Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What about Biden? Update: Pelosi made him a negative

See update below...

> He's a Catholic.
> He's pro-abortion.*
> So, we'll have a similar discussion about this to what happened with Sen. John Kerry four years ago. Some Catholics will use this as a reason to be for the Obama-Biden ticket, because some sort of Catholic, even a bad one, is on the ticket; other Catholics (such as me) will be irritated, precisely because we're expected to be happy about a Catholic who rejects the mind of the Church on the salient human rights issue of our time?
> No, he shouldn't go to communion; yes, his bishop should deal with it, and perhaps has; have compassion on his bishop, who I believe was just lately named. This sort of thing should be dealt with apart from a campaign. It can be tiresome, but on balance, I think it will serve more to emphasize the Church's teaching on the dignity of life, and this as the salient moral issue, than to do the opposite.
> Spare me the talk of "agonizing decisions" and "being thoughtful." We're supposed to be awed that these guys are smart, and that they avoid "simple answers." Remember how Obama, in answering a legal question about what rights a human baby has, and when, replied it was "above my pay grade"? And that was supposed to be a "thoughtful" answer to a "difficult" question? As if Obama did not, until the Saddleback Church interview, have occasion to reflect on this subject? Say what you want about the man, but please don't cite that occasion as proof of how "thoughtful" and "smart" he is.
> Meanwhile, Biden--like other pro-abortion Catholics in public office--about how "agonizing" it is to take the stand he does. No, Senator, here is "agonizing" for a politician: be a boldly prolife Democrat. Stand up to the pro-abortion lobby that is so powerful in the Democratic Party. Say that if Democrats are for the downtrodden, powerless and forgotten, then no one fits that description better than an unborn child; and the baby-vs.-woman, false-choice reasoning is better suited to Republicans, while Democrats refuse to sacrifice one human right for the sake of another; but instead, will find a way to make room for both.
> I'm wondering if the Obama-Biden campaign will play up Biden's Catholic faith, or will they avoid that? Given that they are actually trying to be a little less offensive to prolifers and religious folks, they may be smart enough to see that in this case, Biden's Catholicism is not something to highlight. (See update below...) My sense is that wasn't a significant factor anyway; indeed, they may even have figured, after 2004, that it would be a negative. Instead, I'm assuming Biden was chosen because he addresses Obama's principal weakness, which is experience and seasoning.
> In that regard, Biden is a good choice. Biden can also be pretty hawkish for a Democrat, and pro-business at times, reflecting his state.
> Would you really want Obama to have picked the most prolife Democrat he could? Would you really feel good about a pro-life Democrat giving full support to Obama's platform? You're not going to get a Democratic veep nominee who does anything else.

P.S. For those who see this post as proof that I tilt toward McCain, welcome visitor! If you browse my blog--or search for "McCain" or "Republican," you'll see, if anything, I've been harder on McCain.

* and pro abortion is the term--not "pro-choice"; everyone, including the pope, is "pro-choice"; we all like choices and no one is against being free to choose; the issue is what one chooses. Just like an abortion facility is anything but a "clinic." Can we prolifers please stop helping to ruin these good words?

Update: now that U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has waded into the field of theology, claiming to be a well informed interpreter of Catholic tradition and teaching (see discoursed on "Meet the Press" about her "ardent" Catholicism and her "study" of Catholic teaching on when human life begins, and then proceeded to make a hash of the subject, in service of Roe v. Wade)--prompting rebukes from several bishops already, and then come back for another round...I think Biden's Catholicism is going to become an issue; and in that event, that will be a negative for Obama, although not so much as it was for Kerry, as he's not the top of the ticket.

My tentative conclusion is that Pelosi is a nitwit; on the other hand, recalling my first rule of politics ("No matter how cynical you are, you aren't cynical enough."), it occurs to me that "dumb like a fox" might apply here; perhaps if I knew enough about her situation in the home district, I might see how this was actually a smart play for her. But it's not a good play for the national ticket. But then...Pelosi doesn't necessarily gain all that much from Obama's election; that means a demotion for the currently highest-ranked Democratic politician in the nation, and the leader of the opposition if McCain wins. She might well recall what happened to the last Democratic Speaker under a newly elected Democratic president (hint: 1994), and figure, Obama and Biden are on their own...


Anonymous said...

I like the distinction you draw between "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion"...well said.

Anonymous said...

Using good words for bad purposes is how politicians and advertisers sway a lazyminded public. Oh, and the focus on self-gratification rather than on right thinking and right action.

Few people are bad, but so many are weak and undiscerning. That permits the really bad ones to thrive unchallenged.

Annie again

mamacantrix said...

Forgive me, if you will, a bit of a chuckle. The first man I called my pastor (an A of G one) was vehemently, been-to-jail-defending-the-unborn, no-holds barred pro-life. I have to say, I'm enjoying the fact that my current pastor, who isn't given to passionate rants as a general rule, is ranting rather passionately for the cause of the unborn.

I hate it when politicians use Catholicism as a password into the good graces of the voting public and then turn around and dismiss those who disagree with them on moral terms as religious nuts...even their fellow Catholics.

So...thank you, Father, for ranting passionately, being religious, and for continuing to be politically aware and active in the out-of-Washington vocation you now live.

Jim said...

Interesting theory on Nancy Pelosi's motives Father, but I think you got it right the first time. She is a nitwit.

Father Martin Fox said...


Oh, you just have to catch me--er, your pastor--at the right moments.

Beer helps.

Anonymous said...

Agree Father. Picking Biden was a total disaster for Obama. I have family, friends and neighbors who are Dem's but are now going to vote for McCain because they think Obama slapped them in the face with Biden.

mamacantrix said...

Yup...a nitwit. With a big mouth, I might add.

And I know...free, cold, another. Glad to crack the cap for you, sir!