Ross, Ross, Ross, Ross

Oooookay:

Over the last week, there’s beenan outpouring of testimonials,
across the Internet, from women (and some men) who lived through these
hard cases. They help explain why Tiller thought he was doing the
Lord’s work, even though that work involved destroying something that
we wouldn’t hesitate to call a baby if we saw it struggling for life in
a hospital bed. They help explain why so many Americans defend his
right to do it.

But such narratives are not the only story about
George Tiller’s clinic. He was a target of protests — and, tragically,
of terrorist violence — because he performed late-term abortions,
period. But his critics were convinced that he performed them not only
in truly desperate situations, but in many other cases as well. Over
the years, they cobbled together a considerable amount of evidence —
drawn fromthe state’s abortion statistics, from Tiller’s own comments, and froma 2006 investigation — suggesting that Tiller abused the state’s mental-health exemption to justify late-term abortions in almost any situation.

This
evidence is persuasive, but not dispositive. We may never know how many
of George Tiller’s abortions were performed on healthy mothers and
healthy fetuses.

Because unless you tell Ross Douthat every detail of how and why and when and who, unless he knows EXACTLY how you got pregnant and what kind of problems you had, he can’t judge for himself whether your abortion was justified. And that’s what’s important to Ross Douthat: What HE thinks of you.

The argument for unregulated abortion rests on the idea that where there are exceptions, there cannot be a rule.

No, you sanctimonious garden weasel, the argument for available abortion services rests on the idea that in no universe in the world do I want someone who could write the above sentence to be in charge of telling my doctors what to do.

I like how, as usual, it’s either “no abortion at all” or “abortion at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru.” Nobody’s saying there can’t be rules. We are, however, saying that a) the reason we allow exceptions is that there are exceptions, dumbass and b) you and Rick Santorum do not get to decide what they constitute.

Which is what really pisses him off. Honestly, the whole thing is about how basically he doesn’t know, for sure, absolutely, that some patient of Dr. Tiller’s wasn’t some irresponsible slut. As if that’s the point.

And pity the poor pro-lifers, who apparently do not have access to the ballot box, or the judicial system, at all:

One reason there’s so much fierce argument about the latest of
late-term abortions — Should there be a health exemption? A fetal
deformity exemption? How broad should those exemptions be? — is that
Americans aren’t permitted to debate anything else. Under current law,
if you want to restrict abortion, post-viability procedures are the
only kind you’re allowed to even regulate.

For … Oh, man. Once and for all, everybody not agreeing with you is not tyranny. People who want to outlaw abortion in every single case are as free as anyone else in this country to get their way. They just have to elect enough people to change the court to do it. That they can’t get the majority of Americans to see them as anything other than woman-hating busybodies is not the majority of Americans’ fault, nor does it constitute a flaw in the system. It constitutes them sucking and that’s all.

What Douthat is basically doing here is taking Megan McArdle’s point (people felt they had to shoot Dr. Tiller because the political process was closed to them, which means we should give in to their viewpoint, or at least not oppose them anymore!) and making it in a slightly more weaselly fashion: This is the only thing people are ALLOWED to talk about. By which Douthat means it’s the only thing HE feels free to talk about at parties that doesn’t get him a look like, “Would you let it go already, man?”

If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape
would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict
abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies
already do – would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester
medical exemptions.

Yes. More restrictions would end the debate entirely! Because then Ross and his fellow conservatives would have their way, and everything would be fine!

A.

22 thoughts on “Ross, Ross, Ross, Ross

  1. Susie Madrak says:

    I’m so glad you’re keeping track of this creature, because my stomach can’t take it. Thanks!

    Like

  2. Gummo says:

    The fascists LOVE democracy — as long as they get the results they want.

    Like

  3. leinie says:

    Whatty what?
    Jeebus Bugfuck Christ on a Cracker, just the EXCERPTS from that have caused me high blood pressure and exploded brains.

    Like

  4. filkertom says:

    It will absolutely never occur to any of these fuckers that it might be None Of Their Damn Business.

    Like

  5. North says:

    Ross Douthat, king of the patently disingenuous argument. WHY must the NYT continue to give columns to people who can’t think their way out of a paper bag? People who would cut themselves on a fact, if they ever saw one? I can write made-up bullshit three days a week. Where’s my column?

    Like

  6. RAM says:

    The two constants in what passes for ‘conservative’ thought these days are fear and self-absorption that verges on narcissism. The whole idea of doing something for the public good or imagining themselves in someone else’s shoes, especially someone of a different race or economic situation than themselves, is simply beyond them. The right wing has succeeded in distilling ‘conservatism’ down to pure sociopathy.

    Like

  7. Dorothy says:

    Over the years, they cobbled together a considerable amount of evidence — drawn from the state’s abortion statistics, from Tiller’s own comments, and from a 2006 investigation — suggesting that Tiller abused the state’s mental-health exemption to justify late-term abortions in almost any situation.
    This evidence is persuasive, but not dispositive.
    We may never know how many of George Tiller’s abortions were performed on healthy mothers and healthy fetuses.

    Yes, if only there were some entity who could investigate those accusations and review all of Tiller’s cases to see if he broke the state abortion laws…some kind of General Attorney or something, maybe working for the state, who could look into this for us!
    My god, I can’t tell if Douthat is an idiot or an asshole–he mentions the 2006 investigation, but NOT THE FUCKING TRIAL that concluded THREE WHOLE MONTHS AGO.

    Like

  8. leinie says:

    Yes, the trial that found Dr. Tiller NOT GUILTY.
    I don’t approve of Douthat’s Viagra prescription. He’s obviously trying to have sex beyond when God wants him to have sex, and I disapprove of that. Plus, he might use that erection in a manner that I don’t agree with. Obviously, we need to have a democratic vote on his use of Viagra. His medical decisions and care should be determined by the majority in this country, and certainly not by Douthat and his Dr.
    Douchebag doesn’t BEGIN to cover it.

    Like

  9. Bob says:

    “Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies already do…”
    All advanced democracies have health care for all citizens. Funny, Ross doesn’t seem quite as moved by that.

    Like

  10. Bob says:

    btw, this statement: “suggesting that Tiller abused the state’s mental-health exemption to justify late-term abortions in almost any situation.” is so riddled with bullshit the New York Times would be justified in firing him for that alone. “Suggesting” – well okay then, he’s guilty. And a mental-health exemption is admittedly a very nebulous thing. Of course anti-abortion activists have no trouble finding people – hell – finding psychiatrists – willing to say “she was normal.” Once you introduce a “mental-health exemption” you have introduced a blob of mercury and asked to have it nailed to the wall.

    Like

  11. The Other Sarah says:

    You know what started all this crap, really, and why these butthats can’t leave it alone?
    Some woman somewhere told him, “No.”
    Might not even have been about sex. Might have been when he wanted the whole damned bag of marshmallows in his cocoa when he was three. Might have been when he wanted all the cake at some other kid’s birthday party when he was nine. Might have been a teacher who told him he had to share the tempera paints or the modeling clay or actually, you know, turn in his homework with all the questions answered correctly in order to pass.
    This is about “I can’t have what I want all the time, so you can’t have anything.”

    Like

  12. spocko says:

    I don’t approve of Douthat’s Viagra prescription. He’s obviously trying to have sex beyond when God wants him to have sex, and I disapprove of that.
    Posted by: leinie | June 09, 2009 at 08:32
    ————-
    Interesting point. So maybe we should investigate all instances of when Douthat unleashed his sperm into a va jay jay. What was the eventual result? Why could he not control his sperm every single time? Did he use barrier methods like a condom?
    Men who want to control woman’s body often don’t seem to remember that some how that sperm got into the woman. If they really want to be controlling why not focus on the those slutty men who are shooting their sperm willy nilly into women?
    And Christian men, who have had sex with a woman with out barrier method birth control, which leads to a pregnancy that was not planned, should be punished by their Christian church. Maybe they should be kicked out of the church for putting women in one of these potential scary decision making situations. And they should have a public ceremony.

    Like

  13. pansypoo says:

    to them SUFFERING IS GODLY. only GOD can take life and if he wanted you to DIE in childbirth SO BE IT! and if you want birth control? ABSTINENCE!
    fantasy fetus land.

    Like

  14. Tommy T says:

    Heh.
    “sanctimonious garden weasel”
    Made me smile…

    Like

  15. joejoejoe says:

    A vs. Douhat makes Tyson vs. Spinks look competitive.

    Like

  16. Interrobang says:

    Has anybody else ever noticed how most of Douthat’s columns seem to be about castigatingwomen for something or other? I mean, does the NYT have a special reserved editorial Chair in Advanced Misogyny or something.
    Then again, I’m such a hardliner about abortion, I think “safe, legal, and rare” is a mushy compromise position. I prefer “safe, legal, and none of your fucking business.” Either youtrust women to make their own independent decisions for their own reasons, or youdon’t. Douchehat obviously doesn’t trust women; he thinks that there are unjustifiable reasons to have abortions, and I am perfectly prepared to explain why that’s bullshit. Even the “Don’t use abortions as a primary means of birth control” argument doesn’t wash with me, because would you want a woman who for whatever reason, up to and including an abusive spouse who beats the shit out of her every time she tries to use birth control to she’s dumb as a sack of hammers and can’t figure it out, to be raising a child as a result of that?
    I personally don’t wantanybody to be forced to give birth. My biological mother was, and that pisses me off.
    All of those “Just give it up for adoption” types never seem to factor in that giving up a baby for adoption increases a woman’s risk of suicide and clinical depression significantly, and nobodyever thinks that an adoptee might be pissed about their mother having been forced to give birth. Because it’s not like, if you live in Douthat World, women are actually important and have actual feelings and stuff…

    Like

  17. GReynoldsCT00 says:

    What I wonder about is setting up all these ‘restrictions’… would that then mean giving a burden of proof that it should be done? to a bunch of sanctimonious assholes? who would be the jury on that decision? the baby is question would be five years old at least before any ‘permission’ was given. No thank you. Fuckers.

    Like

  18. pansypoo says:

    things are alway neat and perfectly black + white in their world. never any grey areas.

    Like

  19. Simon says:

    Other Sarah:
    It’s even worse than some woman telling him “no.” It was the woman who told him “yes,” (cf. “Chunky Reese Witherspoon”), and thereby convinced him that all women are dangerous sluts.

    Like

  20. The Other Sarah says:

    Simon:
    he should therefore be ashamed, because he has no self-control, not to mention crappy judgment.
    But of course, in his world, it’s her fault.
    He’s a dirtbag.

    Like

  21. Simon says:

    He’s absolutely a dirtbag. I hope that my comment was unambiguous on that score.

    Like

  22. The Other Sarah says:

    Your comment was unambiguous. Yes, indeed. Thanks for the link. Got any brain bleach?
    That poor girl. (High school, therefore perhaps even legally a minor.)
    If you look up “dirtbag” in the dictionary, one of the illustrations is Douthat.

    Like

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