H.L. Mencken once ably described democracy as the art and science of running the zoo from the monkey house. There are placid periods where one is permitted to forget this, but every so often elections happen to us, and everything gets ripe and fruity.
James Dobson took Obama to ask for his comments in a 2006 speech, a speech which Dobson said depended on a fruitcake understanding of the Constitution. Obama fired back, which was probably a bad tactical move, and then Jim Wallis, public scold, weighed in. HT: Justin Taylor
The problem with contemporary politics is that people strike at one another according to party interests, and not according to the truth. Wallis is a partisan of the left, saying and doing what will help the Democrat get elected. If civility helps the Dems, he calls for civility. If screeching helps the Dems, he screeches. Dobson, on the other hand, has made it plain that he is not going to vote for McCain — he is standing for principle, and clearly not for partisan advantage. He challenges Obama, sure enough, but that does not mean that he is willing to pretend that McCain is a conservative. The truth matters more than winning.
Compromising your principles to win in order to be able to implement your principles is like throwing away the flag you were going to plant on top of the mountain, in order to make it easier to climb the mountain, thereby forgetting the whole reason for climbing the mountain in the first place was to plant the flag. If you give up your reason for doing something — to bring integrity back into politics, say — then why still do it?
And while we are here, on the whole subject of the new trendy confiscatory leftism among evangelicals, let me just point to this. David Field linked to a fine observation from Gary North on “What Would Jesus Steal?”