Friday, February 24, 2012

As Mitt Romney Tries to Shift the Debate to Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, Social Issues Like Pre-Abortion Testing in Virginia Present a Challenge to His Candidacy

Mitt and His Potential VP Mate Va. Gov.  Robert McDonnell Face an Unpleasant Choice

Republican controlled states have moved around the Supreme Court’s guarantee that a woman is the one in charge of her body by enacting all sorts of restrictions on the right to an abortion.  The idea is to make it so difficult to obtain an abortion that abortion rights will be eliminated de facto if not de jure.

Virginia is a moderate state that for reasons beyond understanding has turned it government over to radical Conservatives.  These radicals are not representative of the state’s electorate, yet the state voters continue to elect them.  This results in Virginians getting the government they deserve, but not the government they want.  Case in point is abortion rights.  Here is the rather ugly description by Think Progress of the policy Conservatives want to put into place in Virginia.  (accompanying graphic diagram is omitted)

 a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

As might be expected, there has been a substantial backlash against the proposed legislation and stalwart radical Conservative Gov. Robert McDonnell of Virginia, who covets the second spot on a Romney ticket has been forced into reconsideration of his support.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is backing off his unconditional support for a billrequiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, focusing new attention on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly this year.

Until this weekend, McDonnell (R) and his aides had said the governor would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. McDonnell, who strongly opposes abortion, will no longer make that commitment.

There is a whole bunch of other objectionable material in the proposed legislation, like requirements for what is put in a person's private medical file.  One would think that Conservatives more than anyone else would reject the idea that government should control what goes in a persons medical records, but then Conservatives don't really believe in limiting government intervention into citizen's lives, do they.

Mr. McDonnell would obviously like a compromise to make the issue go away and is now supporting a bill which drops the highly odious provisionss and retains only the mostly odious positions.   But the key factor here is Mitt Romney.  Mr. Romney needs to avoid even being asked the question of whether or not he supports the Virginia bill.  Mr. Romney is trying to make tax and economic policy the center of the campaign, because he cannot challenge Mr. Santorum on conservative issues as even Mr. Romney cannot change his positions to such a degree as to be more preferable to social Conservatives on social issues than Mr. Santorum.

But if Mr. Romney has to answer the question of whether or not he supports the Virginia policy his candidacy will suffer from whatever answer he gives.  So look for Mr. Romney to be prepared to totally duck the issue if he cannot prevent it from being brought up.  And since Mr. Romney has had rather a bad time of it recently, The Dismal Political Economist will, as a goodwill gesture free of charge, provide the answer he can give.  (It’s just not hard to come up with a weasel like answer).

“Virginia has the right to do whatever they want, I support their policy of anti-abortion rights and may or may not agree with their specifics”.

And so for everyone else, when you hear Mr. Romney say something like that you all will know where it came from.

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