Mark Steyn thinks Hillary "Abtreibung Macht Frei" Clinton's chances of winning the presidency in '08 are excellent. Painful though it is to admit, he's on target.
The senator is a quick learner. Her initial campaign stops in the 2000 race were embarrassing: stiff, evasive, that robotic I Speak Your Weight voice. By the end, she was almost charming -- not lightly worn Fred-Astaire-romancing-Audrey-Hepburn charm; you could see she had to work at it. But nevertheless she did, and she succeeded. Smart folks adapt: For Republicans to assume they'll be running against the Hillary of 1992 is a big mistake.
When you look at her feints to the right in the post-9/11 era, what matters is not whether she believes them but that she's the only Democrat with sufficient star quality to be able to ignore the deranged needs of UnableToMoveOn.org. Evan Bayh can't -- hence his pathetic vote against Condi. No male Democrat could get away with Hillary's tentative moves away from Dem orthodoxy on abortion: Kerry was reduced to claiming that, while he personally believed life begins at conception, he would never let his deep personal beliefs interfere with his legislative program; Dean was practically offering to perform partial-birth abortions on volunteers from the crowd. But, if a woman runs as kinda-sorta-pro-life-ish, I'll bet the NOW types decline to protest.
As Joseph Sobran writes, this kind of rhetorical pandering "falls within the limits of permissible cynicism." NARAL and NOW will grind their dentures -- not at Hillary, but at the circumstances that make her concession a tactical necessity -- and will direct their vitriol at her opponents.
In terms of legal policy, be it understood, Hillary won't budge on abortion: any time for any woman for any reason. Her pro-lifery, such as it is, will follow the National Catholic Reporter formula, "If we had mandatory education in birth-control from the Fifth Grade onwards and universal Government-funded contraception, there'd be fewer inconvenient pregnancies to terminate." The slogan "Every child a wanted child" means, by simple entailment, "Every abortion a wanted abortion."
Does the liberals' family-friendly language express a pro-life position? Well, yes, in the same sense in which an exasperated Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, in 1944, might have scolded objectors to the Final Solution: "You Jews complain about our extermination camps, but do you lift a finger to eliminate deeper need they address? Never! If you'd take it upon yourselves to begin an orderly program of contraception, sterilization, and suicide, our racial impurity problem would be solved, and the need for death camps would cease. You musn't think we enjoy killing -- we wish to eliminate the root cause that provides us the motive to kill: You."
It's in bad taste to equate feminist-sponsored homicide with fascist-sponsored homicide of course, but the blunder is one of style, not logic. For both groups of bio-supremacists, the trick is to decree that a certain class of beings falls short of full humanity: one you've got that, it's open season and no bag limit. Not, of course, that everyone needs to hunt. Every homicide a wanted homicide.
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Posted by: dover beachcomber -
Apr. 15, 2005 2:57 PM ET USA
"Bad taste" or not, your delicious analogy with the Final Solution, Diogenes, is a great whack on the side of the head. It might help to open the eyes of those head-in-the-past folks who furiously deplore using the word "holocaust" in reference to the abortion catastrophe.
Posted by: -
Apr. 14, 2005 2:39 PM ET USA
The poster boys for "every homicide a wanted homicide" are Judge Greer, Michael Schiavo, and Bp. Lynch. The future in America looks like it will get a lot nastier.
Posted by: -
Apr. 14, 2005 2:34 PM ET USA
ben. & jchrys.: RESPECTFULLY:Granted, Reps are just as bad as Dems. Granted, Bush is a politician just like the rest of 'em. We can't give up Hope. Remember "Laci and Conner's Law?" We can't give up hope on the UVVA. If the Reps came out and said "Were gonna try to ban all abortion immediately" they would start to lose power anyway. Where would that leave us? Don't forget about the state level. We need to vote in pro-lifers Dem.OR Rep. If I may: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/wm598.cfm
Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Apr. 14, 2005 8:02 AM ET USA
Abortion is an embarassing issue for Republicans. When do you see them openly campaigning to bring an end to it? They wish the issue would just go away. President Bush will fly anywhere and say anything to get personal accounts added to Social Security, but when do you ever see him aggressively working to bring an end to this true plague on humanity? The only difference in the end is he SAYS he opposes abortion while the Democrats WORK to keep it legal. So what's the diff if Hillary wins???
Posted by: -
Apr. 14, 2005 6:43 AM ET USA
"Abtreibung Macht Frei" and "Primus inter Pansies" -- if the Church ever rights itself, I'm going to miss witticisms like these. Keine Angst habe Ich. The world would have to stop revolving on its axis for that to happen. More to the point, the Republicans have shown themselves to be no less manipulative, power-mad and unprincipled as the D's, and have left us with a Leviathan of a government, with its insatiable craving for more money, who really cares which party prevails, ever?