Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray mastered the self-negating sentence on Monday's front page. Her article began:
As strong and consistent abortion foes, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. and former congressman Timothy J. Roemer are anomalies in a Democratic Party that has overwhelmingly advocated abortion rights. Yet both are backing Sen. Barack Obama, whom one conservative blogger dubbed "the most pro-abortion candidate ever."
Dear Shailagh: If a politician supports the election of President Obama, who will nominate abortion supporters to the federal courts, doesn't the "strong and consistent abortion foes" line go directly out the window? But she stuck to the "firm opponents" fiction spin:
As firmly as Casey (Pa.) and Roemer (Ind.) have adhered to their opposition, Obama has never supported a single measure that would curtail access to abortion -- even under controversial circumstances. But Casey and Roemer have chosen to ignore Obama's legislative record, and are promoting the Democratic presidential candidate to their antiabortion allies as someone who could achieve a new consensus on the issue.
A "strong and consistent abortion foe" can work for compromise or consensus, but he or she cannot plausibly support a pro-abortion candidate as a "strong and consistent abortion foe" and then paper it over with how the abortion promoter will achieve consensus. Does Bob Casey Jr. really believe that President Obama will nominate abortion "consensus" builders to the Supreme Court?
As much as pro-life Democrats backing Obama could be seen as an intriguing factor in Obama's appeal to voters, reporters ought to also consider that pro-life Democrats backing an Obama (or a Hillary Clinton) waters down their "strong" pro-life credentials.