Still, there was this comment by Senator McCain:
"Sen. Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion. He voted against that."During my senior year in high school, I was involved in a Youth and Government program. One weekend, schools across Oregon sent "delegates" to Salem, where we drew up, debated and voted on fake bills.
Anyone who's ever paid attention to law-making, or examined a state measure or proposition, understands laws are rarely simple. Lawmakers often have to sift through mounds of information, small-print and also have an understanding of previous legal findings. On the surface a law might look clear and obvious (Clean water in our Public Schools? Who could argue with that!), but underneath there may be myriads of stipulations, qualifiers, financial issues, etc. (The clean water goes only to the four richest schools in the district? Well that doesn't seem right...)
To put it more bluntly and theoretically, maybe a Senator is trying to pass the "Love the Children Bill", which makes it illegal to not love children. But maybe, on page 473 of that bill, there's a little line that says all adults over the age of 65 should be turned into food to feed starving children. SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!
So when voters are asked to look at the voting records of candidates, it behooves them to really examine the bills that were voted on.
My wife Mindy, who is adamantly pro-life and a pediatric resident here in Phoenix, has repeatedly explained the law Senator McCain refers to above. I may be paraphrasing here, and my facts may be a bit off, but here's the gist:
As Barack Obama pointed out, doctors are already required by law to provide medical attention to babies born from failed abortions. The issue is, as Mindy puts it, there are times where children cannot be kept alive (for instance, before 24 weeks in the womb, when they are unviable to life outside). Doctors, therefore, are wary of laws which force them into doing something they already do, especially since those laws could force them to keep premature children alive no matter what. This is one of the reasons, as Obama stated last night, the Illinois Medical Society was against the law. It wasn't because they were soulless baby-killers, it was because the law was unnecessary. Ultimately, it was another strategic move in the abortion debate to gain legal precendent, which has been the main battleground in recent years.
On the other hand, those stipulations and earmarks are often used to bat down proposals lawmakers may disagree with. If they don't like what a bill is proposing, legislators can basically focus on the details, which delays a bill's passage until it's written for broader appeal, or shutdown completely.
The point is, lawmaking is not easy, we need to investigate attacks on candidates voting records, and oversimplified rhetoric only works on a populace of fools.
(Note: I am one of those fools, because who has time to read through all that stuff?)