Monthly archives "November 2015"

Barack the Sanctimonious

Bill Kistol has a PhD in Political Science from Harvard;  his wife, Susan Kristol, a PhD in Classical Literature.  This exceptionally well-educated couple attended a dinner party at the home of George Will in January 2009 with the President-elect, Barack Obama, before he took the oath of office.

As they greeted Obama, Bill congratulated him on the win and said he had put together a very good team that made it possible.  Bill and Susan both took notice of the fact that Obama did not like that as he wanted the entire spot light–none for the team.  They concluded that evening that it was going to be worse under Barack Obama than they already feared.  Marian and I heard this story directly from Bill when we took a Caribbean Cruise with The Weekly Standard in December 2011.  There was a photo session with Bill, Fred Barnes, and Stephen Hayes and any couple or individual who wished to stand with them.  We stayed around after to visit with Bill Kristol.

Barack Obama diminishes the Presidency as he is a small man all wrapped up in self.  As a corollary he is also sanctimonious to the point of embarrassment–if Obama is capable of embarrassment.  In his editorial in the November 30th Weekly Standard, Dr.  Bill Kristol traces the word sanctimony from the Latin sanctimonia which meant sacred to its current meaning of hypocritical holiness.

My wife took a course at the University of Colorado, Boulder, on the complete works of William Shakespeare and has a 2 volume set of his plays.  Measure For Measure was written in 1603 and is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most painful comedies.  The character Lucio remarks on the sanctimonious pirate who went to sea with the 10 Commandments but scraped away from the stone the 8th Commandment, “Thou shall not steal.”  Thus, we have been aware of pretended holiness since at least the 17th Century.

One might therefore conclude that in the supposed enlightenment of the 21st Century, sanctimony of this type would be receding.  But in the President of the United States, aided by his buddies in the Press, liberal sanctimony is going strong.  Most purveyors of sanctimony like Angelo in Measure For Measure know they are frauds.  Some try to fight it; others practice it because it serves their purposes.

But the liberal sanctimony of today is more virulent.  It is amazing how easy it is for most to see, yet how blind people like Obama are to it themselves.  A clear example is the Syrian immigration crisis.  This was created by President Obama when he elected to back away from his own Red Line in Syria and let the nation burn.  This also created the malignancy of ISIS.  Does Obama own up?   Of course not, as anything wrong is George Bush’s fault or the GOP’s or Rednecks in the sticks who cling to guns and faith.  But it is never his fault.

Thus, Obama the sanctimonious cares more about the 10,000 Syrian refugees he wishes to bring here than those who are asking for a pause.  One of the flies in the buttermilk for the President on this is that a number of sensible people in his Party are also opposed to bringing potential terrorists to American soil.

Foreign affairs scholar, Walter Mead, who voted for Obama in 2008, says Barack Obama, who is responsible for the Syrian refugee crisis, “Is now lecturing his fellow citizens on what he insists is their moral inferiority before his own high self-esteem.”  Mead further calls this, “The most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive move any American President has made in a long time. . .One need not be a conservative to reject the President’s leadership on Syria.  All you need for that is common sense and a moral compass.”

Bill Kristol further writes about the President’s sanctimony:  “It might be merely a cover for cynicism;  it might be he is self-aware enough to know exactly what he is doing.  But we shouldn’t underestimate the self-delusion of the liberal mind.  In Obama’s case, that mind is the product of decades of intellectual cocooning and smug moral preening.  It shouldn’t surprise us if the sanctimony he indulges is habitual and oblivious.”

Barack Obama has been pampered since childhood, into his education, and years in government by a lap dog Press.  It is quite possible that this man raised to believe he is always right is blind to his embarrassing self-congratulating sanctimony.  But it is clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense–which obviously leaves out the Washington Press Corps.

God help us through the next 14 months under a President who makes Jimmy Carter look giant.  And God help us elect leadership in 2016 that can lead us out of the morass left by a small, self-delusional and incredibly dangerous leader named Barack Hussein Obama.  God help us!


Jarhead Hillary Clinton?

When I was in high school and early college, I spent the summers driving trucks for the Fort Lupton, CO Canning Company.  I would go to the fields and pick up peas and green and wax beans for processing at the factory.  One time, heavily loaded with green beans, I was stopped by a highway patrolman.   I knew I was not speeding as a loaded truck did not travel over 55 mph.  I thought perhaps one of the boxes of beans had broken and was spilling on the highway.

When the officer walked up beside me he said, “I thought you were on fire but you are not.”  Then smiling broadly he handed me his hat and asked that I fill it with green beans.  This was a ruse but a rather charming one.  When I reported the incident to the foreman he also smiled and said, “Anytime you are stopped give the officer all the beans he wants.  We wish to stand in good with the law.”  It never happened again.

I contrast this story from a more innocent day with the jaded present when we seem to have lost our moral compass and are led, not even by charming ruse, but outright lies–especially from the Left.  Obama wanted healthcare reform so he said we could keep our policies and doctors.  He knew he was lying.  Hillary Clinton told the world the Benghazi attack was due to a video but told her daughter she knew it was a terrorist attack.   She was truthful with Chelsea even as she lied to us.  And the Left Wing Press cannot praise Hillary enough.

We have all known people who tell whoppers   They seem unable to stop themselves.  Hillary recently resurrected a story that was met with proper skepticism when it first surfaced back when she was First Lady.   She claims that in the mid-70’s she unsuccessfully tried to join the United States Marine Corps.  My father is still living and a WWII Marine.  He realizes, in an understatement, that she is not made for the Corps.  And Clinton has nothing to back up her story but a lot of other baggage that makes this almost certainly a lie.

As a side note, there is something about the Marine uniform that gives the helmet a look of flaring away.  Other branches of the military teased Marines as “Jarheads.”   But Marines wear this moniker with pride.

So why does Hillary falsely claim she tried to become a Jarhead?  And why bring it up again now?  Because she says the recruiter told her when she met him, “You’re too old, you can’t see, and you’re a woman.”  Now we see where this is going.  Hillary Clinton wants to run against ageism and sexism so she sets up a false anecdote to aid her campaign.   Discouraged by the Marine recruiter, she tells her audience I was determined to find another way to serve my country.

Let’s ask a few questions.  What compelled Clinton to seek to join the Marines?  There is no clear reason.  But it would be a very odd fit.  She was a promising young Yale trained lawyer about to marry a rising political star.  As Maureen Dowd pointed out 20 years ago as Hillary shopped her Marine story, this was an active opponent of Viet Nam and she worked on the presidential campaigns of Doves Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern.

I am always impressed when someone from the old line Press offers some skepticism of the Clintons or any other Democrat.  CNN’s Jeff Zeleny asked for more information from the Clinton camp to back up her account of the Marine story and received none.  Clearly skeptical, he said, “It seems so unusual that a Yale educated lawyer who had just moved to Arkansas, whose husband was about to become Attorney General of the state, would decide to run off and join the Marines.”   Indeed.

I share two other examples (there are many from which to choose) of this penchant for telling tall tales by Hillary Clinton.  She said she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to conquer Mount Everest.  But reporters looked at this and found that Hillary Clinton was born 5 years before Sir Edmund climbed the mountain.  At the time he was known only to other mountaineers and was not even Sir Edmund.

And as First Lady she said she and Chelsea landed under sniper fire in Bosnia.  Even the swooning Press know this was not true as the First Family does not face this kind of danger.  And, indeed, videos surfaced of that landing showing Hillary and Chelsea calmly shaking hands all over the rain soaked tarmac as persons held umbrellas over their head to protect them, not from bullets, but raindrops.

Why does Hillary do this?  Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard and FOX News writes that the late William Safire, speechwriter for Richard Nixon, famously declared 20 years ago in a New York Times article, “Hillary Clinton is a congenital liar.”  He catalogued her fabrications up to then.  There are more now.  And they are still newsworthy as they were then.

I was in college when we lost John Kennedy.  My wife and I were working with kids in inner-city Chicago that August day when Richard Nixon resigned due to Watergate.  These were bruising days as we were also in the midst of the Viet Nam War.  There was a young Attorney General in Arkansas who said the day Nixon stepped down, “When a  President lies to the American People, he must resign.”   His name is Bill Clinton.  And we seemed to care more about basic morality then.  But President Clinton did not follow his own antidote for lying when he was caught up in Monica Gate.

Now we tolerate lies from Barack Obama as well though his poll numbers show we can still be disgusted by malfeasance in office.   Having lived through Bill and Barack do we really want another congenital liar in the White House?

My sister-in-law is a retired physician.  I was preaching one Sunday on “Low Grade Spiritual Infections”  where we begin to miss personal Bible Study and worship which can lead to real decline in our walk with God.  I asked her about physical low grade infections.  Lyme Disease was in the news then.  She employed it as an example of a disease that does not normally kill but, left untreated, can weaken the body to the point that another more serious ailment can destroy life.

The low grade political infection of Bill Clinton  (who had a rather successful Presidency for all his foibles if we are honest)  has become higher grade infection under Obama.  Hillary, the fake wannabe Marine, might lead to illness unto death for the American Experiment.   I am grateful enough people still notice and that nearly 70 % of Americans say that she is untrustworthy.

Our Lord says, as recorded in John 8:44-45,  “Satan is the father of lies.”  This is another reason so many from the Left lie. They have left moral standards behind for an anything to win under pinning.  There is such a thing as selling one’s soul for a mess of pottage.  There has always been some of this but it seems more prominent now–in and out of politics.

Some on the Right still have a moral compass and they are Christians as we might expect.   Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina both speak openly of their faith–“My help comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth.”  Psalm 121  Marco Rubio and Chris Christie are pro-life believers.

I pray we will have the strength and wisdom November 8, 2016 to exchange filthy rags fathered by Satan for righteousness authored by God Almighty.   For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, renew us again, O Lord. Accept our thanks in advance and every day to follow.







Tough Questions for Democrats

The Democrats held a debate this week end in Des Moines, IA.   It included a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris and then, predictably, attacks on Wall Street.  Few took notice as we are in the football season and persons were somber over terrorism in Europe which can again strike here.

CNBC continues to defend the debacle they led in the recent Republican debate in which Ted Cruz scalded them for their biased questions that they would never ask Democrats.  CNBC says candidates should answer tough questions.  Indeed they should.  Lawrence B. Lindsey is author of What Presidents Should Know. . .But Most Learn Too Late. 

He turns the tables on CNBC and suggests they ask some of their tough questions of Democrats.  Here are his suggestions.  “Senator Sanders, you contend that big money runs politics.  But the big GOP money has gone to Jeb Bush and he is going nowhere.  In your Party Hillary Clinton has most of the money and you are effectively competing with her with small donations.  So isn’t your contention about money a false narrative to hide the fact that you are running a content-free campaign.”

“Secretary Clinton, you told the nation and the world that a video caused the Benghazi attack but immediately told your daughter and the Prime Minister of Egypt you knew it was terrorism.  How do you justify lying to the American people and the families of the victims of the deaths in Benghazi?”

“Senator Sanders, you have heard Secretary Clinton’s answers to questions.  Do you think she is morally fit to be President?  If so, how do you justify lying to the American people and the world?”

“Secretary Clinton, labor unions forcibly collect money from their members and give it to Democrats without the members’ knowledge or consent.  Unions are among the largest donors to your cause.  Do you think this practice is fair and moral?”

“Senator Sanders, same question.  Why do you think it fair for union bosses to forcibly collect money from members and give tens of millions of dollars to Democrats, you among them, and then you turn around and complain about big money in politics?”

“Secretary Clinton, thus far you have no plan for restoring the American economy, a budget plan for reducing our debt or a detailed tax reform proposal.  Do you have no plan or do your numbers simply not add up?”

“Senator Sanders, even President Obama’s former budget directory has said big increases in taxes on the rich will not help the poor.  Why do you keep insisting the exact opposite?”

Jonathan Last is a prolific writer for The Weekly Standard.   He wrote an article recently on the plans for the Fairfax County, VA schools to allow “transgender” boys to enter girls showers and restrooms.  The county is almost entirely against this.  No matter to the school board as they ran over the public by a 10-1 vote to enshrine this immoral nonsense.

Meanwhile, Houston, TX, put such “transgender rights” to a vote in early November, and they were crushed by 61% to 39%.  This happened even as Houston’s aggressive mayor and other leaders pushed such a sorry policy.

Mr. Last suggests that Republican candidates grab this issue with both hands and tell the public what the government is doing in the schools on the matter of transgenderism.   They should promise to stop it and reverse it.  I would add this as one of Lindsey’s questions to Hillary and Bernie.  “Do you stand with no men in women’s bathrooms?   Or are you all for it?”

Isaiah 5:20 speaks with woe of the time when evil is called good and good evil;  when dark is called light and light dark.  Our Lord says in Luke 11:34-36, “Your eye is the lamp of your body.  When your eyes are good, your whole body is also full of light.  But when your eye is not sound your whole body is full of darkness.  Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.  If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

We pray daily for renewal in our land, for a time when the Godly principles on which we were founded are restored.  We pray that our eyes can be a lamp of light in which there is no darkness.  Restore us to Yourself, O Lord.  Renew us once again.



Keep Calm & Carry On

It is not often that one reads the Editor of a major publication at odds with his Executive Editor in the same issue.  That happened in the November 2, 2015 Weekly Standard.  Editor William Kristol is quite sanguine about a GOP victory in 2016.  Executive Editor Fred Barnes is not.

Bill Kristol notes the bumps in the road for the Republicans.  He begins with a Democrat not running–Joe Biden.  Kevin McCarthy demonstrated he was not ready to be Speaker of the House by giving Hillary Clinton ammunition that the Benghazi Committee was all about politics.  It was not but she raced to say,  “See, I told you so.”

But he notes the ages of Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a 74 year old Socialist from Vermont.  And he emphasizes that the server issue could still bring Mrs. Clinton down.  This could lead to Joe Biden’s reentering the fray, or John Kerry or Al Gore or Elizabeth Warren.  In any case, the nominee for the Democrats is likely to be a Social Security recipient while the Republicans are loaded with younger talent.

Bill does not think Donald Trump or Ben Carson will be the nominee nor will Jeb Bush who is out of sync with the times.  That leaves a Republican Party led by Marco Rubio or Carly Fiorina or Ted Cruz.  All three are savvy, intelligent people;  Cruz exceptionally so as we saw in his taking on the CNBC moderators in the recent debate.

Fred Barnes titled his article “Strife of the Party.”  His opening sentence is short and direct:  “Republicans are in trouble.”  He emphasizes the fact that a significant bloc of new members of Congress regard their leaders as enemies.  This is still true of Mitch McConnell who seems closer to Harry Reid than to Ted Cruz.  Even as Boehner is no longer Speaker the Freedom Caucus continues to complain that there have been poor compromises with Obama rather than the war the Senate and House could have waged.

The clout of the conservatives is enhanced by Talk Radio, Drudge, Ann Coulter and Brent Bozell.  Bozell gives new Speaker Ryan a grade of “F” on conservative issues.   From the Iran deal to defunding Planned Parenthood to the recent two year budget deal, dissidents feel there should have been a fight, even a fight they could not win.

Fred Barnes also sees Donald Trump as a problem for the GOP.  He is certainly not conventional when going after opponents.   When he learned that Dr. Ben Carson has passed him up in Iowa, Trump said Iowa Republicans have “issues in the brain.”  But in this strange year, Trump is up again in Iowa.  It is as if the rules of politics that were battened down are all coming loose.

Trump has also insulted Hispanics.  Conventional wisdom is that the GOP must get about 40% of the minority vote as George W. Bush did in 2004 to win back the White House.  But no less than George Will (no friend of Trump) tells of attending a convention of Mexican Businessman that the Donald addressed to roaring approval.  As noted above, this is not a normal election cycle.

Fred is also concerned that if Trump begins to fade as we get closer to actually counting primary votes, he will not go quietly.  He will blame all but himself.  Then Hillary’s frozen smile won’t look fake anymore.  In other words, for Fred Barnes, it is bad if Donald Trump gets the nomination and it is bad if he does not.

Barnes agrees with Kristol that Joe Biden’s decision not to run hurts Republicans as Hillary now has a cake walk to the nomination.  Meanwhile, Republicans slug it out among themselves.  Charles Krauthammer, as have others, suggests that in the next debate they go after Hillary Clinton rather than attacking each other.   Mike Huckabee has done some of this.  So has Chris Christie but they will be on the under card in the FOX Business debate.

So is the glass half full as Bill Kristol believes or is it half empty as Fred Barnes sees it?  Time will tell.  But I would suggest that Fred overlooks that Hillary is considered the most untrustworthy of all the candidates in either Party.  The F.B.I. may feel compelled to indict her.  She is not a natural campaigner and she is not likeable–something very important to a successful candidate.  And she is a senior adult.

If her opponent is Marco Rubio, it will be a contest between generations.  And in such contests the younger candidate generally wins, particularly a natural leader like Rubio facing a charmless candidate like Clinton.  Ronald Reagan was an exception to this but he was facing a failed President and Hillary is backing one.  Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton who was a generation younger.  John McCain faced the same with Barack Obama.  This could be reversed in 2016.

I prefer Bill’s optimism when he says there is no reason for panic or despair or even discouragement.  He calls for following the British government’s admonition in 1939 as the Nazi march across Europe began:  “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  And we can also be encouraged by the words of Winston Churchill (who was half American) in the same conflict.  The Prime Minister returned to his prep school to address the young student body there.   His speech was very short but very memorable.  He said, “Never given in.  Never give in.  Never give in.  Never!  Never!  Never!  Never!”   And he sat down.

That is good counsel for us in these days which are also very trying.  Let us also keep calm and carry on and never give in!  And let us also remember that we have a great Ally Who never rests and Who is nearer than breathing and the beating of our own hearts.  Praise be to God.