Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Political Tuesdays: Witchcraft and uh... That

Delaware Republican Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell is a political powder keg waiting for the fuse to ignite it. Even for me, one who often avoids the media side-shows for thoughtful political dialog - this is a opportunity of a lifetime.

I have been hoping to write about a couple of important topics before the elections next month, but I cannot pass up and opportunity to write about Christianity, masturbation and witchcraft!

I have to laugh as I watch ABC's George Stephanopoulos try to keep a serious tone as he plays the MTV clip of O'Donnell talking about the sin of masturbation. I can't even imagine how much Bill Maher is enjoying himself with what he thinks in a right-wing Christian lunatic. Let's face it, even Carl Rove is running gun-shy over the TEA Party's favored DE candidate for Senate.

CBS News says the vibrant senatorial candidate is a clearly a criminal for the way she used $20,000 in campaign funds, [allegedly] for personal use.

All I can say is look, in a world that also includes Bill Clinton and Charlie Rangal, there is nothing new under that sun.

Regardless of what side you are on, no one is immune from greed, selfcenteredness and moral failure.

So why do we vote for certain candidates anyway? Because they are Christians, because they are conservatives, because they like ponies - what?

Before I tell you what I really think of Christine O'Donnell, let's take a look at what the TEA Party represents on the basis of issues, and their merit.

The name is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already. It started as a grass roots alternative to big spending Republicans (and continued by the Democrats) who fed the national debt machine. For anyone who has ever labored under heavy debt, trillions in funds spent backed by thin air is a real concern.

My friend says that most folks tend to feel they are taxed more than they really are. Hey, I read my check stub, it's a lot, it's a real lot. It is hard to see what comes out in terms of sales and property taxes in addition to what I am seeing to Uncle Sam. He also says that I am getting all these services, roads, national security and that wort of stuff. Yeah, I pay $2.50 per day to go to work on the Mass Pike each day, I pay oceans in gasoline tax every year and I am sure I forgot something.

I have another friend that says he'd gladly give up 50% of his income if he got guaranteed health-care, and retirement benefits at age 62. He's 57, and like most older Americans, health and retirement are looming costs on his horizon. As a pot-smoking 22-year-old, I doubt he would have said that.

That said, the TEA party gets all sorts of retarded media coverage, not because of what they stand for, but what they stand against. Funny how the media is all over O'Donnell for falling behind in her taxes, her mortgage and her student loans. Why don't they send her a bailout? I'm just saying. And honestly is laughable when you see how many of Obama's cabinet; Giethner, Sibelius, Daschle to name a few are/were not behind in their income taxes, they just didn't pay them. Double standards are dangerous.

Getting past all the character noise, and media spin - and a Senate that includes Al Franken, what is Miss O'Donnell's platform, and is it viable, and why have folks put nearly $2 million into her campaign fund?

She proclaims the following political positions:

- Believes jobs are created by tax cuts to business, and should be in the private sector.
- Believes in strong national security.
- Believes that the national debt and spending is out of control.
- Believes the sanctity of life, even for the unborn.
- She supports a market based approach to solving energy problems
- Supports the repeal of Obamacare
- Is supporter of the 2nd Amendment

I don't agree with her on energy, and I doubt we'll repeal Obamacare- but hopefully we can amend it so that it is more useful to the consumers, and less profitable for healthcare unions and insurance companies.

So what do you think, would it be better to have a tax-and-spend Democrat Chris Coons (and did she ever make the tax-and-spend Republican mad!) in there, or would you take a chance on Christine O'Donnell? After all the Senate seats, regardless of what state they are from, are very powerful and will affect you.

I still haven't decided.

13 comments:

Tracy said...

Gosh that's a hard one David. While I am supportive of O'Donnell's platform, she's such a nut that it's hard to tell what she'll really do.

Rick Yushenko said...

Let’s talk about the process for a Christian to select a political candidate.

1) Find all the candidates. Sometimes a Dark Horse or Third party candidate fits the later criteria.
2) Determine which candidates are Christians.
a. Necessary because the candidate’s ethical and behavioral background is rooted in their spiritual choices.
b. Note that a non-believer can still be the better choice after all the evidence is in. “I also believe that God is able to use non-Christians as well as Christians.”
3) Of the Christian candidates, determine which are “social Christians” and which are real Christians.
a. Just because someone has said that they have accepted Jesus as their Savoir, has attended church regularly, has spoken publicly of their faith, and has written about their personal relationship with Christ does not make them a real Christian.
b. One determinant for real Christianity: “Anyone can say I am Christian, but if they can't say Jesus is Lord, than I am suspect.”
4) ISSUES, starting with the most important
a. Abortion
b. Energy
c. Environment
d. Economy
e. Defense
f. Self defense
5) CONDUCT
a. What has the candidate done in the past?
b. If the candidate sinned, have they repented?
c. If they say they repented, did they really?

At this point, we should have good idea of who might win (O’Donnell is an example that it might not be just the R or D); what their spiritual compass is; where they stand on the issues; and whether they “walk the talk” in their personal life.

Rick Yushenko said...

With these rules, let’s analyze the Delaware Senatorial candidates.

FIND ALL THE CANDIDATES
There are three active candidates.
Chris Coons (D), New Castle County Executive, Ex-New Castle County Council President & Attorney.
Christine O'Donnell (R), Political Consultant & '08 Nominee.
Jim Rash (Libertarian), State Party Chair, Realtor & Navy Veteran.

DETERMINE WHICH CANDIDATES ARE CHRISTIANS
Chris Coons’ website does not state his religion. He did earn a Master’s in Ethics from the Yale Divinity School. UNDETERMINED.
Christine O’Donnell was raised a Catholic and converted to evangelical Christianity as an adult. She has worked on Christian issues as a board member and spokesperson for multiple groups. CHRISTIAN.
Jim Rash’s website does not state his religion. UNDETERMINED.

SEPARATE THE SOCIAL CHRISTIANS FROM THE REAL CHRISTIANS
Chris Coons has a Masters’ degree from Yale Divinity school and has worked with multiple community service non-profits (including the South African Council of Churches). These are “good works”. However, his website does not state even his religion, let alone meet the “Jesus is Lord” criteria. SOCIAL CHRISTIAN.
Christine O’Donnell has worked with multiple faith based charitable groups, including Enough is Enough (anti-pornography) and Concerned Women for America (biblical principle issue group). These are “good works”. Although Christine’s website does not discuss her relationship with Christ, her background is twenty years of faith based work. REAL CHRISTIAN.
Jim Rash’s website notes that he is a military veteran, and national service is “good works”. He also says that he worked in rock-and-roll and contemporary Christian radio. However, he never states his faith nor relationship with Christ. SOCIAL CHRISTIAN.

Rick Yushenko said...

ISSUES – ABORTION
Chris Coons’ website says that, “Abortion should remain safe, legal, and rare”. PRO-CHOICE.
Christine O’Donnell’s website says, “Strongly believes in protecting the sanctity of life at ALL stages.” PRO-LIFE.
Jim Rash’s position is somewhat more complicated. “I am opposed to abortion. That’s not to say that there is never a reason for a woman or couple to decide that, for her or them, due to unforeseen circumstances, an abortion would be appropriate. That's an issue between the woman or couple and her or their doctor. I will never vote to federally fund abortions.” PRO-CHOICE.

ISSUES – ENERGY
Chris Coons believes that America needs to develop domestic non-petroleum based energy sources. PRO-ENERGY INDEPENDENCE.
Christine O’Donnell believes that the current system is working. PRO-MARKET BASED ENERGY.
Jim Rash believes that the current system is working, but that energy subsidies should be removed. PRO-MARKET BASED ENERGY.

ISSUES - ENVIRONMENT
Coons wants to increase the efficiency of energy production and usage, which will reduce pollution.
O’Donnell and Rash do not have environmental issue statements.

ISSUES – ECONOMY
Coons wants to focus on American job creation by retraining workers and making trade agreements that support new American jobs. Coons advocates the regulation of the financial sector.
O’Donnell “Believes jobs are created when businesses are freed from endless taxes and bureaucratic red tape.”
Rash believes that banks should be encouraged to return the gold standard.

ISSUES – DEFENSE
“Chris Coons approaches military and foreign policy matters as a Truman Democrat. Our nation is best served by a robust, engaged foreign policy, based in diplomacy and strategic partnerships with other nations. We need a well-trained, sophisticated national security and intelligence capability, and policies and practices that recognize the link between security, development, fair trade and human rights.”
O’Donnell – “Believes terrorism is an act of war requiring the full force of our intelligence and military resources rather than granting terrorists precious Constitutional rights and outsourcing our foreign policy to the U.N.”
Rash, the only veteran of the three, advocates the disengagement of American military and spending from foreign lands, and a much more limited use of American war powers abroad.

ISSUES – PERSONAL DEFENSE
Coons does not list Second Amendment nor crime issues.
“Christine’s strong support of 2nd Amendment rights has earned her an “A” rating from the NRA.”
Rash is a strong Second Amendment supporter.

Rick Yushenko said...

ISSUES – ABORTION
Chris Coons’ website says that, “Abortion should remain safe, legal, and rare”. PRO-CHOICE.
Christine O’Donnell’s website says, “Strongly believes in protecting the sanctity of life at ALL stages.” PRO-LIFE.
Jim Rash’s position is somewhat more complicated. “I am opposed to abortion. That’s not to say that there is never a reason for a woman or couple to decide that, for her or them, due to unforeseen circumstances, an abortion would be appropriate. That's an issue between the woman or couple and her or their doctor. I will never vote to federally fund abortions.” PRO-CHOICE.

ISSUES – ENERGY
Chris Coons believes that America needs to develop domestic non-petroleum based energy sources. PRO-ENERGY INDEPENDENCE.
Christine O’Donnell believes that the current system is working. PRO-MARKET BASED ENERGY.
Jim Rash believes that the current system is working, but that energy subsidies should be removed. PRO-MARKET BASED ENERGY.

ISSUES - ENVIRONMENT
Coons wants to increase the efficiency of energy production and usage, which will reduce pollution.
O’Donnell and Rash do not have environmental issue statements.

Rick Yushenko said...

ISSUES – ECONOMY
Coons wants to focus on American job creation by retraining workers and making trade agreements that support new American jobs. Coons advocates the regulation of the financial sector.
O’Donnell “Believes jobs are created when businesses are freed from endless taxes and bureaucratic red tape.”
Rash believes that banks should be encouraged to return the gold standard.

ISSUES – DEFENSE
“Chris Coons approaches military and foreign policy matters as a Truman Democrat. Our nation is best served by a robust, engaged foreign policy, based in diplomacy and strategic partnerships with other nations. We need a well-trained, sophisticated national security and intelligence capability, and policies and practices that recognize the link between security, development, fair trade and human rights.”
O’Donnell – “Believes terrorism is an act of war requiring the full force of our intelligence and military resources rather than granting terrorists precious Constitutional rights and outsourcing our foreign policy to the U.N.”
Rash, the only veteran of the three, advocates the disengagement of American military and spending from foreign lands, and a much more limited use of American war powers abroad.

ISSUES – PERSONAL DEFENSE
Coons does not list Second Amendment nor crime issues.
“Christine’s strong support of 2nd Amendment rights has earned her an “A” rating from the NRA.”
Rash is a strong Second Amendment supporter.

Rick Yushenko said...

CONDUCT
Chris Coons has no scandals nor crimes in his background. From his website, he has worked in business as a job creator, in the public sector reducing crime by 12%, and cut millions in wasteful spending. He has a list of charities that he has worked for.
Christine O’Donnell has struggled with personal financial problems all her life. She has been accused repeatedly of using political campaign contributions for personal use. In her youth, she freely admits having sinned, but has since repented.
Jim Rash is a military veteran who currently works in real estate. There are no reported crimes nor scandals in his background.

Rick Yushenko said...

SCORING
No stated position gets a 0. Positions that agree with F&G issues get a 1, disagree get a -1. Christianity is rated from 0 (not), 1 (social) and 2 (real).
Chris Coons
Social Christian, 1 point.
Abortion, -1 point.
Energy, 1 point.
Environment, 1 point.
Economy, 1 point.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 0 points.
Conduct, 1 point.
TOTAL: 5 points

Christine O’Donnell
Real Christian, 2 points.
Abortion, 1 point.
Energy, -1 point.
Environment, 0 points.
Economy, 1 point.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 1 point.
Conduct, 0 points.
TOTAL: 5 points

Jim Rash
Social Christian, 1 point.
Abortion, -1 point.
Energy, -1 point.
Environment, 0 points.
Economy, 0 points.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 1 point.
Conduct, 1 point.
TOTAL: 2 points

SUMMARY
It’s a tie between Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell.

Rick Yushenko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
photogr said...

Well we do need candidates that support getting the mess in Washington cleared out and are truthful. But the last requirement is certainly going to be a hard one to fill.

Rick Yushenko said...

@photgr
President James Earl Carter came the closest of any President in my lifetime to meeting the criteria I set out. He was a genuine Born Again Christian, ahead of his time on energy and the environment (though both LBJ and Nixon did good work on the environment), and a lifelong hunter and gun owner.

He started the post-Vietnam rebuilding of the military, but failed to get the nation out of the '70's stagflation. That and the mishandling of the hostage situation led to his failure to win re-election.

Here's the score, ie, how does his platform line up with the F&G platform? For the places I "don't know", I marked "don't know" (I've got work to do and not the time to look it up).

Real Christian, 2 points.
Abortion, (don't know).
Energy, 1 point.
Environment, 1 point.
Economy, (don't know).
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 1 points.
Conduct, 1 point.
TOTAL: 7 points

Rick Yushenko said...

Christine O'Donnell has continued to misrepresent her educational background.
http://tinyurl.com/385gdkx

This is more than trivial errors, given that she was repeatedly warned about this misrepresentation and continued the practice. Now this falls into recent, repeated deceit, earning a negative conduct score.

Chris Coons
Social Christian, 1 point.
Abortion, -1 point.
Energy, 1 point.
Environment, 1 point.
Economy, 1 point.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 0 points.
Conduct, 1 point.
TOTAL: 5 points

Christine O’Donnell
Real Christian, 2 points.
Abortion, 1 point.
Energy, -1 point.
Environment, 0 points.
Economy, 1 point.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 1 point.
Conduct, -1 points.
TOTAL: 4 points

Jim Rash
Social Christian, 1 point.
Abortion, -1 point.
Energy, -1 point.
Environment, 0 points.
Economy, 0 points.
Defense, 1 point.
Personal defense, 1 point.
Conduct, 1 point.
TOTAL: 2 points

SUMMARY
Chris Coons, 5 points
Christine O'Donnell, 4 points
Jim Rash, 2 points

Chris Coons is the preferred F&G candidate.

David said...

@Rick - thanks for all your thoughtful posts! I am glad I don't have to make a choice in DE.

We have an opportunity to make a change here, but in the redistricting that is coming since the census, they'll probably toss a Republican.

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