This is extremely bad, for a lot of reasons you might guess.
We’ll see how bad this 4 to 3 pro-abortion Michigan Supreme Court majority ends up being, but this provides yet another vital lesson of how elections have consequences, and why the Right to Life of Michigan PAC operates the way it does.
In the last few days before the election, we received a few unexpected calls from people angry that the RLM-PAC endorsed Mary Kelly for the Michigan Supreme Court, and not Kerry Morgan, who was nominated by the Libertarian Party. The callers were polite, but still mad, and asserting that the RLM-PAC should have backed Morgan, and that an endorsement would alone make Morgan electable.
The end results show that Morgan, who never had a realistic chance at winning the race, received more than 330,000 votes. If those votes had gone to Mary Kelly, it would have been enough for Kelly to win the second Supreme Court slot, and Planned Parenthood would not be able to exert control over the entire state’s legal system.
While we talk a lot about the effectiveness of the RLM-PAC, the truth is that only a minority of even prolife voters are willing to set aside their other policy views and vote solely on a candidate’s position on abortion. Our operating theory is that endorsements can move 5% of voters, which is enough to win or lose close races. Maybe we are shortchanging ourselves, but we all recognize that one organization can’t move 50% of voters.
The RLM-PAC bylaws main focus includes a candidate’s “electability.” The goal is to win election victories to preserve the ability of our legislative efforts to succeed (and our educational efforts to remain legal). Backing unelectable candidates we think are great people wastes our volunteer’s time and resources.
How happy are Morgan voters and supporters going to be next year? Had the RLM-PAC backed their candidate, it would have simply split the vote even more. Now they have someone openly hostile to them in a position of extreme power, willing to treat the Michigan Super Court as a super-legislature.
We understand people’s frustration when they are a fan of a candidate who didn’t get endorsed. Sadly, their complaints usually end with saying the RLM-PAC needs to change; that is not wise. The mission of the RLM-PAC is not to affirm everyone and make them feel good about their vote, it’s to win elections to pass laws that save the 70 children killed every day in Michigan abortion facilities.
Nobody ever complains to us when the RLM-PAC picks their candidate over the other guy.
RLM staff can point to multiple times when the volunteers who make up the RLM-PAC endorsed candidates that weren’t personally beloved by the staff or who disagreed with a range of their differing views on other, non-prolife policy issues. However, the mission of RLM-PAC is saving lives, not reducing the number of complaints we receive.
For an older example, John McCain didn’t make a lot of prolife voters feel good, but he was the presidential nominee in 2008. Endorsing McCain was the right choice. President Barack Obama’s eight years in office and the consequences of his win made us all feel a lot worse, and we’ll be dealing with them long after our personal feelings about the 2008 election begin to fade.
We hope that abortion breaks your heart enough to understand that sometimes you have lay your preferences or sometimes even friendships with candidates aside to make the right strategic decisions. Are we truly in this to save the lives of these children dying every day? What about their preference to not be killed? Shouldn’t that matter more to us?