Saturday, March 14, 2009
Well folks, it looks like the folks at the American Family Association are having another “tantrum telethon” and this weeks overly dramatic debut is “lets pick a fight” with the newly elected chairman Michael Steele.
In these deep economic times, it looks like AFA has found its cash cow. A quick visit to there website felt like “I’d just fallen into a kaleidoscope version of the culture wars.
According to the folks at the blog Red State, the Christian group is upset over a recent GQ interview (see below) where he is asked on the spot about his views on abortion. In many ways Steele's responses had a similar ring to that of Sen. John McCain when he was running for President. And lets not forget Barack Obama's long drawn out explanation at Rick Warrens Church. Despite the similarity in tone between McCain and Steele we should note that there are two views on abortion in the pro- life camp, prohibitionist and federalist.
According to Tom Head author of numerous books (including the forthcoming Civil Liberties: A Beginner's Guide), both views affirm that Roe v. Wade (1973), the Supreme Court ruling that prevented states from banning abortion, was a bad ruling and should be either overturned by a more conservative Court or overruled by Congress.
However, Mr. Head explains that the prohibitionist position holds that abortion should be banned at the federal level by constitutional amendment. This is the position held by John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Sam Brownback, among others.
"The prohibitionist position essentially renders the Supreme Court irrelevant to the candidate's platform, and places the focus instead on obtaining a two-thirds pro-life majority in both houses of Congress and in the legislatures of three-quarters of the states (an unrealistic goal)".
"The federalist position, on the other hand, holds that the Supreme Court should simply overturn Roe v. Wade, which would allow states to decide whether or not to ban abortion. This is the view held by Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rudy Giuliani (who describes himself as personally pro-choice). The federalist position is all about the Supreme Court--the objective being to appoint justices to the Court who will tip the balance in favor of a 5-4 ruling against Roe."
Obviously, Steele holds to the latter view where as the folks at AFA hold to a “prohibitionist’ point of view. This is why Mike Huckabee a known “prohibitionist” also came out against Steele on the issue. Of course the some folks have little time for deep intellectualizing choose to falsely define the debate only on there terms.
Below is the article Steele gave to GQ Magazine.
How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?
Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.
The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?
I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.
Do pro-choicers have a place in the Republican Party?
You know, Lee Atwater said it best: We are a big-tent party. We recognize that there are views that may be divergent on some issues, but our goal is to correspond, or try to respond, to some core values and principles that we can agree on.
Do you think you’re more welcoming to pro-choice people than Democrats are to pro-lifers?
Now that’s a good question. I would say we are. Because the Democrats wouldn’t allow a pro-lifer to speak at their convention. We’ve had many a pro-choicer speak at ours—long before Rudy Giuliani. So yeah, that’s something I’ve been trying to get our party to appreciate. It’s not just in our words but in our actions, we’ve been a party that’s much more embracing. Even when we have missed the boat on, uh, minority issues, the Bush administration did an enormous amount to advance the individual opportunities for minorities in our country. In housing. In education. In health care.
Posted by Blog Moderator at Saturday, March 14, 2009