By Robert Pickup, Jr.
William Saletan writing at Slate says that “Aiming at a broad electorate candidates are looking for issues where the public agrees with them and dodging issues where they might lose votes.” This goes without saying when it comes to politicians, but then Saletan only devotes one sentence to Democrats not wanting to talk about the economy. He then devotes the rest of his article blasting Republican cowardice on social issues saying “They don’t want the election to be about these issues, even in Red States.”
His first example of a Republican trying to “weasel” out of a social issue question is in the Virginia Senate race between Democrat Senator Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie. Speaking about contraception Warner said “the Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby got it wrong. I don’t think a for profit corporation ought to be able to interfere in an employees health care choices.” Warner doesn’t seem to understand that case however. The Hobby Lobby case limited the ability of the Government to force privately owned companies to violate the owners religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby still provides many forms of contraception’s in their Health Insurance plans. Warner also said that Gillespie would vote to overturn Roe V Wade. Again the Senator gets it wrong. As Gillespie rightly responded “there is not going to be a vote to overturn Roe, that’s a Supreme Court decision. I’m running for the United States Senate.” It’s no surprise that Warner is raising social issues to attack Gillespie, he voted for the unpopular Affordable Care Act and voted with Obama 97% of the time. That is problematic for him amongst Virginians.
Saletan moves on to the Arizona Governors race between Democrat Fred Duval and Republican Doug Ducey. When asked about same sex marriage Ducey said that “on an issue like this a Governor doesn’t make the decision. This decision is decided by the people.” However this is no longer the case. Liberals are all for Democracy until they don’t get what they want, then they go to the courts. According to the New York Times “20 Federal courts in a row had ruled that State bans on same sex marriage, or on recognition of marriages performed in other States, were unconstitutional.” Many Pundits believe this issue will be fully put to rest by the Supreme Court very soon.
Saletan then discusses probably the most well known Governors race this election cycle. That is the Texas Governors race between Republican Greg Abbot and Democrat Wendy Davis. When asked about their views on abortion Davis talked about her filibuster of an abortion bill. She said “I have stood on the Senate floor for 13 hours to assure that this most private of decisions could be made by women.” In actuality the bill didn't take away a woman’s choice. The Washington Post wrote that the legislation would only ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital surgical centers. As Abbot said “women still have 5 months to make a very difficult decision.” Only after that did the State have “an interest in protecting innocent life.” This is right in line with what most Americans want. According to a collection of polls gathered by the AEI most Americans support first trimester abortions. However they oppose second and third trimester abortions and support restrictions such as parental notification.
As we can see far from being cowards on social issues, Republicans are being very moderate compared to these extreme leftist candidates. They are trying to concentrate on issues that matter most to people. These issues according to Gallup are Jobs, the economy in general and the Federal deficit. Gay marriage, contraception and abortion didn’t even make the list. Democrats know that by raising these issues they can distract voters from the fact that they have caused, made worse or ignored the issues that matter most to their constituents.