Nancy LeTourneau wrote about Pope Francis’ increasingly broad set of progressive initiatives over the weekend; we subsequently learned he intends to make action on climate change a Vatican priority as well. I don’t have much to add to Nancy’s take on the domestic political implications of these developments, but do want to make one point: The Pope’s break with conventional conservatism (yes, he remains conservative on some issues, but hardly as systematically as his two predecessors) makes it immensely more difficult for non-Christians–including the secular folk of the MSM–to simply assume “Christian” equals “reactionary.” That’s never been the case, but it’s a simple fact that the Pope and conservative evangelical leaders are a lot more visible than the mainline Christians who generally never joined the Church of the GOP. So from a perception point of view, Pope Francis’ progressive impulses matter a great deal, even beyond the ranks of the Catholic faithful.
Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.
Gage Skidmore/FlickrThe Latest Republican Dog Whistle: 'They Hate America'For Trump and his enablers, white men get to make the rules and the rest of us are required to ...read more
The White House/Wikimedia CommonsHow Trump Could Be Leading Us to Economic DisasterPressuring the Fed to lower interest rates may be politically savvy, but it might also bring ...read more