Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fear Not!

The election is over, the victors are crowing and the defeated are fearful. But there are some things to notice:

I found this article yesterday via Instapundit, which originally appeared at National Review Online, entitled, "He's not the Socialist Superman":

This nation still self-identifies as conservative. Bill Clinton thought he had a mandate to socialize medical care. That miscalculation effectively destroyed his entire agenda. Obama is not going to enter office with anything resembling a popular mandate, either. (And at this very late date, I am beginning to question whether he will enter office at all). I still think he’ll pull out a squeaker, but he’s not going to enter office on a rising tide of popular demand for his socialist policies.

No, it wasn't a squeaker--but Obama's victory is very similar to Clinton's, both in the Electoral College total, and really in popular vote, when you factor out Ross Perot's role in taking votes from Clinton and Bush.

And let me remind you: Here is the makeup of Congress on the day Bill Clinton took office.

Senate: Dem - 57 GOP 43
House: Dem - 258 GOP 176

Obama may end up with a similar bulge in both houses - but what did that buy Clinton? If Obama is stupid enough (as was Clinton) to believe he is being elected because people want him, rather than want the previous President (in both cases, a Bush) gone, he will probably indulge in the same sort of over-reach, with, I predict, the same sort of results.

Think about it this way: if aging hack John McCain, unable to enthuse his own base, running after a disastrous eight years of a George W. Bush administration, in the face of an utterly hostile mainstream media, a collapsing economy, and the as-yet undetermined aftermath of an unpopular foreign war, can still be near or within the polling margin of error, this is not a liberal nation, or one panting for an Obama administration.

I also found this article, substantiating the facts about the basic orientation of the nation:

No matter the results of the election on Nov. 4, and despite the tarnishing Republicans have given to conservatism, America remains a center-right country.

The Battleground Poll is a comprehensive, bipartisan public opinion poll sponsored by George Washington University and conducted by the Republican Terrance Group and Democratic Lake Research Partners.

In January 2000, the poll asked participants to describe their views of politics and government. Fifteen percent described themselves as very conservative, 39 percent as somewhat conservative, 13 percent as moderate, 24 percent as somewhat liberal and 6 percent as very liberal.

Here are the results of the same Battleground Poll question in October 2008: Twenty percent described themselves as very conservative, 39 percent as somewhat conservative, 3 percent as moderate, 26 percent as somewhat liberal and 10 percent as very liberal.

Did you catch that? After all the problems of the last eight years, just last month, the number of Americans seeing themselves as somewhat or very conservative went up--and it was all in the "very" category!

Yes, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, was crowing today the GOP wouldn't dare filibuster--but that's a bluster on his part. He knows he doesn't have enough votes, particularly on the most contentious issues.

One more fact, courtesy of Father Zuhlsdorf, concerns how Catholics voted. It is true, and dismaying, that Obama got a bigger share of Catholic voters this time; but: when you break out weekly attendees vs. non-regular Mass-goers, it's like this:

Mass-goers: McCain 54/Obama 45 Bush 56/Kerry 43
Non-Mass goers: McCain 37/ Obama 61 Bush 49/Kerry 50

That tells me something very significant: that regular Mass-goers, who were just as affected by all the other concerns, understood the prolife issue as much as they did four years ago. Obama did not improve his position with them significantly, in a year when he had every reason to do so, but for one: the prolife issue.

Of course, many will see the 45% that voted for Obama, and be unhappy about that; all I can do is point out Kerry got very nearly as much, and remember, folks were talking about what an accomplishment it was that Bush got 56% of these folks only four years ago. McCain got only a little bit less in a terrible economy.

There's more to say, but I have to run. But be very sure that tens of millions of prolifers are gearing up and they will hold President Obama accountable to his words to be president of all of us and to hear our voices. He's going to start hearing prolifers' voices very soon. And it will be deafening.


Muscovite said...

All I can say is, thank you, Father, for the encouragement. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

45% of regular mass goers voted for Obama. That's almost half! This, despite the bishops' statements, and that more spoke out compared to four years ago. Can somebody tell me why?

Anonymous said...

The answer is simple but uncomfortable. A lot of mass goers don't listen to their bishop. I am suprised at how many I've met don't even remember who their bishop is. They'll often immediatly recognize his name after they hear it but many became aware of their bishop only after the homosexual abuse scandal.

Liberal Obama supporters frequently pastor parishes, run the parish offices, the schools and religious ed programs. They often have a lot more influence on the people in the pews than the bishop who often times is not much different than the DRE's etc.

That said it was very encouraging to have so many bishops go public with very strongly worded statements this election season.

Hopefully their words will be followed with action not only for an end to abortion but also for the souls of mass going catholics like Joe Biden.

Tim Lang

Anonymous said...

"aging hack John McCain" might be true but sounds a little rough on a guy that just got thumped.

McCain energized at least some of the base with his selection of Sarah Palin.

I don't consider the Bush years a disaster. His aid to Africa was unprecedented and we were able to hold the line on many prolife issues and even make some advancs in others. Alito and Roberts will prove to be good selections to the supreme court.

Tim Lang

Anonymous said...


Interesting thoughts in this article and the next one, but I have to disagree in one area in particular.

If 45% of regular Mass goers voted for President Elect Obama - up 2% from last election (for Sen Kerry) - how is this not absolutely disgraceful.

I see the statistics about how many think they are conservative but do they know what that means? Or is it the same at the people who went to Mass most Sundays and thought a vote for Obama was dandy?

I think this points to the same thing. These folks are ignorant. Now, as a parent, I'll take the hit for not ensuring my kid knows what conservative really means. (BTW - he does.) But, gosh Father, I think the Bishops and Priests of the nations need to own the other.

Not the group that doesn't go to Mass - just the ones that do. How can it be that they don't understand AND they are showing up for Mass on Sunday?

This is an indictment against the 'leaders' of the Church in America. Either they as a group (and Father, I think you speak the truth with love and hit it out of the park) they are horribly ineffective or they aren't trying because they don't believe in the Truth - who has a name and left a Church.

May God have mercy on them.

mamacantrix said...

Father, thank you for your encouraging words. They were a much needed breath of perspective after a long and frustrating election season. I posted a link elsewhere for some of my disappointed and disillusioned friends, and I thought I'd share one response I got:

"Thanks for the link. I am by nature optimistic, and don't like the cynical worldview that's overtaken me this morning. This was a balm to my spirit, uplifting and has started me on my way to looking up again."

And from me, thank you again. We are truly blessed.

Unknown said...

Catholics and the election were disappointing if not surprising. I hope that when it comes to the actual issue of being pro-life, they show more resolve...

Steve said...

On Father's note about letting our President-elect hear from pro-lifers, please check out this website which allows people to help him bring about the promised "change." Please take a moment to go there and let him know that you envision a Nation where all life is respected and protected. Also, please register your opposition to the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" or FOCA, using tax money to pay for abortions in this Country, and using tax money to pay for abortions abroad. It may not mean much to the Obama administration, but it is a start....