Carol Platt Liebau: Explaining How It Works

Friday, November 18, 2005

Explaining How It Works

Howard Fineman indulges in some heavy breathing about how 1985 documents (wherein Judge Alito expressed doubt about Roe v. Wade) could cause potential political problems for Republicans and Democrats alike.

He notes that it's bad for Republicans to look "beholden" to their base (at least sometimes, as he adds), and for Democrats to look like culturally clueless pro-abortion zealots. But there are interesting numbers in his piece:

While voters tend to identify themselves as “pro-choice,” by a 57-34 percent majority, they are far from supporting abortion under any circumstances, and strong majorities are quite willing to support the kinds of procedural restrictions that drive pro-choice purists crazy. . . .

Democrats (and the rest of the country) strongly support certain hedges around abortion rights: parental consent for teenagers (68 percent “yes” for Democrats, 71 percent in the country as a whole); parental notification (73 and 78 percent respectively); counseling on the dangers of abortion (78 and 81 percent); notification of the husband (64 and 67 percent); 24-hour waiting period (67 and 71).

For Republicans, that's actually good news -- although Fineman, of course, wouldn't say so. But they need to make sure that the American people understand how our constitutional system works (which, thanks to too many poor quality public schools, many don't).

The message should be this: If Roe v. Wade is struck down, all that means to the American people is that they'll be able to decide what abortion restrictions are acceptable, and which aren't. In contrast, the Democrats want nine unelected justices to decide which restrictions should be put in place and which shouldn't.

In the end: Republicans trust you, the people. Democrats don't. Simple as that.


Post a Comment

<< Home