Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Personal Aside: The Doug Kmiec Story—the Union Stockyards Analogy Fits Him to a “J.”



Yesterday Douglas Kmiec, a onetime friend of mine, formerly known as the possessor of an enviable conservative record in the law…dean of the Pepperdine Law School…former law professor at Catholic U…former director of the…get this…Thomas More Law Center—Tommy More—at Notre Dame…an assistant attorney general under Ronald Reagan…definer of constitutional law in support of pro-life…yes, THAT DOUG KMIEC…had an Op Ed in the “Tribune” extolling Barack Obama.

As all the political world knows, Doug, having supported the presidential candidate of Mitt Romney and having defended his overnight conversion from pro-abort to pro-life, was dismayed because Romney was defeated. And there went all of Doug’s hopes for a Supreme Court justiceship which by intellect he truly deserves. He deserved to get named to the high court by George W. Bush but for the fact that Doug’s paper trail in behalf of pro-life was so extensive that nobody thought they could get him through confirmation in the Democratic Senate. As it was it was mighty tough going for John Roberts (who had very little paper trail) and Sam Alito (another very sparse paper trail) to get confirmed.

All of us felt sad about Doug and hoped that if Romney got in, he would name this bright man to the Court. Well, Romney is as Dead as Dead Can Be. But now Doug has given his old friends the finger and the “screw YOU” epithet. He is going for Obama and he reasons this way. There is nothing the secular media and liberals love more than a converted conservative. No, Doug decided not to be a Saul riding on his chariot and struck down by a thunderclap and made to see the value of abortion. Instead, he endorsed Obama and made the simple profession of marching up to the communion rail in a very public way…seeking out just the right priest.

Well, the priest decided not to give him the sacrament because he is supporting a pro-abort president who if elected could well suspend any chance for the return of pro-life for a generation. This is the priest’s right to do. And he did it. Doug was turned away. His wife ran sobbing from the church and Doug ran as well—to the phone where he publicized it to E. J. Dionne of the “Washington Post,” a pro-abort Catholic. E. J. wrote it up so Doug is a hero. Then NPR picked it up and Doug became celebrated. Now to certify his martyrdom, he wrote his Op Ed along with the one sentence description of himself as a man of conscience, Thomas More in reverse, who was denied the sacrament because of his conscience.

At first no papers or reporter took notice of him but now he has made all the papers of the world both domestic and foreign. And he has energetically enhanced himself in the eyes of the liberals as a man who is willing to let conscience prompt the evil Church to punish him…good for Georgetown and the news media and the liberals in the Senate who will likely vote for him IF. IF Oboma whom Doug serves assiduously, slavishly, gets elected. All Doug has to do is to be a willing exponent for Obama to Catholics and evangelicals and blur the distinction between Obama and McCain. If through that blur Obama can get in, Doug is likely to be a made man.

The Chicago Union Stockyards had a fitting symbol for what Doug has allowed himself to become. When the old stockyards was formed in the nearly square mile from Halsted to Ashland and 39th (now Pershing road) to 47th, meat packing was becoming a major industry. By the turn of the century “the Yards” employed 25,000 and by 1921 more than 40,000 in the 475 acres they inhabited.

But from the very first day the Yards opened, workers had difficulty herding animals…hogs, sheep, cattle…into the slaughter pens. Workers struggled with prods trying to drive them into the pens but the animals appeared to have a sixth sense as to what was about to happen to them. So the industry found a goat and trained it to herd the animals and baa-ing sheep. The goat, domesticated more than 10,000 years ago in Iran, has a cunning sense, almost demonic. It is a subtle, highly teachable animal. And quickly after initial indoctrination, the first goat skipped into the fenced area, associated with the lambs and sheep and gently at first…roughly when necessary…led them to the slaughter pens. Just before the opening of the slat, the goat would divert himself and the whole crowd of them would lumber on into the pens.

The industry found that the goat could do the same with hogs, with cattle. And so a real job was found for the first goat and the hundreds of goats who followed. Hundreds over the decades did the artful mingling, nudging, ingratiating and rounding up, leading lambs, sheep, hogs and cattle to the pens…dodging quickly as the slats opened…watching as the army lumbered in.

Early workmen at the Yards, rough as they were…unlettered, tough, cynical…at first became exhilarated at the comedic rounding-up…but then depressed by the relentless efficiency of the deceptive goats. They came to despise them even as they utilized them.

One day someone at the Yards was called upon to distinguish between the goats who played decoy and other goats who were legitimately slaughtered. How to refer to the decoy goats?

Somebody decided they would be called Judas Goats.

Judas Goat. It fits my onetime friend Doug to a J.


  1. A very good article and very interesting comparison between Prof. Kmiec and judas goats. I would extend that analogy to the many prominent Catholics who have sold out their faith while retaining its trappings for the dubious comfort of a politically liberal conscience at a time of moral crisis. How many additional tens of thousands of innocent unborn infants will be slaughtered because of them?

    As we all have to face the judgment of God, they are either closet atheists or tragically playing God for a fool. Whatever the case, they deserve our prayers ahead of time for sake of their endangered souls.

  2. Though Doug Kmiec is the focus of your 6/17 piece, it also reflects concerns about Obama’s rightward leaning amongst liberals. In her recent Nation article, “Obama’s Chicago Boys”, Naomi Klein calls attention to Obama’s appointment of Wal-Mart defender, Jason Furman, to lead his campaign’s economic policy team; also, the receipt of maximum allowable contributions from the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel Investment Group.

    In spite of McCain’s 100 year comment about Iraq, my most recent reading – which was over three months ago – indicated that obtaining Obama’s “once stability is achieved” goals in Iraq means that if Sen. Obama is elected troop levels will remain high through the first term of an Obama presidency if not McCain's hyperbolic 100 years. Barack talks tough about Iran; his health care plan insures the insurance companies continue collecting health insurance premiums; nuclear energy is an integral part of his energy plan.

    I’m not politically astute enough to know if Senator Obama’s rightward leanings since 2004 are more heartfelt than calculated, but he certainly has distanced himself from liberal positions on key issues.

    His Father’s Day appearance from the pulpit after distancing himself from Wright and Pfleger is baffling.

  3. Last week, Obama met in a closed door session with 30 leaders of mainline religions. Included were megachurch pastors, scholars, unversity presidents, and ministers of all stripes.

    Guess who represented Catholics... Doug Kmeic.

    Read about it in Lynn Sweet's story. http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/998845,CST-NWS-sweet11.article

  4. This idea may be really farfetched but I cannot help but think it's possible. Suppose Doug Kmiec really is making a last-ditch effort to get appointed to the Supreme Court by a President Obama, in hopes that once appointed, he would then be able to cast deciding votes IN FAVOR of the unborn and keep the court from tilting too far left? This may be something he's wanted to do for a long time and since he hasn't been able to do it under Bush, he's resorted to more desperate tactics. Could he really be more of a "double agent" FOR the pro-life cause than a traitor against it?
    You have probably heard it said that it took Nixon to open up China and Reagan to end the Cold War. IOW, it took hawkish conservative Republicans to make lasting peace in a way dovish liberal Democrats could not.
    Also, don't forget that some of the justices of the past who tilted the court to the left -- Earl Warren comes to mind most prominently -- were appointed by Republican presidents. Note also that Byron White, one of the two dissenters on Roe, was appointed by a Democrat (JFK).
    Maybe, just maybe (I'm not betting on this, and I'm certainly not going to vote for Obama on this assumption) it's possible that a liberal Democratic administration could succeed in curbing abortion where conservative Republicans have failed?

  5. A quick scan of a list of Supreme Court justices and their appointment dates also reveals that of the 7 justices who voted FOR Roe v. Wade, 5 (Brennan, Blackmun, Powell, Burger and Stewart) were appointed by GOP administrations (Eisenhower and Nixon).
    Only two justices on the current court (Ginsburg and Breyer) were appointed under the Clinton Administration. Everyone else was appointed by Republicans (Ford, Reagan or the two Bushes). However, there have certainly been more than two pro-abortion votes in the most recent cases dealing with that issue.
    I am not denying that the court COULD take a sharp leftward turn under an Obama Administration, but I am saying it's not an absolute certainty.

  6. In my opinion, whenever your income is guaranteed for life, you become more liberal. This applies to Supreme Court Justices, tenured professors, successful entertainers.

    It's the fighting-for-your-lifelihood aspect that makes people more conservative.