Republicans have apparently come to terms with the fact that their reach is shrinking as their platform becomes more extreme.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican convention platform committee insisted that the party’s anti-abortion under every-circumstance plank would cost Romney independent voters come November. Frankly, said McDonnell, if voters want a pro-choice party they can look elsewhere. “We’re a pro-life party. The Democrats are pro-choice.”
McDonnell returned to a popular Republican talking point, claiming that the culture war issues were simply a distraction from the larger issues of the economy. It would be an interesting point to discuss if Republicans would stop waging the culture wars long enough for an honest conversation on the economy to take place.
When pressed as to why Republicans wouldn’t consider softening their forced-birth platform, McDonnell claimed that was an issue for Congress and the states to work out. It’s slippery double-speak of course. The Republican platform calls for a constitutional amendment to grant personhood to embryonic cells. Should that happen states would have no power to contract or expand reproductive rights because reproductive rights would, effectively, be banned.
Not all Republicans share that view. Former Florida Governor and Republican Charlie Crist endorsed President Obama over the weekend in an op-ed where he criticized the party for veering hard to the right on many issues. “Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion even for rape victims,” wrote Crist.
As the rift within the Republican party deepens, now is the time for any level-headed leaders to step up and save the party from political irrelevance, and the fact that nobody is able to speaks to the lack of depth in Republican talent beyond the current Tea Party hacks.
Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr.