Continuing Coverage: Election 2012
Commonweal’s coverage of the 2012 election spans everything from health-care reform and religious liberty to the presidential debates, immigration, super PACs, the economy, political theory, and more. Through web exclusives, editorials, columns, and posts to the dotCommonweal blog, we’ll continue to track election-related stories as they develop, so make sure to come back to this page for ongoing analysis and opinion.
Economics 101 (posted Nov. 1)
Charles Michael Andres Clark on why starving the government doesn't work.
'Intrinsic Evil' & Public Policy (posted Oct. 31)
David Cloutier examines the partisan abuse of the church's moral teachings.
Romney, the Product (posted Oct. 15)
New Mitt Romneys appear on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis. His campaign, says E.J. Dionne, has been an exercise in identifying which piece of the electorate he needs at any given moment and adjusting his views, sometimes radically, to suit this requirement.
Endless War (posted Oct. 12)
Whoever you vote for in November, writes Andrew J. Bacevich, you won’t be voting for peace. Just as there is no credible peace party in American politics, so too there will be no peace candidate on the ballot. It wasn't always this way.
State of Race (posted Oct. 11)
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels says many factors will influence the outcome of the 2012 election. But is race one of them?
Editorial: Mile-High Rhetoric (posted Oct. 10)
In this year’s first presidential debate, Mitt Romney told a great many half-truths about his platform and his record, but he told them all with stunning self-assurance. No one seemed more stunned than Barack Obama.
The Campaign's Moral Hole (posted Oct. 8)
Who better than a group of women who have consecrated their lives to the Almighty to remind us that our decisions in November have ethical consequences? Those who serve the impoverished, the sick and the dying, E.J. Dionne writes, know rather a lot about what matters -- in life, and in elections.
Hayek, Novak & the Limits of Laissez Faire
Paul Ryan says many of his ideas are inspired by Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek. But as Angus Sibley noted in Commonweal in 2008, Hayek's theories "underlie the economic policies that have allowed income inequalities in the United States to revert to levels not seen since the 1920s."
Feeding the Beast
Presidential campaigns offer useful mileposts for examining changes in the news media, writes Paul Moses, and this year’s campaign shows how the demands of a never-ending news cycle—pumping up web traffic, getting attention on social media, and finding something new and interesting to say amid the repetition of nonstop cable TV news—are shaping political coverage.
The Single-Issue Trap
Affirming the status of the unborn has not only acquired pride of place in the years since the bishops’ 1976 voting guide, writes Cathleen Kaveny; it has also acquired a certain organizational force and power. But given the sustained emphasis on the importance of abortion, what does it mean for the bishops to affirm that “as Catholics we are not single-issue voters”?
The Priority of Labor
Job creator or job destroyer? Daniel K. Finn considers Bain Capital and the candidacy of Mitt Romney in the context of Catholic social teaching.
Two Parties, One Policy
Benjamin Wittes and Ritika Singh on the remarkable common ground between Republicans and Democrats on the legal and ploicy issues surrounding terrorism.
The Most Important Election Since 1932
An Obama victory in November is critical, writes Jeff Madrick, for the simple fact that the alternative is far, far worse.
Right Decision, Wrong Argument
In his opinion on the Affordable Care Act, writes Paul C. Saunders, Chief Justice John Roberts had to clear a number of hurdles to uphold the law under the government's taxing authority.
Romney’s Religion: Should It Matter?
The Constitution prohibits the barring of a successful candidate from taking office based on religion. But as Joseph D. Becker writes, it doesn’t prohibit asking a potential officeholder about the implications of his or her religion for public policy.
Natural Law & the Affordable Care Act
Hadley Arkes and Unagidon in an exchange: Does natural-law theory allow us to understand health care as a right?
No, Julia G. Young makes clear, Barack Obama is not like Mexico’s infamous anti-Catholic dictator Plutarco Elias Calles.
Justice & Al Qaeda
Joseph D. Becker assesses whether the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 meets constitutional provisions for due process, impartial juries, habeas corpus, and other protections.
Is the Contraception Mandate Constitutional?
The short answer, according to Joseph D. Becker: Probably.
We have had Republicans who have been either extremist or unified, writes Alan Wolfe, but never before have we seen a Republican party that is both extremist and unified at the same time.
The Flip Side of Subsidiarity
An honest account of subsidiarity, says David Golemboski, recognizes that when problems are of such magnitude or complexity that they can’t be addressed locally, then higher-level authorities must take responsibility.
Not a Muslim Issue?
Gregory Metzger identifies what’s missing from the bishops’ statement on religious freedom.
How Obama Lost Me
Don Wycliff on the president’s willingness to be humiliated by Republicans and the prospect of a lesser-than-two-evils election.
A Death to Celebrate?
Ronal Osborn assesses the just-war tradition and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Gordon Marino on whether Mitt Romney is right when he says that envy is behind concerns and charges about income inequality.
Continuing Coverage: Religious Liberty
Commonweal’s comprehensive, ongoing coverage of the religious-liberty issue includes a special report featuring commentary from a number of distinguished contributors, as well as editorials, article, and blog posts.
Catholics & Party Politics
President Obama and Mitt Romney have chosen running mates who reflect their political philosophies. Both vice presidential candidates are also Roman Catholics. Yet despite the obvious sincerity of their faith, their moral and political views reflect the positions of their parties more than those of their church.
Don't Ask, Won't Tell
Mitt Romney shouldn't shy away from letting the American people know exactly how he honed the skills he insists will right the nation's economy.
Even those who agree with the bishops about the scope of the danger should be concerned about the appearance of partisanship.
A Kind of Justice
Has America has lost the political, legal, and moral confidence to give someone like Osama bin Laden his day in court?
Below the Law?
Should the president of the United States be able to authorize an assassination of a U.S. citizen anywhere in the world without telling the public why—or even acknowledging he has done so?
Witness for the Defense
There's a reason Bill Clinton played such a central role at the Democratic convention, writes E.J. Dionne Jr.: It reflects the extent to which it should be seen as a three-day tutorial designed to advance a view of government for which Democrats have often apologized.
Campaigns Touch Briefly on Wars
William Pfaff discusses how the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have become awkward subjects for both political parties.
A Win for Obama--and Roberts
E.J. Dionne Jr. says that while the president is the big victor, John Roberts cast himself as a jurist sensitive to the court's obligation to show some deference to the government's elected branches on social policy.
Keep the Change
President Obama’s Cleveland speech, says E.J. Dionne Jr., highlights the fundamental difference between his vision of the future and Mitt Romney’s.
President Other: Obama As Alien
E.J. Dionne Jr. notes that whatever President Obama’s opponents say, he is never allowed to be a garden-variety American who has an old-fashioned family life, and, in the manner we regularly recommend to our kids, got ahead by getting a good education.
Government Is the Solution
It’s time to get the truth out about the stimulus, writes E.J. Dionne Jr. If progressives don’t speak out on behalf of government, they’ll be disadvantaged throughout the election-year debate.
Regret Is Not Enough
Cathleen Kaveny on the troubling issue of President Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, and why he needs to expand his reading of political theology beyond Reinhold Niebuhr.
Charles R. Morris on how Mitt Romney made his millions.
The full force of money, permitted by Citizens United and other U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, has become clear in the 2012 election, says Margaret O’Brien Steinfels.
The 1-Percent Problem
William Pfaff on how Americans can save themselves from plutocracy.
The HHS mandate is now a "non-negotiable." Posted by David Gibson
"Not telling you whom to vote for" watch. Posted by Lisa Fullam
The Jesuits go another round with Paul Ryan. Posted by Luke Hill
Mitt Romney in a quiet room. Posted by Matthew Boudway
Catholic liberals take note; all others read Ross Douthat. Posted by Margaret O'Brien Steinfels
Does Dolan risk losing the Latinos? Posted by Eduardo Penalver
The pro-life Affordable Care Act. Posted by Luke Hill
EWTN's Raymond Arroyo interviews Mitt Romney. Posted by Grant Gallicho
On not slamming the door. Posted by Dominic Preziosi
Cardinal Dolan to bless Republican convention. Posted by David Gibson
Romney's creed: Ryan's. Posted by Matthew Boudway
Adelson unleashed. Posted by Dominic Preziosi
The religious liberty campaign is not partisan. Really. Posted by David Gibson