Wow, is it the power of mythology or the power of demonization?
It’s hard to tell the difference, and perhaps there is no difference, perhaps demonization is the mythology that drives the Catholic Left.
Why can’t I stop laughing? Because I just read this in NCR (the Reporter, not the Register) in response to the shuttering of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good:
“Catholic Republicans are willing to open their checkbooks and finance” conservative Catholic groups, he [Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S. J.] said, but there is no comparable support from the Democratic side for liberal Catholic organizations addressing public policy issues, and “they are way underfunded.”
In fact, over the last several decades there have been several efforts among Catholics aligned with the GOP to raise money to start an independent political effort, and none have made much headway, and most have failed completely. One of the decisive factors was lack of consistent funding.
The only successful Catholic political effort in recent years was the one I headed as chair of Catholic Outreach for the Bush campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and the ONLY REASON we were able to raise money for that effort was that it was attached to the Republican National Committee (in 2000) and to the administration of a sitting president (in 2004).
Karl Rove had asked me originally to create an independent Catholic group in 2000, but I couldn’t find the willing donors. If the reporter for NCR had called me, I would have been glad to fill him on financial realities for Catholics in the GOP who are politically involved.
The last time I looked, Father Reese has not been privy to any of our discussions or organizing efforts. The same is true for all those who were interviewed for the NCR article.
If Father Reese’s comment had been about evangelical Republicans he would have been exactly right. The example given in the article of the success of the Susan B. Anthony List headed by my friend, Marjorie Dannenfelser, a Catholic, is not relevant since the organization is neither Catholic nor even Christian, but pro-life and pro-family.
Father Reese probably knows what he doesn’t know, and he should also realize this comment which was relevant ten and even six years ago is no longer:
“We don’t have a Democratic Karl Rove [longtime Republican political strategist and deputy chief of staff under George W. Bush] who sees the importance of the Catholic vote for the Democratic Party and is willing to use his political muscle and his financial muscle to support a strategy that reaches out to Catholics,” Reese said.
Yes, Rove understood and appreciated the importance of the Catholic vote, but he has moved on to other things and, very likely, expects Catholics to continue the work he encouraged and supported without his hand-holding.
What the NCR article misses is that Catholics with a Republican bent are struggling to find funding just as much as our “progressive” counterparts, and, what’s more, we don’t get a penny from George Soros or organized labor.