Thursday, January 26, 2006

Somehow I keep blogging for choice

I am sitting here listening to Paul Begala on the radio pushing his book (written with James Carville), and everybody in the booth concurs that the “Bush Court” will overturn Roe v. Wade. Begala says that the day after that happens, support for Democrats among women will go “from 50% to 75%.” Quoting Joni Mitchell (and dating himself?), Begala sums up his theory this way: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

I think I agree more with Joni than Paul. While I do think it will be interesting in the long run to see what happens when the traditionally valueless traditional values types lose their favorite rallying point, I have a real tough time with “interesting in the long run” when it can so adversely affect so many in the short run.

Assuming that the system isn’t totally queered by the corruption, cronyism, and calumny of the current regime, it would be great to watch the pendulum swing leftward as a growing portion of America is forced to eat the Bush administration’s unjust desserts. But what happens before then, before the re-realignment? How many of our federal courts will be stocked with right-wing ideologues? How many of our public schools will be underfunded and left for dead? How many acres of our land and gallons of our water will be befouled by unregulated industry? How many citizens will be subject to chilling illegal searches and wiretaps? How many will rot in jail without access to lawyers or a speedy trial? How many of our elderly will be denied access to affordable healthcare or medication? How many of the nation’s poor will be condemned to a perpetual underclass? And how much will we perpetuate the suffering of the children of those poor?

And, since this is topic one right now, how many women will be denied access to a safe and legal abortion?

And, while those women are enduring unwanted pregnancies, giving birth to unwanted children, or risking harm from back-alley abortions, how much political hay can the left make, anyway? I say this because under the Rehnquist Court, abortion rights have been severely limited (as I detailed on Sunday), and yet, during that time, the Democrats have not reaped the rewards of a widening gender gap. There are many states where it is so difficult as to be virtually impossible to get an abortion, and yet most of these states were red or went red in the 1990’s, and stayed red in 2004.

Is it possible that abortion just isn’t the voting issue for women that some think, or is it possible that Democrats are incapable of framing the disappearance of reproductive rights in a way that effectively communicates the harm? I’m guessing it is more likely the latter (in fact, to take it a step further, not only could they not communicate the harm, they couldn’t sell the benefits that come from voting Democratic), but whatever the reason, experience shows us that, contrary to Paul Begala’s prediction, lack of access to abortion doesn’t automatically convert women from red to blue.

Now, unlike Begala, I am not 100% convinced this Supreme Court will completely overturn Roe. However, I am very certain it will permit more and more outlandish limits on abortion rights. Whether Democrats find a way to tactically win from such a civil rights loss in the long run, it seems, is an open question; whether women and their families will suffer in the short run, I’m afraid, is not.

Don’t it always seem to go. . . .

* * *

Today’s plea for action: Senate floor debate on the nomination of Samuel Alito for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court continues. While there are enough Republican votes to confirm him, there are more than enough Democrats in the Senate to sustain a filibuster—but they have to know that’s what we want! There is still time to call your Senators, but you’ve got to do it now. Call your two, and call Minority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Whip Dick Durbin, and tell them all you want to see the Democrats stand up for civil rights, stand up to Republican bullying, and stand against Judge Alito. Tell them the only way to say “No” to Alito is to say “Yes” to a filibuster!

You can phone the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (888) 818-6641—an operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

And while you’re at it, forward this information to all your friends. Get everyone you know to make a call!


Blogger [Lily.] said...

Hello. Nice blog, I agree.

Have a nice day. Hehe.


3:30 PM  

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