Saturday, August 28, 2004

We Believe That Republicanism Begins at the Moment of Misconception 

Amy Sullivan, filling in for Kevin Drum at Political Animal, is rightly mystified by the inexplicable lack of Catholic dudgeon over the coming week-long parade of Babykillers for Bush:
Look at the line-up for next week's Republican Convention. On three out of the four evenings, the primetime programming stars a high-profile Republican Catholic who also happens to be pro-choice. Between Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Pataki, their states are responsible for 35 percent of the abortions performed in the U.S. And yet you'll hear nary a peep of protest about this from the conservative Catholic League, a supposedly "non-partisan" organization that has been frothing in continuous outrage over John Kerry's pro-choice leanings.

The dirty little secret about these groups is that they don't demand that Catholic politicians -- who, according to church teaching, should be held to a higher standard because of their visible status -- conform to all church positions on issues like the death penalty or war or immigration reform or combatting poverty. And they don't really care if PCRCs stray from church teaching on abortion (sounds like you need to read Evangelium Vitae a bit more carefully, guys...)

What they do care about is defeating Democrats. Some of them don't even try to gloss over that fact. Deal Hudson (the now-disgraced and resigned former head of Catholic outreach for the Bush/Cheney campaign) told the Washington Post last spring that "he believes the denial of Communion should begin, and end, with Kerry" . . . .

How many reporters do you think are going to ask Rudy Giuliani or George Pataki or Arnold Schwarzenegger if they should refrain from taking communion? Or will call up the bishops of these men and ask whether these PCRCs should be denied communion? Shouldn't it be a story that Republicans get a pass for the sole reason that they are Republicans? And that certain conservative Catholic organizations only care about abortion when they can use the issue to knock around Democrats?

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