A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The much overlooked. . .

. . .Supreme Court nominee, Ramesh Ponnuru, posted an email and answer from a reader who still has reservations about John McCain with regard to his dedication to pro-life issues, and makes a very valid point. Here's the meat of the email:
"McCain came out and said that he doesn’t care much about the social issues. As the author of The Party of Death, doesn’t that bother you? It bothers me. I’ll vote for him, but I’m not enthusiastic. It’s the same way I’d feel if Giuliani were the nominee."

Ponnuru goes on to point out that John F. Kennedy was less than passionate about the Civil Rights Movement, though he did support it in principle, and that it is of little importance whether or not someone signs legislation with a flourish, so long as he signs the legislation. This line sums it up nicely:
Would I prefer it if McCain brought to the life issues the passion of Sam Brownback? Sure. But a country capable of electing a Brownback president wouldn’t need him.

I would actually go a little further and say that McCain's relatively casual approach to the issue insulates him from a good deal of the alarmist rhetoric that his opponents on Right to Life issues would employ against him. After all, it would be an exercise in absurdity for NARAL to try to portray McCain as some kind of zealot, dead set on a course to jail teenagers who seek abortions out of desperation, or persecute abortion providers with midnight office raids. John McCain has been nothing if not practical in his opposition to abortion, and he has been just as consistent in it.

There's also been some concern expressed over his opposition to the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. I can understand, and indeed sympathize, with those who are concerned with his stance on this issue. At the same time, it seems clear to me that science has largely overtaken the issue and rendered moot much of the clamoring of its proponents, given the efficacy of research on adult stem cells in recent months.

It seems to me that McCain, once presented with all the information that is now available in the area of adult stem cell research, could easily persuaded that to insist on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research would be not only injurious to the good-faith opposition of pro-lifers on the matter, but also an unnecessarily divisive use of taxpayer funds when so much promise lies in the work of the private sector in areas about which there is unanimous acceptance.

Conservatives who are truly concerned about McCain's stance on social issues would do well to consider how much benefit can be drawn from having a person on their side who agrees with them in principle, but not to such an extent that it makes him a canvass for people who would gleefully paint him in the brightest of Luddite hues for it.

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