What Just Happened?

Among the many strange creatures found in Australia is one called the Frilled-Necked Lizard. When threatened, he has this umbrella-like structure around his neck which he splays out in an effort to look larger. Then, as his skin grows darker in color, he opens his mouth widely and emits a loud hissing sound while rocking back and forth on his hind legs.

It's a pretty spectacular site and it does make him appear reasonably menacing. The problem is, it's only a show. To put it bluntly, this guy is not exactly the terror of the Outback. His diet consists mainly of beetles, ants, termites, butterflies and moths. He is also known to be an extremely fast runner whenever his little act fails to impress a potential foe.

The fact is, despite appearances, this Aussie lizard is more of a song-and-dance-man than a warrior. That is why I have always felt that he would be the perfect symbol of the Republican Party. After all, the current symbol – the elephant – is a noble animal that will take on a lion if need be. However, no one can remotely make such a claim about the GOP.

During the recently completed budget battle, the Republicans behaved in a way that reinforced their reptilian tendencies. In the last few weeks, they had strutted around telling the world that they would shut down the government before agreeing to continue funding for Planned Parenthood. At the same time, the Democrats made it clear that they would shut down the government before giving up Planned Parenthood's funding.

What we now know is that one side was lying. And late on Friday night, they ate a moth.

What happened was simple and transparent. As many of us suspected, the Republicans had been using the Planned Parenthood funding issue as a bargaining chip all along. When the negotiations entered their final hour, GOP leaders figured that they had squeezed all they could out of the Dems and the only thing left to do was cut-and-run.

To characterize this betrayal as "predictable" is an understatement. In 2008, I wrote the following, "The first thing to understand about the Republican Party is that it is totally unsuited for the abortion battle. Since the day this struggle began, it has always been clear that it is the political equivalent of a brawl in a waterfront bar. Unfortunately, the GOP is made up of a bunch of guys whose mammas used to dress them for college. On a fraternity dare, they might find the courage to go into a waterfront bar. But when the first punch is thrown, the only thing you can be certain of is that you're about to hear the unmistakable pitter-patter of fine leather wingtips stampeding toward the door. A second problem is that the gated-community limousine liberals who control the GOP are about as interested in abortion as a fish is in a bicycle. Like it or not, these people are motivated by the bottom line and the bottom line is that there is no money to be made in saving babies."

Let me make another point that I've brought up before. The power-elites in the Republican Party keep trying to separate what they call "moral issues conservatives" from "fiscal conservatives." But this sort of compartmentalizing ignores the fact that virtually every decision a politician makes has a moral component. In this case, when the government spends money it does not have or borrows money it knows it can never repay, that is called "theft" and doing it cannot be seen as simply an economic decision. It must also be seen as a moral decision.

The point is, it is certainly possible for good moral decisions to be financially unsound. In fact, Americans do it millions of times every day. But no decision, regardless of how financially sound it might be, can be justified if it is immoral. And you will never find a better example of that than the scandal that culminated on Friday night.

They Know a Good Lie When They Tell One

In a pathetic attempt to cover up the fact that morning-after pills, emergency contraceptives and most birth control pills are actually early-term abortions, the abortion lobby is now attempting to redefine pregnancy. On one hand, they will concede that these drugs do indeed act after fertilization. However, they argue that since these chemicals are designed to work before implantation, the woman is not really pregnant and, therefore, there can be no pregnancy termination. In other words, according to their line of reasoning, it is not technically possible for these drugs to constitute an abortion.

This is classic abortion industry doubletalk. Even if we accept this somewhat murky claim that a woman is not pregnant during that interval between fertilization and implantation, it's an irrelevant argument. The biological fact is that a new human life is created at the moment of fertilization and that does not change whether implantation occurs instantly, five minutes later, two days later or never. So if these pill pushers want to take this arcane position that these chemical agents do not abort a pregnancy, that's fine. But what they can't deny is that they abort a human life.

At its core, this particular excuse for legalized abortion is like almost every other one. In order for it to work, the listener must be oblivious to the fact that a rhetorical fraud is being perpetrated. In this case, the fraud is that the term "pregnancy termination" is synonymous with the word "abortion."

That is, of course, nonsense and these people know it.

I have made this point many times in the past and I'll make it again. The pro-life movement is not now, has never been, and will never be, opposed to pregnancy terminations. We are fully aware that all pregnancies terminate. When a woman is pregnant, the only question is whether her pregnancy will terminate with a live baby or a dead baby. And that is a biological fact our enemies will never be able to change.

Actually, this little rhetorical mind-game illustrates just how easy it is to understand the respective positions in the battle over abortion. The pro-life contention is that all pregnancies should terminate with living babies. Meanwhile, the pro-choice forces find it acceptable for their tiny corpses to rot in dumpsters or be eaten by rats in the sewer system. It may not sound pretty and it's certainly not politically correct, but that is the bright line that will always separate the two sides.

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics