Jay Reding.com

Stand Or Fall

Mitch Berg notes something rather interesting about this election — the Republicans who ran to the “center” tended to be the ones who lost. In Minnesota, Gil Gutknecht tried to burnish his centrist street cred on Iraq and ended up getting beat by the anti-war Tim Walz. Yet in the Sixth, Michelle Bachmann, who’s as unabashedly conservative as they come, managed to spank Patty Wetterling in a tough climate.

At the same time, the Democrats ran a whole host of center-right candidates. Jon Tester and James Webb almost certainly have more in common with the GOP than they do with a liberal like Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats won a political victory, but it wasn’t an ideological victory. If this really was an election in which the left is ascendant, why did left-wing candidate Ned Lamont get beat in Smurf-ass-blue Massachusetts?

The reality is that America is not a liberal country. Conservatives outnumber liberal by 2-1. The Republicans lost because they tried to run away from who they were. There’s a lesson in that. Republicans win when they’re not running from the Reaganite agenda of small government, strong national defense, and family values.

After all, if what voters are going to get are basically Democrats, why wouldn’t they choose the real thing?

23 responses to “Stand Or Fall”

  1. Erica says:

    Of course it’s a liberal country. Americans routinely in polls voice their majority support for women’s rights to choose, for fair wages and transparent government, for conservation of natural resources in the public trust, even for civil recognition of homosexual unions. It turns out that a lot more people support liberal positions than care to identify themselves as liberals, which says more about Republican efforts to poison the well than anything else.

    The exception, of course, is at the bottom rungs of the education ladder, which is where you find the base of support for “pro-life” forced birth, budget-busting tax cuts for the rich, selling off our natural heritage to oil companies, etc. (And I suspect that Jay will trot out that little study he always has and prove exactly that.) Well, that’s fine, I guess. If Jay wants to put forth the thesis that the least educated Americans are somehow the most tuned into the national spirit – even if they can’t actually find the nation on an unlabeled map – he’s free to do so.

  2. Kari says:

    “Jon Tester and James Webb almost certainly have more in common with the GOP than they do with a liberal like Nancy Pelosi.” First, obvious statement, it doesn’t really matter that Jim Webb and Jon Tester are more moderate Democrats then Nancy Pelosi because they are not in the same legislative body as Nancy Pelosi. But, upon a deeper analysis of the real issue here, what truly matters is that Jim Webb and Jon Tester beat Republicans, specifically Republicans who were originally supposed to spank them. Before George Allen’s campaign crashed and burned, he was a contender for the ’08 Presidental nomination. By the end of the Burns campaign he was so desparate that he actually had to have the President come and campaign for him – even though a majority of the GOP candidates ran by distancing themselves from the President.

    Despite what the GOP pundits on FOX News say this is the beginning of a shift in National Politics and certainly, as Democrats now control a majority of Governorships and State Legislatures, a shift in state and local politics that will signal the decline of the Conservative Era.

  3. Jay Reding says:

    Well, that’s fine, I guess. If Jay wants to put forth the thesis that the least educated Americans are somehow the most tuned into the national spirit – even if they can’t actually find the nation on an unlabeled map – he’s free to do so.

    Typical leftist arrogance.

    Every poll shows that conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1. If this nation is truly liberal, why did Wisconsin pass a (rather draconian) ban on gay marriages? If Americans are resoundingly pro-choice, why then do a majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life. And the absolutely asinine assumption that conservatives don’t support national parks, transparent government, and all the rest is just stupid. It’s a silly strawman argument concluded with an arrogant presumption of moral superiority.

    And we’re supposed to be the moralizers here? Give me a fracking brake.

    Despite what the GOP pundits on FOX News say this is the beginning of a shift in National Politics and certainly, as Democrats now control a majority of Governorships and State Legislatures, a shift in state and local politics that will signal the decline of the Conservative Era.

    If the Democrats think that, they have another thing coming. The Democrats won by putting up center-right candidates. Gay marriage suffered resounding electoral defeats. Racial preferences were defeated in Michigan. Ned Lamont got his ass kicked. In the suburban Sixth, an out and out conservative firebrand won. There’s absolutely no evidence that ideological liberalism gained any ground in this election — in fact, it was still defeated.

    Jonah Goldberg said it best:

    It’s entirely understandable and predictable that in the wake of this election liberals would go into wishful thinking mode and declare that they’ve escaped history. But that doesn’t make it any less absurd.

    No, it doesn’t, and if the Democrats take a center-right victory and try to interpret it as a far-left mandate, they’ll lose their majority just as quickly as they gained it.

  4. Mark says:

    Jon Tester is not a conservative. That’s the reason Conrad Burns was able to close the gap on him in the end. He’s well to the left of the Montana electorate. Jim Webb does meet your definition of a conservative Democrat, however.

    As for the idea that Republicans who moved to center were the losers while the true believers hung on, it has no bearing on reality, particularly in the case of Gutknecht vs. Bachmann. Gutknecht ran a horrible campaign against an outstanding challenger in a swing district. Bachmann ran a good campaign against a weak challenger in a Republican stronghold. It’s really that simple.

  5. Kari says:

    “If Americans are resoundingly pro-choice, why then do a majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life.” Jay, the issue with most Americans is not about being pro-life or anti-life. The issue is about when does a woman have the right to decide what is appropriate for her body. A text book example of this just happened in South Dakota. The abortion ban was voted down, not because South Dakota is particularly liberal or because the citizens of South Dakota enjoy killing babies. Rather the abortion ban was defeated because the ban was too extreme, it did not reflect the majority of the “pro-life” voters in South Dakota.

    “No, it doesn’t, and if the Democrats take a center-right victory and try to interpret it as a far-left mandate, they’ll lose their majority just as quickly as they gained it.” If you think that Speaker Pelosi will be take this victory as a mandate to run to the left you are sadly mistaken. The Democratic leadership knows what a huge victory this is for us and they will not squander it. Also, we were the ones pledging to work in a bi-partisan manner if we were elected, rather then running around equating voting for liberals with supporting the terrorists.

  6. Erica says:

    “If this nation is truly liberal, why did Wisconsin pass a (rather draconian) ban on gay marriages? If Americans are resoundingly pro-choice, why then do a majority of Americans identify themselves as pro-life.”

    Because Americans don’t always agree on what those labels mean. I mean, your supposedly “anti-abortion” South Dakodans resoundlingly rejected their draconian abortion ban. Americans may not think abortion is something they could ever have for themselves, but it’s obvious, even from your Zogby poll, that Americans still recognize a woman’s right to choose for herself on the matter. Plenty of Americans believe that “pro-life” still means allowing abortion in some cases – before a certain level of development, perhaps, or under certain circumstances or medical emergencies. Hardly “anti-abortion.” But definately liberal.

    “And the absolutely asinine assumption that conservatives don’t support national parks, transparent government, and all the rest is just stupid.”

    It’s completely accurate, and Congress’s legislative record for the past 12 years proves it. From opening ANWR to drill less than a year’s-worth of oil (if we can even get it out, as global warming renders ANWR unreachable by pipeline or oil truck) to rejecting more Freedom of Information Act requests in the last 4 years than in the in the previous 10, the Republicans have made it absolutely clear that preserving wildlife and government transparency mean a whole lot less to them than corporate giveaways and feeding at the trough of corruption.

    “And we’re supposed to be the moralizers here? Give me a fracking brake.”

    Oh, for god’s sake, fanboy – learn to say “fuck” like we do here on Planet Earth. BG rocks, yes, but you need to take a cold shower before you start talking like a Cylon. (And also, it’s “break”.)

    “Ned Lamont got his ass kicked.”

    By the much-more-liberal Lieberman. This is supposed to be the “failure of liberalism”?

    Tuesday was a great day for anybody who believes that government and religion should be two seperate things, and that political power should not have to come at the price of suborning government to a sectarian agenda. That’s a victory for liberalism if I ever heard one.

  7. Jay Reding says:

    Jon Tester is not a conservative. That’s the reason Conrad Burns was able to close the gap on him in the end. He’s well to the left of the Montana electorate. Jim Webb does meet your definition of a conservative Democrat, however.

    Being “well to the left of the Montana electorate” is still pretty damned conservative. If Tester proves to be a liberal, then he’d better not be getting a seven-year lease on his Georgetown apartment…

    As for the idea that Republicans who moved to center were the losers while the true believers hung on, it has no bearing on reality, particularly in the case of Gutknecht vs. Bachmann. Gutknecht ran a horrible campaign against an outstanding challenger in a swing district. Bachmann ran a good campaign against a weak challenger in a Republican stronghold. It’s really that simple.

    That’s probably true in Gutknecht’s case, but Bachmann did much better than she should have. Either she inspired more GOP turnout in her district, or she ran stronger with independents than the rest.

    Jay, the issue with most Americans is not about being pro-life or anti-life. The issue is about when does a woman have the right to decide what is appropriate for her body.

    Which still misses the point, the majority of Americans equate abortion with manslaughter. An innocent fetus involved. It’s not just about a “woman’s body” and no amount of spinning can change that.

    The abortion ban was voted down, not because South Dakota is particularly liberal or because the citizens of South Dakota enjoy killing babies. Rather the abortion ban was defeated because the ban was too extreme, it did not reflect the majority of the “pro-life” voters in South Dakota.

    That much is true. Being pro-life doesn’t mean that one wouldn’t be willing to make exceptions in certain situations.

    If you think that Speaker Pelosi will be take this victory as a mandate to run to the left you are sadly mistaken. The Democratic leadership knows what a huge victory this is for us and they will not squander it. Also, we were the ones pledging to work in a bi-partisan manner if we were elected, rather then running around equating voting for liberals with supporting the terrorists.

    That’s what she’s saying, but when John Conyers starts turning into the left-wing version of Joe McCarthy, that will go down the toilet in the heartbeat. The Democratic base doesn’t want to play nice, they want blood, and Pelosi will have to get it or those left-wing activists will go home in 2008.

    Americans may not think abortion is something they could ever have for themselves, but it’s obvious, even from your Zogby poll, that Americans still recognize a woman’s right to choose for herself on the matter. Plenty of Americans believe that “pro-life” still means allowing abortion in some cases – before a certain level of development, perhaps, or under certain circumstances or medical emergencies. Hardly “anti-abortion.” But definately liberal.

    56% of people equate abortion with manslaughter. The liberal “mainstream” is abortion on demand. There’s no reconciling those two positions.

    It’s completely accurate, and Congress’s legislative record for the past 12 years proves it. From opening ANWR to drill less than a year’s-worth of oil (if we can even get it out, as global warming renders ANWR unreachable by pipeline or oil truck)

    All of which is pure bullshit. ANWR would supply a year’s worth of oil if that became our sole source of oil – and that’s only with *proven* reserves. If ANWR wasn’t economically viable, why the hell would the oil companies have any interest in drilling there. Oil companies don’t spend billions developing the complicated and expensive infrastructure necessary to drill oil for one year of supply. The whole argument is stupid.

    And the idea that ANWR becomes impassible because of global warming is complete crap. ANWR is a pestilential wasteland 6 months out of the year and frozen the other six. The caribou don’t give a damn about a few drilling stations the size of Dulles Airport in an area the size of Delaware. The arguments about ANWR were made about Prudhoe Bay, and the caribou happen to be flourishing.

    ANWR will produce a sizeable amount of oil, and if it wouldn’t then there’s no harm in opening it since no one would drill there. It won’t hurt the caribou or any other wildlife. It won’t be impassible because of global warming. Each and every one of those arguments are completely baseless.

    Oh, for god’s sake, fanboy – learn to say “fuck” like we do here on Planet Earth. BG rocks, yes, but you need to take a cold shower before you start talking like a Cylon. (And also, it’s “break”.)

    Actually, in the next upgrade, you won’t be able to swear. I’d get used to it if I were you… after all, nuns and little children could be reading this stuff.

    By the much-more-liberal Lieberman. This is supposed to be the “failure of liberalism”?

    Wait, so now “Rape Gurney Joe” is a liberal again? So all this hatred directed at him was for nothing? My, how things change.

    Ned Lamont was first and foremost a vapid moron, but he was running as a hardcore leftist, and he got spanked.

    Tuesday was a great day for anybody who believes that government and religion should be two seperate things, and that political power should not have to come at the price of suborning government to a sectarian agenda. That’s a victory for liberalism if I ever heard one.

    Yup, a day where several states passed bans on gay marriage, including Wisconsin. I’m sure that’s the message — only if you live on Planet Democrat where facts and logic never intrude on one’s whacko partisan fantasies.

    Please though, make sure the Democrats run as leftists. The shorter a span they have in Congress, the better for this country.

  8. Erica says:

    Why do you have the term “woman’s bodies” in scare quotes? It is about women’s bodies, because you might notice that we are the ones who get pregnant. And that’s why I get so passionate about it. This isn’t an academic discussion for me; I might someday become pregnant, which is actually the last thing on earth that I want. My desire to give birth ranks somewhere between my desire to contract dysentary and have a belly full of tapeworms. This would be why my husband and I use contraceptives, and why I’m paranoid that they might be taken away from me. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe the fetus is a human being with rights, because I am a human being with the right not to have my body co-opted for another’s use. I don’t have to donate blood, I don’t have to donate a kidney, I can’t be sold into slavery, and I don’t have to play host to any organism that happens to take up residence within me. Jay Reding might have a right to life, but his right to life doesn’t mean that he gets to take bone marrow from whomever he pleases in order to survive cancer. Perhaps you’re under the impression that women suddenly stop having rights the moment sperm meets egg. Or maybe you don’t believe that men and women have the same rights.

    Pro-choice is the compromise. People who want abortions get them, people who don’t want abortions don’t get them. The opposite of “abortions for nobody” is “abortions for everybody”.

  9. Jay Reding says:

    Why do you have the term “woman’s bodies” in scare quotes?

    Actually, they’re just plain quotes. Scary quotes have fangs.

    It is about women’s bodies, because you might notice that we are the ones who get pregnant.

    Really? Hadn’t noticed.

    And that’s why I get so passionate about it. This isn’t an academic discussion for me; I might someday become pregnant, which is actually the last thing on earth that I want. My desire to give birth ranks somewhere between my desire to contract dysentary and have a belly full of tapeworms.

    And just what do you have against tapeworms?

    This would be why my husband and I use contraceptives, and why I’m paranoid that they might be taken away from me.

    Which has about as much a chance of happening as the UN’s black helicopters coming down to round us all into camps while the Jews who live in the center of the earth take over on the behalf of the Beta Reticulan Greys. (I’d fit the Bavarian Illuminati in there somewhere, but after reading brutal torts cases, I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader.)

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe the fetus is a human being with rights, because I am a human being with the right not to have my body co-opted for another’s use.

    Hence why you have two choices: use contraceptives (and incur the risk that they may fail) or not have sex. Yes, sex is fun, but it’s also a means of procreation. You can blame God for that one, although since you don’t apparently believe in Him, you’re pretty much SOL.

    I don’t have to donate blood, I don’t have to donate a kidney, I can’t be sold into slavery, and I don’t have to play host to any organism that happens to take up residence within me.

    However, if you sign up for an activity where you have a chance of having a kidney taken, you’ve assumed that particular risk. (Which is coincidentally why I’m canceling my Malaysian vacation…)

    Jay Reding might have a right to life, but his right to life doesn’t mean that he gets to take bone marrow from whomever he pleases in order to survive cancer.

    Crap, now I’ll have to let all those transients out of the basement…

    Perhaps you’re under the impression that women suddenly stop having rights the moment sperm meets egg. Or maybe you don’t believe that men and women have the same rights.

    Actually, I believe that men and women both lose certain rights when a third party comes into play — mainly the baby. The value of your convenience does not outweigh the life of another.

    Pro-choice is the compromise. People who want abortions get them, people who don’t want abortions don’t get them. The opposite of “abortions for nobody” is “abortions for everybody”

    Well, I thought you were going to make abortions mandatory

    That argument is completely non-sensical. The very existence of abortions of convenience is an affront to human dignity. You can’t say that utter disrespect for human life is a compromise — it’s like saying “well, black slavery is a compromise since white people don’t have to be slaves.”

    Sorry, that line of logic still misses the point.

  10. Erica says:

    Do you think you could release the post that’s apparently stuck in your moderation queue? Just the first one will suffice.

  11. Jay Reding says:

    Do you think you could release the post that’s apparently stuck in your moderation queue? Just the first one will suffice.

    Crap, it must have gotten tagged as spam by Askimet, and I flushed all of those posts already. You weren’t trying to get me to buy herbal Viagra, where you?

  12. Erica says:

    Lemme try again. Media Matters makes it pretty clear – with polls much more recent than your Zogby blip – that the idea that the election is anything but an indication of increasing support for progressive/liberal positions is just a bedtime story.

    Dems win big, progressive policies enjoy broad public support

    Moreover:

    Ignoring widespread agreement on core issues, media suggested wins by “conservative Democrats” will cause intraparty strife

    Let’s be realistic. You believe that a single-celled zygote is a fully-protected human being with the right to demand occupancy inside my uterus; I find your arguments unconvincing and your “rebuttals” nothing but glib one-liners. I believe that abortion should be a choice and you believe it shouldn’t be a choice for anybody. We’ll never agree, and I expect that situation will probably continue. “Abortion on demand” is as much a liberal position as forced birth is a conservative one.

    But in every state with an initiative to raise the minimum wage, it passed. Missouri, a state with practically no abortion clinics, voted to support embryonic stem cell research in a popular referendum. (There goes your “pro-life majority.”)

    “Hence why you have two choices: use contraceptives (and incur the risk that they may fail) or not have sex.”

    Or the third, entirely legal option – evict humans beings from my body who do not have the position to reside there.

    Funny, I guess. I would have thought property rights, at least, were something a conservative could get behind. Not when it means recognizing women as people, I guess.

    “However, if you sign up for an activity where you have a chance of having a kidney taken, you’ve assumed that particular risk.”

    Wha…? I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about. Exactly what do you do, Jay, where you feel you’re at risk for having your kidneys taken?

    You watch too much Nip/Tuck, I think. Lay off the TV; you’re a pretty good example of the whole brain-rotting thing.

    “You can’t say that utter disrespect for human life is a compromise”

    The compromise is that whether or not you believe that an organism in a single-celled stage of life, residing inside an unwilling host, counts as a human life worthy of respect is an entirely personal decision. But I appreciate that that might be a point too subtle for you. I guess it’s a lot easier in conservative know-it-all land where Jay Reding gets to decide the answers to all moral questions. (What was I saying before about moralist Republicans? It’s very convinient how your behavior always proves me right.)

    “If ANWR wasn’t economically viable, why the hell would the oil companies have any interest in drilling there. Oil companies don’t spend billions developing the complicated and expensive infrastructure necessary to drill oil for one year of supply.”

    They don’t, and they’re not. 13 different oil companies examined the possibility of drilling ANWR, and each of them passed ANWR up. And not a single company has even begun construction on the infrastructure needed to drill in ANWR. Why would they? The oil regions are accessable only 2-3 months out of the year – a window that narrows year after year as global temperatures rise, leaving the whole area an impassible, muddy morass.

    ANWR will produce no oil. Nobody can get an oil company interested in it except as a giveaway; it won’t produce even a drop of oil until a decade after the construction that hasn’t even started yet. Since you can’t pipeline out of the region, you’ll have to take it out by truck and the area is going to become impassable to trucks within a few years. So, ANWR has basically no value to oil companies, yet Republicans saw fit to give it to them rather than protect an important wildlife reserve. Which proves my point.

  13. Erica says:

    It’s the links, I think. Your spam filter barfs on anybody’s links but yours, I guess.

  14. Jay Reding says:

    It’s the links, I think. Your spam filter barfs on anybody’s links but yours, I guess.

    Could be – Askimet is a separate service, so the only control over it I have is being able to remove comments from the spam trap… if I didn’t get over 5,000 spams a day I’d get rid of it… sigh…

  15. Erica says:

    Well, look. I can’t continue this discussion if I’m as good as banned. And my post doesn’t make any sense without the corroborating information. Suffice to say, your Zogby poll doesn’t seem to represent the real situation; it’s been contradicted both by these recent election results and more recent polling showing a majority of Americans more sympathetic to the pro-choice position than to the anti-abortion position.

  16. Erica says:

    Actually, one more thing I couldn’t pass up:

    However, if you sign up for an activity where you have a chance of having a kidney taken, you’ve assumed that particular risk.

    What on Earth are you talking about, here? This doesn’t make any sense at all. Do you just have some very strange hobbies, or what? Are you saying that people who contract illnesses or conditions that result in kidney loss shouldn’t be allowed to have transplants, because they “assumed the risk” by doing… what, exactly? Living?

    You’re not going to amount to much of a lawyer if this kind of glib nonsense is the best you can bring to bear.

  17. Jay Reding says:

    Well, look. I can’t continue this discussion if I’m as good as banned. And my post doesn’t make any sense without the corroborating information. Suffice to say, your Zogby poll doesn’t seem to represent the real situation; it’s been contradicted both by these recent election results and more recent polling showing a majority of Americans more sympathetic to the pro-choice position than to the anti-abortion position.

    I apologize for that. If you like, go ahead and repost your comment – I won’t clear the spam cache until you have, so if it gets caught again, I’ll bring it out.

    You’re not banned, it’s just that you must have posted a link that triggered the spam filter – when I flag it as not spam, it should clear through in the future.

    I may yet turn on optional registration so that users can bypass the filters…

  18. Jay Reding says:

    Lemme try again. Media Matters makes it pretty clear – with polls much more recent than your Zogby blip – that the idea that the election is anything but an indication of increasing support for progressive/liberal positions is just a bedtime story.

    Consider the source…

    There’s absolutely no argument that the country has moved leftward. Does MM really think that the electorate voted on an anti-gun platform when the actual results say the exact opposite? That logic doesn’t even begin to fly. The article is filled with blatantly ridiculous assertions like that. The argument that the nation is moving left when even the Democrats have abandoned gun control as a national issue, gay marriage bans passed by significant margins in several states, and the Democrats who won are all more ideologically in tune with the Lieberman wing of the party than the Pelosi wing are show those assertions to be utterly false.

    But in every state with an initiative to raise the minimum wage, it passed. Missouri, a state with practically no abortion clinics, voted to support embryonic stem cell research in a popular referendum. (There goes your “pro-life majority.”)

    By a narrow margin, and mainly due to a slick ad campaign. Stem cell research may be popular, but abortion is not. The two issues are related, but stem cell research uses leftover embryos from IVF, which is still morally problematic, but less so than abortion.

    Or the third, entirely legal option – evict humans beings from my body who do not have the position to reside there.

    You made a choice to engage in an action which caused that embryo to exist. You don’t have the right to change your mind once an innocent third party is involved. Your convenience cannot morally eclipse someone else’s right to exist.

    Wha…? I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about. Exactly what do you do, Jay, where you feel you’re at risk for having your kidneys taken?

    It’s called a “hypothetical”…

    You watch too much Nip/Tuck, I think. Lay off the TV; you’re a pretty good example of the whole brain-rotting thing.

    Never seen it. And gratuitous insults don’t suit you.

    The compromise is that whether or not you believe that an organism in a single-celled stage of life, residing inside an unwilling host, counts as a human life worthy of respect is an entirely personal decision.

    No, it isn’t, as that predisposes that the unique human life at question has absolutely no stake in the matter. Human life can never be abrogated in favor of one’s personal convenience.

    But I appreciate that that might be a point too subtle for you. I guess it’s a lot easier in conservative know-it-all land where Jay Reding gets to decide the answers to all moral questions. (What was I saying before about moralist Republicans? It’s very convinient how your behavior always proves me right.)

    Those rules existed for thousands of years before I was even born. I don’t take credit for them, I just defend them as I can.

    They don’t, and they’re not. 13 different oil companies examined the possibility of drilling ANWR, and each of them passed ANWR up. And not a single company has even begun construction on the infrastructure needed to drill in ANWR. Why would they? The oil regions are accessable only 2-3 months out of the year – a window that narrows year after year as global temperatures rise, leaving the whole area an impassible, muddy morass.

    ANWR will produce no oil. Nobody can get an oil company interested in it except as a giveaway; it won’t produce even a drop of oil until a decade after the construction that hasn’t even started yet. Since you can’t pipeline out of the region, you’ll have to take it out by truck and the area is going to become impassable to trucks within a few years. So, ANWR has basically no value to oil companies, yet Republicans saw fit to give it to them rather than protect an important wildlife reserve. Which proves my point.

    If all that’s true, where’s the harm in opening the area for production then? Then nobody will take the deal and the issue becomes moot. If there’s no one will want to drill there, then opening the area up for production isn’t an issue worth fighting in the first place, especially so vociferously.

    Of course, that isn’t in the case. There could be as much as 32 years worth of oil production up there, supplying 1.4 million barrels of oil per day — enough to cut in half our dependence on either Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, or Venezuela. The environmental costs to that region would be minimal, and the opposition to drilling there is less practical and more ideological than anything else.

  19. Erica says:

    “By a narrow margin, and mainly due to a slick ad campaign.”

    Um, no. Look, I live here and I can tell you that the ad campaigns had nothing to do with it. People around here simply have a more progressive view of life than you think Americans are allowed to have; they know that a zygote fertilized by nuclear transfer, lacking even the capability to gestate even inside a uterus, is not a human life but a research tool.

    “Stem cell research may be popular, but abortion is not.”

    Says you, but in a country where more than 20% of all pregnancies end in an abortion, and 53% of Americans are sympathetic to the pro-choice position and reject anti-abortion restrictions, voluntary abortion remains an option that Americans believe women ought to have, at least under some circumstances.

    “You made a choice to engage in an action which caused that embryo to exist. You don’t have the right to change your mind once an innocent third party is involved. Your convenience cannot morally eclipse someone else’s right to exist.”

    That’s like saying that if I open the window to get some fresh air, I don’t have any right to complain when a thief crawls right in and starts taking things.

    Sorry, but that’s false. Embryos might have every right to exist, but they have no right to exist in my uterus if I determine that I don’t want them there. They may very well die as a result of eviction but that’s life. The fact of the matter is that we’re talking about the destruction of a life that can’t even experience the destruction.

    It doesn’t have a soul or a spirit; those things are make-believe. It certainly doesn’t have a mind so it’s incapable of experience. At best it percieves pain not as suffering but as chemical signals indicating damage – the same way a plant feels pain.

    Consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy, any more than consenting to open your door is consenting to having someone move in.

    “It’s called a “hypothetical”…”

    A hypothetical what? I guess I still don’t understand what you think somebody would be doing where they accept the risk of the loss of a kidney.

    In fact the fact that no such situation exists makes your “hypothetical” actually prove my point – there’s no such situation where you could do something and be expected to lose a kidney and not be able to do anything about it. It’s only when we’re talking about what women stand to lose that, all of a sudden, a single-celled organism’s preference for residing in uteruses suddenly means more than the property rights of adult human beings who, ostensably, are supposed to be considered equal under law.

    “No, it isn’t, as that predisposes that the unique human life at question has absolutely no stake in the matter.”

    No more than a thief has a “stake” in the value of my possessions. The life in question doesn’t have a stake in the matter, because that life is trespassing on my property – my uterus.

    “Those rules existed for thousands of years before I was even born.”

    What, they were handed down by a God who doesn’t exist?

    “If all that’s true, where’s the harm in opening the area for production then? ”

    The harm is the destruction of natural resources and the disruption of indigenous, endangered species. I mean, maybe all that stuff doesn’t matter to you, but wasn’t that exactly my point? That Republicans aren’t interested in protecting natural resources?

    “There could be as much as 32 years worth of oil production up there, supplying 1.4 million barrels of oil per day — enough to cut in half our dependence on either Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, or Venezuela.”

    There’s not a single oil company that believes that, which is why nobody’s drilling in ANWR yet.

  20. Jay Reding says:

    Um, no. Look, I live here and I can tell you that the ad campaigns had nothing to do with it. People around here simply have a more progressive view of life than you think Americans are allowed to have; they know that a zygote fertilized by nuclear transfer, lacking even the capability to gestate even inside a uterus, is not a human life but a research tool.

    Setting the precedent that human life is a mere “research tool” is hardly a position that leads to good ends.

    Says you, but in a country where more than 20% of all pregnancies end in an abortion, and 53% of Americans are sympathetic to the pro-choice position and reject anti-abortion restrictions, voluntary abortion remains an option that Americans believe women ought to have, at least under some circumstances.

    There’s a big difference between exception rape and incest (which even I’d leave room for) and abortions on the basis that a unique human life is secondary to someone else’s whim.

    That’s like saying that if I open the window to get some fresh air, I don’t have any right to complain when a thief crawls right in and starts taking things.

    Except that hypothetical isn’t similar at all. Sex is inextricably tied to procreation. Every time someone has good old-fashioned hetero sex, they take a risk of pregnancy. Contraception mitigates that risk, but it doesn’t eliminate it. There’s one foolproof way to not get pregnant: don’t have sex. If you don’t like that idea, fine, but you’re still assuming the risk of pregnancy.

    It doesn’t have a soul or a spirit; those things are make-believe. It certainly doesn’t have a mind so it’s incapable of experience. At best it percieves pain not as suffering but as chemical signals indicating damage – the same way a plant feels pain.

    Then you don’t either. Why should it be illegal for me to harvest your organs if it suits my purposes?

    Consenting to sex is not consenting to pregnancy, any more than consenting to open your door is consenting to having someone move in.

    Except biology disagrees. Sex and reproduction are tied. There’s no way of getting around that fact.

    A hypothetical what? I guess I still don’t understand what you think somebody would be doing where they accept the risk of the loss of a kidney.

    Hypotheticals don’t have to be realistic situations. I take it you’ve never taken a philosophy course.

    It’s only when we’re talking about what women stand to lose that, all of a sudden, a single-celled organism’s preference for residing in uteruses suddenly means more than the property rights of adult human beings who, ostensably, are supposed to be considered equal under law.

    A fetus is a genetically unique human being. It is a form of life. You can’t argue that your property rights outweigh it’s rights to live a natural life. Such an argument has some truly horrendous consequences.

    No more than a thief has a “stake” in the value of my possessions. The life in question doesn’t have a stake in the matter, because that life is trespassing on my property – my uterus.

    No, it didn’t. Last I checked fetuses don’t crawl into you at night — at least not unless the Alien movies were documentaries and nobody bothered to tell me. You have to take an affirmative action (ie doing the matress mambo) in order to get pregnant. You can’t trespass when you’ve been invited.

    What, they were handed down by a God who doesn’t exist?

    And are the product of thousands of years of collected human wisdom…

    The harm is the destruction of natural resources and the disruption of indigenous, endangered species. I mean, maybe all that stuff doesn’t matter to you, but wasn’t that exactly my point? That Republicans aren’t interested in protecting natural resources?

    There’s not a single oil company that believes that, which is why nobody’s drilling in ANWR yet.

    They can’t drill in ANWR. The area isn’t open to them.

    And besides, your second premise contradicts the first. If nobody really wants to drill in ANWR, then there’s no “destruction of natural resources” (What natural resources? In what way would they be destroyed?) Nor would there be any disruption to the poor endangered animals in ANWR, because there are no endangered animals in ANWR. No endangered species live there, unless lemmings have suddenly become endangered.

    No drilling, no disruption, so if no one wants to drill there, where’s the harm?

  21. Erica says:

    “Setting the precedent that human life is a mere “research tool” is hardly a position that leads to good ends.”

    Something that will never even have a brainstem is not a human life. It’s a human cell, nothing more. How could it be more?

    “There’s a big difference between exception rape and incest (which even I’d leave room for) and abortions on the basis that a unique human life is secondary to someone else’s whim.”

    There’s no difference. It’s just you hold a different opinion about which pregnancies are inconvinient enough to merit abortion. To me, any unwanted pregnancy is sufficient justification to evict an unwanted tenant. For you, the pregnancy has to be the product of rape. And apparently voluntary incest, though I don’t understand how you don’t see the contradiction in allowing abortions of convinience when siblings have consensual sex. Why on Earth would you want to reward that behavior?

    “Except that hypothetical isn’t similar at all. Sex is inextricably tied to procreation.”

    The very fact that we’re having this conversation, Jay, is proof that it isn’t. Abortion is possible; thus, sex and pregnancy are not inextricable. Contraception and abortion are how sex and procreation are extricated. Duh!

    “If you don’t like that idea, fine, but you’re still assuming the risk of pregnancy.”

    Which I can then eliminate with abortion.

    What exactly is preventing you from understanding that? Seems pretty basic to me. You’re not arguing that they are inextricable; you’re arguing that they should be, although you’ve given absolutely no reason why.

    I say they’re two seperate things, and they should remain that way. If you disagree you’re under an obligation to explain why.

    “Why should it be illegal for me to harvest your organs if it suits my purposes?”

    Because I own them, and that would be stealing.

    If you can’t come up with a secular justification to prohibit stealing on your own, then you’re not going to be very successful in law school, I think.

    “Hypotheticals don’t have to be realistic situations.”

    Glib as always. They have to be instructive situations, but your example fails completely on that count. It was an idiotic thing to say and you’d be better of recognizing that instead of trying to defend glib nonsense offered in lieu of rebuttal.

    “A fetus is a genetically unique human being. It is a form of life. You can’t argue that your property rights outweigh it’s rights to live a natural life.”

    I can and do, as do you. Plenty of people are starving because they don’t have food. You have food, but it’s still a crime for them to take it from you. Need doesn’t justify the violation of rights; my property rights can’t be violated simply because another human being requires it to live. It’s an insufficient justification.

    “You have to take an affirmative action (ie doing the matress mambo) in order to get pregnant. You can’t trespass when you’ve been invited.”

    And you’re supposed to be a law student? Invitations can be recinded. Or don’t they teach law in law school anymore?

    As for your affirmative action – sure. Like opening a window. Now, show me the backbend you have to do to show that the one doesn’t justify theft but the other (sex) justifies trespassing. And never mind, I guess, that the person you’re talking about didn’t even exist until days after the “affirmative action” you claim represents an extended invitation of tenancy. Open your Blackstones and please, I beg you, explain to me how you can offer an invitation to a person who doesn’t even exist.

    All this, of course, assumes that the unborn are people with rights; the law and the Constitution say differently which is why abortion is still legal.

    “And are the product of thousands of years of collected human wisdom…”

    Abortions have been legal and common for all of that thousand years, as well as during the founding of this country, too. You might want to actually check the contents of your thousand years of wisdom before you invoke it. Just a thought.

  22. Erica says:

    Oh, by the way. You’re not going to win a biology argument with me, so don’t even try. Biology does not agree that sex is always exclusively for the purpose of reproduction, nor does reproduction always occur every time a sexual act takes place. You see, many creatures other than humans (and including humans) have sex for reasons that have nothing to do with reproduction. Since female human firtility is cryptic, it’s actually impossible for all sex to be reproductive.

  23. Seth says:

    So many things wrong with that post.

    First, you were calling Tester a liberal not less than a few days ago. Now he’s a conservative. At least keep a consistent line of BS.

    Second, the Republicans that lost generally lost in places that hadn’t been gerrymandered so badly that a competitive election is possible. Like MN-01. Had a nut like Bachmann been running in the first (and against a good candidate), she would have lost by about 20.

    Lamont lost because he quit talking about Iraq and let Lieberman start sounding like a Democrat on foreign policy. Oh, and I prefer to look at it as the Democrats got 90% of the vote in Connecticut. Speaking of which, it was Connnecticut, not Massachusetts.

    Last–people in America say they are conservatives. Start cutting some of the programs these ‘conservatives’ want, and you’re headed for more elections like this last one. And you can’t in one post whine about the conserivative party in America not being conservative and then in the next talk about how conservative the country is. Again, at least keep a consistent line of BS