Quote of the day

“I confess I no longer understand Obama. He did not go to the mat to end the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich. He did not go to the mat for comprehensive immigration reform. He did not go to the mat to close Guantanamo Bay. He did not go to the mat for Card Check. He did not go to the mat for a public option in the health care reform. But, he went to the mat over the principle that a Catholic college or charity or hospital is not really religious.

The president not only is the chief magistrate of the land, he is the leader of the Democratic Party. I know I am something of an odd duck by being what I call an “Ella Grasso Democrat.” Grasso was the first woman to be elected a governor of her state in her own right, not succeeding her husband. She was pro-labor. She was pro-Israel. She was pro-higher taxes on rich folk. She stood up for the little guy. Unlike other male Democrats – Kennedy and Gore and Gephardt and Muskie – she remained pro-life. I believe that it is the historic calling of the Democratic Party to stand up to the moneyed interest and say that the common good, not just the individual pursuit of profit, is a moral obligation and a necessity in a free and just society. I am simply not interested in a Democratic Party that is so beholden to the fundraisers at Emily’s List, so consumed with lifestyle politics, that it is willing to thumb its nose at those working class voters who really do care about social justice and for whom that care is a part of their religious beliefs. And, if liberals no longer care about a robust defense of the First Amendment, well, then, we do not deserve the presidency.”

– Michael Sean Winters.

Read the rest.


  1. ron chandonia says:

    The whole piece is very much worth reading, though I suspect its endorsement of government-funded healthcare would be a bit over the top for many of the Catholics who are dismayed by the HHS mandate. To me, the most interesting part was the one Deacon Greg singled out: Winters’ lament that the Democratic Party, once the natural ally of socially aware Catholics, has now prioritized “lifestyle politics” over the traditional social justice issues. That has certainly been my experience, and I forgo voting for many offices these days rather than choose between baby-killer Scylla and warmonger Charybdis.

  2. naturgesetz says:

    If he’s shocked, I think it means not that he no longer understands Obama, but that he never did, but now he’s finally beginning to understand him.

  3. Good point by Ron above. If the Dem party is supposed to stand for the powerless, then there is no more powerless than an unborn child. And no more innocent.

  4. MSW is one of the rather few guys out there I’ve always been able to have an intelligent debate with. He takes reasonable, if often wrong positions, and he follows the discussion. This is sounding condescending; it’s not meant that way; it’s just that there are precious few people who really, for the most part, stick to the topic. fwiw.

  5. One of the problems that plagues us as we ponder Obama’s presidency is that we don’t understand him now and never really did. I often wonder how someone with so little experience who was basically an unknown to most Americans got elected in the first place. Was it his youth and engergy, his speaking ability, his promise of hope and change?
    I don’t think in our history such an unknown was ever elected president. I still don’t see his leadership skills after three years.

  6. It’s tough to scrounge up much sympathy for Michael. As naturgesetz said above, “[i]f he’s shocked, I think it means not that he no longer understands Obama, but that he never did, but now he’s finally beginning to understand him.” Liberal _c_atholics like him willfully closed their eyes and ears before the last election, ignoring everything that we knew and tried to to tell them about Obama. They screwed all of us. Who’s going to lose sleep that they’re finally sharing the pain?

  7. Yes, let’s confiscate more money from the successful and hard-working; that is what Christ demands of us. Take their money, give it to Washington, where a healthy portion of it is totally wasted.

  8. You can be for the powerless unborn AND The powerless in society – it’s the sad twisted politics here that makes this Either/Or – I for one am utterly weary of it. All of it.

  9. Kevin raises an excellent point. The scriptural imperative to care for the poor is on the individual. That’s the essence of Matthew 25. The bloated confiscatory taxation in a socialist/marxist system takes the imperative from the individual and ,makes the government the sole discretionary authority about how much and where the fruits of one’s labors go. It’s another assault on a pillar of spirituality: stewardship.

  10. Kevin and Gerard, you guys sound like Ron Paul.

  11. Agree with Dr. Nadal’s point about the important distinction between voluntary charity and compulsory re-distribution of wealth.

    How often have we heard the notion that private charity is redundant in the face of the massive welfare state. “Let the government do it,” is the refrain one often hears.

  12. Politics should not become ideological, not in a democracy.
    If a Democrat thinks if he is “pro-Israel” then he is not a “real Democrat” but an “evil republican”, then he and his Party won’t be able to make reasonable policies any more.

    Politics should be in my opinion pragmatically conceived. One should look at the problems we have at hand and suggest a reasonable and workable solution.

    The HHS mandate is unnecessary and so clearly ideological, it won’t be workable either because it asks the insurance to cover the running costs of contraceptives through out the whole year. People think they can get something for “free” but they forget the money comes in the end from themselves.

    The liberal Democrats also think they must oppose that so evil “Israel” but they never studied the history and read how the near east conflicts come up. It was not the fault of the Jews or Israelites. The left are anti-zionist but they never think of the conclusion of their position: it will end in a mass expellation and even killing of Jews. They don’t have any reasonable and human solution. All they have is their ideology, and their wish, to appear more righteous than the others.

    Today’s politics involves itself more and more in the “culture war”, with the stress on “equality” (a high-jacked concept which nowadays can only mean “some animals are more equal than the others”) and “political correctness”.

    I hope the politicians come to their senses.

    Was not the HHS Mandate made by ultra-Catholics like Sebelius. I always say such Catholics are worse than a whole army of atheists. We must clear our own stable, at least the Church should make clear that these so called “Catholics” excommunicate themselves from the Church through their evil deeds, and they should be denied communion.

  13. Another thought, O.K. people who are so eager to kill their own children and not to conceive any children can get it for free, but they should get it from the abortion industry and pharmacy industry which produces contraceptives, not from the Catholic Church or other institutions which oppose abortion and contraception.

    Who profits mostly from the HHS mandate should also pay for it.

  14. Completely agree. To add to that, notice how the more we off load what should be human charity to the state, the more secular and even more atheistic society becomes. Christ is met either through the church or through individual to individual contact. Look across the world and see which countries are the most atheistic and you’ll find those countries with a high level of state power. This is why ir’s been a huge mistake for the church to ever advocate for state run welfare services.

  15. Sorry, it should be “ultra-liberal Catholics”.

    We must make it clear that people like Sebelius has not right to speak for Catholics, nor for the Church, nor for Catholic women.

  16. Gee, had Michael only understood Marxism, he would have “gotten Obama” before he was elected.

    The other REALLY big clue; the bellwether for anyone and everyone, is their stance on life in the womb. ALL SOCIAL JUSTICE STARTS IN THE WOMB, PERIOD! Yes, I hate caps too, but how many times and how many ways does it have to be said? It’s true every time, and a “take to the bank guarantee” that said person has his/her own selfish agenda.

    Lastly, how many years (is 20 enough), does one have to sit in Wright’s church listening to “GD America black liberation theology”, before it clicks that those in the pews aren’t attending for “warm and fuzzies.”

    So, while on one hand I admire Michael’s ability to finally quesiton his “Obama choice”, the reality is, the signs were always there, and long before America elected him.

    This time around they are not only there, they are here on steroids. The only question remaining is how many “catholics” will STILL vote for a man who not only loathes the US Constitution, but as he promised before his first election, is out to “REMAKE (Obama style of course), America, at the expense of our God Blessed freedom and love of country.

  17. ron chandonia says:

    So at the Second Coming, Our Lord is going to prove himself a libertarian? Sounds like that nonsensical Hillsdale College hit-piece against the US bishops that Rush Limbaugh read on the air the other day. What it does not sound like is the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church, which holds that because the “individual person, the family or intermediate groups are not able to achieve their full development by themselves for living a truly human life,” “political institutions” are essential in order “to make available to persons the necessary material, cultural, moral and spiritual goods” (Compendium, sec. 168). It was in keeping with that expansive view of the role of government in caring for the vulnerable that our bishops supported healthcare reform. It was simply not a task for private charity, and private charities–including Catholic Charities–understood that very well.

  18. A truly whacky comment Manny. People who have seen the dishonest con game that is punishing the “rich,” by confiscating more and more of their income, include Ronald Reagan, JFK, Milton Friedman, Art Laffer, and William F. Buckley to name only a very few. You don’t create wealth or jobs by penalizing the most productive and economically successful members of society. You also never raise taxes in a recession, which thanks to Obama we’ve had 3 more years of. This is all basic capitalism which created the country we have today which Obama is trying to tear down by pitting us all against each other based on who makes what.

  19. wineinthewater says:

    Of course you can be for both. The problem is that neither of our major political parties, and only a very small smattering of their candidates, has actually chosen to be for both.

  20. wineinthewater says:

    But that is the call of Christ: to have sympathy and compassion even for those who may not “deserve” it.

    And it is a pragmatic approach as well. If we respond to the awakening awareness of those who were deceived – even self-deceived – with “well duh you idiot,” how long do you think it will be before they retreat back to their comfortable deception? And then we have lost the chance to work with them in common cause.

  21. wineinthewater says:

    Dr. Nadal,
    But it is also Catholic teaching that one of the roles and responsibilities of government is to ensure the common good. I think there can be a robust discussion about whether a government-subsidized, universal health care program is the best way to ensure the common good – I am torn myself, thinking that health care is perhaps too important to be entrusted to governmental management – but it can’t be simply dismissed.

  22. REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( http://my.firedoglake.com/iflizwerequeen/2011/05/16/how-about-a-little-truth-about-what-the-majority-want-for-health-care/ )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )


    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!


    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.



    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  23. It is one thing for the Church to advocate government-funded aid to the poor; it’s something very different for the Church to advocate abolition-of-poverty projects, especially under legal compulsion. The first is a Gospel imperative; the second is humanist and utopian. Too many bishops and other Catholic leaders are utterly unaware of the essential difference between the theological virtue of charity and the humanist goal of social change.

  24. Jacksmith, my comment above is for you too. The fixes you desire aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re not the business of the Church to advocate, any more than highway safety, clean air, or biodiversity. Subsidiarity applies here: discernment and implementation of remedies of this sort are the competence of the laity.

  25. I am probably one of the few people these days who even knew about Ella Grasso. She was a great lady and remained pro-life when all around her were caving into the pro-abortion extremists in the Democrat Party. She did take her lumps for being true to the gospel.
    If only Democrats such as Mr. Winters would tell their leadership – enough. The problem is – their leadership would throw Mr. Winters and his comrades over the side.
    I have longed for the day (as there was in the early 1970s) when there would once again be an honest pro-life presence in the Democrat party – for truth be told – protecting innocent human life is not the sole province of the “‘conservative” or the “liberal” but both. And defending the right of religious liberty and the right of conscience is so fundamental to the American experiment that the idea of manipulating the public to force abortion and this mandate on the people is diabolical.
    I hope Mr. Winters will recognize that he and so many pro-life Democrats and Catholics have been and are being played for as long as they are useful.

  26. ron chandonia says:

    Ever hear about “structures of sin”? As Catholics, we oppose them and seek to transform them into what Pope John Paul II called “structures of solidarity.” That’s a humanist goal, all right, because God wants human beings to enjoy fulfilling lives. Catholics faithful to the magisterium understand that “evangelizing the social sector” requires us “to promote a society befitting mankind because it befits Christ: it means building a city of man that is more human because it is in greater conformity to the Kingdom of God” (Compendium, sec. 63).


  1. [...] in effect, that the freedom of religion is now only a freedom to worship.The essay comes by way of Deacon Greg, whose own commenters are always extremely insightful — “The Democratic Party, once the [...]

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