John on September 27, 2010 at 11:04 am
Writing for Newsweek, Lisa Miller tries to discern the real meaning of the term “mama grizzlies” from the positions of those candidates who have been associated with the phrase. It’s an interesting premise, but she seems a bit too eager to splash cold water on the grizzlies conservative views, including on abortion:
Grizzlies oppose abortion on the grounds that “unborn children” (their language) are the most vulnerable of all…
For her part, [Christine Todd] Whitman wonders how legislating against abortion jibes with the grizzlies’ small-government arguments: “We can agree or disagree on the role of government in our personal life, but a less intrusive government is not in your bedroom.”
You would think the term “mama grizzlies” would be sort of self-explanatory when it comes to the pro-life position. I guess not. Miller uses Christine Todd Whitman to drag out this very old and very silly pro-choice chestnut, i.e. how can you be against government intrusion but for regulating abortion. That actually sounds like a gotcha unless you spend two pico-seconds thinking about it.
You might as well ask how small government people could support a police force on the grounds that cops often intrude in people’s lives. Uh, well, yes they do. You might have noticed that most conservatives are in favor of being tough on crime. Is this another glaring inconsistency? Not really. Not unless small government is the same as anarchy. This isn’t an argument so much as a failed attempt to ridicule an extreme position that no conservative actually holds.
Limited government conservatives support maximum personal freedom; however, that freedom does not extend to murder, rape, battery or any number of other crimes against life or persons including abortion. Put another way, murdering a child is simply not something most conservatives consider a valid exercise of constitutional rights. You would think that after pro-lifers spent 30 years making that exact point in public discourse, it might sink in, even at Newsweek.
The silliness of this approach to conservatives and abortion adds some unintended irony to Miller’s conclusion:
in the wild, real mama grizzlies are known to be aggressive, irrational, and mean. The issues facing the country are complex, and bears are not.
I’m thinking even “irrational” bears can apprehend more nuance on the issue than Lisa Miller allows for in this piece.