Friday, June 06, 2008

Why a speaker at the National Right to Life convention can besmirch who we are and what we do

What's wrong with this picture?


One of the things that's beautiful about the right to life movement is that it's so selfless.

Nobody's there to make money. (In fact, an astonishingly large number of people work long hours for no pay at all. I know of one state's RTL affiliate who works this like it's a full-time job. Only without pay. Compare that to the lobbyists on K Street).

And honestly, nobody's there to get a lot of political clout. For 99% of politicians, right-to-lifers are an embarrassment. They're happy to have us out of the way.

Rove is the Bobby Baker of our generation, a slick political operative who has manuvered George Bush to where he is today.

And where he is involves an administration that has done -- despite loud promises -- next to nothing for the right to life.

Lots of Americans -- my wife included -- held their noses and voted for Bush in 2004 "because of the Supreme Court." What we got was Chief Justice John Roberts who said that Roe v. Wade is the "settled law of the land."

Having Rove speak at a National Right to Life convention is an embarrassment to a movement that has worked long and hard to secure a fundamental right for the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly, among others. Having him speak makes our movement look like just another special group, lining up for a place at the trough.

I understand that working in Washington sometimes involves political associations that are less than ideal. For instance, the Right to Life PAC has endorsed John McCain for president, a man whose loathing for us is well-known. But I respect that sometimes endorsements must be made that might not be made under better circumstances.

But having Rove speak is quite another thing. It would be better to have no speaker than to have this weasel give an address. There's still time to dis-invite him.

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