ROE VS. WADE | 1999-01-23
January 22, 1999, is the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which overturned all state abortion laws in 1973. As always, the professional conservatives who are fighting abortion have the entire situation entirely backward.
Backward, that is, from the point of view of serious opponents of abortion. The professional opponents of abortion are doing very, very well for themselves.
I have been working with antiabortion leaders for a quarter of a century, on and off. I did it professionally for many years. Like the rest of the conservative movement, the antiabortion crusade is dead in the water. The reason for this is the same.
Like all professional antiliberals today, recognized antiabortion leaders do two things: 1) they make statements which give professional liberals something to complain about and, 2) they do not attack anything that would offend or threaten liberalism seriously.
As a result, recognized antiabortion leaders take up a nice, cozy place in our political hierarchy.
Now, according to the approved version, Roe Vs. Wade came as a complete shock to these antiabortion "leaders." The Supreme Court, these official spokesmen tell us, gave them no warning it was going to do something so extreme.
Before 1973, they tell us, the Court had kept to the Constitution. Only once before 1973 had the Court stepped out of line, you see. Antiabortion leaders moan and groan about what they seem to feel was the only bad decision the Supreme Court ever made before 1973: the Dred Scott Decision of 1857.
The wonderful thing about the Dred Scott decision of 1857 is that liberals agree with antiabortion leaders about it. It was a proslavery decision, and all the justices who decided it are safely dead.
This is supposed to show liberals how liberal antiabortion leaders are, at heart.
The liberals just laugh at them, of course.
Antiabortion leaders say they couldn't understand why liberals would laugh at them. So they tried to counter another reason that liberals don't take them seriously: their ideas are based on Christian teachings.
So the antiabortion leaders got some orthodox Jews and Jewish opponents of capital punishment on their side. Surely THIS would make liberals take them seriously.
The liberals are now lying on their backs, wheezing. They can't breathe they're laughing so hard.
Prolife leaders try so hard to get liberals to respect them, and all they get is more guffaws.
The Roe v. Wade decision struck down all state abortion laws. I have repeatedly explained here that it is utterly ridiculous to challenge the court's right to make this decision after accepting the 1968 Supreme Court decision which struck down all state antimiscegenation laws. In striking down all state antimiscegenation laws, the federal courts openly declared that they could do absolutely anything they wanted to.*
It appears that prolife leaders would far rather see millions of abortions than criticize the one thing that is most holy to both liberals and respectable conservatives: interracial marriage.
Every state which ratified the Constitution had and enforced and KEPT antimiscegenation laws. Every state but one which ratified the fourteenth amendment had and enforced and KEPT antimiscegenation laws. The court decided that the original Constitution and the fourteenth amendment made all state antimiscegenation laws unconstitutional.
Few, if any, states had antiabortion laws when the Constitution was ratified. If you accept the Supreme Court's 1968 decision, the 1973 Roe Vs. Wade is absolutely and, more important, UNQUESTIONABLY valid.
But the Catholic bishops all cheered on the 1968 decision on antimiscegenation laws. Liberals all cheered it on. No respectable conservative, then or now, has even dared to question it.
So, to remain acceptable to the media bureaucracy and other liberals, antiabortion leaders bravely attack the Dred Scott Decision.
Let me tell you a little story about these self-proclaimed Mouths of God who lead the antiabortion movement. They fancy themselves to be Great Theologians.
The Great Theologian of National Review and conservatism in the 1970s wrote a book that showed how the traditional Catholic ethnic groups in the North were morally superior to the Yankees - a proposition I can certainly live with.
But he did not call the Yankees by their real name. He called them "WASPs," which means "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants." To avoid calling Yankees by their real name, he insulted the entire white Protestant population of the South, too. The fact is that Southern white Protestants had exactly the same cultural and moral outlook he was praising in Northern ethnics -- the opposite of the Yankees. When we had lunch together, I pointed this out to this Official Conservative Voice of the Lord Jehovah. He freely admitted what he had said was a lie, and he would stand by it.
I pointed out to him that Southerners were largely White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, but they had the values he was declaring superior, the opposite of Yankee values.
I said to him that it seemed he had not used the accurate word "Yankee" because the media would attack him for it. He would lose his respectability.**
He looked me straight it the eye and said "Yes."
It never occurred to him to change this just because it wasn't true. He was insulting Southerners to get liberal approval, and he knew it. I mentioned this to dozens of other big-time conservatives. Not one of them doubted what I said, and not one was the slightest bit impressed by the fact that someone claiming to speak for God Almighty would stand by such a cheap lie.
That's what Mouth of God conservatives do routinely, you see.
The fact that this guy spoke for God and Conservatism did not obligate him to tell the truth.
I get very, very tired of conservatives acting like Clinton's lies are something special. For liberal approval, conservative respectables lie all the time.
So we have a prolife movement led by people whose first priority is not to offend anybody important.
Just as with the general conservative movement, until the rank and file tosses out the present leadership, which is acceptable to liberals as a barrel of laughs if nothing else -- it is strictly a noisemaking enterprise substituting for a real opposition.
We all know that, as presently constituted, the prolife movement is going nowhere.
In our society, whether abortion is formally legal or not is going to make very little difference. The war against abortion and the war against drugs are different in that abortion is legal and drugs are not. They are alike in a far more important way: both wars are being lost.