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27 January 2005

We’re all a bit suprised, Andrew

From the mouth of Andrew Sullivan, over at

Hillary Rodham Clinton is
absolutely right. I’ve waited many years to write that sentence, but,
hey, if you live long enough. … I’m referring to her superb speech
earlier this week on the politics and morality of abortion. There were
two very simple premises to Clinton’s argument: a) the right to legal
abortion should remain, and b) abortion is always and everywhere a
moral tragedy. It seems to me that if we are to reduce abortions to an
absolute minimum (and who, exactly, opposes that objective?), then
Clinton’s formula is the most practical. Her key sentences: “We can all
recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic
choice to many, many women. … The fact is that the best way to reduce
the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies
in the first place.”

Echoing her husband’s inspired notion that abortion should be “safe,
legal, and rare,” the senator from New York seemed to give new emphasis
to that last word: “rare.” Hers is, in that respect, a broadly pro-life
position. Not in an absolutist, logically impeccable fashion–which
would require abolishing all forms of legal abortion immediately–but
in a pragmatic, moral sense. In a free society, the ability of a woman
to control what happens to her own body will always and should always
be weighed in the balance against the right of an unborn child to life
itself. And, if she and the Democrats can move the debate away from the
question of abortion’s legality toward abortion’s immorality, then they
stand a chance of winning that debate in the coming years….

In some ways, this does not mean a change of principle. Democrats can
still be, and almost certainly should be, for the right to legal
abortion. But, instead of beginning their conversation with that right,
they should start by acknowledging a wrong. Abortion is always wrong.
How can we keep it legal while doing all we can to reduce its damage?
Call it a pro-life pro-choice position. And argue for it with moral
passion. If you want to win a “values” debate, it helps to advance what
Democrats value. And one of those obvious values is the fewer abortions
the better. Beyond the polarizing rhetoric, a simple message: saving
one precious life at a time.

The moral positions on abortion hardly seem restricted to “pro-life” and “pro-choice.”

Posted in OnTheWeb on 27 January 2005 at 6:27 pm by Nate

A morning cruise of the web

Political Arguments points out that today is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Few of the major papers in the US or Europe provide notice.

AKMA notes that a blog portal has decided that the only “Christian” bloggers worth mentioning are conservative evangelicals
I’m gonna turn around one of the conventional canards of conservative
evangelicals, who often complain that our society has an anti-Christian
bias (which I find a load of crap).  This little bit seems to
indicate that our society has an anti-liberal Christian bias, at least
insofar as people seem to believe that “Christian” means Republican
white men.

Over at my group blog, Ben links to a report noting that male circumcision associates highly with a lower overall HIV infection rate.  At least in Africa.

@U2 notes that special presales for the U2 fan club have gone horribly awry.

And Crooked TImber points out why more social science education proves ridiculously necessary, as a “social scientist” (and what else can you call anyone who works for AEI) demonstrates either stupidity or mendacity.

Posted in OnTheWeb on 27 January 2005 at 10:51 am by Nate