This Election is Not About Beating Hillary Clinton

Despite the fact that Donald Trump is poised to sweep his home state of New York and plausibly several other New England states in its wake, the surge of Texas senator Ted Cruz has given actual conservatives reason to be cautiously optimistic. His well-oiled delegate collection machine has been cleaning Trump’s clock in recent non-primary states like Colorado and North Dakota. Furthermore, if Trump fails to clinch the nomination outright, Cruz’s team has loaded The Donald’s delegate slate with double agents who will turn on him in a contested convention once they are unbound. That Cruz, he has a very good brain. Meanwhile, Trump’s response has been the usual: Trumpertantrums and more Trumpertantrums.

Riding this wave of hope, some are daring to wonder out loud if Cruz might pull off not only the Republican nomination, but a general election victory as well. With an increasingly unpopular Hillary Clinton as the presumptive nominee, the Democrat party could be in for an upset. Is it possible? Could Cruz usher in a new golden age of conservatism?

As usual, in typical Puddleglum fashion, I feel compelled to throw a wet blanket on things and remind everyone that most recent polls still show Hillary beating Cruz, sometimes outside the margin of error. Moreover, this is not a bad reflection of the country’s electoral and demographic makeup, which is becoming bluer by the year. That’s just a fact. And the liberal media is already projecting their image of Cruz to the public: a creepy, crazy guy with a weird face that nobody likes. The nastiness will only intensify if he becomes the nominee. And, sad but true, it will sway far more people than any policy position.

But it doesn’t matter, because this election is not about beating Hillary Clinton. It never was.

Continue reading “This Election is Not About Beating Hillary Clinton”

If The 2016 Election Was a Season of American Idol…

AI and Election collage

Imagine, if you will, a parallel universe where instead of running for president, our 2016 contenders had competed in American Idol instead. (While meanwhile, in another parallel universe, TV personalities were running for president. Oh wait, that’s our universe, never mind.) What might the contest look like? I decided to draw on my vast knowledge of American Idol’s last few seasons and imagine it for you. Here is how I picture most of the candidates who ran this year as American Idol contestants. I say “most,” because I couldn’t think of something clever for everyone. Sorry, George Pataki, whoever you were.

Continue reading “If The 2016 Election Was a Season of American Idol…”

No, Trump is Not Better Than Hillary or Bernie

This whole country’s just like my flock of sheep! Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus… They’re mine! I own ’em! They think like I do. Only they’re even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for ’em. — Lonesome Rhodes, A Face in the Crowd

The final Republican debate will be airing on FOX tonight, but Donald Trump has taken his ball and gone home, citing moderator Megyn Kelly as the reason why. As per his usual practice of boldly, graciously engaging with his detractors, he has done so only after trying to browbeat FOX into removing Kelly instead. That is, if you believe FOX’s own press report, which I do, partly because it’s not the first time Trump has reportedly engaged in these kind of backstage intimidation tactics. While he was at it, why didn’t he just make Miss Kelly an offer she couldn’t refuse? I say this as somebody who’s not even a big fan of Kelly myself. But she does not deserve this kind of treatment from a man who can only be described as a boor, a coward and a bully.

If Republican America cannot wake up to this fact now, then I fear they never will. But what I am about to say must be said, and it must be said loud and clear, even to those who do not support Trump now but would doggedly vote for him in the general, because “at least he’s better than Hillary or Bernie.” So hear me now: No. He. Is. Not.

Continue reading “No, Trump is Not Better Than Hillary or Bernie”

GOP Candidates, First Impressions

Republican Elephant Boxing

I caught bits and pieces of the FOX News-hosted GOP debates last night and wanted to share a few first impressions, as well as additional information about the candidates that might be helpful. I don’t know enough about every candidate to give comments on all of them (and frankly, it’s too early for me to do that much research!) But for now, these are my thoughts. FOX has also put up some choice clips that I will embed in case you missed the debate or need a replay. Those of you who are resolutely trying not to get caught up in the hype, feel free to resist the “Click for more” urge and come back in a year. (But really, you know you want to click. Come on now.)

Continue reading “GOP Candidates, First Impressions”

When the Republican Party Leaves Me

In case you didn’t notice this week, some cowardly women and a few cowardly men in the Republican party conspired to kill a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks. Of course, it would have barely alighted on our Dear Leader’s desk before being vetoed, but it’s the thought that would have counted.

I hope you’re watching the slow but steady decay of the Republican party very closely, my dear conservative readers. Don’t be like the frog in the pot. Recognize that the party you’ve loyally stood behind for lo these many years simply doesn’t care as much about things like life and marriage as you do anymore. The marriage issue bears special attention. (Don’t be too shocked if come 2016, the Republicans’ anointed candidate refuses to take a stand on the definition of marriage at all.) But this week’s decision shows they can’t even get their act together when it comes to babies being killed. Campaign strategists are pressing, on both issues, and they are pressing in a leftward direction.

You cannot allow yourself to be endlessly shanghaied into voting for the lesser of two evils. You cannot hold your nose at the ballot box forever. You need to let yourself smell the rot that’s setting in.

You have a right to vote, it’s true. You also have a right not to.

New “Christian” Movie Waffles on Homosexuality

If you’ve seen Unbroken in theaters, you might have caught a preview for a new movie billing itself as a “Christian” production. The trailer’s soundtrack is current CCM, and the Dove Foundation has already rated it glowingly. So it’s safe to say that this product is being pushed in fairly mainstream evangelical circles. This isn’t Steve Taylor’s pet project. It’s the kind of thing for which your local Christian morning show might give away tickets when it gets a wider release. People are coming out of early screenings all smiles, saying what a “great message” the movie has and how much it moved them.

Indeed, judging by the trailer, it looks like the script, story and acting alone should bring a lump to any film-lover’s throat.

Okay, in case your stomach wasn’t strong enough to venture clicking on the trailer, I’ll provide a brief recap: In an unspecified hamlet of white American suburbia, one earnest teen heartthrob dares to raise his voice against the tirades of an Oppressive White Male political candidate, who’s running on a platform of “fighting” lies, corruption, and sexual immorality. I’m not sure what’s supposed to be wrong with that, but anyway, our hero hears it as a message of “hate,” and he decides to Do Something about it. That Something turns out to be running for Congress against Mr. Oppressive White Male, at the age of 17 (I gather this legal sticking-point is somehow resolved in the plot). The stage is set for a showdown between the two sides, where Millenial Teen Heartthrob can be spotted mouthing such profundities as “We cannot choose hate! We have to choose each other!”

Hang on, I need to go ransack my closet for some insulin. BRB.

Continue reading “New “Christian” Movie Waffles on Homosexuality”

Opposition Should Be Made of Sterner Stuff

I think we could learn a few things about appropriate, forceful, needed criticism from this guy. Folks, this is not the time to play nice. This is the time to play hardball. See also the video below, which was actually recorded before President Obama’s latest tantrum. (Yes, Dear Leader has been quite busy paying people to make sure nobody can park at the privately owned Mt. Vernon site, paying people to stop World War II veterans from visiting the World War II memorial, paying people to cordon off and monitor a large swatch of the Florida Bay, and on and on the pettiness goes. Because they just don’t have the money to… oh wait, never mind. But remember boys and girls, this is all the House of Representatives’ fault!) This was Bill Whittle’s take on Obama’s last circus act, the sequester, words which could just as well be spoken today.

This is the most petty, malicious, mean-spirited, cowardly and hateful thing that this petty, malicious, mean-spirited, cowardly and hateful President has done. He’s deliberately inflicting as much pain on the American people as he can possibly muster so he can accelerate our way into bankruptcy. He’s doing his best to make it hurt…

I thought of the part where Whittle speaks of the children whose tours to the White House were canceled, “who so desperately wanted to see the House in which they mistakenly believed lived a great, good and powerful man…” when I saw this video some months back:

This video simply angers and saddens me. It angers and saddens me to see how this poor little boy is being used—as a symbol, as a token, as an innocent mouthpiece for an evil empire which even now is laying the groundwork for destroying his future, and his children’s future. I am deeply angry when I think of the lies he has been fed and taught to repeat—how the President is a wonderful man, a harbinger of hope, Emmanuel, God with us.

But by all means, if you want to go on saying that everybody just needs to get into a big ole group hug and sing “We Are the World” a few times, so that all their “differences” can disappear in a pink cloud of sweetness and light, be my guest.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to look for a few hundred millstones.

George Zimmerman, Justice and the Church

George Zimmerman--I Am a Man

Last year I thought about saying something about the Trayvon Martin case. But then I thought it would be best to wait. The media was generating so much more heat than light, and besides, racial tension is one of those issues one is always reluctant to talk about if one’s opinion strays from the popular narrative. Now that an official verdict has been handed down from our justice system, and George Zimmerman has been declared not guilty, I would like to address some of the appallingly irresponsible reactions I am seeing from the leaders of the evangelical community in the wake of this decision. I don’t mind saying that I am equal parts disheartened, angered, yet depressingly un-surprised to see how thoughtlessly they have, collectively, abandoned George Zimmerman. And I am not the only one.

Let’s begin with this fact, which precisely zero evangelical “voices” have acknowledged: This is a case that should never even have gone to trial. Continue reading “George Zimmerman, Justice and the Church”

What’s Wrong With Dan Cathy’s New Friend?

Well, I’m sure by now many of you have heard of Dan Cathy’s friendship with Shane Windmeyer, leading gay activist opponent of Chick-Fil-A. Windmeyer contributes to the Gay Voices corner of the Huffington Post and recently published a piece providing the details of the surprising relationship. Many Christian evangelicals have referred positively to this article and praised Cathy’s decision to cultivate this friendship. The consensus has been that this is a positive, healthy thing that will help “heal division” and further lay to rest the caricature of Christians as “hateful” towards the gay community. Even conservative evangelicals like Denny Burk are reacting this way.

As usual, I’m going to be the lone dissenter. But I don’t want to downplay the significance of this story. On the contrary, I agree that it’s significant. But I disagree regarding how we, as Christians in the trenches of the culture wars, should receive it. Continue reading “What’s Wrong With Dan Cathy’s New Friend?”

Pray for Rick Santorum’s Youngest Daughter

Via Denny Burk, I just saw the news that Rick Santorum’s youngest (Bella) has been admitted to the hospital for unspecified health concerns resulting from Trisomy 18. It’s a miracle that she’s still alive today, as the vast majority of babies born with the illness die quickly. (Watch an inspiring video about her story here.) However, she does have many complications. Our prayers go out to the Santorum family. Santorum has canceled his scheduled campaigning events for today but hopes to be back by Tuesday, the first primary election (in Florida).

I plan to vote for Santorum even though he may not have the best winning chances. If I can spare the time, I may give my reasons in a longer post later this coming election month.