Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 7, 2007 / 18 Shevat, 5767

To flip is to flop — or not

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a world wary of flip-floppery, it is nearly impossible for a politician to change his mind without appearing unprincipled.


Just ask John Kerry. Up front, I admit to enjoying a flip-flop moment now and again. Kerry made it too easy, with so many flip-flops that CBS News posted a "Top Ten'' list during the 2004 presidential race. Famously, Kerry said: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,'' referring to supplemental funding for the war in Iraq. The flip-flop slogan stuck to Kerry like Spandex because he couldn't stop contradicting himself.


Now the flip-flop has landed at the feet of Republican Mitt Romney, who is being compared to Kerry. Romney, you see, was pro-choice before he was pro-life.


A YouTube video shows Romney during a 1994 debate with Sen. Ted Kennedy in which he supports abortion and gay rights. After being elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and became a pro-life champion, notably by opposing cloning and embryo farming.


The debate, at least as edited for YouTube, is painful to watch if only because Romney seems so sure of himself and, yes, eager to please. A grayer Romney today displays equal certitude, even as he seems to reverse himself.


Did Romney change his tune for political gain? Or did he risk his political future by changing his mind?


In fact, Romney has never supported same-sex marriage, which wasn't even on the table in 1994 when he said he supported "full equality'' for gays. In the context of the times, equality generally meant protecting gays from overt hostilities. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling to allow same-sex marriage wasn't until Nov. 18, 2003.


On life issues, Romney isn't the first person to change his mind after closer scrutiny. Technological advances have forever changed the abortion debate, allowing us to see what we weren't able to see before and making ethical decisions all the more challenging. Knowledge may be power, but it's also a pain in the neck sometimes.


Embryonic stem cell research, on the other hand, is so abstract and complex that most Americans probably can't explain what it is exactly. They just know that pro-lifers, generally associated with the religious right, are against it; and Michael J. Fox is for it.


In a popularity contest, Fox wins over Falwell.


Romney found the stem cell debate so complicated that he called in the nation's top scientists for a private tutorial. What many Americans may not know about Romney is that he's a nerd. A Harvard-educated wonk, he's the kind of guy whose class notes you could borrow (if he'd let you) and know that you got the whole story.


After studying the data, Romney decided that life begins at conception. Explaining his position on cloning in a March 2005 opinion piece for The Boston Globe, he wrote:


"Once cloning occurs, a human life is set in motion. Calling this process 'somatic cell nuclear transfer,' or conveniently dismissing the embryo as a mere 'clump of cells,' cannot disguise the reality of what occurs.''


From that position, all other life decisions flow. If you believe that life begins when an embryo forms, then you can no longer support abortion or research that destroys embryos.


Romney does support a promising alternative form of stem cell research that has received little media attention, probably because it isn't sexy enough to compete with Paris, Lindsay and Britney. I'll try to juice it up.


It's called "altered nuclear transfer'' -- which offers the same elasticity and applications as embryonic stem cells -- but without creating an embryo. Ergo, no life destroyed.


There now, that wasn't so bad. All of which is to say that Romney did the nerd-wonk thing: he studied, he listened, he changed his mind.


Unfortunately, the flip-flop factor has shifted focus from other issues of greater concern both to Romney and most Americans, including the war in Iraq and terrorism. You have to be not dead before you can enjoy the luxury of defining life.


Now there's a principle immune to flip-floppery.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles