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Moral implications of partisanship at Georgetown University

Michael Sean Winters reports on an event at Georgetown on Monday nite organized by John Carr and involving various Catholic former public servants and moderated by San Francisco Auxiluary Bishop Robert McElroy. You can see MSW's notes and comments from the National Catholic Reporter here at My comments follow:

At the dawn of the Republic, Congress met and was confounded by many even votes with nothing getting done. This gridlock gave rise to the parties - especially regarding financial issues. That seems to be the dividing line today as well, no matter how much people confess to believe that abortion is the chief issue. It is not. Indeed, those who claim it is when it is not are participating in a Republican Party fraud which is more long-term than voter-ID laws.

The use of the FEC as a blind trust is an interesting one - but I would use parties instead during the primary process and give each candidate who can get 15% of a pre-primary attendence an equal share of the money. The FEC could do the same thing with general election loot - but the problem is not rich people in politics - that is just a reflection of the problems of capitalism - where rich people control the workplace - including basketball teams.

Going back to morals, those should be the guide to electoral choice - of course a truly Catholic position would be libertarian socialism, and there is no such party - although the Democrats are closer.

The bishop missed the main driver that politicians must adhere to - as well as voters - the Constitution. That is why he is a bishop and not a political scientist (some of which should have been invited to this). This is why it was perfectly justified for Kathleen Sebelius to veto an unconstitutional abortion bill and seditious for her local bishop to ban her from Communion. One can only conclude that in doing so he put Republican coaltion politics about the truth - because the only reason for such a bill was to send the matter to the Court for reconsideration of Roe - which is a dead end.

What is actually incumbent on the Pro-life movement is to not go after pro-life Democrats and to listen to its critics who will tell them exactly why their position will never fly. Until Catholic politicians deal with this issue and inform both the movement and the Church of those things that won't work to lessen abortion (and what will), they deserve to let the GOP dominate this issue. Courage, it seems, is the missing virtue for both sides.

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