By Scott Tibbs, October 22, 2012
If you're going to run for office - especially a high office like U.S. Senate, Congress or Governor, you need to be able to explain your positions. You need to be able to articulate why you believe what you believe. If you cannot do that, you should reconsider whether you should be running for office.
Enter U.S. Senate candidate Rick Berg of North Dakota. Rachel Maddow had some fun on her show last week with Berg's bumbling and stumbling answers to whether or not he would allow for abortion in the case of rape.
Setting aside what you think about an exception in the case of rape, it drives me crazy when Republicans who hold this position are incapable of making a coherent intellectual case for it. It makes me think you are not prepared for the job of U.S. Senator when you cannot explain the philosophical foundations for what you believe. Of course, Maddow will never have anyone on her show who can make the intellectual case for this position, but still.
This is not an overly difficult question to answer, or at least it should not be difficult for someone who has spent any time at all thinking about his position on abortion. If the unborn baby is a human being made in the image of God, and if that baby should have all of the same legal protections as born persons, then the crimes of his or her father should not result in the death penalty for the baby. A U.S. Senate candidate who holds this position should be able to explain this.
I understand sometimes people are caught off guard. It happens to everyone, where we wish we could have said something we missed saying. But when you're asking the people of your state to elect you to "the world's greatest deliberative body" you should be prepared with an answer on hot-button social issues - especially in a year when that issue is hotter than it has been in years.