Doug Kmiec again, in response to Shannen:
Abortion as an intrinsic evil necessarily governs the public choices of Catholics. I did not, as you note, say anything to the contrary. I do believe, however, that some are missing the point of the Slate essay — which, by the way, had a question mark at the end of its title for a reason. The point was not only to take Senator Obama up on his invitation to get passed the negative, anti-approach that so typifies and blocks meaningful solution to a myriad of problems, but it was also to put a direct challenge to a rather complacent Republican party seemingly marching in oblivious defeat in November. Meaning no dishonor to Senator McCain, he is widely perceived as a candidate of the status quo, rather than of needed cultural and economic and ethical change. If that is so, the Senator’s likely nomination now invites a serious Catholic to actually ask: “how well does the Republic status quo meet the social teaching of the church on topics other than abortion?” The answer, it turns out, is not particularly well, especially when the candidate of the status quo has a military occupation position (“100 years, sure, maybe a 1000″) that is far too flippant for an issue of human life or national security and that is directly contrary to an equally resolute teaching of the Church. So if the primary process takes out a candidate like Governor Romney who had a grasp of the kind of humanitarian rebuilding necessary to stabilize (and not merely occupy) Iraq, who stood for religious liberty in an eloquent and historically-informed way, who had the intelligence to make conservatively-based steps to meet the economic realities facing the working class, middle-income families that came to the Republican party because of President Reagan almost 30 years ago, and most of all, who had a genuine passion and understanding for the significance of family as a cultural building block, there is then a reasoned, rather than ”on the rocker,” basis to evaluate what else is being said, and said very well, by one’s opponents in a national campaign. Now, Governor Romney has loyally endorsed the Senator as a matter of party. He is an honorable man to do so especially given the ill-considered manner in which the Senator acted especially in Florida and at the last Reagan Library debate. The Governor calls upon us as a matter of politics to fall behind Senator McCain. Perhaps, eventually all or most of us who supported the Governor will do so because, as you say, the other vineyard will yield less. Nevertheless, I, for one, will be waiting to hoist my rocker upon that wagon since talk of the wagon-master has been anything but straight, and since, as a matter of faith, there is more to consider than one — albeit overriding — issue, and thus far, what Senator McCain has said or ignored has been troubling or unpersuasive. Republicans should not think Catholics incapable of broader considerations because of the ethical stumbling block that abortion represents. It would be wrong to use one aspect of ethics to defeat ethics.