There’s an old axiom to remember this election cycle: some people throw out compliments like manhole covers.
In developments that might indicate how other voting blocs may eventually respond to President Obama in 2012, the Catholic Church goes to court – shortly after heaping praise on the president.
Perhaps the Catholic Church wishes it did this with the Obama Administration a few years ago. If they would have heeded this axiom, they may not be in the embarrassing conundrum that their current lawsuit has them in today.
With that said, however, perhaps there is some redemption qualities from this apparent political “sin” of the Church.
Just 3 years after the Catholic Church ignored much of President Obama’s pre-2008 pro-choice record and his staunch pro-Planned Parenthood positions as president – all while heaping praise on Mr. Obama – the Church now comes full circle.
With the legal move that brings 12 different federal lawsuits against the Administration on behalf of 43 different Catholic dioceses and organizations, the Catholic Church highlights the paradox that many one-time Obama supporters are finding themselves in this election season. The expanding role of the federal government through the Obamacare healthcare bill, the heightening of the national debt, and the divisiveness of partisan politics under this president have provided pause to those previously overlooking glaring policy differences.
Now, in a tight election year on the heels of 4 years of marginal results on the domestic front and disappointing results regarding political leadership and cohesiveness, more Americans are re-evaluating their risk-taking with this president as they contrast their previous support with the results of the past 4 years, leaving their collective conscience dangling in the balance.
Between the president’s recent decision to support same-sex marriage and his career-long stance with the pro-choice community, American Christians and traditionalists must make a decision in 2012 that will force them to examine the Obama candidacy differently. No longer will Americans be voting for a chance to “be on the right side of history” by voting the first first African-American president.
As such, there is an opportunity that exists outside of faux criticisms of racism, bigotry, or hatred. They can go through a decision-making process which yields an Obama vote based on values, not mere potential or likeability. Granted, there are still sad incidents where bigotry is a factor, instances that should become the rare exception in American political discourse.
However, as the Catholic Church is showing in its recent fights with the Obama Administration over presidential values vs. constitutionally-protected religious values, there will be a process where de facto co-signors that condoned these differences in 2009 will not be willing to sacrifice their conscience in the pulpit or at the ballot box in 2012. Those choices to stand against the president due to these positions will not be because of hatred of women’s health, the LGBT community, or progressives. It will be because more Americans will not be able to ignore the growing gap between their values and those of this president. This follows the turnaround of the Catholic Church from the president’s Notre Dame 2009 speech to the federal courts today.
Those willing to engage in an honest “mea culpa” moment concerning their previous support of President Obama (instead of following the re-election plea to only look “Forward”) may see more Americans willing to state how “we’re all Catholics now” in 2012. If the Catholic Church’s reversal on the president from hero worship at the feet of Touchdown Jesus to adversary in the halls of justice is any indication, more Americans may be reciting another old axiom at the polls this fall:
LENNY MCALLISTER is a senior contributor to Politic365 that is regularly featured on CNN Newsroom and on CNN’s “Early Start”. Hear “The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network each week. He will be featured in an upcoming episode of “Our World with Black Enterprise” starring Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (see local listings for viewing times in your area.) Lenny was a featured speaker at the Rally for Common Sense (headlined by Herman Cain) May 19 in Holts Summit, Missouri.