Here’s how the Duopoly works and here’s why I insist the real issue surrounding the morality of voting is not “How will it affect the outcome of the election?” but “How will it affect the soul of the voter?”
When Rebecca Kiessling asks a vital question:
The loud and clear message of Romney/Ryan to her is: Yes. Yes you did.
Romney/Ryan then turn to the prolife movement and send out the Talking Point: Make excuses for this or the babies get it. Thanks, suckers!
Prolife leaders in the pocket of the GOP then turn to those who will not get on board with this program and send the loud and clear message: The problem is not with our being lapdogs and lackeys. The problem is with people who insist on putting elementary moral principles over the needs of the Party. They are “perfectionists”. They are obstructionists. They are making the Perfect the enemy of the Good. They should shut up. They should get on board. The important thing is winning, even if we have to sell our souls to do it.
In case we are not clear *which* elementary moral principle we are talking about, it is this: It is always and everywhere gravely evil to deliberately kill innocent human life. That is what “sanctity of life” means. It’s the raison d’etre of the prolife movement. Abandon that principle and the prolife movement ceases to exist as a coherent idea.
Up till this week, the principal appeal of Ryan on the ticket was his supposedly solid Catholic prolife convictions. Now Ryan holds, as a matter of public policy, that innocent human life can be killed when it suits the needs of the Party. Some people are trying to place daylight between him and Romney to maintain the fiction that he is “100% proliife”. Sorry, no:
“Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,”
Others try to point to the GOP’s alleged 100% prolife platform as a reason for ignoring this betrayal of elementary moral principle, as though R/R’s extremely clear betrayal will somehow bow to the platform. But the platform itself is empty rhetoric. As reader Tom Kreitzberg points out:
“Republican officials said the language in the platform was ’100% pro-life’ but stressed that the document has to remain vague and avoid specific language about abortion exceptions because different states have varying abortion regulations.” http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/21/gop-platform-committee-approves-tough-anti-abortion-stance/
So: Purposefully vague on making abortion illegal.
But if it’s anything like the last platform, there will be quite a lot in it about not spending tax dollars for abortions. Is the GOP’s opposition to abortion, or to spending tax dollars?
Whatever it is, it is not that the convictions of Catholic candidates concerning the deliberate destruction of innocent human life will be respected. Rather, it is that Catholic prolife convictions are to be exploited for votes and brutally disregarded when they get in the way of the quest for power.
Still others argue that we have to play along, get the “prolife” candidate into office and then “hold their feet to the fire.” The “We’ll hold their feet to the fire once they are in office” line of argument is eviscerated by the spaniel-like excuse-making we are seeing right now. If prolifers are so gutless as to not put intense heat on R/R when they are most vulnerable to political pressure, why on earth should I believe they will do anything when they have power? Prolifers rolled over and became excuse-makers for O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Miers, and Roberts, plus our Stockholm Syndrome love for unjust war, torture, and financial mismanagement, and approval of ESCR when Bush ordered to it. Prolifers need to grow a spine and direct their fire at these pols and their perpetual betrayals, not at people who point out that innocent life cannot be killed merely because Romney says so. Particularly since this man’s whole political career is built on a mound of dead babies, coercion of Catholic conscience, and approval for every grave moral evil approved by *both* parties. The guy’s conversion is so fake he still holds fundraisers at the home of the guy who makes the morning after pill and his sole contribution to the prolife movement so far has been to corrupt Paul Ryan on the one point where he was unambiguously Catholic. Prolifers *should* direct their fire at this ticket, not at those who bleat in protest over its cynical exploitation of prolife voters. Make *them* feel the heat.
Meanwhile, over on the Dem side of the Duopoly, a Catholic African-American reader points out that just as the GOP exploits prolifers and treats them with contempt while playing them for suckers election after election, the Dems do exactly the same thing with African-Americans (and other readers note that anti-war, anti-police state Lefties aren’t feeling the love either). Happily, some in the African-American community are likewise waking up and refusing to be played for suckers. If enough principled people in both parties stop being played for suckers and start getting serious about punishing pols who use and discard them, it could get interesting.
Catholics managed to convert an Empire that roasted them on griddles by steadfastly refusing the pinch of incense to Caesar. We could still do that if we put discipleship above compromise with the rulers of this world.