Initially I thought Thomas Reese S.J., made an excellent point:
If Cardinal Egan can invite Obama to speak at the Al Smith dinner in October of 2008 when he was only a presidential candidate, then there is certainly nothing wrong with Notre Dame having the President speak at a commencement.Although on second thought it occurred to me that the insular beltway Al Smith charity dinner, which all of five Americans/political junkies watch on C-Span, is much different than honoring Obama with an honorary degree at the largest Catholic university in America.
Really good Catholics are saying "a pox on both houses", and "both parties suck" though I wonder if such an indifference to truth really gains you much. Surely the parties aren't equally bad. Doesn't that represent a faux peace? It reminds me of how Obama handled the race issue: he used a black racist (Jeremiah Wright) and compared him to his white grandmother who was once afraid of a black man or something. And he implied there was some sort of equivalence between the two. Peace via moral equivalency.
As I've blogged before, conservative policies tend to be morally neutral at worst (with the exception regarding the use of torture, or coercive interrogations, which was never part of the Republican platform and I think was a Cheney anamoly), while many Democratic platform policies are intrinsically evil. So I don't understand exactly why conservative Catholics are supposed to be somehow ashamed of their politics vis-a-vis their faith. Since Notre Dame has shown it can't make distinctions, politicians in general probably shouldn't be honored.