In his most recent weekly column, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia looks at some basic issues regarding Catholics and our responsibilities in the political arena.
One of the principal differences between the two presidential candidates is their approach to tax policy. Mr. Romney has signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes and Mr. Obama has consistently supported allowing the Bush tax cuts on those making more than $250,000 per year to expire. Tonight’s debate will focus on foreign policy, and there are not very many differences between the two candidates on actual policies abroad, so I do not expect any questions on tax policy. It is a shame: The solvency of the government is part of the foundation of our standing in the world.
When I was growing up in New England, at this time of year, a good day was when the Yankees lost and a great day was a day when the Yankees lost and the Red Sox won. I am not a huge baseball fan. I have fond memories of going to Fenway Park, but it was as much about time with the family as the game. I recall, too, my father's unrestrained joy when the Red Sox finally won a World Series in 2004. This year, the Red Sox were not very good, so I was not anticipating any great days during the playoffs.
Judie Brown, head of the American Life League, has a new post up in which she states that she feels hurt that Cardinal Dolan declined to share a dinner dais with her but he did so with President Obama. Perhaps Cardinal Dolan recognizes that there are people whose vitriol is so obvious and so repugnant, that they actually bring discredit to the pro-life cause.
Charles Michael Andres Clark, writing at Commonweal, delivers a fine economic critique of the Ryan budget. I would only add that Ryan and his Catholic champions need to ask themselves why those countries which erected their social welfare policies under the governance of Christian Democratic parties always spend about twice as much on programs designed to effect greater equality and guarantee all people a living wage than we ever have in the U.S.? Our country is not going bankrupt. We are not spending money we don't have.
Amy Sullivan, at The New Republic, details the story behind the scandal that engulfed King's College President Dinesh D'Souza, known as well for his vile anti-Obama rantings and film-making. At the heart of the story is a rivalry between D'Souza and Marvin Olasky. Truly no one would want to spend too much time with either man.
Sometimes, the personal politics within the Catholic Church can get petty. But, rarely does it get as ugly as this.
I think Gov. Mitt Romney is getting a bum wrap over his comment about "binders of women" during this week's debate. As I noted the other day, I find it interesting that after many years as a successful businessman that he was not already acquainted with plenty of able women to staff his administration, but the focus on the phrase "binders of women" is ridiculous. Everyone watching knew what he meant and what he meant was a good thing.
My colleague Tom Roberts recently spoke to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers about many of his views on the future of the Church. You can see the video on the Maryknoll homepage by clicking here.
The Al Smith Dinner last night was the capstone of a successful campaign this year: Cardinal Timothy Dolan is now universally acknowledged as the savviest politician in the U.S. of A. First, he was the only person on the dais last night to address both national conventions. Then, last night, he presided over the only one of the four face-to-face meetings of the two candidates at which no one will blame the moderator. (Rocco has the video here.)
Mark Silk at Religion News Service writes about GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon's latest demonstration of her inability to understand complex issues, in this case, the administration of Plan B in cases of rape at Catholic hospitals.