Friday, August 1, 2008

If You Want a Pro-Life Veep, Elect Him Yourself, Thankyewverymuch

Michael Gerson, this morning, compares governors Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Bill Ritter of Colorado - both Democrats, both former lay missionaries in third-world countries - and says that if Obama's thinking of choosing Kaine as his veep, he would do better to pick Ritter. While both are personally pro-life, Kaine has promised to veto legislation outlawing abortion if the Supremes should strike down Roe, but Ritter would sign it into law.

Gerson: "picking a genuinely pro-life running mate would be a revolutionary decision by Obama -- helping remove the largest obstacle to broad, Democratic realignment."

And while he's at it, maybe Obama should choose a veep who's in favor of massive tax cuts for the rich, against universal health care, and for privatizing Social Security.

Excuse me, Mike, but we Democrats actually believe in stuff. Maybe it isn't always clear from watching our Congressional representatives, but it's certainly true in the rank-and-file. And the vast majority of the rank-and-file not only believes in a woman's right to choose, but regards it as important. Pro-lifers are certainly welcome in our big tent, but they can't be the standard-bearers.

Since you've got a jones for the religious stuff, Mike, you might remember that Jesus asked, "what does it profit a man if he gains the world, at the cost of his soul?" For the Dems to gain a realignment by abandoning a core principle would be doing exactly that. And they probably wouldn't gain that realignment anyway: voters can smell a pander a mile off. Selling your soul is usually like that - you often lose the thing you thought you'd gotten in exchange.

If there's one thing the recent Congress (and its fluctuating approval ratings) have demonstrated, it's that support for Congressional Dems goes up when they show some backbone, and dives into the toilet when they give in to the GOP's agenda. People are looking for a party that stands for something, not one that's willing to sacrifice its core principles. We Dems have no interest in putting someone who'd undermine a woman's right to choose a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

So speaking on behalf of my fellow Dems, Mike, thanks for the advice, but no thanks. I'm sure you have our best interests at heart, just like all right-of-center pundits do when they give advice to the Democrats. But if you guys want a pro-life veep, I'm sure McCain will nominate one.

Or maybe you'll advise McCain to nominate a pro-choice veep to win over lukewarm Dems and re-create the pro-GOP majority you thought you had a few years back.

Nah, didn't think so.


JJ said...

Gerson's shallowness is breathtaking. Take the column from a while back that was completely sent packing in three paragraphs by Chris Mooney. How did people like Gerson get their jobs? It's a mystery to me.

low-tech cyclist said...

How did people like Gerson get their jobs? It's a mystery to me.

Damned if I know. Even given the current editorial conservatism of the WaPo, you'd think they could have found someone with half a brain, and some fraction of a clue, to fill what they evidently regarded as a hole in the points of view represented on their op-ed page.

I think I could do a better job faking being a Crunchy Con than Gerson does of actually being something like one.