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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Tuesday, March 28, 2006  

Political Animalia

[Want to skip the politics? Listen to "The Elephant Rag" by scrolling down to the 1913 entries at Perfessor Bill's.]

The following political items struck a chord with the proprietor, and now are shaken from the cyber-drawer.

* * *

An e-mailer to Andrew Sullivan comments:

"I think for a lot of people in the center, what party loyalty they have is based on which extreme they fear or dislike more: The religious right or the radical left.

Personally, I often disagree with the religious right -- I'm a social and cultural libertarian -- but I've never considered them to be anathema. For me it's the radical left personified by Dean, Kennedy, Cindy Sheehan, Moveon.org, etc. that I find so repellent to keep me supporting GOP candidates.

However, give me a viable center party that believes in defending the nation and practicing social tolerance and I'll be there supporting it. Problem is, the key word is "viable." Until then, I remain a reliable Republican voter, if only to keep the Deans and Ted Kennedys of the nation out of power."

* * *

The Bull Moose:

* On the need for a Churchill or two in the Democratic ranks:

From the Moose's experience schmoozing with Democrats around the country, they are far more concerned about Christian fundamentalists than Islamic fundamentalists - or they see them through the lens of moral equivalence. At worse, conservative Christians seek to restore the moral verities of the 1950's while the Islamists seek to restore the caliphate of the seventh century.

* On Tony Blair and the progressive case for winning the war

* In praise of the legacies of Scoop Jackson and Pat Moynihan

* * *

A commenter at Michelle Malkin's site in 2004 re Democrats for Life:

Pro-life Democrats are politically homeless. We are not Republican, but we are excluded from our own party because we believe the slaughter of unborn children is an atrocity--and its unwavering support by the Democratic Party under any circumstances is an embarrassment. It would suit the currently self-righteous, blind, and deaf pro-choice Democrats to not only include us, but to show some kind of respect and understanding, even if they disagree. But this looks like another election in which I won't be voting.

Think that's un-American? Show me a candidate who represents ME. I'll vote then, but not a moment sooner.

* * *

John Hagen, Jr., a former pro-life Democrat, in Commonweal, 2003:

I freely grant that the Republican Party has great flaws of its own. I don't like tax cuts skewed to benefit the rich, and I don't like drilling for oil in wildlife preserves. I'm an agnostic and not a Republican. Yet at this point in our nation's history, I'm more afraid of Hollywood and its values (Hollywood being a principal financier of the Democratic Party) than I am of the oil companies and theirs. With nihilism widespread in the courts, and with the brave new world of biotechnology heaving over the horizon, few things seem more urgent than keeping judicial appointments and other key cultural levers out of Democratic hands.

I have an undiminished desire for a party that embodies Catholic social-justice teaching--one that is both prolife and propoor. Neither party provides a good prospect for this, but conceivably it could develop from Republican "compassionate conservatism." It can't arise where people are bent upon preserving Carhart v. Stenberg. When Democrats declare "choice" the highest value, they forfeit their ability to critique coherently free-market arguments and to advocate for the poor. The Republicans at least know that life is sacred. Every social-justice initiative ultimately depends on that.

* * *

Dale Price writes:

You don't hear much cheerleading for the Republicans on this blog. Here's the reason why: the GOP really isn't that big a friend to my family.

* * *

Caleb Stegall at the Crunchy Cons blog:

I grew up despising hippie culture. I found, and still find, virtually all of the Boomer cultural affectations to be utterly false and preening; I find the nihilism of their intellectual and popular leaders to be entirely banal and unromantic; their radical egalitarianism was, I thought, an emasculation of all the good things in life. Rather than donning Birks and tie-dye t-shirts, I dreamed about sword-canes and black capes. My image of a conservative hero came from men like Theodore Roosevelt, Andre Malraux, T.E. Lawrence, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Men of action and adventure yet also of refined taste and intellect. Men who wore black, fought for the old world, were on intimate terms with both life and death, and who never went anywhere without their driver or their butler. The image is about as far as one can get from John Lennon.

* * *

Two-million independents form Massachusetts' largest voting bloc, but the Left-dominated Dems enjoy near-complete political hegemony because the alternative Mass. GOP is effectively dead as a party.

Any fellow Bay Staters up for a renaissance of the Whigs, Federalists or Mugwumps?


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