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May 23, 2005

Y'all Just Don't Get It

By Andrew Dobbs

Late last week I took on NARAL for their endorsement of Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island. Unfortunately, many people have no knowledge of what is going on there and declined to read my post terribly closely, so I need to respond to the criticisms here.

There are NO pro-life Democrats in this race. The only two Democrats running-- Matt Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse-- are both pro-abortion rights. Jim Langevin was considering the race, but dropped out when NARAL started gathering support for Brown in particular, but pro-abortion rights Democrats in general. So NARAL didn't stake out their independent position on their single issue by supporting a pro-abortion rights Republican over a pro-life Democrat, they supported a pro-abortion rights Republican over not one, but two abortion rights Democrats.

That is my problem. I don't expect NARAL, or the Sierra Club or the NAACP or any other left-liberal single issue organization to support Democrats universally-- they are independent of our party. Republicans likewise do not expect the NRA or the Chamber of Commerce to support them just because they are Republicans. But when there is an issue where the parties are dramatically opposed, it makes no sense to support a candidate who supports a minority view within his party when he'll simply turn around and vote for leadership opposed to that cause. NARAL's endorsement of Chaffee will go a long way to helping him defeat his pro-choice opponent, and thus usher in pro-life leadership in the Senate. If they had any political sense they would have waited for the Democratic primary and then supported the Democrat. But they screwed themselves over and stabbed the only party that cares about their issue in the back. It was an idiotic move on their part.

In PA, I expect NARAL to issue a "no endorsement." If the race in Texas is Kay Bailey Hutchison versus a pro-life Democrat (say, Charlie Stenholm, who is not expected to run), I would expect them to endorse KBH. Come to think of it, they can totally make this up if they very publicly endorse KBH in the GOP primary. Are you listening, NARAL? You do that, the GOP nominates the roundly disliked Perry for governor and we beat him in November. Now THAT would be good politics.

Posted by Andrew Dobbs at May 23, 2005 04:17 PM | TrackBack


Republicans likewise do not expect the NRA or the Chamber of Commerce to support them just because they are Republicans.

Or shouldn't. I'd rephrase that as a normative statement.

That said, megadittos, Dobbs!

Posted by: Jim D at May 23, 2005 05:51 PM

Why would NARAL support KBH? I hadn't noticed any pro-choice votes or statments coming from her direction.

Posted by: Reuel at May 24, 2005 02:36 PM

KBH was booed offstage at the 1994 Texas GOP convention because of her pro-choice stance, she consistently voted for pro-choice legislation when she was a Texas legislator, opposed at least one of Bush's judicial nominees because of his staunch pro-life stance and missed the final vote on the late-term abortion bill. She has consistently said in interviews that she supports abortion rights through the early part of pregnancy. Though she has a mostly pro-life voting record, that is only because she opposes federal funding for abortion-- the battle ground much of this has been fought on. She supports embryonic stem-cell research and is generally pro-choice. This is a well known fact, and the reason she won't win the 2006 nomination for governor.

Posted by: Andrew Dobbs at May 24, 2005 03:45 PM
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