As with so many issues, on abortion and reproductive rights Romney has mastered the art of appearing to stand for anything or everything while actually standing for nothing; but even that is an illusion. It's one thing to stake two stands on an issue, but Romney has managed to do better than that:
Mitt Romney, in fact, has taken multiple and internally conflicting positions on abortion rights within the past four years – both in this campaign cycle and the 2008 one.Indeed, as his nominating convention was waiting out a very symbolic and metaphorical storm last week, Romney and one of his campaign spokespeople managed to contradict themselves on Romney's abortion stance within but a few hours. And no one was surprised. Romney's seeming lack of core beliefs and his incapacity for taking a position on even the most defining issues of our time are not bugs in his presidential campaign, they are in fact features. Romney doesn't want anyone to know what he will do as president. Romney wants to test one of this nation's most famous political maxims, as he attempts to fool all of the people all of the time.
Romney's wild ride on abortion rights last week began with him appearing to separate himself from the teabaggers and theocrats, not to mention his own running mate, seemingly returning to the more moderate stance many expected him to take once his nomination was locked down and he didn't need to pretend to be appeasing the frothing misogynistic Republican base. But the real clue to what he actually intends was revealed not in his words about policy but in his words about process:
My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. But recognize, this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court. The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It's been settled for some time in the courts.Of course, his position hasn't been clear, and as already noted it was but hours until his campaign was equivocating even on this, but his real point was about how he intends to destroy reproductive choice. His weaseling around on the issue was not what mattered, his strong statement about process was.
But recognize, this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court. The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It's been settled for some time in the courts.In other words, Romney doesn't intend to legislate an end to reproductive choice, and he certainly doesn't intend some sort of executive maneuver. He intends for this decision to be made by the Supreme Court. The issue has been settled for some time in the courts, but we all know that the current extremist activist right-wing Supreme Court has no problem unsettling and overturning to the point of creating law that wasn't even being ajudicated. And that is how Mitt Romney intends to eviscerate reproductive rights:
As a candidate, Romney has pledged to nominate judges in the mold of the Supreme Court's four most conservative justices, and he has said the court should overrule Roe v. Wade, the 1973 opinion that said women have a right to an abortion.Romney claims to be qualified to be president because he was governor of Massachusetts, but doesn't accept responsibility for what he did as governor of Massachusetts. Romney claims to be qualified to be president because he was head of the Salt Lake City Olympics, but doesn't accept responsibility for what he did as head of the Salt Lake City Olympics. Romney claims to be qualified to be president because he was a business executive, but doesn't accept responsibility for what he did as a business executive. And so he now claims whatever he cares to claim on any given day or any given hour on one of the most contentious issues of our time, but he actually intends to take no responsibility whatsoever for what happens on that issue.
Romney formed a committee of lawyers in August 2011 to advise him on court nominations and on legal policy questions led by prominent conservatives such as Robert Bork, whose conservative views led Democrats to block his 1987 nomination to the court.
Romney has spent his entire life avoiding responsibility, whether it was protesting in favor of a war he knew he himself would not have to go fight, or issuing a soulless, gutless non-apology for having committed a hate crime while a teenager. On abortion and reproductive rights Romney again intends to do the wrong thing without being held accountable. If he becomes president, Mitt Romney will not himself take direct action to end abortion and reproductive rights. But he will appoint Supreme Court justices who will.