Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part II

In Part I, I argue that it would be politically foolish for the Right to further backpedal or abandon the pro-life cause. Here I want to make the case that the right to life truly is inseparable both from core conservatism and from any meaningful effort to advance conservative ideas—that, in fact, pro-abortion tendencies actually endanger the prospects of those who value limited government, the free market, and strong national defense.

As I explained on June 15, abortion is an affront to the Declaration of Independence. As the unjust taking of a human life, it is wrong for the same reason slavery, theft, assault, honor killings, rape, eminent domain abuse, and individual health insurance mandates are wrong: they are all violations of human liberty and natural rights.  Accordingly, society justly protects its citizens from them via law for the same reason.  As long as conservatism still “holds these truths to be self-evident” that all men have “certain unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and as long as conservatism still accepts that “governments are instituted among men” for the purpose of “secur[ing] these rights,” then philosophically-consistent conservatives have no choice but to oppose legalized abortion. Nobody can support abortion in good conscience without either honestly confronting this conundrum head-on, or asking himself what definition of “conservatism” he’s been operating under all this time.

That pro-choice views are an egregious exception to conservatives’ and libertarians’ pro-liberty rhetoric should be obvious. What may be less obvious—but is no less true—is that such dubious thinking cannot help but undermine other core conservative principles and efforts. Continue reading

Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part I (Updated)

The more I reflect on The Great NewsReal Abortion Debate, the more convinced I am that I made a critical error.

I want to revisit the issue of whether or not the pro-life cause is central or peripheral to the conservative movement.  I made clear where I stood on that question—as an egregious deprivation of human rights, abortion should be opposed by every lover of liberty with every fiber of his or her being—but I fear I didn’t go nearly far enough in explaining the implications of the answer.  This essay will explore the practical aspects of the matter; my next one will address the moral and philosophical.

I conceded that I could “basically support” the kind of ‘truce’ David Swindle was talking about, i.e. candidates centering their campaigns on the “two unifying issues” of the free market and defeating Islamofascism. That’s more or less how wartime Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have run for office anyway (in Reagan’s case swapping out Islamofascism for the Soviet Union), and that’s okay.  I don’t have a problem with our candidates emphasizing some issues more than others to put voters’ most immediate concerns front and center, or to address crises that demand immediate resolution.

However, that doesn’t exempt a candidate from talking about the right to life at all, or from being pro-life.  I have already argued that pro-life principles are inseparable from core conservatism, and that abortion cannot be regarded as merely one issue among many, and I’ll elaborate more on those points in the next post.  But it’s also important because whether or not one is capable of recognizing abortion for the evil that it is, and is willing to do something about it, tells us something about what he or she is made of. I know there are exceptions (Ron Paul is pro-life but deranged, Joe Lieberman is radically pro-abortion, but firm on the war), but I truly believe that strongly pro-life candidates will tend to be of a higher caliber than pro-choice candidates in several qualities that will benefit public servants, and the American people, in all areas: Continue reading

Now Is Not the Time for Truces

Possible GOP 2012 candidate Mitch Daniels thinks we need a “truce” on social issues:

“We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” by casting social issues like abortion aside so the next president can focus on fixing the beleaguered economy.

Expecting a backlash if the remarks weren’t explained further, Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack followed up with the governor. He asked Daniels if his remarks meant the next president shouldn’t try to stop the abortion funding in the Obama health care law or put the Mexico City Policy back in place to stop international abortion funding.

Daniels said the United States faces a “genuine national emergency” concerning the economy, budget and national debt and that “maybe these things could be set aside for a while.”

“But this doesn’t mean anybody abandons their position at all. Everybody just stands down for a little while, while we try to save the republic,” the governor added.

Daniels replied, “I don’t know,” when asked if he would issue the executive order every pro-life president has done by instituting the Mexico City Policy Obama revoked.

Given how little our national leaders actually do to end abortion or preserve marriage once they get into office, Daniels’s proposal sounds less like a game plan for “saving the republic” and more like a lazy excuse to not talk about issues he doesn’t feel like discussing.

Joseph Lawler rightly notes that Daniels’s cowardice on the Mexico City policy isn’t a truce, but unconditional surrender.  And so, the Republican march of mediocrity continues…

Crooked FL GOP Chair Indicted

Throw the book at him:

According to state investigators, Greer devised a scheme to siphon off a cut of the donations from major Republican donors after he had fallen on hard financial times, despite a party salary of $130,000 a year.

Statewide Prosecutor William Shepherd said Greer used a company called Victory Strategies LLC to launder the money, pocketing a total of $125,161.50. Greer’s hand-picked executive director and partner in Victory Strategies, Delmar Johnson, collected another $65,093, according to an affidavit that accompanied a search warrant sought by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Mr. Greer just used the money for his own personal lifestyle,” Shepherd said.

The Orlando Sentinel first disclosed the existence of the Victory Strategies contract in February, a month after Greer was forced to resign as party chair. By then, top Republican leaders had also discovered the contract and quietly forced Johnson to resign.

Around the Web

At NRB, I review Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.

Also at NRB, Horowitz and Knepper tear apart Andrew Sullivan, Patron Saint of Fail, over the Gaza flotilla attack.  The outrage over Israel defending herself (with, er, paintball guns) drives home one important truth America should have learned years ago: “international opinion” is worse than worthless.

Speaking of which, you probably won’t hear much about the Turkish “peace” activists’ terror ties on MSNBC or NPR…

As many as three million Chinese babies are hidden by their parents every year in order to get around the country’s one-child policy, a researcher has discovered.”  Yeah, but America has human-rights issues of its own, so really, who are we to judge?

Here’s LifeNews on the GOP’s dereliction of duty in letting pro-abortion zealot Elena Kagan slide.

Dan Riehl opines on Jim DeMint’s “telling inconsistency” on anti-war Republican candidates.

The Pope talks immigration.  Do his words actually bring anything useful to the debate?  They’re written in extremely general terms that don’t speak to whether or not any given voices are describing the issue’s various facets accurately.

ARE YOU BLOODY KIDDING ME?!

Here’s a new site conservatives should keep an eye out on (h/t David Swindle).

Unreal

Via the HA Headlines, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport Mosab Yousef on grounds that he’s a terrorist, when in reality, he’s an anti-jihadist with a record of service spying on Hamas for Israeli intelligence.  It seems to me this is the sort of thing a single phone call to Israel could clear up; unfortunately, US-Israeli relations haven’t been so hot since 44 took over.

Yet another Democrat disgrace allowed to pass with silence from Republicans.