Michael Steele: I’m Pro-Choice To Be Pro-Life

RNC Chairman Michael Steele was better off taking on and then backing off Rush Limbaugh. This interview is going to land him in some serious right-wing hot water. Never mind how strange it is for this guy to be talking about Chuck D., and liking P. Diddy (oh, and, um, dude? It’s just Diddy now, I think). The interview later turns to matters of actual substance, like abortion. Steele goes on to say that he thinks women have the right to choose to have an abortion. Who knows, maybe Michael isn’t such a bad guy after all… Maybe he’s just working for the wrong party.

Via The Post’s Chris Cillizza:

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?
Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.

Explain that.
The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.

You do?
Yeah. Absolutely.

Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?
I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

Do pro-choicers have a place in the Republican Party?

Don’t be surprised if Michael Steele tenders his resignation to spend more time with his family.


11 responses to “Michael Steele: I’m Pro-Choice To Be Pro-Life

  1. The Republican stance should be that social issues, like abortion and gay marriage, should be decided by the states, and that the federal government has no right to decide those issues and force people to abide by their decision. Many Republicans, such as myself, feel this way, but the problem is that the Republican Party has been highjacked by extreme social conservatives who want to impose their twisted version of Christianity on everyone. It wasn’t so long ago that the Democratic Party was controlled by racist segregationists, but that changed swiftly with the election of a competent Moderate Democrat to the White House, LBJ. The Republicans had their chance to marginalize social conservatives as LBJ did with McCain, but his pandering to the social conservatives during the campaign (his choice of running mate and general shift to the right on social issues) weakened him, and ultimately the McCain campaign was little competition for the Obama money machine.

    The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party is divided along this line and others, with moderates like Michael Steele, Arlen Specter and our own former congressman Rob Simmons on one side, and extremists like George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh, along with Orrin Hatch and the rest of Utah, on the other. Most liberals don’t realize it but many Republicans, elected officials and citizens alike, are pro-choice, pro gay marriage and pro stem cell research.

    Check out these web pages. The first has a good outline of what a Moderate Republican is, and the second is the website for the Republican Majority for Choice.



  2. From what I understand, Michael Steele is actually yet another stage name utilized by Shock G of Digital Underground fame.

    Getting busy in a Burger King bathroom is the sort of risky behavior that has been known to bring the debate on choice quite close to home.

  3. But should any state have the right to ban abortion or gay marriage? How does that play into the right’s proclamation of liberty? No state should have the right to do that. It’s like the federal government is making women have abortions, or forcing gay folks to marry.

    As for your view of the social wing of the Republican Party, you said it, not me.
    I also would note that Arlen Specter and Rob Simmons aren’t typical of their party, and apparently neither is Michael Steele.

  4. The states rights issue is an interesting one. Ultimately, it dates back to a concept that most all Americans have forgotten. I suspect those living in the EU will forget about the same issue soon enough. But ultimately, it avoids the central issue. What should a violent mob called government be allowed to do?

    Mr. Clark is quite fine with the government stealing 50% of a mans income in order to murder, imprison peaceful people, and give money to those unwilling to work for it. Yet he becomes indignant when a state does not expressly sanction a particular family arrangement (or refrains to provide him with free services). Here is an idea, get government out of the marriage business all together. Marriage is between two people, and often god. Why does the government have a place?

    This is further evidence that our society has lost its way. People feel great about using the mob to their own advantage, to smash those who they disagree with, and to enforce their own personal morality. Don’t like rich folk, tax ’em. Don’t like gays, don’t let ’em marry (or have sex legally). Don’t like drugs, ban ’em. At the same time, these same people get up in arms when their particular rights are tread upon.

    Mencken once said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” He certainly appears to have a point. I challenge anyone, Republican or Democrat, to explain why Steele is the sort of man that ought represent them in any fashion. This is what your system has handed you. A century of endless war, ever increasing taxation and regulation, and a declining level of education. The consequence of allowing men such as this to be the decision makers (Democrats are no better in this regard, see Maxine Waters amongst others). Yet, those who question the usefulness of such a system are lambasted.

    As to the abortion issue, I am pro-life. However, I am quite against giving the government yet another excuse to expand the prison population. The United States already leads this category, they don’t need any help.

  5. Clark you miss my point, and perhaps that’s my fault. What I was trying to say is that the pro-choice stance is not exclusive to the Democratic Party as you insinuated when you wrote, “Steele goes on to say that he thinks women have the right to choose to have an abortion. Who knows, maybe Michael isn’t such a bad guy after all… Maybe he’s just working for the wrong party.”

    To your categorization of Arlen Specter as someone who is “not typical to their party”, I would say that while someone like Sen. Specter may not be typical among Republicans currently holding office in Washington, he is typical among Republicans in general. Furthermore, I would argue that up to the midterm elections of 2006 a Moderate Republican such as Specter could have been considered typical of their party. The fact is that politically the big losers during the Bush presidency were the Moderate Republicans. Almost all of the seats gained in Congress by the Democrats during the Bush administration were taken from Moderate Republicans. People like Rob Simmons, Nancy Johnson and Lincoln Chafee (all pro-choice Republicans) lost their seats, while many socially conservative Republicans, who generally hail from places that don’t ever elect Democrats, kept theirs. I think this has lead to an inaccurate reflection of the Republican Party in Washington, and that the election of a Moderate like Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC is step a step in the right direction.

  6. I didn’t miss any points here. Your original point was that social issues should be decided on the state level, and I said that’s flawed, because no state ought to have the right to ban something like abortion or gay marriage. I realize that are such things as moderate Republicans out there, but my point is that they are the exception to the party not the rule.

    Arlen Specter has never been a conventional Republican, like Susan Collins of Maine. But, again, these people do not reflect the base of the party. That was my point. If you’re a pro-choice Republican, you’re on tenuous ground with the national party, because pro-life is one of the founding planks of the party’s platform. Specter is an interesting case. He’s up for re-election in 2010, and he’s facing a primary challenger who is a very rightwing, very crazy Pennsylvanian. Don’t be surprised if Specter switches parties, or goes Independent a la Lieberman. He’s plenty popular with the Left in his state. Not so much with his own party. That, sir, is not a typical Republican.

  7. My opinion concerning how social issues should be decided is not the point you’re missing. The point your missing is that within the Republican Party moderates are much more than “the exception to the party”. They are in fact a large part of the party. In many states, Connecticut being one of them, moderates make up a majority of Republicans. The fact that you “realize that (there) are such things as moderate Republicans out there” is great, but I think that you, like many liberals, underestimate their numbers ,and are under the false impression that George W. Bush represents most if not all Republicans.

    Using abortion, the issue that started this dialogue, my point can be illustrated. According to exit polls, a majority of Republicans in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, and grater than 40% of Republicans in Maryland, Florida and California, are pro-choice. Also, according to an AP survey of delegates at the 2000 Republican Convention, delegations from 22 states oppose an abortion ban in the party platform, and delegations from 10 states are narrowly divided on the issue. Furthermore, according to the New York Times, a recent survey of 800,000 of the Republican Party’s “most active supporters” showed that 43% favor abortion rights. The Times also reports that Republican Party officials are trying to down play the survey’s results in an effort to avoid infuriating conservative members and widening divides within the party. Surely these statistics prove that moderate Republicans are not merely “the exception to the party”. The fact is moderates account for nearly half of the Republican Party and represent a growing opposition to social conservativeism within it.





  8. That’s all fine and well, but the party’s leadership and base are controlled by the most socially conservative. What I’m confused about is that you seem to think that I’m against moderate Republicans, which I’m not. But if your argument is true, that moderates make up half the party, then I’d say the onus is on you and your kind to do more to control the party. Right now psychos like Rush Limbaugh and feckless dopes like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are in control. And they’re the worst people on earth.

  9. I like how arguments of substance are ignored, that the system being cheered on in this particular forum is the cause of what is being critiqued. It is like debating what color drapes you should hang while your house burns down.

  10. Beave, your views are treated as fringe views and with the respect that fringe views deserve, which is to say, with very little respect, because they are fringe views. Does that make sense?

    I know that ideas like goldbugism, anti-state-ism and dismantling the Federal Reserve are popular among the people you most often talk politics with, but we’re talking about the actual American government, which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t going anywhere.

  11. “Beave, your views are treated as fringe views and with the respect that fringe views deserve, which is to say, with very little respect, because they are fringe views.”

    There isn’t a whole lot of logic behind that argument. All it says is, I am happy to live in my own personal ignorance and unwilling to judge things on merit. Good for you, you are just like the rest of the rabble. Being in love with popular ideas doesn’t make you right.

    Have you noticed a lot of good ideas were once unpopular? I have no illusions about the government withering away. The masses will always be easily ruled. All I can hope is to do is preach the ideas of freedom and proper economic theory.

    I am by no means a gold bug, but I ask you, please explain to me your personal theory of the business cycle. Why do you feel comfortable being opinionated about the solution to a problem you don’t even know the cause of?

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