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Rush Limbaugh, partial-birth abortion, and more.

12:00 AM, Oct 14, 2003
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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


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


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


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