Hear that, sidewalk counselors, crisis pregnancy volunteers, 40 Days for Life participants, Rosary for Life devotees, and anyone else who prays and works daily to end abortion in America? You're not really pro-life unless you vote Republican; and if you hold your nose whilst doing so, you're probably an evil fifth columnist who will be first on the waterboard when the revolution comes.
If anyone finds my respect for Pat, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll just continue on as the kind of person who has for years now described our two parties this way:
Frankly, I've come to suspect that the unofficial motto of both major parties is, "Yes, America is Going to Hell in a Handbasket--But Our Handbasket is Better for America's Defense, Will Cost You Less, And Is Fashioned From Environmentally-Friendly Twigs, While Their Handbasket Will Kill You, Or At Least Beat You Up And Steal Your Lunch Money."But, hey, according to Pat, believing that about our political parties--and being willing to say so--means that I'm in that company of smugly contemptuous armchair pro-lifers who aren't really willing to roll up their sleeves and do the real, honest-to-goodness pro-life work of voting and cheering for people who tend to favor unrestricted IVF, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, and the widest possible dissemination of contraceptives to populations they'd prefer to see decrease, to say nothing of empire-building wars, "hang 'em all and let God sort 'em out later" capital punishment practices, and lots of economic relief to underprivileged multinational corporations. Because those people are the pro-life community's best and most reliable friends, and have been for the nearly four decades that abortion has been legal in America.
This is not to say that the two parties are identical. Democrats, for the most part, exclude pro-life Americans, while Republicans merely treat them with disdain and contempt until just before each major election. Republicans favor preemptive war with any nation that has threateningly large amounts of oil, while Democrats would prefer to stick to their oddly successful tactic of sending Jimmy Carter around the world to become the focal point of the world's anger, taking the heat off of the rest of us. Democrats are in favor of gay marriage, while Republicans are in favor of not being asked questions about that issue, which they invariably answer with mumblings about civil unions that don't fool anybody. Republicans are in favor of closing our borders, unless doing so would adversely affect the bottom line of any of the ginormous corporations who have rewarded Republicans for their loyalty; Democrats are in favor of securing the border, so long as that translates to "making the border safer for future Democrat voters to sneak across."
Lots of important distinctions, as you can see.
Patrick Archbold is, of course, perfectly free to believe that. What he's not free to do is to heap ire and loathing (his words) on those of us who have danced to that particular tune through a few election seasons already, only to wake up sadder and wiser when pro-"choice" RINOs and self-professed moderates garnered the lion's share of the ruling class's money and mandates, and ended up calling the shots.
Nobody would be happier than I would be if the Republican party truly became the party of life. But I haven't forgotten, if others have, that the 2012 election season will begin in earnest in a few short months, and that Republicans know quite well that they will have to energize the base early on if they hope to hold onto or even increase their House majority, pick up a majority in the Senate, and--dare they hope it?--offer a compelling alternative to a second Obama term.
With so much at stake from the party's perspective, why not rally the House to pass a measure to defund Planned Parenthood, knowing full well it has no chance in the Senate?
I can see the campaign mailings now:
"Dear Pro-Life Friend of the Pro-Life Caucus of the Pro-Life Committee of the Pro-Life Republicans,I wish I could go back to a simpler time when I thought that one party wore white hats and fought fair, and the other side had curly mustaches and tied up innocents on railroad tracks. But the world doesn't work that way, and Catholics don't get to abdicate our morality just because one party tends to do a slightly better job of being less in favor of deeply evil things than the other. And if you don't think the Republicans aren't going to sway in favor of deeply evil things--you haven't been paying attention to the politics of gay marriage, let alone of various war related evils.
As you know, our members in the House courageously and heroically and nobly voted to DEFUND Planned Parenthood! But the pro-aborts in the Senate made sure we would not prevail.
That's why we need YOUR help, right now, to save babies and work for life!
First, we need your prayers.
Next, we need your time! Can you volunteer, etc.?
But last--and you know I hate to ask this, friends--we need your money. Because, you see, the other side is well-funded. They have all the cash. Their candidates are rich and have rich friends. While we, the poor friend of the poor--and of Life!--struggle to pay our bills and keep the lights on..."
etc. ad infinitum.
So, to get back to the classified ad: if you happen to see my lost respect for Pat Archbold, let me know. In the meantime, I'll just wear his deeply offensive labels as a badge of honor.