Tuesday, August 18, 2009

McDonnell's Online Defenders Show Their Contempt For Voters

The reaction of Bob McDonnell and his supporters to questions about Bob McDonnell’s position and record on the right to choose is quite telling. They have tried everything – avoidance, indifference, dissembling, attacking Creigh, -- everything that is except Mr. McDonnell coming clean on the issue. The reason why – that the very conservative Mr. McDonnell is trying to present himself to the electorate as a moderate – is self-evident.

That politics, of course, and it is par for the course.

But a post earlier today at Bearing Drift by JR Hoeft was a particularly odious effort to turn the issue back on Creigh.

Citing an answer Creigh gave to a question during an interview in Hampton recently, Mr. Hoeft wrote:
Creigh Deeds was recently speaking at a church radio talk show in Hampton Roads and had the opportunity to discuss abortion.

His statement on abortion is appalling…claiming that he’s “never been so poor or so desperate” to think about abortion as an option.

Does this mean the only people who should contemplate abortion are the poor and desperate? If that’s the case, should there be a litmus test on income before abortions are performed? What’s the desperation test?

The only thing that is appalling is Mr. Hoeft’s distortion of Creigh’s remarks.

Here is the text of what Creigh said:
Abortion is not an easy thing to talk about. My wife and I have been party to four wonderful pregnancies. We have four children that we love very much and that love us. And it [abortion] is a very difficult thing to think about, but frankly, from my perspective I’ve never been so poor or so desperate, that I would think about abortion.

First, blogger Vivian Paige, who enjoys an impeccable reputation among Progressives and Conservatives alike, was present for the remarks, and she states that Mr. Hoeft took Creigh’s remarks “out of context.”

So far, I’ve been unable to locate the full discussion or a transcript.

But you don’t need that to see what Mr. Hoeft has done. Creigh was clearly discussing his own experience in a serious and honest manner, and in trying to imagine how he and his wife might have personally faced the decision, he considers circumstances under which he would have been so poor or so desperate to consider abortion as an alternative.

Look how he starts: “Abortion is not an easy thing to talk about.” No, it is not. Later, he reiterates that abortion is “a very difficult thing to think about.”

What is particularly sickening about Mr. Hoeft’s actions is that Creigh attempted to discuss a difficult legal, moral and ethical issue like an adult, with sensitivity, introspection and reflection, and rather than treat his comments accordingly, Mr. Hoeft chooses to twist them into a monstrous distortion to launch an unwarranted political attack.

Not only is this offensive, I wonder whether it gives away the McDonnell game plan. Mr. Hoeft is a well-known blogger in conservative circles. His response to a serious discussion of abortion was basically to tell the voters of Virginia “Fuck you. Before we will seriously discuss the legal, moral, ethical and spiritual issues around the right to choose, we will say anything, distort any words and lie to try to turn the tables on Creigh.”

This is exactly the problem. The right to choose is an important and serious civil liberties issue. It is certainly a serious matter on an emotional level for many women who choose to have an abortion rather than see a fetus to term. It deserves serious discussion.

Mr. Hoeft is apparently incapable of this, and so meaningful debate with him on the issue is not possible. If you doubt this, consider the title Mr. Hoeft gave his post on facebook: “Deeds supports abortion as eugenics?” Disgusting.

The really sad part is that this not only shows contempt for the voters of Virginia, pro-choice and pro-life in varying degrees, it also shows contempt for many good people who, on the pro-life side like Bob McDonnell, hold strong and heartfelt opinions on this difficult issue. I don’t agree with Mr. McDonnell on this issue, but like him I am a religious person, and I respect his views and the spiritual basis for them. Unfortunately, Mr. McDonnell’s supporters, apparently, do not.

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