While it seems possible to eliminate federal abortion funding, it does not seem possible any time soon to make early term abortions unlawful. No national consensus for that has emerged. Nor is doing so within the constitutional powers of the president. Even if a changed Supreme Court were to overrule Roe v. Wade, only the states could pass the necessary laws. While abortion is an important issue, single-issue opposition to all abortions for everyone should not impair our efforts to have the country return to constitutional basics. This does not suggest that anyone opposed to abortion should pretend to countenance the practice, or the grant of funding to those who do. Other issues, however, should take precedence.
There are some on the left who are obsessed with President Obama’s reneging on his many campaign promises: to close Gitmo; to move at great speed to further liberalize the immigration laws; to mandate government-provided national health care; to increase the scope of affirmative action for “minorities”; and to do the other silly things they thought he was destined to do. Ralph Nader is trying to assemble a stable of challengers for the Democrat Party convention. That’s very good: if they neither support nor vote for President Obama in 2012, it will decrease his chances of reelection. Unfortunately, it seems premature to scream out a headline like Obama Will Lose in 2012.
Those who favor a return to constitutional governance and a minimum of federal meddling cannot emulate the ideological supporters of a president who favors the opposite. To do so is to board the same unseaworthy vessels, to founder on the electoral rocks, and finally to sink. The willing, competent, and electable presidential candidate that must be found, no matter how difficult, will not be a single-issue leader. Elections have consequences. Is anybody there? Does anybody care?