Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Bush Abortion story

Evangelical Outpost reports that Larry Flynt is planning to print a story revealing that Bush paid for a girlfriend's abortion in the mid-70s. Curiously, most of the news stories I've seen are presuming that the story is false and based on Moby's suggestion that liberals attack the President where it will drive away his core constituencies. Now I'm not claiming the story's true, and I think that if Larry Flynt truly had the goods on Bush, he wouldn't be dropping hints about it, he'd wait until late summer and drop the bomb so Bush didn't have time to react. Dropping hints and promising to publish the story later indicates to me that he probably doesn't have the goods and is simply floating rumors.

However, what these stories show is that neither Moby nor Larry Flynt understand the constituency they're trying to drive away. Perhaps they should read more Mark Steyn:
More to the point, whatever Bush did or didn't do back in those days is consistent with who he is. As horrified European commentators are fond of pointing out, Mr Bush is a "born-again" Christian. We don't need to see grainy home movies of a soused goofball in a Mexican bar face down in the beer nuts to know more or less the kind of guy he was 30 years ago. But he changed; he was born again. If you found some video of Bush rat-arsed (as the British say) in 1974, how relevant is that to the abstemious tucked-in-by-nine family man of 2004?

Pro-life evangelical Christians, the core group whom Flynt and Moby are trying to keep at home, can sometimes be legalistic and harshly judgemental (and I'm speaking as one), but if there's one thing we understand, it's repentance and forgiveness. We're the ones who took in Jane Roe. We can certainly forgive the President.

What do I think? If there's any truth to the rumors, any at all, then the best thing for President Bush to do is go public, confess his mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. I think his testimony would not only be good for him, but also would benefit the pro-life movement. And if there's nothing to the rumors? Well, then Bush doesn't have to do anything at all. Even the press isn't buying this one.

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