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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Corruption and the cost of compromise

I want to tell you a story. You may draw your own moral.

Some of you may be old enough to remember that a ban on federal funding for research using tissue taken from aborted fetuses was a big deal in the Reagan and Bush, Sr., administrations. Then came William Jefferson Clinton and, with the cooperation of Congress, that ban on federal funding was lifted in 1993. The NIH could fund research using tissue from aborted children. At the time the big hype was for treatment of Parkinson's disease. That promise has turned out to be a complete dud.

The National Right to Life Committee reported faithfully on this subject and consistently opposed such funding, contending that it normalized abortion and made women think that perhaps they could "do some good" by having their child killed. In fact, NRLC continued to voice such opposition even after 1993.

In 1994, when the Parkinson's hype was at its height, we find Douglas Johnson of NRLC saying in no uncertain terms, "Our position hasn't changed. We're opposed to abortion-dependent fetal tissue transplants."

NRLC's archives indices of its newsletter contain clickable links only beginning in 1998. In 1999, we find the following standard statement on the subject:

Many pro-life advocates object to the use of taxpayer funds for fetal-tissue research. For instance, they say that scientists might become dependent on such tissue simply because of the availability of it. Furthermore, they say, because women who have made a decision to undergo an abortion now may donate their fetus for research, the social, ethical, and moral stigma attached to the act is reduced because the patients believe they ultimately are doing something good.

In 2000, NRLC still apparently didn't think there was no point in talking about the subject, or that we should move on to other issues. Here is an article on an attempted state ban on such research (not just on funding, but on the research itself) in Nebraska, that says,

We have stressed until we're blue in the face that no pro-life/pro-family group is opposed to legitimate medical research, but that we adamantly oppose extracting tissue from babies killed by induced abortion for that research.

In the same year, we find an article called, unambiguously, "Fetal Tissue Harvesting: An Ethical Free-fall," in which ethical arguments for and against fetal tissue use are expressly discussed and the pro-life position made clear:

Defenders of the use of fetal tissue often advance two lines of argument. One, that fetal tissue transplantation is merely an extension of organ donation, a long and honored form of medical altruism. Opponents of the use of fetal tissue, however, counter that organ donation arises from tragedies we try to prevent: fatal accidents or murder. Abortion, on the other hand, is an elective choice in our society and many affirm it as an absolute right.

A second point to be made in support of the use of fetal tissue is the "let's not let it go to waste" sentiment, in which even those who profess to be troubled by elective abortion see the benefit of salvage in making a contribution to science with material that would otherwise be discarded. This inevitably raises the specter of other ill-gotten medical data, such as the human experimentation under the Third Reich or the Japanese cold- exposure data extracted from murderous experiments on Asian prisoners of war.

However, there is a further deeply troubling aspect attached to the unwarranted aura of success that surrounds the practice of fetal tissue transplantation. A 1995 survey by the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto found that, among women who would consider having an abortion, 17% would be more likely to undergo an abortion if fetal tissue could be donated for medical use.

And then, something changed. My careful search of the NRLC archives indices from 2001 on has been unable to turn up a single further article in which such statements were made. We find a few articles reporting on the failure of the Parkinson's experiments--for example here and here, in 2001, and one brief similar one in 2002. After that, not even a mention until this brief notice in 2006 debunking some Chinese claims of success using transplanted fetal tissue. But from 2001 on, while the ethical disapproval is implicit in NRLC's very desire to point out that such research is failing to provide treatments, never again--that I can find--after 2000 do we find an express discussion of the ethical issue or an express statement of the usual pro-life arguments against it, nor do we find any discussion of federal funding.

What happened?

Well, some of you may remember the election of 2000. NRLC whipped its members soundly into line to vote for George W. Bush. I could link a tedious number of articles, but you can find them yourself, beginning as early as 1999 and continuing through 2000, using language familiar to us all, telling hypothetical reluctant members why they must not be purists, why they must support Bush, and so forth. The hesitations to do so arose from a number of sources, including Bush's support for legal abortion in cases of rape and incest and also his curious hesitation to talk about the issue at all. As far as anyone knew, he accepted the pro-life position on federal funding for fetal tissue research. (In fact, a later critic said that he had campaigned on opposition to it.) But there were worries--worries NRLC slapped down as unworthy of practical men. One of their reasons in several articles for their urgency was the possibility that if Bush were not supported in the Republican primary, the nomination might be won by John McCain.

Then, in 2002, word appeared briefly on the Internet: Bush's NIH had funded research using stem cells derived from aborted fetuses. Rather to everyone's surprise, it turned out that Bush's famous Aug. 9, 2001 "line in the sand" applied only to stem cells derived from unimplanted embryos, not to stem cells derived from aborted fetuses. There was no limit on federal funding for those stem cells to children killed prior to Aug. 9, 2001.

NRLC came out in full defense mode. Their defense was two-pronged. First, they argued that the Bush NIH's "hands were tied" by the 1993 legislation permitting federal funding for aborted fetal tissue research. More importantly, and to head off the obvious question ("Then why doesn't Bush, and why don't you, try to get that legislation changed?"), they implied that Bush was right not simply to fund the research as (they said) required by law but to do nothing to urge that the state of the law be changed. The new worry was...wait for it...embryonic stem-cell research. That was the new focus, and that was where the energy should go, what with the possibility of "embryo farms" and what-not. Evidently, vocal and active opposition to federal funding for fetal tissue research was just so nineties.

And so, the articles stopped. The argument stopped. The discussion stopped. It was something we didn't talk about anymore. There will never again be a presidential candidate who will be asked by the major U.S. pro-life organization to make it clear in his campaign that he opposes the use of federal funds for fetal tissue research. The organization changed its priorities.

So, what about embryonic stem-cell research? That, after all, was Douglas Johnson's urgent reason for ditching the issue of fetal tissue research. That was the new thing, the dangerous thing, the thing we had to concentrate on. And now, NRLC eagerly supports a candidate who has always openly and vocally supported federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

I leave it to the reader to ask himself the obvious question about what might happen next.

Comments (160)

Well, the mileage of others may vary, but the moral I draw is that the perceived imperative of electing Republicans, as the admitted lesser of two evils, has precipitated a slow putrefaction of the NRLC. I might say the same thing about a majority of the institutions of the conservative movement generally. Zippy's argument against participation in our civic liturgy of consequentialism just received a boost.

I guess I wasn't very subtle. :-)

And I did have Zippy's comments in mind very much when I decided to write this. There's nothing like a little hard evidence to give oomph to a thesis like his.

Great post (scary as well).

"Zippy's argument against participation in our civic liturgy of consequentialism..."
I need to know more!

I've been a lurker for a while. I love this site.

Here, in approximate chronological order, are some of Zippy's posts on the subject at his own blog. (Let's see how many of these links I can put in here before I have to go hand-approve this comment.)

http://zippycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/06/lesser-of-two-cannibals.html

http://zippycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/06/of-boiled-frogs-and-cooperation-with.html

http://zippycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/06/on-power-of-compounding-interest.html

He had a few more in June, but these give you the idea. YOu can browse his June archives, too.

For anyone who has ever wondered if contributors are treated specially in this regard, FYI: I just had to go hand-approve my own comment in my own thread, because it contained three links. I'm not complaining. It was no problem. This is just for the record, because one of our commentators a week or so ago suggested that there might be some special "contributor status" for posting comments with links.

Thanks for doing the diligence and posting this, Lydia.

I have to say, I've been somewhat torn about the issue of Christians and their involvement in politics for quite some time. First of all, there's the theological issue that to me is the biggest. The kingdom of God can't be brought about by legislation. And while I think most Christians would acknowledge that, they still sometimes act as if it can, or that at least legistlation can help it along. But the church usually does better spiritually when it's set in opposition to the political establishment. Compromise with the world's system of values (which is inevitable in secular politics) is just never a good thing.

But as a native Canadian who immigrated to the U.S. (before becoming a missionary), the American two-party system seems particularly problematic, especially when one party gets defined as the "Christian" party when obviously there are a lot of non-Christians in leadership in that party. And especially when those leaders know how to speak the lingo that Christians like to hear in order to make them think they're on our side. It seems that for an awful lot of politicians, the only principle they serve is the principle of getting and keeping power. Maybe some of them didn't start out that way, but they ended up that way.

In Hungary I led a guy to the Lord who was from California, and he was in some ways a typical California liberal. He still talks to me a lot about global warming and environmentalism, and he's kind of an Al Gore fan. But he's also saved. A lot of evangelicals I know would be scandalized by that and say it's not even possible for such a one to be saved. But I think if you look at the range of political views even among the apostles that Jesus chose, it's a wonder they accomplished anything. They certainly weren't all potential Republican party whips.

Just a few random thoughts. It's pretty superficial and not terribly coherent, but I felt like sharing!

Other Titles for this Post:

"Why We Should Welcome The Greater Evil with Open Arms"

or

"Opposing The Greater Evil is Stupid"

or

"Why Obama Should Win & The Holocaust Extended Indefinitely"

or

"A Hundreds More Babies Killed a Day? So What? Same Difference."

or

"It is Better to Welcome The Greater Evil than To Vote Against It"

Other Titles for this Post:

"Why We Should Welcome The Greater Evil with Open Arms"

I'm pretty sure that's not at all what's implied by Lydia's post. She's pointing to the fact that the NRLC has gradually and almost imperceptibly changed their position on an important issue with regard to life issues out of what could be construed as political expediency, and that this is a disturbing trend. Zippy's posts seem to make the same point, at least as I read them.

There's certainly nothing in here about "welcoming the greater evil (by which I assume you mean Obama) with open arms." Actually, I think your statement reflects exactly what Zippy, and I think Lydia, are getting at. When we keep voting for the lesser of two evils, what eventually happens to us? To take it to an extreme, we could end up voting for the equivalent of Hitler if he seemed less evil than the other guy. But that's just my take on this.

I'm not sure I shd. even respond to a poster with the pseudonym "the Greater Evil." I have no problem with pseudonyms per se (obviously), but unpleasant posters with smart alecky pseudonyms are highly annoying.

Mr. G.E., I think we should watch ourselves to see that we aren't corrupted by the lesser evil talk and compromise. I think it does happen that we can be thus corrupted, and I think the story in the post shows that. If McCain were to win and overturn the present block on federal funding for ESCR, we would then be able to watch what would happen to NRLC on _that_ issue as well, given that they would feel reluctant to criticize the person who is now "their" candidate (though they were adamantly opposed to him eight years ago). If Obama wins and does the same thing, they will be loud in their denunciation. And rightly so. But it's a shame that there should be any question about it if the same act were to be carried out by the candidate they have endorsed.

John, I have mixed reactions to what you say about feeling ambivalent about Christian involvement in politics. On the one hand, you can tell from what I write here that I am concerned about the corrupting influence an involvement in politics can have upon Christians. So we're very much on the same page there. On the other hand, I find that sometimes when people say they think Christians should stay out of politics or that they feel uncomfortable about political involvement, this means that they don't really see the urgency of some of the issues. Now, I'm not saying that that's where you're coming from _at all_. I know that isn't true. But let's consider your politically liberal convert. I believe you that he's saved. But I also believe that if he really is a liberal he may well have a seriously confused mind on _ethical_ issues that are of great importance. For example, consider his environmentalism: Might he think that there are too many people in the world and that the U.S. should be pushing population control in the third world? Does he give money and activism to support anti-people causes? What about the homosexual agenda? What about abortion itself? What about sexual ethics? If he were involved with the youth in a church and a girl came to him for counsel about being pregnant, would he treat abortion as one "option" for her? I'm afraid these issues can't simply be dubbed "political" and then treated as irrelevant to our own daily lives. Too often these days liberal Christians are undermining the church's witness on very important social and moral issues. And that despite the fact that they may very well really be believers in Jesus Christ. In fact, the fact that they are true believers makes people (especially kids) all the more willing to listen to them.

And it is still true that conservatives and Christians can affect political outcomes in positive ways. More and more I see this in the area of citizen initiatives (referendums) at the state level rather than in voting for candidates. Unfortunately, candidates are a package deal, and there is much more danger of the sort of muting of witness that I talk about in the main post in coming out swinging for a particular candidate. But many states in the U.S. have citizen initiatives. These can be good or bad. The bad guys are all too happy to use them for evil, and the good guys have to mobilize to resist that. They can also be used for good, as in the marriage defense amendment to my own state's constitution several years ago. There is a place where I think that Christians and conservatives generally can engage in political action profitably, but not, of course, if they have already decided that politics is something they should stay out of.

"...first endured, then pitied, then embraced!"

Thanks for compiling this. Some remarked on the silence of NRLC in the early years of the Bush administration, but I don't think I ever heard about the NIH research using stem cells from an aborted fetus.

It's clear that many groups aspiring to influence suffer from the worst form of conservatism: the form that preserves and justifies mistakes. The strange confidence of progressives that theirs is the way of the future is often mirrored by diffidence among the right about whether one really can stop "progress."

It is as if they really believe that once a change is achieved, it can never be reversed.

This attitude is reflected in Lydia's own words, which I hope are a summary rather than a prediction: "There will never again be a presidential candidate who will be asked by the major U.S. pro-life organization to make it clear in his campaign that he opposes the use of federal funds for fetal tissue research."

Never again? That's just what they'd like us to think.

Do you think left-wing activists turn despondent and fatalistic when their candidates and organizations don't turn out to be as consistent and diligent as themselves? No, they just keep pushing and pushing. Their lack of a counterbalance pushing the other way is a major reason for their success.

You raise a good question and point, Kevin. I suppose whether my prediction there turns out to be correct or not depends on the definition of "the major U.S. pro-life organization." I meant specifically NRLC. Obviously the American Life League is an entirely different story.

But I have to admit that I have never, not even once, heard of an American activist/interest group that underwent a kind of conversion, said that it had been wrong to compromise its standards on a particular issue, and erected new and tougher standards, similar to its old and abandoned ones, for candidate endorsement. The ratchet always seems to work the other way. In fact, I'm afraid that now that NRLC has endorsed John McCain, given his open support for ESCR, NRLC will not ever require of a presidential candidate that he oppose funding for ESCR. How can they, without admitting that they were wrong to do so about McCain? And how likely is that?

State organizations have some independence from the national organization and may have different standards. But I have never seen this ratchet effect reversed. I'd like to think it could be. But I'm not even sure I've ever heard of that sort of turnaround happen, mutatis mutandis, on the left. Would I be able to recognize it if it happened on the left? Possibly.

I am sorry if this seems fatalistic, but in these social matters what I see far more than a reversal of a particular organization's trend is rather the development of competing and spin-off organizations. This happens at the level of pro-life organizations (ALL being an example), in churches, and of course in the case of political parties. The present conservative discontent would be a great opportunity for a really rousing third-party move, but none seems to be in the works. It's as though we are all trapped in the two-party system. For example, why don't some of the most conservative Republican U.S. Congressmen leave the GOP and either form or join a more conservative party? Why don't state politicians do this? I guess because they'd be out at the end of their next term if they did so, and they continue to think they can do more good this way. It's a worriesome and terrible trap, and I don't know that there is a way "back" as opposed to some radical new way forward, but I don't even know what that would look like.

But I've always known pro-life activists to bash NRLC for being too soft.

Lydia,

I don't blame you for having mixed reactions. I have mixed reactions to my own position myself :). I agree that liberals are confused on important ethical issues. But so are some conservatives. That to me is a question of discipleship, which is a long process. After I was saved I was undecided on abortion for many years. I can't even remember when I finally came to the conclusion that it was wrong, but it took quite awhile. The first issues that the Lord dealt with me on were my own personal issues, and abortion just wasn't on my radar. I think we need to be patient with people, and I think you'd agree on that. We're all works in progress. I actually don't know what my friend's position is on most of those issues you've mentioned because I didn't have a chance to talk about it with him (and we live on separate continents for the time being). But I was one of the first Christians he had talked to who didn’t blow him off because of his liberal views. I don’t want to put any stumbling block in front of someone getting saved except the Cross.

I'm not against political involvement for Christians, though I'm probably more pessimistic about the efficacy of political activity than some. I tend to approach all of this from a missiological perspective. I think we've made a mistake if we communicate that people have to become Republicans in order to be saved, or hold to a conservative American evangelical political platform to be a follower of Jesus. I have a hard enough time with people who make secondary theological issues (like, say, young-earth creationism) almost into conditions for salvation. It gets even harder for me with political positions, even if they are theologically motivated. That just makes it tough to reach people with the Gospel, which to me is the more important question.

I think some people approach politics with the idea that the important thing is to use good legislation to make the world or the country a better place in which to live. But then I think of the situation the early church lived in, or that most Christians in the world today live in. Ancient Rome, for all of its glory, was a cesspool of corruption, immorality and false religions. The church turned that world upside-down not by political activism so much as just the witness of their lives, their fearless preaching, and their willingness to die for their faith (which they often did). In places where the Gospel is spreading the most rapidly today (like in China), the church is usually persecuted. This is in spite of the gross human rights abuses that take place there. In America the church is in decline. It seems to me like American evangelicals are much more enthused about certain party platforms than about living the kind of lives the early Christians did that were so revolutionary in their world. We've got it backwards somehow.

I think it's more important for people to get saved than for them to become conservatives, in part because then the Holy Spirit can change their hearts on some of these things, and also bring healing to, say, women who have had abortions or people who have been involved in the abortion industry. Even if we eliminated abortion but failed to win a single soul, I would say we missed the boat. Don't get me wrong, I'd get rid of abortion if I could. Christians were instrumental in eliminating slavery, and I think abortion is at least that important of a social issue. But if we make abortion a single-party issue then I think we’re in trouble. There are ways of framing it (for example, in terms of justice) that resonate with the language that liberals like to use. We can't just depend on the election of our preferred party or our preferred candidate.

I hear you talking about activism with regard to specific issues, and I can buy that. I just think it becomes problematic when we get so identified with one party (especially in a two-party system), that it becomes easy for politicians to manipulate the whole thing. We’re then in real danger of selling our birthright for a mess of pottage. I’m just not sure that the church has ever really come to grips with how to live biblically in a democratic society when the cultures that the Bible was written in were authoritarian. Honestly, I don't even think most evangelicals responded biblically to the Clintons. The apostle Paul wrote to his churches to honor, pray for, and submit to their leaders. It didn't matter if those leaders were in the right or not. I mean, he wrote that in an age of Roman Emperors like Nero, and lots of governors and lesser officials who weren't much better. But the overwhelming response of evangelicals to Bill Clinton was to attack and condemn, and then rejoice when things went ill for him. I'm no fan of Clinton, but that's just not biblical behavior. Evangelicals were acting like good Republicans instead of good Christians.

Sorry for rambling. I think I've gotten off topic a bit.

Well, I don't want to seem in any way to be picking on you, John, and I certainly couldn't agree more about politicians who manipulate conservative evangelicals. Too, too, true. But when it comes to stuff about "hold[ing] to a conservative American evangelical political platform to be a follower of Jesus...," then I do sort of worry a bit about what you are saying. I mean, I don't view the issues I listed as part of a political platform in any sense that means that they can be separated from life. If your friend is an avid supporter of a moral monster like Barack Obama (for example), that is _very bad_ for your friend qua follower of Jesus Christ. I mean that very seriously. We're talking about the murder of innocents in their thousands and about the expansion of the culture of death to the murder of born infants (as in Holland) and of the elderly, and so forth. We're talking about issues on which the position a person takes both says something about that person and also shapes that person, and also about issues that can and probably will come up in some totally non-political shape or form in all of our lives--cases of counseling at least and very likely also of personal choices that have to be made. (Thought question: Don't you think your friend may someday face the possibility of either assisting in someone else's medical suicide when old or faced with a devastating illness or of choosing the same for himself?) And when we include sexual issues, things like prostitution, sex outside of marriage, and even divorce, then the relevance to daily life is simply huge. And let's face it: Your friend is hardly getting good guidance from his fellow Democrats on that stuff.

From my perspective there is simply no comparison between these life and death moral issues and something like young-earth creationism. Are you kidding? Of course these so-called "political" questions (i.e., social, moral questions that have public-policy implications) are by orders of magnitude more important to, yes, our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ than how old the earth is!

As for taking an attitude of "condemnation" towards Bill Clinton, I'm afraid I can't agree with you there, either. An American president is an icon, a leader, and an example. Strong condemnation is and was required when such a person is a disgrace to his office as part of a testimony that such behavior is absolutely unacceptable. Do you not think that there were young people who were influenced and led astray, as well as being led to solidify their messed-up ideas that it's "all just about sex" and a "private matter" and so forth by Clinton's behavior? You bet there were. Christians needed to speak out.

In short, I believe in the culture wars, and I believe that the culture wars are intimately connected to our life in Christ.

In fact, that's _why_ I think we must not compromise in order to have a "viable" candidate to endorse. Because it takes a lot of hard swimming upstream in this day and age not to be swept along with the current. But I'm afraid that's true of what we think about being a member of the Party of Death (TM) and being a committed follower of Jesus Christ, as well.

If I may direct attention for a moment to a painfully honest portrayal of Planned Parenthood and it's dark lord, Margaret Sanger. I think the post is appropriate and timely in order to hopefully encourage those, or at least, some of those, now sitting on the fence to see the true historical face of what they're advocating--in advance, thank you.

http://themaritimesentry.blogspot.com/2008/08/margaret-sanger-evil-behind-planned.html

Lydia,

I think I'm having a hard time expressing my point, and I'm liable to be misunderstood. You'll get no argument from me on any of the issues you've mentioned. As I said, those are questions of discipleship, and of good, solid, biblical teaching. But I don't think our message should be that if you accept Jesus that means accepting all of this other stuff which the guy may not be ready for. I want to tell him that it means repenting of his sins (and it's okay to get specific there) and putting his faith in Christ's atoning death and resurrection. I'm not going to tell him that it means voting Republican this November. Like I said, when I was saved I didn't know what I thought about abortion. I was basically neutral on it for several years because I hadn't been convinced by anything I heard. It also wasn't a hot-button issue for me. Does that mean I wasn't saved? Did I only get converted when I got my views on abortion right? I sure don't think so. So I'm certainly not going to require that of someone else in order to be saved, or even make that an issue in salvation at all. I'm not going to withhold the Gospel from someone because he's a Democrat. I'm also not going to expect him to become a Republican before I baptize him!

The sexual issues you've mentioned seem pretty straightforward to me, since they're all directly addressed in Scripture. But I'm not sure my friend is going to get much help from Republicans on things like divorce or sex outside of marriage or prostitution. That's actually closer to what I'm getting at. Are we losing the culture war because of our failure to get enough conservative supreme court justices appointed or because professing Christians aren't living the basics of a biblical lifestyle, eschewing things like adultery and divorce which are just as rampant in the church as outside? Those are the kinds of things that trouble me. I don't see those as Democrat or Republican issues. Those things cut right across party lines. The only culture war that I'm really concerned about is the war between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. I see an awful lot of the world in both parties.

I don't disagree that Clinton should have been publicly chastened for his moral failure, by the way, which he was. Even some of the more respectable Democrats voiced that. But it's interesting that you immediately thought that's what I was talking about in my previous post. I wasn’t. It's not like evangelicals were all respectful to Clinton right up until the Lewinsky scandal and only then appropriately expressed their righteous indignation. I'm not sure we realize how radical a statement Paul was making in Titus 3:1-2 when he said "Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men." Or Peter when he wrote, "Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” Or Romans 13:1: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

Just think about the context in which those verses were written. And understand what I’m saying. I don’t endorse Clinton as a president any more than I endorse Nero as a Roman Emperor. But Scripture says what it says, and I think it challenges us all in many areas. And maybe if Christians acted more biblical in this regard our body politic wouldn't be so polarized. I think we're shooting ourselves in the foot, because it's making it harder to preach the Gospel (in my opinion). No matter who gets elected in November, God will still be on His throne, and the kingdom of God will still be pressing on. Interestingly, when I talk with liberals they don’t like these passages either. Maybe it’s an American thing, I don’t know.

Anyhow, I’m not looking for a fight, least of all from the woman that William Lane Craig described as “a real tiger!” Actually, I thought I was in agreement with you on most of this stuff. We certainly agree on all of the moral issues as far as I can see. I did mention that if it were up to me I’d do away with abortion, didn’t I? Roe v. Wade was and is wrong on moral and constitutional grounds, and so should be overturned, just like slavery was wrong. So please, go easy on me!

I certainly agree, John, that one's initial commitment to Christ can be made without getting all of the moral issues right. This is agreed upon by both Catholics and Protestants, interestingly. That's why the Catholics use that phrase "here comes everyone" for the Catholic church. I think all I will say further on the connection between political parties and the various issues we've been listing is that perhaps if you read more of the various blogs and sources I read you will come to realize with even more and horrifyingly stark clarity how deeply committed the Democratic party and their associated organizations--in other words, the liberal establishment in America--is to the truly most evil side on issue after issue. To be sure, the Christian conservatives haven't held the line as they should (divorce being a good example here), and there certainly are "conservatives" who don't have anything like the moral high ground on issues like sexual purity. But there can be no question as to which party it is in which you are most likely to find that remnant of people who _are_ socially conservative on these issues, and which party it is that is trying to drag everything down to unimaginable depths of evil (as represented by Planned Parenthood, for example).

Now, of course, the whole point of the post is that this doesn't mean that we hard-right (that's me, anyway) social conservatives should be knee-jerk Republicans. From my own experience, and even as detailed in the main post, Christians and social conservatives in America are too unthinkingly wedded to supporting the Republican candidate for president, and this sometimes leads them to compromise their stands. But if they exchange that weddedness for an indifference to politics or a disgust with the Republican party which leads them to any failure of clear-sightedness over the true nature and commitments of the political liberals and where they are trying to take us, that will be a case of confusion worse confounded.

During the 90's while researching a term paper, I had discovered the practice where mothers were deliberately becoming pregnant in order to harvest the organs of their fetus for a previous child who was in need. A Pandora's Box has been unleashed, for sure, with Rv.W. I must agree that, at the point where we find ourselves now, any compromises regarding the abortion/stem cell research issues, should be put to sleep, permanently.

It is absurd to think that many pro-lifers will now reflexively rally behind a left of center militarist who promises wars of a higher quality and greater quantity, and who like most members of the political class, approaches abortion in terms of electoral calculus and as an exercise in base mollification.

The NRLC operates within the Hive and despite its noble calling and honorable history, is not immune to the pitfalls that come with practicing "the art of the possible" in such a polluted precinct. Compromises, tactical retreats and finding breathing space within a hostile environment are all necessary for maintaining the overly coveted; Place At The Table. Even if your purported allies view the relationship as "transactional", and greet you with the patronizing looks usually reserved for exotically attired tribesman from the planet's more remote regions.

The NRLC response to McCain is in some sense understandable. Not so for those of us at the grassroots. Relegating the culture of death to history's dustbin is going to take stronger stuff than rationalizing the promotion of one of its auxiliaries to the White House. Pro-lifers are going to have to expand their field of vision - the culture of death has many pediments and guises - and act accordingly. Compromises with our deChristianized governors are now largely unjustifiable.

It's not about maintaining a place at the table. It's about long-term victory in the battle to save lives -- which means you have to maintain a place at the table. If you're not in the contest, you're not going to win.

If you fail to operate tactically, you yourself, not the evil you oppose, get relegated to the dustbin of history. More often than not, if you don't compromise, you fail. So you make the best move you can, given whatever circumstances confront you. If you refuse to take half a victory when no full victory is possible, you, not your opponents, are to blame. If you play in such a way that it's a home run or nothing, then most of the time it's going to be nothing. That's a wonderful strategy for failure. Every opposition team member hope's you'll adopt it.

Or, to change the metaphor of competition from baseball to golf, you take the best shot you can from wherever the ball lies, even if it means you can't reach the green this time. But you do what you can to get the ball closer to the hole. You don't pick up and say that if you can't hole out, you're not going to shoot. That's flying the white flag; that's self-imposed irrelevance; not principle.

I don't have much time just this morning, but let me just say this: I believe that tactically, there may simply as a matter of fact be no winning moves here, and that, tactically, the course the NRLC is taking is a very bad one. The post is not about tactics per se but about the way that tactics can corrupt us. If McCain were to win, revoke the ban on ESCR funding, and NRLC were to mute its criticism--as it did in the case of criticism of fetal tissue funding during the Bush administration--this would be another example of how such tactics corrupt us. But beyond that, the ratchet effect means that such tactics guarantee (practically speaking) that we never hold out for anything and that we lock ourselves into the abandonment of what we have already abandoned. Will NRLC ever again demand of a candidate that he not support abortion in the case of rape and incest? Perhaps more bitterly, given its recent urgency on this issue, will it ever again demand of a candidate that he not support, not simply the legality of, but *federal funding* for ESCR? Moreover, back in 2000 NRLC repeated over and over again statements McCain had made in the 90's about not supporting the overturn of Roe v. Wade. That was how they whipped the base to vote for Bush. Has McCain ever said, "I was terribly wrong. I should never have said that. I have seen the light. I _do_ strongly support the overturn of Roe v. Wade"? In a pig's eye. Yet I thought the overturn of Roe was one of our major goals. Now this pro-life organization supports a candidate who has said he doesn't support it. Pretty soon there's going to be nothing left to compromise about! What sort of tactic is this? A lousy one.

There is definitely tactical wisdom in not making the perfect the enemy of the good, in general. The flip side of that though is when - in the name of trying not to make the perfect the enemy of the good - we make the least bad into the enabler of the worst. This process has been colorfully referred to as the Hegelian Mambo.

Compromise on the part of conservatives often functions as nothing more than shock absorbers for the chassis of liberalism.

Compromise on the part of conservatives often functions as nothing more than shock absorbers for the chassis of liberalism.

Quote of the week.

I tend to skew towards evaluating tactics as political standards go and so also tend to attract the criticism of the "purists," a categorization I loathe by the way. That said, I think we have to balance our tactics with a strong personal virtue ethic. There are pockets of the pro-life movement that are marginalized in the sense that Dr. Bauman describes, but I have also seen people that I have tremendous respect for proposing tactics that would require me to cast a vote for a candidate that is beyond flawed in their moral approach to the unborn. At some point we have to ask ourselves, "What will I NOT do in the name of 'sound tactics'?"

Is it political disengagement to do so? In the case where there is no candidate that represents a moral position worthy of my personal endorsement and no clear advantage on protecting the unborn, then I think we run the risk of sounding like utilitarians and Peter Singer. We start trumpeting some supposed greater good that we lack the omniscience to fully guarantee and can ultimately be party to championing what Lydia has referred to in the past as a moral monster. The Hegelian Mambo grooves on.

We have to be wise as serpents, but we must also attend to our own souls and conscience before God as well.

Well that is my unsolicited 2 cents.

Jay

how deeply committed the Democratic party and their associated organizations--in other words, the liberal establishment in America--is to the truly most evil side on issue after issue...

And, yet, we should never mind the Great Compromise to this nation that will occur come an Obama Win and the subsequent realization of his FOCA agenda; after all, we should take pride in the fact that, at the very least, we did not vote for a Republican.

I would never take pride in not voting for a Republican per se. In fact, I have voted for many Republicans and will doubtless vote for a Republican senate candidate this fall (whom I also know personally) who is running againt the Democrat incumbent in my own state.

"Taking pride," of course, may be the wrong category altogether. Do I "take pride" in not doing all the many wrong things that I refrain from doing? It's often more like I should feel bad about being tempted to do them. (Losing one's temper is a good example here. I shouldn't take pride in not losing it. I should rather feel humbled by being the sort of person who is tempted to lose it pretty much every waking hour of the day.) So, no, I don't "take pride" in not voting for John McCain. I just happen to think it would be wrong for me to vote for John McCain. So I won't do it. It's that simple.

And I really do think the post tells a cautionary tale about this sort of thing. What are we, ourselves, as pro-lifers, becoming? I remember reading somewhere years ago that the major "pro-life" organization in the Netherlands does not oppose assisted suicide but merely holds that it should be genuinely voluntary and often isn't. I _hope_ this was an inaccurate description of their position. But suppose it's accurate? How do you think such an organization got to such a place? It bears thinking about. How loudly can we complain and speak out about some seriously wrong position, a position that has consequences for action, of a candidate who is and has been _our candidate_? Do we work our tails off to elect him and then immediately turn around and start bashing him for acting on the very positions he openly held when we were working our tails off to elect him? Is that consistent? Is it likely to happen? But if we keep our mouths shut about those positions, then have we not changed? Have we not given up those issues--down the memory hole? And will we ever be able to push back on those issues, ever again?

"...you have to maintain a place at the table. If you're not in the contest, you're not going to win."

Michael,
I am not advocating quietism or a retreat to the catacombs -at least, not yet. I am saying the field of battle has changed and with it our strategy. I have only the highest admiration for John Wilkie and the organizational form he brought to the largest, longest, most non-violent backlash ever to occur in our nation's history in response to an enormous social injustice. And when someone asks for an example of what a Christian man looks like, I always point first to Congressman Chris Smith, who has heroically lived out his vocations as husband, father and legislator and probably been the object of more Black Masses being said than any gallant figure still alive.

Yet, it seems clear that what as is now required is reforming the culture by building up a parallel alternative to the current order. There are now more crisis pregnancy centers or homes than abortion clinics. Our Prophetic Witness should intensify and develop along those lines. Operation Rescue is not a viable course for middle and working class families tasked with earning their daily bread and the necessary avoidance of a criminal record or injury as a result of police brutality. However, prayer vigils and side-walk counseling are two under-employed weapons which will only yield greater return with wider application. We should prepare for the day when Church medical facilities are given the ultimatum to comply or die with the directives of the state regarding the rituals of death. Some will have to close as we consolidate resources that conform to the call of the Gospels. Volunteers will be needed more than ever to keep counter-cultural institutions open and running.

Beyond paying taxes, I can't think of any other horse-trading exercises worth making and view investing in the staged ruse of contemporary politics as a fatal compromise. Imagine the shock wave that would be felt if 5-10 million pro-lifers abstained from this electoral hoax and a smaller percentage of that number hit
the avenues expressed above. Imagine a pro-life movement unburdened by the stains and scandal of supporting policies and persons that are mere appendages and architects of the culture of death, in all its insidious and subtle forms. Let Augustine be our guide.

"I leave it to the reader to ask himself the obvious question about what might happen next."

Fetus farms, sooner or later, perhaps not in the US first. The UK, China might begin it, and then the US will close the fetus farm gap. I doubt that even a president of the US can stop it, even if he wants to.

"There was no limit on federal funding for those stem cells to children killed prior to Aug. 9, 2001."

At first the Archdiocese of Washington opposed such research at Georgetown, but reversed. If memory serves, a priest-scientist affiliated with Georgetown expressed his satisfaction at the reversal.

Give witness as much as you're capable of. Remember that victory is never ours, but Christ's.

Remember that victory is never ours, but Christ's.

The victory, realistically-speaking, will ultimately belong to Obama and his Pro-Abortion, FOCA agenda.

But, please, let's not touch on this greater compromise to whatever remnant of moral fabric this nation has left and the inevitable rule of a viciously Pro-Abortion administration that will subsequently effect the whole of American society for 4, if not, 8 years (that's if we're lucky enough since the after-effects of the Obaman abortion agenda may endure even afterwards such as in the form of staunch Pro-abortion Justices on the Supreme Court hand-selected by yours truly!).

My crystal ball is scratched and cloudy, but it looks to me as if Obama is going to lose. Other considerations aside, he's not a person most Americans think of when they imagine a president. The country is in a strange mood and of a confused and distressed mind. I think it wants someone as familiar-seeming as possible in the country's most visible leadership position. What effect this will have on pro-life positions is beyond even crystal balls to discover. There are issues in the offing which, while not directly life issues, are nevertheless daunting and treacherous passages, and life will not end in 2012 - one hopes.

I agree with Pavel. I remember months ago when the race was Hillary vs. Rudy. That was it. A lock. You could mortgage the house, cash out your CD's, plunk it all down that these two would be the ticket and your money would be safe. Nothing is certain in this cycle.

Lydia, would you consider McCain as a viable candidate if he chose a pro-life running mate? No trick question, honestly. I'm conservative and pro-life though not thrilled with McCain at all. But Obama is not an option and, I believe, a vote against McCain could ultimately wind up a plus for Obama's camp and I feel torn, but I'm, literally, too afraid to see Obama in the Oval Office.

I would genuinely like to know your thoughts on that.

Laura said: "But Obama is not an option and, I believe, a vote against McCain could ultimately wind up a plus for Obama's camp and I feel torn, but I'm, literally, too afraid to see Obama in the Oval Office."


At least somebody is taking up the fight against the greater evil!

Simply put, not opposing the greater evil is just as bad as subscribing to it.

There is a much larger issue here that some people are missing and that is the kind of Pro-Abortion havoc that Obama will inevitably unleash upon becoming President.

Voting against Obama is the only effective means by which to prevent Obama from taking the Highest Office in the Land; it is the only way to effectively oppose the Greater Evil that will come about by way of his promised presidential signing of the FOCA and the likely possibility of his assigning the types of Justices on the Supreme Court that may forever thereafter preserve (and even multiply -- since SCOTUS guides the judicial decisions of the Land) the evil enshrined in Roe v. Wade.

Laura, here are two of my comments on that subject:

http://wluse.blogspot.com/2008/08/for-vice-potus.html#2194109976353921323

http://wluse.blogspot.com/2008/08/for-vice-potus.html#3452529226098929680

One of them contains this:

And even now that iPSCs have been such a success, he can't bring himself to come right out and ditch his support for federal funding for ESCR. He just plays coy and says to the conservatives that maybe the question is "academic" while letting the pro-tax-funded cannibalists go on hoping he'll fund their "research." And _that's_ his idea of courting the conservative vote?? The idea that he could win conservative votes this late in the game, after all this, while keeping his present positions, with a VP pick _alone_, is plain insulting.

One of them says, "C'mon, let's not be used."

So I guess that makes it plain where I'm coming from on the Veep thing. I think the whole Veep pick thing is a total joke, McCain's choosing a pro-life Veep (which he won't do) would be the most meaningless and empty of gestures, and it's sad to see conservatives grasping at it.

I have some questions for the ardent McCain supporters here, like Aristocles, who are positively mad at me about this: Suppose McCain were to become President with your vote and with his open position on several issues, including ESCR. And suppose he were to turn around immediately and, whaddaya know, exactly as we could have expected, ask Congress to send him a bill authorizing federal funding for ESCR, which Congress would be happy to do, and which he then signs. What will you do? What will you say? Will you write blog posts about how terrible this is? Will you say you're now not going to vote for him in 2012, because he's crossed some line? And if such an act--not just words, but act--can have no possible effect upon your later voting, will you feel there is even any point in criticizing him for it? Or will you have "moved on" to fighting other evils, just like the NRLC in the main post? Will the whole ESCR thing that we've been fighting for eight years just drop off into the dustbin of history? A non-issue? And if you do complain about it, what will be the point, politically speaking, of doing so? After all, you will have supported him, even being angry at those who wouldn't join you, with full knowledge of what he would do. What if he chooses Supreme Court justices who make it blatantly evident in their confirmation hearings that they will never in a million years overturn Roe v. Wade? Will that be the line? But wait a minute: He said more than ten years ago that he dosn't support overturning Roe, so why be surprised? And so forth. Why do we even bother talking about these issues anymore, how can we ever say that they are big and important to us in politics anymore, once we've shown that they make no difference to our vote?

Please, don't just keep talking to me about the evil of Obama. I referred to him with a capital letter as "the MOnster" in another thread on this blog just today. You don't need to convince me. But, no, I'm not supporting him. You can say till you're blue in the face that refusing to vote for McCain is the same as voting for Obama, and that won't make it true. If Hitler and Stalin were running, would refusing to support one be supporting the other? Gee, I guess then everybody in the country would automatically be supporting one or the other. Maybe we should put all the names of the stay-at-homes in a hat and divide them at random to decide whom they were "supporting" by their non-vote. I have already addressed that silliness *at length* in another thread, and I am sick unto death of hearing the same illogical nonsense uttered.

But you should talk about how you are going to keep up your standards, and what it would even mean to do so, how you are going to have any standing to criticize McCain, on _specific_ issues where you already have reason to _know_ what he stands for and will do, after you have so enthusiastically and unambiguously supported him.

You understand my point, aristocles, but I understand Lydia's, too, in pointing out the dangers in compromising personal conviction--a slippery slope, no doubt.

Obama, to me, certainly appears to be the far greater evil (literally) and, I agree, would, without doubt, unleash a level of insanity in this country, the likes of which we've never yet witnessed.

But, in truth, I can't say I've an abundance of faith in McCain. All I know is that I'm repulsed by his opposition.

Lydia, you posted just as I responded to aristocles. I would like to take time to read your post thoroughly and respond in kind.

I want to add that I do agree that Obama is the greater evil. That just isn't enough for me. Evil is full of never-ending ingenuity. It takes little imagination to figure out not-so-farfetched scenarios in which one candidate is clearly the lesser evil but I would hope that everyone here would agree that one should vote for neither. Once it is acknowledged that the "lesser evil" argument is not a knock-down, then we're just trying to figure out where to draw the line, and people should stop hammering on each other with the phrase "greater evil" as if it were a discussion-stopper.

Lydia, I understand McCain's game. Don't we all, really? These open-ended issues he so coyly avoids are, essentially, his wild cards, or ours, depending upon how he eventually acts on them. He'll court and use and play nice with republicans, conservatives, liberals, of course. He'll court a school of tuna fish if he thinks there are votes to be had by them, but I honestly don't perceive him as dangerous a threat to this country. Nor do I believe his intentions behind wanting to win the White House are similar to those of his opponent. The fact is, I believe, that he's being used by voters, as well, and knows that.

And I don't believe the folly that not voting for McCain is 'supporting' Obama. More than one Presidential election has come and gone without my participation. My concern, here, is that if the election runs too close and I and many others don't vote at all, the Obama camp may benefit. He simply scares the hell out me, Lydia.

When I asked you if you'd consider McCain if his running mate were pro-life, I was sincere. This is why--if his running mate isn't pro-life, all bets are off with him as far as I'm concerned. That's where I'm drawing the line.

I hope you all realize, though, that while you may feel justified in voting for McCain because of pro-life convictions - and you might in fact be morally justified in doing so - you may come to regret a McCain administration for other reasons. In that case, you may have to tell yourself: I voted my conscience. Now what do we do?

There is no guarantee of a good outcome, life issues aside. In any case, the Holy Father tells us not to depend on secular solutions to solve our problems.

"...you may come to regret a McCain administration for other reasons. In that case, you may have to tell yourself: I voted my conscience. Now what do we do?"

Go Pavel and feel free to vote for Obama -- let us see then what darkness follows.

Where do you see me writing that I'm going to vote for Obama? You're not paying attention.

"And I don't believe the folly that not voting for McCain is 'supporting' Obama."

Actually, it does if you consider the fact that these votes that could've been used against Obama -- the absence of such votes might be the very thing that will incidentally propel an Obama win in a close election.

There is no guarantee of a good outcome, life issues aside. In any case, the Holy Father tells us not to depend on secular solutions to solve our problems.
Pavel, I'm not a Catholic but I'm right with you on this. If we're Christians what are we afraid of? The church has survived countless evil leaders and evil regimes. I just get the feeling that some people think the political process is a means for bringing about the kingdom of God or something, and it's just not so. Any kind of familiarity with biblical history should be enough to prove that.

Where do you see me writing that I'm going to vote for Obama? You're not paying attention.

I believe he means that one might as well vote for Obama if one refuses to vote for McCain. I believe Lydia's last extensive response demolished that and instead of responding to it, he has opted for broken-record mode.

Okay, since this "those votes could have been used" thing is coming up again (I won't call a person "Tell Laura I Love her"--whoever you are, cut it out with the weird pseudonyms), here, in brief, is the real demolishment of it. If you can't follow it, I'm sorry for you,b ut I can't help you:

If one tries to count a person's non-vote as supporting one of the candidates, one has no non-arbitrary way of doing this. Suppose you simply knew that a person, Mr. X, was considering not voting. For all you know, Mr. X might be a devout and extreme liberal vegan who thinks that 9/11 was an inside job, the Democrats have compromised with capitalism, and who is refusing to vote because no candidate is liberal enough for him. His own friends are saying to him, "If you don't vote for Obama, that's the same as a vote for McCain." But if you don't know where he's personally coming from, politically, the mere fact that he is not voting tells you nothing about which side to "count" his non-vote for. Now, what this shows is that there is _no_ intrinsic helpfulness of a non-vote for either side. It's really just a non-vote. It doesn't count for anything. You can see this, again, in a mini situation: If there are three people voting in X's state and one each votes for McCain and Obama, Mr. X's vote for Obama would give Obama the popular vote in the state. If there are two people voting and X stays home, neither candidate gets his vote and it's a tie in the popular vote in his state. Now, since you can't tell X that his non-vote is a vote "for Obama," like people keep trying to tell me, because X's _reasons_ for not voting are radically different from mine--on the other end of the political spectrum--this makes it evident that the only way to get this "a non-vote really is a vote" nonsense is by considering the person's vote _owed_ to one of the two major-party candidates to begin with, where that "debt" is determined by looking at the person's political positions and deeming his vote owed to the Republican if the person is basically conservative and owed to the Democrat if the person is basically liberal. Then one views the person as "taking away" his vote from this person you've assigned it to and thus "benefiting" the rival. But there is no argument whatsoever that my vote is "owed" to the Republicans any more than X's vote is "owed" to the Democrat. And absent that sort of approach, the "non-vote really is a vote" argument is obviously meaningless, since non-votes have to be assigned randomly in their effects.

There. That's the only time I'm going to give that argument in this thread. I get bored giving it, because I've never yet had a person who tries to make this "non-vote is a vote" argument see the light because of it, despite its cogency. Which is frustrating.

Of course I realize that a vote for McCain is, in effect, voting against Obama and that not voting at all runs the risk of incidentally favoring him. I've made that very point twice already.

I've also admitted that my primary reason for voting Republican would be to keep this particular Democrat as far from the Oval Office as possible, not only because I fear for the lives of the unborn, but because I fear for the rest of us, as well.

But to make the accusation that opposing McCain is supporting Obama is, I believe, unfair, especially if one feels that both candidates are unacceptable. And that is Lydia’s belief (and please correct me if I’m mistaken, Lydia).

Please don't think, Laura, that I'm annoyed with you or was addressing you in my last comment. It was that strange poster with the multiple-word pseudonyms, who brought up the arg. one hears so often that "not voting for A is the same as voting for B because those votes could have been used for A."

Yes, that is my position--that both candidates are unacceptable.

I'm sorry it's come to that point, although I would very much like to see, as a result of this, some conservatives question the whole idea that they are morally obligated to vote for one of the viable candidates. I was filled with dread when I saw conservatives that I know, personally, literally starting before the primaries to tell themselves reasons to support _Rudy Giuliani_. It was very sad. I really do think there may be no line for some people, and that they need a shock to force them to draw one.

"There is no guarantee of a good outcome, life issues aside. In any case, the Holy Father tells us not to depend on secular solutions to solve our problems."

You have pointed out the most essential truth of the matter, Pavel, and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

I get bored giving it, because I've never yet had a person who tries to make this "non-vote is a vote" argument see the light because of it, despite its cogency. Which is frustrating.
I think modern people are deeply attached to our secular liturgy, the democratic vote. To deliberately opt out as a principled decision (not as apathy), either by abstention or by voting third party, is to disconnect from that liturgy and admit one's personal insignificance. Human beings as a rule will go to great lengths, sometimes deeply irrational lengths, to hold on to something which affirms their personal significance in some respect. That loyalty to the things which make one feel personally significant isn't always a bad thing by any means; but it does attenuate the power of reason to persuade when those loyalties have gone wrong.

"I believe he means that one might as well vote for Obama if one refuses to vote for McCain. I believe Lydia's last extensive response demolished that and instead of responding to it, he has opted for broken-record mode."

I go into the voting booth alone, and whom I vote for is my business. However, I should mention that I live and vote in DC.

"I know, personally, literally starting before the primaries to tell themselves reasons to support _Rudy Giuliani_. It was very sad"

Being pro-life means renouncing and preventing violence. The phenomenon you witnessed regarding a swaggering, suit and tie Generalissimo suggests such a stance has limited appeal and is part of a larger tragedy born by the revolutionary consciousness that infects both the Left and Right. Each relishes the use of force in achieving their personal aims, social goals or lofty geo-political schemes. Voegelin was on to something when he discussed the psychic need ideology addresses for the Mass Man stripped of his spiritual resources;

"A further reason for my hatred of National Socialism and other ideologies is quite a primitive one.I have an aversion to killing people for the fun of it. What the fun is, I did not quite understand at the time, but in the intervening years the ample exploration of revolutionary consciousness has cast some light on this matter. The fun consists in gaining a pseudo-identity through asserting one's power, optimally by killing somebody--a pseudo-identity that serves as a substitute for the human self that has been lost."
Eric Voegelin

Lydia, of course I know you weren’t addressing me in your post (and the pseudonym was inane which is why I ignored it). Nor did I think you were annoyed with me directly, although, if you were, I would have understood. You have that right, too. I accepted your decision to forego voting in the election and your excellent reasons behind it, just after reading your first response.

That ‘a shock’ may be necessary ‘to force’ us into right action again is an important consideration and, by the way, what I fear most should the Democrats take the election. I honestly believe we may very well all be in for the shock of our lives if we don’t start drawing lines, or at the very least, pushing back, and hard--now.

After all, are we, as a nation not in our present state because we failed miserably in upholding our convictions (for those who have them) by allowing ‘the line’ to be pushed farther and farther away from center?


My first presidential election was 1980. This year's is the first one I'm seriously considering sitting out. We've got a socialist running against a jingoist neo-con, and as much as I disagree with Obama on almost everything, I find it very hard to vote for McCain, as I have huge problems with his foreign policy. Conservatives have tended to vote for "the lesser of two evils" for the past 20 years. It has gotten us where, exactly?

Of course, you could argue that we'd be worse off otherwise, but I don't necessarily buy that. Maybe we would, maybe we wouldn't, but that's not the point. Why continue to vote for a GOP that moves slowly, but continuously leftwards, leaving religious and traditional conservatives behind all along the way?

Lydia,

You're still not getting it --

In the specific case where one should vote against Obama in order to prevent an Obama administration and all the Pro-Abortion havoc that goes with it; yes, such a failure in voting against Obama does inevitably go on to support an Obama win especially in a close election.

Considering the current and historical record Obama has with respect to Abortion, there is sufficient evidence (as made evident in FOCA and even in his most recently expressed views on Roe v. Wade and the types of Justices he would go on to select for the Supreme Court in order to preserve it, and, even further, propagate its effects in subsequent judicial decisions) that his passion for abortion rights will ultimately go onto to establish the ultimate Pro-Murder platform as realized in the policy he will set forth for his administration.

I'm sorry, while you, Zippy and Scott W. may feel comfortable in essentially doing nothing to prevent this from occurring, I on the other hand feel that the inevitably of such events (as Obama himself had indeed promised their fulfillment starting with the presidential signing of the FOCA) warrants action.

For the record, I believe McCain is a horrible alternative; however, more horrible and devestating are the consequences of an Obama administration.

Q;"It has gotten us where, exactly?"

A: "We've got a socialist running against a jingoist neo-con."

Let's break this sickening cycle. Write-in the name of;
the director of your local crisis pregancy home
a home-schoolling mom who just gave birth to her 5th child
a kid from your area serving overseas
a conscientous objector that's serving jail time
a member of law enforcement inspecting bridges, tunnels and ports
a pharmacist who refuses to sell anti-life chemicals
a teacher at a Chrsitian inner-city school

Let's make our stand. Now.


Right, Aristocles, so your statement that not voting for McCain is "supporting" Obama is really just *another way of saying* that you think we conservatives have a duty to support McCain because Obama is so bad. So, you see, it isn't an _argument_, because as an _argument_ it would be _question-begging_. "It isn't in general true that a non-vote counts as a vote for Candidate B, but where you really should vote for Candidate A, then a non-vote counts as a vote for Candidate B, because you owed your vote to Candidate A. Get it?" No, I don't get it. As I've said before, you cannot simply talk about how horrible Obama is (on which I agree emphatically) and take it that it follows deductively that we are in duty bound to vote for McCain. It doesn't follow, and your only argument that we are thus bound, Aristocles, is saying again and again how awful Obama is, from which it doesn't follow that...And so forth.

Kevin,

Seriously, how do you propose to break the cycle?

Do you really think that non-votes would actually do that?

For all you know, people instead of taking the non-votes as an expression of protest against the quality of presidential candidates, they might otherwise merely consider it sloth on the part of the citizenry.

So, all the while, you are willing to run the risk of the greater likelihood of an Obaman administration all for what?

Ironically, it is the greater evil (being the Obaman administration) that should serve as the very reason to go against it in the first place due to the graver consequences that will inevitably play out from the gravity of such an evil.

Lydia,

Yes -- in the specific context wherein a vote could've been counted against Obama had the voter submitted his/her vote against him, the lack of such votes do indeed help Obama for obvious reasons, as previously expressed.

You seem to be placing Obama and McCain on equal footing; as if a McCain administration is just as bad as an Obaman administration where Pro-Life issues in toto are concerned.

However, that is not the case.

What seems to be missing from all of the political machinations Christian conservatives have engaged in over the the last 20 years is any acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God. I'm not responsible for what another person does - I'm only responsible for what I do. Therefore, if I don't vote for either Obama or McCain, I am not in the least responsible for what either man does while in office. However, if I cast a vote for one of them I am stating in some sense that I assent to what he has said he will do as president. There is no difference in kind between infanticide and ESCR; therefore both men support evil. I do my best to do right when I vote and leave the outcome up to God.

I'm wondering, has anybody here ever won an election?

I, for one, miss Lee Atwater. Apparently only Karl Rove has read the play book.

Kevin,

Seriously, how do you propose to break the cycle?

Do you really think that non-votes would actually do that?

It's been suggested by a previous poster, possibly Kevin, I don't recall, that the prospect of 5-10 million social conservative abstentions in the Presidential election would send a powerful message to the Republican party--we're serious about ending legal abortion in this country and if you aren't, you don't get our support.

thebyronicman,

That would be a great protest -- one, in fact, I would be amongst its very participants.

However, do you really think there would be 5-10 million folks that would actually do so?

Personally, I feel that such protest can only be effective if only there is a considerable number of such persons.

Also, how can such a message be sent if the turn-out of such non-votes may subsequently be dismissed as anything other than this?

In other words, there should be a formation of an ostensible national congregation of such individuals rather than the "one-sy, two-sy" scattering of such non-votes.

In other words, in order for it to be effective, the force has to be strikingly noticeable; it has to be potent.

Let's break this sickening cycle. Write-in the name of; the director of your local crisis pregancy home a home-schoolling mom who just gave birth to her 5th child a kid from your area serving overseas a conscientous objector that's serving jail time a member of law enforcement inspecting bridges, tunnels and ports a pharmacist who refuses to sell anti-life chemicals a teacher at a Chrsitian inner-city school
Say, I like that (and I'm not being facetious here). In fact, I might just write-in my own name. What would they really do with a vote for "John Fraser" anyways? You all have my permission to write my name in, though I'm constitutionally barred from being elected president due to my nationality of origin. But I'd be honored by your vote nonetheless! :)

Lydia's done a pretty effective job smashing the "not voting for McCain is a vote for Obama" deal, but let me add to that (though I don't think anyone's really listening to me at this point). I really think as Christians that we needn't respond out of fear (if Obama becomes president we're all screwed!). God is still on His throne and still will be even if Obama wins. Isn't it more important for us to maintain our own integrity even if it might lead to a negative result? Illustrations abound. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo. Wasn't the impending death that they were likely to face worth bowing down to an idol? After all, they would do more good for the Babylonians alive than dead. Are we doing somewhat the same thing if we vote for McCain, bowing down to the god of political expediency?

Anyhow, if you're tired of talking politics you can come to my blog and talk apologetics. Today's post: "Why science can't explain everything". And I promise not to pimp my blog on here ever again.

Wouldn't pro-lifers be enormously pleased if 5 or 10 million pro-choicers decided not to vote? It would be a dream come true, the effects of which the pro-choicers might never reverse.


Now you want to give them THEIR dream come true?

Count me out.

could've been counted against Obama

In principle, Aristocles, a vote "could've" been counted _for_ Obama if it's a non-vote. You're just assuming (again, again) that I owe my vote to McCain and am taking away what I owe. Nobody owns my vote ab initio. Nobody. Nor yours, either. People just don't get that. It's something about our two-party system. I can't help feeling people would understand this purely analytical, logical point better if we have fifteen viable parties and the whole thing were a free-for-all.

It's okay, John. You can mention blog posts on your blog on my threads. I do it on other people's blogs occasionally. :-)

Does anybody know: Is there reason to think that Chuck Baldwin of the CP is a crank *other than* the fact that he's the CP candidate? Well, I have to admit that I do already know one bad sign in that regard: He looks to have been a big R0n Paul fan earlier this year. But, er, other than that? Has he ever written anything about Islam? (RP doesn't get it about Islam.)

Ari,
Stop riding cargo on the U.S.S. Death. As Byronic notes, our power is far greater than our ridiculously docile behavior suggests. A
massive sit-out by prolifers, especially in a close contest, would stupefy the entire nomenklatura who arrogantly assume their game can go on forever.

Imagine one Saturday next spring; Obama has signed FOCA into law, enjoyed a morbid celebration with the heirs of Herod, and the media has pronounced the abortion issue permanently resolved. In response, hundreds of thousands of prolifers peacefully respond to Cardinal Chaput's call for a day of nationwide mourning, fasting and prayer in front of abortuaries. Well-known Protestants, who joined the effort, hold a press conference and raise the ante by hinting at the moral legitimacy of refusing to pay income taxes. Word spreads of discord within the military, as a nominee to the Chiefs of Staff withdraws his name from consideration. Biden and Pelosi cite "fears for their personal security" as the reason for failing to attend Mass at a homeless center run by the Missionaries of Charity. A major city police union says its Christian members are exempt from duty in front of "womens health clinics". The Vatican recalls their U.S. ambassador
and the retail industry expresses fear that a monthly day of fasting could send the economy into a steep decline.

Imagine the epic shock waves if we got off the couches, out into the streets and showed our rulers self-governance extends far beyond a quadrennial ritual of lever pulling. Sooner or later, you and Michael are going to realize The Place at The Table is just a kneeler at the Altar of Moloch. It is high time we acted accordingly. The days of Cheap Grace are coming to a close.

So, a non vote is a not a vote for Obama or for McCain. But a non vote IS a vote against abortion.

Get behind me, Satan.

Kevin,

You don't seem to get the 'reality' of the situation.

Upon a likely Obama win, should he successfully implement the full impact of his FOCA agenda (not limited to just the presidential signing of the FOCA, mind you); it will not only serve to give such force to the Pro-Murder agenda but, even more, multiply its members to unprecedented numbers since under such an administration, the 'morality' of "ABORTION IS OKAY" will have officially become the SOLE LITURGY of the Nation!

In other words, Obama will seek to POPULARIZE such a notion as a natural course of his enacted policies.

This is what you are surprisingly overlooking -- not only the sheer Charisma of the man but also the likely consequence that with such power as given him by the presidency, he will have LEGITIMIZED abortion to the extent that it will have become itself an engrained moral of society!

Sooner or later, you and Michael are going to realize The Place at The Table is just a kneeler at the Altar of Moloch.
Dang, I wish I could write like that.

Before Hitler ever came into power, to many folks, killing Jews would have rightly been seen as Murder.

Once Hitler assumed power, all of a sudden killing Jews became but a sport!

Don't underestimate what such people can do with the blessings of natural charisma and the full weight of governmental power!

Conservatives have tended to vote for "the lesser of two evils" for the past 20 years. It has gotten us where, exactly?
Voting for the lesser of two evils is what has gotten us to exactly where we are right now, of course. If a 'conservative' likes where we are right now, then keep on keeping on. If a conservative thinks we are in a deepening hole, perhaps it is time to stop digging.

Zippy,

How exactly is 'not voting' going to improve the quality of future selections of presidential candidates?

Aristocles:
If you can't see how yourself, after our many, many discussions on the subject, then I doubt anything else I can say will help you see.

How exactly is 'not voting' going to improve the quality of future selections of presidential candidates?
Is that really the point? Are there nothing but pragmatists in here? What about the principle of not selling our souls to the devil? Who cares if it works to accomplish our desired ends? Would you vote for the Antichrist if he promised to put an end to abortion?

**If a 'conservative' likes where we are right now, then keep on keeping on. If a conservative thinks we are in a deepening hole, perhaps it is time to stop digging.**

Yep. It's like choosing between two cars, both heading for a cliff, one at 100 mph and the other at 75. If you choose the latter, it may take you a tad longer to get there, but the destination is still the same.

Mr. Fraser: an excellent point; but when doing something self-destructive, it is both the right thing and the practical thing to stop doing it. To be sure, though, when the right thing is merely right and not also practical we should still do it.

"Once Hitler assumed power, all of a sudden killing Jews became but a sport!"

Ari, back away from the keyboards. This cartoonish rendering of history is beneath you, though it does explain why you hold politics in such high regard, and appear oblivious to the importance of culture. Get some fresh air. Please.

Kevin,

Do you deny the following:

Upon a likely Obama win, should he successfully implement the full impact of his FOCA agenda (not limited to just the presidential signing of the FOCA, mind you); it will not only serve to give such force to the Pro-Murder agenda but, even more, multiply its members to unprecedented numbers since under such an administration, the 'morality' of "ABORTION IS OKAY" will have officially become the SOLE LITURGY of the Nation!

In other words, Obama will seek to POPULARIZE such a notion as a natural course of his enacted policies.

This is what you are surprisingly overlooking -- not only the sheer Charisma of the man but also the likely consequence that with such power as given him by the presidency, he will have LEGITIMIZED abortion to the extent that it will have become itself an engrained moral of society!


Zippy,

Aristocles: If you can't see how yourself, after our many, many discussions on the subject, then I doubt anything else I can say will help you see.

Abstaining from national elections in order to produce better candidates is just as effective as abstaining from filling up at the gas station in order to produce better gas prices!

But a non vote IS a vote against abortion.

Michael, I do want to address that: Literally, no. A non-vote is a non-vote, period. I, for one, am not holding to some sort of double standard. The only sense in which one might say that a "non vote is a vote against abortion" (or ESCR, for example) is quite a different sense from the sense in which this whole issue is usually framed and thrown at the heads of people who are thinking of not voting. That is to say, when someone like some of the posters in this thread tells someone like me, "Not voting for McCain is as bad as voting for Obama," or when someone else starts literally _counting_ non votes as votes that "swing" the election or that "could have helped" against Obama, they're not talking symbolism. They're talking actual, material help. Numbers. Now, that's ridiculous, for reasons I've explained probably until everyone, including me, is tired of hearing it.

I would myself not use the phrase "a non-vote is a vote against abortion" precisely because it is exaggerated and could sound like I'm buying into some sort of confusion. I will say that a non-vote could in fact be interpreted by the powers that be in such a way that it would send them a message. I would hope so. But it might not be. So when I don't vote, my reasons are not for purposes of "doing" something actively against abortion, because I know perfectly well that not voting is not an act but a refusal to act. My reasons are two-fold: First, as John Fraser and others have expressed well, we all have to have a line drawn so that we don't just send our personal integrity down the river, and McCain is (fairly far) over my line. Second, I believe that as an actual tactical matter, continuing to vote for the "lesser evil" pulls down the pro-life movement and makes it more and more difficult for pro-lifers to be a strong witness on a variety of issues. It mutes our voice, as I have discussed both in the post and in comments. So I won't do it. But by not doing it, I'm not "voting" except in some extremely metaphoric sense, a sense so metaphoric that I won't call it that.

Lydia,

Kindly place things in their proper context.

For instance:

Lydia,

Yes -- in the specific context wherein a vote could've been counted against Obama had the voter submitted his/her vote against him

, the lack of such votes do indeed help Obama for obvious reasons, as previously expressed.

You seem to be placing Obama and McCain on equal footing; as if a McCain administration is just as bad as an Obaman administration where Pro-Life issues in toto are concerned.

However, that is not the case.

Posted by aristocles | August 26, 2008 1:29 PM

Here's a fool's plan to change the world:

"Get out the non-vote."


**I believe that as an actual tactical matter, continuing to vote for the "lesser evil" pulls down the pro-life movement and makes it more and more difficult for pro-lifers to be a strong witness on a variety of issues.**

Exactly. This, I believe, is what happened to the GOP as a whole. Why would it not happen to smaller aspects of the conservative 'movement' as well? As someone said above, the center line keeps getting moved farther and farther leftward, and we find ourselves moving that direction too, often unwittingly.

I notice nobody's answered any of my questions about what you will do if McCain is elected and does exactly what we would expect him to do. Probably I had too many questions. So I'll shorten it up: If McCain is elected and opens up federal funding for ESCR, will you vote for his reelection in 2012? If not, why not, given that you are voting for him now? If this action will not affect your vote for him in 2012, how will you criticize him, and how will you fight to have the new funding law reversed?

Abstaining from national elections in order to produce better candidates is just as effective as abstaining from filling up at the gas station in order to produce better gas prices!
Interesting analogy. In a report I recently received from an investment bank, one of the analysts explained that the recent moderation in gas prices is in part a result of reduced demand -- reduced demand produced by the peak prices of a few months back. (I don't think it is a particularly good analogy, mind you, but reduced demand at the pump does in fact result in better gas prices).

That's right -- the comprehensive Pro-abortion agenda of an Obaman administration is nothing in comparison.

Let us all take part in the coming Liturgy of the Pro-Abortionist that will endure 4 or even 8 years and perhaps, if Obama does thing accordingly, for even decades to come!

Fear McCain and not the Man under whom the United States will have then become to Serving Tray for the Pro-Abortionists!

That's right -- the comprehensive Pro-abortion agenda of an Obaman administration is nothing in comparison.

Let us all take part in the coming Liturgy of the Pro-Abortionist that will endure 4 or even 8 years and perhaps, if Obama does thing accordingly, for even decades to come!

Fear McCain and not the Man under whom the United States will have then become [a] Serving Tray for the Pro-Abortionists!

Republicans endured a sound drubbing in the last election, similar to what the non-voter contingent here hopes will happen in the future if 5 or 10 million "realists" don't vote.

So, now that the GOP has lost the House and the Senate, show me the great pro-life consequences.

Don't you know that realism is supposed to be tied to reality?

Further, please show me even one serious political strategist who says that the way to change the course of America is not to vote.

Listening to you guys talk about political strategy is like listening to politicians talk about theology and righteousness. So, I'll ask you self-styled realists again: Has anybody here ever won an election?


Ari, I believe Obama's election will be initially disastrous to the pro-life side. It will remain so, only if we truly invested in the mythical silver bullet called "5 Justices on the Supreme Court", and accepted an ephemeral electoral result as the final word in this struggle. Frankly, if we're that lame, then we all deserve an early dispatch to Dr. Jack's House of Painless Departures, or life as dhimmis on the Islamic plantation.

The battle is going to be won in the hearts and minds of your countrymen, not within the chambers of the judiciary. No matter who wins this November, or every election thereafter. Our Witness is going to require more effort than placing McCain-Lieberman lawn-signs on roadways.

The worse blunder the pro-life movement can make is to remain dependent on the political fortunes of professional cynics and demented Empire-builders. Less Atwater. More Augustine. Ora et Labora.

Has anybody here ever won an election?
I won a write-in campaign for student council vice-president at my Bible college (total enrollment of 88 students) as a sophomore. Does that count?

Seriously, though, I don't really understand what you mean by "realist." Are you contrasting that with "pragmatist"? To me being a realist means understanding that the ultimate reality is the kingdom of God. It's still moving ahead, no matter who's president. It's still moving ahead in every nation on earth, sometimes under the most dire and unimaginable circumstances. I just don't see our mission as being "changing the course of America" by political means. I think there might be one or two others on here who think the same way.

Stand up for what's right, yes. Speaking out against evil and injustice, yes. Selling our souls to the devil so the really bad guy doesn't win, no. If we do that we lose even if we win.

'Has anybody here ever won an election?"

I did. Very overrated. Especially at an all-boys high school.


Hey, guys, I've been doing a fair amount of thinking on the whole "to vote or not to vote" question, and my conclusion: it's foolish not to vote in order to avoid voting for the "lesser of two evils".

First, I disagree with what Zippy and others have said, that voting for the lesser of two evils is how we got here. It's true that we've gotten here, and it's true that we've been voting for the lesser of two evils on the way here. But it doesn't follow that the latter is the reason for the former. Look at this from another perspective: Liberals have also been voting for the "lesser of two evils" (in their twisted view), but they've been getting more of what they want.

The premise that voting for the lesser of two evils gets you less of what you want is therefore flawed. The real reason we've been seeing this slide into social liberalism is simply the fallen nature of man. It is the nature of man, left to his own devices, to slide further and further into depravity over time, to keep lowering the bar on himself. Nobody wants to be judged, and nobody wants to think they are a bad person, and as a result, people will try to lower the moral standards on their own behavior, indulging in as much moral relativism as they can get away with. It is not the tendency of man to perfect and improve himself, to subject himself to more demanding standards - not unless he is forced by necessity or inspired by the example of a principled and persuasive leader.

That's the real phenomenon you're fighting against. Moral decay is a universal human trait, one that applies to countries, to parties, to churches, and to organizations like NRLC. It's not a tendency that you can change, certainly not by refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils.

What do you hope to accomplish by that act? Above, Kevin says "Imagine the shock wave that would be felt if 5-10 million pro-lifers abstained from this electoral hoax". That's a nice fantasy, but let's think about how it's likely to play out in real life. One, it's not likely that you'll reach those numbers. But, even if you did, what would it accomplish? Nothing, unless the GOP leadership understood that the reason they lost those votes was because of McCain's laxity on abortion. And with 10 million individual non-voters, without any unifying voice, how would they ever get that message? And even if they did get the message, all you've opened up is the possibility that they might respond to your liking. More probably, they'll try to increase their numbers among the demographics that *did* vote for them.

I assume you all accept the premise that, in the immediate future, more abortions are likely to happen under an Obama presidency than under McCain, right? Given that premise, abstaining from voting can only be justified if there is some greater good you hope to accomplish which you cannot accomplish if you vote for McCain. As I pointed out above, that's not too likely.

Perhaps some of you don't want to vote for McCain because you find both candidates unacceptable on abortion, and you don't want to signify your approval with your vote. Let me just point out that a vote does not signify approval. A vote is merely an attempt to get one candidate into office rather than another. Again, assuming that less children are likely to be killed with McCain in office, this seems to me a moral imperative. Once you cast a vote, it's anonymous. Nobody is going to be looking at your vote and concluding that you approve of McCain, and if anybody asks you who you voted for, you can explain your reasons.

Rob G says "It's like choosing between two cars, both heading for a cliff, one at 100 mph and the other at 75. If you choose the latter, it may take you a tad longer to get there, but the destination is still the same." Yes, it is in fact a lot like that. But, nevertheless, given a choice between those two cars, it is more rational to choose the one going at 75.

For one thing, the one going 75 will give you a bit more time to hopefully figure out a way to prevent it from going over the cliff. Also, what if something happens to stop the car from the outside, like a boulder rolling into your path, or maybe a police car? Unlikely, yes, but the car going 75 nevertheless provides slightly more time for such a happy act of salvation to occur.

And let me remind you that we're not talking about cars, but babies aborted. Perhaps nothing can be done, and that 75 mph car will go over the cliff regardless. Well, if in the meantime, slightly more babies are allowed to be born and live their lives than would happen with the 100 mph car, then the 75 mph car it is!

Part of being a realist is to avoid defining defeat as victory as long as it is self-inflicted.

Look at this from another perspective: Liberals have also been voting for the "lesser of two evils" (in their twisted view), but they've been getting more of what they want.
This has been explained elsewhere, at least to my satisfaction.

Deuce,
First, if a bloc of 5-10 million pro-lifers abstain, it will register in every poll and be the result of a very large and noticeable ground-swell.
Secondly, the GOP needs us more than we need them. Take regular Church-goers out of their coalition and they're left with; some business trade groups, military contractors and a tiny band of neo-cons.
Third, the lives that are being saved are due to the enormous debate we've been conducting for 30 years and the effect that has had within our culture. That doesn't end this November.
Fourth, credibility is key to moral suasion. I just don't see; 'I'm Pro-life, now let's Attack Iran and expand the water-board team as a winner.
Fifth, why do I get the sense that for some here, the concept of pro-life activism begins and ends with the ballot box?

So, apparently none of the self-styled realists have won a political election. That's not surprising when the strategy they propose is not voting (No, seriously, THAT'S their plan.), a plan no successful political strategist endorses. Perhaps you've noticed that the most successful political strategists in recent decades actually think it works best to get the most voters, and have figured out how to do that. Our self-styled realists think the way to push forward in American politics is to convince those who agree with them on the most important issues NOT to vote. This they call realism.

You've probaly also noticed that when the Democrats knocked the Republicans out of control in Washington, they did it by getting out the vote, not getting out the non-vote.

Our self-styled realists are NARAL's dream come true. Yet they flatter themselves that they are uncompromising stalwarts for truth, virtue and realism. Bringing pro-choicers to power is what they call victory. I call it what's wrong with What's Wrong with the World.

Kevin,
You already have a GOP booted ignominiously from power. You already have the result you were hoping for with your non-vote strategy, a strategy you say will change the way the GOP deals with life issues.

Has it worked? Is the GOP more effectivley pro-life now that they have been exiled from power? Not a bit. Relegating the party closest to you to political defeat does not produce the effects about which, in the name of realism, you fantasize.

"You've probaly also noticed that when the Democrats knocked the Republicans out of control in Washington,..."

Yes, Michael we noticed. Do you know why the GOP lost? A disastrous adventure in Iraq, corruption and a lot of broken promises. And we're supposed to place the lives of the unborn in their hands, why again?

"Our self-styled realists are NARAL's dream come true."

Really. So you think they would prefer more payer vigils, side-walk counseling and social stigma attached to their industry and crisis pregancy centers operation to our trudging to the polls every couple of years and then sitting on our hands, while waiting and waiting for some moment that never comes?

"Our self-styled realists are NARAL's dream come true. Yet they flatter themselves that they are uncompromising stalwarts for truth, virtue and realism. Bringing pro-choicers to power is what they call victory. I call it what's wrong with What's Wrong with the World."

The best solution in combatting the greater evil is to leave it unopposed.

The Win of a charismatic candidate with a viscious Pro-Abortionist agenda and the subsequent Pro-Murder policies he will impose upon the American People is nothing in comparison to the idealism of those who feel that such gravity of evil doesn't warrant action on their part.

After all, the House & the Senate have already been lost.

It's time we complete The Stage on Behalf Of the Pro-Abortionist Agenda by inviting an Obaman Presidential Win!

Kevin asked:

"Why do I get the sense that for some here, the concept of pro-life activism begins and ends with the ballot box?"

I say:
You tell us, Kevin, especially since not one person you criticize said such a thing. Maybe it's your commitment to so-called realism that leads you to such baseless inventions.

So, apparently none of the self-styled realists have won a political election.
I won plenty of political victories in the corporate world before I made enough money to retire at 35 years old. Your sarcasm is pretty unbecoming, as is the implication that anyone who disagrees with you must just be some kind of strategic and tactical moron.
I won plenty of political victories in the corporate world before I made enough money to retire at 35 years old.

Zippy,

Off-topic, were you by chance one of those success stories that came out of the Tech Boom of the 90s?

I only ask because in one of my classes, there was actually a person who similarly was such an entreprenuer and went onto sell the company he founded (as was the case at the time -- that love'em and leave'em mentality that to some was unbecoming of the likes of a Steve Jobs & Bill Gates).

"Why do I get the sense that for some here, the concept of pro-life activism begins and ends with the ballot box?"
You tell us, Kevin, especially since not one person you criticize said such a thing. Maybe it's your commitment to so-called realism that leads you to such baseless inventions.
The Win of a charismatic candidate with a viscious Pro-Abortionist agenda and the subsequent Pro-Murder policies he will impose upon the American People is nothing in comparison to the idealism of those who feel that such gravity of evil doesn't warrant action on their part.


Off-topic, were you by chance one of those success stories that came out of the Tech Boom of the 90s?
Yes.

Zippy and Mark Cuban are best friends.

Michael, no one has said electoral politics are the sole extent of pro-life activism. But, neither you, Ari or anyone else have said anything outside the realm of voting and campaigns. Let's consider all the options open to us as a simple matter of prudent planning. I don't think 4 years of McCain are going to do much other than sustain an unacceptable status quo.

Zippy: On that same 'off-'topic, will W4 ever run an expose on "Who is Zippy Catholic?" or will you, at the very least, provide a brief auto. in that regard? I love reading those types of success stories for educational reasons.

Kevin,

"I don't think 4 years of McCain are going to do much other than sustain an unacceptable status quo."

I don't fear a McCain administration -- there is, at the very least, a leash on him should he fail to answer his constituents, members of which who are indeed Pro-Life.

However, with Obama, all bets are off -- there is no such proverbial 'leash' since his party is the very one that advocates the Pro-Death agenda with him being its very leader in that regard!

Aristocles:
No, I have no plans to do that kind of thing beyond what is already in my (growing a little stale by now) W4 bio.

I will say that the attitude many have about the next election is remarkably similar to the attitude the management of many poorly run public companies have about the next quarter. Always the long term good is sacrificed for the next quarter's immediate results, no matter how badly the short sighted shenanigans damage long term prospects. Of course in both cases some of the perversity is built into how the system itself functions; a fact not lost on the best of strategists.

"Again, assuming that less children are likely to be killed with McCain in office..."

There are no guarantees. If a big enough war starts during a McCain administration it might happen that more children will be killed, or prevented from being born, than otherwise by abortion. They might or might not be American children.

I would be more persuaded of McCain if people who were extremely dubious about McCain would argue that nevertheless they see no alternative. I find that there are too many obvious Republican activists arguing for McCain to be entirely persuasive, and I would appreciate a full disclosure statement from them: "I work for McCain, and this is why..." Please include your personal agendas and ambitions, if any.

That said, I have no intention of voting for Obama, although in DC it makes no difference. I have the luxury in this jurisdiction of voting for whomever I wish other than Obama - it might be a Ron Paul write-in. A vote for McCain in DC is also a wasted vote.

Okay, I'm thinking write-in campaign for Zippy. After all, it really should be someone who's constitutionally eligible, and he does meet the age requirement. Just need a good campaign slogan. How about this: "Zippy. Just consider the alternatives." Hey?

Incidentally, my surprise victory in the election for Aldersgate College vice-president was initiated unbeknownst to me by another student who wasn't satisfied with either of the candidates who were running. The parallels are almost eerie to me.

"I would be more persuaded of McCain if people who were extremely dubious about McCain would argue that nevertheless they see no alternative. I find that there are too many obvious Republican activists arguing for McCain to be entirely persuasive, and I would appreciate a full disclosure statement from them: "I work for McCain, and this is why..." Please include your personal agendas and ambitions, if any."

Oh, that's right -- I forgot that I am a 'Republican Activist' because Pavel says so.

Never mind the fact that I'm not Republican and do not actually like McCain; however, I do know that with an Obaman administration, we are worst off in the long run as far as the Pro-Life movement goes.

Like I said:

I don't fear a McCain administration -- there is, at the very least, a leash on him should he fail to answer his constituents, members of which who are indeed Pro-Life.

However, with Obama, all bets are off -- there is no such proverbial 'leash' since his party is the very one that advocates the Pro-Death agenda with him being its very leader in that regard!

Cover me, Lydia, I'm comin' in...what has been going on here all day??

"If McCain is elected and opens up federal funding for ESCR, will you vote for his reelection in 2012? If not, why not, given that you are voting for him now? If this action will not affect your vote for him in 2012, how will you criticize him, and how will you fight to have the new funding law reversed?"

I don't think anyone has answered your question because if McCain pulls that stunt, no one who voted for him while knowing that issue was still open would have one leg to stand on or one basis on which to complain--because they knew he was a snake when they pulled the lever the first time. Unless another BO materializes, I doubt they'd vote for him twice. I wouldn't be surprised if McCain has that in mind even now. I certainly do.

"Oh, that's right -- I forgot that I am a 'Republican Activist' because Pavel says so."

Is there some other Pavel around here who said that aristocles is a Republican Activist?

There have been a few comments alluding to the Iraq war; has anyone else read Party of Defeat by David Horowitz? The book is definitely worth a read, if not.

Well, yeah, Laura, that was my point. Glad you saw it, anyway. :-)

I have a better slogan for a Zippy write-in campaign: "Vote for Zippy: You know who he is even when you don't know who he is." Or maybe "You know what he stands for even if you don't know who he is."

These are meant to be complimentary, by the way.

Aristocles said, re. McCain,

there is, at the very least, a leash on him should he fail to answer his constituents

Well, no. Since many of those constituents have made it clear that they are willing to vote for the lesser evil no matter what, the leash is illusory. That is just one point that should be borne in mind here. You think the Dems are going to come up with someone _less evil_ in 2012?

Kevin,
In a basically political thread, people will talk politics, which doesn't mean they think politics is even close to the most important thing.

By the way, I am firmly convinced that our fellow discussants would do well to study carefully the writings of Edmund Burke on the nature and importance of party politics, and how party politics ought best be conducted. It is a fountain of the realism you rightly value, though not of the tactics you espouse.

Best,
MB

Pavel,
My sincerest apologies -- I mistakenly thought you were referring to me by those remarks.


Lydia,
Sometimes we'll just have to endure our mistakes in order to learn from them.

In this case, it seems that the ramifications of an Obaman administration (as far as the Pro-Life movement is concerned) will not be acknowledged until such time that they have ultimately come to pass in the next 4 or even 8 years.

Should his administration prove successful (I mean here such as in a resulting prospering economy, etc.), favor will automatically be granted to any subsequent successor after the likes of him.

The reign of the Pro-Abortionists of the Democratic Party that started with Obama will continue even thereafter in the form of his successor.

Zippy said:
"I won plenty of political victories in the corporate world before I made enough money to retire at 35 years old. Your sarcasm is pretty unbecoming, as is the implication that anyone who disagrees with you must just be some kind of strategic and tactical moron."

I say:
Zippy,
Surely you can distinguish between politics and the corporate world.

So I'll ask it again so that you cannot equivocate: Have American voters elected you to public office? Is that clear enough for you now to give a straight forward answer?

And no one is a tactical moron because they disagree with me. They are tactical morons, which is why they disagree with every savvy political strategist all the way back to Edmund Burke.

My point, if it is not clear, is that the political strategy put forth by our "get out the non-vote" lobby is no better than the theology and ethics put forth by politicians.

I don't know that I ever called myself a "realist," so I'm not even sure where this term is coming from. I do try to see reality as it is. And, Aristocles, every word you say about what will happen if Obama becomes president may well be true. I sometimes aspire to be not just a realist but a pessimist. It's amazing and depressing how often the most pessimistic predictions turn out to be true. But it doesn't follow that...

I guess we can take the end of that sentence as read. Ultimately the possibility that our 2012 selves will become something from which our more clear-sighted 1992 selves would have recoiled in horror is the defeat I'm most concerned to avoid. I believe it's the deeper defeat. I've been following this game with some care, specifically as it concerns the collapsing standards of the pro-life movement, for over 15 years now. I know that isn't a huge number of years, but it's a fairly long time to have one's eye on that particular ball. The main post is one bit of the evidence that has come out of that. But sometime some of you who just consider my position beneath contempt should ask yourselves whether there shouldn't perhaps be just a little feeling of shock occasionally at the thought that this annoyance and anger at possible non-voters is all about ardent support for _John McCain_, the pro-life movement's bogeyman of eight years past, and a man who has repeatedly said he _doesn't support overturning Roe v. Wade_. Do you _have_ a line, Aristocles? I mean, it would seem to me a hopeful thing if at least you could say something like this: "If McCain were to do such-and-such, I would not vote for him again," or "I would never vote for a candidate that took such-and-such a position." There should be some such line in the sand. In twenty-five years, will you be beating people over the head to vote for a Barack Obama clone because at least...say...he doesn't support killing newborns _without their parents' consent_ whereas the other guy does?

I doubt anyone else missed your point, Lydia. I just fessed up.

Lydia,

I've just finished making precisely the same point to a friend in an email conversation on this exact topic. He's taking the McCain-as-anti-Obama line, and I asked him this: If Giuliani had been successful in securing the Republican nomination, ought he to be supported against Obama? If we have two candidates, one who advocates abortion as an unqualified good, and the other who thinks they should be "safe, legal, and rare," will we still vote "the lesser of two evils"? You could go on drawing fine distinctions forever. At what point do you stop and admit that you're just kidding yourself? Giuliani was being taken seriously as a candidate for the Republican ticket. His kind represent a possible future for the Republican party, perhaps a future that has already arrived.

Now the response I have received from my friend is basically one of surrender. He thinks we're just bailing water from the Titanic, so he wants his conscience soothed. He calls this "being pragmatic." You know, you take what you can get but at least you voted and "participated in the democratic process."

To make sure I understand, Byronic: Your friend said yes, that Giuliani should have been supported under those circumstances? (One wonders in that case why we keep hearing so much about McCain's pro-life voting record. Evidently it doesn't matter, if they'd support Giuliani.) Will he pick anything, name anything, that he'll balk at? If not, then it's funny we should be hearing about how horrible Obama is, because if we get imaginative, we can imagine things that are worse than Obama (somebody who wants to put all Christians in concentration camps or something), in which case, I guess, they could conceivably be angry at all of us in some hypothetical election for not supporting Obama!

The thing is, I wouldn't mind nearly so much knowing that my fellow conservatives and pro-lifers are going to vote for McCain if McCain's strong supporters would do two things: 1) Not be angry at people taking my line, and withhold their anger precisely _because_ they admit that one has to draw a line somewhere and that they and I have simply drawn it in different places, and 2) Draw a line.

What concerns me most of all is when I encounter so much aggression--polite aggression, since we conservatives are all nice folks here at W4, but aggression nonetheless--combined with the unremitting focus on the idea that you _must_, _must_, vote for the lesser evil with no discussion of line-drawing at all. McCain's open supporters and I might be able to agree to disagree much better if it weren't for that.

Have American voters elected you to public office?
Have they elected you to a national office? More importantly, what does the modified personal attack chickenhawk argument you are advancing have to do with the price of tea in China?

I get it that you think vocal abstention or third-party voting is stupid. You've basically said the same thing over and over again with increasing shrillness.

I think you are wrong on the tactical point, that perpetuating the GOP advance into the gutter is actually counterproductive as a long term practical matter, and I think that even if you weren't wrong people of good will still shouldn't vote for medical cannibals like McCain; even though, yes, McCain is less bad than Obama.

So we don't agree, and maybe each think the other has adopted an idiotic position. I think I'll be able to live with that without my self esteem crumbling. I expect you can too.

Your friend said yes, that Giuliani should have been supported under those circumstances?
Well, funny thing. He said a lot in answer but didn't answer that part of the question. So I asked again and am still waiting. He's been linked to this thread so who knows, maybe he's reading this right now.

Ari,
I fear McCain will be the apotheosis of NeoConnery and lead our country into a series of debacles from which we will not recover. His interest in the pro-life cause is pro-forma and we will only suffer from any association with him.

Michael,
A stout foe of imperialism and yes, a friend of the incrementalism you (and I) espouse, I think it a reach to claim him for your side. He calls for his "little platoons" to take to the field of battle, but instead you turn to the "sophists and calculators" for justice. Political strategists win or lose elections. Our quest is transforming a culture one day at a time.

Zippy,
Accusing Michael of excessive sarcasm was misplaced and unjust. Especially in a thread that includes me.

Lydia,
The charge of "the collapsing standards of the pro-life movement," has been made with varying degrees of accuracy for 30 plus years. I think overall it misses the mark in one important aspect. Virtually everyone who has ever risen to a position of leadership in the movement has done so as an amateur in the world of politics. Proof in case we needed it, that the victory we will one day share, belongs to God alone.

All,
Let's avoid forming a circular firing squad. Come January '09 we'll need every live body we can find, and the W4 meeting at the March for Life could be awkward if we're still sporting open wounds from this election.

"Sometimes we'll just have to endure our mistakes in order to learn from them."

But this is Lydia's point, Aristocles--for how long do we keep making the same mistakes before we learn from them? Meanwhile, RvW remains and proliferates.

This just in: Conservative/Evangelical friend says he would support Giuliani had he been the nominee. Who else here concurs?

The spirit of Cardinal O'Connor awakens in New York;

Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Edward Cardinal Egan

Archbishop of New York


August 26, 2008

What concerns me most of all is when I encounter so much aggression--polite aggression, since we conservatives are all nice folks here at W4, but aggression nonetheless--combined with the unremitting focus on the idea that you _must_, _must_, vote for the lesser evil with no discussion of line-drawing at all. McCain's open supporters and I might be able to agree to disagree much better if it weren't for that.
I expect that part of the problem is that once we've put line-drawing on the table at all, it becomes rather difficult not to draw that line somewhere which excludes candidates with a long history of relentless advocacy of federally funded medical cannibalization of vast numbers of tiny human children. IOW, once we've allowed for line drawing at all it is pretty clear that the line has to fall on a side unfavorable to supporting McCain. Thus the hostility.

"We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb."

This is why I can't vote for Obama. Period. No way. Hell, I've had to put animals down and it wrenched my guts. How do you think I feel about someone putting human beings down?

"they disagree with every savvy political strategist all the way back to Edmund Burke"

Russell Kirk's reading of Burke indicates otherwise. What Kirk calls 'the politics of prudence' calls for prudential compromise in the short term to achieve long term goals. What conservatives have been doing for the last 20 years is the opposite -- the neocon takeover of the GOP shows it, as does the general leftward drift of the culture.

"...should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name."

That is the Bill of Indictment for most of our political class.

I'm with you Rob G, Burke's incremental approach did not call for 3 steps backward with every one forward, and he of all people, would recognize the neocons for what they are; the heirs to Robespierre and the French philosphes.

Laura Writes: "But this is Lydia's point, Aristocles--for how long do we keep making the same mistakes before we learn from them? Meanwhile, RvW remains and proliferates."

...And that is why we should leave Obama unopposed at the Polls (and every other Obama thereafter) -- his explicit comprehensive Pro-Abortionist agenda and staunch allegiance to the Culture of Death is hardly anything to balk at let alone voted against.

After all, this nation had already been ravaged by the likes of Roe v. Wade -- why not allow Obama and his vicious Pro-Abortionist platform to multiply its effects?

Let Obama and every unmistakably notorious Pro-Abortionist thereafter have the incontestable reign they so desire by handing to these the Highest Office of the Land to impose on it as they will by such acts as in FOCA as well as appoint minions who will preserve the Letter of the Rule in the form of Supreme Court Justices!

Ari,
Congratulations. You win the Gold in the Repetition of Non Sequitors Event. If Michael plays the political strategist riff one more time, perhaps you both can form a relay team.

Many here, have decided that supporting McCain is not so much a prudent compromise in the long quest to supplanting the culture of death, as it is a fatal surrender to its utilitarian ethics. Our reasons for this conclusion may differ, but no one plans on leaving the monstrous architecture of Roe v Wade, "unopposed". The Gospel of Life calls for acts of mercy, not passive participation in civic rituals. Time to think outside the ballot box.

...no one plans on leaving the monstrous architecture of Roe v Wade, "unopposed".

And while the "non-vote" is exercised in every election here and thereafter, Obama Augustus and all Obmanan Caessars after him will have engineered an Empire for the Culture of Death!

Congratulations to you, Scott W., Lydia and all others who left these people unopposed at the Polls!

...And while the "non-vote" is exercised in every election here and thereafter, Obama Augustus and all [Obaman] Caesars after him will have engineered an Empire for the Culture of Death!

Congratulations to you, Scott W., Lydia and all others who left these people unopposed at the Polls!

aristocles,

Shouldn't it be clear to you, by now, that everyone doesn't accept your Obama/McCain dichotomy? For those who don't, such statements as your above just don't have any effect.

or rather, "not everyone accepts..."

So if a person votes for a pro-life third party candidate, is that person a "non-voter" and has he left these people unopposed at the polls?

thebyronicman,

Shouldn't it be clear to you, by now, that everyone doesn't accept your Obama/McCain dichotomy?

Oh, that's right -- it's not as if Obama, once president, will serve at the whims of the Pro-Choice constituency who helped bring him to power; not that his vowed presidential signing of the FOCA and expressed views on preferred Justices on the Supreme Court as well as any of his various other explicit takes on abortion should serve as any evidence for such in the matter.

I think Aristocles is having a Rodak Moment.

Aristocles, yes, for crying out loud, I understand your sense of urgency regarding this election, alright? Everyone does. However, Lydia, or any other registered voter in this country, isn't obligated to give their vote to either candidate, regardless of the circumstances, if they believe that both of the candidates are one and the same.

If Obama wasn't such a beast, McCain would've been tossed some time ago. I just can't begrudge anyone for recognizing that the lesser evil is still, in fact, evil, in refusing to support either.

Laura,

Nobody is obligated to prevent America from being offered as a serving tray to the Pro-Choice folks, as will inevitably be the case in an Obaman Administration.

However, as for myself:

"Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise."

Also, Aristocles and Lydia, my apologies for responding to that last comment that Aristocles wrote for Lydia--I read last night's post fairly late and misread Lydia's name for my own.

"Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise."

The whole point of this post was to get you to realize you are standing in quicksand.

"Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise."

Appropriate you should evoke Luther at this moment. The evidence for him actually saying that is dubious, I'm told. And if he did say it, he shouldn't have. Luther could have been a saint, but instead he chose pride and self-importance. Be a reformer, but don't think it all depends on you.

I have read this debate with great interest and am leaning toward Lydia's view about abstaining or voting for a third-party candidate.

However, I have to admit that not voting for "the lesser of two evils" does give me serious heartburn.

In addition to his radically pro-abortion positions, Obama and his pals (I fear) will eviscerate the First Amendment. Have you seen what is going on in Canada and some parts of Europe with respect to freedom of speech and religion? Those of you who say the "abstainers" will make their statement by protesting, speaking out, etc., may be in for a very unpleasant surprise when the people who have the courage to speak out get slapped down by Human Rights [sic] agencies and heavy fines. Orthodox Christians and political conservatives will be the first victims, I'm afraid.

Our self-styled realists are NARAL's dream come true. Yet they flatter themselves that they are uncompromising stalwarts for truth, virtue and realism. Bringing pro-choicers to power is what they call victory. I call it what's wrong with What's Wrong with the World.

And I am sure that a certain group of first century inhabitants of Jerusalem thought that Christ allowing Himself to get crucified was a poor political strategy.


Has it worked? Is the GOP more effectivley pro-life now that they have been exiled from power? Not a bit.

So if this chastisement hasn't changed the GOP, why should I be supporting them at all?

I simply don't get how continuously voting for the lesser of two evils is supposed to bring good - it just brings more evil. Like M. Theresa said (IIRC), we are called to be faithful, not successful. 8 years ago, McCain was a GOP pariah; now he's the GOP standard bearer - he hasn't changed, the GOP has, and not for the better. How is voting for him going to improve the GOP?

However, I have to admit that not voting for "the lesser of two evils" does give me serious heartburn.

It does me as well, but voting for the lesser of two evils gives me more heartburn. So I am going with the lesser of two heartburns.

Robin, I've no doubt that you are right, though I have little reason to see much of a contrast on _that_ issue from McCain. AFter all, McCain was the genius behind McCain-Feingold. I'm not saying that's equivalent to what you're citing in Canada; I'm just saying that I haven't got anything on my radar right now that says that McCain is looking to protect our First Amendment rights.

And in any event, it really can't make any difference to keep bringing up _more_ terrible stuff about Obama. I call Obama The Monster. You couldn't make my opinion of him and his administration and what they will do worse if you tried. I'm there. I get that. But that isn't what this is about. It's about the fact that we have to have a line we won't cross, and McCain is (well) over mine.

c matt: So the Partial Birth Abortion Supreme Court decision, as well as other decisions that would similarly restrict abortions, by the Alito/Roberts team would not actually reverse the tide of RvW?

Sorry -- I beg to differ.

The more restrictions placed on abortion, the more ineffective RvW becomes.

But how can that ever happen should Obama undo the work that had begun with PBA?

Oh yeah -- for what's it worth, McCain's VP is: Sarah Palin, distinctly Pro-Life.

Sarah Palin:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Sarah_Palin.htm

Sarah Palin on Abortion:
"I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in Alaska."

"...But that isn't what this is about. It's about the fact that we have to have a line we won't cross, and McCain is (well) over mine."

For whatever this is worth, Lydia, (even if nothing) I respect you immensely for that, and don't, in the least, feel betrayed by your decision.

Lydia Wrote: "I call Obama The Monster. You couldn't make my opinion of him and his administration and what they will do worse if you tried. I'm there. I get that. But that isn't what this is about." (my emphasis)

Precisely -- this is about promoting the Pro-Choice Leadership in the country and handing to these the very power of the Presidency!

Let us help seal the fate of ending the War by achieving a Pro-Life Majority on the Supreme Court bench that would deliver restrictions on abortions (like PBA) which would, in effect, reverse RvW.

Let us, instead, retreat into our cages and resort merely to ineffectual prayer (specifically, prayer without action at the government level) and conduct futile evening vigils.

4,000 babies killed a day isn't enough!

Go OBAMA!

Go FOCA!

Go Culture of Death!

You've made your point in spades, aristocles. Why the sledge hammer?

Lydia, thank you for your courteous response.

I just finished watching Gov. Palin. She is adorable, and I loved her accent. Much more importantly, I also like the fact that she is pro-life and lives it. She also kicked Biden's teeth in on the "working-class" thing.

But, does it bother anyone else that she is running for VP of the United States while she has one girl (Piper?) who looked very young and a four-month-old with Down's Syndrome? Don't these kids need their mom? I have to admit, that bugs me. All that "glass ceiling" stuff, and citing Geraldine Ferraro and Hilary Clinton, got on my nerves, too.

RE: McCain versus Obama on free speech, I hear you on McCain-Feingold, but in my opinion that is a far cry from hauling people before Human Rights Commissions, and requiring them to pay attorneys' fees and fines because they wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper that criticized gay marriage. I just don't see the latter as equivalent to McCain-Feingold. (Not that Obama has done this, but I would be very concerned that he and his ilk would be the type. I don't think McCain would.)

Can you sense that I'm struggling with what to do in November? :-) Thank you very much for this discussion.

Roe v. Wade makes campaign comeback
Democrats warn women that high court — and abortion rights — is at stake

DENVER - The refrain in many of the Democratic leaders’ responses to Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate: Roe v. Wade, Roe v. Wade.

The 1973 Supreme Court decision nationalizing a woman’s right to get an abortion was a top-of-mind issue for top Democrats.

Voters, beware, the Democrats' message seemed to be: Palin is not in favor of abortion rights.

The Democrats seemed to be concerned that some voters might be under the misapprehension that Palin was a pro-choice woman — or that because she is a woman, it might help McCain get the votes of pro-choice women.

The message echoed and re-echoed:

“Gov. Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton in a statement issued before McCain had stepped out on the stage in Dayton, Ohio, with Palin.

“She shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade,” agreed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi two hours later.

“Gov. Palin and John McCain are a good match because they both want to overturn Roe v. Wade,” chimed in Ellen Malcolm, a Hillary Clinton adviser and president of the Democratic group Emily’s List, which backs women abortion rights candidates.

“The last thing women need is a president — and vice president — who are prepared to turn back the clock on women's rights and repeal the protections of Roe v. Wade,” said Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which backs mostly Democratic candidates.

If McCain were to win the election but not serve out his term, it would be Palin nominating justices for any Supreme Court vacancies.

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