Jonah, the go-ahead-punk-make-my-day aspect to that “birth of Christ” business also leaves the ecumenical bit of Mitt Romney’s speech – all that stuff about loving the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims, the gay outreach of the Episcopalians, whatever – seeming generic and wishy-washy. As one reader writes:
I think the root cause of Huckabee’s surge is that a lot of Republicans are trying to protect themselves from political correctness like you’re facing from the Canadian Human Rights Commission. That’s what being “culturally conservative” and “socially conservative” means to a lot of them.
“The Corner” often makes it sound as though if we are tolerant and don’t try to tell others what to do with their lives, then Republicans don’t need to take a stand on social issues at all. That is totally false. Social conservatism is mostly defensive, protecting against others who are trying to use the government to control us according to their cultural opinions.
The reality is that in many cases the government must make a decision, like on which textbooks to buy and how to spend money. That means that cultural pacifism means letting the other side make the decision, and if they want, (ab)use the government to hurt us in the name of political correctness.
It’s like many colleges: liberals control everything from top to bottom, while conservatives just complain once in awhile about some of the worst censorship. That’s what pacifism is.
The point about “cultural pacifism letting the other side make the decision” is worth noting: I went to my kids’ “winter concert” last night. Usual thing. Anodyne songs alluding to nothing more specific than the “power of the dream”, the “circle of life”, the dream of the circle, the circle of the dream, etc. In an effort to be inoffensive, it was grossly offensive, at least to anyone who likes music. The schoolkids don’t enjoy singing this driveling boilerplate, the parents don’t enjoy listening to it. How did this junk get such an hammerlock on the culture?
The sub-text of Huck’s ad is: I can’t be bothered deferring to the vacuous generalities of the liberal establishment’s pseudo-religion. Iowa’s pretty much in the bag.