“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah Palin: The Woman in the Arena

The Sarah Palin mystique will not cease because the ballots have been counted. She, barring Barack Obama, is the brightest political star in the country. America watched her over three months take an insurmountable amount of abuse, and still stay strong, composed, on message and optimistic.

Here is the best piece I have seen on understanding the Palin phenomena, written in the Wall St. Journal:

"George F. Will, Ken Adelman, Frank Fukuyama, David Brooks--these are just a few names on the list of eminent experts who have declared that Sarah Palin is what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Even if we were to add all their prestigious names to the list, however, it wouldn't be nearly as long as the line of people who stood in the cold wind of Pennsylvania to see Mrs. Palin last week.

The line outside the Heiges Field House at Shippensburg University was already growing long by noon, more than two hours before the doors opened for a Tuesday rally that wasn't scheduled to start until 5 p.m.

…Dressed in parkas or hooded sweatshirts, wearing toboggans or wrapped in blankets, they withstood an 18-mile-an-hour October wind as the late afternoon turned to evening and the temperature dipped toward freezing.

…[Palin] took her place at the lectern and tried to start her speech, but the screaming audience wouldn't let her until they'd screamed for another full minute.

None of her critics in the commentariat could ever draw such a crowd or generate such enthusiasm, and yet they do not hesitate to proclaim that she is "not close to being acceptable in high office" (Mr. Adelman), that her selection as John McCain's running mate is "irresponsible" (Mr. Fukuyama) and even that she "represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party" (Mr. Brooks).

Popularity as a pathology? What Mr. Brooks and the others are saying is that these people who spend hours in the cold October wind for a chance to see Sarah Palin are too stupid to know what's good for them. "Listen to us," say the political experts.

Yes, the experts always know best. In September 2002, Mr. Will advocated "preemptive" war with Iraq, with a nuclear "mushroom cloud" as the alternative. Now, he denounces as "carelessness" the war he once urged, lumping Mrs. Palin into the same category of Republican error.

Mr. Fukuyama agitated for war with Iraq much earlier, signing onto the Project for the New American Century's 1998 letter to President Clinton calling for "a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power." In the run-up to the 2003 invasion, Mr. Brooks warned that "the fog of peace" was blinding critics to the "menace" of Saddam. Among the advocates of invasion, Mr. Adelman took the cake, so to speak, by predicting a "cakewalk" in Iraq.

…Experts in Washington think themselves infinitely more important to the Republican Party than mere voters in Pennsylvania who stand in line to see the Alaska hockey mom who sent her oldest son to fight the war the experts once urged.

Our Republican experts don't fight wars or send their sons to fight them. They don't make hand-lettered signs and drive 50 miles to wait in the October wind for the chance to wave their signs inside an arena in Cumberland County, Pa. The experts don't seem to care about facts.

Among the facts the experts ignore is that the Republican Party was in deep political trouble long before John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. The total popular vote in the Democratic primaries (36 million) was 70% larger than in the GOP primaries (21 million), and McCain's 9.9 million primary votes represented just 47% of the Republican total.

On Aug. 29, when Mrs. Palin was announced in Columbus, Ohio, the Gallup daily tracking poll showed Obama with an eight-point lead. Twelve days later, the GOP ticket had surged ahead by five points."

Palin will remain a force until the 2012 elections, and a threat to the Democratic Party as a whole. She has had a taste of the national scene and she is a driven person. From last Tuesday on, she will no longer be gagged by the McCain camp and will be able to speak directly to the American people without filter. Her power will come from the ground up, which is the hallmark of any great leader.

When seeing Governor Palin take such abuse during the campaign, I thought of a famous quote from another great American maverick:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Teddy Roosevelt

A quote was never meant more for Sarah Palin!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Sleeping Giant Will Sleep No More - II

As predicted in my post "The Sleeping Giant Will Sleep No More!," our Church hierarchy has passed a crossroad on the abortion debate in America. The 89 prelate voices that were raised to protect human life during the Presidential campaign was just a warm up.

From my brother-in-law, on the other side of the bridge, came today a report that the U.S. Catholic Bishops plan to forcefully address President-elect Obama on his Culture-of-Death views.

From the Chicago Tribune:
"In a direct challenge to President-elect Barack Obama, America's Roman Catholic bishops vowed on Tuesday to accept no compromise for the sake of national unity until there is legal protection for the unborn.

About 300 bishops, gathered in Baltimore for their national meeting, adopted a formal blessing for a child in the womb and advised Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, president of the conference, as he began drafting a statement from the bishops to the incoming Obama administration. That document will call on the administration and Catholics who supported Obama to work to outlaw abortion."

Here are three quotes to tell you where this confrontation is going:

..."Any one of us here would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow--die tomorrow!--to bring about the end of abortion," said Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis.

...Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., vice president-elect Joe Biden's home town, called on his brother bishops to be more punitive against Catholic officials who are "stridently anti-life."

"I cannot have the vice president coming to Scranton and saying he learned his values there when those values are utterly against those of the Catholic Church," Martino said."

"Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas said politicians "can't check your principles at the door of the legislature."

Naumann has said repeatedly that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic Democrat who supports abortion rights, should stop taking Holy Communion until she changes her stance.

"They cannot call themselves Catholic when they violate such a core belief as the dignity of the unborn," Naumann said Tuesday."

As mentioned, it is a different era for the Roman Catholic Church in America.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Silver Linings in a Dark Day for the Pro-Life Cause

With the election of the most Culture-of-Death-candidate the Presidency has ever seen, there are some silver linings that we can take away from this election season:

1) The "Pelosi Heresy," brought out in the open during this campaign, marked a turning point for the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in America. 89 Bishops and Cardinals definitively and loudly spoke out without filter or political concern for the unborn in America. Our brave leaders (Chaput, Martino, Burke, Gracida, etc…) are ready for the task at hand in defending life during an Obama Presidency. Also, the misdirected, Catholic vote last Tuesday was byproduct of decades of prelates confusing Catholics and watering down morality in order not to offend anyone. Likewise, a decade from now there will be a byproduct of these great prelates’ preaching. The future of the RC Church in America is very bright.

2) Despite an electoral landslide behind the most liberal presidential candidate ever, one of the most liberal states (CA) voted for a State Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage. Activist judges already have their overturning opinions written on this one, but the majority of people (52%) in this most liberal state are still against gay marriage, meaning the totals are much higher across center-right America.

3) Al Franken has apparently lost his Senate bid. This defeat happened in one of the most liberal states in America, Minnesota. As a note we heard ad nauseum on how Sarah Palin was "unqualified", while the national media never used this term when a professional joke writer ran for Senator. Recognize the bias.

4) Speaking of Sarah Palin, during this campaign she exploded on the national stage. Without a question, she will be a major force in the political landscape for many years to come. More on Palin later.

5) Democrats now hold control of the Presidency, House and Senate. If their failed, tax and spend policies, like the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac catastrophe, don’t improve the country, who are they going to blame in 2012, George Bush? Pelosi now has the opportunity of being exposed for what she really is. A dimwit. This could be setting up a Republican landslide in 2012.

6)Speaking of Bush, Conservatives and Republicans now have to now take a long, hard look at their failings and they will discover that they abandoned their bedrock principles on fiscal and moral responsibilities and this is what brought on this disaster.

7)With an African-American being elected to the highest office in our land by a popular vote, any support of Affirmative Action should be dead in America. With hard work, intelligence and dedication obtaining any office is possible in America. I once heard a comment about Affirmative Action citing, that based on its historical roots of discrimination, it discriminates against someone who was not present, nor guilty of the discrimination it is trying to remedy, to favor someone who was not necessarily discriminated against. If Michael Jordan’s child went up against a white, dirt-poor farmer’s child from the heartland, Jordan’s child would get preference. It is a ludicrous philosophy and should have been based on economic considerations, and not race, to begin with.

8) The most likely U.S. Supreme Court justices set to retire Ginsburg (75 years) and Stephens (88) are the most liberal judges on the court. Obama would be replacing liberals with liberals. The prize of the Supreme Court would be Anthony Kennedy’s (72) replacement, as Kennedy always serves as the swing and deciding vote. He is 72 years old and hopefully can hold on 4 more years as a thank you to the Republican Party that put him in the office.

9) Both the Conservative and Pro-Life causes now are the opposition cause. This tends to bring out more action, dedication, resolve and result. Our country needs it at this time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Big Day: The Big States

After looking at the Electoral Map more times than I ever wanted to over the past month, here is what the election will come down to. John McCain has to take 3 out of 4 of these states: Ohio, Pennsylvania,Virginia and North Carolina to have a chance to win the election. If McCain does not take three out of four of these states, the election is over and call it a night. If he does, it is a ballgame and he must flip one more Obama leaning state for the Presidency.

There was a great story on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show this morning. 50 public polls had all stated that Dewey was going to beat Truman on the eve of the election. Harry Truman, thinking there was little hope, went to bed early and told his staff wake him up if something happens. Can you imagine being a candidate for the Presidency of the United States and not staying up for the election returns? He woke up at 4AM in the morning to find out he was up by 2 million votes, then said “We won, it’s over…”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More Worries for Camp Obama

Politico.com cites a Pew Research survey of 21,000 respondents (a very large sampling) citing that Obama has not made any advancements with evangelicals.

"Barack Obama has courted white weekly churchgoers as avidly as any Republican-leaning bloc of voters, though it now appears his efforts may fall flat on Election Day. The Gallup Poll now shows Obama backed by 28 percent of white voters who attend church at least once a week — a group that makes up a roughly a third of all voters — which would be no improvement from the 29 percent of these voters who, according to exit polls, backed Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore in the previous two presidential election. “There has been remarkably little change among whites in the religion gap,” said John Green, of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a top specialist on the convergence of religion and politics. "

This is of major importance because the Karl Rove strategy could come into play. This core constituency of the Republican party is 25% of the overall voting public. If these evangelicals come in the numbers they did last time, McCain would only need 1.28 of the remaining 3 votes to win the Presidency. I firmly believe these evangelicals will show up in numbers similar to 2004 and 2000. They have been programmed by now and have deep convictions.

Also, another big area of concern for the Obamanites is that the White Catholic vote has determined every election since 1972 as cited by Chris Cillizza:

White Catholic Vote (1972-2004)
2004: George W. Bush 56 percent, John Kerry 43 percent
2000: George W. Bush 52 percent, Al Gore 45 percent
1996: Bill Clinton 48 percent, Bob Dole 41 percent
1992: Bill Clinton 42 percent, George H.W. Bush 37 percent
1988: George H.W. Bush 56 percent, Michael Dukakis 43 percent
1984: Ronald Reagan 57 percent, Walter Mondale 42 percent
1980: Ronald Reagan 52 percent, Jimmy Carter 39 percent
1976: Jimmy Carter 52 percent, Gerald Ford 46 percent
1972: Richard Nixon 57 percent, George McGovern 42 percent

The polls are split who has the white Catholic vote right now. The most accurate poll in 2004, the IBD/TIPP poll, has McCain way ahead on this vote, 51% to 38%. I being a White Catholic can not believe Obama is ahead. No way, no how. The Church has never been more vocal on an election, and the Reagan Democrats have been shifting heavily to McCain.

Again, this election is far from over.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

McCain/Palin: An Upset in the Making?

Acknowledging a McCain/Palin victory is a very uphill proposition, here are some things that should make the Obama camp tremble in their boots:

1) Zogby cites that for the first time in many weeks, McCain polled higher than Obama (48% to 47% respectively) in yesterday’s daily poll taking independents and blue collar workers:

Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls."

2) Dick Morris stated yesterday on the Michael Medved radio show that McCain has an "excellent" chance to pull an upset. Morris claims large blocks of demographics are still shifting both ways and this election is far from over. He sites the youth vote is now shifting towards McCain in greater numbers while the elderly vote is shifting towards Obama likewise. Morris the other night on Fox News also stated that Obama has been "hemorrhaging votes" these last two weeks.

When most Conservatives are discourage at the gap between Obama and McCain in the polling, Morris, though his experience in running actual campaigns, knows better. He points out Obama is having great difficulty breaking 49% in the national polls as quoted in the Washington Post. He is looking at election day top down:

"It does not matter how wide or narrow the gap is between the two candidates. What matters is how far above or below 49 percent Obama is in the final polls (49 percent assumes that Ralph Nader gets 1 to 2 points as he did in 2004). Right now, Obama is straddling the 49 percent mark; about half the polls put him over it and half under it. If the final polling numbers indicate that Obama is not convincingly north of 49 percent, we are in for a long night."

He also believes that the "Undecided’s" will break heavily to McCain. I agree with this thinking and anticipate McCain will take these votes 2 to 1. With everything as bad as it is right now, if they haven't decided on Obama by now, they won't.

3) Obama also has had a stranglehold on the Hispanic vote to date. That might change in these last few days. As a population that has the iconic of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn, as a symbol that marks their ethnic identity , their heritage and core is pro-life. This is not compatible with pulling a lever for Obama.

Retired Bishop Rene H. Gracida sent out an e-mail in Spanish to 2.9 Million Hispanics instructing them to vote pro-life. The letter has been made into a radio commercial and will play in battle ground states over Spanish airways. This is a nightmare for the Obama campaign.

4) Finally, politics is all about reading the nuances. The Obama campaign, and their supporters in the media, are throwing out the idea that if Obama loses this campaign, while being so far ahead, it must be racism. It is not the middle class relating to "Joe the Plumber," it is not Obama’s stupid mistake of saying "spread the wealth", it is not the definition of the middle class that keeps being adjusted down, it is racism. The Obama campaign is hoping by making these remarks public it will make people feel guilty if they vote for McCain. This was mentioned on Fox News this AM as a quote from the Obama operatives, and others like Susan Estrich have been floating this out. This really speaks to the issue of how the Obama camp is feeling the tides turn and the pressure. Playing the race card has serious implications on the voting electorate and is never played from a position of strength.

So take heart this is not over yet.

So Proud of Our Church

Here is a roll call of prelates citing abortion is the primary focus of this election. It cites 89 Bishops and Cardinals to date have preached the unfiltered Gospel and lead their flocks. Here are some highlights:

Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican: "Catholics who support pro-abortion candidates participate in a grave evil. They must show a change of heart and be sacramentally reconciled or refrain from receiving Holy Communion." In addition, he stated, "At this point the Democratic Party risks transforming itself definitely into a 'party of death.'"

Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth: "...there are no 'truly grave moral' or 'proportionate' reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each year. To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."

Cardinal Edward Egan of New York City: "Do me a favor. Look at the photograph [of a 20-week preborn baby] again. Look and decide with honesty and decency what the Lord expects of you and me as the horror of 'legalized' abortion continues to erode the honor of our nation. Look, and do not absolve yourself if you refuse to act."

Bishop Joseph Martino, Diocese of Scranton, Pa.: "No social issue has caused the death of 50 million people [as abortion has]. This is madness, people." (to parish forum)
"Our Lord, Jesus Christ, does not ask us to... take up his Cross only to have us leave it at the voting booth door... Let us continue to speak the language of love and affirm the right of every human being to have the value of his or her life, from conception to natural death, respected to the highest degree."