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Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Post-Election Musings.

Or, keep the Motrin coming.

First of all, it was much, much closer than the exit polls indicated. The Free Press (a/k/a Jen's Amen Corner) poll in particular was a star-struck cheerleading fantasy, projecting a sixteen point win. Looks like it will settle at 4-5 percent. The Detroit News exit poll said 8 percent, and appears a lot saner as a result.

The good news? The Republicans maintained control of the state Senate and House (take a look at the victorious candidate in District 88 and call your local postulator ASAP--if that ain't a miracle, I don't know what is!). It's not going to be easy for her to govern. All together now: Awww...

Unfortunately, the drool-catcher factor might cost the Republicans the attorney general seat, currently a dead heat. 27,000+ normally Republican votes went to the candidate for the always-relevant United States Taxpayers Party. That's the margin in this case. Way to go, guys! Just imagine--a Democrat could be enforcing the tax and property laws for the next four years. Looks like that protest vote really will pay off.

Emphasis on the word pay.

And now, time to take the Archdiocese of Detroit out behind the woodshed. Frankly, its handling of Granholm deserves an "F" grade. No unequivocal statements about Granholm, other than to describe her as "'a caring and loving person who tries to be as faithful as she can in her life.'" Well, that's sure going to sway the confused Catholic on this issue! "Even the Cardinal says she's doing the best she can...", followed by the sound of a Granholm chad being punched out.

Then there's the thoroughly clerical response to the priests' letter supporting Granholm on abortion. You don't answer a trumpet blast challenge with a tweet from a dog whistle. It was a public scandal demanding a public response from the Archdiocese. It never came. Handling it quietly in-house was a stupid, stupid idea. It's a different context, but see Boston, Archdiocese of. How many more Catholics did the silence of the Archdiocese sway to Granholm?

Finally, don't get me started on Catholic harassment of pro-life advocates (scroll down to the entries for 11/3). It doesn't get any worse than this: priests calling the police on people supporting Catholic beliefs. Some priests desperately need instruction and punitive discipline, but again, don't expect anything to come from the Archdiocese regarding this outrage.

In a closer-than-expected race, a determined effort to place Catholic consciences in turmoil would have made a difference, as it did with the Archdiocese's aggressive and vocal opposition to the assisted suicide proposal in 1998. The proposal was buried by a nearly 3 to 1 margin. In 2000, Archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath rightly shrugged when told about opposition of Catholics to the voucher proposal backed by the Church: Unlike assisted suicide, vouchers were "not a Catechism issue," and Catholics could (and did) disagree in good conscience. Well, Ned, abortion sure is a Catechism issue, and one emphasized by the American bishops. Can you explain why the Archdiocese didn't do much about the election?

No effort to engage the Catholic conscience was made here, and the lingering question is, "Why not?" That question is going to echo for the next four years.

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