Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on last night’s election results:
For the past few decades, Catholics have decided who wins elections nationally. After the McGovernization of the Democratic Party in 1972, Catholics were left homeless: they felt betrayed by the Democrats and were leery of the Republicans; they have been up for grabs ever since. Last night they proved once again that of the three major religions in the U.S., they are the ones that count most: Protestants never abandon the Republicans, and Jews never abandon the Democrats.
Catholics voted 58-40 for the Republican candidates last night. This was a dramatic 20-point swing from two years ago. What caused Catholics to bolt is not clear, but there is one issue that surely played a major role: the out-of-control debt. Practicing Catholics (the others should not be counted as Catholics for polling purposes) understand the virtue of self-denial, and by extension, they value belt tightening at home. What they don’t appreciate is promiscuity, be it sexual, fiscal or otherwise.
Michael Sean Winters, a liberal Catholic writer, bemoans what happened, saying that the Democratic loss means “Anti-poverty efforts are off the table.” This is cause for celebration: the anti-poverty efforts of the Obama administration has resulted in a poverty rate of 14.3 percent, the highest national rate since 1994. If a jobs-centered economic plan is adopted, the poverty rate will likely decline.
Here’s something to watch. The Department of Health and Human Services is now pondering whether to adopt the ACLU’s initiative that would force Catholic hospitals to provide emergency abortions as a condition of receiving federal funds; this would effectively close most of them. If this were to happen, a whole lot more than six in ten Catholics would vote for the Republicans in 2012. The fact that the Obama administration is even giving this serious consideration is something that every Catholic in the nation should know about. Had last night’s results gone the other way, it’s a sure bet the anti-Catholic agenda would have benefited.