Douthat's Disingenuous Anti-Choice Blatherings
Ross Douthat is right that the Republican Party did not, strictly speaking, get wiped out because of their anti-choice stance. That is just a constant albatross around GOP necks with women voters. And of course the reactionary image the Republicans have earned is a part of the overall image problem that it has. But that does not explain the 2008 election - 8 years of the George W. Bush Presidency explains it. But when Douthat decided to discuss privacy/choice jurisprudence (Roe and Casey, he seems to have no awareness of Carhart), he began the familiar nonsense:
So the question isnít whether the anti-abortion movement can change, adapt and compromise. Itís already done that. The question is whether it can afford to compromise on the national issue that keeps serious pro-lifers in the Republican fold, and requires an abortion litmus test for Republican presidential nominees ó namely, the composition of the courts. And here the pro-life movement is essentially trapped ó not by its own inflexibility, but by the inflexibility of the Supreme Courtís abortion jurisprudence.You see Mr. Douthat's idea of compromise is overturning the constitutional right to choose. And he considers himself a moderate on the issue. This is the trick that Ed Whelan tried before. Just remember what Douthat means by moderate - overturning constitutional protections for the right to choose. It will explain his strange construct:
In theory, there are many middle grounds imaginable in Americaís abortion wars, from bans that make exceptions for rape and fetal deformities to legal systems modeled on the French system, in which abortion is available but discouraged in the first 10 weeks and sharply restricted thereafter.
There are many compromises imaginable - but of course the person who thinks abortion is murder will seek to ban them all. Roe and Casey allow for state restrictions on abortion in the 3rd trimester - heck Carhart was upheld a just such a permitted restriction (one would think Douthat would be celebrating this embrace of "compromise" by the Court.) Douthat seems unaware of it. But that will be the game. Because the goal, and believe me, I respect their right to aim for it - is to end the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. ALL choice. As they should given their views. But Douthat is filled with disingenuousness, hell, dishonesty, here. There is no "compromise" available with anti-choicers and he knows this.
Douthat is not telling the truth about the anti-choice view:
The public is amenable to compromise: majorities support keeping abortion legal in some cases, but polling by CBS News and The Times during the presidential campaign showed that more Americans supported new restrictions on abortion than said it should be available on demand. And while some pro-lifers would reject any bargain, many more would be delighted to strike a deal that extends legal protection to more of the unborn, even if it stopped short of achieving the movementís ultimate goals.
I really despise this type of dishonest crap. Roe allow for restriction in the 3rd trimester. Carhart upheld a third trimester restriction. Democrats have offered abortion prevention legislation (by use of contraceptives and family planning) only to be rebuffed by Douthat's anti-choice friends. He should know all this.
Douthat is just being dishonest in this piece. Sure, some anti-choicers would welcome gaining ground on the issue on the way to their goal of a total ban on abortion. Stop the game playing. Be for what you are for. Fight for it. But tell the truth about it. Douthat does not.
Speaking for me only
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