Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On The Mt. Rushmore Of Moral Equivalence

We now know that Stephen Moore knows roughly as much about cultural/social policy as he does about economic policy, which sits fine with many GOP voters.

The economist who has gotten it wrong about tax cuts, the minimum wage, and income inequality while bouncing around amongst the Club for Growth, Wall Street Journal editorial page, Cato Institute, Fox News, and the Heritage Foundation made a ridiculous comment on CNN Monday about the Alabama Senate race. He claimed

By the way, the Democrat is no saint, either. The Democratic candidate is for partial birth abortion in a state that's highly Christian and Catholic. So you know, there's no moral high-ground here between the two candidates.

That's a remarkable invocation of moral equivalence. Additionally

- We have no reason to believe Doug Jones is "for" partial birth abortion. Though decidedly pro-choice, he has not endorsed partial-birth abortion or any of the other procedures used late in pregnancy;

- "Christian" and "Catholic" are not mutually exclusive, given that Roman Catholics (as well as Protestants and Orthodox Christians) are Christian;

-  Virtually every state is "highly Christian and Catholic," as Moore puts it, or "Christian" as do the less ignorant.  Even in Hawaii, at least 60% of the population identifies with a Christian denomination, and nearly 60% in big, bad, liberal Democratic Massachusetts.

- Unless Stephen Moore has quizzed Jones on theology, neither he (nor we) knows whether Doug Moore is not a saint. When the apostle Paul wrote the Romans "To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints," he was referring to all believers in Christ Jesus. When coupled with the assertion two chapers later "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Paul was asserting that an individual may simultaneously be a saint and a sinner.

It's not surprising that a Repub would equate support for a woman's right to choose with a lifestyle decision of  preying on children. (Although candidate Moore is only alleged to have done these things, economist Moore is not contesting the allegations.)  Though some GOP politicians and pundits (and millions among the rank-and-file) support abortion rights, none dare admit it in public. Openly advocating same-and-sex marriage is now legal in the GOP playbook; advocating reproductive rights is not. Go figure.

Moore is not implying that abortion and the acts of candidate Moore are equivalent but that abortion is worse. Moore is accused of committing heinous acts; no one is accusing Jones of performing a partial-birth abortion, but merely of condoning it. Yet, he is as morally reprehensible as candidate Moore, economist Moore argues.

That shouldn't be surprising. Opposing abortion rights is easy for the arbiters of morality. As more and more individuals- even sons and daughters of Republicans- come out of  the closet and reveal they are gay, opposing them openly leaves some culture warriors feeling exposed to charges of  "homophobia." And as more and more women reveal they have been sexually harassed or assaulted, men are concerned that were they to condone such behavior, the women in their lives would not be amused.

There is no such danger in opposing a woman's right to choose, especially when pro-lifers can stand on the intellectual quicksand of supporting punishment for a doctor who performs the procedure while claiming the woman is a "victim" of dark, sinister forces. Further, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be focused on the Supreme Court, with abortion being the biggest issue they perceive for  the High Court.

And so it is that economist Stephen Moore, who is as concerned about abortion as you are whether your neighbor four doors down will be enjoying turkey, chicken, or ham for Thanksgiving, will shoot  his mouth off about a  topic he knows nothing about. Yet, there is method in his disingenuousness, which is not madness. For many in the pro-forced birth movement, abortion is "murder," individuals who believe it should be allowed are little better than murderers, and murderers are not to be reasoned with or condoned.

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