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“It’s dead, Jim.”

This is why. I’m just saying.

Addendum: In watching this video over and over, my oldest has asked, “Mommy, why is that lady pushing everyone around?” And he also has said that he wants to vote for McCain because after seeing the tanks and missiles, “He looks more cooler.”

My youngest, on the other hand, keeps pointing to Obama saying, “Want that guy.”

So. There you go. Democracy in action.

“It’s dead, Jim.”

21 thoughts on ““It’s dead, Jim.”

  • August 26, 2008 at 8:26 pm
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    C-
    The thing that disturbs me about this is that Frank appears to have lost his moorings in the process of his maturing.
    No–gop does not equal Christian, any more than dem does. A Christian could prayerfully vote for either McCain or Obama and be right with God. And I really doubt James Dobson’s opinion will cause victory for either. It’s just too early to know. Too many different things could happen right now that could make a difference.
    I’m of the opinion that evangelicals in the public eye should take whatever position (public or not) that they “feel led” to take. It’s a matter of conscience for them just as much as it is for those that follow or ignore them.
    I’m not much of a follower myself, and I’d like to think that there are a lot of believers that make a decision outside of a simple reactionary basis or bias.
    Just thinking–many years post ‘indyfundy’ now.

  • August 26, 2008 at 9:24 pm
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    I totally understand, Laurie. It’s more an indictment, IMHO, on James Dobson than anything else. I think, he needs to dial it back. He’s hurting the cause he wants to help.

    JMHO.

  • August 27, 2008 at 1:01 am
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    I’m curious as to what you’d say to God as you were “prayerfully” considering voting for a candidate who voted against a law (and then later killed it in his committee…pun fully intended) requiring medical treatment for a baby who survived an abortion attempt. How exactly would you word that prayer?

    McCain has plenty of moral and political failings. He was my fifth choice among the Republican candidates. But he isn’t in favor of infanticide.

  • August 27, 2008 at 8:05 am
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    Rob —

    Yes, I’m fully “aware” that we “conservative” Evangelicals have bought the Republican “line” that abortion is the “trump” political “issue.”

    I don’t buy it.

    First, we pro-lifers must focus on winning the ideological war on abortion. I don’t believe it should be fought in the legislature.

    Secondly, here in Greenville county, I’m appalled at who and why is most likely to get an abortion — college-aged, very conservative Evangelical (read: fundamentalist) women. They are so frightened of disrupting the image of a perfect Christian life that they’d rather kill their baby than mar it. These young women are raised fully knowing the proper political view on this issue. A lot of good that did!

    The one woman I know personally who has had an abortion will vote Republican this year. While she’s still a political conservative, she has rejected the faith of her upbringing, and she still harbors the guilt of her actions. The message of guilt still looms so loudly in her heart that she can’t hear the Gospel.

    IOW, everything cultural conservatives are doing about this really important issue is failing. Or at least nearly everything. We’ve got to start over. So yeah, your sarcasm is noted. I have prayed about it — with my eyes wide open and aware of the problems we all seem to be glossing over.

    And above all that — the War. I’m not even convinced that the President has that much to do with abortion. But I most certainly know that the Commander in Chief has everything to do with this horrible, Daddy-and-Mommy-killing war. If one more of my friends’ husbands has to go over there for another SIXTEEN MONTHS! . . . despicable.

    I understand your priorities in voting. They aren’t mine.

  • August 27, 2008 at 10:38 am
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    Well, I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was being serious. And you didn’t answer the question. This is sarcastic: “God, these emissaries of Balak of Moab are back. I know you told me not to go with them, but the payoff is huge. So with my eyes open, I’m praying about my vote…I mean trip. Please tell me it’s okay to do what I want to do anyway. Sincerely, Balaam.”

    I do not believe abortion trumps everything. But what do you say to yourself to justify voting for the candidate of infanticide? And you’re wrong about the President’s role in abortion as well. As long as the Supreme Court (wrongly) remains the sole arbiter, then court appointments remain the most effective means within the political system to effect abortions. And the abortion rate has declined under Bush (which of course does not mean he is the cause, but it’s certainly better than an increase).

    For the record, I’m not an evangelical. I am conservative. But where I grew up, conservatives voted Democrat, not Republican. Many of them still do. But as Reagan said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”

    And I’m truly sorry that you think the sacrifices required for liberty are despicable. I grieve for the losses brought about by the assault of our enemies that started this war. Fleeing Iraq prematurly (which is what Obama wanted and still wants to do) will not stop them wanting to kill us, just the location where they try. The election of Obama isn’t going to stop the war on terror. He may retreat from one or more of its battlegrounds, but that won’t stop the war. So voting for him with that goal is doomed to failure before the start.

    No doubt both our minds will remain made up. But I don’t yet understand your position. So, sarcasm aside, I would be interested in how you arrived at it.

  • August 27, 2008 at 11:01 am
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    Yeah, I did answer your question. I don’t believe that abortion should be reduced/stopped via the legislature or the courts. I don’t think our efforts are best spent at turning over Roe v. Wade. No doubt, the trouble is with us. Each of us. It’s terribly revealing that Greenville county — this bastion of fundamentalist politics — has SO MANY abortions. Hello? This is a problem!!??!??!

    And our men are fighting for “liberty”? Come now. They are not fighting for liberty. They are fighting for ego and oil. A few of us knew this war was a mistake from the beginning. It was never a just war, at the very least. And now it’s really, really a blight.

    And I’m not even talking about torture.

    So that’s it. I want to foreground life and human rights. To do that, I have to vote for stopping the war sooner rather than later, I have to vote against torture, and I have to vote for Habeus Corpus.

    And McCain doesn’t cut it.

  • August 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm
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    Okay, (with fear and trepidation do I even consider entering into the dicussion, being so incredibly outwitted as I am) I’ve read these posts with great interest and I’m all for agreeing to disagree. But I’m interested to know how you’d answer those who’d contest that whether or not you believe that fighting abortion belongs in the ideological realm and not the legislative, does not change the reality of the laws of the land. Nor am I clear on why we would not opt for fighting that battle on as many fronts as possible, particularly considering the extreme stance of the Democratic candidate and the power he could wield where the legislative realm is concerned.

    BTW, Camille, I’m completely convinced you’re right regarding the failure of the covenant community (and believers who don’t even understand the ramifications of that identity) on the ideological/theological/ecclesiological front of the battle for life.

    Out of curiosity, if there had been a Republican candidate you would have voted for, who would that have been?

  • August 27, 2008 at 11:50 pm
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    I’d vote for Newt Gingrich in a heart beat. 😀

    According to http://glassbooth.org I’m most similar to Ralph Nader on the issues. So . . . go figure.

    I do see your point that we should fight the issue on as many fronts as possible. I’m not AGAINST that idea per se. I’m just convinced that nothing we’re doing is working. Nothing. We need to start over. And I’ve voted long enough for the GOP. They keep saying the same rotten thing over and over. And I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. Nope. Not. gonna. do. it.

    And I’m not buying the Republican-created line anymore that abortion is the end-all and be-all issue for my voting. There’s more to the decision than that single issue. I don’t disagree that it’s important. It’s just not the only one.

  • August 28, 2008 at 7:47 am
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    This is hardly as weighty a consideration as those issues in the above discussion, but it does dispel some of the ‘tax and spend’ myths:

    http://alchemytoday.com/obamataxcut/

    My tax bill would be be about $500 less than it has been under Bush.

  • August 28, 2008 at 9:23 am
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    For those who are coming from Robert Byers’ blog, welcome! I do hope you’ll read this whole thread and my whole blog — especially my most recent post and its links! You’ll discover that life is excruciatingly important to me.

    But political partisanship is not. The ideas I’m expressing here have been developed for years — not just in the last year. Not at all. My students at BJU heard me say these exact things in the classroom for nearly the last decade. I’ve even expressed these ideas to BJU administrators personally.

    So no, they aren’t “new.” And I’m not throwing out any babies with the bathwater. That’s a distraction to immediately intensify the discussion and render it obsolete. Put on your rhetorician’s hat for a second and see that tactic for what it is.

    When I think about the women that I know personally that have had abortions, I realize that it’s not politics that’s the problem here. It’s not even the number of abortions that’s the problem per se. No, that’s just the symptom of the problem. The problem is that conservative Evangelicalism has totally abandoned the Gospel in its day-to-day life. The Gospel has become nothing but fire insurance, a paper bracelet to get you in the “club” of Heaven.

    That’s the problem. And I’ll say it over and over again in every way I know how.

    The problem is not OUT THERE with those rapscallions who are running our government. The problem is RIGHT HERE sitting in this kitchen counter chair.

  • August 28, 2008 at 10:35 am
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    The JibJab video is drop-dead hilarious. I fell off my chair at the sight of McCain running over everyone with the tank, and Obama on the rainbow pony.

    Camille, would you please explain how on earth you can say you would vote for Newt, and yet support Barak Obama? That makes no sense to me; I cannot think of a single issue on which they agree. And even if they agree that the Iraq war was wrong, they will do so for radically different reasons.

    I agree with you that Dobson is a fool who has done more harm than good in recent years, and that the slavish adherence to the in some evangelical circles has also done more harm than good. Perhaps supporting a centrist candidate would be a good thing. But Obama is not that candidate; his record proves him to be the most liberal candidate ever nominated by a major party.

    With Obama, it’s not even about abortion. We are talking about children who are *born alive.* Even the Chinese government doesn’t think it’s ok to kill them. Barak Obama does.

    You know that I am skpetical of your abortion figures and of extrapolating them nationwide. I won’t repeat that discussion here.

    With Iraq, your characterization of the war as “always about oil and ego” is a dissappointing bit of revisionism. Dissappointing because it is an example of assuming the most uncharitable of motives on the other side when you cannot prove them—they very thing you have so often challenged people (including me) not to do. Revisonist because I can come out with quotes from leading democrats–even Bill Clinton–who said that Saddam had WMD, was a threat, and had to go.

    Bush and Co. went to war to eliminate what they, *and almost everyone else* saw as a major threat and to free a nation from diabolical dictator. These good intentions may have rested on false factual judgments and paved a way to hell, but they were nevertheless good intentions. The Administration assumed that democracy is somehow a universal longing of everyone, and that it can be imposed by the gun by just kicking out the current leader of country X. This view is just as naively messanic the those who see Obama as the cure for all the world’s ills, but it is rooted in equally good intentions.

    It is one thing to say the GOP got Iraq so wrong that they should be fired. It is another to say it was only about oil. If so, we sure are doing a bad job of plundering the country. And it is equally foolish to say, as Obama has, that the best thing to do *now,* no matter what was wrong in 2003, is to pull everyone out.

    But it is the habeas issue where I turn purple. By “standing up for habeas,” I assume you mean “standing up to oppose to policies of Abe Lincoln and FDR?” GWB has not tried to do anything with terrorists that those two did not do. Foreign citizens who don’t wear uniforms and operate outside of convention armies have never, never, been entitled to the protections of a standard criminal trial. I still stand with Honest Able Lincoln, not Tricky Tony Kennedy.

  • August 28, 2008 at 11:37 am
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    Grant, linking to a site that uses figures from the Tax Policy Center (which despite their claims to be non-partisan is a joint effort of the very liberal Brookings Institution and The Urban Institute and is headed by a former Clinton Treasury official) and saying that dispels myths about Obama’s tax plan doesn’t prove your point. Their figures may show that you would save money, but actual experience with Democratic Presidents and their promises of tax cuts isn’t so good in the real world. The last one to actually deliver on that was JFK.

  • August 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm
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    Dave —

    More soon. But on Bush’s War, *I* never supported it. You know that. 😉 I have always agreed with my dissertation advisor’s take on the War. Sure, sure, the Democrats got on board. That’s why I’m not all jonesed about them either. :/ I’m fully an Independent these days, and what matters is *right now.* I’m sick and tired of my friends’ husbands being sent off for months and months and never seeing their kids grow up. Sure, sure — they signed up for that. I understand. But it needs to end. On this issue, the Democratic party seems to demonstrate less hubris than the GOP.

    As for Obama’s voting record on Illinois’ Born Alive bills, it is not the way I’d vote. Not at all. I agree with you. I do think that the National Right to Life Committee is complicating the issue more than clarifying, but I don’t at all agree with Obama’s voting record on that. And Pelosi has made a fool of herself with her recent and grossly incorrect rant about Augustine. PUHLLEEZE! Foolishness.

    But here’s the deal — why is abortion the be-all and end-all voting issue? Why does that trump all others? No one’s answering THAT question.

    Abortion has affected my family. My grandmother nearly aborted my mother in 1928. She didn’t, and I’m eternally grateful for God’s protection in that matter. But what good has the political sphere done at all on this issue? The talk has only hardened the lines and put the issue as an us vs. them conflict.

    No more. Not for me at least. No doubt the trouble is with us. This is a religious issue. We who believe the Gospel need to take it for ourselves. We need to offer more free ultrasounds for pregnant moms (because a woman who has seen her baby on an ultrasound is 80% LESS likely to abort that child). We need to offer grief counseling for moms who’ve had abortions. We need more open adoptions. And we need to tell our daughters who become pregnant that we love them and their babies in Christ — not calling them “bastards” but supporting them.

    The way we’ve talked about this, in sum, is tragic. It needs to be comic.

    I know a young mom who against all odds and advice kept her baby. She’s still struggling. The same people who told her to abort that child often are the ones who support her the least. It burns me up.

    So now. Tell me. What’s either political party gonna do for her? Not a lick. It’s not a political issue. Or it shouldn’t be. It’s our problem. Let’s own it and fix it.

  • August 28, 2008 at 12:26 pm
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    Newt Gingrich is more of a Republican renegade. That’s what I want. I don’t want another GWB. His presidency is a disaster. That’s why I like Newt. I want NOT-Bush.

    It is one thing to say the GOP got Iraq so wrong that they should be fired. It is another to say it was only about oil.

    Dick Cheney? Hello? And do you know how RICH Iraq is getting in this war? Strangeness indeed. . . .

    As for our continued disagreement on habeus corpus. . . . I think we’re talking past each other. Let me do some more reading, and I’ll come back to you on that one. . . .

  • August 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm
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    Barak Obama is a political liberal but his temperment is conservative.

    George Bush is a political conservative but his temperment is liberal.

    Obama would not get into Iraq because it’s against his temperment. GWB got us into Iraq not because of his policies but because of his temperment.

    Which is the better choice? For me, judgement and temperment win hands down.

  • August 28, 2008 at 4:09 pm
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    I’ll throw my 2 cents in….Abortion is not one of my litmus tests for voting either although I am definitely against abortion. Flat out it is wrong. I agree what you have been saying about it not being fixed as a political issue but more of a biblical living issue.

    BUT voting for Obama… I’m sorry, definitely diagree with you there. Come on.. the guys energy policy is to make sure we keep our tires properly inflated!!! Give me a break.

    My main issue(s) for this election are as follows:

    1) Energy – bottom line we need to drill freakin everywhere. I am so sick of these enviro wack jobs that are against the drilling offshore, anwr, montana, dakota, ad nauseaum. It is pathetic. And quit telling me about alternative energy and that we wouldn’t have anything for 10yrs. Hello, if we would have been doing this in the 90’s we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. We are getting crushed by the prices not to mention the HUGE amounts of monies we are giving to ME countries that are so against us, not to mention Russia.

    2) Obama is not going to stand up on the terrorist front. I mean he actually wants to sit down with the weirdo in Iran. He’ll probably end up decimating the armed forces. Yes, the Iraq war has gone on too long and I get the sadness of seeing people go off for so long. We wouldn’t have been in that situation if we would have went in huge to begin with. Like with a 500k plus army like Gulf 1. Stupid mistake that we didn’t go in bigger – we have been paying the price for that for too long. Another thing, why are we not taking oil revenue from Iraq to pay ourselves back for this war?

    3) Finally, Obama has NO experience. I’m sorry, he hasn’t even completed 1 term in the Senate. At least McCain has experience and real life experience. Now McCain has a lot of problems too and I’m not thrilled with either choices but I have to take the lesser of 2 evils. Although it is tempting to sit back and do nothing, let Obama get elected, see the country go to pot the next 4 years, and then hopefully get someone like Reagan in after people wake up to the mess. (Just like Carter and then Reagan)

  • August 28, 2008 at 9:41 pm
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    I’m voting for Obama simply because we can’t have anymore of this administration’s policies. Iraq is a nightmare. Afghanistan is a tragedy. All the laws seem to favor big business over the middle class. I could live with most things, but, to cap it all off, they’ve gutted the constitution and way overspent. At least with Clinton, we paid as we went along. We can’t fight a war on 2 fronts and give the wealthiest people in the nation (who will benefit most) tax cuts. I’m fighting to keep myself middle class. The sad thing is, if I made $6,000 less per year, I could access all kinds of services. I never in a million, trillion years thought I’d vote Democrat to have responsible spending.

  • August 29, 2008 at 1:14 pm
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    Call me crazy, but I honestly think I understand both sides of the discussion that’s been going on above.

    But here’s the deal as I see it:

    1.) Neither candidate is right for the job. Really. But they’re the ones we’re stuck with. Really.

    2.) So, on each of the major issues (war, abortion, taxes, education, economic policy, trade, environment, etc…), whom do I line up with. Write a list of each of the major issues as you see them in column form. In the header of the next column write the name of one candidate, and in the header of the next column write the name of the other candidate. Now, use the whole thing as a checklist. For each issue, which candidate do you agree more with. Tabulate your results.

    3.) But, oops, wait… we forgot to define our terms. *Don’t* take the candidate’s word for what he thinks about each of the issues. We all know how reliable campaign promises are. Instead, go look at voting records, prior speeches & statements (prior to the illumination of the presidential spotlight). See what each of them really thinks and what each of them has really done on the issues you have listed.

    4.) Oh, and look at the other people who each of them admire, idolize, or look up to. Look at the people who each of them have been mentored by. And look at what those people have to say about those issues. We all know that ideology isn’t just about certain issues… it’s a worldview. What are the worldviews of those people who have been influences upon each of the candidates?

    5.) Now go back to your checklist (or make a new one that’s not filled in) and using all the data you have gathered, make your best judgements about what each candidate will really do when they actually have to sign legislation concerning those issues.

    So, having done that, I once again will emphatically state that neither candidate is right for the job. Really! But they are the ones we’re stuck with. Really! And after looking at track records, backgrounds, influences, and history, I know that I have only one choice when I vote. That candidate isn’t perfect, heck, he isn’t even really all that good, but he’s a *&@# sight better than the other guy. My conscience tells me not to make the perfect the enemy of the (semi-) good. I’d rather have a president who will likely do 40% of the things I wish he would do, than a candidate who will likely do 5% of the things I wish he would do.

    And, the beauty of it is that even now you still don’t know who I’m voting for. But at least you know I gave it some actually investigative thought and didn’t just make a reflex reaction when I got to the voting booth!

  • August 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm
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    Camille, you’ve got a heap of change here already on this post, but I thought I’d throw my 2c on the pile.

    Yes, the GOP has used abortion as a decoy issue for years, purporting to support human life while waging wars we don’t understand. This is not supporting human life. Maybe some are interested in life before birth. Others are interested in life from conception until death and beyond. Wars that devastate other nations, leaving their millennia-old museums & libraries to be ransacked, putting us in control of their oil supply and making a handful of people really, really rich (yes, this has ALREADY happened)…these are sins that we should justly be condemned for.

    I too part ways with Obama on his specific conclusions regarding abortion. He & McCain have far different worldviews, it’s true. If you identify more with McCain, then you should vote your conscience. The reality is that many believers find much more in common with Obama’s views than with McCain’s. Not that Obama is the Messiah; no candidate is. But making the best use of Creation is significant — in fact, it’s one of the most specific commands God has ever given image-bearers. Those who say we need to drill everywhere immediately don’t realize that this is more of the problem and not a solution. We have already robbed our children through our wastefulness & now we’re talking about robbing our grandchildren, too. Also, seeing negotiation as weakness is a grave miscalculation (when you’ve only got a hammer, every problem looks like a nail), and creates more of the same insularity that has earned America its reputation for solipsism. There are obviously other issues, too.

    Sure, I’d take a candidate who represents my beliefs & has heaps of experience. But if I don’t have that choice, I’m still going to pick the one who represents my beliefs.

    By the way, I grew up a conservative of the conservatives, just to give a little historical perspective. Conservatism has some pros; but it’s not Christ and we should be willing to leave it aside when we find His kingdom being advanced elsewhere.

  • August 29, 2008 at 6:36 pm
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    By the way, just a thought (from someone who lives overseas and is paying twice for gas what you in the US are): I think “high” gas prices could be the best thing that ever happened to us. Could be. I pray they stay high enough, long enough for us to realize what idols we have made of our comfort & demand for luxurious lifestyles. God help us.

  • September 18, 2008 at 9:37 am
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    I love it when Obama clotheslines Hillary about a minute and a half in.

    Poehler would be proud.

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