Tuesday, November 12, 2002


That's the word that charitably popped into my head upon seeing the headline to that story on Drudge.

On Thursday, the White House held a conference call with social conservatives and pleaded with them to be patient. "They're saying the president's priorities are already known, but let's be prudent and not just aggravate the Democrats by putting it in their face," said Deal Hudson, the editor of Crisis Magazine and an ally of the White House. "It may not be the first thing that this administration pushes because it's not this administration's style to get the controversial thing out there at the beginning."

Yeah, yeah, political concerns, long-term thinking, yadda yadda.

Does anyone who's in politics who claims to be prolife have any sense that this is not about pushing your issue but saving lives? Eh..two months...a few dozen babies. Who cares.

Now. Please note that my scorn was not hurled at Mr. Hudson there, but at the conference-calling White House. Of course! The article does give more hope than my emotional reaction indicates -

The upshot: Religious conservatives will pressure the Republican House and Senate to pass antiabortion measures previously passed by the House but buried by the Democratic Senate. After the ban on the "partial-birth" procedure -- passed by the House in July -- the next priority is a ban on human and embryonic cloning -- which the House passed last year.

Next on the list of House-passed measures come the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (giving legal status to a fetus hurt or killed during the commission of a federal crime), the Child Custody Protection Act (making it a crime to take a minor for an out-of-state abortion in violation of a state's parental notification laws), and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (forbidding state and local government actions against hospitals or health-care workers who refuse to participate in abortions).

Connor predicted Senate passage of all five and vowed that "you can count on fact that we will be pressing the Congress to act with dispatch." Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, said he expects the Senate at least to take up all five "at some point" during the next Congress. As for Bush, Johnson said: "We're very happy with the support the White House has given on all of these bills. I would expect that to continue."

It sounds hopeful, but my reaction is tempered by what - twenty years of waiting on this? Twenty years of promises? Twenty years of dashed hopes and backpedaling? Twenty years of supposedly pro-life presidents looking out at the March for Life and...making a phone call of support, rather than actually appearing?

I'll trust that the people like Deal Hudson, Ken Connor and Doug Johnson know what they're talking about and have the ear of the White House. I'll trust. And I'll pray. And I'll write some letters. Et vous?

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