Tuesday, 12/5/17

  1. How Democrats fare in Alabama
  2. Why Roy Moore could hurt the pro-life cause
  3. Reading Mueller’s Tea Leaves
  4. Lucy VanPelt (R), Alabama

1

“I don’t think the Lord Jesus could win as a Democrat in Alabama,” said Brad Chism, who runs a Democratic communications firm in Mississippi that has conducted surveys of female voters in Alabama in recent weeks.

Well, that would depend on whether the Lord Jesus disagrees with 2,000 years of Christian doctrines on several key moral and social issues. But, I digress.

(Terry Mattingly)

2

Gracy Olmstead thinks the one person an Alabama pro-lifer shouldn’t vote for is Roy Moore:

[In the] battle for an illusory Supreme Court victory, other vital components of our political and cultural moment are being set by the wayside. From a political perspective, as Georgi Boorman recently pointed out, voting for loathsome politicians will distance swing voters from the GOP—and, more importantly, from the pro-life cause most often associated with it.

“Independent voters hate hypocrisy a lot more than they hate abortion,” Boorman writes. “Conservatives of the party of ‘family values’ fall harder and farther when they sin than liberal Democrats do.” Roy Moore may win Alabama, but his unpopularity (as well as the widespread disapproval of Donald Trump) could result in a momentous swing to the left in future months and years, thus erasing any possibility of congressional victory for the pro-life cause.

But the problem with Moore is also cultural and social. It lies in the distrust and suspicion of pro-lifers that is likely to result from his election. Leaders in the pro-choice movement—particularly Planned Parenthood—have successfully billed themselves as the pro-woman side in the abortion fight. Imagine how much more clout and power their argument will have if men like Moore dominate the “pro-life” side. How can pro-lifers say they care more about women and their welfare when they vote for child molesters and sexual harassers?

With men like Trump, Moore, and Murphy standing for the pro-life movement, it’s nearly impossible to overcome the loathsome picture pro-life adherents have painted for themselves. As David French recently put it at National Review, “‘Child-abusing senators against Roe’ strikes me as perhaps the worst possible message to a culture in desperate need of persuasion.”

What would happen if GOP congressmen were somehow able to nominate more conservative Supreme Court judges in the next few years, stating as their goal the overturning of Roe v. Wade? It’s not difficult to imagine the political uproar and fervor the left would conjure up—the anti-woman rhetoric they’d employ, the nightmarishly dictatorial and patriarchal picture they would paint of the pro-life movement. Pro-lifers’ political “win” would result in wholehearted animosity across the nation. The abortion-industrial complex is not going disappear overnight, after all, and the massive clout of Planned Parenthood—especially in Hollywood and the Democratic party—will not be easily dissolved.

In short, we cannot force a judicial, political victory that the country is not ready for culturally. Fighting abortion is more complex. It must involve local ministry and assistance, cultural persuasion, and social winsomeness. Political battles must be secondary to all this—not because they aren’t important, but because the deep polarization of our political parties is ill-suited to the complexity and potential bipartisanship of the pro-life cause. The pro-life movement has never belonged to the GOP. Its underlying motivations are spiritual, personal, and philosophical—and thus transcend politics and politicians. It’s inspired by compassion, a zeal for life, and a passion for the oppressed and vulnerable. Many progressives might understand and support the pro-life cause, were it not so often couched in specific political and partisan terms.

(Gracy Olmstead)

Somehow, I can’t shake the definition of “fanatic” as “one who, having lost sight of the objective, redoubles his efforts.”

3

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy’s sets the record straight on how federal prosecutions and plea bargains work and on what that portends for the great .

  • The “collusion” probe is over.
  • The Logan Act is “more than two centuries old, is almost never invoked (and never has been successfully). It’s constitutionally suspect and essentially ignored.”
  • The focus now is obstruction—of a criminal investigation that was headed nowhere, for the sake of vindicating the importance of not obstructing criminal investigations.
  • Trump had lawful authority to fire Comey, so there’s no criminal charge there.
  • Abuses of power that are not criminal may nevertheless be impeachable.
  • So Mueller now is investigating impeachable obstruction of an investigation.

I think I’ve got that right.

It’s scary to think how Trump supporters might react to impeachment and removal from office. It’s scary to think that the country can be held hostage by an unfit President because we fear how his supporters might react to impeachment and removal from office.

4

* * * * *

I would a thousand times rather have dinner with secular liberals of a certain temperament than with a group of religious conservatives who agreed with me about most things, but who have no sense of humor or irony.

(Rod Dreher)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

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