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Splitting Hairs or Splitting the Baby?

November 20, 2006 04:23 PM

What was it NBS said just last week about John McCain?  Was it something about how the Republican Presidential candidate in '08 had to be pro-life?  Yes, I believe it was.  Well, look here, at John McCain talking about Roe v. Wade during the 2000 presidential campaign:

But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.

Yes, that's a "no" on reversing Roe, "in the short, or even the long term."  As that article points out, though, this statement was a flip-flop from a statement that he'd given just the year before.  At that point, McCain had answered "yes" when asked if he supported the reversal of Roe.  But when he ran for President in 2000, however, he was a "no" on reversing Roe.

As of yesterday, he's flip-flopped back to "yes" on reversing Roe.  Just in time for his '08 bid.  Here he is on This Week With George Stephanopoulos:

MCCAIN: ...I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you’d be for that?

MCCAIN: Yes, because I’m a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I don’t believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade.

Does he think he'll appeal to the base of the party by switching back?  Does he think no one will notice, or does he want us to?  My guess is that he wants conservatives to notice, but not the media.  And, he wants to be firmly flipped back to the reverse-Roe camp well before '08, when yet another flip-flop on abortion isn't as newsworthy.

HAT TIP: the lefties at Think Progress.