Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where I Am Right Now (presidential campaign)

Rush Limbaugh reportedly said, "it's gonna come down to which guy do we dislike the least." I've said virtually the exact same, and that's where I find myself now that Thompson has bailed.

In the primary, I can't conceive of voting for John McMeMeMe, him of countless backstabbings and lurches left, the man who actually looks at things through the perspective of the New York Times. Global warming, McCain-Feingold, senate "compromises" (i.e. cave-ins). No thank you.

Rudy Giuliani? No way. There are reasons I "used to be" a Democrat (rather than "am"). He rolls too many of them together. Besides, I cannot for the life of me understand why character counted when Clinton was the nominee (and it did), but it doesn't anymore.

Ron Paul? Duh. No. I read where Norma McCorvey endorsed Paul as the best pro-life candidate. I've never viewed her as a particularly perceptive political thinker, but that aside: if electability is a quality of "best," then Paul's disqualified. And thank God. In other words, to be the "best" candidate on an issue, one must stand a snowball's chance in Hades of actually having the power to do something for the issue, in which case he must actually have that same frosty globe's odds of winning the office. Which Paul doesn't — and, again, I say "Thank God."

Otherwise, I am actually the better candidate. Or Justin Taylor. Or John Piper.

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

Mike Huckabee. Well, if I voted the same way many women and blacks (reportedly) are, he'd be my man, wouldn't he? He's a pastor, I'm a pastor. He's an evangelical, I'm an evangelical. He's a Baptist, I'm a Baptist member of a Presbyterian church, but that's another story.

So why can't I vote for him?

Because I don't trust him, because there are too many substantial and creditable reports of his liberal record and big-government positions, and because the Clinton machine would slaughter him like a paschal lamb. They would find every sermon he ever preached, every bulletin or newsletter note he ever wrote, every disgruntled person who even so much as drove by his church or knew someone who had — and those would dominate every news cycle until the election.

One day it would be "Huckabee said non-Christians would go to Hell." Two days later: "Huckabee said sex outside of marriage is a 'sin.'" Two days after that: "Huckabee said money 'belongs to the Lord.'" Two days after that: "Huckabee said 'women cannot be pastors.'"

Every day of the campaign would have him on the defensive.

And then he'd lose.

So, even if I thought I could trust him, no.

And now, with sinking heart....

Mitt Romney. Oh, crud. So, what's his main qualification, at this point? That he's not one of the others. Sure sure, he's supposed to be smart, and he is a successful businessman, and like most in his cult he's a family-man, and blah blah blah.


Don't try to make me like it. I just will have to do it, for the reasons stated above and elsewhere. As a Christian, I cannot for the life of me see the rational/Biblical excuse for voting for a doctrinaire and extreme representative of a party that works hard and dedicatedly against almost everything I value as a Christian. Nor will I sit out the primary.

But here's where I find myself now: in the same place as four years ago, yet opposite.

Four years ago, one candidate was an opportunistic
pandering flip-flopper, and the other had a fairly consistent record of pursuing a set of convictions. I voted for the latter and, thank God, he won.

Now I'm in the same place, but flipped on its head: one candidate sure looks like an opportunistic flip-flopper, and the other had a
very consistent record of pursuing a set of convictions (albeit convictions that I, as a Christian, deplore and oppose).

But this time I have to vote for the opportunistic pandering flip-flopper and, at least, comfort myself that he panders unconvincingly
for many of my convictions instead of against them.

Not a ringing endorsement, is it? Well, so much "No" that I won't even call this an endorsement, and I'd thank you for not characterizing it as such. It's more of a "what I probably will have to do because I don't see the sense of doing anything else."

Whee. Isn't politics fun?

Yep. Not so much.


Unknown said...

well thought Dan - except, Normas endorsement is not so much a political one, rather, one that God has pressed upon her heart as a result of her sins and the sins that spawned as a result - I think she feels horrible about it now and has, as a result, endorsed the only candidate who makes no apologies for his position

coldwell said...

*Sigh* Me, too. You write it as I see it. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Paul, not a snowball's chance in Hades? That's a fairly confident view. Regardless of your overconfidence (in my opinion) on that one point I don't believe it wise to disqualify a candidate because he is not 'perceived' as electable. This is one of the very rare times I have to disagree with you :) I will vote my conscience and leave the electability to the Lord and His sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Well I have done it – I have joined the blogger world for the first time. I thought there would be more fanfare but whatever… Like you Dan this time around for me has not been easy to choose who I should vote for. In fact my absentee voter card is still sitting on my desk waiting for me to check the appropriate boxes. Hmm, should I vote for the Mormon, Baptist or the New Yorker? Only time will tell. Thanks for your thoughts.

CR said...

Fred Barnes, Fox News contributor and one of the editors of the Weekly Standard wrote an interesting opinion column on the WSJ yesterday.

He said that now McCain must convince the right - in other words, he must convince conservatives. McCain can never make conservatives like me adore him because of his past ties to liberal senators like Kennedy and Feingold. McCain/Feingold was a disaster but it actually hurt democrats more than Republicans because the veterans against Kerry ran a lot of adds for Bush and against Kerry.

Now, you have supply-siders like Jack Kemp and Phil Gramm working on the McCain Campaign. You also have notable conservatives Tom Coburn, Trent Lott, Frank Keating and even Henry Kissinger as McCain supporters. And it appears Norman Shwarzkopf will also be endorsing McCain.

McCain has a conservative voting record of 82.3% by the American Conservative Union and he is proposing things like a 10 percentage point cut in the corporate tax.

I haven't decided who I'm going to vote yet in the primary, it's going to be between Romney and McCain. But the primary for me, is not about the things that McCain did to piss off and alienate conservatives like me, but about the future and beating Mrs. Bill Clinton in the general election. The issue is not voting for the most conservative candidate, but the most conservative candidate that has a chance of winning in November. McCain will have to persuade conservatives like me that he is the most conservative candidate available with a credible chance of beating Mrs. Bill Clinton in the general election. He has until Feb 5th to do that.

mikepettengill said...

Two words for you Mor Mon.

And, from today's SF Chronicle:
"Romney supported abortion rights, distanced himself from Ronald Reagan and courted the gay and lesbian vote."

"Romney convinced the largest gay GOP organization, the Log Cabin Republicans, that he could support civil unions - and won their unanimous endorsement when he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002."

Not even in November, my friend, not even in November.

Unknown said...


I understand completely where you are coming from and came to virtually the same conclusion. When I got to Romney, the Mormon thing got me. I can not vote for someone who holds the belief that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer. Like I said before, my conscience will be clear at the primary voting for my candidate on the Democratic side. If he can not get the nomination, I think I may vote independant or Constitution party. But that is just me. I, like you, can not sit out either. Good thing God is in control of it all.

In Christ,


CR said...


I don't see how your conscience can be clear in voting for Obama? At first, I thought, okay, you were against Bush and most of his policies so you want to vote democrat. Then you clarified your position and said that you voted for Bush and you were for the war on terror? That made you position even more enigmatic.

I saw part of the democrat debate this week and the democrat candidates are monolithic in their disdain for Reagan principles, the war in Iraq (they plan on pulling out soldiers as quickly as possible), they are pro-abortionists, pro-civil and/or homosexual marriages.

So, without sharing with us straw man arguments about how we need to preach the gospel, perhaps you can share with us how is it that Obama is your choice since he will do everything possible to undo what Bush did?

Unknown said...


I will try to make my point as clear as possible. I don't know what you mean by Reagan principles, I was a small child when Reagan was President. I am for the war on terror, not the war in Iraq. I do agree with a troop pull out and an increased focus on Iraq. As far as the abortion and gay marriage issues, with the exception of Huckabee and Romney, the Republicans running are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, so no real difference there. I hope this clarifies my stance. God Bless!

In Christ,


CR said...

It does clarify a lot since you are not for the war in Iraq, then you are not for the war on terror and you probably meant to say an increased focused on Afghanistan (not Iraq). I don't really want to get into a discussion on the war on terror. I just needed to know if you agreed with President Bush on that, and you don't which explains your vote for Obama. I wish you would have stated that plainly earlier.

Senator McCain is also pro-life by the way. And there is a huge difference between most of the Republican candidates and all of the democrats - the democrats will fill the federal judiciary with liberals with an agenda that is completely unChristian. And if Republicans can fill the federal judiciary with the likes of Scalia and Thomas, then at least we can make some headway.

Your position is still not clarified as to why you could possibly vote for Obama, but you need not clarify further since you really are opposed to President Bush which explains a lot.

DJP said...

I think you mean Iran, not Iraq. But it won't matter. EVERYONE favored action in Iraq, until Bush did it. Now, because he did it (and not a Dem), they're against it.

Same would follow in Iran.

As to the other, only Giuliani is pro-abort on the GOP side, and not as extremely as Obama, who just loudly affirmed his pro-abort extremism.

Think of such a conscience. So extreme, he'll deny protection to abortion survivors. So dead to the suffering of forty million innocents, he boasts of his shame.

Next to inconceivable. Monstrous.

Unknown said...


I did mean Afghanistan, thank you. Again, I am not anti-Bush. I voted for him in 2004, after the Iraq war started. I see now that was a mistake to go in, and I think we need a new direction. I do not put the blame on Bush, as he was not the only one saying Iraq had WMD and was harboring terrorists, but I digress.

As far as the courts go, I just don't see Obama putting far left judges up there. Hillary, probably, which is why I can't see myself voting for her. Obama is about moving to the center, not taking us farther into left field.

Carlo, you seem like a nice guy and I admire your passion. You stand by your conviction, and I like that. So do I. I am not asking you to agree with my position, but understand that as a Christian, my conscience will be clean when I vote on March 4th for Barack Obama, and in November, no matter who I vote for.

In Christ,

Ricky Rickard, Jr.

CR said...

Then it's possible Ricky that you are just unaware of the damage that Obama will do to the federal judiciary. Dan's link to Obama's comments on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is informative. The democrats are monolithic in their agenda for abortion and doing what they can to fill the federal judiciary that agree with their agenda (since they can't put their agenda through the legislative process). Even when Republicans were in charge of the Senate, the democrats did every they could to slow down the process of confirmation of judges that President Bush nominated. It's even slower now with the democrats in charge.

I only wish more Republicans were just as committed as the democrats were and the next Republican president better be careful and not nominate disasters like Souter.

Unknown said...


Not everyone favored it. I did, but now I see it was a mistake. As far as the Republicans on abortion, I haven't heard any of them outside of Romney and Huckabee say they are against abortion. McCain and Paul seem neutral on the issue, and Guiliani is all for abortion. Obama simply stating he believes in a woman's right to choose is just that, his right. I never said I agreed with him on this, but it is his right to express his opinion. Again, I state that I am pro-life, and I do believe abortion should be banned. I just see no candidate that is able or willing to do it.

Also, I think we should start a campaign. For a ticket we all could support. Dan Phillips for President. Sounds just fine to me. And Frank Turk as VP. I would vote for that.

In Christ,


CR said...

Well, looking at the issues, McCain is committed to the pro-life agenda including being against embryonic stem cell research - he also has a nice story on adopting a daughter and he is committed to traditional marriage and is committed to appointing judges that won't legislate from the bench.

I don't like the McCain/Feingold thing (which let us not forget, that President Bush signed into law) and some of his other stances. And while I do appreciate Rush's opinion (I'm one of his 24/7 subscribers), he is still unregenerate and I'm not going to be taking all my cues from him.

While Romney is still high on my list, I'm more suspicious of massive position changes especially with a person in their 40’s r 50’s within a short period of time unless it's the result from regeneration (which in the case of Romney it is not). McCain has been consistently pro-life, and while he wrongly voted against the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts he did support Bush's tax cuts extension in 2006. So, I'm slowly moving into the possibility of voting for McCain.

Luke S. said...

Wow, I find it amazing (as an outsider looking in) that you guys (as Americans) are so polarized in your political choices that you have to be at one extreme or the other.

I also find it incredibly hard to grasp how you could, as Christians, consider voting Republican again. Evangelical/"conservative" Christians are like the abused wife of a husband that beats her, then tells her he loves her, and she thinks "Oh, he really means it this time...".

Yeah right. It's pretty sad to watch.

How could you vote for a party that gave you the administration that has enshrined its own retrospective immunity for war crimes into law?

How could you vote for a party that launched a disastrous war killing ~150,000 people and displacing millions, is contemplating another, spent over one trillion dollars on it in the process and declares itself fiscally conservative?

How could you vote for a party that thinks torture is ok?

How could you vote for a party that is spying on you right now, and completely perverted the DoJ to do so? Alberto "I don't recall" Gonzales was a Cheney-appointed embarrassment. John Yoo was equally contemptible.

How could you vote for a party that has taken your economy to the brink of recession and done nothing but spend, spend, spend giving you debt, debt and more debt? "Small government" indeed!

How could you vote for a party that has created 'secret' European prison camps where you can be kidnapped and whisked away to without any questions ever. Does the general rule of law for all not seem like a Christian thing to support?

What I also find strange is when people throw around meaningless buzzwords like "small government" on the one hand, and then seem to believe it's the government's responsibility to wave a magic wand and make abortion go away. Just like they did with illicit drugs I guess. Maybe your govt should outlaw homosexuality while they're at it and you can use the Ahmadinejad defense of "We don't have those in our country."

If you don't want to vote Democrat because the candidates are pro-choice, fine, boycott the election! Don't vote! But don't take the self-righteous stance of "Oh I could never vote for them" while supporting a Party that's acted so violently, incompetently and immorally and pretend it's your moral duty to do so.

It's really embarrassing to watch as a Christian abroad.

Sorry to go into full-on rant mode, but I find it hard to understand what "conservative" Christians have achieved politically that would justify alienating apparently half of your population from the Gospel on political grounds.

One Salient Oversight said...

I concur with Luke. As a Reformed, evangelical, Sola-Scriptura affirming believer, I find American Evangelicals to be completely loopy when it comes to their own country's political processes and their foreign policy decisions that end up killing hundreds of thousands of people.

I like life. God tells me to. And God weeps over all the Iraqis who died in the years since the US invaded.

I'm not a premil nutjob - but if I were then I would seriously think that GW is the antichrist, so effective he has been in hardening the world against the gospel.

David Wolfe said...


As I posted here, last night, I believe this is now a two-horse race between McCain & Romney. I agree fully with my Republican State Senate caucus brother in arms Mike Pettengill that Romney's flip-flopping is crushing, but not fatal. My one last push for McCain is two-fold. The "surge" in Iraq is working and it was his idea from the get-go (he can keep this country safe) and while he opposed the Bush tax cuts, he also opposes getting rid of them, b/c that would be a tax increase. He's said that over and over again, while being a strong conservative on gay marriage and civil unions. Granted he's not perfect, but I know where he will end up on pretty much everything. More then I can say for Romney...

Lastly, lest our liberty to participate in politics become our idol...Isiah 42:8 "I am the Lord, that is my name. My glory I give to no other, or my praise to carved idols." We would all do well to remember that heaven is His throne, and the earth His footstool..

David Wolfe said...

CORRECTION "I agree with Mike that Romney's flip-flopping is crushing, but I don't think its fatal...don't want to put words in his mouth... =)

CR said...


I would add another Scripture passage: "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth." (Dan 4:35). The first part reminds us that God reigns, period, and is sovereign and latter point reminds us, for those of us in a democracy, we should vote.

Kristine said...

Not so much, indeed. *sigh*

Dawg Doc said...

Given the choices left, if I choose to vote in the Republican Caucus on February 9th, and I probably will, McCain will get my support. As distasteful as that may be due to his support of the unjust war in Iraq, he is the ONLY candidate left in the GOP race with any possibility of beating Mrs. Clinton and her running mate, Barack Obama.

A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Hillary Clinton and the continued slaughter of the unborn.

Travis said...

I cannot say that I'm surprised that you're "ready to buy" now; albeit grudgingly. Your posts here and at Justin Taylor's blog have indicated your antipathy for Huckabee. I haven't been convinced that he is a liar.

You see, one reason why I cannot support Romney is because of his "total lack of credibility". Romney is a chameleon who attempts to blend in with his surroundings—pro-choice in Massachusetts; social conservative in Iowa; agent of change in New Hampshire; auto industry savior in Michigan. I guess he is all things to all people!!

Like you once wrote, "Mercy, I hope it doesn't come down to a choice between any Democrat and Romney". If it does I'll hold my nose and vote for Mitt (because I'd rather my vote count against the DEMS than against the GOP).

Until then I'll back Huck - and even McCain - before Romney. Rudy is out of the question for me. He is just a strong national defense Democrat.

Dawg Doc said...

Luke & Oversight,

You both make excellent points that will no doubt be dismissed by those on this board who place politics above faithfulness.

As a reformed, conservative, Presbyterian (yet a member of a dispy, pre-mil, Baptist church...maybe Dan & I should switch?) who teaches politics at a major university in the Pac-10, I hear what you are saying. Yet, the system of government we have allowed our corrupt parties to impose upon us leaves us with little choice but to choose what we see as the lesser of two evils (i.e., the GOP vs. the Dems). If we were true to our convictions we would either abstain from the political arena entirely, seek elective office ourselves (urging our like-minded brethren to support us), or find a candidate/party that truly embraced the values God cherishes. Sadly, neither of the dominant parties in America does that.

This is a serious issue and one I have struggled with again and again as I have tried to apply my Christian convictions to politics in America. I am beginning to think that it is better for the Christian not to vote at all.

Sometimes we are so blind to our own biases that we are easily misled. You nailed some of the issues we compromise on all too often.

One of the issues often brought up here is who will be appointed to the federal bench. Some argue that we need judges who do not "legislate from the bench" but that is exactly what they want! Having failed in getting their political agenda enacted through the means established by the framers (the political process) in spite of controlling the White House for 20 of the last 28 years (and Congress for 12 of those) they have turned to the courts as did the liberals decades ago. It is a hollow hope, indeed. They employ a double standard, accusing their opponents of something while doing the exact same thing! Seems vaguely familiar with a passage in Romans 2 and 3. But never mind that, all is fair in love and war. And politics is, after all, just war in a milder form.

Gilbert said...

Oversight and Luke,

Where were you when Saddam killed 750,000 to 1.5 million of his OWN people? The Islam version of Hitler, and not one peep of him?

How can you say thousands of innocents have died in Iraq and blame us, when, for the MOST part, it is terrorists and those within the country killing their own countrymen to disrupt their governments? Most of the lives lost have been through suicide bombings, booby traps, and tribal warfare, if you will.

Spending a trillion on a war to get rid of a horrific spawn of Satan is/was worth it. Why not instead criticize, correctly, that we need to stop spending trillions on worthless social programs without the Gospel and turn them over to churches and others who can do much better in Jesus name?
Sadly, most just mirror Americans who just buy everything in sight on credit, to the tune that every man, woman and child in America now owes over $6,000 US...just in credit card bills, not counting mortages and car loans!

How do you foolishly think Democrats aren't approving of the same thing? In Chicago, close to where I live, our liberal mayor is allowing them to put up cameras everywhere, like London is.

And if you would, please tell me how the Democrats would make things better! Their policies have killed 50+ million babies (Roe V. Wade), most hate the Gospel and Christians, and openly support lifestyles that are sin against God, I suggest you give us better alternatives rather than "don't vote" and say we're embarassments for voting conservative. We have big things to fix, to be sure.
The other party, however, offers no reason to hope for improvement and will only make things much. much worse.

Gilbert said...

After saying all of that...I just wish that someone besides Obama would get some SPINE for doing what is right and not for a party or money or (insert demon/greedy desire here). I abhor most of what he wants to do and believe in, but at least he comes straight out and tells you, with enthusiasm, and doesn't flip-flop, for the most part.