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April 7, 2006
2008 Looms Ahead — Will Pro-Life Conservatives Have a Horse in the Race? – Part II 

John McCain Seeking Republican Nomination 
Arizona Senator John McCain has been meeting and greeting Texans, often escorted by Bush backer and former U.S. Congressman Tom Loeffler, a lobbyist and influential mover and shaker in political circles in the President’s home state. Recently, McCain has visited Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, in an effort to round up commitments from Bush’s “Rangers” (contributors of $200,000) and “Pioneers” ($100,000). Former Governor Bill Clements reportedly contributed $5,000 to McCain, and Mark McKinnon, who put together Bush’s “message” during the last campaign, has signed on, evidently to help McCain overcome his negative image among many of the Party faithful. Meetings and dinners for McCain have been hosted by Loeffler, as well as former U.S. Rep. Kent Hance, and Tom Hicks, who bought the Texas Rangers baseball team from Mr. Bush and his partners in 1998. That’s heady stuff.

Much of his appeal to the Bush backers stems from the perception that McCain can draw Democrats and Independent voters away from Hillary Clinton, the presumed nominee of the Democrats in 2008. They forget that rarely is a committed liberal defeated by a liberal-lite candidate. When that happens, the Reagan Democrats simply return to their comfort zone. A Republican victory requires a committed, dedicated, pro-life philosophical conservative standard-bearer, whose ideas strongly contrast with her liberal/socialist world view. John McCain does not fit that description.

McCain’s credentials as a social conservative have been ripped asunder by his own hand in recent years. While he has maintained a generally pro-life voting record during his tenure in the Senate, it is clear that his intention is merely to regulate or restrict the practice of abortion. “But certainly in the short term, or even in the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations,” said John McCain as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 20, 1999. He justifies abortion for babies conceived through rape or incest, a position that requires abortion to remain legal.

In early 2000, while running for the Republican presidential nomination, John McCain took a strong stand against research involving the killing of human embryos. But, by April of 2004, he signed on to a letter to President Bush asking him to expand federal funding for experiments on human embryos and to increase the number of embryonic stem cell lines to be used for research. In 2000 McCain supported changing the pro-life plank in the Republican National Platform to say a mother has a right to abortion in cases of rape and incest, giving hope to pro-abortion forces in the Party. They lost. Enough said.


George Allen on the Life Issues 
U.S. Senator George Allen is the former Governor of Virginia. In that capacity, on March 22, 1997, he signed a parental notice bill before 1,500 supporters in a ceremony replete with families carrying “Thank you Governor Allen” signs. Since that time, Allen has given every indication that he is another politician who claims to be “pro-life” while endorsing measures to restrict or regulate the practice of abortion, but not make it illegal.

In 2000, Senator Allen responded to a Project Vote Smart questionnaire, saying abortions should be illegal when the fetus is viable, with or without life support. In other words, he supported abortion until viability, when 98% of the abortions are performed. He said abortions should be legal when pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, when the life of the woman is endangered, and he added that abortion should be legal for gross fetal abnormality. Of course, he supported the usual restrictions such as a partial-birth abortion ban, waiting periods, and opposed public funding of abortions. But the views he expressed can only be described as pro-choice, not pro-life.

On May 22, 2005, George Allen appeared with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday Morning Talk, and he was asked whether he supported Bush’s restriction on embryonic stem cell research, or if he favored the legislation that would expand the number of embryos to be used for experimentation. His response was, “I’m probably in between the both of them.” Later in the interview, Allen said, “I do not want to be creating embryos simply for harvesting, nor do I want to allow cloning.” Stephanopoulos replied, “But if they were left over from fertility treatments, it’s OK to do the research on them.” Allen responded, “Yes.”


Next week – Part III – Senator Bill Frist 


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