Ramesh asks, “How big a vulnerability is [Obama's Born-Alive vote] for Obama?”
I submit that it’s a tremendous vulnerability, as evidenced by the reaction of Democrats noted by Peter Wehner below. In fact, there are two vulnerabilities, each potentially devastating. These vulnerabilities, admittedly, are somewhat contingent on the behavior of the mainstream media.
So far, it appears major media is behaving as we’ve come to expect: ignore, confuse, dismiss. How successful this obfuscation will be given the profound toxicity of the issue and the ubiquity of alternate media is difficult to gauge.
Last month I mentioned that some Ohio politicos told me that focus group data showed the Born-Alive issue to be highly radioactive. Almost no one had heard about it but when told the specifics the reactions were nearly universal: brief incredulity followed by revulsion. This shouldn’t be surprising and it should hold for most demographics — most folks have an unfavorable visceral reaction to someone who has, shall we say, an opportunity to help vulnerable babies but declines to do so.
I’m unaware of any recent focus group or polling data on the matter but this is such a gut issue that such data may be superfluous. Do you know anyone who would vote the same way as Obama? Not one member of the senate did. That kind of uniformity on a substantive issue is stunning — and an ominous barometer for Obama.
The second vulnerability is the cover-up. Obama’s gymnastics on this issue are breathtaking. He has issued at least four explanations for his vote. The explanations are either demonstrably false, inconsistent with the other explanations and/or flatly nonsensical. The axiom is that the cover-up is always worse than the act — at least if the press doesn’t like you to begin with. The press may be reluctant to cover this, but Obama has exposed himself in a way that could cause enormous damage to his campaign’s narrative; transcendent figures normally avoid giving the appearance of callously ignoring the most vulnerable among us.