Credit where credit is due

Thanks to Pavlich, Gainor, Erickson, and NRO for reminding me to contribute to Wendy Davis’s campaign.

I’d like to thank Katie Pavlich (“infanticide”), Dan Gainor (“aspiring baby killer”), and Erick Erickson and the editors of NRO (“abortion Barbie”) for reminding me to contribute to Wendy Davis’s campaign for Governor of Texas. It’s not true that we love her (only) for the enemies that she has made – she has plenty of sterling qualities of her own – but the identity of those enemies, and their unspeakable viciousness, do add an extra reason to show her some love.

This is not an easy race to win. But it’s not hopeless, especially if anger over the shutdown and immigration politics makes the 2014 electorate look more like a Presidential-year electorate. And anything that can speed the pace at which Texas turns purple is worth trying.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

14 thoughts on “Credit where credit is due”

  1. speaking as that rarity in texas, a far left liberal democrat, i consider wendy davis to be one of the best potential democratic candidates for governor in a very long time. she probably doesn’t stand a chance since most of the republicans i know, which is most of the people i know, all consider the democratic party as being aligned with socialists and terrorists. still it is a morale boost to see such a charismatic and articulate candidate for us here who can only fantasize about voting for someone like bernie sanders.

  2. I find it comical that Wendy’s enemies are characterized as being “vicious”, and yet supporting laws to kill viable unborn babies is not somehow considered “vicious”.

    1. Who is supporting any law whereby the State of Texas will “kill viable unborn babies”?

      For that matter, what Texas statute or legislative proposal(s) would permit abortion of a viable fetus?

      Please cite section and/or bill numbers.

    2. There’s nothing vicious about a woman controlling what goes on her in own body and expelling an embryo or fetus. Pregnancy isn’t slavery.

      What’s vicious is the people who want to use the biological fact of pregnancy to control women’s sex lives.

  3. It’s hopeless. But there’s something to be said for doing the right thing in a hopeless cause. In cases like this, I always pull out “The Battle of Maldon”, in the original Anglo-Saxon:

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre,
    mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað.

  4. I live in Texas and I donated last night.

    It’s a steep climb for Wendy. But she’s tough, and there are some demographic shifts that appear promising. Looking at the map, the entire Rio Grande valley is dark blue, and it’s the fastest growing part of the state. The big cities are also blue, and all growing.

  5. Bux, you may disagree with abortion, that’s your right. The use of the term “baby” (viable or not) to label a fetus is both inaccurate and invidious. The inartful suggestion that abortion is “vicious” completely ignores the basis for being pro-choice – the rights of a woman and the cognitive neuro-science defining the state of the fetus. In addition, to equate the vicioudness of the Texas anti-abortion forces with that of those who are in favor of women having choice can only be called malignantly malicious. The state of a fetus being viable doesn’t abrogate the rights of the woman carrying the fetus.

    1. ….says you, Brad. Where’s your “cognitive neuro-science” showing that a third term fetus doesn’t coil in pain when murdered? Citations please

      1. Bux, if you’re going to ask questions in a way that is not merely offensive but arrogantly presumes the rightness of the very opinion you’re arguing for, I don’t see that you’re entitled to expect any answers.

        1. If arrogance is what we’re being graded on then we’re all in trouble. In terms of offensiveness, not sure why someone would take offense to this question if they supposedly know it to be a matter of truth via science that abortion isn’t murder and that the third trimester fetus feels no pain when aborted. I would imagine it only offensive to those who are unsure of the truth of their counter-position. As far as presuming the rightness of the opinion I’m arguing for, where are all of the people assuming the wrongness of the positions they argue for? Of course I’m not entitled to an answer, regardless of how I state my question. But for all of my sensitive liberal friends, I’ll rephrase the question more gently. Could anyone please kindly with cherries on top point me to the neuro-science literature addressing what we know about the pain experience of a [fill in the blank for the politically correct term for a third trimester whatever] that has been aborted?

          1. Bux, no one expects you to assume that you’re wrong. But a sentence that uses the term “murder” when the question on the table is whether abortion should be defined as murder is a textbook example of petitio principii. Whether abortion is murder is obviously not a scientific question. All that can be determined as a matter of fact is that American law does not currently define it as murder. Whether the law should be changed to define it as murder is a question of morals and jurisprudence.

            By the way: If you’re so concerned about the death of innocents, presumably you’re writing your Republican legislators to demand that they stop voting to deprive newborns of nutrition (SNAP and WIC) and medical care (ACA and Medicaid expansion). Or are means of lifesaving that don’t involve restricting the freedom and affronting the dignity of women not of interest to you?

            And do you regard it as appropriate discourse for those of us who do support SNAP, WIC, ACA, and Medicaid expansion to refer to our opponents as “baby-killers” – since the policies they support will clearly lead to the deaths of babies – or would you regard that as a needlessly offensive and uncivil way to conduct political argument? Just askin’.

    2. Actually, fetal viability is a pretty important event with regard to abortion jurisprudence. From the point of viability, the State’s interest in preserving fetal life is sufficiently weighty that the State may criminalize most abortions. The mother retains significant rights, but the governmental interest is much enhanced after viability.

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