Sunday, September 2, 2007

Blogger Reports: NH Huckabee Endorsement, Fred Thompson And Abortion...

Along with a link to today’s interview of Huckabee on ABC’s “This Week,” MA For Huckabee has posted a video of a New Hampshire State Representative Jason Bedrick’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee. This is not of particular significance because of the weight of his office, but because 1) New Hampshire is traditionally the first primary state. It was leap-frogged by Michigan a few days ago, but Michigan will face both parties for violation of their rules, and New Hampshire law requires the primary be held at least seven days prior to any other. If the parties don’t threaten Michigan back, New Hampshire will move theirs up. And 2) Bedrick is another in a recent group of NH political figures who have endorsed Mike Huckabee for president, and the reasons he gives in the posted video are reflective of the reasons that Iowans went to Ames to vote for Huckabee without busses or often without even campaign-purchased tickets. Huckabee got substantially more votes than his campaign provided tickets, as compared to Romney and Brownback, who got fewer votes than the tickets they had purchased. The only question of whether Huckabee is the nominee is whether he and we will get the news to others before the nomination settling votes are cast by people who only know what they hear in the media.

Mike Huckabee 2008 has discussion and information on Thompson (Fred, Tommy’s gone), and mention of Romey and Giuliani, relative to abortion. Thompson was hired as a lobbyist lawyer for a Family Planning to restrict negative abortion counseling. Romney says he figured out that abortion was wrong in consideration of creating life to kill it for stem cell research. Apparently before that, poisoning or dismembering developing babies and the imperative status of the American respect for life hadn’t been able to shake that loose for him. Romney now speaks firmly pro-life, and Thompson’s Senate voting record is pro-life. But, Thompson’s Tennessee constituents were pro-life and Romney’s Massachusetts constituents weren’t and he promised to defend a woman’s “right to choose,” at the time. In either case, these minds are too muddled to lead as statesmen. At least Giuliani is straight out “pro-choice.”

Some bloggers also commented on Thompson’s plans to enter the Republican nomination contest on Thursday, the day after Wednesday’s New Hampshire Republican debate, during the broadcast of which, Thompson will run ads. Some have called this a cowardly strategy, going for the announcement boost without facing his competitors, as he hasn’t for months. If you have a better explanation, I don’t.

Forbes Magazine reported on Huckabee’s ABC interview: Huckabee Eyes Matchup With Clinton , as did The New York Times in today’s Caucus blog post: Sunday Sampler Platter, Sept. 2


Stephen R. Maloney said...

As you know, I often disagree with you the subject of how Republican candidates "stand" on sanctity of life issues. I believe the differences between Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee are minimal -- in any sort of practical sense. Giuliani has said that he would appoint "strict constructionist" judges (people like Robert and Alito) to SCOTUS. The effect of that MAY WELL be the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which would immediately send abortion issues back to the states (as per the 10th Amendment). As for Romney, he has said he'd also like to get the issue back to the states (and there are two ways to do that, through the Supreme Court and/or through constiutional amendment). As for Mike Huckabee, a candidate I like a lot, he supports a constitutional amendment (presumably to overturn Roe v. Wade). My reading is that he doesn't want to wait for SCOTUS to overturn Roe, since he believes the wait may be interminable.

That would of course send the abortion issue back to the states -- which is not really that different from Giuliani and Romney. Apparently, it's about the same as the position (positions?) of Senator Thompson.

I've never heard Gov. Huckabee (and he's not alone among the candidates) explain exactly why he believes a constitutional amendment could pass in our lifetimes. The last significant vote on the Human Life Amendment (Hatch-Eagleton) was in 1983. There probably will NEVER be such an amendment, and to pretend otherwise is not helpful.

Given these realities -- not exactly novel ones -- what is the point of squaring the circle when it comes to candidates' stands?

As you know, I've written columns on the absolute necessity of candidates being very candid with people. Candidates know better than most of us what is doable -- and what's not.

So, what exactly is the problem here? I suggest the "problem" in the life discussion relates to a misunderstanding of what it would mean to overturn Roe. It would not mean nearly as much as many people seem to think.

However, there is NO chance currently now for a constitutional amendment overturning Roe. Thus, candidates who propose an amendment to that end are not leveling with people. Mike Huckabee's comment that life begins at conception but doesn't end at birth contains an implicit -- and stern -- criticism of people who are "pro-life" mainly for the purpose of feeling good about themselves. The way I've put it is that we're not pro-life merely for the sake of being pro-life, which would be nothing more than feel-good politics.

I guess my main point is that we should not mis-characterize the practical effect of what seem like (subtle) policy distinctions.

The one question we should ask the candidates is this: How would your proposals create laws that would reduce the number of abortions and increase the number of adoptions? Rhetoric alone is not enough.


Larry Perrault said...


As YOU know, this is a more in-depth consideration of possibilities with regard to the abortion issue, than the typical knee-jerk emotional reaction, as will be my response. As you ALSO know, the abortion issue to me is more than just another checklist yes or no measurement of what percentage of "issues" I agree with a candidate on.

Rather, the values of a worldview are arranged like a pyramid, and the respect of human life is at or near the bottom of a good and civilized society, such that the failure to understand thet is immediately symptomatic of a weakness in the worldview and the soundness and facility to order the rest of the pyramid. For me, Giuliani, McCain, Romney, AND Thompson evidence such a weakness in ordering essential elements of American principle. It's not a matter of mere personal distaste or hostility. It's the recognition of a personal disability. You can't dig ditches with no legs and you can't lead a misguided culture in the right direction with a philosophical disability.

Larry Perrault said...

I want to extend and post this conversation at my blog.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Larry, I promise to get back to you on this. You have your medical challenges, and I have my (lesser) ones. I wish about 1 million people would read this exchange, but we'll have to settle for the enlightened few. :-)

Larry Perrault said...

Aye. That's another reason that I support Huckabee for president: he would have the platform, the motivation, and the ability to engage and challenge the American population that I would not have in ANY case. Nor has anyone who has served in that capacity, including Reagan.