2 November 2004

Early exit polls leaked

Voter News Service 1pm exit polls
Kerry listed first
AZ 45-55 CO 48-51 LA 42-57 PA 60-40 OH
52-48 FL 51-48 MI 51-47 NM 50-48 MN 58-40 WI
52-43 IA 49-49 NH 57-41
Posted in Politicks on 2 November 2004 at 2:54 pm by Nate

Anglicans can be an odd lot, and we need that

AKMA puts in a few words on another recent Anglican controversy. 
I’ve often admired his theological thinking, because as a liberal,
orthodox Christian myself, it’s helpful to have intellectual comrades.

…Anglicans have always harbored oddball clergy. Anyone who’s
surprised that a couple of crypto-Druids turned up among Anglican
clergy hasn’t been paying enough attention to history.

I don’t
condone their muddle-headed theology; it’s wrong, and there’s an end on
it. I hope that Bishop Bennison deals more rigorously with clergy who
depart from Christian faith than he does those whose adherence to
traditional theology renders them intractable relative to the direction
of the rest of the diocese. On the other hand, I don’t see this as a
shocking novelty; it’s a perennial manifestation of the genius of
Anglican ecclesiology, that we endure crackpots in the interest of
avoiding inquisitions….

So far as I can tell, the strength of the Anglican Tradition lies
precisely in its willingness not to permit its decisions to be shaped
by panic over heterodoxy— in its confidence that the Truth
will always prevail in the long run, and in the humble awareness that
churches and councils err, not only in their living and manner of
Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith. In that confidence, and in
the privilege of serving a church that observes its own limitations, I
cling to the truth handed down to me by the saints, I repudiate those
teachings and practices that contradict that truth, and pray that all
people (Anglicans especially included) come to understand the truth in
its fullness — which full understanding none of us can with integrity yet claim.

Posted in Rayleejun on 2 November 2004 at 2:44 pm by Nate

Raw news different than what you read

Check out this story over at Crooked Timber:

Now, some interesting evidence as to how this happens in the NYT. The Times has a story
today about how the current race is too close to call. However, for a
few minutes this morning, they had the wrong version of the story up on
their website – they’d posted the raw version, with all the editors’
comments included. A good friend spotted it in time, and sent it to me
– I enclose it below the fold. The smoking gun (I’ve bolded the
editor’s comments):

Bush supporters were also out. The driver of a Greyhound
bus stopped his vehicle on a Philadelphia street, got out and ripped
down a campaign poster for John Kerry.we cant let this stand as emblematic of Bush supporters. either get some quotes from bush supporters or leave it out

Posted in OnTheWeb on 2 November 2004 at 2:36 pm by Nate

Voting probs of my own

Small compared to those of some.

The City of Somerville’s Elections Division screwed up and didn’t get
the reregistration that I sent in when I moved.  So I have to
schlep off to my old precinct to vote there.  Hopefully I won’t
have to stand in line for an hour again.

Posted in Politicks on 2 November 2004 at 12:21 pm by Nate

One more thing…

And contrary to the small and corrupted motivations of the preachers I
noted yesterday, who’d ask God to act as a Republican, here’s a better
contribution, via the BCP:

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges:  Guide
the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives
that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be
protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus
Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Posted in Rayleejun on 2 November 2004 at 9:37 am by Nate

Go vote

It’s your minimum obligation as a citizen.  Write and think and talk about it too.

And from The Revealer:

If you haven’t watched Eminem’s new video, watch it here. If you’re a
Kerry voter and think you already know all about it, ditch your party
colors and play it again. If you’re a Bush voter and think you can’t
take it, stick your politics in your hat and study it. Sure, it’s
partisan. More interestingly, it’s religion, that of sword-tongued
street preachers, liberation theologians, exorcists, apocalypse
ranchers, weather watchers, and all true snake handlers. John of Patmos
and Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Paranoid; terrifying; brilliant. Right or
wrong, Eminem has grabbed the prophetic mantle like no other musician
or writer in America right now (no living journalist need apply). But
he’s no messiah — he’s grabbed the mantle and turned it into black
hoodies for everyone.

Amen.

Posted in Politicks on 2 November 2004 at 9:19 am by Nate
1 November 2004

Electoral college reform

How would the election change if the electoral college weren’t around?  A few alternatives are offered in this article in yesterday’s paper.

For one, I agree that the abolition of the electoral college would
probably result in more attention being paid to urban concerns. 
But why is that so bad?  It’s not that we shouldn’t pay attention
to rural portions of the country, but it’d be nice to see more
proportionality in that attention.  With the electoral college, we
have a number of swing states (Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Mexico, to
name a few) that have sizeable rural populations that the candidates
spend a lot of time courting.  But since rural dwellers make up
about 2 percent of the national population, we need to hear less of
what matters to them.

Political scientists disagree on the wisdom of a popular-vote election;
some argue that it would destabilize the country by encouraging more
third-party candidates. But there is little doubt that it would force
candidates to pay attention to more voters in more places. Every voter
in the red and blue states would suddenly be worth just as much as a
dairy farmer in Wisconsin, and that may have implications for the
country’s policies and political culture.

I would doubt that most of us (political scientists) think that
third-party candidates would “destabilize” the country.  The
two-party lock is an institutionally tight one, and there are more
effective, more powerful structures that will keep this country a
two-party system by and large, even if the electoral college were
abolished.

More importantly, the electoral college is highly unlikely to go away
anytime soon.  It’s a collective action problem.  It is in
everyone’s communal interest to get rid of the thing, but it is in no
one’s individual interest to abolish it.  No party or group can
gain by itself to push the reform or abolition of the college; it can
only work when all parties and groups make a joint move together. 
Otherwise, the first mover ends up reaping a larger share of the
disadvantages and a smaller share of the advantages than others. 
The problem is something like the “Prisoner’s Dilemma”: unless everbody
does the same thing at the same time, some actors will clearly benefit
at the direct expense of others.  And it’s easier by far to
“defect” in this case than to “cooperate.”

Posted in Politicks on 1 November 2004 at 8:37 am by Nate

The Reformation returns

From the Times yesterday.

“I see it as a spiritual divide between true believers and seculars,”
said Neil E. Kulp, pastor of First Baptist Church, echoing comments
made in dozens of other interviews….

At a prayer meeting here Wednesday night, Mr. Kulp led a dozen parishioners in thinly veiled prayers for President Bush’s
re-election. He prayed that God might do “whatever it takes on Election
Day,” including keeping some voters away while “bringing certain people
to the polls.” One parishioner prayed that members of other churches,
synagogues and houses of worship turn out as well. “Lord,” another
prayed, “for Mr. Kerry, I don’t know whether he knows you or not. I
pray he would know that being in a relationship with you is more
important than being president.”…

Oh, I doubt that.  The tone indicates that he’s pretty sure that
Kerry doesn’t know God.  At least, not in “a personal relationship
with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

What’s fascinating to me is that there are so many of these people who
think of their spiritual life as a war.  It’s us against them,
Christians against pagans, “believers versus seculars.”  They are
going beyond by themselves trying to restrain people from going to the
polls — they ask for the Almighty to do the work for them.  Not
content with using the material to keep people from the polls (by
whatever means that might take), they ask for ultimate weapon: God’s
direct intervention in a partisan election.  This is more than
simply scaring black people from voting.  This is *God* scaring
black people from voting.

Let God do your dirty work.

Earlier this month, the evangelical group Focus on the Family released
“a must-read election message” signed by its influential founder, James
C. Dobson, and more than 80 prominent evangelical Protestants arguing
that the Bible teaches lessons about proper government, including not
only opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage but also support for
pre-emptive military action against suspected terrorists and looser
environmental regulations….

Yes, of course.  I remember reading those in the
gospels.  Right in there with “kill the infidels”, “slander your
enemies”, and “hate every sinner you meet –except yourself, of course.”

At the 1,200-member Bethany United Methodist Church here, Jim
Brashear, the senior pastor, said his congregation resolutely opposes
abortion, and prays each week for both the president and the military.
Social-issue-heavy voter guides from the Pennsylvania Family Institute
are stacked in piles throughout the church, and on Sunday Mr. Brashear
plans to tell parishioners that Mr. Bush won Florida by fewer votes
than his church holds.

Still, some conservatives balk at the idea
that there is only one way for believers to vote. Mr. Brashear said a
union member recently confided his worries that a Christian should not
vote for Mr. Kerry.

“I told him I don’t believe that,” Mr. Brashear said. “He was really struggling.”

But I can see how he might think that it would be wrong to vote for
a certain candidate in that environment.  in the church I grew up
in, I was told directly that you could not be a Christian and vote
Democratic, since the Democrats’ positions were anti-God.  The
only such positions that I can recall were school prayer and
abortion.  No mention of poverty, capital punishment, or equal
justice.

The reason I note that this is the Reformation redux is that the
Protestant Reformation ripped Europe asunder in the name of religon for
200 years.  Yes, the reformers were likely right in that the Roman
Catholic church needed to remove much of its encrustation, but they
also erred in extremity themselves.  Some swung to an outlying
position on the need for complete doctrinal agreement on all matters,
no matter the size.  They defamed (for centuries to follow) the
Roman church, claiming it to be the “whore of Babylon” noted in
Revelations (which is ironic, since they would then be the bastard
children of that whore).  They engaged in purges and oppositional
politics and military action, and in combination with their former
brethren and sistren in the Roman church, they spent 150 years ravaging
the politics and landscape of all of Europe’s countries.

And the sort of thinking exemplified by the Christians in this
article seems all to reminiscent.  Perhaps not the same in
quantity as the Reformers, but a similar quality seems to be there.

Posted in Rayleejun on 1 November 2004 at 8:32 am by Nate