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Perils Fathers Face Both from the Democrats and from the Republicans

September 12th, 2008 by Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

“I am deeply afraid of what a McCain /Palin presidency would mean…

“I still shudder at the words of ultra-conservative Judge Robert Bork on the issue:  There is no substantive right to ‘so tenuous a relationship’ as visitation by a non-custodial parent…”

Family law attorney David Perry Davis, Esq., a longtime fatherhood activist and shared parenting advocate, recently posted a comment on my website concerning Obama and fathers. Since it was posted to an old blog post, I offered David the chance for it to be a stand alone blog post so more people would see it, and he agreed. He has some interesting thoughts on the perils fathers face both from the Democrats and from the Republicans.

Father-unfriendly Obama presents a dilemma for men
David Perry Davis, Esq.

Dilemma is an often misused word.  It actually means “two horned” and refers to a situation with two unpleasant alternatives.

On Father’s Day, Obama gave a speech ripping into fathers, blasting “walk away dads.”  That’s fine, but there are a whole helluva lot of dads who are kicked out of their kids’ lives by Family Courts that refuse to enforce parenting time orders.  They count, too – in spite of Obama’s statements, they are human beings who have been injured by and/or ignored by our system.  Obama’s website says he will, if elected, “force men to pay child support.”  Hillary’s made reference to gender-neutral “enforcement of child support orders.”  21% of custodial parents in this country are dads.  The moms don’t have to pay support?  Huh?  Repeated, repeated requests to his campaign to correct this have been ignored; if we learned nothing else from Mein Kampf, it’s that we should take a politician’s words as true. 

Obama has some serious gender issues.  He then picks Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in spite of the fact that a full 1/3 of spousal homicides have male victims.  He’s been asked (to the point of billboards being put up near his office) to make it gender-neutral.  He won’t.  In fact, he says the VAWA is his greatest accomplishment. 

Again, we (dads, men) don’t seem to count; we’re less than human.  I can’t vote for that ticket.  But I can’t disregard all the other issues I care about (only a few of which are above) ignored.  Sit out the election?  I vote in Pennsylvania, which is polling a tie for Obama and McCain – my vote matters.

On the other hand, I am deeply afraid of what a McCain /Palin presidency would mean.  In 2000, when Bush came into office, we were on track to completely wipe out the national debt by 2012.  We’re now calculating the national debt in the trillions.  In a very real sense, the federal government is using a Visa check to pay the MasterCard bill.  This is not just “unsustainable”, it’s madness; it’s irresponsibility that will eventually lead to a crash like we haven’t seen since the 1930′s.  McCain wants more tax cuts for the wealthy.  This is insane.

Regardless of how we might feel personally about the abortion issue, are we really ready to tell a 16-year-old victim of rape or incest that she cannot take a “morning after” pill?  That’s McCain’s and Palin’s position.  We have 3 Supreme Court justices over the age of 80 and we’re one vote away from Roe being dumped and 2 votes away from a determination that “like begins at conception in every case” and the complete elimination of all abortion rights – period; a national ban – a “reverse Roe.”  Is this where we want to go as a country?

I am deeply concerned about the rights of noncustodial parents if the Right continues in power.  I still shudder at the words of ultra-conservative Judge Robert Bork on the issue:  There is no substantive right to “so tenuous a relationship” as visitation by a non-custodial parent. I cannot agree that the Constitution of its own force establishes any such right for a non-custodial parent – (Excerpts from a dissenting opinion of Robert Bork in Franz v. United States, which involved a child who was secretly relocated, with her custodial mother, to a new home. Mother’s new husband was a protected witness in a major criminal investigation, and father was unable to see or even know the whereabouts of the child.  Thankfully, Bork’s opinion was a dissent – two far more reasonable judges permitted Franz to see his child). 

If you’ve never been falsely accused of something and/or never had a loved one be falsely accused), you’re probably not aware of how important habeas corpus is to proving innocence.  We have a Supreme Court that ruled that “actual innocence” is not sufficient basis to compel a federal court to stop an execution and order a state to retry an innocent person — prompting the now famous remark from Justice Blackmun that “The execution of a person who can show that he is innocent comes perilously close to simple murder.”  Any chance of restoring habeas dies with the election of McCain / Palin.

These are just a few of the many important issues in the upcoming election; issues I agree with Obama on about 95% of the time.  But walking into a voting booth and supporting an anti-male, anti-father, gender biased ticket is something my conscience will not allow.

What to do?  It’s a dilemma, all right.  The very definition of the word.

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