Senator John McCain is talking to you. What? You can’t hear him. Listen harder. Nothing? Oh wait, you’re not wearing your decoder ring.
McCain is talking almost incessantly the last week about abortion and freedom of religion. The media’s not helping because they’re consumed with declaring Barack Obama the Democratic nominee. But McCain has been trying to speak to religious pro-lifers but like I said, it’s in code. You’ll hear two words coming out of McCain’s mouth quite often: “Roberts and Alito.”
He’s vowing to appoint conservative judges like Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito. “I will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint,” he said.
That’s as close to red meat that McCain gets.
McCain focuses on Roberts and Alito because they are the hope of conservatives for turning over Roe V. Wade. He stays away from mentioning Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas because let’s face it -for one Thomas has political baggage. But also Scalia has been on the bench for twenty two years. There’s bound to be a case or two that can be used to pummel McCain on if he is out there mentioning Scalia all the time.
Ironically, McCain is talking about nominating justices like Roberts and Alito who found many tenets of his own campaign finance reform law unconstitutional. But I digress…and so does he because he knows that much of the conservative base which still doesn’t trust him may, in the end, vote for him because of one issue, the issue which goes unspoken -ABORTION.
That’s what so much of this campaign is going to come down to. Liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof knows it. He wrote today of the fear of Hillary voters not voting for Obama in the general election, “It’s true that most of Senator Clinton’s supporters presumably will flinch if they contemplate a McCain Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell said something similar but from the opposite side. Sowell said John McCain could never convince him to vote for McCain. Only one man could do that. That man’s name is Barack Obama.
Make no mistake, the future direction of the Supreme Court is very much at stake in this November’s presidential election. The two or three justices most likely to depart the Court over the next four years — Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg, and possibly Justice Souter — are liberal judicial activists. If a President Obama names their successors Roe will likely be preserved for at least another generation.
And McCain is saying everything he can to keep your eye on that fact. In fact, take a look at his home page at JohnMcCain.com. The site looks more like it belongs to conservative stalwart and culture warrior Sen. Sam Brownback than the John McCain we’ve come to know and…be wary of. The headline of the site is McCain looking off inspiringly into the distance and next to him it say “Defending Freedom and Dignity.” The dignity part is his attempt at code for abortion and euthanasia.
Now here’s the best part. Under it he has a quote from William Wilberforce which says, “When we think of eternity and of the future consequences of all human conduct what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion and God.”
Pro-lifers often (and fairly) compare abortion to slavery as both denied human dignity to certain members. That’s why Wilberforce is there.
Notice that McCain is talking to us now while the media is consumed with the Democratic nomination process. See, McCain knows that to win in this desperate time for Republicans which include an unpopular war and a shaky economy, he must appeal to moderates, independents and Democrats. He doesn’t believe he can make a play for New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Michigan if he’s talking about abortion in plainspeak. McCain wants to appeal to moderates while intimating his conservative credentials. He’s saying many of the right things. Can you hear him? Do you want to?