Wednesday, November 9

Who needs enemies when you've got Zach Karabell?

Over at the Huffington Post, Zachary Karabell poses the question: "What if the Supremes overturned Roe v. Wade?"

His answer? The Democrats would be better off.

Yes, Zachary -- can I call you Brother Zachariah? -- the Democrats would surely be better off if the Republicans were allowed to claim a major political and "moral" victory, which would certainly galvanize their followers and give them something with which to taunt the already pathetic Democrats who aren't quite sure what part of the phrase "opposition party" applies to them.

And, you know, the actual women this concerns be damned! Their very real worries here aren't what matters! What matters is the political chess game that, apparently, some Democrats are so hung up on winning that they are completely willing to sell out the queen just to keep the king in play. But the difference is this: it's not a chess game, and the queen matters just as much as the king in the real world; if she dies, everybody loses.

Karabell's trademark masculine logic works this way:

Post Roe, nothing would change in the Blue States.

But in many Red states, abortion is already de facto restricted. Try finding an abortion clinic in rural Alabama, Mississippi or Georgia. Abortion is already socially illegal in many parts of the country; mores often matter more than laws.

But if Roe is overturned, suddenly, every state would be forced to discuss and debate, and that would propel the Democrats from defense to offense. Imagine: in Red states where Democrats have been portraying themselves as kinder, gentler Republicans, there would suddenly be an opportunity to debate choice, privacy, state power versus individual freedoms, morality, life, death, and science. Would they win everywhere? Hardly. But they would be central and relevant about issues that engender passion and heated disagreements.

The first part of his argument is exactly why the federal protection is so important. Is he saying that, somehow, with federal protection removed, suddenly the pro-choice movement in Mississippi will grow so quickly that it will come out better than during Roe?

Does Karabell live in America? How about on Earth? Is he familiar with the nuances of these fabled red states? Because it's painfully clear to all but the most insipid and aloof that the instant federal abortion protections evaporate, red state legislatures -- even those speckled with so-called Democrats, many of whom are anti-choice -- are going to pass further state constitutional restrictions on abortion, just like many states did to ban same-sex marriage over the course of the past year.

If Karabell thinks that, somehow, a federal reversal on the issue is going to inspire moderate voters to go against the whims of Daddy Bush and his Holy Administration, which will take credit for ushering in a new age of "morality," then Karabell is smoking some stronger crack than I even knew existed. If anything, the Democrats will be rendered completely irrelevent and ineffective, and I, for one, wouldn't mourn their passing. Because if the Democrats give up on women, I give up on them. Period.

This isn't a fucking game. Women's ability under the law to make decisions about their own bodies is not a political tool to be manipulated by selfish fucks so that their party can bolster itself into power.


Blogger zachary said...

Let's be clear: no one is saying this a game except you. The woman who runs the one major abortion clinic in Mississippi recently said that she hope Roe is overturned because only then will apathetic supporters of a woman's right to chose be forced to organize to prevent the very restrictions that are now being put in effect. Before you jump on your high horse to excoriate me, why don't you listen to what people who are actually on the front lines are saying.

Mon Nov 14, 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

I don't have to jump on a high horse to point out that your strategy — beat the Republicans by taking on or faking their values — is shortsighted and very much sounds like a game. I can do that right here, from a very grounded perspective.

How did you manage to, in a column about Roe v. Wade, not once use the word "woman"? Instead, you chose to focus on how the Democrats would benefit from handing this issue in a pretty wrapped package to the Republicans.

I have no doubt that there are many who feel that a radical policy shift is the surest and quickest way to incite public outrage and coordinated change, but I feel like these emotions are hyperbolic in a way (kind of like how some people hope for higher gas prices so that people will demand more efficient cars) and, if the imagined situation were to become reality, we would see a sweeping legislative effort across many portions of the country to outlaw abortion regardless of constituencies' wishes.

To say that women have been apathetic about abortion rights is by and large ridiculous. Tell the 1.15 million women who showed up at the March for Women's Lives that they're being too apathetic about reproductive rights. Tell the millions of women who donate to NOW and FMF and Planned Parenthood and NARAL that they're not doing enough.

The point is, we have come to expect this RIGHT because that's what the courts determined it was: a right. And if it's truly a RIGHT, it cannot be taken away. So why would the Democrats offer it up as a sacrifice if they didn't believe that it wasn't really a right? If that's the case, they need to come out and tell us that so I can stop fucking voting for them.

For you to threaten women with taking away that right because you perceive apathy on their part is pretty vile and shows the underlying misogyny of your way of looking at this issue.

Mon Nov 14, 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger zachary said...

It is the refuge of the weak to resort to character assasination. I'm sure you are passionate in your belief that Roe is the one way to preserve this right, but if the best you can do is accuse me of misogyny, then we really do have problems. When will you realize that this RIGHT, as you so boldly state, is under assault and that Roe is not preventing its erosion? Why don't you call the head of that clinic in Jackson, Mississippi a "misogynist?" Is it because you'd rather cleave to the pipe dream that Roe is preserving choice, when in so many parts of the country it is a de facto cloak for those who are assualting it?

Mon Nov 14, 09:34:00 PM  

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