Sunday, July 31, 2005

Stop the Disingenuousness!

Democrats' disingenuousness bugs me. Take John Bolton’s confirmation hearing as an example. Why do Democrats bork Bolton? Because they dislike Bush, and they want to serve him up a political defeat. Bolton is merely and extension of this battle.

Instead of making the Bolton confirmation about consequential things, e.g., his approach to diplomacy or his theories on foreign policy, Senators like Joe Biden have made the Bolton confirmation into a inquiry of alleged tantrums in a hotel in Moscow 25 years ago, or, more recently, why Bolton forgot to mention that he had been interviewed by a investigator about the "yellow cake uranium" statement in President Bush’s state of the union address. Could it be because Bolton had nothing to do with those words in The State of The Union speech and understandably forgot? Yes, that seems likely, but such lapses of memory about inconsequential minutia – these are the things of character! That’s right mister "I plagiarized my presidential campaign speeches from a British politician," lecture us about character! Tell us about this administrations lack of character!

But democrats have to do it this way, the strait up Bush-lied-kids-died approach just lost them the 2004 election. You see, this whole last election cycle was a referendum on Bush's neo-Wilsonian foreign policy, and miraculously Bush won. Since their straight-forward approach lost, Democrats have to try something else. They have to be sneaky! Thus They resort to concocting disingenuous arguments against Republicans that, just maybe they can get people to agree with. Sure, it may not be what Democrats actually think-- but if it's effective, who cares?

This whole forgetting-about-some-interview tempest in a teapot is only the Democrats' latest disingenous argument. The old reason for filibustering Bolton was Democrats like Biden didn’t have access to all of Bolton’s papers, memos, etc. You see, Democrats have this crazy theory that Bolton was requesting intelligence intercepts in order to dig up dirt on coworkers within the State department with whom he had had personal conflicts. At least that’s what they said. The administration responded that there were no intercepts that had anything to do with the individuals that Democrats identified as potential victims of Bolton's bullying. Democrats remain undeterred, using the refusal to release those documents as justification for filibustering Bolton. It's a cleaver strategy: Make outrageous and unprecedented demands for classified documents, and then, when the demands are rightly denied, claim the administration is hiding something.

Don't be fooled. Democrats have no idea what they are looking for. This is a fishing expedition, and the Bush administration has correctly decided it will not fold. As a result Democrats continue to filibuster and a recess appointment looks imminent.

Now we're seeing the same thing with Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts. Roberts, by all accounts, is one of the most capable appellate advocates that has ever lived. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law, and has the respect of both liberal and conservative legal academics alike. He also has the publics support and seems very amiable. This leaves little wriggle room for Democrats who, if they could, would attack him straight on. But, because attacking Roberts would likely cost them politically, instead of being forthright they use legerdemain, pretending that their problem isn't with The Supreme Court shifting to the right, but with accessing Robert's Justice department memos and papers.

This complaint comes just days after The Bush administration released 75,000 documents related to John Roberts service in the Reagan administration (a courtesy not at all required by law). Do you think that Democrats and their staffers have read all 75,000 pages in the last two or three days. Who knew memos and the like could be such page-turners?

Now, one may ask: If there is nothing to hide, why not release all of the documents? The answer is this: In a high profile advisory position, the advisor needs to know his opinions are protected by confidentiality, otherwise he will be reluctant to talk openly and honestly. What if he believes an unpopular position to be correct and wants to advocate it, but, realizing he has no confidentiality, is scared of a potential media firestorm? What if there are major differences of opinion—such as in the Reagan administration—and he believes that what he advocates will be used to paint a picture of political infighting and power grabbing? He is scared to undermine those who have trusted him, but at the same time, those who have trusted him need to hear his honest unreserved judgments and opinions.

There are good reasons for confidentiality, and no doubt Democrats well understand some of them. But they also understand that the why-don't-you-release-those-classified-documents refrain is a more effective and easier argument to make than the less-well-understood arguments for confidentiality. And that is exactly what's so irritating about what they're doing. Democrats aren't making an argument for the principle of transparency -- they are making their current argument out of political expediency. Right now they want to damage Bush and his agenda through Bolton and Roberts. Don't be surprised if when a Democrat becomes president, Democrats suddenly discover the importance of confidentiality (just as they discovered the importance of the filibuster). That's because what they are doing now is disingenuous, it's cheep and --if I haven't already mentioned it-- it bugs me.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Twisted Logic

A random statement from a friend, and a reminder from this article got me to thinking about the way liberals think. They have a way of making arguments that seem fine on the surface, but, upon reflection, don't withstand much scrutiny. Consider the following: A couple of months ago I was with my friend and his sister. We were discussing the Catholic church, because of the Pope's recent death, and my friend's sister sugested (somewhat randomly) that the Catholic Church should change its position on birth control because so many people in Africa are dying of AIDS, and because their life expectancy had, and is, dropping so dramatically.

Now, its true that Africa has an AIDS problem, but just how the Catholic Church is culpable I do not understand. Would condoms help control the problem, and is the Catholic Church against using them? Yes they would help some, and yes Catholic doctrine is against all birth conrol, including condoms. But the real question here is: Has the Catholic prohibition of birth control exacerbated the AIDS epidemic?

To this question we must answer: No -- at least it's not very likely.

How many Catholics are there in Africa? This article says about 17% of Africans are Catholic -- not that many -- and AIDS is certainly not plagueing Africa because only the Catholics are getting AIDS. Rather Catholics teach abstinence and fidelity -- a combination that, if observed, would eliminate AIDS. Even if every person used condoms, due to high failure rates and the continuation of present African promiscuity (the real cause of the spreading of AIDS) there would still be far too many Africans contracting and dying from AIDS.

The only way the Catholic Church's stance on condoms furthers the spread of AIDS is if Catholics disregard Catholic teaching on abstinence and fidelity, but for some inexplicable reason decide they should heed the Church's teaching on birth control. This seems an unlikely senario, inasmuch as one guesses there is a hierarchy of commandments, and fidelity and abstinence presumably rank much higher than birth control. I grew up with many Catholics, some devout married Catholics currently without kids. Ostensibly, they use birth control and don't feel too bad about it.

And who is to say Catholicism is not infact fighting AIDS. Are there more people who have sex without condoms because of Catholic teachings and thus contract AIDS, Or, are there more people who would otherwise have promiscious sex but, because they are Catholic, do not and are spared from AIDS? Who is to say, and have liberals even bothered asking the question?

I guess the latter more likely. A Catholic observing doctrine about the use of birth control, but not observing abstinence and fidelity doctrine is like a man who refuses to speed, yet habitually drives drunk. Such excentric people probably exist, but its unlikely that there are many of them. Likewise, there are unlikely to be many real Catholics who reverance the lesser law but flout the greater law -- and there existence does not mean the lesser law should be changed. Instead, they should stop flouting the greater law, and thus fix the AIDS problem.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

So Little to Do...

So much time. Er, wait, stop -- reverse that. I just have so many hobbies: music, blogging, nose picking, TV, procrastinating, et. al., that I just can't find time for all of them. Lately Music and Law-School-Prep stuff have taken precident over my blogging -- but not anymore! I have renewed my commitment to blogging, and from now on, will try and post something daily. I think this will be a good way to execize my mind and writting muscles.