Monday, March 9, 2009

DOWNFALL OF THE CATHOLIC RIGHT

Deal Hudson is Depressed

It is not a good time for the Catholic Right’s Ward-Heeler-in-Chief, Deal Hudson. Hudson admits the Republican Party wants no part of the failed strategy of publicly attacking the faith of Democratic politicians. After a dust up where Hudson’s organization sent out a fundraising letter signed by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) attacking the faith of several Democratic members of Congress, Brownback disowned the letter, saying it was not authorized. Hudson came close to calling Brownback a liar. Regardless of if Brownback did or did not authorize it, he is now running so far away from the ‘attack your opponent’s faith’ strategy, that the Senator is now embracing Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s nominee for HHS Secretary. The Catholic Right is outraged at the betrayal, though no one outside that narrow world seems to care.

In a way, Hudson’s admission that Catholics, unlike maybe non-union white evangelicals, are swing voters and not wedded to the GOP, might be self-serving. It makes him necessary for the GOP; that is, assuming Hudson has an effective plan to win Catholic voters. His hard edged tactics backfired in the 2008 election, sending a majority of Catholic voters into the arms of the Obama/Biden ticket.

A little history –after years of expensive but failed attempts by the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition to reach out to Catholics, Hudson and the Karls (Rove and Keating) finally moved in a different direction. Instead of trying to build a joint initiative of white Protestant and white Catholic conservatives, overcoming all of the cultural and theological differences between them, they built a coalition of wealthy Catholics conservative on economic issues and Catholic social conservatives. The former provided the money and the later the troops. Finally the Catholic Right had a well financed organization independent of the Catholic Bishop’s broad social vision on life issues, peace, economic justice and family.

This alliance worked in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Progressive Catholics were slow to respond. First, they were uncomfortable with direct appeals to vote based on religious denomination. Further, they viewed it as improper to have partisan organizations claiming to speak for the Church. By 2008, they got over those reservations. Progressive Catholics set up their own counterparts to the Catholic Right organizations.

Hudson, who was quoted Friday in Dan Gilgoff's 'God and Country' column which appears in U.S. News and Report, admitted when asked about their effectiveness: “Now you're forcing me to say nice things about the people who like to beat me up. From a political point of view, those groups made a big difference. When you can get what is taken as a Catholic organization in the mainstream press supporting your guy, that adds a whole new element. We were successful in 2000 and 2004 in keeping the [liberal Catholic groups] Voice of the Faithful and Call to Action at bay because we were able to label them dissident. We haven't been able to do that with Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance.”

21 comments:

Susan said...

Narrow world as in narrow gate, Katherine? Where have I heard that term "narrow gate" before?? Oh, yes, from the mouth of Jesus Christ. He is the one you should follow. Not Barack "Mr. I support creating embryos to kill them" Obama. The right is far from dead, Katherine. I would not be so confident if I were you.

Betty said...

Throwing Brownback, Steele, McCain and everyone else under the bus, Susan? Pretty soon it will be just you and Rush. haha

Anonymous said...

And the brillant opposition:

Quote of the day

"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs. We don't want that.... And certainly that is something that we ought to be talking about, but let's take care of business first. People are out of jobs."



-- Rep. Eric Cantor, (R-Va.) on CNN

Susan said...

Betty, as usual your retort is just brilliant. haha

Anonymous said...

Another anti-life measure by the new adminstration. Federal funding of ESSR.

How many anti-life measures is that now since he has taken the reigns?

Sean said...

Yep, on ESCR, Obama has the same position as John McCain.

On the other hand he is advancing life by ending the war in Iraq, supporting health care for children and pregant women, protecting women from wage discrimination, and ending torture.

Anonymous said...

Sean said: "Yep, on ESCR, Obama has the same position as John McCain.On the other hand he is advancing life by ending the war in Iraq, supporting health care for children and pregant women, protecting women from wage discrimination, and ending torture."

Obama is clearly more anti-life, just check out his NARAL record compared with McCain's. ESCR is the only item that destroys life that where they are similar.

The reality is:

getting rid of the conscience protection clause for healthcare workers, rescinding the Mexico City policy, federal funding of ESCR. I believe Obama is well ahead of McCain on the anti-life bandwagon. Look, McCain is history and I don't care to discuss him since he is not our president.

Also, with respect to the war, if Obama pulls out too quickly which he is already waffling on, because he knows he has to leave troops there too for a period of time longer than his promise; he is increasing the military presence in Afghanistan. Perhaps a few more lives will be lost there. You must be disappointed in him.

Where is the healthcare for the baby that is to be aborted? Last time I checked a baby is a child. The words healthcare and abortion do not belong together in the same sentence unless to show how they are diametrically opposed to one another.

Sean, do you agree with the federal funding of ESCR and the other anti-life measures I noted above?

Betty said...

Look, McCain is history

Your whole Republican Party is history!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Betty, I guess you did not read my post carefully. I said "McCain is history". I guess you are married to the Democratic party. I am not married to any party. My values and principles dictate how I vote. If a truely pro-life Democrat (actions with legislation reinforcement following his rhetoric) ran against a pro-abort or so-called pro-choice" Republican, I would not be voting for the Republican in that instance and would vote for the Democrat.

I don't see that happening since the radical left who embraces the culture of death will not support such a person.

Do you support the policies as indicated in my last post? Do you vote principle or party first?

Betty said...

I said "McCain is history".

Yep. And I said McCain and the whole Republican Party are history. it will be decades before they are a serious political force again.

Paul Bradford said...

The Catholic News Agency published a report today of a dustup between Fr. Bernard Healy of the Rhode Island Catholic and Catholics United.

I don't know if the Catholic Right is in decline, but their still able to kick up some dirt.

Katherine said...

Crass stuff like that is what has put them in the sorry state they are in today.

pascha said...

Yes, they are crass, arrogant, overly zealous, and many of them are meaner than junkyard dogs. I've tried all sorts of strategies to get them to abandon their destructive demeanor (after all they are still our brothers and sisters) but I've found that only makes them more adamant and strident. It seems that they want to feel persecuted and besieged. My sense is that they only feel fulfilled when drive more and more fellow Catholics away from the faith. It is very sad. I don't at all feel like laughing at people who seem to enjoy shooting themselves and each other in the foot, the leg, and sundry other body parts because in so doing they are destroying the Body of Christ - our Church.

Anonymous said...

You are really laughable, Betty. The election results were 52 to 45 percent. Does that make the Republicans dead for decades to come???? Johnson beat Goldwater 61 to 38. Now that was a landslide. Nixon beat McGovern 60 to 37. That, too, was a landslide. This past election hardly compares to those. 45 percent of the voters voted against Obama. That is hardly a small number and does not mean the right is dead. I would bet you anything that by 2010 even many of the people who voted for Obama will be fed up with him.....starting with the teacher's unions!!!!!

Betty said...

Sure 45 percent of the voters voted against Obama. Since the election, Obama's approval rating has skyrocketed. Now only 28% disapprove. Rush Limbaugh has seized control of the GOP (Michael Steele is "too liberal" for them). They lost on the Stimulus, they lost on SCHIP, they lost on Lilly Ledbetter, they lost on the Omnibus. They lost on tobacco regulation. They lost on cotninuing the Iraq war.

Jindal was a disaster in his speech. Forget the voters, nowdays. Republicans are lucky if their own momma likes them.

Brian said...

Betty,

Americans of all political persuasions are usually fair and will give the new president a chance. Obama's popularity is about the same as George W. Bush's was in March of 2001.

If Obama's economic policies fail (and I hope they don't), Americans will try the Republicans again starting in 2010.

To say that they will be out of power for decades is simply nonsense.

Katherine said...

If I can interject here.

Most Americans of all political persuasions are usually fair and will give the new president a chance. However, in the present time, the conservative movement is divided between the fair-minded set (which seems to include Chairman Steele, but I think he could be a bit firmer) and those who have said they hope the President fails, or who are engaged in continued bitter, personal attacks on the President (easily found all over the internet).

This division within the conservative movement probably makes it impotent until it is resolved. There is tremendous good will and support for the President (apart from those obsessed about his middle name, questioning his place of birth, calling him a socialist or running a Phony FOCA campaign). But politically, he and the Democratic Party have an additional safety net should that good will cool. Namely that even if more mixed opinions emerge about him and the Democratic Party, the general public is horrified at the rhetoric and tactics of the right wing as well as their lack of substantive policy alternatives to the Administration.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like the bitter, personal attacks on Bush, Katherine?? This is hardly one-sided behavior!

shiloh said...

A few comments: Generically dems beat reps by 6 pts. in 2006 and by 10.5 pts. in 2008.

Reagan, after the recession of 1982, had a job approval rating of 41% and yet (2) years later he beat Mondale 59% to 41%. Why, because the voters still blamed Carter for the bad economy and Mondale was Carter light easily the worst pres candidate of the 20th century, I digress :) and Reagan had the power of incumbency!

Sooo, imo, just like Carter was a very weak pres and the reps used him as a whipping boy for the past (30) years, Bush, being a disastrous pres also, will be used by the dems for the next (30) years. And just like Carter lost a generation of voters to the reps, Bush has lost a generation of voters to the dems. Thanx George!

btw, just how does one take a job approval rating of 90% after 9/11 to @ 22% in some polls just before the 2008 election. And I quote Peggy Noonan, "George Bush has destroyed the republican party!" and unfortunately for the reps, there are no Reagan's on the horizon.

Yes indeed, the trend lines don't look good for reps ie younger voters and minorities and independents. Plus their base of evangelicals is shrinking and older voters will of course continue to dwindle as time passes.

According to census statistics, Hispanics will be the majority race in America by 2042. Be afraid, be very afraid ;)

but, but, but reps have Palin, Jindal, Boehner, Cantor, Bachmann, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coultergeist, Malkin, Beck, Savage etc. etc. to lead them out of the wilderness ... Oh the humanity! ;)

Oh I forgot Michael Steele lol

and reps, you do realize that a young, relatively inexperienced, bi-racial democrat got 53% of the vote in a country which has a history of 400 years of oppression towards African-Americans. Quite the sea change. There must have been many die hard reps who were counting on the Bradley Effect to help McCain eke out a win over Obama. Sorry!

Not only did Obama win, he won IN, VA and bleeping NC !!!

If the economy does improve and reps nominate Palin or Jindal in 2012 it will be 1984 all over again in reverse for the dems.

Interesting to note Reagan got 54.5 million votes in 1984 and Mondale got 37.5. Obama got 69.5 million and McCain got 60 million. so doing the quick math. McCain got 5.5 million more votes than Reagan, but Obama got (((32))) million more votes than Mondale. A shift/difference of 26.5 million votes between 1984 and 2008. Again, thanx George and thank you Obama for being the best candidate/campaigner since Ronald Reagan.

Did I mention all the trend lines are in the democrats favor!

It's kinda a catch-22 for the reps, if the economy improves a landslide for Obama in 2012 and if the economy doesn't improve, Obama may still win because many rep leaders ie Limbaugh ;) are rooting for Obama to fail and of course the whole country will fail if the economy continues to go south. Plus, presidential elections are all about the candidates and reps have Palin, Jindal etc. ie very weak candidates and Obama will have the power of incumbency. The ying and yang of politics.

In the past, the reps have always been more organized and united plus they had more money and the dems kept nominating god awful candidates like McGovern, Carter who barely won in 1976 after blowing a (30) pt. lead, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

In 2008 the dems had more money, a better candidate, although as I said young, inexperienced and bi-racial and the past (8) years of Bush and his destroying of the economy to help Obama easily win.

Oh yes, this blog is Catholics for Obama/Biden ie separation of church and state people, separation of church and state!

Those founding fathers really had their **** together, eh :)

take care, blessings

p.s. fixednoise ie fox news should give Limbaugh his own prime time show, sure to be a ratings winner w/the far right wingnuts and also sure to keep the republicans in the minority for the next 20/30 years.

See, a win/win situation, I crack myself up!

ciao

Anonymous said...

Gee, just mention Bush in passing, and you can't stop yourself from Rush-ing to his defense.

A mismanaged war, a ruined economy, giveaways to oil companies, disregard for the environment and the rights of workers.

Just keep reminding the American voters how much you still are in line with Bush.

Anonymous said...

No one is defending Bush. You can't honestly admit that the attacks on him were bitter and
personal? I guess that behavior is only condemned when it is aimed at Obama. Double standard maybe?