The issue that won't go away
It's early, but I'm already prepared to submit my nomination for the stupidest headline of the month:
Sleeper issue? When in the last 37 years has abortion not been a dominant issue—no, the dominant issue—in every discussion of every Supreme Court nomination?
Our political leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, assure us that for now, at least, the abortion issue is settled. There is no chance that the Roe v. Wade decision will be overturned by the Supreme Court as it is currently composed. The nomination of Elena Kagan—or of any other jurist likely to win the nod from President Obama—will not change that prognosis. Yet they keep talking about the issue. The media, following their lead, continue the conversation.
But now we've reached a new watershed. The Washington Post, which passes for the newspaper of record in the nation's capital, carries a notice that abortion will be a "sleeper" issue. The nation's leading journalists are poised to feign surprise when the question comes up again. Haven't we already settled it?
When my children were young, if they kept asking questions about an issue that we had already discussed and settled, I sometimes attributed their curiosity to a nagging conscience.
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