Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

John Jakubczyk, a lawyer and past president of Arizona Right to Life, writes at InsideCatholic:
There must be something about February that brings out the weird, the unusual, and the strange in politics. That was my reaction when I read Douglas Kmiec’s article in Slate, claiming that Barack Obama is a "natural for the Catholic vote." Now, I know and respect Doug as a brilliant legal mind and a good man. But I must take issue with him on his ability to take such talents and apply them to the current political situation.

Doug’s first error is comparing the substance and style of Ronald Reagan to that of Obama. Certainly anyone who gives a good speech can be hailed as a great communicator, but the reason that Reagan attracted so many Catholics and Democrats was because they knew him. They knew him as the actor who played George Gip in Knute Rockne. They knew him from the days when he introduced the stories on Death Valley Days. He was the governor in California who stood up to the student sit-ins, and did all of this with a smile. They remembered when he traveled the country giving speeches on economic freedom and against communism. And so when Reagan ran for president and repeated principles based upon respect for the sanctity of life, economic and personal freedom, and national security, much of the Catholic population responded positively. He never tired of reminding people that our rights are a gift from the Creator, especially the right to life.

Ronald Reagan spoke a language that Catholics and those who believed in God could understand.

Obama -- to his credit -- has run a positive campaign (notwithstanding his positions on issues that are not very positive at all). People like positive messages. They may not have much substance, but people like them. A lot of people are simply tired of the Clintons, and Obama gives them the chance to vote for something new.

But that should not translate into Catholic support for Obama.

... Educated, practicing Catholics are not going to vote for a person who supports partial-birth abortion and voted against a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act while in the Illinois Senate.

Barack Obama is a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act, a proposed federal law to nullify virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion...

I can't imagine anyone who knew and appreciated Ronald Reagan joining the bandwagon of a pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage, anti-family radical like Obama, once they know his positions and can envision what he intends to do to the country. On the contrary, Catholics will find it "natural" to vote for the candidate who chooses life and will protect the lives of all Americans.
[Read the whole thing]
My Comments:
The Kmiec Slate article may well turn out to be the Mark Roche moment of the 2008 election cycle.

By the way, check out Deal Hudson's comment under the linked article. Double ouch!

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

Obama "Post-Partisan"? Ask John Roberts

Obama and the "Pragmatic Center"

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