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Perils of Punditry

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Two items in Sunday’s Washington Post op-ed page caught my eye, both of which illustrate the perils of punditry. I bring these items to the reader’s attention with an enormous caveat. As one who earns my daily bread as a pundit, I am aware how easy it is to write something in passing that contradicts a whole host of other assertions I have made. But, these items are noteworthy because of what they say about our current political debate.

A Triduum of Mercy

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In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are invited to look at things we know, and know well, things that are familiar, even routine, and to see them in the light of mercy, a light the exposes different shadings from what we may have seen before, highlighting different features of the known, even pointing us in a certain direction that was, heretofore, unseen. This year, then, we look at the great Paschal Triduum in the light of mercy. What do we see?

Links for 03/22/16

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At Commonweal, Tony Annett examines the reception of Centesimus Annus in 1991, and what Cardinal Turkson had to say about that document last week. Only n America, was Pope John Paul II understood essentially as a neo-con Republcan. 

At RNS, Mark Silk beats back the meme that Donald Trump s the candidate of the dispossessed, looking at exit polls that show the breadth of his support across demographics. 

Obama's Trip to Cuba

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The headline at Politico was not reassuring: “Castro and Obama Agree to Disagree on Human Rights, Freedom.” The article detailed the divergent views of the two leaders that become manifest at a joint press conference during President Barack Obama’s visit to the island nation the past couple of days, but also noted that the president made clear he was not seeking to impose U.S. norms on the island nation.

The GOP: A "Vehicle" for RC Concerns or a Moral Disgrace?

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I have said in these pages repeatedly that although Donald Trump poses a unique problem for American democracy, the real problem lies in the voters (and their circumstances) that support him. He has tapped an anger that was already there, and instead of channeling that anger towards an improved commonwealth by invoking the better angels of our natures, he encourages that anger to descend into a deep and abiding resentment that will not be washed out of the culture anytime soon.

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In This Issue

April 22-May 5, 2016

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