By way of the indispensible RealClearPolitics, here is a very interesting opinion piece in the Rocky Mountain News by Francis X. Maier, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver. Maier does a very good job of explaining the Democrats' recent losses from the perspective of Democratic Catholics everywhere. See if this resonates with you (emphases added):
I met my wife before I had returned to my childhood faith. One day I made the mistake of poking fun at those neanderthal Catholic views on abortion. What I got for my ignorance was a kindly but memorable tutoring on the sanctity of human life.Now, in virtually every respect, I disagree with the Catholic Church's view of human sexuality. I disagree with its notions of a celibate and marriageless clergy, contraception, when life begins, masturbation, homosexuality, abortion, and anything else you can think of. But what interests me in Maier's article is to see how far removed faithful and practicing Catholics are from political coherence in their support of the Democratic Party. This is especially true of Latinos, who seem to me to be poised between the conservatism of their Latin/Catholic culture and the expectation that they should support the Democratic platform by virtue of their socio-economic interests.
For my wife and her family, being a Catholic meant being a Democrat, and being a Democrat meant fighting for the little guy - literally. That included the poor, the homeless, racial and ethnic minorities, and the unemployed. It also meant defending the unborn child.
For my wife, arguing whether an unborn child was a "full human person" or a "developing human being" was irrelevant - or worse, a kind of lying. The dignity of the unborn life involved was exactly the same, whatever one called it.
If the Democratic Party thinks that such a dilemma is tenable and resolvable in their favor, they are setting themselves up for disaster.
Maier goes on:
Robert P. Casey, governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995, embodied the deepest ideals of the Democratic Party: pro-worker; pro-minority; pro-economic and social justice; and also thoroughly pro-life, from conception to natural death. In arguing for the rights of the unborn child, he worried that the Democratic Party was becoming "little more than an auxiliary" of the abortion industry.Read the whole thing. Although I disagree with Maier's Catholicism in a hundred different ways, I think his analysis is very shrewd and deserves to be understood by the nihilistic Left ---before they reduce themselves to permanent irrelevance.
For his candor, the Clinton machine publicly humiliated him at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Other prominent "Catholic" Democrats - including fellow governor and media darling Mario Cuomo - looked the other way.
In his 1996 autobiography, Casey warned that:
"Many people discount the power of the so-called 'cultural issues' - and especially the abortion issue. I see it the other way around. These issues are central to the resurgence of the Republicans, central to the national implosion of the Democrats, central to the question of whether there will be a third party . . . [The] Democrats' national decline - or, better, their national disintegration - will continue relentlessly and inexorably until they come to grips with these values issues, primarily abortion."