In the last few years, pro-lifers have made more progress than probably in the twenty years that came before it. And the reason that that pro-life forces failed to make significant progress over those years is because many pro-lifers were not in interested in progress.

Progress, by its nature, is an iterative thing. You make a small imperfect gain, a step in the right direction. Then you get a good night’s sleep and try to make another small and imperfect step in the right direction. You do this enough times and you make real significant progress. In the case of the pro-life cause, progress means less dead babies.

And the reason pro-lifers are succeeding now is because of tactics. Groups like the SBA list and Live Action are every day trying to make small imperfect gains anywhere and everywhere they can. A sonogram law here, a fetal pain bill there, and a video discrediting the sainted abortion industry. These things all add up, they all chip away at abortion on demand.

These small battles and victories are called tactics. Tactics are how you win the war.

But there remains a segment of pro-lifers who disdain tactics in favor of some false sense of purity. You know them, they are the folks who refuse to vote for imperfect candidates who promote imperfect policies.

Just today, I see some Catholic bloggers decrying Paul Ryan’s statement on abortion last night in the debate. “See, I told you he was not really pro-life like me!” They say this because while Ryan stated that he is pro-life and believes that all life begins at conception, the Romney administration policy would be to pursue legislation with the exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. Cue the vapors.

What these people pretend not to understand is that legislation (aka policy) without those exceptions has 0% chance of getting approved while legislation (aka policy) with those exceptions is much more acceptable to the voting public and thus has a greater chance of enactment. That may be a shame, but it is also reality.

So the pro-lifers who understand that if today you settle for just a piece of the pie and then tomorrow you can come back for more, they understand this tactic. Save as many babies as you can today and tomorrow come back and try to save the rest.

But there are those who will claim that you lose any claim to pro-life if you dirty yourself with such tactics. If we can’t save all the babies at once, we won’t save any. Yeah, that’ll show them.

Listen, if today all we can do is try to save 99% of the babies, we do it. Tomorrow we try to save the rest. But you can’t win a war in one decisive battle, you win it with tactical legislative victories even if they are not perfect. Liberals and secularists have been eating our lunch for generations because they understand this. It took them a century to get to Obamacare. It took Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to get to Obamacare. And they are not satisfied yet, but they take the victory and keep moving on.

Now that some pro-lifers have learned this lesson, we are beginning to see some real progress. But there are still those who must remain perfect and unsullied, even if babies continue to die. These people are moral masturbators, sure it feels good but accomplishes nothing.

*subhead*Moral masturbation.*subhead*