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Oh, duh. Like, major duh.

The "Dred Scott" reference by Bush sent everyone at Atrios and other blog sites scrambling to historical tomes to figure out what on Earth Mr. Bush could mean, short of saying that he wouldn't appoint pro-slavery judges.

Really, we should have just done a damn google search on the Internets.

Because it's all there, plain as day. The Dred Scott reference is code language for abortion rights. Here's how one anti-choice site describes it:

Stephen Douglas didn't see Dred Scott as a person with rights because he was black; now Al Gore doesn't see these children as people with rights because they are unborn.

And here:

Not if one listens to what is being said on the retirement of Justice Harry Blackmun, author of Roe vs. Wade, the Dred Scott decision of our time. Roe made it clear that the unborn child -- fetus, if that term is more comfortable -- has no rights that the state is bound to respect.

And like Dred Scott, Roe was handed down in the name of an individual right. Roger Taney's decision in Dred Scott was based on the Fifth Amendment's guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Justice Blackmun based Roe on a vague right of privacy nowhere spelled out in the Constitution but ""broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. ''

And here:

The reasoning in Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade is nearly identical. In both cases the Court stripped all rights from a class of human beings and reduced them to nothing more than the property of others. Compare the arguments the Court used to justify slavery and abortion. Clearly, in the Court's eyes, unborn children are now the same "beings of an inferior order" that the justices considered Blacks to be over a century ago.

And here:

Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade are an ominous parallel. In the Dred Scott Supreme Court, 7 to 2 decision, it was determined that blacks were not persons, they were the property of their owner, who could choose to sell or kill, that abolitionists should not impose morality on the slaveowner, slavery is legal. In the Roe v Wade, 7 to 2 decision, it was determined that the unborn are not persons, they are the property of their owners (the mother), their owner could choose to keep or kill, that the anti-abortionist should not impose their morality on the mother, abortion is legal.

In short:

When Bush made reference to "Dred Scott" he was assuring his anti-choice constituents that he would indeed only appoint Supreme Court justices who would remove abortion rights.

It's unmistakable, once you know the code words. There's no other reason he said it, that damned fundamentalist fascist.

Originally posted to Kynn on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 01:46 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow. (none)
    Great research work?  We should send this to all media sites.

    Is Dred Scott something mentioned a lot in anti-abortion circles?

    It's hard work to love Poland the best we can.

    by Unstable Isotope on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 05:46:10 PM PDT

    •  Excellent research. (none)
      Great Job!
      •  Research? (4.00)

        In truth, this was one of my simplest blog posts EVER. I just did a google search and pasted in text from the first page or two of links.

        I used the terms "dred scott abortion" and was hit with oodles of these comparisons.

        Only people who immerse themselves in the anti-choice movement would recognize the code words right off the bat, I'm sure -- just like most people are MYSTIFIED whenever the right-wing extremists start talking about repealing the 17th Amendement.

        The media surely was in the dark about this, and I have to admit that I was too. I knew there was SOME reason Bush would bring it up, but it wasn't at all clear to me until the googling. Then it hit me right in the face: Bush was promising to end legal abortions in America if he gets a second term.

        •  Correction! (4.00)

          Bush was promising an end to legal abortions for the poor. Just like modern drug laws, you can bet there will be quite a lot of legislated incentive for judges to look the other way if its a doctor that only does abortions for rich white girls at their parents' request.

          CNN - about as "trusted" as a compass in an active MRI machine.

          by RHunter on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 07:13:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are absolutely right. (4.00)
            And while this is off-topic, this is another reason why I didn't put it together earlier--there's an effort to formally apologize for failing to pass an anti-lynching law in the Senate.

            Now, this is more than 100 years after the fact, but still the right thing to do.  But of course, folks don't do things just because it's right.  

            This is also a welcoming gesture to African-Americans they think they can win--evangelicals--who happen to agree with white evangelicals on issues like abortion. Not too many, mind you, for just like neighborhoods, they know there's a political tipping point, but just enough...to edge out a close election, perhaps?

            The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

            by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:02:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just want to point out (none)
              Not all rich girls do that. I have a friend who's ex got her pregnant (broken condom) and then she flew out to see him in college and he was having sex with another girl when she walked into his room.

              She flew back and got an abortion.

              However, I guess that was more of a wait and see if he wants to keep it sort of deal.

            •  Excellent question for next debate (4.00)
              Media for Democracy is forwarding questions to debate moderators (Bob Schieffer this coming Wednesday). Here's the question I posed:

              For President Bush - You casually mentioned the Dred Scott decision in a response to a Supreme Court question during last Friday's debate. Many people watching, including myself, were somewhat confused by that reference. The Dred Scott decision is often cited by right-to-life groups as a basis for arguing against Rowe -v- Wade. Can you provide some more detail on how you feel Scott -v- Sanford applies to Roe -v- Wade, and judgements you would make in filling Supreme Court vacancies?

              All Spin Zone : Nailing the Lying Bastards Since 2004

              by Richard Cranium on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:53:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (none)
              Just to let you know, lynching was alive and well in this country in the 1930s, 1940s and even in the 1960s antilynching laws were an issue.

              This is a current sore on the national conscience, and not something to be pooh-poohed as ancient history.

              •  Just to let you know ... (none)
                ... the obtuse are alive and well, and prone to making ignorant remarks.  

                You obviously failed at reading comprehension, but to be charitable, I'll assume that you can't see clearly. Find the visual aid of your choice and try again:

                And while this is off-topic, this is another reason why I didn't put it together earlier--there's an effort to formally apologize for failing to pass an anti-lynching law in the Senate.

                Now, this is more than 100 years after the fact, but still the right thing to do.

                Please find in that sentence the place that I asserted that lynchings weren't a reality in the 30s, 40s or even 60s.

                You can't--because the assertion isn't made, isn't implied, and doesn't exist.

                I quite clearly stated that the bill is to apologize for Senate inaction on anti-lynching bills, and my opinion that this comes more than 100 years after the fact.

                And why do I say that? Because there were more than 250 proposed anti-lynching bills from 1882-1951 that never saw the congressional light of day.  But I refer specifically to the Dyer bill that actually passed the House but was filibustered in the Senate.

                Now, go run and read the link to the Times-Picayune.  Again, if you must.  It says the following in the very first paragraph:

                Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and George Allen of Virginia proposed a resolution Wednesday that apologizes for the U.S. Senate's failure to enact anti-lynching legislation at a time when thousands of people were being killed and terrorized by the practice.

                I haven't read the resolution, but according to the story, the bill does not apologize for lynching, but rather, apologizes for failing to pass a federal anti-lynching law.  Again, that is why I say that the effort is more than 100 years late, because 1) an anti-lynching bill should have passed both bodies in oh...1882, and 2)even if they passed a law in 1883, in my estimation, they should have had to apologize for the delay...and pay, which the US government did according to a speech by Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

                I know my history...my family lived part of it. So don't even DREAM about stepping to me with this "pooh-poohing" nonsense--save it for Winnie.

                Come to think of it, Pooh bear likely has more reading comprehension skill than you.  

                The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

                by AuntiePeachy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:05:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm... How far away is Canada? (none)
            In Ireland abortion is illegal and several organizations apparently put together "tour groups" of young women who would like to spend a short 3 or 4 day holiday in Britain.  

            Them people up there in the Great White North are gonna be rich! First we buy all their 3rd world drugs and now this!

            Oh and the really rich will fly on over to Switzerland or something.  Let's face it, for most Thug politicians abortion is about one of two things: either a nice wedge issue (in which case they hope it stays legal so they can rail against it) or something they really hope to accomplish.  For those in the second camp it is all about telling  someone else what to do and has nothing to do with them!

            Come out to the CrashPad, politcal (and other) commentary with a bit of humor: CrashPad

            by Crash on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:05:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  correction (none)
            Bush is promising to end legal abortions for the world.

            If God wants Democracy™ to spread across the planet, I'm sure His Greatness is concerned about all baby-murderers in Europe too.

          •  Abortions illegal for the poor (none)
            Excellent way to frame the pro-choice arg, thank you I will be using this!
          •  correction, correction... (none)
            only for poor women from red states... rich women will travel to CA and NY where abortions will remain legal under states rights...
        •  Excellent. (4.00)
          Very well done.  I have to admit, I didn't put it together initially, either.  But attempting to equate reproductive rights with slavery has been an extreme right-wing mantra for years.  And that, as a Black woman, is patently offensive to me.  This is what I hear, know and understand when I hear this tripe: you had no rights over your body then, and we're going to make damned sure you don't have rights over your body now.

          What's really infuriated me, though, is that when I talked to pro-choice folks about how to counter this wingnut line,  (on panels, at events, etc. several years ago) they just dismissed it.  They didn't think anyone would take it seriously.  

          I had those conversations circa 1995.  

          The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

          by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 07:14:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  17th (none)
          The 17th amendment calls for the direct election of Senators. I see a bunch of Google links for "repeal 17th amendment," but I can't really see how this helps the wingnuts. I mean, yeah, it might arrogate more power to the states - but if a state elects a liberal legislature, they'll appoint a liberal Senator. So what's the point?

          Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

          by David Nir on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:47:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Two words: "States Rights" (4.00)
            I hope you know what "States Rights" is the code word for -- if not, think back to the 1960s civil rights era.

            The goal a repeal of the 17th Amendment is to weaken the federal government.  The only reason the Republicans want to do this is because the federal government has been used to enforce civil rights laws and equality.

            Equality -- you know, that word Bush stopped just before saying. :p

            Anyway, repeal of the 17th Amendment -- and the 16th, another right wing looney scheme -- is intended to strengthen "the states" by which they mean break the power of Congress, heighten the power of the imperial Presidency, and weaken democracy.

            Now, I don't think it will do that -- I think it's just fucking looney, and anyone sane probably has a similar idea -- but this is the type of extremist conservative thought which is permeating the mainstream Republican dialogue in increasing amounts.

            --Kynn

            •  Yep (none)
              States Rights - but never the right of the State of Florida to count its own ballots.

              Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks but a heart transplant is free.

              by dpc on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:47:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  i would add (none)
              that a certain zealot, er, zellout, er, state-legislature-appointed senator named zell, actually proposed the repeal of the 17th ammendment this year.  he took up a good ten minutes of morning business one day to demagogue the issue.  as far as i know, there is no traction whatsoever for that legislation in the senate.  it just highlighted how reactionary and looney-tunes zell miller really is.
            •  17th (none)
              But it's not like repealing the 17th would get RID of the Senate. There would still be a Senate, and the Senators would be beholden to parochial local interests - just as they are now. I don't really see how it enhances "states rights" or "federalism."

              Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

              by David Nir on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:35:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  it's about corporate power (none)
            The 17th amendment was passed because in the 19th C the senate was bought and paid for by robber barons. All you had to do was buy the state house. Easier and cheaper than winning an election.
          •  Repealing the 17th Amendment (none)
            What's the point of repealing the 17th Amendment? Two answers:

            (1) Ideological: It rolls back dcmocracy. That alone is reason enough. Conservatives are inherently anti-egalitarian. Give them their druthers & they'd repeal the entire Constitution & reinstate the divine right of kings.  Not right away, of course. It would take a few years of getting all lathered up, but that's where their logic leads them, ultimately.

            (2) Pragmatic: "if a state elects a liberal legislature, they'll appoint a liberal Senator. So what's the point?"

            So, the Minnesotta legislature would have elected Wellstone in 1990? The Wisconsin legislature would have elected Feingold? Not likely.  Just getting rid of the visionary mavericks would be reason enough for the Rethugs.

            But, more generally, it serves to insulate the Senate almost entirely from the public will.  Consider:

            It's hard enough to get people to vote against anti-choice Senators on a single issue because of what it could do to the Supreme Court when they vote on Supreme Court appointments.  Yet, such appointments would not only endanger reproductive rights, they would endanger a whole array of rights and protections.  

            How much harder would it be to influence the election of state representatives, based on how they would vote on a Senator, based on how that Senator would vote on a Supreme Court nominee?

            It's all about accountability--Getting rid of it, so far as the people are concerned, and enhancing it, so far as the organized special interests and right-wing ideologues are concerned.

            Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

            by Paul Rosenberg on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:01:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  George would have gotten away with it (none)
          if it hadn't been for you pesky kids!
    •  yes (4.00)
      I have a brother who is ultra-Catholic, very pro-life, and a lawyer.  He brings up arguments based on Dred Scott all the time, and regularly compares the Roe v. Wade decision to the Dred Scott decision.

      Bush bringing it may be a coded way to reach out to the Christian right folks and telling them he's on their side, without alarming the folks in the middle.  Note that if you accept the Dred Scott analogy it means you have to support a strict "life begins at conception" model, and can't even allow exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother (unless it is the actual life of the mother at stake).

      •  What do anti-abortion-rights people want? (none)
        What do anti-abortion-rights people want? This is something I've been curious about for a while, and since you've got an anti-abortion-rights brother, maybe you could tell me. I mean, does he want fewer abortions, or does he want to make abortion illegal? One stance could unite the country, the other divides it.

        A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

        by tmo on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:27:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do they want? (4.00)

          For starters, read the Texas Republican Party's platform.

          They want "14th Amendment rights extended to the unborn."

          They want any fetus from conception to have full legal rights.

          They want the constitution amended to give legal protection from fertilization onwards. They want doctors to be required to psychologically torture any woman who chooses to get an abortion. They want health care providers to be able to refuse to provide legal abortions. They want RU 486 banned even though it does not "cause abortions." They want "parental notification" in all cases and want any judge removed who makes a ruling against it. These are all stopgap measures until they can ban all abortions and force any pregnant woman to be required to go through the full pregnancy.

          They are evil, they are crazed, they are out of touch with the rest of humanity.

          And they are the party of George W. Bush. And last night, he gave them a big shout-out.

          --K

          •  When do they want it? NOW. n/t (4.00)

            The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

            by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:29:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They want fetuses to vote? (none)
            And marry?  As long as it's not GAY marriage, that is.

            It's hard work to love Poland the best we can.

            by Unstable Isotope on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:58:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and if we develop a genetic test (none)
              to determine if a fetus will be homosexual, how quick do you think those sanctimonious right wing ##### will be hustling their daughters off for an abortion?
              •  i'd agree, but... (none)
                these people think that homosexuality is a choice.  to accept the legitimacy of such a test would be to suggest that it's not, and it would make their hatred all the more reprehensible
            •  So I get two votes (none)
              if I am pregnant! After all, parental rights need to be paramount for the welfare of the child. I know what is best for my child so I get to vote for them.
          •  will they give me a tax deduction? (3.90)
            OK, I'm anti-abortion...for me. In my heart I believe its a baby at conception.

            I'm also pro choice. I base part of the reasoning of this in the whole Kant thing where there is no moral basis in using others as a means to your own ends.

            But fetus=baby is just what I believe with no scientifically based reasons.

            I've never been in a position to have to make a personal decision on abortion. It seems to me that the right thing to do is to have compassion for others who have to make that decision. I mean, really, who wants to get an abortion? No one I know who has gotten an abortion had that as their first choice they went through hell before and after. It sucks to be in that position and I would never pass judgement on someone who had to make that choice. (Do churches anywhere outside the south put those awful abortion crosses up?)

            Anyway, if its legally a person, I want my damn tax deduction. If its a baby, isn't it my dependant?

            Until the republicans are willing to put their money where their mouths are, I say screw them and their opinions. Pro life is just their excuse for having a way to exercise power over half of the population. For me, pro life means I must do what I can to prevent abortion by working to give young mothers options so they don't feel like their only choice is abortion. This means being pro life once the child is born. This means supporting legislation that supports children and families of all kinds. And being pro life means working to prevent abortions in the first place by advocating science based sex ed programs where its not taboo to mention condoms.

            Pro-life? Whatever, just be pro-life. That means quite a bit more than being pro-fetus. There's a living mother that I'm pro-life for too, and she's alive and breathing and has needs that maybe I could never understand. I'm pro life, but its the mother's choice. She is the one that has to live with the consequences with having the baby, and I have no right to demand that others live in a way that I would choose.

            Abortion is an awful choice to have to make. And no one has the right to tell anyone what to do with their body. I believe that the bigger moral obligation is to have compassion. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that (not that I'm hung up on the Bible, its just that I know a lot about that collection of inspired writing).

            A radical pro lifer I knew said something about aborted babies not going to heaven because they weren't baptised. Does that mean my miscarried child is not in heaven? Fuck him. My God has compassion and would never be wrathful against the innocent. Nor would my God be wrathful against a suffering heart.

            Idiots. No wonder religion has such a bad name, and that's too bad because there is something wonderful about being part of something that is bigger and more wonderful than just yourself alone.

            Does anyone here remember Radical Agnostic's sig line? It was "I don't know and neither do you!" That's the truth really about God and about abortion. Anyway, don't anyone tell me I'm an idiot for believing in God. Its a damn good excuse for being nice to others...even dumb ass ruthless christian republicans.

            /rant

            •  I'm pregnant (4.00)
              With a wanted, loved, planned child. And when I was 20 I chose not to have an abortion, which got me all sorts of shit from one of my grandparents who swore I was "ruining" my life. She's 11 now, and a delight. She will always know that I had a choice, and made that choice to have her.

              I could not imagine myself getting an abortion. My miscarriage earlier this year was bad enough. But I'll tell you a secret. As much as I love my children, want my children, etc... pregnancy is a high risk, difficult, exhausting, demoralizing thing for me, and if I could skip straight to the labor, birth and breastfeeding, I would. I am not fond of pregnancy. I have a clotting condition which means when I get pregnant, I risk my life.

              I could NEVER force that choice on someone else. I know women who've gotten pregnant on every form of birth control imaginable, including those who were abstaining but had that choice taken from them. And while I cannot imagine a circumstance under which I'd get an abortion, not even rape, not even if the baby was likely to die within minutes of birth... I cannot imagine forcing someone who did not want a child, did not want to be a parent, to stay pregnant.

              The interesting thing is that the abortion rate has been dropping. Teen pregnancy rates have been dropping.

              You want graphic? When I miscarried I saw my embryo. And it didn't look like a baby. It didn't look like a human being. It looked like a little grain of rice attached to a tiny placenta.

              What I grieved was not the loss of a life, a person, but the loss of a possibility, a hope, a dream. Even without human intervention, not every conceived life carries to term. Not every fertilized egg even implants, in fact, most fail. Some fail because of environmental reasons, others for internal reasons or genetic reasons or what have you. There are a million reasons for a pregnancy not to result in a living child. Abortion is just one of those reasons.

              Ultimately I believe that we have and SHOULD have a choice about what risks we choose to take in life. I choose to risk pregnancy. I choose to risk a relatively high risk pregnancy in a low-tech care environment. I choose homebirth, even though I "technically" risk out. And I should have that choice. If I should have that choice, to take those risks, shouldn't other people have the right to make other choices?

              I don't want someone telling me I have to go birth in a hospital and I sure as hell am not going to tell someone else they HAVE to stay pregnant. They may not understand why or how I'd choose my choices, and I don't understand being able to give up on that possibility of a child... but neither of us should be forcing our world-view down the other's throat.

              The interesting thing is that there are a lot of people who make choices contrary to the mainstream (i.e. not vaccinating, homebirth) view of what is "safe".... who also espouse the view that abortion should be outlawed. I fail to understand that, just as I fail to understand why there are those on the "pro choice" side of things who would see my choice to birth at home taken from me.

              And yes, I'm still praying that this baby will be born in a Democratic administration...I was pg when the last Bush went down.....

            •  The only ethical position on abortion (none)
              is safe, legal, and rare.  At least for its position in society.

              The socio-economic costs of banning things is immense, especially without the widespread consent of the people.  Thats why abortion should remain legal.

              People should not be made to suffer unnecessarily.  That is why abortion should be safe.

              Abortion is a bad thing.  Everyone agrees on that.  That is why people should work on making abortion less common - through non-legal means like birth control.

              Don't change horsemen in the middle of an Iraqalypse

              by Demosthenes on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:12:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not everyone agrees with your views. (none)
                Nor should they have to.  To assume that there is an absolute "right" way to look at the issue is incorrect.

                I personally have no moral dilemmas about abortion, and in fact see unborn children as parasites.

                That's why the law lets us all make OUR OWN choice.

                •  i said ethical (none)
                  and ethical has a pretty restricted meaning...

                  Not everyone views everything as ethics; many people use morality etc.

                  Ethics is what you are supposed to use for deciding behavior in society...

                  and uhh... "Safe and Legal" is best for sure ethically, "Rare" isn't much so.  But a lot of what you do to make abortions "rare" is ethical in and of itself - take birth control etc.

                  Don't change horsemen in the middle of an Iraqalypse

                  by Demosthenes on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 12:45:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  For my own part... (none)
                    ...I had never seen much of a difference between ethics or morals.  Both seem to vary from person to person depending on their beliefs, or at least that's the way I had thought of it.  I must not be philosophically well-read enough to see what makes them distinct from one another.
            •  gina... (none)
              ...i wish i could give you a 10 for that comment.  from where i stand - as someone who's had to make that choice - that is probably the most compassionate and eloquent post i've ever read on this subject.  

              thank you

              "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

              by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:16:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Not all anti-abortion are fanatics (none)
            And portraying them as such is just as much a disservice as when the extremists on the Right portray everyone who is pro-choice as favoring the indiscriminate butchering of defenseless babies.

            In fact, MOST "anti-abortion" proponents are pro-choice. Kerry is against abortion, so is Edwards. I find few Democrats who are "pro-abortion", let alone pro "abortion on demand", another charged phrases the extreme Right likes to throw up.

            It serves no purpose to artificially polarize the issue, it precludes any debate and precludes any possibility to find a middle-ground.

            The real issue is the one no one wants to talk about: virtually the entire basis for opposition to abortion is based on religious beliefs, not science or law.

            As long as we are unwilling to attack the religious basis for opposition to abortion, and prefer instead to portray every opponent as a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth woman-hater, we're just pretending to be outraged.

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:25:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To me, everyone anti-abortion IS a fanatic... (none)
              ...or at least, everyone who wishes to repeal Roe vs Wade is.  Simply because they are trying to impose THEIR will and THEIR choice upon my body.

              There is no middle ground on this issue.  Anti-Choice = Anti-Women's Equality.

              •  Not everyone who is against abortion (none)
                wants to repeal Roe v. Wade. In fact, the majority do not.

                As long as you demonize everyone who disagress with you, there will be no dialogue. As long as there is no dialogue, each side will attempt to impose its will on the other. As long as each side is attempting to impose its will on the other, hate will prevail.

                Respecting an opposing point of view is not a "middle ground". You and I both believe there is no middle ground when it comes to a woman's right to control her own body. Anti-abortion advocates similarly feel there is no middle ground when it comes to what they consider murder of a helpless human child.

                The answer is not to keep screaming at one another over the barricades. There may not be middle ground, but there can be common ground, if we can see the humanity and good intent that motivates most people on both sides of the discussion.

                And, as I said, until we are willing to confront the religious underpinnings of the anti-abortion movement, and until we are willing to discuss biology vs biblical beliefs, we will all be speaking past one another.

                The vast majority of those who oppose abortion do not see supressing women as a goal. They believe that they must weigh individual rights to choose vs. individual rights to life, and argue that, in many cases in our society ruled by laws, we limit freedoms to give priority to life.

                The power that gives force to the anti-abortion movement is not the desire to oppress women. The power that gives it force is the irrational faith-based anti-science that dominates our society. Address that, and you address the problem. But "Woman-Enslaver" against "Baby-Killer" gets us nowhere.

                "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                by galiel on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 07:18:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Well, except their (none)
            daughter's will most very definitely be sent on "vacations" to countries where they will be able to obtain an abortion, if need be.
        •  The control of female sexuality (3.88)
          Because personhood begins at conception. Birth control devices like the IUD (which prevents implantation) and possibly even oral contraceptives (since there's some evidence that they do as well) are in the sights of those who want to ban all abortions for any reason other than the life of the mother. The ultimate goal is controlling female sexuality. Listen to the rhetoric and you can hear it clearly.

          I'm personally very anti-abortion, though I am pro-choice politically. I don't believe that abortion can be outlawed without further endangering the lives of both women and real live unwanted born babies. The best thing we can do is work to lower the need for abortion, perceived or real, and I live for the day when the reasonable people in the anti-abortion movement and the reasonable people in the pro-choice movement can come together and start working on that.

          •  Control female sexuality (none)
            Yes, agree.  It is my belief that a lot of the rabid anti-abortion types are rabidly jealous or afraid of female sexuality.  That's why they want to suppress it, hide it.  It is no coincidence that most of the leaders are men.

            It's hard work to love Poland the best we can.

            by Unstable Isotope on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:00:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The IUD preventing implantation... (none)
            is not entirely accurate. The Mirena IUD, for example, works through a different mechanism (and the mechanism through which non-hormonal IUDs work has not been thoroughly explained, but the "preventing implantation" is not considered the primary method), or actually a set of mechanisms. If Mirena, for example, worked through only preventing implantation, the rate of ectopic pregnancy would be as high in IUD users as in those using no birth control. It is NOT. The Mirena is as effective as sterilization (and reversable), in preventing pregnancy. And yes, every so often a tubal will fail, vasectomies more often (my neighbor got calls from two friends this week whose husbands vasectomies had failed after 7 and 9 years respectively... she was dumbfounded, I was there when she got one of the calls.) It is more likely that the "primary" effect of an IUD is to change cervical mucous to be more hostile to sperm, so conception doesn't happen. There are also some other effects, too, but the "preventing implantation" is the least likely in most cases.

            But try explaining that to someone who's been convinced otherwise.
            <banging head on monitor>

            Personally I love the mirena--it's the only method I've found that is reliable, doesn't cause me health problems, and actually eliminates cramps and pre-menses bitchiness. And as my current pregnancy attests, it's completely reversable--I got pg within 6 weeks of taking it out.

      •  When those same anti-abortion nuts (none)
        start talking about shutting down fertility clinics, I'll believe they're anything more than hypocrites.

        I mean, if you're going to say that life begins at conception, you've got to be consistent. I guess all sexually active women of child-bearing age (otherwise known as walking wombs) would be forbidden to drink, smoke, or forget their government-issued pre-natal vitamins, too.

        These people make me crazy. Obviously.

        •  asdf (4.00)
          I mean, if you're going to say that life begins at conception, you've got to be consistent.

          If life begins at conception we would be having funerals for tampax.

          These people make me crazy. Obviously.

          they make all of us crazy. It's the lies and manipulation and assumption of authority over us. It's the absolute silence about male responsibility. It's the increasing wage gap, welfare deformation and increases in poverty and most of all it's the sure and certain knowledge that a remarkable number of men in this country regard us with all the respect normally extended to livestock.

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:00:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My questions for the anti-choice folks (none)
        [http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/7/20507/2891 I diarieed the letter I sent to an anti-Kerry anti-choice rally organizer.

        America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

        by bribri on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:02:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  hmmm (none)
      I didn't mean to question if it was great research, I meant Great research!!!!!!

      It's hard work to love Poland the best we can.

      by Unstable Isotope on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 06:09:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent (none)
      Send it to the Washington Post, NY Times, and the other big papers... great job!

      The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are! (who?)

      by bluecayuga on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:06:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed, I came to the same conclusion (4.00)
    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/10/9/863/02341/151#151

    Dred Scott is codespeak for Roe v. Wade (none / 1)

    I hope Bob Schieffer follows up on Dred Scott.  Dred Scott is often used as a model for why Roe v. Wade is bad law.  

    Do a search for "Dred Scott Roe Wade" and you get over 5000 hits on Google and over 15,000 hits on Yahoo.  "Mr. President, you said that you would not appoint a judge who would render a judgement for Dred Scott.  Are you really saying that you wouldn't appoint a judge who would rule in favor of Roe v. Wade?"

    Examples of the linkage between Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade:
    http://www.rnclife.org/faxnotes/2001/jan01/01-01-19.htm...
    If Dred Scott Wasn't The "Settled Law of the Land," Neither is Roe

    http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article2106.htm...
    Substantive Due Process, Dred Scott v. Sandford, and Roe v. Wade
    "It seemed that the Missouri Compromise, which had stood for thirty-seven years, was unconstitutional. Congress could not restrict slavery anywhere. Why? Because by doing so, Congress had denied slaveholders "due process of law." That's the magic of substantive due process.

    Absurd? Perhaps. But you see, the Supreme Court had taken it upon itself to save the country. They would remove the issue of slavery from the political arena and the foolish whims of democratically-elected leaders. They would also foreclose any peaceful solution to the issue. Half a million men would die because of the Supreme Court."

    What Bush said:

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/08/debate.transc...
    Bush ""Let me give you a couple of examples, I guess, of the kind of person I wouldn't pick...Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges, years ago, said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights.

    That's a personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all -- you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America.

    And so, I would pick people that would be strict constructionists..."

    •  How about this quote: (4.00)
      "The constitution of the United State says we're all-- you know."

      What an idiot.  How can any pundit claim that Bush did OK in that debate.  He's a freaking moron.

      •  It Sounds Like (4.00)
        He was about to say that the Constitution says "all men are created equal," then realized that comes from the Declaration of Independence, and stopped short.  If so, I'm even more impressed with him, he realized the Dred Scott decision was a bad thing, and the Constitution didn't give him a badly needed sound bite.

        Otherwise, his reasoning is awful.  The Constitution certainly did provide backup for the loathsome Dred Scott Decision.  This is from Article IV, Section 2:

        The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

        A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

        No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

        The Constitution also classified slaves as three-fifths of a person for purposes of determining a state's population to apportion its congressional representation and tax burdens.  All that wasn't "opinion," it was specifically written into the Constitution, and later amended, thank God.

        Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

        by JJB on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 06:25:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd bet the metaphorical farm (4.00)
      that Blinky didn't come up with this novel legal theory all by his own self.

      This is what passes for conversation in the Level 3 confines of the policy wing (along with torture methods and the like).  Gonzales and the rest of the hires are cursing their luck that he happened to walk by and overhear their bull session.

      Was there ever a better example of the observation, "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"?

    •  coded phrases (4.00)
      Last night, after Bush gave his answer about Supreme Court justices, my girlfriend turned to me and said, "What the hell was that about."  I told her it was about abortion rights and picking justices that would be anti-choice.  It wasn't based upon the Dred Scott mention, but by another code phrase he used in his answer:  judges that follow the strict interpretation of the Constituition.  That I think is also code for abortion (and other rights), as no where in the Constituition does it say you have the right to terminate a pregnancy (right wing judges use this type of logic frequently).  It is almost like they see the Constituition as a dead document with cannot be interpreted beyond the literal meanings.  

      I used to be paranoid until I lost my self-esteem. Who is going to waste their time following me?

      by Mote Dai on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:33:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny... (4.00)
        It is almost like they see the Constituition as a dead document with cannot be interpreted beyond the literal meanings.

        They feel that way about the Bible, too.

        Actually, it's not funny.

        The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

        by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:49:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, not funny (4.00)
          I agree.  
          I think it's pretty scary, that they think they're the righteous ones and yet they seem to care less about people's lives.  How is that righteous?
          •  They're the righteous (none)
            So they get to decide how much they can care about other people's lives.

            See?  It's all so very pro life.

            The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

            by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:23:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As long as they don't have to pay taxes for it (none)
              Funny how pro-life people, aside from Catholics, are so cheap when they are asked to pay for the consequences of their decisions.

              There is not a shred of Christianity in these people. They are the people that Jesus was condemning, but they are too self-righteous to understand it.

              George Bush is suffering chronic mendacity syndrome.

              by freelunch on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 11:50:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Constitutional Interpretation (4.00)

        For all their prattling about the Founding Fathers, the right-wingnuts miss something very important. Which is kind of surprising, because the Libertarian right-wingnuts love to scream about this... Until, of course, it inconveniences them. The Constitution does not delineate the freedoms of the people. It delineates the authority of the government. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government may outlaw abortion.

        CNN - about as "trusted" as a compass in an active MRI machine.

        by RHunter on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:06:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  by their logic Marbury is not good law (4.00)
        because no where in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court or any other Court has the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.  

        Of course, by that reasoning, since Dred Scott v Taney was the second time the Court declared an Act (in this case the Missouri Compromise) unconstitutional [the first being part of the Judicial Act in Marbury),  Tnaey and the Court should not have had the power to overrule the Missouri Compromise, regardless of the the finding that Scott did not ahve the standing to file suit [the basic issue before the Court).

        Just think how limited  that would ahve made the Court.  Think how furious Scalia would be if he did not have the power to overrule those acts of Congress and of state Courts he didn't like, say like in Bush v Gore.

        I find it ironic that so-called conservatives who favor "strict contruction" call their favorite legal orgainzation The Federalist Society.  That most important of Fedralist [and Midnight} judges, one John Marshall, would almost certainly have trouble with most of their positions.   Look how many of Marshall's great decions rely not upon strict interpretation, but rather broad intepretation, of the Constitution.

        BTW  --  if anyone wants to read a cogent deconstruction of the rationale of the strict constructionalists, I strongly recommend the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Stanford Professor Jack Rakove, Original Meanings:  Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution

        Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

        by teacherken on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:20:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for that. (none)
    Now it's crystal clear.  The chimpster doesn't give a crap about independents and undecideds.  This is about his base and only his base - a scary thought since you know it's going to be winner take all.
    •  He does give a crap (none)
      Excuse my language. Anyway, he cares enough to speak in code words that throw red meat to his howling base but that might go over the heads of moderates or independents..

      "9/11 was not a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation." -- Bill Maher

      by bramish on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 05:51:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (4.00)
        Moderate Republicans -- "RINOs" to the extremists -- would be turned off Bush came out and said "If you vote for me, I will overturn Roe v. Wade." But the extremists NEED to hear that from him. And so this Dred Scott thing is all about telling the extremist base without letting the RINOs in on the joke. Until it's too late, and abortion rights in America are GONE. Ha ha! Funny joke, huh? I fucking hate these guys. --Kynn

        Online Campaign Manager, Byron for Congress
        Make Darrell Issa Cry. Again.

        by Kynn on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 05:58:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary (none)
    and props to lordkelvin on his thread too.
    •  This was up on on another site too (none)
      Go to http://fairshot.typepad.com/fairshot/2004/10/dred_scott_roe_.html

      Here's a good quote from one of the Googled articles: "Not if one listens to what is being said on the retirement of Justice Harry Blackmun, author of Roe vs. Wade, the Dred Scott decision of our time. Roe made it clear that the unborn child -- fetus, if that term is more comfortable -- has no rights that the state is bound to respect.

      "And like Dred Scott, Roe was handed down in the name of an individual right. Roger Taney's decision in Dred Scott was based on the Fifth Amendment's guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Justice Blackmun based Roe on a vague right of privacy nowhere spelled out in the Constitution but ""broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. ''

      A vote for Bush is a vote for Osama.

      by Alan S on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:00:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed (none)
    I posted on this earlier today but the post was gone very quickly.  Thank you for raising it again.  I think this is a crucially important issue than has gone right over the heads of the media and those not in the anti-choice know.  Moderate Republicans care about this issue and Bush just informed the nation that he will impose an anti-Roe v. Wade litmus test on his next Supreme Court appointee.  This is huge -- we should all be screaming about it.  I have no doubt his troops are all patting themselves on the back today confident they have pulled the wool over everyone's eyes -- this wasn't about historical/legal analysis -- it was a calculated and defiant anti-choice statement.
    •  Exactly (none)
      <i> this wasn't about historical/legal analysis -- it was a calculated and defiant anti-choice statement.</i>

      Which is why I am so fucking angry about it.  How DARE that man, (s)elected to the highest office in the country, pull that kind of shit?  Who the fuck does he think he is?

      I'm furious that he has the gall to think he can get away with it on globally broadcast television -- and I'm even more livid that <b>he pretty much <i>did</i> get away with it.</b>

      --Kynn

      Online Campaign Manager, Byron for Congress
      Make Darrell Issa Cry. Again.

      by Kynn on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 05:55:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  fooled me (none)
      i was dumb-founded and angry 'cause i thought he was just making shit up.  bringing up dred scott, the worst decision in us history, as his critiera for a judge not to repeat -- what kind of ridiculous answer is that?  but if it's cryptic code for an anti-abortion agenda then that's just sick and needs to get out...

      Renewable Energy: Choose Your Power or Green Tags

      by drh on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:52:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome work! (none)
    Oh man. This has to get "out there."
  •  Thanks (4.00)
    I was perplexed by the reference.  Oh, but they're not fetuses, they're Unborn Americans.  And really, to murder one is an act of terrorism.  Is that what you want to be?  A terrorist?

    Please get this guy out of office!  This is fucking insanity. (Pardon my Fren- er, Freedom.)

    They're freedom haters. We're freedom lovers. Don't tell Canada. - David Cross

    by noshenanigans on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 06:08:50 PM PDT

  •  code references (none)
    what if all these strange references like  "internets" , "off road diesels", "Senator Kennedy" "real time messages", "Dred Scott" were actually coded messages to OBL?
  •  As such, that is very old (4.00)
    I remember reading editorials with this back circa 1976, in The Wanderer (cranky conservative Catholic weekly) - but it also is a "safe" way for him to try to come across as a supporter of civil rights.

    Unlike Brown vs Topeka Board of Education, you won't find many mainstream middle-Americans who would be offended - one of the reasons that the white supremacists have to speak in code (qv Trent Lott) is that just about nobody thinks that slavery was good, but they don't think about it analyticaly either. So it's a "safe" position, because being down on the Dred Scott decision is as American as apple pie, and won't make the Dixiecrat element of his base twitchy with fears of him "pandering" to minorities, either.

    This is apparently what passes for slick crowd-pleasing rhetoric in Rove's brain...

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 06:24:44 PM PDT

    •  Yep. All good liberals hated the Dred Scott (none)
      decision so (1) no one will question their criticism of Dred Scott; and (2) since "liberals" agree that Dred Scott is bad, then they analogize it to abortion & therefore they win.  

      In effect, they believe they are beating us with our own arguments.  They are very much in the business of coopting "liberal" frameworks for right wing purposes because (they believe)liberals therefore can't argue without taking inconsistent positions.

      Furious George: angry, emotional, reactionary.

      by vaughn on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:59:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mindless Simplicity 'R Us (none)
        I don't think you can understand the law at a reasonable lay level and accept the arguments of the wingnuts. Justice Scalia may be conservative in many ways, but, his protestations to the contrary, he is not a strict constructionist and I don't know of any liberals who want him to stop writing Sixth Amendment opinions.

        You really have to have an overly simplistic view of the world to think that all analogies that you make are valid. Is our President really that simplistic? I doubt it, but I do think he is willing to pander to his base and doesn't mind making himself look like a fool if that's what it takes to get a few more votes.

        George Bush is suffering chronic mendacity syndrome.

        by freelunch on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:00:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you. (4.00)
          Scalia hangs his hat on original intent and loves to cite English common law to explain what the founders were thinking when they wrote the consititution.  Breyer, disgusted with Scalia's approach, once wrote an opinion that cited page after page of conflicting English cases to conclude the the English common law was inconclusive.  Essentially, Scalia wants everyone to believe that he is guided by noble principle when, in fact, he can cherry pick from pre-U.S. history to suit his purposes.

          My view is that Bush cares very little about abortion--I don't think its affected his life one way or the other--but he uses the issue to pander for votes in the evangelical Christian community.  I live in TX, grew up in some pretty conservative churches.  Having seen it up close, groupthink, narrowmindedness & bigotry frustrate me to no end.  I think they are wrong to use political means to accomplish a religius agenda--there's no scriptural basis for that tactic.  Beyond that, every chance I get, I tell evangelicals that they are being duped by Bush, taken along for a ride simply because he needs their votes.  Oh, I believe that Bush shares some of the evangelical values--more of the apocalyptic vision, the really scary stuff--let on his own, I doubt that abortion, stem cell, or even gay marriage would ever enter his mind one way or the other.

          Furious George: angry, emotional, reactionary.

          by vaughn on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:30:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Talking about subliminal messages . . . . (none)
    that is scary! Fucking Bush is trying to play for keeps here!

    I can only imagine what the Rovians will try to pull between now and election day. It has to happen sooner than later . . . I think even Rove knows that the citizenry would be suspicious of anything big coming out this close to the Election.

    Remember how it backfired in 2000 with Georgie's DUI?

    I'm guessing something could happen between now and the last debate.

    I am confident that Kerry/Edwards will  weather it . . . Rovians have already thrown so much shit their way.

  •  I wouldn't be surprised... (none)
    I wouldn't be surprised if we see an article or two about this next week. I'll bet that Joe Conason, e.g., picked up on it right away.
  •  GWB is EVIL (4.00)
    Keep reporting, keep fighting, and keep praying.  Thank God for the internets- where would we be without it?
  •  Just one more example... (4.00)
    Of not being straight with the American people.

    The way to attack this is, I think, to frame it within the larger issue of Bush's mendacity.  It's not too late for someone (Edwards?) to say, "Many of you may have been confused by President Bush's odd reference to Dred Scott.  Let me explain it to you.  He's using code words to reassure his right wing base that he want judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

    "Mr. President, if that's what you want, why won't you just come out and say so?  You were asked a direct question.  Why can't you just for once be straight with the American people?"

  •  I don't think we can overemphasize the importance (4.00)
    of the statement.  Bush said, essentially on the record, that his litmus test will be judges that disagree with Roe v. Wade.

    I hope the Kerry campaign and Bob Schieffer call him on this.

  •  Great Post (4.00)
    It's about property. I heard Sam Brownback (R-KS) give a speech where he laid it out very plainly, saying that Dred Scott was decided because the Supreme Court ruled that people could be considered property, which is the same thing happening with abortion, where some people see a fetus as a person, and some people see it is property. So the people who read/hear all the right wing (especially Christian) stuff know exactly what Bush is talking about when he brings up this case.

    It's also an easy knockdown to the arguement made by liberals who want to defer to the Supreme Court, something that we should figure out a counter-argument for.

    But exposing the revisionist history about how strict constitutionalism (original intent) would have made the case for Dred Scott and against the 14th Amendment is a good start.

    Anoter thing - I heard a bunch of right wing rumblings during the gay marriage debates saying that blacks weren't supporting it because of the constant references to slavery, yet they're immediately turning around and using the language of slavery and liberation as a prop in their fight against choice and privacy.

  •  Yeah. I forgot about this until I saw the post (none)
    In The Tempting of America (I think that was the title), Judge Bork's thesis is that you cannot support Roe v. Wade without also endorsing the Dred Scott case.
  •  Great Work, But Not The Whole Ball of Wax (4.00)
    This is indeed excellent on-point research, succinctly explaining how Bush was code-speaking to his base (as well as how his soft racist base has convinced itself that it is on the anti-racist side.)

    However, two points need to be made:

    (1) It is not the only thing that Bush is doing. By positioning himself as opposed to Dred Scott--however fraudulent his reasoning--he returns once again to his "compasionate conservative"  minority-friendly persona, without going the least bit soft.  It's not intended to reach minorities--it's intended to reassure moderates--swing voters--that he's reaching out to minorities, ergo he's mainstream, not an extremist. (Also, there's innoculation: charges of minority vote suppression must also be false.)

    (2) Kerry can't come back and throw this directly in Bush's face, as suggest:"Mr. President, you said that you would not appoint a judge who would render a judgement for Dred Scott.  Are you really saying that you wouldn't appoint a judge who would rule in favor of Roe v. Wade?"

    Doing this would be exactly the sort of framing mistake that Lakoff talks about in Don't Think of An Elephant--it would reinforce Bush's frame.

    If Kerry wants to attack Bush on this point, he's going to have to do something subtler--such as I noted on my Rapid Response diary--which I really don't think he should do. The press doesn't like it when Kerry "does nuance," remember?  However, we  can attack it any which way we want.  Different lines of attack for different purposes in different contexts.

    Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

    by Paul Rosenberg on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 07:49:05 PM PDT

    •  I fully agree (4.00)
      This was a masterful stroke by Bush's handlers.  It allows Bush to unequivocally tell his supporters that a Bush victory will mean an end to legalized abortion, while never actually having to say that on the record.

      The only fault with it is that it struck an oddly strange note in the middle of the debate, seemingly pulled from nowhere along with a verbal fumble from Bush when trying to say that the Constitution doesn't say we're equal.  Or something.

      Kerry has no good grounds to attack Bush on this, but I think we should make it very clear to America what Bush said last night.  There are plenty of moderate Republicans and independents who do NOT want to see abortion made illegal in this country.  And they need to know what Bush is saying.

      --Kynn

      •  I Fully Agree, almost (3.66)
        While I can see clearly the intent now of Bush's remark (I was scratching my head with everyone else when he said it...) I disagree with the notion that Bush will end abortion.

        Let's face it, for Bush (and most Republicans) abortion is simply a political wedge, and as such is much more effective as it is now.  Actually ending abortion would swing the outraged energy over to the other side.  Plus, how many women (perhaps older ones especially) vote Republican purely on this issue?  Here in the sticks, I think the percentage is pretty high.  If abortion were actually made illegal all those good church women might start to look at the rest of the Republican platform.  Remember they are voting for the Thugs 'cause they are the "Moral Party."  As has been discussed many times, how moral is war? Poverty? Valuing wealth over work, etc.?  Take the 2 ton abortion elephant off the table, let them see the whole picture clearly and who knows what will happen.

        I suppose I could be suprised (and wouldn't dare vote Red just to find out...) but the Reds have been on the rise for 30 years now and frankly they really haven't lifted a finger to really try and end abortion as we know it.  The "partial birth" bill was so lame it hurt.  It would have almost zero impact on the number of abortions and pretty much everyone knew it wouldn't pass constitutional muster, even in our current right wing courts.  Yes, over those 30 years they have squeezed abortion pretty hard around the edges, but have never really undertaken a frontal assault.

        Oh and they ain't gonna pass that Family Marriage Amendment if reselected either.  No one votes or gives money (except the very very rich of course) for what you did last year, what gets folks excited is what you are going to to.

        IMHO abortion will always be on the Reds "todo list."

        Come out to the CrashPad, politcal (and other) commentary with a bit of humor: CrashPad

        by Crash on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:52:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Will Bush end abortion? (4.00)

          I doubt that Bush would manage to make abortion illegal in America.

          Hell, he's fucked up everything else he's touched, so it stands to reason that he'd get that wrong.

          But that wasn't my point. My point wasn't Bush will make abortion illegal.

          That was Bush's point.

          The frightening thing is not that Bush will appoint judges to overturn Roe v. Wade -- heck, anyone paying attention already knows this.

          The frightening thing is that Bush is using coded language to tell his faithful followers via nationwide television that he'll overturn Roe v. Wade -- and nobody else knew what the hell he was saying.

          --Kynn
          •  Exactly (none)
            which is why it is important to get this diary read!  
          •  It's The Incoherence, Stupid! (4.00)
            Perhaps that's the line we should take--not just that  Bush is sending a coded promise to abolish Roe, but that in doing so he was reduced to gibbgerish--and that is completely typical of how his whole administration is run.

            We should say, "Fine.  If you want to abolish abortion by stacking the Supreme Court, at least you should be man enough to come out and say it. But all this coded message stuff is turning our political discourse into incoherent babble, and you're reduced to saying things that are so confusing you can't even keep track of it yourself."  And that's precisely the same sort of incoherence that's driven your policy toward Iraq since Day One.

            Whaddayu think?  Too clever? Or a good way to connect two sore spots?

            Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

            by Paul Rosenberg on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:53:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Agree. Abotion will always be on the to-do list (none)
          as a vote getter & will never quite get done.  I'm down here in Texas and I tell every Republican I know exactly that.  Bush will not end abortion.  Bush doesn't want to.  If he does, he loses a wedge issue.  I don't know that I've convinced anyone but they are never able to argue with me.

          Furious George: angry, emotional, reactionary.

          by vaughn on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:14:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No Master Stroke (none)
      Whatever he may have been intending to imply, what Bush actually said is nonsensical.  Only a few extreme abolitionists thought at the time of Dred Scott that the Constitution did not allow slavery, and there was a long history of court decisions upholding not only slavery, but the Fugitive Slave Act.  Lincoln himself, in one of his first acts as president, signed the proposed Corwin Amendment, which would have placed slavery in the slave states beyond the federal amendment process, and which had just been approved by the Houses of Congress.  Since presidents do not typically sign proposed constitutional amendments, this was a highly symbolic act.  In short, no realistic political force denied that slavery in the slave states was constitutional.

      What was controversial -- and I believe wrong -- about the Dred Scott was not that it approved slavery.  It held two things that were unnecessary for the result: (1) blacks cannot be U.S. citizens, even if they are free, and even if they are citizens of a state; and (2) Congress cannot prohibit slavery in the territories, with the result that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional.  (This latter holding suggested the further, explosive conclusion that even states could not prohibit slavery within their territory.)

      But Bush more or less said that what was wrong with the Dred Scott decision was that it declared slavery constitutional.  Bush is just wrong.  At the time, slavery clearly was constitutional.

      So this is no master stroke.  It can be used to portray Bush as an idiot.

      •  I think that it was only nonsensical (4.00)
        to those of us who are not in GWB's base.  If his base gets his intended message, no matter how ineptly he communicated it, then he's accomplished his goal or assuring them & locking up their vote.  This reassures them because he said it publicly, right on the same stage with Kerry.

        Since the rabid pro-lifers already know of the analogy between Dred Scott & Roe v. Wade reasoning, then all Bush had to do was utter Dred Scott for them to know exactly what he wanted to communicate.

        So, even if we can defeat the logic of the words he spoke at the debate, we don't convert his base to our cause.  However, I think many people would be outraged that he's publicly saying "no litmus test for Justices while in code saying exactly the opposite.  I would pray that, if exposed, his duplicitiousness & deception would lose him some votes among rational people.

        Furious George: angry, emotional, reactionary.

        by vaughn on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:08:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This argument (4.00)
    only parallels with Dred Scot if you start with the theological position that the collision of one gamete with another is instantly a person.

    Lets say we make that the law of the land ... do we lock women up who miscarry due to bad health, or bad lifestyle?

    Wackjobs ...

    They start with their articles of faith, and build entire castles on those clouds.

    "Don't judge men's wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance." - Benjamin Franklin

    by Madman in the marketplace on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:00:10 PM PDT

    •  Lock up the women? You bet. (4.00)
      That's exactly what they want to do--a woman was arrested not long ago for refusing to have a c-section, and other women have been charged with murder/abuse/neglect for alcohol or drug use that affected their fetuses.

      As has been pointed out here before, conservative morality is about punishment, and the person who winds up being punished in anything have to do with sexuality is almost always the woman.

      No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.--Teddy Roosevelt

      by Leslie in CA on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:22:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ugh, (none)
        It's really a frightening thought taken to the extreme....

        My medical records state that I have "cervical incompetence" - basically a cervix that can painlessly dilate during the second trimester causing premature birth before viability.  If Bush and his ilk have their way would I be considered guilty of manslaughter/murder if I chose not to get a cervical stitch to keep the cervix shut or if I chose not to adhere to the activity restrictions my ob/gyn recommends?

        Are we going to prosecute couples who have in vitro fertilization for destroying extra embryos?  For a real laugh check out "embryo adoption" -- the farcical idea that the discarded embryos from IVF should be given to other IVF couples.  The problem?  Other IVF couples want the "best of the best" - IVF success rates are dependent on the quality of the embryos, and embryos that have been frozen for a while degrade...

        •  I really don't (none)
          know how much thought they give to any of the implications of their beliefs becoming law.

          I don't think it matters to them, since they are perfectly happy to let millions of children who've made their way out of the womb suffer through poverty, hunger, abuse, lack of shelter or education.

          "Don't judge men's wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance." - Benjamin Franklin

          by Madman in the marketplace on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:16:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You Don't (none)
        have to go any farther than the Peterson trial - he is charged with two murders - his wife and unborn child.

        Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks but a heart transplant is free.

        by dpc on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What would they do about miscarriages? (none)
      Excellent point, and one I've often wondered myself. Miscarriage becomes manslaughter. Is that really what they want? Or have they just not thought about it that extra 30 seconds?

      A word after a word after a word is power. -- Margaret Atwood

      by tmo on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:32:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Willful (none)

        Often, they respond to that with the claim that its willful destruction of lives they're concerned about. Unfortunately, the law isn't just concerned with willful destruction. If you make willful destruction of a pre-viable embryo murder, then unwillful destruction is, by definition, manslaughter... And their logical justification provides no reason why this isn't so.

        And as anyone who knows anything about reproductive biology and the number of embryos that tend to get flushed by the woman's system for having bad genetics knows... This quickly becomes absurd.

        CNN - about as "trusted" as a compass in an active MRI machine.

        by RHunter on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:24:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Decoder rings (none)
    This was indeed Rove at his best (worst)! I was thinking what??? is he talking about Dred Scott for? Thanks for giving me the decoder ring.

    The surface language makes it absurd or impossible for Kerry go after this.

    I think we need to pound the media on the point that Bush is being deceptive to the debate viewers by using references that are code to his base. The code language is effectively directed at Bush's base while the rest of us are left in the dark. Duplicitous, deceptive, lying.

    I want the next debate that focuses on domestic issues to demand  a direct answer on this one from Bush.

    "The military and the monetary... Get together whenever it's necessary" - Gil Scott Heron

    by zane on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:13:17 PM PDT

  •  Kos (4.00)
    Mainpage this diary, please!  Interesting discussion.
  •  Yes please (none)
    mainpage it!

    Aristocracy may appear permanent and timeless, but in reality conservatism must be reinvented in every generation.

    by silentsprawl on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:25:37 PM PDT

  •  It's mind-boggling, really. (4.00)
    These are the same people who have an absolute hissy fit over the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which had the temerity to assert that children, regardless of where they live, have the right to a dignified life and not be exploited.

    So, in sum: Only the "unborn" have rights until they're born.  Rights may be restored upon confirmation of favored gender.

    The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

    by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:27:04 PM PDT

  •  I just sent (4.00)
    ...a link to this diary (great, great work, Kynn!) to the media, the Kerry campaign, the DNC, NOW, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood. Did I miss anyone?

    "An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry." -T.S. Eliot

    by segmentis on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 08:42:23 PM PDT

  •  Good Diary but Old News (none)
    Pro-life activists have equated the abolitionist movement to the pro-life movement since the 1970s.

    What I found more newsworthy was the discussion on financing abortion for the poor.  I believe Jimmy Carter's position on the issue was the best and most respectful to all Americans.  Carter, a true Christian, is personally opposed to abortion but respected the law of the land as outlined in Roe v. Wade.  However, he cut off federal funding for abortions on moral grounds.  I don't know who or how the funding got restored after the Carter Admin.   And I don't understand the argument I hear that because abortion is a Constitutionally protected right that it should be federally financed.  Since when do private citizens get funded to exercise all their rights ?

    •  aoeu (none)
      Should the military fund abortions for service members?

      My turtles laughter
      was loud when the Yankees lost
      22 to zilch

      by TealVeal on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:05:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's classwarfare, Teal (4.00)
        Let's be honest. If Jenna Bush got knocked up and abortion was illegal in America, she would be flown on a private jet to Europe.

        Yet if a poor girl or middle class girl was in the same situation, she'd have the fetus removed with a coathanger by her uncle (who might've knocked her up in the first place.)

        If abortion is legal, it should be available to all. It's a brutal practice, one that turns my stomach. One that I hope we can one day make extremely rare.

        But it's unacceptable to allow class warfare hypocrisy that will put the lives of poor/middle class girls in danger.

        Caution! These are shark-infested waters! http://jayshark.blogspot.com

        by Jonathan4Dean on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:13:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hyperbole (none)
          Abortions are not expensive.  Only $300-500 in first trimester.  Hardly "class warfare" for people to pay for own.  
          •  You don't think that's expensive? (4.00)
            You think poor, working class, or even middle class women just have $300-500 just lying around?  Sofa change, perhaps?

            The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

            by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:31:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (none)
              What you don't think min wage earners can't spend 2.8-4.6% of their pretax yearly earnings on something like that?  or 3.2-5.4% of their post FICA take home yearly earnings?

              My turtles laughter
              was loud when the Yankees lost
              22 to zilch

              by TealVeal on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:39:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  500 dollars.... (4.00)
                I certainly don't have 500 dollars lying around, and I'm lower middle class.

                The point is, Republicans want abortion to be illegal, except when THEIR daughter is pregnant.

                When their daughter is pregnant, they will find a way to sneak out of the country and get the fetus safely disposed of.

                For a middle class family to do the same thing, it would require not only a 500 dollar abortion, but a round trip plane ticket, hotel accomodations, food, etc.

                Caution! These are shark-infested waters! http://jayshark.blogspot.com

                by Jonathan4Dean on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:49:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (none)
                good grief. a lot of women who get abortions are high-school age. $300-500 is a lot of money.
          •  That when they're legal. (none)
            .
          •  $300 (4.00)
            That's without anesthesia.

            And $300 is a fuck of a lot of money to most people.

            I had a $300 abortion when I was nineteen. Couldn't afford the anesthesia. It was -- bar none --  the most painful goddamned experience of my life. And that includes 8 hours of back labour 10 years later when I gave birth.

            There is one other not-so minor element to making abortion illegal: abortions obtained illegally generally are not followed up with the Rh test. My blood type is A negative. I had to get a shot after my abortion. I don't understand the science, but it boils down to this: if I hadn't had the shot, any future pregnancy carrying a child with a positive blood type would have resulted in the death of that child.

            Oh, the complexities of it all. I just LOVE it when MEN blithely consign an entire gender to the status of goddamned chattel because of a bullshit set of manufactured morals.

            Sorry. I'm pissed.

            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

            by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:51:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh my God. (4.00)
              I didn't even think that was possible.  Shit, I don't even know what to say to that, other than it was damned brave of you to share.

              I think I have to step away from the computer for a bit, too, because reading your story makes me angry.  You know, (and I apologize for the crass nature of the following comments) but people talk big shit with theoretical pregancies, but it all starts to change when all of a sudden it's your life you're talking about.  You best believe that if the Bush twits got pregnant, that shit "would be taken care of" with the quickness.

              You DO NOT know what the fuck you'd do if you're a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy.  Everybody has this rosy, Hallmark-card view of pregnancy, like every moment is easy and that's bullshit.

              OK, stepping away.  And I'll post in a more Kos-appropriate voice later.

              /rant.

              The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

              by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:52:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was raped. (4.00)
                I tried to have an abortion.  Couldn't because the clinic was surrounded by Operation Rescue protestors.  During the time I was pregnant, three arson attempts were made on the clinic.  It's the same clinic a priest drove a truck into and to which he took an axe.

                While I was pregnant, I went to another clinic, which I thought should have abortion services.  Instead, they gave me forms to sign up for welfare.  I didn't find out until years later that it was an "Operation Rescue" type clinic.

                To receive foodstamps and welfare assistance, I was required by the State of Ilinois to have paternity established, so that the state could collect child support from the putative father.

                I didn't realize that, in doing so, the state gave the father all the rights of any other father -- including the right to sue for custody of the child.

                For 10 years, this man tried to take my child away from me.  Both my daughter and I were subjected to psychological battering, and I was physically battered.  I received constant threats that my daughter would be taken away from me and that I would never see her again.

                When my daughter was six years old, the state served the father with papers to raise his child support payments.  I received a call at work from him:  he threatened me that if I had anything more to do with state public assistance that he would take my child away and I would never see her again.  I got into a car accident on the way home from work because I was so distressed that I could not concentrate on the road.  I totalled the car and had head & neck injuries.

                The closer I got to getting my college degree (which took 10 years, under the circumstances), the father tried harder.  He cut off child support and frequently failed to return my child from visitations.  Finally, my daughter and I were forced to move across the state line, because I could not get assistance from the law enforcement or the courts to stop him from battering us.  I moved to an area where there was a domestic violence intervention program.

                He then was able to file for custody.  The court awarded him custody.  He took my daughter and cut of all my communication with her.  No warning was given to my daughter that this would happen.

                Then, when she was 12, he managed to get a court order cutting off all my legal access to my girl.  I didn't have any communication with her for over two years.  Then, after a few brief contacts, I was cut off from her for another 3 years.  The father told me that I would never see her again until she was 18 because he had heard that my attorney didn't wear his wedding at a hearing.

                Last night was the first time my daughter has been in my home in five years.  She just got her driver's license a few years ago.  She is now 17.  I have lost seven years of her life.  As a mother and child, she and I were very, very close.

                Pro-life...right!  These are the kind of men who become rapists and batterers.  They want to control women and the women's children, no matter how much psychological damage these men do to them.

                It is an American value to care for each other.
                Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

                by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:00:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've been pg three times (none)
                The first time, I was 20 and knew the moment I found out that I would keep the baby. The second, I miscarried. My current pg (and the last one) was planned, wanted, etc. I am so looking forward to this child. Even when I was 20, and had my baby at 21, her presence in my life totally transformed me and while it was hard, it was worth it.

                HOWEVER....

                Pregnancy is not easy for me. I am in pain every day. The nausea is overwhelming sometimes. I am NOT one of those people who "glows"... there's a good reason there's almost 12 years between my kids, and why this child will be my last biological child. I have a clotting condition which is genetic, and increases my risk of life-threatening problems. My mother almost died on her last pg, twice, and miscarried.

                I would NEVER force anyone through this. Not ever. The only reason I go on from day to day is that I know the baby kicking in my belly will be a joy in my life for the rest of my life. I look at my 11-year-old and I know it's worth what I'm going through right now. I wanted her, and I want this baby, and you couldn't make me stay pregnant a day longer if I didn't want my children with my whole heart and soul.

                I've been involved in the birth "field" as an educator, writer and for part of the time, doula, for the past 10 years. So it's not lack of knowing how to cope with pg that makes it hard for me, it just is hard. There is nothing easy about this for me.

                I do not like abortion. I would not have an abortion. I'd rather other people didn't. But I can't imagine going through this process without having the "reward" at the end, and for someone who actively does not want a child and actively does not want to be pregnant, the baby is not a reward. I happen to adore babies and love mothering them. When I talk to women in crisis situations about pg, there has to be a balance of whether they can get their mind around parenting or whether they are going to resent every minute. If someone just can't figure out how they're going to "handle" it but is broken hearted at the idea of aborting their child, that person I will pour everything I can into helping them figure out how to make it work. But if they just flat out say, "I don't want a baby, I don't want to be pregnant, and it's not going to happen"... that's their thing, and not something I have a right to judge.

            •  thank you (none)
              for mentioning the anesthesia.  

              about five years ago, it cost $400 here in dallas for an abortion that included anesthesia.  if you pay for that option, you choose between two chemicals:  one that simply numbs the pain, and one that has the added bonus of an additive that gives you short-term memory loss so that you do not recall the specifics of the procedure at a later date.  regardless of which you choose, you are awake throughout the procedure - so when anesthetic is mentioned, realise we're not talking about being knocked out.  people may not realise that almost all women are awake/aware during their abortions, and i'm convinced that is the root of much of the psychological trauma associated with  having to make (and subsequently live with) that unfortunate choice.  

              i absolutely cannot fucking imagine what it would be like to go through the procedure without anesthetic.  that's simply cruel.  

              and i don't imagine that any poor woman could pull $400 out of her ass.  i was out of a job when i had my abortion, and the only thing that saved me from completely losing everything i had was the fact that i had a very caring partner (who is now my husband) who paid for the procedure and supported me for a month afterwards while i recovered and got another job.  

              i have seen the demographic surveys here on dailykos (thanks again JMS), and i think that many people here who are middle class or above may have forgotten what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck.  you can't be in that situation and pay for adequate healthcare, much less pull $400 out of your ass for an abortion.  outlawing the procedure would have devastating effects on poor families across the country.

              "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

              by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:38:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I have Rh neg too... (4.00)
              What happens is that in cases where, during birth or abortion or miscarriage, the baby's blood gets into the mother's bloodstream for any reason (more common with abortion or medical birth, but possible any time there is bleeding in pregnancy), the blood of an Rh+ baby can trigger the production of antibodies in an Rh- mother. Rhogam, which is basically Rh gamma globin, "mops up" all the rh + blood cells in the maternal blood stream and prevents sensitization. It works quite well at preventing future problems.

              In a normal birth, even in an Rh negative mother, the rate of sensitization is not all that high. But in an abortion, the process is pretty invasive and depending on what stage the pg is at, risk is not insignificant.

              There is not a guarantee of problems without the shot, but there is a possibility.

              What happens in Rh disease? Not a lot for the mother...but subsequent pregnancies with Rh+ babies can cause extensive destruction of the baby's blood, and it can be fatal for the baby. There are new therapies which can mitigate this, but Rhogam has made Rh sensitization very rare.

              The big problem? Rhogam is expensive. I had bleeding this pg, and needed a shot, and it falls under the category of "therepeutic injection" on my insurance and thus is under the deductable, which means that after the insurance write-off, we're still paying about $100 for the shot. And abortion providers pass this cost on directly to the client.

          •  maybe they (none)
            could put on Lay-a-way

            This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

            by Genf on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:53:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That $3-500 is quite prohibitive (4.00)
            to poor people.

            Once again, I want to point out that you can't get an abortion in 87% of the counties in the US as it is.  So also factor in the problem of getting there.

          •  Having been a welfare mother (4.00)
            I can tell you that $300 can put something completely out of reach for someone who is struggling to come up with the money to buy toilet paper each month. When I was on welfare, my total monthly income was $395, plus $50 child support pass through, plus $200 food stamps. $200 was rent, for a single room for my daughter and myself. A good chunk went to maintaining my then-15-year-old Honda, and I was lucky to have that car. Add to that expenses for my daughter's clothing, etc. and there was little left over. I was so paranoid about getting pg as a single, low income mom that I ended up being celibate for 5+ years. And I had no real vices, unless you consider buying fabric a vice. For someone who has been smoking since age 14, any and all discretionary income is going into that. And someone who is in an addiction is a hell of a lot more likely to be in a situation where unplanned pregnancy is possible or likely.

            I was one of the lucky ones--I had the support of my family. It buffered me against a whole lot. Imagine, though, if I'd had to rent at market rates...two people in my family have, in the past few years, paid $350/mo to rent a room in a house, that's the going rate around here. Plug that number into the welfare equation and you get no discretionary income, and if one has a credit card, one won't for long, because the balance will go in the wrong direction every single month.

            I remember when a broken seatbelt or engine problem could put me into a complete panic. $300 for an abortion? Yeah, I probably could have done it, but I was one of the "lucky" ones.

            Until you've spent a year living on less than $500 per month with no help from anyone, don't presume to judge what is and is not affordable.

      •  bwahahahaha (none)
        "Republicans: Saving you from abortion for the death penelty or the draft."
      •  If Medically Necessary... (none)
        ...I think the military should fund.  Otherwise, it's an elective procedure and the service gal (and/or the baby's father) should pay for it.
        •  aoeu (none)
          Even if the girl is raped?

          My turtles laughter
          was loud when the Yankees lost
          22 to zilch

          by TealVeal on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:26:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Would Make An Exception... (none)
            ...for funding under those circumstances
            •  aoeu (none)
              And other non elective abortions I presume?  "Life of the mother" ones.  The problem is that now even if you think abortion is murder you've ceded the moral argument.

              Should the military stop funding of all elective medical procedures?

              My turtles laughter
              was loud when the Yankees lost
              22 to zilch

              by TealVeal on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:36:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I Thought it Would Be Obvious to You... (none)
                ...that "medically necessary" would include saving the life of the mother.   No one advocates forcing a woman to die as a result of preganancy.  Even though I'm pro-life, I would "cede" on funding for military rape victims, as the woman is a crime victim.  As Sen. Kerry said last night, forming policy on the issue "is not that simple" and playing "gotcha" on either side is disingenuous.

                As for funding other elective procedures, it would depend on the operation.  I could see how elective vision correction surgery could have benefits to military.  However, there are a LOT of elective procedures that would have no benefit.  I'm sure you don't need me to list.

                •  Terminating a pregnacy (4.00)
                  would also have benefits to the military.

                  If a woman is not prepared to parent a child that would take a toll on her performance as soldier.

                  I agree with Kerry he has no right to enforce his morality on other persons...that alone is why I think pro-life is a farce. How can a person who has never met me, make that descion for me to keep a pregnancy and to raise a human being for the rest on my life...it is absurd.

                  BTW I read somewhere that the US military has one of the highest incidence of single mothers than any other branch of government.

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:50:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  so... (none)
                  ...you'd be okay with your tax dollars going to an elisted female if she is raped, yet you would not support your tax dollars going to any other woman's abortion?

                  "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

                  by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:00:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Ceding the moral argument (none)
                This has always been my position: Either it's murder or it's not. If it is, then you can only abort for the life of the mother. If it's not, anything goes.

                If a woman is raped or the victim of incest, and becomes pregnant, and we accept that abortion is murder (and quite frankly, past 6-7 weeks I believe it is), then we cannot allow abortion for rape or incest. It's not the unborn child's fault it came into being in the way it did.

                Making exceptions is basically saying, well, it's murder, but it's acceptable murder in these situations. Making murder acceptable under any situation is a pretty horrifying prospect.

                (And before you jump me, please bear in mind that while I hold this strong belief I do not support legislating it--in fact I'm strongly opposed to legislating it. It's my personal feeling, and legislating based on personal feeling isn't a very good idea.

                (I saw my oldest daughter for the first time when she was a little 8-week-old fetus. She was waving her little arm and leg buds like mad and the tech said, that baby's doing jumping jacks. The whole time I carried her she jumped and bumped; my tummy looked like JiffyPop. Josie is now a funny, adorable, smart, gap-toothed, overly energetic 7 year old girl and has never stopped jumping up and down from that day to this except to sleep. She has always been who she is, from the moment I first saw her on that screen.)

                •  That is not morality but your opinion (none)
                  I just watched a BBC documentary about preemies...and how doctors are beginning to think twice about saving 23, 24 and 25 week old births.

                  The Netherlands have decided not to use intensive care to save these babies...they have found that the majority will have moderate to profound learning and physical disabilities. The quality of life is not worth afterwards is not worth saving them. They also note that these children are abandon by the state once they are out of hospital and no one is willing to enact provisions where they are cared for for the rest of their lives.

                  Here is a situation where they are letting die late term fetouses...they feel that this is the moral thing to do.

                  I am happy that you are happy with your choice and I am happy that other women are happy to have the choice.

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:12:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again (none)
                    It's absolutely my personal feelings, I've said so already. Personal feelings should not be legislated. I know my feelings are very unpopular on both sides of the debate (very pro-life and very pro-choice at the same time) and I accept that I'll take a lot of criticism for it.

                    But I'm talking about abortion, not preemies. There comes a point when extreme heroic measures to save a very very premature child are not in anyone's best interests including the child's. We have a pretty good idea what's in store for babies born at the edge of viability (and whether to take heroic measures is between the parents and the medical team). When a fetus is aborted electively we don't know what its outcome would have been otherwise.

                    Despite my own feelings on the matter I have given friends and family members my unconditional support and love regardless what choice they've made; universally they've chosen differently than I would have, and we are still friends and family. Any time I have been asked for advice--asked, mind you, otherwise I say nothing--I have said my piece, offered to take the child myself and then said no more on it but offered all the help I could give regardless of the choice.

                    I have never condemned another woman for an abortion and never would. I feel what I feel, and I know what I know, and that's all I know. I don't know anything about being anyone else.

                •  Either murder or not . . . (4.00)
                  Posing an either-or about this is not helpful. Because, maybe it's neither. An embryo, a fetus, is alive, but is it a human being? It is a potential human being. An acorn is not a tree. You don't say you cut down an oak when you stepped on an acorn. Everyone would recognize that as an absurdity or a grandiosity.  But we can't seem to keep the complexity when abortion is the issue. It's not murder, it's abortion, and there's a difference, the difference between a baby that is viable (that is, has all organs and brain fully formed) and the embryonic or fetal stage of human development. This isn't  "splitting hairs"; it's science. Unfortunately, the moral issues of abortion can not be reduced to a simple "either-or." You can't just go on automatic and say, "X is the truth, ergo this is the moral decision." (As in, "it's murder, hence no abortion," or "it's not murder, therefore abort at any time." Once we understand, as we once did in this country, that the fetus only gradually becomes a functioning human, it becomes a truly difficult decision as to when abortion is acceptable, but a decision that can be made.
                  •  I actually agree with this more than not (none)
                    Where I fall on the side of not aborting is the issue of viability. For me the issue is not whether the baby can survive outside the mother as a test of its humanity. An acorn is not an oak, but a seedling is. A 15-week-old fetus is more than potential even though it cannot survive on its own.

                    Honestly, I don't advocate restrictions on abortion. I like the saying "legal and rare." I prefer to focus on more proactive measures that make the rare part more likely, such as political, financial and social support for single mothers, open adoption,  birth control initiatives, prenatal care and the like. The more we focus on that, the lower the abortion rates go. And everyone wants that.

                •  Well when your daughter is raped, (none)
                  and she wants an abortion, because she doesn't have to deal with the psychological damage that will happen to both her and her child by the trauma of knowing that the man who raped her is the father, and you watch both of them develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and maybe commit suicide...

                  ...just remember that you are not pro-life.  You are just delaying death until such a time as you won't feel responsible for it.

                  It is an American value to care for each other.
                  Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

                  by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:16:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  IF one of my daughters is raped... (none)
                    ...and surely you're not advocating such a thing because I am personally anti-abortion...and surely you might see what a completely horrible thing that is to say...

                    ...it would be HER CHOICE what to do about it. Not mine. I would be here for her to talk to, offer advice IF ASKED, and support her through whatever decision she made.

                    And I would hope that if she chose to terminate it would happen very early. I don't believe life starts at conception (and never said that). But I do believe that it starts before birth. And my beliefs + $3.25 = 1 large mocha.

                    Right now my daughters are 3.5 and 7. I haven't even broached the subject of abortion with them, though they both have a general idea where babies come from with information appropriate to their age (Lou, the little one, knows babies grow inside the mama. Josie, the older one, knows the daddy is involved somehow but hasn't quite figured out the specifics.) When they ask me questions, I answer them matter-of-factly and with as much detail as they've asked for. I'm about as sex-positive a person as I know.

                    When we get to the whole abortion discussion, I will tell them what I believe and let them decide for themselves; by that time they'll be old enough to do that.

                    My personal stand has always been: Don't approve of abortion? Don't get one. That's a bumper sticker I took to heart. What others decide is up to them.

            •  Does she have to PROVE (4.00)
              that it was rape?

              Or will a simple affirmation do?

              (Think about it...)

              O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

              by ogre on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:01:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not Too Complicated (none)
                If the rape allegations are disproven after the military paid for an abortion, then the woman should have to repay the expenses.  Such a policy would prevent false charges for purposes of getting funding.
                •  Investigating (none)
                  Would cost more than the procedure.

                  O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

                  by ogre on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:38:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Any Allegation That Serious... (none)
                    ...would have to get investigated anyway.  If a woman steps forward and brings charges which is traumatic enough, no need to require "proof" just for purposes of forwarding relatively small amount for costs.
                    •  Dude... (4.00)
                      the way you are dancing around all these complexities is almost farcical. You're trying to find a justification for maintaining your so-called "pro-life" stance AND retaining your right to think of yourself as compassionate and liberal and reasonable.

                      It WON'T WASH. The ramifications of what you are suggesting put an UNDUE BURDEN on the woman. Not only is she raped, but she has to go through another rape at the hands of a system that has now put a monetary price on her being able to prove the rape.

                      WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT.

                      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                      by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:57:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You're not thinking this through (none)
                      A woman comes forward, pregnant.  

                      She affirms that she was raped.  She admits she didn't report it, she was just so freaked out that she didn't.

                      A friend affirms that she was told about the rape at the time, but couldn't persuade her friend to report it....

                      She's 6 weeks pregnant.  She says she missed her period and just kept praying that she was late...

                      There will be no physical evidence.  She says she didn't recognize her attacker.

                      Your investigation will look at what?

                      It's an absurd system that you're proposing.  It would be a snap to game it.  And people would.  Why create systems that beg people to lie and cheat?

                      O it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant--Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II

                      by ogre on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:56:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This post is obviously being made by someone... (none)
                      ...who has neither experience with rape on a personal level nor experience with dealing with rape cases in any legal capacity.  Try not to be too hard on them.
                •  Now you are sounding like the mullahs (4.00)
                  Rape is only prosecuted in Ilam when there are FOUR witnesses (male of course).

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:52:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  funding abortion? (4.00)
                    tell you what:

                    when health insurance plans stop paying for Viagra, they can stop paying for abortions.

                    If you think the Rethugs care about actual living people, consider that they OPPOSE funding planned parenthood programs (except when planning = abstinence).  Their motto:  keep 'em ignorant, pregnant, barefoot and under control.

                  •  Actually you don't need 4 MALE witnesses (none)
                    That's some American made-up crap.

                    In Islam, you need 3 witnesess.  Now as far as their gender is concerned, 2 women = 1 man.  As an American AND as a opinionated woman, that smarts.  I asked in Sunday school why is that and it all boils down to menstruation.  This is also why women don't pray or fast while on their periods.  Oddly enough, this is also why you don't see many female sushi chefs, but that's another subject.  

                    Basically, there are ony 2 weeks out of a month that a woman is hormonally balanced.  Those other 2 weeks, her perception of what was said/done and what was meant by those actions may be affected by these hormones.  That is why 2 women are needed.  It's kinda like a back-up system.  

                    Now, not just any old man will do.  If there was a male witness, but he was known to be a drugged up, pedophile thief, he's not going to be taken at face value.

                    Now, I'll probably get some crap for this, but this is what the Qu'ran and Hadiths say.  What is actually practiced is different depending on what country you're in.  I just feel that everyone deserves the right to know the facts.

                     

                    If you repeat a lie, it becomes your truth. And if you repeat a lie often enough, you become a Republican. - Betty Bowers

                    by fabooj on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:23:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The facts (4.00)
                      link

                      The Hudud Bill drafted by the Terengganu state government constitutes a gross violation of the principles of justice and equality in Islam.

                      Under this Bill, a woman who reports she has been raped will be charged for qazaf (slanderous accusation) and flogged 80 lashes if she is unable to prove the rape.

                      An unmarried woman who is pregnant is assumed to have committed zina, even if she has been raped.

                      A woman cannot be a witness.

                      It is perverse that the drafters of this bill should regard rape as a woman's defence against prosecution for zina rather than as a violent and serious crime against women. It is even more unjust that the bill places the burden of proof of rape squarely on the woman's shoulders and will flog her 80 lashes if she does not provide clear proof of the rape.

                      The victim's police report of rape is then taken as a confession of illicit sex in these countries. Judges have concluded that the intercourse therefore had the consent of the victim and found the rape victim guilty of zina, while the alleged rapist is released for lack of evidence. In some cases, the rape victim is also found guilty of qazaf because she could not produce the four male witnesses to prove rape and therefore has slandered the alleged rapist's good name. The only way a rapist can be convicted under this so-called Hudud law is through a confession, which, in any case, he can withdraw at any time later.

                      These irrational provisions that discriminate against women are man-made innovations; there are no such provisions in the Qur'an and authentic hadith. On the contrary, the Qur'anic provisions are very protective of women.

                      The requirement of (at least) four witnesses that is provided for in the literal meaning of Surah An-Nur 24 : 4 was specially revealed to protect women from slander and casual accusations of zina, not to protect men from charges of rape :

                      And those [masculine plural] who launch a charge against chaste women [muhsanat-feminine plural], and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations) - flog them [masculine plural] with eighty stripes and reject their [masculine plural] evidence ever after; for such men are wicked transgressors

                      This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                      by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:56:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thank you. (none)
                        My point still remains that these laws are made by the state.

                        If you repeat a lie, it becomes your truth. And if you repeat a lie often enough, you become a Republican. - Betty Bowers

                        by fabooj on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:11:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  My instant response to that... (4.00)
                      Oh yeah? Well, with all that testosterone, men are hormonally unbalanced every day of the year.

                      What a load of... excuse me. I was about to use language I just don't use. (Hanging out on these here internets sure is corrupting me.)

                      If a landslide falls in the bit bucket... was there an election?

                      by Canadian Reader on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:04:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hey, I don't make the rules... (none)
                        I'm just saying what I was taught growing up and what I read.

                        I've never thought that ALL men were balanced.  You should have seen the overly hormonal guys I went to school with.  LOL!  

                        If you repeat a lie, it becomes your truth. And if you repeat a lie often enough, you become a Republican. - Betty Bowers

                        by fabooj on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:38:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I know you don't make the rules. (none)
                          My indignation was not directed at you, but rather, at the infuriating male assumption that because of our reproductive apparatus, women are flighty and unbalanced, thus not to be trusted.

                          So. Does a post-menopausal woman count equal to a man as a witness, then? Surely we ought to count for double, compared to those hormone-tortured young men, who are thinking of nothing but their intense desire to get laid.

                          I'm kidding. Point is, men and women are in fact equally reliable, and equally unreliable, as witnesses.

                          If a landslide falls in the bit bucket... was there an election?

                          by Canadian Reader on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 08:06:51 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  so should she also pay for prenatal and delivery? (none)
      •  Health care pick-n-choose (none)
        Does the military fund Viagra for service members?
    •  I believe you're referring to the Hyde Amendment (none)
      And that's still very much a legislative reality.

      The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

      by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:44:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well There You Go... (none)
        Poor women haven't stopped having abortions since 1975.  I've never even heard of anyone who said she was forced to have a baby or got an illegal abortion because she couldn't afford to pay for one.

        Sure, abortion is a right.  But with rights, come responsibilities.  And paying for an abortion is not an undue burden inhibiting anyone's rights.

        •  I think you miss the point. (4.00)
          The Hyde amendment has nothing to do with how other people feel about abortion--there are LOTS of things the government funds that I think are morally repugnant--but rather, everything to do with placing a barrier to drive or curb behavior.   I don't have to own a home, but the government offers incentives for me to do so because they want to encourage that behavior.  John Kerry wants to close tax loopholes that offer incentives to companies exporting jobs, to curb that behavior.

          What you advocate is a barrier to prevent  low-income women to have abortions.  The barrier means that some might, but a lot won't--and that's the point.

          I'd also respectfully ask you to clarify what "with rights come responsibilities" means to you. When I hear that, it sounds to me like it's code for, "pregnancy is your punishment for being an immoral hussy/slut/whore."  I don't know if that's what you mean, but unfortunately, I know that's the opinion of far too many people. I've heard that sentiment more times than I can count.

          The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

          by AuntiePeachy on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:41:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreee that Many Morally Repugnant Activities... (none)
            ...need to lose their government funding.  The missile systems, the funding of repressive governments throughout the world, the subsidizing of big business to exploit environment, are all among many things that I don't want government spending money on.  I feel the same about abortion.  And I think there are many people like myself who accept that abortion is legal, but just don't believe it's something government should fund on a moral basis.  Cutting off funding is obviously not a curb on behavior so that's not the incentive.  And I truly believe the cost of paying for an abortion is low enough such that it's not a barrier so the policy impedes no one's rights.  

            I'd also respectfully ask you to clarify what "with rights come responsibilities" means to you.  When I hear that, it sounds to me like it's code for, "pregnancy is your punishment for being an immoral hussy/slut/whore."

            I don't think of pregnancy as a bad thing.  It's often unexpected and far less "planned" than popularly believed but I don't ever think of it as a 'punishment.'  If a woman wants to terminate her pregnancy with an abortion, I think that's unfortunate but we are a nation of laws, and that's her right.  I just don't see how a woman exercising that right somehow "deserves" to be federally-financed.  It's her responsibility.

            Your house example is a good one.  The courts ruled that racially restrictive deed covenants are illegal, and fair housing laws were enacted to end discriminatory practices.  However, the right to live where I want doesn't mean I also have the "right" to be subsidized by the government to purchase a home.

            •  Can you at least see that (4.00)
              the the majority of women needing a subsidized abortion are the very women who could least afford raising a child.

              I doubt if Jemma or Barbara Bush would need financial assistance in getting an abortion but a 24 year old mother working at MacDonalds who already has two children would be in the greatest need of assistance. So your argument would hurt those who need it most, therefore your moral standard becomes immoral.

              This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

              by Genf on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:49:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There Are Better Choices (none)
                I'd much rather use federal funds to help lift more poor children out of poverty than to finance terminating pregnancies.
                •  Who the hell are you??? (none)
                  tell you what...open up your door and let all of these women you would force to not to terminate their pregancies drop their babies off on your doorstep.

                  Then you can play god, and raise them yourself for the rest of their lives.

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:00:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Clinton (none)
                  is the one who changed welfare as we know it.

                  The Repubs nor the DLC shitheads give a shit about children...they are both now in cahoots in trying to destroy Headstart...so I am very wary that even the Dems will propose helping children.

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:00:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I Guess You Forgot... (none)
                    ...that Clinton came out of the DLC.

                    And I'm sure you were using the same ad hominem attacks against people who wanted welfare reform back then.

                    •  So where is the money going to come from? (none)
                      Are you going to personally take responsiblity for these unwanted children?

                      ... I didn't think so.

                      It is mush easier to not to practice what you preach.

                      The only way your argument could be taken seriousely is if you personally took on the responsibility of raising these children for the rest of their lives...because that is exactly what you would like to enforce on women who want abortions.

                      Funny how people's personal morality stops just short of their personal responsiblity.

                      This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                      by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:51:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  aoeu (none)
                        "Their moral values stop short of their monetary values."

                        Sums up the description of those who oppose universal health care for all children. (not saying GP is one of those)

                        My turtles laughter
                        was loud when the Yankees lost
                        22 to zilch

                        by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:54:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You Must Be Plagiarizing Your Posts... (none)
                        ...from the Freeper or some other conservative blog.   Because you sound just like them.

                        "Use your own bleeding heart money to help people...NOT MY TAXES...and if you're not personally willing to shell out your liberal cash for all the charities you want...then you're a hypocrite about all the government programs you want !!"

                        Yup.  You'd fit right in.

                        •  I want gov't monies to pay for abortions (none)
                          you do not...so it is you who sounds like the freeper.

                          I was talking about personal responsibilty...People like you seem to think that your job is done if a woman carries to term and you give her a few WIC vouchers. My point is that you are forcing a woman to care for a child for a minimum of 18 years...

                          So you can take your fucking librul food stamps and shove them up your high and mighty moral ass.

                          Trolls are those who resort to calling people trolls when they don't have a logical argument.

                          This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                          by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 04:20:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well Too Damn Bad ! (none)
                            Because no fed'l gov't money is going for it.

                            And if you think the world is so horrible because of that, then YOU take YOUR money and pay for all the abortions you want since that's your standard of 'responsibility'...and until then, YOU stop your bitching, whining, moaning, and crying.

                            Furthermore, I'll compare my annual contributions to charities helping the poor next to yours anyday.

                            P.S. You sound like a miserable person.

                          •  You sound like and ignorant person (none)
                            You would rather force these poor women into having children that they obviously don't want nor have the ability to take care of...because you feel moral.

                            However, when challenge to do exactly what you want enforced on them ---which is to raise a child for at least 18 years---suddenly your conviction about your so-called morality falters.

                            That is at the bottom of the anti-choice campaign a lot high minded hypocrits who would enforce a burden on a woman that they themselves would not shoulder...Moral my ass...

                            This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                            by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 04:39:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who's the freeper???? (none)
                            YOU take YOUR money and pay for all the abortions you want since that's your standard of 'responsibility'...and until then, YOU stop your bitching, whining, moaning, and crying.

                            sounds a lot like...

                            /"Use your own bleeding heart money to help people...NOT MY TAXES...and if you're not personally willing to shell out your liberal cash for all the charities you want...then you're a hypocrite about all the government programs you want !!"....

                            This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                            by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 05:05:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Keep your money (none)
                            Women around the world are dying and unwanted children are being killed daily because a few assholes feel the need to play GOD with womens bodies...

                            ...paying to cleanse your conscientous doesn't help these women...so keep your money and play god someplace else

                            This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                            by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 05:44:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Abortion is not a morally repugnant activity (4.00)
              It is morally repugnant to try to control the lives of others.  You nor anyone else have the right to dictate to a woman when, where or if she'll carry a pregnancy to term.

              And I truly believe the cost of paying for an abortion is low enough such that it's not a barrier so the policy impedes no one's rights.  

              $300 not a lot of money?  You and I both know that you know better.  If you are one paycheck away from poverty, then you know it's a lot of money.  And you know that there are more folks in that "one paycheck" category than not.

              I don't think of pregnancy as a bad thing. It's often unexpected and far less "planned" than popularly believed but I don't ever think of it as a 'punishment.' (Emphasis mine).

              I agree that pregnancy is often unexpected and unplanned--and that's insane.  Every child should be a wanted child.  And to pretend that pregnancy and child-raising is not burdensome is laughable.    You could love your children to pieces but not want another one.  Not every pregnancy follows the script from "A Baby Story."

              The courts ruled that racially restrictive deed covenants are illegal, and fair housing laws were enacted to end discriminatory practices.  However, the right to live where I want doesn't mean I also have the "right" to be subsidized by the government to purchase a home.  

              Yes, but again: the government is using its power to influence behavior.  For example, a state government may take a strong anti-discrimination stance for its hiring practices.  Now businesses don't have to follow suit in issuing such a stance, but that state government is making clear what's acceptable behavior and what isn't.  

              The Hyde Amendment does just that, and will pick on a despised population that can't fight back--poor women.  A pregnant low-income woman just can't win since she's despised for having sex, having an abortion, or having a child.  

              Finally, I think your declaration of responsibility is interesting.  No one, and I mean no one, ever talks that way about men exercising sexual responsibility beyond "keep it covered."  I'll never forget this line found in a Salon.com article--which incidentally, is about a campaign to curb supposedly grown-ass males from having sex with teenagers:

              Dr. Rev. Darius Beechaum, who runs a men's support group (and provides individual counseling for men) in Richmond thinks Virginia's statutory rape campaign is a positive effort, but questions the heavy focus on male responsibility. Sex with a minor is a topic that occasionally comes up in his groups, he says. "You have these younger ladies that look older, act older, say that they're older. The attitude expressed by men in my group is, if she looks the age, then I guess she is."

              The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

              by AuntiePeachy on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:32:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re: Abortion is not a morally repugnant activity (none)
                Abortion is not a morally repugnant activity

                We obviously have different standards of morality. No need to go any further here.

                You nor anyone else have the right to dictate to a woman when, where or if she'll carry a pregnancy to term

                A woman has those rights.  There is NOTHING in the Constitution that says society is obligated to pay for her to exercise those rights.

                $300 not a lot of money?  You and I both know that you know better.  If you are one paycheck away from poverty, then you know it's a lot of money

                People sacrifice, prioritize and get the money.  I know poor people who have and I know that you know people who have too.

                I agree that pregnancy is often unexpected and unplanned--and that's insane.  Every child should be a wanted child

                I think you and everyone else who believes unexpected and unplanned pregnancies are insane (emphasis mine) should go ask your mothers whether their pregnancies with you were planned, expected or even wanted.  And if you get honest answers, MANY of you will be either  surprised or think you grew up in an asylum.

                Finally, I think your declaration of responsibility is interesting.  No one, and I mean no one, ever talks that way about men exercising sexual responsibility beyond "keep it covered."

                Maybe you never heard of the Million Man March.

                •  aoeu (none)
                  Are you opposed to public defenders?

                  My turtles laughter
                  was loud when the Yankees lost
                  22 to zilch

                  by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:51:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Public Defenders are in the Constitution (none)
                    Right here in the Sixth Amendment:

                    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

                    •  aoeu (none)
                      There is nothing in there about being provided a public defender.  That says he can have a lawyer.  Not a public one.

                      My turtles laughter
                      was loud when the Yankees lost
                      22 to zilch

                      by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 04:31:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Logical Extension (none)
                        There is a long (and oft ignored) series of cases in English and American jurisprudence that tells us that justice should not depend on the ability to buy it.

                        Once upon a time, the Bar took responsibility for assuring that all defendants had a defense.

                        George Bush is suffering chronic mendacity syndrome.

                        by freelunch on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:11:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  This has been interesting (4.00)
                  A few more points.

                  We obviously have different standards of morality. No need to go any further here.  

                  On this subject, we do.  I'm not sure if "different" in your estimation means that your standard is superior to mine, but I'll just take it on face value.  

                  People sacrifice, prioritize and get the money.  You just proved my point--that people sometimes successfully scramble to get money only bolsters it.

                  I think you and everyone else who believes unexpected and unplanned pregnancies are insane (emphasis mine) should go ask your mothers whether their pregnancies with you were planned, expected or even wanted.

                  Funny you say go ask your mothers...perhaps they should go ask their fathers.  But I digress.  Since when do you continue to do something just because it was done that way in the past?  Not every tradition is a healthy one.  It's because our mothers know the consequences that they don't want to see their daughters repeat them. My Mom married my Dad at 18 and they still have a strong marriage (they're in their early 60s).  However, my parents never encouraged me to do the same. (BTW, I DO know the circumstances around my birth.  It was positive--but that's personal.  I will reveal, however, that it's damned funny!)

                  Maybe you never heard of the Million Man March.

                  Which has nothing to do with the fact that no one is out there advocating male sexual abstinence because male sexuality isn't what "should" be controlled--it's women's.

                  But since you mention MMM--yes, I was there.  I didn't listen to that psuedo-nationalist crap about staying home with the children...in my case, the cats.  Guess I was disobedient.

                  Hubby had issues about the vaunted leadership, but decided to attend anyway.  I remember the day...it was an intensely beautiful autumn one, bursting with color and sunshine.  I worked in the Capitol at the time, so I had a great view.  And I remember all the gorgeous men there (though not more gorgeous than mine) who were incredibly friendly and kind.  Of course, I never expected less.  I did, however, call my single girlfriends and told them to come over, quick.  ;<)

                  In any case, MMM hasn't aged well.  But hubby got a great picture with his Dad and cousin out of it.

                  The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

                  by AuntiePeachy on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:27:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Interesting Indeed (none)
                    I'm not sure if "different" in your estimation means that your standard is superior to mine, but I'll just take it on face value.

                    I cast no aspersions.

                    Funny you say go ask your mothers...perhaps they should go ask their fathers

                    True enough.

                    Not every tradition is a healthy one.

                    Actually, women in late teens and early 20s getting married and having children has always been the norm in all cultures throughout the world.  Women waiting until near menopause to marry and have kids is a recent phenomenom.  I don't know if either is 'healthier.'

                    It's because our mothers know the consequences that they don't want to see their daughters repeat them

                    Understandable.  I think the focus should be on making 'consequences' less dire, so that a young woman having an unplanned child does not necessarily equate to poverty.

                    And I remember all the gorgeous men there (though not more gorgeous than mine) who were incredibly friendly and kind.  Of course, I never expected less.

                     ;-)  

                    I'm sure we have many commonalities but I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree.  I can respect your opinion but mine is different.  

                •  disgusting (none)
                  where are you coming from with your comments about money here?

                  have you ever lived paycheck to paycheck, and if you have, did you forget what it was like?  have you ever had to make a decision between paying rent on time and juggling your bills?  ever had to stand in line for eight hours at a free clinic because your part time job doesn't give you health benefits?  ever had to use WIC or food stamps, or medicare?  

                  you don't have any idea what it is like to live poor - and especially female - in america do you?  i can't believe that you can't even show a bit of empathy for the situation that poor women find themselves in when they face an unplanned pregnancy.  speaking as someone who's been there, i'm so offended by your comments that i can't even articulate it.

                  "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

                  by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:49:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re: Disgusting (none)
                    have you ever lived paycheck to paycheck, and if you have, did you forget what it was like?

                    Yes, and no.

                    have you ever had to make a decision between paying rent on time and juggling your bills?

                    yes.

                    ever had to stand in line for eight hours at a free clinic because your part time job doesn't give you health benefits?

                    Yes.  I've been there countless times, including with brothers and mother. A family affair.

                    ever had to use WIC or food stamps

                    no, briefly

                    or medicare?

                    not myself...but based on experience of family using Medicare, you can get better Medicare service if you have very aggressive family members asserting rights with doctors and admin.

                    you don't have any idea what it is like to live poor

                    you're quite presumptuous, actually obnoxious

                    speaking as someone who's been there, i'm so offended by your comments that i can't even articulate it.

                    then don't.

                    •  if you have been there... (none)
                      ....then i do not understand who you can say that a poor person can pull three or four hundred dollars out of their ass to pay for an abortion.  that is simply not realistic in many many cases!

                      i asked you those questions because your comments earlier made me think that maybe you hadn't walked in a poor person's shoes.  you say you have; so show some compassion.  

                      and thanks for the name-calling.  that really raises the level of dialogue.

                      "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

                      by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:10:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  and way to twist my words. (none)
                      i never said flat out that you'd never been poor. i asked if you had.  

                      i'm sorry, but your level of sheer insensitivity on this subject - as demonstrated in your reply to me and several commenters upthread - has my head spinning.  

                      "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

                      by anna on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:29:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  WOW. (4.00)
          I've never even heard of anyone who said she was forced to have a baby or got an illegal abortion because she couldn't afford to pay for one.

          Well, I guess since YOU'VE never heard of it, it's NEVER HAPPENED.

          I'm walking away from the computer now. My fury has gone past the Rubicon and I do not want to type anything else that might cause me to have to return later and apologize.

          I hate apologizing for my emotional reactions in a situation where I am RIGHT.

          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

          by Maryscott OConnor on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:00:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You ARE right, BTW (none)

            Your comments are dead on, and the argument that someone who obviously opposes abortion "hadn't heard" of this happening is clearly bullshit. I mean, it's already a personal and private issue for the woman involved, and one of the hardest decisions she can make. And what, if she makes that decision and then can't afford it, she's going to to aroung telling people?

            ...people who might call her a "baby killer"?

            Thank you, Maryscott, for your rage. It is more than appropriate when confronted with outrageous statements.

            --Kynn

          •  go ahead Maryscott (4.00)
            unload ... that kind of arrogant disregard for women's rights, bodies and experience makes me ashamed to have a penis sometimes.

            HOW DARE SOMEONE ASSUME THAT A WOMAN FACING THAT CHOICE ISN'T TAKING RESPONSIBILITY?!?!

            Hasn't heard of it because his head's up his ass.

            "Don't judge men's wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance." - Benjamin Franklin

            by Madman in the marketplace on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:27:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Maryscott, there are a lot of people (4.00)
            who have this kind of vasolene on the lens tinted view of reproduction.  They are unable to comprehend that some problems have no acceptable solutions, and that in those circumstances life goes on and people have to make choices between unacceptable solutions.

            It's a kind of hand waving, pin dancing display that doesn't acknowledge the reality that we humans lead messy, complicated, imperfect lives and that they should be embarrassed to think they have a place at the table when someone is having to make a decision like this.

          •  Thank you, Maryscott. (none)
            I wanted to respond to that statement, but words failed me.  You said it well.

            No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.--Teddy Roosevelt

            by Leslie in CA on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:22:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have (4.00)
          I know many woman who ended up having the babies because they could not scratch up the money in time...which leads to the obvious...if they can not afford 300 dollars for an abortion why would you want to force them to have a child they can't afford BEFORE it was even born.

          I have known women to resort to archaic herbal remedies to end their pregnancies.

          It amazes me the audacity on men to question women about their bodies. It was only recently that doctors concluded that yes indeed women felt pain during their periods. BEfore that  because MALE doctors could not find a scientific cause for the alleged pain they deemed that it was all in the woman's head. It wasn't until women entered into medicine in large enough numbers that women's medical concerns where taken more seriousely.

          During the debate they found some woman to ask the abortion question...I guess Bush did not want another picture like he took with all middle aged white men as he signed the partial birth ban.

          This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

          by Genf on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:14:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Before... and after... with Bushco (4.00)
            BEfore that  because MALE doctors could not find a scientific cause for the alleged pain they deemed that it was all in the woman's head.

            This is the administration that has tried to reverse time. An example is Hager's appointment to the FDA.

            An excerpt here from Maureen Dowd, [The New York Times, October 9, 2002]. Clues to the deep body of knowledge called the Hager method of birth control, aka "Please God, please. Don't let me be pregnant."

            >With his wife, Linda, he wrote "Stress and the Woman's Body," which puts "an emphasis on the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one's life" and recommends Scripture readings to treat headaches (Matthew 13:44-46); eating disorders (Corinthians II, 10:2-5) and premenstrual syndrome (Romans 5:1-11, "Tribulation worketh patience.")

            To exorcise affairs, the Hagers suggest a spiritual exercise: "Picture Jesus coming into the room. He walks over to you and folds you gently into his arms. He tousles your hair and kisses you gently on the cheek. . . . Let this love begin to heal you from the inside out."<  

            I don't know about you, but this fantasizing about Jesus thang does nothing for me. Perhaps Hager has some homoerotic issues.

            I would think that the anti-choice fanatics would support access to birth control -- but given that that it isn't the case, it is clear that the real agenda is the oppression of women. And this is the reason this issue is most important to me. Without reproductive rights women have no control over their lives.

            Sexual expression is healthy. But having babies at eighteen is hazardous to your future... And after seven kids and past forty... Have you ever looked at your family tree and noticed all the women who died in child birth?  

            So I ask you, how can a woman be in a relationship with a man who votes Republican??!!

            Boycott Republicans!

            •  Also (4.00)
              don't accept this ideological purity bullshit that is being tossed about by Democrats regarding more acceptance to anti-choice Dems...WHY???

              Yes, I know it is a big tent and all, but the people are most welcomed but these bullshit ideas can outside the tent thank you very much...

              Why should I support a Democrat who wants to oppress women???

              This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

              by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:33:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I missed something (none)
                in your reply... what is the acceptance to anti-choice Dems? Did I mis-write my post? I am pro-choice. I trust women to make the right choice. I think that women AND their partners should be vocal about this, in particular.

                Are you saying that I should be willing to screw... ahem... pro-choice REPBUBLICANS?

                :-)

                •  No, I just extended the discussion (none)
                  I have been hearing alot about Dems should support anti-choice pols if not then they accused of having purity or litmus test.

                  Anti-choice...it's not just for Repubs anymore

                  This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

                  by Genf on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:55:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Whew! (none)
                    I am relieved. I was worried as to the nature of your advice. :-)

                    I think all this hedging around fanatical religious stuff is bullshit. Can I say that here?

                    It's clear that the over-arching anti-choice agenda is anti-woman. Period. It is not about the beginning of life, or the reduction of abortions.

                    If it were about the reduction of abortions the UNFPA would hae been funded for the $34m annually for the past three years to save 800,000 abortions/year. If it were about the reduction of abortions we would not be giving one-third of a billion dollars a year to churches for abstinence counseling. Yes... 1/3 billion!! This money could save lives in AIDS prevention and stop unwanted pregnancies if applied by scientifically accepted medical practices.

                    No, it is about our 'place.' ... Don't screw them!

                    We've only had the vote 84 years... but I plan to use it.

                    G'nite... :-) ... Thanks to ALL for the thread.

          •  Herbal abortions (none)
            Are among the most dangerous out there. The line between an "abortive" dose of pennyroyal and a lethal dose of pennyroyal is slim, and because it varies from person to person, very difficult to pinpoint.

            Hell, a "natural" miscarriage is no cakewalk--I'd rather do childbirth any day of the week. My miscarriage was quite possibly the single most painful thing I've ever had happen to me, including compared to a pulmonary embolism, and my miscarriage was "simple" and "uncomplicated".

            I use herbs for health on a regular basis and would NEVER advocate an herbal abortion compared to other methods.

            What people forget is that outlawing abortion does little to stop abortion. Making abortions hard to afford doesn't stop them either, not totally. A woman in Kuwait emailed me once... it was heartbreaking--she'd tried taking herbs to abort her baby (the wrong herbs, thank god, because the right herbs are so damn dangerous) and was terrified because her husband said that if the baby was born damaged he'd kill her.

            The abortion rate is on the decline. The teen pregnancy rate is on the decline, or was last I looked. You know what makes those rates go down? Education. Economic opportunity. For teenagers, giving them hope in the future. In the early 90's, I met plenty of teengers who got knocked up because they didn't have anything better to do. Literally, one said to me, "Oh, I think it will be fun..." Teaching kids how to handle tough situations also helps... as a teen, well educated, informed, the only times I had sex were with contraception, and I was "Miss Safety Queen". My accidental pregnancy at age 20 followed developing life-threatening complications with BC pills, allergies to most of the "products" out there, etc... I had enough focus on my future that after my daughter was born I took few chances, then no chances at all for years before my marriage.

            Legislating against abortion will simply create a new class of criminals, it will not stop abortion. Those really interested in stopping abortion would do well to pay attention to funding schools adequately, making sure the economy is on good footing, making sure poor women have ready access to effective birth control.... Hmmm... sounds like the Democrats could have more effect at reducing abortions than Republicans can!

            Indeed, the most significant declines in the teen pg rate, I believe, happened in the Clinton admin.

            •  I agree (none)
              EDUCATION!!!!

              I could not agree more.

              But what we see is the opposite happening. Education boards are being forced NOT to educate student on sex education or only on celebacy only tactics if they want to keep their funding. We all know that this does not work and to compound the risks of teenage pregnancy, young girls are being exposed to more STDs, because the celebacy training forbids them to talk about condoms.

              This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

              by Genf on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 05:31:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Abortion - safe, legal, rare (none)
              A key point that keeps getting trampled in all this is preserving the reproductive health of the mother. Late term abortions are mostly because of something horrible going wrong with the pregnancy, and many of those women desperately want to become pregnant again. Ironically, the "pro-life" ban on 'partial birth' makes it less likely that they can do so.

              My grandmother knew women her age who had or gave themselves illegal abortions, at least one who died. That's not a pro-life position.

              Not to mention, Mr Bush is responsible for the deaths of what, 20,000 civillians in Iraq and Afghanistan? These deaths are so inconsequential that the US government can't even be bothered to count them accurately. How can this be pro-life?

        •  I know many women who were unable to pay (none)
          for an abortion, and didn't have one because of the lack of accessibility.

          Some of these women were victims of rape or incest.

          There would have been no way in hell to have proven the rapes, without these women being wealthy enough to spend the money to compete against the lawyers of O.J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant.

          It is an American value to care for each other.
          Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

          by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 01:20:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  As far as I know (4.00)
       I don't know who or how the funding got restored after the Carter Admin.

      abortions aren't federally (or State) funded anywhere. Well, unless people are calling emergency surgery for entopic pregnancies and other life saving procedures which would at least save the life of the women 'abortion.

      What we do fund at enormous taxpayer expense is erectile dysfunction drugs. I mean we're having a difficult time getting contraceptives covered by insurers. Where do people get the idea that abortions are federally funded?

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:37:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  *tip jar* (none)
    You certainly earned it.
  •  But it should be pointed out.... (none)
    that the majority decision in Dread Scott was made by "strict constructionists".

    Caution! These are shark-infested waters! http://jayshark.blogspot.com

    by Jonathan4Dean on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 09:10:06 PM PDT

    •  True, but (4.00)
      That doesn't matter, though.  The term "strict constructionists" means "conservatives opposed to civil rights," it's yet another code word. :)

      --K

    •  "Dred Scott" was strict construction (4.00)
      "It is not the province of the court to decide upon the justice or injustice, the policy or impolicy, of these laws. The decision of that question belonged to the political or law-making power; to those who formed the sovereignty and framed the constitution. The duty of the court is, to interpret the instrument they have framed, with the best lights we can obtain on the subject, and to administer it as we find it, according to its true intent and meaning when it was adopted."

      — Justice Taney, writing for the court in DRED SCOTT V. SANDFORD (1857).

      And Bush said he'd choose Justices who follow "a strict interpretation of the Constitution".

    •  The Trap (none)
      Yes, the Dred Scott decision was justified in the original constitution - and thus those strict constructionists, like Clarence Thomas and Antoine Scalia, who believe the constitution should be interpreted only on what was put in by the founding fathers are themselves supporting the concept of slavery by glorifying the original document. Of course, after Gore v Bush, we know that those two aren't particularly consistent when it comes to interpreting the constitution.

      Boy, didn't Bush really garble that message?

      Very nice work, Kynn.

      •  The intent of the founding fathers, etc. (none)
        The idea that there was a single set of founding fathers is also laughable.

        There were Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and the Constitution was a kind of usurpation in some ways, because the Constitutional Convention was originally justified on the basis of simply amending the Articles of Confederation.  In some ways, James Madison almost guided through a kind of coup in 1787, and by 1800, the Federalists were repudiated by the American people because they were so monarchical and tyrannical.

        The U.S. Constitution is profoundly flawed, particularly with regard to the issue of equal rights for all, and the justification of slavery.  Slavery is the greatest shame in our history, and the framers of the Constitution bear great responsibility for building it into the Constitution itself (remember the 3/5 of a person rule in the actual Constitution).

        The ridiculous Dred Scott decision is indeed based directly on the original Constitution, which was incredibly flawed with regard to slavery.

    •  Dred Scott As Strict Construction (none)
      I did point this out in my Rapid Response Diary for Questions 15 & 16, where I wrote:

      [UPDATE: DRED SCOTT]

      No question, Bush blew it on with the Dred Scott Decision. The only question is--how?  Atrios says "Dred Scott wasn't based on property rights. It was based on racism." However, I believe it's more accurate to say it was based on both.

      A more telling problem is that Bush has the facts backwards--as usual. Taney was not imposing his own personal opinion, as Bush would have it. As the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Taney explains:

      "Though he considered slavery an evil, he believed its elimination should be brought about gradually and chiefly by the states in which it existed."

      In other words, he opposed "judicial activism"!

      Of course, it's widely agreed that the ruling was a classic example of judicial activism--invalidating the citizenship of blacks, overturning the Missouri Compromise--but that's not how Taney saw it! And precisely the same thing can be said about the judicial activism of Scalia & Thomas--Bush's favorite Justices.

      Judicial activism masqareuerading as judicial restraint is precisely what Bush is about--and so was Dred Scott.

      Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

      by Paul Rosenberg on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:11:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Code Talking (4.00)
    Thank you.  God, this is terrifying.  It has to get out there.  I sure hope Kerry uses it in the last debate.  Not only because of the substance of it, but the method:  This guy is lying and dissembling to your face, folks.

    Speaking of code, I heard Code clearly in Bush's acceptance speech, on taxes.  Suddenly, it's a priority to "simplify" the tax code, because, wow, right after the war on terrorism, filling out forms is the defining issue of our day.  

    Doesn't take a genius to see that was codespeak to his minions: he's got some really gruesome reallocation of the tax burden up his sleeve.  GOTTA get that out there somehow.  Take away the home mortgage deduction and watch those security moms wake up.

    Thanks again for this important work.  I was rolling mt eyes, laughing, Dred Scott WTF.  Now I'm terrified.

  •  Kerry can't touch this (none)
    I can't imagine any way that Kerry can use this directly. To be of any use, it must get out in the media.
  •  A Few Other Fun Dred Scott-Roe References (4.00)
    The Pope made the comparison between Roe and Dred Scott in 1999, in St. Louis of all places!

    And we now can see what Zell and Bush have in common.

    •  And... (4.00)
      Sorry to reply to myself, but the president of the U.S. Catholic League, William Donohue, also used the comparison to attack Kerry in July -- story here.
    •  St. Louis & Dred Scott (none)
      St. Louis & Dred Scott are connected, that's why it is often mentioned by out of town speakers who visit:

      "[The Pope] reminded Americans of the Dred Scott case, tried in St. Louis' Old Courthouse. Scott, a slave purchased in 1833 by an Army surgeon stationed near St. Louis, sued for his freedom. Living in a free state, he said, made him a free man."

      Chris Matthew's pointed out that Bush had brought up a case that was "handed down" in St. Louis.  If he meant the Supreme Court case, he was wrong, of course.  But the underlying trial happened there.

      However, having read this thread, I believe that Bush was invoking codespeak for abortion.  Deceptive bastard that he is.  We must, at all cost, defeat him.

      Furious George: angry, emotional, reactionary.

      by vaughn on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:36:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Main Page Please (none)
    This issue really merits main page attention!!!!!!!  
  •  And Gays? (3.66)

    Fight like hell to give rights to the unborn (because they are real people) but not for gays (because they aren't?)

    I need a scorecard to track this logic.

    In the past three presidential elections the candidate that the world labeled a liberal got more votes than the one who labeled himself a conservative.

    by kjfitz on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:10:40 PM PDT

  •  Excellent research! (none)
    I was scratching my head over this one.  Ordinarily Bush wouldn't know "Dred Scott" from a hole in the ground, so I was baffled why this statement was deliberately put into his answer.

    Now we know.

    "Those who betray the trust...are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors." - George HW Bush

    by DavidW in SF on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 10:24:13 PM PDT

  •  Thomas Frank Addresses this point very well (4.00)
    in his wonderful book What's the Matter with Kansas on page 183.

    The Anti-Choice movement (use our frame damnit!!!!!!!!!) see themselves as the spiritual inheritors of the abolisionist movement and see themselves as modern day John Browns.

    Brown used the Dred Scott decision in many of his firey speeches and the quote "Am I not a Man and a Brother?" was their slogan.

    Bush's use of the Dred Scott case was indeed code worded for the red states. The question was dealing with appointments to the USSC. So what did he do, he made it look like he said no, while the entire time he said yes for those who understood him correctly.

    For Anti-Choicers, Roe v. Wade is the modern equivalent of the Scott case. So to be like their hero John Brown, they will fight the Scott decision by any means neccessary.

    Franks also points out that Timothy McViegh invoked Brown as justification for his bombing of the Federal building....so you can see where they may be going with this stuff....we may eventually have a John Brown event.

    •  Scary (none)
      and truely divisive to our great country.  The enemy within.............
    •  DON'T SAY "ANTI-CHOICE" (none)
      "Anti-choice" in the mind of those susceptible to anti-abortion propaganda, means "choice to kill a baby" not "choice of whether or not to become a mother".  The former sounds insidious.  The latter sounds virtuous.  We need to decide on a better frame.  Maybe "anti-woman"?

      Perhaps the cause to take up is that of the Holy Mother.  Should good Catholics take Mary off of AFDC?  Should good Catholics terminate Mary's HUD Section 8 housing voucher?  ...food stamps?  ...Medicaid card?   ...SSI?  Because THAT is what George Bush plans to do.

      I think that some anti-abortionists are deluded to think that by saving every fetus, they could potentially be saving the 2nd coming of Jesus.  A physician who provides an abortion could somehow derail the Rapture.

      The thought that scares Christians is the possibility that Mary was neither a virgin nor impregnated by God.  If she hadn't have been, she would be just ordinary chattel -- a poor woman having few rights under either Roman law, or Jewish law.  Without Mary in the Catholic pantheon, women don't have "goddess" status, and would be even worse off now than they are.

      It is an American value to care for each other.
      Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

      by Daemmern on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 11:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may sound foolish (3.66)
    but I'll give it a whirl.

    The US Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to citizens of the United States of America, right?
    And you must be born (have a certificate of birth) to recieve citizenship, right?
    The unborn are not citizens of the US, they have no official citizenship. How can they access protections of a Constitution, that supercede those of the mother, in a country they don't yet belong to?

     

    •  You Hit The Nail on the Head! (4.00)
      Giving fetuses rights is itself an act of judicial activism. This is just one more twist in the pretzel logic of the right.

      Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

      by Paul Rosenberg on Sat Oct 09, 2004 at 11:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  perfect... (4.00)
      we can get the Cuban American vote!

      If an immigrant doesn't get the rights of the Constitution until they set foot on the soil of the US, than fetuses don't get protections until they "set feet" on US soil....

      I never understood the people who hate science so much yet use the argument about premature babies to support the viability of fetuses at earlier stages...

      If we didn't have science, those babies would not have survived, hance they wouldn't be viable....

      I say exposure is the way to go....what is the earliest recorded survival of a fetus using the Spartan method of exposure?

    •  aoeu (none)
      It applies to everybody in the us I think, there are parts which talk about citizens and parts which talk about just people in general.  people with green cards still have rights, just not all of them.

      My turtles laughter
      was loud when the Yankees lost
      22 to zilch

      by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 12:43:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Persons" (none)
      The U.S. Consitution guarantees equal protection of laws to all "persons" without distinction as to citizenship.  

      The unborn are not citizens of the US, they have no official citizenship. How can they access protections of a Constitution, that supercede those of the mother, in a country they don't yet belong to?

      Your question is a good one--

      The Supreme Court has ruled that the fetus is not a "person" and therefore does not have the same Constitutional protections of someone who is born.

      However, the Court recognizes gov't interest in the life of a fetus throughout pregnancy; but prior to viability (of the fetus), that interest cannot impose undue burden on woman's right to decide to abort

      •  In the end (none)
        I don't suppose it really matters.

        I'm no legal scholar but I can read the historical documents that form the underpinnings of our national conscience and circumscribe powers of government, without regard to my particular disposition.

        James Madison should have trusted his gut instinct, I think, with respect to the creation of what we now know as the Bill of Rights. He was not originally inclined to do it, with good reason it turns out. And even when Madison succumbed to political pressure being exerted by states reluctant to join the union without the specific assertion of critical rights and proposed his amendments to the Constitution on June 8, 1789, he openly characterized them as "neither improper nor absolutely useless". Faint praise, indeed.

        Being the chief architect of our Constitution, Madison understood how any enumeration of express rights could be exploited by government and society to dismantle his intention that the Constitution intrinsically indicate the broadest possible scope of personal and public liberty conceivable for civilized life.  In other words, he saw this and so many other scandalous transgressions coming. He understood that it could eventually destabilize the Constitution and invalidate government. I'm inclined to agree that it can, and does ultimately, do just that.

        I might even go so far as to suggest that our government has struggled with Constitutional credibility since its inception, given what I take to be Madison's intent. Take, for instance, the wording of this proposed amendment, as written by James Madison:

        "The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed."

        The intent to quarantine civil rights from the influence of sectarian convictions is abundantly clear. The intent to establish full and equal rights for all is less prominently emphasized but, nevertheless, inescapably resonant. This is what Madison later refers to as, "the perfect equality of mankind," in the same speech to Congress.

        It appears to me, the most conservative (as in cautious) interpretation of the Constitution is, ironically, the most broadminded.

        It is similarly evident to me that any justice who saw fit to deny anyone petitioning the Supreme Court the inalienable dignity of full and equal rights afforded them by this Constitution, did so with corrupted reason. In that moment, with the assumption of the highest prerogative of power to hold undeclared rights insecure, the judiciary essentially declares itself unfit to contemplate the Constitution. Any executive who embraces the ruling, any legislation that follows suit, confesses that they, too, are unfit to govern.

        In this case, I recall another of Madison's intentions:

        "That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution."

        They may place justices on the bench to willfully violate the spirit of our Constitution; we will impeach them. They can conspire to load up our legislative bodies and executive offices with representatives similarly disinclined to respect and abide by the true nature of our Constitution; we will remove them from office. We will play this disconsolate game of political chess until those of us whose rights are being transgressed reject the coercion outright. How long can that go on without doing irreparable harm to the institution of government or, perhaps, the Constitution itself? I don't know.

        I do know this; they are never going to make me a second class citizen to an inchoate organism growing in any woman's womb, because their dogma demands it of them.

        They will never take from me my essential dignity as a human being, as intended by our Constitution.

  •  Interesting Commentary from 1st Bush-Gore Debate (4.00)
    I did a quick LexisNexis search to see if Bush has ever used a Dred Scott reference before in relation to abortion, and I stumbled upon this Fox News commentary between NPR's Juan Williams and Pat Buchanan following the 1st Bush-Gore debate:

    JUAN WILLIAMS, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Mr. Buchanan, what about Mr. Bush's response that he will be unable to change the government's position and the Food & Drug Administration's position on authorization of RU-486, the abortion pill?

    BUCHANAN: It was pathetic. Look, if you're pro-life, this is a human pesticide. It is a drug designed to kill babies in the womb. It is anti- women, anti-child, and anti-family. He should have said, I will do what I can do with appointments and legislation to outlaw this, because I am pro- life. Juan, it was even worse than the United States Supreme Court. I regret to say Al Gore came off with more authority and more conviction in appointing pro-abortion justices to the Supreme Court than Mr. Bush did. I mean, I've got no litmus test, and there are going to be good and competent people -- you know, the question I mentioned on "Meet the Press" the other day was very simple: Does the governor disagree profoundly with Roe v. Wade and will he appoint justices who he believes in his heart would overturn it?

    It's a simple question. If you're pro-life, that's what you're going to do, just like Lincoln appointed justices who were going to overturn what he thought was the immoral Dred Scott decision. That's the position of conviction. I think what we saw up here tonight was basically a moderate Republican, sort of centrist trying to get -- you know, trying not to offend the middle. I tell you, in the beginning, I thought Bush won the first 20 minutes. I thought he was winning. I thought he was clear, he had conviction, and he was on Gore's turf and he was doing terrific. And I thought that Mr. Gore was exasperated. But when you went into the energy question and the RU-486, I think he lost it.


    •  Blitz Kerry and Schieffer (none)
      We've got to blitz Kerry and Schieffer with that quote.

      What are the best email addresses to use.  I'd find it myself, but i'm going to bed.

      Great work BossF!

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:32:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's late (none)
        Sorry, thought Bush had said it.  Common mistake: confusing Buchanan's moral tirades with Bush's.

        Going to bed now....

        "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

        by DWCG on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:35:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly (none)
    I've seen multiple pro-lifers say, politely, on journals of people who discuss abortion rights that they honestly equate their movement with that of the abolitionists, i.e. that they see abortion as a political/social evil of the same sort as slavery. Exactly of the same sort, in their minds.

    Every activist pro-lifer was cheering at that code phrase.  Every single one.

    •  Wingnuts and Abolitionists (none)

      What's really scary is that I've heard the same logic applied to the wingnut anti-gay marriage stuff... To tax cuts, and to any number of other wingnutty things. I think they're desperate to find some connection with Lincoln, as they know deep inside that he would disapprove of their methods and objectives. So instead, they link everything they do back to the abolition movement, to try and cloak themselves in Lincoln's aura.

      Never mind that they're exactly the same bigoted, hate-filled fearmongers that Lincoln fought a long, bloody war against...

      CNN - about as "trusted" as a compass in an active MRI machine.

      by RHunter on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this the logic of Alan Keyes?????? (4.00)
    This seems like classic Alan Keyes.

    Everything boils down to slavery in his mind.

    Or at least he tries to use that analogy
    constantly in a ridiculous and absurdly exaggerated way.

    So, in Keyes mind, and in Bush's mind,

    BLACKS ARE THE SAME AS EMBRYOS!!!!!

    That's even more insulting than being 3/5 of a person as in the stupid pre-Amendment version of the Constitution.

    •  I searched for Keyes using Dred Scott.. (none)
      And I couldn't find him making the comparison directly for abortion (although his supporters do).  But I think accusing Obama as having a "slaveholder's position" indicates that he would.  

      Keyes more generically just uses Dred Scott as an example any time he wants to say that a court is wrong: gay marriage, Ten Commandments, etc.

  •  It does explain a lot. (none)
    Now I'm wondering how many of the other whacked-out, seemingly nonsensical things he said during the debate were really "code phrases" to the wingnut base....

    Poland? Heck, Bush can't even remember the goddam ALAMO!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:06:23 AM PDT

  •  Dred Scott revisited (none)
    That sounds perfectly plausible to me.  But to the 99.1% of AMericans who watched him make that comment, if they know anything about Dred Scott--which they won't, they're going to scrach their heads & say, "Huh?  Bush says he won't appoint a justice who supports slavery?"  It will appear a borderline idiot comment.

    Plus he suggests in the same response that the Constitution opposes slavery, which of course it doesn't.  If it did we wouldn't have had to fight the Civil War.

  •  wonderful diary Kynn (none)
    Thank you for taking the time to dissect the issue.

    all people are created equal

    by thebloviator on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:36:10 AM PDT

  •  confused about anti-abortion (none)
    one of the things that most confuses me about anti-abortionists:  

    how can they be FOR carrying a baby to term while being FOR the death penalty? FOR pre-emptive strikes?  FOR gun rights?  FOR killing innocents in countries with no WMDs and no ties to Al Queda???

    but i guess a little hypocrisy never stopped the zealots before...

    •  I'll do you one better (3.50)
      How can you be against abortion and against the programs that prevent them: contraception/sex ed and pre-natal care/early childhood care.

      I just want one politician to come out and make this statement:

      "The reality is regardless of what the Supreme Court may decide in the future, as long as there are back alleys and women in desperate situations, abortions will continue in America.  So, instead of continuing to replay the culture war of the 1960s and '70s and dividing the country, let's come together and make the strongest commitment to riding the country of the condition that leads to most abortions - unwanted pregnancies."

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 06:28:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't (none)
        don't try to make sense of right-wing thinking or your head is liable to explode!!

        Read more on my blog, DD Sez.

        by dldnh on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 08:22:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I always thought (none)
          that these pro-life men feel if one of their sperm goes the distance, then it is of utmost importance that a child occur.
          It's all about not wasting their sperm and  reproducing as many of their own image as they can. It is all about vanity and power.

          If someone is anti-choice and hasn't adopted one special needs child, especially of color, they are just hippocrates.(sp?)

      •  And dont forget sex education in schools.. (none)
        Its all about enforced ignorance-dumbing down people so that they cannot make informed decisions about their lives. Coat hanger abortions are about to return as a favored means of contaception This is what Bush and the "republicans" want.
    •  At the same time (none)
      a lot of us are pro-choice and anti-death penalty, which could be seen as hypocrisy as well.

      "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

      by tryptamine on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 11:05:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  aoeu (none)
        Not really.  People are anti-death penalty for all reasons, do you trust the government with that kind of power?

        My turtles laughter
        was loud when the Yankees lost
        22 to zilch

        by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 04:39:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just meant to say (none)
          that things are a bit more complicated than that.

          I can see the argument that anti-abortionists make.  It doesn't mean I agree with them.  It does mean that I have a better idea of how to bridge the gap between us.  It is far less effective to tell someone they are hypocrites than it is to say that you can understand but you disagree and why.

          "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

          by tryptamine on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:22:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  aoeu (none)
            I'm not sure how effective dialogue is with people who think you are advocating murder.  On other topics it's possible to bridge gaps, but honestly, could you, or would you even want to, bridge the gap with Jeffory Dahmer or other serial killers?

            My turtles laughter
            was loud when the Yankees lost
            22 to zilch

            by TealVeal on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:27:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're getting a little extreme. (none)
              My mother-in-law has strong anti-abortion feelings, but when my husband asks her if she can understand that more women will die if abortion is made illegal, she can acknowledge that.  I know a few other people who are the same way, and some anti-abortionists who just don't want to know if people are getting abortions or not because they can't stand the idea, but still realize that doesn't mean it should be illegal. That is the kind of thing I'm talking about.  

              "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

              by tryptamine on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:50:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Substantive due process (none)
    To be fair, Scott and Roe are both substantive due process cases.  As are the cases that allow parents to send their kids to witch doctors and all white private schools.  The same legal theory which was used to strike down child labor laws and was for the most part discarded by FDR's new deal Court.  
    One can be pro-choice and find Roe to be an inadiquate decision on Constitutional grounds.  Great catch though- it was definitely a pander to pro-life voters.  Moreover, Bush's odd take on the holding indicates he is familiar with it from pro-life propaganda rather than actually reading the case.  It's scary that the man in charge of upholding the Constitution and enforcing the laws of the U.S. is willfully ignorant of statutory and Constitutional construction.  Maybe that's how the neo-cons got away with writing memos claiming the U.S. Constitution provides immunity to executive branch torturers despite law and treaty to the contrary.  Who said it would be a good idea to have an MBA president instead of a lawyer?
    M.B.A.=Master Bushit Artist

    Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

    by Myrkury on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:58:08 AM PDT

    •  Dred Scott Not A Substantive Due Process Case (none)
      "To be fair, Scott and Roe are both substantive due process cases."

      Not quite. In constitutional law lingo, "substantive due process" refers to the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment, which was passed in the wake of the Civil War, and was explicitly written to reverse Dredd Scott.

      Now, it's true that conceptually Dredd Scott can be based on a contrary substantive due process foundation--you start with slaveholders have a right to their slaves, and that prevents slaves from legally running away, or anyone else from supporting them in any way.  But "substantive due process" in this sense is just a fancy-pants way of sayiing that Dredd Scott was based on property rights--which is pretty much what Bush was saying in the first place.

      Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

      by Paul Rosenberg on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 03:15:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Slight disagreement (none)
        Scott, obviously, is not a 14th Amendment due process case.  But the 14th only applies due process to the states.  The Federal government has always been subject to due process restrictions via the takings clause and etc.  The Missouri compromise was void, and the Fed. Cts. unable to grant Scott any releif, because to do so would involve the Federal government "taking" the property of Scott's putative "owner".
        As ugly as the decision was, it was probably sound law under the Constitution as it stood.  The U.S. needed the Civil Rights Amendments (and a bloody civil war) to move forward as both a free nation AND a nation of laws.  The broad interpretation of personal rights that has become the hallmark of American liberty has the same anti-majoritarian "activist" quality as Scott. Moreover, recalling that Scott was not that unsound a decision reminds us that it was the civil war and the 13-15th Amendments that caused the U.S. to see humanity, rather than citizenship, as the basis of civil and individual dignity.

        Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

        by Myrkury on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 08:18:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This Is WAY Too Oversimplified (none)
          I realize it's a commonplace way to argue and think about the past, but the legal and Constitutional theorizing of the 19th Century cannot be captured in such simple terms. "Strict Constructionism" is, in fact, a form of fantasy that serves to obscure the actual theories involved, which were a good deal more tangled and convoluted.  For example, you had "states rights" being invoked both for and against the Fugitive Slave Act.

          But there is something fairly straightforward, and it has nothing to do with the 5th Amendment.  It has to do with an out-of-left-field argument which lies at the heart of the decision, and is introduced in the very first paragraph:

          The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen? One of which rights is the privilege of suing in a court of the United States in the cases specified in the Constitution.

          Yup, that's right!  The essence of Dred Scott is that Blacks can't be citizens. And that argument wasn't a strict construction of anything--other than Tanney's imagination.

          Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

          by Paul Rosenberg on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 11:29:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree that it is oversimplification (none)
            But Taney's argument, that granting standing to a slave would amount to a taking of a form of property continuously recognized by the Constitution, via its acceptance of the practices Tanney enumerates, is pretty sound.  The weakest part of the decision is the one that you allude to- disregarding states' rights to recognize the legal personhood of fugitive slaves.  But, being a SOB and something of an outcome oriented jurist, Taney avoided the obvious solution of remanding the case for a finding and award of proper compensation to Scott's putative owner as a condition precedent to allowing Scott standing.
            But, if you can direct me to a place where Scott was used as the basis for disregarding the citizenship of an African American when properly based on legal residence or free birth in a state, then I'd be interested in seeing it.

            Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

            by Myrkury on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 12:40:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bass Askwards 3 Ways From Sunday (none)
              "The weakest part of the decision is the one that you allude to- disregarding states' rights to recognize the legal personhood of fugitive slaves."

              (1) "The weakest part of the decision" is the whole ball of wax, according to Taney's own introduction.

              (2) And it's not simply the "states' rights to recognize the legal personhood of fugitive slaves."  It's whether any black whatsoever can be citizen.

              (3) "But, if you can direct me to a place where Scott was used as the basis for disregarding the citizenship of an African American when properly based on legal residence or free birth in a state, then I'd be interested in seeing it."

              Since it lead so quickly to the Civil War, which in turn lead to the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, it didn't have much time to stand as precedent to do such mischief. But it obviously would have, since that is plainly what it said.

              Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

              by Paul Rosenberg on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 03:15:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Beg to differ (none)
                There were plenty of African American citizens in the period between Scott and the Civil War and there are quite a few instances of Fedral litigation involving them as plaintiffs in mundane disputes.  If Scott stands for what you postulate, all those cases would have been dismissed.  As evil as the holding in Scott was, it really wasn't that broad.
                Also, please note that I don't want to be understood as supporting Taney or the decision.  I just think that a broad reading of Scott unjustly releives the rest of the American slave sytem unaccountable.  Slavery was entrenched in our constitution and maintenance of slavery was one of the primary purposes of states' rights.  I personally find a "Blame Taney" argument to underly the evisceration of the 13-15th Amendments.  Morrison v. Virginia (Congress has no power to provide a civil remedy for rape despite admission by 40+ states that they do not adequately protect women from gender motivated violence) does not treat with Scott, but it does reflect the perspective that the Pre-Civil War Constitution can provide for adequate protection of rights.  The logic then follows that the 13th-15th Amendments are a temporary reminder that Blacks are citizens rather than a guarantee of liberty for all persons.
                In sum, the argument that Scott was wrongly decided supports the argument that the Civil Rights Amendments are superfluous.  Contra, to argue that Scott was a correct interpretation of evil laws supports the argument that but for the Civil Rights Amendments, the U.S. system of governance has the same institutional capacity for evil on the order of slavery.

                Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

                by Myrkury on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:28:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Multiple Confusions.... (none)
                  (1) "There were plenty of African American citizens in the period between Scott and the Civil War"

                  That's 4 short years. And there were plenty of folks who thought it was wrongly decided. In such a climate, it can take a very long time for precedent to settle in. So the absence of citations--even after an exhaustive search--would mean nothing.

                  (2) "As evil as the holding in Scott was, it really wasn't that broad."  

                  Rather than repeat quotations from Taney's decision, which should have sealed this argument once and for all, I'll quote from the dissent, which attacks Taney's argument at its heart, in a properly realist manner:

                  Mr. Justice Curtis, joined by Mr. Justice McLean, dissenting.

                              I dissent from the opinion pronounced by the Chief Justice, and from the judgment which the majority of the court think it proper to render in this case... .

                              To determine whether any free persons, descended from Africans held in slavery, were citizens of the United States under the Confederation, and consequently at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, it is only necessary to know whether any such persons were citizens of either of the States under the Confederation, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

                              Of this there can be no doubt. At the time of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, all free native-born inhabitants of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina, though descended from African slaves, were not only citizens of those States, but such of them as had the other necessary qualifications possessed the franchise of electors, on equal terms with other citizens...

                  (3) "I just think that a broad reading of Scott unjustly releives the rest of the American slave sytem unaccountable."

                  I can't for moment see why.  (Nor do I accept that this is a "broad" reading. It was a broad decision. It overturned the Missouri Compromise, as well as declaring that blacks were not citizens.)

                  (4) Slavery was entrenched in our constitution and maintenance of slavery was  one of the primary purposes of states' rights.  

                  True. But what this has to do with your argument is beyond me.

                  (5) I personally find a "Blame Taney" argument to underly the evisceration of the 13-15th Amendments.

                  An equally mystifying statement.

                  Conclusion:  You might have a lot more luck pushing points 3, 4 & 5 (though I don't see how), if you didn't start off by arguing that Taney's decision doesn't say what it so clearly does.

                  I am not trying to "blame" Taney in the sense of scapegoating him for all the evils of the world in which he lived, which is what your arguments seem to imply. Rather, I am arguing that the delusional style of reasoning he employs--under the guise of "strict construction"--is a perfect expression of what that world required.

                  And I am arguing that the exact same thing can be said about the "strict constructionists" who gave us the Bush v. Gore decision, giving ballots 14th Amendment equal rights, but not people.  (People who also just happened to be black.)

                  Bush v. Gore is the ultimate proof that everything these people have been saying for the past 30-40 years is nothing but a damnable lie. They don't care a whit for precedent, for literalism, or for original intent, much less states rights on one extreme or rational argument on the other. All they care about is power.  The only high-profile defense of their decision only makes matters worse. It comes from Judge Posner, who faults them for not lying.

                  Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

                  by Paul Rosenberg on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:17:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Dicta vs. Holding (none)
                    Taney's introductory remarks, and the response of the dissent are arguments extending from the holding of the case.  Which is that a slave, legally held in one state (Scott), by virtue of his presence in a state whose laws would give him legal standing to sue, may not be given acces to  the Federal Courts without implicating the property rights of the slave's putative owner.
                    One can speculate that Scott might have been used as precedent to prohibit Blacks from citizenship (although even Taney's introduction as you've read it would leave intact the citizenship of Blacks who immigrated free and their descendants), but an admittedly cursory search shows no indication of anyone making a motion to dismiss for lack of standing (or the equivalent) an ordinary civil suit by a free black citizen.  Lawyers were perfectly sharp back them and somebody would have tried it if it were credible.
                    I beleive that my argument that an understanding of Scott as a blanket denial of legal personhood to all blacks that was cured by the Civil rights Amendments leads to an unduly narrow understanding of those Amendments.  
                    What I meant wass, if Scott is simply absurd, then the Civil Rights Amendments only cure that absurdity.  If Scott was reasonable under the Constitution as it stood, then the Civil Rights Amendments must be understood as making the life and liberty interests of all persons at least coequal to property interests and recognizing that government is created to protect and preserve those rights for all persons.
                    The narrow historical analysis is used by the Court (particularly O'Connor) in the congruence and proportionality test for 14th Amendment legislation.  So far it has been used to shoot down the Violence Against Women Act (Morrison) and portions of the ADA.  
                    As to the nature of the current Court and your analysis of the so called "strict constructionists", I heartily agree.

                    Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

                    by Myrkury on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:48:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One Man's Holding Is Another Man's Dicta (none)
                      As pointed out here, the dissent argued that the denial of citizenship was the holding:

                      This was only the second time that the Supreme Court had found an act of Congress to be unconstitutional. Curtis, in dissent, attacked that part of the Court's decision as obiter dicta, on the ground that once the Court determined that it did not have jurisdiction to hear Scott's case its only recourse was to dismiss the action, not to pass judgment on the merits of his claims. The dissents by Curtis and John McLean also attacked the Court's overturning of the Missouri Compromise  on its merits, noting that none of the Framers of the Constitution had ever objected on constitutional grounds to the United States Congress' adoption of the antislavery provisions of the Northwest Ordinance passed by the Continental Congress, or the subsequent acts that barred slavery north of 36 30'.

                      Operation 'Fool Me Once' -- Targeting Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2000

                      by Paul Rosenberg on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 03:33:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  An example of my argument (none)
                Here's an article on Scalia folloing the logic of Scott: here
                He can get away with it if we read Scott and thereby the Civil Rights Amendments as narrowly adressing the error of racism and slavery rather than reforming a government that did not protect the rights of all persons into one that does.

                Might and Right are always fighting In our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning. Might can hardly keep from grinning. -Clarence D

                by Myrkury on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 08:42:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Heard a comment (none)
    on Air America yesterday to the effect that this is the heart of the winger' under-the-radar campaign to boost their own turnout at the polls.

    It's all about the Supreme Court.

    " I went to war for George W. Bush; I came home to vote for John Kerry." - Sam Poulton

    by whometense on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 09:26:48 AM PDT

  •  More to the abortion ban language?? (none)
    I've worked with abortion clinics since 1976., so have a unique historical perspective here.  

    Governments and dictators (i.e. Nazi Germany) have outlawed abortion in order for more people to be born so that there will be more people in poverty to go into the military so governments can wage war.  It's a planned coordinated effort, because we know that rich people don't want THEIR children to go to war.

    It's true...some women can't scrape up $300 for an abortion and end up having a child.  And at this point, birth control is moot.  In fact, abortion is the ulltimate method of birth control.  We've even gotten racisist Southern legislators to approve of abortion to control minority populatons.

    But, the neocons have a more global plan here.  Outlawing abortion, restricting access to birth control, promoting childbirth (tax credits), etc. etc. are all policies aimed at creating an army.  Sounds "Orwelian" doesn't it??

  •  turn this wedge back on Bush (none)
    it's clear that Bush is trying to drive a wedge between the African-American and pro-choice factions of Kerry's coalitions (although there's  a great deal of overlap between the two.)  instead, let's turn this wedge back on Bush.

    I'd like to start a list of newspapers targeted at African-Americans in swing states; we can write letters to the editor of those newspapers explaining this odious strategy.

    for starters, here's one: The St. Louis American

    here's a sample letter, though it needs some work:


    To the Editor:

    In Friday night's debate, President Bush strangely suggested that he would not appoint justices who would issue decisions like the Dred Scott case, which ruled slavery constitutional in order to protect privacy rights.

    What Bush doesn't know is that the Dred Scott case was not about property rights, it was about racism: the Supreme Court ruled that Scott could not sue for his freedom because he was Black.

    What Bush does know is that the Dred Scott case is widely considered a parallel to the Roe v. Wade decision by anti-abortion advocates.  Bush was saying that if elected, he will do his utmost to make abortion illegal.

    Safe, legal and affordable abortions are important to millions of women and families across America.  President Bush should not be confusing this important right with the shameful history of slavery in this country.

    any thoughts on that letter?  i think it needs some work.

    .. a letter to the editor a day keeps Bush away

    by kosaddict on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 09:59:07 AM PDT

    •  I'd change the last sentence (none)
      Look for language at some of the pro-choice sites about allowing women their right to make a personal and difficult decision.
      •  I meant the *next to* last sentence (none)
      •  okay let's see here... (none)
        here's the letter revised, incorporating some other commentary on this thread:


        To the Editor:

        In Friday night's debate, President Bush strangely suggested that he would not appoint justices who would issue decisions like the Dred Scott case, which ruled slavery constitutional in order to protect privacy rights.

        What Bush doesn't know is that the Dred Scott case was not about property rights, it was about racism: the Supreme Court ruled that Scott could not sue for his freedom because he was Black.

        What Bush does know is that the Dred Scott case is widely considered a parallel to the Roe v. Wade decision by anti-abortion advocates.  Bush was saying that if elected, he will do his utmost to make abortion illegal.

        Safe, legal and affordable abortions are important to millions of women and families across America.  The right to make important life decisions - protected by Roe v. Wade, mocked by the Dred Scott case - is vital to our freedom.  President Bush should not be confusing this important right with the shameful history of slavery in this country.

        .. a letter to the editor a day keeps Bush away

        by kosaddict on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 10:27:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why Dred Scott means Roe was RIGHTLY decided (none)
    The conservative attack on Roe is at its core contradictory.  Here's why.

    The basic conservative argument is that this is a decision that should be left to the legislature.  But if you belief that life begins at conception, how can you?  How can the entire range of constitutional protections be set aside for the fetus that they believe should be treated as a person.    THEIR RESONING MAKES NO SENSE.  In fact, by their own terms THEY are the ones that would repeat Dred Scott, not the liberals on the court.

    The simple truth is that the entire line of arguments that come from Bork and others are sheer nonsense.  Here is the scary part - I have little doubt that once Roe is overturned, they would quickly move to the logical result of their reasoning - and find that substantive due process should be applied to the unborn at conception.  The result:  they would hold the Constitution would bar abortion beginning at conception.

    •  You make a great point (none)
      And it led me to this:

      Would every fetus have constitutional rights, or just some fetuses?  Who decides?  Anti-choice wingnuts also happen to be anti-immigration wingnuts, so what happens if you have a Latino surname? During the halcyon days of the Contract on America, Rep. Bob Stump sponsored a bill which would, among other things, halt automatic citizenship of children born to undocumented workers. (Note: the link is to the hideous group FAIR--but you can see their racist ugliness for yourselves) So those fetuses wouldn't count?

      What if you became pregnant in this country but returned to your home country--can you claim dual citizenship?  So every pregnant woman visiting the US means that their fetus is a citizen?  What if she doesn't know?

      Hmmmm.

      The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

      by AuntiePeachy on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 01:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whew (none)
        You are referring to a different group FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform)

         ... not FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), a left-leaning accuracy in media group.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

        by Lestatdelc on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 02:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh my goodness! (none)
          D'oh!

          THANK YOU for clarifying that.  I totally forgot that the awesome Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting shares the same acronym as that awful other group.  Next time I'll be careful to spell out a group's formal name first.

          Thanks, again.

          The Republican economic platform: "Stop whining and pop a Prozac, girlie man!"

          by AuntiePeachy on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 10:16:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  anyone (none)
    has anyone contacted the press about this?  Salon, perhaps?  I saw the Fox commentators scratching their heads about this comment this morning--I think a lot of people are wondering what this statement was about and it could have some traction in the media.
    •  hannity (none)
      i saw somewhere when i googled that sean hannity had "aptly" compared roe v. wade and dred scott. also saw dred and roe in connection to zell miller. so it's right out there, has fox outfoxed itself?
  •  I'm against (none)
    the death penalty, but my taxes will still pay for it because it's legal.  I'm against the war but my taxes will still pay for it.  Abortion is legal, and if someone isn't able to pay for it, she should be able to get help.  I PERSONALLY know a 46 yo pregnant woman who can't pay for her abortion right now.
  •  Just how (none)
    Something "unborn" can be considered to be people?
    The Repub brain must be a very interesting thing to study, for a scientist.
  •  In a sane world, anti-choicers would all be (none)
    ..rabid environmentalists.  I heard an interview on NPR about how environmental toxins are being concentrated in women's bodies and breast milk, and are being passed along both to fetus and newborn.  If anti-choice people were REALLY so interested in the endangerment of fetuses (fetii?) they would be making a huge racket about cleaning up the environment, because environmental toxins are doing a hell of a lot of damage to the health of fetuses, all over the country.

    But, as the woman who was being interviewed said, I really don't think concern for the fetus is the real, underlying motivation for anti-choicers.  The real, underlying motivation for anti-choicers is controlling women.

  •  Letter to editor about meaning of Dred Scott (none)
    Thank you Kynn for this diary.

    I have never posted on this or any other web-site in my life, so I hope this is readable.  I was inspired by Kynn's diary to send the following letter to the Chicago Tribune Saturday evening.  They didn't publish it or apparently mention the topic of Dred Scott elsewhere in their debate coverage.  

    Re:   Hidden Meanings/Words of Mass Deception

               During the second presidential debate Friday night, President Bush gave a curious response to a question concerning what type of person he would appoint to the US Supreme Court.  He alluded to Dred Scott, the infamous slavery case in which the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Taney, ruled that black slaves were property and not persons under the Constitution of the United States.  The President said the case was about property rights and he would not appoint someone like Justice Taney.  

                What on its face seemed like an odd response was in reality a very calculated encoded message for his anti-abortion base.  It turns out that anti-abortion advocates widely believe that the abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade is similar to and follows the reasoning of Dred Scott.  President Bush was telling his base that he will appoint a justice who will over-turn Roe v. Wade with no exceptions.  But he didn't want the rest of us to know that.

                The last time I heard of a leader who broadcast a message in code to his followers was right after September 11, 2001.  US intelligence was concerned video messages prepared by Osama bin Laden might contain coded language with directives for his followers.

                American democracy is in serious trouble when the President speaks in code during a presidential debate in order to hide his true message from the majority of the public.  Most Americans did not understand the message he intended to convey to a select minority.  Why treat the American public so disrespectfully?  We all wanted to hear what the President had to say.  

  •  They're barking up the wrong tree (none)
    I don't necessarily agree with Kynn that abortion was Bush's reason for mentioning Dred Scott, although I do recognize that the anti-choice groups make this analogy frequently.  But no, the question was about criteria for choosing Supreme Court justices.  Bush didn't know this question was coming -- he just reached for one of the few decisions he knew the name of - possibly from listening to too much pro-life drivel.  

    Bush's criterion is supposedly "strict constructionism" - basing decisions on what the Founding Fathers intended.  Bush would have you believe that Justice Taney and the rest of his Supreme Court were applying their prejudices over the infallible wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

    But read, if you can stand to, Taney's actual opinion.  The whole thing is an appalling bunch of evidence, all too successful, frankly, at implicating the Founding Fathers in his racist assumptions.  "Strict Constructionism" supports the Dred Scott decision!  That's proof of why it's a ridiculous way to run a judiciary.  "Strict Constructionism" is the problem, not the solution.  And furthermore, "strict constructionism" is irrelevant to civil rights issues today.  Whatever the founding fathers intended, the Civil War and its byproducts, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments replaced whatever the Founding Fathers might have intended on these issues.

    It took a Civil War to overturn the Dred Scott decision and the mess left by the Founding Fathers.  But as far as I know, the Founding Fathers had nothing whatever to say about the "viability of the fetus."  If that's the hook the anti-abortionists want to hang their hat on, it won't work.

    •  Debate Prep (none)
      You don't think he and his people prepared an answer in case this subject came up? C'mon!
      •  Perhaps it was prepared, but so what? (none)
        I still find the notion that Dred Scott is some sort of code word for the hardcore anti-choicers bizarre.  What does he need to speak in code for on this subject when he already spoke explicitly on the same subject in the debate?

        And even if he was, I still think the best way to defeat is not to expose this "code speak" to the world (which he'll easily deny) but to tackle the issue itself:  strict constructionism is nothing but the same old set of anti-civil rights, anti-abortion politics, and it has no more to do with the "Founding Fathers" than Brittney Spears does.

        •  cuz (none)
          he can be anti-choice but he can't stand there and say he'll appoint justices who have to pass the so-called litmus test.
        •  asdf (none)
          What does he need to speak in code for on this subject when he already spoke explicitly on the same subject in the debate?

          Because he was broadcasting his litmus test for the selection of Supreme Court justices to his base. That's what the question was about. The point I often make here when people decry the necessity for a litmus test on reproductive rights for women is that the republicans have a litmus test of their own and it's perfectly obvious to anyone with half a brain who listens to them that they do.

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 11:34:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know why you don't believe it (4.00)

          The purpose of the Dred Scott mention was to allow Bush to (a) answer the question by saying "hell yes, I'll only appoint anti-choice judges", and (b) not take the political fallout from doing so.

          (a) is necessary because he if he says anything different in response to this question, his conservative Christian [sic] base will eat him up.

          And (b) is necessary because if the moderates in this country -- including undecided Democrats and moderate Republicans -- realized that he was saying on nationwide television "I will only appoint judges who will make abortion illegal," he would never get re-elected.

          I'm sorry you don't believe it, but it's true. It may sound bizarre to you, but this is EXACTLY the way that Bush and co. function with regard to their extremist base. And it's the only reason that Dred Scott was mentioned.

          In conservative thinking, if you oppose Dred Scott, then you oppose abortion. This is bizarre, yes. But it's their thinking that's bizarre, not my analysis of the situation.

          --Kynn

          •  I can believe what you're saying (none)
            I don't necessarily agree with all the "scales lifted from my eyes" comments of some of the other posters.

            I guess, none of this surprises me.  It's interesting, I suppose, that the anti-choicers make this absurdly inaccurate analogy with Dred Scott, but I don't see what it changes.  The fight for a woman's right to choose goes on.  When has it ever been anything other than a fight?

            In the past NOT overturning Roe v. Wade has been a political advantage to the anti-choice side, keeping the base riled up, as Thomas Frank has so ably documented in "What's the Matter with Kansas".

            However, they can't keep this up forever.  Sooner or later they're going to have to deliver or the base will get discouraged.  For four years, they've had to face this reelection campaign.  When they no longer have to do so, they may indeed finally go for the kill on Roe v. Wade.

            A lame duck Bush is more dangerous than the one who has to face election.  For this reason, and so many others.

        •  You may find it bizarre, but I (none)
          who was raised a conservative, didn't even blink at it - until he muddled it all into incoherence, because he obviously doens't know enough US history to be able to get the facts of one of the most famous cases in history straight.

          It wasn't until everyone started going WTF?!? that I realized that this wasn't common knowledge, outside conservative Catholic writings. To me it was just, Oh, that's him waving to the prolife voters, only he tripped as he waved.

          "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

          by bellatrys on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 09:28:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mention in Salon (none)
    It looks like Salon has picked up the story.
  •  Don't assume the fetal positon on abortion! (none)
    Good evening,

    Look, abortion is legal! I agree with Ehrenreich that all this acting like it isn't is counter productive.

    Owning Up to Abortion

    By Barbara Ehrenreich
    July 22, 2004

    "You can blame a lot of folks, from media bigwigs to bishops, if we lose our reproductive rights, but it's the women who shrink from acknowledging their own abortions who really irk me..... Choice can be easy, as it was in my case, or truly agonizing. But assuming the fetal position is not an appropriate response. Sartre called this "bad faith," meaning something worse than duplicity: a fundamental denial of freedom and the responsibility that it entails. Time to take your thumbs out of your mouths, ladies, and speak up for your rights. The freedoms that we exercise but do not acknowledge are easily taken away."

    I would add... gentlemen your voice is needed as well.

    I can't testify. I've never been pregnant. But I'll stand by those that do. I volunteer as a surrogate testifier. :-)

  •  BOOK: Contraception & Abortion in Antiquity (none)
    RECOMMENDED BOOK:

    Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance
    John M. Riddle
    Harvard University Press, 1992

    http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/book-sum/contra1.html

    Riddle analyzes ancient contraceptive medical practices and finds that contraception and abortion were safe, effective, and commonly used. (At least, they were as safe as carrying a pregnancy to term.)

    1)       "In 1936 Norman Himes published a history of contraceptives. For the classical period he concluded, that oral contraceptives ("potions") were not effective and, second, that the knowledge of the few other contraceptive devices that worked (specifically, vaginal suppositories) was "confined largely to the heads of medical encyclopedists, to a few physicians and scholars." In the coming chapters, I suggest that their knowledge was primarily transmitted by a network of women working within the culture of their gender and that only occasionally was some of it learned by medical writers, almost all of whom were male." page 16

    1.       "The demographic depression that occurred in western Europe between the 1430s and the 1480s may have been caused by ergotism from a contaminated supply of rye bread, which in turned reduced fertility." page 17

    2.       "According to convention and the law, ancient women could employ contraceptives and early stage abortifacients virtually without consequences. The same was true in medieval Islam and to some degree in Christian society during the Middle ages. The question is whether they knew the agents to control fertility and how effective these agents were.

          Modern explanations have largely ignored chemical means of family planning because, until recent scientific and anthropological findings, we did not believe them to be effective. The writings of the Romans and medieval sources speak often about oral contraceptives. Modern writers, as we noted, have denied the effectiveness of oral contraceptives among the ancients." page 23

    4)       In antiquity, "[u]nless a woman was demonstrably and visibly pregnant, she was not pregnant until she so declared." page 27

          "How extensive a father's rights were to protect a fetus is unknown, according to what we know of Greek law. Clearly, as Richard Feen concluded, the crime of abortion was not the killing of a fetus or embryo but he depriving the father of his right to an heir." page 63

    5)       Speaking about Cyrene in North Africa and the plant silphium in the 5th century BC: "For centuries the city's coins had carried the image of the plant, which was its distinctive symbol. One may wonder why a plant would make a city famous. Soranus told us: it was a contraceptive- one of the best in the ancient world. Its popularity, however, drove it to extinction probably soon after Soranus' time." page 28

          "The best of the related plants, the plant found only near Cyrene, was silphium, which prevented unwanted pregnancies. It became extinct in part because of its value and restricted habitat." page 28

    1.       "Of the ten plants Soranus mentioned in these four recipes, modern medical science has judged eight as having an effect as contraceptives and abortifacients/ emmenagogues. One of the other two is likely to have an antifertility effect, while the final plant, rocket, has not been studied. In the case of rue, present Chinese, Latin American, and Indian medical authorities recognize its abortifacient quality, with one manual warning that pregnant women should avoid even small amounts of it because of its "emmenagogue properties." " page 29

    2.       "The latest and probably the best modern reference about medicinal plants is James A. Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (1985). Duke reports on twenty-seven contraceptive plants, but of there only eight are in Dioscorides." page 56

    3.       "Enzo Nardi, John Noonan, and Marie-Therese Fontanille have collected the classical references in literature to birth control. The corpus of references is substantial. The evidence is compelling that abortion and contraception were a part of the everyday world of classical antiquity." page 64

    4.       Regarding a discourse on Aspasia (she wrote on abortion): "Aspasia is likely a pseudonym; although the name is feminine, there is no reason to assume that the author was female." page 97 My comment: there is no reason to assume that she isn't a woman, to assume that a man took a female pseudonym. Do I detect a small amount of pigginess in an otherwise outstanding work?

    5.       "In Muslim society, the evidence of continuous usages of oral contraceptives and early stage abortifacients is abundant - even overwhelming - as shown by B. F. Musallam. In Islam, the soul comes to the conceptus at the end of 120 days (four months by lunar calendar). The authority, dating back to Hebrew scripture and Aristotle, came more directly from the Prophet. All Muslim jurists accepted this, but different interpretations were taken on abortion. The Hanafi jurists permitted a woman to abort, even without the husband's permission (though she should have cause), before 120 days. Shafi'i and Hanbali jurists, however, disagreed but could not agree on a lower limit of 40 days or 80 or 120. Most Malikis prohibited abortion at any time on the basis of potentiality for ensoulment. All could agree on one thing: contraception was acceptable and not prohibited by God's law. As a consequence, Arabic medical writings explored both contraceptive and early stage abortificients, perhaps to the limits that critical, concerted medical observation permit." page 127

    6.       "If they had been totally ineffective, would so many people - ranging from high ecclesiastical and medical authorities down to Pierre and Beatrice - have been so wrong? . . .

          Whatever can be written about the hailed placebo effect does not apply to birth control measures. Full-term pregnancy simply cannot be psychosomatic. If a person takes a drug and has potentially fertile intercourse, he or she cannot know whether it worked if pregnancy is not an outcome. If she becomes pregnant, on the other hand, she knows that it did not work. Scientific studies aside, a reasoned argument for the effectiveness of the contraceptives and early stage abortificients in this study is their persistent presence in the records. If they were not effective, would people have had confidence in them generation after generation, from the time of the earliest Egyptian medical records? Would the historical data have shown such vitality and variability in the medical works, such as judged by the discovery of new agents and the fact that most writers wrote innovatively about the experiences with drugs? If, in contrast, the agents were merely placebos at best, magic at worst, would not the documents have been stylized, inelastic, and static, with one writer copying from the other (as did some times happen, more often in works on magic)? If we are correct about the usage of birth control agents being sufficiently effective and widespread as to give people some control over reproduction, how then do we explain the apparent near loss of this information in the modern period?

          Had it been left without religious and moral restrictions, the Renaissance should have been a great period for increased knowledge and awareness of birth control agents. First and foremost, there were the humanists, whose zest for classical lore led them further and further back to the Greek and Latin classics with such fervor that they produced the Renaissance. . . . A new verb entered the vocabulary of European tongues: "botanize," meaning to explore for plants. The purpose was not the plants qua plants but plants qua medicine. . . .

          The second factor that should have stimulated birth control information was the discovery of the New World and the suddenly enlarged number of plant species that could have contributed new agents, especially with information from the American Indians. . . .

          A third factor was the secularization of the northern Italian urban states. . . . Many of the larger cities - Venice, Florence, Pisa - had their own universities that were not controlled by the local bishop, who otherwise would have insisted on some degree of doctrinal compliance. . .

          Finally, the university culture emphasized the rational forms of human behavior and decried the mystical, magical, and superstitious." page 145 - 146

    12)       "Gynecology fell more and more to midwives, who received no formal training from the university. The physicians had their place only when female medical problems called for drastic or nonroutine action. By the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, few physicians knew about birth control agents, simply because it was not part of their training in becoming doctors, nor was there a ready means to learn about them during regular practice. The chain of learning broke, and the chain of folk knowledge nearly broke.

    How much of a factor the pronatal policies of societies and the opposition to birth control by the Christian church were is difficult to determine, but they must have had some effect. . . ." page 157

    1.       "During the sixteenth century, it was not just a matter involving sexual activity and reproduction. The possibility of contracting syphilis meant that there was no safe way to have sex. Some daughters may not have been told about the drugs to take to avoid pregnancy for fear that this assurance could lead to sexual activity and potentially fatal consequences." page 157

    2.       To explain the loss of knowledge about the contraceptive effects of plants, Riddle makes no mention of the estimated 100,000 to 9 million women, many (maybe 1/3) of whom were midwives who were tortured and who died as witches during the 14th-17th centuries.

          Riddle also fails to mention the low regard in which women were held - men were probably just too damn proud to admit that they could learn anything from women. He also does not mention that male university trained physicians were in financial competition with untrained midwives for patients. By acknowledging that these wise women had something to teach, the physicians undermined their air of authority which was their greatest asset because they did not have knowledge. ( Once again women died at the hands of quacks so that ignorant, pompous men might grow rich.)

    1.       "In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the knowledge of contraception and abortificients continued to decline." page 160

    2.       "In 1869 Pope Pius IX declared the new church position on ensoulment, namely, that it occurs at conception." page 162 - Is the encyclical in which a Pope finally settled a 2500-year-long argument, which started with the pre-Christian, pagan Aristotle, by declaring that women do indeed have souls?

    3.       "We have seen indications in all periods that folk experimentation led to the discovery of new drugs to contracept and to abort, while some of the drugs, which were judged less effective or available and more dangerous, were dropped from use. Folk experimentation and observation took place in ways resembling what Theophrastus related about the wild carrot's fertility effects on cattle. . . People observed the effects that plants had on animals and on themselves and learned what to take to prevent or end pregnancy at the same time that they learned how to avoid unwanted terminations.

    Right up to the twentieth century,. women have affirmed their right to take menstrual regulators, even when it aborted pregnancy, up until the fetus moved or quickened. If pregnancy continued, there were stronger, late stage abortificients and manipulations or surgical procedures, which were dangerous and risky. " pages 163-164

    1.       "A number of anthropological-historical studies from Nigeria, China, Korea, the Soviet Union, Haita, New Mexico, Egypt, Malasia, and India reveal that traditional societies are employing various antifertility agents. If modern populations can regulate their fertility by plant drugs, surely so could premodern societies, because there is strong evidence that similar methods and agents were being used then." page 164

    2.       Riddle neglects to use the argument that most of our modern drugs are derived from plants which were part of folk medicine.

    It is an American value to care for each other.
    Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

    by Daemmern on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 02:10:37 AM PDT

  •  The News Has Spread (none)
    Andrew Sullivan mentioned the connection today.
  •  isn't anyone up in arms that the NYT stole fr. DK? (none)
    A NYT reporter wrote about this very story but neglected to credit Daily Kos or Kynn as the source for it.  I'm teed off about it, but I wonder if anyone else is.

    Isn't it hard enough to get respect for blogs in the world of "mainstream" journalism w/o them also stealing from us w/o proper attribtution?

    My post on this is at http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2004/10/new_york_times_.html

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