Episode 17: A Civics Lesson for Catholics—Bob Marshall
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Many Catholics have become cynical about the possibility of changing the political landscape, but perhaps we’ve given up before we’ve really tried. It’s not just about electing the right congressmen and nominating the right justices, it’s about keeping them accountable.
In this episode, former Virginia delegate Bob Marshall shares practical insights drawn from his encyclopedic knowledge of the American political tradition and from his own achievements in politics: for example, he was behind the Hyde Amendment which stopped abortion funding via Medicaid. He reminds us that “To render to Caesar, you have to know the structure of Caesar’s world.”
Did you know that Congress has the Constitutional authority to decide what kinds of cases the Supreme Court may hear? What about the possibility of amending appropriations bills to render SCOTUS decisions like Obergefell unenforceable? Have you given real consideration to the fact that local politics is the foundation for everything else? If not, you’ll want to listen to this episode.
Robert G. Marshall, Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America https://amzn.to/2xSQxlg
Jeff Mirus’s review of Reclaiming the Republic https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1565
Bob Marshall’s recent articles for The Federalist https://thefederalist.com/author/robertgmarshall/
Msgr. John Sanders, the priest who played with Duke Ellington https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=1575
2:41 Bob Marshall’s political career and recent defeat
6:01 Why Bob wrote Reclaiming the Republic; natural law in the American founding
9:25 Catholics ought not withdraw from politics: Biblical precedents
13:25 Judicial branch is not the final authority on what is Constitutional; Congress’s authority to decide what cases the Supreme Court can hear
23:32 The importance of educating your representatives
26:47 Bob’s role in passing the Hyde Amendment; importance of the power of the purse
34:13 Appropriations bills can be used to keep bad Supreme Court decisions from being enforced
36:22 Our representatives avoid voting on the record so we can’t hold them accountable
39:24 How to get your representative to go on the record
41:03 The oath of office—you can’t fulfill it if you don’t read the bills you vote on!
44:15 Anti-commandeering laws, by which states can refuse to enforce federal laws
48:47 Why you should vote in primary elections
50:41 “All politics is local”: issues that affect people’s daily lives
53:18 The importance of the precinct; door-to-door campaigning tips
57:45 The role of corporations in promoting immoral policies
Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus.
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