Apparently realizing that the whole racist “Barack Obama is a big meanie American-hating terrorist, and oh probably a Muslim too (oh no!)” line of attack was losing them more points than it was winning them — and you know, inciting hate-based violence — the McCain/Palin campaign has seemingly switched tactics again. On Saturday, Palin started going after Obama on abortion.
Ethics woes aside, Palin focused her attention on abortion — an issue that rallies the conservative base but some say alienates independent and women voters.
“In times like these with wars and financial crisis, I know that it may be easy to forget even as deep and abiding a concern as the right to life, and it seems that our opponent kind of hopes you will forget that,” Palin told a crowd in Johnstown. “He hopes that you won’t notice how radical, absolutely radical his idea is on this, and his record is, until it’s too late.”
Palin has mostly avoided raising her opposition to abortion rights on the campaign trail since she was tapped as Sen. John McCain’s running mate, a fact she readily acknowledged in her remarks.
But Palin said Obama’s record on the matter is too extreme to be ignored, and she spent 10 minutes of her 30-minute speech discussing abortion.
“A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for activist courts that will continue to smother the open and democratic debate that we deserve and that we need on this issue of life,” she said. “Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life.”
Is she for real?
First of all, if Palin thinks that Obama is a “radical” on abortion, I’d love to see what she thinks of me, seeing as how Obama always votes the right way but is hardly the most gung-ho pro-choicer out there. And secondly, Palin is calling Obama a radical on abortion? Palin? Governor Sarah “I think women should be forced to carry to term pregnancies which are the result of rape” Palin?
You see, the fact is that while American support for abortion rights is way below where I’d like it to be, every reputable poll I found on the subject shows that a.) the majority of Americans want abortion to be legal in the ways that it is now and b.) even among those who want to outlaw abortion, the vast majority want to leave some form of exceptions. And I think we all know that when people talk about “exceptions,” among the most common potential exceptions cited are those for rape/incest.
Barack Obama supports safe, legal and accessible abortion, with laws being somewhat more liberal than they are now, as do most Americans. (The polls very rarely state what “restrictions” participants might be talking about, but I’d be willing to wager a big chunk of money that the majority of them are thinking about limits on late-term abortions rather than forced sonogram viewings or mandatory “disclosures” written by politicians not doctors, etc.) And then on the other hand, we have Sarah Palin who wants to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape/incest. Therefore, the numbers show us that among Americans, Sarah Palin is the one who truly holds the “radical” views on abortion.
More facts: polling showed earlier this election cycle that key swing voters who were educated about the McCain/Palin ticket stance on abortion were likely to move to Obama. So it seems to me that if anything, Palin would actually be giving Obama and Biden a huge window to show yet another way in which the Republican candidates “just don’t get it.” And even if you think that the issue isn’t like to have much of an impact at all, I kind of agree with you; people who were going to genuinely vote based either entirely or largely on the issue abortion have clearly already made their call. Compared to trying to figure out who has the best economic plan, or who can best sort out the Iraq mess, or what the hell to do about global warming, abortion really is one of the most “simple” issues.
Is McCain really so desperate as to think that in the middle of an economic meltdown, the average person really gives a shit about abortion? Because they don’t. In fact, being one of those crazy radicals who does consider abortion rights an important voting issue, I wish that people cared a hell of a lot more. But no, people are worried about losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their health care (or not having any to lose), and all around surviving at the moment. Most are not preoccupied with the possibility of losing their reproductive rights — or the desire to take them from others. There’s a reason that the issue has yet to come up in three debates, when the media just love, love, loves to talk about “the culture wars.”
It seems to me that the Republicans have really lost their touch, largely because their despicable yet successful tried and true tactics for winning elections rely on the voting populace not actually caring about things. It requires people shrugging their shoulders about global warming, health care and the economy, not really thinking through the consequences of war, and feeling like the biggest threat to their personal happiness is the possibility of women and Teh Gays have some semblance of equality. Sorry, Rovians, I’m just as surprised by the development as you are, but that’s not where the American people are currently at.
Me? I’m filing this under both “stupidity” and “death throes.” And I’d almost feel guilty about enjoying such pitiful and desperate thrashing if it wasn’t, you know, the Republicans we’re talking about here.