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People Who Care About Issues Are So Gross

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Shorter Dana Milbank: If people were really serious about abortion, they would stop and admit that I’m right about everything, including the fact that the idea that anti-choicers should have a monopoly in determining what is “moral” and “life-affirming.”

Also, there’s this: “If these groups cared as much about the issue as they claim, and didn’t have such strong financial incentives to avoid consensus and compromise, they’d cancel the carnivals and get to work on the one thing everybody [sic] agrees would be worthwhile — reducing unwanted pregnancies.” Leaving aside the imputation that anyone who disagrees with Milbank in either direction must be motivated solely by venal interests, I hate to inform Milbank that people on one side of the issue are already working to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Milbank seems to be getting his information about what Planned Parenthood from John Kyl. This might immediately have jumped to the top of the extensive complacent wealthy white male pundit makes incredibly irritating argument that Roe doesn’t matter canon.

UPDATE: Not surprisingly. Milbank also has no idea what he’s talking about.

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  • Auguste

    And, as you implied, people on one side are actively working to increase unwanted pregnancies.

    • DrDick

      My thought as well.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, but that’s just because pro-choice leaders haven’t sat them down and told them to cut the bullshit.

    • mds

      Rick Santorum to the blah courtesy phone, please.

  • I am going to recycle a mean comment:

    Milbank’s too chicken to write the column about how both Martin Luther King Jr. and James Earl Ray were equally guilty so the ladeez get the benefit of the centrist gospel.

  • L2P

    “If the “choice” rally participants really wanted to preserve legal abortion, they’d be wise to drop the sky-is-falling warnings about Roe and to acknowledge that the other side, and most Americans, have legitimate concerns. Not every compromise means a slippery slope to the back alley.”

    I really want him to tell me which aspect of this fundamental right we should “compromise” and how that’s going to “preserve” anything. Just one specific thing. Name it. Mime it, even.

    • Njorl

      You compromise on taxes. You compromise on spending. You don’t compromise on rights. You fight for what you believe until you win, die or stop believing.

    • I’ll believe it when the 2nd amendment fundamentalists are okay with resonable safety training and registration requirements.

    • ema

      Not every compromise means a slippery slope to the back alley.

      Bwahaha, it’s been what, only about a week, since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals obliterated medical consent and upheld the Texas “Consent to abortion is voluntary and informed only if you submit against your will to an invasive, nonmedical intervention” law.

      I challenge Milbank to come up with one other example of a judge going on the record with “the State’s interests are part of relevant medical consent; what the patient wants isn’t.”

      And speaking of slippery slopes, behold the NYPD:

      The NYPD is looking at a new way to find people packing heat on the street, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday.

      The technology, which is similar to infrared imaging, includes a mechanism that can detect the radiation emitting from a person’s body, Kelly said during his State of the NYPD address.

      Because the energy cannot travel through metal, a concealed gun can be detected from the image captured by the lens of the detector, Kelly said.

      Police hope to install the devices on department vehicles in the near future to identify people carrying guns on the street.

  • rea

    What a fatuous ass this man Milbank is! And how typical of him to completely ignore what the antichoicers are saying and to conclude that they have an interest in preventing unwanted pregnancies! No, they oppose contraception, too, and think unwanted pregnancies are appropriate punishment for sluttiness.

    You know, I’m old enough that I can remember when journalists were supposed to pay attntiaon to what’s going on in the world. Just a fossil, I guess . . .

    • Captain Splendid

      You know, I’m old enough that I can remember when journalists were supposed to pay attntiaon to what’s going on in the world.

      That’s my biggest problem with most reporting these days. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the fourth estate was a collection of highly-paid trolls.

      • DrDick

        Are you suggesting that they aren’t?

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Come on, rea. He’s a journalist, not a truth vigilante!

    • DrDick

      Makes two of us. Asshats like Millbank make me want to entirely give up on the press.

  • howard

    your title captures the key point: to today’s class of journalists (and hell, possibly always), someone who cares about something is, by definition, unreasonable. journalists who don’t care about anything are, by defintion, reasonable people.

    it’s a disgusting approach, and what’s equally fascinating about it is that when called on it, your typical journalist demonstrates a skin so thin that it’s a wonder that the blood doesn’t just spill out.

  • Davis

    “If the “choice” rally participants really wanted to preserve legal abortion, they’d be wise to drop the sky-is-falling warnings about Roe and to acknowledge that the other side, and most Americans, have legitimate concerns.”

    Inane, vapid, pointless, etc.

    • laura

      There are definitely some people who genuinely bothered by abortion and are otherwise indifferent to people’s sex lives, but the anti-choice movement isn’t catering to these people. Its donors and activists are far more likely to think the modern world is a pit of hedonism and sin and that poor people must be disincentivised from ever having sex. There’s no room for reasonable compromise on that sort of issue; you’re talking about whether or not everybody has the rights to the benefits of modernity, about as fundamental an issue as it gets.

      • laura

        Also, I think Milbank et al probably understand this and are at some level on the “right side”. But it’s much safer and easier to pretend that it’s all just a matter of partisan rancour and mutual unreasonableness. It’s like inanity of the “la la la, I can’t hear you” variety.

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          Milbank et al are of course in no danger of suffering because of the increasing regulation of abortion because they are: 1) men; and 2) wealthy enough that if the women in their life suffer to an extent that bothers them, they will be able to buy their way around any regulations that they encounter.

          The concerns of people unlike oneself = extremism.

          • We have a winner.

          • Scott Lemieux

            The concerns of people unlike oneself = extremism.

            Yup.

    • mark f

      I assume the “etc” is covering “nonsense,” because of course the only “legitimate concerns” any informed person in favor of legal abortions would have are related to access and safety. What I assume Milbank is referring to, however, are “concerns” ginned up by anti-choice activists to play on the emotions of the ignorant, e.g. “partial birth” etc.

  • wengler

    The most reasonable solution is to have Dana Milbank raped and impregnated by an alien.

    Now these aliens don’t believe in the “right to choose” even though they do their darndest to reduce unwanted pregnancies. If Mr. Milbank carries to term as the alien law decrees, the shrieking creature will burst out of his belly and he will die. If he does not carry it to term he will be executed as a murderer.

    Surely we can find a solution that will be accepted by both sides.

    • L2P

      Right. You know, I got infinity more respect for the Anti-Choice people than the Dana Milbanks of the world. At least they understand that there’s something AT STAKE here. I disagree with them, but they recognize that we’re talking about something IMPORTANT, not just some vapid issue that can be debated over coffee.

      Milbank seems to think this is like ordering a pizza for a bunch of different people.

      “Hey, I like pepperoni.”

      “Gah. Pepperoni makes me gag. How about mushrooms?”

      “Allergic. What about sausauge?”

      “Vegetarian. Just cheese?”

      “Can we add olives and green peppers?

      “OK, done!”

      Look! Compromise works! Why can’t those stupid Pro-Choice and Pro-Life people compromise, just like I did ordering pizza last weekend?

  • mark f

    He actually uses the word “hysteria” to describe a woman’s view of a situation he acknowledges, in less strident language (“state-policy changes make the landmark case less important”), is coming to pass. Unbelievable. And then he all but calls her a whore, using her own abortion as evidence. Sickening.

    • DrDick

      Another day ending in “y” and Millbank has his head where the sun don’t shine.

    • Colin Day

      Does Milbank know the etymology of the word “hysteria”?

      • DrDick

        I am not convinced he knows the meanings of any of the words he uses.

        • mark f

          Nor does either answer reflect well on him, anyway.

  • Pro-Family Autonomy Side: “We can reduce unwanted pregnancies through education, contraception, and counseling.”

    Pro-Interventionist Side: “Put the fear of God in them. That outta stop them kids from havin’ sex!”

    Simple enough for ya, Milbank?

    • mds

      Pro-Interventionist Side Addendum: “Griswold is next. And pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions for sluts regardless.”

      But I’m sure we can compromise at that point by agreeing to allow people to purchase contraception in months beginning with “R.”

  • Walt

    Since no one could make an argument that transparently stupid, I’m going to have to assume that yet again Scott is trolling the internet, by inventing this “Dana Milbank” character.

    • Hogan

      One of the arguments against the “Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays” argument is that given everything Bacon is on record as having done, when would he have found the time to write Shakespeare’s plays? Similarly, unless he’s independently wealthy, Scott would be much too busy to invent the entire Washington Post op-ed page as well as 90% of the contributors to the Atlantic Monthly.

      • Njorl

        He could be paying neighborhood kids to write them for five bucks a day.

      • dangermouse

        Scott would be much too busy to invent the entire Washington Post op-ed page as well as 90% of the contributors to the Atlantic Monthly.

        Does it really take that much time to faceroll a keyboard?

      • rea

        He does it the same way Francis Bacon did. He gets a million monkeys, and lets them play with a million keyboards . . .

  • I wrote elsewhere:

    Compromise on what? Legitimate concerns about what? Milbank thinks these details are mere trifles, I guess.

  • Jay B.

    If these groups cared as much about the issue as they claim, and didn’t have such strong financial incentives to avoid consensus and compromise, they’d cancel the carnivals and get to work on the one thing everybody [sic] agrees would be worthwhile — reducing unwanted pregnancies.

    Like every stupid fucking Third Way handwringer, he doesn’t even acknowledge one “side” already does about 90% of what they claim they want to have happen. Reducing unwanted pregnancies was an out and out Democratic mantra during the Clinton years, which were 20 fucking years ago.

    • mds

      Indeed. This is a favored approach of the counterfactual crowd. Lying or ignorant? Baby, it’s both, but who cares?

      Third-way handwringer: “Many people are understandably concerned about an unlimited right to abortion. Restrictions in the third trimester have strong support in the polls.”

      Choice supporter [vein throbbing ominously in forehead]: “Hey, good idea. Let’s impose restrictions on abortion that increase with the progression of the pregnancy. We could call it Roe v. Wade, you morally and intellectually bankrupt jackass!” [strokes out]

  • Holden Pattern

    “People Who Care About Issues Are So Gross”

    This could be the title of a great many lectures from the savvy in many many venues, including but not limited to this one.

  • thebewilderness

    There was not one single “legitimate” concern expressed in the 900 bills offered in congress the past year to strip women of their civil rights. Not one!

  • Sharon

    I think Milbank screwed up about the reference to the study. This evening I was listening to BBC’s The World, and they referenced a WHO study that looked at international abortion statistics, and the number of abortions has increased, especially in countries that banned abortions.

    I’m not sure if Milbank didn’t look at the Power Point handout that accompanied the press conference, but I wouldn’t be surpired if he just dropped into the presser half-way through, decided that it was just another “hysterical” woman at the podium, and filed his column.

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  • Brutusettu

    Wait, Milbank doesn’t know that most of the strident “pro-lifers” are almost always for abstinence only “education” and against contraception?

    Does Milbank know that woman he quoted at the end might have been thinking that woman are more than baby factories and that having an unwanted kid just because you’re other people’s denomination commands it, might not be exactly be the clear cut moral choice?

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