Alarming News

March 12, 2009

Mistake

I have to disagree with my buddy John Hawkins, Michael Steele made a colossal blunder with his abortion comments.

In case you hadn’t heard, Steele said that abortion is a personal choice (I have no problem with this part, it is a choice) and that he would support overturning Roe v. Wade and sending the matter back to the states.

What’s funny is that that is my exact position on abortion. Overturn Roe v. Wade, let the states decide for themselves, there is no such thing as a “right” to privacy, etc.

I know that my position on abortion is not in line with the Republican party which, as part of its platform, supports the Human Life Amendment being added to the constitution.

I consider myself pro-life but I oppose such an amendment. And that’s fine because despite what Meghan McCain might say after a whole year of being a Republican, we do have a big tent.

Thing is, while it’s fine for me to not tow the party line, it’s not exactly ok for the party chairman to do the same. His job is to articulate, promote and defend the party platform. He totally muddled the message and if there’s one thing the Republican party can’t afford right now is to confuse people as to where they stand.

I still like Steele but can’t help but think there are better people to lead the party right now.

Posted by Karol at 02:16 PM |
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Steele has not helped himself on a number of levels-attacking Rush, no he is sorry; I’m pro-choice, whoops no I am not; all of you on the Hill are mice and I have the cheese; slum love for Bobby J; ah Curtis is a playa; Americans want some bling bling; one armed midgets; and then dropping the S word in GQ (uhm didn’t we get up in arms about John Kerry doing that?). The man is not ready for prime time.

Posted by: Von Bek at March 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm

That’s funny, that’s pretty much how I feel, and I always think I’m the only one. Not the abortion part (although I agree with you that it should go back to the states, which I think we’ve discussed before), but that the party needs to embrace moderates in order to win — but shouldn’t be led by moderates.
So many people seem to think that you can’t do both. I voted for Palin because she’s far more conservative than me. That’s what we need.

Posted by: Tanya at March 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm

You can’t be truly considered a “moderate” and support anything resembling the “Human Life Amendment.” Language like that turns us moderates off (Disclosure: I’m not a Republican, but I am very much a moderate and I do respect the two-party system and strongly support many old-school, pre-2000, Republican ideas.). Abortion politics are dragging the GOP down. The Party needs to move on, recenter and figure out why people should care about it again. Letting Abortion become something as central as being part of a mission statement for one of our two national parties is not useful to anyone. It’s not about political doctrine, it’s purely religious in nature, no matter what. And keeping religion separate is part of the image problem Republicans face. I know I’m going to get attacked for saying this, but it has to be about more than G-d, when it comes to being a Republican. Steele is sort of saying this in that interview.

Posted by: Sara at March 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm

It’s “toe the line,” not “tow the line,” you damn Russkie.

Posted by: Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper at March 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

May I re-phrase and re-apply Sara’s words?
You can’t be truly considered a “moderate” and support anything resembling the “Emancipation Proclamation.” Language like that turns us moderates off (Disclosure: I’m not a Republican, but I am very much a moderate and I do respect the two-party system and strongly support many old-school, pre-1860, Republican ideas.). Slavery politics are dragging the GOP down. The Party needs to move on, recenter and figure out why people should care about it again. Letting Slavery become something as central as being part of a mission statement for one of our two national parties is not useful to anyone. It’s not about political doctrine, it’s purely religious in nature, no matter what. And keeping religion separate is part of the image problem Republicans face. I know I’m going to get attacked for saying this, but it has to be about more than G-d, when it comes to being a Republican.
Sara, “life” and “liberty” are two non-negotiables. They apply to all times, and dictate consistent, moral responses. Now to quote Patrick Henry: “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

Posted by: DeerMe52 at March 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Great quotes from orators of a different era will not solve the problem that the GOP faces (though that is a great quote). There are plenty of Athiests who are pretty damn good Republicans and where G-d stands is something for someone else other than me to answer. My problem is that it’s not so much that people believe or not – it’s that a singular line of belief appears to dominate when it comes to the public opinion of Republican politics. Steele misses the point when he backtracks – it doesn’t matter to most people what he “really” believes. It matters that the Republican Party in general is seen by the general public as moving toward the center and not, as it has been for the last two decades or so, heading so far to the right. Being moderate is a good thing for growth, that is my point.

Posted by: sara at March 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Sara, “life” and “liberty” are two non-negotiables.
Posted by: DeerMe52 at March 12, 2009 06:13 PM

Unless they’re the “life” and “liberty” of the mother?
Most moderates aren’t pro-choice at all, except when it comes to rape/incest victims, 15 year olds, and women who are likely to die during labor. When the GOP opposes even those extreme cases, they aren’t following your good and well-meaning rule.

Posted by: Tanya at March 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Sara,
Ah, but you see, that’s the problem–the religious right can and will stay home. Some people believe that abortion is murder period. Full stop. No further discussion. To their way of thinking, if the GOP is simplyl going to discard that burning issue in order to pick up votes then they’ll make it so the Republicans must pick up two for every one of theirs. Hard to grow if 20-30% of your party will leave the tent if you basically say, “What are you going to do, vote Democrat?” The fact that the GOP has to keep its coalition together whereas the Dems really can say to (insert focus group here) “our way or the highway” is an inherent disadvantage to the former.
Personally, I agree with Karol’s stance and I think most moderates do also. I, however, would like the Republicans to explain to me what the *bleep* they were doing from 2004-2006 when they had a stranglehold on all branches of government? If abortion is the issue they want to ride and die on, why didn’t they use various Constitutional mechanisms to fundamentally undercut Roe v. Wade? They didn’t, so I think it’s a bit of a crock of sh*t for people to now be attacking Michael Steele for saying what is party principle in practice.
I think the issue is the GOP needs to demonstrate basic competency before it even starts a party purity discussion. It would also help if Arlen Specter was made aware that he’s going to have a primary cage match if he keeps his current act up, 60 seats be d*mned.

Posted by: James at March 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I am pro-choice for other people because I believe it’s not my decision – and not my business what they decide to do. I think that is a moderate position, really. I frankly don’t care too much about the issue at all and if I had a gun to my head I’d say that it would be reasonable, since government has to regulate everything these days, to draw a line in the abortion debate somewhere – say, 24 weeks (when a fetus is a viable living thing on its own without it’s mother). But then the argument becomes who will take care of said fetus when it is born and we just go on and on and on in a round.
I think James has said it best – the Party had its chance to make a move and it didn’t. So Steele is being very wise in mentioning the non-issue that abortion really is for most people all the while making him seem middle-of-the-road, which is good for Republicans. It’s also responsible for a new Party leader to test uncharted waters to see what the reaction is. So far I have only heard positive things from my circle, who are also not party stalwarts of one shade or another. To try to live in the middle, I will admit, is impossible, but if both parties made a greater effort to cover a better spectrum of ideals, it would make more sense. But, again, who am I to say what is best for a Party I’m not even a full-fledged supporter of. Karol was, until a few years ago, one of a handful of people I knew who were Republicans – she is also even-keeled and we agree on more things than disagree (and she’s a zealot! – kidding).

Posted by: Sara at March 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I am pro-choice for other people because I believe it’s not my decision – and not my business what they decide to do. If I had a gun to my head I’d say that it would be reasonable, since government has to regulate everything these days, to draw a line in the abortion debate somewhere – say, 24 weeks (when a fetus is a viable living thing on its own without its mother). But then the argument becomes who will take care of said fetus when it is born and we just go on and on and on in a round.
I think James has it right – the Party had its chance to make a move on abortion and it didn’t. So Steele is being very wise in mentioning the non-issue that abortion really is for most people all the while making him seem middle-of-the-road, which is good for Republicans. It’s also responsible for a new Party leader to test uncharted waters to see what the reaction is. So far I have only heard positive things from my circle, who are also not party stalwarts of one shade or another. To try to live in the middle, I will admit, is impossible, but in regard to Steele, I had to defend the guy for trying. But, again, who am I to say what is best for a Party I’m not even a full-fledged supporter of. Karol was, until a few years ago, one of a handful of people I knew who were Republicans – she is also pretty even-keeled and we agree on more things than disagree (and she’s a zealot! – kidding).

Posted by: Sara at March 12, 2009 at 10:51 pm

I don’t know why that posted twice. The second one says it more concisely though…

Posted by: Sara at March 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

It’s even crazier when you start the discussion about whether or not it’s ethical to do extreme measures for viability and, moreover, should that standard be applied for a fetus that is unwanted.
Personally, I think people who want to outright ban abortion in all circumstances should have to sign an affidavit to that effect. Then, whenever a woman wants to give the child up for adoption, said child is assigned to one of these families. No question on race, disabled or not, or for readiness. I’ve only known a few pro-lifers who would honestly be ready to accept that condition in exchange for an outright ban on abortion…so I find myself wondering if some folks aren’t as adamant as they think.

Posted by: James at March 13, 2009 at 1:29 am

James – it can very well be that Republicans will lose 20-30% of religious statists who are stuck on abortion issue, if they let it out of their agenda. But maybe they will gain other voters? People who are appalled at the notion that the State has a say in what is, fundamentally, a personal decision of an individual?
Has anybody ever calculated how many voters are in that category?

Posted by: Tatyana at March 13, 2009 at 9:39 am

I believe in the right to abort a child, at least until they’re eighteen.
DeerMe, you’ve put it well. These women are niggling over the seeds in the dung. If you believe in personal responsibility, there is no reason to ever kill a child.

Posted by: Casca at March 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I agree totally with Karol. Let states decide and make that the party platform. There are many pro choice Repubs getting beat up and going moderate Dem. Move those tent stakes by making moral choices your personal ones. We can believe respect that all life is sacred. individually. Or fight for the unborn. Just don’t make the party platform to be bossy pro life. God will judge.

Posted by: denise at March 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

LOVE Steele. NOT the right guy. We need him to be himself…likable, sweet, inclusive, thoughtful. Who is the Repub Carville/Ickes/Mahr/Emmanuel/etc. What? We don’t have one? Hello???? Let’s get one. they are disgusting but, like negative ads, they WORK.

Posted by: denise at March 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Why are people lying about the GOP Platform?(I suppose I could be nice and say that they are unintentionally spreading misinformation with an air of certitude, but that really does sound silly when typed out.)
No piece of national legislation has ever stated that the life of the fetus precedes the LIFE of the mother. I know of no supporter of the Human Life Amendment, who would not support the exception for life of the mother, except that most don’t even see this as an actual “exception”, but rather as part of the mission of protecting life.
If you can find 2 leaders or groups who oppose such an inherent exception, I’ll eat my words. But frankly, I believe that some posters here have internalized the lies of the leftist media, without bothering to research for themselves.
Please do read the relevant portion of the platform yourselves.
http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm
Given the widespread use of Planned Parenthood as conspirators after the fact to hide the evidence of rape and incest, you will excuse me if I contest your notion of caring about such victims. I am all for making rape and incest capital offenses, but our current system kills an innocent party while protecting the abuse and further injuring the victim.
In so far as a rape and incest exception, along with the long standing and all-but inherent exception for the life of the mother, would allow for laws that save the vast majority of feti, I have no problem with such compromise. But don’t defend the current system and pretend to care about dignity or the rights of the victims of rape and incest.
In so far as the HLA is unlikely to pass in the next 20 years, it is largely a moot point except as propaganda for both sides. Restoring it to the states is a much more likely outcome. However, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid administration has made it clear that they are anti-choice abortion extremists in pushing the Orwellian named Freedom of Choice Act, which would take away choice from all physicians and medical institutions. On a state level, we have a similar anti-choice initiative by Governor Patterson and the Democrats in NY State.
Steele proved himself a fool once again by playing into the media script. He could have spoken about the desire of many Republicans to save lives, especially of minorities targeted by the heirs of the Eugenics movement in Planned Parenthood, while noting that the GOP is a big tent party. Steele could have turned the issue of choice around by noting that Obama is the anti-choicer given his support for FOCA. But Steele can’t get out of the liberal mindset, even where he may personally disagree. That is not leadership.

Posted by: RonL at March 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Thanks, Ron, for providing the link. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too late – if I’ve read it before November 5, I’d never vote Republican.
But better late than never.

Posted by: Tatyana at March 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm
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