The economy is a shambles, we remain mired in two wars with POTUS getting us into a third, health care costs continue spiraling, and the education system is a disgrace. And Republicans? They are racing to see who can claim the high ground on an issue that, for most Americans, ranks 316th on the kitchen table priority list. The country is divided about abortion and no one sees it as the pressing priority of the day, week, month, or year. Perhaps someone can remind Republicans that the idea is to nominate a candidate who can defeat Obama, not to see which candidate can out-demagogue the others by signing a meaningless pledge disguised as litmus test.
Like most Americans who understand that the sun rises in the East, I get that Republicans are typically pro-life while Democrats are typically pro-choice. Therefore, what is the point of the Susan B. Anthony's List pledge beyond yet another opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate why Libertarians and a good many other independents -- whose votes will be crucial in 2012 - are made uneasy, if not queasy, by the self-righteous wing of the GOP, the section that preaches about limited government unless that same government can limit things it dislikes.
Whatever your position on abortion, there is nothing that I or anyone else can do to change it and that is irrespective of which camp you are in. That is why even the US Supreme Court cringes when yet another abortion case comes before it. It is why the Roe decision has gone virtually unchanged it became law. And, this national ambivalence is also why anytime a pregnant woman is murdered, the state only files a single charge of homicide.
We waste time debating a phantom "right" to abortion while scores of children who are already here languish in the foster care system, while Americans go abroad to adopt because doing so domestically is a bureaucratic nightmare, and while government rewards serial pregnancy through a system that only perpetuates poverty. The real shame is that poll after poll already shows the United States to be a center-right country (hint: this means the majority is already receptive to conservatism, at least the fiscal kind), but instead of speaking to Americans about the issues that impact their lives, many in this class of candidates are more interested in being Moralist-in-Chief than Commander-in-Chief.
The incumbent president is a committed left-wing ideologue who is only unbeatable in the minds of his steno pool, or as some call them, the media. Whatever "inherited" problems existed have only grown worse under Obama's watch, yet the Republican field wants to see which candidate can more closely align him/herself with the Almighty than with the average American voter. I hate to break it to the field, but there are a lot conservatives who don't see the so-called social issues as the government's business, whose dinner conversations have far more to do with dollars and opportunity than pregnancy and gay marriage; and whose votes are more likely to be lost than won by piety. To paraphrase Newt Gingrich, social engineering is no prettier when it comes from the right than from the left, and the field might do well to recall that James Carville's 1992 mantra is applicable in EVERY presidential election - it is always the economy.