What Is To Be Done?

Wednesday, November 7, AD 2012

The narrative game has begun. One of the major memes we can expect to hear now that the GOP lost the presidential race is that “extremism” is to blame. Many of us know that it was absurd to label Mitt Romney “extreme” on anything. Even those on the other side willing to concede this point will say something like “the GOP is being held hostage by the extreme right” and “the Tea Party is to blame for the GOP defeat.” This is all, of course, complete nonsense, but many Republicans will buy it.

I honestly don’t know if it is possible to isolate and eliminate the factors that are ultimately responsible for Barack Obama’s reelection and Mitt Romney’s crushing defeat last night. What I do know is this: in 2004, President Bush was said to have won primarily because of a surge of evangelical voters who stormed the polls to defeat gay marriage initiatives in key swing states. Last night, voters approved gay marriage in three states and defeated two GOP Senate candidates because of remarks they made to the media about rape and abortion. Neither “extremism” in general or the “Tea Party” is to blame; commentators have been quick to point out that Akin was not a Tea Party choice and that perfectly moderate Republicans such as Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin went down in defeat last night.

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25 Responses to What Is To Be Done?

  • I have lived through worse electoral disasters than this: 1964, 1974, 1976 and 1992. The saving grace after each such defeat is that it tends to bring new faces and ideas to the fore and sharpens the party for future victories. That, and the Democrats always overreach, as they will this time. The party actually is in better shape at the state level across the nation than at any time during my life. Quite a bit of potential there.

    A good post Bonchamps and I will be coming up with some other practical suggestions for the way out of the political wilderness tomorrow.

  • Leadership. The country and the conservative cause is in sore need of a strong leader. Back in the Vietnam era while I was a candidate in Officer Candidate School, I’ll never forget the description of what a true leader is; “he can tell you he’s going to take you to hell and back and you look forward to the trip!” Now theologically we as Catholics, have an issue with the details of that, but here is a point to be made by the statement. In my lifetime only one President comes to mind who fills that bill.

    The demographics of the country are rapidly changing. I have never been comfortable with the Republican strident stand on immigration. I’m not advocating amnesty, but we do need to confront reality. There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. In a few years, Texas may well be a purple state.

  • . There needs to be a documented guest worker program to start with. :

    Rubbish. Either allow people to settle or send them home. You import indentured servants you are asking for trouble.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.

    Hispanics who are here legally ought to be in favor of upholding the nation’s immigration laws. If their position is essentially that we ought to not enforce the laws or create new laws that do nothing to address the problems associated with mass immigration, we cannot possibly endorse it. It is criminal and immoral to do so, in fact.

    We are under no obligation to endorse open borders, lax enforcement, and the cultural disintegration of our country. We have other options besides appeasing La Raza and MEChA, you know.

  • This is the kind of stuff, Bonchamps, that you’re really good at analyzing and articulating. I may not agree completely with everything in your post, but you make good sense and your facts seem correct. And since I am a nuclear engineer and not a political scientist, I will defer to your wisdom in such matters.

  • So what is the answer to selling the Conservative position to blacks and latino’s? Enlighten me. How do we get there? Or perhaps you believe it doesn’t matter?

  • I don’t know how we get there. I know what we don’t do to get wherever “there” is, though.

    Ironically, getting tougher on border issues could swing some of the black vote our way. Who do you think takes all of their jobs? Our angle could be, “vote for us – you won’t get as much welfare, but you’ll definitely have greater job opportunities as we send your main competitors packing.”

    It’s one option, anyway. But I certainly will not acquiesce to the notion that we sacrifice our cultural and territorial integrity for the sake of voters in this country who believe that the laws are meaningless and will punish the party that tries to enforce them. If that’s what this country has come to, then no election will change anything.

  • I live in Florida. I quite frankly resent the accomodations to Hispanics with language. You live here, learn the language. Music in Spanish at Mass or diocesan functions drives me nuts. Our parish as a ministry supports the mission that works with the field workers who pick the vegetables and the fruit. Americans will not do the work. They are illegal, but without them the vegetable and fruit industries are not viable. They wouldn’t be able to compete with imports from Mexico and South America. That’s what I mean by a guest worker program. Know who they are and create a record.

    As to the rest of the latino community, we best recognize that their numbers are growing legally. They are becoming an ever growing percentage of the population. They vote. They have issues that need to be respected. They are by and large Catholic and family oriented. They are conservative and should be voting with us, but they are not.

  • And what are those issues, exactly?

    Open borders and handouts. That’s what they want.

  • Family oriented voters are concerned about having enough for living expenses whether or not the funds are earnings. It seems that this concern trumps all others. From Instapundit:

    ‘ “The first day of the ‘next 4 years’ is starting in a very auspicious fashion. First, the market crashes. Then, a major blue chip company, Boeing, just announced it would cut 30% of management jobs from 2010 levels. And finally, the US Treasury just added $24 billion in debt, or enough to fund Greece for over one year, sending the total debt load (the US is now at 103% debt/GDP) ever closer to the debt ceiling breaching $16.4 trillion.”

    Posted at 10:50 pm by Glenn Reynolds

    I QUESTION THE TIMING: A reader who works at Yale emails:

    I found it interesting that this email came out today from Yale benefits:

    Dear Colleagues:

    We would like to make you aware of a significant federally mandated change which will impact Yale’s healthcare flexible spending account benefit. Effective January 1, 2013, as a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the annual contribution limit will be capped at $2,500. Currently, the maximum amount of pre-tax dollars you can set aside in a healthcare flexible spending account is $12,000.

    As a participant who contributed $2,500 or more in 2012, we encourage you to keep this in mind as you begin to plan for your 2013 out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses. You will soon have an opportunity to re-enroll in the flexible spending account benefit plan during Annual Benefits Enrollment (December 3-17). As a reminder, you have until March 15, 2013 to incur expenses against your 2012 contributions, and until April 30, 2013 to submit claims those for reimbursement. We hope that this grace period is helpful for maximizing your flexible spending benefit for 2012.

    If you have any further questions, please contact an Employee Services representative.

    What interesting timing! I did know about this, as a former CPA/tax accountant, but how many did?
    Today my husband came home and told me that his boss informed him today that a layoff is planned. Small aerospace/manufacturing plant.
    We are worried. We were worried before the election that if the direction didn’t change, we’d face an ugly economic future. It may already becoming true for our family.

    I think a lot of stuff will be coming out over the next few weeks and months that was carefully kept off the radar before Election Day. ‘

  • To answer Jerry’s question I think the state Republican parties are a big part of the problem. More than a few seem indolent or dysfunctional (Bob Michel syndrome). They are often exclusionary in orientation. The VA Repubs spend most of their time fighting with the :”non approved” conservative types. Their get out the vote effort in VA this election was pathetic as far as I could tell. I asked them a couple of times since they didn’t want Tea Party types then what voters were they seeking to make up the difference? Never got an answer. I fear the only remedy is to get some disaffected Dem operatives to run the effort. At least they know what they are doing. If the state and local party is doing nothing on outreach a Presidential candidate showing an ad is not very effective. You can’t show up once every four years and expect a warm welcome.

    Obama got his toughest media questions from the Hispanic media over Fast and Furious. Good grief what a missed opportunity for Romney and Ryan. Here the Admin that so loves Hispanics is covering up the murder of many many Mexicans by ATF provided weapons. Except for the first debate I don’t think Romney made much attempt to explain how his policies would be better for voters including Hispanics than the Democrats policies. Most of his ads were just awful. In a 2 party system you always need to remember voters have a choice.

    Bush 43 got plenty of Hispanic support. He spoke some bad Spanish but the Bushes had a Hispanic wife or two in the clan I believe, That kind of acceptance speaks volumes. The Dems co-opt community leaders to vouch for them. They set up media networks to promote the Dem party indirectly. They also try to make association with the Repubs a form of betrayal. That way they neutralize a Hispanic Repub. Did you see any outcry from Hispanics when Bush43’s AG Gonzalez got in trouble?

    Repubs also don’t call enough attention to Dem’s hostility to religion (except Sharia Islam).

  • PM my thoughts and prayers are with you. I’m very sorry for you and many others. This is purely a national self inflicted wound which makes it doubly frustrating. The same post election angst is occurring in Argentina and France who also have voted foolishly.

  • “They are by and large Catholic and family oriented.”

    this means nothing, it’s like saying that well-to-do suburban Democratic family is “conservative.” Conservatives said the same things about blacks during the Bush years, they’re more religious/socially conservative, we can get them to break. it’s not really that simple.

    the GOP will not outbid the Dems on immigration. That doesn’t mean we have to outright antagonize them/that no change is necessary, but we also don’t have to embrace a position that will earn us nothing with Hispanics and lose white working-class votes in the process

  • I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ? How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.? Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out? How about majority rule, as it should be. The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago. Employment up, home prices up, stock market up, inovative companies, false war in Iraq over, bin laden dead. extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on? You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme . And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry . Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .

  • With respect, there are many palatable ways to turn the immigration problem on its head, to turn it from a losing to a winning issue for Republicans. However, we can’t respond to every proposal as though what is good for aliens is bad for America. Whether you accept it or not, our future is as tied to theirs as it has ever been.

    For example: the technology non-immigrant visa is, for the most part, the H1B. It is on this visa that most of the IT workers enter the US to underbid US jobs.

    It can get complicated but, at its core, the process entails a company filing a petition for a worker and demonstrating that 1) they have tried to fill the post and couldn’t, 2) they have work for them to do, 3) the company can pay the prevailing wage, and 4) bringing in a worker won’t violate union rules. Sounds reasonable.

    The problem is that the system was established for “brick and mortar” enterprises in the old economy. The underlying assumption is that there is A job at A location, like designing medical equipment at a plant. IT doesn’t work that way and, so, the H1B system has to be twisted to fit this important sector of the economy.

    There is rampant fraud but most is subtle and disastrous for the US economy. A common scheme is for an Indian company to send a few representatives to the US to set up an US corporation. They, in turn, petition for highly skilled computer professionals from their own corporation. They then establish a servicing contract with the foreign corporation to show cash flow. The petitioned-for aliens are then installed at large US corporations to look for work that can be outsourced to the Indian company.

    On paper, everything looks legit… US corporation? Check. Cash flow? Check. Contract requiring a worker? Check. Only it isn’t legit. The worker isn’t a $62,000/year Programmer Analyst, they are a $120,000/year manager, finding work that can be outsourced.

    So, accept for a moment that I am being truthful… That little tale should make your blood boil. It does mine and that it plays out tens of thousands of times a year concerns me greatly.

    We can get mad and insist on wiping out the program altogether but that argument, right or wrong, will never garner more than fringe support. We can impotently rage against the Indians but that is mean and stupid. We can throw up our hands – as Congress does but that just gives legislative consent to the slight of hand.

    The cleverest remedy I’ve heard is also the simplest: eliminate the petition provision so that workers can work wherever they want, for whomever they want and let the market control their wages. I favor this proposal for two reasons: any rule of law that encourages deceit is a bad rule and greed is a sound foundation for market systems.

    Whatever the IT workwr’s loyalty, they know what they can get in the open market. The Indian corporations would have to compensate sufficiently to keep that worker working for them. US corporations, unable to get discounted labor from overseas would have to at least conside hiring US workers and paying them fairly and training in-house. Finally, you wipe out the economic insentive for the dummy corporations that make the fraud work.

    There are lots of changes to immigration systems that yield high economic dividends for the US economy and advance the interests of legitimate immigrants. We won’t reach them though if we on the Right react negatively to immigrants generally and immigration proposals as though they are inherently bad because they benefit immigrants.

  • Ben,

    I approved your pathetic comment just to pick it apart for fun. I wish I didn’t have so much time on my hands.

    “I think you insult the citizens of this country in your article. Mob rule? Free stuff ?”

    Yes, you know, the stuff Obama pays for from his “stash”, i.e. our tax dollars, things like free birth control for Sandra Fluke. Yes, mob rule, the people who threatened to riot and murder if Romney was elected. I know the media outlets you likely frequent don’t bring such things to your attention. Time to leave the MSM bubble perhaps. Google is your friend.

    “How about the tens of thousands injured in the wars started by presedent bush ? Are those people just wanting free stuff from the gov.?”

    Who said anything about that? Let me clue you in: as anyone who frequents TAC will tell you, I am opposed to Bush’s wars and think all troops should be brought home immediately. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one. And veterans are entitled to benefits, because national defense and related matters fall under the Constitutionally legitimate duties of the federal government. I know its hard for you to imagine a consistent political philosophy, but it does exist, I do espouse it, and you should look before you leap and make assumptions about others.

    “Could it be the mothers fathers sisters brothers of the fallen who just voted the republicans ‘ s out?”

    The military usually goes Republican. I know some soldiers. They’re all either GOP supporters or 3rd party. And they all despise Obama.

    “How about majority rule, as it should be.”

    Who said anything against it?

    “The country is way , way better off now than 4 years ago.”

    Excuse me while I finish LMAO.

    “Employment up,”

    Real unemployment is higher than it has been since FDR’s administration – 17% and rising.

    “home prices up,”

    They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.

    “stock market up,”

    The stock market tanked as soon as Obama’s reelection was called. So did the dollar, because the rest of the world knows that Obama will print trillions more dollars, creating imaginary money to pay for political fantasies.

    “inovative companies,”

    ::laughs hysterically::

    “false war in Iraq over,”

    Bush began the withdrawal process, and Obama is murdering innocent children with drones in Pakistan. Your president is as much a warmonger as W.

    “bin laden dead.”

    Well, I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist. I think he died in 2002 or sometime shortly thereafter, having already been on kidney dialysis well before that, and that whomever they bagged wasn’t bin Laden. We’ll never know, since Seal Team 6 was, on an entirely unrelated note, placed on a defective, outdated helicopter that blew up and killed them all.

    “extremism not to blame for losses ha ? What planet are you on?”

    No, poor discipline is to blame. Discipline is required to defeat the kind of people who mislead simple people, like yourself.

    “You might as well say horendous acts against women in Afghanistan are not extreme .”

    Huh?

    “And I wouldn’t call a few hundred dollars a month in food stamps, which is literally just barely enogh to eat now and emergency access to a telephone endless entitlment .”

    Its endless when it doesn’t end, when it becomes a way of life sustained by the labor of others.

    “come on. I thought Christians were supposed to feed the hungry .”

    Yeah. We’re supposed to do it as a free act of love, not because men with guns and badges will throw us in prison if we don’t.

    “Lol shrinkage of the base ha ha . Your words betray your fear . Of course its possible to figure out why republicans lost, its all over the news god your in your own little world . Time to grow up , Jesus thought outside his box , maybe you could as well . Sorry excuse for an article bud .”

    Well, given the level of basic grammar and command of the relevant political facts, I don’t think I’m going to take your criticism too poorly.

  • “home prices up,”

    “They had nowhere to go but up, and it has nothing to do with Obummer’s policies. They would have gone up under McCain too.”

    How true. Most homes around the nation during the reign of the Southside Messiah have lost 20 to 30 percent of value. I would wager that Ben does not own a home.

  • Sure he does… If by “own” you mean “borrow” and by “home” you mean “mother’s basement.”

  • Seriously though, “you can’t fix stupid” and the West is becoming increasingly stupid.

    Ignorance can be addressed in individuals. It tend to think of the word in a positive way, as in “I don’t know anything about that. Could you tell me something more so that I am not as ignorant?”

    Stupid strikes me as willful: as iin “I voted for Obama because Romney didn’t have an economic plan.” You see, in this statement, I betray that 1) having an economic plan is not really a requirement or I’d know that Obama didn’t present one and 2) I know that having an economic plan would be a positive thing for a candidatet but I choose to not investigate the matter.

    People are ignorant until they are informed but you can’t inform the stupid.

    The GOP can’t reach the stupid and we shouldn’t try, lest we be dragged down to their inarticulate, carping fom the sidelines of life existence. Don’s post above, forgive me for paraphrasing, calls for the GOP to inform, to correct ignorance. We simply can’t fix the Ben’s of the world; only He who let the blind man see can.

  • The analysis needs to go further. The very conversation itself here is using Liberal Democrat terms and concepts. Class designations are the tools of the left and the GOP cannot win any debate using concepts and descriptions created by the enemy.

    Republicans need to create a brand new paradigm from the ground up, standing on the principle of servant leadership, using the essences of Scriptural wisdom. No more collectivist terminology regarding race, sex, or any other demographic facet. That language must be continually attacked as dehumanizing and insulting to the sanctity of the individual person, from conception to natural death.

    The whole “War on Women” theme could have been wiped off the map, simply by saying “Our mothers, sisters and daughters are, like our fathers, brothers and sons, full and necessary participants in a society whose goals are civil prosperity, secure families and communities, and respect for every individual person regardless of station or circumstance. If all you believe women to be are mobile genitals, then you have that right, but we take a higher view.” Not just once, but time after time after time, from male and female spokespeople, and every variation on the theme should have been based on that principle.

    As well, compartmentalization of issue is a Leftist weapon. It must be recognized that all issues today, from business overregulation to gay marriage, are inter-connected and that by appealing to the commonality that all share – while pointing out the politically-motivated faux issues created by the left to maintain class warfare and societal division – the whole tone of the battle can be changed.

    The media will be the easiest target since they’re the least intellectually nimble of the bunch. All that’s needed are disciplined, principled and consistent answers to any given challenge on any given aspect of the paradigm, and the respondent silence will speak as loudly as any other potential reaction. Akin and Mourdock failed because they were politicians and not principled public servants. The GOP can turn those losses into huge gains by learning and applying the lessons. They must take the example of Edmund Burke, as posted today by Don, of service before office and the nobility of sacrifice of privilege for the sake of principle. This will be the greatest weapon, if in fact the Republicans can find enough principled people to wield it.

  • And THAT, WK Aiken is the best articulation of the issue I’ve seen in years. Thank you!

  • Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    Aiken is right – dump the demographic paradigm. Clinton was right – it is the economy. The GOP did not do enough on calling out the MSM on their lies about the state of the economy. I would have taken EVERY announcement of job cuts over the last four years and put that front and center.

  • Rozin @ 11:56: That comment was only an observation for the demographic discussion, meaning that it seems that living expenses are a basic concern for voters across the differing constituencies, not a personal statement about my preferences. The D campaign used the strength of that interest in a different way from the R campaign. Each side ‘scared’ the other as to income security, so I thought it might be something to look at by campaign planners. That for the good thought though.

  • You know, I will be quite frank about this: I am sick to death of the implications behind criticisms of the GOP’s immigration positions.

    Agreed.

    Bonchamps, you overgeneralize the “Hispanic” vote as badly as the Democrats. Hispanics are the single largest demographic in Texas, yet Texas voted red as blood. Ted Cruz is a Tea Party candidate and considered “extreme” right.

    The “Hispanic” vote means that section that votes on open borders and support for the same. It doesn’t include the folks who vote conservative because that’s the world-view they have, same way that I’m not part of the “women’s vote”– abortion, birth control and single parenthood support– because I am a conservative.
    That is what the terms mean when the Dems use them, and if we talk about taking that group, we’re about the same sub-section.

    The GOP deals with what people think instead of what they were born. Buying into the Dem’s “born that way” mindset is dangerous, and seems to be getting more popular. (followed by those buying in being unable to figure out why they’re not as good at it as the guys they’re copying)

  • There was nothing wrong with Romney. We lost because of turnout – period. The democrats have a great ground game going now. The republicans are still relying on the appeal of common sense. It does not work this way. A community organizer can beat a republican time and time again.

    How do we rebound? We need to get organized and galvanized around a single carefully selected leader. We need to stop thinking of our individual causes and start thinking about whether this country will exist for our children and grandchildren.

Enough is Enough: Rape Babies Don’t Deserve Death

Sunday, October 28, AD 2012

Thank the Good Lord I am not a politician. If I were running for office, what I am about to write would undoubtedly cause me to plummet in the polls and induce a heart attack for my campaign manager. It is up to us – bloggers, polemicists, wags, editorialists, etc. – to say plainly and boldly what politicians cannot say. By now hundreds if not thousands of us on the pro-life side of the spectrum have weighed in on the mountain that the Obama campaign and the leftist media have made out of the molehill of the “rape exception” that many self-identified pro-lifers hold. FYI: it is a molehill not because rape is no big deal, but because less than 1% of abortions are performed on rape babies. I don’t know if what I have to say will be different from what you have read, but I’m about to douse this issue in gasoline and light a match, so check yourselves now.

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17 Responses to Enough is Enough: Rape Babies Don’t Deserve Death

  • ” … I believe penalties for rape should be severe enough to serve as a real deterrent, which they never will as long as left-wing lawyers and judges dominate the judicial system. I believe radical pro-choice outfits should stop harassing pro-life pregnancy centers and other organizations that are out there providing millions of women with financial, social and emotional support. …”

    Add on severe penalties for life-threatening criminal activity in general, and watch them think before acting.

    Harassment is becoming something dangerous, as this election season is revealing it. We have leaders so irresponsible as to incite their base, rather than to caution about right and wrong or to give them credit for brains.

    The Richter Scale has numbers that apply exponentially to damage potential. The law does not. Killing children, and using Roe v. Wade for political gain and division of citizens, is not high-minded or related to peace.

  • Ditto, Bonchamps! – “Well, how about this: I support the second amendment rights of women, so that they can obtain weapons and defend themselves. I support laws that allow them to do so with lethal force and without fear of juridical reprisal. I believe penalties for rape should be severe enough to serve as a real deterrent, which they never will as long as left-wing lawyers and judges dominate the judicial system. I believe radical pro-choice outfits should stop harassing pro-life pregnancy centers and other organizations that are out there providing millions of women with financial, social and emotional support. And at the end of the day, I don’t believe that women who actually go through with an abortion under such circumstances should be thrown in prison, but I do believe that the medical frauds who kill babies for a living should be tossed into a dungeon and the keys jettisoned into outer space.”

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  • I’ve got a rather scathing response about my knowledge of basic biology meaning that I recognize an embryo is human from conception, and likewise is alive, and that if I were going to kill someone involved in a rape it would be the rapist, not someone who has the horrible luck to be genetically related to him.

  • Not doubting your 1% statistic but wondering where it comes from? I have heard it often but have never seen a source.

  • The less than 1% result keeps showing up, even in pro-abortion studies.

    Victims suggest that 1) a lot of rapes resulting in pregnancy aren’t reported, and 2) abortion makes it worse for the victim. (Shocker, women aren’t stupid just because they were raped.)

  • Great post. I agree with your statement that the vast majority of people are morally inconsistent. You’re also correct that people who make policy statements in public don’t have the excuse of not having thought the matter through.
    For this reason, I believe that politicians who claim to be pro-life, yet condone killing babies conceived during rape (like Mourdoch’s opponent) are not sincerely pro-life.
    The logical distance between acknowledging that life begins at conception and its protection no matter how it came to be is so short that the smallest amount of contemplation should be sufficient to make the jump. I think the pro-life movement would be well served by an information campaign to push this.
    Inconsistent politicians have no logical excuse. I believe that politicians who hold “semi” pro-life positions do so for purely political reasons (coughRomneycough).

  • What is to be said to those who have bought into the entire lie that pro-abortion advocates claim is the reason for safe and legal abortion? Those who have been decieved and brain washed are so misguided by those they believe that the words of those who wish to give them the correct information and guidance are regarded as extremist who are waging a war against women. The information that is presented to them shows them the truth but they do not recognize the truth. All they see is what there are told. I have relatives who are very close to me who I have had “discussions” with about abortion who listen and at that moment hear the truth and recognize it and agree with what they are being shown yet afterwards they still vote for the party that continues to lie to them. So once again.
    What is to be said to those who have bought into the entire lie that pro-abortion advocates claim is the reason for safe and legal abortion?

  • Richard,

    If the people you are speaking to “hear the truth and recognize it and agree with what they are being shown”, as you put it, and yet remain obstinate in their pro-abortion beliefs, there is nothing more you can say. Such people believe that ignoring the truth has no consequences and so they wallow in their indifference.

    But I believe God will punish indifference with more severity than outright evil.

  • First Person Account: A devout Catholic young woman was raped by a hired hand on her father’s farm in the 1930’s. Imagine the disgrace. A devout Catholic man met her and realized the severity of the situation and that he also had loved this young woman for some time. He asked her to marry him! He told her he would adopt the child as his own. Imagine the disgrace for him. Stories flew for years and years with the gossips of the small community. Many people thought they “had to get married”. You know you just did not talk about such things in those days. “They” had a baby girl which they named after the woman who “wiped” the face of Jesus. This couple went on to have 12 more children. This couple was married for 60 years. They both died the most beautiful deaths I have ever witnessed. On his deathbed his last words were, “eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love Him”. “Their” little girl went on to have a wonderful family of 9 children and her husband has been a champion for the Right to Life”. She has passed now, and her husband is dying of cancer. They have 30 grandchildren many of whom are adopted. Most of who are practising Catholic or members of fundamental churches. Her life was inportant just as the woman who “wiped” the face of Jesus. And we have always thought we had our “own” St. Joseph example in our lives. Pity the world.

  • Very moving Jeanne. No rapes in my family history that I am aware of, but my mother was born out of wedlock in 1936. My grandmother rolled up her sleeves, went to work, and my mom was raised by her grandmother while her mom worked during the day. Money was often tight, the big treat each week was on Saturday night when my mom and my grandmother would each have a cookie and a glass of milk, but love was in abundance. Love usually finds a way to triumph over all adversities.

  • People make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are sexual ones (anyone here not make a sexual mistake?), and sometimes those sexual mistakes have consequences, like an unintended pregnancy. The liberal left doesn’t want consequences, either sexual ones or economic ones. The liberal left wants complete license to do what it wants whenever it wants regardless of circumstance or consequence, and someone else is supposed to pay the price, whether that be the tax payer for free health care or an unborn baby who will be sacrificed for mere covenience’s sake. Therefore, I like what Donald wrote: ” No rapes in my family history that I am aware of, but my mother was born out of wedlock in 1936.  My grandmother rolled up her sleeves, went to work, and my mom was raised by her grandmother while her mom worked during the day.  Money was often tight, but love was in abundance.  Love usually finds a way to triumph over all adversities.”

    Love covers a multitude of sins. Isn’t that somewhere in the Bible? 😉

  • Has anyone else noticed the Planned Parenthood ad on this site?

  • Wow, Jeanne. Thanks for posting that.

Richard Mourdock and the Illogic of the Rape Exception

Wednesday, October 24, AD 2012

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is in trouble. When talking about his opposition to abortion and whether he believes that there should be an exception in the case of rape, he had this to say:

“I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view, but I believe that life begins at conception,” the tea party-backed Mourdock said. “The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said, appearing to choke back tears. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

There have been hysterics from the usual quarters, and Mitt Romney has even had to distance himself from the remarks. Pro-life candidate for governor, Mike Pence, even called on Mourdock to apologize.

Apologize for what?

Mourdock’s phrasing was awkward in that it he could be interpreted as saying that the rape itself was God’s will. Clearly Mourdock is referring to the pregnancy. Therefore what Mourdock is relating here is the true pro-life position. It’s nowhere near as bad as Todd Akin’s legitimate rape comments, and therefore those trying to make hay out of these comments are simply being disingenuous.

I was irked by something that Drew M at Ace of Spades said on this topic. Even though Drew thinks the backlash is unwarranted, he had this to say about Mourdock’s position:

I think Mourdock’s position is appalling (not his thoughts on God’s unknowable plans but the idea a rape victim should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term)

Normally I agree with Drew, but how can one find Mourdock’s position appalling, especially if one is otherwise generally pro-life? I can understand why people take the pro-life with exceptions position, and I would definitely accept a political compromise that prohibited abortion in all cases except rape, incest and where the life of the mother is at risk (though I think the practical application of such a law would be fraught with difficulties, but that’s for another discussion). And while I certainly don’t want to distance myself from people who are with me 99% of the way on an issue that is of the utmost importance, the pro-life with exceptions stance is logically untenable.

If you are pro-life it is because you presumably believe that life begins at conception. So if you advocate for the prohibition of abortion while simultaneously allowing exceptions, are you saying that the lives of those conceived via rape are somehow not fully human? Does the means of conception somehow instill greater value in certain forms of human life than others? If you are pro-life “except for rape,” what you’re basically saying is that abortion is murder and unacceptable, but murdering a child conceived in rape is somehow permissible. Well why should the method of conception matter?

In truth I understand why people are reluctant to commit to a 100 percent pro-life position. It is uncomfortable arguing that a woman who has experienced a brutal crime should then be forced to keep her child – a child that is a result of no choice of her own, and which could compound the trauma of what she has gone through. But by doing so, you are allowing sentiment to override reason.

The “with exceptions” pro lifers concern me because I wonder if they have fully thought through their positions. It is why polls that show a majority of Americans now turning towards a pro-life position are not necessarily cause for rejoicing quite yet. Again, I do not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, and in no way would I want to turn these people away from the pro-life movement completely. Yet I think the instant revulsion to the sentiments expressed by Mourdock on the part of even some pro-lifers is worrisome.

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31 Responses to Richard Mourdock and the Illogic of the Rape Exception

  • “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

    This statement is so fraught with theological difficulties and potential misinterpretations that, were this Pope Benedict himself, I would hesitate to recommend that he make it absent an audience of theologians.

  • Judging from his response to the controversy Mourdock is a class act:

  • Paul. I agree with your concern and position.
    What is the victim of rape doing if she inflicts her pain on another victim, her fetus. Healing never starts at the onset of violence to another. You are right to be concerned about the exception mentality. Drews position on this is appalling. The rape victim now has two huge wounds to heal. The violence she was subject to and the violence she inflicted upon another. In no way does two wrongs make it right. Time heals and rape victims that have given their babies a chance at life through adoption are victims no longer. They have deepened their faith in God, not cursed God for their misfortune. Rachaels Vineyard has some resources to back up my claims.

  • Donald,

    I agree. I rarely decide not to vote for a candidate based on theological ineptitude.

    –Jonathan

  • What I find hilarious about this is that the very same people who are in hysterics that a candidate proposes not inflicting a death penalty on a child conceived in rape, is that these very same people would likely oppose inflicting a death sentence upon the rapist.

  • “I rarely decide not to vote for a candidate based on theological ineptitude.”

    Agreed, especially when we encounter the deep fathoms of predestination and divine foreknowledge!

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  • Yes! And not to mention (except that I will, just now) active versus passive will, potentially blaming God for evil, and all sorts of fun things.

    Donald, have you ever read Tsunami and Theodicy (http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2008/05/tsunami-and-theodicy) or Doors of the Sea (http://www.amazon.com/Doors-Sea-Where-Was-Tsunami/dp/0802866867)?

    The book grew out of the article. Both are worth reading.

    –Jonathan

  • My objection to Mourdock and Akin has nothing to do with their position on abortion. All I say is that when you know for a certainty that you will get a question on something controversial, you think carefully how to express your position clearly and accurately or go the other route and dodge it. if you can’t manage that then you ensure that you have a compliant media that will cover up every gaffe, misstatement and tortured phrase. Unfortunately, both candidates by their laziness have vindicated the Establishment Repubs big time and helped the Leftists.

  • Donald, have you ever read Tsunami and Theodicy (http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2008/05/tsunami-and-theodicy) or Doors of the Sea (http://www.amazon.com/Doors-Sea-Where-Was-Tsunami/dp/0802866867)?

    Yes as to Tsunami and Theodicy and no as to Doors of the Sea.

  • About the only honorable thing to do here is get right back in the faces of these people and declare that what is truly appalling is that an innocent child ought to be gruesomely butchered and thrown in the garbage because its father is a rapist.

    Yes, all people, men and women, should be “forced” not to murder innocent human beings, regardless of the circumstances in which they come into this world. They don’t have to raise them, but they cannot be permitted to kill them.

    If we can’t say this clearly and forcefully, then we are not pro-life, but frauds and impostors.

  • If Mourdock had simply ended his remarks with “I came to realize that life is a gift from God,” he would have made his point without giving the other side quite so much ammunition.

  • To those who believe in the rape exception, I would ask three questions:

    1) If abortion is the deliberate taking of a human life, how does the horrible circumstance, which rape is, to put it lightly, make the unborn child any less human or any less innocent?

    2) How does an abortion to bring any healing to the terrible violence of the rape? IN fact, post abortion syndrome (which is a fact, not just anti-abortion speculation) is likely to compounfd the trauma.

    3) Although the rape victim is indeed a victim, what right does that give her to make other victims?

    I have found that the rape, incest, life of the mother exceptions are often thrown out as dicersionary debating tactics to avoid dealing with the fundamental issue of abortion.

    I think this is where solid pro-life Catholic politicians like Paul Ryan get put in a bad position having to carry the water for people like Romney on this issue.

  • I was unaware of this story, but have recently met a ‘child of rape’. Perhaps Mourdock (and others) should use it, or other stories like it. I’m sure there are plently of children of rape, now grown, who can attest to the courage of mothers, and the value of their lives. http://rantingcatholicmom.blogspot.com

  • Ever since John Chancellor asked Michael Dukakis the famous “Kitty Dukakis is raped and murdreed” question that gave G. H. W. Bush the 1988 election, I have imagined what I would answer to any such ambush. I imagine Wolfie Blitzer or some such intellectual asking, “Your daughter is raped. Would you seek an abortion?” To which my answer would be “And put murder on top of rape? How much do you want the poor child to endure, Mr. Blitzer?”

    This is the essence of a practiced response, and anybody running for Senate, or any other office, from a non-Liberal standpoint had getter have principled and practiced responses to any question in any field. Who’s running his campaign? The Carmel Dad’s Club? I could do better.

  • His response was heartfelt and sincere. If they continue to bring it up I would change the reply to something like, “Look, clearly we both think rape is heinous and demands justice, we can differ as to whether we think it demands someone pay blood, but even if I were to cede that spilling more blood would be just, I cannot agree with you that it should be an innocent person’s blood.”

  • Of course Mourdock’s response was heartfelt and sincere. It was also poorly worded in a politically damaging way as evidenced by RL’s and other’s proposed rewrites. And Mourdock won’t be given the chance to change the reply because the Dems and media will endlessly replay his first comment for the next 2 weeks. At least Akin had the better sense to get his brain spasm at the start of the campaign rather than at the end. And BTW Elaine Krewer’s phrase is all the answer he needed to give. One can only hope voters have matured to the point that sincerity trumps amateurishness.

  • I agree with Donald R McClarey that “predestination and divine foreknowledge” raise very deep and subtle questions.

    That said, If we believe, with Aristotle and all the Scholastics that God is the First Cause and Prime Mover, then even the rape is the result of His (permissive) will. As Bañez says “God, respecting the nature of things, moves necessary agents to necessary, and free agents to free, activity – including sin, except that God is the originator only of its physical entity, not of its formal malice.” For “every act and every movement of the thoroughly contingent secondary causes or creatures must emanate from the First Cause, and that by the application of their potentiality to the act.”

    And, of course, they held that “In this premotion or predetermination is also found the medium of the Divine knowledge by which God’s omniscience foresees infallibly all the future acts, whether absolute or conditional, of intelligent creatures… For just as certainly as God in His predetermined decrees knows His own will, so certainly does He know all the necessarily included determinations of the free will of creatures, be they of absolute or conditional futurity.”

  • I agree that Mourdock’s original statement wasn’t perfect, but I think people are being a tad harsh. It was nowhere near being the sort of cringeworthy gaffe that have sunk other candidates. His meaning was fairly obvious to anyone who doesn’t have an agenda. Certainly candidates for political office need to be especially careful with their language and word choice, but even the best candidates are not going to be machinely efficient robots who make every utterance with precision. I think what he says barely rates a 2 on the gaffe-o-meter.

  • The Democrats nationally are desperate, and well they might be, and therefore they are engaging in the usual ploy of those facing defeat at the polls: busily attempting to build mountains out of molehills.

  • As usual, this site shows how anti-woman it really is. It’s not about love for unborn life, but callousness towards women who suffer brutal sexual crimes. Not too long ago, this site was gloating over the P*ssy Riot members who are now being sent to Soviet-era labor camps. Now, they show heartlessness towards rape victims. There was an article not too long ago in a Catholic magazine that said that consensual s*d*my was somehow WORSE than rape&incest. It’s this dismissive, self-righteous attitude towards women who are victims of horrific crimes that makes pro-lifers look idiotic and shows them incapable of dealing with REAL pain&REAL victims. This is just business as usual- callousness&disregard for real suffering, in the name of love and life.

  • “As usual, this site shows how anti-woman it really is.”

    More than half of all the humans slain in abortion Susan are female. If that isn’t anti-woman what is? The idea that the other innocent victim in a rape, the child conceived as a result, must die for the father’s crime demonstrates how far from any concept of justice the pro-abort mentality you embrace is.

  • I’d like to see Romney distance himself from this: http://youtu.be/jXQL9WLKXMo

  • I will simply note that nowhere does Susan actually make an argument as to why abortion should be permitted in these cases. Rather, she simply emotes and rants about anti-female attitudes (while conveniently disregarding the female commenters on this thread who oppose abortion in these circumstances). Further, her only attempt to bring facts into her rant was a off the mark, as she also conveniently ignores the fact that a majority of the bloggers here actually opposed the actions of the Russian government. Of course that’s a non sequiter anyway, meaning that the entire comment left by Susan is basically full of fail.

  • If I were a politician asked this question I would answer, “The value of your life does not come from the manner of your conception. If you are conceived in a loving marriage that does not mean your life is more valuble than someone else conceived in a one night stand, an adulterous affair, or, God forbid, violent rape. Rape victims need love and healing, not more violence through abortion.”

    Susa, I don’t hate women or rape victims. I don’t think you help a woman heal from rape by adding the added injury (physical, emotional, and spiritual) of abortion.

  • I find few things more annoying, even exasperating, as people – especially pro-life people- saying “they believe life begins at conception.” There is no belief involved but the scientific fact that human life does begin at conception. We need to stop using the ill-suited vocabulary “believe” which fits with the real argument. We believe that human life is sacred, valuable and etc. at all stages.

  • “More than half of all the humans slain in abortion Susan are female. If that isn’t anti-woman what is? ”

    As former abrtionist (who performed late term abortions) truned pro-life advocate Anthony Levantino says “Women’s rights my butt, what about the 750,000 little girls who get ground up in suction machines every year? “

  • Poor Susan. Anti-woman are we?
    Margret Sanger is your enemy Susan, not the people opposed to Sangers eugenics practices.
    How many more lives need be extinguished before the pro-woman camp has their shift in paradigm?
    Hope it happens soon for all of our sake.

  • Susan, the ‘child of rape’ I met is actually helping his mother to resolve nd forgive. He’s doing it now, he’s 44, she’s in her 60’s. I can’t imagine anything less anti-woman than the gentle gratitude he is showing her. I can’t imagine anything more profoundly pro-woman than overcoming the victimization of rape to bring a single good life into the world. I’m not canonizing this mother and son. I simply find their virtuous choices to be heroic. How is that anto-woman. Nothing in this article, Mourdock’s words, or the comments here are anything but pro-woman, and pro-child.

  • His error was in a single word. God “permits” a bad outcome. I don’t ever believe he “intends” it. Furthermore man allows it by sinning and thereby distorting God’s otherwise perfect plan. We’ve been distorting that plan ever since Cain.
    Wonder what the Dems would say about that, or even the Republicans.