Dear Mr. Lord:
I read with great interest your recent American Spectator article, “Dr. Dobson and Justice Bork,” in which you blame conservatives for the U.S. Senate’s 1987 failure to confirm President Reagan’s nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and the subsequent survival of Roe v. Wade. You use that incident to support your recommendation that conservatives settle for the “half-loaf” of pro-abortion Republican candidates as a path to overturning the 1973 decision.
I don’t see any evidence supporting your conclusion that Roe v. Wade is “the conservative legacy” at which “the late Justice Harry Blackmun must be smiling.” I find in your article only anecdotes, relying on a few 20-year-old conversations with anonymous conservatives, and some vague unhappiness with some Republican senators from unidentified sources to support your article’s far-reaching conclusion. This is very thin gruel on which to blame conservatives and by implication the conservative movement for the Republican loss of the Senate in the 1986 elections.
It seems to me that a more robust analysis of the historical record points to the conclusion that it was moderate/liberal Republicans, not conservatives, who caused the GOP to lose the Senate in the 1986 elections, which you infer led inevitably to the Bork defeat and the survival of Roe.
There was no Reagan Senate during 1981-86. There was a Republican Senate, and President Reagan’s conservative agenda was weakened by the big-government proponents in his own party. Many of these establishment Republicans went down to defeat because they did not advance the Reagan agenda.
In your own writings you acknowledge how Abraham Lincoln and Reagan were viewed in their times as “extremists” who “looked at the center and saw the need to move it.” Lincoln, of course, helped move the country on the issue of slavery, and Reagan on communism.
Dr. James Dobson, whose appeal to “moral principle” you criticize, would surely have been on the morally principled — and ultimately victorious — side on the issue of slavery, as he is on abortion today.
Establishment Republicans, who have squandered the election victories won by millions of conservative activists, are now laying the groundwork to blame Dr. Dobson and those many conservative activists for 2008’s expected thumpin’. That’s a typical and tired Establishment ploy. It won’t work.
Republican strategists who lay anticipatory blame for potential political losses at the feet of moral, principled conservatives ignore what Lincoln, Reagan and their supporters did, which even now, using your own words, “is universally viewed as the bedrock of the American political center.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online