Catholic Vote Beclowns Itself for Romney

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My friend Jay Anderson links to this story.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney scheduled a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser at the home of Phil Frost, the executive of the company that makes the Morning After Pill, on Wednesday night. Plan B One-Step is produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Frost’s company.

The pharmaceutical executive’s residence was one of several stops scheduled to increase Romney’s war chest during a two-day swing through Florida.

Well I guess if “Catholic” universities can honor the likes of Kathleen Sebelius, we shouldn’t be too upset when “pro-life” candidates go groveling for money from people who make pills that kill unborn children.  After all, Romney desperately needs money to not air ads that criticize Obama too harshly, so we should be forgiving of this slight oversight.

In all seriousness, what made this story even more sickening was the response from an individual at Catholic

Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.orgdidn’t seem troubled by the fundraiser saying, “What matters is whether a President Romney will end all taxpayer support for abortion-inducing drugs, repeal unconstitutional mandates that force private institutions to cover such drugs, and whether he will make progress in building a culture of life.”

I can understand why pro-lifers are willing to swallow their pride and back Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.  There’s no possible way for a Romney administration to be worse than Obama, goes the thinking.  Having set such an incredibly high bar for themselves, one woud like to believe that pro-life groups would still hold their candidate’s feet to the fire.  There’s no excuse for Romney associating himself with those who profit off of the death of innocents.  It is even more inexcusable for Catholic groups to completely shrug off this affair.  I have to agree with Jay’s assessment that people of Burch’s ilk are nothing more than a “Republican-first-pro-life-second political hacks.”

This isn’t about whether Romney is preferable to Obama, so save your breath there.  If this is the kind of gutless pushback Romney is going to receive as a candidate, why would anyone expect him to respect pro-lifers once he is elected president?  You can vote for him if that is what your conscience dictates, but please don’t make a fool of yourself by turning a blind eye to his misdeeds now, because you’re just laying out the carpet right on your back for President Romney to walk all over.

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  1. This is why Obama will win. Romney will be trashed by the right and left and Obama will be held up as the second coming. The next mandate will be mandatory abortion services at all hospitals. But Romney wasn’t really conservative so it’s ok

  2. Thanks for missing the point Dave. But by all means, shill for Mitt Romney all you want, because heaven knows it’s a sign of one’s enduring love for Barack Obama to criticize Mitt Romney. I mean why have any principles at all when you can just turn a blind eye to your preferred candidate’s faults?

  3. I think we can even get Biblical advice on this. The widow who just kept asking the judge until he did what he was supposed to– not because he wanted to do right, but just to get her to shut up about it!

  4. Thanks for missing my point. I’m not shilling for Romney or anyone else. But I believe the attacks on Rombey from both right and left will doom his candidacy and give us four more years of Obama.

  5. Sorry Dave, I’m not going to just remain silent for the next 6 months lest I dare say anything that might hurt poor Mitt’s election chances. The man went to a fundraiser hosted by a guy whose company makes abortificents, and people like you just want to shut your ears and cry “But Obama! But Obama!” There is only one word for such thinking, and it’s shill.

  6. Umm, it is your duty to vote for the lesser evil.

    205. Voting is a civic duty which would seem to bind at least under venial sin whenever a good candidate has an unworthy opponent. It might even be a mortal sin if one’s refusal to vote would result in the election of an unworthy candidate. [Moral Theology (Dublin: Mercier Press, 1929, 1955)]

  7. What is the point of these articles? We have far less than ideal choices this November but such is life. Maybe next time we can put up a pro-life candidate less pathetic than Santorum but its just sour grapes to act so forlorn about it.

    By all means let’s hold his feet to the fire and call Romney out on this. However, linking to articles that encourage voting for the Constitution Party is not simply irresponsible but has a strong Protestant ethos to it rather than a Catholic one (see principle of double effect).

  8. Good grief, you people are pathetic!!!!!

    All Paul is saying is support Romney if you must, but hold his feet to the fire on pro-life issues. And that’s too much to ask?

    No wonder pro-lifers are taken for granted, except on those occasions when they receive the back of the hand of their GOP masters. The pro-life movement’s enthrallment to the Republican Party is the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome.

    By all means, don’t cause any problems for precious Mitt by holding him to his allegedly pro-life principles. He’s sure to love you and provide for you and stop showing you the back of his hand if only you don’t make waves on those occasions when he does slap you around.

    And Paul D., screw you on your “protestant ethos” BS! My friends here at The American Catholic have been linking to my posts far longer than you’ve been around here.

  9. I think it is important to keep in mind that these drug companies produce more than just these bad drugs. This does not excuse their wrongs or even that of Romney necessarily. I think it would be a good idea for those orthodox Catholics in his inner circle (I’m sure he has a few) to request/demand he explain himself.

    Just as some bloggers on TAC defended Santorum’s endorsement of the vehemently pro-abort Arlen Specter over the pro-life conservative Pat Toomey because of the whole SCOTUS issue (an argument I’ve never bought in to), Romney may have an equally or even more valid reason for doing this fundraiser.

  10. The more I think about that “protestant ethos” comment, the more PO’ed I get, because Paul D has it exactly backasswards!

    Paul D is the one engaging in either/or dualism, which is the hallmark of the so-called “protestant ethos”. According to the line we’re fed every 4 years by Paul D and his ilk, we HAVE to vote for the Republican because the other side is just so evil. We’re either with them or against them, according to this line of thought. A vote for anyone other than the anointed GOP candidate is “a vote for Obama”, etc., etc., etc. Ad nauseam.

    It’s a load of CRAP! There is absolutely NOTHING non-Catholic or remotely protestant about having more than two choices. In fact, in most of the predominantly Catholic countries around the world, there are more than two major parties for whom to vote. Instead, it is Paul D’s dualistic version of either-or-politics-as-usual that most evinces a “protestant ethos”.

    Get over yourself, Paul D. I do not owe my vote to your party. They have no claim on it. And they and their fraud of a candidate won’t receive my vote here in the swing state of Ohio. And I will encourage as many other people as I can to cast a principled vote for a principled candidate like Virgil Goode. (You’d never see Virgil at such a fundraiser given by someone with blood on his hands.) But you just keep on voting for the GOP and candidates like Romney. I mean, if you’re not willing to vote your values and principles, I’m sure you can count on Romney and the GOP to do so. Right?

    Furthermore, just who in the hell do you think you are lecturing Paul Z as being “irresponsible” for linking to a friend’s post, just as he has done many, many times for many years? He linked to an opinion you didn’t like? Tough sh*t. Try to deal with it in some other way than the puritanical “How dare you …?” mentality (dare I call it a “protestant ethos”) that has come to dominate political discourse of late.

  11. “Just as some bloggers on TAC defended Santorum’s endorsement of the vehemently pro-abort Arlen Specter over the pro-life conservative Pat Toomey …”

    Who defended Santorum for that here? Certainly not the author of this post, Paul Zummo, who took Santorum to task on a number of occasions for his support of Specter.

  12. As I have constantly noted, the Weathervane has one virtue: he is not Obama. Conservatives and pro-lifers who believe he has other virtues than that are going to be constantly disappointed. Think Progress, a leftist site, originally broke the story and doubtless is hoping it will gain legs. Thus far it hasn’t, but if the Romney campaign continues to attempt to stonewall the issue it might.

    I have no problem with pro-lifers and pro-life groups making an issue of it. Romney shouldn’t get a pass on things that would be condemned if Obama did them, although in the abortion realm it is difficult for me to see how Romney could ever be as bad as Obama. Neither should pro-lifers make stupid excuses for Romney. However, this story neither surprises me nor alters by an iota my determination to see Obama as ex-president next January. The only way that can be accomplished is for Romney to be elected and that is a small price to pay to accomplish the task in my opinion.

  13. Did Romney even know Teva Pharmaceuticals makes the Morning After pill? Look at the stuff they do make:

    If we want to be pure, then we have to steer clear of all corporations involved in things like abortifacients, contraceptives, embryonic stem cell research, etc. For example, both General Electric Health Care and Siemens Health Care are involved in many of these areas, yet they make the majority of medical digital instrumentation and controls used in hospitals throughout the world. You oppose companies that make abortifacients or experiment in embryonic stem cell research? Good for you! Don’t get sick and end up in a hospital where you have to rely on their equipment to stay alive.

    I don’t condone what these companies are doing, but this is what this world does.


  14. Since I will be not have the opportunity to comment for the rest of the day, I repeat – this isn’t about how Romney compares to Obama, but the unwillingness of certain Catholics and pro-lifers to continue to press the Republican nominee. The worst thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be taken for granted, especially before the man has even taken office.

  15. “Who defended Santorum for that here? Certainly not the author of this post, Paul Zummo, who took Santorum to task on a number of occasions for his support of Specter.”

    Donald McClarey certainly did defend Santorum on his endorsement of Specter.

  16. When Santorum quite the race one comic said: The Republicans decided it was better to marry a women you don’t love than die alone.” I do feel like that some days. However, he is our best option to the terrible things Obama will do in his second term if re-elected and feeling unconstrained. So, yes we should remind him quit flip-flopping and remember his base. Once Romney is in office I expect that the Congress will become the dominant force in Federal Government.

  17. less pathetic than Santorum but its just sour grapes to act so forlorn about it.

    He was not pathetic. He did quite well given his initial position. His problem, and one he shares with most consequential Republican presidential candidates of the last twenty-five years (Bush-pere, Bush-fils, and Romney the exceptions) is a deficit of executive experience in the public sector).

  18. Obama would have no re-election worries to keep him in check. Romney will. Thus, the nose is held, the eyes will squint and the chad will be hung for Romney. Let’s start working on 2016 right now. You know the Fascists are.

  19. My feedback to the Romney campaign at:

    Dear Sirs,

    There is angst among pro-life voters over Governor Romney’s acceptance of campaign funding from Treva Pharmaceuticals due to its manufacture of the “morning after” pill, an abortifacient:

    Please ensure that Governor Romney’s campaign supports the pro-life cause and distances itself from the manufacture and sale of abortifacients.

    Thank you!

  20. Hold his feet to the fire

    How exactly would you do that in practical terms? Tsk tsk his fundraising associations even though he knows, you know and everyone else knows you will still pull the lever for him in November? Writing strongly worded editorials expressing dissatisfaction with his fundraising method, and then always closing with Obama delende est?

    How is that “fire” even lukewarm, much less hot?

  21. even though he knows, you know and everyone else knows you will still pull the lever for him in November?

    Have you seriously not read anything I’ve written in the past six months?

  22. “Hold his feet to the fire…How exactly would you do that in practical terms?”

    How many orthodox Christian readers (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Orthodox Anglican, Pentecostal, Southern Baptist, etc.) are there of “The American Catholic” blog site?

    If each of them (er, I mean “us”) were to write a letter to, then maybe we could make a start.

    I don’t like the idea of pulling the lever for Romney because of these Weathervane moments of his. So let’s get the Weathervane to turn in our direction. I do agree with Paul Z. on that.

  23. Since I will be not have the opportunity to comment for the rest of the day, I repeat – this isn’t about how Romney compares to Obama, but the unwillingness of certain Catholics and pro-lifers to continue to press the Republican nominee. The worst thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be taken for granted, especially before the man has even taken office.

    If it’s any consolation, I thought that this is what the article was about in the first place. I think we know full well, particularly from the last 4 years, that what politicians say and what they do are two very different things. I fully expect Romney to continue on his normal Weathervane course. However, as Donald rightly points out, Romney is not Obama so can things really get worse? I, for one, do not believe so.

  24. Teva Pharmaceuticals is pressing the FDA for the removal of age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the “morning after” pill.

  25. Art- Point taken.

    Jay- Hey some of us think its crazy talk advocating voting for 3rd parties. Yes I do believe it comes from a Protestant mindset. This is a wonderful Catholic blog and the exchange of ideas flow so it’s certainly not intended to be an ad hominem against anyone… that would have quite the Secular ethos about it and if there’s anything to eschew more than a Protestant ethos we can agree its a Secular one.

  26. Genuine curiosity here. Is it wrong (immoral or merely prudentially wrong) for any political candidate to accept a donation from anyone connected to a company that profits from immoral products or services? Is the harm only scandal because of the public aspect of the connection? Does it matter what proportion of the profits are derived from the immoral stuff? I don’t have a firm judgment here. But I do find the use of “beclowning” a bit clown like. I hardly think the CatholicVote guy now believes Plan B is ok. It certainly is plausible, given what Romney did as Governor with Plan B, that he disagrees with this exec on Plan B public policy. If so, would it have been ok if he had made a public statement clarifying his position, yet allowing the exec to host the event? Again, I am not certain what the answers are here. This story was originally sourced by Think Progress, a left-wing group hoping to inspire division. That fact doesn’t absolve anyone, but they seem to have succeeded.

  27. Francis,

    I suspect it would be fine if there was no support for the company’s provision of such drugs either by material support (supporting legislation to help the company, etc.) or formal support by giving assent to what they are doing in the provision of said drug.

    There is also the scandal that might be given which would be immoral. That is, if it would lead others to support the company in its provision of such drugs.

    Prudentially it is likely a failure, however. At a minimum, if there was not a clear distancing from this aspect of the company’s work, it could lead some to justify their support for Obama.

  28. What makes this more oily and repellent to me is that Mitt ordered Catholic hospitals to…wait for it…issue Plan B in 2005.

    A nice bit of political logrolling–Frost no doubt believed it was the least he could do, what with Romney signing up all those new customers for Teva.

    It’s nice to see that President Romney can expect an ever-pliant, servile “pro-life” cause ever eager to change the subject. After all, Obama will still be able to run again in 2016, and Mitt will play that boogeyman for all it’s worth.

  29. “A spokeswoman for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, which operates St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, says her organization doesn’t view the “morning-after pill” as a possible abortion drug.”

    This is possibly based upon the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s (ACOG) definition of pregnancy as beginning at implantation in the uterus of the fertilized egg. Thus from your link:

    “Plan B is considered emergency contraception by the medical establishment because it has no documented effect on fertilized eggs that have implanted successfully in the uterine wall. The drug works primarily by preventing ovulation, potentially keeping eggs from being released and fertilized during the five days after intercourse in which sperm remain viable in a woman’s reproductive tract.”

    Of course, the admitted reality is that Plan-B works in part by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting. As such, it prevents a fertilized egg, a new human life by any scientific understanding, from proceeding in its normal developmental course. The result of which is the death of this new human life. This, despite the contorted definition of pregnancy by ACOG. This definition deliberately ignores the physiologic changes that occur in the mother pre-implantation that are guided by this new human life and which are the beginning stages of pregnancy. Of course the ACOG definition was in part to deflect attention from early abortion methods. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System at a minimum have been duped by this incorrect definition.

    The bottom line, if the early data on the mechanism of action is correct, Plan-B is an abortifacient.

  30. Since when did it become recognized as a moral obligation to vote? Seriously there is a reason as to why Thomas Jefferson said that for the US the run smoothly there would have to be a revolution every 15 years. If all the candidates are going to allow murder in the US as well as support it than what makes them different from the Nazis hung in Nuremberg?

  31. Greg I see your point about the drug companies producing good drugs as well but despite the silly notion of Ying Yang, all things which are bad are bad because they lack something good or the good in the thing is twisted. So the problem with bad things is that they are not wholesome that is why the Devil is bad is because he is twisted and despises good he is not wholesome.

  32. I wonder if Romney is flip-flopping because of peer pressure, political advantage, polytheism or a combination.

  33. He refused to run, for one.

    He’s new, for another.

    More broadly, he’s a geek (not “cool”) and is serious about his Catholicism; his conversion story is strange to many folks (sadly) and dot-Indians aren’t a favored minority.

  34. With how much he’s been talked up, I’m not surprised.

    That said, unless we (oh, please, please!) somehow get a Ryan/Bobby ticket, it’ll be a while.

    He apparently witnessed an exorcism as part of his conversion process– and wrote about it. Makes me admire him, but will weird out a lot of folks.

  35. There’s no perfect candidate. I did my own research on candidates & the best one for me was Romney. I agree with him on most issues & he has led a very moral life & has a great family.

  36. The problem with Romney is that he is so jumpy that it is hard to tell whether he just wants political power or whether he will cave to peer pressure of the pop culture. He does not seem man enough to be a good leader.

  37. “The problem with Romney is that he is so jumpy that it is hard to tell whether he just wants political power or whether he will cave to peer pressure of the pop culture. He does not seem man enough to be a good leader.”

    The problem with Obama is that he is a man of the pop culture and is clearly not man enough to be a good leader. So when faced between a possible moral evil and a certain moral evil, vote against the certain moral evil.

  38. As Léon Bloy once asked, “Who do you vote for, when the choice is between Herod and Pontius Pilate?”

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