Unlike some election-year decisions which are blatant attempts to “triangulate,” or transparent attempts to woo independents, the costs seem to outweigh the gains here. Since Ronald Reagan created a new voting bloc called, “Reagan Democrats,” Catholics have emerged as the most important swing voters in presidential politics. They vote in high numbers and populate swing states in disproportionately large numbers.

As a consequence, as the Catholic vote goes, so goes the nation.

Picking this fight hardly seems pragmatic.

It also comes at a curious time when Obama’s foreign policy credentials have been buttressed by the killing of bin Laden — and when the declining unemployment rate seems to minimize his vulnerability on the economy.