TOUGH TIMES FOR
POLITICALLY RIGHT WING CATHOLICS
It is tough times for the Catholic Right in their efforts to influence American elections. The granddaddy of this movement, Deal Hudson, admitted that “same-sex marriage doesn’t raise the temperature of the bulk of Catholic Mass-going voters.” He advises conservatives to use other issues to get Catholics to vote Republican. Notice he didn’t even say gay rights in general. Just a few years ago conservative Catholics were fighting for laws to put homosexuals in jail and to allow any boss to fire gay people at will. They now consider it highly rude to bring up this history, having settled for the more controversial issue of same sex marriage. And now even that doesn’t sell. Also embarrassed by data showing a lack of Catholic support for their agenda, four years ago they started talking only of frequent Mass going Catholics to move the numbers in their direction. Even with that attribute, Hudson still finds the issue a loser.
Acting not on principle, but out of political hackery, Catholic conservatives tried to attack the President on the issue of Jerusalem. While Obama supports long standing American policy that Jerusalem is the de facto capital of Israel but that the future of Jerusalem should be the subject of a negotiated settlement, this is more pro-Israel than Pope Benedict’s stance that Jerusalem is not and should not be the capital of Israel. They backed themselves into bad-mouthing the Pope.
Even on the abortion issue, the Catholic Right is losing creditability by carefully limiting their pro-life advocacy to where it does not offend Big Business or TEA Party principles. You hear much about taxpayer funding of abortion – and taxpayer funding of social service groups that have seven or eight degrees of separation from groups maybe involved in abortion (always non-profits; private corporations get a pass). It dovetails with the TEA Party agenda of cutting public funding for all social service programs. But Mercury abortions caused by industry? Not a word, as that would put them in alliance with environmentalists.
None of this is surprising as these social conservative groups are kept afloat by wealthy Republicans including pro-abortion Republicans who know that the real impact of their money is to further the conservative economic agenda.
Thomas Peters over at the Right-Wing “Catholic Vote” has now admitted that Obama is running ahead with Catholic voters. Democratic senate candidates such as those in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Virginia and Minnesota are also leading with Catholics.
The problem is that they are unable to come up with a core principle to justify their politics. We may well see them out of the picture politically come 2016.