Rush Limbaugh, Conservative Leader?

Rush Limbaugh has ignited the blogosphere and the MSM with conversation about his speech at CPAC and his role within the conservative movement. At EO’s partner site the Scriptorium Daily, John Mark Reynolds wrote an thought provoking post “Rush Gave A Bad Speech” which has sparked conversation at Hot Air and Crunchy Con, among other sites. I spoke yesterday with John Mark and Paul Spears on their podcast Middlebrow about Rush’s role as a conservative leader. You can hear that podcast here.

Don’t forget to participate in our own conversation on the topic! Read Rachel’s great post here.

Follow the Yellow Brick Wall

I noticed today that KS congressional candidate Rob Wasinger finally has his own picture up on his campaign web site. Voters can now rest assured that they are not voting for the next Cyrano de Bergerac, but for a guy who actually looks pretty normal. What took so long?
Maybe he needed time to rework his image – perhaps he was concerned that he didn’t look ‘Kansan’ enough for the web?
It’s a legitimate worry for a man who is no doubt discovering the local social scene. I can’t imagine it’s going well for him. You see, in rural Kansas it really matters where you are from – much more than it does in state like, say, California. If you want your neighbors down the road to immediately welcome you with open arms, you don’t just need to be from Kansas. You also need to be from the right county. So does your family – and not just your immediate family. It helps to have a few generations of kinfolk buried in the local cemetery if you really want to fit in. These social expectations do vary somewhat from county to county, and obviously there are huge exceptions – it’s not impossible for an outsider to find a place in a rural community, but it often does take time. It’s not that rural Kansans are less welcoming than other people, but rather that there are important social conventions that just don’t exist anymore outside farm country. It’s no accident that Wasinger states the following on his campaign site:

Rob Wasinger is a native of Hays, Kansas, and a fourth-generation Kansan.
The Wasinger family arrived in Kansas from Russia with the immigration of the Volga-Germans in the late 19th Century, and have worked in farming, ranching, law and public service across the state ever since.

These are not just interesting historical details – his family pedigree, stretching back to the 19th century, really makes a difference to many of those who will vote in this election. That’s why it’s such a problem that he’s campaigning as a local while living like a guy from Fairfax County, VA. You could get away with that in California, but not in Kansas.
Rural social expectations aren’t the only problem. Despite what his website says about his commitment to Kansas, Wasinger has apparently never even voted in the state he wants to represent. Though he claims to have voted from the 1st Congressional district in the 2008 Presidential election, a visit with that office in October revealed that they had rejected his voter application when notice sent to the registering address came back unconfirmed. A visit with the same office in late November confirmed still no registration – and he had never voted in Ellis County history. So did he vote in the 1st district, or didn’t he? It sure looks like he didn’t – so why did he claim otherwise?

Continue reading Follow the Yellow Brick Wall

Same-Sex Marriage and Education

In my post last week I made the point that one consequence of the state sanctioning same-sex marriage would be that the same-sex lobby would be able to use our schools to normalize homosexuality. “No on 8″ proponents counter my argument by assuring us that this is not the intention at all behind the legalizing of same-sex marriage in California. Somebody from the “No on 8″ campaign should have told that to eighteen first graders who attended the wedding of their lesbian school teacher just recently.
Providentially, I received this notice from a good friend just today:

NEWS RELEASE Contact: Chip White, 916-215-4392 and
For Immediate Release Sonja Eddings Brown, 818-993-4508
First Graders Taken To San Francisco City Hall For Gay Wedding

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11 – In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as “lies” claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. Eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. According to the Yes on 8 campaign, the public school field trip demonstrates that the California Supreme Court’s decision to legal same-sex marriage has real consequences.

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An Open Letter to the Religious Right

[Note: This post is an adaptation of an address I recently gave for a conference of pre-law advisors at Regent University Law School which itself was originally based…on a previous blog post.]
I’m honored to be able to speak to you today for I am a great admirer of your work. Indeed, it is my opinion that pre-law advisors are significantly undervalued despite the fact that you carry out one of the most important tasks in the legal profession–talking people out of becoming lawyers.
While it is true that the bar exam and law school admissions officers perform the same function, though perhaps more brutally, pre-law advisors provide the first line of defense in preventing people like me from stumbling into a career in law.
In 1987 I entered the University of North Texas as a freshman with the intention of someday becoming an attorney. The first week I was there I scheduled an appointment with the pre-law advisor, expecting him to tell me that I could choose any major I wanted, as long as what I wanted was to major in political science.
Instead, the first words out of his mouth were “Why do why to be a lawyer?” I was so caught off guard that I ended up answering truthfully–telling him that I wanted to be part of a profession that made a lot of money. He then set about ripping my response, explaining why this was a terrible justification. I gave him another lame reason and he shot that one down too. That went on for several minutes before I laid out the dumbest rationale of all. I told him that my friends and family always told me I’d make a good lawyer “because I was good at arguing.”
He leaned forward in his chair and gave me a pitiable look generally reserved for fools who are about to make a disastrous life choice. “Mr. Carter,” he said, “how good could you be at arguing when you can’t even make an argument for why should be a lawyer.”
That day he planted a seed of self-awareness’ within me. I realized two things about myself: (1) I really would make a terrible lawyer and (2) I’m really not all that good at arguing.
So today I won’t even bother trying to argue my case. Instead I’ll just throw out a pile of assertions and conjectures and let you sift through it all to see if there is anything of value.

Continue reading An Open Letter to the Religious Right