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

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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.

Mexican President Slanders AZ; Republicans React Pretty Much How You’d Expect

Here is Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s response to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s condemnation of Arizona’s new immigration law:

The state of Arizona is stepping in where the federal government has failed. It is trying to stop waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom are dangerous gang members and drug and human traffickers, from crossing into its communities. It’s inappropriate for a head of state to question our laws, especially when the state of Arizona only acted in the best interest of its citizens and with the support of seventy percent of its people.

Boy, don’t strain yourself, Senator.

Hatch could have mentioned that Calderon’s characterization of the law as “introduc[ing] racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement” and a “human rights” violation which “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement” is, as Byron York’s reporting on the law reveals, so dishonest as to border on slander.  For instance:

Obama ignored the law’s specific stipulation that any check on a person’s immigration status can only come after a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” when a person is suspected of breaking some law — that is, as Arizona lawmakers explained in a footnote to the bill, it must come “during the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

And even after meeting that standard, the law directs that police meet a “reasonable suspicion” standard before “a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…” The phrase “reasonable suspicion” means that there must be a number of specific factors that an officer can cite before taking action, and the law specifically says that prosecutors “shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

And even with those safeguards, the law specifies that if the person involved produces a valid Arizona driver’s license, or other forms of identification specified in the law, then that person is immediately presumed to be in the country legally. In other words, the whole question of legal or not legal becomes moot once the person produces a driver’s license — a common experience for nearly every American, regardless of his or her race or ethnicity.

He could also have mentioned that, not only is Calderon partially responsible for the hardships Arizona is trying to address, but that Mexico’s own immigration laws are far more draconian and “intolerant”:

– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?

– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.

– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).

– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.

– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.

A foreign head of state hypocritically slanders American citizens before our own legislature – to the applause of one of America’s two major political parties – and the best the other party can muster is “inappropriate” (maybe an “unfortunate” if we’re lucky).  As usual.  Looks like the GOP’s not about to kick its habit of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory any time soon.

Rand Wins, America Loses

I’ve put a lot of effort here and on NewsReal into defending Sarah Palin from various attacks.

Tonight, I regret every word of it.

Thanks in no small part to her endorsement (as well as that of James Dobson, Jim DeMint, & Erick Erickson), the deranged Rand Paul won the Kentucky GOP’s Senate nomination (more on Paul’s hideous record here and here).

Palin’s celebration of Paul’s victory on tonight’s “Hannity” consisted entirely of empty blather straight out of the Paul camp’s press releases: the grassroots are rising up, the establishment better take notice, blah blah blah.  Does she know anything about Paul’s record?  About how he’s diametrically opposed to her own views on national security?

Some of you who don’t share Paul’s affinity for appeasement or his tolerance of bigotry might nevertheless think Paul’s win is no big deal, because he only has one vote and most foreign policy will be set by the executive branch.  But first, consider that Democrats campaign for keeps – we all know the lengths to which Democrats will go to falsely smear conservatives as extremists; just imagine the field day they’ll have with all of the real dirt in Rand’s closet.  I predict a Democrat victory in the general election.

Second, odds are that more than a few mushy Republican pols and would-be candidates will interpret Paul’s win, and his legitimization by other mainstream “true” conservatives, as an indication that it’s okay and/or smart politics to tack left on defense issues.  Do we really want two pro-appeasement political parties?

I hope Jim DeMint is rewarded with the primary challenge of his life.  And Sarah Palin has proven that she does not deserve the presidency.

Republicans Fiddle While Democracy Burns

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, free speech is one of America’s cornerstones.  All sides sing its praises, and no politician can expect to safely voice disrespect or opposition towards it.

The underlings of politicians, on the other hand…

Cass Sunstein, appointed by Barack Obama to head the White House Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, isn’t a big fan of free & unregulated political expression.  In the past, he’s argued for new laws that would make bloggers and web-hosting services potentially liable for what their commenters say, as well as make it easier to sue people who “spread rumors” for libel.

For obvious reasons, these proposals would be logistical nightmares to implement, forcing bloggers to spend less time expressing their own ideas and more time policing their audiences, lest they risk liability for the words of others.  The end result is a stifling of free speech, and make no mistake: that’s exactly what Barack Obama and Cass Sunstein intend.

Now, Sunstein has been caught proposing more regulation of the blogosphere, in the form of new federal mandates forcing websites to “provide links to sites of the other point of view…Or maybe a popup on your screen that would show you an advertisement or maybe even a quick argument for a competing view.”  An Internet Fairness Doctrine, if you will.

What do the Left’s premier guardians of free speech at the ACLU have to say about all this?  Nothing.

Of course, I expect the Democrats to pull this garbage, and their foot soldiers on the Left and in the media to quietly go along.  The real scandal here is the lack of strong, vocal Republican opposition.  If they aren’t finally corrected, and fast, the cowardice and inability to lead that dominate the GOP are going to be the death of this country.