Several weeks ago I wondered if God punished nations. The "God" I was referring was not necessarily a theological person but rather the author of natural law, of cause-and-effect.
Barack Obama appears to be God's instrument of punishment, not of grace. That's because he is the most fiscally reckless President we've ever had, living down to the worst predictions of his most partisan critics. Because Obama still appeared to be wiser and more sane than John McCain, many of us hoped he wouldn't start off this badly. After all, the previous two Democratic Presidents, Clinton and Carter, were more fiscally responsible than modern Republican Presidents, and one could have thought Obama might carry on that tradition. As it turns out, this is not the case.
But in many ways we've seen this act before. Some of Clinton's supporters cheered when he launched an unprovoked war against Serbia, then were horrified that Bush launched an unprovoked war against Iraq. In the same way, Bush's supporters tolerated his record-breaking deficits, but now are horrified that Obama intends to shatter those marks. Yet Obama's just taking the Republican attitude that "deficits don't matter" to a whole new level, in the same way that Bush took Clinton's doctrine of unprovoked war to a whole new level.
Republicans deserve Obama.
But it still raises the question: how did this happen?
I believe it's because the Republican Party let the abortion issue become the one and only difference between the two parties. Devoid of any principles whatsoever, Republicans didn't know how to govern.
Here's an example. Assuming the conventional narrative of 9/11 is true, President Bush could have demanded that the government of Afghanistan hand over Osama bin Laden or face the consequence of American troops and bounty hunters arriving on Afghanistan soil to capture him. Instead, the military mission extended to overthrowing the Taliban government itself and liberating Afghani women from their burqas. These objectives had nothing to do with America's security interests, and were more reflective of the "liberal internationalism" of Democrats that led us into World War I, Korea, and Vietnam.
Even the justification of the Iraq War was based on its supposed non-compliance of United Nations resolutions, that is, on putting "internationalism" ahead of America's own interests.
On the domestic front, G.W. Bush's signature issues were to extend federal welfare programs so that they could be administered by religious groups, and expansion of the Department of Education.
But federal welfare programs were traditionally viewed by Republicans since the New Deal as at best an unfortunate federal intervention, for which they would appropriate funds only because they didn't know how to abolish them in a feasible way. And ever since the Department of Education was established during the Carter Presidency, it was Republican orthodoxy to seek its abolition. They never succeeded, but that was the ideal.
Yet to anti-abortion voters, it didn't matter that Bush was heretical on welfare and education. Indeed, some of them thought that federal help for churches involved in charity and education was a good thing. And then they made excuses for Bush's foreign policy that put American troops in harms way for causes unrelated to American security - something Democrats used to do, not Republicans. Ultimately, it didn't matter to them what Bush did with the budget, as long as he could get in a couple of Supreme Court justices who just might overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that made abortion legal throughout the United States.
The result of abandoning principles regarding welfare, education, security, and spending led to many years of mismanagement, which in turn led to the election of the most fanatically pro-abortion President in our lifetime, someone who would steal from the taxpayer to fund overseas and domestic abortions.
Republican voters sacrificed these other principles because they failed to understand what exactly was at stake with Roe v. Wade. The Constitutional problem with the decision is not that abortion is morally wrong, but that the federal government has no jurisdiction over the abortion question. Likewise, the federal government has no Constitutional jurisdiction over welfare and education. And it has no provision for sending troops overseas to kill in the name of humanitarianism and internationalism in undeclared wars. And although the Constitution has no provision for any agency other than Congress to coin money and regulate the value thereof, Republicans bowed at the altar of the Federal Reserve Board for decades.
Had Republicans been mere conservatives - loyal to the letter of the Constitution, skeptical of Big Government, resistant to overseas crusades - they could have maintained their criticism of Roe, retained their intellectual integrity, and governed with clear eyes instead of Messianic hopes. Instead, they let their abortion obsession trump all other considerations, and paved the way for a pro-abortion Messiah.
My advice to pro-lifers: you've done enough harm to the country with your tunnel vision. Obama is President because of your own ignorance and political miscalculations. Do yourself and the world a favor by becoming market anarchists instead. Declare that no abortion will be performed on your own property. Seek out friendships and networks with others who will declare the same. You have no power to ban abortion in the next state or next country, but you can ban it on your own property. Start there.
I happen to be on an email list of a doctor crusading against aspartame. After laying out some of aspartame's deadly consequences, she wrote that either the FDA should ban aspartame, or the FDA should be abolished. Her argument is that if the FDA fails on this score, it is worse than useless.
This is a compelling argument that can be applied to abortion. If pro-lifers really believe that abortion is murder, and that the State is not only allowing but funding this form of murder, isn't it only logical that they should call for abolishing the State?
I suspect, however, that they won't do this, for two reasons. The first is, they believe in the State. The second is, deep down, they don't really believe abortion is murder.