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          Republished on:  September 12. 2008

We Have Learned Nothing, 2004

by Thomas A. Droleskey

[Author’s Note, written in 2004: With the onset of another presidential election, my editor asked me to revisit an issue to which I have devoted the better part of my entire professional career as a college professor of political science, writer, lecturer, and political activist: the matter of abortion and politics. The article below is a redaction of a piece I wrote in November of 2002 in the immediate aftermath of the mid-term Congressional elections. Updated to reflected events since that time, it is offered to [name of newspaper omitted] our readers now to provide a bit of perspective as we go to the polls on November 2, 2004. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the rush of electoral politics, believing that we are either making the country better or at least preventing it from becoming worse. We just have to understand that the problems we face are the inexorable result of the systematic de-Catholicization of the world in the past 500 years. And the only way in which our problems will be ameliorated and the world re-Catholicized is when some pope actually says the word “Russia” and consecrates that country by name out loud in public with all of the other bishops of the world. While we must exercise our duties as citizens in the meantime, it is important to recognize that the robber barons who constitute our two major political parties are interested in only two things: power and the perquisites that come with it. We cannot let their empty words and meaningless gestures fool us into thinking we are making progress. We must learn the painful lessons of the past and stop believing in the political equivalent of the tooth fairy.]

The date was November 11, 1980, one week after then former California Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan’s defeat of then President James Earl Carter, Jr., for the presidency. Just thirteen days shy of my twenty-ninth birthday, I was all agog with enthusiasm over the prospect of reversing Roe v. Wade by means of a no-exceptions amendment to the United States Constitution. After all, a “pro-life” Republican had been elected to the presidency. Oh, he supported some abortions, but that didn’t mean anything to me at the time. I reasoned that Reagan had changed his stance from pro-abortion to “pro-life.” Surely, he would be convinced to become totally pro-life by the time he was sworn into office on January 20, 1981. Moreover, Republicans had captured control of the United States Senate on November 4, 1980, the first time that the Grand Old Party had a majority in either house of the United States Congress since the end of the 83rd Congress in December of 1954. “Ah,” I said to a priest in the rectory of Saint Dominic’s Church in Oyster Bay, New York, that November 11, 1980, “I think we’ve finally turned a corner on abortion.”

My youthful enthusiasm and misplaced trust in Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party were engendered by several things. First, I had not yet studied the great social encyclical letters of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI.

Thus, I labored under the misapprehension that the American founding was compatible with the Faith, and that all we needed to “fix” things in our nation was to have the right political party in power to propose the right amendments and the right laws to once again subordinate ourselves to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and natural law. I did not realize then that a nation founded on a specific rejection of the Social Kingship of Our Lord and the authority of the true Church to direct men in the pursuit of authentic justice founded in truth was destined to demonstrate the inherent degeneracy of its founding principles over time. This led me to believe, quite mistakenly, that the election of 1980 would actually mean something for the babies.

The second factor that led me to place an unwarranted trust in electoral politics and the promise of the incoming Reagan administration was my lack of understanding that a person who makes exceptions to the sanctity of innocent human life is unlikely, barring some miracle of grace, to make the restoration of legal protection for all unborn children without any exception whatsoever a priority in his public life. “Reagan is educable,” I told myself and others. “He will change.” As we know, however, he did not.

Pro-lifers were betrayed by President Ronald Reagan early in his first term. Many of us thought that the retirement of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart, who had been appointed to the Court by President Dwight David Eisenhower, would result in his replacement by a solid pro-life jurist. Stewart had been one of the seven justices who voted in the majority in the case of Roe v. Wade. Eager, though, to curry favor with women who would never vote for him, President Reagan took the advice of his wife Nancy and adviser Michael Deaver, nominating Sandra Day O’Connor to replace Stewart. This was a singular betrayal of the cause of the sanctity of innocent human life in the womb. It opened my eyes and started me in the process of reassessing the uncritical, unthinking enthusiasm I had for the Reagan administration.

Sandra Day O’Connor had a solidly pro-abortion voting record while she was the majority leader of the Arizona State Senate. This simple fact was pointed out by both Judie Brown of the American Life League and Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus Foundation in testimony they gave before the Senate Judiciary Committee. None of the allegedly pro-life senators, who were themselves eager to curry favor with women voters who would never vote for them, wanted to hear what Mrs. Brown and Mr. Phillips had to say. The fact that Sandra Day O’Connor was totally pro-abortion meant nothing to these senators.

That should have been a clear signal to all pro-lifers of the futility of major party politics in the United States of America. It was for me. Sadly, though, it wasn’t for a lot of well-meaning people, who kept holding out hope against hope that “things” would change.

Well, “things” did not change. They got worse. Making one of their typically bad policy decisions, the Catholic bishops of the United States, acting in concert with the National Right to Life Committee, endorsed the Hatch Amendment in the early 1980s. The Hatch Amendment, named for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, was tragically flawed. It would have reversed Roe v. Wade, but, importantly, it would have said that the “right” to permit or restrict or prohibit abortion was a matter to be determined by state legislatures. Thus, the word “abortion” would have appeared for the first time in the United States Constitution by means of an amendment that admitted state legislatures had the sole right to permit or prohibit it. The Hatch Amendment was based on the false premise that abortion was a matter of states’ rights, ignoring the truth of the natural law that no human institution has any authority to permit those things that are of their nature wrong. Cicero noted this in his book, The Republic, stating that the natural law cannot be repealed by a vote of either the Senate or of the people.

The debate over the Hatch Amendment polarized the pro-life community. Solid no-exceptions pro-lifers opposed it. As is the case today, such no-exceptions pro-lifers, who sought a no-exceptions amendment to the United States Constitution (termed by Nellie Gray of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund as the “Paramount Human Life Amendment), were denounced by the “pragmatists” and the “incrementalists” as being unrealistic and obstructionist, people who were demanding perfection in an imperfect world. It is interesting to note that the cast of characters on the side of the pragmatists and incrementalists has changed a little bit over the past two decades; their consistent denunciation of anyone who dares to oppose what they believe is their “received wisdom” has not changed one bit at all.

I expressed my dissatisfaction about the approach of the Reagan administration to a friend of mine in early 1982. He said, “They’ll [meaning Congress] give him anything he wants if he gets the economy turned around. I disagreed, saying, “To stress the economy over the stopping of the shedding of the blood of the babies demonstrates a misplaced sense of priorities. God will never permit us to have long-term, sustained economic growth over the course of decades while we slaughter the innocent unborn.” The man, who was a dyed-in-the- wool Reaganite, did not want to hear any of it. He believed in Reagan and he believed in incrementalism. That is where he had placed his hope.

The Hatch Amendment failed in Congress. Reagan and his people threw up their hands, saying, in effect, that they had done all they could do. Reagan talked the pro-life line at the March for Life each year and in his annual State of the Union address before Congress. Apart, though, from some Executive Orders that were reversed on January 22, 1993, by several strokes of a pen by President William Jefferson Clinton, little was done in the 1980s as child-killing was further and further institutionalized in American life. As the late John Cardinal O’Connor told me in a private meeting with him when I was running for Lieutenant Governor of New York on the Right to Life Party line in 1986, “Tom, if the President had pushed as hard for life as he has for aid to the Contras in Nicaragua, we might have gotten somewhere.”

Things went downhill fast in the late 1980s. President George Herbert Walker Bush, who said after his defeat by Clinton in 1992 that the Republican Party should have abandoned its no-exceptions pro-life platform plank (which was nothing other than rhetoric to keep pro-lifers on the Republican reservation), winked as his handpicked Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Lee Atwater, sought to distance the party from its “pro-life” rhetoric. It was Atwater who in 1989 devised the “Big Tent” slogan, stating that the Republican Party should be broad enough to include all different “opinions” about abortion.

Curiously, no one was saying that the Republican Party should have a “Big Tent” to include David Duke. Racists and anti-Semites were not, quite rightly, welcome in the Big Tent. However, those who supported the slicing and dicing of little children in their mothers’ wombs were more than welcomed in the Grand Old Party. This should have demonstrated to pro-life Americans the simple truth that careerist Republicans believed the life issue was a losing issue, that it should be taken off of the radar screen of American electoral politics once and for all. The “Big Tent” philosophy was embraced by Pat Robertson and his hand-picked head of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed. “A political party is not a Church,” Robertson and Reed said over and over again during the Bush I administration.

Although President George Herbert Walker Bush did give us Clarence Thomas, who has turned out to be the most pro-life justice on the United States Supreme Court, his first nominee for the high court was David Souter, in 1990.

As had been the case with Sandra Day O’Connor nine years earlier, “pro-life” Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee did not care when Howard Phillips presented incontrovertible evidence that Souter had voted to permit so-called “elective” abortions in a hospital on whose board of trustees he served. Souter had the blood of the innocent dripping on his hands. That did not matter to Republicans in the Senate whatsoever. Souter got a free pass, proving himself to be one of the most liberal justices on the Court in the past twelve years. Souter was not a stealth nominee, as conservative columnist Ann Coulter continues to insist. The fact that he supported baby-killing was a matter of public record, thanks to Howard Phillips.

Partisans of President George Herbert Walker Bush, such as the man who succeeded Lee Atwater as Chairman of the Republican National Committee following Atwater’s death, Richard Bond, blamed Bush’s defeat on the pro-life plank in the Republican party platform, to say nothing of the “intolerant” speech given by Patrick Joseph Buchanan at the party’s national nominating convention in Houston, Texas, in 1992. Thus, completely pro-abortion candidates were embraced by the Republican Party around the nation (Christine Todd Whitman for Governor of New Jersey in 1993; Rudolph Giuliani for Mayor of the City of New York in 1993; Richard Riordan for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles in 1994; George Pataki for Governor of the State of New York in 1994; Tom Ridge for Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1994; Susan Collins for U.S. Senator from Maine in 1996; Olympia Snowe for U.S. Senator from Maine in 1994; Susan Molinari and Rick Lazio for seats in the House of Representatives in the 1990s, and on and on and on). These completely pro-abortion Republican candidates were enabled at almost every turn by the National Right to LifeCommittee’s political action committee and the political action committees of its state affiliates. Candidates of conscience were condemned as being tools of the pro-aborts to keep “good” Republicans out of office. Those attempting to keep the life issue alive in the context of electoral politics were denounced as unrealistic dreamers who did not live in the real world and who did not want to accept the imperfections of American party politics. In essence, a Republican proabort was better than a Democrat pro-abort.

Indeed, the betrayal of the pro-life cause within the ranks of the leadership of the Republican Party was quite vast as early as 1990. It was in that year that Herbert London, a professor of public administration at New York University, sought the Republican Party nomination for Governor of the State of New York. As an observant Jew, London did make the life of the mother exception. However, his opposition to abortion on demand even with that immoral and unnecessary exception was thought to be a political liability by then Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato. According to what London told me in 1998 when I was challenging D’Amato for the Senatorial nomination of the New York State Right to Life Party, D’Amato told him the following: “Herb, change your position from pro-life to pro-choice and you’ll be this party’s nominee for governor.”

D’Amato denies such a conversation took place. London stands by his account, which I believe is true. Rejecting London, the Republican Party chose a nonentity pro-abort by the name of Pierre Rinfret, who barely finished second in the statewide voting in November of 1990, just 22,000 votes ahead of London, who received the nomination of the Conservative Party. Mario Cuomo got a free pass back to a third term as Governor of New York. My own vote that year, four years after I had run for Lieutenant Governor on the Right to Life Party line with Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, went for the Right to Life Party nominee.

Determined not to take any chances with the life issue in 1994, D’Amato groomed a little known State Senator, George Pataki, who had once been rhetorically “pro-life,” and presented him as the man who could finally get Cuomo out of the governor’s mansion in Albany, New York. Many pro-life activists took leave of their senses at this time, convincing themselves that Pataki just “had” to say he was “pro-choice” in order to beat Cuomo. I posed the following question to these folks when I spoke with them: Why should I vote for a liar who is afraid to defend the truth? Of course, I also raised what turned out to be the real truth of the matter: what if Pataki really has changed what little mind he possesses? What if he really is pro-abortion? Doesn’t that matter to you. Sadly, it did not. And Pataki, who has governed in such a way as to make Cuomo’s twelve years look like an exercise in fiscal conservatism, has used the pulpit provided him by the governorship of New York to support abortion and contraception and sodomy, marching proudly in the so-called “Gay Pride Parade” down Fifth Avenue each year. Amazingly, a man who had run for Mayor on the Conservative and Right to Life Party lines against Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins in 1993, George Marlin, was one of the first to jump on the Pataki bandwagon, contradicting the very rationale for his own candidacy against Giuliani by doing so. And it should not be overlooked that Pataki, along with D’Amato, were among the fiercest demagogues smearing Patrick Joseph Buchanan with the charge of anti-Semitism when he ran for President in 1996.

As all of this was going on within the Republican Party at the state and local levels, Republican Senators enabled Bill Clinton’s anti-life policies at almost every turn between in 1993 and 1994. Apart from voting for the chemical abortion of babies by means of “family planning programs” (something that was in force during the Reagan and Bush I years), all but three Republican Senators (Bob Smith, Jesse Helms, Don Nickles) voted to confirm the notorious pro-abort, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to the United States Supreme Court in 1993. Some people told me at the time that Republicans had to vote for Ginsburg lest they be accused of being opposed to a Jewish woman! Never mind babies. Never mind truth. No, human respect and political expediency mattered more than anything else. It came as no surprise, therefore, that all but eight Republican Senators voted to confirm the pro-abortion Stephen Breyer in 1994. Almost all of Clinton’s 180 pro-abortion nominees to the Federal judiciary between 1993 and 1996 were confirmed by so-called “pro-life” Republican Senators.

Furthermore, then Senate Minority Leader Robert Joseph Dole told CSPAN in January of 1993 that he proudly supported Clinton’s Executive Order to permit fetal tissue experimentation, something that he voted to support on the floor of the Senate one month later (along with the “pro-life” junior Senator from New York, Alfonse M. D’Amato). The so-called Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Bill (FACE) passed with the overwhelming support of allegedly “prolife” Republicans in both houses of Congress in 1994. And Republicans did nothing to try to reverse Clinton’s Executive Order authorize the United States Food and Drug Administration to conduct tests on the human pesticide, RU-486.

Indeed, Republicans were silent in 1995, when they actually controlled both houses of Congress, as a report in The New York Times indicated that women were getting pregnant deliberately in order to participate in the tests of the French abortion pill.

Sadly, most pro-life Americans have very short and selective memories, placing their trust repeatedly in career politicians who fail the cause of the babies over and over and over again. Thus, there was great enthusiasm in 1994 when Republicans captured control of both houses of the United States Congress simultaneously for the first time since the election of 1952. That enthusiasm, again, was misplaced. Then Representative Newt Gingrich, who became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in January of 1995, and Bob Dole, who once again became Senate Majority Leader that same month, had no intention of moving the agenda of the sanctity of innocent human life. Indeed, they desired to play politics with the issue of life in order to energize the pro-life political base for the 1996 elections. The principal means by which they did this was by emphasizing the issue of partial-birth abortions. Let me explain.

It is sometimes the case that the enemies of life and of truth make true statements. For example, Vladimir Lenin was not wrong when he said that “the capitalists will sell us the rope we will use to hang them.” That is, in their shortsighted desire to make money, capitalists usually ignore the fact that selling goods to potential enemies might wind up in those goods being used against them in war. In like manner, you see, the pro-aborts were not wrong in 1995 when they asserted that the issue of partial-birth abortions was being used for the political advantage of Republicans. It was. Where the pro-aborts were absolutely wrong, however, was in asserting that Republicans were trying to use the issue of partial-birth abortions as a “wedge issue” so as to limit all abortions. Most of the Republicans involved in the effort to conditionally ban partial-birth abortions believed in 1995 and 1996 that that effort would be the end of the abortion issue in electoral politics forever. As such a broad consensus had developed in the nation in opposition to this form of child-killing, careerists could claim that they had done all they could do in the context of the realities of “popular culture.” The only thing we could do after that, many believed at the time, was simply to persuade women not to have abortions, that the culture “was not ready” for a total ban on all abortions without exception, something that the culture will never be “ready for” without leadership in the pulpit and courage from those who run for and serve in public office.

The procedure referred to as partial-birth abortion was devised by a baby-killer in 1992 to be a less invasive way to a mother of killing a child in the later stages of pregnancy. Technically called intact dilation and extraction, partial-birth abortion was meant to be a replacement for the child-killing procedure known as dilation and evacuation, a gruesome process by which a child is carved up within his mother’s birth canal. The “advantage” of partial-birth abortion for a baby-killer is that its breach of the baby in the birth canal permits him to be partially delivered so that the baby-killer can reach in to pierce the baby’s skull with scissors without threatening to perforate the mother’s birth canal, something that happens all the time in the dilatation and evacuation method of child-killing.

It is important to review (once again) these horrible, gruesome facts.

Why? For this simple reason: even if a complete and total no-exceptions ban on all partial-birth abortions had been enacted by Congress and sustained eventually by the United States Supreme Court, it would not have likely saved one baby as the other procedures to kill a baby in the later stages of pregnancy would remain perfectly legal (dilation and evacuation, hysterotomy, saline solution abortions). While the debate over partial-birth abortions did help to illustrate the particular brutality of one form of child-killing, it also misled even a lot of well-meaning pro-lifers into thinking that partial-birth abortion was more of a crime morally than methods of baby-killing used in the earlier stages of pregnancy. Child-killing is child-killing. Suction abortions are just as heinous morally as partial-birth abortions. Many people, however, have lost sight of this fact.

The emphasis on conditionally stopping partial-birth abortions reduced the definition of the term “pro-life” to only being conditionally opposed to one form of child-killing in the later stages of pregnancy. As Judie Brown of the American Life League has noted so frequently, this has resulted in the “dumbing down” of the term “pro-life.” Indeed, as has been demonstrated from 1996 to this day, even those who are absolutely committed to the horrific and unjust decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade are considered by the National Right to Life Committee and by Priests for Life as being legitimately “pro-life” as long as they express some limited opposition to partial-birth abortions. Thus, Bob Dole, who was enabled by those two organizations and the Christian Coalition, only spoke about partial-birth abortions in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996–and only spoke about that during the general election that year before safe Catholic audiences. He mumbled the phrase “partial birth” once as a throw away line in one of the debates he had with President Bill Clinton, careful not to use the word “abortion” after the words “partial birth.”

We had a chance in 1996 to have had a Republican nominee for the presidency who would have kept the issue alive in the general election. Alas, that candidate, Patrick Joseph Buchanan, was deemed to have been “unelectable” by the likes of Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed and the leaders of the National Right to Life Committee and Father Pavone and his Priests for Life. This showed just how bad the practical political judgments of the incrementalists and self-styled pragmatists really was at the time. For anyone who knew anything about the history of American electoral politics knew that Robert Joseph Dole, apart from his support of anti-life programs and policies, was an inarticulate man (who had lost the sole Vice Presidential debate in 1976 to then Senator Walter Mondale, of all people) who would be no match for Clinton.

Undaunted by their bad judgment in 1996, though, the incrementalists and pragmatists put their trust in the Republican Party once more in 2000, anointing Governor George W. Bush of Texas as their next candidate, once again eschewing, if not condemning in the harshest terms, Pat Buchanan and Alan Keyes, they sought the Repubilcan presidential nomination in 1999 prior to Buchanan’s abandonment of that quest to focus on obtaining the Reform Party nomination. No, Bush, was deemed to be the “electable” pro-life candidate, even though he made the seemingly obligatory exceptions to the sanctity of life in the cases of rape, incest, and alleged threats to the life of a mother–and even though he said repeatedly that abortion was matter of “opinion” about which people of good will could legitimately disagree.

As I noted in a column before the November 5, 2002 elections, Bush won the presidency because he won more popular votes in Florida than had Albert Arnold Gore on November 7, 2000. Bush, who got three million fewer votes than Gore and Ralph Nader combined, won Florida because 95,000 committed leftists voted for Nader, knowing full well that that might hurt their fellow leftist, Gore. Those leftists believed in their leftism more than Catholics believed in their Catholicism.

Well, the inauguration of George W. Bush as president in 2001 ushered in yet another wave of pro-life enthusiasm. The enthusiasts ignored the comments Bush made in various interviews before his inauguration that Roe v. Wade was “settled law” and that there was thus little that his administration could do about the matter. They looked the other way as former Senator John Ashcroft mouthed that very line during his confirmation hearings to be Attorney General of the United States. They looked the other way as one pro-abort after another was appointed to high-level and medium-level positions in the Bush II administration. They held their mouths as the administration continued to fund Title X “family planning” programs in this nation and continued to fund such programs overseas through the United States Agency for International Development. They misrepresented Bush’s Executive Order re-instituting the Reagan-era Mexico City ban on the use of USAID monies by organizations that perform or promote abortions, ignoring the fact that employees of such organizations in foreign countries could proselytize on behalf of abortion outside of the offices of their organizations and outside of official duty hours.

The Bush enthusiasts held their mouths as their hero championed the cause of “limited” stem-cell research and campaigned actively for pro-abortion candidates in his own political party, the most notorious recent example being Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. And they didn’t even seem to notice that the much vaunted issue of partial-birth abortion, which Bush had promised to have on his desk by March of 2001, was being delayed in the first months of his administration in order to delay its passage until sometime before the 2002 election as a means of energizing his pro-life political base. The defection of Vermont Senator James Jeffords in July of 2001 meant that the issue of a conditional ban of partial-birth abortions would be off of the radar screen until after the 2002 elections, and it was passed in November of 2003 to energize the political base for the 2004 elections. Bush and his chief political strategist, Karl Rove, timed the passage beautifully. The law has been stayed by three Federal courts, and Rove knows that the case won’t make its way to the United States Supreme Court until after the elections on November 2, 2004.

Despite all of this, though, the enthusiasts are it again, jumping up and down for joy at the fact that Bush is our friend. Look at all of the wonderful judicial nominees he has sent up to the Senate. Indeed. He has nominated some truly well-qualified jurists. However, he and Rove know that most of those nominees would never be confirmed. Thus, Rove has been able to prod the leaders of various Republican think tanks and lobby organizations to send out fund raising letters to energize the political base over the all too predictable efforts by Senate Democrats to filibuster these nominations to death. Meanwhile, thorough-going pro-aborts, such as Michael Chertoff, who headed the Criminal Division of the Justice Department at the beginning of the Bush II administration, get nominated and confirmed without a whimper from “pro-life” Republican senators. The only dissenting vote in Chertoff’s confirmation was Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who harbored a grudge against Chertoff for serving as Senator D’Amato’s chief counsel on the Senate Banking Committee when it was investigating the Whitewater matter in 1995 and 1996. How can what the “culture of life” President says he wants to build actually be built when he continues to poison the well of the Federal judiciary with militant, hard-core pro-aborts like Michael Chertoff?

The administration of George W. Bush and Richard N. Cheney is actually spending more money to fund the chemical abortions of human beings both here and abroad than was spent annually by the administration of William Jefferson Clinton and Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. There has been no effort to reverse the decision, issued in September of 2000 of the Food and Drug Administration to market the human pesticide, RU-486. Indeed, then Governor Bush said in his first debate with Gore on October 3, 2000, that he would be powerless to reverse that decision if elected to the Presidency, especially if the FDA had ruled that the pill was “safe” for women. And a committee of the FDA announced in December its decision to approve “over the counter” sales for the so-called “morning after” abortifacient pill. Although a ninety day delay on a final decision by the FDA was announced on February 14, 2004, the mere fact that the “pro-life” President’s appointees on a FDA committee had approved the over the counter sale of this poison has to be a little sobering, no? A February 5, 2004, report in The Washington Times noted that Bush’s own hand picked head of the National Institutes for Health, Dr. Elia A. Zerhouni, who was a driving force in the establishment of the Institute for Cell Engineering, justified the NIH’s grant of $147,000 to Northwestern University to study such things as women watching pornography and the behavior of [women of ill repute] at truck stops. Oh, yes, the pro-life, pro-family administration certainly is retarding evil, isn’t it?

A full recounting of Bush’s many betrayals of the life cause would take a book. Recall, though, the decision to use the “stem cell” lines of those babies who had been frozen before 9:00 p.m. on August 9, 2001. Recall Bush’s saying in his address to the nation that evening in 2001, just one month before the terrorist attacks on September 11, that stem cells are derived the process of in vitro fertilization, which he said has helped many infertile couples conceive children.

As a Catholic, do you, good readers of  [name of newspaper], believe that in vitro fertilization is moral and that it should thus be praised by a “pro-life” President of the United States of America?

Recall also Bush’s appointment to his “ethics committee” to advise him in bioethical matters includes people who do not understand the basic biological facts as to when human life begins, as has been critiqued at great length by Dr. Diane Irving. Recall the simple fact that the Bush II administration does not support any legislative effort to ban stem cell research funded by private groups or foundations, putting the lie to the statement he made to those gathered on the Ellipse for the March for Life on January 22, 2004, that his administration opposes the funding of stem cell research. That is as clever a lie as ever told by Bill Clinton about policy matters alone. Bush’s touting of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ignores the immoral exceptions included therein, and his hailing of the Unborn Victims of Violence Bill, recently passed by the United States House of Representatives, ignores the inconvenient little fact that a woman whose unborn baby survives an attack upon her is given the statutory right in this bill to have an abortion if she desires one. Oh, sure, another great “pro-life” piece of legislation. [To see the history of morally flawed legislation sponsored by the American bishops and the National Right to Life Committee, please see a special Communique issued by the American Life League on November 11, 2003]

Recall, too, the fact that the supposedly pro-life George W. Bush administration sent its Solicitor General, Theodore Olsen, to argue before the United States Supreme Court on December 4, 2002, in the case of N.O.W. v. Scheidler that while Scheidler’s conviction on grounds of having violated the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act should be thrown out because only the Federal government has standing to bring a RICO lawsuit, not a private group such as the National Organization for Women, Scheidler’s conviction as a “bandit” under the Hobbs Act should be sustained because Scheidler was interfering with the ability of a legitimate business to make money even though he, Scheidler, was not profiting financially from the loss of a baby-killer’s business. Thus,. Olsen was arguing that Scheidler, who has done more to save actual babies and the souls of their mothers than almost anyone else in this nation, was a bandit and that abortionists conduct fully legitimate businesses that are being deprived of their bloody trade by the work of those who sidewalk counsel in front of their mills. How any self-respecting pro-life American can permit himself to forget this singular outrage committed by a “pro-life” administration against a genuine Catholic and American hero, Joe Scheidler, is beyond my ability to understand.

We should not forget the bevy of pro-aborts who populate the George W. Bush administration. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Secretary of Defense Donald D. Rumsfeld. Why is this important? It is important because, as Dr. Charles Rice has noted with great eloquence over the years, a person who supports even a single abortion under cover of law for any reason whatsoever is unqualified to hold any public office, whether elected or appointed, including being “the trustee of a mosquito abatement district.” This is so because a person who supports abortion under any conditions does not understand that civil law must be subordinated in all instances to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law . Such a person does not understand that the standard of fundamental justice is founded in Truth Incarnate, Truth Crucified and Resurrected, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Such a person’s judgment will thus be skewed accordingly, making that person more likely to act in a Machiavellian, amoral and unjust manner both domestically and internationally.

Chemical abortifacients kill babies just as surely as surgical abortions. This administration is populated by people, including the President himself, who believe that contraception is a basic right of the human being. Have we forgotten what was the first thing that followed our bombs and our troops into Afghanistan and Iraq: contraception. Any Catholic who can look the other way at this is denying the absolute binding nature of Christ’s truths in all circumstances to enable the careers of phony “pro-life” politicians who are playing us for chumps while babies are being killed at the same rate now as they were when Bill Clinton left Washington, D.C., after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges on January 20, 2001.

Oh, but doesn’t President George W. Bush say that he is working for the day when all children will be welcomed in life by a loving family and protected by the law? Sure, he says it. He does not believe this, though. You see, it’s kind of like this: there’s a little thing called the principle of non-contradiction. Two mutually exclusive statements cannot simultaneously both be true. George W. Bush states as a matter of principle that the law should permit abortions in cases of rape, incest, and alleged threats to the life of a mother. Thus, it is a lie for him to state that he is working for the day when all children will be welcomed in life and protected by law because he does not believe that the law should protected all unborn children in all circumstances. People still continue to fall for this utter exercise of illogic and just outright, bald-faced lying.

This principle of non-contradiction is further contradicted by the fact that President George W. Bush is continuing the same cynical strategy as his father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, of allowing his wife to give interviews saying that she supports the retention of Roe v. Wade. Mrs. Laura Bush is thus given free rein to speak her mind by her husband as Mrs. Barbara Bush was given by hers. If a man is truly pro-life, would he permit his wife to speak in public in such a way so as to undermine his position and his policies, no less to reaffirm women that it is indeed their right to kill their preborn babies and that this whole issue is really just a matter of opinion about which even spouses may disagree quite legitimately?

Let’s be honest, folks: each of the three supposedly “pro-life” Presidents we have had since 1973 (Reagan and the two Bushes) have had spouses who were vocally pro-abortion. These spouses have been given explicit permission to speak on these issues precisely to signal that abortion is a “difficult” issue and that one who takes a “pro-life” stand in office has to respect the differences of “opinion” that exist in the land, including in his own family. It’s another cynical strategy designed to win the votes of “swing” or “moderate” voters, not an effort to signal that all abortions are evil in all circumstances.

Sadly, many pro-lifers will think that they have done all they can do in the midst of the cultural realities of our times. This attitude of electoral and policy defeatism will only embolden Republicans to nominate for the presidency such men as Rudolph Giuliani, who doesn’t even oppose partial-birth abortions, with complete impunity. Pro-life voters will be told that a pro-abortion Republican is less dangerous and less evil than a pro-abortion Democrat. The strategy of the so-called “lesser of two evils” will thus result in the triumph of absolute evil at all times and a complete silencing of the life issue in the realm of electoral politics and public policy.

What must we do? A legitimate question, and my answer is simple: think and speak always as Catholics, nothing more, nothing less. It is amazing that the pro-aborts demand more consistency and fervor in the embrace of abject evil from their candidates than we ask of those who claim to be our pro-life friends.

To wit, the National Abortion Rights and Reproduction Action League (which now calls itself NARAL-Pro-Choice) held a dinner on January 21, 2003, over a year ago now.. In attendance were six pro-abortion Democrats who were then preparing to seek their party's presidential nomination this year. Each of them pledged to work vigorously to protect Roe v. Wade, mindful of the fact that pro-aborts demand absolute and unconditional support for abortion-on-demand from anyone to whom they are considering giving a political endorsement. Thus, pro-aborts are more consistent and committed to their evil position than are prolifers, who are more than eager to accept platitudes and meaningless gestures from alleged pro-life politicians.

Part of the problem we face, obviously stems from the fact that the nation's Catholic bishops did not excommunicate the pro-aborts in the Democratic Party in the immediate aftermath of Roe v. Wade thirty years ago. Such an act of apostolic courage would have stressed the overriding importance of the life issue to the average Catholic, and it would have served as an effective deterrent to Catholics in the Republican Party that any embrace of abortion would result in a solemn decree of excommunication. The failure of the bishops to excommunicate the first generation of Catholic Democratic pro-abortion politicians wound up emboldening a litany of Catholic Republican politicians to stake out their own pro-abortion positions in the last decade. We would not have the likes of Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki and Susan Collins and Susan Molinari and Rick Lazio and Tom Ridge and others in the Republican Party if the likes of Edward Moore Kennedy and Joseph Biden and Geraldine Ferraro and Mario Cuomo and Barbara Mikulski, among others, had been excommunicated in the 1970s. Thus, the actions of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke before he left the Diocese of La Crosse in January are to be commended. They are steps in the right direction.

To point out the inadequacies and cynicism of President Bush and other Republican politicians who say they are pro-life while actually supporting abortion in some instances is in no way to overlook the horror of the fact that supposedly practicing Catholics in the Democratic Party get a free pass as they protect decriminalized child-killing in this nation. Not at all. We must continue to oppose politicians in both political parties who embrace Roe v. Wade as the "law of the land." That does not mean, however, that we turn a blind eye to the charade of allegedly pro-life politicians saying they are pro-life while they pursue policies that are anti-life. Just because the Democrats are so bad does not mean that we endow the Republicans with a charism of infallibility. That is just as harmful to the cause of restoring legal protection to all preborn children without exception as contending, as many Catholics do, that "we can't be 'single-issue' voters."

We must be single-issue voters: no one who supports a single abortion is deserving of our votes. And, humanly speaking, we will not have any influence in electoral politics and public policy until and unless we vote consistently only for no-exceptions pro-life candidates. Sooner or later, you see, electoral self-interest will motivate careerist Republicans to pay attention to us the same way the consistency of the pro-aborts forces Democratic candidates to dance to their evil tunes.

Some people have said that all I do is bash President Bush, that I give the Democrats a free pass, never criticizing them for their militant support of abortion. Such people have very short and selective memories. Permit me, therefore, a few words of personal privilege.

I have made myself basically unemployable in my own chosen field as a college professor of political science for my outspoken defense of the sanctity of life and my criticism of the pro-aborts of both political parties. Indeed, I ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York on the Right to Life Party line in 1986 to have a forum to speak out against my fellow alumnus of Saint John's University, then Governor Mario Matthew Cuomo. Even before that, however, I had given an address at Hofstra University in 1984, attended by nearly 100 people, to rebut Cuomo's address at the University of Notre Dame a few weeks before, the speech in which Cuomo laid out his justification for how he could support abortion as legitimate public policy and remain a Catholic in good standing. I had a number of articles in The Wanderer over the years to point out Cuomo's betrayal of the true Faith in public life.

In fact, my first article in The Wanderer in October of 1992 was a broadside against Clinton for calling Magic Johnson, who had revealed the year before that he had been infected by HIV, as one of his "heroes." My second piece, "What Kind of People Are We?", published after Clinton's election, was a catalogue of what we could expect from a man who demonstrated his complete and total support for abortion-on-demand during his campaign for the White House. I was unstinting in my criticism of Clinton during his years in the White House. An article published both in The Wanderer and the Arlington Catholic Herald in early 1994 resulted in a group associated with the University of Dayton disinviting then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to speak at an event there in July of that year. She had not accepted the invitation. However, the mere fact that she had been invited was scandalous.

Scores of other articles dealt with the scandal of the praise heaped on the Kennedys by Cardinal Law during the funeral Mass for Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and of the praise heaped by the same prelate on the late Speaker Thomas P. O'Neil during his own funeral Mass. I took the Archdiocese of Washington to task for permitting a Mass of Christian Burial for the Catholic pro-abort William Brennan, who was one of the seven Supreme Court justices to vote in the majority in the case of Roe v. Wade. And I called on a number of occasions for the excommunication of all politicians of both political parties who support abortion. There is a litany of such names in my book of five years ago, Christ in the Voting Booth.

To claim, therefore, that my criticism of President Bush is reflective of a lack of criticism of pro-abortion Democrats is to overlook the actual record, my friends. What I am trying to point out is as follows: to try to represent President George W. Bush as a friend of limited government who is a friend of the pro-life cause is to do with him what many of Bill Clinton's most earnest supporters did during his eight years in office: to turn a blind eye to reality in order to exculpate themselves from having to take a real honest look at the reality of their situation.

We do the cause of fundamental justice founded in the splendor of Truth Himself no good when we place the interests of career politicians above our responsibility to speak plainly as Catholics and to judge words and actions solely on the basis of their consonance with the truths of the true Faith.

The fight we are fighting is not simply political, as we know. It is principally spiritual. We are fighting the forces of darkness. This is a fight we cannot win on our own. It is a fight we can win only if we are serious about building up the Kingdom of Christ in our own hearts and souls by means of Eucharistic piety and total consecration to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. If we are assiduous about doing this, we will be empowered from on high to plant the seeds for the conversion of our fellow citizens and our nation to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and the Queenship of His Blessed Mother.

Nothing is impossible with God. The subordination of men and their nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King is the absolute precondition to the right ordering of human law to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law.

While we must use the political forums available to us to speak the truth clearly and without equivocation, we must also keep in mind that we may not see the fruit of our efforts in our lifetimes. We must plant the seeds, however, that might result, please God and by His ineffable grace, in the restoration of Christendom.

Ultimately, though, the real power to stop all of the madness of a world gone mad, a world which deifies man and profanes the Deposit of Faith entrusted by Our Lord to His true Church, rests with the Vicar of Christ. All he has to do is to consecrate Russia explicitly to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with all of the other bishops of the world. That's all. A miraculous end of the spread of all of Russia's errors, which are really the errors of modernity, will occur. It's really that simple. Some pope—and we pray that it is our current Holy Father—just has to do what the Blessed Mother says needs to be done. Careerist politicians will no longer deceive their citizens. Christ will reign as King of men and nations, and Our Lady will reign as the Queen Mother.

Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!


Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints



© Copyright 2008, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.