Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Personal Aside: The Doug Kmiec Storythe 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 CenterTommy Moreat 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 Dougs 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 Dougs 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 priests right to do. And he did it. Doug was turned away. His wife ran sobbing from the church and Doug ran as wellto 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.