DeVine Law is now convinced, (especially after the Trump-Pelosi-Schumer public brouhaha over the demand for rounding-error dollars to fund The Wall aka common sense) that we have a better chance to make America Great Again with Democrats’ in control of the House.
After two years of GOP control, all we got was a tax cut, conservative judges, and a t-shirt. All good, but puny with respect to what was promised and finally doable. Obamacare still requires insurance policies to cover ten maladies that endure sky-high premiums and deductibles for small businesses and most lower and middle income workers. Republicans didn’t fund The Wall nor restrict the rights of illegal aliens.
For the next two years Republicans will get to see Trump win the public policy arguments against Democrats. Of course they shared the same agenda in 2016. It was mostly the same conservative agenda the GOP has advocates for over 15 years. We discovered that a large percentage of alleged conservatives were and are liars and/or cowards.
Losing the house was the fault of the GOP congress failure to keep their promises on repeal of Obamacare, the wall, immigration policy generally…and their failure to aggressively defend Trump against the whole collusion canard and Mueller.
In 2020, Republican candidates for congress will run on a platform promising to pass Trump’s conservative agenda. – Cockstradamus (Last year, our alter ego ended his sabbatical in The Azores since 2012)
Mike DeVine, a certain Carolina Gamecock now roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia – “One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and at least 26 fellow GOP senators (a majority of the Republican senate caucus required to make him their leader) just back from a vacation, after 6 months of not doing their sole job to make laws, announced their priorities thusly: Disaster relief, raising the debt ceiling, funding government and barring states frombanning self-driving for cars.
No, disaster relief does not refer to the biggest life-destroying disasters of Obamacare, open borders, free trade absolutism, eliminating the department of education nor
repealing the Endangered Species Act. You know, the things they won votes promising.
Apparently Republicans only recognize acts of God with sad pictures as
The property lost and lives wrecked by mostly ObamaDemocrat Party policies via
Obamacare; wars on coal, the poor, middle class and small business; open borders;
and aid to terror nation states like Iran dwarf the losses from hurricanes. It’s not close.
And one could take pictures of those losses too but Fox News is as lazy as elected
Republicans in D.C.
What gets lost in hurricane aftermaths, are the efforts of nongovernmental rescue and
other efforts. But private citizens can’t repeal and replace Obamacare. We hired
politicians to do that, specifically. But sometime between November 2016 and January
20, 2017, many redefined their job description as joining the Beltway media and
Democrat mob in nitpicking President Trump 24/7/365.
Private individuals and organizations, mostly churches, already did and are doing the
heavy lifting after hurricanes. But by all mean Congress, pass some special money for
the victims so you can pretend you solved a problem.
But, what congress needed to do yesterday and now is pass the laws they promised in
order to get elected which laws address the Bigger-than-Harvey disasters of obamacare
and Obama Democrats policies which have occurred under the Doppler radar.
Instead, they spent much of their first day back from vacation in committee about
self-driving cars which can’t respond to emergencies and are the next step in trying to
turn America into a Europe-like people they can control even if they can’t persuade us to
ditch our cars and ride MARTA everywhere.
Vice President Mike Pence asked what will be the hardest part of rebuilding Texas. Let
a certain Carolina gamecock now roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia answer that
question as per Texas and all other parts of the US except for the DC Beltway and
NYC-donor east side:
Getting elected Republicans to repeal Obamacare and other Democrat laws that limit
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
And yes, today’s federal holiday is still, and always has been, declared in federal law, as Washington’s Birthday, not any so-called amorphous “President’s Day” requiring celebrations of 44 Presidential oath takers:
The following are legal public holidays under federal statute 5 USC 6103:
New Year’s Day, January 1.
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the third Monday in January.
Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February.
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May.
Independence Day, July 4.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
Columbus Day, the second Monday in October.
Veterans Day, November 11.
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November.
Christmas Day, December 25.
This is the law.
So why do most calendars and so many people refer to this day as “Presidents Day“?
In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act, which moved the official observance of Washington’s birthday from Feb. 22 to the third Monday in February. Some Democrats had wanted to change the name of the holiday as well, to Presidents’ Day, in honor of both Lincoln and Washington, but that proposal was rejected by Congress, and the holiday remained officially Washington’s Birthday.
Nevertheless, there was a popular misconception (perpetuated by Democrats, calendar companies and used car dealers) that the day had been officially renamed.
Liberal Democrats have been trashing American history as a tragedy and the Founding Fathers as mere slave owners for the past 40 years.
General George Washington watched thousands fall on the battlefield so that we could ordain and establish self government based on the rule of law as opposed to the tyrannies of the rule of men, whether they be Kings, Despots or Judicial Oligarchs. He nearly lost his life many times leading Revolutionary War battles. As our first President he astounded the world by peacefully giving up power to his successor.
Yet, all the “reformers” care to recall is that he was a slaveowner. Yes, he was a slaveowner, but he fathered a nation that put slavery on the path to destruction and which has freed more of humanity from tyranny than in all of human history. Ironically, many of the so-called reformers that would have us celebrate James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon, also conveniently looked the other way when evaluating the greatest enslavers and murderers of humanity in the Soviet Union and Red China.
The true reformer was the man whose birth we celebrate today. The man who admitted chopping down a cherry tree and went on to chop down the barriers to Liberty so that men could be truly free.
Happy Birthday President Washington!
[Originally published at Redstate.com in 2009.]
[Our guest essayist, Dr. Mark DeVine, is associate professor of history and doctrine at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs.]
Wayne Grudem’s defense of a vote for Trump evoked an avalanche of repudiation, a veritable beat down by an array of theologically likeminded, #NeverTrump “friends.” A vote for Trump would be “wicked,” they said. It would violate Christian conscience and stain one’s reputation. We’ll come back to Grudem and his critics, but first let’s revisit a few chapters from the extraordinary life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, theologian, and conspirator to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
A few days before his departure from New York City Bonhoeffer wrote to Reinhold Niebuhr:
“. . . I have had time to think and to pray about my situation and that of my nation and to have God’s will for me clarified. I have come to the conclusion that I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people. . . . Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose; but I cannot make that choice in security . . .”
Key features of Bonhoeffer’s thinking would survive all the way to the gallows of Flossenburg concentration camp: that the will of God is discerned for a Christian, particularly in what he called “boundary situations,” only through intense, sustained prayer and reflection upon the word of God; that obedience in such situations more often leads disciples into, not away from, suffering—“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” His realization that, however global one’s human and Christian identity, one’s national identity also counts and must impinge upon pursuit of the will of God and discernment of “true patriotism.”
But Bonhoeffer’s stated motive for the return to Germany weakened with time, namely the quest to salvage his moral standing in the eyes of others for the sake of future usefulness. The path from pacifist to conspirator to double agent to encourager and even volunteer to commit tyranticide forced Bonhoeffer to let go of such motives and hopes. Obedience to the will of God required decision after decision Bonhoeffer expected to so stain his reputation, so compromise his character in the eyes of others, as to disqualify him from the sort of future constructive role he once thought his return might make possible.
In a 1942 Christmas letter prepared for fellow conspirators Hans von Dohnanyi, Hans Oster, and Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer wrote:
“We have been the silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretense; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use?”
Should he survive, Bonhoeffer expected his ordination as a minister of the word of God would be stripped from him. He had, in a thousand ways, knowingly dirtied his hands in the conspiracy—even to the point of volunteering to carry a bomb to Hitler.
Not that Bonhoeffer came to despise his own moral “reputation” as worthless or indifferent (adiaphora). His immersion in the Psalms taught him the crucial importance of reputation, both to God and to his children. The same Psalms where “putting to shame,” and “being put to shame” figure repeatedly and prominently as central preoccupations, also teach that the one committed to doing God’s will cannot secure and must not attempt to secure his own reputation himself. The obedient servant looks to his master alone for vindication:
Then I shall not be put to shame, having fixed my eyes on all your commandments (Psalm 119:6)
Being put to shame is the opposite of being blessed. My life is put to shame when that which I relied upon breaks apart. For then I have nothing left that could give my life meaning and due, nothing to which I could appeal. My life becomes a mockery and shames me. I relied upon my own strength, and I became weak and sick. I counted on my property, and it was taken from me overnight. I trusted in reputation and power, and fell deep. I took pleasure in my honesty, and was overcome by sin. In the same way anyone’s life can be put to shame if they consider “mere flesh their strength” (Jer. 17:5). But if my gaze seeks not people, honors, and riches in the world but God’s commandments alone, then I will not be put to shame. For God’s commandments cannot break apart because God himself holds on to them and with them everyone who looks to them. I will never have to be ashamed of heeding God’s commandments. . . . Even if the world’s judgment is against me, God’s judgment speaks for me. I look at God’s commandments when I base my decisions neither on other people nor even my own thoughts or experiences, but rather when I ask ever anew, even if contrary to my pious thoughts and experiences, for what God commands me. I can be put to shame even by my most pious decisions and ways but never by God’s commandment. God alone, not my piety, will preserve me from shame and dishonor.
And how does the Christian discern this commandment of God?
“. . . only the entire richness of God’s commandments can guide me safely through life. Thus I can be certain that there is no situation in my life for which God’s word would not give me the necessary advice. But serious attention, tireless asking, and learning are necessary to recognize the right commandment and to recognize the inexhaustible kindness of God in all his commandments. The harder the world confronts and judges me, the more dire and miserable my way becomes, the firmer my gaze must stay directed toward God’s commandments . . . .”
We know what came to “trump!” other considerations as Bonhoeffer tirelessly asked of God’s word for the right commandment of God for him. Amid rising demands for an Aryan Clause in the church, this urgent and overriding concern emerges perhaps most vividly in an address delivered to a group of pastors in 1933. Here the 27-year-old Bonhoeffer identified “three possible ways in which the church can act toward the state.” The third way “is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to jam a spoke in the wheel itself.”
The overriding concern? Not one’s reputation, not making some sort of statement about one’s own integrity, but doing what one could to help others, to serve others, to reduce or prevent the suffering of others. In Jesus Christ, for the Lutheran Bonhoeffer, God shows himself as the God who is for us (pro nobis), making his Son “the man for others,” and his followers servants of those same “others” in his name.
Bonhoeffer bemoaned as scandalous the spectacle of church leaders who, though poised to pop the Champagne corks to celebrate Hitler’s arrest or assassination from a safe distance, were unwilling to soil their own consciences or their own hands to see the deeds done themselves. They wanted the spoke hurled, just not by them:
“The man with a conscience fights a lonely battle against the overwhelming forces of inescapable situations which demand decisions. . . . Some who seek to escape from taking a stand publicly find a place of refuge in private virtuousness. Such a man does not steal. He does not commit murder. He does not commit adultery. Within the limits of his powers he does good. He must be blind and deaf to the wrongs which surround him. It is only at the price of an act of self-deception that he can safeguard his private blamelessness against contamination through responsible action in the world. Whatever he may do, that which he omits to do will give him no peace. Either this disquiet will destroy him or he will become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.”
Between the 1933 address and one of the last letters penned at Tegel prison 11 years later, Bonhoeffer’s prizing of righteous action over clean conscience-fixated recoil into an ostensibly reputation-preserving and character-protecting safe space deepened.
I thought I could acquire faith by trying to live a holy life, or something like it. I suppose I wrote The Cost of Discipleship as the end of that path. Today I can see the dangers of that book . . . . .
“I discovered later, and am still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. One must completely abandon any attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman . . ., a righteous man or an unrighteous one, . . . By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In doing so we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world . . . .”
For Bonhoeffer, when the suffering of others is at stake, virtue acts to stop, prevent, or mitigate the suffering. It acts not for itself but in service to others, even if such service threatens to soil ones ostensibly “clean hands,” or jeopardizes one’s present or potential future reputation, or even one’s life. It does not understand sanctification as a cooperative effort between believers and God to make one clean. “Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). It understands sanctification as a divine setting apart of justified sinners for holy use—to serve others. Sanctifying of oneself means yielding to the prior and fundamental divine sanctification of oneself for such use.
For Bonhoeffer, Christian virtue does not turn opportunities for such service into occasions for self-display, self-expression, or self-protection. It does not shrink back from the moral cesspool that is this world and settle for some lesser and less urgent cause fixated on oneself rather than others.
Could such virtue in 2016 treat as less urgent the potential harm a sitting president of the United States might unleash upon hundreds of millions around the globe than some chance to display the purity of its conservative or liberal credentials or to teach a political party a lesson by staying home on election day or to cast a protest vote for a candidate who cannot win? No.
I see, and Grudem too seems to see, two wheels rolling towards hundreds of millions of actual people, each bound to discharge its own unique mix of help and harm. He has one spoke to jam into one wheel and perhaps prevent deliverance of one package of potential hurt to others. Retreat from that binary choice offers no platform of superior sanctity on which to preen, no pulpit from which to educate others, no paddle with which to spank a political party, and certainly no ostensibly “spiritual” refuge within which to pursue personal or private virtuousness. Others’ lives are in the path of two wheels, one of which shall roll over them. The names of these wheels are Trump and Hillary. No other names and no other options enter in. Surely Election Day 2016 beckons each voting age American follower of Jesus Christ to jam his or her one spoke into one of those two wheels.
Mark DeVine is associate professor of history and doctrine at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Bonhoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Works, Volume 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), p. 210
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.
 Ten Years After, employed as the Prologue to Letters & Papers From Prison: New Greatly Enlarged Edition, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (New York, Macmillan, 1971), p. 16
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Volume 15 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), pp. 507-508.
 Ibid, p. 508.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom: The Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Geoffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson eds. (San Francisco: HarperSanfrancisco, 1995),p. 132
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics (New York: Touchstone, 1995), pp. 68-69.
 Bonhoeffer, Letters & Papers, pp. 369-370.
President of the United States and self-appointed lawyer for the Orlando Islamic Terrorist (I refuse to name him and I used Islamic instead of Islamist intentionally. Let’s quit pretending the Koran and Hadith don’t say what they say) today mocked the notion that identifying radical Islamist terrorists as such makes any difference. Lawyer Obama said labeling the terrorists as such won’t stop them from hating us because we wrongfully hate them. El Rushbo mentioned how Democrats seem to revert to lawyer mode after every terrorist attack to offer excuses for the terrorists. DeVine Law has since 9/11/2001 asked how paid agents of terrorists would act any differently than Democrats do for free?
Of course, Obama refuses to accurately name the enemy because then when he doesn’t do what he can to defeat them and protect us, he would be exposed as weak, cowardly or worse, not of a mind to protect the country he serves and is sworn to defend. He would rather blame guns, bitter Christian clingers to same etc. He lives to fundamentally transform the greatest nation in history, by far, all he can before he leaves office. Waging war against a named enemy conflicts with the notion that the US is the main evil on earth. The Democrats’ notion.
This reminds of 1998 when I, still a Democrat two years before my conversion, was thrilled when President Bill Clinton promised to wage war against Al Qaeda after they felled two of our embassies in Africa. Usama bin Laden later said that when the US didn’t invade Afghanistan after that he finally concluded that he would attack the US homeland of the “weak horse”. Having left Saddam Hussein in power and allowing him to taunt us and the U.N. had inspired his terrorists attacks on us prior to 9/11.
Meanwhile, after 9/11 Citizen Bill asked, before the rubble of the Towers had cooled:
Why do they hate us?
Democrats refuse to believe what the terrorists say and what the Koran and Hadith command them to do. Kill the infidel. But we are “Islamophobic”? Question: Were there ever people identified as “Nazi-phobic”? We think not, but sadly the Democrats not naked John F. Kennedy did similarly mock fear of an Evil Empire ten times more murderous than Hitler’s, with there appeasement of the worldwide Communism in the USSR, Red China and Cuba.
This while the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation was accepting millions from Sharia Law nations where gays are pushed off buildings for being illegally gay.
Obama and the Democrats blame Orlando, 9/11 and everything in between of Christians (we “punish” gays by treating them in our hospitals) and America. We actually might agree with Obama that “America” shares responsibility for radicalizing the Orlando Islamic Terrorist with his radical Muslim father, radical Muslim mosque, ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups. But not by anti-gay, Southern White-male Christians. No. The radicalization in this country is done by Obama’s Democrat Party academia, press and media arms which teach children in grammar school through college to hate America, much as Obama’ mother, dreams from his father, grandparents, Choom Gang, Communist Frank Marshall Davis, the (always said in hushed reverential tones) “Reverend” Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jeremiah “G-Damn America Wright, and other radical, liberal Democrat mentors taught him.
Obama says that the most beautiful sound on earth is the (creepy to us) call to morning prayer in Islam. Reminds eerily of the love of smell of napalm in the morning to me or the modern version, i.e. what Pulse smelled like last Sunday morning. Meanwhile the anodyne War on Extremism has produced: Obama surrendered Iraq to ISIS and gave Iran $150B. Attorney General Lynch warned that informants after the San Bernadino Islamic terrorist attack that they could be charged with a hate crime for bigotry against Muslims. I’m sure that helped get intel to prevent future Orlandos…..not.
Fellow Americans, this is who Democrats nominate and elect. You are not required to participate. Their appeasement can be Trumped.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
DeVine Law Gamecock’s oracle alter ego remains on sabbatical on Portugal’s offshore islands where he has resided since retiring from political predictions after the 2012 debacle. He refuses to engage in imagining the electoral machinations of a people that would re-hire an epic economic and national security failure. Cockstradamus also continues to leave paranoid schizophrenics to medical doctors. Yours truly remains roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia and together we share our plans for the new Leap Year aka the latest chance to not put a Democrat in the Oval Office.
Our number one resolution is to never apologize for the fact that Donald Trump leads GOP presidential nomination polls until the Democratic Party apologizes for ever nominating Barack Obama for president. He and his party have decimated the military; prevented all but bankers, the 1%, their cronies, and Mexican drug mules from bailing themselves out since the Housing Bust; persecuted Christians and conservatives via Lois Lerner’s IRS; appeased the Terror State of Iran that Jimmy carter created; and fundamentally transformed the only nation in the history of the world that didn’t need to be so transformed.
Number two, reject the notion that there is any silent conservative majority in the United States or even in the Republican Party.
Three, work to make sure that the most electable non-Democrat is elected president and hope that he or she has the courage to fix a few things Democrats and their enablers in the establishment GOP and wrecked, e.g. job-killing Obamacare etc.
Four, continue watching less TV, no liberal political TV I know what they are going to say before they say it), no commercials, no political arguing, and less PC ESPN non-live game programs.
Five, tip my bartenders more.
Six, remind Democrats to vote on Wednesday.
Seven, make no more resolutions until 2017.
Joint (lest Cockstradamus be further emasculated) predictions: Carolina Panthers win their first Super Bowl, Clemson wins the CFP, Lebron James leads Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA championship, Atlanta Braves win 60+ games, Little E wins Sprint Cup, and Ted Cruz is elected President of the United States.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
DeVine Law Gamecock moved from Spartanburg, S.C. to Atlanta in the Summer of 2001 and came face to face with the Left in power and in the raw. I came face to face with stifling Political Correctness. I came face to face with liberal racists who treated Blacks like disabled children. I came face to face with visceral hostility to people of faith in the Democratic Party and the cowardice of people of faith within it worse than I had ever seen. And I worked with a Black conservative who called me out and told me to read Robert Bork’s books.
Why was I ripe for a conversion? I now see that I probably stayed in the Dem Party despite having misgivings about it since soon after I first came of age because to have converted in my hometown would have meant almost a betrayal of my friends and a surrender to many people I despised in the Republican Party who I knew. Continue reading
By all means remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House de facto outdoor museum grounds, if for no other reason than to see what totem will be the next device used by Democrats to try and paint Republicans as racist per se and themselves as paragons of racial virtue.
This native gamecock of South Carolina’s first thought after first hearing of the Charleston Church Shooting was my recent debate with death penalty opponents, most of whom were Democrats and many of whom were South Carolinians, in which I advocated for capital punishment only in rare heinous cases. I had hoped that the first reaction from liberal Democrat death penalty absolutists would be to re-visit their absolutism.
But no, the first priority of too many Democrats upon learning last Wednesday that Dylann Roof had murdered nine members of Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emmanuel AME Church, was to re-visit the A.D. 2000 compromise signed off on by all parties and races, which removed the Confederate Flag from a position of sovereignty atop the State House Dome to the grounds next to its Confederate Memorial. Continue reading