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 ...
There is a difference between being marginally pro-life and being willing to fight for the rights of the unborn. I was watching the movie Amazing Grace tonight and thinking that what we need is a modern day William Wilberforce. Someone who will dedicate their life to ending abortion no matter the cost to their health, political career, or popularity. When Wilberforce first introduced his bill it was defeated overwhelmingly and even after he launched a dramatic campaign to raise public support he still was not able to get all of the votes for many years. He fought to abolish slavery for 20 years and lost his health in the process but finally he got England to ban the International Slave Trade and shortly thereafter to ban all slavery in her colonies. To do this he was willing to spend his youth, health, popularity, and political career. Thats the sort of committment we need to end abortion. I don’t think Fred has anywhere near that kind of dedication to saving the unborn.
It was through a direct fight for what seemed impossible - getting an antislavery bill through the House of Commons and the House of Lords that the British Antislavery movement was born. I believe that the same thing could happen here if we are firmly dedicated to the cause. I just watched the Movie Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce and found it to be very sobering comparing there level of dedication with the dedication that I so often lack. I think that if we all fully dedicate ourselves to the cause like William Wilberforce who sacrificed his youth, health, reputation, and political career in order to slavery then we will be able to get abortion banned. The question is if we are really willing to pay the same cost.
Most sensible comment I’ve seen this past week or so. Dead-center in the ten-ring!
I apologize for the misunderstanding. I accidentally directed my post to you instead of the EternalVigilance guy. I saw his name in the "To:" column and hit reply in haste. Sorry.
Your logic is flawed. Whether the unborn counts fully as a human being (and I believe it does) has no bearing on whether a murder of one is a state or federal matter.
If I go next door and murder my neighbor, who has jurisdiction? Who will try me, convict me and imprison me? Would it be a federal court?
No. It would be a state court. The laws against and jurisdiction over murder are handled by the states. To claim the unborn should be treated differently is to make it somehow substantively different from any other murder, which undermines your own position.
It is your logic that is flawed.
In the Preamble to the Constitution, which lays out the purposes of the document, the founders made it clear that they considered their posterity to have rights equal to their own.
And, in the document that provides the basis for the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the God-given rights to life and liberty are called “unalienable.” That means they can’t be taken rightfully by any man, or even given away.
The word, and the meaning the founders understood it to have, had to do with land rights in Europe. The land, though it was given as a gift from the sovereign, over which you maintained a great deal of sovereignty, nonetheless could not pass out of your family. Why? Because in the final analysis, it belonged to the supreme sovereign.
Your life, and the life of every other human being who lives, or who has ever lived, belongs to the Supreme Sovereign of the universe. You maintain a great deal of freedom and sovereignty over it, under God. But, no man has the right to take it from you, and you don’t even have the right to take it yourself. You’re not God, and neither is any human government.
Throughout our history, the vast majority of Americans clearly understood this cornerstone principle of American liberty. It’s sad that so many are following leaders who constantly cloud their minds to what Frederick Douglass called these “saving principles.”
No state has a right to legalize murder, any more than they have a right to legalize slavery, or rape, or to take away the rights to free speech, free assembly, freedom of the press, religious liberty, or the right to keep and bear arms.
I understand and respect your objection to federalism as it relates to abortion (although I personally believe the only way to eventually protect life on a federal basis is to send it back to the states and build support from there).
However, your statement that Thompson is using federalism merely as an excuse just isn’t correct. His record on federalism is not perfect, nor is any other candidate’s. However, he was one of the most aggressive champions for federalism the entire time he was in the senate. I’ve listed some pertinent material below — these don’t include the many votes he made on federalist grounds, and the many arguments he made on the senate floor in favor of federalism.
In 2000 the National Conference of State Legislatures honored Sen. Thompson with its “Restoring the Balance” award:
THOMPSON EARNS RESTORING THE BALANCE AWARD FROM NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES
Key excerpt: WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, has been selected to receive the 2000 Restoring the Balance Award, presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The award, given annually to national policymakers committed to federalism and its impact on issues involving state legislators, was presented to Thompson last night at the NCSLs Leader to Leader Dinner in Washington.
-snip of complimentary quote about Fred just for brevitys sake-
Thompsons dedication to the principles of federalism and sound government policy has resulted in the Committees advancement of the Federalism Accountability Act, and Senate passage of the Regulatory Right to Know Act, the Federal Financial Information Assistance Management Improvement Act, the Truth in Regulating Act, and revision of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
-Thompson introduced S.2445 (9/8/98), the Federalism Enforcement Act of 1998: A bill to provide that the formulation and implementation of policies by Federal departments and agencies shall follow the principles of federalism, and for other purposes.
-He sponsored S. 1214, the Federalism Accountability Act of 1999: A bill to ensure the liberties of the people by promoting federalism, to protect the reserved powers of the States, to impose accountability for Federal preemption of State and local laws, and for other purposes.
-As chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, he led a three-part hearing on the Federalism Accountability Act - the first part was The State of Federalism; the second was Federalism and Crime Control; and the third was on the proposed bill itself. Heres the link: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=106_senate_hearings&docid=f:59454.wais
-He co-sponsored S 1629, the Tenth Amendment Enforcement Act of 1996 (104th CONGRESS, 2d Session): To protect the rights of the States and the people from abuse by the Federal Government; to strengthen the partnership and the intergovernmental relationship between State and Federal Governments; to restrain Federal agencies from exceeding their authority; to enforce the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution; and for other purposes.
-Closely related to federalism, Thompson introduced S.2068 on 5/12/1998, A bill to clarify the application of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, and for other purposes. This bill was intended to enforce the unfunded mandate act passed in 1995.
-Also related to federalism, another major priority of Thompson’s during his time in the senate was regulatory reform — he spent years fighting to stop unelected executive branch bureaucracies from unConstitutionally imposing taxes and other burdens on states and on citizens.
Nice speech. Really. Too bad it didn’t even remotely address anything I said.
Interesting thing that you and I watched Amazing Grace the same night. It is a wonderful and inspiring film. I'm glad that I bought it and sorry that I missed it in the theater.
It also got me to thinking about the same thing you just brought up. I thought about how it would be great if we had a modern-day William Wilberforce for the pro-life movement. And then I realized that we already have one who has been working tirelessly for decades and who has had more of an effect on the issue than anyone else.
Our modern-day William Wilberforce is Dr. John C. Willke, MD. Dr. Willke is a physician, author and lecturer who has devoted his life to ending abortion. He was the founder of the National Right to Life Committee and served as its president for ten years. NRLC is America's premiere organization fighting for the protection of unborn children and educating about the evils of abortion. Dr. Willke founded the International Right to Life Federation which is a worldwide, non-sectarian federation of pro-life organizations from over 170 countries. The organization fights for the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death throughout the entire world. They have representatives to the United Nations, European Union, etc., and hold pro-life conferences all around the world. As founder of the premiere pro-life organization in American as well as the premiere international pro-life federation, Dr. Willke is known as the father of the pro-life movement, nationally and internationally.
Dr. and Mrs. Willke are authors of many books on the subject of abortion. These books are considered the authoritative primers on the evils of abortion and are the most widely read books in the world presenting the scientific case for the unborn. These books include the forth generation book, Abortion Questions and Answers: Why Can't We Love Them Both, Handbook on Abortion, Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia - Past & Present, and Abortion and Slavery - History Repeats. These works have been translated into 30 languages.
Dr. Willke has appeared on almost every major network and cable news show in the United States. Dr. and Mrs. Willke have lectured in 74 countries.
Dr. Willke also created the Life Issues Institute, a pro-life think tank and America's top organization for distributing educational materials for the pro-life movement. He also serves on the American Academy of Medical Ethics Board of Reference along with other notable physicians such as Dr. C. Everett Koop.
It is important to point out that our modern-day William Wilberforce, just one month ago, endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Dr. Willke said, "Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008."
Why? Because it worked so well doing that with human slavery? No, wait. Maybe that didn't work out so well and it had to be done, first by decree (see the Emancipation Proclamation) and then by amending the Constitution.
More like our “modern-day Benedict Arnold.”
No. I've challenged others to name one piece of pro-life legislation of which Sen. Thompson was a primary sponsor. I heard crickets. I've challenged them to find a pro-life speech or statement that he's made on the floor of the Senate. Silence.
Beyond simply casting votes for pro-life legislation other people wrote and sponsored, Sen. Thompson did not show any dedication to the pro-life cause. For example, the legislation to ban the barbaric partial birth abortion procedure was voted for by Sen. Thompson. However, he did not deem it important enough from him to even be a co-sponsor. Only a dozen or so Republican Senators did not co-sponsor that bill. Thompson joined such Senators as Chaffee, Snowe, Jeffords, McCain, and Specter in leaving his name off of the bill. This is typically the case with Fred Thompson and it speaks again to his lack of dedication and indifference to the pro-life cause.
Sen. Thompson, in a questionnaire he completed for a pro-abortion group, highlighted his support for taxpayer funding of Title X "family planning" programs. Title X is the primary source of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest purveyor of abortion as well as its strongest and most powerful advocate. Every year that Thompson was in the Senate, another few hundred million dollars in taxpayer funding was sent to Planned Parenthood. As far as I can find, he never offered any resistance to that funding, never proposed an amendment to stop it, and simply voted to continue that funding.
Dr. John Willke, founder of the National Right to Life Committee, founder and President of Life Issues Institute, and founder and President of the International Right to Life Federation has stated that one of our primary goals should be to defund the forces behind abortion. He says that Planned Parenthood is the "primary force behind abortion." Planned Parenthood is "getting about half-a-billion in government money a year" at the federal, state, and local levels, Willke has said. "If they lose their money," he has predicted, "the abortion movement will crumble. To defund Title X [family-planning programs] is the heart of the matter." Sen. Thompson not only voted to continue taxpayer funded Title X family-planning programs, but highlighted that fact to a pro-abortion group in the aforementioned questionnaire.
To make matters worse, Thompson was a primary architect of the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold-Thompson campaign finance reform legislation and one of its top supporters in Congress. The National Right to Life Committee fought a lengthy battle against the CFR legislation, categorizing votes for CFR as votes that were NOT pro-life, and even sending letters to members of Congress stating that CFR would do "great harm to the pro-life cause." CFR unfortunately passed, thanks in great part to Thompson's efforts, and the National Right to Life Committee challenged it all the way to the Supreme Court - hoping to have it overturned. Fred Thompson actually filed an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court opposing the NRLC's efforts and defending CFR despite the great harm it was doing to the pro-life cause.
Wilberforce was called a "seditionist" for some of what he said and did. Your petty insults won't tarnish any of what Dr. Willke has accomplished.
Amen to that. What's that saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth?
According to Willke:
Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action in defending life. Every decision he made as Governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life President we need in the White House, said Dr. Willke....
Yes, wait. The alternative is for the United States to not exist. Most of our Founders detested slavery (even those who owned slaves). They permitted slavery to exist as a states' issue, even though slavery flew in the face of every principle on which our nation was founded. They did so because the people were too divided to come together as a union otherwise. Overturning Roe would be a huge step forward.
The fact is, it's going to be a state issue either way. How do you intend to get the HLA through without the states' assent?
Maybe that didn't work out so well and it had to be done, first by decree (see the Emancipation Proclamation) and then by amending the Constitution.
You skipped a step in there, namely a bloody and devouring civil war. Is that your proposal -- that the president issue a proclamation and then send in the troops?
His own actions are what has tarnished him, just as the hero of Saratoga, General Arnold, had his entire career tarnished by his traitorous acts.
You just don’t get it Mitt is true blue through and through EV!
I swear it is personal with you and has blinded your discernment!
I knew months ago Thompson was not the real McCoy many forget he has drank at the font of the gain of 14 and everytime he speaks it shows!
As flawed as Fred Thompson is, he looks like a saint next to Mitt Romney.
Than stay on the popcultrue train!