Monday, April 07, 2008

Kleeb stares at the cake

Joe Jordan of KMTV Channel 3 in Omaha recently quizzed Scott Kleeb on his abortion stance.

“Pro-choice or Pro-life?”, asked Jordan.

Kleeb then did his rattle-snake impression, twisting and turning, refusing to pin either label on himself.

Kleeb says he is personally against abortion, wants to reduce abortion, etc.
(See the video of Jordan's interview of Kleeb here.)

And that’s fine and all, but Scott Kleeb is Pro-Choice.

Many people are in favor of that position. But we can tell you that if he ever said he was Pro-life, all the out of state “Act Blue” dollars that fall his way would dry up like McConaughy in August.

Of course, if Kleeb blurts out that he is Pro-Choice (which he is) loads of Pro-Life Nebraska voters will abandon him as well.

So while he wouldn’t give a straight answer to Jordan (and the issue is no where to be seen on his website), we can look at his 2006 campaign where he said he was:
“…opposed to abortion on moral grounds but does not oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest.”
Almost sounds like a Pro-life position, right? Lots of pols say, I’m against abortion except in these two circumstances. And legislation has been written that way.

But Kleeb’s 2006 camp also followed up with this statement:
“Kleeb does not support a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion, because he does not want to ‘criminalize’ abortion for women who choose to have one.”
Note the key word in that sentence: “CHOOSE”.
In other words, Scott Kleeb would not want to infringe a woman’s right to choose.
I.e., he is “Pro-choice”.

Hey, that is a position by many politicians out there.
Unfortunately, many people will vote against a candidate for taking that position.

Well, guess what? If you want to run for office you have to take positions. And if you’re in the Senate, you have to decide whether you’ll vote to confirm a justice or a judge who will decide various abortion issues. You may have to decide whether to provide funding for abortions in various ways. There’s the whole issue of partial-birth abortion (which Barack Obama has no problem with).

So while Scott can take a position on any issues he wants, unfortunately the Pro-Choice and Pro-life forces, and ordinary Nebraskans, won’t allow him to take both positions.

You can either have it or eat it.
It’s a pretty piece of cake Scott, but how hungry are you?


Omaha repub said...

What we are learning about Kleeb statewide is that he is not that smart. (how much was that Ivy league education) In the 3rd District you may have the World Herald drooling all over you, but when you run statewide you get Joe Jordan on your ass. What Kleeb doesn't realize is that there are some reporters in this state that don't give you a pass and actually understand their role in the democtratic process. So when you waffle on a major position, Joe and his camera make you look like an idiot. (unlike some reporters, tight jeans don't effect Joe Jordan's objectivity) Welcome to the big league Scott. I'm now actually rooting for you in the primary and I think after your performance last night maybe Joe Jordan is too!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is the Nebraska Democratic Party's This guy looked like a rank amatuer. If I was the press, I would be like a shark and smell blood in the water. Note to Robyn Tynsver at the OWH: Follow Joe Jordan's lead and write something of substance about Kleeb. This progressive psycho bable of his is full of inconsistences.

Anonymous said...

Saw the story and "deer in the headlights" is exactly what he was. As far as being stupid, he is not. He is smart enough to know he cannot get elected in Nebraska as a pro-abortionist yet he cannot get the abortionist's money by being pro-life.

Hmmm? I bet Raimondo isn't waffling on this subject.

AND, before someone goes all, "Joe Jordan is bias and has a love affair with the Republicans in Nebraska," he is not. Think back in time and you will see your proof-unless, of course, you are too young to have cared or are not even from here so aren't interested in facts, only inuendo.

Gwen said...

Scott cannot have it both ways. His FEC filings from the last election show Emily's list and George Soros as contributors. Those two absolutely DO NOT give to PRO-LIFE candidates.

Just like Clinton --- wanted to define "is" --- Scott wants to redefine "Pro-Life"!!!! Nebraskans in the Third proved to be smarter than Kleeb gave them credit.

Advise to Scott ---- put your earring back in and go home --- back to Yaleville.

BTOsborn said...


I wish you'd tell George and Dick to go back to Yaleville as well. We'd all be better off.

charlie daniels said...

clarification: are you saying that a person cannot have a view that is neither FOR or AGAINST a specific policy? or, are you saying he should quit fence-sitting?

yes, he should be more forthcoming with his views. yes, he should be called out (and pummeled) if he's trying to have his cake and eat it too. however, there might be some very legitimate policy ideas out there that lie somewhere in the middle and deserve consideration and conversation beyond the standard FOR or AGAINST.

Street Sweeper said...


It's the fence-sitting. I would agree that you can have nuanced positions, or would LIKE the debate to be framed differently.

HOWEVER, the question of, "Should a woman have the right to choose to have an abortion?" is a pretty simple yes or no (and you can always add your caveats, like "life of the mother").

Kleeb wouldn't even answer that for Jordan.

(And Kleeb figures his ActBlue supporters know he's winking at them...)

Uncle Wiggily said...

What!!?? The Counterfeit Cowboy waffling?? Bobbing and weaving?? I'm shocked ... shocked and appalled.

Ferchrissake, he can't get dressed in the morning without polling people to see what color of Italian loafers to wear.

Note to all you gushing girlie-types who think he is waving to you - he's not ... he's just holding up a finger to see which way the wind is blowing.

I cannot WAIT for this guy to be gone.

Lisa Hannah said...

Charlie D got it right.

As a woman, I'm sick and tired of the extremes on both sides of the issue that make it into an either/or discussion. It's a disservice to the majority of people out there.

For example, I am also personally against abortion. However, outlawing does nothing to solve the problem. Abortion is only a symptom of a much greater issue.

I'd like to see people on all sides of the issue come together on those things that everyone can agree on. Everyone wants to reduce the number of abortions performed. There are things that can be done to address the problems that lead to an unplanned pregnancy in the first place: Education, counseling, support for young teens (boys and girls) who have a lack of guidance at home, etc. This can all be done in a number of ways (which I won't get into).

So while you may think Kleeb isn't answering, I think he is trying to provide a realistic answer. Outlawing doesn't stop abortions. History has shown that clearly.

I will say this: I believe everyone is "pro-life". It's just that some want to make sure it's safe, legal, and complete with oversight for those that seek them out. And everyone would like to see abortions no longer needed because of the problems being addressed successfully.

Cam said...

BTO --- I think you are on to something. Anyone from YALE should not be allowed to become the President or member of Congress. The last two presidents validate the theory.

One Out In The Third said...

I wonder if Kleeb will ignore all 3 of the Catholic Dioceses in Nebraska now that he is running statewide? He chose to ignore the political questionaire presented to him by the GI Diocese in his bid against Smith and it looks like he is ducking and bobbing again.

He want's change but he won't commit. You gotta have a program to identify the players. Change is good and necessary but you have to know where the candidate stands when a vote comes up. Cowboys usually don't waffle.

charlie daniels said...

1. imo, when framed using pro-life and pro-choice as descriptors, abortion is a moral issue. if we're going to make it a policy issue, we need to discuss it from a policy perspective as lisa has scratched. however, there is a distinction between why i say this and why kleeb bounced the question; it's clear that he's playing politics. if kleeb really is for a "new brand of politics" he would have capitalized on that predictable question to launch into a discussion with more depth and breadth than his him-hawing, non-committal qualifier. it likely would have garnered some serious media attention and given him one concrete example of how he's different. he doesn't stand much of a chance of getting the fundie vote anyway.

2. yet another convenient soundbite that is limiting and diverting discussion is the "yalie kleeb" bit. yes, his graduate degree is from yale, but his most impressionable years were not spent rubbing elbows with intellectual and societal elite, they were spent a mile higher on the campus of the university of colorado. this is a significant difference that should be noted (and corrected) far more often.

Anonymous said...
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Eric said...

Sounds like Kleeb is giving the Uncle Wiggly explanation:

"The answer simply cannot be discerned as long as the discussion is framed within a "pro-life/pro-choice" construct. Each of the two perspectives reside in profoundly different areas of the human value system - they simply have no moral equivalence, and so a mutually resonant position involving the two of them is not possible."

If Joe Jordan really wanted to know about Kleeb's position on abortion, he could have asked questions which would actually elicit intelligent answers. But, I'm sure he has fun pretending to be a journalist by repeatedly demanding answers to questions like "Do you walk to work or take your lunch?" even after he's been told it's a stupid question.

BTOsborn said...

When I am asked whether I am "Pro-Life" or "Pro-Choice" my answer is always the same. I am a man, it is none of my business what a woman chooses to do with her body.

Eric said...


That questionnaire actually was the work of all three diocese. They team up for those kinds of things (it is called the Nebraska Catholic Conference). I know it is hard to believe, but they don't actually create episcopal sees based on congressional district lines.

I don't know why candidates don't answer those things. They give you the space to explain nuances, and it isn't like Catholics vote as a block. Maybe there are just too many questionnaires? Perhaps if a few constituents ask nicely, he'll respond to the ones you're interested in.

Anonymous said...

It's not partial birth, it's called intact dilation and extraction. And there's no such thing as the death tax either. It's called the estate tax. And guess what? There are lots of us who are both pro choice and pro life; they are, believe it or not, not mutually exclusive. And you hypocritical right wingers can go ahead and jump off your moral high horse. Do you know how many completely innocent people have been murdered because of the right wing's bloodthirsty support of the death penalty (and right to carry machine guns?)

BTOsborn said...


If people were truly Pro-Life they'd be working as hard as they possibly could to ensure that kids received adequate sex education rather than just telling them, "Don't ****." That method hasn't worked since Eden. God gave us a desire for sex nearly as powerful as hunger. Our sex drive makes us want to "procreate" just as hunger makes us want to eat. Some folks overeat, some folks . . .

The best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of "accidental" pregnancies and ensure that that families have good enough jobs and health care to afford the children that "happen."

Unfortunately we'd rather teach our kids how to kill with video games that reward splattering guts all over TV and computer screens, then, once they've grown up we send the best and the brightest off to unnecessary wars to ensure the economic well being of the ruling class.

Street Sweeper said...

This is all an interesting intellectual discussion.

But it doesn't change the fact that Kleeb is refusing to vocalize his "Pro-Choice" position so as not to lose the "Pro-life" vote.

Kleeb's ain't a "moral" decision. It's a political one.

Anonymous said...

You cannot be both pro-choice and pro-life. That is a ridiculous thing to try to tell someone. That is like saying I am against sexually transmitted disease, but what someone else does with their body is none of my business?!

I agree that it would be amazing if we could teach people how not to get pregnant. However, that has been the job of the pro-choice Planned Parenthood and it appears that they have failed miserably.

And,as long as this post has gone off in this direction, can someone smarter than me tell me what religion instructs you to not use contraception, but go ahead and screw anybody you want resulting in 12 babies in roughly 17 years of reproductive health?

There are thousands of people, couples and single adults who would give their right arm to be a mom or a dad. Sadly, girls are more shamed into abortion than glorified into offering an unintended baby for adoption by capable parents. One last point, it takes a full year to even become qualified to adopt a child in this country (even if the child is starving for food and love in another country) and then each year that you are not rewarded with the greatest gift of a child, you have to requalify.

So, while Scott Kleeb and Jim Esch try to figure out whether flushing a baby down a toilet is the right question to be asking, I will continue to pray that my friends who would make amazing parents might get the chance to; and that my friends with teenagers are somehow able to shield their children from the learning experience of an unintended child.

This is all so sad!

BTOsborn said...


We don't disagree as much as you might think. Making it easier to adopt would be a HUGE step in the right direction. The case you presented of someone having 12 kids in 17 years is hardly the norm and, no doubt, happens to some people who are just too stupid to learn.Not much you can do about that. For ignorance, the cure is education. For stupidity, what can you do?

I'm against sexually transmitted disease, who isn't? But I don't believe it is my job to go around locking chastity belts on every single female and dispensing anaphrodisiacs to every single male in the world. Unregulated sexual activity amongst unmarried couples, especially amongst the young, has been going on ever since Adam and Eve.

Abstinence programs only make those who preach them feel better. Even in the Middle East where illicit sex is punished by stoning to death and the women must remain hidden under their chadors in order to hide their desirability, it still happens. How do you propose to stop it?

The Catholic church is against the use of contraceptives. I would imagine that the fundamental Islamic faith is too, although I will admit that I am relatively ignorant about it. For several years now the religious right has been pounding the drum of abstinence, how is it any less of a failure than the programs of Planned Parenthood?

My father was an adopted child. He was raised by a good Methodist minister and his wife and loved as much as any child ever was. I would hope that all those who oppose abortion and birth control would take it upon themselves to adopt at least one child in order to achieve their goals of eliminating those practices. Mere preaching doesn't hack it. You've gotta walk the walk.

You should work hard, writing to all your representatives, volunteering for organizations that promote the easing of adoption barriers, developing your public voice to advance your ideas.

Politicians make a career of straddling fences and making compromises. That's the nature of the beast. Some topics, such as abortion and gun control really aren't as imposing on your daily life as others that you, and I, probably ignore. But they are topics designed to trip up those who would seek public office. Personally, I'm more concerned about the future of our country and the children of our children's children that will have to bear the brunt of the decisions made by politicians today. They are the ones that will fed into the meat grinder of war and saddled with the trillions of dollars of debt that we are incurring for their futures.

Anonymous said...

Playing it both ways is not limited to Kleeb. This is now part of the Nebraska Democrat Party playbook. Tell 'em what they want to hear. All of them what THEY want to hear.

Steve Lathrop did it with illegal immigration to win election in 2006 (by 14 votes...think he'd have won if he were honest?), now look what we have in him. Before his appointment,Synoweicki sold Johanns that he was strong on the death he's against it.

Look at LD 39 for heavens sake. First, Dwite Pedersen swithed parties between the Primary and General when first elected.How many think he is really a Republican? Now Rex Moats is all over the place. He's telling Democrats that he's a life long Dem (caucused with the Dem)and then he's telling Republican voters who press him that he is going to switch parties. Yeah...right!

At the end of the day, we need to keep on top of these say one thing, do another candidates and elected officials.

Eric said...

I'm not sure how Jim Esch got brought into this, but he was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life in the 2006 primary. NRTL almost always goes for pro-life incumbents only in the general, so he didn't get the general election endorsement (just like Pete Ricketts didn't against Ben Nelson), but he still met their other critera for an endorsement. I don't see Esch saying that those positions which got him the endorsement have changed. On top of that, he's the closest thing I've seen in Nebraska to a candidate that actually embraces the consistent life ethic which made him probably the most pro-life candidate on the ballot in the whole state that year.

Street Sweeper said...

I don't have the time to get into Esch's loss of NRTL's endorsement, but there were other issues.

Look at back posts of L St.

Eric said...

Esch never lost the NRTL's endorsement. He was endorsed in the primary but not in the general election (because of the incumbency issue).

You're probably referring to the endorsement of Nebraskans United for Life - another group whose endorsement Esch also sought. NUFL didn't endorse Esch because of where they draw the line on which embryonic stem cells are ok to use for research. Esch says that he's ok with them being used for research only if they were excess embryos created in the in-vitro fertilization process and only if they were slated for destruction anyway. NUFL, who opposes in-vitro fertilization, disagrees because they think it should be illegal to create embryos via in-vitro in the first place.

Eric said...

By the way, NUFL put up their "first draft" of endorsements for 2008. I know SS doesn't like people putting links in the comments, but I think this helps provide some context:

Nebraskans United For Life

You'll notice that Jim Esch's name isn't the only notable omission. NUFL has a much higher standard than NRTL. Contrary to what Joe Jordan thinks, there are apparently many shades of gray in the life-choice spectrum.

Street Sweeper said...

Thanks for pulling this back to the Kleeb issue.

And again, note that Kleeb refuses to admit that he is "Pro-Choice" (which he is).

One Out In The Third said...


I stand corrected...I knew that the questionaire in '06 came from the NCC. I sidetracked because the Third District is primarily the GI Diocese.

You would think any young hard charger wanting to be elected and knowingly understands that his election chances are a long shot would be more than happy to respond to such a significant questionaire. Especially one that would reach such a large number of voters. And he's Catholic to boot.

Anonymous said...

As if there are not enough bottom feeders in this world, can you imagine what it would be like without abortion? Have you seen that commercial that says there would be 33 million more people in America if abortion were illegal? Can you imagine the increase in financial and social ills this country would face if abortion were illegal, and pregnant women who couldn't end their pregnancy were forced to have children they wouldn't or couldn't take care of? I know most right wingers live in la la land, but here in reality, just think for a moment about a world without abortion. A world where incest and rape victims are forced to go to term and thousands of mothers died while having kids. And there's nothing illogical about being prolife and prochoice. I don't know a single prochoice advocate who is antilife. Thus, prolife & prochoice. Get it? Good. And if you want a Kleeb reference, he should just do what Karazzy Bob Kerrey did - just lie and say you're prolife. Duh. Even a public school grad could figure that out.

Anonymous said...


Let's make this a little simpler. Perhaps Professor Kleeb is pro-life and pro-choice. If so, what limits would he be willing to put on abortion? To get Emily's List money, I bet he had to agree to none. No matter what his personal feelings are. No limits on abortion makes you pro-abortion, not pro-life. As for a world without abortion, what would you be worried about? That'd be 33 million more Democrat voters. As it is, the Democrats are aborting themselves out of the majority. But, hey, what's a little eugenics among concerned practitioners of Hope! Change!

Anonymous said...

NUFL didn't endorse Mike Johanns. That just shows how irrelevant their organization is. I am sure the NRTL will support Johanns and many other pro-life candidates.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is pro abortion. No one is trying to get pregnant for the sake of getting an abortion. And I highly doubt anyone getting a late term abortion is doing it just because they changed their minds about having a baby, they're for much more serious or life threatening reasons.

Street Sweeper said...


You know this post is more than two years old, right?

Thanks for reading!