In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. (Matthew 2:18)
The past few days brought news of deeply disappointing decisions by two supposedly pro-life Republicans, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Both seem intent on proving, in their different ways, my contention that the Republican Party's wrongheaded commitment to unprincipled electioneering turns potentially good leaders into bad ones. Senator Brownback stunned and outraged his pro-life supporters by announcing his intention to vote to confirm Kathleen Sebelius as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. She is notorious for her ruthless advocacy of abortion including the very late term abortions that properly defame her friend and financial backer Dr. George Tiller.
Given Barack Obama's infamous willingness to countenance infanticide (the murder of infants who have the temerity to survive an abortion attempt), it's no surprise that he would think her an appropriate choice to head the Department that will implement his plans for the government induced abortion of the U.S. health care sector. But because of his strongly professed personal conviction and his newly professed Catholic faith, Senator Sam Brownback was expected to be in the forefront of efforts to derail the Obama-Sebelius death train. But he has his eye on the gubernatorial seat Sebelius is planning to vacate. With the obtuse logic that typically prevails in Republican circles these days, he appears to have decided that the surest way to win it is to show his contempt for the faithful people who worked their hearts out to carry him to an overwhelming (69%) victory in his 2004 re-election bid. He could have invested some of that political capital to make a strong stand for innocent life. But in tune with what appears to be the Republican ethos of our times, the Senator seems now to believe that a good politician uses principles to get votes. He doesn't risk votes for the sake of principle.
What a contrast with the Democrats who worked over Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and others who refused to tiptoe gently around their immoral sensibilities. How is it that those who advocate the murder of innocents stand with passionate conviction to denounce anyone who questions their depravity, but those who claim to champion God's command that we respect innocent life seem ready to back off the moment some excuse is available for their retreat, or a little opening is offered to their ambition? It seems that Yeats had it right. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
In the same vein we see Sarah Palin elevating a former member of the board of Planned Parenthood (America's chief purveyor of abortion) to the Alaska Supreme Court. She wins headlines from the media claque for bucking the pressure from the faithful pro-lifers whose applause for her supposed pro-life stance helped to overcome that same media's ridicule and contempt in the recent national election. This marks at least the second time she has used her gubernatorial position to take a step that contradicts her supposedly conservative moral stance. When she vetoed a bill passed by the Alaska legislature that would have preempted regulations extending benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees, she mistakenly claimed she had no choice but to obey the liberal Judges who purported to order the change. Now she says that Alaska's constitution left her no choice but to accept the objectionable candidates the Alaska Judicial Council handed her. Unlike her predecessor, Governor Frank Murkowski, she apparently couldn't be bothered to make a fight of it, much less take that fight to the people.
We're told of course that politics is the art of the possible, but that seems to mean only what makes political advancement possible, rather than what might possibly advance the things these politicians pretend to believe. Once upon a time, it was the vocation of political leaders to use their talents and abilities to champion new and better possibilities. That's what Lincoln did as he developed the arguments that attacked indifference to the injustice of slavery. That's what Teddy Roosevelt did as he raised his voice to promote the importance of virtue and decency in America's public life. It's what set Reagan apart in the years when he refused to back away from his rejection of socialist big government policies, or his staunch opposition to communism.
Today we recognize that statesmen like these stand head and shoulders above the crowd of timid timeservers all too common in every generation. Unfortunately, despite what we should learn from them, we are too willing to accept media profile as a substitute for real character and conviction. Whatever their talk, whatever the facade created for them by media consultants and sixty second spots, actions still offer the acid test of political leaders. When push comes to shove, these so-called Republicans disappoint, retreat and betray again and again. Yet judging by the reaction of some of the die hard defenders of their unprincipled (lack of) leadership, it's less objectionable for them to abandon their posts than it is for folks like me to point out that they have abandoned them.
In the end we are forced to accept the possibility that they have taken conservative stands because they thought it would be good for their election chances, not from a sincere conviction that it is vital for the good of the nation whose people they are supposed to serve. The tragedy is that we are in the midst of the kind of crisis, of liberty and economic survival, which cannot be met except by leaders of true conviction, the kind of conviction that inspires people to stand firm against the blandishments and threats of those who are the enemies of both liberty and survival. It is clear we shall not find such leaders any longer in the party that twice raised up their kind to save first the Union and then our free economy, for a time. Those who have the will to conserve the now imperiled principles of liberty must think anew, and act anew to create a political vehicle that will call forth from amongst the people themselves steadfast and truly faithful representation. This alone will revive the hope of lasting freedom, not only for us but for the generations yet unborn whom their pretended political advocates have betrayed more than once too often.Worth considering? Then don't forget to DIGG IT!!!!