Monday, September 15, 2008

Praise Palin while you can

She brought forth this from Francis Mooney:

About the Palin family, their mutual support and their glowing love for the infant Trig, I thought: THAT'S the village that it takes to raise a child.

From TSO:

"Our mama beats your Obama"

He says he saw it on a Palin supporter's T-shirt. I was hoping he'd invented and copyrighted it so's he could become a millionaire.

From Francis Beckwith:

She's also an Evangelical Christian, which for the left, is worse than being a Weatherman. It is a religion that no one they really know actually practices. This leads to the conclusion that for the Left it is better to practice anonymous sex than to belong to anonymous sects.

I should point out that Dr. Beckwith is an avid McCain supporter, in spite of the latter's lip-smacking eagerness to inflict research carnage on leftover embryos.

And perhaps my favorite, from the Trousered Ape:

From the way that the Leftists are railing
At Gubernatrix Sarah Palin,
It seems like they know
That the Story of O
May not, after all, be plain sailing.

And there is so much more that could be said and has been. What joy there was when this fresh new face came upon the scene of our degraded politics. But - there's always one of those, isn't there? - purely by accident I caught the "social issues" part of her interview with Charles Gibson, or "Charlie", as she liked to call him. Ad nauseum. That was the first red flag. Why was she trying to ingratiate herself with a condescending, harumphing old fart who looked the whole time as if his large intestine were building a brick? Why didn't she ask him if he intended not to smile during the entire interview? Is there some journalistic rule against it? Or does the rule only kick in when your interviewee is some rifle-toting, Jesus-praising, multiple child-bearing hick from the American outback? Charlie asked her about stem cell research and abortion, noting that her positions were somewhat at odds with McCain's. Roe v. Wade, for example, such a critical issue for so-o-o many women, he said. It is, she agreed. You think women should not have that choice? he asked. Instead of saying No, they should not, she babbles on about what a 'personal' decision it is, about how 'a culture of life' is better for America, how we can all agree that there is "a need for fewer abortions in America," how this is her "personal" belief, etc. For pete's sake, woman, get to the point.

And in the cases of rape and incest for which McCain makes exception, you do not agree? "That is my personal opinion..." She uses this word 'personal' almost as much as she says 'Charlie', and uses it in such a way as to cast doubt on the objective truth of what she believes. To be frank, she sounds like most of my students, who think that everything is a matter of opinon. And now I hear that the McCain campaign has put out a radio ad (under the McCain-Palin banner) promising big bunches of stem cell research. Of what kind the ad makes no mention. This cannot have been unintentional. So I had to write another email to the campaign telling them that, though I had held great hope for movement in the right direction, I have pretty much lost it. (I write such emails because I find shouting into the void exhilarating.)

We should have seen it (her being compromised, if not outright corrupted) coming. Put yourself in her place. You are (presumably) pro-life in every conceivably meaningful way. A presidential candidate who is not asks you to run with him. Are you going to say 'yes', or are you going to say "First, we need to clear up a couple of things," and then tell him that you find his advocacy of ESCR on leftover embryos repugnant, inconsistent, and that you will do everything in your power to change his mind and, failing that, to oppose him? What possible understanding could they have come to that did not consign her most sacred principles to the role of background noise?

Some make the argument that McCain must be supported because of the hugeness of Obama's moral monstrosity. This is an understandable argument. A fair example of the attitude underlying it is offered by Dr. Beckwith over at W4 when he responds to one of Zippy's posts:

Moreover, you may very well disagree with John McCain's views, but it is pretty over the top to say that he supports the intentional murdering of innocent people.

To which Zippy responds: "No it isn't. It is a simple statement of fact, given that embryos are innocent people." In a later comment Beckwith says:

I do agree with Zippy that McCain is wrong about ESCR. Having said that, by not voting for McCain, you're helping Obama, who believes that preemies are in the iffy category.

When faced with two flawed men, choose the least flawed. That's how [we] pick teammates in pick-up b-ball games. Same goes for presidents.

Several flawed assumptions become apparent. First, that this is a game, which it is not. Second, preemies occupy a higher moral status, and therefore lay greater claim to our protection, than do leftover embryos. In other words, I don't think people who say this kind of thing really think that embryos are as fully human as the rest of us. Third, there is the presumption that double-effect justifies voting for McCain in the same way that it justified those of you who voted for George Bush - even though he made exceptions in cases of rape and incest. But there is a difference between the two I hope you'll keep in mind before going to the polls:

The law allowing abortion in all cases, not just those resulting from the hard ones, was already in place when Bush took office. His exceptions were fairly meaningless unless it had been the case that abortion law forbade all abortions in any case. Then you could accuse him of advocacy. McCain is proposing something different. He wants to take a procedure, the federal funding of which is not currently permitted, and make it permissible. He is literally advocating for a method of research that involves the murder of already conceived human beings, in a way that George Bush never has. To some it makes no sense, in light of Roe v. Wade, that ESCR would be illegal in any sense. Well, it isn't. Such research goes on in the private sector. Or, if it does not, there is nothing to inhibit it. But, unlike Bush and the abortion law, McCain is not tolerating such research while bemoaning the fact of its existence being forced on us by a tyrannical Court. He is in fact offering his own, personal approval of the very thing he claims to despise: the right to kill unborn children. Federal funding of ESCR on leftover embryos augments and perpetuates the abortion mandate.

So my question remains: What is Sarah Palin doing on this ticket?


Lydia McGrew said...

I predicted that she would be compromised by being his running mate, but I didn't think it would start showing this *soon*. I'm sort of stunned.

Brief note out of fairness to Frank Beckwith: It looks like he way overinterpreted Zippy's post (Frank said that he did when I drew his attention to the misunderstanding) and thought Zippy was talking about war instead of ESCR. So when Zippy mentioned the intentional murdering of innocen people and Frank called this "over the top," that was a result of a misunderstanding, not of Frank's saying he doesn't think ESCR is the intentional murdering of innocent people. I assume he would agree that it is.

William Luse said...

I'll think about editing it out. Frank ought to read more carefully.

But when he said that, it struck me that ESCR as the murder of innocents was not on his radar. The reason I kept it in is that his subsequent comparison of McCain's position with that of Obama's on "preemies" confirmed my suspicion. If he really thinks it is a murder of equal gravity, I'd kind of like to hear him say it. And if he does, I'd also like to hear how justifies voting for McCain. I don't get the sense that he's taking Zippy's objections seriously, but rather dismissing him. Maybe Zippy's wrong. All right, show me how.

Anonymous said...

If he really thinks it is a murder of equal gravity, ...

I'd suggest that it may be murder of an even greater gravity. Evangelium Vitae makes the point that abortion (of which ESCR is a particular kind) is an especially grave form of murder, because the child killed doesn't even have the sentimental defenses of her tears and struggle. In ESCR the child in addition doesn't even have the defense of a clear human form. That results in this cavalier attitude, which is an additional offense in justice agains the children murdered in this manner.

William Luse said...

It's also an offense against the obligation to think, to draw the lines that make necessary connections: You can't get to the preemie without going through the embryo. They're using that lack of form to disguise the nature of what they're really doing, and hoping our consciences won't notice. It's an attempt to make what they're doing seem reasonable, when it's in fact the death of reason.

There's another thing, too. Abortion law is founded on a notion of liberty, the woman's right to choose. The law compels no one to make that choice. Federal funding of ESCR, however, will bear the endorsement of the other two branches of government, who will now offer not merely a right to choose, but positively recommend this particular form of killing. They will be paying people to do it. A particular class of the unborn will now be made available for assembly line slaughter. I suppose the researchers will have to seek the permission of the embryo's parents. Many of them will say no pay them. Your tax dollars at work.

Lydia McGrew said...

If I am not mistaken, the Hyde Amendment was changed during the Clinton administration so that surgical abortions are now federally funded in cases of rape and incest. I don't know what proof is required to get that funding, but Bush made no move to change it back. I often think that we should keep score better when conservative presidents don't even try to change back the evil moves of their predecessors. It would at a minimum have been possible to ask Congress (esp. when Congress was Republican controlled) to put the Hyde Amendment back to its original form. It's that old ratchet effect again.