You’d have to make the same life mistake I have made to understand the feeling. I have spent the last thirty-five or so years rooting for The Washington Redskins and that’s about what it took to prepare me for the manner in which the Pro-Life Movement just ran shrieking from the scary visage of victory* mere days before the March For Life came to Washington, DC.
Losing a battle that should have been yours without hardly an effort is a kick in the gut. It’s tough to play chess well when you’re fired up about the stakes. Emotion is a mind-killer. Yet this is what we need to start doing as Conservative Activists if we really want The Pro-Life Movement to get back up from this ignominious defeat and kick Death’s butt at chess.
The Pro-Life Movement, since it rose up against the ignominious assault against both decency and the 13th Amendment of the USC that was Roe v. Wade; has been getting intellectually worked in the game of politics. We have been getting intellectually worked quite badly and it is becoming an utter humiliation. Our opponents have consistently utilized what Mathematicians refer to as Game Theory to make higher valued decisions than we have. As a result; abortion rights activists have ruled the legislative field. They understand the game, its rules and its optimal strategies. As a direct result of this superior understanding, they are eating our lunches.
A frequently-vanquished NFL team like my beloved DC Deadskins will come in Tuesday and endure the depressing ritual of film study to figure out just what happened to them the prior Sunday. We’ll begin our review with a primer on The Prisoner’s Dilemma. Political alliances are a form of this dilemma. Groups of people who may or may not really like or respect one another are forced into a situation where they can hang together or hang separately. In an ideal situation, the two groups give up something small in return for cooperating with the other group in order to get a big payoff.
The Pro-Life Movement has entered into a similar situation with the GOP. The Pro-Life Movement gets what should be a powerful ally in the Republican Party if they are willing to be patient in pursuing their goals and accept gradual progress towards the limiting of wide-spread abortion, euthanasia and other practices that demean human life. The GOP gets an army of hard-working and generous partisans in return for accepting a certain amount of opprobrium from the sophisticate parlor-pinks. In theory this cooperation should lead to each party getting something they want and neither side getting, dare I say it; aborted by the Democratic Party’s Progressive Post-modern machinery of death. This works until somebody decides there is no real penalty for cheating.
We have recently seen a major defection in the alliance between the GOP and The Pro-Life Movement. Dagger, meet Vertebrae. The National Journal engages in gloating explanation below.
.. a diverse group of Republican women, including [mc_name name=’Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000291′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’N000184′ ], and [mc_name name=’Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000571′ ], had brought their concerns to Majority Whip [mc_name name=’Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001176′ ]. They were livid about a clause in the bill that required a woman to have reported sexual assault to police in order to be eligible for the procedure.
So the GOP promised the Anti-Abortion community a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some GOP Moderates found a section of language that they objected to. The GOP had three options. They could tell the moderates to take one for the team and cement the alliance. They could modify the particular clause of the bill deemed “immoderate” and avoid the whole Todd Akin “legitimate rape” fiasco from recurring. Option three involved defecting and stiffing the Pro-Life Community. Option three was selected.
So now the ball lands back in the Pro-Life Movement’s court. Does working for [mc_name name=’Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000591′ ] in a deep red state like Alabama really serve the movement’s issue? Do they work for the GOP if the Dems revitalize the career of Bobby Bright and attempt to unseat [mc_name name=’Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000591′ ]? Bright would vote to spend way too much money, but otherwise, he’s really not a long day’s journey to [mc_name name=’Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000591′ ]’s left on cultural or national defense issues.
Does the Pro-Life Movement owe Renee Ellmers a Tit-for Tat? If she does what she’s paid to do with predictable regularity, than we may need to alter her compensation schedule a wee bit in order to adjust her evolutionary strategy. Nature Magazine offers the details below.
THE Prisoner’s Dilemma is the leading metaphor for the evolution of cooperative behaviour in populations of selfish agents, especially since the well-known computer tournaments of Axelrod1 and their application to biological communities2,3. In Axelrod’s simulations, the simple strategy tit-for-tat did outstandingly well and subsequently became the major paradigm for reciprocal altruism4
As our Lead Contributor Erik Erikson puts it, the Pro-Life Movement needs to stop putting out.
In short, the pro-life movement must stop being the whores of the GOP. The Republican Leadership knows the pro-life movement is in its pocket. They have nowhere else to go. They have no one else to vote for. As much as Republicans look at black voters and tut-tut that they are being taken advantage of by a Democratic Party that knows black voters will not go anywhere, the Republicans are doing precisely the same to pro-life voters.
In less inflammatory terms, defection has to be punished. Roby, Ellmers, and others of this tergiversate ilk, need to learn that cooperation requires mutual reciprocation. Win-Win Game Strategies have to give both players an actual win. Pro-Life activists marched the extra mile to put both of those women in office. They both know this for a fact. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act absolutely should be sitting on the desk of President Barack Obama. It will not get there in AD 2015.
Defectors like Ellmers must be punished. Otherwise, they will continue to give you exactly what you are paying them for. Right now the Pro-Life Movement sucks at strategy, sucks at math and therefore sucks at Game Theory which is fundamentally the intersection of strategy and math. Renee Ellmers betrayed us because she doesn’t believe it will hurt her to act in such a disloyal fashion. This sounds insulting, but when you lose, you have to eat the truth like a crusty, old feke sandwich.
As long as we suck at political Game Theory, as long as we fail this particular math test we can logically expect the numbers to add. That would be the numbers of unborn children murdered in the wake of the maliciously evil Roe v. Wade decision. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act should have been an easy slam dunk. Instead; Death is still winning at chess.
*-HT: Aaron Gardner