Pro-Life, or Pro-Lie?

November 3, 2008 § 45 Comments

In the Church parking lot, on the way out of the Mass for the Feast of All Souls, I was handed this flyer:

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As everyone who follows my writing knows, it is crystal clear to me that voting for Obama in this election is manifestly wrong. And with all the bishops speaking out on the issue it is becoming increasingly inexcusable.

However, even if we set aside disagreements over whether or not there is a proportionate reason to vote for John McCain, it is very clear that to vote for him could only even in theory be licit as a move intended to limit evil. McCain’s unwavering support for embryonic stem cell research performed on ‘leftover’ embryos – a particularly insidious form of abortion – is well known, and has recently been reiterated in McCain campaign advertisements and statements by the candidate.

In addition, once Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race, the organization Republicans for Choice approved of McCain as their next most favored candidate:

We are a pro-choice group and we only ENDORSE pro-choice Republicans running for any office. In fact, in 1992 Ross Perot tried 3 times to get us to endorse him. We pointed out that we could have if he had still been a registered Republican but he was no longer — so no endorsement.

Our language below on McCain is not intended as an endorsement. We simply stated the facts that John McCain was the second choice, after Giuliani, of our membership.

We do support Rudy Giuliani’s contention that given the folks left in the race after Rudy’s withdrawal, McCain would be the best one for the Republican nomination.

[…]

McCain is someone we think we may be able to work with.

Republicans for Choice also praises the McCain campaign for working to get “big tent” language into the Republican platform, against the wishes of more pro-life delegates:

This is the first time any GOP Presidential campaign has worked with the pro-choice elements with whom they disagree to try and broaden the Party’s position on abortion. The McCain campaign did not control enough votes on the committee to stop them from stripping this historic language out of the Platform. But this is a step forward.

Platform Chair, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, did succeed in keeping some diversity and agree to disagree language elsewhere in the final draft to try and make Pro-Choice Republicans feel welcome in a Party with whom they have fundamental disagreements on how they view women’s rights on this most personal and private decision.

I could go on.

But you would never know any of that to read the campaign literature being handed out by well-meaning Republican pro-lifers in the parking lot after Mass. The objective fact that McCain is at best a lesser evil being used tactically in order to block a greater evil is very, very well hidden. As a result it is quite clear that the literature being passed out by pro-lifers after Mass – however good their ultimate intentions – is simply not to be trusted.

How is that for an evil consequence of McCain advocacy?

(Cross-Posted)

Tagged:

§ 45 Responses to Pro-Life, or Pro-Lie?

  • Zippy,It doesn’t tell us x, therefore it is not to be trusted.That’s an argument from silence and a non sequitur. It ignores the intention of the speech-act.In the peace of Christ,– Bryan

  • zippy says:

    <>It doesn’t tell us x, therefore it is not to be trusted.<>Right. You can’t trust pro-life organizations to tell the full pertinent known truth about the pro-life stand of candidates. You can only trust them to produce carefully culled propaganda for the candidates they have chosen to endorse.The fact that other pro-lifers can be counted on to make excuses for this, to pretend that it doesn’t undermine trust in pro-life organizations and lend credence to the contention that Republican pro-lifery is a sham, is yet another bad effect of McCain advocacy.

  • If an Obama administration would result in fewer deaths than a McCain administration then voting Obama would not be manifestly wrong at all. In fact, it would be the vote which saved the most lives.For starters, Obama was always against the war, which has cost some 1 million lives.And Kmiec and others make a good case that Obama’s social and economic policies would actually result in less abortions.From a purely pragmatic point of view, there’s a strong case that a vote for Obama will result in the lowest body count and therefore be a pro-life vote.God Bless

  • Tom says:

    <>For starters, Obama was always against the war, which has cost some 1 million lives.<>And how many of those lives — or, for that matter, of the 6 million lives aborted in the U.S. since Obama announced his opposition to the war — will be saved if Obama is elected?

  • brandon field says:

    Come on Tom, I thought you had resolved your pacifist gripe with Chris a long time ago by banning him.

  • e. says:

    “For starters, Obama was always against the war, which has cost some 1 million lives.”How can anybody try and make the analogy between those who have volunteered (and had the chance to do so!) to serve in the military at the risk of their own lives versus those of the innocent children who did not have the luxury of such a choice at all!?That kind of thinking I find not only incredibly flawed but also morally repulsive!

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Bryan, I think Zippy has a point here, because I’ve experienced this issue directly and can attest to how it works: I know that the national and state pro-life groups have not only endorsed John McCain but have stopped telling voters about his stance on ESCR. This is documented. I know that, given his stance on ESCR, I don’t want to vote for him. So this means that I know that if I had only the pro-life group’s endorsement and information to go on and voted accordingly, I would end up voting for someone that I wouldn’t have voted for if I’d known the whole story.Now, if you vote in your state and local elections, you know that there are a _ton_ of candidates for everything from district court judge to board of trust for state universities, state representatives, and on and on for whom you have the chance to vote and about whom you don’t have the time to do the research to find out about their positions on issues that are important to you. In this context, the endorsement of the state pro-life organization is a piece of important and relevant information. It’s kind of like what some libertarians say we should have instead of the FDA–private seals of approval from the equivalent of Underwriter’s Lab. They do the research for you. I’ve relied on this function of my state RTL organization for thirteen years, and it has influenced many of my votes for people about whom I know nothing else.Now I find out that they are not reporting on issues in the very area where I’ve trusted them to do research, issues that are vote-breakers for me. So what does this do to my confidence in their endorsement of other candidates? Obviously, it perfectly rationally calls it into question. Here is some guy endorsed by them for a state representative position. How do I know, now, how much weight to put on that endorsement? How do I know that he doesn’t have some position *on a life issue* that I would previously have trusted them to screen for and that they are now letting pass? These are obviously perfectly relevant questions.

  • Tom says:

    Brandon:I’m not griping about pacifism, I’m griping about the non sequitur of crediting the Obama administration with saving a million lives that weren’t actually saved.

  • e. says:

    “I know that, given his stance on ESCR, I don’t want to vote for him. So this means that I know that if I had only the pro-life group’s endorsement and information to go on and voted accordingly, I would end up voting for someone that I wouldn’t have voted for if I’d known the whole story.”And we all know just how much of a Nero McCain really is and how such a blessing Obama is to the Unborn and the wonders he’ll do for them when he becomes President!

  • McCain voted for a war which cost, so far, 1 million lives. Many of them innocent Iraqi children.When the invasion of Iraq was incredibly popular, Obama was against it.That says something about the prolife credentials of Obama at a time when being prolife was very unpopular.Chances are, there will be proposals for another war in the next administration (the Bushies have been sabre rattling over Iran), so it’s reasonable to suppose that the actual track record of Obama on supporting invasions vs McCain will influence their decisions on starting another war.It’s a fact that there’s a strong pro-life case for Obama and many Catholics are voting it.That isn’t because they reject the Catholic pro-life position.It’s because they are implementing it with their feet on the ground and with a practical and realistic perspective. Unlike some bishops.God Bless

  • Lydia,<>Bryan, I think Zippy has a point here, <>I wasn’t denying that he had a point. I was only pointing out that his conclusion didn’t follow from his premises.You (and he) are, apparently, expecting the RTL group to tell you everything pertinent to the candidate’s positions on this issue. But the RTL group may intend only to tell you which is the more pro-life candidate, and for that reason not include aspects where they are the same. No one can be trusted to do what they are not intending to do. And therefore not telling you what you expected to hear is not grounds to conclude that they are untrustworthy, but rather, quite possibly, that their intentions were not what you had thought. In the peace of Christ,– Bryan

  • e. says:

    “McCain voted for a war which cost, so far, 1 million lives. Many of them innocent Iraqi children.”So the lost of innocent Iraqi children justifies the subsequent murder of millions of innocent children via an Obama administration?Also, how can McCain be faulted for those casualties?How about the children that died in other past wars?By that same logic, the supporters of anti-slavery that resulted in this country’s civil war should be held responsible for all the children that died in that war as well!

  • brandon field says:

    Tom: I’m just trying to point out that I’ve seen conversations between you and Chris that start out this way.

  • zippy says:

    e:You will find, if you haven’t already, that arguing with Chris on these subjects tends not to be productive. Bryan:<>I was only pointing out that his conclusion didn’t follow from his premises.<>Sure it does.1) When partisans consistently present a one-sided propagandist perspective in their literature published for their own constituency, they render the literature unworthy of trust.2) Pro-lifers are consistently presenting a one-sided and propagandist view of McCain in literature they publish for other pro-lifers.3) Therefore, pro-life literature cannot be trusted.Lydia’s point is exactly right. In addition to this piece, the volunteer handed me a piece on a candidate for Congress. I don’t know whether to trust it or not: it is effectively useless trash, because I know ahead of time that I am not being given an objective assessment of the true pro-life credentials, history, and policies of the candidate but a deliberately skewed piece of propaganda. Basically, telling lies has bad effects whether the person lied to immediately realizes it or not. And these kinds of things are just lies. A deliberately skewed partial truth told to someone entitled to to the whole truth is just a lie, with all that that implies.

  • Dave Mueller says:

    I’ve never really seen a political flyer like that, of any kind, on any issue, where it lists areas of agreement between the candidates. Those types of flyers are sent out to show areas where they disagree, and therefore, where your vote for one candidate or the other will make some difference.No political organization is going to spend money to tell you on which issues the candidates agree.I suppose that they should have also stated that neither candidate is in favor of outlawing abortifacent contraceptives?

  • JohnMcG says:

    <>And therefore not telling you what you expected to hear is not grounds to conclude that they are untrustworthy, but rather, quite possibly, that their intentions were not what you had thought.<>Bingo.What we think their intentions are is to provide an accurate assessment of each candidate’s positions on life issues.What their intentions appear to be is to build a case for the candidate they have determined to be the choice.—And Lydia only touches on the impact to those inclined to follow RTL organizations’ activities.For those not inclined to be told what to do, when RTL’s criteria seem to always closely mirror the Republican candidate’s positions, the credibility of anyone claiming to bre representing the cause for life is damaged, since people will see it as little more than a front for the Republican Party.

  • JohnMcG says:

    I should add that it appears that this particular flier was from the Republican Party rather than a RTL organization, so it would indeed make sense that it would be mainly concerned with promoting McCain versus presenting an objective evaluation on the candidates’s stands on life issues.

  • Dave Mueller says:

    The flyer clearly says it was paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia.You are offended that the goal of the flyer is to elect Republican candidates?

  • zippy says:

    Sure. It was passed out in the parking lot after Mass by pro-life volunteers, not at a Republican rally. And frankly, the NRLC pamphlet I < HREF="https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2008/10/silent-scream-quiz.html" REL="nofollow">linked to earlier<> isn’t any less biased.The message is clear: don’t trust any literature handed to you by a pro-lifer. The individual handing it to you may or may not personally know it is biased propaganda, but it is biased propaganda.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,That a brochure has presented facts in the following manner does not take away from the fact that Obama is a Pro-Abort extremist whose presidency will result in the massacre of additional millions of unborn children.

  • <>3) Therefore, pro-life literature cannot be trusted.<>Sadly, I’ve come to that conclusion too.I think the long term damage this does to the pro-life movement is enormous.God Bless

  • Anonymous says:

    Sippy:Today we must focus the non-elected Legislative-formerly Judicial.And I congratulate the devout for moving people to ask the intercession of St. Martin of Porres (today’s feast), most fittingly, because he represents the two ethnic bloods mix (Hispanic + Black), who are TARGETED by the racist PP ads + abortion chambers-mills locations for the current genocide in USA.The point currently is: we must enlist the help of our angels & saints, to counter the arguing that the USCCB has to walk a “fine line, not to tell (sic) voters”, to avoid voting for the Infanticide Candidate.Wrong.Here, precisely, is proper to tell not to vote for whom blatantly are crushing the Constitutional rights of defenseless human beings (FOCA), as the U.S. Supreme Court.And compare indeed! The greater with the lesser evils:1) The Infanticide Candidate’s abortion VOTING RECORD and commitment to FOCA.2) The McCain pro-life VOTING RECORD and public platform.This election brings us to base: How Will History Judge Catholics?Will start with the USCCB history, and will follow distinguishing responsibilities.This means the angelic sword of flames, dismissing the lay lukewarm. The magnitude of the genocide is so flabbergasting that there is no way to disguise or down play this historic responsibility.RegardsGuillermo Bustamante

  • brandon field says:

    FWIW, that same flier was distributed on cars in the parking lot of the St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville during the morning mass. So that particular one might have been the Virginia Republican party, but the flier itself had wider distribution.To respond to Chris: Chris, if the Church’s Social Justice teachings really were really as simple as you make them out to be, I think that Catholics everywhere would have come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, there are always prudential judgments that look different. Where you, looking at American politics from Down Under, see as self evident truths, Americans — bishops included — see otherwise.

  • Fr.Dennis says:

    Does anyone else worry that, in the end, the Republicans have no intention of really doing anything to stop abortion? If President Bush and other Republicans really believed that 4000 lives were lost each day and that Roe v. Wade was terrible legislation, why don’t they write different legislation? Amend the constitution? If 4000 lives were lost in Iraq each day, wouldn’t we be out of there faster than Al Malaqi could say “timetable?” But, we sit here 8 years after we heard President Bush promised to uphold the rights of unborn children, with just as many children dying now as did when he took office. And the only thing that can be said as “progress” is two more justices on the supreme court MAY overturn Roe v. Wade if it ever is contested. Are we the townspeople that heard the cry of “wolf” from the little boy who keep running up the hill expecting to see danger? Will we ever stop responding to the call?

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Bryan, listen: If we want to talk about the meaning of speech-acts, then I suggest you ask what the meaning is of the speech-act “X interest group endorses Y candidate.” I think you will be deceiving yourself if you deny that this is meant to send a message to those who share X interest: “We have vetted Y candidate, and he is a good guy on this interest that you share with our group. You can trust him on the issues that are taken, standardly, to be live issues in this interest-group area, because we have done research and checked him out in this area.”Now that _is_ the function of an endorsement from an interest group. You can’t possibly deny that. And ESCR has been, up until *just this election*, one of those issues. Yet the endorsement doesn’t mean that, suddenly, with regard to that one of those issues. That calls the reliability of such endorsements vis a vis that standard package of life issues into question. I mean, this shouldn’t even be controversial. This is obvious.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fr. Dennis,“Does anyone else worry that, in the end, the Republicans have no intention of really doing anything to stop abortion?”And, therefore, we should just go out there and vote for Obama who is most certainly for it?“And the only thing that can be said as “progress” is two more justices on the supreme court MAY overturn Roe v. Wade if it ever is contested.”How about the PBA SCOTUS decision rendered by the Roberts/Alito team? Is it really worth having Obama ultimately appoint Pro-Abort judges just because you perceive no progress whatsoever?

  • zippy says:

    <>I mean, this shouldn’t even be controversial. This is obvious.<>And the fact that it is treated as other than obvious <>is itself an example of one kind of damage this is doing to us<>.

  • JohnMcG says:

    This does seem like a case of salt losing its flavor.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Anonymous, Roberts and Alito in the PBA decision joined only in the narrow version that upheld the PBA ban, not in the opinion rendered by Thomas and Scalia that made it clear that they support the overturning of Roe. That decision by Roberts and Alito is actually a cause of worry to those conservatives who know about it.

  • c matt says:

    <>If President Bush and other Republicans really believed that 4000 lives were lost each day and that Roe v. Wade was terrible legislation, why don’t they write different legislation? Amend the constitution?<>Well, first, Roe v Wade is not legislation – it is a Supreme Court case that only the Supreme Court can directly overturn. Yes, a Constitutional Amendment could overturn it. But, unfortunately, that is very difficult to do, and would require not just “Bush” or the Republicans, but the Democrats as well, and then ratification by the States.Again, they could write all the legislation they want, but they would need the Democrats’ support to get things passed. So its not that easy. But the GOP certainly could have done more.And by the way, why are the Democrats the party of death? Why haven’t they done more?

  • Lydia,<>Bryan, listen: If we want to talk about the meaning of speech-acts, then I suggest you ask what the meaning is of the speech-act “X interest group endorses Y candidate.” I think you will be deceiving yourself if you deny that this is meant to send a message to those who share X interest: “We have vetted Y candidate, and he is a good guy on this interest that you share with our group. You can trust him on the issues that are taken, standardly, to be life issues in this interest-group area, because we have done research and checked him out in this area.”Now that _is_ the function of an endorsement from an interest group. You can’t possibly deny that.<>Watch me. I deny it. I’m ready to reason. But if all you have is table-pounding stipulation (that I can refute with a single act), then there is no point. My position has been ruled out of bounds by pure stipulation on your part. That’s not rational dialogue, Lydia, and you know it.How would you know whether you were wrong and I was right? You have insisted that the intention of the NRTL literature is what you assume it must be. If it were me, and this were stuck in my craw (as it seems to be with you and Zippy), then instead of taking the less charitable interpretation (i.e. that they are untrustworthy), I would write the NRTL and ask them whether the intention of their literature was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the candidates’ overall position on this issue, or rather to make a case for the superiority of one candidate over the other on the life issue. When you find out that it is the latter, then instead of accusing them publicly of being untrustworthy, you should admit (perhaps publicly) that you were under a different impression as to the purpose of their literature.You can’t force another person’s intention to be what you want it to be, or blame them for having an intention other than the intention you wanted them to have. Your two options are to accuse them of being untrustworthy, or to acknowledge that they had a different intention (in their literature) than you had thought. You have chosen the former, without ruling out the latter. And the latter seems to be the more charitable, in my opinion. So when my wife says something that seems hurtful, I have two options: I can get upset and accuse her of unkindness, or I can ask for clarification and see if I misunderstood. Likewise, it seems to me that the more charitable response in this (NRTL) case is to correct your understanding of their literature’s intention, rather than blame them for not doing what they weren’t intending to do.In the peace of Christ,– Bryan

  • zippy says:

    <>… then instead of taking the less charitable interpretation (i.e. that they are untrustworthy), …<>It isn’t an <>interpretation<> that the literature is untrustworthy as a general guide to understanding the candidates’ positions on issues crucial to pro-life; it is a <>fact<>. If you want to get a good general understanding of the candidates’ stands on issues crucial to pro-life, you have to go somewhere else other than pro-life literature.

  • e. says:

    Bryan said: “You can't force another person's intention to be what you want it to be, or blame them for having an intention other than the intention you wanted them to have.”To be fair, is there an ability to read hearts that Lydia & Zippy posseses that allows them to declare with the utmost certainty that the intention of such folks (those passing out fliers at Mass, etc.) was indeed one of deceit?

  • Zippy,Trustworthy in this context is a relational term: trustworthy with respect to x. It is the with-respect-to-whatness that is being entirely disregarded here. The Republican Party literature (and the NRTL literature) is not “trustworthy” to provide comprehensive moral evaluations of candidates on the life issues. But it may be trustworthy with respect to its goal of showing that one candidate is superior to the other on the life issues.In the peace of Christ,– Bryan

  • zippy says:

    <>It is the with-respect-to-whatness that is being entirely disregarded here.<>It isn’t being disregarded. The literature can be “trusted” to be biased propaganda supporting the candidate that the organization in question has decided to endorse. It cannot be trusted to provide reasonable, objective information on the candidates’ stand on the list of issues which are or should be crucial to pro-lifers.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,Just what would’ve you like featured on the brochure short of advocating a vote for Obama?

  • zippy says:

    <>To be fair, is there an ability to read hearts that Lydia & Zippy posseses that allows them to declare with the utmost certainty that the intention of such folks (those passing out fliers at Mass, etc.) was indeed one of deceit?<>If you read my post more carefully, you will see that I expect that the people actually handing out the literature are well-meaning. It might have been interesting to ask the gentleman who handed it to me what he thought of McCain’s pro-life credentials overall — who knows what he personally knew or thought? — but there was no opportunity to do so in that particular case.At the end of the day, the critical point in this post is that pro-life organizations and literature cannot be trusted. Pinning the blame on particular individuals isn’t something I find even slightly interesting. Arresting the slide toward Gommorah is something I find acutely interesting. My particular concern here is institutionalized dishonesty as one of the concrete harms arising from support of candidates who support murdering the innocent.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,“My particular concern here is institutionalized dishonesty as one of the concrete harms arising from support of candidates who support murdering the innocent.”You keep saying that as if it yet you neglect your own dishonesty in your dishonest presentation about both candidates, presenting as if there isn’t any difference between the 2 candidates at all.That thing about the mote and all…

  • zippy says:

    <>Just what would’ve you like featured on the brochure short of advocating a vote for Obama?<>First of all, the notion that I would support it advocating a vote for Obama is complete and utter nonsense.I think in order to be honest – to pro-lifers who deserve honesty – the brochure should point out that both Obama and McCain support ESCR, which is a particularly evil form of abortion, that is, the vivisection of living embryos for medical research. It should also point out that although McCain’s voting record on other pro-life issues is reasonably solid, his campaign worked with Republicans for Choice to get the platform language expanded to be more inclusive of pro-choice members in the Republican party. In other words, it should just be bloody honest that he is a difficult compromise for pro-lifers given how awful the other major party candidate is, not a solid pro-life candidate. If we don’t have the truth, we have nothing.

  • zippy says:

    <>You keep saying that as if it yet you neglect your own dishonesty in your dishonest presentation about both candidates, presenting as if there isn’t any difference between the 2 candidates at all.<>I’ve never, ever said that there isn’t any difference between the two candidates. In fact the big controversy over my voting argument is that I conclude that there is no proportionate reason to vote for a candidate who supports murdering the innocent <>even when<> the other candidate is much, much worse. Where have you been?If I were saying “both candidates are equivalent, therefore you shouldn’t vote for either”, my argument would quite rightly be laughed out of Mae East.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,Do grasp the concept of a brochure?For heaven’s sake, we’re talking about a brochure here and not a detailed expose on both candidates!Included in that as well should be Obama’s history of abortion extermism as well in order to render that kind of just presentation.Have you noticed that when you look at a brochure for a car, you see all the features it has; you don’t actually see the elaborate history of such cars as in recalls and what not. Why?Have you heard of such resources as Consumer Reports, etc?Brochures aren’t supposed to be a substitute for Due Diligence, for heaven’s sakes!

  • zippy says:

    e:Did you read Lydia’s comment?Yes, I grasp the concept of a brochure. Do you grasp the concept of honesty, to people who deserve honesty? Do you understand the concept of a material omission of crucial information?Again, what this does is it places pro-life organizations and literature outside the realm of information sources which can be trusted to present the objective truth about crucial issues. That is, quite precisely, the point.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,Did you read what I wrote?Do you ever see in a car brochure a list of how many times that particular model suffered recalls in the past, etc.?You should perhaps take up issue with all these folks (not only the car makers, mind you) as well for their omission of these ‘facts’!But, like I said, a brochure isn’t supposed to be a substitute for Due Diligence!

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Bryan, this is a little amusing, though I suppose unintentionally so on both our parts. I consider myself to be in many ways an intentionalist. That is to say, I don’t think meanings exist somewhere in a Platonic realm divorced from human minds. However, I also recognize that people who say things and do things know full well how they will be used and how they will be understood by the recipients. If I tell you, “I’ve talked to so-and-so, and so-and-so is great on life issues,” I know roughly what you will take that to mean. To be sure, what you take it to mean may change from one time period to another, because what are “hot” issues changes. Nobody had ever heard of ESCR or thought of it thirty years ago. But if I say something like that at a particular time, I will know more or less what set of issues you will take me to have in mind and what set of issues you will take me to have vetted so-and-so on. So if I say that _knowing_ that so-and-so is unsound on a particular “hot” issue, then I’m misleading you by the endorsement.Now, whether you realize this or not, it’s just simply a fact that endorsements by pro-life organizations and in particular the application of the honorific title “pro-life” to a candidate for public office *do function* and always *have functioned* as meaning approximately, “We have checked out so-and-so, and he is good on life issues.” That functional fact is known both to those who make such endorsements and by those who use the endorsements to guide their voting. That functional fact can’t be changed by a simple private intention._No doubt_ the people who run the pro-life organizations would say, if asked, that their “intent” is to tell you which is the better candidate overall. But that’s not really the point. The point is rather that they have made a decision deliberatly to _ignore_ one of the issues that was, until *just this election* (I’m beginning to sound like an echo) a “hot” issue in the contemporary context, because they don’t think it’s as important as beating Barack Obama. Now, that meta-level conclusion (“John McCain’s unwavering support for ESCR isn’t as important as defeating Barack Obama”) is a conclusion they are, as individuals, free to hold. It is even a conclusion that they can come to as organizational leaders. But the extreme suddenness of the volte face on the importance of the ESCR issue creates real problems for their communication with their members, who have up until now *trusted them* to guide their endorsements by the present set of “hot” issues and have therefore been able to use their voter guides helpfully regarding candidates about which they, personally, haven’t been able to do research on each of the relevant present issues. I mean, why would I take a RLM voter guide into the polling booth with me and use it to help me decide whom to vote for among, say, the five candidates for University Board of Regents, for state representative, or for county prosecutor, about whom I *otherwise know nothing* if I didn’t think that the endorsement conveyed information to me about these candidates’ stances on the presently relevant set of issues? I can hardly believe that you can’t see the point of the problem here, Bryan, if you’ve belonged for years (as I have) to such organizations and made use of their endorsement lists as a guide in voting.

  • JohnMcG says:

    <>t should also point out that although McCain’s voting record on other pro-life issues is reasonably solid, his campaign worked with Republicans for Choice to get the platform language expanded to be more inclusive of pro-choice members in the Republican party.<>I’m not so sure about that one — since not working with Republicans For Choice has not been a non-negotiablie issue before.<>Do you ever see in a car brochure a list of how many times that particular model suffered recalls in the past, etc.?<>Maybe not, but I would expect <>Consumer Reports<> to include this information. Which is why when I want to buy a car, I give more weight to <>Consumer Reports<> than advertisements.—That is in essence the nub of the question — you are arguing that RTL groups should be held to the same standard as product advertisements.If that is what the pro-life movement’s credibility is reduced to, that will be worse than anything Barack Obama will do.

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