Following up yesterday’s refusal by Mitt Romney to sign a “pro life” pledge — Mitt has issued a statement that affirms his pro-criminalization position on abortion and explains why he didn’t sign the pledge —
As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America. That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.
The pledge also unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government. I would expect every one of my appointees to carry out my policies on abortion and every other issue, irrespective of their personal views.
Mitt apparently is making the critical error of anticipating that he might actually have to govern. Today’s Republicans don’t do “govern.” Mitt’s explanation for why he didn’t sign the pledge fell on deaf ears. All the righties know is that he didn’t sign the pledge, so he can’t be trusted.
In his explanation of why Romney’s position is a mistake, a rightie blogger at Datechguy’s Blog writes,
One factor in the Deval Patrick victory of 2010 where he received less that 50% of the vote was social conservatives.
No they didn’t vote for Patrick, but given the choice between a candidate who declared himself pro-life and one who didn’t. These voters abandoned Charlie Baker and made up part of the nearly 8% of the Vote that Tim Cahill secured in the last election.
For those of us who weren’t following the Massachusetts governor’s race: Charlie Baker was the Republican nominee in the last Massachusetts gubernatorial election; Tim Cahill ran as an independent. The Democrat, Patrick, won.
Datechguy continues by reminding his readers that Mitt has also abandoned right-wing orthodoxy on climate change. He concludes,
As a primary strategy to win with the 30% of the liberal republican vote it is a sound strategy. As a general election strategy it is disaster waiting to happen.
Um, does that make sense to anybody? Show of hands?
The GOP’s problem, which it refuses to admit to itself, is that it has wandered so far right of center that any candidate who is radical enough to win the loyalty of the base is likely to scare the bejeezus out of a significant majority of general election voters.
Datechguy’s argument is that a candidate who is not ready to turn America into Womb Gestapo Nation would lose some part of the base in the general election and thus would lose a close election. But I think a larger percentage of “swing” voters would gravitate to the Dems if the GOP candidate spouted, say, Rick Santorum’s views on abortion and other social issues. The nation as a whole is way more moderate than that. A majority may favor some restriction on abortion, but going back many years only about 20 percent, give or take, are as extreme as the Susan B. Anthony list people.
Of course, the Left has its ideological zealots, also, and there are those who say that Obama is no better than Romney, so let’s punish Obama by voting for Romney. Tbogg explains why this is stupid. I believe I have an even stronger argument for why it is a bad idea but I am out of blogging time. I’ll pick this up later.