Friday, January 4, 2019

Transforming the Democrats

How things have changed...From The Hill:
The remaking of the Democratic Party was evident last week with the reaction to the decision to withdraw troops from Syria. There was a time when a sizable number of Democrats opposed undeclared wars and unending military campaigns. Now, they are appalled that Trump would not continue a war in one of the myriad countries with American troops engaged in combat operations. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the withdrawal a “Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin,” while Tim Kaine, David Cicilline, and other Democrats called it “irresponsible” or “hasty.” 
Of course, this “hasty” move is after seven years of intervention in the civil war, including personnel on the ground since 2012. Our military also has been in Iraq since 2003 and in Afghanistan since 2001. One study estimated the costs of the wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan at $5.6 trillion. More importantly, thousands of military personnel have been killed and tens of thousands have been wounded. Yet, Democrats now espouse the same lines denounced during the Bush administration. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, a bigoted campaign against Catholics. From The New York Post:
Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono (Democrats of California and Hawaii, respectively) are challenging the nomination of Brian Buescher to the US District Court for Nebraska because he belongs to a religious organization that takes positions they describe as “extreme.” Which organization? The Knights of Columbus. 
KOC, a philanthropic social group founded in 1882, is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. It has 2 million members who have raised more than $1.5 billion for charity in the past decade. Unlike, say, the University of Notre Dame, the KOC is one of those Catholic organizations that remains, not to put too fine a point on it, Catholic. Which is to say, it affirms Catholic teaching, including Catholic teaching on questions such as marriage, sexuality and abortion. Sen. Hirono says that these “extreme positions” should oblige Buescher to recuse himself from any case touching on the related issues, and both senators have pressured the nominee to resign from the organization entirely. 
There are several problems with that. For one, the Constitution explicitly forbids imposing any religious test for public office, which is what Sens. Harris and Hirono here propose to do for the federal judiciary. The second and related issue is that it is not the Knights of Columbus that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, but the Catholic Church. If a KOC member is ineligible to serve on the federal bench because of the beliefs of that organization, then every Catholic in the United States — and the world, for that matter, all 1.2 billion of them — is ineligible for similar office, since they belong to a much larger and much more prominent organization that is the source of those “extreme positions. (Read more.) 

No comments: