It is a common phenomenon. When things start going bad in a group, they sometimes turn on each other. For the hard Right Catholics, is has been a bad time. A strong majority of Catholics rejected their demands and voted for Barack Obama. The President received an honorary degree at Notre Dame. Senator Kennedy was given has Catholic funeral with two Cardinals participating. Two conservative bishops who were becoming pastoral disasters were moved out as the episcopal leaders of the local church -- Bishop Martino of Scranton fired and Archbishop Burke, formerly of St. Louis, moved to a bureaucratic desk job in Rome. The American bishops continue their witness to unborn life, as they should, but also uphold their historic call for national health insurance. They have refused to play along with the right-wing attempt to kill health care reform.
Now, feuding factions in the opposition to Notre Dame have turned on each other. One group -- NDResponse -- seeing that the critics of the President's address at Notre Dame were becoming their own worst enemy -- stepped in to take control of the messaging shortly before the President's visit. Probably a smart move giving how off the wall the protesters were becoming.
NDRespone cut a deal with the University that they would be the sole and exclusive campus protest group. They and anyone they declared part of their group had permission to be on campus the day of the President's address. They were clear what conditions had to be met to be part of their group. They sent this message out:
Concerning Signs and Graphic Images:
Any person willing to respectfully and constructively demonstrate their disapproval of the University’s decision to honor President Obama at commencement is welcomed to stand alongside students at this rally. Graphic images and signs not in keeping with the tone of this rally will not be permitted on Notre Dame’s campus. ND Response reserves the right to have individuals who do not follow student requests escorted from campus by security personnel.
In other words, you play by their rules or not at all.
Well, about 88 protesters were too extreme for NDResponse. They were arrested and now they want amnesty. This has now become a cause celebre for them. One faction of the Right Wing arrested and expelled from campus by another faction of the Right wing. The Right is turning in on itself.
It gets worse. Tomorrow, Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and his supporters are staging a protest outside the offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to dissuade them from their support of health care reform. They will be rallying against the “temptations of Socialism” and threatening that bishops who support reform may “lose their souls.”