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Sep 25, 201511:14 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Pope Francis promotes Republican values: life and opportunity

(page 1 of 2)

The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. Pope Francis before the joint session of Congress.

On my television screen Thursday morning, the Pope’s pure white garments glowed from the dark-hued chambers of the House of Representatives.

Other visual takeaways: Speaker John Boehner welling up during the speech, searching for his hanky, and outright blubbering when the holy man addressed the crowd outside (he may have been thinking of his tea party rebels, but still); the papal FIAT, a tiny vehicle amidst the security of all those honking big American SUVs, as if to underscore the man’s humility (a little red 500c is the staff car here at the Stately Manor); and eschewing the congressional dinner to break bread among the homeless (all right, the First Lady of the Stately Manor remarked on the large numbers of cell phones among the homeless, but still).

The CNN commentary dwelt on global warming; fair enough, but Republicans want a clean environment. They just doubt that cap and trade are going to make one Fahrenheit degree of difference while creating a regulatory monster.

“On this continent … thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’

“We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.”

There is something unseemly about Republicans — the party of life, champions of opportunity — vying with each other for who can build the most forbidding wall, the thickest, tallest, most electrified wall. Yes, enforce our immigration laws. Withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. But America cannot withstand massive round-ups, relocation camps, and deportations like something out of the diary of Anne Frank. 

Moreover, immigrants — legal or otherwise — are workers, people of faith, and family oriented. The milking parlors on Wisconsin’s dairy farms would be empty without them, as would half our restaurant kitchens.

Again, yes, a path to citizenship. Marco Rubio, do not apologize.

That is where my man Scott Walker fell on the always-slippery campaign trail. He tried to trump Donald Trump on immigration and that cannot be done. Walker took every side of immigration and birth citizenship (there really is a good argument against it) and thereby betrayed the constancy that was his appeal. It wasn’t who he is — a champion of the opportunity society, of economic growth, not of rolling up the sidewalks.

Walker allowed himself to become intimidated. The electorate could see his wetted finger in the air. Americans respect someone who takes a principled stand — if it is principled. It is what won Walker a recall election.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Sep 25, 2015 11:32 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


"but Republicans want a clean environment". They sure have a strange way of expressing that desire. You obviously have no clue....

Sep 25, 2015 01:08 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

blaska never had a clue about anything.

Sep 28, 2015 11:10 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yeah... THAT is where Walker fell. On immigration. Brilliant analysis.

Sep 28, 2015 11:13 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Round 'em up, but in a humane way. You sound just like the Donald on 60 Minutes last night.

Sep 28, 2015 02:55 pm
 Posted by  JNT

Dave, your comment supporting a path to citizenship and denouncing massive round-ups and deportations is one of the most humane statement I’ve read from anyone so far. Good for you.

However, your comment regarding the uselessness of cap and trade is misleading. As you are well aware, a disagreement about policy is not even the argument that’s being made by most members of the Republican party these days. The talk rather is about global warming being a hoax and a fraud. An attack on science and scientists, rather than a policy debate.

Under a business-as-usual scenario the world is looking at a 4.5C increase by 2100. You’re interested in science, right? (how about that announcement today about water on Mars!) Read the 2015 paper by Cook, Ault and Smerdon in Science Advances regarding the probability of a mega drought in the Southwest and Plain States if CO2 emissions continue as they have been. Do you want your grandchildren living in a country which faces massive food shortages?

As Justin Gillis pointed out in today’s NYT, pledges from all the countries heading into the Paris summit will reduce the expected temperature increase from 4.5 C (8.1 F) to 3.5 C (6.3 F). It’s still not enough, but at least it’s a start.

Personally, I’m more interested in the science than policy, but cap and trade was a huge success under President George H.W. Bush in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants that was responsible for acid rain. The Clean Air Act of 1990 was a direct result of a collaboration between free market conservative C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel at the time, and the Environmental Defense Fund. No huge regulatory bureaucracy was needed.

If you’re unhappy with cap and trade, then propose something that would work even better.

Sep 28, 2015 11:03 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave doesn't believe in science....

Sep 29, 2015 05:33 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

JNT poses a good question deserving a good answer;
What will work is what has always worked: free people under free markets with honest science.

Sep 29, 2015 11:40 am
 Posted by  JNT

OK MEP, I've got you down as in favor of cap and trade.

Sep 29, 2015 11:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

This is like Althouse's insistence that "Dylan is a conservative." It's a political tradition to claim the apolitical person of the moment as your own (or, in the case of a villain, the opponent's own). But that doesn't make it fly with everyone. The pope's pro-life? No!!!! Where is he on a waiting period for handgun purchases do you suppose? Or drone strikes? We know where he stands on climate change.

The truth is that he's interesting and worth listening to because he eschews partisanship and the world's cynical alliances.

Quit trying to put him in your small-view-of-the-world box.

Sep 29, 2015 12:04 pm
 Posted by  madisonexpat


Then you are still batting 1,000.
All errors.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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