As pretty much every interest group other than “rich people who destroy economies” gets ignored, another group seems able to change politicians’ positions:
Indeed, the big news to come out of the forum was the rightward shift in Rick Perry’s already very conservative position. In the past, Perry has been committed to banning abortion with very narrow exceptions. But last night, he said he’d changed his mind, and now doesn’t support any exceptions at all. “This is something that is relatively new,” he said, citing a meeting with Rebecca Kiessling, a spokeswoman for Personhood USA who was adopted after her mother, a rape victim, tried and failed to abort her. “Looking in her eyes, I couldn’t come up with an answer to defend the exemptions for rape and incest,” he said. “And over the course of the last few weeks, the Christmas holidays and reflecting on that…all I can say is that God was working on my heart.”
I remember the LGBT debate among Democrats four years ago, and how most just showed up and repeated their centrist positions to Melissa Etheridge, not caring at all the effects their policy would have on her nor were they worried about losing votes.
Of course, they were all seriously considering their words at the time since they were serious presidential candidates, not people trying to sell books and go on a speaking tour after being soundly defeated in the primaries. But there’s still something about this issue that pulls people to more a more extreme position, and there isn’t much of a “follow the money” story here.