While most of us at NCR were breathing a sigh of relief over the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, the Court's ruling regarding the expansion of Medicaid is troubling. Sort of. On legal grounds, I suspect the Court got it right - the idea that the federal government could withdraw already pledged funds to the states to entice those same states to sign on for the expansion of Medicaid runs counter to the ideas of federalism at the heart of the Constitution.
Those who are prone to conspiratorial explanations of phenomenon tend to be, well, a little bit crazy. And, their craziness is not only intellectual, it is moral.
Yesterday, I looked at Romney’s problem, the need to continually conciliate a rabid base while not alienating moderate, swing voters, a task made more difficult because Romney simply does not talk or walk like either a wild-eyed libertarian or an evangelical zealot.
For President Obama, the problem is difficult but it also has to do with the fact that he has proven himself incapable of talking and walking like his party’s base. He, like Romney, is stuck with a personality that is strangely out-of-touch with the job he holds.
Fordham's Charles Camosy has a new book out - "Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization" - and, over at America, Camosy has a podcast up discussing his work. I have started Camosy's book, but had to set it aside to do some reading on assignment, but I hope to have a review of it posted next week. In the meantime, get Camosy in his own words on the podcast.
There was distressing news for Mitt Romney in the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. Yes, the poll showed that he was dead even with President Obama nationally, both men garnering the support of 47% of the electorate. But, while 75% of Obama supporters said that their choice was based on their support for the president and 23% said they were supporting Obama primarily because they were against his opponent, only 37% of those who said they would vote for Romney said their choice was based on support for him, while a stunning 59% said they were primarily opposed to giving Obama a second term.
Our friends at the Crossroads Cultural Center have posted the videos of the event I attended at the end of June, where both Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete and I spoke about the Holy Father's speech to the Bundestag. You can access the videos by going to the Crossroads website here.
Over the at Weekly Standard, Georgetown University's Tom Farr has an essay on the dangers to religious liberty around the globe. I share his concerns, both about how the issue plays out in countries like Iraq, where most Christians have fled, and Egypt, where many Christians fear they may yet have to flee. And, I worry about the cavalier way some liberal democracies are shunting religious opinions aside. Farr writes:
Many of the nation's bishops have been at pains to insist that their concern about religious liberty is not a partisan concern. I know many who doubt the bishops' statements in this regard, but I do not and I am quite willingly to blame the Obama administration for the current fight and for the partisan implications of the consequences.
On Friday, I began a review of “From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965,” by John Connelly. There, we looked at the problem: Centuries of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism that had left the Catholic Church incapable of finding ways to even talk with or about Jews that did not feed into the kind of attitudes that had perpetrated centuries of persecution. Several factors came together to affect a change in Catholic doctrine towards the Jews, and Connelly’s book tells that tale.
After fretting about the effects ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would have on the U.S. military and the chaplaincies over which he has authority, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military finally fessed up and said the change in policy was not having much of an effect. "There have been no overt difficulties," he told a newspaper reporter. "It's more a question of what might occur in the future." Hmmm. What might occur in the future? The Mayans could be proven right and the world could end. Obama could lose and Romney could revisit the issue and re-implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell, although I doubt he would and I doubt the leadership of the military would want him to do so. Who knows about the future, but one thing is clear about the past: Dire, chicken-little like warnings about the dire consequences of treating gay men and women like other people almost never look smart or realistic in the rear view mirror. (h/t Rocco.)