Thompsons Admits Lobbying On Behalf of Pro-Choice Groups

Tom Edsall of the Huffington Post watches Fred Thompson on Hannity and Colmes so you don't have to:

Hannity[:] "They have attacked you, they have attacked your family, and now, they come out in the Los Angeles Times with a piece that says you lobbied for abortion rights. You say that's absolutely not true."
[THOMPSON]: "You need to separate a lawyer who is advocating a position from the position itself."

In others words, sorrry, Sean, it is absolutely true. Edsall wry notes:

If ever an answer demanded a follow-up, this fit the bill. . . . Hannity, however, must have missed that.

Read Edsall's whole piece. It is a good one.

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    I bet... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by TomStewart on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 12:08:49 PM EST
    a lot of righties will overlook the pro-abortion lobbying just to have someone they think might be electable in the running (and isn't an icky Mormon).

    Just like a bunch of wingers are also holding their noses and supporting Rudy in spite of his social positions (insert joke here) because they think he might have a chance at winning. The prize is all.

    Overlook? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:03:00 PM EST
    They're only anti-abortion for humans. Forced abortion would be their dream final solution to their terror of immigrants.



    Immigrants are icky (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TomStewart on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:37:15 PM EST
    Unless they came over in the Mayflower, then it a-ok.

    And I really they'd stop sending all those Brits, Aussies and Canadians over here, talking funny and taking our acting jobs.


    Icky? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:39:39 PM EST
    Not nearly as icky as wingnuts.

    Not even close.


    Another Political Whore (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by john horse on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:52:33 PM EST
    Per Thompson "You need to separate a lawyer who is advocating a position from the position itself."  So what Thompson is suggesting is that he advocated positions for money that he did not believe in.  One of the dictionary definitions of whore is "a person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain."  I think Fred Thompson qualifies as a political whore.  

    Yep... (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Strick on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:42:38 AM EST
    That's a signed confession :rolleyes:

    Perhaps, just perhaps, this is in reference to a blog entry Thompson posted on the subject and not an admission of anything. Have a look around to see what I mean.

    Not that it matters.  Again, even if it were true, by the reasoning some people are trying to apply, the ACLU is a bunch of Nazis for supporting their effort to march in Skokie.  After all, who could believe that professionals can separate their personal beliefs from those of their clients.

    Did you Not understand Hannity's question (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:45:34 AM EST
    The question was 'did you lobby for pro-abortion groups. You have said it is absolutely NOT true.'

    Thompson said, in essence, it absolutely IS true.

    I do not care that he did, one way or the other.

    But ther anser to the question is "Yes Sean, I DID lobby for a pro-abortion group."

    Try to pay attention next time.


    I'm sorry... (1.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Strick on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 12:56:45 PM EST
    Is there more to the conversation than you quoted, Big Tent?  Or are you inferring something from what Thompson said?  That's just your opinion, right?  It's not supported by what you quoted after all.

    My point was that Thompson simply didn't answer the question. That's not necessarily an admission of anything.  Instead, he moved on to this week's talking point: refuting the more general, irrational claim that an attorney should be judged based on who their clients were, or the implied assumption that they automatically take the position of their clients personally.  The basis for the string of attacks against him is more important the the specifics of any one of them.

    Yes, I understand that attorney's have more than one motivation for taking on clients.  For instance, I admire Jeralyn for taking on one of the more detestable defendants of the last century.  On the other hand, that sort of taking a case on grand principle is relatively rare, rarer even than, say, taking cases pro bono.  

    Surely at some point most attorneys do most of the work they do for the money?


    Previous Denial (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:07:24 PM EST
    If a wingnut should not be judged by past affiliations than he should have had no problem lying about his pro-choice work when initially asked. He is no longer pure enough for the bible bashing righteous right.
    Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo adamantly denied that Thompson worked for the family planning group. "Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period," he said in an e-mail.

    In a telephone interview, he added: "There's no documents to prove it, there's no billing records, and Thompson says he has no recollection of it, says it didn't happen." In a separate interview, John H. Sununu, the White House official whom the family planning group wanted to contact, said he had no memory of the lobbying and doubted it took place.



    You got to be kidding (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:30:44 PM EST
    He answered the question by taling the position he did.

    If he had never lobbied for the group, he would have siad "I never lobbied for the group" - not explained the principle you seem to think i do not understand.

    Seriously, I assume you are posing here. Because you can not possibly act as if you think Thompson did not basically admit that he did lobby for the pro-abortion group.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:39:07 PM EST
    Thompson did say, in not so many words, that he did lobby for the group.

    I think he also said, in so many words, that that does not mean he shares the group's position on the issue.


    The point remains (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:58:22 PM EST
    one can decline business that requires advocating things antithetical to one's beliefs. We all have to eat but he wasn't going to be on the streets if he said "pass" on that one. Either his desire for money was greater than his opposition to the group's goals (probable) or he agreed with the group-- at least on that narrow aspect of the issue. (Frankly, I think he could make a decent case that even as an abortion opponent he thought it was a policy that would do nothing to decrease the numbers of abortions and would create a hardship for many who were dependent on the subsidized services theae organizations provide in a panoply of areas unrelated to abortion).

       The dumb thing was for his staff to go off half-cocked with adamant denials that could not be sustained. Now, if he tries to defend his work one has to ask why the reflexive response was to deny it. If it wasn't that bad a thing then why did his staff feel compelled to deny it outright without even checking with him?


    No argument from me, (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 02:08:01 PM EST
    and those are the bigger issues - which are being lost in any squabbling over what he actually said to Hannity...

    So... (none / 0) (#22)
    by aj12754 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:51:58 AM EST
    Thompson's a whore.  Wait, that's an insult to whores everywhere.  He's just another sleazy guy trying to pass as a social conservative but making his money undermining their entire raison d'etre.  He actually makes Abramoff look marginally principled.

    Lawyers are not "personally" vouching (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 12:27:18 PM EST
     for the positions or actions of their clients but we are free to decline cases that would require advocating things we oppose.

      The ACLU advocates and supports "civil liberties" for all, including Nazis, Klan members and others we shall assume ACLU lawyers oppose philosophically. Its posture is the "big picture" argument that you must prevent encroachment on liberty by representing those most vulnerable lest precedents be set for restricting liberties of the abhorrent and we start sliding down the slippery slope. Agree or disagree, it's a principled and practical position.

      Abortion rights advocates can find countless good lawyers (and have the means to pay them) and no lawyer could say with a straight face that personally declining representation would risk the setting of precedents of larger ramifications.

      I'd guess he did it because their money spends just as well as anyone else's money -- which, regardless of what you think of it,  is not the motivation of the ACLu


    not the point ... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:46:46 PM EST
    ... he had previously denied it.

    Lord save us (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 12:01:07 PM EST
    Between all the blowjobs and abortions who will be the nominee?  This is much better than American Idol ever was.

    I have represented theives. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by atlanta lawyer on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 01:00:58 PM EST
    to preserve their constitutional rights, but I've never helped anyone lobby to promote more stealing in the future.  And if I ever do, it will be logical to conclude that I support more theft, or I'm trying to make a buck and my anti-theft scruples aren't all that strong.

    atlanta lawyer (1.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 02:50:04 PM EST
    And if someone you represent steals in the future, would you say that is yours to bear??

    That is a rhetorial question, but I hope you see my point.


    I don't know about him, but (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:12:49 PM EST
    I don't see your point. What is it?

    Deconstructionist - It is (1.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:15:15 PM EST
    that after you no longer represent someone, you obviously aren't responsible for what they do.

    Would be the same for a lobbyist, or a truck driver.

    You can expand it further and say that either a lobbyist or a truck driver is just performing a service for a company and it should not be assumed either agree with what the company does.

    There is, of course a limit to "lack of responsibility" but I don't think being a lobbyist reaches that point.

    Since Thompson or Rudi represents what appears to be the most viable threat to Hillary or Obama, the Left wants to make the biggest deal out of anything they believe that the Repub base will see as a flaw. The Right will return the favor.

    When the choice becomes Hillary or Thompson, I don't think this partucular sin will cause anyone to pull a different lever.

    BTW - Glad to see you back. Hope the vacation was enjoyable.


    OK, (none / 0) (#21)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:13:52 AM EST
      but what does that point have to do with this discussion?  I don't think anyone is asserting that Thompson is in in any way responsible for subsequent actions of the pro-abortion group he once represented.

       I believe the consensus is that he is responsible for his own action in agreeing to represent it and for the way his campaign has responded to the publication of the fact.

      As for conflating a lawyer/lobbyist with a truck driver. Each has the option of declining to make his services  avaialble to entities doing things he opposes. Each are personally responsible for their decisions to provide services to whomever they serve. I might be a little more charitable toward a truck driver using the "I'm just trying to feed my family" rationale to explain why he agreed to deliver a product used for something he opposes than toward a wealthy lawyer/lobbyist because at a certain point it's not "feeding the family" but greed.


    Pro Abortion? (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:24:11 AM EST
    Your conservative anti choice colors are shining through like a dim beacon.

    No one here is pro abortion. Most here are pro choice.


    Decon was not the one to use Pro-abortion first (none / 0) (#24)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    Pro-abortion was part of the story referred to and germane to this thread.

    Big tents post number two


    Looks like a quote (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:58:13 AM EST
    And if not is misrepresents the position of a woman's right to choose.

    right to choose, pro-choice (none / 0) (#26)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:13:18 AM EST
    etc., are meaningless euphemisms. When the issue is a woman's right to choose ABORTION as opposed to the infinite other things a woman might choose or not choose, the willful avoidance of the specific term approriate to the issue demonstrates intellectual dishonesty and/or political cowardice.

      Supporting abortion rights is fine but be man or woman enough to do it proudly without hiding behind politically concocted double-speak.

    You are FOS (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:23:03 AM EST
    Language is important, and if you think it is silly well you have not been paying attention.

    The only issue is a woman's right to choose what to do with her body should she have an unwanted pregnancy.

    Pro abortion is not a position.


    Langauge is very important (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:45:56 AM EST
    And we have to listen and interpret the words others are using without being attached to them as inflexible objects.

    We've gone through this before Squeaky, and I respect your views. I even think I agree with them. But, I am uncomfortable with the language and words used to support a women's right to choose an abortion precisely for the reasons Decon refers to - the intellectually dishonesty.

    As you know, and I have made clear many times before, I support a woman's right to choose in the majority of cases, in almost every single case. Personally, I think the decision for an abortion is best left to a woman, her family in consultation with her doctor. I also value the community over the federal gov't and although I am uncomfortable with communities that may restrict a right for a woman's right to choose an abortion or even make it illegal, I think it is none of my business what another community decides and if the majority decide that abortion is immoral in some cases and wants to regulate it that is something that they decided.

    Because of my qualifiers, you believe I am anti-choice, since I am not willing to make abortion a federally mandated option for women in every single and all cases. This is why prochoice and anti-choice fit your description of the issue so well. Likewise, the Prolife crowd accuses me of being a supporter of state sponsored murder for my  support of the legality of abortion. So Pro-life and anti-life describe the issue in black and white terms for them equally well.

    I am pro-abortion not anti-abortion. But, I am anti-choice by your definition and anti-life/Promurder by definitions of the other extreme.

    Words are important and we should talk and listen and attempt to understand each other rather than throw around labels which attempt to demonize the other.


    Likewise ProLife (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    is a meaningless euphemism demonstrating intellectual dishonesty and/or political cowardice.

    Pro-life is an attempt to label your opponent as anti-life as Pro-choice is an attempt to label your opponent as anti-choice. Anti-choice and anti-life are equally meaningless terms.

    Pro-abortion and anti-abortion are the more specific terms describing the issue.

    Anti Choice (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:26:29 AM EST
    Is exactly that. The proponents of that position are against a woman's right to choose what to do with her body should she have an unwanted pregnancy.

    No one I know is pro abortion. That is ridiculous.


    And (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:27:50 AM EST
    If you think that should be the term for those advocating a woman's right to choose, you are showing your cards.

    I have always shown my cards (none / 0) (#33)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:56:20 AM EST
    My cards just come in shades of gray and not black and white.

    Anti-choice as you use it and apply it is not a very  honest term in my view. I know how you are using it and how you wish to apply it and if you think I am not an advocate for supporting a woman's right to choose an abortion, then that is your loss - not women's loss.

    Words are tools and they attempt to describe. I agree with your discomfort in using the term proabortion, because no one likes or enjoys having an abortion. Pro-abortion/option might be more accurate, but it is clumsy.

    Likewise, though, I think you can see the how ridiculous is the charge anti-choice. We all love to choose from a set of options, so no one can really be anti-choice. What you mean is anti-choiceofabortion - another clumsy term. So, the best we can do is to talk it over and try and understand where each of us is coming from without being tied down by these unyielding terms.


    I reject "pro-life" (none / 0) (#31)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:29:17 AM EST
      as a similarly meaningless euphemism and use "anti-abortion."

      The issue issue is whether and to what extent abortion should be restricted. If you favor allowing abortions you are "pro-abortion." If If you favor prohibitng abortions you are "anti-abortion."

      Couching one's true position in terms of being in favor of "life" or "choice" is just politics.

    When you start favoring allowing people to choose to kill you,   you can call yourself pro-choice without correction from em.

    Yes (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 11:17:55 AM EST
    Pro life is a joke term. Everyone I know is pro life, except those for the death penalty, and the occasional psycopath. So I agree with you there.

    The issue is just as much about using language that is accurate as the struggle between a male dominated power structure wanting to have control over womens bodies and women having a choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy or carry it through to term.

    Pro choice is extremely accurate. Pro abortion is horribly misleading. Even though I have read about many woman having no emotional conflict about choosing an abortion, all the women I know who have chosen to have an abortion would never say that they are pro abotion. They really disliked the idea but chose the lesser of two evils. Choice is the issue.