Since this has come up:
Since this has come up:
Chapter XXIX of The Screwtape Letters, but you probably knew that already.
Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember; Hatred has its pleasures. It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of Fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate. And Hatred is also a great anodyne for shame. To make a deep wound in his charity, you should therefore first defeat his courage.
Now this is a ticklish business. We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame. The danger of inducing cowardice in our patients, therefore, is lest we produce real self-knowledge and self-loathing with consequent repentance and humility. And in fact, in the last war, thousands of humans, by discovering their own cowardice, discovered the whole moral world for the first time. In peace we can make many of them ignore good and evil entirely; in danger, the issue is forced upon them in a guise to which even we cannot blind them.
Fortunately, things are not nearly as bad now as they were when the book was written. But the basic gist remains relevant, methinks.
I can think of at least three arguable, intellectually coherent reasons for being against the death penalty; I do not share that position, but I can do a death penalty opponent the elementary courtesy of treating his or her opinion with respect. So I don’t get upset when somebody says No death penalty, even for scumbags – and means it.
I do get upset when a politician abandons principle for raw political expediency. Like, say, Boston mayor (and Democrat) Tom Menino.
…Mayor Tom Menino, in an uncharacteristic turn, called for the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“I have never supported the death penalty but I will say in this one I might think it’s time this individual serves his time with the death penalty,” Menino said.
Via AoSHQ. That’s just obscene: if you don’t believe in the death penalty, then don’t believe in the death penalty. But don’t switch your beliefs just because it’s suddenly politically expedient. It’s cowardly (in a tough-guy way), hypocritical, cynical, and – depending on how you read Article I, Section 10’s prohibition of ex post facto laws – actually unconstitutional, to boot.
See if you can figure out what is missing from Obama’s statement on the Libya embassy attacks.
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.
I was going to get awesomely cranky about how suddenly Barack Obama is nostalgic about campaigning against that nice John McCain, but then I realized: feeding a man’s narcissism by writing, long involved posts about him helps neither you, nor the narcissist. So in the interests of Obama’s own mental hygiene, let me be brief:
In 2008 the Obama campaign released an ad that mocked John McCain for his inability to send an email – which infuriated people, because the reason why he can’t send an email is because his arms have never really worked properly after the North Vietnamese got done torturing him. When Obama’s Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden dared mildly apologize for it, the Obama campaign humiliated Biden by having their lackey Bill Burton come out and retract Biden’s apology.
This is what passed for ‘civility’ in the 2008 election cycle – but I can understand why Obama would get all misty-eyed about those days. It’s natural for a coward to remember fondly the times when his fights were all with people who wouldn’t – or couldn’t – fight back…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Alternate title: Politically flabby Democrat (in comfortably Democratic seat) suddenly remembers that home state is losing a Congressional District; and that the redistricting process is fully in the hands of the other party*.
Which is probably too long a title, at that. Anyway, Mikey Doyle is very, very sorry that the Tea Party thought that he was talking about them when he started spouting off about terrorists:
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said he wasn’t comparing Tea Party members with terrorists when he used the word during a closed-door caucus meeting Monday, but was expressing frustration at President Obama’s negotiating tactics, which he said gave in too quickly to GOP demands in the debt ceiling debate.
“Had I simply said hostage-taker, there wouldn’t be this reaction. I certainly wasn’t out to defame anybody,” said Doyle, who couldn’t recall the exact statement he made. Continue reading Mike Doyle (D, PA-14) backtracks on ‘terrorist’ comments.
I cannot conclude but otherwise.
[UPDATE] Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers.
Tim Bishop (D, NY-01) is having something called a “health care reform rally” on Thursday, at (of all things) SEIU’s Hicksville NY offices (1199 Duffy Ave, starts at 1 PM). This is otherwise known as “over twenty miles outside the borders of NY-01.” Bishop is of course one of the first Democrats holding down a Red district (NY-01 is a R+0) to discover that his constituents are paying attention to his votes: he rather famously canceled his future in-district meetings. Presumably he assumes that his constituents won’t drive twenty miles to complain.
Meanwhile, Leonard Boswell (D, IA-03) has at least decided to stay in-district for his “health care listening post” – barely. Although his district includes Des Moines, Boswell has instead decided to travel 80 miles east this week to the Sigourney Public Library (Thursday, 2 PM). He won’t be actually having any meetings on the subject in the Des Moine area (where the vast majority of his constituents live) for another two weeks. Still, at least he’s having them; apparently being D+1 can make the difference between in and out of district.
Neither one of these two Congressmen are freshmen, and neither were considered to be hardline liberals before this Congress. And both of them are clearly not interested in facing their constituents just quite yet. Very interesting, that.
Crossposted to RedState.
It’s dead during the term of this administration, and never mind what TPMDC thinks. I’d give credit for the Obama administration for at least not duplicating the public relations fiasco that the Clinton administration got itself into sixteen years ago, but do we really want to reward a lack of intestinal fortitude?
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said Thursday that Democratic leaders won’t push to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy governing gay service in the military until 2010.
“I believe we should and will do ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ next year,” said Frank, a co-chairman of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equality Caucus. “We haven’t done the preliminary work, the preparatory work. It would be a mistake to bring it up without a lot of lobbying and a lot of conversation.”