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#EndorseThis: Trump Surrogate Calls For Banning Abortions For Mothers With Zika

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#EndorseThis: Trump Surrogate Calls For Banning Abortions For Mothers With Zika

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Remember Ivanka Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention? In it, she proposed policies that lined up more with the Democratic platform than the Republican one: equal pay for equal work, affordable child care, and workplace equality for mothers. As proof that her father would support these measures, she pointed to his business record and his personal ability to “see potential in others.” But, despite her efforts to shore up support for her dad, his campaign has had a tough time appealing to women. Today was no exception.

Surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes appeared on CNN Monday morning to discuss the spread of Zika in Florida and Sen. Marco Rubio’s opposition to abortions for pregnant women infected with the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause microcephaly.

“This is a very, very devastating disease,” Hughes said, “But this is nothing new. We don’t have the research. We don’t know what Zika is going to do. And Senator Rubio is doing the correct thing.”

It is unclear what she means by “nothing new,” since the virus has only recently appeared on American soil, and although treatments are still in development, its effects are welldocumented.

Hughes’ comment will only further hurt Trump’s popularity with the fairly consistent majority of Americans who support the legality of abortion in all or most cases (including 54 percent of moderate conservatives). It also compounds Trump’s previous problems with abortion and gender-related comments. On March 30, he called for “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions — a measure opposed even by the National Right to Life Committee. He rolled back his statement soon afterwards.

The businessman’s previous remarks about women have also hurt his popularity. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, Hillary Clinton leads among female voters by 23 percentage points.

The CNN interview soon devolved into a shouting match with Democratic commentator Maria Cardona over the merits and faults of Obamacare. But it is worth noting that despite his long-held opposition to abortion, Rubio was one of a handful senators spearheading the stalled effort to pass a bill for combating Zika. However, the bill on the table in the Senate, which is currently on recess, blocks funds for Planned Parenthood.

Photo: YouTube/Raw Story

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26 Comments

  1. greenlantern1 August 8, 2016

    The mother’s life in danger!
    Who makes that decision?
    A doctor?
    Rubio?
    Trump?

    Reply
    1. Daniel Jones August 8, 2016

      The Miss America pageant judges, I would imagine…

    2. Gary Whittenberger August 9, 2016

      One or more doctors would have to make the decision that a pregnant woman’s life is in danger if she continues her pregnancy.

      I don’t know if Rubio or Trump favor an exception for this in their rules against abortion. I assume that they are on the record on this point.

  2. Mama Bear August 8, 2016

    So…new rule. All babies born with the devastating consequences (known, by the way) of Zika (which is a new virus, by the way) can be delivered to either Trump or Rubio (tough choice there). They have volunteered to care for these little ones for as long as they live.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 August 8, 2016

      When are Conservatives ever going to learn that supposedly banning abortions DOES NOT reduce abortions?

      In fact, because many ‘legal’ abortion clinics actually counsel women on the impacts of an abortion, which at least in the case of PP results in thousands of women each year deciding not to go through with an abortion – closing these ‘legal’ abortion clinics down, actually results in more abortions being done where they are banned.

      Most Conservatives seem to be too ignorant of the abortion issue to even realize, that women have been shown not to choose whether to have an abortion based on whether our government thinks it’s legal; but rather they decide whether or not to have an abortion based on their own personal situation. And if it’s banned where they live, they’ll either travel to where it’s not banned; and sadly if they can’t afford to travel, they’ll either look for someone on the black market to perform the abortion; or attempt to do it on themselves; which unfortunately sometimes results in women dying in a botched abortion.

      And the hypocrisy of these Conservatives shows clearly, when they work to ban abortions while at the same time, working to keep women from getting contraceptives, and even from becoming involved in family planning, both efforts which in many cases would have prevented the need for an abortion being needed at all.

      1. Mama Bear August 8, 2016

        Great points. I personally believe that these conservatives have so little regard for women that they think it’s more than fine to keep them pregnant, raising babies and out of the workplace….where we just might discover that there are better and more honest ways to live and think. In the 60’s and early 70’s pre-Roe v Wade I was part of an underground group of women who escorted frightened, pregnant women to a known “safe” abortion provider. I thought with the passage of a woman’s right to choose we were finished with this issue. Done. Settled. Not so as long as there are these strange conservative things running around out there.

    2. Gary Whittenberger August 9, 2016

      That is a funny idea. I wish they would have volunteered. But they haven’t.

      Almost all of those who oppose abortion in the first two trimesters would not want to care for a baby with the Zika virus for the rest of its life and yet they want to force women to do what they do not want to do. The irony of it all.

      1. Mama Bear August 9, 2016

        It’s about controlling people – women in particular. Conservatives just can’t seem to understand that making abortion illegal is not going to stop it, it is only going to push it underground forcing unsafe procedures on women. Roe v Wade was about protecting women from unsafe abortions, not about legalizing it for legalizations sake.

        1. Gary Whittenberger August 9, 2016

          Making abortion illegal probably would reduce the rate of abortions, but not stop it.

          I don’t think Roe v. Wade was ONLY about protecting women from unsafe abortions. It was also about protecting a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and not assigning a right to life to the human organism in its early stages of development.

          1. Mama Bear August 9, 2016

            maybe on your thoughts. But ….all research shows that since abortions became legal there has been a decline in the numbers, particularly Planned Parenthood. These women get birth control options and counseling and many change their minds. During the pre-Roe v Wade days there was no counseling and once women decided to do it they did it.

          2. Gary Whittenberger August 9, 2016

            “But ….all research shows that since abortions became legal there has been a decline in the numbers, particularly Planned Parenthood.”

            I am very skeptical of this claim. All research? Decline in numbers or in rates? I was referring to rates. I would imagine that it was hard to count abortions before Roe V. Wade. Please provide links to articles to support your claim or withdraw your claim.

          3. Mama Bear August 9, 2016

            You are right, Gary, it is anecdotal to put a number on abortions prior to tracking. Here is something since ’73 http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf

  3. runfastandwin August 8, 2016

    Thanks Florida…for Rubio AND Bush…

    Reply
  4. Jon August 8, 2016

    L’il Marco plays politics with funding for dealing with the Zika virus by supporting an unrelated provision to defund Planned Parenthood and then running off on vacation without providing anything. He never cared then. Why does he pretend to care now? Apparently L’il Marco doesn’t care if women catch the Zika virus that has been proven to cause birth defects but he does care if women have an abortion. Is L’il Marco saying don’t abort the fetus; wait until the baby is born and then we can kill it by denying adequate medical for those women who can’t afford to pay for it themselves? What a little weasel.

    Reply
  5. Gary Whittenberger August 9, 2016

    I have talked to many conservatives about their objections to abortion and I think it is important to understand (yet not agree) with their position. They believe that the human organism is a person with a right to life from the moment of conception, i.e. even when it is a zygote — one-celled organism.

    There are many ways to undermine their position, but two are paramount:
    1) Assert that the human organism does not become a person (enter the personhood stage) until it acquires the capacity for consciousness at around 24 weeks after conception.
    2) Assert that human rights should only be assigned to persons.
    3) Assert that even after the fetus becomes a person and has been assigned a right to life, it is possible that its right can be in conflict with rights of the host woman, and that this conflict should not automatically or always be resolved in favor of the fetus.

    Reply
    1. esmensetoo August 9, 2016

      Actually, there is only one counter to their position. Their view of “when life begins” is a religious concept, and their objection to abortion is based in their, personal, religious belief. Religions differ in their idea of “when life begins.” Traditional Protestant belief, which was long the dominant belief in this country, has been that “life” begins at “quickening.” Traditional Jewish belief, that “life” begins at “the first breath.” (Even Evangelicals, including the Baptist Conference, who believe in a personal relationship with God based in prayer and direct guidance from God, without the intercession of a church authority, supported abortion rights in cases of rape, incest, the life and health of the mother, AND economic hardship, at the time of the Roe v. Wade decision.)

      In a pluralistic society, in which freedom of conscious and religion are respected, it is not the state’s right to force one religious standard and belief on all citizens. Secular courts can’t, and were never asked to, decide a religious question.

      In Roe v. Wade the question wasn’t “when does life begin” in a religious, philosophical or, really even scientific, sense.

      It was when does THE STATE’S responsibility to protect individual rights begin.

      The justices, reasonably, ruled that “viability” — when the potential child was capable of life on its own rather than entirely dependent on the body of another individual for existence — was the time when the state’s interest began; when the potential child’s individual rights come into conflict with the individual rights of the mother, and must be protected by the state.

      Those who object to this ruling object because the state did not decide the matter based in their particular RELIGIOUS belief.

      But the state would be wrong to do that and, in the process, deny religious freedom, in such a VERY personal and consequential matter, to every other American and family that believe differently.

      Religious freedom means you are free to guide your life by your beliefs. It doesn’t mean that the state can force others to live by them.

      I was working for an Ob/Gyn in California when Gov. Reagan signed the law making abortion legal in that state. The very first day it became legal we got out first abortion patient — a 12 year old girl who had been raped by a 20 year old neighbor, whose deeply religious, Evangelical parents were seeking an abortion for her. I sat in on the meeting they had with the doctor (while the Doctor talked to them about the consequences of pregnancy in such a young girl, and the pros and cons of abortion, she sat in a wing chair playing with a small toy — her feet didn’t even reach the floor). The parents talked about how they had prayed for weeks on their decision — together, alone, AND WITH THEIR PASTOR.

      I’m a Catholic. My personal religious freedom is not curtailed by Roe v. Wade, and would not be curtailed by over-turning it.

      But the state has a responsibility to protect the religious freedom of people like that child and her family too.

      1. Beethoven August 10, 2016

        Congratulations! I have been reading comments about abortion on web sites (both right-wing and left-wing) for months, and none of the other comments have even come close to being as rational a discussion of the issues as yours. Plus, by your work in an OB/GYN clinic, you have actual personal experience with the emotional and ethical issues involved.

      2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 11, 2016

        This is a particularly difficult issue, and one not spoken of by past Religions on purpose and in depth, because the capacity to comprehend the issue hadn’t yet developed.
        Now we have the capacity to know more, but it still isn’t a cut and dry issue as many would like it to be. Maybe I can offer something later to help advance the conversation.

        1. esmensetoo August 12, 2016

          Objections to abortion are essentially religious — you can’t answer that with a scientific explanation. You can’t defend it with one either.

          Yes, medical science has made it possible to intercede, mechanically, earlier and earlier to aid pre-mature births and allow a child to develop to independence outside a womb.

          But there are serious limits to what is possible. And even the limits that have been pushed so far often have devastating, long-term consequences.

          Yes, there are people who dream of the test tube and the artificial womb. But that is a very ethically fraught area that raises more issues than it resolves.

          The bottom line, as much as some would like to deny it; children are conceived in the bodies of women and and nurtured to life and adulthood over time by those women and their partners and families — and we should respect those women and that process and those families.

          Something too many people who claim to be concerned about “life” fail to do.

          As the saying goes, “God help the motherless child.”

          When your concern for “life” leads you to believe you should be Dr. Frankenstein, you have gone too far.

          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 12, 2016

            Good points. The reason that the adherents of Religion are so dogmatic about the issue is mainly due to their attempts to use Religions of the past whose mandate was not to complicate humans then with the complexities to be encountered further down the road.
            Since becoming a Baha’i, I’ve learned that Religion is progressive, and comes in stages depending on the needs of the times, adjusting the laws and exhortations depending on societies level of progress and the ever-expanding capacities of the human mind and soul, and providing gradually expansive insights into the subtleties of existence and what it means to be human.
            This sort of conversation we’re having was utterly impossible and impractical to have 200 hundred years ago, let alone thousands of years ago.
            Nonetheless, even the question of abortion and its ramifications defy easy answers, which is why Baha’u’llah has not put it out front and center in His Tablets which have gradually been translated from the original Arabic and Persian. There may be new perspectives to come forward, and even then, the Universal House of Justice with the aid of its Research Department charged with translations may have to decide what and when to make public such information.

            Concerning the wisdom of what to say and share can be summed up in this excerpt from one of His translated Tablets:

            “…not everything that a person knows can be disclosed, and not everything that can be disclosed be considered timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered suitable to the capacity of the listener”.

            Which is why The Universal House of Justice has not said anything specific about abortion, except to say that the spark of life begins at the moment of conception, and that this is the point of reference from which decisions must be made.
            Implied in that, I take it, is the primary responsibility of the mother to decide, and not unilaterally by any one person or group in an imperious manner.

            Just my limited understanding.

          2. Gary Whittenberger August 13, 2016

            GW: I want to make it clear that I believe that the right to life should be assigned by the state to the human organism when it acquires the capacity for consciousness at approximately 24 weeks after conception. And so, my position is intermediate between the pro-life and pro-choice advocates.

            “Objections to abortion are essentially religious — you can’t answer them with a scientific explanation. You can’t defend them with one either.”

            GW: Not all objections are religious. Some are philosophical or practical.

            “But there are serious limits to what IS possible. And even the limits that have been pushed so far often have devastating, long-term consequences.”

            GW: You do not know what the limits are with respect to medical science pushing the point of “viability” earlier and earlier, and so it is a mistake to conclude that “there are serious limits.” And your reference to the long-term consequences are off-base since nurturing through advanced technology from the zygote stage may actually improve the long-term consequences.

            “A zygote is not an independent, self-sustaining life, much less a living breathing person.”

            GW: Even a fetus between about 20 weeks and 35 weeks is not “an independent, self- sustaining life.” When removed from the womb it will almost certainly die without some assistance from technology. I agree that the organism as a zygote is not a person, but not because it can’t breathe. It is because it lacks the capacity for consciousness at that point in development.

            “Yes, there are people who dream of the test tube and the artificial womb. But that is a very ethically fraught area that raises more issues than it resolves.”

            GW: It is not such a wild dream anymore. The central question still remains – when should a right to life be assigned by the state to the developing human organism?

            “Do we want the state creating human beings? Or people who have no maternal or familial interest in doing so? For commercial or militaristic reasons?”

            GW: That’s an easy question to answer, ah NO. But do we want the state to assign a right to life to a zygote which a man and woman have created? I think the answer here is also NO.

            “The bottom line, as much as some would like to deny it; children are conceived in the bodies of women and and nurtured to life there over time and, hopefully, as born children, to adulthood, over time, by those women and their partners and families (along with the support of their communities) — and we should respect those women and that process and those families.”

            GW: Here you are only talking about women who want to continue their pregnancies. Hopefully, those who don’t want to continue their pregnancies will always be able to get free, easy, accessible, safe, legal abortions before the fetus enters the personhood stage.

            “When your concern for the philosophical concept of “life” (as opposed to the realities of pregnancy and actual children and families) leads you to believe you can and should be Dr. Frankenstein, you, and your arrogance, have gone too far.”

            GW: I think you are drifting into oversimplification and hyperbole here. Abortion and abortion rights involve philosophical, religious, scientific, medical, and practical thinking.

          3. esmensetoo August 13, 2016

            You have your philosophical viewpoint — my point is that as a matter of conscience, philosophy, religion there is broad disagreement about when “life” begins and at what point “personhood” begins. I do not argue that a particular point of view on the matter is the correct one — my point is that it is not the state’s job to determine whose view is correct. It has an entirely different job to do — and I said what that was in my first post.

            Looking to medical science or technology to settle these disputes is pointless. Because these are philosophical and religious viewpoints. You don’t bring a football to the tennis court if you want to play tennis. Science isn’t, as much as many people want it to be, useful in a religious argument. It might be useful to you, in terms of your philosophical viewpoint — but it will be meaningless to others.

            You can believe anything you want — I’m not saying you are right or wrong. I’m saying although your reasoning settles the question for YOU it won’t settle the question for everyone. Not because you don’t have good arguments on your side; but because those arguments don’t settle address what are the most important issues for others. Abortion, pregnancy, raise vital issues that we will never have complete accord on — everyone, at some point in the discussion, will have to agree to disagree. For the most doctrinaire anti-abortion advocates even contraception is seen as an unacceptable interference with “life.” And the Catholic church not only objects to abortion, but also finds technological fertility interventions objectionable — for reasons that would likely apply to some necessary interventions to maintain a very early pregnancy.

            Also, about 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, 80% of those in the first 12 weeks. This is a large number of pregnancies that end very early. And most are miscarried for good reason. In what circumstances should we — the state — decide it is required that we devote the medical resources necessary to maintain very early pregnancy and deal with all the possible disabilities that might arise from doing so? This is an important ethical question that will be inevitably contentious. (Babies born before 28 weeks are considered “extreme pre-term” and while survival rates are improving they aren’t much above 50% and are often accompanied by physical and cognitive disability. Each week of existence in the womb greatly improves the chances of survival and diminishes the rate of disability. British studies indicate that about 45% of children born at 26 weeks have “serious cognitive disability.”)

            I don’t know what you think the “pro-choice” position is? Most pro-choice advocates support Roe v. Wade — and Roe v. Wade is NOT abortion on demand. It allows abortion without much restriction until the point of “viability” — which is generally seen as 24-26 weeks. Although as I point out above, for some time even beyond that point “viability” is likely to be greatly compromised. The point of contention beyond that point are those seriously compromised late term pregnancies in which child survival is extremely compromised and the health, life, and future fertility of the mother are threatened. These are extremely fraught decisions for women and their families and are overwhelmingly pregnancies that were wanted. Extreme anti-abortion advocates do NOT support health and life of the mother as an exception for abortion under any circumstances, at any time in the pregnancy, and certainly not late term. And they object to abortion when the developing child’s health and development is so compromised that its brief life will be one of extreme pain.

            Pro-choice advocates believe that these exceptions to the ban on late term abortion should be maintained. They also object to anti-abortion advocates’ efforts to ban abortion earlier — usually at 20 weeks — which is not only far from viability, but is also too early to detect many of the most serious problems that can threaten the life and health of a mother, child, or both, later in the pregnancy.

            The fact is, a majority of Americans support reasonable abortion rights, with some restrictions.

            Roe v. Wade was decided on a basis and with restrictions that most people can accept — whether their own religious beliefs agree of differ. We recognize that these decisions are difficult, and deeply private and consequential. Supporting reasonable abortion rights is about respecting the right of others to make these difficult decisions for themselves.

            Although the language and often dishonesty of the extreme anti-abortion forces obscures the reality of that support.

          4. Gary Whittenberger August 14, 2016

            “I do not argue that a particular point of view on the matter is the correct one — my point is that it is not the state’s job to determine whose view is correct.”

            GW: But the decision of the state ends up supporting one view of when personhood begins, whether that is the intention or not. The laws of the state generally refer to persons. So, the definition of “person” or “personhood” is very significant.

            “Science isn’t, as much as many people want it to be, useful in a religious argument. It might be useful to you, in terms of your philosophical viewpoint — but it will be meaningless to others.”

            GW: But the state can and should use philosophy and science to help it in decision making, even if those disciplines seem meaningless to others. What would you suggest it use instead?

            “I’m saying although your reasoning settles the question for YOU it won’t settle the question for everyone.”

            GW: I don’t care if it settles the question for everyone. I only care that the position of reasonable persons prevails in the decision making of the state as it makes laws relevant to abortion.

            “…everyone, at some point in the discussion, will have to agree to disagree…”

            GW: So what? The state will make a decision which supports a position, regardless if people agree or disagree. Complete accord is not necessary.

            “Also, about 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, 80% of those in the first 12 weeks.”

            GW: I think your numbers are way off here. I think that about 2/3 of all zygotes die and are never born.

            GW: Oh, I am quite certain that the state should not prohibit any abortion prior to 24 weeks, as I said last time. If the zygote, embryo, or fetus has a defect, then I would encourage the host woman to get an abortion. This would include fetuses with the Zika virus.

            “I don’t know what you think the “pro-choice” position is? Most pro-choice advocates support Roe v. Wade — and Roe v. Wade is NOT abortion on demand.”

            GW: Well, I think there are several pro-choice positions. I know what mine is. The state should allow abortion prior to the fetus acquiring the capacity for consciousness (around 24 weeks) for any reason whatsoever. However, after that time the state should allow abortion only to protect the life and physical health of the host woman. I think the problem with Roe v. Wade is that it is grounded on two concepts – viability and privacy. I think this is a mistake. If the fetus has acquired the capacity of consciousness, then it is a person and should be assigned human rights.

            “Extreme anti-abortion advocates do NOT support health and life of the mother as an exception for abortion under any circumstances,…”

            GW: And we must not allow their view to prevail in the laws of the state. They aren’t being reasonable.

            “They also object to anti-abortion advocates’ efforts to ban abortion earlier — usually at 20 weeks…”

            GW: Their position has prevailed in the laws of some states, but let’s hope that SCOTUS decisions will overturn those laws.

            “Roe v. Wade was decided on a basis and with restrictions that most people can accept — whether their own religious beliefs agree or differ. “

            GW: You seem to be ignoring the problem with Roe v. Wade that I have uncovered. It is founded primarily on viability which changes with technology. Eventually there will be a case in which a woman aborts a 20 week old fetus and a pro-life advocate will file suit or get others to file criminal charges, claiming that the fetus was viable, was a person, and had a right to life. They will actually use Roe v. Wade to support their position. Just wait and see. My hope is that at that time the SCOTUS will provide a more reasonable and stable foundation for assigning a right to life.

            GW: I think your position and mine are really not too far apart.

      3. Gary Whittenberger August 13, 2016

        “Actually, there is only one counter to their position. Their view of “when life begins” is a religious concept, and their objection to abortion is based in their, personal, religious belief.”

        GW: Actually, there is more than one counter to their position, as I will show below.

        “Secular courts can’t, and should never be asked to, decide a religious question.”

        GW: I agree. However, the central question can be reframed in a way that it is not a religious question: *Beginning at what point in human development should personhood be assumed or a right to life be assigned to the human organism?* This is not a religious question.

        “In Roe v. Wade the question wasn’t “when does life begin” in a religious, philosophical or, really even scientific, sense. It was when does THE STATE’S responsibility to protect individual rights begin. The justices, reasonably, ruled that “viability” — when the potential child was capable of surviving on its own rather than entirely dependent on the body of another individual for existence — was the time when the state’s interest began…”

        GW: I don’t think the justices “reasonably ruled.” There are two problems here. 1) When you talk about when it is the state’s responsibility to protect individual rights, you seem to be making the assumption that the human organism already has individual rights at all stages of development, and I don’t think that is correct. 2) Also, “viability” is dependent on technology and is therefore unreliable. At the time of the ruling a fetus was viable with the help of technology at 26 weeks (third trimester) and later, but now a fetus is viable at 20 weeks and later. Suppose one day the zygote itself, i.e. the one-celled human organism, would be viable? Suppose that technology would enable a zygote to be maintained separate from the host woman for an entire nine months? There is a danger then under Roe v. Wade that the woman will be prohibited altogether from ending the life of the zygote, embryo, or fetus which she got started. The justices should have decided that the state should assign rights to the developing organism based on a more stable marker.

        “I’m a Catholic. My personal religious freedom is not curtailed by Roe v. Wade, and would not be curtailed by over-turning it.”

        GW: The pope and many other Catholics believe that Roe v. Wade violates the wishes of God. I don’t, but they do.

  6. I of John August 9, 2016

    Playing politics with disease, as the GOP has done with Zika funding, will catch up with them. The first baby to be hurt by Zika will haunt the GOP far into the future.

    Reply
  7. Aaron_of_Portsmouth August 11, 2016

    Abort or not to abort is not cut and dry and as simplistic a question as Conservatives would have us believe. Most have devolved to the point of taking an “Occam’s Razor” approach in solving every issue that comes to their attention.

    Displaying a usual lack of patience by and large, lacking depth of thinking(refer to Trump as an excellent example), and not taking time to ponder and reflect, they, like so many others of their ilk, settle for short easy answers to complex problems and rely on a FOX News style of information gathering, without having time to meditate on the rapid-fire non-stop bombardment of gossip and half-truths that permeate the airwaves. Research in the biochemistry of thinking reveals neural pathways that are less complex in their branching for those who don’t read to a substantial degree, and
    don’t take time to digest what they’ve read.

    Which would help explain why most Right Wingers who comment here in the National Memo as well as conservative Congressmen, make simplistic responses, are only capable of scripted rants, repeat what they overheard someone else said, write angry comments originating from the gut and not the heart and mind, and prefer terse snappy sound-bite responses.

    Reply

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