HILLARY AND CATHOLICS
At The New Republic's Open University blog, Casey Blake is puzzled:
John Judis notes one interesting development last night that deserves more attention than it will probably get: Hillary seems to have won the Catholic vote in New Hampshire.
What that means is not altogether clear. I'd like to see the correlation with class and gender. She may have won with older, blue-collar Catholic women. But given her identification with abortion, it still comes as a surprise....
The obvious point to make is that New England is full of Catholic Democrats who readily vote for pro-choice candidates, many of whom are Catholic as well, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry being the most obvious examples. And I can assure you, as someone who's pushing fifty and was raised Catholic in Boston, that the church of my youth was not the church of Rick Santorum and Antonin Scalia -- it wasn't obsessed with abortion and non-marital sex when I was growing up (which is when, I suspect, many of the Catholic Hillary voters were also growing up). The church's leadership may be increasingly fixated on abortion and stem cells and homosexuality these days, but the rank and file in New England doesn't share those obsessions (note, for instance, that Providence, Rhode Island, which was more than 70% Catholic in 1990, has an openly gay mayor, David Cicilline). Some Catholic leaders may be trying to turn the church into nothing more than a fundamentalist denomination that happens to have a pope, but the showy moral finger-wagging of the evangelicals just isn't New England's style.