James Leroy Wilson's blog

Friday, August 26, 2005

GOP Still Pro-Life?

Last year I wrote of the excuses conservatives for Bush made for supporting the man's re-election. Including this:

8. We must support incremental changes. The Republican Party is the realistic alternative for gradual change in the direction of smaller government, they say. So endorsing a President who, operating most of the time with an all-Republican Congress, enlarged government at the greatest rate in 35 years, is our last, best hope? When is it appropriate to stop supporting Republicans? If John McCain gets nominated? Michael Bloomberg?

How far can loyalty to the GOP go? When will "limited government" mean limited government?

And soon, we may also ask, When will "pro-life" mean pro-life?

My favorite fundamentalist Christian is Baptist preacher and 2004 Constitution Party vice Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin. Noting Bill Frists' appalling support of federal funding for stem cell research - which offends conservatives on the life issue and libertarians on the government funding issue - Baldwin wonders if the GOP is just having its base get used to such behavior. Rev. Baldwin writes,

Make no mistake about it: the decision by Senator Frist to publicly support embryonic stem-cell research was both calculated and intentional. Senator Frist and the Republican leadership obviously decided that now was the time and Frist was the man to take point on this issue. The reason? They are preparing their constituencies for the 2008 presidential election.

The lesson from this calculation can only be that the Republican Party is planning to run a "pro-choice moderate" for president in 2008. Frist is merely breaking the ice, getting pro-life Republicans prepared to accept a pro-choice nominee. Will it work? I believe it will.

I have already heard leaders within the Religious Right say that they could support a pro-choice Republican nominee in order to defeat the Democratic nominee, especially if that nominee is Hillary Rodham Clinton. These statements, too, are calculated. One can bet that Karl Rove and the "super-stars" of the Religious Right have already held conferences on this subject.

Therefore, it would appear that Senator Frist has been delegated to be the Party's sacrificial lamb. Since he is the first major player (and supposed presidential hopeful) within the Republican Party to betray a major plank of the pro-life cause, he has doubtless been chosen to take the fall for the Religious Right, thus paving the way for a less vocal brand of pro-choicer to rise to the top. (Can anyone say, "Condoleeza Rice!"?)

I'm not sure if I agree, but it's an interesting speculation.

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