I am tempted to go all Mark Shea “on the thing that use to be conservatism”.
I started noticing a bunch of links to a video of Anderson Cooper taking on Debbie Wasserman Schultz and some claims towards Gov. Romney. There was a lot of excitement over Anderson Cooper disputing her.
Finally seeing the video myself I can almost weep. I wish that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was right in her allegations. The short summary is that she was claiming that it was Romney who was driving the language on abortion in the GOP plank. That despite Romney’s abortion exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother that he was the force behind the plank which does not mention such exceptions.
How conservatives can see this video as a victory of any kind I just don’t see.
“Debbie Wasserman Schultz is lying about the fact that our candidate doesn’t support intrinsic evils when in fact he does! It is so much worse for her to lie about it than for our candidate to support intrinsic evils. Yeah team.”
The other day I had posted on progressive Catholics straining gnats while swallowing camels, and the same is true about those who call themselves pro-life while swallowing the camels of exceptions to direct abortion.
On the Hugh Hewitt show the other day one of the callers called in quite upset about Romney’s exceptions for abortion. Mr. Hewitt waived this aside as a ‘prudential decision” since the country is not onboard with anti-abortion stance that excludes these exceptions. I have heard others defend these exceptions “as a step in the right direction.” First off it certainly is a prudential question on the part of voters to limit evil to choose one candidate over the other because there stance is less evil. For Gov. Romney is is not a prudential decision but formal cooperation with evil. The support of murdering the innocent because of the circumstances they are conceived in come down ultimately to the same arguments pro-abortion advocates use. Once circumstances are part of the equation the exception grows. Just like how “life of the mother” has been broadened way beyond cases involving double effect. Once you allow for exceptions to direct abortion you undercut the defense of life and weaken the intellectual arguments behind it.
That we keep having presidential nominees who are either full pro-abortion or pro-abortion by exceptions is such a tragedy. The so-called pro-life GOP since Roe v. Wade keep nominating people who are at odds with the plank and we are suppose to shut up and put up with it because they are not nearly as pro-abortion as the other guy. Something has to change within the pro-life community and to shut down pro-abortion in some cases politicians in the primary process. Those that support intrinsic evils of any form simply should not be supported, yet the pro-life movement has provided cover for these candidates. We let things go until the nomination is made and then reason we have no other choice but to pick a lesser evil. We have become so use to compromising on this for an election that we have forgotten to revolt during the initial process.
So how do we get ourselves out of this rut? First off while more and more Americans are calling themselves pro-life it is often not a pro-life conviction with a morally consistent understanding. No exception for rape and incest seem a hard teaching and one that has been shied away from in the public square. This view is branded as extremist and refuting this has not been much of a priority. When Gov. Romney was on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo there was no question about Romney’s support of intrinsic evil for supporting the murder for those condemned for the crime of their father. A rather softball interview that allowed punch-card answers by the governor. The pro-life question was answered by “I will appoint a strict constructionist” with the robotic tone of somebody programmed to say the same thing over again in response to input A.
I would certainly like to be charitable in accepting the Gov. Romney did have some form of conversion towards the pro-life cause that wasn’t just politically motivated. Living though in Florida where we had Charlie Crist who was pro-abortion, than announced he was pro-life before his Governor run, and now back to pro-abortion and recently endorsing President Obama. It makes it harder to believe a pro-life conversion when he supports IVF and has advocated for unlimited IVF insurance. He would allow for the use of experimentation with embryos resulting from IVF. This is another area where the pro-life cause is severely weakened and the amount of persons killed due to IVF is an area hardly mentioned as it is usually seen as a Catholic thing instead of something foundational to the pro-life movement. Gov. Romney will likely not touch the subject since some of his own grandchildren are the result of IVF. So even if he had some pro-life conversion he can not be called pro-life. St. Teresa wrote “You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.” You can’t be half a pro-lifer either. To the extent you support direct abortion you are not pro-life. As long as we pretend otherwise we are fooling ourselves.
Though I feel quite the hypocrite writing in such terms myself. President Obama must be defeated. I almost wish that I lived in some heavily Democratic state where I could feel satisfied in voting for a Don Quixote candidate and I could tilt at the voting booth. I didn’t vote in the primaries because there was no candidate I could endorse with my vote. I was drawn towards Sen Santorum but his “me too on torture” eliminated that. Yet here I am contemplating pulling the lever for Romney on election day not for fooling myself about Gov. Romney being an ardent pro-lifer, but in knowing the evil of the Obama administration in its ardent attacks on life and on religious freedom. But I can’t be happy about such a choice and I won’t be jumping up and down with a Romney win like “Yeah I limited evil!”