Thursday, August 11, 2005

Shouldn't A Montanan Know Better?

Nancy Keenan is the president of NARAL. She's currently heading a campaign against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, in attempts to portray him as an anti-abortion extremist. People aren't buying it, and as a result, neither will senators.

Keenan, a former Montana State Legislature, should know better. It's not suprising when the low ranking members of NARAL, who are mostly fresh out of college east coasters, throw a "screw abstinence" party, but it's another thing for a woman who is versed in Red-State politics to preside over the spending of such valuable political capital on such a token cause. NARAL's intention of keeping abortion legal isn't unreasonable, but their campagin to defeat John Robert's confirmation is.

John Roberts might have some skeletons in his closet. However, anti-abortion stances aren't significant enough to cause 45 Democrats and 6 Republicans to reject him. If NARAL's only interest in Robert's nomination is the abortion issue, than they need to understand that he's probably as close to a pro-choice justice as they can get from Bush.

However, NARAL knows this. They know that they have no input in the nomination process. They control few if any senators, despite GOP rhetoric that alleges that Democrats are controlled by extreme abortion interests. Further, the more extreme their voice becomes, the more Democrats will distance themselves from the group.

Demlog describes the reactions of pro-choicers to NARAL's campaign.


At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. NARAL and the issue advocacy on the left is too disconnnected from electoral politics to confront the megalithic power structure the right has.

The factions of the GOP are more smart about winning elections and therefore more in control of legislation. And therefore everybody on the right stays happy.

On the right, the conch gets handed from the Theocrats to the Robber-barons to the Empire Building Chickenhawks without much fuss. Mostly whatever it will take to win an election.

On the left, there's circular firing squads and we snipe each other, nobody more fruitlessly than NARAL.

Rather than unify to take out Santorum in PA with a (anti-choice) Dem who could beat Santorum, or taking out Chafee in RI and getting more seats, the single-issue blinders go on and they torpedo candidates who don't pass litmus tests.

Duh. The litmus test should be can this guy win. And once he does will he caucus with the Democrats? !

Harry Reid is anti-choice and he's the leader of the Democrats, for god's sake.

How often do you see anti-Pataki ads from the National Rifle Association?

As a campaign strategy wonk, NARAL kills me. Kills me! Think about November, think about committee chairmanships, think about something bigger than your SINGLE ISSUE.


At 11:23 AM, Blogger dkreiss said...

I agree that the ad is stupid politically, but I would challenge the assertion (implicit in the last comment) that NARAL should unify behind the Democrats.

The best post about NARAL has come from Digby thus far, who points out, among other things that in 1976, the two-Democratically held chambers of Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which ended federal funding of abortions.

Digby, and many others, have also looked at the efforts of the NRA. They have been very smart with their endorsements of both Dems and Republicans, and have built their power base pursuing that strategy.

NARAL's interest in is in protecting a woman's right to choose; the last thing I would want to see them do is pursue a union strategy when they lose even under their Democratic patrons.

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Good point, but it's also necessary to understand that just because the act passed the Democratic congress does not mean that the majority of Democrats voted in favor.

Also 1976 Democratic party was more diverse than the Democrats of today. There were more socially conservative Democrats from southern states especially. Of course, there were also more liberal Republicans from Northern states.

- Jersey Perspective


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