What's "Not So Simple" About Abortion Views?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Aug 20, 2008 12:08 PM
Today in the Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman suggests -- as the piece's headline trumpets -- that "Candidates' Abortion Views Not So Simple."

Obviously, reporters don't often pen their own headlines.  In this case, it's obvious, because the header certainly doesn't match the contents of the text.

In fact, the candidates' abortion views are simple.

As the piece concedes, John McCain's "voting record is strictly antiabortion."  The fact that he has said he would consider a pro-choice running mate doesn't change what his statements and his record conveys about his convictions.  Nor, contrary to the piece's implication, does his (ill-conceived) support for "campaign finance reform."  After all, it wasn't just National Right to Life that opposed the legislation -- groups of all political persuasions, including lefty organizations like the ACLU, did so as well.

As for Barack Obama, the article notes that Barack is "is staunchly in favor of abortion rights."  Indeed.  Some might even say that refusing aid to living babies who survived an attempt to abort them, and who will die without care, is actually a little more extreme than simply "favor[ing]" abortion rights.   Some might say the same about Obama's support for partial birth abortion.

Taken together, the contrast between the candidates is clear and actually, their views are indeed "simple."  To the extent that both show a willingness to listen to the other side -- well, that makes good political sense for both of them, doesn't it, as long as neither goes so far as to alienate core supporters? 

Perhaps I'd be more open to Barack's willingness to listen if it weren't for my personal experiences with him.  As I recall, he's always willing to listen to those with whom he disagrees.  The problem is that the listening never changes his mind.  Reflexively, he goes left.