I’ll give this to John Zmirak, the man has chutzpah

I’ll give this to John Zmirak, the man has chutzpah August 4, 2015

He once wrote a piece comparing people who vote third party to masturbators. He once declared that amnesty for refugees equalled abortion. He once smeared anybody critical of the Noble Lie for the Greater Good as killers of the soul. And now he springs to the defense of a helpless billionaire racist who smears Mexicans as rapists and killers and lectures Cardinal Dolan on not assuming the lowest motives of an opponent.

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  • Based on Mark’s description, I was expecting to seek Zmirak defend Trump, which I thought would be odd. Instead I found this:

    “There’s no good defense for Donald Trump’s record or rhetoric on immigration; he has flip-flopped on this issue as on every other — four years ago calling Mitt Romney “maniacal” for opposing mass amnesty, this year tarnishing the cause of border control through overheated, cringe-worthy rants.”

    • chezami

      It’s more a defense of himself for saying “Amnesty equals abortion”. The spectacle of this below-the-belt puncher lecturing anybody, much less the Cardinal, on assuming the best about opponents is to laugh.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      Yeah, I too clicked the link expecting to find, you know, a defense of Donald Trump. Instead what I found was a sober discussion of the application of the Catechism to U.S. immigration policy. Zmirak might be applying the teaching of the Church incorrectly, but there’s nothing uncivil – much less scandalous – about this column.

      But Donald Trump has become the bête noire of CAEI, and that means – for now at least – that anyone coming within a country mile of taking the same position that Trump takes on an issue is anathema.

  • Dan13

    Am I supposed to know who John Zmirak is?

  • CrustyNatsFan

    That sure is one collection of off putting writing. I admire JZ’s intent to try to defend the faith, but the lack of hope and charity in his writing undermines it all.

    • Andy

      I agree the lack of charity is so obvious and so off-putting that I find it difficult to read anything he writes.

  • Peggy

    I am so glad Cardinal Dolan was outraged by the most pressing moral issue of our time.

    • chezami

      Yes. Because he has never spoken of abortion ever. And it is well known that whenever we speak of sins popular with conservatives, such of the gross racism of Donald Trump, it is vital to use the unborn as human shields and make defenses of gross racism the real priority.

      • prairiebunny

        Trump is not Catholic.So when can we expect an editorial in a major NY newspaper by Cardinal Dolan in which he attacks by name the pro abort Catholic Sen Gillibrand of NY? She voted to fund PP. I’d love to be proven wrong but I just don’t see it happening.

      • AquinasMan

        We don’t need bishops to speak about abortion when no one is listening. But they had (and still have) the public’s ear with these PP videos, and all we’ve heard from members of the USCCB is “wellllll, it doesn’t look good, does it?” followed by SJ plugging: “See, if we get people jobs, no more abortion!” We actually had a Chicago Tribune columnist today pen a screed that actually recommends that giving even more to Planned Parenthood will make abortion less likely. This was on the heels of ++Cupich writing an op-ed that called the “commerce” of these slaughterhouses unpalatable, but “look over here — solar panels!” So, while most would think it questionable for a Cardinal to have taken out an op-ed against Barack Obama during his run for the presidency (note: they didn’t), this time’s it’s okay. One wonders how the Archbishop will handle invitations to the Al Smith Dinner if Trump ends up the candidate.

        • ManyMoreSpices

          Yeah, that whole “there would be more abortions without Planned Parenthood” thing? Ross Douthat went to work on it today with a ball-peen hammer and a pair of rusty pliers.

          The first half of his column considers the empirical question of whether providing free contraceptives has reduced the abortion rate. The evidence Douthat marshalls indicates that the answer to that question is in the negative, but he leaves open the possibility that the right program, done in the right way could reduce the abortion rate. So just on the facts, it’s inaccurate to say that contraceptive access reduces the abortion rate.

          That’s not why I’m linking his column. I’m linking it because he uncharacteristically excoriates the sensible, mainstream center-left types who concede to pro-lifers that there’s something disturbing about the Planned Parenthood videos but nonetheless say that we’re wrong for trying to de-fund it.

          Douthat basically calls them liars. Liars who don’t actually think that there’s anything wrong with abortion.

          He says that if the non-abortion services that Planned Parenthood provides are so essential and valuable, people who respectfully disagree with our position on abortion should be willing to decouple PP’s abortion services from everything else. There would be broad political support for funding health services for poor women – including providing contraceptives. If the abortion part of the biz is only 3% of what they do and it’s not publicly funded, they should toss that over the side and they’d never have to worry about their funding being jeopardized by pro-lifers ever again. Spin abortion services off to an unrelated company and just focus on all the wonderful things you say you’re already doing.

          But Planned Parenthood won’t do that, and their handwringing supporters in the commentariat don’t insist that they do. They don’t suggest a compromise that would get the good stuff funded while leaving the morally troubling stuff out. Instead, they blackmail us: “fund Planned Parenthood or there will be even more abortions.” (It’s much like saying that a woman should put up with an abusive husband because, sure, he slaps her around but if you arrest him she won’t have anyone to pay her rent, and then she’d be even worse off.) Because they don’t actually have moral problems with abortion. They just like pretending that they do, because they know they’re defending the indefensible.

    • Athelstane

      His Eminence had a surprisingly tough statement on the PP videos today, actually.

    • chezami
  • Anna

    It’s too bad, really, since his writing in books like “Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song” is so good and so much fun. But the internet stuff is so often just awful…

  • Elmwood

    I know Dolan likes Jeb, but as bad as it was, it’s not like what Trump said is much different than what is said constantly on right-wing talk radio. Listen to Michael “Weiner” Savage for example.

  • Tony

    Mark, I don’t know what your talking about, the exact quote from the article is “there is no good defense for Trumps comments on immigration” How is that supporting Trump. Your so knee jerk about anyone from “the thing that used to be conservative” that I’m not even sure you pay attention when your reading anyone that is conservative