On cicular firing-squads
So. Can the Republican party bring itself to nominate a candidate who doesn't really care much about abortion one way or the other? It appears that will happen. Now the question is, will Republican opinion leaders spend the year 2007 making abortion a major battleground in the nominating process? With the mainstream media following along lapping it up and stressing the most extreme elements of the discussion to send the message to independent voters that right-wingers are all a bunch of lunatics who are obsessed with ideological purity and not with getting things done?
I think if they do, the GOP is sunk.
That's it in a nutshell. I don't think a sane person can actually like the thought of abortion. (I'm looking at you, Amanda, and your creepy hallelujah choir.) But a sane person can think it isn't the most important thing in the world. A sane person can think that of all the evils that are available to man, abortion in all its myriad manifestations falls in a range on the scale, and that some part of that scale has to remain outside the scope of what government should be concerned with.
Look, all I want is a competent, grounded, and focused person in the Oval Office. That's it. Unfortunately, the "process" seems geared to weed those folks out early. (The anti-"War on Terror" crowd pretty much makes a responsible Democratic candidate a mere fantasy for '08, but that's another post...) For what it's worth, I think it very likely right now that either Rudy or Fred Thompson will be the nominee on the Republican side, and I'm okay with either of them. (I prefer Rudy because he's got a frickin' track record of successfully managing the herd-of-cats that is a major government -- and I defy anyone to classify the government of New York City as anything else -- but that is yet another post.) But this "abortion kabuki" isn't doing the country any good, because it shifts the focus away from clear and present dangers, and towards something that is frankly not an existential problem for the United States, Mark Stein notwithstanding.