Morning’s Minion over at Vox Nova, recently argued that the pro-life movement should disentangle itself from the Republican party. I think a fairly good argument can be made for this position, although I don’t find it entirely convincing. As anyone familiar with the blogosphere is aware, however, the fact that a good argument can be made for a position does not mean that a good argument currently is being made. Here’s the post:
“November 10, 2008
[MM quotes Tom Delay:]
“Only under conservative government will groups like the National Rifle Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and National Right to Life Committee receive a fair hearing of their views; it’s time they started working together. “
[MM’s Response] On the contrary, Tom, it is exactly alliances like this that are killing the pro-life movement. How is it justifiable that a movement based on life, on the consistent ethic of life, throw in its lot with big business and unregulated firearms? Unless it starts forsaking these cheap and tawdry alliances, the pro-life movement will continue to shortchange the unborn. After all, the man who wrote this is the very same man who opened the doors of power to Jack Abramoff, who wilfully pushed the agenda of a group involved in forced abortion and forced prostitution. This tells you everything you need to know, really.”
To provide context, Morning’s Minion is an avid supporter of President-elect Obama and the Democratic party generally. For months, he has championed Obama’s cause, despite Obama’s outspoken support for organizations like Planned Parenthood. It is rather surprising then, in light of his recent advocacy, that his response to the election is to call for Republican pro-lifers to embrace irrelevance in the name ideological purity. The argument appears to be that pro-lifers in the Democratic party should vote for Democratic politicians linked with Planned Parenthood (with minor regrets), whereas pro-life Republicans should run shrieking from politicians responsive to the NRA. Is it just me or is this partisan hypocrisy? Is the NRA worse than Planned Parenthood for the pro-life movement?
The response is particularly troubling given that the most immediate effects of pro-lifers leaving the Republican party en masse would be: 1) the pro-life movement would be ideologically pure but too small to impact national politics; 2) the ardently pro-choice Democratic party would dominate American politics. Both of these results are entirely foreseeable. I must confess that (in certain moods) it occurs to me that the animating force for this particular argument from some quarters may have more to do with concern for the Democratic party than the pro-life movement.