The GOP’s Interesting Hierarchy of Rights

A recent posting to Facebook got me thinking about the language of rights that dominates our political discourse.

Responding to the over-the-top hysteria about 2d Amendment rights that greets even the most reasonable gun proposals–background checks, for example–the poster (a self-identified Republican) noted that the party’s concerns about constitutional rights have become very selective. Only when guns are involved does the party elevate a “constitutional right” over the right to life.

As he noted, Republican lawmakers defend government when it ignores basic human rights and the Geneva Convention, justifying such behaviors by saying the information so gathered may save lives.

The GOP is completely identified with the pro life movement, a crusade purporting to “save the lives of the unborn” by taking rights away from women. (A substantial number even wants to take away the right to birth control in order to “save lives” that have yet to even be conceived. )

In fact, he notes that the party is increasingly willing to ignore all manner of rights–except the right to own a weapon.

Citing the need to protect against a virtually non-existent in-person “voter fraud,” the GOP has spent the past several years trying to take away the right of poor and minority citizens to vote. The GOP  “fought like hell” to keep homosexuals from having the right to marry, and it fights “against any form of right, or laws both human and environmental that will hurt the bottom line of our campaign contributors.” The party refuses even to consider that healthcare might be a right, insisting that it is a privilege.… “Yet this one. This one right above all others we hold sacred. We refuse to bend.”

It’s an interesting–and accurate–perspective.

It’s also profoundly depressing.


  1. They couldn’t use that tactic if it didn’t work. It never ceases to amaze how many people are willing to believe anything, even if it totally unsupported by a single fact.

  2. What the Republicans seem to overlook is that a government that has such power over our lives that it can FORBID an abortion, can at a later date REQUIRE an abortion.
    Do we really want our government to have these twin powers?
    If one is valid, surely the other is as well
    The Chineese have a lot of experience with these special government powers
    Is that REALLY where we want to go?

  3. This country is a mess and all of the conservatives want to blame Obama for it. Really? How so? He has very few “powers.” He only signs the laws. He’s only been President for 5 yrs and these problems started long before he got there.

    The GOP created this mess with their views/laws/lobbyists and wonder why it’s all messed up? They need to look in the mirror.

  4. The issue of abortion should have always been a decision about at what stage life should be protected. Obviously one month is unenforceable (even if one can make the moral argument that that life should be protected), but allowing abortion on a 9 month fetus that can live outside the womb is utterly reprehensible. Thus, we are talking about where on the timeline the line should be drawn.

    This is ultimately a policy decision that should have been decided by elected legislatures, not by unelected judges based on some tortured legal conclusion based on the “penumbra” of various constitutional provisions. Were it not for Roe v. Wade, state legislatures would have been well on their way to working out compromises on this issue and the nation would be on its way to healing.

    The problem is liberals insist they are just a clump of cells until the baby comes out of the uterus. Medical science has proven them wrong. Since the increased availability and use of sonograms, the numbers in favor of the pro-life position have actually increased.

    Unfortunately, Sheila has oversimplified a complex issue. If it were just about a woman and her body, there wouldn’t be well over 1/2 of Americans opposed to abortion on demand codified by Roe v. Wade.

  5. Oh please Paul Ogden, I’ve never seen you write anything but utter nonsense and ideological bullshit… You’re just another crony Republic on paid to spew right wing propaganda 24/7

  6. Abortion is a medical issue and a medical decision; it is NOT political in nature. Or it wasn’t until the GOP made it political along with a woman’s right to birth control and who loves who and wants to be married to them. Mr. Ogden goes along to get along with GOP party platforms he and they have no business deciding for others. It seems we are doomed to have him and the GOP in our beds, making for a crowded and unpleasant situation.

  7. I can’t believe he actually went there. Listen, Paul, when you can carry a child to term, you will then have a say in how long a fetus is viable. Since it’s not your body, it’s not your decision.

    My nephew died in his 8th month of life, you know that life before he was actually born. It was a blood sugar problem that the mother of the child had that the doctors had not detected. So he died before he was born. How long would you expect that mother to carry that child before a forced delivery was done?

    hmmm? You are sorry to hear that we lost my nephew at that tender age? Yes, it’s too bad but it’s not about you. It’s about medical conditions that you will never experience and never have a say in. So shut up and sit down and listen to the other half of the population that carries children in their bodies. It’s not about you.

    All fetuses do not survive. And until then, abortions at any stage of development will have to be done because that’s the way science works. And by the way, I never had children. And I’ve never had an abortion either. I couldn’t have children. But for me to tell another human that they cannot have a medical procedure because of my religion or whatnot is just stupid and possibly deadly to the Mother as well. And to hear it from a human like you expressed above is only making my anger about this issue worse.

    It’s not about what you think or believe. It’s about the life of Mother. She came first and I don’t believe that her life should end because of a child that’s not viable. And there are many Mothers in Indiana whose life depends on those late term miscarriages/abortions being performed by medical professional using legal and safe procedures. Something you know NOTHING about, obviously.

  8. Thank you, ALG, for your wise thoughts. My daughter is alive because she could have an abortion 32 years ago when the fetus died at 2 months but not discovered till she was past 5 months. By then it had become infected tissue and her entire system was infected. Five years ago my 24 year old granddaughter died having seizures; knowing the seizures were potentially fatal she decided to try to carry her baby girl to term. She was five months pregnant when she died; her choice to take that chance for her unborn child – NOT the decision of politicians. We miss her and her baby girl every day but we understand her choice was hers to make; it was also not our choice to make, Mr. Ogden…nor was it yours or the GOP’s choice.

  9. One thing I hear repeated by the hard-core gun rights guys is that “the 2nd Amendment is there to protect the other amendments.” If they actually believed that they would show up, open carrying, every time someone has to pee in a cup without probable cause, or anytime a university or city establishes “free speech zones” where demonstrators are caged in by chicken wire.

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