How easy is the job of being a right-wing pundit? Well, you come up with a hook for your column like the one Michael Goodwin of the New York Post dreamed up, and you can just write it, knowing full well that the members of your intended audience are so consumed with hate for your intended target that they'll never grasp the ridiculousness of your premise:
Millions of people around the world watched two global powerhouses conduct their most important business in public last week. One did it with dignity and respect. The other was the government of the United States.Yes, Goodwin actually wrote this. Yes, he thinks the Vatican is doing a swell job when one of the most prominent cardinals who'd been expected to travel to Rome to vote on Benedict's successor had to resign after confessing to sexual misconduct, and another one was urged not to attend the conclave because of his role in covering up pedophilia (he, of course, ignored the entreaties). Ultimately, as The New York Times notes," "at least a dozen other cardinals tarnished with accusations that they had failed to remove priests accused of sexually abusing minors were among those gathering in Rome" -- and please note that the problem is so widespread the Times can't even provide an accurate count.
The solemn transition marking the end of Pope Benedict's reign stood in dramatic contrast to the seedy events in Washington.
It was the difference between something done right, with pride, and the undignified, embarrassing way our government does things these days....
A convocation of these guys together is "something done right, with pride"? Well, Michael, you're right about the "pride" part.
And, um, isn't this an apples-and-oranges comparison? Aren't the ceremonies in Rome a lot less contentious because there isn't an Anti-Pope Party angrily contesting and trying to block everything the Vatican does?
Well, Goodwin briefly breaks a sweat trying to anticipate that objection:
It's no answer, or even an acceptable excuse, to defend the bitter sequester fight by saying the decisions are hard and the differences are real. Benedict made an excruciatingly hard decision, one that left him open to ridicule and could have rattled the Church and a billion followers worldwide.What could have happened? Was there ever a possibility that angry mobs of Catholics were going to descend on Rome and force Benedict to serve for life?
Instead, Church leaders quickly mapped an exit process that was a model of grace. Despite the Vatican’s many problems and internal divisions, large crowds sent a pope off into retirement with extraordinary displays of love and gratitude.
But this is all aimed at the Post reader's reptile brain, which has been carefully conditioned: Catholic Church: good. Liberals: evil. No one will actually think about this column. The rubes won't regard it as logically strained. It reinforces all the right preconceived notions.