by msaroff, Thu Mar 18, 2010 at 09:49:17 PM EDT
I was listening to NPR this morning, and they were talking about the position of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding healthcare reform and abortion.
Any time that anyone talks about their position, this morning, it was a law professor, the consensus is that the position of the Bishops is coming from somewhere in the Twilight Zone: There is simply no basis in realities of law, precedent, legislation, or the manner in which regulation is derived from statute to suggest the Senate language will allow for federal funding of abortion.
This raises an obvious question: Why does the professional staff of the Conference hold a position at such extreme odds with every lawyer, and almost every other Catholic organization out there, most recently the Catholic Health Association and 59,000 nuns?
The only answer that I can come up with is that the professional staff working in their offices have been captured by partisan Republican operatives.
Either there are Republican operatives working and generating legal and legislative opinions, or the staff has been browbeaten by the loud right wing lay activists, most notably Bill Donohue and his Catholic League, and so the staff is taking its talking points from Republican operatives.
In either case, it is clear that the staff is NOT providing competent or good faith advice.
Perhaps a look at the senior lay staff at the organization, and their backgrounds might be warranted by some news gathering organization. (I sent an earlier version of my theory to Josh Marshall, if you know of any other investigative organizations, please forward this to them.)
Note that I am not suggesting that the Bishops themselves are operating as partisan political operatives, simply that their staff may be operating as such.
Cross posted from 40 Years in the Desert.