Saturday, December 22, 2007

This one dates to January 21, 2005.

"It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

-Inaugural Address, President George Walker Bush, January 20, 2005

There are many good reasons to be a Republican, and that unflowery, bold, idealistic statement in the best tradition of Ronald Reagan is one of them.

But it's not why I'm a Republican.

The reason I signed up for all of the junk the Republican National Committee and every subpart thereof sends; the reason why I voted Republican down to the freaking Water District Manager; the reason why, should I ever be stupid enough to actually contemplate a run for elective office, I would unhesitatingly file the appropriate papers for a Republican primary, is this: Abortion. Beginning, end, total. Everything else is nice. I like lower taxes, and think it is good to keep them low as a policy matter. I believe in a robust national defense. I believe in human liberty. I think the aggrandizement of the State is one of the greatest moral and intellectual errors in human history. I like elephants.

But when it comes down to it, the reason I'm a Republican is this: One party's platform reflects a fundamental belief that men are inherently possessed of a right to life, and that life is the predicate from which all other rights flow. The other does not.

And now, I think they're trying to push me out. And a lot of the Party with me.

Let us not put too fine a point on this: To use Mark Shea's characterizations, I would much rather vote for the Stupid Party than the Evil Party. If the Stupid Party is also the Evil Party (Lite), well, then, Knights of the Old Republic II is out for the PC next month; I've never read anything by Edmund Burke, and I do need to remedy that; and with the twelve or so hour days I put in, I suspect my kids would like to see me more. My wife might, too. What I don't need to do is follow politics; organize; get out votes; or vote myself. Those are things one does because one cares.

And it would appear that the GOP is trying to shove the social conservatives into the corner. That notwithstanding, I'll be honest: If you offered me the end of legalized abortion in return for gay marriage, I'm there with bells on. I suspect the latter presages wrack and ruin; the former is the murder of millions.

I could handle it as Bush appointed a pro-baby murderchoice Cabinet (including Secretary of State and Attorney General). It's a big tent Party, and the guy at the top makes the final calls. I'm cool with that. But now this:

Ken Mehlman, incoming chairman of the Republican National Committee, has asked abortion advocate and party activist, Joann Davidson of Ohio to become the next co-chairman of the party.

Davidson, a former state legislator, has served on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice since its inception in 1990. The group has stumped for pro-abortion Republican candidates and lobbied to change the strong pro-life plank in the Republican Party's platform ever since.

After word of Davidson's potential selection filtered back to the group, Republicans for Choice posted a message on its Internet web site encouraging Davidson to "make sure the concerns of pro-choice and moderate Republicans are heard within the Republican National Committee headquarters."

With the selection generating national publicity, the message has since been removed.

Taken alone, this is a nothing. A pro-life Cabinet would make this irrelevant, or more accurately, an important concession to the minority of the Party that hews to this take on ordered liberty.


There is a point past which loyalty to a cause that shows no reward to you is either blind religious devotion or utter idiocy. I'm Catholic, and I'm not (that) stupid. If the Party thinks we're along for the ride and too benighted to notice things like this, well, that's at their own peril. We may not be the majority of the Party apparatus, but I note that when it came time to gather votes for the election, Team Bush manifestly did not rely on getting out the pro-choice vote. And it showed.

The next round of Supreme Court Justices -- what I, at least, am fighting for -- had best not be Souters. It would be ... interesting to watch the Party try to win without pro-lifers.

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