What do you do when all the choices stink?

The races for the 2008 Presidential nominations have reached a critical mass.  The choices are narrowing, and I can say without equivocation or qualification, I don’t like any of them.

I can stipulate that I was never considering any of the democrat candidates, so my comments about them will be few, other than to say that both of the two who remain are hard left leaning and will sponsor a socialist flavored agenda should they gain the White House.  We should all be thankful that the “executive” is still only one of the three branches of government.  And while the president does exert influence on the other two, there is still some semblance of “checks and balance” remaining in place.

I will say at the outset that Fred Thompson was the man that seemed most qualified to me, and had he remained in the race through March 4 (primary day in Texas) I would have voted for him.  But I also will admit that even as a “fan”, the evidence of his drive and interest in the office was something less than inspiring.  So, adios Fred. 

I know that many people who describe themselves as evangelicals (as do I) have been pleased with Mike Huckabee.  While he remains in the race, he is really NOT a contender and it would seem that his motive now is to be in position to be offered something big, by the ultimate victor.  While I share his faith, politically he holds positions that are way too progressive and liberal for my liking.  His approach to an open borders policy of immigration is completely unacceptable and some of the things he did while Governor of Arkansas, if indicative of his policy making acumen, are equally out of bounds to receive my vote.

Mitt Romney is an attractive candidate, rhetorically.  He says all the right things.  And there in lies the problem.  Here is my brief biography of Mitt. 

He pursued a highly successful professional career in the private sector.  Hooray.  Like it.  That experience stands him alone among all candidates.  

He went on to repair a corrupt and crumbling Olympics Organizing Committee in Salt Lake City and pulled off a successful Winter Games when that outcome was unlikely prior to his involvement.  Good job!  (The cynic in me says that he would not have been offered that position had he not been Mormon.  But that is another topic.) 

Mitt then moved back home to Massachusetts and ran for governor of the most liberal state (actually commonwealth) in the United States.  In order to win, he must have been saying all the right things.  At the time he ran for governor, he was pro-choice, pro-gay, supported the assault weapon bans, supported the Federal Employer non-discrimination act, and government mandated health insurance.  I suspect that he was unelectable if he had not taken those positions in the state that routinely elects Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Barney Frank, among others, as their officials in Washington.

Then Mitt decided to run for president.  And once again, in the context of a political race, he is saying all the right things.  I know that “flip-flopper” is a terribly derisive term that perhaps should be limited to democrats, if for no other reason than charity to the republicans.  But just between you and me, the term fits Mitt like a mitten, oops, sorry, like a glove.  He has reversed himself on every one of those leftist positions, so as to appear to be a full-fledged Reagan-style conservative.  And he claims to have had genuine changes of heart on these matters.  Call me cynical, but come on folks, he’s a politician for crying out loud!  

So, my bottom line on Mitt is, I don’t have a clue who he really is.  I hear very clearly what he is saying now.  But all too recently he was saying just the opposite.  Like literally in the last 3 or 4 years!  How much do we trust a “conservative” who has only been conservative for 4 years?  When will his next philosophical evolution occur and importantly, which direction will it take him?

John McCain…where to begin?  Does anyone recall that at least for a news cycle, the tongues were wagging that John Kerry might select McCain as his running mate in 2004.  Does anyone recall some early-on speculation that McCain might select Joe Lieberman as his running mate in 2008?  John McCain packages himself as a man who can bring the two opposing sides (democrat and republican) together.  And he will point to his legislation as an example.  No one can argue that he has collaborated with democrats to effect legislation.  But none of it is good legislation.  McCain claims, “he reaches across the aisle.”  I would rephrase that to say “he steps across the aisle.”  John McCain is, as they say, a RINO (republican in name only).  John McCain has been wrong on so many occasions, through his opposition to conservative stands and support for liberal ones, that I don’t know how he can be trusted.  In fact, I’ll just outright say he can’t be.  He must be regarded as the one republican that they can count on in the democrat congressional caucuses.  He is probably the one and only republican that the democrats might almost welcome as being the president.  Why, if he were president, the democrats in congress could still have their way with legislation, and with John’s approval.  The result being our continuing move as a country toward socialism will have appeared to have been bi-partisan.

What a stinky dilemma.  Still, I must vote because I subscribe to the notion that you have no right to complain about who has been elected if you yourself did not participate by voting.  So, vote I will.  But I will (figuratively of course), have to hold my nose in order to do it.

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7 Responses to What do you do when all the choices stink?

  1. I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    – Randy Nichols.

  2. JimPanzee says:

    Why is it that self-identifying evangelicals only have two critical “Christian” issues, abortion and homosexuality? Jesus dealt with a lot of issues: the hypocrisy of the ruling elite, the equality of men under God and government, and our role as caretakers of the poor. Jesus was also anti-war and he warned us repeatedly of men in power who talked of God but did not fear him.

    And then time and time again evangelicals, in performing their “Christian duty” vote for politicians with policies that would make the Christ grab his whip. Republican “supply side” economics has repeatedly proven to be harmful to the poor, raising unemployment, reducing real wages, while always increasing the wealth of the wealthy. Republicans have been hawkish proponents of America’s last three big wars while Democrats have fought against them. Republican have attempted to dismantle the welfare and public education systems denying our responsibility to care for those less fortunate. Republicans have deregulated and privatized various industries, the most important of which has been the utilities industries which have driven up prices and, in the case of Enron, killed people. The Democrats have passed the Civil Rights Act, written a “new Bill of Rights” ensuring equality (under Roosevelt), passed the Family Medical Leave Act which is the most significant family friendly legislation of the last fifty years.

    And if personal accountability can say anything about the GOP as a whole (and I’m not sure it can) recent GOP scandals have found Republicans attempting to have gay sex in public restrooms, buying whores in Washington DC, and sending sexual text messages to teenage interns.

    The Democrats aren’t saints, but c’mon! Evangelicals are being lied to. This nation, Republicans and Democrats and independents alike are 95% Christian. Evangelicals pretend like Democrats don’t also go to church and worship the Lord, but they do, They just don’t brag about it as much and they pass more Christian-like laws. And I have to ask: What destroys a family more, someone else’s gay marriage or a father or son being killed in a war? Did you know that there were over 6000 veteran suicides last year? Did you know that since the start of conflicts in Afghanistan in 2001 there have been at least 121 homicides committed by veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq? Humans should not be forced to kill other humans. Deaths of fathers, sons, mothers and daughters wreaks untold damage directly on families. Murdering another of God’s creatures will rip a person’s mind apart. Those suicides and murders are the results of those ruined minds.

    Christians need to prioritize and vote for Christian policies not just Christian bandstanding. Christ was a progressive. Christ fed everyone that showed up to hear him speak, not just the ones that shared his opinions. There weren’t Republicans, Democrats, and Socialists 2000 years ago, but, if there were, Christ would have probably been a socialist. Listen to the Sermon on the Mount, that is pure, unadulterated progressive governance.

    Obama and Clinton aren’t even close to being socialists but they are both more Christian than any of the warmongering Republican options.

  3. Chuck says:

    JimPanzee – cute nom de plume. I visited your blog and found no summary of who you are, or what you are all about. I don’t have a lot of respect for those who hide behind a blog and make no effort to reveal their identities. And I am assuming that your parents did not name you something that sounds like a monkey. Nevertheless, I have allowed your comment, so that my readers could see how a liberal thinks. I don’t have the time to debate all of your arguments, but a few are worthy of comment, especially since it is my blog.

    First of all, I think it a bit short sighted to assume that evangelicals have only two critical “Christian” issues. But since you mentioned abortion, I along with many others choose not to support someone who essentially advocates the murder of the innocent. I invite you to see my post from January 22nd. If you find nothing deplorable about those images, it speaks more about you than you could possibly imagine. As for the issue of homosexuality…it is a sexual sin according to scripture. And sexual sins seem to be more serious to God than other types and forms. As far as I am concerned, I would list it right along with adultery, pre-marital sex, pedophilia, bestiality, friends with benefits, and any other sex that takes place outside of a covenantal marriage relationship between one man and one woman. If any politician advances legislation that promotes any of these sexual sins I would not support them. Homosexuality is just one among the many sexual sins, but we find ourselves embroiled in efforts to legalize that which God says is immoral. Why we would ever want to legislatively promote something that is immoral, I find lacking a credible basis and it and its promoters will not receive my support.

    Skipping ahead…Jesus was anti-war. Hmmm. In historical and orthodox Christianity, Jesus and God the Father are one in the same, as is the Holy Spirit. They are all three distinct, but without difference with regard to their deity. The Old Testament reveals numerous occasions when God (and by implication Jesus) explicitly demanded war, and in some cases, complete annihilation of enemies. So, I am afraid I don’t buy your argument.

    Other things you said (in quotation marks, with my comment following):

    “Republicans have been hawkish proponents of America’s last three big wars while Democrats have fought against them.” … Among your two presidential candidates, Clinton voted for the current war, and Obama wasn’t even in the Senate yet. His stricking inexperience is another topic, but he CLAIMS he would have voted against the war. But since he has no actual record on which to base his claim, it is purely hypothetical and conjecture.

    “The Democrats have passed the Civil Rights Act”…not without Republican votes in the house and senate way back when.

    “Enron, killed people”…Enron killed people??? I wasn’t aware of that. But in any event, you make it sound intentional!! You have proof for that I suppose.

    “And if personal accountability can say anything about the GOP as a whole (and I’m not sure it can) recent GOP scandals have found Republicans attempting to have gay sex in public restrooms, buying whores in Washington DC, and sending sexual text messages to teenage interns.”…Republican “scandalists” were kicked out of office BY Republicans! Democrats are not immune to similar scandals, but they still hold their seats and in many cases have been re-elected after their scandals were revealed. I will agree with you that the few, do not tar either party in totality, but you brought it up. Democrats are at least equally dirty. No argument there.

    As for your characterization that Christ would have been a socialist…I think you have taken your argument a bit too far. And by using Jesus’ sermon on the mount as your proof text? Wow. The sermon on the mount was intended to be a mirror held up before the Jewish people to reveal their sinfulness as Jesus officially began his public ministry. It was a complex teaching that had at its core instruction on unrighteousness and a proscription for godly living. He called into question the religious leaders of His day and the lousy examples they were setting. But to call it a teaching on progressive governance, pure and unadulterated? An interesting interpretation.

    The rest of your comments speak for themselves. I am clear that you are anti-war, pro-collectivism and have generally categorized Republicans presidential aspirants as warmongering nominal Christians.

  4. JimPanzee says:

    Thank you for allowing my comments and I will respond to what you wrote here tomorrow. It appears that we disagree on some minor issues and some major ones but personally I like hearing “how the other half thinks.”

    As far as “hiding behind a blog” I’m sorry I don’t have a single go-to page to reveal my identity, but I don’t hide anything other than, like most people, I have jobs, friends, and family that would rather not be outed by my insane desire to type 2000 words a day. Regular readers (all two of them) would know that I am a white male in my early 30s with undergraduate degrees in English, Philosophy. Political Science, and Spanish. I work in the non-profit sector and used to work for the Democratic Party (County level). I write poetry on occasion and I’m applying to grad school in Poli Sci with an emphasis on International Relations Theory. I live in Indianapolis now but I have lived in Washington DC and San Diego as well as various other cities and towns in IN, VA, KY, AL, GA and PA (Army brat). So, you know, not particularly hiding.

    Good talk. And thanks for taking the time to respond.

  5. JimPanzee says:

    I didn’t mean “critical issues” to mean that those are the only issues that Christians think about. I meant those seem to be the only issues that matter in choosing a candidate to elect. The problem with saying “I choose not to elect anybody who wants to kill innocent life” implies that there is only way way to kill innocent life. Or that, that, above all, is the only or most important political decision.

    And it denies what we know to be true: outlawing abortion doesn’t work. We know that because we’ve tried it. Instead of no abortions you get illegal, unclean, and deadly abortions where the baby and the mother are both at risk. In all honestly neither of these are good options. We have to treat the underlying causes of abortions: rapes, domestic sexual abuse, child pornography, poverty in general, teenage sex, unprotected sex. And, I’m sorry if you want to deny the statistics but all those things go down under Democratic presidencies. I know that Clinton was no saint (trust me) but under his eight years unemployment hit record lows, murder and rapes were at record lows, teen pregnancy hit record lows. This year, for the first time in 15 years, teen pregnancy was up. When teen pregnancy goes up, abortion goes up.

    Presidents don’t give abortions or get them. Their legality is not equal to condoning them. It is a simple facing of reality. The sin is in the act of murder and God will take care of that. A president’s job is not to enforce God’s law on earth, that is no man’s job. A president’s job is to run the country. If you want to stop abortions the path is not through the courts. The path is through treating the causes of abortion.

    Appeals to Old Testament law based on a proposed united trinity (which not all Christians believe, by the way) is a specious argument and you know it. Jesus was a man of peace who promulgated a law of forgiveness. The wars of the Old Testament were religious wars and they were religious wars fought on behalf of the tribes of Israel. The wars of presidents are not religious wars, they are wars of politics and economics. The commandments of the Lord are simple and twisting those words to suit your politics is sin. And you know that too.

    The manipulations of energy allotments in California were intentionally and caused brownouts– that was proven in their courtroom dramas. You can find the transcripts if you’d like. The brownouts killed people, primarily elderly that couldn’t stand the desert heat when their AC went off. You can forgive them for it if you’d like. It’s your Christian obligation to do so. But you can also choose not to elect the party that allowed them to do it and then allowed them to get away with it. That’s my moral obligation.

    How come so many Christians allow themselves to pick and choose which passages of the Bible get to be interpreted in a historical context and which need to be heeded as spoken. The instructions of the Sermon on the Mount were written down for future followers of the Christ to follow for all time. The dedication to the weak, poor, and oppressed is as clear as day and in perfectly in line with classic socialist thought. You can dislike it, but you can’t deny it.

  6. Chuck says:

    JimPanzee: I can assure you among the Christian voters that I know personally, and speaking for myself and my family, there are more than two critical issues being considered when choosing who to vote for. Pro-life positions are important as are Godly views on sexual morality. You say that those two are the only ones that” seem” to matter in choosing a candidate to elect. Rest assured that issues such as national security and defense, taxation (using that term in its broadest definition) and its impact on the nation’s economy, the preservation of existing constitutional liberties, among others, are all critical. If these were not critical, why do you suppose candidates discuss these other matters, and in fact rarely speak to the two that you perceive to be THE ISSUES for Christians? The candidates’ positions on the two that you think are the litmus test have been long ago established. The candidates correctly assume that voters wish to hear about their positions on other similarly critical matters.

    With regard to abortion, you use the same old tired arguments that the pro-abort crowd has used for years. They won’t change my mind. For one thing, the rhetoric is unsupported by the facts. I encourage you to use this link. Go to page two of the pdf to see the statistics for reasons given for seeking an abortion. The broad class of reasons you give for maintaining legalized murder of the unborn, represent only approx. 7 percent of abortions.

    I will grant you that if abortions were once again illegal, some among the remaining 93% would continue to seek abortions. And they would subject themselves to all sorts of peril. That is a decision they will have to make following their decision to NOT keep the child or give it up for adoption, both, of which seem to me be better options, particularly if your own life is in jeopardy. (It is an established fact that the life of the unborn child is in jeopardy.) All of these considerations of course follow the decision they made earlier on to have participated in the particulary act where-in conception occurred. Remember we are talking about the 93% of the cases, where it could be assumed that the sexual relations were consensual, as we have already considered the 7% that represent the so-called hard cases where rape, incest or life of the mother concerns have been allocated.

    All that said, I will concede to your inane comment that “Presidents don’t give or get abortions.” However, I will qualify that by saying that as we approach the day when we will have a woman president, whether in 2008 or sometime later, even the factuality of that statement remains to be seen.

    I will be brief with dealing with the last two general points you make. First of all, I think it is unbecoming and seriously challenges your credibility to have made the statement you did in your initial comment that “Enron killed people” and then support it as you did in your most recent reply. The electrical shortages in California were far more complicated than a single energy re-seller’s involvement. There were significant policy problems and miscalculations involved by the utilities and the regulators in CA. Those, at least in part, ultimately cost the then governor of the state of California his job.

    As for your apparent disdain for the Old Testament…I hold to an unshakable belief in the eternal presence of a pre-incarnate Christ, consistent with a Trinitarian view of God. Your argument that SOME Christians do not hold to that belief is irrelevant. And I stand by my contention that Jesus, by implication, was as much a part of the command to destroy enemies, as God the Father was in the Old Testament narratives. So I reject your assertion that it was a specious argument. Furthermore, if you think Jesus is ONLY a man of peace, I encourage you to study the man Jesus as revealed in the book of Revelation. Peace may be a condition to be experienced by the redeemed, but hardly one you would apply to those who have not been counted among the elect. You are guilty of the same offense you level at others, when you say that some Christians are selective in their interpretation of scripture. Is it possible that you only view the Christ as the meek and loving man that healed the lame and ministered to children? Christ’s ministry past, present, and future is far more complex than the image of the man who fed the thousands and who cared for the sick. Yes, Jesus taught about forgiveness, but is he also the executor of the future judgment of God.

    As for your continued contention that Jesus would be regarded as a socialist, you’re making no headway here, Perhaps it is because of the particular meanings I assign to the term and they differ from yours. I agree with you that Jesus taught concern for the weak, poor and oppressed. But I believe He did so in the context of individual response and obligation. Your comments have appeared to me to be using Jesus concern for the “least of these” as rationale and support for collectivism in government, especially the federal government, since the leadership of THAT form of government was the subject of my blog post. If our disagreement is based on semantics, you will have to indulge me. If continuing to press this particular point is the essence of your ongoing interest in this thread, we are near the end of our exchange.

  7. JimPanzee says:

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply, your answers to the second post have helped my narrow down the range where our fundamental opinions diverge and cause for the much larger policy decisions. I’ll only state a few more things only to clarify my stance and not to persuade you to change yours…or to reply…although that is (obviously) up to you.

    Why is it that Jesus’s instruction to care for the weak, poor, and oppressed is an instruction for individuals to follow but not for governments to legislate but the order to protect the lives of innocents at risk of being aborted must be legislated?

    It seems to me, that if a president’s task is to, when he can, do the work of Jesus on Earth, then he can move toward the banning of abortion in the same way he can move toward the protection of the poor and oppressed. But Christians continually vote for the candidate least likely to do the latter than the former, even though, to do the latter would aid them in the creation of a world without abortion. Or he can allow individuals to make those choices. Why is abortion not an individual choice but refusing to help your neighbor is?

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