The EFM Feature

I read with interest the Corner exchange that Charles highlights below, and it strikes me that whether Fred Thompson believes that abortion should or should not be legal after Roe is overturned (i.e. would he vote against abortion in his own state if given the chance) determines whether he is actually pro-life or merely a consistent federalist. There are many federalists and libertarians who believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided but also believe that the governnment should not ban abortion. In fact, it is a perfectly consistent and legally respectable opinion to assert that the decision should be up to the states, and the states should choose to be pro-choice. It’s a consistent position, but it’s not pro-life.
It may very well be the case that Fred Thompson believes that Roe should be overturned and that abortion should be made unlawful on a state by state basis, but if that’s what he believes he should make it quite clear. (Oh, and one piece of advice: Thompson should completely drop the “don’t want to put women in jail” rhetoric. No serious pro-live activist does, and the entire concept plays straight into the hands of those who use fear to bolster their pro-abortion arguments).
Finally, as we learn more about Fred Thompson can we finally dispense with the “conservative alternative” nonsense? He’s had a change of heart on abortion, just like Governor Romney (except Thompson may be more federalist than pro-life), and he was (and remains?) a staunch supporter of McCain-Feingold (a constitutional atrocity), even going so far as filing a brief in favor of the bill. When it comes to the war, taxes, government spending, etc., there is just not much daylight between Thompson and Romney — with the exception that the Governor has actual experience implementing policies, while Thompson’s experience is in advocacy only.
Fred Thompson would be my second choice (there are a lot of things to like about him), but he is still second. And as more ambiguous or damaging information about his days as a lobbyist emerges — at the same time that he begins the laborious process of going from “new media sensation” to actual organizational contender — it may very well be that he has already had his best days as a candidate.

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