Daily Archives: 05/16/2010

Kass on Palin

Must beg to disagree with Chi Trib’s John Kass today.  His column is devoted to Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, whom he praises, making a case that I buy. 

But distinguishing him from other Republicans, he cites Sarah Palin as one of “a parade of Republicans sucking up to the tea party movement in some symbolic washing of its own past sins” whom he finds “nauseating.”

She is moreover “the erratic conservative now favoring leather tops [who] seems to be campaigning for tea party house mom, brazenly eager to appropriate it as her auxiliary.” 

Not boldly?  And leather tops?  What’s that got to do with it? 

Thing is, can you imagine the admirable Daniels defining national debate as Palin did with her “death panel” Facebook phrase?  Or coming up with this line in Arizona:

“It’s time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say, ‘We’re all Arizonans now,”‘ Palin said. “And in clear unison we say, ‘Mr. President: Do your job. Secure our border.”‘

Reading that in the Trib, I yelped to see the references to John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” and Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” — each in Berlin, a city under siege, which is how most Arizonans feel, to judge from their support of their current much-discussed law.

A line is a line is a line, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, but in a continent-wide democracy, the ability to make people take note is crucial.  And whom would many if not most Republican candidates want plumping for them, Palin or Daniels?

That said, Daniels talks sense about the Tea Party movement, which he said “must be authentically separate and spontaneous,” not to be “tainted by too close of a relationship to either party” and whose “creative hell-raising on behalf of freedom” he considers “a good thing.”

So does Palin, if in more overtly encouraging fashion, and I don’t see what the problem is.  One can be too conservative, that is, too cautious, in these matters.  Or too readily put off by style and dress.

Morale officers, take note

“Being a saint is God’s main goal for you,” Rev. James Martin SJ told Wheeling (WV) Jesuit U. graduates, but it was downhill from there:

The key to becoming a good saint for God [he added] is to always “remember to be yourself.”

“God celebrates diversity,” he said. “We are meant to be ourselves.”

But what if yourself is no damn good?  You routinely lie, cheat, and call people bad names.  Will “Be yourself” do it then?

Other advice landed better, if platitudinously:

“You are called to lead holy lives in your own way – in your own careers,” he said. “I can do something you can’t do, you can do something I can’t do – together let us do something for God. In our diversity, we can do something for God.

Diversity, eh?  That’s the burning issue?  No prayer and meditation?

“The biggest barrier to overcome is thinking you have to be someone else,” said Martin. “You are overlooking the beauty of what God has created.”

I do not think that’s the biggest barrier, being much inclined to give higher rating to putting Number One first, to the exclusion of other blokes. 

In closing, Martin told the graduates the key is to “bloom where you are planted and be holy by being yourself.”

And go sweet-smelling off into the sunset, yeah!

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