Obama Refines Position On "Mental Distress"

As Jeralyn noted, a few days ago, Barack Obama said:

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 refined his remarks:

Reporter: You said that mental distress shouldn't be a reason for late-term abortion?

Obama: "My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family. And it is ..I have consistently been saying that you have to have a health exception on many significant restrictions or bans on abortions including late-term abortions.

In the past there has been some fear on the part of people who, not only people who are anti-abortion, but people who may be in the middle, that that means that if a woman just doesn't feel good then that is an exception. That's never been the case.

I don't think that is how it has been interpreted. My only point is that in an area like partial-birth abortion having a mental, having a health exception can be defined rigorously. It can be defined through physical health, It can be defined by serious clinical mental-health diseases. It is not just a matter of feeling blue. I don't think that's how pro-choice folks have interpreted it. I don't think that's how the courts have interpreted it and I think that's important to emphasize and understand."

(Emphasis supplied.) I suppose that is better. But Jan Crawford Greenburg argues it is still a retreat from current law on a woman's right to choose:

Here's the problem with that, and why Obama's remarks are so startling. Obama is trying to restrict abortions after 22 weeks to those women who have a serious disease or illness. But the law today also covers some women who are in "mental distress," those women who would suffer emotional and psychological harm without an abortion.

This standard has long been understood to require less than "serious clinical mental health disease." Women today don't have to show they are suffering from a "serious clinical mental health disease" or "mental illness" before getting an abortion post-viability, as Obama now says is appropriate.

And for 35 years—since Roe v. Wade—they've never had to show that. So Obama, it seems to me, still is backing away from what the law says—and backing away from a proposed federal law (of which he is a co-sponsor) that envisions a much broader definition of mental health than the one he laid out this week.

That proposed federal legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, refers to the key Supreme Court case on the issue, which was decided the same day as Roe v. Wade in 1973. In that case, Doe v Bolton, the Court said a doctor could decide to perform an abortion based on "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."

Of course, if you are not a believer in that view, you have no need to be upset with Obama's positional changes. Mahablog defended Obama's original iteration:

[quoting Obama] ["]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. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions.["]

This is a departure from Roe v. Wade, because Roe v. Wade allows for a mental health exception as well as a physical health exception in third-trimester abortions. The question in my mind is whether a third-trimester abortion might be helpful for a woman experiencing emotional or psychiatric stress. . .

. . . Regarding “mental distress” — as someone with intimate experience with severe postpartum depression, I appreciate mental distress as well as anyone. But by the third trimester it’s too late to avoid the physiological effects of pregnancy and childbirth, and if we’re talking about a purely psychiatric condition I suspect, medically, it would be extremely unusual for termination of pregnancy to be necessary or even helpful.

(Emphasis supplied.) I have two reactions to this defense. First, "a departure from Roe v. Wade" by Obama is a headline it seems to me. Second, while Maha's thoughts on whether terminating a pregnancy in the third trimester will be "helpful" to the mental health of a woman are interesting, I believe those decisions are best left between a woman and her doctor.

Finally, Maha admits what NARAL did not:

The only place where Obama and NARAL actually may part company is on the issue of mental distress, and in that case I might lean in Obama’s direction myself, as I said.

Maha has every right to hold any opinion she chooses, but NARAL did not defend the views it supposedly holds and advocates for in order to cover for Obama. For a single issue group, that is inexcusable.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I wish he wouldn't use phrases like (5.00 / 15) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:13:33 PM EST
    "Partial birth abortion."

    Me Too (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:22:50 PM EST
    But it is more specific to the issue than the term Late Term Abortion, because Late term abortion is general and after the 20th week. Partial birth is more specific and synonymous with "intact dilation and extraction" although using the less colloquial (right wing) meme, would not address the issue on the table.

    Reliable viability of a fetus is sometime (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:08:27 PM EST
    after the 24th-27th week, altho the delivered infant at that stage might be resuscitated with moderate to severe physical/brain damage.  If an 11 year old girl is  discovered to be pregnant at that stage she would probably be recommended for a therapeutic abortion. The reason given would be severe mental distress.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:31:25 PM EST
    This is what I was talking about the other night!

    But he would of course (5.00 / 11) (#28)
    by frankly0 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:38:18 PM EST
    want to use the term "partial birth abortion" because it serves the political point he is arguing, namely that such abortions should be severely constricted.

    No matter, of course, that it feeds right into the right wing meme against abortion. Indeed, that is precisely what he is trying to do in this context.


    I wish he would stop talking about pastors (5.00 / 28) (#34)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:42:08 PM EST
    being part of this process.  Yet again, he does so here.

    BTD, you correctly call for those decisions as "best left between a woman and her doctor."  But that's not what Obama says here.  Yet again, he says it's a decision for (and we can only hope this is not in order of importance) the "doctor, pastor, and family."  

    Of course, "a family" means that Obama also says that a husband or parents ought to be in on a decision that ought to only be between a woman and her doctor.  He also presumes that she has a pastor and remains tone-deaf to atheists, agnostics, and others reluctant to consult a pastor (like that one who was here a week ago?) on every matter.

    Obama also presumes a husband or parents who are benevolent and is entirely tone-deaf to issues of  domestic violence, incest -- and, of course, rape.


    what are the numbers of (5.00 / 9) (#97)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:17:25 PM EST
    underage females being made pregant by a family member? the number of women who abuse drugs ties in with the amount of sexual abuse from a family member in the early years. sorry i can't quote a number on that. i wouldn't want to do that from memory and be wrong.

    so to referring it to a family member or husband can lead to further tragedy in my view.


    He also assumes (4.75 / 16) (#105)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:20:49 PM EST
    that her pregnancy status is her pastor's business (It isn't).

    I believe that in some states (none / 0) (#63)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:00:07 PM EST
    a married woman must have the consent of her husband, no?

    Yeah, in the states of (5.00 / 9) (#96)
    by MsExPat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:16:53 PM EST
    Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Yemen.

    Oh...whoops! That's not just for abortion...that's for everything.


    In Israel (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by NJDem on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:02:50 PM EST
    the gov't pays for the abortion if it is NOT the husbands (among other qualifications).  I always found that interesting.  LINK  

    Ooops (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by NJDem on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:08:46 PM EST
    it's not free--nor are they for single woman.  Well, that sucks, I thought I had read that they are fee and misread my source--sorry.  

    However, physical and mental 'distress' are free, and I still think it's interesting that the circumstances of a cheating spouse is written in the law.  I'm curious what other countries have this provision?


    Spousal consent (5.00 / 4) (#106)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:21:16 PM EST
    is way way unconstitutional.

    I believe spousal notification, as opposed to consent, was also held unconstitutional in the Casey decision.


    At the risk of quoting NARAL (5.00 / 4) (#151)
    by cmugirl on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:49:24 PM EST
    "8 states have unconstitutional and unenforceable laws that require women to obtain the written consent from, or give notice to, her husband prior to receiving abortion care:  CO, IL, KY, LA, ND, PA, RI, SC."



    I thought some states like (none / 0) (#132)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:36:39 PM EST
    South Dakota just recently passed a state law requiring spousal notification. That would be more recent that Casey.

    I agree. It is a right wing invention (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:51:11 PM EST
    meant to repulse people who have no knowledge of medical facts and terminology.

    It describes a procedure (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by daryl herbert on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:47:23 PM EST
    where birth is induced, the baby is born partway (hence the term "partial-birth") and then aborted (hence the term "abortion").  It's no less descriptive than "intact dilation & extraction"--in fact, it better conveys what is taking place, and in layman's terms.

    The crazy thing is, Obama is supposed to be talking about late-term abortions in general, not specifically partial-birth abortions.  His original remarks were about when a woman could have any kind of late-term abortion.  And partial-birth abortions are already banned by Congress.  (And he voted AGAINST the ban, which makes his swing to the pro-life right all the harder to believe.)  The constitutionality of the ban was upheld by SCOTUS.  A woman seeking a late-term abortion would have a different procedure done.  Nobody is getting partial-birth abortions any more.

    Using the term there is "inartful."  As a supposed Professor of constitutional law (i.e., a glorified teaching assistant who never published anything), you think he would know better. I get the sense he just doesn't care at all about this issue, and will do/say whatever will get him the most votes.


    I could be wrong (5.00 / 5) (#154)
    by cmugirl on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:54:37 PM EST
    But "partial birth abortion" (correctly known as intact dilation and extraction)is a procedure that was performed on 0.17% of all abortions - 2,232 out of 1.3 million performed each year.

    "Partial birth abortion" (which Obama should know) is not recognized as a medical term by the American Medical Association nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


    More from the ACOG: (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:06:01 PM EST
    Washington, DC -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has filed an amicus brief in support of the challenges to the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on November 8, 2006, in two cases that dispute the constitutionality of the Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in November 2003. The ban has not taken effect because of the legal challenges.

    Almost immediately after the Act was signed into law by President Bush, physicians and medical groups filed three separate lawsuits challenging it in federal courts in New York, Nebraska, and California. In each case, the court ruled the Act unconstitutional and the decision was upheld on appeal. The government subsequently sought review of two of the cases by the US Supreme Court: Gonzales v. Carhart (Nebraska) and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) (California). Any further appeals in the New York case would be initiated after the US Supreme Court rules on the Nebraska and California cases.

    "The courts were correct each time they struck down such ill-conceived and unconstitutional restrictions on physicians' ability to provide patients with the safest possible medical care," according to Douglas W. Laube, MD, MEd, president of ACOG.
    "The term 'partial-birth abortion' was purposely contrived to be inflammatory," said Dr. Laube. "While proponents of this law say that it addresses a particular procedure, it has been specifically written to describe and encompass elements of other procedures used in obstetrics and gynecology."
    "Decisions involving pregnancy termination are among the most serious and personal that a woman will make in her life. As the medical specialists in women's reproductive health, we will continue to fight attempts to criminalize legitimate medical procedures," said Dr. Laube.


    I wish he would stop calling himself (4.86 / 30) (#3)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:14:26 PM EST
    a Democrat.

    If wishes were horses, etc., I'd wish he'd refuse (5.00 / 11) (#22)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    the Dem nomination!

    Talk about grasping at staws....


    "You've got mail" line popped (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by Aqua Blue on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:35:59 PM EST
    to mind when Meg Ryan tells Tom Hanks..."You're just empty suit."

    I wish he'd stop bringing pastors (5.00 / 9) (#153)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:53:46 PM EST
    into the "historically" portion of the decision making process. RvW says nothing about a pastor as part of the decision process.

    This entire statement of Obama's" (5.00 / 12) (#192)
    by otherlisa on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:50:22 PM EST
    "My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family.

    Is offensive!

    IT IS UP TO THE WOMAN TO CHOOSE. Period. End of story. If she CHOOSES to consult her doctor, her pastor and her family, fine. But it's HER CHOICE.

    Jeeesus. What part of "choice" does this man not understand?


    Lots of women choose to discuss this (none / 0) (#197)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:02:02 PM EST
    very important decision with their clergy.  A reference to what women do is not a demand that all women talk to a pastors before making a decision.

    I call "B.S."! (5.00 / 3) (#198)
    by otherlisa on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:03:59 PM EST
    That is NOT what his statement says. You are being profoundly dishonest here, particularly for someone with the handle, "MyLeftMind."

    Huh? (none / 0) (#200)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:09:00 PM EST
    Do you think that Obama wants to legislate talking to clergy?

    That is nuts. Do you think he has forgotten all of us godless ones that see clergy as little different from thespians?


    Yes, (5.00 / 9) (#204)
    by samanthasmom on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:12:06 PM EST
    and some of us talk to our girlfriends, too. The point is that Obama has brought his religion into his discussions about policy and has expanded goals for faith-based initiative, including a cabinet level position. For those of us who do not want church and state confused with each other, Obama's reference to a woman's pastor is just one more nail. Who a woman may choose to talk to about a abortion or if she makes the decision on her own  should matter not to Senator Obama.  That he says that a woman needs guidance in the decision is blatant paternalism. As is "Sweetie". He just doesn't seem to understand how sexist he is - all of the time. It's part of who he is.

    When Obama uses language like (4.84 / 25) (#20)
    by MsExPat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:33:00 PM EST
    "historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family. "

    My fur stands up. First off, how dare he suggest I'm incapable of make a choice all by myself? And is he implying that the law should only protect my freedom of choice if I consult my (male) guardians?

    Yeah, I know "doctor, pastor, and family" are technically neutral-sex terms. But in this context, they seem like code words for "male doctor, male minister and husband."


    Note that he never qualifies the pastor part by (5.00 / 16) (#29)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:39:26 PM EST
    indicaating the woman might seek advice of a "her pastor" when it's appropriate. Doesn't seem to be room in his thinking for people who don't have "pastors" or priests or whatever leader of religions he deems to be the suitable adviser. Or even simply don't want their religious leader involved in some personal decision.


    There are plenty of people who don't look to some religious leader for personal advice.


    He's talking to people who do seek the advice (none / 0) (#199)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:04:51 PM EST
    of their religious leaders.  

    What's wrong with him speaking their language and connecting with them on their terms?


    I can't believe you don't (5.00 / 4) (#206)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:15:02 PM EST
    see how incredibly silly, shortsighted, and clueless that questioon is.

    He's speaking their language?  What are other dems whose votes he needs?  Chopped liver?


    No, he's not. He's telling us what HIS (5.00 / 14) (#209)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:19:47 PM EST
    preference is for how women should go about making the decision.  And WE are not interested in considering HIS preferences on an issue that has nothing to do with HIM.

    Obama's sentence should have been:

    "...historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose."  

    Period.  No qualifiers.

    It's clear that he doesn't get that, and is going to continue to nuance an issue that doesn't require it.


    Thank you...it's a WOMEN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE (5.00 / 22) (#31)
    by Shainzona on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:40:27 PM EST
    This is NOT pro-choice.

    "....historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family."

    And "if you're feeling blue" - isn't that the sexist BS he threw at HRC during the campaing.  Wink.  Nod.  Smurk.


    Yep. Obama is NOT pro-choice (5.00 / 21) (#49)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    and your words need to be in headers here and everywhere.  And yep, he is cleverly claiming to be downgrading but actually is only putting into the public discourse again -- and from a "Dem"! -- that, as he put it, women "periodically" are emotionally "down" . . . because, of course, of their periods.  Or, in this case, the absence thereof.

    Ugh.  He just makes it worse and worse with every "refinement" that only reaffirms right-wing -- and left-wing, as we sadly have seen -- sexist tropes and misogynistic memes.


    Exactly In Line With Hillary (3.25 / 4) (#71)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:03:44 PM EST
    On the issue, and most Americans regarding this particular procedure.

    Did I hear you calling Hillary out on this?

    It is a blatant misrepresentation to call either Obama or Clinton anti abortionists.

    Both of them, and many of the other pro choice holdouts, would vote for the ban if language was inserted that provided an exception for the health of the mother, which includes the ability to have more children.

    I am with the 5-7% of Americans who believe that it is a woman's right to choose without any qualifications.


    thanks for your last sentence. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:14:54 PM EST
    tough sell however!

    No. I know you like to misstate Clinton (5.00 / 9) (#157)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:01:26 PM EST
    stands on this, but I don't fall for your stuff.

    And you don't understand that if Obama is against some of the choices that women have won, he is for limiting choices.  That is not a pro-choice stand.


    Mistate? (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:57:25 PM EST
    No way. She is clearly not opposed to the procedure as long as it is qualified regarding the mothers health.

    Q: Are there circumstances when the government should limit choice?
    LAZIO: I had a pro-choice record in the House, and I believe in a woman's right to choose. I support a ban on partial-birth abortions. Senator Moynihan called it "infanticide." Even former mayor Ed Koch agreed that this was too extreme a procedure. This is an area where I disagree with my opponent. My opponent opposes a ban on partial-birth abortions.
    CLINTON: My opponent is wrong. I have said many times that I can support a ban on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected. I've met women who faced this heart-wrenching decision toward the end of a pregnancy. Of course it's a horrible procedure. No one would argue with that. But if your life is at stake, if your health is at stake, if the potential for having any more children is at stake, this must be a woman's choice.

    Notice: woman's choice, period (5.00 / 8) (#208)
    by tree on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:18:56 PM EST
    Nothing about a woman's right to choose with her pastor, etc. And no caveats about "health" applying only to physical health and not mental health, and no pandering with the right-wing meme that women have late-term abortions because they are un-periodically "feeling blue".

     If you think that Obama's stand is the same as Clinton's then you don't understand the importance of "just words".


    '... with her pastor, her family, Barack Obama, (5.00 / 8) (#167)
    by Ellie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:09:13 PM EST
    "... other random gawkers with no standing ..."

    When will Dems simply do their DUTY to uphold and defend the Constitution?

    Here's a Big Idea Whose Time Has Come.

    How about defending everyone's right to be secure in one's person, ie, not have the goverment cam'ing the personal plumbing without a FREAKIN WARRANT?

    I say, since Obama's put this out there, voters should have an equal opportunity to judge Obama's reproductive and other personal choices: contraceptive choices, sex and fertility enhancements, medications that might cause foetal harm, etc.


    I want pastors involved in vasectomies (5.00 / 15) (#173)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:18:13 PM EST
    then.  And family votes on vasectomies, too.

    And I want pharmacists to ask for pastoral permission slips for condoms -- and in the case of minors, a note from mom and dad for condoms, too.


    Also (5.00 / 13) (#174)
    by cmugirl on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:27:41 PM EST
    decision by committee for prescriptions for Viagra (ever hear of a pharmacist refusing to fill THAT prescription)?

    I want pharmacists to require a note from... (5.00 / 14) (#181)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:42:17 PM EST
    ...married men's wives when they dispense Viagra.

    And how about (5.00 / 8) (#179)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:42:02 PM EST
    a nice note from the pastor giving permission to masturbate too.  And participants need to collect that "seed" and ask pastor what to do with it.

    You need to compile (5.00 / 5) (#177)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:41:12 PM EST
    your comments into a book.

    I'd buy it.

    "... other random gawkers with no standing ..."

    LOL, love it.


    Not my metier but thanks ... I'd recommend ... (5.00 / 4) (#201)
    by Ellie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:09:55 PM EST
    a double dose of snarkelicious feminism for summer reading: It's a Jungle Out There by Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, available in a 2-fer with He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti.

    I haven't dipped in yet since I'm currently in humiliating indentured servitude to houseguests but the books are slated for my personal summer bookmobile.


    As if the Bishop would encourage (5.00 / 10) (#39)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:37 PM EST
    He keeps having to refine everything because, well the reporters got it wrong, but so far he is batting zero on his 'new and improved' ideas on issues. In as much as his speeches are all prepared, why would he not say it right in the first place?

    obama is running for the office (5.00 / 13) (#141)
    by sancho on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:42:21 PM EST
    of male guardian of the nation. he demonstrated his ability to put women down in the primary. (and boy do the male dominated liberal blogs love him. plus arianna.) now he wants to show he can, in a reasonable male way, take care of women, in a compassionate and logical male way, when their female emotions lead them astray. any thinking, observant person who wants roe to be preserved has to be distressed about obama's nomination and NARAL's support of him.

    THANK YOU (5.00 / 3) (#195)
    by otherlisa on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:00:20 PM EST
    MsExPat. I said much the same thing up top, before I read your comment. It's incredibly offensive. Condescending. And scary.

    How the HELL did this man end up being our nominee?! I'm just livid after reading his statement.


    It sounds to me like (4.42 / 7) (#155)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:55:28 PM EST
    on this, as on issue after issue, FISA most notably, he simply doesn't know what he's talking about.  He's apparently ignorant of past case law, the meaning of court opinions and statutes, details of legislation, etc.  He's sounding increasingly like he just doesn't do his homework and is spouting off rather than taking a carefully considered position.

    It actually sound to me like he really doesn't (5.00 / 4) (#205)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:12:47 PM EST
    care if what he says is accurate or not as long as it gives the impression that he wants.  

    It looks to me like Obama was (5.00 / 14) (#2)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:13:35 PM EST
    simply ignorant of the facts and law and got himself in some hot water by pandering to the right wing from a position of ignorance.

    MarkL....lol....OMG you are too funny (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:17:17 PM EST
    I agree wholeheartedly....

    That expereince thing again. (5.00 / 11) (#10)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:19:26 PM EST
    I get a sense that he may not have really studied these issues very much.  I tend to find a lot of the clever law professors here to be process gifted rather than consistently analytical and settled into comfortable well thought out world views.  

    I guess being trained to argue both sides of a topic is not a poltical asset unless you really have wored out what you beleive.


    worked out (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:21:33 PM EST
    looked a bit like _hored out.

    total slip there.


    Ignorance (5.00 / 10) (#85)
    by standingup on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:10:23 PM EST
    doesn't help the women he is putting at risk.  He needs to either educate himself, switch parties or cease talking about it entirely.

    and mark hits the ball right out (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:20:44 PM EST
    of the ballpark for a homerun. watch him round the bases!

    I got the same feeling (5.00 / 13) (#150)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:48:54 PM EST
    He seems to be stumbing around on this issue. It seems like he's trying to use commonplace words in a plainspoken fashion, and maybe that's admirable. But there is a body of law surrounding choice that he just seems to be ignorant of.

    I'm rather offended that he makes it sound as if the most important concern here is that women might run off to have abortions in their ninth month because they're tired of being fat or they're having a bad hair day.


    Am I crazy or is this not a strawman? (5.00 / 5) (#185)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:44:40 PM EST
    It is not just a matter of feeling blue.

    Did anyone ever say that it was?


    that is pretty scary considering Obama (5.00 / 5) (#187)
    by kimsaw on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:45:00 PM EST
    is a lawyer. I wouldn't hire him to represent me in a court case and I'm certainly not going to vote for  him as President when he apparently can't do his homework.  How many do overs does one candidate get?  I'm beginning to wonder if this candidate is really a Harvard graduate.

    Also (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:16:10 PM EST
    while Maha's thoughts on whether terminating a pregnancy in the third trimester will be "helpful" to the mental health of a woman are interesting, I believe those decisions are best left between a woman and her doctor.
    It seems to me that this is, as it has always been, the fundamental proposition that anti-choicers refuse to accept. I don't love where Obama seems to come down on this.

    I suspect the Voter's (5.00 / 12) (#6)
    by ccpup on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:17:09 PM EST
    patience will become severely tested by with Obama's constant "refining".  

    Anticipate the media narrative to become very quickly something on the order of the mealy-mouthed Dem who needs to constantly "refine" his statements -- thereby engendering confusion about where, exactly, he DOES stand -- v. the "Straight Talker" who, whether you agree with him or not, is clear what his positions are.

    Indeed (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:18:53 PM EST
    See my posts below.

    the repub pundits watch this (5.00 / 0) (#120)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:30:19 PM EST
    and smile a real big grin i am thinking. more data for the grist mill known as the ge.

    I note for the record (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:17:32 PM EST
    that all of my critiques of Barack Obama come from the Left. Especially since he cam back home on free trade.

    To wit, I am Talking LEFT, for those keeping score.

    Perhaps we're using the wrong (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:20:14 PM EST
    word to describe Obama. He's not really moving right---he's just tacking into the wind.
    Obi John Kerry taught him well.

    battening down the hatches... (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:24:18 PM EST
    ...more likely! He knows his pandering in the primary stinks for the general. He's furiously pumping out the bilge water too.

    He didn't mean a bloody word of what he said to the left in the primary season.


    Except "You'll vote for me". (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:25:36 PM EST
    No he didn't (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by talex on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:08:39 PM EST
    In fact that fact was talked about On This Week today.

    He didn't fool some of use but he did fool just barely enough of us. And still does. I know didn't vote for him then and won't won't vote for him. Others?


    Well Welcome To The Party (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by talex on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:05:37 PM EST
    You talk as if you are exclusive in your critique. I can't think of a poster here who has critiqued Obama from the Right!

    In fact there are those here who are on the Left of you regarding Obama. So we Talk Way Left.

    Just for the record.


    I can think of many (5.00 / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:38:30 PM EST
    Particularly when comparing him to McCain.

    Let's face it, some of the critique s of Obama here and especially the praise for McCain is downright irrational.


    Refining's just another word for flip and (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:19:48 PM EST
    flop (to the tune of Me and Bobby McGee)and it ain't nuthin', nuthin' if I can't have my way...

    Abortion decisions made by committee? (5.00 / 17) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:26:45 PM EST
    I guess women are incapable of making decisions on their own. They need to form a committee to help them think.

    Also, Obama is reinforcing the anti-choice frame that women do in fact abuse the mental health provision to obtain an abortion that they should not be allowed to have. Of course, using the term "partial birth abortion" rather than the actual medical term also helps promote the anti-choice agenda through his choice of framing.

    IMO this refining does not help. His position still sucks big time. Definitely a departure from Roe and just solidifies my lack of trust of Obama on choice.

    A Committee big'r or smaller than a Parole Board? (5.00 / 4) (#193)
    by Ellie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:54:39 PM EST
    Just so we don't make women feel like criminals when exercising their rights when making personal life decisions.

    I'm in the "arrest us and charge us or leave us the f*ck alone" camp on this.

    Open ended persecution and harassment by theocratic thugs and political opportunists should not be on the table AT ALL, never mind actively eroding inalienable rights.

    Damn the f*cking Dems anyway. They won't even minimally get women's and others' backs on this.

    The deaths that this causes among women, children and young people is incalculable.


    Well he said he was about change. (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by my opinion on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:28:14 PM EST
    He changes everyday. Is that where the the hope part comes in?

    yeah, (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by massdem on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:50:59 PM EST
    we hope he stops changing. I'm getting dizzy.

    you're just gettin dizzy? (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by ccpup on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:41:06 PM EST
    the floor has been my home for a few weeks now since I decided to try and follow the desperate spinning ... er, refining from The One.

    And, no, anti-nausea pills DON'T help!


    i wonder if crossing the atlantic (5.00 / 0) (#148)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:47:16 PM EST
    on the qe2 in bad weather will prepare me for the general campaign.(snark0

    I wish he'd choose his battles (5.00 / 6) (#23)
    by Fabian on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:35:32 PM EST
    extremely carefully.

    Obama should never open his mouth about anything unless he figures out if he needs to address the issue.  ESPECIALLY when it's a hot button wedge issue!

    The important issues are: The Economy, Iraq, Climate Change/Energy Policy, Accountability, The Constitution, Health Care (in no particular order).

    The next thing you know, he'll be having a Major Speech on Social Security.

    but pandering to the right on abortion (5.00 / 9) (#25)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:36:58 PM EST
    is part of his gameplan.

    it is in the foreward to (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:34 PM EST
    Audacity of Hope.  Something about pro-life single mother waitresses.

    I think that that was the target group.


    Good report on On The Media today about book (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:54:43 PM EST
    on evangelical fundies. No transcript, but can listen here. Second segment.

    Empty Pews
    Former Dallas Morning News religion reporter Christine Wicker set out to write a book about the growing influence and strength of evangelical churches. But she found a community more fractured and less numerous than typically reported by the media. She explains that numbers for evangelicals in the U.S. are grossly inflated.

    She said evangelicals are typically reported by the MCM at about 25% of US voters, but they are actually only 7%.  There may be up to 18% who are swing evangelical voters. She said the 7% will never vote for Obama or a Dem no matter what.


    yup thanks for the reference to (5.00 / 0) (#135)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:38:33 PM EST
    the fact that in my view the campaign is making a serious mistake in pandering too far right. sure many of us expected a swing to the center. that is very typical between primaries and the general. but this? i can't find the words. i have said all along that the right wing religeous voters won't go for obama.

    When this came up (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:41:18 PM EST
    the other day, I thought the same thing.  Why are we talking about this?  It's certainly not a priority for voters in this election.

    But since he's trying to win over the evangelicals, he must feel the need to stroke them.



    Why talking about this? Sometimes I think he's (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:27 PM EST
    trying to drive down Dempcratoc base voters' participation in the general election....

    All the things he going all Blue Dog and Republican Lite (with the occasional Repub Heavy thrown in for good measure).

    What IS he thinking???


    |Democratic--hard to type and watch Wimbledon (none / 0) (#44)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:45:33 PM EST
    at the same time! (What a match!)

    Why does he include the pastor, again? (5.00 / 13) (#26)
    by LatinoVoter on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:37:41 PM EST
    What if the woman is an atheist or backslider? Will she be appointed a pastor to help her make the decision?

    And what if he pastor has low morals like Wright who married a woman he was counseling when her marriage was falling apart?

    I'm feeling mentally distressed. (5.00 / 16) (#27)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:37:48 PM EST
    I'm going to consult my doctor and see about sitting out the election.

    I recommend (5.00 / 14) (#42)
    by tree on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:45:19 PM EST
    a partial-vote position. Downticket only.

    my pastor assured me (5.00 / 9) (#144)
    by ccpup on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:44:57 PM EST
    that down-ticket voting would be okay this time out.

    As for the family?  Well, my two dogs are ambivalent about Obama so they're no help at all.  If only I could make my mind up myself!  

    How DO women do it?



    Is this late term abortion WORM 2.0 or 3.0??? n/t (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by jawbone on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:41:47 PM EST

    not okay (5.00 / 18) (#40)
    by nell on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:37 PM EST
    I don't have a pastor, where does that leave me? incapable of making a decision according to obama. and who decides what counts as just feeling blue? what a patient may describe in lay terms as feeling blue a doctor may decide is a case of serious clinical depression. the decision should be between a woman and her doctor. I also resent that he is buying into right wing talking points about late term abortion. the cases are very rare and when they do occur there is always a health reason (mental or physical)and I don't like obama trying to be the decider.

    If you do not have a pastor, one (5.00 / 21) (#43)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:45:31 PM EST
    can be appointed to you, from a government approved faith-based agency.

    And a family will be appointed, too? (5.00 / 14) (#55)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:52:01 PM EST
    They're part of the decision, says Obama -- a husband or parents.  Of course, in cases of pregnancy resulting from domestic violence and incest, a new family may be a good idea.  But women ought to be able to pick their own spouses.  Are we reverting to arranged marriages of a sort now, too?

    Non-religious and single (5.00 / 11) (#78)
    by nycstray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:07:29 PM EST
    oh, and MORE than capable of making my own medical decisions with my doctors. Been doing it for years . . .

    I really wish he would stop muddying the waters. Does mild depression = feeling blue? Where's the line on this? Next thing ya know, women won't be able to get insurance coverage when "periodically feeling down" or "feeling blue".


    Yeah so to hell with privacy... (5.00 / 3) (#188)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:46:23 PM EST
    ...not only is it everyone else's business, but it's apparently their "choice" too?

    sometimes i hear the far off theme (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:49:41 PM EST
    from "twilight zone" when i see some of the happenings and things said in this election.

    It will fall under the responsibility of the (5.00 / 6) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:18:13 PM EST
    new Secretary of Faith. Even Bush did not make the director of his faith based initiative a cabinet position. Seems that Obama dares to go where even Bush would not tread. Shame he doesn't dare to stand behind Democratic values only Republican ones.

    gosh, I'm so amazingly surprised at this news (5.00 / 9) (#82)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:08:45 PM EST
    of Obama watering down Roe yet again. Not. This from the candidate who told us he hadn't yet decided if life begins at conception or not during a Democratic debate. News flash: Obama is not pro choice. And his pretending to be is getting weaker and weaker every day.

    i truly don't think the right wing (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:11:58 PM EST
    religeous voters are going to swoon and wait in line for hours to vote for senator obama. geez they will be reminded a number of times in the ge campaign that obama sat in rev wright's church for 20 years. they may be deeply religeous but that doesn't mean they are totally foolish. i know i know, bush. but when it comes to believing this from this group of voters, i don't think they'll buy it. good luck with that! what was that loud noise? oh yeah, the democratic base heading out the back door. it isn't like we didn't tell ya'll.

    i have to wonder if anyone has (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:08:49 PM EST
    ever explained to the obamas the wisdom of
    speaking seldom and then with conviction. this constant i meant this and then i meant that makes both of them look well sorta silly and certainly not presidential in the case of barrack. what can the campaign be thinking?

    2009 with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:18:48 PM EST
    would look like what exactly? How would it be that different than Bush and the repubs in 2000. I'm guessing it would be marginally better. It's hard to imagine worse. But I'm certainly not inspired by this trio.

    Can we have a do over please.

    Stop digging (5.00 / 8) (#114)
    by joanneleon on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:25:48 PM EST
    He's in a hole on this issue, and making things worse.

    The pastor and family thing is a real problem.  Gad.  Tell me when it's over.  Or, if he has to be the nominee, keep him to scripts or something.  Off the cuff, he is sometimes a walking disaster.

    A question (5.00 / 6) (#118)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:29:28 PM EST
    If men could get pregnant....

    Do you think Obama would be placing these restrictions on abortion -- on his OWN potential abortion?

    Do you think Cowboy George W. Bush would be anti-abortion?

    (I don't).

    Woman as life support system (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by splashy on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    For another entity, the fetus.

    That seems to be the priority for those that would force her to give birth, whether she wants to or not.

    Only with pregnancy is a person expected to do this. There is no other case where a person is expected by others to give of their body to support another.

    Why is Obama supporting that? It's like hooking someone up to another and giving the first person's blood to them, drip by drip, over months, to keep them alive, without the first person being able to remove the hookup if they want to. Then, they have to risk their life giving birth, because others say they have to.

    Not happy with this, not happy at all.

    My oastor has nothing to do with my decision... (5.00 / 4) (#147)
    by kredwyn on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:47:10 PM EST
    Even if I had a pastor, she'd still have nothing to do with my decision making process on this issue.

    i wish (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by cpinva on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:15:38 PM EST
    sen. obama would just say what he means the first time, instead of us having to wait, while he goes back and figures out what he actually meant. that's damn annoying, and time consuming.

    of course, as my dad says, "if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their ass when they hopped."

    sen. obama's butt has to be pretty sore by now.

    Obama needs to get out of women's bodies (5.00 / 4) (#196)
    by Prabhata on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:00:55 PM EST
    Today the womb, tomorrow?

    Every day Obama has to put out a new WORM.  Congress under the Republicans gave Bush everything Bush wanted, and under the Democrats Bush got everything he wanted.  Obama is ready to expand the union of church and state, stay in Iraq, listen to phone calls and read correspondence.  Can anyone explain why Obama is better than McCain?  I want a divided government, hence I want a Republican in the WH.  When are the blogs who supported Obama, throw in the towel and go for a divided government?  That's what's best for our Republic.

    It is not just a matter of feeling blue? (5.00 / 3) (#203)
    by LCaution on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:11:19 PM EST
    That's the key part of this "refinement" and illustrates yet again, for those of us who did not fall for Obama's "hope" but saw how he and his wife, treated Hillary, as a woman, that the man is a Class A MCP. (And, yes, MCPs can and do marry professional women.  As in other areas, they simply don't let the left hand know what the right hand is doing.)

    And if his liberal supporters are now defending him by agreeing that women are, well, unable to make such important decisions (that bit about "feeling blue" is as classic an objection to abortion as one can get, second only to the "not taking a human life"), then his election will be every bit as dangerous as I fear for the simple reason that his supporters, having fallen in love with him, will defend him to the death just as Bush's supporters did.  (It took torture for Sully to finally realize he was wrong.)

    It's been clear since he got the nomination, if not before, that Obama is NOT a Democrat.  He is a Moderate Republican.  Maybe a Moderate Republican is better than a Conservative Republican, but is it really better to have a wolf in sheep's clothing than a real one in the office?

    Greenburg's article points out (5.00 / 4) (#207)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:16:31 PM EST
    two odd things about Obama's comments:
    1st, raising the inadequacies of "mental distress" as a basis for an exception to a ban on late term abortion has been a right-wing talking point aimed at restricting use of abortion; and
    2nd, that Obama supported & I think sponsored legislation without any strict limits on mental health and which instead uses the test of Roe v. Wade & its companion case.

    My question: Why does Obama raise this issue? To curry favor with the right? Or because he truly believes his latest statements?  And, when there is a perfectly adequate Supreme Court test, why is he throwing his 2cents in except to pander to the right?  The current Supreme Court test, as I understand it, allows for exceptions to late-term abortion bans where the mother's health is at risk.  Mother's health is defined very broadly, with numerous factors to be considered.

    I posted on this issue at TL yesterday.

    That's what you highlighted? (5.00 / 2) (#211)
    by masslib on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 09:22:03 PM EST
    Not the "feeling blue" qualifier.  Find me the woman seeking an abortion late in her pregnancy because she's feeling blue, then find me the doctor willing to perform such an abortion.  Disgusting.  Disgraceful.  Unforgivable.

    Quick point (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:15:55 PM EST
    I think, though i'm not sure, that abortion after 6 months is completely illegal in the UK--unless there's some massive threat to the life of the mother.

    A relative of mine in the UK left it very late and had to travel to Barcelona to do the op on her mother's money.  Big family crisis as she was a teen and hid it for ages and the guy was a complete ratbag.  

    There's even talkk in the UK about lowering the legally permissable period.  It's strange because the debate in the UK is very different. Very little religion yet it's prolly more restrictive than the US.

    Most countries are more restrive then the US (2.00 / 1) (#30)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:39:47 PM EST
    And I think that is why the discussion is not as violent.  Most people by far support the right to choose, but when you add these little (in terms of numbers of people effected) issues, the topic becomes more complicated, and less supported.  I got into a discussion with a friend of mine from planned parenthood, and she agreed that abortion could be curtailed in this country, but the argument against that, was that if we gave an inch, the opponents of choice would take a mile.  I still think that writing in some restrictions (for example, mental distress that does not meet DSM-IV criteria for mental health concerns) could be a good thing.    

    It goes both ways. Look at the difficulty (5.00 / 9) (#36)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:04 PM EST
    women have with obtaining morning after pills in this country.

    yeah that's an odd thing indeed. (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:46:39 PM EST
    The morning after pill would make a lot of this stuff academic.

    El Salvador is the model country for (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:48:36 PM EST
    pro-life groups here.

    Confused by your statement? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    The morning after pill 90% of the time has nothing to do with abortion.  It has to do with not getting pregnant.  The reason why the morning after pill is so restricted, in my mind, is that the proper education of what it does and how the female reproductive system works, has not been explained.  The problem with this whole debate is that it brings together religion, law, and science.  Most people (including myself) no little about any of them, but have strong opinions on all of them.  

    As an aside, I think abortion should be based upon Jewish and Muslim laws, where the child is not alive until they can breath by themselves.  The notion relgiously is that it is the breath of god.  The idea scientifully, is that we can't keep the fetus alive until this point.  This would make the discussion easy, since we can measure the Lectithin:sphingomeylin ratio very easily (>2= fetal lung maturity).  


    There's no distinction between (5.00 / 7) (#73)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:04:48 PM EST
    abortion and using a morning-after pill, by the religious right.
    It's very nice of you to offer to educate them---I' sure they'd like to do the same to you and me.

    How about the mental distress (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:16:03 PM EST
    of an 11 year old girl made pregnant by a family member?  Would that qualify under a DSM-1V diagnosis?

    Yes, most likely (none / 0) (#107)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:22:35 PM EST
    I could imagine DSM-IV criteria could made fairly quickly in this case:
    1) Post traumatic stress disorder

    The problem in all cases of child abuse is where they will get the medical care (both for the abortion and for the psychiatric exam).


    Well (5.00 / 7) (#112)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    Ever since Obama made his original statement, I've seen tons of people on the liberal blogs saying that they agree completely with abortion, that depression is not a good reason for a late-term abortion.  So maybe we shouldn't take it as a given that abortions will always be available in cases of depression.

    A lot of people in this country are under the misimpression that depression is not a clinical diagnosis, but simply another way of saying you're having a bad day.


    depression is an illness that kills. (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:52:58 PM EST
    desperation makes women do things to themselves that can result in death. having some politican, pastor other so called dogooder lecture and say no won't stop a desperate woman. back room abortions will come back as these rights are taken away. sad!

    True (none / 0) (#119)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:29:53 PM EST
    Very true.  I still believe that Obama's language did not imply that feeling bad= depression.  

    I wish he would clarify this because... (5.00 / 4) (#210)
    by Maria Garcia on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 04:24:55 PM EST
    ...I didn't like that he used the term "feeling blue." I understand that he was trying to use plain language but you need to be very careful with words when you ae talking about health issues since there are so many misconceptions in most people's minds.

    Or the states in which they live. (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:44:06 PM EST
    I've read of some pretty tragic examples. This is one of the reasons for allowing a broad interpretation that the sanctimonious can't use to stymie the compassiontate health care providers, IMHO.

    "definitions" generate problems. (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by wurman on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:10:26 PM EST
    Diagnostic & Statistic Manual Mental Disorders includes some terms in Axis 1 (depression & anxiety) that are lumped in with "mental distress" under a few specific practical assessments in other contexts.

    The Veterans Administration uses mental distress as an umbrella term for "stress, depression, and emotional problems" that are not part of the diagnosed major disorders.  I think the Centers for Disease Control use very nearly the same terms.

    There are people who are depressed (and may suffer extreme psychological & resulting physical harm over the course of a pregnancy) although not diagnosed with bi-polar disorder or the older term manic-depression.  That's one specific example of several & the list could be pages long.  In my opinion, only a trained health professional (not an attorney or judge, nor a pastor, nor a family member) is qualified to assess such situations.

    Another misunderstanding is that "mental distress" is a specific legal term (usually connected with anguish & anxiety as in the effects of a car wreck or an assault) used mostly in tort law although it turns up in other contexts.

    Sen. Obama seems to have used a term with far more vast interpretations than he's ever heard of, read about, or studied.


    Bottom Line (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:34:01 PM EST
    It is up to the woman and her doctor. He is clearly not rearguing the Daschle 1998 S. 2497  "Late-Term Abortion Limitation Act" with its mental health exclusion.

    It was clear from reading the Magazine article that he was responding to anti-abortion emails that were circulating. The specific issue was omitted from the interview. Obviously, the question in the email Obama was responding to was

    [do you believe] that if a woman just doesn't feel good then that is an exception.

    Obviously not Blacks Law Dictionary definition of "Mental Distress" but the non medical non legal commonly understood one of some version of "I am upset."

    Well (5.00 / 23) (#35)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:43:48 PM EST
    I really wish more Democrats would push back against the crazy notion that third-trimester abortions are happening every day because "the woman just doesn't feel good" or because, you know, she just didn't get around to making up her mind until then.

    All of these restrictions end up getting written into law based upon ignorant assumptions, and it only serves to further the "death by a thousand cuts" strategy of the anti-choice movement.


    Well, I think 3rd trimester abortions (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:44:45 PM EST
    are the rule among cadillac driving welfare queens.

    Pretty much (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:47:14 PM EST
    Maybe we should start passing laws against, say, women getting abortions because they don't like the baby's eye color, something that technology will surely permit us to know soon.  I can make up wedge issues all day.

    Now you see (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:51:57 PM EST
    THAT would be great Dem thinking. Seriously.

    Utterly meaningless but wonderfully deflating. who says I am pro-abortion? I SPONSORED the bill banning abortions based on eye color.

    Only extremists on either side oppose me.
    We are both joking I know, but this goes to my argument about DEFINING the middle and saying you are it. And sticking there to show how principled you are.

    Dems NEVER learn that one.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#62)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:59:11 PM EST
    Well, I see the argument that it would be a political masterstroke, but I also see how it opens the door to letting the government decide what a good reason is.

    It's an easy call IF you accept the assumption that there are always going to be some restrictions and that we should simply take the best deal we can get politically, but I totally understand those for whom it is a matter of principle.


    rites of passage. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Salo on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:47:46 PM EST
    buying brandy with foodstamps too.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:47:06 PM EST
    the clarification sort of tries, but fails imo.

    What Obama needs to find (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:50:38 PM EST
    is a way to dog-whistle to the right without upsetting the left.  Bill Clinton used to do that all the time, for example by alluding to Bible verses in his speeches that would just sound like a turn of phrase to the non-devout ear.  (Bush does this too, but the blogs generally sniff him out.)

    Talking about the involvement of a "pastor" in the abortion decision is, in my opinion, a failed attempt at a dog-whistle.


    If he has any consistency, he ought (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:52:56 PM EST
    to be saying similar things about, say, "treating" homosexuality---that this is something one can discuss with pastor.

    It's not a pander -- Obama believes this (5.00 / 11) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:56:05 PM EST
    as it's not the first time he has said this about a pastor being part of the decision.  He said it months ago, too, in the primaries -- when, we are told, Dems go left to get to their base, and they only go to the right after the primaries are over, according to the common wisdom.

    So he said it in the primary season, when it wasn't a pander.  So it is what Obama believes -- and suggests that he simply doesn't see or plans to leave out of his America all the irreligious among us.  Plus all the single women and parents.  Etc.


    Well (none / 0) (#66)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:01:52 PM EST
    I know he has said it before.  The thing about a successful dog whistle, mind you, is that you can do it any old time.  You could be right though, I'm just speculating here.

    Yep. Late term abortions (none / 0) (#103)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:19:51 PM EST
    are primarily for medical problems.  When they are not it is usually a young girl involved in incest or made pregnant by a much older person.

    So it would appear (none / 0) (#56)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    that the mirco-parsing of everything he says will not only come from the Right but from the Left as well.

    Heck so far the Right is mostly sitting on the sidelines watching the Democrats eat their own.

    Why don't we compare Obama's recent comments on abortion to anything McCain has said about abortion in the past year.  Don't go past that because McCain somehow managed to completely flip his position on abortion.

    I will but with a different purpose (5.00 / 9) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:54:40 PM EST
    I want him to hold to the progressive position and will definitely parse and examine in order to exert pressure to keep him progressive.

    You got it dude. See, I care about the issues. I have never seen an issue you seem to care much about, except electing Obama. to me, that is the means to and end, not an end in and of itself.


    How? (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by talex on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:23:42 PM EST
    How do you "keep him progressive" when it is obvious that he IS NOT progressive.

    You can't a bird flying if it has no wings.

    Do you consider what he has done over the last two plus weeks progressive? Or are you one of those who thinks that this hard right turn is BS and he will become a progressive upon election?


    There are many issues (none / 0) (#69)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:03:15 PM EST
    I care about.  

    Of highest importance to me is avoiding more wars.  And a John McCain Presidency would almost CERTAINLY lead to more wars.  

    So until Barack Obama wins in November my PRIMARY concern is seeing him win.  Once he wins then we can push for those things which are important to each of us.

    Parsing his comments about late term abortions and criticizing him because he is saying something that the vast majority of Americans agree with seems utterly counter-productive.  

    Allowing the Iraq "flip-flop" nonsense to perpetuate is counter-productive.

    I get that you are upset about FISA.  And if you want that to be your dealbreaking issue, that's fine.  But understand that there is a lot more problems in this country than FISA and John McCain is pretty much on the wrong side of everyone of those issues.  Obama may be on the wrong side of some but for the most part he isn't.

    Perfect is the enemy of good.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:03:57 PM EST
    Another election, another SYFPH debate.

    Interesting. I feel that Obama is much (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:06:55 PM EST
    more likely to start a new war than McCain.
    People who talk tough don't always act the part, but politicians who feel a need to look tough tend to start wars.
    Did W. look like a warmonger in 2000? Not to most people. Does Obama look like a warmonger compared to W. of 2000? I would say yes---he sounds much more hawkish; in particular, his repeated, foolish threat to take war into Pakistan worries me very much.

    Yeah ok (1.00 / 1) (#84)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:09:14 PM EST
    It really doesn't matter what the issue is, you will view Obama to be worse than, well, everyone.  That is abundantly clear.

    Enjoy voting for McCain.  I have no use for people that are blinded by their emotions.


    I would say you are blinded by the (D) (5.00 / 6) (#86)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:11:04 PM EST
    next to Obama's name, to be frank.
    Obama has made concrete military threats which should worry anyone who does not want the US embroiled in another war; he has also backpedaled far from his pledge to end the Iraq war.
    McCain aside, there is little or no reason to trust Obama's judgment on war and peace.

    "Once he wins" (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:07:03 PM EST
    Part of my critique goes to his political strategy of triangulation. In this election, I think it is HURTING his chances of winning.

    so I am helping Obama's chances to win by pressuring him to stay true to his progressive views.

    Standing for Something is my political winning motto.


    especially this year (5.00 / 5) (#88)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:11:31 PM EST
    Obama's efforts to run for Bush's third term of late is just mind boggling. Sadly the only reason I can figure out for all of these shifts is because this is the real Obama.

    OK (none / 0) (#87)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:11:18 PM EST
    And for the past 6 months you have constantly criticized Obama. Again, that is your choice.

    But constant critics are rarely listened to.  

    It is July 6th.  We are 45 days from the convention and 4 months to the general.  How bout we wait until the convention and the party platform is announced before condemning Obama for every sentence he says that does pass the purity test?


    with respect, constant apologists (5.00 / 5) (#91)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:13:00 PM EST
    for obama are also ignored.

    If there is one thing this place needs (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:18:48 PM EST
    it is a few Obama apologists.

    Some of the rhetoric that flies around here is downright mind boggling.

    Certain criticisms of Obama are taken as gospel here and never challenged.  


    obama needs criticism along with (5.00 / 5) (#109)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:23:18 PM EST
    the bravos for his winners. but i have to tell you the lack of criticsm and vetting by the media and dnc help set this trainwreck in motion. so just heaping all the responsibility on those mad mad hillary voters doesn't fly. sorry flyerhawk!

    I don't see anything (none / 0) (#139)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:41:40 PM EST
    close to a trainwreck with the Obama campaign.  

    Everyone one of the manufactured controversies of the past 2 weeks will be forgotten by the Convention.   And since they are attacks on Obama from the Left they have little value for the Republicans unless Obama does capitulate to the netroots.


    Well (none / 0) (#146)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:45:30 PM EST
    I think the flip flopping ain't helping. but this election seems unloseable.

    in my humble opinion this election is (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:05:56 PM EST
    very losable. just ask bush 1 and kerry. obama doesn't have the poll numbers one would expect. in fact he seems to be losing democratic base at least from the latest cnn numbers. mccain is lack luster for sure, but i can't find a lot to admire in the obama campaign these days.

    unloseable... (none / 0) (#180)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:42:09 PM EST
    ya never know.

    Rafa just beat Federer on grass.


    maybe i better go get my (none / 0) (#183)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:44:05 PM EST
    dictionary!!!! smile!

    Um, correction (none / 0) (#191)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:50:05 PM EST
    "seemed". ;-).

    you hope they will be forgotten. (none / 0) (#160)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:02:42 PM EST
    personally i think it is just getting started. ALL ABOUT EVE, "fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a story night."

    Hello? (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by oldpro on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:44:33 PM EST
    Um...I think it's "going to be a bumpy ride"...or maybe a bumpy night?

    Another famous story or two or three opens with a "dark and stormy night!"


    hello back! i'd better do my (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by hellothere on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:46:38 PM EST
    homework before i quote anymore! smile

    unconditional support means you have on conditions (5.00 / 7) (#92)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:14:18 PM EST
    now or in the future. Sorry, but if you support Obama no matter what he stands for, then you won't have any leverage once he's in office. And besides, what's the point of putting someone in office if they're not for your issues but just happen to be in your gang. I don't get it.

    I support Obama now (none / 0) (#108)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:23:14 PM EST
    because he is the best option available by far.  And, IMO, he is the best option we have had since Bill Clinton.  

    After he wins we will get to find out how he will govern.  He will likely have a mandate from the people and if he governs to the Right then he will lose my support.

    But right now he has to win in November.  And while I believe he will move to the Left I don't think now is a good time to do it.  Right now he is selling himself to non-Democrats who may not know much about him.  These people aren't going to vote for him based on the issues.  They will vote for him based on whether they like or trust him.  Taking positions that can easily be twisted into anti-American positions will hurt his standing with these people.


    Heh (5.00 / 7) (#115)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:27:11 PM EST
    What "support" does he risk losing from you?  You're going to support him because he is better than the Republican.  When he runs for reelection you're still going to support him because he's better than the Republican.

    In between elections, what does it even mean for you to threaten to withdraw your support?  You're going to take the little Obama button off your backpack?


    Condescension is unnecessary (none / 0) (#129)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:35:00 PM EST
    I try and treat you with respect.  It would be nice if you could do likewise.

    I'm not threatening a thing.  I am making a statement.

    If you don't want to vote for Obama that's your choice.   But if you think that any Democrat is going to run to the Left during the general election I think you are naive.

    That has been a proven failure for Democrats for decades.


    MY CHOICE! And I chose not to vote for BO. (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by Shainzona on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:01:51 PM EST
    Especially since he doesn't support MY pro-choice.

    Hm (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:05:37 PM EST
    I don't think you have an answer to my question.

    Leap of Faith (5.00 / 6) (#158)
    by santarita on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:01:46 PM EST
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion that Obama is the best alternative.  And I won't argue regarding that opinion.

    But I have a fundamental problem with your criticism of people who are interested in examining and critiquing what he says now.  You say that you won't support him if after the election you discover that he leans to the right.  Some would like to find out before they support him wholeheartedly and before the election  which way he  will lean.  And you seem t suggest that it is ok for him to say things that might be considered pandering to the right in order to get people to vote for him who otherwise might not vote for if they knew where he really stood on issues.  Politicians promise the world before an election and voters would be naive to think otherwise.  But intentionally trying to mislead voters or trick them seems antithetical to democratic ideals.  Bush did that in the 2000 election and look where we are today.  

    Obama may be the best and the only reeal choice, but given his sparse experience what he says and how consistent or inconsistent he is matters a great deal to this voter.


    I am (none / 0) (#182)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:42:25 PM EST
    very pragmatic and realistic about politics and politicians.  

    Obama says a lot of things that some Conservatives might find appealing.  But he doesn't offer any actual policy solutions that they would find appealing.  


    A mandate for what? (5.00 / 5) (#169)
    by Democratic Cat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:10:06 PM EST
    If he panders to the right and that is how he wins big, then what is his mandate but to implement the policies that he advertised during the campaign? And so far, I don't like a lot of those policies. I don't see the campaign as being distinct from the way he will govern and what he will do after the campaign is over. A mandate won by drawing into the tent people whose views are fundamentally in opposition to Progressivism will not result in progressive policies.

    Let me ask (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:40:17 PM EST
    Which politician ran on a progressive platform, won on said platform, and then governed on said platform?  Perhaps FDR in 32 but those were extraordinary times.

    Progressivism is a movement that can push the middle.  But very rarely does it yield Presidential timber.

    I can tell you right now that if you expect Obama to bring about sweeping and massive changes to our country or government, be prepared to be disappointed.  He is an incrementalist.


    This is just so wrong to me (5.00 / 3) (#178)
    by Grace on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:41:42 PM EST
    on so many levels.  

    But right now he has to win in November.

    Because he has a (D) after his name?  What if he were a conservative Democrat who espoused right wing Republican principles on everything except the environment?  Would that be okay with you?

    After he wins we will get to find out how he will govern

    Baloney!  That's how we got George Bush!  I don't want something that smells like a rose but turns out to be a cactus!  There should be some straight talk before we vote.  If I wanted a Mystery, I'd go out and buy a book -- But I don't want a Mystery.  I want a President who isn't a cipher.

    if he governs to the Right then he will lose my support.

    It's too late then.  If he panders to the right, he's going to govern to the right.  While Democrats might not be so good at holding our politician's feet to the fire, the Republicans are mighty good at demanding (and getting) things from the people they elect.  Ever notice how much corruption there is on the Right?  Compare that to Chicago and ask me how I think Obama will govern.            


    If Obama articulated clear principles (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:25:46 PM EST
    and didn't look like a deer in the headlights I would be more secure and would willingly vote for him.  So far, he is a movement, not an FDR Democrat and from what I have seen he is an independent.  This means that he will chose which stands he will take. I want a Democratic president to stand for bread and butter issues of working class people.  I am not interested in spiritual renewal.

    Well, Peter Beinart listened . . . (none / 0) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    Just kidding.

    I have no idea who is listening to me. But if, as you say, no one is listening to me, what does it matter what I say?


    Then Obama (none / 0) (#75)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:06:17 PM EST
    Is the enemy of the good.

    flyerhawk, (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 01:56:44 PM EST
    neither one's position is acceptable to me.

    Parse that.


    He's supposed to be clarifying here (5.00 / 12) (#64)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:00:11 PM EST
    to negate need for parsing.  It's his problem, not ours for still having to try to figure out what he means.  It's his job interview, after all, not ours.

    As for McCain's stand on abortion, what does that matter?  He's not supposed to be pro-choice.  He's not the likely nominee of the Dem party.  He is not supposed to uphold the Dem party principles and platform.  Obama is rewriting those now, too -- just as he did the rules, bylaws, and even Dem charter.


    Great point! (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:02:05 PM EST
    It's his job interview, after all, not ours.

    The problem is (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by samanthasmom on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:02:32 PM EST
    that Obama appears to be on a path to becoming "McBama". The differences between them keep getting smaller and smaller. I would love to vote for a real Democrat, but we don't seem to have one in the race. McCain may be "worse than Obama" today. At this rate will he be worse in November? Where will Obama's slide to the right end? Will it continue through his presidency if he's elected?  This "any Democrat will do" mentality is OK with me as long as there's a real Democrat to vote for.

    This is what I'm talking (none / 0) (#79)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:07:51 PM EST
    Barack Obama is nowhere near John McCain on virtually any issue.  

    McCain says that he would be willing to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years and does sing-songs about bombing Iran.

    Obama says, repeatedly, that he will tell the commanders in Iraq that their mission will be to leave Iraq and that if the commanders say it must take longer than 16 months he will listen to them while still keeping the mission the same.

    Those are almost polar opposite views.  If Obama moves a little to the Right he is STILL well Left of McCain's views on the Middle East.

    And the same is true of just about every other issue.  

    Obama's "slide" to the right will go as far as necessary to win the Presidency and as far as necessary to get the legislation passed that he wants.  

    That this upsets you simply shows that you are unwilling, for whatever reason, to accept how politics operate in America.  If Hillary had won the nomination she would be doing the EXACT SAME THING.  


    Bush promised to listen to military (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:12:28 PM EST
    commanders as well. Your point?

    Not about Abortion (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:19:49 PM EST
    That excuse has run its course.

    It is now apparent that Obama is sliding further to right than Clinton would have.


    No it's NOT apparent (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:24:02 PM EST
    As a matter of fact there is no evidence whatsoever that he is.

    I don't believe that she would be (5.00 / 4) (#117)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:29:20 PM EST
    Leading a filibuster charge on FISA.

    But I do believe she would not have made the same kinds of statements about abortion.


    I also do not believe (5.00 / 5) (#122)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:31:07 PM EST
    She would be blurring separation of church and state lines by orchestrating a politically motivated outreach to evangelical groups.

    Actually it is pretty darn apparent (5.00 / 8) (#130)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:35:07 PM EST
    Please explain how (none / 0) (#136)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:39:44 PM EST
    What is the evidence to support this belief?   I have barely heard a thing from Hillary since the primary so I have no idea what she is thinking these days.  

    Try comparing Obama's positions (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by MarkL on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:45:19 PM EST
    now to Hillary's in the primary. There's evidence for you. He was already to the right of her by the end of the primaries, so I don't know why you are attempting to argue this point.
    Heck, everyone knows that since the 17th century they candidate who won the Iowa and NH primaries would turn out to be the most conservative Democrat.

    I suggest you read the post (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:44:49 PM EST
    again. the evidence is clear that Obama himself has stated something different than hos own previously stated position.

    Obama has NEVER (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Shainzona on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:05:23 PM EST
    been pro-choice...in terms of a WOMAN'S right to choose.

    He slung this same BS back in January - but no one bothered to call him on it - not even NARAL.  But he's said it again - and it proves my point.

    Obama has NEVER been pro-choice...and never will be.


    This is just a lie (none / 0) (#175)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:32:25 PM EST
    It should be deleted.

    squeaky said upthread (none / 0) (#121)
    by hairspray on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:30:51 PM EST
    that Clinton's and Obama's position were exactly the same on late term abortion

    Sure (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:32:47 PM EST
    But I still don't believe that Clinton would be giving interviews to magazines using framing that re-inforces the idea that women have abortions because they are "feeling blue."

    WERE (5.00 / 4) (#126)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:34:30 PM EST
    Obama's latest seems to contradict his previous position.See Crawford Greenburg on the issue.

    And again, and I'll keep pointing it out (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    That what is happening to Obama here is very much the same as what happened to Clinton during the primary.  He is being smeared as a double talking flip flopper because he says things like "I will end the war" one moment but then says "I don't know how many troops will be left behind in Iraq," the next.  Which is, by most accounts, a fairly sensible position to take on the issue.

    Now.  I ask you again.  Are you willing to, here and now, condemn and repudiate all the people who smeared and helped smear Clinton as a triangulating double talker (which would, incidentally, include Obama's campaign and he himself)???

    If you are, you might have recruited to your cause a comrade of sorts.  If not a voter for Obama.


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:33:50 PM EST
    I did not criticize Obama on Iraq. On the contrary, I made the point that when you start flip flopping people start looking for flip flops that are not there.

    I know that (none / 0) (#127)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:34:44 PM EST
    My point is different than yours.

    First off (none / 0) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    the primary is over.  It's time to move on.

    Second of all why would I "condemn and repudiate" anyone?  I don't condemn or repudiate people for attacking Obama.  I criticize them if I feel there is a reason to.  I argue with BTD over this because I understand his reasoning, even if I don't agree with it.

    I don't go to Redstate and tell them to be honest about Obama.  They aren't going to be, so why bother?  


    You are forcing people to choose (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:40:02 PM EST
    Between criticism and fighting against McCain.

    An implication is that if you spend too much time criticizing Obama, you are helping McCain.

    Sounds like a repudiation to me.  But whatever.


    And while the Primary is Over (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:41:44 PM EST
    You are still free to give your opinion on how politicians are smeared as double talkers and flip floppers if you want.

    Really. (5.00 / 5) (#124)
    by pie on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:33:14 PM EST
    Obama's "slide" to the right will go as far as necessary to win the Presidency and as far as necessary to get the legislation passed that he wants.  

    Well, until I know where he stands and how far he's going to go, I'll have to keep thinking about my options in November, because he's less my kind of democrat with each passing day.


    Here is a question for you (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:03:16 PM EST
    Why does anyone ever criticize Bill Clinton's administration from the left?  Why don't they all just compare him to what George H.W. Bush or Bob Dole would have done?

    Jan Crawford has written a follow up (none / 0) (#100)
    by ajain on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:18:48 PM EST
    Its a must read. Seems to me that, if she has anything to do with it, this going to be a big issue. This is quite clearly the latest example of the Daschlization of Obama.

    You guys are completely missing it (none / 0) (#131)
    by s5 on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:36:15 PM EST
    Obama is saying he agrees with the status quo (ie. Roe), but he's using language that appeals to anti-abortionists to say so. The phrase "mental distress" has always been a trigger word for anti-abortionists who believe that liberals want nothing more than to allow an 8 month pregnant woman to abort her fetus because she's sad about looking fat (or insert absurd scenario here). Existing law is already clear on the guidelines for abortion, and Obama is trying to assuage fears on the right that liberals want to kill babies, by using their language.

    Reasonable people can disagree on the strategy of using the language of anti-abortionists, but one thing is certain. He has no desire to water down Roe, and what he's describing is exactly identical to the status quo. He's not creating legal definitions or medical guidelines, nor does he have the power or inclination to. What in Obama's platform has led anyone to believe that he's going to spend even a minute tinkering with abortion? And what about a Democratic Congress is leading anyone to believe that the late term abortion issue is going to resurface?

    As an issue, abortion is closed, at least for the next several years, as long as we get a Democratic president and keep our Democratic majorities in Congress.

    No (5.00 / 10) (#142)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 02:42:54 PM EST
    That is just false.

    He is not agreeing with the status quo. you are just plain wrong.

    you can agree with what Obama says if you like but do not say he is supporting the status quo. Keep it real please. Maha did.


    Ignorance of the law (5.00 / 4) (#171)
    by Cream City on Sun Jul 06, 2008 at 03:15:23 PM EST
    is no excuse for you, and certainly not for a likely nominee for president and a Constitutional law "prof."  

    But in your case, I don't have to decide whether to vote for you.  And you would not have the power to push for changing the law, as Obama appears to want to do with these statements.  So your ignorance of the law is only an annoyance.  His is a serious concern.


    No lipstick for that pig! (none / 0) (#212)
    by pluege on Mon Jul 07, 2008 at 07:36:26 AM EST
     1)If Obama is esplainin' he's losing - he should tighten his lips all around.

     2) Obama trivializes women by saying they opt for late term abortions when they get "the blues". This is a major forced-birther meme, that women can't be trusted to take life seriously. Obama screwed up BIG TIME with this and he is not going to be able to put lipstick on that pig.