There was a good article in the Thursday, September 23rd edition of the Washington Examiner by Timothy Carney. In this commentary piece (“Tea Partiers Oppose Abortion, Not Just Deficits”) Carney points out that pro-life voters were instrumental in the recent defeats of Lisa Murkowski, Charlie Crist, Mike Castle (“But Castle was also vocally
pro-choice.”), and Arlen Specter. He notes that “the Senate ringleader of this rowdy [Tea Party] bunch is DeMint, a passionate pro-life conservative.”
Here is Carney’s most interesting – and correct – observation: “But on Capital Hill, the divide between fiscally and socially conservative is a theoretical one. Almost without fail, the strongest advocates of limited government in Congress are pro-life, and vice-versa. Think of DeMint and Tom Coburn in the Senate and Ron Paul and Jeff Flake in the House — they top the scorecards of the National Taxpayers’ Union and also have perfect scores from National Right to Life.”
Aside from the Tea Party phenomena itself – the most important political development this election cycle involves Sarah Palin. It hasn’t received much press. Sarah Palin is changing the Republican Party and making it decidedly more pro-life. The Washington Post described a May 14, 2010 event this way:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told a group of women who oppose abortion rights that they are responsible for an “emerging, conservative, feminist identity” and have the power to shape politics and elections around the issue of life.
Speaking to a breakfast gathering Friday of the Susan B. Anthony List in downtown Washington, Palin urged more than 500 audience members to back only those candidates for public office who are uncompromisingly opposed to abortion.
Palin is doing this by endorsing pro-life candidates only, and she is endorsing excellent female candidates. If Carney is correct – these politicians like Carly Fiorina in California will be decidedly more conservative on all issues. But, after several election cycles there may be a cadre of pro-life women in office who will reshape the debate about abortion. And, this goes to show that Palin isn’t just politicking, she is institution-building.