Showing posts with label Joseph R. Biden Jr.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joseph R. Biden Jr.. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Father Rutler: The Strange Case of Dr. Biden and Mr. Hyde

By Father George W. Rutler

Bishop Miler Magrath (Maolmhuire Mag Raith) of Ireland (1523-1622) wrote his own epitaph for the tomb in Cashel in which he was finally laid in his one-hundredth year.  The syntax is convoluted as was his life: “Here where I am placed I am not. I am not where I am not. Nor am I in both places, but I am in each.” It was his way of recalling that he managed to be a Catholic bishop and a Protestant bishop at the same time. He started out as a Franciscan friar, schooled in Rome, and soon became bishop of Down and Connor, then Clogher before Cashel, exacting rents from all of them, and adding Waterford, Lismore, Killala, and Achonry to his sees, becoming rich, although his cathedral in Cashel was said to be a pigsty, and few of his people were aware of the existence of God. Although he maintained many Franciscan ties—albeit wearing armor as protection against sullen rent payers—he authorized the hunting down of Papist priests while also warning them ahead of time, operating as a sort of double agent. Amy O’Meara of Toomevara married him, but devoutly refused to eat meat on Fridays and reared their nine children as Catholics. Pope Gregory VIII finally excommunicated him, but Paul V legitimized his children.

Bishop Magrath’s creative rationalizing brings to mind his contemporary in England, Simeon Aleyn, who was unable to maintain the duplicity of practicing two religions at the same time. To retain his living as vicar of the leafy and affluent parish of Bray in Berkshire he switched creeds to accommodate whichever might be the religion “du jour” of the reigning monarch. In his charming book of curiosities, “Worthies of England” (1662), Thomas Fuller wrote: “The vivacious vicar [of Bray] living under King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, was first a Papist, then a Protestant, then a Papist, then a Protestant again. He had seen some martyrs burnt two miles off at Windsor and found this fire too hot for his tender temper. This vicar, being attacked by one for being a turncoat and an inconstant changeling, said, ‘Not so, for I always kept my principle, which is this—to live and die the Vicar of Bray.’” This would inspire a caustic ballad which has from time to time been tailored to fit half a dozen other Churchmen of different periods but with similar qualities of adaptability:

And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my Dying Day, Sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

There is a political parallel to this malleability in the former Vice President, Joe Biden, who has decided to run for the presidency as a Catholic independent of the strictures of Catholicism. As vice president, he officiated at the civil “marriage” of two men in 2016, although he had voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. When he was exploring a run for the presidency in 2008, Biden famously said: “I will shove my rosary beads down the throat of any Republican who says I am not a Catholic.” The Bishop of Cashel and the Vicar of Bray could not have said it more eloquently.

On June 5, Biden had a campaign spokesman reiterate his long-standing support of the Hyde Amendment, which, having been passed by Congress in 1977, prevented federal funding for abortions save for pregnancies caused by rape, or incest, and considerations of risk to the life of the mother. Such provisions at the time were considered to be pragmatic for attaining passage of the bill. A day after affirming the Hyde Amendment, Biden gave a speech in Atlanta in which he repudiated the Hyde Amendment, while simultaneously insisting that he was not rejecting his previous position on abortion funding, and added that he would make “no apologies for the last position.” His overnight flip-flop brings to mind the agility with which Senator Kerry in 2004 explained his stance on a supplemental appropriation for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” That was matched and perhaps surpassed by the leader of the Australian party One Nation, Pauline Hanson, who said in 2018 with reference to tax cut legislation: “I haven’t flip-flopped, I said no originally, then I said yes, then I have said no and I’ve stuck to it.” To assure anyone who might put a cynical gloss on Biden’s reversal, one of his campaign officials, T.J. Ducklo, said, “This is about health care, not politics.”

In a flash of honesty, Bismarck said: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable—the art of the next best.” No one can survive in public life if he naïvely denies that situations may require compromise and even reversals. I was fortunate to know Congressman Henry Hyde, who counted his amendment his greatest achievement and told interesting stories of what was involved in getting it passed. I also knew Judge Bork, who was slandered by the rancorous attacks of shameless senators, including Biden, who ranted as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “It appears to me that you are saying that the government has as much right to control a married couple’s decision about choosing to have a child or not, as that government has a right to control the public utility’s right to pollute the air.” Both Hyde and Bork were aware of the art of the possible, but they also knew that when retractions and contradictions affect matters of life or death, accommodation takes on an ominous character.

In “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Robert Louis Stevenson wrote of another and very different, indeed opposite, Mr. Hyde, but his cryptic message was that Jekyll and Hyde are the same man, and conscience is the serum that frees one and restrains the other: “I (Dr. Jekyll) was still cursed with my duality of purpose; and as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of me, so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for licence. Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; … no, it was in my own person that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience….”

Biden was given an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, in 2016, enriching his academic laurels which were tenuous after he placed 75 out of 86 in his Syracuse College of Law class, although he claimed to have been in the top half. But if politics is the art of the possible, one must expect artistic liberties. Drawing on, and perhaps exhausting, his information on Shakespeare, Biden said that his mistake regarding school grades, like his propensity for appropriating sources without attribution, is “much ado about nothing.” Academic rankings are not assurances of intelligence; in fact, Mr.—that is, Dr. Biden told a voter during a campaign stop in New Hampshire in 1987: “I think I probably have a much higher I.Q. than you.” Armed with such confidence, Biden has wrestled with his conscience like a Sumo wrestler, thudding against that “aboriginal vicar of Christ” and bouncing off. Free of constricting guilt, and unafraid of the foolish need for consistency which is the hobgoblin of those little minds with I.Q.’s less than his, Biden now presents himself to the public as a prodigy of rejuvenation. With hair thicker and teeth whiter, beyond the skill of frail Mother Nature, and armed with his lethal Rosary, he is ready to lead America like an eager Boy Scout helping an unwilling lady across the wrong street.

The Bourbon Henry of Navarre, baptized Catholic but reared Protestant and the champion of a Huguenot army, became King Henry IV of France by cutting a deal: he would declare himself Catholic. An intemperate Catholic, François Ravaillac, thought that a threatened invasion of the Spanish Netherlands proved the insincerity of Henry’s conversion, and assassinated him in 1610. Although King Henry had said, “Paris vaut une messe”—by his arcane calculation, Paris was worth a Mass—the Church has never canonized him.  Less saintly is anyone who calculates that Washington, D.C., is worth more than a Mass.

Fr. George W. Rutler is pastor of St. Michael's church in New York City. He is the author of many books including Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943 (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press) and Hints of Heaven (Sophia Institute Press). His latest books are He Spoke To Us (Ignatius, 2016); The Stories of Hymns (EWTN Publishing, 2017); and Calm in Chaos (Ignatius, 2018).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Joe Biden's BIG MOUTH

Pay no attention to that man behind the BIG MOUTH, al-Qaeda, Obama deserves all the credit.

From The Telegraph
By Toby Harnden

Since President Barack Obama announced that “a small team of Americans” had killed Osama bin Laden, US government officials have carefully stuck to the line that they will not talk about which units were involved.
Obama did not say it was the SEALs. In numerous television appearances, Obama’s counter-terrorism chief John Brennan didn’t and his deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough didn’t. Despite the numerous news reports that named the SEALs, none of the anonymous briefers from the CIA and Pentagon would confirm it.
Here’s a typical response to a question about the SEALs from a senior defence official in a Pentagon briefing on Monday:
QUESTION: Can I ask you, can you confirm that it was a (Navy) SEAL team? And was this a specially designated team that had been practising or reviewing intelligence for a while and they were the unit of choice?
SENIOR DEFENCE OFFICIAL:  Not going to comment on units or numbers.
But here’s what the legendarily verbose and loose-lipped Vice President Joe Biden said at a dinner at Washington’s Ritz Carlton Hotel last night to mark the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council:
Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees.  Admiral James Stavridis is a, is the real deal.  He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.
Folks, I’d be remiss also if I didn’t say an extra word about the incredible events, extraordinary events of this past Sunday.  As Vice President of the United States, as an American, I was in absolute awe of the capacity and dedication of the entire team, both the intelligence community, the CIA, the SEALs.  It just was extraordinary.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vice President's Staff Lock Journalist in a Closet for Hours During a Fundraiser to Stop Him Talking to Guests

If this is how Obama's gangster government treats the fawning liberal media, imagine what they are prepared to do to ordinary Americans.

From the Daily Mail
By Simon Neville
Vice President Biden
The White House website proudly says ‘President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history.’

But try telling Vice President Joe Biden’s staff that, after they held a local reporter in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.

Scott Powers
As the unaware $500-a-head invitees dined on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps, veteran reporter Scott Powers was locked away.
The Orlando Sentinel reporter was ushered into the closet inside wealthy property developer Alan Ginsburg’s Winter Falls mansion, after being told that Joe Biden and Senator Bill Nelson had not yet arrived.

They were due to speak to the audience to raise money for the 2012 elections.

He was told he could only come out when the politicians were ready to give their speeches.

Powers told The Drudge Report: ‘When I'd stick my head out, they'd say, “Not yet. We'll let you know when you can come out.”’

Party was held for Senator Bill Nelson
After 90 minutes he was allowed out to hear Biden and Nelson speak for 35 minutes, before being taken back to the closet for the remainder of the event.

From inside his temporary prison Powers emailed his office from his cell phone: ‘Sounds like a nice party.’

When Ginsburg – who has supported both Democrat and Republican candidates in the past – learnt of the treatment that took place in his house, he called the reporter.

Powers said: ‘[Ginsburg] said he had no idea they'd put me in a closet and was very sorry.

‘He said he was just following their lead and was extremely embarrassed by the whole thing.’

But some guests were shocked by the Vice President’s staff.

One emailed the paper saying: ‘I was in attendance at the Fundraiser and enjoyed a nice lunch.

‘If I had known there was a reporter stuffed in the closet, I would have been compelled to stand up and demand answers.

‘I would also like to know if this is actually legal to treat people like caged animals. I’m disgusted by these actions.’

Florida state law says kidnapping entails ‘forcibly, secretly or by threat confining, abducting or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority.’

Alan Ginsburg's home was awash with 150 guests - none of whom seemed to know Scott Power was being held guard in the closet
Powers said of his treatment: ‘It was frustrating and annoying that I was not given a chance to do my job fully and properly.

‘This was an extreme, and extremely inappropriate way of handling the press… it was essentially a rude and uncomfortable way to treat a reporter.’

He attempted to play down his treatment calling it ‘hardly unusual or shocking’ and confirmed that he received an apology from Ginsburg.

But the Vice President’s staff emailed him an apology which he said ‘I found far less satisfying than Ginsburg’s.’

The incident is especially embarrassing for the administration because it comes at a time when the White House has been condemning the treatment of journalists trying to report in Libya.

Just ten days ago, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: ‘journalists should be protected and allowed to do their work.’ 

The Vice President’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Netanyahu to Biden: We Don't Need America

Israel didn't just spit in Joe Biden's face last week. It jeopardized America's willingness to protect it from Iran.

Avi Ohayon / Getty Images
Thanks But No Thanks: Biden came offering a deal; Bibi balked.

From Newsweek
By Aluf Benn

Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Israel last week was rightly hailed as a catastrophe—but not because of settlements. After a tense year in which Washington had failed to stop Prime Minister Benyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu from settling more occupied land, Biden had come to shore up the relationship. Instead, officials in Netanyahu's government caught both men off guard by announcing plans to build more in contested East Jerusalem. True, that was a snafu. But the real disaster was what it may cost Israel. Biden had come to offer not just friendship, but support (and protection) against Iran—Israel's greatest bogeyman—in exchange for a few concessions from Netanyahu. Instead, he got a finger in the eye.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rise of An Empty Man

From The Catholic Thing
By Hadley Arkes

On the morning of the inauguration, according to news and eyewitness reports, the streets near Georgetown University were blocked by a fleet of limousines and police on motorcycles. It was for Joe Biden, attending Mass on campus at Dahlgren Chapel. It was a sign that would now mark the presence of Joseph Biden, the risen Joe Biden, ascending to a post of high honorifics. Bereft of both knowledge and wisdom, he will nevertheless stand in the high councils of state, with an entourage of cars flashing lights to herald his progress.

The cars assembled at their post conveyed a message, as inescapable as it was portentous: Here, in a chapel, affecting to be in communion with his Church, is a man who has trumpeted his rejection of the most central moral teachings of the Church. During the presidential campaign he offered, as one of the prime accomplishments in his political life, that he helped to defeat the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. With that stroke he managed to preserve, unimpaired, the right to kill an unborn child at every stage of its life. We have had a sense of what it means to “give scandal” or to misinstruct the faithful about the teachings of their own Church. But now it is done even more dramatically, with the presence of limousines to convey the point: that you can be a prime defender of the right to abortion at every stage and for any reason – nay, you can even exult in public for your achievements in securing that “right” – and still be a “good Catholic.”

Twenty-one years ago, when Robert Bork was nominated to the Court, Joe Biden was the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In Bork, Biden was faced with a notable conservative who had been famously dismissive of natural law. For Bork and others, natural law simply furnished a set of airy slogans to which liberal judges appealed when they sought to evade the discipline of legal reasoning. Those antics gave natural law a bad name. Bork found a surer guide to judgment in the “positive” law – the law that was “posited” or enacted in statutes or in the text of the Constitution.

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