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The Most Recent on Doug Kmiec

Courtesy of Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Civitate (including a nice collection of links at the bottom):

Prof. Doug Kmiec, chief apologist and shill for Sen. Obama among the Catholics, is now claiming that the Democrat Party is making strides toward "honoring life" in their platform.

As Deal Hudson points out, does the following language sound like the Democrats are "honoring life"?

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay [ED.: Which, of course, means they advocate overturning the Hyde Amendment, which has been credited with saving at least a million lives, so that your tax dollars can be used to fund abortion.], and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right [ED.: Including the ban on partial birth abortion, parental consent/notification laws, ultrasound requirements, etc., and which opposition entails enacting the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, which would invalidate all such federal, state or local laws that deny or interfere with a woman’s access to abortion].
(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

Hudson also points out that the Dems no longer retain the "rare" part of the "safe, legal and rare" formula that has been part of the Democrat platform since 1992.

And funny how Kmiec's piece fails to mention this little tidbit from the Democrat platform that is making such "strides toward honoring life":

The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services [ED.: Again, your tax dollars at work to fund the pill, Plan-B, and other contraceptive devices to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.] and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education [ED.: Age appropriate? You mean like this? And do not think for one minute that abstinence education has any place in this so-called "comprehensive" sex education?] which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives.
(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

Particularly troubling in Kmiec's piece is this line:

Barack Obama is a different type of candidate. [ED.: How so? The next line gives lie to this assertion. Wait for it ... it's a doozy.] As he sees it, Roe is not an endorsement of abortion, so much as an affirmation that abortion is a moral question for which only the potential mother can give answer.
(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

The "potential mother"? Kmiec needs to be called on the carpet by pro-life Catholics for the brutal (and, from a Catholic and Natural Law perspective, nonsensical) formulation of "the potential mother".

Fortunately, one commenter at Catholic Online caught this and called Kmiec on it:
"Potential mother?" Someone has been drinking heavily from the Obama Kool-Aid, and that someone would be you, sir. There's no such woman as a "potential mother;" once her egg has been fertilized with the father's sperm, she's a mother. Calling her a "potential mother" makes no more sense than claiming that abortion makes her "unpregnant." Abortion makes a mother --not a "potential mother"-- of a dead baby.
(emphasis added)

For good measure, Creative Minority Report contrasts Kmiec's apology for the "new" language in the Democrat platform to the unequivocal statement in favor of life from the Kansas Bishops and finds Kmiec's pro-choice shilling to be wanting by comparison.

I'm sad to say that Prof. Kmiec continues to argue in bad faith in pushing Sen. Obama's candidacy. He should definitely vote for Sen. Obama if he believes his conscience is pushing him in that direction, and he should hold his nose in doing so just as many Catholic McCain supporters will hold their noses in voting for McCain (again, I'm not among the McCain supporters). But Kmiec should STOP trying to convince people that Sen. Obama and the Democrat Party are something that they quite clearly ARE NOT.

Brian Burch of Fidelis weighs in with an excellent post: "Kmiec’s new Platform shoes".
... There are many elements of Kmiec’s arguments that I find unpersuasive, but I cannot resist commenting on the underlying assumption carried in almost every Doug Kmiec “why I can (and you can too) justify voting for Obama” argument.

That is: if you are dedicated to the legal prohibition of abortion, you are somehow opposed to, or not adequately supportive of, efforts to assist women in crisis pregnancies, or properly addressing the economic and cultural conditions that make abortion possible or perceived as necessary.

Kmiec rarely misses an opportunity to knock pro-life supporters of Republican candidates as tunnel-vision-prone legal beavers, focused exclusively on repealing Roe. His favorite straw man is the focused abortion foe foaming at the mouth waiting for the next battle over a vacancy on the Supreme Court. In Kmiec’s view, this perceived strategy has proven to be a distraction from the practical and necessary attention needed to combat the underlying causes of abortion. He extends this argument to the proposed Democratic platform, arguing that the proposed new language is a step in the right direction.

For example, Kmiec applauded “a full-throated call for efforts to address the irresponsibility of kids having kids, through appropriate educational efforts emphasizing the maturity and responsibility that must accompany sexual intimacy.”

The premise of his argument here and too often in the past, is that non-Barack backing pro-lifers don’t care enough about anything other than the legal do’s and don’ts. Really?

Tell that to the thousands of volunteers and underpaid staff of crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands who pray, counsel, and protest outside abortion clinics every day, sometimes for 40 days straight. Tell that to the millions of pro-life families who make sacrifices every day to raise responsible, virtue seeking children. It is here that that the real pro-life work is done. And while I am not suggesting Kmiec is belittling these people, more often than not, these people are Republicans. And people that believe another judge on the Supreme Court could make more than a small difference when it comes to abortion.

These people care more than Barack Obama or ANY government program will ever care about the real needs of women and children. And while they are hopeful that another judicial conservative might sit on the hight Court, they go about their pro-life, women-centered work every day. And will continue to do so regardless of what happens on the Supreme Court. These aren’t either/or people. They are both/and types. I know, because I am one of them.

Outstanding response to Kmiec's either/or nonsense! It's been said here before. It may be a lot for you to get your ivory-tower-pointy head around, Prof. Kmiec, but we folks out here in flyover country who do the REAL pro-life heavy lifting DO know how to walk and chew gum at the same time, thank you very much.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Prof. Garnett Takes on Prof. Kmiec ... Again

Casey Jr. to Get Prime-Time Slot in Denver to Appease Catholics [UPDATED]

Fr. Neuhaus Responds to Doug Kmiec

Deal Hudson's Open Letter to Doug Kmiec

National Catholic Register on Catholics, Kmiec, and Obama

Prof. Hadley Arkes: "Political Distraction Among the Catholics"

Doug Kmiec - What He Said Then vs. What He Says Now Re: Constitutional Jurisprudence

What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?


Unrequited Love

Doug Kmiec: "After Meeting with Barack" [UPDATED]

Cranky Conservative: "But At Least He Says It with a Smile"

Doug Kmiec Again Places Platitudes Above Policy [UPDATED]

Prof. Bainbridge on "Obama, Abortion, & Catholics"

Prof. Rick Garnett on Kmiec's Latest Nonsense

Deacon Keith Fournier: "Why I Disagree with Doug Kmiec, Once Again"

Give It a Rest Already, Prof. Kmiec!

Deacon Keith Fournier: "No More ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, Time for a New Catholic Action"

Doug Kmiec's Newfound Celebrity Status Among Those on the Left

Doug Kmiec Soon To Be Sorely Disappointed

E.J. Dionne on Kmiec Being Denied Communion [UPDATED]

Archbishop Chaput: Thoughts on “Roman Catholics for Obama ’08”

Deal Hudson on Prof. Kmiec and Blurring the Lines Between "Pro-Choice" and Pro-Abortion

Did Doug Kmiec Just Now Catch On That Obama and NARAL Are Politically Conjoined? [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson on "How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge the Infanticide Question"

Kmiec's Dishonesty [UPDATED]

Catholic Teaching and Political Risk Taking: When Credit Isn't Given Where Credit is Due [UPDATED]

Kmiec's Wishful Thinking on Obama and Abortion

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

"No'bama for Me, Thanks"Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

"Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama"

Catholics at the Ballot Box

How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

"Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

Obama "Post-Partisan"? Ask John Roberts

Obama and the "Pragmatic Center"

Comments (10)

Is Kmiec susceptible to rational argument -- enormous amounts of it?

We'll find out.

I'm not optimistic, if only because bad ideas don't die simply because they have been soundly and roundly refuted.

I do disagree with this statement by Anderson:

He should definitely vote for Sen. Obama if he believes his conscience is pushing him in that direction

That's sort of like saying, "He should definitely contribute to the construction of Auschwitz if he believes his conscience is pushing him in that direction." There are some things that so obviously manifest a malformed conscience that one can't just say that people should do them if they feel their consciences pushing them in that direction.

Good and informative piece, though.

I don't think Kmiec is open to rational persuasion on this one, if only because he obviously has a high IQ and has abused it already very far to convince himself that what he is doing is right. From here on out, he just digs himself in deeper and deeper, which is sad.

I won't pretend for one minute that the choice we are faced with in the upcoming election is meaningful. They are both horrible choices. But Obama is proud of his pro abortion record. I just don't see how anyone with any conscience at all can vote for him.

"He should definitely contribute to the construction of Auschwitz if he believes his conscience is pushing him in that direction."

Strange example when one reflects on the simple fact that it is the administration of the anti-abortion candidates from the past two presidential elections that has resurrected Soviet era prisons in Eastern Europe and applied Soviet and Nazi interrogation techniques to the prisoners therein. We might also recall that we were eager to define these techniques as torture when used by Nazis and Communists. We should probably also reflect on the reality that, in many respects, the anti-abortion party has become an ongoing criminal conspiracy.

I appreciate the passion that you feel about abortion, however that passion seems to have blinded some of you to the simple calculus that has become clear to Prof. Kmiec: While the government in the United States forces no one to get an abortion, it does, under the anti-abortion party, wage unnecessary wars, torture, falsely imprison and incompently govern. As the administration of the anti-abortion candidate we will have will give us the past seven years on steroids, Prof. Kmiec's endorsement hardly seems unreasonable.

"I won't pretend for one minute that the choice we are faced with in the upcoming election is meaningful."

That was the attitude of many back in 2000. Things didn't work out so well for the bottom 98% of us. It is clear that the Neo-Cons are fated to be perpetually clueless. Perhaps it would be useful for others to take a fresh look at Prof. Kmiec's position.

"I just don't see how anyone with any conscience at all can vote for him."

All one needs is Georgia on ones mind. Here is where to find Prof. Kmiec's Slate articles:


I appreciate the passion that you feel about abortion

No you don't. I'll wager you don't even care about it.


Although they are flatly false, let's say, for the sake of argument, that your charges against the current administration are true:

(1) In order to get information from terrorist warriors from other countries so that we can save lives in the future, we torture a few hundred of them in foreign camps built for that purpose. How does it then follow that we ought to vote for the senator whose record most consistently supports a far, far more heinous evil -- the slaughter of more than a million unborn children every year in America alone, the continuation of which he has pledged to make his first order of business if elected?

(2) Even if the war in Iraq was unnecessary, and even if we took the most exaggerated estimates of casualties on all sides of the war and combined them, it would not equal the number of deaths in less than one year of abortion in America alone.

(3) Let's say that the condition of the bottom 98% got worse, as you allege. You forgot to tell us what effect the Democrats have had on the poor over recent decades? If you're not sure, I have a few titles I can recommend.

In other words, I don't see, even for a moment, how your reasoning leads to Kmiec's view. Why would you vote for a far greater evil from the Democrats when voting for the Republicans perpetrates a demonstrably lesser evil? Further, since we are talking evils perpetrated, abortion is far from the only evil perpetrated by the Democratic party, something you failed even to mention, let alone work carefully into your moral calculus.

"No you don't. I'll wager you don't even care about it."

And you would lose unless you include "deference" and "acquiescence" as necessary in order to "appreciate" and "care" about something.

Michael, some of my points are arguable and some are simply beyond dispute at this point.

Among other things, I believe we suffered a judicial coup on December 12, 2000 and I believe there is enough evidence to consider the Republican Party, at its highest levels, an ongoing criminal conspiracy, but I can see how others might disagree.

Your failure to acknowledge the obvious leads to some problems. I find it difficult to accept that someone who really believed that we had an administration that institutionalized torture, attempted to gut the Constitution and corrupt justice, saw preventive war as a desirable policy choice, and preferred the disproportionate enrichment of the top 0.1% and destruction of the middle class as a desirable policy outcome would so cavalierly prefer those things to the results consequent to the freely made, personal decisions of a few people.

Much is made of the "born alive" legislation. I found the exchange in a below thread enlightening. Lydia made the point that this legislation, about which so much angst has been expressed, is, in the end, ineffective.

In my world, legislators who oppose ineffective legislation, who don't melt when confronted by feel-good titles and the first names of unfortunate children are to be celebrated and rewarded with higher office.

I try to look at this with some perspective and what I arrive at is this: Abortions after 24 weeks are quite rare. There is no way, in a free society, that early term abortions can be legislated against except at the margins.

So, do I vote for candidates who are likely to respect constitutional rights, the rule of law, and who have a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, as well as giving us rational approaches to domestic policy issues but who see some things as being best dealt with as matters of personal choice or do I vote for folks for whom war is a first resort, torture is merely a policy choice, fear trumps the Constitution, governing is about power not policy and competence but who also say the "right" things about one issue?.


candidates who are likely to respect constitutional rights, the rule of law, and who have a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, as well as giving us rational approaches to domestic policy issues

Where, oh where, would one start? I wouldn't even know where to begin. Constitutional rights? (As created ex nihilo by a lying court.) Decent respect for the opinions of mankind? (Except the ones who want the ripping up of live children to be illegal.) Rational approaches to domestic policy issues? (You know, like striking down parental consent laws on abortion and forcing everybody to recognize two guys as "married"--rational.)

...would so cavalierly prefer those things to the results consequent to the freely made, personal decisions of a few people.

Nope. I'd win, even without deference and acquiescence. You don't care.

But yes, in the long run, I'd be willing to compel the acquiescence of those who won't come to it of their own free will. The legal 'right' to murder the innocent affects me that way.

A right "created ex nihilo by a lying court", says Lydia. God bless that woman sometimes.


"Among other things, I believe we suffered a judicial coup on December 12, 2000 and I believe there is enough evidence to consider the Republican Party, at its highest levels, an ongoing criminal conspiracy, but I can see how others might disagree."

Alright, I know it is off topic but I'll bite. What evidence are you talking about? I thought that the Supreme Court stopped a further recount of ballots. The operative prefix being "RE." That seems to imply that the votes were previously counted. I also thought that they had ultimately been counted again and the tallies _as requested by Gore_ (not counting overvotes/ballots where more than one person was voted for) demonstrated that Bush won Florida by a narrow margin. The Congress had the opportunity to object and not one single Sentator would cosponsor and objection raised by the Black caucus in the House. Congress then deferred to the Supreme Court. So what was the criminal conspiracy?

Although I do appreciate that you allow for the room that others MIGHT disagree.

And how do you define "quite rare?" According to Guttmacher, abortions over 21 weeks make up 1.1% of all abortions. That is and average of 14,300 per year. If doctors intentionally killed half that number of newborns in any given year because the mother did not want the child would you still consider the practice rare? If I promised to medically exterminate 3,000 (lesst than 1/4 of the 14,000 +) Iraqi children in the next year as part of our war plan would you consider it a rare instance in the greater scheme of things?

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