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Hudson & Fournier: Catholic Countdown to Election 2012, Day 11. Both Sides of Obama's Campaign Mouth

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier
October 26th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

When people speak out of "two sides of their mouths" not only is falsehood spoken but laughable incoherence.  The only way such a "stretching" of the truth can be effective is by guaranteeing that one group hears the message from one side, and the message from the other side goes to a different group. 

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. (Proverbs 4:24)

The Obama campaign should take a look at Proverbs 4:24, because the mouth of the campaign is looking incredibly wide, the sides are so far apart. 

The message coming from the Obama campaign and its Catholic surrogates is that the President is "pro-life" and does "not support abortion."

The other message is that you should vote for Obama because he supports "a  woman's right to choose."

We have already reported the Obama campaign call to a Catholic voter that touted the President as "pro-life." If you have trouble believing that any Catholic would publicly stand behind this statement, take a look at this article by Prof. Nicholas Carfardi, the former Dean of the law school at Duquesne University. The first sentence, by the way, is an outright lie:

"Obama's Affordable Care Act does not pay for abortions. In Massachusetts, Romney's health care law does. Obama favors, and included in the Affordable Care Act, $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion. This support will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic. Romney, on the other hand, has endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the federal plans that support poor women. The undoubted effect: The number of abortions in the United States will increase. On these facts, Obama is much more pro-life than Romney."

Carfardi's article continues, inevitably, to call Romney "pro-abortion." When people speak out of "two sides of their mouths" not only is falsehood spoken but laughable incoherence.  The only way such a "stretching" of the truth can be effective is by guaranteeing that one group hears the message from one side, and the message from the other side goes to a different group. 

If groups begin hearing from both sides, then the campaign is in trouble. Truth has become a casualty. Well, in the case of the incredibly elastic Obama message machine, it's already happened.  At 2.20 p.m. yesterday, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network, Ted Meehan, received a phone call. Being a veteran of political campaigns, Meehan got out his pencil and paper to jot down what the caller had to say about Obama and Romney.  Here is Ted Meehan's report:

"I got a call at about 2:20 p.m. The caller identified them self as being from some generic sounding polling company, i.e., like the Public Policy Survey Associates, and started asking 'qualifying questions.' Was I over 18? Registered to vote? Married? Ethnicity? Age? City, suburbs, or rural? How likely to vote? Voting for Obama or Romney, Casey or Smith? Favorability towards Obama or Romney?"

Then Meehan was asked, "Which candidate is more trustworthy to handle the following issues -- deficit, taxing the middle class, healthcare, abortion, same sex marriage?"

Please note that two out of the five are settled, non-negotiable issues for Catholic voters, making 40 percent of this call about the handling of intrinsic evils.

Then, Meehan told us, came the "push element" of the Obama campaign phone call. The caller said:

"I have a few statements about Governor Romney, and I want you to tell me whether you think these are true, very true, somewhat true, not sure, somewhat untrue, or definitely not true."

"Romney's entire career has been spent taking over businesses, laying off workers, and becoming rich at the expense of others.
Romney wants to take away women's reproductive healthcare.
Romney's policies favor the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. 
Romney wants to eliminate Medicare.    
Romney plans to raise taxes on the middle class."

When Meehan's answers convinced the caller that he was not an Obama supporter, the call abruptly ended, and when Meehan checked the line for caller ID there was no imprint.

Of course there was no imprint, because the call contained no reality, no truth; it was a call intended to put the shadow of doubt, or fear, into the mind of an undecided voter. 

Like the call from the other side of the campaign's mouth claiming Obama was pro-life, this kind of messaging descends from the netherworld of political sophistry -- or in less polite terms, the underground of "Catholic" political consultants who are willing to sell themselves and their Church for the spoils of a Nov. 6th victory.

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