Yes to a female President but not this one, please

Eventually, though, her personality will shine through. And that’s the problem. Playing word association, if you say “Hillary”, I say: shrill, angry, bitter, entitled, strident, rigid, ideological, dishonest, hyper-partisan, vengeful, arrogant, paranoid, and . . . I could go on. And on. And on. And she’s not that bright: whoever calls her “the smartest woman in the world” is a virulent misogynist, with an obviously low opinion of women. I on the other had, think so highly of women that I would prefer to select the next president by lot from America’s 150 million or so adult females, than by an election in which Hillary is the Democratic Party standard bearer. 150 million-to-one: I’ll take those odds over better than even any day.

98 comments on “Yes to a female President but not this one, please

  1. Selection by lot would usually turn up a better person than the celebrity sociopaths who want the office.

  2. One proposed reform for the House of Lords is to have its members drawn at random from the population. Then all we’d need to do is extend the same principle to the House of Commons, and we’d have a much improved government.

  3. “the distant past, when she was fired from the Watergate Committee staff”: for being a liar and a crook, apparently.

  4. JuliaM,
    It could end up that way, if the new MPs are easily swayed by the civil servants. Which seems quite likely: a bunch of jobs-for-life who will have had decades to perfect the art of persuasion, versus a newly appointed MP with no prior experience.

    Following this logic to its extreme, we should disband both houses and have government by endless referendum. Our mobile phones will buzz several times a day, asking us to text AYE or NAY to the voting machine. In the event of a tie, Simon Cowell can have the deciding vote.

  5. If the republicans had done it right, they’d have got Meg Whitman into office after she left eBay and be lining her up against Hilary.

    Speaking of sociopaths, apparantly Carly Fiorina is thinking of running.

  6. The Senior Civil Service need to sacked, en masse, without compensation and their pensions confiscated. They should also be stripped of all so-called honours and titles and blackballed from ever again holding any job beyond menial labour anywhere in the UK (introducing legislation as needed for this specific purpose). They really deserve a farewell-thanks-for-everything beating as well (fists, boots, baseball bats, pick-axe handles etc) but I suppose some might see that as overkill.

  7. The Stigler – “If the republicans had done it right, they’d have got Meg Whitman into office after she left eBay and be lining her up against Hilary.”

    Whitman is pro-Amnesty (indeed said nothing divides her and Jerry Brown on immigration), pro-Gay adoption, pro-Abortion.

    She is just a very rich Democrat who for some reason wants to be called a Republican. The Republicans would be insane to pick someone who is more or less Hilary but without the arrogance, corruption and husband.

  8. SMFS,

    “Whitman is pro-Amnesty (indeed said nothing divides her and Jerry Brown on immigration), pro-Gay adoption, pro-Abortion.

    She is just a very rich Democrat who for some reason wants to be called a Republican. The Republicans would be insane to pick someone who is more or less Hilary but without the arrogance, corruption and husband.”

    Everyone’s in favour of abortion. Bush’s people made lots of noises about dealing with Roe vs Wade and he didn’t touch it. Nor did Bush sr. Nor did the Gipper. Gay adoption? Nearly 2/3rds of Americans support it and the direction of travel will increase that. Being against gay adoption today is like being against interracial marriage in the 1960s. Pro-Amnesty? Well, she’s in favour of amnesty at a price which seems pretty sensible.

  9. “Everyone’s in favour of abortion.”

    The groups of protesters outside US abortion clinics would indicate not everybody.

  10. It’s a target-rich environment with The Hills Has Lies, but the GOP should be hammering the point that all you need to know about Hillary Clinton is the lie she told about landing under fire in Bosnia.

    Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek:

    ‘Here’s a simple mental experiment. Suppose you’re on the board of a successful corporation and the President & CEO of that corporation is about to retire.

    ‘You, as a board member, must help select the outgoing president’s replacement.

    ‘A seemingly sane candidate comes in one day for an interview and he announces that he was once in the midst of sniper fire.

    ‘That candidate then explains the hectic efforts that he and his companions took to avoid being mowed down, giving you the impression that his life was then in serious jeopardy before his fortunate escape from the attack.

    ‘You’re impressed by the man’s adventure! You soon learn, however, that the candidate’s tale is a lie. There’s not a shred of relevant truth to it.

    ‘You call the candidate and inform him that you have it on solid authority that no gunfire incident ever happened to him. There’s a short pause.

    ‘He then replies, confidently, “Oh, yeah. I misspoke. Sorry about that!”

    ‘Do you need any further information about this candidate to immediately and unconditionally strike him off of the list of possible successors to the outgoing president?

    ‘Can this candidate possibly have any superior qualities that offset your certain knowledge that he is either a bald-faced liar or bat-poop nuts?

    ‘Let’s face it: no sane person misremembers being in the line of sniper fire when, in fact, that person never was in such a predicament. That’s not the sort of non-event that a sane person comes to believe he or she actually endured.

    ‘Now suppose that some of your colleagues on the board aren’t fazed by the discovery of this candidate’s phoniness or insanity.

    ‘Indeed, a couple of your board colleagues say “Sure, that little tale is unfortunate, but we must overlook it because his genitalia make him ideal for the job!”

    ‘Do you reassess your opinion of the candidate, or do you conclude that your colleagues either are up to something no good in their support of this candidate or are themselves also bat-poop bananas? Surely the latter.

    ‘If you don’t like this just-concluded mental experiment, try this one: your 25-year-old daughter brings home her new fiancé.

    ‘The fiancé tells you that he was once in the midst of sniper fire and had to scurry to escape. You then discover that it’s a lie. How do you feel about your daughter’s future happiness?

    ‘Why is Hillary Clinton taken seriously by any serious person?’

  11. The American electorate demonstrated their current priorities by returning Obama in a landslide after Benghazi. America lost all credibility as an international power that day. They will vote based on some piffling crap about the benefits system or identity politics or the belief that anyone who wants to reign in state spending really wants to kill children. The best thing we can do is to make their politics stop mattering to us by becoming internationally capable without their help.

  12. Of Hillary, they speak in awed tones in bbc circles and therein the “go Hillary” blessing of hypocrisy central – London’s champagne Socialists, their adoration of Barrack Hussein Obama is even more hushed and reverential.

    That’s the problem with the extreme left, historically just look how much UK communists were inspired by Joe and Mao they even had time to make cooing noises to Pol Pot and other noted democrats, Chavez and Castro.

    Plus, somewhere in the beeb there will be a shrine to Mugabe – right next to Mandela’s.

  13. The only problem with the Bosnia angle is that being a bald-faced liar is item number 1 on the job description.

  14. SE: Your use of language is as sloppy as your supposed thought process. The desire to see justice visited upon a scummy and evil group has no correlation with support for corporate socialism. Indeed the group I want to see receive due and appropriate punishment are supporters of said corporate socialism.

    You employ “fascist” in one of its leftist definitions–a non (or even better anti-) leftist, vaguely nasty person who wants to see others suffer. Given the millions who have paid their lives at the hands of assorted socialists –including real “fascists”– my suggested remedy for the SCS is mild indeed for a group who are at the very foundation of those turning Britain into a (so far) soft totalitarian police state.

  15. b(n)is,

    “The groups of protesters outside US abortion clinics would indicate not everybody.”

    Yes. Sorry. I wrote quickly. What I meant is that you will struggle to find a candidate who will make a speech saying he will take action to overturn Roe vs Wade or modify abortion law. Rubio will make noises like “I believe in protecting life”. He’ll sponsor a bill, knowing that the democrats won’t bring it forward (the republicans when they were in control of everything didn’t). It’s all show and designed to galvanise the base, to send signals that they’ll do something, without the complications and problems of doing it.

    I think Rand Paul is the only person who is actually honest about this subject. Personally, I don’t agree with him as he’s a complete abolitionist, but I respect his honesty. But Paul won’t win the candidacy.

  16. S2,

    The good thing is that it’s done now. The illusion of black people voting for a black man because they think they’ll get a better life has been shattered. It’s like the Lib Dems here where all their supporters assumed it’d be rainbow skies and gumdrop smiles if they got a sniff at power, and then realised they had to make the same hard decisions as everyone else, and many of them have now switched to the Greens as a new source of magic politics.

  17. @Stigler

    ‘The illusion of black people voting for a black man because they think they’ll get a better life has been shattered. ‘

    You assume that because you can see that, they can see that.

    Plus added to what BiG says – if you’re going to get a liar anyway, and you think/have been persuaded that all your problems are caused by the opposite race, you might as well vote for someone of your own race.

    The left are great at running government as though they’re in opposition – they can always convince enough stupid people the Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

  18. BinG

    Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS thinks I’m a Guardian-reading progressive as well; so you’re in good company.

  19. Ecks,

    The word “fascist” is indeed commonly misused. However, using it to describe someone who wants to bring about their preferred vision of society by undemocratically punishing a group they blame for all their ills is not such a case.

  20. On the US abortion debate, you must remember that every single European country has an abortion policy that is infinitely too restrictive for the US left, and would result in protests and riots if its adoption were seriously mooted (see: when Texas proposed an abortion law significantly looser than any in the EU).

    Up to the moment of natural birth, no ifs, no buts, no questions why is a mainstream position on the US left.

    Anyway, just think how many half-siblings Chelsea might have had if it wasn’t for no questions asked abortion. They wouldn’t have been the only people to have embarrassed the Clintons who wound up dead.

  21. A bit of pendantry for S2

    King John wasn’t reigned in by his barons.

    Monarchs have reigns
    Horses have reins

    (So logically King John was a horse.)

  22. @ BIF
    King John was reined in by his barons.
    Then …
    “Monarchs have reigns
    Horses have reins

    (So logically King John was a horse.)”

  23. The Stig
    I’d say you’re looking at the SJW effect here. It was implicit in your “Everyone’s in favour of abortion.” comment. It’s the “progressive” this is settled, now we can ‘move on ‘ (TM) narrative. It’s almost impossible to know what the US opinion on abortion is because any other than the “progressive” one attracts the howling mob of the SWJs.

  24. abacab,

    Reading details of the judgement, I thought viability was considered.

    It’d be interesting to ask all these Nordics fans whether they want the 12 week limit that Norway and Denmark have or the 18 week limit that Sweden has.

  25. @Stigler,

    they go way beyond RvW in many states these days. Hence the whole Gosnell thing. Gosnell was only charged with murder for the babies which had drawn breath, not those still on their way out.

    And I read last week about a case where someone cut a late-term foetus from a woman and killed them both, and the DA didn’t want to charge with a double-homicide because that would bring into question whether a late-term foetus was a person and thus potentially impinge on late-term abortion rights. Seriously.

    “It’d be interesting to ask all these Nordics fans whether they want the 12 week limit that Norway and Denmark have or the 18 week limit that Sweden has”

    Quite.

  26. Stig,

    > Reading details of the judgement, I thought viability was considered.

    “Roe vs Wade” is really a shorthand for the results of two judgements on the same day, Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton. Doe vs Bolton is arguably a far bigger problem:

    the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.

    Roe vs Wade says that third-term abortions are only allowed if the health of the mother is at stake. Doe vs Bolton says that “health” could mean pretty much anything, including “Having a baby will make me very sad.” Which makes viability immaterial, as the health of the mother is at stake.

  27. abacab,

    It happens the other way around, too. Case a few years ago where a pregnanct woman was killed by some utter psycho and the DA charged the killer with two murders in order to bring the death penalty into play. There were protests.

  28. b(n)is,

    I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that the stance of nearly all politicians on abortion is, in reality, the same. Even Rand Paul isn’t advocating a full ban – that would require a constitutional amendment and he’s not suggesting that.

    If being anti-abortion matters to you, find a candidate that has “change the USC” in their manifesto or drop it from your criteria.

  29. Stig,

    > that would require a constitutional amendment

    Bollocks. It would simply require re-reading the existing constitution without making shit up.

  30. I have been suggesting that the Lords be appointed by lottery some time. I won’t claim to have first thought of the idea, but I did think of it rather than reading it somewhere else.

    The House Of Lottery would not have a legislative power but an absolute veto power. Legislation would be originated in the Commons. The Executive by the way would have no legislative power.

    My own view is that the HOL should have half its members appointed every year, serving two years. Remuneration should be generous, to ensure that people are not dissuaded from serving. Since nobody could get their by their own efforts due to the lottery, the remuneration would not be corruptive.

    It would be approximately representative of the demos, in terms of class, economic status, ethnicity, gender, etc etc. I think the Domus Populi would work very well.

  31. SQ2″The word “fascist” is indeed commonly misused. However, using it to describe someone who wants to bring about their preferred vision of society by undemocratically punishing a group they blame for all their ills is not such a case.”

    The same crew whose well-being concerns you so much are working daily to bring about a society most of those contributing to this blog will very much not enjoy. Indeed a considerable number of the topics that get discussed here have either been caused by or made worse by the activities of the SCS. They are more pernicious than even the posturing political scum.

    Good luck with “democratically punishing” or even stopping them.

  32. The abortion debate in the US suffers from the fallacy of the excluded middle – if you’re against, you’re against it in all cases (some are, vast majority are not), if you’re for, you’re for right up to the moment of natural birth (again, some are, vast majority are not).

    Personally, after having been mugged by ultrasound when I saw my first brat on the screen, I have been broadly in the “agin it” camp, but am willing to tolerate it extremely early (e.g. 12 weeks). I have few words for anyone who would wilfully carry a baby almost to term, and then decide to kill it and give birth to it anyway, or have it pulled out in chunks. Particularly when there are people crying out to adopt.

    However, the “up to the moment of natural birth” movement is fairly mainstream in feminist circles in the US, whereas in Europe it is beyond the pale and restricted to a few absolute crazies.

  33. It would simply require re-reading the existing constitution without making shit up.

    If people weren’t allowed to do that, the Supreme Court would be out of a job.

  34. @Ironman aka Neil the racist South African accountant and Liverpool fan

    Speaking for myself, I don’t think for a moment that you’re ‘a Guardian reading progressive’ – many of your posts on here are vile attacks on ‘ugly women’, black people and ‘muzzies’.

    Hardly the stuff of the Guardian!

  35. abacab,

    > the fallacy of the excluded middle

    This was caused by having the matter decided by the Constitution rather than legislation. If it’s a constitutional right, it has to be absolute. Even the USSC couldn’t pretend to find term limits in the Bill of Rights.

  36. If it’s a constitutional right, it has to be absolute.

    Not necessarily; consider for instance the idea that free speech comes in two forms, “protected” and “unprotected” which the Supreme Court found written in invisible ink on the Bill Of Rights.

  37. S2,

    It’s not bollocks. It’s a decision that’s entirely about the right to privacy in the USC – your body is a private concern, and an early foetus is not an individual.

    I’m not arguing the outcomes of that constitutional amendment, just that the decision is right as far as it is concern.

  38. abacab,

    yeah, the debate in the UK is 24 weeks vs 20 weeks. Less than 10% of people only want medical or rape abortions (most “mother’s health” are really “on demand”).

  39. Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS

    So that everyone else knows you are lying: The word muzzies was introduced by Roger the Biker. BinG noted it and I joined him. I despise the dirty prejudice you have shown towards muslims and think you are beneath my contempt.

    Another thing separating us: I know that branding you Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS really gets your goat. By contrast Neil is a genuine South African who seems quite sweet and was roundly abused by you for his trouble. He isn’t me, but I am certainly not offended by being confused with him.

  40. abacab

    Genuine question: you would be able to tolerate very early abortions in a way you jusy can’t tolerate late abortions. Why? What difference do you find?

  41. and an early foetus is not an individual.

    That’s the problematic, being effectively arbitrary, part of it. It’s the same sort of reasoning as “blacks are not people, therefore they don’t have rights”, argument.

    If the unborn are not people, why do those who miscarry mourn the death, for instance? Is it just a selfish unhappiness at the loss of property like losing some money, or is it because a death has occurred?

  42. Ironman,

    > Genuine question: you would be able to tolerate very early abortions in a way you jusy can’t tolerate late abortions. Why? What difference do you find?

    My own view is that this is one of those things that just doesn’t analyse well. But I have no problem with human reactions being intuitive or instinctive rather than based on logic. Losing a baby at eight weeks and losing a baby at thirty weeks are entirely different types of events that provoke different reactions in normal people. Those reactions don’t need to be backed up with reasons. And we don’t need to be able to define the exact cut-off point somewhere between eight and thirty weeks at which our reactions would change in order to validate those reactions.

  43. Ironman aka Neil Neil the racist South African accountant and Liverpool fan

    I’ve no idea who ‘Robert the Biker’ is but I have seen you (and only you) use the word ‘muzzies’ a lot of times – together with all sorts of hysterical stuff about all Russians being scum, hating ‘ugly women’, and deeply questionable things about ‘blacks’ (let’s just say you betray your heritage there). This is England old son – we won’t stand for it over here.

  44. Squander-

    My own view is that this is one of those things that just doesn’t analyse well. But I have no problem with human reactions being intuitive or instinctive rather than based on logic.

    I’ve been waging a largely fruitless admittedly campaign among those libertarians I engage with to recognise this basic fact about values; which should not be that remarkable a fact since David Hume spotted it in the early 18th century. Human values are not the product of reason.

    Nowadays we can construct a much more complete understanding of where they do come from than he could thanks to advances in evolutionary science, psychology, etc, but his answer then was not a bad one; that human morals come from the innate capacity for sympathy, which is not a complete explanation but is at least a start.

    All this being part of the reason for the long struggle in various threads here which has had Ironman and yourself labelling me various unsavoury things for continually posing the “where do you get 16 from?” question.

    The question of why we believe what we believe in terms of values is really important.

  45. Losing a baby at eight weeks and losing a baby at thirty weeks are entirely different types of events that provoke different reactions in normal people.

    I’m not so sure, I think it’s more dependent on how much the baby was wanted. I don’t think the emotional effect of a first trimester vs. third trimester miscarriage is that different if the desire for parenthood is the same in both cases.

    Notably some Christian scholars including Augustine (I think, too lazy to check) believed that ensoulment, and thus “personhood” arrived after the first trimester and thus abortion was not a sin during the first, because the foetus was just a lump of inanimate matter without a soul to lose.

  46. abacab

    I too have no problem with people’s reaction to tragedy; we feel what we feel and are entitled to do so.

    I would say, whilst I do understand why it is natural to see abortion as qualitatively different at 8 weeks and, say, 34 weeks, it indeed isn’t a reasoned response. And I really do think our laws should be built upon reason.

    Until such time as a good reasoned, as opposd to arbitrary, cut off point can be shown to me for life beginning then I think I will stick with conception.

  47. Irons/Neil – you’ve just been found out as a thick.racist.misogynist liar and you don’t like it. It’s understandable.

  48. The reason we have bright-line distinctions in law is because Sorites paradox situations are impossible to legislate in a non-arbitrary fashion. If the abortion cut-off point is 24 weeks then we are treating a procedure carried out at 23 weeks and six days differently from one carried out 48 hours later, despite there being essentially no qualitative difference in the foetus/baby/blob of tissue/God’s little miracle being aborted. Likewise we say 15 years, 364 days thou shalt not bonk; next day get some. It might be capricious but it is basically in aid of the law’s knowability.

    The pro-abortion people in the US are so vile that restrictions on when and how they can be carried out are desirable if for no other reason than causing anguish to such relentlessly dreadful malefactors is likely to be good in itself.

  49. @ironman – it’s largely pragmatic. I think it’s still killing a baby, but it’s not reasonable to expect the bulk of people to get on board with that interpretation.

    @Stigler – “t’s not bollocks. It’s a decision that’s entirely about the right to privacy in the USC – your body is a private concern, and an early foetus is not an individual.”

    But the big part of the debate in the US, and where it fundamentally differs from the UK, is that in the US the pro-abortion lobby are working on the basis that it’s not an individual until it has drawn its first breath. If you can’t wrap your head around that sickening fact, you can’t understand what all the fuss is about: the debate is primarily not about an early foetus. It’s about something that unthinkingly-orthodox liberal women are giving names to, organising baby showers for, and decorating rooms for, without ever reflecting for a f*cking nanosecond about how that might conflict in even the tiniest way with their “feminist” position on abortion.

  50. Plus, in the standard response of “what about cases of incest or rape”, what kind of sick psycho would carry such a foetus to late-term before having it dismembered?

    Ever heard of the morning after pill?

  51. Well, if a foetus has the right to life, the means of its conception are surely irrelevant to that right.

  52. “It’s a decision that’s entirely about the right to privacy in the USC”: there is no right to privacy there. It’s sheer bloody invention. The disgusting thing about Wade-Roe wasn’t the consequence – I don’t care for abortion but have no opposition to its being legal – it was the undermining of the constitution in such a flagrant and transparent way. I suppose it just adds to the evidence that the great experiment to see if the US can be run using a short, terse constitution has shown that it can’t be – or at least won’t be. A good read, the constitution, but not to be taken literally: fiction rather than non-fiction.

  53. Wouldn’t it be funny if all of the people on this site were actually fronts for only two actual individuals?

  54. Rob

    I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m Mr Ecks, but only because the death cults are sending me rays from the State.

  55. Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012,2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.”

  56. Interested

    I wondered if vile dishonest abuse was the best you could do…and it is. You really do have nothing serious to throw do you.

    So I think I’ll stay on and play with Mr Interested-Ecks-SMFS. You have each earned the right to be regarded as one and the same and I will treat you as one and the same: Thick.Racist.Prick

  57. Armald,

    Talk all the shit you like -socialism has murdered more people than live in this country and that is just fine with you. You’re still on their team. Rays of some sort are about the only thing to explain wickedness and stupidity of that degree.

  58. Surreptitious Evil – “Mr Ecks really is a bit of an uncloseted facist, isn’t he?”

    He is a fascist because he threatens your pension?

    The Stigler – “Everyone’s in favour of abortion. Bush’s people made lots of noises about dealing with Roe vs Wade and he didn’t touch it. Nor did Bush sr. Nor did the Gipper.”

    Everyone except the voters. Which is why no one will ask a Democrat about a ninth month abortion. Yes, the GOP Establishment is also basically Democratic in outlook. Their voters aren’t and shouldn’t be treated in this way.

    “Gay adoption? Nearly 2/3rds of Americans support it and the direction of travel will increase that. Being against gay adoption today is like being against interracial marriage in the 1960s.”

    The Left would like to make both these claims, but again there is no point to a right wing party if it is simply going to cave into every demand the Left makes. The debate on Gay adoption has not yet started – and there is some evidence that it is very bad for children. Calling it a Civil Rights issue like Selma don’t make it so.

    “Pro-Amnesty? Well, she’s in favour of amnesty at a price which seems pretty sensible.”

    So basically she wants to abolish the Republican party along with what is left of liberal America. That is not a sensible policy for a Republican.

  59. Ironman – “I wondered if vile dishonest abuse was the best you could do…and it is. You really do have nothing serious to throw do you.”

    The irony! It is actually amusing. You have nothing but dishonest abuse. I keep encouraging you to do better but you can’t. All you can do is lie and swear.

    Which is more amusing given your record of racist comment and sexism. But your magic invulnerable armour of Self Righteousness excludes you from having to think about the morality of what you do. Even when you are logically inconsistent, as with your insistence that different outcomes proves that women have different brains but that different outcomes do not prove the races do.

  60. Bloke in Costa Rica – “The reason we have bright-line distinctions in law is because Sorites paradox situations are impossible to legislate in a non-arbitrary fashion.”

    Well we could go for conception or from the first breath. Either of those would be clear cut and non-arbitrary.

    abacab – “I think it’s still killing a baby, but it’s not reasonable to expect the bulk of people to get on board with that interpretation.”

    I disagree. Abortion has to be lied into existence and is now lied about regularly to stay legal. Most people do not like abortion which is why we have to have the whole charade of the mother’s health. Everyone knows it is a lie but they do it because the public won’t accept abortion on demand. I think an honest debate would end up with a much more restrictive abortion law. Which is why we will never have one.

    “It’s about something that unthinkingly-orthodox liberal women are giving names to”

    Well, when do you think you began to exist? Does anyone here think that they only came into existence once they had drawn their first breath? That the foetus our mothers carried was unrelated to us in any way? I agree – they are deeply confused. Most people are. But we know what we don’t like when we see it. Which is why so many refused to report on Gosnel.

  61. “Does anyone here think that they only came into existence once they had drawn their first breath? ”

    I sincerely doubt it, since this forum is populated by Brits. Such a position is not even on the radar of British debate, except for very few crazies.

    But it’s a mainstream position on the US left. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, who supposedly has a shot at the presidency.

  62. The position I’ve seen from many American liberals- which I admit in itself drove me to rethinking my own support for abortion- is that until the baby is independent of the mother (out of her body and umbilical disconnected) it’s a parasite and a literal unperson.

  63. Irons/Neil

    You’re a nasty racist misogynist with a giant ego.

    Rob – ha yes it would. Personally, I only started replying to the above eejit because his unpleasant abuse of ‘muzzies’ and ‘ugly women’ couldn’t go unchallenged. Decent people must take a stand occasionally.

  64. Ian,

    > I’m not so sure, I think it’s more dependent on how much the baby was wanted. I don’t think the emotional effect of a first trimester vs. third trimester miscarriage is that different if the desire for parenthood is the same in both cases.

    Are you guessing, or have you had some? That’s not a confrontational “How the hell would you know?” sort of question: since we’re talking about how humans react to these events, I’m genuinely wondering. It’s a very personal question, though, of course, so do feel free not to answer.

    We had three, all first-trimester, all very much wanted. Harrowing enough that I just can’t understand how those people who have eight or nine get through it.

    Anyway, “first trimester” is a bit vague. Ten weeks, most women notice. Six weeks, a lot don’t even realise they’re pregnant and think it was just a late period. Even if a woman is trying hard for a baby and taking lots of tests and so knows the moment she’s pregnant, a miscarriage at six weeks is more of a disappointing “Ah, well, that one didn’t work” than “My baby has died.” Tough to know how much of that is instinctive and how much comes from our medical knowledge. We know now that the reason for a lot of early miscarriages is simply the body’s error-checking: the embryo isn’t viable, wouldn’t become a proper baby, so chances are what we’re losing there isn’t a potential child. The (imprecise) cut-off for those kinds of miscarriages is around twelve to fourteen weeks. After that, you’re more sure that the embryo is capable of turning into a proper human and that the chances of miscarriage are far far lower, so losing it feels different. So a lot of very early miscarriages — five to eight weeks — our knowledge of embryology may lead us to mourn less than our ancestors would have, but, then again, most of them our ancestors wouldn’t even have realised were miscarriages anyway.

    > Notably some Christian scholars including Augustine (I think, too lazy to check) believed that ensoulment, and thus “personhood” arrived after the first trimester and thus abortion was not a sin during the first, because the foetus was just a lump of inanimate matter without a soul to lose.

    Course, Augustine’s assessment was based on observing dead things. He would have argued differently if he’d had ultrasound. He might have reached the same conclusions about souls, but he wouldn’t have thought foetuses were inanimate.

    > Well, if a foetus has the right to life, the means of its conception are surely irrelevant to that right.

    It is indeed bizarre that people who oppose the death penalty for actual criminals support it for their offspring.

    > The position I’ve seen from many American liberals- which I admit in itself drove me to rethinking my own support for abortion

    Yes, me too. Abortion is on the short list of things where I have been persuaded of a position by those opposing it. They are incapable of arguing their corner without convincing me that they’re monsters.

    What I think happened in the US is that first they won their battle with the Supreme Court decisions, which left them in the position of either supporting abortion up till birth or opposing their own victory, so (I suspect) they came up with a lot of obviously bollocks rhetoric (parasites, etc) as a tactic to support the cause. Remember, the idea was that the fuss would blow over in a few years and everyone would just get used to living in a land where abortion was legal. The American Left never thought the argument would still be raging fifty years later. Trouble is, we now have several generations of the Left who have been brought up surrounded by that rhetoric, who don’t treat it as a political tactic but who really believe it. Culminating with Amanda Marcotte:

    Getting an abortion is, from a certain angle, liberating the fetus from its womb-prison. That it can’t survive outside of it is not the fault of the liberator, I would think.

    > I’ve been waging a largely fruitless admittedly campaign among those libertarians I engage with to recognise this basic fact about values

    Oh, God, bloody libertarians. I am one myself, when it comes to, you know, liberty. But they appear to be incapable of discussing anything — anything at all — unless it can be explained in terms of either contracts or property rights, as if they’re the two fundamental building blocks of humanity. Their insistence on rigidly defined legal terms with supporting argument is because they want to draw up a contract. Always, for everything. It’s psychotic. I gave up on Samizdata when the denizens were arguing about whether parenthood was really a contract between the parent and child or the child was the property of the parent. I kept saying “Why do you have to treat it either as a contract or a deed of ownership when you could just treat it as parenthood?” since parenthood is a perfectly comprehensible concept and is arguably the fundamental basis of human (or even primate) society. They couldn’t even see what I was getting at. Fuckwits. (Natalie, if you’re reading this, you’re not a fuckwit.)

    > continually posing the “where do you get 16 from?” question.

    Let’s not go off at THAT tangent, but, for the record, that’s a perfectly reasonable question, which (a) I’ve never criticised you for asking and (b) I have answered, at least once.

  65. Rob,

    > Wouldn’t it be funny if all of the people on this site were actually fronts for only two actual individuals?

    I am Russell Brand, and this is my squirrel suit.

  66. SMFS,

    “Everyone except the voters. Which is why no one will ask a Democrat about a ninth month abortion. Yes, the GOP Establishment is also basically Democratic in outlook. Their voters aren’t and shouldn’t be treated in this way.”

    OK, maybe so. But let’s take this back to why I made that point: that you were against Meg Whitman for supporting that. Do you concede that that’s irrelevant as a selection criteria because that’s what all the GOP candidates support?

    “The Left would like to make both these claims, but again there is no point to a right wing party if it is simply going to cave into every demand the Left makes. The debate on Gay adoption has not yet started – and there is some evidence that it is very bad for children. Calling it a Civil Rights issue like Selma don’t make it so.”

    It’s not a claim by the left – 63% of Americans in a Gallup poll supported same-sex adoption. And like gay marriage, that isn’t going to go back without something like compelling evidence that it’s a bad idea. Personally, I’ve not seen any evidence, only assertions that it is.

    “So basically she wants to abolish the Republican party along with what is left of liberal America. That is not a sensible policy for a Republican.”

    What’s liberal about only allowing straight couples to adopt children?

    And you keep defining what a Republican is, but it isn’t just about East Texas baptists. It used to be against running up massive debts. It used to be wary of the military-industrial complex. It used to be against intervention in people’s personal lives. The Supreme Court under Burger that decided on Roe vs Wade was mostly put in place by Republicans.

  67. @SQ2:
    “Abortion is on the short list of things where I have been persuaded of a position by those opposing it”

    Me too.

    Although the real clincher was an emotional one, rather like you and Ian B are discussing above. It was getting to an age where lots of friends were having kids and me actually holding a baby for the first time. I just thought “shit, people want to kill these?”and my view changed almost on the spot.

    Doubly reinforced when a work colleague had a very premature baby* that would have fallen into the timescale for when US pro-choices wouldn’t even blink at supporting an abortion.

    *fairly healthy now all things considered, but a hellish few months in hospital.

  68. Does anyone here think that they only came into existence once they had drawn their first breath?

    I do. Maybe because I grew up on a farm, though.

  69. > Does anyone here think that they only came into existence once they had drawn their first breath?

    More to the point, does anyone’s mother think that?

  70. @IanB

    ‘If the unborn are not people, why do those who miscarry mourn the death, for instance? Is it just a selfish unhappiness at the loss of property like losing some money, or is it because a death has occurred?’

    Someone else may have made this point, but the rasicm, misogyny and sheer stupidity of Ironman aka Neil the Pro Choice Saffa Accountant and Loud-and-Proud Liverpool Fan is sludging up the thread.

    I suppose one answer to your question is that the people who miscarry and mourn a death are often not the same people who abort babies.

    It’s even possible (I know people to whom this applies) to abort a baby you don’t want and then mourn those you subsequently miscarry (which were wanted), all in the same headspace.

    I always like to point out to those people that it’s probably the abortion which messed up their internals and is causing the miscarriages, but I’m just spiteful.

  71. @S2

    ‘Yes, me too. Abortion is on the short list of things where I have been persuaded of a position by those opposing it. They are incapable of arguing their corner without convincing me that they’re monsters.’

    Norma McCorvey – the Roe in Roe v Wade – also later changed her mind, largely because of the people she found herself allied with.

    (She also stopped being a lesbian, linking neatly to a previous thread about gayness and its immutability.)

  72. > Someone else may have made this point, but the rasicm, misogyny and sheer stupidity of Ironman aka Neil the Pro Choice Saffa Accountant and Loud-and-Proud Liverpool Fan is sludging up the thread.

    You know what? It really fucking isn’t. Your constant puerile insults aimed at him are. All he’s said off-topic is to reply to you (and that not even much) and to very briefly comment on Ecks’s nasty attack on SE.

    I realise it has become a popular sport for some people round these parts to keep hurling insults at Ironman out of the blue no matter what the topic. Fine, knock yourselves out. But to then complain that it is him filling the threads with boring hateful playground insults is a bit rich. Try some fucking self-awareness.

  73. Yes. Interested. Please would you curb your enthusiasm for slagging off Ironman. My gaff my rules and this is the equivalent of the landlord having a quiet word in the corner. I’m afraid I’m getting bored of your hurling insults at Ironman (I know who he is, know he’s a big boy and can deal with it but *I* am getting bored with it). This also applies to your PaulB stuff and the bloke who died from drugs. Again, know both names there and know the story is true.

    This is just the quiet word for no reason other than I find your constant repetition of the two points to be tedious as fuck.

  74. Just as a general point, Ironman started the insults and tends to deploy them whenever he can’t answer a point, that is all the time.

    Also, a while ago Interested and I had a right old set-to, after I went into an ill-judged reverie regarding tumbrels, gullotines and bankers, but we sorted it out. Ironman on the other hand seems determined to pick a fight with everybody. It seems to be a symptom of his woeful reasoning skills, but that is just my guess.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.