Sunday, November 19, 2006

Abortion and Gay Marriage

Not excatly Illinois but these are issues that impact rebuilding the GOP in this State.

A while back, Lexington in the Economist wrote A heretical proposal why overturning Roe v Wade could be good for Democrats.

The main reason, alas, why Democrats will stick by Roe is simply because it is a totem in the culture wars. Why should pro-choice forces surrender any ground? That argument makes sense if you want to defend “choice” right into the ninth month, as some zealots do. But for most Democrats who merely want to keep abortion legal under most circumstances, that right would be more secure if it carried democratic legitimacy.

Embracing the democratic process would send a powerful signal that the Party of the People has rediscovered its faith in the people. Relying on judges to advance the liberal agenda allowed conservatives to seize the mantle of populism. Roe has given Republicans a free ride: they can claim to oppose abortion in the comfortable knowledge that it will never be banned. But imagine if Roe were overturned. How many Republicans would vote for a ban on abortion that only one in five Americans support? The conservative coalition would be split asunder.
Democrats still clinging to the totems when it comes to abortion, and (and with same sex marriage in Mass where they're fighting putting it on the ballot), but Barone blog explains how the South Dakota vote (prompeted I'd wager by having Alito and Roberts on the court) has removed abortion as a litmus test issue,
Prolifers should learn from South Dakota that they aren't going to be able to ban abortion entirely, at least not in any but a few small places. Prochoicers should be noticing that the restrictions that legislatures have been placing on abortion do not prevent abortions from being generally and widely available. Voters even in South Dakota have shown themselves unwilling to agree with prolifers that abortion is morally entirely unacceptable. But voters who have supported restrictions on abortion have shown themselves unwilling to agree with those prochoicers who consider the provision of abortion an unalloyed moral good. The status quo is not acceptable to the rigorous purists among us, and is probably not entirely congenial to most of us. But it seems to be acceptable to the great majority. And so it may be that the abortion issue will be less of a motive force, on both sides, in our politics.
The Republican-Conservative consensus on the social issues should on Scalia's comment,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia railed against the era of the "judge-moralist," saying judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions such as abortion and gay marriage.
For me, that's the conservative principle worth fighting for. The lesson for the GOP in Illinois is taking these issues to the voters means first of all not demonizing the opponents and next realizing when the majority decides moral issues; we're going to get middling-resolutions. They may not be particularly moral resolution but unless you're arguing putting these decisions back into the hands of judges, it's going to be the best you can get.

I'd stick with Justice Scalia and put my trust in the people of Illinois.

8 comments:

Levois 4:41 PM  

Great article. Abortion should be put up to a vote instead of being left up to the judiciary.

zap! 5:11 PM  

You're right.

If you look at those people up for election that endorsed the group trying to put Marriage "Protection" on the ballot, there were very few wins. There were even some Republicans who outright lost their seats like Terry Parke. An overwhelming majority lost in the primary elections.

The voters in Illinois are not going to vote for people that they see as extremists. These issues are a third rail issues. The Illinois GOP would best learn to handle them with care.

Pat Hickey 8:03 AM  

Bill,

May you and your family enjoy a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Pat Hickey

Bill Baar 8:13 AM  

Same to you Pat... and every other reader here. This is my favorite holiday.

Larry Horse 8:42 AM  

I agree that abortion beyond life, health, rape, and incest should be left up to the states, but Scalia is wrong in his analysis by equating people with their legislatures. I believe that he voted correctly in Kelo v. New London, where he said that states could not use eminent domain to seize property solely for economic development, but if he applied his logic in your quote, then he would have voted the opposite way, since this question should be left up to legislatures, who would be given the right to violate their citizen's right of property.

There is a difference between individual citizens and their elected governments, and courts since Marbury v. Madison have overturned the actions of elected governemnts when they were seen as violating rights of individual citizens.

Sure, abortion may be seen as more moral to some than property rights (not me personally as I view such property seizures as allowed by Kelo v. New London as eminently morally wrong), but that is not why the abortion issue came before the court. It came before the court because it was an issue of the rights of elected governments versus the rights of individual citizens. I agree that Roe v. Wade went way to far (although the Supreme Court did much to address this overreach in Casey), but Scalia's comment is more puffery than substance.

Lovie's Leather 1:57 PM  

No, Larry Horse. The Constitution is says... "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." If you read what this really means and not what New London wants it to mean, then the government cannot take private property away for private use. Only for public use. So basically, it is the job of the federal government to protect private property. But abortion and gay-marriage aren't in the constitution... so... "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." So it is the States and the people who control abortion and gay marriage, not the federal government.

Larry Horse 2:59 PM  

Why are "judge-moralists" better able to decifer what "public use" than the "Joe Sixpacks" who elected the government of New London?


I agree with you about Kelo, abortion, and gay marriage, but Scalia's idea that there are judge-moralist elitists who only make decisions because they think they are smarter than joe sixpacks is complete bunk.

Lovie's Leather 12:25 AM  

Well, I think it is fairly obvious that elites think they are smarter than everyone else... that is what makes them elites. I think anyone that wants to put too much power into the hands of government usually believes they are smarter than everyone else. I don't care if it is because of their "morals" or because they like gov't power... they still think what they offer is more intellegent than the average "Joe Sixpack." This is just my personal experience, but the more contact I have with elected officials, the more I think they lack intellegence. I know I am generalizing. But I feel that the majority of people might "have a good heart" and really want to help but are completely incapable of handling any adult responsibility. But that is just my experience....

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