Bring It On!

Number 1 Reason Hillary Supporters Should Vote For Obama

September 5th, 2008 | by Cranky Liberal |

Just a reminder that for all of their pretty speeches up there (or bitter, sarcastic partisan speeches that offered on concrete plans to fix the country) the risks of electing the Hockey Mom and the “Maverick” are too great. Three McCain\Palin Supreme Court Nominations? That thought should scare all of you.

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  1. 48 Responses to “Number 1 Reason Hillary Supporters Should Vote For Obama”

  2. By Jet Netwal on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    With Paul Stevens at 88, Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 75, Antonin Scalia at 72, Anthony Kennedy at 71 and Breyer at 69, whoever is elected president will likely appoint Stevens’ successor and perhaps some of the other Supreme Court justices. Ensuring a Dem is elected this November also increases the likelihood that the eight years beyond that will go to the veep if that person runs. If Dems hold the WH for 16 years, we can have a 6/3 majority on the court, and would hold it for many years.

    Preserving choice is a greater priority than casting a sour grapes vote for McCain!

  3. By Paul Merda on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Agreed Cranky!

    Hear, hear Jet!

  4. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Opinionated rant approaching at 3 O’Clock:

    I agree that freedom is at stake…although I arrive at a slightly different conclusion on whom to vote for. ;-)

    Freedom comes through upholding constitutional principles of governmental powers that are limited to those specifically enumerated, not through constructing governmental powers out of thin air and reading them back into the Constitution via judicial fiat Therefore Obama is the last person I’d vote for to appoint judges to maintain freedom. A government that can do anything some judge with a big heart but no particular sense of judicial restraint says it can do is a government that has already eliminated rights and liberty. All that is left under those conditions are privileges that the government, through your elected officials or simply through a plurality of nine unelected judges, has arbitrarily decided not to take away from you yet.

    The Constitution is a historical document, written at a particular point in time. It is neither living nor dead and it no more changes meaning over time than the register receipt for some purchase that you’ve made changes meaning over time. Pretending that the Constitution means today something it did not mean when written and amended, or that some hidden meaning remained hidden for some two hundred years, unsuspected by anyone, is a recipe for unelected judges to arbitrarily decide that you have only and exactly those rights that they decide you have.

    If you want the Constitution to “live” in the sense of it meaning something it didn’t mean at its writing, to change meaning, to keep up with modern conceptions of liberty, amend it; don’t elect presidents who will appoint judges who will tell you what they’ve decided the nearly 220 year old document means.

    It is the people’s responsibility to protect their rights, not some judge’s.

    /RantMode=OFF

  5. By admin on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Umm no Craig it is absolutely the job of the judges to protect a persons rights. Congress passes the laws, the Executive branch enforces them and the juctices interpret them and make sure that said laws are not violations of the Constitution. I believe that is a fundamental job of judges.

    Documents of all types are always being reinterpreted as time advances. Your a Christian, your book is reinterpreted constantly. It hasn’t changed. It is not more dead or alive than it was when it was written, yet somehow things change in it. The Jewish faith has been interpreting “meaning” for thousands of years. Why? Because not everything is crystal clear and its validity can only be determined by current circumstances and not trying to guess what the Founding Fathers might have meant when they left ambiguous or strangely worded passages (I give you the 2nd Amendment)

    Also Craig, wasn’t it Brown vs the Board of Education that ruled that you couldn’t discriminate in the schools? Seems to me sometimes it’s kind of good when those judges step in to protect the rights of citizens against the will of the “people.”

    And Craig no offense, your on the other side of the issue. You are not a woman supporting Hillary. You would not have wanted HER choices either. Those of us who strongly believe women have the right to choose what happens to their body have only one vote. Those of you who believe anyone else has a right to say anything about what happens to her body are going to vote for McCain anyhow.

  6. By Jet Netwal on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    I love how now that the shoe may be on the other foot we’re supposed to get all reasonable and sing kum-by-yah and stuff.

    That’s the trouble with bridge burning, by the time the people who got left on the far side get across, they have your number. The first time I heard the term “activist judges” as a politicial modus operandi, I knew my country had changed, and not for the better.

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Admin,

    Judicial review is not one of the government’s constitutionally enumerated powers. It was a power grab by the Supreme Court in 1803, I believe. So in and of itself, this sort of proves my point. Give some judge unfettered power to decide what is in his power to do and you’ve already lost your rights. All you’ve left are privileges he hasn’t taken from you yet and you’d better hope future Justices agree with you or you’re sunk.

    But I do think the Constitution should have included judicial review among the Court’s power. I think most people do and that’s why they’ve never amended the Constitution to remove that power from the Court.

    I would have utterly no objection to the following:

    …it is absolutely the job of the judges to protect a persons rights. Congress passes the laws, the Executive branch enforces them and the juctices interpret them and make sure that said laws are not violations of the Constitution

    …given judges who thought it their job to restrain themselves and the other branches of the federal government to exercising only those powers specifically enumerated in the original text of the Constitution as amended at various times. But that’s the problem I have with Obama-type judges. You see, the Constitution originally was a limited grant of powers to the federal government, a grant of powers that had nothing to do with state and local governments and which powers it was not authorized to overstep. That should be their job. To protect those powers retained by the people and to the states (amendment X) from encroachment by the federal government.

    The problem is that that is not what justices such as those who are most likely to leave the bench soonest, or who are most likely to be placed upon the bench by Obama, see their job as. They see their job as discovering long hidden rights, or extending those rights that exist, like silly putty, until the result bears no resemblance to a text devoid of any hint thereto and extending the powers of the federal government to cover every aspect of life at every level of government. As I said, that’s a recipe for losing every right you think the Constitution protects you from encroaching centralized power at the whim of some judge who disagrees with you.

    The only way to protect your rights is to take back your power from the government. Ours is, in the words of A. Lincoln, a government of, by, and for the people; not one of, by, and for an ever expanding centralized government and judges who cannot be restrained once in place, that think it their job to invent or take away your rights at their whim.

    And reinterpreting texts is what keeps intellectual academics in pay-checks. It has nothing to do with the meaning of the texts that they are reinterpreting. Texts don’t change meaning. People change the way they think about the meaning of texts but that has nothing to do with the meaning of the text; it has to do with the thinking of the interpreter.

    As for the Bible, in my opinion, it means today exactly what it meant when written. Nothing more and nothing less. The difficulty is not in deciding what the Bible “means” today. The difficulty is discovering what the Bible meant when it was written and then applying those insights to life today.

    If our understanding of the Bible’s (original) meaning has changed, it is not because it means something today that it didn’t mean at its writing; it is in response to a better understanding of what it meant at the time the biblical documents were written. At least that’s my opinion.

    As for Brown v. Board of Education, I believe that the original meaning of the text of the 14th amendment at the time of writing was inconsistent with Jim Crow laws and, so, overturning those laws was proper. Jim Crow was never constitutional and should have been overturned long before it was.

    I don’t disagree with every judicial ruling by liberal court justices. Sometimes I think they get it right. Nor do I agree with every earlier precedent that they overturn. Sometimes I think the earlier decisions were outside of the scope of their powers to decide and the earlier decision should go by the way-side.

    What I disagree with is when justices give every appearance of pulling decisions out their ass and saying, “That’s what the Constitution has always meant” — although there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone at the time of writing ever thought that that’s what the text meant — or “That’s what the Constitution means today according to our evolving standards of justice.”

    If the Justices’ ruling bore any relationship to the people’s evolving standards of justice, we, the people, would amend the Constitution to accord with our evolving standards. We wouldn’t need some justice to tell us what our standards had evolved into, and then draw upon the power of the government to coerce obedience to what they think our evolving standards of justice demands. We don’t need Justices to tell us what our evolving standards are. We tell them, when we elect legislators whose policies most nearly match our evolving standards.

    I am not a democratic purist. I don’t believe a majority of people should be allowed to step on the genuine rights of people. The power the majority exerts must be filtered through representatives that exercise their best judgment about the powers that the Constitution grants them, not just enact any popular will of the people, and take seriously their responsibility to check the other branches of government when they overstep the bounds of their constitutional powers.

    That means protecting non-democratic constitutional institutions.

    That means that they cannot enact every will of the majority and, if they try to, the other branches of government must step in to stop it.

    The only question is what powers the Constitution grants the federal government to exercise. The Constitution, as originally written and amended, was intended to constrain Supreme Court Justices just as much as it constrained the other branches in the exercise of their powers. Justices are not kings, emperors, or dictators, ruling at their arbitrary will. That’s all I’m saying.

    When the Constitution means exactly and only what a plurality of Justices say it means, you no longer have a republic. You have a dictatorship. You may think that dictatorship benign, as long as it rules as you yourself would like them to rule but just suggest a McCain presidency and suddenly a dictatorship doesn’t seem quite so attractive any more. I don’t blame you. Been there; done that.

    The only solution is to try one’s best, through the political process, to assure that Justices who respect the limits that the Constitution places upon them and upon the other branches of government get appointed to the bench.

    That’s why I’m voting for McCain.

    As for abortion/reproductive rights, my choice of president is not based upon my view of abortion. It is based upon my view of the proper limits of the powers of the federal government, as I explained above.

    Yes, I believe that the Court overstepped its bounds in 1973 when it ruled in Roe v. Wade a constitutional right to kill off the next generation of Americans before they have the chance to draw their first breath but, if they had actually believed in an evolving standard of morality and justice, they would have noticed that states were beginning to enact more liberalized abortion laws. They would have instead said:

    The Constitution says not one word about the right to kill off the next generation of Americans. However, the people’s thinking on abortion are changing. New, more liberalized laws are being passed in states where the people think abortions should be more freely available. In states where laws are still restrictive, we lack constitutional warrant to intervene in the governance of, by, and for the people of their states as the people have retained those powers to themselves and to their states, in accordance with the tenth amendment. We therefore decline to take this decision out of the hands of the people who limited our powers to those explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. Next case!

  8. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Jet,

    As I pointed out at another post, in response to a similar comment, I cannot control how you or anyone else acts toward me. I can only control how I act toward you and hope that you will govern yourself according to the so-called “Golden Rule” and do unto me as you would have me do unto you…and then hope for the best.

    Hey, I’ve been ridiculed by the best: 4Truth! I tried my best to be rational with him as I tried with everyone. I’ll admit that his/her(?) hubris and caps-lock enabled comments got to me after a while and I eventually blew him off but all I can do is all I can do: treat everyone as I would hope they would treat me. They either do or they don’t. I’ve never insisted that anyone agree with me. I’ve never insisted that anyone who disagreed with me was bad. I don’t insist that individual liberals treat individual conservatives differently than those individual conservatives have treated them. I ask only that I be treated by others as I treat them. I don’t think that’s unreasonable and it certainly makes for more pleasant and enlightening conversations.

  9. By Jet Netwal on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    I was speaking in general Craig, not specifically about you. :-)

  10. By Lisa on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Isn’t it a little late for that woman to decide she doesn’t want that baby anyway? What is she like 7 months along already? Or is it still a fetus?

  11. By Tom Baker on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Lisa thanks for chiming in about my choice of pictures instead of something substantive. I have no idea how far along she is. The point is it’s HER body to decide what to do with (this lady obviously decided her way)

    Craig…1803….205 years by my counting. If that’s a power play it worked. Time to move on.

  12. By Lisa on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    You’re welcome Tom,anytime,XXXOOO!

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Tom,

    I agree. I bring it up only to make the point that it wasn’t their power to grab. I also, however, pointed out that both I and, apparently, the American people, since they haven’t even talked about attempting to amend that power away from the Supreme Court, think it is a power that the Court should have. But it’s still worth mentioning that the Constitution nowhere gives the Court that power.

    Jet,

    No problemo. :-D

  14. By Jersey McJones on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    “Freedom comes through upholding constitutional principles of governmental powers that are limited to those specifically enumerated, not through constructing governmental powers out of thin air and reading them back into the Constitution via judicial fiat.”

    All these years, and I’m still waiting to hear what constituional principle(s?) have been circumnavigated around judicial fiat.

    Conservatives really just make it all up as they go along.

    JMJ

  15. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Well, to take an example that you might appreciate, what constitutional clause authorizes the federal government to meddle in education? What clause authorizes the federal government to meddle in whether the husband of a woman who’s been on life-support for more than a decade and is unrecoverable to remove her life support system over the objection of her parents? What clause of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to forbid a land owner upon whose property some endangered species happens to dwell to use that property in accordance with his wishes? What clause permits the federal government to forbid the states to allow its citizens to use marijuana for strictly medicinal purposes. What clause…

    Oh, this is pointless. I forgot I was ignoring your comments.
    Good-bye, Jersey.

  16. By steve on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Killing an unborn fetus is wrong… I hope some day we come to our senses in this country.

  17. By Steve O on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Steve, before switching to abortion, Roe vs. Wade has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. The ruling had nothing to do with abortion. It had EVERYTHING to do with privacy rights. If it was overturned men and women alike would be affected.

    The right framed their argument around abortion because, of course, it’s a hot topic issue. But please, don’t go there.

    It’s been about privacy it’s always been about privacy.

  18. By steve on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    It’s been about privacy it’s always been about privacy.

    Wrong… it is about abortion laws and their application to the 14th amendment’s due process clause.

    If it were only about the right to privacy in a general sense then we could apply it to the unconstitutionality of Megan’s Law and gun ownership restrictions.

    Your move!!

  19. By steve on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    And just because you got your right to abort your baby…doesn’t make it right! Can’t you all agree killing an innocent life is wrong? You all are anti war people. What is wrong with saving the lives of innocent Americans?

    If you kill a pregnant woman in California, the fetus is counted as a “life” and therefore special circumstances apply to your first degree murder charge for a seat next to Scott Peterson.

  20. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    “Steve, before switching to abortion, Roe vs. Wade has absolutely nothing to do with abortion.”

    Bullshit. Simple, utter bullshit. It had everything to do with abortion because as a matter of ruling it applies to nothing other than abortion. This wasn’t a ruling that applied to many different activities all covered by privacy. It was always and only about abortion. You can pretty it up anyway you please. Two go in; one comes out; one dies. It’s the one that dies that makes this nothing to do with privacy. You can’t kill someone and call it a privacy issue. Privacy rights was merely the window-dressing used to pretty the bullshit up in. The pretense of constitutional law to make it appear to have been anything other than bullshit pulled from the Justices’ asses.

    Want to know how you can know that it was bullshit prettied up? Check out the criticisms of the decision…not from anti-abortion conservatives but from pro-choice liberal legal scholars. Scholars like these:

    Liberal and feminist legal scholars have had various reactions to Roe. One reaction has been to argue that Justice Blackmun reached the correct result but went about it the wrong way.[24] Another reaction has been to argue that the ends achieved by Roe do not justify the means.[25]

    William Saletan has written that “Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference.”[26] In a 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal, Professor John Hart Ely criticized Roe as a decision which “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”[27] Ely added: “What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.”

    Similarly, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe has noted that, “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”[28] Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox wrote: “[Roe’s] failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations…. Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.”[29]

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg has criticized the Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade for terminating a nascent democratic movement to liberalize abortion law.[30] Likewise, legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen[31] and Michael Kinsley[32] say that a democratic movement would have been the correct way to build a more durable consensus in support of abortion rights.

    Legal analyst Benjamin Wittes has written that Roe “disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply”.[33] Edward Lazarus, a former Blackmun clerk who “loved Roe’s author like a grandfather” wrote: “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible….Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the almost 30 years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”[34] Liberal law professors Alan Dershowitz,[35] Cass Sunstein,[36] and Kermit Roosevelt[37] have also expressed disappointment with Roe.

    When even those who agree with the outcome can’t stomach the ruling there’s only one thing to call it: bullshit.

    I commend to your reading pleasure a lengthy critique by the premier liberal constitutional law expert, John Hart Ely. He takes it apart bit by bit until not two conjunctions remain valid in the entire Roe v. Wade ruling.

    Here’s a clue: even those convinced of the constitutionality of the outcome agree on one thing: abortion has nothing to do with privacy.

  21. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    nvention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference

    I guess that will do as a less vulgar substitute for ‘bullshit’ but, really, it’s all the same thing.

  22. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    in the almost 30 years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.

    So I wouldn’t recommend that you try to defend it, Steve O. It was indefensible and illustrates perfectly what I mean when I talk about Justices taking rights and pulling them like silly putty until they no longer even resemble anything contained in the Constitution and is exaclty what I mean by judicial overreach.

  23. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    And is but one illustration of why I am voting for John McCain in November. We deserve Justices that are more concerned with upholding the Constitution than in enacting their own policy preferences, the Constitution be damned.

  24. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Oh, and the several paragraphs that I quoted above from liberal pro-choice legal scholars came from Wikipedia’s article on Roe.

  25. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Admin,

    In a certain sense, while it is a judge’s job to protect the rights of individuals whose case is before the court, that does not negate the fact that, in the end, it is the people’s responsibility to protect their rights from the tyranny of as few as three justices on the Supreme Court. When the Court rules in a way that is unacceptable to the people, expanding the power of the central government or their own arbitrary will in a way that encroaches upon the powers reserved to the people or to the states, the people have the last say: they can call for a Constitutional Convention or enlist the aid of their legislators to introduce an amendment to the Constitution that will overturn the ruling of the Court.

    I stand by my original statement: “It is the people’s responsibility to protect their rights, not some judge’s.” It is certainly the Judges responsibility to protect the people’s rights but when they act irresponsibly, as they did in the Kelo ruling, another judicial over-reach, illustrating why I will be voting for McCain: Kelo v. City of New London was a ruling by the liberal judges, allowing municipalities to take private property for private use in direct contravention with the Constitution’s takings clause, which limits takings to public use. The conservative judges dissented.

    When liberal judges refuse to recognize that they are restrained by the text of the Constitution, when they think that they can rule contrary to the text of the document they’ve sworn to uphold, we, the people, have no rights left that said justices must respect. We are without rights. All we have are privileges that they have not yet, but could at any time, take away from us.

    Anyone who votes in order to secure such judges on the bench deserves what he or she gets.

  26. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Uh oh…Obama lost an important endorsement, one he had already garnered some weeks back. Could this be the start of defections?

    Lisa,

    Take notice. You can no longer use Hamas’s endorsement of Obama against him. I guess that means he WASN’T raised a Muslim. ;-)

  27. By Cranky Liberal on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    OK well since RvW was how many decades ago Iguess the people have spoken quite clearly since there hasn’t been a Constitutional Convention to get it changed……

    TO ALL HILLARY SUPPORTERS:
    Read these comments. If you are still bitter over her loss - read them 2x. Now you know WHY you have to vote for Obama. Control over your own body is what you are voting for.

    To all the Republicans, Conservatives etc:]

    Thanks for all the comments. We already know how you feel on this issue - that’s why your a conservative. We know you are voting for MCCain. Thanks for illustrating to bitter Clinton fans why they need to suck it up. You were not my target audience but you probably did more to help than the picture I made did.

  28. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Glad I can help. Any time I can illustrate the dangers to your liberty that your votes cause, just let me know.

  29. By Paul Merda on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Craig, how did RvW negatively affect your liberty or of any living human for that matter? If you ask me, the Justices found on the side of liberty. Since RvW, I can’t think of any case where the State/Fed Gov forced a woman to have an abortion against her will. As long as Justices continue to find on the side of freedom, which is what RvW did, then I say keep it up…

  30. By steve on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Paul:

    49 Million Americans who were conceived since 1973 were never born due to human intervention. We put up memorials for far less numbers of dead.

    To my knowledge, the state couldn’t force someone to have an abortion, so that point is ludicrous.

  31. By Paul Merda on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Slap up a memorial then…

    Are you going to take care of them, house them, fed them, raise them? I didn’t think you would want that. You conservatives are so messed up on this issue. You know who would be paying for those additional 49 million, all of us. Not to mention how ass backwards people like you have it. “YOU MUST HAVE THAT CHILD EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN”T AFFFORD IT SO WE CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU BECAUSE WE ARE A WELFARE STATE”. You people care only about people from conception to 9 months and then you just want to hang them out to dry. There are two kinds of people in this world, those of us who care about our fellow humans (they call us LIberals) and those that don’t give two fucks about other humans and we call them conservatives.

    No, the point isn’t at all ludicrous at steve. If this country is supposed to be about freedom, then the justices did the right thing. If this country is about you using the law to shove your ideology down our throats then of course it seems like you lost.

  32. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Steve,

    The state shouldn’t be in the business of permitting the killing living human beings, whether in the womb or outside of the womb. The Declaration of Independence deems the right to life as the first and foremost of self-evident rights. Laws should only permit the deliberate killing of a living human being in self-defense, when that human being is threatening the life of another human being. The killing of 49 million Americans, most for no other offense than existing, endangering the life of no one, is a grotesque offense to humanity, in my opinion.

    Paul,

    Your argument about RvW not affecting the liberty of any living human ignores the simple fact that fetuses that do not expire on their own are alive. They are constantly growing through the division of living cells, said cells are not only dividing, they are differentiating, developing into tissues and organs. That which is not inanimate (rocks, for instance) and not dead (something once alive but which has died) is, by definition, alive. Fetuses growing and developing in a human being are invariably human. Fetuses with chromosomes ordinarily provided by two human beings, are genetically distinct from the mother.

    Every abortion kills a distinct living human.

    There is no more fundamental right than the right to continued existence. There is no more grotesque injustice than for the state to sanction the killing of living humans for no other reason than that they exist to the inconvenience of another living human.

    If you wish to argue coherently, loose the “abortion doesn’t affect the liberty of any living human” thing. It’s false.

    What you mean, I think, is that you privilege the right of a woman not to be inconvenienced by carrying a baby to term over a fetuses simple right to continue existing. That is a coherent argument and one that many agree with. I don’t but many do.

    As for myself, just as I think killing a human who is threatening my life or the life of another human is a justified killing. So also, abortion in cases where the fetuses continued existence poses a true threat to the life of the mother can similarly be justified but it is still the killing of a living human. It is not the more invasive equivalent of clipping a hang-nail.

  33. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Steve,

    I realize I misread your comment. Please ignore the part of my post that I addressed to you.

    My bad.

  34. By Paul Merda on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Craig,

    WE have had this discussion before. If it isn’t self-aware it is not a human. Sure its tissue, but human no. My arguement continues to logically sound. That’s why I will argue for euthanasia as well for folks who are no longer human but a conglomeration of living tissue…

    Again the conservative arguement fall apart….who is more pro death penalty, pro military (bomb the brown people) than a conservative.

  35. By Jersey McJones on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    “Well, to take an example that you might appreciate, what constitutional clause authorizes the federal government to meddle in education? What clause authorizes the federal government to meddle in whether the husband of a woman who’s been on life-support for more than a decade and is unrecoverable to remove her life support system over the objection of her parents? What clause of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to forbid a land owner upon whose property some endangered species happens to dwell to use that property in accordance with his wishes? What clause permits the federal government to forbid the states to allow its citizens to use marijuana for strictly medicinal purposes. What clause…

    Oh, this is pointless. I forgot I was ignoring your comments.
    Good-bye, Jersey.”

    Too late.

    A little lesson on Constiututional law: IF IT DOESN’T APPEAR IN THE CONSTITUTION THEN IT CAN BE CONSTITUTIONAL. I know this is an extremely difficult concept for constructionists, but it is a fact that every 1st year law student knows, lest they never get past that first year.

    And don’t be such a little crybaby, Craig.

    JMJ

  36. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Paul

    Yes. You’re right, we have. Obviously we disagree about what constitutes life and humanity and we’re not going to convince one another, so I’ll say adieu.

  37. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    IF IT DOESN’T APPEAR IN THE CONSTITUTION THEN IT CAN BE CONSTITUTIONAL

    I’m not sure what that means. If you mean that the people retain rights not enumerated in the Constitution, you’re right and it is neither difficult to understand nor requires a first year law school understanding. All it takes is reading the ninth amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Nothing simpler!

    However if you mean that the text of the Constitution does not exhaust the constitutional powers it may exercise, I cannot agree: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” [Tenth amendment]. The federal government has no constitutional powers not enumerated in the Constitution and liberal Justices efforts to declare to be constitutional any power they deem necessary to enforce from on high, whether in the constitution or not, is the very judicial overreaching that I have been railing against in these comments of mine, the very overreaching that undermines the Constitution which said Justices swore to protect. The very overreaching which constitutes a usurpation of power only legitimate in the exercise of the people’s political activities and those of their elected representatives at the state and local level.

    And I’m not crying, Jersey. I’m trying to defend and protect your rights just as much as my own from dictatorial powers of a bare plurality of unelected Justices who will recognize no legitimate restraint upon their own powers.

  38. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    I feel cheated, dang it! I was promised a recession!

  39. By Alex on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    I say, at least Palin is principled on this issue: Even in the case of rape or incest, abortion ought to be outlawed. That is a consistent position. Versus, Mr. McCain’s approach: I believe that abortion is murder but it’s okay for the states to decide who can and cannot be murdered. Or others who argue that the fetus is a person and therefore abortion is murder, accept those fetuses who resulted from rape or incest - they represent a “gray area” between a mass of cells and a person.

    While I couldn’t disagree more with this flawed argument about who is and who is not a “moral person” and the anti-choice side, I have to laud Palin for her consistency.

  40. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Um, why are comments made on June 4th and 5th of 2008 appearing under a post dated today? What’s up?

  41. By Paul Watson on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    I’d guess the Cranky one used his power as administrator to move it out of storage with the original messages.

  42. By christopher Radulich on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Palin consistent? She is for the war. How many pregnant women have been killed? I guess it’s OK to kill the unborn as long as they are not American. I guess then it is not murder, it is just collateral damage.

  43. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Chris,

    I think we need to take note of some important distinctions here:

    Women having abortions and doctors performing abortions deliberately target innocent babies for death 100% of the time.

    I’m not sure how many US soldiers go out deliberately targeting pregnant women to kill them but I’d venture to guess it’s hovering somewhere close to 0%. Those that do, get investigated and prosecuted.

    To me, that means that, though regrettable, pregnant women killed in war are collateral damage while aborted babies are deliberately targeted for death. In fact, if the target isn’t killed in the search and destroy mission, the mission is considered a complete failure.

    Abortions deliberately kill the innocent unborn. Morally, if not legally, murder. In fact, if the same mother contracted with the same doctor to kill the same baby after birth, that would be murder legally as well as morally. Nothing collateral about the innocent victims of abortion.

    On the other hand, in Iraq, US soldiers tried their best, while fighting an enemy that deliberately fought in civilian clothes amid high population centers filled with, among other things, pregnant women and children, not to kill civilians but it was the nature of the fighting tactics chosen by those we fought in Iraq that civilians would be killed.

    This is why the Geneva conventions consider those who fight out of uniform and who do not carry their weapons openly not to be eligible to be considered prisoners of war and, therefore, not eligible for POW treatment under the Conventions: to discourage exactly the sort of warfare waged by those we fought in Iraq and precisely because it endangers innocent civilians.

    Of course, the enemy could have assured that few innocent civilians would die by fighting on an honorable field of battle rather than in cities and towns filled with civilians and fight dressed in uniform, insignia to clearly identify themselves as combatants distinct from civilian populations and carry their weapons openly like honorable combatants. Voila! Problem solved! But no. Alas.

    The nature of the fighting tactics of those that we fought in Iraq made collateral damage, the killing of innocents, a dead on certainty. To those we fought, it was a feature, not a bug as they say in the software business. That way they could get Americans to blame American armed forces for killing civilians rather than blaming the enemy for making civilian deaths all but certain. Apparently, though the Iraq war is all but over, it’s still working with some.

    Short version: if innocent babies are killed in abortions, it is because those innocent babies were sought out and intentionally killed by people who conspired together to kill them; if pregnant women were killed in Iraq, it is because those who fought us chose to do so in close quarters with pregnant women deliberately to result in the deaths of innocent civilians, including pregnant Iraqi women, not because we set out to kill pregnant Iraqi women.

    I would suppose that if you asked Sarah Palin if she thought that it was okay to kill the unborn (along with their mothers) as long as they aren’t Americans, she’d slap you silly (and deservedly so) because, of course, that’s not at all the case.

    Look at it this way: if the police drive into the projects and get fired upon by drug dealers and, in returning fire, an innocent pregnant woman gets killed by a police bullet, we don’t call that murder. We call that an accident incident to the defensive action taken by police. Or, collateral damage. Morally, it is not the police who are responsible for her death. Rather, those responsible are the drug dealers who fired upon the police. At least, that’s the way I would look at it. I think that’s the way most would look at it.

  44. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    About that photo in the post, I don’t agree that McCain/Palin consider a woman’s womb to be their property. They just don’t consider the baby the pregnant woman carries in her womb to be the MOTHER’S property in the sense that it’s like a dress she owns: if she no longer wants the dress, she’s free to throw it out or give it away to Goodwill or whatever. They wish us to recognize that an unborn baby is essentially different than a dress or shoes or other property to be dispensed with or kept at the owner’s choosing. That’s all. I mean, the pic is a wonderful bit of demagoguery but bears no actual relation to anything factually true.

  45. By Alex on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Quote:

    “Abortions deliberately kill the innocent unborn. Morally, if not legally, murder. In fact, if the same mother contracted with the same doctor to kill the same baby after birth that would be murder legally as well as morally.”

    Correct Craig, that is why Palin is morally consistent, whereas John McCain isn’t, and neither are those who believe abortion is an acceptable choice in cases involving incest or rape. McCain’s position isn’t principled.

    To me, the distinction lies in what ought to constitute a “moral person.” This must involve a question of sentience for it to be rational. And further, how to resolve the situation between a difference of interests - only sentient beings have interests - between one moral person (perhaps in the third trimester the fetus ought to receive this status) and the interests of the mother, who is certainly a moral person. As this difference of interests occurs in the context of a completely unique situation in nature - i.e., two moral persons, one of which has the ability to make a rational choice about what ought to occur within her body, or “self-ownership” in Libertarian speak -, the question is far more difficult than simply “it’s killing an innocent, etc.”

  46. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Well, Alex, we disagree on the whole sentience thing. They are, genetically human, same species as me and same species as their mother. Heck. I wouldn’t approve of a person just slicing their dog and disposing of the body parts just because they find it inconvenient to have a it around; I certainly object to people engaging the services of a doctor to slice their own human child to pieces and dispose of the body parts for the same reason. Sentient at the time or not, the baby is one of us: human. That’s how I look at it.

  47. By Alex on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    If the fetus does not suffer, it doesn’t have an interest in anything. We project that interest onto a thing - the fetus. Unless we can quantify “ensoulment,” it is irrational to assume that the fetus “wants” to be born, for example. It just is.

    Therefore, you seem to suggest that because a mass of cells that exists as a part of a woman’s body is genetically human (Where does the regress end I wonder? A skin cell perhaps?), we have an obligation to it. I contend that without interests there exists no obligation, moral or otherwise. Perhaps your argument implies a superogatory action, such as love, for example, but it, in my opinion, doesn’t trump the woman’s interests in bodily integrity.

    Now, your argument about the dog is accurate. The reason why is because the dog has a clear interest in not suffering because of “convenience.” It might follow that late-term fetuses also have interests and therefore ethical constraints ought to apply. My point is only that the question isn’t as simple as “It’s a human.” However, your argument, Craig, is clearly premised on beliefs that I do not hold. I would argue, however, that in the case of unnecessary suffering – i.e., the dog situation – our beliefs are more closely linked. Saying you “disagree with the whole sentience thing” is implying that you are okay with unnecessary suffering, which is curious given our common ethical traditions from Plato, to Christ, to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

  48. By Craig R. Harmon on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Except that a fetus at whatever point of development, is not just a mass of cells as a part of the woman’s body. Her fingernails are a mass of cells that exist as a part of her body. She can dispose of them or not, as far as I am concerned, however she wishes. From the moment of conception, the piercing of an ovum by a sperm, that cell, then mass of cells are in no sense existing as a part of the mother’s body. You can tell because, genetically, unlike her fingernails, that mass of cells is distinct from the mother. That is to say, as distinct from her fingernails, it is a distinct individual. You may compare it, morally, to a tapeworm within her body, genetically distinct existing within her body but not as a part of her body. But, then again, genetically, a fetus is not a tapeworm. It’s a human. You may consider it morally indistinguishable from the tapeworm but I don’t. A tapeworm will never be a sentient human being whereas if allowed to develop, the fetus will. We’re using different criteria.

    As for the dog, my objection is not based upon the dog’s interests in continuing to live. It is based upon the fact that dogs are of benefit to human beings and if the dog has become a bother to one human being, chances are good that the dog can be a benefit to some other human being. I am not insensate to a dog’s suffering but if a dog is mean, prone to biting, while I would not like to see the dog suffer in being put to death but putting it to death is the right thing to do because the dog has become a menace rather than a benefit to human beings. Okay, I don’t want it to suffer but I expect it to be killed.

    On the other hand, a human being who menaces other human beings can be incarcerated, thus protecting other human beings from his or her menace. I do not approve of capital punishment for human beings but have no qualms killing dogs. I would not approve, for example, of keeping biting dogs in the equivalent of life in kennel without the possibility of parole, for example. Dogs are not human beings. Hence, the difference in attitude toward putting dogs to death as opposed to human beings.

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