Marvin Olasky Wants YOU!!

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To be co-leaders in the governing coalition, along with the Religious Right:

President Bush can unite the country by winning in Iraq, and by fighting for economic and social policies that emphasize family, and decrease bureaucratic and judicial over-reaching. And he can achieve that only if Christian conservatives and libertarians, the two big players in today's Republican coalition, respect each other. We have to be willing to compromise within the coalition while standing firm against liberals.

Respect begins by not calling each other "extremists."

Which is why, Olasky goes on to argue, Arlen Specter needs to be derailed.

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  1. “Respect begins by not calling each other “extremists.”

    …But they are extremists!

    I guess I’m just disrespectful.

    “And he can achieve that only if Christian conservatives and libertarians, the two big players in today’s Republican coalition, respect each other.”

    As a Christian Libertarian, you’d think that I’d be able to point the way, but as a Christian Libertarian I say a pox on “today’s Republican coalition” and the Bush Administration too.

  2. P.S. No Deal!

  3. Well said, Ken. After reading Olasky’s opinion, I’m not sure he really understands libertarian philosophy.

    And you forgot a pox on Ken Schultz as well!

  4. Sorry, but as a Libertarian I’m not so keen on a coalition with people against gay marriage, against abortion, against (the few) reasonable attempts to limit religion in government, and who are often inclined to a a black-and-white good-vs-evil worldview. Quite frankly, I think I’ll stick to my freedom-loving and interventionism-as-a-last-resort beliefs, and leave them to their absurdity.

  5. Idaknow…

    You think these newly emboldened Evangelistas might be overreaching to far to fast?

    These folks are giddy as schoolgirls with very little hard eveidence that American society is poised to be pushed rightward.

    I’m thinking there’s a least a few folks who voted for Bush that are waking up with the wrong prom date and going, “Whoa…wait a minute here…I was just voting for a stong national defense”

    This right-wing crap creeped me out in the 80’s and it’s even creepier now…and I’m a Christian Libertarian too.

    And I can’t help but think that this “Now that WE’RE in power, we’re gonna show you the Jesus stick” stuff is going to make even Bush balk.

    What do y’all think?

  6. Didn’t this guy get the memo, even Robertson’s on board with Specter now. From today’s WasTime/Inside Politics.

    “To resolve any concern that I would block pro-life judicial nominees, take a look at my record,” Sen. Arlen Specter wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, responding to conservative critics who want to block his ascension to chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
    “I have consistently opposed any litmus test. I have backed that up by voting to confirm pro-life nominees including Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Anthony Kennedy. I led the fight to confirm Justice Clarence Thomas, which almost cost me my Senate seat in 1992,” said Mr. Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican.
    “I have voted for all of President Bush’s judicial nominees in committee and on the floor.
    “The current controversy was artificially created by incorrect reporting. I never ‘warned’ the president on anything — and especially not that I’d block pro-life nominees.
    “Brian Wilson, a reporter for Fox News, said: ‘I looked at the tape very closely. … Senator Specter was the victim of some spin on the part of some reporters who took some comments and were looking for a kind of a good headline out of it.’
    “Similarly, Rush Limbaugh refused to join the critics, saying: ‘This Specter story … may be a story about the media again … apparently, just from the looks of this, it may be that some words were put in his mouth that he didn’t say.’
    “The Rev. Pat Robertson has also seen through the media spin, stating on Nov. 8 that ‘I am not worried about Arlen Specter, and I think he’ll be fine.’
    “I merely noted the political facts of life. Pro-life nominees might be filibustered by the Democrats. The Democrats had done so repeatedly in the last Congress.”

  7. I think we should all get prepared to deal with the fact the Christian Right is going to become VERY loud. How that translates into policy is yet to be seen. Hopefully it will just be noise, and the majority of americans will get real and ignore thier nut-job issues. The most interesting part of this is seeing how they respond to being preceived as a “powerbroker” in politics, instead of the whining vitcimhood mentality they have been playing up for years.

  8. Kiss my freedom lovin ass!

  9. Peace with the Christian Right, to me, is somewhat akin to Petain’s peace with Germany. You know, the whole Europa Allemande / Vichy France thing.

    I say if they send a messenger hoping for alliance, we should cut him up and return him in a basket.

  10. Hopefully these folks will drop this Specter crap anyhow, now that they have to worry about Gonzales. SHHHH! i heard he kills the babies.

  11. Coarsetad,

    Good point…and loud usually means ugly.

    Like I said, I think they’re already overreaching…

    As for the style issue of going from “victim” to “powerbroker”, they’re already handling that pretty poorly.

    My guess is that they’re thinking they need to ‘act fast’…and THAT is how they’ll screw up.

  12. Members of the religious right aren’t natural allies of libertarians, but there is one trait that most of them share with us, which is that most of us would be happy if the federal (or, for that matter, state) government backed the hell off and let us manage our own local affairs without having to get everything approved by Washington.

    Sure, there are a lot of fundies who absolutely will not settle for anything short of an intergalactic ban on gay sex. But there are plenty more who really don’t give a sit if the rest of the country is a wall-to-wall Ass-love-a-palooza so long as *their* neck of the woods remains “normal” and Christian and they aren’t forced to tolerate anyone they don’t want to tolerate. A part of a belief in federalism and political self-determination is the understanding that people in other parts of the country are going to pass laws and do things that will drive you absolutely batshit insane with rage. The important thing to remember is: it’ll be happening way over *there*.

  13. This is what religious conservatives think of libertarians:
    http://www.techcentralstation.com/110404B.html
    I really don’t think this is an alliance with much future. I certainly wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

  14. Dan,

    Pretty astute, but I think the thing that gives folks like me the heebies is that their agenda doesn’t really have anything at all to do with the government ‘backing the hell off.’

    And as far as the Christians are concerned, just what do they want the Guv to back off from doing?

    They arguably have more freedom and privileges than any other religious group in the world. They pull down billions in donations – and they avoid taxes on it to boot.

    The only thing Uncle Sam asks is that if they’re going to send their kids to a public school… 1. They aren’t going to make them pray
    2. They have to learn evolution
    3. They have to take sex education
    If they educate them through the church, they don’t have to observe any of that.

    How exactly is the government spoiling their “lifestyle” in particular? From my perspective, they’ve got it pretty good.

    If anything, what they really seem to want is the bully pulpit – accent on the word ‘pulpit’ – and they believe they have it now.

    Then there’s also that subculture that wants to manipulate U.S. activities so as to hasten the path towards ‘The Rapture’…but that’s for another post.

  15. And as far as the Christians are concerned, just what do they want the Guv to back off from doing?

    For starters, there are quite a few restrictions on the right of free association that prevent Christians from refusing to hire or otherwise associate with people whose religious or moral beliefs they despise. This is actually a point that libertarians and Christians should agree on: if a Christian businessman wants to have a “no gays” policy he should absolutely be allowed to have one.

    Secondly, the Supreme Court, due to rulings I personally appreciate but which have dubious support in the Constitution, has made it impossible to outlaw a wide range of things even at the local level — abortion, sodomy, hardcore pornography, etc — that Christians would like to keep out of their communities.

    Thirdly, while fundamentalist Christians can use private or homeschools to control their childrens’ education, that costs a lot of money, and they’ve already paid for public school as it is. Poorer Christians in particular are left with no choice but to enroll their children in schools which teach things that are, in their view, grossly immoral.

    I’m not saying we should cry a river over the plight of the poor, oppressed Christians or anything — I’m just saying that all of these things really cheese off the fundamentalists, and therefore give them common cause with libertarians to support a local right of community self-determination.

  16. Dan,

    Are you saying that libertarians should help people who wish to have government, at whatever level, pass laws that dictate whether or not an individual can, on his own private property, fuck his wife or boyfriend in the ass?

    Not selling property to some one who fucks his wife or boyfriend in the ass, so they can keep their community ass-fucking free, sure that’s libertarian. But having the government decide what sorts of activity are not allowed between consenting adults on their own private property? Not libertarian friendly. Right of community self-determination? Sure, if everyone agrees. But if just one doesn’t, and you want to enforce your community will, libs will say make him a cash offer.

  17. Madpad,

    You’re right that the government hasn’t been encroaching much lately on the Christian “Way of Life”. But I think that’s largely due to the Republicans’ control of the 3 branches of government.

    There was probably a fear that Kerry would have appointed Liberal activist judges who would have tried to impose NY Times Liberalism on Mississippi. Not too likely with this Senate, but they were afraid, and Bush was only too happy to foster this fear.

    There’s not too much common ground with Christian Conservatives and Libertarians, though. The fact that they’re going after Specter in this way underscores how little they think of anyone who disagrees with them, even in their own party.

    We all voted on values. Just not the same values.

  18. Are you saying that libertarians should help people who wish to have government, at whatever level, pass laws that dictate whether or not an individual can, on his own private property, fuck his wife or boyfriend in the ass?

    I’m saying that local self-determination is as good a shot as libertarianism will ever have of gaining a foothold anywhere. Yes, one upshot of that would be that various localities would ban various activities that libertarians don’t think they should ban. And that’s different from today… how?

    Right now, the situation works out like this: if 50% of the nation wants something banned, the government thinks up some bullshit reason to ban it and some other bullshit reason why banning it is constitutional. Local self-determination means that those bans only happen at the local level — so even if most people in the nation disapprove of something, it’ll still be legal somewhere. People will gravitate to the areas that offer them as much freedom as they actually want. How can that be a bad thing?

  19. The problem comes when I own property in a specific locale, and all of a sudden my neighbors decide to outlaw something that I do and have been doing in my own home that doesn’t include them. Not a god damn libertarian thing about that. Like I said, buy up property, refuse to sell to anyone that doesn’t conform, fine. Offer me however much money it takes to get me to move away, fine. Start passing laws restricting what people can do in their private homes. Nope.

  20. Ken Schultz,

    Better watch out or B. Beatty will call you an anti-Christian liberal! 🙂

    Dan,

    A part of a belief in federalism and political self-determination is the understanding that people in other parts of the country are going to pass laws and do things that will drive you absolutely batshit insane with rage. The important thing to remember is: it’ll be happening way over *there*.

    I think you’re wrong there. Christian conservatives are interested in federalism so long as it is in reference to the things that they believe in; when it comes to things that they abhor – abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc. – it has been demonstrated time and again that they favor federal government “solutions” to these issues. In other words, I think that you’re wrong.

  21. Dan,

    And if you want evidence of this fact note that the Bush administration has fought tooth and nail to end Oregon’s euthanasia law, Republicans have been at the forefront of efforts to not only place a federal ban on so-called “partial birth abortions,” but have also time and again been committed to a constitutional amendment banning abortions altogether (with some disagreement on the side concerning rape, the life of the mother, etc.), Republicans want to pass a Federal Marraige Amendment whose language undermines state efforts to deal with this issue and finally, Republicans have even been at the forefront of using the federal government to attack local community efforts to withdraw support from the BSA based on the BSA’s views regarding homosexuality (whether you agree with the latter effort is a moot point given the issue at hand here). No, Christian conservatives (as their agenda is embodied in the Republican party) only favor federalism when it suits them.

  22. Secondly, the Supreme Court, due to rulings I personally appreciate but which have dubious support in the Constitution, has made it impossible to outlaw a wide range of things even at the local level — abortion, sodomy, hardcore pornography, etc — that Christians would like to keep out of their communities.

    That’s pretty funny. Tell you what, Dan: $500 from me, $500 from you, and we’ll get someone to volunteer some independent research on whether the rates of abortion, sodomy and consumption of hardcore porn are higher, lower or about the same in areas with higher concentrations of Christians than in other areas. You interested?

  23. Phil, before you shake on that bet, let me ask you; have you ever been to Arkansas?

  24. Dan,

    Though I don’t think I would state it quite like chthus did, he does have a good point…

    As for accomodations to poor Christian folk who would like to NOT educate their children in public schools, my experience indicates that a willing Christian community will usually help its not-so-well-off members with scholorships and the like.

    I’m sorry they have to be exposed in any fashion to things they find ‘grossly immoral.’ But then they find gross immorality in things I might find pretty tame.

    But to bring it back to my original point, the Conservative Right ain’t interested in ‘getting the government to back off’…they’re interested in using the government as a tool to hassle somebody else…like, well, everyone they find ‘grossly immoral.’

    David,

    Well stated. You’re right, of course, that fear of ‘liberal activism’ was certainly exploited well by Bush. In reality I find it unlikely that Kerry would have been able to get any real foothold on the issue.

    The Right would have made the handful of Democratic fillibusters (sp?) over federal judges look like a tea party.

    Then a view of reality is really what this is all ultimately about.

    Like this reality – 48% of the country voted AGAINST their candidate. Over 70% of those who DID vote for it, weren’t primarily interested in the Right Wing agenda. Yet the Right claims a mandate and say the country is swinging rightward (Halleluyah!).

    If you ask me, they got lucky (or blessed, if you will) and I think they’re in for a nasty wake up call.

  25. I’m not a religious conservative, but I do know an offer when I see one.

    All you folks who quickly reject the offer are missing out on an opportunity to get your voices and ideas heard, a chance to shape policy your way.

    Each of you has given your reasons for saying no. Where does that leave you? Out of power, catcalling from the sidelines. That’s the pattern: decline offers or talk yourself out of opportunities, and criticize from the sidelines.

    Out of the mix and you’re out in the wilderness.

  26. Libertarians a major factin in the Republican Party?

    No, business conservatives are the second major faction in the Republican Party. Just because they adopt libertoid lingo when it suits them doesn’t make their corporate-welfare-loving, gate-keeping, entry-barrier raising asses libertarian.

    But then, a lot of libertarians seem to have trouble telling the difference, so I suppose it’s a bit much to expect the theocrats to grasp it.

  27. Out of the mix and you’re out in the wilderness.

    Sometimes, as when the townsfolk are rioting, out in the wilderness is the place to be. I like bears better.

  28. I’ll grant this to Olasky, he already seems to have many of his followers commenting here.
    I hope more do.
    But why do we need to make nice?
    Let’s stick to our guns.

  29. I supppose it’s too much to hope that the majority of “Conservative Christians” would actually sit down and read the New Testament, and thereby discover that Jesus was a libertarian.

    Unfortunately the busybodies just can’t stand that old free will thing.

    So voters get caught in the middle. For every issue like abortion or homosexuality that sends “conservatives” into apoplexy the “liberals” seem to have at least two (guns, the Confederate flag, smoking, fast food, SUVs, outsourcing, and on and on) they have hissyfits over.

    We get to pick the lesser of two evils.

  30. The smoking and fast food movements are not liberal movements, but movements of the “radical center.” The champions of these “quality of life” campaigns are most likely to be moderate Republicans like Guiliani, McCain, and Bloomberg.

    Guns and outsourcing, I’ll grant you. But liberalism is not defined as “that which is offensive to libertarians.”

  31. Joe,

    Cudos. I find that libertarians can be just as guilty ans conservatives in irrational hatred of liberals.

    Rational hatred is fine, I guess. But there’s a tendency on the part of ‘tarians and cons to hate liberals just to hate liberals and that makes us poor Reasonoids at best.

    I, for one, do not consider Liberals a great enough enemy to make me want to unite with Religious Conservatives against them.

  32. Joe,

    “…business conservatives are the second major faction in the Republican Party. Just because they adopt libertoid lingo when it suits them doesn’t make their corporate-welfare-loving, gate-keeping, entry-barrier raising asses libertarian.

    Good call!

  33. “I find that libertarians can be just as guilty ans conservatives in irrational hatred of liberals.”

    Well, given that both movements (libertarianism and modern conservatism) were born as opposition movements during the period of the New Deal coalition, it’s not surprising that their adherents’ self image would revolve around opposition towards liberalism. Just look at the way the Left defined everything it opposed as “fascist” from the 30s to the 80s.

    But it’s the 21st century, the Nixon/Reagan/W coalition (modern conservatism) is the majority entity in American politics, and the condition that led to the odd half-century alliance between libertoids, theocrats, and corporatists is no longer operative.

  34. On local self-determination:

    It sounds all well and good. The problem is getting people to agree on which activities are genuinely protected in the Constitution from state-level intrusion, and which activities aren’t. Ask a liberal or a conservative and you’ll get 2 different answers. And yes, I know, there is an objective answer to these questions, and everybody on this forum is capable of supplying it. Fine. But when trying to form an alliance between the 2 sides of the culture war in favor of local self-determination on cultural issues, each side is already convinced that some of its sacred cows are enshrined in the Constitution and hence not something that can be decided on the local level.

    On the difference between libertarians and business conservatives: I will grant that business conservatives sometimes do share our goals, but more frequently they just share our rhetoric. The fact that the Dems have a significant clientele in big business should tell you something about just how small the differences between the major parties really are. And no, I’m not just talking about trial lawyers here.

  35. “I will grant that business conservatives sometimes do share our goals, but more frequently they just share our rhetoric.”

    Wait a second, are you saying that the mutual fund companies who so strongly support the elimination of Social Security might not be motivated by idealism?

    I imagine sorting out true believers from opportunists becomes more complicated when you identify the pursuit of self interest as the highest ideal.

  36. So when a majority faction with a lot of political influence (the religious right) says to a minority faction with less political influence (libertarians), “Come on, let’s compromise”…

    Which faction to you suppose will end up doing most of the compromising?

  37. “…Jesus was a libertarian.”

    I can and and often do stand alone, but it’s nice to know you’re not the only one.

  38. joe:

    you picked the third rail issue there. social security is a doozie sure to make huge portions of the population mad.

    when looking for differences between corporatist capitalism and libertarian free market capitalism, start where individual liberty, freedom-from-coercion types diverge from “might makes right” types. you’ll see that just because there may be some coincidence in ideas, there are vast practical differences.

    while you found a dead on pro-privitization and private investment of social security big business hawk, you could also consider airlines, auto industry, steel, telecoms, etc. that would stand to lose under a non-corprotist (crony capitalism-lite), libertarian system.

    you’re totally right about some big business interests corresponding with libertarian ideas. however, on the other hand, there are also greens who would identify with other libertarian issues.

    and i go along with you in loathing the “might makes right” types.

    happy friday,
    drf

  39. Regarding the idea of a big compromise between cultural conservatives and libertarians, there are a couple of logistical problems.

    Foremost, there’s the question of which libertarians in the Republican Party are going to get the support. They’re holding up Specter as a libertarian that can benefit–okay, for the sake of argument, let’s assume he’s a great example of a libertarian–got anybody else? Who else is there in the Republican Party, anymore, who you can point to and call a libertarian?

    …even on questions of economics? Where are the Jack Kemps and Phil Gramms in the Republican Party today? Who from the libertarian side is this grand coalition going to encompass? Name them, please.

    The second logistical issue is this: somebody’s gotta go first. Let’s assume these unnamed libertarians exist in the Republican Party and they’re going to join the coalition. Do they have to confirm some evango-fascist for the Supreme Court before they get anything in return? What if the cultural conservatives decide the libertarians aren’t needed anymore after that? No way! The cultural war guys have to make the first move, and may I suggest the Patriot Act? Recind the Patriot Act, and then we’ll talk…

    …until then, I get the feeling that the cultural conservatives are getting antsy about all that rope. Wow! That’s a lot of rope… Some of the smart guys over there must be thinking they’ve got more than enough to hang themselves with. Even if you assume the conservatives won a super-majority because of their stance on the War on Terror and opposition to Gay Marriage, who’s to say that this will translate into majority support for stacking the Supreme Court with culture war conservatives?

    That’s a lotta rope they got there.

    …and they’re gonna need someone to blame for messin’ with the third rail too.

  40. cthus,

    The problem comes when I own property in a specific locale, and all of a sudden my neighbors decide to outlaw something that I do and have been doing in my own home that doesn’t include them.

    That is a potential problem, certainly. But local communities don’t usually “all of a sudden” do something radically out of character for the area. The state government is a lot more likely to do something that is against the desires of the people in a local area than the government of that local area is, and the federal government is more likely still. It’s harder to escape the state government, and impossible to escape the federal government unless you renounce your citizenship and leave the country entirely.

    Hell, follow this simple exercise: tally up the violations of your rights that the local government wants to inflict on you but can’t due to federal interference. Then tally up the violations of your rights by the federal government that the local government doesn’t want but that you are forced to put up with anyway. Your area may, of course, vary, but every place I’ve lived, the second tally would dramatically outweigh the first.

    Phil,

    What’s the relevance of the frequency of abortion in heavily Christian communities? Maybe abortion is common in their communities, maybe it’s uncommon, or maybe they’re all secretly hypocritically having abortions and lying about it. That doesn’t change the underlying fact that they want to ban it, which is all I was talking about.

  41. The notion of cultural conservatives being principled federalists is a crock of shit, as I so ably demonstrated above.

  42. As I think about local control and issues like abortion I conclude that pro-lifers would probably abandon their alleged concern for federalism if Roe v Wade was overturned. Here’s why:

    I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the states would still allow abortion under at least some circumstances. A significant minority would probably continue to allow fairly easy access to abortion. If the pro-choice movement is smart (a dubious proposition for any group of passionate activists) they would put their efforts into providing transportation and lodging for poor women to get abortions in states where the laws permit it.

    Now, I think it’s safe to say that bans on pregnant adult women crossing state lines would be difficult to enforce, and probably of dubious constitutionality (let’s leave aside the issues of minors for the moment). After all, right now it’s perfectly legal for adults to cross state lines to, say, go to Nevada and enjoy certain entertainments that are illegal in other states.

    The result would be that states would have to declare themselves custodians of every unborn fetus/child/whatever-term-you-prefer in order to bar pregnant women from traveling to certain states. This draconian measure would be fiercely resisted even by women who oppose abortion. Good luck telling a pregnant woman in Utah that she can’t visit her relatives in California, or telling a pregnant businesswoman in Alabama that she can’t travel to New York to meet with investors, or telling a pregnant physician in Texas that she can’t go to a conference in Chicago.

    Federalism coupled with a smart pro-choice movement will make it possible for most women to evade abortion bans unless states that ban abortion institute draconian measures. Sure, even without those draconian measures some women would be prevented from having abortions, and depending on your perspective that either a blessing or a travesty, but it would probably not be enough to satisfy the pro-life movement. They would probably push for a national ban on abortion.

    So I wouldn’t count pro-lifers as friends of federalism, at least not until I see how they react to women crossing state lines to get abortions if Roe v Wade is ever overturned.

  43. thoureau,

    Yes, principled federalism from cultural conservatives is again a crock of shit.

  44. thoreau, your idea just isn’t feasible. How do pregnant women hook up with these services – look in the Mobile Yellow Pages under “Conspiracy to Commit Murder?” The choice is either to have women’s rights protected under the law, or for them to live without those rights.

    The political benefits to the Democrats of overturning Roe would be immense. Practically every red state that is even close would start voting for Democrats, as some sizeable minority of women voters see a genuine threat to their freedom from Republican candidates.

    But I can’t support it, regardless. “Worse is better” is a deplorable political belief, one that treats people as means rather than ends. I think it’s important for the Democrats to once again become the majority party, but I am not willing to make tens of millions of women pay the cost of making this a reality. I’d rather lose the elections, and let them keep their right to control their reproductive lives.

  45. So I wouldn’t count pro-lifers as friends of federalism

    Let me clarify something: I don’t think most fundamentalists are likely to be principled supporters of federalism. But they can’t force their agenda into effect at the federal level for any significant length of time unless they enjoy majority support, which they don’t. If the day comes when they do have majority support… well, don’t kid yourself that the Supreme Court would stop them. The Supreme Court pretty much invents or takes away rights as it sees fit, these days; that’s how Roe v. Wade happened in the first place.

    But meanwhile, back in present-day America, the fundies don’t have a majority. Neither do the libertarians (by which I mean “people with a generally libertarian philosophy”, not “people Jean Gunnels 0’Bourne will let sit at the popular kids’ table”). Do we, collectively, have a majority? Maybe. So maybe there’s room for an alliance there, with a goal of (for example) jointly dismantling two powers the Feds arrogated to themselves, namely the right to ban drugs and the right to ban laws against abortion. The average fundie is a lot more worried about dead babies than coked-out Hollywood stars, and the average libertarian sees the war on drugs as far more devestating than abortion bans.

    at least not until I see how they react to women crossing state lines to get abortions if Roe v Wade is ever overturned

    You don’t have to guess how they’ll react; they’ll be outraged by it. But again, if they have the votes for a national ban they’ll get one regardless — and if they don’t, they don’t. Local bans will at least appease that portion of fundamentalists who either honestly are federalists (a distinct minority, but a nontrivial minority I suspect) and those who are satisfied with local bans. Allowing local bans of abortion would make a national ban less likely. The movement to ban abortion everywhere didn’t really catch on until the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to ban it anywhere.

  46. The movement to ban abortion everywhere didn’t really catch on until the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to ban it anywhere.

    That is actually a very good point, and it reminds me of the observation that the only Muslim women clamoring to wear headscarves are in France and Turkey, 2 countries that restrict the wearing of headscarves.

    I have gone back and forth throughout my life on whether or not abortion should be legal. The one constant has always been that I thought Roe vs. Wade was dubious. I’m obviously not a lawyer, but the Constitution is silent on the salient issues in abortion, including (but not limited to) the moral status (if any) of the fetus, and the obligations (if any) that a woman has toward a fetus conceived during consensual sex. I’ve gone back and forth as to what the proper answers are to these questions, but I’ve never found those answers in the Constitution.

    So I’ve always been mystified by Roe vs. Wade. I was even mystified by it back when I was a liberal Democrat and pro-choice. My confusion isn’t just a result of being a libertoid who subscribes to a particular interpretation of the Constitution.

    I won’t say what my current opinion on abortion is, but I will say that either way I could accept a federalist approach to abortion. Pro-choicers probably find this awful, because even with a network of clinics arranging subsidized travel to pro-choice states there would still be women who fall between the cracks. Pro-lifers probably find this awful because it would still mean that an awful lot of abortions will occur.

    My biggest concern with federalism is ultimately that neither side would find it acceptable and so the battle would continue. Pro-choicers would make restoration of Roe vs. Wade their top priority, and pro-lifers would demand to go a step further and give Congress the power to ban abortion.

    Sigh…. Maybe we should create a 4th branch of government that only handles abortion, so we can remove this toxic issue from Presidential elections, Senate races, and Supreme Court confirmation battles. Don’t worry, I’m mostly just joking.

  47. I remember when Larry Flynt was running for president in the 80’s, he had these bumper stickers that said “Jesus was an Anarchist!” They were badass. I wish I still had some.

    ***
    “I supppose it’s too much to hope that the majority of “Conservative Christians” would actually sit down and read the New Testament, and thereby discover that Jesus was a libertarian.

    Unfortunately the busybodies just can’t stand that old free will thing.”

    Comment by: Larry A at November 12, 2004 10:17 AM

  48. thoreau,

    …it reminds me of the observation that the only Muslim women clamoring to wear headscarves are in France and Turkey…

    Haven’t been to Germany, Italy or the Netherlands lately, have you?

    Dan,

    Let me clarify something: I don’t think most fundamentalists are likely to be principled supporters of federalism.

    That’s not a clarification, its an entirely different argument from the one we see above.

    Neither do the libertarians (by which I mean “people with a generally libertarian philosophy”, not “people Jean Gunnels 0’Bourne will let sit at the popular kids’ table”).

    Its not issue of what I think of the matter, its what you’ve stated; joe once stated you were a libertarian and you vehemently argued that you weren’t. Later on you began arguing that you are a libertarian. Now if you’ve changed position that’s fine, but don’t tell me you haven’t flip-flopped.

    …(a distinct minority, but a nontrivial minority I suspect)…

    And from whence did you get this information? Out of your ass?

    Allowing local bans of abortion would make a national ban less likely.

    There is no indication in the actual movements to ban abortion that is the case. I suggest you read the actual platforms of organiations like Operation Rescue.

    The movement to ban abortion everywhere didn’t really catch on until the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to ban it anywhere.

    *chuckle*

    The movement to ban abortion (at least with regard to “Western” culture) everywhere has been going on since at least the 13th century; it has a long historical pedigree in other words. Don’t think that the abortion debate simply flared up out of nowhere in the 1960s with the creation of the Model Penal Code, or that opposition to abortion was mute in the 1960s (indeed note that the Humanae Vitae came out in 1968 and argued for the prohibition of abortion everywhere).

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