Battlepanda: Abortion might be murder, but we'll only persecuting the accessories


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Abortion might be murder, but we'll only persecuting the accessories

You can't get much better than this for a more amazing display of the human mind chasing its own tail, as Gene said. When Pro-life activists are asked straight-up whether a woman should go to jail for having an abortion, all their vaulted moral certainty instantly elude them and they start hemming and hawing like four-handed economists -- on the one hand, then the other, and another, and another...

And here's Tweety putting Toomey through the same paces. Toomey, of course, knows if he said "Why yes, Chris. In addition to burning in in hell for all eternity, I think women should be persecuted to the full extent of the law if they have an illegal abortion. It's murder, y'know, " that would be tantemont to hopping up on the interview table and taking a crap while pointing his bare wingnut tush to the camera, in terms of the reaction of disgust he will elicit in most people. So he weaves and evades. Luckily, this stuff is pure TV gold, Tweety knows it and stays right on Toomey:
MATTHEWS: If abortion is wrong and it's a crime and it's murder, tell me what the punishment should be.

TOOMEY: And I'm telling you that there should be legal action taken against the doctor who performs it.


TOOMEY: And we've got to think through what we would do with regard to the woman.

MATTHEWS: What would you like to do?

TOOMEY: But, Chris, that doesn't change the fact


MATTHEWS: You are running for the United States Senate.


MATTHEWS: And you've said we ought to get rid of Roe v. Wade and you said that abortion should be banned in Pennsylvania, but you won't tell me what the penalty should be.

TOOMEY: That's right, Chris.

Look, we can take things one step at a time. I think that the constitutional decision was invalid. It's perfectly OK to believe that these justices made up a right that doesn't exist in the Constitution without deciding exactly what the penalty should be under all circumstances.


MATTHEWS: You want to make up a law without a penalty. It's a crime without a penalty. I've never heard of such a thing.


MATTHEWS: Why declare something to be...


MATTHEWS: I'm serious. This is the problem and the confusion over abortion rights in this country.


MATTHEWS: People on the far right side won't say what they'll do.

They simply say they don't like the way things are now. What would you do?

TOOMEY: Well, if we overturn Roe vs. wade, one of the things we could do is leave it to states to make some decisions about this.


MATTHEWS: And what would you support Pennsylvania doing? You are running for senator from Pennsylvania. What should Pennsylvania do to women who decide to have an abortion? What would you do to them?

TOOMEY: Chris, I've told you, I haven't figured out what I think we

should be doing with


MATTHEWS: Well, shouldn't you figure out a few of these things before you run for office?

thinks that the wingnut's (doubtlessly temporary) overlooking the the women's "culpability" in having an abortion is due to their view of women as essentially sheep-like creatures lacking in agency. I think she's overthinking it. I have a feeling that even as the cameras were rolling those wingnuts are having this internal dialog "dum...dum...dum...well first of all, she's going to burn in hell for all of eternity...dum...dum...dum...can't say for this earth, jail's too good for those baby-murderin' hussies...oops! can't say that either. Darn it! Let's just say I've never thought about it before...yeah...that'll do." As Digby astutely pointed out "Their position is untenable and they know it." But they don't want to show it. Hence the deer-in-the-headlights impression.

By the way, I think it is tremendously important to note how desperately Toomey wants us to take it "one step at a time" -- he doesn't want us to think ahead to the implications of outlawing abortion. Once the deed is done, then he can go ahead and use the very reasonings used by the interviewers to then push for women to be thrown in jail for illegal abortions. It kind of reminds me of Bush pushing the Senate to give him powers to go to war while still retaining the figleaf that he will try diplomacy first. Once he got the assent, he then used it to silent critic by saying that "they voted to go to war". Which is kind of true. You can blame Bush for being dastardly and calculating, but you can also blame the Dems who voted to give him powers for not thinking through the logical implications of their actions.