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Monday, October 16, 2006

Does John Kerry Deserve A Second Chance?

He sure seems to think so...
The AP reports: "The Massachusetts Democrat, who lost to President Bush in 2004, said it is a basic principle that 'Americans give people a second chance. And if you learn something and prove you've learned something, maybe even more so. Now, I don't know what I'm going to do yet. We'll make that decision down the road.'"

Transcript here.

I'll support the Democratic nominee but I'm not the least bit excited about John Kerry in '08.

If not Kerry, then who?

I was interested in the possibility of a Mark Warner Presidency...but apparently he's not running.

To my conservative readers, who do you like? Mitt Romney? Will Southern Baptists vote a member of the worlds largest "cult" into the Oval Office? Newt? Allen? Guliani?

18 Comments:

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I'm not conservative. Out of the people I expect to run, I like Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D) best. He didn't vote for the Iraq war and is a true progressive.

If I were gonna give someone a second chance it would either be Gore (who won in '00 despite an abysmal campaign), but he says he's not running. Maybe John Edwards who, like Kerry, has apologized for voting for Iraq and supports phased withdrawal, but, unlike Kerry, is strong on social justice.

I think Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is amazing, the Bobby Kennedy of this generation, and has a real chance of becoming the first African-American president--far more than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton ever did. But Obama will have only spent one term in the senate by '08. I'd prefer that he could wait until '12 or '16 in order to have the experience and record to go with his incredible energy, charisma, etc., but the Dems don't have many superstars and might have to go to him now.

Hillary not only brings out the conservative base against her, but she doesn't have the support of most progressives either since we identify her with being pro-war (she STILL supports staying the course!!!) and with the corporate croneys of the DLC. So, I really hope she's not the Democratic nominee.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) could be the first Hispanic president, especially since his name is NOT Latino. He's progressive and governors have often done better at campaigning for the White House.

If we can't get someone like Feingold with some steam behind him, then let's get creative and try for an outsider. Historian Howard Zinn suggested Children Defense Fund head, Marion Wright Edelman, and, if she'd run, I'd get behind her. First, she graduated near the top of her class in Yale Law School and helped found Head Start. She's worked in the Civil Rights movement in Georgia (as a student at Spelman), Mississippi and D.C. and she's spent years as a citizen lobbyist for children, so she knows the system.
And her criterion is simply what promotes the wellbeing of the nation 's and world's children. If she'd run, even if she couldn't get nominated, she could push the agenda of the election in a MUCH more progressive direction and maybe she'd get a #2 slot, becoming the first African-American and first woman VP.

We need to think outside the box if Feingold or someone equally progressive cannot get something going. I hated Kerry's first campaign and don't expect to like the second much better.

2:34 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I'd love to see Gore run again. Edward's wouldn't be a bad choice either. I do hope I eventually get to see Barak Obama elected into the Oval Office. We MUST have a win in '08.

America can't handle another 8 years of a Bush-like President.

I watched the Obama rally at Louisville which I believe you attended at YouTube

He's definitely charasmatic.

3:37 PM

 
Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

Ironically, Romney may be the only one of the Republican potentials you've named who has only been married once :-). Well, unless you give Gov. Mike Huckabee a serious chance (but can he raise the money for a campaign?). He'd be a better VP candidate. Rice will likely be Republican's choice IF Billary (socialist that she is) is the Dem nominee. If it is Gore, which I presume it will be, then McCain will be the Republican nominee. And McCain may not be all that Republican. I have also heard from some friends in Washington that, if McCain doesn't get the nomination, he and Liebermann might run together as Independents. Interesting thought, and an ideological match in many respects. Oh well, that's two cents worth. I'm going to give it about six months to really shape up.

GT

8:23 PM

 
Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I think we need a win in '06! If we can retake the House and even come close with the Senate, we can impeach Bush, Cheney, etc. and stop the global destruction.

But with 3 weeks to go most of the races are very tight and the GOP has more money to pour on at the end.

3:53 AM

 
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Rice will likely be Republican's choice IF Billary (socialist that she is) is the Dem nominee. If it is Gore, which I presume it will be, then McCain will be the Republican nominee."

I don't think that Rice will be nominated soon. While I don't think the majority of Republicans have a problem with race or with women, I think there's enough of them out there still to cost the Republicans the election.

Unless anyone more energizing comes along, I'm for Obama.

Kerry or Clinton would kill the Dems. Gore probably would too, I think. All three of those, while having some good solid support and name recognition ALSO have a strong base of people virulently opposed to them.

I might be willing to give Gore a chance if no one else comes along, but I'm doubtful. He's said a lot of the right stuff for a long time, but when he had his chance at the whitehouse, he blew it. "fool me once..."

11:36 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

Just a couple of up-front observations about the comments made on this thread and then I will address your questions BDW.

1) Reading you guys makes it appear as if you are much more tied to a party than most Evangelicals that I know. Michael I thought you have said before that you were an independent and better represented by the Libertarian party. Are you now fully encamped with the Dems?

2) Some of the candidates that you guys brought up have horrid records on abortion. I thought all of you supported a decrease in the number of abortions and were against partial-birth abortions. And don't any of you support criminal prosecution for those who injure pregnant women and cause them to lose their children? Both Kerry and Hillary are against this because it recognizes the fetus as a human being and not a set of tissues like NARAL and Planned Parenthood would have us do. Is there any of these candidates, were they to get the Democratic nomination, that you wouldn't vote for?

3) It think it is interesting that a couple of you seem to suggest that any Republican in office is a bad thing. Aren't there Republicans you would support over some Dems?


Ok, now my answers to your question BDW.

1) I don't care who gets the party nominations - I will only vote for a candidate who is pro-life. If a Dem that is pro-life gets the nomination for their party (and I won't be holding my breath on this one), then I will vote for them over a pro-abortion Republican nominee. If the Republican nominee is pro-abortion, then I will certainly not vote for them. I think John Piper in the last election cycle hit the nail on the head when he said that the willingness to sacrifice children at the altar of personal freedom disqualifies someone from being voted for by an Evangelical. Nothing else will disqualify my vote faster than a pro-abortion position.

2) Mitt Romney is fine with me. I think it is interesting how you phrased your comment about him. As an inclusivist I doubt you see Mormons as a cult. Or do you? But one's religious views, as long as they are not in conflict with the Constitution from a political standpoint, should not keep a person from voting from that candidate. This is very true in the case of Romney. He is competent, able to work with both parties, pro-life, and not a Bush-cronie. I think Evangelicals may vote for him if enough headliners like James Dobson throw their support his way early on. It might deter some Evangelicals, but I think in the end those numbers will be marginal.

3) No on Newt, no on Allen and certainly NO, NO, NO on Guliani (not because he is divorced - he's not a professing Christian so I don't see how that affects him politically, after all Bill Clinton and JFK were adulterers in office - but because he is pro-abortion and pro-federal embryonic stem cell research funding). I think he would end up pandering to the Chuck Shumers and Patrick Leahys of the Judiciary Committee, sending all the wrong people to the Supreme Court, which will result in the striking down of parental notification laws and laws against the heinous act of partial-birth abortion.

So that is where I stand and I think I speak for most of the other Evangelicals that I know.

6:24 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

First, I do think there is a difference between a religious institution supporting a party and an individual supporting the same party.

Second, I've been a paid employee of the Democratic Party. After I finish my degrees, I hope to be employed in secular politics or with a religious non-profit (these jobs are limited). So know where I'm coming from...

As you know, Washington is extremely polarized. Unless the politician is downright corrupt or sleazy, I will likely always support the Party's candidate in national elections. If I grew up in a different time, I could have supported a Republican like Mark Hattfield. As a guy who grew up in South Georgia, I have opposed a few Democrats at the state level (Fisher Barfoot, Greg Morris, Zell Miller).

D.R.,

No, mormons have some kooky beliefs - but its no cult. Years ago, I did purchase a book from Lifeway which did refer to mormonism as the worlds largest cult. Likewise, I would vote for a mormon candidate. But would you vote for a candidate without faith? Also, were you bothered that pro-choice Condi Rice spoke at the SBC this summer?

6:56 PM

 
Blogger dave said...

I don't think I could go for Kerry again. It'd be too much like how the Moderates presented the same candidate twice in a row and lost each time.

I would like to see a Gore/Edwards ticket.

So it appears some Evangelicals are one issue voters: Abortion.

To that issue I say this: There are those of us who are both pro-choice and pro-life. I believe the Constitution protects the choice of the woman, yet I would support education and other economic means to lower the overall abortion rate. Like most issues, there is more than side to the story. If we could stop the politicking and work from two different starting points, I know we can arrive at the same goal: less abortions.

7:38 PM

 
Blogger posttinebraelux said...

Dave,
I think you're right about the 'evangelicals being one-issue voters' simply due to the 'press' that issue evokes. It is not, however, (in my opinion) a religious issue. It's a 'state's rights' issue and it's a 'individual's rights' issue. My position with the 'state's rights' part is that any issue which can be handled at the state level - should. My position with the 'individual's rights' part is that there are two individuals whose rights could potentially be infringed; the rights of the mother and the rights of the baby. Defense of one's rights inherently infringes the rights of the other (not to mention potential rights of the father). If the mother's rights are infringed, (at least in 'normal' cases) she is 'put out' by having to raise a child. If the baby's rights are infringed, he/she is killed. I believe the more detrimental of the two infringements is to the baby's rights. That is why I am a pro-life voter. I'm not a Republican - I'm worse - I'm a Libertarian. I don't vote for pro-life candidates because it's the 'religious' thing to do, but rather because it's the constitutional thing to do.

BTW, great thread guys. Would that more people (potential voters) were informed and not ignorant of the candidates.

Grace and peace,

PTL

8:42 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

First to BDW, the problem I have with dedicated Democrats who are professing Christians is the same that left-leaning Christians have with Evangelicals who support the Republican party wholeheartedly. Even Michael mentioned on one of his posts or in one of his comments not long ago that there is certainly a problem with Christians being tied to a political party. To me your loyalty seems to trump your ability to address issues with a Christian worldview, some of which, like abortion, are much larger than the typical Democrat v. Republican agendas.

Now, regarding being a one-issue voter - I don't think I am one. The problem should not be "vote for the pro-life candidate", it is that there is usually only one pro-life candidate. I would love to actually have a decision to make between two candidates, but there is none, because when one is willing to kill children, he or she is disqualified from my vote, and should be disqualified from the vote of any Christian that respects the life that only God can give. Christians especially should know better than support an agenda in which children are sacrificed on the altar of human freedom. It's a form of idolatry and one we cannot afford to support in this country.

So it's not about being a one-issue voter, it's about upholding the very fabric of what it means to be human - respect for indefensible life.

And while Dave can talk about being both pro-life and pro-abortion, I have yet to see one live that out (and doubt very much it can be done), especially when it means they support the right of a person to slaughter their own children after that individual made the choice to act in such a way that conception becomes possible. That is the height of a hedonistic society. No individual should have the right to kill the child growing in them. It's infanticide and supporting it is truly an unBiblical position.
Appeasing people who want to kill their own children by supporting their right to do it is simply incompatible with the Bible.

And so that is where I and other Evangelicals stand. If Dems want to appeal to us then stop supporting the radical pro-abortion agenda, which is bent on partial-birth abortion and absolutely no parental consent consessions. What Dave and others who think they can be pro-life and pro-abortion should do is begin to rally other Christians to support ministries like "A Woman's Choice Resource Center" and oppose all candidates that support partial-birth abortions and no parental consent. So far I haven't seen any Dems willing to run on those issues and haven't seen any left-leaning Christians addressing them.

10:48 AM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I would never vote for a candidate who is willing to kill their own child. Thus, I voted for Kerry who was personally opposed to abortion. Big difference between many of the folks at NARAL/Planned Parenthood and the average pro-choice Christian. The abortion issue is not black and white as you've portrayed it.

Abortion should be permissible in certain circumstances though - to save the physical life of the mother, in case of rape or incest, if baby is expected to die of congenital/developmental defects, (etc.)

Stories like THIS are heartbreaking. It's unconscionable to force an 11 year old girl who was raped by her own father to carry the pregnancy to full term. Girls like that deserve the right to choose (without the consent of her rapist father).

12:44 PM

 
Blogger Kevin Bussey said...

BDW,

I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm really trying to understand your thinking.

I've gotten sick of the hypocrisy in the Rep. party for sure. But, I couldn't vote for a pro-choice candidate if I had a choice. How can a believer vote pro-choice.

Again, I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm trying to understand. Thanks in advance.

2:53 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

First, I'm not comfortable with factions of the Democratic Party and certain elected officials who at times seem to champion abortion. Men and women with pro-life positions have not always been welcome at the National level. The climate is changing.

I'm not a single issue voter. I have voted for a pro-life Democrat in the past and would do so again (if in PA - I'd vote for Bob Casey Jr. in a heartbeat). Growing up in Georgia, abortion was not a huge issue. Many Democrats were pro-life at the state & local levels.

A vote for a candidate with a pro-choice position does not necessarily translate into more abortions. In response to Alan Keyes statement that "A candidate who favors abortion should be disqualified from receiving a Christian's vote" - Christianity Today wrote that "in some cases, voting for a pro-choice politician may be morally acceptable (especially if the pro-life opponent is otherwise incompetent). But, when we think in terms of single issues, we marginalize ourselves. The NAE's Call to Civic Responsibility stated that while individual persons and organizations are at times called by God to concentrate on one or two issues, faithful evangelical civic engagement must champion a biblically balanced agenda.

Let's move past single-issue mindedness and focus on a cluster of dominant issues such as justice for the poor, care for creation, peace, freedom, church-state relations, racial justice, and of course the sanctity of human life.

4:46 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

This entire election cycle has been about tying the problems of a few with the whole Republican party, yet you seem to suggest that a few in the Democratic party who are O.K. make it possible to support the entire party. To me that undercuts the entire strategy of the Dems this election. Would you agree?

Moving on . . . what of John Kerry's complete support for the radical pro-abortion agenda? He supports partial-birth abortion - a procedure that is horrid. Have you actually seen what they do to these fully developed babies? It is horrid. How could anyone support such a procedure? Do you? Additionally, he voted against legislation that would charge any person who injures or kills a pregnant woman, thus leading to the death of her unborn child with murder of that infant. Why would he do such a thing? Does this not bother you? Would you support such legislation? It is one thing to vote for someone who does not have any ability to shape public policy on abortion. Were my residency in Louisville I would vote for the Democratic candidate for mayor. He's been a good mayor and his personal positions cannot shape public policy on issues like abortion, thus it wouldn't be inappropriate to vote for such a candidate. With that I can agree with you. But when someone is actively influencing policy, and doing so in a way that he or she is catering to a radical pro-abortion agenda, then there must be a line drawn. Certainly being complicit in murder is morally reprehensible, if not morally equivalent. But are you saying you would not vote for any candidate who had an abortion? What about one whose wife had one?

Now, as a good pro-choice advocate you brought up every exception to the rule regarding abortion. First, death of a woman is basically obsolete in this country. There are many, many medical options out there that make it virtually impossible for a woman to die from pregnancy. At risk pregnancies are caught much earlier these days and the odds of dying from a pregnancy where abortion would have prevented it are so slim that this defense is weak at best. Additionally, rape and incest is less than a 1 percent of all abortions in this country (according to Planned Parenthood's own Guttmacher Institute).

Regarding that article and the possibility of such a situation, I think if we cultivated a culture of life in this country where children in the womb were not treated as accidents, we would look at this situation much differently. I don't like how the Catholic Church reacted to this. However, I do not think two wrongs make a right. Killing an innocent life conceived in sinful behavior doesn't right the situation. That might sound unloving and ungracious, but what about the life inside of her. Isn't it unloving and ungracious to kill this life created not by its own volition, but by a great miracle of God? After all every single pregnancy is a miracle, not an accident. And as a Christian we can know that for a fact, because of Scripture's clear teaching on the sovereignty of God.

Regarding aborting because of possible defects - I think this is the biggest fraud in all of this. First, there is a percentage (albeit a small one, but at least in proportion to the percentage of cases of rape and incest to the overall abortion total), of cases in which the infant in the womb does not display the effects of the diagnosis upon birth (and with medical science being as it is, not many of these conditions can be treated in the womb). This actually occured to one of my former SS teachers. He and his wife were faced with the choice of abortion, yet when the child was born there was no birth defects at all. It was a miracle, yes, but possible in hundreds of other cases nonetheless. In addition, one must define what birth defects are worthy of killing the infant and which ones are not. Apparently, Down's Syndrome is enough for many to choose abortion, and we see that reflected in an unfortunate number of Down's Syndrome children being aborted every year. That should break anyone's heart, especially given the great capacity of these children for love and affection, and now a growing ability to thrive in contribute greatly in our society.

Now, I did not mean to morph this into an abortion debate, but I think these issues need to be dealt with and not thrown around as if they deliver a crushing blow to the anti-abortion lobby. Laws can be ammended to allow for certain situations and in many states already there are provisions in place (and that is what laws in the States are there to do - but a wholesale "Constitutional position" in which abortion is accepted in toto is not only unacceptable, it's not Constitutional either - even Harry A. Blackmun has stated that Roe v. Wade was not meant to provide abortion-on-demand and the Court did not desire that to be the effect of their ruling). Some of these provisions are too open to interpretation and give doctors and patients leeway to abort when the prognosis does not match the law. People have distorted "life of the mother" to mean "health of the mother", when in fact statistically, women suffer much more emotionally when they have an abortion than when they go to term and give the child up for adoption.

I will save my talk about the political situation for my next post.

9:56 PM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

BDW, you noted that the Dems are changing in regard to pro-life candidates, but yet the party's agenda does not match this at all. In the Supreme Court hearings for Justices Roberts and Alito, time and time again you heard Dems say they would filibuster any candidate that said they didn't see abortion in the Constitution. Not one Dem stepped up to offer an alternative position. Even those your party sets forth as pro-life, like Obama and Harold Ford, Jr. aren't actively doing anything to prevent abortion and haven't come out against partial-birth abortion. And I believe both voted against the previously law I mentioned about the murder of infants in the womb.

As for Bob Casey, Jr. and other anti-abortion supporters, I have to wonder if these guys are just being used and if they would be called upon to fillibuster any judicial nominees on the basis of abortion. I also have to wonder if these guys will ultimately help or hurt Dems, when already we see the powerful radical pro-abortion lobby gearing up to oppose these guys. Still, I would support Bob Casey, Jr. if he were running against Lincoln Chafee for instance, but against Rick Santorum, I can look at other issues. I think I would still fall with Santorum because he has a clear record on abortion, whereas we don't know what Casey would do when the Dem lobbyist come calling.

Still, the party lines are clear and Republicans are far better on abortion and the Dems continually work for a radical abortionist policy. That to me is unacceptable. If true pro-life measures were taken then I would open up, but until then call me a one issue voter if you will, but a country that kills its young will not survive and will face the justice of an angry God.

10:14 PM

 
Blogger roy said...

I too see a dearth of leadership and of imagination among the Dems (Obama and Feingold both would get my excitement but neither will get the nomination)... still, I will vote Democratic no matter who it is precisely because I think at its core, the Republican agenda is antithetical to what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Still, many of the dems being discussed would get my vote with a great deal of unhappiness (Hillary especially... if it truly was Billary, then I'd feel better).

As for the abortion issue, when Republican policies become consistently "pro-life," I'll take them seriously on this one. War, environmental destruction, turning away from the poor, healthcare, putting the interests of big business above the poor, tax policies that favor the super rich... their policies on all of these issues and more lead to the death of thousands. It isn't enough to be "pro-life" before birth if you aren't afterwards.

10:37 AM

 
Blogger mom2 said...

roy said,
It isn't enough to be "pro-life" before birth if you aren't afterwards.

How can you assume that we conservatives do not care for the children after they are born?
I grew up in a large family, poor...but my family never received a welfare check or went hungry. We learned early how to work. We helped tend a large garden for food. Brothers worked their way through college. Those who did not go to college, went to work.
We went to church every time the doors were open and God had a way of sending someone with some used clothing or other provision when we had a need and we never went asking. As Christians, who do we believe in? God or the government?

6:01 PM

 
Blogger roy said...

First mom2, I didn't say "conservatives," I said Republicans.
Second, look at the policies. How many children in our country have no health insurance? What is the percentage of the poor who have ended up as canon fodder in Iraq? When the environment suffers, isn't it the poor who get the brunt of things? And who was left behind in New Orleans? It wasn't the wealthy. The Republican agenda directly impacts the poorest folk, many of whom are children. Their agenda is anything but consistently pro-life.
Second, I don't believe that the Republican party really even wants to win on abortion. I think for the leadership it is a hot-button issue that they can use only as long as they don't win on it. But that is the cynic in me speaking there.

8:58 PM

 

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