Remember Doug Kmiec? Stiring the anthill in Malta.

Remember Doug Kmiec?  He wasn’t very well accepted in Malta.  He was nearly sycophantic in his support of Pres. Obama during the campaign and after, probably because he wanted to be the ambassador to the Holy See instead of just to Malta.

He was the one who said Catholics could set the problem of a candidate’s aggressive support of abortion aside and vote for him anyway. 

Kmiec Catholics, and others who embrace the corrosive Kmiec Compromise hold that if the candidate’s stand on other social justice issues are acceptable, then his stand on those issues outweighs his unacceptable stand on abortion.  It’s a slight of hand, really: the unacceptable position becomes acceptable.

Malta Today has something with my emphases and comments.

Doug KmiecThe curious ambassador

US ambassador and legal scholar Douglas Kmiec is curious about Malta’s constitutional neutrality. But has he overstepped his remit as an ambassador in a sovereign nation in seeking a clear interpretation?   [Curious indeed!]

James Debono

If you happen to be in church and a very polite, middle-aged American guy starts chatting with you, it very well could be the US ambassador trying to get some insights into the Maltese way of life.

I interview Douglas Kmiec against a background of folk music, which he describes as “a veritable depositary of America’s historical memory” in the tranquillity of his Attard residence, seeking to unravel the intentions of the representative of the world’s remaining superpower.
As a devout Catholic, his first knowledge of Malta was the reference to the hospitality of the Maltese towards St Paul, immortalised in the Acts of the Apostles. His appointment as ambassador came as a result of his role in Barack Obama’s campaign, as the President’s “liaison to the Catholic community” – in the midst of the campaign Kmiec even wrote a book, entitled ‘Can A Catholic Support Him?’, explaining his support, as a Catholic, for Senator Obama in spite of his pro-choice stance on abortion[Who called him the "liaison"?  Did Kmiec call himself that for the reporter?]
Reminiscing on his discussions at the White House prior to his appointment, he recalls the President telling him how he would “enjoy a country with 365 churches”. [Why?  I understand that the President doesn't go to church very often on Sundays much less at other times.] Now he has committed himself to visit as many of these churches as he possibly can. “I am making an effort to get to mass in the mornings if the schedule permits… churches are a place to experience the people, culture and the different cities which make Malta.”
But churches have not been the only thing on Kmiec’s mind in the few months since his arrival to Malta. Kmiec, whose legal background includes serving in the US Attorney General’s office, is particularly proficient in constitutional matters, and has lately been seeking a clear definition of Malta’s neutrality.
I bluntly ask the ambassador whether he is going out of his remit by provoking a discussion on Malta’s constitutional neutrality. “I do not think so. Sincerely, I wanted to get the best understanding of neutrality.
As my ear catches a hook off a Bruce Springsteen song in the background (Kmiec actually shuffled through his iPod to find something that I liked…) I present Kmiec with the hypothetical scenario of the Maltese ambassador in the US, disputing on controversial parts of the US constitutional right to bear arms. Would this not offend Americans, known for their quasi-religious devotion to their Constitution?
Kmiec makes it clear that his intention was not to interfere in Maltese constitutional matters. “Neutrality surely touches on the work of an ambassador in so far as it has an effect on diplomatic and external relations. But it is obviously not up to the American ambassador (or any ambassador, Amercian or otherwise), to tell you what your Constitution means or should mean.”
What prompted him to ask for a clear definition of Malta’s neutrality during the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies conference was the “very expansive meaning” given to neutrality by some people. “Some people gave it a very expansive meaning and that troubled me a bit.Some interpretations of neutrality would have excluded the military training that has been going on for years very successfully between the United States and the Armed Forces of Malta, training that assists the search and rescue efforts which is so vital in saving migrant families from the sea as well as efforts to stop trafficking of human beings and drugs.”
Kmiec caused a stir in political circles by suggesting that Malta’s neutrality could be abused by terrorists when he warned that “we must not allow an interpretation of the scope of a constitutional neutrality provision to be taken advantage of by those who might wish to use a Maltese port to unleash a future terror plot, whether in London, Madrid, on a flight bound for Detroit, or for that matter, may the good Lord forbid, Valletta”.
Kmiec is now convinced that this is not the case. “I am pleased that the discussion has illustrated that this is not the case.”
Once again, he blames expansive definitions of neutrality for giving such an impression. He claims that such a definition of neutrality could have even excluded training aimed at strengthening Malta’s ability to stop terrorists from bringing lethal material into the island. “That was my concern. That was the connection. I didn’t think that neutrality meant that, but I wanted somebody to confirm my understanding… I think that the last thing that any country would want would be to have their door left open to people who would unleash this type of tragic harm.”

[...]

 

You can read the rest there if you are really interested in what he has to say.

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21 Responses to Remember Doug Kmiec? Stiring the anthill in Malta.

  1. And we wonder why people resent America. We can barely run our own country, and we try to tell people how to run theirs.

  2. TJerome says:

    I am shocked by this because even though I cannot abide Kmiec’s Cafeteria Catholicism, I didn’t think he was an empty suit. But it makes sense: President Empty Suit appoints another person as Ambassador Empty Suit. Tom

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    So do you get the moniker “scholar” just because your daddy paid for a college degree for you or what? And here I always thought it had something to do with thinking.

  4. Timbot2000 says:

    So Sir Richard Rich is making a bit of a stir in Wales it seems?

  5. Maltese says:

    Thank God for Malta, my namesake, the only Country in the “European Union” which still outlaws abortion. God bless them, and preserve them!

    Kmiec is like a walking pile of shit with two-tooth-pick legs: he looks like a Catholic, he walks like one, but he is not one, because of his stank…

  6. Maltese says:

    btw: if the 40,000,000 + million babies killed (aborted) in america doesn’t touch your hearts, maybe this will:

    http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2010/01/missionaries-urgently-needed.html

    This is only an example of one child dying, imagine the number, supra….

  7. mpm says:

    Just a careerist, loyal to his next buck, totally irrelevant at this point, career on the wane, trying to stir something up to get his name in the paper. Bored, beaten, bullshit.

  8. Kerry says:

    “…57 states…365 churches…let me be clear, I don’t have all the facts.”

  9. Justin from Ohio says:

    I think Kmiec is in for a rude awakening when he returns full-time to the United States in a few years. Most Americans (even a good percentage of those who voted for Kmiec’s boss in 2008) have finally recognized that charisma and no real past record are not the recipe for a successful presidency or an effective leader.

    I think Kmiec is either going to have to become a spokesperson for dissident groups like Call to Action, VOTF, Catholics for the Common Good, or other shrinking groups of 1960′s Catholic rebels. No faithful Catholic group or constituency will ever associate with him again due to his treason to the Church.

  10. Titus says:

    On the one hand, it’s an ambassador’s job to cultivate a serious and meaningful understanding of the relationship between his home country and the nation to which he is sent. This entails understanding the relevant internal legal doctrines that govern the operation of the host government.

    But on the other hand, the condescending tone and startlingly public nature of these particular inquiries are nothing short of caddishness. What a sad, sad story this man’s life has become.

  11. robtbrown says:

    So do you get the moniker “scholar” just because your daddy paid for a college degree for you or what? And here I always thought it had something to do with thinking.
    Comment by catholicmidwest

    If memory serves, he was a prof at the Pepperdine law school.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Kmiec is like a walking pile of shit with two-tooth-pick legs: he looks like a Catholic, he walks like one, but he is not one, because of his stank…
    Comment by Maltese

    What good is that comment?

  13. JimGB says:

    Maltese, whatever one’s opinion of Mr. Kmiec (and mine is low), the use of profanity and vulgarisms has no place on this blog, devoted as it is to the support of the Magesterium of the Church and the beauty of Catholic liturgy and tradition. Our effectiveness in the public square is diminished if we give people on the orher end of the spectrum the ammunition to paint us in a certain way.

  14. lucapi says:

    No, Father, the President was referring to Mr. Kmiec in saying that “he” (=Kmiec) would enjoy a country with so many churches.

  15. Maltese says:

    robtbrown: I’m serious: the gall this man has, representing himself as a Catholic, and pro-life one at that, and then representing us to Malta, the most pro-life country on earth! If that isn’t irony, what is? He’s no more pro-life than the suction tube used in planned-parenthood clinics. Actually, he represents the greatest danger to the pro-life movement: he actually pretens to be pro-life in his public persona, but then his actions give levity to the scalpels which tear into unborn human flesh. Do you think my strong words are too strong? Listen to Jesus speaking to the pharisees! He calls them a “brood of vipers”!

  16. JonM says:

    I think Father would appreciate keeping WDTPRS profanity-free. There are many good reasons for this, one being that filters can put the blog on the deny list for having bad words.

  17. amylpav22 says:

    Don’t mess with Malta. It’s our Plan B.

  18. ulreality says:

    Ouch, Justin. You need to keep your dissident Catholic groups straight. Catholics for the Common Good is a faithful group and is often confused with these Johnny-come-latelys that are sponsored by the Democratic Party. This is a California based group http://ccgaction.org.

  19. Maltese says:

    JonM: thanks for the reminder: I try to raise my kids like puritans but then something pisses me off and I inadvertently cuss in front of them, and they always call me out for it for being a hypocrite. But the tongue is a double-edged sword; it is capable of the greatest good (in the case of Jesus, His words, and the gospels), or is capable of starting wars, and misery.

    Words should be used sparingly, unless they are called for in abundance. Christ definitely used words sparingly, and brilliantly when He did use them….

  20. robtbrown says:

    robtbrown: I’m serious: the gall this man has, representing himself as a Catholic, and pro-life one at that, and then representing us to Malta, the most pro-life country on earth! If that isn’t irony, what is? He’s no more pro-life than the suction tube used in planned-parenthood clinics. Actually, he represents the greatest danger to the pro-life movement: he actually pretens to be pro-life in his public persona, but then his actions give levity to the scalpels which tear into unborn human flesh. Do you think my strong words are too strong? Listen to Jesus speaking to the pharisees! He calls them a “brood of vipers”!
    Comment by Maltese

    I realize you’re serious, but you failed to answer my question: What good came from those comments?

    And Christ spoke to the Pharisees with authority.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    robtbrown,

    And all college profs are wonderful thinkers who make impeccable choices? If you say so.