Thursday, November 17, 2005

why the Dems shouldn't filibuster Alito

The Alito Schism

"While voters tend to identify themselves as “pro-choice,” by a 57-34 percent majority, they are far from supporting abortion under any circumstances, and strong majorities are quite willing to support the kinds of procedural restrictions that drive pro-choice purists crazy. For example, even a plurality of Democrats (47-45 percent) says that an abortion should be illegal if its sole purpose is to avoid the economic burden of raising a child. And even Democrats are deeply (a slim 51-43 percent majority) ambivalent about allowing an abortion if its sole reason is that the mother “does not want to have a child.”

Democrats (and the rest of the country) strongly support certain hedges around abortion rights: parental consent for teenagers (68 percent “yes” for Democrats, 71 percent in the country as a whole); parental notification (73 and 78 percent respectively); counseling on the dangers of abortion (78 and 81 percent); notification of the husband (64 and 67 percent); 24-hour waiting period (67 and 71)."

Abortion is not popular, so why not allow a few states to outlaw it or at least curtail it in some way? Clearly it is not a topic Democratic supporters regard as their highest priority. Alito might get rid of Roe versus Wade and perhaps that would be good for everyone. The only thing the Democratic Party seems to know how to stand for is killing babies at any point of the pregnancy.

People need to decide whether to ban abortion on their own moral compass, not because of arcane interpretation of words from the Constitution. If someone needs an abortion they can always move to another state.

Also it is clear that pro choice people either don't care enough to vote Democratic, or they believe the Dems will somehow protect them in the minority. Both these attitudes are bad for the Dems and the abortion debate is pushing politics generally too far to the right. If Alito gets rid of abortion then pro choice people will be more like to vote Democratic, which is what the Dems want anyway. They have no obligation to use every trick in the book from the minority in the Senate to defend the rights of people that didn't even vote for them.