Abortion and the RNC...
Aaron has solicited my opinion on this issue, so here I go.
A few of his comments-- "But I am disappointed. Last night I did not hear one word about abortion. Of course, I didn't expect anything from Schwarzenegger, since he is pro-choice. I'm pretty sure Laura Bush is pro-life, but I really didn't expect her to touch the issue either, which she didn't. That troubles me because I consider the abortion debate to be THE major political issue of our day, but neither of the two major parties share my concern......... So, is it better to really be who you are and risk losing, or is it better to hide some aspects of who you are in order to get elected, so that when you are in office you can then really be who you are? Craig, you are a Republican with a better understanding of politics than me; what's your take on that one?"
I answer with an analogy.
At least once a week I experience a hurricane. Not different hurricanes with different names but the same hurricane. It's name is Hurricane Avery. Hurricane Avery is a four year old that I babysit, along with her two year old twin brothers. Hurricane Avery used to eat my lunch and take everything out of me. But four years have taught me a thing or two about four year olds.
My secret? When I begin the evening, Avery and I have a talk about what the evening is going to look like. "Hey Avery! We're going to have fun tonight aren't we? First, I'm going to play with you and the boys. Maybe we'll read a book. Then I'm going to get your dinner ready. After we eat, maybe we'll go outside and play before we take a bath. After you and the boys take a bath, we'll watch a movie or the Wiggles. For a second I'm going to leave you alone in the living room while I get the boys ready for bed. When they are done, I'm going to get you and you'll brush your teeth, potty, then get in bed. I'll read a story then turn the lights off. I know you like to have to door open a little, so I'll leave it open. And you know what? If your good and don't cry when I leave the room, I'll leave a quarter for you!."
Why is that important? Because kids go crazy when the unexpected happens. That whole routine is meant for one thing-- to ensure Avery goes to bed without throwing a fit, because she knows what to expect. Avery needs to know that I'm on her side and am working to make this evening a fun, but peaceful one.
When Avery is 10, I shouldn't have to go through all of that.
By showcasing Guiliani, Laura Bush, McCain, and Schwartzengagger, the RNC leadership is essentially saying to the Religious Right "Look people, you're not 4 anymore, so stop acting like you are. We shouldn't have to hold your hands at every turn and reassure you that we are pro-life. We are on your side. You know where the president stands on abortion. You know he's signed the ban on parial birt abortion. You know he will appoint Supreme Court judges who are against abortion. And the American people know that as well. You may never again have a nominee from any party who is 'one of you' more than this president. But you are not the only people in this party and you are not the only people in this country. So, armed with the knowledge that he is 'one of you,' please shut the hell up about 'being disappointed,' make sure your people show up to vote, and let us try to not be as angry as you and talk about other things that other people are more concerned with. That's not 'hiding aspects of ourself,' that's being shrewd."
And, luckily, the religious right has, albeit reluctantly, begun to see the logic in this thinking and are supporting the president?
What is the alternative? Well, the alternative happened in 1992 and 1996. Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and the rest of the Religious Right backed people like Pat Buchanan and Alan Keyes in the primaries because they talked a lot about abortion. When these guys didn't get the nomination, they ended up reluctantly endorsing Bush ('92) and Dole ('96), both pro-life, anti-abortion, but really didn't do anything to rally their people, because Bush and Dole didn't preach the fiery rhetoric of Southern Christians. The result? Eight years of Bill Clinton. Falwell can bitch all he wants about Clinton, but the truth is, the Religious Right got the president they deserved because they acted in politics like they act in the public square-- defiant, uncompromising, like dicks.
Well, I've got to go before I get too riled up.