Tag Archives: Democratic Party

Obama and McCain on Abortion

     Here are some selected quotes from an article called “McCain and Obama try to navigate the politics of abortion” in the Los Angeles Times with comments from me:

Obama, a Democrat who supports abortion rights but reminded the audience at Saddleback Church that he wanted to make the procedure less common, has managed to make accommodations to abortion opponents without complaints from his party’s base.

     What accomodations?  All that has happened is that the Democratic Party has added a statment to their platform that they support a woman’s decision to have a baby.  Doesn’t that go without saying?  I mean, I’ve hardly ever heard of anyone who opposes childbirth.  Does this “accomodation” do anything to stop abortion or even to make them “rare”?

The language, up for approval next week at the Democratic National Convention, comes as Obama is trying to erode the Republican advantage among white evangelical voters.

     Are Republicans that stupid?  This Republican isn’t it. 

“Whoever is elected president will have the power to fundamentally transform the future of abortion politics,” said Cynthia Daniels, a political scientist at Rutgers University.

     Who cares about abortion politics?  I don’t even really know what that means.  I care about the life of the unborn, not about abortion politics.

At the Saddleback forum, Obama took credit for pushing the platform change, saying the nation’s goal should be to reduce the number of abortions. While sidestepping the question of when a baby should get human rights, saying it was “above my pay grade,” Obama reminded the audience that he supported some limits on late-term abortion.

     First, Obama has done absolutely nothing to reduce the number of abortions.  Neither has anyone else who claims to be “personally opposed” to it.  Besides, if abortion is not wrong, then why reduce the number of abortions?  If it is wrong, then why permit it?  If Obama is not qualified to decide when a baby should get human rights, then how can he say it is not from the moment of conception?  He is simply lying when he says that he supports limits on late-term abortion.  He has never in his life voted for any legislation that would limit abortion in any way.  He even voted against the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act in the state of Illinois, a measure that would have required doctors to treat abortion survivors so that they would not die from neglect.

“What I can do is say: Are there ways that we can work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?”

     How could it possibly be the job of the President or any other politician to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?  Every person is responsible for his own life and his own actions.  There are two simple ways to deal with so-called unwanted pregnancies.  If you don’t want to get pregnant, abstain or use birth control measures.  If you end up getting pregnant, then just choose to want the baby or to give it to somebody who does.

For Obama, the abortion issue has been less problematic. His party’s announcement that [pro-life Senator Bob] Casey would speak at the convention drew no protest from abortion rights groups.

     Of course not!  The party platform still says that they strongly and unequivocally support Roe v Wade.  Any Supreme Court justice that Obama appoints would be solidly pro-abortion and would meet the litmus test imposed by groups that advocate abortion.  Just as I suggested that Republicans are not stupid, I don’t believe that most Democrats are either.

Not By the Color of their Skin

     Star Parker has written a great editorial on race and politics, entitled “Black Politics?  You Mean Liberal Politics“.  Her main point is that the issue of race is no longer about race but about political partisanship.  The term black politics is understood by those in the media to mean liberal politics, rather than the broad spectrum and variety of political views that exist within the black community.

     If black politics is actually liberal politics, then if you are a black conservative, you are not really black.  One’s views as a black person are summarily discounted and ignored.  She writes in her editorial about the huge reaction she gets from her fellow black citizens whenever she appears on screen.

     That reaction shows that it’s not just the media that defines black politics as liberal politics.  It is common knowledge that black people as a group vote overwhelmingly in favor of the more liberal candidate.  She mentions that 88% of black voters voted for John Kerry in 2004.  In other words, whether the Democratic candidate is black or white, the majority of the black vote will go to him.  In 2008 it wouldn’t really matter if the Democratic candidate were Obama or not, the African American bloc would still be behind him–or her.

     I will remind my readers that Parker converted to conservatism the same way that some white people did.  She brought herself out of poverty and realizes that that’s the only way to do it.  She now realizes that liberal policies were keeping her down and would have continued to do so.  I point this out, because I think it entitles her to voice her opinions and should earn her an audience.

     An interesting statistic she quotes is that in a Pew Research Survey, 90% of the blacks interviewed counted Oprah Winfrey as a good influence, but only 50% considered Condoleeza Rice one.  A television personality is a better influence than the secretary of state?  Hmm. . .

Rules Are Rules

     The rules of the Democratic Party were not handed down by God on Mt. Sinai; nevertheless, they are the rules that the party devised and adopted for themselves.  Integrity demands that they stick to their own rules.  It is always considered bad form to want to change the rules in the middle of a game, and when that game is the presidential election process, then it is not just bad form–it is highly unethical.

     The Democratic Party officials have already revisted the issue of the early primaries in Michigan and Florida, and they reached a compromise.  The delegates will get half a vote each.  According to their lawyers it was as far as they could go legally.  You see, as a legal organization they are required to follow their own duly enacted bylaws and rules.  They cannot just ignore their own rules without breaking the law.  Of course, as I said, the rules they adopted did not come straight down from heaven, so they can change them–for the next election.

     Barack Obama has asked the credentials committee to restore full voting privileges to those delegates.  He wants them to simply ignore the rules that his party set, and that he had agreed to himself prior to the primaries.  Shame on him.  And even more shame on him, because last May he specifically said that the states of Florida and Michigan should be penalized.  He had even proposed a plan whereby the votes in Michigan would simply be split 50-50 between Hillary Clinton and himself.  

     And yet its par for the course for Democrats.  Think about some of the other major issues we disagree on:

  •      Gun Control–The Democratic approach is to disregard the Second Amendent.
  •      Illegal Aliens–The Democratic approach is to ignore immigration laws.
  •      Religious Expression–The Democratic approach is to pretend that the First Amendment doesn’t exist.
  •      The Iraq War–The Democratic approach–in hindsight–is to allow Saddam Hussein to flout United Nations resolutions.
  •      The 2000 Election–The Democratic approach was to change the rules for counting ballots and to pretend that the electoral college was something that George Bush devised in order to “steal the election.” 

     At an even deeper level, this unwillingness to live within set guidelines is a function of the elitism that is rampant in the Democratic Party.  By virtue of their being politically correct and anointed (by themselves), certain Democrats feel that they are above written law.  They believe that laws and rules are written for kicks and should have no binding force–even when they helped write them themselves.  No need to legally change a law–just ignore it.  No need to amend the Constitution–just get a court to “interpret” it according to your personal preferences.   No need to stick to your party’s rules (unless it is politically expedient to do so).

  •  Background Information

Democratic Dilemma, Los Angeles Times

Nomination His, Obama Wants Full Recognition, Political Punch blog, ABC News

Obama and Faith

     So, we’re not supposed to inject our faith into politics, right?  That’s what most Democrats have been saying for decades.  “Separation of Church and State!” has been the battle cry.

     Government funds should not go to faith-based organizations, no matter how successful they are.  They might, heaven forbid, share their beliefs with those whom they help, and that would be just horrible.  At least, that’s what Democrats have said during President Bush’s administration.

     If money does go from Uncle Sam to faith-based charities, then they cannot discriminate in hiring.  They must hire any homosexuals who apply, and they cannot fire someone who, for instance, commits adultery or fornication.  Isn’t that what you have heard from Democrats?

     Well, they must not be pleased with Obama, the Messiah of Change and Hope–oh, and Unity.  Let’s not forget Unity.  Barack Obama has announced that he will expand President Bush’s faith-based initiative by pledging even more money for it.  (And they say that McCain just wants to extend Bush’s administration!)

     At least one prominent person has criticized Obama’s announcement.  Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said that the faith-based plan should be shut down not expanded.  Hmm, what will other Democrats think?  What do you think?

La Shawn Barber’s Take on Obama

     Are African Americans in 2008 supposed to jump for joy because a black man has gotten a major party nomination for President?  La Shawn Barber isn’t jumping.  It’s silly anyway to talk about–this whole “racial pride” thing.  I don’t understand it.  I’ve never felt proud to be white or felt proud that other white people accomplished things.  It just doesn’t make sense.  I admire the accomplishments of all people, and it makes absolutely no difference how much or how little pigment they have.

     The deal breaker for Barber, and for me too, is Obama’s acceptance of infanticide in the form of Partial Birth Abortion.  Anybody who approves of pulling a baby feet first out of the womb and stabbing it in the head is never going to get my vote–whether he or she is black, brown, white, or has orange and green polka dots.

“Aw, We Didn’t Mean It”

     The rules committee of the Democratic Party must decide whether to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan.  The two states’ leaders held primary elections earlier than they were allowed to under Democratic Party policies, and so last year the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party voted to strip those states of their delegates as a penalty for holding their primaries too early.  Now some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, want to seat the delegates anyway.

     Apparently the lawyers for the Democratic Party have told members of the Rules Committee that the rules of the party require that the errant states lose at least half their delegates.  They also concluded that the party was within its legal rights to bar all the delegates from voting.  Their analysis shows that it would be illegal for the party to allow all the delegates to vote at the national convention.  Last December was when party officials decided that delegates from Florida and Michigan would not be seated at the convention, and among those voting to disqualify those delegates was Harold Ickes, and adviser to Hillary Clinton.

     But now Harold Ickes says that all the delegates should be allowed to vote at the convention. 

      And so does his boss, Hillary Clinton, although her husband Bill Clinton said last week that he thinks an appropriate penalty would be to count each delegate’s vote as half a vote.

     What bothers me is how people think that any counting of the primary votes in Florida would be fair.  By agreement, none of the candidates campaigned in those two states.  Turnout was low, most likely because people realized that their votes wouldn’t count.  Obama, among others, had even withdrawn his name from the ballot in Michigan, and voters there were urged to write in “uncommitted” if they wanted to vote for one of the withdrawn candidates.

     Under those circumstances, there’s no way to consider the results of those primaries accurate or fair.

     Have the people in those states been disenfranchised, as some are saying?  Well, yes and no.  They still have full voting rights in any government election, inculding the presidential election in November.  What must be remembered is that the nomination process is a party function.  Voting in a primary is not a right but a privilege bestowed by the political parties.  It would be like taking a vote at work for the “staff member of the month,” and you disqualified two people because they turned in their ballots earlier than they were allowed to.  It doesn’t mean that they lost their rights as American citizens.

     The DNC Rules Committee will meet this Saturday to decide the fate of the convention and the delegates from Florida and Michigan.  I predict that they will adopt the compromise of counting each delegates vote as half a vote, although I wish that they wouldn’t.

     I wish that the Democratic Party would have the integrity to stick to their rules and what they’ve decided.  I wish that they would realize that the rules and procedures are in place to make things as fair as possible, and that a decision that backs one of the candidates over the other (for reasons stated above) is not a fair decision.

     Of course the ballot recounts of 2000 don’t give me confidence that they will do the right thing.  And they propmt me to ask, “What’s up with Florida, anyway?”

SOURCES:

DNC Lawyers: Florida, Michigan Delegates Cannot Be Fully Seated” by AP

Bill Clinton:  Florida, Michigan Penalty ‘Appropriate’” by ABC

 

Voting for a Third-Party Candidate

Jay Burns wrote a comment on my post about Bob Barr, the LIbertarian presidential candidate:

A vote for Barr is a vote for Barak Obama, assuming he wins the nomination. What Libertarians must ask themselves is if they are willing to hand the election over to the Democratic Party in order to stand on their principles and get the candidate that most closely matches their views.

To which I say:

Yes, it almost certainly is a vote for the Democratic candidate, either way.  The only way that would not be true is if another leftist party, such as the Green Party, picks a very popular candidate.

I’m not sure if I am completely ready to vote for a non-Republican for President, but over the last few years I have been telling myself that I need to vote according to my conscience, not according to political strategy.  Just when I think I have the courage to actually do so, I wince at the thought of a Democrat in the White House again.

Jay Burns wrote:

It might be worth it.

 And I say:

Yes, that’s what I think–with a strong emphasis on the might

He gives two reasons that it might be worth it:

1. To show the Republican party how disconnected they are from the base of the party. If you don’t know what I’m refering to, please comment and I’ll go into further detail.

2. A viable third party candidate will never be established if we don’t start showing a legitimate vote of support.

I reply:

I certainly know what you are referring to in #1.  And I’m pretty much ready to do it.  I am very disappointed that we still have abortion on demand in our country.  I am very disappointed that the Republicans are only slightly more fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible than the Democrats.  I have put lots of time and energy into supporting the Republican Party as the “lesser of two evils,” but I think I am ready to choose a better alternative.  At least, I think it is worth a try.  And then when I die I can face my Maker with a clear conscience about my voting practices.

The main reason that we haven’t had a Third-Party President for so long is that pundits and the media keep telling us that we are wasting our vote if we vote for one.  Because we are programmed that such a candidate cannot win, one never will.  You win by getting votes, and you won’t get votes as long as pessimistic people think that their votes are wasted on the candidate that they actually prefer.

Jay burns concludes:

There would, however, be consequences to such a vote. Damage would be done in the mean time. Are we really willing to take that chance right now?

To which I say:

And that is why so many people lack the courage to vote according to their principles.  They aren’t willing to suffer (possibly a lot) in the short term in order to make the right changes in the long term.  As disgusted as I am right now with the Republican Party, I think I am willing to take that chance now.

It’s just not enough for me to hear “Well, at least things won’t be quite as bad with a Republican in the White House” anymore.  I want something better than second-best.  I don’t want to waste my vote on a default candidate that I can live with rather than cast it for the candidate that I think would be better for the job.

Race and Gender in Politics

     I would like to believe that we have gotten beyond race and gender in our political discourse and our political activities.  I have watched the Democratic nomination process with a lot of amusement.  What is a liberal party to do when its two main choices are a white woman and a black man?  If they support the black man, then they must be sexist.  If they support the white woman, then they must be racist.  At least that’s what they say about Republicans whenever they support a white man–that they are both racist and sexist.

     They really need a black female candidate.  And it would be all the better if she were an acknowledged lesbian.

     Why can’t we just seek the best possible person to be President of the United States?  For me that person is Alan Keyes, a black man.  Some people have tried to draft Condoleeza Rice, a black woman.  I think she would make a fantastic President, although I’m not sure her I would like her platform completely.  What’s significant about my saying that I would support these two people as President, is that I am a very staunch Conservative (or Libertarian, according to “The Shortest Political Quiz in the World.”  I’m one of those white guys who supposedly would never vote for either a black person or a woman.  Yet, here I am saying in all sincerity that our black, female, unmarried Secretary of State would make a terrific president.

     But so would Fred Thompson, and he’s as white as white could be, and he’s also all man, as his romantic history shows.  Does the fact that I would support Mr. Thompson as President mean that I’m racist and sexist?  No, particulary in light of what I wrote above.

     So why are Obama backers accusing Clinton supporters of being racist?  And why are Clinton backers accusing Obama supporters of being sexist?  And where’s the unity and tolerance in that?

For further reading:

Race, Gender Permeate Presidential Race” by Bonnie Erbe

Obama, Clinton, Misogyny, Racism” by Doug Feaver

Women Supporters Blame Clinton’s Imminent Defeat on Sexism” by Tim Harper

In ’08, Place, As Well As Race, Is a Divide” by Chuck Raasch

It’s About Delegates

     The primaries are not really about “winners” and “losers,” although it is true that wining them gets one closer to getting the nomination.  The important thing is gaining delegates to the national convention, where the candidate is officially nominated.  

     Frankly, I think the whole process stinks as a way to pick presidential nominees.  The importance of the caucus and primary system to me is in the election of local party officials and the passing of resolutions that guide party policy and the party’s platform.

     Because of the intricacies of the primary and caucus process, it is impossible to know exactly how many delegates each candidate has on his side.  If you want to know more about the process (ordeal?), Wikipedia has pretty good explanations.  Some folks there are also doing a good job in reporting on the results in a systematic way.