Anybody who missed my appearance on WRNI’s Political Roundtable on Friday can find the audio here. There were two points that I didn’t manage to work into the extremely rapid format:
- In response to Scott MacKay’s suggestion that the Roman Catholic Church would find its pews empty were it to be as intransigent on every issue as it is on abortion (vis Patrick Kennedy), it ought to be pointed out that few issues are as stark and straightforward as abortion. On one level, there is no room for prudential judgment on the question of whether it’s morally proper to deliberately kill children for any reason short of life-and-death. On another level, there isn’t really much room to work prudential judgment around abortion. In healthcare, for example, additional funding for abortion will be used for that purpose, but the expanded coverage and “improvements” to the healthcare system that Kennedy (for example) cited as justifying compromise are wholly prospective — mostly suspect.
- Regarding Gordon Fox’s day out at the ballpark with lobbyists, I would have liked to point out the effect of this whole frame of mind on the citizenry. Fox (to recap) sat in a $120 seat purchased by GTECH lobbyists at a Red Sox game and claims to have paid his way. Whatever the specifics of the case, if a carpenter like me were to be elected to office and err in judgment over a $100 sports ticket, the potential $10,000 fine would be devastating. Another problem with the oppressive effort to pluck all influence peddling from government is the adverse effect of making government a game that only people insulated from the risks can play. Shrinking government would be a better approach.