Posts Tagged ‘iowa’

Iowa Evangelicals vote for a Mormon and a Catholic

January 4, 2012

A generation ago, Iowa Evangelicals would have regarded last night’s results as a sad display of spiritual decay in the GOP. A Mormon beats a Catholic by 8 votes, followed by a social libertarian who rarely ever mentions God? Results like that would have infuriated Pat Robertson in 1980.

The acceptance of Mormons and Catholics by Evangelicals is NOT an indication that religion is no longer important in politics, or that religious voters prefer to keep Christianity out of politics. What it shows is simply that the religious right has puts its differences with Mormons, Catholics and Jews aside while it takes on its biggest enemy: American secularism.

Christianity teaches us that there is only one way to God, and yet, as we have seen in recent decades, some of the most prolific promoters of that message are willing to make alliances with supposed heathens and heretics to achieve a common goal.

For instance:

The Evangelical movement sees the Israeli Jewish population as a protector of the Holy Land from Muslims, which is curious, since it seems nearly impossible that Muslims could do worse than kill the supposed son of God himself.

Similarly, the Evangelical right has warmed considerably to Catholics, such as Rick Santorum. Sure, some might regard the Pope as the anti-Christ, but he’s still a hell of a lot better than Planned Parenthood.

Evangelicals are probably more reluctant to elect a Mormon, but at the end of the day, there are only a handful of states that have a cultural and political character more friendly to conservative Christians than Utah. A pro-life Mormon beats the hell out of a pro-choice Muslim, which is apparently the status quo.

The Sconz went to see Mitt Romney in Iowa

January 3, 2012

It didn’t occur to me until Sunday night, on the eve of a federal holiday that I didn’t know how to spend. “We should go to Iowa!” I told Mrs. Sconz.

Four years ago, pops and I went up to New Hampshire for a couple days of political tourism and caught a barroom speech from Dennis Kucinich and then snuck into the press section at a John Edwards event. We tried in vain to see McCain and Hillary. On the way back to New Jersey, we heard that Obama was up by 10 points in the polls.  So Hillary cried… and won. And John McCain beat a Masschusetts flip-flopper who once described himself as “more liberal than Ted Kennedy.”

Mitt Romney has since changed. In fact, his tour bus in Dubuque was adorned with three inspiring words: “Conservative. Businessman. Leader.”

Although Romney was the GOP candidate I was least interested in seeing (I was hoping for Perry or Bachmann), his event was an interesting political specimen. The crowd at the paper warehouse was about 150 strong, made up of what seemed to be mostly middle-aged and older white collar types. There was only a handful of young people in the audience.

Romney gave a better speech than I ever expected him to give. He and wife Ann are definitely on their A-game. His joke about Ann “falling on da butt in Dubuque” four years ago was probably too wholesome for the average Madisonian, but it was delightfully risqué for the Iowa Republican base. His only target was President Obama; he made no mention of other GOP candidates. We’ll see tonight whether that was a good calculation on his part.

Later, I was interviewed by a Fox TV station from Rockford,IL while eating lunch with Mrs. Sconz at an Italian restaurant in Dubuque. Here’s the video that includes a few seconds of expert analysis from “Political Tourist Jack Craven [sic].”

Ron Paul’s big government position on right-to-work

December 29, 2011

To libertarians like Ron Paul, respect for private property and legal contracts is the only governance a society needs. For instance:

Should businesses be allowed to discriminate against customers based on race?

Of course. The owner is within his rights as a property owner to only admit his racial brethren, and for the government to require him to do otherwise is a violation of the holiest of a civilized society’s principles. Paul explains in his 2004 speech on the House floor decrying the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society.

Given that reasoning, shouldn’t we assume that Paul would also support the rights of businesses to enter into contracts with unions that require workers to pay union dues? From his website:

While Ron Paul supports the right of every American to join a private sector union if they wish, he believes, like most Americans, that forcing workers to pay union dues just to get or keep a job is wrong.

Unfortunately, over 75 years ago, the right to decide freely whether or not to join a labor union was taken away from American workers by Congress.

 Ron Paul’s exceptional record on Right to Work issues earned him the prestigious Everett Dirksen Award from the National Right to Work Committee.

At the very least, Paul’s position on right-to-work is anti-libertarian because it advocates the government outlaw a type of contract between individuals. To outlaw businesses from entering into certain contracts with unions is no different than outlawing sex contracts between a prostitute and a client or outlawing the sale of drugs, both positions that Paul vehemently opposes.