Monday, December 21, 2009
I'm late taking the bait laid out by my pal Michael, not because I've been busily drafting, but because of, well, Christmas-and-kids stuff.
As for the views of "the Princeton economist and Nobel laureate" Paul Krugman . . . I have nothing useful to say. Krugman, in my view, is an entirely predictable partisan. His understanding of the common good is, on many important points, not mine.
With respect to Bob's request for "guidance" . . . I certainly would not presume to provide "guidance" to Bob regarding the Senate's plan. (Oh, all right -- it costs too much, and does too little good, and too much bad).
I'm not sure how to respond to Bob's first query. Does Bob disagree with my view that the Senate proposal moves "dramatically in the wrong direction when it comes to protecting unborn children in law and even when it comes to the (different) goal of reducing the number of abortions?" How is my (initial and revisable) diagnosis mistaken?
As for the second query, it seems to me that there are plenty of things about the proposal that could "suffice to underwrite a justifiable hope that the legislation not pass" (see supra). But, focusing (for now) only on the question whether or not the proposal facilitates and entrenches the unjustified exclusion of unborn children from the protection and solicitude of the law -- it seems to me that the answer to this question is "yes", and I'm comfortable holding the view that this answer provides a sufficient reason to hope the bill does not pass.
A question for Bob, and Michael, and Krugman: Why does it seem to matter so much to the Democrats in Congress that abortion-funding increase? Should the importance they seem to attach to abortion-funding (it would be much simpler -- wouldn't it? -- to help the poor get decent healthcare if they were to settle for not-too-shabby prize of current legal regime) call into question the genuine-ness of their professed commitments to human dignity and well-being? Given all that we were told during the recent presidential election, why hasn't the President made clear to Congress, and to the country, his desire that his party put aside its desire for increased abortion funding (and decreased regulation of the practice) in service of the more important goal of providing (at a reasonable cost) decent healthcare to more Americans?