The Trib’s endorsement of Obama

Phillip reminds me of something that I heard about yesterday, and meant to go read and share with y’all. In the middle of one of the worst Fridays I’ve had in a while — my efforts to write the long piece about McCain (the companion to the Obama one last week) were constantly interrupted by minor problems that nevertheless had to be dealt with. One thing about the Obama piece last week that frustrates me is that I thought it was good, and I think I could produce a lot more work like that if I had the time, if I weren’t constantly having to deal with the minutiae of publishing that I no longer have the staff to do. But this is the way things are.

Anyway, at a particularly bad moment in the day, Robert stuck his head in to say "The Chicago Tribune has endorsed Obama," and I said "unh-huh," and he said "it’s the first time they’ve endorsed a Democrat," and I said, "yeah OK thanks."

Anyway, by the time I got away a little after 9 p.m. I had forgotten it, and so I thank Phillip for reminding me.

Here’s the link to the Tribune‘s endorsement. It’s pretty good. It’s got strong points and weak ones. It’s strongest point is that it gives its word, as an editorial board I trust, that we don’t have to worry about Obama, untested as he may be:

Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

That might not be persuasive to a lot of people, but it carries weight with me.

Its weakest point is that it keeps going on about the "history in the making," etc., what with "the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S." That latter bit of quote is one I could deconstruct all day, but I gave you some idea what I thought about it last week. I don’t think of him a "black man," and it’s a bit tough for a graduate of public Radford High to see a graduate of Punahou as "underprivileged" (we won’t even get into Columbia and Harvard).

Beyond that, I’ve always held a dim view of identity politics. I think choosing this ticket because a "black man" is on it, or the other ticket because a woman is on it, would be irresponsible.

Speaking of that, the Trib criticizes the Palin choice in the strongest terms, and I gather that played a large role in the paper’s decision. I think it’s going to be the deciding factor for a lot of people. Personally, I think it’s the biggest mistake McCain has made since he failed to "jink" when he knew a SAM was locked onto him over Hanoi.

On the whole, though, while I think it’s a good endorsement, I was disappointed that it didn’t help me more with the decision we’ll have to make next week. I’d feel good about endorsing either McCain or Obama. What I’d have a problem with is NOT endorsing the other one. This endorsement was neither so strong that it made me feel OK about not endorsing McCain, nor so weak that it made me feel OK about not endorsing Obama. Ah, well.

56 thoughts on “The Trib’s endorsement of Obama

  1. Lee Muller

    No surprise.
    Obama and the Tribune are both from Chicago.
    No thinking person pays attention to the endorsements of any newspaper, except that, given the low opinion of the press, it raises suspicions.

  2. Randy E

    Brad, given the preponderance of evidence that Palin wholly unqualified to be VP, let alone President is a serious indictment against McCain’s judgment. His “mavericky” behavior may at times be endearing, but such an approach is reckless at other times.
    Her statement in NC about “pro-American areas of the country” is profoundly misguided for someone who would supposedly serve the ENTIRE country.

  3. Karen McLeod

    After the last debate, when Sen. McCain said that he would not use abortion as a “litmus test” for choosing a supreme court judge, only to add a moment later that a pro choice judge could not possibly have the proper philosophy for McCain to consider him/her for the supreme court, I’ve decided that he’s a little too double tongued for my liking. I also don’t think I could vote for a man willing to chance that Gov. Palin might become president of this country. I honor Senator McCain’s service to this country, both military and political, but I don’t think he would be the best choice in this election.

  4. Ralph Hightower

    So, in an allegory to Star Wars, the Chicago Tribune moves, depending on one’s point of view, to either “The Force” or the “dark side”.
    That must now make the Chicago Tribune a member of the MSM.
    Allegory (Merriam-Webster definition):

    1. the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence ; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression
    2. a symbolic representation

    What’s next? Is Fox News going to endorse Obama?
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
    If Fox News endorses Obama, then that’s it! It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

  5. Ralph Hightower

    The State did not endorse John Edwards for the Democratic candidate for the reason that he was born in South Carolina. Instead, Warthen’s post that Edwards is a phony generated more traffic and publicity that he expected.
    Being a native son is not a sure shot for an endorsement. In fact, Obama was not born in Illinois, but Hawaii.
    I hope that newspapers don’t endorse a native son because he’s from there. I hope that they endorse who they feel is the most qualified candidate.

  6. Michelle

    A good many of the endorsements I’ve seen for Obama have stated that it is Palin that has really given them pause where McCain is concerned given his age and her. . how shall we say lack of gravitas?

  7. Brad Warthen

    Sshhh! You’ll ruin the surprise when we endorse a native son — me. Don’t you think it’s time we started a tradition of always endorsing the UnParty candidate.
    As much as I like both Obama and McCain, neither quite measures up (or down, depending on your perspective) to UnParty standards.

  8. Ralph Hightower

    Have you decided on a VP? I am native born and just spent 7 months of my 50-something life out of South Carolina in Iowa.

  9. Randy E

    Karen, I’m surprised that you didn’t mention McCain making light of the women’s health condition as a condition for an abortion. In purely political terms, I thought he handled that poorly.

  10. Ralph Hightower

    McCain is losing the poker game with Obama.
    In a news article with Florida Today, McCain pledges 2 billion extra to NASA.
    McCain pledges NASA budget hike
    Obama pledged to boost NASA’s budget by 2 billion months before.
    McCain should fire his advisors. They are not keeping up with Obama’s policies. Obama’s original platform was to move funding from NASA to education, but that policy was so “last year”.
    McCain is still harping on an obsolete Obama policy that has been ditched.
    I heard McCain speak at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner that he fired his advisors and hired “Joe the Plumber”.
    If that were true, McCain may be ahead in the polls.
    And yes, at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, Obama confessed that he ran around with a bunch of lowlifes, members of the US Senate. Also for an October surprise, his middle name is not Hussein, but Steve.
    To hear McCain and Obama do a humorous speech and switch to seriousness without animosity, visit to hear McCain and Obama be funny and also serious.
    The Catholic Cardinal, Edward Egan, and Al Smith’s great grandson, Father Timothy Cadigan, were also funny when they had their time at the microphone.
    The Alfred E Smith Dinner raises funds for Catholic charities.
    BTW: I am not a Catholic, but I enjoy watching the events where politicians are not “stuffed shirts”.

  11. Brad Warthen

    You surprise me, Randy. That was one part of that debate in which McCain CLEARLY did better, unless you’re of the NARAL persuasion.
    People who are opposed to abortion should have been encouraged by his response. And certainly you know after all this time that “health of the mother” means, in the language of this debate “including mental health,” which tends to be interpreted to cover being in danger of being really unhappy if one gives birth. It’s a catch-all that has a practical effect indistinguishable from abortion on demand. As legalistic dodges go, it doesn’t demand a whole lot of respect, and I’m surprised that you would encourage someone who doesn’t share our Catholic view of abortion to be offended that someone didn’t take it seriously.
    But you don’t have to be opposed to abortion to prefer McCain’s answer. The thing is, McCain was able to PROVE he does not insist upon a litmus test, whereas Obama is completely unable to demonstrate any sort of evenhandedness on the issue. As McCain said, he voted for both Breyer and Ginsburg. And he gave a very good reason why: “Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences when presidents are nominated. This is a very important issue we’re talking about.”
    Indeed it is. A president’s nominees need to be fairly considered, and confirmed if they are qualified. And one’s ideology is not a fair test for senators to apply.
    A moment later, McCain misspoke when he said Obama “voted against Justice Breyer and Justice Roberts on the grounds that they didn’t meet his ideological standards.” He meant to say Alito, not Breyer. But what’s important is the point he was making, which is that Obama has not been as fair-minded toward nominees who do not agree with him ideologically.
    The worst part of Obama’s answer was this: “And I think that the Constitution has a right to privacy in it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum, any more than our First Amendment rights are subject to state referendum, any more than many of the other rights that we have should be subject to popular vote.”
    He equated the “penumbra” of an inferred “right” in the Constitution to the very first right that the Framers decided to set out in black and white with no ambiguity. Coming from a Harvard-trained attorney, I found that disturbing.

  12. Lee Muller

    Since Sarah Palin has more experience than Barack Obama in government, and Obama has no experience in being an executive, administrator, in business, or even in holding a single private sector job in his entire life, Mrs. Palin is much more qualified than Obama.

  13. Brad Warthen

    There I was, on a roll saying nice things about McCain, when Lee has to go and blow the whole thing by mentioning Sarah…

  14. Ralph Hightower

    McCain has no executive experience either. He was a Representative and currently a Senator.
    Representatives and Senators have no executive experience unless they were a governor before they were one of the other.

  15. Herb Brasher

    Brad, thanks, that was a good summary and analysis. Every time I start wavering to go to Obama because of foreign policy, the Palin choice, and health care–and this one is admittedly a heavy issue with insurance companies running roughshod over peoples’ lives–clarity comes in the form of the abortion issue. On the one hand, I’m torn because it probably isn’t going to make any difference in actual abortion practice if McCain or Obama is elected.
    On the other hand, this cavalier attitude to human life weighs so heavy that I have to at least send a signal (to myself?–before God? I don’t know) by voting for McCain, whom I otherwise find quite unattractive, because of the above issues, and also because I don’t think he is a good communicator, and I really wish we could have a leader with good communication skills.

  16. Brad Warthen

    I appreciate Obama’s communication skills, too — a whole lot more than I did Reagan’s. I was always blind to the Great Communicator’s charm. I found his manner off-putting, but very few other people, Democratic or Republicans, did. So I have to say that maybe the problem was me, and not Reagan…

  17. Phillip

    Herb, I understand your position, though I would remind you that it is important also not to have a “cavalier attitude to human life” as regards folks who have already been born, like people in the countries we are bombing or might bomb in the future, just as an example.
    And I think you and Brad both need to stick your heads figuratively outside the walls of your church to be able to understand the offensiveness to which Randy E refers. Brad, I understand your point or rather you interpret what McCain said, but I can tell you that many many women in this country who are not the sorts of folks to march on NARAL’s behalf, were deeply offended by McCain’s little snorting comment about the mother’s “health,” complete with his little pantomime quotation marks. My wife practically leaped out of her chair when she saw and heard that. Paint it any way you like, and maybe McCain just didn’t take the time to make the fuller explanation that Brad tried to above, but the way he phrased it and the body language he used was indeed offensive. It’s not a scientific poll, but every woman I’ve had a conversation with about the debate specifically mentioned that moment as something that stuck out to them.
    Again, Obama trying to find common ground. McCain driving wedges.

  18. Randy E

    Brad, my comment was meant in purely political terms and NOT in terms of my beliefs, which follows Catholic dogma.
    My point is he made light of women’s health. Given that the majority of US citizens support choice. Certainly, HRC supporters he thought he could win over will be alienated.
    Given all this and the fact that the Indies are the prize now and mostly side with O on this issue, I don’t see how McCain won.

  19. Susan G

    The Chicago Tribune did not endorse Illinois own Adalai Stevenson when he rant for president. “Native son” means nothing to them.
    The Tribune has been a consistently Republican newspaper forever. Their endorsement of Obama is definitely newsworthy, and a blow to McCain.

  20. Randy E

    I forgot to include Phillip’s great observation. Obama not only attempted to find common ground, he focused on a very important point. We want to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

  21. p.m.

    The Tribune’s endorsement of Obama was so boring I didn’t bother to read the second page.
    After all, I know how the story turns out.
    But I don’t understand why Obama’s supporters give him credit for trying to find common ground when what he’s doing is playing politics, being noncommittal, trying to keep his ball out of the gutter rather than aiming for a strike.
    Yes, it’s the end of the world as we know it, but I’m not feeling so good myself.

  22. just saying

    “McCain was able to PROVE he does not insist upon a litmus test”
    Brad, I think you are just wrong here. In the past McCain certainly has approved judges who did not pass “a litmus test” (meaning they were not guaranteed to be anti-r.v.w.). However in the middle of this campaign season he began using the “strict constructionist” phrase. “Strict constructionist” has been used as code for at least the past 8 years to mean someone who does not believe the constitution has a right to privacy in it (and sometimes to mean it doesn’t contain separation of church and state). That’s the reason that it is trotted out by candidates when they want to appeal to the religious right… and that’s the reason. (It isn’t because the majority of the religious right [or any non-lawyer group] has done enough reading on theories of government to be able to argue anything else about the phrase.)
    Therefore, he is using a litmus test. Now granted, it is a fairly weak litmus test because it has a second part to it – the judge also needs to have a fairly weak view of precedent to overturn it without a _lot_ of build up. Hence the big emphasis on that issue when our current chief justice was appointed.
    As far as health of the mother, if McCain and anti-abortion foes are concerned about using it as a loophole with the current phrasing, then why not suggest a better phrasing that protects the part that they think is important? (Or should a four month pregnant woman have to continue the pregnancy if she will almost certainly die or, say, suffer severe brain hemmoraging by continuing?)
    I can understand the consistancy in view of someone who thinks that rape and incest don’t lessen the humanness of the “potential future human” being carried. I can understand the consistency in wanting “life and health” to not be used as a universal excuse – but there must be some level of danger to “life and health” that makes abortion legal to be consistant with treating ectopic pregnancies (which can resolve themselves, and whose treatment would involve killing a fertilized egg).
    I do want to know what possible justification there is for making a woman carry a fetus with Anencephaly (e.g. the child is either stillborn or born legally brain dead) to full term if she decides she would rather not.

  23. Bob

    WOW, I am shocked that many newspapers are backing Obama. NOT! With 80%+ of “journalist” being liberal, graduating from liberal university indoctrination centers, who do you expect them to back?
    I am also “shocked” that Colin Powell backed Obama. Powell and Obama are both black are they not? 97% of blacks voting for Obama doesn’t make them racist but if the stats were the same for whites voting for McCain we would hear howls from the media about the racist whites.

  24. Lee Muller

    Barack Obama is less of an American by his father’s abandonment, by his mother’s choice to raise him as a Muslim and a communist, and by his own choices to seek his identity among the radical communists and Afro-centrist hatred for whites and Jews.
    As an adult, Barack Obama could, at any time, have walked away from the creepy sorts of people who were like the sorry parents and other role models who forced their wicked ideology on him as a child.
    He could have chosen real role models of manhood and patriotism in the military, business, or clergy. Instead, he sought out depraved hucksters for his associates.

  25. Herb Brasher

    J.S., I think that arguing from the extreme cases to the generalization is really, in the end, a cop-out.
    The bottom line is that, in the case of a third trimester abortion, a life is taken, often by taking the infant’s head off, that otherwise could be kept alive outside of the womb. That is an atrocity that defies all imagination, and Obama hems and haws about the human right to live of an unborn child? It’s above his pay-grade? A good example of pharisaism, pettifogging with theology what is a basic human-rights situation. And as far as I know he had done nothing to try and bring about a law with the exception clause that he so desires. Why? I can only conclude, so that he can satisfy his constituency.
    Do we really have to put up with such an barbaric situation in a civilized country like the U.S.?
    And Phillip, I can only say that the women in my life would only find offense in the fact that I am not more adamant about it, and they are not sticks in the mud, either. One daughter was a licensed counselor in S.C., and active in this very field, until she had children and decided to stay at home with them. Another daughter is a nurse who would rather lose her job than be involved in a situation where she would have to assist in an abortion.
    Saving the life of the mother, when necessary, is a no-brainer. Nobody in their right mind should argue against that. And allowing abortion instead of having to carry to fruition a brain-dead baby is also a no-brainer. But using such extreme examples to justify general killing is, I think, hypocrisy of the worst kind. I cannot help but think it is like the Sadduccees in Jesus time, who were petti-fogging with unusual exceptions in order to avoid the obvious and the needful.

  26. Herb Brasher

    “. . . wants to reduce unwanted pregnancies.”
    My, my, what compassion! Interesting what we have come to, that our offspring are referred to as “unwanted pregnancies.”
    Meanwhile, couples travel to any country in the world they can get to in order to be able to adopt a baby, because it is so difficult to get one here.

  27. Lee Muller

    The proper means of “…reducing unwanted pregnancies…” is by teaching morality and self-control.
    Abortion is a form of homocide.
    Not all homocides are wrong, such as killing a criminal in self-defense, or in killing enemy soldiers when necessary in war.
    But killing babies, or killing the fetus, because you were selfish and immoral, is another selfish and immoral act. If society wants to extend the concept of self-defense to include the mother’s self interests, it can do so, and there are some legitimate self-interests which may justify it.
    Just recognize that it is a form of homocide, and that some forms of abortion are more like outright murder than others.

  28. Randy E

    Herb,if you are so concerned about the “offspring” then surely you support the government stepping up to help children born into poverty. Or does our responsibility for life apply only to unborn babies?
    The standard approach for the GOP (whether you bother to call it “compassionate conservatism”, responsibility, or every man for himself) is to cut taxes for Warren Buffet and Cindy McCain and let churches handle the rest (unless they dare take an Afro-centric approach).
    On the right, spending is causticly dismissed as entitlement and there is a push to slash spending. Meanwhile, pandering to the rich with deregulation and massive tax breaks for Cindy McCain has led us into an immense deficit and the 911 of economics.
    The GOP stance is to protect life for 9 months, a kind of unfunded mandate. As a Catholic, I believe we have an obligation for the first 9 months and the resulting 90 years.

  29. Karen McLeod

    Herb, your remark about it being “a no-brainer” to save the life of the mother makes it clear that you value the life of the mother more than that of the child, allowing for a 2 tier life-right. And what about children who are damaged, but less so than an anencephalic? What about fetuses conceived by rape or incest? Who is to make the decision regarding exactly where the edge of those 2 tiers lies? Until you can guarantee the adoption of those fetuses when they are born, I don’t think you have the right to force someone to bear them. I realize that you disagree, but I think Obama is trying to reach a common ground with your side when he proposes that we work together to reduce unwanted pregnancies. He is not suggesting that you give up your position. You are welcome to continue to work for restrictions on or reversal of Roe v.Wade. Sen. Obama is merely suggesting that here is a place where those on both sides of the question can work together, and thus, perhaps, achieve more than either side can separately. Meanwhile, if either Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain’s position on abortion is your “litmus test” for voting, I am sorry that you cannot look at the bigger picture and vote for the person whom you think will be best for this country.

  30. just saying

    Herb, I pretty much agree with all of your second to last post. I think one big part of the problem is that a lot of people on both sides haven’t thought deeply about the issue – and you get some people who can’t admit that there are legitimate reasons for abortions, and others who can’t admit that there are times they should be restricted. (Once they both admit that, then it is changed to a matter of grey areas and there can actually be a discussion.)
    And so you have people on the left who are convinced that the core of the pro-life view is to outlaw abortion in all cases — even in those that the vast majority should be exceptions (You get laws proposed that shows that there are people not in there right minds.) And the people on the right end up convinced that the left wants abortion treated at the same level as the pill or a condom — and refuses to believe them when they say that isn’t the case.

  31. Herb Brasher

    Karen–please notice the context of what I’m saying. I spoke primarily about abortion in the third trimester.
    In general, I find that it is a mirror of the cheap way we view life, how we talk about it, and how we are prepared to end it, especially when it is inconvenient. It seems that we have 90% less children born in this country today with Down’s syndrome, because we are able to detect it in the womb. So, there we are–what has value to us is a human being with a certain IQ level and abilities.
    Years ago in Germany when one of our daughters was in the hospital, they asked us if they could put a severely handicapped child in the room with her. Wow–what a blessing. Yes, she couldn’t care for herself, but she smiled and smiled–she loved us to come and sit by her, so we did. Then a young German doctor came by, looked at her, and said, “they should have never allowed this child to be born.” Wow–that is the underlying attitude in our culture. We should just get rid of “damaged fetuses” before they inconvenience us. But we miss out, ultimately, on what life is all about.
    We don’t have any Downs’ syndrome, but we have friends who do. Care for them involves sacrifice, but they are in many ways a joy to their lives. I cannot imagine our church without a boy I’ll just refer to as “Brent,” — and a couple who are best friends of ours–whose son Davey is delight to be around. What kind of counsel will Planned Parenthood give a mother who is pregnant with a child who has that sort of handicap? I probably don’t want to know.
    I fully realize that we cannot change this fundamental attitude in our culture by laws at this level–it is like trying to cure a disease by just treating the symptoms. But, to use that analogy further, it is still worthwhile treating the headache and fever if we can, rather than just doing nothing. We allow for some instances of killing such as self-defense, and we make distinctions between man-slaughter and murder, but when it comes to abortion, well, one size seems to fit all. There are no human rights given to an unborn child. Even Europe is not as crass as that.
    I’m not sure I have a “litmus test” so much as a deep conviction that all life is precious, because it ultimately is God’s life. (And I wouldn’t require anybody to adopt my worldview of God being in the center–I’m just pointing out that referring to human beings as an “accident” or an “unwanted pregnancy” is really crass and cheapening.)
    Of course there is a degree of hierarchy as to the value of life–I can even demonstrate that from Scripture–it’s pretty obvious. But the cavalier use we make of something like that is alarming–almost like we are looking for a loophole to justify all kinds of actions. What percentage of pregnancies are actually caused by rape and incest? It would be interesting to know, though I don’t have a great deal of trust in statistics.
    Obama’s approach to foreign policy (away from this “cowboy” approach that we have had for so long–shoot first and think second), his willingness (at least in theory) to tackle health care in this country, and many other things about him are attractive. But his cavalier answer to Rick Warren, his avoidance of the question about an unborn child’s human rights, and his outright lies about his vote in Illinois (as one journalist who is not right-wing wrote–somebody is lying, and it doesn’t look like it is the other party) are revealing and troubling. I hope that what you say, about common ground, turns out to be the case.
    And Randy, of course we need to help children born into poverty–what did I write that would insinuate otherwise? Corporate responsibility must be as strongly respected as individual freedom, otherwise the latter becomes just plain selfishness. Or did you get me mixed up with Lee?
    Sorry this has gone on so long. I’d try and be more succinct, but it takes too much time.

  32. Herb Brasher

    Seems I wrote about my distrust in statistics, and proceeded to use one. I guess it’s impossible to have some kind of a way to talk about issues without using some. Maybe they are legitimate as a general estimate. I don’t have a source for that 90%, though, and if someone else can demonstrate another number that is more accurate, that is good. I don’t have time right now for that kind of research.

  33. Herb Brasher

    I just went back and actually read Lee’s post, which I hardly do anymore, and what he wrote there is actually pretty reasonable, though it isn’t at all plain how he would apply it in practice. But then I’m not all that plain, either.
    Correction: I left off the word “children” before my first of use “Down’s syndrome” in my ramblings above.

  34. Lee Muller

    Why should the government “help the children born into poverty”?
    The government has very little money of its own, from fees and tariffs. Most of its revenue comes from a small minority of Americans who actually pay taxes. They are not the ones having babies “born into poverty”.
    This “for the children” argument is a ruse to pay immoral adults and teens for children they never should have had. There needs to be some disincentive to the mothers and fathers to force responsibility on them.
    Some that have been used in other societies:
    * Forced sterilization of the mother and father who get pregnant when they cannot afford to raise the child properly.
    * Forced birth control for the mothers by implant.
    * Removal of the children to a foster home, away from the prostitution, alcohol and dope that is so prevalent among these parents.
    * Prison for the father and mother, with forced labor, at a fair wage, with a substantial portion garnished to pay for foster care. Modern technology permits us to put them to work on parole with ankle bracelets. Let them take the jobs of deported Mexicans.

  35. Norm Ivey

    We’re way off track from Brad’s original Tribune Endorses Obama post, but I suppose that’s how conversations go.
    I oppose abortion as a means of birth control, and I hope the number of abortions performed in this country will continue to decrease, as they have over the last two decades. That said, I am not an abortion issue voter. I never have been, and likely never will be. I recognize, however, that many people do vote on primarily this issue, so I researched it to find arguments for both sides of the argument. In the end, what I’ve decided for myself is that overturning Roe v. Wade is a case of be careful what you wish for.
    Because of Roe v. Wade, abortion is a national campaign issue. Because it can only be overturned by the Supreme Court, and because the Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the president, it is really only a presidential election issue. Overturning Roe would change that.
    Overturning Roe v. Wade returns the business of abortion legality to the states. It would not make abortion illegal. Many states (South Carolina included) repealed their abortion laws after the 1973 decision. That means if Roe were overturned today, those states would have no laws regulating abortion. In South Carolina, an abortion could be performed at near full term (unless a law has been passed recently of which I am unaware). Other states did not repeal their laws, and so those laws would again become constitutional. Prior to 1973, a number of states allowed abortions at various stages. Other states have enacted laws in the anticipation that Roe would someday be overturned. Many of those laws would make abortion illegal or very nearly so.
    Naturally, as soon as Roe is overturned, there would be a flurry of legislation in state houses to update or resurrect older laws. Many states would keep abortion legal, so the reduction in the number of abortions would be less than one might imagine. The most populous states tend to be most liberal and have the highest number of abortions. They would surely keep abortion legal, and would welcome women from those states where abortions would be restricted. I suspect both North Carolina and Georgia would keep abortions legal in some form.
    The nation as a whole is decidedly pro-choice. If conservative legislatures enact tough anti-abortion laws, abortion rights would change from a presidential issue to a state level issue. State houses all over the nation would shift to a more liberal character based on this one issue. Even South Carolina shows a slight pro-choice preference. A February 2008 poll conducted by Winthrop/ETV shows 25% of South Carolinians believe abortion should always be illegal, 16% believe it should always be legal, and 53% believe it should be legal in some cases. It is unlikely that South Carolina could enact an always-illegal statute. Abortion would likely still be legal in South Carolina. In many states, anti-abortion laws would be repealed or amended, and the net reduction in the number of abortions would be reduced even further.
    In other words, overturning Roe v. Wade would likely not have much effect on the number of abortions performed in the United States. As things stand, bringing resources to bear on those involved seems the most appropriate approach. Education, adoption measures, and counseling for those seeking abortions would seem to be the most effective methods in reducing the number of abortions performed in America.

  36. Karen McLeod

    Herb, a couple of things. First, I tend to agree with you that we should think twice before allowing third trimester abortions without very good cause (the true life/health of the mother comes to mind). When you speak of Sen. Obama’s ‘cavelier’ response to Mr. Warren, are you referring to the “It’s above my paygrade” statement? If so, you and I take that much differently. He gave that response to the question of when the fetus becomes a human being. To me that was an acknowledgement that only God can truly answer that question, and that puts it well above Sen. Obama’s “pay grade.” Finally, just to let you know, I have worked with the profoundly mentally retarded for over 30 years now. I’ve refused to respond in kind when hit, or bitten, I’ve visited them when they were in the hospital, and I’ve cried when they died. I consider each of them created just as truly in God’s image as you or I. Yet, I cannot tell an expectant mother that she must carry such a child to term, especially when we’re speaking of the first 2 trimesters. We speak of people looking everywhere to adopt, yet we have many ‘unadoptable’ children in this country. Yet, those who show such concern for the unborn all too often seem unconcerned about those who are already born, but cast aside as human detritus.

  37. p.m.

    If only God can answer the question of when a fetus becomes a human being, and killing a human being is wrong, then only God can say when killing a fetus is not wrong.
    I don’t think Roe vs. Wade addresses that.
    Would you seriously argue that the wrong and right of letting a fetus be born depends on whether or not someone will adopt the newborn?
    If I’m a fetus, I have the right to live only if someone wants to adopt me?
    My rights depend on what someone else wants?
    Obama’s “above my pay grade” response might have been politically astute, but it was just an amoral dodge.

  38. Herb Brasher

    Karen, you obviously have an authority to speak about handicapped children that I don’t have. All respect.
    I still have reservations about Obama. I tend to believe that he will not reach out to the middle, but appoint leftists who please the “pro-choice” crowd. I hope I am pleasantly surprised, but I expect that he will not unite, at least not on this issue. But I suspect that we are going to find out.
    And I’ve said this before (in fact I guess we have hashed a lot of this out before), but the question that Obama was asked was not, “when does life begin?” The question was, “when does an unborn child get basic human rights?” That question really doesn’t have anything to do with God, per se. At least it doesn’t have to, and Obama did not need to dodge it. A woman can choose. When does a child have a choice–or better said, when does the child’s future right to choose become something that needs to be protected?
    As far as this is concerned, remind me not to say anything positive about Lee’s comments again. This suggests shades of B. F. Skinner:

    * Prison for the father and mother, with forced labor, at a fair wage, with a substantial portion garnished to pay for foster care. Modern technology permits us to put them to work on parole with ankle bracelets. Let them take the jobs of deported Mexicans.

  39. Crapo

    All you hot sex moments of your whore mamas, are lucky to exist, since yo mama didnt suck your potential self into a sewer.
    Now you are so sure of all and everything and pronounce and pontificate like true spoiled only children.
    Pathetic. Slobbering anal selves. Only DWEMs created a world where you could exist.

  40. Lee Muller

    I merely listed some of the solutions to irresponsible procreation that have been instituted by liberals in Europe. I thought you worshipped European socialism.
    Any liberals who want welfare programs and who want to reduce abortions had better come up with some ideas to reverse the whore culture they created which is producing all these children in poverty.
    The abortion industry, forced sterilization of blacks, Chinese, and the “mentally deficient”, and live birth infanticide come out of the liberals in the Eugenics Movement. Planned Parenthood is merely a new corporate name for the same foundation which gave many ideas to Adolf Hitler. The original headquarters is still there in Huntington, NY.
    Sweden, for example, only recently ended the practice of sterilizing people with low intelligence, at the rate of about 10,000 per year.

  41. bud

    A president’s nominees need to be fairly considered, and confirmed if they are qualified. And one’s ideology is not a fair test for senators to apply.
    Why not? Seems like anything is fair game to me. Otherwise why bother with a confirmation process.

  42. Karen McLeod

    Yes, Herb. You and I disagree. I wish we could all get together for an answer to your question, but we obviously cannot. Meanwhile, who decides? And who pays for the answer? Those profoundly disabled children grow up to be profoundly disabled adults. We can, treat them like trash, or continue to treat them as worthwile individuals. These past 8 years have seen so much shrinkage in funds for caring for these individuals, that I can’t approve of another 4 years even remotely like these.

  43. bud

    Personally, I think it’s the biggest mistake McCain has made since he failed to “jink” when he knew a SAM was locked onto him over Hanoi.
    On the whole, though, while I think it’s a good endorsement, I was disappointed that it didn’t help me more with the decision we’ll have to make next week.
    There’s a huge disconnect between these 2 paragraphs. The first paragraph deals with McCain’s choice for VP, a choice virtually everyone, except for the far-right extremists, are becoming uncomfortable with. It should be a deal-breaker and apparently it was with the Tribune. Yet, Brad still hesitates. Why? Given the huge mistake with Palin this should be a very easy endorsement. It will be interesting.

  44. bud

    Let me explain a bit more on my reasoning for suggesting it’s ok to consider a judicial candidates political philosophy as a legitimate consideration for a senator when making a vote for or against confirmation. In many cases a judges political philosophy goes to the heart of his constitutional interpretation. Take for instance the California medicinal marijuana case. Clearly this was decided incorrectly on the basis of the interstate commerce clause. The Supreme court used that, along with some precidents, to claim the federal government has the authority to ban medicinal marijuana that is grown for medicinal purposes. If a judge’s political philosophy, perhaps through previous rulings, that he or she will likely uphold the federal ban then that philosophy is fair game to consider in the confirmation process. That’s because those rulings indicate the judge will rule on grounds other than the constitution. To me that trumps any considerations about the judges experience-based qualifications.

  45. Brad Warthen

    bud, to help explain a little better what I meant there….
    I meant it was McCain’s biggest mistake since failing to jink in the sense that it will have a disastrous effect on HIM. I don’t feel quite as strongly as you do, or as the Trib does, that it was totally the wrong call… just as one could debate whether he was right or not to stay on his target with that SAM headed for him.
    You know, I’ve seen posts where people criticize McCain for cavalierly wasting a perfectly good airplane (not to mention essentially committing the next thing to suicide) by staying on his target that day in 1967. (And one can certainly draw a parallel to his choosing Palin because he was a little too focused on a current target.) But you know, one thing I’ve learned from my reading of military history (and not being a veteran, that’s all I have to go on), the line between insanely, heroically brave and just plain insane is often razor-thin.
    And here’s a wild digression for you… remember in Catch-22, when Yossarian showed up naked to receive a medal? Do you remember why he received the medal? It was for his one moment of insane bravery when, as lead bombardier, he took his formation back over the target a second time, and stayed focused on his bombsight rather than calling for evasive action in the face of tremendous flak.
    No, that doesn’t mean anything; I just found myself thinking about it when I was reading McCain’s account of the day he got “killed”…

  46. Tim

    “In the end, what I’ve decided for myself is that overturning Roe v. Wade is a case of be careful what you wish for.”
    That may be true, Norm, but the fact is that Roe was a bad decision with no basis in our Constitution. Yes, it would be a nightmare if the decision reverted to the states, but I can’t imagine that it would be an immediate change. I’m sure there would be time for the states to revamp their laws if it were ever overturned, so although your concern may be warranted theoretically, I don’t know if it is realistically.
    “‘Strict constructionist’ has been used as code for at least the past 8 years to mean someone who does not believe the constitution has a right to privacy in it (and sometimes to mean it doesn’t contain separation of church and state).”
    Hate to tell you, just saying, but the Constitution doesn’t contain separation of church and state. It doesn’t allow for a state sponsored religion of course, but it does allow for government’s recognition and participation in religious activities. If it didn’t, then why did our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson especially, sign off on religious services being held in the chambers of Congress (not only that, but services continued in the chambers of Congress until well after the end of the Civil War; and government resources such as the Marine Band participated)?

  47. Herb Brasher

    I am a bit confused as to how your statements about providing for severely handicapped children and adults weighs into the abortion discussion. At what point in the analysis of the ultra-sound information would you say that killing the infant is warranted? Obviously a child with no brain, or incapable of living outside of the womb, is not really a question. But where are you going to draw the line?
    In general:
    I object to the commonly used term, “fetus,” to refer to unborn children here on this blog. It sounds like the human life within is a thing instead of a person. It may be fine in a medical context, but is often dehumanizing in discussion like this.
    And one last thought: Are we all really facing up to the fact that a president does not really run the country, but rather the many people that he appoints? Sure, he determines some of the direction, but I think we are all naive if we think that Obama is necessarily going to explore for common ground. What I think is going to happen is that the folks he appoints are going to try and get some revenge for the last 8 years, and move the country to the left as fast as they can. I’m not saying that is necessarily all bad. I certainly hope for some real change in areas like foreign policy and health care.
    As I already wrote, I hope that I am pleasantly surprised, but we seem to often put a lot of faith in one man, when reality is a lot different.

  48. Lee Muller

    Read the Constitution. It does not mention a “right to privacy”.
    How is a “right to privacy” a defense of any homocide or or other crime? And why does the woman who doesn’t want to be a mother have more of a “right to kill in privacy” than the baby has “right to be born in privacy”?
    Roe v Wade is a bad decision, with poor reasoning, creating new legal doctrines out of thin air. If the court wanted to find a way to open up more opportunities for women to have abortions, they should have picked a better case, and gotten a better legal mind to write the opinion.

  49. p.m.

    Dang it, Lee, if you don’t start spelling “homicide” correctly, I’ll have to lay off bud’s Freudian spelling.

  50. Karen McLeod

    Herb, I think the divide between where we stand arises mostly from the question of who gets to decide when a bit of protoplasm is “ensouled” if you will. I don’t know either, and I hesitate to mandate that others abide with what I don’t know myself. I personally, have real problems with late 3rd trimester abortions. If the “product of conception” (sorry, you don’t like “fetus” and I think “baby” is too loaded a word) can live outside the mother, then it is a baby and should be treated as such. At the same time, I realize that we go to incredible lengths at times to save late term “products of conception” and frequently end up with one that doesn’t survive or a baby that has survived only to become institutionalized down the road. Furthermore the financial burden is great in these cases. Are you going to thrust that burden on an unwed mother who can’t care for a healthy child, much less afford this one, or on the state, who can bear the burden, but cannot provide the mother’s love and care? I certainly do not know, and I’m unwilling to force that choice on anyone.

  51. Lee Muller

    The truth is that the society didn’t “thrust the unwanted child on” that unwed mother and her deadbeat boyfriend. They did it to themselves by being irresponsible. Now they want to cop out and kill the baby.
    Then she’ll likely get pregnant again, blame society again, and maybe kill the fetus or have the baby and punish the mean old taxpayers who got her pregnant.

  52. Lee Muller

    Obama, an admitted long-time user of marijuana and cocaine, may cut back on drug law enforcement. He buys into the claim that drug laws are racist because they target crimes committed by so many blacks like himself.
    Those close to Obama during his days as a “community organizer” hint that he “was doing things, more than just using” drugs. Obama earlier roomed in New York with a Pakistani smuggler before moving to Chicago, according to a CNN investigation into his Columbia University records, and his lack of any trace of leases, utility bills or jobs for over 10 years.

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