Oh, the irony. What if, after all the "empathetic" editorializing by liberals in Washington and the media, Sonia Sotomayor turns out to be on the "right" side of the abortion issue?
This question was posed recently by Rush Limbaugh on his radio program. Among other things, having declared that he thinks Sotomayor is a "racist," Limbaugh also said that he may have to "look past" her various shortcomings and support her "if I could be convinced that she does have a sensibility toward life in a legal sense, (and) of course, in a real sense."
He has also stated that, "I have to say that there's a better than 50-50 shot she's pro-life." USA Today recently declared that there were "many questions for Sotomayor on (the) abortion issue." They note that, "During her 17 years on the federal bench, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has left no clear footprints revealing where she stands on the right to abortion."
Here is a sampling of the liberal spin on Sotomayor following Obama's announcement of her as Souter's replacement. The New York Times said, "President Obama seems to have made an inspired choice in picking Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. She has an impressive judicial record, a stellar academic background and a compelling life story. ... She is an accomplished lawyer and judge, who could become an extraordinary Supreme Court justice."
New York Daily News: "Obama made a great choice in picking Sotomayor for high court... She richly deserves the honor." The Boston Globe: "Sotomayor's professional record is notable less for its iconoclasm than for its steadiness and solidity ... she also has the experience to make an excellent Supreme Court justice."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Sotomayor "the total package," adding, "We could not have anyone better qualified."
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin said, "President Obama has made an outstanding and historic choice in his selection of New York Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve." He concluded, "I hope and expect she will receive quick confirmation in the United States Senate."
Now all of this is well and good, but what if real questions arise among liberals about Sotomayor's position on abortion? I predict that their ringing endorsements of her will quickly quiet to hushed nervousness. If genuine doubt arises on this one issue, she likely will be forced to withdraw from her nomination, and once again it would be revealed how much of a grip the abortion industry has on the Democrat Party.
I believe this hypothetical scenario begs the question, why are liberals, and thus the Democrat Party, so devoted to the practice of abortion? The reason that nearly all conservatives are against abortion is well-established. For these conservatives, the issue of life is so fundamental, so entrenched in our hearts and minds as a matter of faith. Therefore, as we see it, most every debate on moral issues begins with life. Consequently, if you are on the wrong side of this issue, it doesn't matter so much what moral stand you take in any other matter; it will likely be to no avail.
As Rush put it, "You can get past the racism and bigotry and other things, but life is a fundamental issue. Once the nation — and some would say we're there — once the nation has thrown out the whole concept of the sanctity of life, then every other value and tenet of morality is weakened dramatically."
As to why abortion is so important to liberals and most Democrats, I believe that the answer lies with the devotion to "self," specifically the sexual satisfaction of "self" (which is also what drives the gay marriage debate, but I digress). Now, as Christianity teaches, it is in the basic nature of each of us to be selfish. That's why Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and to do to others as we would have them do to us.
Christ knew that it was in the hearts of each of us to think the most of ourselves. An abortion is a tragically selfish act, and many of those participating are deceived into thinking that they are truly making the best choice — for themselves.
If Sotomayor can help turn the nation from this dreadful delusion, there is much about her that could be overlooked.
Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident and frequent columnist for The Times and gainesvilletimes.com; Web site.