Monday, August 28, 2006

How long can the 'party of death' survive?

I've had a few unkind things to say about the Democratic Party through the years.

It's pretty clear to me that Democrats are wrong about every issue facing this country, especially in the last 30 years as the Democratic Party has veered far to the left. That's why Democrats tend to lose so many elections, including seven of the last 10 presidential contests.

I've also taken my share of shots at the rogues' gallery that passes for leadership in today's Democratic Party. Any political organization that counts Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi as its standard bearers might as well slap a "kick me" sign on its back.

But even I was taken aback by the title of a new book about the current state of the Democratic Party. How many rank-and-file Democrats realize they belong to the party of death?

The book, "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life" shows the Democratic Party in a whole new light. The author of this provocative work is National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru, a staunch conservative but not a commentator that would be confused by right-wing flame-throwers like Ann Coulter or Michael Savage.

Ponnuru's book is a thought-provoking assessment of the decline of America's once-dominant political party.

If you think about it, most Democrats, including nearly all of the party's leadership, support abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia and the destruction of stem cells for medical research. Each of those actions leads to the termination of human life at various stages.

While Ponnuru concedes there are Republicans who support abortion, it is the litmus test that Democrats use for every national and state political contest. Abortion defines the Democratic Party and helps explain why Democrats have lost support in many parts of this country, keeping their traditional hold in the Northeast and the West Coast, but losing the South and "middle America" to the GOP.

"The Party of Death started with abortion, but its sickle has gone from threatening the unborn, to the elderly, to the disabled; it has swept from the maternity ward to the cloning laboratory to the generalized disregard for 'inconvenient' human life," Ponnuru writes in the opening chapter of the book.

The book begins with a comprehensive review of Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and spawned an abortion cottage industry. Ponnuru points out that many legal scholars consider Roe v Wade one of the most flawed decisions in the high court's history. But thanks to the pro-abortion industry and its media allies, the myth of Roe v Wade has been perpetuated for 30 years, leading to the mistaken belief by many Americans that abortion is a constitutional right.

While Democrats continue to use abortion as a scare tactic whenever there's a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the more pragmatic leaders in the Democratic Party have come to the realization that abortion is losing its luster with voters.

That explains why Bob Casey Jr., a mediocre career politician, is the Democratic challenger to Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Casey opposes abortion, much to the dismay of die-hard liberals. But the party bosses figure their only chance of unseating the Republican Santorum is to run somebody who won't automatically turn off half the voters with a pro-abortion platform.

Ponnuru's book also discusses Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president in 2008, the Terri Schiavo case that exposed the hypocrisy of liberals on the euthanasia debate, why 19th century feminists opposed abortion and why the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that offers no legal protection to the unborn at any stage of development.

It's a serious book about some of the most important issues of our times. It's not just the future of the Democratic Party at stake. It may be the future of this nation.

E-mail Tony Phyrillas at

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