Peace and injustice: Setting aside our differences

Tim Bayly’s latest writeup on Barack Obama’s appeal to “moderate” evangelicals reminded me of a few choice Sobran quotes from 1996:

Liberalism wants us to “set aside our differences,” as if our differences don’t really matter as much as the things on which we can all agree with liberalism itself. You can almost define a liberal as one who demands that others reach his conclusions from their premises. -1/4/96 column

[O]n issues as contentious as abortion, there is no “middle.” When you try to find one there, you only make both sides distrust you, because both sides agree on one thing: that there are principles at stake. Faced with clashing principles, [Bob] Dole chooses neither. …When Mr. Dole compromises, he gains nothing for his side, if he can be said to have a side. He merely gets the Democrats to settle for three-quarters of a loaf, in exchange for giving him part of the credit. -7/23/96 column

I don’t know if Obama’s schtick is cynical demagoguery (see Clinton, Bill) or simple inanity. “Common ground,” in his parlance, is just another word for pro-life surrender. Oh, you’re free to carp on the sidelines, but don’t even think about running out on the field with your helmet on. The game’s over. The Supreme Court told us that years ago when they ushered us out of the Dark Ages.

The life issue is pretty much binary: dead baby or live baby. How are you going to find common ground or compromise on abortion? Saw kids in half, maybe? That’s no worse than what’s being done now. Or maybe allow half of those intended for the slaughter to live and half to die? As morally odious as that sounds — it’s like an old Star Trek morality play! — it would represent the kind of “three-quarters of a loaf” success the pro-life movement hasn’t achieved in my lifetime. I’m not pushing it as feasible or moral, but just noting that even such a repugnant idea as this would actually represent an improvement on the current situation.

It’s not the type of compromise the Left would ever entertain anyway. No, the machinery of death will continue to run. On that there will be no compromise. Amid the soaring rhetoric about healing, the abortion mills will faithfully grind, day after day. NARAL and Planned Parenthood will continue to cut their checks to politicians like Obama to keep their blood money safe. Parents will continue to murder their offspring with the indispensable help of this support infrastructure.

Good-faith compromisers on the pro-life side will just have to settle for getting the credit for seeking “common ground.”

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