Before we get into my observations, you can read Cardinal Dolan’s letter to Obama about his reelection here.
I’m actually going to begin with The Good because it’s important not to lose sight of it amidst all this gloom and disappointment:
- In Massachusetts, pro-life advocates overcame a 30-point gap and ended up defeating pro-physician assisted suicide Question 2 by less than 50,000 votes out of 3 million cast. Quite a feat. Congrats to everyone who helped make that happen.
- Congrats to my buddy Keith Rothfus, who won his bid to represent Pennsylvania’s 12th district after losing his first time around in 2010. Proof that perseverance wins out.
- We now have a second pro-life woman in the U.S. Senate.
… and that’s really where the good ends. On to The Bad:
- Obama won reelection with over 300 electoral votes. It appears that Romney won less votes this year than John McCain got in 2008 — a staggering figure.
- The Catholic vote: Obama won self-identifying Catholics once again, 50-48. But in 2008 he won 54%. So a significant decrease. But in the end, all of this was not enough. More about this, well… for the next four years. [I'm seeing reports that Romney won the Catholic vote in Ohio by 10 points -- bravo, Ohio Catholics!]
- We lost all four marriage fights. The only consolation is that these fights all took place in deep-blue states, and that traditional marriage outperformed the GOP ticket. Despite the fact that we were hugely, hugely outspent (thank you to those who did donate!) our opponents only managed to score narrow victories. More from me on this soon.
Now The Terrible (in no particular order):
- Obama’s win guarantees that he continues to influence the make-up of the Supreme Court. I can’t stress enough what a nightmare scenario this is. The Supreme Court is taking up the Defense of Marriage Act and same-sex marriage in their next term. We have to be praying for good outcomes in these cases.
- Cultural intimidation against supporters of traditional marriage is going to get a lot, lot worse. And the media refusal to cover this persecution of Christians by gay marriage activists will continue. And the gay marriage movement will be eagerly searching out where their next targets will be.
- This election is a massive setback for the pro-life movement, on about every level.
- Obama learned that he could take on the Catholic church, take away its religious liberty, double down on Planned Parenthood, and favor redefining marriage and not pay a political price that threatened his reelection. He’s going to continue on this course and we must do everything in our power to resist him and his allies, who will also be encouraged and emboldened by this outcome.
We’re still processing what all of this means. I believe what Tom Hoopes pointed out and Maggie Gallagher wrote is largely right: Mitt Romney’s failure and the GOP’s failure to run seriously on social issues hurt them. Obama and the Democrats ran unabashedly on the “social issues” of abortion and contraception, and won when they did.
Politics matter. And if large swathes of serious Catholics and Christians refuse to get serious about politics we’re not going to be the same country in another generation. We’re already firmly on that path unless we wake up.
Start planning for it now. Take time out this week for prayer, reflection and mourning (yes, mourning — if you’re not mourning today you have failed to grasp what happened last night).
And then we all need to get back to work.
The Bottom Line:
I couldn’t be more grateful for all of you who worked so hard over these past days, weeks, months and years. Don’t give up now! This isn’t our last rodeo. Shoulder on.