MATTHEWS: Where are you on that spectrum, Senator? Are you in the middle? Are you on the right or where are you?
MCCAIN: Clearly, on this issue, I am to the right, because I believe that we should have judges that strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States.
And then, as importantly, the president of the United States campaigned saying that. I mean, the American voter was very well aware of what kind of judge the president of the United States was going to appoint and they decided to reelect him.
Maybe that wasn't the reason, but they knew that came with the deal.
[oh, but the bullshit for years, from both sides, was "settled law". Poor America, they voted for bullshit.]
MATTHEWS: We'll be right back with Senator John McCain to talk about what this nominee has to say under testimony. How much does he have to give to get this job?
''McCain joined his old friend on the stump.''
[Charles Ommanney / Newsweek]
MATTHEWS: Senator McCain, [...] he argued the case for the administration on an abortion issue, where he basically said he didn't believe that the Roe v. Wade decision held up under constitutional scrutiny. At the same time, he believes in precedent. He believes that, once a law is passed and once a ruling is made by the Supreme Court, and over 20 or 30 years, like this one, it should be left to stand.
What -- what -- what -- what's paramount there? Does he believe in precedent, or does he believe in going back and being a strict constructionist?
MCCAIN: I think that it's pretty clear that the court's not going to revisit Roe v. Wade, per se. But there will be other issues, such as parental notification, such as when the viability of a fetus is -- you know, we've learned that, because of medical technology, a fetus is viable at an earlier and earlier stage, which, by the way, has contributed significantly to the pro-life position.
So, I think there's other aspects of the abortion issue, which I think will continue to surface in the United States Supreme Court.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask a John McCain question.
Justice O'Connor, Sandra Day O'Connor, was on the 5-4 positive end, the majority end of a decision which said you can't outlaw abortion, even through the means of what's called partial-birth abortion, if the woman's health is in danger.
Are you with that side? Which side are you on? Do you think a woman's health should be paramount in determining whether she has a right to an abortion?
MCCAIN: I think it depends on the stage of the pregnancy, and I know we're splitting hairs here. But there's a point -- there's a point where the woman's health is, obviously, in the later stages of pregnancy, is -- gains in greater and greater importance.
But I believe that if Roe v. Wade itself were repealed, we would go back to the states.
[Biden agrees, Hardball, 5/24/05]
And the states would make decisions according to the standards that they want to prevail within their states. So, if Roe v. Wade were repealed, that wouldn't have the Draconian effects that some view it. And I'm, being a states rights guy, that would be fine with me.
Cindy and John. 2000 campaign,
pledge of allegiance, Columbia SC [AP]
"My position is life of the mother. Obviously."
MATTHEWS: It would be OK with you if some states said that a woman couldn't have an abortion, even if her health was in danger?
MCCAIN: I think...
MATTHEWS: Because that's what Nebraska did in that case.
MCCAIN: My position -- my position is life of the mother, obviously.
MATTHEWS: Life, but how about health?
MCCAIN: Again, it depends on -- you'd have to get down into health. I think it has to be right now on the basis of life of the mother. That's my position.
MATTHEWS: But even when a woman is told by her doctor...
MCCAIN: Rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
MATTHEWS: ... that, if you deliver this baby, it's going to do damage to you internally. It could be real damage.
MCCAIN: The life of the mother is the position that I hold. Now, I think you could have discussions about when that life is in danger, then when it isn't, long-term effects, short term.
What we worry about is that every doctor is saying -- I'm talking about the pro-life position, which I hold -- is every doctor is saying, -- Go ahead and have an abortion because...--?
MATTHEWS: You don't feel good.
MCCAIN: Yes. You don't feel good.
MATTHEWS: You don't feel good about having this baby.
Saving America from ''equivocation''
MCCAIN: That's why...
MATTHEWS: But that's the hardest thing, isn't it, for men or anybody to decide from outside, whether the doctor really has legitimate concerns about his patient's health or he's some sort of Park Avenue doctor who will do anything because somebody asked him to do it and if he likes his patient.
MCCAIN: Which is why we come down to the position life of the mother.
MCCAIN: Then you -- then you don't get into this equivocation.
Look, this is -- can I just add, finally, this is a tough issue.
Hillary, 1999 [CNN]
"Noble service" vs the doctors....
MCCAIN: As males, all of us, at least most males that I know, are not totally comfortable with it, because we're never going to have to make those kinds of decisions. But I believe...
[Except they DO make "those kinds of decisions", they make them for us]
MATTHEWS: Well, it was during the war, the Vietnam War, which you served so nobly in. There were people who got out of the draft because they had doctors who were like Park Avenue doctors and I hate to mention geography, but doctors that will take care of their rich patients, who said the kid can't serve because he's got a headache or the kid, you know, or might have high blood pressure today or the kid may be this...
MCCAIN: Bad knee, yes.
MATTHEWS: ... traumatized by the experience. And regular doctors say, Tough, kid. You're going, So --
But I don't think there's any doubt that and you look at, for example, Senator Clinton's recent comments, that technology, knowledge, better health situation has swung to the side of the pro-life people.
MATTHEWS: I know that.
[oh, that Hillpac, so helpful]
MCCAIN: I'm -- I mean, and I'm pleased about that.
That horse that Bush rode in on, abortion and religion (quickly absorbing The Constitution into the unholy pantheon) in order to deliver corporatism and global war (one way or the other), that ugly nag carrying the Bush Family and their backers has so many riders, from Senator Clinton to those who volunteer for the low but nasty scut work...
Trusting Bush, it has been a growth industry... Democrats signed on. Always time for "regrets" later. Why be a national political party when you can be a carcinogenic barnacle. Or a polyp.
We are on our own, we've known this... at times we did get some help from the government, at times we had a SCOTUS that understood what it might do: Brown v BoEd, Loving v Virginia, others, however we won't get another Lawrence anytime soon. Tribe, who had argued the earlier case seventeen years ago for gays, for us all, against sodomy laws, sat in the audience the day Lawrence was argued and wept.
Now we get HAVA, Help America Vote Act, but proceed into rigged (more than ever) elections. Now we get the Laci and Connor legislation (a building block to overturning Roe), other legislation supposedly to mitigate violence against women... but observe how women are served up so blithely, by these two men, McCain and Matthews, both sons, husbands. One never shuts up about the Peace Corps (so sullied as it was by "national interests") the other, endless war. And war on women.
''...dispersing deftly targeted warmth''
McCain and his wife on floor of
the Republican National convention,
...from Tina Brown's WaPo piece, September 1, 2004:
Against this mood, the party thrown for Sen. John McCain by his 49-year-old wife, Cindy, at an East Side restaurant to celebrate his birthday and to stroke the media had the dreamy quality of an alternative political world.
Here, instead of being seen as The Enemy as they are in Bushland, media types felt once again the respected pillars of the fourth estate. The senator's fearless informality conjures up the pre-blog, pre-cable era when the off-the-record stuff over cocktails can be about racy adventures he's shared in foreign junkets or irreverent asides about Senate colleagues.
Meanwhile, Cindy -- who has traded the blond crop of the 2000 campaign for shoulder-length glamour -- shimmered around the party in a mint-green Chanel suit, dispersing deftly targeted warmth. It made every hack feel like Scotty Reston, every cable babbler like Edward R. Murrow.
This appeared in different form at LSF July 22, 2005