"It is becoming apparent that prospective GOP presidential contender Fred Thompson is not only making overtures to the Protestant evangelical wing of the Religious Right, but the neo-orthodox Catholic Right as well. Could this portend a possible Thompson-Brownback Republican ticket for 2008?
I believe that is exactly what Tennessee Fred has in mind.
Recently Bill Berkowitz informed me that former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson's campaign staff recently hired the Catholic Right activist Joseph Cella. When Bill asked what I made of this development, I told him the first thing that came into my mind: Thompson will tap U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) as his running mate were he to win the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination.
As I have pointed out in Part Thirteen, Part Twenty-three, Part Twenty-nine and Part Thirty of this series, Mr. Cella is closely linked to Catholic Right sugar-daddy Tom Monaghan. Monaghan, in turn, is a member of Senator Brownback's presidential exploratory committee. All these folks share the common agenda of establishing Chrristian unity based upon neo-orthodox Catholic principles.
There is cause for concern. As Fred Clarkson recently pointed out, Thompson is on record demonizing federal judges as well as misinterpretting church/state separation as being a one-way street that only protects churches from state interference. Brownback, as I reported not only has ties to the authoritarian Opus Dei but is also a member of The Fellowship, two socially-minded conservative groups that share a penchant for secrecy. Paraphrasing Fred Clarkson's recent observation, we can not only see lots of red flags fluttering in the breezes of Thompson's rhetoric but by his actions.
But there well may be opportunity here for the mainstream religious. If my hunch is right, then the Religious Right is telling us they think they need the neo-orthodox Catholic Right to win elections. But as I pointed out recently they don't have the numbers.
The influence of the neo-orthodox Catholic Right is based largely upon the illusion that they speak for most American Catholics. Poll-after-poll on issues such as birth control, stem cell research and married clergy show however -- that nothing could be further from the truth. But when mainstream Catholics stand-up and collectively say "enough," we will no longer have to worry about the possibility of a Thompson-Brownback administration -- or even an influential Religious Right."
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