The Attack on Michael McConnell

(David Sisler's newspaper column, Not For Sunday Only, is in its 13th year of weekly publication. For reprint permission, or to subscribe, contact Mr. Sisler at

Ralph Neas, president of the left-wing advocacy group “People for the American Way,” said McConnell is “one of the most brilliant … engaging law professors that I've seen and heard.”

There is a “but” at the end of Neas' statement. You knew there would be. The People for the American Way give compliments only to set their victims up for a kick in the “but.”

“But a lifetime appointment to the Circuit Court of Appeals requires more than having legal skills, more than being a great professor, more than being likeable and collegial,” Neas said. “It also requires that the nominee have an open mind.”

And on what subject does Mr. McConnell have a closed mind?


For that he is being targeted, not only by People for the American Way. He is also the whipping boy de jour of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Kate Michelman, president of NARAL, admits her group's opposition is based solely on McConnell's “extremist” (her words) view that unborn children deserve legal protection.

Ah, an extremist view! May I offer another?

Kill a baby after it is born, abandon it in a dumpster, shake it until its little brains are scrambled, and you can get a lethal injection. Kill the baby before it has a chance to draw a breath and you are lauded for your “choice.”

Michelman says, “This nominee stands alone in having devoted much of his prolific and distinguished career to eradicating a woman's right to choose. Indeed, he has gone so far as to suggest that the courts should declare embryos persons under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Ms. Michelman, embryos have already been declared persons by the Lord God Almighty. It is time the rest of us caught up.

As for Mr. Neas' comments, his definition of an open mind seems to be: you agree with me. A closed mind means you disagree with me, you idiot!

He forgets, or ignores the obvious (maybe that is asking too much): an open mind does not mean a stupid mind. An open mind does not mean that life-long and very proper principles are thrown away to satisfy people who wantonly kill unborn babies.

Neas calls McConnell “a right-wing ideologue.” Lock up your women and children, Michael McConnell is a right-wing ideologue! And without ever trying to understand Neas' bias, Michael McConnell is demonized.

Politically correct “buzz words” have taken us beyond the children's chant of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words now do the job of sticks and stones.

Author John Irving is likewise guilty of minimizing his opponents.

In his book, My Movie Business: A Memoir, he says, “A self-described Right-to-Lifer approached me in a bookstore where I was signing copies of my ninth novel, A Widow for One Year. She didn't want my autograph. She'd come to the bookstore with her own agenda — namely, to tell me that I misunderstood the Right-to Life movement.”

Donald Demarco, in The Road Less Travelled says, “Irving, though perfectly willing to describe himself, does not extend that same liberty to his approaching 'Right-to-Lifer' (an appellation, incidentally, that is pejorative, whereas 'Right-to-Life advocate' would be honorific). By referring to her identity as 'self-described,' he brings into question whether she is a true defender of life or perhaps merely a hypocrite. The fallacy of the double standard is operative here.”

Irving quoted the Right-to-Life advocate: “We just want people to be responsible for their children.”

He replied to her, “If you expect people to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to choose whether or not to have children.”

John Irving is wrong. As Demarco points out, “no one should be forced either to have or not to have children.” The issue is whether to abort a child or not abort a child. And here Irving and Neas and Michelman and the rest of the pro-abortion crowd play games with lives. It is a fetus, they say, not a human child. Therefore we can abort it. Therefore it is not murder.

That is what they say. And they attack Michael McConnell for that one single issue. In the face of the destruction of millions of unborn babies — and millions have died since Roe v Wade became the tragic law of the land — abortion has become my litmus test. My vote will not be counted, but I vote for Michael McConnell, and any other candidate who says, “Let the babies live.”

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