The Anatomy of a Takedown: Catholic Edition


There’s nothing I detest more than an orchestrated hit job appearing with the veneer of honesty.  Unfortunately, we’re seeing that play out in VA-10 today — and you a behind-the-scenes show as to how it’s done in the Catholic media.

So it would appear that the “ready!  fire!  AIM!” wing of the Catholic blogosphere has decided to play ball in Virginia… and make Barbara Comstock their primary target.

Welcome to the Commonwealth, noobs.

Shall we begin?

Here’s how today is going to work out, as much of the Pretty Hate Machine (TM) is under deadline from about 1pm to 2:30pm Eastern.  More importantly, Bearing Drift readers with an IQ north of 100 (which are the vast majority of you discerning, intelligent ladies and gentlemen) will note that one of two things will happen.  Either the attack will commence on schedule this week, or it will cease after names are named and people are identified as shills.

Let’s have a look at the anatomy of a takedown before it even happens, shall we?

(1)  Have a candidate like Rob Wasinger pass along misinformation to one Deal Hudson, editor of Catholic Online and Crisis Magazine.

(2)  Have Deal Hudson publish these attacks… then mysteriously retract them.

(3)  …then after having shot first only to have the Virginia Family Foundation call out the article, decide to have e-mails go out for comment to the Comstock campaign.

(4)  …then ask personal friends to whip up the Catholic faithful before the deadline (which is where your friendly editor here comes into play):

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Deal W. Hudson
Date: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM
Subject: Need back up
Guys, I need some back up, right away.  

On Saturday morning I published an article at Catholic Online about a declared GOP candidate in the VA 10th District Congressional race, Barbara Comstock. (See #1 below).

This is the Frank Wolf seat he is vacating in Northern VA, encompassing McLean, Manassas, Chantilly, Reston, Sterling, Leesburg, Front Royal, and Winchester.

Barbara Comstock, a Catholic who attends St. John’s in McLean, is presently at Delegate to the VA State Assembly from the 34th District.

 In response to my article, Chris Freund at the Virginia Family Foundation posted a blog post that effectively retracted their scoring on Comstock’s vote against the abortion funding amendment. I have written to him and the president of VFF twice and gotten no response. 
Comstock’s supporters have written to me with an explanation: since the vote came in a veto session, the votes on the amendment and the bill — HB1900 — were unified, meaning voting ‘yes’ on the amendment meant a ‘yes’ on the bill.  Comstock explains that her ‘no’ was meant as a rejection of Obamacare as a whole.  
I sent the following questions to Susan Falconer, a representative of the Comstock campaign: 
1. Why did Delegate Comstock consciously choose a vote symbolizing her opposition to Obamacare, as a whole, rather than taxpayer funding for abortion?  
2. Does Delegate Comstock recognize any difference between moral priority of voting on taxpayer funding for abortion — which would increase the number of abortions and as well as make citizens complicit — and voting on health care bill? 
3.  As a result of the vote, Delegate Comstock lowered her VFF score to 89% and gave her a 100% NARAL score?  Is that how she wants to be perceived by the voter?
4. By her vote, Delegate Comstock voted in opposition to all but one of her pro-life colleagues and with the pro-choice Delegates. Why did she make this unusual choice? 
Let me know if you can get anything going — she is also bad on marriage, by the way.

(5)  …and after having an editor of one of the organizations approached to do a story publicly declare themselves personal friends of the candidate:

(6)  …they send out friendly reporters to do a story — on the record, of course.

My name is Dustin Siggins. I am a reporter with

I understand there is some controversy over Barbara Comstock’s vote regarding the Affordable Care Act, on a pro-life amendment. I’m working on a story regarding the issue, and would like to chat at your earliest convenience for background and comments on the record.

My phone number is (703) 772-XXXX. My deadline is 2:30 Eastern.

(7)  Of course, the story is already written — why the pretense for honesty?  Unleash the hounds.  Whip faithful Catholics into a frenzy.  Hope for the best.

So where’s the scandal in all of this?  Deal Hudson is (surprise!) a donor to Mr. Wasinger… or at least,to Wasinger’s campaign when it was convenient for the man to be a Kansan.

What’s more, these two have worked together in the past, snuggled in tight with Catholics for McCain — and no friend to pro-lifers:

Rob Wasinger, Brownback’s former campaign manager, said Senator McCain was “a natural for Catholics.”  Wasinger cited McCain’s pro-life stand and his position against homosexual marriage as reasons for his appeal to Catholics.  Wasinger also said the Arizona senator’s opposition to torture, his moderate views on immigration, and his stand on the environment could help him win Catholics’ votes.

“He’s going to have an easier sell with Catholics than with the grass-roots conservative GOP,” said Deal Hudson, a McCain supporter who was a key adviser in President George W. Bush’s Catholic outreach efforts.

John McCain a natural for Catholics???  How much was that paycheck, Mr. Marcus?

Want another goodie for who we’re protecting here?  Wasinger is the same clown who endorsed — wait for it — Huntsman in his ill-fated bid to win the GOP nomination.  Want to see the depths of Huntsman’s convictions?  Check out this goodie from the WaPo:

Item: In New Hampshire, Huntsman refrains from saying things that wouldn’t make him sound moderate. Thus, when a friendly voter at Sunday’s town hall meeting describes himself as pro-life and invites Huntsman to explain how he would promote the cause as president, Huntsman chooses not to go there.

“Well, there’s a lot that can be done at the state level in terms of education and awareness, which I did as governor,” he says. “I happen to be pro-life. Some disagree with that. This is an emotional issue, and I respect those who disagree with me.” When the questioner presses — What exactly would President Huntsman do, maybe in terms of reforming the welfare system to provide extra help for mothers? — he isn’t interested. “Well, you can look at what I did as governor,” Huntsman says, and moves on.

Now there’s a profile in courage, wouldn’t you say?


This is the song that doesn’t end….

So pretty much what we have here is the same collection of folks, same sock-puppetry, and same group of friends (and frenemies) who know that they need to put one heck of a dent into Comstock and Marshall (if Marshall throws in) in order to make themselves relevant.  So what do they do?  Set down a bunch of good, faithful Catholics and lie to them in order to whip them up, get them mad, and vote against two absolutely stellar Catholics.

…kinda like what Wasinger did to Rep. Huelskamp in Kansas.

Those who know me know that I am a practicing Catholic.  I have seven children with my wonderful wife (and she is wonderful — she puts up with me), we got to church in a little parish in the middle of nowhere, and I have stuck my neck out on the line time and time again for the pro-life movement — especially when it has been unpopular to do so.

Faithful Catholics owe it to themselves to read the timeline and consider who is playing them for donations and support.

For one, I’m disgusted by this perpetual scam to play Catholics off against one another.  Yes, I am fully aware that there are some horrible people out there pretending to be Catholic and doing some uncharitable, unCatholic things.  Sometimes, and in some things, we should be extremely wary when voices instruct us to turn the guns on other faithful Catholics.  It’s wrong, and at best it’s an instance of calumny.


“(C)alumny… is of course a sin… but it is something more. Calumny aims to destroy the work of God, and calumny comes from a very evil thing: it is born of hatred. And hate is the work of Satan. Calumny destroys the work of God in people, in their souls. Calumny uses lies to get ahead. And let us be in no doubt, eh?: Where there is calumny, there is Satan himself. “

— Pope Francis (2013)

Don’t let some people calumniate good people like Barbara Comstock.  She doesn’t deserve it, and there’s a reason why they’re doing it.

“But what is this all about?” a thoughtful reader might ask.  “Has Comstock really turned her back on pro-lifers?”  Not according to the Family Foundation, who thanked her for her leadership last week:

Some of the “100 percenters” on the Report Card are tried and true heroes of our values. They lead, they vocalize our values, they carry our legislation, and they work behind the scenes to advance our agenda.  Some “100 percenters,” however, simply vote right when the time comes, but either offer no help or actually work behind the scenes in some instances to derail our agenda. At the same time, legislators who vote against our position in some situations may lead more than some “100 percenters.” An example of that would be Delegate Todd Gilbert, who was our Legislator of the Year for 2013 with a score of 95 percent on the Report Card. But Delegate Gilbert leads on, fights for and carries our legislation.

And sometimes, there are issues that are just very complicated, though our position is very clear, that makes a vote more difficult to understand. For example, at last year’s veto session, an amendment to a “Healthcare Exchange” bill relating to ObamaCare that prohibited the insurance companies in the exchange from offering abortion coverage was a high priority for The Family Foundation. The amendment passed and is now part of the law. But a couple of House of Delegates members, Barbara Comstock and Rick Morris, voted against the amendment. Was it a vote against life?  Well, no. They made it clear to us that they will not vote in favor of anything having to do with ObamaCare. It wasn’t about the amendment; it was about the overall policy. Of course, we also made it clear that if we’re going to have an exchange, we had the responsibility to make sure it included pro-life language. Also, last year, Delegate Bob Marshall voted incorrectly on a floor amendment granting special protections based on sexual behavior, but he did so out of an objection to how the House was operating on amendments, and not the underlying policy. Again, something that is impossible to explain in the Report Card.

The best answer to the problem is to make sure you know your legislators.

…and Virginians know their own.

Go back to Kansas, Rob.  It’s not your time, and you’re dragging good people into the wrong fight.

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