Sam: I Am Not

Deacon Greg channels this confusing tale of a Catholic senator emerging from winter hibernation to take shots at other Catholic senators of the opposite party. Lots of commentary on this puppy:

Under the headline, “Real Catholics need a new voice,” I’m thinking that’s just what the American electorate, by and large, did in the past November elections: Out with Bush; in with Obama.

As none of these senators are mine or ever have been mine, and as they share with me equal status as lay people working in the world, the targets of Senator Brownback’s fundraising are far from an “old voice” for me where my faith is concerned. I have my own voice, thanks. They’re just other Catholics doing their thing. Now, if we’re talking political voice, I have representatives in Congress, State Legislature, and locally here in Iowa. If they happen to be Catholic, fine. If some happen to be Republicans, I have no great problem with that. None of the Iowa Republicans have yet to show themselves as incompetent as Republicans on the federal level.

The linked NCR piece reports that FOCA is being used to whip up the troops into a fervor. No straw man there for me, eh?

What’s this about? It’s all about money, of course. Gold, not straw. From NCR, from the letter’s text:

“Your gift of $100 will help Catholic Advocate reach as many as 200 more voters,” says the Brownback letter. Contributions ranging from $25-$1,000 are solicited, and there is check box for greater contributions. “My good friend, Deal Hudson … is leading the charge to expose these politicians who hide their pro-abortion records behind a ‘smokescreen of faith,’ ” says the letter.

No wonder Sam’s good friend didn’t agree with a dash of sensibility coming from his own web page:

Steve, you might consider this: the mere fact that Amy Sullivan went to that much trouble in the pages of Time to attack the bishop’s program against FOCA suggests it might not be such a bad tactic after all. And she isn’t the only one — there is a coordinated effort on the Catholic left to push back on the FOCA issue. It must be going some damage to Obama’s reputation among Catholics for his supporters to be so mobilized.

Of course it’s not a bad tactic. It’s netting Catholic Advocate contributions in the $25-$1,000 range isn’t it? At the political level, the battle over abortion isn’t about saving lives of the unborn. It’s about maintaining a network of lobbyists, advocates, and think tanks for pay. What did Republicans have to offer pro-lifers on November 5th? Not much, I’d say, except joining in the grand adventure of a major party marginalized by its own corruption and incompetence.

It seems as if Senator Brownback didn’t offer that permission to use his name at all. Or at least there’s a juicy conversation of deniability afoot.

Catholic advocate (in the passive voice, note):

“Approval came from the senator’s office.”

And the Senator’s office in reply (active voice, here):

“Our chief of staff … had never seen, heard of, or approved it.”

Draw your own conclusions, but I’d say pro-lifers are continuing to be manipulated and played like fiddles. How they can maintain support for the Republican brand is beyond me.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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6 Responses to Sam: I Am Not

  1. John Heavrin says:

    “How they can maintain support for the Republican brand is beyond me.”

    First, increasingly many of “they” don’t, which is how Obama won.

    For many pro-lifers, though, the “Democratic brand” is even less acceptible, since it’s largely predicated on keeping abortion on demand legal. To vote Democrat is to acquiesce in that, so it’s a non-starter. The choice is to vote Republican, with all the disappointment it entails, or to find some third-party candidate, with all the futility that entails. Pretty simple, really.

    Do you intend by the use of the word “they” to distinguish yourself from “pro-lifers,” Todd?

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks for commenting, John. I had intended to use “they” in reference to us pro-lifers who have been duped by the GOP. I’ve never found Republican promises with regard to ending abortion particularly convincing. If the Dems hadn’t become pro-choice in the 70′s the GOP was bound to do so. You’re a frequent visitor here, you know I consistently identify as pro-life.

    I don’t find the D-brand particularly thrilling either, but many people can’t get past the point of my criticism of their heroes, so it’s usually a moot point.

  3. Fran says:

    I will be brief – well put Todd.

  4. Tony says:

    How they can maintain support for the Republican brand is beyond me.

    Because it beats the unapologetic Party of Death(tm) which is the alternative.

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