Scenes from a Repudiation
Bishops and apparatchiks, you might just want to avert your eyes... not much "good news" here.
- On the home-turf of this cycle's most forthright prelate, Martino Country flocked to its native son instead; the Scranton diocese's main hub of Lackawanna County broke nearly 2-to-1 for the Democratic ticket, its second-largest population center veering blue by a 54-45 margin, or close to 10,000 votes. The majority of Pennsylvania's 600,000-vote Obama stampede, however, came from Philadelphia and its ever-critical suburbs, where the faithful were reminded just last weekend that "in this election, even the most fundamental human right of life itself hangs in the balance." While the River City gave the president-elect an additional 80,000 votes over of its 400,000-ballot boost to John Kerry in 2004, in a seismic first the Dems carried all five counties of Pharaoh's fold -- the Philly church's last GOP bastion in presidential elections (Chester County, won 52-47 by Bush-Cheney in 2004 and 53-47 in 2000) went to Obama-Biden by over 20,000 votes, a 20% swing from '04.
- The crux of a clash between the state's Catholic governor and her bishop and the focus of a concerted "NO" campaign by the state's hierarchy in full, Michigan's Proposal 2 -- permitting enhanced access to embryonic stem-cells for research purposes -- passed 53-47 on an almost 250,000-vote advantage.
- Colorado... Presidential Blue... by 8 points. (First time since '92.) And, come January, a 100% pro-choice senator (pickup from the GOP). And, in the state's largest congressional district (a Republican seat since 1972), a veteran, 100% pro-lifer wiped off the map... by a "lifelong" abortion-rights advocate... and a Catholic one, at that. The proposed sales-tax increase to fund services for the disabled? That went by the wayside, too. As did the measure that would've given a fertilized egg equal-protection rights under the state constitution (on which, for the record, the state's church leadership was neutral).
- And while we're at it, as of this writing 6,000 more souls (out of 3 million) duly considered their eternal salvation than didn't in Missouri... Then again, that's 18,000 more than did in North Carolina (i.e. Dems up by 12,000) with all precincts reporting. For the first time since Jimmy Carter. And Jesse Helms' seat... now belongs to a liberal woman (who was attacked as an "atheist" in the campaign's last days... despite being an elder and Sunday School teacher at her Presbyterian church).
- In California, Proposition 8 -- the intensely-contested same-sex marriage ban heavily-backed by church groups (USCCB included) -- stayed afloat... but the proposed ban on abortions for minors without parental notification? Shot down. In Washington State, I-1000 -- the heavily-protested green-light for assisted-suicide -- won in the booth. Arizona's church-supported gay-marriage ban was successful, while Connecticut's bishops-backed constitutional convention that could've overturned the recent court ruling permitting the unions there failed.
- In South Dakota -- stalwart Presidential Red territory if ever there was one -- a proposed ban on most abortions went down to defeat.... While, in both Dakotas, Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila's last-minute counsel that "no person if he is Catholic, can ever support an intrinsic evil nor can he or she ever vote for someone who supports intrinsic evil" presaged the standard GOP wins in the region (53-44 in both states).