24 September 2008
Democrats alienate Catholics
Just as British Catholics are now deserting the Labour Party so their American counterparts may be about to abandon the Democrats to their fate. It is as if the Democrats want to rub Catholic noses in the party's support for Roe v. Wade, and at the same time almost force the church hierarchy to take a stand against Democratic Party politicians because of the their misrepresentation of Catholic theology.
When the Democrats met in Denver to endorse the party's election platform, they stated quite clearly that: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right." Barack Obama in his acceptance speech then confirmed that plank, and the party then began to run adverts claiming that the Republicans would overturn Roe v. Wade. Put simply, abortion is a major issue in this election because the Democrats chose to make it one. They cannot complain if it turns out to be a vote loser for them.
To make matters even worse, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, who is also a Catholic, along with Nancy Pelosi, the Catholic Speaker of the House, then earned the wrath of their church by misrepresenting Catholic dogma on abortion. Faced with that garbled travesty of what the church believes the bishops had to get involved and issue a clarification of the correct theological position. What this meant was that even if the church hadn't wanted to get involved in the election, the fat mouthed stupidity of Biden and Pelosi meant that they had to issue a statement.
Although the president doesn't make the laws, and cannot ban abortion even if he wanted to, the battle lines for this election have now been drawn and place the Democrats firmly in the pro-abortion camp. Not only that, but they do not have any wriggle room - they have seen to that one themselves.
The Republicans by way of contrast have quite a bit of wriggle room. Sarah Palin may be firmly anti-abortion, but John McCain isn't. In other words Palin can talk to the base about the evils of abortion while McCain is discussing other issues. That party has not been committed to anything just because Sarah Palin makes a speech or two.
Having been dragged into the election, the Catholic Church has lost no time in reminding people at every opportunity of its anti-abortion position. That will not effect all American Catholics, but it is going to effect some of them - especially those who are from a Latin-American background and who live in the swing states such as Florida. Conversely, the pro-abortion voters were probably never going to vote Republican anyway, so the Democrats have lost votes on the swings and gained nothing on the roundabout.
Why did they do it? Probably hubris - they thought that the election was in the bag and nothing could stop their march to victory. As the election tightens with the two candidates neck and neck that was another big mistake that they made.