Bob Novak Sees Everything Through a Political Lens


Bob Novak is claiming that social conservatives have had just about enough of Fred Thompson and his moderate views. On a recent Meet the Press appearance, Thompson opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, opposed the congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, and opposed a constitutional amendment to ban abortions (though such an amendment has been part of the Republican Party platform since 1980).

And it’s this last that is really getting people. On abortion, Thompson said, “You can’t have a [federal] law” that “would take young, young girls… and say, basically, we’re going to put them in jail.” Despite his 100 percent pro-life voting record, Thompson is clearly just not avid enough. Here’s Novak:

Thompson’s comments revealed an astounding lack of sensitivity about abortion. He surely anticipated that Russert would cite his record favoring states’ rights on abortion. Whether the candidate just blurted out his statement or had planned it, it suggested a failure to realize how much his chances for the Republican nomination depend on social conservatives.

Here’s what I want to point out. As should be obvious, Thompson’s comments revealed a lack of sensitivity about politics; they showed a high level of integrity about abortion. Novak can’t distinguish between the two. For him, evaluating a stand or a position on principle is a non-starter, a moot point. A position can only be evaluated based on politics, and how it will help election chances. Blergh.

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.