In 1928, when Al Smith, Governor of New York, mounted his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency, he quickly became nationally known for one of his favorite lead-ins: “Let’s look at the record.” Smith was an old fashioned Democrat, nearly as laissez-faire in his principles and policies as Grover Cleveland. His record in office testified to that. Had his opponent been anyone but Herbert Hoover, “The Great Engineer,” he probably would have won, and spared us the New Deal.
Looking at a politician’s record gives the best sense for what that politician will do in the foreseeable future: i.e., with the issues of the moment. Thus also with a political party: a party’s record in power is the best guide to its continued use of power.
And with that we turn to this cri de coeur from Erick Erickson:
We have passed the point where Nazi comparisons are inappropriate. In the latest video about Planned Parenthood, if you want to watch it, you will see an admission that some of the children are born alive before being killed and carved up — their bodies being sold essentially for scrap.
These are children. They entered into the world alive and were killed, chopped up, and sold bit by bit....
The Party of Lincoln that rose from the ashes of a Whig Party that would not stand up to slavery must stand up to this evil. The American public is staring evil in the face and it looks a lot like them. It must end. [Emphasis added by FWP.]
Well, what’s the Republican Party’s record for standing on its supposed platform principles? Since it gained control of both houses of Congress, has it done any of the things its spokesmen said it would do? Extrapolating from its record since 2010, would you expect Boehner, McConnell, and their minions to mount a serious campaign to outlaw even partial-birth abortions, the most horrific and reviled of all kinds? Failing that, would you put money on whether they’ll submit a budget that defunds Planned Parenthood and stand firm on it?
To those who’ve answered yes to either of those questions: Don’t all rush forward at once waving your Benjamins at me. I’m not sure I’d survive the paroxysms of laughter.
Please, God, send us a planetoid. Before I get too old even to cheer for it.