Friday, July 08, 2005

The choice is clear on Blouin

The choice is clear on Blouin

Newly minted gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin spoke at our cnetral committee meeting last night. The questioning was polite until the subject touched on choice - and thank you, THANK YOU Regenia Bailey for asking.

Blouin referred us among other things to this David Yepsen column. But push came to shove, and when directly asked "If Roe were overturned and the Iowa Legislature passed an abortion ban, what would you do," he dismissed the question as hypothetical and expressed incredulous doubt that the Supreme Court would reverse Roe.

The correct answer, Mr. Blouin, is to say without hesitation the word "veto."

Sometimes I wish our political system weren't bipolar. Sometimes I wish there was a party for old-school seamless garment Catholics like Mike Blouin, where they could have their percentage of a legislative body, and the majority of socially liberal Democrats and libertarian Republicans could keep choice safe legal and accessible. Then we could form a nice alliance with Blouin and his like on economic issues.

But it doesn't work that way. And in this era, with the Supreme Court about to turn over, choice is a defining issue. I'm not a woman, I'm only the father of one, so I can't begin to speculate on the personal implications, the sense of invalidation at being denied the right to control one's own body. Those statements are best left to others.

I am, however, a politician who specializes in counting the numbers. And an anti-choice Democratic nominee would be a disaster in this community. In a Blouin-Nussle race the Greens would get 20% of the vote in Johnson County, and Blouin would drag down the entire ticket including our local pro-choice legislators.

There are some circumstances where I could, with reservations, support an anti-choice Democratic nominee for a legislative office - if that candidate were clearly better than the Republican on all other issues, if electing that Democrat would turn over a legislative majority and put pro-choice Democrats in charge of the chamber and the agenda. But with a governor, and the prospect of a Republican legislature, the veto pen is a huge part of the deal. So Mike, sorry but the moment you didn't say "veto" without hesitation, you lost me.


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