Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Late Manuevers

Now the Republican-controlled House pushes pro-life legislation?

Has GOP seen the light? Or are they tarring the road for the incoming Democrats and dangling a lit match?

The WP has the details:

In a parting gesture by social conservatives before Republicans relinquish control, House leaders plan to bring up a bill tomorrow that would declare that fetuses feel pain and require abortion providers to offer pregnant patients anesthesia for their unborn child.

The scheduled vote may be the last on abortion-related legislation for years. That's because Democratic leaders hope to avoid confrontations over hot-button social issues that divide their caucus, and focus instead on military and pocketbook issues.

But Republicans and antiabortion activists signaled yesterday that they intend to press hard on social issues, even those that failed to gain traction during GOP control, to separate moderate-to-conservative Democrats from their more liberal leaders.

"The Democrats are facing an interesting situation because they ran to the right in this election," said Wendy Wright, president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America. "They promised one thing to America with their campaigning. The question is, will they live up to that image? Running and hiding is not a solution."

Democrats are shying from the fight. Party leaders in the House have declared tomorrow's decision "a vote of conscience" and will not try to sway the outcome. House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) does not plan to speak on the bill, a rarity for her.

Had the administration championed more measures such as this, the Republicans may have preserved the House. Ironically, the Democrats took their social conservative members more seriously this past election then the GOP did.

This bill wedges those "Blue Dog" Democrats from their Reasonable masters in both houses. If the Republicans hope to keep Congress on the social issues agenda, this bill opens the way. Of course, should the Blue Dogs hold fast to their Pro-Life convictions, it may strengthen that position within the party at the national level. This would be bad for Republicans but good for social conservatives and pro-life supporters. Two parties that take life seriously better serve our society.

Interesting times may lay ahead.

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