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February 15, 2005

Comments

Edward,

Good post, and it brings to mind something I've noted frequently in discussions with Republicans, here and elsewhere. They rarely criticize their own, and if they must, they feel they need to bash Democrats first to show their bona fides. Sebastian's Exhortation post and the discussion of the word "Clintonian" in it is a recent example.

I don't see Democrats doing the same (e.g., when hilzoy or Katherine mention their objections to Clinton's policies, they don't feel the need to add gratuitous Republican bashing).

I find this a continually frustrating aspect of my discussions, but I don't know how we can get past it. Suggestions?

I don't think the federal gov't ought to be funding faith-based groups, whether by dint of Gore or Bush.

And before someone comments by pointing me at the succeeding post by Charles Bird on Thomas Woods, note that most of the post deals with proving that he is not a conservative as Bird defines it.

I find this a continually frustrating aspect of my discussions, but I don't know how we can get past it. Suggestions?

By calling them on it, and helping them move past it. If they seem to do it on autopilot, try this approach:

"Yeah, yeah, everything is Clinton's fault, I got it, but you had a specific criticism of the White House's failure to live up to this promise here that I was interested in, can you elaborate on that?"

Mind you, there are Democrats guilty of this as well, and the same approach works for them. Let folks know their specific ideas are interesting to you and give them credit for criticizing their own.

I've never understood how "faith-based initiatives" could not have been shot down immediately as unConstitutional. Maybe someone could explain the reason why it wasn't?

David Kuo's story is hardly surprising: Bush's SOP is to make big talk but fail to follow up on words with actions.

Ask how much money has been paid out of the Millennium Challenge Account to the countries that were supposed to benefit from it? As of January 28th this year, not one of them had received one penny.

re: unconstitutionality of faith-based initiatives.

to start, it turns on the First Amendment, which prohibits both establishment of religion (the Establishment Clause) and the free exercise of religion (the Free Exercise Clause).

Giving grants to faith-based organizations is one of those tricky issues that seem to fall afoul of both clauses.

The US Govt gives out billions of dollars in grants every year for all sorts of things. Refusing to give a grant to an organization simply because its membership is organized around a particular faith (as opposed to, say, location) would pretty clearly violate the free exercise clause.

HOWEVER, if the organization will be hiring persons with the grant funds in order to achieve the purpose of the grant, we then have to ask whether the organization can require that the person hired be a member of that religion. If the faith-based organization can discriminate in hiring, or in the distribution of grant funds, based on religion, then it starts to look like a violation of the Establishment Clause. The Govt trying to do in two steps what it cannot do in one -- establish religion.

this is the outline of the issue.

Francis

Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that Bush just did this with an executive order rather than trying to pass it in Congress?

Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that Bush just did this with an executive order rather than trying to pass it in Congress?

That's on my list of things to be disturbed about Bush for, praktike, but it's back on the 19th or 20th page, I believe.

That's on my list of things to be disturbed about Bush for, praktike, but it's back on the 19th or 20th page, I believe.

You're very systematic! I'm impressed...

Here's Fukuyama:

"[T]o maintain a liberal political order, there must be a fundamental separation between religion and state formation.”

Good post, and it brings to mind something I've noted frequently in discussions with Republicans, here and elsewhere. They rarely criticize their own, and if they must, they feel they need to bash Democrats first to show their bona fides.

I think it is fundamental to the definition of the two sides. If one views the left as being based on demanding changes in the state while the right is advocating the status quo, it makes perfect sense that the left would splinter into different groups advocating different approaches. More than one way to skin a cat and all that.

What is interesting is that in the US, where change has always been viewed as the status quo, we have various twists and turns, and as the world adopts a notion of change=good, we see it occur there as well (Think Labour=support of Bush or Mitterand as a socialist and Chirac as a conservative) This notion of change as good led to the fragmentation of the republican party until they were famously glued together by Reagan. However, the left remains fractious, true to their fundamental nature.

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