In the wake of the Komen debacle and back-pedal, Kathleen Parker is talking about “conscience” and Ross Douthat is talking about “media bias”. I’ll put it plainly: that’s how people talk when they’ve just lost a political battle.
The Chunky one cites some poll numbers about how many Americans identify as pro-life, but that’s neither here nor there: reproductive rights has been a great issue for Republicans for 30 years even though polls show that the country has been split, tending slightly towards pro-choice, during that time. The reason is that pro-lifers think that if Republicans wink at them and say “Dred Scott”, they’ll over-rule Roe v. Wade, whereas pro-choicers think that Roe v. Wade will never be overturned (they’re probably right) and, if they have money, that they or their daughter can go to Mexico or Canada if need be (they’re probably right here too)…so pro-lifers vote the issue and pro-choicers don’t.
For this reason, conservatives like Douthat think that all talk of reproductive rights helps their cause, no matter what the MSM says. They’re wrong. Republicans have found a sweet spot on the issue, where their side is fired up and the other side is complacent. But that’s only on abortion. As soon as the debate expands to include access to contraceptives or cancer screenings, the terrain shifts, and probably not to a place that is as favorable for them as the current terrain.
When it comes to Komen, the fact is on social media, the comments were overwhelmingly anti-Komen (80:1 on twitter by one account, which is about what I saw on the Yoplait pages). It wasn’t Andrea Mitchell and other evil libruls sand-bagging Komen, it was the invisible hand of the free market.
If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.