Links for 6/19/18

by Michael Sean Winters

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Can someone explain to me why Raymond Arroyo still has a show on EWTN? Bad enough that whenever Arroyo hosts Kevin Appleby, from the Center for Migration Studies and a longtime staffer on the issue at the bishops' conference, he's paired with someone from the viciously anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies.* This would be like hosting Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the bishops' Pro-Life Activities Committee, and pairing him with Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood. But, last week, Arroyo discussed the bishops' spring meeting and their discussion of immigration with First Things' Matthew Schmitz, and Arroyo did nothing but make apologies for Donald Trump's willingness to separate children from their parents, and blame it on the Democrats. More on this tomorrow, but here is the video to rile you up.

In The New York Times, Charles Camosy calls out those in the pro-life movement who have not raised their voice to speak out on behalf of the families at the border being separated by the Trump administration. "In standing by President Trump and his administration — and, indeed, in now honoring him as their standard-bearer — traditional pro-life leaders have put short-term and uncertain political gain ahead of consistent moral principle," he writes. I couldn't agree more: Trump ruins everything he touches.

At the Working-Class Perspectives blog, hosted by the Kalmanovitz Initiative at Georgetown University, Lane Windham on the role of women leading many labor efforts, including the teachers' strikes this year, and how these efforts not only defend the interests of the union members but also seek to advance the common good. For example, she writes: "Bargaining for the common good redefines collective bargaining not as zero sum contest between employer and employees, but instead as a social and economic platform that engages in larger community issues, like class sizes, racial profiling in schools, or municipal debt and spending." I hope these female labor leaders can free the progressive movement from the grip of women's groups that focus solely on abortion rights, and I hope they can continue to shape the labor movements in the ways Windham outlines.

Speaking of workers, this article at The Washington Post's Wonkblog shows that for all the president's gloating about the state of the economy, wages for many Americans are not only stagnant but actually falling. Indeed, the category of workers in question, "production and non-supervisory," is the largest category of workers. I think many Americans like Trump's swagger, and others voted for him in spite of that swagger. Many believe his lies, and others continue to support him despite the lies. But if he can't deliver on wages, the Dems have a real shot in 2020.

Also at The Washington Post, Christine Emba on why Robert De Niro's vulgar attack on the president at the Tony Awards suffered not primarily because it was vulgar, but because it was content-free. This another pathology of the rich leftie: They assume everyone thinks as they do, and that their own conclusions are self-evident. Here is Emba's money quote:

"F--- Trump." Well, sure, if you must. Then what? It's not clear that De Niro spurred the Tony Awards crowd (which, considering the estimated wealth and influence of its near-6,000 in-person attendees, might well be in a position to make some sort of change) to do anything but stand and cheer, and then proceed to the after-party.

In another fine commentary at, Pedro Gabriel provides the kind of clear analysis of Amoris Laetitia that the critics seem unwilling to do. They prefer to complain about confusion, but the document is not confusing. They are seeking a clarity that exists only in their minds, not in the real world.

*An earlier version of this column misidentified the group from which Arroyo has hosted a guest; the guest was from the Center for Immigration Studies.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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