Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rush Limbaugh is Lissome and Insightful

Quoth Rush on Saturday:

We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. [Applause]
Note the applause line at the word life. Non-retarded Americans and non-Americans either do not realize or remain perpetually astonished at the fact that the contemporary American right cannot manage to distinguish the preambles, let alone the purposes, of our nation's founding documents -- one of them a political declaration, the other a foundation of law.

That's idiotic enough, but the American right is also -- in combination with their not quite but almost consistent insistence on originalism in matters of judicial interpretation -- wedded to the assertion that the phrase "right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" from the Declaration of Independence refers to abortion. This is false; there is no textual or historical context that validates the claim that Thomas Jefferson had abortion in mind when he used that phrase in the Declaration.

It's stupid and false to proceed as if the Declaration's preamble included a shout-out to blastocysts, and it would embarrass any self-styled "comedian" with integrity or self-respect.

2 comments:

larryniven said...

I'm just sticking this under the most appropriate-looking post that I don't have to scroll far to find:

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/02/big-tent-atheism.html

Your reaction?

Dale said...

LN, I think I'll do a post about it when I get some breathing room.

Very short version: I don't much care for it.