Friday, September 12, 2008

Pat Buchanan: Last Chance for Life

(Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

Honestly, I never thought I'd see Pat Buchanan penning a passionate plea for pro-life voters to support John McCain (actually, it seems to be Sarah Palin for whom he's primarily making the pitch):
... Between the convictions and values of Palin and those of Barack, then, there is a world of difference. In the culture war that is rooted in religious faith, they are on opposite sides of the dividing line.

But more crucial than their conflicting beliefs is the political reality. This election is America's last hope to reverse Roe v. Wade. Upon its outcome will rest the life, or death, of millions of unborn children. The great social cause of the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, of the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, of the entire right-to-life movement, hangs today in the balance.

Why? It is not just that Obama is a pro-choice absolutist who defends the grisly procedure known as partial-birth abortion, who backs a Freedom of Choice Act to abolish every restriction in every state, who even opposed a born-alive infant protection act.

Nor is it because Joe Biden is a NARAL Catholic who has been admonished by bishops not to take communion because he has, through his career, supported a women's "right" to abortion, the exercise of which right has ended the lives of 45 million unborn.

Nor is it even because McCain professes to be pro-life, or Gov. Palin is a woman who not only talks the talk but walks the walk of life.

No. The reason this election is the last chance for life is the Supreme Court. For it alone -- given the cowardice of a Congress that refuses to restrict its authority -- has the power to reverse Roe, and because that court may be within a single vote of doing so.

Overturning Roe would re-energize the right-to-life movement in every state. In some, like California and New York, where it could not wholly prevail, some restrictions -- i.e., no abortions after viability -- might be imposed. Requirements such as for parental notification before a teenager has an abortion and that pregnant women be informed of what the procedure means and the trauma that often follows could be written into law.

If Roe goes, all things are possible. If Roe remains, all is lost.

Bottom line. If Obama-Biden wins, Roe is forever. If McCain-Palin wins, Roe could be gone by the decade's end.

[Read the whole thing]
(emphasis added)

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At 9/12/2008 10:00 AM, Blogger gordon gekko said...

Having a Pat Buchanan endorsement is about as worth while as Matt Damon speaking up for the dems.

He's too off the charts on too many issues for mainstream voters to listen to what he has to say on abortion.

At 9/12/2008 10:11 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

You're right for most voters. But there is a subset of "pox on both your houses" pro-lifers for whom, I believe, Buchanan carries some cache. Those voters certainly don't plan on voting for Obama, but they don't want to vote for McCain either for a number of reasons, including his stance on ESCR and his stance on Iraq and other foreign policy concerns.

That Buchanan thinks this is an important enough election to put aside some of those differences in order to give this sort of endorsement to the McCain-Palin ticket might give some of those voters something to think about.

At 9/12/2008 10:47 AM, OpenID discalcedyooper said...

As I've stated in many variations, if 'x' is the last hope for the pro-life cause, then we are in trouble.

For those clinging to the Supreme Court argument, one has to get around to looking at what Supreme Court Justice gets confirmed in a country where the last hope for the unborn is the Supreme Court. It would be like me arguing that Obama has nothing to worry about because he still has a projected electoral college win even though he is projected to lose the popular vote. For me to advance that argument would be for me to ignore the overwhelming evidence that the popular will is typically and eventually reflected in the electoral college. Likewise, to pine for a Supreme Court reversal with as yet unnamed justices in an environment absent the popular will to end abortion is to martyr one's cause for a pyrhic victory.

At 9/12/2008 4:55 PM, Blogger Donald R. McClarey said...

Buchanan nails it. With an Obama presidency the hope of overturning Roe vanishes for probably a generation. As much as some Catholic Obama supporters attempt to deny it, this election is all about abortion, and those who are supporting Obama are supporting a man who will do everything in his power to keep abortion on demand the law of the land.

At 9/12/2008 11:35 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...

Why didn't it vanish when Bill Clinton was elected--twice? Wasn't he the "most pro-abortion president in history"? And he named two justices.

I'm not saying Obama's not a bad guy, but unless I missed something, another election is scheduled for 2012, and another in 2016, and Senate elections every two years, and the Justices have not overturned the law of entropy.

At 9/13/2008 9:18 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...

Why didn't it vanish when Bill Clinton was elected--twice?

Clinton was elected in 1992. It is 2008. Nearly a generation. Ergo, the chance to overturn Roe did vanish for a generation.

If Obama is elected, he will likely be replacing Ginsburg and Stevens with two Justices who will be sitting on the bench for at least a generation.

At 9/13/2008 9:38 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"Clinton was elected in 1992. It is 2008. Nearly a generation. Ergo, the chance to overturn Roe did vanish for a generation."

Excellent point!

At 9/14/2008 7:00 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...

...okay, but "last chance" is still hyperbole, typical for an election year.

Also, Congress can overturn Roe. But Bush didn't want them to do it. He never asked for it. The bill was put before Congress repeatedly, has about 100 cosponsors right now.

At 9/14/2008 7:15 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...

but "last chance" is still hyperbole

No, it's not. If Obama gets to appoint two or three Justices to replace the pro-Roe Justices, then that will cement Roe for another generation. Donald didn't say it was the last chance we'd ever get to overturn Roe, only the last chance until the next batch of pro-Roe Justices will retire, and that may be 10-5 years from now, and who knows who our President will be.

Also, Congress can overturn Roe. But Bush didn't want them to do it. He never asked for it.

Because it has zero chance of passing, and because Congress cannot simply overturn an act of the Supreme Court. This little fantasy about Congress simply marching in and saying that Roe is no longer the law of the land is simply that, fantasy. Sure this meme gives certain pro-lifers the ability to say, "You see, they don't really mean it." But sadly for you guys we live in a constitutional republic, not a benevolent dictatorship.

At 9/15/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger Father Martin Fox said...


As far as the Supreme Court goes, the flaw in your argument is the assumptions: (a) that McCain's picks will be significantly better on Roe than Obama's (evidence?) and (b) that we're within one vote of overturning Roe (evidence?).

As far as overturning Roe, it is very reasonable to suppose that Congress can do so--if you read Roe, you will see that the decision itself says how. Roe was premised on agnosticism about whether the "fetus" is a person; the decision said almost exactly the following: if the personhood of the fetus is established, then the application of the unenumerated privacy right in this case "would collapse."

If, as Roe indicates, the personhood of unborn children is an open question, then it remains to be seen who establishes it.

True, such a bill is not going to sail through Congress, but I think you are very shortsighted if you fail to see the value of forcing votes anyway. How many times did the Partial Birth Abortion Ban come up for a vote, and "fail," before it was passed? Indeed, how often do significant laws get enacted on only their first time presented for a vote?

Record votes are very useful in showing where folks stand on issues; they help the prolife cause by generating targets.

My point was not to blame Bush for failing to enact it, but failing to try.

Meanwhile, we're all told to pin our hopes on the Supreme Court, and on John McCain picking only solid people. And we are told to believe that we have four solid votes against Roe already, a fact that I hope is true, but relies on counting two Justices (Roberts and Alito) who have not yet been heard from on precisely this question.

And we're told to trust that somehow, McCain can get an anti-Roe nominee through a hostile Senate, at the same time we're told not to expect the same Senate to support anti-Roe legislation. I guess those anti-Roe Senators will just not notice that the justice they are asked to confirm might overturn Roe.

Given all the "ifs" in that scenario, you would do better not to be so snarky and condescending about the legislative approach.


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