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Harry Flynn Gets Good Press From ... Nick Coleman

Uh oh.

For now, Harry Flynn is in the good graces of the liberal Twin Cities media. A pointless and patronizing pastoral letter on racism under his belt, our good bishop has now attracted more adulation from self-righteous liberal journalists, including our favorite -- Nick Coleman.

Nick is shocked that no politicians showed up for Archbishop Flynn's West Side poverty tour. Is outrage! Those uncaring politicians didn't come to hear why we need more spending, more spending, more spending.

As an aside, Governor Pawlenty has been a huge disappointment in his budget priorities and in the initiatives he takes on. Gambling at MOA? A new U of M campus in Rochester? I'm not one of those folks who believes small government is an end in itself, but rather the best way to foster the health and vitality of families and local communities. It is the subsidiarity principle. When government can step in to "unleas the armies of compassion" or provide needed services or correct market deficiencies, I take the authentically conservative (and Catholic) position that that is a legitimate role. So maybe our pols should re-examine their priorities from time to time.

But that is not the real issue.

The real issue is that no politicians showed up to Harry Flynn's gathering because he has made himself irrelevant. He or his surrogates are always telling politicians what to do. Having a position on the darder snail and other sundry issues has created a huge credibility problem for the church. No one bothers (and can you blame them?) to listen. Is there an echo? Have I said this before?

Harry Flynn spends his media capital in unproductive ways, and when he finally gets to use it, no one cares what he has to say because his policy prescriptions are certainly not the only "Christian" way of looking at the issue. It's one thing to call legislators' attention to the needs of the poor when they are subsidizing professional sports, gambling, and cosmopolitan transportation initiatives. He could have done this. But instead, he advocates tax increases, government health insurance, and more ineffective social service programs.

And what are people really grappling with at the parish level? In-vitro fertilization, divorce and remarriage in the Church, contraception, stem-cell research (oh, and basic Catholic doctrine).

When will see a glowing article from Nick Coleman highlighting Flynn's "Culture of Life" (not yet in existence) initiative?



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