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May 19, 2008

McCain: Pro-life. Not Just Recently. Never Wavering.

A mailer from the McCain campaign dated January 2, 2008. The big print bills John McCain as "Pro-Life."

That headline's good, clear copywriting, and basically accurate.

McCain is on the record for embryonic stem cell research, which some extremists might consider a strike against his pro-life cred. McCain also had a very public dustup with the National Right to Life Committee a while back, but that was over those pesky campaign finance laws he used to care about, not reproductive rights.

As Nancy Keenan of NARAL told NPR earlier this year, McCain's record on reproductive choice is consistently poor:

"He voted against family planning, he voted against the freedom of access to clinic entrances — that was about violence against women in clinics," Keenan says, adding, "He voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs, and making sure that abstinence only was medically accurate. This is very, very extreme." [NPR]

McCain has voted on abortion and reproductive rights 119 times since 1983 and sided against choice 115 times, according to this NARAL fact sheet.

The tagline protests a little too much, though: "Not just recently. Always. Unwavering." (Click on image to enlarge.)



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Only 24 years?

Y'know, I peeked at Wikipedia, and it turns out he was elected to Congress in 1982, 26 years ago. So was he not a voice for life in his first term?

The tagline makes perfect sense in the context of a primary where his biggest rival seemed to be the flip-flopping Romney. "Not just recently" wasn't trying to cover some perceived weakness on the issue, it was to specifically remind voters that Romney only became pro-life when he decided he wanted to run for President.

John McCain: Pro-Life (*)

(*)Non-protohumans not covered. "Pro-life" political positions may cause suffering and death. Military conflict excluded from this canard. No guarantee of demonstrable life is expressed or implied.

I think the context of the tagline is that because of his undeserved "moderate" reputation, McCain's record is very poorly known/understood by people all over the political spectrum. For example, my mom, who is liberal, pro-choice, and hates McCain, thought until recently that he was pro-choice.

See the NPR story that quote comes from:

In particular "Certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations."
Not super pro-life. The fact it doesn't match his voting record just emphasises what a hypocrite he is.

McCain is the worst hypocrite ever in American history. A "real" pro-life politician is a politician against abortion, embryonic stem cell research, death penalty, war, violence, and gun ownership. McCain doesn't fit that profile. Unfortunately, the prototypical "Culture of Life" politician doesn't exist yet, at least at the Presidential level.

He has been very clever to obfuscate just who he is, so that more people will vote for him. & he has had help from clever conservatives who realize the value of "unclarity".

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