The National Right to Life Committee held its annual convention July 3-5 near DC. Most of its workshops were tightly controlled retreads led by centralized players, a real waste of the talents, ideas, thoughts, and accomplishments of state and local affiliates. (The inestimable question: Control at what cost?)
But its 2 keynote speakers, Fred Thompson and Karl Rove, scored points and made the news. MSM accentuated the negatives they said about Obama while burying McCain's positives.
This I don't necessarily mind. Given McCain's baggage as well as reticence thus far to make a public case for himself and against Obama on the pro-life issue, our motivator in 2008 will have to be hate, not love. And all the better to garner the independent vote if mainstream articles lead off with examples of Obama's radical abortion support.
Calling the IL senator a "last gasp" of 1960s-era radicalism and "George McGovern without the experience," Thompson sternly warned the crowd that Obama would appoint Supreme Court justices unfriendly to their agenda.
Thompson noted that during his career in the IL Legislature, Obama opposed a version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, a bill that made it illegal to harm an infant born after surviving an abortion.
Observing that even the National Abortion Rights Advocacy League had not opposed this legislation, Thompson joked: "I trust [Obama] is explaining how he's to the left of NARAL during the religious outreach meetings he's holding."
[Rove photo courtesy of NRLC]
I find it irritating how one of Thompson's biggest criticisms was "It just doesn't seem like he wants it enough.", when McCain doesn't exactly come off like a hungry prize fighter himself. I hope he's just saving it all for when it counts. I will say, though, that he's giving Obama ample room in which to maneuver so that he can swivel those long legs to fit his ample feet in his more than accomodating mouth, and that makes McCain come off looking like your favorite grandpa, just smiling and shaking his head at the kids these days. I just have to remember that most moderates and independents don't feel as ardent about most things as I do, and that's going to put us over the top this November. When Obama is still trying to shake his radical friends and the after-image of an extreme leftist which never quite goes away, like the sun after looking directly at it then closing your eyes. McCain can rest easy with what he's always been.Posted by: xalisae at July 7, 2008 8:48 AM
"Most of its workshops were tightly controlled retreads"
what gave you the impression they were tightly controlled? -TxPosted by: Jasper at July 7, 2008 9:32 AM
I agree with Jill's comments about the workshops. they are the same each year and disappointing. the first time I went to a national convention, I thought they would be great and I found them to be very amateurish for the most part.Posted by: maria at July 7, 2008 10:04 AM
Jasper, most of them are run by NRLC operatives and, as Maria says, are exactly the same every year. Meanwhile, state and local affiliates are doing fabulous work, but NRLC shuts them out from giving potentially great workshops.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 7, 2008 10:09 AM
As the convention director for National Right to Life I take exception to your description of "tightly controlled" workshops. Although my taking exception is not new because I have seen many, many inaccuracies concerning NRLC in your blog and columns. Approximately 2/3rds of the more than 72 workshops were done by outside (non NRLC Staff) speakers. I am not sure why you feel the need to be so negative when it comes to NRLC. In the past, I have offered you my contact information if you ever decide to check with the organization you love to hate, before printing untruths. If you missed the convention, you missed a great educational, motivational and inspiring three days.Posted by: Jacki Ragan at July 7, 2008 2:03 PM
There will always be fringe elements and true "wackos" in any large group, and here NRLC is dealing with some.Posted by: George at July 7, 2008 7:17 PM
Yeah, how else are they supposed to maintain any consistency? I would be upset if they had loose control or no control over the content of their own convention. That's their job; their members depend on that.Posted by: litnb at July 7, 2008 8:30 PM
Even for conservatives Karl Rove has got to be such an also ran. Seriously, his policies led the the defeat of so many republicans last election, and it looks like it will be a bloodletting this fall too. McCain is tanking, without much help from the media (how can they knock him down if they don't feel the need to cover him?), by having non-event press conferences and fund-raisers that are pathetically small. Wow. You gotta feel bad for him, well... no not really, I mean he did jump around and sing that "bomb iran" song, which pretty much lost all his cred with most moral people I know - conservative or liberal.Posted by: Yo La Tango at July 8, 2008 6:37 PM