Pat pointed out back here the fact that my old friend Holly Gatling (formerly of The State‘s Pee Dee bureau) and her compatriots at South Carolina Citizens for Life endorsed Nikki Haley for the thinnest, most procedural of reasons. That is indeed true:
Citizens for Life director Holly Gatling says Haley scored a 100 on its 19-question election survey. She says Democrat Vincent Sheheen has voted with the anti-abortion group and has “never been hostile to our issues.” But he did not return the survey, so the group backed the candidate who put it in writing.
The fact is that in Vincent Sheheen, the pro-life movement has that most rare and precious of commodities, a creature that those who care should want to warmly embrace, cosset and nurture — a pro-life Democrat. Not since Bob Casey won his Senate seat from Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, despite the nasty blowback from the likes of NARAL, has there been such a chance to support a pro-life Democratic nominee for high office.
And SCCofL has blown that opportunity for the sake of a piece of paper not obediently filled out.
Thereby the pro-life movement misses the opportunity to demonstrate it is more than a lapdog of the Right, to be taken for granted, to be bought for a piece of paper filled out with the answers that everyone knows they want to hear. The state Chamber of Commerce has had the guts to demonstrate in this race that it is not slavishly Republican. Even Republicans, from Cyndi Mosteller to Bobby Harrell, have to varying degrees expressed their differences with the nominee of their party. Why pass up this opportunity to demonstrate some real, conscience-based, independence for the sake of a piece of paper?
As The State noted a month ago, the pro-life movement has TWO strong candidates in the major-party nominees for governor (the subhed was, “Voters who support procedures left in cold by major candidates for governor” — those of you who want to pause and hold a moment of silence for the folks Holly calls the “pro-aborts” because for once they don’t have a champion, go right ahead; I will move on), and one of them is someone who, being a Democrat, actually takes some political risk, who actually gets out of the comfort zone of a member of his party, for his support for life. Me, I’d want to give a guy like that some props. But that’s me.