McCain’s Surprising Sarah Palin Selection

For the past 18 months the nation has had opportunity to discuss and
confront a myriad of issues: Infrastructure deficiencies, the Iraq war,
treatment of veterans, energy independence, government corruption, the
continued conflict in Afghanistan, education, the national deficit,
immigration, health care and, yes, even society’s perception of race
and gender. Conversations on these topics, however vital they may be to
the nation, do not easily lend themselves to the marketing jargon and
quick quips that have become the hallmarks of today’s Republican Party.

It should come as no surprise then, when even the most staunch
within the GOP are finding it difficult to be inspired by the party’s
candidate for our nation’s highest office, that Arizona Sen. John
McCain would reach out and tap an individual with a personal story loud
enough to drown out the collapse of interstate bridges.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen, sports journalist,
city councilor and mayor, is the mother of five children. She has three
daughters: Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper, 7. She also has two
sons. Her eldest son, Track, joined the Army last fall. Her youngest
son, Trig, was born this past April and has Down Syndrome.

As Iowans saw when Rep. Janet Petersen took time off this spring to
give birth to her son, conservatives aren’t always tickled when a
female public servant takes time away from her duties to give birth. In
Palin’s case, however, there was a reason to celebrate the otherwise
termed “dereliction of duty.” While speaking with Michael Baggot of, Palin described her newborn as a “gift.”

“We knew through early testing he would face special
challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this
gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have
faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to
make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

I’ve no doubt she and her entire family have been and will be
blessed by their new member. I’ve also no doubt that her choice to
carry this child to term played heavily in the vice-presidential
selection process — something that saddens me and should sadden us all.

Standing alone McCain had little hope of winning the emotional
support and excitement of social conservatives. Standing with former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, McCain’s own short-comings would have
been highlighted. While Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty definitely brought
a strong anti-abortion stance to the ticket, but he, like McCain,
lacked the ability to pull the heart strings of social conservatives
and make them want to support McCain. Palin, as a woman with a
compelling personal story, can provide McCain what no other individual
could. Even at the cost of lowering the national conversation once
again into divisive politics… even while publicly proclaiming his
desire for armed conflict to continue for 100 years… McCain has gladly
and gleefully grasped Palin’s “pro-life” credentials as a last resort
to motivate the previous supporters of Pres. George W. Bush to head to
the polls in November.

Looking past November and at Palin’s record in relation to
government corruption, however, it’s difficult to know the role she
will play if she and McCain meet with success in the general election.
In many ways, she is the true maverick, having bucked Alaska GOP
leaders to take on incumbent and fellow Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski
in a heated primary. Then rising above the monetary to defeat former
Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles in the general election to become not only
Alaska’s first female governor, but the youngest governor in the
state’s history.

She has built her administration on the foundation of old-time GOP
values such as fiscal responsibility and limited government. While
Republicans in the beltway have dived further under the covers with
their big oil partners, her administration is noted for seeking
independence from such interests. While Republicans in the beltway are
linked to lobbyists like Jack Abramoff, Palin sold a jet purchased on a
state government credit account on eBay for $2.7 million.

Although she is currently embroiled in a legislative probe
as to whether she abused the power of her gubernatorial office — a
probe not expected to be completed until after the November general
election, it’s worth noting that McCain, in his lust to entice social
conservatives, may have neglected to consider the ramifications of
bringing someone so well known for unearthing government corruption
into a White House so recently vacated by the Bush administration.

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  • invalid-0

    I’ve no doubt she and her entire family have been and will be blessed by their new member. I’ve also no doubt that her choice to carry this child to term played heavily in the vice-presidential selection process — something that saddens me and should sadden us all.
    I’m not sure I’m following you. She has a beautiful family which she has obviously put a lot of care into raising, and now, as you say, there’s “no doubt” that they’ve been blessed with a new member. Why should all of us be “saddened” that she had another child while Governor, or that her status as a working mom “played heavily” in the GOP’s decision-making process? I thought we were past the day when getting pregnant while working was considered shameful or a reason to quit and go back home.

  • lynda-waddington

    I don’t think we should be saddened because she is a working mom or because she’s given birth to a child with special challenges. In fact, I agree with her wholeheartedly that her family has been blessed in ways she’s only begun to experience.

    I’m saddened because Palin — as a woman, as a mother, as a public servant and as a person with a special needs child — is being exploited on the alter of politics to bolster McCain’s standing with social conservatives and to overcome the other party’s strangle-hold on "making history."

    I want a woman in the White House and I want her to be there because she’s the best and most qualified person for the job. I’m saddened that such a feat is no longer possible in 2008. 

  • invalid-0

    I honestly cannot believe that McCain chose Palin to be VP. As a woman, I am elated that old white men such as McCain are beginning to be able to “overlook” our sex organs and see women as potential running mates. Yet, as a citizen of the United States, I am appalled at the idea of someone who was on the City Council and then Mayor of a town of less than 10,000 people for four years and now Governor for only two years could be President.

    The hypocrisy of the Republican party and McCain’s campaign has never been clearer when on one hand he criticizes Obama’s qualifications and then on the other, as a 72 year old man who has had major health complications, puts a person with little to no qualifications besides having chosen to bear a child with down syndrome and being staunchly anti-choice, even in the case of rape and incest.

    Supporters of McCain/Palin clearly do not care for their country if they are willing to put someone so obviously unqualified and even unaware of what the actual VP position entails not to mention zero foreign policy experience into the White House.

    This is almost as dumb as the Republicans were for putting as incompetent of a person as Bush in office for 8 years. Our country and our world simply cannot sustain continued mistakes like this just to satiate right wing nuts who only care about “saving babies”. Where is their morality? Where is their conscience?

    I hope that women and men alike can see through these charades, because if we don’t, our country and the rest of the world will continue to suffer the unsustainable consequences.

  • invalid-0

    I still don’t see why you’d be saddened that her status a mother, public servant etc. are being highlighted (or “exploited” as you say) — those are all positive things. Also, those things appeal to all people, not just social conservatives.
    Is Palin really all that unintelligent or incompetent? I know it’s a small state, but being Governor entails some level of responsibility. And I don’t think her experience with raising a big family should be discounted in the equation when qualifications are considered. Plus, as far as length of service it doesn’t seem to be that Obama’s is all that much longer (plus it’s legislative, not executive). Do you think that he’s not the “best and most qualified person for the job” and was just picked because of his “making history” qualities?

  • invalid-0


    I agree with you completely! The Republicans can smile into the camera and pretend this woman who by her own admission says she has no real world view/foreign policy perspective, and suggest she is qualified is shocking given the complexities we face. As importantly, what this says about McCain is even more frightening … he just made his first “presidential” decision, and his judgment was to make a short-sighted tactical decision that is purely political, and all about his ambition. I’m sure Gov. Palin is a lovely woman, but she is no where near ready to be one heart beat away.

    Lynda – this is a wonderful piece and I totally got what you were talking about and agree completely. It is wonderful to see a woman like Gov. Palin highlight the abilities of women in politics, but to know that McCain made this decision in an effort to manipulate women voters, rather than making a selection of someone truly qualified, is frightening.

    McCain’s been talking about Hillary so much, why didn’t he just pick her? AND THIS IS WAY OFF TOPIC, but if I see that PUMA freak Dara Murphy frowning on TV one more time I’ll scream.

  • lynda-waddington

    When an employer "highlights" particular employees based on their status, conservatives are usually the first to yell foul play. Interesting that when it is done for the sole purpose of bolstering support for one of their candidates, they see no harm.


    I’m not exactly sure what you want me to say about Obama’s level of experience. I think his record, like Palin’s, is well-documented. I haven’t, however, seen another presidential contender trying to snuggle up with him for the purpose of a photo op. Obama chose this himself and was not brought into the national spotlight for the purpose of furthering someone else’s lackluster appeal to a particular voting base.

  • invalid-0

    …she’s unqualified?


    Sure, she’s got executive experience (remember, the President is the head of the Executive branch?), in fact, more than Obama, Biden, and McCain put together. She served two terms as mayor. Giuliani was a mayor too, but no one said he wasn’t qualified to be president. (Oh yeah, I forgot: he’s a man!) She served as governor of Alaska. Bill Clinton was a governor too before being elected President. She has more executive experience than the other three players in the game.


    But you say she’s unqualified.


    She has legislative experience, having served on the Wasilla City Council for two terms. See, she’s got both legislative and executive experience.


    But you say she’s unqualified.


    She fought a corrupt governor and a corrupt G.O.P. and won the primary and the election. Then she worked to clean up the state government in Alaska. That experience could be useful, don’t you think?


    But you say she’s unqualified.


    She’s able to make her own choice about keeping or killing her Down’s syndrome child, as well as the millions of other decisions a wife and mother has to make.


    But you say she’s unqualified.


    I think Lynda is saddened because the thunder has been stolen from Obama’s campaign of empty promises, trite phrases, and bumper-sticker platitudes.


    I think Lynda is saddened because it took Republicans to put a credible female candidate in front of voters.

  • invalid-0

    Crispy …

    I can’t find anyone here who said anything but that it is good to see women in politics, the question of qualification gets to the fact the she was Mayor/Councilor in a town of 9000; is Governor (one year+) of the third smallest state; she may have fought corruption, but she is also under investigation for abuse of her executive power — that’s more of the same ethics we’ve seen from Bush; isn’t it great that Gov. Palin had a CHOICE to make about keeping all of her children, and isn’t it a shame she would deny that same CHOICE to other women.

    The point of qualification is that McCain demonstrates political tactics are more important to him than the security of the country. It was more important to motivate people, like you, that still equate women’s private health decisions with killing, demonstrating a lack of respect for any view other than your own. I’m sad only that a woman who has made her own choices would judge and deny those of others, and that McCain is making our world less safe, not more, by setting aside the most important qualification for a VP — being able to be President if required.

  • invalid-0

    All politics involves some kind of manipulation; Republicans don’t have a monopoly on that.

    The important point to keep in mind here is that she’s rabidly anti-choice, and by choosing her as VP, McCain has sent a strong signal about his RH politics.

    Also, and I think this is relevant, she has been a fervent advocate of oil drilling in the arctic wilderness and weakening protection of endangered species.

    I think we should all find this very frightening, whatever we think about her personal life and family choices.

  • invalid-0

    It is so hypocritical to be PROLIFE and be a hunter. If you look at her website you can see the sickening photo of her posed with the poor deer that she just killed with a big smile on her face.

    This woman also has little to no Political experience, and McCain’s strategy to have her as a running mate is just to try and attract Hillary’s voters. Well, its not going to work for me!!!

  • invalid-0

    Amen to that!
    McCain only picked her as his running mate to try and “capture” Hillary’s voters!

  • invalid-0

    Wow. This is exciting! The democratic party claims to be all about the women and look who picks a woman for the second in command for our country. Wow! You gotta love the TRUTH. You people have to be sick, I am soo sorry that your party has no integrity! Look at the courage of McCain – he really is a war hero – no kidding.

    Time to drill in Alaska! What a move – checkmate!

  • invalid-0

    Humans have dominion over animals
    Deer are animals
    Therefore, Humans have dominion over deer.

    To kill a human is murder
    Babies are human
    Therefore, to kill babies is murder.

    Use your brain that’s why God gave it to you.

  • lynda-waddington

    I’ve had opportunity tonight to meet some McCain supporters and ask their reaction to the Palin selection. Here’s what I was told verbatim:

    1. She’s hot. 
    2. She carries a gun.
    3. She’s hot. 
    4. She brings a whole new and pleasant meaning to the thought of drilling in Alaska.
    5. She’s hot. 

    One of the three women in the group did slug her guy in the shoulder for the drilling comment, but otherwise even the women were nodding along. What a major accomplishment for all the women who aspire to write and execute public policy. 


    There is a huge difference between placing a credible female candidate in front of voters and placing a female candidate in front of voters to be credible. 



  • invalid-0

    “you are other than smart”? is that some lame attempt at sounding literary? hmmm…didn’t work.
    also, your argument is invalid for two reasons:
    the first being that you assume that your God is the God of everyone else. so, your God’s “rules” can not be applied to the rest of the world. i know you think they can, but in true reality, they can’t.
    the second being that, saying we agree for a moment to accept your God’s rules as the be-all, end-all rules of the universe – it still doesn’t hold. Read some theology. God gave dominion to homo perfectus – in other words, He gave dominion to adam & eve BEFORE the fall. all bets (and rules) were pretty much off after that fall.
    oh yeah, and let me add a 3rd reason for your argument being invalid – you use a source that is metaphor, with MAYBE, a little history.
    you’re same little dominion theory, is also one of the biggest reasons men kept women down & submissive for so long. so, your argument also OFFENDS me.

  • invalid-0

    you’re just as sexist as mccain. you really must think women are that freaking stupid. “oh, mccain picked a girl? oh gee, well, i WAS pro-choice, pro-reproductive health, pro-universal health care, pro-environment, pro-scientific fact, pro-endangered species…but, my oh my, what’s a gal to do? i guess i’ll go and vote for the pretty pretty girl mccain picked for v.p.”
    the truth is, my-truth-trumps-yours returns, is that mccain chose palin for one reason alone – he can pay her far, far less than a male v.p.

  • invalid-0

    You are really an uneducated person!
    You are obviously a racist person who has a “white” superiority complex!
    You are one of those people who thinks that it is ok for little Jimmy to go “a huntin’ wit daddy” at 6 yeers old!

  • invalid-0

    Yeah, I am “other than smart” with my MBA in Economics!
    What is your education level?

  • invalid-0

    I totally agree with you, McCain is banking on the idea that all of the Hillary voters are “suddenly” going to go out and vote for him.

    Obama/Biden is the only ticket for me!

  • invalid-0

    You hit the nail right on the head!

  • invalid-0

    Joe Conason nailed it: McCain’s Palin pick is the epitome of tokenism.

  • invalid-0

    I liked this part of the Conason piece the best:
    Looking back on the Ferraro nomination, another well-known conservative wrote: “I believe that someday we are going to have a woman president, possibly during my life, and I’ve often thought the best way to pave the way for this was to first nominate and elect a woman as vice-president. But I think Mondale made a serious mistake when he picked Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. In my view, he guessed wrong in deciding to take a congresswoman that almost nobody had ever heard of and try to put her in line for the presidency … I don’t know who among the Democrats might have been a better choice, but it was obvious Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro simply because he believed there was a ‘gender gap’ where I was concerned and she was a woman.”

    Those are the words of Ronald Reagan in his 1991 memoir, “An American Life,” pouring scorn on the nomination of a woman who had served six years in Congress working on foreign policy issues. In retrospect, he had a point. Only this Palin gambit could make the Ferraro mistake look responsible and wise.

  • invalid-0

    When an employer “highlights” particular employees based on their status, conservatives are usually the first to yell foul play.
    The “status” we were discussing wasn’t one of the usual identity politics categories that the Democrats traditionally invoke. To refresh your memory, you indicated that you were “saddened” that Palin’s “choice to carry this child to term” influenced McCain’s selection process, along with her status as the working mother of other four children that she carried to term. You imply that those achievements are only admired by social conservatives, or are somehow especially admired by them — a conclusion that strikes me as astounding. I don’t remember anyone criticizing Obama for fathering and helping raise two children that Michelle Obama brought to term — to the contrary, those beautiful girls nearly stole the convention. I don’t see how that is exploitative or saddening at all.
    To be fair, I think you’d have to admit that Obama selected Biden to shore up his perceived weakness in the national security arena. But I doubt you’d say that you’re “saddened” that he was “exploiting” Biden’s alleged expertise. And I’m certain you’d never say that Obama was “snuggling up” to Biden for the purpose of a photo-op.
    Lynda, could you explain to me why you used the term “snuggling up” in connection with the elected Governor of Alaska?

  • invalid-0

    I thought you were interested in some sort of rational discussion, but apparently not. I’m sure I could also find a group of Obama supporters (or go to any one of millions of web sites) and quote them making comments about his appearance, charisma or any one of dozens of qualities unrelated to his fitness for the presidency, but that would be unfair and detract from the discussion.
    No, you’ve never stated the reasons you were saddened. As I pointed out, the qualities that influenced McCain to select Palin have universal appeal, something you have not disagreed with. You did seem to ultimately agree that McCain was “highlighting” those wonderful achievements rather than “exploiting” them, and I’m grateful for that.
    I thought we were also in general agreement that Obama and Palin were roughly equivalent in terms of government experience (except that Palin’s was executive rather than legislative). The tone of your last response suggests to me that you in fact actually agree with the sentiments of those anonymous “McCain supporters” you met, and that Palin’s professional and family accomplishments amount to nothing (although she might be a good snuggler).

  • invalid-0

    From your rebuttal to a valid and sound argument, and your extensive knowledge of Theology I am beginning to agree that some humans do not have dominion over animals. I will assume; however, that most humans use their intellect and reason even though you don’t. The fact that you have the ability (even if you don’t use it) sets you above animals. Maybe your life will be better with this new found knowledge of yourself!?

    Intellect, the ability to reason, and abstract thought separate humans from animals. This is true whether you believe in God or not.

    If you deny this objective truth, then you are just denying reality. People who deny reality are called delusional.

  • harry834

    "To kill a human is murder
    Babies are human
    Therefore, to kill babies is murder."

    Correct, and murder is a crime to be punished, maximum life in prison or the death penalty. Truth Returns was a bit reluctant to say so, but he is comfortable with letting states execute or imprison for life women who have abortions.

    Do you still stand by those statements, Truth? Killing a human is murder, as you said. So these punishments for women sound fair, even if they make you uncomfortable, correct?

  • invalid-0

    I’m sure your pieces of paper make you feel proud, but critical thinking requires more than certificates of achievement. Degrees only prove that you can parrot, regurgitate, and stroke what another societal recluse told you to belief about the world from which they have withdrawn. Hopefully you don’t have some sense of entitlement and you actually work, but it sounds like you are still hung up on your ability to open a book and mimic your academic idols.

    In the old days, PhD referred to a Doctorate of Philosophy. First you had to learn how to think critically and formulate sound and valid arguments then you could branch out into the other arts like economics. Part of the problem today is that people don’t know how to argue logically and think critically only emotionally. This is how things that are so simple and logical (like abortion) get so distorted. You can’t run a company or a country on feelings like you people would like to – it doesn’t work.

  • harry834

    murder in all its forms is a crime, to be punished to the harshest extent,like life and death sentences. Mothers who pay someone to cut their child’s throat deserve nothing but the worst retribution, so the same should go to mothers who pay someone to abort their child.

    That is where you stand, correct?

  • invalid-0

    You have glossed over the most significant fact about Palin. She is an anti-choice extremist who would outlaw abortion even in cases of rape, and force the rape victim to bear the rapist’s child. Please get the word out on this dangerous religious extremist stealth candidate.

  • harry834

    a degree does not mean you are right. I do feel there IS a general correlation between education and intellect, but not always. Educated people advocate for dumb things.

    But getting back to my point, Truth, do you have any response to my comments on murder, or would you like more time to think and prepare a logical answer?

  • invalid-0

    That is true, but it also means that “you” are uneducated.

    Your hatred for Obama is showing through the color of your skin. Hurry up, or you are going to be late for your KKK meeting!

  • harry834

    but is it really a fair shot to accuse Truth of having KKK-tendencies? Maybe I haven’t read through everything, but you’ll need to refer me to some of Truth’s passages to convice me that he is a racsist.

    I really do appreciate your views, Anony, which is why this challenge I ask is harder for me, but still necessary in the interest of fairness.

  • invalid-0

    Murder is Murder.

  • harry834

    you stand by your previous statement that the punishments for murder – including life and death sentences – should apply to women who get abortions, correct?

    I know your prior statement only applied to states that punished murder in that way, though states can evolve in how harshly they punish murderers. Whatever the statute, if it allows for life and death sentences for murder – which includes those who paid someone to perform the actual act – you would think it fair game for these states to punish women who get abortions that way, correct?

    You said so before. Do you stand by that?

  • invalid-0

    Since I am very much for life, in all of its stages, it is difficult for me to want to kill any human. I would say that my stance would be that whatever the punishment is for murder then that is what it should be for abortionists (since it is murder in the 1st degree). I understand why we have the death penalty, but I actually think that death is the easier of the two common sentences for murderers. The two punishments most common for murder in the 1st being the death penalty or life in prison. Not to mention, life in prison allows for the murderer to “potentially” change their ways.

  • harry834

    It’s clear that a homicidal mercenary is guilty of murder. My question for you was whether you would support the same punishment for the person who called the hit – ie the pregnant woman,

    who sought the abortionist, paid him money to committ the act, and positioned herself to facilitate his work

  • invalid-0

    YES, of course. I consider all involved as the abortionists.

  • mh

    Boy, these comments have degenerated fast into disgusting nastiness. But you, Harry, I like your style, so I’ll try to contribute a bit.

    I can’t speak for TruthReturns but I do know that most pro-lifers do not support punishing women, and not for the cynical political motives that Bill Clinton accuses them of. He says that capital punishment for abortion is the logical consequence of opposing abortion and that pro-lifers back off from that only to get political support.

    But there are many reasons why pro-lifers may sincerely refrain from demanding punishment for the women who seek them. Reasons include:


    • The feeling that the woman has been manipulated into doing something she didn’t really want to do. When you consider how little support there is for single mothers, and an old Alan Guttmacher study that found that 30% of abortions are performed on women who submit only under pressure from a boyfriend, husband or parents, there is some basis for this claim. Before anyone jumps in and calls that a sexist claim, I would say that it seems perfectly balanced by the pro-choice claim that women are incapable of looking in the yellow pages to find an abortionist and so we need to force all doctors to provide referrals, whether they want to or not.
    • Many pro-lifers feel that a woman is punished by the procedure itself and that to heap more punishment would be unjust. Partly this is based on the pro-life belief in PTSD following abortion, which pro-lifers believe in even if the APA does not. And some pro-lifers (certainly not all) believe that an attack on the fetus is itself an assault on the mother, since the physical relationship is so intertwined and intense that it can’t be disrupted without causing violence to the woman. It’s surprisingly in line with the pro-choice idea that a fetus is part of the woman’s body, and if you believe that, it may support the idea that abortion itself is more than enough punishment.
    • Most pro-lifers think that killing for hire is far worse than killing out of desperation, which is how they see most abortions from the woman’s point of view. I’m not sure how logically valid that assertion really is but certainly it makes a strong claim on our emotions.
    • I’ve never heard this from a pro-lifer, but I would say that when 40% to 60% of the population approves of abortion, it is foolhardy to use governmental force to punish people on either side of the disagreement. I would personally prefer to see a government that confines its coercive acts to issues where there is much greater consensus, as in the case of rape, murder, kidnapping, theft, and so on. Of course, this also would argue that punishing abortionists is a bad idea. I think most or all pro-lifers would disagree with me on that and see the protection of fetal life as such a moral imperative as to override any consideration of legal prudence. So that’s just my two cents.
    On a separate topic Harry, kudos to you for calling Anonymous on the carpet for slinging unfounded accusations of racism and Klan allegiance. Personally I would recommend that you flag that comment and others like them, of which there are many in this thread. That’s what the report link is for. Let’s clean up the vitriol on this site. I’d flag it myself but I’ve already flagged several other nasty comments tonight, both pro-life and pro-choice, and I think the poor administrators are sick of hearing from me!


  • invalid-0

    to be separate from, and to have dominion over are two very different things. i never said that i think humans and animals are the same, did i? as far as i can tell, my dogs have never used my laptop, never even spoken out loud, as a matter of fact.
    i know humans are not like animals. but, i also know this doesn’t imply some god-given right to do whatever we wish to them.
    people who miss the point of the very argument they began are called stupid.

  • invalid-0

    vivienne –

    You said, “i know humans are not like animals. but, i also know this doesn’t imply some god-given right to do whatever we wish to them.”

    Do you think it is okay to do “whatever we wish” to unborn babies?

  • invalid-0

    This will help me to pick myself out of a crowd.

    Yours Truly,

    Uneducated White Hunter

    Kinda sounds like a Native American name – I like it!

  • invalid-0

    you’ve got some kind of god-complex, huh, m.h.? i suppose someone used inflammatory initials somewhere!! oh no! offensive initials, run, tell the administrator! i’ve read some pretty horrible opinions here, but have yet to come across something that would make me flag a comment, so i can’t imagine how thin your skin must be.
    and your reasons for anti-choicers sincerely refraining from demanding punishment of women who have abortions, WOW – where to begin?
    right off the bat, it’s incredibly condescending that anti-choicers believe that when it comes to abortion, they are so all-knowing, so very right with God, that they can personally decide the punishment, and the u.s. courts.
    but, let’s put aside how offensive that stance alone is, and go point by point here:
    *a large number of women are manipulated into abortion. kudos for attempting to stop someone from calling this sexist, but just adding that doesn’t mean it isn’t. i highly doubt pro-choicers are saying a woman is incapable of looking in the yellow pages. ever had an unwanted, unexpected pregnancy happen? didn’t think so. point is, a woman’s doctor should be giving her information about ALL her options, and not excluding abortion because of the doctor’s personal beliefs. a doctor’s referral is not manipulation. and saying it is, yeah, it’s pretty much saying a lot of women are that stupid as to go, “oh, a planned parenthood pamphlet, gee, i guess i’ll go kill my baby now”.
    *the abortion itself is punishment enough. aside from propaganda sites, aside from the myth of PTSD from abortion (which offends me even more as someone who’s actually been through real PTSD) women are, believe it or not, incredibly emotionally strong human beings. and, if a woman has made the decision to abort, she knows what she’s doing. spend a few minutes at i’m not sorry. abortion is a positive choice for most women – most ADULTS.
    *killing out of desperation. you know, you could’ve put all these points into one big argument: women just aren’t in their right minds, not thinking clearly, easily manipulated, not to blame ‘cos they don’t get the enormity of it, but we’ll condescend to have pity upon their dear little hearts. it isn’t desperation so much, it’s called reason, and logic.
    *consensus? since when do laws necessarily equate consensus, and punishment? the patriot act? most americans are appalled by what it did to our civil rights – still didn’t get rid of it. marijuana? most people think it’s outdated for it to be prohibited – still illegal. yeah, i know you probably heard “majority rules” in grade school – but haven’t you figured out yet that’s not always how it works? and that’s what frightens pro-choicers most about the vocal anti-choicers; you may be the minority, but we realize that doesn’t protect the majority of us from your religious beliefs.
    sanctimonious,judgmental, condescending…that’s what i get from your idea of how we would be punished in your world. i also read a hell of alot of…”i think”, “feel”, “believe”. and that’s fine – have your opinions, we’re all still allowed that. just please leave them that, as opinions, and stop trying to force your “thinking” “feeling” and “believing” on others.

  • invalid-0

    m.h. put forth a very informative well thought out response to Harry and we get this incoherent stream of consciousness in rebuttal. All I can say is, “other than smart.” I’m sorry but there is zero substance in this response.

    Harry – Well Done.
    mh – Well Done.
    vivienne – Seek Help.

  • scott-swenson

    I’d like to encourage civil discourse from those I agree with on the left especially, because I know my encouragements will fall on deaf ears on the right. Let’s make our arguments without the rancor, so that the extremism of the right stands out in contrast. It is not easy to read or hear the baseless charges they make and not respond passionately, but most people see them for what they are, and when the facts are on our side so clearly, all we need do is dismiss the extremism, state the facts with passion, and avoid allowing the passion to draw us into their emotional morass. We’re not deleting too many comments right now, but we have, and we will, both right and left.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • harry834

    I may take extra time to look over the whole argument, including vivienne’s. For now, I want to thank Truth and mh for the kudos.

    I feel its better to respond later after thought then to rush a crappiece out of my you-know-what.

  • harry834

    Perhaps we should refrain from advising anyone here from "seeking help". That’s a psychiatrists job, and when we do it, its mostly an insult.

    I don’t think anyone here is qualifed to diagnose anyone’s mental health.

  • invalid-0

    Exactly, Scott. But I must respectfully disagree that the deaf ears are all on the right. I think if you review Lynda’s response (at 2:27 a.m.) to my comment (at 1:57 p.m.) — particularly in context with the preceding discussion — you will conclude that she has been exceedingly uncivil.
    Incivility consists of more than merely using vulgar language. Engaging in ad hominem arguments to change the subject and avoid simple questions is far ruder than that using bad words. Instead explaining what “saddened” her about the GOP’s use of Palin’s biography, or of why she used the word “snuggling” in connection with the elected Governor of Alaska, Lynda invented a chorus of McCain supporters to mouth her own apparent belief that Palin is nothing but an empty-headed “hot babe.”

  • mh



    I’ve had the pleasure of flagging a couple of your comments already. Did you notice how they disappeared? I’m going to flag your most recent one too, and here’s why:


    you’ve got some kind of god-complex


    Personal attack and insult.


    i can’t imagine how thin your skin must be


    Another personal attack, calling me a thin-skinned whiner. I don’t flag your comments because they hurt my feelings. I also don’t flag them just because they make me laugh. I flag them when they so hopelessly fail to contribute anything constructive and degenerate into name-calling and moral ranting.


    [have you] had an unwanted, unexpected pregnancy happen? didn’t think so. 


    Getting personal again, trying to project onto me a personal history that you think explains why I’m as stupid as you think I am. And then not waiting for an answer (not that I would give you an answer about my personal life) but answering your own nasty rhetorical question, as if your answer could somehow discredit me. Nasty tactics.


    it’s incredibly condescending that anti-choicers believe that when it comes to abortion, they are so all-knowing, so very right with God, that they can personally decide the punishment, and the u.s. courts.


    Moral ranting, irrelevant. I tend to agree with you and I don’t think anyone should presume to use force in the absence of a very strong social consensus. That was the final point of my comment. So why are you ranting? What does your moral outrage have to do with anything that I wrote?


    that doesn’t protect the majority of us from your religious beliefs


    Getting personal again, avoiding the subject. I have not talked about any of my own religious beliefs. You are lumping me into some category you’ve invented of religious crazies, even though I’ve expressed no religious opinions whatsoever. I think you did this so that you could concentrate your attack on me personally, rather than on my analysis. I dare you to say otherwise.


    sanctimonious,judgmental, condescending


    Name calling. I challenge you to quote any statement from my comment that can be justly evaluated as sanctimonious, judgmental or condescending.


    that’s what i get from your idea of how we would be punished in your world


    Totally missing the point! Hilariously obtuse! My last bullet point was an expression of my personal opinion of why we should punish neither abortionists nor women who patronize them! Did you even read what I wrote? Because I don’t see how you possibly could have. I think you read a few sentences, looking for something to get angry about, found one little sentence, misconstrued it, put me in a category, and then proceeded to dump on me the copy-and-paste vitriol that you dump on everyone who you assume doesn’t think like you. In fact, I think you are here in order to get angry. I no longer believe that you comment here in order to contribute to a constructive dialog. I think you’re here because you enjoy yelling.


    So. That’s why I’m flagging you. In the future, I will refrain from explaining to you why you get flagged. All your comments seem to be pretty much the same thing, so the next time I flag you, it will probably be for reasons similar to those above.


    Now to answer the few bits of meat I was able to pick out of your little stew of venom:


    i highly doubt pro-choicers are saying a woman is incapable of looking in the yellow pages


    Of course they don’t say it like that. But when they say, as you do, that we need to force doctors to provide referrals they don’t want to provide in order to protect women from the burden of having to locate an abortionist on their own, I say that indicates a very condescending attitude towards women. Now I don’t think that you actually do have a condescending attitude towards women. I think this whole issue is much more about your desire to control people you disagree with. I would welcome your response to this, if you can be civil.


    aside from the myth of PTSD from abortion


    I was not trying to evaluate the validity of pro-life claims, nor asserting that the PTSD theory is true. I was only trying to explain why pro-lifers, from their point of view, generally tend not to favor punishing women who obtain abortions. I think we’re all perfectly aware of the controversy about post-abortion PTSD. Why rehash that here? My point was about what pro-lifers believe. If you want to explain why you think that pro-lifers don’t believe that, feel free. But to go off on a tangent about how what they believe is stupid is to miss the point of my comment.


    since when do laws necessarily equate consensus, and punishment?


    Again, I think you must not have read my comment. After explaining what I think are the motivations of pro-lifers, I expressed my own personal belief that only an extremely strong consensus can justify the use of institutional force. I don’t believe that a bare majority is adequate for imposing morality by force. That’s just my personal feeling, subject to change, and I understand that very few Americans, pro-life or pro-choice, would agree with me on that.

  • invalid-0

    align yourself with the people talked about on this site?

    enouph said

  • invalid-0

    … because it seems the discourse started to degenerate, and I don’t want to involve myself in that.

    I DO want to address what some of the very first commenters were getting at.

    The fact that Ms. Palin and the GOP in general are willing to use her disabled child as a plank in the pro-life agenda is, quite frankly, nauseating. I applaud her and her husband’s decision to continue the pregnancy despite a pre-diagnosis (age 44 increases the odds of a trisomy-21 conception by a great deal). That’s exactly the point. It was their CHOICE to do so. Holding up the baby as a “look every life is sacred!1!!” monument is flat-out wrong. They are using an infant for a political agenda.

    I have a child with Down syndrome. She is a joy in my life, and now that she is here I would not wish anything else. Had I a prenatal diagnosis when I was pregnant with her, at age 23, I would most likely have chosen not to bring a child into the world with the additional burdens imposed by mental handicaps and physical ailments that come along with trisomy-21. It would have been my choice. Nobody should be able to make that decision for me, especially people who will never be touched by such a life-changing circumstance.

    And I sure as hell shouldn’t be allowed to use my children to further a political cause.

  • invalid-0

    of the morning after pill

    enouph said

  • invalid-0

    define this “executive experience” please. the right wing handed you guys this meme, and you’ve all been parroting it verbatim, but i’m not quite sure anyone even knows what they’re saying.
    she served as mayor of a town with less people than east toledo, ohio. she’s governor (for not even two years) of a state with less population than cleveland, ohio. bill clinton was governor of arkansas for 12 YEARS. guiliani was mayor of one of the largest cities on earth. don’t even get me started on education. well, i do need to say – clinton went to georgetown, was a rhodes scholar. obama went to harvard. where did palin go? idaho, i think? a journalism major, too. obama taught constitutional law, AND was president of the harvard law review. maybe you guys just don’t understand what that means.
    wasilla city council? ha! yeah, they meet in a strip mall.
    worked to clean up alaska state government? does that include using her status to get her ex-brother-in-law fired? yeah, that’s really cleaning it up, huh?
    good for her she got to make her own choice – if only she wasn’t so against every other women being able to make her own choice. and i bet the choice to keep a disabled child is a hell of a lot easier when you have great health insurance and pay via the tax payers of alaska.
    if any thunder was stolen – it was the thunder of intelligent women who thought mccain’s sexist pandering wouldn’t work. i was naive in thinking women would see through this – i was very wrong.
    oh, and PLENTY of people said guiliani wasn’t qualified to be mayor. right wingers can stop with the troll concern, the “you liberals are being sexist about palin” crap. i vote with my mind, my intellect, not by my gender. and the last group of people i’d ever listen to regarding women’s rights is the right wing.

  • invalid-0

    again with the link that takes you to a page of numerous stories? furthermore, i’ll align myself with whomever i so choose – that has NOTHING to do with my reproductive health, nor with my right to choose. if no one here at this site actually started that rumor (which has been going on in alaska BEFORE palin was picked as v.p. candidate), then it has NOTHING to do with ANY topic on this site.
    also, do you really want to “go there”? you’re digging your own grave. if the rumors aren’t true – which i personally don’t think they are – the reality is actually uglier.
    palin put her disabled child at INCREDIBLE risk, for selfish reasons. gee, that’s soooo pro-life! here’s my link:×6855834

  • invalid-0

    first of all, nowhere does the bible discuss dominion over “unborn babies”. and as i watch my dogs nap on the couch, running in their sleep after a cat or rabbit, i know that even they are more alive than something that could fit on the head of a pin.
    secondly, i’m really not one to answer an emotionally loaded question. but, i’ll at least humor it, only i will use terms that i find more appropriate.
    do i think it’s okay to do whatever i wish in regards to a zygote inside MY uterus? yes, i do think that is okay, FOR ME. I am the only one who can decide for ME what God meant, and when a fetus is an actual “baby”.

  • invalid-0

    if any comments i’ve made were angry. i will try to curb that in the future. i am surprised at what some are considering “attacks”, though. i haven’t flagged a single comment since coming to this site (which i LOVE, and am soooo happy i came across, and want to thank you so very much for all your effort). i’ve read the words/terms “baby killer” “murder” “genocide” “holocaust”, etc., and i don’t flag the comments. they offend me, and i often respond, but i don’t expect censorship just because i’m insulted.
    and it would be nice if those who disagree with me could do the same. yet, how am i to respond when even saying someone is “thin-skinned” is warped into a supposed “personal attack”, and the word “whiner” is attached, which i did not say?
    again, thank you for this site, and all your effort and work. i’ll do my best to curb any anger i feel, and trust your judgment as to what comments are worthy of removal, and which comments are not.

  • invalid-0

    hilarious that you find pleasure in flagging comments, then go on to mention the “god-complex” comment i made. and no, i didn’t notice any comments disappearing. i’m not here for entertainment purposes, nor for mere arguing. so, i don’t come here each day to search out every single comment i’ve ever made.
    and i suspect most of your flagging of comments is baseless, as you decided to add “whiner” to my thin-skinned comment. i didn’t say whiner, you READ whiner.
    also, you are confusing name-calling with description. name-calling is more along the line of “jerk” or “idiot” (and i’m NOT calling you those names, those are examples). i found your comments to be all of those things. that is my opinion.
    “nasty tactics” – that’s your opinion. if you take things personally, you’ll see personal attacks.
    YOU missed MY point. it is patronizing to me that anti-choicers think they could be the judge and jury of a woman who’s had an abortion. why would you get to decide?
    and i wasn’t yelling. it just seems that you hear yelling when someone responds to your comments, and their response is pro-choice.
    i didn’t use the word “force” when speaking of doctors giving women ALL necessary information regarding their pregnancy. you ask me to be civil, i ask the same of you. please refrain from loaded words, and/or words i did not use in my comment. a doctor is supposed to be concerned for the patient’s health, this includes giving the patient all pertinent information. in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, that would include information regarding abortion. how is it condescending to expect doctors to give their patients all pertinent information? i could go on to explain how your saying so is a clever way of calling me condescending to women, but i won’t. if you went to your doctor and discovered your kidneys were failing, and your doctor was personally religiously opposed to organ transplants, would you want him to withhold that information from you? would it be in your best interest if he only told you about dialysis? couldn’t he argue that you could open the yellow pages and find a specialist on your own?
    um, the entire point of my comment was in response to how anti-choicers veiw abortion/punishment for abortion. so, i don’t see how i was re-hashing the myth of PTSD. you mentioned it, i responded. if responding to someone’s comment is to be labeled “re-hashing”, then there would be zero discussion. i could label your entire response to me re-hashing. furthermore, i think you missed the entire point of my response. you gave the anti-choice point of view, i responded with the pro-choice point of view.
    okay, you stated your personal belief. and i responded to that personal belief. i really can’t understand why me expressing my opinion is any more of a rant than yours. are you under the impression that comments here can’t be replied to, unless the reply is in agreement with your opinion?
    one last note, i could easily find your entire fist paragraph a personal attack – you find pleasure in flagging my comments?

  • invalid-0

    how incredibly offensive. but, i’m not going to run off and tell on you. you don’t know me, you have no idea who i am, what my life is like, what i’ve been through, etc. sling heartless insults, it reflects more on the you than it does on me.

  • lynda-waddington

    I used "snuggling up" in reference to Obama.


    Palin wasn’t chosen on merit. Palin was chosen to pander to a particular voting block, one that could not have been won over without Palin on the ticket. 

  • lynda-waddington

    I’m enjoying how you make statements that I ignore and, magically, my silence is taken as agreement.


    Universal appeal? I firmly believe that she is, in all likelihood a very good person who is interested in doing what she believes is right. 


    The more we learn about her selection, however, the more obvious it becomes that my initial gut instinct was right on target — although I should have read more about her statements regarding the bridge to nowhere and supposed government reform before handing her the "maverick label." She was chosen not on merit. She was chosen because she would appeal to a specific voting block that Republican strategists believe the GOP candidate must have if he/she is to successful.

  • lynda-waddington

    Henrietta, when I began my response to Crispy, I didn’t see your response in the above thread. My guess — because I was interrupted by life here at home while writing that post — is that I began my post before your response was added. Whether you wish to believe that or not is up to you.


    Also, I’m not in the habit of inventing the unsavory. As my husband showed me last night, such comments from supposedly McCain supporters are also easily found on the internet. 


    So, let me try this just one more time. I am saddened because Palin has not been selected on her own merits, but has been thrust into a national position for the sole purpose of shoring up a GOP voting block that was dissatisfied with the top of the ticket. I personally do not care if she is 26 or 84… handsome or plain… straight or gay… blonde or brunette… thin or fat… purple or green… What I do care about is that she is being "highlighted" on the alter of politics. I am saddened because that cheapens and lessens the impact of all women who aspire to write or execute public policy. I’m saddened because my daughters should be able to celebrate and look up to women who take on society’s challenges and rise up through the ranks. The problem is that my husband and I have taught them that a victory means beating your most fierce opponent on his best day… In short, Palin is no victory for women. Matter of fact, the more I learn the more I realize she’s no victory for American either. 

  • harry834

    A central theme is that the crime of murder cannot go unpunished. Punishment goes to all involved. The exact sentencing depends on the individual case, but we can never presume that ALL those who hire the murderer are scott-free. If they want to claim "desperation" let them and their lawyer tell it to the judge.

    It is clear that none of us want the woman to be punished. But that’s not for us to decide. We don’t decide which murderers get punished and which get to walk. Innocent people are another matter. But once its been established that a person DID hire someone to commit the act, then the question is not guilt or innocence – it is how guilty.

    Some rebuttals:

    "The feeling that the woman has been manipulated into doing something she didn’t really want to do. When you consider how little support there is for single mothers, and an old Alan Guttmacher study that found that 30% of abortions are performed on women who submit only under pressure from a boyfriend, husband or parents, there is some basis for this claim. "

    Presuming this is true, that still leaves 70% of women who truly wanted their abortions. The defense is responsible for investigating each client’s individual history, but we are fooling ourselves if we think that this "manipulation" defense will work for women in general. No it won’t, not with a 70% rate of women acting without outside manipulation.

    The second thing might be to disscet the claim of manipulation when it does happen. First off, its a great lie to get off. But let’s look aside from that for now.

    Another point. Let’s pretend that the 30% of the manipulated had hired someone to inject poison into their 2 year old child. The poison is deadly, but painless. Are these 30% of "manipulated" women of equally safe legal ground with the women who hired someone ot abort their child? Take into account that abortion might NOT be painless, so the lethal injection on the 2 year old might be a more peaceful way to die than the abortion. Are both crimes equal?

    Your statement:

    "I’ve never heard this from a pro-lifer, but I would say that when 40% to 60% of the population approves of abortion, it is foolhardy to use governmental force to punish people on either side of the disagreement. I would personally prefer to see a government that confines its coercive acts to issues where there is much greater consensus, as in the case of rape, murder, kidnapping, theft, and so on. Of course, this also would argue that punishing abortionists is a bad idea. I think most or all pro-lifers would disagree with me on that and see the protection of fetal life as such a moral imperative as to override any consideration of legal prudence. So that’s just my two cents. "

    My response

    First off, we cannot say, in this point in history, that genocide is condoneable simply because a society condones it. Even today there is an incentive to punish elderly Nazis still living. If you know of any counter examples, tell me.

    Second, to punish the hired murderer and let the hiring person walk – as a matter of general policy, rather than individual case by case judgment of the hiring person – is hypocrasy. If my parents hired Bill to inject me with lethal, painless fluid, I would not trust a system that acknowledged that they did it, but let them walk anyway, because "they didn’t hold the syringe". The Hirer is often the more guilty party.

    Your point:

    "Many pro-lifers feel that a woman is punished by the procedure itself and that to heap more punishment would be unjust. Partly this is based on the pro-life belief in PTSD following abortion, which pro-lifers believe in even if the APA does not. And some pro-lifers (certainly not all) believe that an attack on the fetus is itself an assault on the mother, since the physical relationship is so intertwined and intense that it can’t be disrupted without causing violence to the woman. It’s surprisingly in line with the pro-choice idea that a fetus is part of the woman’s body, and if you believe that, it may support the idea that abortion itself is more than enough punishment.

    Isn’t that the case for many murderers? Not everyone who commits the act is casual afterwords. After committing an act like slitting a throat, running someone over, shooting someone dead, or even injecting death serum – or hiring someone to do any of the above – many of these actors will be in a state of guilt. They will have to work to hide their emotions that are out of control. Many people who hire murderers do so because they are not used to dirty hands. Are their "clean hands" enough to make up for the fact that they asked for the murder, which would not have happened to THEIR child if they hadn not asked for it? 

    The PTSD claim is problematic for reasons more than the APA’s refusal to accept it. First there is the 70% figure of genuine desire listed above. Then there’s these remorseless women who had abortions:

    Now, some can claim that these women "don’t know what they say". Fine. I guess any personal testimony can be debated. Except, why then should we accept the testimonies of women who have regret? The "Silent no more" website.

    How do we say one group is "speaking from the heart" and the other "doesn’t know what she means?"

    Should we pick the one that serves our politics?

    We can never know who is in denial and who deserves the benefit of the doubt. We DO know that we can’t make the choice based on what we want to hear.

    What are we left with?

    We only know that women have a wide range of feelings towards their abortions, and sometimes they don’t always express their feelings or sometimes they openly deny them. Such is the case with many personal experiences whereby we feel pressured to say what is "acceptable" rather than what is true.

    In this case, the women who did choose to raise their child, is unlikely to admit that she wishes she could go back and have an abortion, even if that’s her true feeling. How can she allow herself to say this? What will others think? Maybe even she doesn’t want to face the truth. She can never allow herself to even think such a thing ("my life would be better had I aborted")

    We heard about the 30% of women who were manipulated by outside agents to have their abortions. We heard how this should give us pause in determining how to best help women live with their true consciences rather than the wishes of the boyfriends, family and others.

    But we can also blame outside pressure for the choice to NOT abort. The religious pastors, religious parents, your whole community – all would consider abortion a shame and a murder. Aren’t these outside pressures that would conflict with the women’s true innternal conscience? Or are her internal feelings now irrelevant – yet relevant again if the outsiders were pressuring abortion instead of continuing to term?

    A look at a last statement:

    "I think most or all pro-lifers would disagree with me on that and see the protection of fetal life as such a moral imperative as to override any consideration of legal prudence."

    I interpret this to mean that pro-lifers reluctance to think and talk about the woman’s punishment means that they want to preserve life first and worry about the legal stuff later.

    Except, since they are demanding that abortion be treated as murder, they don’t get ignore the fact that murderers are to be punished, especially since so many pro-lifers believe in the death penalty and most believe the doctor should be punished.

    So they believe murder is punishable by death, that the hired professional murderer should be punished, and that the hiring person should be let to walk…but only when the method of murder is abortion.

    I imagine if parents hired someone to do any other method – stabbing, poison, suffocation, even painless death – these pro lifers would want them punished, harshly.

    But when the murder method is abortion, they can walk.

    I’m glad you all gave me time to do my chemistry homework so I can respond so late after my "deliberation"


  • invalid-0

    I wasn’t the one to whom this comment was directed, but I’d like to address this point:

    But when they say, as you do, that we need to force doctors to provide referrals they don’t want to provide in order to protect women from the burden of having to locate an abortionist on their own, I say that indicates a very condescending attitude towards women.
    There are several problems I see with refusing to refer a patient elsewhere.

    1. Most reproductive health services are time-sensitive, particularly emergency contraception and abortion. Women are certainly capable of looking into a phone book for abortion care: however, a physician’s refusal to refer a patient elsewhere may erroneously lead them to the conclusion that there are no abortion services nearby, or, if their request for abortion care is treated with derision and scorn, may delay their decision to seek out further care out of fear of being treated the same elsewhere.
    2. Some abortion providers do not list their names / practices in the phone book. I couldn’t say for certain why that’s the case, but I have looked in our local phone book and 1/3 of our local abortion providers do not appear in the phone book. (I work for an organization that provides referrals for abortions, so I know who the local providers are.) In the case of places with fewer providers, that provides a significant barrier to accessing abortion care.

    3. Some cities or towns do not have abortion providers at all, which means that of course there will be no listing in the phone book, which makes it more difficult to seek out abortion care by such means.