Matt C. Abbott
November 7, 2012
No crow-eating for me; Priest's post-election reflection; Kudos to ICE-PAC!
By Matt C. Abbott

In my August 14, 2012 column, I wrote:
    I've already resigned myself to another four years of President Obama. But then, I'm a pessimist. I'll gladly eat crow if I'm wrong. If. We'll see.
Well, in this case, I wasn't wrong to be pessimistic. Sometimes it hurts to be right.

Among the many Obama opponents (myself included), there will no doubt be much discussion and even finger-pointing as to how "The One" was able to get re-elected. Not that it will be very helpful. After all, what's done is done.

So what's left for us pro-life, pro-family advocates to do at this point? Pray. Witness to the truth. Perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. And try to have hope.

That's my brief post-election reflection.



Father Phillip W. De Vous, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Crescent Springs, Ky., wrote his own post-election reflection that's worth quoting at length:
    Given the Catholic Church's failure to adequately address the cultural, political, and even existential threat posed to it by President Obama's agenda, the credibility of the Church's witness has been further eroded and enervated, making it less likely to be courageous and effective in speaking the hard truths necessary for personal, ecclesial and national renewal. Because of this, the leftist cultural and moral agenda will continue to increasingly form and even invade our personal, familial, and communal lives. The effect on our national life and civil society will be devastating. Trends of cultural degradation, normative moral turpitude, debt, deficits, and fiscal ruin will likely be super-accelerated.

    ...I have grave reservations about the future of many of the Catholic Church's integral apostolic activities, not only because of the policies President Obama will continue to pursue unabated, but also because many Catholics, especially suburban women as initial vote analysis suggests, are firmly in the camp of a gentle yet cautionary statism and hedonism which emphasizes material prosperity, extensive superficial education, 'choice' and comity over the substance of moral and economic truth and the demands such truths call forth. This reality, as early vote totals according to issues indicate, is bad for the political agenda of the nation and poses tremendous challenges for authentically Catholic apostolic efforts in the coming years.

    The other fact supporting such concerns about conservative initiatives, especially those drawing their inspiration from orthodox Catholicism, is that the bishops ran a largely incompetent campaign against the religious liberty restrictions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which they helped pass legislatively by giving it the hierarchy's moral cover at a politically critical moment when its passage was far from a given. Given that the president and the Democratic Party ran a pugilistic campaign against the Catholic Church regularly mischaracterizing the Church's teachings, President Obama has no political nor personal reason to reach a compromise with the Church on those issues essential to the free exercise of religion. No doubt, given the hostility of Democratic campaigns to Catholic concerns on the question of the HHS mandate and the broader question of religious liberty, the president and his administration will proceed with the notion that he has a mandate to continue his aggressively anti-Catholic, anti-religious, and culturally libertine agenda.

    To be honest, my dark assessment of this emerging reality for conservatives, especially orthodox Catholics and other Christians, is this: We are going to be marginalized, our institutions reduced, our liberties restricted, and our persons attacked. Evidence suggests that we have few deeply principled and thoroughly well-informed leaders who enjoy support locally, parochially, and beyond who are in a position and possess the courage to be effective in keeping our views and positions viable in the public square. President Obama's victory is not about a popular policy agenda, but about the triumph of emotionalism and relativism in the face of an inarticulate, ineffective, and ultimately uncourageous opposition that has convinced a majority of the American people that perception is reality, that feeling is the same as fact, and 'being nice' is a moral imperative.


From a press release:
    Illinois Citizens for Ethics, a statewide political action committee, celebrates the election of David McSweeney as State Representative for the 52nd District. McSweeney defeated Independent Dee Beaubien, who received significant funding from abortion advocacy groups.

    'When Beaubien announced her candidacy and Personal PAC said they would spend whatever was necessary to get her elected, we knew we had to get involved in this race,' said Mary-Louise Hengesbaugh, spokeswoman for ICE-PAC.

    'Personal PAC's policy positions are way out of step with the values of the general public. This is a group that supports taxpayer-funded abortion, opposes laws that ensure informed consent for women who are seeking abortions, and opposes a parent's right to know about a minor daughter's abortion — and won't endorse candidates unless they fully support this agenda.'

    Over the past month, ICE-PAC volunteers worked tirelessly to raise awareness among constituents in the 52nd District of Beaubien's radical views on abortion and to encourage them to vote for McSweeney, a pro-life advocate.

    'Pro-life and family values are clearly important to the residents of this district, and our message obviously resonated,' Hengesbaugh stated. 'McSweeney's victory proves that supporting common-sense pro-life laws is a winning strategy for those seeking public office in Illinois.'

    Hengesbaugh also noted that pro-abortion groups donated over $100,000 to Beaubien's campaign, while ICE-PAC spent a fraction of that — just under $2,000 — on voter education materials.

    'Personal PAC and Dee Beaubien may have had more money, but ICE-PAC volunteers and David McSweeney worked harder and are more in touch with the residents of the district,' she said. 'We believe that the key is voter education, and this outcome confirms that.'
Kudos to ICE-PAC!

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

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