Wednesday, January 25, 2006 — So why a party-line vote? Why did all Republicans and no Democrats on the Judiciary Committee vote yesterday in favor of Judge Alito’s nomination? Why is the full Senate posed to do the same?
Anything, but that! Make us believe, just for a moment, that the confirmation hearings were worth our time and money, that you, our elected officials at the highest levels, are there for us, listening for us, investigating for us, thinking deeply for us, and making decisions for us based not on pre-determined political convenience or retracted, closed-minded ideology, but rather on the truth that your open-minds can discover.
But this is just my gut-level reaction — then I think some more. And I am slightly refreshed.
In yesterday’s vote, unlike that of Judge John Roberts, the senators had to play their cards, and we got to see them. The time for bluffing ran out. With all of the members of the House and one third of the Senate in re-election campaign mode, the stakes were simply too high to pass or look the other way. And thank God, the cards — their votes — are now on the table, for they remind us where the line is drawn when it really counts in this two-party system where U.S. politics is played out. Despite what Senator Kennedy says, or even many of his Republican counterparts, their decisions on Judge Alito ultimately have little to do with executive power, government wire tapping, natural disaster management, gun control, or even civil rights.
It’s about abortion.
Stay with me. I’m not one to boil everything down to a single issue, as if nothing else mattered. But in this specific case, in the case of the approval of a justice for the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, and in a re-election year, the glaring, unmistakable, distinguishing factor between one party and the other on an issue that will make it to the highest court, is their stance on abortion law.
And this is more than personal opinion. It’s in their platforms. Let’s take a look (click on the links below):
And in case you didn’t go to the link just yet, here’s a snippet that says it all :
“Democrats stand behind the right of every woman to choose. We believe it is a constitutional liberty. This year’s Supreme Court ruling show us that eliminating a woman’s right to choose is only one justice away.”
Don’t get me wrong. Republicans are no saints — far from it, and they are often on the wrong side of what's right for our country. But the 10 men and women who voted for Judge Alito yesterday have chosen, for one reason or another, to ally themselves with the party that is on the right side of this issue, an issue that still essentially distinguishes it from the party to its left.
Does this make some of you pro-life Democrats angry? I hope so, and I hope you tell your party to do something about it, just as Republicans should speak up when the tables are turned. If nothing else, isn’t it refreshing to have the cards on the table?
Thanks to all of you who have written. I read every one.
God bless, Fr. Jonathan
Write to Father Jonathan Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.