In his New York Times “Beliefs” column this week, Peter Steinfels takes a look at a strange pair of political bedfellows: The bare-knuckles, divide-and conquer former White House political operator, Karl Rove, and the National Right to Life Committee, the ostensibly non-partisan anti-abortion group that has invited Rove to speak at its annual convention next month. Why “odd”? Well, this is the same Rove who made no pretense of using conservative Christians as political pawns and who, according to my Beliefnet colleague David Kuo, liked to refer to evangelical leaders as “the nuts.”
Not to mention of, course, the little issue of the group’s tax exempt status…
Here’s Peter’s opener:
Is it morally fastidious to find something disconcerting in the fact that the featured speaker at the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention in two weeks will be Karl Rove? Is it politically naïve to be surprised that the nation’s leading anti-abortion organization, which describes itself as nonpartisan, would make the star of its election-year convention the embodiment of the Bush administration’s politics at their most calculating and hard-hitting? Or that his presentation, on the Fourth of July, no less, is titled “Renewing Life in America — An Old-Fashioned Political Rally”?