Luring Catholics

Article excerpt

Byline: Greg Pierce, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Luring Catholics

"You are the Democratic candidate for president. You want to reach out to Catholics. So what do you do when the majority of the elected officials on your National Catholic Advisory Council have the seal of approval from NARAL Pro-Choice America?" Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn asks.

"That's the position Barack Obama now finds himself in. A few months ago, his Catholic advisory council was announced with great enthusiasm, and Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) was listed as a national co-chair. His appearance at the top of the council sent a clear message: This campaign is determined to recover some of the lost Democratic sheep who have gravitated to the GOP over abortion," Mr. McGurn said.

"This council does indeed include some Catholics whose pro-life credentials are impeccable, including Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar. But let us also stipulate the obvious: Of the 21 senators, congressmen and governors listed on the council's National Leadership Committee, 17 have a 90 percent-100 percent NARAL approval rating. Even Mr. Casey now enjoys a 65 percent NARAL approval rating.

"It's not as if these NARAL scores are outliers: Sen. Obama himself boasts a 100 percent NARAL rating, and for good reason. In a speech before Planned Parenthood, he declared that the right to an abortion is at stake in this election, and vowed that he would not yield on appointing judges that would uphold Roe v. Wade.

"Mr. Obama is for using tax dollars to fund abortions, and against restrictions on partial-birth abortion. In the Illinois Senate, he voted against legislation protecting a child who was born alive despite an abortion. In sum, if you want to know what Mr. Obama's policies mean, it's this: taxpayer-funded abortion on demand."

In denial

"The whole [Iraq] episode is a reminder that history is a complicated thing. The traits that lead to disaster in certain circumstances are the very ones that come in handy in others. The people who seem so smart at some moments seem incredibly foolish in others," New York Times columnist David Brooks writes.

"The cocksure war supporters learned this humbling lesson during the dark days of 2006. And now the cocksure surge opponents, drunk on their own vindication, will get to enjoy their season of humility. They have already gone through the stages of intellectual denial. First, they simply disbelieved that the surge and the Petraeus strategy was doing any good. Then they accused people who noticed progress in Iraq of duplicity and derangement. Then they acknowledged military, but not political, progress. Lately they have skipped over to the argument that Iraq is progressing so well that the U.S. forces can quickly come home," Mr. Brooks says.

"But before long, the more honest among the surge opponents will concede that Bush, that supposed dolt, actually got one right. Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.

"Life is complicated. The reason we have democracy is that no one side is right all the time. …