Who recently said this about the federal government?
it has been an instrument of moral evil for most of its history.
Answer: Dr. Paul Schenck, Pastoral Associate at Priests for Life, writing to CWhite of the blog Eclectic Floridian. (See this post.)
Here's a fuller version of the quote, from an April 1 e-mail on subjects including Terri Schiavo:
Recall that it was our Federal government that sustained slavery for nearly 75 years, segregation and Jim Crow for another 100. It at least tolerated, if not promoted an insitutional anti-semitism for more than 150 years. It condoned anti-catholicism for over 150 years. My point: it has been an instrument of moral evil for most of its history. That it now wrestles over the treatment of the disabled and infirm is no wonder at all.
Gosh, it seems to me that a liberal who said something like this would be condemned as a dirty filthy commie America-hater. But Frank Pavone, Dr. Schenck's boss, gave the invocation at a rally for religious conservatives organized by the GOP before the 2004 convention, and did the same at a subsequent "Christian Inaugural Eve Gala" that was also addressed by Karl Rove.
So I guess Dr. Schenck gets a free pass.