The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 8, 2015: Mike Huckabee and the Personhood Movement

Having an opinion does not equate to having a valid opinion. Nowhere was that more clear than at Thursday night’s Fox News Republican Debate Of Ten Candidates Personally Chosen By Roger Ailes. Before continuing, and to give credit where credit is due, the moderators for the debate asked much tougher questions than I thought they would. That doesn’t mean they asked the right questions, but they did ask things I didn’t think they would address. Unfortunately, they didn’t ask them about many important topics, including income inequality, global warming, or climate change. Then again, these are all things Fox News Channel denies are a problem, so why should I have expected them to ask the people who want to be president about them? By contrast, Israel was mentioned 12 times that night, three by moderators and nine by the candidates. (Sen Rand Paul mentioned them four times in his remarks, but he was defending his position that we shouldn’t be sending foreign aid to them or anyone else.) Others mentioned Israel in order to make some completely false remark. Dr Ben Carson said, “You know, we turned our back on Israel, our ally.” (Absolutely untrue. Republicans mistake our disdain for the thoroughly contemptible PM Benjamin Netanyahu with not wanting to support Israel.) Gov Chris Christie (upset because Neil deGrasse Tyson won’t declare him to be one of the Plutoids) disagreed with Sen Paul and said, “But I absolutely believe that Israel is a priority to be able to fund and keep them strong and safe after eight years of this administration.” That’s all well and good, Governor, but the Founding Fathers would expect you to put the interests of the United States ahead of any foreign nation, especially one that didn’t exist in their day. And the word “bless” (or some form of it) was mentioned eight times that night, seven of them by Sen Marco Rubio in his closing comments (in between sips of water.)

But it’s Gov Mike Huckabee’s comments on Personhood that I want to address.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, like Governor Walker, you have staked out strong positions on social issues. You favor a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. You favor a constitutional amendment banning abortions, except for the life of the mother. Millions of people in this country agree with you, but according to the polls, and again this an electability question, according to the polls, more people don’t, so how do you persuade enough Independents and Democrats to get elected in 2016?

HUCKABEE: Chris, I disagree with the idea that the real issue is a constitutional amendment. That’s a long and difficult process. I’ve actually taken the position that’s bolder than that.

A lot of people are talking about defunding planned parenthood, as if that’s a huge game changer. I think it’s time to do something even more bold. I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.

It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.

First off, Planned Parenthood is not “selling off” body parts, so stop perpetuating that lie. Now, you might disagree, Mike, but you would still be wrong. Just because it’s what you believe, just because you once held the office of Governor, it doesn’t make your opinion correct, nor does it mean (despite what Gov Kasich said, “And we’ve got to listen to other people’s voices, respect them…”) that we have to respect your opinion. You are under no obligation to respect the opinion of anyone whose viewpoint is not grounded in reality. Period. If I told you that our bodies are inhabited by aliens who were once prisoners on another planet, you have every right in the world to question just about everything I say. And if I told you a fertilized egg was a human being, you should dismiss that, too. Because it isn’t scientifically or medically accurate. And no matter how much you may want it to be true, Mike, a fertilized egg is not a person with rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Amendment Fourteen, Section 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The key word in that amendment, the one word that makes all the rest have meaning,is “born.” In order to have the rights listed in either the Fifth or the Fourteenth Amendments, you have to be born. If you are not born, you are not a person with rights under the Constitution. Even Associate Justice Clarence Thomas agrees with that position.

Senator LEAHY. Judge, does a fetus have the constitutional status of a person?
Judge THOMAS. Senator, I cannot think of any cases that have held that. I would have to go back and rethink that. I cannot think of any cases that have held that.

So the movement to declare a fertilized egg a person has some serious problems, not least of which it isn’t constitutionally sound. And it doesn’t matter if you believe differently, you can’t declare a collection of cells to be a person with rights if that collection of cells has not yet passed the critical stage of being born. And you can’t pass the critical stage of being born until the woman carrying you gets pregnant. No pregnancy, no birth, and no person. If you ask any actual doctors who have gone to school and learned these things, they’ll tell you that fertilization is not the beginning of pregnancy. Implantation is. Until the fertilized egg is implanted into the uterine wall, a woman’s urine won’t even show hormone changes that indicate pregnancy. And even implantation alone isn’t enough, since about half the time, the eggs don’t stay implanted in the uterine wall.

“The medical community has really been quite clear about when pregnancy begins,” says Dan Grossman, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the University of California, San Francisco, “and that definition is that pregnancy begins once implantation occurs.”

That would be the implantation of the fertilized egg into the woman’s uterus. One reason doctors don’t consider a woman pregnant until after implantation is a practical one — that’s when pregnancy can be detected by hormone changes in her urine.

But there’s another reason, Grossman says. “It’s really only about half of those fertilized eggs [that] actually result in an ongoing pregnancy.”

The rest of the fertilized eggs either never begin dividing or never implant. Or they do implant but spontaneously abort. That can happen so early in pregnancy that the woman never even knows she was pregnant.

So from a medical point of view, considering every fertilized egg a person, with a person’s full rights, wouldn’t make a lot of sense, he says.

If you understand anything about Evolution (and evangelicals like Huckabee do not) you would know that the DNA of what comes out of a birth is not the same as that of the parents which produced that fertilized egg. Every person gets DNA from both its parents. But sometimes something goes wrong and the resulting child has something different, sometimes bad and deadly (a mutation, or a birth defect) but sometimes beneficial to its survival. This is precisely how human beings descended from lower life forms. Those species didn’t become humans, but humans are related to those species from along ago. That’s how Evolution works. And it’s not “just an opinion” based on something that’s “nothing more than a theory.” In the Science world, there’s a huge difference between a theory and a Theory. And you shouldn’t dismiss it just because you don’t understand the difference. It may be called a Theory (capital ‘T’), but it’s still a scientific fact. And an opinion based on a scientific fact like Evolution is a valid one, unlike many of the ones expressed at Thursday night’s Fox News Republican Debate Of Ten Candidates Personally Chosen By Roger Ailes.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss why Republicans are wrong about just about everything, or anything else you wish to discuss.

68 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 8, 2015: Mike Huckabee and the Personhood Movement

    • I fixed it. Thanks, Gary. There were several previous posts still marked as Sticky (a practice I’m trying to move away from), so all those other posts were still stuck above mine. I forgot to un-stick all the previous posts, so you didn’t see this at the top of the page when you got to The Zoo. You will now.🙂

        • I thought it did. Always seems to work for me with sticky posts on both Thursday and Friday. Never had a problem ‘cept when I forgot to make one ‘sticky.’

          • Usually the only posts I notice that aren’t ‘stuck’, are BnF’s Wednesday posts. Some times I look back for a link I did a couple days earlier, and going back a day at a time, I see that the days are out of sequence, and it’s because his doesn’t say ‘Featured’ at the top.

            • Really? Far out, I never knew that, never had a hint. When I first started regular posting here, BnF told me about using the ‘sticky’, and I just assumed the ‘sticky’ would be automatically replaced by the next ‘sticky,’

        • If they can, I am unaware of how to do it. I can look into that. As far as I know, a post stays Sticky until you go in and un-check the Make This Post Sticky box. To my knowledge, it does not un-do itself. Jane and I often un-stick all the previous week’s posts when we post ours.

          I will try to look into the Sticky feature’s features.

  1. pHuckabee likes the thesis that a fertilized egg is the same as a critter. I thought I’d do an experiment to test that notion, so what we’re gonna do is put five pounds of chicken eggs into a roaster, then bake ’em for an hour and a half at 350. Looking forward for a scrumptious chicken dinner tonight, prolly with either a baked potato or some wild rice, plus maybe some fresh broccoli!

  2. Huckabee is zonked out on the worst drug known to man.
    No rehab centers exist for his condition.
    No intervention would work.
    I have more respect for crackheads and meth tweakers than I do for him

    • Unfortunately, it’s contagious.

      I got sucked into a political discussion despite trying to avoid the subject for the weekend. When “Right-wing Guy” said that he likes The Huckster because “he will do the most to protect religious liberty” I figured that my options were to…

      a. Allow the discussion to become a fight.
      b. Make my excuses and start drinking early.

      Luckily I have a nice ham steak I can cook for dinner and the beer is nice and cold!

      • I’ll never figure out why “religious freedom” is presumed to implicitly allow discrimination and hatred to proceed with no interference allowed.

        • It’s all part of the bizarre right-wing doublespeak. They say “religious liberty” but, to us sane folk, they mean “religious bigotry”.

    • Oh for fuck’s sake! How many countries has Iran invaded in the last century? Now. How many countries have we invaded in the last century? How many times has Israel invaded Lebanon? How many times have they launched full out attacks on the civilian population of Gaza? Now, objectively, what countries are the most evil?

      You know, it occurs to me, that the great fear about Iran is that they might turn into another Pakistan. It was pretty obvious from the start that Pakistan was harboring Bin Laden but Dubbya didn’t have the guts to go in and get him because we had given them nukes to “neutralize” the Soviet-friendly India. So? Bushco invaded Afghanistan to appease their bloodthirsty worshipers. Then they realized that they needed to find a funding source so they made a, mostly unsuccessful, grab for Iraq’s oil rather than attack the great friends of the Bush family, Saudi Arabia, where virtually all of the 9/11 terrorists, including Bin Laden himself, came from.

      My guess is that the greatest fear of the rightwhiners is that the Saudis will be exposed as the leading sponsor of Islamic terrorism in the world and gas prices might go up. Unfortunately, all too many people don’t realize that ISIS, for example, is a Sunni movement. Saudi Arabia is ruled by Sunni fundamentalists while Iran is ruled by Shiite fundamentalists. Claims that Iran is behind ISIS are utterly ridiculous. It’s like saying that the Vatican is the leading backer of the Westboro Baptist Church(spit!) or that the GOP is composed of Marxists.

  3. Q: If human life begins at conception and is presumed to be SO fucking valuable as to demand that birth be the only option (also death of the mother is OK if “god” so desires), then why is it that so many Christers who believe all that “life is sacred” crap are invariably SO willing to start (and so often DEMAND) yet one more stupid war — or to suggest nuking a country that has pissed them off — where tens of thousands will probably die in result? pHuckabeans are, imho, nothing more than freakin’ hypocrites.

    • We are having another Black Lives Matter disruption before Bernie can speak.
      Marissa Jenae Johnson, the Seattle BLM organizer, has usurped the program.

    • No speech from Bernie AT ALL. They ran him out of time and he had to go to other events, before the big rally in Portland. They better have security there.

    • Black Lives Matter protesters shut down Bernie Sanders rally

      Protesters on behalf of Black Lives Matter interrupted the planned Seattle rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday afternoon, preventing the Vermont senator from addressing the massive crowd.

      The rally at Westlake Park ended around 3 p.m. with Sanders choosing to leave after protesters took the stage and stayed there, controlling the microphone. He left in a white Jeep, and campaign aides had no immediate comment.

      After speeches by U.S. Rep Adam Smith and Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a handful of Black Lives Matter protesters took the stage, first demanding to speak, then demanding silence from the crowd. As some urged protesters to let the senator speak, one activist on stage said they were proving they were “white supremacist liberals.”

      As Sanders left the stage and greeted supporters who had been waiting at Westlake for hours, he asked that they attend the 7 p.m. rally at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington.

      The silence was four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours Michael Brown’s body was left on the Street in Ferguson. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of his death.

      • I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. They’re shutting down Bernie and disappointing the people who are most on their side. WTF??

        • I tend to agree but if they pulled this trick when a GOoPer is scheduled to speak they would probably be summarily executed!

  4. Per the opening post, I confess that I have amazingly little patience with “opinion entitlement.” When I’ve taught classes, one of the first points I hammer on the first day of class is that opinions are like a$$holes: everybody has one, so what makes yours so precious that you’re waving it around in public? Don’t tell me about your opinions, tell me about your reasoned conclusions, because then we can start looking at those reasons (which leads into a discussion of logic, principles, evidence, and facts.)

    • The new season is Sept. 19th. You’ll have time to catch up now!

      Let me know what you think. I’ve avoided spoilers for months!

  5. Speaking of this claim that we need to “save Israel from the neglect of the Obama Administration”. We outright gave Israel $3.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. The highest amount ever given to any country in one fiscal year. That number has exceeded $3 billion every year of the Obama Administration. To put that in perspective; that’s like giving them 3 fully armed nuclear submarines every two years or one fully armed aircraft carrier every three years. It’s also enough to fully fund Social Security and Medicare in perpetuity.

    And that doesn’t include guaranteeing a further $8 billion and change in loans annually. Also the highest number ever awarded to any country and far in excess of what we provided to all our allies combined under Lend Lease in WW2. Tell me again how we have “neglected Israel”?

  6. If I had driven a couple hours to hear Bernie speak, this would seem very hollow after the fact.

    • Bernie apparently just wrapped up in Seattle. The ‘quality’ live feed that went dead was replaced by a ‘Periscope’ feed that shook badly and had audio that varied so much you couldn’t hear Bernie or you couldn’t tolerate the crowd screaming. Hopefully, someone got a better copy that can be watched later. The crowd did really raise hell for him, at least that’s good.

    • Lovely fish, Ebb. Is it a juvenile grouper of some variety?

      I’ve been having loads of fun watching the new livestock. One of the big snails died but I’m not terribly surprised or upset about it. I have had that species before and they die off. I always thought I didn’t have enough of the right kind of algae to keep them going but now I’m thinking there’s some residual toxin they can’t handle while the smaller species can. I have had examples of the smaller snails and hermit crabs in my tank for years so I’m not worried about them and, if the rest of the big snails die, I’ll be a little sad but at least the hermit crabs will have bigger homes!

      Since other people have better pictures than I do I’ll use some on line pics to show you what I have. One clownfish:

      And two yellow-tail blue damselfish:

      I also just ordered a pair of dragonettes. They should be here Tuesday and I have been assured that I will receive a male and a female so, even if they don’t mate, they shouldn’t fight to the death. I can hardly wait!

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