The editors on President Obama’s reelection:
Some important questions have been answered. Because Obama was re-elected, the Affordable Care Act—vociferously and mistakenly opposed by the U.S. bishops—will not be repealed. Forty million uninsured Americans will now have access to health care. Although much more needs to be done, the Dodd-Frank Act will begin the process of more effectively regulating the financial industry. Like the bailout of the auto industry, these signature achievements of the Obama administration have been affirmed by the president’s re-election, sending a clear signal that Americans still want government to solve problems.
Among those who should be chastened by this election are the U.S. Catholic bishops. There is little evidence that Catholics or others were persuaded by the bishops’ arguments against the ACA or its contraception mandate, let alone their exaggerated claims about threats to religious freedom. Voters also dealt the bishops’ ongoing campaign against same-sex marriage a series of setbacks. Perhaps it is time for the bishops, like the Republican Party, to rethink their increasingly confrontational approach to divisive social and political questions.
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