The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

With an economy that stinks, and after two years of a Congress ramming unpopular policies down the throats of an unwilling public, Democrats around the nation are in electoral trouble.  What can possibly save them?  They know!  Roll out the abortion ads!

Republicans have won points with many voters by promising a conservative overhaul of taxes and spending, but Democrats are working hard in the closing weeks of the campaign to convince voters that a conservative social agenda is waiting in the wings, too, should Republicans be elected in large numbers.

Abortion rights is the flash point, being wielded by the left in hard-fought races from New York’s contest for governor, to Senate races in Florida and California, as Democratic candidates or groups try to rally their base and attract moderate Republican or independent women — a slice of the electorate that is even more coveted than in years past.

Brilliant!  Simply Brilliant!  However, there are two small flaws in the path-to-political-success-over-the-bodies-of-dead-babies-strategy.

First, “it’s the economy, stupid” this year, to quote the serpentine James Carville.  This is the worst economy I can recall and I am 53 years old.  People are voting their pocketbooks this year with a vengeance, and everything else simply isn’t registering with most voters.  The party in power gets the credit or the blame for the economy, and the Democrats this time around are reaping a huge amount of blame from the voters.

Second, the country is changing on abortion in a pro-life direction.  Poll after poll this year has demonstrated that fact.  As Gallup observed in a major poll on abortion earlier this year: 

While the two-percentage-point gap in current abortion views is not significant, it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion. By contrast, in nearly all readings on this question since 1995, and each survey from 2003 to 2008, more Americans called themselves pro-choice than pro-life.

It is rightly said that generals who fight current wars with the weapons and tactics of the last, usually lose.  The same is true for politicians.  The pro-abort video at the top of this post is for Democrat Virgil Bernero who is running for governor of Michigan.  He is currently running around 19 points behind his Republican opponent Rick Snyder.


16 Responses to The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

  1. Dale Price says:

    I’m not a fan of Rick Snyder, but Virg Bernero is another Catholic who dutifully takes dictation from the abortion industry. In fact, the only Bernero ads I have seen involve abortion.

    I’m looking forward to voting against him.

  2. T. Shaw says:

    That makes sense. Fewer live births, fewer unemployed, eventually. Hey, the geniuses have solved the Great Recession! “Happy days are here again . . .”

    If nothing else, these evil people are consistent.

  3. Elaine Krewer says:

    Similar ads have been run against Illinois GOP candidate for governor, Bill Brady. (I haven’t personally seen them but know about them through political blogs and such.) However, I suspect they have had no effect overall, or if anything, actually backfired in his favor, since he was leading in most polls until recently.

    Unfortunately, Brady still may be in danger of losing due to other factors which would take all day to explain.

  4. Jasper says:

    That ad from Bernero is a lie from the pit of hell.

  5. Robert says:

    Wow – anyone who is crazy enough to side with Planned Parenthood like is crazy. Is he Catholic too? Sheesh!

  6. RL says:

    Rotten. Simply rotten. I could never understand how, of all people, a parent could support abortion. To call out that support in the name of one’s parenthood is simply disturbing. It’s also baffling how someone can apparently condone the pro-abortion view of their parents. We really have become a twisted culture.

  7. Polls show that, of voters who say they are motivated by abortion, pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers by a 2:1 margin.

    What people say motivates them differs from reality, so perhaps these ads are going after other demographics.

    However, I don’t know of many Republican candidates using their pro-life stand as a boasting point or attacking another candidate on abortion. There’s the “Vota Tus Valores” campaign against Boxer. Anything else?

    OP: “People are voting their pocketbooks this year with a vengeance, and everything else simply isn’t registering with most voters.”

    While abortion isn’t as obvious an issue when there isn’t a presidential election, there have been careful attempts to suppress pro-life and pro-family advocacy among Republican and “Tea Party” circles this election cycle. An economic focus appeals to GOP operatives who are libertarians at heart, but this ignores the cultural problems which have helped create the crisis.

    If the GOP focuses on economic issues (where it is incompetent), will it ever return to social issues?

  8. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “While abortion isn’t as obvious an issue when there isn’t a presidential election, there have been careful attempts to suppress pro-life and pro-family advocacy among Republican and “Tea Party” circles this election cycle.”

    Specific examples? The only one I can think of off-hand is Mitch Daniels’ idiotic call for a truce on the social issues. He almost immediately retracted when pro-life Republicans reacted with outrage. I can also think of counter-examples. Sarah Palin for instance has been working hand in glove with the Susan B. Anthony list to elect a host of pro-life Republican women.

  9. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Here is a pro-life ad from Marco Rubio who is the front runner to take the Florida Senate Seat:

  10. A local blog with a lot of overlap with a local libertarian think tank called the Independence Institute has been deliberately downplaying social issues, stupidly thinking this is good for the country.

    I hope I’m just wrongly projecting my poor local experiences on the rest of the country.

    There’s also the example of GOProud at CPAC. Glenn Beck, a main mover in the Tea Party movement, is often dodging these issues too. You can also sense some pundits wring their hands in anticipation that their “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” GOP is aborning, though this is perhaps wishful thinking on their part.

    Is the Rubio ad actually running on television?

  11. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I don’t know if the Rubio ad is running on TV in Florida. I got it off You Tube.

    Most libertarians have little love for social conservatives which is why I am wary of them. Their influence in the Republican party tends to be fairly minimal.

    Goproud I think will have as little impact as the old Log Cabin Republicans gay group. Certainly the Congressional Pledge to America called for the protection of traditional marriage,

    Glenn Beck has been all over the lot. He seems to be socially conservative, and yet he makes contradictory statements. I have always viewed him as none too stable. Although he draws huge crowds, I do think his influence on the GOP is also minimal, certainly in regard to issues highlighted by candidates.

    Rino Pundits like Peggy Noonan tend to be laughingstocks in conservative GOP circles and I do think the perennial wish for a more socially liberal GOP is delusional. That fight was won by the Reagan conservatives in the 80 election and I do not think that is going to change.

  12. Elaine Krewer says:

    “Rino pundits like Peggy Noonan”

    You have to be kidding. Have you actually read any of Noonan’s recent columns? I can’t remember the last time she had ANYTHING good to say about Obama. Anymore she constantly criticizes him for being totally out of touch with the American people (which is quite true), for not giving any sense of mature leadership, and for not taking seriously the very real concerns of the public, that not just the economy, but the very fabric of society is in danger. She has never once said that the GOP should ditch social conservatives, or that their concerns are unimportant. Perhaps you have Noonan confused with Kathleen Parker?

    It may be just me, but I like Peggy Noonan, have for years, I love reading her books and columns and it really drives me nuts when people try to paint her as some kind of RINO or traitor to the conservative cause, or put her in the same category as the pro-abort Catholics (which she is NOT) just because she said a few nice things about Obama before he was elected and because she had some doubts about Sarah Palin’s suitability as a candidate for national office.

  13. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “You have to be kidding. Have you actually read any of Noonan’s recent columns?”

    Oh yes Elaine, and I recall her from 2008 when she was eager to show her non-conservative pals that she was on board the Obama Express, and that she was more than happy to join in kicking conservatives when they were down.

    I regard Noonan as a writer of marginal talent with a penchant for purple prose who has gotten a pass for years from conservatives because of her association with Reagan, but who has always been a RINO who has simply been out for Peggy Noonan and Peggy Noonan alone. Now that Obama is down she is back to being a conservative. Rank opportunism has never impressed me.

  14. T. Shaw says:

    I agree, Mac.

    I keep thinking to cancel my WSJ subscription b/c they have noonan in the op-ed page on Saturday’s. She is out of touch with reality.

    People like her are partly guilty for the GOP – no all Americans’! – losses in the 2006 congressional change-for-the-worst. After that, she pushed the 2008 electoral, mass suicide.

  15. Art Deco says:

    I regard Noonan as a writer of marginal talent

    That is the curious thing about her career. She has no particular expertise (‘ere beginning a career as a political speechwriter, she was an employee of CBS radio, so has always worked in the word merchant sector), is not notable for ever being given to the unexpected insight, and has a style quite unremarkable. Jobs as syndicated columnists are not handed out like Halloween candy, but somehow she got one.

  16. Donna V says:

    I’m joining this conversation late, but I have to say, I loved Peggy Noonan’s book about JPII.

    But I think she, like many other media people, is having a difficult time adjusting to the Age of the Internet. She once bemoaned the fact that there are no Wise Men leading us. That sounds reasonable, except that one of those she called a “Wise Man” was Walter Cronkite, who was more responsible than anybody else for giving Americans the (false) perception that Tet was a huge defeat for America and the Vietnam War was lost. I think what Noonan misses is a time when the solemn pronouncements of media pundits (like herself) were swallowed by a believing public instead of questioned and debated and jeered at and fisked by ordinary folk on the rough and tumble medium called the Internet.

    She did more than say a few kind things about Obama – she endorsed him. And although she has criticized him harshly since the election, she has never admitted she made an error in judgement. I find Noonan is continually making observations which are very far from fresh(i.e. Obama is cool to the point of coldness, has a tin ear, and doesn’t understand the concerns of middle class Americans.) Well, many of us humble non-pundits said as much during campaign 2008. She was also slow to “get” the Tea Party and her initial comments were as slighting as anything put out by the DNC. She strikes me as being as out of touch as the Obama administration.

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