Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Wesley Clark's pandering to insanity 

On abortion, on one end, you have people who think abortion is murder and that it should not be allowed under any circumstances. On the other end, if one were to take the opposite of that, it would be people who favor abortion anywhere, anytime, for any reason. But isn't that kinda loopy? I can understand why one would take the former position out of conviction, but the latter position is just insane if one takes it to the logical conclusion. What if a woman's water breaks, and she decides on the spot that she just doesn't want to go through with it? Can she have an abortion then? What about when dilation begins? 3cm? 6cm? 9cm? What about when the head starts coming out? What if the baby's feet comes out first and the woman decides that she can't go through with all the pain? Can she have an abortion then?

The reason I ask this is that Wesley Clark says it would be perfectly okay for the women to abort her baby in any of these circumstances:

McQuaid: Late term abortion? No limits?

Clark: Nope.

McQuaid: Anything up to delivery?

Clark: Nope, nope.

McQuaid: Anything up to the head coming out of the womb?

Clark: I say that it's up to the woman and her doctor, her conscience, and law--not the law. You don't put the law in there.
I'm not going to condemn Clark for believing this, because I don't think this is what he actually believes. For all I know he's an ardent pro-lifer and there's a tape out there from two years ago with Clark's saying that abortion doctors are baby killers. No one knows what Clark really thinks on any political subject, and Clark likes it that way. In that respect, he's the opposite of John Kerry: while Kerry takes both sides of an issue and hope you only heard the side you agree with, Clark takes no position and hopes that you project your positions onto him.

But when he is forced to take a position, like in this case with abortion, Clark takes the position of the interest groups he'll need to please. I have absolutely no data on this, but I can safely guess that few people outside of feminist groups would be in favor of allowing a woman in labor to abort her baby. Despite that, however, Clark still thinks that taking such a position would help him win the nomination. Now I realize that politicians need to put together a coalition of voters, but juxtapose this to Bush's illegal immigrants plan to see what the difference is in the two parties and why the left is going to lose badly in November. While Clark and others on the left seek votes by taking the positions of the special interest groups of their party, Bush is gathering moderate support by giving the finger to special interest groups of his party. With the political situation and demographics the way they are now, Democrats need every interest group of their party to fully support their candidate for them to win a national election. This is doubly true for the primaries, which while it makes what Clark said more understandable, it makes it no less wrong or depressing.

And lastly, the is a terrible political move, because it will hurt his chances at getting the nomination. The appeal of Clark, as someone with no discernible political opinions, is that he's "electable" because he's a general and can appear moderate to swing voters. But if he were the candidate, all Bush has to do is play this tape of Clark on abortion and any tapes in the future of Clark's pandering to the far left. And once Democrats realize that statements like these make Clark no more electable than Dean, they'll flock to the candidate with whom they actually agree rather than the one that seems most likely to beat Bush.

Make no mistake about it. Wesley Clark is a terrible candidate. He just doesn't seem to know what he's doing. If he were the Democratic nominee, Bush will not only beat Clark. Bush will slaughter Clark. And yet somehow Clark is considered by everybody as the leading "moderate" in this field of candidates. Speaking as someone who voted for Gore four years ago and have no interest in seeing the Republicans acquire a supermajority, this just makes me more disgusted at what a pathetic bunch of Democrats we have this year.
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