Thursday, December 04, 2003

"One From the Vault" Dept.
(On Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Fidelity)

What you are about to read is from an old discussion list and was dated August 20, 2002 in my archives. (Thus it predates the existence of Rerum Novarum the weblog by a few days.) And as this was a multiparty thread so differentiating the individuals by colour will be a necessity here -particularly since I am not about to post their names. My words will be in regular font while the words of the so-called "traditionalist" will be in darkgreen font. The other participant's words will be in black font.

I'm referring to saints, especially ordained ones. Yet, none of them speak against the Pope or accuse him of error.

Don't make me cry. Ottaviani did it. Lefebvre did it. There's two for you right there.

Yeah, real "pillars of orthodoxy" them. :-) To this, why don't you add the so-called "Old Catholics" who refused to accept Vatican I, the Protestants who walked out on Trent, and Mark of Ephesus (and Photius before him) who condemned Rome for the addition of Filioque. :-) If Ottaviani and Lefebvre were right, how do you know that these other guys weren't right too?

BBBB, I feel the need here to point out some things about Cardinal Ottaviani that you may not be aware of. (I have a hunch that you know much more about Archbishop Lefebvre's situation than you do of Cardinal Ottaviani. Hopefully this note can supply some needed knowledge about the latters since knowing this you can summon him as an ally for your argument.)

Cardinal Ottaviani was eminently faithful to the Holy Father. At the Second Vatican Council, he fought for his theological positions as everyone else did but when the Holy Father promulgated the various schemas into documents of the magisterium (in the form of Constitutions, Declarations, and Decrees) Cardinal Ottaviani submitted and accepted this as the will of God. (So did Archbishop Lefebvre initially.)

Likewise when reform of the Curia was the subject at the Council, Cardinal Ottaviani did not feel that was necessary and fought it. But (again) when the pope gave his concurrence with instituting a program of reform of the Curia, Cardinal Ottaviani accepted this *disciplinary injunction* as the will of God.

And with the Roman Missal it is true that Cardinal Ottaviani had problems with many of the proposals and stridently sought to defend what he saw as needing defense. He even unfortunately attached his name to a document filled with theological errors because the author of said document was a theological ally of his and previously had a trackrecord for orthodoxy.{1} But after the pope gave doctrinal lessons on the missal a few weeks before it was to become law explaining its dogmatic soundness at audiences where Cardinal Ottaviani was present, His Eminence again retracted his opposition and threw his full support behind the Holy Father seeing his actions as manifesting the will of God.

So in truth, ZZZZ by calling His Eminence Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani as a witness for his cause does not understand Cardinal Ottaviani's modus opperendi at all. (Nor apparently BBBB by your response did you realize what an ally you have here in the Cardinal.) His Eminence's objections and heated opposition was *never* standing in the way of his obedience to the Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ with supreme authority. Consider the situation here and how it differs from what ZZZZ presumes of the Cardinal's outlooks.

1) When the Council documents were still unpromulgated and in schema form, Cardinal Ottaviani did what all good theologians do in trying to advance his opinions in accordance with sound Catholic principles.

2) With discussions on reforming the Curia the Cardinal again acted in like manner.

3) With the issues surrounding the revision of the Roman Missal again the same situation presented itself.

Perhaps this can help in ascertaining the role that theological opposition plays in the mind of a faithful Catholic versus an unfaithful one. His Eminence had every right to raise objections on matters that he either did not understand or saw as inappropriate - indeed he had an *obligation* to do so as any bishop does to raise questions on various matters. (This kind of approach is traditionally referred to as a "dubitum" when the matter is raised by a bishop.) The difference between His Eminence Cardinal Ottaviani and someone such as Fr. des Lauriens or Archbishop Lefebvre is that he never broke communion with the Vicar of Christ.

When the rubber met the road, Cardinal Ottaviani demonstrated that he was a faithful son of the Church and never did he dare oppose the Pope's will after the Holy Father had made his mind up and officially handed on a judgment. So when it comes to appropriating Ottaviani for his case, ZZZZ does so apparently unaware of this man's fealty to the Vicar of Christ. As for Archbishop Lefebvre, he initially followed course as Ottaviani did but after his suspension in 1976, he changed his tune. And as the Pope passed judgment on the *objective* status of Lefebvre and the 4 bishops he illegally (and thus criminally) consecrated as schismatic, ZZZZ is in the same position defending him as Lutherans are defending Luther, as the Donatists were defending Donatus the Great, and as the Jansenists were who refused obedience to the Dogmatic Constitution Unigenitus. (And numerous other examples could be brought to bear on this from history as well.)

Meanwhile, BBBB could legitimately claim Cardinal Ottaviani as an ally in his argument here.

The point is that the Vatican itself has never ham-strung JPII. It could have. It could have stopped him short a long time ago. Yet, it has not because it knows what he is doing, and sees how it is in accord with the direction the Papacy has been heading for a very long time. From the point when Pius [IX] became a prisoner of the Vatican to avoid the Republic of Italy, to when Pius XI relinquished his political authority to Mussolini, to the advent of Vatican II and beyond, we see the **form** of JPII's pontificate taking shape, and the manifestation of the so-called New Evangelization, in which Popes are free to be Apostolic pilgrims, and in which the Church is free of political and cultural incumbrances so as to speak to the modern secular age and to do it **realistically** as opposed to idealistically and anachronistically. These are the signs of the times, and they are marvelous to behold ...for those with eyes to see.

Well said BBBB.

Not to mention the host of ordained priests who continue to passively resist taking part in ecumenical services, interfaith dialogue, modernized Masses, etc...

"Hosts," eh? :-) The SSPX is far from a "host."

More like a "parasite"...

I don't have to object loudly, BBBB, there are plenty of wiser and holier men than me (and you, for that matter) who are doing the public objecting.

Wisdom does not consist of breaking the bond of communion with the Holy Father or by espousing positions that do this by logical extension.

And until the pope commands that all the faithful *must* attend the Novus Ordo Mass, or take part in ecumenical services, or attend interfaith prayer meetings, I'm not in any kind of disobedience.

You are implicitly and realistically. You are not of one-mind with the Church, which makes you a de facto schismatic, at least in your mentality. This is simply not Catholic. I pray that God gives you greater wisdom and maturity so as to realize how stable a Rock He has set you upon. But, that perhaps can only come with time.

BBBB is right again. I intend to address ZZZZ's earlier email about a "vicious double standard". But as my original response was written yesterday morning when I was kinda grumpy, it will need to be touched up a bit before it will be appropriate to be sent. I suggest in the meantime ZZZZ that you take BBBB's admonitions here very seriously. He is your "elder in the faith" and knows a lot more than you do on these issues. (And that especially applies to XXX XXXXX whom you take to task illegitimately in the other email.) These are not issues to be taken lightly if your salvation is a matter that at all concerns you.


Note:

{1} The author of the theologically flawed "Ottaviani Intervention" - which Ottaviani himself retracted his signature from I might add- was Fr. Gerard des Lauriers, OP. He was Dominican theologian who taught at the Gregorian and who was previously thought to be beyond suspect for his orthodoxy. (With the Intervention he revealed his hand otherwise though.)

It has been thought by some that Ottaviani signed onto the Intervention based on the previously very good reputation of Fr. des Lauriers. This writer happens to believe the latter theory because Cardinal Ottaviani himself had already previously approved of all four Eucharistic prayers of the Revised Missal. As such - in light of the Interventions claims of the Revised Missal being a "striking departure from Trent Session XXII on the sacrifice of the mass", His Eminence would have approving of an Intervention that so blatantly contradicted his own approval as orthodox of such texts. Between that and in light of what Cardinal Ottaviani had to say about the Revised Missal after it was promulgated, it seems to this writer that he must not have read the Intervention in any reasonable detail.

As for Fr. des Lauriers, after writing the Intervention he pioneered the sede-privationist theory: namely, that the post-conciliar popes were material -but not formal- popes. Fr. des Lauriers then became not only defacto but in fact a sedevacantist heretic - demonstrating again the time tested principle that schism inevitably leads to heresy if given enough time.

Following his fall from orthodoxy, Fr. des Lauriers was consecrated illicitly as a bishop - I believe by Archbishop Thuc but may on this fact be mistaken. Fortunately this story ends on a good note as towards near the end of his life, Bishop des Lauriers renounced his errors and he died reconciled to Holy Mother Church.

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I found myself focusing on a radio ad this morning which was targeted against youth smoking. The ad was actually well done; however it revealed of course the kind of absurd double standards that many who crusade in that field utilize. The line that began the ad was "there is no such thing as a safe cigarette." And the ad built on that theme with the usual statistics approach. I found myself substituting the word "sex" for the word "smoking" when listening to the ad -knowing that those who promote "safe sex" amongst the youths would never run such an ad as I envisioned. Think about that for a moment if you will.

The same people who would never accept the argument that "well, you should not smoke but if you do try to smoke a low tar cigarette because that is safer" nonetheless promote condoms under the rationale that "kids are going to do it anyway." Well, if that is the case, there is always the possibility of handing out free low tar cigarettes to the youths who are "going to smoke anyway." Is this going to happen anytime soon??? Do not bet on it if you have any pretentions of being smart.

For the same people who post these ads against youth smoking who like to point to statistics that show that said ads have a positive effect in reducing the number of youths who smoke are not infrequently the same people who get outraged about sex education programs that emphasize abstinence or even (God forbid) do not explain in detail -and with props at that- how various contraceptives actually work.

And do not think that when supporters of such programs point to statistics that show that their programs result in a reduction in the number of youths engaging in sexual activity that these statistics are going to be accepted as viable arguments for the program -though for some reason these are viable arguments for the anti-youth smoking commercials. No, in the case of the sex education situation, these kinds of statistics -valid or not- will be swept aside and not honestly interacted with. And this brings us to the notion of consistency and how it must undergird any method which can have a potential claim to be true.

In this case, consistency demands one of two things here. Either...

---These same people who are "outraged" at sex education programs that only preach abstinence cease their exclusivist approach to combatting youth smoking by introducing the "option" of low tar cigarettes -and lower nicotine of course- in promoting the "but if you do" clause of their sex education-speak.

Or...

---These same people who are so zealous to combat teen smoking with "there is no such thing as a safe cigarette" slogans and positing the risks of smoking long term -who laud their efforts in this realm to reduce teen smoking- apply the same principles to sex education with slogans like "there is no such thing as safe sex" and posit in detail the various risks of this activity from the most benign (pregnancy) to the most serious (various diseases which can result in problems spanning from impotency to death).

The principles and methods that curb unwanted behavious are the same in all cases. They have to be or else formal contradiction is possible and truth is not ascertainable. Ergo, if you do not accept the "well they are going to do it anyway" argument with smoking, do not accept it with sexual behaviour. And (of course) if you are going to accept it with youth sexual behaviour, then be consistent and accept it for youth smoking as well. But kindly stop the two-faced hypocrisy.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

To Jeff Culbreath:

Having heard of your contemplation to cease blogging, many thoughts came to my mind but then before I wrote them down, it seemed better to handle this in a reasonably brief note rather than a long exposition style posting. So that is what I will do at this time.

I feel that your presence in the blogosphere is a much needed counter to the common impressions that most people have from those who appropriate the moniker of "Traditionalist" for themselves where it is not warranted. In your case, I believe this moniker is appropriate and I say this not because of your Tridentine liturgical preferences but instead because of your manifested frame of mind and your attitude.

To explain in detail my reasons for saying this would take time and in the context of this brief note would not be expedient to do. My only point to make here would be that the culture war must be fought on all fronts though not everyone necessarily does so in the same manner.

Chesterton spoke of the balance of Christendom whereby [b]ecause a man prayed and fasted on the Northern snows, flowers could be flung at his festival in the Southern cities; and because fanatics drank water on the sands of Syria, men could still drink cider in the orchards of England. Likewise, there is a balance involved in various activities such as praying, evangelizing, eating, worshipping, recreation, leisure,{1} social ministry, and the like. And of course blogging is part of this puzzle as well -a subsection if you will in the "evangelization" category in part and contributing to the "electronic village" that Alvin Toffler noted in his late 1970's book The Third Wave. But I am starting to make this longer than brief so I will return to the main theme before summing this note up.

I think often that blogging time is not from the standpoint of utility the best way to utilize one's sporadic bouts of freetime on some days. However, usually all it takes in those instances is to remind myself that one of the chief heresies of our age is the heresy of excessive utilitarianism. So if I approach blogging from the standpoint of utility then I am playing into one of the very evils which we are confronted with in this day and age. So however it is approached, the "utility" of this endeavour{2} must never be allowed to become a significant factor in our viewing of this issue. Otherwise, we capitulate to the errors of the age even if we do not realize we are doing this.

It all boils down I believe to the tendency that we all have to dichotomize. Somehow the Internet is not "real" so it is said; therefore nothing we say in this medium affects "real life." Of course the Internet is as "real" as the newspaper, the television, the radio the book, the periodical, or any other form of expression. In some ways it is better than these other mediums - in other ways it is not. But I believe the positives outweigh the negatives with the Internet and with radio much more so than other medium devices -such as the television for example.

For one thing, like the radio you get other people's ideas through it but without the effects of something like the flashing pictures of television.{3} Properly utilized, the Internet and the blogosphere are good tools for pondering various points of view. And of course blogging is a discipline that can be of assistance to a writer for it allows ideas to be "field tested" if you will. And that helps us all avoid the problems that can come from an ivory tower abstract approach to issues. Please contemplate these points and by all means take a blog sabbatical. I plan to for at least three weeks and possibly longer then that.

Of course I will make no attempt to dissuade you from this decision if your spiritual counselor believes that you should do this. But try to present to him the whole picture if possible and not leave out anything essential so that his judgment may be the most informed possible. And one piece that is important I believe is that you present a credible voice for a lot of people out there with your outlook on certain issues. I could make a list but again brevity intervenes.

Whatever you eventually decide to do in this area, I hope you continue to contribute to the blogosphere in comments boxes and the like at least on occasion. I hope you decide to take a break and return to the discipline of blogging in at least some capacity.{4} But whether you do or not, may your decision be made with interior peace. Know also that my prayers go out to you and your family and your insights have always been appreciated by this weblog writer -and probably more people than you will realize.

Dominus Vobiscum


Notes:

{1} Contrary to conventional wisdom, leisure is not the same as recreation.

{2} And this appeal to "utility" can have either a material or spiritual component to it. The material ones are easier to see but the spiritual component is along the lines of the "I could pray more novenas if I was not blogging" rationale.

{3} Yes I know there are media flashpoint software and pictures available via the Internet as well.

{4} If you do decide at some point to terminate the weblog, let Us at Rerum Novarum formally extend to you the invitation to dialogue via email on issues of interest to you which can be blogged in their entirety to this weblog. (As we used to do before you started blogging.) And of course the posting of Guest Editorials to this weblog -with little if any commentary by this writer- is another option open to you if you want to avail yourself of it.

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Monday, December 01, 2003

On Lidless Eyes and Certain Unsavoury Elements of Apologetics Towards the Latter in General:
(A Postscript Clarification Courtesy of Rerum Novarum)

[Note: This is a continuation of the thread located HERE. -ISM]

P.S. Why does Mark Shea call radtrads Lidless Eyes?

He gets it from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings actually. It is a reference to The Eye of Sauron. The link just noted provides a rather neutral definition but the expression -as this link well notes- is in reality anything but neutral.

As far as why he chose the term, well you will have to ask him for a definitive answer. However, I believe I can approximate his response -having spent time with him in the past in apologetics wars against not a few brands of fundamentalism -one of which is so-called "traditionalism." And of course having come from this wing myself at one time, I know the mindset it entails in order to remain within it.{1}

This outlook involves an almost tireless lack of the most fundamental aspects of that traditional virtue known as charity. It also involves a similarly misguided notion of zeal as well. It boils down to the fact that (as I have noted before) it does not require much effort to do this. All that is needed is determination to be a pundit for a particular agenda -along with not allowing oneself to "blink" long enought to actually assess their positions. It also requires a tendency towards rash judgment and presuming the worst in any situation where doing so lends itself to promoting "the agenda."{2}

In this realm you have your extremist bigots, your professional pundits, and you have those who while not being bigoted and not as unyielding as the professional pundits are nonetheless still displaying strong tendencies in the direction of the latter.{3} There is a spectrum in other words and there are degrees of this outlook if you will. For this reason, dialogue in this sphere requires some discernment.

Because of the kind of agenda driven attacks against the Church by the more extreme amongst these individuals{4} -and the unblinking, unreflective, and uncharitable nature that such stances intrinsically involve- Mark coined the term Lidless Eye for those who fit this mould. Obviously not all who call themselves "traditionalists" are of this mould and even the originator of the term would concur with this if you ask him. It is because of this confusion that something such as The Lidless Eye Inquisition has a useful purpose. It serves as a means to help sift the wheat from the chaff with regards to not only groups and individuals but even with arguments. So in summary:

---The term Lidless Eye has a specific and not commendable connotation.

---While many who call themselves "traditionalists" are not ipso facto lidless eye reactionary types, there are many who are.

--As a result of the latter point, an apostolate such as Lidless Eye Inquisition serves a useful purpose.

Hopefully this brief clarification helps explain things adequately.

Notes:

{1} Beyond simply using the moniker as an identifying term of comfort ala what some people do with political party labels or religious affiliations -whether they actually profess the principles behind said labels or not.

{2} Frankly, my experience with self-styled "traditionalists" over the years was recently summed up well by Ann Coulter. In responding to media stooge Al Franken, she noted that:

It's interesting that the most devastating examples of my alleged "lies" keep changing. As soon as one is disproved, I'm asked to respond to another. This is behavior normally associated with conspiracy theorists in tinfoil hats. One crackpot argument after another is shot down – but the conspiracy theorists just move on to the next crackpot argument without pause or reconsideration. Certainly without apology.

In my experience this works two ways. Firstly, I have shot down numerous feeble radtrad arguments over the years. The response from my critics is to ignore these and post more feeble arguments. By doing this, they present the facade of having a credible position. I will comment briefly on this point before moving onto the other one.

To be frank, I am debating whether it is worth my time to even engage these kinds of people anymore -even on the semiregular basis which I still do. For I have seen nothing challenging to respond to from them. And since my approach with them is to respond in detail leaving no stone unturned in their confutation, there is a good amount of time involved in the process. And I have enough on the web from years ago alone to supply food for plenty of reading, researching, and reflecting. Which brings me to another point I have been heavily contemplating for some time now.

I hate having to continually refer these kinds of people to essays I wrote -most of them a couple of years ago or more- which address key flaws in their operative points of view. I am not talking about minor matters here my friends but substantial structural portions of their philosophy -the kind of stuff that is paradigm shifting to those who attempt to approach these subjects with a reasonable degree of objectiveness. However, these kinds of frequent referrals are necessary because (i) I am not about to reinvent the wheel and (ii) most of the time those who want to have discussions on these subjects are not properly prepared for it. And if these sorts refuse to be educated on the subjects involved, then I need to evaluate whether or not it is a reasonable use of my time and resources to involve myself in that area.

I already declared last January that I intended to take a different approach in this matter. But for various reasons, I did not follow through with those intentions as outlined -instead a few noted exemptions from the rule by default became a kind of general policy. The time has come to reassess this in light of the past year so I will be doing that in the coming month. But enough on that part of it for now.

There is another application to that quote in my case too. You see, I have been accused of many "errors" of a "fundamental" nature which never withstand viable scrutiny. That does not of course prevent people from positing more "errors" following the same faulty hermeneutic of suspicion that was used with previous sadsack attempts. And most of the time it is from people who have not actually read my work at all but instead have either (i) have not read any of it or (ii) have at best scanned it for prooftexts absent proper context. I am a reasonable fellow but I have my limits. And entertaining theological, philosophical, or historical neophytes is an endeavour that I find myself having greater and greater limits in having the patience to do. But I digress.

{3} For one such example, see this link. Pay particular attention to the accompanying "epilogue" for a snapshot of exactly the kind of tendencies I am referring to.

{4} Or (in the case of those with tendencies towards punditry themselves) a continual toleration of those who are either pundits or bigots.

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Sunday, November 30, 2003

On Moloch Hillary and Politics in General:
("Dialogue With a Reader" Musings of Your Humble Servant at Rerum Novarum)

I had probably better start this thread by noting that this is not going to be on the similarities of radical "traditionalists" and liberal Democrats. I have mentioned before that has crossed my mind to muse on that publicly but not at this time. (Wait until 2004 and election season for that one.) Instead, this is a continuation of sorts to a thread posted yesterday.

Shawn:

Hello XXXX:

I thought I would add a few musings of my own on this recent Rerum Novarum thread.

Mi webloga su webloga :)

"She [Hillary Clinton] then had lunch with troops from her home state (New York) in the dining hall at the palace,"

Another example of media selective memory loss. New York is NOT her home state. She's a FREAKIN'CARPETBAGGER!!!

LOL, indeed :)

I agree that Lieberman is the only Dem who could give Bush a run for his money in the next election if he were to get the nomination. The only problem is that we have a better chance of shoveling our way out of a snow bank in hell before the hard left power base of the Democrat party would nominate someone as "conservative" as Lieberman.

Well, they could agree to it if the ticket was balanced with a liberal -say Howard Dean or John Kerry.{1} Oftentimes that is the kind of approach that parties take in trying to gain greater acceptance for a candidate beyond their normal ideological allies. For example, Al Gore did this in 2000 with the selection of Leiberman as a VP candidate{2} -and Bush countered with Dick Cheney.{3} Bob Dole when running against Clinton in 1996 did this in selecting Jack Kemp.{4} Dukakas in 1988 tried to balance his liberalism with the more moderate Texan Lloyd Bentzen.

Walter Mondale in 1984 selected another flaming lib in Geraldine Ferraro banking on people voting for her because she was a woman. Reagan's team in 1980 went with the more moderate George H. W. Bush. In 1976 it was Carter selecting the "experienced" Walter Mondale while Gerald Ford sought to shore up his foreign policy credentials with the selection of Nelson A. Rockefeller. And while Nixon appointed Gerald Ford as VP after Spiro Agnew resigned,{5} Agnew was initially selected because he was considered a kind of appeal to the Goldwater wing of the party which thought Nixon was not a true conservative.{6} (Ford was selected primarily because he was seen as scandal-proof.) And we could go further back in time than this but ticket balancing is a tradition in politics. In this light, consider a previous analysis I did on her political options for 2004 and beyond. Hillary need not run for president in 2004 to have an impact on that race.

Besides, the Clintons still control the Democrat Party. How else could their boy Terry McAuliffe still be the head of the DNC after they got a shellacking of historical proportions in the 2002 midterms?

I think Ann Coulter is right about the fact that the Democrats' blind defense of Clinton is because he was essentially their last chance to overcome the legacy of Reagan - one which frankly should have buried them forever as a party of credibility.{7}

On that note, the last thing the Clintons want is for a Democrat to beat Bush next year. Having to vy for the nomination in 2008 against an incumbent would throw a serious monkey wrench into her plans. She is not about to be Teddy Kennedy the Second (Kennedy v. Carter 1980).

I am inclined to agree with you that she will not run for president in 2004. The deadline for filing is tonight so that will put the kibosh on that. However, remember what I said about ticket balancing. And remember that Leiberman after Gore lost in 2000 merely returned to the Senate seat he already held. I think there is a parallel to consider.

She's also smart enough to know that she doesn't stand a chance against Bush in '04.

Yes she is. However, there are a few other possibilities here for her to take.

I personally think that she doesn't stand much of a chance at winnning the presidency at all. I agree with Sean Hannity that she can't win nationally.

Well, not in 2004 but I would not rule out 2008 quite yet. She has the media on her side as Billy Bob did as well as a Democratic party fundraising machine. And if Bush and the Republicans manage to get re-elected and either (i) fail to do something about the prescription drug situation or (ii) the campaign in Iraq begins to even remotely resemble Vietnam, then any Democrat will have two made to order issues in 2008.

Once the American public gets a taste of ol' "Shrillary," they will be turned off en masse.

They used to say the same thing about Reagan: that he was too "extreme." In light of almost knocking off Ford in the primary run-off in 1976 and winning by electorial landslide and popular majority in 1980 and 1984{8} these pundits -some of whom were in the Republican party "moderate" persuasion- were wrong.

If she did not have the media and the liberal elites thinking she was the greatest thing since individually wrapped cheese slices, I would agree with you. There is also the question of whether or not talk radio and the Internet will continue to carve out a significant chunk of the media in that interim -not to mention Fox News and other conservative media outlets winning the marketshare battles. And of course there is the question of other alternative media outlets such as the blogosphere continuing to grow in size and influence. If these continue as they have been then by 2008 you will be right for sure. However, that does not mean in 2004 it will be as you note.

As it stands now, if Bush is re-elected in 2004 and Hillary loses her Senate seat in 2006, that will I believe put the kabosh on her. Otherwise, there are a number of ways as I see it that she is still "in play" if you will.

That being said, I don't think she should be underestimated. The Republicans must do everything, not only for their own good, but also for that of the country, to ensure she doesn't get elected.

Agreed. And they had better start impressing former Republicans like myself or else they will only grudgingly get my vote.{9} Thus far, I see Bush as a C president. Anyone who thinks I can confidently pull the lever for him a second time does not know me very well -that is for sure.

President Hillary is a horriffic image that even the most ironed stomached imagination cannot bear to contemplate.

So was The Abomination of Desolation President Clinton *before* he was elected. Yet he was elected nonetheless -and also re-elected by an even larger percentage of voters than elected him previously (49% vs. 43%). So it is clear that even though Perot ran twice, the second time he not only did not siphon votes from the Republicans but Clinton actually *gained* in people voting for him.

The moral of this story is this: never underestimate the stupidity of the electorate. What more can I say than that really???{10}

In summary:

---Moloch Hillary can still be involved in the election through more than running for president

---Bush and the Republicans in Congress had better start governing like the conservatives they claim to be. (Any student of Claude Frederic Bastiat{11} cannot be impressed with what they see being done in the name of "conservatism" by Bush and Congress.)

These subjects may be discussed more in the future if I deign to discuss them; however what is noted above is adequate for now.

Notes:

{1} Are you aware that John Kerry fought in Vietnam??? {...tongue firmly planted in cheek..}

{2} Leiberman's conservatism was intended to help Gore appeal to a broader base in his party. Likewise, when Clinton ran, he selected Gore because of the latter's war credentials -an area where Clinton was very weak in.

I remember a friend and I having this discussion in 1992 before Gore was selected. My friend thought Clinton was going to choose Gore while I thought he would pick Senator Bob Kerry -another Vietnam veteran who was running for president that year. (We both reasoned our picks with the assertion that it would be an attempt to shore up Clinton's shoddy war record: obviously the was right but I selected the wrong candidate.)

{3} Arguably this was to shore up Bush's foreign policy credibility -much as the selections of Colin Powell as Secretary of State and Condoleeza Rice as National Security Advisor. My guess is that if the war situation improves significantly that one of those two will be Bush's VP in the '04 campaign -Cheney being replaced due to his health problems.

{4} Dole selected Kemp for two reasons (i) his conservative credentials shored up Dole's more moderate reputation (ii) Kemp's work on such programs as enterprize zones for intercity communities and his recognition as a "compassionate conservative" amongst the black community was in part a desire by Dole to siphon off the consistent 90%+ black voting block who blindly and uncritically have voted Democrat since FDR. (Prior to that they were a Republican constituency.)

{5} Due to scandal in 1973.

{6} And they were of course right on this point.

{7} I say this because everything they said about Reagan personally (i.e. that he was a dunce) was a lie and every prediction they made of his economic policies was a bad prediction. The proof that Clinton's win was a fluke is twofold (i) it required a strong third party taking votes from Bush's constituents to do it and (ii) The Republicans won both Congressional Houses in 1994 only losing one temporarily in the 2000 elections. (Which was regained in 2002.) I have long maintained that if W's father had governed like the second coming of Reagan, there is no way a Democrat would have won in 1992 or 1996. (Or in 2000.)

The Democratic party has been on life support since 1972 and has had to advance their agenda through prevarication ever since -particularly towards women, minorities, and the elderly. But the latter groups are finally starting to wise up as an electorate and that is why the Democrats are in deep kim chee.

{8} The first time against Carter and a Republican who ran as a moderate independent against him taking about 8% of the vote. Unlike Clinton who needed a third party candidate both times to win, a third party candidate could not help President Carter in 1980.

{9} And only because any Democrat who is elected will be far worse. I have a vested interest in breaking the Democratic party's back if at all possible -for reasons I will not elaborate here.

{10} For an analysis of the 2002 election trends, see this link.

{11} Yes, I again remind my readers of the work of Claude Frederic Bastiat. (We at Rerum Novarum are not opposed to a kind of strategic inculcation methodology.) For more information on the series in this weblog's archives, to read my prologue to his magnum opus The Law, and to read an introduction to the work by the esteemed economist and columnist Walter E. Williams, see this link. In my humble opinion, no one seriously concerned with the condition of society can afford to miss that series of posts.

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