100% of the news on 47% of the brain.

A rundown of the events of the past week or so:

But none of that appears to be as important as Mitt Romney’s 47% comment.

Now. Romney’s comment has plenty of problems—the 47% of Americans who do not pay income taxes cannot be uniformly characterized as lazy moochers who will all vote for Obama no matter what. Likewise, the remaining 53% are not all perfectly virtuous, industrious, assured Romney voters.

I’m not defending the comment. It was tin-eared. It was wrong. I wish he hadn’t said it and I wish he didn’t think it. Even if there is some truth to it as well: there is, statistically speaking, about 47% of the voting public that will definitely vote for Obama. Perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less, but right around there. That 47% definitely has some overlap with the 47% who do not pay income taxes, but not perfect coincidence. The task of political campaigns is to identify who is in that group who are unpersuadable and not waste resources on them. So from an electoral perspective he wasn’t wholly wrong: he doesn’t need to worry about them, for good reason. But I still wish he hadn’t said it.

That said, I’m wondering why that comment has been *so* dominant in the news cycle with all these other things going on. Perhaps it’s a rhetorical question. I’m sure some of our august commenters will have ideas.

You got it: the world is burning and I'm yukking it up with Dave and hob-nobbing with Jay-Z and Beyonce!



  • Dorothy

    Great article. I wish Mitt would run a 1 min ad showing a split screen with Obama “yucking it up” on one side and a map of the 17 countries in flames last Wed, Thurs and Fri. on the other screen..no voices, just flash about 7 or 8 times with Mitt’s I approved this message and VOTE AMERICA. I’m very worried. This country will not survive as a democracy if he’s re-elected. How can the people know about this dangerous man with almost all the media ignoring his skillful deceptions?

  • Confused

    It’s funny, to see that this article, in catholic voters, defending Romney about his 47% nonsense. While many , many republicans are running for the hills, and distancing themselves, from Romney, here we see a diehard Romney group. I feel and smell typical registered republican attitude, who would vote, even if the candidate is Mickey Mouse on their party ticket. It’s not the person, it’s the party, but not the country.
    I go to church to pray and hear words, and sermon, but I do not want to hear the political speech in the house of God, by these priest. It kills my mood and devotion. Keep this crazy politics out of church. If you want a rally, let Bishops and Priests, join Glen Beck or may be Shawn Hannity.
    God said do not use my name in vain, which also mean, do use may name for your own selfish purposes, and Jesus kept politics out. I want a place to worship, not a place of revolution and dirty politics, do this outside the church building at your own free time.
    I don’t care whether its Romney or Obama, keep our church clean, and do God’s work.
    We serve people in soup kitchen with one hand, and then hammer them with other hand, say we feel sorry for poor and then call them as no value add to the society and the cockroaches of the society. Where is God in all this, who stood with and for poor.

    • voterid

      You’re right you’re confused!

  • Confused

    If its not for the media we all would be made 7 times distilled idiots by politicians and by rich and powerful. Are we hearing that we are wasting out time with Romney’ s comment about 47% poor, elderly and students tax, I am confused here, is it the church view, or your view in supporting republicans. If this is a republican site, then we will politely leave, since republicans won’t change or listen, or do not care about poor or Middleclass.
    Did you question when Bush took out troops from Afghanistan, at the time when they were surrounding to capture Bin Laden. Also did you question, when our country was attacked on 9/11, first thing Bush did was to put Bin Laden relatives in a plane and send them to safety, and then he went to NY. Now you question about Obama on Afghanistan.
    Did the republicans ever tried to do anything to healthcare, except the moderate Nixon.Clinton tried and failed, then Bush came in , he sat there for 8 years, except for prescription drug, no big overhaul. Looks how evil a person can be like Obama, and how did he manage to screw us up , while we flourished under Bush, who handed over an extremely doing well nation. Obama is bad in killing Bin Laden, killing more high target terrorist at low cost than Bush, bringing in a healthcare that saved people with pre existing condition, bringing a close to the useless wars. Hmmmm, what a cruel Obama to have killed the innocent Bin Laden, and other terrorists like Anwar…may be you can say that we Catholics are against killing.
    I am also confused that Glen Beck is in the game with CV, with his conspiracy theories. This gives a clue to me who the CV is, do not play with religion and God

  • Joe

    You didn’t seem to think the news was that important when you were writing idiotic pieces about Obama’s columns and how that relates to the election. It’s just because it makes Saint Mitt seem less than golden, which he is.

  • Dandee

    I would find it hard to believe any religious person could vote for the continuation of all these policies. Have you looked at the Mideast lately?

  • August

    NEWS FLASH (not covered by CatholicVote.org): Chick-fil-A management sends memo to all franchises in support of tolerance for gays and reverses its previous position of funding anti-gay marriage groups. Ta-dah!

    • http://twitter.com/TomCrowe Tom Crowe

      NEWS FLASH: The Catholic Church actually does more to support tolerance for people who are gay than any organization on earth. As for funding pro traditional marriage groups, that’s something the owner can continue to do on his own, I’m sure.

      • Tim

        “NEWS FLASH: The Catholic Church actually does more to support tolerance for people who are gay than any organization on earth.” How?

        • http://twitter.com/TomCrowe Tom Crowe

          By recognizing the orientation for what it is, not whitewashing it as something it is not; and by loving the people who have that orientation as children of God equally deserving of love and respect and helping/encouraging them live chaste lives in the love of God (incidentally this is the same expectation we have of people who are heterosexual).

          • Tim

            That doesn’t make you an advocate. Why do they have to be single and chaste for their whole lives because of the orientation that they have, that in fact God gave them?

          • http://twitter.com/TomCrowe Tom Crowe

            Tim— Chastity is not perpetual virginity: it is the proper sexual behavior for one’s state in life. One who is single ought to refrain from sexual acts of all kinds—hetero- or homosexual. This, of course, ties into what is the nature and purpose of sexuality and sexual intercourse: is it unitive (a sign of the love between the partners) AND procreative (open to begetting children)? Or can those be separated without violating what it means to be sexual beings? Is sex merely a contact sport? Merely for pleasure and no strings ever should be attached? What is the nature and purpose of marriage? The Catholic perspective holds that our sexuality is an incredible gift of God that is designed for very specific purposes—purposes that make no sense outside of a committed, loving, exclusive, un-barrier-ed married relationship. Those purposes include the complete openness to procreation and mutual total self-gift in every way as the fullest expression of love, and any other use of the gift of sexuality as an abuse of that gift. That is the barest of thumbnail sketches of Catholic sexual morality, but it is a significant body of study that really is amazingly beautiful in what it calls humanity to be. As for whether God “gave” some people the homosexual orientation, we don’t accept that either. Homosexuality is a disordered appetite—that is, it is contrary to the proper order, which we can know from a consideration of who we are as male and female sexual beings. From the time of the Fall of Adam there have been many disordered appetites, disordered developments, and disordered happenings that we cannot understand. That does not make them either something God “gave” us or something that are to be held up as perfectly normal. Those who have the homosexual orientation, like anyone with any disordered desire (the desire to steal something, for instance), deserve everyone’s respect and love and assistance in dealing healthily with their problems. We all have problems that we can’t quite escape and need help with: but simply positing that a problem is not a problem does make it so.

          • Tim

            Homosexuality is a disordered appetite—that is, it is contrary to the proper order, which we can know from a consideration of who we are as male and female sexual beings. …but what about countless animals throughout the animal kingdom–bonobos, snow monkeys, penguins, giraffes, so on, many many more.. How can this be disordered when it happens so often in the natural world? Do these animals have a disordered appetite, as you say? We’re genetically related to many of these so it only makes scientific sense that we would have the same traits.

          • http://twitter.com/TomCrowe Tom Crowe

            Do you really want to start basing what humans ought to do based on how animals behave? You gonna start flinging your dung at people next?

          • greenpointguy

            Just give me the tough truth, Tom: as a man who will never be sexually attracted to women, I am doomed to a celibate life, while you get to enjoy the beauty of a conjugal relationship until the day you die. Oh, and I should accept this as fair.

          • http://twitter.com/TomCrowe Tom Crowe

            “Doomed” is an awfully harsh word to use for describing the celibate life. If you were to come to learn the beauty of chastity and celibacy for those for whom it is appropriate you might come to understand why. God bless.

        • Katherine

          When liberals were pushing states to repeal the parts of their criminal codes that prohibited homosexuality, the Catholic Church was one of the few to testify against this before state legislatures.

      • Tim


    • KT1

      Yet it did not say they would not support one-man-one-woman traditional marriage! From my take, it was that they would not support the groups that wanted to deport gays. Don’t be so smug. Humble pie isn’t very tasty.



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