George Weigel, "Irving Kristol, Catholic Social Ethicist?" column syndicated by Catholic Press, October 7, 2009.
The Public Interest, which was chiefly responsible for brewing the ideas embodied in the welfare reform of the 1990s, was a journal in defense of subsidiarity and in opposition to what John Paul II called the “Social Assistance State.” That, one suspects, is why Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who was Catholic New York the way Irving was Jewish New York) was one of its first paladins (before Pat veered off onto a political track defined by fear of the New York Times editorial board). And that’s why it makes posthumous sense to remember Irving Kristol as a kind of Jewish Catholic social ethicist. I like to think he’d appreciate the title.