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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Horse Race


the far right column is Clinton support - Obama support; yellow rows Obama leads by more than 10%, green rows Clinton leads by more than 10%

There is no reason to try to couch this as anything other than my sports fan like obsession with the political race. It looks like Tuesday is going to be a very good day for Ms. Hillary. Nonetheless, I take great heart in the fact that A Guy in the Pew, similarly indulging his political junkiness, predicts there will still be a race for the Democratic nomination come less than super Wednesday.

I really like these two candidates. I know you're not allowed to say you like Senator Clinton, but I think she has a good heart, and I think her priorities are very close to mine. Once in office, I believe she will represent me well. And, Obama--well, he makes be believe things can happen that I know are foolish to believe possible, like a united America taking on the problems of the day.

I know, I know.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Settling

Well, John Edwards is out of the presidential race. Fear not, it appears Ralph Nader may fill the void. Nonetheless, those who favor taking direct and dramtic steps towards social justice, as opposed to a rising tide lifts all boats approach, are likely to not have a serious choice for president.

Similarly, it appears War Without End candidate John McCain will beat out the social conservatives for the Republican nomination. Question: May one settle on the lesser of two evils? What about when there is another choice, like Green or Unity 08 candidate, that gives the option of a protest vote?

Pragmatism played a role in the Biblical stories of Esther and Daniel. In both cases the Israelite in question hid his or her Hebrewness from the foreign power, waiting for the most effective moment to be bold. Of course, Daniel also contains the story of three Israelites who were thrown into a burning furnace rather than bow to an idol.

And, Barry Goldwater said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate. So there's that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Joshua Generation

I attended a forum put on by the Arizona Democratic Party's faith-based outreach group last night. Representatives from the Edwards, Clinton and Obama campaigns attended and presented their candidate's perspective on faith and/or how their faith influenced their politics.

The representative for Edwards kicked things off by saying he didn't go to church, but knew that John was a Southern Baptist. He focused on John's work on poverty, which is certainly in line with Christian values. He also talked about how Edwards initially had a problem with gay marriage, but Elizabeth had shown him the light on the subject.

The representative for Clinton was very informed about issues. She talked about Clinton's work in her church and noted that Hillary kept her faith to herself, but that did not mean her work, particularly defending the rights and improving the lives of women and children, was an expression of her faith. Very good.

I don't remember the names of the other surrogates, but former Arizona State Senator Sandra Kennedy represented Obama. She focused on Obama stance in favor of peace, and his work building communities. Like Barack, she was very comfortable speaking in terms of faith. At one point, she talked about how Joshua had to continue the work of Moses. For those who don't know, Moses lead the people out of the desert, but could not cross into the promise land. It was Joshua who led the people into Israel. Then she said, "As members of the Joshua Generation, we need to continue the work."

I love the idea of the Joshua Generation. With the 1960's as the Moses Generation I guess.

They actually pretty much reflected my impression of the candidates. John, the champion of the poor. Hillary, the deliberate and competent manager. Barack, the inspirational leader.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Metapost

Below my most recent St. Baldrick's ask, I have a post about Immigration. We talked extensively about the moral rules surrounding marriage. I think if you throw in a discussion of pornography or public decency you have a series of seemingly unrelated issues that are seen by some of us as a coordinated attack on our culture.

I'm not sure what to do with it. I think it is crazy to think that American culture is under siege, or that gay marriage, Spanish speaking people, and Janet Jackson's breast are counter to the essence of American culture.

This is not directly on point, but consider what the Apostle Paul said about another cultural question: Should we eat food offered to idols? Paul said, yes but:
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13. I wish Paul had said explain to your brothers why it is not a problem to eat food offered to idols. In any case, I have this nagging feeling that these folks who feel our culture is under attack need to be comforted not mocked. The problem is, we can't comfort them at the expense of gay people, Spanish speakers, or free speech.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tired of politics?


You can check out this race. Front runner Shadowfax is starting to take on an air of inevitability, meanwhile, veteran Matt Dick is surging, while yours truly is still looking to find that broad support necessary in a cause like this.

Unlike the general election, where let's face it you're only one voter, you can really make a difference here by donating to this worthy cause.