Monday, November 01, 2010

Election Tomorrow!

By all accounts, it looks like the Republicans will take back the House, possibly the Senate as well.  I've been really surprised at how weak the Democratic response has been to the Tea Party and Republican ads and rhetoric.  Anyone who reads my blog knows that my opinions are that:
  • TARP bail-outs saved the world from a global depression, with many banks already having paid back substantial amounts.
  • Obama saved thousands of jobs and a big hit on the economy by bailing out GM and Chrysler, with them already having paid back substantial amounts.
  • The stimulus bill if anything may not have been enough, but is generally agreed by economists to have improved the economy.
  • The health care bill aims at good goals that coincide with Christian goals, although we can debate about the details.  The timing given the current debt is a question although something needs to be done and never is.
  • The key to the housing crisis was not the lending practices of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, although these no doubt need reformed as well.  It was what what Wall Street did with these debts, bundling them together and trading them, that created the economic tsunami.  This means that regulation of these things is key, the opposite trajectory of those posed to take power tomorrow.
  • Rhetoric about socialism or stealing from the people has a Christian sound but really is the typical syncretism of culture with Christianity.  It has little to do with biblical teaching read in context and in fact in many respects is ironically opposed to biblical values.
  • An approach to government that precludes it from "peripheral" good like supporting the arts or science or empowering the weak in the end will deconstruct America as we know it.
But the Democratic ads don't have the guts to take up these things... which amounts to a concession that those who oppose them are right.  This brilliant plan seems to have worked masterfully. ;-)

In other news, it was my week to post on the seminary blog and I chose the topic Engaging Worldly Powers.  Unfortunately for me, I'm up today at 3:30 to present at the Theological Seminar.  My topic is "Otherworldly Afterlife with Resurrection."  I'll have to go with PowerPoints since I've hardly had time to write a paper these days.  It is part of my "Four Afterlife Trajectories in Second Temple Judaism" series, based on research I did on a Fulbright in Germany in 2004.  Unfortunately, it took me 10 years to go from initial work to publication on my last scholarly book.  I hope I can beat that this time.


::athada:: said...

I still remember you presenting that at an Honors College seminar (right when you came back?), and I remember being kind of surprised that the Israelites didn't accept Yahweh as their personal savior so that their souls would go to heaven after they died. Never assume that lay people (and college freshman) would know something that might be so obvious to someone in university. Keeping stamping out ignorance :)

As for the Dems, they have done a really poor job advertising what the facts actually are, that and Fox is very successful at repeating Tea Party talking points.

I was surprised to find that taxes and gov't employment have actually dropped significantly since Jan. 09.

joetote said...

This is the most important election of my time. As I say below, our country's very survival depends on the electorate to come to their senses and stop this mad march to soviet style socialism.

"Finally, I want to once again address the past primaries and the future of our country in general. It is apparent beyond all doubt that the establishment on both sides are deathly afraid of the so called Tea Party (and thus the electorate in general) and they well should be! For those of you who prefer to live in a cave, the Tea Party from my view is not just about returning to conservative principles. The people who are aligning themselves behind this movement are looking for so much more. We are looking for men and women of principle! We want representatives that obey the will of the people, not their leaders or their own power lust! We want a return to the bedrock principles this country was founded on! We sure as hell do not want to be told we are racists, hate mongers or all the other names we are called just because we disagree with the direction this country is being taken. We believe in free speech, not "Obama says you will think and say as I want".

The Tea Party movement is many things to many people. To those in power, it is a threat. To those who believe in the hard core Marxist principles being espoused by this administration, it is a threat! For those who believe our country needs to subvert itself to the whims of Islamic Fanatics, or Euro Socialism or whatever else, it is a threat!

As such, there are way too many people who do not remotely understand what is happening here. Our fighting men and women, our forefathers who gave their blood and lives for this country, they understand! Unfortunately, the folks that have either had everything handed to them or instead have chosen to ride on the back of others instead of being responsible for themselves combined with the elected morons who realize keeping people reliant on government insures their power, they do not understand!

The Tea Party movement is not a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican party! A co-opted media led by a hard core left wing wanna be dictatorship government would want you to believe that it is in fact all about the Republicans. And they would be dead wrong! The Tea Party movement is a fight for the heart and soul of our country! It is a fight to return us to what made us the greatest country in the world! How sad that entrenched politicians on the right along with the those on the left cannot or refuse to understand such a basic tenet!

Anonymous said...

Ken, I wish the Democrats had you has their national media director. You could have promoted the Obama agenda of printing more money, artificially inflate the economy, encourage more consumption from an already broke consumer and government and remind voters of the huge new entitlement called healthcare that got crammed down their throats. The points you mentioned are exactly why the Democrats are going to get hammered tomorrow. American is not as ready for the Marxist shift of governing as you apparently are.

Ken Schenck said...

Joe, although I'm open to seeing things I don't see, your words just sound so confused to me. It's truly fascinating to me how this whole "Marxist" "socialist" hype has gained traction. When I was growing up in middle school in Florida in the 70s, we all made fun of the paranoid state legislature that made us take a course in the evils of communism. No rational consideration of the Obama administration will find his policies anywhere near as economically "socialist" as the Nixon administration, which fixed prices!!!

::athada:: said...

Looks like your readers want your spin-off politics blog to be titled "Republican Marxist"!

Allan R. Bevere said...

"The key to the housing crisis was not the lending practices of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, although these no doubt need reformed as well. It was what what Wall Street did with these debts, bundling them together and trading them, that created the economic tsunami. This means that regulation of these things is key, the opposite trajectory of those posed to take power tomorrow."

What you say about Wall Street is quite true, but I disagree with your comment that Freddie and Fannie were not key to the mortgage crisis. The mortgage crisis would have never begun had not the government strong-armed the banks into making sub-prime loans in the first place. It is true once the banks saw they could make a quick buck bundling the loans they wasted no time, but it was the politicians who started this mess.. and yes, both parties were responsible, but is was the Democrats during the Clinton years who concocted the plan.

JohnM said...

The latest report I heard on the economy(NPR by the way) didn't exactly leave me with an impression of "improved".

I'm not too sure about the "substantial amount's" paid back by the automakers either - I keep hearing about things that sound a lot like shell games played with public money. There wouldn't be any clever people in high places who do things like that would there?

I guess I'm one of those dead skunks in the middle of the road. I want to "deconstruct America as we know it" but rationally and carefully, and even then not as far as we could possibly go. I'm willing to agree there might be a baby or two in the bath water. Still, I think we'd better commence some deconstruction before the whole unwieldy fairy-tale theme park called America collapses under it's own weight.

JohnM said...

As for syncretism, it's the social gospel that always struck me that way -as syncretism of explicitly secular progressivism with Christianity.

I do agree the only thing scripture really tells us specifically about taxes is - pay them. Given our present circumstances I don't think very many people really pay too much in the way of taxes. The proper discussion is how taxes ought to be collected and what to do with the money.

::athada:: said...

I think everyone agrees (except the libertarian apostles) that a complete meltdown would have been bad, bad, bad. But you are right that the market needs to "run it's course" to a certain degree. I was confused by logic of the $8,000 first-time home credit - people got in over their heads with mortgages, the oversupply helped caused prices to tank, and now we're encouraging people to buy more of them? Ditto w/ Cash for Clunkers.

The main thing both parties more or less agree on is the cult of consumerism & using GDP to measure the progress of a society.

Anonymous said...

I will be glad when the whole election thing is over for the year!!