"No expression of today's [American] commitment to liberty and justice for all can be more basic than the protection offered to those in society who are most vulnerable. The United States of America was founded on the conviction that an inalienable right to life was a self-evident moral truth, fidelity to which was a primary criterion of social justice. The moral history of your country is the story of your people's efforts to widen the circle of inclusion in society, so that all Americans might enjoy the protection of law, participate in the responsibilities of citizenship, and have the opportunity to make a contribution to the common good. Whenever a certain category of people—the unborn or the sick and old—are excluded from that protection, a deadly anarchy subverts the original understanding of justice. The credibility of the United States will depend more and more on its promotion of a genuine culture of life, and on a renewed commitment to building a world in which the weakest and most vulnerable are welcomed and protected."I also learned that Wiegel used to be a Democrat, but left the party in 1992 when the former Democratic Pennsylvania governor, the late Bob Casey, who was pro-life, as is his son, Bob, Jr., now a Democratic U.S. Senator, was denied an opportunity to speak at the party convention that year. He expresses well a lament of mine: "I deeply regret the fact that the once-traditional political home of U.S. Catholics has embraced policy positions on the life issues that offend both Catholic faith and everyone's reason." Along with Wiegel, "I would welcome a new openness to pro-life argumentation and policy in the Democratic Party".
After expressing this hope, Wiegel pushes his case too far by essentially eviscerating anything that resembles proportionate reasoning as called for in Faithful Citizenship and set forth by other leading Catholic intellectuals, like Cathleen Kaveny, Doug Kmiec, et. al. I am skeptical about what seem to me to be alarmist claims made by Wiegel that within a year of being elected, a President Obama, with a Democratically-controlled Congress, will wipe out all pro-life gains.
I am glad that it is not yet election day. All of this is made worse by the fact that Sen. Obama's running-mate is a Catholic who should know better, but who, as Rocco reports, is busy explaining that he is "Not a JP Guy". I hate to be the one to tell you this Sen. Biden, but il Papa Buono would not be alright with your stance on abortion either. To paraphrase one of the distinguished gentlemen with whom I dined last night: In a country of 300 million people, we can't do better than this? More to the point, in a country with over 60 million Catholics, we can't do better than this for high political office? Channeling RFK! I will give Gov. Palin this, despite the fact that she does not seem to have a good grasp of the jurisprudence wrought by Roe, she is firm in her pro-life convictions and doesn't back-peddle from her faith. Nonetheless, as Deacon Greg reports, More Catholics [Are] Swinging Toward Obama. Trying to find the good in all of this, in addition the Democrats re-thinking their stance on human life, perhaps it is a good time for the Republicans to stop being bellicose and to revisit issues of fairness and economic justice.
Getting to some practical politics, it looks like the inevitable is beginning to emerge, Sarah Palin is a liability, and becoming a bigger one by the day. The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll revealed that Sen. Obama has opened up a double-digit lead over Sen. McCain, despite the fact that most respondents agreed that Sen. McCain is better prepared for the White House than Sen. Obama. As regards Gov. Palin only 38% view her positively. This is down 6% from two weeks ago. Overall, 47% of respondents view her in a negative light. This brings her negative rating up 10% over the same two weeks. This gives Gov. Palin the worst negative rating of the four candidates, despite the fact that Sen. Biden has been, well, Sen. Biden. A fair majority of respondents, fifty-five percent, do not believe that Gov. Palin is qualified to be president. This is up 5% over the past two weeks. A majority of these same respondents, while they may believe McCain better prepared to be president, obviously believe Obama is qualified, which is why they prefer him to McCain 52% to 42%. It appears McCain's bold gamble is not paying off (this paragraph is referenced from the WSJ on-line article, Obama Opens Double-Digit Lead: New Poll Shows McCain Ceding Ground on Taxes, Values; Palin Loses Shine, by Laura Meckler).
Rocco also posted something about CL that is certainly worth some attention. Congrats to Rocco and all of Philadelphia, your Phillies finally made it back to the Series!