Monday, March 12, 2007

The Elephant in the Room

The American Spectator: Are Pro-Lifers ready for Rudy?
Like Colin Powell thirteen years ago, Giuliani is a popular figure and compelling prospective nominee. But pro-lifers should think long and hard before they work to nominate and elect a Republican with an abortion record virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton's. There are many establishment Republicans -- and even some conservatives -- who would like nothing better than to ignore abortion and social issues. President Giuliani would strengthen their hand considerably.

How could pro-lifers ever object to any pro-choice candidate again -- Republican or Democrat -- if they overlook Giuliani's current positions and past pronouncements?

There are counterarguments, of course. If Giuliani is the strongest GOP presidential candidate, he would help elect Republicans -- many of them pro-life -- in down-ballot races. Pro-lifers would get jobs in his administration; the fact that Giuliani has reversed himself on partial-birth abortion and promised to appoint originalist judges (which is necessary for any pro-life progress) shows he respects their influence. And all the viable alternatives to Giuliani come with their own problems.

Yet it is hard to see how that influence can be maintained if pro-life support can be bought with such minor concessions. There are many otherwise conservative judges who would nevertheless uphold Roe on stare decisis grounds; Giuliani has given no indication that he will go out of his way to find judges who favor its reversal. Republicans who want to end the pro-life litmus test generally favor making abortion a lower-priority issue. Why should pro-lifers help them?

Precisely. The 2008 election is most likely a lost cause anyhow. Chasing Electability for your party's candidate usually gets you nowhere except farther from the reasons you want your party in power. Progressives and Union members in the Democratic party have been holding their nose and pulling the lever for some time now and the center of gravity keeps drifting away from them. You get more of what you put up with.

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