The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity. – Yeats (“The Second Coming”)
I do not pretend to know what is really behind “pro-life” House Republicans’ sudden attack of scruples about the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, especially as sources call it identical or practically identical to a bill these same legislators voted on in prior years. I have no idea what motivated them. I’m not sure I care.
I don’t mean that it isn’t upsetting; of course it is. It was March 2010 all over again. The press eat it up. It gives Nancy Pelosi a perch to crow from. It gives Sen. Blumenthal a pretense to try to resuscitate his “Bulldoze the States” abortion bill.
Like a horror movie villain, the Protect Abortion At All Costs Act just won’t die.
This is all immensely frustrating for at least two reasons: first, because of the mind-boggling pettiness of debating either way over rape reporting in a bill that still allows abortion for any reason for an exceedingly generous five months; second, because if there were any time to pass this bill, it ought to be with half a million women and men of all ages and races in Congress’ front yard and a number of favorable public opinion polls in hand.
Nevertheless, I have no intention of letting this temporary setback steal my focus, any more than a snow plow pauses to contemplate what it has just just cleared. As far as I am concerned, the best lesson for politicians who talk from both sides of their mouth is not to go down in ignominious celebrity, but to be quickly and thoroughly forgotten by history — recalled only by those unfortunate folk who voted for them and need to hold them directly accountable, and then only as long as required. (Could they use our prayers? Certainly, but so could all our public officials, all the time.)
Most progress is being made in the states. We were not sitting around waiting for Congress to catch up to us. It is primarily this approach that has Blumenthal in a paper-bag-clutching panic:
It is this approach that is rapidly leaving him and Congressional compadre Chris Murphy looking, frankly, old…
A group of youths at the March for Life
…dare I say white?…
…and very, very reactionary.
In a recent e-mail blast, Sen. Blumenthal refers to “our out-of-touch opponents.” I’m no psychologist, but I believe that’s what they call projection. Radical proponents of abortion throughout pregnancy are running scared. I can think of no better endorsement.
There are still Congresspeople who get it. While the Courant did not deign to give the March for Life space in its print edition, its online coverage did include this ovation-worthy money quote from Lindsey Graham:
“I can’t wait for the debate. I’m looking forward to the debate. I want to hear how we’re a better country by aborting babies at 20 weeks.”
To let our anger — justified though it is — distract us for a minute from important work that’s well within our capacity is to aid and abet our True Enemy (spiritually speaking). I have the strongest conviction that legal abortion’s days are numbered; you have just heard it straight from the quaking lips of the Old Guard, no less. I envision the ultimate victory whether this handful of vacillating Republicans eventually come around or not. Let’s not take our eyes off the ball.