Of presidents, courts and the rule of law

By BRAD WARTHEN
Editorial Page Editor
AT THE OUTSET, John McCain had a great head start with me — on experience, national security, foreign affairs, bipartisanship, and his oft-demonstrated willingness to do the right thing regardless of political consequences.
    As Labor Day approached, I began to doubt. First, he picked Sarah Palin. I don’t have as low an opinion of her as many seem to, but she’s no Joe Lieberman. Then, Sen. McCain ran a particularly ham-handed fall campaign, one that simply did not communicate his virtues clearly to the voters. As I had with Bob Dole in 1996, I wondered: If he can’t run a campaign, how can he run the country?
    But my doubts ended during the third debate. Sen. Barack Obama “won” on style, on cool, on demeanor, much as John Kennedy did in 1960. But I was paying attention to what they said. That’s when I decided I had to stick with McCain.
    Let’s consider several things they said about one subject, judicial selection.
    This column is not about abortion. I knew already that I disagreed with Obama about abortion. I’m a Catholic, and I’m not a Joe Biden kind of Catholic. But I’ve supported Democrats (such as Sen. Lieberman) who didn’t challenge their party on abortion; I’m not a single-issue voter.
    Aside from abortion itself, I find Roe v. Wade appalling in two ways: I don’t find a “right to privacy” in the Constitution. Secondly, the ruling has had a devastatingly polarizing effect on our politics. My respect for the rule of law is such that I’d be willing to put up with the political division for a ruling rightly decided, but this one didn’t qualify.
    So the sooner Roe is overturned, the better. Obama strongly disagrees. And in rationalizing what he sees as the imperative to protect Roe, he turns against several other important principles that I believe a president should respect, from the separation of powers to the proper role of politics.
    I’ll review each of these points briefly, starting with the one that concerns me least:
    Sen. Obama seems to judge court rulings based more on their policy effects than on legal reasoning. In his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, he wrote, “The answers I find in law books don’t always satisfy me — for every Brown v. Board of Education I find a score of cases where conscience is sacrificed to expedience or greed.” That hinted to me that he cares more about good outcomes than law. But I forgot about it until I heard him say in the debate that “I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through.” That third qualification disturbed me because it seemed to demand a political sensibility on the part of judges, but I wasn’t sure.
    Much harder to overlook is the hard fact that despite his opposition to Roe, John McCain voted to confirm two Clinton nominees, Justices  Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Why? “Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences.” Senators should respect the president’s prerogative to the point that they should refuse to confirm only those nominees who are obviously unqualified. “This is a very important issue we’re talking about,” he added. Sen. Obama has had two opportunities in his brief Senate career to confirm highly qualified nominees — Samuel Alito and John Roberts — and voted against both. Yes, confirmation is different from nomination, but I would rather have someone who has demonstrated McCain’s relative freedom from ideology doing the nominating.
    Perhaps worst of all, Sen. Obama was dismissive and misleading regarding the proper roles of the states with regard to the federal government, and the political branches with regard to the judiciary. Regarding Roe, Sen. McCain said, “I thought it was a bad decision…. I think that… should rest in the hands of the states. I’m a federalist.” He was saying abortion law should be returned to state legislatures, where we make most of our laws, rather than having it in a special, hands-off category.
    In answering, Mr. Obama shocked me in two ways, saying “I think that the Constitution has a right to privacy in it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum, any more than our First Amendment rights are subject to state referendum, any more than many of the other rights that we have should be subject to popular vote.”
    If a right to privacy exists, it is at best inferred from the Constitution. The author of the “right,” Justice William O. Douglas, found it in “penumbras” and “emanations.” And yet Sen. Obama equated it to the very first rights that the Framers chose to set out in black and white, and subject to ratification. That a Harvard-trained attorney would do that may not boggle your mind, but it surely does mine.
    Then there’s that bit about not subjecting such a hallowed “right” to “state referendum,” or “popular vote.” Sen. McCain had suggested nothing of the kind. In a representative democracy, such questions are properly decided neither by plebiscite nor by judicial fiat, but by the representatives elected by the people to make the laws under which we will live.
    There are many issues to consider in this election, from national security to the current economic crisis. I can’t go into all of them in this column. But in just those few moments in that one debate, John McCain clearly demonstrated to me a far greater respect for the proper roles of the president, the Congress, the courts, the states, and the people themselves in making us a nation of laws and not of men.

Go to thestate.com/bradsblog/.

85 thoughts on “Of presidents, courts and the rule of law

  1. greg

    An American that has not read “rules for radicals” is not be able to judge Obama.
    Brad, your reasoning is pre-Obama. Read “Rules” and all of this, from his campaign, his tactics, to his ability to dismiss laws as inconvenient, falls into place.
    It will make you shutter when, armed with that knowledge, you see how easy it has been for a small group to take our country.
    I have never subscribed to the “this is the most important election in our life” theory that we hear every 4 years. But with a veto proof Senate, a GOP unworthy of honorable behavior, and a hard core socialist trained in the muck and mire of Chicago backroom politics…our world has changed. And as a free man, I believe it has changed for the worse.
    Those Obama supporters should to be aware of the old saying…be careful what you wish for as it might come true”. Your time has come. Enjoy it while you can.

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  2. Guero

    Mr. Warthen, Mr. Warthen, you’ve just confirmed your constitutional law and legal analytical skills are on the same level as Sarah Palin’s. Just plain ignorant is a good place to start, but seriously biased is, I’m afraid, more accurate. Your right-wing radicalism is disguised but that is what is disturbing, not Mr. Obama’s views.
    Just a brief commentary on your false comparison between Breyer/Ginsburg vs Alito/Roberts confirmation votes. B/G both had long judicial records as moderates. Ginsburg had a more conservative record as a federal appeals court judge than your sex-crazed whackjob Ken Starr.
    A/R both had long records as conservative activists who would not hesitate(as they’ve shown already) to judically legislate extreme state’s rights positions. Conservatives have long chafed at the “imposition” of the Bill of Rights on the states by using the 14th Amendment. A/R were both legitimately opposed for their rightwing activism on the bench.
    There is no doubt the B/G vs A/R nominations and the right to privacy are closely linked.
    Your philosophy is extreme and radical. Your opposition to the right to privacy is very bluntly, religion-driven. Your Roman Catholicism hated it when Connecticut was banned from criminalizing birth control pills. Admit it, Mr. Warthen, you believe all contraception pills should be banned.
    You’ll probably ignore my request but I have no doubts your religion commands opposition to birth control pills and believes government should enforce your religion’s view.
    Throw in your Republicanism, which you coyly deny, and your McSame argument is totally to be expected.
    Your religion drives your view of the right to privacy and that is to be feared. You and your ilks’ imposition of your religious values on the rest of us must be zealously fought. Barry Goldwater almost had it right, a zealous opposition to religiously imposed values in the defense of liberty is no vice.
    Your ex cathedra view of the right to privacy logically leads to your being shocked at Obama’s view of the rights of Americans. I’m not surprised your mind is boggled. Religion-driven minds often are.
    So the right ot privacy is not in the Constituion, Mr. Warthen. Help me out here Mr. Warthen and answer some questions for me, Mr. Warthen.
    Tell us Mr. Warthen, give your readers the cite please, for the section of the Constitution that explicitly states Americans are presumed innocent until proved guilty in a criminal court of law?
    Tell us Mr. Warthen, give us the citation for the Constitutional right to a fair trial. Just where in the Constitution is it Mr. Warthen?
    Tell us Mr. Warthen, where the right to vote is explicitly set out in the Constitution?
    Tell us Mr. Warthen, where is the right for heterosexuals(or anyone else for that matter) to marry in the Constitution? Tell us the section, Mr. Warthen.
    Tell us Mr. Warthen where the right to travel is in the Constitution? Can you give us that cite Mr. Warthen?
    I am glad to see your extreme views coming out Mr. Warthen. Just be honest and start putting your column in the Religion section of your shrinking newspaper. That would be it’s proper role.

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  3. bud

    Brad, you didn’t articulate anything new here. Same ole nonsense about Roe v Wade being and infringent on State’s Rights. Damn right it’s an infringement, and properly so. It’s becoming a sick joke to read your hyper pro-Catholic rationalization to oppose abortion yet at the same time completely ignore the Catholic Church when it comes to war making. Do you just go to Mass on the days they talk about abortion and skip the war days? It’s hypocricy to the nth degree.

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  4. Randy E

    As a Catholic, I cringe at the anti-Catholic rhetoric. But, I have to agree about the double standard Brad is exhibiting with pro-life and pro-war. From the Catholic dogma regarding a just war:
    the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    Combine the two. “Sadam” was in no position to be an aggressor, he was boxed in, and we could have continued with other means to deal with him because there was time. After all, the WHOLE case made to us was that we couldn’t “wait for the mushroom cloud” and NO SUCH WMDs existed in Iraq.
    I suspect Brad will offer up neo-con talking points about what a bad guy Sadam was. If so, I wonder where are our similar efforts to curtail Niyazov, Mugabe, Shwe, and especially al-Bashir in Sudan.
    There have been 88,000 civilian casualties in Iraq as of Oct 2008. That includes children sitting in their own house reading a book or sitting on their father’s lap laughing, and mothers who are no longer around to take care of the surviving children.
    That’s what happens when you “bomb bomb bomb” in a war. From an ivory tower, whether in DC with a group of neo-cons, or in a newspaper office, this cost of war is apparently abstract and therefore unimportant.

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  5. dave

    Bud, if you’re going to toss around big and important sounding words like “hypocrisy,” you may want to check their spelling. Just sayin.
    Brad, throughout this campaign you have steadfastly refused to allow any new revelation concerning Obamas’ f terrorist associations, communist bent or relationships, criminal taint (Rezko), political thuggery (attempted destruction of Joe the plumber) or murderous disregard for abortion survivors sway or diminish you moon-eyed support for this yahoo.
    Pardon me if your internal agonizing and teeth gnashing about supporting McCain over Obama now strikes me as not a little ridiculous.
    Catholic shmatholic. I don’t care WHAT someone calls themselves. Not being a Christian stalwart in the voting booth and voting for candidates who hold Christian positions and promise to employ those positions in office makes ones’ self labels seem very silly.

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  6. bud

    Dave, since you like to lecture folks about spelling how “Obama’s” instead of “Obamas’ “. We’ll see Tuesday if the country has matured enough to reject the phony smears about Obama. McCain’s time has passed him by. It’s time to look forward to a prosperous, peaceful future with Obama at the helm. All the fear and smear tactics could not hide the fact that Obama is a far more ethical, intelligent and gifted leader than McCain. The future is now. VOTE OBAMA!

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  7. Randy E

    Dave, why don’t you share with us Obama’s attempt to destroy Joe the Plumber – exactly what did he do?
    You do mean THE Joe the Plumber, the guy who’s not really a plumber, right? The guy who really wasn’t buying a business as he said. The guy who agreed that Obama as president will result in the destruction of Israel. The guy who would actually get a bigger tax break from Obama. The guy who contributed to McCain then asked Obama a question that Obama took the time to answer.
    McCain apologized to JtP for bringing him into the spotlight when he mentioned him 21 times in the debate. He then blamed Obama for brining JtP into the spotlight. Then he smeared Obama by claiming Obama libelled JtP because the press vetted him and learned that he had liens against him and that he lied to Obama.
    Did you cut and paste that post from Rush’s website or did you study it enough to retype it from memory?

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  8. dave

    And I am NOT attempting to demean your devotion to your church, although I may have been clumsy while making my point. My point is that I do not understand and have difficulty mustering a lot of respect for anyone who claims to be a devout Christian and yet expresses profound doubt and uncertainty about what he ought to do in the voting booth…whether he claims to be Catholic, Baptist or Mormon. People 2000 years ago didn’t get to vote – the only vote they had was to either to accept Christ or not and then live a life that reflected that choice. For me,
    living the life that reflects that choice naturally extends to what I do behind the voting booth curtain. I don’t see how it cannot, and I do not allow arcane, esoteric debates about federalism, states rights or other gobbledy gook
    get me off track.
    David

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  9. dave

    I guess I hit a nerve, huh Bud?
    Good. I enjoy lecturing you, and I also enjoy the effect those lectures have on you. Given your tendencies to rant and foam, another opportunity to teach will present itself anon.
    David

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  10. david

    Randy, in an arguement, people always lead with their best shot. Out of all of the points I made about Obamas’ thuggery, communist beliefs, terrorist and criminal relationships, murderous abortion stance and support for Black Liberation Theology, your best shot is to quibble about Obamas’ support for the destruction of Joe the Plumber.
    Wow.
    That’s a pretty illuminating insight about the lengths to which Obama supporters must go to make their case.
    David

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  11. p.m.

    Randy, did you not hear about Obama’s people trying to dig up welfare records on Joe the Plumber, or did you just choose to ignore the information because it contradicts your false image of a plurally racial, perfectly fair messiah, except for his unfathomable position on abortion?
    Yeah, that’s right, Randy, the guy you said doesn’t want the government to control us tried to use that government against good ol’ Joe the Plumber, the little guy.
    Behold Obama, the black Nixon.
    But good ol’ bud says, “It’s time to look forward to a prosperous, peaceful future with Obama at the helm.”
    If it weren’t Sunday morning, I might just take a drink.

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  12. dave

    Whether Joe has credentials as a plumber really misses the point doesn’t it? I mean really, this is intentional grounding of the football. Plumber or not, all this guy did was have the temerity to ask a question of Saint Obama. Wow! Can’t have that. Especially if the question exposes the fraud Obama is perpetrating.
    Dave

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  13. pg

    A homerun, sir. That is the most articulate, intelligent and classy editorial I have read from your – or any other, for that matter – paper in a long time.

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  14. matt

    If you’re going to follow the Church lock-step, what about divorce? There is no divorce in the Catholic Church. You can get a civil divorce, but in the eyes of the Church you’re still married. You can get an annulment, but that’s just gaming the system. Like the just war argument, it seems weak to tie your religion in with policy if you only pick and choose beliefs.

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  15. jfk

    These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues — for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.
    But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.
    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
    I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

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  16. JimT

    If a right to privacy exists in the Constitution, then it exists. Whether it is inferred or not is really irrelevant, if the final conclusion is that it exists. I don’t know why that is so shocking.
    As to Obama’s vote against Alito and Roberts, that was a rejection of ideological choices. If you don’t think those two were chosen for their ideological positions, you are only fooling yourself. In that regard, Obama’s vote against them was a vote for what you want: a rejection of ideology over legal qualification.

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  17. p.m.

    Hey, jfk, I hate to tell you, but a Catholic guy named Kennedy was already elected president back in the 1960s, so you’re dead wrong. :)
    But I would like to say, once again:
    Good column, Brad.

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  18. p.m.

    No, JimT, Obama’s vote against Alito and Roberts were votes favoring Obama’s preferred ideology over legal qualification, exactly what Brad said he didn’t want.
    And something inferred from the law has less legal status than something explicit in the law — the Supreme Court can change an inference (it could overtune Roe v. Wade, which itself is an inference at least once removed) — but it can’t literally change the Constitution.

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  19. Phillip

    A thoughtful column, Brad, and you make some strong points. I respect McCain’s apparent standards in voting for Supreme Court justices and I recognize the argument against Obama’s stance. I look forward to McCain’s voting for Obama’s first SCOTUS nominee!
    Two thoughts come to mind: one is that I wish your passion for keeping this nation a nation “of laws and not of men”, a passion I share, would have been so strongly expressed as regards some of the abuses of the current administration, the embrace of the unitary executive theory by Cheney et al, the overreach in general on the part of the executive branch with potential real costs to civil liberties. As others have pointed out, when the argument runs towards your liking, (surveillance, arbitrary detention of individuals, etc.) you’ll happily wink and nod at the bending of laws. If the argument is on something you oppose, (abortion) you’ll vehemently wave the flag of “original intent” etc.
    Your comments about the “right to privacy” are also slightly in need of clarification, are a little misleading.
    Justice Douglas’ “penumbras” (established in Griswold v. Connecticut) were already no longer the main rationale for Roe v. Wade or for Lawrence v. Texas (the 86 sodomy statute case)….Much more germane to the Court’s decisions in this regard, the foundation for the right to privacy argument, was Justice Harlan’s dissent in Poe v. Ullman, which actually preceded Griswold.
    Harlan’s dissent was based on the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and it stands as the real (to many of us) common-sense explanation of the right to privacy, including these very powerful words:
    “This ‘liberty’ is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints.”
    In other words, (as Guero points out) the Constitution does not imply that all areas not specifically mentioned within it are “open terrain” in which the government can operate and by doing so regulate or apply mandates to aspects of citizens’ lives.

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  20. p.m.

    Your quote, Phillip, just means that you, or judges, or Guero, no matter how high-falutin’ you try to make it sound, can twist the law when it suits you just like you accused Brad of doing, to say your point of view fits the rights continuum.
    If I connect all the constitutional dots, I don’t find a right to abortion or socialism, so I’m voting AGAINST Obama.
    Good column, Brad.

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  21. Phillip

    Well, pm, certainly the argument will continue for some time about this doctrine. I was just simply trying to point out that Harlan’s use of the 14th Amendment due process clause is the basis for Roe and other decisions, not Douglas’s vague “penumbra.”
    If you take socialism to be the government’s unwarranted intrusion into the lives of its citizens in terms of those citizens’ right to pursue their free-market prerogatives, I would remind you that not every protection against that is written into the Constitution explicitly. I would think that a fear of socialism might make you sympathetic to the concept of a right of privacy.

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  22. david

    And frankly, the arguement that Obama did not support the molestation and destruction of Joe the Plumber rings just a little bit hollow. If Obama did not at least tacitly agree with the way Joe was treated and the way in which government resources were used to do it, why didn’t Obama have it stopped?
    One word. Just a single sentence from Obama to the democrat thugs and goons attempting to ruin Joes’ life and it would have stopped immediately. Instead, it is still going on.
    Why? Because Obama himself is a thug and a goon who learned and perfected his gangster tactics as a soldier in the Chicago democrat machine.
    David

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  23. Phillip

    “Not being a Muslim stalwart in the voting booth and voting for candidates who hold Islamic positions and promise to employ those positions in office makes ones’ self labels seem very silly… My point is that I do not understand and have difficulty mustering a lot of respect for anyone who claims to be a devout Muslim and yet expresses profound doubt and uncertainty about what he ought to do in the voting booth… People 1200 years ago didn’t get to vote – the only vote they had was to either to accept that Allah is the one God and Muhammad is his Prophet, or not, and then live a life that reflected that choice. For me, living the life that reflects that choice naturally extends to what I do behind the voting booth curtain…I do not allow arcane esoteric arguments…to get me off track.”
    I quote from one of our commenters with only the names of the religion changed to cause folks to reflect on whether or not a theocratic state with democracy only allowable within the confines of a state religion (kind of like Iran) is really what some of you want, even devout Christians. No doubt allowed? We really know what Jesus wants? We really know what God wants? We are sure? What do we do with those who think differently? What do we do with those who worship a different God, or have different beliefs? What if they think they’re right? How is this ultimately settled?

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  24. bud

    David provide some proof that the Obama campaign is somehow behind the so-called “molestation and destruction” of Joe the Faux Plumber. That’s a pretty serious charge and frankly sounds typical of the typical rantings of the talk radio right. Typical in that they like to throw accusations around but when it comes to providing evidence they are just as void as John McCain’s judgement when it comes to making a VP choice.

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  25. bud

    Phillip, your arguments with regard to the right of privacy is very persuasive. Seems to me the fourth ammendment comes into play here as well. Seems to me the government has no more right to interfere in something as personal as reproductive rights as it does to prohibit most types of speech. Of course no right is absolute and it could be argued that in extreme cases abortion could be prohibited. This would include late-term abortions involving partial birth situations. Yet early in a pregnancy a woman’s right to privacy should trump other considerations in the same way as political speech should be allowed even if someones sensibilities are compromised.

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  26. Randy E

    Dead on about JtP bud, that’s why I addressed JtP in response to JtP being brought up by the Ditto Heads.
    PM, please cite some evidence for your parrotting of the smear against Obama. The reporters LOVE a good angle and JtP was ready made for them. OF COURSE they are going to dig into the background of JtP because JtP was thrust into the presidential campaign both by his efforts to sabotage Obama and by McCain citing JtP 21 times during the debate. McCain has JtP speaking on stage for him. McCain told his audience “we should all be thankful for JtP.” It’s no wonder the press is digging into the background of JtP and it ain’t pretty.
    I also brought up JtP because it reflects the erratic behavior of McCain. He brings up JtP at the debate, he apologizes to JtP on Letterman because he brought attention to JtP. He then blames Obama for causing JtP to lose his privacy and for “smearing JtP”. Then McCain and Palin cite JtP 50 times a rally.

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  27. Randy E

    murderous disregard for abortion survivors – Dave regarding Obama
    Dave, do you research ANYTHING before you post it? Just because Rush, Palin, or McCain say something 50 times a day doesn’t mean it’s true.
    On the Ms. Alvare’ thread, I cite the factcheck.org analysis of this survivor issue and what you posted is COMPLETELY FALSE. There has been an Illinois law in place for 30+ years that protects these babies so leaving them to die was not even a remote possibility in that vote.
    Please try a little research before you cut and paste from some website.

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  28. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama has said repeatedly that any judge who interprets the Constitution strictly as it was intended by those who wrote and ratified it and its amendments, is “too inflexible” to be appointed by him.
    Obama doesn’t respect the law or due process. Just look at how he is trying to steal the election with millions of illegal votes and $300,000,000 of illegal cash donations.

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  29. ssh

    Brad: Exactly what kind of Catholic is a “Joe Biden kind of Catholic?” When you converted you must have skipped the class on examining your own conscience or “judge not, less you be judged.” The Biden comment was reprehensible. How do you know how Biden stands with his Maker, and what’s more important, who are you to judge? This comment is sent to you from a cradle Catholic and a member of your own parish. See you around the confessional. I’ll let you cut in line.

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  30. Rich

    As a non-practicing Catholic who no longer accepts the church’s teachings, I can tell you that I very much like the fact that the first amendment combined with amendments nine and ten protect not only the right to individual conscience but add up to a right to privacy since powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution are reserved to the people. That’s the clearest expression of a philosophy of limited government that anyone can find. I am not surprised that the Supreme Court has wisely upheld an implicit and very real right to privacy.
    Unfortunately, the religious right, in alliance with Mormons and conservative Catholics, are determined to impose their religious values on the country. This does not mean that one’s political values cannot be solidly grounded in deeply held religious values, merely that they must have a secular purpose consistent with the Constitution.
    I am no fan of abortion, but a woman has a right to choose. From what I can see, those who campaign against abortion do so on the basis of their religion. If they were to cease believing in the God of the Bible, they might have a different point of view, and that point of view would probably be more rational.
    The one way we could end our endless wrangling over religion in this country is to amend the Constitution (call a convention, if necessary) to democratize the Senate and make it representative of the people rather than the states.
    There is no reason why Wyoming, with half a million people, should have two senators, same as California with 36 million people. What? Is Wyoming afraid of being swallowed up or bullied by other states in the Union?? Come on!! The founders had legitimate reasons to represent the states in the Senate rather than the people, but those reasons are no longer salient.
    Now we have a situation in which 17% of the country’s rural electorate control over 50% of the votes in the Senate and also have a disproportionate role in the Electoral College. Two votes added to Wyoming and two to California in determining electoral votes is patently undemocratic and gives the uneducated, ignorant, superstitious, and racist parts of the country far more power in our national affairs than they deserve.
    Let’s remember that the Christian Right helped elect George Bush twice. Gee! Where was the wisdom of the Lord in those decisions??

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  31. Verify

    One could ponder what the editor’s meaning of “Catholic” is; the word also can be defined as simply, “universal.”
    Big difference. Not necessarily benevolent.

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  32. faustd@bellsouth.net

    For the “slow” people in the class and the Cee students, here is are the bases for my assertions concerning Obamas’ clear complicity in the molestation and destruction of private citizen Joe the Plumber:
    – Obama is the de facto leader of the democrat party by virtue of his nomination by that party to be the next president. Likewise McCain on the other side. These men are in direct and total control of the strategies and tactics used by their parties to get them elected. They simply are, and it is undeniable. On the right, McCain has steadfastly refused to use tactics that would exploit some of Obamas’ weaknesses, and it has been maddening. Both candidates have allowed other groups not associated directly with their campaigns to use some of these tactics, resulting in the points being made without the candidates finger prints on their use. This is standard in campaigns. Again, it is absolutely and incontrovertibly undeniable that, were the candidate to wish it stopped, it would stop immediately.
    – So it is with Obama and Joe. The democrat party apparatus in Ohio, the Plumbers Union in Ohio and democrat operatives in Ohio state government would have stopped instantly digging dirt and abusing power to pry into Joes’ private affairs at a single word from Obama. The sycophantic media would have stopped too had Obama made any request that they stop.
    – No one in any of these groups stopped because Obama never told them to stop. Had he desired them to stop , they would have. He did not and they continued.
    – He did not overtly ask the thugs to do his dirt, but he did not stop it when could have.
    – He wanted Joe destroyed.
    You may not like that. But it is true. Obama is a thug.
    Dave

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  33. Verify. Then trust.

    McCain may or may not be a thug; however, his nomination was built from the ground up by the belief that all military personnel will become sheeple voters. In effect, lose the reasoning their Maker gave them.
    Has McCain skills, talent, answers, charisma?
    Mine eyes have seen [not] the glory of a McCain presidency.

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  34. Lee Muller

    The Obama campaign is all about race….and socialism.
    Hates whites.
    Hates Jews.
    Hates businessmen.
    Despises those who work hard with their hands.
    Take their money. Get even. Reparations.

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  35. Brad Warthen

    Rich, nobody’s trying to impose their religion, which I must say, and hope you’ll forgive me, is a pretty worn-out cliche that I ceased to find persuasive a long time ago, particularly in this context.
    If you will reread my column, you’ll see that one does not have to agree with me on abortion to note a problem with Obama’s approach to the Constitution. Time after time, his interpretations seem to be whatever it takes to accomplish his political goals. And that is PRECISELY the kind of thing the Framers were trying to protect against.
    As for your seeing a right to privacy in the 1st, 9th and 10th amendments — the Framers were clever with words. If they had wanted there to be an absolute right to privacy — one that, in this instance, overrode all other considerations — they would have set it out plainly. They thought it was important to protect rights of conscience, hence the 1st.
    Instead, they specifically protected privacy from specific threats — the 4th Amendment protects from writs of assistance. But it’s important to note that even in the case of protecting us from the redcoats kicking in our doors, the amendment spends about half of its few words explaining the conditions in which the state has the power to override the protection, “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
    In other words, the 4th is there to require that warrants be specific, and arise from probable cause. That’s about it. So even in the case of this particular sort of “right of privacy,” the protection is limited.
    As I said, they knew what they were doing. And they certainly weren’t trying to declare a perfect right to privacy.
    But note that my objections to Obama’s position go deeper, and farther and farther from my concern about abortion. I say that even if one agrees there is a “right to privacy” as Griswold found, there is no way that “emanations” or “penumbras” could be seen as equal in importance to the 1st.
    Finally, rather than confront the issue of whether abortion should be returned to the political branches, Obama raises the straw man of “state referendum,” I suppose because that would be less legitimate, in a Republic, than what McCain was talking about.
    These dodges, on so many levels, speak to fundamental respect for the Constitution — or the lack thereof. My objections quite clearly go far, far beyond abortion. At least, I certainly thought it was clear. I’m sorry if it was not to you.
    Also, let’s examine something else you say — that you are no fan of abortion, but “a woman has a right to choose?” How do you figure — beyond the fact that you’ve just heard that said a million times?
    Why would this life-and-death decision be placed in the hands of the MOST interested, least objective person possible? We don’t do that in any other area of law. In fact, it is essential to the notion of a system of laws and not of men that we have serious matters decided by disinterested parties. We don’t let crime victims decide the outcomes of trials; we make sure that the jurors have NO connection to the case. Judges are required to recuse themselves if there is any sort of personal interest. Why on Earth would we make such a glaring exception in this one case of law? Because the abortion lobby DEMANDS that we do, and we don’t have the guts to say “no?” That’s the only reason I’ve been able to come up with, and it is not satisfactory.

    Reply
  36. p.m.

    My privacy is one thing, Phillip.
    Pregnant Lolita’s is something else.
    Does Lolita’s six-month-old fetus have a right to privacy, or even life itself?
    Did Harlan or Douglas express an opinion on what the Constitution inferred about that?
    Have a woman who had an abortion ever told you she thinks about it every day without fail, and thus lives an ongoing nightmare?
    Have two women told you exactly that?
    Well, thus it is for me, and I’m going by what they say, not Harlan or Douglas.
    Statements like bud’s — “the government has no more right to interfere in something as personal as reproductive rights as it does to prohibit most types of speech — breach reality to the point I find them offensive.
    Speech is paltry stuff compared to life.
    In fact, I find the very phrase “reproductive rights” offensive, because it equates or lumps together the right to have a child with the right to abort one, when one is a miracle and the other a horror.
    No matter what Harlan says, or Douglas, or Brad, or you, or bud, I’m convinced we should err on the side of life, and I will be certain of that until the day I meet my Maker, and I won’t be expecting Him to tell me different.
    But if He does, I’ll try to let you know.

    Reply
  37. faust

    Powerful p.m.
    And exactly right. For the life of me I cannot understand how people like Brad and bud and others get wrapped up in arcane arguements and debates about constitutional intent and penumbras while real babies are surviving real abortions and being thrown in real garbage cans to die.
    That people can argue about such things while babies die is sick.
    Barak Obama has never seen an abortion he didn’t approve, and when he’s had opportunities to vote in support laws protecting babies who survive abortions, he has voted against those laws and those babies.
    These votes indicate the condition of Obamas heart, and that condition is absolutely irreconcilable with Christianity.
    Change and hope indeed.
    David

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  38. dave

    The buds of the world dither and fuss about privacy and penumbras. Evidently Brad dithers and has internal struggles about federalism and states rights and which candidates understands the fine points of constitutional law.
    And babies die as they dither about what to in the voting booth.
    Why is this difficult?
    David

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  39. Lee Muller

    The rule of law means that everyone has to adjust their behavior to conform to the same set of rules, and the application thereof.
    Barack Obama, like many people who fancy themselves as liberal, want judges who will continually fit and refit the laws to conform to what is momentarily politically popular with the masses, or what the few in power want for themselves.
    When they don’t have facts or legal tradition on their side, they are quick to invoke “fairness” and “equality”. But when the subject is abortion, they show no concern for fairness or equal consideration of the life of the most helpless human lives.

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  40. Rich

    Brad,
    The “imposition of religion” objection that I raised is not a worn-out cliché. On the contrary, there is a significant constituency on the religious right that is quite ready to do this. Even some of our conservative Supreme Court Justices are ready to reverse the incorporation doctrine by which through the 14th Amendment the protections of the Bill of Rights are incumbent upon state and local governments as much as at the federal level. In a nutshell, if you believe in a particular religion and want to impose any aspect of it upon the state without a secular purpose in mind (e.g., Dr. King’s use of religion to prick our national conscience), then you are constitutionally out of bounds.
    The Founders were largely deists and agnostics. Suffused with the thinking of the 18th-century European Enlightenment, the Founders wrote a Declaration of Independence and subsequently a Constitution whose import for the nature of the state and the individual citizen was radical indeed! It took a Civil War and three Reconstruction Amendments (13, 14, and 15) to complete their revolution and establish the supremacy of central government over the states. While it is true that the US subsequent to the election of Hayes in 1876 travelled backward in that Blacks were terrorized into peonage through the contract-labor system and KKK terrorism while northern white immigrants were oppressed through persistent discrimination, the promise of freedom implicit in the Reconstruction amendments and the Bill of Rights generally eventually was realized in part through the Civil Rights Movement and the decisions of the Warren Court.
    Your argument for a restricted right to privacy is utterly unconvincing in view of the thinking of the Founders who were themselves products of the Enlightenment–probably the most philosophically radical movement ever to sweep the Western world. Voltaire, Locke, Montesquieu, Condorcet, Rousseau, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison would all have understood what it meant to face religious obscurantism and its demand that we all accept certain religious beliefs or else. That was the world they lived in and, as freethinkers, which they rejected.
    We have a right to privacy. Whether you agree with it or not, it is the law of the land as a result of the Supreme Court’s various decisions over the last thirty years to that effect. And it should not be overturned because YOU as a conservative Christian believe that abortion, homosexuality, stem-cell research, the teaching of evolution, or whatever is immoral.
    Let me put it in caps: THIS IS NOT A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, NOR IS THIS A CHRISTIAN REPUBLIC!! This is a secular, liberal, democratic republic.
    Brad, I think you know that if the Senate were reformed on the basis of popular representation, it would relegate the South and the conservative plains and western states to virtual irrelevance politically. California, Texas, and New York would dominate the Senate while various small states would be forced to elect one regional senator. And, on the basis of one-man, one-vote, that is how it should be.
    The conservative religious yahoos who want to elect a president who will get Israel to build a third temple in order to bring about the Second Coming or who would vote to deny a woman the right to choose, gays the right to marry, scientists the right to do stem-cell research, and teachers the right to teach evolution or the fact that US history is largely a struggle against the oppression of minorities–these yahoos would lose their political clout and politicians would be free to campaign anywhere in the country knowing that everyone’s vote counted the same.
    You say that you respect the Constitution? Wonderful. Do so within the historical context in which it was written, accept the fact that times change and the document has been and must continue to be amended, and, with all due respect to your personal beliefs, don’t impose those beliefs on people like me who find it absolutely absurd that you would base public policy upon your personal mythology.

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  41. Bart

    “Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”
    “No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.
    Dostoyevsky penned those words in his novel, The Brothers Karamazov. It was a conversation between Ivan and Alyosha before Ivan’s complete descent into insanity. The quote can be found in Bartleby’s Quotations if you are interested.
    To me, the baby represents the unborn and I see nothing to differentiate between the baby beating its breast out of or in the womb. I don’t see how any caring person drawing the breath of life can feel any other way but alas, in this country, it is not that way. How sad. How sad that we as a country allow abortions to be performed at will especially the most heinous act of all, partial birth abortion. How sad that one political party has chosen abortion as one of if not the most important of all their doctrinal foundations.
    Some states have the death penalty for certain criminal acts. Acts of choice and intent. When a criminal, usually a murderer is scheduled to be executed, crowds will gather, holding a candlelight vigil for the criminal, in protest of what they consider cruel and unusual punishment. Who holds a candlelight vigil for the baby whose body is pulled from the womb, leaving the head inside the birth canal while a doctor inserts sharp scissors into the base of the tiny skull, creating an opening so a tube can be inserted into the cranium and removing the brain by suction. Yet, it is not a crime in this country. Explain to me how this is not cruel and unusual if not inhuman? How is this not torture resulting in death?
    Owning slaves was once legal in this country, protected by the Constitution. It was and is a stain on our country, lingering still. Laws were changed and slavery is no longer legal and no one person has the right of life and death over another unless it is in a legal court of law, consisting of a jury of one’s peers. But, in the misguided belief that abortion is considered a matter of privacy, the Supreme Court decided the issue of choosing to have an abortion was left to the sole discretion of the woman. In other words, the fetus/embryo/baby growing inside the body of a woman is considered private property. The ownership of one human being by another, to keep or dispose of at will.
    In 1978 abortion was declared legal. To date approximately 50 million abortions have been performed. Since 1900, of all the wars including WWI and WWII have resulted in over 95 million deaths, approximately 45 million military deaths and 50 million related civilian deaths. To which war or wars do we attribute the deaths of 50 million unborn human beings?
    Once again we as a country have another stain on our hands. A savage practice that goes to the heart and soul of who we are. Please explain to me even if not in religious terms how the sacrifice of those least able to defend themselves somehow places us on a higher plain or worthy of taking the next step up the evolutionary ladder.
    You can try to defend it by saying a fetus is not a viable human being but when the egg is fertilized by the sperm and splits it becomes a zygote, possessing the DNA of both parents, already unique in its makeup. Aren’t we identified by our own unique DNA?
    Performing the act which results in a pregnancy is under the expectations of a right to privacy. The consequences or results of a private union between two people which produces a third party does not constitute an act of privacy.

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  42. Guero

    You’re correct, it’s not about abortion. It’s about Mr. Warthen’s thinly disguised efforts to impose his religious dogma on the rest of us.
    Anyone noticed he refuses to answer questions that would more totally reveal his fanaticism?
    He’s opposed to birth control pills and would like to impose that ban on the nation.
    He won’t admit it.
    His opposition to the right to privacy is totally based upon his religion. He won’t admit it.
    He won’t tell anyone where in the Constitution is the right to a jury of one’s peers, the right to a fair trial, the right to travel, the right to vote, or the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
    He won’t answer those questions because he knows NONE of those rights is in the Constitution explicitly spelled out, just like the right to privacy he is so opposed to.
    Is there such an animal as a Roman Catholic Ayatollah? I hope not but I fear that radicalism masquerading as a non-partisan moderate.
    Tell us Mr. Warthen, where in the Constitution is

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  43. pg

    Your 7:58.55 comment of yesterday was even stronger than your original post. Where, Brad, have you been hiding your intelligence for all these years?

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  44. David

    And the loony left marches onward, ever onward.
    Oblivious and apparently unconcerned that the machine we build which chews up old people, sick people and babies may very well one day chew them up if the winds of popularity and political correctness swing against them.
    The statists on the left are in the process of building the perfect beast. While parroting and foaming about freedom and privacy, the beast will be the antithesis of these ideas.
    David

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  45. bud

    But it’s important to note that even in the case of protecting us from the redcoats kicking in our doors….
    -Brad
    NO, NO, NO. The redcoats were defeated by the time the Constitution was written. The fourth ammendment was written to protect the governments of the United States, at all levels, from denying us our important freedom of privacy.
    I’m a Catholic, and I’m not a Joe Biden kind of Catholic.
    -Brad
    Why bring this up? It dilutes your argument to bring religious dogma into the discussion, even to deny it affects your argument. Seems like your religious beliefs ARE creeping into your passion for banning abortion. What continues to puzzle many of us is why you so passionately oppose abortion based on religious values but have no problem slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and other foreign countries. Do those people count for more than a 2 month old fetus? The Catholic Church doesn’t think so.
    In other words, the 4th is there to require that warrants be specific, and arise from probable cause. That’s about it. So even in the case of this particular sort of “right of privacy,” the protection is limited.
    -Brad
    ALL of the bill of rights are limited. Try threatening the POTUS and see if your right of free speech is absolute. This is a non-argument.
    Why would this life-and-death decision be placed in the hands of the MOST interested, least objective person possible?
    -Brad
    This is by far your weakest argument, one you make often. At the end of the day there are only two entities that have the final say in the difficult abortion decision: the mother or the government. Apparently the pro-life movement suggests this important decision should be made by 50 individual state governments. Do we really want the folks in the SC general assembly making this decision for all the pregnant women in our state?
    Clearly Roe v Wade was decided properly based on various provisions in the bill of rights along with many years of judicial precident. Obama got it right. Despite mouthing off that he will not apply a litmus test McCain implied that in fact he would do just that. This issue should be long ago decided. Yet the battle rages on. Hopefully Obama will win the election tomorrow and we can rest at ease that it will remain the law of the land for a few years longer.

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  46. Randy E

    bud, here’s a question for you.
    A fetus (baby) is viable starting at 6 months. If a woman who is 8 months pregnant is killed in a car wreck, should there be an effort to save the baby or is the fetus part of the woman so when mother goes the other has to go?
    This is no hypothetical, this actually happens.
    Contrast this with a woman who is 8 months pregnant and has an abortion. The 8 month old fetus (baby) would live otherwise and in the former scenario, there would be a tremendous effort to save the life – key word is “life”.
    I’d like your take on this.

    Reply
  47. Bart

    sure, you are correct, the column was not about abortion – to begin with. But, in the course of discussion, it turned into one.

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  48. Lee Muller

    Suppressed video – Obama wants to bankrupt coal industry.
    Obama is telling moderate voters that he
    “supports clean coal” technologies, but he has been telling the environmental extremists that he would use carbon taxes and regulations to ensure that no more coal or nuclear plants are built – not just for generating electricity, but for heat, making steel, making glass, etc.
    Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview:
    “The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a (sic) ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.
    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.
    It’s just that it will bankrupt them. ”
    hotair.com/archives/2008/11/03/video-of-obama-coal-bankruptcy/
    Joe Biden has also said the “there is no such thing as clean coal”.
    On the rope line after an event in Maumee, OH (Sept 2008), Biden told an environmental activist who questioned why coal is necessary given clean, effective alternatives like wind and solar, “we’re not supporting clean coal.” – FOX News video 9/23/2008 and in archives

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  49. Lynn

    “Why would this life-and-death decision be placed in the hands of the MOST interested, least objective person possible?”
    -Brad
    Should the state decide whether someone must undergo invasive and painful treatment to prolong life? Should the state decide whether feeding tubes should be inserted in dying patients? Just curious.

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  50. bud

    Lynn, if you go back and read Brad’s writings over the years you’ll find that he places big importance on allowing government to control peoples lives. He combines those areas from the left and right of the political spectrum that supports big government policies. Among other things he: strongly supports a military draft, even in times of peace;
    opposes a woman’s right to reproductive freedom;
    supports government efforts to occupy foreign countries through force of arms;
    believes the government has the right to deny folks their ability to choose their entertainment venues;
    believes it’s ok to wire-tap people’s telephone conversations, even without a court order;
    supports seat-belt laws;
    opposes school choice initiatives;
    supports single-payer health care;
    supports the federal government’s efforts to deny states the right to pass medicinal marijuana and right to die laws.
    On issue after issue Brad believes government can and should interfere in people’s freedom to make decisions for themselves. Apparently the the platform of the UnParty includes a plank for every type of government intervention imaginable. I would be surprised if Brad doesn’t believe the state should interfere in a families gut-wrenching decisions regarding the feeding tube issue.

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  51. Brad Warthen

    Do we really want the folks in the SC general assembly making this decision for all the pregnant women in our state? — bud
    You betcha. You know why? Because they will err on the side of life. Confronted with the choice that Ivan offered Alyosha (and WAY TO GO citing the Brothers there, Bart!), they’ll say, “No, I wouldn’t consent.”
    But bud speaks of “guy-wrenching” decisions, and would rather have the person whose gut is being wrenched make the decision. Which is not the way to get calm, rational decision-making.
    And Lynn — “invasive?” The only invasive procedure we’ve been talking about here is abortion. The alternative is to let life take its natural course, and come on OUT when it’s ready.
    In terms of the powers and duties of the state, what we’re talking about here compares to other laws — such as those against child abuse and neglect — in which the state decides to intervene between the parent and the child in order to protect the child. Those are difficult cases, and the state should not act too readily — except, of course, when the child’s life is in danger.

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  52. Lee Muller

    Late-term abortion fits right in with the “assisted suicide” socialists practice in the state-controlled healthcare systems.
    Read one of Barak Obama’s mentors, William Ayers in his book, “Prairie Fire”, talking about how 25,000,000 Americans “who cannot be re-educated, will have to be eliminated”.
    That’s from the “education expert” which USC paid to speak here in Columbia.
    Socialist elites don’t respect your life, much less your opinion or any other human rights.

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  53. Capital A

    Warthime, in your latest offering, you write the following, and I quote:
    “Sen. Obama seems to judge court rulings based more on their policy effects than on legal reasoning.”
    You also have made it obvious that you are guided by your Catholicism and your abiding beliefs in the great book of Jewish fairytales (the Torah) and the more sensible, common-sensical New Testament.
    Now, with those points established, you may also agree that King Solomon, quite a judge in his own right, was the most venerable character in the mythology you hold most dear. The King Solomon that I met in that text made decisions that were “based more on their policy effects than on legal reasoning.” For instance, I seem to recall a little matter of two women and a baby potentially being partially (after birth) aborted so that both disputing parties could have some measure of satisfaction.
    Solomon’s methods earned him the title of “most wise.” Surely, you would not disagree with that traditional classification, even from your Great Authority?
    Being the good Catholic that you are, I also wonder how much of a debate you would have if conservative Justices are installed on the Supreme Court, judges who make decisions “based more on their policy effects than on legal reasoning.” I somehow think your protests would turn to less than a peep since your personal, religious agenda would be served.
    I’m sure that I and many others will keep harping on your hypocrisy until you decide which half of the child you want, or better yet, settle on an acceptable, meaningful, logical whole.

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  54. Lee Muller

    Obama SAID he that his primary criteria for selecting judges was their philosophy conforming to his policy agendas, not the Constitution.
    In fact, he makes a point of saying that anyone who follows the Constitution is disqualified from being a judge appointed by him.
    Obama is arrogant. He does not respect the law.

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  55. Capital A

    insaneLee, that is your interpretation of the man’s words, just like you interpret that the Bible actually has something to say about abortion when it doesn’t.
    You interpret the biblical creation story as fact, whereas I see it as allegorical and symbolic.
    Do you understand the concept of interpretation or are the novellas and opuses that you are seeking to print so literal as to be clearly understandable and just as boring?
    Beyond that, how dare you lecture anyone about arrogance and respect for the law. The war trangressions of Cheney/Bushbaby, John McCain’s personal history and your support for all of the above precludes your participation in such an act.

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  56. Phillip

    Forgive the digression from the main point of this post, but hey Brad, where’s a post where we all get to make our predictions for tomorrow? After all, we’re like a great big dysfunctional family here on your blog, me, bud, Randy, Lee, pm, David, slugger, Capital A, occasionally Mayor Bob, etc. etc. Would love to see everybody go out on the limb at this late hour and make their call. Popular and electoral.

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  57. Lee Muller

    Obama SAID IT.
    “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” – MSNBC interview, July 17, 2007
    “[W]e need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”
    —– Oct 30, 2008 interview with NBC News —
    “Well, look, I think that you — what you can ask a judge is about their judicial philosophy,” he said when asked how he would make selections if he defeats John McCain on Tuesday.
    “I can tell you that how a Justice approaches their job, how they describe the path of interpreting the Constitution, I think can tell you a lot,” he added.
    “And so my criteria, for example, would be — if a Justice tells me that they only believe the strict letter of the Constitution — that means that they possibly don’t mean — believe in — a right to privacy that may not be perfectly enumerated in the Constitution but, you know, that I think is there,” Obama said.
    —– Primary debate #1 11-17-2007 ————
    “I would not appoint somebody who doesn’t believe in the right to privacy,” Obama said, after Wolf Blitzer asked if “right to privacy” as the “buzzword” for abortion. Clinton and Obama said, “Yes.”
    He has said repeatedly that he voted against Alito and Roberts for “failing this test”.

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  58. Lee Muller

    If the word gets out about Obama’s plans
    * confiscate 401-k and IRA plans
    * “bankrupt them” ( the coal industry )
    * “skyrocketing electric bills”
    * ban ammunition, handguns, semiautomatic rifles and shotguns
    * tax on homes larger than 2,400 sq feet
    * end tax deductions on second homes
    * 54% income tax on small businesses
    * income surtax of 0.7% to go to United Nations
    * continued programs of mortgages and houses for deadbeats who cannot possible pay the bills, subsidized by good taxpayers.
    * $32,500,000 and possibly $300,000,000 in illegal campaign financing from Muslim countries.
    … then John McCain will win.
    This has become a referendum on Obama, and his stealing the election.

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  59. Capital A

    Phillip, I have no qualms about posting a prediction, as it is harmless fun and a great idea on your part.
    I predict that Obama will win the nation in a landslide. He may win SC or will lose it very narrowly. Remember that Bushbaby ONLY won SC by about 275,000 votes, and my homestate, sadly, has always been a Republican stronglhold, whether it benefited us or not. (cough–Strom Thurmond–cough!)
    The temptation for me is to predict Obama winning SC as it will no doubt demonstrate my peerless handicapping abilities, but the logical side of me envisions Obama losing SC in a close one. My evidence that it will even be close is purely informal as the bulk of it comes from the fact that elderly whites whom I would never have expected voting for Obama have plainly stated that they are doing just that.
    I was flabbergasted when my wife’s 89 year-old, Pennsylvanian grandpa who refers to blacks as “spooks” openly and proudly stated he is voting for Obama. There is a change in the air…can you smell what Barack is cooking?!
    (Sorry, I had to…)

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  60. bud

    Ok Phillip I’ll give you a prediction. I sense a tightening of the race at this late stage and it will be closer than expected.
    Popular Vote: Obama 52 – McCain – 47 (1% 3rd party)
    Senate: Dems pick up 7 seats
    House: Dems pick up 20 seats
    And finally, the electoral college:
    Obama wins all the Kerry States
    Plus these: CO – 9
    NM – 5
    NV – 5
    VA – 13
    McCain will win FL,OH,NC,MO,IN and any other tossups I’m missing.
    Final Tally: Obama – 284 McCain – 254
    If I miss on Virginia this will be a very long night waiting for those 3 western states to come in. Hopefully I’ll be wrong about OH and FL.

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  61. Lee Muller

    That’s Obama cooking your economic goose.
    Hey, stop dodging those Obama quotes about his litmus tests for judges.
    Not that a ton of facts about the sleazy lying of Obama would change the minds of his cult followers.

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  62. Bart

    Lee, you forgot to include one other point of view from Obama. He considers the Constitution as a “negative” document, not a “positive” one. His position is that the Constitution only tells us what we cannot do, not what we can do.
    What next? An Obama manifesto on how we are to live under his regime?
    Hang on folks, its going to be an interesting ride the next four years.

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  63. Sometimes Reader

    Lee,
    As one of those die-hard Hillary supporters — what I once considered cult-ish, I now see with new eyes as CHARISMA. Does the human emotion of hope and brotherly love not phase you at all?
    I think this will definitely be an election of the heart, not the mind.

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  64. Capital A

    Bart, people of your ilk are always looking to documents and books for proof as to what you can do instead of using your own God-given common sense. You are called Tom Sawyers and are satirized for your small mindedness by Twain’s creation of that very same character.
    “Because the books says we must do it!”
    What must it be like to expect that the ENTIRE spectrum of your life is dictated by the information within the confines of the covers of a book like the Bible or in a document like the Constitution? It must be comforting to at least have the expectation of not having to think for yourself.
    Thomas Jefferson expected that you would have the gumption to figure out right from wrong and according to your time. The Constitution is a fluid document and therein lies one of its genius facets. It is a work for all times and no particular one, immediately.
    I suspect this “negative” and “positive” interpretation nonsense you are spouting is something currently being parroted by that lunkhead Limbaugh. To borrow from Twain’s vernacular, you’re a passelheaded old fool if you think the myriad answers to life are printed completely on pages of black and red ink.

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  65. Lynn

    “And Lynn — “invasive?” The only invasive procedure we’ve been talking about here is abortion. The alternative is to let life take its natural course, and come on OUT when it’s ready.” – Brad
    Brad, my point was that I don’t see abortion as an issue that can be considered in isolation from other medical issues, from the death penalty, or from the issue of wars that are not brought to defend against direct aggression.

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  66. Capital A

    Lynn, don’t you know that the Bible says it’s not okay to kill babies, but once they’re grown, they’re pretty nearly fair game?
    That tenet seems to be one shared by good Catholic schoolboys right on down to smalltown Southern Baptist Bible thumpers. Let’s pray they never realize their ignorant commonalities and continue splitting God’s hairs so that they spend the rest of forever deciding which end of the egg to break before dining.

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  67. Lynn

    I hit “post” too soon. My final point — I find the idea of being forced to carry a child to term who is the product of rape or incest about as invasive as it gets.

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  68. Lee Muller

    I don’t see any “hope and brotherly love coming from Obama”. Look at his angry face. Read the angry words of him, his socialist mentor, and his terrorists pals.
    Obama caters to racism, envy, victimhood, and serving up villains to be punished – “the rich” whites and Jews who run businesses. His politicis is nothing but Racial Socialism.

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  69. Lee Muller

    If you want to see angry, read Obama’s book where he talks about hating whites.
    Angry is Jeremiah Wright.
    Angry is Bill Ayers, saying the socialists “…will have to exterminate 25,000,000 Americans who will refuse to be re-educated.”
    Angry is Rashid Khalidi calling for the “death of Israel”.

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  70. Lee Muller

    Capital A, you are too ignorant to just be a voter.
    You must be one of the Obama workers who monitors blogs and poisons them with disinformation and rank stupidity.

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  71. p.m.

    Tell you what, Cap. I might be a passelheaded old fool is some ways, but not in Twain’s wise. I don’t depend on any piece of paper to tell me right from wrong.
    But I am pretty sure of a couple of things.
    I’m right.
    And you’re wrong.

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  72. Bart

    Capital A,
    I think you missed the appointed time to take your medication. At one time I considered you among the more intelligent of the commenter’s on this blog but no more. You gave yourself away as an intellectual poseur with your “negative” and “positive” comments among the other nebulous references that have no relevance to anyone other than you.
    Au contraire, “negative” and “positive” in reference to the Constitution are Obama’s words. They did not come from Limbaugh, but from Obama himself a few years ago during an interview. I won’t bother guiding you to the audio because after all is brought to light, it is you, not I who dwells in Plato’s allegorical cave. It is you who see the shadows of puppets on the cave wall and believe them to be the reality of life. It is you who refuses to believe anything other than the tenets of a closed, pseudo liberal mind.
    It is apparent you are either an atheist or agnostic but somehow you attribute common sense as something God given. You consider the Torah and Bible as works of fiction but seem to have at least a passing knowledge of some of the more familiar passages, i.e., Solomon and the baby. I think the true hypocrite here goes by the handle, Capital A. However, whatever your religious convictions may be, if any, are of no concern to me. Apparently the religious beliefs of others cause you great concern since you take any opportunity to launch an attack against them.
    As far as the Constitution and its relevance, I consider it to be one of the most important documents ever written. Any sensible scholar recognizes the founding fathers gave later generations latitude for interpretation within guidelines of common sense and inherent humanity and morality of those who believe in its clarity of truth and compassion. It is a document meant to place boundaries on what the government can do and resist excessive interference or dictatorial oversight of our lives. But once again, by your own words, you are convicted of abject hypocrisy. It is you who adhere to a fixed doctrine of servitude to a set of ideals. It is you who possess the closed mind of an ideologue who refuses to acknowledge the existence of any thoughts or beliefs contrary to your own.
    It is not I or Lee who wish to impose our will and beliefs on you and the world. By your very words of admonishment to Lee when you stated….
    “Beyond that, how dare you lecture anyone about arrogance and respect for the law. The war trangressions of Cheney/Bushbaby, John McCain’s personal history and your support for all of the above precludes your participation in such an act.”….. you indicted yourself as the one who wishes to impose your beliefs on others. You told Lee he had no right to express himself since he, and I interpret correctly here, does not agree with you. This is the same tact you take with anyone who dares have an opposing viewpoint.
    So, open the pages of your thesaurus, bone up on some rather obscure references to a few Greek philosophers, and continue to walk through your mirage of understanding of the real world. Those of us who possess an open mind and welcome diverse opinions will continue to tolerate your ignorance and inane comments. After all, we don’t wish to censure you or your right to freedom of expression.
    You are a perfect example of the mirages I witnessed when crossing the desert from the Emirates into Oman. What appeared at first glance to be a body of water soon proved to be nothing more than just so much hot air rising from hot desert sand. Sand that once picked up cannot be held because like your tortured attempts at reason and debate, it slips through the fingers into the dunes, merging once again into the vast emptiness of obscurity and irrelevance.

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  73. p.m.

    “Sand that once picked up cannot be held because like your tortured attempts at reason and debate, it slips through the fingers into the dunes, merging once again into the vast emptiness of obscurity and irrelevance.”
    Good stuff, Bart. You managed to hang on to more than one grain of truth.

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  74. Ish Beverly

    I beleive a woman has the right to choose—-conceive or not conceive—-up to the time of conception. After then, abortion should not be her choice. The baby has all rights then. Most women who have abortions develop emotional problems, some very serious emotional problems. Iknow this blog is not about abortion. Thanks anyway.

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