Thursday, June 19, 2008

Doesn't He Have a Point?

I don't think it means he's prudent in supporting Obama, but doesn't Discalced Yooper have a point about supporting McCain?

If ending abortion is dependent on voting for McCain then God help the victims of abortion, seriously. I don't think ... any ... Republicans a year ago would have seriously maintained that elected McCain was essential to advancing the pro-life cause. Most Republican pro-lifers in fact had horses other than McCain.
Yep.

If the pro-life cause is what animates your political activism, then you're $&*#-out-of-luck this election season.

IF I decide to hold my nose and pull the lever for John McCain this November - and that's a VERY BIG IF - it wil ONLY be because I find the prospect of a President Obama "sign[ing] the FOCA, repeal[ing] the DOMA, repeal[ing] the Hyde Amendment, end[ing] the Mexico City policy, fund[ing] abortions at the federal level through Medicare, on military bases, through the UN, [etc.]" to be untenable.

It WON'T be because I'm foolish enough to believe that John McCain will nominate another Roberts or Alito to the Court (he won't) or will expend one ounce of effort or political capital to advance the cause of protecting the unborn (again, he won't). A vote for McCain is simply a vote to minimize the damage that will be done to the pro-life cause should Obama be elected.

For many (like myself), that might be a good enough reason to vote for John McCain; but I can truly understand why it might not be good enough for others.

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21 Comments:

At 6/19/2008 11:38 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

There's no question that McCain is an unsatisfactory candidate.

But he's made the promise. He may break it, but he'll have to face his own base doing again what we did with Harriett Meiers.

If McCain is president, we're still in the game.

If Obama is president, we're sidelined for four years; the administration will not hear us.

Do you see a third possibility?

 
At 6/19/2008 12:03 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

Paul & Jay,

I don't see a third possibility (ie, candidate) that can win the election.

I don't want to vote for McCain and I'm not sure I will, but I will not vote for Obama at all.

John McCain reminds me of the elder Bush, moderate, squishy, and unreliable (remember Souter) when it comes to run-of-the-mill policies.

I'm sure Discalced means well and thinks his position is reasonable, no doubting that, but it has to be extremely difficult for him to not vote for someone with the charisma and charm of Obama that is unable to see through the woods to view the forrest. (I hope I said that right).

 
At 6/19/2008 12:17 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...

I'm not the biggest McCain fan in the world, but I don't think I need to hold my nose too tightly to vote for him. No, he's not going to be a tremendous asset to the pro-life cause in terms of political energy or in using the bully pulpit. But his actual record on the issue of abortion is spotless (ESCR is another issue, but we're talking about abortion here). He has a 100% pro-life voting record on the issue, and I believe him when he says he is opposed to abortion.

As for the Courts - again, I share your wariness, but I also am not prepared to casually write him off either. We will certainly get a better pick with him than we will with Obama, and I would say we have a 50/50 (if not better) chance of getting some great picks.

In the end, I remain where I have been for the past three months - hardly excited that John McCain is the Republican nominee, but also not quite ready to tear my hair out. That might change, but not yet.

And no, there is no other possibility. Either John McCain will succeed George Bush as President, or Barack Obama will. That's it.

 
At 6/19/2008 12:20 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Yes, he has an unimpeachable point in that McCain is nobody's idea of a pro-life champion. He wasn't my first choice.

Where I think his arguments fail is this: His mistake is in choosing to privilege what *may* happen (a McCain-initiated war with Iran) over what *will* happen (McCain as lukewarm, mostly-inert pro-lifer; an Obama-initiated expansion of abortion; pro-abort Justices).

Here's another "might" scenario: an inexperienced, unsure President Obama resorts to brinksmanship in order to avoid looking weak. And there's precedent--Kennedy.

I believe he's making a good-faith, careful prudential analysis. I simply don't think it holds up.

 
At 6/19/2008 1:20 PM, Blogger James H said...

I actually think McCain had Pro-Lifers backing him. How is he any less Pro-Life than lets say past Republican we have put up. It is hard to see it from its voting record that he is an enemy of the Pro-life Cause as to abortion.

Di he for intance on the issue of abortion ever gets complaints from the Arizona Right to life? Were they any different from other Senators.

 
At 6/19/2008 1:30 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"How is he any less Pro-Life than lets say past Republican we have put up."

Unlike Bush, he won't veto ESCR. Unlike Bush, he probably won't nominate a Roberts or Alito to the Court. Unlike Bush, he won't talk in the language of "creating a culture of life", etc.

Unlike Bush, McCain is uncomfortable with social issues, especially if it means advancing the social agenda. Just ask Senate colleagues like Rick Santorum who speak of how McCain torpedoed any efforts to move pro-life or pro-marriage legislation out of a desire to maintain comity with the Democrats.

Seriously, McCain is everybody's fallback candidate. Nobody REALLY believes that we can hope for anything more from McCain than, at best, holding our ground. But we won't even hold our ground since he'll sign ESCR, which, in many respects, is WORSE than abortion.

 
At 6/19/2008 1:35 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...

James:

I think the main complaint against McCain on the abortion front is that he never makes this a priority issue for him. He doesn't really bring it up in campaign speeches, and he almost always seems uncomfortable even talking about abortion, as if he might offend that pro-choice voter in the audience.

But, as you said, his actual record on the issue is solid. It's really a matter of accepting that he won't use the bully pulpit. I often think that the "bully pulpit" is an exaggerated device, and in fact I am often uncomfortable with the notion that presidents ought to make frequent appeals to the public. But it would be nice not just to have a president who takes the right position, but also has the ability to sway people with rhetoric. How great would it be for the pro-life cause to have the leader of the free world make an impassioned plea for justice for the unborn?

Ultimately I agree with you, but I'm explaining where the unease comes from.

But, hey, he's got a better record on the issue than some of the other GOP candidates did, including one late convert to the cause supported in the primary by a certain Catholic academic.

 
At 6/19/2008 1:46 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"I believe he's making a good-faith, careful prudential analysis. I simply don't think it holds up."

Dale, I completely agree. There are some folks ... cough ... Kmiec ... cough ... arguing in bad faith and trying to take down the pro-life movement in an effort to justify their vote for Obama. M.Z. isn't one of them.

I disagree with him as a prudential matter, but don't for one minute believe he's being disingenuous.


"But, hey, he's got a better record on the issue than some of the other GOP candidates did, including one late convert to the cause supported in the primary by a certain Catholic academic."

Cranky, I can't disagree with you there. I'll just add the following to the end of your sentence:

"... and the editorial board of National Review."

 
At 6/19/2008 1:52 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Speaking of which, I'll bet Kmiec was loving National Review back when they went out on a limb and threw their editorial support behind his candidate, Romney.

Now that National Review is no longer doing his bidding, and is calling him to task for abandoning his previously held beliefs, Kmiec considers them a "less thoughtful site".

 
At 6/19/2008 2:33 PM, Blogger Literacy-chic said...

I've been feeling uneasy for some time about the possibility that ESCR will lose McCain the election because ESCR is unacceptable from a Pro-Life standpoint. I think this is where the guidelines--voting for someone in spite of, not because of a position that runs counter to the Pro-Life position (though not directly) when other things are at stake. I think that even if we accept Kmiec's laughable position that the two are equally pro-choice, there are sufficient reasons to justify KEEPING OBAMA OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE (foreign policy, for one) to do much smellier thing than vote for McCain!

 
At 6/19/2008 2:42 PM, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

"Yes, he has an unimpeachable point in that McCain is nobody's idea of a pro-life champion. He wasn't my first choice."

Dale is right and of course abd Pres. Bush is the same way really, but he always managed to vote or veto the right way on pro-life issues and that is what is hoped for in McCain case also.

I don't have much of problem with people who say they can't support McCain. To quote another Pres, "I feel your pain." I just can't understand any Catholic who holds the faith to be true supporting Obama. They have created an Obama Utopia in their head that has nothing ot do with with his track record. It it Obama's Hope-a-Dope and for many who hope they turn into a dope.

I can also understand conservatives who live in a blue state voting for a write in candidate instead of McCain. Living in Florida and going through the recount fiasco I am much more nervous in doing that and unless something happens to change my mind wil be voting for Sen. McCain to keep the much worse case of Obama out. As many problems as I have with the Sen form Arizona they don't compare to Obama. The courts are also primary and the next President will more than likely be setting the composite of the court for a couple of decades. While pro-life concerns are primary there is also so much other extreme damage the courts can do with a liberal majority and liberal appointed judges stay liberal - no "growing in office."

There are no certainties, but an Obama court should be rightly feared and even if McCain gave us another Kennedy - Kennedy is with us seventy percent of the time. Though I think people are rightly concerned about McCain's picks and rather dublious about what he has said he would do. It is a tragedy that the courts are so powerful in the first place now making this such a concern. But the court used its "power" to help kill 45 million people.

Regular Guy Paul is right about there being no third possiblility. Amb. Alan Keyes use to talk about making the decision between doing something that would make you sick or killing you. This election is such a choice.

 
At 6/19/2008 3:10 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

But we won't even hold our ground since he'll sign ESCR, which, in many respects, is WORSE than abortion.

Are we really losing 1.5 million innocents to ESCR (or, as I call it, REDSCR) every year?

If not, in what other respect is REDSCR "WORSE than abortion"?

 
At 6/19/2008 3:24 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Because it's killing the unborn to use them for other purposes. It's treating human life as an instumentality for other ends. There's a level of evil there, in my mind, that goes beyond the evil of abortion.

If we're just going to talk about sheer numbers rather than the evil of the act itself, we might as well hitch our wagon to the Kmecian "decrease the need and incidence" argument.

 
At 6/19/2008 3:39 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Because it's killing the unborn to use them for other purposes. It's treating human life as an instumentality for other ends. There's a level of evil there, in my mind, that goes beyond the evil of abortion.

This is a really great point.

But I don't think numbers are irrelevant, either. Forced to choose between ending abortion and ending an unjust war on the scale of the Iraq War, I'd certainly choose ending abortion, and I'd make the case based on the number of lives lost.

OTOH, I might opt to bide with abortion a while longer if that were the price of avoiding a worldwide nuclear holocaust.

 
At 6/19/2008 3:41 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

In other words, let's not get caught up in the numbers game, which allows the left to shift the focus to "Well, what if we can cut that 1.5 million in half? Wouldn't that be a significant pro-life gain?" If you're arguing numbers, then the answer is an undeniable "Yes."

But the problem is not the sheer mindboggling number of abortions, but rather that our law does not protect the most innocent among us from the most evil act imaginable. Even if only 1000 legal abortions took place every year, the act in and of itself, as well as the fact that our laws protect it as a fundamental constitutional right, is of such tremendous evil that it would still be the most important electoral issue in my mind.

And what makes ESCR an even more evil act is the specter (no pun intended) of the government funding the destruction of human life as an instrumentality of obtaining some other public "good".

 
At 6/19/2008 3:43 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Sorry, Paul, it looks like we cross-posted.

 
At 6/19/2008 7:58 PM, Blogger Donald R. McClarey said...

McCain was not my first, nor my 15th for that matter, choice for the Republican standard bearer this time out. However, one of two men will be President: McCain or Obama. I believe Obama would be a disaster for the nation on any number of issues and in regard to the pro-life issue he would be a total catastrophe. McCain has a solid record of voting against abortion and I agree with him on foreign policy. That is the most I can say for McCain other than my admiration for the guts he showed as a POW. However, I do not view this as a difficult vote for me. Politics is always about comparisons, and compared to Obama McCain is the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.

 
At 6/19/2008 9:43 PM, Blogger LargeBill said...

Donald summed things up quite well. Whether he was any of ours first choice for the nomination, he has the nomination because all the others found some way to stumble or just failed to motivate the voters. None of us can say with any certainty that he will name judges of the caliber of Roberts or Alito. However, we can be certain that Obama would name judges down around the level of Ginsberg. Most of us who had problems with McCain had them regarding McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, etc. His pro-life position has been consistent over 20+ years in elected office. Beyond just talking the talk, the McCain's went a step further and adopted a child in need of a loving family. There are many reasons to be frustrated with McCain but this subject isn't one.

 
At 6/19/2008 9:56 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"His pro-life position has been consistent over 20+ years in elected office. Beyond just talking the talk, the McCain's went a step further and adopted a child in need of a loving family. There are many reasons to be frustrated with McCain but this subject isn't one."

I think some of his Senate colleagues would beg to differ.

 
At 6/20/2008 12:20 AM, Blogger Literacy-chic said...

OTOH, I might opt to bide with abortion a while longer if that were the price of avoiding a worldwide nuclear holocaust.

I think I might be misreading Paul, here. This is not to say that Obama would prevent a worldwide nuclear holocaust (via appeasement, no doubt, and collaborating/negotiating with terrorists) while McCain would cause said nuclear holocaust, is it? Is this a pure hypothetical--if ending the Iraq War were the only thing that could prevent a nuclear holocaust and only Obama would do that, it would be sufficient justification for voting for him? Otherwise, I think you've lost me here!

 
At 6/20/2008 7:55 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I think I might be misreading Paul, here.

I fear you may be.

I do not believe that worldwide nuclear holocaust presents the threat that it did when I was in the Air Force 25 years ago.

As an elementary school student in the late 60s and early 70s, I was taught duck-and-cover drills.

Today, I think it highly unlikely.

And too, I credit Republican policies for having dodged that bullet.

That's the nice thing about being pro-life. People who don't believe in defending every human life are usually wrong about a long list of other issues as well.

 

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