Monday, February 19, 2007

McCain Chooses Religious Right Over Women's Lives

This is exactly why Republicans are going to get shellacked in 2008. John McCain, who was once the Republican presidential candidate most feared by Democrats, has committed the ultimate flip-flop on abortion-women's lives be damned.

Today, McCain says that he hopes Roe v. Wade is overturned and the surest way to make that happen is to appoint judges who are "constitutionalists," signaling to the Radical Religious Right that he is caving to their narrowly focused agenda, and doing so despite the fact that earlier McCain said that he would not "in the short term or the long term" work to overturn Roe because doing so would endanger women's lives. I guess those lives are less important than winning his party's nomination.

Exactly what is McCain's position on abortion? You've got me. Consider these two statements as reported in the Washington Post:

1. "I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary," McCain told the Chronicle in an article published Friday. "But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations."

2. On Sunday, on CNN's "Late Edition," McCain reiterated that he would not have an abortion "litmus" test for a running mate or Supreme Court nominees. He added that while he ultimately favors repeal of Roe, "we all know, and it's obvious, that if we repeal Roe v. Wade tomorrow, thousands of young American women would be performing illegal and dangerous operations."

And compare them to this statement McCain made yesterday in Spartanburg, SC:

3. "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states. McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench."

How do you, at the same time, acknowledge that if Roe is overturned, thousands of young American women would be "performing illegal and dangerous operations" and then say that if should, in fact be overturned? McCain cares more about the support of the Radical Religious Right that doing what is right.

Among the many problems McCain has now is that he has lost credibility both among moderates who were at one time drawn to him and now among the same religious right-wingers he so desperately hopes to court in order to win his party's nomination. It's hard to imagine the man once perceived to be one of few in Washington who really knew and spoke his own mind, playing these semantical games to appease his base.

McCain's continuing self-destruction is symptomatic of the Republican's core problem. The political clout of the Radical Religious Right is fading quickly, but this constituency, so far out of step with mainstream Americans, still controls the GOP. To get the nomination of the GOP, candidates must take extreme positions. The long and the short of it? Go ahead and decide which Democrat you want for President in 2008.

1 comment:

Tina said...

McCain has disappointed me. I thought better of him.