This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Larry Craig - Out for being Out?

Tonite the Washington Post reports that tomorrow Senator Larry Craig will announce that in thirty days he is resigning. The question I have is, should he resign or repay the loyalty of his partisans by pulling a Jeffords?

Loyalty is supposedly a Republican virtue. Obviously, however, if only flows one way.

I am not saying being gay is sick, however denying one is gay and acting out in public restrooms is certainly the hallmark of a sex addiction. He should be pitied, not condemned. So, if he decides to resign his membership in the Party, but not the Senate, he should be encouraged to do so PROVIDED that he gets treatment in a 12 step fellowship for sexual addication and that he becomes a vote against the war and for impeachment.

The alternative is living with a safer Senate seat as the current Lt. Governor of Idaho takes office and votes hard line GOP. Keeping the devil we know, and letting him at least stay as an independent, is better than the devil we can see coming.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Political Spectrum - 2007 Edition

When I was in Civics in Junior High School, we were taught a pretty standard political spectrum, as below:

RADICAL LIBERAL MODERATE CONSERVATIVE REACTIONARY

I took an inventory and was on the line between Liberal and Moderate (with a few Conservative opinions to keep em' guessing).

In those days, Marxists were considered Radical, Democrats were Liberal (except in the South), Republican were Conservative and the Klan was Reactionary, with moderates in both major parties. Some didn't include moderates, considering them middle of the road and not a position in their own right.

Things have changed. The Greens are now the Liberal Party, while the Democrats are the Moderates. There are no more Marxists and many things thought really Radical aside from economics are now the law (acceptance of abortion rights and gay rights) or soon to be as the result of Supreme Court deliberations.

The striking change is among the Republicans. The rise of the Religious Right has introduced Reactionaries back into the process. While I am sure some of them are Klansmen at heart, it is no longer PC to self-ID that way. However, they are true reactionaries as the term is defined, as they are opposed to the status quo on abortion, gay rights, civil rights and the list goes on. Since they seek a return to more straight laced days they are not considered radical or liberal. What is really fascinating, however, is their dominance of the Republican Party - particularly in the current Administration. Anyone with a degree from Regent University can likely be considered just a bit Reactionary, don't ya think?

The Conservatives are non-existent, since to be conservative one must favor the status quo. The closest thing we have are the Libertarians and libertarian Republicans, although some may consider these economic reactionaries - so it may be that Conservatives really are MIA after all.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Democrats, the Unions and Illegal Immigration

Tuesday's AFL-CIO debate was interesting (of course I watched it live). In yesterday's Washington Post, we learn that it was so even that the AFL-CIO is not endorsing any one candidate right now.

That's gotta cheese of some folks. While there were winners and losers, with John Edwards constantly upstaged by likely also ran, Dennis Kucinich, a Clinton endorsement could have been expected. It was interesting the Biden got booed a few times, which does not bode well for his chances - although I was sure the booing of Senator Clinton at the 9/11 telethon would mark her as a one term Senator, so booing may mean nothing.

I would like to suggest one thing that some enterprising candidate could do to take a strong union position while bringing clarity to the immigration issue: explain the relationship between right-to-work laws and illegal immigration and promise to pass a law banning such laws as an interference with both interstate and international commerce. This is legitmate because right-to-work laws provide a strong incentive to employers to hire illegal workers, whom they can then exploit because of their status. If these laws were eliminated, you would see the rise of the closed shop in the south, especially in the food processing industries which cannot be sent overseas and an end to the attractiveness of imported labor, who would make the same union wage as domestic workers. Ending any immigration restrictions at all would further take the incentive out of hiring the undocumented because employers could no longer hold their status against them when they wished to complain about working conditions or organize.

Of course, this would make all workers and immigrants legal, by definition and if there were a true need for workers from the South, they would still come, although they would not be exploited if they were truly needed. In such a case, when they went home - and many do - they would take their union membership with them and would be the seed for the unionization of Latin America, especially if NAFTA were amended to require union protection.

Let's see who's reading the blogs.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Democrats and the Center

In today's Washington Post, Martin O'Malley and Harold Ford wrote about capturing the center in the Democratic Party. I heard about the piece listening to the Washington Journal on C-SPAN this morning and I just had to call in. Miracle of miracles, I got on the air. Whoopie!

My point was that the Democrats should seek the centrists on abortion using liberal means, a very generous family tax credit for families with children. The moderator asked me who were the middle ground on abortion. As readers of this blog know, the center is the mushy middle who dislike abortion but also dislike using the criminal law to stop it, with the exception of partial birth abortion. In 2000, the mushy middle Catholics voted with Bush and stayed with him in 2004, although they have recently moved back to the Democratic Party, which was their first home as ethnic conservative voters. If the Democrats do as I suggest, these voters will come back and they will STAY!

It is interesting that Richard Cohen also has a piece about what happened to the Democratic Party which stood up for the little guy.