The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Why, Virginia, Would You Think the President Isn’t Willing to See Abortion Rights Slip Away?

If only the king will save us:

While anti-choice zealots may have the necessary votes to uphold the 20-week ban regardless of John Paul Stevens’ replacement, this is why the Court matters so much. The right has used judicial appointments in a blatantly political fashion, and unless the President is willing to see basic rights stripped away, he must act boldly.

Now, odds are that the new nominee will be pro-abortion rights.  But anyone who thinks Obama isn’t willing to sell abortion rights down the river in exchange for things he values more (like giving money to corporations) wasn’t paying attention during the health care reform fight, were they?

If pro-choice organizations want to make sure their rights aren’t sold down the river any further, they need to make clear that if they are, Obama will pay a price. Obama doesn’t respond to left-wingers asking nicely, he doesn’t pre-emptively make concessions to left wingers.  He only does those things for right wingers, as with giving away off-shore drilling without getting anything in return.

Given pro-choice organizations impotence during the HCR, I think we’d best just pray that whoever Obama wants on the court is pro-choice by happenstance.


Taxing the Poor to Bail out the Rich


Fighting Back Against the Drive to Slash Entitlements


  1. jo6pac

    Yes, I agree this all about looking good and doing the opposite of what’s right. I would like to say it will be different this time but we all know better. I wasn’t confused in the beginning and O has not disappointed me yet with his actions or lack of.

  2. Lex

    To be fair, the offshore leasing did come with raising CAFE standards. Ok, so they’re kind of a joke and the improvement by 2016 is a level that automotive engineering was capable of producing almost two decades ago…but it’s something, right?

  3. Ian Welsh

    Raising Cafe standards wasn’t a trade with Republicans though.

  4. I think Obama might see it as one, Ian. This thing he does where he’s perpetually triangulating is beginning to seem like a compulsion rather than a tactic. He gives something to everyone, on every issue, and expects everyone to be happy with him as a result (the bribes/tokens are of course weighted differently for different groups).

    The many instances where that is not the outcome, and the reactions of Republicans to these olive branches, do not seem to enter into the equation.

    So what’s good policy never comes up, just what strategy allows him to place himself in the ‘middle’ of the debate.

  5. Lex

    True, Ian. I think that the trade was more for those in his own party: “I’m going to allow offshore drilling, but see, we’ll get higher CAFE standards too.” And he got a fair amount of congratulations for it…i can only assume from people who don’t know how CAFE works or how automobiles are classified by the EPA. A few have made the point to me that raising the standard to 28 mpg for “trucks” is actually better than the 37 given the classifications and purchasing habits of Americans. I say it sucks and it’s a drop in the bucket but the refrain of “this is progressivism: change so gradual you can barely tell it’s happening” from some quarters is the response.

    I agree with John. The Triangulater in Chief is searching for a center of his own creation, of which he’ll be the only resident.

  6. David Kowalski

    Nebraska recently passed two laws, each a challenge to Roe. One law required psychological testing for women who chose abortions before 20 weeks. The other law banned abortions after 20 weeks directly conflicting with the limits on Roe (26 weeks). I suspect that the Court will seem “reasonable” by agreeing to one of the two laws and striking down the other but I don’t know which one will be taken down.

    Typical Obama-ism. One step back to placate the hard, unreachable, unteachable right. Great celebration that it is only one step back. The new Court nominee will be younger but my guess is to the right of Stevens. In one sense, that won’t matter. The five wingnuts control the Court. Kennedy is no moderate. And the key vote has swung from Sandra Day O’Connor to Kennedy. One of those five has to be replaced to change the votes and they are pretty much young and in good health. Breyer and Ginsberg have some age on them as much as any Republican nuts.

    So? Replacing moderates with more liberal judges night help modestly. Appointing somebody who is very young would help as we won’t have to re-fight the battle in ten years. Obama see,s inclined toward a conservative Democrat and will get a fight anyway. Seems like a slow learner on the failure of sucking up.

  7. It’s partly a result of Sesame Street Culture. Yes, I know that not everyone watched Sesame Street as a child. But the show has a definite ideology regarding conflict that is propagated in our educational institutions as well.

    In Sesame Street, there are no oppressors, merely misunderstandings, and a good talking-to will allow roughly equal parties to divide the cookie in half. In the school system in real life, it’s very common to suspend both the bully-er and the bully-ee. The public is now trained at a subconscious level to approve of policies perceived to split the difference; that some parties are malfeasant is an impolite thought.

  8. alyosha

    I don’t like any of it either, but what I see in Obama is a great need to move things forward, at almost any cost. It’s clear his preferred method for getting this started, is to dangle a prized position from the left in order to bring the right to the table. Sad, but it’s how he works.

  9. b.

    “The President is willing to see basic rights stripped away, he must act boldly.”

    Shorter Obamabot.

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