Republicans Running From Far-Right “Pro-Life” Culture Warriors

Scott Swenson

Goldwater. Eisenhower. Carlson. Powell. Not elites, but "real Republicans" who are very "pro-Republican" are challenging the far-right anti-choice extremes within their own party.

The election is far from over, but if you watch what is happening in the Republican Party right now, it sure seems like the most extreme fringe of the anti-choice right wing must either put up or shut up on election day. It’s not the Democrats who are saying that, it’s Republicans who are saying it. Loudly. Clearly. With conviction. 

Just today, CC Goldwater, granddaughter of Mr. Conservative, Sen. Barry Goldwater, said it this way:

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman’s right to
choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the
1930’s, a cause my grandfather supported. I’m not sure about how he
would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think
he would feel that love and respect for one’s privacy is what matters
most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over
the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message
that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic
freedoms we hold so dear.

For a while, there were several candidates who aligned themselves
with the Goldwater version of Conservative thought. My grandfather had
undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its
true meanings.

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There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would
"race through the gate" full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately,
this hasn’t happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a
shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear.
Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same
ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin
plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to
push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and
less safe.

 

Also today, former Republican Governor of Minnesota, Arne Carlson, endorsed Obama and took a shot at his fellow Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, the far-right anti-choice Rep. Michele Bachmann. According to the AP:

Carlson, who served from 1991 to 1998, also cited recent comments by
GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann questioning whether politicians have
"pro-America or anti-America views."
"Regardless of our
party, regardless of our partisan inclinations, there is no interest
more compelling than the interest in the well-being of the United
States…"

 

Susan Eisenhower, daughter for former president, Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, has long been an Obama supporter.  Last Sunday, Gen. Colin Powell came out for Obama with statements that also referenced Bachmann and the far-right extremists that have controlled the GOP for a generation, and expressed his concern about a Supreme Court that would tilt too far to the right.

Barry Goldwater was a man of Arizona, humble, rough-and-tumble, honest. Eisenhower came from Abeline, Kansas, about as small a town as you can get, with those values Republicans love to talk about. Colin Powell  overcame racism and the Jim Crow south to rise to the highest ranks serving his nation. Arne Carlson represents a plain spoken humility of good governance the upper Midwest is known for.

These are famous names because of the good works they have done. They are not people who had anything handed to them, they cannot be dismissed as "elites."

These are good people, from good families, "real Americans" who are very "pro-America" because they understand freedom, and they see very real threats to it.

Add to these well known names, others like Doug Kmiec, Nicholas Cafardi, and many other conservative pro-life Catholic Republicans specifically speaking up to say it is time to change the debate about abortion.  Surely somewhere, people on the extreme right of the anti-choice movement have turned around to realize no one is following them off the cliff any more.

What is most fascinating is that the threats to America these Republicans see comes from within their own party, from an anti-choice far-right extremism that has gone too far trying to infringe on the personal freedoms of their fellow Americans.

If the far-right anti-choicers can win this election for McCain-Palin, these Republicans endorsing Obama may need to find a new home. If the far-right loses this election for McCain, the Republican Party will be fascinating to watch as devolves into blame, finger pointing, and hopefully public hearings to determine who is a "real Republican" and who is very "pro-Republican." 

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