Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The NARAL Endorsement - 3 Theories

To quote the Illinois Chapter of Illinois chapter of NOW:

As a State Senator, Barack Obama voted ‘present’ on seven abortion bills, including a ban on 'partial birth abortion,' two parental notification laws and three 'born alive' bills. In each case, the right vote was clear, but Senator Obama chose political cover over standing and fighting for his convictions. When we needed someone to take a stand, Senator Obama took a pass. He wasn’t there for us then and we don’t expect him to be now.

So why did the National NARAL endorse Obama? I have 3 theories.

1. He offered to funnel a large amount of money to NARAL.

2. He offered a "seat at the table" in his administration: i.e., one or more high-paid jobs.

3. NARAL realized that with a Democratic President in the White House and a Democratic Congress, thus ensuring protection of the right to choose, NARAL's funding and membership would dry up. With a Republican in the White House, Mr. McCain, NARAL would still be needed. So, by endorsing Obama they hope to add to the bandwagon effect, to ensure that a candidate who cannot beat McCain in the GE will get the Democratic nomination - and NARAL will continue to exist.

Too Machiavellian? No. Self-preservation is a primal force for organizations as well as human beings. So NARAL's self-preservation is more important than the rights of women? Well, I'm sure they convinced themselves that with a Democratic Congress, womens' rights would still be preserved - but with an anti-choice Republican President, there would be just enough uncertainty to keep the money and memberships flowing in.

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