Thursday, October 20, 2011

Memo to Pro-lifers: Raise Cane With Cain!

For more than three decades, the pro-life movement has been the b**** of the Republican Party -- or does somebody have to spell it out for them?

With the growing popularity of former pizza magnate and nomination candidate Herman Cain, one which even the mainstream media finds harder to ignore in their quest to stealthily push Mitt "Presumptive Front Runner" Romney, those who would defend the unborn are getting ready to set themselves up once again. They are the first to admit to making up no small part of the conservative base that generally votes Republican (even if they have to hold their noses to do it), and it is just that base that is even now warming up to the man from Georgia.

But first, they need to get their heads out of the clouds and read what Cain actually says (or doesn't say, at least not very clearly) on the issue of abortion. Writing for New York magazine, Dan Amira portrays a candidate who is being less than forthright, citing recent interviews with both Hannity of Fox News Channel, and Gregory on NBC's Meet The Press:

It was as if Cain had no familiarity with or understanding of the role that government plays in the debate over abortion rights. He had simply gathered some common abortion-related words and phrases — "her choice," "government's decision", "sanctity of life" — then randomly assembled them into sentences ... Cain tells Gregory that he's against abortion without exception, even in cases of rape or incest (putting him to the right, by the way, of both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry). But when asked whether his opposition also applies to cases in which the life of the mother is at risk, Cain repeats this vague response three times: "That family is going to have to make that decision."

This is simply a more nuanced form of the personally-opposed-but approach, one that hasn't been applied since Ross "I'm Just A Businessman" Perot ran as an independent in 1992. It's also every bit as disingenuous. Just how is abortion either wrong, or none of the government's business? And just which government does he mean? Is he framing it as a strictly Tenth Amendment issue, one which should be left to the states, with only Washington staying out? Would he support an amendment to that same Constitution extending "equality under the law" to the unborn? And if Cain takes the typical East-Coast-establishment-country-club-Republican laissez-faire approach, as it would appear, uh, maybe, will that include vetoing any attempt at taxpayer funding for abortion or abortion providers? And if he does support such funding (thereby making it the Federal government's business), what kind of "business model" does he have in mind for the rest of the Federal budget?

We don't know, do we?

He needs to bring clarity to his position. And the social conservative base (including the Catholics among them) needs to take a moment from touting his admittedly remarkable life story, long enough to settle for nothing less than clarity -- unless, of course, he already has, in which case we need to call for an alternative. This is not a case of the Church playing politics; but one of people of faith calling for an end to the slaughter of innocent children.

The office of President of the United States may be a little like running a business, but only to a point. It is a "business" with an obligation to protect its citizens, including the most defenseless among them. And if Herman Cain thinks that's none of his business, then by his own admission, neither is the Nation's highest office, don't you think?

Or don't you?

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