Friday, February 08, 2008

Kamakazi Republican or Principled Christian?

If the GOP does not offer an acceptable candidate I will not vote in the presidential election. Neither McCain nor Romney are acceptable. McCain does not understand the Constitution or he would never have passed McCain Feingold. Romney cannot be trusted - I Like Mike!to do anything other than say what needs to be said at the moment to achieve his desired goals. He is the ultimate political pragmatist and opportunist. Having said that, I resent people who repeatedly say that conservative Christian GOP voters must always choose the lesser of evils and violate their own principles.

Oklahoma’s own Don Nickels invented the big tent. I was a print reporter when the strategy was introduced and covered stump speeches where Nickles discussed it. In reality, the big tent strategy works on the principle that Christians will not abandon the GOP because the alternative would always be worse. There are three things wrong with this strategy. First, for every so called moderate voter the big tent attracts it pushes one out on the right. And, the problem is that you gain uncommitted, highly fluid voters in the center and lose highly committed, unwavering voters on the right. For every unprincipled, undecided moderate the GOP gains they lose a principled activist (like myself). How many uncommitted centrists does it take to replace a committed activist? A bunch. Consequently on the numbers alone, this strategy does not work.

Second, and more important, the big tent strategy is a political left handed ratchet that allows the other side to control the direction of the debate. Every move the GOP takes toward the so-called “center” moves the Democratic Party farther left. So, every election cycle the GOP must move farther left to pursue the so-called center that is being defined not within the GOP itself but rather by their opposition. I have watched this happen now through at least five election cycles. If the conservative wing of the GOP, especially the Christian conservative wing, does not draw a line in the sand, the leftward drift will continue each election cycle until the GOP is unrecognizable as a conservative entity.

Third and most important for Christians is the fact that we are not called to win. We are called to be faithful and trust God to honor our obedience. If a candidate’s positions clearly violate scriptural principles, a true Christian cannot vote for them. So, the Christian voter can vote when there is an acceptable candidate but must not vote when doing so will violate scriptural principles. He is NOT REQUIRED TO VOTE.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I am an old man. I have watched the same GOP strategies trotted out every election cycle since the 1980’s. They do the same things every cycle and then come back ask the Conservatives and Christians to believe them one more time ... never mind the fact that they have never kept their promises. If you saw a kid repeatedly sticking his hand through a hole in the fence to grab a candy bar only to have it slapped with a board you would call him an idiot after the second or third slap. The GOP has done that very thing to Christians and Conservatives five presidential election cycles. I may be slow but I am no idiot. In 1996 nearly a dozen of the best Christian minds in the U.S. held a conference to discuss what to do about the then current political and constitutional crisis. At that time Dr. James Dobson observed:

"Only the most partisan supporters of the present regime could insist that we still live in a functioning democracy. On the most essential matters of human life and conscience, the courts have systematically invalidated the will of the people. Furthermore, they have done this by constructing a jurisprudence that leaves no doubt they intend to continue ruling by judicial fiat for the foreseeable future. Only questions of relative insignificance have been left to the people to resolve for themselves. This is no small development and before we accept it there ought to be some sort of national discussion. I doubt most Americans are aware of the current impotence of their vote ...

"I stand in a long tradition of Christians who believe that rulers may forfeit their divine mandate when they systematically contravene the divine moral law. The accumulation of evidence, when combined with the lawless jurisprudence that produced it, should remove all doubt that our judiciary has, by act and intention, stepped out from under the moral law upon which governing authority depends. They have made it plain that they have no intention of regarding any higher law than themselves and that those who do will not be tolerated in the public square. Having tortured the First Amendment to exclude all but "secular" motives from public debate, Justice Kennedy, writing for the Court, goes on to include in the definition of religious belief those who hold that "there is an ethic and a morality which transcend human invention." Therefore, whether you believe government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed or from a higher source, our government has clearly transgressed its bounds in such a manner as to lose its authority. This is where we are."

During this same 1996 conference, Dobson, Colson, Hittinger, Nieuhaus and others agreed that the time might come when Christians would be forced to quit participating in politics if the political system became so corrupt that there was no acceptable choice and any vote would participating in or at least acknowledging tolerance of the national sin. I believe that time has come if McCain is nominated. Ann Coulter did an excellent job of elucidating some of the reasons a McCain nomination would be unacceptable:

From Goldwater Girl To Hillary Girl
By Ann Coulter
Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nominating McCain is the gesture of a desperate party.

Republicans are so shell-shocked and demoralized by the success of the Bush Derangement Syndrome, they think they can fool the voters by nominating an open-borders, anti-tax cut, anti-free speech, global-warming hysteric, pro-human experimentation "Republican." Which is to say, a Democrat.

As the expression goes, given a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, voters will always choose the Democrat. The only question remaining is: Hillary or Obama?

On the litmus test issues of our time, only partially excluding Iraq, McCain is a liberal.

He excoriated Samuel Alito as too "conservative."

He promoted amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants.

He abridged citizens' free speech (in favor of the media) with McCain-Feingold.

He hysterically opposes waterboarding terrorists and wants to shut down Guantanamo.

Can I take a breath now?

He denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

He opposes ANWR and supports the global warming cult, even posturing with fellow mountebank Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of solar panels.

The only site that would have been more appropriate for Schwarzenegger in endorsing McCain would have been in front of an abortion clinic.

Although McCain has the minimum pro-life record demanded by the voters of Arizona, in 2006, McCain voted in favor of using taxpayer funds to harvest stem cells from human embryos. He opposes a constitutional amendment to protect human life. And he frets that if Roe v. Wade were overruled, women's lives would be "endangered." This is the same John McCain who chides Mitt Romney today for "flip-flopping" on abortion. At least Romney flips and stays there.

Of course the most important issue for pro-lifers is the Supreme Court. As long as Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, it doesn't matter how many hearts and minds we've changed. So it's not insignificant that McCain has called Justice Samuel Alito too conservative.

We ended up with David Hackett Souter when a Republican president was actually looking for an Alito. Imagine how bad it will be when the "Republican" president isn't even trying.

McCain uses the boilerplate language of all Republicans in saying he will appoint "strict constructionists." This is supposed to end all discussion of the courts. But if he's picking strict constructionists, he will have to appoint judges who will commit to overturning McCain-Feingold.

That could be our litmus test: Will you hold President McCain's signature legislation restricting speech unconstitutional?

In 2004, McCain criticized the federal marriage amendment, saying, it was "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans." Really? Preventing the redefinition of a 10,000-year-old institution -- marriage, that is, not John McCain -- is part of the core philosophy of being a Republican? I had no idea.

I'm not a lawyer -- oh wait, yes, I am -- but Republicans were proposing to amend the Constitution, a process the Constitution specifically describes.

It's like saying it's antithetical to the core philosophy of Republicans to require presidents to be at least 35 years old. It's in the Constitution! And Republicans -- other than the ones who voted for McCain-Feingold -- support the Constitution. You might say it's part of our core philosophy.

Of course, back in 2004, McCain was considering running on a presidential ticket with John Kerry. Realizing that this would not help his chances to run as a Republican in 2008, when he would be a mere 120 years old, McCain quickly withdrew his interest in being on Kerry's ticket.

But he defended Kerry from the Bush campaign's suggestion that Kerry was not tip-top on national security, saying on the "Today" show: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense." So that was helpful.

McCain also explained to an admiring press corps why he wouldn't want to be anyone's vice president, not even a national defense champion like Kerry, citing the meager constitutional duties of the vice president as: (1) to assume the presidency if the president is incapacitated and (2) "to break a tie vote in the Senate." (At which point several members of the fawning horde were heard to remark, "What is this 'Constitution' you speak of, Senator?")

But McCain conveniently forgot the second of these constitutional duties just a year later when Vice President Cheney was required "to break a tie vote in the Senate" on a matter of utmost importance to liberals: federal judges.

Just one year after McCain had correctly identified one of two jobs of the vice president, he was indignant that a Republican vice president might actually exercise one of them. Better to let a gaggle of 14 Senate malcontents pick the president's judges for him.

As part of the "Gang of 14," McCain hysterically opposed allowing the vice president to break a tie on judicial nominations. Following the Constitution with regard to the role of the vice president, McCain said, "would be a terrible precedent." Yes, if members of Congress actually read the Constitution, they might realize McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional.

If Hillary is elected president, we'll have a four-year disaster, with Republicans ferociously opposing her, followed by Republicans zooming back into power, as we did in 1980 and 1994, and 2000. (I also predict more Oval Office incidents with female interns.)

If McCain is elected president, we'll have a four-year disaster, with the Republicans in Congress co-opted by "our" president, followed by 30 years of Democratic rule.

There's your choice, America.


Ann Coulter is the legal correspondent for Human Events and author of Godless: The Church of Liberalism .

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