Monday, March 24, 2008

So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

From Christopher at Catholics in the Public Square:
  • Douglas W. Kmiec endorses Obama.
  • "The Cranky Conservative" responds.
  • My Comments:
    I thought Mr. Kmiec had already endorsed the man who Kmiec claims, "apart from the life issues", is allegedly "a Catholic natural". What a joke.

    Well, I guess we have the answer to the question I posed to Mr. Kmiec in this post concerning Barack Obama's attributing blue-collar support for Ronald Reagan to racial animus:
    Got that? Blue collar "anger" and "resentment" over race "have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation" - meaning that the conservative ascendency that began with the election of Ronald Reagan was a product of there being a whole lot of angry white male factory workers, whose anger was being misdirected toward black folks and exploited by cynical right-wing operatives "for their own electoral ends".

    So, in those 3 paragraphs cited above, Obama regurgitates the tired old leftist meme that the only thing that could possibly explain traditional Democrat voters supporting Ronald Reagan - thereby forging the "Reagan Coalition" - was because Reagan "made us comfortable in our prejudices".

    I wonder what self-described "Catholic Reaganite for Obama" Doug Kmiec has to say about that assessment?
    I still want to hear Mr. Kmiec address Obama's assertion. No true "Catholic Reaganite" would stand silent while the mostly Catholic blue-collar "Reagan Democrats" are disparaged in such a manner.

    Illinois attorney and frequent St. Blog's commenter Donald McClarey, commenting at The Cranky Conservative, has the best response to the Kmiec sellout that I've seen so far:
    “But for Wales?”
    In case you're unfamiliar with the reference, see A Man for All Seasons to get the meaning of Donald's allusion.

    UPDATE #2
    The responses at InsideCatholic should be interesting. Here's the first one from Margaret Cabannis. And here's what Deal Hudson has to say.

    UPDATE #3
    Feddie's "absolutely stunned" reaction is here. And Feddie's Southern Appeal co-blogger Hunter Baker also offers his take.

    UPDATE #4
    More reactions to Kmiec's endorsement.

    WORLD Magazine's World on the Web has a good round-up of blogger reactions:
    ... Andrew Sullivan praises Kmiec’s integrity and open mind, but most conservatives find it hard to see how a president could accommodate both pro-life and pro-abortion positions, or how “understanding” a point of view is relevant if you’re going to oppose it anyway. Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff deems it “one of the most vacuous statements I’ve ever read,” and Patterico calls it “one of the most puzzling pieces of writing I have ever read.”

    Some conservatives, including Shannen Coffin on The Corner, already dismissed Kmiec as “off his rocker” when he published another piece saying Obama was a natural choice for the Catholic Reaganite vote. Like Reagan, Kmiec said, Obama has empathy and a desire to make Americans deserve to feel good about themselves.

    Rod Dreher said he just didn’t get it: “I think the guy just loves the feeling Obama gives him … It wouldn’t require so much tortuous logic simply to say, “I’m a Republican who’s sick of the Republicans, and want change. Obama is a likable, decent guy, and I’m willing to take a chance on him.” ...
    And Deacon Keith Fournier's commentary piece at CatholicOnline says "God is Not a Republican or a Democrat: But I Disagree with Doug Kmiec’s Endorsement."

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

    "No'bama for Me, Thanks"

    Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

    Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

    Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

    "Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama

    Catholics at the Ballot Box

    How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

    Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

    Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

    Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

    Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

    Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

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

    Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

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

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    At 3/24/2008 8:34 AM, Anonymous paul zummo said...

    I had to edit my post about three times, and I still think my anger is rather apparent. My disappointment stems from familiarity with Doug Kmiec - though I wasn't a student at CUA law, I spent enough time there that I practically was one. He impressed me as an intelligent individual, and one who earnestly sought to make the law school a truly Catholic one. But his every word and deed over the past three years has only confirmed the negative things said about him.

    The worst thing about this endorsement is that there is simply no substantive argument put forth on behalf of Obama.

    Truly sad.

    At 3/24/2008 8:49 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

    Of Mr Kmiec, among many other supporters of Democrats, I wonder:

    In order for a person to call himself pro-life, shouldn't life issues be important enough to him to actually influence his vote?

    Is it honest to vote for candidates who support abortion, recreational embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and gay marriage, and still claim to be somehow "pro-life"?

    "I'd like to be pro-life, but that's not important enough right now. Maybe after we get the minimum wage up. And whip global warming."

    3000 innocent lives lost per day; fifty million to date. How can the Iraq War and capital punishment compete?

    Mr. Kmiec may claim to understand and respect this point of view, but I can neither understand nor respect his. Furthermore, I know as a matter of fact that Senator Obama does not respect my point of view, nor the viewpoint that Mr. Kmiec claims to hold.

    At 3/24/2008 9:48 AM, Anonymous BillyHW said...

    He's got Jungle Fever.

    At 3/24/2008 10:47 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    I'm not sure I get that one, Billy.

    At 3/25/2008 10:16 AM, Blogger Darwin said...

    The thesis of Spike Lee's movie Jungle Fever is that every so often blacks get curious about white and whites get curious about black. They start cross racial relationships that are ultimately doomed to failure because there's simply too much of a barrier between races.

    It's a very well-filmed movie, but perhaps rather too influenced by Lee's feelings about his father's second marriage, which was with a white woman.

    Okay, there's my pop culture scholarship of the day...

    At 3/25/2008 12:08 PM, Blogger Tito said...

    As a person of Welsh descent, I take no offense to that statement, "But for Wales?"

    Classic smack talk (before 'smack talk' was en vogue) by the future saint to the devil's tool.

    That is still my favorite movie of all time (A Man for All Seasons).

    Doug Kmiec, but for Wales?


    Tito the Norman-Welsh

    At 3/26/2008 3:38 PM, Blogger Joe Reciniello said...

    Mr. Kmiec

    You may be a legal scholar, as well as possess a tremendous intellect but your reasoning is highly flawed. Being that you call yourself a conservative Catholic you should be familiar with the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church (copyright 2004 Libreria Editrice Vaticana). If you have read it, please read it again.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis


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