Pray for our second Catholic president and other commentary

Religion beat: Pray for Our Second Catholic Prez

Whatever the political disagreements, Wednesday’s presidential inauguration is a moment for American Catholics to “be in Christian solidarity” with President Joe Biden “through prayer,” urges George Weigel at First Things. “We pray for his health, strength and courage. We pray that he be granted the gift Solomon asked of God: wisdom in governance.” Bishops and lay Catholics in public life should, of course, hold him ­accountable if he makes good on his threats against unborn life and the liberty of the ­Roman church. Still, “solidarity in prayer is the first duty of American ­Catholics toward the new president. . . . That is bedrock Catholicism.”

GOP sage: Go Local, Republicans

As “Republicans wonder how to heal the party, post-Trump,” John Feehery urges at The Hill: “The answer is: Go local.” That means “focusing on school-board elections” and preventing teacher unions from continuing to “ruin public education in this country.” And “join with restaurant owners and bartenders, youth sports coaches and parents of athletes, gym owners and barbershop proprietors and create a coalition of those who never want this country to shut down again.” A possible recall vote on Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, plus gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, present “three good opportunities in 2021.”

From the right: Capitol-Seizure Double Standard

Democrats condemn the right-wingers who stormed the halls of Congress on Jan. 6, but 10 years ago, they cheered on pro-union activists who occupied the capitol building in Wisconsin, notes Marc A. Thiessen at The Washington Post. In 2011, “thousands of pro-union activists — many bused in from out of state — rampaged through the historic building in an effort to stop a vote on collective-bargaining-reform legislation” from then-Gov. Scott Walker. “Thankfully, no one was killed. But during the course of the occupation, Walker received a steady stream of death threats against him and his wife, including one that promised to ‘gut her like a deer’ and one threatening to kill his sons.” And Speaker Nancy ­Pelosi tweeted in support of the rioters, praising “impressive show of ­democracy in action.” In short, “Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.”

Fiscal expert: Cuomo’s Reckless Budget Dodge

“Somewhere within that vast fog bank” of Gov. Cuomo’s just-released spending plan “is a structural budget gap, opened during the pandemic recession and temporarily obscured by piles of federal cash that will eventually be gone with the wind,” warns E.J. McMahon at The Empire Center. Once that “temporary federal COVID-19 ­relief” runs out in ­“another year or two, there will be a bigger state budget hole to fill,” as happened “when Barack Obama’s stimulus aid ­expired, leaving parts of the state budget high and dry.” To prepare, Cuomo should now be planning a “multiyear reduction in state spending, starting with school aid.” Alas, the governor instead seems “content to push the pandemic hangover into the future, blaming the federal government for all the discomfort along the way.”

Conservative: Dems’ Attacks Keep Trump Alive

By “unleashing their unhinged and often repulsive hatred” over the last two weeks, Democrats and their media and Big Tech allies have only managed to “reinvigorate the Trump legacy,” observes Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness. As former President Donald Trump is set to become “the first private citizen in history to be the target of a Senate ­impeachment trial,” even “departed Republican officials are now loudly trashing their former boss.” But “about 85 percent of Republicans still support him,” notwithstanding the left’s overwhelming propaganda. And that’s unlikely to change, as “banning Trump from his often self-destructive Twitter addiction, smearing his supporters as racists and bulldozing through a far-left agenda will only ensure Trump a ninth life.” If Trump’s enemies “continue to be loud, petty, vengeful and extremist, then the public will very soon make the necessary adjustments.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board


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