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Rush Limbaugh, partial-birth abortion, and more.

12:00 AM, Oct 14, 2003
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THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.

*1*

I respect David Skinner's viewpoint regarding Rush and the mess that has happened due to the politically-correct/anti-free speech crowd as well as a money-hungry, greedy ex-housekeeper and her husband (Rush Hour).

Yes, I am a dittohead. I think on my own. I research and do not believe most of what I see and or hear in the liberal media. My main news source that I prefer is Fox News, as I find they are more balanced then all others combined.

Now, downers, which is what Rush is accused of taking would not cause him to lose weight. Quite the opposite. Also if he were a true addict, he would not be able to function to the capacity he does, working six and sometimes seven days a week. Downers are just that. They make you feel down, too relaxed. That is what they are made for. My brother-in-law is addicted to OxyContin. He hardly works. When he does, he's late. When he's stoned he repeats himself, slurs his words, and forgets what he's doing. Rush would be acting the same way. There is no way in heaven his wife would not know of his supposed addiction. Anyone can accuse and come up with false evidence. Authorities have to investigate cases that may be drug related whether or not there is substantial true evidence.

I used to deal in illegal drugs many years ago, that is how I can spot an addict versus an occasional user. Rush is not an addict. Period.

--Kimberly Frain

*2*

While my political leanings couldn't be farther from Rush Limbaugh's, it isn't at all necessary to crouch criticism of his comments regarding Donovan McNabb with any ideological sentiment. (Ed Walsh, Rush Hour 2) McNabb's pro-bowl credentials, his career won-lost record, and the praise heaped on him by such prominent NFL offensive minds as John Gruden clearly fly in the face of any suggestion that Donovan is anything other than a top-tier NFL quarterback. By squandering his credibility as a football "analyst" with so erroneous an assessment, Limbaugh's subsequent statements about the media's response to McNabb's race deserved to be dismissed as equally off-beam.

--V.J. Yevoli

*3*

David Skinner's comments about the Coulterization of the right are true. Ridicule is an effective tool, but it embitters one's opponents and eventually makes them crazy. Rush is a parent of today's poisoned politics.

--Tom Root

*4*

It is not uncommon for fans and the media to give a quarterback too much credit when his team wins and too much of the blame when they lose. Someone who defends McNabb by saying that, "He led the Eagles to two consecutive NFC championship games" is clearly guilty of that mistake.

No one can really dispute what Rush said about Philadelphia's defense carrying the team. Last year the Eagles had only the tenth best team in terms of total offense. They were successful because they had the fourth best defense in the NFL.

We have seen no evidence that McNabb is the type of player who can carry a team. Last season he was injured and missed six games. If he were the heart and sole of this team then his absence should have hurt the Eagles. Instead, the Eagles had a higher winning percentage during the games he missed. That would suggest his impact is a negative one.

Another quarterback who plays for a strong defensive team is Brad Johnson. Johnson won a world championship last year with Tampa Bay. McNabb hasn't won a championship. Johnson had a QB rating of 92.9 last season. McNabb's was 86.0 and he has never had a QB rating over 90. Johnson's career rating is 84.8 compared to McNabb's 77.5. Yet the media has made McNabb more of a household name than Johnson. Why is that? It could be because of the teams they played for and the media markets they played in. It could be because announcers like saying "Donovan McNabb." (I could be wrong, but if his name was Donald McNabb I doubt he would be as famous.) Or it could be because Johnson is white and McNabb is black.

Rush could be wrong, but his point is not outrageous and is certainly worth debating. The fact that people are afraid to is more telling than Rush's remarks were.

--Rich Van Saders

*5*

Love Stephen F. Hayes's Big Plate Special. I'm always suspicious of any entree with "medallions."

I noticed Hayes mentioned "fragrant veal." Over here in China, "fragrant meat" is code for "dog."

--Mike Bero

*6*

Fred Barnes's Who's Vulnerable? is right on the mark. The next question is, why now, 13 months before the election? This premature combat only helps the Bush camp get ready for November 2004. It is counterproductive to the larger Democratic agenda for 2004. Why expose the issues early?

Bill Clinton's hands are all over this one. This is a strategy for February 2004 when Bill will have to decide if Hilary can beat Bush in November. If the answer is yes, Hilary will be "begged by her constituents" to "forgo the promise she made to serve out her first term in the Senate" and run for president. In that case, Bill and Hilary will be strongly pushing the voting public to "vote Democrat." If, on the other hand Bush is not deemed more than vulnerable, the Clintons will be publicly supporting and privately sabotaging the Democrat nominee.

--John Terry

*7*

Rachel DiCarlo has missed another constitutional issue that may strike down a federal ban on partial birth abortion: Federalism (Passing Partial Birth. The Supreme Court has narrowed the scope of federal commerce clause legislation striking down a federal ban on firearms within 1000 yards of a public school and giving a federal civil cause of action for victims of rape. In this instance, Congress does not have the enumerated power to dictate to all 50 states what medical procedures are or are not permissible. Though in favor of this ban, my loyalty to the concept of enumerated powers (Article 1, Section 8) and the limitations on Congress therein, I must conclude that Congress does not have this power and even liberal judges will seize on the Supreme Court's recent federalism case law to strike down this law.

Regardless of we conservatives feel about abortion, to be true to federalism we must acknowledge that Congress does not have the power to ban murder outright.

--Jason Stonefeld

*8*

Rachel DiCarlo doesn't go far enough is assessing the constitutionality of a federal ban on partial-birth abortion when she asks whether certain provisions of the law satisfy certain previous judicial objections. After all, conservatives do not generally accept the notion that the Constitution is merely what the Supreme Court says it is.

While conservatives may regard outlawing some or all abortion procedures to be a worthy objective, they must not assume that any means to that end is wholly compatible with conservative values. Conservatives must ask themselves whether the Constitution grants Congress the power to outlaw medical procedures in the first place. In point of fact, it does not, unless one is willing to regard abortion as a form of high-seas piracy.

Article I of the Constitution spells out what powers Congress has. And the 10th Amendment reserves to the states or the people any powers not expressly granted to Congress. Nowhere in Article I is Congress delegated the authority to legislate ordinary criminal law. With a few exceptions--counterfeiting, piracy, interstate commerce, military justice--the Constitution does not allow the federal government to make or enforce criminal laws at all. Which means that only the states may legitimately enact and outlaw most criminal laws.

In order to believe that a federal ban on partial-birth abortions can be constitutional, one must believe that the Constitution is a kind of living document, something more in the way of guidelines than rules, and that we can guess that the Founders would have given Congress the power to do anything that makes a person feel all warm and tingly inside if only they could have anticipated the future. But conservatives have a name for this kind of thinking: "Liberalism."

--R. Scott Rogers

*9*

Of course, The Daily Standard is doing exactly what we conservatives expect: you do not come to the defense of Rush..

I'm disgusted by your attempt to take the role of what you think the majority of Americans believe, instead of what is right.

Rush didn't say anything racist. He said something controversial. You may not agree, but don't say he shouldn't have said it. I could make the argument that everything The Weekly Standard says is controversial and shouldn't be said. But I don't; instead, I subscribe to it.

Stop thinking about hits and ratings, and have a backbone for once!

--Kevin Smith

*10*

Perhaps the example of this administration's hubris should be the other comments Gillespie made to the New York Times. (Ed Walsh, "Hubris" in '04) He also was quoted as saying, "They're all Howard Dean now. They have adopted harsh, bitter, personal attacks as their approach. They are a party of protest and pessimism and offer no positive agenda of their own." Yet, more important examples can be found in President's Bush refusal to comment on the Democratic candidates. Some may say he is too busy attending to the "war on terrorism," while others may say it follows his pattern of failing to acknowledge most factions that question his policies. Again, it is a point of view, as are the comments of this article.

We currently have a president who doesn't read the news because he assumes he will be informed of all that is important by his advisors. Maybe Walsh is correct in that the proper word isn't "hubris." Perhaps it's "arrogance."

--Royden Mills