Deciphering the abortion rhetoric

As for the pesky abortion issue having finally swum its way to the surface in the ’08 sweepstakes, this week hands a thumbs-down to Rudy Giuliani, a thumbs-up to Mitt Romney and a thumbs-sideways to Sen. John McCain. OK, it’s one thing if the McCain campaign is the one leaking Planned Parenthood contributions from Mrs. Romney and the former Mr. and Mrs. Giuliani to the media. We don’t know if it is but all is fair in a presidential campaign. But it was hard to swallow McCain jumping in the very next day and saying that the pro-choice position violates one of the “fundamental principles of a conservative.” How gratuitous! Ask any passionate pro-lifer in the GOP and they will tell you that but for his supportive votes they have never felt McCain cared for their cause. Looks like he does now, I guess.

Now to Rudy — supporting abortion rights and saying the government has no place in this decision is one thing for Republican primary voters to digest, and according to those months of good poll numbers I was convinced they were willing to look past it. But contributing to the top provider of abortions is another matter entirely. Best of luck.

Romney has coughed up a shrewd tactic to couple with his total religious conversion on abortion. He reminds the GOP faithful at every turn about the long Republican tradition of changing one’s mind about the unborn. “I do follow ... a long line of converts: George Herbert Walker Bush, Henry Hyde, Ronald Reagan,” he says. It’s very in-your-face, and very effective. Go Team Romney. He said these words in the debate last week and again yesterday at — yes, it’s true — an event where he was given an award by a pro-life group in central Massachusetts. Did it have anything to do with his recent $15,000 contribution to the group? NO. An official there told the Boston Globe that Romney’s contribution was to the Boston chapter, not his local chapter. Phew. Did I mention yet that Romney’s appearance was protested outside by BOTH pro-choice and pro-life groups? You gotta love this guy!

Let’s see if the Planned Parenthood story sticks to Mitt. Never say never.