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Enough Already

What is it about this election that causes people to say absolutely crazy things?  John McCain is a tsaddik [1]!  John McCain is like Tsar-Martyr Nikolai [2]!  What profound confusion or monomania can people suffer from that allows them to compare blithely one of the worst presidential candidates in my lifetime to revered and holy figures?  I would not show disrespect to my Catholic friends by comparing the ridiculous members of our political class, particularly one known for his reflexive support for wars that have directly harmed Catholic communities in the Near East, to Blessed Karl of Austria [3] for any reason.  Endorse McCain as the lesser of two evils if you must, but spare us the sacrilege.

On the specific policy matter at hand, there is an assumption here that the so-called Freedom of Choice Act would pass the House in which conservative Democrats make up a fifth of the majority.  This is a very questionable assumption, to say the least.

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5 Comments To "Enough Already"

#1 Comment By MikeInMass On October 28, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

Zmirak’s analogy is flawed in many ways, but, uncharacteristically, you are overlooking something obvious: the disturbing resemblance to Tsar Nikolaj II of none other than the current president and wanna-be Emperor Of All The Americas George II.

The church may have recognized the late tsar as a passion-bearer (not a martyr, and there is a difference) for his conduct in Bolshevik captivity, but as Solzhenitsyn pointed out his domestic policy while still in power was that of a ninny. By clinging to autocracy, Nikolaj alienated many of the best elements of Russian society, who might otherwise have worked to stabilize the country within a Duma with real power. So too Bush with his “signing statements.”

Nikolaj devastated Russia by refusing to back out of a war from which his own country could profit little, waged primarily for the benefit of foreign “allies” who later proved ungrateful. Bush, Iraq, and Israel can be dropped right into place here.

It’s not February 1917 as Zmirak would have it. It’s October, and the choice is between a Republican police state with, perhaps, fewer summary executions than Kolchak would have liked; and Bolsheviks poised to institute a radical new order.

The historical analogy can only be carried so far, since Bush will not actually be locked up with his family to await execution.

But it is interesting to note that when Kerensky came to visit the ex-tsar while he was under house arrest in Yekaterinburg, Nikolaj wrote in his diary of his surprise at finding out someone he had viewed as an enemy turned out to have honest love for Russia, and wished he could have worked with the man while he had the chance. I don’t think Bush has the intellectual honesty, or the patriotism, to think a thought like that.

#2 Comment By Casey Khan On October 29, 2008 @ 6:40 am

In defense of Zmirak, he is irreverent in an equal opportunity manner. Consider his latest column on Gluttony where he takes St. Thomas Aquinas to task:

“Translated for modern Christians, this item of Thomist Powerpoint calls to mind the point at which, during a drawn-out, 45-minute liturgy, your meditation on the Eucharistic meal gives way to fantasies of brunch. Behold the Eggs of Benedict. . .”

#3 Comment By davegnyc On October 29, 2008 @ 8:17 am

I thought the analogy was excellent in a humorous over the top way.

It came the closest yet to getting me to consider voting for McCain.

#4 Comment By L.T. On October 29, 2008 @ 10:26 am

So pro-lifers are supposed to count on conservative Dems to keep FOCA from passing under Obama? You sound like Kmiec. Of course, it’s not 100% certain! But if I wanted to pick the guy who would most likely make FOCA happen there’s no way I’d pick McCain. Is that really some baseless “assumption” by those wacky Catholic pro-lifers?

#5 Comment By Daniel Larison On October 29, 2008 @ 11:36 am

I don’t want pro-lifers to “count on” politicians from either party, and I am not certain that there would be enough Democratic nays to help stop it, but when the main example of the coming Bolshevik-like persecution (!) someone offers is FOCA it might matter whether that bill is going to make it through Congress. If all the talk of Bolsheviks was just exaggeration for effect, fine. For that matter, if you want to say why conservatives should never consider voting for Obama, FOCA is a good example to cite. It just doesn’t follow that you endorse a rather crazy warmonger who supports wars that wreck ancient Christian communities.

Without rehashing the whole Kmiec discussion, his argument is that Obama will actually favor measures that reduce the number of abortions, for which I have seen no evidence. My argument is that the Democratic majority is going to be much less able to push through legislation this radical on a hot-button social issue when their House majority relies on a huge number of moderate and conservative Dems in contested districts.