By E. J. Dionne

The Campaign’s Moral Hole

October 8, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 53 Comments A+ / A-
The Campaign’s Moral Hole

WASHINGTON — Does our presidential campaign lack a moral core?

The question arises in the wake of last week’s presidential debate. However you analyze it in electoral terms, the exchange between President Obama and Mitt Romney was most striking as a festival of technocratic mush — dueling studies mashed in with competing statistics. In many ways, the encounter offered voters the worst of all worlds: a great deal of indecipherable wonkery and remarkably little clarity about where each would lead the country.

But there are forces working to make the campaign about something more than a suffocating battle to influence tiny slivers of the electorate. One of my favorite pressure groups, Nuns on the Bus, will be launching a five-day tour on Wednesday through the red, blue and purple parts of Ohio.

Who better than a group of women who have consecrated their lives to the Almighty to remind us that our decisions in November have ethical consequences? Those who serve the impoverished, the sick and the dying know rather a lot about what matters — in life, and in elections.

If some of the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops often give the impression that they constitute the Republican Party at prayer, the activist nuns often seem like Democrats at the barricades. And it’s quite true that a struggle is on for the political soul of American Catholicism. Those among the faithful who see the abortion issue as trumping all others are in a quarrel with their brethren who place more emphasis on the church’s long-standing commitment to social justice.

Nuns on the Bus, led by Sister Simone Campbell, are very much players in this dialogue, and Sister Simone addressed the Democratic National Convention last month. Yet she was careful in her speech to emphasize that what she has been saying about government’s obligation to the poor — and about the problems with Rep. Paul Ryan’s budgets — reflected what the bishops have been saying, too.

She also noted in an interview last week that she had laid down some conditions before she spoke in Charlotte. “I would talk if I could say that I was pro-life, that I could lift up the people who live in poverty, and that the Democrats have a big tent,” she said.

Pages →  1 2

The Campaign’s Moral Hole Reviewed by on . WASHINGTON -- Does our presidential campaign lack a moral core? The question arises in the wake of last week's presidential debate. However you analyze it in el WASHINGTON -- Does our presidential campaign lack a moral core? The question arises in the wake of last week's presidential debate. However you analyze it in el Rating:

More by E. J. Dionne

Ferguson Divides Us Less Than We Imagine

WASHINGTON — African-Americans are not alone in being horrified by the killing of Michael Brown. They are not alone in their concern over the police’s behavior. And there’s evidence that a large number of white Americans have still not fully formed their views on this tragedy. This means that how we discuss and debate the

Read more...

Where Goes The Neighborhood?

WASHINGTON — Consider how our definition of “neighborliness” has evolved. Once upon a time, being neighborly meant “reaching out to the people who lived next door” by, among other things, “offering to watch the kids in a pinch.” Now, “being ‘neighborly’ means leaving those around you in peace.” Or think about reSTART, the nation’s first

Read more...

Plain Vanilla Bipartisanship

WASHINGTON — When does Congress become so embarrassed by its laughably low approval ratings that its leaders decide to pass laws to make our country a modestly better place? Is there a plain vanilla agenda that might pass muster across party lines? If you thought attitudes about Congress couldn’t get any worse, consider the Washington

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • sigrid28

    Like you, E. J. Dionne, I hope voters will keep following this election. I don’t think either Romney or Obama can have the election sewn up. Of the 310 million Americans, let’s say that about 150 million have seen commercials about both of these candidates and maybe a convention speech. Romney has been seen widely saying that half the U.S. population are people who don’t pay taxes and who expect the government to take care of them. How many saw his apology on Fox News? Since he was governor of Massachusetts, enough people, even low-information voters, have heard him say one thing and then say the opposite to earn him the name of “flip-flopper.”

    By contrast, let’s say at least as many low-information voters, probably more, know the name of the president, know that he killed Osama bin Laden, know he has been our leader through a severe recession. It is said that 70 million Americans watched the debate. Where President Obama’s severest critics saw a whipped school boy, others saw deliberation and deferential behavior toward the debate moderator, the audience, and Mitt Romney. A sober and low-key President Obama was loyal to both supporters and all who depend on him. If he didn’t win, he didn’t let us down either.

    Even children watching could tell that Romney wasn’t playing fair when he broke the rules of the debate. As for enthusiasm as a factor in the debate, it is hard for sincerity and truthfulness to steal the show from bombast and gaudy (though baseless) promises. Republican partisans and the crowd cheering Romney on, like goading schoolboys in a fight (some of them in the media), found in this candidate a successful bulldozer, while others (perhaps a minority) were repulsed by a lying bully who cannot win except by cheating.

    Then consider this: if someone we love betrays us, when we thought love was mutual, rage and hatred is the natural response, followed by hurt and an unwavering distrust. In this debate, Mitt Romney betrayed the Republican base he had been courting for two years, purely for his own personal gain, not to correct the deficiencies of the Republican platform and certainly not to offer remedies for the enormous problems facing a nation at war and recovering from severe economic hardship. And then he and his surrogates gloated about it. How long will it take the Republican base to catch on, let alone the rest of the American electorate? Romney is an ambitious man who is just for his own advantage, and that is the resounding music behind all of his lyrics. It is as the gospel says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

    • hilandar1000

      Sigrid, your third paragraph describes the debate perfectly. You said it very well. I would like your permission to copy and paste that paragraph to my facebook page — and anything else I can think of to paste it onto. Even Gingrich has stated that “There is simply no way to debate lies” — without getting into the endless round of “Yes you did — no I didn’t”.

      • sigrid28

        What a compliment! You bet.

    • Justin Napolitano

      Sigrid28, what a well written post. I think you hit the nail on the head. I too would like your permission to copy your post and send it to some of the Obama supporters that felt depressed about how Romney took everything out of context and used it against the President.
      Thanks for the great post.

      • sigrid28

        What a compliment! You bet.

        • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

          Same Here I Would Love To Post This Also!! :-)

          • sigrid28

            Go for it, Fern, my friend, from the pro-nursing contingent of the Democratic party.

        • http://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.gordon1 Elisabeth Gordon

          sigrid – thank you for saying what is/was so obvious to me while watching the debate….I, too, will take an honest, deferential man over a lying greedy plutocrat wanna-be anyday….OBAMA 2012

          • sigrid28

            I hope we are in the majority when it comes to voting. A lot IS riding on this election.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      Well Said My Friend Well Said!!

    • elisabeth9

      sigrid28, thank you for this wonderful post, may the truth keep our beautiful country

    • http://www.facebook.com/jerri.myers.92 Jerri Myers

      that was perfect. Why can’t that message be put into a campaign add–it is why I will vote for President Obama again and it is why I vote for the Democratic platform at the State level. thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts out there. I there is a way to get it to te ears of those who can spread it , I wish you would send it there, too.

      • sigrid28

        You are important, and my words reached you. Thanks for the fine compliment. We just all have to work on getting out votes, as the election is proving to be just as close as it was always expected to be. Obama/Biden 2012!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Campaigns are often defined by what, at first glance, may seem like a trivial statement or action, but that when analyzed calmy highlight the character, values and vision of a candidate or a party. That is what happened during the first debate when Mitt Romney asserted that part of his plan to restore our economic and, presumably, create 12 million new jobs involves ending support for PBS, even funding for that media outlet is a fraction of one percent and it pails in comparison to what we spend in subsidies to oil companies, the agri-business and pharmaceuticals, and the cost of loopholes that allow people who make millions of dollars in profits every year to pay less than the janitor. Perhaps our motto should be “Save Big Bird”….

    • sigrid28

      DV: “Save Big Bird,” what a fresh, charming idea! I’m serious. For example, it is something children could sing to participate meaningfully in the campaign, with their parents’ and teachers’ blessings. We weren’t so enlightened in the schoolyard in my era (what’s called on Sesame Street “Caveperson Days”), singing, “Whistle while you work! Stevenson’s a jerk. Eisenhower has the power, just like Wyatt Earp!” Then again, our parents were not at all like the Republicans of this era, thank the Lord.

      I don’t know about you two, but I’m already sick of hearing talking heads in the 24-hour news cycle gushing about the Democratic “enthusiasm gap” when compared to Republicans. Well, no wonder. They are xenophobes and proud of it. When it comes to Romneyphiles, maybe not so much.

      The Big Bird platform, repeated in children’s voices, effectively provides a needed contrast to the slippery Republican agenda of blaring lies and racial innuendo, without calling them out for it. Like the Nuns on the Bus initiative, it has the needed sincerity, pure and simple.

    • montanabill

      Dominick, why didn’t you hear the part about not spending ‘borrowed money’ on non-essential items? Big Bird will do just fine if the people who like him continue to fund PBS, but Romney was asking why we needed to be borrowing money from places like China for that purpose. It was simply an example that everyone could relate to, of the 1000′s of little places where government money is being spent that aren’t critical. Whenever any of these programs is brought up, the response is always, “well, it is just a small amount” (millions) but multiplied by 1000′s, and it is 1000′s, it is why we are spending $1.4 trillion dollars more than the government took in last year and every year. Let’s start with cutting back the non-critical stuff and then see where we are for funding education, national defense and other more pertinent aspects of Federal government.

      Let the people who support PBS and Planned Parenthood and similar organizations support them directly and get the government out of being Daddy Warbucks.

      • oldtack

        Good reply Bill
        As normal, I don’t agree with everything you propose but – it is what we need to do to get things in Washington back in perspective. This is probably the most important step.

        My grandson lives in Belt, Montana and is becoming a regular hunter and fisherman. Hope he doesn’t drown or shoot someone. He’s a good kid – even with me for a grandfather..

        • montanabill

          I have complete faith that your grandson has learned gun safety and safe hunting. At his age, he probably doesn’t lose his balance in rivers like I did this summer, so he’s probably not in danger of drowning. Seems that happens to inexperienced kayakers who bite off too much too soon. Neither was I, because I had learned not to fight the current but work with it to until you can get out of it.

          Funny thing about Montana. It is still a place where you can walk down the streets of town carrying a gun and no one (except maybe tourists) will even look twice or feel the least bit threatened.

          You need to go spend a summer and fall with your grandson. It is a good way to rediscover the America we are rapidly losing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        Your argument is at the core of the philosophical differences that separate Republicans from Democrats. The former believe in personal responsibility, the latter believe in social responsibility. I would not have a problem with personal responsibility if we lived in a country where financial wealth were distributed among all segments of the population and we all enjoyed similar benefits and opportunities, but that is hardly the case. In the USA the top 10% of earners own almost 70% of the financial wealth, the other 90% has to make ends meet with a little over 30% of our wealth.
        Yes, it would be wonderful if a teacher, waitress or nurse trying to support a child on $24K a year could afford to pay for cable TV so that her child could benefit from programs like Sesame Street or benefit from the cutural programs that enrich our society, but that is more often than not too much to ask from those whose priority is to put food on the table, pay the rent and the utilities.
        Putting PBS and NPR on the chopping block would make sense if we had already exhausted all the means at our disposal to eliminate deficit spending, borrowing and accumulation of debt, but when the “solutions” being put forth involve the elimination of inexpensive educational and cultural programs to ensure the rich can continue to benefit from irresponsible income tax rates, record low dividend and capital gains tax rates, loopholes, and highly profitable businesses benefit from corporate welfare (subsidies), some of us have a problem with that.
        Again, your argument would have merit if it was the only way to solve our economic problems, it falls flat when Daddy Warbucks is enthusiastically encouraged to help those who do not need help…at the expense of our most vulnerable citicens: our children, the elderly and the poor.

        • Sandra

          Well stated. Strange these same people, Romney/Ryan included now complaining about the debt and the deficit didn’t have a problems when Bush/Cheney started two unpaid for wars, tax cuts which benefited the rich, rather they encouraged and applauded it. Cheney actually quoted Reagan, stating that deficits don’t matter. Now the hypocrites are out in force trying to blame PO and the Dems. on the mess they created and are responsible for while obstructing any and every effort to improve the economy and the job losses which occurred under their watch.
          Leave PBS alone, they account for a minute amount of dollars of the budget which in reality has no real impact. Romney want to spends two billion more in military spending which the military has not requested. He wants to build 15 more navy ships including submaries..with what? Where will the billions be coming from and who will end up paying for his extravagant spending of anywhere from 5-10 billions more in spending and tax cuts which he denies despite evidence to the contrary.

          • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

            That’s What I Said @ Sandra It Wasn’t A Problem When Reagan Ran It Up Either And All This Crap About Worry About The Kids!! Please That’s Just A Bunch Of Bullshit Also!! Didn’t They Have Kids With Futures When Reagan And Bush Was In Office????

        • montanabill

          There is no country where financial wealth is distributed among all segments of the population. The USA has done the best job of it, because even the poorest among us is better off than most of the rest of the world’s middle class. In fact, virtually all of them have cars, cell phones and either cable or satellite TV.

          There is no way that people will enjoy similar benefits since each of us is born into a unique set of circumstances. However, this country was founded on the basis of freedom that granted you the right to pursue your dreams from whatever circumstance you were born into. So a person like me, born into poverty, can find a way to the 1%.

          I don’t know where you get your $24k figure. The average teacher salary across the country is close to $50k, the average RN is $73K and nurse’s aids average $32K,
          waitresses vary all over the place but mostly more than $24K.

          We haven’t tried to do one single thing to reduce deficit spending. This ridiculous looney ‘sequestration’ business was put on the table simply because neither side would talk about cutting stuff like supplemental funding to PBS or a new soccer field for Guantanamo . Much better to cut defense, don’t you think?

          The needy, the elderly and the poor will fare much better if America regains its vibrant economy. Of course, we will face the usual problem if more revenue flows to the government from a recovering economy. The odds are that they won’t use it to reduce the deficit let alone cut enough spending so that we can begin to cut down the debt. Government always sees more revenue as an excuse for more spending, the devil with the debt.

          • grammyjill

            actually the sequestration was put on the table by the republicans to try to force the dems to do the tax cut for the rich.

          • montanabill

            And they accepted it rather than negotiate.

        • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

          You Know You Always Nail It Right On The Head My Friend!! Well Said As Always!!

      • kmkirb

        PBS is not ‘non-critical’ as you so stated. 170 Million Americans rely on public broadcasting to bring them arts, culture, entertainment, educational programming, & non-partisan news, & with no hateful fear mongering speech or political attack ads. Public broadcasting get $444 million per year, which equates to $1.35 per each American ONE time per year. For each federally funded $1 it gets matched 6 times ($1 x $6) from the local communities, which contribute to these local communities where it’s aired. Those local communities through public broadcasting employ over 21,000 people. PBS is also the largest classroom in America, especially for low income children.

        I would say the opposite of you. Public broadcasting is very critical & doesn’t need stepped on by Romney & his rich cronies who also wants to buy up all of our public land, you know, our National Parks & Reserves, to privatize them. Romney has said he sees absolutely no sense in why we have all this public land when they could sell it off. Which would mean more deforestation, more drilling & fracking, polluting the waters & air, & killing off fish & wildlife.

        • montanabill

          PBS is non-critical. It is not a government function. It can be funded by those who enjoy its content. Simply because you get benefit from PBS does not make it a universal need for Americans that you must force on those who don’t want, like or need its content. It is just like a newspaper. If you agree with the editors of the paper, you subscribe. If you don’t like the content, you don’t subscribe.

          Get smarter about big oil. It is not big oil that is driving the cost at the pump, especially in California. Do a little research and find out exactly what taxes they do pay instead of using partisan ‘common knowledge’.

      • DurdyDawg

        And then next, focus on destroying social security.. One of the only programs that has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit until the boneheads borrowed (stole) from it with the realization that they could never repay so they added those debts to the deficit thus included S.S. as an entitlement.You think Romney and his pet are going to concentrate on small fish when there’s juicy programs like medicare (Obamacare) welfare, food stamps and other humanitarian programs to gut, not to mention new and bigger wars.. In short, you’re a dolt.

        • montanabill

          It might be very advantageous for you to identify the ‘boneheads’ who changed SS so that it could be borrowed.

          It also seems you are projecting what you would do if you were President and tasked with getting our deficits down. Think about how a business man might go about cutting expenses when he finds his costs exceed his income. Would you go for a big cut that might cripple your business or look for all the small things that have crept in over time?

      • META P PATTON

        So where were your concerns about the debt while two wars were being waged and NOT paid for or even included in the budget until President took office?

        • montanabill

          The Bush tax cuts raised revenue to the government to nearly $2 trillion more than was being received previously. That was enough in one year to pay for the wars, but the money was spent elsewhere by the Democrat controlled Congress.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      Romney Think He’s Slick He Know That 12 millions Jobs Are On Their Way Here In America Any Way And The Debt Is Only A Problem Cause Obama In The White House!! And If That Is The Real Issue Then Get Rid Of The Trickle Down Bullshit Like Clinton Did!!! Oh No That Messing With Our Money!! These Thugs Don’t Give A Damn About Nothing But Themselves!! 12 Million Jobs Is About The Amount Romney Shipped Overseas In The First Place!!!

  • latebloomingrandma

    I have been surprised that there has been practically no discussion during this campaign about Mormonism. That is good, since we should not have “religious test.” However, when you compare that to the President’s history, with the Rev. Wright thing, and that people make much of him being a Muslim, which he is not—puzzling. NBC did an hour show on Rock Center on the Mormon faith. It was nicely done and respectful. (So much for lamestream or liberal media.) I was struck by how Mormons ” take care of their own. ” The enormous warehousees of food and supplies for daily living to give a helping hand for their members. Their faith showed “community” at its best. That leads me to believe that Romney most likely believes that this is the way it should be done, by brother helping brother, so to speak, rather than the government. A nice thought, but impractical for the country at large. Since we live in a diverse society, with many people being non-religious, gov’t has to be there as the last resort, or to provide a floor for some people. Maybe this is just the conservatives way of thinking. Decimating SS and Medicare will remove the floor for so many people who are not Mormons or who do not belong to a religious community so dedicated to social justice. As E.J, said, how could a congregation devote $50,000 strictly to that? Most people gripe about throwing dollar bills into the collection basket. Mormons are the only group who consistently tithe 10%. I believe that’s a condition of their membership. I’ll bet most conseervatives are unaware that Obama has increased funding to the faith based inititaives that were started under Bush.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2BK4GN6CDVOOBMXWHI3KXFAFNE douglas

      Don’t forget that the Mormans in the beginning had to look out for each other. They were treated badly by the government and the people where they tried to live. Their new brand
      of Christianity, that said all other Christian churches were wrong, was not accepted by others.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

      There has been little to no discussion about Romney’s Mormon cult, but that does not mean there has not been discussion about religion. President Obama was first accused of attending Reverend Wright’s church and when that did not bear the desired fruits, the theme changed and he magically became a Muslim.
      I think it is readily apparent that while Romney continues to get a free pass on his spiritual beliefs, the same is not true for Barack Obama.

  • William Deutschlander

    Thank you “Nuns on the Bus” for your compasion and your care for the least of our brethern, as well as ALL of our brethern.

  • Melvin Chatman

    It’s not GOOD when your own CHURCH Protests YOU!
    Ryan may consider a switch to “The Morman ” side, then he could be a God some day with his own Planet!
    Just an IDEA!

  • montanabill

    The government’s only obligation to the poor is the same obligation that it has to everyone else. Read the Constitution for details.

    WE have an obligation to provide assistance to those less fortunate. We do not have an obligation to help those who are capable but won’t help themselves.

    Many of you are bemoaning that Mitt Romney only paid 14.1% of his income to taxes, but how many of you noted that he paid 29.4% to charities? If that is the percent of income taxes that you think the government should be using for charity from its revenues, then effectively, Romney was paying a 43.5% rate. The big difference is that the charities we as individuals choose to support don’t use the money to buy votes or create dependency groups.

    • Dave_dido

      I don’t care how much money Mitt Romney donates to the Mormon Church. (He’s just buying fire insurance for his sins of mendacity!) The money he donates doesn’t do a thing to bring down the deficit. I want him to pay his fair share of taxes. The poor and the working class don’t have the resources to be able to pay down the debt. Almost all of our country’s wealth is in the hands of a few. The super-rich have done very well for themselves for the past 20 years. It’s time for them to bellyup and support this capitalist system that has allowed them to prosper.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

        Due To The Fact That Romney Is One Of The Leaders Of His Church He Just Gave His Own Self The Money Donate My Ass Just Another Way He’s Been Beating The Tax Man!!

      • montanabill

        Romney does not donate entirely to the Mormon Church and you are making judgments. The money any of us pay in taxes is NOT going to reduce the deficit. We are paying enough for basic services, but not nearly enough for all of the increase in foolish projects and entitlements.

        Like it or not, Romney is paying his fair share of taxes. Exactly the same taxes you would pay if your income was comparable to his. And you are right, the poor and the working class don’t have the resources to pay down the debt. But neither do the rich. If you taxed the rich 100%, there would still be a deficit, and debt would continue to grow. The only way the deficit can be eliminated is by cutting spending and growing the economy so that more people are making money and contributing to taxes. The rich are not extremely adverse to paying a higher percentage, but so far, all they have seen when Washington gets its hands on higher revenues, is more spending. So for them, envisioning more taxes, is like p… into the wind.

        The super rich has always done well, since before money was invented. Those who created great wealth will most likely die wealthy, but within a few generations, their fortunes will be been greatly dissipated and other entrepreneurs will have taken their place at the top. It has happened within your lifetime. The only difference our system of government has produced is a much greater participation in success because of opportunity for all. We created a large and prosperous middle class because of American business success. When our businesses are throttled and threatened, we lose our middle class.

        Continuing to blame the rich, who are already paying 70% of the income tax revenue, is not going to help you or anyone else. Instead, encourage government to get out of the way, and let them do what they do best, building our economy.
        They will be building someone’s economy. That’s what they do. If our government is the problem, they will simply go somewhere else.

        • sigrid28

          Fact check: No one except those who have seen ten or more years of Romney’s tax returns can be sure that, as you say, “Romney is paying
          his fair share of taxes.” If what you claim were true, he would have no reason to refuse to disclose his tax returns.

          • montanabill

            I believe those people would be with the IRS, who might be a little upset if Romney wasn’t paying his fair share.

            The argument you make regarding Romney’s tax return applies just as well to Obama’s college records.

  • howa4x

    The problem is the Bishops, you know those people who covered up child rapers. Who care more about abortion than children in need. Will go along with cutting social programs as long as they can deny contraception to young girls who shouldn’t be doing this anyway. Sexually fixated religious feaks that fit well into the republican coalition. The Nuns are the true Christians, not these charlatans in their robes.

  • oldtack

    In perspective, I agree with Romney’s statement concerning Big Bird though I am a Big Bird and Sesame Street fan and supporter. Like Romney – I even like Jim and Kate Lehrer.

    It is the “little things” in Government that add up to large over-all expenditures. In a more vast scale – it is akin to our personal budgets. It is not the big expenditures that affect a personal budget as it is the “small” things – credit card debt, eating out,” doo-dads”, – those are what distorts personal budgets – that is what skews Government Budgets.
    There are Government Programs that are “good” and what I deem necessary (Social Security, Medicare). There are other “temporary help” programs that have become permanent and drain our budget. These are programs like ADC, Welfare, Food Stamps, Unemployment comp., subsidies to various enterprises. All temp fixes that have become enlarged permanent programs. These were introduced as temporary help (one time fixes as it were until one could get back on one’s feet) and somewhere along the Government path they became enlarged and permanent.

    Do we slash and burn like Romney/Ryan propose? NO! We look at all the entitlements and other expenditures such as Annual large monetary aid to Israel, Pakistan African Nations and on and on. Military presence in every part of the world.Keep what is deemed necessary and divest ourselves of the rest. Contrary to popular belief – the United States is not the world’s keeper. We need a strong presence but we do not need to take care of all countries and police the world.
    Control our spending. Concentrate on programs and projects essential for this Country and then consider “sharing” with other Countries.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7DKWSXHQIDBW5PUAPZ2HZAYYUY Baron Cormac

    Thank you Sister Simone. Too bad the Bishops want to put them behind the walls of the Cloister again.

  • sleeprn01

    If I had known Catholics like Sister Simone Campbell I might not have left the Catholic church. Contrary to the Pope”s admonishment of Sister Simone Campbell for not spending enough time disseminating Catholic doctrine. No, instead Sister Simone spent too much time helping the poor; I don’t know, sounds like something Jesus might do. I believe that there are 2 competing philosophizes that are in play during this election. I think that Romney & Ryan support a philosophy that is based on Ayn Rand’s writings while Obama & Biden’s philosophy is based on that of Jesus and Thomas Aquinas’s. While abortion is always an issue, it was Thomas Aquinas who wrote that abortion was not sin up until quickening (when the mother can first feel fetal movements, about 20-22 weeks). Saint Aquinas also talks about safety nets and the redistribution of wealth when he wrote “whatever a man has in superabundance is owed, of natural right, to the poor for their sustenance”. I think that Mr. Dionne is correct when he says that President Obama is obtuse at best when it comes to taking the moral high ground which I think he should. That is not to say that President Obama should not call Mr. Romney out when he’s obfuscating or out right lying about the facts. But that’s not to say that President Obama can’t give a rational and succinct reasons for the government’s role in “providing for the general welfare” is. I think that little line in the Constitution provides the government with it’s rationale for providing safety nets such as unemployment insurance, food stamps, welfare, head start, and yes even Big Bird!
    No, I’m not born again, I consider myself to be a Religious Humanist, a rational philosophy, informed by science but affirms the dignity of each human. Humanism supports liberty and opportunity to advance in society.

  • bcarreiro

    LOLGOP ……………you should all be in the war against terrorism because it is BUSH and the damn republicans who put us in this bind to begin with both morally and financially. We the people will have the last say and then will see if you have something to laugh at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • patuxant

    Hi DV. As always enjoy and relate to your remarks. The Big Bird thing was a real key here. Like he wants to cut PBS and pour money money into the military. What was the point with the speech today at VMI which really said nothing in my opinion. Think it was to show what a “hawk” he is to those training to kill people. He remarks that the people in the Middle East are fighting for women’s rights which we are supposed to assume he agrees with. How odd since he is in alignment with those men who want to take women’s reproductive rights back several generations. Romney is a fluke, an anomoly if you will. Now he his touting himself as a Mother Teresa, reiterating his “personal experences” with a dying young man. I find that desperate and self-serving. His wife wants to label this as the “unfiltered” Mitt. I beg to differ. I call it “Desperate Mitt” who will say or do anything to win the White House no matter what lies he has to tell…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mel-Haun-Sr/1749116655 Mel Haun Sr

    I saw a President who was trying hard not to laugh out loud at the gift he was being given. I watched it the first time listening to the words and lies, the second time to watch the facial expressions and mannerisms. My only concern was that the “so called low information voters” might not know these were lies. So was it a good decision for Obama to not hit back .. or was it a bad move?
    Or were the right wing pundits right that Obama “was asleep” I think not.

  • BackspinBubba

    Just watched a video of Mitt debating Mitt. It was hilarious. Set over the last year of campaigning he has reversed every position he has held an anything. How can anyone with any intelligence vote for Mitt? What is he going to do? He changes with the audience…

  • Dave_dido

    Sorry, Montana, but we tried exactly what you are espousing under Pres. George W. Bush and we racked up a terrible deficit. Pres.Bush had a noble thought: since there was a surplus, why not return the money to those who had paid it. Ergo the supposedly temporary Bush tax cuts. What was supposed to happen was that the money in the hands of the taxpayers, rather than in the hands of the government, would be put to better use.Unfortunately what the wealthy did with that money was to hide it in Swiss bank accounts or Cayman bank accounts or gamble it with guys like Bernie Madoff or derivatives dealers. Precious little of it was used to build job-creating businesses.So although the government is terribly inefficient in spending our tax dollars, at least they spend it here in the U.S. That’s something the right wing and Tea-Partiers don’t seem to comprehend: money spent here gets recirculated in our economy.The money we pay out in Medicare goes to U.S. doctors and hospitals.Money paid out in Social Security usually goes right back into the economy.
    Also, you say that Romney is paying his fair share, but he is not. How can you say that when he only pays about 13% of his income and the rest of us pay over 20%? Not that I’m advocating it, but he could pay 50% of his income and it wouldn’t hamper his lifestyle one bit- he’d still have $100 million to play around with. And, of course, taxing Romney more wouldn’t put a dent in the economy, but taxing all the Romneys sure would. At least make them pay the same percentage of their income that the rest of us pay(the Buffet rule).
    Now about that middle class. Did you know that the U.S. has the largest gap between rich and poor of all the industrialized countries? Evidently things are working out darn well for the wealthy and not so well for the workers. Why aren’t the wealthy creating jobs now, and why weren’t they creating jobs during the Bush Administration? They own 80% of the wealth. How much more do they need before trickle-down kicks in? There is no longer a “participation in success” that you speak of- it all goes to the top.Labor unions used to help with that “participation” but the GOP has managed to all but destroy those unions. And even though the wealthy now control over 80% of the wealth, they want to further damage the unions. So, yes I do blame the rich for the unfairness in our system. But I’m not alone in blaming them. Read the Old Testament and the New Testament and see if you can find any fingerpointing at the poor. I don’t think you will. It seems to be a recent trend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Maurer/100000910841619 Joan Maurer

    If he had just said that he could not convince 47% of the people to vote for him – that would be bad enough. What he did say is that he could never convince them to take personal responsibility and care for their life.

    He is talking about combat soliders, he is talking about the mother caring for a handicapped child, he is talking about grandmothers and fathers in nursing homes. He NOW says that he has had a change of heart and disavows his remarks. He looked more truthful in Florida.

scroll to top