Douthat Smacks Kmiec
(Hat tip: Darwin at American Catholic)
Okay, the guy I once referred to as "Ross Asshat" has taken a small step toward getting off my sh*t list: he's provided one of the best smackdowns of Prof. Kmiec that I've seen:
... What I don't understand at all is Kmiec's position, which seems to be that the contemporary Democratic Party, and particularly the candidacy of Barack Obama, offered nearly as much to pro-lifers as the Republican Party does. I am sure that Kmiec is weary of being called a fool by opponents of abortion for his tireless pro-Obama advocacy during this election cycle, but if so, then the thing for him to do is to cease acting like the sort of person for whom the term "useful idiot" was coined, rather than persisting in his folly.
Those seeking a primer on the case against Kmiec's putatively pro-life position on Obama and abortion can begin here or here or here. Suffice to say that what he calls "outright lies and falsehoods" about Obama's views were, in fact, more or less the truth: The Democratic nominee ran on a record that can only be described as "very, very pro-choice," and his stated positions on abortion would involve rolling back nearly all the modest—but also modestly effective—restrictions that pro-lifers have placed upon the practice and/or appointing judges who would do the same. There may have been reasons for anti-abortion Americans to vote for Barack Obama in spite of his position that abortion should be essentially unregulated and funded by taxpayer dollars. But Kmiec's suggestion that Obama took the Democrats in anything like a pro-life direction on the issue doesn't pass the laugh test. (And nor, I might add, does his bizarre argument that because the goal of placing a fifth anti-Roe justice on the court is somehow unrealistic, the pro-life movement should pursue a far more implausible constitutional amendment instead.)
I suppose I could find a thing or three to agree with in Kmiec's longer list of ideas for how the party he abandoned could win back his vote. But frankly, I don't see the point. I understand that the pro-life position on abortion does not command majority support in the United States and that people of good will can disagree on the subject. And I have no doubt that the Republican Party can profit from greater dialogue between its pro-life and pro-choice constituents—and do a better job, as well, of addressing itself to both pro-lifers and pro-choicers who aren't already inside its tent. But I can't begin to fathom why the GOP should consider taking any advice whatsoever from a "pro-lifer" who has spent the past year serving as an increasingly embarrassing shill for the opposition party's objectively pro-abortion nominee.
UPDATE (9 November)
Okay, I'm adding my original comment back in for Mrs. Darwin's benefit: Hey Doug, Ross just made you his beeyotch!
In other related news, crybaby Kmiec responds to Douthat's smackdown:
I am stunned by the coarseness of your writing, Ross. While we have not met, so little of what you have written is in any way respectful or acknowledges that you are addressing not some abstraction but a fellow human that I can only pray that if any of your family or closest friends come into contact with this commentary that they reach out to you in the most gentle and understanding way, without precondition, to calm an anger that is harmful to the soul...To which Tucker Carlson ... Tucker Carlson for God's sake!?!? ... replies:
Hey, Doug. Toughen up. Seriously. I've read suicide notes that were less passive-aggressive than this. Let's review what actually happened: You argued that Obama is not a pro-choice extremist. Ross disagreed. Rather than respond with a counterpoint, you got hysterical, dismissing Ross as a hater, even fretting about the future of his soul.LOL! Tucker Carlson!?!? One of my email correspondents (a fellow St. Blog's parishioner) put it this way:
Get some perspective. And for God's sake, stop whining. For a moment there, you reminded me of the McCain campaign, bitching about "sexism" when people started to ask tough questions of Sarah Palin. Republicans didn't used to talk this way. Let's stop the trend now, starting with you.
I understand it must have hurt when Ross accused you of shilling for Obama. On the other hand, he's right. You did shill for Obama. That's not Ross' fault. Don't blame him.
But if you are going to blame him, do it directly, like a man, without all the encounter-group talk and Pope quotes. People often attack the religious right, sometimes with justification. But as you just reminded us, there is nothing in the world more annoying than the religious left.
I've never liked Tucker more. He basically called Kmiec a pu**y.Exactly. Tucker Carlson!?!? That's like getting beat up by the class sissy-boy.
And that's the best part about these smackdowns of Kmiec. Douthat and Carlson are hardly fire-breathing right-wing ideologues. In fact, they were among the most critical of the McCain campaign, especially the addition of Gov. Palin to the ticket. That they believe and are willing to state for the record that Kmiec is the pathetic, whining sycophant completely divorced from reality that he most assuredly is says much.