November 27, 2006

The Centrist View On Abortion

Centrism, like 'Breaking News,' is a phrase that's come to mean very little indeed. What it commonly seems to mean can range from automatic agreement with the media elite, the inclusion of the people who've been wrong about everything in planning meetings to lay out future steps for Iraq, or apportioning power in such a way as to make other people who've been wrong about everything comfortable. In an argument between the truth (e.g., climate disruption is a clear and present danger) and a lie (e.g., climate change is natural/a blip/not caused by humans), centrism shouldn't mean splitting the difference; for reasons that shouldn't require explanation. If the midway point between the two most commonly represented views makes no sense, something is wrong with the debate.

When it comes to abortion, the centrist position isn't that the government should make women's medical decisions.

I wrote a post last August outlining reports that support for abortion rights is a majority position among Republican voters, let alone among Democrats. It isn't because of people who think abortion is the coolest thing since sliced bread, if anyone actually exists who believe that. It's because of people who believe that women should be trusted to make these decisions for themselves. No one should be surprised by that. We all watched Clinton's health care plan fail because the public was led, erroneously, to believe that single payer health care would lead to greater government intrusion into individual medical decisions.

So I don't know what centrism is, exactly, though it occurs to me that I've never heard it used to describe the main political planks of the Democratic party. You may remember them, of course, as the party that just took the House in a landslide.

Update: David Sirota further explores what the media usually mean by 'centrist.'

Posted by natasha at November 27, 2006 06:09 PM | | Technorati links |