Lesser of Two Evils or Worthy of Honor
Since the Notre Dame controversy has all the staying power of an inebriated relative after a dinner party, I’ll attempt one more brief comment on it.
It is a disappointment to me, though hardly a surprising one, that just about everyone in the Catholic blogsphere who advocated voting for Obama in the first place (or sympathized with those who did) now find so much to object to in those Catholics (including quite a few bishops — all who have address the topic to my knowledge) who are upset at Obama being made the commencement speaker for Notre Dame and awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
The argument, which was made frequently enough during the election, was that while Obama was far from perfect (and, we were always assured, the speaker was indeed deeply troubled by his positions on abortion) he was the better of two distinctly poor alternatives available on the ballot.
If such was one’s true position, I disagree, but with a fair amount of respect. Sometimes both options available are very bad, and choosing the lesser of two evils is quite the judgment call.
However, if this was, as claimed, one’s object in voting for Obama, I fail to see why one would be so angry at those objecting to Notre Dame’s decision to honor him so conspicuously. One should hardly be heaped with honors for being the lesser of evils.
If it is true that we all take the abortion issue very seriously, but we have different assessments on which politician will, on the whole, be best for the country in a given election, then I would think that we could be united in opposing giving additional honors to an adamantly pro-abortion politician. If the choice to vote for Obama were indeed the realist’s, “He may be an SOB, but at least he’s our SOB,” then one could hardly object to, after the election, treating the SOB as an SOB. That so many are so angry at those critiquing Notre Dame’s decision would seem to support the contention that their decision was indeed a complete embrace of Obama’s positions, and not a prudential judgement that he was merely the best candidate available at the time.