The US Conference of Catholic Bishops held their annual November meeting this past week, and coming a week after the elections, it had to have been rough. The bishops lost four out of four state votes on marriage equality, and the prospects for rolling back the Affordable Care Act and advancing their other policy prescriptions dimmed greatly with Obama’s reelection and the failure of the GOP to take control of the Senate. It was not a good week for the bishops, and like all people in politics who came out on the short end of things, a little stock taking was in order. What went wrong, and how can we do better next time?

Their answer: bad messaging. “If only we were better at explaining things . . .” Right. And Todd Akin lost not because he was a man firmly on a mission to return us to the 18th century, but because he was inarticulate.

News flash for the USCCB: It’s not that the voters don’t understand you; it’s that they don’t agree with you.