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March 01, 2008

Comments

Wes Ellis

Dr. Craig Keen says, "apocalyptic literature is resistance literature." It is written to empower and give hope to oppressed people to fear not and to stand up against their adversaries, though their heads will probably be bashed in once they do it. Yes, literature of hope!

Derek Rishmawy

Ok, so sorry that this comment has nothing to do with the post but I came across this article on Obama and it pointed out something I had never heard before and shocked and disturbed me and I thought you might want to know.

So, I'm ok with the fact that Obama is Pro-Choice. Fine. He's a Democrat. I'm even understanding of his willingness to vote against banning one of the grossest medical procedures I've ever heard, "Partial-birth abortion", because of possible legal implications. Alright, I understand. But this one, to me, is beyond the pale. This is a quote about Obama's opposition to a bill forbidding the killing of babies who survive abortions:

"That bill was the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. During the partial-birth abortion debate, Congress heard testimony about babies that had survived attempted late-term abortions. Nurses testified that these preterm living, breathing babies were being thrown into medical waste bins to die or being "terminated" OUTSIDE the womb. With the baby now COMPLETELY SEPARATED from the mother, it was impossible to argue that the health or life of the mother was in jeopardy by giving her baby appropriate medical treatment.

The act simply prohibited the killing of a baby BORN ALIVE. To address the concerns of pro-choice lawmakers, the bill included language that said nothing "shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand or contract any legal status or legal right" of the baby. In other words, the bill wasn't intruding on Roe v. Wade.

Who would oppose a bill that said you couldn't kill a baby who was born? Not Kennedy, Boxer or Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not even the hard-core National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Obama, however, is another story. The year after the Born Alive Infants Protection Act became federal law in 2002, identical language was considered in a committee of the Illinois Senate. It was defeated with the committee's chairman, Obama, leading the opposition.

Let's be clear about what Obama did, once in 2003 and twice before that. He effectively voted for infanticide. He voted to allow doctors to deny medically appropriate treatment or, worse yet, actively kill a completely delivered living baby...

How could someone possibly justify such a vote? In March 2001, Obama was the sole speaker in opposition to the bill on the floor of the Illinois Senate. He said: "We're saying they are persons entitled to the kinds of protections provided to a child, a 9-month child delivered to term. I mean, it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal-protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child." So according to Obama, "they," babies who survive abortions or any other preterm newborns, should be permitted to be killed because giving legal protection to preterm newborns would have the effect of banning all abortions."

Listen, I know that abortion is one of those political footballs that some Christians are sick of hearing about and that there are bigger issues like poverty and all that, (even though over a million children are killed in the U.S. every year, which seems like a big deal to me), but this is outrageous. Defending the killing of survived abortions is grossly disturbing.

Here's the link to the article:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/16066877.html

Mike

I read the article and I have to admit that the impression I was left with was that the piece was based more on interpretation than factuality. When I read articles like that one, no matter who they are written about - Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal - I usually wait to weight the truthfulness until there is some corroboration.

What I found unusual about the piece is that Rick Santorum, who is a politician and not a journalist, offers no backup [via sources or citation] for any of his claims. Thus there appears to be no way of validating the veracity of what he is purporting to be true. As I said before, the tenor of the piece [and those like it] is one of opinion and interpretation. This is how Santorum pieces together what he believes to be true. Charging Obama with infanticide is not only w=quite extreme, but also a crime, which to my knowledge no one has indicted Obama with.

I'm also left with another question. If this were true, why has no other conservative news outlet picked up on it? If this were true, why is it just now being brought to light?

All this sounds just a bit odd and off frankly.

I hope this is not taken as a mere blind defense of Obama. I just know, even from personal experience, how people can hear what they want to hear and then broadcast it as truth. I believe that the same thing perhaps took place with the NY Times piece on the relationship between John McCain and a female lobbyist. The timing is questionable and the reporting is dubious at best.

Derek Rishmawy

No worries about sounding like a knee-jerk defender. You're actually one of the few Obama supporters I talk to who seems to be able to articulate something in the way of a reasoned position in why you're supporting him. I respect that.

Yeah, the fact that its Santorum made me stop for a minute too, but the thing is that I just can't imagine Santorum straight up making it up. Also, the "not hearning it anywhere else" thing is interesting in that people are just now starting to come out with stuff on him. This is the first time he's really starting to face scrutiny because he, in actuality, hasn't really had to deal with much of it. I think you'll be finding more and more things coming out now that he's the presumptive nominee, such as the fact that one of his aides told the Canadian Ambassador to the US to ignore Obama's comments about NAFTA since they were mostly just campaign talk.

Anyways, I will go diggin a bit more on that story though.

Mike

I'm with you. I don't think Santorum is "making it all up." I do worry that what he has done is take a page from the "politics of fear" approach, which has been espoused pretty heavily on conservative news outlets, such as Fox News, as a viable avenue of political discourse. I think the message of fear being sent about Obama's middle name being "Hussein" and that he is some secretive Muslim is another example of this politics of fear. Anyone who engages in such political discourse, on either side [and it happens on both sides of the aisle], is going to see it come back to haunt them. I think the American people are tired of it all.

I'd love to see an election process founded on substantive dialogue on the issues issues, rather than ad hominem attacks and fear mongering. I think when the parties rely on the latter, they underestimate the American people.

Derek Rishmawy

Actually here's an article on the same subject and if you Google it, you'll find that several conservatives have raised the issue but it was a few years ago and so its kind of been forgotten:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/TerenceJeffrey/2008/01/16/more_on_obama_and_babies_born_alive

A note, you have to read past the first paragraph and a half as its a correction article, which if you only read the first little part might be misleading. In it, it states that Obama actually voted against a bill like that would protect these already born babies like 3 times. The language in the State level bill is virtually identical to that of the Federal one and the Federal one passed 98-0 in the House.

Derek Rishmawy

Yeah, I actually just got into it with a guy on myspace because he was posting some of that stuff about Obama that he was Muslim, wouldn't pledge allegiance and all kinds of stuff. I emailed him that fat quote that Obama had in his interview with Christianity Today where he flat out says, "I believe in the saving redemptive power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ." The guy ended up running a retraction of his bulletin.

So, yeah, I don't like people lying about him. I do think that he's really wrong on this issue though. Oh, just in case you didn't see, I posted a link to another article in my other comment above. Here it is:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/TerenceJeffrey/2008/01/16/more_on_obama_and_babies_born_alive

Eric Wakeling

I was going to comment on this post and then I saw the Obama discussion. This is not regarding that discussion - although it was interesting and should be posted as a post.

My comment was - Mike, you are all smart and stuff now. I can't even understand your blog. :)

Mike

UPDATE: Just found this as I was reading Andrew Sullivan's blog. Apparently the story claiming that Obama is backing the "killing of live infants" is pretty much not true. This is the response of a Tribune writer, sent to Sullivan via email:

My name is on the federal "born-alive" infants protection act; it footnotes my Tribune stories that detailed Jill Stanek's allegations. I'm not at all convinced that this issue shows Obama is an absolutist on abortion. A few facts:

A.) There was no documentation of anything to back up the "crimes against humanity" claim. The hospital where Stanek worked did induced labor abortions, but there was no evidence that the hospital killed the pre-viable fetuses after they were outside the womb. A state investigation found no violations by the hospital.

B.) The Illinois "born alive" legislation was much different than the federal BAIPA, and would have given parents or public guardians the right to sue a hospital that performed induced labor abortions. One of the bills would have required two physicians to be present for many induced labor abortions, restricting the ability to use that common abortion method. Moreover, Illinois already had laws requiring doctors to give appropriate medical care to viable, live infants. For all of these reasons, the legislation that Obama opposed was also opposed by the Illinois Medical Society. Jim Geraghty has a reasonable run-down here.

Reasonable people can disagree, but Obama had a valid claim that there was no need for additional laws on this. At a minimum, there was no good reason to think that anyone had, as your reader claims, "killed babies" after they were born.

As I made mention before, Santorum needs to be very careful about what he puts in print and how he goes about it. Utilizing the "politics of fear" rhetoric is not only demeaning to the audience, but also serves very little purpose in public discourse.

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