As far as Hillary and Barack are concerned I’ve been of the mind that there is nothing radically different between them to justify being a near zealot for one or the other. However, a post about Barack’s position on abortion recently landed in my gmail that seems to show that while Barack may be for unity, he’s not for compromising on things he considers to be right.
The subject in question is abortion/reproductive rights and Barack seems to have went above and beyond the call of duty by voting against various bills that seek to undermine abortion rights. One such bill was SB1093 which would have resulted in pre-viable fetuses being called children which would entitle them with constitutional rights (the right to life and due process would essentially bar women from obtaining abortions). Barack had this to say (PDF):
Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — a child, a nine-month-old — child that was delivered to term.
That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute.
Barack has also come out against parental notification laws and the funding of abstinence only sex “education”. He considers reproductive health care to be basic health care and supports OTC emergency contraception for both adult women and minors. He also supports having insurance companies cover birth control.
If that wasn’t enough to kiss him over, he also opposes the Hyde Amendment, doesn’t think public money should be spent on Crisis Pregnancy Centers and would get rid of the global gag rule reinstated by George Bush when he took office.
I find this quite unusual for a politician who speaks about uniting us as such unity is normally achieved by undermining the rights of women, people of colour and gay people. Granted, Barack does not support marriage equality and this is a negative to be sure and one I’m personally disappointed with him over, but he doesn’t seem like the type who’s going to compromise by backing down as has been quite common with democratic politicians lately.
I think that’s what we really need. Someone who isn’t going to compromise on what’s right, just on things that are little more than superficial differences (ie, “you say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to”). We’ve been compromising on the former for nearly eight years now and look where it’s gotten us.