Thune plays too close to the middle of the road for James Dobson?
How do you write about Dr. James Dobson saying that he thinks "Senator John Thune sometimes likes to play the middle of the road?"
Well, first off, as a fiscal conservative voter, I could care less what a televangelist thinks.
It's possible that people - even friends as Dr. Dobson calls Thune - might actually disagree on certain issues. In the past Thune has expressed that he supports the ban, but on the most controversial and divisive issue of our time it is possible that he might not be in absolute lock step.
And that's not surprising. There are many within the movement who question whether this was the right approach at this time. There are many within the pro-life movement who subscribe to a philosophy of incrementalism - to chip away at abortion law a little at a time. With parental notification laws as well as other measures they've actually demonstrated success.
Using a football analogy about what happened yesterday, it's at least troubling to hear when someone on the bench comes out to the field and yells at the quarterback for a decision he made at the beginning of the game as the clock ticks down to it's final moments.
Oh - just so you all know what I'm talking about, here's a snippet from the article in today's Rapid City Journal:
But what may have been most surprising about Dobson’s appearance at the Shrine of Democracy was who he criticized. In addition to the usual targets such as the “liberal press” and the ever-present Islamic threat, the staunchly conservative Christian paused to chastise another Christian conservative: Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
Calling Thune a good friend, Dobson drew appreciative shouts and applause from the crowd occupying the amphitheater when he said Thune should have attended the rally.
Thune, the lone Republican from the South Dakota delegation in Washington, has long been recognized as the state’s most conservative lawmaker and has been a vocal abortion opponent.
Thune staff members said he was scheduled to be in Virginia on Saturday to campaign with Sen. George Allen.
“Senator Thune’s pro-life position is clear and has never wavered,” his deputy communications director Andi Fouberg said in a written statement. “He
wholeheartedly supports a culture of life and the protection of the unborn.”
But Dobson accused Thune of ducking the controversy stirred up by Initiated Measure 6 by being out of state.
“Sometimes, I think John likes to play the middle of the road,” Dobson said. “And this issue is controversial.”
Considering the importance of the issue, Dobson said, it was difficult to understand why Thune choose not to attend. A lot of people worked very hard to get Thune elected to the senate and gave him a lot of money, Dobson said.
Ellie Schwiesow, a Republican candidate for the state Senate in Rapid City’s District 32, echoed Dobson’s sentiments about Thune’s noticeable absence.
“I think it is important that everyone take a firm stand for life at this pivotal time in history,” Schwiesow said in an e-mail she distributed earlier this week. She added that Thune disappointed the Christian community that gave its heart and soul to elect him two years ago when he did not give Referred Law 6 stronger support, she said.
Read it all here.
I'm kind of confused by all of this coming nearly at the finish line for the election.
Because the people backing Referred Measure 6 are the ones who need Thune voters at this juncture. Yes, in a few years, he will want their return support. But today, they need his voters. And I seem to recall he said he voted for it. So why the slap on the hand as if to say "we love you, but you're being a naughty boy"?
If they want to win, they need to get past minor differences and pull together at the end, not start picking things apart. A private "we-need-to-talk-about-this-later" would have served everyone much better than a public disagreement which has spilled into the mainstream media, and will likely remain a story for another couple of days.