Jonathan Last writes a pivotal article for The Weekly Standard entitled "Obamacare vs. the Catholics." It is absolutely required reading, not simply for Catholics, but for all who seek an insight into Obama's tactics, vision and ideology. Last situates Obama's utter betrayal of Catholics - by forcing Catholic institutions to close their doors or provide contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients - within the broader context of Obama's antagonism toward civil society.
As Yuval Levin noted in National Review Online last week, institutions such as the Catholic church represent a mediating layer between the individual and the state. This layer, known as civil society, is one of the principal differences between Western liberal order and the socialist view.
Couple those observations with Last's wholly-truthful, though counter-intuitive, remarks on Catholic demography, self-identity and political strategy, and you have a must-read article which I cannot more strongly recommend.
It's driven by IQ. The Sage of Mt. Airy draws a conclusion:
Check out this headline and story: "Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism"
It's not my fault then, correct?
So where do I go to get my subsidy started? Who do I see about my government grant? Does this mean they'll forgive my mortgage? Shouldn't there be a tax break? Where's the block on this form to mark "Low I.Q."? How much more time will I get to take the exam? The "passing" score's lower, right? Ain't I entitled to a parking space? When will the first check arrive? Huh? When? I got my rights you know?
While you're at his site, read the Sage's thoughts on vigilante movies--really movies about the founding and preservation of regimes, I would say.
This is the Iran now arming itself with nukes. The ceremony led me to think about University College London having preserved Jeremy Bentham's body. And we do have those races around the Washington Nationals' stadium featuring giant dolls of Washington, Jefferson, LIncoln, and TR. No worries.
Of course, you say, but Harry Jaffa corrects Obama's SOTU misquotation precisely, in Charles Johnson's interview with him:
Professor Jaffa noted that this quotation leaves out a great deal. The 93-year-old Jaffa recited the full statement from Lincoln's speech, "The Nature and Objects of Government, with Special Reference to Slavery" (July 1, 1854) by memory:
"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities."
Notice the difference? The emphasis is on the need to have done, not on government doing the action. "That distinction was missing from his quotation," Jaffa explains. Yet Obama has repeatedly invoked this misleading Lincoln quotation on both the campaign trail and during his presidency.
Johnson is the go-to guy for reporting on all things Claremont, including the recent admissions scandal. He is working on more stories on the scandal, one that could result in further resignations, including that of the President, who has effectively undermined the conservative scholars at the College.
The appropriately named TimManBlog gives an account of Santorum speaking in Colorado Springs. Tim designates Santorum as "The Servant"--contrasting him with the Executive, the Visionary, and the Ideologue:
Santorum is The Servant. He is the Servant of his Country, of his Constitution, of his Family and of his Faith....
People stood up for Santorum only once tonight. He is more soft-spoken than dramatic and people politely listen to him speak as if he were their neighbor next door....
Santorum will never present himself as your provider. He will expect people to pursue happiness and he will see his role as service to that pursuit by securing those natural rights we all deserve as people. In this way he will endeavor to be the Servant to Freedom.
Thoughout this process we've seen that we live in an age of great egos. We see pundits and journalists and presidents vying with each other for our accolades. Santorum is the exact opposite, a Servant, and that difference may be what the country needs right now.
Look for further Colorado reporting and commentary from TimManBlog. Here he relates a visit to Lubbock, Texas.
Charles Johnson tracks Claremont McKenna's race preferences admissions policies with the scandalous inflation of SAT reporting to US News and the world. Once again we see how a perverse policy of preferences leads to further unethical conduct. The issue for Claremont McKenna is not the superb quality of its teaching and much of the research--it's rather whether its key administrators (its Dean of Admissions resigned) based the College's policies and altered its identity for the sake of a higher standing in US News.
Did the President create a culture of cheap ambition? The Administration could have further played up its Government and Economics programs and been happy with a major national niche. Perhaps the prominence of conservative scholars in those departments made such a strategy distasteful, though.