Catholic Deplorables

Sunday, October 16, AD 2016


My friend Jay Anderson comes out temporarily from blogging retirement to note the recent history of Democrats atttempting to control the Catholic Church:


In case you’re wondering, the “middle ages dictatorship” that is the Catholic Church and her Bishops is right there in the middle of Hillary Clinton’s so-called “basket of deplorables”. And the Clinton team had a plan to rid themselves of these troublesome priests by “plant[ing] the seeds of the revolution” against the Catholic hierarchy and its teachings via infiltration and subversion.

Some of us caught on to this plan a decade ago…

Vindication. Yes, an opportunity to gloat. To say “I told you so.”

Not a very pretty sentiment, but that’s about the only thing that could bring me out of blogging retirement (but only for this one post) in the electoral Annus Horribilis that is 2016.

So it turns out that what we knew ALL ALONG about the Soros-funded DemoCatholic front groups Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and its sister organization Catholics United was, in fact, 100% on the money. We have an admission right out of the horse’s mouth (or, rather, out of the horse’s leaked emails). I haven’t the time nor the inclination to get into a long retrospective detailing the war of words that I and other like-minded bloggers waged over several years — beginning a decade ago — against Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. Instead, I will direct you to the links below, which will more than fill you in and give you a taste of what was being said and what was at stake.

In short, my part in this drama began a decade ago during the 2006 elections, when Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good published a Catholic voter guide that played down the priority given by the Church to traditional life issues in favor of a hodge-podge of issues straight out of the Democrat Party platform. At first, I began by just blogging about and linking to what others were saying about this mysterious group who had suddenly appeared on the scene in the midst of a mid-term election. As the evidence poured in, especially evidence that linked the group to funding provided by none other than George Soros, it soon became clear that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was little more than a front group for the Democrat Party and its efforts to blur the lines on life issues with Catholic voters.

And then, the week before the November 2006 elections, our own Catholic Chronicle — the usually fairly orthodox newspaper of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio — published a front-page puff piece on the efforts of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good in our own diocese to promote their vision and their voter guide (the story reported the efforts in a straightforward manner, without questioning the problematic aspects of the group and its voter guide).. The proverbial you-know-what must’ve hit the fan in the Chancery offices once the very orthodox then-Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair (now Archbishop of Hartford, CT) caught wind of it, because the article was gone from the Chronicle’s website within a matter of hours after it was published. Alas, it was too late to remove the article from the print editions, which went out the weekend before the elections on the following Tuesday to parishes Diocese-wide. So, in response to the Chronicle’s article, I penned a letter to the editor taking the Chronicle and the main protagonist of the article, Prof. Richard Gaillardetz, to task for the misrepresentation and manipulation of Catholic teaching. The Chronicle eventually published my letter, along with a few others disagreeing with the article and its timing, a couple of months later. Following the letter’s publication, the response from the Catholics in Alliance crowd was swift and predictably unpleasant. You can read the comments here for a taste. This war of words against Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United (and various offshoots like Catholic Democrats, etc.) went on for several years and took many twists and turns, which you can read about in the links at the bottom of this post.

In the end, it is my belief that, ultimately, those of us leading the charge against these groups lost that war (at least in the short term covering 2006, 2008, and 2012). Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United accomplished their aims of convincing Catholics that voting for a party that views government-funded abortion on demand as a sacrament, and that views the destruction of the traditional family as a prerequisite to achieving its policy goals and destroying the institutions — such as the Church and other religious people and organizations — that might stand in that party’s way of achieving said policy goals, was not only morally acceptable, but was, in fact, the MOST Catholic way to vote. See, e.g., Doug Kmiec.  “These groups are merely drawing attention to long-ignored issues of importance to Catholics,” some said. “These groups are doing the Church a service by focusing on the need for a ‘consistent ethic of life’,” they said (never mind that these groups NEVER talked about such life issues as abortion, euthanasia, or the sanctity of the family). Entire blogs were established for the purpose of propagandizing the issues that the DemoCath groups argued were being ignored because of Catholic voters’ allegedly “obsessive” focus on “a narrow spectrum of issues regarding family and sexuality” (i.e. the sanctity of life and the family). Sometimes, these blogs had well-meaning founders who definitely raised important issues for Catholics to consider when they were deciding how to vote, but these blogs often quickly devolved into DemoCath propaganda organs as certain bloggers and frequent combox commentators used those fora to press forward the agitprop that ultimately undermined the good of the Catholic Church and her teachings in favor of the pursuit of Democrat Party policy goals. Far too many Catholics who should have known better allowed themselves to be swayed by the arguments of those whose only purpose was to weaken the resolve of Catholic voters to stand for the Catholic Church’s teachings on the primacy of life and family issues, and instead were duped by these malefactors to trade that birthright for a mess of feel-good leftist policy pottage. And that party repaid them by, among many other things, suing nuns to force them to provide birth control in their medical policies. And, in response, Catholic voters had so weakened their resolve to stand for traditional life issues, that they re-elected the guy who has consistently attacked their Church. Which was the goal of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United all along. Today, there is no identifiable “Catholic Vote” left to speak of thanks to the likes of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United.

So, it turns out to be a rather bittersweet bit of gloating, at best, when I read the latest WikiLeaks email dump, which includes a 2012 email exchange in which HilLIARy Clinton’s current campaign chairman, John Podesta, openly brags about being involved in efforts to infiltrate the Catholic Church and foment a “Catholic Spring” (i.e. a bottom-up rebellion against the Church hierarchy and its teaching authority akin to the “Arab Spring” — albeit without the violence, one hopes — that led to revolutions in Egypt, Libya, and Syria). The means of fomenting this takeover of the Church? Why, none other than Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United:

Hi, John, 
This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used contraception has me thinking . . . There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church. Is contraceptive coverage an issue around which that could happen. The Bishops will undoubtedly continue the fight. Does the Catholic Hospital Association support of the Administration’s new policy, together with “the 98%” create an opportunity? 

Of course, this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and priests who count on it for their maintenance, etc. Even if the idea isn’t crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or who would plant them.

Just wondering . . .

Hoping you’re well, and getting to focus your time in the ways you want. 

Sandy Newman, President 
Voices for Progress 


From:[email protected]
To: [email protected]
Date: 2012-02-11 11:45
Subject: Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .

We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up. I’ll discuss with Tara. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is the other person to consult. (emphasis added)

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30 Responses to Catholic Deplorables

  • Great post.

    I just forwarded this to the Holy League chain.
    So called (c) atholics are preparing to elect another form of Obama. Another tape worm.

    Bishop’s..?…………………. crickets chirping. 🙁

  • 30,000,000 women and girls have been aborted. Half of the 60,000,000 human beings destroyed are women and girls, the other 30,000,000 human being aborted and denied their human life are men and boys. …and they clapped. Must have been Alinsky;s radicals. The First Amendment cannot be changed by radicals or communists. The First Amendment can only be changed by three fourths of the states ratifying any change to our Constitution. That Hillary Clinton promises to remove our First and Second Amendment is the imposition of atheism and totalitarianism.
    The person is irreplaceable, and self-determining. “We, the people ” are made up of persons.
    Communists refuse to acknowledge God and the image of God in the sovereign person. Communism does this by obliterating the sovereign person, immersing the reality of the sovereign person into the masses and ignoring the person up to and including homicide.
    God does not contradict Himself. Hillary contradicts herself by seeking the vote and with promises to remove the person’s freedom to vote.

  • Probably a bit more than half of those aborted were girls– there’s a known “sex bias” in second and third children for cultures that highly value having a son.
    Plus the women who end up dying from abortion related injuries, or killing themselves because they realize the truth of what happened.

  • If Hillary Clinton knew what the word “deplorable” means, Hillary would not be using it.

  • Donald u may recall I also tried to pull the alarm about the Obama Administration designs on willfully undermining the proper Catholic teaching authorities with their “palace coup” hidden intentions. Check back in your archives to my blog entry in 2012. I would distinguish the Catholic Left and the Catholic Right criticisms and moves as such: the Right is concerned that the pope or singular Bishops do not stray over the line of established doctrines and create temporary heresies. The Left seeks to obliterate established doctrines and replace the teaching authorities in the Church with liberal theology professors and liberal political activists and politicians. The Right is on guard for what makes for prudential judgment territory. The Left wants their judgments to be Catholic doctrine for all intents and purposes. The dangers of Catholic lapdog Vice Presidents like Biden and Kaine are reason enough to vote for Trump. The 8 years of the Obama-Clinton war on traditional Christian beliefs must be stopped. Trump is the only viable chess move at this point

  • It appears in the general scheme of the current administration, much of the future the religious rights we enjoy now have been already decided by the “commission on civil rights” as outlined in the recent report.

    Full Report available here

    “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties
    A Briefing Before The United States Commission on Civil Rights Held in Washington, DC
    Briefing Report”

    and the quote by Chairman Castro

    Chairman Martin R. Castro Statement
    “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian
    religion.” — John Adams

    The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia,Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.
    Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our
    nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see“religious liberty” arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of “state rights”) in an effort to undermine the rights of some
    Americans. This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.

  • Kurt Schlichter, “You’re deplorable. You’re irredeemable. […] this sick old woman dismisses you from the company of those whose opinions have value, whose interests matter, who have any moral claim to participation in self-governance. You are less than nothing. You are vermin to be, at best, driven from society. Will Hillary Clinton ever be your president? No, and she makes no excuses and offers no denials that a Hillary Clinton presidency means the division of the country into those people she considers worthy and those people she does not.”
    Keep deplorable my friends.

  • Good to hear from you Tim! I miss your valuable contributions to our blog!

  • Dylan said you don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows but I really did not know how coordinated it was.

    Luke 12 – 1 …..‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.

  • Anzlyne.

    God is in control.
    Not the beasties.
    They will suffer when they reach the point of no return.

  • @HW: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian
    religion.” — John Adams.
    The government of the United States and all free nations is founded on the self-determination of the sovereign persons who institute their government. Who has the civil authority to determine what another sovereign person believes or how the sovereign person refers to “their Creator” in FREEDOM.

  • @HW: Why do you defend Hillary’s intent to dictate to all sovereign persons who institute governments how they will exercise their innate God-given free will and First Amendment?

  • I think he’s wrong. The vast majority of self-identified Catholics who vote Democratic are anywhere but at Mass on Sunday. The one’s who are at Mass consist of people who (1) are not disarranged in the least by half-entertaining a jumble of inconsistent notions, and likely never read up much on anything or (2) are members of the church-o-cracy. Without a doubt 90% + of Catholics at Mass have never heard of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good or any like group and they hardly convince anyone who has heard of them. The audience for such groups would be people hanging around the church-o-cracy, and it isn’t to persuade them. An attorney I once knew had this to say about the criminal trials he’d participated in: “you don’t convince a jury. The jury makes up its mind in five minutes. Your job, as a lawyer, is to give your side on the jury the arguments they can use to defeat the other side”. It is amazing, however, the degree to which George Soros is the living embodiment of a Bond villain.

  • Mary-
    That quote isn’t from John Adams.
    It’s part of a quote from a treaty.
    Specifically with Tripoli.
    Here’s the whole quote:
    Article 11.
    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

  • Puts quite a different spin on it, no?

  • The Americans hoped to avoid depredations by the Barbary Pirates. The stratagem failed.

  • Yes, I think that was when we first paid a ransom for hostages.

  • Initially, and then we paid them in hot lead. It took two wars but we put a stop to the Barbary Pirates.

  • Hi Art
    “Without a doubt 90% + of Catholics at Mass have never heard of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good… ”
    I think you are right about that – but the evil is more widespread. Our diocese collects for CRS and Campaign for Human Development. ..
    Our parish still gives out Advent and Lent meditations from Ken Untener, still sings campfire songs at mass and chides catechists not to say “disordered” when discussing morality and homosexuality with youth groups.

  • Most likely a much higher percent has heard of “Catholics United,” it was just in places where you can’t fact-check or respond to them.
    Like the news paper. Or, for my area, a radio ad. They had a LOT of those on a few years ago, normal radio too.
    The impulse reaction is– hey, they’ve got to be really Catholic, or they wouldn’t be named that.

  • The Americans hoped to avoid depredations by the Barbary Pirates. The stratagem failed.

    One of our earliest attempts at “no, really, we ARE NOT a threat to you.” (Given who it was said to, and their motivations, the meaning of “founded on” is very different than what the modern partial quote is used to imply.)
    Worked about as well as every time since…..

  • Our parish still gives out Advent and Lent meditations from Ken Untener, still sings campfire songs at mass and chides catechists not to say “disordered” when discussing morality and homosexuality with youth groups.

    Well, you might ask yourself what’s in it for your parish priest or the lay staff he hires. You get a mess of people who want to be den mothers or social workers (or property managers), and that’s what you get. That’s the supply. If you want a gruesome example of what the demand is, the clientele of Charlotte Catholic High School (including the quondam religion teacher instigating the mess) show it to you. Up until 3 years ago, you could at least say that these characters did not have the Holy See. Now they do.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit
  • Catholic leftists are, with a handful of honorable exceptions, Leftists first and Catholics fifth.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    I saw what you did there in your column. Cleverly done sir.

  • What’s the controversy all about? Democrat values already permeate the Catholic Church. ‘Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good’ efforts seem redundant.

    The real question is where a ‘Catholic Alliance for the Catholic Good’. Now that is something we should get excited about.

  • “… demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship.”
    I’ll have to notice if there are armed Swiss guards and locked doors behind us at the next Mass I attend.
    Who, it must be asked is the “dictator”?

  • The First Amendment can only be changed by three fourths of the states ratifying any change to our Constitution. .

    Don’t kid yourself. The First Amendment (any part of the Constitution) can be changed by the vote of 5 of 9 justices (so called; injustices would be more apt).

  • @MdV: I think HW was quoting from Chairman Martin Castro, not defending Hildebeast. But the quotation marks are not completely clear.

  • c mat. Any violation of our Founding Principles is a miscarriage of Justice. The Justices are not immune to their mistakes. All persons are free to leave or to have three fourths of the states ratify their opinion as law of the land.
    Miscarriage of Justice and incompetence is still a charge in a court of law. In Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade and Terry Schiavo , the victims became wards of the court. It is proper to inquire as to the where qbouts of our brothers and sisters.
    The Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    Foxfier. Thank you.
    It is time to take our Catholic Church back from the community organizers who hold gay parades with our donations and create Heritage Girls instead of Girl Scouts, hold Holy Hours and Eucharistic parades throughout the cities, the cities that belong to each and every person in joint and common tenancy and insist that if our USCCB is not thoroughly Catholic that they may have to get a job to support themselves. “We, the people” are a community of Persons not to be amalgamated into masses for the communist dictators. oh I mean community organizers.

“We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Ours”

Wednesday, October 2, AD 2013

A guest post by my friend Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclesia:

Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie by Currier and Ives.

On this day 200 years ago – 10 September 1813, Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, United States Navy, won a resounding victory over a British fleet near Put-in-Bay, Ohio, in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812:

At dawn on the morning of September 10, 1813, a lookout spotted six  British vessels to the northwest of Put-in-Bay beyond Rattlesnake  Island. Immediately Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry issued a  flurry of orders and made preparations to sail forth to engage the  British.   

Oliver Hazard Perry by Gilbert Stuart

With Perry’s fleet on Lake Erie the British supply route from Fort  Malden to Port Dover had been severed. The British had to either fight,  or abandon Fort Malden. The British squadron consisted of six ships with sixty-three cannons, while the American flotilla comprised nine vessels and fifty-four guns. The British were armed with long guns that could  throw a cannonball approximately one mile, accurately to about one-half  mile. The American ships primarily armed with carronades had less than  half the range of a long gun. The carronades could inflict much more  damage at close range. Perry needed the wind to his back to close within carronade range. When the squadron sailed from Put-in-Bay harbor at 7 a.m. the American  vessels were steering west-northwest; the wind was blowing from the  west-southwest. For more than two hours Perry repeatedly tacks his ships in an effort to put the wind to his back, but with no success. The  frustrated Perry, conceded to mother nature at 10 a.m., issuing orders  to turn his fleet in the opposite direction. But before the order could  be executed the wind suddenly shifted and blew from the southeast,  placing the wind directly behind the Americans. Perry’s opponent, Commander Robert Heriot Barclay, was an experienced  Royal Navy officer who had fought with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805, and two years later he lost an arm fighting the French. Barclay’s  options did not alter when the wind shifted, so the Scotsman pointed his bow sprits to the westward, and hove to in line of battle. With the wind at his back and the British battle line finally revealed,  Perry made his own tactical adjustments. The Schooners Ariel and  Scorpion were placed off the flagship’s weather bow to engage the first  British vessel and to prevent the enemy from raking his fleet. The  Lawrence, a 20-gun brig serving as Perry’s flagship, was third in line  and would engage the Detroit, Barclay’s 19-gun flagship. Next in line  floated the Caledonia, a small brig with only three guns. Fifth in the  American line of battle was the Niagara, Perry’s other 20-gun brig and  the Lawrence’s sistership. The Niagara, captained by Master Commandant Jesse Elliott, would engage  the 17-gun Queen Charlotte, the second largest British ship. Lastly came the smaller schooners and sloop; these would engage the smaller British vessels. Just before the engagement opened Perry hoisted his battle flag to the  flagship’s main truck. The large navy blue banner was emblazoned with  the crudely inscribed words, “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP”. For his battle  slogan Perry used the dying words of Captain James Lawrence, a friend of the commodore who was killed on June 1, 1813. Perry’s flagship was  named for the fallen Lawrence, and the dead hero’s inspiring words  clearly indicated Perry’s determination to prevail.

Perry’s Battle Flag, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”
U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, MD
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One Response to “We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Ours”

  • Wooden ships . . . iron men.

    The US Navy and Army were also victorious in two battles in and around Sacketts Harbor, NY, (major shipyard and supply center) on Lake Ontario. Sacketts Harbor is about ten miles west of Warterown, NY and, say, 15 miles southwest from Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Div.

    The Navy also won the September 1814 Battle of Lake Champlain/Plattsburg, which stopped a Sassenach invasion of NY. Without control of the lake, the red-coated bandits could not be supplied.

    We were Downtown NYC for ten years. I often strolled through Trinity Churchyard. Captain Lawrence’s crypt isn’t in the graveyard. It’s in a courtyard at the southern entrance to the church. Captain Lawrence is famous for a single-ship combat between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon. His dying words, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”, have inspired naval officers for nearly two centuries. The sea battle was one of the bloodiest in the age of sail.

Anderson on Shea on Carter

Wednesday, May 25, AD 2011

My good friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia often delivers some of the most insightful commentary on Saint Blog’s.  Here is commentary that he did today fisking Mark Shea’s observations of  Joe Carter’ post  at First Things, where Carter took a look at Generation X conservatives, and which may be read here.   This gave  Mark an opportunity to voice his disdain for forms of conservatism other than the paleocon version he embraces, and to go “O Tempora, O Mores”, over the coming generation of conservatives.  Jay’s commentary is priceless:

Mark Shea has commented on an excellent piece by Joe Carter at First Things, in which Joe seeks to define “Generation X” conservatives, who he labels “X-Cons”.

Mark begins:

He has been one of the few voices in the conservative movement to speak out of actual conservative values and not out of the Consequentialism that dominates the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism. So I was interested in his description of “X-Cons“, the rising generation of conservatives (so-called) who have been coming of age in the past decade. I think his description is accurate, rather depressing, and a further proof that Chesterton is right when he says that each revolutionary movement is a reaction to the last revolution–and that it typically knows what is wrong but not what is right. I appreciate Carter’s clear-eyed analysis and suspect that he, like me, is not altogether thrilled that this is the desperate pass in which the Thing that Used to be Conservatism now finds itself.

Later on, Mark continues:

X-Cons know little about history and their deepest influence is disk jockeys, who “taught us X-Cons to appreciate confirmation of our political views.” The perfectly reasonable thing to ask in light of this crushing diagnosis is, “What, precisely, is being conserved by such a ‘conservatism’?” A conservatism that knows nothing of engagement with ideas outside the Talk Radio Noise Machine (including engagement with ideas from its own intellectual history) and which has learned, as it’s primary lesson, “to appreciate confirmation of our political views” is a conservatism that is intellectually barren and open to manipulation by demagogues who flatter its adherents and teach them to remain safe in the echo chamber.

Mark goes further in his assessment of “X-Cons” as the dupes of demagogues:

When Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are your intelligentsia and Buckley is a sort of a ghostly eminence gris you no longer bother listening to, one must again ask what, exactly, is being conserved by such a conservatism. Much that bills itself as anti-elitist is just a celebration of intellectual laziness and a resentment of people who have done the hard work of thought. Yes, there are pointy headed intellectuals who pride themselves on their learning. That’s not an excuse to be a wahoo who prides himself on his ignorance.

Mark concludes his analysis of Joe’s piece lamenting Joe’s acknowledgement of the fact that “X-Cons” will soon displace the generation that came before us. Joe writes:

• X-Cons will soon be replacing the Boomers as the dominant cohort within the movement. We’ll be fielding presidential candidates in 2016 and dominating elections in 2020. We are, for better and for worse, the future of the movement. And of America.

… and Mark responds:

Bleak words indeed…

My Comments:
First, let me note that I tried to leave my thoughts in comments on Mark’s blog, but the commenting tool Mark uses rejected the comment as too voluminous. Rather than breaking it up into several comments, I decided to blog my view on the matter here.

While I commend Joe on his piece at First Things, I call B.S. on at least parts of Mark’s analysis of Joe’s piece, and ESPECIALLY on some of the commenters who have responded favorably to Mark’s analysis by blaming the so-called “X-Cons” for the commenters’ decisions to continue to support the party of abortion-on-demand.

The “X-Cons” aren’t responsible for “the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism” (hereafter, “the Thing”) – in fact, we are increasingly skeptical of “the Thing” and especially the Republican Party claiming the mantle of “the Thing”. As evidence, I submit my own blog as well as a piece today at National Catholic Register by Pat Archbold (recently described by one of Mark’s sycophants as a “Republican shill”).

No, the folks responsible for bringing us huge deficits, Wilsonian foreign policy, and consequentialism dressed up as “the Thing” were decidedly NOT members of the “X” generation, but were baby boomers and even members of the so-called “Greatest Generation”. Given that fact, Mark’s assessment as “bleak words indeed” of Joe’s acknowledgement of the rise of the “X-Cons” to replace the previous generation seems completely without merit. Surely we can’t do any worse with respect to “the Thing” than the generations that have come before us. In short, given our increasing distrust of what “the Thing” has become and the party that champions it, it is the “X-Cons” who are the antidote to “the Thing”, not the purveyors of it.

In addition, rather than criticizing the “X-Cons” for rejecting elitism and embracing what they see as middle-class authenticism, why not ask whether the elites have actually served them well and, if the answer is “HELL NO!” (which it most assuredly is), whether there are better alternatives for leadership from among the “riff-raff” who actually share the values of the “X-Cons”? Mark asks what is it that is actually being conserved? Well, if you ask me, the traditional family values of protection of life, protection of the institution of the family, hard work, integrity, loyalty, etc., etc., are being protected far more on the front porches, parish halls, and town halls of flyover country than they are in the halls of academia and, yes, even on the pages of National Review. Maybe “X-Cons” see the people Mark derides as base and demogogic as being the actual preservers of the values we hold dear (i.e. they’re the ones doing the “conserving” these days), as opposed to the new generation of Buckleys who view us as so much white trash and instead embrace The One.

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35 Responses to Anderson on Shea on Carter

  • I remember Mark Shea (among all my loved ones living and dead) in my prayers night and day. That said, I basically disgree with everything he has ever posted.

    I can’t look at his stuff any longer. It’s painful.

  • The obnoxious tone of Shea’s posts are just too much, it’s best if they are avoided. Even though he knows alot about Catholicism, he doesn’t seem Catholic to me.

    I happen to think Palin would make a good President, I trust her judgement and I like her toughness.

    I think you’re right T.Shaw, let’s keep Shea in our prayers.

  • Sir, you are remarking on Mr. Anderson’s comments on Mark Shea’s (repellant) comments on Mr. Carter’s jejune column. Reminds me of a dog chasing its tail.

  • And arf to you Grouchy Penguin! 🙂

  • Mark Shea, IMO, in spite of him making orthodox and conservative noises, is basically a liberal. When you read all of his material on critical subjects, it almost always has a liberal bias to it. His stand on the death penalty is classic liberalism dressed up as Catholic orthodoxy. I say dressed up, because the Scriptures, and nearly 2000 years of Church tradition never opposed the right use of it to punish those were truly guilty of murder, treason, or rape. Yet Shea, without taking the time to listen and understand the Scriptures, tradition, and the arguements of death penalty advocates, smears anyone who favors the dp as a “death penalty maxiumist”. Heck, even God would have to be included in that description, for He was the one who instituted it in the first place!

  • is basically a liberal

    No. He is a man with personality problems grown hypertrophied with age.

  • Can’t wait to hear Shea’s response so that we can have Shea on Anderson on Shea on Carter. Maybe Joe will bring it all home with a post titled Carter on Shea on Anderson on Shea on Carter. All I ask is that Jay refrain from further comment because then the world will implode upon itself.

    I just hope that Jimmy Carter, the relatives of Bill Shea, and Louie Anderson decide against entering the fray.

    This will all probably end with Shea quoting Chesterton completely out of context and then banning someone or three from his comment box while utilizing one of the following phrases: rubberhose right, the thing thing that used to be call conservatism, stupid party, stupid evil party, evil stupid party, or maybe some kind of combination like the thing that stupidly used to be called the evil rubberhose right.

    Good times.

  • “…or maybe some kind of combination like the thing that stupidly used to be called the evil rubberhose right.”

    Quick, copyright that.

  • “Carter on Shea on Anderson on Shea on Carter”

    I like it! 🙂

  • “Carter on Shea on Anderson on Shea on Carter”

    I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in most states. But after Lawrence v. Texas, who knows anymore where (or even if) Justice Kennedy will draw the line on his “sweet mystery of life”.

  • >That said, I basically disgree with everything he has ever posted.
    So you support abortion, contraception and gay marriage? Because I know Shea was written stuff against those things.

    >Mark Shea, IMO, in spite of him making orthodox and conservative noises, is basically a liberal.
    Why? When did opposition to waterboarding and Glenn Back make one un-Catholic? True, I hate it when he moans about “Empire,” (much to the rejoicing of tyrants and actual empire-lovers* (such as the current Moscow and Beijing regimes)) everywhere but I wouldn’t say his opinions are necessarily heterodox.

    One thing I hate about the current political climate is the amount of tribalism (and subsequent mischaracterization) that goes on. “You Republicans are all science-hating misogynistic racists!” “Yeah, well that’s better than you, you Constitution-hating anti-Western terrorist-lover!” True, I’m mainly a conservative in my views, but just because I think liberals are wrong (even completely) in their views doesn’t mean I assume they have malicious intentions…

    *That is, if they actually read Mark’s blog, which I highly doubt they do.

  • I can’t look at his stuff any longer. It’s painful.

    All the more because his was one of the first sites I went to after boot camp– after not reading anything but instruction material for months.

    (I didn’t even come to this post until I noticed that, for some reason, I got a half-dozen blog hits from it… must’ve been from the comment bar or blogroll.)

  • At the risk of provoking a second Sumter, I’m going to quote Abraham Lincoln:

    “I dislike that man. I must get to know him better.”

    As a friend of Mark’s and one who has had the pleasure of meeting him on multiple occasions, it would be nice if the conversation could steer clear of speculation about personality problems and so forth.

    I’m not a fan of his “pox on everybody’s houses” approach to politics myself, but criticism is best limited to the merits and demerits of the writings themselves, as Jay has done. Psychoanalysis by DSL remains notoriously unreliable.

  • I agree, Dale, that we should focus on the merits, or lack thereof, of Mark’s writing, rather than focusing on personalities. I happen to agree with Mark on a lot (torture included), but I also disagree with him at those times in which he paints with too broad a brush, as I believe he has done here.

    And since the issue of anti-intellectualism has surfaced in the comments at Mark’s blog, let me say, for the record, that I am not anti-intellectual by any means. In fact, I’m quite proud of the fact that I have a law degree from a top-10 law school at a university founded by, arguably, this nation’s most intellectual President.

    But, that said, I don’t believe that much “conserving” is going on these days in the halls of academia or in the pages of the sorts of publications that the hoity-toity tend to patronize.

    Sufice it to say that, if I were to hold to the views that most graduates of top-10 law schools hold, I would acutally have LESS claim to objective truth (which, in my view, is what conservatism is about) than the weekly-mass-attending guy in flyover country with only a high school diploma working an hourly 9-5 job to ensure that he can support his family of 6 and struggle to send his kids to Catholic school. I’d gladly vote for that guy to represent me over the typical graduate of a top-10 law school ANY DAY.

  • And, since Mark alludes to Buckley in his post, let us not forget that it was the man himself who once said that he would rather entrust the government of the nation to the first 400 people in the Boston phone book than to the Harvard faculty.

  • I can’t find any attribution of the quote “I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.” for Lincoln before about the 1940s; a similar quote does show up in a photographer’s magazine from 1900, though….

    You meet people, and you don’t like them at first; you say, ” I don’t like that man.” By and by you learn to know him better, and you do like him ; and usually those are the firmest friendships that begin just that way.

    It looks like one of those quotes that got twisted into something that sounded like Lincoln.

  • Well, between us my wife and I have five degrees from top colleges and universities, and we would agree with Buckley. Our experience in life has taught us the difference between someone who is well educated and someone who is wise. Too many of the well-educated elites in our society have worked overtime the past few decades to vividly demontrate the difference.

  • I don’t agree that X-cons are necessarily religious. I’ll grant they can be more comfortable being publicly religious than prior generations were, at least the evangelical ones. But there’s a large number of godless X-cons – Ayn Rand types, young Tea Partiers, pro-military agnostics, anti-government hacker wannabees, social Darwinists, Christian conservatives who drifted away from the faith, among others. They’re not going to hang out with the evangelicals and Catholics at a barbecue, but they’re all going to vote similarly. And I think that bridge-building instinct that someone labelled “merely Christian” is really merely conservative, allowing everyone a seat at the table (not the Communion table, but every other table).

  • I am glad you enjoy his company, Dale.

    I do not psychoanalyze. I merely remark on how he addresses his correspondents and how he writes about others.

    I could, of course, offer a substantive critique of what he writes, but I keep in mind Mortimer Adler’s advisories: 1.) not every text merits a line-by-line reading; 2.) they tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover is what the publisher wishes you to see – first. He is a wretched rhetorician, and that is what I see – first.

  • “He is a man with personality problems grown hypertrophied with age”–is rather more than a critique of his rhetoric.

  • Shea on McClarey on Anderson on Shea on Carter:

    “I’m afraid I haven’t been following the American Catholic so I don’t know what they’ve been saying about me. Historically, they’ve mostly been upset with me for not making a complete identification between whatever the Talking Points are from the GOP this week and Church teaching. My guess is that this still cover most of the grievances they have with me, but it’s just a guess.”

    Anderson on Shea on McClarey on Anderson on Shea on Carter:

    “I’d guess the differences have more to do with hyperbole, painting with broad brushstrokes, and the creation of strawmen that bear no resemblance to the actual object being addressed in the blog post (all of which apply to the present assessment of Generation X conservatives).”

  • “Historically, they’ve mostly been upset with me for not making a complete identification between whatever the Talking Points are from the GOP this week and Church teaching. My guess is that this still cover most of the grievances they have with me, but it’s just a guess.”

    Well, I guess that statement is proof positive that Mark does not read The American Catholic.

  • Oh, but Don, it’s so much easier to caricature the sort of straw version of The American Catholic that you might find on such parody sites as Vox Nova or The Catholic Fascist than to actually address the substance of the real thing.

  • Dare we call that “intellectually lazy” Jay? 🙂

  • I like Shea’s work on doctrine. I own his book on Magesterial authority as well the one about the “Senses” of scripture. Both are great. However, I usually have a hard time stomaching his columns on politics. IMO, he builds up straw men that fit certain stereotypes and then goes medieval on them. Pass.

    As far as paleocons and “X-cons”, I guess I must fall into the latter group. I’m 31 and my observation about people of previous generations (conservative and liberal alike) is that they were/are not very politically astute. For the past 30 years or so people have been content to vote for the “right party”, be it R or D, and trust that they would do the right thing. Well, we can see where that’s gotten us. I am significantly more politically aware and involved than my parents and grandparents were, although they are starting to come around now. And I don’t trust the so-called elites to do the right thing because I’ve watched them promise, promise, promise and then turn around and stick it to us for my entire life. But apparently in Shea’s opinion, that makes me ignorant or something.

  • Speaking as an X-con, who never finished her Master’s degree in Human Resources at a non-descript private, non-profit university, I neither have the pedigree nor writing skills of the commenters on this blog. I do, however, enjoy reading the thoughts of the smart ones.

    I don’t worry about my generation being the generation that could screw politics up even more than they are already. I find it annoying, however, that entire generations of people are be blamed for anything, especially before they are even given the opportunity to indeed garner said blame. I know that I see many friends of mine losing homes they bought because they are too expensive, while baby boomers continue to live in these same exact houses for years. The boomers bought these homes many years before for an affordable price that was never 10 times their annual salary. I see people of my generation worry about obtaining their all too elusive social security and medicare benefits when they retire. I know people of my generation who never played outside as a child because their mother had to work due to their parents divorce and they never saw their baby boomer father except one weekend a month. In high school, I noticed that there were many more young white kids in the classes above me, because they weren’t aborted.

    The first thing I want to do is blame baby boomers for our financial woes, our psycholocial wounds because of the legalization of abortion and easy divorce. When I think about it, however, I realize that it is because of OUR fallen nature that we sin. The baby boomers were not the first to sin (although they did a great job of it) and my generation has and will continue to sin, especially in this broken society.

    Pointing fingers up and down generational lines, however, does nothing more than offend some sinners and absolve other sinners of their culpability. Blaming is counterproductive. With Christ there is hope.

  • Christine,

    I get your point. But it’s very hard for me not to be angry at the previous generations. I see how so many simply stuck their heads in the sand when it comes to things like SS and Medicare, always kicking the can down the road so that they can get their bennies. Now that the entitlements are going under, I see those same people complaining about how they’ve been “promised” and that we younger folks should basically just shut up and pay up (rarely put quite that harshly, but it’s always the gist).

    I have two small children. My son is 4 and my daughter is 16 months. My children and their generation are who will end up living significantly poorer lives because my parents and their parents feel they’re “owed” something. Maybe it’s uncharitable of me, but I can’t help being upset by my children’s future being squandered.

  • Speaking as a so-called X-con, a label I like even less than Gen X I can say that we are a generation that is resistant to be defined by these labels. Although the X factor has some truth to it. We are far less homogenous than previous or subsequent generations. We are a relatively small generation sandwiched between two generations of collectivists, yet we are probably more powerful because we are nimble, intelligent rather than educated, conservative rather than Republican, creators more than consumers, religious more than spiritual, leaders more than followers.

    We did grow up knowing that we survived the most dangerous place in the world, our own mothers’ wombs only to face being burned alive by the Soviet nuclear threat. Yet most of us came of age when it was Morning in America again. Have you noticed how much happier the music of the 80s is compared to the whinny, sentimental, depressing tone of today’s so-called rock and even the corporate bubble gum pop? Our musicians for the most part played real instruments. Even the movies were better, now we can only remake 70s and 80s shows, comic books and video games. Creativity is dead.

    We experienced a sanitized Catholicism and yet more of us hear the Tridintine Mass and thinks the liberals in the Church are no threat because they’ll be dead and gone soon and Gen-X priests are true soldiers of Christ. We are the triumphant remnant of orthodoxy.

    Our politics are reactionary because the work of the 20th century to destroy America from within and merge her with the USSR, which was supposed to come to completion during WWIII in our years of coming of age DID NOT happen. The timetable moved because morning came to America and the masters of the universe where not expecting it. Although the 80s and 90s seemed prosperous, we knew that the bedrock of society had been eroded and we wanted it restored. We have to battle two large anti-American, globalist, socialist age cohorts. One that has practically destroyed this country, both the Rs and the Ds and the other which is their spawn and far more violent and nihilistic and way, way dumber and more manageable by the cult of personality.

    We are hopeful and yet totally aware that we are being screwed. If this generation cannot restore authentic conservative principles and return American to where the right is traditional and the left is libertarian and they both operate under the Christian God; and the liberals are dead, in prison or exiled, then no discussion will be necessary because America will be no more.

    Trying to fit a generation like that into a neat little box like the hippies before us and the socialists after is going to prove to difficult for anyone, even us.

    All we can say is what John McLane said – yippy kai yay. . . because we will die hard.

  • I’m feelin’ ya, Mandy. I am just trying my best to forgive. It makes it harder when boomers start blame throwing in our direction.

    More chances for forgiveness. More chances at redemptive suffering.

  • Outstanding comment, American Knight! You’ve nailed it.

  • There is no such thing as an X-con.

  • “One thing I hate about the current political climate is the amount of tribalism (and subsequent mischaracterization) that goes on.”

    “X-Cons know little about history and their deepest influence is disk jockeys, who ‘taught us X-Cons to appreciate confirmation of our political views.'”

    I think this exemplifies the “tribalism” and mischaracterization that frequently passes as Catholic political thought at CAEI.

  • Thanks Jay, it is no special task that I posted that, it is what it is. I think that the so-called Gen X is a generation who wants to be who we are, who God made us to be. The Boomers before us, and the socialist Twitter Generation after us are a group-mind and they are led by the powers of this present darkness. We don’t beat to our own drum, we are truly diverse individuals who seek to obey God as a community – we beat to His drum. The generations we are sandwiched in between are not so much individuals as more of a collective hive-mind, like the Borg from Star Trek, they are guided by utility, materialism and a sense of group self-mastery without the Master.

    It may seem arrogant to boast of my generation, and naturally this does not cover all in any group, but a general trend; however, we have to acknowledge that we are the rising generation and we are tasked with the progressive restoration of tradition, orthodoxy, and the authentic conservation of principles of Truth. If we fail to do humbly do it, restoration may be impossible and the world may be plunged into a technocratic neo-feudalism, open rebellion against God and slavery to the devil.

    That is a big task for a small generation with seemingly insurmountable odds. God likes to work with the meek and humble.

David Brooks, Clueless Commentator

Saturday, April 24, AD 2010

My friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia takes the clueless David Brooks, a “conservative” commentator who endorsed Obama in 2008, to the verbal woodshed.

Check out David Brooks’ latest attempt at responsibility avoidance with this rich piece of Op/Ed mendacity:

… The center has been losing political power pretty much my entire career. But I confess that about 16 months ago I had some hope of a revival. The culture war, which had bitterly divided the country for decades, was winding down. The war war — the fight over Iraq and national security — was also waning.

The country had just elected a man who vowed to move past the old polarities, who valued discussion and who clearly had some sympathy with both the Burkean and Hamiltonian impulses. He staffed his administration with brilliant pragmatists whose views overlapped with mine, who differed only in that they have more faith in technocratic planning.

Yet things have not worked out for those of us in the broad middle. Politics is more polarized than ever. The two parties have drifted further to the extremes. The center is drained and depressed.

What happened?

History happened. The administration came into power at a time of economic crisis. This led it, in the first bloom of self-confidence, to attempt many big projects all at once. Each of these projects may have been defensible in isolation, but in combination they created the impression of a federal onslaught…

Yeah, that’s it – “History happened”. What a bilious load of vomitous nonsense and absolute crap!

How about this for a REAL explanation, Mr. Pantcrease Admirer:

All the “post-partisan” posing was a lie. You KNEW it was a lie, but WANTED to believe the lie, so you CHOSE to believe it. You then aided and abetted the lie by writing glowingly of the “moderate” credentials of a man who had NEVER exhibited one iota of political centrism in his entire (albeit short and unremarkable) political career, all the while trashing the REAL centrist in the race who, ironically, you had up until then spent the previous 8 years heralding, fellating, and otherwise trying to foist upon the rest of us.

Meanwhile, all us yokels out here in Jesusland saw right through the lie and chose NOT to believe it. For that, you belittled us, called us a “cancer”, questioned our intelligence and intellectual curiosity, and treated us as generally inferior to your more sophisticated and urbane sensibilities. Maybe the “uneducated class” is a whole lot smarter and more politically astute than the coastal elites in the “educated class” give us credit for. At the very least, it appears that the riff-raff are a whole helluva lot smarter than you are.

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8 Responses to David Brooks, Clueless Commentator

  • Always loved this clip from Casablanca! Shocked, just shocked! Yep – I’m with the yokels out in Jesusland. And, I have to say, nothing Obama has done has shocked me at all. I fully expected it, just sad that I was right.

  • noooooo. if you keep putting up Casablanca clips I shall soon lose what little desire I have to study and instead watch Casablanca! Curse you and your temptations!

  • I read Brooks’ book “Bobos in Paradise.” His thesis in that book (published in 2000) is that the cultural radicals of the 1960’s melded with the economic conservatives of the 1980’s and produced “bobos.” “Bobos” is Brooks shorthand for “Bourgeois Bohemians”: the sort of upper-middle class types who follow the stock market, but accept things like global warming, “a women’s right to choose,” gay marriage, etc. I live in a neighborhood full of bourgeois bohemians. (I live in one of the few affordable housing units around these parts – just down the street from me there are mansions with Mercedes with Obama stickers plastered to them parked in the driveway – those folks are the bobos Brooks speaks of: they drive the Mercedes 3 blocks to shop at Whole Foods. I love my new home and am still astonished that I am able to afford this particular neighborhood, a block away from Lake Michigan. But during most of my adult life, I’ve been able to find good deals in ritzy urban neighborhoods – neighborhoods not filled with Republicans, but with wealthy liberals. OK, so I gave up my car to live here – but work is 3 blocks away. So I know the bobo breed well.)

    Brooks hates the culture wars. He wants those pesky socon issues, like abortion, to just disappear and go away and is very annoyed at socons who fret about things like pro-life issues, which Brooks can easily shrug off.

  • LOL Michael! Whatever you do, don’t click below!

  • “I fully expected it, just sad that I was right.”

    As am I Susan, although I am heartened by the fact that he is giving birth, inadvertantly, to a stronger conservative movement in this country.

  • “Brooks hates the culture wars.”

    He is on the side that is ultimately going to lose Donna so I can understand his distaste for them.

  • If you look at the occupational history of the 15 notables who ran for President in 2008, what hits you is that Barack Obama was the least prepared of them all to assume the office (though one might argue his judgment is less unreliable than that of Messrs. Gravel, Kucinich, or Paul). Given how little time he had put in as a working lawyer, he would have been a mediocre candidate for Attorney-General of Illinois (or for a municipal corporation counsel, while we are at it). His election to the Presidency is an indication that politicians are now merchandise. Not only was the general electorate snookered, people who likely fancy themselves informed and sophisticated observers of the political world (Brooks, Andrew Bacevich, Scott McClellan, Scott McConnell, Douglas Kmiec, Julie Eisenhower, David Friedman, John McWhorter) drank the Kool-Aid as well. To top it off, partisan Democrats (and Republican snot-noses like George Will) are wont to go on tears about the inadequacy of Sarah Palin, who has spent a dozen years of her life running public agencies. It is not just Brooks, it is a baffling collective addlement, the civic analogue to the housing bubble.

  • I’m sorry, why would anyone listen to David Brooks? He’s always given me the impression of a below par media personality desperate to be loved, especially in “respectable” circles.

    He’s the male Peggy Noonan, if you ask me. People like that are only moderate because they don’t really believe in much if anything and would rather go back to sipping sangria on the roof of a midtown skyscrapper.

Res et Explicatio for AD 9-7-2009

Monday, September 7, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the world of Catholicism:

1. Sadly most of us will miss the Catholic Report blog run by Dave Hartline.  Due to pleasant new circumstances of a new member of the family, Dave will be rolling back some of his extra-curricular activities to attend to his growing family.  In addition Dave will be the newest contributor to the American Catholic website and joining our family of writers.

2. Since First Things began gobbling up good bloggers such as Spengler, Wesley J. Smith, and Elizabeth Scalia and adding writers such as the American Catholic’s own Christopher Blosser, Jay Anderson, and Joseph Bottum under the First Thoughts blog, their website has gotten a WHOLE lot better.  Many interesting stories and newsbites all neatly marketed in a spiffy new look.

I suggest you all check it out here.

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One Response to Res et Explicatio for AD 9-7-2009