Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Touching the Real Third Rail

Unintended Consequences

I post this not so much because of the Roe v. Wade content but because it can show what happens when good, principled conservatives sit out elections...in this case the 1986 midterms when the Republicans lost the Senate majority. Reagan campaigned like crazy for the Republican senators but seven seats were lost in 1986. Après ça le deluge.

From today’s column by Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator (long but a great history lesson for those of us occupied by, er, other things in the mid-80s):

With the release of the papers of Roe's author, Nixon appointee Harry Blackmun, Justice Blackmun himself reveals that Kennedy [Me: Reagan appointee after the Bork disaster and the other Ginsburg...I’d forgotten about him] was poised to agree with a draft opinion of Chief Justice William Rehnquist that would essentially overturn Roe. Under pressure from Blackmun, Kennedy did something that would have been unthinkable for Bork: he switched sides, turning a 5-4 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey from an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade into one that reaffirmed it.

In other words, the loss of seven Senate Republicans, six by the closest of margins, saved Roe v. Wade. More accurately, a relative handful of conservatives in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington, by either taking a pass on the election entirely or actually voting for the liberal, inadvertently rescued the most controversial Court decision of our day.

Whatever on thinks about the pro-choice/pro-life arguments, clearly those that sat at home in November, 1986 didn’t intend for this to happen. Dobson and friends had better think and pray long and hard

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