At TNR, that is.
First, Michelle Cottle contrasts Jim Wallis and Hillary, and concludes that Hilary's attempt to reposition her party on morals will work better than Wallis'. Wallis' angle is to refocus the debate on other issues that come under the "morality" tent, issues that he claims the Dems are better at than the GOP: poverty, etc. Cottle says of this:
More to the point, the majority of voters do not want to be enlightened about morality (or much of anything else) by snooty Democrats. The party already has a (well-deserved) reputation for behaving like it's smarter than, if not downright condescending toward, regular ol' voters. So for Dems to focus their values crusade on reeducating Middle America as to what it should really care about could--if not handled with a degree of finesse that we have no reason to believe Dems capable of-- come across as seriously insulting.
Echoing her husband's inspired notion that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," the senator from New York seemed to give new emphasis to that last word: "rare." Hers is, in that respect, a broadly pro-life position. Not in an absolutist, logically impeccable fashion--which would require abolishing all forms of legal abortion immediately--but in a pragmatic, moral sense. In a free society, the ability of a woman to control what happens to her own body will always and should always be weighed in the balance against the right of an unborn child to life itself. And, if she and the Democrats can move the debate away from the question of abortion's legality toward abortion's immorality, then they stand a chance of winning that debate in the coming years.
Sorry to bust everyone's balloons, but this is loony wishful thinking. Why? Here's why:
Those who have decided that Hillary's way is brilliant have forgotten that emphasizing the immorality of an act invites people to ask the question...why? Why do you think this is immoral? Which then requires an answer - an answer which Hillary and Cottle do not give, but Sullivan does: it kills an unborn child. Got it. So you think this is "immoral?" a "tragedy?" Should be "rare?" Because it kills unborn children? Well, we think it's immoral to kill born children. But we don't just discourage people from doing it. We put them on trial when they do because we've made laws against killing born children. So why not make laws against killing unborn children? What's the difference? (I know what they would say...please don't fill up the comments box with helpful answers) Then really, how "immoral" do you think this act is? Not very, it seems.
As I said, I'm not particularly interested in all of the "broadly pro-life" Sullivanesque arguments that have been offered in these comments boxes for three years. Got it. But I'm working on the level of rhetoric here, suggesting that Hillary's Way is not as magical as these people seem to think it is because it's immediately leads to all kinds of other questions, some of which - like "why is this immoral" - the powers that be in the abortion rights movement (aka the Democratic power base) do not want to answer or see discussed.