...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Friday, February 6, 2015

True Comedy

In an apostolic exhortation issued at the end of 2013, [Pope Francis] labelled trickle-down economic theories "crude and naive." The problems of the poor, he said, had to be "radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality." That went quite a ways beyond the sort of tepid proposals for job creation and "family formation" that [Mitt] Romney made [recently], and the response from Republicans has involved a certain amount of rationalization. "The guy is from Argentina--they haven't had real capitalism," Paul Ryan, Romney's former running mate, and a Catholic, said.

“It’s sometimes very difficult to listen to the Pope,” [Rick] Santorum noted last month, after Francis, in remarks about “responsible parenting”—widely interpreted as an opening for a discussion on family planning—said that there was no need for Catholics to be “like rabbits.” Santorum echoed Ryan’s suggestion that Argentine exceptionalism might be at work: “I don’t know what the Pope was referring to there. Maybe he’s speaking to people in the Third World.”


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