The Catholic News Agency reported that the vote to ban on Planned Parenthood funding “FAILED.”

Hogwash. It succeeded exactly how it was supposed to.

To view the bill as “failed” is to misunderstand the intention of the bill. It was never intended to pass. It was intended to force Democrats into an up and down vote so Republicans could use it against them.

When John Boehner announced that part of the budget deal was securing an up and down vote on Planned Parenthood funding he knew it was a legislative non starter. The Senate is controlled by the Party of Death and President Obama made it clear that he’d rather shut down the government than remove funding from Planned Parenthood.

If Republicans were as seriously committed to a culture of life as Democrats are to the culture of death the government would be shut down now. But Republicans backed down on defunding Planned Parenthood in order to get a few million dollars in budget cuts. And then they declared victory for “changing the debate” or something.

What Republicans really wanted out of the up and down vote was for certain Democrats like Pennsylvania’s “pro-life” Democrat Senator Bob Casey to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood. And in that, it was a success.

Now they can sit back while pro-lifers go after Senators Casey and Ben Nelson among others for voting to fund Planned Parenthood. Don’t get me wrong. We should be going after Casey and Nelson and any other legislators pretending to be pro-life. We should be intent on outing the culture of death party as the culture of death party. But let’s not call the Republican party the “Party of life.” They haven’t really earned that. They’re the party that likes the votes of pro-lifers.

This vote went exactly how Republicans thought it would. So don’t call the bill a failure. It was a success. It’s the Republicans who’ve failed. Because remember, the goal of the Republican Party isn’t necessarily to stop abortion but to win elections.