Campaigns/Elections

Ron Paul's Candidacy: The Stuff, Uh, That Dreams Are Made Of…[*]

|

A while back at NRO, John Derbyshire feels the love for the Ron Paul Revolution before deciding that the Texas Gold Bug isn't worth supporting:

You have felt the Ron Paul temptation, haven't you?…And why not? Look at those policy positions! Abolish the IRS and Federal Reserve; balance the budget; go back to the gold standard; pull out of the U.N. and NATO; end the War on Drugs; overturn Roe v. Wade; repeal federal restrictions on gun ownership; fence the borders; deport illegals; stop lecturing foreign governments about human rights; let the Middle East go hang. What's not to like?…

Nits aside, the broad outlook there is conservative in a way we don't often see from a presidential candidate. It is, in fact, conservatism of exceptional purity. Reading through those policy positions, an American conservative can hear the mystic chords of memory sounding in the distance, and hear the call of ancestral voices wafted on the breeze: Hayek, von Mises, Rothbart, Nock, Kirk, John Chamberlain… Unlike the product in that automobile commercial, this is your father's conservatism—the Old-Time Religion. What is there among Ron Paul's policy prescriptions that the young William F. Buckley would have disagreed with?

So far so good (though it's surprising to see NR putting Rothbart [sic] back in their pantheon; WFB euolgized Mr. Libertarian thusly: "We extend condolences to his family, but not to the movement he inspired…Murray Rothbard had defective judgment.").

What's keeping the jailbait-loving, Bruce-Lee-fighthing, Calvin-Coolidge-appreciatin' Derb from stuffing envelopes for Paul?

Imagine, for example, President Ron II trying to push his bill to abolish the IRS through Congress. Congress!—whose members eat, drink, breathe and live for the wrinkles they can add to the tax code on behalf of their favored interest groups! Or imagine him trying to kick the U.N. parasites out of our country. Think of the howls of outrage on behalf of suffering humanity from all the lefty academics, MSM bleeding hearts, love-the-world flower children, Eleanor Roosevelt worshippers, and bureaucratic globalizers!

Ain't gonna happen. It was, after all, a conservative who said that politics is the art of the possible. Ron Paul is not possible. His candidacy belongs to the realm of dreams, not practical politics. But, oh, what sweet dreams!

Whole thing here.

The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page loves Ron Paul here.

reason's Brian Doherty asks whether Ron Paul is good for the libertarians.

[*]: Headline allusion explained here; misquote explained here.

NEXT: Weekend Open Thread

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. O’l Derb is %100 right on the JB.

  2. I’m watching the straw poll coverage on C-Span right now. Good Lord, Mitt Romney makes me want to gag. What a fake, animatronic, sleazoid. I’m not sure who I could stand least for 4 years – him, or Hillary Clinton.

  3. Sorry, that should be “whom.” Please don’t hurt me.

  4. I liked the Clarence Page article. Hopefully when the MSM has finally outlived its usefulness and stops flopping around and more people get their news in a “pull” fashion, we’ll see a massive paradigm shift IRT political campaigning.

  5. “Whose side are you on, son?”

    “Our side, sir.”

    “Don’t you love your country?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Then how about getting with the program? Why don’t you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Son, all I’ve ever asked of my voters is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the economy, because inside every wallet there are American dollars trying to get out. It’s a hardball world, son. We’ve gotta keep our heads until this Ron Paul craze blows over.”

    “Aye-aye, sir.”

  6. That would be from Full Metal Jacket, good flick.

    Go Ron Paul!

  7. “What’s not to like?”

    Overturning Roe v. Wade that’s what. Paul is wrong on this and it saddens me. Abortion is a question of property rights,i.e. who owns the womb. Obviously the woman does. If you say the fetus has a proprietary right to use of the womb then you are enslaving the woman to the life of the fetus. A fetus survives and thrives solely on the good will of the mother. That’s the way it’s always been and always will be.

  8. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not banning abortion. It is overturning bad Constitutional Law.

  9. Brian Doherty asks whether Ron Paul is good for the libertarians.

    Ron Paul is good for a laugh.

  10. Did the Page article say that Gore could sweep up a bunch of Ron Paul supporters? Uh…not bloody likely. I’m pretty sure of all candidates/potential candidates he’d be the one I’d be least likely to vote for.

    You know…if I actually was planning on voting in the election after casting my primary vote for Paul.

  11. and if left to the states, abortion is not likely to be made illegal in most of them.

  12. I just watched him speak at the strawpoll on CSPAN. I’ll just say he is not the best at speeches.

  13. I have no illusions that Ron Paul will get the nomination, let alone the presidency. That’s not why I’m voting for him. Voting isn’t about trying to guess who will win. It’s about casting your vote for the person you would best like to represent you. Only Ron Paul comes close to representing my interests.

  14. As I said at the outset, all I want is for Paul to last long enough and maybe get to be a big enough blip on the radar that the eventual nominee has to specifically engage him to destroy him.

    Paul has be the pinata to make sure that all anti-war Republicans and all pro-civil-liberties Republicans are alienated from the eventual nominee.

    If that happens, it will all be worth it.

    The Ames coverage today makes it sound like he’s not embarrassing himself support-wise there, and the campaign apparently has increased its fundraising pace from last quarter, so it looks like Paul is around for the long haul now. Much as it may irritate Edward, Paul will have a decisive impact on the outcome of this race, because his presence in the primary process [maybe all the way to the convention] brings out the worst in his Republican opponents in a year when they can’t afford that.

  15. just watched his straw poll speech… Wow. He’s gonna win this shit. The last few lines were amazing.

  16. sean:

    Where can I get the speech online? Video would be great, script would be okay too.

  17. Ron Paul is no libertarian. He simply wants to shift government ownership of your life from the federal to the state level. That’s still completely unacceptable to me. Stealing that famous Gertrude Stein line, I say: A bureaucrat is a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat.

    It’s a sorry time in libertarianville when people go gaga for a candidate who thinks it’s OK for states to ban a medical procedure only practiced on women, or consensual sexual intercourse between people of the same gender. But, since 90% of libertarians are white heterosexual males, is either position any surprise?

  18. Overturning Roe v. Wade is not banning abortion. It is overturning bad Constitutional Law.

    Whether or not you agree with the above statement…for Ron Paul, it is a tactic aimed at finding a more effective way to use government power to ban abortion.

    Ron Paul: “It is much more difficult for pro-life advocates to win politically at the federal level. Those who seek a pro-life culture must accept that we will never persuade 300 million Americans to agree with us.”

  19. Hmm. Only female babies are aborted, rah62?

  20. What strikes me is how much of Derb’s fascination consists in how unhappy a Paul presidency would make the people he dislikes.

    When you read a lefty skylarking about a dream candidate, you find prose like, “Imagine the poor people who will get paid more, the single mothers not having to worry about dacare, the countries able to live in peace and democraxy, the entire towns finally able to breathe clean air,” yadda yadda. Fantasies about wonderful things happening to people. You very rarely see “Imagine the howls of outrage from businessmen and conservatives…” etc etc.

    Jonah Goldberg came out and admitted that this thinking is what mislead him into supporting the invasion of Iraq. Too bad the Derb hasn’t caught up.

  21. He’s talking about the pregnant women who get abortions, Misogynist Pig. Remember them? The adult women? The pink, 5-foot tall things around the wombs?

    Give it a minute, it’ll come to you.

  22. I dunno, joe. There’s plenty of ill-will to go around. Plenty of lefties get a hard-on thinking about big oil/pharma/tobacco/fill in the blank getting their long-deserved comeuppance as opposed to anyone getting the help they need. They’ll be sure to add in the latter as an afterthought when they’re through foaming at the mouth, but that’s not necessarily item 1 on their agenda.

  23. Its about property rights and privacy, period. Those are two things the Constitution clearly protects.

  24. I think there are two issues here – a Constitutional issue and an ideological issue.

    Constitutionally, I have to agree that Roe seems poorly decided. There just isn’t a right to privacy in the Constitution. The 5th Amendment comes closest, if you theorize that the womb is a woman’s property. But it seems a little silly to interpret the Bill of Rights widely when it comes to reproductive rights, but as narrowly as possible when it comes to the rights of property owners, gun owners, and just about everyone else.

    Ideologically I am pretty militantly pro-choice, and would support an amendment on reproductive freedom to put INTO the Constitution what Roe pretends is there.

    The question becomes, if you’re both a libertarian and a Constitutionalist, which do you put first? Personally, I’d put being a libertarian first. But if I was actually serving in government and had taken an oath to the Constitution, that might change. Paul seems to put his Constitutionalism first. Compared to the problems I have with every other candidate, I can accept that.

  25. You know, if you think Roe v. Wade is bad Constitutional law, why not Brown v. Board of Education?

    Individual Rights > States Rights

  26. Gahan,

    Ill-will is universal. Or at least, evenly distributed across the ideological spectrum.

    But I rarely see liberals holding out the unhappiness of their political opponents as such a significant factor in their politics.

  27. joe,

    I think M. Pig is saying that an abortion is “practiced” on two people, one of which is sometimes male. Give it a minute indeed.

  28. Paul seems to put his Constitutionalism first.

    His voting record and the bills he has introduced seem to tell the story of a man putting his opposition to abortion rights first, and finding a rationalization for his actions in Constitutionalism.

  29. why not Brown v. Board of Education?

    Good question. Ask me again when joe’s not around — he gets flustered when we discuss this. 😉

    But I rarely see liberals holding out the unhappiness of their political opponents as such a significant factor in their politics.

    Polishing the liberal halo again, joe?

  30. On Roe, the drafters of the Constitution made very clear that the rights enumerated therein were not meant to be a comprehensive list.

    If you acknowledge the existence of privacy rights – of a sphere of individual activity that is off-limits to government coercion – then you cannot but acknowledge that sovereignty over one’s body is a Constitutionally protected right.

    BTW, to an outsider, seeing the right to dictate what one does with one’s sexual organs described as a “property right,” for the purpose of elevating the deference due to that right over a “mere” right to privacy looks quite bizarre.

  31. Polishing the liberal halo again, joe?

    Prove me wrong, crimethink. We’ve all seen Goldberg’s column, we all remember the lefty-bashing that made up so much of the rhetoric from National Review when arguing for the Iraq War. Go ahead, find the fantasing about how unhappy conservatives will be if a liberal agenda is enacted.

    Tell you what, go over to DailyKos’s archives, and look over the posts about the candidates the site backed in 2006. See how many times the misery they will visit on conservatives is held out as a reason to support them.

  32. The question becomes, if you’re both a libertarian and a Constitutionalist, which do you put first?

    Fluffy, you’re assuming that being pro-choice is the only logical libertarian position. That only makes sense if you assume an unborn fetus is not a human being. If you think about it, if you believe that at some point prior to birth, even if only a month or two beforehand, a fetus becomes a human being with rights, then being pro-life also is compatible with libertarianism.

  33. On Roe, the drafters of the Constitution made very clear that the rights enumerated therein were not meant to be a comprehensive list.

    And, as nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence has taught us, the list of powers of the federal govt wasn’t a comprehensive list either. Hence the mad dash to pack the federal courts with ideologues of a flavor like one’s own.

  34. Brown seems to be pretty much exactly what the equal protection clause was meant to be about, so I don’t see much of a problem defending that decision.

    It’s important to remember that the Constitution is not now and has never been a perfect document. That means that a government that was entirely true to it would not be a perfect government. It also means that you end up with admittedly absurd outcomes like a specific protection for your house, but not for your “sexual organs”.

    After all, Dred Scott was correctly decided, at the time it was decided. It was also terribly unjust. But I’d rather have a governing class that stuck as absolutely to the Constitution as possible, while I tried to fix the Constitution, than a governing class that did whatever it thought was exigent and the Constitution be damned. The latter course of action throws you the occasional bone, but it also gets you secret prisons and torture and open-ended wars at the whim of the President.

  35. If you acknowledge the existence of privacy rights – of a sphere of individual activity that is off-limits to government coercion – then you cannot but acknowledge that sovereignty over one’s body is a Constitutionally protected right.

    joe, you’re playing rhetorical tricks again. “Recognizing that certain forms of privacy rights should exist” does not equal “a woman has the right to kill a fetus growing inside her because the fetus is not readily viewable by the public” does not equal “a parent has the right to kill their children so long as they do it in the privacy of their home, outside the view of the public”.

    You can argue that abortion rights should exist (or vice-versa), but it does not logically follow that if you grant any types of privacy rights, abortion must be included in that list or you’re being intellectually dishonest.

  36. Yes, it seems that the ONLY reason people do not support Ron Paul is that they don’t think a win for him is possible. And Reason is consistently the flagship source of this most effective argument not to support him. You might think this shows a political IQ in the low 40s, but I think it’s something worse.

    People who achieve success consistently think up and focus on reasons why their success is inevitable. It is this facet of the successful person that gives them the power to succeed when others believe success is impossible. It is the loser who rationalizes defeat before the game begins. Passion and energy to win does not come from a “this will probably fail” mentality.

    In all, free market policies are less successful because too many supporters get their opinions shaped by people who’s paradigm is that of a bunch of losers.

  37. Brown seems to be pretty much exactly what the equal protection clause was meant to be about,

    How so? Remember, Brown decided that even if the state schools for black children were identical to those for white children, the equal protection clause would be violated. I’ve heard arguments in support of that ruling, some of them quite clever, but it’s hardly an obvious slam-dunk…and it’s hardly the clear meaning of the equal protection clause.

  38. crimethink,

    Since we know that there are other rights, and since the Constitution doesn’t give us a roadmap for locating them, how do you propose we make sure that non-enumerated rights are protected, other than the political process?

    That’s why we have to be both rational and prudent in our politics.

  39. People who achieve success consistently think up and focus on reasons why their success is inevitable. It is this facet of the successful person that gives them the power to succeed when others believe success is impossible.

    Like Bush in Iraq?

  40. joe is assuming that altruism is a nobler emotion than resentment of altruists.

  41. Joe,
    Is this the Goldberg column you’re talking about?
    http://tinyurl.com/uwxjf

  42. joe,

    I wasn’t addressing the Ninth in my post, I was addressing the late 30’s – early 90’s progressive SCOTUS’ willful ignorance of the fact that Article I contains a list of specific areas where the federal govt has authority, and it is those areas only that it has authority.

  43. jh,

    Pregnant women don’t hide fetuses behind their backs. You’re going to claim that the issue is whether fetuses are visible to the general public, and you’re accusing me of semantic tricks?

    Tell you what – I think women with transparent abdomens have the right to decide what they want to do with their sexual organs, too. Try to figure out why.

  44. David Ross,

    How did you manage to find a discussion of altrusism in my posts about my actions being entirely seflish?

  45. crimethink,

    If you postulate that entree into civil society (including involvement in networks) is one of the protections one gains through attendance at public schools, then entree into segregated black society in 1950s America is obviously not the equal of entree into mainstream society.

    If the Court had found that entree into the two different civil societies was equal, then they probably would have ruled differently, but that is an obviously counter-factual assertion.

  46. I’m just curious, joe, but do you think that the decision this week claiming that there is no right for patients to use experimental medicines not approved by the FDA was wrong?

    It seems to follow pretty directly from your line of reasoning on abortion. In fact, it is a far more clear-cut result of that reasoning, because there is no (potentially, depending on your beliefs) other person involved.

  47. If you postulate that entree into civil society (including involvement in networks) is one of the protections one gains through attendance at public schools, then entree into segregated black society in 1950s America is obviously not the equal of entree into mainstream society.

    Yes, we’ve discussed this before. I’m just very leery of expanding the list of protections that the state must afford to its citizens in a haphazard manner.

  48. For instance, does that mean that children in rural communities must attend the same schools as those in urban communities, since [sub]urban social networks are more likely to help one in adult life in our current day and age?

    What if, at a supposedly integrated school, the white kids don’t want to socialize with the blacks? Must the school administrators force them to do so, since otherwise the “right to membership in a social network” will be violated?

  49. Matt,

    I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about that particular ruling, in a legal or Constitutional sense. I haven’t read much about its reasoning.

    But there would seem to be a rather gaping, and chariteristic, hole in your logic: forbidding the suppliers of experimental drugs the opportunity to provide them to patients doesn’t violate any right that those suppliers can point to. The same cannot be said about women seeking to decide when and how to use their reproductive organs.

    It’s the women, Matt. You folks always forget about them, and their rights, and their interest, and their existence. It’s the women, who have the right to decide what to do with their bodies (ie, be pregnant or not).

  50. crimethink,

    I’m just very leery of expanding the list of protections that the state must afford to its citizens in a haphazard manner.

    The government is required to provide equal protection, regardless of whether the particular protection in question is mandatory for the state to provide, or not. If the city builds a park, it has to let black people in, too. So the question of what protections the state MUST provide doesn’t really come into it here.

    Entry into civil society is a protection that the state provides through the provision of public schools. If you accept that this is true, then the equal protection clause requires that it must be provided in an equitable manner.

  51. Tell you what – I think women with transparent abdomens have the right to decide what they want to do with their sexual organs the unborn human beings inside them, too. Try to figure out why.

    Because those unborn human beings are less capable at provoking guilt in you than beggars? Because you’re more concerned about the guilt of inconveniencing a woman you can see than about the guilt of killing the fetus you can’t see? Because it’s all about making you feel good and virtuous?

  52. Is this the tangental agument room?

  53. Where can I find Ron Paul’s speech today in Iowa? Is it somewhere on the net being blogged? A video, may be?

  54. argument, dammit, argument

  55. I agree that Ron Paul isn’t much of a libertarian compared to the average libertarian. But I think one point a lot of libertarians who don’t support Ron Paul miss is that it would be much easier forming havens of classical liberalism with a reduction in the scope of the federal government. States would be able to implement these policies more efficiently and prove to other states what a truly free market looks like. I understand the yearning to

  56. For instance, does that mean that children in rural communities must attend the same schools as those in urban communities, since [sub]urban social networks are more likely to help one in adult life in our current day and age?

    The only school-aged population a school district has jurisdiction over is the children in that district. If an urban school system in 80% black, it does not have the authority to compel the white, suburban school districts to send white kids there, so it is not legally responsible for the disparity in racial compositions between the two school districts.

    Now, that brings the question to the state level, and that’s where things get tricky.

    What if, at a supposedly integrated school, the white kids don’t want to socialize with the blacks? Must the school administrators force them to do so, since otherwise the “right to membership in a social network” will be violated?

    What if a white kid in an all-white school district doesn’t talk to his classmates? The protection the government provides doesn’t come in the form of forcing people into civil society, but giving them the opportunity to join it.

  57. joe,

    My point was that I don’t see the “protection” provided by public schools to be one of providing a social network. I see it as providing an education.

    I see your logic leading to the conclusion that if anyone gets a side benefit from a govt service, then everyone has to get that same side benefit. And that’s very dangerous logic.

  58. Now, that brings the question to the state level, and that’s where things get tricky.

    Nice dodge.

  59. Because those unborn human beings are less capable at provoking guilt in you than beggars? Because you’re more concerned about the guilt of inconveniencing a woman you can see than about the guilt of killing the fetus you can’t see? Because it’s all about making you feel good and virtuous?

    Bzzt, nope. You fail. The correct answer is “because the women have the right to determine what to do with their reproductive organs.” Even if you don’t like it. Even if it intrudes on some other interest you hold dear.

    You never manage to remember that we’re talking about a woman and what to do with her body, do you? Just not a part of what you take into account.

  60. jh,

    If you think a begger has the same rights to your change that a woman has to her reproductive organs, that’s your problem.

  61. But there would seem to be a rather gaping, and chariteristic, hole in your logic: forbidding the suppliers of experimental drugs the opportunity to provide them to patients doesn’t violate any right that those suppliers can point to. The same cannot be said about women seeking to decide when and how to use their reproductive organs.

    Uh…doesn’t it violate a right that the patients can point to? (By the way, the case was brought by the Abigail Alliance, not a drug company…not that it’s a particularly relevant point.)

  62. crimethink,

    Entry into civil society is not a side-effect. It has always been one of the fundamental purposes of public education. If you go back to the earliest advocates of public education, you will find that they explicitly argued in favor of creating public schools in terms of their role in producing a cohesive, united community.

    Nice dodge. We’re off-topic enough without debating the division of jurisdiction between state and local governments.

  63. The link from the Cato article discussing this case was on H&R yesterday (I think)…here it is again:

    http://cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8636

  64. crimethink, “Like Bush in Iraq?”

    Are you talking about the guy who won the election despite losing it?

    Yes, one of the sad things about successful people is they suffer much more disappointments than pathetic losers do. But that is because they actually try, and losers play it safe because their weak ego would be crushed under just one example of giving it their all and not succeeding.

    That’s a great Reason to be a loser your whole life.

  65. You never manage to remember that we’re talking about a woman and what to do with her body, do you? Just not a part of what you take into account.

    Your words, not mine. I do remember that we’re talking about actual women, but I hold the right of living human beings inside them to supercede the woman’s “right” to not be inconvenienced by the predictable consequences of an action that they (usually) willingly chose to engage in.

    Apparently, it’s the child inside you don’t take into account, seeing as how you rhetorically pretend it’s part of her reproductive organs rather than a separate and unique human being.

  66. So, you’re out in the middle of the ocean, enjoying your new sailboat, when suddenly you hear a plane’s engine explode above you. Moments later, the pilot of the doomed plane lands on your boat after parachuting down.

    You didn’t invite him on your boat. He didn’t force himself onto it either. It might take weeks or months to bring him back to dry land, and it would screw up your vacation to do so.

    Does your ownership of your boat, and your right to decide how it’s used, allow you to send him to a certain death by throwing him overboard?

  67. Matt,

    Yes, the patients have a right to assert in that situation.

    But that has nothing to do with answering your question.

    The two situations are not equivalent, because women have a right to assert, while drug suppliers do not. The government is violating women’s rights if it tells them they have to keep gestating a fetus with their bodies. It is not violating a drug suppliers’ rights to tell them that they have to get drugs approved before they start handing them out*. If the law forbidding the dispensation of these drugs violates anyone’s rights, it’s the patients’>

    *Perhaps you disagree with this statement. I don’t, and it’s my belief system that you asked about.

  68. Steve Young,

    It’s too bad George Bush was gambling with “losing” other people’s lives, and not his own. Yup, he failed – and was bold and decisive enough to make sure that he was taking a chance that would only cost other people.

  69. joe,

    The two cases are exactly alike in this way: in the abortion case, you’re ignoring the unborn child, while in the drug case you’re ignoring the patients.

  70. I hold the right of living human beings inside them to supercede the woman’s “right” to not be inconvenienced or killed, or sickened, or to have her life drastically altered. Let’s get you pregnant by a rapist’s child and see if the term “inconvenient” is how describe the effect on their life.

    …by the predictable consequences of an action that they (usually) willingly chose to engage in.

    Women don’t surrender their rights by having sex. I guess I’ve got you wrong – you’re probably quite protective of the rights of the virtuous. It’s only brazen hussies that are diminished in their rights.

    Tell me, are there other groups of people who have the right to make demands on what women do with their organs, or just fetuses?

  71. I don’t want to be a loser anymore! I’m taking Steve Young’s advice, quitting my job, selling my car, and starting a blog commenting business!

    It’ll be a lot of hard work, and I’m really not sure how I can make any money doing that, but winners like Bush don’t worry about loser stuff like feasibility.

    Thank you Steve Young! You’ve changed my life.

  72. Have you noticed that the pros who presumably make their living running this circus occasionally point out that Ron Paul doesn’t really have a chance lest anyone think they’re flaming dolts? It’s the bozo followers that are getting all excited about having that laughing stock in the White House. I’m curious to see how the big guys will spin Paul’s inevitable defeat. It” be some sort moral victory I suppose.

  73. crimethink,

    Does your ownership of your boat, and your right to decide how it’s used, allow you to send him to a certain death by throwing him overboard?

    Women have a greater right to control their reproductive organs than I have to control my property. This is why I wrote about how silly it is to invoke property rights when talking about women’s wombs. Their bodies are not their property, because people aren’t property. They are their selves.

    bodily integrety > someone else’s life > property rights.

    This is why you can kill someone who is trying to rape you, but you can’t shoot someone in the back if he’s running away with your walllet.

  74. joe,

    I’m curious — do you support forcing men to support the children they sire for 18 years? If so, how do you reconcile that with your belief that “women don’t give up their rights by having sex” and given the equal protection clause?

  75. crimethink,

    I’m not ignoring the fetus. I’m declaring that the mother’s rights rightfully supercede the fetus’s.

  76. joe,

    I wasn’t aware that pregnancy compromised bodily integrity. I thought that, you know, it’s one of those things the body was designed/evolved for.

  77. crimethink,

    bodility integrety > property rights

    That’s how. I hold that the right to keep more income for one’s self is less important than the right to do as one will with one’s own body.

  78. Crimethink –

    With regard to Brown: Say we weren’t talking about schools, but government provided water fountains. The state provided two identical water fountains, right next to each other, providing identical water – so we’d have an instance where separate but equal was truly equal.

    I still submit that would violate the equal protection clause, because even if there’s a water fountain set aside for me, there’s the matter of that other water fountain you’re telling me I can’t use because of my race.

    To the other sub-thread I would ask:

    If women can be forced to bear fetuses to term, for the simple reason that the fetuses need them to do so, why can’t I force you to feed and clothe, say, Sudanese refugees? Wouldn’t their right to life trump your right not to be inconvenienced, or expropriated, or what have you?

  79. crimethink,

    I wasn’t aware that pregnancy compromised bodily integrity. I thought that, you know, it’s one of those things the body was designed/evolved for.

    Now incorporate the concept of consent into this statement. You know what vaginas were evolved for, right? The question of whether having intercourse with a woman violates her bodility integrity depends on her consent. Ditto with whether being pregnant violates her bodily integrity.

    It doesn’t matter what you or I think a woman’s organs are supposed to be used for; what matters is what she wants to do with them. That’s how one distinghishes what does and does not violate her bodity integrity.

  80. joe,

    Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people, making the money to support a child involves doing things with one’s body one would rather not.

  81. “Edward Troll” has a nice ring to it.
    …………………………………

    Sorry, I din’t come here looking for a tangental argument. Am I in the wrong room?

    I’m not too worried about RP’s stand on abortion. The public is about 70% in support of abortion rights and if the authority to regulate abortion fell to the states, I’m certain that abortion will remain widely available.

    Just consider who we are likely to get as president and tell that would be better than an RP presidency.

  82. Crimethink,

    The phrase “doing things with one’s body one would rather not” refers to earning money at a job, right? The job the father would be working at anyway, right?

    I have to hold a job to pay my bills. Some people have more bills to pay. We’d all rather be sunning ourselves on the beach instead, with our bodies. So?

  83. uncle sam,

    Even if the Supreme Court allows states to decide whether to close all the synogogues, given the broad public support for religious freedom, I’m certain that access to Hebrew prayers would remain widely available.

    Not really the point, is it?

  84. there’s the matter of that other water fountain you’re telling me I can’t use because of my race.

    I don’t consider one of the roles of govt to be the prevention of envy.

    If women can be forced to bear fetuses to term, for the simple reason that the fetuses need them to do so, why can’t I force you to feed and clothe, say, Sudanese refugees?

    Sudanese refugees aren’t immediately going to fall dead as a direct result of my failure to feed and clothe them. Abortion doesn’t just involve removing the fetus from the womb, it requires killing the fetus (or embryo).

    The question of whether having intercourse with a woman violates her bodility integrity depends on her consent. Ditto with whether being pregnant violates her bodily integrity.

    No adult ever died from not being able to use a woman’s vagina for its intended purpose. Death would be the inevitable result of depriving a fetus of the use of the womb it’s implanted in.

  85. I have to hold a job to pay my bills. Some people have more bills to pay. We’d all rather be sunning ourselves on the beach instead, with our bodies. So?

    Likewise, I have to eat and hold feces in my digestive tract to survive. A pregnant woman has to eat more and hold more of a weight in her abdomen. We’d all rather not have to eat or walk around with extra weight, so what?

    [/sarcasm]

  86. Fluffy said, “Paul seems to put his Constitutionalism first.” Which would make sense, if he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend it, wouldn’t you think?

    People say that Libertarians cannot compromise. It seems to me that SWEARING AN OATH to support the implications and prescriptions of a document that often defeats the aims of libertarianism is quite the compromise.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a great admirer of the Constitution. I think it defines a system of government that may be as libertarian as practical politics can produce. But it isn’t perfect on the libertarian scale, not by a long shot.

    Think of Ron Paul, the physician. He is asked to treat a criminal — a murderer, even. He may not approve of his patient’s deeds, but he will give the best care and advice he can. And in Dr. Paul’s case, that care and advice is undeniably influenced by a libertarian philosophy that is remarkably pure for a successful (as in, continuing to win elections) politician.

    Now think of Ron Paul, the politician. Again, he is bound by oath and honor to respect his “patient,” the Constitution and the Republic it defines and authorizes. He may not approve of everything that patient is and does, but he is going to give the best care and advice he can. Again, the care and advice is undeniably influenced by libertarian philosophy.

    Above, someone said that Ron Paul is no libertarian. In a purist sense, that might well be true, since I’ve heard some good “purist” arguments in support of the position that no philosophically consistent libertarian can participate in practical politics, much less the government itself; also, that a philosophically inconsistent libertarian is no libertarian at all.

    But nobody’s perfect. That is , unless someone is a perfectly small-minded horse’s ass for trying to enforce a foolish consistency. (And Fluffy, I’m not referring to you here, just in case you might have thought so, since yours was the only name I have used in this post. Peace.)

    I am still a long way from deciding how to cast my vote for President in 2008. But I do believe Dr. Paul is a libertarian, and I do believe that he has made a sacrifice to swear an oath to the Constitution. But, having done so, I observe that he has comported himself as honorably as any libertarian might in a similarly no-win situation. For example, it seems as if Dr. Paul has remained more faithful to his libertarian principles than Alan Greenspan did, once the latter ascended to a top DC position. And let’s not forget that Milton Friedman brought us income tax withholding “just for the war,” and that he and his associates paved the way for the gawdawful insurance-based, hideously broken healthcare system we have today (the birth of which he described very well in “How to Cure Healthcare”). There are no libertarian saints. That being the case, I think there are a few good libertarian men and women. Can we find a few of them to send to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Oval Office? Should we not consider Ron Paul as being in that number?

    Finally, someone likened the womb to property and said that a woman has a right to evict a fetus from that property. Maybe so, but if you’re going to take that position, than it is only fair to observe that the deliberate taking of a human life is at least manslaughter, and often murder. You are certainly within your property rights to evict a deadbeat tenant into a deadly storm. But if he or she dies, moments after stepping into the elements, can you not be held responsible for the death? You are within your rights to use force to eject a trespasser. But if you use deadly force when the trespasser was not putting you in fear of your life, can’t that end with your conviction in court on charges of the aforementioned manslaughter or murder?

    Dr. Paul has delivered thousands of babies, and he naturally sees the world through the lens of his experience. His opposition to abortion seems to come from perfectly libertarian origins. Again he compromises because of his oath to defend the Constitution: he understands the Constitution as putting the question of abortion squarely in State hands, so he won’t stand in the way of States that want to legalize the practice, even though he is personally against it. Here is a man who takes his oath of office seriously, especially when it comes to life and death. Surely that merits due consideration from the voters … doesn’t it?

  87. But there would seem to be a rather gaping, and chariteristic, hole in your logic: forbidding the suppliers of experimental drugs the opportunity to provide them to patients doesn’t violate any right that those suppliers can point to. The same cannot be said about women seeking to decide when and how to use their reproductive organs.

    Uh, okay, fine. Let’s just ban *doctors* from performing abortions, because hey, they can’t really point to any “right to perform a surgery.” As far as the women and their rights are concerned, well, they’re free to use a coat hanger whenever they wish!

    joe’s reasoning on these issues is so devoid of principle it boils down to “SOME REGULATION GOOD OTHER REGULATION BAD”

  88. crimethink,

    No adult ever died from not being able to use a woman’s vagina for its intended purpose. Death would be the inevitable result of depriving a fetus of the use of the womb it’s implanted in.

    Lots of adults have died because they didn’t get a kidney transplant, and yet even you don’t believe that the government should be able to force people to donate their kidneys.

    And to head off your argument about the brazen hussies having caused the situation in the first place, you don’t believe that a person should be forced to donate his kidney, even if the would-be recipient needed a transplant because the would-be donor ran a red light and crashed into him.

    You can’t force people to do thing with their bodies, even if the consequence of not doing so is death.

  89. crimethink,

    You just go ahead and expel those feces any time you want. Or not. Your body, your choice.

  90. Graphite,

    Sorry you missed the part about the patients having a right to assert.

    joe’s reasoning on these issues is so devoid of principle it boils down to “SOME REGULATION GOOD OTHER REGULATION BAD”

    Yes, imagine that, I actually have to think about something before I come to an opinion. It’s a liberal thing; you wouldn’t understand.

  91. joe,

    As far as the argument about “brazen hussies”, I think you’d better expel the crimethink from your head. It’s violating your bodily integrity.

    The kidney transplant business is different, because that case requires intervention to keep the other person alive (ie, kidneys don’t just pop out automatically when you see a person who needs one). Leaving a pregnancy alone will usually result in a live birth.

  92. But if he or she dies, moments after stepping into the elements, can you not be held responsible for the death? You are within your rights to use force to eject a trespasser. But if you use deadly force when the trespasser was not putting you in fear of your life, can’t that end with your conviction in court on charges of the aforementioned manslaughter or murder?

    I believe (i.e., from a religious point of view and, not, it is not Christianity) that James Merritt got it right. But I would add to it the following.

    Lets first acknowledge that a fetus in the womb is not really a trespasser in almost all cases as I believe James would agree. If a fetus is in the womb as a result of willful/consensual sexual act, then the owner of the womb put the fetus in there willfully, even if not intended. So the fetus is not trespassing in this case. It was “invited” in. The owner of the womb (as well as the sperm owner) are obliged to safeguard the new human entity they created.

    In the extreme case when the fetus is a result of rape — the rapist is the one responsible for the fetus’ existence in the womb, and not the fetus itself not the owner of the fetus. The true trespasser is the rapist. My belief is that this fetus has a right incumbent on society (including the womb proprietor) to protect that fetus– though it is not entirely clear.

    The other gray-area case, I think is when a fetus is the result of a minor’s consensual sexual act. A minor, by definition, should not be entirely held responsible in society — though some responsibility should be held. And the fetus still, certainly, has a right to be protected.

    But other than this case, the fetus’ life can not be taken away.

    The other exception that is clear, at least to me and through own religious doctrine, is when the birth of the fetus endangers the life of the mother. There are very logical and reasonable arguments for why the preference is given to the mother and not the child, but unfortunately I have to go now, but will check later on in the evening.

  93. crimethink,

    For the woman who is pregnant, “leaving the pregnancy alone” is not a passive act. If we’re drawing a line between passive and active, the approprite measure is the toll it takes on the individual, not the consciousness of the effort.

    You talk about pregnancy as if gestating a baby and giving birth is merely the woman going about her business. It’s not; it’s a serious intrusion. Sometimes, it results in death.

  94. I take back the term “brazen hussies,” but the idea that the burdens imposed by pregnancy are women’s just desserts for having sex is all yours.

  95. If a fetus is in the womb as a result of willful/consensual sexual act, then the owner of the womb put the fetus in there willfully, even if not intended. So the fetus is not trespassing in this case. It was “invited” in.

    Hold it there, bub. What if the condom broke? In that case, she’s not only not invitedin the fetus, but has actively tried to prevent its creation.

    Also, opening my first-floor window is just as much an overt act as having sex. That doesn’t mean I’ve invited anyone in.

  96. Interesting twists and turns this discussion has taken.

    Am I safe in assuming there are no *women* taking part in this discussion?

    (I bet not.)

  97. This is delicious. It’s the Giuliani vs. Paul moment in that one debate all over again, with joe as Giuliani, me as Paul, pregnancy as 9/11, and sex as our foreign policy.

    Though, to be fair to joe, he hasn’t been cashing in on pregnancy for the last five years (as far as I know).

  98. That doesn’t mean I’ve invited anyone in.

    Fetuses/embryos don’t crawl into the female reproductive system, they begin their existence there. So the analogy is inapt.

  99. rah62,

    Wah, wah, wah. No women in the discussion, it must be worthless.

    Nobody ever frets when fetuses and embryos aren’t involved in the discussion! Equal protection my proto-ass!

  100. We interrupt this abortion debate to bring you a completely unrelated comment.

    ==============================
    Nick – I like this new asterisked explanation of your titles, it makes it much easier for me to follow along. Please make this a regular feature of your posts.
    =============================

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled abortion debate.

  101. “You are certainly within your property rights to evict a deadbeat tenant into a deadly storm. But if he or she dies, moments after stepping into the elements, can you not be held responsible for the death?”

    No. Not justly, anyway. Next question.

    “I don’t consider one of the roles of govt to be the prevention of envy.”

    It’s not. But the state is specifically prevented from refusing to provide any of its services on the basis of race. That means if it’s got one single paperclip anywhere that is reserved for whites only, it’s violating the 14th Amendment. It doesn’t matter how many other paperclips it has for the other races.

    “Sudanese refugees aren’t immediately going to fall dead as a direct result of my failure to feed and clothe them.”

    This means that you concede the point that need would create an obligation upon you to act. It just has to be dire need. Unfortunately, that pretty much destroys libertarianism theoretically overall.

  102. Even if the Supreme Court allows states to decide whether to close all the synogogues, given the broad public support for religious freedom, I’m certain that access to Hebrew prayers would remain widely available.

    Given that the constitution is quite explicit on this point, I’d say you’re stretching it a bit. Especially given that there is a life involved in the one case and not the other. I have a different take on the matter which I prefer not to bring up here as irrelevant.

    But, I didn’t want to get into the abortion debate here, only whether we should consider it a vote breaker in the case of RP vs all the other (war mongering) options available.

    Were RP to win a primary, that would tend to open the door for other libertarian leaning candidates who do not share that particular position.

    Given the general support for abortion rights, I’d be surprised if Roe v. Wade could be overturned so easily, despite RP’s desires in the matter.

  103. Unfortunately, that pretty much destroys libertarianism theoretically overall.

    I suggest that it pretty much destroys statism as well. It is well known that the state does not intervene in such matters for moral/ethical reasons, but solely for pragmatic/strategic reasons.

  104. iih,
    Where can I find Ron Paul’s speech today in Iowa? Is it somewhere on the net being blogged? A video, may be?

    I just googled it. Here you go:
    http://rattube.com/blog1/2007/08/11/ron-paul-iowa-straw-poll-speech/

  105. Wow, just started the video of RP’s speech. Did he really throw up the horns within the first 15 seconds? Never new the guy was a metalhead…

  106. So, given the words of crimethink and joe…

    Is Ron Paul right the true libertarians must oppose abortion rights to be consistent with the principle of freedom?

    Or is freedom at a fundamental level as control over your own body?

  107. “right that true libertarians”

  108. “freedom defined”

    I ssould stopp tipying today

  109. joe:

    But anyone who uses a condom knows that it is not foolproof. It probably says so as a disclaimer on the box.

  110. rah62,

    Nope, I guess no women in the debate. It would have been more interesting. But should we assume that most women would be pro-choice?

    I have a very liberal Chicagoan friend of mine who is against abortion on pretty much the same grounds as Ron Paul would put it.

  111. But the state is specifically prevented from refusing to provide any of its services on the basis of race.

    That is not true. The 14th forbids states from depriving citizens of equal protection of the laws. So long as each citizen has an equal level of service provided, the state is free to reserve certain instances of the services for certain groups of citizens.

    In your example, if there are separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks, so long as the drinking fountains are identical and in the same working order, that is not forbidden by the text of the 14th, because all citizens have access to one drinking fountain. Now, if whites were allowed to use both, but blacks only one, then equal protection is not being afforded.

    This is why it is not a violation of the 14th for courthouses, etc, to have separate men’s and women’s restrooms, for instance.

  112. This means that you concede the point that need would create an obligation upon you to act.

    I concede no such thing. The refugees’ death can only result from my inaction. In the case of the abortion, the death would result from action.

  113. I forgot to mention that my Chicagoan friend of mine is female!

  114. Crimethink…

    Is there a point at which the potential person moves from being a mass of cells to being a person endowed with rights to balance against the mother’s?

    Or does the mass of cells always have those rights?

    Does a person, potential or not have a positive right to be provided with the conditions that will sustain them?

  115. For those who are tv-less like me now:

    Ex-Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney Wins Iowa Straw Poll With 4,516 Votes

    No mention of RP.

  116. Neu Mejican — no way to *prove* when exactly a mass of cells becomes a human being, unless you are a biblical literalist.

    A grown-up person has no positive right to be provided by others with the conditions that will sustain them (joe will probably vehemently disagree here, and imply they have the right to rob others via polticians to get whatever they want, if they are the right skin color or income level or otherwise are PC as defined by joe), but a human being (called a fetus) inside a woman, whose existence is caused by her consensual sex, whether or not conception was intended by the consensual sex, does have those rights, in my opinion, leaving aside for now the question of when it becomes a human being.

    Long run-on sentence, but trying to avoid quibbling deliberate misinterpretations by joe et al.

  117. jh,

    A grown-up person has no positive right to be provided by others with the conditions that will sustain them

    At what point does that positive right go away?
    Is a person grown up at 18? Some earlier point? Some later point?

  118. jh,

    but a human being (called a fetus) inside a woman, whose existence is caused by her consensual sex, whether or not conception was intended by the consensual sex, does have those rights

    So this means that before the fetal stage they don’t have those rights? I thought you didn’t think we could determine when the mass of cells became a human with rights.

    conception
    Zygote
    Embryo
    foetus (around 8 weeks)

  119. A grown-up person has no positive right to be provided by others with the conditions that will sustain them

    At what point does that positive right go away?
    Is a person grown up at 18? Some earlier point? Some later point?”

    Neu Mejican: the snarky answer is: “Whenever their parents kick their sorry teenage butts out of the house.”

    This point as to when parental duties toward their allegedly mature offspring end is irrelevant to the topic of abortion. Feel free to threadjack the threadjack using this topic, yeah?

    As to your point about zygote/fetus, etc., my post was long enough without delving into that hairsplitting of terminology. I’m saying that sometime between conception and delivery a mass of cells becomes a human being, but I don’t even care to take a stab at when that fuzzy transition takes place. I’m simply saying I hugely object to the definition of “human” in my state, which says until a fetus is actually born, it has no rights whatsoever, nor does the mother have any legal ability to protect the child even if she wants to keep it because in the eyes of the law, her precious baby isn’t human and has no rights.

  120. I’m a libertarian woman who’s had children and an abortion so I think I have a dog in this hunt.

    I had an abortion after having two years of crazy, great, PROTECTED sex with a boyfriend I loved. He loved me too. But we, as a couple, decided that we could not bring a fetus to term and then parent it together. I’ve not seen the ex BF in years, but he was a great love, and I hope that he, like me, has no regrets.

    I was a single mom when he and I dated, and he was one of the few men who met my children. I knew as a single mom, that support is not guaranteed. Any woman who becomes pregnant must be ready to accept the total responsibility of the fetus that she carries and therefore she must be in control of the decision to carry to term.

    He went with me for the abortion, held my hand, and loved me afterward. I’m glad that the choice was available to us. I’m happy in my life and I hope that he is as well.

    All that said, I think that there should be a limitation on the timing of abortion. Late term abortions are ugly and should only be done to protect the mother’s life. A woman knows pretty early on whether she has become pregnant. If there is a chance that a fetus can live outside of the womb, I think it is wrong to abort it. In the days of Aristotle, it was called the quickening. When the fetus moves, it takes on a life of its own. Before the quickening, the host has ample time to decide to abort or become a mother.

  121. miche — so do you support ending Roe v. Wade, and leaving the decision up to states, with voters in most states reaching a conclusion similar to yours about women having to make a decision early on?

  122. I think RvW was a strong step in federal power. I’m sure that I benefited- as I live in TX- but, it should be left to the individual by way of the smallest vote.

    I would have gone to India to do what I needed to do in the moment.

  123. jh,

    No threadjack.
    Just an attempt to understand your reasoning.

    it has no rights whatsoever, nor does the mother have any legal ability to protect the child even if she wants to keep it because in the eyes of the law, her precious baby isn’t human and has no rights.

    I don’t follow you here.
    Protect from…what?

    The same right to control what happens to her body protects the child.

    But I guess if you deny her that right (as per your position on her rights compared to the child), then you might think she needs additional rights to protect the child.

    But then things get muddled pretty completely.

  124. I’e got a question: is “RC,” with the “off with his head” email, the “RC Dean” we all know and love?

  125. crimethink,

    This is delicious. It’s the Giuliani vs. Paul moment in that one debate all over again, with joe as Giuliani, me as Paul, pregnancy as 9/11, and sex as our foreign policy.

    I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you! La la la la la la la!
    😉

  126. Fluffy first quoted me: “You are certainly within your property rights to evict a deadbeat tenant into a deadly storm. But if he or she dies, moments after stepping into the elements, can you not be held responsible for the death?”

    And then, Fluffy answered, “No. Not justly, anyway. Next question.”

    Indeed? On what basis, for instance, would a “wrongful death” charge not stick? Recall that I said the evictee or trespasser would clearly not be putting the property owner’s life in danger. Property owners do not have an absolute right against “trespass,” you know. There are such things as easements. If society can establish a publicly available path through private property so people can get to a road or river, then how is it “just” that someone who knowingly and deliberately puts another person in a deadly situation can get away with it, scot-free?

    Mind you, I am not advocating for prosecution of women who have abortions, or of medical personnel who perform them. But at the place where I jumped in the argument, the point was whether property rights protected the practice of abortion. Of course the answer is “yes,” but I think wrongful death/manslaughter/murder law might trump simple property rights. A gun is my private property, also. But if, in using my gun, I cause harm to another, I am liable.

  127. iih,

    Door locks do not always work, either. Nevermind “No Trespassing” signs. Still, using one pretty clearly demonstrates the intent to keep people out.

  128. Derb makes my previously made anti Paul argument better and gets paid for it. Sigh. It is a terrible thing to see one’s limitations in full daylight.

  129. OK, now I’ll venture into the debate.
    I support laws against homicide for reasons of self defense. I oppose state sanction against abortion the state may then become a threat to acknowledged and self evident’persons’ such as myself and my wife and children.

    Birth certificates are the legal acknowledgement of entry into society and the protection of the state.

    These are pragmatic positions, true, but the state is a pragmatic agency. Moral arguments are not relevent to the state due to its amoral nature.

  130. joe,

    Sorry I didn’t connect the dots for you.

    When I said that having sex inevitably involves the possibility of pregnancy resulting, you then accused me of saying “the burdens imposed by pregnancy are women’s just desserts for having sex”.

    When Ron Paul said that our interventionist foreign policy led to 9/11, Rudy et al. accused him of saying America invited or deserved the attacks.

    See the parallel?

  131. Not to mention the fact that I’m still amazed by the fact that you don’t think it’s a big deal for a guy to have to support a child (and possibly his or her mother) for 18 years, as if it just involves working a couple of extra hours.

  132. No threadjack.
    Just an attempt to understand your reasoning.

    it has no rights whatsoever, nor does the mother have any legal ability to protect the child even if she wants to keep it because in the eyes of the law, her precious baby isn’t human and has no rights.

    I don’t follow you here.
    Protect from…what?

    Neu Mejican — In my state, because unborn fetuses/babies are not considered human in any sense, if someone (say, an ex-boyfriend with anger management issues) assaults a woman and in the process kills (or badly harms) the fetus inside, the person can only be charged with assault, not with killing the fetus, even though the mother very much wanted to keep the baby.

    This is not theoretical. This scenario has actually happened. But the legislators in my state are so insistent upon preserving the absolute right to kill any unborn fetus, that they won’t protect a woman’s right to choose to keep her child alive, and punish those who violate that right.

  133. After all, aren’t there plenty of other Republicans willing to pander to the anti-abortion crowd?

  134. I’e got a question: is “RC,” with the “off with his head” email, the “RC Dean” we all know and love?

    Don’t know how active this thread still is, but, no, I’m not RC Dean. I did see his name on a few posts, after I’d already decided on RC, but that’s not me. The RC is short for Regis Carnifex, but that seemed too long to write out. Perhaps I will, now, to avoid confusion.

  135. jh,
    “whose existence is caused by her consensual sex”
    What about rape? Is abortion ok then?

    A fetus is “potential” human being. That’s why it has no rights. A fetus can be spontaneously miscarried at any point in the pregnancy, 60% are (that’s why heaven is full of souls that have never been born. lol.). A fetus is a parasite. Not only that, but because the lining of the womb is continuous with the outside it’s actually an external parasite, just like a leech. We all know how libertarians feel about leeches.

  136. bill, I feel abortion is justified in the case of rape, because the mother did not give her consent to sex and thus to the possibility of becoming pregnant, though I wouldn’t agree with someone who was raped who waited until very late in the pregnancy to terminate.

    I take it you don’t have any children of your own, since it seems improbable that you could refer to fetuses with vitriolic language if you had children you loved.

    By your logic, adults have no rights, because they can die unexpectedly at any point, and in particular people such as AIDS patients in hospice care have no rights because they are almost certain to die very soon.

    I hope you will eventually adopt a more compassionate view toward all human beings, including those not yet outside their mother’s body.

  137. jh,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I think I was confused because you are not really talking about a right to protect the child, but a right to punish those that harm the child independent of harm to the mother (kills child, harms mother, only the harm to mother counts legally…I would be surprised if killing the fetus would not raise the assault charge to aggravated assault, or be a factor in sentencing, but your point is taken). The mother, of course, has civil recourse for the killing.

    What state? Why so obscure about it?

  138. Neu Mejican — I live in Hawaii. Not trying to obscure anything. Do you want me to use the handle “Neu Hawaiian” in your honor?

    Killing the fetus can not legally be used to raise the level of the charges, or be used in sentencing, or be used to initiate in a civil lawsuit, because the Hawaii Revised Statutes unambiguously define what is a human being to exclude anything/anyone not yet born. Sure, a prosecuter might seek the maximum legal penalty, rather than using their prosecutorial discretion to go after lesser charges, and a judge might also be less inclined to be lenient during sentencing, but those charges and sentence would still have to be based strictly on what happened to the mother.

  139. jh,

    I think you are over stating the implications of your recent supreme court ruling.

    Look here

    http://capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol13_Ch0601-0676/HRS0663/HRS_0663-0003.HTM

    The important clause.
    Parents may bring an action for wrongful death of a viable fetus. 745 F. Supp. 1573.

  140. crimethink,

    Sorry I didn’t connect the dots for you. You don’t ever have to worry about your ideas going over my head, crimethink. Stop flattering yourself; your smug little simplification came through loud and clear, thanks. That’s why I decided to treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

    When I said that having sex inevitably involves the possibility of pregnancy resulting, you then accused me of saying “the burdens imposed by pregnancy are women’s just desserts for having sex”.

    No, actually, it when you made that leap from “involving the possibility of pregnancy resulting” to “bearing moral responsibility for carrying the fetus to term,” that I accused you of saying that the burdens of pregnancy are the moral duty of women who had sex.

  141. Uncle Sam wrote, “Birth certificates are the legal acknowledgement of entry into society and the protection of the state.”

    The first time I read that statement, it made perfect sense to me. But as I thought about it, and keeping in mind “pragmatism,” I began to worry about the logical consequence of this: (post-natal) people have rights, whether or not they are in a government database or have an official certificate. The status of pre-natal people, on the other hand, is routinely questioned and frequently denied. In this, they are similar to, but worse off than, “undocumented (illegal) aliens.” In order to deal with the threat of illegal aliens, we all now have to carry and produce papers. In order to deal with the challenge posed by the question of whether or not to protect a fetus’ right-to-life, will we now all need to be declared as “legal persons” by the state, and required to carry and produce proper ID on demand (or provide biometric info that will allow the authorities to pull up our records and status from a database)?

    I guess what I am saying is that Sam’s statement seems blindingly obvious, but I don’t like the implications that someone is a non-person unless and until the State acknowledges his or her personhood. What the state giveth, the state can easily take away, after all. This seems to upend the idea that the state exists to serve the people, and that all political power flows from the people. Clearly, that would not be a problem in many places in the world, but in the US, it strikes at the heart of our system of government.

  142. …but those charges and sentence would still have to be based strictly on what happened to the mother.

    Yes, like losing her baby: one of the things that happened to her. You know that prosecutors treat this as an aggravating factor in the crime, and routinely seek larger sentences for these cases. You’re just unhappy because punishing that act as a crime against the mother doesn’t push the case law through the back door you stare at so longingly.

    The goverment most certainly does protect a woman’s right to choose to keep her child alive, and punish those who violate that right; you’re just disappointed that they actually protect her rights in her name based on her choice and her bodily ingegrity.

  143. Bill wrote, “A fetus is a parasite. Not only that, but because the lining of the womb is continuous with the outside it’s actually an external parasite, just like a leech. We all know how libertarians feel about leeches.”

    That is the statement of someone who either isn’t human or doesn’t embrace his own humanity. I certainly hope it’s a spoof. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes hard to tell online, and, living in Santa Cruz CA, I have met any number of people who truly seem to think of their own race as some kind of global disease that they’re happy to help stamp out if Mother Nature needs assistance in that department. One has to wonder which personal traumas twisted their cookies. But it’s frankly scary that they and people like them have political power — at least in pockets around this country.

    I’m not really religious — I think of myself as closer to the secular humanist viewpoint — and yet I can’t bring myself to call a baby a “parasite.” As far as hating leeches and other bloodsuckers, I save my ire for politicians, bureaucrats, and lawyers. 🙂

  144. it when you made that leap from “involving the possibility of pregnancy resulting” to “bearing moral responsibility for carrying the fetus to term,

    Please, joe, point out the post where I said that. I don’t believe that sex carries a moral responsibility per se, for either participant. If that were my argument, I would have no grounds for restricting abortion in the case of pregnancies resulting from rape.

    My argument is based purely on the situation present after the pregnancy has already begun, regardless of the morality or other circumstances of the acts leading to conception. Like I said, abortion isn’t a sexual issue any more than public school funding is.

    Of course, fully protecting the right to life of the embryo/fetus will sometimes result in unwanted burdens on the woman carrying him or her. I’m not trying to minimize that, but the vast majority of pregnancies are the foreseeable result of freely chosen actions, so there are ways for women to avoid such an unfortunate situation, just as there are ways for men to avoid being on the hook for 18 years of child support.

    Obviously in cases of rape causing pregnacy, there’s nothing the woman can do to avoid the situation. That’s a terrible situation even without pregnancy, and, despite the fact that some will no doubt question my sincerity on this, it pains me to think that my position would be forcing a woman to carry to term a baby resulting from her rape. But if that’s the only way to avoid killing an innocent, it’s a grim necessity.

  145. Please, joe, point out the post where I said that.

    OK, happy to oblige. Here you go: I’m curious — do you support forcing men to support the children they sire for 18 years? If so, how do you reconcile that with your belief that “women don’t give up their rights by having sex” and given the equal protection clause?

    You described a situation in which a man is burdened with a moral responsibility because he had sex – the birth of his child requiring him to pay child support – and equated it with the moral status a woman finds her in when she’s some weeks into an unwanted pregnancy.

    And you did this in order to attack my claim that women don’t give up their rights by having sex.

    Later, you attempt to refute the argument that the pregnant woman has been trespassed upon, and has the right to expel the trespasser, with Fetuses/embryos don’t crawl into the female reproductive system, they begin their existence there. So the analogy is inapt.

    And then, in the very post where you claim you aren’t arguing that having sex imposes moral responsibility on a woman for bringing a child to term, you write the vast majority of pregnancies are the foreseeable result of freely chosen actions, so there are ways for women to avoid such an unfortunate situation.

    When you keep pointing to the fact that the woman chose to have sex as a reason why she does not have a moral right to do as she will with her uterus – including emptying it – you are using the fact of her choosing to have sex to impute a moral responsibility onto her not to end her pregnancy.

    That you find the case more difficult in the case of rape, because you recognize in that case that the woman is in that situation undeservedly, just demonstrates the level of moral culpability you impute to women who choose to have sex.

  146. Seriously, joe, you seem awfully intent on forcing my round peg into the square judgmental-misogynist hole! So, the fact that I feel sorry about the fact that my position requires someone to suffer, shows that I’m a judgemental prick? Forgive me for getting the feeling that I can’t win with you…

    As I stated, my case is based on the situation that exists when pregnancy has already begun. The morality and/or wisdom of the acts that caused that pregnancy is irrelevant to my argument. If most pregnancies did not occur as a result of freely chosen acts, my argument would not change and my conclusions would likewise remain the same.

    My mentioning of the fact that most pregnancies do occur as a result of freely chosen acts is a sidebar to that argument, an attempt to show that in most cases, there are ways to avoid being forced to carry a child to term. This is not intended as a moral judgment, but pragmatic advice, if you will. I would also advise people not to get a motorized raft, bring it to the Persian Gulf, throw a bunch of guns in the raft, put on desert camo and motor full speed onto an Iranian beach, even though I don’t consider any of those actions immoral.

  147. When you keep pointing to the fact that the woman chose to have sex as a reason why she does not have a moral right to do as she will with her uterus

    Which you still haven’t shown an instance of me doing. In the first quote, I was showing the inconsistency of your position, not arguing for mine. That didn’t necessarily mean I disagreed with every statement in your argument, but the argument as a whole.

    The second case, by the “open window” analogy, you were actually implicitly imputing a type of moral responsibility on the fetus/embryo — that of a trespasser — which is why the analogy was inapt. The woman’s actions had nothing to do with my reasoning there.

    And I addressed the third case in my post above.

  148. Neu Mejican — Thanks for the HRS reference. I guess every now and then even our oh-so-very-statist state Supreme Court has an attack of common sense — unless that footnote has been superceded by the recent ruling. I’m gonna be cynical and guess that the convoluted legal theory would be that the fetus, while not a person as defined in the HRS, is still personal property that one can recover damages for if injured. The question is, how much damages? Enough to deter an ex intent upon exacting retribution? And what if the ex, as is often the case in such circumstances, has little property to be claimed in such a suit?

    If you know better what the legal logic here is, I’d be curious to know.

    You a lawyer?

  149. “…doesn’t push the case law through the back door you stare at so longingly.

    I appreciate your openness in sharing your sexual predilections with us, joe, but there are children reading these posts. Won’t you puh-leeeze think of The Children TM, joe?

  150. The goverment most certainly does protect a woman’s right to choose to keep her child alive, and punish those who violate that right; you’re just disappointed that they actually protect her rights in her name based on her choice and her bodily ingegrity.

    joe, certain prosecutors might do this, not all — get a pro-choice prosecutor, and death of the fetus will not be taken into account. Sorry if this sort of situational justice, or lack thereof, seems a bit less satisfactory than, oh, the Democrats in our legislature actually giving a hearing to the proposed legislation that would codify a legal remedy to this injustice, instead of round-filing the bills introduced to correct this injustice.

    Would you feel justice would be served if murdering an adult was legal, but that some punishment could be enacted by prosecuting the perp by vigorously charging them with the maximum possible sentence for, say, littering the public streets with the corpse? Or for disturbing the peace with the wails of the victim?

  151. The first time I read that statement, it made perfect sense to me. But as I thought about it, and keeping in mind “pragmatism,” I began to worry about the logical consequence of this: (post-natal) people have rights, whether or not they are in a government database or have an official certificate.

    The actual legal acknowledgement is of the birth, the birth certificate is simply evidence of the recording of same for later legal purposes. The assumption of the state has been that birth marks the boundary between personhood and not a person. To be sure, it is arbitrary, but it is also well defined and self evident. We don’t know when a human becomes a ‘person’. It’s a gradual process.

  152. jh,

    You a lawyer?

    No, and I see no reason to start flinging insults like that around.

    ;^)

    As for the legal argument.

    I would guess it goes like this…

    Parents have a legitimate claim of harm when you kill their unborn child (i.e., viable fetus). They can petition for remedy through the civil courts.

    No need to make it more complicated.

    Notice that it is the harm to the parents that needs a remedy, since the fetus does not have legal standing in the court.

  153. The link that tries to explain the title (rather than the misquote) shows that the headline is in fact a misquote: “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.