Steven Waldman

Deal, thank you for participating in Casting Stones this week.
I wanted to respond to your post about the Catholic vote. Clearly, Hillary is doing much better among Catholics than Obama is, but I’m afraid that I don’t buy the notion that it’s because of her “clearly outlined social justice message.” What about her social justice message is more Catholic than Obama’s message?
Obama and Clinton are ardently pro-choice, pro-gay-rights and practicing Protestants. I get why Obama might not appeal to Catholics, but I don’t get why Hillary does. What characteristic or position can you ascribe to Obama that isn’t shared by Hillary? Surely you’re not suggesting that Catholics are less likely to support a black, are you?
The article you referenced, printed in January, boldly predicted that Obama would not be able to carry any religious groups other than African Americans. It turns out he has, in state after state, carried the small religious sect called Protestants.
I, for one, believe that neither Clinton nor Obama have done what it takes to run strong with Catholics in November — that is, offer up some culturally conservative issues. Bill Clinton appealed to cultural conservatives in 2000 by calling for more cops, welfare reform and a national service law that would allow people to earn colleage aid by doing community service. In 2004, he offered up school uniforms and the V-chip (to help police your kids’ TV shows). He married his economic populism with selective social conservatism. Obama and Hillary have not.

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