Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Which Was The Wrong Statement?

Sam Clovis, shock jock and would be Senator, says some interesting things. That's part of his appeal in the conservative counties of western Iowa that make up his base.

But those statements don't play as well to the national press. and Sam said a couple interesting things yesterday in an interview with Douglas Burns of the Carroll Daily Times Herald, for my money the most under-rated journalist in the state (and a former colleague from my Iowa Independent glory days of 2007-08).

The national folks like Talking Points Memo are zooming in on this exchange:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Clovis, a firebrand northwest Iowa conservative, says he believes many congressional Republicans want to impeach President Obama. The only thing standing in their way, Clovis said in an interview, is the color of the president's skin.

"I would say there are people in the House of Representatives right now that would very much like to take the opportunity to start the process," Clovis said of impeaching the nation's first African-American president. "And I think the reason that they're not is because they're concerned about the media."
TPM also calls Clovis "a long shot GOP Senate candidate," which understates his significance to the race. I can still see a vote-splintering scenario in the five way race. Well, four way plus Scott Schaben, but he soaks up 4 percent just for being better than Paul Lunde at qualifying for the ballot, which makes it a little harder for anyone to get the required 35 percent. I can see Clovis being very appealing to a convention.

No, a REAL long shot candidate would be independent Bob Quast, such a Some Dude that even I never heard of him. Quote of the day: "If you come to my front door to do harm to my girls, I'm going to use my Glock. To blow your balls off."  He was going to take this message into the Democratic primary, but apparently attended the Jonathan Narcisse School of Ballot Access Law.

But my point before this tangent was that the national folks are focusing on the "Obama won't get impeached because he's black" aspect of the Clovis-Burns interview.

But there's another story from the interview, which Doug headlines Clovis: Criminalizing abortion 'a bridge too far'.
Clovis told the Daily Times Herald in an interview Monday he wants to see a "cultural decision" that makes abortion something no longer done "because it's the taking of a life."

"If we're going to put a penalty or a punishment on that and criminalize that, I think that's a bridge too far," Clovis said.

But Clovis believes life begins at conception. So wouldn't abortion be the same as a convenience-store stick-up gone bad, with a dead clerk?

"I honestly don't know about the criminalization of this," Clovis said.

Isn't that the end game of the pro-life movement, criminalizing abortion? If it's not illegal, then isn't abortion what it is right now - a fierce fight for the hearts and minds of women and their physicians?

"I don't know," Clovis said. "I don't think so. That's not my endgame."
As an Iowa City liberal I'm not an expert on internal Republican primary politics in western Iowa. But I know enough about the party's direction to think that "Criminalizing abortion a bridge too far" probably costs you more votes in the context of a Republican primary than "Obama won't get impeached because he's black."

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