Not only is my U.S. Representative backing a wildly dishonest resolution that essentially claims the U.S. was created to be a Christian nation, but my state senator is sponsoring a bill in the state legislature to ban "partial birth abortion." What's wrong with banning this procedure? The fact that it's already outlawed by federal law--a federal law that has already been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. I heard about this from Ed Brayton, who asked me to comment on it for a Michigan Messenger article.
The background is that the Michigan legislature passed a ban previously, in 2004, which was vetoed by the governor (a Democrat), then passed in a petition initiative by the state's citizens, but then declared unconstitutional by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal government's partial-birth abortion ban.
Since it's already illegal, Ed suggested that it's a Republican plan to put Michigan Democrats in a pinch this fall, by making them either go against their base or go against the clearly expressed wish of the majority. But I'm not sure it's that strategic a move. I think it's a case that the supporters are true believers, for whom a federal law is necessary but not sufficient--there can never be too many laws restricting abortion, even if they're redundant. And also it allows the individual supporters to go to their constituents, many of whom are at best vaguely aware of the federal ban, and take the high ground as the candidate of moral values.
Meanwhile, they ignore the state's failing infrastructure, ongoing problems of its tax-base, subpar educational system, etc. They're engaging in symbolic politics because it's a lot easier, and more emotionally satisfying, than solving real problems that are really happening.
And these are the same people who talk about small government, about getting government off the backs of the people. They're the ones who talk about reducing the cost of government. And yet they continue to pass more criminal laws regulating people's private lives, and pretending that these things don't add to the size, cost, and intrusiveness of government.
To hell with all of them.