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August 17, 2008

John McCain is Pro-Life

Sarah Bluestain examines how John McCain has hoodwinked some wishful thinkers into believing that he's not really anti-choice.


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I'd believe this a lot more if it were for public consumption. Right now, Democrats are sending emails to their base saying that McCain will overturn Roe if elected and thus must be stopped, while issuing press releases to the rest of the country saying that McCain's waffling on abortion and religious conservatives shouldn't vote for him hoping that he'll overturn Roe.

I used to think the 2008 election would be important to the issue, because there were 4 anti-Roe justices. You know what I wrote on Abstract Nonsense, and I'll stand behind what I said there given the information available to me at the time. Since then, it has turned out that there are only 2 anti-Roe justices. In Gonzales v. Carhart, Thomas wrote a separate concurrence arguing that Roe was wrongly decided; Scalia joined it, but Roberts and Alito didn't, suggesting their views on the issue are closer to Kennedy's than to Rehnquist's. This means two things: first, people with deeply held religious beliefs, such as Bush, may still nominate moderate justices; second, even if every retiring justice is replaced with a Scalia clone, we're good for at least another ten years.

when is the media, the MSM, gonna start talking about Cindy McCain's family history? Especially her father and her uncle. It will make for interesting reading. Yeah, I know...ain't gonna happen. For anyone interested.

Jonst, I don't know about the bootlegging, but a few months ago Yahoo News carried a story about the Hensley and Anheuser-Busch connection. Apparently, under Cindy McCain, Hensley lobbied against laws against drunk driving.

Ironically, McCain is against public transportation, which will make it a lot easier to get hammered and then come home safely.


What in the world would the sins John McCain's wife's parents have to do with the price of Budweiser in Tucson?



I know that McCain has been critical of Amtrak. I support Amtrak, but can understand those who criticize it--many trains have very few passengers, apart from a few corridors.

Has McCain been critical of intra city and intra region mass transit?

Not that I'm aware of, but unlike Obama, he's never mentioned public transportation as part of his urban or environmental policy. He seems to consider it to be pork (but has no trouble with subsidies for roads and airlines).

Well, everyone does need roads

And some mass transit projects are complete bullshit, with empty buses or light rail cars running for no discernible purpose.

But smart mass transit in densely populated corridors is definitely part of the solution to many environmental and energy and other problems.

If Mcain's not for mass transit, then put an x on his record for that.


no thing....nothing. The mob's tentacles stop with McCain. Sure.

Alon- We’re being awfully optimistic about McCain & abortion today. I wish I shared your sanguine opinion. Even if he doesn’t appoint exclusively anti-Roe fanatics, he’ll appoint many appellate judges and at least one or two Supreme Court justices of whom none are going to be particularly friendly to Roe. They may turn out to be disappointing to the foam-at-the-mouth conservative base – Supreme Court justices that betray the hopes of the executive that appointed them are hardly uncommon- but none will be picked because they are moderates. They’ll all come with a Federalist Society inspection stamp, they’ll be fundamentally palatable to the base (including the religious base), and the Democrats can be practically counted on not to have the guts to Bork them, but merely to do some showy protesting, and then capitulate as usual. Even if Roe is never overturned, it is quite possible to make an abortion effectively unobtainable in the United States, and the right not only knows it, but is busy making it happen.

Roe may exist forever as a de jure, theoretically legal construct but the reality -as it already is in large, especially rural, areas of the US- may eventually be that for all practical purposes actually getting an abortion will become a harrowing nightmare for all but the wealthy.

McCain’s voting record on abortion hardly inspires confidence.

Put “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” on your Netflicks queue to get an idea of what McCain’s lovely notion of post-implantation reproductive health care might finally look like.

I am no McCain supporter, but I fail to see what his father-in-law's bootlegging background has to do with anything.

My grandfather was a moonshiner, and my family on my mother's side has a long and not-terribly savory rap sheet. I am above reproach (really, truly, ask my wife and son), however, so were I to run for office, tarring me with their brush would make me damned mad.

Cfrost, I'm not convinced. There aren't that many abortion clinics in conservative rural areas to begin with - for example, Mississippi has just one. Urban areas in red states, like Atlanta and Houston, are something else; however, so far conservatives haven't succeeded in making abortion hard to get in those areas.

Nationally, the abortion rate is decreasing, but not out of proportion to the decrease in the rate of unwanted pregnancy. The Guttmacher Institute reports data on the teen abortion ratio, which is the percentage of teen pregnancies that are aborted. It's lower than it was in the 1980s, but most of the reduction predates Planned Parenthood v. Casey, before which the attrition strategy didn't make sense (conservatives assumed they could get Roe repealed, not chipped at).

There isn't some grand conspiracy to backhandedly end abortion in America. On the contrary, pro-lifers tend to be fairly straightforward about their goals and methods. And still, their own Presidents occasionally nominate pro-choicers to the court: O'Connor and Kennedy, Souter, and now Roberts and Alito. McCain, who hasn't shown any indication that he cares deeply about any domestic issue, isn't going to stray from those Republicans' records and suddenly be a Pat Robertson. Even his voting record isn't very important: most of it concerns marginal issues, and even then it's not that conservative by the standards of Bush Jr.

In contrast, arguments about records and intentions just show how much the Democrats are two-faced on this issue. To their own base, they'll tell whatever indicates that the Republicans are pro-life extremists; thus they mention McCain's record, Giuliani's half-assed promise to appoint judges in the mold of Roberts and Alito, Romney's post-flip-flop position, etc. To the rest of the country, they'll tell whatever indicates that the Republicans don't care about the issue; thus they mention McCain's problems with the religious right, Giuliani's record, and Romney's pre-flip-flop position.

I'm not convinced. There aren't that many abortion clinics in conservative rural areas to begin with

Exactly my point. Rural women should have the same access to abortion as urban women do. If rural areas had, say, no dentists, we'd consider it outrageous. But it's even worse than that. It's as though the religious right had convinced half the population that all dentistry was evil and most other Americans that getting an occasional filling is perhaps OK but periodontal tissue grafting is simply beyond the pale. - That in any case, any dental procedure is always regrettable and should only be considered as a last resort after extensive soul-searching.

Abortion is a medical procedure and nothing more. That the religious right has made abortion an absurd bugaboo with virtually everyone vaguely queasy if not actually horrified by something as ethically simple as treatment for a yeast infection proves that we've landed in Alice in Wonderland crazy territory. A grand anti-abortion conspiracy is hardly necessary, the message has been internalized. The fact that the Democratic party is now reduced to mealymouthed weaselwords on the subject shows how far we've regressed. We used to hear uncompromising declarations from the Democrats about a woman's right to choose. Now we get pleading over trimesters and “partial birth” bullshit. Sad.

Cfrost, that is true regardless of what the judiciary says. In the late 1970s, at the peak of American pro-choice attitudes, 60% of Americans were pro-choice, compared with a little over 50% now. Even in Canada, which is more liberal than the US, and has no real religious right, the median voter wants abortion legal during the first semester only. In fact, Canada has the same access issues as the US, despite a legal-till-birth Supreme Court decision and a rule that says Medicare will pay for abortions at any government hospital. In practice rural areas have no hospitals that will perform abortions, just like in the US. So if you're looking forward to a day when pro-choice Supreme Court justices will make the status quo more tolerable, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

What is different about Canada is that it doesn't have the anti-judicial attitude among conservatives that is common in the US (at least, I don't see it - Lindsay, DJA, feel free to correct me here). I can think of two reasons. First, there isn't an organized religious right, beyond what little spills over from the US. And second, Canada has no history of anti-black racism and Supreme Court rulings that helped end it; therefore, it doesn't have a natural conservative constituency that thinks the judiciary is illegitimate.

He's Pro-Life, for fetal Americans...not brown furreners.

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