More bad tactics

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about America’s “religious right” is their political stupidity. Many of them fail to understand that in politics you can’t often get everything you want, and compromises have to be made.

Last year they succeeded in getting the South Dakota government to pass a new law, which would have banned all abortions except those in cases where the woman would die if she didn’t have an abortion, with amendments to the law to allow abortions in cases where the pregnancy was caused by rape voted down. Opponents of the new law managed t gain enough signatures to force a referendum to be held on whether the law should be repealed. The result: 44% for the law, 56% against. The law was defeated. What makes this defeat more tragic was that polls showed it could win the referendum if a rape exception was added.

What is astonishing is despite this result, the tactic seems to try the same failed trick again. In Colorado they have introduced a ballot measure, requiring 76 000 signatures, to have the state Constitution amended to define a person as “any human being from the moment of fertilization” (i.e. include anything from the moment when the sperm touches the egg, and give this person the same legal rights as all other people) and thus prohibit abortion. Although I support this constitutional ammendment, it has no chance of passing. South Dakota is a very conservative state. Colorado isn’t. Although votes on measures like these will show how much public support there is for total abortion bans, they could damage the pro-life cause by making all pro-lifers look like extremists (no doubt the pro-abortion side will focus their campaign on abortions in rape and other extreme cases, despite these making up only a tiny proportion of abortions) and wasting energy.

Another doomed cause the religous right have tried to advance is a change to the US constitution to ban gay marriage. In order to suceed it needs 67 Senators (out of 100) to support it, as well as two thirds of the House of Represntatives, and 38 State Governments (out of 50). In 2004 it was defeated in the Senate 49-48 (i.e. it didn’t even get half of Senators to support it, yet alone two thirds).

They need to learn the political idea of going for what you have a chance at suceeding in, not the dream agenda that will get nowhere.

Explore posts in the same categories: Abortion, United States

One Comment on “More bad tactics”

  1. mklasing Says:

    I agree that going for the whole enchilada never seems to work–this is why liberals have figured out that by taking a small piece of our freedom one bill at a time is a better way to eat the enchilada in small bites. Pro-Lifers need to start with wrongful death laws–get States to pass legislation that states that a life begins at conception for purposes of wrongful death causes of action and criminal homicide. At least then the children would be protected in some context.


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