Texas Liberal

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I Had Hoped Pastor Wright Would Be A Man Of Vision And Discipline—I Was Mistaken

I was at first very open to Pastor Jeremiah Wright.

I felt some of the clips playing over and over on TV made sense.

I felt in some respects Pastor Wright was mirroring Martin Luther King in asking if America was in many ways a wicked nation that possibly merited judgement.

(Please click here for a Martin Luther King reading list.)

Beyond the public issues, Pastor Wright also reached me on a personal level.

At least according to family lore, I’m descended from people who were on the Mayflower.

People on the Mayflower were not at home with the society they were born into.

In my late teens and and early 20’s, I was a 1980’s Midwestern hardcore punk rocker.

Without exaggerating the bent of people who—for the most part—lived as others do, this was a crowd that had little affection for the tone and temper of American society.

There was definitely a Puritan tendency among punk rockers—A rejection of what was taking place around them.

I have a measure of sympathy for homeschoolers and Black Muslims.

They look around and are repulsed. Why wouldn’t they be?

So I welcomed Pastor Wright. I thought he might be a new voice. I thought he might have the discipline and personal austerity to reject the culture and add a new and needed dimension to the public discussion.

Nope.

Jeremiah Wright is just another Andy Warhol ( photo below) 15 minutes-of-fame media hog. He says he hates the culture, but really he loves it. He found himself in the glare of lights cast by the bigots and idiotic cable channels, and he could not resist the starring role.

Not only that, he acted out of anger at Barack Obama instead of simply making his case for good or ill in a calm and disciplined way.

Pastor Wright has no obligation to help Barack Obama. But it is hard to see how he is serving his God or anybody else with his current conduct.

Please see the picture of Pastor Wright at the top of this post with another man who lacks discipline and self-respect.

Below is Jeremiah Wright’s secular idol along with Jimmy Carter. After a rough Presidency and rejection at the polls, Jimmy Carter made a patient step-by-step case that he was in fact a man of decency and vision.

Pastor Wright could still follow that better course–final judgement is not up to me–but he sure does not seem like a prophet or a leader of any kind at this point.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Senator Clinton Pandering On Gas Tax Holiday

Senator Hillary Clinton wants to repeal the federal gas tax for the summer.

This is a bad idea.

(Senator John McCain also supports this idea. But I expect nothing from Mr. McCain.)

I’ve advocated a Fonz-like cool as we select between Senator Clinton and Barack Obama. The bottom line is winning in November.

But this is a policy difference and a fair topic for discussion.  

The money collected from this tax goes into repairing roads and bridges.

Here is a story about last year’s Minneapolis bridge collapse. 

Senator Clinton says a windfall profits tax on oil companies could make up the lost revenue.

Do you see that idea getting 60 votes in the Senate?

Senator Obama correctly opposes this tax “holiday.”

This NPR blog post discussing the issue suggests this proposal might even increase gas prices.

If lower prices make for more summer driving, than supply will be restricted and prices will go up.

Here is a Portland Oregonian editorial against this proposal.

Paying taxes isn’t a penalty or even a burden. It’s the price we pay for living in a society.

With support of this gas tax holiday notion, Senator Clinton undermines the principles of the Democratic Party and, one supposes, her own principles.

Also, she risks taking away money for needed infrastructure programs.  

Barack Obama is the candidate showing leadership on this issue. 

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Taxes---Yes!, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments