Of course the argument over Obama’s honorary degree from Notre Dame has a “public” dimension. That has never been in dispute. But the argument is largely about how Notre Dame’s Catholicism and professed pro-life commitments should affect its public role. Non-Catholics and non-pro-lifers who have something insightful to say about that subject should of course speak up. If they believe that it is “anti-democratic” to raise the subject, however, they are unlikely to be able to contribute much to the discussion.
P.S. “Isolated and beleaguered”? Compared to, say, the folks who post at Danielle’s website?