Monday, November 05, 2007

Fred meets Tim Russert

Fred Thompson looked very well on Meet the Press Sunday morning, and worded his response on the question of Pakistan's State of Emergency very carefully. The one thing that I found disconcerting was that he made no pronouncement that definitively said that the United States would not tolerate this kind of behavior from Pervez Musharraf on his watch. In fairness, I would not have expected a radically different response from any candidate in either party. If anyone said differently, I doubt that once in office they would do as they say. Granted, I find that unfortunate-but it is also the reality where American foreign policy is concerned-we will do what is in the interests of America first.

Thompson was on the money about one important matter-Iran. He said that we should be prepared for a preemptive strike against the Iranians in order to put an end to that country's nuclear capability, but pointed out that if we got to that point, this would signal a failure in policy on the part of the United States. We should not-said Fred Thompson-be eager to wage war on Iran and should do what is possible to prevent that (why not just call Jerusalem?).

Thompson's most controversial statement of the interview was when he said that he would not run on a platform that favored a Human Life Amendment. He did reiterate not only his pro-life voting record but that he is pro-life himself and that he favors pro-life law. Further, he believes that Roe v. Wade is bad law that was wrongly decided. What may make his position unpalatable to some is that he takes the strict States' Rights position-he believes that Roe should be overturned and in its place each State would decide its own abortion laws. While I would just as soon see abortion outlawed wholesale (and have no problem with a Human Life Amendment such as the Hatch Amendment), I must admit that from a constitutional perspective Thompson is correct. There is nothing in the federal Constitution that attempts to define what murder is, and the reason is because that is the job of the legislatures of each of the sovereign States. It should be left to the States to determine how abortion should be punished, but the pro-abortion crowd doesn't like that, since they know that most States would likely restrict abortion or outlaw it.

It will be very interesting to see how Fred Thompson tackles the abortion question in the few weeks left before the Iowa Caucus.



At Monday, November 05, 2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...

As far as I'm concerned, you're either federalist (i.e., on everything) or you're not. There should not be any grey area here.

We already have a huge problem with both liberals and neo-conservatives deciding that they want to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they want to follow and/or under what issues they want to follow Constitutional/originalist principles.

We don't need -- and shouldn't want -- Fred Thompson to add to that problem.

It's very true that returning abortion -- and leaving the queston of gay marriage -- to the states creates a whole laundry list of questions and issues to tackle. I won't for one minute deny that. But we can't just go and say "well, things might get difficult...let's just ignore the Constitution" anymore than we should say "well, allowing states to perform abortions doesn't fit with my ideology/religion/world-view, so let's just ignore the Constitution".

Neither of those are any better than what the current Bush administration is doing with our foreign policy or what liberals are doing with our entitlement culture.

I applaud Fred for sticking to his guns, even under the duress of difficult questions. It shows he has the mettle to handle the Presidency, and I'd say that it shows he deserves our trust.

People may disagree...but one thing you can't call Fred is a flip-flopper.

At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 12:24:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

I was thinking of you and Renee and Dave and Mark Rose during the interview. I couldn't understand why y'all were supporting him when he said he wouldn't go after abortion on the Federal level.

However, you just explained it beautifully. Confusion solved.

I do have a question for you, though.
Why not Mike Huckabee? He has been much more consistent on the issue of abortion than Fred or Mitt or Rudy. Of the candidates left, only Huck and Ron Paul have been consistent through the years.

Dave has heard me go on and on about Huckabee before, and if I was a conservative and abortion was a major issue to me, Huckabee is the one with the record and he ran a State.

Anyhow, you cleared up the Meet The Press question I had about this issue.

At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 1:04:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


Well, for me personally, the biggest thing is getting the right type of conservative in the White House -- and I don't believe that Mike Huckabee is that type of conservative. He's weak on immigration, certainly did not have a positive fiscal record while running Arkansas, and is keen on federalizing issues that I don't believe should be federalized.

See, I don't think that my world view (or anyone's world view, for that matter) should be forced on EVERYONE. That includes my stance on abortion and gay marriage.

And the Founders supported the idea of federalism for just this reason. Our country has always been very diverse in it's people, it's culture, and it's ideologies. People in Georgia don't typically think or live like people in Massachusetts -- so why should both groups be bound by the same code of laws, the same set of basic morals, etc.?

I don't want a theocratic state any more than I want a purely secular state.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can go back to where we should be, speaking from a Constitutional point-of-view...and I'm quite sure that one man alone won't be able to do much for the ever-burgeoning federal government...but as long as Fred Thompson is a proponent of Federalism, he's my candidate.

At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 4:12:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Well written, well thought out, well taken.
Everything you said made a lot of sense.

I'm constantly amazed at how some reasonable conservatives can be more tolerant than some reasonable liberals.

At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Matt Daley said...


I think, anymore, reasonable people have to be tolerant, whether they want to be or not.

Our country is one of the top 5 most populous in the world, but it's also by far the most diverse ethnically, culturally, and otherwise.

We're not a one-size-fits-all nation. Really, we've never been...but the issue is even more amplified today.

It's very unfortunate that people on both the left and the right have such a narrow world view that they think that world view should be the one everyone has to adhere to. Our country has a lot of problems, but many of them could be fixed if people would realize that differences of opinion and ideology are okay -- that it's okay for one person in Utah to live one way and for one person in Maine to live another.

It's one thing to be passionate about one's opinions and ideology -- I encourage that. But it's totally different to assume/expect everyone to agree with that and live that way.

Liberals and conservatives...religious folks and secularists...we can all debate until we're blue in the face as to what's right and how things should be...but in the end, "should" doesn't matter.

We're free to live how we so choose, whether it's how we "should" or not. And THAT is what's important.

At Tuesday, November 06, 2007 6:06:00 PM, Anonymous A, Renee Daley said...


For the obvious reasons (other than being a Fred Head), I second what Matt said. :)

I am not willing to allow the federal government any more control than it already has over my life, and anyone else's for that matter. I also don't believe in shoving religion down people's throats

Making laws against everything you disagree with at the Federal level is nothing but bad news. Let the States hash their own laws out, and let the people decide.

It's about time the government started paying attention to a couple pieces of paper in the National Archives - called the Constitution, and the Articles of Confederation.

At Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:13:00 AM, Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

This is weird. If I didn't know y'all were conservatives, I might think you to be liberals. (Not an insult coming from me!)

I mean it in the best sense--that you believe people should be able to chose what they believe without the government interfering. I believe that, too.

If it weren't for the fact I believe in health care for all,I'd dare say we're not far apart at all on how we want our government to be.

Look, after 7 years of Dubya, even the most left of left are wanting less government all the way around after witnessing the shredding of the Constitution by the current administration.

At Wednesday, November 07, 2007 9:27:00 AM, Blogger A. Renee Daley said...


Well the liberal comment isn't too far off. I was what you and David call, a "dyed in the wool" Democrat growing up. My father and mother voted straight party every election.

As did I until 2001. I consider myself conservative - not Republican, and probably lean more to the libertarian side than anything. I agree with Dr. Paul on some things, but I don't agree with total isolationism when it comes to U.S foreign policy.

When neo-cons tell me that I have to give up my liberties and freedoms all in the name of "security" as they guaranteed to me by our Founding Fathers, then I have a problem with that. We are starting down a rather Orwellian path, and I am unwilling to do that.

I am free to practice my religion, and others are free to not practice at all. Some fundamentalists are willing to stop just short of imposing a theocracy on the rest of the country.


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