Kos, Neil, and Ezra are discussing NARAL’s renewed plea for principled support of the right to choose.
I entirely understand why NARAL endorsed Chaffee (R-RI) so early in the cycle. As I posted here, a lot of liberal single-issue groups have done better than their counterparts because they are willing to cross party lines. Their issue matters more to them partisan success. This has resulted in a Republican government with liberal single issues surviving.
There is also the important PR step of showing you are not a partisan organization. By loudly endorsing a famous pro-choice Republican so early on, NARAL has sent the signal that they are about the right to choose. I know that’s important to them. And if the election is pro-choice Chaffee vs. pro-life Langevin (D), then I understand the endorsement doubly so. But we don’t know the Democratic nominee yet, and it may well be a pro-choice one.
But guys, you got screwed by circumstance. A SCOTUS nomination came up, and you know Chaffee is going to vote for Roberts, a guy who you’re putting at least some effort into publicizing as an anti-abortion partisan. How can you endorse someone who votes for Roberts and is a member of the opposing party?
NARAL should just admit they made a decision absent the SCOTUS vote, and are now reconsidering. That if Chaffee votes for Roberts, they will have to endorse someone else. It’s a move that will save a lot of face with their base, and still seem flexible and open-minded with regards to Chaffee and (more importantly) the voters of Rhode Island.
Attacking NARAL is not attacking choice. There are many reasons to believe that while even the most principled extreme pro-choice position is to be held, NARAL doesn't have their act together.
PS: There is a well-founded theory that if push came to shove and a Senate majority or big nomination depended on Chaffee’s vote, he would switch sides. He’s an opportunist who is currently staying with the majority because they provide more power. The Republicans can’t possibly kick him out because he’s the only way a Republican could win Rhode Island, but they know he’s a potential traitor. So on one hand I have less animousity towards supporting the boy than others do. On the other hand, I continue to have a great deal of angst over Congressmen who by merit of charisma and local connections, represent their district from the wrong party.