Godless Charlotte and Sister Stooge

God got jeered and booed in Charlotte this week, providing at least one memorable moment in an otherwise forgettable convention.

Wednesday’s now-infamous vote reversing the Democratic Party’s intended omission of God from the platform turned into an utter fiasco. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided haplessly over the sham vote. He asked the delegates three times to accept the reinstatement of God in the platform. But they refused. Loud boos followed each vote.

Looking like a deer caught in the headlights, Villaraigosa conferred anxiously with a party hack nearby. Finally, he decided to end the chaos by lying. “Two-thirds” of the delegates had approved the amendment, he declared unconvincingly. Sean Hannity at Fox News later showed a photo proving the vote was rigged: the teleprompter off which Villaraigosa was reading stated that the vote had passed even before it occurred.

The bottom line is that God lost. This rebuke is surely a first in the history of American political conventions. The nays were far louder than the ayes, making it clear that rank-and-file Democrats approved of his deletion from the platform and support an unapologetically secularist party.

If it weren’t for all the bad publicity, party bosses wouldn’t have cared about the omission either. Senator Dick Durbin’s Tuesday tantrum on Fox News—in which he refused to answer Bret Baier’s question about the omission and ranted about the “narrative” of the Democrats as godless—now looks even worse. Durbin had called the omission a “trifle.” A day later party officials considered it so important that they were willing to silence delegates on the matter.

President Obama is conscious of the need to con the religious into voting for his reelection. And so he apparently ordered the change. As Obama learned from the methods of Saul Alinsky, one must never turn the heat up too quickly lest the specimens jump out. He knows that if the party is too obvious about its atheistic aspirations Americans will turn on it.

Democrats blamed John Kerry’s loss in 2004 largely on his open secularism. “Values voters” overwhelmingly supported George W. Bush, leading even Nancy Pelosi to grumble about Kerry’s secularism: “I know that many of the people who are in politics on the Democratic side do so according to the gospel of Matthew and indeed the Bible, but we don’t demonstrate it clearly enough and faith is such an important part of the lives of most people in our country. They want to know that we identify with that.”

Keenly aware of Kerry’s stumble, Obama made sure to avoid the same mistake in 2008 by touting his “post-partisan” appreciation for matters of faith. By adopting a tone of quasi-religious uplift and shoehorning his socialism into several scriptural passages, Obama succeeded in poaching many Catholic and Protestant voters from the religiously indifferent John McCain.

This background explains the panic on Wednesday. Obama doesn’t want to lose any swing states over a platform edit.

Nor is it a coincidence that on the same day delegates booed God party officials gushed endlessly about “Sister Simone Campbell,” a Soros-subsidized stooge they trotted out to bless Obama’s big spending. Normally the Democrats whine about “priests and nuns who meddle in politics.” But they always make an exception for the ones who identify “social justice” with the party’s platform.

Without DNC officials and compliant journalists incessantly calling her “sister,” few viewers would have even known Campbell’s religious affiliation, as she appeared on stage without her habit. While she has dropped her otherworldly attire, she clings tenaciously to her otherworldly title, as it gives added propaganda value to her left-wing opinions presented as church teaching. She didn’t seem to mind that she was sharing the stage with Sandra Fluke and abortion lobbyists. Abortion, she told a reporter without apparent irony, is above her “pay grade.” Obama no doubt approved of this answer. He used the same line at Rick Warren’s civility confab in 2008.

That the bishops let “sisters”—such as Campbell and Sister Carol Keehan (whose pay grade as a liberal lobbyist is near a million dollars a year)—work for the reelection of the most anti-Catholic president ever is an open disgrace. But such is the surreal drama around the cult of Obama, whose acolytes in Charlotte made history by voting down God.

This column first appeared September 7, 2012 in RealClearReligion.org and is reprinted with permission.

George Neumayr


George Neumayr is a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and a weekly columnist for Crisis Magazine. He is also co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.

  • jcsmitty

    Sr. Simone is part of the “nuns on a bus” and part of Network, a dissident group. The Vatican is currently looking at the religious leaders conference to which Campbell belongs (can’t remember the correct abbreviation) and asking them to reform. Good luck! Campbell’s appearance at the DNC was scandalous but I doubt her bishop will do a thing.

  • Edward Peitler

    Who’s her bishop?

    • Patrick

      Cardinal Dolan!

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  • consumingflame

    You correctly state that this is an open disgrace on the bishops part. Which of course begs the question; where are the bishops? Where is the Vatican?

    • verbummilitant

      That is the 64,000 dollar question. Where are our Bishops? Where are our shepherds?Where are our champions of Truth? Where are our defenders of the Faith? They are sadly nowhere to be found. The very, very few that do speak up; do so with wimpers.
      The Dem “Catholics” embrace intrinsic evil in the name of “their” faith and not one word, NOT ONE WORD, in correction from our Bishops. I have never been more ashamed of those who are called; CALLED to be champions of the TRUTH.
      If Obama get re-elected it will be by the so-called “Catholic” vote. When we ALL loose our religious liberty it will be at the hands of those “Catholics.”
      Bishops, it is time to man-up before it is too late!!!!!!!!

      • Tout

        Yes, as a Catholic, I keep at some length from our bishops for years. I used to drive every Sunday 40 km to attend a Latin Mass, but have no car no more. I don’t see anyone using a prayer-book. We are entertained, little time for personal prayer. This church has put up 3 buildings over 25 years but not replaced the communion-rail. I give 25 cents or less in collection till we use.a communion-rail. But WE can still defend and evangelize our Faith, not by words but by deeds.I used to go twice a month to a Mary-statue downtown, pray the rosary, hang my sign “Whether glad,sad or wary, pause a while, say a Hail Mary”. Started going around 4 streets, praying, rosary in hand. The 7th time, a lady and son came with me. In 2008, a mother took over(I was 88) did better job, praying,singing, carrying big Mary-statue to church for crowning. I always make sign of cross before meals, in restaurants, alone or with others who don’t. Am the only one in this ‘old people’ house(80 people) who makes sign of cross before meal. In 2004, went to Turnhout(Belgium), prayed at Sacred Heart statue on central market. Statue was held together with 5 metal bands. Back in Canada, wrote to 100+people & the Mayor there that it had to be repaired. Was fully repaired in 2006. Every church should have at least a crucifix against the wall, 2 meters above ground. Every parishioner to pray there at least once a year. Please always receive on tongue, not in hand !

  • Rich

    Not a disgrace in the slightest. Sr. Simone is a positive role model, and displays quite a bit of courage in a patriarchal church that refuses to even discuss issues that will leave many of its pews empty as more years go by.

    • ‘t worry, the pews will be empty of old people and babies. We are experiencing that already from the contracepting, pro aborts. As soon as we can get the euthansia up front we can get rid of all those nasty disabled people too!! Life will be so great for all those “catholics” left. Whatever will they do with their quality time?

    • Adam__Baum

      She is an activist, masquerading as a nun. If the pews were filled with her ilk, it would be worthless.

      • Marie

        Exactly! I’d like to put signs up outside of certain retreat centers (run by nuns) I’ve visited that read “Activists Here…!”

    • verbummilitant

      Try to get over the whole woman “victim” thing for just a moment, clear your mind and then open your eyes. The light you see will be Truth. Embrace it!

  • hombre111

    I don’t know. Makes me think of one of Jesus’ parables. You know, the one when the father asks his sons to work in the vineyard. The one says he’s going, but doesn’t. The other says he won’t go, but does. The Repubs in Tampa claimed their allegiance to God, but a more godless, more materialistic group of people does not exist. I wonder if they did any small act of kindness toward the homeless in Tampa, who exist in the largest numbers per capita in America. The Dems were reluctant to nail God’s name to a political platform, but they believe in all those Gospel values, like ministering to the poor and outcast.

    • Alecto

      I simply will not allow you to spew this ignorance. Period! Adults live in a world of facts, children live in a world of fantasy. From the WSJ this morning, (9/17/2012) courtesy of this adult’s subscription, but I am quite certain you can find some of this for free online. There is no ministering with OPM. However, read and learn, dupe, what your Dems hath wrought in the name of “Gospel values”!

      By George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer and John B. Taylor”Sometimes a few facts tell important stories. The American economy
      now is full of facts that tell stories that you really don’t want, but
      need, to hear.

      Where are we now?

      Did you know that annual spending by
      the federal government now exceeds the 2007 level by about $1 trillion?
      With a slow economy, revenues are little changed. The result is an
      unprecedented string of federal budget deficits, $1.4 trillion in 2009,
      $1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and another $1.2 trillion
      on the way this year. The four-year increase in borrowing amounts to
      $55,000 per U.S. household.

      The amount of debt is one thing. The
      burden of interest payments is another. The Treasury now has a
      preponderance of its debt issued in very short-term durations, to take
      advantage of low short-term interest rates. It must frequently refinance
      this debt which, when added to the current deficit, means Treasury must
      raise $4 trillion this year alone. So the debt burden will explode when
      interest rates go up.

      The government has to get the money to
      finance its spending by taxing or borrowing. While it might be tempting
      to conclude that we can just tax upper-income people, did you know that
      the U.S. income tax system is already very progressive? The top 1% pay
      37% of all income taxes and 50% pay none. Did you know that, during the last
      fiscal year, around three-quarters of the deficit was financed by the
      Federal Reserve? Foreign governments accounted for most of the rest, as
      American citizens’ and institutions’ purchases and sales netted to about
      zero. The Fed now owns one in six dollars of the national debt, the
      largest percentage of GDP in history, larger than even at the end of
      World War II.

      The Fed has effectively replaced the
      entire interbank money market and large segments of other markets with
      itself. It determines the interest rate by declaring what it will pay on
      reserve balances at the Fed without regard for the supply and demand of
      money. By replacing large decentralized markets with centralized
      control by a few government officials, the Fed is distorting incentives
      and interfering with price discovery with unintended economic

      Did you know that the Federal Reserve
      is now giving money to banks, effectively circumventing the
      appropriations process? To pay for quantitative easing—the purchase of
      government debt, mortgage-backed securities, etc.—the Fed credits banks
      with electronic deposits that are reserve balances at the Federal
      Reserve. These reserve balances have exploded to $1.5 trillion from $8
      billion in September 2008.

      The Fed now pays 0.25% interest on
      reserves it holds. So the Fed is paying the banks almost $4 billion a
      year. If interest rates rise to 2%, and the Federal Reserve raises the
      rate it pays on reserves correspondingly, the payment rises to $30
      billion a year. Would Congress appropriate that kind of money to
      give—not lend—to banks?

      The Fed’s policy of keeping interest
      rates so low for so long means that the real rate (after accounting for
      inflation) is negative, thereby cutting significantly the real income of
      those who have saved for retirement over their lifetime.

      The Consumer Financial Protection
      Bureau is also being financed by the Federal Reserve rather than by
      appropriations, severing the checks and balances needed for good
      government. And the Fed’s Operation Twist, buying long-term and selling
      short-term debt, is substituting for the Treasury’s traditional debt

      This large expansion of reserves
      creates two-sided risks. If it is not unwound, the reserves could pour
      into the economy, causing inflation. In that event, the Fed will have
      effectively turned the government debt and mortgage-backed securities it
      purchased into money that will have an explosive impact. If reserves
      are unwound too quickly, banks may find it hard to adjust and pull back
      on loans. Unwinding would be hard to manage now, but will become ever
      harder the more the balance sheet rises.

      The issue is not merely how much we
      spend, but how wisely, how effectively. Did you know that the federal
      government had 46 separate job-training programs? Yet a 47th for green
      jobs was added, and the success rate was so poor that the Department of
      Labor inspector general said it should be shut down. We need to get much
      better results from current programs, serving a more carefully targeted
      set of people with more effective programs that increase their

      Did you know that funding for federal
      regulatory agencies and their employment levels are at all-time highs?
      In 2010, the number of Federal Register pages devoted to proposed new
      rules broke its previous all-time record for the second consecutive
      year. It’s up by 25% compared to 2008. These regulations alone will
      impose large costs and create heightened uncertainty for business and
      especially small business.

      This is all bad enough, but where we are headed is even worse.

      President Obama’s budget will raise
      the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to 80.4% in two years, about double its
      level at the end of 2008, and a larger percentage point increase than
      Greece from the end of 2008 to the beginning of this year.

      Under the president’s budget, for
      example, the debt expands rapidly to $18.8 trillion from $10.8 trillion
      in 10 years. The interest costs alone will reach $743 billion a year,
      more than we are currently spending on Social Security, Medicare or
      national defense, even under the benign assumption of no inflationary
      increase or adverse bond-market reaction. For every one percentage point
      increase in interest rates above this projection, interest costs rise
      by more than $100 billion, more than current spending on veterans’
      health and the National Institutes of Health combined.

      Worse, the unfunded long-run
      liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid add tens of
      trillions of dollars to the debt, mostly due to rising real benefits per
      beneficiary. Before long, all the government will be able to do is
      finance the debt and pay pension and medical benefits. This spending
      will crowd out all other necessary government functions.

      What does this spending and debt mean
      in the long run if it is not controlled? One result will be ever-higher
      income and payroll taxes on all taxpayers that will reach over 80% at
      the top and 70% for many middle-income working couples.

      Did you know that the federal
      government used the bankruptcy of two auto companies to transfer money
      that belonged to debt holders such as pension funds and paid it to
      friendly labor unions? This greatly increased uncertainty about creditor
      rights under bankruptcy law.

      The Fed is adding to the uncertainty
      of current policy. Quantitative easing as a policy tool is very hard to
      manage. Traders speculate whether and when the Fed will intervene next.
      The Fed can intervene without limit in any credit market—not only
      mortgage-backed securities but also securities backed by automobile
      loans or student loans. This raises questions about why an independent
      agency of government should have this power.

      When businesses and households
      confront large-scale uncertainty, they tend to wait for more clarity to
      emerge before making major commitments to spend, invest and hire. Right
      now, they confront a mountain of regulatory uncertainty and a fiscal
      cliff that, if unattended, means a sharp increase in taxes and a sharp
      decline in spending bound to have adverse effect on the economy. Are you
      surprised that so much cash is waiting on the sidelines?

      What’s at stake?

      We cannot count on problems elsewhere
      in the world to make Treasury securities a safe haven forever. We risk
      eventually losing the privilege and great benefit of lower interest
      rates from the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency. In short,
      we risk passing an economic, fiscal and financial point of no return.

      Suppose you were offered the job of
      Treasury secretary a few months from now. Would you accept? You would
      confront problems that are so daunting even Alexander Hamilton would
      have trouble preserving the full faith and credit of the United States.
      Our first Treasury secretary famously argued that one of a nation’s
      greatest assets is its ability to issue debt, especially in a crisis. We
      needed to honor our Revolutionary War debt, he said, because the debt
      “foreign and domestic, was the price of liberty.”

      History has reconfirmed Hamilton’s
      wisdom. As historian John Steele Gordon has written, our nation’s
      ability to issue debt helped preserve the Union in the 1860s and defeat
      totalitarian governments in the 1940s. Today, government officials are
      issuing debt to finance pet projects and payoffs to interest groups, not
      some vital, let alone existential, national purpose.

      The problems are close to being
      unmanageable now. If we stay on the current path, they will wind up
      being completely unmanageable, culminating in an unwelcome explosion and

      The fixes are blindingly obvious.
      Economic theory, empirical studies and historical experience teach that
      the solutions are the lowest possible tax rates on the broadest base,
      sufficient to fund the necessary functions of government on balance over
      the business cycle; sound monetary policy; trade liberalization;
      spending control and entitlement reform; and regulatory, litigation and
      education reform. The need is clear. Why wait for disaster? The future
      is now.”

      Hombre111, there are none so blind as those who will not see doesn’t simply apply to the acceptance of Jesus Christ as lord and savior!. Grow up and accept responsibility as an adult in a society on the verge of both moral and fiscal collapse.

      • hombre111

        For years I wrote a one page editorial for different Catholic newspapers. Taught me to be very brief. Also made me very impatient with long winded responses to my little four sentence. So, whatever you wrote, I didn’t read it.

  • hombre111

    It is a shame that neither party can embrace the whole Catholic teaching. Dems embrace Catholic teaching on community and social responsibility, but reject traditional Catholic sexual ethics with their sense of freedom tempered by responsibility. Repubs. embrace Catholic sexual ethics but, in their modern Tea Party incarnation, embrace a rampant individualism that seems to be based on the philosophy of the atheist Ayn Rand.

    • Alecto

      As a TEA party sympathizer, who has actually attended meetings and demonstrations, I find your brash, unfounded and highly ignorant statements concerning a brave, infinitely polite and generous group of individuals who are doing everything possible to prevent this country, this union, from flinging itself over a cliff into bankruptcy and tyranny are insulting. You need a visit from the math fairy, because it’s obvious your public school education shortchanged your ability to perform simple addition and subtraction. We are $16 trillion in debt. That unfathomable number represents immoral slavery which binds every American alive and yet to be born. That number also excludes the amount of unfunded liabilities, now estimated at $77 trillion, arising from an entitlement system created by the most nefarious, specious thieves on the planet: politicians who bribe the people with their OWN money, and a gullible, greedy and envious group of ignorant fools who vote for them. I do not exempt Republicans from criticism, but they are guilty of cowardice whereas Democrats are fiscal dibbuks, guilty of persecution, treason and murder of a once prosperous nation of believers and achievers.

      There is no “Catholic social teaching” which sanctions unlimited government confiscation and redistribution of private property to fund license, murder, sloth and greed. Further, if someone attempted to concoct it, real Catholics would reject it. No politician is going to save us. The pope and the bishops cannot save us from the consequences of generational theft and bankruptcy. The pain, suffering and starvation resulting from such a national bankruptcy will make the Great Depression look like a church picnic. Too many catholics no longer believe in self-reliance, helping neighbors, preparedness or true charity and yet criticize those who do. They have bastardized moral teachings in exchange for a government check and I pray God’s judgment upon such people!

      That poverty has increased despite trillions in anti-poverty initiatives over the past 50 years is testament to this. Americans are poorer because government and misguided “Catholic” socialist conspirators have stolen our wealth. Anyone who tries to get away with misstating Catholic teaching about the nature of true charity, the obligations of individuals, and who further sanctions state extortion of individuals to fund highly immoral programs which sap the motivation, along with the God-given talents bestowed upon each of us at birth deserves censure, and a lashing.

      • hombre111

        Feel better, now? Your thesaurus must have gotten a workout. But a rant is still a rant.

        • Alecto

          For your part, ignorance, willful ignorance must be bliss.

        • Alecto

          Oh, and I don’t need a thesaurus, hombre. I attended the best Catholic schools with the finest teachers money can’t buy: Dominicans.

          • hombre111

            Dominicans! I studied with the Adrian Dominicans, who were responsible for the great intellectual shift of my life. Made me a liberal forever. Then I went for some post-grad to the Graduate Theology School of Berkeley and ran into some Dominicans there, all male. They were still being Grand Inquisitors for the Inquisition. Found them to be a dreary sort. Felt much more at home with the Jesuits and Franciscans.

            • Adam_Baum

              Oh, Berkeley. Now we now what asylum you were at.

              Your “shift” was intellectual, it was visceral. Leftist politics is all about emotion, not reason.

              • Adam_Baum

                correction: wasn’t

              • hombre111

                Heh. It’s spelled “know,” not “now.” But know, my shift was intellectual, an “aha” moment during my search for a more adequate theory of the whole. Suddenly, in one fell swoop, I saw that we go through phases of consciousness, the which the world appears first as a scary mystery, then as a problem we have to deal with, then as a project we can improve, and then as a mystery we serve. Most people don’t get beyond the world as a problem we deal with. Conservatives with their need for security and survival often don’t get past the first step. The Church as an institution, with its hierarachical authority structure, does very well in the second phase. But the Vatican Council was a door opening into the world as a project with a whole list of scary challenges to growth. Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict were steeped in the terrible survival issues of WWII. They were really good at playing a role in the hierarchical leadership of the Church as an institution. But when it came to the world as a project? Both men chickened out and in that way, failed the call to leadership. Now they can’t stand it if nuns walk past them through that door into the world as a project.
                Anyway, Berkeley was an interesting journey past uptight authority structures into a world of new possibilities. Scary as hell for any conservative, so they go to Steubenville instead. I had a Steub. graduate as my campus minister. Had the imagination and the curiosity of a wart-hog.

                • Adam Baum

                  We all have weaknesses, mine is typing. Yours is reasoning.

                  I’ll gladly carry this cross as opposed to an inability to think.

            • Tout

              If you know the story about Jesuits, you better be careful if you want to keep the Faith ! There are some good exceptions in the Jesuits.

              • hombre111

                The Jesuits were the class act at GTU. While doing my sabbatical with all those schools to choose from, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

          • Tout

            As a Catholic, I show my Faith in public (see my message above) I invite Catholics to show their Faith in public First and foremost, go to weekly Mass. Receive H.Host on tongue, not in hand. Some cross or statue outside every church, for each parishioner to pray there at least once a year; thus showing our Faith to the world. Dare to make sign of cross before any meal, also in restaurant, no matter who is with you. Every Catholic, start dare to show your belief in Jesus. If you are ashamed to show your Faith in public, Jesus may be ashamed about you.

      • Patrick

        Well, at least one Tea Party sympathizer is impolite and harsh.

        • Alecto

          Perhaps, but it is the truth, and the truth hurts.

        • Adam_Baum

          You say harsh, I say brief.

    • John200

      Dear Hombre,

      You have pulled some of this krappe before. Today you inform us that Democrats embrace Catholic teaching? No, they don’t, and you know it. Republicans embrace … Ayn Rand? I guess you have read neither Reps nor Ayn Rand; perhaps you know a few words from liberal book reviews? But let’s get to the point, this is unusually pathetic, even for you.

      There is no starting point for discussion, your comments simply are not based on Catholic precepts.

      I wonder what religion you practice. If any.

      • hombre111

        Heh. In my off hours, I’m a Druid. But right now the Repubs are yelling about “redistrilbution.” They should read Pope Benedict, Caritas in Veritate, #32, 36.

    • Adamantius1

      Hombre, I think some of our brethren are coming down too hard on you and need to chill out. Like you, I don’t feel comfortable with either the Dems or the Repubs, the former because of the reasons you mentioned, the latter because they refuse to raise the capital gains tax rate, which has been ridiculously low for the past decade. However, every November I always vote Republican because I think that salvaging our culture is more important than salvaging our economy. I pray every night that God will help our nation move beyond the current two-party system so that those of us who feel this way can have another option–one that puts God first but one that recognizes that we will never be able to reduce the deficit w/o both cutting spending and increasing revenue. (It would be nice if we had a modern-day Chesterton to resurrect the Distributist movement.) At any rate, I think all of us need to keep in mind the advice Archbishop Chaput recently gave us–that we are Christians first and Americans second. We should not let our political divisions divide us spiritually.

      • Tout

        Yes, a party that gets closer to Christ is desirable.

    • MarkRutledge

      The Republican’s view fits within the Catholic understanding of subsidarity, and has nothing to do with Rand’s Objectivism. I find it odd that left-leaning persons would defend the Democrats by merely trying to argue that the “Republicans are just as bad.” No one will tell you the GOP platform is a Catholic platform. Some elements are, others are not, but none of it is *contrary* to Catholic teaching, and you will find nothing which supports intrinsic evils.

      • hombre111

        None of the parties has a “Catholic” platform because both are uncomfortable with certain Catholic teachings about morality and society. That said, Republicans do not believe in subsidiarity because, while they might have it correct top down, i.e. big brother should not be doing what little brother can be doing, they fail badly bottom up, i.e. when little brother can’t get something done, big brother has to step in. For example, in my red state, the city simply does not have the resources to deal with its many people living in poverty. All the churches put together can provide nothing but a band-aid, because the real problem is structural. Basically put, the system does not provide desperately hard working people a living wage. jThey are not looking for handouts, they simply want to earn enough money to feed their children and give them a chance at life.
        That leaves the county. The County Commissioners can and do help with rent, power bills, and medical costs. But their pockets are quickly empty, and again, they have nothing to say about larger structural realities where most families of four struggle on two $20,000+ plus salaries that often mean ten to twelve hours a day, without benefits, including health insurance. Or three or four part-time salaries without benefits.
        That leaves the state, where salaries average at around $34,000 a year, again with one third of the population without health insurance. The state proudly uses its low wage jobs as a carrot to lure business to the area.
        And so, finally, that leaves government at the national level.