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Brothers in arms

"Brothers in arms" Continued...

Issue: "NextGen worship," July 26, 2008

I've done more crisis pregnancy center events than any other individual around the country for the last 30 years. I have talked to hundreds and maybe thousands of women-those who have kept their babies and those who have had abortions. The single most often heard term or phrase that I hear is, "If I'd only known, if I'd only had additional information, I would have made a different choice." There's the answer. It doesn't require a Supreme Court decision, it doesn't require an executive order, it simply requires more fully informing women, and the so-called pro-choicers who are against that are censors.

BECKEL: I was pro-choice all my life until I came to faith and now I find it very difficult to reconcile that in biblical terms. I've had to remove myself from a number of pro-choice groups; I was on their boards. In politics you pick your fights. It is the most difficult example you put forward on Obama. I don't know where he would come down, but my guess is you probably wouldn't be able to find common ground with Obama on that issue.

Many people consider that the most pressing issue, and I understand that, but let's keep in mind here that the hard pro-life faction in this country who demand no abortions, versus the hard pro-choice faction who demand abortion at any time, are about 15 percent on either side. So you've got about 70 percent who look for some compromise. You can say, how do you compromise life? That's what we would say, but that's the reality of where the American people are. Part of common ground is approaching those issues that are doable.

WORLD: What issues will be the doable common ground issues of this campaign?

THOMAS: I think McCain is right on immigration. There's no way that 12 million illegals are going to be rounded up. Just imagine the political downside of seeing all these buses rolling up to places and seeing these people and their babies and their weeping mothers and the rest being put on there, and hauling them off to the airport and sending them off to Honduras or Mexico or wherever. It just is not going to happen, so something has to be done to regularize those people who are here doing a lot of work that a lot of other people who have been here longer don't want to do.

That's one thing. The second thing is, you've got to be able to control the borders of this country. The people on the right who are against McCain and Bush's comprehensive immigration reform measure were absolutely right to stress that. People on the right said, "We got taken in 1986 on the Reagan amnesty thing that basically legalized illegals and said 'OK, you all come!' Everybody did and now we've got 12 [million] more." So the right was correct in saying that we're not going to trust you again. Fool me once, don't fool me twice. We want the border control first. That's something we can find common ground on if people would get off the emotional extremes and get to the reality of the situation.

BECKEL: I wouldn't expect to see common ground forged in the campaign in the fall because they clearly have to stake out their differences. But there will be immigration reform and it will look like McCain-Kennedy. There will be a way for people to pay some fine and get to the back of the line. I don't think they are going to be sent back home for visas. I was listening to these right-wingers say "Oh, it's terrible. Oh, these immigrants coming in." In the meantime their hedges are being cut, their lawns are being cut, their beds are being made, the spas are being cleaned up, their Mercedes are being cleaned down.

Second, there will begin to be a means test on Social Security recipients. Democrats, we have always used Social Security as the great whipping post. I remember my mother used to say to me the week before an election, "I just saw on the news that Social Security is going away." What she saw was an ad that I did with a faux news guy at the TV station saying, "Republicans want to do away with Social Security. It's about to go out." She called me up screaming, "How am I supposed to live without Social Security?" I'd say "Mom, just go get all your friends, go down and vote Democrat on Tuesday and you'll have it back on Wednesday."


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