When a Political Party Abandons Its Principles

 [A political party is] a body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours, the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed. —Edmund Burke

All too many people in the mainstream press, and even among the Republican Party faithful, have been expressing extreme relief that Republican Party leaders “compromised” with Barack Obama and Harry Reid to end the “shutdown”—or, rather, the partial shutdown that included the closing of national parks, web pages, and other federal “services” that cost approximately nothing. Some serious concerns were expressed, of course. The federal government’s credit rating has been an issue for some time, now—though one might think profligate spending and unimaginable debt might have something to do with that as well. Concerns over national security in times of financial disarray also have bothered a number of people.

Nonetheless, the notion that we all should be thankful that the “adults” in the Republican Party leadership were able to “rein in” those crazy Tea Party folks and “save” responsible government rests on assumptions about government and party that should not go unquestioned.

Burke penned the definition of a political party quoted above at a time of massive corruption, in which bribes were habitually used to gain votes, numerous seats in Parliament were controlled by powerful aristocrats, and the King maintained influence over legislation by naming members to meaningless but lucrative posts. It is said that we have no such overt corruption in our politics, now. Those who serve in our Congress claim to be above reproach even though, like Harry Reid, they may begin their public careers as paupers and end as multi-millionaires “in the people’s service.” But Burke knew the difference between principle and corruption, and so should we. Burke sought to shrink the list of “offices” the King could control and otherwise lessen the role of corruption in public life. He devoted years of his life and much political capital to the prosecution of Warren Hastings, the head of the East India Company, for his victimization of the Indian people, knowing that his efforts almost certainly would fail, but seeking to awaken the conscience of a nation before mistreatment of another people further corrupted its own.

Burke, at least, had principles. He sought to maintain balanced, limited government and Britain’s traditional way of life as he sought to ameliorate harms brought by corruption and abuses of power. In politics he was of the Whig party, the Old Whigs who put duty before profit. He sought to keep his fellow Whigs attached to their true principles and left them, in the end, when they had succumbed to the allures of French, Jacobin Revolution.

And what are the principles in which members of our own, contemporary parties are agreed?

We know the Democrats have principles, for we see their results all around us: increased government spending, increased regulation of our commerce, and of our private lives, all in the name of a “freedom” that means license to act without personal responsibility, so long as one bows to the opinions of the ministers of our therapeutic state. If we are willing to proclaim that all are equal, whatever their accomplishments or lack thereof, that all have the right to do whatever they wish, so long as they do not care what others do and do not cause them direct harm, well, then the government will help us with public funds, insure us against any harm, and bring up our children to be good citizens, by which we mean subjects of this same, therapeutic state. These are principles; the principles of European-style social democrats—the establishment inheritors of the French Jacobins.

As for the Republicans, in what do they believe?

It appears that the Republican Party is of two minds. The bulk of Republican Senators and Representatives believe that their purpose in government is simply to govern, to maintain stability and calmly further the interests of their constituents—which would be fine, if America were already a European social democracy. But, in the waning days of our republic, responsible governance of this sort translates into a consistent message of “whatever the Democrats propose, only a bit slower and a bit cheaper.”

The supposedly irresponsible members of the Party are deemed irresponsible precisely because of their very commitment to principles. The Tea Party caucus caused the shutdown, and refused to surrender at its end. Why? At least one major voice in the media “gets it.” On a recent cable news show, Brit Hume explained that the House Tea Party caucus, and Senator Ted Cruz,

look back over the past half-century … and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory sate continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy.

It was because of their (or their constituents’) adherence to the principles of limited government, self-reliance, and traditional, religion-and-family-centered values that “irresponsible” members of Congress launched the last substantial attempt to prevent the state takeover of our healthcare, and to bring discipline to the public finances.

That attempt was turned into farce by Republican Party leaders who didn’t want to engage in the battle to begin with because they see those values as either unimportant or impossible to achieve. These Party leaders would rather govern (or help govern) than stand by principles they find foolish and/or outdated.

The “deal” by which Republicans surrendered on every substantive issue raised in the debate over the budget, was made in the Senate. But there was never any substantial support in the Senate for a fight over the budget—almost all Republican Senators believe that to be responsible means to simply respond to Democratic proposals, “a bit slower and a bit cheaper.” House Majority Leader John Boehner, too, is one of the “responsible” ministers of the party. He garnered some blame for his failure to control those who would “burn down” Washington, or at least its credit rating, by failing to bow down to the latest demands of a profligate administration. After all, why should a minority of the party keep it from “governing” by going along with an administration virulently opposed to American principles of self-reliance, faith, and frugality? Mr. Boehner salvaged something of his reputation for “responsible governance” by facilitating the recent surrender, in large part by joining with Democrats in the House.

Truth be told, it is surprising that Tea Party-types have managed to put together even the minority they hold in the Republican-controlled House. After all, the major form of corruption (excuse me, “responsible governance”) in our system is campaign money. And grassroots efforts and the occasional conservative group have much less of that than the “business” groups that want to simply make the best of Obamacare by using it to keep competitive businesses from forming, or surviving, and dumping employees off their own insurance roles.

Conservatives are accustomed to seeing themselves as a remnant, arguing for virtue in corrupt times. Rational analysis would show us that opposition to the ever-expanding therapeutic state stands, at best, at about one third of the electorate, with one third committed to the program, and one third lukewarm but willing to go along with the drumbeat emanating from the mass media. And the Republican Party for many years now has decided that it is politically safer and more lucrative to go along with the “progressive” third than to fight to conserve our way of life.

How, then, can a conservative, understanding that politics is “the art of the possible” avoid siding with the establishment Republicans who gave us Mitt Romney and a tepid “a bit slower and a bit cheaper, please” response to Obamacare and its ilk? By recognizing that we are getting nothing out of supporting them. We simply have no reason to support politicians who do not even try to protect us from the coming American social democracy.

What, then, of the art of the possible? Shall we support our principles, no matter what? In our given circumstances, we must find a way to protect what we can of our way of life and, while that should not mean self-interested surrender like that over the budget, it may, unfortunately, mean recognizing the limits of what can be done.

I do not blame our friends in the Tea Party for their last-ditch effort to lock out the coming leviathan. This attempt at least showed that some Americans remember what we are, or were, and what we should fight to retain. That said, going forward, even as we reject the complacent, ruling class mentality of “our” party, we should not forget that politics is the art of the possible and, given how little is possible in our corrupt times, we should concentrate on protecting some realm of freedom for the families, churches, and local communities that are the real victims of the therapeutic state.

Obamacare, along with many other bad things, now appears inevitable. Decades of establishment Republicans have helped see to that. And, this being the case, our representatives probably should stop expending their energy fighting a losing battle and switch to a strategy of carving out as many and as large exemptions as possible. In particular, what is left of our religious freedom requires protection from the secular, social democracy now being completed. Conscience exemptions need to be fought for so that people of faith will not be forced to fund abortion, abortifacient and contraceptive coverage. The right to life for sick and elderly people who “cost too much” must be defended as much and as effectively as possible. Room for a separate, religiously-affiliated system of healthcare (and education) free from the more draconian restrictions against expressions of faith and acts in accord with religious beliefs must be established and its protections strengthened. And the right to “opt out” of as much of the therapeutic state as possible must be established and formalized. These are relatively small things in an era of very big government. But we are not getting them, now.

Burke was accused of having changed his principles when, after supporting the American cause in conflicts leading up to our War for Independence, he vigorously opposed the French Revolution. He responded that he had never changed his ground, but only his front. He would defend his way of life against whatever forces assaulted it. Sadly, our way of life is changing in fundamental and reprehensible ways. But, if we cannot win the battle to stop these changes completely, then we should join our forces and expend our energy in carving out a space for the life of virtue in corrupt times. These are principles in which we should be able to agree, and for which we should fight.

Editor’s note: This column first appeared October 22, 2013 in Imaginative Conservative and is reprinted with permission.

Bruce Frohnen

By

Bruce Frohnen is Professor of Law at the Ohio Northern University College of Law. He is also a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Center and author of many books including The New Communitarians and the Crisis of Modern Liberalism, and the editor of Rethinking Rights (with Ken Grasso), and The American Republic: Primary Source. His most recent book (with the late George Carey) is Constitutional Morality and the Rise of Quasi-Law (Harvard, 2016).

  • Oremusman

    Bruce Frohnen seems to talk incessantly here about principles and remembering who we are, but I can’t say I have any Catholic idea as to what he’s talking about. We’re supposed to be Catholics first who stand upon Catholic truth, not quasi-freemasons enamored of a host of liberal errors and passing ourselves off as ‘conservatives’ merely because we are more moderate in certain respects than our fellow liberals.

    Tea Party values are not much better than Democratic values, and, in some ways, could be considered arguably worse. Tea Party values certainly don’t bear meaningful correlation to Catholic truth. Heaven forbid there may be Republicans who actually think an extensive throttling of government is undesirable.

    Obamacare has become law, and any hint or suggestion that shutting down government services, defaulting on our debt that rightly entails obligations on our part, or any other Tea Party-inspired slash and burn action is acceptable is at best an anti-Catholic absurdity.

    • AcceptingReality

      I couldn’t disagree more. Tea Party values more closely represent Catholic social and economic teachings than any other political ideology. It’s probably just that you don’t understand the Catholic Faith.

      • Oremusman

        More than distributism? I am certain I understand the Catholic faith quite well.

        • Art Deco

          Does anyone know what distributism is bar some sketches by Chesterbelloc in the early 20th century? There is a chap in Texas named Medaille who promotes it. Believe me, you do not want to get in a discussion with him on economic questions. Rude, and not well-informed. The only economist involved in the enterprise is a fellow named Race Matthews from Australia (who ignores the insults Medaille lobs at economists).

          • Oremusman

            I don’t think people’s lack of knowledge nor whatever rudeness Mr. Medaille may possibly be engaging in demonstrates that I’m wrong. Perhaps folks should be reading more Chris Ferrara and Brian McCall and less Bruce Frohnen and George Weigel.

            • Art Deco

              No buddy, specifics. What is ‘distributism’ in schematic outline? How does one get from here to there? Wake me when you have an answer.

              • Oremusman

                My point was a political position more attuned to Catholic truth than the Tea Party in response to a posting. Are you seriously going to claim that Tea Party liberal fanaticism is closer to the Catholic principles of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI than a Catholic state that fosters distributionist principles would be?

                Serious evangelization of American society is a good first step leading to formation of a Catholic state.

                • Art Deco

                  Are you seriously going to claim that Tea Party liberal fanaticism is
                  closer to the Catholic principles of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI than a
                  Catholic state that fosters distributionist principles would be?

                  1. I think members of Congress responsive to the Tea party are pig-headed on the question of marginal tax rates; to be fair, they do have an argument that added revenues will be dissipated by future congresses. The results of the tax increases enacted in 1990 and 1993 are an unhappy precedent. Other than that, I am not seeing anything resembling ‘fanaticism’.

                  2. ” a Catholic state that fosters distributionist principles would be” is a character string. It is not even a rough sketch of anything. What does that look like?

            • Art Deco

              Fine. What does Christopher Ferrara want institutions of political economy to look like?

      • No clearly YOU do not understand Catholic social teaching which describes the ideas of economic liberalism Quadragesimo Anno as being spawned from a “poisoned spring.”

        • Art Deco

          What you got in mind as a manifestation of a ‘poisoned spring’?

          • A direct quote- Just as the unity of human society cannot be founded on an opposition of classes, so also the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching. – Pius XI Quadragesimo

            • Art Deco

              That encyclical runs on for 148 paragraphs, the vast bulk of it verbal filler.

              You are not answering my question. What contemporary practice is a manifestation of a ‘poisoned spring’?

              Is it your contention that the encyclical enjoins us to erect a command economy? If not, you are presuming trade in goods and services within a lawful framework, no?

              • “Verbal filler”? Cafeteria Catholicism from the right. And no that is not my contention.

                • Art Deco

                  Sorry to break it to you, but the social encyclicals have a great deal of padding in them. The Pope does not hire line editors and puts little value on concision, so you get lots of soft ice cream like

                  Other Encyclicals of Our Predecessor had in a way prepared the path forthat outstanding document and proof of pastoral care: namely, those on thefamily and the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony as the source of human society,[1] on the origin of civil authority[2] and its proper relations with the Church,[3] on the chief duties of Christian citizens,[4] against the tenets of Socialism[5] against false teachings on human liberty,[6] and others of the same nature fully expressing the mind of Leo XIII. Yet the Encyclical, On the Condition of Workers, compared with the rest had this special distinction that at a time when it was most opportune and actually necessary to do so, it laid down for all mankind the surest rules to solve aright that difficult problem of human relations called “the social question.”

                  • Hate to break it to you but the Popes have been pretty clear and consistent in their condemnation of liberal economics. This is not up for debate.

                    • Art Deco

                      You have persistently refused to specify what that implies. I hear about ‘distributism’, I hear about ‘poisoned wells’. Stop filling in crossword puzzles and tell us all what the ‘non-liberal’ order is supposed to look like and how it works.

                    • Uh, you want us to summarize CST in a comments section? Please.

                    • Art Deco

                      No, I want you to give a brief sketch of what you object to. Not disconnected terminology, not strings of insults, but a sketch. Show the rest of us a talent for something other than maladroit word paly.

                      It would not matter if you summarized the social encyclicals. They were not written so as to be readily operationalized and they are a butter knife for adjudicating contemporary conflicts in the realm of political economy. They rule out command economies and rule out subspecies of libertarianism (e.g. Ayn Rand), but neither of these is under discussion in any occidental country.

                    • Art,

                      The entirety of your thought here is so badly muddled and disconnected it is impossible to have any kind of discussion with you. What do I object to? individualism, usury, finance corporate capitalism. The Church (not just in her encyclicals) has condemns each of these errors. A cursory reading of Church history would show this.

                      By the way Rand’s image is quite prominent in tea party circles.

                    • Art Deco

                      “Individualism” – this means what?

                      “usury” – the evolution of the Church’s teachings on drawing usufruct are puzzling to say the least; little clarity at all.

                      Then again, the economic significance of interest is not static – which is to say its implications in an agrarian economy with low rates of organizational and technological adaptation and low penetration of monetary exchange are not the same as they are in an economy where all of these elements are present and bond issues are a way to finance capital improvements (even church construction).

                      “finance corporate capitalism” – again, what is your objection? Is it to the issuance of charters of incorporation, or is it to the existence of financial institutions?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      It means whatever Ita wants it to mean. Of course all these people ranting about capitalism do so sitting at a product of capitalism. They complain about the chicken, but relish omelets.

                    • All these people ranting about crony capitalism do so sitting at the product of crony corporate capitalism.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Really, explain that?

                    • When capitalists defend walmart they are not defending “free enterprise” but rather crony capitalism.

                    • I.e. stuff built by wage slaves in the Far East under oppressive regimes is not “freedom.”

                    • Art Deco

                      The term ‘slave’ also does not mean what you think it means. (For starters, slaves are not paid wages).

                      In assessing export platforms, you have to investigate what are the alternative employments in a given locale are. The alternative for those employed there to factory wages in Thailand is not union scale in Fresno, ca. 1973. The alternative is agricultural wages in Thailand.

                    • Art Deco

                      The term ‘crony capitalism’ does not mean what you think it means.

                    • Then enlighten me with your shining intellect, Art.

                    • Art Deco

                      I the strict sense, advantage acquired through discrete connections and interventions. Champion practitioner – Ferdinand Marcos and his friends.

                      In the looser sense, tax architecture and regulatory architecture which benefits constituencies with pull over and against unorganized constituencies or less influential constituencies, and does so in a way which distorts competitive marketplaces.

                      There is not a strong distinction between the two. They are on a spectrum.

                      Supplementing these is positions for insiders in commercial enterprise once they leave government (or, in this country, positions as lobbyists).

                      There is a distinction between size and influence and between industrial practice and influence. Real estate lobbies have a good deal of influence, but real estate agencies are typically quite small companies. On the other hand, from its founding in 1977 and for about 20 some odd years after, Microsoft never sought nor built much in the way of connections to politicians.

                      WalMart importing goods from abroad is not an example of crony capitalism (though if they are using Chinese suppliers, their suppliers indubitably do have connections to local grandees – that’s China). They’re just buying stuff on the market.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Don’t forget McD’s informing their employees how to get food stamps.

                      “Microsoft never sought nor built much in the way of connections to politicians.”
                      And that ended when MS was treated to the carrot (vigorous enforcement of software piracy) and stick (a serious of frivolous anti-trust actions) of big government. After that MS and the rest of silicon valley started paying close attention to cultivating friends in high places. It’s so engrained now that when the SCOTUS began hearings into the case against DOMA, Intel and Ebay filed Amicus briefs.

                    • Re Walmart merely importing goods. That is untrue. Many of their products are manufactured in China. You are simply denying reality (again).

                    • Art Deco

                      Walmart is a retailier,not a manufacturer.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Who is defending Walmart? Do you really have this much trouble staying on topic?

                    • Just because you find a principal “puzzling” or “inclear” doesn’t give you carte blanche to ignore teaching.

                    • Art Deco

                      What am I ‘ignoring’? Attempting to reconcile centuries of statements about usury is … challenging. And, as noted, the implications of interest are variable according to context.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      And Marx and Che Guevara’s image is quite prominent on the left, so?

                    • Your point is what?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      You are lost again, you aree the one making the point that the prominent inclusion of imagery matters.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      The funniest part of libertarianism is that despite the appropriation of her fiction by the libertarian faithful (another purveyor of fantasy) she despited them.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “Distributism” is “blackboard economics”. A giant thought experiment in wishful thinking.

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                Art Deco

                No, not a command economy, it is more nuanced than that. “Individual initiative alone and the interplay of competition will not ensure satisfactory development. We cannot proceed to increase the wealth and power of the rich while we entrench the needy in their poverty and add to the woes of the oppressed. Organized programs are necessary for “directing, stimulating, coordinating, supplying and integrating” (John XXIII, Encyc.letter Mater et Magistra: AAS 53 (1961), 414.) the work of individuals and intermediary organizations.

                It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity. But they must also see to it that private initiative and intermediary organizations are involved in this work. In this way they will avoid total collectivization and the dangers of a planned economy which might threaten human liberty and obstruct the exercise of man’s basic human rights.” (Populorum Progressio 33)

                • Art Deco

                  Michael, what kind of guidance does that offer a policy maker? That’s maybe one step up from ‘do what the situation demands’.

                  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                    Here is a clear policy prescription from Populorum Progressio, “24. If certain landed estates impede the general prosperity because they are extensive, unused or poorly used, or because they bring hardship to peoples or are detrimental to the interests of the country, the common good sometimes demands their expropriation”

                    It also embodies the distributionist principle that, during the French Revolution, turned 10 million landless peasants into heritable proprietors.

                    • Art Deco

                      No No No. Allodial rights were conferred on the holders of rustical lands. I am sure you had cotters and such, but the bulk of the peasantry had rights of occupancy. Demesne land in pre-revolutionary France amounted to less than 30% of the total, of which 2/3 were held by the nobility and 1/3 by the Church.

                    • Art Deco

                      I should note that the Pope’s offering addressed a situation specific in 1961 to Latin America, South East Asia, and (perhaps) India. Even so, there are a great many second and third order questions you would ask. (‘Ere noting that agriculture is a pursuit declining in contextual significance nearly everywhere).

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Now he’ll tell us that justifies Kelo v. New London.

                      The public authorities established and laid down the goals, they made a plan (demolish this home, because this “landed estate” was “poorly used”) and they did it.

                      And now for the post script:

                      The sleazy developer who used “eminent domain” to steal what he could not buy, never pursued the project and now it’s “unused”.

            • LarryCicero

              Is Washington not a poisoned spring? The wealthiest county, and five of the top ten wealthiest counties in the nation surround Washington. You ignore the competition from the force in government, who is comprised of individuals looking out for their self-interests, and evidenced by the fact of where the wealth is accumulating.

              • Washington is a poisoned spring to the extent that it was founded on masonic principals…and the tea party worships those principals.

                • Art Deco

                  Ach. You can taste the crazy.

                  This man did a much more deft job of it.

                  http://www.amazon.com/None-Dare-Call-It-Conspiracy/dp/0945001290

                    • Art Decog

                      And it’s right on your level to confuse Mormons with masons.

                    • Where did I mention Mormons? Do you have tourettes? Do you just blurt out whatever comes to mind?

                    • Art Deco

                      You recommend a book by Glenn Beck, a Mormon with an affection for goldbuggery. (Oh, I forgot, I’m ignorant, or I have tourette’s, or I have terrible reading comprehension, or something….).

                    • Again, I didn’t mention it. I only brought Beck up because he is an idiot Americanist and thus a kindred spirit for you.

                    • Art Deco

                      Thanks for the thrift shop markdowns from The Remnant. I’ll cherish them.

                    • Art,

                      Clearly you a very confused individual and so could use them.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Right, tell me sabout my use of “fool”. Fraud.

                    • You’re a joke. NEXT

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Right, that’s why Art’s using you as Pinata.

                    • Hardly. Both of you demonstrate the incoherence and sheer idiocy of Americanist “Catholicism.”

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Right, you can’t even explain “Americanist” because it’s some personal concoction, rather than an actual political philosophy, (that you freely ascribe to others and have elevated it into some cardinal danger), where as you dismiss the manifest evil of marxism.

                    • Art Deco

                      I think the term originally described a 19th century heresy. It is favored by some on The Remnant‘s contributor list – Thomas Droleskey for one and John Rao (I believe, we can check). I think they identify some contemporary strands of thought with this heresy, but not sure. I haven’t attended a parish that received copies of The Remnant in years. They do have some engaging articles betwixt and between many oddments (e.g. Robert Sungenis on astrophysics) and amusing errors (“Judy Garland, of the Jewish Gumm sisters”). They were a favorite target for Sandra Miesel, especially Solange Hertz.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Enough wheat in the chaffe to bother reading?

                    • Art Deco

                      Tough to say. Traditionalist literature was at that time produced by a modest coterie. They were huddling together for warmth, so you saw articles by engaging advocates (Michael Davies) juxtaposed to intelligent men who wrote baaadly (Dr. Droleskey) juxtaposed to cranks (supposedly Hertz, though I cannot off hand recall anything she wrote). The two more prominent publications, The Remnant and The Wanderer were edited by Michael Matt and Alphonse Matt, respectively. The men were cousins, but I am not sure they were on the best of terms. Michael Matt was supposedly producing The Remnant in an office in his basement. There was also Catholic Family News, which had some connections to people associated with Tradition in Action and Tradition, Family, and Property. They did have a column by Edwin Faust, however.

                      The best Catholic publication by far is The Latin Mass. The contributors are volunteers, of course. They are traditionalist, but not sedevacantist, sympathetic to SSPX but I think preferring FSSP. There is little writing in it on questions of political economy, and for some reason they have been able to screen out cranks.

                      So much has gone e-only, I am not sure which of these are still in hard copy. I miss the old Crisis in paper.

                    • Oremusman

                      All of the traditionalist publications you mention still have hard copy versions.

                      Interesting, and I’d like to think telling, that small scrappy traditionalist publications have been able to soldier on with both hard copy publications and an internet presence. while establishment ones that are not as firmly rooted in the fullness of tradition have been forced to all but abandon hard copy.

                • LarryCicero

                  What masonic principles in particular are those?

    • LarryCicero

      Please explain in what ways Tea Party values are worse(in correlation to Catholic truth) than Democrats values.

      • Oremusman

        Insofar as Tea Party ideology more greatly precludes the national federal government from potentially engaging in activities that can arguably be for the benefit of the common good. And to that we can now add being an avid advocate for a default on our legal financial obligations in order to get their way in the statutory law-making process.

        • LarryCicero

          Who is pushing the spending that can’t be paid? Which party is more in line with subsidiarity?

          • Oremusman

            Your point is well taken, but that doesn’t negate what I’m saying.

            • Art Deco

              Oh yes it does.

              • Oremusman

                Let’s try to carefully, calmly examine the subject matter, Art Deco. If the Tea Party position is superior and more closely aligned with Catholic truth than the left-of-center one regarding spending and subsidiarity, that doesn’t prove that the Tea Party position is superior in all other subject areas. Hence, it does not disprove my point regarding a Tea Party-Democrat comparison.

                • LarryCicero

                  Democrats voted to remove God from the party platform, but kept Him in for good appearances. They are in favor of abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    And forcing me to pay for their sins.

                • Art Deco

                  The organizing principle of the Tea party is a complaint about undifferentiated public spending, taxation, and debt accumulation. That is neither Catholic nor non-Catholic. Sociologically, Tea party members tend to have an affinity for social conservatism; that is just not the organizing principle of their movement. You would be hard put to find in the social encyclicals prescriptive language with regard to the distribution of public functions between layers of government or with regard to debt accumulation, so no one here is able to figure how the social encyclicals can count as a buttress for the political economy promoted by the Democratic Party in the last half-dozen years

                  And, of course, the federal Democratic Party is horrendous on social and cultural questions.

        • Art Deco

          We have a federal constitution. General police power is in the hands of provincial governments and not the national government. You are going to have to excuse us if we do not understand why the social encyclicals, which are addressed to the faithful in Belgium and New Zealand as much as they are to the faithful in the United States, would require that public services be provided by the national government as opposed to provincial authorities which govern populations which average to about 6 million or so.

          • Oremusman

            I didn’t say that they are to be required, only that they, in principle, should be optionally allowable as desired and needed for the common good on a national basis.

            And it remains unclear to me, at best, that Tea Partiers would grant even U.S. state governments the berth to be able to provide for the common good as is judged appropriate by time, place, and circumstance.

            Not to mention that Catholic faith and principles trump any country’s constitution.

            • Art Deco

              I didn’t say that they are to be required, only that they, in principle,
              should be optionally allowable as desired and needed for the common
              good on a national basis.

              Well then, you are not referring to any live controversies. The Tea party has been objecting to undifferentiated public spending and taxation. Considering that the ratio of federal debt to gross domestic product went from 0.62 at the point when Nancy Pelosi was sworn in as Speaker of the House in 2007 to 0.98 at the end of 2012, that concern is topical.

              • Oremusman

                Well, if folks are solely interested in allegedly live controversies only, they don’t have to be responding to me.

                • MarkRutledge

                  There is good reason to question what you posit as the “common good.” For whatever their intentions, administration policies look to be a disaster, especially for the people they claim to help. As Catholics we need to look beyond intentions and at the ugly reality of things. On another note, Art Deco noted that the threat of default was contrived.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Error has no rights.

        • Art Deco

          The government had loads of cash on hand. The only circumstance under which we would have defaulted would have been if the President instructed the Treasury department to not pay the interest coming due on outstanding bond issues.

        • Adam__Baum

          You fool! The common good is served by a 17T debt?

        • Adam__Baum

          Define default. Prove you aren’t just a parrot.

    • Art Deco

      Tea Party values are not much better than Democratic values, and, in some ways, could be considered arguably worse.

      Given that the legal regime governing abortion in this country would be outre in Sweden and given that courts and lawless local officials have been imposing a grisly parody of matrimonial law on the country, and given that the federal government is now requiring that every perversion of medical technology be covered by ‘health insurance’ plans, it is difficult to see how this might be the case. (Unless of course it is your position that it is a categorical imperative derived from Catholic Social Teaching that the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product never fall below 0.3).

      • Oremusman

        Being a Tea Partier doesn’t necessarily entail opposition to legal abortion. And the virulent oppostion to Obamacare would assured have been present even if the immoral mandates regarding a culture of life and family were not present in the legislation.

        Catholic Social Teaching calls upon government to be able to exercise a meaningful role in supporting and providing for the common good. Yes, there can be legitimate and differing judgments as to what that should and should not entail in various times and places – as a judgment. When a Tea Party ideology rabidly precludes government from having this right and making judgments as to how to exercise this right as an immutable bedrock of its thought, it is not something to be supported from a Catholic perspective.

        • Art Deco

          When a Tea Party ideology rabidly precludes government

          It would be helpful if you would traffic in something other than caricuatures. No, not expecting it.

        • LarryCicero

          Taxes are no substitute for charity.

          • Adam__Baum

            Taxes are impediment to charity.

        • Art Deco

          One should note collectively that the Tea party is not at all hostile to social conservatism and that Tea party affiliation is correllated with a social conservative disposition. Neither is true of the Democratic Party, so your comparative assessment makes no sense unless you elevate the propensity to engage in public spending over all other considerations. (I am sure the flotsam and jetsam on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference do just that, but they are not authoritative).

        • Adam__Baum

          “Being a Tea Partier doesn’t necessarily entail opposition to legal abortion.”
          No, but being a mmber of the modern left entails vigorous support for it. Any contention to the contrary evaporated with Bart Stupid, er I mean Stupak.

    • Adam__Baum

      I’d rather have dinner with any of the founders than “catholics” like Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius or any other of of those devils wearing prada.

      This business that “obamacare” has become law is bovine excrement.

      Segregation and Prohibition were law too.

      As usual, when the “catholic” left speaks, you can be sure are preaching from the Gospel of Marx, not Mark.

  • Watosh

    The Democrat Party principles are based on liberal social beliefs. and the Republican Party principles are based on liberal economic beliefs. As for the argument that the Republican Party, or at least the tea party faction, is for limited government, I recall how it seems like when theRepublican Party was in control the size of government and the debt always increased. Remember it was Richard Cheney who said that the government debts do matter anymore, when the Bush administration was in control. then whenever the Democrat Party gains control the Republicans then become concerned about the government debt. And by the way it was the Republican Heritage foundation that came up with the plan for health care, and it was the Republican Mitt Romney who first implemented this scheme in Massachusetts. In this scheme the private insurance companies control our health care system which Republicans now call “socialism.” Obamacare is a very bad bill, but not because it is a government takeover of our vaunted health care system which has some serious flaws. This idea that profit is the only consideration has become the greatest threat to the country. I hear how the poor are using the government to take money that the rich have earned by honest labor, yet in the past thirty years every economic statistic has shown that the richest of the rich are becoming vastly richer and control increasingly vaster amounts of the countries wealth. The corporations have taken over control of the country, and bought off both Democrat and Republican politicians. Industry has gone out of the country in pursuit of profits. The Republicans have supported all kinds of foreign misadventures because this feeds their allies in the military-industrial complex. These obscene military budgets have caused a great increase in our debt, but the Republicans don’t seem to be bothered by that. Frankly I don’t see how a thinking, observant Catholic could support either miserable party.

    • Oremusman

      Kudos, Watosh, for exhibiting some strong Catholic principles.

    • Art Deco

      How are partisan talking points about Richard Cheney “Catholic principles”?

    • MarkRutledge

      Putting on my thinking cap, it seems that what I’ve read in the Bible, in the Catechism, in papal encyclicals informs me that I must help the poor, not with someone else’s resources but with my own. My thinking cap also tells me that the poor are getting poorer simultaneously with increase in government programs to help them. How many decades of this must we endure before we realize that despite good intentions, government-sponsored efforts to help the poor are instead hurting them? My Catholic principles tell me I need to help the poor, not merely feel good about doing something, anything, in the name thereof.

      • JR

        You know, we are to help the poor. It seems though that the poor may be closer than we think. It may be the person next door. We don’t have to belong to some silly organization or committee to help the poor. And today, there are many scammers among the poor.

    • Adam__Baum

      Obamacare is a very bad bill, but not because it is a government takeover of our vaunted health care system which has some serious flaws.
      Tried the website yet?

      • Hey Adam, Maybe you should join John Hagee’s “church” you guys can all sit around the campfire luving Ameerika the founders and the free market.

        • Adam__Baum

          Wow, that’s pretty weak, even for you.

          But if you can’t mount a factual dispute, you can always cast aspersions.

          • Your pseudo-arguments have about as much rigor as a Hagee or Barton.

            • Adam__Baum

              I’m seriously beginning to question your mental hygiene.

              • You quite obsessed with questions of hygiene. Must be projection.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Not at all, but I recognize disorder when I see it.

    • jr

      The platform of the Republican Party has been Respect for Life. That is the major issue that puts eons between the parties. Romneycare was a disaster. Our current (rather past) healthcare system was the best in the entire world. We helped many from poor countries. Doctors and nurses from different groups all over the country do short stints in missionary work.

      It’s not a perfect world — but a world with Romney would have been better than this present world with Obama.

      Bush was a great disappointment. He let on like he was some Conservative, and he wasn’t at all.

      Voting for the party that sanctions life was the issue in 2012 and is still the issue today. The only party that protects life is the Republican Party. Many of those folks, though, other than the Tea Partiers, are embarrassed of the Conservative base.

      A word about the wealthy: let God be their judge. They employ people who in turn support their families, their Churches, etc … When these corporations are being taxed to death and penalized for having a huge corporations. Who cares about the amount of money they make? They do support charities including the Catholic Church. So be careful about judging those who do have businesses.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    The fact that the T-Party grew out of protest to high taxation and uncontrolled bureaucratic growth is the principles behind its positions. Social conservatives who abhor abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual marriage and champion the conventional family and freedom of religion are also attracted to the T-Party principles. I believe it is a base on which to build a nation. The compromisers lack vision. They can’t see the American people turning it’s back against, abortion, homo-marriage, socialism, collectivism and the frontal attack against God, but I think we can turn this around.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I wish I still did. The shutdown proved one thing to me- that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans care about social values anymore at all. It’s all about the greatest profit.

      • JR

        The shutdown occurred because the House and Senate TP Republicans wanted to defund this current mess. The government could have continued with the passing of many House Resolutions designed to fund everything but Obamacare. Harry Reid at the behest of Obama refused to bring the resolutions to a vote on the Senate floor. Senate Dems continued to bully and lie about Republicans.

        Social values? Every communist country has “social values.” Interpreted: good for the state. It’s a term that needs to be ditched in Church vocabulary. The Social Justice Committees? Well, Jesus didn’t have a “committee”. He formed His Church. That’s you & me & the rest of us. We are not to depend on government to feed, clothe, and medicate us. When government swallows up charity it becomes socialism. It then is big government and we all live for the government.

        Have you ever seen Dr. Zhivago? Watch it. After being conscripted Yuri comes home to find it occupied by many different families. Some social justice committee didn’t think it was right that he had a big home and he was ordered by the committee to share it.

        Our Lord never condemned the rich. He said it was harder to enter heaven (I guess) if one was rich. And what we’ve done with the “poor” class is to really encourage the right to entitlement.

        Right now many middle class families are hurting. No jobs. Medical insurance is going to be out of sight for many …. where are we going to get the money to fund Bishop’s appeals, silly Church committees, …

        I mean … time to wake up.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          He actually said it was easier to get a camel (or maybe a rope) through the eye of a needle than for a greedy man to get to heaven, or at least that’s my reading.

          A rich man who gives everything away, grows far richer than one who doesn’t.

  • All here should recall Mitch Daniels pronouncement around two years ago that said we needed a “ceasefire” on social issues in favoring of “liberty issues” – like taxes. The fact is the priority of cutting back “big government” has always taken priority over social values in the history of conservatism though neither of these issues have yielded much result.

    By the way much of the Tea Party supports America’s disastrous (and expensive) foreign policy, which was a huge reason why Obama got elected the first time around.

    • Art Deco

      The ratio of military expenditure to gross domestic product is about 0.057. It was lower during the period running from 1993 to 2007. Those years aside, the devotion of factors of production to military uses is currently lower than at any point since 1940.

      No, American foreign policy is not ‘disastrous’.

      No, the Tea party does not have views on the military or foreign policy as an organizing principle. Or views on food inspection, patent law, and space exploration.

      • I didn’t say it was an “organizing principle” your reading comprehension is terrible.

        And American foreign policy is disastrous that fact that you would say otherwise shows just how out of touch you truly are.

        • Art Deco

          If its not an organizing principle, your reference to foreign policy makes no sense.

          I am out of touch? This from the man fussing over freemasonry!

          • Your general ignorance is astonishing. My reference to foreign policy was that some* of the tea parity supported terrible expensive foreign policy initiatives. You still haven’t refuted or contravened this in anyway.

            Also accusing me of conspiracies and craziness is rich. To your average tea partier Obama is a “commie/Muslim brotherhood operative”

            • Art Deco

              You were the one who brought up ‘masonic’ principles. Own it.

              Go ahead and call me ignorant. Just demonstrate you know something first (other than how to key-word search an encyclical online).

              The Bush Administration did not have an abnormally enlarged military. My ignorant self gave you the stats. The Iraq War and the Afghan War consumed capital equipment at a somewhat slower clip than the VietNam war and were vastly less bloody than either the VietNam War or the Korean War.

              It is characteristic of political decisions that they are made prospectively and that counter-factual speculation is not a simple exercise. The administration faced a trilemma in 2001 with Iraq, leave the sanctions on, take the sanctions off, or remove the government. Each course of action had posited consequences or pitfalls. There was no fourth option. As for Afghanistan, there really was no alternative.

              Paulbots invent fancy alternative realities that do not recognize that political conflict does not go away when you stop believing in it and there are such things as national atavisms and frenzies not attributable to the State of Israel. So, they do not deal with the trilemmas. Fortunately for the rest of us, none of them are anywhere near positions where what they say matters.

              • Oh lets make something clear first and foremost. I absolutely loathe Ron Paul.

                Secondly comparing Iraq and Afghanistan to Korea and Vietnam is a pretty low standard. If you thinks trillions of dollars is inexpensive than well good on you I guess.

                As far as the Masons, are you seriously denying Masonic influence in America’s early history? Not a conspiracy not national treasure, just influence.

                • Art Deco

                  I am denying it is of any significance whatsoever that George Washington or Benjamin Franklin belonged to a Masonic lodge.

                  • “Any significance”? not even in the capital’s architecture?

                • Adam__Baum

                  “I absolutely loathe Ron Paul. ”

                  This is what passes for Christian Charity on the left. Frauds.

                  • Paulbots are in no position to whine about lack of “charity.”

                    • Adam__Baum

                      That I point out that you are a fraud makes me no more an advocate of Paul (I’m not) than St. Thomas More was an advocate of the devil.

                    • Well that’s nice but I put zero worth in your moral judgments.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I don’t care about your evaluations.

                    • You sound like a five year old “I know you are but what am I”

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Sounding like a five year old should be an aspiration for you.

                    • I am merely trying to reach you at your own level.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Start by forming a coherent argument, if you know what “coheent” means. Hint: I loathe (insert name here) is an emotion.

                    • Your idea of a coherent argument is to accuse others of being leftists and commies without any evidence.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Who accused you of being a “commie”? If you can’t respond with a quote, don’t bother.

                      Newsflash. You are a leftist, that is obvious. Your have put a full array of sentiments on display here that any reasonable person would conclude are products of the lef, principally enthusiasm for the state and antipathy to the private sector.

                      Since “communist” is a political affiliation, indicated by voter registration and nobody here has access to another poster’s registration, nobody can make the assertion that another poster is an actual “Communist”.

                    • Thanks for proving my point.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      What point? All you have is a bunch of inchoate indignities and delusions of grandeur.

                    • Actually it was Art Deco who brought up the word “paulbot” first not me. And he brought it up as though I were one. That was the context of my comment.

                      And I will say that if you are not a fan of paul, then that fact rehabilitates my view of you..a little.

                    • Art Deco

                      We’re going to end up like the two intelligence officers in this episode

                      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0638242/

                      “He’s a communist”! “He’s a fascist!”

                      But Ita’s tropes are familiar from RadTrad literature. Again, Dr. Hitchcock on The Wanderer is instructive.

                    • Also coming from someone who calls other people on this thread “fools” I guess that makes you a hypocrite AND fraud.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Only a fool would posit that judging one to be a fool and loathing are the same.

                      Of course, had you not spoken, I would have been guilty of rash judgment. As it is, you have opened your mouth and removed all doubt.

                    • You whined about lack of charity. You are one the most uncharitable commentators at this site.

                      I yes I will continue to loathe anarcho-capitalists, racists like Ron Paul not withstanding the “judgments” of moral midgets like you.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Have you a mirror?
                      No, I’m blunt. If you post here, you are subject to being cross examination.
                      My record is clear to see. I may question somebody’s judgement, maturity, information or a variety of things, but I don’t and never said “I loathe” (or hate or despise or any other synonym).
                      As for my initial judgment of you being a fool, that was wrong. Fools can be innocent.

                    • No your just an idiot who shills for Americanism.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “Americanism” , whatever you imagine that to be iis your boogeyman, not my gig.

                    • Right everything is boogeymen. Except marxism of course.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Marxism has killed tens of millions, not that that concerns you.

                    • What another stupid assumption. Any evidence that I am a marxist?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Your lack of reading comprehension is on full display.

                      I didn’t say you were a marxist, I said you lacked adequate concern.

                      “Right everything is boogeymen. Except marxism of course.”

                    • Art Deco

                      “Americanism” , whatever you imagine that to be is your boogeyman, not my gig.

                      It’s RadTrad cant.

                    • Ohs no! Yous called me a radtrad! I should only recant swearing on a copy of the Constitution!

                    • Art Deco

                      The term was coined by Sandra Miesel, who is not known for any political writing.

                    • JR

                      Love it or leave it, pal. There’s still religious freedom here. Nobody’s tying you down.

                • JR

                  Ohhhh …. you’re one of those “Catholic Dems” who voted for Obama …because …. he was Black? Or because he was a baby killing Democrat?

            • Adam__Baum

              I’m going to start a new Charity. Mirrors for..

      • JR

        The real and only function of the federal government is to protect us from enemies at home and abroad. The rest is icing. The “social issues” a distraction. The Church does charity best.

        The Tea Party reflects moral principles that do not contradict the teachings of the Church.

    • JR

      Foreign policy is a vast area. You were speaking specifically of …?

  • Uuncle Max

    Given that the Tea party seems to be the focus of this discussion I think it’s fair that someone should state – what are the principles of the Tea party?

    It is my understanding that the tea party members in the House – where spending bills originate – were elected because they had the effrontery to point out to the voters in their districts that if we don’t rein in spending we will go belly-up within a few decades. That seems plain enough to me.

    The media however has named the Tea party guilty of causing breast cancer & the bubonic plague so far, and the jury is out on their responsibility for the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.

    And there are suspicions that they collaborated with the British in the burning of the White House during the War of 1812. .

  • Dan

    The principles of the Tea Party are not those of mainstream conservatives. The Tea Party movement is very extreme. Not only that, but the political landscape has shifted, and the Tea Party is now an embarrassment and an albatross around our necks. They should go form their own party and leave more charitably-inclined conservatives to get on with the business of government.

    • Art Deco

      Define ‘very extreme’.

      • thebigdog

        – Fiscally responsible
        – Opposition to the killing of babies
        – Not cheer leading sodomites
        – The Constitution matters

        – America is in fact exceptional

        In other words, what every Democrat believed up to and including JFK

    • Dan

      Yes, the Tea Party has picked up every crazy, paranoid, conspiracy theorist out there. Many of its policies are knee jerk and ignorant (especially the idea that we’re taxed more today than we were under Reagan)! It’s bad enough that they’re discrediting themselves, but they’re making fools out of the conservative movement in general. The crazies have made themselves more unpopular than ever with this government shutdown. Now the GOP will lose the house next year, so we’re all paying for their pathologies. We need to distance ourselves from these losers.

      • Art Deco

        The contents of your gut and your fever dreams are not that interesting to the rest of us. To what specific notions promoted by the general run of Tea party organizations do you object?

      • LarryCicero

        Dan has a crystal ball. Are the Democrats now considering delay?

      • MarkRutledge

        Relax, Dan. The mass of the American people can’t recall what the big issue of the day was three months ago, let alone an entire year. By the time the next election rolls around this will be long forgotten. If the Tea Party continues to pull the GOP to the right it will likely help at the ballot box.

      • Adam__Baum

        I see the OFA paid zombies are still on Big O’s payroll. If you can’t argue facts, you can string together a bunch of words.

        Crazy is still swaying in the park after 7+% unemployment for years, a doubling of the national debt in 5 years (now 17T, not the 8T Obama said was unpatriotic), Solynda, Benghazi, and this flawless website rollout.

  • Paul

    Can someone explain why this article is in Crisis? Such articles continue to foster the belief that orthodox Catholicism is tied irrevocably to Republican politics. I know that in our country political choices often become the lesser of two evils, but there is little here that gives an authentically Catholic perspective.

    • MarkRutledge

      It’s under Politics, Paul.

      • Paul

        I know where to find it, my question concerns why an analysis of an intra-party squabble is included in this publication. Now if the theme of the article had been the Catholic perspective on this drama playing out on a national stage, I could understand it’s inclusion.

        • Art Deco

          Fair point.

    • Art Deco

      Reasonable point.

      The thing is, with regard to federal politics, just about everybody who dissents from the projects of The Regime is lashed to the Republican Party. Our political culture, institutions, and habits are such that multi-party politics is unsustainable here. You get omnibus organizations like the Republican Party who disappoint the vast bulk of the people who vote for them.

  • hombre111

    Hmmm. Crisis has always been the Republican Catholic magazine. Is it now the Tea Party Catholic magazine? And while many Democrats have gone overboard on “freedom,” the real common denominator is something lost by Republicans long ago: A sense of the collective and an abiding concern for the common good. This notion, essential for Catholics as recent Papal encyclicals and our newest pope emphasize, separates Dems from most Repubs. The Tea Party, for instance, gets hysterical about this “communist” idea.

    • Art Deco

      More caricatures, this time from Fr. Phony.

      • tamsin

        Morning, Art. Looks like you’ll be here awhile. I’m going out for coffee. Can I bring you back anything? My treat.

    • thebigdog

      Hombre is a big supporter of the Party of baby killing sodomites.

  • Tea-billy

    Has anyone posting comments read Samuel Gregg’s recent book “Tea Party Catholic”? Well documented historical reference of Catholic perspective that Charles Carroll,(the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence) contributed in the dialogue which helped to create, along with the other Founding Fathers, this experiment in “ordered LIBERTY”.
    I recommend it highly as a way of defining some of the foundational principals of what the greater portion of Tea Party activists gravitate toward, rather than the beltway blather continually cooked up by the progressives & RINO’s.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    http://swampland.time.com/2013/10/16/women-are-the-only-adults-left-in-washington/

    Looks like it’s more feminism in action- the only adults are not democrats, but female.

    • Adam__Baum

      Pamela Sargent’s dystopic novel “The Shore of Women” about a closed and Sapphic society where men are exluded might be on us as fast as the Brave New 1984 that we are getting from the NSA and Common Core.

  • CharlesOConnell

    The burden on young people will mean substantial acceleration of malthanasia.

    Look for political disenfranchisement of the retired.

  • Ernesto Sosa

    I am the son of Cuban exiles. I was taught since I was a kid to beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. I read this article and read those who have opined below and realize that living in a free country like ours (an exceptional country, envied by the entire world for what it has stood for) it has become almost impossible to comprehend that what we are living is the takeover of the socialist (communist) minded group of leaders. I would love to beleive that we could keep certain freedoms of religion but the reality is that these people are using our democracy to inch their way in and eventually control every aspect of our lives including our faith. The Democrats are the developers of this ideology but I blame as well the Republican for going along with this. They are as responsible for what is happening as the Dems. If there is one thing I would like to say to everyone and of course this is especially for my Catholics brethren is “wake up”. Don’t confuse the social policy we here spoken about Obamacare with the social justice Jesus spoke about. Jesus had “Love” as the centerpiece for what he preached. In today’s world it is about Control and Power not about love. God help us!

  • JR

    Why is there such criticism for the Republican Party? There is disturbance there. No doubt. Still, in many ways the Catholic Church is at fault for fostering the relationship with the Democratic Party even after abortion became a cornerstone of the platform. This riding the Republican Party is ad nauseum. The Republicans tried to block Obamacare before it was ever law. This last time with the government shutting down — well, they should’ve stuck it out. The truth is — Catholics put Obama in office. They put Clinton in office. Why the Catholic Church has so aligned themselves with the Democratic Party when the platform is in direct opposition to Church Teaching … beyond me.

    It’s time the Church get out of politics. Last year it was shameful that Cardinal Dolan invited Obama to the Al Smith Dinner. If the Cardinal wanted to sit down with the Pres. & Romney — do it in another place.

    The Catholic Church shoulders a bit of blame for the crumbling of America.

    The misinterpretation of Vat II Council gave way to a very liberal group or religious and ordained infecting the faithful and consecrating the Democratic Party being akin to Catholic Christianity.

    The USCCB has consistently spoken out against Republicans over the years to include Reagan and Paul Ryan. (There are many others.) It’s time the USCCB disbands. The Bishops need to go back to their dioceses to see how their parishioners are faring and get out of politics.

    The Church has made demands about “government” supplying for the “poor” – the illegals — well, maybe that is the job of the Church and not the government. The government is to provide us with laws that respect the God given rights of the individual. Sometimes wars have to be fought; sometimes people have to eat what they have in the cupboard; sometimes we do have to pay for our own medicine. What’s going on now? The result of years of sermoning – check your racism (so vote for Obama because he’s Black ((not because he’s qualified))), abortion is criminal (but let’s vote for the Democrat because Republicans want to do away with Medicare((they wanted to solve the problem))). The continuing criticism of Republicans from Church leaders is nauseating.

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