As I’ve pointed out, Colorado’s Amendment 48, the “personhood” initiative that seeks to define a fertilized egg as a person, has placed the Republicans in a quandary. After years of paying lip-service to the religious right, they are now pressured to support 48. The problem for Republicans is that most Coloradans realize that Amendment 48 is insane. A fertilized egg is not a person, yet the initiative seeks to impose the definition through enforced religious dogma.
So now the GOP has become a headless chicken, squawking in and out of the anti-abortion camp.
As Lynn Bartels reports for The Rocky Mountain News, when Republican party chair Dick Wadhams refused to rent a table to Colorado Right to Life at the party’s state convention, the group blasted the GOP.
Why did Wadhams deny the table? He told Bartels, “Any organization that publicly attacks the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate is not going to be allowed to buy table space.”
What are these attacks? The organization refers on its web page to “Colorado RTL’s accusation of his disregard for Chinese women forced to abort their children.” Regarding the group’s 2008 Candidate Questionnaire, which includes a question about the “personhood” initiative, its web page states, “Notable for NOT answering the Colorado RTL Candidate Questionnaire is U.S. Republican candidate Bob Schaffer.” Tim Hoover of The Denver Post adds, “Earlier this year, Colorado Right to Life attacked Schaffer over his defense of human rights conditions in the Northern Marianas Islands, where there have been repeated accusations that textile workers must undergo forced abortions.”
Wadhams, also Schaffer’s campaign manager, has been reduced to mocking Colorado Right to Life and weakly touting his anti-abortion credentials. He told the Post, “The Colorado Republican Party has good relations with legitimate pro-life organization.”
Colorado Right to Life is threatening to walk this November if candidates don’t behave. Bartels writes, “Colorado Right to Life President Joe Riccobono warned Republicans that by shunning their conservative base, they’re headed for ‘another election catastrophe in November’.” Hoover adds, “‘The state’s top Republican is out of touch with his own party’s base,’ Leslie Hanks , the group’s vice president, said in a statement.” (I couldn’t find that statement on the group’s web page.)
Yet if Republicans pander to Colorado Right to Life, they’ll lose the more numerous independent voters.
Notably, various Republicans have already signed on to Colorado Right to Life’s agenda. I don’t notice a lot of Republican names from competitive districts.
Gone are the days when Republicans can mouth anti-abortion rhetoric and expect not to actually have to face the issue. Colorado Right to Life means it, and they’re prepared to push their faith-based politics all the way.
See today’s post at AriArmtrong.com for more about Colorado Right to Life’s Agenda.