In the latter instance, discretion was the better part of valor when last week state Rep. Lenar Whitney demurred giving any provocative answer when, from the Senate’s Judiciary B Committee, state Sen. Karen Peterson, also state Democrats’ party chairwoman, asked her “Do I look like a murderer?” This was in response to Whitney’s assertion that to vote against her HB 701, which would prevent sex-selective abortions, meant one was “willing to kill baby girls.” It presaged Peterson’s vote against the bill that helped deadlock a vote that sidelined it.
If Whitney had been willing to speak truth to power, she could have said in response something like “If the shoe fits ….” Because, yes, if you participate in the abortion a human being as a result of it being a certain sex, you are a murderer. In fact, with the exception of when the birth of the human being would cause its mother to die so only one can be saved, any other rationale for abortion is murder, plain and simple. It may not be recognized legally as murder, depending upon the circumstances, but in the universals of human existence it is, and no amount of sublimation, deflection, projection, rationalization, or any other kind of psychological defense to avoid that truth changes this fact. It may discomfit and agitate and lead to concocting all sorts of sophistic mental gymnastics to avoid facing this truth, and it may be impolite and foment resentment against those remind of it, but it simply is.
Now, “willing to” and actually doing so are different matters, making the issue a likely non sequitur in Peterson’s case, regardless of how she “looks.” Still, her comment – which changes the subject from postulation of truth to a means of attempted redefinition of that truth, i.e. one cannot kill baby girls if one does not “look like a murderer” – indicates this desire to scramble away from the truth. She had stayed on subject with a petulant “I am not in favor of killing baby girls,” even though her past recorded votes and statements show support for abortion for any reason. Saying that may help avoid feelings of shame, but that does not make the statement true, as simple human decency and empathy for others informs us.
And while this may induce pathos over the disregard of human life articulated by Louisiana Democrats, they gave us plenty of bathos in the party’s official reaction to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s critique of presidential candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s statement that U.S. foreign policy spawned terrorism, when Jindal declared by a news release from his office that such a statement demonstrated Paul “unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief.” That led to a state party functionary to demand action by the state’s Inspector General Stephen Street to take action on the supposition that Jindal violated the Constitution, in that Art. XI Sec. 4 states “no public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition.”
Never mind that the statement did not argue to vote against Paul and was in the same vein as past comments of his about Pres. Barack Obama when he called him “disqualified” and “incapable” of serving as commander-in-chief. Nor is Paul officially entered as a candidate in Louisiana’s presidential preference primary, qualifying for which is months away. (And, given a related section in statute, it was unclear whether the prohibition would apply to candidates for the presidency in any case.) Thus, Street was forced to conclude in his opinion that no violation had occurred, although he noted the phrase’s appearance in an official communication was none too flattering for Jindal, who has formed an exploratory committee for seeking the presidency.
Although the goofiness exhibited from this complaint extended beyond Democrat boundaries (visceral anitpathy against Jindal has a habit of provoking some generally sober and sensible observers into unhinged incoherence), that the party offers up this Pablum as a serious issue of the day indicates the abject poverty of its current agenda for Louisiana. After all, it can’t very well go out and trumpet its desire to increase taxes rather than to restructure state spending, to expand that spending and the size of government, to advocate useless regulation as solutions for problems that don’t exist, and to prevent curtailing the privileges of special interests – or that it opposes sensible restrictions to abortion. So we get this publicized instead.
Which explains why the party has to date only two candidates for statewide office this election year that only as much as have a realistic chance of making a runoff, even as they have little chance of winning. As long as it fails to understand that its agenda and ideology puts it in that place, there it will remain.