Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Carlson Caucus

My two older brothers had an interesting email exchange yesterday that I'd like to share with you. They both included me on the "CC" list, but I barely got a word in edgewise! Here it is in it's entirety... (I'll try to keep score for you...)

(From Rick to Greg)
Dear Brother Greg: While I am openly proud of your sincereity and committment to the core religious values we were brought up with (wow, did you really attend weekly Mass last week then get on a bus to DC to participate in the "right to life march?" ), i offer this as food for thought. Roe v Wade is many years old and remains a Sup Ct precedent which may or may not be overturned in whole or in part by the present (new conservative) court with Alito & Roberts joining Scalia and Thomas as the conservative voices of reason. It may or may not be overturned later with a new Supreme Court Justice appointed by the next president if one of the old liberal f***ers dies or retires and a republican is in the white house. While I do not disagree with the basic right to life premise as you know, that each and every human life has innate value (therefore the killing of human embryos for a woman's so called "right to choose" whether to be a mom or not, or for the artificail creation of stem cells for research on medical issues l8ike alzheimers, etc, or for cloning are simply wrong) I wonder if this issue of enormous and overwhelming significance, i.e., "protection of life itself" at some time in the distant future, is the most important issue of the day when determining who should be our next president. The following is the best recitation of the present illegal alien problem of immediate danger to us all that I have seen or heard since listening to my wife (a county public health nurse, as you know) complain of the % of her time now devoted each day to providing her taxpayer paid services to illegals and their families. Since the partial solution is the closing of the Mexican border, thereby making entry by terrorists more difficult as well, another fairly important immediate issue comes to mind. Ponder it. If we can elect a president to deal with each issue great. If not, which really is more immediately important????? Rick

(Greg's response to Rick)
Greetings my Brother! Thank you for the kind words in your opening and let me just say that I am equally proud of you for your shared "core religious values we were brought up with." Yes, Gregory and I did attend the March for Life in our nation's capital and in fact attended mass each of the three days we were there (the trip was a pilgrimage to the grand "Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception" located in DC, as well as to the march itself). The Basilica is the largest Catholic Church in the country and was well worth the visit all by itself (several beautifully ornate side chapels, mosaic tiled domes, grand statuary, continuous masses, confessions, rosary's being said, etc)... it took our breath away! Now, if I may respond... First, to your "food for thought": As you no doubt remember, much was made during the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings of the Roe v. Wade "precedent" being somehow sacred, with calls for judicial nominees to vow their allegiance to it precisely because it was "already settled law." Even the Republican Senator Arlen Specter railed against any suggestion of over-turning this precedent. My only question to them would be how then did slavery become illegal in this country given that there had previously been a precedent setting court ruling allowing it? The truth is that it took right thinking people of the time to over-turn that bad precedent by recognizing that an immoral law cannot stand... so it will eventually be with Roe I have no doubt. With regard to the questions you posed: I firmly believe that the "protection of life itself" is now the most important issue of the day, especially with respect to the issue of illegal immigration. Yes, a terrorist could come across the border and could cause some death and destruction. But with abortion having actually already killed in excess of 40 million real live people (and more every day), I prefer to deal first with the devil I know. In addition to this modern day holocaust of abortion of course, is the embryonic stem-cell murders performed in the name of science (this in spite of all actual scientific advances with adult stem-cell research by the way). Finally, as to the point you made near the end of your opening remarks that "closing the border will also have the added benefit of keeping out terrorists" I completely agree with you. In fact, I believe that single sentence of yours made a better, more succinct point then did the entire rambling message that followed... it seems that the gist of it is that the author doesn't like the monetary costs associated with illegals? Whatever... that hardly rises to the level of either my core life issues, or your concerns for maintaining our national security. Concerns for economic and other social ills resulting from illegal immigration really do pale in comparison. This isn't just my opinion by the way, as there is in fact a hierarchy of issues defined by the Church whereby the life issues are deemed "non-negotiables" whereas issues such as war and capital punishment can sometimes be justified. It's kinda like comparing jay walking with murder: they are both against the law yet nobody would argue that they were equal offenses to society. Later, Greg

Now I could sense some tension, so I fired back this email meant to diffuse...
(Jerry to G&R)
Brothers, A most enjoyable repartee! An interesting hypothetical, yet a conundrum one not necessarily face. Mitt will satisfy your need to close the borders, Rick, and the Romney will also come down on the side of life every time Greg. As an added virtue, he will carve up the entitlement mentality that permeates and pollutes Washington. Jerry

(Rick to me, with some shots taken at Greg)
Perhaps you are correct; however I suspect that our dear brother referred to by the pundits as a fundamentalist is singularly convinced that the Rev. Huckabey is the best right to lifer, right to life is the most important issue of the day (whensoever it may be solved) and therefore no other issue being quite as important, no other issue need be considered in deciding for whom to vote. Again, I like Mike, but not quite as much on the so called secondary issues of "war on Terror" and potential nuclear obliteration of our major cities, and border control of illegals which may have as much to do with the rescession at present as the war funding, as some of the other candidates of our party. For example Rudy, who I believe has little if any chance at the nomination, to me is hundreds of times more trustworthy than Huckaby to protect us from terrorists, yet Greg has told me many times he will not get his vote for two reasons: 1. his stance on right to life does not equal Mike's; and 2. he is ugly. Really, these are his arguments. Rick

(Greg's response)
I know, I know you say that stuff to get a response... so here goes. The pundits rightfully refer to Huckabee as a "Fundamentalist" given that is his particular religious affiliation. Guys like me however, are more accurately referred to as merely "Catholics" given our beliefs. As for Governor Huckabee, I happen to believe that while probably a viable candidate and a decent man, he is not the best choice for the job. That for me would be Mitt Romney given the choices we have who can actually win the thing from a DemocRAT. If old Mitt can't make it, then I find it a toss-up between Huckabee and McCain. You see, even though Huckabee is a Fundamentalist Christian, I haven't drank the media koolaid to condemn him for that. A Mormon President also do not scare me even though they don't align with Catholicism any better than Fundamentalists do. ANYBODY but Guliani would be fine by me... a bit ironic in that the only so called Catholic in the race is the least in line with Catholic principles and teachings huh? ps - It is not an "either or" choice we face my misguided older brother, but a "both and" right in front of you - as Jerry said: Mitt will satisfy us both. Why you seem to think that the three time married, gay marriage supporting, pro-abortion Guliani would be better for national security is a mystery. All accounts I read of the post 9/11 tragedy concluded the utter lack of preparedness and communication between New York emergency responder firemaen, policemen, etc... and under HIS watch. pss - If you insist upon misquoting my very clearly stated (and well thought out I might add) positions, I will feel compelled to take to the Snapper web site for a little character assasination of my own... Your serve... GC

I tried again...(I don't think it worked)
I feel compelled to put forth this slice of wisdom.
Say what you will about Rudy, Greg. While not a booster of his, you must admit there would be no terrorist bastards squeegying our windshields against our wishes under President Guiliani's watch!
j

Be glad to comment on the "utter unpreparedness" thing you been reading if I get a chance to read it and see whose saying it. I haven't read those things. I will acknowledge that Rudy probably like the rest of us were as unprepared for 9/11 jumbo jets into buildings as we all are now for nuclear bombs in our cities or more likely still assault rifles in our malls, none of which has happened since 9/11 under dubya causing too many to think it just won't happen on its own cuz it hasn't. Haven't read that though. Everything I read says Rudy was a true leader in a time of chaos bringing calm and emergency responce in so far as possible in a real city he calls home. Just cuz it didn't happen before your eyes in your city doesn't mean it wasn't kinda important to deal with then in responce and clean up and now in preparation for the next and hopefully continued avoidance of same. Kinda the same reason I was the best speaker for MADD for a dozen years after Donnie. Somebody else paying lip service to the importance of his death & the problem causing it who never felt the pain but somehow recalls reading something about it somewhere (it was a sad thing wasn't it?) & therefore never really elevated the problem to the highest priority just would not have been the better one to handle that job at the time. I don't know where Huckaby was during 9/11 or what he did to make it better, or even whether it is as deeply rooted in him to avoid and prepare for now as it is Rudy. I would suspect not. If I were a single issue "right to lifer" I would simply vote Mike. If I were a single issue "war on terror" guy, common sense tells me its Rudy. My point again, is that we probably should in fact elevate one issue over the other in terms of importance to us then also decide what is more immediately addressable, then see if somebody can handle of it and vote that way (Jerry says Mitt). As to the right to life issue, Presidents can influence a change indirectly by appointing conservative justices when there are openings and signing federal laws against (partial birth abortions or stem cell research bans) when those bills are passed by the congress and sent to his desk for signing. Presidents do other things though on a day to day basis while waiting for Supreme Court openings and congressional bills to come in that say something other than "let's stop the war". Commander in Chief is one that comes to mind for me. That is what I am looking for above all else right now because it is doable. Gotta go home now and look at my weekend honeydo list. I know it says to replace the living room carpet and buy and install the gas fireplace and this is by far the most important thing on the list. I'm probable gonna take out the garbage, shovel the walk, fix dinner and do the dishes first because I can actually accomplish those things in the time allotted. Rick

1 comment:

Greg said...

Look, nobody (including me) blamed Rudy for the terrorist attack... but if you cannot remember all the discussion that followed around the lack of communication between emergency responders (a leading cause for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security by the way), that's fine. I only mentioned it as a counter to this "feeling" you have about Rudy's superior qualifications as "Commander in Chief" because of his 9/11 victim status. I do agree with you that you were singularly qualified for the MADD talks you gave on the real-life effects of drunk driving. It's just that (by way of analogy), I do not think that our experience as victims would qualify any of us to be the head of the National Highway Safety Administration.

As for "the time allotted" point you made, I would simply refer you back to your own words: "As to the right to life issue, Presidents can influence a change indirectly by appointing conservative justices when there are openings and signing federal laws against (partial birth abortions or stem cell research bans) when those bills are passed by the congress and sent to his desk"... and I never said/nor implied that the Commander in Chief role was not important. Clearly, a President must perform many tasks (and as President Bush has shown) can be a friend of life issues, while at the same time wearing his Commander in Chief hat quite well I would say.

Now... get out there and do the dishes, take out the trash, AND install your new gas fireplace... because as Commander in Chief of your household, you can do it all Brother!

Greg