Posted by: bridget | 4 April 2007

Why is this Guy a Republican?

Just out: Mr. Giuliani supports taxpayer-funded abortions. This is, quite simply, sick. We do not require taxpayers to fund the questionable lifestyle decisions of the entire citizenry; we certainly don’t require them to fund the moral cesspool of murder.

“‘Ultimately, it’s a constitutional right, and therefore if it’s a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected,’ Giuliani said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash in Florida’s capital city.”

Freedom of the press is an explicit constitutional mandate (unlike the made-up right to kill your children), but the government does not buy our newspapers and certainly would not pay for them to be printed. Likewise, there is the freedom to keep and bear arms (and even for a state good!), but the state of California certainly has not purchased a nice Smith & Wesson for this pachyderm. Surely, there is a constitutional right to drive a Lotus, but that does not mean that the government must pay for Lotuses, as otherwise, poor people could not exercise this particular right.

This underscores the Left’s main problem with legal philosophy: rights are negative rights (i.e. the right to be free from government interference) but do not imply that the government must provide access to and funding for those rights.

Giuliani’s promise to appoint conservatives to the bench is an empty promise in light of this; he simply does not understand the nature of Constitutional rights and cannot be expected to appoint judges who do, either.

“‘A strict constructionist judge can come to either conclusion about Roe against Wade,’ he said. “They can look at it and say, ‘Wrongly decided thirty years ago, whatever it is, we’ll over turn it.’ [Or] they can look at it and say, ‘It has been the law for this period of time, therefore we are going to respect the precedent.'”

So not true.  Any strict constructionalist will say that Roe is wrongly decided, unworkable, and a legislative issue.  Furthermore, any strict constructionalist worth his salt laughs at the idea that we need government to pay for constitutional rights.

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Responses

  1. He did say some abortions, and certainly there are some – admittedly rare instances where this should be allowed.

    Certainly in the case of the health of the mother, serious birth defects, rape etc. are limited but reasonable exceptions to state funding of abortion.

  2. Well said, Bridget. Why would a good judge respect a bad precedent? Using that logic we could still have slavery in the U.S.

    The only exception I can think of would be an abortion required to save the life of the mother. The “health” exception sounds good but is typically wormed into pro-life bills as a catch-all to neuter them.

    I don’t see why anyone would abort due to birth defects. I know several people who were told their unborn children had defects that turned out not to be. Even if the defects were real I don’t see why the state should pay to kill the unborn unless they would pay to kill them if they became defective after they are born.

  3. yeah i’m with you on the birth defects (Neil). What are we brave new worlld? that we would abort (and some do) b/c suspected birth defects :( I had a friend who was told they had a down syndrom child and it woudl be understandible to abort. instead they checked out all sorts of special programs and such and prepared for their child. their child was born with nothing but perfectly normal health. AMEN!

    Great post.
    Good to know about Juliani.

  4. I agree that there are some times when abortion may not be worth regulating – ex. life, true health issues (such as a pregnant woman who needs chemotherapy), and rape.

    As for fetal deformity: I come down in between y’all. I do not think that Down’s is a deformity and I don’t agree with eugenics, so I don’t like the idea of aborting Down’s babies (80% of women who are told that their babies have Down’s end up aborting). It’s also clearly for a lack of support: do women who want babies really abort even though they have all sorts of social and familial support for a tough child?

    For me, I see “fetal deformity” as something akin to cases in which the baby lacks a brain or will not survive childbirth because its brain is outside of its head.

  5. I think the Federal government has grown into a savage beast and I don’t know if there is a way to tame it or reduce its threat to us. They go to places where they have no legitimate business, they tax and tax for purposes not found in the Constitution and on and on. I am so thoroughly disgusted with our politics. I wish I could buy my own little island and drop out, so to speak. I am definitely pro-life. No exceptions, if you don’t want the baby, give it away for adoption after its birth.

  6. I agree with the chemo example – I just had that in the life column instead of the health column.

  7. I didn’t mean Down’s syndrome, I think you could make a strong case for HIV positive pregnant fetuses and for ones where there are extreme issues such as outer spinal cords etc. This is rare, but does happen.

    With regards to public funding for abortion, I’m opposed to it, but to me it’s not at all a driving issue. I’m not “pro-life” nor am I “pro-choice” as an ideology. I dislike the practice, and wish it was decided by the state legislatures. If Roe is overturned, there won’t be any slowdown to the abortions in this country. People will just cross state lines or use other methods.

    People have been having abortions since the drinking of bitter waters mentioned in the Bible, and well before it. If it was my one of my daughters who had to make that decision, I wouldn’t even want to begin to tell her what to do. I guess the thing about abortion and many socio/moral issues is the world view you bring. Whether you are an idealist or a pragmatist, or if you see the world as black and white or in various shades of gray.

  8. MadMouser: thanks for stopping by!

    Well, let’s repeal the 17th amendment. Once senators were elected by the people and not by the state legislators, there were no checks to ensure that they did not seize federal power for themselves.

    In all seriousness, I do agree with you. It’s almost tyrannical: there’s very few “outs” for people who don’t quite feel like funding someone else’s social programming. The Will Rogers quote on Wytammic’s site puts it best: “I remember when a liberal was someone who was generous with his own money.”

    Voice: if Roe is overturned, I suspect that there may be a decrease in abortions for the simple reason that women may use birth control. (Currently, 70% of women who abort were not using BC when they got pregnant.)

    My big issue is that it’s freakin 2007. California gives out birth control for free if you can’t afford it. There’s the Pill. There’s condoms. There’s gels, diaphrams, sponges, and De-Provera. Not to mention abstinence. I mean, if you get pregnant, it’s your own damn fault.

  9. Wow. I didn’t realize that the percentage was so high… 70% is completely unacceptable. Under what rock have these women been living?? Sheesh.

  10. Hey, it’s Planned Parenthood’s own website that has that info on it. Guttmacher, their research arm, found that 56% of women who aborted were using birth control during the month in which they got pregnant, but acknowledged that many of those women were using it inconsistently… and it’s significantly more likely that women get pregnant when they weren’t using a condom than when they were.

    Yeah, I don’t know where those women (or men) are living. So much for sex ed being helpful and contraception preventing abortion….

  11. “we certainly don’t require them to fund the moral cesspool of murder.”

    hmmm… what about Iraq?

    Okay, i admit that’s kind of a cheap shot because it distorts what your real point is. I just couldn’t resist.

    “This underscores the Left’s main problem with legal philosophy: rights are negative rights (i.e. the right to be free from government interference) but do not imply that the government must provide access to and funding for those rights.”

    I agree. I am very much a leftist (although living in Venezuela these days sure puts that to the test!), but the notion that something like universal health care should be considered a “human right” never quite seemed to make sense to me. And now we have the Massachusetts government (I’m a Bostonian) mandating that everyone buy health care who can. That’s funny. It’s almost like they are saying “you WILL honor your own human rights!”

    I hear there’s a new law currently making its way through the state legislature that will require everyone to chew 30 times on each side of their mouth before swallowing.

    Anyway, I like your blog. Always nice to come across people who actually think rather than just robotically spew out ideology.

  12. Eric,

    hmmm… what about Iraq?

    I’m a crazy libertarian. I’m also all about national defence, so I tend to think that the military is one of the few legitimate uses of taxpayer money. ;)

    I agree. I am very much a leftist (although living in Venezuela these days sure puts that to the test!), but the notion that something like universal health care should be considered a “human right” never quite seemed to make sense to me.

    Well, maybe you’re more centre-left. ;)

    I agree that health care is not a basic human right. I think that access to health care is (i.e. the government shouldn’t stop you from insuring yourself or going to the doctor), but paying for it is another story.

    I’m also a Bostonian – well, grew up there and fled in ’04. I’ve blogged about the new health care initiative (somewhere, I think….) and the origins thereof.

    Did you remember the Fluffernutter controversy? MA wanted to make it the state sandwich, and then parents complained about its lack of nutrition, and I think some schools wanted to ban it….

    Anyway, I like your blog. Always nice to come across people who actually think rather than just robotically spew out ideology.

    Thank you! :) Thanks for visiting. Please keep coming by. While I of course like people of my own views hanging around, it’s also nice to have other people who keep me on my toes. Very easy to fall into an intellectual black hole when you are preaching to the choir.

  13. Well, if our military was used primarily for national defense, then I’d agree with you. But I think you’re hard-pressed to come up with an example of how it was really used for that purpose any time after the second World War. Anyway, let’s not get into that discussion here. You can come by my peace-loving hippie blog sometime (http://custodiansofhistory.wordpress.com) if you feel the need to discuss our military endeavors.

  14. How about right after 9/11, when we invaded Afghanistan? I assume you take a much more narrow view of “national defence” than do I.

    I moseyed on over to your blog.

  15. I don’t know to what extent the invasion of Afghanistan was undertaken for the cause of national defense. The Bush administration pretty quickly turned its sights to Iraq and, consequently, the Taliban has been able to retake a lot of the country. The US had to respond militarily to 9/11 for domestic political purposes, but it is quite obvious that the administration was looking at Iraq immediately after that terrorist attack.

    Perhaps we can think about it like this: if the Bush administration knew that 9/11 was the responsibility of Osama Bin Laden but also knew that it could convince everyone that it was the responsibility of Saddam Hussein, we never would have gone after the Taliban in Afghanistan. I have no doubt that Bush & Co would have been more than happy to ignore Osama in that case.

    The 9/11 Commission gave the Bush administration the grade of “D” a year or two ago on how well it had implemented its suggestions for what domestic measures should be taken to prevent another terrorist attack. A “D.” This is not an administration that is concerned about more terrorist attacks. Cheney and Rumsfeld were overjoyed by 9/11. It gave them the opening they so desperately wanted. Now Cheney would absolutely love a terrorist attack that could be linked to Iran.

    These people simply want to extend US power and make their corporate buddies happy. They don’t really care about protecting average Americans.

  16. With all due respect: my head hurts. Honestly hurts reading that.

    You assume things without any evidence; you don’t posit any reasonable explanation; and you honestly forget that there are TERRORISTS who murdered 3,000 of our own, have bombed us before (see 1993 WTC and 2000 USS Cole), and attack European countries (Spanish train bombings). Let’s not forget the numerous foiled terrorist plots since.

    Osama is living in a cave. Saddam is no longer running rape rooms. Honestly, I think both of those things are objectively good.

    “The 9/11 Commission gave the Bush administration the grade of “D” a year or two ago on how well it had implemented its suggestions for what domestic measures should be taken to prevent another terrorist attack. A “D.” ”

    Who cares? Planned Parenthood gave Virginia an “F” on its reproductive rights legislation. This isn’t a math test. What do those grades mean? Did he actually fail to implement 35% of their suggestions? Is he required by law to do so, or, heaven forbid, is he allowed to have some discretion?

    Take an administrative law course. You’ll start to get seriously creeped out by how much of our country is not run by elected officials. We did not elect the 9/11 Commission.

    if the Bush administration knew that 9/11 was the responsibility of Osama Bin Laden but also knew that it could convince everyone that it was the responsibility of Saddam Hussein, we never would have gone after the Taliban in Afghanistan. I have no doubt that Bush & Co would have been more than happy to ignore Osama in that case.

    Based on WHAT??? Your feelings? Your Magic 8 ball?

    Indulge me a bit: after the ’93 bombings, after the USS Cole bombings, Clinton did NOTHING about the Taliban. Meanwhile, they were taking flight training courses in the US (yes, that was Clinton’s watch – 1998 onwards). Why did he not go after the Taliban? Maybe some of my family would be alive today, had he done that.

    Did Osama not say that the US is a paper tiger? I doubt that he believes such things now, while living in a cave in the desert, subsisting on canned food and his evil soul.

  17. Part II: I presume that you oppose America’s intervention in the European aspect of WWII, as it was not the Germans who bombed Pearl Harbour.

  18. If any of this sounds presumptuous to newcomers, immediate explanation: the Pachyderm and I are very good friends and pretty much treat each other’s blogs as our own.

    The Pachyderm’s reasoning on Guiliani’s abortion position are spot-on as usual: the Supreme Court has consistently held that no one has a right to federal or state subsidization of abortion: the inability to afford an abortion is not an “undue burden” imposed by the State. This comports with well-established Supreme Court precedence that economic status is not a classification for Equal Protection purposes. The Pachyderm properly illuminates the law by applying that concept to various activities the State may not unduly burden, such as gun ownership. She is 100% correct, and Giuliani has now lost any possibility of my vote.

    Eric, first of all let me say that I truly appreciate liberals/Leftists like yourself who genuinely love debate and are trying to get to the bottom of the same problems I’m concerned with. These debates get heated and people like me and The Pachyderm don’t pull any punches, but please know that genuine respect underlies all our disagreements with you.

    That having been said, your assessment of our nation’s response to global terrorism is fundamentally flawed because it is primarily based on a half-assed, utterly uninformed psychoanalysis of members of the Bush administration; i.e., that they are thirsty for blood and war. Having “read” them this way, of course you will see any military action taken on their watch as nefarious. This approach blinds you to innumerable important facts, just a few of which The Pachyderm pointed out above. Invading Iraq was a strategic decision made in the context of a battle we are only beginning to fight–a war declared against us decades ago, which we have unwisely ignored. You’re entitled to disagree with strategic decisions, certainly. We’re all struggling to find the right method for dealing with a shadow enemy infiltrating every part of the globe.

    The basic problem is that we have savage lunatics (this time Islamic) plotting our destruction in a wide variety of locations–embedded in nations that are our allies, and in nations that are our enemies. They are even hiding in our own country now. What to do?

    That is the problem to focus on.

    Reading your comments, I was reminded of a certain person in my life right now who imputes bad motives to me for everything I do. Because they have made the a priori assumption that I am a Bad Person (without much personal knowledge of me), they of course interpret my every act and word as something malicious and immoral. This kind of approach is destructive and hateful enough when applied in interpersonal relationships; i.e., relationships with people we personally know and interact with on a regular basis. But it is fatal when applied to one’s understanding of world events.

    There are literally hundreds of people involved in every strategic decision made in the Afghanistan/Iraq wars. Those battles are also shaped significantly by forces utterly outside the control of our government; for instance, the troubling habit of predominantly Muslim countries to shelter and/or fund terrorist groups and to otherwise undermine the effort to defeat Islamic terrorism. Your argument begins and ends with an uninformed, purposeless ad hominem judgment of men you don’t know—the occasional facts you mention only serve to get you from Point A (Bush and Cheney are sneaky, bad men) to Point B (we’re in Iraq because Bush and Cheney are sneaky, bad men). This “reasoning” is hopelessly inadequate and completely unproductive(not to mention hateful and presumptuous).

    The enemy we face will be trying to kill us long after Bush and Cheney are happily retired from office–they are not the problem. Their presence in leadership is not causing our troubles, and their absence from the White House will not eliminate or even alleviate those problems. Keep your eye on the ball. If all you can do is attack the assumed motivations of your own leaders, you’re not adding anything to the debate.

  19. Allison,

    Good to know that you and Pachyderm, or theobromophile, or some other long greek word, do not pull any punches. I’ve been debating on blogs with loony US Chavistas ever since I moved to Venezuela, and they have no restraint. Kinda like their glorious leader, I suppose. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been called a “lackey of the Empire,” well, I could probably start up my own empire.

    Anyway, I am sorry that my analysis of our government’s actions in the Middle East came across as “a half-assed, utterly uninformed psychoanalysis.” In the future though, please initially ask me to better explain myself. This is only a blog, after all; I’m not writing for publication or any formal purpose and therefore it is quite likely that I will be too brief, disorganized, and ultimately incoherent.

    That being said, on to the argument.

    First of all, I completely reject the claim that the invasion of Iraq is part of the War on Terror. The White House knew Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 or al Qaeda. US intelligence agencies and plenty of analysts here predicted that the invasion would increase the threat of terrorism, as did British intelligence. Going against one of your comments, the fact that US intelligence agencies have acknowledged the reality of the increased terrorist threat as a result of the invasion suggests that Bush & Co’s “presence in leadership” has indeed caused us troubles.

    What reason do you have to believe that the invasion of Iraq was part of the War on Terror, other than the rhetoric of those who initiated and supported it?

    Rather than viewing the invasion as some brand new policy undertaken against a brand new threat, I see it as the continuance of decades of US policy in the Middle East. Regime change in Iraq was official policy of the Clinton administration. US attempts to exploit its strategic alliance with Saddam was policy under Reagan. Western interest in control of the country goes back to the British mandate under the League of Nations. And do we really need to review the general post-WWII policy of the US in regards to dominance in the region? And I haven’t even begun to get into the deep connections that the leaders of the invasion have to the oil and defense industries. In light of all this Allison, again I ask you: what reason do you have to believe the invasion of Iraq was part of the War on Terror, beyond government rhetoric?

    My skepticism of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq is also enhanced by what I perceive to be a grave lack of commitment to protecting the US from another terrorist attack. This is based on the 9/11 Commission’s damning review of our government’s implementation of its homeland security suggestions. theobromophile shrugged this off by saying that “This isn’t a math test. What do those grades mean? Did he actually fail to implement 35% of their suggestions? Is he required by law to do so, or, heaven forbid, is he allowed to have some discretion?” First of all, of course he is not required by law to do so. But that is irrelevant. Secondly, what do these grades mean? Is she serious? Clearly they mean the Bush administration has done a terrible job preparing domestically against another terrorist attack. She may find the decision to offer a letter grade a bit infantile, but I don’t really care if it is done that way, through a “thumbs down” sign, or a frowny-face sticker that emits an unpleasant odor when you scratch it. The commission appointed to analyze what happened on 9/11 and offer suggestions for how to avoid another attack said that the Bush administration has done a horrible job protecting us against that attack. Unless someone can offer a better reference on the Bush administration’s record in this regard, well, I’m sticking with the 9/11 Commission.

    I think the invasion of Iraq was an act of imperialism. It was not aimed at making us safer, but rather at extending US power into a critically strategic region. The extent to which corruption played a role is not one that I can possibly analyze, although it clearly was not absent.

  20. Thank you, dahlin! :)

    On another note, I wonder if we could apply the “undue burden” thing to property ownership. Imagine if we could declare that property taxes (both real and personal) were an undue burden to our right to own land, cars, or the like… :)


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