There has been much discussion of late–by Daniel Larison, Daniel McCarthy, Ross Douthat, and others–concerning what pro-lifers can expect from the GOP. (I am in the minimalist camp, as I wrote here).  Further indication that pro-lifers should keep their expectations low came today from pro-lifer and McCain supporter Ramesh Ponnuru, who concluded that Roberts’ testimony in his confirmation hearing for the D C Circuit Court of Appeals that Roe is the “settled law of the land” did not “preclude” him from voting to strike down Roe as Chief Justice.  But Ponnuru added, “Given his judicial minimalism, however, I think that Roberts will be reluctant to find that a case does require him to affirm or overturn Roe.”

The political goal of the pro-life movement is to see Roe overturned.  Having a Chief Justice who does not want to ever reach the issue brings us no closer to that goal, and Republican counsels of patience are wearing thin.  Would economic conservatives have loyally supported the GOP for 28 years, if during that time the Republicans had failed to enact a single tax cut and the official to whom Republicans insisted on deferring on tax policy never wanted to make a decision on tax cuts one way or the other?