Apr 222005

In today’s op/ed column in the New York Times, David Books places blame for the dissolution of national discourse, for the polarization of left and right, for the uproar about judicial activism squarely where it belongs: in the wombs of women. Never have I seen so many astonishing leaps of logic.

See if you can follow the bouncing ball of breathtaking bullshit: Roe v. Wade is made law, the decision written by Harry Blackmun "took the abortion issue out of the legislatures and put it into the courts." This is because now abortion is legalized around the nation, rather than decided on a state-by-state basis. "If it had remained in the legislatures, we would have seen a series of state-by-state compromises reflecting the views of the centrist majority that’s always existed on this issue. These legislative compromises wouldn’t have pleased everyone, but would have been regarded as legitimate," spouts Brooks.

Now here’s where it all gets maniacal: religious conservatives are alientated from government by liberal "elitists," liberals see the courts as the place to battle for rights, and the battle for judicial nominees rides the waves of the polarized ocean of rhetoric, leading to greater and greater breakdowns in civility in the process of confirming judges, a breakdown that bleeds into other areas of political discourse, which leads, finally, to the threat of the elimination of the filibuster, laws passed that say Ted Kennedy must dance pantsless on The O’Reilly Factor, and the building of idols to the regent-like power of the presidency, as long, of course, as it’s a Republican president. "Unless Roe vs. Wade is overturned," Brooks says, "politics will never get better."

What complete bullshit. How can anyone claiming to be educated have so complete a misunderstanding of recent history, of the workings of the American government, what a fuckin’ blame-the-victim mentality. Let’s toss this around for a moment or two. Why blame the Supreme Court? Why not blame the Texas legislature, which had outlawed abortion,? Why not blame Richard Nixon, for appointing Harry Blackmun and Lewis Powell to the Supreme Court? Or Ike for appointing Potter Stewart and William Brennan? Do you see the absurdity of attempting to isolate Roe v. Wade as the root cause of all political evil?

There is so much to comment on in his article. The suggestion that the overturning of Roe vs. Wade would somehow restore civility in politics is the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard. Religious zealots hate our freedom. We are a nation of laws that are not predicated by religious doctrine. Freedom of religion thrives in our country because of this principle. With that freedom, we also have the freedom to make choices. What comes with the freedom of religion is the freedom not to be held hostage by it.

Every man, women and child is free to practice any form of religion they want. Here’s a shocker too. They don’t have to practice any religion at all either. Really? I’ve never read in Roe vs. Wade that a women must have an abortion. But I watch the new 24/ 7-700 Club cable news television where the religious right wing elites get more air time than any re-run of Cheers ever did, and that’s what they keep telling me.

So Brooks would rather a nation where abortion is legal in, say, Illinois and illegal in Arizona? He’d like to go back to bloody alleys and that type of shit? He’d rather a nation where the tyranny of the majority, in the states and in the nation, can enforce its will on individual bodies and voices. What a stooge. What an apologist. What a depressing waste of editorial space.

David Books pretends a populist understanding. I think he speaks for the vocal minority of the the Krazy Kristian Kooks, and has no idea how most Americans feel about having the government force on them the beliefs of these zealots.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.