In Romney They Trust
Not to my surprise, several pro-life leaders and organizations have endorsed the once questionable Mitt Romney quickly following Rick Santorum’s unceremonious departure from the field. The National Right to Life Committee, Susan B. Anthony List, and Jill Stanek have each taken hold of the Romney banner in their battle against President Obama and his policies related to abortion.
Given their priorities and their expectations for a president, their support makes sense: little doubt Romney will prove more of a friend or at least less of an enemy to their cause than the sitting president, whom they’ve deemed “the most pro-abortion president ever” (a title they’d no doubt have given to Hillary Clinton had she won). What’s remarkable about their endorsements is the absence of all nuance and reservation.
Politically, Romney isn’t a man of principle or even an ideologue. He lies regularly and with an obvious indifference to the truth. He’ll say what he thinks will get him elected. He’s the model of the untrustworthy politician, and yet these pro-lifers have given him their complete trust. They express absolute confidence that he’s a genuine convert.
In so doing, they’ve made an unwise but for them typical political move: they’ve given up any pressure they may have later put upon the Republican nominee. He’s got their endorsements. And if these groups have influence over the votes of anyone, they’re not the votes of people who’d consider supporting Obama. They’d have been wiser to go on the offensive against Obama while putting continued pressure on Romney to strengthen his pro-life credentials.
In my experience, a lot of pro-lifers believe the the GOP at least minimally serves their interests. The reverse is more the case: politically-active pro-life leaders and groups serve the interests of the party. They help mobilize the base for nothing more than the latest GOP offerings being nominally or minimally better than the Democratic candidates on their non-negotiable issues. They’re pawns in the game of thrones. With Romney, they had an obvious political opportunist and therefore the opportunity to gain power within the party by withholding their endorsements pending demands being met. Instead, they became willing tools for an empty suit.