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Straw Poll

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Written by Basil on 09/27/2004 2:55 AM. Filed under:

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OK, quick show of hands: Why does the following situation exist:

  1. The Republican Party claims to be the Pro-life Party.
  2. We have had a Republican President and a Republican majority in Congress for four years.
  3. Killing babies is still legal.


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31 Responses to “Straw Poll”

  1. alana Says:

    Yeah, good point. I noticed it, too. It’s all a sham, I tell you! All a sham!

  2. James Says:

    That’s what I’ve been screamin’.

  3. pete Says:

    here, let’s make the poll even broader: we had TWELVE CONSECUTIVE YEARS of republicans in the presidential seat (Reagan-Bush I). what got done then?

  4. James Says:

    Pete … even better!

  5. Erich Says:

    It’s true that Republicans in power doesn’t = no more legal abortions. Why not? Maybe because they’re waiting for the right court case, or maybe that the court isn’t strong enough on pro-life justices, etc. Who knows? Could be that it’s a taboo issue and they don’t want to undermine party unity. Leads us back to one of the two great Russian questions: What is to be done?

  6. basil Says:

    Pete, during those twelve years, there was only a small window under Reagan’s tenure that the Republicans controlled congress — two years, I think. It has always been a great question why nothing was done then. But while the Democrats controlled Congress, people felt it was virtually impossible to get a federal law passed outlawing abortion.

    Perhaps part of the issue is that the feeling has been that the balance of the Supreme Court is still not right? Or maybe people believe that the Judicial branch has a greater share of the balance of powers than the Executive and Legislative branches, such that its decisions are beyond impeachment?

    If it is the Supreme Court that is the issue, I can see giving the Republicrats one more shot. It looks like several justices will probably be replaced in the upcoming term, so the abortion views of the president are actually rather important. (Assuming it’s not a scam.)

    I am very torn. But, four years from now, if we are still murdering babies, I may be forever immune to any claim the Republicans have of being Pro-life.

  7. pete Says:

    in Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson’s quite insightful book Blinded by Might, the authors recount a conversation Jerry Falwell had with Ronald Reagan, who was suposedly above compromise:

    Said Falwell, “I was at Myrtle Beach (South Carolina). The president called me and said, ‘Jerry, I am going to put forth a lady on the (Supreme) Court. You don’t know anything about her. Nobody does, but I want you to trust my judgment on this one.’
    “I said, ‘I’ll do that.’ The next day he announced the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor.”

    Justice O’Connor has been the swing vote that, in virtually every case, has beaten back any and all challenges to the “right” of a woman to abort her child at any stage of pregnancy. Justice O’Connor has consistently held with the Court majority to keep abortion “safe and legal”…
    if the problem were merely with Congress, conservatives would have a point.

  8. basil Says:

    Pete, good point.

  9. Erich Says:

    If after 4 more years of Republicans abortion is illegal but we have troops in N. Korea, Iran, Syria or a host of other “possibles” and our international credibility is destroyed, then I’m not sure we would have made great progress.

  10. basil Says:

    Erich, I cannot agree with you there. A whole host of possibilities could come about, and it would not outweigh the gravity of the positive law sanctioning the slaughter of innocent children. If I could guarantee that abortion would be illegal in four years, I would accept just about any consequence. My conscience is torn precisely because that cannot be guaranteed.

  11. Daniel Says:

    Because of Roe v. Wade & Planned Parenthood v. Casey this issue is, unfortunately, one for the Federal Appeals Courts & the Supreme Court. Those who would attack the Republicans because they have not made abortion illegal should remember that it was the Republicans that passed and got signed into law the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (this law was presented to Clinton several times & he vetoed it every time); and it has been federal judges, bowing to the will of radical abortion activists, that have prevented this law from taking effect.

    If you want politicians to have an effect on abortion law, elect people who will appoint justices who understand that the two cases cited above were wrongly decided. Then the door will be open to banning abortion.

    Pete does have a point that it is not merely the Congress. However, I think if this is the single issue upon which one votes, and if one stops voting for Republicans because they aren’t doing anything about this, then one is conceding the field to those who believe that killing the unborn is a “right”. This position also ignores what Republicans have tried to do, but whose actions were shortcircuited by the Courts.

    Will all abortion be illegal in America 4 years from now? No. While making abortion illegal is a noble goal, it is an unrealistic to expect politicians who must face re-elction every 2, 4 or 6 years to take this kind of step. But smaller steps can be taken that will lead to that day.

  12. basil Says:

    Daniel, the false dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats does not sway me. If the Republicans will not do this one thing that I keep voting for them to do, why should I keep giving them my vote? Why should I not vote Libertarian Party or Constitution Party? They are both much closer to my actual political views on every other subject. By comparison, the Republicrats and the Democans are nearly identical.

  13. Daniel Says:

    I did not think I was giving a false dichotomy, and if I did I would like to know where. I would appreciate it if you could show me one bill that has been introduced by a Democrat that limmited, in any way whatsoever, abortion, let alone a bill that is designed to end that most heinous of activities – partial birth abortion.

    Abortion is a Democratic Party absolute. I don’t think there is any arguing that. You will find far more Republicans in a position to do something about abortion, and willing to do what they can do to end it, then you will find Democrats, Libertarians or Constitution Party members.

    But if you think you think abortion can be ended by wasting a vote at the national level on a Libertarian or Constitution Party candidate, by all means send that person your vote.

    As an earnest Republican, I am not proud that some within my political party agree with Democrats, that abortion is a “right”. However, I do know which Party has a

    Lisa Says:

    Basil, are you really serious with this question, or just trying to generate comments?

  14. basil Says:

    Lisa, yes I am really serious. See previous articles about my political indecision this year:
    The Color Wheel
    To Vote or Not To
    Cthulhu for President
    One could also go back and read my political columns from previous years to see that I am not much of a Republican.

  15. Tim Says:

    Okay, when was a law passed that made abortion legal? What? Congress and the President didn’t create this situation? Well then it should still be easy to fix, all they need to do is pass a law, and the people of this country are completely in agreement that we should ban abortion, right? Oh, they aren’t? Well, the Republicans have a sizable majority in the House and Senate and all Republicans agree that all abortion should be banned, right?

    Come on. Since when has our government ever worked quickly?

    As Daniel pointed out, progress has been made by the passing of the ban on partial birth abortion. This was passed with a Republican congress and a Republican in the White House after multiple attempts with a Democrat President. Similarly, abortions at military hospitals overseas was banned. I’m sure you’re also well aware that President Bush’s more conservative judicial nominees have been blocked.

    In case there was any question, the Democrats do not have a Presidential candidate that is pro-life. Senator Kerry has clearly chosen to vote in opposition to the teachings of his church. Likewise his running mate has a 100% pro-abortion voting record.

    This appears to be a choice between struggling against evil or giving up.

  16. basil Says:

    I dispute the implication that voting for a party other than the two behemoths is “giving up,” and therefore by implication, abetting evil. However, I also recognize that I have missed a great deal of news about politics over the last four years (disgusted as I am with the entire subject), so I was unware that nominations for judicial seats had been blocked. (Or perhaps this was a case of genuinely interesting stories being overlooked by the media establishment.) This is good information. The same with the information about the partial-birth abortion bill.

    In case there was any doubt, I will most certainly not vote for Sen. Kerry. I’m not even sure why that was brought up, unless for the sake of other readers.

  17. Lisa Says:

    Yes Basil I am quite aware of your political “indecision.” Having lived in a country where people exisited for years without a voice in who ran their country I find it highly disappointing that you would even consider not voting. I’d like to ask you if you have any idea how good you have it living in this country with that privledge, but I know you would mock me and say of course you do, but I don’t think you really do have any idea. (Yes, at this point if you were here I would be raising my voice) As to not being republican but not voting for Kerry, what good do you really feel you would be doing with your vote then? Call it cliche, but I feel you would most definitely be throwing away your vote, which is a shame to do so with something that is such priveledge. I just feel like it is really just a well duh issue. Yes, including your “question.” Who do you think Bush is? A magician? You and I both know that logic is completely overlooking major factors involved which Tim outlined quite well I might add.

  18. basil Says:

    In the 2000 election, I voted for Bush. I was going to vote Libertarian (Harry Browne was the LP candidate), but at the last minute I feared that perhaps I would feel guilty if Gore won. I was bullied into thinking that a vote for Harry Browne was a vote for Gore, since it took a vote away from Bush. Instead of voting my mind and heart, I let myself be manipulated and caged into voting for a party I do not support.

    Then, after 9/11, all of the Patriot Act crap started, and I really felt sorry that I couldn’t say, “This was not the candidate I wanted.” Instead, I was ashamed of myself. I had no choice but to say, “This was the candidate I said I wanted, but I lied.”

    Not sure whether I want to do that again or not. Of course, if Kerry wins and appoints a bunch of pro-death judges, I’ll probably feel just as guilty.

    In either case, are you really suggesting I cast my vote for someone I don’t want to be president? Jump on the bandwagon just because it’s the only game in town (even though it’s not)? There are more than two parties with candidates. Saying there are only two is a false dilemma. Voting for the candidate you feel best qualified is not “throwing away your vote,” no matter how long a shot they are. It is a scare tactic to say, “Voting for someone other than the two major party candidates equals throwing away your vote”; it’s bullying.

    Have I thought about not voting? Of course; it’s in the post. I can’t deny it. Being a good citizen, I know I will probably cast a vote for someone, because it’s my civic duty. I just don’t want anyone to win.

  19. pete Says:

    On the campaign trail, George Bush and his wife both admitted that they don’t think Roe v. Wade should be overturned: “I don’t think the culture has changed to the extent that THE AMERICAN PEOPLE or the Congress would totally ban abortions,” President Bush professed. His wife reiterated her husband’s sentiments on a prime-time television interview on January 18, 2001.

    In his prime-time television debates with Gore, George Bush flatly denied that he had a pro-life litmus test for Court appointees.
    Washington Post, June 15, 1999

    Is Bush’s support of the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban” evidence that he is pro-life? Does that make Tom Daschle pro-life, since he supports the Ban too?

    The Partial Birth Abortion Ban won’t save a single life! Not one! Millions of rare pro-life dollars and countless
    hours of precious pro-life energy has been wasted over the course of a decade on a bill that won’t save a single life! The same babies that would perish through the “Dilation and Extraction Procedure” will die through arguably more painful “procedures” such as the “Dilation and Evacuation Procedure,” where instead of being instantly killed with a
    stab to the head, the baby will be slowly ripped limb from limb. Furthermore, the very language of the ban encourages the killing of the baby before extraction. If an abortionist injects poison into the full-term baby’s heart, for instance, and then performs the “D & X Procedure,” then the Ban would not apply.
    That said, however, I’m not a member of the Constitution Party, nor do I endorse it in any way. They are, to their credit, the most consistently anti-abortion party, but I think they are a bit myopic in their claim that America was founded on Christian principles.

  20. Erich Says:

    I would have to agree with Pete on the Constitution Party, especially considering that the US is historically the first secularist government ever to be formed. The whole Christian principles argument seems absurd w/i the historical context.

    That being said, however, I don’t think it’s right to demand of people that they vote either Republican or Democrat (although I will). The “throw-away-a-vote” argument is a very problematic one and only serves to make sure that our government remains dominated by two political parties, thereby failing to represent the interests of a good number of the country’s citizens. But remember, once upon a time the seemingly cherished Republican Party was at a place much like that of the contemporary Constitutionalists. Even worse, they really only had one issue at their inception. If people had said, “they don’t have a chance, don’ throw away the vote”, the Republicans never would have become that great bastion of whatever they’re a bastion of today.

  21. pete Says:

    Erich, I couldn’t agree more about the viability and importance of the third party in American politics–I’m just arguing that the Constitution party isn’t the best such party.

  22. basil Says:

    I think the CP’s insistence on specifically Christian language in the party platform is silly and naïve. However, I think the Libertarian laissez faire attitude toward abortion law is unsatisfactory. The reason the CP is attractive is solely because it is libertarian, while also being Christian and pro-life. The abortion issue is the one reason I have not voted Libertarian. The religion issue may or may not be the one issue that keeps me from voting CP.

  23. lisa Says:

    Let me preface this comment by saying I am not trying to be sarcastic. I am looking for clarity only.

    Pete said “On the campaign trail, George Bush and his wife both admitted that they don’t think Roe v. Wade should be overturned: “I don’t think the culture has changed to the extent that THE AMERICAN PEOPLE or the Congress would totally ban abortions,â€? President Bush professed.”

    I don’t understand how the quote from Bush saying he doesn’t think “Congress would totally ban abortions,” supports the theory that Bush and his wife have “both admitted that they don’t think Roe v. Wade should be overturned.” I find a big difference between the words “would” and “should.”

    Pete are you using Bush’s quote to back your first statement or are you basing it on other material?

  24. pete Says:

    that whole statement, and most of that post, is actually a quote from:

  25. Grace Says:

    Why is abortion still legal? Because Bush isn’t a king or dictator. He is personally pro-life, but the country is divided on the issue. That means to me that it is the job of the Church and all concerned pro-life people to undertake the change of heart for this country.

    If you don’t want to vote for Bush, don’t vote for Bush. But to hold it against him that he isn’t able to one-handedly swing both houses, the judicial branch and the American people to his side on this issue is ludicrous.

    BTW, Libertarians are ambiguous at best on the abortion issue, so voting for them wouldn’t make any sense. Their party platform is vague, but since the highest good they recognize is freedom, most Libertarians are pro-choice.

  26. basil Says:

    There are other issues at stake in the choice of a president. But the only reason I would vote for a Republican is the Pro-life plank. I’m trying to determine if I’m really doing anything with that vote, or if I’m being had by oligarchs who just want to keep their hold on power.

  27. Tabitha Says:

    Okay, its been a couple of days so maybe this thread is dead. But just in case anyone is listening… I think I’m all for having more political parties as serious contenders. On the other hand, voting for one of the current independents in the presidential election is not the way this needs to be done. I don’t really understand politics all that well, but it seems to me that if by some unimaginable fluke one of the independents actually won the presidency this year then we would find ourselves with a decapitated head of state virtually incapable of accomplishing anything with his or her term of office. For a political party to count, it needs first to build its foundation on the local and state levels. I understand some progress has been made on these levels in recent elections. Personally I believe that until these parties can make themselves heard and felt locally they will be incapable of and unprepared for real action nationally. So register however you want, volunteer for the independent party of your choice, support their local candidates whenever you can, encourage them to keep their dollars local where they can actually reach the people they want to persuade. Build a foundation that can support the weight of national office. Until then, let your national vote be determined by today’s reality.

  28. basil Says:

    Tabitha, I sympathize with your sentiment. My problem is that the two parties that currently dominate have the wrong priorities on their agenda.

  29. pete Says:

    don’t discount the power of the third party…said the guy from the state formerly governed by Jesse Ventura…

  30. Tabitha Says:

    Or rather, the power of celebrity. Although actually this is one of the things I had in mind when I referred to progress in recent elections.