In defense of RNC chairman Michael Steele

Steele has been getting non-stop grief for his stated position on abortion. I think it is unjustified, and I think it is fueled by liberals, who want Steele to be removed as head of the RNC. (See also Citizen Tom’s excellant analysis of this issue!) Then they can say, “See! The GOP is racist! They kicked a black man out!”  He was probably chosen in part due to what I call the NFL syndrome. Whatever “worked” to win the last Super Bowl is copied by many of the other teams the next year: “Dems won the election with a black guy? Let’s get our own black guy! etc.” And Dems want him kicked off to further cement their pro-choice voters.  But Steele is chairman now, so the GOP will be foolish to can him over abortion.

Steele appears to be pro choice, but also correct that about Roe v. Wade. That decision was incorrectly decided. It should be up to the states to determine what restrictions, if any, to place upon abortion. Let the people decide, not 5 of 9 un-elected ex-lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Some have criticized Steele’s words and I think misunderstood them. Here is what I think he meant (actual words with my comments in italics). In an interview with GQ, his words follow each A.

  A: The [abortion] choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.

Q: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

A; Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice [OK, Republicans, remember we are supposed to be a “big tent,” remember? Just because Steele is “pro choice” doesn’t mean we should shit can him as Chairman of the GOP] .

Q; You do?

A: Yeah. Absolutely.

Q: Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

A: I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter. [Damn straight it was. There is no constitutional right to an abortion. Let the political process work. There is no State in the Union that would totally outlaw abortion, anyway. What are you Pro-choice fanatics so afraid of?]

Q: Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

A: The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide. [This is only an apparent contradiction. Let me explain. Steele apparently is “pro-choice” meaning that if up to him, abortion should be left up to each woman to decide. But in his view, it isn’t left up to him–or the Supreme Court, for that matter–to decide, it is left up to each individual state to decide in accordance with each state’s own legislative process (or Constitution, for that matter).  In other words, Steele is “pro-choice” and if allowed a vote he would vote in favor of keeping the decision to abort a personal decision, but he does believe it is up to the voters, not the Supreme Court, to ultimately decide the issue. This position is no different than if I said “I am in favor of legalizing marijuana but I also think it is up to each individual state to make their own laws as they see fit regarding legalizing marijuana. If it is up to me, I would vote in favor of legalizing it, but I also respect that states have a right to restrict it. Seems clear to me that what he is saying is perfectly consistent. I don’t agree with him. I would vote to severely restrict the “right” to an abortion. The most precious right is the right to life. But I otherwise agree with him completely. This isn’t a constitutional issue, it should be left up to the states to decide. NOTE TO GOP: QUIT EATING YOUR OWN! The Dems are doing a good enough job of it. Instead, protect your own!]

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