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Backwards Bob: A Record on Choice

by: teacherken

Mon Aug 10, 2009 at 16:44:40 PM EDT

This was posted by the Deeds campaign, which is pushing it heavily.  And note:

teacherken :: Backwards Bob: A Record on Choice
they accompany the distribution of the video with this text:
Bob McDonnell and Creigh have very different views concerning a woman's right to choose. Creigh believes it is up to a woman, her family, her doctor and her spiritual advisor to make this decision. Our opponent believes government should make this decision, and supports outlawing a woman's right to choose even in the case of rape or incest.

But this is about more than just one issue. It's about priorities

In the state legislature, Bob McDonnell sponsored not one, not twenty, but thirty-five bills restricting a woman's right to choose. Think about that for a minute. Thirty-five bills-at least one a year, usually more.

And to encourage you to read more about McDonnell's record, the campaign provides this link to download a pdf with a comprehensive look at McDonnell on issues related to choice.  

There are many key points, concluding with McDonnell's opposition to Obama's speaking at the Notre Dame commencement, and including allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraceptions and voting to prevent public schools from informing students that certain contraceptions can be taken to prevent pregnancy after sexual assault.

Bob McDonnell may want to campaign as a moderate, but he can only do so if he totally abandons his public career to date.

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Repeating the mistakes of the past
This is going to be spun as an attack on McDonnell's religion, just like Kilgore/Kaine in 2005 (Kaine attacked by Kilgore for his Catholic based anti-death penalty position). I see nothing inconsistent with McDonnell's legislative positions with his Catholic faith.  Plus Deeds adds gasoline to the fire by using words like "outrageous," "backwards," and even "crusade" (in the video).  

I've already written enough on this with Lowell on BV, and tried to prevent such a silly move by Deeds on BC previously.  Oh well, back to the progressive pro-life issue of health care...

hardly an attack on his religion
but he swears an oath to constitutions, not to his religion.  He is now claiming to be a moderate, but his positions on matters of choice are very far from being moderate, which makes it a legitimate issue.

It is also a legitimate policy difference between the two candidates, one that probably favors Deeds.  It is very far from being a personal attack.  Creigh is not comparing him to Hitler, as Kilgore did about Kaine, which is why that backfired.

A large part of the battle will be for independents, especially in NoVa.  Whether or not that approve of abortion on demand, most want it available at least in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of a mother.  And to deny after the fact contraception in cases of sexual assault will anger a large number of women.

This is my world and welcome to it

[ Parent ]
And meanwhile
Independents and voters concerned about jobs, the economy, and transportation only have one candidate talking about those issues.

[ Parent ]
also very wrong
and the way the Republican party chair talked about jobs, saying the people in SW Va would rather have welfare, is not exactly what the people want to hear.

Try to spin all you want.  Deeds has talked about jobs and the economy throughout both the primary and general.  McDonnell can pretend, but he has a track record on social issues that is legitimate, and will hurt him with swing voters.

This is my world and welcome to it

[ Parent ]
Definitely OK to bring up the issue
I was just offended by the language, e.g., "outrageous", "backwards", and "crusade" (which was definitely not a high point in Church history).  

I agree that the policy generally favors Deeds, but it could have been presented much better.  Pro-choice issue voters were already going to vote for Deeds -- but to firm up the base, he is calling Church doctrine "outrageous."

Does anyone really think that McDonnell could take away abortion on demand in the cases of "rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother", let alone "deny after the fact contraception in cases of sexual assault"?  Roe v. Wade precludes this, as well as the overwhelming will of the people.  Even if Roe v. Wade went down (after the appointment of Sotomayor?), would there be enough political will in Virginia to pass laws in Virginia to prohibit abortions (but maybe, the old laws are still on the books?).  And even if they were passed (or still exist), would not they be revoked after the next set of elections.  And in the meantime, Maryland, which has affirmatively allowed abortions, is a very short trip away for most of the Progressive demographic.

My take on this is that Deeds is "tilting at windmills" here.  McDonnell does have an out of mainstream view of abortion, but there is little evidence that he could do anything about the vast majority of abortions.  

I will address the birth control issue soon re: Kathy's comment.

My main point is that McDonnell's personal position on abortion appears to based on Catholic doctrine.  Deeds is attacking his personal position using inflammatory language. McDonnell's natural answer to the issue is that his personal beliefs will not prevent his administrations of the laws, including the law set forth by Roe v. Wade, and the law re: contraception (Griswald v. CT?).  This is what happened to Kaine re: the death penalty, and he came out looking good.

Thanks for the comments.

[ Parent ]
It is most definitely not
an attack on any religion to address policy, especially policy that puts him at the extreme edges of our country.  It is so extreme that, for example, the overwhelming majority of Catholics, believe the use of birth control is OK, despite the church hierarchy's protestations.  It would be worse than hypocritical to allow  a hierarchy, or its political surrogate, demand that no one can use birth control, when even the members of that faith do so overwhelmingly.

"One person, one vote" died at the hands of SCOTUS, January 21, 2010

[ Parent ]
Has McDonnell attempted to deny birth control?
Not trying to defend the guy, just trying to be fair.  I see evidence re: education and providing contraception, not banning contraception.  But I could be wrong.

If one believes that some types of birth control cause abortions (which is the Church position, especially re: "Plan B" contraception and IUDs), is it unreasonable to deny state intervention in "marketing" the availability of such contraception, or actually providing such contraception (in State schools).  Condoms are one thing, but chemicals (e.g., "Plan B") and techniques which technically prevent "pregnancy" (implantation) but result in the death of an embryo (e.g., IUDs), are quite another.  

I just see no evidence that McDonnell is going to "demand that no one can use birth control," and I do not see why the Democrats need to take deceptive tactics on this issue.  Republicans as of late have cornered the market on deceptive tactics (letters from fake constituents, paid Town Hall protesters, etc).  Just put out the facts and take the high road.  The problem I see with both parties is that they bicker too much about things they generally agree on to gain political points.  And then nothing gets done.      

[ Parent ]
Oh, for goodness sakes
You write, "I just see no evidence that McDonnell is going to "demand that no one can use birth control," and I do not see why the Democrats need to take deceptive tactics on this issue."

Well, that is not because the evidence does not exist, but because you are refusing to see it.  

Bob McDonnello has made his absolute opposition to abortion and birth control absolutely clear. It is commonly understood to be his position, and it is frequently discussed on blogs, in the media and in campaigns.

If it is not his position, he has had literally thousands of opportuntities to set the record straight. So ask yourself, why hasn't he done so?

Well, the reason why he doesn't clarify his position because if he did and he told the truth, he would alienate 80% of the Virginia electorate that disagrees with him on this issue. If he lied and moderated his position, he would alienate his base.

Seriously, Mr. Ward, why are you even raising this as a question. It doesn;t get much more obvious.

The Virginia Democrat

[ Parent ]
Position vs. Actions
Seriously, Mr. Ward, why are you even raising this as a question. It doesn;t get much more obvious.

I hope you are implying that I am mentioning the issue because I think that for Progressives to be 100% pro-choice is a wrong headed move.  I think to throw away the arguably penultimate progressives, that is Catholics, to win minor points on abortion is just silly.  A general message that religion is "backwards" is self defeating to the main goals of Progressivism, and should be abandoned.

I agree that McDonnell's "position" on contraception is out of the mainstream.  I see no "evidence" that he will impose his "position" re: banning birth control -- the phrase I disagreed with was "demand that no one can use birth control".  Ever since Griswold v. Connecticut in 1967, contraception has been legal throughout the United States.  Why try to scare people that McDonnell will "ban" birth control?  How is this to happen?  

I would like McDonnell to say definitively what he will do on the abortion issue.  I would also like Deeds to do the same.  While Ken (I think it was him) implied that Deeds has a moderate stand on abortion, I see nothing in writing which indicates the same.  I thought Deeds had a moderate stand (which was one reason I voted for him), but his most recent comments indicate the opposite, indicating that abortion was only a decision for the mother and the health provider.  I can sleep well at night supporting a candidate with a moderate abortion stance, as long as that candidate makes other progressive efforts (adoption support, prenatal care, improved leave policies, etc.) which reduce the incidence of abortion.  That's where I think Creigh is, but I just want him to say it.  



[ Parent ]
First, my asking why you were even raising a question had do with your assertion that McDonnell was not against birth control, and that Democrats were lying, simply because you hadn't seen anything.  McDonnell is as hardcore as they come on these issues.

And just for the record, he can believe what he pleases and act accordingly, and still be a decent person. My sole problem is when he wants to impose his belief system on others.

That Griswold might prevent a state from passing a statute barring use of contraceptives may be true, but ask Bob McDonnell if he thinks Griswold was correctly decided. Heck, I'm a liberal, and I'm not sure it was good Constitutional law. I wonder what good old State's Rights Bob thinks about Constitutional penumbras.

Also, no one is saying he will "ban" birth control. What I am  saying is that he would do so if he could, and that as governor he will restrict these things as much as is possible under the law.

As for Creigh on choice, his record is crystal clear -- just look at his votes. You are right -- his position is vitrually identical to yours, I believe.

As for being 100% pro choice -- abortions -- even late term abortions -- ought to be a decision solely between a woman and her health care provider in all cases. Exactly what part of that formulation is objectionable?

Or, do you think it appropriate for the General Assembly to decide what kinds of medical care ought to be available to you.

The whole late-term abortion issue (the so-called misnamed partial birth abortions) is only so much bullshit that the anti-choice movement uses as a wedge issue. My understanding is that virtually every late term abortion that occurs is because of health risk to the mother, although if McDonnell has his way, some medically necessary procedures may be criminalized by legislative fiat.

The Virginia Democrat

[ Parent ]
Fatigued of discussing late-term abortion post-Tiller...
We had some very active threads on this a month or two back (and I wrote a couple of diaries).  I'll try to briefly address a couple of your points later outside of this compressed thread for readability. Thanks for the comments.

[ Parent ]
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