Courage in the new-America

February 26, 2014

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Is the Republican Party Becoming Too American?

February 4, 2014
Old White men are just itching to take away your rights and build separate restrooms for them "colored folk."

Old White men are just itching to take away your rights and build separate restrooms for them “colored folk.”

We’ve got a problem, old White men!  At least, the conventional wisdom these days says that the Republican Party has a big problem. And really, when I say old White men and Republicans, isn’t it really just a distinction without a difference?  The GOP is becoming way too White.  The implication of course is that the racist platform of the Republican Party (like the respect for life, rule of law, and free markets) is driving minorities away from the party in droves.  How do we know this?  Why, just ask Politico, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the LA Times, SalonSlate, and any other major media publication.  The GOP is ruining the party by becoming too White in a country that is increasingly brown-ish.  There are just millions of Blacks, Asians and Hispanics who are ready and rearing to become goose-stepping TEA Partiers, if only Republicans weren’t so gosh-darned racist.  It’s great advice, except it’s not true.

Election results would seem to bolster the claims that Republican policies can’t appeal to minorities.  After all, CNN exit polls showed that Barack Obama won the support of 71% of Hispanic voters, 93% of Black voters and a healthy majority of any variation of Asian voters.  But, the Republican Party is not becoming more “White.”  At least, not in the sense that Republicans are gearing their policies and message specifically toward (and thereby only appealing to) Whites.  Rather, White People are becoming more Republican, and in that distinction there is a difference.

Read the rest of this entry »


Presidential Bracketology: Hoover (9) v. Harrison (8)

December 7, 2013

Let’s return to our March Madness Presidential Pool. I’d begun to work on a series of blog posts for a presidential bracket. I think it is a fun way to look at some of the lesser known attributes of some of our Chief Executives, to think about what makes a good president, and to perhaps rethink some of our own prejudices and notions about America’s political history. 44 presidents (including two Grover Clevelands) rounded out the field (Zack Taylor, Barack Obama and William Harrison have already exited the tournament) and compete in four different regions for the title of best president of all time. The Rose Garden Region wrapped up the play-in games in my last post–today we will move on to the West Wing Region. Things to consider:

  • Problems that the president faced internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • Problems that he caused internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • How the president affected the prestige of the office or conducted himself.
  • Short term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • Long term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • How did the president upheld the oath of office?
  • How did he use presidential power?
  • How the president changed or shaped the presidency–was he shaped by events or did he control the narrative?

The West Wing Region:

Benjamin Harrison (8) v. Herbert Hoover (9)

imageThis matchup might seem a little lopsided since Herbert Hoover is widely recognized as the cause of the Great Depression, prohibition and polio too. It is unclear from his memoirs if true, but Hoover is also widely suspected of being a vampire. Prototypical Republican. The criticism and suspicion of poor Herbert Hoover knows no end. In addition to being the renowned developer of Hooverville mobile homes, for years (according to presidential historian Robert Ferrell) it was even widely (and erroneously) believed that Hoover had once tried to flee the country with a suitcase full of gold bullion stolen from Fort Knox! Read the rest of this entry »


Enough, Thanksgiving Day Pharisees

November 28, 2013
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Black Friday shoppers prepare to feast on each others’ flesh… Wait, no, they are getting ready to barrel violently down the aisles of Target to get 25% off the Playstation 4. Difference?

Okay, enough is enough. Enough of this self-righteous bullying of Black Friday/Thanksgiving shoppers. I hate the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving more that anyone. I won’t be shopping that day, but for the love of all that is holy, please stop with the judgmental screeds about commercialism and depriving people of time with their families. If you don’t want to shop that day, great–if you have a job that forces you to work that day–find another one.

First of all, some people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Who are you to tell them that they can’t shop that day? Obviously there are plenty of people out there who want to shop on Thanksgiving–otherwise the companies wouldn’t be open in the first place. They are serving a demand. We don’t jump all over Jews for going to the movies on Christmas, do we? And don’t even start about how it is all the fault of the evil companies–each and every sale they make is made to one of us–who line up a day early to save a hundred bucks. Read the rest of this entry »


Patton’s Talk With God

June 5, 2013

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The article “Patton’s Talk With God” by Lt. Colonel Jack Widmer appeared in the December 1947 issue of True Magazine. On the anniversary of D-Day, this is a great example of the fighting spirit of the men and women who served in the face of true evil, the power of prayer, and how God answers all prayers–be the answer “yes”, “no”, “wait a little bit”, or “watch this”, as it was at Bastogne. God accepts all prayer, through His Son–even Patton’s unusually blunt and perhaps irreverent offering. He knows the contents of our hearts, and in answering prayer, however that prayer is made, God’s ultimate plan is better than even we could ask for.

Read the rest of this entry »


Presidential Pool Bracketology: Obama v. Carter

March 12, 2013

Barack Obama (6) v. Jimmy Carter (11)

Another matchup of deeply flawed presidents presents itself here between two Democrats, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Carter is widely regarded as one of the very worst presidents of all time, but Barack Obama despite and perhaps because of the refraction caused by a lack of historical perspective, is regarded by at least 51% of the population as a pretty good president. The rest of America, not so much.

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Carter tried a little too hard. James David Barber of Duke’s book “Presidential Character” analyzed the modern presidents based on their character traits. Carter reportedly invited Barber to the White House and spent the day carefully scripting his actions so as to produce what he deemed a positive analysis in the next edition of Barber’s book. He was not fooled.

Jimmy Carter, a lowly 11 seed in our tournament, is most known for writing thousands of useless cookbooks and self-help guides once he left office in shame after one term in 1981. During his presidency, he is most known for his platform for human rights. Largely, this was an accident of circumstance stemming from his campaign which polled well when he was seeking the Democratic nomination and needed to woo disparate parts of the Democratic Party to unify behind him. Read the rest of this entry »


March Madness Bracketology: The Presidential Pool

March 10, 2013

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In the spirit of March Madness, I’ve begun to work on a series (that will take as long as it needs to) of blog posts for a presidential bracket. I think it is a fun way to look at some of the lesser known attributes of some of our Chief Executives, to think about what makes a good president, and to perhaps rethink some of our own prejudices and notions about America’s political history. 44 presidents (including two Grover Clevelands) will compete in four different regions for the title of best president of all time. The selection committee has set the field, divided into four regions (East Wing, West Wing, Oval Office and Rose Garden Regions) and the participants will compete based on several criteria:

  • Problems that the president faced internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • Problems that he caused internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • How the president affected the prestige of the office or conducted himself.
  • Short term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • Long term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • How did the president upheld the oath of office?
  • How did he use presidential power?
  • How the president changed or shaped the presidency–was he shaped by events or did he control the narrative?

Fill out your brackets, argue about it with your friends and family, and then strap yourself in for this series. We will start the tournament off with the Rose Garden Region’s play-in games. Read the rest of this entry »


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