Monday, August 15, 2011

Not tempted to break my pledge

As I pondered the recent Republican presidential debate, Michele Bachmann's win of the Iowa straw poll, and Rick Perry's formal decision to enter this race, I had to admit: my pledge is likely going to save me from any agonizing decisions come November of next year.

Then again, the Republicans are doing a pretty good job of preventing conservative Catholics from having to make any agonizing election decisions all by themselves.

There was a chance--a slight one, perhaps, but a chance--that some really intelligent principled pro-life anti-torture anti-foreign entanglement/wars of expansion pro-American pro-traditional marriage anti-debt anti-big corporation anti-big government pro-small business pro-family pro-solutions to poverty anti-confiscatory taxation pro-reasonable taxation social and fiscal and otherwise conservative Republican would somehow elbow his or her way onto the national stage--but at this point, I have to wonder if any such person even exists in the GOP, or at all, anywhere outside of my hopeful imagination.

Living, as I do, in Texas, I've been asked to share my reasons for not particularly wishing Rick Perry to seize the Republican presidential nomination. My short, glib answer is that Rick Perry is Mitt Romney with less hair and more cronyism. To take a longer look at Perry's record is to delve into two specific matters that have been addressed before and then to look at Perry in the whole.

The first matter is a little thing you've probably never heard of, called the Trans-Texas Corridor. Here's what it was supposed to be:

How to bridge the gap? In 2002 the governor, Rick Perry, offered a grand vision: the Trans-Texas Corridor, a network of highways criss-crossing the state. The centrepiece would be a 600-mile (1,000km) thoroughfare running the length of the state, roughly paralleling the existing Interstate 35, from Mexico to the Red river. It would be 1,200 feet (370 metres) across—the width of four football fields, in Texas terms—with plenty of room for cars, trucks and trains. It would be expensive, but never fear: the state would work with the private sector, and companies would run the corridor as a toll road. “Toll roads, slow roads, or no roads,” explained Mr Perry.

Critics howled. They said that carving out the corridor would require unprecedented use of eminent domain to swallow private lands, and fretted about traffic from Mexico and the cost of tolls. Under fire from all sides, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) killed the corridor last year. But the issue is very far from dead. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the state’s senior senator, who is challenging Mr Perry for the 2010 Republican nomination for governor, argues that the “concepts and strategies” of the corridor are still alive and well. They certainly are. Work on toll roads and public-private partnerships is continuing, although in smaller, less showy stretches.

Yep. A road the width of four football fields, owned and run by private companies from foreign countries, along which a handful of restaurants and gas stations would have a veritable monopoly, and on which trucks from Mexico and South America could drive without needing to bother with silly border formalities when they entered Texas from Mexico--that was Governor Perry's baby. And though he pulled the plug on the project in time for last year's election (when he was reelected governor of Texas), he has said that he still wants to achieve many of the TTC's goals--but under a different name and with less obvious eminent domain grabbing and foreign country giveaways, so as not to rile the Texans who were already mad about this the first time around.

The second matter was Governor Perry's attempt to mandate the Gardasil shot for all Texas sixth-grade girls. He says now that it was still a good idea--but that he went about it the wrong way:

A few hours after unveiling his campaign for president, Perry began walking back from one of the most controversial decisions of his more-than-10-year reign as Texas governor. Speaking to voters at a backyard party in New Hampshire, Perry said he was ill-informed when he issued his executive order, in February 2007, mandating the HPV vaccine for all girls entering sixth grade, unless their parents completed a conscientious-objection affidavit form. The vaccine, Merck & Co.’s Gardasil, would have protected against the forms of HPV that cause about 70 percent of all cervical cancer, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

"I signed an executive order that allowed for an opt-out, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry," Perry said at the Manchester, N.H., event in response to an audience question about the HPV controversy, according to ABC News’ The Note. "But here’s what I learned: When you get too far out in front of the parade, they will let you know, and that’s exactly what our Legislature did, and I saluted it and I said, 'Roger that, I hear you loud and clear.' And they didn’t want to do it and we don’t, so enough said.”

Instead of making the vaccine mandatory, "what we should of done was a program that frankly allowed them to opt in or some type of program like that," Perry told the New Hampshire gathering.

The battle over mandatory Gardasil shots gets cast in the above article, as it usually does, as a battle between social conservatives who think the shots encourage promiscuity and the rest of the world who doesn't want girls to grow up and get cervical cancer regardless of their sexual habits; this is actually rather insulting, as no social conservative I know thinks that at all. However, a look at the reality can be had here; yes, it's an anti-Gardasil site, but it's one of the few places that has been tracking the number of deaths reported to follow Gardasil as well as the very serious reported reactions that go far beyond the warnings contained in the vaccine insert. The site has counted 73 deaths so far from the vaccine, a number which is not that far from the number reported to VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) which included 68 deaths as cited here. Despite the fact that Gardasil is only supposed to be given to healthy girls, though, the CDC believes that these deaths are not linked to the vaccine and that in general information reported to VAERS doesn't ever show evidence of safety issues with a vaccine.

Still, we're talking about a vaccine which may or may not prevent cervical cancer (it will take a few decades before we can really say whether girls vaccinated with Gardasil have lower cervical cancer rates than others) and which has had significant negative press associated with possible dangerous side effects. Why the rush to mandate this vaccine for all Texas sixth-graders, forcing parents who didn't want the shot for their daughters (or wished to delay it, etc.) to opt-out? One possibility is suggested by the first article about this issue I linked to above:

Perry was also dogged by accusations that he was close to Merck, at the time the sole manufacturer of the vaccine. Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff and longtime adviser, was reported to be one of Merck’s three lobbyists in Texas. Merck’s political action committee donated $6,000 to Perry’s re-election campaign. Perry said the donations, small in the relative scheme of big-money Texas politics, had no influence on his decision.

Didn't we already learn that Texas-style cronyism has a dampening effect on conservatism?

And when it comes to slap-on-the-back cronyism, Perry's alleged ties with Merck may be the tip of the iceberg:
The Emerging Technology Fund was created at Mr. Perry's behest in 2005 to act as a kind of public-sector venture capital firm, largely to provide funding for tech start-ups in Texas. Since then, the fund has committed nearly $200 million of taxpayer money to fund 133 companies. Mr. Perry told a group of CEOs in May that the fund's "strategic investments are what's helping us keep groundbreaking innovations in the state." The governor, together with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House, enjoys ultimate decision-making power over the fund's investments. [...]

All told, the Dallas Morning News has found that some $16 million from the tech fund has gone to firms in which major Perry contributors were either investors or officers, and $27 million from the fund has gone to companies founded or advised by six advisory board members. The tangle of interests surrounding the fund has raised eyebrows throughout the state, especially among conservatives who think the fund is a misplaced use of taxpayer dollars to start with.

"It is fundamentally immoral and arrogant," says state representative David Simpson, a tea party-backed freshman from Longview, two hours east of Dallas. The fund "opened the door to the appearance of impropriety, if not actual impropriety."

In April, the state auditor's office called for greater transparency in the fund's management, and some legislators began looking for ways that the fund might be reformed. With the state facing a $27 billion budget shortfall in the last legislative session, Mr. Simpson filed a motion in the Texas House in May to shutter the fund and redirect the money to other portions of the budget. That measure passed 89-37 to cheers from the chamber. But the fund was kept alive by the legislature's conference committee. The fund currently has $140 million to spend, according to the governor's office.

Michael Quinn Sullivan, the president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, sees in the Emerging Technology Fund a classic example of the perils of government pork. "The problem with these kinds of funds is that even when they're used with the best of intentions, it looks bad," says Mr. Sullivan. "You're taking from the average taxpayer and giving to someone who has a connection with government officials."

Which is politics as usual, these days. But is that really conservatism? More to the point: is that really the best challenge the GOP has to President Obama?

As I said above, I'm sticking to my pledge, which means I'm not planning to vote for anybody but third-party candidates anyway. But it would be nice if I could at least be tempted by somebody in the GOP field.

29 comments:

Annie said...

Thanks for sharing your perspective as a Texan. I also won't be supporting Perry or any of the other GOP candidates. I disagree that there is even a chance that the candidate you that describe could even exist in the GOP because that is not what the GOP stands for anymore.

And I was really irritated by his claim that the US was the last best hope for mankind. How can we be so arrogant? The last and only hope for mankind is the Church which existed before the creation of the US and will exist after its gone. That's the kind of arrogance that will be our downfall.

Diamantina da Brescia said...

Erin,

As a pro-life Catholic of the left, I think I would seriously consider voting for your dream candidate, even though I would disagree with that candidate on economic policy. I doubt that anyone like that could reach presidential candidate level in today's GOP, or (with modifications for economic policy) in today's Democratic Party. Polticians with those kinds of ideals would either be unelectable in today's world or feel obliged to change their ideals to get elected.

Annie,

I agree with you when you wrote that the Church is the last, best and only hope for mankind. It is a shame, however, that the Church does not advertise itself well in the wider world :-) Yes, it is a sign of contradiction, but too much contradiction is apt to put off non-Catholics and even leave many Catholics confused and in the lurch.

Liz said...

Your dream candidate is probably not only my dream candidate, but the dream candidate of nearly everyone pro-life person I know, Protestant or Catholic. The question is why would it be absolutely impossible for that dream candidate to make it through the current system to actually be a viable candidate on the ballot. If so many of us want this why are we stuck with the Mitt Romneys, the Rick Perry's, the Barack Obamas, and the Hillary Clintons?

Even those of us in the northeast know that a road that makes it easier and cheaper for Mexican goods to make it north is not a good thing for us. I can't imagine living in Texas and having the state do a land grab so that private companies could make more money and devastate the national economy even further by moving more jobs south.

I haven't quite made your pledge yet, but I'm getting closer all the time.

John E. said...

For all the social justice types out there, you might keep the following in mind when Perry talks about Texas fiscal responsibility:

http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/texas-holding-money-aimed-to-help-pay-for-1673843.html

Texas holding money aimed to help pay for cooling

AUSTIN, Texas — During one of worst heat waves in state history, Texas is holding onto millions of dollars intended to help hundreds of thousands of elderly and low-income residents pay their electric bills.

The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday the state has collected $130 million this fiscal year to help financially strapped Texas residents pay for the cost of electricity used for cooling, but has provided only $28 million so far to those who need it.

The reason: State lawmakers have locked away the money to deal with the budget shortfall. The state is now spending only half as much as it did to help the poor and elderly get through the summer a decade ago.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Wow, and you didn't even mention his death penalty issues!

My problem is that, come November 2012, I will have to vote for someone, and probably whichever not-as-prolife-as-I-wish-he-=was republican, simply because Indiana is now a "swing state" and I can't afford to let my state's electoral college votes go to Mr. "Sebalius is head of HHS and we'll persecute states like Indiana who try to defund planned parenthood!"

I think Texans have a luxury that many of us don't-- they KNOW their state won't go for Obama, so they can afford to go third party.

On the other hand, if the dems would nominate pro-life candidates, I might weigh the issues more carefully and see where things stood-- but for now, the "less of two evils" choice seems clear. (And if the repubs nominated a prochoicer I WOULD go third party....)

Chris-2-4 said...

Red:

Please clarify. Is it your opinion that Perry's stance on any or all of those three issues you raised was morally wrong or simply bad policy?

Maggie said...

"There was a chance--a slight one, perhaps, but a chance--that some really intelligent principled pro-life anti-torture anti-foreign entanglement/wars of expansion pro-American pro-traditional marriage anti-debt anti-big corporation anti-big government pro-small business pro-family pro-solutions to poverty anti-confiscatory taxation pro-reasonable taxation social and fiscal and otherwise conservative Republican would somehow elbow his or her way onto the national stage--but at this point, I have to wonder if any such person even exists in the GOP, or at all, anywhere outside of my hopeful imagination."

You just gave a pretty accurate description of Ron Paul, also a Texan, who just narrowly came in 2nd in the straw poll in Iowa, and who most viewers chose as the winner of the debate last Thursday. In the straw poll, he received approximately 150 votes less than Michele Bachmann. 150 VOTES!!! LESS THAN ONE PERCENT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RON PAUL AND THE "WINNER" BACHMANN. All the others were far behind. Ron Paul is the most traditionally Republican member of the GOP. He is your man.

Rebecca in ID said...

I would like to hear what you think of Ron Paul, too, Red. I don't know much about him but I have heard several positive things.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

"some really intelligent principled pro-life anti-torture anti-foreign entanglement/wars of expansion pro-American pro-traditional marriage anti-debt anti-big corporation anti-big government pro-small business pro-family pro-solutions to poverty anti-confiscatory taxation pro-reasonable taxation social and fiscal and otherwise conservative Republican"

I would vote for such a candidate. If you were president, and I were in congress, I would try to tweak your budget to tax income over $1 million at a higher rate than you would. I would try to tone down your pro-life policies to the point that a woman who really, really, thought abortion was her best option could find a competent doctor to perform the procedure and neither of them would go to prison.

But that's par for the course in normal political times. Checks and balances. On balance, your program would be much better for a much larger portion of the American people than anything on offer now.

Given the choices we do have, I expect to be voting to re-elect President Obama. But I think he missed out on what he owes his initial appeal to. He had a capacity to speak OVER THE HEADS of the Republican leadership, to some of the constituencies they had counted on in the past twenty years or so. Instead, he tried to snuggle up to a leadership that knew that perfectly well, and was intent on derailing him.

If he had understood his calling better, he might have been trying to compromise with your agenda, rather than with Susan Collins or John Boehner.

Barbara C. said...

The Gardasil thing is unbelievable. But I think it will be just a matter of time before they start including those type shots in the vaccination recommendations for baby girls, just like the Hep B shots they keep pushing.

c matt said...

I also think your dream candidate just about describes Ron Paul. Many have tried to peg him as a libertarian. He does share many views with them, as do conservatives, but he also holds views that are not in line with pure libertarian thinking - particularly on abortion. The problem with Ron is that his positions are truly revolutionary, and everyone has been conditioned to fear true change. Everyone understood Obama's rhetoric about change was just bs, so it was fine. RP's was the real thing, and that scared the bejeebees out of everyone.

Red Cardigan said...

Chris, my reservations about politicians are usually in the realm of the prudential. If I ever thought it would be morally wrong to vote for somebody, I'd say so. I am troubled by Perry's statement that though he's for traditional marriage he thinks states should get to decide whatever they want--because nobody really believes that the SCOTUS won't eventually be deciding the issue for the rest of us, do they?

That, by the way, is my main problem with Ron Paul. As a libertarian-leaning candidate, Paul says marriage should be up to the states. Marriage as an institution pre-dates this whole country, though--so why should some states get the right, in effect, to declare that Catholics and others who agree with us on this one are all wicked bigots for not going along with the state's brand-new definition of marriage?

Nobody on the GOP side will take seriously the clash between gay "marriage" and religious freedoms. Nobody. Which means that they're likely not going to fight for those freedoms.

Chris-2-4 said...

Thanks Red, but I think you missed the point of my question. I am not asking if you think it morally wrong to vote for Perry, but whether you think you can't vote for him because his POSITIONS are morally wrong or prudentially wrong.

Perhaps you consider some of his positions morally wrong and others prudentially wrong. But, of the three above noted problems you have with him none of them seem to be morally wrong per se, and I personally think they are all imprudent, but morally neutral.

Now, I suppose you could then say that their are other issues with him and issues that involve morally problematic positions. If so, why not list them?

Obama on the other hand, as well as some of the other GOP candidates do indeed have morally problematic positions. If Perry has none that you felt important enough to point out while discussing your biggest problems with him, why isn't he worth a vote toward defeating Obama?

As an aside, I believe Perry came out and adequately explained/recanted that off-the-cuff comment about it being "fine with him" if states legalized gay marriage. I would like a president who would fight for religious freedoms and traditional marriage, but I would be satisfied with one who simply did not let the progressive cause advance for now.

P.S. Did I lose a comment?

Red Cardigan said...

I just re-read your question, Chris, and I'd like to clarify my clarification--you're asking if I think *Perry* is morally wrong in these decisions. While I wouldn't judge someone's soul, I would say that generally speaking land grabs, overriding parental authority, and cronyism with taxpayer money is not particularly *good* per se...

Chris-2-4 said...

Come on Red. I don't know if you're just dodging here or what...

Obama supports Abortion. That is a morally wrong position. It's not judging his soul to say so.

Obama is for tax increases. I'm against that, but I believe he is prudentially wrong, not morally wrong on the issue.

I'm asking which category you would tend to group the three positions you raised.

FYI, "Land Grabs" and "cronyism" are charged statements and "overriding parental authority" is actually a pretty unfair characterization of the Gardasil proposal since there was a parental opt-out.

Maggie said...

"Marriage as an institution pre-dates this whole country, though--so why should some states get the right, in effect, to declare that Catholics and others who agree with us on this one are all wicked bigots for not going along with the state's brand-new definition of marriage?"
I would just like to clarify about Ron Paul and gay "marriage". He has said many times that he wants marriage to be left to the church(es) and the government (federal) to stay out of it. He acknowledges that marriage as an institution is much much older than most modern countries (including this one), and for that reason his ideal goal is to get government completely out of the personal lives, which includes marriage, of the citizens. He has also said that if it was really truly necessary to have some law on marriage, that it should be left up to the states, but that would only be as a last resort.

Kerri said...

I can't believe that if Perry were the nominee, you would not vote for him. If Obama is given 4 more years, he will certainly take that to mean he has a mandate from the people, and I shudder to think what he will try to accomplish without re-election to worry about. America may not be the last, best hope, but despite its warts, it is the freest nation on earth. If he is re-elected are we all going to move to Vatican City? I do believe he is trying to "fundamentally transform" our nation (and not for the better) and if re-elected, he will have carte blanche. Perry is pro-life, unlike Obama who sees babies as "punishment," and that is the issue I look at first. Yes, he has made mistakes, but unlike Obama, he is humble enough (or practical enough) to abandon ideas that are against the will of the people. I don't like Perry personally and his platform is not my dream platform, but if he is head to head with Obama, darn right he is getting my vote.

Red Cardigan said...

Well, all right, Chris, let me put it this way:

Obama's support for abortion is morally wrong.

Perry's support for the death penalty in cases of aggravated rape is morally wrong.

Each of them has positions on other issues which I find prudentially wrong.

But my point in writing this post is that if this is conservatism, then the word is essentially meaningless. I'd actually like to do a discussion of Perry's death penalty extremism in light of the Catechism, but it will take me a little time to prepare, and in the meantime I wanted to answer the questions some readers had about whether I'd find Perry to be a good candidate or not.

What I will *not* do any more is say: the Democratic presidential candidate's support of abortion means that I must support the Republican candidate regardless of the morality and/or prudential wisdom of his views. The Republican party has banked on that proposition for too long--and it is, ultimately, a losing proposition for those of us who are actually conservative, but not Republican (as it has said in my "about me" section since this blog's very first day).

Red Cardigan said...

Maggie, the problem with the government getting out of marriage completely is that then families are at risk of carrying an even greater burden in terms of the raising and caring for children. Most of the supposed benefits (in a tax, etc. sense) of marriage were designed to protect the non-working spouse (traditionally the wife) and the children. Do we really want a world where wives do not inherit their husbands' benefits or estates, and where children are seen as more the responsibility of the state than of their parents (who will soon be defined as any adults who happen to be temporarily taking care of them)?

I fear that we're heading there anyway, and that, as always, it is women and children who will suffer the most. But I can't quite take the libertarian approach to marriage when marriage is a human good that encourages the formation of natural families comprised of a man, a woman, and the children their relationship naturally produces. (And, yes, there have been infertile marriages and so on--but that hasn't changed the overwhelming reality of what marriage is in the same way that gay "marriage" threatens to do. Gay "marriage redefines the whole thing as a relationship of adults without any consideration whatsoever for children, as if children were mere excrescences instead of the natural and expected result of a particular sexual act--once called "the marriage act"--between one man and one woman.)

chris-2-4 said...

I look forward to reading your post on Perry's "deat penalty extremism". When it comes, I hope it accounts for his actual authority as Texas Governor.

Anonymous said...

Red,
This may sound plebian, but I am always confused when people discuss state's rights. As in, if the states exist, should they not have rights?

In many respects, that's what the Civil War was all about, yes?

If state's are able to legislate certain things, why not marriage (i.e. gay marriage?). Obviously, I'm not pro-gay marriage. But when you object to Ron Paul's position that the gay marriage should come down to each state, wouldn't you then object to states having individual powers over other things, too?

Charlotte

Red Cardigan said...

Charlotte, I'm a fan of smaller government and states' rights. But the states don't have the right, in my opinion, to enact laws which conflict with the natural law (or God's law, for those of us who believe in Him). :)

Thus, a state could not decide to permit the wholesale murder of two-year-olds simply because a large number of the state's inhabitants thought that would be a good idea; a state could not force welfare recipients to work as sex workers or lose their benefits; a state could not decide that Muslims couldn't own property; and so on.

We know how things went when some states kept slavery "safe and legal" while others rightly decried it as evil. When states started legalizing the evil of abortion, the issue quickly ended up in the Supreme Court, which then committed the horrible injustice of legalizing abortion through the nine months of pregnancy. Should enough states mandate the evil of gay "marriage," the Supreme Court will step in as well, and will, I have little doubt, decide that religious freedom is less important than forcing all people to embrace the idea that sodomy is perfectly moral and every bit the same thing as reproductive sex.

Bottom line, for me: states do have many important rights, but the right to declare evil good is not one of them.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

The Civil War was about

a) slavery -- no matter how much revisionist historians deny it, and,

b) the same issue Andrew Jackson enunciated when he got authority from congress to send the U.S. army into South Carolina: "The United States is a government, not a league."

However, while the union, per se, is not a legally or constitutionally dissoluble one (nor do most states have borders conducive to economic and political independence), our constitution IS a federal one, and there ARE powers reserved to the states.

E.g., the Rehnquist court, on one of its better days, struck down FEDERAL legislation providing penalties for carrying a firearm within 1000 yards of a school building, because it was none of the business of congress, it was a matter for the states (all of which had stiff criminal penalties for the same act).

I definitely favor leaving marriage up to the states. I anticipate that the Supreme Court will decline to apply a broad federal constitutional standard.

I know there ARE whining narcissists who will not shut up until every Roman Catholic parish in the country is required by law to host their wedding. But, I also know these whiners have no constitutional foundation to stand on, so the annoyance of hearing them whine is the greatest danger on the horizon.

States can issue civil marriage licenses. States may vote to issue them to same sex couples. States cannot mandate that any church host or bless such marriages. What has existed long before the United States was formed, if it is so fundamental, should survive via churches and individual choice, without the sanction of federal law. After all, no matter how the legal rights of gays have expanded, the percentage of heterosexuals in the population remains an overwhelming majority, for obvious reasons.

Obama doesn't support abortion, because that is none of the business of the President of the United States. It is a matter for the states -- restrained only by the liberties of citizens of the United States that no state may abridge.

Closing note to Erin: If you look into Perry and the death penalty, please be sure to cover his bizarre handling of the Cameron Todd Willingham lynching.

John E. said...

E.g., the Rehnquist court, on one of its better days, struck down FEDERAL legislation providing penalties for carrying a firearm within 1000 yards of a school building, because it was none of the business of congress, it was a matter for the states (all of which had stiff criminal penalties for the same act).

I'm happy to say that this is not a correct description of the law in Texas.

Texas has laws providing for the enhancement of penalties associated with criminal acts that involve the use of a gun withing 300 feet of a school, but it is perfectly legal in Texas to carry a firearm within 300 feet of a school.

Otherwise, I'd be breaking the law whenever I took an evening stroll around my neighborhood.

c matt said...

Obama doesn't support abortion, because that is none of the business of the President of the United States. It is a matter for the states -- restrained only by the liberties of citizens of the United States that no state may abridge.

Wow. I bet that would come as a surprise to him and his supporters.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

John E, I know you know the law on that subject in Texas. When I read the Lopez decision by the Supreme Court, the defendant had been charged under state law, then the state attorney dropped the matter to let the feds prosecute under the federal statute. The Supreme Court said, state or nothing, its not federal jurisdiction. You are probably happy about that too, or you'd be violating federal law on your strolls. I'd have to go back and look, but perhaps Lopez was a felon in possession, or was committing another felony at the same time.

c matt: As you know, President Obama has many supporters who are, and will be, surprised by what he does, or does not, do in office. No doubt some of them expect him to be "pro abortion." Many of those expressing disappointment fail to understand that he was elected "President of the United States" not "King of the World." There is a substantial difference in powers. Right now, he can't pass a budget unless it originates in the House of Representatives.

As a firm supporter of the carefully reasoned, highly conservative, application of well established law, that is Roe v. Wade, I have no use for those who are, as your cohorts sometimes say with unfortunate accuracy, "pro-abortion rather than pro choice." You have probably heard more times than you care to about Barack Obama's recitation of his discussion with a pro-life voter in Illinois over the "boiler plate" language on his campaign web site, in 2004, and how he changed it. But it means something.

As president, Barack Obama has lived up to his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the 14th Amendment limitations on the exercise of state police power in violation of protected liberties of "citizens of the United States." Further, he probably favors the current legal status of abortion decisions. But it is none of his business to propose or sign laws which make abortion either more available, or less available. It doesn't matter what his supporters think. They need to read up on constitutional law and federalism.

Anonymous said...

Siarlys: Your description of Roe v. Wade is rejected by most liberal jurists nowadays. They think it's bad law. It's simply risible. And as far as your defense of Obama...you're the last to sample the kool-aid, it seems. Hope it's tasty. But that's not why I'm writing.

Red: Politico has the emails pertaining to Perry's Gardasil decision here. The headline is "The HPV files: In emails Perry mostly absent". Might be of interest; it seems his aides were running things, and he, at least, was staying off email. Maybe he's just smart that way. Absent on email, but not perhaps in the actual management of the thing.

John E. said...

Might be of interest; it seems his aides were running things, and he, at least, was staying off email. Maybe he's just smart that way.

Not really "The Buck Stops Here", though, is it?

More like Plausible Deniability.

Siarlys, I just took a look at Lopez and I notice that the person in question took a gun into the school building.

This strikes me as an altogether different sort of thing than carrying a gun within a certain distance from, but still outside, school property.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Thanks John. I haven't had a chance to look again. With that established, I think (perhaps we all agree) that general criminal law is a state matter, not within federal jurisdiction.

Anonymous: If "liberal jurists" ever do anything which inspires or commands my respect, I will certainly take a look at what they think about Roe v. Wade. Since I have oceans of contempt for the entire lot of them, I don't much care what they think. They are a spineless bunch of cretins for the most part. Perhaps that is why they are ducking the tomatoes instead of standing up with dignity and examining the law.

I have read Justice Blackmun's opinion, several times, and many of the cases he cites as precedent. I can argue, at length and in detail, why the description I offered is accurate and valid. But this is Erin's site, so I won't take that much space to do so here. If you look around my site, you will find several such arguments, some of them dating back to 2006. Liberal jurists be d---ed.