February 22, 2012

The GOP debate tonight.

Any impressions? We just got home from dinner and are catching up, via DVR.

74 comments:

Carol_Herman said...

They all lost.

And, for the first time, just to see what happened, I read through Glenn Reynolds link ... to the drunken Steve Green's take.

And, you sure needed a lot of vodka to fuel you through this one.

The GOP motto must be: "KEEP OBAMA AHEAD." (Oh,and Newt Gingrich "has a program.")

Ron Paul blamed the Jews.

David said...

I missed it again. Darn.

Chef Mojo said...

They're all dumbasses. Newt's just the least dumbass of them all.

Gary Johnson is looking better and better. To hell with the GOP.

Andy R. said...

Republicans have to figure out a way to force a brokered convention to keep the nomination away from these clowns.

Richard said...

Newt won.

traditionalguy said...

We got home from church 45 minutes after it started, and I haven't seen a replay. But I was impressed from then on with Santorumn's demeanor and his answers to a 12 year old's level of charges by Romney that everything Congress did while Santorumn was majority whip was per se evil.

Romney seemed nervous and out of sorts to me, but the after action talking heads all agreed that Romney "hit it out of the park" and that Santorum "missed his chance to take it to Romney."

They must have seen a different debate.

Santorum's rational and well spoken explanation for his supporting Arlen Specter in order to get Alito confirmed, which got to the magic 5 to 4 vote, was trashed by all as Santorumn badly losing the Tea Party votes. Tea Partiers are not that dumb, or are they?

Lem said...

I heard somebody called Santorum a fake?

JohnJ said...

“Republicans have to figure out a way to force a brokered convention to keep the nomination away from these clowns.”

What debate were you watching?

Repeat after me: A few breaks, a well-run campaign, and unemployment above 8%--Romney wins.

Sue D'Nhym said...

The nomination was wrapped up tonight for Romney.

Cedarford said...

If you could put Newt on a stage to do his honed act to audiences for the next 4 1/2 years and have no Presidential duties but to pound media and impress rubes with his cosmically transformational thoughts..
He'd be a great President. Even possibly on that criteria alone, be one of the 5 truly great men in history..along with Pericles, Lincoln, Charlemagne, and the last guy the Republican advisors that heard this from Newt back in 1995 forgot.

Unfortunately, being a good President means you have to have discipline, and solid organizational and executive skills for the 99% of the time you are off-stage and not pandering to the cameras.

And Newt sucks at that.

traditionalguy said...

Lem ...The man on stage that honestly believes going ahead and giving Iran several nuclear bombs with delivery missiles will get Iran to quit fearing the USA and start behaving like good citizens is also the one who says that Santorum "is fake."

garage mahal said...

The GOP has gone so far right that the only guy on the stage that doesn't want to bomb Iran, wants to eliminate public education.

Coketown said...

I started watching. Then I figured if I'm going to spend the evening with a bumbling idiot, a terse geriatric, an oversexed sanctimonious fatty, and an androgynous stick in the mud, I might as well watch the Golden Girls. So I did. I watched the one with Bob Hope!!!

Irene said...

"Cheerful."

chickenlittle said...

I missed it. Did Santorum have ashes like Andy R predicted?

Carol_Herman said...

It's Ash Wednesday. Did Rick Santorum and Newt Gringrich have ash on their foreheads? If not, why not? Did the makeup artist just cover everybody's face with orange spray paint?

Oh. As to a "brokered convention," that means "Jeb Bush."

Just another reason why Obama is smiling tonight.

Election Day? Turnout will be everything.

Today? Most people are just turned off.

traditionalguy said...

Coketown...I believe that I saw a bumbling geriatric, a sanctimonious idiot, a terse fat man, and an undersexed stick man. But you have a right to your opinion.

And who was the androgynous one?

Writ Small said...

The 2004 case for Toomey is the argument for Santorum today. Ironic, no?

Carol_Herman said...

Think of the money, spent.

Then think that so far it hasn't cost Obama one penny. He just basks in the sunshine that the GOP uses for kindling.

Mitt's spent a fortune to reach this point. And, Drudge has up a poll that shows Ron Paul's performance beat out Mitt's showing.

In what is this? The 2-dozenth debate?

Has one Black person in America tuned in any one of these debates?

So, far, what's the winning lines:

Newt: "I have a plan."

And, Ron Paul's: "I blame the Jews."

edutcher said...

Milton did very well, at one point eating Santorum's lunch. I'll be surprised if Santorum doesn't swoon in the polls.

Newt did well, but no big breakthrough to the second spot.

Unless somebody new jumps in, it looks to be Milton.

Andy R. said...

Republicans have to figure out a way to force a brokered convention to keep the nomination away from these clowns.

How, pray tell, do the Republicans broker the Democrat convention?

Coketown said...

And who was the androgynous one?

Mitt Romney of course!

Phil 3:14 said...

Carol,
Have you finally given up on the Donald?

Carol_Herman said...

Yes, dear Phil. Alas, The Donald became like Ross Perot. Too insane to hold the wining ticket.

Carol_Herman said...

Winning. Sorry about the typo.

And, in the last photo I saw of The Donald, a photographer squatted down under his nose. And, took a picture of the "hair." Only in cartoons ...

Love said...

traditionalguy - Maybe they were not wearing your standard "I can't tell you how much I love Ricky" glasses.

pauldar said...

This debate sealed it for the wife and I for Romney. That and his radio show appearance on Hannity today.

We like Rick, but we are facing the facts. He cannot beat Obama in our opinion

America's Politico said...

Here is my prediction:

Santorum wins the nomination, slowly killing the GOP chances.

He offers Mitt the VP. He denies. I am happy for that. No one wants to be Rick's VP. Why politically kill yourself? Only Newt agrees.

Thus, it is Santorum/Gingrich the GOP ticket.

This is it. This is what will happen.

Of course, Obama/Biden will demolish them. But, that is another story....

Saint Croix said...

The 2004 case for Toomey is the argument for Santorum today. Ironic, no?

That's an awesome point and one that I am considering.

One problem is that a Senator is a confirming vote and a President is a nominating vote.

And Republicans have been utterly clueless about the Supreme Court.

Here's a list of Republican nominess over the last 50 years.

Earl Warren
William Brennan
Potter Stewart
Harry Blackmun
Lewis Powell
John Paul Stevens
Sandra Day O'Connor
Anthony Kennedy
David Souter

I don't think Earl Warren was a bad Justice at all, but you would hardly call him "right-wing" or "Republican."

William Brennan was "five votes can do anything around here." He was fucking drunk with power.

Potter Stewart was "I know it when I see it." Stewart had no jurisprudence at all, which is more common then you would think. Unenumerated rights? He had no position. None. I can't even figure out his politics. He voted for abortion, against birth control, and against living with your grandmother. Now none of these rights are specified in the Constitution. So there's a jurisprudence (Hugo Black's) that says we should not be here. But if you're going to find (or dictate) an unenumerated right, it would help if you're not the anti-Christ. Stewart's like, "I vote for evil."

Harry Blackmun cites Plato and Aristotle for the viability doctrine. He cites the fucking pagans for abortion. Pagans! Infanticide! The ancient Greeks didn't even practice abortion, because the women kept dying. They would wait until birth and kill the kid then. Who cites pagans on baby care?

Lewis Powell did not know what sodomy was. Had to ask his clerks.

John Paul Stevens. A baby-killer in a bow tie. He hung on until he was fucking 90, apparently on a theory that the USA can't survive without John Paul Stevens.

(Harry Blackmun was famous for saying "I cannot stay on this Court forever." If Ponce de Leon discovered the fountain of youth, we would never get rid of these fuckers).

Sandra Day O'Connor. "It's constitutional for 25 years, and then it's unconstitutional."

Anthony Kennedy. Realizes that abortion, in some cases, is infanticide. He writes in graphic detail of abortion killing a baby. And yet he still upholds Roe v. Wade, because it would make the authoritles look bad to admit error. I mean, he's got blood on his fucking hands, he's confessing to infanticide, but he says we got to keep doing it, to Protect his Institution. It's like Nixon saying, "I am not a crook." Anthony Kennedy: "I am not a babykiller." As he describes, in graphic detail, killing a baby. The cognitive dissonance of the fuckhead.

David Souter. Kelo boy. And a babykiller. But mostly he's Kelo boy.

These are all Republicans.

I do not have a lot of faith in who Mitt Romney might nominate.

So if you're wondering why we have this thing called "social conservatives" and why Republicans are hesitant over Mitt Romney, just look at the fuck-up that is the United States Supreme Court.

This is what squishes do (or accomodate) when they have no belief system in place.

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

I think we need to amend our Constituton so that we have a retention election for Supreme Court Justices.

Every two years, one of these black-robed autocrats ought to face the People.

Seven Machos said...

Croix -- They should simply face Congress. That's enough of the will of the people while still still respecting the correctly anti-democratic nature of the courts.

But you are right. There needs to be some form of democratic, popular pressure that is built into the system.

Robert Holmgren said...

Santorum looked awful.

Saint Croix said...

Croix -- They should simply face Congress. That's enough of the will of the people while still still respecting the correctly anti-democratic nature of the courts.

No, I utterly disagree. One, the legislative branch is already involved, since the Senate confirms the Justices.

Two, Congress is biased since the Court rules on their work. So the effect of your rule would be to have the Court say nice things about Congress, while Congress continues to suck up to them.

Three, retention elections have worked very well in California.

Under my rule, we expand the people's right to vote (more populist). And we still have institutional checks on mob rule, since the President and Congress will be nominating and confirming any new replacement Justice. Who of course is under no real pressure, as he has 18 years before he will face his own retention election.

I think the Supreme Court should be thinking about the people, and not about Congress.

Akhil Amar (big influence on me) would agree that our constitutonal rights are majoritarian and popular. For instance, I believe large numbers of Americans like free speech.

Thomas Jefferson: "Educate and inform the whole masses of people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

chuck b. said...

Was there more contraception controversy?! Did Santorum say **liberals** don't want to talk about social issues? Because I was under the impression...OH, never mind.

I only know what I saw in my Twitter feed (BECAUSE I HAVE A LIFE. [NO, I DON'T. NOT REALLY!!1!]).


But, teen pregnancy, that's at a record low, or near it, isn't it?



What the fuck.


I rue the day (back in the 1980s, remember?) when I ridiculed Republican's for being too **preppy**. More than anything else, I wish we could go back to that.




Tonight, I'm drinking French wine.



WV: hirli ndaterti, I think. Santorum makes me want to hirl.

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Croix -- I did a huge thesis on this in law school. There's a ton of literature, on both sides. The best arguments that opponents of judicial elections (of all kinds, at all levels) have are:

1. Courts are naturally anti-democratic. They protect minorities who, by definition, will be trampled in any situation where the majority prevails.

2. There can only be so many elections. People only have the time and the inkling to educate themselves about so many races. You are actually diluting effective democracy at some point by adding more elections to a ballot.

The greatest argument that people -- like me -- who advocate for judicial elections have is that people should choose how and by whom they are governed. Period. End of story. And would-be philosopher kings can go fuck themselves.

At the state level, I believe strongly in judicial election. At the federal level, where there are so many competing interests, I think that Supreme Court judges facing Congress every 10 years for retention -- simple majority, both Houses -- is a nice compromise.

Of course, I think it's bad that U.S. senators are directly elected. So that's where I'm coming from. I'm a big fan of indirect democracy and checks and balances. In my view, pure, direct democracy is as bad as my nightmare a communist could dream up.

Dead Julius said...

Oh, who cares?

It's like watching Beverly Hills 90210, the original series.

Yeah, I know... that's old... but so are these debates.

Newt is Bartleby the Candidate. He really needs to leave, and the well-dressed guy in charge puts out ever possible hint for him to... ummm... go, but Newt prefers not to.

Meanwhile Santorum is the second coming of Cotton Mathers. This time even more insidious. It is simply amazing how Santorum, a supposedly upright Christian who keeps on reminding us of his "true" Christianness at every opportunity, comes off as bitter, hateful, and full of ill will. I think that's because a good chunk of Americans are bitter and hateful and full of ill will, while calling themselves Christian too.

I'd say something bad about Romney. But Drudge is reporting that he might have already selected Ron Paul as his running mate. Holy libertarianism, Batman! The possibility alone is enough for me to hold my tongue for now, and wait and see.

A Romeny + Paul ticket would get my vote, even though according to Althouse I'm a liberal who will be voting for Obama. And Romney and Paul would WIN! Swing voters galore! Not a dream ticket by any means, principally because it's upside-down, but it'll do.

Saint Croix said...

I said this: I don't think Earl Warren was a bad Justice at all, but you would hardly call him "right-wing" or "Republican."

And it got me thinking about Miranda That case is utterly uncontroversial today. Nobody objects. You google "Miranda," it doesn't even show up.

I don't object to the rule, really. We do have rights, and it's a good idea for our citizens to know what they are.

On the other hand, it's a bad idea to toss out a valid confession on the grounds that the defendant didn't know to shut up.

There was no coercion in the case. The confession was valid.

Which means Miranda was a rapist who raped an 18-year-old girl.

Think about that.

It's one ugly aspect of ideology. You think your new rule is important. And because of our system, the Supreme Court can't issue new rules. They have to wait for a case or controversy.

So in this case, involving real people, the Supreme Court released a rapist.

Today we forget about the rapist. And so we say "Miranda's not bad." All that's left is the rule, and we forget the utter injustice of letting a rapist go.

So boo to Earl Warren (and Hugo Black, my hero) for putting ideology over the individual.

Boooooooo.

LilEvie said...

Poor Sanatorium, reduced to defending Congress, earmarks, and bailouts.

Stick a fork in him.

Chip S. said...

Robert Holmgren said...
Santorum looked awful.

Ashen?

Saint Croix said...

Courts are naturally anti-democratic. They protect minorities who, by definition, will be trampled in any situation where the majority prevails.

Liberals have brainwashed you to say "Courts are naturally anti-democratic." No. Courts follow the law. The presumption is that our laws are representing our people, not oppressing them.

It is wrong to presume that an unconstitutional statute is majoritarian. Why would we presume that? It violates the Constitution! And our Constitution is wildly popular. An unconstitutional law is a power-grab by the state offending our people.

That should be your mindset, anyway.

And the upshot of saying that the Supreme Court should be anti-majoritarian is that they should issue unenumerated rights that piss off large majorities of our people.

For instance, serial killers are an unpopular minority. I can name lots and lots of unpopular minorities.

This argument screws up equal protection analysis in particular. Equal protection, as written, does not protect minorities. It protects all of us. Every individual is entitled to equal protection.

When you get away from a majoritarian view of equal protection, you start to fuck up the clause. Suddenly white people are discriminated because of our skin color.

If we were South Africa, under this analysis black people would be discriminated against because of their skin color. Since they are in the majority.

No, equality respects majority rule. One man, one vote.

In my view, pure, direct democracy is as bad as my nightmare a communist could dream up.

I'm not actually tossing our our republic, just adding more respect for popular sovereignty to the mix.

Communists say they are populist. They are lying. Communism is actually very small numbers of dictators running a society.

In Cuba, it's the Castro brothers. It's a dictatorship. Minorities dictating rules to the people for decades.

Kinda like our abortion rules in this country.

Communism is anti-democratic, which is why they don't have democracy in Communist countries.

You know this.

Finally, I don't think a retention election every two years is bad as we're going to the polls every two years anyway.

Saint Croix said...

Have you read Amar? He's the guy to read on this.

Saint Croix said...

Popular sovereignty and majority rule are why Supreme Court Justices should be textualists.

If we visualize the Supreme Court as anti-democrats who are supposed to rule our people, that's a problem.

The greatest argument that people -- like me -- who advocate for judicial elections have is that people should choose how and by whom they are governed. Period. End of story. And would-be philosopher kings can go fuck themselves.

Exactly! But that's in conflict with you defining judicial review as anti-majoritarian. Are they supposed to go against our people? Or are they supposed to follow our people?

Seven Machos said...

Croix -- Little in this world or others could ever trump the principle that people can, should, must govern themselves in a substantive, meaningful, consistent way.

That said, I also know that the passions of the people are usually not good at all. That's why we must check democracy just as surely as we must check despotism.

Saint Croix said...

Croix -- Little in this world or others could ever trump the principle that people can, should, must govern themselves in a substantive, meaningful, consistent way.

That said, I also know that the passions of the people are usually not good at all. That's why we must check democracy just as surely as we must check despotism.


Well, most of the Framers agree with you. But I still think Jefferson had it right.

In my lifetime, the big problem has been intellectuals, elites, Ivy Leaguers, and other so-called smart people who think they can run a society from a room.

The master planners of socialism.

The genius of capitalism is that millions of people, in the aggregate, are far smarter. Because we have intimate knowledge of our own lives.

Democracy is a similar phenomenon. We are smarter, in the aggregate, then the people making the rules.

"Mob rule" is a theory that elites came up with to dictate stuff to people whom they deem inferior.

I don't know of any mob-ruling society. It's all theory.

So the idea that people should be deprived of controls over the government, I disagree.

I have more trust in ordinary Americans than I do in elites.

The Framers were overturning a king. So they were worried about the people. They were scared about what they were doing. They wrote all about it in the Federalist.

But despite their fears, they created the first society based on the concept of popular sovereignty.

We the People.

I think the Framers would be more populist today, not less.

And they would be shocked at what the Supreme Court is doing.

You got to read Amar, he's awesome.

yashu said...

Really interesting (and educational for me) discussion between Saint Croix and Seven Machos. Some of the best conversations on this blog happen in the wee hours among the Althouse night owls.

Julius, I think the idea of Ron Paul as Romney's VP is implausible. But *Rand* Paul might be in the running. Still seems something of a long shot (over someone like e.g. Rubio)-- but Rand Paul might well be on Romney's list of potential VPs.

caseym54 said...

Santorum lost badly. Not quite Rick Perry badly; more like Herman Cain badly.

Ron Paul was occasionally coherent, and occasionally sane, and those sometimes lined up. Stephen Green nails it though, calling his foreign policy the "battered woman" rationalization (It's our fault they attack us).

Romney did well, which means that he picks up points on Santorum, which will allow him to win Arizona and Michigan. How far Santorum drops is anyone's guess, but the momentum is done and he has a long way to fall.

Newt had his best outing yet, and he's been consistently good (except for the last Florida debate which crippled him). He will climb some, and as Santorum falls he may yet have another hurrah. Not enough, probably.

Looks like Romney. Not great, but it beats the heck out of a Santorum candidacy.

rick said...

I read these comments with amazement. If debate performance determines who you vote for, you need to re-think your mindset. Issues are what matter. Nothing else.

Both Santorum and Romney are fairly transparent as to where they stand. Past performance are clear indicators. Which one more conservative? It's not close.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Santorum self-destructed, and it was pretty much his own doing. Each time he apologized for something he then went on to defend his actions, proving his apology to be false. He'd mouth a popular slogan, then be shown to have gone against it in the past and be against it in the present. At one point he even started preaching the benefit of earmarks. The audience booed him several times and it was no surprise.

Writ Small said...

Issues are what matter. Nothing else.

Experience, electability and character don’t figure into it?

I ♥ Willard said...

Willard was magnificent, as usual. I particularly liked his tie. :)

Writ Small said...

Santorum self-destructed, and it was pretty much his own doing.

The shifting alliances did Rick in last night.

Ron Paul clearly sees Santorum as the anti-libertarian candidate and was helping Romney go after the Senator. Newt came to Rick's defense a few times, but half-heartedly. Unfortunately for Santorum, non-Romney voters have all the loyalty of stray cats. Newt's reversion to above-it-all statesman was jarring but possibly effective.

Muns said...

This place needs to ban drunks.

Lem said...

I tend to agree with what Saint Croix said.

machine said...

...and President Obama wins another debate without having to show up...

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I'll repeat -- There is only one long-term sustainable political position in America:

a) Solid on defense and security

b) Fiscally conservative, moving towards smaller and less-intrusive government

c) Socially, more or less libertarian

As a bonus, LEGISLATORS, especially Senators, do not generally have the skill set to be effective executives. McCain, Biden, Gore, H Clinton, Dole, etc. etc.

Especially when advanced to such positions via affirmative action or white guilt, as the current President makes depressingly clear.

rick said...

What Muns said.

Rusty said...

Of course, Obama/Biden will demolish them. But, that is another story..


With what? "I blame Bush" and "I killed BenLaden." aren't going to take them very far.

All any one of the GOP slate need to do up until November is not get caught with an underage boy or girl.
A crack addled Bangkok prostitute could beat Obama/Biden. Speaking of which you should field Hillary. At least she has half a brain.

machine said...

right rusty...that's why there is talk of a brokered convention...because the President is so easy to beat with this gang...

The Crack Emcee said...

So The Audience Booed? (I'll Gladly Boo The Audience,...)

trumpetdaddy said...

Nothing about last night changed anything about the dynamic of the race. It will still be a close-run thing on Tuesday with Romney most likely winning a narrow victory in Michigan after outspending Santorum by a ridiculous margin.

This will of course be trumpeted to the heavens by Romney supporters, and everyone else will still not be sold on him because the rest of us know that he won't be able to out-spend Obama at all, let alone by orders of magnitude.

Santorum may still win Michigan for a variety of reasons that last night's snoozefest doesn't change. His support hasn't been driven by money or positive traditional media, but rather by the candidate utilizing social networks and hard personal campaign work. Lots of blue-collar Catholics in Michigan.

I am constantly amazed by how stupid Romney and Paul both think the average voter is. Although in the Paul case, his voters may be living down to his contemptuous view of their savvy.

Does Romney really think in this day-and-age that people don't understand the legislative process and what being the majority whip for the president's party means when the president's main legislative priority comes to a vote? Or how earmarks work after 15 years of publicity about them? Or how state gov'ts, which have to balance their budgets, do it by sucking up Federal dollars to avoid raising state taxes?

Does he really think we are so stupid as to fall for jr high-school level bumper-sticker rhetoric about these issues? Yes, he does. Which is among the reasons he is only at 25-30% even after 6 yrs of running for president.

And Paul, what a fake, to use his word. Yeah, Mr. Consistent consistently wheels-and-deals to get pork for the home folks stuffed into bills that are going to pass overwhelmingly anyway, so he can get the credit for "opposing big gov't" all while bringing home the bacon to his district.

Oh, and the "neo-conservatives" want to send us to war all the time. Why don't you just say "Jews," Ron? We all know what the codewords among the neo-nazi crowd really mean.

I'll be curious to see what the TV ratings for the debate were. I can't imagine they were particularly good, even in AZ & MI.

Saint Croix said...

Hey Lem, thanks.

Here are some books by Amar. He's a professor of law at Yale, but he writes so ordinary people can understand what he's saying. He's the Hugo Black of our day.

MadisonMan said...

It seems to me this was Santorum's debate to win, and since he didn't win, he was the biggest loser.

Credit to the others for lowering expectations.

Thorley Winston said...

Does Romney really think in this day-and-age that people don't understand the legislative process and what being the majority whip for the president's party means when the president's main legislative priority comes to a vote?

Question – if President Bush had had a change of heart on abortion and wanted Congress to pass a bill expanding access to abortion (e.g. repeal the Hatch Act for example), do you think Rick Santorum as Majority Whip would have worked to make sure that Republicans got in line to vote for that kind of a bill?


I don’t want to make this a “social conservative versus fiscal conservative” issue (I think most people who identify themselves as conservatives would consider themselves to be both and I think our strongest candidate is going to be someone who is both) but I think we all know that the excuse “I was the Whip and he was the President” would not be invoked if Santorum were asked to do something that went against his conscience on a social issue like abortion or civil marriage. Santorum would have rightfully stood up to his President on an issue like that and possibly even stepped down as Whip because it would have been a matter of fundamental principle for him. I think that the fact that he chose not to do that when it came to controlling spending and was went along with and supported the spending binge that cost Republicans control of Congress tells us where his heart is and voters are going to consider it.


Like it or not, there is no ideal candidate. If we select Romney, he will have to deal with Commonwealth Care. If we select Santorum, he will have to deal with his complicity in the behavior that was so unpopular that it cost Republicans control of Congress. I’m concerned with both repealing Obamacare and reigning in spending but I think that the latter is where Obama is going to be more vulnerable this fall (particularly with signs that we could bow through the debt ceiling before this fall’s election). It’s also easier to tie Washington’s fiscal irresponsibility to the state of the economy in voters’ minds and think we should go with the candidate who is best posed to make that argument and IMO that’s Romney.

rhhardin said...

Santorum's support of Arlen Specter came up. That was my reason for rejecting Santorum as a useless weasel long ago.

Saint Croix said...

By the way, Newt used the "infanticide" word last night.

To big cheers.

All four of our guys are pro-lifers.

W tried to nominate a mystery nominee to the Supreme Court.

Had to scuttle it.

After O'Connor, and Kennedy, and Souter, that's not happening again.

Roe v. Wade is like Obamacare.

Part of a socialist plan to remove unwanted people from society.

What is so ugly about this ideology is that so-called right-wingers have been utterly complicit.

For instance, Justice Scalia in his Casey dissent writes this:

Thus, whatever answer Roe came up with after conducting its "balancing" is bound to be wrong, unless it is correct that the human fetus is in some critical sense merely potentially human. There is of course no way to determine that as a legal matter; it is in fact a value judgment. Some societies have considered newborn children not yet human, or the incompetent elderly no longer so.

Yes, but we’re talking about our society, which has an equal protection clause, and a due process clause. Is Justice Scalia suggesting that Oregon can murder newborns, or Massachusetts can send the “incompetent elderly” off to the gas chamber? It’s a rather bizarre reading of our equal protection clause, to put it mildly.

One would think, after slavery and the Holocaust, that our unelected jurists would concede that any and all human beings are people. Instead the Court seems to assume that nobody is a person until the Court says they are. Thus the Court recognizes Africans are people (the Civil War resolved that) and Jews are people (World War II resolved that). Is that the legal standard, you only achieve personhood after a war resolves the issue? One might ask if that attitude might not lead to war.

Of course, babies will never fight a war. Perhaps that’s why we will never recognize the humanity of babies, because they will always be weak and vulnerable. If we want to kill them, they will die. Is that the legal standard our unelected judges want to impose? What is the standard?

Note that when Scalia talks about his classes of people-that-might-not-be-people, he speaks of the weak and helpless, the newborns and the “incompetent elderly.” In other words, he is speaking of the non-viables. Apparently, Justice Scalia has found something useful out of the Court’s abortion jurisprudence--he is only recognizing autonomous people as people. He is accepting Plato’s rule, as it were.

I disagree. Babies are people. The incompetent elderly are people. Anybody who is a human being is a person. It is immoral and quite illegal for our unelected branch to start defining some human beings as outside our laws. All people are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. We know this because this is what the Constitution specifically says.

A baby is a person. Thus a state must make sure that abortion is not sanctioning a homicide. You might do this by applying the state’s death statutes to the issue. This is a value judgment a state makes in regard to what constitutes a human death. And as such it is a rule that applies to all the people in that state.

What a state cannot do is classify a group of people as outside the law and say “our death statutes do not apply to you because we are defining you as a commodity.” Roe v. Wade has caused an uproar precisely because humanity has been denied.

What Scalia knows, what we all know, is that words are not defined by the powerful. Words are not defined by nine Supreme Court Justices sitting in a room. The all-powerful Justices do not actually get to decide what words mean. Words are defined by us, by ordinary people, by common usage, by dictionaries. And “person” is an easy word to define. You do not have to be an Ivy League jurist to know what a person is. First graders know what a person is. A person is a live human being.

Saint Croix said...

that was really long, sorry.

Saint Croix said...

I should rephrase. I do not think Obamacare is "part of a socialist plan to remove unwanted people from society."

I do not believe Obama has any such plan.

But I do believe, once Obamacare is in place, it is quite easy for that to happen down the road.

Socialism doesn't always end in mass slaughter, but it's happened in enough places for us to know better.

trumpetdaddy said...

It is simply historical revisionism by Romney supporters who count on peoples' ignorance to try to portray Santorum's support for NCLB as anything other than what it was: Getting passed the single most important domestic legislation that the president had campaigned on prior to being elected.

Bush campaigned specifically in 2000 on establishing national educational standards and setting up testing metrics at the Fed level. This was extremely popular at least in theory in 2000 across the political spectrum and it is lunacy to expect from the perspective of a decade later that the majority whip would not have supported his president's signature domestic priority at a time when it was popular to do so.

It is to Santorum's immense credit that he recognizes the mistake that law was, in hindsight. Would that Romney could show similar maturity regarding health care, which is a current ans pressing issue that Romney continues to be obstinate about.

This election will not turn on NCLB. It will turn on health care. Who is in a better position to make the correct argument?

John Althouse Cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Althouse Cohen said...

As to a "brokered convention," that means "Jeb Bush."

Good luck finding him.

Carol_Herman said...

Every time someone says "Willard," I think Bill Clinton.

Every time someone says "Romney" ... I think they're about to announce that they got brainwashed.

Rusty said...

machine said...
right rusty...that's why there is talk of a brokered convention...because the President is so easy to beat with this gang...


Yes he is. His approval is .01 percentage point from where Carter was at this time in his presidency.

John Stodder said...

This election will not turn on NCLB. It will turn on health care. Who is in a better position to make the correct argument?

Someone explain how you imagine this working. I don't see Romney has hobbled in the least. In fact, I think he comes at Obama from the strongest position, as a governor who shares the concern for the uninsured.

If Santorum somehow gets the nomination, Obama can say, "You don't care about the poor and the sick and those who are bankrupted by health care bills."

If it's Romney, at least he can say, Mr. President, I care as much as you do, and fought for a plan for my own state. You however have built a national monstrosity... and then go into the stronger arguments against it, arguments that you can't throw at Romneycare.

The thing about Romneycare's universal mandate is: The universal mandate is ONLY problematic at a federal level, and not because it is bad policy -- it is not bad policy, which is why Heritage, Gingrich and a lot of other conservatives favored it in the 90s. It is bad CONSTITUTIONAL policy, in other words bad precedent. The fact that Romney's legislation imposed it on the state level is nowhere near as problematic.

Yes, it's a nuance, and a fact... not a feeeeeeling. So it won't really fly with today's conservatives, who have "evolved" into today's version of feeling-liberals. But in October, hopefully, you'll all feeeeeel better about it, when you see Romney clean Obama's clock in debates.