The Corner

Re: So Once Again

Ramesh, I don’t want to fight again, but c’mon.  I agree — I wish Rudy and the campaign would not do the “throw women in jail” bit.  Pro-lifers are not pushing for that, and it is just — understandably — making pro-lifers irate when they read/hear that stuff.  But, in context, I really don’t think what Rudy said was as offensive as the NYPost article Rich referred to suggested. 

Rudy’s argument is not that the pro-lifers don’t have a point.  It is that we shouldn’t have a stalemate among what he acknowledged were “very good people” on both sides of the abortion issue that prevents Republicans and conservatives from considering the candidate vis-a-vis all the issues.  With due respect, I don’t think that’s far from what Ramesh has argued about McCain — i.e., that he’s owed a second look based on the full arc of his positions which, however much one or the other may bother Republicans and conservatives, is an overall record they can feel comfortable pulling the lever for.

Now, I don’t want to pooh-pooh this.  The unborn are not, in my mind, materially different from the enslaved of the 19th Century.  I’m convinced, based in large part on the eloquent arguments Ramesh makes in The Party of Death, that a century from now, conventional wisdom will be as unkind to those who turn a convenient blind-eye to the unborn as it now is to those who turned a blind eye to the evil that was slavery.  I have a great deal of empathy for, and I think Rudy fully respects, those who can’t get beyond this issue. 

But the case for a candidate who is not going to repudiate his prior positions on life has to be that people should move beyond abortion.  Not ignore abortion, but move beyond it in the sense of weighing the candidate’s full set of positions, including those on abortion.  What else could Rudy’s position be?  What else could he possibly say to offer himself to voters in the same way that Ramesh has said McCain should be understood as offering himself to voters — i.e., as a full package that conservatives can support notwithstanding deep disagreements on some crucially important issues.

It may not end up being a persuasive argument.  But it is not an offensive argument, and it is not being offered in an offensive way — even if it’s being reported as if it were being offered offensively.  The Post article intimates that Rudy was telling pro-lifers to pound sand.  That’s a million miles from the truth, and we at NRO should be putting things in context, not just repeating and reacting to the Post’s very incomplete version of events.  It’s not like the full version does not give pro-lifers anything to complain about.  But let’s not make it into something it wasn’t.

Most Popular


In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
National Security & Defense

In Defense of the Iraq War

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict -- countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and ... Read More

The War on Red Caps Roars On

Three recent prosecutions suggest that President Trump’s supporters who have endured abuse and violence for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats will receive justice. Police arrested Ryan M. Salvagno, 19, of Somerset, N.J., on February 27. Two days earlier, authorities say, he hounded an ... Read More