Skip to comments.Why Democrats Change the Subject (Partial-birth Abortion; Estrada)
Posted on 03/16/2003 9:58:03 AM PST by RAT Patrol
Why they change the subject
Denver Post Columnist
Sunday, March 16, 2003 - The U.S. Senate spent much of the last week debating partial-birth abortion and the Miguel Estrada nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
While these are starkly different subjects, a common theme was easily spotted in the Senate debates.
Most Republicans - who support a ban on partial-birth abortions and who back President Bush's judicial nominee - tried to focus on the central matters at hand. Democrats, in contrast, generally used all of their considerable oratorical skills to simply change the subject.
Why, one might ask, does this matter? Isn't it the clash of ideas that is important, rather than the style of presentation?
In this age of mass media, style may just be more important than substance. Attention spans are short and a simple argument is almost always more alluring than a complex one. Democrats always know this, while Republicans either don't get it or, more likely, just refuse to change - especiallly when a clever slogan (such as "a woman's right to choose") obsures any other concerns.
Last week, C-SPAN viewers had dozens of opportunities to compare the style of the two political parties.
On the issue of partial-birth abortion, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., delivered a sober lecture on the procedure itself. He carefully described the procedure and insisted that the pending bill would not preclude other types of abortions. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., then invited anyone to come forward with a case in which partial-birth abortion was "medically necessary."
In short, Frist and Santorum and other speakers dealt directly with the uncomfortable aspect of the Senate measure.
In response, Democrats more often than not discussed almost anything except the procedure. An amendment was submitted by Democratic sponsors that addressed a wide range of concerns only vaguely related to the proposed ban. Its backers trotted out a laundry list of things relating to women: funds for contraception, funds for insurance, funds for prenatal care and even emergency-room requirements for victims of rape. Republicans were taunted with: "If you care so much about children and about life, why not fund some of these programs?" The amendment had no prayer of passage because, as a departure from the budget process, it required 60 favorable votes. It got 48. Still, many news accounts emphasized the amendment rather than the bill - which, by the way, eventually passed the Senate 64-33.
Something of this same kind of drama played out in the case of Miguel Estrada's nomination to the appellate court.
Republicans hammered away at the fact that Democrats are going to unprecedented lengths to block his confirmation. Democrats, again more often than not, sought to change the subject. Instead of discussing why the party is willing to use a filibuster against a circuit-court nominee, they talked about prior bad acts by Republicans or just played dumb.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., went into a rant about the deliberations of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Kennedy pointed out that at several early sessions it looked like the Senate and not the president might be given the power to appoint judges. The senator then suggested that the power of the Senate was meant to be very great and the power of the president very small.
The U.S. Constitution, as adopted, gives the appointive power to the president and allows the Senate to vote either its approval or disapproval.
The key word here is "vote." The Senate has the power to vote Estrada up or down - but what Democrats are doing instead is denying him a vote through filibuster.
While it may be quite futile to call upon the Democratic Party to forsake a technique that, quite frankly, continues to serve them well, it might be hoped that more Americans will pay attention. That might force improvements - and it isn't hard to imagine what they might be.
Al Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a member of the Denver Post editorial board.
All contents Copyright 2003 The Denver Post or other copyright holders. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed for any commercial purpose.
You could tell that she wanted to play the "don't talk to a girl like that" card that she played on Lazio. That's one of her BIG flaws. She got away with it because of the media mongers.
It was given to the President because he did indeed represent ALL the states.
If the Hillary RAT-tree falls in the Senate but the media doesn't allow the public to hear it, did it really happen?
>>The senator then suggested that the power of the Senate was meant to be very great and the power of the president very small.<<
>>I ask, 'how did we reach the sad state when a judicial fiat by the SCOTUS places pursuit of 'happiness' before Liberty and LIFE?'<<
Do Laws and Standards Evolve? Douglas W. Phillips, Esq. Holmes and his contemporaries laid the foundation for legalized abortion, no-fault divorce, the legalization of homosexuality, and the rejection of the Framers' vision for Constitutional interpretation. Today, most courts have embraced an evolving standard for Constitutional interpretation, rejecting the notion that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of the meanings intended by the Framers
WallBuilders | Resources | Evolution and the Law:"A Death ... Perhaps the first individual successfully to champion this belief was Christopher Columbus Langdell (1826-1906), dean of the Harvard Law School. Langdell reasoned that since man evolved, then his laws must also evolve; and deciding that judges should guide the evolution of the Constitution, Langdell introduced the case law study method under which students would study the wording of judges decisions rather than the wording of the Constitution >>
>>'Does America have the goodness to repudiate this horrific topsey turvey abomination to our founding principles?' <<
Judicial Monopoly Over the Constitution:Jefferson's View The President can refuse to enforce court orders he believes in conflict with the Constitution. (The courts have no enforcement machinery, i. e., prosecuting attorneys, police, armies, prisons, or electric chairs, of their own.) As Andrew Jackson is alleged to have said, "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."
Congress, the Court, and the Constitution(first excerpt) why must the Court rather than the Congress be the states' defender?
Congress, the Court, and the Constitution (2nd & 3rd excerpt) If one has trouble imagining judicial review so confined in its scope, it is probably because the modern American mind, conditioned by at least a half-century of judicial supremacy, can hardly help but regard the judicial branch as a co-equal partner in the public policy making process. But it was doubtless to prevent such participation by judges in policy-making that the Founders circumscribed the jurisdiction and power of courts so narrowly in the first place.
Lincoln on Judicial Despotism I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
>>don't talk to a girl like that<<
Dee Dee Myers: Hillary's a B - - - h Once Hillary even tried to kick an Arkansas state trooper bodyguard who got in her way, according to Clinton biographer Christopher Andersen.
And one-time White House FBI agent Gary Aldrich reported in 1996 that junior White House staffers were ordered not to make eye contact with the first lady lest they anger her.
But during her New York senate campaign, the media never touched on these and dozens of other accounts about Mrs. Clinton's temper, portraying her instead as a warm and genuinely likeable personality.
The Hillary Project - AmeriPAC A brief look at the history of Hillary Clinton will confirm what columnist Camille Paglia said in a recent article in Womens Quarterly: "That woman should not be anywhere near our government . . . That woman is an authoritarian who should be kept out of government. Shes a tyrant who thinks she knows whats best for the people. Shes Orwellian in her attitude toward the rest of humanity." One should not, and need not, judge her by her husbands actions she is a corrupt radical in her own right.
The government isn't a charitable organization, and it has no obligation to give things to people as socialists believe. Democrats are fond of funding because it empowers them, so why bother talking about something else like the horrific partial birth procedure?
THE SETTLED LAW DOCTRINE
ROE V. WADE
By: Dave Franklin
Few GOP candidates can afford to alienate pro-life voters, since that base of support is needed to win elections. If the Bushes had campaigned on a "pro-choice" position, neither would have been elected. The same holds for most of the Republicans in the Senate, and a majority of GOP Representatives in the House. So political news about abortion is good for the party of Lincoln, since it can keep its pro-life base and a core issue under debate for decades to come.
It would be nice to believe that the Republicans who control both houses of Congress and the White House really plan to discard Roe v. Wade. The impact of that decision on American society is echoed in everything from the demise of Social Security to a labor shortage that is being filled by illegal immigrants (doing jobs that we are told no Americans want). Dark changes plainly rooted in abortion have shifted how Americans relate to each other, and that cannot be ignored. There are important factors to consider if the GOP is accepted as pro-life.
Republicans have appointed seven out of the nine Justices on the United States Supreme Court. In 2000, when the court considered Nebraska's ban on partial birth abortion, three of the GOP-appointed judges joined two Democrats in overturning that state's law. There is no reason to believe the Supreme Court will do otherwise if it considers 2003's newest proposed federal ban on killing a baby and making his or her tiny body's last experience in life a pair of scissors jammed in the back of the neck.
Congress may adopt a partial birth ban, and President Bush might sign it. Voters could well reward them for it. But the same judges on the Supreme Court may likely overturn a new ban on partial-birth abortion, just as they did in 2000. For three GOP-appointed judges, they were simply keeping a long-held tradition.
Forgotten by most of America's pro-life voters, who constitute the majority, Republican Richard Nixon's appointee to the Supreme Court wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. Harry Blackmun got the innocent blood of unborn millions on his hands in 1973. And Democrat John F. Kennedy's appointee, Byron White, wrote the dissenting opinion that warned America about the perils of raw judicial tyranny. Roe overturned state laws adopted against abortion by those elected to represent the American people.
Still, many voters view the GOP as a friend of the unborn. And new debates over a nominee to the federal bench could reveal the circuit that will amplify that position.
Miguel Estrada has been nominated by the President to serve on the Federal Court of Appeals for Washington, DC. That court is only inferior to the Supreme Court of the United States, and many of the justices who serve on it are later appointed to America's highest bench. Christians all over America are being urged by leaders to rally behind Miguel Estrada against Democratic opposition to his confirmation in the Senate.
They are telling us that President Bush's nominee is pro-life, that he believes abortion is horrible, and that we have nothing to worry about except Democrats. But when asked by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) whether he sees Roe v. Wade as settled law, Estrada answered, "I believe so."
Miguel Estrada didn't rebut Senator Feinstein by telling her the Roe v. Wade case was decided on a ruse. He didn't remind Senators that the claimant in Roe has since admitted the court was misled when her lawyers asserted that she had been pregnant because of rape, something that Norma McCorvey has since refuted. Estrada didn't respond by saying that abortion has killed one out of every three Americans between the ages of a moment and thirty years.
During a September 26, 2002 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee in which Miguel Estrada gave testimony, Senator Feinstein asked him if he agreed with her that the Constitution protects abortion as a "right to privacy". Estrada answered, "The Supreme Court has so held and I have no view of any nature whatsoever, whether it be legal, philosophical, moral, or any other type of view that would keep me from applying that case law faithfully."
When queried further by the California Democrat about Roe v. Wade, Miguel Estrada said, "It is the law as it was subsequently refined by the Casey case, and I will follow it." There was no outrage expressed in pro-life America when the would-be Federal Judge Estrada agreed with Senator Diane Feinstein that Roe v. Wade is "settled law". As he coldly said, "I believe so."
Those saying he is a jurist who keeps his views on abortion under the radar augment Miguel Estrada's stellar personal record. He is alleged to have told associates of the National Organization of Women (NOW) that he believes abortion is murder. Back channels in Washington say that Estrada's point was issued at a victory luncheon when NOW was celebrating one of the Supreme Court's decisions in 1994.
President Bush's nominee, who is being lauded as the standard bearer for judicial appointments facing opposition by the abortion party, had filed a "friend of the court" brief on behalf of NOW against Joe Scheidler in the Supreme Court. Scheidler is a leader of abortion clinic protests, and he only recently won his case after seventeen years of litigation that included Estrada's successful brief against him. The court ruled for NOW in 1994, and it agreed with Estrada's assertion that abortion clinic protesters could legally be considered "racketeers", even if they didn't have a financial motive.
One might wonder how conservative activists who recount Estrada's denouncement of abortion at the NOW luncheon could have heard of it, or why a future Bush nominee would be lunching with NOW in the first place, if these stories are true. But they certainly support the not-so-soft whisper campaign in Washington claiming Miguel Estrada is covertly pro-life.
Estrada was working under Janet Reno in the Clinton administration's Justice Department at the time he filed as "amicus curiae" on behalf of NOW in the Supreme Court. The nominee of a self-described pro-life President had worked in the Clinton administration, and he had notably crafted a legal brief that undermined the defense of pro-life protesters facing an onslaught of litigation by feminists.
The episode in committee along with the NOW case might make us think support for this nominee would be shallow among those who believe abortion is murder. But the majority of pro-life American voters have allowed themselves to slide deeply into a pit of deception. Put the whisper campaigns and blind-faith loyalty to a Republican nominee aside. Consider the whole picture. It is clearer than supporters of Estrada will admit.
We have, as the President's man for a fight with Democrats in the newly re-occupied Republican controlled Senate, a government lawyer who worked under Janet Reno. He filed a legal brief for NOW claiming laws designed for prosecution of the Mafia could be used to go after abortion clinic protesters. And he has told the United States Senate that he believes Roe v. Wade is "settled law".
Today Miguel Estrada is viewed in Republican circles as a leader in the battle over President Bush's judicial nominations. But the GOP clearly has some questions to answer. Party leaders might respond predictably, if only they were being asked instead of applauded.
An explanation did come from Ken Starr, the faithful Republican who failed to convince a GOP-controlled Senate to remove the impeached President, William Jefferson Clinton, even though it was later proven that Clinton misled a court. Starr was a guest on Sam Donaldson's "Live in America" talk-radio program when the former judge and Solicitor General revealed a latest and most clever misconception in the fight for the unborn.
Donaldson asked Starr about abortion and Roe v. Wade. Ken Starr told the audience that he is "pro-life" and that he believed Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided. He then went on to describe how Roe v. Wade was "settled law" and that nothing short of a Constitutional Amendment could reverse it. The Republican strategy of being pro-life without opposing abortion had been conceived, and untold millions of unborn babies could be aborted as a result.
Miguel Estrada emphatically echoes this latest compromise. Rumors hold that if you ask him, he'll tell you he believes abortion is murder. But Estrada could certainly go on about how Roe v. Wade has been decided, as he acknowledged to the Senate. Politicians all over America can adopt this scheme saying they are pro-life, and that abortion-on-demand must remain lawful practice throughout the country.
It is a greasy office-seeker's dream.
Voters can rant on and on about millions of unborn babies killed in the abortion mills every year. They can yell about the impact on a country that has destroyed one-third of its youngest and most vibrant citizens. Americans can suffer their losses in mortal ruin of abortion without doing anything to stop it. Roe v. Wade is "established law", and thousands of silent screams will go unheard each day in abortion clinics because the matter has been settled, according to the latest word, just as Dred Scott v. Stanford "settled" questions about slavery 146 years ago.
President Bush, Miguel Estrada, and Ken Starr all describe themselves as "pro-life" like most Republicans, surely like the party's grassroots voters. Yet the lawyers among them agree that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, that abortion on demand is rightly legal. They have told us there is nothing to be done about it. And they may be correct, unless America reverses this political deception.
Dave Franklin is a writer for the American Reformation Project and USA Daily . He works in telecommunications and has over ten years of experience as a technology consultant for government agencies, including the Department of State and the Joint Staff. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
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