Monday, January 16, 2006

The Theodicy of Cowardice

Dianne Feinstein, while ritually invoking her personal support of abortion rights, argued Sunday that filibustering Alito on such grounds was an unwarranted transgression of political decorum. Hiding behind the conceit that Alito's technical proficiency in the law was sufficient to justify his ascension to the high court, she provides unbelievably lame excuses for opposing a filibuster.
I was impressed with his ability to maintain a very even demeanor.

I think there is an additional weight you must give to his background, his qualifications and his ability.

This might be a man I disagree with, but it doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the court.
Like theologians justifying a devastating earthquake, some of the Democratic Party's camp followers over at the Daily Kos are falling all over themselves trying to concoct scenarios in which this decision not to filibuster is the judicious, even the principled thing to do. Some samples:
I was thinking about that the other day, in wondering why there were no clear signs that the Democrats would sustain a filibuster of Alito's nomination. And then it hit me; is it possible that the Democrats have calculated that Alito doesn't represent a net change on the court?

It's not that abortion will be illegal. It's that overturning Roe would make it possible to make it illegal. The theory is that a large block of moderate, pro-choice voters (soccer moms, et al) have taken the legality of abortion for granted. The only incursions are things like parental notification, things that sound reasonable to your average suburbanite (that's not derogative; I live in the suburbs, too). Because abortion is off the table for them, they focus more on things like affirmative action (oppose) and taxes (oppose). However, if Roe is overturned, abortion becomes a real issue for them. Any attempt by Republicans to make it illegal will be met with a swift pull of the lever for Democrats by a large swing block.

I say screw it, this is for all the women who could not bother to get off their asses and take the half an hour it takes to vote once every freaking 4 years - don't mean to sound sexist but its less than the time a woman spends getting her hair done every month or two.
And, as Majikthise notes, "the demise of Roe and finding the novel silver lining is a cottage industry in American political journalism."

The obvious truth is that the Democrats, virtually without exception, view abortion rights as negotiable, something that can be traded away for political or personal advantage.


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