The Problem With Abortion Politics: Round Two

Thomas Peters takes issue with my arguments against abortion politics. But I’m afraid he’s missing my point. Several of them, actually.

Thomas says that today’s SCOTUS ruling on American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock not only demonstrates the split of the Court on First Amendment rights, but also:

illuminates one of the critical flaws in Steve Skojec’s thesis about abortion politics — that we ought to ignore things like the make-up of the Supreme Court and instead simply vote our consciences, even when we know with certitude (as we do in the case of Romney and Obama) that each politician will make very different choices when it comes to nominating candidates to the Supreme Court, etc.

Except that’s not what I said. I never advocated ignoring the makeup of the Supreme Court; I said one of the big problems is the makeup of the Supreme Court. Including a number of justices who were appointed by Republicans. To wit:

Five of the justices that decided Roe (Burger, Brennan, Stewart, Blackmun, and Powell) were Republican appointees. Similarly, five of the justices that upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Blackmun, Stevens, Souter, O’Connor, and Kennedy) were also Republican appointees – with Blackmun being the only common justice between the two decisions. Nine pro-abortion Republican justices in the two major abortion cases to ever come before the Supreme Court, each time comprising the majority? Forgive me if I have little confidence that the next Republican president will pick someone who will turn the tide.

I’d like to be convinced that I’m wrong about judicial promises handed out like candy by election-year Republicans, but Thomas does nothing to dissuade me of this concern. Instead, he changes focus:

Folks like Steve then go on to argue that the important thing for us to do is to work to change the culture and be purists when it comes to who we support.

But how exactly are we supposed to change the culture if the very basic freedoms we have come to take for granted — such as the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Religion — are stripped by activists judges and these actions are upheld by a reconfigured Supreme Court?

We do need to change the culture. I stand by that. It’s the culture that is producing the sort of people who are appointed – not elected – to the Supreme Court, and then legislate from the bench, drawing justification from how closely their rulings are in tune with the zeitgeist. Equally concerning to me is the tendency on the pro-life side to want justices to do the exact same thing, only in support of the pro-life cause. Judicial activism is bad news no matter how you slice it, and we shouldn’t be hypocrites about it if we ever want to get out of this mess.

Does this mean that it doesn’t matter who is appointed today, tomorrow, or next year, or that we have to wait for the culture to change before we can expect (or demand) good appointees? Absolutely not. It’s not an either/or proposition. It’s both. But as I’ve pointed out, the track record on Republican appointees is less-than-stellar, and the restrictions and litmus tests placed on justices during their confirmations are so rigid, they have to be monumentally circumspect about what they believe. All of which makes it very hard to know whether you’ve got a good justice or not until there’s an important case before them, and by then it’s too late if you’re wrong. (For my money, this means that one branch of government has become entirely too powerful, and needs to have some limits imposed. But I digress.)

Spinning the wheel of fate and hoping that a left-leaning justice will retire or die while your guy is sitting in the White House is not a sane political strategy. It’s too risky (and a bit morbid) and if you’re not a big fan of the party nominee’s other policy positions, you’re betting a lot on the hope that he gets that opportunity.

Which brings me back to the question being a political purist. I believe that if we practiced a little more political purism, we would begin to shape the discussion on the sort of candidates we could expect in the future. One of the advantages of voting Republican is that you’re working with a party that understands and – ostensibly anyway – supports the free market.

And in the free market, what rules the day? Supply and demand. So if we demand candidates that better represent our interests by voting for those that espouse our beliefs, we can expect that the GOP will eventually realize that they have to supply them. Let’s face it – what matters to them more than anything (and this is true of both political parties) is that they want to win. Politics is a game of compromises, and we all know that Mr. Romney has flip-flopped his way to the top of the heap. Even his supporters admit as much. History has a way of repeating itself.

Do we really need a victory if it’s of the pyrrhic variety? Wouldn’t it be better to lose in a way that guarantees we don’t keep getting GOP candidates that are further and further to the left every time? Wouldn’t it be great to have a presidential nominee who not only is willing to appoint good justices to the SCOTUS but also has sensible, responsible, and moral policy positions? Isn’t that worth working toward?

Thomas then goes on to tackle the elephant in the article:

It strikes me as the soul of foolishness to argue that instead of fighting to elect a President who has promised to elect Supreme Court justices who respect the Constitution we should pursue a failed political strategy like Ron Paul’s “The Sanctity of Life Act” which, if passed, would –you guessed it– be challenged up to the Supreme Court and which –you guessed it– would have to be voted on by both houses of Congress, including a U.S. Senate currently controlled by a pro-abortion Democratic majority.

The “soul of foolishness” is a pretty strong statement. I think it’s also a pretty strong statement to call Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act a “failed political strategy” that would be “challenged up to the Supreme Court” without substantiating that claim in any way.

First of all, say what you want about Ron Paul, but the man knows the Constitution. He may be idealistic, he may be a little awkward and squeaky, and he might have gotten picked last for kickball, but nobody takes a more constructionist approach to our nation’s foundational document. And if the man proposes legislation that will circumvent the federal courts (including the SCOTUS) from interfering with it, my money’s on him knowing what he’s doing. He’s obnoxiously constitutional, which is just what we need.

Of course, the point is valid that we don’t have the votes in Congress for the Sanctity of Life Act – right now. Then again, a big bone of contention I have is that this very fact makes me  strongly question the Republican Party’s commitment to life issues. Congressman Paul has proposed this act multiple times over the years. If the Sanctity of Life act is a “failed political strategy,” perhaps it’s because pro-life Republicans didn’t support it. As writer Laurence Vance pointed out back in 2010 in a (rather hyperbolic, but not inaccurate) defense of Ron Paul’s pro-life credentials:

The self-proclaimed pro-lifers in Congress had their best chance to do this just a few years ago and blew it. Most Republicans in Congress claim to be pro-life; some Democrats in Congress claim to be pro-life. Between the two parties enough votes could have been obtained to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court when the Republicans controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress — the period from January 20, 2001, to June 5, 2001, and again from January 3, 2003, to January 2, 2007.

If this legislation could have been passed and for some reason never even made it to the floor, I think we should all be asking ourselves why not. Why wasn’t this an effort worth making, when nothing else we’ve tried has worked? If the SCOTUS is the biggest obstruction to overturning Roe, and the SCOTUS can be circumvented, why didn’t we do exactly that? This isn’t exactly grassy knoll material, but something is amiss with the radio silence on this issue.

Thomas sums up as follows:

In short, abandoning the high ground (our Constitution and engaging the political process handed down to us by the Founding Fathers) in favor of nebulous “cultural evangelization” and “voting solipsism” as exclusive strategies is a shortcut to failure.

This statement flat out mystifies me. First, because who the heck said anything about “voting solipsism” and just what, exactly, does that mean? If I were a solipsist, I’d have made sure abortion was taken care of by now. Unfortunately, I’m not that narcissistic.

Secondly, I’m the one who is actually arguing for taking the high ground, taking recourse to the Constitution, and doing exactly the sort of thing I think the Founding Fathers would have wanted. I don’t want to play politics with abortion anymore, when almost 40 years of that has gotten us how far, again? I’d love to see an estimate on how many human lives our legislative efforts at the national level have saved. I’m certain it’s far, far less than 1.5 million annually. I bet it’s less than 1,000. God bless every life that’s been saved, but is that seriously what we’re willing to settle for? Just keep doing the same thing over and over again and crossing our fingers and hoping beyond hope that this time, it’s going to work?

For every election I can remember, I’ve heard the same thing: “You have to vote for the GOP guy. We’re this close to overturning Roe.” And George W. Bush and his two houses of Congress had a better chance than anyone has since 1973. And zip. Zilch. Nada.

McCain was not serious about the pro-life issue, and I argued as much during the last election. For which I caught much of the same flak I’m getting now. Is Romney better than McCain? Who knows. He looks a little better on paper. He comes across as a lot less manic.

But he’s also a big government moderate with problematic (or at least uninspiring) positions and history on Iran, health care, government bailouts, cap and trade, immigration, and other issues which, while not as important as right to life, nevertheless will significantly impact the future of this country. Each of these issues also have clear constitutional implications, making me question what it means when Romney promises to appoint judges who respect the Constitution. How can he do that when he doesn’t appear to respect it? Add to that Romney’s patchy background on the pro-life position – despite his apparent conversion – and my enthusiasm for the man ranks pretty low.

Could I be persuaded to vote for him? Anything’s possible, but as my Magic 8 Ball used to say, “Outlook not so good.”

Either way, I’m willing, right now, to lay it on the line. I am so confident that my arguments are sound, I guarantee that if Romney is elected, Roe will still be the status quo when he’s packing boxes and moving out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I actually might consider voting for him just to help get him into office and prove my point.

If I’m wrong, you may scorn me with abandon. I’ll be the happiest guy eating humble pie on the Internet.

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Categories:Pro-Life

28 thoughts on “The Problem With Abortion Politics: Round Two

  1. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I think highly of Mr. Peters, but I think he misunderstands several things about the “Sanctity of Life Act”–aka, the “Life at Conception Act.”

    First, let me explain what it does–it deals with the Roe decision on the terms set by the Roe ruling. In the infamous Roe ruling, the Court said it could not determine whether an unborn child was a person under the law. But if that could be established, the case for privacy protecting abortion “would collapse.”

    So if the Supreme Court cannot determine if an unborn child is a person under the Constitution–and note it didn’t close the door by saying, the fetus is not a person–then who can? It must be Congress.

    So that is what the Life at Conception Act does. And in doing so, it overturns Roe.

    Now, of course this is a long slog. It’s not an easy bill to enact; given the present make up of Congress, we can’t pass it today. It may be awhile before it passes.

    But to say that makes it a waste of time is badly to misunderstand the political process.

    Introducing the bill, enlisting millions of Americans to call for candidates and congressmen to support it, getting cosponsors, all in pursuit of a vote at some point, all has the following good effects:

    > It puts wishy-washy, fake prolifers on the spot, and helps ensure committed prolifers win primaries and win general elections, instead of pretend prolifers.

    Remember, a huge problem has been “promise-only” prolifers in the White House and in Congress, putting heart-breakers like Anthony Kennedy and David Souter on the Supreme Court. And remember, it was Republican justices that gave us abortion on demand, as Steve points out.

    > It mobilizes pro-life Americans and gets them involved.

    > It gives us better prolifers in Congress.

    > It makes passing other prolife legislation easier while we work for the day we can pass the Life at Conception Act.

    None of this keeps us from doing other good things. Better prolifers in Congress will help us get better nominees to the courts and better prolife policy in all areas.

    Meanwhile, how is the great campaign for a constitutional amendment going? And how are we doing getting the justices appointed? Everything we hope to do takes time–there is no quick-play.

    Finally, I am glad Mr. Peters is so confident of Mr. Romney’s choices for the courts. I have little such confidence.

    Romney’s record of being on all sides of so many of the most controversial issues of the day is well known. As is the record of GOP Presidents promising to appoint good judges, yet we get folks like Kennedy and Souter. As great as our hopes for Roberts and Alito, they have yet to rule on Roe.

  2. Mike says:

    Isn’t it at least possible the GOP doesn’t support SOLA because it’s a bad law that’s *colorably* in violation of the Vesting Clause of Article III? Anyone who says otherwise either doesn’t know very much about justiciability rules and structural constitutionalism or is dishonest.

    1. Dave says:

      On the contrary, my reading of Article III seems to explicitly support the idea that Congress can limit the judiciary’s powers:

      “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, WITH SUCH EXCEPTIONS, and under such regulations AS THE CONGRESS SHALL MAKE.”

    2. Dave says:

      On the contrary, it seems like Article III explicitly supports the limitation of judiciary power by the Congress:

      “In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, WITH SUCH EXCEPTIONS, and under such regulations AS THE CONGRESS SHALL MAKE.”

      1. Mike says:

        That’s nice. Once we put you on the Supreme Court then Mr. Skojec can strip all the jurisdictions he wants. Until then, it’s a thorny question.

  3. [...] Steve, I share your frustration with the number of Republican appointees to the Court that have turned out to be massive dissapointments when it comes to abortion.  And you are certainly correct that we can never really know where a justice stands until they are seated on the bench and it’s too late to do anything about it. [...]

  4. tz1t says:

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    Romney seemed perfectly content in Massachusetts, even post court-ordered gay marriage, and covering anti-life things in Romneycare. Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor. Bush 43 refused to sign an executive order banning any federal funds where PP did abortion. Hatch cancelled hearings on aborted baby parts for sale when big-pharma got to him.

    As Maerk crutcher says, Democrats stab you in the front, Republicans in the chest.

    The HHS mandate is part of the bil passes by the Santorum endorsed Arlen Spectre. That is what happens when you compromise principles.

    1. Steve Skojec says:

      Appreciate it, tz1t. I’m afraid the only way you can succeed in Washington is by selling out. We need less of that. It’s not the sort of virtue (or vice, even) that this country was built upon.

      1. Tom Crowe says:

        I think by “selling out” you paint with too broad a brush and ascribe negative outcomes to every compromise. You do realize, I hope, that the Founders compromised with one another quite a bit. They were far from monolithic in belief—so much so, for instance, that they deliberately and knowingly set aside the slavery question in order to be able to get any nation and government established at all. Did the abolitionists among them “sell out”? If so, then your call to return to the “virtue (or vice) that this country was built upon” seems to contradict your notion that we need less of the “selling out.” It is not selling out to vote for an acceptable candidate when the other candidate is manifestly awful. It is not selling out to vote for an acceptable candidate when both are acceptable. And I have yet to see a compelling case that Romney is as awful as your writings seem to imply. He’s not my first or second or even third choice, but I’m behind him now because the alternative in our two-party system is not only unacceptable, but downright dangerous to leave in office. Sure, Romney may not balance the budget within the first two years (if at all), but since we’re not governed by sinless angels and are not trying to bring about heaven on earth, voting for the guy who, it is more than reasonable to assume, will be a net protector of freedom and not an abject embarrassment around the world and not ruin our fiscal house even more, seems like a prudent course of action.

        1. Steve Skojec says:

          Tom, I don’t know how much time you’ve spent in Washington, but I’ve lived and worked here for nearly a decade. Something you pick up on even more strongly “inside the Beltway” is that virtually the only path to political power in Washington is through extreme compromise, which may start out innocuously enough but inevitably winds up cutting into your principles.

          This is why Santorum endorsed (and continues to justify the endorsement of) Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey. There comes a point where you start playing the game, kow-towing to the party, making calculated deviations from conscience, etc. And you wind up in a bad place.

          Washington corrupts people. They come here meaning well, but there are so many perks to playing along. And the few guys who don’t – the guys like Ron Paul – everyone thinks they’re just bat guano crazy.

          Romney is not a conservative. Let’s just get that notion out of the way. He’s a moderate Republican with a few generally conservative campaign issues on his website and a liberal Republican past.

          Does he support pre-emptive (i.e., unjust) war? Yes. Was he a supporter of Iraq (the war two popes said had no justification)? Yes. He used to support abortion and gay marriage, but now that it’s politically convenient, he doesn’t. Sincere change or not, cynicism is warranted. He supports the Patriot Act – which is not a “net protection of freedom.” He supports “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which is another big controversial moral argument all in itself. (I’ll leave it to Mark Shea to fight that fight.)

          He also supports the Republican version of big government which is just as unconstitutional and damaging to our economic future as the liberal big government is.

          And while economics may not intrinsically be as big of an issue as right to life is, the economy is going to have a lot more bearing on human life if we have, say, a currency collapse, or massive inflation, or one of the other economic doomsday scenarios a number of economists are still out there warning about. Economic implosion leads to bad living conditions.

          So is Mitt Romney evil, in the strictest sense of the word? No, I don’t think so. I think he’s smarter than Obama and will be less damaging to the country. But I think he will still be damaging to the country, which needs to radically alter its course if we want our kids to have a future that’s even on a par with the quality of life we had growing up. Big Government is going to sink this country, and Big Government doesn’t solve our problems. It hasn’t solved hunger, or drugs, or war, or homelessness, or abortion. Usually, it makes things worse.

          I don’t want big government from either party. If you do, I think you have every right to vote that way. I don’t think you’re sinning by voting for Romney (in the way that you would be if you voted for Obama) but I also don’t think you’re helping things much either. You’re just choosing a lesser force of destruction on the long-term health of the country. Since I’m not God, I can’t say how good of a thing that really is. My instincts, though, say it’s mediocre at best.

          1. Tom Crowe says:

            Steve— I did my time in DC political circles, including as a seminarian for the Diocese of Arlington. In short, I’m no stranger to inside-the-Beltway politics. I understand how DC works, and doesn’t. But I think your position is well nigh despair of the secular political realm can only lead to complete disengagement. Perhaps that’s what you advocate. I believe that is highly irresponsible and out of step with our responsibilities as Catholic citizens. As I’ve said more than once, redeeming the culture is the most important, but ignoring the politics doesn’t help that cause at all. ———— Everyone thinks Ron Paul is crazy because he gives so much evidence to support that conclusion. ———— I’m not saying Romney is a true-blue conservative. I have said he wasn’t in my top 4 for POTUS (but he was ahead of Ron Paul, FWIW). You can label him “moderate,” “flip-flopper,” whatever, but he is what he is right now and neither you nor I have any reason to disbelieve he really has had a conversion apart from our own cynicism which, I understand, is warranted. I have no illusion that he will be the second coming of Ronald Reagan or Calvin Coolidge. But at this point, with the alternative being four more years of Obama, someone who will be mildly disappointing and even maddening at times is better than someone who is intent on gutting the foundations of our self-governing republic. ———— I’m not so sure what you label “pre-emptive war” is ipso facto unjust. That which appears to be “pre-emptive” may just be a defensive first strike, pending the circumstances. I believe the invasion of Iraq was justified (and the popes’ opinions are well heeded, but not binding). I support the PATRIOT Act. I’m not convinced that “enhanced interrogation methods” are necessarily torture. And i’m not litigating these positions in these comments, I merely point them out to mark some differences between us. ———— No, Republican big government is *not* as damaging to our future as Democrat big government is. Simply not true. History does not support that statement. ———— I recognize that fiscal Armageddon is right around the corner if we don’t do something about the entitlements, and I wish that Romney would talk about it some and I wish more Republicans and Democrats recognized it and worked to fix it. But please note that the vast majority (if not all) of the politicians that *have* tried to make it better are on the Republican side. And the bad living conditions you’re talking about following an economic collapse are definitely closer around the bend if Obama gets another term, not to mention greater restrictions to all sorts of freedoms. So it won’t be just the accident of collapsed economy: it will be active oppression by the government. I know big government doesn’t solve problems and I do not want big government. But sitting by and letting the guy who *will* massively increase the size of government get reelected when you could at least have contributed to slowing the growth doesn’t seem prudent to me. Again: the more important battle is for the culture. If we are not winning that battle the politics are totally out of our hands. But that doesn’t mean we can just toss in the towel on politics. Work on both fronts as prudently as possible, and hope and pray for the best.

          2. John Barnes says:

            Tom, you said a lot in that reply and so I’m trying to get a better understanding of your points. Do you actually believe that “Republican big government is *not* as damaging to our future as Democrat big government is,” or am I misreading the context of that statement?

          3. T More says:

            So voting for any non-Republican is irresponsible? Voting third party doesn’t affect the political landscape and cannot promote change? Our current trajectory should be sustained? The only clear point you’ve made is that on issues of conscience you prefer the morality of the Republican Party to that of the Vatican. I didn’t realize a vote for someone other than Romney is tossing in the towel. Your “Romney might suck less” argument is not particularly compelling.

          4. Mike says:

            “And the few guys who don’t – the guys like Ron Paul – everyone thinks they’re just bat guano crazy.”

            Remember that time that Ron Paul requested half a billion dollars in pork for FY 2010 and 2011? And then he voted against the (certain to pass) appropriations bills, which he had quietly larded up, to look like he was being consistent? That was very principled.

  5. Linus says:

    Obviously, the solution for CatholicVote devotees is to write in Thomas Peters for President and Steve Skojec for VP. Or vice-versa. Let ‘em duke it out for top spot. Or decide via a thumbs-up, thumbs-down poll of the readership.

    1. Steve Skojec says:

      Despite our disagreement on this issue, I have every confidence that Thomas is a fantastic guy. I have no stomach for politics, but if he asks me to run, how can I say no….? ;)

  6. Tom Crowe says:

    Steve— I don’t disagree with much of what you said here, but I think when the rubber meets the road it is not responsible to withhold your vote from the better of the two candidates, especially when the other is so manifestly awful. I agree that the cultural battle is far more important than the political battle, if only because the cultural battle happens even when the politics turn completely against you, and is even aided by the politics being against you—the persecuted one is a sympathetic character, and since we don’t have state-controlled media yet the story of the persecuted will still get out. I agree that having a Republican in the White House is no guarantee of good SC Justices, but having four more years of Obama is far more assured to give us worse ones, so hedge a chance against a certainty here? But I must completely disagree with one thing you said toward the end— there is no way at all that Romney will pack a single box when he moves out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That’s what the hired help is for. Please try not to be so sloppy next time. ;-)

    1. Steve Skojec says:

      Tom,

      I have struggled with (and will continue to struggle with) the decision of whether or not to hedge against uncertainty. These past two elections, my gut has been telling me that that road leads to ruin. Because while the one is manifestly better than the other, both are taking our country down an irreparable path.

      At the end of the day, I may be wrong, but I’ll be honestly wrong. I know my opinion is in the minority. Which means one of two things: either I’m right, or I’m naive. I’ve lived in D.C. too long to honestly believe it’s the latter, but time and wisdom (hopefully) will tell. I have five kids of my own, and would like to see a future for them that doesn’t look like the 1930s, with additional Orwellian accoutrements thrown in for good measure. I suppose we’ll see.

      But I concede utter defeat on your last point. I tried to give Romney the benefit of the doubt on just one point, but you’re onto the ruse. A box he shall not pack!! ;

    2. T More says:

      Steve – I think you make an extremely compelling case for why voting for the lesser of two evils is incredibly irresponsible, and will contribute to the same political and moral demise that we have seen destroy this nation over the last half century. The only way to create real change is by refusing to play the game. Thank you for your courageous and well reasoned contributions. I think Albert Einstein said it best. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

      1. Steve Skojec says:

        Thank you, T. The conclusion I keep coming back to is that we’ve been co-opted. We’re being used, and I don’t want to be a part of that.

        1. Joe M says:

          Steve. A few points: A) Being disappointed with past judicial nominees doesn’t change what a better one might do in the future. Nor does it mean that a good nomination must come from somewhere other than a GOP candidate. Ron Paul, for example, might nominate someone disposed to over-turning the Civil Rights Acts. Something that would directly harm protections of religious liberty that Catholics are already having to fight for. B) Roe v. Wade was an example of judicial activism. Over-turning it would be an instance of correcting an error. Not a “hypocritical” instance of judicial activism in retaliation. C) You repeatedly imply that judicial nominations are the only strategy pro-life leaders and supporters are trying for (“zip. Zilch. Nada.”). However, that is false. George W Bush implemented the Mexico City policy, signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, withdrew funding from the United Nations Population Fund, signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. If we’re comparing track records, the actual accomplishments of pro-life GOP leaders completely outpaces the supposed purist Ron Paul. D) Ron Paul isn’t pure. Demand for him isn’t only lacking due to his failures to lead to actual policy change. Demand is lacking for his positions as well. Saying that he is the purist choice is to ignore this fact. Most people aren’t secretly fans of Ron Paul’s over-all platform. E) Knowing what it says in the constitution is not difficult or a reflection of wise leadership ability. The view that the constitution is the only relevant piece of legislation in US history isn’t just obnoxious. It’s incorrect. The constitution lays the groundwork for other substantial decisions to be made within and allows adaptation to changing circumstances. Ron Paul’s portrayal of the constitution is as if it was still 1789 and that it doesn’t allow for the people to make any additional laws. This isn’t “respecting the constitution”. It’s a gross simplification of our legal system that Ron Paul exploits to make people think there is some patriotic simple solution to every complex problem facing the nation. “If we just followed the constitution, we would all be saved!” F) The Founding Fathers. Libertarians speak and write about the Founding Fathers as if US leadership was completed in 1830. No further leadership decisions are necessary. Just refer to what the Founding Fathers did in a different time and we’ll have the answers to all of today’s problems. Comparing oneself to the efforts of the Founding Fathers isn’t the “high ground”. It’s an Appeal to Authority fallacy.

      2. Tom Crowe says:

        T More — Sorry, but I fail to see any compelling case of which you speak. He casts doubt and explains his reservations, but hardly makes any “compelling case.” Also, who said anything about a “lesser of two evils”? I can accept (and endorse) the notion that Obama’s candidacy is “evil,” but Romney’s? I don’t think you can make that case. Less-than-ideal, sure, but not “evil.” If you choose to take your ball and go home you are not making change, you are sitting on the sideline pouting. Work like the dickens to change the culture—politics follows the culture and not the other way around—but when a decision is required in the political realm, if one of the options is at all morally acceptable it seems to me prudent to consider voting for that one.

        1. T More says:

          And you can continue voting for people with abortion and spending records like McCain and Romney because that’s all you’re going to get by telling the GOP they have your vote regardless of who they nominate. Get back to me when one of them makes a substantive change to abortion laws in this country. Your solution is to continue to be an enabler because you’re married to a corrupt and broken party. I refuse to be part of that legacy.

          1. Joe M says:

            T More. Voting for the best viable option doesn’t make you “part of a legacy” or “married” to a party. What is more important to you: telling yourself that you are more moral than others or doing something that has an undeniable chance to accomplish a vital good or at the very least avoid something worse? We’re talking about life and death: Obama = No chance for improvement on the judicial aspect, Romney = A chance for improvement on the judicial aspect.

          2. T More says:

            Romney = more of the same dishonest political charlatans. Third party = pressure to adjust platform to accommodate principled voters.

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