Beliefnet
Benedictions: The Pope in America

While John McCain is arguing that Barack Obama is a friend of Hamas (I guess Hamas has signed on to McCain’s political team to give him advice?), and while Hillary continues to play the race card to bolster her campaign, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is invoking Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies by putting a swastika on Obama. Really. Not just any swastika. Responding to yesterday’s rejoinder from Obama’s Catholic advisory council–whom Donohue had blasted as Catholic dissidents in the vein of Jermiah Wright–the Catholic League head ignored the advisory council’s statement and instead focused in on abortion and Obama’s record. (Full statement is here.) But here’s the kicker:

“It is so nice to know that Obama thinks abortion ‘presents a profound moral challenge.’ Is infanticide another ‘profound moral challenge’? To wit: When he was in the Illinois state senate he led the fight to deny health care to babies born alive who survived an abortion. That, my friends, is not a moral challenge—it’s a Hitlerian decision.”

I haven’t seen all the campaign coverage, but this would seem to represent a new low. And it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the campaign. I also wonder about the Catholic League itself. GOP advisor Deal Hudson, an FOB (Bill Donohue, that is) and guest blogger here, also responded on Donohue’s behalf with a post at InsideCatholic, saying their response was “surprisingly aggressive for a group of Catholics who support a candidate who defends infanticide.” (Apart from the infanticide card, why would baby killers surprise anyone by being aggressive? Are there “nice” baby killers? But I digress.)
To me, the interesting revelation was Deal’s acknowledgment that the Catholic League and pro-lifers are openly engaged in a “partisan” battle for votes. The Obama advisors took Donohue to task for trying to divide Catholics for political gain. Donohue isn’t supposed to do that as he is techincally a non-profit. But now that mask may have slipped as well.
“Partisanship is no crime, just as attempting to win voters to your side is not either. The Obama Catholics are scowling at pro-life Catholics for the very activity they have embraced — publicly supporting a political candidate.”
Actually, partisanship is not licit if you are a 501c3 like the Catholic League. And I think the Obama Catholics were scowling because Deal & Donohue et al are calling their faith into question, not their political ideas and loyalties. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. With Donohue’s $343,000 salary and some $20 million in annual income on the line, this could be an expensive campaign for the Catholic League.

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