Mike Huckabee's Not Doing Well - Good News

The Republican Party seems to be walking away from Governor Huckabee politically.  This is good news for Democrats.  This candidate could have had a very good chance of beating any Democrat's nominee, whether it be Hillary, Obama, Edwards or Richardson.  He's got a touch of each candidate in him that is currently running for office.

Mike was Governor of Arkansas for over 10 years.  He was their lieutenant governor before that.  These two things alone would have made those concerned about experience and judgment satisfied.

Mike spent part of his adult life as a pastor and denominational leader.  This would have attracted the religious right as well as any church going voter.  He's pro-life and believes Roe v. Wade should be over-turned..

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A different view on the issue of Abortion

Okay.  I'm a 19 year old college student, who is hoping to run for State Assembly in Wisconsin soon after I graduate college.  I think a lot when I'm doing grunt work at my job, and this whole week I've been giving thoughts here and there on the issue of abortion.  This is what I've come up with.  Basically how I see/would address the issue of abortion.  

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Bush EPA Fails to Protect Fetuses

Throughout his two runs for President, George W. Bush has consistently proclaimed his belief in the "culture of life." More recently, he vetoed legislation increasing funding for stem cell research -- the first and only veto of his administration -- on the grounds that the clusters of cells upon which the research would occur were living, and all efforts must be made to preserve life.

Leaving aside the fact that President Bush's supposed reverence for life does not extend to people on death row or soldiers serving in Iraq, it has now emerged that the Bush administration is failing to protect the fetuses it so vociferously claims to care about. Michael Janofsky has the story for The New York Times.

Unions representing thousands of staff scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency say the agency is bending to political pressure and ignoring sound science in allowing a group of toxic chemicals to be used in agricultural pesticides.

Leaders of several federal employee unions say the chemicals pose serious risks for fetuses, pregnant women, young children and the elderly through food and exposure and should not be approved by Thursday, the Congressional deadline for completing an agency review of thousands of substances in pesticides.

This news should send a clear message to the "pro-life" movement. The Bush administration cares about protecting fetuses only to the extent that it does not infringe on business. When push comes to shove, as it is in the case of toxic chemicals in agricultural pesticides, if proposed regulations to protect fetuses and other living beings will cause a financial burden on corporations, the administration will side with big business over the "culture of life."

And lest most pro-lifers in America not read The New York Times (it's hard to imagine, I'm sure), then at least some effort should be extended to propagate this story within the movement so that they can see the sanctimony, the cynicism and the sanctimony of this White House. Such a move has the potential to drive down the vote of the Republican base at a time at which the GOP can ill-afford to lose any votes, in addition to causing many of the Bush faithful to see the truth about their leader.

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The New Pro-Life Movement

I see via Tristero that there's a new pro-life movement afoot, spearheaded by John Podhoretz.

What if the tactical mistake we made in Iraq was that we didn't kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything? Wasn't the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35 the reason there was an insurgency and the basic cause of the sectarian violence now?

Feel the culture of life.

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Is Sotomayor Catholic? And What About Roe v. Wade?

'Is Sotomayor Catholic?' was the headline I read first today.  And I have to say that it's a fair question.  If she's appointed she'll be the 6th Catholic sitting on a 9 person Court.  The question being ignited now is how will her religion affect her stance on abortion and in particular Roe v. Wade.

Research into her decisions has not shown whether she'll support the precedent of Roe v. Wade or not.  While I'm inclined to think that President Obama would have asked these questions ahead of nominating her given his track record on nominations I'm not convinced that he did get the right assurances.  Although, if things follow precedent we need only worry about whether she paid her taxes or not.

USA Today questions Catholic support of Sotomayor saying:

"Next up: Expect her nomination to re-ignite the ongoing Catholic blogosphere wars over who is Catholic enough. If confirmed, Sotomayor, who grew up in Catholic schools in the Bronx, would be the sixth Catholic on the high court. It may be that her life experiences will align her with the social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on race, poverty, immigration and economic issues. But for some outspoken Catholics, the 'life' issues -- abortion, family planning, so-called 'conscience clauses' for health workers, embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life choices -- are the litmus test."

The central question of the Sotomayor confirmation debate will not be framed by President Obama and his advisors but has already been framed by the media: What is Sotomayor's position on Roe v. Wade and are we going to have a SCOTUS 'wafer watch'?  We have no idea from her record where Sotomayor falls on the abortion issue.

How serious is the debate going to be over Sotomayor's position on abortion?  The New York Times reports:"In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote." Further, Robert Gibbs' response was worrisome yesterday when asked about Obama discussing abortion with Sotomayor.  Gibbs said Obama "did not ask that specifically," meaning Obama may not know Sotomayor's opinion on abortion.

Ironically, "as president, Mr. Obama has sought to avoid being drawn into the culture wars of the last several decades and has encouraged each side in the abortion debate to be respectful of the other's opinions. " Unfortunately for President Obama nominating Sotomayor opened this, the most divisive issue in American politics, and, if he doesn't handle it carefully it'll severely taint his Presidency.

The thing I find most ironic about this debate is that if it is revealed that Sotomayor will follow in the traditional Catholic path (pro-choice without exception) then her confirmation will, undoubtedly, be reversed, with many Democrats against her and many Republicans for her. 

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