Tag Archives: catholics

Blueprint for a Conservative Court: Infants Worth Saving

The oh-so-Catholic Supreme Court,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 1 November 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002607.html.

Tom Barnett isn’t just an important grand strategist: he is also a canny observer of American politics. If one corrects for Dr. Barnett’s political persuasion, one gets a reliable guide of what to do.

For example: I was uncommitted on Harriet Miers until supported her. Why? Dr. Barnett accurately predicted that if Harriet Miers was withdrawn, the next candidate would be “a truly right-wing justice.” Sure enough, we got that candidate in .

Now, Dr. Barnett confirms my membership in the Confirm Alito Coalition

Bush went conservative all right, and now we’ve really got our threat to Roe v. Wade. The American Catholic church has let itself become defined by this issue, which accounts for the increasingly conservative caste of both the clergy and faithful.

Now, with Alito likely to join Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and moderate Kennedy on the bench, we’re looking at a majority Catholic Supreme Court. It wasn’t that long ago (my early years) that there was a single, dedicated “Catholic seat” on the Court.

He also correctly lays the credit for the Catholic (and Evangelical) rise to the people who made it all possible: abortionists.

Now, thanks to the divisive issue of abortion, the Catholics are running the Court more and more.

He’s obviously worried:

Really amazing when you think of it. When I was born, the great religious controversy was having the first (and to date, only) Catholic president, John Kennedy. Oh the concerns that the White House would be captured by the Vatican!

Well, the Vatican is coming awfully close to capturing the Supreme Court.

And as a moderate Catholic, I confess I am made nervous by this development.

Translation: as an abortionist, Alito makes him nervous. Good!

But then: Dr. Barnett jumps the shark.

Reversing Roe v. Wade is a chimera, a dream. With global connectivity, abortion can and will be outsourced to nations (like India, with its burgeoning medical tourism) on a low-cost basis. Our only alternative will be ultrasounds at airports to stop pregnant women from traveling abroad, which, quite frankly, will come off like some queer sci-fi future dystopia story or–worse–like some scene from a freaky socialist regime like old Nicolae Ceaucescu’s Romania (that’s how all those orphanages got filled up, my friends, not a pretty sight).

Foolish, foolish, foolish

Barnett’s words are just a globalized version of the “backstreet abortion” criticism: if you criminalize something, it will still happen.

Law do not end behavior. Law cannot create a perfect world. There will always be murders, infanticides, robberies, thefts, etc. But the important part is law can be a tool in reducing crime. We can never end crime, but we can manage crime. We can’t save all infants. But we can save many.

I would have expected a similar insight from Dr. Barnett, not an implicit comparison of the GOP to the Romanian Communist Party.


Bush Passes Over Catholics For Supreme Court For Religious Reasons

Bush: Miers’ Religion Cited in Court Nod,” by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, 12 October 2005, http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/10/12/D8D6JKBGC.html (from The Corner).

Add this to the White House staffers memos as a reason to fear . As if endorsements from social liberals and Democrats (hat-tip: Jim River Report) weren’t enough…

President Bush said Wednesday that Harriet Miers’ religious beliefs figured into her nomination to the Supreme Court as a top-ranking Democrat warned against any “wink and a nod” campaign for confirmation.

People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers,” Bush told reporters at the White House. “Part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion.”

Just to prove this is a nightmare, Bush says this in front of a visiting Catholic Head of State:

Bush, speaking at the conclusion of an Oval Office meeting with visiting Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, said that his advisers were reaching out to conservatives who oppose her nomination “just to explain the facts.” He spoke on a day in which conservative James Dobson, founder of Focus on Family, said he had discussed the nominee’s religious views with presidential aide Karl Rove.

Four current Supreme Court Justices (Kennedy, O’Connor, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas) are Catholics, plus the Episcopalian (Anglo-Catholic) Sandra Day O’Connor. Apparently, this is too many for our President, who announced he was replacing the (Anglo-Catholic) Sandra Day O’Connor with the (Evangelical) Harriet Miers. There can hardly be a question that he knew what he was doing: First Lady Laura Bush has opely been playing “identity politics” over the nomination.

At least this explains why Bush didn’t choose a Latino: can’t have too many dirty Papists on the Court, now can we?

Conspiracy Politics: John Roberts for Supreme Court

The Power of Networking,” by Ramesh Ponnuru, The Corner, 21 July 2005, http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_07_17_corner-archive.asp#070339.

I have been blogging about 5th Generation War, a type of conflict centered on secrecy and conspiracies. “5th Generation” tactics have widely been used in software development for a while. However, I did not mention whether or not “5th Generation” tactics are used in modern politics.

I have not been able to find a “true” 5th Generation Political network, but a commentary on National Review‘s website made me realize at least some of it (conspiracy) is here now (hyperlinks mine):


Many people have commented on the Roberts nomination as the continuation of the Republicans’ post-Bork “stealth strategy”–and also on the failure of that strategy in the case of .  suspicious of Roberts note that many conservatives vouched for Souter in 1990, too.

But I don’t think it’s true that as many conservatives with firsthand knowledge of Souter spoke as highly of him as are now speaking highly of Roberts. If I recall correctly–I wasn’t following these things closely at the time–he wasn’t the first pick of any conservative (I know several impeccably conservative legal figures for whom Roberts was their top pick). Conservative watchers weren’t terribly familiar with him. John Sununu told everyone that Roberts was “a home run,” and conservatives, presented with the fait accompli, supported his nomination with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

In-the-know legal conservatives are much more supportive of, and in several cases enthusiastic about, Roberts. It may be that the development of the Federalist Society–and the maturation of conservatism, as suggests today — has made it possible for conservatives to pull off the stealth strategy today in a way that was not possible fifteen years ago. People familiar with him signal his acceptability to their acquaintances, and the message radiates outward.
There are, of course, drawbacks to this approach. (In the forthcoming issue of the magazine I criticize one very important aspect of the stealth strategy–the notion, extremely popular among conservatives these days, that it’s inappropriate for senators to ask nominees pointed questions about their constitutional views.) Assuming that the goal is to get people with particular views or methodologies on the Court, a networking strategy runs a higher risk of yielding a Souter than a paper-trail strategy. It is also the case that one man’s elite network of lawyers is another man’s conspiracy.


Because the Republican sub-rosa vetting of Roberts happened in the context of existing Republican networks, it implies that a 4th Generation Network might evolve 5th Generation Components.

Another aspect of 5GP has also been adopted by the GOP to help Roberts: long preparation, rapid execution. MyDD and Crooks and Liars link to a Republican memo on Roberts uncovered by the Swing State Project. Republicans gave the Roberts nomination a long time for planning, analysis, and design, in order that its implementation be finished before SCOTUS reconfirms in October.

However, this is not true 5th Generation Politics


  • The power-network supporting Roberts (conservative activists) are well known, and recognized as dangerous by liberals
  • The individual John Roberts is well known, and recognized as dangerous by liberals
  • Political mobilization will be vital in a successful confirmation to the Supreme Court


Interestingly, if Conservative adoption of 5GP elements continues, we may be able to know when rightist factions adopt 5GP if we see a sudden drop-off in 5GP activities. Perhaps once they truly understand conspiracies, they will be better at hiding them!

Daschle Supports, Opposes Making it Easier to End Filibusters

Daschle Event and the Filibuster,” by Quentin Riggins, South Dakota Politics, 7 April 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week14/index.html#a0004225389.

Did Daschle give a campaign speech?,” by David Kranz, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 7 April 2005, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050407/COLUMNISTS02/50407001/1059/COLUMNISTS (from J. Michael Berg at South Dakota Politics).

Tom Daschle was my home state Senator for 18 years. Like me he is Catholic, and like me he hasn’t taken mass in years (though my excuse is just not going, while his is that he is being disciplined by his bishop for supporting infanticide). He spoke at my alma mater yesterday, and he defended keeping the filibuster requirement at 60 votes

He defended his position that the 60-vote requirement for Senate approval of federal judges be maintained. Requiring only 51 votes, he said, could lead to requiring just 51 votes to approve budget or tax bills, too.

Tom Daschle was my home state Senator for 18 years. Like me he is Catholic, and like me he hasn’t taken mass in years (though my excuse is just not going, while his is that he is being disciplined by his bishop for supporting infanticide). He spoke at my alma mater yesterday, and he supported reducing the filibuster requirement at in civil rights cases

Later it was determined that this method was not good for the legislative process so 67 votes was made the magic number that would invoke cloture and end a filibuster.

At this point Daschle torpedoed his own argument. He said in the 1960’s during George McGovern’s time in the Senate the number of votes necessary to invoke cloture was lowered from 67 votes to 60 votes. This was done because Congress didn’t want Southern Senators filibustering Civil Rights legislation. Today people want to lower the number of votes on judicial nominees to 51 votes which would leave the minority with no protection against the majority.

So Tom Daschle must not believe that tearing apart a baby nine-months from conception is a civil right matter. Or rather, it is only if the baby is outside the womb. Because though the baby is capable of the exact same sensations whether inside or outside, in one case its human and in the other its not.

Or something like that.

Anti-Arab Violence

Major Fighting in Ramadi, Mosul, Kut: Son of Sistani Aide Killed, al-Khafaji Targeted,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent,

Al-Abbudi: Sistani Endorses the United Iraqi Alliance,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/01/al-abbudi-sistani-endorses-united.html, 17 January 2005.

Archbishop abducted in Iraq,” BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4182629.stm, 17 January 2005.

The actions of our enemies over the last few weeks have been brutal, calculating, and instructive

They killed the son of an aid to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Ali al-Khatib, son of Sheikh Habib al-Khatib (the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Wasit) was shot down in an internet cafe in Naaman on Sunday. His father had survived an assassination attempt two months ago.

They attacked an associate of Muqtada al-Sadr

Al-Zaman reports that the nephew of Ayatollah Hussein al-Sadr of Kadhimayn was wounded and one of his chiefs of security–Jasim Muhammad al-Saadi– was killed on Saturday. Ayatollah Hussein al-Sadr is the uncle of Muqtada al-Sadr but is pro-American and relatively liberal, unlike the populist, radical Muqtada. Hussein al-Sadr is supporting the list of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, and his bodyguards and nephew were out putting up posters for his “Iraqiyyah” slate (Allawi’s party was the Iraqi National Accord, but not all the Iraqiyyah candidates are INA). Then they were attacked.

They abducted a Syrian Catholic Archbishop

A Catholic archbishop in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul has been kidnapped by insurgents, the Vatican says.

Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, 66, was abducted from outside his church in the east of the city.

Our enemies of not honorable. They are neither soldiers nor warriors. The Salafists-Ba’athists are using the clan structures of the Sunni Arab minority to fight a tribal war. The civil war in Iraq is a terrorist tribal war.

Why have we disarmed ourselves?

They attack male relatives of Iraqi leaders. They abduct peaceful religious leaders. Why do we not respond in kind? Why do we not immediately arrest for the duration of the tribal unrest all male relatives of every known or suspected Sunni Arab insurgent? Why do we allow friendly religious leaders to be kidnapped, but suffer enemy mosques to exist? Why not give every Sunni mosque seized to Shia leaders, for them to oversee as they wish?