WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Republican governor faulted by a grand jury with allowing Kermit Gosnell to operate his “house of horrors” free from state inspections has delivered a scathing address, denouncing the GOP's pro-life and pro-family wing as “narcissists and ideologues” seeking to impose their own brand of “tyranny” on the United States.
“Sometimes we [Republicans] just come across as too damned self-righteous, and I’m sorry, that’s just not the 21st century political party GOP that I think we need to govern America,” he said.
Tom Ridge, a two-term governor of Pennsylvania and the first Secretary of Homeland Security, made his remarks to the Log Cabin Republicans' Spirit of Lincoln dinner on October 23.
“Many Americans are outraged by the moralistic attacks on the gay and lesbian community from some within our party,” he said.
He decried “the narcissists and ideologues within our party” who promote an “offensive and exclusionary view,” as well as an “unacceptable rigidity and self-righteousness on social issues.”
Amidst those scathing remarks, Ridge bemoaned the modern “lack of civility and statesmanship.”
Pro-life activists, he said, “forget about separation of church and state” and engage in activities that are “consistent with what a church may propose but should not necessarily be at the epicenter of governing.”
He added that “God-fearing” people might support abortion and homosexuality. Opponents of those practices “should be more concerned about their own relationship with God,” quoting the admonition, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
Ridge may be referring to himself. The Catholic has long supported abortion-on-demand and in February, he became one of 130 self-identified Republican leaders who signed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court to support gay “marriage.”
So compelling was his commitment to a woman's “right to choose” that a grand jury laid the blame for Kermit Gosnell's “house of horrors” directly at his feet.
The Gosnell grand jury report stated, “With the change of administration from” pro-life Democratic Governor Bob “Casey to Governor Ridge” in 1995, “officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”
Despite a spate of warnings that Gosnell's abortion facility violated health and safety standards and state abortion laws, Gosnell was arrested only after officials learned he was selling prescription drugs to Philadelphia drug peddlers.
That record did not keep Ridge from giving a healthy dose of advice to his party.
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A longtime advocate of amnesty for illegal immigrants, Ridge said the Republican Party must find a way to “legitimize” illegal immigrants or risk becoming a party of “just white males.”
He called for the GOP to become “a party worthy of the 21st century, a non-judgmental party” and “a more positive and compelling force for change.”
He allowed, “you can be an advocate in a private way for those points of view, but in my judgment, that’s not to be at the epicenter of your political agenda” and “certainly shouldn’t be…such a critical issue for the GOP nationally.”
While he lamented “there are Republicans out there who will be forever pro-life,” he told the homosexual group, they could be dealt with “perhaps by changing their rhetoric, if not their hearts.”
First he had to explain his own change of heart to the LGBT group, which supports gay “marriage” and hate crimes legislation.
“When I was governor, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “Since that time, frankly, my point of view has evolved.”
The 1996 law helped cement Ridge as an up-and-coming force in national politics two decades ago. He was touted as a possible running mate for Bob Dole in 1996.
President George W. Bush considered Tom Ridge as a possible vice president but balked because of Ridge's abortion views. He later appointed Ridge the first Secretary of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks.
After leaving the Bush administration, Ridge wrote a memoir insinuating that George W. Bush pressured him to change terror threat warnings for political reasons. However, the New York Times said he provided “no evidence that politics motivated the discussion,” leading columnist Michelle Malkin to label Ridge a “weasel.”
In 2008, John McCain called Ridge “one of the great leaders” of his party, “and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don’t think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out” as a vice presidential running mate, McCain said.
All three candidates settled for a pro-life running mate more amenable to the party faithful.
Aside from his emergence as a voice for the LGBT movement, Ridge's most recent appearance on the political stage has been less than flattering.
After Virginia Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe promised to keep subpar abortion facilities open, Steve Rossie of the Virginia-based Family Foundation said, “Remember, it was then-Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge who ignored the law in that state requiring abortion center inspections that allowed Gosnell to go unnoticed for years, harming untold numbers of women and children.”
You can read the full text of Ridge's remarks here.