Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Romney on abortion

Mitt Romney can't seem to convince pro-lifers that he really means it when he says that he's had a conversion on the abortion issue:

[Mitt Romney] ran as a strongly pro-choice Republican in 1994, when he unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, and again in 2002, when he successfully ran for governor. Then, in late 2004, in the midst of a debate in the Massachusetts legislature over stem-cell research, he changed his mind on abortion, and later, in 2005, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe explaining that he is now pro-life. Since those changes occurred so recently, and since they came at the same time Romney was beginning to explore a run for president — his political action committee, Commonwealth PAC, was formed in July 2004, a few months before his stem-cell decision — a number of pro-life voters view his conversion with some suspicion.

Count me in with the doubters. Abortion really isn't that hard of an issue to understand. Either the fetus is a human person, which means that killing one is murder; or the fetus isn't a human person--one wonders what else it may be--which means that killing one is utterly inconsequential, and abortion no more tragic than swatting a mosquito; or else one doesn't know, which means it's tremendously imprudent to kill that which has its personhood in limbo.

Romney's move appears to be one of sheer political expediency. As one who supports principled candidates, this attempt at political pragmaticism is revolting. We pro-lifers are going to have enough trouble getting Roe v. Wade overturned without nominating candidates who are, at best, not bothered by the abortion holocaust.

But suppose we take Romney at his word, though, just why we would do that with a politician is beyond me. What if the conversion is genuine? If it is, this bespeaks an intellectual and philosophical sluggishness. What does it say about a man who waits until he is over fifty years old to take a serious look at abortion? Was he really so busy running Massachusetts that he couldn't take the time to read up on one of the most important issues of the day? Forget, for a moment, that he was a governor. Any citizen who waits until after fifty to examine an issue of this nature is immediately suspect.

Romney is either a political hack who will say anything to get elected, or he is a lazy coward, too unconcerned to study important issues and then take a convicted stand on them. In many respects, the latter is tantamount to the former. Romney, like most of the other candidates, is plainly unworthy to lead.

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