In their own words

The events of the last few weeks have brought a whole slew of political topics to the fore: the separation of powers, state’s rights, the role of religion in America, the meaning of conservatism. Here, with no commentary, editing or emphasis, are some interesting statements on these topics. I have backed up a few months in order to pick up the roots of the “culture of life” meme. Here they are in their own words…

George W. Bush, third presidential debate, October 13 2004:

“I think it’s important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters. I believe the ideal world is one in which every child is protected in law and welcomed to life. I understand there’s great differences on this issue of abortion, but I believe reasonable people can come together and put good law in place that will help reduce the number of abortions.”

George W. Bush speaking before anti-abortion rally, January 24 2005:

“I appreciate so very much your work toward building a culture of life, a culture that will protect the most innocent among us and the voiceless. We are working to promote a culture of life, to promote compassion for women and their unborn babies.”

Armstrong Williams, column entitled “Judicial Tyranny”, March 7 2005:

“I do not take the death penalty lightly. The decision to end a criminal’s life is perhaps the most solemn decision that the state can make. This decision is never easy. I mention this merely to point out that it’s for the people and their elected officials to decide when it is appropriate to extend full criminal punishment. This is not a decision that the constitution leaves to five old people in black dresses. The police power resides solely in the state government. It is a fundamental violation of the separation of powers when five unelected, unaccountable judges use their own sense of morality to invalidate the laws of 19 states. Justice Kennedy’s assessment that executing juveniles violates “evolving standards of decency” has no basis in reality.”

George W. Bush (President’s statement on Terri Schiavo) Thursday March 17, 2005:

“It should be our goal as a nation to build a culture of life, where all Americans are valued, welcomed, and protected – and that culture of life must extend to individuals with disabilities.”

House Majority Leader Tom Delay speaking to the Family Research Council, Friday March 18, 2005:

“It is more than just Terri Schiavo. This is a critical issue for people in this position, and it is also a critical issue to fight that fight for life, whether it be euthanasia or abortion. I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, one thing God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what’s going on in America. That Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death for two weeks. I mean, in America that’s going to happen if we don’t win this fight. And so it’s bigger than any one of us, and we have to do everything that is in our power to save Terri Schiavo and anybody else that may be in this kind of position, and let me just finish with this: This is exactly the kind of issue that’s going on in America, that attacks against the conservative moment, against me and against many others. The point is, the other side has figured out how to win and to defeat the conservative movement, and that is to go after people personally, charge them with frivolous charges, link up with all these do-gooder organizations funded by George Soros, and then get the national media on their side. That whole syndicate that they have going on right now is for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to destroy the conservative movement.”

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) on Meet the Press, Sunday March 17 2005:

“Look, I want to say generally, very briefly, that the mix of God and government, of religion and politics, is quintessentially American, and it was there at the beginning. The fact is that in the first American document, the Declaration of Independence, the founders of our country said that they were forming the new government to secure the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they saw as the endowment of our creator. So this government, this country was not neutral about God right at the outset. One, accepting that there is a creator, so our existence here is not accidental. And secondly, that as a result of the creation, we have an inherent unity. We are all equal. We have equal opportunity for those rights. We are a country based on a vision, a belief in creationism. And part of that is not only the humans, who were created on the sixth day, but the but the natural Earth. You know, look, I believe based on what I just said, that America itself is a faith-based initiative.”

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) on Meet the Press, Sunday March 17 2005:

“We have to always remember that the Constitution, in my opinion, promises freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

Christopher Shays (R-CT), quoted in NY Times, March 22, 2005:

“My party is demonstrating that they are for states’ rights unless they don’t like what states are doing. This couldn’t be a more classic case of a state responsibility. This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy. There are going to be repercussions from this vote. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them.”

Rick Santorum (R-PA) on WABC, quoted at newsmax.com, March 22 2005:

“You have judicial tyranny here. Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress. What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo. That means he has to hold a new trial. That’s what the statute said. What he’s saying is, ‘I don’t have to hold a new trial because I’ve already determined that her rights have been protected. That’s nice for him to say that. But that’s not what Congress told him to do. Judges should obey the law. And this judge – in my mind – simply ignored the law.”

Grover Norquist, quoted in Washington Post, Sunday March 26 2005:

“Advocates of using federal power to keep this woman alive need to seriously study the polling data that’s come out on this. I think that a lot of conservative leaders assumed there was broader support for saying that they wanted to have the federal government save this woman’s life.”

House Majority Leader Tom Delay, March 31 2005:

“The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another.”

George W. Bush Thursday March 31 2005:

“I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others.”

Army Captain Rogelio Maynulet, found guilty of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter for killing a man in Iraq but not sentenced to serve time, quoted in Stars and Stripes:

“He was in a state I didn’t think was dignified. I had to put him out of his misery.”

Cyril Rugby is cyberkrunk’s senior political correspondent.

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