TAC Presidential GOP Poll So Far

Wednesday, August 17, AD 2011

The American Catholic (TAC) GOP Poll is still accepting votes until this Friday evening.

Thus far former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is leading with 22% of the vote followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry with 19% of the vote.

Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul follows with 13% of the vote with undecideds rounding the top four at 11%.

Top tier candidates Michele Bachmann is way back with 2% of the vote with Mitt Romney at 5% of the total vote.

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7 Responses to TAC Presidential GOP Poll So Far

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  • In regards to the TAC Presidential GOP Poll, it would be interesting how many “Catholics” would still vote for Obama.

  • Santorum has to be one of the dumbest dudes God ever created!

    Diane Sawyer said the presidenial candidates spend millions on their campaigns adfvertising and looked into their campaignt T shirts The 3 major candidates had shirts made in the USA. Then she showed Gingrichs’ and it was foreign made and when asked it took him a few minutes and he figured it out and replied he’d get USA made shirts….then Ron Paul, took him a few minutes to think about his foreign made shirts and he decided to dispose of them all immediately and get USA made ones. A llittle slow those two but they got the idea. When she asked Rick Santorum… his response…it’s hard to find anything made in the USA, and hard as she tried couldn’t get him to think about it and give the right answer. And he’s running for President, just a little scary!!

  • I will not vote for a cafeteria Christian in name only Republican thug and thief… nor a godless Democrat thug and thief.

  • Fr. Leo Padget,

    That would be interesting.

    We’ll do a poll on that later in the year, just for the record!

  • So Rick Santorum is dumb because he was the only candidate in the exchange who didn’t pander?

  • Will gladly vote in the 2012 election for any of these candidates to replace Pres. Obama.
    Still depressed at times that our country would elect someone with his background and lack of experience. Especially troubling that so many Catholics could vote for someone who is more pro-abortion than NARAL.

GOP Presidential Poll for August

Monday, August 15, AD 2011

The American Catholic (TAC) has been running a periodic poll of the GOP presidential field. So naturally following the Iowa Straw Poll we have this months poll for our TAC readers.  We have included candidates that have declared their candidacy as well as other speculative* candidates. As the primaries arrive the field of candidates should narrow down a bit.

Tim Pawlenty has dropped out, but Rick Perry has “officially” entered the race.  A newcomer to our poll is Representative Thad McCotter of Michigan.  Tim Pawlenty garnered 13 votes in our last TAC poll, we’ll see where Pawlenty’s supporters will go to next.  Rick Santorum won the last TAC poll.

You can view the results of our last poll here.

Update:  My apologies, I have added Michele Bachmann.

* For example even though Chris Christie has denied he is interested in running, he still will be in Iowa for an inexplicable reason. Until then, he will be showing in the poll until we don’t see his name on the actual roll.

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12 Responses to GOP Presidential Poll for August

GOP Pro-life Win in New Hampshire

Friday, June 24, AD 2011


One of the consequences of the Republican sweep in 2010 is that the Republicans control many state legislatures by very wide margins.  A host of pro-life legislation is making its way through these GOP chambers.  One of the latest pro-life bills to be enacted into law is a parental notification law when minors seek to have an abortion in New Hampshire.  The text of the law may be read here.

On its way to becoming a law it was vetoed by Governor John Lynch.  Lynch is a Democrat, a Catholic and a pro-abort, a combination all too common in our nation.  The veto was overridden in the New Hampshire legislature on June 22 by votes of 266-102 in the House and in the Senate 17-7.

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2 Responses to GOP Pro-life Win in New Hampshire

  • “The next time some “Catholic” shill for the party of abortion attempts to convince you that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans on abortion, you look them straight in the eye and call them a liar. You may place whatever adjective you please before the term liar.”

    I agree 100%, Donald.

  • Not that Repubs. are perfect but clearly there are differences of substance with Dems. I did point out on Red Cardigan’s blog the substantial voting differences between Repubs. and Dems. on abortion and called it a lie to say there were no differences between the two. She was not pleased. However, I was not calling her a liar as one has to know one is not telling the truth in order to be lying. In this case I believe she has stopped presenting this lie and is not a liar.

    This is opposed to other blogs where the truth has been pointed out and the lies continue. These people are liars.

2012 TAC GOP Presidential Poll

Monday, June 13, AD 2011

The American Catholic will be running a periodic poll of the GOP presidential field. We have included candidates that have declared their candidacy as well as other speculative* candidates. As the primaries arrive the field of candidates should narrow down a bit.

* For example even though Chris Christie has denied he is interested in running, he still will be in Iowa for an inexplicable reason. Until then, he will be showing in the poll until we don’t see his name on the actual roll.

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17 Responses to 2012 TAC GOP Presidential Poll

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  • The poll is seriously flawed.

    It does not include an button for “ANYBODY but Obama.”

  • Be careful, T. Shaw. Anybody could be Hillary or Pelousy or Andy “I live with my concubine and take Holy Communion from Bishop Hubbard” Cuomo. There are plenty of unacceptable choices and too few acceptable ones.

    While I voted for Chris Christie, I would nevertheless be more than happy to vote for Sarah Palin if only because her winning would send the liberals intto a fit of apoplexy. 😉

  • Wow, I can’t believe Santorum is the top choice at the moment….

  • So the top 5 are people who either probably aren’t running or have no chance of winning the nomination. #6 is undecided. Newt and Buddy got votes? Must be an error.

  • RR,

    Your optimism knows no bounds!

  • I chose Tim Pawlenty for the simple reason that I would prefer the next president be un-flashy, and NOT a “rock star,” media figure, or conservative mirror image of Obama with an equally strong cult of personality. We need someone who will simply do the job and has held a major public office long enough to prove he can do the job (which, for me, rules out Palin and Christie).

    Pawlenty is in somewhat the same position right now as Jimmy Carter was in mid-1975, or Bill Clinton was in the summer of 1991 — a dark horse candidate who emerged from the field after all the early favorites had imploded for various reasons. I know Santorum is especially good on pro-life issues but I just don’t think he can win — he might end up as a running mate to whomever does win, though.

  • Elaine,

    I think that may be one of the things Americans will be looking for. Like Boehner, someone who is not a demagogue nor a narcissist. An American who gets the job done, not someone who promises a socialist paradise.

  • Obama meets all three criteria:

    (1) Demagogue with a teleprompter
    (2) Narcissist
    (3) Promiser of a socialist paradise

    Yet a majority of the American “peepul” voted for him in 2008.

    It’s 1st Samuel chapter 8 all over again.

  • I also support Pawlenty, though I actually prefer him to Santorum outright, not merely because Santorum can’t win (I still don’t understand why social conservatives should trust Santorum now, and I think he’s become far too focused on his very hawkish side). Pawlenty has yet to break out, but among candidates who are in the race and could conceivably win, he seems to me the best candidate out there, and he seems capable of presenting a serious conservative message vs. Obama without appearing angry, which I think will be important (however justified some level of anger may be).

  • It’s interesting that Santorum is doing especially well among us Catholics. Even more surprising is that Ron Paul is attracting more votes than I thought he would.

  • Of course Santorum would do well among ultra-conservative Catholic Republicans. That’s about the only demographic that he does well among.

    Ron Paul does well in any online poll. Paulites sit in their college dorms scanning the internet 24/7 for polls. That wasn’t a joke. That he’s not winning all the online polls suggests that his support has dropped significantly from 2008.

  • RR,

    “ultra-conservative Catholic Republicans”.

    You mean as opposed to the mainstream perverted-sex-adultery-prone-left-wing-america-hating demographic?

  • I agree with the comparison Tito made. It’s going to come down to a division exactly as deep as that.

    See Michael Voris’ latest video, “The End of America”, here:

  • Tito, as opposed to people like Justice Thomas who said he opposes anti-sodomy laws.

  • Justice Thomas is a great man!

    . . .and opposition to anti-sodomy laws isn’t a big issue item.

  • If we became the Christian Constitutional Republic that we were always intendedd to be, then there would be no need for anti-sodomy laws even as there would be no need for anti-adultery laws or anti-fornication laws. But a people which rejects morality is ever in need of more and more laws to regulate its conduct, hence our burgeoning regulatory bureaucracy.

    Last week I went through a two hour on-line virtual training course at the new company where I work. Of course such courses are required by the public masters – er, I mean servants – in our federal nuclear regulatory agency. This course was all about business ethics. Things like “don’t use company computers for browsing pornography sites,” “don’t use your knowledge of the company’s business tactics to manipulate stocks,” and “don’t take favors from officials in return for a contract” that seem so obvious to a moral and ethical person were the subject of the training. Hey, what’s up with that? Don’t parents teach Christian morality any longer? The answer is NO. So now we have all kinds of business ethics training courses.

    Maybe we do need anti-sodomy laws. And anti-adultery laws, and anti-fornication laws. A perverted culture knows no bounds, but I can’t fault Justice Thomas for assuming that we SHOULD be responsible adults, acknowledging that taking another man’s wife to bed or sticking your reproductive organ in another man’s orifice are both abominations against the Lord God which merit the punishment of the eternal fires of hell. But talk like that is bound to get me reviled, criticized and condemned for being intolerant, divisive, unkind and the worst of all crimes, “not nice.” Hell ain’t nice, either.

1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

Tuesday, November 9, AD 2010

Picture it: Upper East Side of Manhattan, November 9, 1994.  There is a buzz throughout the halls of Regis High School, and it’s not just because today is student exchange day and there will actually be girls in our school.  The previous night the Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and my friends and I – little Republicans in training that we all were – were quite joyous.

First period was US History, and our teacher knows that I am certainly excited about the election.  So he writes on the board the following:


His point?  As was the case in 1946, the Republican victory would be short-lived.  Republican gains in 1946 were wiped out – and then some – in 1948.  On top of that, Harry Truman was re-elected.  History would repeat itself.

I scoffed at this ridiculous notion.  There was certainly no way that Slick Willy Clinton could possibly earn a second term as US President.  I had been counting the days to his 1996 electoral humiliation since roughly November 7, 1992.  Surely this was the first stage on the road to that inevitable defeat.

Fast forward to November 5, 1996.  Needless to say I was as disappointed on that night as all us Regians were at the end of that November day in senior year. (I mean come on, we’re talking about a bunch of nerdy kids from an all boys school.  It took most of us a full year of college before we could properly talk to members of the opposite sex.)  Mr. Anselme was right.

But not entirely.  Though Bill Clinton had indeed won re-election, the election was not a total repeat of 1948.  The Republicans lost a few seats, but in the end they retained control of both houses of Congress – something they had not done in successive cycles since the Hoover administration.

History is informative, and we certainly should be aware of the lessons of elections past when we think about what will happen down the line.  But we should refrain from assuming that events will necessarily repeat themselves.

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2 Responses to 1946, 1994, 2010 => 1948, 1996, 2012?

  • “Some may disagree with me on this score, but Obama does not have the same ability as Bill Clinton to play Jedi mind tricks with centrist voters.”

    I view President Bubba as probably the worst man to sit in the White House, and one of the best politicians. Clinton also loved politics and campaigning. Obama strikes me as bored with politics now and bored with being President. It is going to be an interesting two years.

  • Clinton also had another major advantage over Obama:

    As a governor, he had to know how to work the legislature. I assume that Arkansas’ legislature was heavily Democrat, but a much more conservative Democrat than the kind that Obama hangs around with.

    Also, Clinton was the head of the National Governors’ Assocation.

    In both of these capacities, he had to learn how to appeal to a broader spectrum, and how to triangulate when necessary.

    Excluding the 2008 Presidential election, Obama has not had to do that kind of work. In the ’08 election, Obama benefited from Bush fatigue and the novelty of electing a minority. Surely, his oratory and charisma were at a peak; but, rather than his skills causing the buoyancy, it was the popular mood that elevated him.

    Obama cannot move to the middle the way that Clinton did.

    The only thing that can save his re-election is if the economy turns around. And, then, maybe not.

Sore Losermen

Thursday, September 30, AD 2010

One of the big stories of the year is the growth in prominence of the tea party movement.  Whether or not you are in accord with them politically, they have had an undeniable impact on the political landscape, bringing a new energy to the political scene.  Though tea party- backed  candidates have not been 100 percent successful, they have defeated a fairly substantial number of GOP incumbents and other Republican establishment candidates.  Even relatively conservative Republican incumbents like Senator Bob Bennett of Utah have been sent to an early retirement thanks largely to a grassroots revolt against his like.

One of the most recent successes of the tea party rebellion occurred in Alaska where Joe Miller defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary.  Murkowski was appointed to the Senate to replace her father.  The governor who appointed her also happened to be her father, and it seems that she was led to believe that she is entitled to said seat.  So in the face of electoral defeat in the primary, Senator Murkowski – or Daddy’s Little Princess as she’s being dubbed in some circles – has launched a write-in campaign.  Evidently many voters in the state of Alaska crave royalty as she is actually running neck and neck with Miller in the general election campaign.

Murkowski is not the only moderate Republican who has demonstrated his or her contempt for the unwashed masses who dared to remove them from office.  Governor Charlie Crist, faced with a humiliating primary defeat in Florida against Marco Rubio, decided to jump ship and run as an Independent.  Alas Charlie now faces a humiliating thumping in the general election instead.  Mike Castle, who lost to Christine O’Donnell in the Republican primary for a Delaware Senate seat, toyed with a write-in campaign.  He decided against it, but has ostentatiously declined to endorse O’Donnell.  Other defeated incumbents, like Bennett above as well as Representative Bob Inglis have thrown temper tantrums because the voters dared remove them from office.

Alas it is not just so-called RINOs who have rejected the will of the primary voter.

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12 Responses to Sore Losermen

  • Wasn’t Hoffman the Conservative Party nominee PRIOR TO also seeking the GOP nomination? If so, I don’t see how failing to secure the GOP nomination affects whatsoever his status as the nominee of the Conservative Party. It’s not the same thing as the sour-grapes candidates who run for the GOP nomination and THEN decide to go 3rd party (such as, for example, Charlie Crist and Princess Lisa have done, and, indeed, as Christine O’Donnell did the last time she ran for the Senate).

    Why should a 3rd-party candidate bow out just to clear the field for the GOP?

    One could argue that, as a prudential matter, Hoffman is wasting his time because the right-of-center voters of the district have already spoken (and especially if the Tea Party folks are beginning to embrace the GOP nominee). But I don’t think Hoffman quite qualifies as a “sore loser” for continuing with his run as the Conservative Party candidate.

    By the way, if I’m mistaken in my understanding that Hoffman was already the Conservative Party nominee PRIOR TO also seeking the GOP nomination, then I withdraw my defense of him.

  • Jay,

    You are correct that Hoffman had the conservative party nomination, but the same is true of Ric Lazio, and the latter dropped out once he lost the primary election. Hoffman was attempting to “unify” the Republicans and the conservatives, but he failed in that bid. It seems to me that once you have decided to enter the fray, you should respect the wishes of the primary voters.

    I’ll grant that his situation isn’t exactly the same as Murkowski’s for the reasons you cite. And Hoffman certainly isn’t obliged to drop out simply because he lost the primary. But it seems as a practical matter that Hoffman should drop his conservative candidacy in the light of the primary election.

  • The term “moderate” is a misnomer for Republocrats like Murkowski…folks such as her are political elites who aspire to be the worst, most profligate aristocracy in human history. At least prior, historical oligarchies of other nations were restrained by the simple fact of technological paucity, requiring them to at least pay lip service to a higher auhority and transcendetal values…the scumbag “legislators” currently holding American government hostage make no such pretense. They are extremely dangerous and should not under any circumstances be referred to as “moderate” simply because they collude with each other under two different political brand names.

  • And then in Illinois we have the really strange case of a “sore winner” — Scott Lee Cohen, who won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, dropped out after all sorts of damaging revelations about his past came to light (involving lawsuits, accusations of domestic violence, knifing an alleged hooker, unpaid child support, etc.), then decided to run for GOVERNOR as an independent… and is now polling at or above 10 percent in some polls.

    Of course Cohen’s case is not quite the same as those listed above because he actually WON his primary, albeit for a lower office. However, he does have the potential to be a “spoiler” in the general election and most likely, it will be GOP candidate Bill Brady’s chances that he ends up spoiling!

  • I am vastly amused Elaine by the “I’m voting for Scott Lee Cohen” ads, with people repeating that statement. Who knew that there was such sympathy for the plight of a candidate who held a knife to the neck of his prostitute “fiancee”? I don’t really think Cohen will be a factor, and that Brady will double digit wallop Quinn, notwithstanding the Trib’s bizarre recent poll showing Quinn one point ahead, which contradicts every other poll I have seen.

  • Elaine and Donald,

    What is in the water in your state? Seriously, I think Latin American countries shake their head in disbelief at your politics.

  • I knew it was somewhat bad, but not this bad!

  • “What is in the water in your state? Seriously, I think Latin American countries shake their head in disbelief at your politics.”

    Concisely Paul what Sean Connery said in the Untouchables: “This town stinks like a whorehouse at low tide.” Chicago has an unbelievably corrupt political culture which has infected the entire state. For far too long the people of this state have tolerated it, and Illinois is facing bankruptcy because of it.

  • Illinois within its current boundaries is indicative of a problem with provincial government in this country in that you have an assemblage of small cities (50,000-270,000 in population), small towns, and countryside as a tributary zone to a megalopolitan area. New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and Nevada all have the same problem; Maryland has a variant of it. You need to reconstitute Illinois into a confederation of two components with parallel governments, cede some territory to Missouri and Iowa, &c.

  • Art, Downstate Illinois would happily readjust our boundaries so that Chicago would be Wisconsin’s problem, as was originally intended I believe back in territorial days. Alas, I am certain that those who live behind the Cheddar Curtain would object.

  • NO, Donald, NO, NO, NO!!! Just the thought of Chicago joining the Badger State makes me break out in a cold sweat. I think even the most left-wing Wisconsinites would be firmly opposed to any readjustment of borders. The libs might not be bothered by additional crime, voter fraud, and scores of sleazy politicians, but, goodness, bringing a bunch of Bear fans within the borders of our fair state, now, that really is a heinous thought 🙂

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White Tea Party Racist to Run for 2012 US Presidency

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

[Update:  There is already a Draft Cain 2012 website up!]

Oh wait, the picture doesn’t follow the mainstream meme does it!

I guess Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann’s running narrative of extremists running the Tea Party doesn’t quite fit the pic.

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7 Responses to White Tea Party Racist to Run for 2012 US Presidency

  • Token… or Uncle Tom?

  • Neither.

    He’s the real deal.

    Alex V.,

    That’s a bit of a borderline racist comment there. Be careful, we don’t tolerate that here at TAC.

    We’ll let it slide this one time in case you weren’t aware of how your comment could be read.

  • After reading this post, about a man I had never heard of, I simply had to click the link to his website, which you put in your post.

    I read the following and simply must comment that what I am posting is a quote from Mr. Cain himself, which made me laugh for the content/comment in the final line of this quote and the joy it brought to me for his having said it and the relief of having not said it myself, although I wish I did.

    He said:

    “Keep one thing in mind as we get into 2011. There are a lot of people that may be interested in seeking the Republican nomination, but I want you to remember one thing, there might also be a dark horse candidate that you don’t know about.”
    Herman Cain

    Mr Cain. Thank you. Tito, thanks to you too. I love this guy’s sense of humor.

  • Maybe it’s time again to elect someone who’s not a career politician. Couldn’t do any worse than the one we’ve got.

  • Sounds like a good man with alot of common sense. Thats exactly what we need.

  • I voted for this class act in the primary in 2004. While Isakson has been much better than expected, we really missed our chance to send a great conservative to the Senate. Herman is the real deal.

  • if you elect a career politician… you get a career politician. if you elect someone who isn’t a career politician… eveyone complains because they aren’t experienced enough.

    I’m beginning to see a slight difference with the crowd the tea party is gathering. there is a faint “so what” when someone in the media tries to make the “not enough experience” argument.

The Crisis at Which We Are Arrived

Saturday, July 10, AD 2010

President Obama seems to carry the world view that of an elite academic, that all the problems this nation faces can be solved with government intervention through high taxes and and legislation that enacts social engineering of a society of independence to that of dependence.

Or as the average layman would say, President Obama is a socialist, plain and simple.

I understand the subtleties of his liberal leanings and his good intentions, but the path to Hell is often made with good intentions.  With the failed Communist experiment in Russia in 1988 and the current economic collapse of Greece with Spain and Portugal on the horizon to experience the same, I don’t see how more spending with money we don’t have for welfare programs that we don’t need will solve our economic woes.

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5 Responses to The Crisis at Which We Are Arrived

  • “Or as the average layman would say, President Obama is a socialist, plain and simple.”


  • This question was raised recently.
    If they return to power, will the Republicans accuse the Obamacrats of being the party of No?? Hey, news flash, they already are the party of No!

    No more tax cuts. Let the Bush tax cuts expire.
    No more secret ballots. Unions rule.
    No more drilling. Cripple big business and suffocate the little ones.
    No more private insurance. The government is your Nanny now.
    No more Constitution. Rule by Executive order and a puppet Supreme Court.
    No more free speech. Only media approved by the White House permitted.
    No more prosecution for voter fraud or intimidation. We won, you lost Brother.
    No more mention of God. Nancy and Harry are BHO’s anointed angels for us.
    No more sanctity in marriage. Homosexuality is to be taught in school and encouraged.
    And one way or another it must be established (By the U.N. if necessary)….
    No more guns for the citizens. Only those for BHO’s promised Civilian Security Force which is to be as well equipped and funded as our current military.

    In short No More America as we knew it before the messiah who according to our first black president, Bill Clinton, did what any good democrat like say Robert Byrd did (joined the KKK). “in order to get elected” and serve admirably in West Virginia.
    Obama, who has since admitted being Muslim, joined a “Christian” church to mask himself for public consumption by voters.But who knew Rev. Wright’s true colors until it was too late? Well obviously Barack Hussein Obama surely did

  • The furtive enemies of the soul; the most dire threats (fundamentally change) to our country and our way of life; the foes of freedom are in the white House and congress.

  • Weakness and timidity abroad really do threaten a world in which terrorists and fanatics possess, and use, nuclear weapons.

    Not sure exactly where you are going with this. It could be argued that our rather ill thought out ventures abroad also threaten the world. The statement seems to lack a certain balance.

    No disagreement with the other concerns.

  • It could be argued that our rather ill thought out ventures abroad also threaten the world.

    Argued by people paying little attention to the implications of what they are saying. “The World” is not threatened by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is threatened.

Pro-Life Republicans

Sunday, November 8, AD 2009

pro-life gopLast night all but one, who voted present, of the House Republicans voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment in spite of knowing that its passage made likely the final passage of ObamaCare.  Here is a statement of the House Republican Leadership issued last night before either the Stupak amendment or ObamaCare was passed:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) issued the following statement in support of an amendment offered by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) that would prohibit federal funding of abortions under the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) health care plan: “We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern. It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts.

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43 Responses to Pro-Life Republicans

  • It is an easy decision when you are genuinely pro-life; however, political pragmatism would be very tempting in this situation. It must have been difficult to know that you are voting to create the climate that will pass the Obamanation assault on health care.

    Nevertheless, we may credit them with taking the correct moral stance and pray for the Senate to kill the bill.

    What the heck is with Cao? Is he another Dede?

  • Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head and that he voted for ObamaCare simply because he thought it was the right thing to do, especially since he probably assumes he isn’t coming back to Congress no matter what he does. He was elected from an intensely Democrat district in New Orleans simply because his opponent is a crook and it would take a major political miracle for him to win re-election.

  • They receive it from me, Don. I really was expecting a “present” vote from them, to assure the defeat of the health care bill… but they really surprised me. My hat is off to them.

  • I have been struggling with this all night. Keep in mind I am no a Republican and I think over the years they have done much damage to the cause of liberty. I also find many to pander to religion and actually employ political pragmatism.

    Part of me wants to be mad at them for giving the Demoncrats cover to pass this monstrosity. Stupak will likely be removed or the rules developed in darkness, behind closed doors by unelected officials will create a work around to kill babies. Nevertheless, we are to always pray, “Fiat voluntus tua” – Thy Will be done. We have to trust God and even if some Republicans voted for this ammendment knowing that it would allow the assualt on health care to pass and perhaps just to fool us into voting for them in 2010 – it is still a principled victory.

    Life is the most precious gift and all other rights, both human and civil are derived from the right to life. The defense of life has been marginalized so much, even by Christians, perhaps especially by Catholics. I am so sick of being called a one-issue voter – I am not, neither are most pro-lifers I know. It is the primary issue and that cannot be avoided no matter how severe the mental gymnastics employed may be. So long as killing the innocent is legal and even encouraged this country is heading toward extinction.

    This is a principled victory and we must give thanks even if we are tempted, as I am, to see it as hollow becuase God’s ways are not our ways.

    Mary, Mother of Life, ora pro nobis.

  • “Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head…”

    If he were “absolutely” pro-life, wouldn’t the rationing, contraception, and other nasty provisions come into play for him? Evidently not.

    Also, I’d be more likely to believe no political calculations entered his head if he didn’t wait until the Dems secured the necessary number of votes to win before he voted.

  • Here is what Cao says about this on his webite.

    “Tonight, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) voted in favor of the comprehensive health reform bill, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

    Of his vote, Cao said: “Tonight, I voted to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion and to deliver access to affordable health care to the people of Louisiana.

    Cao said: “I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children.

    The bill passed the House at a 220-215 vote.

    Cao said: “Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals. And, I call on my constituents to support me as I work with him on these issues.

    Cao said: “I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.”


    Needless to say I disagree with Cao profoundly on this, but I do not doubt his sincerity.

  • Seems to me this is just a brief side trip along the road of the decline of western civilization.

    Reelection is usually what matters most to folks, if it means maintaining power, influence and a “comfortable” standard of living. I am grateful not to be a politician.

    Nothing surprises me. I have come to “lean on” no institutions and very, very few people. We are each capable of the worst choices and these days those choices are made with ever increasing frequency, I regret to observe.

    We pay “lip service” to moral absolutes, finding all manner of “justifications and rationalizations” to find cover for our decisions which are made in support of the “Culture of Death”, although we try to wash our hands of these as did Pilate when he handed Jesus over to pay for OUR SINS, FOLKS.


    Some things never change.

  • It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?

  • This seems to be good news for the pro-life cause—so why does it taste like poison to me?

  • “It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?”

    The politics aren’t that simple restrainedradical. A strong majority of Republicans oppose abortion. Almost all Republicans oppose ObamaCare. I am seeing plenty of opposition on Republican sites to this move:

    “As I responded to Daybrook, I appreciate the answer but this is horrible strategy. The NRLC should have been adults about this. They are going to save this amendment and ensure final passage. Then it’s going to get struck in conference and a chance to kill this will have been lost.

    Right now it’s passing with 63 Dem votes and 170+ Republican votes.

    The GOP leadership got rolled on this by Pelosi.”


    Long term I think this will work out well for the Republicans, but short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.

  • Donald,
    You are not thinking clearly. Of course it was the politically expedient thing to do. The logic is impeccable: Republicans are not really pro-life and will do whatever is politically expedient; Republicans voted in favor of this pro-life measure; ergo, the vote must have been politically expedient. Hope that’s clear now.

  • 🙂

  • “short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.”

    I don’t think so. Voting against the bill gave them the cover they need. There may be some opposition, but I think the vast majority of their constituents will support this move. It’s a win-win for both sides. The Democrats get to vote pro-choice and for universal health care and the Republicans get to vote pro-life and against socialized medicine.

  • I see that some people in this thread are more partisan Republicans than Catholics. I’ve met Joseph Cao. My wife has been to numerous fundraisers for Joseph Cao. Joseph Cao is a highly honorable man, a true Catholic public figure. He promised that he would support healthcare reform if the Stupak amendment was included, simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. Joseph Cao is a hero. If only a few Republicans would follow him.

    And to Donald – yes, I very much appreciate GOP support for the Stupak amendment. The cynic in me would say they were caught between a rock and a hard place, and could not be seen publicly opposing a pro-life measure on tardy political grounds. But let’s give them some credit. And now that we have a decent bill with ironclad abortion protection, I would like to see some Republicans start supporting this bill – just a few Catholic Republicans would make a difference here. So where were they last night? Are they willing to support a pro-life universal health insurance plan that actually reduces the deficit, or are they instead enslaved to a rigid free market ideology and to insurance company money?

    I don’t know what is going to happen in conference. But with enough GOP support, we can get this bill passed withe the Stupak amendment.

  • Somebody mentioned “socialized medicine”. Sigh. This reform twins an individial mandate with community rating-style restrictions on what insurance companies can do (you know, refusing coverage, dropping people, charging exhorbitant premia based on “pre-existing condition”). For everybody in empoloyer-insurance, hardly anything changes. For those in medicare and medicaid, hardly anything changes. For those in the individual markets, they will purchase insurance on a regulated exchange, which will include a public option that will be wholly funded by premia and which cannot use medicare reimbursement rates. And those below a certain threshold will receive subsidies to help they purchase the insurance.

    How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

  • We agree that Cao is an honorable man Tony. As for the bill I think it is atrocious and I pray it is buried in the Senate, although from my partisan perspective it would be better if it passed since I believe that it would ensure the GOP taking the House back in 2010. At any rate if a bill does get out of the Senate it will bear as much relationship to the House bill as a bat does to a spider.

  • Please Tony. Your whole goal has been a single payer, socialized medicine, system. The intent of this bill is to drive private insurers out of business and to force people to become health wards of the state ultimately. Fortunately this bill has as much chance of ever becoming law as Madonna, the strumpet and not the Mother of God, does of becoming a spokeswoman for the Eagle Forum.

  • A good AP story explaining why the House bill is DOA in the Senate.


  • We have to be careful not to confuse Catholic intentions (ends) with practical methods (means). Yes, it is true that we, as Catholics, are to provide for all those in need and that includes health care; however, the Church does not demand that we use the government for that purpose. Does government have a role? Yes. Not always at the federal level. In fact as seldom as possible should the federal government be employed.

    Furthermore, Charity is what we as individuals are called to do, when government forces one of us to provide for another then it is theft and not charity.

    This bill is a disaster. Anyone who supports it has either not read it, doesn’t understand it, has no concpet of basic enconomics, is extremely naive, or has sinister intentions to make us all slaves of the state.

    I haven’t read this entire thing, it is over 2,000 pages!!!! The parts I have read are frigtening. We will be left with one, two or three enormous insurance companies with their market secured by government force. I doubt we will get to government provided health care. What we will probably get is government protection for a few insurance companies at the expense of all the other insurance companies and the people.

    Even if the Stupak ammendment makes it into the spider or the bat version that Donald is referring to, that does not guarantee that abortions will not be increased under this mess. Bills become laws and laws become regulations. Regs are not written by elected reps, they are determined by government agencies behind closed doors and always further the expansion of government and aid the corporate interests that fabricated the legislation in the first place.

    The murder of the per-born, the elderly, the disabled, you know the same old targets Eugenecists have always had is firmly set in the minds of many of those in power and any and all means to achieve this will be utilized. Those on the Left and the Right, the Libertarians (of all stripes), the Republicans and the Democrats all need to realize this NOW. If we play ‘wait and see’ it will be too late to stop it. We’ve been killing babies for almost four decades and this is going to be just another step toward more death and the destruction of what this nation can be.

    Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.

    I am confident that this will die in the Senate; however, these are dark times and anything is possible. Pray.

  • Suz,

    I’m with you.

    This’ll disappear in committee *IF* the Senate passes the health care bill.

    But in the end this violates the rule of subsidiarity.

    Technically speaking, why bother giving money to Catholic hospitals, or any other Catholic Charity, if the government is going to provide it to you at the expense of your children having to pay off this monstrosity of a debt in the very near future.

  • How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

    1). As someone that follows politics, one should be able to safely assume you are aware that Republicans have offered, in recent years, several reform proposals. Agree or disagree, there is substantive opposition. And slogans are necessarily a part of all debates.

    2). The label “socialize,” and the ensuing slogans, are correct. This House proposal is a large-scale federal government intrusion and cash influx (which is sickening for those of those of us that can’t stand the quite brazen A. Stern and SEIU). In this context, “nationalize” is an incomplete but usable description. And to “nationalize” is to “socialize.” These two words, in the political context of advanced liberal democracies, are synonyms. (In fact, feel free to go right ahead and make a case for any one time in 20th Century American history where this was not the case – I’ve had people try and it’s pretty difficult.) This is why I have for some time now found the supposedly “Catholic anarchist” arguments for this particular brand of reform to be quite strange.

    3). As an advocate for health care reform, I applaud the efforts of Rep. Stupak and also hope the Democratic efforts, for far too long the pawn of public sector unions, trial lawyers, and the abortion lobby, go down in flames. Any reform efforts need, at minimum, three things: a). strong protections for the unborn b). a serious appraisal of the demographic impact of baby boomer entitlements, senior care – including discussion of some manner of what could be termed ‘rationing,’ and illegal immigration (I favor a halt on all immigration, especially with double digit unemployment and until such time as the number comes much close to 3 or 4 percent – the wage destruction of the past few decades has been terrible) c). measures that make trial lawyers furious.

    All Catholics must agree on the first point. The Senate Democrats and the president are horrible on that score, especially compared to the always running for re-election House, but let us hope for a surprise.

  • In regard to Representative Cao, this article is in accord with my view of him:


  • Cao is a good guy. Part of the problem here is the LSU Charity hospital that was destroyed by Katrina and still has not been rebuilt.

    It was pretty clear to a lot of us on Obama’s visit to New Orelans and his elusive answers on Federal finds for this that he sending a message to CAO. I think CAO doid what he had to do

  • This is NO victory. This is a political public stunt, & abortion was used as a red herring.

    This is the Stupak Amendment:

    Page 154, after line 18, insert the following new section (and conform the table of contents of
    Division A accordingly):


    (a) IN GENERAL.–No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act

    (or any amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion

    or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage

    of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder,

    physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician,

    place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including

    a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy

    itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest.

    The last clause: “unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest,” places in law a class of human beings that has no protection of life and is jeopardy of loss of life through no fault or responsible action of their own: those who have been conceived by the sins of rape or incest and have not yet been born. This is NOT a pro-life amendment.

    I got this from a friend in regards to the Rep who voted present:

    “Well, Shadegg had a plan to throw sand in the gears and likely ruin the political machinery grinding out a victory for the government takeover of health care. He was rounding up the votes to kill the pro- life amendment (by voting “present”) and thereby killing the whole bill and quite possibly the entire effort. This would have caused such a train wreck, it is doubtful the liberals could have
    recovered, i.e., Waterloo.”


    I wonder if Rep Shadegg’s-(AZ) strategy actually would have killed the bill?

    Because of the USCCB encouraging lay faithful to call their Rep to add the Stupak (anti-life) amendment to the bogus health “care” bill, we could possibly have a socialistic country. Thanks USCCB! Next time you want to do something dramatic, have the pastors read & stuff the bulletins with
    Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html

    Faithful Catholics NEVER have & NEVER will support socialism!!!

  • Faithful Catholics will never support socialism? Indeed, if you define socialism correctly and not as a mere slogan. But remember, Catholic social teaching tells us that faithful Catholics should also eschew the ideology of free market liberalism. Pius XI referred to both as the “twin rocks of shipwreck” – extreme individualism and extreme collectivism.

  • “Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.”

    China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?

  • Or did you mean that no Catholic in their right mind can want to make the USA into Malta which does have universal health care and cap-and-trade.

  • Pope Pius XI:
    “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”

    Every Pope, beginning w/ Leo XIII to our current Pope Benedict, condemns socialism. The main underlining reason is that socialism ultimately denies the central truth of Christianity, that man needs GOD.

    The bill does not deal only w/ “health care.” There are other issues in the bill such as, the bill will create a government home visitation program, with federally funded bureaucrats giving out parenting advice, and nothing in the bill makes it clear that these programs must be voluntary.

    I take it you support the bill, because my previous post started w/ the wording on the Stupak amendment, showing how it is NOT pro-life & as well, to Shadegg’s plan. “But remember” the Catholic Church is pro-life. However, you don’t discuss these items, instead you zero in on socialism, because in your mind you think the USCCB was right. Well, they weren’t & now they are regretting their decision. They DON’T approve of the bill.

    Get it in your head – Americans want health care REFORM – not govt. take over.

  • The Stupak Amendment–if it stays in after the Conference sausage making (and I think it will, all things considered)–certainly removes the deal killer aspect of the House plan for me. And the Amendment also greatly diminishes the problems with the conscience clauses, which were pretty iffy beforehand.

    As much as it may grate folks here, MM is unimpeachably correct–health care is a right. In the absence of any other moral objections, it isn’t a bad day for Catholics. Far from it.

    Now the kicker is to see what the Senate does, and to make sure the Amendment stays in.

  • NY Times: Dems Banking on Later Squeezing Pro-Life Language Out of Bill in Committee

    Abortion in or out of the bill was a ruse. If Stupak’s Amendment stays in, which I highly doubt, don’t think for one moment that Planned Parenthood & other abortion activists will not be plotting how to bring this bill to court in three years to say it is unconstitutional.

  • If it stays in, they instantly lose the Court challenge on stare decisis. Hyde survived the Supreme Court.

    A “ruse”? Maybe that’s what the pro-aborts were hoping, but I don’t think that’s fair to the overwhelming majority who voted for Stupak.

  • Actually I think one can argue from Catholic Social Teaching that this is a failure for Catholics. Starting here:


  • rradical: “China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?”

    Sure, UK, China, whatever. It is just the difference between socialism and communism. A little bit less of a bad thing doesn’t make it good.

    Control health care (HR 3962), life (Roe v. Wade), food (FDA), money (the Fed) and energy (Cap and Tax) and you have slaves not citizens.

  • Just becuase health care is a right doesn’t mean the government has to directly provide it. Our rights come from God and are secured by government. Government can secure the right to health care by allowing a market of businesses to provide medical services and insurance services as well as allowing overall wealth to increase by not confiscating it so that we can take care of the indigent with Charity instead of theft.

    Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly. Health care includes food, water, exercise, medical treatment, shelter, clothing and love – should the government provide all that as well?

  • “Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly.”

    Because an uninsured friend of mine died at age 33 because of cancer that wasn’t diagnosed in time. Because there are plenty of folks “enjoying” long stints of unemployment here in Michigan who can’t afford COBRA. Which runs out in 18 months anyway.

    Actually, I don’t want the government to *directly provide* free coverage for everyone. I just want it to make sure that coverage is *available* for everyone. I’m all ears as to viable alternatives, which haven’t been proffered.

    I am also cognizant of the problems with the Pelosi bill apart from abortion, specifically the costs and regulatory problems which will likely result.

    However, at least it does provide coverage for those who need it. Which, alas, the Republican plan didn’t, despite the fact it contained some long-overdue reforms.

  • Dale,

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. You should know, though, that cancer survival rates in the United States are higher than in Europe and Canada (where the government plays more of a role), and one of the reasons is that we actually do *more* screening than do other countries, and treatment comes faster once there is a diagnosis.

  • Exactly BA, which is why one may find varied reasons as a Catholic to be bothered by this.

  • BA:

    Yes, and I recall reading somewhere that overall cancer treatment in the US is the best in the world, by a wide margin. God knows I don’t want to see that lost with any reform.

  • Some cancers yes, some no. I seem to recall the evidence is mixed. But in general, there is nothing wrong with the quality of US healthcare. It’s just that a lot of people can’t get it, and it’s incredibly expensive.

  • MM,

    I think you’re missing BA’s point, which is that the facts suggest that even given the fact that number of people in the US do not have health insurance, people _still_ overall get cancer screenings more and survive cancer longer.

    Frankly, I think in this case it’s probably a wash since the pending legislation will probably only increase the number of insured nominally — you aren’t simply “given” health care, you need to pay for insurance, and paying a fine for not having insurance is cheaper than paying for insurance (even after subsidies), so those who can’t afford insurance now mostly still won’t have insurance. The main people helped by this will be people with lots of money who nonetheless don’t have employer insurance and can’t get individual insurance because of some pre-existing condition.

  • MM — since you’re here, you might want to correct your constant misinformation and lies about how often private insurance covers abortion. A quote from yesterday’s NY Times: “A 2003 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 13 percent of abortions were billed directly to insurance companies.” Note, that’s billed, not paid.

    This refutes your dishonest attempts to claim that “most” people are contributing to private insurance policies that pay for abortion.

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Party Loyalty and the New York 23rd Congressional District

Monday, October 19, AD 2009

Elephants not RINOSI have been a Republican as long as I have been old enough to pay attention to politics.  I have usually found the Republican party to be a much closer fit to my conservative political views than the Democrat party, and therefore my party allegiance was not a difficult choice for me.  It also helped that most members of my family in the paternal line have been adherents of the GOP since the Civil War, although in the case of my late father it was more out of a strong dislike of the Democrat party which he used to call  …, actually, since this is a family blog I will not repeat some of the epithets my father used in regard to the party of Jackson.  Thus I am a Republican both by conviction and heredity.

However, party loyalty is a two way street.  In order for a political party to deserve the loyalty of its supporters, the party must field candidates that broadly stand for what most party members believe in.   In the special congressional election for 23rd district in the New York, the GOP powers that be in that district have singularly failed to do so.  They have nominated  a liberal Democrat in Republican clothes as the standard bearer of the Republican party.  Michelle Malkin in this column here succinctly states why the GOP nominee Deede Scozzafava is running in the wrong party.

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5 Responses to Party Loyalty and the New York 23rd Congressional District

  • Many would dismiss your plug for the Conservative party as simply taking votes away from the alleged Republican and handing the race to the Democrat. This is a false dichotomy becuase we are not officially a two party country. That is just habit. I think it is a bad habit since it is becoming clearer everyday that we are actually a one party system with two factions.

    “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” — John Quincy Adams

    What we need is a true defenition of what a conservative is becuase that term is so overused and usually simply means Republican. Some of us authentic conservatives have never been Republicans becuase it seems that party is constantly moving away from or apologizing for alleged conservative principles.

    There is now and has always been a group within the Republican party that are not actually conservative. They have been referred to as the Northeast Establishment, country club, chamber of commerce, WASP, RINO, neo-con, etc. Sadly many of them remain in the party and we have only two choices:

    Surgically extract them, or,

    Establish another authentically conservative party.

  • American studies confirm this. ,

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Let's find the fallacy!

Tuesday, October 13, AD 2009

Yesterday The Nation‘s John Nichols wrote a rather scathing piece about President Obama: the piece is entitled “Whiner-in-Chief” and the first line reads, “The Obama administration really needs to get over itself.”

Of course, I tend to agree with perspectives like that. 🙂  But near the end of the piece Nichols tries to argue that the country isn’t as divided as the White House thinks, and along the way, he makes a heckuva non sequitur:

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4 Responses to Let's find the fallacy!

Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

Sunday, June 21, AD 2009

Here is a blog I wrote for fladems4life.org- this is the website for Florida Democrats for Life organization- If you are a Democrat and pro-life you should seriously consider joining the National and State chapters for Democrats for Life. There is a lot of freedom for you to bring your ideals and ideas into these growing organizations. I believe it is mostly a waste of time trying to turn Democrats into Republicans or vice versa- there is a philosophy of governance that pulls deeper than individual issues- even big issues like abortion.

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30 Responses to Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

  • Tim,

    As always, we are in agreement. Though lately I have been wondering if perhpas, as well, conservatives might be won over to the Catholic economic and political perspective.

    Perhaps we need a movement on both sides of the spectrum – one which encourages Democrats to accept pro-life, pro-family values, and one which encourages Republicans to embrace new and better economic ideas. Then we might meet in the middle and shift the whole center of gravity, away from liberalism in its economic and cultural forms, and towards a truly communitarian vision in which the state plays a supporting role (as opposed to no role at all, or too great a role).

  • I somehow found my way here after reading an article about another Christian pro-test about something irrelevant to the mainstream. My instinct is to not waste my time on this, but here it is…STOP MAKING DEMOCRATS OUT TO BE ANTI-FAMILY…just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS…and certainly some middle aged, middle income white MAN has no business pushing for legislation that effect women…pro-choice is not the same thing as pro-abortion. Everyone wants less abortions happening. Only the Catholics also want no birth control, no sex education…gosh, that will work well for preventing unwanted pregnancies…and “family values?”…look at the personal lives of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Riley, Gingrich, the list goes on…hypocrites on ‘family values.’ I teach Sunday school, I pray and I am curious about my faith…but I will be damned to allow the religious right to continue to make abortion a political issue. Keep the church out of my government and I will keep the government out of my church. The Catholic church (and many Catholics) scare me more then any other religious group. So please, do not try to patronize Democrats with this issue. We know the truth…Republicans use it to get single issue voters…it is highly effective. Let the Democrats keep fighting for urgent things that effect the already living…things like energy efficiency, global warming, poverty, urban plight, labor, and health care…

  • Pro-Family Democrat,

    You have no right to tell us what we can and cannot do as Catholics we have freedom of speech.

    You confuse establishing the Church as the official church of the United States to Catholics speaking up about their values. Just as you speak up about your right to kill children in the womb.

  • Tito…

    Again, this time slower for you…no one here is pro “killing children in the womb”….(but those are choice emotional words, well done)…I am not pro-abortion…a concept that seems to be void to most ‘pro-lifers’…if you all would slightly bend to include PREVENTION into your cause we could probably work for a common good…but you are limited in your fight.

    Again…keep your church out of my government and I will keep the government out of your church…you can’t have to both ways. You should be very scared to continue to blur the lines…church-led government like Iran…or Government led church, like Hitler’s Germany and cold war Eastern Europe…are you really wanting to be like that?

  • Joe,

    Yea- it’s strange fighting against sexual liberalism and economic neo-liberalism simultaneously- it puts you on the ‘outs’ with both major political forces in this country anyway. I was being a little polemical about how it is easier to convert to pro-life than to change party affiliation- it did work that way for me though. Even though I hold firm to being a Democrat and working within that party, I don’t vote for the party so much as the candidate- though there are times when I haven’t done the necessary homework and all I have facing me in the ballot box is a name and a party affiliation- for local elections the abortion issue is pretty moot. But philosophically, I can see the Democratic Party taking abortion out at the national level if it gets it’s act together, and combine that natural law legal move with the necessary social program and safety net investments to make sure women are not going to face undue hardships in seeing their children through to birth at minimum.

    One other side note- I agree with Ralph Nadar about how the Dems have in many ways embraced the Republican neo-liberal economics- though both parties have gone in for dubious massive bail-outs for the large investor class- see Jeff Faux’s book The Global Class War- for info on how Clinton began the sell-out of prior Democratic party inclinations on economics. Just because I see a major role for government in such things as directing economic outcomes- I don’t go in for all of the Greenspan/Bush/Obama bail-outs of dubious banking and investment interests- economics is not a zero-sum game, you don’t just print money up to bail out the big boys- you do have to get resources moving with fixed currency exchanges and investments like the Marshall plan and/or Manhattan Projects for morally positive outcomes. I will post my campaign column on “Common good, Common-sense Economics” at a later time.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Your argument sounds like I’m against slavery but I don’t want to push my views of being anti-slavery on others.

    Also I have a right to speak my values, so keep your anti-Catholic views out of the public forum.

    Islam and Catholicism are different. It’s also a straw man argument. You, like many democrats, dwell in relativism and think all religions are the same.

    Just as Hitler came to power pushing socialism, Obama is very similar. Just as Hitler, Obama is a great public speaker. Just like Hitler’s thugs, ACORN rigged the votes in strategic states. Just like the Brownshirts (who were militant homosexuals) the Black Panthers intimidated voterr. (two can play the “Hitler-card”).

    When you start drawing analogies such as you have, you know you’re losing the argument.

    If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it.

  • Tito,

    your last rant is what makes me think you all are loony…just more proof…so cool, thanks…

    and when you put Acorn, Obama, Hitler and what have into your analogy…your not just losing an argument…your losing your mind.

    My guess is..it’s been awhile since you have been laid…homophobic AND a conspiracy theorist…mix in neo-nazi pro-lifer…been awhile since you had a date I bet.

    You keep on that crusade of yours…good luck. hahaha…

    I need to go wake my baby from his nap…and go meet my family at the pool for some family time…that crazy thing that us anti family Democrats writhe from…hahahaha

    you see, freak? I didn’t “kill my babies”….I just waited to have them when I was ready…thanks to being educated and informed about how babies are made…

    may the Dear Lord forgive you for being such an intolerant and bigoted ass…

  • oh one more thing Tito

    “If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it”

    you are so sadly misinformed and ignorant…wow.

    We should do this with so many things…let’s start with murder. That should be illegal…then it would finally not be a problem…drunk driving, that’s another one…mmmm….we are on to something here, Tito!…how about drug use? Excellent…that IS a pesky problem. And while we are at it, how about robbery, home invasion…man, if we just made them illegal…gosh, we should have done this years ago!!!

    Excellent thought process Einstein…

  • While I may not agree with precisely the way Tito addressed you, you did say…

    “just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS”

    And some of us believe that every human being, regardless of his or her location, has a right to exist. It is that simple.

    If I believed that it wasn’t a human life inside a woman’s uterus, I wouldn’t care about it. If the unborn human being has no value, then abortion should be legal.

    If the unborn human being does have value, then nothing can justify abortion. It is really that simple. The government has every right to protect human life. Seeing as how 99% of pro-lifers don’t care about the 99% of medical procedures that don’t involve killing a human being, it is simply false to make this a women’s issue.

    Even moreso in that I think men should be held accountable as well. Please don’t make us out to be misogynistic. This is about parental obligation, not women’s rights. No one has a right to neglect, abuse, or murder their child, man or woman.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Odd that you bring up Hitler then mock me for mocking you.

    Again, it is God that you are angry at, you’re just a troll throwing vitriol at anyone that doesn’t adhere to your disordered view on life.

    I’ll pray for you.

  • I have found myself in the Lion’s Den…so I ask you. You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN? Have you adopted an unwanted child? Do you want to raise a minority child born to a drug addicted mother? Please do, it would make your argument credible. Do you volunteer at county hospitals to rock the newborn, who has been abandoned while it detoxes from meth? Do you work in the foster care system to give those children an equal chance in the world? Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need? Not short term…”here are some bottles, diapers and a winter coat…good luck.” WHAT DO YOU DO to help those children? Those children born, here and now…breathing, living, suffering, hurting, hungry and unwanted. Do you help them? I’m betting on ‘NO’

    And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box. I am NOT a sexual libertarian…or whatever you called Democrats…the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.” Republicans, Catholics, Christians, pro-lifers…you do not have the moral authority. I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.

    You must separate the radical pro-life movement and include prevention and education.

    But if abortion were to be illegal…the Republicans will lose too much of their base…they know it. It will never change. Bush didn’t change a thing…why? Because you all came back and voted for him again.

    Patronizing your vote.

    good luck in your fight to get Dems on board. Single issue voters are pathetic. If they would give up all the important issues we are working on, so they can go hold up a sign and shout at young girls…good riddance…

    I hear the pitter patter of my son’s feet…he wants to join his siblings at the pool…


  • Does pro family include the prenatal?

  • Pro-abort Troll, I have three kids, including an autistic son, so don’t rant to me about the demands of parenthood, my wife and I have lived them. I have been active in the pro-life movement since 1973. For the last decade I have been on the board of the crisis pregnancy center in my county that gives assistance to women dealing with problem pregnancies. I am currently president of the board. Many of these women we help eventually come back to volunteer with our organization to help other women. We also have an outreach to post-abortive women to help them heal from the bitter despair often engendered from a “safe, legal abortion.” In short I have done what I can to help women in bad situations as a result of pregnancy and abortion. Do I have all the answers to the complex social problem of unwanted pregnancies? I do not. But I do know that killing the child is not a solution, and that the law must protect unborn children as it does born children, if we are to have any pretense of being a civilized society that values human life.

  • Pro-Death Democrat,

    No one here made any claims to “Fox” being the values channel. Most of us don’t even watch tv for that matter. We like to read books mostly.

    I am a board member and a volunteer to a crisis pregnancy center and many more other post-natal care facilities. In addition I pray every day for the end of killing babies as well as praying in front of baby killing facilities such as Planned Parenthood.

    I am a young man in my thirties, but I am old relative to the movement since most of my colleagues are toddlers all the way up to college students who pray with me in front of abortion mills, volunteer with many pro-life organizations that helps pregnant moms and abstinence programs.

    I don’t believe in killing innocent unborn babies and will work until my dying days for the end to the mass slaughter of babies, which is the greatest civil rights challenge in our nations history.

  • Wow- I go out for ice cream and the playground with the family and look what happens to my father’s day blog entry!!

    Well all I can say is that while I am a middle-aged man, my chief pro-life teachers in life have been women. I didn’t just become Catholic and then receive my marching orders from the Pope to become anti-abortion. I had enough life experiences to teach me the true nature of abortion to lead me to oppose abortion with or without a religious conversion. As an update, my wife was one who helped me clear the final hurdles about abortion- she is the one who told me that the only women she can understand would still be pro-choice on abortion are women who have not had children. She is the one who has told me before the births of our children, she is the one who made me promise that no matter what goes down, if there comes a point where there is a choice to be made between her life or the baby she has only seen on ultrasound- go with the baby always! Now I know I am only a middle-aged male, but these kind of witnesses from my female wife have made a deep impact. Maybe the claim will be made that my wife is a self-loathing female- well that logic would follow anyone who opposes a U.S. war and speaks out negatively. Maybe only active duty service men and women should be able to participate in the political debates concerning whether the country should go to war or not.

    I’m not buying it. Now I agree with the need for investments in all kinds of pregnant women/children/family social helps, which is why I am pushing for the Pregnant Women Support Act, it deals with a lot of the root causes of abortion- so don’t paint the pro-lifers with too broad of a brush as being insensitive to women and children already born. We may have strong disagreements on the value of contraception, but there are a host of other ways to address many of the same root causes- shall we work together on those, or just continue to issue angry emails and look upon our opposites as pure bad guys. I personally disagree with many things that mainstream liberals and conservatives put forth, but I also find room for common ground, and I am willing to work on that, even as I keep on trucking with my full list of ideals, pushing the system as is my right to do in a free society.

    I’m not sure that non-religious persons would embrace my way of loving the women in my life- but I have a facebook cause entitled “Dads Protecting Daughters” which shows more of the politics of my heartfelt love and devotion to my female children- girls I would die a thousand painful deaths over to save- the content of my love may be in some ways mistaken, but do not mistake my intent- I love the women in my life, and I do not believe that supporting abortion rights is any way to say I love you to any woman. That’s my humble but strong opinion.

  • This guy gives us yet another opportunity to look at how the pro-choice movement makes a complete mockery out of logic.

    “You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN?”

    Why would this have any bearing on the argument? Something is either true or it is not. What the person proclaiming that truth does on their spare time has no relevance. The answer to the question may well be, ‘absolutely nothing’. So what? Go back to logic 101. 1+1 = 2 even if Hitler says so. The sky is blue even if Stalin says so. Truth claims have to be evaluated independently of the person making the claim.

    “Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need?”

    I can’t speak for the others, but I do, as a good in itself. But again it is irrelevant. With or without those systems, either abortion is murder or it isn’t. If it is, it is unjustifiable. If it isn’t, then who cares if there is a system in place?

    “And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box.”

    This is simply not about abstinence. There are plenty of married people having morally licit sexual relations who nonetheless seek out the services of the abortionist. This is about parental obligation. To make it all about sex reduces the unborn child to nothing else but a consequence of sex. It is that, but it is also more. It is a child of two parents and an independent human being.

    That said, birth control does not prevent abortion. It encourages abortion. It creates a mentality and a lifestyle of sex without consequences, but it only has to fail ONCE, people only have to forget to use it ONCE for that false reality to implode. Then people are left completely unprepared for the consequences, and the less prepared people are, the more likely they are to abort.

    “the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.”

    True, but again, irrelevant.

    “I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.”

    We all know what a pregnancy is, and what you mean by ‘prevented’.

    A woman isn’t pregnant with a kidney or a spleen, but an unborn child, a unique individual with its own genetic code and potential in life. The only way to ‘prevent’ it from being born is to kill it. So, we have a child, and we have killing. Making it sound political or clinical doesn’t change what it is.

  • Tim, as a pro-life Democrat, I obviously agree.

    If I lived in Florida, I would strongly urge you to run for re-election and I would work for your campaign.

    Joe, this is yet another reason as to why we should run on the same ticket. I’d be willing to be the Vice President for 8 years. So that I can succeed you for another 8 and be in the White House for 16 years (diabolical laughter).

  • Normally liberal Democrats are all in favor of protecting groups of people who are seen as vulnerable, powerless, or discriminated against, particularly women and racial minorities. Wouldn’t it be perfectly logical for them to regard the unborn as an oppressed class deserving of protection as well?

    I realize, of course, that the main reason liberals seem to have a blind spot with regard to the unborn is their insistence upon absolute sexual freedom. However, most liberals don’t seem to have a problem restricting the “freedom” of an employer to sexually harass or intimidate workers, or the “freedom” of pedophiles to access child porn, so even they acknowledge that there are SOME limits on sexual freedom.

  • I think “Pro-family Democrat” is the reason many of us see making the Democratic party pro-life as a practical impossibility.

  • Phillip raises an excellent point. I have paid dues to Dems for Life, but even on the local level, pro-life voices are made VERY unwelcome at Democratic Party gatherings. The (God help us) “Pro-family Democrat” types treat respect for life as hate speech; it’s hard to imagine any common ground with them.

  • I am registered as an independent, but I would not have any qualms voting for a pro-life Democrat. I would even volunteer for a pro-life Democrat and actively participate for Democrats for Life.

    In fact I have done those three things in the past, but only at the local level.

    This is only the beginning, but we shouldn’t lose faith. Continue working within the Democratic Party to begin a dialogue and eventually a change from their pro-abortion platform.

    With God all things are possible.

  • Here’s the plan guys- I know that strong Republicans are pretty biased against the idea that Democrats can pull themselves together on Life issues because of the current establishment/activist hostility to traditionally religious worldviews- it is natural to suppose that an organization that you disagree with to the core could ever change on something that is nearest to your heart. But, I think that there is much more positive in the classic Democratic model as Elaine describes above- and also I don’t think that “Pro-Family Democrat” represents the mass of Democratic voters. This is KEY.

    I recommend Mark Stricherz’ book – Why The Democrats Are Blue- I plan on doing a brief sketch of the book for a blog entry in the future. The book depicts how secular liberalism came to dominate the upper reaches of the Party by way of legal strategies internal to the Party as the Party Boss system was challenged- there was enough to justify reform on the old boy network, but of course, the wrong type of folks took advantage and led the Party down the drain.

    I take it as a given that there is a very large untapped “market” among rank and file Dems- the type of people who vote Democratic for economic and other meat and potato reasons, but disagree with varying intensities to the social liberalism that comes with that package. As evidence, look at how many states voted as a majority for Obama but then also voted down gay marriage or voted for trad marriage definitions. And even though african-americans and hispanics voted strongly for obama, there are probable majorities among these folks who would love to support traditional morality candidates- but they haven’t had many opportunities.

    I would say that the strategy of Republican Catholics to just continue casting aspertions on minorities for voting Democratic- as if everyone should just fall in line and become overnight Republicans- that is beyond wishful thinking. The fact that many of us feel that the establishment Republican strategy of having an end game of sending abortion back to state legislatures- is not even a worthy pro-life strategy in the first place, is another point to consider.

    Instead of focusing a lot of energy trying to convert Dems over to Repubs, or Repubs over to Dems, I would rather spend time now building up a network of traditional religious voters within the Democratic fold- among those who are Democratic already for reasons I have spoken of many times before. This is why I am addressing myself primarily to fellow Democrats- it is not very helpful for Republicans to jump in with more negativism about how “hopeless” the Democratic Party is- I get it- but I think both major parties are “hopeless” on paper, but God trumps the paper, and I believe that there is a numbers game that is to the favor of transforming the Democratic and Republican parties to be much much more pro-life if only the sleeping giants of traditional religious folks awaken and assert themselves. My role is to try to help organize that within the Democratic fold. I would suggest that religious Republicans focus more on getting the Republican party to put abortion on a much higher shelf than it has in the past. For example if Bush/Cheney had spent half the energy they devoted to the case for invading Iraq on bully pulpiting and pushing the Republican Congress to educate the American people to the facts of Life beginning at Conception, with legislation being passed saying the same, putting the issue in front of the Supreme Court repeatedly- then I don’t think we would be sitting here looking at a very diminished Republican party today.

    But my job here is not to keep beating up on Republicans, I need to focus on my party, and since I believe only a strong two major party strategy against abortion will do the trick- I believe my mission is good, and not self-delusional. If or when I come to see that I am wrong, I would probably go with trying to form a Natural Law/Common Good Party rather than join a Republican Party where I disagree with their core assumptions about the nature of the role of the political community, which results in my even finding too many serious flaws in their approach to abortion that I couldn’t find any true enthusiasm- even though I do vote Republican sometimes- mostly at the national level where I have to admit that while establishment Republicans are lukewarm on abortion, Democrats have bacome ice cold. If we use an analogy from Scripture where the unborn are unconcerned- I see establishment Republicans as the Pontius Pilates’ trying to wash their hands of abortion by sounding like impartial, unemotional originalist judges, while the establishment Dems are more like the Chief Priests who are very actively stirring up the people against the rights of the unborn. Not a pretty choice to make- with few heroes out there in the mainstream.

  • I notice that Elaine Krewer is the only lady who’s commented here, so I figured I’d put my oar in just so PFD doesn’t get the notion this is entirely a hangout for middle-aged men.

    Middle-aged woman, here. Mom of four. Doctrinally conservative Catholic with liturgically eclectic tendencies. Pro-life feminist in the tradition of the nineteenth-century suffragists. Have had a crisis pregnancy. Have volunteered with a Birthright center. Been volunteering with kids for a couple of decades. Make regular contributions to those less fortunate.

    I bear you no ill-will, PFD, but if you’re going to sashay into a combox and post a bunch of inflammatory accusations and rambling rants, you shouldn’t be too surprised if some of the gentlemen reading forget they’re gentlemen.

  • Dear readers-

    Good for you! We need to work hard to end abortion by election of more Pro-Life Democrats who will pass laws in this respect and Pray for those who want abortion and have back alley shops they call offices! God will do his thing!


    Robert L. Jones
    A Blue Dog Democrat

  • Is abortion wrong because abortion is anti family, against God’s law, and/or coercive?

  • Student,

    That is part of it. But mostly because it violates the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”, ie, killing innocent babies.

  • This blog post and the comments are an excellent witness to both the Catholic faith and the “pro-life, whole life” doctrine it teaches. Pro-family Democrat, you are in my prayers. Kudos to everyone here who will doubtlessly be called “good and faithful servants” by our heavenly Father some day!

  • Thank you so much for this very interesting post. I am pro-life, but disagree with the Republican party about just about everything else. If anything, I am probably a bit more liberal than the Democratic party on many issues. I feel in such a crisis about this. I like what you wrote about “limited government” verses “limited responsibility” and the importance of the common good.

    I was just talking with my husband–actually in tears–because I have always been political and civic minded and voted since age 18, and yet I feel like I have no one to vote for.

    For the record, I am not Catholic, although I am Christian. And also for the record, I am a woman and a feminist and have been pro-life almost all of my life. But that is not what matters. Sadly, I do think that a lot of liberal men who otherwise might be pro-life are bullied by the more radical elements in the pro-choice movement–are told that they have no right to have an opinion about abortion because they are men, which is irrelevant if abortion is murder.

    Anyway. Sorry to crash your party, but I wanted to say that what you are doing is inspiring.

  • Should God’s laws influence (if not control) government’s laws?

  • From: Lila Cuajunco
    Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA
    To: [email protected]

    On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 1:38 AM, Lila Cuajunco wrote:
    Hi Georgia – Thanks for the Open Letter to Obama. I will send it to my

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Georgia Froncek
    Date: Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA

    This letter you are about to read was written by a 4th grade teacher
    recently. She even gave the world her telephone and fax numbers. She
    is a brave, bright, PATRIOT! We are in dire need of more true American
    citizens who are proud of OUR United States of America . WAKE UP
    AMERICA . . . Please . . . Before it is too late!

    April 27, 2009

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington , DC 20500

    Mr. Obama:

    I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on
    your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an
    adequate representative of the United States of America collectively
    or of me personally.

    You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world
    that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the
    United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the
    United States.

    You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.
    I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the
    United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care
    about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First
    World War and the Second World War were all about if not the
    consideration of the peoples of Europe ? Are you brain dead ? What do
    you think the Marshall Plan was all about?

    Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century? Where
    do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does
    not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the
    Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States ?
    This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles
    governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly
    from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

    Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all
    Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the
    king of S Audi Arabia. You don’t show Great Britain , our best and one
    of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the
    king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

    You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest
    generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time
    to visit a mosque in Turkey . You offended our dead and every veteran
    when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the
    German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?

    I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have
    the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be
    ashamed of yourselves, all of you. You are so self-righteously
    offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers
    yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr.
    Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the
    Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I
    seriously doubt it.

    What about the US . House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses
    to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay
    raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House
    aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my

    You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely
    didn’t! Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving
    $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that’s $45
    million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie
    executives have already been awarded $51 million – not a bad take. Who
    authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this
    group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right

    You can’t blame ANY of the above on George W. Bush. WHY are you so
    determined to give this country’s dwindling wealth to corrupt
    politicians and your corrupt friends?

    I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and
    not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are
    doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also
    want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do
    and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise
    you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to
    spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.

    Every Real American

    P.S. I rarely ask that e-mails be ‘passed around’…………
    PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST……it’s past time for all
    Americans to wake up!

    Ms Kathleen Lyday
    Fourth Grade Teacher
    Grandview Elementary School
    11470 Hwy. C Hillsboro,
    MO 63050
    (636) 944-3291 Phone
    (636) 944-3870 Fax

Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply

Monday, May 11, AD 2009

First of all let me say that I intend for the title of this piece to be polemical. I hope it is not the case, in all circumstances, that pro-life organizations and major players in the movement, are unfairly excluding, or consciously undermining budding pro-life Democratic candidates and causes. But my own experience is worth sharing and considering- just in case.

Continue reading...

93 Responses to Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply

  • I can’t speak to your race Tim, but in my experience the pro-life movement is eager for pro-life Democrats. Bob Casey, Senior was a hero to many of us for example. However too often a Democrat who is touted as pro-life turns out, upon closer examination, not to be. Bob Casey, Junior is a prime example of this.


    I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past and will in the future, alhough as a partisan Republican it seems quite unnatural for me when I do so! There are a lot of votes for Democrats available when they run uncompromising foes of abortion, and I hope we will see more such candidates in the future.

  • Had a similar feeling last week. I am on the Governor’s committee for early childhood issues in my state. A Republican state rep came to our committee to discuss finding ways to define early school readiness to empower stay-at-home mom’s to better educated their young children. Part of his proposal was to give reimbursements to moms who stay home. After the Rep. left you should have felt the hate(I use that word reservedly)from the almost completely Democratic committee members. There were a variety of reasons but certainly they were not consistent with Catholic social teaching which encourages mothers to stay home and the state to find ways to compensate their work in the home.

  • Let me preface this by saying that I think the pro-life movement MUST become bipartisan if our efforts are to succeed. As long as abortion is seen as a partisan issue, it will be almost impossible to effect lasting change.

    That said, the blame for your predicament rests squarely on your fellow Democrats.

    First, and foremost, you have chosen to associate yourself with a party that sees “a woman’s right to choose” as sacrosanct. Don’t blame pro-lifers if they are reluctant to back candidates who choose to do business with that party.

    Second, you should probably blame the pro-life Democrats who have gone before you. We often hear about how Republicans only pay lip service to the pro-life cause, which, in many respects, is absolutely true. But how much moreso have pro-life Democrats paid lip service to the pro-life cause only to get to the statehouse or to Capitol Hill and either vote party line with their pro-choice leadership or, worse, “grow” in office and become pro-choice in order to get key committee appointments and/or to continue to get re-elected by Democrat voters.

    The facts are that pro-lifers have been burned by BOTH parties, but have been burned far too often by pro-life Democrats who say one thing at home and then vote with the party’s leadership. I think what we need to see are some pro-life Democrats who will CONSISTENTLY buck their party leadership on key votes (and maybe even vote against people like Nancy Pelosi for leadership positions). What we need to see LESS of is Sen. Casey voting against reinstating the Mexico City Policy.

    In short, pro-life Democrats need to EARN the trust of pro-life voters and pro-life organizations. It’s there for the earning, in part, because the Republicans have done much to lose that trust. I hope and pray, for the sake of the unborn, that pro-life Democrats (as well as pro-life Republicans) will do what needs to be done to earn that trust.

  • So basically, it’s pro-life Republican’s fault that
    I’m wondering Tim. Where you known to the people you contacted? Did you have a history of participating with them and supporting them?

    Pro-life Democrats are not successful in getting elected by pro-life Democrats? And it’s the fault of pro-life Republicans?

    You need to understand that you won’t further the cause of pro-life by bringing pro-life Republicans over to your side, you will further the cause of pro-life by converting your fellow Democrats back to the pro-life cause, that means voting for a pro-life candidate REGARDLESS of party affiliation. That means not supporting ANY leader or legislation which is in opposition to life, etc.

    This point is probably the biggest hurdle that Dems for Life faces. Their candidates often compromise (Casey Jr. for example), and they tend to support the Democrat leadership regardless of their opposition to life (Pelosi and Reid). Until they can be seen as solid champions of life, they will continue to be doubted by pro-life Republicans.

    In any event, pro-life groups should foster the pro-life cause in all arenas including the Democrat party, and so should seek to offer what support they can. I know our group would give an opportunity for pro-life democrats candidates, but there are none to my knowledge in Harris county.

    We simply need to get to work organizing in these communities- not to try to make them into Republicans, but to empower them to reform the Democratic Party for Life.

    I agree with this 100%!

    We need pro-life Obama-like candidates to compete for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

    Obama-like in what way exactly?

  • The facts are that pro-lifers have been burned by BOTH parties

    Totally correct, it’s deeply frustrating for us when even staunch pro-lifers compromise (such as supporting Arlen Spector, or giving Sebelius the nod for HHS). When the Rep. party toyed with the idea of electing a pro-abortion presidential candidate, it caused a huge stir, probably the reason that the most soldily pro-life but marginal candidate Huckabee surged up from the bottom of the pack as he did.

    The worst part of this is that ending abortion is completely within the grasp of the Catholic voters. If no Catholic voted for a pro-abortion candidate, there would be virtually no pro-abortion candidates. We represent around 25% of the electorate in almost every district, and frankly, where we don’t, it’s usually pro-life protestant strongholds. Neither party could survive without reasonable split among the Catholics.

  • Republicans (and others) like to make a lot of noise about wanting to promote meritocracies all around- my complaint is that when I presented myself to as many pro-lifers as possible, as a candidate promising on paper and in person, to pursue all the things I mention in my article- and as well- saying “look, if you don’t want to go with me then just make sure you go to your prefered Republican candidate and have him promise to match my promises- then you can hold him accountable”- When even this didn’t stir anything up- I became indignant.

    You can say that the blame rests all over the map- past Democrats and all- but in a meritocracy I should be able to be judged as an individual based upon the merits of my own efforts- why do some of you want to give free passes to those who failed to take up my challenge? I was willing to buck my party on several fronts because my conscience demanded it- on Life issues, Marriage, Education, and even nuclear energy- I think it is obvious that partisanship is a huge problem- the Compendium of Social Doctrine warns us away from being uncritical supporters of political parties- I think I have adequately proven that I am willing to criticize and challenge my party of choice- are Republicans really going to claim their party is near-perfect on Life issues and all else? Come on- wake up. Don’t excuse lazy prejudice- I spoke to my own experience and this is what led to me posting this article.

  • I’m not a Republican, and I don’t need to “wake up”. No one claim that Republicans are “near-perfect on Life issues”, and, in fact, I said just the opposite. I even said that they’ve done much to lose the trust of pro-lifers, thereby giving an opportunity for pro-life Democrats to earn that trust.

    That’s the point. Trust needs to be earned (and it can be lost, as the Republicans have recently shown). Don’t just expect to walk in to the local pro-life org’s headquarters and say “I’m a pro-life Democrat and – given the history of past “pro-life” Democrats – expect everyone in the local pro-life organization to uncritically support you.

  • But Tim, if the pro-lifers in your district had abandoned the Republican and supported you, would you not have been knocked out in the 2008 Democrat primary by the pro-abort Democrats, so that you could be replaced in an open general with a solid pro-abort?

    Why would the pro-lifers want to risk their position, poor as it was, on someone who didn’t even have the backing of his own party?

  • What Jay said.

    Get in the trenches with these guys, go to the marches, donate to the crisis pregnancy centers, volunteer, etc. I doubt they will turn you away once you’ve shown them not told them.

    Frankly, I am suspicious of pro-life Democrats because of what they might have done to advance within a party who’s platform includes abortion on demand. How do you become a prominent pro-life democrat? By not endorsing most of their candidates? By not donating to the party funds? By protesting against their activities? By raising the pro-life message every chance you get?

    Let’s be clear that by “pro-life message” we are talking about justice for the unborn, not just “reduced abortion rates”.

  • “We need pro-life Obama-like candidates…” This is where I think Catholic Democrats get taken up in their ideology. Catholic social teaching is very nuanced and open to interpretation. It is not the Democratic Party platform.

  • While I can understand the reaction of the pro-life advocates (who were also partisan Republicans) for the reasons that Matt, Jay and others have mentioned — I do think it sounds like they were going about things the wrong way with you.

    Regardless of what one thinks of the politics involved, our model for how to be a successful single issue advocacy organization should probably be how the NRA has successfully opposed gun control over the last 20 years. They have a set of ratings based on questions they ask candidates and the actual votes of legislators, and they happily provide positive ratings to Democrats when the Democrats earn them.

    The difficulty with the abortion issue (and life/family issues more generally) is that over the last 30 years many pro-lifers have been trained by circumstances to see electing Republicans as invariably more advantageous to them. (And often it is.) However, that allows the issue to be a clear party split and makes it harder to achieve the kind of general victory which in many ways the NRA has now achieved in regards to guns. (25 years ago it was a very split issue, but many major Democrats endorse gun rights as well as a matter of political survival. The NRA has successfully moved the goalposts.)

    It seems to me that the pro-life movement should have two clear electoral strategies:

    1) Provide primary support in the form of volunteer work and money to any candidate (Democrat or Republican) who professes to be (or in the case of those with a track record, has shown by votes to be) pro-life.

    2) In the general election, provide some sort of approval to all pro-life candidates, and only throw themselves in hard if one candidate is significantly better than the other.

    In this case, that would have meant helping you get on the ballot for the Democrats, and then standing back during the general election.

    In the short term, this might mean giving less support than some in the GOP would like, but in the long term I think it would mean stronger success. In order to be a successful single issue organization, you need to be truly _single issue_ in your focus and not allow party loyalty to keep you from taking over sections of the other party.

    While NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood are certainly huge opponents (with more money than anti-gun forces ever had, since they have ways of making money off abortion directly) we as pro-lifers need to learn to play both sides of the aisle better — especially in the conservative Southern states where if a Democrat manages to get in, we want to make sure that doesn’t mean ceding a pro-life vote. Pro-life Democrats should be able to win down here, and it’s better to have that if the GOP fouls up in an election than have pro-choice Democrats get in.

  • This is a story that shows the importance of the SCOTUS nomination for the pro-life movement.

    Right now, the pro-life movement is powerless-except for the pro-life Dems in the Senate. They are they only ones who could help lobby for a pro-life nomination?

    If they don’t, then I think the Democrats will have lost a significant opportunity, maybe even their last one, to impress pro-lifers that they have a home and their pro-life candidates are legitimate.

    However, I agree with Shipe that the association with the GOP has hurt the pro-life movement in the sense that they seem to be less pro-life on other issues (war, death penalty, etc). This could be equally true for Democrats, but having a less partisan pro-life movement would do wonders for the pro-life witness & credibility.

  • I just wonder who the “leaders” were you contacted? I mean, it’s blatantly obvious that NRLC is nothing more than a Republican PAC. I have a friend who worked for them a while at their DC headquarters and left convinced that NRLC has no intention of ever outlawing abortion (evidence: their main issue on their website is still partial birth abortion). She, btw, supported Ron Paul in the primary and Chuck Baldwin in the general election, and refuses to vote for any candidate who’s involved with the Council on Foreign Relations.

    It works both ways. I know a lot of people who claim to be “pro-life” Democrat voters, who still fail to support pro-life Democrats when they present themselves. Meanwhile, pro-lifers have learned not to trust Democrats.

    Let me present a different case. Last year in South Carolina, we had a candidate, Bob Conley, a Latin-Mass attending Catholic, win the Democratic Primary mostly due to technicality. He’s a Ron Paul supporter, and ran as a pro-life “blue dog” Democrat: he was opposing “Leaping Lindsey” for his positions on Immigration, funding of Planned Parenthood and compromising on judicial appointments. But he took Democrat positions on several issues, such as the War (which supposedly is so important to Democrats) and the environment. He got *no* support from the Democrat Party, who described the election as “Republican versus Republican.”

    Setting the immigration issue aside, I’ve never understood why anyone thinks that Catholic social teaching leads to support for the Democratic Party.

    I’ve read the encyclicals, and I just don’t see it. Subsidiarity precludes doing most of what the Democrats want at the federal level (state is another story). Federal involvement in education violates subsidiarity and parents’ rights, and public education at such has *always* been an explicitly anti-Catholic institution. The Church says workers should have ownership of their work: this certainly doesn’t happen in socialism.

    Plus, the encyclicals *always* say we have freedom to make up our own minds about social issues *so long as we’re taking subsidiarity and the common good into account*. As far as political stances taken by a certain bureaucracy in Washington DC that has no real authority under Canon Law and represents the opinions of its lay staffers more than it necessarily represents the “bishops.” . . .

  • I think the Pro-Life movements as to poltics needs to be very much like the NRA. They at times will not give endorsements of one over the other if the two have similar psotions. That has helped

    That being said I have seen pro-lifers wupport Democrats in my State. In fact after redistricting the black majority Congressional District might be won by a very African American pro-lifer that is currently State Senate pro-tempe

    In other races I have seen support fot botht he dem and the Republican when their views were similar.

    SO I guess it is where you are at.

  • Tim,

    I appreciate you standing up and fighting that fight, and here’s hoping that the Democrats become much more open to candidates like you. I’m afraid though, that Jay is correct: the “right” to abortion is as close to a “non-neg” position as one can get in that party. Shame.

  • DC,

    I think a lot of what you say is being done by
    “National Right To Life”, and by others. They are pretty non-partisan as far as I can tell. I agree with this approach, and we do need to learn a lesson from the NRA on this.

    It seems to me though, that opposition to gun control doesn’t cross the orthodoxy line in for the Democrat base the same way that true pro-life positions do.

  • Johnathon

    I think the key is to make the Dems pro-life from the bottom up

    State legislators and others are ones that often will be picked to go for the the congressional and Senate Seats.

    We have seen success in this on the local level.

    The problem I see is this. There is a lot of criticism of the two parties. Maybe a good bit justifyed. THe problem is that critcism of the parties often leads to people not being involved in the parties on a local level. THis is where a lot of the action happens. SO there fore the partyumachinary is often run by people that don’t have pro-life viewpoints. Espcially in the democrat party. This has all sort of implications

  • I agree with Darwin on the NRA model. And, as I stated right off the bat in my first comment, the pro-life movement MUST become bipartisan for our efforts to succeed.

    The main point I’m trying to make is that pro-lifers need to see solid concrete examples of pro-life Democrats standing up to and bucking the pro-choice leadership of their party on a consistent basis. Over and over again. Just like pro-gun Democrats do.

    During the past election, Democrats made much of the contention that pro-life support for Republicans has garnered little in the way of results. True. Pro-lifers have not been able to achieve their objectives by hitching their wagons to the Republican Party. But supporting pro-life Democrats has achieved even less over the years … apart from sell-outs.

    What would the NRA do if Democrat candidates talked the 2nd Amendment talk at home but voted with the party’s leadership on gun control measures when they got to DC? The NRA certainly wouldn’t be so open to supporting those candidates in the future. That’s the predicament pro-lifers are in. All I’m saying is that the onus is on the pro-life Dems to prove themselves worthy of pro-life support; the onus is NOT on pro-life voters and pro-life orgs to suddenly give them unquestioning support.

  • To Follow-up: First of all I don’t respond to anyone directly, I try to keep on the topic without getting into all the “I said nothing of the sort” type of lame back n’forths- my criticism in the commentary is directed at either something someone mentioned, or is an attempt to broaden the argument to address something that some – might- be implying- but I don’t want to get into a load of personal attack back n’ forths- it is unholy and it brings out my own beast within- so I have none of it.

    Now something I didn’t bring out earlier which is relevant- first- I am pretty well known in local pro-life circles, I am there for the rallies, and I host a pro-life club on the high school campus where I teach, and I am very well known among the students for having an extremely strong pro-life and orthodox Catholic point-of-view.

    Part of my strategy in trying to attract pro-life community support was to openly say- ” Look if you are pro-life, and with all things being equal on the Life issues, then you are going to vote your party- no doubt about it”. But I was looking for support for pro-lifers just to get my name on the ballot as a Democrat for the second run- I told pro-lifers that if they didn’t help me get on the ballot, then a pro-choice Dem would probably get on the ballot- but they wouldn’t if I was there because I paid my dues, I ran when no other Dem would run, I had some name recognition- it wouldn’t fly for a pro-choicer to challenge me. But I had to prove that I could get enough support to at least get the petitions in to qualify- and this is where I really felt let down by the pro-lifers and the Catholic community in general.

    You can say- well you can’t expect Republican pro-lifers to vote for any Democrat- although I would argue for the merit system, if I promise to do more for the cause of Life, then I should get the nod from those who claim that the Life issue is THE issue, and as such there can be no proportionality complexities. But for arguments sake- ok- if Republican pro-lifers don’t trust any Democrat’s pro-life credentials- then so be it- don’t vote for me. But the second layer of my claim was that pro-lifers should support me to the extent of getting my name on the ballot as a Democrat, because at the very least I would be the probable lone pro-lifer in the Democratic Party primary, and wouldn’t want to have two pro-lifers competing for the office come November? Now at this point I don’t see any wiggle room- I wasn’t asking for total support all the way from the pro-lifers, I was asking for that of course, but I wasn’t saying it was all or nothing. I said- just help me get on the ballot, help me secure my spot in the Democratic field because I can represent pro-life in the internal Democratic primary- and if I can show I have a lot of pro-life and Catholic help, then maybe I can scare off some Democratic pro-choicers from challenging me. At least help me to get to the general election and compete for pro-life votes in the general election- whether you would vote for me over a Republican or not- I asked only for the opportunity to make my challenge.

    And this is where things broke down- the volunteers never came- I even put an ad in the local paper for area pro-lifers to help get a pro-life candidate on the ballot- nothing. I have concluded that many- I am not calling out anyone here on this blog- I’m sure you are all perfect saints- but many non-blogger Republicans or anti-Democrats, are blindly prejudiced in the way they respond to even genuine pro-life Democrats like myself- in fact- I think many just shut down automatically- The Democratic Party is the Party of Evil so no new thinking is necessary- the assumption is made that no matter who the Democrat is, they are not legit, or they are representing an evil political party, so we shouldn’t be empowered to even compete on the one issue that is supposed to bond together the pro-life community- abortion.

    Maybe things are different in other parts of the country- I want to find out- which is why I wrote this article- I really don’t enjoy rehashing what is past- I am continuing to do pro-life work outside of being a candidate, I really didn’t want to become a politician, but I was willing to step up- now that I’ve been shot down I am just continuing to fight in different arenas. I would like to help inspire those- particularly in the minority and religious communities, who are already Democrats for the many reasons that cause people to find the traditional Dem Party to be the one that has had a better philosophical orientation to the proper role of government- and one that defends the weak from the wolves. For those who see abortion in particular as a great failing for Democrats, and are willing to stand up and work for reform within, and to challenge the Republicans on Life and other essential fronts in the political wars- these are the folks I aim to spend the majority of my time with- the young and charismatic, the old and faithful volunteers, to work for Life within the Democratic Party the same way those who hijacked the Party worked to move the Party away from the Right to Life for the unborn.

    Having cleared up some loose ends here- like why I wasn’t just mad because Republican pro-lifers didn’t up and vote for me- but my upset was more to do with the fact that pro-lifers didn’t even help me to get on the Dem ballot to make sure there was going to be two pro-lifers competing. And two, I wasn’t an unknown to the pro-life community, and like I said the Republican I was challenging was not one who was front and center out there promoting pro-life legislation and education- so I didn’t have to be the most visible guy to be able to make a challenge. I did have other problems associated with my campaign- first being, it was my first run for public office, and I had not lived in the area for more than 3 years when I first started running- that was definitely to my down-side for sure- I acknowledge that- but still thought that my ability to communicate and commit to specifics should have warranted more support from those claiming that Life or being Catholic was #1 for them as voters. I wanted to put those people to the test- and I even circulated flyers- I’ll post them here sometime if anyone is curious- that based issue positions on Catholic social teachings and Scripture. You know the push against slavery and for civil rights drew so much support from churches and church people, I just don’t understand the fears we have as religious folk to get very specific about where our motivations come from in the political fight on various issues.

  • …if I promise to do more for the cause of Life, then I should get the nod from those who claim that the Life issue is THE issue…

    You sound like someone who, if you had run last year against my GOP pro-abort state rep., I would have cheerfully voted for you, and possibly even worked for you.

  • Thanks Paul- you know part of the reason I had an even tougher time drawing some help than the reasons I gave above- the area I live in here in Florida is pretty apolitical compared to other places I have lived- like Columbus, Ohio, my hometown. In Ohio,the friend of mine who first led me to the Catholic faith, he used to run for Congress, not just state house, and the rules set up in Ohio were much easier for folks to get on the ballot. He ran and won a couple of primaries, with maybe two or three Dem opponents. When I moved to Florida and settled in, I thought maybe I could pick up where he left off down here, but it requires a lot more to get on the ballot here. I understand that you don’t want a hundred candidates, but in Ohio, it didn’t play out that way, and here like I said in my article- I was the only one in Brevard County to even challenge a state rep in the 2006 election cycle- I suppose you could blame the rules, blame voter and candidate apathy, maybe it is the Florida heat and beaches?? We are pretty laid-back here, with lots of sunshine and warmth year round you kind of get into that vacation mindset and stay there. Problem is I don’t want to move for all kinds of family and work reasons, but I want to be part of something dynamic politically- internet has helped to provide some outlets.

  • Tim,

    I am sympathetic with your plight to an extent. However, here’s where we part ways.

    What indication did the pro-lifers of your district have that your ability to influence your party would extend anywhere beyond your district, should you happen to win? What guarantees would any pro-life group have that you would not become another in a long line of starry-eyed idealists who would bow before the power brokers in the legislature (who happen to be pro-abortion) soon after arriving in Washington? And wile I don’t question your “street-cred” among those who *know* you, how would someone not in your circle of influence know whether you really meant what you said, and whether you could actually effect the change needed.

    For me, the easier task than converting the Democratic Party from inside would seem to be converting the *Republican* party from inside! I would much rather have seen you run as an Orthodox Catholic Republican, who fought the Party on its approach toward foreign policy, its approach to the preferential option for the poor, and all of the other giants of Catholic Social Teaching. Frankly, I believe you’d have an easier task (and run MUCH less risk of being cast out of the Party) in the Republican party (the lesser of two evils). As long as access to abortion appears to have sacramental significance to most of the Democratic Party, it will be impossible for me to support *any* Democratic candidate (including you); you are stained by association with such a pro-abortion Party, and that keeps many of us form being able to support you.

    Heck, run as an independent; I’ll come work blocks for ya!

  • Given the history of the Dem party, unless you had some MAJOR history as pro-life, I wouldn’t be willing to risk it, either. Especially if the person you were running against was at least friendly to pro-lifers.

  • Thanks for the feedback- If I was just starting out in my adult life, I would probably be an Independent, since I really have fundamental issues with both major parties- but my political formation began back when I was 13 years young, and I was inspired to go volunteer for the Carter campaign of 1976- now this was a strange thing because neither of my parents were Democrats, and I didn’t have an inspiring teacher coax or assign anything that would have forcibly drawn me into Democratic politics. The ideal of what I perceived at that time has stuck with me- Democrats were for the little guys- and this was before I had any inkling of pro-life or the religious life at all- I wasn’t brought up with religious instruction or church attendance.

    As a twenty-something I became pretty much a by-the-numbers liberal- now some things I still agree with- like American foreign policies- really bad stuff- though I did sign up for the National Guard for 6 years- I found that I am able to be patriotic and self-critical of my nation’s leadership simultaneously.

    But as a Catholic convert- with a big big help from the social encyclicals- I came to see things from a Catholic teachings point-of-view- and so I find common areas of agreement with both liberals and conservatives, but neither place is my home when it comes to politics- my favorite read over the past couple of years has been the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church- so that should tell you all you need to know about where I will come down on most major political topics.

    The fact is that while I retain my status as a Democrat, because I believe that it is possible that God gifted me with something way back when- when I stand up before an audience of Democrats, I am not some outsider, some infiltrator, I am one who can expose the traitors to the Democratic past, and tradition, I don’t publicly support any pro-choice candidates, I spread my votes around- I liked Ron Paul more than the rest this time around- but I don’t agree with libertarianism in general, I just thought he was the most genuine in his pursuit of justice- especially with respect to the global community and the unborn- though I disagree with the state’s rights approach on abortion- not strong enough for me.

    For now, I am still going to fight things out as a Democrat, but not as a candidate- I honestly tried, but failed, it has been humbling, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I am looking to help build up the Dems for Life movement- it may be part of my life;s work- I am patient- I may have to be! Pray for me

  • Hey Tim,

    You mentioned,

    “my upset was more to do with the fact that pro-lifers didn’t even help me to get on the Dem ballot to make sure there was going to be two pro-lifers competing.”

    Why would they want to do that? We have to face it – for all of the hard talk, most pro-lifers are GOP on most other issues as well. Of course we Catholics have a social teaching we can appeal to, but not that many Catholics read it. Evangelicals have none but what they make for themselves.

    Anyway, I think your strategy is a viable one, because the Democratic Party, like all parties in time, faces demographic changes that can only mean ideological changes. The boomers will be retiring soon, and it is the white liberal boomers that had the biggest emotional investment in abortion. If you throw in strong support for the second amendment, as I believe Catholics ought, I think working class, religious voters without a strong party affiliation will swing your way.

  • I am an old man and have been active in the pro-life movement since its inception immediately after passing Roe Vs Wade in 1973. Until very recently I attended just about all the Right to Life Marches in DC starting with the very first. I remember that one very well, it was 70 degrees in January. Think God was saying something? I wish to commend Tim for challenging we pro lifers and I am very heartened by the very mature responses of so many of you. I am a life time pro lifer who happens to be also a Democrat though I am an independently voting Democrat and will continue to be. I almost left the Democratic Party but after much prayer and reflection felt that God wanted me to stay just where I was at. Don’t misunderstand I am not saying that God supports one party over another. I believe He is asking each of us to serve him in the party where we can best serve Him. For me it is the Democratic Party, for others it is the Republican Party. All of us on both sides of the aisle need to work at making our party more principled centered and support candidates on either side of the aisle who are most principled centered. In my pro life work I have gotten to know Mr. Tim Shipe very well in the past 4 years or so. He is the real McCoy! He is the most principled centered person and political leader I have ever known. I so wished he was in my county, for he would most certainly have my vote. You know what, if he were running for president, he would have my vote as well. He is presidential material through his integrity, intelligence, and willingness to never compromise his values which are in complete alignment with principles (i.e. natural law or law of human interaction). He is the personification of the “pro-life Obama-like candidates”. Tim, yes you lost twice, but you must still run again and again. As for many of you who participated in this blog, regardless of your party affiliations, imitate Tim and run as well. We saw how the country voted on both sides of the political spectrum. They are hungry for principled centered leaders. We all know that the rights of the unborn is a front and central principle/right….a right to life. When I go home to Heaven, you can be assured God will still have me working for His unborn and those, like Tim who supports this cause. God bless all of you.

  • There it is again “Obama-like candidate”. Could someone explain exactly the qualities, background and/or principles this man possesses which make him such an ideal?

  • I agree with Matt. There is no such thing as an “Obama-like candidate”. He violates the principal of subsidiarity by wanting to impose socialism.

  • Tito,

    to that I could add… empty suit, teleprompter addict, liar, hater of the unborn, oppressor of the true faith…

  • Let’s not digress into bashing OBama- till then this is a very good exchange.

    One commented they felt better time spent reforming the Republican party from the “inside”. Good idea!! I hope you’ll find it easier that reforming the Democratic party from the inside. As vocal Pro-Life Democrats, we historically have not been accepted by the Democrats or the Pro-Life movement. In my experience, the people involved in the Pro-Life movement assume you are a Republican and that you want to join them in bashing Democrats. It is evident in the emails I receive from many Catholics from my parish, Cursillo and Prayer meeting communties. Most of these emails have nothing to do with the Pro-Life issues and are simply character attacks and attempts to be funny.

    I agree, the only way to reform the parties are from the inside. The problem with the Democratic party is that the people setting the policies don’t reflect the general party membership. There are alot of Democrats that could futher the pro-life movement, if we could get them off the sidelines. As someone commented earlier, get involved at the local level.

    There have been some recent gains for Pro-Life Democrats and it is encouraging. While simply reducing abortions is not the end goal, it is a worthy goal and a much needed step to educating people.

    However, if you doubt the general topic- Pro-Life movement, Democrats need not apply- keep an eye on your in box. It’s not just the NRTL and other organizations- it is the whole pro-life movement.

    I do appreciate many of the comments as to why pro-life Democrats are not currently accepted as candidates. One big issue that I have is that being a Democratic member is often not accepted in the Pro-life movement.

  • Matt and Tito,
    Obama is smart and charismatic. He has personal approval ratings over 70% and policy approval ratings over 60%, despite his “socialism.” He’s also very good at politics. I didn’t vote for him and I am quite worried about some aspects of his presidency, but I wonder how trapped in the Fox-newsecho chamber you have to be not to understand why a pro-life candidate with his appeal would be good. And seriously – 16 of the past 24 years had Republicans in the White House. 12 of the last 24 had Republicans in control of Congress. How well has that worked out for pro-life Catholics. Maybe a strategy of encouraging pro-life Democrats is worth considering, in spite of the national party’s flaws.

  • Zak,
    Obama is smart and charismatic.

    So what? I can name numerous examples of smart charismatic leaders who I would not glorify.


    There have been some recent gains for Pro-Life Democrats

    What gains are those? Defeating a pro-abortion policy, leader, or nominee?

    Let’s: Nancy Pelosi, nope. Harry Reid, nope. Funding of abortion and abortion advocacy, nope. Funding of embryonic stem-cell research, nope. Sebelius, nope. Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, not bloody likely.

  • I’m all for converting the Democratic Party to being pro-life, but that really has to be responsibility of pro-life Democrats, doesn’t it? And I’ve heard very little (more than none, but very little) in the way of efforts by pro-life Democrats (and ostensibly pro-life Obama supporters in particular) at persuading pro-choice Democrats to oppose abortion.

    It’s not as though Republicans are so much smarter than Democrats at recognizing the humanity and right to life of the unborn that the GOP platform calls for a life amendment to the Constitution while the Dems’ platform defends abortion as a right.

    The GOP’s performance on life issues, imperfect as it is, is far and away better than the Democrats’. And that’s to the credit of Republican pro-lifers.

  • He has personal approval ratings over 70% and policy approval ratings over 60%,

    This is incorrect, but also irrelevant. George W. Bush had much higher ratings than this well into 2003, but shall we say events transpired to bring those numbers down. As for his personality, well, I think Colour wrote an apt song about that.

    but I wonder how trapped in the Fox-newsecho chamber

    Goodness, people are still repeating this tired mantra? And they expect to be taken seriously?

  • Whhops, I meant to say that “Living Colour wrote an apt song about that.”

  • There is a lot of personal taste stuff going around posing as serious commentary. Back in 2000 I personally “liked” both George W. and John McCain, better than Al Gore- it was a gut personality thing- not really linked too specifically to the issues. But my feelings changed on both Bush and McCain, I’ve come to really dislike them on the personality front and the issue front.

    I read Obama’s book “Audacity of Hope”, I liked his personal narrative, I like his personality. I don’t like his stand on abortion, gay rights, and other important issues, but he has personal qualities that many people- like myself- really connect with- more so than others in the public political arena. I did not publicly support Obama, or any other candidate, I did openly praise Ron Paul for various things, including the fact that I personally “liked” him- again based upon my reading his book and watching him in interviews and debates.

    The fact that my comment, that Democrats need an Obama-like pro-life candidate, should not be surprising given his success at the ballot box, and his obvious personal appeal- look at the facts- he came from no where- his daddy wasn’t a well-connected figure, his name is contrary to prior assumptions of major presidential candidates- so how can anyone claim that obama is a completely hateful personality?

    You can make the claim that you personally despise- not only some important policies he represents- but the man himself- his personality, his intellect, his manner of speech and so forth- ok- no problem- I can grant that- it is your gut feelings- I like myself, but you might decide I am a horrible, nasty guy for reasons that my wife may disagree with- but you feel what you feel. And this has become a “feelings” piece, because some here cannot stand the fact that I have recognized the broad appeal of President Obama- he doesn’t just appeal to pro-abort liberals on the personal level- I recognize that reality, and I say that cultivating pro-life Obama-like candidates within the Democratic ranks is a worthy endeavor. Obviously for die-hard anti-Obama, anti-Democratic party across-the-board types, my comment is not popular. If you “hate” obama, I doubt it is just because he is pro-choice for many- I doubt it is just about political beliefs for many- and I’m NOT claiming that it is racist to “hate” obama- I am saying that some people we like and some we don’t- just because someone is Catholic and has very similar beliefs to mine, is no guarantee that I will “like” them or even want to spend a minute of my time being around them. But their wives may beg to differ- such is the subjective stuff of life- I expressed a subjective opinion- that we Dems for Life should help cultivate pro-life obama-like candidates, and some bloggers just won’t accept that many people seem to personally like the actual Obama- even as they may disagree with him on many fronts.

    I suggest we move beyond the subjective feelings- and focus on the meat of my article- which had precious little to do with liking the Obama brand- and much more to do with how the pro-life movement would benefit from taking an honest Two-Party strategy instead of ignoring or demonizing all Democrats- pro-life or not.

  • Tim, Thank you for your wonderful contribution. As I read your blog and the responses that follows I become more and more aware of an amazing blindness with regards to the attempt to turn the Catholic faith and all its great tradition into a partisan political tool.

    I was once a member of the Young Republicans (in college) but I left for two reasons, Their Market Fundamentalist policies challenged my Catholic faith and their pro-life and family agenda seemed highly superficial. I had a political conversion when I meditated at the FDR memorial in DC and found a political vision for America that I could support in conscience. I personally feel that the foundational values of the Republican (neo-conservative) is primarily an individualistic meritocracy and this ultimately contradicts any authentic desire to promote the common good or address issues such as abortion. The Democratic Party has opened its tent somewhat to those of us with a pro-life agenda but if it can actually adopt a more visible pro-life position then we could move forward with the Catholic social agenda. In truth I do feel that the Democrats have more openness on this issue then the Republican have on the rest of Catholic Social tradition. So I have parted ways from the staunch Republican ideals towards a tent that at present anyway seems open to reform and dialogue.

    Catholic Social Teaching offers us a rich heritage of social principles. Subsidiarity is certainly an important value of our Catholic Tradition, but to elevated it from the its place in the hierarchy of social values is a disservice to what it contributes to the Catholic Social Tradition. Their is indeed a hierarchy, Life and Dignity of the Human Person is preeminent, none of us, I suspect, would challenge that. Rights and Responsibilities are next as they flow from the first value. Our faith honors the full rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Encyclical Pacem in Terris is a testament to that. This includes the negative rights that are enshrined in our own Bill of Rights under the Constitution and the first 17 articles of UDHR. However the Catholic Church also supports the Positive rights that exist in articles 18-27 in the UDHR and although they currently are not defended by the Constitution they are the vision of the four freedoms and the second Bill of Rights which remains as one of FDR’s unfinished works. Our faith tells us that we (as civil society and government) have a moral responsibility to education, healthcare, standard of living and labor rights. And yes, along with subsidiarity our social tradition tells us over and over again about the principle known as the Preferential Option for the Poor, as Pacem in Terris tells us:

    “The very nature of the common good requires that all members of the state be entitled to share in it, although in different ways according to each one’s tasks, merits and circumstances. For this reason, every civil authority must take pains to promote the common good of all, without preference for any single citizen or civic group. …Considerations of justice and equity, however, can at times demand that those involved in civil government give more attention to the less fortunate members of the community, since they are less able to defend their rights and to assert their legitimate claims.” -Pacem in Terris #56

    No Party can ever claim a hold on Catholic Tradition because our tradition comes not from mere political ideology but from the Divine Word of God. We serve our faith well in working with the coalitions that make up both parties and the independent movement as well. Ultimately the Democrats and Republicans both hold legitimate values that our enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The Republicans uphold individual liberty while the Democrats uphold the communal pursuit of happiness. These parties both have a place for American Catholics. We should both be aware of the limitations we will have by virtue of working in coalition with others. But at no point should either of us claim to monopolize the aspects of our faith and tradition. Like Tim I will do my part to influence that good American values of the Democrats with the Social wisdom of our Catholic faith. I would hope that those who continue to be Republicans Catholics will see that their Catholic identity is much more sacred then their Republican ideals.

  • Tim,

    suggest we move beyond the subjective feelings-

    you’re accusing others of what only you have done. The claims I made are:

    empty suit, teleprompter addict, liar, hater of the unborn, oppressor of the true faith…

    All of those points can be demonstrated to be reasonable. I don’t object to the claim of “smart”, and “charismatic”. I just don’t see those as being particularly rare.

    His father? His real fathers are Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

    Don’t even talk about “humble”, Obama went to the finest school in Hawaii and on to the Ivy League.

    Obama is an “engineered” candidate, 7 years at state legislature, 2 years into the senate term (a seat he stole from his democrat opponent) and he’s on to the presidency, can’t even talk without a teleprompter… empty suit.

  • Matt,

    I am sorry but I do not find any rational legitimacy in your last comment. To say that he is an empty suit that requires a teleprompter is to simply be in absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    And to still tie him into a close relationship that he never had with Bill Ayers or Saul Alinsky is another attempt to grasp for straws in hopes of scarring us into thinking that he is a violent socialist which he has proven himself not to be. For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news and allow yourself to be challenged in seeing why Obama is making a positive global impact.

  • absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    Talk about finding no rational legitimacy in a comment. What impact is he having on the global economic crisis? Unemployment is getting worse, not better, and other economic indicators are a decidedly mixed bag. As for his speaking style, I’ll simply agree to disagree. I find him to be a dull, torturous, monotonous speaker, and that’s when he’s got the teleprompter. Otherwise he, uh, is, uh, decidedly, uh, not the, uh, dynamo he is, uh, often described as, uh, being.

    For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news

    And there is nothing subjective in your analysis? And really, the Fox news bit is old and tiring. Pick a new line of argumentation.

  • I don’t see the Democrats turning pro-life, or at least tolerant to pro-lifers, until the leadership does. To be frank: the efforts of failed candidates will not make the Democrats pro-life, no matter how many there are.

    I think that a well known national leader needs to make a public break, that will force the rest of the party to either accept him or not. And I’m not talking about some nominal pro-lifer like Senator Harry Reid, who votes for pro-abortion judges and pro-abortion administrators. I mean a national leader who says, “I can’t vote for Obama’s judge because he is dedicated to abortion, which is unconscionable. I cannot in good faith support the lie of Roe v. Wade any longer.”

    Let the Democrats deal with a national leader who turns on them on this issue. If they let him keep his seniority, his chairmanships, and his leadership positions, then I believe that will go a long way towards breaking the monopoly that NARAL has over the Democrats.

    Small-time failed candidates are not going to have any influence in turning the party pro-life. I just don’t see it happening.

  • John,

    I am sorry but I do not find any rational legitimacy in your last comment. To say that he is an empty suit that requires a teleprompter is to simply be in absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    Are you denyng that he NEEDS the telepromptor in order to engage his “amazing speaking ability” and “charismatic style”? Furthermore, that is the very definition of an “empty suit”, looks good but no substance. He even uses the teleprompter at press briefings, something that none of his predecessors needed.

    Obama is a pure political animal, he’d throw his grandmother under the bus. Wait… he already did that. He’d throw his own pastor under the bus… wait, he did that too… let’s see, who will throw under the bus next?

    And to still tie him into a close relationship that he never had with Bill Ayers or Saul Alinsky is another attempt to grasp for straws in hopes of scarring us into thinking that he is a violent socialist which he has proven himself not to be. For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news and allow yourself to be challenged in seeing why Obama is making a positive global impact.

    Wow, where to begin.

    1. Obama had a long association with Bill Ayers, Ayers mentored Obama and brought him in to “community organize” for his foundation and sit on it’s board. He kicked off his political career at a fundraiser at Bill Ayers home. It seems likely that one of Obama’s books either borrows heavily from, or more likely was ghost written by Ayers.

    2. Obama has demonstrated that he is an Alinksyite to a tee. The “community organizing” groups use “Rules for Radicals” as a bible, it’s clear Obama follows him.

    3. Notice you failed to mention Wright, no doubt there that he is a “father” to Obama, glad you are not completely blind.

    4. I never said he was violent (except to the unborn).

    5. Making a positive global impact… really? Where? DPRK is launching missiles over Japan, Russia is not backing down from Georgia, Iran still pursuing nuclear weapons, pirates are attacking our ships with near impunity, US funds now being diverted to the spread of legal murder of the unborn, China still abusing human rights (now with US blessing)…. what is the positive?

  • I’ve got to agree– Obama off the teleprompter is nothing to brag about; if he’d talked like that in my high school English classes, he’d have barely passed public speaking.

    On the teleprompter, even the Brits found him long-winded and kind of dull.

    For the Bill Ayers thing… shoot, if you’ll ignore the masses of evidence for that, no repeating of it will get through to you.

    Can we please get to details instead of pointing and yelling “you’re not objective enough”?

    I’d be delighted if the Dems could get a pro-life movement going in their party– it would cut a lot of grief in the Republican party, since most of the folks pushing a dem-lite agenda tend to boil down to “basically Democrat but don’t believe in killing babies.”

    Now would be the time to get a pro-life Dem group together, but it must be done by Democrats. If it’s done by X or Y pro-life group, it will be attacked as a front for religion by the media. (this will probably happen anyways, but it’s not a bad idea to lower how much ammo you give them.)

    Frankly, the amount the use of the “Fox news” bogyman, coupled with references to how much international cooperation Obama’s brought us– where? They made nice noises at G-20, but didn’t talk them into doing their own “stimulus” packages– and your mind reading of folks’ reasons for saying or doing things… you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.
    I don’t believe you are that, because I don’t have lovely mind-reading powers– but the indicators show enough risk that I still wouldn’t support you.

  • Make no mistake, the idea of turning the Democrat Party to a Pro-life party is daunting and incredibly challenging. I am by no means sure that it can even happen, but I certainly do believe it is worth a try. The possibility lies in creating a link to the social vision that the Democrats already have with regards to family social services and develop a consistent argument for abortion to be seen as an individualistic choice that does damages that family and local community. This is going to be a hard sell however and I have yet to gauge the strength of the Pro-Choice group.

    With regards to Fox, that is a bit of media humor that just doesn’t get old. Consider Robert Kaufman’s who was publicly defending the Bush administration when he mentioned that the Republican need to acquire another Television station besides Fox. Here check out this link:

    So much for Fair and Balanced.

  • Foxfier,

    you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.

    I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say, we should take Tim at his word.

    I’ll criticize him for blaning Republican Pro-lifers for “keeping him down”, but that’s out of line.

  • A good opportunity for Pro-Life Democrats would be to rally opposition to Obama’s Supreme Court nominee if the nominee is in favor of Roe. He may nominate Diane Wood and she is especially atrocious on the abortion issue.


  • John,

    Make no mistake, the idea of turning the Democrat Party to a Pro-life party is daunting and incredibly challenging. I am by no means sure that it can even happen, but I certainly do believe it is worth a try. The possibility lies in creating a link to the social vision that the Democrats already have with regards to family social services and develop a consistent argument for abortion to be seen as an individualistic choice that does damages that family and local community. This is going to be a hard sell however and I have yet to gauge the strength of the Pro-Choice group.

    Absolutely! The black pastors may be a key to this, if they can be rally their people and open eyes to the racist slaughter of abortion. The political powers bow to their constituency, if a pro-life constituency can assert itself, their will be change.

  • Matt McDonald-
    if you read the rest of the post you’ll see that I specifically stated that I don’t think he is one of that sort. A bit less nicely that I might, but I tend to get annoyed when folks try to say what someone else’s motivation is, rather than respond to what’s said.

    I’m pointing out that the similarity is high enough that, without some very strong reasons to overcome the similarities, folks will assume that he is; it’s not nice, and it’s not kind, but it is how folks’ minds tend to work.
    For a strained metaphor: what has a bill like a duck, and webbed feet like a duck, swims and lays eggs? Could be a duck or a platypus, but the former will be assumed before the latter, unless you can set up a big section that says “PLATYPUS FARM”. (told you it was strained)

    That’s why I say there needs to be a Democrat movement that’s pro-life– it has to be strongly Dem first, and show from those principals to pro-life, if they’re going to get any kind of a decent movement going.

    If it’s from pro-life groups, they’ll be accused of mixing religion and politics, or of being Repub plants (probably with this very post as evidence!).

    If it’s from a Repub group, then it’ll be accused of being a front, a stalking-horse, a fraud.

    If from a Dem source, then it will be accused of mixing religion, but if it’s political theory first that won’t stick as well; there will be accusations of trying to siphon votes off of the Repubs— which, fairly, is pretty true by definition, but not the primary point.

    It has to be solid enough, philosophically, to get to people and to stand on its own.
    There’s the right urges in the Dem party– for crying out loud, my aunt the nurse is a pro-life Dem pissed as heck that she couldn’t vote for Obama because of his horrific abortion voting record.

    If I were trying to form a Dems for Life group, I’d probably start with the Nazi doctors’ “work” on small children, have a solid base in basic biology of what is a human, and see if that movie about clone farming for spare parts from a few years back was any good–probably use Horton Hears A Who as well.
    Have to get an emotional hook that at least as strong as “look at these poor women, suddenly having to pay for all the expenses of a baby, and it keeps them from being able to live their lives!”
    (Making it easier to adopt might help with this– a row of couples with their arms open, asking for the children they can’t give birth do, is a big impact; has the downside of being utilitarian, and might bring in the homosexual issue, which is too much added grief.)

    Shoot, there’s a bunch of ladies that tour the nation talking for pro-life events– because they are survivors of abortion attempts. This is *totally* up the alley of usual Dem tactics!

    If the OP wants help in the form of suggestions of what to do, that’s free– there’s no risk in unofficially sharing ideas, and as the TLDR read section above shows, there’s a LOT to be had. Might be worth what you pay for it, but it’s food for thought.

    The problem comes when he wants folks to risk it all on, this time, it really being true– to throw in and support him, when the only way he’ll get far is if he’s lying. (as someone pointed out above– pro-life Dems tend to be attacked by the established Dem party, and don’t get invited to the supportive stuff. Have to have enough grass-root support to overcome this– enough people they don’t want to piss off.)

  • Foxfier,

    I did, and I agree largely with your post, I object to this statement even if you qualify it:

    you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.

  • I’m sorry you feel that way; liars lie, they say what someone who would be a good choice would say; if it happens enough, folks don’t trust the good guys anymore.

    Seems like a pretty simple fact to me– liars have to say what the good guys would say.

    Politicians have a big tendency to say what they think will get them elected, no matter what they actually think or want to do– that’s why so few folks trust what they say, even if there’s not a long history of similar situation folks lying on the specific topic like there is for this.
    (Even if I like folks, I try to make sure to go over what they’ve done and check it against what they say– talk vs walk. The bigger advantage they’d get if I believed them and it wasn’t so, the more evidence I want to support that it is so.)

    It’s kind of like “causing scandal”– it doesn’t matter if that young man and woman are “doing it”, it’s that they look like they are, because they’re living together. Enough folks have done wrong that even those who haven’t need to make it clear they’re not.

  • Hey Guys- let’s not put aside my central beef- not that Republican Pro-Lifers in general didn’t support my candidacy- but rather that the leaders of pro-life groups and organizations were not helpful in my attempt to gain traction as a pro-life Democrat. My thesis is that these organizations must be truly non-partisan and it is in the interest of the pro-life cause in general to cultivate a Two- or more- Party strategy. And my particular case in point was my run for office, where I put forth the notion that pro-lifers in general should support the man, not the party- if I could establish myself as a credible person who was making assertions to do specific things as a legislator for the pro-life cause, then I should have been given serious consideration. As a Catholic high school religion teacher, a Knight of Columbus who wrote a monthly pro-life column in the Knights Bulletin, and one who stood up for Life in hostile environments such as Democratic Party Executive Committee Meetings, and Democratic Women’s Club candidate forums, I thought that I had earned some significant credibility. I feel that there is no meritocracy in place in places where there shouldn’t be blind partisan bias- like pro-life organizations. That’s my beef in short.

  • There is a pro-life organization in the Democratic Party and it is called Democrats for Life of America (http://www.democratsforlife.org/). Tim Shipe is a member and has been just voted Vice President of the Florida Chapter of the Democrats for Life of America (http://www.floridadfla.org/). Tim Shipe and Freda Stevens were voted in as Vice President and President respectively to lead the Florida Chapter and our state Democratic Party to best support the rights of the unborn. We Catholics need to work in our respective parties to bring these parties more aligned with the social teachings of our Holy Catholic Church which are totally aligned with Principles and Laws of Human Interaction. Remember all of us are united regardless of party affiliations because of our Catholic heritage given us by the blood of martyrs. We are united by our desire to defend the rights of the unborn. There is more that unite us than divide us. We need to diligently work within our respective parishes in assuring good God fearing Catholics choosing to enter the political arena get the proper exposures. This is called “Catholic Action” in the truest sense of the word. We need to make our Catholic Voice heard. We MUST live our faith!!!!

  • The links I gave above to the democratic prolife organizations did not work. Let’s try again:



    These should work now!!!

  • And I think that your basic beef has merit, Tim.

    If someone trying to get onto the Democratic ticket at any level is willing to eschew the all-too-available pro-choice money available to them and brand themselves as pro-life, I think that pro-life organizations should give them the benefit of any doubt and help them win.

    Given the center of gravity of the pro-life movement, it wouldn’t be any surprise if they then sat out the general election and let you and the GOP candidate fight it out on the merits, but it is unquestionaby better to stack both sides with pro-lifers wherever possible.

    That this was not done by your local pro-life organizations in this case was, I think, a failing — however understandable to many of us.

  • Tim Shipe-
    I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t agree.

    There is a cost in supporting folks; historically, it’s wasted on pro-life Dems because if they’re honest, they don’t get far–party won’t let them; if they’re not, then it’s a double-cost because you just advanced someone who is counter to your cause.

    If you could establish a strong pro-life record, and enough of a Dem support base to overcome the party resistance that even you mention, then yes– you’d be a good investment of time and political capital.

    Basically, I think you’re going at it backwards– you want the pro-life groups to help you build a Dem base; they want you to show you’re serious by building Dem base that they can support.
    Saying that the reason they won’t help you is because they’re too bound to Repubs probably won’t really help issues, especially since most of the pro-life folks I know that fit your implied views are Independents.

  • I did mention some improvements made in the main pro-life organization from the time of my first run and then the second- I had some good conversations with leadership at the beginning of the second run, and did receive an official endorsement for the Democratic Primary from that organization- the problem was in getting some actual help in getting access to volunteers to help me get on the ballot- around 1000 signed petitions from my district were needed. As I stated in my original piece- my wife had were blessed with a third child in between elections, and the timing was difficult for me to get out and bang on doors in the evenings. This is one reason I am hoping to locate younger men and women, who don’t have families yet, but have the values necessary to become solid moral leaders, it is tough having a young family and a career outside of law, and trying to run as a first time candidate- or anytime candidate.

    I will publish soon, something I circulated around a while ago in Catholic circles- some ideas I have for helping to promote the Catholic social doctrine in our American political system- here is a quote from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which should hit all of us, as Catholics, no matter what our party orientation is: #573

    “It is difficult for the concerns of the Christian faith to be adequately met in one sole political entity; to claim that one party or political coalition responds completely to the demands of faith or of Christian life would give rise to dangerous errors. Christians cannot find one party that fully corresponds to the ethical demands arising from faith and from membership in the Church. Their adherence to a political alliance will never be ideological but always critical; in this way the party and its political platform will be prompted to be ever more conscientious in attaining the true common good, including the spiritual end of the human person[1201].”

  • At the sites that Jim mentioned you can find information about the gains made by the pro-Life Democrats. Currently, the Pro-Life Democrats were mentioned by the Bishop in a statement for the Pregnant Women Support Act, which is championed by the Dems for Life.

    Also, there should soon be a Pro-Life Democrat named as the ambassador to the Vatican. Granted, that is because the church has turned down 3 Pro-Choice candidates proposed by the present administration.

    More information is available about the increasing number of Pro-Life Democrats in office. Although, regrettably there have been minimal gains in Florida.

    As Pro-Life Democrats, we are committed to facilitating change within the party. Their is definitely a PR campaign to be waged in order to change the party. Recognition from the Bishops and Pro-Life organizations can go a long way. It should be noted that Priest for Life have also recognize the Dems for Life at various times.

    Of course, to get the Pro-Life organizations recognition, there will need to be a successful PR campaign within the Pro-Life movement. The traditional strength of the African-American churches in the Democratic party can be a strong voice for change- as noted in an earlier post. Tim has actively spoken to African-American churches. Alot of our state organization is white Catholic men. The new president of our state chapter has been a candidate for office, active within the party at local levels, and knowledgeable about the workings of the party. We are Blessed that she also happens to be evangical African-American woman.

    The fight to change the parties from within, will IMHO not be won by a Senator splitting from the party over the supreme court nominee. It will be won at a grass roots level- and with plenty of prayer.

  • Tim, I have a question:

    To set up, I will shortly be announcing my own candidacy for State Representative as a Republican, to seek to unseat a Republican pro-choice incumbent. I’m facing a fight in the primary, and then in the general, both against pro-aborts. I’m doing this specifically because my State Rep. is a pro-abort Republican.

    My question: Does Democrats for Life try to recruit pro-life Democratic candidates to oppose pro-choice Democratic incumbents?

    My perception has been that they do not; instead, they mostly support ostensibly pro-life Democrats against strongly pro-life Republicans (I’m thinking of Casey Jr. vs. Santorum, for example).

    I’d be interested on your comments on this point.

  • The fight to change the parties from within, will IMHO not be won by a Senator splitting from the party over the supreme court nominee. It will be won at a grass roots level- and with plenty of prayer.

    I think this is true of both parties. Both need to be re-invigorated with some new, if not necessarily youthful, blood. Neither party is exactly behaving like the responsible party model envisioned by those eggheaded political scientists years ago – you know, guys like myself. 🙂

    The thread hit a bump in the road earlier, but that shouldn’t detract from Tim’s points. I’d echo some of the cautionary notes from upthread, and add one of my own. Tim’s case is somewhat different in that, if I read his post correctly, he was running for a state legislative seat. But if I saw a Tim Shipe-like character running for Congress, I’d still have a hard time voting for him because, in the end, he’d be voting for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and organizing the House along very far-left lines. It may not be fair, but there are going to have to be a lot more Tim Shipes and Gene Dickeys before the party has changed substantially. Baby steps, I suppose. That said, I’d trade my Rep (Van Hollen) for Tim Shipe in a heartbeat.

  • Tim and all,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for having such an intelligent and christian sharing of ideas. It is so refreshing to see.

    God Bless you Tim for being such a brave and loving Christian, advocate for the unborn and political activist. What a breath of fresh air in a stagnant pool of partisan rhetoric and language of hate and intolerance.

    Jesus wants us to love one another. The readings for this Sunday really drive this home. We CAN be good Christians, pro-life advocates and also find our role in changing the world. I don’t have to be Democrat or Republican. I stand firmly in the center with Christ. I choose to love both sides, especially when they are wrong.

    Thank you again. All of you.

    Dianne Phillips

  • *dryly* It’s possible that comparisons to cesspools or saying folks sound “intolerant” and “hateful” aren’t the way to get folks to work hard for your goals– if nothing else, the irony is rather strong.

  • On the other hand, foxfier, there seems to be little to gain in trying to placate people who have no intention of helping you anyway 🙂

  • Ah, the famous Christian value of utilitarianism! How could I forget that we should only refrain from going out of our way to insult those who might be of use to us….

  • Foxfier,

    Well done!

  • I have long believed that restoring a pro-life presence to the Democratic Party should be a VERY high long-term priority for the pro-life movement, equal in importance to getting the “right” justices on the Supreme Court. (Of course the Republican Party also needs a pro-life presence as well, but that’s another story)

    I am a firm believer that a movement as critical as pro-life should NOT have put all its political eggs in one basket (the GOP); the result is the dire situation we have now.

    Here’s my cautionary tale. In Illinois in 1998, we had a real, live, pro-life, downstate Democrat, Glenn Poshard (then a Congressman), running for governor against Republican George Ryan, also (ostensibly) pro-life. I was tempted to vote for Poshard, but in the end, voted for Ryan believing that as a Republican he would be more reliable when it came to pro-life and other issues.

    Well, if I had a time machine I would give anything to go back and reverse that vote. Ryan turned out to be crooked as a dog’s hind leg, and he didn’t even accomplish anything in the pro-life arena (outside of his famed death penalty moratorium, if you count that as a pro-life issue). Not only that, but Ryan’s corruption pretty much discredited and destroyed the Illinois GOP and paved the way for the election of the even more infamous Blago, who posed as a reformer. Today the entire state is firmly in the control of pro-abort Democrats.

    If Poshard had been elected, we might have avoided much of the disgrace of the last 10 years. Of course, because he was pro-life (as well as pro-2nd-Amendment) he didn’t get the backing of the Chicago Democrats, and that hurt him as well.

  • Paul- Dems for Life is a very loose coalition- there are no marching orders from the national office to direct us to find candidates to challenge only Republican pro-lifers- our state chapter has a range of folks doing mostly their own thing- there is not even agreement as to what the best strategy is to end abortion as we know it- there are those who are focused on the reduction track, and making more and more legal restrictions, making abortion rare by making abortion providers legally accountable for the bad effects of abortions on women, making sure they have full disclosure of all the potential ills before they can proceed with an abortion.

    I am a pro-life maximalist, I believe abortion must become illegal- not for the mothers, but for the providers, and not just given back to the state legislatures, but based on natural law and drawing upon the 5th and 14th Amendments, abortion must end in all of America. I also stand up for the social programs and economic assistance that can take away the root causes of abortions for the many women who claim that economics and lack of assistance are the top reasons for their choice for abortion. And I believe in fighting the spiritual battles, in the culture, I have started a Facebook cause- “Dads Protecting Daughters” trying to find small and large ways to push back against the dominant hedonistic culture. I will take up any cause that will save some lives of children, I don’t want women seeking illegal abortions, I try to have compassion for everyone in the mix of such tragic choices- I believe like Fr.Corapi says, this is a genocide against unborn, unwanted children, my heart breaks for the young women and men who blindly support and procure abortions- forgive them Father for they know not what they do- if I can help persuade by working on the laws, working with the youth as a teacher, working the political fronts on the many interrelated issues that make up our society’s common good- then this is what I can do, along with prayer. I asked my pro-life club to join me everyday after school to offer a prayer for President Obama to have a St.Paul like conversion on the issue of life for the unborn, and my wife and I keep the president and the unborn in our nightly rosary intentions. I am open to doing whatever I can, and I had thought that running for office may be something that took my participation to the next level of personal responsibility. I encourage more of you to consider making the plunge to experience the process for yourselves- I learned so much, and I want to use the experience to help reform some institutional weaknesses in the pro-life movement- as I perceive them anyway.

  • Elaine- funny you should use the phrase- “Putting all the eggs into one basket” that was my line all the time with pro-life organizations- I reasoned that since the majority of Americans are not voting primarily with abortion in mind, there will be a pretty consistent shifting of power between the two major parties- given that both parties have critical weaknesses and cannot sustain popularity as a result. For the pro-life movement to try to build up their base in only one major Party, this will only result in the one party taking them for granted, and the other party completely hating them. The best approach is one that I believe the major Pro-Life leaders like Fr. Pavone, have already concluded- there has to be more outreach from the movement to build up pro-life Democrats- I lobbied Fr. Pavone and Fr. West strongly in person when I met up with them after speaking to my school. Father West of priests for life has been very encouraging to me personally, and I think Fr. Pavone understood and obviously saw things similarly in what I heard from him after the elections.

    I can work with pro-life Republicans, I don’t have any grudges, in fact the Republican who defeated me openly praised me in our campaign because it was one devoted exclusively to the issues, no personal attacks, I spoke with him after candidate forums, and there was no bad blood- I just happened to believe that on Life issues and more I would be a stronger leader. Nothing personal, it was professional. We need civility in our political process, we must be able to strongly express the truth on issues, but we should not focus so much on the personal attacks, we can love our enemies by granting them our prayers and openly pursue the idea that the other fellow may just have as good of intentions as I do- we just disagree and it may come to a non-violent confrontation in illuminating debate and perhaps in a democratic vote. The pope has not called for us to take up arms to defend the unborn, so we are compelled to work through the non-violent channels of persuasion and political action. Let’s do so with grace, humility, intelligence and holy passion!

  • Fox,

    Was Jesus being a utilitarian in Matthew 7:6?

    How unChristian of Jesus!

  • Joe-
    Might want to read 7:1.

  • Way to change the subject. Clearly we are not obligated to extend unlimited patience to people who are manifestly hostile to truth and goodness. It doesn’t mean we have to ‘judge’ them per 7:1 – if walking away is a judgment, anything and everything is.

  • Clearly we are not obligated to extend unlimited patience to people who are manifestly hostile to truth and goodness.

    Glad you hold your fellow pro-lifers in such high reguard.

  • That “Elf” is one lucky fella!

  • Fox,

    Ok, whats the objective here?

    Argument for the sake of argument? Argument for fun? Seriously insisting that we shouldn’t prioritize our limited time and resources so that they are most effectively used, in favor of some vague alternative?

    It isn’t about “them” – though I don’t hold anyone in high regard who can’t put aside their ideological psychosis long enough to support a candidate like Tim. It’s about what we do with the time and resources we have.

    You want to make a serious argument against that, go ahead. If all you have is a snarky quip, I’m done.

  • Zak,

    I am all for a pro-life Democrat. I myself have not voted for Obama, but I have given money to the Democratic Party and none to the GOP. I don’t watch FoxNews and for that matter I don’t even have cable.

    You can’t characterize people that are pro-life as automatically Fox News viewing GOPers.

    I would not hesitate to vote for a pro-life Democrat, unless of course the GOP candidate was even more pro-life than him/her.

    I agree that we need someone with the stage presence and charisma of Obama. Just please be specific about that when mentioning an Obama-like candidate.


  • Tito,

    “I have given money to the Democratic Party”

    Even given the vicious pro-abort platform upon which the entire party virtually rests?

    I am greatly disappointed.

  • e.,

    To my hometown (where I grew up in Hawaii) local Democratic Party which is very pro-life.

  • You know, sometimes I think it would be better if both parties — actually ALL parties, including Greens, Libertarians, etc. — based their official platforms on economic and foreign policy issues only, and took no stand at all on social/moral issues like abortion or gay marriage. Not because those issues aren’t important, but because they are TOO important to be used as political footballs or to become the exclusive “property” of a particular party.

    It would be the responsibility of each individual candidate to decide how he or she stood on those issues, and of each individual voter to take those stands into consideration when voting. I would think that under a system like this, pro-lifers would eventually exist in every party and pro-life voters would be free to vote for them without worrying about endorsing an officially “pro-death” organization.

    Which brings me to another point brought up by another political blogger of my acquaintance. A political party is not a church, and therefore need not act as if it were one.

    The Church teaches divinely revealed, unchanging truths necessary for one’s eternal salvation, while political parties teach humanly created truths which can change as circumstances change and are intended simply to make one’s temporal life easier or more secure. A political party need not, and should not, take its “doctrines” as seriously as the Church does its doctrines, and a political party can tolerate dissent to a greater degree than a religious body.

    While I think pro-lifers as individuals have a duty to support pro-life candidates (provided that they are reasonably competent and honest — electing corrupt or incompetent pro-lifers only serves to discredit the cause and make it harder to elect similar people in the future) I do not think that political parties AS A WHOLE should necessarily be beholden to one side or the other.

  • The problem being Elaine is that abortion, like slavery in the nineteenth century, is not only a moral issue but also a political issue. The issue has transformed both the Republican and the Democrat parties. Like slavery it presents us with stark choices for the future of our country. As a pro-life Republican I am dedicated to keeping the Republican party on the pro-life side of the issue and I will fight, and have fought, any faction within the party that wishes to change that. It is impossible to have parties simply ignore this issue, and any party that attempted to do so would never have my vote.

  • The problem with the “putting eggs in one basket” argument is that, in my (possibly mistaken) perception, it wasn’t the pro-life movement that abandoned the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party that purged itself of pro-life leaders.

    I don’t anyone who wouldn’t like to see the Democratic Party become a pro-life party, but as I said, I really think that goal is for Democrats to achieve.

  • It is one thing to say that making the Democratic Party a pro-life party is a goal for Democrats only to work on achieving- but my point is that we should have support in that mission from pro-life organizations who are supposed to be in theory and legally, non-partisan. If the pro-life organizational leaders are themselves too tied to a Republican-only approach to fighting legal abortion, then they are doing a disservice to the unborn. If leaders of the pro-life movement are going to be joining Republican Executive Committees and taking vows to never support any non-Republican candidates in any way- I think that is a problem because pro-lifers should support the candidate “the man” and not just automatically support someone because of party affiliation. Democrats for life need at least the chance to compete for pro-life votes, and pro-life organizations should not be standing in their way by protecting the Republican Party from any pro-life competition. That’s my central thesis here- I hope many out there aren’t missing the forest for the trees in reading all the comments here.

  • Absolutely Tim.

    I read this article a long while ago. I think it captures many points essential to this debate.


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  • Sorry if this type of comment has been made above (don’t have time to read this many). I agree with your premise – that pro-life organizations should get behind anti-abortion candidates of both parties. Here in Indiana, many local Democrats are pro-life (such as our representative Joe Donnelly). They’ve been embraced by pro-lifers for years. Your experience may be based on particularities of Florida, not pro-lifers across the board.

  • I’m late to the conversation, but I want to congratulate Tim Shipe on his 40 percent showing in his first race.

    I also want to focus on Foxfier’s comment: “you want the pro-life groups to help you build a Dem base; they want you to show you’re serious by building Dem base that they can support.”

    May I ask what Shipe offered to the teachers’ union, labor, and other Democratic interest groups in Florida?

    One basic task of a politician is to deliver goods to his supporters. If he can’t do that, he won’t win support.

    Without pro-lifers or other allies in leadership positions among these interest groups, Shipe would be dropped the moment a more party-line Democrat comes along.

    Somebody else pointed out that Shipe’s stand likely puts a ceiling on his political career. People will be less inclined to back someone unlikely to secure key committee positions or big donor and patronage networks. Which means he must be a better politician than others to overcome his principled handicap.

    And of course, what did Shipe offer his constituents besides a laudable pro-life stand and an alternative to the Republican? Moral stands are good, but people will also want someone who can deliver on other issues. Given his past as a teacher, I assume education was a point of Shipe’s expertise.

    Anything else?

  • One more thing: the donors for these pro-life groups tend to be Republican. Given a choice between alienating a big supporter and supporting a candidate the donor dislikes, the group will be very conservative, in the bad sense.

    I think pro-life groups merit a friendly but critical audit. While they’re often working hard with minimal financial resources, it seems like some political pro-life groups don’t do much besides issue unread (sometimes unreadable) press releases, organize a once-a-year March for Life event, and ask for more money.

  • The pro-life movement is making a serious error in shunning dedicated right-to-life Democrats like Tim Shipe. Most pro-life groups are so closely aligned with the Republican Party that any Democratic candidate, life affirming or not, is seen as harmful to the cause. Such thinking is rooted in the unrealistic expectations that many pro-lifers have about the short-term prospects for substantial restrictions on abortion in this country. A ban on abortion in the vast majority of states is not just a Supreme Court decision away.

    Furthermore, Republicans have made cynical use of pro-lifers to win elections but have produced little in results. We have experienced Republican control of Congress during this decade. Symbolic votes were taken on constitutional amendments to ban flag burning and gay marriage but never on protecting the unborn. A majority vote of Congress could remove abortion from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. At the very least, such a vote would have been a strong symbolic statement but the vote was never taken. Republicans use social conservatives for votes and deliver the results to those with economic agendas like the Club for Growth. This approach enables Republican to indefinitely “cage” the votes of pro-lifers while risking little political capital.

    Pro-lifers who agree with the Republican Party on other issues should continue to work within the GOP but it makes sense to have a pro-life presence within the Democratic Party.

    The pro-life movement got its first taste of political influence as part of the Reagan coalition. Almost 30 years later, the Reagan coalition has fallen apart just as FDR’s New Deal coalition eventually collapsed with the passage of time. Being tied to the declining Republican brand is like a millstone around the neck of the pro-life movement. The largest potential growth constituencies for pro-lifers all come from predominately Democratic segments of the population – African American, Hispanic and young voters. A smart strategy would be to target these groups to move the Democratic Party in a more pro-life direction. Otherwise, pro-lifers are left with only a shrinking rural white Republican base and possibly doomed to political irrevelance.

    With some backing from the pro-life movement, candidates like Time Shipe could be a force in the Democratic Party. Lacking such support, a pro-life Democratic candidate such as Shipe (unless they are wealthy and able to fund their own media blitz) has to build their own local army of supporters since their is no automatic base of support. A pro-life Democrat doesn’t get help from the right to life committees and religious right forces or your typical progressive groups. The pro-life movement needs to open a second front within the Democratic Party.

  • The problem at its heart isn’t that Democrats aren’t welcome in the pro-life movement so much as that pro-lifers aren’t really welcome in the Democratic party. Sure, they’ll tolerate them at the local level, maybe even small potatoes state level, but when push comes to shove the party leadership will expect to be able to whip everyone, big or small, in favor of Planned Parenthood and the whole lot.

  • Tim interesting article and ongoing discussion. I remember when you ran. I thought a Pro-life Democrat?? Go Don Quixote, go.
    After the November election my family and I left OLOG and went to St. Joe. If you want a pro-life community, start go to St. Joe.
    Father L. and Father B. at OLOG believe pro-life means only anti-death penalty. How many times has Father L. gone on a death penalty protest? Answer, dozens of times. How many times has he gone on a anti-abortion protest? Answer, ZERO.
    OLOG was so far into the Obama camp OLOG was the newest member of the DNC.
    Being a member of KofC at OLOG I know many Knights who profess to be pro-life but voted for Obama.
    Any Catholic who voted for Obama is part of the problem and should be excommunicated.
    Abortion is an Intrinsically Evil Act. In the Orlando Diocese’s Faithful Citizenship Workshop, it clearly states, “As Catholics we are not single-issue voter. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an Intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.” Listed as Intrinsically Evil Acts:

    1. Abortion
    2. Euthanasia
    3. Human Cloning
    4. Destructive Embryo Research
    5. Genocide
    6. Torture
    7. Racism
    8. Terrorism

    If I’m not mistaken, Obama supports 4 of the 8 listed Intrinsically Evil Acts (Abortion, Euthanasia, Human Cloning, and Destructive Embryo Research). The Faithful Citizenship workshop also states that “all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions.”
    Notice that Death Penalty is not listed as an Intrinsically Evil Act.
    Personally I am Pro-Innocent Life. I have no problem with the death penalty. A court of law found these people to be guilty and passed a sentence of death.
    Anti-death penalty people want people to have “Life Sentences”. One problem. Life sentences never are life sentences. Getting out after 20 years is not a life sentence. For a life sentence to be real the prisoner gets out only in a pine box. The unborn have no say. No voice. No court case. Hence Pro-Innocent Life.
    After reading your article I noticed you got no support from Pro-life groups. The reason the (D) at the end of your name. The reason for no support from OLOG was stated above.
    Run again, this times as a Republican you’ll do better.

  • RD, I could not agree with you more. Someday all of us are going to stand before our Maker and render an accounting on how we defended the unborn and the defenders of the unborn whom he gave as a gift to the pro-life cause, His cause. I know Tim personally and see his goodness 1st hand. He is as pure and principled centered as they come. I personally believe His vocation to defend the unborn and run for political office comes from our Creator and to Tim’s credit he has responded admirably to that call even though that response meant significant suffering on his part and rejection from a large portion of the pro-life which should welcome him with open arms. Tim heroically answered God’s call, but what about the rest of us. Are we really responding to God’s call of defending His unborn in the best way possible. There will come a time where we must render an accounting for our actions in this most essential of causes.

  • Hello you it´s just I absolutely enjoy your great blog, I would feel very special if you allow me to write a review about your amazing webblog on my small iPod Newssite http://www.concretecost.org would you say yes? Yours,

  • Gregory- of course you can review my blog piece- for good or ill I share my experience for public consumption!

  • Tim, I think that’s spam that slipped through the net.

  • Joe- thanks I did try to click on the contact web address and it went into something spam-like- oh well

Tea Parties, Principles and their Application

Thursday, April 16, AD 2009

I’m a big fan of the personal finance speaker & author Dave Ramsey… when our oldest was born nearly five years ago and my wife prepared to stay home to take care of her and her siblings-to-come, I didn’t know how we were going to manage on my income alone; Ramsey’s book and radio show provided us with a straightforward, systematic approach to managing our finances, and for that, I am grateful… his is the talk radio show that I still listen to most.

But when it comes to politics, Dave is far too typical of many mainstream conservatives: he confuses principles for their application, just like Limbaugh, Hannity, et al.

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15 Responses to Tea Parties, Principles and their Application

  • or more on this — especially some concrete examples of such an application — I heartily recommend Grand New Party by Ross Douthat

    Sorry, but that was one of the most tedious bores of a read. The funny thing about that book was that I was actually prepared to disagree with many of the book’s arguments, but what disappointed me was not that their arguments were incorrect, but that they simply didn’t make many arguments. It was 150 pages of questionable history followed by about 50 pages of the most generalized policy prescriptions.

    Douthat and his ilk remind me of the underwear gnomes from South Park.
    Step one: appeal to the middle class.
    Step two: ?
    Step three: Win elections.

    What’s missing from step two is any suggestion about substantive policy that would actually address the middle class. It seems at times as though they’re content with an “I feel your pain” approach to politics that is bereft of any meaning. And when they do offer up specific policy, its manifestly unworkable. If you add up all the tax credits they suggest in the book I think the average American would wind up getting triple their annual salary back in refunds.

    Furthermore, while I would agree that tax cuts are not necessarily an inherent part of the conservative philosophy, resisting the urge to believe that government can solve most of the problems hat we face is. Therefore, opposition to ridiculous government spending is in fact part and parcel of conservatism in the sense that is the practical application of the anti-utopian current within the conservative philosophy. And while it may be true that many Americans want greater government intervention, the prescription should not be for conservatives to simply wave their hands and succumb to the bad policy, but rather we should redouble our efforts and inform and persuade the public as to why that course of action is a bad idea.

    After all, we’re Catholics. Aren’t we supposed to resist the urge to simply follow the whims of the crowd?

  • the prescription should not be for conservatives to simply wave their hands and succumb to the bad policy

    I think that’s the heart of this disagreement, Paul… I certainly agree that opposition to ridiculous government spending is a common application of conservative anti-utopianism, but that doesn’t mean that all government spending is utopian and therefore to be avoided… that’s libertarianism more than it is conservatism. The question is, exactly how ought the government play its appropriate role in support of the common good? I think too often conservatives reflexively presume that no such appropriate role exists, but that’s certainly not the Catholic position.

  • but that doesn’t mean that all government spending is utopian

    No, it is not, but certainly a huge chunk of what we do spend is. Is there any conservative justification for the bloated stimulus package that was just passed, or the even more bloated budget being debated?

    I think too often conservatives reflexively presume that no such appropriate role exists,

    That’s a bit of a straw man, and one that’s been debated here on this blog recently. Personally speaking, I am not an anarchist nor am I opposed to all government spending and/or activity.

  • Is there any conservative justification for the bloated stimulus package that was just passed, or the even more bloated budget being debated?

    No, but that wasn’t the point of my post (or of GNP, as you know). My reference to the tea parties and the focus of their ire (overspending) was merely a contemporary event I used to contextualize my larger point… as I noted, I agree with the sentiment of yesterday’s rallies. My concern is that “lower taxes, less spending” has become an ideological mantra.

    That’s a bit of a straw man, and one that’s been debated here on this blog recently. Personally speaking, I am not an anarchist nor am I opposed to all government spending and/or activity.

    Acknowledged. I didn’t mean to imply that *you* held that view… as I noted, I do that that too many of our fellow conservatives hold it, though. Or at least, that’s the implication of their rhetoric.

  • The tea parties are representative of the Joe The Plumber-ization of America. All the complaining about how the government spends money from people that pay little to no federal income tax. (If you are paying under $10,000 in federal income taxes, you aren’t paying much in my book. FTR, I don’t pay a federal income tax because I have children, and most people with children don’t pay a net tax.)

  • This posting was, indeed, one of the most tedious bores of a read. Don’t you have an editor? Don’t you have a wife?

  • Thanks for the comment, Gabriel… I appreciate your willingness to engage in a thoughtful conversation.

  • all the complaining about how the government spends money from people that pay little to no federal income tax.

    But that, in and of itself, is part of the issue. Nearly half of Americans pay no net income tax, and yet we’re spending trillions and trillions of dollars that will have to be paid back by someone. Well, I’m 32, so I sure as hell have something to worry about because I plan on living quite a while longer, and my 8-week daughter will sure as heck be straddled with paying this back.

    What people seem to be missing is that these protests are as much about spending as they are about taxes. These folks recognize that if we continue to spend as we are currently doing, then inevitably we’re going to be paying a lot more to Uncle Sam. It’s either that or declare nation-wide chapter 11.

  • MZ,

    All the complaining about how the government spends money from people that pay little to no federal income tax. (If you are paying under $10,000 in federal income taxes, you aren’t paying much in my book.

    Not to be combative, but doesn’t that essentially boil down to, “Shut up and enjoy the oligarchy, you plebs!”

    Extrapolating from the amount of taxes I pay now with four kids, I think I’d have to make around 150k in order to pay 10,000 in federal income taxes. Now, I wouldn’t object to making 150k, and it could certainly happen, but I’m not sure that we want to say that only the top 10% of families get to even discuss whether taxes and spending are too high. (And if we did, someone else would probably chime in that they’re too rich to be allowed to have an opinion on whether they should be taxed.)


    I’m not sure that if the general feeling right now is so much that more needs to be spent overall, or simply that more needs to be spent on “essential things”. But I would tend to say that the very basic, “lower taxes, less spending” cry is too simplistic to work very well for conservatives at this point. Or at least, it isn’t enough to rally more than 20-30% of the population.

    The problem to a great extent is probably that conservatives have been so successful in scaling back taxes since 1980 that for a majority of Americans the income tax is no longer all that real a burden. And while some people are willing to get worked up about taxation in general even if it doesn’t hit them very hard, a great many people are willing to sit back and say, “not my problem.”

  • The problem to a great extent is probably that conservatives have been so successful in scaling back taxes since 1980 that for a majority of Americans the income tax is no longer all that real a burden. And while some people are willing to get worked up about taxation in general even if it doesn’t hit them very hard, a great many people are willing to sit back and say, “not my problem.”

    Exactly, Darwin… I wonder how many people remember how much higher income tax rates were back then.

    I concur with your first point… I think of health care, for instance… many (most?) working families find the costs of medical care burdensome, and are looking for help (not necessarily handouts). I think it’s incumbent upon us as conservatives to try to address these real concerns, but from our principles, not a statist approach.

  • Not to be combative, but doesn’t that essentially boil down to, “Shut up and enjoy the oligarchy, you plebs!”

    Not really. The sentiment is more of “My masters fights aren’t mine.”

    I’m not sure that we want to say that only the top 10% of families get to even discuss whether taxes and spending are too high.

    Discuss away. It is akin to men discussing labor and delivery though. As I’m sure you are aware, the wealthy tended to vote for Obama and also tend not to think taxes are too high. The idea that we can’t afford this spending is a nonstarter though. It just isn’t the case that the income tax burden is high by any measure. Conservatives would do better to argue that the spending is imprudent. One can at least make a legitimate argument there.

    Nearly half of Americans pay no net income tax, and yet we’re spending trillions and trillions of dollars that will have to be paid back by someone.

    I don’t know about you, but I get about as much benefit from the feds as the taxes I pay. I don’t engage in interstate commerce. I don’t fly overseas. I don’t depend on our navy to defend my ships from pirates. I don’t think the argument that everyone benefits equally (or even proportionately as a percentage of income) actually holds.

  • It is akin to men discussing labor and delivery though.

    We all have a stake in the economy. Regardless of how much in taxes each individual pays, the general sentiment behind the tea parties is that the current levels of spending the resulting taxation will prove ruinous for all. It may be that a minority of the populace feels this way now, but Obama’s approval ratings are trending downward and movements like this have a way of taking off; witness the property tax revolt of the late ’70s and how it blossomed into the tax-cutting enthusiasm of the early ’80s.

  • It probably also has a great deal to do with where one chooses to define having a stake. The total federal income taxes I pay are well under $10,000, but they are slightly over my total takehome income for an average month. Needless to say, that’s a fair amount of money to me. (And that’s with four kids and a mortgage worth of deductions and tax credits.)

    So one can argue that it’s an argument for our “betters”, but while it’s true that “the rich” voted heavily for Obama, if only people who paid more than $1000 in income taxes the previous year had been allowed to vote, McCain would almost certainly have won.

    And while I agree that taxation does not currently rest that hard on modern “average Americans”, I _do_ think average Americans have reason to be concerned about the fiscal position that we seem to be getting ourselves into at the moment, because paying our way out of it (and the long term economic slowness that may be involved) will end up affecting a lot more than the top 20%.

  • Fiscal madness at the federal level obviously has a major impact on the economy. We cannot pile up the debt we are currently adding fecklessly without it eventually causing the economy to completely cease to grow. Unless the Federal government simply repudiates the debt, or pays the debt in vastly inflated currency through hyper-inflation, either alternative being an economic calamity for the average citizen, there is no way that this debt is not ultimately going to be paid largely by tax increases on not only the wealthy, but also the middle class.

    Of course none of this takes into consideration the fact that the tea bag protests also take aim at taxes and spending at the state and local level. I think many of our readers would be surprised at the high percentage of their income that goes for taxes. Looking at the state, federal and property taxes my wife and I pay adds up to 31% of our income for 2008. This does not include “hidden” taxes which include sales tax, tax on utilities, etc. Pointing to the federal income tax alone merely touches the tip of the tax iceberg for the typical American.

  • DarwinCatholic Says:
    Thursday, April 16, 2009 A.D. at 3:08 pm
    “It probably also has a great deal to do with where one chooses to define having a stake. The total federal income taxes I pay are well under $10,000, but they are slightly over my total takehome income for an average month. Needless to say, that’s a fair amount of money to me. (And that’s with four kids and a mortgage worth of deductions and tax credits.)”.

    Do you include in this the 15% that goes for Social Security? The wickedness of the 15% is that is a flat tax, especially hard on the poor. If you make say $20,000 a year, $3,000 goes out in Soc Sec taxes, half paid by you, half by the employer.

    In the discussions about taxes and the debt, the question might well be raised “where is the money to come from to pay the debt?”. Might it not make more sense to tie debt to particular taxes? The governments seem to be working on a charge card mentality.

Palin, Steele, & Populism

Friday, March 13, AD 2009

Daniel Larison on why conservatives have been critical of Michael Steele, but defended Sarah Palin:

Steele does not have the benefit of a verbose, mistake-prone counterpart to distract us [like Palin did with Biden], but even if he did the reaction to Steele would have been nothing like the response to Palin. In other words, Steele’s blunders on substance are treated as badly damaging and activists insist that they require immediate correction, while Palin’s blunders were spun as imaginatively and desperately as any politician’s answers have ever been spun. This is a bigger problem than pushing unprepared leaders into the spotlight–it is a clear preference for one kind of style, namely the combative pseudo-populist act, over whatever style Steele has at the expense of any consideration of the merits of what these leaders say. The takeaway is that Steele is being ripped apart for making statements that are not terribly different from Palin’s campaign statements on the very same issues, and somehow she is still considered a rising star by the very activists who are ripping Steele.

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15 Responses to Palin, Steele, & Populism

  • I think John Henry’s explanation is much better and more substantive than Larison’s. As John notes, these are very different circumstances. But more importantly, Sarah’s “flubs” were essentially awkward moments during interviews, whereas Steele’s flubs indicate that he holds positions at odds with pro-lifers. It’s not just style, it’s substance.

  • Precisely, Paul. First he says we’re getting tough and pushing the mooshy moderates out. Then flubs bigtime on this CNN show quickly cancelled because no one watching but host and immediate family. But enough to cause ruckus. Specifically- he was baited to dump on Rush. Bad idea to The Base. Then this Catholic school grad started weebling and wobbling on abortion. Now backpedalling and What I Really Meant-ing and oh dear if GOP can’t strike it rich in 2010 why open the doors in the morning. Sarah’s gaffes come from not being accustomed to scrutiny by chattering classes. Next time around she’ll handle it better. Steele is still questionable.

  • John Henry, Paul, and Gerard may be on to something.

    I am just trying to hide my face whenever Mr. Steele stumbles in an interview. Maybe he isn’t polished when answering questions on his feet. Maybe he is just getting adjusted to being under the spotlight.

    Probably we should give him the benefit of the doubt. Stop piling on him and defend him to the hilt. Hopefully Mr. Steele will get his sea legs while being under the spotlight.

    He is human so mistakes can happen. Maybe he’ll be a stud-GOP-Pro-Life-Catholic and deliver both houses of Congress to the Pro-Life camp.

    He should be given the benefit of the doubt. He’s articulate, educated on the faith, and photogenic. All powerful variables that we need to advance the pro-life agenda.

    We should definitely circle the wagons around him, rally to his side, and fight like Macabees. He’s one of our own and we shouldn’t stand idly by while others rip him apart.

  • Possibly, Tito. But the flubs have got to go. Saw Jim Cramer defending his very existence to Jon Stewart last evening. By the 20 minute mark was getting painful. Was prepared to yell at screen see what your lib New York friends think of you now Jim and imagine what Rush endures every single day so knock off the mea culpas and go back to work. Memo to Mr. Steele- no more interviews. The GQ piece was done by Lisa DePaulo- tabloidy journalist who worked her way up from Philadelphia magazine by making current Gov. Fast Eddie Rendell look dopey. And he’s a Dem. Mr. Steele and Mr. Cramer- they do not like you. And they never will. Get over it.

  • I think John Henry nails it:

    People would be defending Steele a lot more if he had been drafted as a national candidate in the middle of a high stakes campaign; and he would be forgiven a lot more if he seemed inarticulate but sound on principles rather than potentially fudging on principles.

  • I don’t entirely buy that Steele is flubbing. In the sense that he isn’t clearly articulating what he wants to say – maybe he is flubbing. But that depends somewhat on what he wants to say!

    It seems pretty clear to me that Steele believes that the fiscal and economic policies of the GOP are ‘winners’ and that the ‘values’ positions are losers. So he is doing his best to soft pedal values and reach toward the middle. Steele clearly wants to put all value issues aside. He only wants to give them just enough lip service to not lose votes he thinks the GOP owns anyway.

    Any hope we might have ever had for the GOP should be promptly forgotten. It is time to seriously work on finding another way to move forward!

  • GNW_Paul,

    I think you’re probably right about Steele, although even he seems confused about what his real position is. That said, I find your conclusion puzzling. Here’s the sequence as I understand it:

    1) Steele sounds squishy/incoherent on pro-life issues.
    2) Steele is widely denounced by the GOP rank and file.
    3) Ergo, you argue, pro-lifers should abandon the GOP.

    Setting aside other legitimate grievances for the moment, could it be that Steele, rather than the GOP base, needs to go?

  • John Henry,

    If only it were just Steele. Looking back to the primaries, it is clear that a large portion of the power structure (money) in the GOP is right there with him. If they are upset with Steele, it is only because he hasn’t managed to not make it obvious that values voters are considered a liability.

    Besides, I don’t think our association (in the public view) with the most extreme elements in the GOP (anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-regulation – again the extremes) does Catholic and family values voters any favors.

  • The GOP is the only game in town for pro-life voters. That is not an opinion but simply a statement of fact. Third party options are an exercise in futility and the Democrats are a lost cause on abortion.

  • Donald,

    You are right.

    Which is exactly why the GOP figures they can sideline us and our issues without losing our votes.

    We need to change the game. Not saying it is easy. But the first thing is the acknowledge that the GOP leadership doesn’t give a rip about us or our issues. They just like our votes.

  • GNW_Paul,

    It depends on what happens the next 4-8 years, and who the candidates are. As bad as Bush was on many issues, I think Roberts and Alito were good picks (time will tell). If so, pro-lifers are one vote away from returning abortion to the states, which in turn creates more opportunities for more restrictions on abortion and ultimately less abortions.

    If the GOP nominates McCain/Steele-style candidates, then pro-lifers have little incentive to turn out for the GOP (a large part of the enthusiasm for Palin in many circles was her perceived strength on pro-life issues). But if it’s someone like Huckabee or Jindal who appears to be genuinely concerned about pro-life issues, then I think pro-lifers have good reasons to support the GOP. In the meantime, even some Congressional Republicans might be useful to oppose piecemeal implementation of FOCA-type legislation. To be clear, I don’t think FOCA is going to pass, but I think some aspects of FOCA may be included in other legislation.

  • The answer is clear. WE can not let the GOP meander into the pro-death camp, it is not time to “wait and see” what the GOP will do… it is time to stand up and LEAD the GOP to be more strongly in the pro-life camp. Get involved in your precinct, district and county. These are relatively small organizations, it only takes a few of us with loud voices to move them into a stronger pro-life position.

    When the primaries come around help the most pro-life candidate in each position from dog-catcher to POTUS any way you can. With a 100% pro-life leader and the evidence of Obama’s pro-death position laid bare, go after your liberal Catholic friends, confront them on the hypocrisy of supporting Obama after his evil actions.

  • Agreed with all of the above, but adding that we should also do everything in our power to keep the highly endangered species of Pro-Life Democrat from becoming completely extinct.

    Pro-life is an issue that CANNOT be allowed to become the exclusive “property” of a single political party. At the very least, there should be as many pro-life Democrats as there are pro-choice Republicans.

    I do not think the Democratic Party is necessarily a lost cause on the abortion issue, at least not in the long term, especially with Hispanic voters (who tend to be either Catholic or evangelical Protestant) becoming more and more of a force. One thing’s for sure, writing off the Democrats as a lost cause isn’t going to improve things.

    Please note that I am NOT talking about the wishy-washy Doug Kmiec kind of “pro life” Democrat, I mean genuinely pro-life Democrats, like the late Bob Casey Sr., and Glenn Poshard. (Imagine the grief we Illinois residents would have been spared for the last 10 years if only we had elected Poshard governor!) Yes, I know Casey is dead and Poshard is out of politics, but all the more reason to start working on getting more people like them in the game!

    Although I consider myself Republican, if given a choice between a Bob Casey Sr. type of pro-life Democrat vs. a pro-life Republican, I’d choose the Democrat, because I think pro-life Democrats are in greater need of support.

  • That’s a good point Elaine. As I’ve written elsewhere, I would be happy to vote for a pro-life Dem; unfortunately, there is frequently some false advertising involved (e.g. the current Sen. Casey). Still, it’s important to support genuinely pro-life Dems whenever possible. As the African-American experience with Democrats and urban education shows, it’s never good for a political party to not have to worry about your votes.

  • Pingback: Daniel Larison, Talking Sense « The American Catholic

Most People Are Not Like You

Wednesday, February 18, AD 2009

Almost no matter who you are, the above is almost certainly true. Yet it’s a fact that few people seem to readily grasp.

I was struck by this as I continued to read the exchange between Ross Douthat and Will Wilkinson over whether secular libertarian intellectuals should all pack up and join the Democrats. Will predicts:

…I think intellectual capital flight from the right really does threaten the GOPs future success. If Republicans keep bleeding young intellectual talent because increasingly socially liberal twenty-somethings simply can’t stand hanging around a bunch of superstitious fag-bashers, then the GOP powers-that-be might start to panic and realize that, once the last cohort of John Birchers die, they’ve got no choice but to move libertarian on social issues. Maybe. I like to imagine.

This reads like it comes from some alternate universe, to me,

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19 Responses to Most People Are Not Like You

  • People like Wilkinson have been crying out since 1976 that the GOP needs to go liberal on the social issues. That was John Anderson’s theme in the 1980 Republican primaries and fueled his third party run in the general election. It is all rot. Most republicans are fiscal and social conservatives and believe in a strong defense. A political party does not achieve success by alienating its base.

  • “And the majority of people who actually vote (and thus determine which party is in charge at a given time) are so woefully uninformed that making intellectual statements about parties as a whole is nearly impossible”.

    Does anyone else find this woefully superior?

  • Does anyone else find this woefully superior?

    Well, it’s true that I’d feel pretty comfortable saying that simply by having the interest to read that much about politics, regular readers of this blog are probably in the top 10-20% of voters as far as being informed. So yes, I suppose I am rather elitist in that sense. Though for what it’s worth, I’d also be ready to say that being informed about politics is not necessarily indicative of much of anything in regards to one’s worth as a person or overall intelligence.

    Perhaps I’m overestimating based on the sort of “man on the street” interviews which those on either side of the political spectrum are often able to use to point to how idiotic the other sides voters are (recall the YouTube that was going around where a local radio station got a bunch of Obama voters to voice their support for Obama’s opposition to Roe v. Wade, and even his choice of Palin as a running mate), but I do tend to think that the average voter has a very, very simplistic understanding of politics and economics (and the stands that the candidates have taken on them.)

  • Winston Churchill said that the best argument against democracy was a five minute talk with the average voter. I have noticed that when I discuss budgetary woes of the government with people who do not follow these issues very closely, invariably they will say that there would be plently of money if we didn’t give so much to foreigners. When I point out that foreign aid is a miniscule portion of our budget they will often refuse to believe me. I have never been interested in professional sports and my knowledge of that subject is small. I am afraid that a substantial percentage of the voters have the same attitude towards politics and the functioning of the government. I do not think it is elitist to point this out, but merely factual. Needless to say, this does not cause me to think that intellectual elites in our society make better political judgments. I agree with Buckley that I would rather be governed by people chosen at random from a phone book than the faculty of an elite academic institution. Well educated people are just as likely as ill-informed people to make their political judgments on the basis of myths, prejudices and passions, perhaps more so since so much of higher education has been politicized.

  • Remember the much-maligned “values voters” of 2004? Well, gee, what happened to them all? Did they all take up recreational drugs and wife-swapping during the past 4 years and thus social conservatism is now on its last legs?

    I don’t think this past election had much to do with social conservatism at all. It was decided by the economy, above all, and by the fact that Obama ran a very good campaign (and had the MSM in his back pocket) and McCain ran a very poor one. (Other factors: the GOP learned nothing from the kicking it got in 2006 and so was seen as Dem-lite and the media successfully demonized Bush – who certainly made his mistakes.)

    One thing I do believe is that the conservatives made a great error in ceding the culture to the Left. As a result, we have kids who are indoctrinated in public schools, exposed to all sorts of garbage in the media, and have reached maturity thinking the party of “freedom” is the one which wants to expand government into every reach of life and the GOP is the party of white guys who yearn to oppress everybody. How the heck you reverse that at this stage in the game is beyond me. The only thing I can hope for this that once these Obama-smitten young folk actually get out of college and are paying taxes, the burning issues of gay marriage and pot legalization will recede in importance. It’s struck me before that that “political correctness” came to the fore in prosperous times. And it took hold most strongly in those parts of the country with high percentages of well-to-do upper middle class people with the luxury to worry about sexist language, recycling, “a woman’s right to choose” etc, etc. Real estate ain’t cheap in Berkeley on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

    P.J. O’Rourke was a Maoist in college. Then he got his first job and took a look at what was withheld and lo, a conservative was born. And the GOP didn’t have to jettison its pro-life plank or become “cooler than thou” to bring him around.

  • Oops, that should be “Berkeley or the Upper West Side of Manhattan.”

  • “P.J. O’Rourke was a Maoist in college.”

    When he told his rock-ribbed Republican grandmother that he was a Maoist she said “Just as long as you aren’t a Democrat dear”. Looking back on this time O’Rourke said: “I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a “learning experience.” Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a “learning experience.” It makes me feel less stupid.”

  • Well educated people are just as likely as ill-informed people to make their political judgments on the basis of myths, prejudices and passions, perhaps more so since so much of higher education has been politicized

    Very true, and what is wearisome is that these people think they’re rational and expremely knowledgable when all they’re doing is expressing the fashionable prejudices of the day. Mac down at the truck stop might have some ignorant prejudices, but Mac usually don’t think he knows everything about everything. Whereas I’ve had the most frustrating conversations on and off-line with college-educated people who “know” belief in God is idiotic, the Pope is a Nazi, the Founding Fathers were contemptible racists, Republicans hate poor people, animals should have the same rights as people do – who said there is no belief so foolish an intellectual has not held it?

  • “expremely”??? Was I trying to type extremely or supremely? Actually, I rather like “expremely.”

    (I really need to break down and get me some reading glasses. I’m at that age,…,)

  • “who said there is no belief so foolish an intellectual has not held it?”

    True Donna. My late mother and father never attended college although they made certain that my brother and I did. I never met a professor at college or law school with as much common sense as my parents displayed to me every day. The education I received at college and law school was mere icing on the cake for the more important lessons I learned from my factory worker parents. I just wish they had been alive to help their lawyer son and his librarian wife raise their own kids. I don’t think we have done badly, but input from them would have been invaluable.

  • Agreed, Donna. One of the reasons I’m suspicious of the technocrat culture which so many on the left seem enamored of (Europe envy, I guess) is that I think the elites generally know rather less about a situation than they think.

    Doesn’t stop me from being something of an elitist, but at least I’m an elitist who doesn’t think that knowing a great deal about a topic means that I should make everyone’s decisions for them.

    To know much is to know you don’t know everything.

  • Donald, since we appear to have similiar tastes in humorists, I think you’ll appreciate Iowahawk’s take on the Archbishop of Canterbury, written in Chaucerian English:


    It won high praise from Christopher Johnson (who I pray swims the Tiber one day).


  • Ha! Donna if Iowahawk isn’t making a mint from his brilliance in the “real world” there is no justice. The man is consistently the funniest writer on the net. The Archbishop is a prime example of the worthlessness of education without an ounce of common sense.

  • Donna V.,

    How about a pic for your ID?

  • He knows people like him and I know people like me. But neither means that all young intellectuals are like us.

    While I agree with your broader point about the nature of political coalitions, I think there are solid grounds for believing Will’s intellectual and educational formation is more typical of young intellectuals than yours (or mine).

  • Tito: I confess – I have no idea how to post a picture here. There – now you all know there is no way I can be a member of the techocratic elite:-)

    DarwinCatholic: Good point. I would add that we live in a time when verbal glibness is frequently mistaken for wisdom. It isn’t just the honest but gulliable townfolk who get taken in by the snake oil peddlers.

    Donald: I had the good fortune to meet Dave Burge (Iowahawk) at an informal get-together of conservative bloggers and blog readers held in Chicago in 2004. He looks like a pretty hip fellow, a guy who would have been playing the bongos in a bebop jazz band 50 years ago (the goatee gives him a Maynard G. Krebs vibe); but he said that the tension between the small town Iowa values he was raised with and the Chicagoland liberals he is now surrounded by inspires much of his writing. I didn’t talk to him for long, but we found we both have a weakness for cheesy low-budget 1950’s sci-fi flicks. A very affable, pleasant man. I don’t think he was making a lot of money from his writing then; I hope that has changed.

  • Above post is yet another echo of longtime New Yorker Moon Pitcha critic Pauline Kael. Who remarked that she was surprised that Tricky Dick swamped Goo Goo George in 1972 presidential election because nobody she knew voted for Trickster. Above essayist apparently polled limited number of people or own self for conclusions. Lies damned lies and statistics I say. I could say that Current Apostle for Hope and Change is worst thing to happen to Democratic party. Looks about true. Even though House Speaker La Pelosi is real President and allows Hope/Change Apostle to do her bidding as she sees fit. But- proof of my own. Many of y’all know that last Friday night, Phila. Police Officer John Pawlowski murdered- fifth officer killed in a year. Within 12 hours, Facebook group page set up to memorialize him. More than 11000 members as I write including own self. And my darling brilliant goddaughter Regina. And many many other young folks who admire and respect our fine law enforcement pros and mourn Officer Pawlowski- Mass of Christian Burial on Friday noon at Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Thus I have confidence in this nation’s future.

  • I know that most of the folks I know with any sense don’t talk to folks who look like they’re doing “man on the street” interviews– and that’s both for the liberal and conservative folks.

  • “DarwinCatholic: Good point. I would add that we live in a time when verbal glibness is frequently mistaken for wisdom. It isn’t just the honest but gulliable townfolk who get taken in by the snake oil peddlers”.

    I believe the subject was exhaustively discussed by Socrates in THE SOPHIST.

    [Note; The Sophists were the lawyers of their day. They could argue both sides of a case with equal conviction].

True Audacity

Tuesday, December 9, AD 2008

New Catholic Congressman

President-Elect Obama used the word audacity a lot in his rise to the presidency but how much audacity does it take to be a liberal state senator, representing a liberal district, in a liberal state? True audacity is going against the odds and against the consensus on pundits. That is exactly what Joseph Cao did in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. Cao is a devout Catholic Republican Vietnamese immigrant in an overwhelmingly African American and Democrat congressional district. Although his opponent is undoubtably corrupt politician facing serious indictments, he was still not given a chance at winning. Unfortunately, voters, especially it seems African American voters, often overlook these flaws in the name of some sort of racial solidarity. Nevertheless, Cao won! Let’s pray that he can help rebuild the wonderful city of New Orleans and provide true opportunity for its amazing people. Cao, like Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin, is already getting attention from Republican leadership as the future of the party.

After Katrina My HometownAlthough Cao probably hasn’t even had a chance to organize his staff, yesterday I heard Al Sharpton say that he would be working to “fix” this situation. Seems for Sharpton and his ilk working with a person who cares about the district and its people is trumped by partisan and racial politics.

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