OK, really, now I think I've heard it all.
Today's opinion page in the Houston Chronicle featured a column by Providence, R.I.-based Froma Harrop, with the same headline I have used for this diary.
Here's a bit:
Hillary Clinton's blessing notwithstanding, many of the New York senator's supporters will resist the handover to Barack Obama. The sexism that permeated the recent campaign still rankles, and John McCain is far from the standard-issue Republican they instinctively vote against.
A big sticking point for wavering Democrats will be McCain's position on reproductive rights. Clinton's backers are overwhelmingly pro-choice, and they'll want to know this: Would McCain stock the Supreme Court with foes of Roe v. Wade? The 1973 decision guarantees a right to abortion.
The answer is unclear but probably "no." While McCain has positioned himself as "pro-life" during this campaign, his statements over the years show considerable latitude on the issue.
I will grant that it is possible that Ms. Harrop didn't write the headline. I have no idea whether or not she did.
Now, Ms. Harrop has previously garnered my ire by writing a number of columns during the primary that accused Senator Obama of sexism and other evil deeds, as well as many in favor of Senator Clinton. OK - she is welcome to her opinion, being as these columns do appear on the OPINION page. However, this time, her "opinion" flies in the face of the facts.
Harrop does give Obama grudging props for being a pro-choice candidate, although she can't resist dissing him for his "present" votes. No mention of the reasons WHY, given by any number of reliable sources. No, she assumes it's because he isn't fully committed, or is simply too ambitious to stay true to his pro-choice values.
On the other hand, she is fully willing to give the man who called his wife "the c-word" the full benefit of her doubt:
Curious Democrats will have many questions about the Arizona senator's positions on taxes, health care and war. But they need not obsess on what a McCain presidency would do to Roe. That is one war McCain is unlikely to wage.
Thankfully, Houstonians are clearly a bit more saavy than Ms. Harrop. From the replies to her column:
I think that this statement from McCain's website would tend to poke holes in your position:
"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench."
Unlikely to wage?
So if you don't mind killing thousands of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia and elsewhere along with the "evil ones" then McCain is your man.
100 more years! 100 more years!
This article is fundamentally absurd; pro-choice voters should not be fooled. Despite Harrop's attempt to muddle the issue, this is quite clear: Barack Obama is the only viable pro-choice candidate in this election.
It is true that McCain has changed his stance on Roe v. Wade in the past (which might cause some voters to wonder if he is really a man of conviction). But he has clearly positioned himself as the candidate in this election who opposes abortion rights. Since this presidential cycle began, McCain has repeatedly stated that he opposes Roe v. Wade and he thinks it should be overturned. See, for example, the MSNBC report on Feb. 18, 2007: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
Harrop uses a quote from 1999 to suggest that McCain would not attack Roe v. Wade. But the John McCain of 1999 is not running for president - the man has changed and so have his political views. Even if Harrop were correct that McCain's position is unclear, voters who identify as pro-choice don't want to roll the dice, they want to know what their candidate supports. Check out NARAL's comparison if you still aren't sure: http://www.naral.org/...
think this "viewpoint" is in the wrong section of the paper; it actually belongs in the comics section. The title alone is making me laugh silly: McCain is likely a good fit for pro-choice Democrats.
Also the premise that women mad at Obama for being sexist are going to vote for grandpa McCain (who by the way called his wife the 'C' word) is disingenuous to say the least.
Is Harrop for real with these empty charges of 'sexism'? No one except a few outraged columnists such as Harrop, unhappy because her candidate, guilty of running a second rate campaign, are making such charges.
And to consider McCain as a possible alternative for pro-choice Democrats is utter nonsense. McCain has stated numerous times that he is anti-abortion and he will be under intense pressure from the right to prove it up. He is a danger.
More importantly, it is simply dumb to vote single issue in this election when so much is at stake: From the war in Iraq, to the economy, to an energy policy, to Supreme Court judges.
Get real, Froma, get out of your snit, and support the candidate that will make a real differnce in the long run.
And, as a funny follow-up, a quick check of Ms. Harrop's blog features her latest entry, conveniently titled:
I didn't say that.
In it, she rails against the angry responses from people who [she feels] didn't read her column with enough attention. Please note, she insists, she did NOT suggest that a McCain presidency will be friendly to abortion rights (or women in general) - she only said he'll simply be too busy with other things to push it much.
Sorry, Ms. Harrop, no pass for you. You are giving aid and comfort to the people who played identity politics to the point that they will now support a candidate who is the very antithesis of the one they wanted. Your words, read accurately OR inaccurately, will empower some Democrats to vote Republican, without consideration for war, poverty, OR abortion rights, and feel OK about it.