Personally, I blame CCHD.
Okay, that’s an overstatement. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is not solely—or even primarily—responsible for the fact Pres. Obama won re-election, or that the Republican party is only just now waking up (it is to be hoped) to the fact that it doesn’t know how to talk to people from different backgrounds. But CCHD has, in its own small way, played an important role.
First, some disclosures and disclaimers:
1 – In the past I worked for organizations that received CCHD grants; those grants helped pay my salary for a number of years.
2 – As a consequence, I can testify that CCHD is about the most rigorously nonpartisan funder of change and community organizing imaginable. CCHD’s strict adherence to its funding guidelines and restrictions on partisan activity—let alone its even-stricter restrictions on any activity that comes close to disagreeing with Church teaching—are legendary within community organizing circles.
3 – I say “small way” because in a nation of 310 million people, any organization that has as its sole source of funding a once-a-year second collection in the churches of one denomination is necessarily going to have a limited impact.
4 – Finally, I pray that my conservative brother and sister Catholics will not take anything here as “evidence” of CCHD’s nefarious and subversive leftist corrupting influence on the Church and American society. I make that prayer because, in fact, there’s no such evidence in what you’re about to read. (Also, the views expressed are my own, not Commonweal’s. Don’t blame these guys for what I write.)
With that necessary work out of the way, we proceed.
One of the more notable aftershocks of Tuesday’s election is the degree to which Republicans and conservatives were surprised by the results. Gov. Romney was “shellshocked” and apparently had been so confident of victory that he hadn’t even written a concession speech. Karl Rove, a veteran of many political campaigns and a strategist who spent years working to broaden the Republican party’s base, had an election-night meltdown on Fox News. Donald Trump tweeted calls for “revolution”. (Doesn’t he know what can happen to people like Donald Trump during a revolution?)