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May 14, 2007

The Campaign Issue that Won’t Stay Silent

As much as abortion is supposedly on its way out as a serious campaign issue for the premature (so to speak) 2008 election, we can't seem to stop talking about it.

The Wall Street Journal makes a strong apology for Rudy Giuliani on the basis that his potential Supreme Court nominations outweigh whatever views he holds on abortion policy. Meanwhile, conservatives should not make a scene just because a candidate is on the wrong side of this issue.

As for the politics of 2008, the last thing the GOP needs is another intramural abortion brawl. As a resurgent Democratic Party advances all manner of misguided proposals for the economy, taxes, national security, health care, energy and the environment, voters need Republicans to revive their own reform agenda. An abortion fight will make the party seem irrelevant to the main voter concerns, or captive to its litmus test interests.

Mr. Giuliani has his strengths and weaknesses, but he shouldn't be disqualified for the nomination because of his views on a single issue that a President can't do much to change other than through the courts. The only victor in a drawn-out GOP abortion donnybrook will be the Democrat who winds up in the White House.

Former solicitor general Ted Olson makes a similar case.

William F. Buckley, on the other hand, offers a somewhat subtler defense of Mitt Romney and his apparent willingness to reconsider the merits of the culture of death.

What I have found most arresting is the refusal of so many in the pro-choice army to submit the question to “thoughtful moral process,” as we have been told Mitt Romney did. One can choose to ignore the moral question, but one cannot easily decline to acknowledge that there is a moral question underlying the dispute.

We need to remind ourselves that deep moral questions have at other times in American history engaged public thought. It is at least strange, but we need to remind ourselves of it, that many years after the founding of the Republic, it simply was not questioned that there existed a class of human beings who were slaves, and that it was a right of an American who bought such a creature at a public auction to direct that slave’s life as one would a mule’s.

Apart from the discussion of the views of any specific candidates, I am glad that the abortion issue continues to be thrust into the spotlight of this election season (which we must endure for another year and a half). It may not be the only issue of import in the campaign, but it certainly should remain near the top of the list -- even at the risk of party or voter division.

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For me, abortion is the biggest issue. A friend of mine at work and I were just discussing this today. We both agreed that abortion is the number one issue for this election. Of course, closed borders and stopping rampant liberalism and globalism are important too. But, this is an issue of millions of innocents having their brains cut out or being burned to death in saline.

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