Last week, Gov. Mike Rounds of South Dakota signed legislation prohibiting abortion in the state except in cases where the mother's life is in danger. The bill passed in the South Dakota Senate, 23-12. It passed in the South Dakota House of Representatives with flying colors, 50-18. Members of both political parties voted for the bill; the bill's chief sponsor was Sen. Julie Bartling, a Democrat.
Naturally, Planned Parenthood has pledged its opposition to the law. Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, states that Planned Parenthood will gauge public feeling about the bill before choosing whether to litigate. "We haven't decided yet. We're trying to sort out our strategy," she explained.
For Planned Parenthood, this should be an easy decision: Either the law is unconstitutional, or it is not. If the law is unconstitutional, filing a lawsuit is the only systemically correct decision -- after all, the judiciary is supposedly the proper protector of individual rights. If the law is fully constitutional, it is disreputable to consider litigation as an alternative to the political process -- filing a lawsuit to overturn fully constitutional public decision-making you don't like is antithetical to our system of governance.
But this is what the American left has become: For the left, democratic processes are valid only when they win. If the left loses in the political process, they sue. The people are no longer integral to the process; politics is a heads-I-win-tails-I-sue scenario. When respect for the American people means so little that republicanism itself becomes secondary to certain political end-goals, our system of government is in serious trouble.
Yet if the past few years of politics teaches us anything, it is that for the political left, end-goals trump American democratic processes every time. "Democracy isn't democracy," the left argues, "unless we win." That has been the message of the Democratic left since the 2000 election. How often have we seen the slogan "NOT MY PRESIDENT" plastered across a picture of George W. Bush? How often have we seen radical leftists declare that Republicans routinely steal elections? How often have we seen MoveOn.org members compare President Bush to Adolf Hitler? How often have we heard prominent Democrats like John Kerry describe the Bush administration as a "regime"?