National Catholic Register: "McCain Sits Down for Life"
Mark Stricherz, author of Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party, writes in the February 3-9 issue of National Catholic Register:
... McCain has talked about abortion while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. But the impression he conveys is that of a man who prefers to talk about anything else.(emphasis added)
He doesn’t raise his voice or get animated; he doesn’t boast of being correct on a major issue; and he doesn’t talk about the subject at length or in detail.
McCain’s uneasiness with talking about abortion belies the conventional wisdom that he is a straight-talking pro-lifer.
Gerard Bradley of Notre Dame Law School has written that McCain’s record on abortion is “not merely exemplary — it is perfect.” Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has noted that McCain “has been pro-life for 24 years.”
In truth, John McCain is a weak pro-lifer. As recently as 2006, the National Right to Life Committee gave McCain a rating of 75%. He also has a history of flip-flopping and supporting research that destroys human embryos.
Instead of standing up for life, he sits down for it. Whether his passive support for life endures will likely depend on whether pro-lifers allow it to endure.
... his support for the pro-life cause has been passive. He has never sponsored pro-life legislation. Indeed, a former Republican colleague has announced that McCain sought frequently to delay putting pro-life bills up for a vote in Congress.
Worse, McCain continues to support federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. He has voted repeatedly to overturn President Bush’s ban on the funding. Earlier in his career, he supported federal funding of fetal tissue research.
It is tempting to dismiss McCain as an unreliable foe of abortion, but this would be a mistake.
Of all the Republican presidential candidates, he is the most electable. His showing among independent voters has been impressive. And if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, expect to see disgruntled conservatives vote for McCain.
So assume that McCain does receive the Republican nomination. What should pro-lifers do?
The best strategy is perhaps the most difficult: Lobby McCain about his culture-of-life positions.