Thursday, March 27, 2008


The so-called Catholic vote in PA

This article deserves more time and mockery but our governments’ annual assaults on our privacy – namely reporting for income tax purposes – is otherwise occupying much of my time. The AP has a report in the Washington Post that tells the story that ain’t: Catholic Vote Critical for Dems in Pa.

The article, centered in Scranton, is mostly anecdotal which means it really offers no meaningful insight into just how Pennsylvania Democratic Catholics – as Catholics – intend to vote. Nor can it – the days of Catholics voting consciously as Catholics has long since passed – if, in fact, it ever really was there. (Maybe when John Kennedy ran, but that was way before my voting days.)

Particularly irksome though is how the authors paint the stances of some politicians:

“…some U.S. bishops were outspoken in criticizing Catholic politicians who support abortion rights in conflict with church teaching, including 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.”

“President Bush, a Methodist who opposes abortion rights, won 52 percent of the Catholic vote against Kerry, the practicing Catholic, in 2004.”

“Like his father, the younger Casey opposes abortion rights.”

This reflects either the reporters' biases or ignorance. Opposition to abortion is fueled by the belief that the unborn child to be destroyed in the abortion process is an innocent human life deserving of our protection. It is decidedly not a haphazard “well-I-think-I’ll-oppose-this-right” stance. Even if the reporters believe the unborn child is just a clump of cells - no more deserving of state protection than a wart on a finger - you'd think they could tone down their ego long enough to recognize that other viewpoints are not just conceived in reaction to their's.

Side Notes: “In Pennsylvania, many Democrats were outraged in 1992 when party leaders denied Gov. Casey a prime-time spot to speak out against abortion at the Democratic convention that nominated Clinton's husband.”

That was 16 years ago; anyone think the Democratic Party’s tolerance for ideological diversity has increased since then? I wonder what Sen. Lieberman would say about that?

From the “We’re Everywhere” Department: The Casey’s referred to above are the late former Pennsylvania governor, Bob Casey and his son, Senator Bob Casey, Jr. – both graduates of Holy Cross. They come from Scranton, whose mayor, Chris Doherty, is also a Holy Cross grad. Mayor Doherty’s nephew, Pat Doherty, is the starting point guard for the Holy Cross basketball team.

Well, it's Gender equality time...we can't vote ourselves into the priesthood but maybe, with God's blessing...we can reign in the Whitehouse! I wonder how well Bill can decorate?
It's frustrating and I don't remember when it happened. At some point (I think in the 80's) there was a decision made at the the Post that since the Roe v. Wade was decided - abortion was now a "right" - and consequently they would portray the sides as "pro abortion rights" and "anti abortion rights" instead of "pro-choice" and "pro-life."
No substantive "right of privacy" exists in the federal constitution for sexual/reproductive health matters, period. Blackmun's terrible opinion in Roe makes that clear; he admits it, then creates it out of sheer judicial arrogance.

It's time that my fellow liberals stop pretending it's there. It's not. We should write an amendment. A strong one. Or solid federal statutes, though federal jurisdiction over this area is suspect. But an amendment that defangs Leviathan and keeps "abortion defense" out of the litany of tackiness that one hears in attorney ads for "DWI Defense, Divorce Defense, etc." - works for me. One that keeps district attorneys from making careers out of prosecuting women and their doctors, instead of car thieves, rapists and burglars.

We liberals need to get on the stick. Reporters are a disappointing bunch but no worse than most liberals (not that reporters are generally liberal-leaning, just generally lazy.)

In Alaska, there is a state constitutional right to be "left alone." This comes closer. Let's federalize that one, by statute or amendment. "Make believe" is not the politics of a grown adult, and it's on the basis of our collective (gulp!) adulthood that we should chain Leviathan's jaw shut.
SD - you're right; it's editorializing masked as a style manual.

Bruce - This seems to be an area the states are more than competent to handle - in our own MD, a discarded Roe would have zippo effect on abortion access for Marylanders. But any federal amendment that would re-guarantee my right to not have the feds poke about my life is okay with me.
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