Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Morality v. moralism

One of the dangers of being an Important Commentator on Current Affairs is having your words thrown back in your face by a person with a good memory, or maybe even by a dog. Such is the fate of John Brandl, Humphrey Institute professor and former dean, proponent of sectarian schools, and all-around upright Catholic.

In response to Spot’s posts about Brandl’s support of school vouchers and parochial schools, Brandl’s big splash, A postscript, and A drum roll, please, one of Spot’s correspondents reminded Spotty that Brandl had weighed in on the impeachment or resignation of Bill Clinton. Here’s part of what Brandl wrote for publication in the Star Tribune on October 1, 1998:
Who would be attracted to politics if Clinton resigns? Honorable people, one would expect. The greatest contribution he [Clinton] could make to the country in the rest of his life would be to resign now, to show that public service is noble work, that honor lives. [The italics are Spot’s.]

Okay, John, what about the current nest of snakes that lied its way – dragging the rest of us along - into war? A war that has killed nearly 2100 service people, injured or maimed over ten thousand of them, and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis? Most citizens in the country now recognize that is the truth. And it is the truth. Where are you John? Have you spoken up against our ignoble Administration and its dishonorable perfidy? An Administration that has caused a thousand thousand times more damage to the republic than Bill Clinton’s dalliance. If you have, Spot hasn’t heard about it.

Morality versus pious moralism. We could do with a little more of the former and less of the latter, John.


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