Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dangling Abortion at the End of the Fishing Pole

Jesus knew, as he was surrounded by fishermen, that you ought not use the same bait time after time and expect different results. It seems that Republicans keep a business card in their Brooks Brother's suit and hand it out to the voters every November. The card reads, 'Pro Life.' Then they go off to Washington and vote for war and against poverty, education, and health care.

H.L. Mencken's famous quote: "No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

But, after a while, sometimes after a long while, they catch on- these plain people, and that 'pro life' business card turns shabby.

My dear mother, rest her soul, was lured to the GOP over the abortion issue. She was raised in a very Democratic household, but, somewhere when those business cards were being handed out, she took one and laid it on her dresser. Elderly Catholics swallow easy bait. I still receive letters addressed to her from 'missions' somewhere in South Dakota, because she read their begging letter and wrote a check.

Younger Catholics are not so easily duped. In 2006, as we recall, Catholics threw the business card in the wastebasket and voted 55 to 45 for Democrats. These folks have been paying attention. Each Sunday, Catholics are reminded of the virtue of social justice; social justice has been an earmark of the Catholic Church's teaching for many years. They have been fooled by the GOP business card way too often: they have watched for 7 years the administration that they voted for in 2000 and 2004 trample upon social justice. The SCHIP veto is but the most egregious example of it all.

Younger Catholics have watched Congressional Republicans squash programs for the poor while voting for billions of dollars for the Pentagon. They have seen the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy and for the corporate world, while they stonewall national health care for all citizens. They've watched blue collar jobs evaporate as multinational companies close up factories here and move overseas to capitalize on near-slave labor. They aren't dumb people. They have been paying attention.

They will vote for either Clinton or Obama in the fall despite the phony 'pro life' business card flashed in their faces. They've been played for the fool way too often by the Republican Party.

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