Michael Steele Backs Away From Describing Abortion As An Individual Choice

Michael Steele has had to back off on the comments he made with regards to abortion in an interview posted yesterday. He described abortion as an individual choice and supported leaving the issue to the states. I suspect that he wanted to downplay his, and the GOP’s, opposition to abortion rights out a realization that an anti-abortion party has little future in most of the country.

It doesn’t work to try to take a middle ground. If you believe that a woman’s body belongs to her, then half-hearted comments about abortion are meaningless. Saying it should be decided by the states is no more acceptable than saying that freedom of speech should be decided by the state.

On the other hand, opponents of abortion rights act as if people are essentially property of the state, along with being unable to distinguish between a fetus and a fully developed human. To them there is also no acceptable middle ground, leading to criticism of Steele’s comments from the right.

Steele knows who he has to please to remain chair of the RNC. He has now firmly stated his opposition to abortion rights, including support for a Constitutional ban.


  1. 1
    Friar_Zero says:

    The humor in all this is rich and thick.

    John McCain wins the primary based, at least partially, on his moderate positions. Then in the general he swings hard right, even picking up a running mate that would make Limbaugh proud.

    After their defeat the new republican spokesmen tries to inject some moderate policies into the mix to expand their appeal beyond their base and gets shouted down. Hard-right voices are chastized and then apologies are demanded.

    The republican party’s strategy seem to be to become even more insular and polarized. In response to being seen as too ideologues they adopt a policy of ideological purity.

    I’m reminded of one of my favorite Simpsons quotes:
    “The Politics of failure have failed, we must make them work again”.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The irony of all this is that Michael Steele isn’t opposed to abortion. He was elected lieutenant governor of Maryland advocating¬† a woman’s right to choose. There appears to be a disconnect. The Republican leadership says it needs to appeal to independent voters to win, so it chooses leaders who appeal to independent voters because of their willingness to oppose the more reactionary and ridiculous elements of the party platform… and then it forces them to embrace the party line as the price of leadership, thus destroying the credibility with independent voters that made them desirable as leaders in the first place.

    Then the GOP blames them when they fail, after forcing them to sacrifice their independence if they wish to lead.

    This is why I sincerely believe, as ‘purple state’ Republican governors continue to show flexibility in their policy and support for the White House (whether out of principle or political necessity in their home states) we are going to see a return to the ‘Diet Liberalism’ of the Republican Party in the 1950s and 1960s. It won’t happened, however, until they realize that their base can no longer win them elections. I’d like to say we’ll see Mitt Romney running for president on the same kind of platform he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2012, but I could be wrong about that. Something has to give, though.

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