Unworthy of the shoes

Jonah Goldberg agrees with my assertion that Bush is no Reagan: Bush seems to have abandoned the rhetorical high ground. Reagan declared that government wasn’t the solution, it was the problem. In countless ways, Bush has been saying the reverse. And once you concede that the “government has to move” every time “somebody” hurts, you’ve pretty much abandoned your dogma and picked up the opposition’s. What makes things even worse is that while Bush may be good and decent and unfairly criticized for a host of things, he’s a terrible spokesman for conservative principles.

I suggest that this is because George W. Bush is not, and has never been, a conservative. Is there one thing he has done that Bob Dole, the tax collector for the welfare state, would not have? Less than a year later, even Republican professional consultants are admitting that the Medicare entitlement is a disaster in both practical and political terms, and just imagine if his immigration amnesty had not been so vehemently resisted by the Republican Congress.

I’d thought that the homogamy issue would give Bush a slam dunk in the election, but the president, timorous creature that he is, is afraid to run on the issue. I am beginning to suspect that Joseph Farah is correct and Bush’s cowardice and lack of conservative conviction may cost him the election, despite John Kerry’s incompetence.

Reagan, one must remember, was always considered an over-principled extremist. He dared to take risks. He also won by landslides in a political environment that was markedly less open to conservative ideas than today.

Mailvox: the truly important stuff

A friendly foe writes: It feels good, Vox. I was finally able to use one of your columns for its intended purpose today. That kind of scares, though. What’s next? Will I soon be following the advice of Rabbi Boteach, too? Anyway, I’m mainly writing to ask if you got to see that incredible France-England match. I’m guessing you probably don’t care much for my Bleus simply on principle but even you have to admit that Zidane was off the hook! That was unbelievable.

I don’t think he’ll have to worry about paying heed to the Rabbi’s advice, not unless he’s planning to become the next Britney Spears, Michael Jackson or Madonna. As for Les Bleus, I’m a little conflicted. I can’t hate the team that supplied Henry, Viera, Wiltord and Pires to my Gunners, but I really can’t cheer for them either.

Space Bunny and I watched the game and were very disappointed for the Lions. She’s a big England fan and felt especially bad for David Beckham. I was worried about that free kick, Zidane is still, as he once said, “at the pinnacle of his art”. And why is England STILL not practicing penalties – I take better penalties than that. I was surprised how flat the Blues were otherwise, though. I’m not impressed by Trezeguet, as he doesn’t make enough runs to keep teams from keeping two and three defenders on Henry. It didn’t hurt England that Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole know Henry better than anyone, of course. Still, I saw nothing in the Swiss-Croatian game that leads me to believe that England will have any trouble going through despite the loss.

Vassell for Owen and Hargreaves for Scholes were good moves, but I thought it was a huge mistake to put Heskey in for Rooney, although I never imagined it coming back to bite Sven as it did. Rooney had been effective in tracking back to help the midfielders all game; Heskey as usual, was nearly useless up front, then came back and plowed over Zidane to give up the fatal free kick. I know they keep naming Heskey to the squad because Rooney, Owen and Vassell are all so short, but I’d still rather have Kevin Phillips or even Teddy Sheringham as a fourth striker over him.

As for the other games, I suspect that Portugal’s “Golden Generation” will be viewed as more of an Age of Brass. Their loss to the USA in the World Cup is looking like less and less of a shock in hindsight, as Greece was clearly the superior team, their dearth of stardom notwithstanding. What an embarrassment for the hosts! Spain simply toyed with Russia, so much so that I wouldn’t be overly surprised if the Greeks upset the Russians and stole the second spot from Portugal.

In today’s games, I like Italy over Denmark and Sweden over Bulgaria. Both Scandinavian teams usually play well in the European championships, especially the Danes, but I think the Azzurri are due this year.

Mailvox: Wisdom is learning by someone else’s example

CR writes: As always, you are spot on. I was married to my first wife for 19.5 years (dated for 5.5 before marriage, met at 17 years old). Every troubling sign you list was there and grew worse during those 26 years. As a Catholic, I did two things that I do not regret (because they were right) that hurt me considerably: 1) I never divorced her (until she threatened to shoot our children which led to me finding out how mean she was to them in general), and 2) I never told anyone else about what was going on between us (I don’t recall the scripture passage but I remember that if someone doesn’t NEED to know something bad about someone else, you have no right to tell them).

Only after the fact, I found out that for several years she had been saying horrible things about me to everyone we knew. I found emails from her seeking advice on how to “divorce [me] and keep everything.” And so much more… At last that life is over for me…and I have remarried. My new wife of 4 years is such a wonder. I could go on forever talking about why…but the most important quality that makes this marriage such a fabulous marriage is quite simple…we both knew OURSELVES very well! No BS, no posturing, no game-playing, no disappointing revelations after the knot was tied. Your article is (as always) of the highest caliber. I am writing only to suggest that SELF-reflection is also very, very important. “Are you REALLY the man or woman you project to your intended spouse?”

The only thing I’d disagree with here is that one does not have an obligation to keep silent about another person’s misbehavior. This flies directly in the face of the Biblical notion of accountability; seeking counsel and wisdom on matters that directly concern you should never be confused with gossip.

That being said, better late than never, and CR’s story not only highlights the importance of being honest with yourself about your mate’s potential flaws, but also that we can learn from our mistakes.

The mind boggles

Bane writes: The lovely and talented Vox Day has some further insight on Islamo-Saxon weirdness.

So, when did Bane join VQPF? Zink, have you no standards?

Fictitious Ladies

Consider that the author of Proverbs, who presumably knew something about women, saw fit to write: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” If it was so hard for a king with 700 wives and concubines to discover one of noble character, it should come as no surprise that many young men, (and embittered older men), should see high-caliber women as being scarce to the point of utter myth.

Furthermore, it can be difficult for a man to find a woman who presents just the right mix of darkness and light to make a suitable partner for him. Few of us who have inhabited this fallen world and sampled its delectable but poisoned fruit would find an apt mate in the angelic near-saints that one occasionally meets being produced by Southern Bible colleges, while at the same time, a jaded girl with two abortions, 37 former lovers and divorced parents in her past is unlikely to hold much appeal for the man seeking a wife who will also be the mother of his children.

I knew Space Bunny was the right girl for me when she asked me why I seemed to be a little down one evening during our engagement and I told her that it was hard to accept that I was going to have to be good, when I had been so good at being bad. The fact that my sense of loss not only did not offend her, but saddened her, too, gave me the confidence to know that I had chosen the right girl for me. Her character is as honeyed as her hair, but has been sufficiently seasoned by events to prevent her inherent sweetness from cloying too much.

Now, I never recommend missionary dating, or dating someone in the hopes that they will change in any major way. But I have to admit that there is one exception to this rule, which is the woman who has never seriously considered Christianity, (or whatever is of supreme importance to you), and has a genuinely open mind about it.

My brother, who is exceptionally good-looking and occasionally an idiot of like proportions, had been lamenting that he simply could not find the kind of girl for whom he was searching. The women he met at church failed to share his interest in clothes, style and other ephemera, while those he met in the nightclubs were attractive to him but both spiritually dead and morally challenged.

My suggestion was that he try to find the middle ground and look for a girl in a nightclub who was willing to go to church with him. By this, I meant that if he went on a date with a girl he met out and about, he might casually introduce the concept of his regular church attendance and see what her reaction was. If she expressed curiousity or interest, invite her along and see her again. If, on the other hand, she expressed hostility, contempt or even neutrality, move on.

However, my brother has a disturbing tendency to take my suggestions literally. The next weekend, he saw a pretty girl at a night club, walked up to her and dropped an unusual opening line on her: “Would you like to go to church with me?” As she explained later, she thought that was a bizarre question and she had no particular interest in church, but she was perfectly up for going anywhere that this extremely handsome fellow might be interested in taking her. (Keep in mind, he can’t even show his drivers license to write a check without the girl behind the counter marveling at it.)

However, God works in mysterious ways, and that pretty girl in the nightclub is now the mother of my nephews and an active God-fearing Christian who I am pleased to call sister. Change is always possible, for Jesus Christ makes all things new. Do not, however, count on anything else changing an woman, especially not a woman who holds herself in active opposition to the source of love, truth and light.