Politics for the Dog Days of Summer?

8 07 2008

Seen on my local theatre list today, fun!

Which breed of dog should the Obama family get? (They should get
getting one from the pound but, alas….their kid has allergies)

Vice President isn’t the only high-level position that Barack Obama is currently trying to fill. It’s been widely reported that – win or lose – the Obamas have promised their two daughters a dog after the presidential election. With 158 breeds registered by the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) – each with its own unique temperament, coat type, size, energy level and appearance – the search for a canine cabinet member is on.

“Deciding what breed to get is as important as deciding whether to get a dog in the first place,” says AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “The first step in being a responsible pet owner is to do some serious and careful research to determine which breed of dog is right for you and your family.”

The Obama family will be adding a dog to their household for the first time, but according to an Associated Press survey Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and his wife already have 24 pets, including four dogs.

Cast your vote!

And we’d better get to vote on the name, too. Should we wait to see what kind the dog turns out to be, or start the nominating process right now, here at Snook? (guess Hussein is out?)

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44 responses

8 07 2008
goodtimepolitics

I see that Obama has now seen the new poll showing that pet owners is going for McCain over Obama as John has pets where as Obama’s do not have any pets! Figure he would be hunting a pet, but alittle to late Obama, a little to late!
http://goodtimepolitics.com/2008/07/08/pet-owners-prefer-john-mccain-for-president/

8 07 2008
Crimson Wife

Somehow I can’t quite picture Barack Obama as a dog lover. The cynic in me wonders if this is a political strategy to try to fight the image of him as an elitist out of touch with working class folks…

8 07 2008
Nance Confer

Why, do you think working class folks can afford a dog these days?

I was just listening to the head of the National SPCA urging people who are being foreclosed or otherwise evicted to please contact their local shelters and not just abandon their pets, as is happening more recently.

And she went on to say that many people are short of being evicted/foreclosed but find they cannot afford their pets any longer.

I don’t imagine that’s a problem for either of the candidates but pet ownership doesn’t indicate “working class” to me.

Nance

8 07 2008
JJ

Gee, the theatre folks are having fun with it anyway . . .

8 07 2008
Crimson Wife

My parents are cat people. All 4 of my grandparents are college graduates, and 3 out of the 4 attended graduate school. My maternal grandparents met while they were doctoral students at Harvard & Radcliffe. Both my parents grew up in affluent suburbs; my dad was the son of a lawyer and my mom was the daughter of a college professor turned insurance executive. Both my parents attended elite universities (Harvard and UC Berkeley) and they met while MBA students at Berkeley. After they got married, my dad worked in corporate finance and they lived in affluent suburbs in the S.F. Bay Area and then Massachusetts. The only time I can remember either of them ever voting for a Republican was for Bill Weld as governor over John Silber. They are the epitome of the stereotypical Obama supporter.

My in-laws are dog people. Only 1 of my DH’s grandparents had any education past high school, and that was at a small no-name Christian college. Both my in-laws grew up in blue-collar towns; my FIL the son of a factory worker and my MIL the daughter of an old-fashioned family physician (back when doctors didn’t make the kind of money they do now). Both attended local state colleges and became schoolteachers. They lived in a regular middle-class suburb of Philadelphia. Although they were originally Democrats, they switched party allegiances with Reagan’s election. While they aren’t exactly working-class, they definitely see Obama as elitist and “out-of-touch” with the people. I suspect it’ll take more than him getting a dog to win over folks like my in-laws…

8 07 2008
JJ

A sample of how this conversation is going locally:

Let’s not forget what happened to the ill-fated Buddy (the Clinton’s erstwhile First Dog) who proved to be untrainable and was eventually banished from public viewing (historical note: was run down by car in 2002 in NY)

Personally, I think Obama should start a new trend, and have a pet alligator, or similar reptile. . .

8 07 2008
JJ

I guess Floridians WOULD vote for an alligator over some dog the ‘gator could make a mouthful of, but for little girls?? Nah.

Did make me think of Large Dogs Welcome though.
I was always a pound-puppy girl myself, big and happy and sloppy kissers. 🙂

8 07 2008
JJ

Did anybody else read this?
*I* thought it was fun . . .

9 07 2008
Nance Confer

Sorry to spoil your fun, JJ. 🙂

Republicans looking to blast Obama and desperately seizing on getting a dog for the family just draw me out, I guess.

Some of us plan to vote for Obama and yet, amazingly enough, don’t fit the stereotype repeated above. Some of us are struggling working class “folks” who are tired of Republican policies that do nothing to help anyone but the rich.

Why anyone would vote against their own interests, again and again, is beyond me.

Nance

9 07 2008
JJ

Hey, I wasn’t really complaining, just remarking on that same phenomenon. When I posted this, I really thought it would offer a little common ground — kids and dogs, what’s not to smile at? —

But like Nance, I see the resentment of the Obama family as desperate and having gone much too far. I’ve been reading some posts on a conservative religious homeschool mom’s blog that once had quite a reputation as thoughtful, factual, fairminded, etc. The lengths to which she now goes to make every single news item some kind of Obama slam finally drew me out last night by calling Michelle Obama a bad mother — simply for saying her young girls don’t mind that their professional parents are out in public roles during the day — and I commented twice:

Having read all the posts and comments on this blog since [this blogger’s] recent reactivation (because I remember how acclaimed it was before her hiatus and I’d wished I had found it sooner) I have to say her evangelical post ridiculing Obama as a sincere Christian was perhaps the saddest thing I’ve read in a long time. I now can’t imagine anything either of the Obama parents could possibly say that wouldn’t be construed in the worst possible light here.

Dr. Phil did a show the other day about adult siblings who still fight with each other like they were kids. He told a beautiful, articulate set of twin sisters that each was really hurting herself instead of hurting her sister, that each woman defined and demeaned herself as ugly and petty and nasty, by stooping to such unbecoming behavior as trying to tear down the other.

So what kind of country have we become when we as wives and mothers, irrationally attack a political opponent by attacking his personal faith and then his wife as a bad mother, with no more cause or compassion than those twin sisters showed? (Bad Mother Defining would have to cover the polygamist cult moms in the news first imo, not that I was willing to go there either.) When we define each other as rivals too close for comfort and worry that our own identity might be at risk, of course we get defensive, purposely misconstruing each other’s words to fan the flames and keep the old rivalries hot.

9 07 2008
jkokan

The McCain family has 24 pets? Wow. I cannot imagine. Where do you keep 24 pets? Are some of them livestock?

Ok, I am a lifelong democrat, and I don’t see McCain’s exceptional number of pets as a reason not to vote for him. (I won’t be voting for him for other reasons.) So I really cannot imagine that people wouldn’t vote for Obama just because he doesn’t have a dog. Really. This election is out of control…

9 07 2008
JJ

In fairness, the comments there are continuing and explanations have been offered, so I’m now linking the whole discussion. That way anyone still reading these comments can follow along there, and decide for themselves what’s being said and what it really means.
“In Loco Parentis”
(This is not an exhortation to anyone that you should jump in, not trying to stir anything up which is why I didn’t link it earlier. But I know my thoughts always evolve as a discussion goes along, and so I’ve already had new thoughts and made further comments since I posted the above.)

9 07 2008
JJ

I like the temperature of your take on it, jkokan, thanks for stopping by. And while we’re talking animals let’s not forget the nutty Cougars for Clinton or whatever those angry women fancy themselves now. 🙂

9 07 2008
Crimson Wife

Why do neither my parents nor my in-laws vote their pocketbooks? It all boils down to social issues. My mom belongs to a liberal Protestant denomination and my dad is a “progressive”/”cafeteria” Catholic (depending on one’s point-of-view). They ascribe to the whole “personally anti-abortion but pro-choice” idea, see legalizing homosexual unions as a civil rights issue, are pro-gun control, pro-affirmative action, pro-immigration reform, pro-decriminalization of marijuana, etc., etc. My in-laws are more traditional Catholics and are against all those things. Doesn’t matter that my parents have benefited significantly more from the Bush tax cuts than my in-laws- all that seem to matter to either are the “hot-button” social issues.

Want more stereotypes? My parents drive a Prius and a Camry hybrid. My in-laws until very recently drove 2 honking SUV’s (though they’ve since replaced one with I believe a Ford Focus). My parents get a lot of their food through a local co-op and at Trader Joe’s. My mother-in-law shops at Sam’s Club.

10 07 2008
JJ

It sounds like CW is saying in her family, social issues trump money issues on both ends of the political spectrum?

But I’m being told the opposite, that the “CLEAR” message of that other discussion is that their pervasive, personalized hostility to Barack and Michelle Obama — and their dogs and children and career choices and homelife, motherhood and fatherhood, personal faith and community activism — has nothing to do with social issues at all, no, certainly not!

It’s not about social issues or faith, and it’s nothing personal about disliking and distrusting the Obamas. It’s all about the money.

Yep, the latest conservative-libertarian Christian homeschooler line is that Obama would be fine if not for his economic policy, which will take money from their personal pockets.

This is unbelievable, literally.

Coming from HOMEschoolers who supposedly are about kids and family learning, getting an authentic education that is NOT about the money (nicely contrasting with teacher union lobbying against homeschooling which IS always, always about their money) and who usually sacrifice parent income for homeschooling, who don’t believe education is mere career prep to make lots of money competing in the cutthroat marketplace, who oppose home education vouchers and even tax credits because they value their own family autonomy more than the money they’d qualify to get back — coming from us, this is a very desperate and disingenuous message.

Hmmm, I do remember the segment of anti-charter define-homeschooling activists so angry that they threw out all sorts of wild, personal attacks and invective — attacked me and brought my family and children into it for example, much the way the Obama children and dog thing is going this week — and all while denying it was political or personal. No, it was a key policy dispute in which hung the balance of all our liberties, free-range homeschooling, principled parents, sovereignty, the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, cue the fife and pass the ammunition!

After years of peeling the onion layers back, it came down to the money for them. A tax revolt if you will — and therefore pretty revolting, as a public image of home education.

So.
I’m thinking home education would do well to notice that homeschooling as a principled way of learning and engaging in American civic life, is not sounding very educated or effective right now. To me we’re unfortunately sounding more like our socially unsophisticated, in-bred, irrational, truculent public stereotypes.

Smarter, better integrated political power of story is free — free of cost, free of coercion and compulsion.

So what excuse is left?

10 07 2008
Crimson Wife

Well, if all of Obama’s proposed spending were to be approved (the Natl. Taxpayers Union estimated it in June at around $344 Billion), then the government would have to raise taxes not just on the rich but also on the middle class (at least the upper end of it). There are simply not enough truly wealthy people in this country to raise the kind of revenue needed to support all of his proposed spending.

The Democrats in the California state legislature just proposed an income tax increase on “the wealthy” that would result in it being applied not just to those making $321k+ (who would see an increase in their marginal tax rate). but also families with children making $150k+ (by eliminating the dependent child tax credit).

To those of you living outside CA who would consider $150k/yr to be “wealthy”, consider this: even with the recent softening in the real estate market, the 1400 sq. ft. 3BR condo which my family rents in a decent-but-not-fancy neighborhood would cost over $700k to purchase. Assuming we could come up with a 10% down payment and could get a mortgage rate of 6.5%, we’d need an annual income of $165k+ in order to afford to buy. If we wanted to buy one of the 4 BR single-family homes in our neighborhood, that would cost us around $1M and we’d need an income of $235k+.

10 07 2008
JJ

So hmmm, CW, would you say your own politics are mainly fiscal, about the economy and taxes? — seriously, no rhetorical intent and all party talking points aside, Just JJ and CW having coffee and exchanging friendly views.

You know by now I connect everything to everything, and I can’t imagine thinking about money as the first or the main concern, in policy or politics. It’s the last thing and a lesser concern, and cost numbers are not absolute at all, and every time you change one part, it changes the rest of the equation . . .

10 07 2008
JJ

Back to the Obama dog breed election, I heard yesterday that the poodle is winning. Dear Husband grew up with standard poodles in a working-class Boston suburb, definitely not wimpy dogs (though if the poodle wins, I’m sure we’ll hear more of the elite, effete gibberish.) What made me think of this just now, was Favorite Daughter blogging about the college credit card story and in the course of telling the story her own way, quoting her dad as saying:
“It’s no fun to wake up and find that poodles have peed in your shoes.”

Do you suppose we should warn the Obamas? 😉

10 07 2008
Nance Confer

And if McCain’s war-mongering were taken to its most extreme limits, what would that cost? It’s not a convincing argument either way.

It seems to me there is a difference between social issues driving the votes of the well off versus the votes of the not-so-well off.

If you are well off, you have a choice. “I believe in this and can afford it if it hits my pocketbook (say, more taxes for healthcare for all).”

That is different from the other side. “I believe in this and I can’t afford the consequences (say, the cost of healthcare if taxes are cut).”

As for CA housing prices — they have seemed so outrageous for years I have never understood how normal families make it. We just had some dear friends move back to FL after trying CA for a couple of years and housing was one of the issues.

Not that things are peachy here housing-wise either. I just had a Mom email me to say she would be late sending me her attendance (I run an umbrella school) because she can’t find things right now as her brother’s family just had to move in with them after their foreclosure. 😦

And my Mom in Miami is reporting increased nasty attitudes. Anger for no reason in stores. Crazy driving. Tensions are high!

Nance

10 07 2008
Nance Confer

Yep, the latest conservative-libertarian Christian homeschooler line is that Obama would be fine if not for his economic policy, which will take money from their personal pockets.

****

How do they figure this, JJ? Are they all wealthy or do they think hsing will be taxed or . . .

Nance

10 07 2008
JJ

LOL, no, not wealthy but yeah, thinking they’ll all be taxed for more stuff they won’t benefit from, and were already mad about having to help provide as public services. I think it’s connected to the same economic concerns we heard so much about with Clinton in Ohio and PA etc.

Let’s see if I can channel it:
Here I am, sacrificing one salary to stay home with my family as God commands so I can train them in obedience and prepare them for heavenly appetites rather than earthly consumption. I pay all my school taxes but won’t use school services and refuse to ask for vouchers or accept tax credits, because this way I am unbeholden and no one can say I owe them or am costing them. When we use the library and parks and other public (tax-supported) services, I am not taking up space others could use; on the contrary I am an asset and a joy to have around. (yeah, that sounds like me being snarky but I swear I actually ran into this attitude the other day at Dana’s — remember our old friend Terri, Nance?)

So — I’ve been working hard and holding the line of tradition and conserving traditional culture for my kids and their kids, and my church and my homeschool groups are with me in creating this little subculture no one can take away from us.

But then the political winds shift and a popular charismatic devil arises, with a lot of new expensive social ideas, and suddenly on top of school taxes (and park taxes, library taxes and water taxes, national defense, whatever) I fear looming new community costs I’ll have to share, universal preschool and health care for all kids and maybe more public expense for college on the other end (I guess the Bible colleges don’t qualify for federal aid and so that’s another hole they perceive in their dutiful pockets?)

And who the heck do all those people think they are?? This country was built on my values, not yours!
**********
End of attempt, how’d I do? 🙂

10 07 2008
Nance Confer

After years of peeling the onion layers back, it came down to the money for them. A tax revolt if you will — and therefore pretty revolting, as a public image of home education.

***

At least it didn’t take so long this time. 🙂

It’s all about “confiscating a parent’s wages,” apparently. Taxes to the rest of the world.

Nance

10 07 2008
Life On The Planet

Dog, schmog.

Have I got the cat for him!

10 07 2008
JJ

LOL, LOTP!

(An all-cap comment!)

11 07 2008
JJ

LOTP, you must’ve loved Men in Black where the whole galaxy was on the inscrutable cat’s collar?

11 07 2008
JJ

What I intend to be my concluding comment in that other discussion, which seems like more of a concussion (head-butting without comprehension) —

“[Andrew Sullivan’s critical words about the Obama family] ought to make homeschooling parents shiver:
“Fame is a toxin. Children deserve to be protected from it as much as they would from lead paint.”

Substitute “homeschooling” for “fame” and we’ve heard this all before.
Yes, if we can save just one child by rallying the attack against whatever education, belief, discipline and lifestyle differences we personally find objectionable for Other People’s Children, all the public intervention and government oversight will be worth it!

Banter and class resentment aside, this is a dangerous and convoluted argument taking shape. Specifically dangerous to our diverse home education advocacy —
All homeschool families benefit from public respect for and deference to, each family making its own decisions and choosing what’s best for their own children, so we’d all better being paying very close attention to our own political principles and reasoning this year, if we don’t want to see our own protections plowed under by our own ill-advised rhetoric next time around.”

11 07 2008
JJ

So now they’ve got me going on Cindy McCain, to test the hypothesis that the Obama family alone, should be attacked for fame and money and adult desires that interfere with their private parenting, subject them to personal character criticism and make them unfit for the White House.

Wikipedia sent me to Harper’s Bazaar interview with Cindy McCain last year — gee, she’s only my age now (and DH is two years older than I am, can’t imagine my husband being in his 70s, makes my head explode!)

More to the point, she was a mere 24, SO young and gushy and impressionable, so much like (also wealthy, single, morally challenged) Monica Lewinsky when she too threw responsibility to the winds for a secret affair with a married, lying, boy-man father unfazed by being old enough to be HER father, who like McCain spent his time politicking and partying, not parenting his real daughter with his real wife like real American families. Talk about bipartisan. . .

John McCain . . . first laid eyes on the pretty blonde teacher 28 years ago at a cocktail party in Hawaii.

“I was standing at the hors d’oeuvre table, young, shy, not knowing anybody,” recalls Cindy, then 24 and vacationing with her parents, “when suddenly this awfully nice-looking Navy captain in dress whites was kind of chasing me around the table. . .

He was also 42, 18 years her senior, a difference Cindy “never noticed” until a year later, when, applying for their marriage license, “we discovered we’d both lied. I’d made myself three years older, he four younger. Having a strong father, I wanted an older man, though John is 70 going on 30.

I wouldn’t have learned any of this, if not for being offended by the irrational rationalizations in that other discussion. So I guess thanks are in order? 😉

p.s. My dad like Cindy’s father-figure husband, would be in his 70s now, retired military and handsome, full of fun — if he hadn’t died back in the last century, after two full careers and a reasonably long life for any man born as he and McCain were, during the Great Depression.

Michelle Obama’s husband OTOH, is a couple of years *younger* than she is, and they’re both younger than I am now. If that isn’t relevant to all the differences and change America is grappling to understand, I don’t know what is . . .

p.p.s. – So are there generational differences in dog choice?

13 07 2008
Crimson Wife

I won’t be voting for Obama for multiple reasons, both fiscal and social. But my biggest concern is what kind of judicial appointments he might make. I may not like the idea of having to pay higher taxes, but I’m truly frightened of the impact a bunch of activist judges might have in legislating from the bench.

13 07 2008
JJ

LOL – truly frightening! They might start picking presidents or imposing their own religious beliefs on our science and schools and parent choices, strike down gun laws meant to protect kids around city schools from being killed in drive-by shootings, activist rulings like that? Yeah, I know what you mean . . .

13 07 2008
Nance Confer

Maybe you are worried about this sort of activist court — http://cobranchi.com/?p=8656 — the one Daryl reported on that thought it actually wasn’t a good idea to strip search 13-yo girls for nothing close to a good reason.

Nance

13 07 2008
JJ

Okay, got that out of my system. 🙂
Seriously, I do know what CW means. I’ve heard the same fears from liberals sure that a Reagan or a Bush would be the end of everything we hold dear. Seems to me the hopes and fears of America ebb and flow with election cycles, world events and the economy, etc.

Supreme court nominating power one way or another has been an issue in every presidential election I’ve watched for 40 years. The power of story is that every president’s appointment power is both frightening and hopeful, and not even the president or the consenting Senate can insure it will turn out as was intended.

Hope and fear — more one or the other in any given cycle, depending on current events and whose ideology is hopefully rising versus whose most recently made us fearful. As a non-partisan and former policy analyst, either way I’m always riveted by the prospects and process, full of both hope and fear.

Clearly our nation was born in the battle between federalists and anti-federalists, reflecting the hopes and fears of both views. So I see the quality of our judiciary as so much more than simply choosing active or passive, strict or lenient, conservative or liberal people (whatever the good-bad antonyms either side uses to frame its own view as the only “right” one.)

The Grand Idea is for the resulting complex system to work as a whole, balancing our hopes and fears as a people, to keep us both free and safe. Too much fear OR too much careless optimism (Greenspan called it irrational exuberance) is bad news for us all in terms of both safety and freedom.

And too much political ideology in any part of government — no matter whose ideology it is and whether we agree with it or not as better than the alternatives — is the real problem for us all, I fear.

13 07 2008
JJ

We could play “what breed of dog would each Supreme be” and start with Scalia — bald bulldog?

David Souter – bloodhound
Ruth Bader Ginsberg – chihuahua or Boston terrier?

14 07 2008
Crimson Wife

Except that the right to bear arms is (A) in the Constitution and (B) very much something that the Founding Fathers would support while the “right” to abortion on demand is neither.

I’m actually in favor of having a certain amount of restrictions on guns (such as the assault weapon ban, requiring waiting periods & background checks, closing the loopholes that allow private party sales to get around many of the rules imposed on retail sales, etc). But I agree that a total ban like the one in D.C struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and the similar one in San Francisco struck down earlier this year by the CA State Supreme Court violate the 2nd Amendment.

I don’t keep a gun in our home because we’ve got small children and feel the risk of an accident is greater than the added protection one might provide. Also, we live in a relatively low-crime area and my Army vet DH was trained to kill someone with his bare hands if he needed to. But if I were a single woman living alone in the city, I could see possibly wanting to keep a gun for self-defense.

14 07 2008
Nance Confer

Agreed — responsible gun ownership with appropriate regulation = good.

Not so much — calling it “abortion on demand” instead of “a woman’s choice” or “the right to privacy.”

Both of these choices are, thanks to our Constitution and the rest of our history and laws, a matter of choice. Own a gun or don’t. Have an abortion or don’t.

It’s when you try to remove my choice that I object.

Nance

14 07 2008
JJ

CW, yes, and the words “a well-regulated militia” are right there in that same sentence of the Constitution. And whether it’s very much something the Founders would support is almost never clear, considering that the anti-federalists insisting on such amendments preferred the Arrticles of Confederation and intended to kill (not improve) the supplanting Constitution with such tactics, and nearly succeeded — as a collective of bitterly warring factions, the federalist and anti-federalist and practical-like-me Founders barely managed to cobble this compromise together in the first place! 🙂

See this law review paper e.g., especially interesting in extensive footnotes:

82. It is worth noting that colonies regulated the sale of guns to Indians; it would seem odd that the framers of the Second Amendment might jeopardize such regulation with a sweeping personal right to own weapons. . .

96. The sixth ratifying state was New York, which had elected an overwhelmingly Antifederalist ratifying convention, but which became strongly Federalist after the adoption of the Constitution. . .

130. Certainly the Southern framers anticipated the possibility of disarming slave rebels, free blacks, and people who might aid them. . .

143. See Michael A. Bellesiles, The Origins of Gun Culture in the United States, 1760-1865, 1996 J. Am Hist 425 . . .

149. . . .To the Farmers and Planters of Maryland. . . Apr. 1, 1788, reprinted in 5 THE COMPLETE ANTI-FEDERALIST . . . Arguments like this underscore Madison’s belief that the Antifederalists were mostly unwilling to pay national taxes. See Letter from James Madison to Tench Coxe. . .

167. The earliest use of “bear arms” supports the notion that the phrase has a military meaning. Thus, in Beowulf, we find:

As I am informed that this unlovely one
Is careless enough to carry no weapon,
I abjure utterly the bearing of sword.
With naked hands I shall grapple with the fiend,
Fight to the death here, hater and hated!

Clearly our thinking and believing differences are very much something they DID understand and painfully, imperfectly addressed throughout the Constitution.
So we have the courts with judicial review, and there’s no right or wrong to settle, only more study, argument and compromise.

Florida has a tricky new problem with those same words btw — the NRA wants a new law to prevent employers and business owners from controlling the gun rules on their own grounds for their own staff, so that employees would under the Second Amendment, bring concealed weapons to the place of business in their cars.

Thus two of the most private-property-rights-conscious, conservative if not Ayn Randian, bootstrap “home is my castle” anti-federalist groups — Business and Guns — are pitted against each other instead of those bleeding heart liberals, fighting over the same sacred words they always THOUGHT they agreed on. (I wish Sandra Day O’Connor were still on the court, I’d LOVE to see how she analyzes this one!)

If we can’t be “equally right” about our equal rights in the Constitution even among our closest political and world view allies, then there can’t be any absolute immutable “right” or “wrong” in that document at all, just interpetations.

Of course I view holy books the same way, in context and with respect and educational eagerness to understand differing interpretations — law of god or law of man, I dismiss out of hand only the ignorant literalists denying there’s any possible meaning in the words except what THEY read in it.

14 07 2008
JJ

If Sandra Day O’Connor were a dog — yellow lab? golden retriever?

14 07 2008
Crimson Wife

A person’s right to privacy is not absolute. It does not allow an individual to commit an act of violence against another person. A husband can’t rape his wife and claim that his right to privacy trumps her right to not be sexually violated. The same goes for abortion. A woman’s right to privacy does not trump an unborn baby’s right to life.

14 07 2008
JJ

“A woman’s right to privacy does not trump an unborn baby’s right to life.”

Except that isn’t current Constitutional case law, and advocating that it should be is hardly compatible with being *against* activist rulings.

15 07 2008
Nance Confer

It’s not an “unborn baby.”

Using inflammatory language does not trump law or logic.

Nance

15 07 2008
JJ

Hmmm – thinking now about the way words are framed in CW’s previous rights-balancing example, too, about husbands and wives and rape and sex (and the pregnancies that tend to result.)

If that were indeed a strict Constitutional principle — not sayin’ it’s not or shouldn’t be — then wouldn’t the Texas judicial proceedings regarding husbands and wives and rape and sex and the many teen pregnancies that resulted, have applied that strict construction to close down the whole polygamist compound, as a violent criminal sex slave operation profiteering from the enforced misery of women and their children?

Or would we call that impermissably “activist” by citing the first amendment’s freedom of Congressionally unabridged religion and insisting anything goes when a man cites religious authority and calls his victims his god-given “wives” and “children” —

Seems to me those are important frames to take apart and really examine, which is what Nance is saying I think. If the shinola don’t fit, you must be seeing s*it? (feel free to fill in the letter of your choice, *p* or *h* and with apologies to Johnnie Cochran, deceased wizard of words and stories framed to thwart justice, the stupider the jury the better.)

15 07 2008
Nance Confer

So the question would be — framing-wise — is it religious freedom or rape?

Or is it about “the life of an unborn baby” or “the choice of the woman?”

We don’t need the whole compound of women and girls either, not that they have any choice. For the rest of us, this choice comes up all the time.

Husband/boyfriend impregnates (through rape or consensual sex) wife/girlfriend. Woman does not want to have a child. Some people say an abortion would be OK in the case of rape (or incest) but not in other cases. Some say the man should get a vote. The law draws lines about weeks of pregnancy. The reality of obtaining an abortion puts it out of the reach of some women.

There are a lot of angles to this frame. Or more than one frame. Pretending that yours is the only one is no way to look at it.

Nance

15 07 2008
JJ

And ooh, wait, we haven’t even touched on the Kidnapping of the Christ Cracker!

I hope CW as a Catholic feels free to add explanation we wouldn’t “get” as non-Catholics about this frame, because I really like to see things from different angles but also, to the very best of everyone’s ability, I hope the devout of all faiths will work hard to see how this would be framed as a question of strict Constitutional principles?

To me it’s eerily like the Mohammed editorial cartoons and the resulting violent death threats from religious zealots, or the Christian teacher with the blasphemous teddy bear who many Muslims wanted killed for her disrespect of their beliefs. Why aren’t such calls for ideological violence legally construed as hate crimes themselves, rather than being justified by whatever non-violent (and in America at least, clearly Constitutionally protected) words or ideas they feel were so offensive that a killing wrath right here on earth is the morally and legally correct response?

The US Constitution is about human rights, as Framed not by anyone’s Heavenly Father but by the Historical Founding Fathers. We’re free to believe or disbelieve whatever we like about how its words were inspired and the frame of “belief trumps reality” seems to work with lots of unreasoning folks — but it’s nevertheless not sound legal argument to confuse Constitutional authority with scriptural authority. Dealing only with human to human affairs, its words speak to how we treat each other, while it is silent on the rights of anyone’s god to command human believers to wreak vengeance on other humans.

The Constitution is in literal words, actually silent also, on whether sex with girls is marriage or rape; we have to think about that and do the best we can. The Constitution is silent on whether it is protected religious freedom or criminal fundamentalist terrorism to target, libel, threaten, intimidate, attack, maim and even kill individuals who somehow offend our beliefs. The Constitution as strictly constructed by its Founders also was I believe, silent on babies (born, unborn or otherwise) and on potential, consenting and/or unwilling mothers, on women entirely for that matter.

And btw there goes Minnesota again LOL! (It once was Florida where all the crazy things in the news were happening but just type “minnesota” in Snook’s search box for a baker’s dozen of funny education-related examples.) What politicized extremist POVs all around, and I don’t think any of them are sticking strictly to what’s Constitutional with their framing and ranting and counterattacking of each other — some “more perfect union” huh?

(But in fairness the Constitution couldn’t have addressed its principles specifically to MN — MN wasn’t even a gleam in the Founding Fathers’ eyes back then, LOL some more!)

15 07 2008
Nance Confer

Or, instead of trying to see how others think about the issue, recognizing other frames, you could just define birth control as abortion and create a whole heap of hurt: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/07/15/hhs-moves-define-contraception-abortion

Nance

28 05 2010
Snook Animals We’ve Known and Loved « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Dog days for first daughters […]

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