Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pro Abortion

Most Pro-choice activists are at pains to clarify that they aren't pro-abortion, just pro-choice. I think the current posturing by various "women's" groups to stonewall an advertisement scheduled to run during the Super Bowl in which Tebow and his mother talk about the negative consequences of abortion put the lie to this. I haven't seen the ad (and neither have any of the activists complaining about it, as far as I know) but my impression is part of the current "Choose Life" campaign to discourage abortion rather than an attempt to outlaw abortion. Given that only a Supreme Court Justice could return the right to the states to outlaw abortion, it seems like a massive waste of money to run an ad to people who have virtually no input on such a decision.

Assuming this is right, and I've heard no evidence to the contrary, then it's extremely difficult for me to see how those who wish to silence advocates of one of the choices they wish to leave open are actually "pro-choice". I can see how someone could be both pro-life and pro-choice (you wish the choice to be legal, but believe that abortion is never a preferable alternative. Similarly I think smoking cigarettes is stupid, but I'm not for restricting your right to do it.) similarly I can see how someone could be both pro-abortion and pro-choice (you think that abortion is often a better choice but don't want the government making such decisions. It's easy to see how either a eugenicist or a population growth type could believe this). I have no idea what the motivation of women's groups is, but a dedication to restricting advocacy for choosing life demonstrates to me a preference for abortion, not just choice.

On a related note, if CBS declines to run the ad (and I'd say odds are on them declining) then I can't help but conclude that CBS either refuses to run advocacy ads during sporting events (and I suspect a quick perusal of past ads will show this to be false) or they are themselves a willing advocate for abortion.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Misreading the country

The narrative I keep seeing in conservative (and some progressive) circles is that the reason the Democrats lost Massachusetts is because they misread (and continue to misread) Obama's election as a sign that the country had moved significantly left when in fact the voters wanted something more centrist and non-partisan.

I don't buy it. Not that the country didn't really move left; that seems reasonable. Obama ran a campaign about how there were "no more red or blue states, just red, white, and blue states" and how he was going to start a new era of bipartisanship and openness in Washington. Then he got into office and immediately started a behind-closed-doors grab-bag of political favors thinly disguised as a stimulus package followed by a "health care plan" that taxes high end private insurance (except for Union members and citizens of Nebraska) in order to extend government healthcare to a bunch of people (who can keep their current healthcare, unless their employer decides to drop it, which Obama can't help, just because the CBO says it will happen if this passes).

Obama doesn't seem like an idiot, and I just can't accept that someone who grew up in the Chicago machine is "misreading" the results of his election on a platform of bipartisanship and openness as really indicating the public wanted machine politics and backroom deals for favored liberal constituents. It seems much more likely that Obama is well aware of what the public wants (which is, after all, why he campaigned on it), but is governing the Chicago Way because it's what he grew up with and he hopes to cultivate enough special interests to get himself re-elected.