President Obama is offering up a new version of the old fable of the stone soup. You’ll recall the Brothers Grimm fairy tale where the strangers come to town, offering nothing but a stone in the bottom of their kettle. They persuade the townspeople to add some potatoes, carrots, and soup bones, just for “garnish.” Soon they had a feast-for free.
In 1976, candidate Jimmy Carter came to Iowa. He said he “didn’t like abortion.” And he pledged to reduce “the need for abortion.” This at least was something.
To most people, the Republican candidate wasn’t even offering a stone. President Ford never mentioned abortion, or the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion-on-demand. He let the First Lady, Betty Ford, speak out, offering her strongly pro-abortion views.
The Republican Party actually condemned Roe v. Wade in its 1976 platform. But President Ford ignored that fact, and a biased press played up Mrs. Ford’s vocal support. In her memoirs, Betty Ford praised her hubby for “letting me do all the talking about abortion. That was wise of him,” she said. It was wise only if Ford didn’t need Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Liberal journalist Elizabeth Drew praised Carter for wrapping “a liberal policy stance in conservative rhetoric.” Carter went on to win the election. He named hundreds of judges to the federal judiciary, but not one pro-lifer.
He did, however, name the pro-life Joe Califano as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, the predecessor to HHS. Carter also supported and signed the Hyde Amendment, which banned federal funding of abortion, something Ford had allowed to go forward.
Obama is using Carter’s successful rhetoric without even a scintilla of Carter’s significant concessions to pro-life sentiment. Under Obama, we are being forced to pay to promote abortions around the world. We may be forced to pay for abortion-on-demand in his health care takeover. Pro-life doctors and nurses could be forced to take part in killing unborn children-or, more likely, killing their careers rather than compromise their conscience. Obama’s rhetoric is appealing, rather like that nice hot stone soup. But his common ground is as lacking in substance as that empty kettle. The morning after, we’ll awake to find it was only “some enchanted evening.”
Today, I had the opportunity to attend the “Save Our D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Rally” at Freedom Plaza. Students from several Charter and private schools were in attendance chanting, “Put Kids First,” as well as parents, who were very concerned about the loss of funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships, which allow students to attend private schools, instead of lower performing public schools throughout the District.
The crowd heard from many speakers, including Former Mayor Anthony Williams, Council member Marion Barry, School Choice advocate, Virginia Walden Ford, and many others, who were concerned about the education system in Washington, D.C. While there were many parents who spoke on behalf of the scholarships, the real impact came from two young men who talked about the education that they are able to achieve at the private schools where they are attending, compared to the public schools they used to attend. Both of these young men are brilliant, and there is no doubt that they will be able to achieve whatever career path they choose to pursue. Here is the video of their speech:
Why President Obama would want to end their dreams by eliminating these scholarships is puzzling. Obama was a product of a quality private education, and he has chosen the same education for his daughters, Sasha and Malia. Why would he deny the same opportunity for students in the District?
Pat Buchanan’s latest column tracks the impact of values voters in 2008. He reports on a new book by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who chronicles the woes the GOP faces among the fastest-growing portions of the electorate: African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and the young (single women, in particular). While the news is bleak, there is an aperture of light for the GOP, much like the narrow windows in the Tower of London. First, the largest segment of voters in 2008’s presidential election based their decision on change a theme that helped Obama then but will be stronger for his opponent in 2012. And the second strongest motivator was values, where, as Buchanan notes, McCain beat Obama two-to-one:
Among values voters, fully 30 percent of the electorate, McCain won 65 percent to 32 percent, or by two to one.
What these numbers demonstrate is that liberals and neocons instructing the GOP to dump the social, moral and cultural issues are counseling Republicide. When African-Americans, who gave McCain 4 percent of their votes in California, gave Proposition 8, prohibiting gay marriage, 70 percent of their votes, why would the GOP give up one of its trump cards not only in Middle America but among minorities?
A conservative who could have sharpened the social, moral and cultural differences might, from the exit polls, have done far better.
McCain’s diffidence on life, affirmative action and gay rights, his embrace of amnesty and NAFTA, all help explain the enthusiasm gap.
As we know all too well, the GOP is all too prone to dumping trump cards. Buchanan calls this tendency “Republicide.” It could be taken as referring both to the GOP and the future of the Republic. The latter deserves the first priority. Will the GOP be part of it and will conservative Democrats make the same commitment? If they are listening to voters, yes.