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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2007 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Thompson's federalism draws no ‘amens’ from religious right

By Dick Polman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's hard to believe that Fred Thompson once was ballyhooed as the '08 savior who would galvanize the GOP's Christian conservatives. Those summer days seem like eons ago, because every time this guy opines on an issue near and dear to the religious right, he probably loses another congregation.

A week ago, for instance, Thompson declared that the GOP Congress had no business intruding in the Terri Schiavo case back in 2005 - a stance that is deemed anathema by social and religious conservatives, who believe that President Bush and the reigning Republicans were correct when they endeavored to dictate their view of morality to a grieving Florida family.

Thompson also has refused to endorse an amendment to the Constitution that would ban gay marriage - another staple of the religious right's agenda - because he happens to believe (it sounds so quaint) that true conservatism requires respect for state's rights. That's the doctrine of federalism. As Thompson explained Sunday on "Meet the Press," during his first appearance on the show as a presidential candidate: "At the end of the day, if a state legislator and a governor decide that (gay marriage) is what they want to do, yes, they should have the freedom to do what Fred Thompson thinks is a very bad idea."

But perhaps the clincher was his lengthy explanation Sunday about why he opposes the official Republican position on abortion.

For more than a generation, the GOP platform has articulated support for an amendment to the Constitution, known as a Human Life Amendment, that would impose a blanket ban on the practice; as the plank puts it: "We say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." But when Tim Russert asked whether Thompson was on board, the candidate twice replied: "No."

It's that darn federalism doctrine again. Here's Fred: "I think people ought to be free at state and local levels to make decisions that even Fred Thompson disagrees with. That's what freedom is all about. And I think the diversity we have among the states, the system of federalism we have where power is divided between the state and the federal government, serves us very, very well." (Why do these politicians constantly refer to themselves in the third person?)

Well, that kind of answer just won't do, because the party's social and religious conservatives don't endorse that concept of freedom. They believe in Conservatism 2.0, the updated model, whereby the federal government in Washington shall be free to dictate what people at the local level can or cannot do in their private lives. They're fans of top-down morality, whereas Thompson was talking about bottom-up morality - allowing the locals to decide on the definitions of right and wrong.

In fact, from the perspective of the average religious conservative, the longer Thompson talked, the more blasphemous he sounded. He's not even wild about the idea of the states enacting restrictions on abortion - not even to ban the practice for minors:

"People ask me hypothetically, you know, `OK, it goes back to the states. Somebody comes up with a bill, and they say we're going to outlaw this, that or the other.' And my response was, I do not think it is a wise thing to criminalize young girls and perhaps their parents as aiders and abettors, or perhaps their family physician. And that's what you're talking about. ... You can't have a law that cuts off an age group or something like that, which potentially would take young, young girls in extreme situations and say, basically, `We're going to put them in jail to do that.' I just don't think that that's the right thing to do. It cannot change the way I feel about it morally, but legally and practically, I've got to recognize that fact. It is a dilemma that I'm not totally comfortable with, but that's the best I can do in resolving it in my own mind."

Indeed, after hearing Thompson declare that he didn't believe in using the power of government to criminalize sinners, Christian Broadcasting Network commentator David Brody wondered: "Is this too much federalism, to the point of alienating social conservatives?"

To which I say ... ya think?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Dick Polman is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


PREVIOUSLY

11/02/07: Getting white men to jump
10/08/07: Clinton talks reform, but takes cash
07/03/07: Tapping Hillary fashion flap to raise funds
07/27/07: Hillary owes Elizabeth big time
03/09/07: For liberals, Clinton fatigue rooted in policy
03/01/07: Fading memories of Newt: Former speaker could benefit if conservatives forget some of his actions




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