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The Corner's own John Derbyshire reviewed fellow Corner-ite Ramesh Ponnuru's subtly titled book The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, and provided the perfect rebuttal to the author's pro-life fanaticism.

I certainly don't agree with all of what Derby has to say.  To be sure, he reads like an overbearing English professor who loves the sound of his own written voice (see the title of his review:  A Frigid and Pitiless Dogma), but that's beside the point.

This paragraph neatly describes the non-absolutist approach that is necessary in dealing with this issue:

Who, actually, is the Party of Death? Here I see a woman who, having missed her period and found herself pregnant, has an abortion, comes home, downs a stiff drink, and gets on with her life. With her life. Here I meet a man whose loved wife has gone, never to return, yet her personless body still twitches and grunts randomly on its plastic sheet, defying years of care and therapy. Let her go, everyone begs him, and his own conscience cries; and at last he does, whichever way the law will permit. Here I find a couple who want a lively, healthy child, but who know their genes carry dark possibilities of a lifetime's misery and an early death. They permit multiple embryos to be created, select the one free from the dread traits, and give over the rest to the use of science, or authorize their destruction.

Derby presents three different situations in which death is, after careful consideration, the choice that is made in order to continue life.  It's not black and white and it's never easy and that is the point precisely.  The Right-to-Lifers have no time or interest in situational circumstance and place all of their cards on the side of absolutist policy.  As rational beings know, there are no absolutes in life.  The religiously impaired fanatics think otherwise.

As Derby continues:

The RTL-ers would tell me that these people, and the medical professionals who help them, are all moral criminals, who have destroyed human lives. They support their belief with careful definitions, precise chains of reasoning, and--I do not doubt it--sincere intentions. Yet how inhuman they seem! What a frigid and pitiless dogma they preach!--one that would take from the living, without any regard to what the living have to say about it, to give to those whom common intuition regards as nonliving; that would criminalize acts of compassion, and that would strip away such little personal autonomy as is left to us after the attentions of the IRS, Big Medicine, the litigation rackets, and the myriad government bureaucracies that regulate our lives and peer into our private affairs.

Inhuman, yes, and without reason or concern for personal lives, the RTL-ers only stand for a blanket approach to complex issue.  It is pro-choice, not pro-abortion as they would call it, and their terminology says everything you need to know about this simplistic minority that wants to control a woman's body.

Originally posted to Danny Doom on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 09:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would call the Republicans the party of death (0+ / 0-)

    Iraq, Haiditha, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, torture, disregard for the millions of starving poor and those without healthcare--both within our country and in impoverished countries elsewhere.

    The Republicans are the party of Death because they have no regard for human beings AFTER they come out of the womb.

  •  With Clinton Gone... (0+ / 0-)

    the Death Penalty is no longer in the Democratic Platform.

    Datamine this!
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Tue Jun 06, 2006 at 09:15:43 AM PDT

  •  Rock On Mr. Doom! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Andrew Sullivan provides the best quote from Derbyshire on this book:

    "Party of Death is obviously inspired by religious belief. The philosophical passages strictly follow the Golden Rule of religious apologetics, which is: The conclusion is known in advance, and the task of the intellectual is to erect supporting arguments. It would be an astounding thing, just from a statistical point of view, if, after conducting a rigorous open-ended inquiry from philosophical first principles, our author came to conclusions precisely congruent with the dogmas of the church in which he himself is a communicant. Yet that is the case, very nearly, with Party of Death. Remarkable! What if, after all that intellectual work, all that propositional algebra, all those elegant syllogisms, the author had come to the conclusion that abortion was not such a bad thing after all? I suppose he would have been plunged into severe psychic distress. Fortunately there was never the slightest chance of this happening."

  •  Ha ha, yes it is a small blog after all! (EOM) (0+ / 0-)
  •  PS... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I put up a post at Metroblogging Chicago linking to this post...are you still writing for Metblogs?

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