Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Lesson from Dan Quayle

This is from Christopher Manion's column in a recent number of The Wanderer. And the sequestration is already happening exactly as he predicted.

“ Son, Dan Quayle wants you to help him, and I said it’s OK. His guy’s gonna call you.” With that, Jesse Helms walked out of the cloakroom onto the Senate floor, handing me my only foray ever into vice- presidential politics.

In that spring of 1988, it was already clear that Vice President George H. W. Bush would be the Republican presidential nominee. All the drama focused on his choice of a running mate. Early on, Quayle was not even considered a contender. Names like Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, and Pete Domenici were floating around, but each of those carried baggage that worried pro- lifers — and Bush was the biggest question mark of all. Sen. Quayle decided that Bush needed a dependable conservative, pro- life running mate — Dan Quayle.

Quayle certainly fit the bill, but he had a problem. He had come to the Senate in 1981, in an election that gave the Republicans the majority party for the first time since the 1950s. Ronald Reagan’s coattails deserve most of the credit, but a lot of “ movement conservatives” thought they had played a role too. Quayle, a solid conservative, started keeping his distance from the grass- roots groups. I think he considered some of their leaders to be too pushy. Pushy or not, by 1988 they were also powerful — and indispensable. Dan Quayle needed them if he wanted to be Bush’s running mate.

For several weeks, at Quayle’s request, I worked with the leadership of virtually every conservative group in the country. It worked. The grassroots swelled with support, and, in August, from a motel room in rural Pennsylvania, I watched Dan Quayle accept the nomination ( my van had broken down on the way to an August seminar at Russell Kirk’s).
What happened next is instructive: The Bush campaign, under the iron hand of Jim Baker, sequestered Quayle. Baker’s crew virtually encouraged the media’s notion that Quayle was a lightweight, in need of close supervision. After Bush beat Dukakis in November, Baker’s first priority was to cleanse the executive branch of every conservative he could find. By and large, he succeeded handsomely. To keep Quayle under control, he installed Bill Kristol as Quayle’s chief of staff. And I never heard from Dan Quayle again.

Three weeks ago, Bill Kristol passionately urged John McCain to choose pro- abortion Democrat Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Obama is so bad, Kristol argued, that conservatives will have no option but McCain. But now, Kristol is suddenly aglow at McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, Lieberman’s total metaphysical opposite ( if I may for a moment be a Manichee). Meanwhile, one of Kristol’s Weekly Standard’s more unseemly colleagues attacked Ron Paul’s supporters as “ Paultards.”

In our swooning over Sarah Palin, let us not forget the lesson of Dan Quayle: The lobbyists and the DC trough- dwellers who serve as the henchmen of the McCain campaign want every bit as much control over Palin as Jim Baker wielded over Dan Quayle — or the control that Dick Cheney wields over George Bush, for that matter. George H. W. Bush picked Dan Quayle because he could not win without the grass- roots. He never understood us, but he needed us — temporarily. Then Jim Baker’s demolition crew took over.

McCain has never understood movement conservatives either. But he picked Palin to bring the grass- roots out of the bleachers back onto the playing field because he can’t win without them. Palin’s record indicates that, if she wins, she will throw out the corrupt GOP machine in Washington the same way she did in Alaska. The leaders of that corrupt machine are now running McCain’s campaign. The question is, will they be able to isolate Sarah Barracuda in some far corner in the executive wing? Only time will tell.

The Wanderer's website, as has been mentioned before, doesn't facilitate direct citations. For the rest of the article you need to get hold of the 18 September 2008 issue.

Liturgical Progress

From California Catholic Daily:

Vatican City (CNA) -- Pope Benedict XVI has made a low profile but significant move in the direction of liturgical reform by completely changing his liturgical consultants.

A hardly noticed brief note from the Vatican Press Office on Sept. 24 announced the appointment of new consultants for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. It did not mention, however, the importance of the new appointees.

I don't know most of the names of the new consultors, but one stands out to me, even here in the liturgical wilderness: Fr Uwe Michael Lang, C.O. This addition alone is outstanding. The fact that he is a member of the London Oratory should be recommendation enough. But sSee his article here in Rorate Cæli on Latin in the liturgy. Or his book on celebrating ad orientem, "Turning towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer". You can read part of the preface to it on line here.

But that's not all the good news. The California Catholic Daily article ends with this:

Also relevant to the appointments is the fact that all former consultants, appointed when Archbishop Piero Marini led the office of Liturgical Celebrations, have been dismissed since their appointments were not renewed.

The rest is here.

Technology vs The Inn

I have fought valiantly, but technology seems to be winning a lot lately. But at least at the moment, The Inn is holding its own. (I was going to make an Iraq war analogy but in the event it seemed "surge" might not be the most felicitous word when dealing with so much electronic equipment.)

This month's technology meltdown has involved (mostly) the monitor. Everything was a bilious shade of green there for a while. Sort of like a swimming pool that hasn't been treated with chlorine. This was at least preferable to showing nothing at all, which it also did on occasion. At least one could still see the words and images on the screen.

But, fortified with assorted new drivers, we are back.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Later Than Ever This Year

10 September -- the first Christmas catalogue arrived in the mail this morning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Some Piping for the Weekend

This is John Warner playing the Scottish Smallpipe in A. The first tune is The Silver Spear; I don't know the others. (And I wouldn't have remembered the name of the first one if he hadn't mentioned it. Terrible memory for tune names.) John made the bellows for my border pipes and did an excellent job of it, too.

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Friday

Today is the first Friday of the month. Have I ever mentioned First Friday devotions here in The Inn? I can't remember. In any event, I was thinking about it today after reading last night once again about Our Lord's particular desire that the King of France consecrate his nation and his family to the Sacred Heart. I'll try later to find something about that of a reasonable length to publish here. In the meantime, the old prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart composed by Pope Leo XIII. We used to pray it at St Basil's in Los Angeles on First Fridays years ago when Msgr Hawkes was still in charge. It's been a long time since I've heard it prayed publicly.

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us, humbly prostrate before Thine altar.

We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising thy precepts, have rejected Thee.

Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there maybe but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry and Islamism, and refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church, assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation: to It be glory and honour forever. Amen.

There is a popular precis of the devotion here. And see Pope Pius XII's encyclical Haurietis Aquas here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Noonan on Palin

Peggy Noonan's thoughts on Sarah Palin were published before The Speech last night but are every bit as relevant this morning. (A perfectly in-tune, stem-winder of a speech, in my occasionally humble opinion. You can find the full printed text or view the full video at CSPAN's site here.)

A few of Miss Noonan's insights that struck me particularly:

Because she jumbles up so many cultural categories, because she is a feminist not in the Yale Gender Studies sense but the How Do I Reload This Thang way, because she is a woman who in style, history, moxie and femininity is exactly like a normal American feminist and not an Abstract Theory feminist; because she wears makeup and heels and eats mooseburgers and is Alaska Tough, as Time magazine put it; because she is conservative, and pro-2nd Amendment and pro-life; and because conservatives can smell this sort of thing -- who is really one of them and who is not -- and will fight to the death for one of their beleaguered own; because of all of this she is a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.

She could become a transformative political presence.

. . . . . . .

. . .in its involvement in this week's ritual humiliation of a 17-year-old girl, the mainstream press may seriously overplay its hand, and court a backlash that impacts the election.


I'll tell you how powerful Mrs. Palin already is: she reignited the culture wars just by showing up. She scrambled the battle lines, too. The crustiest old Republican men are shouting "Sexism!" when she's slammed. Pro-woman Democrats are saying she must be a bad mother to be all ambitious with kids in the house. Great respect goes to Barack Obama not only for saying criticism of candidates' children is out of bounds in political campaigns, but for making it personal, and therefore believable. "My mother had me when she was eighteen…" That was the lovely sound of class in American politics.

The rest of the piece is here.

Monday, September 01, 2008

New to the Old Mass?

If you're attending the traditional Roman Mass - "the extraordinary form" - for the first time or are still relatively new to the traditional rites, the website Spera in Deo may be a very useful resource. In fact, its subtitle is "Resources for the Traditional Latin Mass". There is also a good deal of useful material for those of us who for the past 40 years or so have been hanging on to the traditional rites for dear life.

Have a look.