Last night I had dinner with a couple of old ( literally) friends, both of whom happen to be Democrats. After the bill was paid, I brought up my recent trip to Israel and how it had crystallized in my mind the alienation I feel towards American Jews, most of whom seem to equate “Jewish values” with the agenda of the post 1968 Democratic Party, that is, appeasement, pacifism and moral equivalence.
One of my dinner companions reacted thusly: OK, whom would you vote for if it comes down to a choice between Barack Obama and Rick Santorum? Without even a second’s hesitation, I said Santorum. Even though he knows my politics, my friend was shocked and got up to go. So I asked: What is so terrible about Santorum? My other friend referred to Santorum’s views on homosexuality etc. etc. And what had been a pleasant evening ended abruptly.
But back to Santorum and Obama. First of all, allow me to stipulate: I’m a Rudy Giuliani fan. (Rudy himself said the other day, “I could win the election; I just can’t win the nomination.”) Second, I do not agree with Santorum’s alleged views (and the views of the Catholic Church, among others) on contraceptives and abortion. But I really do not care very much about those issues, which are, in my opinion, phony issues used by the Democratic Party to make liberal women hysterical and thus work and vote for Democrats.
Furthermore, I really do not think Rick Santorum, were he, in the still unlikely event, to become President, could do (or want to do) much about gay marriage, abortion, contraceptives or any of the so-called social or “women’s health” issues.
Let’s enter, as Mary Matalin said on TV last Sunday, the “reality zone.” First of all, the famous Griswold decision of the U.S Supreme Court made it unlawful to ban the sale or use of contraceptives. Secondly, Roe vs. Wade prohibits the banning of abortion. And the issue of gay marriage, similarly, will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.
The only way President Rick could affect those issues is to appoint Supreme Court Justices who, he believes, will overturn Griswold and Roe and find an inalienable right in the Constitution having to do with marriage. (Not impossible: In the Griswold decision, the Supremes found a right to privacy in the “penumbra and emanations” of the Consititution.)
But the president can only nominate, not appoint judges. They would have to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted on and then be approved by the full Senate. In recent years, it has been extremely difficult to win Senate approval of controversial judges; just ask those whom Bush nominated who never made it to the bench.
But let’s say Rick is able to get these nominations approved: Who says they are going to vote the way Rick wants them to vote? Just the other day I read that many believe that Justice Scalia (arguably the most conservative justice of the nine) will find the Obamacare mandate constitutional. This view is based on his votes and opinions on similar issues in the past. The bottom line: No president can count on any judge to vote the way the president wants.
But let’s go further. Say some future Santorumized Supreme Court does in fact overturn Griswold and Roe. Does that mean that the supposed “War on Women” will have ended with a victory for those who wish to return women to their shackles? Not at all. Abortion and contraceptives would still be perfectly legal and available.
So what then? Congress could try to pass a law banning contraceptives? How likely is that to happen? Fuggetaboutit! The individual states could pass laws banning contraceptives? Not!!!
And abortion? Again, Congress could try to pass a law outlawing abortion. Would such a law ever get through the House and Senate, even if both were controlled by Republicans? No Way, Jose!!
Yes, yes, yes: Individual states could ban or restrict abortion. How many state legislatures and governors would be likely to approve such a bill? I’m thinking that, at most, you only need one hand to count.
So the very, very worst thing that could happen were Ricky to be elected president is that a woman wanting an abortion who happened to live in one of those few states, where the unenlightened majority disapproved of abortion, would have to travel to a neighboring state’s Planned Parenthood clinic.
As Joe Biden might say: Big Effin’ Deal!
But back to my friends whom I outraged with my preference for Rick over Barry. What about if Obama wins? The United States is currently approaching 16 TRILLION dollars in debt, fueled primarily by unsustainable entitlement programs, aka, Medicare, Medcaid, and Social Security.
So here’s the question to my old friends and their many like-minded compatriots: How bloody likely is it that Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to do anything about those programs (and the crushing debt) other than trying to pay for them by raising taxes on the “rich”? And while you’re thinking, show me one serious, informed person who actually believes that doing that will solve the problem. My God: Even Paul Krugman knows that won’t work; he simply refers to it as a “long-term” problem, meaning we should deal with it manana (read: well after anyone currently alive is dead) while we continue to spend zillions of borrowed dollars on “stimulating” the economy and whatever else the entitled think they have a right to get. The Democrats are, in essence, the Mr. Micawber party, named after the Dickens character whose solution to every crisis is, “Something will turn up.”
To be sure, it isn’t all that likely that the Republicans (including Rick) will do anything meaningful either. Politicians are hard-wired to give people stuff, not take stuff away. But with Obama, the chances of his doing anything to avert the coming collapse are ZERO.