I wish Republicans would stop apologizing for beliefs they held before they were more brightly in the public spotlight. Good thing we have our very own ex-governor Mitt as a primo example of flip-flopping.
Fred Thompson, the actor and former senator who is positioning himself to run as the true conservative in the presidential race, lobbied the first Bush administration in 1991 on behalf of an abortion-rights group, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Thompson, whose stance on abortion during his first Senate race in 1994 was hazy, at first denied the report and then suggested in interviews that people should distinguish his own views from those of his clients. Whatever his views were in 1991 or 1994, he now is strongly opposed to abortion rights.
If Thompson did indeed change his views on abortion, he’s in strong company within the GOP: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all shifted their views on abortion rights from supportive to firmly opposed — and became president. This year, Thompson, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas are all touting their own antiabortion beliefs — though they shunned the label earlier in their careers.
The sheer number of Republican leaders who’ve morphed from abortion-rights defenders to strict moral opponents invites both skepticism and credulity: There has to be some element of political expediency in all these shifts, but the leading lights of the GOP can’t all be craven opportunists. To some degree, at least, they must be mirroring the journey of their constituents.
I?m not so sure those last two sentences are accurate?
could have been written by romeny himself. i heard him spoon-feeding a crowd of womb-fascists recently with such drivel. he was explaining away his change of “heart” by telling them exactly what they wanted to hear, saying something to the effect of “see, my [recent flip-flop] is proof that your hard work pays off!” he was appealing, probably effectively, to the evangelist’s heart doubtless beating in many a chest there that night.
The GOP of Rockefeller and even Goldwater was far more pro-choice before Roe v Wade came along and even after it in a few instances. Goldwater was always pro-choice as was Reagan who signed some of the most progressive abortion laws in the nation when he was Governor. Nixon and Ford were both pro-choice, Ford very firmly so, and Nixon appointed several of the justies that allowed for abortion in Roe v Wade. What changed was for most it was a belief in limited government and states rights that allowed them to personally stay out of peoples business and differ to the states, its when the government mandated abortion on demand for the entire country through Roe v Wade that the conservatives got upset, galvanizing the evangelicals who nearly cost Ford the nomination to the by then converted pro-life Reagan.
Seeing what Ford went through ensured that every other Republican nominee would be pro life. The Dems meanwhile had far more pro-life members in Congress than the GOP but the loss of the Southern Democrat to the GOP and either the changed minds of Catholic urban pols (like Sen. Kennedy who used to be pro-life) or their ostracization by liberal opponents lead to the current polarization.
Up until recently the GOP has a lot of moderate Republican women in Congress who were pro-choice, including a few from Massachusetts.
So there was pandering on both sides, the Dems pandered to womens interest groups and abandoned core Catholic constituencies and the GOP pandered to the religious right and abandoned core libertarian constituencies.