Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can't make nobody happy

Hillary can't, that is. Seems like there is no possible move on the boardgame of politics she can make without someone screaming their fool head off about it. With conservatives and Republicans, the source of distaste and distrust is obvious. She's not conservative nor Republican and she's married to Bill Clinton.

But the poor woman can't even make Democrats happy. The latest horrible move on her part? She's supposedly moved to the center on a number of issues. And she appears to be reframing herself. Now, it's apparently acceptable for the Democratic Party to reframe itself so that it appears to be closer to the center.
George Lakoff can lead us all in a quest to use language that fits our values so that the discussion is about values that matter to most people. But apparently it's not ok for Hillary to do so.

Look at Hillary's take on abortion. In January, she said that abortion is "a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women." She didn't suddenly become anti-abortion. She didn't throw her arms around abortion clinic bombers. She didn't change her stance on abortion at all. She articulated what many Americans feel about abortion.

She articulated what I feel. I'm strongly pro-choice. No one should legislate me into being a mother, should my choice of birth control fail at age 43. No one should legislate anyone into being a mother. Do I feel that an 8 week old fetus, embryo, whatever is a person? Yes. No. Maybe. I think it's far closer to a cluster of cells than to a person. And if I have to weigh that cluster of cell's right to life versus a mother's right to choose whether or not to give birth to that cluster, I support the mother's right to choose.

Hilary's phrase rings true to me, too. Some women I know who've had abortions viewed it quite matter of factly as a cluster of cells and did not feel sadness. And some women I know who've had abortions viewed it quite emotionally as a baby and felt a tremendous sense of loss. As much as it would make pro-choice folks lives easier to say an abortion is purely a dispassionate medical procedure, real life seems different, for some.

I'm struck by this NY Times article about Hillary. "On abortion, she can calibrate the tone and nuance of her remarks. In 2000, she promised abortion rights supporters that she would be second to none as an ally, and in 2005 she said she looked forward to the day when abortions take place 'only in very rare circumstances.'"

OK. I get that she's speaking to different audiences differently. What a surprise; she's a politician. But is she SAYING anything different? And are her messages antithetical to one another? I don't think so. I absolutely support the right to an abortion. And I absolutely hope that someday, abortions will rarely take place. I don't see why imagining a world in which women get pregnant only when they want to and only in situations in which they want to is a problem. Sounds like common ground to me. And common sense, too.

You go, Hillary.

Until tomorrow,


Post a Comment

<< Home