Civil war within the Republican party?

Civil war within the Republican party? March 19, 2013

The John McCain wing of the Republican party and the Rand Paul wing of the Republican party have been attacking each other over military policy and who is to blame for losing the presidential election.  Now at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, the so-called establishment Republicans and the so-called tea-party Republicans ridiculed each other.  Observers are seeing schism, if not civil war.

Interestingly, Mario Rubio and Jeb Bush are being described as “establishment” figures, though they used to be considered hard-core conservatives.  So I suspect some of this Republican break-up talk is wishful thinking from Democrat-leaning pundits.  But here is a prediction:  Both the “pragmatic” professional politicians in the Republican party–the ones fixated on winning elections–AND the newly insurgent libertarian wing associated with Rand Paul will come together to advocate gay marriage.  If this happens, where would that leave you (us) social conservatives? 

From Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post:

You could be forgiven for thinking that there were two Republican parties on display over the last few days at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.

On one side was the “compromise equals surrender” crowd led by Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.) with an assist from Sarah Palin and her Big Gulp soda. On the other was what passes for the party establishment, represented by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).

While closing CPAC’s three day event, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), made reference to Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) calling Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Cruz “wacko birds” after Paul’s 13-hour filibuster.

The two groups’ analysis of the current state of the Republican Party made it sound as though they were on two different planets. Cruz, who delivered the final speech of CPAC on Saturday night, insisted that “we’re winning right now.” Bush, who spoke 24 hours earlier, told attendees that “way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker.”

The divide apparent at CPAC has been reflected in Congress, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has struggled to lead a House conference strongly tinged with those who pledge fealty to the Paul/Cruz wing of the party. (See the political disaster known as “Plan B” during the “fiscal cliff” debate.) And Senate primaries shaping up in Iowa and Georgia also could demonstrate the party rift.

One recent episode typifies the split. Last week, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) referred to Cruz, Paul and Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) as “wacko birds.” In his CPAC speech, Cruz offered this retort: “If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution means you’re a wacko bird, then count me a proud wacko bird. I think there are more than a few other wacko birds gathered here today.”

All of which begs a very simple question: Can the Republican Party be led?

via Will the real Republican Party please stand up? – The Washington Post.

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  • Do you remember when you were a little kid playing with other school children in the playground sand box? What would happen when one kid wanted all the other kids playing in the sand box to do EVERYTHING his way, ALL of the time?

    Eventually, no one wanted anything to do with that kid. Why? Because he wouldn’t compromise. It was his way or no way. Children AND adults don’t like those kind of people. Most children and adults want every one involved in the “sand box” to be reasonable and flexible.

    The Republican party is now controlled by “children” who must have everything their way, or else they will threaten to implode the “sand box”. “Compromise” is a four letter word to them.

    For this reason the Republican Party is doomed.

  • Grace

    The Republican Party is not doomed, nor is it comparable to a sand box, unless you’re still smarting from the kids who stole your shovel and pale.

    Dr. Veith brought a reasonable piece from the Washington Post, perhaps we should all take a ‘look see, before going back to Kindegarten and it’s comparisons!

  • Grace

    The correct spelling is pail not pale. 😆 go ahead, laugh, I did!

  • Historians in the future will look back at the imminent demise of the Republican Party and place the blame squarely on the shoulders of social conservatives, not on liberterians, and not on Establishment Republicans.

    Social conservatives made the mistake of bringing their religion, which should never be compromised, into politics, which in order to function, must ALWAYS involve compromise. Political compromise became immoral. It became a sin. All compromisers were evil and treated with disdain and outright contempt. As a result, moderate Republicans left the Party in droves, leaving behind rigid idealogues…the social conservatives, in charge of the Party.

    Ronald Reagan created a realignment in American politics when he appealed to socially conservative, white Southerners to leave the Democratic Party and create a new Majority Republican Party. Now his chickens have come home to roost. There are now no longer any moderate Republicans in the House from the Northeast. The party of Lincoln has become the party of the white Southerner. The current Republican Party consists largely of angry, older, white, Southern men. Old men don’t live very long. They soon die, and when they die, the GOP will die.

    Moral to this sad story: Keep religion out of politics if you want to have a viable Party.

  • Grace


    “Moral to this sad story: Keep religion out of politics if you want to have a viable Party.”

    This country was founded on the principles of the Word of GOD. It isn’t about “RELIGION” it’s about Christ. Without Christ, this country has nothing. That’s why you see a decline amongest many people, be they young, middle aged or older.

    See how well this country survives without the LORD God Almighty, it’s been in decline so long, on its journey to self destruction, and hedonism, it doesn’t recognize where it’s going.

    Christ Jesus is the only answer.

  • Grace

    From the article:

    “All of which begs a very simple question: Can the Republican Party be led?”

    YES it can, but only with straight answers, and a definite plan. Add to that individuals whos character is stellar, who have a clear sighted view, of what they believe they can do, and an outline that will give the voter a reason to vote for them.

    Add to this, people who have a ‘track record, including Foreign Affairs. Someone who has held office, either in the Senate, Congress or as a Governor, (for a fair amount of time, certainly not a junior) with PROVEN credentials, of past achievement –

  • RobC

    I think the Republicans will have to embrace gay marriage this next time around in order to win. They’ve already weakened on abortion (evidenced by Mitt’s flip flop) and when they do the same with gay marriage I’ll finally be free to vote for either party.
    Can they be led? Sure. In the end they’ll all rally together to try and beat the Democrats. After all is said and done it is about as Charlie Sheen said “winning” .

  • #4 Kitty

    Gary nails it.

  • Jeb Bush is a “hard-core” Republican?

  • RobC@7, I think you’re right, unfortunately. It’s a reminder to us that “Republican” is not synonymous with Christian, but that it’s following in the same ungodly tracks of the Democrat party.

  • Paul Reed

    It comes down to this: If Republicans start endorsing gay marriage and abortion, are we willing to leave? If we aren’t, then there’s no pragmatic reason for a Republican politician to oppose abortion and homosexuality. Personally, I think if we just let liberals just have their way, it’d be good in the long run. Let them put abortion clinics in public high schools and teach junior high school classes on “homosexual history”. Maybe we’d get some more parents to start pulling their kids out of the schools.

  • fjsteve

    Some people are liking this way too much. But I seem to recall much discussion about the demise of the Republican party if Bill Clinton got elected to a second term and that the feeding frenzy after Bush was re-elected signaled the implosion of the Democratic Party.

    I also heard some guy named Harold Camping predict the end of the world… over… and over…

  • Kirk


    I think you’re right. If there was another party in the wings waiting to take the Republicans’ place, then I’d see this as a demise. I think it’s more of a reinvention. It seems to me that the Republican party has exceeded its maximum inclusion and is now trying to determine which viewpoints it will promote and which it will marginalize.

  • Joe

    From a national perspective the rise of the influence of social conservatives was not a good thing for the GOP. Social issues are, constitutionally speaking, not federal issues. Practically speaking, it is extremely hard to reach a consensus among the nation as a whole on anything. Indeed, if Roe is overturned, abortion will not go away, it will once again be a state issue. Some states (the majority last time I saw a poll) will outlaw it and others will not.

    Likewise, marriage is a state issue. The federal gov’t doesn’t need to have laws re: marriage. Traditionally, any federal law that necessarily intertwines with marriage (i.e. dependent social security payments) simply looked to the state laws applicable to the person at issue. For example, the legal marrying age has never been constant across all states, some states recognize “common law” marriage, different states have different rules regarding how distant the relation must be if you want to marry a cousin, etc. None of these issues need a federal answer and neither does gay marriage. To be a national party, the GOP needs to speak to national issues – foreign policy, the size and scope of the fed gov’t, the debt, etc.

    So, where are social conservatives to go? The same place they historically went. To the state houses to lobby for the laws that they want. Our federal gov’t was never designed for and is ill equipped to deal with social issues.

  • Joe

    Kirk @ 13 — My thought is that the GOP is where the Dems where in 1968. The old guard versus the young turks. The young turks ultimately took over the party, but it was painful.

  • fjsteve


    Just a point of clarification: Roe v Wade is a national issue. It was not social conservatives who forced that court decision upon the nation, was it?

  • T

    @Gary and Kitty

    Should have Lincoln compromised on slavery? Why is compromise a one way street. Last I checked the homosecularists want full acceptance of their lifestyle. It’s not good enough that they are free to live how they want. The pro-death crowd doesn’t want limited abortion, but abortion on demand. Why don’t they compromise? What religion is being brought in? What God is being forced on you besides secularism? The truth is we aren’t talking about religion, but empirical science which shows that these two issues are destructive to mankind.

  • Joe

    Steve, I agree that Roe federalized abortion – but only in a limited sense. It means that at some level there will be restrictions that go to far, but the restrictions on abortion are still passed at the state level. Indeed, most of the follow up cases (i.e. Casey, Webster, Stenberg) on abortion deal with regulations put in place by various states as they work to make abortion less and less available. The lone case based on a federal law dealt with the partial birth abortion ban passed by congress. The law was upheld 5-4, but in a concurring opinion Scalia and Thomas noted that the law probably exceeded the powers of the federal government.

    So what does this mean politically for the GOP in national elections?

    1. It means that from a pragmatic point of view all of the real abortion activity is going to be on the state level. This is where the pro-life movement has had the most success. Passing new restrictions on abortion and other rules, parental consent laws, limiting the window for abortions, etc. If you pass a national abortion law it is going to be subject to a challenge on the basis that it is outside the federal gov’ts authority. So, focus on the states.

    2. The views of your congressman on abortion are pretty much irrelevant because the House has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. What about federal funding for planned parenthood? Well any fiscal conservative or libertarian will be against that regardless of their views on the legality of abortion.

    3. It means the views of your Senator might matter some because they will vote on Supreme Court nominees. But, the Senate will never actually hold up a nominee on this basis (see Ruth Bader Ginsburg – she was confirmed 96-3) so it is really not an issue.

    4. So that leave’s the president. The president will appoint people to the courts and here the abortion issue might matter, but appointments are generally made based on over all judicial philosophy than based on a single issue such as abortion. A judge with a strong understanding of the limits of the commerce clause and federalism will be more likely to overturn Roe than a political judge who just hates abortion.

    But my main point is once that is overturned (if ever) the answer is not to pass a federal law. The answer is to return to its proper sphere. Abortion is murder – but murder is not a federal issues (unless you cross state lines to commit the murder). Murder is a state issue, that’s where it should be handled.

  • In response to Grace:

    She said, “This country was founded on the principles of the Word of GOD. It isn’t about “RELIGION” it’s about Christ.”
    That in a nutshell is the thinking of socially conservative, Christian Republicans: “The United States is a Christian nation. The Bible should be the highest law of the land.” And as long as social conservatives remain the base of the Republican party, it is doomed. The majority of Americans do not want an American Theocracy. The majority of Americans do not want Christian Sharia law.
    Sorry to break the news to you, Grace and like-minded others, but the United States is not a nation built on “Christ”. You won’t find the name “Christ” anywhere in our Bill of Rights or in our Constitution. You will only find a generic “God”.
    The Bible should be the supreme authority in our churches and homes. However, the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the Christian Bible. The majority of Americans are never going to vote for a Party that seems intent on destroying that fundamental American principle.

  • SKPeterson

    First off, I think the author of the article makes a bit of false dichotomy in throwing Marco Rubio into the “establishment” and kicking Ted Cruz out. Further, I would completely disagree with the author’s implication that Rand Paul is part of some “anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker” wing of the Republican Party. The author is attempting to create division on lines that do not really exist. Now, Jeb Bush may be part of the party establishment, but that establishment is precisely the group that has given the Republicans (or rather completely failed to define themselves in other ways and surrendered that to the Democrats) the “anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker” image, so his decrying such a state of affairs is somewhat ironic. However, I don’t know that this will translate into some sort of accommodation on gay marriage. If anything, the libertarian wing of the party would advocate for the removal of the state from the institution of marriage. Or rather, for the removal of the churches from being part of the state-controlled marriage racket. DOMA should be opposed because it is an unconscionable infringement on state’s rights; but the states themselves should get out of the marriage business. If the state won’t, then churches should withdraw their support from state-sanctioned marriage.

  • Steve Bauer

    Amen Gary.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Quick history lesson….
    In January of 2005, following the 2004 Presidential election, the Republican Party was pretty much master of all it surveyed. President Bush had just been reelected, winning the largest portion of the popular vote of any candidate since his father in 1988. Republicans held both houses of Congress, with 55 senators and 229 Representatives. This was the high water mark overall for the Republican Party since the 1920s in federal politics. Former Democratic Senator Zell Miller had endorsed Bush for President and had penned a best selling book “A National Party No More”, claiming that the Democratic Party had marginalized itself and was in danger of becoming a regionalized rump party of coastal elites out of touch with the majority of America. However, two years later the Democratic Party had regained both houses of Congress, with 233 Representatives and 51 Senators (counting independent Joe Lieberman and Socialist Bernie Sanders, who both caucus with the Democratic Party). They expanded their majorities in both houses in 2008, winning 257 seats in the House and 59 seats in the Senate (eventually reaching 60 with the party defection of Arlen Specter). Additionally, President Barack Obama won the presidency by the largest margin in the popular vote since Ronald Reagan in 1984, and the largest margin for a Democratic candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Sam Tanenhaus, the Senior Editor of The New York Times Book Review published a book in 2009 titled, “The Death of Conservatism”, arguing that the conservative movement (and by proxy, the Republican Party) had essentially petered out and was in need of a major reboot and reconsidering of its position in the American political landscape. However, as was the case with the Democratic Party in 2004, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the Republican Party had been greatly exaggerated. In the 2010 Congressional elections, the Republican Party retook the House, winning 242 seats, a larger majority than they held in the high water mark of the 2004 elections and added 6 Senate seats (7 if you count the special election victory of Scott Brown in January 2010 in Massachusetts). The gains in governor’s races and state legislative houses were even more pronounced. At that point it looked like President Obama was on the train to a one-term Presidency. But 2012 didn’t work out that way. Obama was re-elected (with less of a popular vote and electoral vote majority) and the Democratic Party increased their margin in the Senate to 55-45. They did not win the House, but got some seats back (and actually won the popular vote majority in House races nationwide).

    I don’t know what is going to happen in the 2014 election cycle (my foray into predicting in the 2012 Presidential race pretty conclusively proved that is not my forte), much less in the 2016 Presidential race. But I am confident of this – predictions of the looming death or decline of either of the two major parties are likely quite exaggerated. Whether or not the Republican Party gets itself together in time for electoral success in the next election cycle or two – it will have it’s day in the sun again and likely sooner than most think. But the Democratic Party will have it’s victories as well (short-term and long-term).

    One other thing….Gary – don’t equate “social conservatism” with wanting to impose a theocracy or control anyone’s life. That’s a straw man of the highest order. Social conservatives (and I am one) advocate for certain policies (and oppose others) because we believe that they best serve the common good and the health of the nation. You certainly have the right to agree or disagree with those positions. But I am not interested in a theocratic State or controlling anyone’s life. I would further argue that social liberals within our body politic are much more likely in recent history to impose particular behaviors or views on the entirety of society than social conservatives and those impositions are based upon a secular “theology” (worldview is really a better term) that is more limiting to freedom than anything that social conservatives have proposed in recent memory. In other words – stop hyperventilating about those evil social conservatives. We aren’t near the “threat” that you imagine us to be.

  • Joe

    SKP – considering that Rand Paul just announced his support for a pathway to citizenship yesterday, I think you are correct to take issue with way the article has carved up the GOP. Also, while Paul has stated he is against same sex marriage because he believes marriage is defined by the Bible, he has also stated that basic freedom of contract and associational rights allow people to establish their “families” however they see fit and he would like to remove marriage from the federal tax code and other laws. So, yeah the article is off.

  • SKPeterson

    Billingsley @ 22 – I feel extremely threatened by your post.

  • Steve Billingsley

    SKPeterson @ 24

  • DonS

    The media loves stories about Republicans falling apart. This is just another one of those.

    Both parties are filled with differing constituencies having substantially different values and interests. Look at the Democrats. Labor unions, gay rights, environmentalists, illegal immigrant rights, health care rights, etc. Most of these groups would ordinarily be regarded as having competing interests — they do not form a natural alliance. How does the Democratic party deal with this? They promise everything to everyone. Expand government to meet all of the competing desires. Put the burden imposed by the resultant trillion dollar annual deficits on future generations because they don’t vote now. Tax and regulate those not in the coalition into submission. It’s short-term destructive thinking, but it’s working right now. On the other hand, Republicans are the party of ideals and the future. We need to balance our budget, we need to plan for the future. We need to defend liberty, we need to protect the constitutional rights to life and liberty that the Founders envisioned. Social conservatives naturally fall into that coalition, and want to defend society against rampant and evident moral decay and the rejection of faith by a large percentage of Americans. Since the Republican coalition isn’t about getting stuff, like the Democratic coalition is, you can’t compromise the way the Democrats can.

    However, Steve @ 22 is right. Democratic rule will lead to eventual ruin. At some point, a majority of the voters, particularly those not simply interested in getting something from government, will see this, especially when the taxation and regulation inevitably falls on them as the government’s insatiable demand for money grows, and the political cycle will turn again.

    By the way, Dr. Veith, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were NEVER considered “hard-core conservatives”. Never.

  • DonS

    Following up on my comment @ 26, it in no way was intended to whitewash Republican problems, just to point out why Republican division tends to be more intractable. The battle right now is that a portion of Republicans essentially want to become Democrats-lite, with its accompanying moral decline, and cozy crony capitalism. A terrible idea.

    As for the issue of marriage, my major beef is with those who want the Court to impose it. 74 Republicans signed an amicus brief to that effect in connection with the marriage cases currently before the Court. Whatever your policy position is on gay marriage (I will always oppose it), no one should want it to be imposed by court order, as abortion was. Our Constitutional jurisprudence needs to be firm and sure, based on the enduring principles laid out by the Founders, not on the shifting sands of public opinion. If Constitutional rights for the minority are rooted in political popularity, then they are absolutely worthless, subject to forfeiture whenever the activities of the minority become unpopular with the majority. Scary thought.

  • To Steve #22
    Rigid idealogues are a threat to any political party, whether they be far-right social conservatives or far-left social liberals. A successful political party must be pragmatic and flexible.

    After the Goldwater drubbing, the Republican party tacked to the middle and successfully elected a moderate, Richard Nixon. After the McGovern disaster, the Democratic Party tacked to the middle and sucesssfully elected moderates Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The reason the parties could tack to the middle at those points in history was because the parties listened to pragmatists who saw that the nation had moved to the center so their party had to also move to the center to survive.

    The current Republican Party is doomed unless it can do the same now. I doubt however that this time it will be possible. Why? Because the pragmatists (the establishment Republicans) no longer run the party. Rigid idealogues now run the party, and by definition rigid-idealogues cannot be pragmatic and flexible. Rigid idealogues cannot “tack” to the middle.

    The only hope of survival for the Republican Party is a purge of the idealogues. But since the inmates now run the prison, I doubt that can happen.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Gary @ 28
    I question all of your assumptions. A Republican party dominated by rigid ideologues wouldn’t have nominated two consecutive establishment candidates for President. Parties most of the time don’t win Presidential elections because they listen to their pragmatists and move to the center. For example – Carter won in 1976 not because he was the pragmatic, centrist candidate. He won because the Republican Party had imploded (Watergate anyone?) and Ford committed a major gaffe regarding Poland in a debate. Even then, Carter nearly frittered away a massive lead. Reagan won because he showed himself to be a viable alternative to a failed Presidency. Clinton won because the Republican base lost trust in George HW Bush and because Ross Perot siphoned more votes away from Bush than he did from Clinton.

    If the Republicans win in 2016 it will much more likely due to Obama fatigue and a sense that his Presidency has failed than some sort of imaginary tack to the center (and related to that if the Democratic Party nominates a bad candidate – as I contend that Bush’s victories in 2000 and 2004 had more to do with the abysmal campaigns/candidacies of Gore and Kerry than it did with Bush’s appeal and/or record).

    Parties don’t tend to win elections by purging substantial portions of their base. They can purge fringe elements (1944-48 the Democratic Party’s purge of the Henry Wallace wing, the 1950’s Republican Party purge of the Birchers) and help their electoral chances – but not a substantial portion.

    One other point – are you telling me the Democratic Party isn’t rigid in certain points of their ideology…they aren’t exactly compromising or tacking to the center on abortion are they? At some point doesn’t a political party have to stand for some things?

    Your analysis is flawed and language is needlessly inflammatory (“inmates running the prison”).

  • And for those of you who say that “we ran two moderates, McCain and Romney, and lost. We need to nominate a true conservative to win” I say this: I doubt any Republican could have won in 2008. The nation wanted change. I believe Romney could have won in 2012 if he had run as a Massachusetts moderate starting in the primaries. But he chose to be “fake Mitt” and tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the rigid, socially conservative idealogues in the Republican base. He managed to fool them into voting for him as a “severely conservative” Republican, but his new found “severe” conservativism was a turn-off to moderates and independents, so he lost.

    If Republicans want to win the Presidency, they need a true moderate presidential candidate, not a true conservative or a fake conservative. If the Republican Party wants to survive it must tack to the center. The Democrats are on their hands and knees praying that the Republicans will nominate a rigid idealogue. With such a candidate at the top of the Republican ticket, the election in 2016 will be a massive Democratic landslide!

  • Steve Billingsley

    If the Republicans want to win in 2016 – they need to nominate a good candidate. They can be moderate or conservative (th0se words have lost a lot of meaning) – but they can’t be phony and tone-deaf. But you can say the same thing about the Democrats. Whatever one thinks of Obama, he is a good campaigner and an attractive candidate in many ways. If the Democratic Party trots a loser in the Mondale/Dukakis/Gore/Kerry mold in 2016 – they probably will lose. McCain and Romney’s problems weren’t that they weren’t “conservative enough” or that they were “too moderate”. They just ran bad campaigns and ran up against a better campaign. (Remember, McCain was actually leading for awhile in 2008 until the financial meltdown and his weird “suspend the campaign” response)

    At the end of the day, many voters (those darn “low information voters” – which is a perjorative as I think it mainly must means people who don’t pay a lot of attention until late in cycle) end up voting for who they like better – for whatever reason. Reagan (and to a lesser extent – George W Bush) were likable to a lot of voters and Obama is the same way. A lot of voters – even those who don’t agree with much of his policy – like him as his personal “likeability” scores always seem to outweigh his approval ratings. Voters are people – and sometimes the “soft social science” wins out.

    Making such broad, ideological proclamations is just nonsense. Who is being the ideologue here?

  • SKPeterson

    Hmm, Gary, I’m not quite sure what America you live in, at least as far as the recent political past is concerned. I don’t think anyone thought of Romney as a conservative candidate except for the loons in Occupy Wall Street who think anyone to the right of Lenin is an out-and-out fascist. If anything he came off as being another one of those sedate moderate, northeastern Republican establishment types who stood more for patrimony,noblesse oblige, and monied right to rule than anything the party or the broader context of the American people could resonate with.

    And to suggest that the moderate stance of Nixon was somehow good for the country (which you didn’t exactly, but allow me the rhetorical flair), we’ve been paying for that man’s manifest political sins for 40 years, of which Watergate was a mere sideshow. If there is anything that needs to be repudiated, purged and disregarded in the Republican Party it is Nixon and, increasingly, that ersatz (non)maverick McCain who never met a war or bombing campaign he couldn’t love and shower with other people’s money.

  • The Republican Party is now the party of white Southerners. It is a regional party. It is doomed, mark my words, dear friends.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Sure – just like the Democratic Party in 2004 was doomed to be a rump party of coastal elites….
    Good Lord…..
    I guess if one just repeats inane talking points enough times then it wears out the other commenters – you win , Gary – way to not even engage the comments that challenge your assumptions – repeat those talking points.

    Consider your words duly marked.

  • Maybe the other commenters are silent because they now see the folly of trying to impose conservative Christianity on secular society…on sinners.

    Let’s be conservative in our churches and in our homes, not giving an inch on the doctrines and morality of our ancient, catholic faith. But let’s be flexible, pragmatic moderates in politics. Rigid idealogy, Left or Right, in politics, makes for dysfunctional government.

  • kerner


    If the Republican party is a regional party of White Southerners, how did the Republicans come to control the state government of Wisconsin?

  • In national elections, it is a regional party: the South (and the thinly populated Plains states and Mormon mountain states).

  • kerner

    Joe @14:

    Part of me sympathizes with your analysis of laws on marriage and the lack of a need for any federal laws. But every time I try to settle the debate that way I run head on into the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution that requires all states to recognize and give “full faith and credit” to the acts of other states. When it comes to marriage, despite the differences you mention, each state recognizes the marriages of every other state as long as it was lawful in the state in which it was contracted. But a major problem arises when one state attempts to configure marriage in a way that is repugnant to other states. This occurred when Utah was refused statehood until it repudiated polygamy. It took court action to resolve the issue of inter-racial marriages (Loving vs. Virginia), and that case will be cited as precedent (if it hasn’t been already) whenever a gay “married” couple moves from Massachusetts to Mississippi and demands to file joint income tax returns or tries to get on one partner’s family health care plan. Whatever is recognized as a marriage in state A will be an issue in state B the moment a married couple from state A moves to state B.

    Not to mention the issue of who is “married” under federal income tax law, social security benefits law, immigration law and any other area of federal law in which marriage is an issue. I don’t know how we avoid federal legal issues on the subject of marriage.

  • Joe

    Kerner – Actually the full faith and credit clause will not require recognition. There is a long history of how it does or does not apply in the marriage context.

    First, no state is required to recognize a marriage preformed out of state that would be invalid within the state if the couple traveled out of state for the purpose of getting around the home states marriage laws. So, Wisconsin resident A wants to marry a 14 year old but the age of consent in Wisconsin is 16, the couple goes to somewhere else where the age is 14 and get married. Wisconsin does not have to recognize that marriage.

    Second, a state is not required to recognize a marriage lawfully entered into in another state if it is against the express public policy of the state (actually the language used by the Supreme Court has been “abhorrent” to the public policy of the forum state. So lets use Wisconsin again. Wisconsin has a constitutional amendment stating that it will not recognize same sex marriage or any other arraignment that is substantially similar to same sex marriage. That is an expression of public policy in the highest degree. So if a gay couple gets married in Ohio and then moves to Wisconsin – the full faith and credit clause does not required Wisconsin to recognize that marriage.

    The full faith and credit clause does not require states to recognize gay marriage.

    So what about the Loving v. Virginia case? Well, its not a full faith and credit case. Its an equal protection and due process case. In fact, in the context of deciding the case, the Court reaffirmed that marriage is a state law thing and not a federal law thing. Also, its application to same sex marriage is in doubt for two reasons: 1. the Virginia law at issue made it a crime to marry someone of a different race and 2. race is a protected class and not sexual identity is not. As you know, that means race laws get strict scrutiny and same sex laws do not.

    So until the supreme court issues a ruling stating that same sex marriage bans violate the equal protection clause (due process is a non-starter since same sex marriage is not a criminal violation anywhere – i don’t think) there is no danger that states will have it forced upon them by operation of the federal constitution.

    As for the federal laws and marriage, we should simply return to the practice of saying you are married for the purposes of federal law if you are validly married in the state in which you reside. I don’t see it as that complicated, it comports with federalism principles and those principles also supply a rational basis for disparate treatment that might result.

  • Civil war in the GOP? Well, in the same way that there was a harsh disagreement between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, no? In the same way that there was a harsh disagreement between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, no?

    Please, politics ain’t beanbag, and as much as I’d like it to be more civil, there is this thing called reality.

    I would further posit that both parties are in deep trouble if they can’t wrap their hands around the idea that the entitlement state–of which the drive for homosexual “marriage” is a part–is unsustainable. As those in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, and other nations are learning, the guys you want to fund your programs will only work hard so long before they figure out that there are greener pastures elsewhere. There is a certain amount of self-denial that is necessary to maintain a republic, and I don’t see it in very many people living within an hour of the Capitol.

  • SKPeterson

    I will concede something to Gary’s point: the Republican Party is abandoning urban areas. This is actually quite odd, since those urban areas are oft times hotbeds of innovation, entrepreneurship and small business success. Moreover, it is often a constituency at odds with heavy-handed regulation at the hands of overweening urban bureaucrats. Interestingly, our urban areas have felt the brunt of the flight of churches from urban areas to the suburbs and rural areas. I suppose it should be noted that Christianity was an urban religion in its earliest stages: Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Alexandria, Rome ring any bells? Christianity grew and thrived amidst the commercial throngs of the cities of the Roman Empire and then spread to the countryside.

    For too many Republicans, urban = bad, rural = good. This is not a false distinction, it is bad politics. I live in a small city and New York is not necessarily my cup of tea as I’ve lived in large urban areas before: Fort Worth-Dallas and Minneapolis- St. Paul as well as other small towns and cities such as Sioux City. But, I am very thankful and grateful for cities like New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The hustle and movement are a beautiful testament to the ingenuity and creativity of mankind. Sure, it’s a sinful and fallen mankind apt to embrace all manner of evil, but in that regard they are no different than the 99.99999999999999% of mankind that isn’t a part of the Trinity. Why Republicans desire to withdraw is senseless; the small businessman opening a clothing store, a restaurant or other urban business has a lot in common economically with the farmer, with the fertilizer dealer, with the small manufacturer out in the hustings, as they do with urban concerns. In fact, city dwellers are also in need of healthy protections of property rights, the rule of law, and a functioning legal system. To turn away from them and leave them to a Democrat Party that doesn’t respect those things, that believes in unfairly distributing goods and services based upon a contrived spoils system, and one that often fails to act with fiscal responsibility in going about its daily business is the sort of short-sighted, benighted even, navel-gazing that believes there is some vast gulf between red and blue on a cheap political map.

  • Gary in FL

    In the main, I agree with Gary’s overall assessment, however Mr. Romney was clearly the moderate pick of the Republican Establishment wing. That was probably a good thing, since I believe he was the best (most electable) candidate the Repbulicans could nominate from the field then vying for it. It goes to demonstrate that ideologues aren’t running (yet) the party’s machinery.

    Steve @ 22, while I agree social conservatism as it’s been promoted by the GOP has nothing to do with imposing theocracy, nevertheless, a growing number of voters are abandoning social conservatism’s main goals. If the leaders of the party asked for my advice, I’d say, “Run–don’t walk–away from the social conservative agenda.” That is, if you want to win national elections again any time soon.

  • Larry WD H

    The accusation that social conservatives (Christians) are responsible for the demise of the Republican party seems quite ridiculous to me. All the moral issues that divide us as a nation and that are used to beat Christians out of politics, are innovations that have been forced on our society since the sexual revolution and counter culture of the sixties. The liberals whether they call themselves democrats or republicans, or mickey mouse, have forced various issues into the national spot light and blasted anyone who dared to oppose them as right wing radicals. This is why traditional minded folk are accused of being divisive and there is such a radical divide in our nation, we have been divided by the true extremists, all the while they make cover by screaming extremists. Our grandfathers could not have imagined how far our society has fallen. One sad point, is that there is no reason for liberals to be alarmed, even when “Republicans” are elected they rarely do much more than slow down the slide, never gaining any ground in the opposite direction.

  • Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee because social conservatives foolishly divided their vote among multiple candidates in the early primaries. If they had coalesced around one candidate, such as Rick Santorum, Romney would have never been the nominee, despite his millions and despite being the favorite of the “establishment”. However, with Santorum as the nominee, in my opinion, the Republican losses would have been much worse.

    A moderate Republican party that focuses on individual liberties, limited government, and lower taxes has a much better chance of success than a right-wing extremist party bent on turning the USA into the Christian States of America (CSA).

  • kerner

    SKP @41:

    I agree with your assassment of the way conservatives largely think urban=bad, suburban/rural=good. And this has hurt us. I remember my childhood being one steady migration from close semi-urban suburbs to frige suburbs to finally rural ex-urbs (which have since been overtaken by suburbia). My parents did this because the schools were perceived as better, the neighborhoods (and their demographics) were perceived as better, the taxes were lower, and because (as my mother wanted to raise dogs) the regulations were looser. I never got into it myself, and now I live in the city of Milwaukee, which has never been confused wit Dallas-Ft.Worth, but which is a moderately large urban city. I like my city.

    But at the same time I understand the motivations of my fellow conservatives. All Americans have a low threshold of frustration. And when we can’t get our community to behave the way we want (and for conservatives, we’ve never really controlled big cities) it is a natural tendency to just “vote with our feet” and go elsewhere. Acordingly, as Gary’s comments imply, when you look at a map that charts voting patterns, you see all these blue urban areas separated by broad red swaths of suburban and rural areas.

    And I agree with you that this pattern of behavior is bad politics, but I don’t know what to do about it. To change it, significant numbers of conservatives are going to have to care about big cities enough to actually live in them. How many conservative do you know who would be willing to do that? Are YOU willing to do that? If you (and everyone you know) remain content to appreciate large cities from afar, but never live in them, the character and politics of urban areas will remain the same.

  • kerner


    I feel your analysis has elements of truth in it, but I still think it is simplistic. The reason all the “social conservative” candidates in 2012 failed to gain traction (and the reason most of them would have lost just as big -or worse- than Romney did) was not so much because they were socially conservative, but because they were idiots.

    Well, maybe that was a little unfair, but they were all trying to operate above their levels of competence when they tried to be president. Romney was a competent executive, but not a good enough salesman, and besides, too many people (including a high percentage of commenters here) saw him as unprincipled or simply “Obama Lite”. All social conservatism is not bad for the country, nor is it all repugnant to most Americans. But for many Americans to buy any of it it has to be marketed using arguments, and media, that demographic groups outside the usual conservative demographics understand. And it would help if the candidate were someone not perceived as despising significant portions of the people he/she ostensibly desires to represent.

  • What I predicted above is now coming true. The GOP may not purge the Religious Right out-right, but it sure sounds like the Party is abandoning them:

    From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire today:

    Religious Right Snubbed by RNC Report
    McKay Coppins: “Some leaders of the religious right are openly worried this week after a sprawling 98-page report released by the Republican National Committee on how the party can rebuild after its 2012 implosion made no mention of the GOP’s historic alliance with grassroots Christian ‘value voters.'”

    “Specifically, the word ‘Christian’ does not appear once in the party’s 50,000-word blueprint for renewed electoral success. Nor does the word ‘church.’ Abortion and marriage, the two issues that most animate social conservatives, are nowhere to be found. There is nothing about the need to protect religious liberty, or promote Judeo-Christian values in society. And the few fleeting suggestions that the party coordinate with ‘faith-based communities’ — mostly in the context of minority outreach — receive roughly as much space as the need to become more “inclusive” of gays.”

  • DonS

    Gary @ 47: We appreciate your obviously heartfelt concern over the welfare of the Republican party. However, citing either Taegan Goddard or McKay Coppins, especially when they are using unnamed sources, is not credible, since they are both liberal and have a demonstrated antipathy toward Republican thinking. When you are discussing Republican issues you should cite credible Republican sources, by name. When you are discussing Democratic issues, you should cite credible Democratic sources, by name.

  • These two journalists are stating facts from the report released by the RNC. If the RNC report says something other than what these two people have stated, please share this information with us. I’m sure the Religious Right could use the reassurance right now.

    Establishment Republicans have had enough. They are abandoning you. The question will be, can they do it? Or will the Religious Right run THEM out of the GOP??

  • DonS

    Gary @ 49: No, they’re not. They are dealing in speculation, citing some “unnamed leaders of the religious right”. Who are they (if anyone), how are they leaders, and who are they leading? Without that information, and knowing full well the openly liberal stance of Goddard, who is a commentator, not a reporter, and Coppins, who has a track record (, you’ve got nothing here. Nothing except your own wishes and desires.

  • We will see.

    I am a former moderate Republican. I left the Party when the right-wing fundamentalists took over. I am now a registered Independent. I will gladly return to the Party when the Religious Right has been either purged or ignored. However, I’m not holding my breath. I think the Religious Right is too big a slice of the Republican Party now for the Establishment to successfully purge or ignore. It may just be the Establishment who is shown the door of the Party.

    I truly will be a Republican Civil War.

  • We will see.

    I am a former moderate Republican. I left the Party when the right-wing fundamentalists took over. I am now a registered Independent. I will gladly return to the Party when the Religious Right has been either purged or ignored. However, I’m not holding my breath. I think the Religious Right is too big a slice of the Republican Party now for the Establishment to successfully purge or ignore. It may just be the Establishment who is shown the door of the Party.

    It truly will be a Republican Civil War.

  • DonS

    Gary @ 52:

    OK. I guess it would be helpful to know what makes you a “moderate Republican”, and what about the platform or stance of the present Republican party caused you to leave. As you know, the Democratic party is, if anything, far more factionalized than the Republican party, as I stated above somewhere. There are 300 million Americans and only two viable parties, so obviously, each party is going to include folks of disparate viewpoints and priorities — they can never be monolithic and still win elections. The establishment media, because of its inherent left-wing leanings, tends to focus on Republican introspection a lot more than Democratic introspection. The party that loses a national election tends to be more introspective, and that is what is going on here. However, given the historic over 30 Republican governorships, the historic 2:1 state legislature lead, and the Republican House, things are hardly dire in Republican-land.

    I am an evangelical Republican, but am realistic enough to understand that we live in an unfortunately post-Christian, pluralistic nation. My focus is on preserving the Constitutional liberties of every American, so that we will always be free, even as a minority, to freely practice our trades in the American economy, without being forced to violate our consciences, and to live out our faith in any way that we are led to do. Similarly, we need to be willing to extend the same tolerance toward those of differing beliefs and practices. These rights, of course, should be extended to all human beings, including to the unborn. I think Christians and Republicans are learning that — we will never return to the days of the “Moral Majority” of the ’80’s. We should not be inventing new rights, either to protect our way of life, or to force new social mores on the population (eg gay marriage). We want to have a consistent, originalist view of the inalienable rights we have been given by our Creator, as recognized by the founders.

    I think most Republicans today understand this priority. That is, however, what the current reassessment process is all about.

    Sorry Gary. No civil war.

  • I’m impressed with your statement of tolerance. That is what America needs: tolerance of differing views, even of views which conflict with each of our religious beliefs.

    There are purists in both parties. I would not be welcome in the Democratic Party because I view abortion as murder, the killing of an innocent human being. I do not bring my religion, or talk of a “soul”, into the discussion, however. Still, they would not want me because I will not follow a pure liberal line on this issue. They also would not want me because I believe that homosexuality is a sin. And I attend a conservative Christian denomination, the LCMS, which condemns all sexual activity outside of traditional marriage, including homosexuality, as a sin.

    For these reasons, I am a conservative bigot to liberal Democrats.

    However, when it comes to politics I believe in being pragmatic and willing to compromise. I do not believe in imposing my religious views on secular society. My religious views are uncompromisable. That attitude doesn’t work in politics. It results in dysfunctional government. So I will not join in denying gay persons the right to marry, because I believe it is a personal liberty issue. Two persons of the same sex marrying will not affect my marriage, neither will it affect yours. That is why I will not oppose gay marriage…in secular society. However, don’t try to force “gay rights or gay marriage on my church. I will fight you to the death. I will oppose abortion on the principle of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for ALL human beings, even those who are yet unborn. But I will not bring my religious views into that discussion. I would support legislation to restrict abortion to the first twelve weeks, after that only if the mother’s life is in danger. But I would not support a total ban on all abortions. Because of that position…many conservative, Religious Right Republicans would not want me in their party.

    I am pragmatic. I am willing to compromise on issues related to secular politics that I would not compromise on in my church or home. To far-right conservatives that makes me a hypocritical, bad Christian. I say it makes me a moderate: disdained by the Liberal Left and the Conservative Right.
    But I follow my conscience.

  • DonS

    Thank you, Gary. Yes, it is true that there are ideologues on both sides. The current conversation Republicans are having is how they can accommodate their views to the reality of today’s society, and how they can better make the case for conservatism. It’s a constructive process. The Democrats will have to have the same conversation when they finally (belatedly) realize that their political goals are unsustainable and will ruin the nation’s economy and our children’s future. Politics are cyclical, and predicting apocalypse for either party is shortsighted and unproductive, given their relative parity.

    My focus is on liberty. It’s what our nation was founded on, and what our forefather’s came here to obtain. To watch us throw our liberties away for the pottage of extravagant, wasteful, government pottage is sickening. For our people to resist and reject even the most minor spending reductions despite the fact that we are laying immense and unsustainable debts on our future generations is disgusting. We are selfish, ignorant, short-sighted utterly carnal people.

    I do not understand, if you view abortion as murder, how you can support anything less than a total ban on abortions. I understand accepting limitations on abortion, as opposed to a total ban, as being better than nothing, and representing compromise relative to the position of the radical left that abortion should be a fundamental right without restriction. But I cannot understand your view that you COULD NOT politically support a total ban. How do you not see that as supporting and condoning murder, given your beliefs? Not to mention the fact that abortion deprives the unborn human of their right to life and liberty.

  • DonS

    @ 55, “To watch us throw our liberties away for the pottage of extravagant, wasteful, government pottage is sickening” should be “To watch us throw our liberties away for the pottage of extravagant, wasteful, government programs is sickening”.

  • Abortion is a very, very difficult issue for me.

    I would like to see all abortions eliminated, but I am not ready to support a legal ban on all abortions. I don’t think I could go to a mother who has the option of dying herself or aborting her baby and telling her she must choose to die. I could not tell a woman who has been violently raped by a stranger that she must carry the baby to term. I could not tell a young 15 year old that she has to carry her incestuous father’s child to term. So if I can allow these exceptions, why do I have the right to make exceptions and not let others make their exceptions? That is why I would restrict abortions to the first 12 weeks except in the case of the life of the mother. It is arbitrary. It is not based on any strict black and white moral ideals or principles. It is a pragmatic decision to limit one evil without imposing other evils on others.

    I cannot justify my position by absolutes, by ideals. It is a pragmatic decision.

    Definition of pragmatic: the opposite of idealistic is pragmatic, a word that describes a philosophy of “doing what works best.” From Greek pragma “deed,” the word has historically described philosophers and politicians who were concerned more with real-world application of ideas than with abstract notions. A pragmatic person is sensible, grounded, and practical.

    I understand that most conservatives see “pragmatic” as being “without principles” but conservatives and moderates have a completely different world view. The two views are irreconcilable.

  • DonS

    Thanks, Gary, for your thoughtful comments.

    Abortion is a difficult issue. However, I suggest that abortion proponents use the extremely rare case (pregnancies resulting from incest and rape) to justify what they really want — abortion on demand for all. To legalize abortion up to 12 weeks term for the purpose of allowing the rape or incest victim to abort their unwanted and perhaps detested pregnancies is to address a rare problem by also permitting millions of other babies to be killed.

    If, as you and I both believe, a fetus is a human baby from conception, then to abort that fetus, even during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, is to kill a human life. We should not permit such killings, without justification, any more than we permit killing of a human after birth. However, there is such a thing as justifiable homicide, for example killing in self-defense. This should be the standard for addressing those rare problems arising from, for example, incest or rape. If the continued pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, because of a physical health issue, or because of a serious mental issue related to the conception of the child, then there may be justification, on extremely rare occasions, to abort the baby. Taking a life to save another life. That is something never to be taken lightly, but those circumstances do arise in life from time to time. That is a matter, subject to review by the appropriate authorities, as in any case of self-defense, for the mother and her doctor to decide.

    Now, though the above is my personal position on the issue of abortion, I recognize that our society is not where I am on the issue, and will not be at least during my lifetime. Many people disagree with you and me that a fetus is human. I’m not sure how they justify that view, other than for convenience, but they do. So, politically, my objective is to bring into being the overturning of Roe v. Wade, so that the people can freely decide the laws they want to apply in the case of abortion, and then to use the power of persuasion to try to pass laws that will protect as many babies as possible. I would sign onto your proposed law to limit abortions to the first 12 weeks in a heartbeat, not because I believe such a scheme would be moral (clearly it’s not), but because it is better than the situation we have now. I would de-fund Planned Parenthood for being the highly evil organization it is. And then I would work to try to protect more and more of the babies that are killed each year currently. I think this is what you are talking about — there are some pro-life people who won’t even consider anything other than a total abortion ban, which means, essentially, that they get nothing. So, where you and I disagree, apparently, is that you say you would not support a total abortion ban, whereas I certainly would, though I am willing to accept less in compromise.

    We probably agree on one important point. Pro-life laws should never be about punishing the mother. Penalties should be entirely directed to the exploitative, evil, willing abortion providers, whose sick practices, entirely counter to the very principles of the oaths they take as physicians to heal and nurture and protect life, should be obliterated.

  • Your position is very reasoned and overall reasonable. However, you seem open to making very limited exceptions to the total ban on all abortions. Your position is anathema to Far-Right conservatives. They would state that if the killing of an innocent human being is murder, then there can be NO exceptions. Not for rape. Not for incest. Not for the mother’s life. None. Period.

    You may be more of a moderate than you think you are, brother!

  • DonS

    Gary, I’m not a big fan of labels. However, I don’t think there are very many of the “Far-Right Conservatives” you seem to be afraid of.

  • I think we have worn this subject out. God bless you, my Christian brother!

  • DonS

    Likewise, Gary!

  • kerner


    First of all, +1 on your analysis of justifiable homicide, which I agree should be applied to abortion pretty much the way you say it should.

    But, I question this:

    “Pro-life laws should never be about punishing the mother. ”

    I can see why we wouldn’t want them to be. This would be true as a matter of extending mercy to a woman presumed to be in distress. It might also be a concession to political realityl, which you have been willing to make in the past and which may be necessary for the present. But “never”?

    The first problem I see with that is that it is inconsistent with your (and my) position that abortion is infanticide. The law that punish other forms of infanticide do, in fact, punish parents who commit it. I don’t know ho we remain consistant and avoid punishing mothers who commit ifanticide by abortion.

    The second problem is that a complete lack of penalties for the mothers will only lead to a “do-it-yourself” industry in chemical abortifaciants. (sp?)

    But more than anything, I just think that we have to consistantly stick to the principle that the unborn are human beings, and a person is a person, no matter how small.

  • Grace

    Dons @ 58

    “We probably agree on one important point. Pro-life laws should never be about punishing the mother.”

    If there were laws on the books, which make abortion illegal, and also prosecute the abortionist, why wouldn’t the mother be punished for getting an abortion to kill her own child. Are they not willfully killing an infant. This is no different than the holocaust, it’s just a different venue. When a child is slaughtered because it isn’t wanted, those who take part are all to blame, and should be held accountable.

    People are so used to discarding their unwanted infants, it doesn’t have the STING of DEATH any longer.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 63: Yeah, I probably overstated the point a bit. It should probably better read ““Pro-life laws should not primarily be about punishing the mother. ”

    I consider most young mothers who have abortions to be victims of the abortion mill industry. They’ve been lied to about whether their fetus is a baby, and about what their options are. Abortion mills largely refuse to educate them or to encourage them to see images of their unborn baby. They don’t intend to kill a human being, but they don’t know any better. That doesn’t necessarily make them innocent, but it doesn’t make them murderers either. The focus of punishment should be on the butchers who take advantage of them and ply their grisly trade to great profit, much of it taxpayer-paid. However, there is a certain subset of mothers who know exactly what they are doing and just don’t care. They don’t want the inconvenience of a baby and they’ll willingly kill that young life so that they can continue their hedonistic ways. They could potentially be the targets of prosecution in relatively rare circumstances.

  • Grace

    DonS @ 65

    “I consider most young mothers who have abortions to be victims of the abortion mill industry. They’ve been lied to about whether their fetus is a baby, and about what their options are. Abortion mills largely refuse to educate them or to encourage them to see images of their unborn baby. They don’t intend to kill a human being, but they don’t know any better. That doesn’t necessarily make them innocent, but it doesn’t make them murderers either.”

    Don, I’ve worked within PRO-LIFE – make no mistake, these girls and women know they are ending the life of a living child. They are not so naïve, as to think they have no options, they are well aware of those as well.

    When you state: They don’t intend to kill a human being, but they don’t know any better. you are only enabling them, they do know better, whether you know it or not.

    A very strong percentage, almost 40% have had more than one abortion, they are knowledgeable, you’re underestimating their ability to know right from wrong.