Casey Jr. to Get Prime-Time Slot in Denver to Appease Catholics [UPDATED]
Ed Morrissey reports:
According to the New York Times, the Obama campaign wants to find a way to reach out to Catholics at the Democratic convention in Denver. Obama has lost 26 points among Catholics in the last month, and now trails by 15 after getting trounced by Hillary Clinton in this demographic in the later primaries. In order to appease Catholics, Obama wants Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to get a prime-time slot in Denver to show his inclusiveness — but Obama’s radical record on abortion will not get cover so easily:My Comments:Sixteen years ago, the Democratic Party refused to allow Robert P. Casey Sr., then the governor of Pennsylvania, to speak at its national convention because his anti-abortion views, stemming from his Roman Catholic faith, clashed with the party’s platform and powerful constituencies. Many Catholics, once a reliable Democratic voting bloc, never forgot what they considered a slight.Quite obviously, the problem exists; it’s not just a perception. Obama lost the Catholic vote by 40 points to Clinton — which can be attributed to her targeting of working-class and suburban/rural voters in the Rust Belt — and has dropped dramatically this summer. Catholics used to comprise a healthy portion of the Democratic Party until the 1980s, when the party demanded lock-step support for abortion from all of its candidates. The snub of Casey Sr didn’t start the problem; it merely made it obvious to Catholics that their pro-life views were no longer welcome in the party.
This year, the party is considering giving a speaking slot at the convention to Mr. Casey’s son, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who like his late father is a Roman Catholic who opposes abortion rights. …
Mr. Casey’s appearance would be an important signal to Catholics, especially those who follow church teachings and oppose abortion. Mr. Obama could also use his choice of a vice-presidential running mate to reassure Roman Catholics. Among those that his campaign is vetting is Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a Roman Catholic whose faith has been part of his political identity. At least three other Catholics have also been mentioned as possible running mates: Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.
By the way, our old friend Prof. Kmiec - who seemed for a while to have gone underground and kept a low profile after his initial pro-Obama media blitz - resurfaces for an appearance in the Times piece, complete with a reference to our favorite piece of Kmiecian trivia:
Mr. Kmiec, a Republican who served in the Justice Department under President Ronald Reagan, said he was supporting Mr. Obama because his platform met the standard of justice and concern for the poor the church has always defended. This year, Mr. Kmiec was denied communion by a priest at a gathering of Catholic business people because of his support for Mr. Obama. Mr. Kmiec said, “The proper question for Catholics to ask is not ‘Can I vote for him?’ but ‘Why shouldn’t I vote for the candidate who feels more passionately and speaks more credibly about economic fairness for the average family, who will be a true steward of the environment, and who will treat the immigrant family with respect?’ ”Yeah, whatever. We've already debunked this bit of disingenuousness several times over. Now, Morrissey debunks it some more. At any rate, definitely read Morrissey's entire piece.
The hitting-the-nail-on-the-head comment of the day comes from Brian Burch over at Fidelis:
Call me naive, but it wasn’t the denial of the speaking slot that most offended Catholics, it was what that gesture represented. In essence the party told pro-lifers: “you are no longer welcome here.” And as far as I can tell, that hasn’t changed.(emphasis added)
BINGO! Give that man a prize.
Morrissey follows up on his earlier post with "More on the Catholic conundrum".