At Reverend Rick Warren's Saddleback Church on Saturday, Senator McCain delivered what might be the first altogether true statement of a campaign that has to date relied on distortion, double-talk and lies: Senator McCain boasted that he has a 100 percent pro-life record.
Yes; John McCain has voted against every measure that would give women the freedom to choose how, whether and when to have children. In other words, Senator McCain has done all he can to make our physical and emotional health subject to state control.
At another moment in the same forum, Senator McCain explained his opposition to government funded healthcare, saying that individuals ought to be able to choose the care they need, not have those decisions determined by "government bureaucrats." Consistent? You decide.
I would hope that every pro-choice woman still harboring resentment against Barack Obama for winning the nomination will consider Senator Obama's contrasting positions on these issues. With regard to both abortion rights and healthcare, Barack Obama is reliably pro-choice and richly humane. Senator Obama's views don't lend themselves to the kind of glib one-liners that appeal to Senator McCain's audience and they require thought rather than reaction, a liability in recent US elections.
Here's what Barack Obama said at Saddleback about reproductive rights:
if you believe that life begins at conception, and you are consistent in that belief, then I can't argue with you on that, because that is a core issue of faith for you. What I can do is say, are there ways we can work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies so that we are actually reducing the sense that women are seeking out abortions? How do we provide the resources that allow women to make the choice to keep a child? Have we given them health care they need, the support services they need, the options of adoption that are necessary. That I believe can make a genuine difference."
As the polls tighten, it's clear that despite prior predictions of a landslide, we will have to work for this one. Let's.
Please remind your friends and colleagues to register to vote (in the US http://www.registrationbyworkingassets.com/register/?source=homedropdown&api_key=gQKGZ9xr0iTIct4XGnRHB1ALGT4. Abroad: http://www.votefromabroad.org.).
Also, watch this space for local activities to get out the vote.
And if you can spare the time and expense, please consider traveling to a swing state to lend a hand. Go to http://www.barackobama.com/index.php, choose the "State" menu, select the place you'd like to go and sign on as a volunteer. Someone will contact you.
If you live too far from Obamalondon's voter registration and mobilization events, and can't travel back to the States before November, you can organize phone banks at home. http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/actioncenter
Call it a party, make it festive; define our future.