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The Haunted Heaven: Chapter Thirty Six: "Yes!" to a second Catholic president

By Michael Moriarty
web posted February 13, 2012

Before the arrival of William F. Buckley Jr., a Catholic intellectual conservative, seemed to be a triple contradiction-in-terms. The only resolutely intellectual Catholics have been Jesuits and nobody trusts them, not even Rome.

Conservatives, the Catholic variety particularly, ran and run businesses. They were never caught sitting down with the likes of Gore Vidal to hear labels like "crypto-fascist" hurled at them.

The leading conservative intellectuals now are Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn. Recently Jonah Goldberg came to the fore on Peter Robinson's Uncommon Knowledge to promote his new book, The Tyranny of Clichés.

Liberal Fascism, Goldberg's immensely provocative best seller, has established him as a keeper of the still-evolving New Right's Gauntlet.

This discussion on Uncommon Knowledge, mainly about this year's Republican candidates in the Presidential primary, mentioned and quoted Rick Santorum only once. Jonah Goldberg, who declined to even refer to Santorum by name, has increasingly become a part of the Republican Establishment. Despite his preference for being considered a "conservative" rather than a Republican, he now carries too much weight in the Republican intellectual set to be still called a rebel.

My favorite, Mark Steyn, on the other hand, has, God bless him, always remained The Rogue.

However, the phrase "liberal fascism" alone has endeared Jonah Goldberg to anyone even mildly bitter about the decades-long cliché about conservative fascism. That Mr. Goldberg simply reminded us of the word "socialism" and it's presence in the acronym, NAZI? It struck us with the same bolt of lightening that the ever eloquent Mark Steyn hit us with in his America Alone. This has led us to the next question we have now: Is America Actually Gone?!

Goldberg's recent and fully compiled appearance on Peter Robinson's Uncommon Knowledge is a feast out of a writer whom the printed introduction describes as a "social media maven". Ergo he's entertaining as well. Both he and Steyn sincerely enjoy the public spotlight and are a most welcome addition to the earlier more staid and stuffily pedantic voices of conservative "intellectuality".

Quoting from a Goldberg article: "The Left's problem is that it has no limiting principle to its idealism."

Jonah Goldberg then goes on in this analysis of the Left's monomaniacal obsession with "Change", "There's always the next bigotry to topple! … No limiting principle to what government should and can do … no sense of The Cause ever ending."

In other words, even if Progressives lie and say that they've received enough, there's always the demand for more, more, more.

Mr. Robinson then quotes historian Russell Kirk: "Conservatism is the negation of ideology."

Goldberg is apparently not a big fan of Russell Kirk. He immediately corrects Robinson with the remark,  "H. Stuart Hughes first said that".

He then denies the truth of Kirk's statement!

However, Goldberg qualifies his certainty with a reminder that conservatives have been against some ideologies such as Jacobinism, the rotting solar plexus of the French Revolution.

What was "spilled in Robespierre's lab! Yes, I'm against that!"

Then comes a quote from Mitt Romney and then this quote from Rick Santorum:


Peter Robinson basically asks Goldberg which statement he prefers? Romney's distancing himself from his faith? Or Santorum's perspective?"

"The latter," says Goldberg, preferring not to mention Santorum' by name.

Hmmm … such a mysteriously elusive elision.

Goldberg then details his unconcern about "why" any politician does anything.

"Getting upset about the motive", says Goldberg …. or getting upset, one assumes, by the politician's religious faith, "I find pointless!"

It is what is to be "done" that should concern the voter rather than the motive.

"I am for a strong national defense even if the President is an atheist or a satanist."

Hmmm, again.

Then Mr. Goldberg warms up jovially to the subject of what he obviously thinks is Romney's only formidable adversary, Newt Gingrich or "Newtzilla"!

Hmmm for a third time!

That is it for Rick Santorum?!

Apparently so.

Then we move to Progressives as "The Aggressor".

"Because Progressives are always The Aggressor doesn't always mean they are wrong but they are The Aggressor!"

The Volkswagon of a "Progressively Restless" Third Reich is still a good car, right?

However, if the assumed Progressive Aggressor such as John F. Kennedy is Catholic?

It is here when I would have liked Peter Robinson to ask Jonah Goldberg his opinion of another possibly Catholic President such as Rick Santorum.

Obviously Jonah Goldberg considered Rick Santorum, during the post-Florida Primary time, to be an eternal "also-ran". Santorum's subsequently swift victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado hadn't happened yet.

The Santorum quote and its visuals, however, were a strong indication of Peter Robinson and his producers' prescience in this election. Jonah Goldberg's attitude toward the inclusion of Santorum appeared, to me at least, to have the same dismissive insouciance that his colleagues like Krauthammer and Will have aggressively maintained toward the likes of Sarah Palin.

The conservative surprise or in my opinion, the shock of the past few weeks, has been Palin's staking her battered reputation on the likes of the repeatedly battered reputation of Newt Gingrich. Her loyalties seems born of purely blind sentiment. Why should Palin exclude the candidate most representative of Palin's pro-life position, Rick Santorum?!

And do so in favor of Newt Gingrich?!

Perhaps because Santorum is Catholic?

I am certain that the Bipartisan Establishment, of which the Clintons and the Bushes are the essence, have decisively dreaded the possibility of a second Catholic President of the United States.

With Santorum's formidable expansion in the primary polls of three states, how will Jonah Goldberg react?

Previous to this he has only remarked, "… no one has really explained why Santorum can't close the deal."

In the Uncommon Knowledge interview, Jonah Goldberg denies being "coy". However, in the case of Santorum, the only obvious explanation for why Santorum hadn't caught on is his Catholicism. Perhaps it's not "coy" to avoid the controversial subject. It is, however, excessively diplomatic for a "social media maven" not to mention it.

Perhaps he simply thought the issue "off-subject" and would prefer to sell books than touch that third rail with Peter Robinson.

Jonah Goldberg says he's not much interested in the "why" of a President's policies, only the policies themselves.

Dismissing the "why's" of a candidates faith makes a pundit's prophecies of the future possibly false, uninformed, naive or downright empty.

I am a lapsed Catholic but I can say, with a profoundly informed certainty, that Rick Santorum's opposition to abortion carries tangibly greater weight than that of Sarah Palin's pro-life credentials.


Santorum's Catholic faith and its worldwide congregation to back it up.

Where has all the conservative faith in the Catholic likes of William F. Buckley gone?

"Bill would have made a terrible President!" whisper William F. Buckley's most fervent fans. "Worse than Kennedy!!"

And Rick Santorum?

"Another Catholic President without either Kennedy's charm or good looks?!"

Hmmm … with a few, angry syllables from me, culminating in this pronouncement:

Rick Santorum and his Catholicism are the only hope that the United States has left!

Without him, individual freedom and the inalienable right to life have already been destroyed by the American, Bipartisan Progressives' New World Order.

Without a President Santorum, what, of any profound importance, is there left of America to protect?


The real estate of America, without Rick Santorum as President, will inevitably go to the highest bidder.

That means Red China.

If Canada, because of Obama, is forced to sell its oil products to China, what will be left within the entire North American continent that supports individual freedom and the individually free in the face of what Charles Krauthammer now calls the "Leviathan" of an Obama Nation?

Perhaps not even a Catholic sanctuary to seek safety in.

Since gestating infants can no longer be protected in America's Catholic hospitals, where do you think Catholic adults will eventually be running to?


Oh, for those interested in Chapter Thirty-Five of my Haunted Heaven, it has been sent to The Chicago Daily Observer and will, hopefully, soon be posted. That article's contents have particular relevance to the hometown of our President. It was in Illinois Barack Obama debated on behalf of abortion rights and against Alan Keyes' pro-life stand.

It was out of Chicago that Barack Obama helped make abortion an "American Family Value". ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com.


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