Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Both Dems & GOP create “flip flop”-like rhetoric with regards to “abortion”

As one who has always hated the way the issue of abortion plays out in electoral politics (mainly because I think it is an issue that is none of the business of an elected official, unless she happens to get pregnant), I find it amusing the way everybody these days is trying to give the impression that the presidential candidates are not rigidly set on the issue.

When it comes to the ability of a woman to choose to end a pregnancy, Democrat Barack Obama supports it, while Republican John McCain has said he would not object to the Supreme Court of the United States deciding that its previous incarnation was wrong when it ruled in 1973 that state laws outlawing abortion were unconstitutional.

YET THE DEMOCRATIC Party is tampering with its platform (its written rhetoric that is supposed to explain definitively – but never does – what it means to be a Democrat) so as to give some comfort to people whose squeamishness about abortion is so intense that they support the people who want to ban it outright.

And McCain is saying that his choice for vice president does not have to be someone who rigidly agrees with him on the issue. Could the McCain campaign have a running mate who supports the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling?

Both sides are trying to steal away a few voters from the other side by trying to make their guy seem less mule-headed in his position.

Democrats are including legal language in their party platform (which few people ever read in detail) to say that they still support a woman’s right to choose abortion, but also would support expansion of programs that would make women more cautious in their behavior and less likely to become pregnant unexpectedly in the first place.

MEANWHILE, CNN NOTES that McCain told the “Weekly Standard” magazine that former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is not out of the running for vice president, just because he has a record of being one of the few Republicans to support abortion being legal.

Personally, I’m not convinced anyone is going to be swayed by either tactic. For people to whom opposition to legal abortion is important, anything short of supporting the repeal of “Roe v. Wade” will not suffice. The Democrats don’t even come close to that position in their revised platform language.

And with all the problems McCain has had in trying to convince social conservatives that he is not some sort of flaming liberal with a particularly weak (to them) record on immigration reform, he’s not about to play with fire by adding anti-abortion activists to the list of people who think he’s a jerk.

In short, the people to whom abortion is all-important will still vote for the Democrat or the Republican based on their prior understanding of the issue. And the rest of us who are a tad more rational will find other issues upon which to cast our ballot come Nov. 4.


EDITOR’S NOTES: Are Democrats trying to persuade potential conservative voters that Barack Obama is not the “anti-Christ” ( when it comes to abortion? And does John McCain need Pennsylvania’s significant number of electoral votes so badly that he would risk angering ( the anti-abortion crowd by taking Tom Ridge on as a running mate?

No comments: