Liberty vs. Leviathan

Chronicling Liberty's battle against Leviathan

Bearing false witness

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  Exodus 20:16

It’s no secret that Rick Santorum is trying to win the social conservative voting bloc. It’s also no secret that he realizes Ron Paul stands in his way and thus has to be neutralized.  One of the recent tactics Santorum has employed in this quest is the classic ploy of distorting an opponent’s record.

Last week we saw that Santorum was unequivocally wrong when he stated that Paul “…doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion on a federal level…”  To paraphrase Reagan, “Well, he’s done it again.”  In the recent South Carolina GOP CNN Debate Santorum claimed that Paul’s pro-life voting record, as scored by the National Right to Life Committee, was 50 percent, no better than Harry Reid’s.

From the debate:

Congressman Paul has a National Right to Life voting record of 50 percent, which is pretty much what Harry Reid’s National Right to Life voting record is. So for — to go out and say that, you know, you’re someone who stands up for the right to life, you repeatedly vote against bills on a federal level to promote the right to life, and you say that this is an individual personal decision or state decision. Life should be protected, and you should have the willingness to stand up on a federal level and any level of government and protect what our — excuse me — what our declaration protects, which is the right of our Creator to life, and that is a federal issue, not a state issue.

You can hear it in this video at the 1:50 mark:

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Fifty percent didn’t sound right so I did a little checking.  Here are the NRLC scores of Paul and Santorum for all the Congressional sessions for which NRLC has scores.  (For the sake of argument let’s assume the NLRC score is the standard for evaluating a person’s commitment to the pro-life cause, I don’t, but we’ll assume it).

Congressional Paul Santorum
Session Score % Votes Score % Votes
105   (1997) 95 20 100 15
106   (1999) 75 19 / 20 100 9
107   (2001) 81 16 100 2 / 3
108   (2003) 72 11 100 11
109   (2005) 55 9 / 11 100 4
110   (2007) 80 5 / 7 x x
111   (2009) 100 5 / 6 x x
112   (2011) 100 6 / 7 x x

Here are a few things to notice:

  • The only time Paul had a score near 50 was six or seven years ago during the 109th Session.
  • Paul has received a score of 100 for the current session and the previous session.
  • Except for the 108th Session Paul cast  more votes than Santorum in each session thus more opportunity to cast a vote deemed unfriendly to NRLC.
  • Santorum has had no votes since 2006.  That’s because he was not re-elected, many believe due to his support of abortion proponent Arlen Specter in Specter’s 2004 campaign.

Now, let’s look at that 109th Session score in detail.  First the number itself then how it was calculated.

Why did Santorum cite 50 percent and not 55?  I’m willing to give Santorum the benefit of the doubt and chalk the inaccuracy up to sloppy rounding or poor prep from his aides.  He can not, however, be excused for citing this score from three sessions ago while omitting Paul’s 100 percent score from the current and previous sessions.   Pointing out that Paul had this rating in 2006 would have been fair.  Attributing this score to Paul today is not.  It’s a blatant misrepresentation of fact and Santorum is wrong to try to get by with it.

Even if Santorum is wrong in citing this score as a current score, through the eyes of a social conservative it still doesn’t look good for Paul to have such a low score smack in the middle of all the others.  So why is it so low?

Let’s break down the votes NRLC tracked during the 109th Session.  Representatives were tracked and scored on eleven votes during the session.  Paul did not vote on two of those, voted “with” the NRLC on five and “against” the NRLC on 4, thus the 55 percent (5/9 = .55)

So what were those issues upon which Paul voted “against” the NRLC?  Using the NRLC score card numbering system Paul voted “against” the NRLC on votes 2, 3, 4 and 10.  Each of these votes was on either the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act or an amendment to this bill.  (In short, the bill made a federal crime of an adult transporting a minor across state lines in order to procure an abortion and avoid state laws requiring parental participation in an abortion decision.)

This reveals at least two flaws in using a political action committee’s evaluation of a candidate when making decisions about who to support.

First, Paul was penalized for voting several times on the same bill.  If tracked by bill Paul would have had a score of  80 (4 bills “with” and 1 “against”).

Second, the NRLC scoring system only takes into account the vote, not the reasoning behind the vote.  With just a little effort one learns that Paul thought the intent of the bill was “laudable” but also flawed and unconstitutional:

Mr. Speaker, in the name of a truly laudable cause (preventing abortion and protecting parental rights), today the Congress could potentially move our Nation one step closer to a national police state by further expanding the list of Federal crimes and usurping power from the States to adequately address the issue of parental rights and family law…

…Should parents be involved in decisions regarding the health of their children? Absolutely. Should the law respect parents’ rights to not have their children taken across State lines for contemptible purposes? Absolutely. Can a State pass an enforceable statute to prohibit taking minors across State lines to avoid laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions? Absolutely. But when asked if there exists constitutional authority for the Federal criminalizing of just such an action the answer is absolutely not.

This federalizing may have the effect of nationalizing a law with criminal penalties which may be less than those desired by some States. To the extent the Federal and State laws could co-exist, the necessity for a Federal law is undermined and an important bill of rights protection is virtually obliterated. Concurrent jurisdiction crimes erode the right of citizens to be free of double jeopardy.

So in this case, Paul supported the intentions behind the bill, but he disagreed with the method being proposed to bring those intentions to life.  And his disagreement was based on the Constitution and the oath he took to uphold the Constitution, not on his allegiance to a PAC or party.

One final point.  To compare Paul’s 55 percent score with Harry Reid’s 50 percent is disingenuous.  Reid cast four votes.  Two of those were “with” the NRLC, the two votes he cast for the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, the act that Paul warned would increase the scope of the Federal government.  Reid voted “against” the NRLC on the same issues Paul voted “with” the NRLC, the ones that would have authorized funding to pro-abortion organizations.  The common theme in Reid’s vote is an increase in the scope of government.  The theme in Paul’s votes is one of keeping the scope of government contained within the confines of the Constitution.

When one looks beyond the sound bites, it’s easy to see that Ron Paul is a pro-life candidate.  The disagreement Santorum and the NLRC have with Paul is not based on differing views on the sanctity of life and the evil of abortion.  The disagreement is based on their differing views on strategy and on the role a Constitutionally constrained Federal government has in making laws restricting abortion.  Santorum should admit as much, acknowledge that Paul is pro-life (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 among others) and stop bearing false witness.

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Under the bus

From Politico this weekend we’re informed that Rick Santorum says Ron Paul does not stand for life:

[Paul] doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion on a federal level because he doesn’t think the federal government should be involved in restricting abortion…Well, that’s just wrong! The bottom line is that we need to have restrictions on abortion.

Santorum must have a bad memory at best, or be lying at worst.  For in 2003, despite his misgivings, Paul voted “Yea”  on HR 760 and “Yea” again on S3, the Santorum sponsored Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

And what were Paul’s misgivings?  There were two and they were big.  Both can be found in his remarks from the House floor but I’ll let him summarize here.  The bill…

  1. “…inadvertently justifies federal government intervention into every medical procedure…”
  2. “…ingrains the principles of Roe v. Wade into our justice system, rather than refutes them as it should.”

So despite his reservations, Paul voted for a bill that Santorum sponsored in order to save a life thus disproving Santorum’s claim that “…[Paul] doesn’t vote for anything restricting abortion…”

Paul made clear then as he does today, Santorum and all the other progressive GOP candidates seek to use the unconstitutional power of the federal government for their own causes.  Paul, and Paul alone, is the true conservative, seeking to preserve the constitutional republic our founders entrusted to us.

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Relocation

One of my favorite blogs, The Western Confucian, has relocated both geographically and virtually.  His new address is The Pittsford Perennialist.

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Baseball Bailout

From the Wall Street Journal a plea to overrule the outcome ends with this:

Little kids with a lifetime of baseball ahead of them are asking their fathers to explain why it has to be this way.

The answer is simple, especially for fathers teaching life lessons to their kids.  “Because that’s the way the game is played.  The ump called it, you go with the call and move on.”

Rather than pleading for a reversal of the call or issuing proclamations we’d do better to focus on the two men with the most at stake and how they handled the situation and each other.

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Thanks Mom!

It’s Mother’s Day in the US so a small tribute to moms.

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Farcical

Here’s your pro-life Democrat in his own words.

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Fasting

Remember, man, that thou art dust,

and unto dust thou shalt return.

p

I’m going to take the opportunity during Lent to reflect more and react less.  If I post at all during Lent it will be on a Sunday.  Have a blessed Lent.

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The politics of abortion

In Roe at 37, Daniel McCarthy, of The American Conservative looks at the pro-life movement in the aftermath of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and nails one of the main reasons the pro-life cause has gained so little ground since that horrible decision:

If you want to be politically effective, you will probably have to use a major party — but you have to use it, not let it use you. Unfortunately, the people who have the purest motives, who are most habitually inclined to trust the honorable intentions of others, wind up as fodder for the likes of Scott Brown once they get involved in the bloodletting that is politics.

And commenter Thomas goes even further and takes the position (with which I agree) that the pro-life cause will continue to make little progress as long as it’s political fortunes are tied to the GOP:

Publius Cato has a point about the GOP on abortion. I will take this further: if the Republicans DID do anything about abortion, they would lose their #1 political issue in the depressed parts of the South and Midwest where they win by gathering 80% or so of white working class votes which don’t agree with their globalist, oligarchic (and liberal-inegalitarian) economics. They need the abortion issue to persist indefinitely or else they are done.

While I’m not sure of his demographics, the point is that the GOP is so dependent on the pro-life vote that it can’t afford for the abortion issue to go away.  Maybe that’s why there are so few cosponsors for HR 2533 – Sanctity of Life Act of 2009, authored by Ron Paul.  Pro life lobby where are you?

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo

King of kings and Lord of lords

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“…maximum hour of danger.”

This is a most excellent speech.  The Judge clearly demonstrates the wisdom of governing by principle and Law rather than power and Man and offers an exhortation for all patriots to return to the Constitution and defend Freedom “…in its maximum hour of danger.”

“Assaults by fanatics on our safety does not justify assaults by the government on our freedom!”

Share it with your children, family, friends and neighbors.  If you only have time for one piece watch Part 3.

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