The affectation of outrage expressed by Republican Senator Joe Pennachio in a column yesterday would be laughable except for being so frightfully ignorant on important issues. This traditional Democrat is going to set the record straight.
First, Joe, your Republican Party defends sex offenders over and over. Your president has been accused of more than a dozen instances of assault. Republicans went to the mattresses to defend an accused pedophile in Roy Moore. Brett Kavanaugh is only the latest in your lineup. You say you’re embarrassed and concerned about the behavior of Democrats in fighting against Kavanaugh. I’m at the point where I want to keep my wife and daughter away from Republican men.
Your party will pay a steep political price for its treatment of women. In the short-term, you’ll lose GOP House seats in New Jersey because of it. In the long-term, you’ll lose any chance of securing a majority of women voters for at least a generation.
But more significantly, you and your party are morally wrong. You choose the side of the perpetrator and attack the victim.
This is also a good time to remind you that some of us have very good memories. We remember you writing “The Nationalist Agenda” under the name Joseph Penn. You advocated for a Constitutional Amendment to limit the types of jobs women could have and for internment camps for the homeless.
And you have the nerve to wonder if there’s room for Catholics and trade unions in the Democratic Party? Exactly which state and nation are you living in? Catholics identify as Democrats by at least 7 percentage points more than Republicans, according to the most recent Pew Foundation study. Organized labor overwhelmingly supports Democrats. Let this Catholic unionist explain.
I’m not sure what sort of Catholic theology they teach in dental school, but I’m well-schooled in the lessons taught by the brothers and priests at Duquesne University.
Your party and president deny climate change. I’d direct you to the Papal Encyclical related to climate change, specifically the portions that say we must hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
Your party cages immigrant children and separates families. In June, Pope Francis said the Trump Administration immigration policies are “contrary to our Catholic values” and “immoral.”
And returning to Kavanaugh, the principal Jesuit publication in the United States withdrew its support of Kavanaugh saying “this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country.”
I have a certain discomfort in discussing religion so intertwined with politics But I find Pennachio’s pitch to Catholics particularly loathsome. (And I hope that your reference to Saul Alinsky isn’t an antisemitic dog whistle.) I presume this is a ham-fisted attempt to appeal to a segment of voters because your party has alienated virtually all other segments — women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, LGBT Americans, young people and more.
And by the way Joe, perhaps you can grasp these “simple” thoughts. The only Catholic to be elected President, John Kennedy, was a Democrat. And Joe Biden, who you unfairly slam, is the only Catholic to be Vice-President and is a Democrat.
Pennachio’s ridiculous appeal to organized labor is more fantastical than Alice in Wonderland. Republicans have bankrolled a virulent anti-labor movement — funding the Janus case in the Supreme Court, opposing increases in the minimum wage, appointing anti-unionists to the National Labor Relations Board, gutting worker safety regulations. Combined with the cupidity of Trump and his ilk in corporate America, real wages have not increased for working Americans in 40 years, as documented by another recent Pew Foundation study.
Jersey Joe, your Republican Party and President have no values and have already been rejected by the American people. You stand with the assaulters against the victims; with the gun makers against the moms; with the greedy against the workers. Your President and your party attack women, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, the media, gay Americans, the FBI, the CIA, immigrants, the list goes on and on.
That’s why Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the last seven Presidential elections. (Your party stole two.) That’s why 3 million more voters supported the Democrat than Trump two years ago.
Your party’s over.
Pat Politano is a Democratic political and communications consultant.