GOP Mammon and Power Contingent to SoCons

GOP Mammon and Power Contingent to SoCons November 13, 2012

Protein Wisdom satirizes the extreme stupidity of the GOP elite as it surveys the wreckage from deep inside the bubble of delusion and concludes in its infinite wisdom that the problem was not with their lousy candidate, but with their need to ditch the social conservatives for a new trophy wife as they tell their most loyal supporters, “You’re losing your looks, honey. Get out.

Update: I am, by the way, stupid and I apologize to Jeff Goldstein. I misread him as serious, when he was in fact satirizing people like Ann Coulter, who writes to unburden herself of the cry that lives in the breast of every socially liberal/economically chintzy/crony capitalist reptile Republican who thinks Mammon, Moloch and Mars are awesome and who endure prolifers like rube cousins they hope they can ditch and go clubbing:

“The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women’s “reproductive rights,” not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots [Mourdock and Akin] decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest. . . . After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public’s mind . . . these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.”

A reader comments on Coulter:

Yeah, like those exhibitionist bishops and their unintelligent sheep.

Ann Coulter is Dagny Taggart.

In places like Coulterworld, the extremely electable Mitt Romney was torpedoed, not because we has a moral void without any defining principles except “I want to be president”. He was defeated by sinister social conservatives who, having waited patiently and fallen on their swords times without number for the GOP, could not muscle down this crap sandwich.

That’s the voice of the GOP wise elders to religious voters whose primary interest is and always has been the defense of human life and the family.  You didn’t get on board this time, so 30 years of bending over, going along, believing the promises, trusting the party cared about your issues, was going to–any day now–really act on that platform.  All gone.  All bushwah.  Get out!  You are no longer useful. It’s not the party’s fault for choosing a loser like Mitt Romney.  It’s your fault for being prolife and profamily and making such a *thing* about it.  We’ve never liked you but we put up with you for what we could exploit from you.  Now get lost.

If I may say so, why bother with an outfit like that?  Let”s see what, together with the millions of other voters not served by this corrupt system, we can create that better represents us.  On election night, Mark Gordon wrote on FB:

Mitt Romney has three “home” states: Michigan, Massachusets, and Utah. He lost Michigan and Massachusetts. Paul Ryan only has one home state, Wisconsin, and he couldn’t carry it for Romney. The GOP is caught in a real bind. Election after election their geographic base retreats further and further into the deep South and the barren Plains. At the same time, their demographic base grows whiter, older and wealthier, even as the nation is growing browner, that brown population is getting younger, and the Middle Class is disappearing. Sometime in the 1980′s or 1990′s, the GOP became largely a regional party. It is now poised to become a marginal party, fighting a rearguard action to defend privilege, whiteness, and the prerogatives of a global military, economic and cultural empire that is, frankly, collapsing. If it is to survive, the GOP must come to represent a conservatism that hews closer to the vision of Burke, Kirk, Fleming, Oakeshott, Burnham, Weaver, Scruton, Berry and Blond; a conservatism that stands opposed to the corrosive cultural influence of laissez-faire capitalism and the mass consumer society; opposed to the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of private interests or the state; opposed to empire and the militarization of foreign policy; a conservatism focused on the care of creation, including the land and sea, as well as the small human ecologies of family, congregation, town, and small business; a conservatism that privileges the farmer, the industrial worker, the teacher and the Main Street merchant over the financial baron, the defense contractor, the big box retailer and the Washington lobbyist; a conservatism of the town hall meeting, not of slick ad campaigns; a conservatism of communities, not corporations. And yes, it must be a conservatism that defends the unborn, but also one that supports and honors their mothers, both before they give birth and long after. And yes, it must be a conservatism that defends marriage, but not by demonizing or marginalizing families that don’t fit a certain mold. Yes, it must be a conservatism of limited government, but within limits defined by justice, equality before the law, peaceableness, and the care of the aged, the infirm, the poor, and the unemployed. A friend of mine tweeted that the big loser tonight was Ayn Rand. Thanks be to God. In the years ahead, may Republicans come to see this as the night when they began to fashion a different kind of conservatism. If they don’t they have no future.

I remarked when I read this that it sounded an awful lot like Chesterton, which it does.  He can help point the way forward for a different engagement of Christians with the political.  Whenever you say, “The GOP needs to change or die” one of the things you immediately hear back is, “Oh so we need to embrace abortion and the destruction of the family?”

Um no. The reason I spent month arguing against Romney was because he obviously cared nothing about abortion and, functionally, very little for the family.  For him the giant corporation and that state were at the center of his calculations, like Obama.  Now that Ann Coulter has made clear where social conservatives really stand with the GOP, I think moving in a direction like the one articulated like Mr. Gordon and GKC is much wiser than trying to hang with a party that loathes those who place God first. Dems who are disaffected from their party should make the same call.  Why stick with a machine that only means to grind you up and harvest you? In this country state and party work for you.  When they stop, blow ’em off and invent something new.

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  • I think you’ve badly misread my piece. It was a defense of social cons and an attack on those who think them the problem. You’re correct when, having excerpted a bit of my post, you write, “That’s the voice of the GOP to religious voters whose primary interest is and always has been the defense of human life and the family.” But that’s only because I was sardonically mocking that GOP establishment voice, specifically for the way it hectors others without ever taking responsibility for its own failures.

    Go back and read it again.

    • SecretAgentMan

      I read Mr.Goldstein’s article and he’s correct here — the real target is the article Mr. Goldstein linked to, which *is* a “shut your piehole” rant against people who think the Republican Party is about (non S&P) values.

      • SecretAgentMan

        Mark’s rewrite is one of the reasons he is an example for all bloggers and media persons about how to do it. (Although “stupid” is, of course, entirely unwarranted in Mark’s case).

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Wow, I didn’t catch the satire, either. Sometimes satire can hit way too close to reality.

      • Ry

        At first I thought it was real too. I had to stick with it past the first third before I caught on that the article was pulling my leg.

    • Dale Price

      No, no, no–Jeff’s a friend to social conservatives. He supported Santorum to the hilt, for pete’s sake.

      He frequently writes in an arch, satiric style. If he hated social conservatives, I wouldn’t be there every day. It is *definitely* speaking in the tone of the establishment to the misused socially-conservative foot soldiers.

      He did the same for fiscal conservatives in a later post, which helps with the perspective.

    • Mark Shea

      D’oh! How stupid of me. Have corrected. And I agree with you completely.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    The piece sounds like satire.

  • Scott

    Gordon’s point is well taken, however, when Santa is running for election he is very hard to beat and Obama is Santa and the main stream press is his cheer leaders. Our nation has abandoned its founding principles and has become a nation of people who want stuff paid for by other people. They are the new majority and I’m not sure how you turn that around once the genie is out of the bottle.

    • kenneth

      Yeah, there’s your winning formula! Keep putting up more mega-rich guys who never worked a day in their life to call the rest of us welfare queens and beggars. It was all our nefarious plot to maneuver guys like Mitt to ship our jobs overseas so that we could finally abandon our paychecks and benefits and retirement and college plans for our kids and get fat off of the temporary bump in unemployment insurance and some other mythical TBA welfare largess just waiting for us to pick up…

      In the sick and twisted narrative of new “conservatism”, the parasites who dismantled our economic engine and sold it for scrap value are hailed as heroes, and victims of a degenerate underclass who just wants to steal the money they worked so hard to obtain. The other 99% of this winning coalition consists of angry social conservatives who feel that government has no other priorities than outlawing abortion in every case, overturning the HHS mandate and dedicating all federal resources to making sure no gay people ever legally settle down together.

      Keep running with this formula, and in a few years, the GOP empire will consist of school boards and mosquito abatement districts in Texas and the Deep South. Then the billionaires can again bitterly blame the social conservatives who can in turn blame the teeming Leninist middle Americans who just want a handout.

    • Mark Shea

      Excellent repetition of the talking point Limbaugh instructed you to repeat as you reinforce the bubble of unreality. Romney lost because the country is overrun by moochers who are unworthy of self-governance, not because Romney was a lousy candidate or anything. It’s all somebody else’s fault, says the Party of Personal Responsibility. Prudence involves getting outside the bubble.

  • tz

    The GOP usually has the grass-roots to do live phone and door-to-door, but the Convention committed herbicide.

  • The Deuce

    Mark, I think you failed to see satire here. The way I read it, this guy is pretty clearly being sarcastic, and satirizing what “socially moderate” establishment GOP types (like, say Ann Coulter) are saying. It looks to me like his actual argument is the exact opposite of what you’re construing it as.

  • Confederate Papist

    Regardless of whether it’s satire or not; Mark *is* correct in saying the GOP never has, and never will be the party of God-fearing Christians that want to protect life in all it’s stages. I, myself, had refused to see that fact until about 3 or 4 years ago when he challenged me (not directly) to think about who, what, why, etc.

  • The problem wasn’t social conservatism – it was a couple of intellectually challenged lightweights (Akin and Mourdock.) Maybe the GOP didn’t value conformity so highly, they’d pick more independent-minded, intelligent candidates who could actually articulate their beliefs.

    The numbers seem to indicate that a lot of rural voters (5+ million of them) who generally would vote for the GOP simply stayed home. Maybe Romney (“a candidate who reminds you of the guy who laid you off”) didn’t excite them because they didn’t know if Mr. Weathervane was really on their side or not.

  • Obpoet

    Again, people are talking about abortion, but no one is doing anything about it.

    • DRH

      That’s because “doing anything about it” is a very long slog through the political mud. The long political slog is made *even* *long* by the folks that spring up every so often and make a show of demanding Everything All At Once Now…. which helps lose a couple of election cycles and makes the Long Slog Through the Mud even longer.

      • Sean O

        If 40 yrs since Roe v Wade, NOTHING has changed about the abortion regime in the US.
        NOTHING is a long way something or anything. Light years from everything.

        Dems & R’s have held the presidency & Congress or half of it. On Abortion NOTHING has changed. And R’s are pretty good at getting what they do want. Thus R’s made it happen for what they did want: huge bloated Defense budgets, tax cuts for the wealthy & Corp, and deregulation of big business. Rolling back Abortion. NOTHING. As Dick Cheney would say, ” I had other priorities.”

        NOTHING on Abortion. That is Republican reality.

  • vox borealis

    I think Mark Shea completely missed the point of the piece quoted from Protein Wisdom ( the piece was a sarcastic critique of the establishment GOP, which shoved Romney the so-called electable candidate down social conservatives throats all while completely ignoring the message of the 2010 elections.

    What is remarkable is that Protein Wisdom is a pretty libertarian site, and the author(s) are not much by in the way of social conservatives, and even they recognize how bankrupt the GOP has become. It’s driven solely by the desire to win elections, nothing more. Mind you, the other side is probably worse, but that’s a debate for another time.

    • Dale Price

      Not true about the dislike for social conservatives: PW is a very friendly locale for people of that bent. Jeff’s a classical conservative, but he has a big tent open wide for opponents of Leviathan.

  • antigon

    Ah, poor Mr. Shea. Now he’s going to have to be sympathetic when folk misread his sarcasms for trumpet calls.

  • Ernst Schreiber

    With all due respect to Mr. Gordon, maybe we should give laissez faire capitalism a try before we blame it for what ails us. If only so as to judge whether the true problem is the corrosive effect of free markets, or the corrupting influence of the regulatory state.

    • ivan_the_mad

      The West at least did try such. That’s one of the reasons that Leo XIII wrote Rerum Novarum.

    • I think the problem is not exactly regulation or deregulation, but the fact that the “regulation” is done by those who have a vested interest in the industry. The regulators are more or less owned by the industry. Either legitimate regulation OR deregulation would work better than that.

    • Dan

      Mr. Schreiber, have you ever heard of anti-trust legislation? That was the original response to the corrosive effect of free markets, and it’s over a century old now.

  • ivan_the_mad

    “If it is to survive, the GOP must come to represent a conservatism that hews closer to the vision of Burke, Kirk, Fleming, Oakeshott, Burnham, Weaver, Scruton, Berry and Blond”

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! And may Ayn Rand’s turgid prose and anti-Christian philosophy be forever forgotten.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      And horrible, really awkward sex scenes.

  • Linda C.

    Permit me to point out that the “intellectually challenged lightweights”, Mourdock and Akin, were correct in opposing abortion in the case of rape or incest. Mourdock’s statement, I had little or no problem with; Akin’s was considerably more problematic, but their real thoughtcrime was in saying it’s wrong to kill babies in the womb for the crimes of their fathers.

    • They were correct, but their method of stating it was terrible and gave a lot of ammunition to the enemy. All they need have stated is that rape is a terrible crime, and that it’s a terrible situation to be put in. The baby conceived, however, does not deserve to die for his father’s crime. That puts the focus on the baby’s life. Most still would not have agreed, but there wouldn’t have been any incendiary quote to go viral.

    • I don’t agree that Akin’s statement was as problematic as people say it was. The term “rape” has been debased to mean any drunken hookup that the woman later regrets, with the man presumptively guilty of rape. It isn’t Akin’s fault that in our debased misandrist culture and its debased language you have to qualify a statement about rape by saying “legitimate rape”: it is the fault of feminists.

      • Yes, Zippy, you’re right. Akin’s point was actually a good one, but the phraseology allowed it to be easily twisted into a rallying point for the enemy. Even if he had said “actual” rape instead of “legitimate” rape, it would have been harder to twist. Yeah, what a sad political climate, though, when purposeful twisting of your opponent’s words is not considered a bad thing.

        • Rebecca

          His understanding of how a woman’s body works is faulty. That, in my view, was more of a problem than his clumsy choice of words.

          • I’m far from certain that even that is true. As I understand it, violent trauma actually does reduce the odds of conception. At worst he probably overstated it, or stated it clumsily. And for that – as opposed to, you know, being in favor of murdering unborn children – he gets thrown under a bus.

            I’m reminded – though even this is unfair to the objective reasonableness of Akin’s position – of the controversy when that SSPX bishop was reconciled to the Church. The guy was a holocaust denier, so this caused a major freakout. Nobody seemed to notice that being pro abortion is a LOT more reprehensible than holocaust denial.

            • Michael

              “At worst he probably overstated it, or stated it clumsily.” And he did not think about how badly his meaning would be twisted in the resulting press coverage.

              We often deplore the lack of politicians with the courage to speak their minds, to tell us the truth as they see it, to not measure every word and utter nothing but bland platitudes. Look what happens when they are too unguarded and let slip a phrase that can be twisted to make them seem insensitive. They get crucified in the press and their own party leaders try to disown them.

            • Rebecca

              Whether or not abortion is worse than using clumsy words to talk about rape is not the point. What the man said was going to be offensive to women, even a lot of women who would agree with his basic point, and certainly to women who conceived after being raped. As for his flawed science, this probably isn’t the place to get into a discussion about how women’s cycles work, but trauma, violent or otherwise, doesn’t prevent conception. At most, it can delay ovulation, which is entirely different.

              • Andy, Bad Person

                At most, it can delay ovulation, which is entirely different.

                Um, can’t the delay of ovulation prevent conception? Other than clinical pedantry, isn’t that exactly what Zippy is getting at?

                • Ted Seeber

                  No, it can’t- especially if the ovulation happened *before the rape*.

                  • Most of the fertile days are the ones before ovulation. After ovulation there is approximately 24 hours left in the fertility window.

                    • Ted Seeber

                      And 24 hours isn’t enough for a rape?

                    • Ted: are you addressing anything I actually said?

                    • j. blum

                      Uh, speaking from experience, child #4, not always true. My wife’s pH was changing, her proverbial friend was beginning to arrive, 40 weeks later…

                    • The fact that one person wins the lottery does not in any way undermine a statistical point about the odds of winning the lottery.

                      Akin never made a categorical claim. We are talking about one clause – not even a whole sentence – in an inrehearsed conversation. When people respond as if he had made a categorical claim, they are committing calumny against a good man.

                • Stu

                  I’m not going to state this with certainty but I seem to recall from the NFP class I took (which was fascinating) that conditions for conceptions were fairly exacting and that myriad factors could influence whether or not conception happened. Whether through delays in ovulation (which certainly can prevent conception)or changes in pH, it would seem to figure that physical and emotional trauma would have an affect on the likelihood of conception taking place. It certainly would eliminate all pregnancies from rape but Akin never states that it was an absolute.

                  • Stu

                    It certainly would NOT eliminate all pregnancies from rape but Akin never states that it was an absolute.

                • Rebecca

                  I am not being clinically pedantic to insist on the difference between delaying ovulation and preventing conception. A rape victim might have just ovulated a few hours before, in which case no matter how traumatized she was, her chances of pregnancy are significantly greater than a woman in mid-cycle whose ovulation is delayed by the trauma of the rape. The words Mr. Akin used made it sound as though the experience of rape comes with its own built-in natural contraception. Regardless of his intentions or the attempts of some sympathetic pro-lifers to paint his words as blameless, they came off as offensive and hurtful to a lot of people whom he would have been wise not to alienate. His choice of words was so foolish and insensitive that when I heard it, my first thought was that he had to be secretly pro-abortion, deliberately trying to make pro-lifers sound like stupid, sexist jerks. I agree with his basic premise, but trying to defend his words now is counterproductive.

                  • You are certainly being clinically pedantic in trying to project all of that onto Akin’s very short remarks.

                    What he said wasn’t even slightly offensive, in my view. If someone is offended that signals a flaw in the listener not the speaker, and the listeners should get over themselves.

                    • j. blum

                      So there’s nothing offensive about the notion that pregnancy is proof the rap victim Really Musta Wanted It?

                    • Did Akin say that, or are you committing calumny?

                    • Mark Shea

                      Please take this discussion to private email. Thank you.

                    • I don’t have the email addresses of all the people in this thread who are committing calumny by claiming that Akin said things he didn’t say. My email address is on the About page of my blog.

                  • Stu

                    How is this insensitive? Please be specific.

                    “Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child”

                    • Ted Seeber

                      And it is that last sentence that I agree with. But we never get to it if we’re hung up on the previous sentences.

                      He would have been better off ONLY with the last sentence.

                    • Well for starters, the phrase “legitimate r*pe.” It calls to mind other distinctions made, like “date r*pe” or “spousal r*pe,” which historically have not been considered “real” r*pes by some people. It also implies (and I am sure this was unintended by Mr. Akin) that if a woman is r*ped and she does get pregnant, maybe the r*pe wasn’t really r*pe after all. That’s a pretty horrible thing to hear if one has suffered the trauma of r*pe.

                      I hate you, spam filter.

                    • Stu

                      I guess no one has ever heard of statutory rape.

                    • “Legitimate r*pe” is not an offensive term. It is a term that feminists have made necessary, as a way to distinguish it from all the things they call r*pe but which are not, in fact, r*pe.

              • Well, Heaven forbid we say anything that might offend a lot of women.

                • If it keeps those women from truly understanding what abortion is, then yes, it is a problem. There are also women who have in fact been r*ped, who were greatly upset by his comments, rational or irrational as their reactions might have been. I’m as pro-life as they come, and I cringed when I heard what he said. There really was a kinder way to get at it. R*pe and abortion are extremely sensitive subjects for a lot of people; I don’t see the harm in using words more carefully and actively trying not to offend people, especially if our goal is to get them to agree with us.

                  Argh! What is it you want of me, spam filter?!?

                  • Anyone hypersensitive enough to take offense at Akin’s words shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

                    • I wouldn’t say that. Rape is a form of trauma, and if you have any experience with trauma, it makes people do all sorts of things that don’t make sense logically, because random sights, smells, words, etc. can return them to the scene of the trauma.

                      It is true, though, that we have a lot of people casting their votes for various candidates for objectively idiotic reasons. I’ve heard it said that we now live in an Idiocracy, and it’s hard to disagree with that.

                  • Stu

                    There were women who were victims of rape who came out to support Akin.

      • In college I served in part as a rape counselor, and I also knew a number of women who had s*x they later regretted. There is a vast difference between the two, and the vast majority of women know that. Please do not use the example of a few women to paint us all black. This is precisely the reason why so many women don’t report a rape — because they knew the guy, or they were on a date, or they had a few drinks, and that will give others ammunition to argue that they really weren’t raped, it was just bad s*x.

        Really, spam filter? Next are you going to ding me if I write about br**st cancer?

        Apparently so.

        • There is growing evidence that the great majority of “date rape” accusations are false. I haven’t done enough due diligence to turn it into a series of blog posts yet, but folks should be careful about committing themselves to positions that seem “truthy”. Intuitively, yes, I’d like to believe that the majority of women who report rapes are doing so honestly. Evidence is mounting that this is not the case.

          • What evidence have you seen? There have been high-profile cases, of course, like the one at Duke, but they only represent a fraction of the rapes that are (alleged) to have happened.* Which brings up another point — if the evidence is based on reported rapes that turn out to be false (and that in and of itself may be an issue, because of the difference between “false” and “unproveable”), what of all the assaults that go unreported in the first place because of a fear of not being believed, or a desire to forget it happened at all?

            *Also, the last time I looked at the relevant FBI crime statistics, the rate of false reports of rape was roughly the same as the rate of false reports of other crimes.

            • Like I said, I haven’t done the due diligence to commit to a thesis yet. I simply urge caution against reaching a predetermined conclusion here, since evidence is building that “date rape” is at least as often a crime of false accusation as it is of legitimate rape.

              • Ted Seeber

                There is a very easy solution to that problem: Don’t bother with taking your clothes off before marriage.

                • So a fornicating woman deserves nothing, but a fornicating man deserves jail?

                  • Ted Seeber

                    If you want to avoid a host of problems, jail being the least, avoiding fornication is a good idea *REGARDLESS* of everything else.

            • Stu

              As a youngster at the University of Maryland back in the 80’s, I was instructed as a freshman that “date rape” included consensual sex that a woman later regretted.

            • Rachel K

              Beadgirl, your posts always make me miss the “like” function. You rock.

              • Thanks, Rachel K!

              • Rebecca

                To falsely accuse a man of rape is unspeakably evil, but that’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with whether or not rape is likely to result in pregnancy or with the morality of aborting such a pregnancy. Arguments like this detract from the real issue and contribute to the impression many pro-abortion women have that those of us on the other side don’t care about women.

                • Does anyone seriously think that pro abortion women can be won over by demonstrating that their pro life sisters can match their thin skin and political correctness? Really? They have no problem chopping unborn infants to bits, but they are going to get all weak-kneed sympathetic if pro lifers give up the practice of speaking plainly?

                  • No, but they were both well ahead in the polls before their statements, even though presumably voters knew that they were pro-life, so apparently it triggered some sort of battle of the sexes feeding frenzy, and enough women changed their minds to swing the election.

                    • They were thrown under the bus by the GOP establishment.

                    • Michael

                      “They were thrown under the bus by the GOP establishment.”

                      Claire McCaskill ran a commercial in the last week of the campaign with video clips of Mitt Romney and John McCain saying how horrible Akin is. He was gaining in the polls, possibly even or ahead, before that came out.

                  • Zippy, I used to be pro-choice, and it really is not about being thinned-skin or politically correct. Most women who are pro-choice are that way because they are truly concerned with the way women are treated in this world (as they should be), and in their quest for justice and fairness, they have deluded themselves into thinking the baby really isn’t a baby. I have yet to meet a pro-choice woman who actually hated babies and thought it was great to destroy them.

                    It took me a long time to realize what my conscience was telling me about abortion, and that was in major part due to hostile rhetoric that painted me as a sadistic baby-killer destined for hell. Hearing those words, and not hearing any compassion whatsoever for the pregnant women and girls who were scared of what the future would bring, made it easy for me to think that pro-lifers were misogynists. Truth and kindness are not mutually exclusive.

                    • Discussions like this one provide convincing evidence that female suffrage was, in fact, a grave mistake; a mistake which has cost literally millions of innocent dead.

                    • Stu

                      “Most women who are pro-choice are that way because they are truly concerned with the way women are treated in this world ”

                      Except unborn women.

                    • Rebecca

                      Zippy, I’ve read many of your comments here and there and visited your blog. You seem like an intelligent and decent person, so I’m startled by your hostile attitude on this thread toward women with whom you probably agree about abortion and rape. These remarks about suffrage are beneath you.

                    • I’m dead serious. How many abortions are we willing to exchange for female suffrage?

                    • Let me put it this way.

                      If I could point to male suffrage, and conclude that a society which rejects men’s suffrage would be vastly less likely to have created a “right” to abortion, I’d sign up against male suffrage unequivocally right now.

                      I find the offense that people take to this idea when it is female suffrage in question absolutely ludicrous, as if their precious feelings have any standing at all next to tend of millions of murdered unborn.

                    • And I find it ludicrous to blame abortion on women’s suffrage, especially given that the original suffragists were pro-life, and today women are slightly more likely than men to be pro-life.

                    • The kind of society that insists upon female suffrage as a basic requirement of justice is the kind of society destined to enshrine abortion as a fundamental human right.

                    • IOW, it isn’t that women insist on abortion as a fundamental human right. It is that the kind of people – men and women – who insist on female suffrage as a fundamental human right inevitably, as a social reality (individual exceptions do not disprove the point) end up supporting abortion as a fundamental human right.

                    • Dave

                      I’m not really following you here, Zippy. Are you saying this because women tend to vote Democrat more? It’s a pretty bold statement…

                    • kenneth

                      Zippy is wasting his time in the West. He could go very far in politics or the clerical hierarchy in Kandahar Province, with his ideas about women’s suffrage. Very far indeed….

                    • I’m not really following you here, Zippy. Are you saying this because women tend to vote Democrat more?

                      No. I am saying that the kind of society (composed of both men and women) which views male-only suffrage as a basic violation of justice will inevitably end up asserting a right to abortion. They go together, as a package deal. As a practical matter you can’t reject the right to abortion without also rejecting the notion that anything less than universal suffrage is some sort of violation of justice.

                    • Mercury

                      I really do not understand the conclusions you are drawing here, Zippy.

                      You claim it’s not because women vote for abortion more, but that any society that would see women’s suffrage as a right must necessarily end up viewing abortion as a right?

                      Where the hell does such an idea even come from? Say what you want about women’s suffrage, but I think it’s entirely unwarranted to make such a bold claim based on no evidence. Post hoc ergo propter hoc indeed.

                      Also, do you really wanna sit here and say women were never treated as if their opinions didn’t matter in the past, as if rape were their fault, as if there were no such thing as spousal rape, etc. Of course today we see women as nothing more than sex dolls, but that does not mean they were given the respect they deserved back in the good ol’ 1910s either.

                    • Mercury

                      “As a practical matter you can’t reject the right to abortion without also rejecting the notion that anything less than universal suffrage is some sort of violation of justice.”

                      Please explain the path of your logic here. I too do not believe that universal women’s suffrage is absolutely necessary in order to not violate justice, but unlike you I am not upset that women can vote, or that they can insist their perspective be treated as worthwhile. But where on earth do you come to the conclusion that a society that insists on women’s suffrage must necessarily insist on a right to abortion?

                      And do remember that there are those who even think that insisting on democratic governance at ALL will automatically lead to such evils. Churchmen and secular intellectuals for a long time denounced the very idea of common people voting or having any say in the governance of their nations.

                      So why don’t we just give it back to the landowning white males?

                    • Patrick

                      Zippy, could you please draw the line between women’s suffrage and the legalization of abortion?

                      That sounds way too much like a conspiracy theory, without any argumentation behind it.

                    • Rebecca

                      Sigh — now I remember why I prefer using male or gender-neutral handles when I post online. Look, I’m skeptical about democracy to begin with and don’t believe that voting is an absolute right. I’d willingly give up my teeny little bit of the franchise in exchange for an ethical, effective government. But after being yelled at for the past few months by my fellow conservative Catholics who were accusing me of mortal sin for deciding not to vote this election, this is all a bit much. Anyway, whether women have a right to vote or not, we do have a right to expect our concerns to be taken seriously and handled courteously. Zippy is basically accusing Beadgirl, me, and any female who had a problem with what Mr. Akin said of being oversensitive, when the purpose of parsing his remarks was to show how the man was going to be heard by a significant portion of his constituency. No one here has attacked his character or even his message. It looks to me as though Zippy’s the one being oversensitive and emotional here rather than rational.

                    • Zippy, could you please draw the line between women’s suffrage and the legalization of abortion?


                    • I’d willingly give up my teeny little bit of the franchise in exchange for an ethical, effective government.

                      Good. Me too, in a heartbeat.

                      Anyway, whether women have a right to vote or not, we do have a right to expect our concerns to be taken seriously and handled courteously.

                      Nobody has claimed otherwise.

                      Zippy is basically accusing Beadgirl, me, and any female who had a problem with what Mr. Akin said of being oversensitive

                      Not “any female”. Any person. Lots of (putative) men have gotten their knickers in a twist over what he (didn’t) say. See Ted Seeber in this very thread, for example. I don’t know if “j. blum” is male or female, but that person paraphrased Akin as “pregnancy is proof the rap[e] victim Really Musta Wanted It”

                      Beadgirl told us above that she supported mass baby murder for a long time precisely because she was concerned about women being treated unjustly: concern for women being treated unjustly leads directly to mass baby murder on Beadgirl’s own account:

                      Most women who are pro-choice are that way because they are truly concerned with the way women are treated in this world (as they should be), and in their quest for justice and fairness, they have deluded themselves into thinking the baby really isn’t a baby. I have yet to meet a pro-choice woman who actually hated babies and thought it was great to destroy them.

                      I would include this as the reason men are pro-baby-murder too. And I would suggest that people who don’t understand that the female franchise is the cornerstone of “their quest for justice and fairness” are, in fact, deluded.

                    • Mercury

                      “concern for women being treated unjustly leads directly to mass baby murder on Beadgirl’s own account”

                      Oh, I see, so the problem is concern with women being treated unjustly.

                      How about instead of making the argument that concern for women being treated fairly or justly automatically leads to acceptance of baby-killing, could we not just assume that, like so many other examples in life, a person’s legitimate concern for one injustice often leads to the radical acceptance of another injustice? Isn’t history fraught with this?

                      Many who were concerned about the Tsar’s police state and the conditions of the poor ended up supporting the Bolsheviks; many who were concerned with the treatment of workers in the 19th/20th centuries ended up getting into socialism/communism; the movement towards worker’s unions has led to union thuggery and extortion of employers; the right to vote itself has led some people to vote for immorality; concern for the legitimate and fearful threat of Bolshevism in 1930s Central Europe led millions of Germans into the loving arms of the Nazi Party (and Cardinal von Galen, who has been beatified, even thought German men *should* fight against Russia); concern for the abuse of animals has led people into radical animal rights loonyland; concern for the environment has led to eco-terrorism and certain ridiculous regulations; concern about the abuses in the way the Mass is celebrated have been what caused some people to embark on their journey away from Rome as far as the SSPV; concerns about corruption in the Church were in part what fueled the Protestant Reformation; I myself have listened to the arguments of some pro-lifers legitimately concerned with baby murder who have said that assassinating abortion doctors is morally justified … the list goes on and on.

                      The point is that legitimate concerns DO often lead to immoderation on the other end – that’s how evil works. Most people commit evil for ends which are in themselves good, and therein lies the danger. Many if not most abortion supporters, especially of the “three exceptions type”, do not support it because they like to kill babies and drink their blood, but instead adopt an erroneous and evil viewpoint that stems ultimately from legitimate concerns.

                      How on earth this is somehow unique to women’s suffrage or concern for women’s place in society, I have no idea.

                    • Mercury

                      By the way, I am not going to respond anymore, as per Mark’s request.

        • Ted Seeber

          I hit the spam filter too. But my point can be read by anybody in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2331-2400 inclusive, with emphasis on paragraph 2356.

          Take that Spam Filter!

          • Ted Seeber

            Oh, and pointing out the for men afraid of false accusations of D.R., the church has an absolutely excellent answer to that problem: Chastity. Leave the act for *after* you’ve got written and witnessed public consent in the form of getting married.

            • How about men who have actually been imprisoned? Are you suggesting that the Church doesn’t give a shit because they were fornicating?

              • Mercury

                Maybe they can “offer it up” for all the women who have had to just “suck it up” over the years. Or do you think it’s also a lie that women, both today and in the past, have been afraid to report rape, especially by those closest to them? Hell, up until recently a woman would have laughed out of the court for claiming spousal rape.

                • Two wrongs don’t make a right.

                  • Mercury

                    Never said they did.

              • Ted Seeber

                I have no problem with imprisonment of idiots. At all.

                And imprisonment of the brilliant can yield amazing reflections on the state of affairs. Look at St. Paul’s output.

                No, I’m sorry, protecting society is ALWAYS the right thing to do- even when it means imprisonment of idiots.

                • Ted Seeber

                  A more theological answer: The temporal effects of sin can lead to eternal forgiveness. There is a reason why priests visit prisons.

                  One should NEVER IGNORE SIN. Forgiveness of sin requires repentance on the part of the sinner. The last thing anybody should do is claim that a sin either wasn’t a sin, or didn’t happen.

                  And that goes for a heck of a lot more than just the subject at hand.

  • Mercury

    I’ll jump on the bandwagon and say that the piece you linked to was sarcastic … and it looks like the man himself has actually written here to say as much.

  • Jen

    I’ve read Jeff Goldstein’s ‘Protein Wisdom’ blog for several years. I second (third? fourth?) the comments that you’re missing the satire there, Mark.

  • Danger

    I think you owe Mr. Goldstein an apology. As a regular reader of Protein Wisdom (and personaly a social conservative) I can attest that Jeff has been more than fair, even suportive of socons.

    in fact, if you spend a little time reviewing his comments you might be pleasently surprised to find out that he actually has supported Akin and Mourdock.

  • obpoet

    Yes, it is a long slog. Thats why its so important to remain focused and not get distracted by issues that really have no bearing on the matter of abortion. That seems to happen all too often.

  • Obpoet

    It’s just not that complicated. You don’t offend people with comments about rape. You don’t make fun of people with disabilities. You don’t demean yourself with comments about race or ethnic slurs. You don’t use the word niggard or niggardly, both legitimate words, but they sound too much like an offensive word. It’s not that hard to understand. If you can’t understand these simple rules, you have no business serving in public office. Unless your name is Joe Biden, and then it’s perfectly acceptable.

    • Yes, the obvious answer is not to speak plainly and honestly. We should only tolerate politicians capable of always, without exception. spouting nothing but carefully rehearsed marketing copy. That should lead to a really just society.

  • Danger

    “Update: I am, by the way, stupid ”

    No, you’re just human and satire can be difficult to identify without the benefit of contextual and historical clues that sa regular reader might have.

    I’m sure Jeff appreciates the correction and I hope you’ll check in on us over there again

  • obpoet

    The obvious answer is to speak intelligently and without offense. If one is incapable of doing that, the I would venture one is very ill suited for the rigors of public office. It shows an utter lack of good judgement, a trait which I would find essential for good governance.

    • What if it is not possible to speak the truth without offending someone?

      • Ted Seeber

        That is when it is all the more important to make sure it is the truth.

  • obpoet

    And I would add to the list: stop with the Hitler and Nazi analogies and references, unless you are writing about Hitler or the Nazis.

    • Mercury

      How true. I am guilty of it sometimes too. Besides, we forget about all the Mussolinis of the world who make far better analogies without being so over the top.

    • Ted Seeber

      When it comes to Planned Parenthood- I see no difference. To me it’s not an analogy.

  • obpoet

    It’s a difference that even a 5th grader could see.

    • Ted Seeber

      Ok, show me the difference between one group of genocidal maniacs and another group of genocidal maniacs.

      WHAT precisely is the difference between a holocaust of 6 million Jews and a holocaust of 56 million unborn to you?

  • antigon

    That the latter is worse by a factor just short of 10?

    • Ted Seeber

      Only by multiples of infinity. One death by the hand of man is too much.

  • Proteios1

    At this point, no one will read this comment, but all these solutions require a society. A group to come together. We are not, they are not. Everyone is in it for themselves. What can I get out of a corrupt system that looks out for themselves, serves themselves and is not interested in me. The social aspect of politics, religion, etc. has all been replac with the notion that its all about …me.

  • Obpoet

    Again, it’s a difference a 5th grader could see. The issue isn’t the horror. The issue is the discussion is not advanced when names like Hitler and Nazi are hurled at someone. The dialogue ceases. Therefore, public officials, or those seeking public office should not speak on rape, race, ethnicity, or Hitler in callous or insensitive ways. It shows a lack of judgement which disqualifies them from the office they seek, again, unless their name is Joe Biden.

    • Ted Seeber

      Ok, then pick another genocidal maniac to compare the genocidal maniacs to.

      Because they are indeed genocidal maniacs, and I doubt they can ever be reasoned with, for they have abandoned all reason.

  • Obpoet

    I think the point is a comparison isn’t even needed, the evil speaks for itself. But if you cloud the issue with words like rape, Hitler, niggardly, Nazi, etc, people just stop listening (or voting). The trick is to get them to both listen and vote for life.