I happened to see Bill Donahue sounding off on Obama’s graduation ceremony award by Notre Dame yesterday which reminded me that he is the only character I have been tempted to punch out following upon a vicious personal attack on my wife in a small public meeting.

Donahue is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the U.S. and an adjunct to the right wing Heritage Foundation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Donohue

The encounter with my wife was over a relatively small matter. She is a preservationist and was defending a handsome Catholic Church that was being scheduled for destruction. What was distinctive about Donahue was his characteristic nastiness and personal attack on a perceived enemy which he seems to see any non Catholic potentially to be. Neither Lyn nor I had ever encountered such ugliness projected face to face by a fellow human. I noted thereafter that this is his characteristic mode designed to unsettle opponents. Bill Buckley used to employ a similar game tactic to win arguments.

One can imagine how it must have been in the days of the Inquisition before the torch was lit.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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