Friday, September 12, 2008

Liberal Fascism

Best of the Web's James Taranto writes about something I noticed a few days ago--for the left, abortion isn't about "freedom of choice" anymore:
"South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin [yesterday], saying John McCain had chosen a running mate 'whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion,' " Politico reports. Fowler later apologized "to anyone who finds my comment offensive."

We'll leave the offense to others. We find Fowler's comment revealing and disturbing. And she is not alone in striking this theme. Here is Andrew "Beagle With a Smear" Sullivan of The Atlantic:
And then, because [John McCain] could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama.
Sullivan loses control of his syntax, but Salon's Cintra Wilson manages to make a similar point with flawless grammar:
Sarah Palin is a bit comical, like one of those cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms. What her Down syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter unequivocally prove, however, is that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform that ensures her own political ambitions with the conservative right.
This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.

Fowler uses Palin's motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women's equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but "a woman's right to choose," here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin's decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a "culture war"--that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through "eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in"--which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

To Wilson, Palin's adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children--proof "that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform." Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live. . .

None of this can be explained in terms of political calculation. Scorning a woman for declining to abort a disabled child is likely to be about as persuasive to voters as burning an American flag. These ugly sentiments have to be sincere. In a way, that makes them even more disquieting.
I don't write about abortion here--it's not my issue. But determinism masquerading as choice isn't free. And freedom is one of my issues.

In the week since the Palin nomination, the left, including the media, has dropped the kimono. Let no one have any doubt that they fear successful and attractive women, that they hate anyone holding contrary opinions, and that they despise the electorate. They're not promoting choice--they're insisting you second their decisions.

Why vote for that?


Geoffrey Britain said...

"the left, including the media, ...fear successful and attractive women, that they hate anyone holding contrary opinions, and that they despise the electorate. They're not promoting choice--they're insisting you second their decisions."

That's certainly true of Sullivan, he fears the continuance of a republican administration because he's certain it threatens same-sex marriage, which is a tool to further his actual goal; social acceptance of the premise that homosexuality is just as valid as heterosexuality.

More than anything else, Sullivan craves societal approval.

But I'd like to offer an alternative point of view regarding Wilson & Fowler. In their case, I think you have the 'symptom' confused with the 'disease', so to speak.

They abhor Palin because she threatens a fundamental premise of their feminist rationale.

And this premise centers entirely upon the abortion issue.

Paglia in the article you reference in the post below, states out of libertarian 'clarity' that she accepts that a fetus is a human being and that abortion is murder.

She rationalizes the obvious by holding the premise that a woman's complete right to her body renders her the right to do with it as she pleases, including abortion.

I mention Paglia's beliefs because it is the fundamental premise that Wilson and Fowler share and it reveals why they fear what Palin represents so very much.

What Paglia, Fowler and Wilson value is autonomy.

They posit that the fetus is just part of a woman's body and therefore they have a right to do with it as they please.

Paglia's rational disconnect is laid bear with her admission that abortion is murder. The implicit logical consequence is that if abortion is murder then the fetus must be a person...because we cannot murder an animal or part of our body.

AND if a fetus is another human being then of necessity a pregnant woman's autonomy is curtailed...

Above all else, this is what they fear.

Wilson and Fowler lack the intellectual honesty of a Paglia.

Paglia rationalizes out of her need for autonomy.

The consequence of this premise and resulting rationale is the unintended but necessary rejection of what Paglia characterizes as a woman's sexuality and fecundity integrated into her feminism.

And that is why heterosexual feminists are so unhappy. Long ago they made a 'deal' with the devil, exchanging what makes them a woman for the autonomy of a man, while lacking the balls to be one.

That dysfunctional arrangement necessarily results in men 'adjusting' by adopting the metrosexual pose...and emasculated men are not really able to satisfy a woman because they lack what is necessary to complete a woman. Just as a woman who has rejected her fecundity lacks what completes a man.

Palin shows the way to literally 'have it all' and it scares the bejesus out of traditional liberal feminists because it requires the sacrifice of what they believe grants them their autonomy.

Palin represents a paradigm shift in feminism, one that both men and women can embrace. It is the left's misfortune that Palin is a conservative but societal evolution cares not a whit for personal preference.

UliPele said...

The things you're accusing are no worse than the racists and religiously bigoted emails floating around about our next president, Senator Barack Obama.

You can keep your filthy oil.


Uli Pele (who doesn't drive and doesn't even use petroleum based detergents. Ick)

OBloodyHell said...

> Uli Pele (who doesn't drive and doesn't even use petroleum based detergents. Ick)

K, Uli. Just be sure you stand upwind, ok?

> You can keep your filthy oil.

Thanks. Not being pacifists, we sorta planned on it.

Unlike pacifists, we can make that plan stick.

> our next president, Senator Barack Obama.

Jumping the gun at the same time as Obama jumps the shark.

Nice trick, if you can get paid for it.

OBloodyHell said...

> a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in"--which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

Well, this attitude is understandable.

Having no principles, the Left can't imagine someone making a stance which is based on them -- the idea that what one says should reflect what one does, and vice-versa is utterly beyond them.

So clearly, the only reason one might actually do something as Downs-baby rather than aborting it is for political gain.

Mind you, I think Ms. Palin is taking a good idea and going too far with it, but
a) It's her life and time to spend as she chooses
b) I damn sure respect such attention to principles. Even more so in a politician.


OBloodyHell said...

> What Paglia, Fowler and Wilson value is autonomy.

Well, excluding Paglia, what they are valuing is a lack of responsibility. They are chidren. They want all the power they can get, but don't want any consequences or responsibilities thrust upon them.

I'm pro-choice, but mainly because I argue with the notion of what human life is. I don't think it's tied to DNA, or to form. Human life, to me, ties to the sense of self-awareness and capacity for reason and learning. I don't accept the notion that a four, eight, or sixteen cell organism has these things (if this is tied to a soul, then you are getting into a religious argument which, for me, has no business as a basis for law). As a result, I believe it is not unreasonable to argue that a fetus, up to a certain point, is not a human and thus does not have human rights.

That's particularly fuzzy and dangerous argument to make for something that's been born, but, by the best measures, the fetus does not have its own brainwaves well into the third month or later... so that, to me, makes the first trimester a suitable dividing line applicable to known information, and subject to later revision if we manage to create a more concrete, technically sensible definition of "what is human".

Geoffrey Britain said...


I'm pro-life but support pro-choice.

I agree as to the religious implications of the concept of a soul, especially as science cannot confirm or disprove based upon scientific evidence. I too hold that we cannot make laws based solely upon religious belief or we are imposing a religious belief upon others and that is why I support pro-choice.

That said, the concept of a 'soul' might be said to essentially conform with your definition of human life, a "sense of self-awareness and capacity for reason and learning". Where it might differ is in the attribute of a souls not dying.

Your position is reasoned and in line with what most people feel to be an acceptable 'comfort zone' regarding life.

You mentioned that Wilson and Fowler value the avoidance of responsibility and that is true but isn't the lack of responsibility the ultimate autonomy? And doesn't acceptance of the premise that abortion is murder lead to the fetus (at some point) being a person? And if a fetus is a person, then does that not of necessity curtail a woman's autonomy?

Finally, I would like to share a personal experience that has relevance to this discussion.

I was in the delivery room when my daughter was born, the doctor handed my daughter to me and then I to my wife. At the moment I held her, we looked into each others eyes. (I know, baby's aren't supposed to be able to focus) but I am telling you and anyone else that she was as aware of me, as I of her. I saw the recognition and awareness in her eyes. I can't prove it of course and that recognition wasn't there a few hours later but I know what I saw.

I also knew in that moment that she wasn't 'thinking' anything at all. Almost instantly, I realized that she had no linguistic framework within which to formulate thoughts. The closest I can come to describing it is the way our minds become in meditation, the 'empty' mind but fully aware.

Unless there is a soul that enters right at the moment of first breath, I don't know how to rationally theorize what I saw without the premise that my daughter was a human being before she was born.

OBloodyHell said...

> I don't know how to rationally theorize what I saw without the premise that my daughter was a human being before she was born.

I'm not taking issue with a child being human at birth (although there are still some which challenge any rational definition of "human" well afterwards), or even well before. I think brainwaves are a key sign of a capacity for thought and sense of self. If you don't have those, you aren't a human. And yes, that has ramifications on euthanasia, too.

Carl said...


I don't think you get it. You do not claim--nor could you--that Republican candidates or senior members of the party are conducting racist or bigoted attacks on the Democrats. Neither candidate is responsible for each crazy email from a supporter. Neither I nor anyone quoted in this post says otherwise. We do however, object when Democrat candidates, Congressmen or senior party officials are sexist, wrong or outrageous.

In any event, this post is about lefties who cloak their views in the guise of "choice," but actually disparage anyone who chooses something different. The pro-choice movement has fatally undermined their best argument--what happened to "if you don't like abortion, don't have one"?

PS--just for me, try getting through a day without petroleum.

Carl said...


I'm pro-choice in this sense: abortion should be a state-law issue set by the voters and "should not be decided by judicial fiat." Get the process right and the appropriate substantive outcome(s) will follow.

Anonymous said...

What about leaving the issue to the women whose bodies are involved? Do you like government control over your body?

Carl said...


So you agree we should eliminate the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Agriculture, both of which tell us what we cannot put in our bodies?

Anonymous said...

Under Bush no government agency is functioning to serve the people. Bush is serving himself and his buddies. Look at the latest Interior Department scandal and consider how they dirtied the Justice Department.

The entire country is dissolving thanks to the "deregulation" by Reagan. Let's take his name off the airport and buildings. Ronald Reagan did serious damage to our nation just as Bush & Company are continuing to do.

If there are any smart Republicans left, they would now re-register as Independents or Democrats.

Carl said...

Have you noticed that whenever you note the logical errors of anonymous commenters they always stray from the topic?

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that carl is only comfortable with people who agree with him?

It's time for you to get honest about the grossly destructive impact of the deregulation of Reagan and the other disastrous impacts of the Bush crowd, including the Supremes.

"Conservative" is not the correct term to describe you. "Republican" is. You take it as a religion. You give up thinking and observing to uphold your "Republican" beliefs. Time to get honest. You and your ilk have done way too much damage to our beloved country. Acknowledge and change. Quickly. Now.