Tuesday, September 27


I voted for George Allen in Patrick Ruffini's September Straw Poll, but that's solely because Patrick opted (for reasons I don't understand) to exclude Newt Gingrich from the "Main Ballot," as well as from the "Fantasy Ballot." Newt is my choice at this juncture. My litmus test is four fold: 1) pro-life; 2) fiscal conservative; 3) tough on border security and illegal immigration; and, 4) must be the antithesis of George Bush (who I voted for in 2000 and again in 2004) -- i.e., able to articulate his policies and points of view and communicate eminently well with the American people. I am a Reagan-conservative. Reagan met this litmus test.

Betsy Newmark isn't concerned with "#1" on my list, at least from the perspective of her candidate preference and the primary attributes that drove her to select Rudolph Giuliani in Patrick's straw poll. That disappoints me, because in my view the sanctity of life should form the bedrock of one's political, as well as religious convictions, and should always be priority #1.

Lorie Byrd (who Betsy links to this morning), also selected Giuliani and makes her case in this "Townhall.com" column, in which she writes:

An admirer of Giuliani and a believer that he had a good shot at the presidency long before Hurricane Katrina, I now find myself becoming a full-fledged fan of the prospect. I will likely get some grief from some of my fellow pro-life, social conservatives, but I hope they will consider not only what an attractive candidate Rudy would be in the post-Katrina political climate, but also to consider the attributes Giuliani would bring to the presidency.

I think the world of Betsy and Lorie as politically-conservative bloggers and incisive political analysts. They're smart people, good people, and politically well-versed. I guess I just cannot fathom how they or any conservative Republicans can back-burner the abortion issue, whether as a matter of political practicality or conviction (I suspect in their cases it's the former). I don't mean this to lay "grief" at Lorie's feet (or at Betsy's for that matter). I understand that politics is the art of compromise and accomplishing the doable through consensus-building. But expediency should never trump morality. Never! I don't subscribe to the theory that one should look at the "whole candidate," as if a Pro-Choice position should not undermine the cumulative worth of other conservative virtues. Rather, I subscribe to what Allen Keyes said: "The abortion issue is a Declaration issue. It's an issue that goes to the very heart of our principles and how we apply them."

The 48+ million deaths of unborn children since the horrific, fateful Roe vs. Wade decision are an abomination so apocalyptic in their magnitude that the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice divide in this country should not be thrown in the mix with other mundane issues of state to be weighed in the endless woof and warp of political considerations. Protection of the innocents, except in cases where the life or health of the mother and/or preborn are of paramount medical consideration, must be a line in the sand. The sanctity of human life should be of such moral conviction and religious standing that it transcends all other issues that come before mankind and its political institutions. Political courage is needed in these troubled times marked by a sinister, progressive-secularist movement in this country and a growing fascination with nihilism.

Aistotle did not envision politics as a practice devoid of moral considerations or education. Nor did he think long-standing customs were seperate and apart from the political realm. The Judeo-Christian ethos, upon which our great nation was founded, did not embrace the "reproductive rights" and "privacy" of women in the context of the abortion of preborns. Nor did the United States Constitution, for that matter. Strict constructionists on the United States Supreme Court know that, as did our Founding Fathers. And, fact is, Roe vs. Wade never contemplated the ubiquitous abortion-on-demand social climate of today or the sea change in this country's mores that it wrought (or, worse, the grissly practice of late-term, partial-birth abortions).

So, no matter that Rudolph Giuliana is affable, articulate, and supremely intelligent; and, no matter that he was tough on crime, a stellar administrator, and nonpareil leader in the aftermath of "9/11," as mayor of New York City. While fine attributes one and all, absent his publicly stated willingness to seek to protect the unborn, it is the opinion of this writer that no collection of resume essentails should earn him a vote absent the transcendant virtue of believing that abortion-on-demand is morally repugnant and must be brought to an end in this country. Were he to so state, I'd be obliged to weigh him very seriously, for I am the first to agree that in most other ways he'd be an attractive, energetic candidate who could retain the White House for the Republican Party.

For now, however, I find Newt Gingrich to be the candidate having many of Giuliani's attributes, but trumping him with the heartfelt conviction that abortion mills must be closed. But that predilection at this point is not in cement. Gingrich's personal moral lapses concern me, as they do other conservatives, and his Achilles Heel is not to be taken lightly. Of course, in doing that appraisal, one should recall the words of Madison that if men were angels, government wouldn't be necessary.