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Stop scaring voters

December 6, 2021

As the Supreme Court ponders its ruling in the Mississippi abortion restrictions case, Democratic strategists are hoping to gin up “OUTRAGE!” over abortion rights to turn around their increasingly dire election prospects for 2022. This was to be expected. When the Democrats are out of power, they can claim they have to be returned so that competent adult leadership can be restored. But when they’re in power, they can’t make that argument, for obvious reasons.

So they have to terrify their base with claims that the eeeeevil Republicans are going to take away women’s rights (actually, Democrats have done that, under the guise of “trans rights”), or bring back Jim Crow laws (a Democrat invention), or do away with the sacred Constitutional right of women to kill their unborn children. But there are signs that scaring people into voting for more incompetent Democrat rule is wearing thin.

For one thing, look around: it’s hard to think of anything scarier than the current situation under Democratic rule. Does the hypothetical loss of the right to kill your hypothetical unborn child really outweigh the very real fear that the violent criminals Democrats have turned loose on the streets will kill you? Besides, Americans have too many other things to worry about.

As Rick Moran at PJ Media points out, outrage over abortion laws may not be the motivating factor for voters that some Democrats think it is.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2021/12/05/a-post-outrage-world-abortion-wont-be-the-winning-issue-democrats-think-it-will-be-n1539027

Politico reported that it played no factor in the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey, where voters were more concerned about stopping school boards from assaulting their children than allowing abortionists to assault their children. A recent Economist/YouGov poll found that voters rank abortion behind taxes and government spending, health care, climate change and the environment, immigration, jobs and the economy as an issue of interest. Exit polls in 2016 found that in picking between the pro-life Trump and the pro-abortion Hillary, only one in five voters named Supreme Court nominations as their most important voting factor, and by a wide margin, those voters were Republicans.

As Moran notes, polls show that only about 10-15% of Americans want abortion banned under all circumstances, 25-30% want it legal in all cases, and the vast majority fall somewhere in the middle. While I wish more people were pro-life, I know enough about politics to know that you can’t run a successful campaign on only that one issue. We’ll soon find out whether Democrats really believe they can retain power solely on a radical pro-abortion stance that’s shared by, at most, 30% of the country. That's actually lower than Joe Biden's approval rating, and that's the thing that has them genuinely terrified.

Wednesday, the Supreme Court Justices drilled attorneys during oral arguments over Mississippi’s ban on abortion before 15 weeks, the most serious challenge yet to Roe v. Wade.

The general consensus among legal analysts was that the conservative Justices were trying to force the pro-abortion attorneys to offer some kind of concrete rationale for why abortion should be legal, the liberal justices were pushing to maintain the status quo, and Chief Justice John Roberts was looking for some way to split the difference, to allow Mississippi-like restrictions while still preserving the idea of a right to abortion under some circumstances. But even he didn’t seem inclined to defend Roe v. Wade, comparing its arbitrary “viability” standard to those in China and North Korea, which we don’t need to emulate.

https://www.westernjournal.com/normally-moderate-roberts-savages-roe-v-wade-becomes-hero-saying-everyone-else-thinking/

I linked yesterday to an article about four things the SCOTUS had to keep in mind in making their decision, and the liberals' push for maintaining the status quo was one of the logical fallacies mentioned. If a ruling is bad and has terrible consequences (in Roe’s case, the slaughter of over 60 million children in the womb), then saying it’s been around so long and so many people depend on it that we have to keep it is not a rational argument. If a ruling is that bad, then it should have been overturned sooner, not preserved forever. Under that thinking, we’d still have slavery. And preserving a bad ruling doesn't protect the Court's integrity or reputation, it erodes it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/four-things-supreme-court-must-keep-mind-takes-abortion-question/

In this exchange, Justice Clarence Thomas practically had to get his pliers and pull some teeth to get the pro-abortion attorney to admit that they were there to defend the right to abortion rather than just some vague manifestation of the rights to liberty, autonomy or privacy. It appeared that not even the person arguing that there’s a right to abortion in the Constitution wanted to be put in the position of trying to point out where it is.

https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/justice-thomas-what-specifically-right-here-were-talking-about

Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a great example of how foolish it was with the original Roe decision to expect lawyers in robes to make medical decisions, such as when a fetus becomes viable. Sotomayor argued, contrary to recent medical discoveries, that it was a “fringe” idea to suggest that babies in the womb can feel pain before 24 weeks, and compared fetuses to “braindead” people.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/12/01/follow-science-pro-lifers-slam-justice-sotomayor-compared-unborn-babies-braindead-people/

I can think of someone I could compare to braindead people, but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel pain.

For more, this is a good article from PJ Media, summarizing 10 key moments during the oral arguments.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/chris-queen/2021/12/01/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-todays-oral-arguments-in-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization-n1538007

Finally, Larry O’Connor at Townhall.com shows how Justice Kavanaugh hit the nail on the head by pointing out that you cannot accommodate both sides, you have to choose. What does the Constitution say? Does it protect the right of humans in the womb to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or does it protect the right of a pregnant woman to abort her child?

https://townhall.com/columnists/larryoconnor/2021/12/01/justice-kavanaugh-just-boiled-the-abortion-debate-down-to-its-most-fundamental-core-n2599912

All I can say is that I’ve read the Constitution a fair number of times, and I’ve never found the word “abortion” in it anywhere.

Where the money is

December 3, 2021

Wondering why leftism and wokeness are poisoning the sciences? Partly because of peer pressure and fear of the Twitter mob, but also because that’s where the money is.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/government-science-grants-increasingly-promote-woke-ideas-study-finds

A Ph.D. candidate in computer science at Northwestern University was studying how to make a grant proposal when he noticed the same woke buzzwords popping up in all the proposals he read. So he did a study and found that nearly a third of the abstracts for grants from the National Science Foundation, the government’s primary science grant distributor, contained highly politicized terms. He found that 30.4% of them included at least one of these terms: “equity,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” “gender,” “marginalize,” “underrepresented” or “disparity.”

This was especially common in education and human resources grants (53.8%), but even 22.6% of math and physical science grants contained them, up from 0.9% in 1990. Wokeism is doing the same thing to science grants that crabgrass does to lawns: rapidly expanding and choking out the good stuff.

The researcher said this is evidence that the NSF is getting increasingly politicized, and the growing sameness of the grants reflects a political litmus test that discourages conservative researchers from applying or being honest on applications. Ironically, this rewarding of woke leftism is resulting in less diversity, as only grants from one viewpoint get funded. In other words, there's a big disparity in grant awards diversity and inclusiveness because conservatives are being marginalized and underrepresented.

But I guess that’s okay, since being woke means you define “diversity” as giving a fair chance to people of every race, gender and skin color, as long as they agree with you 100%.