For about 25 years I’ve studied and written about politics. I’ve taught political science for 15 years. One of the most frustrating things I’ve seen repeatedly is the astonishing degree to which Democrats—including Catholic Democrats—fall in line with whatever their presidents or party heads advocate. I see it again and again, and it never ceases to amaze me. Sure, Republicans will do this, too. But it really does seem worse among Democrats—or at least that’s my longtime observation.
The current example is the Obama mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. When Obama’s decree first came down, you probably thought to yourself: Ah, no worry. Democrats are liberals, and liberals could never support such a blatant violation of conscience and religious freedom. And Democrats who are Catholics would never advocate this.
Quite the contrary. Here we are, and Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Frank Lautenberg, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Maxine Waters—who (to raucous applause) called Republicans “demons”—and countless others, unwaveringly defend Obama’s actions in the most aggressive, vicious, obscene, and truly jaw-dropping ways. Their arguments are so inconceivable, so illogical, so contradictory, so contrary to traditional “liberal” thinking, and so generally outrageous, that I can’t even put it into words. When you hear them, you just shake your head in stunned disbelief. One is left speechless.
In the face of this, one is tempted to anger and dispiritedness, no matter how strong one’s faith. Of course, as Catholics, we have a 2,000-year perspective, meaning we’ve faced much worse. Nonetheless, when hearing sound clips from a Nancy Pelosi—who, of course, is Roman Catholic—and Waters and the rest, it’s easy to be filled with a sickening despair. When I hear their statements on the radio, I have to change the channel. I can’t take it. It hurts, literally. I can feel it physically, and, yes, spiritually.
But, alas, I offer a glimmer of hope for fellow Catholics who likewise feel this way. There is good news here: This “Obama mandate” debate, and the horrific positions being advanced by Democrats advancing Obama’s position, exposes them and their party to the larger population. This is not your grandfather’s Democratic Party. That party is long gone. Today’s Democratic Party is the party of Obama and Pelosi and Waters and Kathleen Sebelius, another Roman Catholic—the one leading Obama’s contraception crusade at HHS. JFK and Harry Truman would not recognize this Democratic Party. In fact, I dare to say that even big-government progressives like Woodrow Wilson and FDR—who were very religious men—would recoil in horror at modern liberals’ stance on these social-moral issues.
And yet, there’s a tremendous saving grace at work here: This political/ideological madness on display, compliments of Democrats, should have a powerful effect in permanently driving people from a political party that has indeed become the Death Party. And I’m not merely talking about your 80-year-old grandma who voted for Obama thinking he was “another Jack Kennedy.” I’m talking about younger and new and future Catholics, and I’m especially talking about Catholic priests reared under the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
On those priests, I was recently shown some eye-opening data on voter registration among priests in their 20s and 30s. The data shows that these priests are Republicans by huge margins. It also shows that older priests are Democrats, but not by an equally large margin and, moreover, don’t always vote Democrat—they’ve slowly learned their lesson. They may like Democrats on “social justice,” but they’ve been utterly torched on life issues.
The new priests, however, never had to learn those lessons. They’ve been raised among this political insanity that constitutes modern liberal-Democrat ideology. They know that they can’t possibly be Democrats. And if, by chance, they had any recent reason to reconsider that, all they need to do right now is turn on their TV or radio or computer and the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Waters and Obama and Sebelius confidently reassure them that they have no home whatsoever in the Democratic Party.
Now, I know I’ll be accused of carrying water for the Republican Party. To be sure, I’m a registered Republican. But please believe when I say that I’m first and foremost an orthodox Roman Catholic. I’m in the Republican Party less as an endorsement of the GOP than because I couldn’t possibly belong to the other major party. In the past, I’ve written articles strongly against pro-choice Republicans like Rudy Giuliani and (just last week) Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (although Bloomberg left the party in 2007) — I would never vote for either of those two because of their positions on abortion. I’m no shill for the GOP. And Catholic Republicans should never blindly sacrifice the tenets of their faith to their party in the way that Catholic Democrats have been dutifully doing for decades, thereby fostering this Death Culture.
But I do know I could never be a Democrat. And many of my fellow Catholics are right now learning the same—thanks to Obama’s mandate and his servile, devout defenders.
Keep talking, Nancy, keep talking.