Let Abortion Be Banned
The first of what may be many bills outlawing abortion is coming up in the South Dakota legislature, as discussed in this New York Times article. Liberals and progressives should be happy about this, although I suspect they are not. The abortion issue has been the bread, butter, meat, potatoes, and dessert of the Christian conservative movement in this country since the passage of Roe v. Wade 33 years ago. (Prayer in public schools has been the after-dinner mint, while keeping gays from being happy has been the mango-lime salsa appetizer). It is the primary issue that binds all the moral conservatives in this country together. They need it to survive. But without it, they are weak, and their voices cannot be heard in unison. Without it, they cannot mobilize effectively.
So I say we give them their issue right now. I'm not convinced yet that Chief Justice John Roberts will vote to overturn, but I think we should encourage him to. An overturning does not automatically outlaw abortion, but rather give power back to the states to decide. By most estimates somewhere between a quarter and a half of the states would probably be able to outlaw abortion in their legislatures. But think of how the politics would shift in this country if such a thing happened. People on the left, many who never voted before or gave a flying rat's ass about politics would suddenly be furious.
Meanwhile, conservatives, lacking their keystone issue, would falter. On the tails of everything horrible the current Republican powerhold has been doing, in the wake of scandals and failed foreign policy and a hugely unpopular President, the conservative movement would be COMPLETELY CRUSHED by the groundswell of liberal and progressive support. Few national candidates supporting abortion bans would stand a chance. Democrats and even independants would take control of this country within four years. Those same abortion bans would fall, one by one, and the Republican party would be totally humiliated.
There is a cost to this, as unwanted pregnancies would spike in many states. Of course, it could be argued that in many states, such as Mississippi and Alabama, it's already exceedingly difficult to get an abortion, so the change might not even be noticeable. Democrats, liberals, progressives, centrists, all need to get behind the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
By giving a little, we can take the momentum created by such a historical change and use it to crush the opposition handily. By letting it happen, Republicans will suddenly be without legs, arms, or torsoes. They will just be tiny heads trying to shout about the war on terror over the din of the coming progressive wave.