Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Doug Kmiec on his Latest Meeting with Barack Obama or "Come, let us reason together"

Kmiec is an "Obamacon", a conservative for Obama. In this case, a Roman Catholic conservative. Kmiec is a constitutional law expert who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush. He has already been denied Holy Communion at least once for supporting Obama, since the presumptive Democratic nominee is not 100% anti-abortion; however, as Kmiec points out, neither is John McCain: both are essentially "pro-choice" but not "pro-abortion". "I do not endorse either Senator Obama's or Senator McCain's positions on life. As a Catholic, I believe both fall short of the ideal," writes Kmiec. Kmiec's position is that while neither candidate is satisfactory on abortion, Obama is, overall, more "pro-life" than is McCain. After reading the following, what do you think? (Note well: I will not hesitate to spike comments which, among other things, demonize anyone, including John McCain. I am looking for well-reasoned, thoughtful analysis and opinion here, not rhetorical bombast. And do not comment if you do not read the article linked below in its entirety.)

EXCLUSIVE: DOUG KMIEC - 'After Meeting with Barack'


James H said...

Every time I read one of Prof Kmiec pieces I get a sense I have learned nothing new about Obama but more what Prof Kmiec would like Obama to be. Why we should put so much trust Prof Kmiec . IS he a trusted insider? Does he have real influence? BY the way he was a huge advisor to Romney. How do we get from Romney should be PResident to Obama? Prof Kmiec whose articles I think mostly come down to "TRUST ME" never explains this awesome shift that occured over of weeks the moment Romney was out of the campaign

As I keep pointing out to do what Prof Kmiec says Obama will do (that is the reaching out and new kind of politics) takes well making mad some of your supporters off to be blunt. I have not seen this as to Obama and issues of trade(See The Columbia Free Trade Deal) , I did not see it in the immigration reform fight(See Obama Poison pill that killed it in the Senate much to the glee of Unions), I have not seen it on any Pro-life legislation, I did not see it to Judges (Was he a part of the Gang of 14? UH NO) in fact I have not seen it all.

While as to McCain much to the damage of his political ambitions we have seen him reaching out on issues of Torture, Gitmo, immigration, Judges, the Dubai Port Controversy, the Environment, etc etc. John McCain has made a lot of various conservatives mad and that hurts him. Yet Obama is the Uniter and is the new kind of politics?

I am sorry not buying it.

Saying that taking a view of getting this back to the States is Pro-Choice is a tad dishonest. THe reeason to get it to the States is to start the battle there for hearts , minds, and souls. Right now any meaningul Legislative action is stopped by SC precdent

Kmiec also it appears done a 180 decree shift

Here is a quote from Kmiec in 2006 on the federal partial birth abortion ban:

“I wish it weren’t a federal issue, but I do believe that Congress is acting under the Roe v. Wade specter we are living under,” he added. Douglas Kmiec, a conservative constitutional law professor at Pepperdine University, concurred that Congress became involved with the issue only after the courts “removed the states from the playing field” by way of both Roe v. Wade, as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe in 2000. “Congress did what it could [under the circumstances],” said Kmiec.

While he agrees with Sekulow’s position “as a matter of policy,” Kmiec said the Court’s 2005, Gonzales v. Raich ruling, which allowed federal anti-drug laws to override state laws that allow the use of medical marijuana, had set a new precedent concerning Congressional power. Kmiec, who submitted a brief in the Raich case, said in an ideal world, Congress would have no bearing on either medical marijuana or abortion.

“The genius of the constitutional system is allowing individual states decide these questions, thereby accommodating a greater range of political and religious Americans who could have multiple answers as to when life begins,” said Kmiec, who added that deciding to impose a national policy “is a prescription for a lot of angry unhappy people.” “People feel strongly about this issue, and there is no consensus, and to pretend there is one at the national level is just that—to pretend,” he said.”

So is Prof Kmeic PRo Choice? At some point better LEgal Minds than me will start pointing out his past statement

As to the denial Communion issue I could on forever. I am very much disappointed how he handled it.

I have already taken too much space in your comment box but I touched on that yesterday

Catholic Professor Kmiec Using Eucharist As A Political Weapon ?

If there are issues that you think Kmeic has a point on I will engage it. He seems to engage a lot in his article. Including throwing in the strawman of racism. So now we need to vote for Obama because some people that opposed him are racist? I think the Bishops were talking about supporting Candiates that advocated Racism there.

Anyway I have to go listen to my Tigers play Rice in Omaha. But if there is a particular point you think that Kmiec has nmerit on I will attempt to engage it.

Thank You Father for your Post

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree with the Professor:

1. Senator Barack Obama supports partial birth abortion and voted for it.

2. His supporters and inner circle are close to Planned Parenthood and are abortion on demand for any reason at anytime during pregnancy and Barack Obama has given speeches as such. Senator McCain is more pro-life and even if he has a Federalist position has voted pro-life and a Federalist position would ban abortion in some states. Many states have passed laws that ban abortion like Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, Idaho and others.

3. Efforts to stop legalized abortion have reduced abortion and according to the abortion providers have made abortion less available through protests, insurance, community opposition to providers in their neighborhood (even if NIMBY for the so called pro-choice majority). Abortion numbers have been reduced and I personally know about people not having abortions because of protests outside of abortion clinics and the public debate on legalization.

4. While other issues are important, and the possibility of outlawing abortion is remote, abortion still is the most important moral issue and is the clearest issue where a governmental public policy position is needed.

5. Obama's spiritual journey to me (without an ultimate judge of his soul or conscience but a necessary analysis as Obama himself has made it an issue and to judge for a political purpose of supporting or at least voting) is contrived and politically opportunistic. His book, his statements about religion (that seem centered on him or at least on man and not God and seem to be a materialistic approach to religion if not liberation theology at least by analogy) like joining the Trinity Church of Rev Wright (which supports gay marriage and abortion that whatever one thinks about politics or specific public policy positions--you cannot justify those issues by Christianity at least not logically or traditionally)and his other Church affiliations like RC Fr Pfleger or Rev Brazier (a very worldly Bishop).

I do not see a sincere spiritual search in Obama as in the young aethiest turned Buddhist and eventual Orthodox Christian in Seraphim Rose neither from a comparison of his traditionalist approach with Rene Guenon to the East or his eventual Eastern Orthodox position. Not that one has to be Seraphim Rose but merely to compare a genuine spiritual search. Or to the left a Dorothy Day. It is harder to find in politics but it is present but that is another discussion. I perceive (and I could be wrong) that Obama uses religion to his advantage and does not have a real respect for Traditional religious perspectives. Religion is a necessary tool for politics--Paris is worth a Mass.

6. I think that the Professor diminishes Senator McCain's positions on abortion which is clearly from a textual and explicit way is more pro-life.

7. What has Obama done concretely to reduce abortion or to reach out to traditional religious thought (and much of RC Traditional religious thought is against the war and anti-Bush to wit:
Conservative Blog for Peace
the Western Confucian
(not all RC)
and Orthodox Owen at the
who are supportive of RON PAUL
and/or Average JOE and independent RC running from Ohio
Many Traditional RC (and some Orthodox and even fewer Traditional Protestant and Anglicans) have Distribuitionist leanings (a la GK Chesterston and Hilaire Belloc) and some even know that Usury is still a sin.
The Catholic left (some of which is orthodox theologically and morally) in the tradition of Dorothy Day and others oppose the war, torture etc and cite Pope John Paul the II in his encylicals.
While the Republicans ignore much of the social teachings for an imperialistic neo-conservative foreign policy and an uber Milton Friedman "free" market capitalism--I have not seen Obama really engage any of this as he in the Illinois Senate did nothing against usury or support anything innovative like school choice--taking a typically liberal ACLU position on school choice and fatih based initiatives (except when it is for the African American community)

8. What inner circle advisors since he first ran in 1996 for State Senate and lost for Congress in 2000 are Traditionalists in religion or pro-life (even if not for public policy those who run homes for unwed mothers or adoption agencies)?
David Axelrod? Bill Daley (whose brother the corrupt Mayor of Chicago supports Gay marriage)?
Ayers? Dohrn? Rev Wright?
His wife? Oprah? Irv Harris?
His campaign chair? manager? lawyer? finance chair? staffers?

9. Not only abortion but Senator Obama's corresponding stands on issues like:
are indicative of his true stance on abortion some private meetings notwithstanding and some nice sounding rhetoric.

10. I like Obama in terms of the way he looks and speaks. He seems more civil and brings a new face and apparently cleaner approach. He has a good choice of words and can deliver a good monologue. But his policy stands seem typically liberal and I am not sure what issue he has reached across the partisan isle on like McCain. Obama does not have traditional religious nor spiritual beliefs nor practices regarding life and family even if he has an attractive family himself with a strong wife and two beautiful daughters. He is civil and presents a good image--but I am not sure he is brave nor traditional (in the best sense of the word) at all--and Barack Obama is certainly not pro-life.

Anonymous said...

Well, it seems there's nothing really left to say. These two gentlemen have pretty much said it all. And better than I could have.

I agree that Sen. Obama presents a good image and he certainly has a dynamic charism.
But I truly and sincerely believe it is a deception and I pray that God will enlighten minds to see through it.

Just in case anyone is interested and does not know about this site, it has all the specifics with direct quotes on all candidates:

Mother +Clement, OCB

Anonymous said...

Ok for state to restrict late-term partial birth abortion. (Apr 2008)
We can find common ground between pro-choice and pro-life. (Apr 2008)
Undecided on whether life begins at conception. (Apr 2008)
Teach teens about abstinence and also about contraception. (Apr 2008)
GovWatch: Obama's "present" votes were a requested strategy. (Feb 2008)
Expand access to contraception; reduce unintended pregnancy. (Feb 2008)
Rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes in 2005, 2006 & 2007. (Jan 2008)
Voted against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
Stem cells hold promise to cure 70 major diseases. (Aug 2007)
Trust women to make own decisions on partial-birth abortion. (Apr 2007)
Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters. (Oct 2006)
Constitution is a living document; no strict constructionism. (Oct 2006)
Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill. (Jun 2004)
Protect a woman's right to choose. (May 2004)
Supports Roe v. Wade. (Jul 1998)
Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (May 2006)
Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)
Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)

FrGregACCA said...

I appreciate the tone of the comments posted above. Thank you all for that.

There is no question that Obama's voting record in almost entirely pro-choice in the matter of abortion. However, what I think Kmiec has discovered is that Obama's career also shows that he is open to points of view which differ from his own and that he seeks to find common ground. It seems that he seeks to be truly "a uniter and not a divider".

Kmiec also knows, I think, that regardless of who is elected President, abortion is not going to be outlawed in the US any time soon. Given that, other approaches to reducing, and finally eliminating, abortion become necessary. As Frederica Mathewes-Greene points out in her book, "Real Choices," these alternative strategies involve doing everything in our power, politically and otherwise, to ensure that women experiencing crisis pregnancies are empowered to choose life, refusing to succumb to pressure from boyfriends, husbands, parents, employers, or others to get an abortion.

Young fogey emeritus said...

Thanks for this, Father, and thanks for the mention, Thomas M.

Abortion cancels out as a deciding issue; neither side is really pro-life. Obama's side are ghouls on the issue; the Republican establishment, when they're not really ghouls too, have no incentive to stop using this as a carrot on a stick to dupe conservative Christians ('you have nowhere else to go').

And there's the hypocrisy of people like Fr Frank Pavone. Never mind that Ron Paul (whom I supported and voted for; now I'm staying home) agrees with Rome on the Iraq war and showed up at the March for Life. Just shut up and push the button for McCain, kiddo.

James H's first sentence applies, I think, to much of Obama's support: wishful thihking/projection that's little if anything to do with the man's statements and voting record. Obamacons like blacks are too small a group to decide the election. Most of his support is from upper-middle-class white liberals who for whatever reason think it'd be really neat to have a black president.

BTW most rank-and-file Roman Catholics still vote Democratic regardless. Not the self-consciously orthodox ones rallying wrongly round McCain nor the liberal-Protestantised ones who are Obama's 'Catholic advisers'; the rank and file. They will decide this election unless it gets kicked to the courts and handed to one side as it was to Bush.

(My guess: even though they don't like Bush and the war, they will not vote for a black liberal with a Muslim name even though he's not Muslim, if only to get back at his upper-middle-class fans who they know look down on them. Anti-black prejudice isn't enough to decide the election.)

Like Justin Raimondo briefly was (until Obama's pro-Israel AIPAC speech right after snagging the nomination woke him up) I thought about being an Obamacon.

So although Kmiec is wrong to support him, it's wrong to deny him Communion.

It really doesn't matter who will win as the coming depression will grind things to a halt and even McCain eventually will quit Iraq just like Nixon did Vietnam.

BTW in a constitutional system with no state church Obama's religion is as irrelevant as his colour but I agree he's a secular (by upbringing) upper-middle-class person who joined a church for political advantage. As well as fulfilling his desire to be black (he's not - culturally he's really white), like 'Paris is worth a Mass', Chicago was worth a few gospel choruses and God-talk speeches... when it became a liability (Wright is right about 9/11 and Palestine) over the side it went.