Tuesday, June 30, 2009
According to Christopher Hitchens (here), the recently-much-remarked recording of Pres. Nixon discussing Roe and abortion are instructive with respect to the Republican Party. Perhaps. It seems to me (and maybe this is Hitchens's point) Nixon's (loathesome) statement, "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white", ought to make uncomfortable not just those in the Democratic Party who support both racial equality and expansive abortion rights but also those who insist that the recipe for Republican electoral success is to return to the "moderation" of Whitman, Rockefeller, . . . and Nixon. The message of the tape is not, it seems to me, that today's pro-life Republicans are secret racists, or hypocrites who talk a good game on abortion but don't really mean it. It is, instead, that the old, "moderate", establishment, Planned Parenthood, pro-choice position -- i.e., Nixon's position, and the GOP's position before Reagan -- is not easily separable from Sanger-esque (loathesome) eugenicist and racist views.