Excellent post on Deal Hudson's blog about Catholic activism in the 2008 elections.
As I argue in my upcoming book Onward Christian Soldiers (Simon & Schuster, Oct 2007) the biggest loser in the 2004 was the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The USCCB lost control of its bishops on the issue of abortion and politics.
Bishop Raymond Burke opened the floodgates when he publicly criticized John Kerry. Instead of suffering the fate of the Lone Ranger, like Bishop Bruskewicz in the past, Burke found himself joined by at least a dozen other bishops, even after he kept up his criticism from his new post in St. Louis....
Now we have pro-abort Catholics running the House of Representatives and seeking the GOP presidential nomination.
Thus far only Giuliani has drawn direct fire (Bishop Tobin of Providence, RI), but Bishop Serratelli of Patterson, NJ, took more general aim, saying pro-abortion Catholics should not get communion, period .
Look for more and more individual bishops to make their views known. If Giuliani gets close to the nomination he will get the Kerry treatment, and maybe more, because he is a Republican.
At present there are 30 to 40 of the nation's bishops who are ready to engage on their own -- and they will in the coming political season.
At this early stage, the consensus in the Catholic grassroots is largely flying under the radar.
Jim Bopp and Jay Sekelow don't have their finger on the pulse.
I think Romney well could have sucked up the Evangelicals and did have some marginal success in the beginning of his campaign. But interestingly enough, when the Catholics would not board the Romney bus, the Evangelical network Romney was attempting to build, while polite in the public square - distanced themselves. They're sitting back quietly waiting for Brownback, Huckabee, Thompson, Ron Paul - or whoever we have latched onto to suck up Romney's support when the implosion begins.
Are grassroots Catholics ready to embrace a candidate whose positions are no different from Giuliani's except for the publicity stunts of carefully crafted words handed to him by Jim Bopp to make him look like he's a prolife candidate?
Not from the pulse I get in the Catholic world.
Deal makes two interesting observations.
1. The Collegiality that bound the Bishops from embarrassing fellow Bishops who support the genocide of infants politically, collapsed with McCarrick's willful lie and deception.
2. The traction of the Democrats who tried to exercise the same power they had over McCarrick did not go in the trajectory they had hoped.