Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the "A" word

I've been thinking a lot about the rick Warren interviews of McCain & Obama. In general, I was pleased with the format but it was obvious that the questions that were asked and the way they were framed slanted the event towards McCain. One piece really stuck in my craw.

Warren asked about human rights for fetuses which was really about abortion and even described abortion as being a holocaust. McCain's answer was "at conception," which drew a lot of applause. Two questions came to me... if this is really a holocaust, why have you done nothing to stop it? And, do you realize the implications of your statement?

Frankly, I find the Republican stance on abortion disingenuous at best. They held all three branches of government for 6 years with a "pro-life" president, a "pro-life" Supreme Court, and "pro-life" legislature and didn't do anything to even lower the abortion rate let alone make it illegal. Why? The cynic in me says they want the issue as a wedge in election years. If it was illegal, they'd lose the wedge. Then what? No, they don't want to make abortion illegal because if they did, they would do something about it.


Steve said...

Why? In a word: Politics. Your wedge comment is spot on, IMO.

Anonymous said...

This post is factually inaccurate.

You claim from 2006 to 2006 nothing was done by the Republican controlled government to reduce abortion. In 2003 the Ban on Partial Birth Abortion was passed and signed into law by President Bush. In 2007 the Supreme Court ruled this act does not violate the constitution.

The Republican led legislature and executive branches have little power to do more than this as the Roe v. Wade ruling prevents legislation to end legalized abortion.

The Supreme Court cannot act on its own to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling. It is only possible for them to do this if a case is brought to bear through the federal court system involving abortion.

roy said...

that ban was not all that impactful. Less than 1% of abortions met that definition and 40 states and the District of Columbia already outlawed abortion in the third trimester except when the mother's health or life was endangered.

Michael Mahoney said...

Roe is on the ropes, and has been for a while. It's been challenged four times since 1989, and has only held on by a 5-4 margin in three of those cases, and lost ground in Gonzales. Many say it lost ground in Casey as well.

Republican state legislatures have been quietly passing "trigger" laws that would ban abortions in several states if Roe was ever overturned.

PBABA is not insignificant. While the scope of those protected by the law is small (but every life counts, right?) the unsuccessful challenge to it in Gonzales put another chink in the armor.

Joe Bunting said...

The thing I love about Obama is the way he disagrees with his opponents without being disrespectful. He treats them with dignity in a way that goes beyond Republican or Democrat. This post, and others involving your political stances, strike me as disrespectful. I'm sorry, but it makes me less inclined to read your blog.

roy said...


thanks for your comment. That is one of the things I like about Obama as well. I try to leave room for differing opinions and try to have a conciliatory tone...

So, how could I have worded things so that I could make my point without your perceiving them as being disrespectful?

Jeff said...

A lot was done. Of course, nothing "ground breaking" in your opinion, probably because of liberal crybabies like you standing in the way of moral progress. You are crying about them not doing anything, yet you piss yourselves with anger every time they try. Talk about disingenuous...

Joe Bunting said...

First of all, let's choose to ignore Jeff for obvious reasons.

Thanks for listening and replying. Part of the problem is you are questioning the character of "Republicans," a large group of people with a large range of opinions about abortion. I know it's assumed that you're really talking about Republican senators and representatives, and that it gets complicated because they're elected by individuals. It seems like here, you're questioning the character of the republican politicians though, not the voters themselves, so it might be best to clarify "Republican" with republican senators and representatives.

In the end though, I think questioning the character of people based on the views they take is unproductive for the most part. It would be one thing to question the character of an individual politician, but blanketing a whole group as disingenious because they couldn't do a complicated job like pass legislation on a complicated, divisive issue like abortion seems to be an approach that would create more arguements than embraces. Not that political arguements are bad. If they can end in embraces.

Is that helpful?

roy said...

yes Joe, it is helpful.

let me respond.

First, I guess using the term "Republicans" wasn't helpful. As you say, many folk who are members of the Republican party have no say at all over stands by the party and no real input into policy decisions. That said, I didn't mean senators and congress people as much as I meant the leadership of the party which may include them but also includes lots of people those of us on the outside would never recognize and who are not elected by anyone. Those leaders have consistently added a pro-life plank to their platform every year for a long time and I stand by my observation that they have done very little to address the issue... must be a reason for that.

Joe Bunting said...

Woops, I thought I left a comment, but I guess I pressed the wrong button. Better late than never I suppose.

I don't know who you're talking about when you say "leadership of the party" who are not elected. I'm not informed enough to weigh in on this so I won't.

But I appreciate your respect and willingness to clarify.

Thank you,

roy said...


Back when Clinton was first elected, I was asked to do the prayer at the meeting of the electoral college in Albany, NY. I was amazed at the power brokers present (Democrats), most of whom were not elected by anyone and many of whose names I had never heard yet it was clear that they wielded considerable power in what happened in the Democratic party in NY. Many were involved in the labor movement but others were just party leaders. Their primary goal was to amass power for the party and they worked and strategized to that end.

I am sure the Republicans have the same sort of folk - likely either from big business or from the religious right - with the same goals for their party. And I know that both parties have such folk on the national level.

Joe Bunting said...

That's very interesting Roy. Thanks for the education.