Bob Novak Sees Everything Through a Political Lens

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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