July 13, 2012

Condoleeza Rice is "either very worried about a socialist threat to America, or she wants to be Vice President."

Said a "Romney surrogate" about the 13-minutes speech Condi gave at a recent "closed-door fundraising retreat" for Romney in Park City. Audio of the speech at the link.

I arrived at that link via Drudge, who is pushing the Condi-for-VP story big time. Here's what Drudge looks like as I write this. Continuing with its recent black-and-white design theme, Drudge has a big photo of Condi, with a headline leading to a Drudge Report "exclusive":
Late Thursday evening, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign launched a new fundraising drive, 'Meet The VP' -- just as Romney himself has narrowed the field of candidates to a handful, sources reveal.

And a surprise name is now near the top of the list: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice!

The timing of the announcement is now set for 'coming weeks'....

It was Condi who received two standing ovations at Romney's Utah retreat a few weeks ago, and everyone left with her name on their lips.

Rice made an extended argument for American leadership in the world.
Romney could use a sidekick who will speak with gravitas about foreign policy. But does Condi know how to run for office? (She knows how to behave in the national spotlight, so she's in a better position to jump into this role than Sarah Palin was, even though Palin had run for office in Alaska.) What about the fact that Rice supports abortion rights? (Romney is going to need a lot of votes from people, like me, who support abortion rights. If we are willing to vote for him even though he opposes abortion rights, pro-lifers should be able to deal with a pro-choice VP.)

Drudge links to 3 more Condi stories, from 3 influential Republicans contemplating the prospect of Romney choosing her: Peggy Noonan, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill Kristol

Back to the topic of the design of the Drudge page and the mystery of the black-and-white. Right now, only black people are pictured on the page. In addition to Condi, who's giving us a very serious sidelong glance, there's Michelle Obama and Randy Jackson. Michelle has been carefully posed, it seems, by one of those portraitists who believe faces are improved by the proper arrangement of hands. Drudge tends to do things with hands, with multiple pictures and hands of different individuals matching or contrasting interestingly. But Michelle's are the only hands on the page right now. I expect more hands to accumulate on the page today.

The photo of Randy Jackson is rather nondescript and doesn't properly balance the very striking photos of the 2 women. But he's there, and they are there, and those are the only images on the page right now. We'll see what develops later. As Drudge says: "Developing...." The Drudge page is always developing. Someone should take the Drudge archive and run it as an animation using, for frames, the pages from the archive, going back as far as it goes.

For the moment, it's Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Obama, and Randy Jackson, in black-and-white, and yet I don't think Drudge means to be saying something about race — other than teasing readers (viewers?) into thinking he is.

Developing...

192 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I'd be thrilled to have Jackson leave Idol. What a dead weight he is for me, for you. I read last week that Adam Lambert might be a judge. That would be excellent.

Oh. Wait. Was I supposed to talk about Condi? What does she think about Randy Jackson? I mean, I know she's musical, and all, and so is Randy.

Marshal said...

I think it's a bad idea both politically and substantively. Does Romney want to spend the campaign defending the Bush foreign policy? Do we want it back?

EDH said...

Maybe my opinion is anecdotal, but I was never very impressed with Rice's skills in answering administration critics.

chickelit said...

Watch the press find and publish lots of photos of Condi Rice glowering over the next few days. This used to be the face of Michelle Obama, the "Tower of Glower" but the press is nowadays all about projecting her softness.

As an anecdote, it's better to just close one's eyes and listen to the words.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd be thrilled to have Jackson leave Idol. What a dead weight he is for me, for you. I read last week that Adam Lambert might be a judge. That would be excellent."

Jackson is the anchor. The link to the past. He has more knowledge than he displays though, so maybe it wouldn't matter if he were replaced by somebody with zero gravitas (Lambert). I don't see what would be "excellent" about that, unless your idea of the show is that it's truly nothing but fluff.

The biggest loss, though, would be Seacrest. He's the one without which it would not be American Idol.

"This is American Idol." If it's not Seacrest, it's not.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

NO NO NO NO NO!!

Don't get me wrong. I love Condoleez Rice. She is a strong and extremely capable woman. Rose from circumstances that Obama wants to falsely appropriate as his own. Super intelligent .

BUT. Please not as Vice President. She is a cerebral person. We need someone who can galvanize Obama's base and the undecided voters. The Republicans would vote for a Mayonnaise sandwich over Obama. And that is about what Romney is: bland, smart, competent, cerebral and boring.

They need to nominate a Tea Party leaning candidate for VP. Someone who can galvanize and speak on the stump and bring in the disaffected from the bands of identity groups that Obama is relying on. Able to rouse and speak to the middle of the road votes as well. Rice is not a galvanizing speaker to the 'common' man.

Rubio would be my pick.

NOT Rice!!!! If they do this, expect 4 more years of Obama and our goose will be thoroughly overcooked.

Saint Croix said...

Romney could use a sidekick who will speak with gravitas about foreign policy

Do we want to remind people of Bush in this election? Why? Do we want to remind people of the Bush wars in this election? Why?

I think the economy is the primary issue in this election, and Obamacare, and the national debt. Condi is not particularly strong on any of that stuff.

Why would you sidetrack this intense criticism of the Obama record with a time travel pick that takes us back to Bush's foreign policy?

bandmeeting said...

I tend to watch a couple of minutes of The Today Show whilst getting my perfect little self together before heading out the door in the morning. They covered this story and, I think this is a verbatim quote,they stated that Drudge has "close ties to the Romney campaign".

Maybe I'm not following things closely enough but is this literally true or is it another example of the MSM making things up?

Maybe they do have close ties but from what I know it is more like rooting for him,kinda like The Today Show and the world's smartest man.

Sorun said...

Republicans go gaga over Condi for the same reason Democrats went gaga over Obama. It's stupid.

Saint Croix said...

The Obama campaign is urging us to look back at Bush, urging us to look back at Bush. All their attacks on Romney is that he will take us backwards. And so he wants to nominate a veep that takes us backwards?

Rubio. It's such a no-brainer.

bandmeeting said...

Not as stupid as your comment. The R-Condi, D-Obama comparison is Hors Category off.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Condi is an ESTABLISHMENT Republican. It is like the RINOs are just trying to give this election away.

Plus what Marshal said. Romney will be doing nothing more than trying to defend the Bush policies with Condi hauling that shit around behind her like a ball and chain (and NO that isn't a racist image libtards).

We need a NEW ticket with no ties to previous failed administrations.

Forward indeed.

Pogo said...

She's black!
We need black!
See, we're not racist!

Truly Obama was the Race Healer, cuz now none of that shit matters!
Thank you, Mr. Storyman!

Jay said...

Intrade veep odds: Portman 30.7, Pawlenty 16.4, Condi 10, Rubio 8, Thune-Jindal Ryan in the 5-6% range

cubanbob said...

Rice brings nothing to the table as VP. Suppose she is on the ticket and she wins? Then what? If she is a Biden type VP then she is completely wasted. If she is a Cheney type VP, what would she be tasked to do?
Picking a minority for its own sake just as an election ploy will backfire on Romney.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Romney could use a sidekick who will speak with gravitas about foreign policy

Hahahahahah.

Wasn't that supposed to be Biden's role on Obama's ticket.

Kirby Olson said...

It is said that Condoleeza Rice may be the VP candidate for the Republican Party. God help her if she runs. The gang rape of the Democratic party machine of Sarah Palin was unrelenting, vicious, and mind numbing in its ferocity. The way in which the media seemed to slap five after every new betrayal of the poor woman revealed just what a sadistic, and monstrous lot they are. They rape in the name of "equality" (bringing everyone down to their vicious and disgusting level) any woman who stands in their way. Condoleeza Rice will have it even worse because she's black. The left will crow as they stomp and shatter the poor woman and knock her unconscious, bearing false witness against her, attempting murder in a rampage of anger and uncontrolled fury and sexual hysterics. May God protect her and her friends and family if she chooses to stand up to the psychotic mob of the left. The fact that she speaks Russian when Obama can't even think in English (what kind of mindrot was his mantra for hope and change?), the fact that she can play classical piano when he can barely mimic Al Green, the fact that she genuinely suffered (grew up in the shadow of the church in Montgomery where the four girls were killed by a racist bomb), will all be swept away, and tiny iotas of stumbling will be foregrounded while her massive knowledge of history and politics will be forgotten. She will be called an Uncle Tom's daughter and anything else they can use to drag her screaming toward death. Still, her mind is truly excellent and she has talent and dedication. I would be happy to vote for her as I was happy to vote for Sarah Palin. I pray that God will protect Condoleeza Rice so that my country can begin to recover from four years of drift toward bankruptcy and the destruction of industry!

AprilApple said...

The racist left are going to go crazy if Condi is the VP.

Saint Croix said...

Republicans go gaga over Condi for the same reason Democrats went gaga over Obama. It's stupid.

Condi was very good at state. I don't have a problem with Bush, or the Bush record. But a lot of people do, and it seems dumb to run back to Bush. I don't see how that appeals to independents.

Althouse suggests that Condi can give speeches on behalf of Roe v. Wade. How does that help? You lose two Republican votes for every independent vote you get.

Condi could theoretically depress the middle (Bush!) and the right (pro-choice!) simultaneously.

bagoh20 said...

I would like him to not pick a VP at all just so Biden can debate himself and get his ass kicked.

MisterBuddwing said...

Republicans go gaga over Condi for the same reason Democrats went gaga over Obama. It's stupid.

You mean race, don't you?

Well, if you're going to exclude someone on the basis of race, you may as well try to make it sound as high-minded as possible.

Rusty said...

Sorun said...
Republicans go gaga over Condi for the same reason Democrats went gaga over Obama. It's stupid.


No.


DBQ
I think she feels much more comfortable as an academic than a politician. I agree she should stay where she is.

Paddy O said...

"Rice brings nothing to the table as VP."

Foreign Policy expertise.

A woman.

Boots.

Highest education achievements of anyone who has run for office in a long, long time.

More authentic Black experience.

She would absolutely crush opponents in a debate.

Level-headed.

Solid, even if not exciting, speaker.

Authentic intellectual.

Personable and serious.

Does not wither under criticism--would devastate media interviewers.

Moderate Western conservative.

All this means she could bring in California to Romney. And she could deflate Obama's primary attributes as a candidate (black, supposedly an intellectual, supposedly a good speaker).

That's not to argue against the criticisms of her, but it is silly to say she brings nothing to the table.

Beta Rube said...

I admire Condi very much, but the commenters who are saying that she will be savaged by the Obama campaign, the left wing smear machine, and the MSM are right.

Instead of discussing the miserable failures of the last 4 years, it will be all abortion and all Bush all the time.

Dante said...

(Romney is going to need a lot of votes from people, like me, who support abortion rights.

What do abortion rights have to do with the president/vice president?

I support abortion rights too, it's just not a right guaranteed by the constitution. So it should be left up to the states.

Or do you think it is OK to invent stuff in the constitution, like Roe v. Wade?

Christopher in MA said...

The racist left are going to go crazy if Condi is the VP.

Crazier than Oliphant's disgusting portrayal of her as an Aunt Jemima and a Bush parrot? Or Garry Trudeau's sneering reference to her as "Brown Sugar?" Or the not-so-whispered accusations of her being Bush's fuck toy, or a closet lesbian, or not "really" black? If she were running, you wouldn't be able to think over the screams of "nigger!" from Democrats.

Frankly, she brings nothing to the ticket (as if Alabama is going to go Democrat), is a bad reminder of W and isn't going to attract any black voter who hasn't already left the plantation.

If we are willing to vote for him even though he opposes abortion rights, pro-lifers should be able to deal with a pro-choice VP.

That kind of sophistry only works if you think Romney has some magic wand that will overturn Roe the minute he's elected. But you can add that excuse to the "how Romney lost me" file.

Chuck66 said...

There are those on the right that say Ms Rice was sort of an affirmative action pick for the Bush administration. But I like here.

The race thing will be interesting, the "first black President", a man who grew up in Indonesia and in Hawaii, raised by his lilly white bank president grandmother, against someone who grew up in Birmingham Alabama, heard and felt the church bombing, and was friends with one of the girls killed in the bombing.

A lady whose ancestors were slaves and sharecroppers, vs a guy whose ancestors were slave owners.

edutcher said...

Agree with DBQ.

Condi would give the Romster all kinds of street cred in foreign policy, but she's very much a Bushie.

And her political skills, remember she was the Hildabeast's successor, were very lacking.

Also keep in mind, this is Bill Kristol's hot idea.

Fernandinande said...

(She knows how to behave in the national spotlight, so she's in a better position to jump into this role than Sarah Palin was, even though Palin had run for office in Alaska.)

Rice will get far better treatment from the press because of her race, not because of any other quality. If Palin had been black she would have been treated differently.

garage mahal said...

I seriously think Romney is going to go with Tim Tebow.

Patrick said...

I seriously think Romney is going to go with Tim Tebow.

Nah, Bart Starr. More gravitas.

bandmeeting said...

Romney is going to go with Tim Tebow.

Who would have about 100 IQ points on the current VP.

"Stand up Bob," (or whatever the guy in the wheelchair's name is.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Paddy O

Condi will do nothing to bring California to a republican. Even if the Republican was Jesus Christ himself, the state will vote Democrat.

Foreign Policy expertise.A woman.Boots.Highest education achievements of anyone who has run for office in a long, long time.More authentic Black experience.She would absolutely crush opponents in a debate.Level-headed.Solid, even if not exciting, speaker.Authentic intellectual.Personable and serious.Does not wither under criticism--would devastate media interviewers.Moderate Western conservative.

SO? These things may be true, but we are in a political campaign to determine if the rest of our lives will be ruled by a totalitarian government or if we will be free. We are in a dirty campaign and face it.....most voters are uninformed, ignorant of reality and make their decisions based on propaganda and by reading bumper stickers. Most of them can't even figure out who Biden is if you show them a photo. Ignorant.

The voters are not swayed by intellectual arguments.

We need to get a VP who can galvanize and reach those people. We need to fight just as dirty.

People are afraid and they see the economy in the toilet, jobs disappearing and a lecture by an extremely intelligent college professor is not going to sway them to vote for the bland and boring Romney.

Dragging back Condi who is going to be wearing the Bush Policies like the Ancient Mariner's albatross, is going to side track from the issues. The Economy, Obamacare.

Is foreign policy important? Of course!!!! but most people are focusing on their personal situation and frankly don't care.

NO NO NO NO NO!!

Not Condi.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...Romney is going to need a lot of votes from people, like me, who support abortion rights. If we are willing to vote for him even though he opposes abortion rights, pro-lifers should be able to deal with a pro-choice VP.)"

How can an intelligent person write this? I guess if you can take a position that abortion is murder, and morally wrong, but should be legal, then anything is fucking possible.

MadisonMan said...

Adam Lambert did a great job mentoring this season. Whether or not that would translate to judging well is not something I can answer, but I think he's a lot more than fluff. Total agreement about Seacrest though.

Re: Condi. I don't know what she brings to the ticket -- or why she'd want the job. She won't rouse the base (but maybe antiObamaism is sufficient). Is there a swing state she might bring in? Condi for VP smacks of a trial balloon.

Dante said...

At least we now know what the whole black and white theme was about.

Black president, white VP or
White president, Black VP.

Ann Althouse said...

"How can an intelligent person write this? I guess if you can take a position that abortion is murder, and morally wrong, but should be legal, then anything is fucking possible."

If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument.

edutcher said...

Fernandinande said...

(She knows how to behave in the national spotlight, so she's in a better position to jump into this role than Sarah Palin was, even though Palin had run for office in Alaska.)

Rice will get far better treatment from the press because of her race, not because of any other quality.


Sure she will.

Doubtless all the Lefties are already revisiting all the "house nigger" lines they used against her when she was NSA and SOS.

exhelodrvr1 said...

DBQ,
COndi would be a unifier. That's why people would vote for her.

AllieOop said...

"How can an intelligent person write this? I guess if you can take a position that abortion is murder, and morally wrong, but should be legal, then anything is fucking possible."

If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument.

7/13/12 9:50 AM

THANK YOU Ann Althouse! I've been waiting for you to say that to Curious George for months!

elkh1 said...

Fernandinande: You thunk? She is a Republican. Which black Republican isn't either Uncle Tom or House slave? Remember those leftist cartoons depicting Rice with big lips and groveling to her master Bush?

There are blacks, and there are blacks. Any blacks who stray from the Dem reservation are not "real black". And she is not a "real woman" either. She will be subjected to innuendos, snickers, and whispers.

Btw, Rice has never married. In the old days, her marriage status is her damn business. Want to bet a NYT headline: Is Rice gay?

The "tolerant" progressives will expose themselves as they truly are: racists, misogynists, and homophobes.

TMink said...

Dr. Rice has said she does not enjoy politics and has no intentions of participating as VP. I tend to believe her.

Trey

Tim said...

"BUT. Please not as Vice President. She is a cerebral person. We need someone who can galvanize Obama's base and the undecided voters."

Sure, but a Tea Partier isn't going to galvanize Obama's base and the undecided voters.

Just not going to.

Roger J. said...

As noted above, I suggest that floating her name is a trial balloon. That said, she (condi) is an extraordinarily impressive lady but like Colin Powell said, I dont think she has the fire in belly. Frankly I would love to see her as the czar of MLB--she loves that and would do a great job.

She doesnt deserve to be torn down by lefties, although I am sure she can take it.

I do think the symbolism (re Bush foreign policy) weighs against her. An accomplished lady who can do anything she wants to do. I dont think the smear tactics of the dems is anything she wants to deal with.

elkh1 said...

Rice worries about Putin who will get "more flexibility" from a second term Obama.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How can an intelligent person write this? I guess if you can take a position that abortion is murder, and morally wrong, but should be legal, then anything is fucking possible."
"
If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument."

Abortion has no place in a Presidential race. The President and VP have no control over abortion, except in the long term regarding who is seated on the Supreme Court. And frankly it is a non-issue because as we have seen a Republican appointed judge or a Democrat appointed judge is not a guarantee of ideological voting.

If you are concerned about this issue, then you need to concentrate on who you elect to Congress and leave this shit out of the Presidential election. We have more immediate issues to take care of.

I personally think abortion is murder, but if you want to kill your children.....go for it. I won't stop you. In fact, it might be a good thing to remove your genes from the shallow end of the pool.

Paddy O said...

"Condi will do nothing to bring California to a republican. Even if the Republican was Jesus Christ himself, the state will vote Democrat."

I'm not quite as pessimistic. This is the state that voted for prop 8, after all, a state that is widely conservative except for pockets of population centers. A state with really bad unemployment, a legislature that would rather legislate our behavior and play with trains than help our economy, a state that is starting to turn against the public unions influence. Would Condi lead to a win? Maybe not, but she would make California significantly more competitive across a lot of otherwise safe constituencies. Given the cost of campaigning in California, having the Obama campaign have to fight for the state would greatly hinder his ability to work in other states.

SO?
Your points are all good, my point being that Condie does bring a lot of elements to the table. Whether what she brings is something you consider palatable is a different story.

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument.

THANK YOU Ann Althouse! I've been waiting for you to say that to Curious George for months!


Because underneath her faux compassion, Oop loves the idea of baby killing and thinks anybody who's against it, and can't believe an intelligent, sensitive person who really doesn't like the actual act but supports her idea of individual rights, ought to be sent to a gulag.

Roger J. said...

and while Ms Rice speaks russian, that probably trumps Mr Obama's expertise in Austrian. She would rip slow joe an new asshole in debates.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"I think the economy is the primary issue in this election, and Obamacare, and the national debt. Condi is not particularly strong on any of that stuff."

No doubt, optics matter.

But, as we've learned (well, some of us, anyway...) the reality of the job trumps optics.

Romney's most obvious weaknesses are a lack of experience in foreign policy and defense.

To the degree he wants to offset those weaknesses, he needs someone from that policy area.

But finding someone with those credentials who wasn't involved in the Bush Administration will prove almost impossible.

AllieOop said...

Tim, exactly right, the argument that a Tea Party VP candidate will bring in moderates, much LESS Obama's base, is simply not based in reality, more like magical thinking.

jr565 said...

There's too much linkage to Bush foreign policy to do anything but galvanize the left, though I personally don't mind Condi (as a person not as a VP candidate).

And she won't bring a lot of undecideds nor blacks to the ticket. (She, despite her accomplishments ,isn't exactly beloved in the black community) nor is she great on the economics front. So it sounds like a losing proposition.

Oh, and she's pro choice. Which will only alienate the Rick Santorum's in the party.

Paddy O said...

"We need to fight just as dirty."

Now see, I think this is where Rice would be especially helpful. Being a true intellectual, not a poseur, she has the devastating ability to fight dirty while seeming to remain above it all.

She is more intellectual than Obama and has a much more folksy background than Biden.

She takes away the force of their narratives while at the same time showing a significant capability to verbally undermine attacks against her.

Again, this isn't me endorsing her, just saying that in the scheme of things, she does bring unique capabilities to the campaign.

Richard Dolan said...

"Rice brings nothing to the table as VP."

In fact, she brings what Romney lacks -- deep experience in foreign affairs. She's the Kissenger for a president who (unlike Nixon) really needs one. She also personifies the Reaganesque 'big tent' approach to Republicanism, both personally and otherwise, while still fitting comfortably within a more general 'conservative' perspective on government.

Assuming Romney wins, the line-up in Washington in Jan 2013 won't want for deeply conservative, Tea Party Republicans influencing national policy. Both the many conservatives on the outside as well as the Republican majorities in Congress and the operatives in a Romney Admin could certain withstand (I would add, probably benefit from) having Condi adding an occasionally different view from the inside. Assuming, of course, that there is any substance to the Drudge story, which I doubt.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

Christopher in MA said...
"Crazier than Oliphant's disgusting portrayal of her as an Aunt Jemima and a Bush parrot? Or Garry Trudeau's sneering reference to her as "Brown Sugar?" Or the not-so-whispered accusations of her being Bush's fuck toy, or a closet lesbian, or not "really" black? If she were running, you wouldn't be able to think over the screams of "nigger!" from Democrats."

Yes, that. Her nomination will push the left even further into full-on fever-pitch racism. Ugly Democrats don't think of themselves as racist as the racism spews from their ugly lips.
Insanity.

I think Condi is wise and I like her. I think she could be great.

Roger J. said...

dynsully 5I would suggest that foreign policy will not be an issue in the campaign (sadly)--it will devolve on the economy.

jr565 said...

Allieoop wrote:
Tim, exactly right, the argument that a Tea Party VP candidate will bring in moderates, much LESS Obama's base, is simply not based in reality, more like magical thinking.
They are looking for the undecideds, not anyone in Obama's base. A lot of republicans bought the Obama Kool aid before,(like Chris Buckley for example) and are looking to peel such voters away from him. I don't know if I would call them Obama's base though. His base will be loyal to a fault despite his record.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

[California] a state that is widely conservative except for pockets of population centers. A state with really bad unemployment, a legislature that would rather legislate our behavior and play with trains than help our economy, a state that is starting to turn against the public unions influence

You're not telling me anything that I don't know. My voting district routinely turns in 60 to 80% Republican voting. But....the population centers who always out vote us are a Democrat lock.

With the union issue and the recent voting in San Jose and San Diego (you could have knocked me over with a feather on those) it just may be closer for the Democrats than usual. It WOULD be a good thing to have to actually campaign for California instead of taking those electoral votes for granted. I'm not holding my breath.

However, Condi is not a plus for Romney in California. RUBIO would be a big plus given the size of the Hispanic population. In addition, the Tea Party message ofadherence to the Constitution, small government, less taxes, less spending would resonate not only with California, given our dire economic straights, it would also resonate with the rest of the undecided voters who also mostly agree with those precepts.

For those who have no idea what the Tea Party stands for, get the idea of abortion out of your minds. That is a political non issue for them. Personally perhaps, but it is NOT a part of their platform.

Tim said...

"I'm not quite as pessimistic. This is the state that voted for prop 8, after all, a state that is widely conservative except for pockets of population centers. A state with really bad unemployment, a legislature that would rather legislate our behavior and play with trains than help our economy, a state that is starting to turn against the public unions influence. Would Condi lead to a win? Maybe not, but she would make California significantly more competitive across a lot of otherwise safe constituencies. Given the cost of campaigning in California, having the Obama campaign have to fight for the state would greatly hinder his ability to work in other states."

Sorry, but California is voting Democrat for quite a few election cycles to come, no matter what happens.

Voters dumb enough to consistently vote Democrat need to suffer the consequences of those votes long enough to make the connection between their votes and the consequences of those votes. A few more city bankruptcies, ongoing high unemployment, budgetary follies like high speed rail, releasing of prisoners and reducing the K-12 school year by three weeks may do the trick, but not within one cycle or two.

California has have more tax takers than tax payers, and those people are exceedingly slow to realize the game only gets better if you work.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

"There's too much linkage to Bush foreign policy to do anything but galvanize the left,"

Just about every Bush foreign policy issue that was criticized has been maintained by Obama.

I can't see Bush foreign policy being at all raised by the Left. Obama's own gaffes would themselves be cause for embarrassment if the issue came up and was the topic of debate by someone who is a genuine expert.

john said...

If Condi gets on the ticket, there goes edutcher's vote.

The Romney team needs to weigh that carefully.

AprilApple said...

Remember: Democrats can nominate total iditos to the VP slot:
Biden, John Edwards, Captain Chakra...

Republicans must find the perfect perfection person who is all perfect in all things to all people.

Cedarford said...

I don't see Bush's Vestal Virgin Temple Preistess of the Dubya foreign policy as a viable pick.

Other than bringing Cheney and his new heart back for Round 3 - nothing would signal a Bush Clone Administration a coming better than Condi Rice.
Which would be fine if only the 10% of the country that revere Dubya as the American Churchill Who Kept Us All Safe!! - vote.

But the rest of the country now sees Bush and his minions inc. Condi Rice as a bad Administration. Perhaps not as low as Carter or Obama...but LBJ-low, or Ford-low.
Bush is now in the minds of 90% of Americans as the one where people fixated on a few thousand "Evildoers" - clueless to all the millions of jobs being lost to China and other competitors, the fiscal meltdown, the ones that let the neocons drag us by the nose into two nation-building wars that now are going on longer than Vietnam.

Condi is the legacy of Bush II.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Republicans must find the perfect perfection person who is all perfect in all things to all people.

No. They need to bring in the VP candidate who will garner the most votes.

Winning is the goal.

Tim said...

"However, Condi is not a plus for Romney in California."

Romney would be foolish in the extreme to base his pick on how it plays in California.

He better be thinking about how his pick plays in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Those are states Bush won in '04 and Obama won in '08.

Those are where the '12 election will be won and lost.

AprilApple said...

DBQ - Sure. But who? Who is perfect enough to win? Nobody.

Sorun said...

Oprah would bring in more votes than Condi.

Tim said...

"I don't see Bush's Vestal Virgin Temple Preistess of the Dubya foreign policy as a viable pick."

It is gratifying to know that Cederford is a consistently predictable asshole like Garage Mahal is a consistently predictable moron.

I didn't read the rest of the comment, but I bet Israel came up...

Michael K said...

Rice was kind of squishy on many issues when Sec State. I don't know how useful she would be when we need to pull ourselves out of the hole Obama (and Bush) dug. Foreign policy for the next few years is going to be hoping we don't have to do anything while we get the country back on track.

AS a symbol, she might be useful but it does look kind of obvious. The trial balloon will accomplish as much in playing with Obama's head.

jr565 said...

Actually, one POSITIVE benefit of Condi running would be we'd get to rub liberals nose in their hypocrisy.
Because they'd immediately go into their anti Bush foreign policy record. And of course Republicans can then counter that with Obama's keeping Gitmo open, outsourcing renditions, doing away with the concept of military tribunals, escalating a war in Afghanistan, starting a war in Libya on the flimsiest of pretenses, forcing the ouster of a soft tyrant in Egypt and leading the way to the turning Egypt into an Islamist state, agreeing in essense with the concept of the president as a unitarina executive, and not to mention the escalation of drone strikes.
Nearly every single talking point put forward by the left could be shown to be the flimsy exercise in pique that it was, considering they're voting for the guy who is continuing Bush's policies. Thus, how bad were Bush's policies really?
Still though, it's not worth it. Liberals are slippery eels and even when confronted with a bare reality will deny it's existence. Think of how adamant they were on claiming Bush lied about Iraq's WMD's. You could point to the last presidents actions before Bush to see that the concept of Iraq having or trying to acquire WMD's was a known fact, but also an old story. Yet, libs were actually capable of throwing history from only three years prior (talking about when the war was being litigated) and throw it down the memory hole.
But, while that would be fun to watch, I still don't think Condi should be the VP. She will galvanize those same hypocrites to rally around Obama even more, simply because she is a continuation of BUSH, and we all know BUSH is evil incarnate.

Cedarford said...

Paddy O said...
"Rice brings nothing to the table as VP."

Foreign Policy expertise.

A woman.

Boots.

Highest education achievements of anyone who has run for office in a long, long time.

More authentic Black experience.

She would absolutely crush opponents in a debate.

Level-headed.

Solid, even if not exciting, speaker.

Authentic intellectual.

Personable and serious.

Does not wither under criticism--would devastate media interviewers.

Moderate Western conservative.

All this means she could bring in California to Romney

==============
I tried to look for any sign that what Paddy O said was a variety of preposteously outrageous sarcasm...but I am left with the conclusion poor Paddy O actually thinks Condi Rice would deliver, and Romney would carry California with her on the ticket. (And DC as well, Paddy??).

Leaving me to believe this was one of the dumbest comments I have ever seen here since Freder Frederickson opined on thermodynamics and light bulbs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ - Sure. But who? Who is perfect enough to win? Nobody.

Who said perfect? There is no perfect. We need to win.

To 'balance' the ticket they need to pick someone who can fill in where Romney lacks or draw voters where Romney doesn't appeal. Condi is not it... too many negatives to outweigh whatever positives she has. She would be great in a cabinet position again or as ambassador to the UN. Just not appealing as a VP.

Remember, we are not talking about political junkies, educated, informed people who carefully weigh information and make rational decisions.

Winning is the goal. Being perfect is not.

Bruce Hayden said...

Rice brings nothing to the table as VP. Suppose she is on the ticket and she wins? Then what? If she is a Biden type VP then she is completely wasted. If she is a Cheney type VP, what would she be tasked to do?

She would bring the same thing to Romney that Cheney did to Bush - foreign policy expertise. Cheney was a big risk at the time - he brought in no electoral votes, at all. Don't know the last time that Wyoming voted for a Democrat for President, but it has been a long time. It was a governing choice, not an election choice. Bush threw the dice, and almost lost the election as a result.

Bush and Romney were governors, with little foreign policy experience. Romney apparently can speak French, which means that he would get along well with the cheese eating surrender monkeys, and Bush speaks some Spanish. BFD. And, Romney did spend his mission time in France.

But, their weakness is/was in foreign policy and national defense. Dr. Rice probably knows more about the former than did VP Cheney, and knows enough of the later having been NSA and SecState. Her academic expertise is, apparently, Russia, and that would be useful with that country sending arms and navy vessels to Syria right now, and likely knows more about the Middle East than Obama, Biden, and Hillary! combined.

The problem though is that she is tied very closely to the Bush foreign policy. Now, if this were 2016, that would likely be an advantage, but in 2012, maybe a disadvantage.

Other advantages are that she is black (with somewhat authentic black experiences), got where she was through hard work and intelligence (and not AA like the President), with maybe 50 IQ points over Biden, is a single woman, daughter of a mainline Protestant minister, moderate pro-choice Republican, etc. Working class is in the bag for Romney, but Rice would likely be quite helpful with the college educated who tended towards Obama last time around. (And, I think would be esp. useful in Colorado, where she grew up and got 2 of 3 college degrees).

The biggest weakness that I see, above and beyond her connection to both Bush Presidents, is that she has no political experience whatsoever. She can give a great speech, but likely prepares thoroughly when doing so, and has never been through the fire of a major campaign. Another related problem is that without political experience, she is unlikely to be able to crank up enthusiasm, as could Gov. Palin, and, yes, even Joe Biden.

traditionalguy said...

Condi was a subject of one of Skip Gates find your roots programs. I need to see a replay, but she is not that African American at all.

What she is is a 100% American,. southern raised, American. And as such she has the earned right to say in public that Obama is a Marxist foreigner that lies about everything.

Chuck66 said...

With John "don't worry, she'll be dead pretty soon" Edwards, the a new bar was set for the VP slot.

garage mahal said...

Actually, one POSITIVE benefit of Condi running would be we'd get to rub liberals nose in their hypocrisy.

True. That's what it's all about, smacking down liberals!

That, and making a solid blue state a tiny bit less blue.

Dante said...

If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument.

I don't get it Ann. What's the president and vice president got to do with it. You either believe abortion is a constitutional right, or you don't. If you do, what's the president/vice president got to do with it?

If you don't, you should admit you would put your own desires above the law, and in that sense, I can understand a president might add supreme court justices that get rid of the BS reasoning. What that's got to do with a VP, at least how it logically makes sense, escapes me.

Other than the idea that pro abortionists aren't very logical about their choices of presidential candidate.

So I guess I'm not very intelligent either, or ignorant, have it your way. But I think you have some explaining to do.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"How can an intelligent person write this? I guess if you can take a position that abortion is murder, and morally wrong, but should be legal, then anything is fucking possible."

If you were more intelligent, you might understand the argument."

First, any pro-choicer who would be pacified because although the POTUS candidate is against abortion, the Veep selection isn't, is frankly a moron. That really goes for any position.

As far as your "argument", I've only heard your position. When I've questioned your position, as had others, all we got back is this. This is not surprising as it's indefensible. But to be fair, I don't think it's a lack of intelligence. It's a lack of intellectual honesty.

"AllieOop said...
THANK YOU Ann Althouse! I've been waiting for you to say that to Curious George for months!"

From someone who is "a strong supporter of Roe v Wade" but thinks "abortions based on gender selection should be outlawed." and is too dumb to understand the conflict.

Bender said...

Rice, like Palin before her, deserves better. Neither the country, nor the Republican Party, are worthy of either of them.

Dante said...

Curious George:

There is Ann's position on Abortion.

Then there is the constitutionality of it. If Ann supports Roe V. Wade, she either believes it's a constitutional right, in which case the president's view on the matter is moot, or she doesn't, in which case she is willing to add an element of lawlessness into society for what SHE believes is good reasons.

From her wording, it seems so strong, she is willing to allow that determine her choice of President or even VP.

Within the constraints of winning an election, she may have a point, and throwing the illogical pro abortionists a bone with Condi VP may help. But that doesn't explain why this reasoning would persuade HER choice to be more likely to vote for Romney, which is I think what she said.

The idea that it's OK for the supreme court to invent rights is pretty horrifying. As Ralph Nader once said, "If you can invent rights in the constitution, you can take them away." He was referring to why he thought Bork should have been confirmed as a supreme court judge.

I don't understand how a law professor can view the courts, whose role is to interpret law, not create it, could accept constitutional meddling by the supreme court justices. And then go so far as to be swayed negatively in her vote for elected officials who might fix it.

I personally don't think of abortion as murder, incidentally. And I think if women want to get an abortion (to a point), I have a hard time convincing myself it's wrong. I'm not like that Boxer chick who thinks it's OK to kill the kid five minutes before birth, far from it. I also have a hard time understanding some of the hard anti-abortionist thinking, as women naturally abort all the time. Yet, there are no big funerals. Mostly, the cells are flushed down the toilet, often when women don't even know they are pregnant.

AJ Lynch said...

I think a non Baby Boomer is the best choice and Mitt's campaign slogan should be "Blowing up the Bridge that connects us to the dumb ideas from the 20th Century."

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't get it Ann. What's the president and vice president got to do with it. You either believe abortion is a constitutional right, or you don't. If you do, what's the president/vice president got to do with it?"

The President appoints Supreme Court Justices. There's a longstanding controversy about whether the Court should overrule case law and retract its recognition of the right of a woman to determine whether to end her pregnancy. It doesn't matter whether I believe it's a right or not. I know many people will take abortion into account when they vote for President. The issue is partly emotional: People with strong beliefs like having a President who shares their beliefs. But it's certainly rational to care who gets on the Supreme Court, and the President has the appointment power.

As for the law, there's stare decisis. It is well-settled precedent. At this point, you don't change it unless respect for precedent is overcome. The Court went through a very serious process of examining precedent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and decided Roe v. Wade should not be overruled. Casey said something you can agree with even if you think Roe v. Wade was wrong. It takes something more to support overruling. 

You need to see that the line between those who want to overrule Roe and those who don't is actually not drawn between those who think the Court should never have perceived a constitutional right and those who think there really is a right.

Ann Althouse said...

"If Ann supports Roe V. Wade, she either believes it's a constitutional right, in which case the president's view on the matter is moot, or she doesn't, in which case she is willing to add an element of lawlessness into society for what SHE believes is good reasons."

There is nothing "lawless" about adhering to precedent. It is an important part of law, as people rely on decisions already made, and as later law is woven into a pattern that has coherence. The Court is the institution that says what the law is — and that role is itself a matter of law. Once the Court goes through the process of articulating the law, that law has meaning, and our respect for it, even when we think it is wrong, is not lawless. Quite the opposite.

Now, you can still try to change those judicial doctrines, but you do it through changing who is on the Court and bringing new cases and making better arguments. (Read what Abraham Lincoln said about Dred Scott.) And there's also amending the Constitution (extremely unlikely in this case).

"From her wording, it seems so strong, she is willing to allow that determine her choice of President or even VP."

I did not say that! Quite the opposite. I said I'm willing to vote for candidates who don't share my view. In fact, I've done that. I voted for George Bush in 2004, and my decision whether to vote for Romney is not based on this issue. In fact, I'd rather have Romney appoint the next couple Supreme Court Justices, despite the abortion issue, because I generally prefer the way the conservative Justices decide most cases. All I said was that the pro-life people should be able to deal with Condi as VP. Why shouldn't they have to do what I myself do, which is overlook the abortion issue when it comes to voting for President?

Ann Althouse said...

"Within the constraints of winning an election, she may have a point, and throwing the illogical pro abortionists a bone with Condi VP may help."

I think Condi would be picked in spite of her abortion position, not because of it. And "illogical" doesn't make you look more logical. It's not a logic question, and it's illogical to think it is.

"I personally don't think of abortion as murder, incidentally...."

I personally think abortion is murder. I think it's morally wrong both to do it and to indulge in the pretense that it's not what it is so you can do it (or so you can feel good about letting other people do it).

Abortion is the calculated, cold killing of the most defenseless, vulnerable human entity. It doesn't know what is happening, it's absolutely reliant on the one person upon whom it is dependent, and that woman hires a professional killer to methodically target it with tools designed for the specific purpose of reaching this hidden away, unsuspecting creature. It's a grisly, horrible business.

Ann Althouse said...

I think part of getting an abortion is facing up to that reality. The person doing that facing-up should say no. That person, the woman, is a human being herself, and her personhood entails her control over the "most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy. The Supreme Court called that the "heart of liberty" in words you might rather mock than contemplate:

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State."

The woman should define that concept to see that it is a human being she considering destroying. That's as far as we get under the compulsion of the State. That's the law as it is right now. And that's the coherent statement of how you can see abortion as murder and support abortion rights.

Now, don't rely on calling me stupid or "illogical." Apply your intelligence to that and be completely honest.

That's my challenge.

edutcher said...

john said...

If Condi gets on the ticket, there goes edutcher's vote.

The Romney team needs to weigh that carefully.


Funny.

A lot more than my vote would go.

Condi's a bright lady and she has my respect, but she's weak domestically and no politician (as I noted, for those who paid attention), but she would be enough to convince a lot of conservatives to stay home - again.

Holmes said...

VP is a chance to solidy the base and your main candidate's weaknesses. Agree that Rubio or Ryan would do this for Romney in assuring conservatives.

PS. Good gravy- do you recall that Biden was supposed to be the wise voice of experience to balance out Obama's lack thereof?

PPS: I would buy front row seats to watch the debate between any of those three (Condi, Ryan, Rubio) and Biden.

MadisonMan said...

There is no way the Republican Party wants Roe v. Wade overturned. Its existence is the flushest of cash cows for the National Party -- why would they want to shut off the most reliable cash spigot that they have? Sure, they pay lip service to people who want abortion outlawed, and they throw them a bone sometimes. Just keep sending them checks! They'll work on it next month. Really! They mean it this time! Honest! Send them a check. You want to save a child don't you?

Freeman Hunt said...

If she's VP, I could just write "Vice" in magic marker on an old bumper sticker.

In Obama's economy, every $1.50 counts.

Freeman Hunt said...

But yeah, don't throw a pro-choice VP my way if you want my money for your campaign. I see support for legal, elective abortion in pretty much the same light as support for legal slavery.

EMD said...

Frankly I would love to see her as the czar of MLB--she loves that and would do a great job.

She desires to be commissioner of the NFL. That's her dream job.

MadisonMan said...

Rice for Vice is nice and crisp, I admit.

Romney/Rice is easy to say (McCain/Palin was not, nor was Obama/Biden).

Linguistically? A-ok!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

she [Condi] would be enough to convince a lot of conservatives to stay home - again.

Yes. I know many people who are not going to vote, here in California, because they don't like Romney and feel that their vote doesn't count anyway. And it doesn't. You might as well spit against the wind as to have your vote amount for anything in California.

I was hoping that the RINO....I mean Romney camp would at least choose a VP that is a true conservative in the sense of small government, taxes, spending and constitutional issues that would draw in more voters for the Republicans. (fuck abortion I don't care about that as a political issue in the Presidential campaign and no one else should either)

However, Condi is just another RINO establishment person who won't make any difference or change in the direction that this country has taken.

Therefore, I am ever more resolved to vote anyway. I'm writing in Zaphod Beeblebrox. About as good a choice as we are being offered now.

edutcher said...

Indubitably, Holmes.

Saint Croix said...

There is no way the Republican Party wants Roe v. Wade overturned -- why would they want to shut off the most reliable cash spigot that they have?

That's annoying on so many levels. It's like suggesting Lincoln wants slavery to continue so he can raise money in his next campaign. There's a point where cynicism just makes you an idiot.

But okay, let's assume that the Republican party will say anything in order to get money.

Democrats also get abortion money, yes?

Remember, abortion is actually a multi-million dollar industry. See, for instance, this old story involving partial-birth abortionist Dr. Tiller buying a coffee in the White House with Bill Clinton.

Under your theory, all the Emily's List money would dry up for Democrats, right?

But think about it. When Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will become more of a political issue, not less. We'll see more discussion and debate about abortion, not less. And more money donated (on both sides), not less.

You can argue that this fight over abortion will hurt pro-life Republicans (I've seen this argument too!) But what you can't say with a straight face is that overturning Roe v. Wade will make abortion an irrelevant political issue. That's absurd on its face.

Richard Dolan said...

"That's my challenge."

Well, my hat's off to you for the most candid take on this issue I have ever seen from the pro-Roe side. But, given your view that "abortion is murder", it's mostly a challenge for you. To set it up that way, you end up posing the issue as balancing the right to life of the person being murdered against the right to 'full personhood' of the person wanting to commit the murder. If that's how the qustion is posed, then the answer doesn't strike me as a hard choice.

This is particularly weak: "The woman should define that concept [of the personhood of the fetus] to see that it is a human being she [is] considering destroying." Since when is it a personal decision whether the individual someone wants to murder qualifies as a "person"? We wouldn't say that if the individual Mom wanted to murder was just gravely ill, mentally incapcitated, a burdensome dependent or otherwise less of a fully functioning human being (in whatever sense you want to give to 'fully functioning'). The only distinguishing factor is the complete dependency of the fetus on the mother, at least at the early stages of pregnancy, as well as the unique biological burden that a pregnancy places on the mother. Whether those qualify as differences in kind or merely in degree is a tough sell if you need to establish a categorical difference where (as here) the issue is who gets to decide whether the individual being murdered is a "person," the murderer by whatever subjective criteria she brings to the game, or the society at large.

Bender said...

There is no way the Republican Party wants Roe v. Wade overturned

That might be something of an overstatement, but it is undeniable that it is hardly a priority. Rather, party leaders are more interested in gimmicks and use of the issue than they are in actually doing something (which is true of several other issues, which again is undeniable).

For example, I question strongly their commitment to repealing ObamaCare. Sure, right now they are saying "vote for us and we'll repeal it," but what if Republicans do not get power, what then? Are they still as committed to repeal, or are they more interested in gimmick, "hey look at us" votes, like the one in the House the other day?

As it is, the Republican establishment will talk about repeal, but then in the next breath, they will urge members to vote for this appropriation or that appropriation. Make no mistake, the Republicans will vote to increase the debt limit yet again, and they will do so without attaching an ObamaCare repeal to it. They will not even repeal the ObamaCare Tax, but will instead continue to use repeal of the whole thing as extortion for getting votes.

Actually protecting human life in the womb is even less of a priority for the Republican establishment, which looks at prolifers with embarassment in any event.

Bender said...

With respect to the law of abortion, the law is that there is no law.

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State."

This absurd "standard" is the height of relativism. Everyone defining their own reality, their own truth is not law, it is the antithesis of law, it is inherently the height of lawlessness.

It is no law at all where reality is a maleable concept, where one alternately can say, it is a life, it is not a life, it is life, it is not a life, it is human, it is not human, it is a person, it is not a person, it is not a tax, it is a tax, and have all of these be simultaenously true depending upon the arbitrary whims of the person asserting them.

Dante said...

The point I'm trying to make, Ann, is either the constitution has the right to an abortion or it does not. It's not a matter of "maybe." I don't think it does.

But if someone thinks it is in there, then it should not matter if strict constructionists, like Bork and others, are hired as Supreme Court Justices. They will faithfully interpret the constitution.

What I think is going on, is that those who support abortion rights do not think they are guaranteed by the constitution. Therefore, they are terrified of getting strict constructionists on the bench.

This is the illogic I'm talking about. If you believe in the constitution as a document of law, with words and meanings that guarantee our rights, there is nothing to fear by strict constructionist conservatives.

Instead, a group of people will then be driven to pushing judges who invent law onto the supreme court. That's dangerous, if you think the constitution is important.

And I would think there would be guardians in the law field who would howl out about these perversions, and trumpet the dangers. Like Law professors in Academia.

Richard Dolan said...

"The woman should define that concept to see that it is a human being she considering destroying. That's as far as we get under the compulsion of the State."

That's also pretty strange. After all, the objective of the statutes prohibiting murder (again, accepting your view that abortion is murder) is not to persuade would-be murderers of the value of human life. Instead, the societal determination that life is uniquely valuable has led us collectively to prohibit murder in the most strenuous terms, and to define narrowly the circumstances in which any homicide will not be considered murder. The 'value of life' is the anti-murder law's premise, not its objective.

So why should getting the mom-murderer "to see that it is a human being she [is] considering destroying" be relevant at all to the constitutional question of who gets to decide when is an instance of homicide legally acceptable and when isn't it?

Once you say that abortion is murder, I don't see any way to avoid the conclusion that society rather than the murderer gets to draw the relevant lines.

Saint Croix said...

Once the Court goes through the process of articulating the law, that law has meaning, and our respect for it, even when we think it is wrong, is not lawless. Quite the opposite.

It is lawless if the Court is not following the Constitution. This idea that they can say anything about the law and it becomes the law, I cannot agree with that in the slightest.

They are not above the law.

They do not get to make shit up.

They do not get to say process is substance and baby is property.

They can order us to accept infanticide as a right thing to do, and we can (and do!) reject their orders.

Because we can read the law for ourselves. And if they are illegitimate, and what they say about our law is illegitimate, then their so-called "law" is profoundly unsettled.

And the unsettled nature of Roe v. Wade is why this, and many other threads, cannot stay on point. Althouse, you've hijacked your own thread to discuss abortion! Why? Because it's not settled! We are still upset as a people. This very thread hijack is a testimony to the incompetent attempts by the Supreme Court to settle our law.

Abortion is the calculated, cold killing of the most defenseless, vulnerable human entity. It doesn't know what is happening, it's absolutely reliant on the one person upon whom it is dependent, and that woman hires a professional killer to methodically target it with tools designed for the specific purpose of reaching this hidden away, unsuspecting creature. It's a grisly, horrible business.

I really, truly appreciate the honesty, and the sensitivity. But this language and this rhetoric unsettles Roe v. Wade as much as any pro-life speech can. Infanticide is upsetting. When we acknowledge Roe v. Wade (and the Supreme Court!) is responsible for infanticide, not only their opinion but their institution teeters on illegitimacy.

Steve Koch said...

Althouse,

Thanks for explaining your view on abortion, I did not realize that you realize that abortion is murder. I hope that everybody is respectful to you in the debate.

From the moral perspective (i.e. ignoring law and politics for a moment), could you explain why women should be permitted to murder? Why is the convenience of an abortion remotely close to being as important as murder?



Going back to law, you give way more importance to precedent than it deserves. Precedent is not law. I realize that lefty lawyers want to be able to make law via the courts but it is unconstitutional. The constitution defines how laws are to be made and it has nothing to do with legal precedents. For example, it is obvious that Roe v Wade was an example of judicial activism, creating a right out of thin air and should be reversed.

Going back to first principles, i.e. the constitution, is always better than relying on poorly decide precedents.

MadisonMan said...

@St. Croix, you see, but you do not observe. I'm talking on the National Level. It's the reason that, as DBQ says, Abortion should have little to do with Presidential Politics.

How often have Republicans at the National Level done anything concrete to get rid of abortion?

Now be a good patsy and go write another check to the Republican Party. It's for the children.

Steve Koch said...

MadMan,

Conservatives believe in federalism and don't want to give the fed gov any power that is not explicitly enumerated in the constitution. We believe that abortion rights should be decided at the state level.

No matter whether you are for or against abortion rights, you should be against the supreme court creating a constitutional right out of thin air in Roe v. Wade. The founders were wise to make modifying the constitution difficult, it is obscene and unconstitutional when the supreme court modifies the constitution with their decisions.

Saint Croix said...

Naomi Wolfe has written quite eloquently about abortion. It's similar to what Althouse argues at 12:32.

Ann Althouse said...

"The point I'm trying to make, Ann, is either the constitution has the right to an abortion or it does not. It's not a matter of "maybe." I don't think it does."

I explained why that isn't the relevant point. Please acknowledge that you understood that, that you understood what I'm saying is the point and address that point.

Everything I said works with the assumption that you are right that Roe v. Wade was an incorrect interpretation of constitutional law. So we'll assume that for the sake of argument.

Now, let's move on to what I said.

Robert Cook said...

A "socialist threat to America?" What the fuck?

For such big, bad kings of the world as we perceive ourselves to be (and act as if we are), we're sure piss-pants scared at every faint breeze wafting our way that carries the stink of the foreign or the unfamiliar

Plus, it's great for psyops! Give the public yet another boogey man to fear, however tenuous, and we'll shit ourselves begging for further theft of our freedoms in exchange for "safety."

Ann Althouse said...

"From the moral perspective (i.e. ignoring law and politics for a moment), could you explain why women should be permitted to murder?"

I think it is more effective and better to make the moral argument to a free citizen than to threaten repercussions that would brutalize many women in ways that, in fact, you would not be willing to do.

I'm being realistic, and I'm preferring liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm being realistic, and I'm preferring liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas.

Do you think this approach would have been appropriate for slavery? Do you think it is appropriate for other forms of murder?

Bender said...

You guys just don't understand that a woman is not truly free unless she is free to kill with impunity (too damn bad for the female human who gets slaughtered in the womb, she has no rights).

Freeman Hunt said...

To be clear, I'm not snarking. Those are real questions. I'm thinking of the time you were discussing segregation with some libertarians, and they did not seem appropriately concerned about the real world effects of the ideological position they were taking. In this case, I would point out that we know the real world effect of abortion rights: 50 million abortions, legal murders, in the United States since 1973, according to the CDC. Therefore, an ideological position or possible real world effects of another position must be weighed against that.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you think this approach would have been appropriate for slavery? Do you think it is appropriate for other forms of murder?"

The answer is no.

And if calling it murder makes it too hard to see why, that's a reason not to use the word "murder."

See the discussion earlier today about whether copyright is theft.

If using a particular term seems inexorably to resolve the next step in the argument, and that is a truly difficult step, then it may be better to avoid the term.

It's startling to use the term that seems to compel the next step and then resist the next step. If you wonder why so many people who support abortion rights will not admit that it's murder, this is your answer.

Ann Althouse said...

Now, why don't you tell me what your vision is for stopping this murder and why you think it will work better than what i have proposed.

I don't think you are realistically picturing the chaos and damage that would result from prohibition.

AllieOop said...

Now, why don't you tell me what your vision is for stopping this murder and why you think it will work better than what i have proposed.

I don't think you are realistically picturing the chaos and damage that would result from prohibition.

7/13/12 4:24 PM

BRAVA Ann Althouse! That is precisely what I was arguing (probably not well) months ago in an abortion thread.

Freeman Hunt said...

Now, why don't you tell me what your vision is for stopping this murder and why you think it will work better than what i have proposed.

Outlaw elective abortion through legislature and jail abortionists. Medically necessary abortions are already performed by regular obstetricians. Just as a doctor isn't allowed to put a sick man on a hospice regimen without cause, a doctor couldn't perform an abortion without cause.

I don't think you are realistically picturing the chaos and damage that would result from prohibition.

I invite help in picturing it.

Freeman Hunt said...

BRAVA Ann Althouse! That is precisely what I was arguing (probably not well) months ago in an abortion thread.

Oh, brother.

AllieOop said...

Freeman, I have a right as a commenter to express my opinion, snark does not become you.

Oh brother indeed, your unrealistic expectations of what would happen to our society as a result of the overturn of Roe V Wade, indicates magical thinking, something that seems to be all too common in some conservatives. When your taxes go up to support hundreds of thousands of unwanted children , then let's see how your fellow conservatives react.

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh brother indeed, your unrealistic expectations of what would happen to our society as a result of the overturn of Roe V Wade, indicates magical thinking, something that seems to be all too common in some conservatives.

Think to yourself, "Do I know what Freeman's expectations are?"

John Lawton said...

Ann, there is an error in the post's first sentence. It states Romney gave the 13 minute speech, not Rice.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Freeman,

Arguing for the overturn of Roe V Wade is as clear a sign as any that you INDEED do not have a realistic view of the consequences. So are you going to answer Althouse's challenge and say what YOUR vision would be?

I'd love to hear it .

AllieOop said...

Freeman,
To be clearer, your vision as to how these children will be cared for.

Steve Koch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Allie, stop trying to butt into Althouse's argument. You're introducing silly assumptions that she probably wouldn't. Learn from her.

Steve Koch said...

"From the moral perspective (i.e. ignoring law and politics for a moment), could you explain why women should be permitted to murder?"

Ann Althouse said...

"I think it is more effective and better to make the moral argument to a free citizen than to threaten repercussions that would brutalize many women in ways that, in fact, you would not be willing to do.

I'm being realistic, and I'm preferring liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas."

OK, so basically you are stating the libertarian argument in favor of abortion rights. I agreed with this approach for many years. What persuaded me to change my mind recently was the realization that not yet born babies are almost certainly human, thus aborting them is murder.

Your argument brings in persuasive societal impact implications but restricting the discussion strictly to the moral implications simplifies and clarifies the discussion. From a moral perspective, murdering a baby is far, far, far worse than inconveniencing the prospective murderer.

AllieOop said...

Freeman, stop being a pompous ass. I can agree with her all I want, what is wrong with you?

Freeman Hunt said...

I can agree with her all I want

Can you even be sure that you are agreeing with her, given the information that you have? I'm not so sure.

AllieOop said...

Also Freeman, stop assuming YOU know what she meant.

Freeman Hunt said...

To make it crystal clear for you, Althouse has not outlined what she imagines the consequences of overturning Roe would be. You are assuming that they are the same ones that you imagine.

Also, it's silly to take a present argument that is interesting, well-developed, and insightful and attribute it as an incarnation of your own past argument that was totally incoherent.

Freeman Hunt said...

stop assuming YOU know what she meant.

I'm not. That's why I asked her.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Still waiting for your Utopian vision of a society tasked with the caring for of millions of unwanted children. I don't know if this is what Althouse was alluding to, but I would love to hear your solution.

Also I was not asserting myself into Althouse's argument, I was agreeing with her. You are the one who dragged me into this against my own better judgement, not your fault, my own.

Ann Althouse said...

"Outlaw elective abortion through legislature and jail abortionists. Medically necessary abortions are already performed by regular obstetricians. Just as a doctor isn't allowed to put a sick man on a hospice regimen without cause, a doctor couldn't perform an abortion without cause."

And how do you enforce this? Would you put the doctors and the women in prison? For life without parole? Even if it's a 15 year old girl? Even if the doctor is a beloved, well-trained obstetrician who has the capacity to save many lives? Don't they deserve the death penalty under your strict reasoning about murder?

Would everyone who assists the woman or who covers up the crime be an accomplice to murder?

You're talking about prohibition of something that people are going to do, so it's not magic. You've got to enforce. If you're not enforcing the prohibition the way you enforce the prohibition of other murders, then you are violating the very principle you want to use against me.

Ann Althouse said...

John Lawton said..."Ann, there is an error in the post's first sentence. It states Romney gave the 13 minute speech, not Rice."

Oops. Why didn't anyone else notice that? Weird.

Bender said...

"Outlaw elective abortion through legislature and jail abortionists."

Would you put the doctors and the women in prison? For life without parole? Even if it's a 15 year old girl?

Don't be disingenuous. You know very well that she did NOT say jail the women.

Bender said...

And even the abortionist can avoid prison by not committing abortion.

Putting anyone in prison is not the goal. Stopping the killing is the goal.

Ann Althouse said...

"Your argument brings in persuasive societal impact implications but restricting the discussion strictly to the moral implications simplifies and clarifies the discussion. From a moral perspective, murdering a baby is far, far, far worse than inconveniencing the prospective murderer."

It's not about not inconveniencing a murderer. It's recognizing the humanity of the decisionmaker, the woman whose body will go through the pregnancy and childbirth. She has been recognized as the one who must decide. She might make the wrong decision, just like the President might make the wrong decision about bombing a particular place he believes is a terrorist hideout. He could be wrong, but he makes the call. We could try to influence him, but we cannot replace him.

The point, which I'm taking from Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is that it is the kind of decision that rests with the person whose body is involved, and the rest of us still have a role to play, but it is at the level of communicating with her, engaging her as a fellow human being, and using language, ideas, within a discourse about morality, in the hope of persuading her to make the decision we feel is a moral imperative.

That's what we do, and I think it is better than the alternative.

The problem is that our moral discourse is currently debased, and we don't know how to talk to each other about this. I would like to develop this discussion, and I think that can be done better without threatening to take away the liberty that now exists.

Here's something similar in religion, assuming a belief in God: God gives us human life and the power to do many things, good and evil, including hurting others. He does not intervene. He's watching and waiting for us to figure out how to live a moral life. That's the plan. Leave us to our own devices, which have included all these murders and so forth.

I realize that part of the good we're called upon to do is to protect others, especially the vulnerable and defenseless — and that is in fact a central part of why I think abortion is murder. But I think that the full humanity of the individual includes this sovereignty over one's own body, and the state should not require a person to go through unwanted pregnancy and childbirth (where the woman is decisive enough to act before viability).

Richard Dolan said...

"Now, why don't you tell me what your vision is for stopping this murder and why you think it will work better than what i have proposed."

You haven't proposed "stopping this murder," but instead only trying to persuade the murderer not to commit the crime (if we're calling abortion murder, we may as well take the semantic ride all the way to the end). What would "work better" is what usually works better in preventing murder. As for "chaos and damage," it's always about who is on the receiving end -- and in this case, it's either the murderer (a/k/a mom) of the victim (a/k/a/ the "baby").

At first I thought you wanted to talk about who should be drawing the relevant lines (mother or society) in deciding whether to perform an abortion/commit the murder. But the legal issue of 'who decides' isn't the focus of your latest comments. Instead, it seems you want to discuss it in moral or political terms.

As for the moral issues, you don't offer any moral categories or moral reasoning. Certainly, "chaos and damage" doesn't work. It would have to be something on the order of "do unto others ...", or perhaps "when in doubt, protect the least powerful, most vulnerable," or even "greatest good for the greatest number". They all (in fancier versions) have very respectable antecedents. It's a matter of deciding where you want to put the emphasis: the actors, the relationship between the actors, the consequences of the act, the nature of the act, something else.

Ann's emphasis on having the mother decide whether it is acceptable to commit the murder in question is all about respecting the mother's autonomy as a person. Fine. But the idea that automony has moral value comes, in turn, from the more basic intuition that life is an end-in-itself, not a means. It's going to be a strange process of reasoning that gets from that premise to the conclusion that it's OK to accept the mother's decision to commit the murder -- how does that respect the automony or end-in-itself value of the life of the other player in this little drama, the one that ends up dead?

The "chaos or damage" idea is the political way of looking at it. But there's chaos or damage no matter which way abortion is handled, just as there has been continuing chaos and disagreement ever since Roe was decided. How you measure "chaos and damage" also turns on how you imagine any legal regime of prohibition might be carried out. There's not a lot of "chaos and damage" for the aborting mother/murderer if a prohibition is mostly a formal condemnation with no real follow-through (no actual legal repercussions), than if you are imagining a Taliban-like enforcement approach. Note also that if these are the terms of the discussion, we're deeply into a utilitarian or consequentialist frame of reference, and very far from the 'life as an end-in-itself' notion of moral value where the whole discussion began.

As for what I would propose for stopping the murder, it would be to let the law takes its course without the restraints of Roe -- prohibition if that's what people think is right, with whatever level of enforcement they are willing to accept. The proviso is that the prohibition could only be enforced by an authority answerable to the communities in which enforcement takes place, and only against the murderer/mother. I think the net result would be a varied patchwork, where condemnation would be the norm but enforcement would be the rare exception.

Ann Althouse said...

"To make it crystal clear for you, Althouse has not outlined what she imagines the consequences of overturning Roe would be. You are assuming that they are the same ones that you imagine."

One thing I'm picturing is that individual women will be further estranged from thinking about their own actions and forming a fully human intellect. I'm picturing quite young women who've gotten caught up in shallow sexuality deprived of the dignity to think about their own condition and to contemplate what is happening. She'll be pushed around by the state and may be even further stunted. I'm picturing her angry and defiant, when ideally she should have reached a higher level of moral understanding. She'll have political understanding: Hatred of the state. And now, here she is, raising our next generation.

Freeman Hunt said...

And how do you enforce this? Would you put the doctors and the women in prison? For life without parole? Even if it's a 15 year old girl? Even if the doctor is a beloved, well-trained obstetrician who has the capacity to save many lives? Don't they deserve the death penalty under your strict reasoning about murder?

I wrote that I would enforce against doctors. We do not sentence all murderers to life without parole or the death penalty.

You're talking about prohibition of something that people are going to do, so it's not magic.

This is true of all criminal law.

If you're not enforcing the prohibition the way you enforce the prohibition of other murders, then you are violating the very principle you want to use against me.

My argument is not that abortion must be enforced against like any other murder because it is murder. My argument is that it is a kind of murder and is so morally reprehensible and violating of another person's natural rights that it should be illegal. We have all sorts of levels of charges for killing people. I still do not see why abortion so obviously should be of no criminal level at all. There's no reason to make it the gas chamber or nothing at all.

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't be disingenuous. You know very well that she did NOT say jail the women."

Why won't she imprison the women? Under her reasoning, they should get life without parole or the death penalty. Nothing "disingenuous" about that. She challenges my position on the ground that if it's murder, it must be treated like other murders. If you hire somebody to perform a murder for you, you are as guilty as the person who wields the murder weapon. It's murder for hire.

Ann Althouse said...

"Putting anyone in prison is not the goal. Stopping the killing is the goal."

The issue is what to do about abortion if you recognize that it is murder. What consequences flow from that realization? The argument was made: If it is murder, then you must do what you would do with other murders.

You're turning it into a practical question of what works out best. We could have that argument, but it's a different argument.

Ann Althouse said...

"You're turning it into a practical question of what works out best. We could have that argument, but it's a different argument."

I mean, we are also talking about that, but you intervened in a sub conversation that was specific as noted.

Freeman Hunt said...

She challenges my position on the ground that if it's murder, it must be treated like other murders

No, I don't. I challenge your position on the basis that it is a total violation, actually an annihilation, of another's natural rights. It is a type of murder, and I likened it not only to murder but to slavery to show that we do not, in other spheres, allow people to decide if other people count as persons. My argument is that the aborted baby is a person and should have rights, just like a murder victim or slave should have.

Ann Althouse said...

"I wrote that I would enforce against doctors. We do not sentence all murderers to life without parole or the death penalty."

But what are the elements that make this less than first degree murder? It's coldly contemplated beforehand and absolutely intentional, the direct object of an action undertaken for no other reason. If you think it's murder, how do you get away from first degree murder?

"My argument is that it is a kind of murder and is so morally reprehensible and violating of another person's natural rights that it should be illegal. We have all sorts of levels of charges for killing people. I still do not see why abortion so obviously should be of no criminal level at all. There's no reason to make it the gas chamber or nothing at all."

I don't think the criminal law should be used for the expressive value of saying something is wrong. You've got to actually want the law enforced. And again, you're backing away from your own argument that you made via the questions you asked me at 3:30.

I said: "I'm being realistic, and I'm preferring liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas."

And you said: "Do you think this approach would have been appropriate for slavery? Do you think it is appropriate for other forms of murder?"

If I'm finding the wrong implication from your questions, and you think in fact there can be different approaches to dealing with this special form of murder that can include all sorts of preferences, then I repeat my preference: liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas.

Steve Koch said...

"It's not about not inconveniencing a murderer. It's recognizing the humanity of the decisionmaker, the woman whose body will go through the pregnancy and childbirth. She has been recognized as the one who must decide."

It is about inconvenience vs murder because the trade off is between the inconvenience of enduring the pregnancy and having the baby vs killing the baby. Why should the potential murderer be the decision maker? The humanity that is not being recognized is the humanity of the baby.

"The problem is that our moral discourse is currently debased, and we don't know how to talk to each other about this. I would like to develop this discussion, and I think that can be done better without threatening to take away the liberty that now exists."

Again, I am not talking about penalties or other societal implications but just focusing on the morality.

Regarding religious implications, there is no need to bring religion into the discussion of the morality of abortion. If the baby is human, then aborting the baby is murder.

Ann Althouse said...

"No, I don't. I challenge your position on the basis that it is a total violation, actually an annihilation, of another's natural rights. It is a type of murder, and I likened it not only to murder but to slavery to show that we do not, in other spheres, allow people to decide if other people count as persons. My argument is that the aborted baby is a person and should have rights, just like a murder victim or slave should have."

Outside of the 13th Amendment (slavery), it's only the government that violates rights. A murderer commits a great moral wrong, but doesn't violate rights. We're talking about law and government. The government does not have the obligation to save one individual from another. The classic case is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, where a boy was victimized by his father and not saved by county officials who knew about what was happening and didn't rescue him. The Supreme Court found the boy had no constitutional right that was violated. It had nothing to do with whether or not the boy was a person with rights. 

Freeman Hunt said...

If I'm finding the wrong implication from your questions, and you think in fact there can be different approaches to dealing with this special form of murder that can include all sorts of preferences, then I repeat my preference: liberty, less government, individual decision making (over top-down mandates), and the communication and contemplation of ideas.

I'm talking about preferences within the criminal code. We have many charges concerning murders. You argue that it could be nothing but first degree murder, and then go on that because it can't be that by pragmatism, it must be nothing at all. I don't see how that leap is reasonably made.

If abortion is murder, and I think it is, but cannot be pragmatically enforced in all cases as first degree murder, it does not follow that it must be legal.

You say that leaving it legal is pro liberty. I say that you would never argue that legalizing slavery or other murders is pro liberty. I think it's as anti liberty a position as it gets.

Dante said...

I explained why that isn't the relevant point. Please acknowledge that you understood that, that you understood what I'm saying is the point and address that point.

I completely missed a post you wrote prior to responding earlier. You had two(!) back to back posts responding to what I wrote, and I missed the first. I think your main claim is this:

You need to see that the line between those who want to overrule Roe and those who don't is actually not drawn between those who think the Court should never have perceived a constitutional right and those who think there really is a right.

I agree with this observation. In fact, that's been the basis for my posts. Summarizing my point, in case it got lost.

Pro-choice people should have nothing to fear if they believe the constitution guarantees the right to an abortion, because conservatives are about appointing constructionists. The rights in the constitution are too important to degrade its authority with bullshit, invented law, including abortion rights.

This may be a sore point, but you lumped yourself in with this category by saying (paraphrased) "If I can vote for a pro-Lifer, then pro-Lifer's shouldn't care about Condi's pro-choice perspective."

However, you raise some points I have zero understanding of, regarding precedence, and I don't even know the words you are using.

As for the law, there's stare decisis. It is well-settled precedent. At this point, you don't change it unless respect for precedent is overcome.

So I will have to take the time to educate myself on these comments before responding again, unless you misconstrue what ought to be clear to you now.

Saint Croix said...

Why won't she imprison the women? Under her reasoning, they should get life without parole or the death penalty.

Yes, but we discriminate in favor of young girls all the time. They're young, they're pretty, they didn't mean it. They cry on the stand. We feel sorry for them.

The Prom Mom gave birth to a baby at her prom, in the bathroom. She dumped her baby in the trash can and went back out on the dance floor. The baby starved to death over the weekend.

She was convicted of manslaughter and got 15 years in prison. She served 3.

If a man took that baby from mom and killed the baby, we would insist on the death penalty, right? Even if he was the father, we would be brutal on him.

So I see this as sexism in favor of young girls as much as anything.

Saint Croix said...

But what are the elements that make this less than first degree murder? It's coldly contemplated beforehand and absolutely intentional, the direct object of an action undertaken for no other reason. If you think it's murder, how do you get away from first degree murder?

Blackmun tried to use this argument in Roe v. Wade.

1) Texas defines aborting a baby as manslaughter.

2) Since Texas seems to agree it's not murder to abort a baby, the baby must be sub-human.

3) Since the baby is sub-human, it's right to kill her.

4) Since it's right to kill her, we strike down the Texas statute calling it manslaughter.

Sorry, this logic is obscene.

Why can't pro-lifers on a jury hear about the struggles of a woman carrying a child in her uterus that she does not want and feel pity for her?

Why can they not say, "Okay, that's emotional distress, we ought to reduce this to manslaughter?"

Why is that illogical but it's the epitome of rationality to say that she has a kill right throughout the pregnancy?

Dante said...

Oh, in fact there were three responses in a row. I missed this:

I personally think abortion is murder. I think it's morally wrong both to do it and to indulge in the pretense that it's not what it is so you can do it (or so you can feel good about letting other people do it).

I wouldn't have responded to this post except for the backhand, Ann. There is so much arrogance in this statement, it's hard to know how to respond in a cogent way.

All birth control pills have "anti-attach" as well as "anti-ovulate" compounds. So there is a chance when a woman takes a pill she will prevent a fertilized egg from attaching. Is that attempted murder, Ann?

Arrogance #1: I know when it's human and helpless.

Second, regarding your suggestion that I may "feel good" about supporting abortion rights for women, you are wrong as it pertains to me. This is your implication, that I "feel good" about supporting "helpless" women, and one I'm certain your readers took.

Why would I, a man, feel good about providing all this power to women over the financial, spiritual, and human experience of men? I have only boys as children. All I have is reason. The reason that 10 cells do not make a human, or a dog, or a horse. Attributing this level of shallow thinking to me is

Arrogance #2: Assuming you can divine my motives and thought process.

Now, don't rely on calling me stupid or "illogical." Apply your intelligence to that and be completely honest.

That's my challenge.


So, let's see, I used a word "illogic," which seems quite appropriate even by your own admission this is not "a logical decision," and yet you have the gall to make it seem like I would stoop to calling you stupid. I like smart women, Ann. There aren't very many of them. What I'm tired of is smart women feeling they have to pretend, lie, use code words like "ipso facto" to make themselves appear smarter.

Arrogance #3: Willingness to use appeal to authority in arguments to win.

Ann:Dante Discussion,

3 Arrogances for Ann.

Dante said...

Misc.
I did not say that! Quite the opposite. I said I'm willing to vote for candidates who don't share my view.

Maybe my choice of words was wrong. How about "influence."

Incidentally, my instinct was to write that with an excuse. Because I hate doing wrong things. That's wrong. But if I were a real asshole, I would say what I said is exactly right. If there were two identical candidates except this distinction, you would choose based on the candidate's abortion position. As in, it is not a zero value to you, and therefore is a determining value for you.

And "illogical" doesn't make you look more logical. It's not a logic question, and it's illogical to think it is.

If it's not a "logic" question, it's definitely "illogical." right? That's the definition. You are a lawyer, right? Parsing of words and meanings, looking at grammar, and how that affects sentences, and you probably have a pretty good grasp of how apparent language to some may be different than the actual meaning. I'm not so subtle, Ann. I say what I mean, and mean what I say. If I'm wrong, I ADMIT it.

Don't be evil, Ann. I had a number of email exchanges with Glenn Loury about his abuse of some woman he was debating, and he claimed she came off as aggressive. So I counted the number of times he interrupted her, corrected her, etc., and he was by far the worse offender. He responded to this email, and if my computer hadn't crashed, I'd send it to you. He accused the woman he was debating of being the aggressive person he was. I hated it. It's not truth seeking.

He does the same thing to you, Ann. He has a much better dialogue with John McWhorter, but you are at least two levels above John in intelligence. You are smart. You limit yourself.

My view, there are few really intelligent women (sorry if I feel that way), and you are very smart. I respect that and am comfortable with that.

Saint Croix said...

I personally think abortion is murder.

I think manslaughter is a better fit, at least for the mom. A mother who kills her own helpless infant is obviously under great emotional distress. Also the baby is inside her body, putting incredible demands on her. In and of itself that might indicate why people are less inclined to punish the pregnant mother and more inclined to punish the doctor who actually uses the knife or the poison.

Saint Croix said...

I personally think abortion is murder.

The problem with "I personally believe it's murder" rhetoric is that we have heard pro-choice Catholics use similar language all the time, from Kennedy to Kerry. When John Edwards was running for the Senate, he told me that he was "appalled" by partial-birth abortion. I voted for him. He voted for it.

My take on this, and I know I'm simple-minded, is that the fucker lied to me.

I have great affection for you, Althouse, and I know you mean it. I've seen you blog on forced abortions in China, and the murder charges facing Dr. Gosnell, and I believe you. I think you are clearly upset about abortion and want people to reflect on it. I think you are sincerely and passionately looking for a way to reduce the number of abortions and get young girls to wake up to the reality of the pregnant child.

I would like them to wake up to it before they get pregnant, as opposed to after. It would be nice, for example, if people would show photographs of abortions in sex education classes. "This is what abortion looks like." We don't do that, do we? We censor information. We want to hide the ugly side of abortion from people.

You don't see photographs of abortions in Time or Newsweek or 60 Minutes or CBS or ABC or the New York Times or any of the liberal media. They show this image because liberals want to upset you about the Vietnam war. But they don't want to upset you about abortion. So articles about abortion never have photographs of actual abortions.

Liberals don't want to educate people about the homicidal nature of abortion, because the homicidal nature of abortion makes simple-minded Republicans think the damn thing ought to be illegal.

We're not capable of the moral gymnastics involved in saying "It's murder if I do it but it's right if you do it." And so conversations shut down. And unsuspecting girls have sex, get pregnant, abort their pregnancy, and avoid the subject for the rest of their lives.

Saint Croix said...

Abortion is the calculated, cold killing of the most defenseless, vulnerable human entity. It doesn't know what is happening, it's absolutely reliant on the one person upon whom it is dependent, and that woman hires a professional killer to methodically target it with tools designed for the specific purpose of reaching this hidden away, unsuspecting creature. It's a grisly, horrible business.

We can use rhetoric like this to describe the meat industry, right? I'm sure PETA does use rhetoric like this. "It's a grisly, horrible business." And they call a farmer a "professional killer" who has "tools" designed to butcher the unsuspecting cow.

I honestly feel nothing for the cow. I like to eat meat. I just as soon would not watch the butchering of the cow. But you can show me all the images you want. I'll still love my steak. And if there are no farmers, I will kill that damn cow myself.

So here's my question. Are you talking to me like I'm a PETA person? You're trying to be sensitive and nice. You're trying to imagine the outrage and put yourself in my shoes. But inside you're kind of giggling because you think killing a cow is no big deal.

Saint Croix said...

Peter Singer, the Mad Genius of the Ivy League, has of course argued that we should not only dehumanize the unborn, we should also dehumanize newborns and 2-year-old children.

At the same time, he has argued that cows have a right to life.

So Singer agrees with the dehumanization of human beings. And he wants to give human-status to cows.

I see this as madness because it so reminds me of the urge to play god. He wants to strip human beings of humanity and grant humanity to non-human beings.

The problem that Singer and the other Ivy League intellectuals are running into is the stubborn belief of the American voter than human life is more important than animal life or plant life.

Thus we kill cows and eat them. But we don't kill babies and eat them. We are able to distinguish, with a simplicity that drives liberals up the wall, between babies and cows.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

A murderer commits a great moral wrong, but doesn't violate rights. We're talking about law and government. The government does not have the obligation to save one individual from another. The classic case is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, where a boy was victimized by his father and not saved by county officials who knew about what was happening and didn't rescue him.

Yes, but to make that analogy work we need to suppose the DeShaney Court was a little more radical.

Suppose the liberals said, "This is a private family matter. Any child under six is a legal non-person under our Constitution. Parents have a right to raise their children and to choose how to treat them. If a parent seeks to terminate their child, they may do so."

Now that's the Roe analogy, yes? Same privacy language, same right to choose, same parental rights, same dehumanization.

And if the DeShaney Court had written anything like that, the case would be as notorious as Roe, and for the same reasons.

We blame DeShaney for what he did to his boy, not the government. We don't sue the government for the wrong of another person. But when the government gives DeShaney a license to kill? Then, yes, it's entirely right to blame the government who has sanctioned this violence.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm talking about preferences within the criminal code. We have many charges concerning murders. You argue that it could be nothing but first degree murder, and then go on that because it can't be that by pragmatism, it must be nothing at all. I don't see how that leap is reasonably made. If abortion is murder, and I think it is, but cannot be pragmatically enforced in all cases as first degree murder, it does not follow that it must be legal. You say that leaving it legal is pro liberty. I say that you would never argue that legalizing slavery or other murders is pro liberty. I think it's as anti liberty a position as it gets."

You're not distinguishing between individuals and government. The libertarian position is to allow individuals to make their own decisions, without government interference. In a system of slavery, the government did participate, allowing slave-owners to use the courts and law enforcement to enforce what were recognized as rights. The slave didn't have the option to run away or fight back.

In the case of murder, you could have no government involvement, and individual victims could protect themselves and fight back, or do what they could to keep the peace in their community, maintain good will so there is less violence. They could use religion to promote nonviolence and so forth.

With abortion, the unborn being is absolutely defenseless, so it's up to other people to try to stop the violence and protect the innocent. That can be done through communication and persuasion rather than bringing in the government.

Also, to restate a point I've made several times, you seemed to argue that if I said abortion was murder, I had to treat it as I would other murders. If you yourself won't do that -- and clearly you won't -- then you can't argue that I must do that. It doesn't make sense. Once you've admitted that pragmatism requires distinguishing abortion, then everybody gets to make pragmatic arguments, and the strong inferences from the idea that it's murder are gone.

Saint Croix said...

I personally think abortion is murder.

Murder is not actually a personal decision that we all get to make on our own. Murder is a crime defined by law. Our community defines what murder is. Not you.

The shocking thing about Roe v. Wade is that people on the Supreme Court imposed their belief system--that a baby in the womb has no right to life--on the people of Texas. They classified the baby as property and said she was outside the law, and that doctors had a right to kill her.

Now you're trying to argue that you think it's murder (in your private opinion) but you are following our unelected leaders, who have said it is not murder. In fact, according to them, it's about as bad as shooting a duck. In fact, shooting a duck is worse because we can regulate or even outlaw the shooting of ducks.

This seems like extreme cognitive dissonace to pro-lifers. In private you agree it's murder. But then you say you don't want a punishment akin to murder. Not for the doctor, not for the mother, not for anybody.

Would you favor a murder prosecution for a man who forced an abortion on a woman? For instance, this case? Or is that another case where you think it's murder, but the killer should have the freedom to choose?

I don't know what's worse, a Justice like Ginsburg who thinks all unborn babies are sub-human and it's nothing to terminate them, or a Justice like Kennedy, who says abortion is a horrible crime while he reduces the punishment to a library fine.

And you wonder why "our moral discourse is currently debased."

Saint Croix said...

Condi Rice, by the way, may be a pro-choice person who thinks Roe v. Wade is bad constitutional law and should be overruled.

There used to be quite a number of people who thought like this. We called them "principled liberals." Of course they're an endangered species now. But I wouldn't object to a veep who was pro-choice and yet argued forcefully that Roe v. Wade is bad law and should be overturned.

Such a speech would be a welcome relief from the armageddon argument of Justice Blackmun and others. Blackmun used to argue that he was the light and the Roe dissenters were the forces of darkness. Don't get me started on Harry Blackmun and his frickin' candle.

Allie was asking what will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Sexually speaking, Allie, we'll be back in 1972. Yes, that's right, long hair and horrible fashion! The Apocalypse of 1972!

AllieOop said...

St. Croix, this isn't 1972 anymore. What were the percentages of pregnancies to single women back then and what are they today?

Harold said...

The liberal press would absolutely savage her as a VP candidate. It would be WORSE then what they did to Palin. And, as many have pointed out, there's a good chance that some who are already suspicious of Romney would consider her a RINO candidate. And they'd stay home, becoming effective votes for Obama.

What would be smart for Romney to do is to pick his cabinet before the election, and introduce them one by one. And Condi Rice back for a 2nd stint at State might be a good choice.

The introductions practically write themselves.

"This is Mr. Smith, my choice for Secretary of the Treasury. Unlike the current secretary, Mr. Smith has never cheated on his taxes."

"This is Mrs. Jones, my choice for Attorney General. Unlike Attorney General Holder, she thinks it is a REALLY BAD IDEA for the U.S. government to smuggle guns to Mexican drug gangs."

That's two intros off the top of my head.. I'm sure there are others.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

jr565,

Actually, one POSITIVE benefit of Condi running would be we'd get to rub liberals nose in their hypocrisy.
Because they'd immediately go into their anti Bush foreign policy record. And of course Republicans can then counter that with Obama's keeping Gitmo open, outsourcing renditions, doing away with the concept of military tribunals, escalating a war in Afghanistan, starting a war in Libya on the flimsiest of pretenses, forcing the ouster of a soft tyrant in Egypt and leading the way to the turning Egypt into an Islamist state, agreeing in essense with the concept of the president as a unitarina executive, and not to mention the escalation of drone strikes.


Well, we didn't start a war in Libya, apart from egging it on from a safe distance, and I don't think "unitary executive" means what you think it does, but apart from that, agreed.

Myself, I think Rice would be a good choice -- assuming she'd take the job, which she probably would not. She would give Romney a backup on foreign policy, which is probably his weakest suit. And I'd pay for a ringside seat to see her debate Joe Biden. (When exactly did he abandon his brilliant plan to partition Iraq?)

But the thing to remember here is that hardly anyone votes for a ticket on the strength of the VP candidate. Against, sure. Palin in '08 was a desperate attempt to counter dissatisfaction in the Republican base about McCain, but I think it turned off as many voters as it turned on.

Freeman Hunt said...

In the case of murder, you could have no government involvement, and individual victims could protect themselves and fight back, or do what they could to keep the peace in their community, maintain good will so there is less violence. They could use religion to promote nonviolence and so forth.

But most of us agree that this would be folly. Libertarianism isn't an embrace of anarchy. We also see how this has worked out with abortion, millions and millions dead.

you seemed to argue that if I said abortion was murder, I had to treat it as I would other murders.

No, that was not the argument. The argument is that in the case of slaves or other victims, you would never so callously cast away their standing under the law, but that's exactly what one must do for legal abortion. Because of Roe, a dog has greater protection under the law than a baby before it is born. Like slaves of the past, the courts have ruled that a baby is not a person. They've even gone farther by making it a total nonentity, as no laws may be made to protect it.

If you yourself won't do that -- and clearly you won't-- then you can't argue that I must do that. It doesn't make sense. Once you've admitted that pragmatism requires distinguishing abortion, then everybody gets to make pragmatic arguments, and the strong inferences from the idea that it's murder are gone.

You wanted a vision of enforcement which is, by its nature, a pragmatic concern. Murder is not treated monolithically in our justice system. It does not follow from the fact that people won't want to gas juveniles and abortions would be difficult to investigate on an individual basis that abortion must be made legal in all cases. You can't go automatically from "it would be difficult and so we may have to settle for lesser" to "we should do nothing about it at all." This would be like arguing that because we can only get manslaughter charges in some murder cases, we ought not have laws against murder at all.

phx said...
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phx said...
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AprilApple said...

DBQ said:
No. They need to bring in the VP candidate who will garner the most votes.

Winning is the goal.


No. In this climate, Romney's VP choice will be a lose lose. No one is good enough for the self-defeating party of pure R conservative, and the left will simply shred whomever the choice is.
I notice no name is mentioned. Why? The perfect candidate does not exist. Once again I will point out the double standard. Democrats can nominate total idiots, and not a peep from the media.
The R candidate will nominate person ________???, and the right will go nuts and the left will go nuts. There is no win. The standards are all screwed up.

BTW - Does the VP have some special access to over-turning Roe v Wade that I'm not aware of?

FleetUSA said...

WOW what a discussion.

No one seems to have mentioned what the most likely consequence of what would happen if Roe was overturned.

I would think many states would rush to authorize abortions in their state.

Saint Croix said...

What were the percentages of pregnancies to single women back then and what are they today?

3.4 million single moms in 1970.
9.9 million single moms in 2010.

Of course abortions have skyrocketed as well.

Half of all births to women under 30 are to single moms.

I think it's insane how so many people are waving signs and applauding this horrible, horrible choice. You want to be a single mom? You screw yourself financially and you'll be poor. Or terminate your baby and feel guilt for the rest of your life.

Sorry, that choice sucks. I don't understand bragging about "choice" when the choices are so bad.

jr565 said...

And that's the coherent statement of how you can see abortion as murder and support abortion rights.
Murder is an unlawful killing. So if you think abortion is murder you're saying that it's unlawful. Which would make it had to support abortion rights (that would allow for unlawful killings).

Birches said...

My sister had a work friend she was sharing a hotel room with for a work retreat a few months ago. She knew she had been pregnant and then lost the baby prior to that and didn't really think much of it. Late into the night the woman started crying uncontrollably. The baby had Downs syndrome and the woman was pressured by the doctors and her husband into aborting. She word vomited it out to my sister that night because she felt like a murderer.

While I am not pro-choice, I think you are right in your approach Ann. NOW and Planned Parenthood spend all their time trying to dehumanize the fetus instead of letting women really know what's going on, so that they won't have survivor's guilt later on.

And by the way, all these apparently unwanted babies don't necessarily have to live an unhappy life with their birth mothers. The amount of couples I know who cannot have children is astounding. And they want to adopt MULTIPLE children.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
The classic case is DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, where a boy was victimized by his father and not saved by county officials who knew about what was happening and didn't rescue him. The Supreme Court found the boy had no constitutional right that was violated. It had nothing to do with whether or not the boy was a person with rights.
And you wonder why the faculty at Duke kept quiet while Sandusky was molesting boys.

phx said...
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FleetUSA said...

Duke? You mean PSU

jr565 said...

Freeman Hunt wrote:
No, that was not the argument. The argument is that in the case of slaves or other victims, you would never so callously cast away their standing under the law, but that's exactly what one must do for legal abortion. Because of Roe, a dog has greater protection under the law than a baby before it is born. Like slaves of the past, the courts have ruled that a baby is not a person. They've even gone farther by making it a total nonentity, as no laws may be made to protect it.


I think that's the point that Ann likes to dance around but never addresses. If althouse found slavery to be an abomination, would she hold that we must view the slaveowners with compassion and leave the decision of how to treat his slaves to the owner of said slaves? Since after all they are the master and the slave is their property. Would she be pro choice on slavery? I.e. We can personally agree that slavery is an abomination, but the slave holder himself must make the ultimate decision and can himself decide whether what he owns is property or a person?

jr565 said...

What would prochoicers position be on those who were pro choice on slavery, or worse held that they thought slavery was an abomination and that blacks weren't 3/5ths human, BUT still felt that it was up to the slave holder to determine whether the slave was property or a person.
Since a fetus is in effect treated as property and is afforded few rights and protections, and who's rights are determined not by any innate and inalienable value but by the person who in effect owns them, the analogy isn't that far off.

A pro choice position on slavery that is similar to Althouse's position on abortion (despite calling it murder) would be pretty hard to justify if you also held that slaves should not be slaves and that slavery is an abomination.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
One thing I'm picturing is that individual women will be further estranged from thinking about their own actions and forming a fully human intellect. I'm picturing quite young women who've gotten caught up in shallow sexuality deprived of the dignity to think about their own condition and to contemplate what is happening. She'll be pushed around by the state and may be even further stunted. I'm picturing her angry and defiant, when ideally she should have reached a higher level of moral understanding. She'll have political understanding: Hatred of the state. And now, here she is, raising our next generation.

YOu could make the same argument about a woman who is prevented from committing infanticide on a three week old baby. Society will push her around and tell her she can't kill it which will leave her further stunted. I'm picturing her angry and defiant, when ideally she should have reached a higher level of moral understanding. She too will have political understanding, hatred of the state, and now here she is raising our next generation (her own kid no less).
Something tells me that when it comes to infanticide, Ann would not let the mother simply choose as to whether her child should continue to live. Murder would be murder would be murder.

Are pro choicers pro choice on infanticide? Is that murder that should be enforced by the state, or does that too fall into the gray area of allowing mothers (or to be fair, parents) to learn their life lessons, at the expense of those they murder.

jr565 said...

Ann wrote:
"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State."

The woman should define that concept to see that it is a human being she considering destroying. That's as far as we get under the compulsion of the State. That's the law as it is right now. And that's the coherent statement of how you can see abortion as murder and support abortion rights.



If you believe that, then you are arguing that your pro choice position is in fact anti liberty. Since those choosing to abort are depriving those they abort (kill, murder, what have you) the"right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life". An aborted baby is deprived of all of those rights, simply at the whim of another persons choice.

You shouldn't have your cake and eat it too. If you're going to argue for freedom of choice,then you're arguing for freedom of choice to commit murder and freedom of choice to deprive people of their fundamental rights as a matter of law.
Better, that you think it's just a blob of cells, with no innate worth.Because then you are not in fact killing anything (but a blob of cells) and of course a woman has a right to destroy a blob of cells.
if you think it's MURDER, then a woman wouldn't defacto have that choice to commit murder on other people.

Luke Lea said...

Perhaps it would help if we discussed precisely why we think murder is wrong in more general terms. Then we could see how abortion fits in with that.

I'm not a moral philosopher, but here goes: murder is wrong because of the terrible suffering it causes, not just to the victim, but to those who know, love and depend on the victim. Also, a society that condoned murder would be a society in which people would be afraid of being killed. Terror is a powerful form of pain.

So we have three factors: the sentience of the victim, the sentience of those who know, love, and/or depend on the victim, and the sentience of those who fear that they or their loved ones might become victims.

n.n said...

Elective abortions should be opposed through an effort to distinguish between normalization and tolerance. While preventing or responding to termination of a developing human life from conception to birth is a situation which uniquely challenges moral and law enforcement, it is still imperative for society to pursue self-preservation and prevent the normalization of this behavior. All efforts should be taken to convey the message that elective abortion is reprehensible and both women and men should practice self-moderation of their behavior in order to avoid this "choice."

That said, the demand for a right to abortion is principally a product of individuals who dream of (physical) instant gratification without consequence. This is the same dream which has corrupted individuals and society when pursued for material and ego instant gratification. This dream is the basis for progressive corruption and the cause of our current "crisis." However, with our pursuit of physical gratification without consequence, we have also embraced evolutionary dysfunction, which, contrary to popular perception, is observable after only a single successive generation.

In any case, it is in society and humanity's best interest to prevent normalization of this behavior. It is only tolerated due to the unique situation and circumstance in which it is exhibited. However, it is not about a woman's right. She has no right to commit premeditated termination of a developing human life and certainly not one that was conceived from a voluntary behavior. It is about a pragmatic ineptness to enforce moral and legal restrictions of this objectionable behavior as we pursue unrestricted enjoyment of our baser appetites.

Incidentally, the premise for liberty is individuals capable of self-moderating behavior. If individuals cannot control their baser appetites, then they risk corrupting society to where no one will enjoy liberty, and to encourage progressive coercion in order to establish behavioral norms which the individual is otherwise incapable or unwilling to respect.

n.n said...

Luke Lea:

The conversation begins with two axioms: individual dignity and the intrinsic value of human life. We reject slavery (i.e. involuntary exploitation and strict restriction of liberty) because of the first and we reject abortion (and other forms of casual termination of human life) because of the second.

Pragmatically, these axioms arise, in the absence of conscious choice, from a need for self-preservation. We do not enslave others because we do not ourselves desire to be enslaved. We do not murder others because we do not desire to be murdered by others. We are implicitly enforcing a "normal" behavior which is conducive to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Mick said...

Ann said,
"Here's something similar in religion, assuming a belief in God: God gives us human life and the power to do many things, good and evil, including hurting others. He does not intervene. He's watching and waiting for us to figure out how to live a moral life. That's the plan. Leave us to our own devices, which have included all these murders and so forth."


Of course abortion should be "discouraged but legal". That doesn't mean that society should pay for it, as Obama and the anti-lifers of the left would require all of us to do. It also doesn't mean that women that practice it cannot be stigmatized. If you think it's murder, then why not make those women wear a "scarlet letter"?

Then there is the Obama support of "after birth abortion", or Ginsberg saying that abortion has served to "keep in check certain populations", displaying the goulishness and evil of the far left in full glory. Yet you voted for this Usurping criminal who favors infanticide. So your belief that "abortion is murder" has little effect on your morality, or any morality demanded of public servants. You really just don't care, and give the libertarian non opinion. Legal doublespeak and constitutional and moral relativism have destroyed the republic.

We are a Republic. "Legal precedent" is null and void if it violates the constitution (Marbury v. Madison). There is no "right to privacy" anywhere in the constitution w/ regard to abortion, just like there isn't with regard to DUIs. The names of those getting abortions should be printed in the newspaper. I bet that would have a chilling effect on the practice. Why should they be able to remain anonymous when committing murder?

Jason said...

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

That word, "own." It's a doozy.

Jason said...

I think we should just define unborn children as protected under the Endangered Species Act and let the EPA handle enforcement.

Then watch as the libtards have to argue that unborn children deserve less protection than the delta green ground beetle or the sheepnose mussel.

Harold said...

Saint Croix said...

I think it's insane how so many people are waving signs and applauding this horrible, horrible choice. You want to be a single mom? You screw yourself financially and you'll be poor. Or terminate your baby and feel guilt for the rest of your life.
*********************
I read this yesterday, and it bothered me, and I finally figured out why.

It is not a bifurcated choice, single motherhood or abortion. The choice is actually made beforehand- unmarrried sex or abstinence. If you don't have unmarried sex, you don't get pregnant, and you are not faced with that awful choice. A woman faced with that choice has put herself in that position. She had help getting there, but she is there because of prior poor decisions in life.

Teri said...

40 years ago smoking was cool, tobacco companies were politically powerful and a very large number of adults and teenagers were smokers. In the space of a few decades we progressed to the point where smoking is largely seen as unpleasant and harmful.

It's a hoary cliche, but you can't legislate morality (at least not very effectively). Abortion has always been with us to some extent or another, and Roe v Wade has made it safe and legal, but not rare.

Encourage women who become pregnant and don't want the baby to carry her to term and allow her to be adopted. At the same time, remove the enormous blocks to adoption that exist today:

1) Get sensible about socioeconomic factors. It is not a tragedy to place a child with a family of modest means. Every child does not need their own room and a pony. We're not "playing God" by placing a child in a poor home anymore than we are by allowing her to be aborted. It's more important that the parents are moral, caring people than that they have a high FICO score.

2) Make it less expensive to adopt. As someone mentioned above, most childless couples would love to have more than one child.

3) Remove or reduce racial aspects of adoption. Do you seriously think that if you asked someone "If you had a choice between being raised by parents of a different race or being killed?" that they would say, "Oh, definitely kill me!"

As long as the argument is black and white pro-abortion or anti-abortion, it will never be solved because there is very little common ground.

We need to shift focus to creating realistic alternatives for unwanted pregnancies, for encouraging and approving of women who make the choice to continue the pregnancy, and find a loving way to persuade women that elective abortion is not the best alternative.

I gave a child in a planned, open adoption, and I think that PSAs showing adoptive parents in the birthroom, and the moment that the baby is handed to them, would be incredibly powerful. Show a montage of the adoptive parents with the adopted child through the years, up to graduation, see what could happen by the beneficience of this pregnant woman.

And to a young girl, wouldn't that be a positive and desirable outcome to a difficult situation? Instead of sorrow, great joy is created, and the parents will be eternally grateful to that girl or woman.

It's been 15 years and the adoptive mom still regularly sends cards, pictures, and at the drop of a hat will start crying about how wonderful we are.

Imagine a positive approach to promoting alternatives to abortion. You could even make buttons, like "I voted" buttons, so that everyone who saw the offering mother would smile at her, thank her, hold the door for her, carry her groceries. That could be a pretty good incentive.

It's been 40 years and it's obvious that shaming and hectoring aren't working very well.

Perhaps Madison Avenue can do what 40 years of protests and bloody pictures haven't accomplished.

Of course you need all sorts of counseling and careful design of supports but still it's a great deal better than arguing about, well, all the stuff that people have been arguing about for the last 39 and a half years.

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