Whither the Catholic voter?

Whither the Catholic voter?

The GOP is wondering and hoping that their newfound support from Catholic voters will continue tomorrow. The co-chairs of the Republican Party’s Catholic Outreach, writing in Human Events ask “Whither the Catholic voter?” The premise is that conservative Catholics have been trending toward Republicans in the past several cycles, sometimes making the difference in election outcomes. But do Republicans need conservative Catholics more than conservative Catholics need Republicans? The GOP would like you to believe it’s the latter:

The real issue come this Election Day, then, may be the extent to which church-attending, traditional Catholics abstain from voting and thereby help tip the scales for Democrats.

There’s the dark warning that if you don’t go to the polls and vote for your Republican candidate, then the evil Democrats will win. On the other hand, what if there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two on issues that matter to me? In Massachusetts, both the Republican and Democrat candidates are pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research, and effectively pro-gay marriage. (The Republican supports civil unions which are gay marriage in all but name.) So what’s left? Taxes? The Legislature has veto override power to spare. Appointment of judges? They’ve appointed some good ones, but a lot of bad ones too. When it comes down to though, I will pull the lever for Kerry Healey (R) over Deval Patrick (D). Patrick is just that much more liberal.

Back to the op-ed, the authors tout the Republican record that Catholics should be overjoyed about.

After all, under the Republican leadership of the White House and both houses of Congress, Catholics have had much to celebrate—two conservative Catholic justices appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, a national partial-birth abortion ban along with the enactment of several other far-reaching culture of life measures, and a serious rollback in public funding of abortions, overtly permissive birth control programs for teens, and embryo-destructive research that places us just steps from human cloning. With this record, how could Republicans lose Catholic voter strength?

You’re kidding, right? Okay, let’s go through the list. Supreme Court justices: Anyone remember Harriet Miers? And just because Alito and Roberts are Catholic doesn’t make them necessarily perfect. That remains to be seen. Who nominated the Catholic Anthony Kennedy? Ronald Reagan, Republican.

Republican promises and the enemy of the mediocre

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