One of the hallmarks of a good person is integrity. Integrity means admitting that one is wrong whenever one is clearly wrong. I’m sure that most people have integrity in their private lives but when they go public or are made public by other circumstances, the first thing they lose is their integrity.
Unfortunately, Douglas Kmiec is one of those people. He made himself public as a pro-life Catholic who offered his support for the extremely pro-abortion Barack Obama and actively campaigned for other pro-life Catholics to join him in his endorsement. Kmiec had somehow convinced himself that Obama and the Democrats in general would respect the pro-life views of himself and those who rallied to his call.
Then, when the hard truth hit, Kmiec was discredited and basically made to look like a fool who blindly led his flock astray. I documented a part of this in my previous blog entry:
Voter’s Remorse: Did Pro-Life Catholics (Especially Douglas Kmiec) Get Punked By Obama?
November 28, 2008
I thought my own posting on the issue was very civil and thoughtful, especialy since it was based on an article by Kmiec’s peer journalist, Melinda Henneberger, who wrote the following article for Slate:
Lose-Lose On Abortion
November 24, 2008
So, why am I bringing all of this up again?
Because Doug Kmiec is whining about how he is being mistreated by the “right-wing Catholic blogosphere.” Actually, what has happened is that there has been a backlash against his support for the most pro-abortion President of all time.
Instead of admitting that he led himself and his followers astray, Kmiec has chosen to abandon his integrity and make himself out to be some sort of victim. He claims that he has been on the recieving end of “missiles of hate” and “ad hominem invectives.” Personally, I invite everyone to read my previous blog entry posted above so that they can see that 84rules did nothing of the kind.
The Catholic News Agency has more on this story:
|Brian Saint-Paul, editor of Crisis Magazine and InsideCatholic.com, was highly critical of Kmiec’s endorsement of President-elect Obama. He responded to Kmiec’s essay in a Tuesday e-mail to CNA.
“While I strongly disagreed with Dr. Kmiec’s support for Barack Obama, I have also been sorry to see the personal abuse he’s received from fellow Catholics as a result,” he wrote. “If those in the Church can’t disagree without resorting to playground insults, we’re a sad example to the rest of the world.”
“Having said that, I hope Dr. Kmiec doesn’t use the immaturity of some of his critics as a reason to avoid the more legitimate concerns of others. There is a conversation that needs to take place here, and it will require thick skins all around.”
That is where Kmiec lost his integrity. I have no doubt that he did recieve some purile hate-mail, but to generalize it to include everyone who has been critical of him shows his victim mentality.
|Thomas Peters, who runs the blog “American Papist,” was critical of Kmiec’s comments.
“Blog culture is not homogenous. Kmiec ought to be specific when he says he is being attacked by ‘the blogosphere.’ It’s like saying ‘the press’ is attacking you, and then proceeding to only mention things said by the National Enquirer,” he told CNA in a Tuesday e-mail.
And that is the whole point here. Kmiec is responding to his critics by offering broad-brush accusations with very little, if any, evidence behind them.
|“He has attempted to move the debate away from the original argument in question (specifically Obama’s record on life issues) into the realm of the character assassination he feels he has been subjected to.”
“Kmiec constantly points out the vitriolic or silly criticisms he has received, while almost wholly ignoring the substantive disagreements that many prominent members of the pro-life movement have raised in response to his arguments. It shouldn’t be surprising that he fares well when he matches himself up against this army of straw men, or in this case, these nameless, faceless ‘bloggers’.”
What Kmiec is missing is the reason this whole thing started to begin with. Mark Shea clears that up very nicely:
|He suggested that Kmiec received singular criticism because of his unique position.
“It’s not like there was a huge field of one-time pro-life Catholic leaders who suddenly turned about and started making excuses for Obama’s pro-abortion zeal,” Shea told CNA. “He was one of the most prominent alleged pro-life Catholic voices out there banging the drum for Obama, a man who has pledged to sign the single most destructive act of pro-abortion legislation in American history. What did he expect?”
Yes, what did he expect? Did Kmiec expect that all pro-life Catholics would be as blind to him as he himself was to Barack Obama?
And finally, the parting shot by Shea:
|“I’m not interested in hearing Kmiec moan about how mean people from the bottom of the barrel were to him,” Shea told CNA. “I’m interested in hearing his responses to the very intelligent critiques of his position that were offered by a number of very respectable and honorable Catholics.”
If Kmiec would like to reclaim his integrity, he would listen to what Mark Shea said.
You can access the complete column on-line here:
Catholic Bloggers Respond To Kmiec Criticism
Catholic News Agency
January 14, 2009