Romney Hits a Home Run on Marriage

Here’s one of the highlights of the most recent GOP debate, where Mitt Romney made a surprisingly strong case for the Federal Marriage Amendment. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it explained so clearly in so few words:  
I believe that the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level. You might wonder, why is that? Why wouldn’t you just let each state make their own decision? And the reason is because people move from state to state, of course, in a society like ours, they have children, as they go to different states, if one state recognizes a marriage and another does not, what’s the right of that child? What kind of divorce proceeding potential would there be in a state that didn’t recognize the marriage in the first place? There are – marriage is a status, it’s not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state, and as a result, marriage status relationships should be constant across the country.

"Even the pro-life movement has embraced the Left’s antipathy toward children." Say What?! – UPDATED With Unhinged Response

This RedState post has a powerful, important message about the devaluing of children in American culture. Which makes it all the more lamentable that the author, Rob Taylor, chose to muddy the water with a ludicrous smear of the pro-life movement:
Even the pro-life movement has embraced the Left’s antipathy toward children. Our most ardent advocates of life accept the idea that giving birth out of wedlock ruins the mother’s life, or that a teen mother who chooses not to abort is dealing with her “mistake.”


Children are not mistakes. They are not burdens or obstacles to our personal fulfillment. When we degrade childbirth and parenting, as imperfect as many situations are, we give license to the degradation of our children by a spoiled, selfish and resentful public. So often children are abused because the people surrounding them have been taught to hate them. We have all been taught that children stop you from living life to the fullest, they anchor you to a meaningless existence. Then we are aghast when that resentment is manifested?


[…]


What good is defunding Planned Parenthood in a society where Casey Anthony has fans and groupies that send her gifts? Our food banks are empty, our foster system is full and our neighbors are raping their children. We need to do more than “like” pro-life videos on Facebook to fix this.


We need to embrace the love of life that the Left, and especially the “pro-choice” movement, has been so successful at perverting. It is not our own lives we need to love, but the loves of the weakest among us. We need to convince everyone that children are a gift and that means doing more than saying so in forums or to other pro-life advocates. We need to show people we believe that.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Taylor has picked a disingenuous fight with various conservatives. Or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. As I challenged him last time he accused pro-lifers of not caring about unwed mothers:
Regarding single mothers, nobody on the Right argues that they should be disregarded. But what many conservatives *do* argue – that single motherhood isn’t a good trend, and that children need mothers AND fathers – is a message that conservatives cannot afford to lose sight of.

“Where is the pro-life movement when a woman doesn’t have an abortion?”

If you were more familiar with the movement you’re lecturing, you’d be able to answer that question yourself. The pro-life movement devotes at least as much time and energy to supporting adoption and crisis pregnancy centers as they do legislatively combating abortion.

He didn’t answer the challenge at the time. He does so for RedState’s commenters, though—badly. RedState’s commenters, particularly rightwingmom52, jerry39, and powertothepeople, do a great job refuting him, pointing out that he can’t actually substantiate this alleged epidemic of mother- and baby-hating pro-lifers who never bother to get off the couch.

This is a pattern with Rob Taylor, and I can’t help but wonder what motivates it. I initially thought it was mainly irrational personal animosity toward the individuals and groups he targets, but now I’m beginning to wonder if his two offensive RedState posts – first arguing that both sides of the aisle contribute to America’s moral decay, and now calling out both sides for devaluing America’s children – don’t point to another motive. Perhaps, in a variation of David Frum’s twisted approach to politics, Taylor has determined that his message will be taken more seriously if he cultivates a reputation as an equal-opportunity critic, and that it’s worth a lie here and there just to meet his conservatives-behaving-badly quota. (Speaking of which, isn’t it suspicious that he bashes pro-lifers who don’t do enough, but doesn’t have anything to say about actual pro-choicers on the Right?)

But that’s not how it works. Dishonesty—any dishonesty, for any reason—just corrupts the message and marks the messenger as someone not to be trusted or relied upon. Frum destroyed his own reputation on the Right, and now Rob Taylor threatens to do the same. Which is a shame, because again, parts of Taylor’s message needs to be heard. But until he owns up to his misdeeds and adopts a genuine commitment to honesty and fairness, he’ll continue to be his cause’s own worst enemy.  
UPDATE: Taylor has a response in RedState’s comments, and it’s a doozy: 

Odd. You’re attempting to smear me with this unhinged rant about how I’m Frummian while ignoring that I did indeed point out a national campaign featuring Bristol Palin that claimed babies ruin lives. Perhaps you were too busy copying and pasting a large part of a blog post I’ve seen somewhere else and passing it off as an original comment (to prove my dishonesty) to actually read anything I wrote. The fact that the post was on your vanity website makes this that much sadder.

David Swindle assures me we know each other – that we “worked together” at NRB. But since my work at NRB consisted of sitting in my home office cranking out essays and collecting checks from the mailbox you can see how I wouldn’t really remember the people I “worked” with. And of course you could see why I’d ignore someone I’ve never heard of. But since you apparently have “challenged” me to something or the other let me respond here:

Kevin – I don’t know you, I don’t care about you and I’m not interested in you or conflict between us you have dreamt up. I write opinion pieces here for a certain audience and they get it. Other people won’t. This is life and if you want to think it bothers me that people get upset and call me names on the Internet or claim I’m not a real conservative or whatever have fun. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

If you want to “debate” me you could – but you don’t. You prefer to wait until it’s obvious I’m bored with the piece and have moved on to drop in and take your shot. If you wanted to make a point about the issue you could – but you really don’t have one except some personal animosity based on the fact I barely interested with you when we both collected checks from the same people. This is important because it illustrates my point.

You could have spent the last week collecting food for food banks or helping charities or even if you were just going to sit at a computer you could help get the word out about missing children. Instead you’ve been trying to get my attention. Why? Why aren’t you volunteering with children? Why aren’t you a Big Brother? Why aren’t you helping others instead of giving a crap about what some guy you’ve never met said on the web?

Because you don’t believe in doing those things. It’s that simple. You’re not pro-life. You might be anti-abortion but you’re not pro-life, you don’t care about the life or the culture. You care about getting retweeted and being stroked by other shut-ins than you do about the culture of death America has produced. That’s what I’d like to see change.

This tirade has no rational relationship to anything I’ve actually said. Taylor just keeps digging the hole deeper, lacking even the good sense to realize that pretending to know what his critics do or don’t do offline is a dead giveaway to his dishonesty. It’s really something to see how little regard the man has for his own reputation.

Guns Don’t Kill People, Political Correctness Does

Teachers reprimanded two seven-year-old boys for playing army games – because it amounted to ‘threatening behaviour’.
The youngsters were disciplined after they were spotted making gun-shapes with their hands.

Staff at Nathaniel Newton Infant School in Nuneaton, Warks., even told the boys’ parents to ‘reprimand’ them.

A father of one of the boys said: ‘This is ridiculous. How can you tell a seven-year-old boy he cannot play guns and armies with his friends.
‘Another parent was called over for the same reason.

‘We were told to reprimand our son for this and to tell him he cannot play “guns” anymore.

Obviously, it must be made perfectly clear to kids that guns aren’t toys, and if a teacher sees signs that someone doesn’t get that, then intervention in what he’s doing during recess is probably in order. But you don’t need to crack down on perfectly innocent and natural children’s fantasies to get that message across, any more than teaching them auto safety by keeping them from pretending to be NASCAR drivers

What prevents kids from misusing either is instilling in them a much broader ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy, as well as a basic respect for human life. The likelihood of misusing a gun isn’t an isolated issue that pops up in a vacuum. It’s either symptomatic of, or enabled by, broader problems that telling kids what they can’t play at recess just isn’t gonna solve, such as bad parents who don’t safely lock up their weapons or don’t teach their kids morality and responsibility.

Kids have always pretended to be cops or soldiers, and, the simple truth is that their primary purpose and characteristic of these institutions is protecting the rights of the community through lethal force, so if children are going to play army or police, then guns are going to be an unavoidable part of that scenario. And that’s not a bad thing. Because in the hands of the people these kids were emulating, guns aren’t intended to kill, but to protect. Children fantasizing about fighting fire with fire and standing up to genuine bad guys is not only natural, but healthy. 
Free societies need to pass a certain degree of fighting spirit, of warrior ethos, from one generation to the next – to venerate the fighting and punishing of evil, the willingness to fight and die if need be, etc. I’m not talking about anything close to Sparta-like indoctrination, but at the very least we shouldn’t be coming down on kids when their imaginations are captured by our society’s best and most vital role models.

Indeed, in their zeal to end “threatening behaviour” wherever it arises, the practical effect of such rules is more likely to be the message that military and police service aren’t something children should emulate or look up to, because they’re inherently “threatening” professions.

The Union Label: Let the Buyer Beware

Scott Walker’s detractors are just trying to protect teachers, right?

Wrong:

[I]n June 2010, long before Scott Walker was elected, Milwaukee Public Schools fired 482 teachers–including Megan Sampson, a young educator named an “outstanding first year teacher” by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English.

Sampson and 481 other teachers were laid off for two reasons having to do with collective bargaining: First, the collective bargaining agreement allowed the teachers’ union to choose between small reductions in health care benefits and layoffs. “Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different [health care] plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers,” Sampson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The teachers’ union felt differently. It chose layoffs. 

Second, the collective bargaining agreement guaranteed that teachers would be laid off on the basis of seniority rather than merit (or lack thereof). Therefore, Sampson, and likely a lot of other promising young educators got the axe, while the rest of the teachers, good and bad alike, were protected simply by the amount of time they’d put in.

And “for the children”? That’s crap, too:

A 2004 study by Hofstra University scholar Charol Shakeshaft on the sexual misconduct of public school teachers is a shocking wake-up call that was widely ignored by the public union-friendly press. And even worse, the public teachers unions protected many of the offending teachers and allowed them to quietly transfer to other schools where they victimized more children. “Examples include touching breasts or genitals of students; oral, anal, and vaginal penetration; showing students pictures of a sexual nature; and sexually-related conversations, jokes, or questions directed at students.”

Everyone agrees that the sex scandal in the Catholic Church is a tragedy of immense proportions and the media has done a good job at uncovering the network of cover-ups and lies that harmed children irreparably. But what would you say if I told you that the public school system, which is about the same size as the Catholic Church in America with a school in every parish, has more sexual abuse cases in ten years than the Catholic Church has had in fifty?

Another Cultural Wake-Up Call for the Right

My NRB colleague Megan Fox (no, not that one) has an extremely important post today highlighting ten examples of kids books from her public library, that are chock-full of left-wing propaganda and disgustingly immoral and destructive lessons about sex. Be sure to take the time to read them all:

It is not a coincidence that the majority of literature written for children is this type of smut. There is a real effort to control your child’s mind to turn them into masturbating plebeians who are more focused on orgasms and cell phone accessories than on the ever-approaching shackles of government.  If leftists can rope your children into behaving in ways that will ruin them financially, spiritually and intellectually then they will own them and their votes forever.

Children are ruled by their wants and childish impulses. They need guidance from stable parents in order to grow into  strong, responsible adults able to make good decisions and leave their corner of the world better than how they found it. None of the books on this list will help any child grow into a decent human being.

Amen, Megan! I’ve tackled this sort of thing before, too. I fear too many conservatives are AWOL on many of the crises they arguably have the most control over. Saving America begins with waking up to what’s going on right in front of you and standing up to restore sanity within your own community. The Right needs to understand that we shouldn’t expect to win major or lasting political victories if we don’t address the many ways in which the Left poisons our culture.

Odds & Ends

Sen. Jesse Helms has died. Rest in peace, Senator.

Now apparently four-year-olds
need sex ed. Yes, you read that right. How does one even reason with such insanity?

This Independence Day, Thomas Sowell
reflects on patriotism.

Now ABC News is noticing that Barack Obama has an Iraq problem. Looks like it’s
time to wake up from the Hope Dream.

A few weeks back I saw the Robin-Williams-runs-for-president comedy
Man of the Year. It was entertaining, but certainly no side-splitter. Williams’ “independent, third-way” character tilted left-of-center, predictably, but what really stands out is that, for a movie about the position of commander-in-chief, I don’t recall a single acknowledgement that there’s a war going on (I understand it’s a comedy, but still.). Kinda hits home the point that the war just isn’t real in the minds of Hollywood.

Speaking of movies, I went to see
The Incredible Hulk the other night, and thought it was great, the only drawback being some inconsistent quality in the CG work. It was everything the 2003 film should have been.