Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Prof. Hadley Arkes: "Political Distraction Among the Catholics"

(Hat tip: Fumare)

Professor Hadley Arkes writes at The Catholic Thing on the "madness" of Prof. Doug Kmiec's Obama love:

Is it a certain madness, a certain distraction of mind, induced by the sudden onset of summer heat? The polls in early June find Barack Obama notably behind among Evangelicals and whites, but--wonder of wonders--actually holding a slight edge, of a point or two, among Catholics.

Some of our readers know that I was associated with the drafting of the “most modest first step of all on abortion,” the bill to preserve the life of the child who survived an abortion. It was called, in that awful legislative style, the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act. When it finally passed the Congress in 2002, not a single Democrat in Congress voted in opposition. But Barack Obama, as a Senator in Illinois, actually led the opposition to the comparable measure in that state, and as the chairman of a legislative committee managed to kill it. How does one explain then this close division among Catholics, with a tilt actually in his favor? And what is the worse account: that most Catholics in the country simply do not know about his radical, pro-abortion position, or that American Catholics by now have heard about Obama’s position, and they don’t especially care?

The latter account would surely mark the graver state of affairs. And the signs seem to be pointing in that direction, as seen in the positions reported recently for two prominent Catholic academics, both thoughtful, sensible people, moving in those circles I move in myself. Douglas Kmiec, a good friend, had been Dean of the Law School at Catholic University and Cathleen Kaveny, is a professor of law at Notre Dame. Kmiec joined a meeting of Catholics with Obama and pronounced him a “natural for the Catholic vote.” Kmiec became persuaded that Obama, radically pro-choice, would nevertheless be open to serious measures for “reducing the number of abortions.” Kaveny could hardly be unaware of Obama’s position on abortion, and yet she thinks that other parts of Obama’s program would fit a Catholic vision--most notably, "ending the unjust war in Iraq, providing decent jobs, ensuring affordable health care for all, and working for comprehensive immigration reform."

On the matter of reducing the number of abortions, imagine that there is a wondrous scheme for diverting women from choosing abortions: Let’s suppose that, in counseling centers, we find that playing “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To” had the wondrous effect of stirring 90 per cent of the women not to abort their babies--especially if the music is accompanied by the offer of a DVD player. Surely it would be a boon to save those lives, but we should tremble at what the move reveals about the terms of principle on which we live our lives together. For what is left intact is the understanding, deeply absorbed by our people, that there is nothing less than a “right” to order the killing of an innocent human being for reasons that need not rise beyond convenience or whims, and with no felt need even to offer a justification. To offer this state of affairs as a gain is to celebrate a law that has the most pronounced effect in misshaping the souls of our people.


[More]
(emphasis added)

My Comments:
My sentiments exactly.


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
TIME Magazine Poll on Catholic Voters

Doug Kmiec - What He Said Then vs. What He Says Now Re: Constitutional Jurisprudence

What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Traumatized

Unrequited Love

Doug Kmiec: "After Meeting with Barack" [UPDATED]

Cranky Conservative: "But At Least He Says It with a Smile"

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Prof. Bainbridge on "Obama, Abortion, & Catholics"

Prof. Rick Garnett on Kmiec's Latest Nonsense

Deacon Keith Fournier: "Why I Disagree with Doug Kmiec, Once Again"

Give It a Rest Already, Prof. Kmiec!

Deacon Keith Fournier: "No More ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, Time for a New Catholic Action"

Doug Kmiec's Newfound Celebrity Status Among Those on the Left

Doug Kmiec Soon To Be Sorely Disappointed

E.J. Dionne on Kmiec Being Denied Communion [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on Prof. Kmiec and Blurring the Lines Between "Pro-Choice" and Pro-Abortion

Did Doug Kmiec Just Now Catch On That Obama and NARAL Are Politically Conjoined? [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on "How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question"

Kmiec's Dishonesty [UPDATED]

Catholic Teaching and Political Risk Taking: When Credit Isn't Given Where Credit is Due [UPDATED]

Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

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

Obama "Post-Partisan"? Ask John Roberts

Obama and the "Pragmatic Center"

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