Huffpo: How Pope Francis Helps Liberals

[ More timeless, titillating tosh from the paranoid bottom feeders at Huffpo… ]

How Pope Francis Helps Liberals

By Brent Budowsky

Posted: 01/08/2015 9:21 am EST Updated: 01/08/2015 9:59 am EST


One of the most important and under-reported political breaking news stories of the year was reported by the Catholic News Service in a story datelined from Vatican City on Jan. 6, 2015. In that story, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of State, said that when Francis visits Philadelphia this coming September, he will probably also visit New York and the District of Columbia.

While nothing is certain about the pope’s itinerary until it is formally announced, there is a high probability that if Francis visits New York, he will address the United Nations, which will be gathering for its annual meetings in September, and if he visits Washington, he may address a joint session of Congress, unless congressional Republicans have the bad judgment to oppose it, which is unlikely.

The pope’s visit to America in September 2015 will have a dramatic impact on the public discourse and issue debates of the presidential and congressional campaigns that will formally begin in January 2016, to the advantage of liberals.

Think about this: Many liberals feel besieged with a Republican Congress, a Democratic president they do not fully trust and a Democratic front-runner for the presidency who appears to calculate how liberal she should be. But 2015 is shaping up as the year of Pope Francis, and in the months from today until Francis visits the U.S. in September, here is his main agenda, which should warm the hearts of liberals:

Francis has accelerated his moves to reform the Vatican bank and governance of the church; escalated his diplomatic initiatives, from relations with Cuba to supporting Mideast peace; continued his passionate advocacy for the rights of immigrants; renewed his calls for financial reform; and reiterated his calls for action from governing elites to help the poor, feed the hungry and reduce income inequality.

Informed Vatican observers expect Francis to issue a papal encyclical in 2015 calling for dramatic action to protect the environment and reduce the dangers from climate change.

And consider this: As the presidential campaign shifts into high gear in September 2015 with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary approaching, this message of Francis will saturate the media before, during and after his visit to the U.S.

Let’s consider two key data points. First, according to the summary of polling from Real Clear Politics, approval of the Republican Congress is at a paltry 14 percent. Second, according to a Pew Research Center survey report released in December, approval for Francis among Americans is a phenomenal 78 percent.

Liberal Democrats advocating the papal policy agenda as stated above, championed by Francis with his 78 percent approval from Americans, would have a considerable advantage over Republicans and conservatives in Congress, who oppose this agenda and suffer from 14 percent approval.

To understand how Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina became the pope who challenges politicians and aspires to change the world, and why his trip to America in September 2015 can have and may be designed to have a powerful impact on our politics in 2016, I suggest two excellent books that are far more important to understanding America than insider stories about which Obama pollster works for Hillary Clinton and which GOP donor gives money to Jeb Bush.

In Pope Francis: Life and Revolution by Elisabetta Piqué and The Great Reformer by Austen Ivereigh, the authors brilliantly tell the story of the humanity, faith and political perspective of the pope who is so popular.

This is certain: There will be a gigantic media buildup prior to the pope’s visit to America, anticipating his arrival. There will be saturation coverage of his every word while he is here, megaphoning his message. There will be extensive analysis after his departure assessing his impact, which could well be momentous if Francis addresses the United Nations and Congress. And then the 2016 campaign will begin in earnest.

Candidates who best heed the message of Francis will be rewarded by voters, which is good news indeed for liberals.

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One comment on “Huffpo: How Pope Francis Helps Liberals

  1. And here’s an antidote, from R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. of the American Spectator….

    As the Republicans settle into the House of Representatives and the Senate, with in the House’s case their largest margin in 86 years and in the Senate’s case about as healthy a margin as they could have gained in 2014, the talk in major media is of the Republicans’ many problems. As the Washington Post put it in a front-page headline, “Rancor in GOP flares….” The Democrats should suffer from such “rancor.”

    I wonder how the local press is handling the Republicans’ takeover across the nation. Out there in the states the Republicans have gained control of 24 state governments, from the governors’ mansions to the state legislatures. The Democrats have only managed to hang on to similar dominance in seven states, down from 13 in 2014. Any way you look at it, these are palmy times for the Republicans, unless you are looking through the bloodshot eyes of a Democrat or a camouflaged Democrat, say, a member of the press corps.

    Ever since the days of the New Deal, the Democratic Party has been heavily influenced by liberalism. In recent decades it has only been influenced by liberalism. As I wrote in an imperishable little book a couple of years ago, in recent times we have been witnessing The Death of Liberalism. Occasionally even the mainstream media catches on. When former New York governor Mario Cuomo died last week, the media echoed with the refrain that a venerable “old-time liberal” had passed on.

    In this instance they were accurate. Cuomo, an old-time liberal, really was dead. Moreover, there are not many more old-time liberals to send off to their reward. The Democratic Party is now dominated by another wonder in its intellectual evolution, the crony capitalist. He, she, or it is far to the left of yesteryear’s liberals. They sound like President Barack Obama orating in Roanoke, Virginia in 2012: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” And his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton offering her variation on the same statist theme: “Don’t let anybody tell you that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”

    These are the beliefs of crony capitalists, politicians who believe that there are banks and other corporations that are too big to fail. So they shovel money to them in return for favors. They endow environmental friendly companies like Solyndra and ECOtality with government largess. By the time these boondoggles have failed the crony capitalist has moved on to other swindles under the rubric of helping the environment, ameliorating poverty, or a dozen other urgent causes.

    As to the moribund condition of the Democratic Party, consider its presidential field. Of the Democrats’ likely candidates there are only two, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, unless the Democrats’ good time Charlies can manage to nominate Vice President Joe Biden, who incidentally is my candidate. When he ran for vice president he was a lot of laughs. Can you imagine the hilaritas if he ran for president? Otherwise the Democrats are left only with the likes of ex-governor Martin O’Malley from Maryland and someone by the name of Webb. By the way, if Hillary were to run she would be 69. Warren has the gift of youth. She is 65.

    How did the Democrats ever get into such a pickle? Well, I think the best answer is provided by the Wall Street Journal’s insightful observer, James Taranto. We again resort to his eponymous “Taranto Principle.” As Taranto explains it, the mainstream media in its slavish support of the Democrats no matter what only encourages their worst instincts. No sensible liberal has had a chance against the growing field of crony capitalists in years. Thus the Democrats only get more radical, and the liberals go the way of Mario Cuomo. That explains the sorry condition of the modern Democratic Party, a party left with only two presidential candidates, Clinton and Warren. Neither will be as much fun as Biden.

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