Romney’s Abandonment of Social Issues Contributed to His Defeat

mitt_romney

Television and the blogosphere were alive the day after the election with conservative pundits calling for the GOP to forget social issues, to walk away from abortion and marriage, because these issues lost Romney the election.

Big time political consultant Mike Murphy said on MSNBC that the GOP does not know how to appeal beyond its base. He specifically complained about the issue of homosexual marriage.

Another GOP big foot consultant, Matthew Dowd, said on CNN that the GOP had to drop the social issues in order to appeal to the Obama coalition of young people and women.

Former Democrat and senior Bush adviser Mark McKinnon said he joined the GOP because he was attracted not to the social issues but to George Bush’s innovative thinking on education and that the GOP stance on moral issues is a turn off.

Michael Walsh, former Time Magazine writer and current contributor to National Review’s blog The Corner, wrote,  “…lay off the social issues. Let me be blunt: Conservatives have lost that war, and last night’s defeats are just the beginning. As with Griswold and Roe, the times they are a’changing when it comes to sex. Furthermore: It doesn’t matter. True, the eternal verities remain, well, eternal verities, but quoting random passages from the Old Testament to justify contemporary American mores is just nuts…” Can Walsh please show us exactly who in the pro-life movement is quoting random passages from the Old Testament?

The editors of National Review posted an editorial that asserted, “There is certainly no reason for Republicans to stop defending the right to life, and little prospect that they will. Too many social conservatives have, however, embraced a self-defeating approach to politics—falling, to take a painful example, for Todd Akin’s line that his withdrawal from the Missouri Senate race would be a defeat for their causes. It would have been an advance. And while we continue to believe same-sex marriage is a grave mistake, calls for a constitutional amendment against it are now quixotic.” This is such an odd thing to write. I don’t know of any pro-lifer who “fell” for any such Akin argument, and I don’t know of any group that is actively campaigning for a federal marriage amendment any longer.

I wonder if these folks experienced the same campaign as the rest of us? Exactly when did Mitt Romney campaign, I mean really campaign on the life issues? What ads did he run? Perhaps they were thinking of the Romney ad meant to quell pro-choice concerns, the one telling folks they shouldn’t worry because he still favored abortion for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother? And perhaps these conservatives could show us the ads Romney ran supporting historical marriage, because I missed those and I live in what was one of the hottest of swing states, Virginia.

I might be able to understand these comments if Romney had actually run as a social conservative, but his race was first, last and always about the economy, smaller government, lower taxes, things to warm the cockles of almost any fiscal conservative. But where and when did he actually campaign as a social conservative?

Sure, sure, these things were in the party platform, and when asked about them he would parrot some ill thought out talking points. He said while he was against abortion he favored the exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.  He was so unpracticed on this issue that he seemed not to know that the health exception in Doe v Bolton was what got us to abortion on demand in the first place.

He also said he had no legislative plans on the life issues but that he would reinstate Mexico City Policy and defunding of UNFPA. Is this really what his adviser gave him to say? I dare say that most rank and file pro-lifers have never heard of either Mexico City Policy or UNFPA. Such easy promises are held out as the tiniest of sops to pro-life leaders but in no way give anyone pro-life credentials.

Romney did say he would defund Planned Parenthood but he never said why. He could have pointed out that there are several thousand Title X clinics not connected to Planned Parenthood that do everything Planned Parenthood does except abortions. He could have pointed out that Planned Parenthood raises a billion dollars a year and in time of fiscal crisis perhaps our money is spent better elsewhere. He could have said Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms no matter what they say. He could have said losing federal funding would hardly close Planned Parenthood down. But he didn’t say any of these things.

The decision not to run a campaign on social issues was made at the top and was ruthlessly imposed all the way to the smallest of campaign events. My wife spoke at a very small event on one of those religious freedom days. In her talk she mentioned that abortion would be included in the HHS mandate. This was by no means a pro-life talk and it was in front of no more than ten people. Afterwards the low level Romney campaign twerp berated the event organizer for allowing abortion even to be mentioned.

Whether Team Romney knew it or not, there were three straight up pro-life votes in the states this time around. Two of them passed including one in liberal Massachusetts. And while it’s true historical marriage lost for the very first time in at least three states, in each of these very liberal states, pro-marriage forces ran AHEAD of Romney at the polls.

Here’s the thing. Most young people are pro-life. Most young women are pro-life. Most African-Americans are both pro-life and pro-family. These are three of the demographic groups Obama went after and won. Talk to African American pro-lifers. They were aching to help Romney but Romney was not interested in them. And they are livid. Team Romney left lots of voters behind who were eager to help and now the pundits blame them for Romney’s loss.

All along there was a war over women and it was fought exclusively by Barack Obama. There was a campaign run on the social issues but it was run exclusively by Barack Obama. Mitt Romney ceded the entire ground of the moral issues to Barack Obama and he ran right over Mitt Romney and his timid advisers.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Emerson_C

    The trouble with the Republican Party is people like Mike Murphy and Matthew Dowd. Like Romney, they have no core principles whtsoever.

  • Charles Lewis, Toronto

    Two things bothered me about Romney. During the debates he never mentioned the HHS mandate that forces religious institutions, mainly Catholic and evangelical, to provide free contraception. Romney should have brought that up. Majority of Catholics who use contraception said in a poll several months ago that they still didn’t want the government interfering in Church matters. Second, in the debates about China, both sides spoke about cheating – in terms of currency manipulation etc. Yet neither side talked about the serious oppression of Christianity.

    • Teresa Martin

      He’s not the only one. The Bishops have been scarily silent since the election. That has me more worried than anything else.

  • publiusnj

    The author is right that Romney did avoid moral issues as best he could, but there needs to be a well thought out review of how to argue moral issues without making stupid mistakes the way Akin and Mourdock did. I became a Republican (though raised an Irish Catholic Democrat) precisely because of the Abortion issue and the Gay Marriage Issue has confirmed the utter unacceptability of the Democrat Party EVER. Clearly, abortion and gay marrigage must continue to be fought, but the question is how to do so without going down to defeat time after time.

    The Gay Marriage issue has been fought out on a “rights” versus “religious imperialism” line and not surprisingly, the Democrats can always be glib on a “rights” issue. But when it is considered that the primary reason the State needs to be involved in marriage is to ensure that the products of a sexual congress between two persons (i.e., a new citizen) is taken care of (through child support, presumption of fatherhood for all children born out of the woman during the course of the marriage and intestate inheritance laws), then the silliness of Gay Marriage becomes apparent. The only way a “gay married couple” can produce issue is if one or the other of the “partners” goes outside the marital bounds to outsource the requisite genetic material from a person of the opposite sex (and if the couple is male-male, also the baby carriage services necessary for the gestation period). That genetic outsourcing is the “relationship” that can produce the fruit and that the state therefore needs to regulate (child support and inheritance issues primarily), not the fruitless sexual congress of the “partnership.” the state has so far done little to address the contractr issues entailed in such outsourcing and instead has concentrated on the “gay marriage issue,” yet almost all the issues there cn be dealt with through contracts too. The “partners” of course should be free to designate their other partner as hospital visitors in chief or as inheritors of their property and the federal government could create a taxation category for such a couple (although the gays might end up taxed higher in many cases)

    As to Abortion: wow. How can the pro-life side lose that issue when the other side is calling for the unfettered rights of mothers to kill the living child in their wombs for any and all reasons? Because we always get sidetracked into the relatively rare exceptions and argue them with clumsiness a la Akin. When discussion gets off into the “rape, incest, life of the mother issues” why don’t we tell the moderator or the other side: “no, I am not going off into those weeds for now. I am going to insist we first discuss the 90% plus of abortions that are for many other reasons such as convenience, sex selection and hiding an illicit relationship from one of the patrties’ marriage partners. Once the great majority of cases where mothers want to kill the children in their wombs is thoroughly vetted, we can move onto the relative handful of difficult cases.” And, of course, at the conclusion of that discussion we should insist on calling the Democrat Party the Abortion Party.

    • Carl

      Read 18 year old Katie’s comment above which is typical rubbish from the other side too! Contraception saves babies! WOW! Contraception was made cheap and easy in 1965 and it worked so well that abortion needed to be included by our SCOTUS in 1972. Ignorance knows no bounds. How do you argue with Liars and Deniers?

      • Smooth

        Ok, then vote for a mormon. That’s the best option. Can I have to explain you the mormon doctrine?

        • carl

          Not too smooth,
          What about Black Liberation Theology, Rev Wright, “not God Bless America but GD america.” Or recently the 2008 inauguration BLT pastor when fearful that BHO may loose the 2012 election said “white people are all going to hell.”

          Quite frankly, VP Joe Biden’s catholicism does more damage then any mormon ever will.

          • Better smooth than lost

            No. A more is extremely much more dangerous than Joe Biden. Joe Biden may be partly right. A mormon is totally wrong.

            • Passerby

              Aren’t half truths moredangerous than lies?

              • Never smooth on lies

                No. Lies are dangerous. Sure. Actually, half truths do not exist. Or the truth or the lack of truth, what means the lie. The fact is that exists different type of lies: 1) lies that imitate truths. 2) Big lies. 3) Small lies. 4) Lies that seem truths. 5) atractive lies, etc. Moreover, all are lies. And morminism is the biggest lie, even worst and dangerous than Obama.

                • Carl

                  Well, if that were true why does the devil tempt Jesus with half truths?
                  1. Jesus didn’t need Lucifer to tell him he could make bread out of rocks, but the whole truth is that man doesn’t live by bread alone.

                  2. Jesus knew that angels could or would save Him if He threw himself from the rocky cliff. But the whole truth, to tempt God is to deny Him and to place our will before His—to make ourselves like god.

                  3. Lucifer was given dominion over this world, time, and place. But the whole truth is eternity with God whom we shall serve with love.

                  If the leviathan, lucifer, were to expose himself as the unadulterated liar and murderer that he is everyone would run to God.

                  Not too smooth to claim your smarter than lucifer…

                  How can you skip the fact that Paul Ryan was on the Republican Ticket. Was Jesus wrong to exult the women at the well? The Good Sameritan or the Centurion? Mormonism has no truth?

                  Exult the truth and admonish the lie. Romney would have defended life and marriage on the supreme court. Now we will watch the destruction of marriage through the SCOTUS and a death knell for the over turn of abortion. Congradulations in part to the puritan Catholics.

                  • Sometimes smooth, not always

                    Jesus never accepted the Devil’s lie. Actually, I can say that Jesus was never totally tempted by the Devil’s lie. Maybe is the Devil who wanted to say He was almost able to tempt God; that could had been a great achievement for Lucifer. Since the first moment He, God, knew he was being tempted by a lie. And is easy to understand with a logical reasoning. If he was the whole truth, the Devil could not had been any truth, because then there had existed two opposite truths: Jesus’ truth and the Devil’s truth, and both were against the other. So one or the other. Never both two.

                    I’m not smarter than Lucifer, that’s why I’m not yet in the possesion of the whole truth to fight against Him. But I hope I will one day. What is sure is that God is smarter than Lucifer. Besides, only in the lack of truth the Devil may exist.

                    Paul Ryan is someone deeply influenced by Ayn Rand (and others). And I have to say one thing: if he likes reading that type of literature, he has not a very exquisite taste. Nietzsche, for example, as an atheist, is extremely much more interesting, radical and great than Rand. Or Feuerbach. But I deeply recommend Ryan reading the social teachings from the Catholic Church, reading more GK Chesterton and Belloc and less Hayek or Friedman. Ultimately, Ryan’s economic/social views are a radical insult to the social views of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, two key characters in the XXth century social Catholic teachings.

                    Tea Party (as the KKK was) and some Republicans are extremely much more dangerous for the Catholic faith than many Democrats, who, along history, have been closer to Catholicism. I can not understand the deals between evangelism and catholicism or between (some) mormons and catholics against Obama or in favour of Romney. You may be against Obama, but you, as a Catholic, never can agree with the essence of evangelism or mormon.

                    Luther, the closest evangelist to catholicism that protestantism has ever had, indeed was the big threat for catholicism. Is clear abortion is bad (who doubt it? I’m sure Obama also knows abortion is bad, but he knows he can not enslave those who have lack of truth). Moreover, there are others things that are not so clear, in that ground is where Romney was heavily striking the Catholic teaching. Obama could had been a good friend of Dorothy Day. Romney never.

  • Dai Yoshida

    Overwhelming majority of 18 years old Catholic first time voters went for Obama. 2004 should have been a wake up call for the Bishops. They had 4 years to reform CCD and Catholic schools. They had 4 years to make it very clear to 14 years old that knowingly voting for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate was a mortal sin. Once again, the Bishops sat on their hands. They have nobody to blame but themselves. They had a chance to change the voters and they did nothing. Now they’re blaming the candidate?

    • publiusnj

      Dai and Thomas could have promising (but inevitably short-lived) careers in a circular firing squad. Catholic bishops are one of the few sources of sanity in this land. Sure, they have sought to compromise with the spirit of the age and that has led to poor catechesis but the real enemy of Christianity is not the Catholic Episcopate. Obama was in the vanguard of the progressives’ struggle against the Church and Romney sought to avoid moral issues entirely because his focus groups told him victory could be had on the Economy Alone. No one was listening to the Church nor would they even if the Church spoke out more loudly.
      That said, the truth remains that, going forward, the Church needs to view its role as countercultural and prophetic. This nation may now see itself as the “land of the free to abort and the home of the gay” but that is hardly a long-term ideal that would motivate people to sacrifice anything for the country. Will soldiers be willing to die for such an American Creed? The Church can call us to a better identity, one of real freedom on important issues, not free contraception and a war on babies.

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  • Katie

    I’m an 18-year-old female, a first-time voter, and the product of a Catholic education. I took my responsibility as a voter very seriously. Life — in all its forms and at every stage — was THE most important election issue to me. I studied the issue carefully and thought about it from many different perspectives. I was deeply moved by the horrifying pictures, coming out of the Gulf War, and the stories of the dead, mutilated, and traumatized home-coming US soldiers. Did that war, so casually and thoughtlessly prosecuted, respect life? I also looked at abortion rates under Reagan (they rose), Clinton (they saw their largest decline), Bush (the precipitous drop leveled out), and under Obama (studies clearly show that free contraception dramatically reduces both abortion and teen pregnancy rates).I learned that the Massachusetts health care plan signed into law by Governor Romney actually REDUCED abortion rates by 21%! I thought about health care and studied the benefits of preventative care for all versus the horror of abandoning the sick to emergency room care. I read about the number of children who die because they lack health care and of people who die from conditions that could have been cured if they had been caught in time. I looked at abortion statistics from other countries and learned that contraception and education keep abortion rates much, much lower than criminalizing abortion in countries that excoriate unwed mothers.

    Overall, I concluded that those most likely to CAMPAIGN as pro-life are actually much bigger killers than those who campaign for social justice. Bush II has the blood of thousands and thousands of people on his hands. It is specifically on the basis of pro-life issues that President Obama earned my vote.

    • Carl

      Care to reference your data? It’s pointless refuting all your false claims, I’ll wait for your referenced data before I waste any more time. But I will address one, the pill which is the most common form of contraception is an abortifacient. It kills conceived children by not allowing the embryo to latch unto the uterine wall.

      I’ll address two, and you completely deny the correlation between the contraception mentality to the ever increasing moral depravity and the horrible broken family statistics?

      OK, three, how many lives are saved with Saddam deposed of and can’t create wars with his neighbors like Iran in the 80’s, Kuwait in the 90’s, and his own countrymen the Kurds.

      • Katie

        Carl, I know your guy lost, but you don’t have to be so grumpy about it! It is your claims that are false. The vast majority of oral contraceptives are NOT abortifacient – they prevent ovulation. There are studies that clearly show that free contraception reduces abortion rates. If you don’t like that, it’s because you don’t care about babies dying, but you want to control women’s sexuality. Well, guess what? We women have a legitimate way of “shutting that whole thing down.” It’s called voting. We just did it!

        MANY, MANY more lives were lost in the neocon invasion of Iraq than would have been lost if Saddam had been left alone. And do you know who encouraged Saddam, armed him, and took his side against Iran in the 80s? The good old US of A! Our neocons also supported and armed the Taliban once upon a time. That was before we decided it was a good idea to wipe them out. We also provided Saddam with the gas used to kill thousands of Kurds and opposed punishing him with a trade embargo because US chicken hawks wanted him to kill more Iranians.

        • Adam Baum

          There are studies that clearly show that free contraception reduces
          abortion rates. If you don’t like that, it’s because you don’t care
          about babies dying, but you want to control women’s sexuality.

          One of things of the things that you learn as you get older is how to detect “Bravo Sierra”. Katie, I think you are a troll and if not a troll, clearly a defective product of the Catholic education you claim to have received.

        • Carl

          No where did I type grumpiness but clearly you are being snide. No where did I type that contraception doesn’t prevent abortions—daahhh! Isn’t that the purpose of contraception, if it prevents conception it must also prevent abortions as well! LOL, WOW!
          The pill IS NOT a garantee to prevent ovulation, if a child is conceived the the secondary effects prevent the embryo attachment to the uterine wall. Abortion. The pill is nothing more than the female hormone to created a continuous period. Didn’t they teach you in high school sex Ed that pregnancy is always possible at any time?
          “Many, many more lives,” Iraq issue, again reference data? Well, we also sold arms to Japan, did the USA cause Pearl Harbor and the WW II? You know the French aided us during the 1776 Revolution so you could blame them too for your ability to live in the greatest country that has ever existed. Are you really saying that we told Iraq to invade Iran? Those two countries don’t agree who invaded who and I don’t remember Iran blaming the USA. ISBN of your high school history book please?

          Your beloved Democrats and McNmara’s “war of attrician” in Veitnam certainly fails the just war theory.
          So I gather you sex life is the only thing you voted for—how sad.

        • John

          Katie; did you ever look at the Iraqi order of battle under Saddam Husein? If you did you would see that the vast majority of his ordinance was from the Warsaw Pact and China, with smaller numbers sold to them by France. The small quantity of American tanks and transports (less than 50) were sold to them about 20 years before Saddam came to power. What did we actually provide to Saddam’s Iraq was a small amount of funding (if memory serves, less than 1%), and some intel on Iranian troop movements. The same is true with his chemical weapons; they were either bought from the Soviets or built with Soviet technology. What we provided was some medical technology that let them treat anthrax – unfortunately, the ability to treat is also the ability to create. This is a moot point because Saddam never used it; he mainly used mustard gas.

          As for the Taliban, they were funded and supplied by the Saudis and the Pakistanis; not by the USA. Both of those countries saw the Taliban as a path to controlling Afghanistan after the Soviet pullout. What the US funded and supplied were some Afghan militia groups during the Soviet invasion. After the Soviets pulled out, so did we. And as to why we decided it was a good idea to wipe them out, there was the little issue of them supporting terrorists and mistreating their own people.

          And oh yeah, it was the Democrat controlled Congress that had first opposed sanctions against Saddam in the 1990’s; for the most part conservatives supported them along with direct action.

        • ForsythiaTheMariner

          The U.S. bombed Iraq regularly over a 12 year period, going back to Bill Clinton’s administration, to soften it up in preparation for the 2003 invasion. Bush (and all the Republicans and Democrats, including Hillary Clinton) who supported him made it worse, but they didn’t start it. Both the Democrats and Republicans are engaged in war-mongering.

      • Adam Baum

        Carl, those assertions have been popping up routinely on other fora, generally from self-identified Catholic leftists who supported Obama. I suspect they are suspect, but Katie is clearly getting and making a one-sided view.

    • publiusnj

      And Katie would let that go on in the name of respect for life (life so long as a woman doesn’t want to kill it off, more likely).And Obama doesn’t have the blood of thousands on his hands? Forget the aborted fetuses and the children born alive but killed thereafter as Obama would permit, just look at Obama’s favorite little war–the acceptable Afghan War, which was acceptable mainly because the Iraq War had been opposed by him and the Democrats and he had to show himself in favor of some war because the surge had undoubtedly worked by the time of the 2008 election. There have been @2022 dead in the 11 year course of the Aghan war and 1400 of them have occurred in the period 2009 through date (i.e., on BHO’s watch).

      More broadly, the claim that free abortion dramatically lowers abortion rates is inconsistent with history as Carl notes. And as for why abortion rates are lower in other countries, one good reason is that throughout most of Western Europe, abortions are generally prohibited after the first trimester. It is in this increasingly savage country that abortion is permitted until the end of the Second Trimester (and really with the health exception for almost as long as a mother wants to kill the child in her womb).
      And Katie makes this argument as one who is supposedly pro-life. Really, she is pro-life only so long as her sister woman doesn’t want to kill the life off. Then the pro-life thing is the anti-life thing in Katie’s wacky thinking.

    • Leadbyexample

      I agree, and I really believe that’s the right view. And I wonder: what about voting for a mormon? Do we know what mormonism says? We know what thinks Catholic Church about Obama’s policies, and what She thinks about mormonism? I guess we all know it.

    • John200

      At 18, you have time to improve. But you must begin pronto. Life is shorter than you think, a fortiori for those you would abort to serve the convenience of the mother.

    • Adam Baum

      Katie, I’m sure some people might applaud you for your civic engagement, but I can’t. You remind me of myself a couple decades ago-self-righteous, assured of my objectivity and capacity and able to build an air tight case for things I had already depreciated by seeking information that supported my view. It’s called confirmation bias, we all have it, and at 18, we are utterly unaware of how our views are manipulated and shaped, sometimes by our own attitudes and the pressure cooker of our peers and the cultural icons we consider aspirational reference groups. (Beyonce, Jay-Zee,Katie Perry, all the “cool” people)

      Stipulating (that’s a premise for argument not an acceptance as fact) the figures you cite about abortion rates is true, what did those presidents due to affect those rates? Since Roe v Wade has been law since 1973, what policy changes produced those numbers. Do you know about the distinction between correlation and causation? No, because unless you are some kind of prodigy, you are at best a college freshman, and I suspect not yet even exposed to such concepts, if they are even taught anymore.

      You seem to think the only determinant of abortion rates is the President. Does the Republican Congress that was in power during six years of Clinton’s term get credit for that asserted drop in abortion rates? Does Reagan share blame with the Democratic House and Senate that were in place during his ENTIRE term? How does the Supreme Court figure in this? Why would Planned Parenthood and NARAL have supported Obama so much-do they think its a good thing if their revenue (yeah they make money) was going to be cut?

      I’m going to tell you something you desperately need to hear. You don’t have any life or professional experience, and so you when you read, you passively accept the words as valid and unbiased, if it’s from someplace or someone you like or trust. The most important thing you desperately need to know- is that you don’t know everything.

      I’m sure you’ve heard it from older people, but you don’t believe it-nobody does at 18. So somebody on the internet can say it, but you’ll disregard, because until you are about 30, you think you have all the answers, when nobody even has all the questions.

      You don’t even realize your partisan bias is betrayed by your reference to “Bush II” (actually Bush 43 is the more common parlance) while simultaneously referring to “President Obama”. Using the term “social justice” also betrays a bias.

      I’m sorry if you feel that your opinion isn’t being given a full measure of respect. Expecting an adult with years of wisdom beyond you to treat it as worthy of merit, when you’ve impeached your own credibility is just part of the unreasonable expectations of being young. You’ll survive, if you have a thick enough skin to take some criticism, because trust me-it’s headed your way. Good luck.

      • Adam Baum

        Correction. Decided, not depreciated. I accepted Office’s spell check with insufficient critical thought. My bad.

      • Passerby

        As a Twenty-Two year old voter… Amen to this.

    • Adam Baum

      Let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that the statistics you assert are true: Does the Republican Congress that existed under 6 of 8 years of the Clinton administration get any credit? Similarly Reagan had a Democrat Congress during his entire administration. Do they share any blame?

    • bartskibeat

      Katie, you make some interesting & informed points.It’s interesting to note the ratio between the number of abortions in various countries & their approach to sex education. In most western countries like the UK, Wales, Canada & the US, the average was about 69.1 per 1000.Sex education programs, if they were existent, had lots of exemptions & parents could excuse their kids from these exercises in education. In Belgium, however, they have excellent sex educations programs in place & they are compulsory. No opting out is allowed. And, the abortion rate is 15.2 per 1000..

    • ForsythiaTheMariner

      Katie, I agree that a true pro-life candidate would also be opposed to these totally unjust wars (Iraq, for example) and to invading more countries. George W. Bush was not, in my belief, pro-life. He was more opposed to abortion than some others, for example, but certainly didn’t seem to hold much respect for human life in general.

      That being said, I would suggest you look further into statistics of abortion legalization vs. the rates at which it occurs. Marc Barnes awesome blog, Bad Catholic, is a good place to start here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/11/does-contraception-reduce-the-abortion-rate.html

      Lastly, if you are concerned about human life, you could look into what President Obama did his first day back in office. That is, authorize a drone strike in Yemen. I have to agree with Julian Assange here, in that the President is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • hombre111

    Tears were streaming down my monitor screen as I read this article. On your feet, you perpetually angry white males. Doff the three-cornered hat, members of the Tea Party. Tune up the fife and drum. Drink some beer and mash those aluminum cans, oh you racists in the South. Try to figure out how to get your party back, you frustrated moderate Repubs still spiritually bound to Nixon and Eisenhower. Four years of work and blame casting lie ahead.

    • Carl

      First, where’s the civility, I thought you people were thoughtful and loving—I’m not feeling it! So while you’re gloating while at the same time pressing your boot on our collective proverbial throats remember this, the election was close, Obama can’t run in 2016, conservatives aren’t going away, we control the US House and a majority of the States.

      How long are people going to tolerate stagnation in economic growth, do you really think you can keep blaming Bush? Interest rates at .4 %, no market growth. Do you really think that the narcissistic obama is going to reach across the aisle and do something not out of the socialist playbook? LOL If the american people over the next four years can’t see what this guy is all about by then everyone will eventually have that government assistance boot on our throats. And at that time I would say “I told you so,” if not for the boot on my throat. Congratulations in destroying america.

      • hombre111

        Carl, sorry for gloating. Couldn’t help myself. The Repubs control the house because Repub legislatures in the states gerrymandered the districts, guaranteeing that a Dem can’t win. Ergo, Repubs continue to control the House. This was predicted a year ago. This is not just a Repub problem. Dems do it too. Setting up all those safe blue or red districts where candidates are guaranteed to win is one of the things that is polarizing America today. There are fewer and fewer districts where a real political choice takes place. My state is one of the reddest in the nation, but they still arrange those safe districts, making it more and more difficult for a Dem to get into office. But, as I understand it, Dems do the same things to Repubs in California.

        • Adam Baum

          What’s polarizing America is people who insist up is down and right is wrong. Your kind of people. The rest of us what to be left alone.

    • Mark

      …and here I thought the dinosaurs went extinct

    • musicacre

      Ummm, emotion seems to carry the day. It certainly carried the election and its results. Really??? Obama’s family didn’t toil in the deep south. He was born a child of privilege to Communist elitists. Oops sorry those were his grandparents. Socialism has failed miserably all over the world and it was only too obvious the people who voted Obama in were not the types who have educated themselves on the world around them or have any knowledge of the immediate history of the world. Anarchists and ignorant people love him because he makes them feel good.
      Oh, and I’m not male, or angry…

      • withhope

        musicare

        Agree. Since when did two ‘wrongs’ make a right. With regards to Bush, we forget there is such a thing as a just war. A little investigation as to the deaths under Obama and under Bush can put to bed the idea Obama’s forgein policy is saving lives or that in total war kills more humans than abortion, social tyrannies, or hate-fear based religions like islam.

        I think Fr. Hollowell sums it up well:

        http://catholicexchange.com/election-reflection-for-warrior-catholics/

      • hombre111

        But you do need some more beer. Cheers.

        • Adam Baum

          No, after this disaster, we’ll need your favorite intoxicant.

        • musicacre

          Don’t worry, I had one:) I thought you were putting down all thinking people as being uptight. It’s hard to read someone sometimes when you can’t see their facials and their writing style isn’t clear. A lot can get lost in the message, in fact the whole message.

    • Adam Baum

      And the resident troll, who claims to be a Priest, but clearly honed his internet homilies from a curious fusion of Commonsqueal and Carville, pipes in. Tell us more, Father Murphy (for those to young to remember, a show about a guy pretending to be a Priest)

      Can you tell us more about your experiences in the sixties, did you turn on and tune out then?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.coleman.146 Thomas Coleman

    I have to agree with Dai Yoshida. Did our bishops really not know the dreddful state of catechesis in this country? Could it be, on the other hand, that many of the bishops are still attached to the notion that the Abortion Party’s promise to punish the rich and feed the poor compensates for its mightily striving to destroy Christendom? I am a afraid that the Awful Truth is closer to the latter. It is no secret that many professors at our so-called Catholic colleges make rejection of Church Teaching a badge of honor. Many of you fortunate people who do not reside in Guitar Mass Land might not realize that some of the very laymen and deacons delivering the Readings and distributing the Eucharist look with scorn upon the very idea of moral absolutes and non-negotiable issues. And you should realize that there are more than a few pastors who would regard my pointing out this contradiction to be the Greatest Sin al All. My prayer is that Cardinal Dolan will use this half time to give his team the locker room lecture of the ages to ensure that if our country slides deeper into moral decay it willnot becuase that decay was supported by ill-informed, relativist, modernist, Catholics.
    .

    • musicacre

      Amen to that! All those things you mentioned are reasons why I am so glad the Latin Mass is making a strong resurgence! You no longer have to participate in lack of respect for the Holy Eucharist anymore, or lack of mystery, or apathy, or banality, or campfire music that belongs at campfires, devoutness replaced with sentimentality, community self- worship, and blasphemous sermons!!! I feel like it is Christmas, every time I go!!

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  • Edward Peitler

    This is all a bunch of nonsenseabout what “Romney did or did not do to lose the election. My guess is that if Jesus Christ were to have run against Obama, he would have lost. Obama won because:

    1. A significant number of Catholics do not practice their faith according to the teachings of the Church. They contracept, support gay marriage and wink at politicians who espouse
    abortion policies. These are faux Catholics. My guess is that few among the group of “Catholics” voting for Obama attend Mass on a weekly basis and receive the sacrament of confession at least monthly.

    2. We have many parasites in our country who believe that government’s role is to provide them with food stamps, a job, a cell phone, health care, housing, etc. Before you know it they will be demanding all the sex they want because that too will be declared a right. In short, government’s role is to play to their id, furnish their every want and eliminate any and all distress or frustration that life may bring. And if you promise them all this, you will be sure to get their vote.

    3. There are too many unmarried women who are having sex outside of marriage and bearing children without the benefit of husbands. It’s nice that they didn’t choose an abortion but it would have been better if they had not been fornicating in the first place. Because they have children, they believe now that the government should act as “husband
    surrogate” and provide for their financial support. Democrats are great at pandering to this group via their Planned Parenthood partners.

    4. There are too many men out there with same-sex attraction who believe that two men trying to have sex is a natural and normative act and that their relationship should be recognized by the government in order to garner some legitimization for a very unnatural act. Same sex marriage initiaitves supported by Democrats locks up this vote.

    5. There are far too many of our young people who grew up in broken homes (more than 50% of children will go to sleep tonight not living in the same home as their biological father). These younger generation, besides experiencing an abysmal family life growing up), have now no prospect of good jobs, have little or no direction in their lives, have not had the benefit of a moral education, believe in no God who amounts to much in their lives, and have been educated by a government run school system that has taught them nothing about the foundations of our democracy and the workings of our government. Because of all of the above, they are prey to any and all promises that “Momma government will take care of you for the rest of your life.” They are likely to believe any lies you tell them because they have been lied to by parents, teachers and many others all their lives. They cannot tell lies from the truth (until it comes back to bite them in the butt). So Obama will promise them something, and he’ll get their vote. They have learned not to think to long and too hard about most important matters of life.

    6. Government workers at the Federal, State and Local levels makeup an enormous share of our working population. When your livelihood depends on government getting all the revenue it needs to pay your salary, healthcare and pension benefits you can be very
    certain that you will be voting for the government that says “Tax the rich” and not the party that says “We need to reduce government spending” because that means YOUR JOB might be on the line! It doesn’t matter if the government is 16 trillion dollars in debt as long as your weekly paycheck keeps rolling in.

    When you have an electorate such as the above, you don’t have a chance of beating the Democrat candidate – even if he’s running against Jesus Christ!

    • Carl

      Dead on Post!!

    • Cunadelcatolicismo

      Ok, then vote a mormon. Ask the Pope what he thinks about mormonism…

      • Adam Baum

        And you think Obama’s religion, where the Pastor inserts taking the Lord’s name in vain in sermons from the pulpit is some pinnacle of orthodoxy?

        • Cunadelcatolicismo

          I think almost everything is better than a mormon. And even better than a billionaire mormon who change his opinion everytime and everywhere. Romeny could had been the doom for religion (the true religion, obviously), for faith (I don’t consider the book he read and what he thinks as “faith”), for economy, for society, for the poor, for the decent, for the honest, for…

    • Adam Baum

      There are more conservatives working in government than you could imagine, especially in the financial occupations. I am one, my coworker is one, my boss is one.

  • Jeff

    Austin Ruse writes, “But where and when did he actually campaign as a social conservative?”
    He’s not a social conservative; he’s an economic conservative. To come through the primaries against Santorum, Perry, and Gingrich, he had to pose as a social conservative. Later, when he lagged Obama by four points in the polls, he became more moderate and the race tightened, indicating that true social conservatives are no longer electable in modern America. However this exposed him as unprincipled, which hurt him in the long run. It was the crazy, wild-eyed wing of the GOP that probably hurt him most of all. Rush Limbaugh and Todd Akins are very popular with a small group of people, but this election was ultimately determined by undecided voters in seven or eight swing states. They are alienated by the crazies who insist that Obama is a Kenyan-born, Muslim, atheist, liberation theologist, communist Nazi that secretly wants to implement Sharia law and destroy America, and that Sandra Fluke is a slut. Romney, despite repudiating some of his more vocal supporters, could never free himself of their cloying stench. The more moderate politician that Romney was at heart, the one that won the presidential debate in Denver, would have won this election. By embracing Romney as a climate denying, racist, sexist, bigoted lunatic-hero, his own party labeled him and hung him up to dry. Perhaps the GOP needs to split its fragmented base and let social conservatives and economic conservatives form their own parties and go their separate ways. It is the social issues of the GOP, not the economic ones, that made Romney unelectable.

    • Edward Peitler

      So tell us all, presuming you are Catholic, which of the social conservative views you agree with and which you don’t.

    • Anders13

      Jeff, your comment is just smoke and mirrors deception. The election was determined
      by two simple issues:
      1. Libertarian conservatives stayed home because Romney abandoned conservative principles.
      2. The Republican party is painted by the media as the ” If you want a lot of goodies then get a job.” party; which is not too far from the truth.
      The Democrat party is painted by the media as the ” If you want a lot of goodies then vote for us and we will give them to you free” party. The vast majority of minorities volt for free goodies.

      Change either one of those points and Romney would be President Elect.
      As far as social issues are concerned, compare party platforms. Apparently we are at about an equal vote point on social issues.

      • Jeff

        Libertarian conservatives were those most likely to come out and vote for Romney. It’s the social conservative nutcases — not the real social conservatives — that are scaring away the moderate independent voters that decide elections. These are the shrill voices that misinform the electorate and have done for years, which turns away the more informed moderates. I’m talking of the people who got a free ride as “visionaries” or “geniuses” back in the Clinton years, the Ann Coulters, Rush Limbaughs, and Bill O’Reillys, who could say anything anti-liberal, however untrue. They could belch and certain social conservatives, who love to have their biases affirmed, would applaud. They’ve outlived their usefulness with our new better informed electorate and become an albatross around our necks. When you have the crazies bleating that taxes went up under Obama (they went down), that he was born in Kenya, that he’s a Muslim, atheist, Marxist, etc., etc., our side loses all credibility with intelligent voters. We have to find our way to dissociate from the ignorant and hysterical prophets of doom that make the GOP a laughing stock.

        • ForsythiaTheMariner

          I have to disagree. I wanted Ron Paul to win in 2008 and again in 2012. Some of those I know who call themselves Conservative wrote Ron Paul off as a nut job in 2008, but it became a lot harder for them to do so in 2012. I know many of his supporters did not vote for either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama in the 2012 elections.

    • Adam Baum

      Wow, dude, take a breath when you are put much Obama-Aid in the ol’ beer bong.

    • Adam Baum

      Sandra Fluke came to prominence as a thirty year old, unmarried woman who insists she needs contraceptives to support her life choices- why is it crazy to conclude she is what used to be called a woman of “easy virtue”?

    • ForsythiaTheMariner

      What exactly is the definition of a Fiscal or Economic Conservative? Because, according to what I understand it to be, Mitt Romney doesn’t even come close. The biggest indicator is that the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have so far cost the US over a trillion dollars (that we don’t have) and growing every second. Mitt Romney isn’t talking about pulling our troops out, ending the seemingly endless expansion of the Military Industrial Complex (which is bankrupting our country and not something I could imagine out Founding Fathers would approve of). Not only that, he is mulling going to war with Iran. More lives and money lost. No, I don’t think Mitt Romney is really Conservative in the definition I understand it to me. Now, would he protect unborn children more than Barack Obama? Yes, that’s for sure. But if you’re looking for a real, Conservative candidate, you could have looked into Ron Paul.

  • kathryn

    NEVER abandon your morals for anything, any person, or even a Presidency!! It will never be worth it!

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  • Theorist

    Probably Katie was talking about this:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00053774.htm

    “In addition, in 1995, the national abortion rate was the
    lowest
    recorded since 1975 (5). This decline in the abortion rate probably

    reflects the decreasing rate of unintended pregnancies; reduced
    access to
    abortion services; and changes in contraceptive practices,
    including an
    increased use of contraception, particularly an increased use of
    condoms
    among young women (6-9).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Number_of_Abortions_in_US_%282005%29.gif

    This picture also shows how the # of abortions increased from 1.2 to 1.3 through the 80s and then plummeted to 800,000 in 1995.

    IMO, clearly (due to the fantastic decline starting in the 90s) contraception had to do with this but we should note that “reduced access to abortion services” also had an impact.

    On Romney: he wasn’t a social conservative but I’m surprised anyone would characterize him as an economic conservative. I think his equivocal stances in both categories is what got him defeated, though he did surprisingly better than McCain, and one does wonder how Mr. “Hope and Change” himself got elected on a record which was the exact opposite of the expectations he was supposed to fulfill.

    • Carl

      “changes in contraceptive practices” the pill is being popped like PEZ candies! The Pill is also an abortifacient and NOT counted by CDC or anyone else. So the left lies.

      “unintended pregnancies” as the truth is revealed more people are becoming pro-life. But many of whom who use the abortifacient pill do not consider this activity abortion or are unaware what’s really happening—like Katie.

      “reduced access to abortion services” This one makes no sense. No data.

      “contraceptive practices” Well daaahh, if it prevents conception it prevent an abortion.

      I make these points above narrowly on the “contraception reduces abortion” argument. The Catholic moral issue is clear. And the fact remains that abortions are probably much higher than reported because the “abortifacient pill” use is NOT counted. Single unwed mothers are the number one reason for poverty and the continued cycle of poverty. Read Humane Vitae, it was prophetic! Free love was and is not free to society or any individual. With Social Services encompassing 70% on our tax budget it is crushing us.

  • http://EWTN.com John francis Luke Siple

    for sure!

  • ArielMalek

    It may be not that conservatives in the REpublican party should dump social values-ie issues of conscience, human dignity and worth-but rather that true conservatives might find it necessary to dump the elephant-hide-bound Republican party whose establishment has never given us a true conservative (the only true one, Reagan-they opposed) and despite the radical risk, create a third party based on higher values than mammon or the god of the pocketbook. The Republican establishment has always just used true conservatives, especially social ones, like a spoiled rich kid uses a girl with a good heart to have a date to the prom, and then a fling in the back seat of the car before dumping her. So the REpublican establishment only uses the passion and committment of Christians/Catholics with conservative values and conscience to attain and maintain power. They only give us enough bait to keep us in the game, but never really change much. This anti-social issues rhetoric by the Establishment shows the true heart of the Republican party bosses. The real root problems in America are spiritual not political or economic-the health of the latter is a by-product of healthy love and fear of God and as the Founder’s noted respectful following of the Scriptures. As someone whose family roots in the REpub party go back many generations, this is not easy to say, but now that the election is over, we may have no choice but to start building a third party-or some third-party movement that reflects our conservative and constitutional values we were founded on. The Establishment from what I saw basically stole primaries to get their man in and cram him down our throats despite the core constituency. We can’t afford to wait until 2016 or they will manipulate us again with fear-we need to start with the Christian-spiritual foundation our founders gave us, then build upon that a body politic that reflects those values that made us great-including respect for life and freedom. A third party or movement may be risky, but our great nation was not founded by fearful wimps averse to danger or risk. All great things, and indeed the survival of our nation was due to men and women of courage risking all for God and nation. As Reagan said about the Democratic party-I didn’t leave them-they left me. Same with the Republican party which I believe has become too corrupt to redeem. Remember the Whigs. Remembers the Federalist party. There always hasn’t been Republicans and Democrats. And BTW the anarchistic Libertarian philosophy which makes a god out of man and human freedom is not the answer either with all due respect to tI just got this email from a friend who is a
    pray warrior and member of Women’s Aglow. They have regular prayer
    gatherings on the phone and this is what one sister shared-quite awesome
    and incredible:
    “FYI On the Aglow prayer call tonight, one of the regular prayer

    warriors shared a story that she says was verified. This week there
    were at least 5 known incidents where an unknown man conversed with
    people who stopped for various reasons on a particular 11 mile stretch
    of road near her house. In each incident the man ended up by saying
    “Do not be concerned about the election results because God is in control” Then the man would vanish.

    We will keep our eyes on the Lord.”hose sincere adherents. Our ultimate answer is a spiritual: A new Great Awakening and rebuilding of our society according to the original Biblical design-not by force but by the power of changed hearts and shared convictions. Our first recourse is bold and faith-filled prayer petitioning the throne of God to forgive, heal and restore our land. (II Chronicles 7:14)

    • ArielMalek

      Sorry folks somehow my original posts got interspersed with another message which I received from a friend which in itself is quite encouraging nonetheless confusing;.Here is my intended message.

      It
      may be not that conservatives in the REpublican party should dump
      social values-ie issues of conscience, human dignity and worth-but
      rather that true conservatives might find it necessary to dump the
      elephant-hide-bound Republican party whose establishment has never given
      us a true conservative (the only true one, Reagan-they opposed) and
      despite the radical risk, create a third party based on higher values
      than mammon or the god of the pocketbook. The Republican establishment
      has always just used true conservatives, especially social ones, like a
      spoiled rich kid uses a girl with a good heart to have a date to the
      prom, and then a fling in the back seat of the car before dumping her.
      So the REpublican establishment only uses the passion and committment of
      Christians/Catholics with conservative values and conscience to attain
      and maintain power. They only give us enough bait to keep us in the
      game, but never really change much. This anti-social issues rhetoric by
      the Establishment shows the true heart of the Republican party bosses.
      The real root problems in America are spiritual not political or
      economic-the health of the latter is a by-product of healthy love and
      fear of God and as the Founder’s noted respectful following of the
      Scriptures. As someone whose family roots in the REpub party go back
      many generations, this is not easy to say, but now that the election is
      over, we may have no choice but to start building a third party-or some
      third-party movement that reflects our conservative and constitutional
      values we were founded on. The Establishment from what I saw basically
      stole primaries to get their man in and cram him down our throats
      despite the core constituency. We can’t afford to wait until 2016 or
      they will manipulate us again with fear-we need to start with the
      Christian-spiritual foundation our founders gave us, then build upon
      that a body politic that reflects those values that made us
      great-including respect for life and freedom. A third party or movement
      may be risky, but our great nation was not founded by fearful wimps
      averse to danger or risk. All great things, and indeed the survival of
      our nation was due to men and women of courage risking all for God and
      nation. As Reagan said about the Democratic party-I didn’t leave
      them-they left me. Same with the Republican party which I believe has
      become too corrupt to redeem. Remember the Whigs. Remembers the
      Federalist party. There always hasn’t been Republicans and Democrats.
      And BTW the anarchistic Libertarian philosophy which makes a god out of
      man and human freedom is not the answer either with all due respect to
      those sincere adherents.

      Our ultimate answer is spiritual: A new Great Awakening and rebuilding of our
      society according to the original Biblical design-not by force but by
      the power of changed hearts and shared convictions. Our first course
      is bold and faith-filled prayer petitioning the throne of God to
      forgive, heal and restore our land. (II Chronicles 7:14)

  • Robert

    Romney was not a good candidate. He was the arch capitalist who did not care about sccial issues. Romney even abandoned his Mormon faith when he refused to talk about it and instead only addressed economic issues. The GOP long ago abandoned its traditional social platform and indeed it is a sad comment on society that social issues are considered anathema for politicians. Given the increasing immorality and decline of Western society you would think that these issues would be even more iimportant for our world today. Instead they are ignored entirely and a militant atheism combined with secularism, materilalism and greed has taken over modern society.

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