Claiming that ” ‘conservative’ and ‘Republican’ are now mere team names that have lost all meaning,” pseudo-Conservatives are trying to start a new movement, possibly a new Party. However, their #PrinciplesFirst aren’t Conservative.
The Principles have at least two fatal flaws.
1. They’re based on man-made law & artificial designations of “persons”& “citizens,” not on inalienable rights endowed on “all men” (humans).
The Constitution of the United States is an unique, exemplary document. But its strength and legitimacy depends on the concept of inalienable rights of humans that are not endowed by laws, men or any powers that be of this world. The Constitution can be amended. Human rights can only be infringed.
2. The list also errs in supporting “Each and every family unit – regardless of its shape.”
Would these families include those shaped by polygamy? Why not?
The Republican Platform can be downloaded for reading, here.
The Platform confirms most of the items in the Principles First list. However, the Preamble of the Republican Platform is clear on its origin:
“”We affirm — as did the Declaration of Independence: that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
And equally clear on the”shape” of the family:
“”It is the foundation of civil society, and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of TT man and one woman.””
Correct these errors, and the “new” Principles would be indistinguishable from that of the Republican Party Platform. The effort should be to hold our elected officials to the Platform, to strengthen our Party, maintain and expand our Seniority in the Senate, win both back in the House. It’s certainly not Conservative to tear down. #FirstPrinciples
Mama had surgery for Thymic carcinoma back in 2004. She voted early and scheduled the surgery for the day after the election, so her daughters could work as election clerks.
As the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today” suggests, “Use the Reader Comments to Learn More About the Times” and how the public views the journalistic abuse.
It seems that the NYT (and other media) decided to investigate the wife of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavenaugh, Ashley. The NYT readers point out the lack of similar”vetting” of Obama’s judicial nominees.
Fake news, indeed. 85 emails from Mrs. Kavenaugh’s position as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland revealed nothing of interest – except exposure of the NYT bias, perhaps.
But the Op Ed says, ” We had to try.” Just what were they trying?
I am writing to ask you to vote against censure by the Convention of named Republican, elected, officials.
How often have we complained about the elites who get in power only to ignore us to follow their own agenda? How many of you are at the Convention because you got tired of the establishment working against you?
Well, guess what? If you make it to the State Convention, you’re the elite establishment! Don’t be that kind of elite establishment.
For the first time in years, I couldn’t participate in the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention process. I still follow your efforts and have read the resolutions submitted to the Platform Committee. One Senate District has submitted resolutions demanding that the RPT State Convention censure specific legislators.
I appreciate the work you’re doing this not just this week, but over the last few months. Having served as a Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and on both the Platform and the Rules Committees, I know you have a week of long walks to simply get to your meeting rooms, heated discussions, long waits, and many re-votes, one after another. The Committees and sessions start early and go late. (Wear comfortable shoes and take snacks!)
Through all of this, please don’t forget that you are in San Antonio as the grass roots embodiment of our Nation’s representative democracy, our Republic. You are not simply individuals expressing your own will and opinion. You are there as representatives of your constituents: the Republican voters from your Counties, Congressional Districts, and Senate Districts.
In the same way that you expect legislators to represent their voters, your voters expect you to represent us.
While it may be appropriate for the local SD Convention to censure their own legislators, especially before the Primary or run-off, many people in our Party disagree. But now, these are elected candidates. I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the State Convention to censure them in opposition to the local electorate’s wishes.
When the votes on censure of any Republican elected official comes up, please take a look at their constituents’ votes, especially in the last Primary. Did he or she win? Was it by a substantial margin? Was he or she unopposed in the Primary because no one even challenged them?
These men and women deserve your respect, just as President Donald Trump should be given the respect he deserves after being elected President. In the same way that it was wrong for Hillary to deride Republican women as voting the way their husbands told them to, it’s wrong to dismiss these voters as illegitimate.
In addition, as this is an election year, you are writing the campaign ads for the Democrats.
Please do not oppose the voters you represent by voting in favor of public censure of Republicans.
Beverly B. Nuckols, MD
Comal County, SD 25 and CD 21
(Edited because some of the formatting got lost.)
January, 1973 marked the big divide, with Roe v. Wade forever separating those of us who believe in the inalienable human right not to be killed from those who separate our species into two big classes: the ones who are human-enough and the ones that aren’t.
That was the ugly beginning of even further class divisions, with some groups of people given power to claim more “rights” than other groups. The concept of individual inalienable rights endowed by Nature of being human dissolved in the class warfare that resulted.
Don’t forget the 60’s, when the Dems opposed Civil Rights legislation while spending – redistributing- every penny of Social Security and Medicare taxes to engineer a society based on the power of the greatest number.
For me, though, the Dems proved themselves liars and undependable in 1968, when I was 12. Watching the national political Parties and the Presidential Primaries, I saw not only the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. My natural inclination would have been sympathy toward the Party that claimed them.
However, I also became aware that it was the Dems who were rioting, calling policemen “pigs,” and soldiers “baby killers,” supporting the Black Panther and Weathermen, and telling us to “never trust anyone over 30,” to justify their violence.
I knew policemen and soldiers – and lots if people who were over 30 and deserving of my trust – so I knew these were false accusations. Even then, I could tell that they were dehumanizing entire groups, refining the old myth that some humans aren’t human-enough to possess inalienable rights in order to gain power.
Health insurance choice is bad?
The San Antonio Express News picked up a Washington Post op ed on those big, bad Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Originally titled, “The reason Republican Republican health-care plans are doomed to fail,” by the editorial board that declared, “There’s no way to replace Planned Parenthood.”
And it’s bunk, even as prudently renamed and appropriately filed in the Opinion section.
What we are *actually *seeing *today is that costs are rising and insurers are withdrawing from States. Choices are certainly limited if there’s only one insurance company on the exchange and routine screening costs are “free” — But the care for treatment discovered at screenings is subject to high deductibles.
Limited coverage plans with major medical for extraordinary costs – rather than a wish list covered with other people’s money from first dollar – encourages personal responsibility and will cut costs. It would also allow people to own their insurance, rather than have it controlled and limited by current employers.
Ridiculous! It’s a plant. Which literally grows like a weed – or house plant – and doesn’t require manufacturing or processing to use. What business does government have in outlawing a plant?
Marijuana laws are in the news in Texas, once again. I hear and read plans to make money from taxes and autocratic demands to”protect” people from the plants. The same Republicans who demand legalization of the sale of raw milk and think gambling dollars should stay in the State argue against any decriminalization of marijuana.
Even if you don’t have sympathy for the thousands jailed for use while the plant is illegal, the raids on gardens, seizures of farms or the arrests of people because owners are suspected of growing illegal *plants* should make you consider the harm from draconian narcotics laws.
In fact, my trouble getting poppy seeds for the hard, back in the’90’s is what changed my mind about these laws. The Clinton Administration was arresting people for selling seeds and dried pods used in crafts:
“Somniferum is the only poppy species mentioned in the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, where it is listed as a Schedule II drug, the same as cocaine. The entire poppy plant, not just the opium that oozes from its green seedpod, is considered contraband.
Republicans are advocates of personal responsibility and remind others about the words in the Declaration of Independence. We should know that legitimate laws are intended to protect us from the infringement of inalienable rights by third parties — and the government. Laws are not meant to protect us from ourselves.
In a liberty-minded, Republican-controlled State and Nation, there shouldn’t be any laws against growing seeds from your grandmother’s heritage poppies or your new neighbors’ marijuana plants.
Addendum: a 1992 article about poppies at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello:
“Thomas Jefferson planted white opium poppies at Monticello. They grew in the historic garden near Charlottesville, Va., until last June, when they were yanked up.
“The center even sold the seeds. Until its governing board — “which has a mania for being legal,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said — decided to press the issue.”
Here’s the New York Times graphic description of voters by income. Clearly, voters who pay income tax were more likely to vote Republican. This explains the support for T’s down ballot from the vote for President.
There is only one candidate on the November ballot for President this year who states that he is pro-life. Even if Donald Trump is inconsistent – and he is, I’ll admit – the fact is that Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson are very consistent in their advocacy for legal elective abortion. Trump may have said that Planned Parenthood does good work, but Clinton campaigns with Cecile Richards.
RedState has lost all relevance as a reliable source for conservative commentary, in their zeal to defeat Donald Trump.
First, the moderators began banning commenters who simply questioned RS authors during the Primary. Now, Discus and comments have disappeared entirely from the site, and any public feedback is moved to the ephemera on Facebook.
Yes, Pro-life Bills are often weak, incremental compromises. We face the reality of needing to win at least some Dem votes and the probability of vetoes. The Press invariably paints usas evil. As Wolf pointed out – and the Supreme Court ruling on Texas’ HB2 clearly showed – the current Courts are stacked against us.
One of my friends acknowledged the weak Bills and compromises that our legislative efforts sometimes become, likening our efforts to lifeboats. Rather than big, shiny, well-crewed ships to use to rescue the unborn, we are forced to borrow any thing that floats. Our crafts are ugly and leak, and we constantly have to worry that we will sink. This is all we have, but we go back again and again, to rescue as many as we can without each trip.
Leon Wolf just shot a few new holes in our efforts, from his safe harbor at RedState.
Tell me why I should believe that “Latinos” are a big homeogeneous blob who don’t care about anything else except immigration, including law and order?
The news yesterday was full of “Latinos” declaring that they have turned away from voting for Donald Trump after his speech on immigration in Phoenix.
These people on the “news channels” and social networks claimed that an entire group of people, all lumped together because of who their parents are or what language they speak, are of the same mindset, and will vote as a block to ensure that some people – dare I say “their people” – are treated differently under the law from everyone else
There’s no justice in ignoring the law. On the contrary, inconsistent enforcement of the law is injustice: it infringes on everyone’s rights. Everyone’s liberty is placed at risk by inconsistent enforcement at the whim of whoever has the biggest gun, the most votes or the latest appointees to the US Distric Attorneys offices and Federal Courts. Whoever has power gets to decide which of us is “more equal.”
Illegal aliens have at least committed a misdemeanor for the first offense. If they’re working, they are probably using false Social Security numbers, possibly committing identity theft – not a victimless crime, even if you believe the reports that illegal aliens contribute more than they cost society.
So, here’s my “Modest Proposal,” with apologies to Vicar Swift.
If you think we should just let illegal aliens hide out for 10 years, then self-report (yeah, sure) , sign up for fines and an English as a Second Language class, how about treating every equivalent infringement the same?
Let us each pick our own tort or crime, to be determined at our convenience. Give everyone a year or 10 – after the fact – to self-report, pay a fine, take a class and go on.
Start with other cases of identity theft, then move on to Federal offenses like voter fraud, money laundering, Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse, on to failure to pay the IRS, bank fraud, embezzlement.
After all, it’s only fair.
Watched the John Stossel “Libertarian Town Hall” from August 26th on YouTube. I believe I will “discriminate” against these two. Johnson and Weld don’t seem to understand the basic tenets of either the Libertarian Party or their former Republican Party. They have moved far to the Left and openly advocate force against anyone who works in the public
Basic Ethics: It’s not aggression ( or harmful “discrimination”) to refuse service – to refuse to act. In direct contrast to the statements made by these two, religious freedom is not restricted to “the church” or within the church worship service. Integrity requires that people practice their religion in all aspects of our lives. And, business regulation cannot legitimately be used to enslave by forcing future labor or giving the government the power to allocate private property.
Both men argued that the government may force a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Johnson repeatedly refused to answer Stossel’s question about the Muslim delivery owner being forced to sell pork. Such simple question!
Johnson tried to make a distinction between selling a cake and decorating the cake, calling the latter a matter of free speech. The point is that the right to liberty is an inalienable right which gives rise to religious and speech liberties.
In the cases that have been brought against bakers who won’t sell cakes, the cakes have been *wedding* cakes which are, indeed, decorated. Those cakes would have been the result of future labor, and made to order, not cakes already baked, waiting in a display shelf.
In order to justify Federal interference, Weld said of one program, “The proof is in the pudding.” In other words, the ends justify the means. No, in an ethical world, illicit means are illicit, even if they work.
The bottom line is that neither Gary Johnson nor Bill Weld displayed an understanding of ethics, or the rationale behind Libertarian or Republican policies.
Read the Texas Secretary of State information page on Presidential candidates, here. (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/president.shtml )
I’m not a lawyer, but it appears to me that Texas election laws will prevent Trump from placing his name on the ballot as a 3rd Party candidate in 2016.
Any lawyers disagree?
The common thought is that Donald Trump has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination for President. Trump supporters claim that only an act by “elites,” overriding the “will of the People” at the National Convention could avert his nomination.
The Republican National Convention is absolutely NOT anything like those super delegates appointed by Dem Party leaders. Republican National Convention delegates are elected by Republican voters who have a very real opportunity to become delegates, themselves. Beginning at the Precinct, through the State Convention or Caucus.
However, under current rules – the various State Party rules in place before the individual primaries – there’s a chance Trump will not win the first ballot. If he doesn’t, then he certainly won’t win the second.
In Texas, we actually require our delegates to sign a pledge. We elect delegates proportionally, with a “winner-take-most” method for candidates who received at least 20% of the votes. Cruz, with 44% of the Primary votes, was alotted about 2/3 of the delegates as bound to him on the first ballot. About 1/3 are pledged to vote for Trump, with Rubio getting 3 pledged to him.
Other States have different methods for electing delegates. Some are winner-take-all for the candidate with the most votes, while State Republican Party rules call for “unbound,” “uncommitted,” “unpledged,” or “available delegates. Look at the breakdown and explanations here and here.
Why should someone who got 40% of the votes expect the elected delegates representing the other 60% to vote for him against their conscience?
I hope the former candidates can come together before the Convention to pledge their delegates to one man other than Trump. If they are able, and/or some one other than Trump becomes the Republican candidate for President, we will see representative democracy in action, not a power play by fictional “elites.”
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Donald Trump didn’t win the Primary. Ted Cruz’ campaign won the majority of National Delegates. That distinction may mean the difference at the Republican Convention.
Trump won 40% of the votes in the Republican Primary, with the help of non-traditional, never-voted, and cross-over votes. The 60% of Republican Primary voters who did not vote for Trump are the ones savvy enough to understand the Caucuses and Conventions at the Precinct, County, Senate District, and State levels.o
We are the people who elected the Delegates to the National Republican Convention.
Ted Cruz won what may become the deciding vote: the majority of delegates to the National Convention are his supporters, even from States where Trump won.
Delegates must vote their consciences!
(Texas is safe: our delegation must vote as bound on the first ballot, but the majority are bound to Cruz.)
Trump demands Party loyalty when it’s his campaign, but the only loyalty he’s demonstrated is his loyalty to candidates who oppose Republicans.
If you can’t donate $25,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Committee (and don’t want to donate to Anthony Weiner or Planned Parenthood’s favorite Senators Daschle, Kerry and Schumer, perhaps you could support the 3rd Party candidate as Trump did in 2009, when he gave the newly Independent candidate, Charlie Crist, $4800.
Look, it’s not “go along to get along” when a man donates tens of thousands to the Democratic National Committee, the (Democratic) National Leadership PAC, and the Democratic Senatorial Committee. That’s partisanship.
In fact, as it’s been reported, Republicans can expect Trump to support us about 40% of the time, Dems, 48%.
Donating to Crist in 2009? That’s anti-Republican.
About 300 delegates to the RPT weren’t Republican.The Platform of the Republican Party of Texas is online under “Platform,” here: http://www.texasgop.org/2016-convention/ . The numbering in this version of the Platform is awkward, but the plank-by-plank votes are reported at the 3rd link, below.
110 even voted against Principle #5, “Personal accountability and responsibility”
Just under 300 voted consistently against what should be non-controversial issues, such as the plank against human trafficking.
(Numbering appears to be a typographical error, hopefully soon corrected. The hard copies we had were much clearer.)
A judge in Pennsylvania rules that anyone born a citizen is a “Natural Born Citizen.”
The judge relies on several pieces of legal scholarship. First, a memo produced in 1968 by Charles Gordon, then the General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which says: “The Framers were well aware of the need to assure full citizenship rights to the children born to American citizens in foreign countries.” He also points out a 2011 Congressional Research Service Memo entitled the “Qualification for President and the ‘Natural Born’ Citizenship Eligibility Requirement.” The document concludes:
“The weight of legal and historical authority indicated that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person, who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.”
Another ruling was handed down March 19 in Utah. This judge dismissed the case due to standing, but also made the comment that Cruz is a US citizen by birth. Other cases in Illinois, Florida and New York have also been dismissed due to legal technicalities.
Seriously, have you ever seen them together? Or Trump in sunglasses?
TRump is a very recently converted –well, mostly converted, except for big government, taxes and tariffs, government healthcare, and using government agencies to pick and choose winners and losers and courts to threaten others – Democrat.
It’s not as though he changed any donation habits more recently than the last two years.
It’s not even as though he’s voted in a Republican primary since 1988.
He believes money and lawsuits are weapons and he is a bully.
He can not or will not give more than anecdotal evidence for any of his other conversion experiences.
He lied as recently as the steak incident – an entirely unnecessary lie, easily discovered.
He has no conservative credentials and does not pretend to apologize for it, even to God.
But he says that a simple majority is “a random number” and demands that the Republicans ignore our Convention rules and let him make up his own.
TRump still lies, redefines words, ignores the rules and history and makes threats when he doesn’t get his way.
Newbie Republican still acts like a Dem.
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Conservatives/small(l)and Big(L)ibertarians /”Tea Party” activists and candidates have “Progressed” to the point that they can out-cuss, out-victim and out-mob any Progressive.
The course, vulgar language in public speeches, not just public speech, by supposed “Conservatives” has a history that goes back at least to the elections of 2004, when “Republicans” could be heard repeating Code Pink talking points. Our protests and counter-protests were once known for good behavior and leaving the site cleaner than we found it. But no more.
Who is surprised that the (later) slogan, “Shut ‘Er Down!” was taken literally to the point of the anarchy we now see at campaign events?
An interesting commentary by John Hart, comparing two division(s) within the Tea Party as “The French Revolution,” is worth your time and attention. Mr. Hart has worked with both former Senators Coburn and DeMint. (If you don’t know the significance of this part of his resume, you are who I’m writing for and you especially need to read the article.)
The loudest discourse in Conservative venues first became critical, then condemning, of anything other than obstruction and taking hold of power. At one time, Conservatives spoke of the emotional, illogical campaigning on the Left, which angrily demanded instant gratification.
How could Ann Coulter forget her own words in “Demonic?”
“The French Revolution was spontaneous, impulsive, passionate, emotional, romantic, utopian, resentful, angry, dreamy—anything but rule-bound and reasoned. No one knew, from one year to the next, where the Revolution was heading. That’s why, at the end of it all, they enthusiastically threw themselves into the arms of the dictator Napoleon.”
Or Mark Levin his opening lines in “Liberty and Tyranny?”
“For the Conservative, the civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and improvement.”
Or his admonition in Chapter 2:
“The Conservative believes, as Burke and the Founders did, that prudence must be exercised in assessing change. Prudence is the highest virtue for it is judgment drawn on wisdom. The proposed change should be informed by the experience, knowledge, and traditions of society, tailored for a specific purpose, and accomplished through a constitutional construct that ensures thoughtful deliberation by the community. Change unconstrained by prudence produces unpredictable consequences, threatening ordered liberty with chaos and ultimately despotism, and placing at risk the very principles the Conservative holds dear.”
Historically, anarchy is soon followed by a plea for any relief, even if it means a dictator. Tearing down without a firm foundation of principles based on the furtherance of civil society is not necessarily a desirable Revolution, and certainly not sustainable Reformation.
Watch out for political blogs pretending to be news sites.
As an example, you may have seen the tired attempt by “The Conservative Review,” (to get clicks by) “reporting” the exact opposite of reality and “prove” that the Republican leadership is not effective or Conservative.
Here’s Cornyn’s statement as paraphrased:
“And although Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Majority Whip, reiterated his desire that the next president fill the vacancy, he said that holding hearings is entirely up to the Judiciary Committee Chairman and scheduling a floor vote is entirely up to McConnell.”
That “although” is pure spin.
Here’s what he actually said ( from a link in the blog post):
“”It’s *entirely* up to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee whether *even* to schedule a hearing on the president’s nomination,” Cornyn said on “The Mark Davis Show,” a talk show on Dallas-area radio station KSKY. “And *were the nomination to get out* of the Judiciary Committee, it’s *entirely* within the control and discretion of the Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whether to schedule it for a vote. **Which does demonstrate that majorities do matter**.”” (Emphasis mine)
A bit less supportive, don’t you think?
Isn’t this what we’ve all said in support of waiting to confirm a candidate nominated by the next President? Now, read on down for an emphatically different meaning:
“Cornyn said the presidential election should be a referendum “on who makes that appointment because I think many people simply feel like they don’t recognize their country anymore.””
He added, “It’s entirely up to the Senate whether to confirm that nomination, and I think we should not, and we should defer that to the next president.”
(Again, emphasis mine)
“The Conservative Review,” like Wingright.org, is a blog, not “reporting” by a valid news source.
Huge endorsement from Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott. This is one I had been wondering about.
In a video announcing the endorsement, Abbott said,
“Unlike far too many in Washington, the Ted Cruz we’ve seen in the Senate is the same Ted Cruz we elected and he’s the same Ted Cruz I served with when I was attorney general,” Abbott said.
I was very impressed and very proud of Ted Cruz back in 2009, on the day when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she would run one more time as Texas’ Senator. Within minutes, Cruz withdrew his bid for Attorney General, rather than run against General Abbott. Although later I became opposed to his campaign tactics, that moment showed integrity.
( I’m just barely cynical enough to think it also showed good political sense. In fact, that only just occurred to me. Doggone it! I want to believe it was character, not simply savvy politics.)
Cruz needs mentoring – to *accept mentoring* – from both Governor Perry, who has also endorsed Cruz, and from Governor Abbott. I hope that he will.
“”Ronald Reagan made us believe that it was morning in America again, and it was. Now, the children of Reagan are ready to assume the mantle of leadership. . . Those of us who grew up when it was morning in America and Ronald Reagan was in the White House are ready to do for the next generation what Ronald Reagan did for ours!””
Someone named Rich DeOtte has written a Facebook piece attacking friends of mine. Rich mocks Dr. Joe Pojman as “a rocket scientist” and “knucklehead” (needless to say, that’s not popular in the Nuckols household) and takes a slap at Kyleen Wright, of Texans for Life Coalition and the Texas Medical Association.
Dr. Joe Pojman, Ph.D., is indeed a “rocket scientist,” who gave up his original career path of aerospace engineering to sacrifice as founder and Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, an organization I’m proud to support and serve as a Board member.
Joe wrote the op-ed that Rich attacks in direct response to the “misrepresentations” in another, political op-ed piece by Emily Kebedeaux Cook on the Texas Right to Life Website. Joe only wrote about issues, and did not engage in name calling or derision. The only reason Emily and TRTL are mentioned is because she’s the author of the political opinion piece about the “decline in the Texas Legislature’s efforts to protect human Life.”
As Joe points out, the very document to which Emily refers refutes her position: Texas was named one of three “Life List All-Stars” for 2016 by the Americans United for Life.
Joe laid out the case that our Texas Legislature’s pro-life laws are most definitely not at a standstill: we are ahead of the Nation. Joe’s position that Texas leaders gave us many successes in the 2015 84th Legislature is supported by the similar list of “Wins” reported by the Texas Catholic Conference, representing the Bishops of Texas. In an earlier letter, TCC notes that many of the criticisms Emily makes in her February 8th blog post were not previously scored “equitably” by TRTL. For instance, Senator Bob Deuell received no credit for authoring much of what became HB2.
In fact, Texas’ Legislative leadership in passing pro-life laws is why many of us are going to Washington, DC on March 2nd to bear witness when the Supreme Court hears testimony on the abortion facility regulations in HB2.
Emily and Rich focus most of their criticism on the efforts of pro-life groups, including doctors like me, to reform end of life care and the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA). Session after session since it was passed, we in the pro-life community have had our efforts repeatedly blocked by the “death panel” accusations Rich makes and the demands in Emily’s op-ed.
I was one of the doctors appointed to the Texas Medical Association ad hoc committee that evaluated last sessions’ end of life Bills for TMA approval. Our group of doctors agreed to and helped fine tune HB 3074, what Emily called a “modest protection”: prohibiting the removal of Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration, including food and water by invasive medical methods like IV’s and “Total Parenteral Nutrition.” We were called anti-life and pro-“death panel” (Rich’s words) for including medical exceptions for the rare circumstances when the patient can’t process the AANH and/or when it actually caused harm.
Those “three strongest Pro-Life bills” that Emily mentioned were included in the “Wins” listed by the TCC. The Bills not only would have forced doctors to continue to indefinitely perform acts that we believe are not medically appropriate as long as a patient or his family demands it. They would have forced all disputes between the doctors practicing medicine and patients or their families into court and add “liability”(civil and criminal penalties) for the doctor.
Forget if you can, that if all disputes go to court judges would be required to determine medical care – to practice medicine – probably based on the testimony of dueling, paid medical expert doctors. Malpractice rates will go up for doctors taking on the most vulnerable patients – the elderly, the trauma victims and the victims of cancer. Those doctors will spend more time in courts, rather than in the ICU. And so will more grieving families.
We found out what happens when malpractice goes up in Texas, before tort reform was passed. Because of the malpractice crisis, there were no neurosurgeons west and south of San Antonio and Houston – none at all in El Paso or all of South Texas. We were losing obstetricians and family doctors willing to deliver babies and offer prenatal care, all over the State.
I don’t know how to translate past physician shortages directly into the possible shortage of doctors providing end of life care. However, I will predict that fewer family doctors, internists, pulmonologists and the ICU intensivists will be able to afford to practice in the ICU. Just as a patient had to be flown to Dallas, San Antonio or Houston from most of Texas for a head injury, only the tertiary medical centers in those cities will be able to staff their ICU’s properly.
Physicians, not hospitals – and certainly not courts – practice medicine in Texas. Doctors must be allowed to practice medicine according to our medical judgment, which is a combination of education and experience, under the watchful eye of the community; not “death panels,” but fellow physicians, nurses, ethicists, lawyers (who may be any of the former) and lay people. In the end, if you force the hands and minds of doctors against their judgment, you will end up with doctors practicing without judgment, and humans with inalienable rights forced to act against our will and in violation of our conscience.
And, now, back to Rich’s Facebook post. Think twice when you read political posts full of personal attacks and name calling. We should be able to discuss politics without, as Emily said in her blog post, “unnecessary, vicious, and vindictive fights inside the Republican Party.”
Edited to fix a name glitch – BBN
I’ve never done this before, but …
I hope Texas – and especially Comal County – voters will wait to vote. The State elections and the Presidential race are full of dirty tricks and deceptive ads and flyers.
People I once trusted are so fearful of a couple of powerful Lobbyist groups in Texas, and at least one lying campaign management firm, that they are making ill-advised endorsements. Those people most likely will not benefit the way they think they will.
Wait. Watch. Election day is March 1st.
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