Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eschat-on the Warpath

Atrios is hitting tweety hard, with the common theme being (any surprise?) that although Tweety (Chris Matthews, by the by) can ask some tricky questions of his Republican guests, there is still an overall leaning towards said Republicans, and (as the exchange he quotes on abortion) makes clear, he can't bring it home.

Case in point: After raising the valid question of what the punishment would be to women who get abortions (one that the Republicans are dodging), his final response?

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much, Congressman Pat Toomey. Thanks for playing HARDBALL. You may well win this one.
"You may well win this one"? That's the best he could come up with? And considering the political climate in the country, what on earth compelled Matthews to say that? Yes, the Republicans are closer to tossing out Roe v. Wade than they've ever been, but the public mood isn't on their side, elite opinion probably isn't on their side, and (since it's abortion) it's not like there's a strong economic incentive for banning abortion, either. Trying to make any sort of anti-abortion regime work would be a policy and political nightmare. Chris as much as said it when he raised the question of punishment. Pity that he was, as always, too scared to follow through.

Also, how the hell did the United States get to this point? What happened to all the confident assertions that Roberts and Alito wouldn't be enough to shift the balance? Were they ever serious, or were they just cover?

Perhaps the only good thing out of this is that they're trying to punish doctors, rather than women. Any legal regime that even implies that women can abort, but doctors can't help will only lead to one thing: the wire hanger. Not that the spectre of dead young women is anything but horrible, but it should go a long way towards showing people that the choice is not between dead or living fetuses, but between dead or living women. Every politician who tries to punish the doctors and leave the women alone is arguing the hanger's case, and damned if he shouldn't have that shoved down his throat.

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