…and raise you a team of evangelicals and Mormons.
In case you were at church this morning like me, Senator Thompson appeared on Meet the Press. That’s what the (admittedly strange) title of this post alludes to. Let me explain.
Richelieu is the pseudonym of a political insider who blogs at The Weekly Standard‘s website. Here is an excerpt from his latest post:
His answer on abortion in particular will come as an uncomfortable revelation to some of his more conservative supporters. I have a team of Jesuits attempting to unravel the yarn-balled logic of Fred’s rambling answer, but it appears to boil down to this: “I’m 100 percent pro-life and have voted 100 percent pro-life. I hope one day Roe will be overturned and this issue will be sent back to the states and allow them to celebrate their wonderful diversity with an informed local decision. That local decision shouldn’t include any crazy pro-life stuff that criminalizes anything that shouldn’t be criminalized for doctors and young women. That’s my firm pro-life record, which has always” – insert subliminal message about slick-talking-Yankee-Mormon feather merchants here – “been exactly the same. Glad I cleared that all up for you, Tim.”
My team of Jesuits has just informed me that they have put out an emergency call to the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem to assist in their efforts to comprehend Fred’s answer. To my ear it sounds like a pro-life manifesto written by a joint committee of conservative constitutional lawyers and the board of NARAL. I suspect Fred will probably catch new trouble from social conservatives over this and his similar “Let the States be Fabulous” view on gay marriage.
Here is the answer to which Richelieu is referring:
I’m with Richelieu–that is one confusing answer. Here is what I think it means:
1. Senator Thompson is against the Human Life Amendment, now and in the future.
2. Senator Thompson would, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, opposed a federal law banning abortion.
3. Senator Thompson thinks states should have the right to ban abortion if they so choose–and to permit it if they so choose.
4. Senator Thompson believes Roe should be overturned.
5. Senator Thompson uses disturbing rhetoric–much like what we hear on the left–equating banning abortion with “criminaliz[ing] young girls and perhaps their parents as aiders and abettors and perhaps their family physician.”
6. Senator Thompson is trying to tell us something about his heart changing on the issue of abortion when his young daughter was born–but he claims his head was always pro-life.
Here’s what this episode doesn’t clear up for me:
1. If Senator Thompson’s head has always been in the same place on abortion, why did he say when running for Senate that “Government should stay out of it”? Is he really the model of consistency he claims to be? (National Review Online doesn’t think so.) Frankly, I don’t care if he’s changed his mind on abortion–the point of the pro-life movement is to make converts. But if he did, why can’t he just admit it?
2. Getting beyond federal constitutional amendments and statutes, would Senator Thompson support a ban on abortion in his state? I wish Tim Russert had tackled this. I understand Senator Thompson thinks they should be allowed, but he appeared to suggest on Hannity & Colmes earlier this year that they are wrong. If that’s so, is that the man we want in the presidential bully pulpit? Is such a man really any better in that critical role than Mayor Giuliani? Here is the H&C video:
So there you have my best guess. And Richelieu’s got his team of Jesuits working on it. But what I really want is for our brilliant readers to set to work. What do you make out of all this?
And finally, as a bonus, here is Senator Thompson’s answer on “gay marriage”:
That shows him joining Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain in opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment.