Now that America is post-Election 2008, the news media and political pundits — as well as both the Democratic and Republican parties — busy themselves with a host of questions. What went wrong? What went right? What could we have done differently? How can loss ground be made up in the 2010 Midterm Elections and again in the 2012 Presidential Elections? In many ways, people are baffled by the outcome of this election. A few people claimed that there was no way Barack Obama could win as he is the most liberal candidate to run for the United States’ highest-ranking office. Obama not only won, he carried the three major swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida and topped it off by turning Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia from “red” to “blue.” Clinton made the argument in the primary season that no Democrat since 1916 has made it to Pennsylvania Avenue without winning West Virginia. Obama didn’t carry West Virginia. It isn’t conclusive yet, but it seems that he even loss Missouri by a small margin — a state virtually no president (except one) has made it to the White House without winning for over a century.
Cardinal Ratzinger once said in an interview that the Church may have to shrink, but it would be a purer more faithful Church if this were to happen (1). I’ve been reflecting on these words since Election Day, especially in reference to the many Catholics that voted for the most unabashedly pro-choice (pro-abortion) candidate in memory. A vote for Obama by a Catholic says something about the Catholic, meaning they were poorly catechized. Why then are these Catholics still in the Church if they don’t believe even the basic tenets of faith?
Well it’s a complicated issue to tackle and one that I have been muddling through recently. But first I want to make it clear to my readers that I don’t want a smaller Church. Though I do want the majority, if not all, Catholics to love their faith and practice it. Yet we don’t have that in the American Church. Whose responsibility, and/or blame, should this be assigned to? How do we respond to this predicament?
I wish I had the answers and unfortunately I have more questions. Is it our parents that failed to pass along the faith along with the parish priest and school? Or does it reside with the bishop? What I do have is some analysis and commentary, and it isn’t pretty.
So the Republican Party is reeling, trying to find its voice and a clear path forward in the aftermath of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad defeat. While initially we hear that the party will be led by fresh faces, such as Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal, and that forerunners for 2012 will also include Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, this brief noise has been covered over with the deafening sounds of ligaments snapping from too much finger-pointing. These days, if you want to know who is old-guard in the Republican party, you merely need to see who has his index finger splinted and bandaged.
Today, regarding Kmiec (et al.):
But to claim that a candidate who seems primed to begin disbursing taxpayer dollars in support of abortion and embryo-destructive research as soon as he enters the White House somehow represented the better choice for anti-abortion Americans on anti-abortion grounds is an argument that deserves to met, not with engagement, but with contempt.
He echoes my weekend frustration.
Cardinal Francis George, speaking this morning as president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, said all Americans should “rejoice” that a country which once tolerated slavery has elected an African-American as president – and, in the same breath, he issued a blunt challenge to the new administration on abortion.
“If the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, that African Americans were other people’s property and somehow less than persons, were still settled constitutional law, Mr. Obama would not be President of the United States,” George said.
“Today, as was the case a hundred and fifty years ago, common ground cannot be found by destroying the common good,” he said.