The next time someone tells you the Republican Party is controlled by an extremist agenda on the subject of abortion, you might reply by noting the number of times the word “abortion” appeared in the speeches of Sarah Palin and John McCain.
The number: 0.
The number of times abortion was even alluded to, as in a reference to a “culture of life”: 1. Once.
It came, 25 paragraphs down, in McCain’s speech. And it so displeased Jody Bottum, the editor of the splendid monthly First Things, that he wrote a disgusted blog item about it:
One reference to a “culture of life,” buried in a laundry list in the twenty-fifth paragraph? That’s it in John McCain’s acceptance speech? The sole mention of abortion in the combined hour and a half of oratory from the two Republican nominees over the last two nights?
Doubtless, those who have committed themselves to a conviction that the Republican ticket has been assembled to march all women in lockstep into a back alley where there is a rusty coat hanger and a gleeful undertaker will see the silence on these matters as a form of deliberate deception. Or it could be what it truly is: It’s a pro-life ticket, but the man at the top of the ticket, with a perfect pro-life voting record in the Senate, is far more concerned with other matters. And his vice presidential pick is there to follow his lead.