Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

The Libertarian felon is no alternative to Todd Akin

The Unablogger

As I wrote in an earlier post, partisan control of the U.S. Senate probably turns on the Missouri contest between unpopular Democrat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and unpopular Republican Rep. Todd Akin. Voters get it that McCaskill looks after whatever is best for the Obama Administration instead of her own constituents, but many remain alienated by Akin’s support for abortion restrictions for a pregnancy that resulted from a rape.

The final poll on the contest by Public Policy Polling shows that Akin has pulled within four points of McCaskill, 48%-44%, leaving McCaskill short of a majority. The only other senate candidate on the ballot, Libertarian Jonathan Dine, drew 6%, with 2% still undecided. Notably, most of those not opting for either McCaskill or Akin appear to be conservative oriented, favoring Romney, 72%-20%. PPP observed, “clearly [Dine]’s pulling from folks who otherwise would have voted Republican. The Dine voters hate Akin- only 12% see him favorably to 67% with a negative opinion. But they hate McCaskill too- only 8% approve of the job she’s doing to 67% who disapprove. If they stay with Dine, McCaskill wins. If they decide the desire for a Republican Senate outweighs their disgust for Akin, then Akin has a chance.”

So, who is Jonathan Dine? For starters, he’s a convicted felon whom Missouri law would bar from the ballot in any state or local contest. (State law may not add additional qualifications (like not being a felon) for candidates for federal office over and above the bare requirements provided in the U.S. Constitution.) In addition to convictions for possession of marijuana (kind of a badge of honor for a Libertarian) and driving while intoxicated, Dine also has a 2005 conviction for identity theft. He favors gay marriage and drug decriminalization, while opposing U.S. “interventionist” foreign policy.

So, let’s get this straight. A set of mostly conservative voters who overwhelmingly and equally (67%) disapprove of both McCaskill and Akin are resolving their conflict by voting for a convicted identity thief who favors gay marriage, drug legalization and a foreign policy the Green Party could endorse?

I am guessing that most Dine backers don’t know about his criminal past or his controversial issue positions (except for pro-pot). The Voters Guide of the St. Louis Post Dispatch makes no mention of Dine’s convictions. Voters just know what Dine isn’t: he isn’t McCaskill, and he isn’t Akin.

Conservatives who are prone to settle on Dine need to consider the broader picture. Their not voting for Akin means victory for McCaskill. And victory for McCaskill most certainly means that Democrats and Harry Reid will keep control of the U.S. Senate, which would allow them to defeat the repeal of Obamacare, let the Bush tax cuts expire (thereby raising taxes across the board), block the entire Romney/Ryan agenda, and prevent Romney from appointing any conservative to the Supreme Court. That’s got to be worse than Akin’s perceived insensitivity towards rape victims.

PPP’s ultimate conclusion bears repeating, “If they stay with Dine, McCaskill wins. If they decide the desire for a Republican Senate outweighs their disgust for Akin, then Akin has a chance.”

If elected, Akin will support the Romney/Ryan reforms that McCaskill would fight tooth and nail. We absolutely need a Republican Senate. We need Todd Akin to be there.

Get over it! You need Todd Akin in the Senate

The Unablogger

The choice for Missouri voters for U.S. Senate this year should be a no-brainer. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill’s six-year voting record is a major cause of the nation’s economic doldrums. After having won her seat by complaining that Republican Sen. Jim Talent’s voting with President Bush 90% of the time made him a Bush “rubber stamp,” she turned around and voted 98% of the time in lock-step with President Obama, including for his failed pork-laden stimulus bill and Obamacare, the single biggest threat to future economic development. The senator is also plagued by scandals, including her failure to pay property taxes on an airplane for which she had billed the government for her travel, her family profiting from the stimulus and other federal programs, and questionable business dealings by her husband conducted in the senate dining room. A majority of Missouri voters (51% according to Public Policy Polling, a leading Democrat pollster) disapprove of her performance (compared to just 44% approving). And yet, that poll shows those same respondents favoring McCaskill’s reelection over Republican Rep. Todd Akin by 46%-40%. The latest Rasmussen poll is even worse, showing McCaskill ahead, 51%-43%. (The Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Post Dispatch, Kansas City Star and KMOV shows a 2-point race with 8% undecided, but its internal demographics look a little too conservative to me.)

The reason for the disconnect between McCaskill’s unpopularity and possible reelection, of course, is reaction to Akin’s insensitive comments about abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape (euphemistically called “emergency contraception” by McCaskill’s sleezy ads). In reality, Akin’s views (which McCaskill chastises as “out of the mainstream”) are shared by 25% of the national population, including radicals like the Roman Catholic Church. Akin is a principled conservative who speaks for many Missouri voters on a host of important issues. But as a practical matter, the thought of being obligated to carry a rapist’s child to term is repugnant to many women voters. Akin promptly and repeatedly apologized, but many voters remain unwilling to grant him Christian forgiveness. PPP notes that its respondents who are undecided in the senate race favor Romney over Obama, 81%-13%.

Another 6% (down from an earlier 9%) of voters in the PPP poll are resolving their distaste for both candidates by supporting Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine, a convicted identity thief, the only other candidate on the ballot. Most voters would regard identity theft as worse than misspeaking about abortion, if they knew about it. (The Voters Guide of the St. Louis Post Dispatch makes no mention of Dine’s criminal past.) What those voters should understand, though, is that throwing away their votes to Dine would effectively reelect McCaskill.

There are more important issues on which to base one’s vote this year, notably the economy and the need to repeal Obamacare. The way senate contests in other states are shaping up, the Romney Administration will be unable to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code or pass any significant legislation without Todd Akin in the Senate. Republican control of the senate, which Missouri voters desire by a 7-point plurality in the PPP poll, will likely be thwarted by a McCaskill win.

Even with Paul Ryan as vice-president to break senate ties, Republicans need to overcome the current Democrat 3-seat lead and the likely loss of the Maine seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. The GOP is on target to take the seats of retiring Democrat senators in deep-red Nebraska and North Dakota and in unseating the Democrat incumbent in Montana. A Republican takeover of the open Democrat-held seat in Wisconsin would be the fourth, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s chances of taking that seat for the GOP are currently rated a tossup. Once promising opportunities for Republicans to take over  Democrat seats in Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Hawaii have faded.

What makes the Missouri contest so pivotal is the senate contest in Massachusetts, a mirror image of Missouri. Incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown is seeking reelection in a Democrat state. Unlike McCaskill, he actually remains popular with his state’s voters, who approve of his job performance by a 49%-42% margin. according to PPP. Brown’s Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, represents the far left fringe of the Democratic party. She has been caught fraudulently gaining employment and promotions with phony claims of Native American ancestry (giving rise to her derisive nickname, Fauxcahontas),  and practiced law illegally without a license for some 15 years. Voters give her a lower net approval rating (49%-45%) than Brown. However, Massachusetts voters also want Democrat control of the senate by a 52%-35% margin, and they now favor Fauxcahontas over Brown, 50%-44% (52%-47% according to Rasmussen, with undecideds trending Democrat).

Massachusetts voters like Brown and don’t care much for Warren, but they are voting Warren in order to maintain Democrat control of the senate. They have their eyes on the prize, and are voting accordingly.

A Brown loss would require Republicans to take a fifth seat in order to seize senate control. Realistically that fifth seat is Missouri.

Missouri voters need to learn from Massachusetts’ example. If Bay State voters can set aside Professor Warren’s fraudulent abuse of minority quotas, her breach of trust in practicing law without a license and her “out of the mainstream” (even for Massachusetts) liberalism in order to effect their desired partisan control of the U.S. Senate, certainly Missouri voters can and should set aside Akin’s poorly communicated views on abortion to accomplish the desired senate control.

Get real, Missouri. You can’t realistically free the nation from Obamacare or unshackle our job creators without Todd Akin in the senate. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Catholics for Choice manipulates birth control data

The abortion rights group Catholics for Choice published an ad this week online and in major newspapers (and also the St. Louis Post Dispatch) on the current controversy over President Obama’s proposal to require religious institutions to provide free contraception for their employees even if doing so violated the institutions’ fundamental religious tenets. The ad (reproduced below left) sought to isolate the Roman Catholic bishops who opposed the move by characterizing their position as overwhelmingly opposed by rank and file Catholics.

Deceptive ad by Catholics for ChoiceThe ad is deceptive and dishonest on a number of fronts. The ad illustrates 98% support for birth control in general, but uses bishop symbols to characterize the other 2%, in a deliberate attempt to confuse readers into thinking that only 2% support the bishops’ opposition to Obama’s plan. The claim is based on undocumented claims by a Planned Parenthood affiliate that 98% of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives. Having used birth control (even once) any time in a woman’s life is not the same as favoring it today, and is a far cry from thrusting the policy down the throat of a religion or organization that opposes the practice on principle.

In contrast, a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that only 49% of Americans (52% of Catholics) believe that religiously affiliated colleges and hospitals should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost (i.e., the Obama position), with 46% (not 2%) opposed. However, a majority of Catholic voters (52% to 45%) oppose the policy. In addition, the same poll found broad support to exempt religious institutions from Obama’s policy. In that context, only 36% of Americans say that churches should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception or birth control at no cost, with 57% (including 59% of Catholics and 68% of Catholic voters) opposed (i.e., favoring religious exemption).

A poll commissioned by Administration cheerleaders CBS and the New York Times predictably showed greater support for the President’s policy, but nowhere near the 98-2 split touted by the rogue Catholic ad. The Times reported 59% support for requiring the health insurance plans of religiously affiliated employers to cover the cost of birth control, and did not bother to mention the companion figure for opposition. As one would naturally expect for a result-oriented push poll such as this, it did not pose the alternative question focusing on religious exemption. The CBS/NYT poll tracked Catholic respondents separately (with a 7 point margin of error), but the Times did not reveal those numbers.

The focus on birth control instead of abortion is part of Campaign Obama’s strategy to shift attention away from abortion (where Obama is at odds with most Americans) to the straw man of birth control, which has greater support (h/t Dick Morris). In lock step with Democrat talking points and strategy, Catholics for Choice frames the issue as support vs. opposition for birth control instead of the real issue, support or opposition to religious freedom.

Beyond the deceptive use of the data, Catholics for Choice went for more sinister subliminal messages. The ad contrasts 98 icons of women against 2 icons of a bishop’s hat. The intended inaccurate impression was to pit the Catholic bishops against Catholic women and to infer that the only people opposing the birth control policy are Catholic bishops. Both of those impressions are blatantly untrue.

Furthermore, the ad conveys another impression that inadvertently exposes the group’s underlying attitude: Men (or at least lay men) don’t count. The ad divides the 100% universe solely between women and bishops. Other men just don’t matter.

The civil rights of Tiller the Killer – and his killer

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Pro-lifers like myself get no satisfaction from Sunday’s cold-blooded murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller, widely known in Kansas political circles as “Tiller the Killer.” While we are pleased that he will never kill again, we would have preferred a change of heart on his part, or his death or disability by natural causes.

Virtually all anti-abortion groups have reacted the same way, expressing sorrow for the death and condemning the vigilante act. A life is a life, whether it’s an unborn fetus or an adult provider of state-sanctioned genocide.

The sorrow expressed by Tiller’s supporters is really more worthy of surprise. After all, wouldn’t those folks appreciate the logic of Tiller’s murder merely being a 274th trimester abortion?

In this country, and in the conservative community in particular, we are a nation governed by laws, not rulers. We fully understand that “vigilante justice” is an oxymoron. We neither condone nor tolerate the arrogance of a single self-appointed person (or group) taking it upon himself to serve as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. It was wrong when jailhouse vigilantes violently ended the life of convicted serial child-killer Jeffrey Dahmer a number of years ago, and Tiller’s death is entitled to the same mourning that was accorded to Dahmer’s.

While we pro-lifers regarded Tiller’s abortions, especially his gruesome partial-birth abortions, as murder, we also recognized Tiller’s right to be held to justice by our nation’s courts under our nation’s laws. Tiller had availed himself of those rights, and had prevailed. Our only recourse was to be disappointed, even outraged, by the results, such as we were with the acquittal of O.J. Simpson. While Tiller may have escaped secular punishment, he is probably experiencing the judgment of the Lord at this very moment.

We recognize that secular punishment can only be applied to violations of secular law as it is written at the time of the act, and that an accused person can only be held to account for violating such a law by evidence legally obtained. We knowingly prefer to let guilty people go free, to avoid the risk that innocent people are wrongfully denied their freedom.

Ironically, our system accords the same rights and protections to vigilantes, the very same rights and protections that they denied to their victims. The main stream media’s rush to judgment against Scott Roeder, the alleged suspect in this case, must not be repeated in our courts. Among the facts that an abortion-friendly press is using to attribute criminal intent to this suspect is that a magazine to which he subscribed (note that he wasn’t an editor or writer, just a someone who once bought a subscription) once suggested possible legal justifications for taking out abortion providers.

Roeder’s presumption of innocence includes a thorough examination into whether he was legally accountable when he committed the crime. Many of our nation’s most heinous crimes go unpunished because the perpetrator lacked the mental capacity to understand that what he did was wrong. Let’s face it, what sane person would do such a thing?

Let cooler heads prevail. If Roeder was competent to commit the crime –  and is competent now to stand trial, let the prosecution proceed. Introduce all of the relevant evidence that was legally acquired. And if a jury is convinced of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Roeder should stand convicted. And if Kansas allows capital punishement (I don’t know whether it does or not), the jury should decide whether Roeder’s acts met the requirements for the ultimate punishment. And if the death penalty is imposed, the same souls who regulary protest the execution of other murderers should hold a timely candlelight vigil for Roeder.