This morning's Washington Post has an article about Maine's two "moderate" GOP senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. The designation "moderate" affixes to them, as it does to other GOP politicians like Massachusetts Sen. Scoot Brown when they break with their party's orthodoxy. But, they do not break with the GOP on taxes or budgetary matters that might put them closer in tune with Catholic social teaching, they break with the GOP's commitment to the unborn.
Conversely, when you think of what earns a Democrat the title "moderate" it is usually because they do adopt a pro-life position.
I would submit that a pro-life Democrat, committed to social justice issues and especially to helping the poor and the immigrants, is today the only kind of politician that truly enfleshes the Church's teachings in their fullness. Republican moderates, conversely, break with the Church's positions across the board. This fact tells you a lot about why it is misguided for bishops to get too close to the GOP. And, as I can't say too often enough, with the influx of Latino voters, many of them pro-life Catholics, there is no reason not to increase the number of pro-life Democrats who champion the entire range of concerns articulated by the Church. I wish there were more pro-life Democrats. I think there may be in the future. But, at least, I can discern the possibility. In today's GOP, the idea of there emerging a group of Republican leaders committed to social justice and immigrant rights is a true flight of fancy.