Phil Lawler at CWN has some thoughts about the Card. Dolan’s upcoming appearance at the Dems’ Abortion Convention. He doesn’t so much consider whether Dolan should have offered to go or whether he should have accepted, but rather whether the DNC should have extended the invitation and what Dolan’s appearance at the convention might mean for them.
Here is a section, and you can read the rest there.
The Democrats are apparently planning a convention that will appeal to the primal instincts of anti-Catholic bigots. [We should just refer to it as The Abortion Convention.] Speakers from Planned Parenthood and NARRAL will whip up the crowd, warning that any hint of restriction on legal abortion would constitute a “war on women.” Homosexual activists will acclaim the President for advancing their drive toward legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Administration officials will remind the world that Obama introduced mandatory contraceptive coverage despite tough opposition. And then, after hours of shrill rhetoric, with the crowd in a frenzy of partisan fervor, the convention organizers will introduce the leading American representative of the institution that is most closely associated with opposition to legal abortion, to same-sex marriage, and to mandatory contraceptive coverage: the Catholic Church.
One of the most important purposes of a political convention is to fire up the troops: to rouse passions, to rally the party’s faithful as they prepare for battle with their political enemies. This year the main enemy will be Mitt Romney, of course. But looking toward the future, over a longer time horizon, many liberal activists see the Catholic Church as the enemy. [Right!] So how will they feel, and how will they behave, when an agent of that “enemy” appears on the convention floor? [I think the Dems are setting Simone Campbell up as their true leader of the catholic Church in the USA, because she is a tame catholic who stays silent on abortion. This is the fruit, in a political context, of the Magisterium of Nuns: they are placed against, and over, the teaching authority of the bishops.]
How will partisan Democratic activists respond to the cardinal’s presence. I see two likely possibilities.
Hard-core ideologues might make their contempt manifest. Cardinal Dolan could face demonstrations, interruptions, heckling, a chorus of boos. [I think the party apparatchiks and commissars will reign that back.]
Or cooler heads could prevail, Democratic leaders could impose discipline, the cardinal could hear nothing but respectful applause. [yep]
In all likelihood the actual event will see a bit of both reactions. The cardinal will be greeted politely. But there will be some grumbling when Cardinal Dolan prays—as surely he will—for a respectful attitude toward human life and a determination to support marriage and family. [And what if Card. Dolan's prayer is disastrously generic?] And even if the angriest demonstrators are kept outside the convention hall, TV viewers might notice that the rhetoric of those who oppose the cardinal’s appearance will sound very similar to the rhetoric of Democratic speakers who appeared earlier on the convention schedule.
[Here is Lawler's point...] One way or another—because he is treated rudely, as an enemy; or because he is treated politely, as a foreign dignitary—Cardinal Dolan’s appearance in Charlotte will help Catholic voters to notice that they are no longer “at home” in the Democratic Party. Like the cardinal they may be accepted as guests, but as long as the Democratic Party embraces the culture of Death, Catholic Democrats will be operating on alien territory.
Cardinal Dolan offered to attend the convention if his presence was wanted. The truth is that he is not wanted. But the Democratic Party has chosen to pretend, and that is a serious tactical error.
Is Lawler on to something here?