THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: In recent issues our comments
have focused on a three-fold expression of the current status of our nation:
A Leadership Vacuum . . . A Confidence Crisis . . . leading to A Summer
of Discontent. The only change to be noted this week is that the end of
Summer is drawing near, and shortly we shall entering the Autumn, and
then the Winter of Our Discontent. When we consider the power of the
anti-American, anti-Christian forces that are arrayed against us through
Liberal control of our government from the Excutive branch, through the
Legislative branch and the Judicial branch, we are reminded of the words
of Samuel Adams, who was called the "Father of the Revolution," when
he said in 1775: "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an
irate, tireless minority, keen to set brush fires in peoples' minds." That
is the challenge facing us as Conservatives and as Christians -- "to set
brushfires in peoples' minds." To the extent that ANC is able, we intend
to do that: set people's minds on fire to restore this nation to what our
Founding Fathers intended it to be.
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WITH LESS THAN TWO MONTHS TILL
ELECTION DAY, ALL POLL REPORTS
APPEAR TO BE FAVORABLE, BUT WE
STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO
This is not a technical explanation of polls -- this is a straightforward
distinction between the two tasks polls attempt to accomplish: there
are polls which are Predictive, and polls which are Reportive. The
Predictive polls indicate that if a future election were held today, this is
the way the public says they would vote. The Reportive polls indicate
what the public thinks of various elements of American life - government
programs, publications, films, products, and, of course: how our elected
politicians are performing, or how they are doing the job to which they
The Predictive polls hedge their accuracy by allowing themselves an
"error factor" of anywhere from plus-or-minus 3 to 5%. There is seldom
any need for an "error factor" with Reportive polls -- they just report
how the public feels about a person or issue at a specific point in time.
So let's look at some Reportive polls on some major subjects of interest;
Congress: 73% negative, 21.5% positive. . . Nancy Pelosi: 59% negative,
30% positive . . . Harry Reid: 56% negative, 26% positive . . . and Barack
Obama: 46.% positive, 52% negative. On a daily Presidential Approval
Rating scale, for a long time he has been in a double digit negative range,
and as this new month began, it was at -23, the lowest rating Mr. Obama
has ever received. Even Time magazine, usually a strongly pro-Obama voice,
now refers to him as "Mr. Unpopular."
Thus there is quite a solid reason for the nation's "Summer of Discontent;"
the American people don't like the way the president and the Congress
are performing the jobs to which they were elected.
And to look at the Predictive polls, we have to keep in mind always the
caveat of the the "plus or minus margin of error." And to be a bit more
precise in our terminology, these might also be called "Speculative" polls,
because they really do represent speculation -- but speculation built on
opinions expressed by participants in the various polls. Essentially, these
polls answer the question: "If the Nov. 2 elections were held today, for
whom would you vote?"
As with any prediction, or speculation, the answers provide a wide range
of opinion. As we approach the Nov. 2 Election Day, the first mid-term
election of the Obama presidency, the nation is almost equally divided
between Democrats at 35% and Republicans at 33.8%. That margin of
difference of 1.2% is the closest in more than 5 years, and the Democrat
percentage is the lowest in the 8 years the rankings have been recorded.
The latest Gallup poll on the "generic" ballot shows that Republicans
lead Democrats by 51% to 41%. That 10-point lead is the largest in the
history of Gallup tracking a mid-term generic ballot for Congressional
elections. From that point on, the opinions differ widely.
Some pro-Democrat commentators are convinced that any apparent
Republican advantage is temporary, and that given the two month
campaign period remaining, Mr. Obama will be able to recapture the
Democrat lead, and hold onto control of both houses of Congress.
Democrat speechwriter Dylan Loewe in "Permanetly Blue" assures
Democrts not to worry, that they will be in power until 2032, arguing
that the Republicans have become so dysfunctional that they will be
out of power for a generation. But on Sunday, on CBS "Face the
Nation," Jim Vandehei, Executive Editor of Politico, said of the White
House: "There's panic. There's concern." And Nancy Cordes, the CBS
Congressional Correspondent, said about Democrat candidates: "Not
only are they running away from President Obama, they're running
away from being Democrats."
One Internet poll summarized the opinion on the November elections
as follows: Republicans will win control of the House: 15.84%;
Republicans will win control of House and Senate: 75.31%; Democrats
will retain control of both Houses: 5.05%. Larry Sabato, Director of
the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, predicts that
Republicans will gain as many as 47 seats in the House, which would
be considerably more than the 39 they need to take control. In the
Senate he predicts a Republican gain of 8 or 9, and among the nation's
governors, a Republican gain of 8.
So there is a tremendous difference of opinion . . . but it must always
be remembered that these Predictive polls are Speculative. This is an
interesting reflection: "A party has not lost a House majority in such a
short period of time in over a half-century. This is not going to go
down well." (Political analyst Charlie Cook) And the Washington Post
Associate Editor Eugene Robinson described the feeling being expressed
by American voters in these words: "This isn't an 'electoral wave,' it's a
temper tantrum." He may well be right; the public is angry.
And how should we react? There are two basic answers to that question:
Pray, and Vote. The one is a demonstration of our faith; the other is a
demonstration of our works. The Epistle of James speaks very directly
to these two functions."Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only."
(1:22) The application in this instance is clear. We are not to sit back,
cluck our tongues, and say how bad things are in Washington under Mr.
Obama and this Liberal Democrat controlled Congress. The Scriptures
teach us to demonstrate our faith by our works. James also said, "Faith
without works is dead." (2:20) Our responsibility: pray for our leaders,
that God will give them wisdom to do what is right . . . pray for our own
wisdom as we vote on Nov. 2, that we might do what is right. But both
are necessary -- our prayers and our votes -- both are outworkings of our
Christian faith. And remember: in our weekly count-down to Election
Day, now only 55 days are left till Nov. 2.
And speaking of work, earlier this week we observed Labor Day, and
our friend Chuck Colson, in his "BreakPoint" column, offered this very
perceptive comment about Labor Day: "Christians have a special
reason to celebrate Labor Day, which honors the fundamental dignity
of workers, for we worship a God Who labored to make the world - and
Who created human beings in His image to be His workers. When God
made Adam and Eve, He gave them work to do: cultivating and caring
for the earth. So this Labor Day, remember that all labor derives its
true dignity as a reflection of the Creator. And that whatsoever we do,
in word or deed, we should do all to the glory of God."
Even in simple things, the Obama White House can't do things right.
President Obama has a new rug in the Oval Office, and woven around
the edges are quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt,
Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The
quote from King reads, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
toward justice." In his biography of Obama, "The Bridge," author David
Remnick discloses this as being Obama's favorite quotation. But like so
many things the Obama White House does, it got this wrong also. The
quote did not originate with Rev. King -- word for word it is from Rev.
Theodore Parker, a Unitarian preacher who died in 1860. The Parker
quote became one of King's most frequently used pronouncements. There
is one other slight error in the rug's quotations -- included is Lincoln's
"government of the people, by the people and for the people." But this
did not originate with Lincoln when he used it in his Gettysburg Address
in 1863. It was first used by the same Theodore Parker in 1850. Jamie
Stiehm, in pointing out these errors in the Washington Post over the
past weekend, spoke of Parker as the "Oval Office wordmeister for the
ages." Gary DeMar offered this comment concerning the quote
attributed to King, "How is it possible that the words of a minister can
find their way in a government building, when students are prohibited
from mentioning God in graduation speeches?"
Much has been said (even an Oval Office speech) about the removal
of U.S. troops from Iraq. A few days ago the Washington Post (always
one of the nation's more Liberal newspapers) revealed these facts, none
of which were mentioned in Mr. Obama's Oval Office speech on Iraq:
"A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A
$165 million children's hospital goes unused in the south. A $100
million wastewater treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times
more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets. As the
U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandons or
incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds has
been wasted on these projects -- more than 10 percent of the $53.7
billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits
from a U.S. watchdog agency. That amount is likely an underestimate,
based on an analysis of more than 300 reports from auditors with the
special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction." But Mr. Obama did
fulfill his campaign promise, no matter what it cost.
The Glenn Beck situation, and the "Restoring Honor" rally.
Much has been said and written about this event. The media, Liberal
and Conservative, have had the proverbial "field day" with coverage of
it and discussion about it. For example, the crowd estimates ranged from
300,000 to 650,000. If there is such a thing as a "consensus" in such a
situation, 500,000 seems to be the most widely accepted figure. With
one major exception, however; CBS News, ever the stalwart Obama
supporter, came up with the figure of 87,000.
But conflicting viewpoints go way beyond such pettiness. Here, for
example are evaluations from two solid Evangelicals. (1) "It's sad to
see so many Christians confusing Mormon politics or American
nationalism with the gospel of Jesus Christ... Jesus will build his church,
and He will build it on the gospel... And there will be a new generation,
in America and elsewhere, who will be ready for a gospel that is more
than just Fox News at prayer." (2) "Based on all I know about him, I am
proud to stand with him at the Restoring Honor Rally ... Glenn does not
see that this is about him because it is not. It is about Restoring Honor.
That is the issue. It is much bigger than Glenn Beck and he knows it.
And God knows, we need it." The breadth of differences between these
two views is obvious. This question demands a meanngful answer.
We intend to study everything available about Glenn Beck, his Mormon
beliefs, and how all this comports with the spiritual and political problems
we are facing today. It is our opinion -- one that we think is justified --
that within our senior editorial advisory team we can develop a reliable,
relevant and appropriate position. We have the academic, theological and
political know-how to do so. Just give us a little time.
With so many critical issues confronting us, we can learn much from
"What Others Are Saying" . . .
Charles Krauthammer: "Many have charged that President Obama's
decision to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan 10 months from now is
hampering our war effort. But now it's official. In a stunning statement
last week, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway admitted
that the July 2011 date is 'probably giving our enemy sustenance.' A
remarkably bold charge for an active military officer. It stops just short
of suggesting aiding and abetting the enemy." (Editorial note: In our
Constitution, Article III, Section 3, that is defined as treason.)
Thomas Sowell: "President Barack Obama boldly proclaims, 'The buck
stops here.' But whenever his policies are criticized, he acts as if the
buck stopped with George W. Bush."
Skip MacLure: "It's a fact that no power on earth can take down the
United States of America... There is in us that which seeks truth and the
freedom of mind, body and soul, which is the premise of being American ...
Maybe the absolutely disastrous tenure of Barack Hussein Obama was a
gift to America by a merciful God, who saw that America had been lied
to sleep ... that we had forgotten who we were. When the euphoria of the
2008 election had evaporated, the monster that we had invited in wasted
no time in revealing itself in all its tyrannical and ideological glory."
Brandon Stewart (The Foundry): "The government is not a reliable
engine of economic growth. That engine has historically been -- and will
continue to be -- the private sector. Congress can play a positive role by
allowing private enterprise to function properly and supporting policies
that stimulate job creation and encourage investment ... even if this
concept is beyond our current leadership."
Doug Brandow (Senior fellow, Cato Institute): "Economic liberty and
creative entrepreneurship are the basis of any solution to today's social
and economic difficulties. Blaming business, setting wages, and attempting
to run the economy by decree from Washington only exacerbates the
And there are so many more, but for a lighter touch, here are a few "One
Liners" we came across during this week's research . . .
"Fathom the odd hypocrisy that Obama wants every citizen to prove they
are insured, but people don't have to prove they are citizens." -- Ben Stein
"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."
-- U.S. Senator Harry Reid
"There's no quick fix for this recession." -- President Barack Obama
"November simply marks the beginning of the next battle, the campaign
to retire Barack Obama." -- Skip MacLure
"September 11 was a shock to the American psyche and the American
system. As a result, we over-reacted." --Fareed Zakaria in "Newsweek"
And not to be missed is this quote from "Whistleblower" magazine:
"America -- without question the least racist nation on earth -- is
witnessing an outrageous upsurge in hardcore racism during the
administration of Barack Obama, the nation's first black president...
America's 'New Racism' is being intentionally created, encouraged, and
directed by the Obama administrationn itself."
And now some Random (but also Important) Afterthoughts . . .
Concerned about Obama's Labor Day economic proposals? Don't be.
No one, not even officials within the Obama administration, takes them very
seriously. Despite his promise that his $50 (or more) billion "not-another-
stimulus" plan "will not only create jobs immediately, it's also going to
make our economy hum over the long haul," a senior Obama official
(who understandably didn't want to be identified) said, "we're not trying to
put out an idea today that in October 2010 this is going to create a lot
of jobs. This is not what it is." The Washington Times also cited other
senior administrationn officials who admitted that it would do little to lower the
9.6 % unemployment rate anytime soon, and estimated that no new jobs will
be created until 2011 ... even assuming that Congress authorizes funding for the
six year Obama proposal. As commentator Ben Johnson pointed out, "The
plan Obama is selling to cure employment today ('immediately') will not
be in effect fully until after his second term (or, we pray, his successor's
And those highly touted as "hopeful" Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,
don't get excited about them yet. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president,
and co-negotiator with Benjamin Netanyahu, said this week that there will be
no compromises on the Palestinians' part; Israel borders must be the 1948
armistice lines; Jerusalem must be a divided city to accomodate the Palestinian
capitol; Palestinian Arabs must be allowed to populate Israel so it can no
longer be considered an Israeli state, and no Jews can be allowed in Palestinian
areas. In short: his pre-conditions for the peace talks are that Israel must give
the Palestinians everything they want. Abbas told Al-uds al-Araby newspaper
that if forced to yield on issues of refugees or borders, he would "pack his
bags and leave." Dr. Mike Adams of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, made
this evaluation of the peace talk proposal, "The Obama Plan for peace is
actually Israel's death warrant in disguise. ... This is a direct attack on
the prophecy of God, and it will bring a horrible curse on America if the
president succeeds." As Christians we must never forget that God regards
Jerusalem as His city, and we are directed in Palm 122:6, "Pray for the peace
Remember: last week we discussed "It's the economy, Stupid." Well,
the Obama's acknowledgement of that Clinton principle was another speech,
this time proposing a "non-stimulus" infusion of $50 billion for some future
infra-structure program that might provide some jobs in 2011 or at some time
in the future. But taking another look at the more immediate economic picture,
in about 114 days -- January 1, 2011 -- the largest tax increases in our nation's
history will take effect. The new tax program has been described as hitting us
in three waves -- Wave #1, the expiration of the so-called "Bush Tax Cuts;
Wave #2, Obamacare, with at least 20 new or higher taxes included; Wave #3,
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax hikes.
And this is when we will recall some of the Obama promises. On September
12, 2008, in the midst of his campaign, "I can make a firm pledge. Under
my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form
of tax increases ... Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your
capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes." Then, as president, in a speech
to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24, 2009, "If your family earns less
than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime.
I repeat: not a single dime."
It is to correct this sort of abuse that we must act wisely when we vote on Nov.
2 -- now just 55 days away -- bearing in mind the words of Ronald Reagan in
another difficult economic period, "Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises
are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States."
As we always say: we can learn from our Founding Fathers.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the
animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit
lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams, 1776
"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of
danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our
prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered... do we
no longer need His assistance?" -- Benjamin Franklin, 1787