Just days after getting blasted by the State Department’s Inspector General for effectively neglecting his post as U.S. Ambassdor to Malta to pursue private writings, Douglas Kmiec — the former conservative law professor who enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 — has resigned.
Nobody likes a sell-out, and so few will shed tears for the now-former envoy. It was interesting, though, to watch a man who some had considered to be conservative and who had briefly headed the Office of Legal Counsel in the Reagan Justice Department seemingly abandon every principle that he once held dear. It was one thing to support Obama, but by the time the 2008 election came, Kmiec was saying that Obama was pro-life and sympathetic to many conservative causes. National Review Online’s Ed Whelan characterized Kmiec as a “willing dupe.” Jack Fowler at NRO was more harsh, blasting Kmiec as now “being more pro-abort than even NARAL.”
Alas, Kmiec’s reign has to come to an end after two short years. One wonders if it was worth it for him. His reputation sullied, his principles sacrificed. And for what? Ed Whelan aptly likened Kmiec to Richard Rich from “A Man for All Seasons” who perjured himself in return for his own government post as attorney general of Wales. Sir Thomas More famously said to Rich, “It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but forWales?” No doubt those words must be resonating in Professor Kmiec’s head now as well as he makes the journey home from Malta.