Tag Archives: abortion

The Religious Right is the curse of the GOP

This article in the WSJ talks about an upcoming vote by the Texas School Board on a new science curriculum, which will cast doubts on evolution.

He [Dr. McLeroy, the chairman of the Texas School Board] also wants the texts to make the case that individual cells are far too complex to have evolved by chance mutation and natural selection, an argument popular with those who believe an intelligent designer created the universe.

The textbooks will “have to say that there’s a problem with evolution — because there is,” said Dr. McLeroy, a dentist. “We need to be honest with the kids.”

The GOP, or any successor party which abandons rape of the Treasury as a fundamental plank in its platform, has to evict the Religious Right.  They are a curse, analagous to the curse on the Ratsocrats represented by the segregationist southern Democrats in the post-war era.

Here is the problem:  the Religious Right sounds stupid, bigoted and scary.  I don’t say they ARE necessarily stupid, but you just can’t help but sound stupid when you make the leap from the fact that evolution is a theory to the proposition that we should teach the Genesis story in schools as though it were a viable scientific theory.

Now, to be fair, I don’t gather from this article that the Genesis story is about to make it into the textbooks.  But, Dr. McLeroy, you are just a fucking idiot if you really believe, and claim that the scientific evidence proves, that the earth was created 10,000 years ago.

Enrico has no problem with pointing out unsolved scientific mysteries.  In fact, Enrico thinks there should be a lot more focus on the frontiers in teaching kids science.  Science instruction tends to come across as dogma, and it ought to be presented as the greatest detective story of all time.  Like, wtf is going on with the simultaneous resolution of quantum entanglement, which apparently happens at a speed greater than the speed of light?  That’s not supposed to happen.

The biggest problems imposed on the GOP by the Religious Right are the bigotry against homosexuals, and issues surrounding abortion.  Enrico really doesn’t get it, why people find the proposition of gay marriage so troubling.  Surely a political party which has personal liberty and limited government as core tenets would support equal treatment, regardless of the intended arrangement of adult consenting genitalia and orifices in private.  I wish we had a party like that.

Abortion is not so easily dismissed, hardly.  Enrico also doesn’t get people who claim to be confused about when human life is initiated.  Enrico had a conversation with an in-duh-vidual who argued that, at some point in the pregnancy, the fetus becomes human, because that’s the point where the fetus is viable outside the womb.   Enrico asked, so what happens when medical science advances to the point where an embyro is viable outside the womb seconds after fertilization?  How can a point of philosophical and ethical principal be determined by the state of medical technology?

This is obviously nonsense.  Here’s the real deal:  this is a collision between a woman’s rights and a fetus’s rights.  I could be more inflammatory and say “a baby’s rights” or less inflammatory and say “an embryo’s rights,” but these are really all semantics that mask the underlying reality.

Enrico believes that you just can’t sustain the argument on any valid philosophical, moral, ethical, or legal grounds that the woman’s rights ALWAYS weigh more than the baby’s rights, NOR that the baby’s rights ALWAYS weigh more than the woman’s rights. The problem is even more vexed by the fact that, obviously, from a legal perspective, Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.  WTF right to privacy in the constitution?  Where are you reading that?  It should have been left to the messy democratic hodge-podge of state law.  The state has a legitimate interest in protecting gestating human beings.  Absolutism in this area is clearly the wrong answer.

Enrico doesn’t really know what to do about this.  But the GOP or any personal liberty, thrift oriented successor has to stop scaring the crap out of people by advocating a federal ban on all abortion.  Fellatio Boy had this one mostly right, abortion should be rare and safe, and there have to be conditions under which it is legal.

Where should the Religious Right go?  Frankly, I don’t think any major party can afford to rely on this group as a core constituency.  It is probably best for them, and for both parties, if they swing vote, depending on the most important issue and the match between various candidates and parties.

Is Romney a flip flopper? Mitt’s change of heart on abortion

One of the troubling things about Mitt Romney is something of a pattern of “convenient” changes of position, notably on abortion. As a candidate for governor and senator in Massachusetts, Romney was pro choice, a stance which could be fairly described as “well calculated” for maximizing his electoral prospects in that state. Now, as a candidate for the republican nomination, he is pro life, also a well calculated position.

There are other topics on which his public views have apparently changed, where he has changed to a position more likely to see him nominated. This raises the very fair question, what does he really believe? Can we believe anything he says, given an apparent tendency to change what he claims to believe apparently based on his calculations of political advantage?

Romney addressed the abortion point on Russert’s show this morning. I was struck favorably by his detailed description of the specific situation which caused him to change his mind. To me, his story has the ring of truth, and his story is supported by the public record. I was also struck by his remark that, although he changed his mind about the government’s proper role in the abortion issue, he honored the promise he made while campaigning for governor, that he would not seek to change the state’s laws on abortion.

I am convinced that Romney would prefer to see an America where abortion was essentially banned, with narrow exceptions rooted in the preservation of life. However, I am also convinced that he is not going to make abortion law the centerpiece of his administration. It is clear that the nation will not support such a dramatic change in the status quo at the moment. I think Romney would resist expansions of government-sponsored activity that threatens human life, and would gladly seize upon opportunities to roll back the destruction of human life. I would be satisfied with that. It would be wrong for the president to attempt to violently impose a revolution in abortion law on the nation.

So, is he a flip flopper? I think he is. He has changed his tune on several other topics: immigration and gun control, notably. But when you drill down on the change of tune, there is a similar story. Romney talks a lot about what he is going to seek to do, in a fairly pragmatic, concrete manner. He views these remarks as a kind of contract with the electorate: vote for me, and this is what I am going to try to do. Not surprisingly, his description of what he is going to try do changes depending on the position he is seeking, and the electorate he is seeking to represent, or to lead.

I can live with this kind of flip flopping, as long as he accurately describes what he is going to try to do, and substantially sticks to it.

I liked his response to Russert, that if you are looking for someone who never changes his mind, no matter what, then Romney is not your guy. When I was hiring people at my consultancy, I used to ask more experienced candidates to tell me about a time when they changed their mind about a matter of some importance. I had a hard time hiring someone who claimed he never changed his mind. Real life just doesn’t work that way. Who is always right from the very beginning?

I think Romney holds the right core principles. I am more persuaded after seeing this interview that we can trust what he says.