Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Campaign Continues, liike a bad penny.

And you thought getting rid of me would be easy.

Actually, I just cannot get enough of this crazy campaign.  The events  appear to be colliding. Trump finally stepped in something that he can wipe off with  his comments about punishing a woman in the event abortion became illegal.  Now, it wasn't his answer that was so bad (although it was pretty uninformed), but he went to  Hardball Chris Matthews, a notoriously partisan commentator and let himself get caught up in an entirely unrealistic question.  That, coming after the charge against his campaign manager (by a very democratic prosecutor for grabbing a reporter) did not help.

Republicans began to face the music. Either it will be Trump, and his likely damage to the down ballot (loss of Senate, fight to control the House), or Ted Cruz, the Senator the Senate loves to hate.

And Kasich stays in specifically to get to the convention that he believes will decide that it will be he that he confused and angry electorate turns to.

On the Democratic side, Sanders just keeps winning primaries and caucuses, but cannot keep up with the superdelegates that Hillary has pocketed. Hillary wanted few debates, then more, now none.  The story just keeps getting better and better.

The problem for both leading candidates is this: Among Republicans, over 30% have said they will never vote for Trump if he is the nominee.  And among Sanders supporters, nearly 1 in 4 have taken the same position. This poses a major dilemma for each party. The issue will not simply be who can win, but who can unify the divisions in their own party.  Neither leading candidate offers much encouragement there.

One more thing this week as to the single-issue voters and the flashpoint of abortion/right to choose *depending on your take.  We know that today, under Roe v Wade and its legal progeny, the government cannot restrict a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy in the first trimester, and can do so in the second and third trimester if the state's interest in protecting the unborn fetus (or some other interest such as the current popular state approach being used-- protecting the woman's health by insuring that clinics are aligned with hospitals). But the issue that should be put to every candidate, the issue that the Supreme Court in Roe (years later) admittedly shut down public debate over is this:
At what point does the government have the right to deny a woman the option of abortion to protect the life of the child? (Roe recognized this, but never answered it.) Since the test adopted by the Court balanced those separate interests, what are the issues that weigh on that scale?

And would advances in medical technology, such as those that make the survival rate of babies born more prematurely than were available in 1973 when Roe was decided, play a role in that balancing test?  In other words, if you believe in a living  Constitution, one that adapts with the new social mores and technology, wouldn't you have to accept that when medical technology makes the survival of more prematurely born babies likely, that the state interest in regulating abortions take effect much earlier than the Court test in Roe permitted? 

Food for thought and your comments, as always with due respect for the views of each other, are welcomed.

From windy, sunny, and soon to be wet Nebraska, thank you for your attention.



Susan said...

So happy you've set up a blog! It will be great to continue to get your comments as this progresses.....

Barry A said...

Nebraska's gain is our loss Kurt.
Wishing you well in everything you are up to back home, but please know that we (hundreds of us) miss you here.
The fact that we can hear from you is a gift.
We know how much you are looking to an open Convention in Cleveland.
Keep the words coming, and thanks.