Sunday, October 10, 2004

Dred Scott

There's a nice diary and comments up on Daily Kos about Bush's use of Dred Scott in Friday's debate:
When Bush made reference to "Dred Scott" he was assuring his anti-choice constituents that he would indeed only appoint Supreme Court justices who would remove abortion rights.
I knew that talk of Dred Scott seemed familiar. Then, I remembered, "yes, becuase Alan Keyes likes to use it." Although I couldn't find a specific quote about Dred Scott and abortion from Keyes, his use at the phrase "slaveholder's position" is even more direct:
"I would still be picking cotton if the country's moral principles had not been shaped by the Declaration of Independence," Keyes said. He said Obama "has broken and rejected those principles — he has taken the slaveholder's position."
And his supporters connect abortion to Dred Scott:
"Barack Obama is a constitutional lawyer," O'Malley said today. "He is on the wrong side of Dred Scott on this one. The legislation I introduced would have protected infants who are born alive with a beating heart and breathing lungs. He was opposed to protecting those babies."
However, Keyes seems to use it even more broadly than just abortion. He used the case anytime he wants to say that a court is wrong. In reference to gay marriage:
Well, wait. Wait, wait. I would remind Barney Frank that that's what they said about Dred Scott, and you see what happened. It's also what they said about Roe vs. Wade, and you have seen what is happening.
On affirmative action:
In the interval between the presidential election of 1856 and the inauguration of President James Buchanan, and on the eve of the infamous Dred Scott decision that – in its ambition to impose the spirit of racial categorization on the whole country – is close kin to federal affirmative-action programs, a private citizen named Abraham Lincoln addressed a political dinner in Chicago.
On the Ten Commandments in Alabama:
FITTON: OK, thanks, Joe. Alan, is this another Dred Scott? We got about a little less than a minute left. KEYES: Actually, in a way, I think it's even worse, because Dred Scott was an assault on the rights of individuals who belonged to a certain group, black Americans. This is an assault, wholesale assault, on the right of the people, guaranteed under the Constitution, to decide through their states with respect to matters of religious belief.
So, yes, it's Alan Keyes supporters that Bush is trying desperately to shore up support. We must keep reminding the undecideds of this...