Ok so in all honesty, I'm terrified of what is happening to this country. Pretty much everyone who can vote is voting for the lesser of two evils, which is either Obama or McCain. I mean they're both not that great. I really don't like either one, and I tend to be more conservative. The only people worth voting for are either Stephen Colbert or Bob Barr. So if I could vote, I would vote for Bob Barr. Then he would have three votes. Me, Root, and himself.
I think one of the biggest deals for me is the abortion issue. What I am seeing in liberals, is the argument that it is just one issue out of many. That is true, but with life being reduced to "ball of flesh" status, there is no point in caring about any other issues, like healthcare. If you don't care about life before birth, why should a person care about life in any other stage?
Here is Barr's stance on abortion taken from http://ontheissues.org:
Vote to adopt an amendment that would remove language reversing President Bush's restrictions on funding to family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.
Vote to pass a bill that would make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing any of 68 federal offenses or a crime under military law. Abortion doctors and women whose own actions harmed their fetuses would be exempt.
Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes.
HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as “partial-birth” abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.
The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.
Q: Could you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on Roe v. Wade?
No litmus test; nominate to Court based on their fairness
McCAIN: I would never, and have never in all the years I've been there, imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the Court. That's not appropriate to do.
OBAMA: Well, I think it's true that we shouldn't apply a strict litmus test and the most important thing in any judge is their capacity to provide fairness and justice to the American people. And it is true that this is going to be, I think, one of the most consequential decisions of the next president. It is very likely that one of us will be making at least one and probably more than one appointments and Roe vs. Wade probably hangs in the balance. I will look for those judges who have an outstanding judicial record, who have the intellect, and who hopefully have a sense of what real-world folks are going through.
As president of the Harvard Law Review and a law professor in Chicago, Barack Obama refined his legal thinking, but left a scant paper trail. His name doesn't appear on any legal scholarship. But an unsigned--and previously unattributed-- 1990 article unearthed by Politico offers a glimpse at Obama's views on abortion policy and the law during his student days, and provides a rare addition to his body of work.
1990: Wrote law article that that fetus cannot sue mother
The six-page summary considers the charged, if peripheral, question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers. Obama's answer, like most courts': No. He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother's rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy.
Obama's article, which begins on page 823 of Volume 103 of the Harvard Law Review, is available in libr
Obama, who favors a legal right to abortion, noted that he was trying to "reduce the number of abortions." But he went too far when he falsely accused President Bush of failing to meet that same goal, saying incorrectly that "over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down."
FactCheck: Abortions HAVE gone down under Pres. Bush
This is an erroneous claim that we first tracked down and debunked more than three years ago when it was being repeated by Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton, among others.
The Guttmacher Institute, whose figures are cited regularly by both sides in the abortion debate, say on their Web site, "In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000."
There's little to show the decline has come about because of anything President Bush did or didn't do. In fact, the number of abortions in the U.S. has been falling steadily since the 1980s regardless of whether the person in the White House favored a legal right to abortion or opposed it.
On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that.
Ok for state to restrict late-term partial birth abortion
Part of the reason they didn't have it was purposeful, because those who are opposed to abortion have a moral calling to try to oppose what they think is immoral. Oftentimes what they were trying to do was to polarize the debate and make it more difficult for people, so that they could try to bring an end to abortions overall.
As president, my goal is to bring people together, to listen to them, and I don't think that's any Republican out there who I've worked with who would say that I don't listen to them, I don't respect their ideas, I don't understand their perspective. And my goal is to get us out of this polarizing debate where we're always trying to score cheap political points and actually get things done.
Q: The terms pro-choice and pro-life, do they encapsulate that reality in our 21st Century setting and can we find common ground?
We can find common ground between pro-choice and pro-life
A: I absolutely think we can find common ground. And it requires a couple of things. It requires us to acknowledge that..
- There is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down. I think that's a mistake because I think all of us understand that it is a wrenching choice for anybody to think about.
- People of good will can exist on both sides. That nobody wishes to be placed in a circumstance where they are even confronted with the choice of abortion. How we determine what's right at that moment, I think, people of good will can differ.
Q: Do you personally believe that life begins at conception?
Undecided on whether life begins at conception
A: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.
We've actually made progress over the last several years in reducing teen pregnancies, for example. And what I have consistently talked about is to take a comprehensive approach where we focus on abstinence, where we are teaching the sacredness of sexuality to our children.
Teach teens about abstinence and also about contraception
But we also recognize the importance of good medical care for women, that we're also recognizing the importance of age-appropriate education to reduce risks. I do believe that contraception has to be part of that education process.
And if we do those things, then I think that we can reduce abortions and I think we should make sure that adoption is an option for people out there. If we put all of those things in place, then I think we will take some of the edge off the debate.
We're not going to completely resolve it. At some point, there may just be an irreconcilable difference. And those who are opposed to abortion, I think, should continue to be able to lawfully object and try to change the laws.
"In the Illinois state legislature, Obama voted 'present" instead of "no' on five horrendous anti-choice bills."
GovWatch: Obama's "present" votes were a requested strategy
--E-mail from NOW attacking Sen. Obama's record on abortion issues.
The National Organization for Women has strongly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. A chain e-mail denounced Obama's record on abortion, citing his "present" votes on a succession of bills sponsored by anti-abortion activists.
The Facts: Under the rules of the Illinois legislature, only yes votes count toward passage of a bill. Planned Parenthood calculated that a 'present' vote by Obama would encourage other senators to cast a similar vote, rather than voting for the legislation [and asked Obama to vote 'present' as a strategy]. NOW never endorsed the Planne Parenthood strategy of voting 'present,' saying "They were horrible bills, and we wanted no votes." Illinois NOW and Planned Parenthood had different voting strategies on the abortion issue. It was impossible for Obama to satisfy both groups at once.
AT A GLANCE
Expand access to contraception; reduce unintended pregnancy
- Reproductive Choice: Obama has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving a women's right to choose under Roe v. Wade a priority as president. Obama also supports expanded access to contraception, health information and preventive services to reduce unintended pregnancies.
- Protecting a Women's Right to Choose: Obama will make safeguarding women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn that decision.
- Reducing Unintended Pregnancy: Obama will work to reduce unintended pregnancy by guaranteeing equity in contraceptive coverage, providing sex education, and offering rape victims accurate information about emergency contraception.
- Throughout his career, in both the Illinois Senate & the US Senate, Obama has stood up for a women's right to choose, consistently earning 100% ratings from pro-choice groups.
Sen. Obama received the following scores on NARAL Pro-Choice America's Congressional Record on Choice.
Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007
- 2007: 100 percent
- 2006: 100 percent
- 2005: 100 percent
Obama's record in Illinois represents that of a pragmatic progressive, who pushed for moderate reforms and opposed right-wing legislation. In the IL legislature, voting "present" is the equivalent of voting "no" because a majority of "yes" votes are required for passage. Many IL legislators use the "present" vote as an evasion on an unpopular choice, so that they can avoid being targeted for voting "no." During the 2004 Democratic primary, an opponent mocked Obama's "present" vote on abortion bills with flyers portraying a rubber duck and the words, "He ducked!".
Voted against banning partial birth abortion
In 1997, Obama voted against SB 230, which would have turned doctors into felons by banning so-called partial-birth abortion, & against a 2000 bill banning state funding. Although these bills included an exception to save the life of the mother, they didn't include anything about abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother. The legislation defined a fetus as a person, & could have criminalized virtually all abortion.
Barack Obama believes we owe it to the American public to explore the potential of stem cells to treat the millions of people suffering from debilitating and life threatening diseases. Stem cells hold the promise of treatments and cures for more than 70 major diseases and conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes. As many as 100 million Americans may benefit from embryonic stem cell research. As president, Obama would:
Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases
- Promote Embryonic Stem Cell Research
- Support Medical Advancement and Innovation
- Expand the Number of Stem Cell Lines Available for Research
- Ensure Ethical Standards
Q: What us your view on the decision on partial-birth abortion and your reaction to most of the public agreeing with the court's holding?
Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion
A: I think that most Americans recognize that this is a profoundly difficult issue for the women and families who make these decisions. They don't make them casually. And I trust women to make these decisions in conjunction with their doctors and their families and their clergy. And I think that's where most Americans are. Now, when you describe a specific procedure that accounts for less than 1% of the abortions that take place, then naturally, people get concerned, and I think legitimately so. But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it. There is a broader issue: Can we move past some of the debates around which we disagree and can we start talking about the things we do agree on? Reducing teen pregnancy; making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances.
[An abortion protester at a campaign event] handed me a pamphlet. "Mr. Obama, I know you're a Christian, with a family of your own. So how can you support murdering babies?"
Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters
I told him I understood his position but had to disagree with it. I explained my belief that few women made the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually; that any pregnant woman felt the full force of the moral issues involved when making that decision; that I feared a ban on abortion would force women to seek unsafe abortions, as they had once done in this country. I suggested that perhaps we could agree on ways to reduce the number of women who felt the need to have abortions in the first place.
"I will pray for you," the protester said. "I pray that you have a change of heart." Neither my mind nor my heart changed that day, nor did they in the days to come. But that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own-that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that had been extended to me.
When we get in a tussle, we appeal to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution's ratifiers to give direction. Some, like Justice Scalia, conclude that the original understanding must be followed and if we obey this rule, democracy is respected.
Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism
Others, like Justice Breyers, insist that sometimes the original understanding can take you only so far--that on the truly big arguments, we have to take context, history, and the practical outcomes of a decision into account.
I have to side with Justice Breyer's view of the Constitution--that it is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.
I see democracy as a conversation to be had. According to this conception, the genius of Madison's design is not that it provides a fixed blueprint for action. It provides us with a framework and rules, but all its machinery are designed to force us into a conversation.
Q: [to Keyes]: Doesn't your pro-life stance conflict with your support of the death penaty?
Moral accusations from pro-lifers are counterproductive
KEYES: It doesn't conflict at all. Abortion and capital punishment are at different level of moral concern. Abortion is intrinsically, objectively wrong and sinful whereas capital punishment is a matter of judgment, which is not in and of itself a violation of moral right. The question of whether or not you should apply capital punishment depends on circumstances and it's an area where Catholics have a right to debate and disagree.
OBAMA: Now I agree with Mr. Keyes that the death penalty and abortion are separate cases. It's unfortunate that with the death penalty Mr. Keyes respects that people may have a different point of view but with the issue of abortion he has labeled people everything as terrorists to slaveholders to being consistent with Nazism for holding an opposing point of view. That kind of rhetoric is not helpful in resolving a deeply emotional subject.
State Senator Barack Obama today called for passage of the Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act (HB 3589), which will permit embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. The bill, formerly known as the Stem Cell Research Act, was recently renamed to honor the memory of former President Ronald Reagan.
Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill
The Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act specifically permits embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. Today, more than 100 million Americans are afflicted by medical problems [which could be affected by this research]. Obama says, "This bill affects diseases that attack Americans - regardless of their gender, age, economic status, ethnicity, race or political affiliation. This is about a commitment to medical research, under strict federal guidelines. I call on leaders in Illinois and President Bush in Washington to stop playing politics on this critical issue and expand the current policy on embryonic stem cell research so that we can begin finding the cures of tomorrow today."
For almost a decade, Obama has been a leader in the Illinois legislature in the battle to protect a woman's right to choose and promote equal economic rights and opportunities.
Protect a woman's right to choose
Yeah I know that was long, so I'm not going to write any more, but I'd appreciate some comments. Thanks.