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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

P.J. O'Rourke Plays Taps

One of the few reasons to read Rolling Stone during the '90s (when I read it religiously thinking it would turn me into Hunter S., when instead it turned me into someone who inexplicably owns a Live CD) was the work of P.J. O'Rourke. Smart, funny as hell, he was the main reason I loathed the Democrats during the '90s. In short, he gave me much early education in politics. When I stopped reading Rolling Stone, I stopped reading P.J. I don't even know if he writes for the Stone anymore, it has been that long since I picked one up. I digress.

From this week's Weekly Standard, Mr. O'Rourke on where conservatives went wrong. Very, very, funny. The man can still cut.

In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.

The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.

If the citizenry insists that abortion remain legal--and, in a passive and conflicted way, the citizenry seems to be doing so--then give the issue a rest. Meanwhile we can, with the public's blessing, refuse to spend taxpayers' money on killing, circumscribe the timing and method of taking a human life, make sure parental consent is obtained when underage girls are involved, and tar and feather teenage boys and run them out of town on a rail. The law cannot be made identical with morality. Scan the list of the Ten Commandments and see how many could be enforced even by Rudy Giuliani.

God, P.J. How I wish you were on my side. Either way, it's good to read you again, and know you'll be sticking pins in the Democrats for the next eight years at least, which is what you do best.

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