The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]
Jeff Miller writes:
... But there is no lack of people for who party trumps everything else. There were the pro-life Catholics who thought that Rudy Giuliani was da bomb and of course Casey's predecessor Sen. Santorum decided to support Sen Specter over an actual pro-life candidate.My Comments:
Now I am sure that Senator Casey would explain himself using some variation of the seamless garment argument. Though I think for accuracy sake this should be renamed the shameless garment argument since many people who use it are quite shameless in how they justify supporting pro-abortion politician and measures. Democrats who manage to see infinite shades of gray for most moral issues see life issues as one solid color and minimum wage can be of equal value as protecting the unborn. If hospitals treated people like the shameless garment argument then people who stubbed their toe would be as likely to get immediate attention as someone who had already lost near a gallon of blood. What we need is triage when it comes to the pro-life cause and the unborn come first...
I keep hearing that opposition to abortion isn't a partisan issue, and that there are plenty of Democrats who are pro-life just as there are plenty of Republicans who are "pro-choice". No doubt. In fact, I agree with that overall assessment.
Nevertheless, it's a shame that pro-life Democrats can't (or won't) band together to demand that their party reverse its pro-abortion course in the same way that pro-life conservatives and Republicans banded together to demand the GOP not nominate pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani as its presidential nominee. People like me threatened that we would stay home or vote 3rd party (and I certainly would have followed through on that threat) rather than vote for a pro-abort like Rudy. As a result, Giuliani went from sure-thing frontrunner status to also-ran in about the same amount of time it took Steve Dillard to type the words "Catholics Against Rudy".
Where's the similar effort on the part of Catholic Democrats and liberals? Pro-life Democrats, instead of always asking "Where's the beef?" in regard to the GOP's progress on ending abortion, should instead be putting their pro-life money where their pro-life mouths are and start doing something substantive to turn their party around (and I don't mean this "working behind the scenes" nonsense - I've seen little evidence that such "efforts" are anything more than keeping a low profile and perhaps biding their time).
But to actually jump on board the campaign bus with a guy who
(1) voted against protecting babies born alive during botched abortions;
(2) said that his "biggest mistake" in the U.S. Senate was voting to help Terri Schiavo;
(3) pledged to Planned Parenthood that he "will not yield" on the "fundamental issue" of abortion;
(4) criticized the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban, calling it "part of a concerted effort to roll back women's rights";
(5) stated that he has a pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court nominees; and
(6) vowed that his first act as President will be to sign the "Freedom of Choice" Act
just ain't cutting it, and belies your claims of being "pro-life" in any meaningful sense.
If you must vote for him because you believe "truly grave moral reasons exist" for supporting him over the other guy, I might disagree with you, but I can understand that decision. But actively campaigning in support of such a candidate? That I cannot understand.*
* IF - and that's a big "if" - I come around to agreeing to vote for John McCain, I can assure you that the extent of my efforts on his behalf will be going the few blocks over to the polling station on Election Day, holding my nose, and pulling the lever.
UPDATE (31 March)
M.Z. Forrest is providing the sort of justification I'm looking for from pro-lifers who are considering a vote for Obama. See also here.
M.Z., while acknowledging that he is leaning toward a vote for Obama, is under no illusions as to the fact that there is little if any practical significance between being "pro-choice" and being "pro-abortion" and what that means for the unborn. You get the feeling from him that his vote for Obama would be one of reluctance (or perhaps even sad resignation), which should be contrasted with the irrational exhuberance that many pro-lifers are exhibiting when it comes to their full-throated support for the man.
That's the sort of thing I'm looking for. If you believe there are "truly grave moral reasons" that are leading you to support a pro-abortion rights candidate like Obama, I can respect that; but at least be willing to acknowledge that there will be short-term (and probably long-term) negative consequences where the effort to end (or even hold ground on) legalized abortion is concerned.
That's a far cry from the sort of delusional glorification of Obama's ability to "change" the culture to such an extent that abortion will no longer be "necessary", which we are hearing from some pro-life Catholic quarters, to the extent they address the pro-life issue in regard to Obama at all (see, e.g., Douglas Kmiec and Gerald Campbell - the latter even goes to far as to defend the "pro-choice" position).