Smart political operatives, particularly those in opposition, are wise to take on discreet achievable goals in order to build momentum and highlight issues of importance to their base. That's why significant opposition to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is unlikely (absent some bombshell). The political cost of mounting an ultimately unsuccessful campaign in opposition to a clearly qualified Hispanic woman is simply too great.
But that's not the case with Gian Maria Vian, editor of L'Osservatore Romano. As Tom Roberts pointed out in a previous post, theocon Michael Novak is the latest voice to condemn the Vatican newspaper editor's benign take on the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, Republican Party Catholic operative Deal Hudson, in a series of articles at Insidecatholic.com, is calling for Vian's head: he wants him fired, his head offered to American Catholic conservatives who simply can’t abide rational comment and analysis of the American president.
Though Novak, Hudson and others of their crowd lost some clout in Rome following their support for the US invasion of Iraq, they continue to have some level of influence. Vian’s fate may indicate just how much.
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