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Life vs. Death: The religion of the "Right to Choose"

Wesley J. Smith

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The Party of Death
The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life
Ramesh Ponnuru
Regnery, 320 pp., $27.95

RAMESH PONNURU'S READERS already know that he is a political writer of considerable intelligence and skill. Now, in his first book, he demonstrates the talent to become an author of considerable influence. His prose is clear and to the point, and the logic of his narrative compels the reader toward accepting the author's conclusions.

At the same time, Ponnuru refrains from engaging in the kind of bitter vituperation and personal invective against those with whom he disagrees that fouls so much of contemporary political discourse. It is refreshing that, in a book that considers some of the most controversial and emotional issues of our time, the meanest thing about The Party of Death is its provocative title.

Ponnuru covers a broad swath of hot-potato cultural and political issues, ranging from abortion, to embryonic stem cell research, to assisted suicide, to the mainstream media's general incompetence and bias in covering these issues. And while he doesn't quite accuse the Democratic party as a whole of representing the "party of death," he comes very close. More precisely, Ponnuru effectively demonstrates that the national Democratic party (there are plenty of local pro-life Democrats) is the primary engine driving our country toward accepting killing as an answer to life's difficulties and a solution to the problems associated with human suffering.

The author's primary target is Roe v. Wade. And here, his thesis about Democrats is unassailable. Supporting the "right to choose" is an uber litmus test for any ambitious party member seeking national influence. Indeed, Ponnuru identifies nationally influential pro-choice Democrats who began their political careers in the pro-life camp: Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who used to boast that he had five times served as master of ceremonies at Springfield pro-life rallies, but who now supports partial-birth abortion. Even Delaware senator Joe Biden, who is running for president, once voted to amend the Constitution to reverse Roe.

Read the entire article on the Weekly Standard website (new window will open).

Posted: 02-Jul-06



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