Friday, October 10, 2008

Personal Aside: A Medal Awarded to One Who Has Richly Earned It…and Another to One Who Chronicled Him.

Pure Silver: What Else?

A medal for overreaching on the issue of abortion is hereby awarded to Douglas Kmiec, law dean of Pepperdine University. Kmiec has been one of the intellectual leading lights of the pro-life movement, having served in high posts in the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. After having been passed up for judicial appointment by the aforementioned Republican administrations, Kmiec moved to a prestigious academic post at Pepperdine and in the words of George Washington Plunkett of Tammany Hall “I seen my opportunities and I took `em.”

On Easter Sunday last, no less, having served as a legal co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, the dean announced that he was switching to endorse the candidacy of Barack Obama. The announcement did not make a publicity stir since the name Kmiec was known to only a few…including me…who had relied on him faithfully in the past for interpreting difficult legislation with an eye to its beneficial effects on the pro-life movement.

So Kmiec had to…in the words of the p.r. industry…merchandise his defection. He was already scheduled for a speech at “Legatus,” a group of pro-life business executives in California. He made sure his “declaration of conscience” got around and then marched up in the Communion line to receive the Eucharist at Mass prior to his speech. The priest turned him down. Whereupon Dugout Doug had a terrific issue. He cycled it quickly to E. J. Dionne, a pro-abort Catholic political writer at “The Washington Post” who wrote it up as a classic case of Thomas More in reverse—the doughty lawyer who faced down a King. After Dionne finished with it, NPR picked it up.

Then there was a lag. It seems the Iraq War and economic troubles in the nation eclipsed the story of a defector to Catholic theology which has been an indissoluble part of church teaching for 2,000 years. Trying to crack the Chicago market (the town where he was born), Kmiec wrote an article for the always receptive “Chicago Tribune” pointing out that he—Kmiec—was born in Cardinal Francis George’s Saint Pascal parish. He skillfully tied his Catholicism to the Obama campaign and the “Trib” picked it up. Then another long lapse. According to Kmiec, the way to end abortion is to give up on naming pro-lifers to the courts but to mobilize all manner of federal programs in time-honored Democratic party tradition to end the slaughter of unborn children. You just squish your way around it, recycle old liberal programs and call it pro-life.

Now the “Trib” came to his rescue again with a column by Mary Schmich who happens to agree with Kmiec’s position (no surprise). Representing Kmiec as a devout daily churchgoer and frequent Communion recipient, Schmich recycled the old defector’s story once again…ignoring or not knowing (the latter is probably the case) that Kmiec’s church has been on record as opposing the practice since “The Didache” composed before A. D. 80. The fact that Obama has impressed Kmiec with his Catholic social views is noteworthy since Obama personally throttled to its death four times the “Born Alive” bill in the Illinois state senate when he was chairman of judiciary, which denied infants born after botched abortions nutrition and medical care to alleviate their suffering. As numb of any moral implication of the act as is Obama and his lawyer wife who continually lies about the legislation (it wasn’t needed; it would be used as a ploy to overturn “Roe v. Wade”, Schmich plays along with the scenario of Kmiec the defender of his Catholic conscience.

The other day in an interview which he strained at the leash to get, Kmiec said that some bloggers had called him a Benedict Arnold and related the story…faithful to history…that when Alexander Hamilton asked Washington what to do with the traitorous general if he caught him, Washington said: “shoot him!” The story is correct, reproduced in Hamilton’s notes. Kmiec thought the analogy was worthwhile to apply to him—meaning that there is something remaining of the old residual Catholicism in the duplicitous law professor after all. Kmiec would love to have himself cast as martyr. The fact is he isn’t important enough to warrant that designation although assuredly he will probably be named to the high court by Obama; it remains to be seen if the Senate’s pro-abortion majority will trust one who has already weaseled away from his church and canons of the law he once upheld.

And to Mary Schmich who faithfully chronicled this the second time the hoary old story has been recycled in the “Trib”—nice try.


  1. It is sad to see the Republican Party crap out this way. McCain is acting like the Fighter who was paid to throw the fight. Like the moribund Dole, he is just going through the motions. What a tragic time for the Republican Party.