Being liberal means …
Being liberal means never having to say…you’re liberal.

Two years after Sen. Tom Daschle sent out a fund- raising letter for the National Abortion Rights Action League saying he had “stood up for a woman’s right to choose,” Daschle refuses to say whether he is pro-choice on abortion.

This is the guy who, while obstructing everything Bush wants to do, runs ads all over his state showing him hugging Dubya. As with many liberals, he’s trying to run as a conservative.

The South Dakota Democrat avoided making a direct response to the question several times Monday during a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. Rather than address the pro-choice question directly, Daschle stated his long-standing personal view that each abortion is a tragedy but that the solution lies in finding better options rather than criminalizing the act itself.

Many people would consider that a pro-choice position, if pro-choice means leaving the decision of whether to have an abortion, in most instances, up to the pregnant woman and her doctor. But Daschle firmly avoided saying those words.

“I am opposed to abortion. And I’m very strongly in favor of finding alternatives to abortion,” Daschle said. “I believe that sending a young woman and her doctor to jail is the wrong remedy.”

When reminded that he had said in the Oct. 29, 2002 letter, that the “Senate’s pro-choice leadership” was being threatened by “anti-choice force,” he still refused to say whether he considered himself pro-choice.

Daschle also questioned the appropriateness of the question.

What’s inappropriate about stating your position on a subject you’ll be legislating on? And why can’t Daschle admit to his position?

[Republican challenger John] Thune maintains that Daschle has increasingly slid away from his stated opposition to abortion in earlier campaigns, in large part because his job as Senate leader has made him beholden to liberal Democrats there.

“The NARAL letter, I think, removes all doubt about where his position is,” Thune said. “I’m just shocked that he doesn’t own up to his position. How can a guy call himself a leader when he can’t decide his position on an issue like this that is so clear cut.

“He wants to be pro-choice for the people who are pro-choice, then he describes himself to the voters as anti-abortion. That’s the disturbing pattern with Daschle.”

But par for the course. Say whatever you have to (or avoid saying anything concrete) in order to get elected. Thanks for showing your true colors, Tom.

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