The Corner

Obama’s Catholics

George Weigel does a nice job of responding to the “Catholic brief for Obama” by Nicholas Cafardi, M. Cathleen Kaveny, and the inevitable Douglas Kmiec, but is perhaps too embarrassed on their behalf to point out every shoddy aspect of it. I feel no such constraint. I will underscore one of Weigel’s points and add a few more.

1) The authors cannot get through the subject of their first sentence without telling an untruth. “George Weigel and his fellow McCain advisors. . .” As Weigel points out, he has not advised McCain formally or informally.

2) The opening paragraph ends, “Center for Disease Control statistics reveal that prosperity directly affects the abortion rate far more significantly than Republican rhetoric pledging to outlaw abortion–” Really? The CDC has done a study on the effects of Republican rhetoric?

3) “—a feat John McCain has failed to accomplish with nearly three decades in Congress.” Are the authors seriously holding it against McCain that he has not single-handedly been able to, among other things, reverse a Supreme Court decision? No, they’re not: They’re just taking a cheap shot at him and moving on.

4) “In terms of health care, McCain makes no provision for the uninsured. . .” Not true. Perhaps the authors have not heard that McCain would grant families a $5,000 tax credit to purchase health insurance? If the authors want to maintain that Obama’s plan is superior to McCain’s because it would insure more people, they can do so without making things up. But they go cartoonishly further.

5) “. . . and proposes that the insured pay more.” No, he doesn’t. The vast majority of people would come out with more money after McCain’s tax reform.

6) The authors say nothing about Obama’s support for taxpayer funding of abortion, which the abortion lobby itself suggests will result in many, many more abortions; nothing about his stated commitment to make passing the “Freedom of Choice Act” the very first thing he does as President; nothing about his opposition to providing legal protection against homicide for all infants; nothing about his opposition to parental consent and notification laws (which have demonstrably reduced the number of abortions); nothing about his opposition to federal funding for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that help make it possible for pregnant women in need to avoid resorting to abortion; nothing about his support for the industrial production of “research embryos” by cloning. . . well, you get the picture.

All in all, these three professors have given the sort of intellectual performance you would expect of an unscrupulous politician.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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