Sometimes things aren't as they appear. Such is the case with the Democratic candidate for governor Claire McCaskill, and that's perfectly fine with her.
When one digs down below the surface of McCaskill's well-spoken, cosmopolitan image, what one discovers are positions on a number of critical moral and ethical issues that are unpalatable to most Missouri voters.
McCaskill, for instance, solidly opposed the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She also supports unfettered access to abortion, including the brutal late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion.
But perhaps more troubling than her views on these issues are the tactics she uses to conceal them. In terms of gay rights, she has tried to play both sides of the issue. While declaring gay marriage improper, she simultaneously opposed the ballot initiative to impose a ban on such unions -- an obvious contradiction that she has yet to adequately explain.
As for abortion, McCaskill typically dodges the question. She usually skirts the issue by saying that she would prefer to discuss "real issues that affect real people." But while McCaskill side-steps the issue in public, she embraces it in private. Most recently, on Sept., in fact, she was a guest of honor at a 275 person gala hosted by the nation's foremost, and most extreme, abortion political action group, the National Reproductive Rights Action League.
In the final analysis, one can't help but conclude that Claire McCaskill is a package full of contradictions wrapped in a bow of duplicity. And when it comes to core moral issues like abortion and gay marriage, Missourians deserve better; they deserve straight answers.
Shelby Neal, executive director
Coalition for Rural Values