Obama: Mental Distress Can't Justify Late Term Abortion

Here's Obama reaching out to the evangelical right. The Associated Press reports:

In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."

Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term."

Obama made no such distinction last year:

Last year, after the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on late-term abortions, Obama said he "strongly disagreed" with the ruling because it "dramatically departs form previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women."

NARAL leaders ought to feel like idiots. [More...]

The official position of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group that endorsed Obama in May, states: "A health exception must also account for the mental health problems that may occur in pregnancy. Severe fetal anomalies, for example, can exact a tremendous emotional toll on a pregnant woman and her family."

A leading anti-choice group says Obama either is being disingenous or he's or ignorant. (Note they don't mention the third possibility which is that he's on their side):

David N. O'Steen, the executive director of National Right to Life, said Obama's remarks to the magazine "are either quite disingenuous or they reflect that Obama does not know what he is talking about."

"You cannot believe that abortion should not be allowed for mental health reasons and support Roe v Wade," O'Steen said.

Looks like no one will be pleased with his new position. As I've said all along about his religious outreach, you don't get something for nothing and if he wants the evangelical vote, he's going to have to offer them something. Is this it?

Update: Obama's full positions on abortion are set out with quotes here.

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    Another "nuanced" position (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:14:02 PM EST
    that allows BO to pander to whichever group whose vote he'd like to own.

    Someone better tell him to keep his mouth... (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Shainzona on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:20:30 PM EST

    The more he talks, the more he puts his foot in his mouth.

    I have been waiting for Pro-Choice America to get thrown under that bus.

    Here we go!!!!!

    And tomorrow he will come out with a statement explaining that he really is pro-choice and we shouldn't get worried.  I bet Daily Obama and MyDD are all a twitter with how savvy this position is.



    "Thrown under the bus" (5.00 / 9) (#82)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:27 PM EST
    A few weeks ago, I remarked to my husband that there would be two real gauntlets.  Iraq and Choice. Lets focus on the second one now: Tell me how Barack Obama will be different--pragmatically speaking--from John McCain? Also: I suspect that this is just the start of altering positions...after all, it is only early July.  (Full disclosure: I have mixed feelings in a governmental sense about abortion.  As I have said to priests--I am a practicing Roman Catholic--I believe that the Church should educate its own flock and stay out of the political persuasion context. As a lifelong Democrat, clearly, I am not a one-issue voter.) My point: As Obama tries to mush up his various positions to "reach out," he really risks what his campaign has been all about.  Swallow once, swallow twice, etc.  The little foray about Iraq today could turn quite problematic; and, the comments quoted here about late-term abortion will be a troublesome swallow for a number of non-Catholic women that I know. Really, I do not mean to in any way taunt.  It is just that--a a Hillary Clinton supporter--I was dumbfounded by NARAL's position this spring.  Maybe the point is that not all of us follow "pure" political lines...but, at least, we are honest from the get-go in our feelings, reactions, and positions. Change is one thing; malleability and fecklessness are something else.

    I'm not a one issue voter (5.00 / 9) (#114)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:16:10 PM EST
    but geeze, the guy could at least play to ONE of my issues. Just ONE, any ONE please!!!



    On those issues? (none / 0) (#87)
    by anydemwilldo on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:03:12 PM EST
    Ginsberg vs. Roberts

    War with Iran vs. no war with Iran


    Iran? (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:24:30 PM EST
    What--precisely--is Obama's position on Iran?

    Today? Tomorrow? could be different (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:58:01 PM EST
    Shainzona....it is a well-known fact that (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:09:40 PM EST
    the only time obama opens his mouth is to change feet....what is going on with this guy?

    Feel like idiots (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:14:34 PM EST
    Or are?

    Do you support choice? (none / 0) (#9)
    by talex on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:19:42 PM EST
    Or do you not support choice?

    Because if you do then you are right in there with NARAL.

    But if you don't then you have no worries at this point in time.


    HUH? Who are you talking to? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Shainzona on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:21:30 PM EST
    BTD (none / 0) (#27)
    by talex on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:29:36 PM EST
    Mental distress is no good? (5.00 / 10) (#3)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:14:41 PM EST
    How about "suicidal"?  Would that work better for him?  

    If a mentally unstable pregnant woman (5.00 / 8) (#14)
    by talex on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:22:20 PM EST
    even attempted suicide and lost the fetus as a result then there are those who would want to try her for murder and then execute her.

    Somehow that's called Pro-Life!


    This has happened in my state (5.00 / 5) (#97)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:09:31 PM EST
    so it's not a maybe.  It's exactly the anti-choice interpretation of such laws.

    Also prosecuted a pregnant woman for drinking.


    Maybe by the time August rolls around the DNC (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by Angel on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:15:21 PM EST
    and others will realize the wrong candidate was annointed.  Maybe we can officially nominate the candidate who has the true support of the Democratic party.

    I can't take Obama seriously when he keeps changing his mind about the issues.  

    Heck, give him credit; he hasn't changed (5.00 / 8) (#101)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:10:15 PM EST
    his mind.  This is what he thought all along -- that was clear to me.

    Uh-oh (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by kempis on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:16:23 PM EST
    He really shouldn't have said that. I wonder how he's going to walk back from that one.

    Does he lose himself in his audience or something? Sometimes it's like he gets so caught up in what he thinks his immediate audience wants to hear that he loses sight of the big picture....If so, that's a problem.

    What a Way To End The Week (5.00 / 11) (#26)
    by talex on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:28:50 PM EST
    for Obama. He never disappoints lately.

    How ironic! Tomorrow is the Fourth of July where we celebrate Freedom and he ends the week trying to take away Freedom from women. Nice!

    Did his spokespeople announce he was writing off Clinton's women and women in general and I just missed that announcement?


    He is three for three this week (5.00 / 12) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:40:31 PM EST
    FISA, Iraq and choice.

    Memo To Obama and the NEW Democratic Party: I really do have somewhere else to go. Maybe you need to be sure that my replacement is in the bag and not just one you HOPE you will get.


    don't forget (5.00 / 11) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:46:05 PM EST
    the death penalty for child rapists who don't kill, or was that last week?

    I think that was last week . . . (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:47:51 PM EST
    I guess we should count our blessings it's a short week?



    Perhaps McCain ought to go (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:57:20 PM EST
    out of the country more frequently?  

    more (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:05:52 PM EST
    guns and Bush's religious, tax-supported office (renamed) also.

    And public financing flipflop last week (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:11:36 PM EST
    and something else; there were three then, too.

    We're going to need a scorecard to keep a count.


    You also forgot (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:24:46 PM EST
    The "Secretary of Faith" Maybe Obama should join GWB and go clear brush in Texas.

    Wasn't he planning to add (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:56:42 PM EST
    other Secretaries too?  Secretary of High Tech?  Secretary of Alternative Energy?  I seem to recall at least one other Secretary from previous weeks....

    I Keep Pointing Out (none / 0) (#86)
    by The Maven on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:03:04 PM EST
    the responses his campaign officially gave to Reproductive Health Reality Check last December:
    Does Sen. Obama support any restrictions on abortion, or does he believe it should be entirely up to women?

    Obama supports those restrictions that are consistent with the legal framework outlined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.

    This new statement would actually seem to be quite consistent with this earlier position, to wit:  Obama is pro-choice, but only up to a point.

    Correct. Thank you, Senator Obama (5.00 / 10) (#109)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:13:46 PM EST
    as now all those family and friends who keep wielding the pro-choice arguments at me, when I say I can't vote for either candidate, because Obama's record showed that he couldn't be trusted on pro-choice issues. . . .

    Well, now they can just stfu.  I can't vote for either candidate.


    i guess that depends (none / 0) (#115)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:16:22 PM EST
    on whether you think distress is unhealthy

    kempis....I am beginning to wonder if (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:11:49 PM EST
    obama even cares, at this point.

    Hee. Triangulate much? (5.00 / 9) (#7)
    by rooge04 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:19:14 PM EST
    I forget though. Obama is simply being pragmatic and nuanced.  They used to call other people liars and political animals for the same behavior.  And he's not even waiting until he's President. He's pandering left and right and all over the place.

    If he is that way now... (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:07:29 PM EST
    where will he be tomorrow or next year.  I guess that we can all HOPE it will be otherwise.

    And all the Clinton-bashers look like hypocrites (5.00 / 17) (#202)
    by Mike H on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:15:40 PM EST
    Can I just take a moment to vent at how incredibly unhappy I am that for months those of us who supported Clinton were told how WE were enabling a faux democrat who was really a neocon...  and yet now Obama is tacking more rightward than Hillary ever did?

    And NOW those same Clinton-bashers are bending over backwards to come up with excuses for why it's good when he does it, but do you think any of them will have the decency to admit they went overboard attacking Hillary?

    I'd really thought that 2008 would bring the end of our national nightmare, but I'm now more depressed about the future of this country than ever.  


    According to Obama, (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:19:42 PM EST
    it's something that doesn't count.

    Wow... (5.00 / 12) (#11)
    by nell on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:20:31 PM EST
    Mental health no longer counts as a serious illness according to Obama...

    I am not even sure I know what to say...this combined with him saying that women should counsel their ministers before seeking an abortion and I am just left shaking my head.

    He said mental distress, not mental health (none / 0) (#21)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:26:18 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 6) (#32)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:32:46 PM EST
    Can you read?  Are you trying to fashion your own version of WORM out of whole cloth?  He quite clearly said there has to be a "serious physical issue."

    He Fooled Those Evangelicals Then (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:43:28 PM EST
    Because the brain, which controls all that is mental, is a physical organ, and therefore can be subject to a serious physical issue, commonly known as mental distress.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:45:07 PM EST
    I very much doubt that a court would see it that way, since the distinction between physical and mental issues is so clearly recognized in the law.

    Oh Well (none / 0) (#60)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:47:39 PM EST
    Good try, though (none / 0) (#111)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:13:56 PM EST
    I admire your thinking on that one.

    No, Obama didn't say women should (none / 0) (#48)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:40:39 PM EST
    counsel their ministers before seeking an abortion.  

    Heh (5.00 / 8) (#53)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:43:47 PM EST
    Are you familiar with the quote being referred to?  Or are you going to defend first, find out the facts later?

    Yes he did. (5.00 / 5) (#75)
    by Shainzona on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:55:51 PM EST
    In the January debate he didn't answer "yes" when asked if he supports Pro-Cholice.  He said the decision should be between "a woman, her doctor, her family and her clergy".  (Pity the poor child raped by a family member!!)

    Who next?  The next door neighbor or the post person?


    You bet he did. (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:15:31 PM EST
    Please, research before you react.  You have argued several times here against evidence on the record.

    Google is your friend.  So is the search function on this site.


    One definition of mental distress (5.00 / 12) (#12)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:21:18 PM EST
    I'm getting really depressed about
    how Obama is behaving.

    Another . . . (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:36:04 PM EST
    massive head explosions.

    I have to keep reminding myself I didn't vote for him and have left the party. Doesn't help much, but some.


    That's the mantra! (5.00 / 7) (#76)
    by janarchy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:56:36 PM EST
    "Don't blame me! I didn't vote for him!"

    It worked well enough for me over the last 8 years. Apparently it will have to work again for the next 4 years, no matter which one wins.


    Sure and I am going to trust this man (5.00 / 19) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:22:31 PM EST
    to nominate SCOTUS justices. Please don't let anyone tell me anytime soon that I have to vote for Obama to protect women's right to choice .

    So (5.00 / 12) (#19)
    by chrisvee on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:24:41 PM EST
    Roe v Wade won't be overturned but will just die from a thousand cuts during an Obama administration???

    The only thing I can remember that he's said during this last month that's been a positive improvement is his opposition to a ban on gay marriage.

    I think he should consider taking a break from explaining his positions and go back to the hopey change speech.  No good is coming from it that I can see. Meanwhile, Hillary is coasting through NY like a rock star.

    Where is she?! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:53:26 PM EST
    Syracuse speech yesterday, as I recall (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:17:13 PM EST
    had a huge crowd roaring for her -- an energy speech, I think.

    Previously, hasn't Obama said he's against gays (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by jawbone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:04:01 PM EST
    being about to use the term "marriage"? So, another flip, but in a different direction?

    Wonder who got to him? Michelle? Or who got to both of them? Were there significant enough gay voters saying they wouldn't donate (the line is that since they don't have children, they have more disposable income, right?)?


    He's against (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:32:08 PM EST
    The marriage ban but he's also against the marriage! So he's still holding true to form.

    Obama does not support CA constitutional (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:56:44 PM EST
    amendment to ban same-sex marriage. However, he remains opposed to same-sex marriage. Just doesn't think it should be in the constitution.

    I wonder how he's polling in CA? (none / 0) (#102)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:11:33 PM EST
    or maybe he's factoring them in with other groups to make up for loss in the base? I know they were planning lots of GOTV at Gay Pride events last weekend.

    was donnie mcclurkin going to sing there too? n/t (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:19:18 PM EST
    My goodness (5.00 / 19) (#28)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:29:54 PM EST
    Does Obama now have a medical degree to go with his law degree?  Whether a woman is in sufficient physical or mental distress that an abortion is indicated is a matter to be decided between her and her doctor.

    It is a standard anti-choice canard that all sorts of women are running around getting ninth-month abortions by claiming that they feel stressed or whatever.  In the real world, no one is getting a third-term abortion that isn't medically necessary - whether for reasons of physical or mental health.

    Every time he comes out with one of these (5.00 / 12) (#30)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:31:37 PM EST
    I wonder how he's gotten this far. To that end, he reminds me of our current President.

    you'll understand how he got this far... (5.00 / 6) (#49)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:42:31 PM EST
    when all his supporters start covering for him onthis just like they do on everything else.

    Oh, that and the fact that he didn't start saying stuff ike this until the primary was OVER.


    Over? (5.00 / 4) (#178)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:51:35 PM EST
    You think the primary is OVER?

    It is simply suspended.

    It will be over at the end of August.  Not before.


    Corporate $$$ and greed got him here (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Boo Radly on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:11:59 PM EST
    Nope According to Obama Rulz (5.00 / 16) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:45:16 PM EST
    It is a decision to be made with the counsel of her doctor, her husband and her minister.

    Us dumb broads need to have all kinds of other people to do our decision making.


    OMG (5.00 / 5) (#169)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:47:17 PM EST
    what happens if you don't have a husband or a minister?

    Bingo. I tried to explain this to an atheist (5.00 / 5) (#177)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:50:43 PM EST
    friend who is for Obama and tried to tell me he is rilly, rilly good on women's issues.  When I quoted Obama on the "ask your pastor" answer on abortion, the friend went into the "but he's awsum and this is his strategy" stuff.  I gave up.

    I get the feeling that some of these (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:54:53 PM EST
    kool-aid swillers are too stupid to breath on their own.

    One will be appointed for you, I guess ... (5.00 / 11) (#180)
    by Cassius Chaerea on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:51:56 PM EST
    Yes, he is buying into a right-wing mantra (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:18:32 PM EST
    on this -- thanks for the reminder; I have read this repeated endlessly on local neocon blogs.

    Maybe he will pick Bill Frist as his VP... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:19:13 PM EST
    whatta team they would make!!

    if he did that (5.00 / 5) (#130)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:20:57 PM EST
    then any woman who needed an abortion would have to send a video tape in to Frist for a diagnosis

    That could be bad, if they get too backed (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:25:19 PM EST
    up or the woman doesn't have a video camera...

    don't worry... (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:32:27 PM EST
    tomorrow his campaign will just explain that his position hasn't changed.  He just spoke "inartfully" on Thursday.

    Or he will explain the "nuanced" difference of "distress".

    I'm sure his minions are already explaining that "distress" really isn't much of anything toworry about.

    I am expecting a "MAJOR" speech (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:23:25 PM EST
    on choice and the right to privacy any day now.

    WTF? Since when is Obama a doctor? (5.00 / 11) (#40)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:37:49 PM EST
    Why the hell should the Congress dictate when a woman is sufficiently ill enough, physical or mental, to have an abortion?  This is really sick.  This guy is a regressive progressive.  Nice pander.  This will NOT be the first "woman president" as two dopey Obama supporting women have suggested.

    exactly (5.00 / 11) (#58)
    by nell on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:46:33 PM EST
    it is between a woman and her doctor and no one else.

    besides throwing the choice issue under the bus, he has also jeapordized mental health parity. he clearly implies that mental illness is a less serious conition than physical illness.


    Exactly nell (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:51:21 PM EST
    This is another reason why my head is 'sploding.

    Hmmm, maybe next he'll define (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:40:04 PM EST
    when life begins. I'm all ears on that one . . .

    He's already said he's confused about that (5.00 / 10) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:54:29 PM EST
    Q: Do you personally believe that life begins at conception?

    A: This is something that I have not come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.

    Source: 2008 Democratic Compassion Forum at Messiah College Apr 13, 2008

    More here.


    So, basically,, (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:10:02 PM EST
    he once again proclaims that he has no personal beliefs.  

    No wonder it is so hard to pin this guy down on anything.  


    That's what I'm waiting for . . . (none / 0) (#93)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:05:44 PM EST
    the confusion to clear up. Thanks for the link! I watched the compassion forum, but I missed the "soul stirs" line. I wonder which "soul" he is referring to . . . ?

    I snarked the other day that (5.00 / 7) (#92)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:05:29 PM EST
    someone needed to stop Obama before he gave a major speech on "The Meaning of Life;" it's coming any day now, I can feel it.

    This is a disaster.


    I'll have my fingers in my ears (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:08:03 PM EST
    and be singing "LalalalaLAAAAA, I can't hear you!". In between taking swigs off my drink that is. Oy.

    you're still taking swigs? (5.00 / 0) (#132)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:21:37 PM EST
    I've given up and now gulp continuously from a barrel through a brightly colored Krazy Straw.



    Yes! The speech to give in Why, AZ (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:20:54 PM EST
    was my reply in that silly thread about the sites selected for his speeches.

    I'm guessing that he did not say this one today in Intercourse, PA.


    He needs to hush before he makes everyone (5.00 / 6) (#50)
    by Teresa on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:42:52 PM EST
    mad. Maybe we'll have unity after all...the we made a mistake kind.

    No, I'm sorry. I am fricken pissed. (5.00 / 6) (#59)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:47:18 PM EST
    You know, this is just sick.  Really nice thing to be running on, Senator.  My God, this is why it matters, it's relevant, that women, when they vote, remember we live in a patriarchy.    

    I think I liked it better (5.00 / 7) (#67)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:51:30 PM EST
    when I just thought he was inexperienced, not strong on issues, and was more conservative than I cared for.

    We are on the same wavelength - (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:01:14 PM EST
    his statement was so paternalistic, and "there, there, just let the big strong man tell you what to do" - that's part of what really got under my skin.


    Yes, and this is what is deeply (5.00 / 5) (#166)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:43:48 PM EST
    offensive about his position.

    It is offensive that he would pull mental distress from the reasons to allow late-term abortions.

    But what underlies that opinion -- that women are not and should not be trusted to make those decisions for themselves, is revolting.

    And it's all of a piece -- the decision made in consultation with one's pastor -- the 'I know best' attitude inherent in the 'get over it because you have nowhere else to go' riff -- the constant repetition of how no one else has done as much as he for fill-in-the-blank -- it adds up to a mindset not of respect for people as individuals capable of thinking and acting for themselves, but of 'Father knows best, and I'm the father.'



    What does this man stand for? (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by ajain on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:16:33 PM EST
    Now he doesn't consider mental distress to be a legitimate affliction! Great!

    Hedging on the matters of Abortion Rights is simply outrageous. I mean what is wrong with this guy?

    If this works, and right wing voters (1.00 / 3) (#159)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:35:41 PM EST
    all over the country vote Democrat, Obama will have undermined a Republican strategy that has been kicking us in the pants (in elections) for years.

    Yikes, what is left of a mind (5.00 / 8) (#165)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:43:26 PM EST
    that thinks this statement is undermining Republican strategy?

    Obama's statement is a Republican statement.   And that's okay with you, if it "works"?


    If pandering works, is what I was saying. (1.00 / 1) (#168)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:47:02 PM EST
    You still are not at all embarrassed (5.00 / 7) (#185)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:53:41 PM EST
    by this?  He doesn't have a line in the sand that he will not cross, but you're not running for office -- so, do you?  Is pandering on any issue really okay with you?

    And we're supposed to "win" (5.00 / 10) (#167)
    by Cassius Chaerea on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:47:01 PM EST
    by becoming right-wing Republicans?

    This is not the Democratic Party I've voted for these past thirty-five years.


    Sure, just throw away (5.00 / 11) (#175)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:50:11 PM EST
    all your principles in order to win.  What happened to convincing people our principles were right?

    What good is a Democratic win, if it's on the GOP platform?


    I'm sorry (5.00 / 8) (#172)
    by ajain on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:48:20 PM EST
    But I dont think there is anything great about winning votes by selling out core principles.

    Hedging on abortion rights is a pretty serious and outrageous thing for any democrat. Especially a Dem nominee. I think this gives a serious blow to his "progressive" credentials. Not that he hadn't dealt enough blows already, but seriously, this is abortion rights we are talking about. There are just something we dont do. No matter what.


    I respectfully disagree (2.00 / 3) (#188)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:55:32 PM EST
    that Obama is selling out core principles.

    Many, many Americans believe in choice AND are also distressed that someone could get an late term abortion when they had the opportunity to get the procedure earlier.  


    draft Hillary (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by Tim V on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:21:24 PM EST
    another flop ?

    Barry is not the nominee until the convention. Hillary can still be nominated. With all of his flip flops towards the center it is time for the supers to switch to Hillary !

    Denver !

    Hillary has convictions and will stand her ground.

    He has made my claws come out (5.00 / 13) (#140)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:25:53 PM EST
    periodically from the start, sweetie, when he gets me down.  Makes me want to throw dishes, not to mention the kitchen sink.  So I just would go have  a tea party until I could simply be "present" again in this party.  

    Seriously, he has been so tone-deaf on anything to do with women, from the beginning, that this does not surprise me.  He doesn't even know what he's saying to or about women.  He really doesn't.

    So I'm not in the Dem party anymore.  There was only room for one of us, and the DNC wanted him.

    Geez (none / 0) (#147)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:28:33 PM EST
    He has a super-smart wife who is more than capable of sticking up for herself.  How does she not bring him into line on stuff like this?  Heck, Gerald Ford had Betty.

    Is MO pro-choice? (none / 0) (#158)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:34:14 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#164)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:43:20 PM EST
    I have no idea, I was speaking more to the general issue of sensitivity towards women.

    If I were in the habit of (unintentionally, one presumes) saying things that come across as offputting to women, I'd hope my wife would let me know at some point.


    and we're supposed (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by Coldblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:26:48 PM EST
    to unite behind this nominee because...?

    After this.. (5.00 / 10) (#146)
    by ajain on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:27:21 PM EST
    I think Hillary should not take VP even if offered.
    This is simply about principle. What does he truly stand for, besides getting elected?

    I was glad to see him tack to the middle (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by WillBFair on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:48:23 PM EST
    for the ge. It's another Clinton tactic he swiped, showing he's smart enough to recognize the finest policy agenda of our time.

    But tacking is one thing. Lunging is another.

    I'm trying not to worry now, mostly by imagining how shocked his worshipers must be watching their hero turn into Bill Clinton on meth.


    This wins Obama NO Votes (5.00 / 4) (#193)
    by pluege on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:57:30 PM EST
    the forced-birthers aren't going to vote for him based on this; the pro-choice crowd is going to be pissed; and the indifferent middle isn't going to care either way. This is a lose-lose-no win position.

    Obama beginning to look... (5.00 / 6) (#183)
    by pluege on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:53:21 PM EST
    completely rudderless and disingenuous.

    all his triangulating ain't winning him any supporters, but is probably make a lot of people wonder why they were so enthusiastic about him before.

    Based on the last 2 weeks I think the best advice for Obama is to keep his mouth shut.

    On an even more worrisome note: (5.00 / 11) (#184)
    by WillBFair on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:53:30 PM EST
    all these contradictory stands will make Obama seem too insincere even for a politician.

    I can't see what the upside for him is. (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by ajain on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:01:40 PM EST
    I mean, Repubs are going to hit him on abortion (and late-term abortion) anyway. Why hedge like this?

    Obama comes across as unserious and immature. (5.00 / 6) (#201)
    by pluege on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:11:16 PM EST
    what are Obama's qualifications to decide the seriousness and health effects of mental distress such that under all circumstances its insufficiently severe to adversely affect the health of the woman.

    I've posted (5.00 / 2) (#209)
    by pie on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:42:48 PM EST
    this article several times over the past few years.

    I don't think people know what they're talking about when they discuss this issue.  

    And Obama is (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by pie on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:43:53 PM EST
    just repeating the right-wing frames.

    How freaking disappointing is that.

    Again, which party nomination did he win? (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 10:05:41 PM EST

    Tell that to Andrea Yates (5.00 / 4) (#212)
    by goldberry on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 10:49:06 PM EST
    Whose mind was permanently damaged by post-partum psychosis.

    It's not merely a question (5.00 / 2) (#214)
    by MsExPat on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 11:46:24 PM EST
    of women "changing their minds" past the "accepted definition of viability". A lot of poor and disadvantaged women can't get the finances together for an abortion early enough to meet the deadline of the "accepted definition". They may live in a state that has few, or almost no, abortion providers. They may not realize they are pregnant for many months, or if they are mentally distressed, they may be in denial about it.

    I'm sorry, but my "accepted definition" of choice means...a woman's right to choose. Period.

    He can screw himself....He really is a creep! (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by SunnyLC on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:04:04 AM EST
    He's caused enough "mental distress" for me...

    He's going to play doctor now, too?

    I can't stand this S.O.B....

    Over at Salon's Table Talk... (5.00 / 5) (#219)
    by Romberry on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 01:33:03 AM EST
    Over at Salon's Table Talk, a poster I have long known and respected as a liberal voice and a voice of reason was defending Obama's position on this issue by saying (and here I quote exactly) "Somebody's upset because Obama came out against baby-killing?! Wow! Prospective parent(s) with three months to make a decision and they can't do it?" and (again, quoting exactly from the same post) "Anything short of "this baby's going to kill me if it comes to term" is out-of-bounds. Period. I support choice but I don't support murder-on-a-whim."

    I don't know what has happened to people I know who have chosen to support Obama. In the instance above, in my own reply at Table Talk I referenced this thread at TalkLeft and NARAL's statement about the sort of mental distress we are talking about here. I also made it clear that I felt that Republican anti-choice memes were being embraced in order to defend Obama here.

    When is enough enough?

    In an unrelated post on the Hillary Clinton thread on Table Talk, I've begun the process of fleshing out my opposition to Obama and why I am not fearful of an opposition party president if we have a strongly Democratic congress. The process is not complete and some who have replied do not as yet fully grasp the point. But I am beginning the believe firmly that liberals/progressives have much less to fear from a divided government in the next four years than they would from an Obama-led Democratic government. Is that blasphemy from a liberal? Well, I guess that must make me a blasphemer.

    The day that liberals begin throwing around labels like "baby killer" and charging that women in need of late-term abortion are seeking "murder on a whim" is the day I have well and truly been left in an utter state of confusion. No facts will get in the way of these people. It calls to mind Thomas Jefferson:

    "In the fevered state of our country, no good can ever result from any attempt to set one of these fiery zealots to rights, either in fact or principle. They are determined as to the facts they will believe, and the opinions on which they will act. Get by them, therefore, as you would by an angry bull; it is not for a man of sense to dispute the road with such an animal."

    Liberal zealots. Who woulda thunk it? (And isn't it something of an oxymoron?)

    I wonder if the votes he's gaining (4.93 / 15) (#65)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:51:16 PM EST
    by making these statements are keeping up with the ones he's losing...

    And I suppose he will deliver another lecture/"speech", followed by a statement about how pained he is over the whole issue, and how, really, no one understands more than he does what the wrenching moral choices are.

    Look, it's simple: he either supports choice or he doesn't.  He either accepts that reproductive choices are a woman's to make with as much or as little help as she herself feels she needs, or he doesn't.

    He really needs to STFU.  And I need to go punch a hole in the wall or something.

    He and Axelrod are pretty sure there's nowhere (5.00 / 11) (#80)
    by jawbone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:20 PM EST
    else for you to go, sweetie. Nowhere for any of us to go, really. And, that eventually, we'll "come around."

    He's pretty sure he's not losing voters. And, besides, the men folk know what's best for the little ladies.

    But I do expect a WORM on this fairly quickly.

    I'd punch out a wall but my arthritis in my hands is acting up in this weather change. Time for a hammer or crowbar...but, boy, do I get how you feel.


    ok, i need a (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:23:54 PM EST
    definition for WORM please

    WORM (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:27:01 PM EST
    stands for What Obama Really Meant.

    See this post for the origin.  Also this  by BTD.

    Any review of Obama statements or past votes is subject to an explanation by Obama of what he REALLY meant. Any criticism of Obama's statements which do not take into account Obama's clarifications and explanations of what he REALLY meant are unfair personal attacks and the attacker is a "liar" who will say and do anything to get elected.

    Worm: What Obama Really Meant (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:27:08 PM EST
    WORM (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:29:46 PM EST
    What Obama Really Meant

    OT for your hands . . . (none / 0) (#133)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:22:46 PM EST
    have you tried a topical cream with Arnica in it? Works great for my various joint and soft tissue issues.  Also, MSM and Vit C. Just thought I would toss those out there :)

    Where to go (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by christinep on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:12:30 PM EST
    The problem is that Obama really can take most of us for granted.  Thats real.  We all say how horrible McCain is.  So...what do we do?  For me, a voting Democrat (always) for 40 years, it is something to think about.  Believe me, it is tough.

    So terribly, terribly true. (none / 0) (#118)
    by jawbone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:17:16 PM EST
    Someone has to keep a master list (4.60 / 10) (#52)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:43:36 PM EST
    of all the new nuances.  

    Stellllllaaaaaa (none / 0) (#57)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:46:13 PM EST
    good to see you.

    thanks... (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:50:26 PM EST
    I am being Eeyore, cause I am tired of telling people "told you so", I have to do that enough with family.  

    I hear you on that, believe me (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:27:20 PM EST
    and I really want to hear from Kathy on this, too!  So glad to see you on this, Stellaaa.  Btw, did you see me call you, the other day here, our Cassandra?

    Hello Stellaaa (none / 0) (#155)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    Come on, I'd like to hear some "told you so" from you right about now.  

    So good to see you Stella... (none / 0) (#207)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:30:48 PM EST
    though I know how distressing those 'I told you sos' can be. I seem to be saying it a lot lately.

    Is anyone on TL actually interested in making sure (1.66 / 3) (#63)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:50:08 PM EST
    our Dem candidate represents us, or is just easier to bash him.  I was hoping to hear this group say something useful that could be forwarded to the Obama campaign.  Instead a lot of commenters seem to be making assumptions and putting words in Obama's mouth.

    But it won't kill you, sayeth Obama, therefore it ain't a threat to your health.
    The Roe v. Wade argument is now under the bus.
    Mental health no longer counts as a serious illness according to Obama...
    ... women should counsel their ministers before seeking an abortion
    he was writing off Clinton's women and women in general

    Seems to me it's important that Obama understand that under specific circumstances, mental health is a valid justification for a late-term abortion.  Obama also needs to somehow pander to anti-abortion people to get their votes.  I want him to win, and we're probably going to need those votes to win.

    So the question is, does he really understand that complexities?  If not, we need to educate him.  If so, we should try to not put words in his mouth.  

    Holy crap (5.00 / 19) (#68)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:52:00 PM EST
    You are officially the worst Obama defender ever.

    Wha? He needs to pander to anti-choicers (5.00 / 16) (#73)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:54:34 PM EST
    by using womens repoductive health to win?  That's pathetic.  Stop excusing this guy.  Stop assuming he doesn't really mean what he says.  Stop thinking he only needs to understand the complexities.  THIS IS HIS OPINION.  Take it as it is.

    He's pandering for votes. It's July. (2.00 / 1) (#106)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:12:00 PM EST
    He's got to undermine the nonsense that Faux News and talk shows spout.  To do that, he needs to reach right wing and centrist voters now, with a visceral connection.  Hence, he has to speak to their fears, not ours.  If he reaches them now, and they feel an emotional connection, smears won't be as effective later on.  It's that simple.  If I'm right, we'll see a further statement that reaffirms a woman's right to late term abortion for mental health reasons, as the law now provides.

    Anti-abortion activists aside, there are many, many Americans who believe that "choice" is too flippantly used as an excuse.  I don't agree with them; I personally think that a pregnant woman is the sole decider on whether or not to carry a baby.  I don't believe any man should have control, including the biological father.  <flame suit on>

    That said, I want our candidate to win.  People all over the country believe that the right to an abortion has been abused, especially by low income women receiving publicly financed abortions.  They have concerns about paying for abortions, and for the killing of a late term fetus.  They know how they would make such a decision, but the media presents this differently than we view it.  So, if he's giving them some loosy goosy language that can be used to show he's on their side, I say more power to him.  I want their votes


    What on earth are you talking about? (5.00 / 8) (#121)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:18:52 PM EST
    You know how you win those votes, you run on social justice, the environment, combatting poverty.  Well, if you are a Democrat.  I personally don't care what your personal beliefs are.  You are not running for President.  

    Uh, yeah. Like the rest of the Democrats (2.00 / 0) (#151)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:30:18 PM EST

    I want our candidate to win this time.


    'Our candidate' (5.00 / 9) (#161)
    by Coldblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:40:20 PM EST
    should adhere to 'our' values. If he doesn't, then he is not 'our' candidate.

    See how simple that is?


    He'll "need" those votes... (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Shainzona on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:19:54 PM EST
    as the rest of us run for the exit sign on the other side.

    PLEASE, so he lies now to get votes and then tells the truth later to pander to us?  What a guy!

    I prefer to deal with what I know and feel...he is a liar and does not deserve my vote.


    Amazing (5.00 / 15) (#127)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:20:29 PM EST
    The rock-solid conviction that he is simply lying about everything right now, in order to build an emotional connection with right-wing voters before he takes it all back later, is so stunning that I can't find the words for it.

    Are there any Obama supporters who want to lay it on the line with this guy?  I know you don't all rationalize like this.


    It's worse than pandering. (5.00 / 9) (#134)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:23:39 PM EST
    Maybe you can tell us how you are so, so sure that what Obama is saying now is not the stuff he really believes; I mean, how would you ever know this man was telling you anything straight-up?  Maybe he was pandering then and now he is showing you the real Obama.  Ever think of that?

    Of course not.

    P. T. Barnum would love you.


    You're kidding, right? (5.00 / 9) (#74)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:54:49 PM EST
    This is the second time in two threads that you've suggested we need to write Obama a little note regarding our views.

    I can't believe you're serious, but if you are, start writing to him yourself.  Oh please.


    This is the same guy (5.00 / 11) (#85)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:02:51 PM EST
    who argued that Obama didn't mention any female patriots in his big speech about patriotism because he was trying to win the votes of sexist males who don't want to hear about women being patriotic.  And that it's good strategy for Obama to do so.

    If you think I am exaggerating, just click this link.


    OMG, This is the worst (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:14:15 PM EST
    Obama defender ever.  That's so bad it's funny.

    It is a good strategy to connect with the electora (1.33 / 3) (#200)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:09:02 PM EST
    and obviously Democrats haven't been doing that of late.  If Obama can frame issues in a way that connects with the voters in this country who I actually disagree with, like sexist men and racists and even pro-lifers, then yes, I want him to do that right now before the convention.  

    I want a Democratic president, and I want a landslide takeover of Congress.


    Why do think (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Coldblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:07 PM EST
    he would listen?

    Excuse me, but (5.00 / 11) (#79)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:20 PM EST
    if he's going to state these positions, he damn well better educate himself BEFOREHAND.

    Pandering to anti-abortion is unacceptable to me, TYVM. As is telling me to seek counsel from a minister.


    Educate him? Are you kidding me? (5.00 / 11) (#81)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:24 PM EST
    Was he not educated when he made earlier - much earlier - statements about support - full, unequivocal, it's-a-woman's-right-to-choose, choice-means-choice support?  Did he not seem to understand whole issue some months ago, when he was contesting for the Democratic nomination?

    It's really very simple: we have the wrong nominee.  Period.  

    That's not hate, it's not derangement; it's getting clearer by the day that this man cannot be trusted to assert a Democratic agenda, that he will say anything - anything - for votes.


    thank the DNC (5.00 / 5) (#142)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:26:57 PM EST
    Brazile, Dean and the spineless, money-grubbing SDs who supported him.  Seriously, send them an email and thank them!  I'm sure they're under a mountain of ripped up Dem Registration cards and an avalanche of angry words already.

    I'm really trying to figure out just what this Party has become. It certainly isn't one I feel at home with anymore.

    Perhaps the SDs will Nominate Hillary in August instead?


    I hope Pelosi (5.00 / 4) (#208)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:35:27 PM EST
    and Brazile and Claire-bear are all happy now. he has thrown women's issues under the bus and pandered to the right on the very issue they have all been using to guilt us into voting for the empty suit. No more.

    I wonder what Hillary thinks of this? I do not know how she can support him with a clear concience.


    Pfffht. (5.00 / 9) (#120)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:18:43 PM EST
    Let g*dd*amn effing NARAL explain it to him.

    It's not as if this is some new issue -- the whole country has been round and round this issue multiple frakkin' times.

    I'm sorry, but he should MORE than know what the importance is -- ignorance on the important political topics of the day is no excuse.


    WE need to educate a law school "prof" (5.00 / 8) (#153)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:32:07 PM EST
    on Roe v. Wade?

    Have you started your holiday a wee bit early, p'raps?  Do celebrate the demise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the majority of Americans: women.


    Hey, "educate him" was snark (none / 0) (#160)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:38:32 PM EST
    Dang, he's a lawyer with a smart wife.  He knows what he said.  See my other post about pandering to pro-lifers.

    Then you're just a blogclogger (5.00 / 6) (#189)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:55:40 PM EST
    taking up bandwidth here to take over the thread with nonsense.  Stop it.

    You know what, (1.66 / 3) (#176)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:50:23 PM EST
    I'd love to have a candidate that stood up for all the issues I care about.  I'd like a woman president, someone who is a strong and brilliant politician in her own right, and I'd like to live in a democracy where most citizens would vote for her because they actually agreed with her and my stand on the issues.

    But I live in America, where gays are oppressed, Hispanic immigrants are scapegoated, blacks are unfairly treated in the justice system, and many, many people thing someone like McCain could actually keep us safe and fix the economy.

    I'm working with what I have, and I think Obama is too.  Maybe he's really a stealth Republican, maybe he's actually the anti-Christ, as he's been smeared.  But I don't think so.  He's our candidate.  And I want him to win.  I'm OK when he straddles the line between right and left wing, because that's what it's going to take to win.

    He's already lost many people (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:57:29 PM EST
    on this site.  

    I hope he sticks to it. (1.25 / 4) (#215)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 11:51:05 PM EST
    Outside a very strict exception, late term abortions should not be done. I agree that depression is not sufficient cause to abandon what is by that point a viable child.

    WTF Is Mental Distress? (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:17:54 PM EST

    The AP noted today that (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:30:40 PM EST
    "the 1973 landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade, established a right to an abortion, and a concurrent case, Doe v. Bolton, established that medical judgments about the need for an abortion could include physical, emotional and psychological health factors."

    Black's Law Dictionary says "serious mental distress may be found where a reasonable person, normally constituted, would be unable to adequately cope with the mental stress engendered by the circumstances."


    Thanks (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:34:59 PM EST
    I am confused, now, as to why Naral would say this in the AP story:

    In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice said Obama's magazine interview is consistent with Roe v. Wade.
    "Sen. Obama has consistently said he supports the tenets set forth by Roe, and has made strong statements against President Bush's Federal Abortion Ban, which does not have an exception to protect a woman's health," the organization's statement said.

    To be clear (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:40:13 PM EST
    NARAL is correct here as a legal matter.  It is a standard anti-choice canard that Doe v. Bolton protects an absolute right to an abortion (even in the third trimester) for mental health reasons, but the decision simply doesn't say that.

    If a state decided to ban all late-term abortions that occur for mental health reasons, the present Supreme Court would probably declare that constitutional.  Certainly, the issue is not resolved by Roe v. Wade or Doe v. Bolton.  Frankly, this is why it is even more urgent to support candidates who understand that mental health can be a justification for a late-term abortion under appropriate circumstances, because this sort of law is most certainly in play.


    but, but, but (none / 0) (#38)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:36:19 PM EST
    Obama didn't say "serious mental distress", just "mental distress"  adding "serious" must make all the difference.

    I have a feeling (none / 0) (#83)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:59:54 PM EST
    that "serious mental distress" is a subset of "mental distress".

    Maybe he was just reverse-nuancing...

    Or setting up next week's flip-flop...

    Or maybe he didn't have his copy of Black's Law Dictionary  with him...



    Or maybe mental distress is brought on (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:13:53 PM EST
    by watching obama flip flop all over the place...

    well, (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by ccpup on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:29:30 PM EST
    watching him flip-flop IS contributing to both my drunkenness and fits of sobbing.

    Does that count?  Can I get my Oonity Pony now? (hiccup) Pleashe?


    I feel your pain..... (none / 0) (#195)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:59:12 PM EST
    People who feel suicidal (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:52:58 PM EST
    are under mental distress.  It could be due to a mental illness or something else.  

    Mental distress = "female complaints" (5.00 / 9) (#157)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:33:55 PM EST
    if you asked Obama, I betcha.  A phrase from my father's generation -- and on just about any women's issues, that's how Mr. Future America sounds . . . sweetie.

    Cream City gets the last word...again. (none / 0) (#163)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:42:33 PM EST

    Seriously? (4.25 / 4) (#17)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:24:12 PM EST
    Anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, manic depression, schizophrenia.. affects the body and the mind.

    Those are mental illnesses, (none / 0) (#22)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:27:34 PM EST
    Mental Distress (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:35:23 PM EST
    Mental Distress

    Children Mental Distress

    Wiki Mental Distress

    Veterans Mental Distress

    I worked at the Dept of MH in our community at one time.  When a person was having an incident, they were considered to be in a state of mental distress.


    Thanks For The Links (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:39:59 PM EST
    I really had not heard of mental health, or lack of it described that way. And I am glad to learn, from your link, that mental distress is not contagious.

    In Psychiatry (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by talex on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:37:30 PM EST
    the term Mental Distress encompasses a much broader scope than Mental Illness but includea all the symptoms commonly known to occur in Mental Illness. So the poster above is correct.

    Really? (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:28:45 PM EST
    Is that the new PC term? I had not heard it before.

    wait what does Mental Distress (none / 0) (#18)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:24:41 PM EST

    I mean mental distress doesn't sound like the monther health is in danger or why are they using such a light term as distress?

    It means (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:27:41 PM EST
    that feeling suicidal over the fact you're going to have a baby against your will is too bad.
    But it won't kill you, sayeth Obama, therefore
    it ain't a threat to your health.

    he uses mental distress (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by kimsaw on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:39:32 PM EST
    because it remains distinctly undefined, its an open ended term. It leaves the center left questioning with uncertainty but not enough to turn away and it will do the same for evangelicals. It's his standard operating procedure, leave them guessing.

    Here's a legal definition: (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:39:58 PM EST
    Black's Law Dictionary says "serious mental distress may be found where a reasonable person, normally constituted, would be unable to adequately cope with the mental stress engendered by the circumstances."

    Where does that put rape & incest? (none / 0) (#20)
    by tlkextra on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:26:16 PM EST
    Is he trying to lose? Makes it more difficult to use the vote for me because of Roe v Wade argument.

    The Roe v. Wade argument (5.00 / 8) (#24)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:28:19 PM EST
    is now under the bus.

    Roe v Wade was always under the bus with Obama (5.00 / 8) (#41)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:38:41 PM EST

    As he [Obama] writes, "I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."

    Prof. Kmiec has endorsed Obama.  Kmiec is an ardent prolifer who originally endorsed Mitt Romney.  Kmiec posits:

    "[B]ut here's the question: Does Obama's thoughtful appreciation of faith mean that he would work toward the protection of life in all contexts even if that protection cannot be achieved in a single step?  I am inclined to think so . . ."

    Obama scares me. I don't think he is a Democrat at all.


    I'm starting to get that same feeling. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:03:49 PM EST
    I've been asking whether he's really a Dem for a (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by jawbone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:13:40 PM EST
    long time now.

    Bloomberg, an actual Dem, ran as a Repub in NYC bcz it was the only way he could get on the ballot and, using his personal wealth, be elected. If he'd run in a Dem primary, enough people would have been familiar with the primary candidates that he would have lost. The Repub Party, since it's so weak in NYC, was tailor made for a takeover.

    Now, Bloomgerg did play a good Repub, until this year, iirc, when he decided to become an Independent. He held fundraisers for Pataki, the R gov., and for BushBoy, as well as others.

    But he was never a real Repub.

    Did Obama become a Dem bcz that was the only way to win in Chicago and as a black?

    I really don't know, but he sure sounds/acts like a Blue Dog or Repub Lite.  Then, again, he has Ayers he worked for and with.

    No wonder he wants to stress "reaching across the aisle"; I don't think he really has an allegiance to Democratic principles (but how many pols do nowadays?).

    We're not going to see the "real" Obama, of course. He has said he wants to be the blank slate for others to write on what they want to see.


    I think that rape and incest (none / 0) (#33)
    by TruthMatters on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:33:26 PM EST
    are their own cateogories thats why we say rape & incent and not mental distress from rape or incent.

    he is still for it in rape and incest.

    and correct if suicide were the defintion of Mental distress then correct I dont support LATE term abortions

    because once again this is about late term abortions, so I dont see how roe v. wade is out the window


    It's all in our heads, sweeties! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kmblue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:35:38 PM EST
    But if your body isn't threatened ...(shrug)

    The rape and incest exception (5.00 / 8) (#62)
    by chezmadame on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:50:07 PM EST
    is neither ethical nor logical. If you are truly "pro-life"  then abortion is the taking of an innocent life plain and simple. Why would it be permissible to "kill" a child  over the circumstances of his conception?

    The "exception for rape and incest" crowd believes one thing and one thing only: women who choose to have sex and accidently get pregnant need to be punished by being denied any further choice in the matter. That'll teach 'em!


    Obama and change (none / 0) (#126)
    by Prabhata on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:20:08 PM EST
    Obama is an expert and changing his mind.

    an expert at changing (5.00 / 0) (#128)
    by Prabhata on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:20:41 PM EST
    the saddest part of this (none / 0) (#156)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:33:50 PM EST
    is that there are many, many posts on this topic that have made me laugh out loud.

    and (5.00 / 0) (#162)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:40:45 PM EST
    i'm almost afraid to go to any of the obama love sites and see the mental gymnastics they are going through to justify this for him.  just look at some of the wild theories the one we have on this thread has come up with

    Nah... (5.00 / 6) (#181)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:52:30 PM EST
    'Women don't count' is pretty straightforward.

    The entertainment value (5.00 / 6) (#171)
    by RalphB on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:47:34 PM EST
    of the pretzelification is pretty high.

    Call Me A Waffler (none / 0) (#170)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:47:32 PM EST
    As someone that has always been a pro choice individual, I have found myself "confused" quite a bit in recent years after meeting someone that had a baby 12 weeks premature and seeing him survive and grow.

    While still pro choice, I think I could accept some third trimester changes, although I still fear that slippery slope of opening the door on Roe v Wade. Put me in the category of "should really be decided before the third trimester", but would not argue against things staying the way they are. And if that isn't a waffle statement I don't know what is.

    As usual, Obama is correct (none / 0) (#174)
    by Veracitor on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:48:59 PM EST
    The critical distinction is for late term vs. early.  I'm pro-choice, but I'm squeamish about people changing their minds long past the accepted definition of viability.  Just being "distressed" is not a good enough reason - in most cases.

    Sooooo..... (5.00 / 2) (#218)
    by oldpro on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:49:06 AM EST
    do YOU want to be the decider, then?

    P.S. Would you trust him picking a Supreme Court (none / 0) (#217)
    by SunnyLC on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:07:07 AM EST

    At least McCain says he wouldn't have a litmus test, and for some reason, I believe him...

    But Obama??  I don't believe anything he spews anymore...

    pro choice democrats & McCain (none / 0) (#220)
    by suzieg on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 05:11:44 AM EST

    June 10, 2008
    Pro-Choice Democrats and John McCain
    By Froma Harrop

    Hillary Clinton's blessing notwithstanding, many of the New York senator's supporters will resist the handover to Barack Obama. The sexism that permeated the recent campaign still rankles, and John McCain is far from the standard-issue Republican they instinctively vote against.

    A big sticking point for wavering Democrats will be McCain's position on reproductive rights. Clinton's backers are overwhelmingly pro-choice, and they'll want to know this: Would McCain stock the Supreme Court with foes of Roe v. Wade? The 1973 decision guarantees a right to abortion.

    The answer is unclear but probably "no." While McCain has positioned himself as "pro-life" during this campaign, his statements over the years show considerable latitude on the issue.

      In a 1999 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, McCain said, "I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America" to undergo "illegal and dangerous operations."

    The saddest part? (none / 0) (#221)
    by MaryGM on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 08:10:19 AM EST
    No one is carrying this story.  I've seen it here and on Shakesville.  That's it.  What kind of defense can the Blogger Boyz dish out for this one?  I should like to see their contortions.

    As for me, I'm done.  He'll probably get my vote, because I can't not vote and I could never vote McCain, but any time or money I had thought of giving is gone.

    I don't understand why you would pander to people who might vote for you in small numbers and risk losing the votes of women, the largest voting bloc in the country, who will vote for you.

    Man, I united for change like a good little Democrat, but I really miss Hillary right now.

    Sen. Obama's (none / 0) (#222)
    by Andy08 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 08:56:14 AM EST
    pandering to the religious right makes my skin crawl; it is not just about a woman's right to choose it is also his Faith Based Organizations. It is GW Bush all over again....

    This is an excellent read;
    And Another Thing

    I especially recommend it to BTD  (re. his prior posts on the AP story and BO's position.)