“A Spirit of Adulation Bordering on Servility”
Vol: 89 Issue: 26 Thursday, February 26, 2009
An overflow crowd of more than 700 Canadians packed St. Basil s Church in Toronto to hear Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput discuss how Catholics should live out their lives in the modern world.
But what he had to say is something that American audiences needed to hear.
“President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, there s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change. Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with.”
“First,” he said, “all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil.”
“In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies.”
In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from the liberal mainstream media during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: “in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs.”
Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of today s talk about a “new American mandate” in perspective.
“Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen — but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it.”
Winding his talk down, the Archbishop of Denver remarked on the misunderstanding of the word “hope.”
“For Christians,” he explained, “hope is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Virtus, the Latin root of virtue, means strength or courage. Real hope is unsentimental. It has nothing to do with the cheesy optimism of election campaigns. Hope assumes and demands a spine in believers. And that s why at least for a Christian — hope sustains us when the real answer to the problems or hard choices in life is no, we can t, instead of yes, we can. “
Wow. I like this guy. “Cheesy optimism of election campaigns” is a great line. “We elect public servants, not messiahs” is another great line. But the best line of his entire speech was the one in which he dismissed Obamamania as a “spirit of adulation bordering on servility”.
One could see that adulation on display as Obama gave his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday. Nancy Pelosi leapt to her feet no fewer than thirty times as Obama mouthed platitudes, made promises and spun lies.
Obama’s speech, which the Left hailed as “Realistic, yet optimistic,” and Nancy Pelosi called “outstanding” would have been so much better if it was true.
For example, “We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values.”
Really? If Obama has a plan to make sure the bailout money only goes to responsible homeowners and not speculators, he hasn’t told Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Speaking before the Senate, Bernanke said it’s important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.
“I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed.”
So, yeah, we’re going to bailout that neighbor down the street who bought more house than he can afford. Saying we aren’t is a lie.
Obama on oil imports: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”
No, we don’t. Oil imports have been declining since ’05 and government estimates say oil imports will continue to decline over the next two decades.
Obama: “We’ve already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”
Ok, I know that Obama is above Constitutional rules on eligibility, so he may be above Constitutional term limits. But unless something happens to change the rules, Obama won’t be president ten years from now. He might as well promise to cure cancer ten years from now. (Wait. He did. Didn’t he?)
Obama: “Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.” Another demonstrable lie.
According to the Department of Energy, it will take two decades to even come close to doubling the current 8.4% of renewable energy use.
Obama: ” “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”
The president’s own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, “It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.”
Translation: This one isn’t actually a lie. It’s more of a best-guess scenario.
And finally, the most astonishing claim of the entire speech: “We’ve passed a recovery plan free of earmarks.”
The White House defends this lie by blaming it — I’m not making this up — on the Bush administration. “What may be next week’s bill is last year’s legislation,” says press secretary Robert Gibbs.
And it is a lie. Even the Democrats admit to $3.8 billion in earmarks. Ok, so $3.8 billion doesn’t sound like much. Three point eight billon seconds ago was 1888. Three point eight billion minutes ago, Noah was constructing the ark.
It’s only a couple of earmarks, really. What Charles Schumer described as a few ‘porky’ items that “only the chattering classes care about,” added $10,000 worth of debt per American household.
With the stroke of a pen, interest increases the overall cost to $1.3 trillion, and per household debt grew to more than $16,000.
The Archbishop of Denver has his finger on the pulse of the American electorate. Obamamania is a spirit of adulation, but I wouldn’t say it is bordering on servility. We’ve gone all the way past that.
FDR s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, wrote in his diary dated May 1939:
We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work I want to see this country prosper. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started. And enormous debt to boot.
Will it work? The proof is in the pudding. Every time the administration announces a new spending measure, the Dow drops another three hundred points.
Yesterday’s Drudge Report featured a chart showing the Dow’s cratering numbers from the day before over the caption, “Do you think it was something he said?’