Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Mr. Echevarria, I deleted your comment in this thread. Although you and I agree about about abortion and further agree in supporting McCain-Palin, the vehemence with which you expressed your sentiments are not acceptable.

  2. Of course, Palin’s ugly anti-intellectualism warms the most rabid in the “pro-life” base.

    But, most likely, her Father Coughlin-ism–if allowed to run its full course– would set back tremendously the effort at really advancing politically a true “culture of life” in America– repelling the middle like never before done since ’73…

  3. Mark, Gov. Palin certainly isn’t an intellectual, but it seems that “not being an intellectual” is being conflated with “being anti-intellectual”. If this isn’t so in your case, can you explain why you think she’s actually anti-intellectual?

  4. “Of course, Palin’s ugly anti-intellectualism warms the most rabid in the “pro-life” base.”

    Completely untrue Mr. DeFrancisis. Since you have no evidence to back up your claim I will not ask you to cite any.

    “her Father Coughlin-ism–”

    Hurling epithets is not an argument. Palin has as much in common with Father Coughlin as you do with Bugs Bunny.

  5. Donald,

    About comment 1 :I do not need evidence on this thread. It’s provided.

    About comment 2: “He does sot see America like you and I do, so much so that he palls ’round with terrorists.” I call a spade is a spade.

    And who is the real Donald McClarey? I would not wish that you be subject to such ridiculousness…..

  6. Mark,

    Your are being a little ridiculous.

    Obama does pall ’round with terrorist’…

    Ayers and Odinga are two that come to mind…

    so to say that she is hurling epithets would be incorrect.

    Palin has facts to back her statement up.

  7. I am so out of here….

    No need to ban me Tito…

    You poor fellows are willing slaves to the fallen human desire to scapegoat…

    I bet that’s why a large majorityof you chanted with Bush in ’02-’03 during his unjust invasion of Iraq and still do not admit fault in your judgement…

  8. Mark,

    What are you talking about? Scapegoat?

    You make these accusations….. you don’t back them up… and you get mad?

  9. I suppose it’s frustrating for Mark to post in a forum that is unreceptive to his opinions, but I am surprised by his reaction. One can debate how relevant it is that Obama had fairly lengthy relationships with people like Ayers and Wright, but it’s certainly true that he did. I do not know why Mark finds it surprising that Obama’s political opponents would use these relationships to question his judgment.

    Obama has a very liberal background and record; Columbia, Harvard Law, Chicago. He has presented himself as a moderate, which is both essential for a candidate running for President and in tension with some of his prior positions and associations. Making voters aware of these associations is part of politics. Obama certainly has showed no reluctance to return the favor with his comments about Keating, or his (deplorable, race-baiting) spanish-language ad disingenuously linking McCain to Limbaugh.

  10. Listen, I think that taking the Ayers association tack is poor strategy on McCain’s campaign’s part… I agree with Ross Douthat that McCain should be focusing on addressing the needs, concerns and fears of the middle-class, for whom Ayers and earmarks don’t mean a heck of a lot right now, right or wrong.

    Having said that, it’s also true that Ayers is unrepentant about his actions and views as a Weatherman, and Obama exercised extremely poor judgment in associating with him. To point this out may be poor strategy, but it isn’t inaccurate.

  11. Chris,

    I think you can lump Ayers with Obama’s poor judgement of men… and show also that poor judgement in this Financial Mess… with his support of Fannie Mae and their support of him, Franklin Raines being on his campaign staff, and how the Democrats let Fannie Mae get away with it….

    He needs to show that De-regulation wasn’t the problem… it was the lack of oversight by the Democrats.

    But If I was McCain….

    I would attack him on the following (not in this order):

    1) Ayers
    2) Odinga
    3) Fannie Mae
    4) Acorn
    5) Rev. Wright
    6) Franklin Raines
    7) His Economic Policy of Taxation

    He must repeat this… over and over and over… he should do what his ads do, and not what he does in debates.

  12. Chris & FUS01,

    Indeed. And (not to overuse my own terminology) I think that’s where the tribalism in politics becomes apparent. I don’t think we need to doubt that if a Republican presidential candidate had launched his political career in the living room of a member of the John Birch Society, much less someone along the lines of Timothy McVeigh (which is perhaps a more exact analogy) where would be a perception that the association was “fair game” — even if said Republican candidate had never showed any interest in political violence himself. (And clearly, if someone suggests that Obama actually approves of political violence, that would seem to be complete slander. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to see it necessary to distance himself from those who do.)

    That said, I agree that the McCain Campaign’s choice to focus on Ayers rather than the economy right now is deeply foolish and in danger of loosing them the election. (Which is unfortunate, because if Obama keeps his campaign promises promptly he’s in serious danger of making the economy even worse.)

  13. I am so out of here….

    No need to ban me Tito…

    You poor fellows are willing slaves to the fallen human desire to scapegoat…

    I bet that’s why a large majorityof you chanted with Bush in ‘02-’03 during his unjust invasion of Iraq and still do not admit fault in your judgement…

    Who needs The Cafeteria Is Closed? Looks like all of Gerald’s former readers have found a new home for their orgy of hate.

    This blog had interesting original goals, if eyebrow-raising. Seems it’s already gone down the tubes.

  14. Thank you for your opinion of the blog Catholic Anarchist. We shall carry on nonetheless.

    Being against Obama because he is pro-abortion is an orgy of hate? We shall have to agree to differ on that point as on all other points.

  15. Michael,

    Let’s see, the post starting this thread pointed out that Palin is anti-abortion while Obama is pro-choice — that’s not exactly a surprising contention given that Obama has one of the most pro-abortion records of any politician and Palin proved via her actions that she accepted life in a situation where 90% of parents choose abortion.

    Donald delete a comment in which a commenter accused Obama of being a Muslim.

    And then several of us differed with Mark DeFrancis’ claim that Palin is anti-intellectual and a quasi fascist.

    Based on this you conclude that we are hosting an “orgy of hate”.

    I can understand that you resent our opposing Obama, but “orgy of hate” I’m not seeing.

  16. Darwin,

    If you look at his links at his blog, you would understand why he came to that conclusion.

    Vive le Vende!

    That’s for you Tito

  17. Oh, I know…

    Michael and I have gone the rounds over the years. But, you know, this Dante-loving Classicist is such an “americanist” that he can’t quite follow Michael’s thinking. 🙂

  18. Mark & Michael,

    You do your perspective a disservice by refusing to see through a discussion with those you disagree with and leaving in the manner you did.

    I urge you both to reconsider and rejoin the conversation. Have confidence in the power of reason to persuade, whatever the odds seem to tell you. 🙂

  19. Obama is not a child murderer, and Catholics in good conscience can support him. I can’t, but it’s not fair to write somebody off simply because of their conclusions on the difficult issue of selecting a candidate to vote for.

  20. Fus,

    Would it be better to say that Obama supports child murderers?

    I can’t imagine anyone with a good conscience voting for Obama… now I can understand voting Third Party who doesn’t support abortion (because of Mclame’s support of e. stem cells), but let us be real…

    good conscience should never be used in the same sentence with voting for Obama.

    I will definitely argue that their conscience is misinformed… BIG TIME!

  21. I agree with Archbishop Chaput:

    “8. So can a Catholic in good conscience support a “pro-choice” candidate? The answer is: I can’t and I won’t. But I do know some serious Catholics — people whom I admire — who will. I think their reasoning is mistaken. But at the very least they do sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And even more importantly: They don’t keep quiet about it; they don’t give up their efforts to end permissive abortion; they keep lobbying their party and their elected representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can support “pro-choice” candidates if they support them despite — not because of — their “pro-choice” views. But they also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it.

    9. What is a “proportionate” reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It’s the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life — which we most certainly will. If we’re confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.”

    I also agree with Archbishop Nauman and Bishop Finn:

    “Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason. ”

  22. Well, I couldn’t vote for Obama, and I don’t want to create a strawman, but I could see some combination of the following assumptions leading one to the conclusion that a Catholic could vote for Obama in good conscience:

    1) McCain has never shown great affection for social-issues voters; there’s little evidence it’s a top priority for him personally.
    2) McCain would be able to do little to impact the legality of abortion with a Democrat Senate majority voting on his SCOTUS appointments.
    3) McCain and Obama both support ESCR.
    4) As there is little chance of change in the current abortion regime, and even the FOCA would only have marginal effects (arguendo), the other issues become more salient.
    5) Obama’s proposals to expand health care coverage, his initial opposition to Iraq, his willingness to expand programs that care for the poor etc. are more in line with many parts of Catholic Social Teaching than Obama’s.
    6) Obama shows the type of temperament and intelligence that we should look for in a President.
    7) As many conservatives have noted (e.g. Will, Noonan, etc.), McCain appears to react instinctively, finding ‘bad guys’ rather than reflectively. Given the challenges the next President will face, it would be best to have a President more adept at analytically addressing problems.

    I don’t agree with many of these assumptions, but I think someone reasonably could hold them (or others) which make Obama the lesser of two evils.

  23. I think (and I could be wrong) that what we are discussing when we argue whether a good Catholic could vote for Obama is really about interpersonal relations. What I mean is how do we rationalize a dear relative or a good friend supporting and voting for a candidate that we find personally abhorrent? For example, my aunt & god-mother is a wonderful Catholic woman, she raised 12 children, she is active in her parish, volunteers at the local hospital, etc, etc. However, she grew up in the 20’s and 30’s when most Catholics leaned to Democrats politically because of the sense that they “cared.” Whether they cared or not didn’t matter they conveyed a sense of caring which was well received. Even past 80 years of age she still votes the party ticket. There is no doubt in my mind that she does not support the evil that that party now defends. When we rationalize some people voting Dem despite the evidence of their complete support of abortion on demand it is to acknowledge some don’t fully make the connection between the vote and the result.

    Bottom line: I could never understand a Catholic voting for Obama or others of his ilk. However, I can’t reconcile that with my love for my aunt. That is what makes this issue more confusing than it ought to be.

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