The new spokeswoman for the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is Kim Daniels, a Washington lawyer who worked as a senior adviser for Sarah Palin. You can imagine the ruckus this has kicked up. Michigan Catholic lawyer Conor Dugan writes on Facebook in Daniels’ defense. Excerpt:
I know Kim well. Kim and her husband David Daniels have been friends for many years. I’ve been blessed to break bread with them numerous times, to go see Juno together, to attend the Extraordinary Form Mass together, to meet great people at gatherings at their house, and receive wonderful life and career advice from both of them. To categorize Kim as some neoconservative neanderthal — even assuming such a caricature is fair to those who would identify as neoconservatives — is ridiculous and horribly inaccurate. (And I do not identify as a neoconservative but as a Schindlerian after David Schindler and his work.)
Rarely, have I met a person as thoughtful, insightful, curious, and interesting as Kim. This is a woman through whom I met Patrick Deneen and Chad and Sara Pecknold. (Patrick and Chad can hardly be characterized as neoconservatives at peace with our liberal democracy.) This is a woman who lent me her copy of Bill Kauffman’s “Ain’t My America.” (Kim, I still need to read it.) She’s the friend who tried to convince me to come to the first Front Porch Republic Conference. In short, Kim is not a mindless conservative who affirms the greatness and inerrant nature of the American Republic. She’s someone sympathetic to Deneen and David Schindler and their criticisms of American liberalism. She’s someone who thinks deeply about the deepest things. If there were anyone we’d want advising our bishops, this is the woman. She’s forceful and thoughtful, hardly a shrinking violet, who will likely educate our bishops as much as they educate her. She will point out flaws in their reasoning and help them to make better arguments and better proposals to our citizens. She is EXACTLY what our bishops need and rather than running with stories about how a former Palin advisor is now advising and speaking for Cardinal Dolan, we should be extolling the great virtues she brings to this position — virtues which I have no doubt she will bring to bear in a good and positive way in this position.