October 29, 2008


What McCain Defectors See in Obama (Madison Powers, 10/29/08, CQ)

The defectors are a mixed lot, but all represent some brand of recognizably conservative thought. Some like Doug Kmiec, Andrew Sullivan, and Ken Adelman are probably conservatives by anyone’s definition, while others are cut partly from an older mold. They bear some resemblance to the moderate Republicanism of the Rockefeller era, but the issues of their time are not the same.

Also, there are the venerable Republican names of Goldwater, Buckley, and Eisenhower who have signed on to Obama’s cause, and while no single one perhaps meets all litmus tests some true believers might want in a conservative, there is an unmistakable family of conservative ideas represented. These include a commitment to greater fiscal responsibility, a distaste for foreign interventionism, and a principled Burkean resistance to aggressive programs of social experimentation.

Odd, though perhaps revealing, to get that last bit exactly backwards.

If you lay out Senator Obama's positions and those of the past few Republican presidential nominees--from Reagan onwards--you'll find more similarities than differences. Indeed, if all you knew of the Unicorn Rider was what you see in 30 second ads you might think he was a Republican: every single ad here in NH is about how he will cut taxes and John McCain will raise them.

He's hawkish on Afghanistan and Pakistan and never mentions Iraq anymore. Though, as a practical matter, he's--probably correctly--more identified with the isolationism/Realism of an Eisenhower, Nixon or Ford than the democratic crusading impulse of a Reagan or Bush.

He's more of a Reagan or Dole on Social Security than a Clinton or Bush, but John McCain hasn't run on personal accounts either. And whatever he may think privately about things like Welfare Reform, 401ks, HSAs, housing vouchers, NCLB school vouchers, etc., he's very careful not not to attack them.

His economic advisers--Paul Volcker, Warren Buffet, Robert Rubin--are more classically conservative than the modern Supply-Side Right. And Austan Goolsbee trails along behind him assuring people that any protectionist noises he makes are just fodder for the unions and don't reflect his actual views.

In fact, the only real difference is precisely that he's the most extreme supporter of aggressive social experimentation to be nominated for president during this era. On matters of abortion, infanticide, gay "rights," infant stem cells, euthanasia, etc. he is consistently and radically Pro-Death and opposed to Western/Judeo-Christian civilization. Edmund Burke would have no trouble recognizing the Jacobin in at least this aspect of Mr. Obama's politics.

When we consider then what sorts of Republicans are supporting Mr. Obama we would, as Mr. Powers says, expect to find the old Eastern Establishment, secular Darwinist Right. Contrary to Mr. Powers, these issues are pretty much the same and Rockefeller money funded the more openly eugenic experimentation of the early/mid 20th Century. That's not, of course, to say that every "conservative" backing Mr. Obama is doing so because he'd increase abortion and fund it for "the poor," but it is fair to say that they are at least unbothered by the prospect. In fact, even the ostensibly pro-life Doug Kmiec was willing to forgo Communion in order to back Barack Obama.

This is why so many of the converts cite the choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate. The choice drove home the reality that the GOP is and is going to stay the party of the religious. They were hoping for a Joe Lieberman, Colin Powell, Mitt Romney, or Tom Ridge who are indifferent to or supportive of abortion.

Over time this is likely to be a more permanent divide and is certain to impact the Democratic Party more heavily than the Republican. After all, Darwinism is a marginal belief in America while Christianity is central. Eventually one would expect to see the parties divide along more clearly secular vs religious lines and the Democratic hold on entire tribes loosen, a process that will be accelerated by the recognition that intellectual elites support the Democrats in no small part because of "population control."

Infanticide candidate for president (Nat Hentoff, Apr. 29, 2008, Sac Bee)

n abortion, Obama is an extremist. He has opposed the Supreme Court decision that finally upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act against that form of infanticide. Most startlingly, for a professed humanist, Obama -- in the Illinois Senate -- also voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. I have reported on several of those cases when, before the abortion was completed, an alive infant was suddenly in the room. It was disposed of as a horrified nurse who was not necessarily pro-life followed the doctors' orders to put the baby in a pail or otherwise get rid of the child.

As a longtime columnist, John Leo has written of this form of fatal discrimination, these "mistakes" during an abortion, once born, cannot be "killed or allowed to die simply because they are unwanted."

Furthermore, as "National Right to Life News" (April issue) included in its account of Obama's actual votes on abortion, he "voted to kill a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state."

These are conspiracies -- and that's the word -- by pro-abortion extremists to transport a minor girl across state lines from where she lives, unbeknownst to her parents. This assumes that a minor fully understands the consequences of that irredeemable act.

As I was researching this presidential candidate's views on the unilateral "choice" that takes another's life, I heard on the radio what Obama said during a Johnstown, Pa., town hall meeting on March 29 as he was discussing the continuing dangers of exposure to HIV/AIDS infections: "When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include -- which should include abstinence education and teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include -- it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals.

"But if they make a mistake," Obama continued, "I don't want them punished with a baby."

Among my children and grandchildren are two daughters and three granddaughters; and when I hear anyone, including a presidential candidate, equate having a baby as punishment, I realize with particular force the impact that the millions of legal abortions in this country have had on respect for human life.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2008 9:03 AM
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