January 25, 2005


Clinton Seeking Shared Ground Over Abortions (PATRICK D. HEALY, 1/25/05, NY Times)

In a speech to about 1,000 abortion rights supporters near the New York State Capitol, Mrs. Clinton firmly restated her support for the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. But then she quickly shifted gears, offering warm words to opponents of legalized abortion and praising the influence of "religious and moral values" on delaying teenage girls from becoming sexually active.

"There is an opportunity for people of good faith to find common ground in this debate - we should be able to agree that we want every child born in this country to be wanted, cherished and loved," Mrs. Clinton said.

Her speech came on the same day as the annual anti-abortion rally in Washington marking the Roe v. Wade anniversary.

Mrs. Clinton's remarks were generally well received, though the audience was silent during most of her overtures to anti-abortion groups. Afterward, leaders of those groups were skeptical, given Mrs. Clinton's outspoken support for abortion rights over the years.

Mrs. Clinton, widely seen as a possible candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008, appeared to be reaching out beyond traditional core Democrats who support abortion rights.

If nothing else, the Clintons have always been able to read the polls and tack accordingly.

Bush Hails Progress Toward 'Culture of Life' (Michael A. Fletcher, January 25, 2005, Washington Post)

President Bush told thousands of antiabortion marchers yesterday that his administration is making progress toward fostering a "culture of life" by enacting measures that limit abortion and stem cell research while expanding the legal definition of life.

Speaking by telephone as the protesters gathered in the biting cold for their annual antiabortion march from the Ellipse to the Supreme Court, Bush said that although outlawing abortion remains a distant goal, it is one that seems to be moving slowly into view. "The America of our dreams, where every child is welcomed . . . in life and protected in law, may still be some ways away," Bush said. "But even from the far side of the river . . . we can see its glimmerings."

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2005 7:27 AM

Hillary is probably going to try, like Bill, to find a 3rd way and try to position herself in middle between the conservatives (i.e. GOP) and the loony left (i.e the Democrats).

Kerry came close to beating Bush primarily due to the MSM covering for him the entire campaign (and some potential vote fraud in places like WI). IF the MSM goes to mat again for a Dem candidate it might be enough get them from the 40% to over the top.

Posted by: AWW at January 25, 2005 8:08 AM

Well, considering that today's GOP is far from conservative, a "middle" position by Hillary would actually be way over on the left.

The Republican Party of 2005 is "conservative" only in a relative sense; conservative compared to, say, Michael Moore. In an absolute sense, however, the GOP is mostly lip service on social issues, and downright liberal on economic ones. National defense remains the only real point of difference between the two parties, and in the end even that is about semantics and particulars more than anything.

Posted by: Semolina at January 25, 2005 8:41 AM

It's not conservative in any sense--there's not much worth conserving after 70 years of Democratic rule.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 8:50 AM

So, you're OK if we just scrap Social Security altogether, then?

I am!

Posted by: Semolina at January 25, 2005 8:56 AM

[W]e want every child born in this country to be wanted, cherished and loved.

To give the left credit, they're very good at shaping this sort of statement, which is impossible for Republican politicians to disagree with in public, and of course, we do "want" this in the same wistful way we want Santa Claus to be real, ice cream to be slimming and peace on Earth. But, speaking of Earth, none of these things is actually going to happen (short of Messianic intervention) and the totalitarian state that would be created in a vain attempt to make every child wanted, cherished and loved is terrifying to contemplate.

Semolina: I'm not sure what's left after semantics and particulars.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 25, 2005 8:57 AM

Her talk about expanded health care over the weekend as an example of "left Hillary" as far as the Democratic Party goes; her lines about abortion are "right Hillary", which are part of a more long-term strategy looking past the 2008 primary season and to the general election. She's also safe in the knowledge she can throw a few empty platitudes towards right-to-life supporters now and gain back the trust of abortion supporters later by voting against whoever Bush nominates for the Supreme Court.

Hillary's votes during the past four years in support of Bush on the war on terror and Iraq funding also are designed to shore up her resume on defense issues. As of now, only the furthest left in the Democratic Party are going to call her on those votes; the others understand that her goal is to peel off enough voters in key Red States to win in '08. But given the rabid anti-Bush attitude within the party, if the U.S. does end up having a conflict with Iran or Syria over the next couple of years, the balancing act will get a little more precarious.

Posted by: John at January 25, 2005 8:58 AM

David: Hypothetically, there could be vastly more significant differences in national defense positions than mere semantics and particulars.

Posted by: Semolina at January 25, 2005 9:01 AM

Ugh, that was an ugly sentence. Take 2:

David: Hypothetically, the differences in positions on national defense could be vastly more significant than mere semantics and particulars.

Posted by: Semolina at January 25, 2005 9:03 AM

To be frank, Bush cares about as much about abortion as he does about vouchers and gay marriage. These are solely red-meat election issues for him. He threw pro-life judges to the Demo dogs last term to soften them for the judges he really wants, and can get, in this term. Bush has been a great president in many ways, but not all.

He sat firmly on the fence with his stem cell decision. In the end, he will appoint judges more like Giuliani than Pryor, he will never widen the scope of voucher availability, and he will not push the marriage amendment.

Bush is very much a man of the middle, a smart businessman who wants stuff to work as long as his party is properly positioned politically first. Thus, the Medicare prescription boondoggle for political cover, followed by the SS privatization for practicality. His Clintonesque political drift will ultimately blunt the effectiveness of his domestic agenda. Perhaps this is the best for which we can hope from anyone in the political class.

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 25, 2005 10:33 AM


The sentence just needs one edit: drop "born".

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 10:40 AM


I'm okay. America isn't. So we'll privatize it.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 10:40 AM


You are offering a rather dismal view of Bush's views. Then you say

"He threw pro-life judges to the Demo dogs last term to soften them for the judges he really wants"

Are you into mind reading now? Perhaps some facts would help your argument. What judges does he really want? Those that support Roe v Wade and gay marriage? It's not exactly like he can just snap his fingers and get any judges approved.

Posted by: h-man at January 25, 2005 11:04 AM

OJ: I though it just needed a period after born.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 25, 2005 11:15 AM


He can now, the nukes are in the air. I predict another Souter and another Kennedy. Don't have to be a mind reader, just watch the walk instead of the talk. I'm a big Bush fan for his 911 foreign policy. I just think, in the end, he's too much his father domestically.

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 25, 2005 11:27 AM

The President has no say on constitutional amendments such as the gay marriage ban. I believe that he believes in his Christian principles, and thus he genuinely detests the taking of innocent life. Nothing I've heard from him suggests otherwise. But he is also a shrewd politician, and he knows the the limits imposed by the 3-way gridlock system of government that our Founding Fathers created.

Posted by: Gideon at January 25, 2005 12:24 PM

voucher truth from today's WATimes as if we didn't know, right OJ?

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 25, 2005 5:22 PM

apologies for dead link, above

cut and paste for voucher story:


Posted by: Palmcroft at January 25, 2005 5:31 PM

They already passed vouchers.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 5:33 PM

Like a kidney stone. On to the next publicity item...

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 25, 2005 6:02 PM