McCain: Let’s leave abortion alone and focus on comprehensive immigration reform

posted at 4:21 pm on November 26, 2012 by Allahpundit

I never understood what Mitch Daniels had in mind, specifically, when he called for a truce on social issues but at least he was aiming at both sides. Not so McCain. He’s in all-out post-election concessions mode here, looking to solve the GOP’s problems with Latinos and young women in one fell niche-policy swoop. When he says we should leave abortion alone, I think what he means is that the Akins and Mourdocks of tomorrow should maybe try to resist the urge to free-associate about rape in public. But I’m curious to know where he was headed with this thought, which, as you’ll see, was abruptly interrupted: “As far as young women are concerned, absolutely, I don’t think anybody like me…” Normally, a sentence like that uttered in the context of abortion ends with “… should be telling them what they can do with their bodies.” Last I checked, McCain opposes legalized abortion, but here he sounds perilously close to being personally pro-life but legislatively pro-choice. Has he finally gone full Maverick?

If this is what it looks like, i.e. McCain pandering transparently to solve a Republican demographic problem, it isn’t very precise. The GOP’s challenge isn’t that they’ve lost women voters, it’s that they’ve lost minority voters. Romney won white women by a sizable margin over O:

He also won comfortably with young white voters of both genders:

He lost the election because he lost with every other group by huge margins, men and women alike. And that trend means certain doom for the party if it continues because minority voters, especially young adults, are becoming a larger share of the electorate:

Follow that last link and check out the numbers among different age groups on hot button issues, including abortion. In McCain’s defense, it’s true that young voters are most supportive of abortion as a group, but they’re not wildly more supportive than other age groups. Sixty-four percent of 18-29-year-olds think it should be legal in all or most cases; among the 45-64 age group it’s 60 percent and among 30-44 it’s 58 percent. The real gaps among young voters come on gay marriage — they’re 16 points more likely to favor it than the next-highest age group — and on the ominous question of whether government should do more or is doing too much. In that case, fully 59 percent of young voters say “do more”; the next-highest age group stands at just 45 percent. In other words, if you’re keen to pander to the 18-29 crowd, your best bet is probably to “evolve” on gay marriage, not abortion, and even then you’ll have to confront the problem of winning over a generation that seems considerably more statist in general than most of the electorate. And of course you’ll also have to explain how your gay marriage “evolution” will net you more votes among young adults than it’ll lose you among social conservatives. Better think of something, though: According to Pew, Romney actually defeated Obama, 50/48, among voters over age 30. O won reelection entirely on the strength of his overwhelming advantage among the young.

As for McCain’s call for comprehensive immigration reform, he seems to be the only person left on the political landscape who thinks ramming it through might move the GOP’s numbers meaningfully among Latino voters. In fact, that’s not fair; I don’t think even he believes that. I think he’s simply using the GOP’s consternation over its deficit with Latinos to push a policy he’s supported on the merits for years. Ah well. For your viewing pleasure, here are three clips showing him at his Mavericky best. The first is from yesterday; the second is from his appearance with Rick Warren in 2008, sounding every inch the uncompromising pro-life president; and the third is from his Maverick 1.0 campaign in 1999, insisting that he’s pro-life and supports overturning Roe — but not right now, because that would lead to back-alley abortions. Not sure what he had in mind as an alternative (gradual phase-in of prohibition to give women a heads-up?) but it sure sounds mavericky.




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George Bush was nothing but a premature Barack Obama.

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

That is a very harsh judgement of GW3. But it would be fair to say that no-one in his entire regime, save for the short lived ‘stache, had any understanding of Islam.

So called Foreign Policy Expert (a phrase that should always set off sirens) Condi Expert was a acknowledged……KREMLINOLOGIST. She had absolutely jack-all experience in dealing with Muslim aggression and next to zero knowledge of Islamic cultures.

Ditto Powell.

Rumsfeld at least read a few books and met a few Arabs.

But they all got it entirely wrong with their wishcasting.

CorporatePiggy on November 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The fact of the matter is that Democrats hate us and all who represent us because we are Republicans. If they actually cared about the things they complain about, there would be ongoing protests about the use of drones and about Gitmo, and the unhinged wackos who attacked a beauty pageant contestant for being pro-traditional marriage would have included Obama in their bitter ranting and raving for holding the same position. Also, they would tolerate suggestions from our side that promote issues they should be concerned about–like ensuring that abortion facilities meet reasonable medical standards and ensuring young girls who go in for abortions are not the victims of sexual abuse/statutory rape. But no. Because they hate us–because we are Republicans. It’s their only consistent value; they have become a reactionary party driven only by whims and hatred. So there is no pattern there to follow to ensure success in elections. We simply cannot win by becoming like the Democrats.

As for amnesty–the Dems’ ties to the minority communities are strong, and a “gift” like amnesty will not be enough to threaten those ties. By the way–does anyone think the Dems won’t find a way to take all the glory for amnesty and cast Republicans as the bad guys who were finally won over? There is no upside to offering amnesty. I seriously think the Republicans who keep suggesting amnesty are stuck in the “bargaining” phase of the grief cycle and are just not thinking this through rationally.

What we need to do is send out people who really believe in conservative principles to counter the lies and outright absurdities of the Left. We have to change the terms of the argument, and we have to be as endlessly repetitive about it as they are. And we have to start calling them out on their hypocrisy and corruption…again and again and again and again. We take the truth for granted; the people who have been steeped in the lies of the media, the education system, etc. for all these years need to have it explained clearly and often. This is a Dem strategy that actually is worth emulating: clear, unapologetic messaging.

And when it comes to issues like abortion, for the life of me I do not understand why we haven’t invested heavily in education campaigns that describe the procedures in detail. We don’t need to back up on the issue at all. People seriously don’t know what is involved– “abortion” has become a benign-sounding euphemism for the true horror that is abortion–horror that rivals the most brutal slasher flick in existence. Yes, the overturning of Roe seems a long way off at this point. But it’s like the elephant-eating conundrum: How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Each day we aim for the day’s doable achievements–but always with the larger goal in mind, and always with the willingness to polish off the entire elephant if the opportunity presents itself. And make no mistake: if the GOP drops abortion from the platform, social conservatives will abandon the party without a second thought–and the GOP will permanently lose the blacks and hispanics who, when the elections were less racially driven, voted for Republicans because the party was most in line with their faith.

Parting thoughts: A strong defense might be able to keep the other side from scoring, but it will not win the game. We need to go on offense. And…putting on the uniform of our opponents and helping them score a few goals so we can convince their fans to switch sides and cheer for us is a) foolish and b) guaranteed to cost us the game.

butterflies and puppies on November 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM

How about starting with comprehensive enforcement of existing immigration laws? There are roughly 7,000 ICE agents that actually work in the field, and there are millions of “immigrants” who need at least a face to face interview with an ICE agent to start the immigration process…not a good ratio. There are 5 to 10 times more police officers just in New York City alone than ICE agents, so why not boost the agent count or reassign or hire more ICE field agents? If we are going to be saddled with government employees, why not have productive one?

OK, you want to take abortion off the list of topics, start by taking Taxpayer-funding off the books. If taxpayers are paying for it, don’t we have a right for our REPRESENTATIVES in GOVERNMENT to be debating the topic, or is this another compromise where the RINOs just adopt the previous Democrat position and everybody moves one chair to the left and starts the new debate season?

opaobie on November 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Does this sound conservative to you? Well, it doesn’t to me. It is the view of a far left crackpot.

George W. Bush !!!

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Sure. If you and George W. Bush disagree on “conservatism”… well, he gets to define “conservative” seeing as how he won two national elections and you’re an anonymous commenter and we don’t know your political record (where have you been elected?). Most of Bush’s policies were in the 3-legged stool tradition of social/fiscal/national security Reagan conservatism. Not surprisingly, both Bush and Reagan won 2 elections.

If you think Bush was left crackpot, soft on Islam, that’s a fringe position, out of the conservative mainstream. It might be easier to understand where you’re coming from, if you used a different term to describe your beliefs?

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Most of Bush’s policies were in the 3-legged stool tradition of social/fiscal/national security Reagan conservatism.

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

BS.

Conservatism isn’t the same thing as liberalism despite your frantic attempt to redefine in for George Bush.

No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, the GM bailout, ethanol subsides, amnesty, massive government spending, etc.

Even Bush didn’t really believe this was conservatism. He called it ‘compassionate conservatism’ and admitted…“I abandoned free market principles to save the free market”.

sharrukin on November 26, 2012 at 7:47 PM

If you think Bush was left crackpot, soft on Islam, that’s a fringe position, out of the conservative mainstream. It might be easier to understand where you’re coming from, if you used a different term to describe your beliefs?

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Fringe position? Are you nuts? You must be. Are you unable to read? Sure seems so. George Bush does not get to define conservatism anymore than he gets to define 2 plus 2 as 25.

If the think the following is anything remotely like conservatism you are demented.

“Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to people. It inspires them to lead lives based on honesty, and justice, and compassion. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It’s a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It’s a faith based upon love, not hate. Mohammad’s word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements. The Islam that we know is a faith devoted to the worship of one God, as revealed through The Holy Qur’an. It teaches the value and the importance of charity, mercy, and peace.”
George W. Bush !!!

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:50 PM

To describe Islam as George Bush did he had to be either a pathological liar serving Islam or the dumbest F-ing man on the planet.

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:52 PM

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Is that you, Karl Rove? Two Presidents named Bush is two too many.

bw222 on November 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Sorry, but I’m NEVER going to “leave” the modern-day Holocaust “alone”. If you don’t feel the same way, then stop calling yourself a Republican. The sooner you realize that just because Democrats have a constituency of single-issue voters that are for something doesn’t mean Republicans have to also be for it or at least not push against, the sooner we can actually make our argument and get OUR single-issue voters to turn out and also convince more people that we’ve got the logical and moral argument – because we do, by a long shot, and it’s not even that hard of a case to make if you’re willing to REALLY do it, not caring about what Democrats think is “fair” or “unfair” (since it’s always double standards anyway).

CanofSand on November 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Conservatism isn’t the same thing as liberalism despite your frantic attempt to redefine in for George Bush.

sharrukin on November 26, 2012 at 7:47 PM

George Bush does not get to define conservatism anymore than he gets to define 2 plus 2 as 25.

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:52 PM

er, he kinda does. Webster says

Conservative: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional

Liberalism is what Obama and Democrats believe. They’ll own the results in 2016.

Bush ran as a conservative, was supported by conservative activists/talk radio/ pundits, etc. (who objected to amnesty, but didn’t bother to block No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, TARP, the GM bailout, ethanol subsides, amnesty, massive government spending, etc.) Bush was elected twice and had 8 years to enact his conservative Republican policies which tended to maintain the Reagan tradition as well as supporting traditional institutions such as marriage and the armed forces. 1) Fiscally, he was a strong supply side guy who cut taxes a lot (in stark contrast to his dad who wasn’t conservative and fought Reagan) 2) socially, Bush supported traditional marriage and life 3) he was for vigorous national security.

If you guys hate the results of conservative Republican policies, why are you just fighting for ownership of the word “conservative”?

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Abortion was not an issue in the election. Democrats and the media tried to foment a contraception issue but that also was not an issue. It wasn’t about immigration. It was just about whether we should let Obama continue being as great as he has been for the last 4 years. Romney did not convince enough people that Obama was a problem.

McCain has about as much insight on this as Joy Behar on The View.

virgo on November 26, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Is that you, Karl Rove? Two Presidents named Bush is two too many.

bw222 on November 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Ack, no way. HW and Jeb are moderate losers. Better to judge people by their policies and not their last name. For 2016, I’d support Rand Paul (don’t like his dad), Scott Walker, or Sarah Palin.

It’s weird that I’m one of the only ones bothering to defend Bush at hotair.

sauldalinsky on November 26, 2012 at 8:43 PM

My respect for Limbaugh really went down when he made the comment that McCain was the only Reagan republican we’ve nominated since Reagan.

We haven’t nominated/elected ANY Reagan Republicans since Reagan!

avgjo on November 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Did Rush really say that? WOW! That’s almost as bad as the time he tried to convince us that Brian Williams is a moderate to conservative or that Donald Trump is a Republican. I won’t blame him for Trump though. He plays golf with Trump. After he plays golf with someone, that person can do no wrong. I hope he never plays with Obama.

Alabama Infidel on November 26, 2012 at 9:17 PM

To describe Islam as George Bush did he had to be either a pathological liar serving Islam or the dumbest F-ing man on the planet.

VorDaj on November 26, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Being a “Monday Mourning QB”, I vote for #2, the dumbest f’n man on the planet, and I voted for him the first time.

belad on November 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM

…no more McCain!

KOOLAID2 on November 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

“truce” means “let’s not fight about it. Have it your way.”

Is there even a question that this is true?

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

I remember the days when people talked about how bad George W. Bush was, and how he was such an embarassment to the party. Looking at the past 20 years though, he’s the best the GOP has managed to put forward, and that includes his old man.

Stoic Patriot on November 26, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Sad, but true.

No Bush 43 was not really a conservative, but he was closer than any Republican that ran since Reagan.

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Let the states handle the social issues; focus on the economy
and our nation’s defense.

Amjean on November 26, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I wish we could actually say this, but good luck keeping the federal government out of so-called “social issues.”

The reason no state can seriously restrict abortion is because the federal government, by way of the Supreme Court, blundered in and swore that the Constitution had something to say about abortion. The reasoning was a travesty and an embarrassment, and yet prevents any state from outlawing abortion of passing any serious restrictions on who or how abortions are performed.

Mississippi passed a law that abortionists must have admitting privileges at a local hospital for OB/GYN patients to do an abortion, which seems a reasonable safety precaution, and it’s highly questionable whether this law will be allowed to stand.

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM

Sorry, but I’m NEVER going to “leave” the modern-day Holocaust “alone”. If you don’t feel the same way, then stop calling yourself a Republican. The sooner you realize that just because Democrats have a constituency of single-issue voters that are for something doesn’t mean Republicans have to also be for it or at least not push against, the sooner we can actually make our argument and get OUR single-issue voters to turn out and also convince more people that we’ve got the logical and moral argument – because we do, by a long shot, and it’s not even that hard of a case to make if you’re willing to REALLY do it, not caring about what Democrats think is “fair” or “unfair” (since it’s always double standards anyway).

CanofSand on November 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

+3288 (number of abortions done every freaking day in this country)

cptacek on November 27, 2012 at 1:13 AM

It really takes a rocket scientist to understand Islam. They kill, if you resist their agenda, they kill, their book of rules which they call the Koran rules everything and if you don’t believe that , they kill. What is so difficult in understanding Islam? Calling this a religion is the same as calling the Progressives a religion. If I disagree with the left I am a racist, an old white man, a Christian, greedy, rich and hate the middle class. If I disagree with Islam I am a Jew, monkey, dog, a Christian and I should be killed. Is there something I am missing?

mixplix on November 27, 2012 at 6:10 AM

I completely agree with the people who say they can’t “leave it alone”, because it is indeed a horrible thing.

All I ask is for them to recognize the hard truth: until Roe is overturned, there cannot be any real restrictions of abortion on a legal basis.

Fighting it with outreach ministries, picketing, etc. is completely valid. But barring a SCOTUS overturn, any legal moves will be banging your head against the wall. That’s how it’s been for the past several decades and it’s not going to change.

MelonCollie on November 27, 2012 at 9:15 AM

How ’bout we stop all immigration. We seem to have enough people living here now since we abort future citizens by the millions. I absolutely hate it that some of my tax dollars go to the abortion mill known as PP. McLame is a squish who would sell the country for the next election. The Rs seem to want to take the easy route instead of providing a simple message of contrast. Don’t they still teach biology and how to use contraception in schools?

Kissmygrits on November 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

How ’bout we stop all immigration. We seem to have enough people living here now since we abort future citizens by the millions.

Kissmygrits on November 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I’ll say. And as morbid as this may sound, we might at least be able to extract some good out of the unborn-Holocaust by shrinking the worker pool until employers ran out of people they could mistreat and underpay.

Imagine if there was an imminent shortage of low-income people and illegal aliens, and we had shades of the 50′s where you couldn’t tell a middle-class prospect “there’s 100 other people who’ll do your job for min-wage (or less in cash under the table) and for no benefits.”

MelonCollie on November 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Mac : Get off the tv !!! Stop doing interviews. Haven’t you and Goober been in front of the cameras enough???

bill glass on November 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

McCain must have spent Thanksgiving with his daughter and got an earful of what the GOP should do to win in the future. The last thing, however, that the GOP should do is to listen to Meghan McCain.

John McCain’s comment was unwise and not the right approach for the GOP. As much as it may seem otherwise for the moment and pro-abortion is currently politically correct, pro-life holds the future. Pro-life is morally right.

Phil Byler on November 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Abortion is legal and it’s going to stay legal. You can’t change it.

But you can obviously change America (for the worse) by wasting Republican’s time on the fantasy of changing abortion laws, while Democrats move on with their agenda.

Moesart on November 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Without control of our borders we have no need of a constitution.

Now Americans make a choice.

To fight or lay down and quit.

If you quit, you are the new Apache.

They will come in unlimited numbers and take your land.

The fact they end up citizens and vote for the commie Democrat party will in any case end your freedom, the rule of law, any your way of life.

Words will not change the results, only action will save you now.

If you allow this lie held up now by the two party evil money cult in Washington D.C. to pass you will end up just as the Apache Nation did.

It is not a good thing as you all know very well.

Ask any Apache.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Sparks are going to fly soon in D.C. when McCain and Ted Cruz meet and talk.

Ted will not back down.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Also,
On McCain.

“No fool like an old fool.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Let’s leave immigration alone and make sure that those illegal workers get paid the same as citizens or the employer goes to jail for 6 months and gets a $50,000 fine. Can’t have people being discriminated against – wouldn’t that be the same and not have us handing out citizenship like chick-lets? And that is how you are not an evil white guy, you promise illegals more money while taking away the jobs behind the scenes.

rgranger on November 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

As it stands the U.S.A. is doing one or the other of these evils.

Wage Slaves

or

Vote Slaves.

Not a good thing for the soul of the U.S.A..

The U.S.A. will be judged.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I find it interesting that social conservatives are suppose to shut up and forget about their “dinosaur” positions by some fiscal conservatives. What if we turned the tables and said as social conservatives, “It is high time fiscal conservatives do some compromising on their narrow views about spending cuts and fiscal retraint. Otherwise we can never reach the social conservative but fiscal liberal strata of the electorate”?

Faramir on November 27, 2012 at 1:55 PM

McCain continues to, along with his “gang” in both parties in the Senate, operate in representing the Left with far more interest and demand than he ever does as to those who he claims elected him (the RIght, not the Left).

His strongest crtiicism is always about “Republicans.” He continues to pursue issues that the Left demands but that the Right doesn’t.

Few to none who voted and vote for GOP candidates WANT or support amnesty for illegal aliens.

Granting amnesty to them is not going to make them or more like them to suddenly “go GOP” as to how and who they vote for.

There’s no benefit to the RIght to make this amnesty happen except to do what the Left wants them to do and to further insult and offend the voters who vote for the GOP.

This is McCain (and Kyle and Graham and…) on acid. In other words, under some sort of undue influence that prevents them from being clear minded and ethical.

Lourdes on November 27, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Just WHAT is this element in the GOP trying to accomplish?

No amnesty granted nor goodies given to illegal aliens otherwise is going to somehow make any measurable or meaningful loyalty to the GOP materialize. Instead, the only return from such deeds by the GOP will be that they’ll LOSE MORE VOTER SUPPORT BY THOSE ALREADY SUPPORTING THEM.

If that’s the reality of what McCain’s (and Jeb Bush’s, and Graham’s, etc.) incentve IS, OK, then, be honest about that, tell us so. But lying about the incentive to pursue this nutty idea is just ruining voter support in them AND the GOP. Voters don’t support amnesty for illegal aliens by high majority, we just don’t support it.

So why are McCain, Graham, Jeb Bush, Kyl, etc. pursuing it? WHO, indeed, are they representing?

Lourdes on November 27, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Has McCain spelled out what he does support lately?

He was pals with Ted Kennedy (took annual vacations with him and family), he is pals with Hillary…just WHO does McCain represent? It’s not the Right, by any means.

Lourdes on November 27, 2012 at 4:17 PM

AND I think it’s ultimately disgusting that McCain is using the issue of abortion to try and slip his disgusting “amnesty” issue past the voters.

Really disgusting. Just disgusting.

Lourdes on November 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I find it interesting that social conservatives are suppose to shut up and forget about their “dinosaur” positions by some fiscal conservatives. What if we turned the tables and said as social conservatives, “It is high time fiscal conservatives do some compromising on their narrow views about spending cuts and fiscal retraint. Otherwise we can never reach the social conservative but fiscal liberal strata of the electorate”?

Faramir on November 27, 2012 at 1:55 PM

The past two presidential elections show exactly what happens when you decide you no longer need the votes of social conservatives.

Offering truces doesn’t encourage Democrats to vote for you. It just discourages the voters you could have had.

Three legs to the conservative stool: national security conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and social conservatives. If you want to win elections as conservatives you can’t neglect any of the three.

tom on November 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Three legs to the conservative stool: national security conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and social conservatives. If you want to win elections as conservatives you can’t neglect any of the three.

tom on November 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

What about us Antisocial conservatives?

Varchild on November 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Yes, CIR went so well for him the last time he championed it.

Another Drew on November 28, 2012 at 4:32 PM

What about us Antisocial conservatives?

Aren’t they called “Libertarians”?

Another Drew on November 28, 2012 at 4:32 PM

McCain is just another RINO, and a career, elitist, politician that outlived his usefulness years ago….. even before our humiliating defeat by a community organizer. He needs to go away, he is a liability to true conservatives.

ultracon on November 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

McCain: Let’s become Democrats.

Axion on November 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

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