Give the man his props — Donald Trump sees an easy election-year dunk from a mile off. In this case, his action also reverses a strange penny-pinching decision by the US Navy, which I covered on Monday. Trump pledged to order the Navy to reinstate its contracts with Catholic parishes to provide Mass and sacraments to on-base personnel:
The United States Navy, or the Department of Defense, will NOT be cancelling its contract with Catholic Priests who serve our men and women in the Armed Forces so well, and with such great compassion & skill. This will no longer be even a point of discussion! @CardinalDolan
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2020
For those who missed the story over the weekend — and some in Trump’s replies accused him of “making s*** up” — this was a real issue reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune last week. To cut costs, the Navy decided to end its contracting relationships with US-based Catholic parishes to serve its on-base personnel as discrete congregations. Because of the nationwide shortage of priests in the US Catholic Church (and in the western world in general), the chaplain corps has relatively few Catholic priests — and those get assigned to ship duty or overseas bases primarily.