The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Well Massachusetts has elected a Republican US Senator for the first time in 37 years.  What does this political upset of the century mean?

1.   ObamaCare is dead.  Not only because the Democrats now lack 60 votes to invoke cloture in the Senate, but because opposition to ObamaCare was the signature feature of Scott Brown’s campaign and the results of this race in bluest Massachusetts will send chills down the spine of too many Democrats.

2.   We now have further evidence that the Democrats are looking at a political storm of the first magnitude in the Fall.  If a US Senate seat in Massachusetts isn’t safe for the Democrats, it is hard to imagine what seat in Congress outside of urban centers they can take for granted in November.

3.   The fundraising success of Scott Brown over the internet was astounding.  A demonstration that the internet fundraising effort of the Democrats in 2008 now has a GOP counterpart.

4.   Look for a wave of Democrat retirements in Congress as more Democrats decide that ending their political careers with a voluntary retirement is preferable to defeat.

5.   More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party.

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16 Responses to The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

  • President Obama took his election victory as an endorsement of an extreme liberal agenda.

    When people were just tired of Bush which Obama capitalized on.

    Now, even right before the results were announced, Robert Gibbs was announcing an even more “aggressive” and “vitriolic” agenda of pushing health care.

    I doubt they got the message.

    I’ve read on NBC and ABC that they refer to Tea Party activists as “extremists”.

    When the mainstream media is in cahoots with the Obama administration, I believe we may be marching towards the worst re-election campaign since Jimmah’ lost to Ronald Reagan.

  • One unfortunate (at least in my opinion it’s unfortunate) effect of the Mass. special election is that Romney now probably cakewalks to the GOP presidential nomination. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it since we’re still a couple of years away from the GOP primaries, but that was a huge swing of momentum Romney’s way last night.

  • Jay,
    I don’t think so at all. Romney’s absence from Brown’s campaign was conspicuous. Also, Romney was an elite candidate in 04, not the kind of retail politics-guy with Brown’s mass (no pun intended) appeal. I think it strengthens candidates with an emphasis on cost cutting (Indiana’s Mitch the Blade for VP?). I still don’t see any 2012 front-runner at all for the Republicans.

  • Romney’s a cool cat, but I am hoping for something significantly better.

    Gingrich is to wishy-washy.

    Huckabee is finished.

    McCain is a loser.

    Brownback is an opportunist and weak.

    Palin has “it”, but too many elites “pooh-pooh” her “smarts”.

    Pawlenty isn’t well-known enough.

    Pataki is a baby-killer and so is Giuliani.

    Thune, Pence, and Barber are unknowns.

    Jindal looks promising.

    Santorum is good but compromises his principles too many times.

    I’m holding out for Jindal, Thune, and Palin.

    Romney looks like “one” of the frontrunners, but he’s all for universal health care coverage, look at his RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

  • Its a victory, and that’s good. The progressive agenda might even hide out for a little while, but it will be back, and we can’t get complacent.

    They will use any tactic or strategy, however dishonest, to change this country into the progressive utopia that they envision. They’ve brainwashed the next generation with music and movies and they practically own the educational system, and run the courts.

    The only thing standing in their way is “we the people”, and our willingness to expose whats going on, even when most of the mainstream media refuses to. They have enough brainwashed zombies who think that America is a bad place to eventually get their agenda through, unless we gear up and stop it.

  • But Romney WAS conspicuously present last night. There’s a lot of talk going on right now about how his campaign team helped orchestrate Brown’s win and the important role Romney played behind the scenes.

    Unfortunately, that WILL play well with GOP primary voters, many of whom already rallied to Romney once in 2008 as the “anti-McCain”. I think the guy’s a fraud, but think he may have just notched the sort of win against the Obama team that will impress Republican primary voters.

  • Jay, I don’t see it. If you notice when Romney was introduced last night, the reaction wasn’t as loud as you would think. Sure he was cheered, but it felt muted. I think Romney might get a small boost, but it doesn’t seem like many people are really associating what happened last night with him.

  • We’ll see, Paul. I hope you’re right. But I’m guessing Kathryn Lopez and her crew will do their part to try to associate Scott Brown’s win with their beloved Mitt.

  • Romney’s people helped Brown prepare his strategy, and apparently Brown likes Romney (why else would he have Romney introduce him, and then call him out also during the speech). At the same time, 2012 is still a long way off. A lot can happen; hopefully someone better than Romney will emerge.

    I don’t really get the visceral dislike some people have for him, although I see why he doesn’t connect well. All politicians are frauds to some extent; some are better at concealing it than others. He’s not as good as some others.

  • Let’s face it, Scott Brown could just be Mitt Romney with a latex mask and some hair dye. Politically they are very similar. Personally, if Scott Brown thinks I voted for him because he drives a truck he’s dreaming, I would have voted for a brown paper bag over any Ma Democrat.

    Mitt Romney holds alot of sway here in Ma, as he won the 08 Republican primary. If Scott Brown goes out of his way to endorse Romney in the next repub primary it will probably mean that Romney helped him alot behind the scenes.

    Romney has little appeal to values voters, but hes seen as competent on the economy. If the economy and unemployment don’t get alot better, Romney will be strong contender in 012.

  • Actually, i would have voted for a brown paper bag full of dog poop and lit on fire before just about any Massachusetts Democrat.

  • Interesting that the GOP now has a state senator-come-U.S. Senator with potentially larger national ambitions.

    This win only changes the relationship between the two major parties. It does not change the trajectory of America overall, particularly in economic and foreign policy terms. If anything Brown is more hawkish than Obama, who for the most part has retained Bush’s foreign policy outlook.

    Anger and resentment drove this win, not Brown’s ideology nor even his policy positions (its should be noted that he DOES desire to expand health care, just not ObamaCare).

    Hopefully before people start voting for the GOP in droves they will quickly remember that they were the ones very much responsible for our current predicament.

    Personally I’m hoping for another attempt from Ron Paul in 2012. He will do much better this go around and can tug the GOP towards a proper, Constitutional position. Unfortunately I see little to no signs that the GOP is willing to give up its love for war-making and aggression.

  • Cupofwrath

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • “Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!”

    Two seals broken!

    In all seriousness, I think we would agree on most things, at least in the ideals, if not in how to execute them.

  • Sorry so late:

    “More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party”

    But even the devil can don a sheep’s clothing. Can we trust these ex-pats of the left? Seriously.

Massachusetts Predictions

Tuesday, January 19, AD 2010

Go here to see the last polls on the Senate race in Massachusetts.  The seat that is up has been in the hands of the Kennedy family since 1953, four years before my birth.   The last time the Republicans won a Federal senate race in Massachusetts was in 1972 when I was 15 years old.  Against all the odds Scott Brown has engineered the political upset of this century.  In November he trailed Martha Coakley by 30 points.  He has run a superb campaign and she has run an abysmal one, but the key issue has been his opposition to ObamaCare.  If ObamaCare is  a losing issue in Massachusetts, in what State in the Union can it be a winning issue?  Brown 52;  Coakley 47;  Kennedy 1.  That is my prediction.   What is yours?

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18 Responses to Massachusetts Predictions

Martha Coakley Fought To Keep Innocent People Behind Bars

Saturday, January 16, AD 2010

That a Republican candidate is within reasonable striking distance of winning the US Senate seat which until recently was filled by the late Ted Kennedy underscores what a horrifically bad job the state Democratic Party did in selecting their candidate. State attorney general Martha Coakley has rapidly gained a national reputation for saying incredibly stupid things. As it turns out, however, there are serious reasons why no reasonable person, of either political party, should want to see Coakley in higher office.

Many remember the wave of bizarre day care child abuse cases which swept the country in the ’80s, featuring headline hungry prosecutors taking children to “recovered memory” counseling sessions in order to “discover” abuse which had been perpetrated upon them. Clinton era attorney general Janet Reno made her made her career, in part, by successfully prosecuting cases of ritual child abuse — which later turned out to be false charges.

One of the first of these highly publicized cases in which therapists extracted accusations of ritual abuse from very young children was the Amirault case in Malden, Massachusetts. Dorothy Rabinowitz (who received her 2001 Pulitzer Prize in part for her work in exposing ritual abuse witch hunts that resulted in false convictions) writes about how as Middlesex County district attorney, Martha Coakley fought to keep the surviving members of the Amirault family behind bars even it became clear that the charges against them were false:

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13 Responses to Martha Coakley Fought To Keep Innocent People Behind Bars

  • Well, I can agree with this. But I am not thrilled about nor would I support her opponent (Scott Brown) whom is a pro-choice Republican.

  • Eric, don’t make the mistake of making the unobtainable best the enemy of the better. Scott Brown is clearly a better choice than all else on offer in this Massachusetts election because (1) he has a chance of winning and (2) he’s not a member of the Abortion On Demand party like Coakley.

  • I agree with Micha- he is against partial birth abortion, for parental notification, and believes in traditional marriage. He is clearly the “lersser of two evils”. He is also one shot at defeating the health care bill as it stands- which is partiually a piece meal pro-death plan.

  • Why does this not surprise me?

    The writer John Grisham has said that in ten years of practicing law in Mississippi, he found the sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors he dealt with to be ‘straight up guys’. For that reason, he was most surprised and appalled to discover, when looking into some cases in Oklahoma for a non-fiction work, a public prosecutor, agents of the state police, and a technician at the state crime lab all implicated in railroading several innocent men into prison. That particular prosecutor is re-elected every few years and has been in office for nearly three decades. The institutional culture of law enforcement is deeply diseased here, there, and the next place. This is tolerated by the political class and the public in these loci, go figure.

  • From a political point of view, an elected prosecutor or sheriff, or one with aspirations to another elected office, has more to lose by letting guilty people go free (remember Willie Horton?) than by keeping innocent or possibly innocent persons in prison. So in a case where any doubt still exists about the guilt of a defendant who has already been convicted and imprisoned, they will likely err on the side of NOT dropping charges against that defendant, until the evidence of the defendant’s innocence becomes overwhelming (and sometimes not even then, as evidenced by Coakley’s actions).

    Most voters also fear becoming victims of crime far more than they worry about being falsely accused of a crime, and vote accordingly.

    On the other hand, when it comes to cases not yet adjudicated, many prosecutors will plea bargain or drop cases that are anything less than “open and shut,” rather than bring them to trial, so that they appear to have a higher rate of success in gaining convictions.

  • The irony is in this case a pro-choice Republican may do more to advance the pro-life cause than an pro-life Democrat like Ben Nelson.

  • As our country is heading towards bankruptcy, businesses are afraid to hire people because of all the new socialist anti-business policies that are coming down the pipe. Government is the main sector that is expanding, thanks to the billions they have frittered away in the name of stimulus, and also paying off the people who got them elected. They take the peoples money and give themselves enormous retirement and pension packages amounting to in some cases millions of $, while they spend tens of millions to fly on private jets and do photo-ops in Denmark.

    They were gonna soak the rich to pay for all this, but then they realized that they are the rich, so now they are going to soak the middle class and tax peoples healthcare to pay for their corrupt healthcare raquet, concocted behind closed doors, were everyone makes out and tax payers are left holding the bag. Nothings wrong with some kind of a safety net, but they want to make it so people have a fundamental right to goods and services provided by others, which is undiluted socialism.

    I live in Mass, and the taxes are out of control, and the’ve carefully hidden alot of it so you pay more for stuff, now they double tax alcohol to. While they drive productive business out of the state, the government programs keep expanding to no end, making people dependent on government and ruining the middle class to pay for it all.

    To anyone who’s listening, we HAVE TO ELECT SCOTT BROWN on the 19th, and get some sanity and balance back in Washington. He’s the lesser of the evils.

  • The horrifying Amirault case, in and of itself, provides more than enough reason to vote against Coakley. Gerard Amirault, who is still classed as a Level 3 sex offender, has to wear an ankle bracelet, must not enter certain neighborhoods, and has other restrictions on him that make it impossible for him to find gainful employment – despite the fact that everyone with an IQ higher than a potted plant knows the man is innocent.

    While Coakley was doing her part to deny justice to the Amiraults, she was remarkably tolerant when it came to a real sex offender:

    “In October 2005, a Somerville police officer living in Melrose raped his 23-month-old niece with a hot object, most likely a curling iron.
    Keith Winfield, then 31, told police he was alone with the toddler that day and made additional statements that would ultimately be used to convict him.
    But in the aftermath of the crime, a Middlesex County grand jury overseen by Martha Coakley, then the district attorney, investigated without taking action.
    It was only after the toddler’s mother filed applications for criminal complaints that Coakley won grand jury indictments charging rape and assault and battery.
    Even then, nearly 10 months after the crime, Coakley’s office recommended that Winfield be released on personal recognizance, with no cash bail. He remained free until December 2007, when Coakley’s successor as district attorney won a conviction and two life terms.
    Coakley, now the Democratic candidate for US Senate, has made much of her record prosecuting crimes against children, and says her office handled this investigation appropriately. But the case stands out as one in which she drew criticism for not being aggressive enough. Indeed, the case gave rise to Coakley’s last competitive election.”

    Ironically, Coakley’s gaffe about Kurt Schilling being a Yankee fan has probably been more harmful than the fact that she persecuted an innocent family and gave a pass to a man who committed an incredibly depraved and evil crime.

  • The Amirault and Winfield cases are not funny in the slightest. However, the incredible number of gaffes Coakley has made during the last week are. She is giving Joe Biden a run for his money. I am now absolutely mesmerized by this train wreck of a campaign. I picture some hapless staffer at the Onion pounding his head against his desk as he reads the latest idiocy to come out of Coakley’s mouth and crying out to his boss, “How can we possibly top what she really says!”

  • So a man rapes a 23 month old child with a curling iron, and “law and justice” Coakley recommends no bail. Interesting

  • Speaking of “no reasonable person”, this just arrived in my inbox from the Catholic Democrats, who for some reason have me on their mailing list:

    Catholic Democrats is endorsing Attorney General Martha Coakley to fill Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Tuesday’s special election.

    “This is a critical election for advancing Catholic Social Justice priorities,” said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats. “Martha Coakley supports expanding access to health care, protecting our natural environment through the creation of a strong green economy, and helping to alleviate poverty through greater economic opportunity. Her record as Attorney General demonstrates that she is a tough but fair voice for all of our citizens.”


  • DarwinCatholic: Wow.

    You know, it’s fair to criticize Brown because he is only a bit less pro-abort than Coakley. But the truth of the matter is that no true pro-lifer would stand a chance in a MA Senate race. Now who’s fault is that? MA has a high percentage of nominally Catholic voters and yet most of them do not consider abortion to be a “social justice” issue, unless you’re talking about denying women their “right” to kill their baby. If voters don’t give a hoot about an issue, the pols of either party certainly won’t.

    It’s groups like “Catholic Democrats,” who assure MA Catholics that no matter what that pesky Pope says, they’re right to vote for Kennedy and Frank and Coakley that bear much of the blame for the situation.

Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

Friday, January 15, AD 2010

“Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.

Martha Coakley: No we have a separation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

A charming sentiment from Martha Coakley running for the Senate seat in Massachusetts.  For this gem, I award Ms. Coakley the second American Catholic Know-Nothing Award.  If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

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7 Responses to Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

  • If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid. There’s no other way you can explain the electoral history. Ted Kennedy was a living saint in MA while in the real world he was a scoundrel. And lets not mention the legacy of Barney Frank too!

  • I assume Ms. Coakley was referring to situations in which devout, pro-life Catholics would be working in emergency rooms where they might be called upon to administer emergency contraception to rape victims.

    For her to say who should or should not be permitted to work under those conditions is, of course, the height of arrogance. This combined with her other recent statements and actions also makes me wish I could vote against her on Tuesday. (We Illinois residents, however, will have to settle for voting against Mark Kirk, the pro-abort RINO running for Obama’s old Senate seat, in the Feb. 2 primary… but I digress) I am definitely rooting for her opponent!

    However, allow me to play devil’s advocate here and suggest there MAY be a grain of truth in what Ms. Coakley said — what devout Catholic today would WANT to accept a job where they KNOW they are likely to be asked to do things that are against their conscience?

    If I were interested in pharmacy or medicine I would have to think very, very long and hard about taking a job in a retail pharmacy, an acute care hospital, a student health center on a secular college campus, or any environment where I knew contraceptives or abortafacients would be distributed. That would make about as much sense as, say, a Jew signing up to work in a meat packing plant that processes pork, or a Muslim applying for a job in a restaurant that also requires them to tend bar occasionally or regularly.

    It’s one thing if a pro-life Catholic who went into the pharmacy or medical field years ago and was never confronted with this issue before is suddenly confronted with it and forced to choose between his/her job and his conscience when the employer could easily have found someone else to do the objectionable task. And I presume there are still plenty of other doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. available in just about any hospital to take over morally objectionable tasks like administering emergency contraception so it’s not as if the entire operation of the hospital, etc. will come to a screeching halt.

    However, it seems to me to be a bit disengenuous to apply for and accept a job and then say “Oh, by the way, I’m not going to perform this part of my job.” If the employer does find a way to excuse you from performing the objectionable part of your job, that’s good and they should be allowed to do so; but ultimately, should they (employers) be FORCED to do so?

    I realize that what I’m suggesting means that pro-life Catholics may find their employment prospects in pharmacy or medical fields pretty limited and perhaps eventually nonexistent, which is regrettable. It would be much better, of course, if medical employers didn’t make these kind of demands, but as long as they do so, maybe faithful Catholics really should think twice about working in emergency rooms.

  • Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more, the First Amendment doesn’t say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; except for Catholics”.

    I understand what you are saying as a matter of prudence, but exceptions for religious reasons are made every day for a myriad of beliefs (i.e. wearing head scarfs etc). If Catholics capitulate on conscience issues then the secular society will see that as a sign of weakness and run roughshod over them.

    What Catholics DO need however is a truly Catholic Health care system that practices what it preaches – something that has and remains harder and harder to find as Catholic hospitals sell their souls to secular society in mergers & acquisitions. Fortunately God is raising up leaders in this area like:

    The Tepeyac Family Center

    Divine Mercy Pharmacy

    Maybe such efforts like this should be the focus of the USCCB instead of funding groups like ACORN and issuing “Catholic Climate Covenants”

  • JB: The establishment clause has nothing to do with any issue related to abortion, since the evil of abortion falls not under the category of revealed precept but natural law. According even to Catholic teaching, a Catholic wouldn’t have to bring religion into the equation to refuse distributing the morning after pill.

  • Rick,

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid

    Very succinct!

  • Meet the new junior senator from Massachusetts!

  • I don’t know about that one, Zach. Every article and op-ed I’ve read today sounds like “doom-and-gloom” for Coakley, including among the liberal Left. They sound as if their daggers are out for her and that they’ve all but given up on her potential to win–there isn’t a bus big enough for her to be thrown under, from the way they are reading the tea leaves. We can only hope Brown pulls the upset and puts the nail in the coffin of the atrocious HCR bills now being constructed behind closed doors!

Now This, This Would be a Sign of the Apocalypse!

Wednesday, January 13, AD 2010

A Republican may be elected to serve out Ted Kennedy’s unexpired term?  It could happen! Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning polling outfit shows the election a toss up between the Democrat Coakley and the Republican Brown.  Scott Rasmussen, the best political pollster in the business in my opinion, shows Coakley up by two.  Last week he showed her up by nine.  On Monday Brown raised over a million dollars in one day in internet donations.

If Brown wins the Senate race in the Peoples’ Republic of Massachusetts, it will send a political shock wave across this country the like of which hasn’t been seen in many a year.  If Ted Kennedy’s senate seat isn’t safe, what seat is safe for the Democrats?  Oh, I don’t believe that I should call it Ted Kennedy’s seat per Mr. Brown.

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13 Responses to Now This, This Would be a Sign of the Apocalypse!

  • From where I sit, I do not think there is any chance Scott Brown will be elected. Massachusetts politics are too corrupt.

  • It is an uphill climb Zach, no doubt about that. It is interesting however that Massachusetts does have a history of electing Republican governors fairly recently, so the idea of a Republican winning statewide is certainly not impossible.

  • I don’t expect Brown to win, but then, I didn’t expect Corzine to lose in deep blue NJ either. If Brown comes within a couple of points of Coakley, Dems should still be very nervous. Coakley ran a dreadful campaign, because she expected it would be a waltz. She thought she wouldn’t have to fight for “the Kennedy seat” (ah, Massachusetts – or should I say Massachusettes, like the cool kidz do – once upon a time you rebelled against royalty). The fact that she does, in fact, have a battle on her hands is unnerving her.

    If Brown manages to pull it off, I shall develop a strange new respect for Massachusetts voters.

  • Eric

    It seems “you can’t vote for or support a pro-choice candidate” because “they are baby killers” and “supporting baby killers should get you excommunicated” might be countered with “He’s a Republican” and that’s good enough for some. It also suggests that much of that rhetoric is just political rhetoric, and not indicative of belief when there are these cheers for a pro-choice candidate. So you are right to point this out. Shows quite a few things all in one.

  • From what I can tell thus far, Brown is indeed, essentially, pro-choice.

    His support for minor pro-life initiatives notwithstanding, in my mind, a minimal pro-life position includes opposition to RvW.

    However, his opponent is also pro-choice, and apparently has a voting record more favorable to the abortion industry.

    In this case should Catholics vote for a “lesser evil” or abstain altogether? The ‘Catholic Answers’ voting guide says:

    “In some political races, each candidate takes a wrong position on one or more issues involving non-negotiable moral principles. In such a case you may vote for the candidate who takes the fewest such positions or who seems least likely to be able to advance immoral legislation, or you may choose to vote for no one.”

    “Not voting may sometimes be the only moral course of action, but we must consider whether not voting actually promotes good and limits evil in a specific instance.”

    Tough call. Voting for the Democrat is clearly out. Voting for Brown? I wouldn’t. I would abstain. But by this criteria anyway, one might vote for Brown.

  • The Catholic Answers voting guide fails to meet Catholic moral standards. On the other hand, I thought people said you could never “vote for a pro-baby killer, even if it is the least of evils.” Now when you start reasoning “least of evil” allows prudential decision as to who one should vote for, then people who saw no practical difference between Obama and McCain were fine with voting Obama and not to be condemned as being “pro-death.” I say this not as one who voted for Obama, since I didn’t. I am just pointing out how it is always convenient there are always excuses given for Republicans. But if one “can never bend” then it would seem supporting a pro-choicer is a no-go, and one should either abstain from voting or vote for someone who is going to lose.

    Again, all this shows is the double-standards, nothing else.

  • Coakley is attacking Brown for being pro-life, which he is not:

    Coakley is in favor of partial birth abortions which Brown is against. If I were in Massachusetts I would vote for Brown, although my vote would actually be against Coakley.

    Here is a story exploring the abortion positions of Coakley and Brown.

  • Coakley thinks that if you are a faithful Catholic you shouldn’t work in emergeny rooms because of emergency “contraception”.

    “Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.
    Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

    Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

    Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

    Man, if I were in Massachusetts I would crawl over broken glass to vote against this bigot.

  • “The Catholic Answers voting guide fails to meet Catholic moral standards.”

    Then which voter guide does meet them? I’m open to suggestions. How do Catholics – who care about the teaching of the Church, that is – in Europe or other countries where all of the candidates support abortion rights vote? Do they vote? If so, what is their criteria?

    “I thought people said you could never “vote for a pro-baby killer, even if it is the least of evils.”

    What “people” are you referring to?

    “But if one “can never bend””

    If one is obliged to vote, and all the candidates are pro-choice, then it can’t be “bending.” Some Catholics believe they have a moral obligation to vote for SOMEONE – some take it further and say there is an obligation to vote for someone who is likely to win, ruling out third party candidates who have no shot.

    I am not so certain about that. There are times when Acts 5:29 trumps Romans 13:1. This is possibly one of those times – to withdraw from the political process altogether.

    If there is a clear Church teaching on what one is to do in a situation where all of the candidates support an intrinsic evil, I would like to see it. I believe the CA voter guide was based on what JP II said in Evangelium Viate:

    ” In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

    My guess is that they believe this would apply to voters as well.

  • The Catholic Answers voting guide, I think, is based on a false understanding of how to apply natural law principles to specific situations and circumstances. It more or less sets up a proportionalist trap. In my view, it is no more logical than the voting strategy set up by Catholics United that does not understand the hierachy of values.

    If anything, there is a radical modern misunderstanding of the virtue of prudence, which is founded upon the edifice, which Pope John Paul II himself often referred to, of “right reason.” Since Machiavelli wrote The Prince, both virtue and prudence (which is a virtue, obviously) have been radically misunderstood.

    Nevertheless, Catholic Answers’ Voting Guide for “Serious” Catholics is not a magisterial document, which is evident, I think, in the defiencies in its philosophical presumptions and I personally don’t feel obligated to vote in accord with it. The pope’s encylical might have inspired the voting guide, but that doesn’t make it void of errors–not that you suggested anything to the contrary.

    Moreover, I see this growing trend of Senate Republicans with this view — Hutchison, Snowe, Collins. Moreover, I am more appalled that pro-life organizations such as the one in Massachusetts (endorsing Brown) might endorse such candidates in their races if the other person is “more pro-choice.” I would think it better not to compromise your principles and not endorse the less-than-stellar “pro-life” candidate and rather just emphasize how bad the pro-choice candidate’s record is. It really boils down to proportionalist tendencies, which in some respects is inevitable.

    I seriously am very sympathetic to the argument which due to current circumstances makes it “non-negotiable” for voting Catholics to vote Republican, but in effect, it turns the pro-life vote into what African Americans have become to Democrats — a bloc of “sure” votes where Republicans win office and by and large govern as if the very issues we voted for them on are non-issues. The next election they throw us the same old rhetoric and “renew” their committment, but nothing goes differently. The Republican strategist can measure that the most strident pro-life Americans will not vote for a Democrat and even if a nominal pro-life Republican is running, we will judge that it “better than nothing” and vote for the Republican anyway to stop the “worse policies” of the Democrat. This trend seems spiraling and self reinforcing, which I don’t see how we can upset the status quo or change the indifference of some, or even, many Republican elected officials without their losing, or electing those who will upset the status quo — but how can you tell? It’s very difficult.

    I am sure there is a lot of this, in which, you and I probably have acute agreement. My greatest issue, or rather my cynicism, is unlike with slavery or other issues in the past, is that contemporary politics has found comfort in the status quo on all sides of the contemporary moral issues to the chagrin of those who are powerfully convicted, one way or another, on such issues. In other words, with say, slavery, you know that your opponent will try to craft the law in conformity with their views on slavery — either total legality or total illegality. There was no “reducing the number of slaves” rhetoric or strategic incremental methods for bringing about its illegality. This is most obvious to me in the fact that the Republicans have replaced the majority of the post-Roe court or the less-than-desirable amount of pro-life legislation coming off of Republican-controlled committees in Republican-dominated Congresses and so forth. From a practical order, considering current political trends, practices, and circumstances, I don’t buy the Catholic Answers argument for reasons other my philosophical issues with it — it seems to me to just preserve the status quo. Nothing I’ve said means vote Democratic. It does unveil we’ve got a lot of work to do.

    The other difficulty I have — and this is personal — is that by my prudential calculation which I am obliged in conscience to follow is that a pro-choice Republican should not receive my vote, being such a worldview is, more or less, my political antithesis and following my views, a detriment to the common good. Does that mean vote for the pro-choice Democrat? Not necessarily.

    I am also very fascinated by the fact that for many Republicans his abortion stance is virtually a non-issue and they are advocating that he win to block the health care bill — largely a consequentialist line of reasoning, regardless of one’s views on the health care reform efforts. This is especially true when one considers the line of thinking that amounted to counter-efforts against the pro-choice Republican candidate running for the House in New York that met party opposition for being a “RINO.”

  • Eric,

    “Catholic Answers’ Voting Guide for “Serious” Catholics is not a magisterial document”

    No one, least of all myself, claimed that it was. The problem is that there does not appear to be a magisterial document that addresses this issue. We face a similar dilemma with torture, though in that case, I think it is more clear if one really bothers to look and reflect on all that has been said.

    “which is evident, I think, in the defiencies in its philosophical presumptions”

    It isn’t evident. That is the problem. Perhaps you could explain it again? That such a document would not be “void of errors” is practically a given – I only used it as an example. It is one of the more well-considered examples, too, so I shudder to think what some of the other voter guides looked like.

    “There was no “reducing the number of slaves” rhetoric or strategic incremental methods for bringing about its illegality.”

    Ha! I agree, but tell it to the neo-Confederate historians, whom a surprising number of Catholic conservative intellectuals appear to agree with. On this point I simply know the history too well – it was all or nothing for the South.

  • dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

    Great line, but I doubt the sequel will be any good: