The Democrats’ Double Standard On Faith

I have a new essay on City Journal, “A Double Standard on Faith: Democrats and Catholicism.”

If after reading it you wish I’d written more (??), don’t worry. I have. In fact, this essay was a good deal longer before very talented editors wisely compressed it. But there is one paragraph on the cutting room floor that I wish had survived — this one, which would have gone just before the last paragraph:

Abolitionist is a revealing term here, since in his Notre Dame speech Cuomo went to great lengths to justify the failure of Catholic bishops before the Civil War to join the movement to abolish slavery, an obvious precedent of his own failure to join those who wanted to abolish abortion. Twenty years later Cuomo wrote a book, Why Lincoln Matters: Today More Than Ever, but as I argued at the time, “Cuomo Praises Lincoln But Sounds Like Douglas.” The whole tone and thrust and substance of Cuomo’s speech, I argued, “can be read—in fact, should be read—as a restatement of the stance Lincoln’s great opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, took on the issue of slavery.” Slavery, Douglas believed, “must be treated impartially as a question of public policy, although he privately thought it was wrong and hoped it would be eliminated some day.”

For better or worse, I”ve been writing on this issue for a good while. Some of you may recall the following. If you don’t, or for some reason you never read them, here is more than you want to know about the contradictions of being a Catholic Democrat:

A Few Progressive Contradictions

Keeping track of progressive contradictions (for fracking? against fracking? etc.) would be a full-time, blog-filling job. I have neither the time nor the inclination to take on that task, but here are a few recent ones that come to mind:

  • Mazie Hirono and others accused Amy Coney Barrett of slandering LGBTQ people by using the term “sexual preference” because it implies they have a choice. So, they believe one cannot choose one’s “sexual orientation” (their preferred term) because it is baked in … but sex itself is so fluid or non-existent that one can choose whether to be a man or woman or something in between.
  • Joe Biden has been running a campaign (insofar as he has campaigned) against the liar-in-chief in the White House and promising to bring integrity and normalcy (shades of Calvin Coolidge) back to Washington. Now, if the New York Post’s recent revelations are true, he ran his vice presidency as a family-owned for profit corporation and repeatedly lied about it. It’s as though he pasted an “I AM THE SWAMP!” sticker on his forehead.
  • Biden has been promising to produce more jobs even as he has been promising new lockdowns if the virus isn’t cured post haste.
  • Biden has been in Washington so long that, whether or not he is elected president, he could be memorialized in a statue. Alas, he said a number of things early in his career (and some not so early) that would have led some of his most enthusiastic supporters to tear down any such statue as reflecting endemic, systemic, structural, or just plain every day racism.
  • On the proper role of judges and justices, Democrats are divided mainly into two groups. One agrees that it is wrong for judges to assume the law embodies all their political preferences, but argues that only Republican judges do that because the law does in fact embody all Democratic preferences. The other group doesn’t care very much about what judges should do, but its members know that their judges routinely “construe” the law so that it reflects their political preferences and assume conservative judges are lying when they say they don’t. Thanks to Freud, we can call this projection.

Two Unpublished Letters To The Editor On Prop. 16

First, to the San Diego Union Tribune: To The Editor Your article, “Californians back racial justice but are not rushing to reinstate affirmative action” (Sept. 26), suggests voters must be suffering from “confusion” since, according to two recent polls, they support racial justice but oppose affirmative action. But there is no confusion. These apparently conflicting […]

Amy Coney Barrett, Reading Literally v. Construing Liberally, and Bush v. Gore Redux?

I have a new essay that just went up at City Journal: “Bush v. Gore Redux? The Coming Supreme Court Conflict Over Election Law.”  Long-time readers with good memories may recall that I’ve written many times here about the liberal-conservative split over reading literally v. construing liberally. One or two thoughts from those posts found […]

Bleemer Blooper

With a title like “Bleemer Blooper,” how can you resist reading my new essay on Minding The Campus?

New Poll: Californians, Like Most Americans, Oppose Race Preferences

The Public Policy Institute of California has just released a poll on Proposition 16, which would re-introduce affirmative action in the state by repealing the provision in the California constitution (put there by Proposition 209 in 1996) prohibiting state agencies, including colleges and universities, from preferential treatment based on race or ethnicity. The results may […]

Does Black Studies Matter … to the Exclusion of Everything Else?

Inside Higher Ed reports this morning with a straight face that The English Department at the University of Chicago, whose web page declares the it is “ranked first among English departments in the US,” wants you to know that it — yes, the Department itself — “believes that Black Lives Matter.” (Emphasis in original) It […]

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