President Bush not pro life

Note: I just got back from Washington DC aka "city of fear" last night. Details later.
----------------------
As promised last week, here is my expansion of reasons why I believe that President Bush should not be considered a “pro-life� candidate. Above and beyond the specific comments below; I believe that if the President devoted the same amount of energy and political capital to reducing abortion that he did to tax cuts or to his drive to war in Iraq, we would have seen results by now.

I can only assume that he feels that protecting the unborn is a lower priority than obtaining tax cuts or waging war against nations with no proven links to the terrorists who attacked us.

Abortion – The President says he's against legalized abortion, but has proposed no anti-abortion legislation of his own. He has not pressed his party's leadership for a constitutional ban on abortion, the only sure legal cure. The recent overturning of the partial birth ban shows that only a constitutional amendment will meaningfully change the law. There are other ways of reducing abortion through providing young women with support for other choices, but the President has not even proposed funding some of these other options. The silence of his inaction deafens his rhetoric.

Fetal stem cell research – The President claims to be against this too, rightly noting that the research requires the destruction of human life. Yet not only has the President allowed federal spending on research on existing fetal cell lines, he has neither proposed nor endorsed a ban on private research. Private research will go forward and the President should know this. Yet he does nothing to back up his stated conviction that fetal stem cells require the destruction of innocent human life. He only offers verbal “opposition.�

Death Penalty – Here is one pro-life area where the president goes beyond words and takes vigorous action -- against Catholic teaching and against all who champion a consistent ethic of life from cradle to grave. The President has proposed multiple expansions of the death penalty and has sought to weaken the appeals process, even though more than a hundred innocents have been released from Death Row as a result of DNA evidence. In Genesis 4, God spared the without doubt-a-guilty Cain. This Administration never misses a chance to seek the death penalty.

Some will tell you that mere verbal opposition to abortion is preferable to verbal support for abortion as one of multiple options. As long as the candidate says he's against abortion, other life values can go out the window. Whether or not he actually does anything. Before 2003, I had more sympathy with this view. But in the past year, President Bush has shed the blood of thousands of Iraqis, coalition partners and Americans in his “preventive war.� The administration dismissed as lies or delusions several prewar international reports (Blix, Ritter, IAEA) that indicated that Saddam without doubt had no nuclear weapons, and likely had no unconventional weapons stockpiles. The administration also ignored people within our own government who questioned either the presence of weapons of mass destruction or a strong Iraq-al Qaeda link. They preferred to take the self-serving lies of Chalabi and other exiles at face value because they wanted war right away. Now thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and coalition partners are either dead or crippled for life. This is an “achievement� that the President boasted of in Friday's debate. Invading Iraq was still the right thing to do, because “Saddam might have had weapons that he might have given to terrorists.� Our President is clearly willing to have thousands die on the basis of a “what might be.�

Judge for yourselves. Does the President's verbal opposition to and tolerance of abortion and fetal stem cell research outweigh his enthusiasm for the death penalty and his willing to deal death to thousands in a first strike based on a “might�?

Comments

Pro-life

"The President says he's against legalized abortion, but has proposed no anti-abortion legislation of his own."

All pro-lifers wish he were stronger in this area, but he's the best we've got, and I personally have no doubt that eventually, Republicans will abandon this plank all together. But, gosh Daniel, show me a Democrat that is pro-life (in anything but, "I wouldn't have an abortion myself but I support the woman's right to kill her baby.") It is a death knell for Democrat candidates, most of whom have had their values hi-jacked by the abortion wing of their party.

Pro-life/Anti-Abortion Democrats

"Daniel, show me a Democrat that is pro-life (in anything but, "I wouldn't have an abortion myself but I support the woman's right to kill her baby.")"You ask a fair question, even though I dispute the implication of your posting that being "pro-life" is mostly being against abortion. I get this implication from only seeing the abortion related statements in your response.However, even if we grant the equation "pro-life" = "anti-abortion"; there are Democrat politicians who meet this definition. Please the Democratic All-Stars at the anti-abortion Democrats for Life web site.My main point in the last few journals/postings has been to suggest that Catholics should not allow themselves to locked into a single party that abuses their stands on many issues but talks a good game about one life issue.

Question re definition

Daniel - I think defining pro-life needs to be discussed in your context. At least for me.

You include Iraqi's killed in the recent war and the death penalty as pro-life issues for you with Bush. OK. Then should we also consider potential and real souls lost as a result of inaction? If so, then is limiting this score to a four year election cycle really an accurate measurement of how "pro-life" a president is?

Could Clinton be considered a pro-life President by some for muslims saved in Serbia? Or Reagan for defeating an enemy with the werewithal to kill us all in spite of those killed in Central America?

Would your principle here have been an accurate guage of FDR's aggregate pro-lifeness during his 1936-1940 term in light of the subsequent Holocaust and our isolationism up until 1941? I mention this becuase you include internationals.

Re:Pro-life/Anti-Abortion Democrats

I refer you to Lutherans for Life, strongly anti-abortion, very cautious about growing embryos for stem-cell research, and against active euthanasia of people who aren't dying, just inconvenient for the living, like Terri Schaivo. I personally am not in favor of the death penalty, particularly as the dna evidence starts freeing people from prison who would have been executed.

The largest death toll is the babies, however. There are hundreds wrongly executed, but the babies outnumber all the people we've lost in all our wars (USA). Life by the yard is hard, by the inch is a cinch, so you have to pick your battles. I was raised an Anabaptist and have a strong personal pacifist background. But that is very different than politically choosing which war to support based on the politics of candidates you don't like. The extreme hypocrisy of the Democrats who read all the evidence and supported and voted for this war until it wasn't politically smart, is just sickening.

Respect your pro-life position

I appreciate you being pro-life across the spectrum of issues. There's integrity in your stands that I feel is lacking in both our presidential choices.I also accept your claim "There are hundreds wrongly executed, but the babies outnumber all the people we've lost in all our wars (USA)." It's definitely a large-scale tradgedy.I just don't see any proof that our current President has worked hard for or is planning to work hard on behalf of unborn children. Whether you believe in banning abortion under the Constitution; providing far greater support for adoption and other abortion alternatives; or a mix of measures; I'm just not seeing them from this President. He makes protests against the status quo -- but that's about it.Could you picture him saying "I believe in tax cuts, but while I'm willing to sign measures to my desk, I have no ideas for cutting taxes?" Surely the President's supporters wouldn't believe his seriousness if he said "Terror requires a military response", but never dispatched troops?Until the President shows the same level of effort on behalf of the unborn that he shows on tax cuts and his "preventive wars," I just can't take his anti-abortion credentials seriously.I'm NOT saying that Senator Kerry is pro-life. That's not a case I feel I can make -- though I don't think the number of abortions would be higher under Kerry than under Bush. The abortions would continue, only the lip service would change.On a different subject, let me briefly comment on your statement of:"But that is very different than politically choosing which war to support based on the politics of candidates you don't like. The extreme hypocrisy of the Democrats who read all the evidence and supported and voted for this war until it wasn't politically smart, is just sickening."In the first part of your statement "politically choosing which war to support based on the politics of candidates you don't like" it's not clear whether you mean me or Congressional Democrats. If you mean me, I need to point out again that I find our invasion of Afghanistan a justified use of force and NEVER protested against it. A case could be made that it was a defensive war. I know of no Democrats, including JFK II, who began supporting Afghanistan, who are now against it.Iraq, as I've tiredsomely pointed out many times, is not and never has been about defense. So I opposed it from its public beginnings.I base my opposition to a given war on whether our President, regardless of party, has made a convincing case that the war is either truly for our defense, or immediately need to protect an ally or to prevent a genocide IN PROGRESS. I had the same lack of regard for the President's politics in Oct 2001 as I did in March 2003; yet I supported Afghanistan's invasion.As for the, "Democrats who read all the evidence and supported and voted for this war until it wasn't politically smart,is just sickening." Keeping in mind that the Iraq Resolution was NOT a direct declaration of war, I would have to agree that any Member of Congress who voted for that resolution believing it would it take us to a war they did not believe in, who now oppose it; are sickening. Although I'd place the sickening part in their intial vote and thank them for FINALLY, too late, finding their true voice. I hope they never do something similar in the future.

So, how is the President pro-life?

You raise some interesting points that I reserve the right to respond to later. I think some the situations you cite might require further research.However, I can't restrain myself from observing that you haven't provided any evidence of the President's active efforts on behalf of the unborn. Where is the evidence that his rhetorical opposition to abortion is actually lowering the number of abortions in this country? If a President can't curb abortions, then why base my vote on his anti-abortion stand?A further question for you. Is there any point where you could not bring yourself to vote for an anti-abortion candidate based on other beliefs? If so, what would it be?The ironic part of this whole exchange is that very soon, someone on the other side is going to give me a verbal kick-upside the head because I don't support absolute abortion on demand! :-)

Re:So, how is the President pro-life?

However, I can't restrain myself from observing that you haven't provided any evidence of the President's active efforts on behalf of the unborn.

Wasn't one of Bush's first executive orders to cut off funding to international agencies which support abortion?

A further question for you. Is there any point where you could not bring yourself to vote for an anti-abortion candidate based on other beliefs?

Honestly, no. My conscience won't allow me to ignore 800,000+ murdered babies a year. How anyone looking at their child's sonogram could disagree is beyond me.

The ironic part of this whole exchange is that very soon, someone on the other side is going to give me a verbal kick-upside the head because I don't support absolute abortion on demand!

I'll be the guy wearing the helmet right behind you.

Re:Respect your pro-life position

"Until the President shows the same level of effort on behalf of the unborn that he shows on tax cuts and his "preventive wars," I just can't take his anti-abortion credentials seriously."

Daniel you're either being dishonest here or incredibly naive. It is next to impossible to make a pro-tax arguement, Kerry's trying, but he's failing. When Bush talks about tax cuts most people who pay actual taxes are interested. As for war, 9/11 was just, *just* 3 years ago. Its very fresh in people's minds and they understand whats at stake.

Abortion is an old issue that doesn't affect most of us on an individual level. We don't see it, there aren't news stories everytime someone decides to have one. Its morally wrong to have an average of a million abortions a year but motivating people to think about it, to deal with it, is no small feat. Any president who tried it would mostly have to focus on that and only that. These days that simply can't be done.

Is abortion murder or not?

"Daniel you're either being dishonest here or incredibly naive."I don't mind being accused of being naive or even delusional, but I'd like you to stop questioning my honesty or integrity. As far as I know, I've never questioned yours."Its morally wrong to have an average of a million abortions a year but motivating people to think about it, to deal with it, is no small feat. Any president who tried it would mostly have to focus on that and only that. These days that simply can't be done."If abortion is absolutely equal to murder, as the President claims in his rhetoric, a million murders a year should draw his direct attention and effort. Even Saddam didn't murder a million people during his entire 30 year reign of terror.If abortion is something different from murder, then it should not be an automatic non-negotiable; eclipsing all other pro-life issues."As for war, 9/11 was just, *just* 3 years ago. Its very fresh in people's minds and they understand whats at stake."The Iraq war had nothing to do with 9/11 or with defending the United States, as several commissions have found. If you've been paying attention to my posts, you'll see that I've been specifically exempting Afghanistan from my analysis of the President's pro-life record.

Re:Respect your pro-life position

I just don't see any proof that our current President has worked hard for or is planning to work hard on behalf of unborn children. Whether you believe in banning abortion under the Constitution; providing far greater support for adoption and other abortion alternatives; or a mix of measures; I'm just not seeing them from this President. He makes protests against the status quo -- but that's about it.

Apparently, Michael Nellis has all the proof he needs of Bush's practical opposition to abortion, contraception, and other forms of family planning. So much so that Bush & Co. amount to the Christian Taliban.

Re:Is abortion murder or not?

"I don't mind being accused of being naive or even delusional, but I'd like you to stop questioning my honesty or integrity."

Fair enough.

"If abortion is absolutely equal to murder, as the President claims in his rhetoric"

Has he said this? Are you sure because...

"If abortion is something different from murder, then it should not be an automatic non-negotiable; eclipsing all other pro-life issues."

...when you said this I immediatly thought of a moment in the third debate when they were talking about the Supreme Court and litmus tests and Bush made what amounted to a plea to pro-abortion people to sit down at the negotiating table. (I'm going to have to look that up)

"The Iraq war had nothing to do with 9/11 or with defending the United States, as several commissions have found. If you've been paying attention to my posts, you'll see that I've been specifically exempting Afghanistan from my analysis of the President's pro-life record."

And this is what irks me, you exempt from the pro-life record but you ignore the focus required of a President at war. Iraq or not this doesn't begin and end in Afhanistan, there's still Iran, North Korea, Syria, and a few others. Its a question of priorities.

Let me be upfront here, regardless of what W has said, I do believe that when a healthy woman aborts a healthy child for convenience its murder. I also believe the vast majority of abortions are under those circumstances. the problem with that is if I really believe that, what is required of me is not legislative action but physical action. The fact that I don't could be a flaw of character, it could be a rational response to an irrational situation. I honestly don't know. I do know that issues like the death penalty and Iraq are very much rational responses to rational situations. A person who murders multiple people for pleasure should be put down period. That's a very easy arguement to make. You see the person, you see the crimes, you know what will happen if you do nothing.

Syndicate content