Thursday, October 16, 2008

John McCain: Abortion Boolean Logic Substitutions

In last night’s presidential debate John McCain several times praised the eloquence of his opponent. It was part of his preparation: praise Obama’s eloquence, then say that he is eloquent in order to hide what he truly thinks.

“Well, you know, I admire so much Senator Obama's eloquence. And you really have to pay attention to words. He said, we will look at offshore drilling. Did you get that? Look at.”

“Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement inAmerica to mean almost anything.”

It must be hard, don’t you think, to be the political opponent of a man who really does know how to turn a phrase, and how to explain things simply and clearly. Two things that McCain has lots of trouble with.

Witness this exchange with Bob Schieffer as he tried to nail McCain down on who would be his choice for US Supreme Court Justice.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let's stop there and go to another question. And this one goes to Senator McCain. Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn't. Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator McCain?

MCCAIN: I would never and have never in all the years I've been there imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court. That's not appropriate to do.

SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?

McCain: [after very long-winded attempts to avoid answering the question] “I will find the best people in the world -- in the United States of America who have a history of strict adherence to the Constitution. And not legislating from the bench.”

SCHIEFFER: But even if it was someone -- even someone who had a history of being for abortion rights, you would consider them?

MCCAIN: I would consider anyone in their qualifications. I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications. But I certainly would not impose any litmus test.

SCHIEFFER: All right.

So there you have it. John McCain doesn’t want abortion rights to be a litmus test that will determine his choice for Supreme Court Justice. He just wants a Justice that is qualified, and that qualification is “a strict adherence to the Constitution.”

But he didn’t forget his base. He just told his base that abortion rights was off the table in deciding who will sit on the Supreme Court bench. So he covered himself:

“I do not believe that someone who has supported Roe v. Wade that would be part of those qualifications.”

Now the downside to these coded messages to his base is that it is a little too circuitous and you have to make substitutions in some sort of Boolean Logic. And there are too many big words in all of that.

My suspicion is that his base may need further explanations.

In short sentences.

Oh, and the photo? The photo is of some of the + 50 people who came to the Rosenberg headquarters to watch the last debate on the big screen TV. You look at that photo and tell me if there is anything missing here? We had grumpy old white men and women, shiny young faces, Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Christians and Muslims.

That’s us. The Democrats.

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