This election cycle the US bishops did more than they ordinarily do: there was a firm stand taken on the HHS mandate.
However, you and I know that roughly 50% of US Catholics will vote Democrat. A swing has historically been about %5 either way; there is no reason to expect a swing for Romney this season; in fact, we should probably expect a swing for Obama, given Romney’s inability to voice social concerns.
The real question is not “Why don’t the bishops tell the Catholics to support the GOP candidates?” The questions are:
- Why are at least 45% voting against basic Catholic teaching on the value of human life? This is where the responsibility of the bishops is, and they failed it decades ago, when this electorate was formed.
- What is exactly, the basis for believing that Romney — or in fact the bulk of GOP establishment candidates — will do anything about stopping abortion (or any other social issue) in America? The most GOP candidates that survived the primary season all have bent over and grabbed their ankles to AVOID social issues, and Romney is the chief weasel-master; those Republicans that took a firm pro-life positions are under attack ...from the GOP. To attract Catholics to conservative ideas was the responsibility of the so-called conservatives in the GOP and they failed it.
What we have now is shaking the fists after the fight is over. A more realistic goal today is to rebuild a conservative base somewhere for years, and perhaps for the next generation, to come. There is nothing good that will come of this generation of conservative leaders, no matter what happens in November. The Tea Party had a better year in 2010, but that is where the future lies. If this system is to have a future, let’s grow the Tea Party and count the establishment GOP among the problems.
The tea party won’t help. It’s primary concerns are economic and fiscal. And most Catholics have used birth control some time in their lives, so they’re not going to get too upset if a Catholic pharmacist is forced to dispense birth control or even Plan B, or if a church-owned hospital or university (and most of the latter are Catholic in name only) has to pay indirectly for health insurance that pays for birth control. So maybe this ship already sailed?