Ross Douthat, a young conservative author and journalist, has a compelling piece in The New York Times responding to the typical effort after a bad election to encourage the GOP to abandon its core commitment to the sanctity of life:

An iron law of recent American politics dictates that any Republican setback at the polls will be quickly pinned on the pro-life movement. You might think that the Republican Party’s 2008 debacle would be an exception to this rule. John McCain probably mentioned earmarks about a thousand times more often than he let the word “abortion” slip his lips. The Republican ticket’s weak attempts to play the culture-war card — a Bill Ayers here, a Joe the Plumber there — had nothing whatsoever to do with Roe v. Wade. And why should abortion opponents, of all conservative factions, take the blame for the financial meltdown, or the bungled occupation of Iraq, or the handling of Hurricane Katrina?
But never mind. Pro-choice Republicans, in particular, know exactly whom to blame for their party’s showing.

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