These past few weeks have been exceptionally busy as we have had several high-profile deaths among the congregation. These events have taken me away from the more enjoyable aspects of my ministry and my writing, and have largely kept me away from current events like the Academy Awards, the fomenting tensions in Ukraine, and last week’s start-studded CPAC.
The first one I couldn’t care less about. I heard that Matthew McConaughey is the new darling of the evangelical Christian community simply because he thanked God during his acceptance speech. I just wonder if any of them have seen his recent films…
The second one, Ukraine, I will get to in a moment.
Which brings us to CPAC.
Last week was the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference. Essentially, it is a gathering of extremely
closed- like-minded people
who listen to speakers trying to be more extreme conservative than the
last, ending with a “Straw Poll” about whom they would vote for if the
Presidential Election was held today.
In recent history, they got it right only with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
|Yes, there are gay conservatives!|
But the selection of Texas Representative Ron Paul in 2010 & 2011 brought concerns that the conference was drifting away from “conservative American values” toward Libertarianism. That, coupled with the rejection of the gay Republican group GOProud in 2011 (at the behest of the Heritage Foundation, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council), has incurred some fragmentation at the conference and the creation of some upstarts that are trying to prove themselves the true conservative voice.
Not to mention that in 2010 the John Birch Society became a co-sponsor of the event!
Perhaps the world shifted on its axis in 2010, because that same year, CPAC gave the dubious “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement.
Nonetheless, Kentucky darling and junior Senator Rand Paul (son of Rep. Ron Paul, who borrowed the name from his favorite author Ayn Rand) won the “straw poll” in both 2013 and this year, edging out Ted Cruz, the crackpot Senator from Texas, by nearly three times the number!
Senator Paul, born just a month before your humble Captain, and an ophthalmologist by profession, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. According to Wikipedia (you’ll appreciate this footnote in a moment), the junior Senator’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. He wanted to cut the Department of Education by 83%, the Department of Homeland Security by 43%, and fold the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense. His proposal also included completely doing away with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, seven independent agencies, and all international aid, and reducing food stamps by 30%.
And yet, people are still listening to him!
He has consistently voted against raising the debt ceiling, stop-gap spending measures, and budget cuts that don’t go “deep enough”.
And recently he was caught plagiarizing from Wikipedia articles!
See, at least I cite my sources, questionable though they are!
Let me remind you again that Senator Ted Cruz took second place in the “straw poll”.
Be afraid! Be very afraid!
So what would happen if the CPAC people have actually predicted a winner this time? What would “President Rand Paul” do?
Yesterday, the Huffington Post (I know, “the liberal media”) reported on Paul’s appearance on Fox News Sunday. Paul was asked what he would do about the situation in Ukraine.
For those of you who have been sleeping, here’s the situation: the President of that former Soviet Bloc nation was a scoundrel, stealing millions from the people. The people wanted a trade agreement with the European Union, but at the last minute, the president decided to throw his support to Russia.
The Captain assumes rubles did, in fact, change hands.
|No, this is not a scene from a movie or video game.|
Bloody riots broke out, the president fled the country, and Russia moved in to restore order and ensure that Ukraine would behave and realign itself with Russia. The rest of the world protested Russia’s action as a blatant invasion of a sovereign nation – as if that’s never been done before – and sabers have been rattling.
A point not to be overlooked, Ukraine is of little consequence to the EU and to America, so there is little chance of military engagement. It's just that no one wants Russia to have it.
But of course, this gives critics of President Obama an opportunity to complain, and CPAC provided a convenient platform.
What average American citizens aren’t aware of – because we really don’t care! – is that Ukraine is almost completely dependent on Russian oil. So if Russia was to turn off the tap, that little country would be plunged into darkness and an oil shortage could possibly ripple throughout Europe.
But Senator Paul is a smart man. He is aware of all of this. So when asked by Fox News what he would do about Ukraine, the junior Senator responded, “I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas… And I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”
Take a moment to let that thought sink in…
“President Rand Paul”, who just three years ago wanted to cut all foreign aid, would be willing to destroy the land and deplete the natural resources of America in order to prop up a small, politically insignificant nation halfway around the world, just to say “F___ You!” to Russia?
Way to go, CPAC! You’ve picked a real winner!