Emerging From the Hedged Roe

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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6 Responses

  1. Cascadian says:

    I’m having a hard time seeing past my pet positions. Larison might be right. Instead of defanging the culture war, it might present a new map analogous to slave and non slave states that would only fuel more acrimony. This may or may not be beneficial to my pet positions but interesting none the less.

    From a practical stand point it might be better to keep all the social arguments tied together so that those like matoko can continue to beat the Bush/Palin contingency about the ears with. If that element is already in its death throws it might be best to not interfere.Report

  2. matoko_chan says:

    the effect of uniting both the pro-life and pro-choice sides of the issue.

    But this simply isn’t true.
    Submitted empirical data–the epic fail of Colorado Prop 48.
    There the electorate united against pro-life causes, 74% to 26%.Report

  3. matoko_chan says:

    I think pancascadian is right….the seven states with red majorities would implement abortion restriction, and that would just lead to another “intervention” by the Supremes.
    Giant waste of time.
    Surrender now, dorothies.Report

  4. James Williams says:

    “In most places, the pro-choice and pro-life absolutists will no longer find themselves with quite as much power, as the majority in the mushy middle will wind up crafting most state regulations.” This sounds just painfully naive to me. Putting aside the rather loaded term “absolutist” here, you’re still going to have lots of people in any state with deeply felt commitments about how abortion should be very widely available, or utterly prohibited. And these are the people whose primary and general election votes will be determined largely by politicians’ stances with regard to abortion matters. Part of that mushiness of the mushy middle is that they tend not to place abortion issues too front-and-center in their political deliberations, and so their votes will be gotten at through other means.

    I think the biggest mistake in this discussion is the idea that the lines drawn in Roe/Casey can somehow be de-arbitrarized. They can’t. Any laws here will need _some_ way of drawing lines, and we really have no idea where such lines can reasonably be drawn. A large majority of Americans thinks that drawing a bright line at conception is a bad idea; an even larger marjority of Americans (i.e., practically all of them) thinks that drawing the line at actual birth is a bad idea. And there just aren’t any other candidates for bright lines to be found between those two points.

    It’s a misdiagnosis — one that the pro-life side has been happy to promulgate for a while — that the haziness of Roe/Casey is a byproduct of being decided by the courts. It’s not. It’s a byproduct of the fact that we don’t know how to decide when personhood begins. Don’t blame the courts for having failed to solve a nigh-well unsolvable philosophical problem. They had to solve a legal problem — lines had to go in _somewhere_ — and there’s really no reason at all to think that a political/legislative process would have found better lines to draw, because, again, there _aren’t_ any better lines to draw.

    Another mistake in this discussion is the idea that overturning Roe would simply “throw it back to the states”. It wouldn’t, as pro-life forces would immediately try to mobilize for various sorts of national laws banning abortions. Every national election would still be a battle about the permissibility of abortion, and under what circumstances.

    Long story short: this political issue just plain isn’t going away, and the idea that it is a problem of judicial procedure and not irresolvable philosophical differences is deeply mistaken.Report

  5. matoko_chan says:

    an even larger marjority of Americans (i.e., practically all of them) thinks that drawing the line at actual birth is a bad idea.

    Look…..I feel like a talking parrot here, but that simply doesnt translate into a grassroots movement to strike down Roe.
    An even greater majority is against striking down Roe.
    So give up already.
    Like I said, the culture war is over.
    Evolutionary Theory of Culture and the evolution of population demographics has ended it.Report