The Party of Death in Convention Assembled

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Playing up the War on Women meme and the Todd Akin gaffe, the Democrats are going to be celebrating their most sacred rite right at their Convention in September:

Democrats said that they will feature Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of the NARAL Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whose plea for federal birth control funding drew the ire–and a subsequent apology–from Rush Limbaugh.

What’s more, the Democrats are expanding their list of women ready to assail the GOP on women’s issue, adding Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and actress Eva Longoria to the list that already includes Sen. John Kerry and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

This goes hand in hand with their rejection of Cardinal Dolan’s offer to pray at the Democrat convention.  Dolan is giving the benediction at the Republican convention this week, so in an effort at even-handedness, he offered to do so for the Democrats.  This offer was rejected out of hand.  Why?  It would have been smart politics for the Democrats to have the Cardinal pray for them, perhaps the visuals marginally helping them with Catholic voters.  Yet they turned up their nose.  I can think of three reasons for the rejection:

1.  Complete contempt for the Cardinal who has been leading the fight against the HHS mandate.

2.  Concern that the Cardinal would have slammed them in his prayer, or at least mentioned some of the ongoing controversies between the Obama administration and the Church.

3.  Fear that some of their pro-abort and pro-gay marriage delegates might boo the Cardinal, demonstrating the tolerance that modern liberals are justly famed for.

I’d say one or three might be the most likely.  At any rate the Democrats, unable to run on the pig of the economy that Obama has produced, are running pure Culture War this time around.  Should be interesting.

Update:  Now the Democrats have invited the Cardinal to give the closing prayer, no doubt partially due to the static they were getting from blogs regarding their initial refusal.  It will be interesting to hear what the Cardinal says and how a group of fired up leftist Democrats react.


More to explorer

Keeping a Promise

As faithful readers of this blog know, I was a very reluctant, and late, supporter of Donald Trump in 2016.  I grudgingly


  1. The parallels between our pro-life fight Paul and the fight against slavery are indeed strong. This from a speech by Lincoln in New Haven, Connecticut on March 6, 1860:

    “But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed to it, but yet act with the Democratic party — where are they? Let us apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong? Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other? [Laughter.] You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow it to be even called wrong! We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong! [Continued laughter and applause.]”

  2. I hope that even women who favor legal abortion see this for what it is – shameless pandering. Silly me, I once thought that the whole point of feminism was to assert that women were to be recognized as equals and not simply as sex objects. What does this obsessive focus on BC and abortion do but reduce women to their sex organs? “Women’s health” has come to mean abortion and birth control and breast cancer, as if those are the only reasons women need medical treatment and the only thing we have on our minds. Forget the economy, jobs, foreign policy, runaway government spending – no, we just sit around contemplating our reproductive organs all day long. We’re apparently too dumb to be interested in any other issue. Who are the sexists here?

  3. Donna, I couldn’t have said it better! I’ve long had the same thoughts that the early feminists were real women and mothers. They wanted to be able to vote, they wanted to be treated as equals. It’s insane what it has come to mean nowadays.

  4. This is a risky move by the Dems. Many independents do not buy into this phony war on women. Class warfare is a much better strategy for the Dems — dishonest to be sure, but more likely to be effective with middle and working class independents. The right to contraception meme, and placing Planned Parenthood front and center, will not play well with many undecided voters. Its only upside is turning out the base.

  5. “I fled, and cry’d out, DEATH!
    Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sigh’d
    From all her caves, and back resounded, DEATH!”
    Line 787, Book II, Paradise Lost

    “So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
    Farewell remorse; all good to me is lost.
    Evil, be thou my good.”
    Lines 108-110; Book IV.

    “So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
    The tyrant’s plea, excused his devilish deeds.”
    Lines 393-394. Book IV.

    “Necessity is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves”, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Speech on the India Bill, November, 1783.

  6. Its only upside is turning out the base.

    I suspect they’re having doubts that they can even solidify and motivate their base to turn out, Mike. First things first and all that.

  7. RL,
    I suspect that is true and not a good sign for them. Either party that makes efforts to appeal to its base risks alienating independents. For Romney, that means stick to economic issues. Obama’s best version of that is class warfare. Many working class Dems are not fans of PP, etc., and placing this issue front and center is risky. I suspect that in the echo chamber that is Obama’s campaign, they think most women are sympathetic to Sandra Fluke, when the truth is most never heard of her and most don’t think government should be in the contraception business or promoting abortion.

  8. Remember that Sandra Fluke’s demand was specifically not for government to provide her birth control. Rather, it was a demand that government force Georgetown to provide her birth control, and that was her motivation for going to Georgetown in the first place.

    Any time Sandra Fluke makes her way back to the limelight, this should be highlighted.

  9. If you have some spare time, you ought to check out some of the pro-slavery tracts from that period. For instance, we often here from pro-abortionists, “If you are so opposed to abortion, how come you are not adopting unwanted children?” There was pro-slavery tract making exactly the same argument to the effect of, “if you are so opposed to slavery, why won’t you pay fair-market value for them and free them yourselves?”

  10. Scott W.
    Somewhat Ironically, if the federal government had done just that it would have been an incredible bargain compared to the human and financial costs of the Civil War. Of course, such a scenario would be great fodder for alternative historians (perhaps Don has already pondered it).

  11. Lincoln, Mike, when he made statements in favor of compensated emancipation during the War made the same argument. Unfortunately, neither Confederate slave holders or slave holders in the border states were interested.

    “And if, with less money, or money more easily paid, we can preserve the benefits of the Union by this means, than we can by the war alone, is it not also economical to do it? Let us consider it then. Let us ascertain the sum we have expended in the war since compensated emancipation was proposed last March, and consider whether, if that measure had been promptly accepted, by even some of the slave States, the same sum would not have done more to close the war, than has been otherwise done. If so the measure would save money, and, in that view, would be a prudent and economical measure. Certainly it is not so easy to pay something as it is to pay nothing; but it is easier to pay a large sum than it is to pay a larger one.”;cc=lincoln;view=text;idno=lincoln5;rgn=div1;node=lincoln5%3A1126

  12. Thanks, Don. I had not realized that. But I’m not surprised. The South’s investment in slavery was more than just financial. It was cultural and entangled with its own sense of self-determination. The War was probably a tragic necessity.

  13. Mike Petrik

    The British Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 combined a system of indentures labour for former slaves and substantial compensation. It met with no resistance and also demonstrated that there was no economic case for slavery: the cost of sugar production actually fell after emancipation. The wages of a free labourer and the cost of a slave’s subsistence was the same and a slave represented capital sunk in a wasting asset.

    Likewise, there was no resistance to the abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861

    I have always thought that slavery in the South was supported, not only by slave-owners, but by the majority of those who were not, as a police measure, not an economic one. It was about controlling the black population. The “Jim Crow” laws, enacted after 1876 bear this out.

  14. “If you have some spare time, you ought to check out some of the pro-slavery tracts from that period.”

    What I find interesting is how pro-slavery opinion “hardened” in stages between 1776 and 1860 in a manner not unlike the “hardening” of pro-abortion opinion from, say, 1920 up to the present. From what I understand (this is just a very basic outline), at the time of the Declaration, even Southerners admitted that slavery was not a good thing — it was a necessary evil that, hopefully, could be abolished someday, and in the meantime could be limited with measures such as the abolition of foreign slave trade.

    Then along came the cotton gin and the rise of the cotton industry in the South, which increased demand for slaves. (You could say that the cotton gin, by jump-starting the cotton industry, did for slavery what the Pill, by jump-starting the sexual revolution, did for abortion — counterintuitively, it increased demand for the very thing one would think it would replace.) Consequently, intra-state and inter-state slave trade also became more lucrative, and growing slave populations in the older slave states “had” to go somewhere.

    Hence the ballistic reaction of Southern Congressmen when in 1819, a Northern Congressman proposed a rather mild scheme of gradual emancipation for slaves as a condition for admission of the Missouri Territory as a state (no present slaves would be freed, but any slave children born after statehood would be freed on their 25th birthday). The ensuing debate, which included not so subtle threats of secession and war by representatives of Southern states, was the first real indication that the South had shifted from “Slavery is a bad thing and we’ll get rid of it eventually” to “Slavery is NOT going away and you Northerners had better find a way to live with it.”

    The way that was found to “live with” slavery was, of course, the famous Missouri Compromise setting a geographic boundary between slave and free territory. After that, slavery kind of went on the back burner as a national issue until the mid-1840s, when the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War presented the prospect of a vast expansion of territory potentially open to slavery.

    By this time, Southern opinion had hardened even more and they were now insisting upon expansion of slavery or else. The result: the so-called Compromise of 1850, which included, among other measures, a stricter Fugitive Slave Law compelling residents of free states to cooperate in the return of escaped slaves to their owners. Now, the pro-slavery side had moved beyond a “just leave us alone” stance to insisting that slave ownership couldn’t be merely tolerated, it was an absolute “right” that the federal government should protect.

    Finally, there was the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision, which basically turned slave ownership into a “right” that could not be geographically limited except, perhaps, by popular vote. Now slave owners, for all practical purposes, had the right to own slaves anywhere and at any time — just as today’s Planned Parenthood, et al. fight for the right to abort babies at any time and for any reason.

  15. One difference is that abortion was legally murder until 1973 when the Supremes conjured a Constitutional right to “privacy.”

  16. Mike Petrik

    Under Scottish practice, abortionists were, invariably, charged, at common law, with using an instrument or administering a poison or other noxious substance, with intent to procure a miscarriage.

    In this way, prosecutors did not have to prove that the child was alive at the time of the offence, or, even, that the woman was pregnant; it was enough that the abortionist thought she was, or even, might be.

    Given the rule, “Testis unus, testis nullus” [one witness is no witness] prosecutors usually had to rely on the evidence of two women who had undergone abortions (such witnesses to a course of criminal conduct being regarded as mutually corroborative). Now, a witness’s precognition cannot be used against them and, once they testify as a socius criminis, they are immune from prosecution anyway.

    As a matter of practice, therefore, the prosecution of the woman would usually face insuperable obstacles.

  17. The fact is that the liberals already have their photo opportunity with Cardinal Dolan at the Al Smith Dinner and they can use that night and its images to portray singularity with the Catholic Church, which they know luke-warm Catholics will eat up in their effort to find an excuse to vote for and defend Obama or other liberal agendas. They don’t need another moment of Cardinal Dolan’s time, he has already been very generous to offer a moment for the liberal media to feed on. it’s a good thing that Cardinal Dolan isn’t being welcome at the DNC, he should not be giving blessings to a party that has used the HHS Mandate to make Catholics in this country question their values and morals, and will also be using pro-abortion as its major platform for the DNC. The Catholic Church should not be seen anywhere near an event that upholds this murderous ideology.

  18. T. Shaw says:
    “One difference is that abortion was legally murder until 1973 when the Supremes conjured a Constitutional right to “privacy.””

    I did not know that there was not a right to privacy enjoyed by all people. If the Supreme Court was affirming the “right to privacy”, then it must have affirmed the “right to privacy “ enjoyed by all people. If the Supreme Court was rewriting the unalienable “right to privacy” endowed by “their Creator”, then the court corrupted true freedom.
    How did the Court go from the “right to privacy” enjoyed by all people to the “right to privacy” for the woman’s body for the perpetration of abortion, and paid for by all men, women, and children including those unborn of our constitutional posterity?

  19. Mike Petric, Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    How does the termination of a human being’s existence become less of a crime only because legal authorities do not have the wherewithall to prosecute?

    If human rights came from the government, the government can tax you for taking human rights away.

  20. “We shall go before a higher tribunal – a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as infinite justice, will preside, and where many of the judgments of this world will be reversed.” Thomas Meagher, late B/G, Commander Irish Brigade, March 1862 to May 1863.

  21. Don, I can see where you’re going with this. You’re calling for reparations for the descendants of slave-owners, right? That sounds like political gold!

  22. Mary, many sins are not crimes, and in some cases that is precisely for prudential reasons such as unenforecability. While Christendom long treated abortion as a sin and a crime, the offense was not really considered a variant of murder and penalties were almost always directed toward the abortionists rather than the mothers. The word “right” has an uneasy relationship with Catholic tradition, but governments will always secure rights imperfectly, and necessarily so. This is not to suggest that abortion is not a serious sin that should be criminalized (it is and should), but current human circumstances, or perhaps the human condition itself, makes it very difficult, and probably unwise or even unjust, to criminalize it as murder.

  23. Mike Petric “the offense was not really considered a variant of murder and penalties were almost always directed toward the abortionists rather than the mothers.”

    The abortionist is precisely the individual who must be held accountable. The abortionist’s crime is more than scraping the human soul, God’s will from the womb. The abortionist’s crime is not aiding and assisting in the mother’s, another human being’s, time of need.

  24. Pinky says:
    Don, I can see where you’re going with this. You’re calling for reparations for the descendants of slave-owners, right? That sounds like political gold!

    After the Civil War, every freed slave was offered one mule and forty acres of land to support himself. Some accepted the offer. Others went west. There was a movement to make reparations to the descendants of slaves by counting each black persons’ vote as two votes. Not fair, nor is it conducive to good government. Many people did not own slaves. Immigrant people may even have been slaves. How can it be fair to tax a person who has not owned slaves because he has become an American citizen? If Lincoln had not offered a settlement of forty acres and a mule to every slave, a settlement would be necessary.

  25. As Nicholas P. pointed out above, the progressive liberal Catholics have their nod of sanction from the Al Smith dinner. It would be a bit hard to take for the Cardinal to say a benediction after hours of speeches dedicated to the killing of the unborn. I assume he offered since his offer was accepted for the Republican convention. He appears to be trying to be meticulous in not being cast as backing either party.

  26. The 40 acres and a mule offer was never official US policy, but was the substance of a single ad hoc order by General Sherman (Special Field Order N0. 15) intended to apply to Blacks who were in the proximity of his army as it marched through Georgia. Sherman even set aside South Carolina’s Sea Islands for this purpose, and that acreage was quickly absorbed by the intended beneficiaries. But the idea that freed slaves were more generally given this option is mistaken.

  27. Pinky- For the record, I’m all in favor of reparations. Anybody who is a descendant of a slave must make reparations TO the US for having had the privilege of being born here as a result. Lord knows where they would have been otherwise.

  28. ry de Voe wrote, “How does the termination of a human being’s existence become less of a crime only because legal authorities do not have the wherewithall to prosecute?”

    It doesn’t. I was merely pointing out the limits of enforcement.

    In the same way, in France, the maximum penalty for procuring an abortion was 5 years imprisonment. Had it been more than 5 years, the accused would have been entitled to a jury trial and juries notoriously refused to convict a « faiseuse d’anges » [angel maker] as the French call village abortionists. Even so, every village had one; everyone knew it; no one talked about it; the police regarded it as “women’s business.” It was only when a woman died that the Parquet, like Captain Renault, in Casablanca, professed themselves “shocked, shocked, to discover” that such things went on and M. le curé would preach an edifying sermon on the following Sunday.

  29. Michael Paterson-Seymour:
    Statutes against abortion were wiped away by Roe v. Wade. These statutes were for the edification of all people to know that the government valued the newly begotten human being. And even though they may have been unenforceable, the statutes defined the culture.

    When my mom got pregnant with my sister, the local midwife asked: “Do you want it?”. After my sister was born and mom got me, the local midwife again asked: “Do you want it?” I was able to write: “Here I am. Mom chose me.” This midwife was the richest woman in the county.

    Still, Michael, the statutes define our culture and our culture of life has been expunged from our neighborhood, stolen from our senses and evicted from our consciences, as has the reality of the human being’s immortal soul. Let us at least have the statutes to point to when the day of wrath comes upon us. Thank you, too, for your fine reply to my post.

    Mike Petrik:

    “The 40 acres and a mule offer was never official US policy, but was the substance of a single ad hoc order by General Sherman (Special Field Order N0. 15) intended to apply to Blacks who were in the proximity of his army as it marched through Georgia. Sherman even set aside South Carolina’s Sea Islands for this purpose, and that acreage was quickly absorbed by the intended beneficiaries. But the idea that freed slaves were more generally given this option is mistaken.

    Thank you for this, Mike Petric. My ignorance is showing. And who would have thought it would be Sherman? But thinking, at the time, our country had open space that could be squatted on as in the Homestead Act (which is still viable, see indwellers ) and became yours after seven years. Being a free man and a citizen, the former slave could own property and vote, and as Paul D. writes. It is pretty good to be a U.S. citizen.
    As an aside, Clinton wrote an Executive Order making all free lands and waterways the purview of the chief executve. Squatter’s rights be damned, but these rights do exist in the laws.

    Pinky says:
    Mary – I was kidding.
    Pinky: I was laughing.

  30. Mike Petrik, So sorry I misspelled your name.

    If Cardinal Dolan gives the benediction reaffirming the unborn, begotten human being’s right to life, he may not escape with his life. Mother Teresa did at the Prayer Breakfast with the Clintons and at the Noble Peace Prize. Did anyone notice Obama skipped the Prayer Breakfast. too dangerous for a communist.
    Cardinal Dolan is quite capable of affirming man’s unalienable right to life and his freedom of conscience.

    Congress passed the Affordable Healthcare Act handing over its authentic authority to speak for the people in government. Congress does not have the power to trade away representative government’s checks and balances. The Affordable Healthcare Act is legislative nonsense. The HHS mandate is totalitarianism. Congress cannot legislate nonsense.

  31. Mary de Voe

    I agree that laws can serve for edification and affirming moral values. I would simply add that sometimes a less than ideal measure of enforcement is better than none at all.

    For example, drunkenness is a bad thing, but we only prosecute drunkenness in a public place. Lying is wrong, but we only prosecute the more harmful forms – Falsehood, fraud and wilful imposition, or perjury and so on. We sometimes give immunity to thieves, so they can testify against a resetter.

    A great Catholic jurist, Portalis – he had suffered for the Faith during the French Revolution and was one of the people who drafted the Code Napoléon, said, “Christianity, which speaks only to the conscience, guides by grace the little number of the elect to salvation; the law restrains by force the unruly passions of wicked men, in the interests of public order/public policy [l’ordre public]”

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