Cynthia Gorney has a must read piece in the New York Times, entitled "True Lifer" noting the appeal of Gov. Sarah Palin to voters who want to ban all abortions. Palin’s stardom within the anti-choice community is without question, and with all the robo-calls, television and radio ads that various anti-choice groups are buying to rally their voters, and a willing advocate in Sen. John McCain,
social conservatives could get credit if McCain-Palin wins. Historically polls tighten in the last two weeks, so getting McCain closer won’t be enough. To prove their point that most Americans share their ideology, the far-right must deliver McCain a victory.
Read the entire Gorney article, but here is her close:
This means one of the best things about Palin, from a Republican
strategist’s point of view, is also one of the most dangerous. The
ticket deeply needs right-to-life voters, who are some of the most
reliable single-issue constituents in American politics. But it
simultaneously needs people not to look too closely in that direction,
because the ethically coherent anti-abortion position is at odds with
every large-scale abortion poll ever taken in this country, since
before Roe v. Wade: Americans don’t like unrestricted access, but they
do want legal early abortion and lots of “exceptions.” So the prudent
Republican thing to do is to hope for no thoughtful conversation on the
topic at all.
It’s a pity, really. On the abortion question, as
far as we’ve been permitted to see, Palin is sort of articulate. Her
syntax stays sure. Her family dramas hush up any suggestion of
hypocrisy. It’s been pointed out how differently the
pregnant-daughter-and-Down-syndrome-infant narrative would be received
if the Palins were black, how foolhardy even the most valiant
right-to-lifer would have to be to jump on that bandwagon. But maybe if somebody would just let her talk to us about
all this for a while, settle in for a good long discourse about women’s
options and criminal law and the moment when life begins, then the
bellicose rhetoric of her final weeks on the campaign trail might
yield, for an hour or so, to something the governor of Alaska sounds as
if she truly believes.
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It would be great for the country to have a thorough discussion of sexual and reproductive health issues, and as Gorney points out, Sarah Palin is the perfect person to speak passionately about those issues for the remainder of the campaign. Then, if the mainstream media could get beyond the short-hand abortion talking points, and allow American voters to talk about sex like adults, we really could bring the Culture War to an end.