican.)

But I am curious-- do Republicans bear any responsibility for the state of the economy, given that its collapse was created under Bush's watch, or because the only identifiable Republican policy initiatives since 2008 have been to sabotage the economy even further, simply because they think that the worse things are, the greater their electoral advantage against Obama (given the truly pitiful offering of presidential candidates they have?)

Betty Bartholomew 3 years, 5 months ago

"...and he stole the 2000 election and started and illegal war..."

It's good that intervening years have allowed you to see that. :)

Armstrong 3 years, 5 months ago

Now I see why you lose 99.9% of the debates you attempt to engage in. Your ability to comprehend lineal thinking has done you in - again. Putting words in peoples mouth from what you think you have read, Pretty low road Bozo . But if it makes you feel better about yourself, whatever dude.

Here is the millionth response to the blame the republicans for Obama's ineptness, so pay attention this time there is a test later. Yes W did leave the economy in a horrid state ( are ya with me so far ? ) Here's the part where you need to pay attention. The dems had control of the house and senate for 2 years after Bush left office inwhich they ( D's ) did basically anything they wanted. But did they do the responsible thing ? Test question 1 Bozo. Here you decide. They through hook and crook passed Obamacare, 2 Spent $ 5 trillion on a failed stimulus, 3 Created 2 failed jobs bills ( soon to be three ) Pay attention to this the third failed jobs billl will be one that even the Dems won't vote for at election time . Your questions if you are still with me.

1) Which of those wonderful acts has been anywhere close to fiscally responsible or helped cut the national debt. or any of the other on the list of D's gripes. I'm feeling generous today so here is a hint. The answer is less than 1 so if you think in a lineal sense it must be ?

2) How many years did the D's have control of the house and senate. Psst more than 1 but less than 3

Take your time Boz and refer back to the post if you need to

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

"Your ability to comprehend lineal thinking"

And I bet you're a regular Fred Astaire on your "lineal feet."

"Here is the millionth response to the blame the republicans for Obama's ineptness"

I did no such thing. Obama's ineptness (or, better said, his fealty to the banksters) is all his own. He just runs a distant second to Republicans in both regards.

Armstrong 3 years, 5 months ago

As I expected, sorry Bozo you get an "F" on the test

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 5 months ago

Can you translate that into "standards-based grading?"

deec 3 years, 5 months ago

Why don't the wanna be theocrats stop trying to turn the country into a theocracy? Or try living what Jesus said, like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving up your possessions to follow him.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Wow, BAA, that last statement about "criminals and druggies"...just wow. I honestly pity you. Christ hung on the cross between two criminals. He not only forgave them, He called them "brothers". I suggest you look up Barabbas in the New Testament. The above paragraph makes it glaringly obvious you haven't got the foggiest idea of what Jesus was really all about.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Making assumptions BAA? How do you know my faith? Have I ever publicly stated I was? Have I ever publicly denied the existence of God? Are you an ear worm in my soul? (Now that's just creepy.) "Judge not lest ye be judged."

Armstrong 3 years, 5 months ago

As everyone knows playing the victim card is reserved for the liberal crowd. Can't take that away now can we

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Don't tell me, you read that in the liberal media -- that media that is soooo unfair to conservatives, right?

voevoda 3 years, 5 months ago

BornAgainAmerican, Christian and traditional American values are very much compatible with the ideas of the people you label as "far left." Not so compatible with the ideas of the political spokesmen on the far right. Matthew 22:15-21: "Then the Pharisees went away and agreed on a plan to trap him argument... 'Teacher,' they said, 'we know you are a sincere man; you teach in all sincerity the way of life that God requires, courting no man's favour, whoever he may be. Give us your ruling on this: are we or are we not permitted to pay taxes to the Roman emperor? Jesus was aware of their malicious intention and said, "You hypocrites! Why are you trying to catch me out?' They handed him a silver piece. Jesus asked, "Whose head is this, and whose inscription?' "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, 'Then pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.' Romans 13:6-7: "That is also why you pay taxes. The authorities are in God's service and it is to this they devote their energies. Discharge your obligations to everyone; pay tax and levy, reverence and respect, to those to whom they are due.” Luke 12:15, 21: "Beware! Be on your guard against greed of every kind, for even when someone has more than enough, his possessions do not give him life.... the man who piles up treasure for himself...remains a pauper in the sight of God. Luke 5:20, 22, 24: "Blesed are you who are in need; the kingdom of God is yours... Blessed are you when people hate you and ostracize you, when they insult you and slander your very name... But alas for you who are rich; you have had your time of happiness."

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

It's not "Christian bashing" to point out that the religious beliefs of the religious right are about as far away from those of Jesus as you can get. Tell me BAA, do you really think Jesus would have said, "For I was jobless and you told me, 'Get a job!'; I was homeless and you called me a 'dirty hippie'; I was destitute and you said unto me, 'Helping you would only encourage a big government nanny state. Be patient, for surely my riches shall trickle down unto you'?

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Romney or Gingrich anyone? Anyone? Any support at all out there for these two? ... (crickets)

Didn't think so. 60 posts, and not a note of praise for either candidate, which is exactly the point of this story.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 5 months ago

Bornagainamerican said:

"Good luck with that Alf. The Tin Man may be of help. The Wizard found brains for him. Perhaps you are not beyond help!"

Must question your knowledge of "The Wizard of Oz", there BAA. When you are calling someone stupid, be sure to check your own head before doing so.

Just who was it that the Wizard gave brains?

beatrice 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, the majority of voters in this country are the "unhinged left." Zombies are funny.

New name, same spots.

voevoda 3 years, 5 months ago

Except that most of Gingrich's "facts" are wrong. Just look at all the nonsense he has spouted about Islam.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 5 months ago

Obama has something else, zombie; facts, figures and dates for all 84 ethics violations Gingin faced in Congress.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 5 months ago

If enough disappointed progressives vote for Nader, then the current regime is DOA. Go, Nader!

verity 3 years, 5 months ago

So---the GOP can only win if Nader takes votes from Obama?

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