Get ready for more of this kind of thing:
On Tuesday, former Minnesota Public Radio host and Lake Wobegon bard Garrison Keillor took a break from writing his book in New York to comment on the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Democratic senators peppered Barrett with questions about how she would rule on several issues – including Roe v. Wade. Though Barrett’s opposition to abortion rights is well-documented, she refused to say how she’d come down on the issue in court.
Keillor chimed in with his take on Facebook.
“It seems clear that Judge Barrett will sit on the Supreme Court and this will mean the reversal of Roe v. Wade and some deep dents in the Affordable Care Act,” he began. “I don’t think Roe v. Wade is worth fighting for anymore.”
Keillor thinks guaranteeing the right to a safe abortion has “torn the country asunder,” and wondered,“to what good?”
“We can accept a system of states’ rights, whereby abortion is legal in some states, illegal in others, same as you have a death penalty in some states, not in others,” Keillor wrote. “…Let South Dakota be South Dakota and if they wish to criminalize LBGTQ, then they can deal with the consequences. Let’s give the cultural war a rest and focus on the economy and tax policy and environment.”
The important thing here is that the “they” are not people like him.
Obviously, from Keillor one would expect no better. But this kind of argument was a staple of punditry in the aughts; every white guy with an opinion page sinecure had a felt need to chime in and observe that overruling Roe was no big deal — after all, it’s always easy to sacrifice the rights of other people. (And earnestly supporting reproductive rights is so cringe!) It was bullshit then and it’s bullshit now, but here we are.