Benedictions: The Pope in America

Benedictions: The Pope in America

Bill Donohue: Over the line, the “Hitler card” chapter

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.

Comments read comments(8)
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Nancy Danielson

posted May 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Is it true that it is now legal to deny health care to babies born alive who survived abortion? Is it true that Senator Obama supports this?

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Nancy Danielson

posted May 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Were these babies not “alive” before they left the Sanctity of their Mother’s womb? What has become of us that we are so blind we can not see?

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Kiera McCaffrey-Catholic League

posted May 9, 2008 at 1:33 pm

We think it’s very telling that Gibson never once challenges Hudson and Donohue on the facts of Obama’s voting record while in the Illinois state senate.

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posted May 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm

David Carlin addressed this issue really well in the current issue of Commonweal. “For those who believe that abortion is unjustifiable homicide, there is no logical way to vote for the candidate of a party committed to … abortion rights.”
Obama’s “Catholic” Advisory Committee just need to decide: are they for Obama or are they Catholic? Bill Donohue and Carlin are indisputably right on this point. If the committee members think abortion is homicide, no other issue can logically take precedence over preventing it. If they don’t really think abortion is homicide, then they’re not Catholic and shouldn’t have told Obama they are. If they insist on pretending to believe abortion is homicide while continuing to “support” Obama, their obvious lack of integrity and intellectual coherence can’t help but harm his campaign.

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David G.

posted May 9, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Keira: The facts of Obama’s record are out there, as are McCain’s. I’d say he has lots of explaining to do on this topic, no doubt. (As does McCain, on a host of issues.) But do you think it was fair to compare Obama to Hitler? You and Bill seem to be saying that there is no way a Catholic can vote for Obama. That just doesn’t wash, given the respective records of the two (well, three) candidates. Above all, how does picking candidates and blasting other Catholics comport with the League’s mission to fight anti-Catholicism? Isn’t Catholic bashing a definition of anti-Catholicism?

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Kiera McCaffrey-Catholic League

posted May 9, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Thanks for the response. It’s not helpful to misinterpret what Donohue said. He never compared Obama to Hitler. He said the decision to allow babies who are born alive to die without medical care in hospital rooms was Hitlerian.

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posted May 19, 2008 at 9:16 am

Does anyone remember what Hitler promised the German People when he was running for chancellor? I do, and except for a translation to English, what Obama is promising sounds like it was lifted from one of the fiery orations in Munich from der Feuher, the supposed savior of Germany. When I stood on that same ground during a visit to Munich, I could almost hear the echos of those speeches seen and heard on The March of Time. The German people believed him, and made a terrible mistake with worldly implications. I hope the American people don’t make that same mistake if they elect Obama. We don’t need a human savior. We need to again rely on the God our nation once trusted. The Democrat Party platform trashes that trust and endangers the Constitution. I hope we learned from history so it won’t be repeated here.

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posted July 13, 2008 at 5:44 pm

The teaching of the Catholic church is that abortion is wrong. It is taking the life of an innocent person. If catholics feel abortion is Right then they should not receive holy communion. Life is a gift and a Right.

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