Monday, April 14, 2008

So Much Wrong . .

. . it makes my brain hurt
GRANTHAM, Pa. — A candidate forum devoted to issues of faith and justice became another flash point for Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton to spar in their intensifying nominating fight, with the candidates exchanging frosty glances Sunday night as their paths briefly crossed on stage.

Y'know what? Without even seeing photos, I'm calling bullshit. It wasn't a joint photo op, & neither Senator probably anticipated this meeting. Shame on the reporter - and since the byline reads John Broder, you have to wonder if there's a relation to the Broder who we all know and despise.
Mrs. Clinton mentioned the pope’s impending visit and praised his commitment to health and poverty issues around the world. In response to a question about when life began, Mrs. Clinton replied, “I believe that the potential for life begins at conception.”

Pander much, Senator?
Mr. Obama was forced to address those comments, repudiating Mr. Wright’s most radical views while saying he still felt a strong bond to the man who helped bring him to his Christian faith.

“There’s been this notion that he was, by various terms, my spiritual adviser or my spiritual mentor,” Mr. Obama said. “You know, he’s been my pastor.” He called some of Mr. Wright’s comments “deeply offensive and are contrary to what I believe.”

It's not throwing him under the bus. Really.

I'm quitting now before I lose my breakfast.


idiosynchronic said...

Mrs. Clinton comfortably adopted the language of a Christian believer in addressing a question about how faith guides her in life. “You know, I have, ever since I’ve been a little girl, felt the presence of God in my life," she said. "And it has been a gift of grace that has, for me, been incredibly sustaining."

She said she had felt God’s grace as she faced unfaithfulness in her marriage as well as in more uplifting moments in her life. “It didn’t have to be a hard time,” she said. “You know, it could be taking a walk in the woods. It could be watching a sunset.”

Both candidates were asked whether they believed God was informing their approach to politics or somehow blessing their candidacies.

“Well,” Mrs. Clinton said, smiling and pausing, “ I could be glib and say we’ll find out, but I — I don’t presume anything about God.”

And this is just crap. "I could be glib . . " but I just blew 2 graphs of glib smoke up your collective arses and it obviously satisfies America's need for shallow spiritual displays, but even I know claiming God's blessings in this day is one step too far. You'd have to be Dubya to publically utter such arrogance again.

iamcoyote said...

So, when do we start a third party? I'm done with these two.

snark said...

Why is it that only one Democrat has made it into the White House since Jimmy Carter?

iamcoyote said...

I can see why. At least the right is up front with their hate. The dems pretend not to be equally assholish, and it hasn't done anything but make voters go for the real asshole. I see no reason to vote for the Dems this november. Maybe my local ones, but I'm prolly gonna leave the president blank. Or write in Edwards. That shark person filling up TLC's posts is an example of what we can expect - making fun of women and laughing at a rape victim? Sorry. But I'm not voting for his party. There's no place for me.

Seven of Six said...

It was evident with Campbell Brown's body language last night that she truly is scared of the black man.

snark said...

Clinton, asked whether she believed life begins at conception, replied that "the potential for life begins at conception," adding that the Methodist church, her denomination, had "struggled with this issue."

It's kind of hard to dispute what she said. It's factually true. Until the fertilized egg is successfully implanted in the uterine wall (several days later)there is only potential for life. There's really no way to get accurate statistics on how many fertilized eggs wind up simply being expelled from a woman's body as part of her menstruation because they failed to implant in the uterus. What's "the church's" position on those souls? I think the Catholic Church gives them a free pass but I think it's a recent development.

But give Clinton some credit because she did continue her remarks by reiterating her position on the legality of abortion.

"...And as some of you've heard me discuss before, I think abortion should remain legal -- but it needs to be safe and rare," she said.

Not much gray area there.

Obama -- who had sparked controversy several weeks ago when he said he would not want to see his daughters "burdened" with an unwanted child

Which is a truly stupid comment in my book.

-- said it was important to "acknowledge that there is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tap down."

It always troubles me when someone who claims to be pro-choice speaks about "the moral dimension" of abortion. Particulary the way Obama did it. Why do pro-choice people need to concern themselves with "the moral dimension" of abortion? Let the anti-choice crowd concern themselves with "the moral dimension". The pro-choice crowd is concerned with the "the woman's legal right to self-determination dimension" of abortion rights. Do the anti-choice people concern themselves with that?

Seven of Six said...

Not going to vote for the Dem nominee coyote?

I think McLame should have been blasted in the Media for not participating!

iamcoyote said...

Hey, I got the flu, SoS. Gimme a break, I hate everyone now, and besides, WA will go for the dem no matter what. Darcy Burner's worth mailing in my ballot for, though.

snark's right about Clinton's comment being true - she said "the potential begins..." which I still might quibble a bit, since we all have the potential to initiate a lifeform. She didn't say "life begins..." which is the sticking point to me, anyhow.

snark's also right - as were all the women who wrote about it that eriposte linked to yesterday, I'd read those posts earlier than that. Obama used a right wing trope that liberals are all freewheeling and carefree about abortion, and that's a meme pro-choicers have been trying to eradicate for years. And yes, it sucks that some women aren't gonna sit back and take it, bringing the question of choice into the picture. Still, what better time to get the ear of the potential president than when he's wantin' my vote? What other time will he listen?

iamcoyote said...

Hey, who put up the Gorilla link? What's that site about?

Seven of Six said...

Hope you feel better coyote!

Off to the folks... doing their taxes.

Seven of Six said...

I put it up.

Lurch was in constant contact with them. They provide up to date, embed reporting from an Iraqi perspective. I think someone from FDL (Siun?) just mentioned that one of the Guides lost their lives.

iamcoyote said...

Whoops, I deleted it. I don't like the term "sand niggers." Sorry.

Seven of Six said...

They put it up as their by-line because it was a term that the American military view them as!

In their book "Cobra II," Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor offer this ugly comment from a senior officer: "The only thing these sand niggers understand is force and I'm about to introduce them to it."

Don't worry I'll put it back up.

Anjha said...

I hope you feel better Coyote. I've been down most of the weekend too, with an apparent "reaction" to a new med. Eating Benadryl like candy sure can knock one out.

The transcript to the "Compassion forum" is worth taking a look at.

I watched the whole thing.

OBAMA: I absolutely think we can find common ground. And it requires a couple of things. Number one, it requires us to acknowledge that there is a moral dimension to abortion, which I think that all too often those of us who are pro-choice have not talked about or tried to tamp down. I think that's a mistake because I think all of us understand that it is a wrenching choice for anybody to think about.

The second thing, once we acknowledge that, is to recognize that people of good will can exist on both sides. That nobody wishes to be placed in a circumstance where they are even confronted with the choice of abortion. How we determine what's right at that moment, I think, people of good will can differ.

And if we can acknowledge that much, then we can certainly agree on the fact that we should be doing everything we can to avoid unwanted pregnancies that might even lead somebody to consider having an abortion.

And we've actually made progress over the last several years in reducing teen pregnancies, for example. And what I have consistently talked about is to take a comprehensive approach where we focus on abstinence, where we are teaching the sacredness of sexuality to our children.

But we also recognize the importance of good medical care for women, that we're also recognizing the importance of age-appropriate education to reduce risks. I do believe that contraception has to be part of that education process.

And if we do those things, then I think that we can reduce abortions and I think we should make sure that adoption is an option for people out there. If we put all of those things in place, then I think we will take some of the edge off the debate.

We're not going to completely resolve it. I mean, there -- you know, at some point, there may just be an irreconcilable difference. And those who are opposed to abortion, I think, should continue to be able to lawfully object and try to change the laws.

OBAMA: Those of us, like myself, who believe that in this difficult situation it is a woman's responsibility and choice to make in consultation with her doctor and her pastor and her family.

I think we will continue to suggest that that's the right legal framework to deal with the issue. But at least we can start focusing on how to move in a better direction than the one we've been in the past.

MEACHAM: Senator, do you personally believe that life begins at conception? And if not, when does it begin?

OBAMA: This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I've said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.

I don't have a problem with Obama talking about a "moral dimension" to abortion because he was speaking about it in two ways that I find accurate.

1. That in order to have a conversation with the anti-choice crowd, in order to be able to come to some place where we can communicate, then this starting point is a good one.

2. Admitting that there is a moral dimension does not mean that we have to tie in religion with it.

Moral does not automatically mean religious.

Morality means ones own value system. I think that it is important to make sure that people understand that there is not a single person who chooses to have an abortion that does not struggle with their decision, who does not search through their own morality in order to come to that decision.

Acknowledging this takes away some of the power of the right wing to claim that people who are pro-choice are immoral. We are not.

As for this whole stupid "compassion forum" I have a big issue with this merging of religion and politics.

And, they were both pandering. Massively.

Anjha said...

Sorry. But I'm not voting for his party. There's no place for me.

Coyote, this despair is exactly what people like SoS and myself have been arguing would happen if we continued this Obama vs. Hillary fight with the massive amount of anti the other candidate.

That it was necessary to argue for your candidate without arguing against the other because it would lead to this "I will not vote for x or y" kind of apathy.

We cannot afford a McCain presidency.

I hope that for you it is just the flu talking. However, for many others this is becoming the truth.

Anjha said...

And here is another clip of Obama talking about abortion and saying that it is the woman's choice - that people cannot make that decision for a woman and that he does not 'presume to know' better than a woman for herself..

snark said...

But why do pro-choice people even need to "find common ground" with anti-choice people?

What exactly is the point of talking about a raproachment between the two sides?

The anti-choice side simply wants abortion outlawed.

What's to talk about?

Seven of Six said...

The anti-choice side simply wants abortion outlawed.

They want more than that. They don't want to consider contraception or in most cases sex education. Only abstinence.

iamcoyote said...

That in order to have a conversation with the anti-choice crowd, in order to be able to come to some place where we can communicate, then this starting point is a good one.

Who says I want to have a conversation with people who don't think I have the right to my own bodily autonomy? Either my body is my own or it's not. Anyone who says it's not is the enemy. Fuck their sensibilities. They want women to be slaves to their body parts. They don't deserve a conversation.

snark said...

Sorry, I liken "finding common ground" with the anti-choice crowd with "finding common ground" with anti-evolutionists. The effort simply confers an increased level of credibility on them with no positive gain coming back the other way.

snark said...

And even introducing the thought of a personal morality into the "conversation" simply cracks open the door. If you're going to concede that there's a moral element how do you possibly come down on the side of terminating a pregnancy without appearing to be immoral?

iamcoyote said...

Exactly. And if the Dems can't even stand on the side of right, because they want to have a "conversation" with the right who stands together against women, they're going to be the ones who lose ground, because the common ground they're looking for is making the whole thing be about the "little babies" and not about the women's right to autonomy. Once you go there, the woman loses.

Seven of Six said...

So no tolerance at all.
Can't even talk them into considering contraception or sex education?

iamcoyote said...

Whiskey Fire linked to this essay about the reawakening of feminism. What do you think?

snark said...

You can talk to them about sex ed or contraception. I certainly don't think either of those conversations need to encompass a discussion about abortion. If you're truly interested in decreasing the incidence of abortion then sex ed and contraception should be your best friend. And their resistance to those two things speaks volumes about why trying to "find common ground" on abortion is so pointless.


Anjha said...

Perhaps you are both right.

I want to think about this for a while before I just start posting shit off the fly.

This rings true to me:

"Either my body is my own or it's not. Anyone who says it's not is the enemy. Fuck their sensibilities. They want women to be slaves to their body parts. They don't deserve a conversation.

but there are some other things I want to think about.

I have historically believed that no man should be making any decisions about abortion, that it is purely a decision for women, and I still believe this. So, why would I even consider a "conversation"?

Because I want to take away any power that the right has to even talk about it. Conceeding something that is obvious to me seems like a way to diffuse their biggest argument. But what you guys say is correct.

So, I want to think about it.

I also want to read Eriposte's post and links.

iamcoyote said...

Sheesh, can't even cut and paste a link - I'm done for.

SoS, if they don't want to use contraception, and they want to keep their children in the dark about how people get pregnant and thus end up with grandchildren at an early age, fine. I have inlaws - good baptists all - whose girl children all and I mean every single one of them, have had at least two babies before age 20, and some of the girls were preggers before they married. One is very conspicuously not married, and is on her fourth. They're spewing out babies that they can't afford to feed and that's their choice. What's to talk about? But when they try to force that decision on me through legislation, they're not having a conversation, they're trying to infringe on my right to autonomy.

Seven of Six said...

I think preventing the pregnancy will help resolve the issue of abortion. Not completely but help.

coyote, We talked about that the other day. That was a great essay.
If this whole primary does nothing else positive at least it might start shining the light on the feminist movement again.

Seven of Six said...

Should read, trying to prevent the pregnancy...

iamcoyote said...

coyote, We talked about that the other day.

We did? My dain is bramaged. I should prolly lie down. I gotta say, that snarkyshark fella in the abortion thread really got my goat. Such unabashed misogyny on the left. Urg.

Seven of Six said...

Yeah, get some rest.

You know I've always supported the right for a woman to decide.

I think the wingers are stupid if they don't want to listen about contraception or sex education.

We have to make sure the laws we have in place don't become weakened and make it worse for women.

iamcoyote said...

Should read, trying to prevent the pregnancy...

The point is, there are certain factions that don't want to prevent the pregnancy because they believe that's the best way to shame girls for having sex, to enslave them in the unwanted role of motherhood, to leave them vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation, (say, getting them to agree to a marriage they might not otherwise want at the moment), or to derail a career and get that woman back into the kitchen and barefoot where she belongs. These same people don't want the issue of abortion to go away, because it's their best tool for getting women to get on board with their woman-hating agenda - everyone loves the "little babies" don't they?

iamcoyote said...

Yeah, I'm gonna lay down. I'm feeling all ranty, obviously. Time for a 'Tussin coma!

snark said...

Hey, where's blanket boy? He's the one who started all this.

snark said...

Reaching back a few weeks to some discussions about Susan Jacoby's book The Age of American Unreason I happened to come across this op-ed she wrote for the Wash Post that prettymuch distills her thesis down to two pages. I guess you could call it the down and dirty synopsis for people who can't be bothered to read an entire book. ;)

Just figured it does more justice to her book than my little snippets.

idiosynchronic said...

Blanket boy has been doing housework and homework. And playing videogames as the wife and child are on vacation. But I need to finish both up as they come back today and I already lazed off for another post.

Anjha said...

I think that you two are more correct than I am. I thought that I was, until I read this:

"Pro-choice "forces" have consistently acknowledged the "wrenching moral issues" that any individual woman with an unplanned pregnancy might face, but we don't acknowledge the question of whether that should be her choice as a wrenching moral issue, because it's not."

That is where I was getting it wrong, not reading it as that. I was reading the former, not the latter. I never took the question away from the woman.

I do not think that law makers should be legislating morality.

As for "having a discussion" - no, I do not have to have a discussion with anti-choice people, I can say fuck you and walk away. But lawmakers do have to communicate, don't they?

My thought was that if you speak about the moral dimension, then you disarm them. You take away their biggest talking point (which already is that pro-choice people are immoral) and you say "yes, it is a moral decision to be made by the woman not the law."

If you disarm them and take that away from them then their only option is to say "we have to save the woman from herself!"

It is difficult for them to get anywhere with that argument.

Then we can say fuck you, leave the woman alone. It is a moral decision to be made by the woman. Our job is to make sure that it is safe and legal and that a woman has all of the options available to her, including access to free, quality child care and prenatal care and medical care, etc.

I get Snark's point about opening the door - and I get Coyote's point about it being a non-starter.

Thanks for giving me the time to walk away and think about this. I believe that the Benadryl hangover is almost gone.