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Reblogged:GOP Abortion 'Compromise' Shows Chutzpah

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Dick Morris explains why he thinks abortion will not have a major impact on the midterm elections. Here's the nut of his argument:
Since the public had long since embraced a nuanced, compromise view on the issue, it was plain that whoever moved to the center first could win.

But, sensing a political chance to make a big score, the Democrats held to their position of demanding abortion with no restrictions. Republicans, however, saw the writing on the wall and congealed around the compromise put forward by Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC) of allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother and for any reason in the first trimester.

Remarkably, the right to life movement acquiesced in this change opening the door for a massive conservative victory.

Armed with the Graham compromise, Republicans hit the airwaves in September and blunted the Democratic attack ads by saying that they opposed a federal mandate and that they would support the Lindsey Graham compromise.

This argument totally disarmed the Democratic left since it relieved women of the worry that their own right to an abortion, in their home state, would be curbed. [bold added]
The above reminds me of two things.

First, how many times have you heard Republicans gloating that "all the Democrats had to do was sound sane" following some electoral loss? The Republicans apparently remembered their own advice concerning abortion.

(I think abortion should be legal until birth, but absent a well-reasoned and well-articulated case that voters are familiar with, I acknowledge that my position will sound nuts to many of them. Conversely, the abortion should be illegal, no exceptions position is so inhuman that even those who hold it know that they will lose an open fight. In today's political context, neither side would win an election.)

Second, and more important, this reminds me of Ayn Rand's argument that compromise on basic principles only benefits the evil:
Muddy premises are as bad for the mind as muddy water is for the body. (Image by Chandler Cruttenden, via Unsplash, license.)
The three rules listed below are by no means exhaustive; they are merely the first leads to the understanding of a vast subject.
  1. In any conflict between two men (or two groups) who hold the same basic principles, it is the more consistent one who wins.
  2. In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.
  3. When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side.
We see this working twice in Graham's compromise...

First, as I have indicated elsewhere, the Democrats' support of abortion is compromised in part by its package-dealing it with paying for it (i.e., the welfare state). The case for abortion as a right is also damaged by widespread ignorance of what rights are across the political spectrum.

Democrats who (rightly) want a woman to be free of the lifelong obligation of an unchosen child shoot themselves in the foot by (wrongly) being fine with forcing uninvolved third parties to accept an unchosen obligation to pay for the procedure. This is inconsistent and further muddies the concept rights in the minds of a public that needs to accept it in order to see why abortion should be legal.

Second -- and for Graham, the big payoff -- that compromised stand and widespread confusion have given cover for conservatives (of all people!) to lay out the following Big Lie:

The GOP has basically staked out the pre-Dobbs status quo that it just upended as its own 'reasonable' position!

I do not find it "remarkable" at all that the "pro-life" anti-abortionists who have been waging guerrilla war against abortion for decades would accept this camouflage: I can almost hear them shriek with joy: Put those harlots back to sleep so we can continue the Lord's work undisturbed!

The public's thinking is muddled, and absent a serious, intense, and likely prolonged campaign of "moral suasion" in favor of abortion, it will continue to be seduced by the idea that there is no need to decide the issue on a federal level one way or the other ... while the anti-abortionists continue to work for the day they wield enough power to outlaw it completely.

Until enough people wake up and start fighting for reproductive freedom from the moral high ground (i.e., from correct, clear, and uncompromised principles), theocrats will continue to pretend to be open to "compromise" while working towards the day that it will be Too Late for the vast majority of Americans who are inclined to legalize abortion to do so.

-- CAV

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