Skip to comments.Fred Thompson and the NRLC (Washington Times Editorial(11/15/07))
Posted on 11/16/2007 9:07:47 AM PST by dschapin
Fred Thompson and the NRLC
It is interesting that the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has chosen to endorse Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, a man who once offered legal advice to a pro-choice group, voted against key pro-life issues in the Senate and now espouses convoluted reasons for rejecting constitutional protection of the unborn.
Recently, Mr. Thompson refused to support a constitutional amendment that would protect innocent life by restricting the availability of abortions. The sanctity-of-life amendment was a core plank in the Republican Party's 2004 election platform, and yet Mr. Thompson said he could not support it, saying his objection stems from his federalist views.
However, in 1995 he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. If he were concerned about states rights he would have let them issue their own laws on the matter. Also, if Mr. Thompson were concerned about cluttering the constitution with superfluous amendments, he would not have supported a 1997 constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Thompson hasn't waffled on the life issue. He has always been pro-life and anti-Roe. Thompson remains the only conservative in this race polling at over 1% of the vote. However, your attempted character assasination of the man is going to result in the nomination of someone who opposed the partial birth abortion ban and wants to uphold Roe.
Thompson recognizes that promoting a human life amendment at this time will do nothing other inflame the opposition and delay the downfall of Roe, resulting in more lives lost. It is no less of a nonstarter than touting the gold standard or the elimination of the income tax - great ideas that are completely irrelevant because they will happen. I recommend you spash some cold water on your face and give yourself a reality check before it is too late.
You'll end up killing more unborn by demanding a human life amendment before you have the required support. It will only delay the overturning of Roe by solidifying pro-choice opposition. But regardless of the consequences, at least you and Dobson and the rest can feel good about yourself right?
You nailed it.
Try hard not to be an ass.
I’m not turning anything over to the states. I didn’t design the constitutional order. That job was before my time and above my pay grade.
The framers gave us a federal system, in large part, for the purpose of defusing bitter disputes by diffusing them. The bitterest dispute in our politics for a generation has had to do with abortion. All I am suggesting is that state and local politics should be allowed to defuse the abortion dispute by giving people a chance to debate, compromise and find common ground.
I know that compromise in this area seems like an outrage. But keep in mind that the goal of the pro-life movement is not merely to change the law. The goal is to change the culture. You can’t move toward that goal by pressing for a constitutional amendment that would make abortion a crime nationwide in nearly every case. Crusading for the HLA only hardens the forces of death and wins them sympathy from people the pro-life movement needs to reach. Passing an HLA would only provoke them to civil disobedience.
A diffuse process in fifty states has the potential to move the culture substantially. When you can’t move an object all at once, you may have success moving it a bit at a time. If pro-life politicians can tailor their arguments to local conditions and pick their fights wisely they may make substantial progress. That’s as good as it gets. Law and politics can’t do more for the pro-life movement than that.
The idea that all we have to do is pass a magic amendment and the universe will once again unfold as it should is juvenile nonsense. Law doesn’t have that kind of power. Fred knows that, and so does NRTL.
WTF are you talking about?
While I favor a HLA, my first goal is to overturn Roe v Wade and end abortion on demand. Why? Because there isn’t enough support for passing a HLA and hasn’t been for the last 35 years!
Before you run off at the mouth, you should get your facts straight. Dobson opposes Fred. I support Fred.
Yeah, I’ve heard these arguments before. They’re phony.
If you promote the idea that states have the right to decide if unalienable rights are alienable, you’re removing every legal, moral and intellectual argument for overturning Roe in the first place, and for ending it in the states in the second place.
The only true method for ending abortion in this country is for every single citizen who reveres God, and respects the value of those made in His image, to withdraw all political support from every single politician who will not understand and act upon the simple truth that a babe in the womb is a person, and is therefore protected by our Constitution.
That’s the only way to move politicians. Hit ‘em where it hurts.
The people who have been leading the conservative movement for the last couple decades, pulling down huge salaries, talk just like you do. They’ll end abortion someday, over the rainbow. And meanwhile, they continue to make deals with the devil that assure that the daily slaughter of thousands of babies will never end.
When are you going to learn that when you deal with the devil, he always picks your pocket and leaves you with nothing?
What good is the presidency--Teddy Roosevelt's "bully pulpit"--if, as president, you're unwilling to take a strong leadership position on the sanctity of life? Even if you think the odds are against you, you STILL take a firm and unwavering leadership position for what's right.
Taking a federalism stance is just another way of saying, "It's too hard. I don't want to work that hard."
Fred has a defeatist attitude, as do you. The enemy revels in such displays of weakness.
You’re certifiably loopy, EV. You are an embarrassment to your hero, Alan Keyes, whom I’ve met (at a Mormon sponsored meeting) and chatted with.
Considering the source, I won’t lose any sleep over your opinion of me. After all, you’re supporting the most liberal Governor this country’s ever seen.
He thinks it would be dandy for the states to decide if God-given rights can be done away with if they want. You know, Utah babies have rights greater than Massachusetts babies.
Ive always been personally pro-life. But the question for me was what role government should play in the matter of abortion. (Sacramento Bee, 3-15-2007)
“My own view is that abortion is not right,” said Romney, who said the procedure is only appropriate in cases of rape, incest or to protect a mother’s life. “But states should be able to make their own decisions rather than have a single pronouncement by the federal government.” (Sacramento Bee, 3-15-2007)
“I believe that each state should be able to make their own choice as to whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.” (Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12-12-2005)
My preference would have been and would be today for the court to say each state could be able to adopt its own policy with regards to abortion and choice. We would have been better off had each state been able to develop their own policy. That way a state like mine, Massachusetts, would be overwhelmingly pro-choice and I as governor would do exactly as I have committed. Im not going to change the laws. Youve chosen pro-choice, its a democratic society, youve chosen it, Ill keep it in place. (Knight Ridder Newspapers, 01-26-2006)
The important thing is building a consensus and agitating for an HLA contributes nothing to that process. It is, in fact, counterproductive. To the extent law and politics can help the pro-life movement shape the culture, they are going to be state law and state politics.
It’s hard for me to see why you attach any importance to the HLA. You argue that states could, under the HLA pass special abortion laws treating abortion differently from other homicides. This would be a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause, but if the courts permitted it, and they just might, they would effectively gut the HLA. If the HLA didn’t require that the criminal law treat abortion like any other homicide it wouldn’t require anything at all. If the HLA were adopted and your view of it prevailed, most of the blue states would allow abortion on demand through 9 months of pregnancy despite the HLA. The situation would be no different from the post-Roe free-for-all that Fred envisions.
In the mean time, most people don’t share your eccentric view that the HLA would leave states free to regulate abortion in any way they choose. Most people with any knowledge of the abortion dispute understand that the purpose of the HLA is to criminalize abortion nationwide. That means that supporting the HLA commits you to an extreme position with virtually no public support.
Why would you want to paint yourself into an extremist corner for the sake of lending rhetorical support to an amendment that you yourself don’t think likely to accomplish anything more than overturning Roe would? This question is particularly puzzling when the amendment at issue has not the slightest chance of passing any time in the 21st Century.
"To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects."
There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors... I mean it."
You’re fulla bull!
Federalism is the way to go and besides, Fred has no intention of opposing a HLA, should enough support for it comes around. Continuing to push for a HLA without a majority support of the people and their representatives in Congress, is an effort futility.
Mitt Boy supported Roe ve Wade and abortion on demand until about two years ago. NO way I’m about to trust Romney on abortion... or guns, gays and health care.
But have you understood them?
“If you promote the idea that states have the right to decide if unalienable rights are alienable, youre removing every legal, moral and intellectual argument for overturning Roe in the first place, and for ending it in the states in the second place.”
Can you say non sequitur? This is a load of crap. Roe was wrongly decided because it told a lie about the contents of the Constitution. Abortion is wrong and there is no right to do wrong. That doesn’t mean that the states have to prohibit, let alone criminalize abortion. They are under no obligation to prohibit every wrong. The Constitution does not purport to deal with every injustice, not even all the grievous ones. For the most part it leaves state governments free to deal with injustice as they see fit. Failing to deal with an issue at the federal level is entirely irrelevant to the debate over how it should be dealt with at the state level.
“The only true method for ending abortion in this country is for every single citizen who reveres God, and respects the value of those made in His image, to withdraw all political support from every single politician who will not understand and act upon the simple truth that a babe in the womb is a person, and is therefore protected by our Constitution.”
Keep me posted on how you get on with that strategy. I’ve got an appointment back on the planet Earth. “
It does deal, very directly, in the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments, with the fact that innocent persons MAY NOT have their lives taken from them.
A simple yes or not question: Is a baby a PERSON, before they've passed through the birth canal?
Because Blackmun stated very clearly in Roe vs. Wade that if they were, they were protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.
Do you agree with Blackmun?
If your answer is "no," you can't possibly ascribe to the idea that states have any right to allow abortion under any circumstances.
“Even constitutional amendments can pass without a consensus sufficient to support them in operation. Consider Prohibition.”
It wasn’t that there wasn’t a consensus for Prohibition. There was.
But eventually, that consensus dissolved as folks experienced the reality of Prohibition.
On the other hand, folks lived without abortion on demand for nearly 200 years. The consensus required to pass a Human Life Amendment will last.
“The important thing is building a consensus and agitating for an HLA contributes nothing to that process.”
The important thing is to do things in order. First, overturn Roe. Second, let states lead the way, showing that there is life after legalized abortion on demand (pun intended).
And all the while, don’t forget the ultimate goal - protection of the unborn in constitutional law.
“Its hard for me to see why you attach any importance to the HLA.”
Why? I have no desire to see New York and California be perpetually the lands of abortion on demand. It is necessary to protect babies in EVERY state.
“You argue that states could, under the HLA pass special abortion laws treating abortion differently from other homicides.”
To a degree, I think they could. It’s funny that you bring up Prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment states that upon taking effect, the manufacture and sale of alcohol would be banned in the United States.
Yet, the laws passed by Congress to enforce this ban made for a small number of exceptions. Folks were permitted small amounts of “homebrew,” and churches that used wine for their sacraments were permitted to buy it from the government.
Thus, it seems that in implementing the amendment through law, the legislature has a little wiggle room.
“If the HLA didnt require that the criminal law treat abortion like any other homicide it wouldnt require anything at all. If the HLA were adopted and your view of it prevailed, most of the blue states would allow abortion on demand through 9 months of pregnancy despite the HLA.”
I don’t think that there’s that much wiggle room.
It’s one thing to say in a statute that women who procure abortions will generally be thought to suffer from a diminished mental capacity. It’s another thing to try to offer some excuse for the butcher drowning in the blood of thousands that he’s aborted, for the sheer profitability of it.
“Why would you want to paint yourself into an extremist corner for the sake of lending rhetorical support to an amendment that you yourself dont think likely to accomplish anything more than overturning Roe would?”
I disagree with your premise that a Human Life Amendment wouldn’t accomplish anything anymore than overturning Roe. It seems that legislatures can fudge a little here and there when implementing a constitutional amendment, but I don’t think that they can altogether vitiate them.
I think that a Human Life Amendment will force states to choose between using current laws against homicide against those who commit abortion, or developing restrictive laws to specifically deal with the crime of abortion.
“This question is particularly puzzling when the amendment at issue has not the slightest chance of passing any time in the 21st Century.”
I think that you’re overly pessimistic. I think that a Human Life Amendment might pass this century, even in the first half. But even if you’re right, just because it will take a long time to bring about isn’t a good reason to despair.
So for example, a woman might have to show in court that her life was truly in danger, and thereby be covered under self-preservation statutes.
I agree with you that there would have to be implementing laws, and that those laws should be on a state-by-state basis,and will provide some degree of flexibility to handling the obvious dichotomy of the rights of the baby and it’s dependence on the mother.
As to the issue of the constitution, my argument was about the rights of persons, not what rights are recognized by the constitution. I wasn't arguing about something under existing constitutional law, I was arguing about rights people had before there even was a constitution.
That the founders didn't recognize the application of rights to some people doesn't mean they don't have those rights, as my slavery example shows. In 1830, if you had forcibly removed a slave from it's owner, you would have been violating both the law and the Constitution. But nobody today would argue that it would be the WRONG thing to do.
What is Fred's position? I've heard two, tell me which is right, if either: 1) Fred opposes the HLA amendment and won't run under it, or 2) Fred doesn't think HLA can be implemented but doesn't oppose it on principle.
If neither of those is right, please explain what his position currently is.
Last thing, you said "with few exceptions, the fetus still has little protection under law. The unborn fetus definitely doesn't have the rights accorded a born person".
Here you are mixing law and right. You are absolutely correct that the fetus has little protection uner the law. However, I believe that the unborn baby DOES have the rights accorded a born person. For example in the few days bofore being born, I believe the preborn has EXACTLY THE SAME RIGHTS as a baby that has been born.
That we don't RECOGNIZE those rights don't mean the pre-born doesn't have those rights. The rights of the preborn person are inalienable, not granted by man, but from God. We are arguing over how or whether our constitution should be clarified to recognize the right, but the Constitution does not grant or confer those rights, the rights exist whether we recognize them or not.
There are federal laws against murder. If a state decided not to prosecute someone who hung a black person, the federal government would step in and prosecute under federal civil rights laws.
There are other federal murder laws as well.
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