Thursday, April 27, 2006

VIA GLENN GREENWALD, I came across Michelle Malkin's lavish praise for The Party of Death, a new book by embryo/fetus-worshipper Ramesh Ponnuru:

The Party of Death is the most important book of the year, if not the decade. Ramesh Ponnuru, one of the nation's most penetrating and lucid young conservative thinkers, makes a thorough, reasoned case for respecting life. The good news is that the death cult of Planned Parenthood, Howard Dean, and the New York Times is on the way to ultimate defeat.

It seems a bit of a stretch to credit Ponnuru with making any kind of a case for "respecting life," because if you look at the description of Party of Death at Amazon, it says:

IT'S NOT JUST abortion-on-demand. It's euthanasia, embryo destruction, even infanticide -- and a potentially deadly concern with "the quality of life" of disabled people. If you think these issues don't concern you -- guess again. The Party of Death could be roaring into the White House, as National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru shows, in the person of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In The Party of Death, Ponnuru details how left-wing radicals, using abortion as their lever, took over the Democratic Party -- and how they have used their power to corrupt our law and politics, abolish our fundamental right to life, and push the envelope in ever more dangerous directions. In The Party of Death, Ponnuru reveals:

* How Hillary Clinton could use the abortion issue (but not in the way you think) to become president * Why the conventional wisdom about Roe v.Wade is a lie * How the party of death -- a coalition of special interests ranging from Planned Parenthood to Hollywood -- came to own the Democratic Party * How the mainstream media promotes the party of death * Why Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and other leading liberals gave up being pro-life * How liberals use animal rights to displace human rights * The Democratic presidential candidate who said that infanticide is a mother's "choice" * How doctors -- and other health care professionals -- are being coerced, by law, into violating their consciences * The ultrasound revolution: why there's hope to stop the party of death.

Ponnuru's shocking expose shows just how extreme the Party of Death has become as they seek to destroy every inconvenient life, demand fealty to their radical agenda, and punish anyone who defies them. But he also shows how the tide is turning, how the Party of Death can be defeated, and why its last victim might be the Democratic Party itself.

By Ponnuru's own tacit admission, the only life he deems worthy of respect is embryonic life and persistently vegetative life. Don't be fooled by his use of the term "infanticide"; he is referring to third-trimester abortions, which are only performed when the mother's health or life are at risk.

See, for the religious fundamentalists whose mantra is "respect life," not all life is equal in value. The relative value of lives is intrinsic to the abortion issue, obviously; but fundamentalist crazies have pushed that beyond the general question of whether a woman's right to choose abortion supercedes a fetus's right to be born. If a pregnant woman is unlucky enough to live in a state where religious terrorists control the legislature and judiciary, she can be held criminally liable for refusing to have an intrusive, life-threatening surgical procedure if the state decides that her refusal harmed the fetus inside her.

That is what happened to Melissa Rowland in March, 2004, in Utah. Rowland was pregnant with twins; and she was charged with criminal homicide when one of the twins was delivered stillborn after Rowland had initially declined to have a C-section. She did subsequently agree to have a C-section, but the baby still died; and the Utah attorney general's office stated, in documents filed with the court, that Rowland had demonstrated "depraved indifference to human life" by waiting too long to have a recommended c-section. This episode is mentioned in Kevin Phillips' book, American Theocracy, and described online here. The charges of criminal homicide were dropped a month after being filed -- but only because Rowland agreed to plead guilty to two counts of "child endangerment" in exchange for the murder charge being dropped.

Here we have a case that goes a step beyond denying a woman the right to choose abortion, and that actually criminalizes a woman's personal medical decisions if the result is harmful to the fetus. The fetus's right to be born alive trumps even the pregnant woman's right to refuse or delay having surgery. Put a different way, the risk that major surgery poses to a woman's life or health is less important, less deserving of respect, than the risk that not having major surgery poses to the life or health of the fetus in the woman's uterus.

This is the Christian Taliban's moral calculus.

And you can see that moral calculus at work in Michelle Malkin's laudatory review of Ponnuru's book: When she says that Ponnuru "makes a thorough, reasoned case for respecting life," you know that she left the qualifier "fetal" out of the phrase "respecting life" because everyone knows she's not talking about the lives of Iraqi children living through war, or the lives of prisoners on death row who will be executed even though human judgments are imperfect by definition, and death is final by definition. When Ponnuru titles his book, "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life," everyone knows that he doesn't see or understand the moral shallowness in limiting his definition of "disregard for human life" to abortion, destroying embryos, and removing a permanently comatose or vegetative person from life support. Everyone knows he doesn't have a clue how hypocritical and immoral it is to accuse Democrats of being the "party of death" for supporting abortion rights and Terri Schiavo's husband when Republicans are the party of endless war, legalized torture, and fast-track execution.

Which is why, of course, we need bloggers like Glenn to point out the utter, shameless hypocrisy of bloggers like Malkin, who find this contemptible and outrageous, but have nothing at all to say about this (photographs here).


JivinJ said...

Hi Kathy,
It would really be nice if you read the book before trying to critique it.

When does Ponnuru tacitly admit that he only cares about embryonic or persistently vegetative life?

If you read the book you would know that Ponnuru is actually talking about infanticide and doesn't mean late term abortion when he says "infanticide."

Ponnuru is actually against the death penalty which he mentions in his book. If you'd read the book or read review by various bloggers who've read the book you'd also know that Ramesh isn't equating the Democratic party with the Party of Death. He explains this very early on.

Kathy said...

It would really be nice if you read the book before trying to critique it.

Fair enough. I will borrow the book from Barnes & Noble (an employee benefit) or get it from the library.

I'm glad Ponnuru opposes the death penalty; I'm glad he acknowledges that plenty of Republicans are pro-choice. I hope he decides to give serious consideration to war as a human life issue, too.

I'm also glad that Ponnuru mentioned, in a response to a comment on Jonah Goldberg's blog, that the review on is misleading. I would argue that the title of Ponnuru's book is misleading as well, since he definitely creates a linkage there between Democrats and the "Party of Death."