Running Against the Press

Andrew Klavan has a piece up at PJ Media suggesting that the Republican who can win the next presidential election is the one who realizes that he is running against the press. He uses his answers to four “gotcha” questions as examples of how to respond to a press corps that is a bunch of Democrat operatives with bylines.

Do you believe in evolution? Is Barack Obama a Christian? Does Barack Obama love America? And soon to come: Do you believe in abortion in cases of rape and incest?

His answers to the questions about Barack Obama hit the bullseye. However, I believe that his answer on evolution could be punched up a bit and that his answer on abortion, while defensible, needs work.

Do you believe in evolution? Of course, and I’m concerned about harmful mutations such as [fill in the blank with the liberal cause du jour].

Do you believe in abortion in cases of rape and incest? Neither rape nor incest is a capital crime any more, so we should not allow the death penalty for one of the victims.

Read the whole thing.

47 thoughts on “Running Against the Press

  1. You expose the woman to the death penalty. And short of that, temporary or permanent disability, and grave injury. Women should not be forced to serve as incubators at the high risk and cost. Some women may choose it. Some women may absorb all the risks for an assortment of reasons. Stage of life, relationships, obligations to others (spouses, existing children, children that could be created with a husband) will matter to individual women. And fwiw, women are perfectly within their rights to kill a rapist to fend off the attack.

    • You raise the one possible morally defensible reason for an abortion—to save the life of the mother. But if her life is not endangered, why should the child be killed?

      • Because the woman who was made involuntarily pregnant chooses not to give birth to the progeny of a rapist.

        As long as she makes that choice in the first trimester…I choose to withhold my objection.

    • That’s a good point, but abortion is a surgical procedure, and any procedure carries it’s own risks. Far above those of a normal full-term pregnancy.

      • True. These supporting abortion always ignore that fact, as well as the documented long term physical and psychological sequelae which many women suffer even if the abortion is “successful” and “without complications”.

      • Sorry, but that’s not even close to true. First trimester medical abortion death rate is less than 1/100,000, but full-term pregnancy has risen to 18/100,000.

        I’m not pro-abortion, but I am pro-fact.

    • This is why I feel that forcible rape should be a capital offense. However, I also believe in loser pays tort reform and even adoption of prosecutorial responsibility to the point of using the old Hebrew tradition of subjecting the false accuser to the potential punishment for the crime.

      I think we’ve gotten too weak on crime, and to tolerant of bullshit false accusations. If a man forcibly rapes a woman, get a short rope and a tall tree. If a woman falsely accuses a man of forcible rape, well trees are re-useable, but ropes tend to stretch; best get another hank.

      • I believe the reasoning for rape not being a capital offense is that a rapist then has no real reason to leave a primary witness (his victim) alive.

        Which is not to say I disagree with you, but there is some logic to it. I’m not a huge proponent of the death penalty any more, due to insufficient faith in our judicial system and courts. This, of course, does not rule out punishments like chemical castration or transorbital lobotomy.

      • I have lost enough faith in my fellow humans in the law enforcement and prosecutorial fields that I have come to oppose [after being a death penalty proponent for decades] the judicial death penalty in any case of un-aggravated murder.

        I agree entirely with Toastrider’s view regarding rape as a capital crime.

    • Well, it is worth noting that it was her campaign in 2008 that started the whole “Obama is a secret Muslim” stuff.

      In very much the same way that Al Gore’s 1988 campaign team was the source of the “Willie Horton” criticisms of Michael Dukakis.

      All that simply proves Klavan’s point, though…both of those millstones now and forever hang around the neck of the GOP because the media has made it so.

      • it was her campaign in 2008 that started the whole “Obama is a secret Muslim” stuff.

        Didn’t the whole “Birther” business start with her supporters as well?

        I also remember that the Birther card was tried against McCain, but I guess even Democrats realized that saying someone born to American citizens in the military overseas wasn’t a natural born citizen wasn’t a winning argument.

  2. Interesting that people assume that “rape” and incest are always the result of a violent attack, and the attack itself is the justification for abortion. Statutory rape, which is NOT limited to sex acts with minors, is often consensual and non-violent. Incest is also often consensual. In fact, parts of Europe are trying to legalize incest. The reality is that no matter how a child is conceived, it is completely innocent.

    • A Reader #1, I’ve read your comments for a long time and have come to respect your perspective on many things. This time, however, you are so completely wrong, I question how I could have ever had respect for your perspective.

      “Incest is also often consensual.” That is complete and utter bullshit.

      • doxyermother – many people define incest to include relations between those of a similar age and status. In some states it’s illegal for first cousins to marry, kwim?

  3. I haven’t spoken to my sister in Seattle for years over this. Apparently stating on her FB wall in a discussion of political topics of the day including abortion that I can’t support abortion except for the life of the mother, and I don’t count putting a crimp in the potential mother’s partying to count means that I want everyone with an ectopic pregnancy to DIE!!!ELEVENTY!!1!. And this statement that I want everyone to DIE!! made her friends, who are “nice people” cry, and had them contacting her upset that she let this obviously insane woman comment on her wall.

    The fact that I had already stated in said discussion that I would happily drive anyone with an ectopic pregnancy to the termination myself, although I didn’t think that PP or most other abortion clinics did ectopic terminations, was completely missed by her “nice” friends, who like most liberals saw “don’t support abortion on demand”, assumed (what is for them) the worst, and read/listened no further. Sadly, I think that’s what happens and will continue to happen to any candidate who doesn’t start out by saying “OF course I support abortion on demand” before listing any caveats.

    • ectopic pregnancies are almost always dealt with in an emergency situation. I have never in my life heard of a woman going to an abortion clinic to deal with one specifically. EVER. I hate it when people bring that into the “argument.” Because it is dealt with in an entirely different way. And did they know that oftentimes ectopic pregnancies are brought to term? The baby attaches to something else – babies have been nurtured on a mother’s LIVER for crying out loud. Obviously a C-section has to be done and it can be a life or death situation for both mother and child. But having an ectopic pregnancy does not equal abortion. Sigh.

  4. Is Barack Obama a Christian?

    The President has no problem questioning the religion of ISIS and Islamic terrorists who proclaim themselves followers of Mohammad. He says that their actions are contrary to Islam, and they should not be considered Islamic.

    Should the President be subject to his own standard? Does he behave in a Christian manner?

  5. The reason that I cannot agree with our host on this point is as follows. A woman who is raped did not consent to bear a child. And a fetus who is conceived as a result of rape is in no sense a victim. Under our host’s interpretation, such a fetus is guaranteed the gift of life, which hardly is victimization.

    I agree that life OBVIOUSLY begins at conception, but I do not agree that human life begins then. Once a fetus has developed enough that it has a high probability of surviving as a healthy baby outside a woman’s body seems to me to be a sensible point to define it as being more than just potentially human.

    Fundamentally, I want the state to restrict itself to the minimum necessary for society to function. I respect the beliefs of those who find human life to begin at conception, but I see no reason why the power of the state should be used to force the consequences of that belief on others. To force a woman to bear a child conceived in rape against her own conscience is to victimize her twice.

    • It’s not a fetus, its a baby. Calling it something else certainly makes it easier to stomach killing, but it is a baby nonetheless. Nobody sends out announcements stating they are having a fetus. Expectant mothers don’t talk about the fetus they have growing inside them. Our society has certainly never had “fetus showers” to ensure the baby, when born, has clothes and diapers. No. They are not fetuses, they are babies.

      Your idea that a baby conceived through rape not being a victim is wholly inconsistent with what that child could reasonably expect: that is to say – murder via abortion or possibly a life without one or both biological parents. I’m not sure how you define victim, but certainly those likely outcomes are no fault of the baby.

      The idea of a baby being able to survive outside the womb is somewhat comical. No baby can survive outside of the womb without a lot of help. Babies are born naked, hungry, cold and afraid. They cannot provide food, shelter, clothing or anything else necessary for their survival. From the moment a baby is born they are as dependent and needy as they will ever be. I understand the notion that babies are incapable of surviving outside the womb until they have developed to a certain point, but I also think the idea of attaching humanity based upon that point is repugnant. To anyone who has ever miscarried, they take no comfort in the fact that it, “wasn’t really human yet” or else was a mere, “potential human.” They take no comfort because it is a human baby that was growing inside of them.

      Your position is further flawed on the basis that you arbitrarily chose when “human life” as opposed to “life” begins. What makes your arbitrary determination correct? Modern science advances more and more all the time. Babies are taken from the womb earlier and earlier and end up surviving due to modern advances and techniques. Does that mean humanity is based on how capable we are of keeping a baby alive outside of the womb? Moreover, a baby is likely incapable of complex thoughts, feelings, and emotions until many months, if not years have elapsed. Is that not what separates a human from any other animal? If we are going to arbitrarily decide when a “fetus” turns into a human, why is it not much later? Some people are born incapable of ever being able to communicate and/or care for them self. Are they not human too?

      Certainly, I think you would agree the government exists to enforce laws. Murder is, and always has been, illegal. There is no more premeditated murder than an abortion. The fact that abortion is not currently considered illegal notwithstanding, your final argument, that the power of the state should not be used to force the consequences of certain beliefs on others is absurd and nonsensical.

      If the government could not force the consequences of certain beliefs on others, the government could not do anything at all. Murder is wrong. The government forces the consequences of that belief on people who commit murder. Theft is wrong. The government forces the consequences of that belief on those who commit theft.

      Does it not also victimize the mother of a baby who has been raped to put her in a position to chose convenience over life? Does it not also victimize a rape victim, spiritually and emotionally, to allow her to take an innocent life? If we as a society do not prevent those most incapable of being protected, are we not all victimized each time one of our number is snuffed out through the barbaric practice that is abortion?

      I could go on, but I fear I might never stop.

      • To expound on your last points… I feel that it is reprehensible for our culture to essentially pressure girls who are raped who do get pregnant into thinking that the only option is to get an abortion. I have known a few girls who that happened to. All of them were pressured into getting an abortion because “how could they love something that was created in such an awful way.” One girl almost held out long enough to make getting an abortion impossible. But she was guilted and pressured so hard by those who were supposed to love and nurture her that she eventually gave in. She regrets it to this day. This is NOT how “pro-choice” is supposed to work.

        By promoting the “of course you must get an abortion” line to those women in this situation, we are committing a worse crime than the rape that was forced upon her. If the standard in this country is going to be pro-choice, it should be pro-choice in ALL situations. Even in the case of rape. There should be NO stigma attached to a woman choosing to have that child.

    • Hi Jeff,

      If I may refer you to my screed above, I’d like to expound thereon and reply to two points you make.

      It should be taken as a truism that a woman who has already suffered forcible rape certainly did not consent to bear a child as a result of that violation; thus, and without regard (or perhaps as an aggravating factor) to the pregnancy, rape should be a capital offense. The truth is that I have a much more Old Testament attitude towards rapists that I shan’t expand upon in polite company. reference the end of “Braveheart”

      Now, while I believe that human life begins at conception, I do not have the skills or references to prove that scientifically. Therefore, my beliefs lead me to defend the un-born and avenge the crime against the mother as vigorously as possible. That said, I believe that aborting the pregnancy does destroy the life of a human, (here I will get pedantic) since the fetus will not grow into anything other than a human being if allowed to do so.

      As a small ‘L’ libertarian, I must agree with your third paragraph, but the horns of the discussion then devolve to viability and an appropriate point to restrict such procedures as clearly infanticide in-utero; i.e. limits on abortion on demand.

    • I agree that life OBVIOUSLY begins at conception, but I do not agree that human life begins then.

      Are the cells not genetically and physiologically human? And if they are not human, what kind of cells are they? Some sort of canary?

    • First, thank you both for responding civilly and intelligently.

      @ esodia

      I do not agree that a bunch of cells are a baby. Being human, in my opinion, requires a certain level of consciousness and intelligence. The question is when do a bunch of cells become human. I find the argument that an egg cell penetrated by a sperm cell is a human completely unpersuasive, and so I do not view taking a morning after pill as murder. We disagree about definitions, and although you are under no duty to accept mine, I am under no duty to accept yours. And I oppose vehemently those who would use the power of the state to impose their definitions on me. Perhaps the distinction is this. You view abortion at any stage as a sin. Fine, that is your right. But it is not your sole right to turn your views of sin into crimes. If we follow your logic, a raped woman who has an abortion is guilty of first degree murder and should be incarcerated for life if not executed.

      Nor can I agree that what an adult voluntarily does victimizes that person.

      I admit that determining when a human can survive outside the womb is not a bright-line test. But infants delivered early can and do survive. Even for those who do not agree that human life begins at conception, it is hard, (in my opinion impossible) to justify a definition that human life begins with natural delivery. Living humans have been delivered before term and through medical means.

      @ Gus

      You and I are, I suspect, not that far apart although the distance may be unbridgeable. We both recognize that we are talking about beliefs and definitions. We both are concerned about when is it appropriate for the state to intervene with all its clumsy, stupid, and overwhelming power. And I concede that bright-line tests have the advantage of being simple to understand and easy to apply. Unfortunately, not everything is simple and easy, and then it is necessary to come up with a dividing line that, however flawed, will be workable and command general assent.

      • I think it speaks highly of Mr. Hoge and Lickspittles everywhere that a subject as contentious as abortion can be so civilly discussed. Congratulations all.

        The only follow-on point I would add is that it is always wise to err in favor of life; thus the deep reluctance and often refusal of so many States to employ the death penalty. However, for myself; in dealing with adults would refer you back to my original screed and apologize for the cognitive dissonance I endure.

      • p.s. In re Esodia’s point about victimization; regrettably most “women” who seek abortion on demand are barely that. More often they are young and very confused girls who have been manipulated, first into having sex and then into having the abortion. Worse, and in keeping with Ms. Sanger’s goals many are economically disadvantaged black girls with pathetic family situations.

        Now within the very narrow scope of pregnancies resulting from forcible rape, and the potential for psychological trauma resulting from an abortion of the pregnancy I am poorly read, but am lead to understand that it trends higher than the non-rape elective abortion population. My supposition is that both the carrying to term and the abortion have the real potential to aggravate the emotional wounds of the original assault. Again, I’ll refer you to my original screed and my advocacy for treating forcible rape as a capital crime. I have very little mercy, beyond a quickly broken neck, for monsters such as those.

      • JeffM, I would argue that just because this clump of cells isn’t a human -now- does not grant us the right to deny its potential. Is a caterpillar a butterfly? Is an acorn an oak? Potential, raw potential, is what sits there, unfettered and formless, yet no less marvelous for it.

        A question regarding this in general, for all parties: if the technology emerged to sustain and nurture embryonic humans outside a woman’s womb, would you support it? We’re talking, oh, let’s say ‘remove embryo at 6 weeks, pop into the cooker, then seven to eight months later you get a baby’. Obviously exowomb technology is still in the realm of science fiction, but we push the boundaries every day.

      • Jeff,

        You are playing cute with words, but no-one has taken the position that a ‘”bunch of cells” is a baby, and who would disagree with the statement that a bunch of cells is not a baby? Almost always, that statement will be true. In fact, in every single instance except one, that will be true. Moreover, a bunch of cells could reference a place where Brett Kimberlin used to live. Its easy to change the terminology in order to avoid talking about the same thing. But in being cute with words – which is most typically a tool used by the left (, you oversimplify.

        You state that a bunch of cells is not a baby, which is arguably true, but you ignore the fact that all babies at some point are comprised of nothing more than a “bunch of cells.” It is beyond disputable that all human life, at some point, exists as nothing more than a bunch of cells.

        You have stated that being human requires a certain level of consciousness and intelligence. I suspected this was your definition of being human. I can assure you, viability outside the womb, then, is far too early for your definition of human. As such, your cut off point is arbitrary and illogical, as a newborn has minimal consciousness and virtually no intelligence, babies inside of maybe 6 months of birth should be fair game for murder (well post delivery abortion, lets call it -since murder requires a human, and clearly without a certain – arbitrary – level of consciousness and intelligence, clearly we are only speaking about bunches of cells). Also, severely retarded people are not, by this logic, human either, and therefor killing them is not murder, right? I’m not mischaracterizing your position, I am merely taking it to its logical conclusion.

        As far as our disagreement regarding language and what words mean, I agree. We do disagree on what words mean, but I believe you are being intellectually dishonest in how you choose to define things in order to justify a truly evil act. If you say, this person is a plant, and therefore I did not commit murder when I shot them, because murder requires the killing of another person, and this person is not a person, because I choose to define them as a plant, and then take the position that you will not allow society to force their definition of a person on you, because you are entitled to your own definitions and can ascribe your own meaning to things – well there is a word for that – insanity. Likewise, it is silly to take the position that we are each entitled to our own definitions and that one definition is not more correct or deserving than another (I’m not sure if you have gone entirely down that road, but you are certainly close to that path). It almost looks like you are suggesting that we are all entitled to our own morality, with none being more correct or deserving than another. This is called moral equivalence and it has been used to justify every sort of barbarity imaginable. Moreover it is wrong. Words do have meaning, but you are not entitled to define words to mean things they are not. Otherwise, we cannot converse at all.

        I never used the word sin. I don’t believe I used the word God either, I think my arguments can be kept wholly secular. Likewise, I never said that it was my sole right to take my views of sins and turn them into crimes. If that isn’t the worst strawman argument I have seen… and it is intellectually dishonest, if not cowardly, to so strongly pervert and distort what I have said.

        That said, all laws find their basis in morality. We make illegal those things which we, as a society, believe is wrong. I haven’t suggested I am a king or that my view is the only view, or that my belief is the law. I can, however, express my view of that the law ought to be. Abortion ought to be illegal because it is wrong. period. It isn’t sometimes right and sometimes wrong, or right for a time, but then wrong thereafter. It is immoral and it is wrong. The reason it is allowed in this country is because enough people have been intellectually dishonest with themselves and others, have muddied the waters sufficiently with irrelevant nonsense and strawmen arguments that evil actions have been justified, despite the obvious wrongness of the action.

        Now, I do think you have made a good point (sort of) when you take issue with my having called abortion murder, but you are wholly mistaken in concluding that it is my position that “a raped woman who has an abortion is guilty of first degree murder and should be incarcerated for life if not executed.” Again, I did not say that. Again a straw man. Many people who commit murder are not given life in prison nor the death penalty, but that, also, is beside the point. States could easily pass laws outlawing abortion and punishing it below life imprisonment, certainly below capital punishment. The problem is that we live in a society that refuses to even accept the wrongfulness of the abortion in the first place.

        How is it right one week and wrong the next? How is it right to kill a child conceived through a crime such as rape or incest, but then wrong outside of those parameters. Does it make a difference to the baby?

  6. @ Gus

    I did not comment on your original screed about capital punishment. I have no objection to capital punishment at all.

    And Gus, I agree that it speaks well of my fellow LIckspittles that they can disagree with me on a contentious and emotional issue without incivility or invective.


    I acknowledge your point about potential. You may not be perceiving my point. The question to my mind is not to dispute what rights you should have as a procreator. It is rather to dispute whether and if so under what circumstances the state has a duty to involve itself in the matter. You use the word “us;” I do not approve of gambling, yet I do not consider myself complicit when someone else buys a powerball ticket.

    The rape hypothetical is powerful because if you accept the argument that an egg penetrated by a sperm is morally equivalent to a human being, then it follows that a woman who takes a morning after pill following a rape is guilty of murder and should be incarcerated if not executed. I simply cannot go there. And that means you must draw a line somewhere, however imperfect that line may be.

    And yes, I’d accept your hypothetical. It was exactly what I intended. Once it is technologically possible for a group of cells to survive and develop into a human being with consciousness and intellect independent of the women within whom the cells reside, that is where I would draw the line because it is exactly at that point that society as a whole can substitute for the woman, and “we” can replace “I.” Further I would grant you that if a very low risk procedure can accomplish that feat within 6 weeks of conception, then the whole issue should be reconsidered. At least I would reconsider it very seriously.

    Thanks all for your courtesy.

  7. God puts these questions of faith in front of us – its like the old adage – sports doesn’t build character – it reveals it.

    How we decide many things is a test and a testament to our faith in Jesus and in our fellow man, yes punishment is clearly there but in no way shape or form did the father of all of us mention losing babies.

    Deep into the metaphor of Mary Magdalene , the prostitute, who washed his feet with her hair and tears, underlies the fact that children were born out of wedlock. The lord clearly left this challenge to us and we can find that he welcomed everyone, into his kingdom on the cross.

    People raise good points about birth control, morning after pills, yet the acts of violence leaves us at the crossroads of condemning a human being to death, who has not done anything wrong,

    Sometimes the lifetime of joy a child can bring into this world, is an answer from the above to the suffering of the mother.

  8. “To preserve these rights [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness] governments are instituted….”

    The trouble for Constitutionalist Conservatives like myself is that abortion cuts across this primary government mission statement in two orthogonal and incompatible ways:

    1. We institute government to preserve the fundamental right to life. (Pro-Life reading.)

    2. We institute government to preserve the fundamental right to liberty. (Pro-Choice reading.)

    The tragedy of Roe v. Wade is that an unelected court short circuited the cultural and political debate around this dilemma. Federalizing this question made it a winner take all, high stakes, and therefore bitterly contested issue.

    Far better to resolve such questions on a state by state basis, as has been done over the past couple of decades with gun rights. I’m also pleased to see states like Colorado, Washington and Alaska defying the Federal Government when it comes to non-core regulatory and police matters like Marijuana policy,

  9. Somebody please explain this one to me:

    “Do you believe in evolution? Of course, and I’m concerned about harmful mutations such as [fill in the blank with the liberal cause du jour].”

    What kind of “harmful mutations/liberal causes” could go in the blank? I need some more context to understand this one.

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