Tea Partiers are More Pro-Life Than Their Republican Counterparts

Timothy Carney, senior political columnist for The Washington Examiner, notes an interesting distinction between the fiscally libertarian Tea Partiers scoring upsets in political races across the country and their defeated, standard-bearing Republican counterparts:

The economy, taxes, spending, health care, and bailouts dominate the headlines and Tea Party rallies this year. But just beneath the surface, another issue is helping shape the midterm elections: abortion.

The Tea Party insurgency catapulting anti-bailout, anti-Obamacare, and anti-tax hike Republican outsiders past their establishment-backed primary rivals is also helping to eliminate pro-choice Republicans. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the pro-choice money is flowing in.

Lisa Murkowski, Mike Castle, Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter are the four highest-profile victims of the Tea Party insurgency. All four were pro-choice, with particularly contentious records on abortion. All four lost to staunch pro-lifers.

While the primary focus of the Tea Party movement is on other issues, the revelation that Tea Partiers are more pro-life than old guard Republicans is a hopeful one. 

I’d love to know their policy positions, but I imagine it’s safe to assume, based on their small-government message, that they believe the answer to the abortion issue lies in the hands of the people, through the 10th Amendment. Not everyone in the pro-life movement is on board with that approach – in fact, from personal experience I’d estimate that a majority still want to see a top-down, federal solution. Whatever the case, fresh blood, fresh thinking, and an understanding of the way government is supposed to work (which does not include making up rights that don’t exist in the Constitution) can’t hurt the stalled pro-life political cause.

I also appreciate that these candidates are committed to the right to life without beating the big, empty “pro-life” drum that the Republican party has so long used to rally voters without ever delivering real results. As Carney admits:

In 2010, abortion certainly isn’t the driving factor behind Tea Parties, but the Tea Party’s Senate lineup is 100 percent pro-life. Every insurgent GOP Senate candidate who bucked the establishment to win the nomination — Miller, Rubio, O’Donnell, Toomey, Ken Buck in Colorado, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Mike Lee in Utah — is dedicated to the pro-life cause. The Senate ringleader of this rowdy bunch is DeMint, a passionate pro-life conservative. The only establishment pick to survive the Tea Party surge this fall was Kelly Ayotte in New Hamphire, whose name was on that state’s lawsuit attempting to undo some Supreme Court precedent protecting abortion.

[snip]

The Tea Party’s issues have some fairly obvious overlaps with the pro-life cause — for instance, Obamacare’s subsidization of abortion — but mostly taxes and deficits seem unrelated to unborn babies, making it tough to explain why Tea Partiers and pro-lifers are so closely aligned.

But on Capitol Hill, the divide between fiscally conservative and socially conservative is a theoretical one. Almost without fail, the strongest advocates of limited government in Congress are pro-life, and vice-versa. Think of DeMint and Tom Coburn in the Senate and Ron Paul and Jeff Flake in the House — they top the scorecards of the National Taxpayers’ Union and also have perfect scores from National Right to Life.

Anger about bailouts and Obamacare and concern about deficits have powered this year’s conservative surge, but below the surface is also anger about abortion and concern for unborn babies.

For those of us who are vocal advocates third party and dark horse voting, this is encouraging news. Making the safe vote for the guy who can win, even though he’s almost as bad as the opposition, is no way to move public policy. Vote your conscience, pray for your country and its leaders, and things can change for the better. We’re not remotely out of the woods, but the momentum that’s building against this nation’s downward slope is an unmistakably positive sign.

 

By

Steve Skojec serves as the Director of Community Relations for a professional association. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a BA in Communications and Theology. His passions include writing, photography, social media, and an avid appreciation of science fiction. Steve lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jamie and their five children.

  • McManus

    yes, yes, I have seen this too.. and becoming a big fan of the tea party movement… like the old wisdom that only a virtuous nation can be a free nation… self governing..

  • Bill King

    True the Tea Party may be more pro life than the Republican counterparts. But They are also more Screwy that there Republican counterparts. In plain English they are Racist,Homophobic,Anti Science, Anti Muslim, Anti Pro Choice, Anti Immigration in other words a National Disgrace

  • Brian English

    “True the Tea Party may be more pro life than the Republican counterparts. But They are also more Screwy that there Republican counterparts. In plain English they are Racist,Homophobic,Anti Science, Anti Muslim, Anti Pro Choice, Anti Immigration in other words a National Disgrace.”

    The name-calling has really lost any effectiveness it once had. You and your friends should try to come up with some reasonable counter-arguments.

  • Bill King

    I can understand a Pro Life Position I don’t agree with it but I can understand and I believe a compromise could be made between both sides but there are 5 Republican candidates running for office in November of 2010 who take the position that if a 15 Year Old Girl were to be raped by a uncle that the Federal Government should force her to carry the rapist child to term. I thought there position was for the Federal Government to keep out of our lives? This is a Ultra Extreme position that no one should support

  • Bill King

    Brian- Please explain you comment I don’r get it

  • AC

    Re Article – not surprised here. as much as we seem to seperate fiscal and social conservatism, they do go hand in hand. Personal responsiblity goes with economice liberty.

    Re Mr. King – I’m not sureyou do undertand the Pro Life Position as you put it. If a person is alive no matter how small – the Catholic Pro Life statement, backed by some pretty good science btw – then the rights described in the Declaration of Independance would apply mainly the right to life. Punishment of the child for the crimes and sins of the father went away with the code of Hamabarri(sp?) who proscribed ‘and eye for and eye’ where prior to that it had been ‘your whole tribe for and eye.’

    I agree with Mr English, if you want to use name calling (ad hominum and ad populum) attacks, then there is no strength to your arguements. If however you’d like to take another crack at logical attacks (rather than anticdotes) I’m sure someone will engage you.

  • Brian English

    “5 Republican candidates running for office in November of 2010 who take the position that if a 15 Year Old Girl were to be raped by a uncle that the Federal Government should force her to carry the rapist child to term. I thought there position was for the Federal Government to keep out of our lives? This is a Ultra Extreme position that no one should support”

    You will have to show me those statements. I am not aware of anyone taking that position.

    “Brian- Please explain you comment I don’r get it”

    Tell me which positions supported by these candidates you believe make them “Racist,Homophobic,Anti Science, Anti Muslim, Anti Pro Choice, Anti Immigration in other words a National Disgrace.” Just saying they are those things doesn’t lead to much of a discussion.

  • ExOttoyuhr

    “In plain English they are Racist,Homophobic,Anti Science, Anti Muslim, Anti Pro Choice, Anti Immigration in other words a National Disgrace”

    In plainer English:

    The Tea Partiers are falsely accused of racism (a very common false accusation these days); they don’t want gay marriage shoved down their throats; and they’re anti-religion-of-science, anti-being-conquered-and-or-massacred, anti-dead-babies, and anti-illegal-immigration.

    I know that it’s uncharitable to post this, but I want to remind people not to take liberal claims too seriously. Don’t start analyzing them from the perspective of “this is probably true;” start from the perspective of “this is probably a howler.”

    On a more serious note, I’m delighted to hear this; I had feared the Tea Parties were letting the pro-aborts continue to get away with their distinctive variety of crimes. Perhaps there will even be a punishment more serious than “this is illegal now” for the movement which killed the most civilians of anyone in the 20th and 21st centuries…

  • Ted

    I wonder how Tea Party members feel about the woman who was just executed in Virginia.

  • Steve Skojec

    Ted,

    The search function isn’t working here at IC at the moment, but I have explained what this Catholic Tea Partier thinks of the death penalty in general. You can read my article (originally printed here) over at Catholicity:

    http://www.catholicity.com/com…04191.html

  • Marthe L

    I can understand the view that a lot of people, like yourself, are holding, according to which a pregnancy that is the result of rape or incest is difficult to accept and therefore should be terminated. But it is looking at only one side of the picture. One neglected aspect is that it appears to pro-choice people that, once the pregnancy has been terminated, the problem is solved… let’s go on to something else. In reality, a small, but too visible, symptom has been eliminated, but in the long run it probably does not really help the victim, who still needs a lot of support and understanding. An attempt to avoid immediate suffering by providing the “politically correct” remedy such as abortion will inevitably lead to a lot of long-term pain which is too often ignored or brushed off. On the other hand, allowing the child (who is totally innocent of what happened) to grow to term and finding him or her a good home is much more positive. In addition, I have read (in the Ottawa daily called The Ottawa Citizen, but it is some time ago) about some medical doctors who are convinced that aborting a first pregnancy is definitely not medically advisable if the woman has any expectation to want children later in life. What is a woman going to “feel” if she finds herself unable to conceive or to carry a child to term later in life and it comes down to the fact that her reproductive system has been damaged by an early abortion? I am afraid that the pro-choice side is presenting its points in black and white, with not enough attention and research about possible long term consequences, both emotional and physical, of abortion.
    Personal experience of a member of my own family has shown that an unwanted pregnancy carried to term with appropriate support can be a door opening on sources of help not otherwise available, with life-changing benefits.
    As for myself, it took until I reached 65 before someone finally put 2 and 2 together. All my life, I have been, if not handicapped, certainly impaired, by chronic clinical depression. It has been only 3 years ago, when a counselling service for the prevention / help to victims of sexual assault opened in my area, that the deep root of the depression was finally seen, e.g. childhood sexual abuse that I had never before seen as anything else than a bad childhood experience, among others. The same thing could happen to a woman who has become pregnant bacause of a sexual assault: after an abortion, it would be too easy to assume that she should not have any more problem with the assault, while the truth is that she could suffer some consequences of the assault for many years to come while her pain would be ignored because it is not “politically correct” (or does not support the “cause”) to admit that the abortion has not helped, and may even have made her problem worse.
    Of course, the above is not the most important argument against abortion, that the taking of any life at any stage of life is wrong because God is the only one to have the right to decide that a life is ended. But I think that it is a good idea to look at it also from the point of view of the harm done to the woman. Reasonable explanations of specific aspects of the case against abortion, in my opinion, can do no harm, and could be the beginning of changing attitudes that could open the door to the truth.

  • linda

    I can understand a Pro Life Position I don’t agree with it but I can understand and I believe a compromise could be made between both sides but there are 5 Republican candidates running for office in November of 2010 who take the position that if a 15 Year Old Girl were to be raped by a uncle that the Federal Government should force her to carry the rapist child to term. I thought there position was for the Federal Government to keep out of our lives? This is a Ultra Extreme position that no one should support

    It’s not an ultra-extreme position to make abortion illegal. In the horrific case of rape, there are 2 victims: the woman who was raped and the baby conceived because of the rape. You can’t kill a baby because the baby is innocent. Perhaps the best solution then would be adoption if the mother is too traumatized to keep the baby. When any child is conceived, it’s not like the woman ‘will become a mother’. That woman already IS a mother. If you truly believe that life begins at conception, you cannot justify abortion for any reason. That doesnt’ mean, though, that the woman shouldn’t go after that rapist with every legal angle to make sure that scum doesn’t hurt anyone else.

  • Mark

    “there are 5 Republican candidates running for office in November of 2010 who take the position that if a 15 Year Old Girl were to be raped by a uncle that the Federal Government should force her to carry the rapist child to term… This is a Ultra Extreme position that no one should support” – Linda

    That all human beings are created equal by God and that life begins at conception is the opposite of “Ultra Extreme” unless of course you consider truth to be “Ultra Extreme”

    Also, since when do we put innocent children to death for crimes committed by their uncles?

  • Micha Elyi

    “I believe a compromise could be made between both sides…”

    Please explain the nature of “a compromise” between those who believe assaulting an innocent life with intent to kill is ok and those who don’t.

    There’s no middle ground in which to locate “a compromise,” Bill King. Either the baby is dead or it isn’t. Any other belief about that you wish to cling to is anti-science, anti-rational, and anti-realistic.

  • Micha Elyi

    …beating the big, empty “pro-life” drum that the Republican party has so long used to rally voters without ever delivering real results.

    Steve Skojec

    What’s the matter Steve? Are you unhappy that there’s some Republican candidates who stick their necks out in public in support of the pro-life issue more vigorously than, oh, almost any Catholic bishop in the USA? Bishops, I remind you, aren’t subject to popular votes and can’t have their moral pronouncements to their flock overturned by some activist judge.

    I want to know what you would have pro-life politicians do, Steve Skojec. Impeach pro-abortion judges? I could go for that but let’s be realistic; such a move in Congress would be a stunt and nothing else, the votes aren’t there to remove a judge over that issue. The public is too divided and the pro-abortion/pro-murder-for-women’s-convenience coalition (made up of a perverse amalgamation of feminists and the foolishly chivalrous) is very intense, dedicated and fanatic for their pro-abortion cause. The end result given the attitudes of today’s voters would be that all the pro-abortion judges would remain and come the next election most of the pro-life politicians would be gone, thrown out of office.

    In politics, the person who demands all-or-nothing almost always ends up with nothing. This, Steve Skojec, is pretty much the story of the single-issue anti-abortion voter. As Rush Limbaugh once said on his radio program, hearts will have to change before the abortion laws do. There have been three lost decades during which public pro-life advocates spent most of their energies working within legislative halls rather than working on changing hearts. There was more fighting over appropriating public money than rallying the public to the appropriate morals.

MENU