By The Cranky Housewife -
Hold on. Let me get my banjo tuned up. Okay. There are a lot of different reasons that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan to be his running mate. I'm probably not telling you something that you don't already know. His Tea Party appeal, conservative credentials…he's a bona fide Reagan Republican from Wisconsin and who knew they still made those? To the Romney campaign which is experiencing glitches in shoring up its conservative base, this pick is a no brainer. The readers of Illinois Review tend to be engaged participants in the political processes at the local, state and federal levels and since Romney made his announcement on Saturday; there have been enough discussions on this subject to help flesh out the salient points regarding the prospect of Paul Ryan becoming our VP. I suspect that you are all fluent on the subject by now.
For the record, I am cautiously pro-Ryan. I think he's great. I believe that he is exactly what this ticket and this nation need, but I'm wary because I can't help wincing as I reflect upon the GOP establishment and its history of cannibalizing its rising stars while propping up lackluster candidacies that would have little hope of surviving on their own. I'm not suggesting that this is what is happening here. Only time will tell if Romney is willing to speak truth to power and confront Barack Obama's atrocious record on really everything – even if that confrontation means that Romney must appear forceful and unyielding…gasp. Gracious, what a Cranky cynic you have on your hands today. I'm just saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me half a dozen times…" You get the point. Thus my cautious optimism.
Of the explanations for why Paul Ryan makes a good VP pick, the one that the mainstream media touches upon as lightly as is humanly possible is his Catholicism because – let's be real – who even knows what it means to be a Catholic anymore, such is the faith's restructuring via the Progressive Movement of the 20th Century into a warm and fuzzy beige that goes with and stands for anything and everything. But as 2012 transmogrifies into the Year of the Catholic…under the most disastrous of circumstances, I might add… and the nation's attention is drawn to the prominent Catholics in American politics who often contradict and confound doctrine by tempering the impact of intrinsic evil through legislative conciliation, America can witness Ryan's understanding of his faith and appreciate that the accepted mythos which suggests a monolithic deviance moving in lockstep against an unfashionable and tragically out-of-touch Church is fractured at best. I offer the American Catholic stereotype, Nancy Pelosi as she rewrites 2000 years of Church teachings as an example of what the press wants you to accept as fashionably Catholic:
PELOSI: As an ardent practicing Catholic, uh, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the Doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition, and, uh, Senator -- uh, I'm -- Senator -- Uh, St. Augustin' (sic) said at three months. We don't know. The point is that it shouldn't have an impact on a woman's right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child -- uh, eh, er, first trimester, certain considerations second trimester, not so third trimester. The -- the -- there's very clear distinctions"
FYI – neither St. Augustin' nor St. Augustine made such dismemberments in point on human life. Conception has always been the official position on life's beginnings – but far be it from me to correct Pelosi's stellar wisdom.
Take that same American Catholic in formulaic elegance as we find our contemptuous and arrogant Nancy Pelosi feeling no concern or remorse in staging an infomercial resembling a congressional hearing to drive home the point that Georgetown University should not only overlook a poor and unfortunate student killing her unborn children, but what the heck! Georgetown ought to pay for it to boot. She perpetrates this farce knowing full well that Catholic leadership will have nothing forceful to say about it because who is going to call her on it? The USCCB? Surely you jest. Talk about fractured. As far as I know, the USCCB is still pushing money that was supposed to be earmarked for groups that work to end poverty into organizations like The San Francisco Organizing Project, The Chicago Workers Collaborative and Community Organizing and Family Issues…just saying.
Oh yes, that certainly is the same USCCB headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that is suing the HHS over the health care mandates that the afore mentioned USCCB-funded organizations have been demanding for decades and which will require Catholic institutions to pay for abortions, sterilizations and contraception for female employees. And anyway, how much could his heart really be in that law suit since he will be acting in his capacity as Cardinal of New York in hosting Barack Obama…and Mitt Romney at an Alfred E. Smith Foundation's charity event in which the President of the United States will act as its key note speaker for that evening.
Outstanding. As America becomes introduced to the not-so-stealthy secret housed in the inability of the American Catholic Church to hold its flock to any semblance of standards, I wonder if Rome will take notice – if for no other reason than to quell the ear-shattering tumult as at least half its laity demands reform. Could this be the unintended fallout of a Paul Ryan Vice Presidency? I wonder.
Little sidebar if you will. When called out for this most unfortunate inconsistency surrounding the brewing Alfred E. Smith scandal in the New York Archdiocese, the Cardinal's spokesperson proclaimed:
…we can still show respect for his [Barack Obama's] office and for him as a person, and treat him with civility. It gives us an opportunity to act as Christians, and show some love to our adversaries…the message is also that we can set aside our deeply held differences and leave partisan politics at the door for an evening, speak nicely and politely to each other."
See how that works? Put your President of the USCCB cap on and you are suing the Obama Administration for First Amendment infringements. Put your Cardinal cap on and you can have a lovely evening dining with political insiders while listening to the President lecture you on how your religion has no concern for women's health issues because it won't pay for abortions. Is this Catholicism or bipolar disorder? You decide. I wonder if Pelosi and Joe Biden will be invited to give a Power Point presentation on their required improvements to the catechism. I haven't been this entertained by a Catholic melodrama in decades.
And for those seeking clarity on this point, it is my personal opinion that both Obama and Romney should be disinvited from the charity dinner for the same reason - they both mandated Catholic institutions offer and pay for abortifacient drugs to women in direct opposition to those institution's First Amendment rights and conscientious objections. There's a difference between supporting Romney for president for lack of a better option and playing political footsie with either one of these candidates. Since the Alfred E. Smith Foundation disinvited other presidential candidates from speaking at previous events for similar actions against human life, this should be a non-issue. Not since Monsignor Jack Egan broke bread with avowed atheist and Leftist Saul Alinsky to hash out the best way to redefine the tenants of social justice within the Catholic Church so as to marry the Church traditions with the Communist Manifesto have we seen such a cluster of confusion and misdirection.
So yeah - no doubt, the Left would like to call attention away from any Catholic who doesn't live out his faith in utter defiance of two thousand years of tradition and doctrine, but I think that Paul Ryan offers a decent contrast from the Catholicism that VP Joe Biden or former Speaker Nancy Pelosi profess which would have the Catholic Church kneel before community organizers in its seamless garment and profess its communion with the Left's dogma of social justice. It's a vibrancy of faith that a VP Paul Ryan could profess which would ask the Church to lead by example, not by fiat and not stripped of its precepts by the bureaucratic mandates of the HHS.