Darth Vader was not always evil. He started out as one of the good guys, a Jedi knight who stood for right.
Darth’s defection to the dark side wasn’t abrupt – it was a process conceived by ambition, germinated by impatience, and fed by power.
The paradoxical problem with power is the appetite it attempts to sate is never sated. Those feeding on it want more, more, more. They eventually puff up into arrogant ogres.
Like U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.
Many will be shocked to learn Durbin was ever pro-life, since he is so well known as a ruthless pro-abort, a key go-to guy to obstruct any pro-life measure brought forth, even the partial-birth abortion ban.
But National Right to Life has compiled the Durbin Abortion Papers, written evidence dating back to 1982 showing that this deadly man once had pro-life blood running through his veins, or so he said.
Only God knows, although Durbin doesn’t face God in his hometown of Springfield, Ill., anymore, where as a still-professing Catholic he would be refused communion. Durbin now faces only the false god of tolerance in Chicago and D.C. Catholic churches, where priests think they are doing Durbin a favor by averting their eyes. Or perhaps he does them favors for zipping their lips?
But I digress.
When Durbin was running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he boasted to a prospective pro-life vote that he served for five years as master of ceremonies at the annual Roe v. Wade observance at the state capitol, served as master of ceremonies at Springfield Right-to-Life’s annual banquet, opposed abortion-on-demand and didn’t even believe the right to abortion was constitutional.
Durbin won. In 1983 Durbin wrote a constituent that he hoped for Roe v. Wade’s overturn so “states would be allowed to regulate … abortion.”
In 1983, Durbin responded in a pro-life questionnaire that he opposed all abortions except to save the life of the mother.
With talk like that, one would think Durbin went on as congressman to vote pro-life every time. But from 1983 through 1988, Durbin compiled an 81 percent pro-life voting record. While good, it showed duplicity, and even then he earned the name Tricky Dicky among pro-lifers for crafting phony compromises to undercut pro-life policies.
Two events occurred in 1989 that shifted Durbin publicly to the dark side.
First, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, which effectively granted states increased authority to restrict abortion.
The Associated Press reported in 1996 this was “one political factor that Durbin says did play a role” in his becoming pro-abortion. The AP quoted Durbin from a 1990 Catholic Times article explaining the ruling “caused a lot of people I represent … to … bring up the abortion issue from a pro-choice viewpoint. It appears now that many people in this district were comfortable with Roe v. Wade.”
In other words, Durbin perceived he had more pro-abortion than pro-life constituents.
It was odd then – no, a lie – that Durbin wrote a constituent in August 1989, “[N]otwithstanding the result in Webster, I continue to believe the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade should be reversed.”
Second, Durbin made a bid in 1989 for vice chair of the House Democrat caucus, the No. 4 leadership position. But he lost – decisively.
Meanwhile, House comrade Dick Gephardt, who renounced his pro-life position in 1986, ascended to House Majority Leader that same year. In fact, most pro-life Democrats with aspirations defected during the 1980s, including Gore and Clinton.
And Durbin. Between 1989 and 1996, Durbin amassed an 84 percent pro-abortion voting record.
In 1996, he won his bid for U.S. Senate.
As senator, Durbin has maintained a 100 percent pro-abortion voting record, also utilizing his now renowned debating skills to aid and abet the abortion lobby.
In 2004, Senate Dems elected Durbin as assistant minority leader, their second highest post. I’m sure he has his eye on wimpy Reid’s top spot.
Meanwhile, at what price, power? Aside from selling his soul, Durbin has lost his most treasured earthly possession, his reputation, his historical obituary. As Manuel Miranda recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
While sitting behind the dais of the Judiciary Committee three years ago, another Republican counsel asked several of us which of the Judiciary senators, on either side, would we want as our lawyer if our lives depended on it? We all agreed: Dick Durbin. Not even the slick John Edwards of North Carolina wooed us. Mr. Edwards, we agreed, was not as “ruthless” as Mr. Durbin.
Months later I asked a senior Republican senator what he thought of Mr. Durbin. “He is the most insipid man in the Senate,” the Republican replied, without any hesitation.
Durbin’s Gitmo speech is but one example that his lust for power, acquired in large part by stepping over the dead bodies of millions of babies, is doing him in.
That is the other component of power. It is insatiable, and its quest always leads to a person’s demise. Always.