Friday, July 16, 2010

Barbara Boxer Goes Off The Rails--Again

One very important issue in the matchup between incumbent Senator "Her Majesty" Barbara Boxer and Republican candidate Carly Fiorina will be one that didn't play a big part in the primaries. The Republican primary candidates ranged from moderate to absolutist on the issue of abortion, with Fiorina in the moderate camp. It's one reason I voted for a different candidate.

But the issue becomes a different one in the general election. Boxer is among the most adamant pro-abortionists in the Senate, while Fiorina, who is moderate about "choice," is a hawk on forbidding federal funding of abortions. That is a principled position, even though I think moderation in relation to abortion is a moral mistake. Still, it means that Fiorina is taking a stand in favor of a "woman's right to choose" (bad), but neither encourages abortion nor wishes to have antiabortion taxpayers foot the bill (good). I've lived in this State and its liberal environment long enough to think that on this issue, Fiorina is about as good as we're going to get.

The illustration is a representation of an eight week old baby in the womb. Abortion advocates call that a "thing," a "problem to be dealt with," a "fetus," or "that mistake." I'm just a simpleton, so what I see is a small, helpless, innocent human being. Fiorina isn't sure what she sees, but at least she doesn't want to kill it, or have us pay for its death. Boxer, of course, sees the rotten little troublemaker who is going to send innocent women into deadly back alleys for their abortions and the source of imprisonment for conscientious doctors who are only trying to help.

Boxer is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill abortion supporter. She absolutely exalts in it. But she's facing a California electorate that only recently rejected a ballot measure which would have required that underage pregnant girls to inform their parents that they are considering having an abortion. So this isn't as simple for Fiorina as it might seem on its face. Boxer once faced Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in a Senate abortion debate. He pushed and pushed, and then pushed some more to get Boxer to state at which point a baby becomes a human being with rights.

Boxer waffled, dodged and obfuscated. But Santorum kept pushing. Finally, probably out of exhaustion and failure to deflect the question by calling it unfair, Boxer answered. "I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born, the baby belongs to your family and has rights." Thanks, Babs. And before then, while you're still at the hospital, I assume it's not a human being, so you can just toss it into the medical waste container. "Reprehensible" is far too mild a word to describe your viewpoint. And at least in the past, California voters seemed to find that to be a perfectly reasonable position.

Although I deeply disagree with the law, science and moral philosophy inherent in the original version of Roe v Wade, I can at least recognize that at a very early stage of pregnancy, there is a difference of opinion even among antiabortion folks about when life actually begins. There are also those of us who are reluctantly willing to make early term exceptions for incest, rape or the physical survival of the mother. But those are areas of genuine, thoughtful and theological disagreement.

Boxer, on the other hand, supports both partial-birth abortion and funding of partial-birth abortion. In the debate with Santorum, he kept asking her "if X part of the baby still remains inside the mother's body, should it still be morally and legally acceptable to kill the baby so long as it hasn't completely emerged?" Boxer dodged that question on multiple occasions by deflecting the question with indignant charges that Santorum was "losing his temper." But she finally had to capitulate and answer the question. As far as I'm concerned, her answer not only disqualified her from being in the Senate, but disqualifies her from being a member of decent society.

Her position is even clearer than that of Hillary Clinton at around the same time. Clinton was asked, "if the abortion is scheduled at noon, but the baby is born in the elevator on the way to the abortion table at 11:50 AM, should it be legal to allow the baby to die, since the legal decision had already been made to terminate the pregnancy?" Unlike Boxer, Clinton actually had to consider the question for a moment before giving an answer that ignored the issue entirely. Boxer's answer probably would have been "of course--just toss it down the elevator shaft."

Boxer has already tested the waters on abortion by tossing out the usual attack on Fiorina's modest pro-life stance. "She wants to make abortion a crime, and that would mean women and doctors in jail." Fiorina didn't waffle or shrink from the attempted attack. "That's a ridiculous statement. I happen to believe in the sanctity of life, but the great majority of Californians disagree with Barbara Boxer, who believes that taxpayers should be funding partial-birth abortion."

Wherever Fiorina stands on early and mid-term abortion, she's very clear on late-term. She abhors it, and will fight to keep it from being funded by the taxpayers. If she continues to use the real words "partial-birth abortion," and continues to explain her opposition to the homicide of a fully viable tiny human being, she could very well bring along even the pro-choicers. At least those pro-choicers who aren't cold-blooded baby haters like, say, Barbara Boxer.


patti said...

the ONE thing that gives me any peace about this (and it's a teeny tiny microscopic piece) is that one day they will all have to answer, in TRUTH, to god for what they did. my guess is he won't tolerate a hedge answer.

Tennessee Jed said...

There are a host of reasons why I believe abortion is a difficult and personal issue. I simply do not believe any of us are qualified to say at what point a fetus becomes a person with rights. I really think anyone who considers abortion ought to be counseled. Probably in our society, a baby traditionally becomes a person with legal standing when they are born, and I do not believe the state is in any better position to make that determination. as to what point a fetus becomes a person.I do not particularly feel comfortable with the state to force a women to carry a baby to term. I can tell you I have some personal experience in this very tough moral area. Certainly, I don't think I could ever personally condone a late term abortion. I know in Roman Catholicism, doctrine has long been birth control is a sin.

At the end of the day, I think the difficult moral and ethical choices are best made by the parents and their physician and their god and not the state. I have a very difficult time writing about or even discussing this difficult issue, and try to recognize everyone's views. I think Patti makes a good point in noting that the individual has to answer for the choice they made, so it hopefully will be carefully considered. I have long lived by a philosophy carried forward by the Theologian Joseph Fletcher. When confronted with conflicting issues in a delimma, one must try and make the most loving choice.

Joel Farnham said...

In a sane world, Babs wouldn't have even been considered for dog-catcher let alone been a senator.

I wonder if anyone ever thought of getting a video of Babs babbling in Congress and putting together a sort of best of her biggest flaps.
It could be set to classical music.

I don't think it would change the polls or anything, but I would laugh at it. :-)

Unknown said...

Patti: That's a certainty.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: As I mentioned within the article, I also have a problem with abortion absolutists solely because I don't think we can be absolutely sure when life begins. There are good, sound and thoughtful arguments that are both theological and scientific, and yet I see no clear "truth."

That said, I have two areas in which I am unable to find any moral argument sufficient to dissuade me. Partial birth abortion is clearly the destruction of a live human being, and only a moral degenerate can argue that the difference between a live baby and a "fetus" with no rights is what percentage of the baby's body has emerged. There is simply no medical justification for it either. There is more danger in destroying a baby already partially born than there could ever be in completing the delivery. No doctor with any credibility could argue otherwise. Preserving the "health of the mother" during a partial birth abortion is an outright lie. But I also concede that desperate people do desperate things, among which is believing the words of a "health care professional" about a subject that they could easily sort out if they were not the ones directly involved in the crisis.

That is the reason I want the government to stop encouraging abortion, funding it, and lying about partial birth abortion to individuals deep in a personal crisis.

I also agree with you that abortions at earlier stages are not such a clear violation of Christian doctrine and should involve the moral decisions of the parents, the doctor, and perhaps the parents clergy. And for that reason, I also am absolutely and unequivocally opposed to any public funding of the procedure.

There is a very sound reason that abortion enthusiasts such as Barbara Boxer refuse to use the words "partial birth abortion." A "late term abortion," which is the politically correct phrase, is open to medical debate (though I don't personally believe that the theological debate goes that far). There could be medical reasons, even late in the pregnancy, to abort the baby, however rare or unusual those reasons might be. But at the time of birth itself, all theological and medical arguments are moot and contrived.

All of that said, I do not condemn those who have had to make this horrendous personal decision. I condemn those who encourage abortion, think of it as an alternate form of birth control, and believe that the government should be in the business of funding abortions. I do not envy anyone who has ever had to face this life crisis. Many good, moral and God-fearing people have faced it, and made the decision to proceed with the termination of pregnancy. It is those who rejoice in the "removal of an inconvenience" whom I condemn. Barbara Boxer is one of those people. And that was the purpose of the article.

Unknown said...

Joel: Boxer has been lucky since the first time she ran. She is not very bright, has a nasty temperament, and can't handle herself for three minutes in a genuine debate. She has faced rich, self-funding, single-issue Republicans who were political novices with not much better credentials than Boxer herself.

Does anybody who isn't a California political junkie remember Bruce Herschenson or Bill Jones? For that matter, does anybody remember Michael Huffington (who ran against Feinstein) other than those who know he turned gay after being married to the screeching harridan Arianna?

Republicans have a bad habit of nominating Senatorial candidates with lots of money and very little political experience and short paper trails. They also have a bad habit of losing those elections to Democrats. If Fiorina wins, it will be largely because Boxer has so many negatives that the momentum and anti-incumbent atmosphere cost her the seat she won in previously Democratic years.

Joel Farnham said...


Any guy would become gay if married to Arianna.

Babs might be taken down this year.

I do remember that Arianna was originally Republican. I guess after the divorce her true colors came out.

I do like what Arnold wanted to do to her during his first run at Governator. It became a minor flap during the election. Good times.

Unknown said...

Joel: Huffington himself was a RINO at best. Arianna was a Republican by marriage, and after the divorce, there was absolutely no reason for her to stay with us fascists. Also remember that Arianna is Greek, and learned everything she knows about economics from them. As we all know, you can't trust those Grecians.

LL said...

The law considers an unborn baby a human if somebody shoots and kills the mother.

If the mother voluntarily, with knowledge, kills the baby the law holds it's not human.

Explain this to me so it makes sense, please.

Writer X said...

Let me guess: Boxer fights like tooth and nail to protect an endangered minnow but a human being? Throw it down the elevator shaft. Barbara Boxer is not from earth.

Unknown said...

LL: You've raised an issue within an issue. First, the rule regarding the additional homicide count in the killing of a pregnant mother is not universal. Some states prosecute it, others don't. And that's the second issue that I have always found to be the biggest flaw in Roe v Wade. I find nothing in the Constitution or precedent prior to Roe which justifies taking the issue of abortion out of the hands of the States and turning a magical, arbitrary and primitively scientific period of time for terminating a pregnancy into a Constitutionally protected right. Roe was piggybacked on top of the equally lame and unprecedented case of Griswold v Connecticut which found a Constitutional emanation that nobody had ever noticed before called "the right to privacy."

Unfortunately, I am completely unable to explain liberal logic, so I can't help you there. It's one of the reasons I'm a conservative.

Unknown said...

WriterX: Having moved to the Central Valley where that damnable minnow has caused so much misery, I'm with you on that. And let me add that Boxer also suffers excruciating agony at the thought of executing a cold-blooded multiple murderer in the chamber at San Quentin. But a baby--eh--it's just a thing.

Unknown said...

LawHawk. As an abortion opponent, I would heartily disagree with Boxer on the issue. But I only get really ticked off at her because she's so damned enthusiastic about it. I can understand a principled stand on "the right to choose" which considers abortion a grim but protected right (even though I don't agree). But she just revels in it.

Unknown said...

CalFed: Exactly the point. Fiorina is far more liberal than I am in the matter of "choice." But she sees that it's a private matter that government shouldn't be sticking its nose in, let alone funding it. And when she discusses the matter, she doesn't do cartwheels and shout "whoopee" about the very serious and profound decision inherent in any decent person's abortion decision. Boxer on the other hand seems exultant about abortion--every abortion--any abortion. That radical feminist version of independence tends to make her independent of sheer human dignity.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I understand and sympathize with Tennessee Jed's belief that abortion is a very personal decision, and for good people not either easy or desirable. Sometimes, there is no good decision available, and the most moral of people are faced with choosing between two very tough alternatives. I'm with you on partial-birth abortion, though. An act that cold-blooded and yet brutal has absolutely nothing to do with family planning, a woman's right to choose, or medical necessity.

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: And it is precisely because people of good will can differ so much that this blog does not take a position on abortion standing by itself. I can oppose it with my head because I have never had to face the moral dilemma. If it had happened in my close family, I genuinely can't tell you where my heart would lead.

When it comes to partial-birth abortion, I don't speak for the blog, but I do speak for myself. I am appalled by it, I can't find a single moral or medical reason to justify it, and I am unalterably opposed to public funding of it.

As for government involvement in abortion, it seems that whatever form future legal decisions take, government will be involved at some point, either positively or negatively. It's simply unavoidable. And much though I intensely dislike government intrusion into private matters, in the case of abortion, I would far rather have fifty States with fifty different concepts than to have one standard imposed by nine unelected people in black robes making the decision for everyone. Decisions made by the gray eminences on the Supreme Court leave no room for moral ambiguity or differences of opinion that are so widespread throughout the nation. To raise first trimester abortions to the status of a constitutional right is a perversion of law, the Constitution and common sense. And today, we know that even the medical science involved in the decision is archaic.

As for funding of partial-birth abortions, Jefferson said something like "to take a person's money to support a cause to which he is morally opposed is the essence of tyranny." Intellectual arguments aside, using my tax money to pay for partial birth abortions makes me feel dirty. Barbara Boxer, on the other hand, thinks it's empowering.

StanH said...

Butchering Barbara Boxer, what a nasty little trog woman, God I hope you folks can get rid of her for the good of the country, most especially the babies. I fall in line with what Jed said, and HG confirmed. Abortion should be the absolute last option, health of the mother, etc. Lawhawk you write with great passion on this issue, powerful!

As an aside, I went to a gathering today of racist, a Tea Party, where the emcee was a brilliant black man Herman Cain. It was a meet and greet with candidates for the Tuesday primaries, my patriotic blood is still stirring, and I got me a LOL! bumper-sticker, where the O is Barry’s logo, great stuff.

Unknown said...

Stan: Thank you for your kind comments. I generally have reasoned and academic reasons for my beliefs on a multitude of subjects. I just don't have that cool detachment when it comes to partial-birth abortion (or Barbara Boxer, for that matter).

Love the bumper sticker. And the Tea Party rallies and conservative gatherings are the only places you'll have your patriotism restored and affirmed. You sure as hell won't get it at any liberal/leftist/progressive rally.

AndrewPrice said...

I can see both sides on the issue of whether or not this is a life early on. But by the time you get anywhere near birth, I don't think it's reasonable not to see this as a life.

And I can't see any justification for taxpayer funding of abortion at all.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I'm with you on all counts. I have my personal view on when life begins (and it's earlier than Roe would have it). But as we've said, I'm not sufficiently grounded in medicine or theology to impose that view on others. But partial-birth abortion is far beyond speculation or guesswork. Only a small, radical and conscienceless group wants to fund it. There is such a thing as evil, and partial-birth abortion is evil.

darski said...

NEWSFLASH - Fetus = Baby. so your question Jed is when does a baby become a baby? You cannot claim science and then pretend that semantics is a valid argument.

No one forces a woman to carry a baby to term. A woman makes that choice when she chooses to have sex. Science now claims to demonstrate that sex is the major cause of pregnancy. whooda thunkit>

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