Thursday, June 14, 2007

Personal View or Political Position: Is Mikal Watts Playing Both Sides?

Mikal Watts, an announced but unannounced candidate for the Democratic nominee for US Senate from Texas in 2008, appears to be playing both sides of the fence. That’s how I see it.

Appearing to be a liberal Democrat in most issues, Watts departs from traditional progressive Democratic values in labeling himself “Pro Life”.

As seen in the San Antonio Express-News [emphasis is mine]:
"I personally have the view: I hold the pro-life position with three exceptions: one for rape, one for incest, one for the life of the mother," Watts said. "But I don't claim to the Republican position of slippery slopes that you have to eliminate incredibly important medical research into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's because of the slippery slope argument on stem cells."
This is about as muddled in thinking as you can get. First, all we know about him on this issue is what his personal view on abortion is. Views that he uses to align his personal actions with his personal beliefs. Second, what’s all this about stem cells? The one issue has got nothing to do with the other.

Unless of course, it is the personal view of Mikal Watts, that human life begins at conception and that therefore “every blastocyst is precious”.

That’s a belief, by the way, not a view, and certainly not a political position.

But what I really think is that what we have here is a failure to communicate, and I think this failure is on purpose in order to introduce a wedge issue among Democrats, and remove it from a possible run against Cornyn.

Is Watts communicating his personal view or his political position? Because it makes a difference.

I know many lawmakers who are pro-choice but personally object to abortions with the exceptions listed by Watts. Some hold religious beliefs that it is wrong. Those are personal views, personal beliefs – things that you use to make personal decisions about your life, and maybe your family.

So I have to ask: Politically, what is Mikal Watts’ view on abortion? In the same article we have Texas State Rep. Rick Noriega state not his personal views, but his political position on abortion:

"My position is, it's not government's role to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies."
That sounds like the mantra of just about any pro-choice politician you can name. It is an honest statement that separates personal views from political position. I firmly hold to this position myself.

Indeed, I think I have written elsewhere that the heavy-handed anti-abortion position of Evangelistic Neoconservatives is more of a “big government” position than Rick Noriega’s.

So is Mikal Watts obfuscating here? He’s showing his up cards, but what’s on the down cards? Indeed, stating it the way he did smacks of expedience and disingenuousness.

What is Watts’ political view? All we know is his personal view. Is Watts for or against government intrusion into a woman’s decisions concerning their own bodies?

For or Against?


anonymous said...

Why do I hear the Monty Python song "Every Sperm is Sacred" from the Movie "The Meaning of Life"? And will someone explain to me the justification for ending the life of a fetus asap after a rape vs finding out later that the man is a jerk/idiot/power-tripper/misogynist and terminating the fetus? Is rape really so black and white?

Perry Dorrell, aka PDiddie said...

Doesn't matter to me: I'll never vote for a Republican in the Democratic primary.

Hal said...

What Perry said.

And, Anon, you hear that song because I am an unrepentant borrower of all things Monty Python.

And I agree. I've never been able to figure out why it's OK to murder the offspring of a rapist as oppose to ANY other. It's not like it's the fault of the fetus who is its daddy. The paradox argues against the whole concept.

GulfCoastLeftie said...

I also agree with Perry. I've read Mikal's statement a dozen times, and my take is that Mikal doesn't agree with the Republicans on the issue of stem cell research, but he does agree with them on the issue of abortion. I certainly hope there's a better choice for me in the primary--like Noriega.