Thursday, May 08, 2008

McCain and the Uspoken "A" Word [UPDATED]

Matthew Archbold has an insightful post at Creative Minority Report noting that McCain is talking more and more about abortion without actually saying the "A" word, but using code words instead:
... McCain has been trying to speak to religious pro-lifers but like I said, it's in code. You'll hear two words coming out of McCain's mouth quite often: "Roberts and Alito."

... take a look at his home page at The site looks more like it belongs to conservative stalwart and culture warrior Sen. Sam Brownback than the John McCain we've come to know wary of. The headline of the site is McCain looking off inspiringly into the distance and next to him it say "Defending Freedom and Dignity." The dignity part is his attempt at code for abortion and euthanasia.

Now here's the best part. Under it he has a quote from William Wilberforce which says, "When we think of eternity and of the future consequences of all human conduct what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion and God."

Pro-lifers often (and fairly) compare abortion to slavery as both denied human dignity to certain members. That's why Wilberforce is there.


UPDATE (9 May)
Feddie points to more Brownback-esque imagery from McCain: “McCain’s Vision For Defending the World’s Vulnerable”.

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At 5/08/2008 3:06 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...

It's a gimmick, all about fooling prolifers.

Here's why:

1. Anyone can figure out the code, including the opposition. They won't be fooled, so why speak in code in the first place?

2. What it actually does is hint but not commit. Prolifers are led to believe McCain is their guy, but he doesn't actually commit himself to something he will be held to later on.

3. Promising "good judges" is so subjective: how will you know when he's broken the promise? Very different when it's, "I promise to sign the Life at Conception Act" or suchlike.

At 5/08/2008 3:47 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I don't disagree with your assessment, Father. McCain has offered very little for pro-lifers to go on. And his support for ESCR only highlights how unserious he really is on the right to life.

At 5/09/2008 11:25 AM, Blogger matthew archbold said...

Speaking in codes makes it difficult to make an attack ad against you, I believe. It's really that simple. If he said in a speech, "We have to overturn Roe V Wade!" That would make a heck of an attack ad in certain counties across this country. But him saying "We need more Roberts' and Alitos" makes that a little more difficult.
As someone who's managed a few campaigns, I can honestly tell you that I live in fear every time a candidate opens his mouth. So much of the political game is defense. Just making sure your candidate doesn't cause trouble with his mouth is 90 percent of the game.
That's why we get set speeches and very few press conferences. That's why we get canned answers rather than insights.

At 5/09/2008 4:16 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...


If you've run campaigns, then you know it won't matter. The left will certainly run scary attack ads very credibly pointing out that John McCain has allied himself with those who want judges to overturn Roe. They will point out that the judges he likes best are those named by Bush.

After all, there's a reason all those Democrats voted as a bloc against Roberts and Alito--because they are answerable to the pro-abortion constituency.


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