Thank You, John McCain

As Jeff Fecke suggested in his excellent post, which Kyle linked to earlier today, we have John McCain to thank for giving Barack Obama the perfect opening to highlight the stark difference between himself and McCain in the area of abortion rights, and reproductive rights in general.

Here are the first two paragraphs of Jeff’s post:

What do you do when your opponent picks a radically anti-choice vice presidential candidate? Well, if you’re a normal human being with an ounce of political sense, you remember that most Americans are pro-choice, and you react accordingly.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to a normal human being with at least an ounce of political sense. His name is Barack Obama.

Alan Wolfe trains his attention on that Christian right whose votes McCain wants to buy with Sarah Palin’s virulent anti-choice stance (anti-choice for other women, of course, not for her own daughter). What, Wolfe asks, does Bristol Palin’s baby tell us about that Christian right?

It may seem like ages ago but during the Clinton administration, conservative traditionalists were everywhere. The nuclear family is sacrosanct. Women should shun the workforce and become full-time moms. Kids should obey their parents and, if they choose not to, discipline, including harsh measures, ought to be applied. Sex outside of marriage is strictly forbidden.  Our culture is spinning wildly out of control, and sexual liberation, the worst byproduct of the God-awful 1960s, is the cause.  And, by the way, abortion is murder and should be forbidden.

All that is left, if the Palin controversy is any indication, is abortion. Palin’s defenders, far from being traditionalists, are moral relativists. We should not rush to judgment. It is important to understand the pressures that families face. Love is all you need. Forgive in order to forget. People are entitled to their privacy, even, if not especially, in the bedroom. The state should not be in the business of telling people what to do. It sounds like the language of the left, but it has also had long resonance on the libertarian right. When the McCain campaign said that Bristol Palin had a choice, it was correct. These days we all have choices. The fact that we do has always bothered conservative traditionalists.

Sarah Palin’s nomination is a public service. No longer will we hear lectures from the likes of Newt Gingrich telling poor women on welfare how to conduct their sex lives. Focus on the Family will have to focus on a different kind of family.  William Bennett has no virtues left to write about. At long last our national nightmare over sexual hypocrisy has come to an end, and we can all thank John McCain for that.

And that is not all. In rushing to Sarah Palin’s defense, the leaders of the Christian right have made it abundantly clear how they define a Christian. We don’t care if you sin. We are not bothered if you put your ambition ahead of the needs of your children. If you have lied or broken the law, we will look the other way. It all comes down to your stand on guns and fetuses. Vote the right way, and you have our blessing. If any proof were needed that James Dobson is a political operative rather than a spiritual leader, his jumping on the Palin bandwagon offers it.

However, just when you think the right cannot get any more hypocritical about Bristol Palin and her shotgun wedding plans, someone comes along and completely disarms you. In this case, it’s Byron York at The Corner:

On a question that is flying around here in St. Paul: What about the presence of one Levi Johnston, the 18 year-old father of Bristol Palin’s unborn child?  At the end of this kind of speech, there is usually a lot of applause, music, and the candidate’s family up on stage.  Johnston is in St. Paul, I am told, but there has been no final decision about what he will do tonight.

“This is not an issue that we’re going to act ashamed or scared about,” my source told me.  “Despite the media coverage of this, voters still have such a great response to [Sarah Palin].  This just makes her more real.”  So, I asked, does that mean Johnston will be on stage with the Palin family?  “At this point we don’t know whether he will be up on stage,” I was told.  “It remains to be seen.  There hasn’t been a decision made yet.”

Perhaps I’m focusing on an irrelevant issue, but the presence, or non-presence, of Johnston on the stage tonight strikes me as important.  It’s one thing for delegates to be understanding and compassionate about the fix these two teenagers have gotten themselves into.  It’s another to actually celebrate it.  And, given what we’ve learned in the last few days, if Johnston is up on stage with his girlfriend and the Palin family, and Republicans are wildly cheering, it will certainly look like they are celebrating this situation.

I don’t usually engage in these scenarios, but I’ll do it here.  If the Obamas had a 17 year-old daughter who was unmarried and pregnant by a tough-talking black kid, my guess is if that they all appeared onstage at a Democratic convention and the delegates were cheering wildly, a number of conservatives might be discussing the issue of dysfunctional black families.

Well said, Byron.

2 Responses to “Thank You, John McCain”

  1. ivette says:

    i would like to see thank you for everythink you did for all of us

  2. ivette says:

    to john & sahra tnakyou

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