Reese Witherspoon David Brooks: If Northern liberals weren’t such a bunch of baby killers, they’d have to resort to the shotgun marriages that drag down their noble, white trash brethren in the South.
Not Even As Good As a Stopped Clock
Somebody needs to walk up and nut punch that chubby fuck, out of the blue.
Technically, he’s more of a Chunky David Brooks.
Wait, Montana is a red state? It has two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor. Douthat is such a douche.
Pretty impressive to see Douthat not mention how much more difficult it is for those same teenagers to get an abortion in those states that he’s praising. He simply implies that all things are equal between the states except for the social model being used in the Northeast.
I don’t understand. He’s reviewing a book, right? So are you criticizing Douthat or the book? Has anyone read the book and did he summarize it correctly? If so, why the hostility toward him?
Yes, the blue approach actually results in better family value outcomes, while the red approach results in all kinds of fucked up family and social life. But there are fewer abortions with reds. End of story
You’re right, he’s a serious principled conservative who deserves a lot more respect around here.
@DougJ: Ha! Thanks.
@Johio: Because of this:
It’s fairly crackpot to think that it’s “moral plausibility” (i.e., are you evil enough to kill a baby) that determines whether you get an abortion. In the red states Ross talks about, you have to drive hundreds of miles, and worry about getting blown up, to get an abortion. Not so much in blue states.
@Johio: Johio, some say you’re a mouth-breathing moron who enjoys the occasional sexual relations with young goats. In fact, I recently read a comment that detailed your so-called escapades with young goats involving sacrificing the animal mid-coitus, prompting the question why is Johio allowed to molest young goats with impunity?
I’m not saying any of this, mind you. I’m just pointing out what other people are saying.
Have you ever read Chunky Bobo before? Because anyone who has knows why he needs cock punched pretty much every single day of his life.
He characterized the book correctly. But his conclusions are, as always, that liberals are baby killing sluts and conservatives are morally upright family values people, despite the high divorce, alcoholism, spousal and child abuse, porn addiction, and meth lab rates. Because giving birth before anyone is ready for the responsibility is ALWAYS the best choice. What happens to the kid afterwards is nothing to worry about.
He totally ignores that in Red states it is becoming near impossible to obtain an abortion or actually use reproductive medical services of any sort. For a poor, even working class, woman, it is expensive, not near geographically and there are fewer and fewer places and doctors who offer the services.
Look, I don’t like Douthat either. I know that some people have said he’s some sort of thinking man’s conservative, but I sure haven’t been impressed. But I think the venom directed toward him for this column is a little strong given that it is essentially a book review with an added “lesson” at the end. And that he should have said that at least one factor in the lower number of abortions in the red states is sheer availability is a good point.
But the sheer hostility directed toward him seems kind of knee jerk to me. Look! A conservative column! Let’s all pile on. Let’s call him names! Isn’t this fun?
I expect that kind of frankly reactionary venom from right wing blogs. But I’ve been seeing more of it here than I used to and less considered discussion. More anger, more heat, less light.
Just looking at that fat pasty bloatee’ed face keeps me from reading that idiot. He’s like a combination of fat comic book nerd and Monty Python’s upper class twit.
And that’s not the answer to Johio’s question
We dislike him because he presents the same warmed over conservative thought with just a different face
This isn’t so much of a critique of abortion-happy liberals (though, underneath it all, it is), but the “Safe, Legal, and Rare” nonsense that a lot of center-left politicians spout in a vain attempt to gain the support of the non-single-issue anti-choice crowd.
He is correct in that “Safe, Legal, and Rare” is generally nonsense. Countries with an arguably higher standard of living that the median state have pretty high abortion/pregnancy ratios, and its long been the accepted paradigm among sociologists that there is a correlation between a low birth rate and a high standard of living.
Where he loses me, and probably a whole lot of others, is his unspoken assumption that a high abortion rate is somehow a moral calamity at all, never mind that it represents a moral calamity worse than the social dysfunction caused by high rates of divorce and teen pregnancy (as well as the factors that geg6 covered).
How sad is it that Douthat is the best they have?
To me he’s just Bill Kristol with a thesaurus and and more hair.
TNC banned me once for ripping on him (Atlantic solidarity uber alles), but as a grrl…..he totally creeps me out. He is a nasty dirty-minded misogynist, he just hates women.
He’s still just giving sloppy mouth-to-mouth to the White Patriarchy Social Cohesion paradigm that failed 50 years ago.
The comparison between Connecticut and Montana was pretty obviously cherry picked (cherry popped?) by Douthat (or his intern). He could just has easily have compared, say, Red State Mississippi with Blue State Vermont – but their teen pregnancy rates are the fifth highest of any state and the second lowest, respectively. Remember, it’s not “just” a book review, it’s a book review by a creep with an agenda.
That “navigating” makes me think of that anti-drunk driving commercial with the guy driving a pickup full of beer. Since when is a mix of order and disorder anything other than disorder?
Shorthand for Russ Douthat could be DoDo, in homage to Bobo. And MoDo too.
Seems not to matter if you pronounce it DoeDoe and BoeBoe or DooDoo and BooBoo.
And I don’t see why we’re ripping the guy who’s concluded, for once:
Yeah, he surmises the difference is prevalence of abortion. (In which case, access to quality birth control and better sex ed could work wonders. Couldn’t it? Can we agree on that? And pay for first with our new health insurance reform, so we can have more stable families?)
This column was sea leagues better than his earlier work, methinks.
But maybe I am just not awake yet.
bzzt. wrong. “the left” argues no such thing.
Well, that’s an admission of something.
I have no idea is why I am asking.
Do the ‘blue states’ really have a higher abortion rate than the ‘red states’?
I can see why since it is probably significantly easier to find a provider in a blue state.
1) What does abortion have to do with divorce rates? He doesn’t explain this. I thought marriage was the solution to everything dysfunctional with dysfunctional people.
2) Why don’t any of these conservatives address the dysfunction due to instability caused by capitalism. When factories pick and leave willy nilly, you are not going to have stable communities where multiple generations thrive. You have places where if you can get out you do, and if you stay you’re lucky enough to find enough part time work to pay for your oxycontin habit.
He isn’t advocating the “blue family model” at all; he doesn’t approve of it. We know this from his writings about his own life. Remember he wrote that he lost his desire for sex with a date when she told him she was on the pill. He has issues involving sex and relationships.
That would take an acknowledgement that capitalism can actually cause social dysfunction when conservative dogma demands that this acknowledgement not be made.
Just read through Douthat again. And yeah, the very last sentence does aggravate.
But giving Douthat a shout out for getting so much more than usual right in his column.
Credit where due. He’s written some egregious stuff, and this isn’t it.
Although it reminds one of how sick one is of the abortion/culture wars, and how we’re stuck in Groundhog Day again with a new Supreme Court nomination.
the states with the lowest rates are ‘red’, and most of the states with high rates are ‘blue’. but the states in-between are a mix.
Descriptive and less mean. Like it.
I like how there is absolutely no mention in this column of the fact that the”people” who pay the largest price for the traditional red state no abortions no birth control less divorce get back in the kitchen model are the women. If you were an alien and you read this you would think that abortions and pregnancy are something men AND women do. He doesn’t use any words that I can find to signify that there are in fact two genders and that one of those genders is the one that is generally forced to assume all responsibility for both the making and caring for of these babies he doesn’t want to see aborted.
I think Ross is just upset because he can’t force women to make his babies, because even conservative women can tell that his genetic code should not be passed on.
So what the studies are showing is that abortion promotes family stability, education and prosperity?
Good morning, folks. I see that you’re in fine form today.
I’d like to add some points to the argument:
1. Abortion has been around a long, long time. The genii has escaped from the bottle and there is no putting it back.
2. Contraception hasn’t been around as long but that genii also has escaped and won’t be incarcerated again.
3. These two [abortion and contraception] have really reduced the amount of infanticide. Infanticide has probably been associated with humans for longer than we can imagine.
The problem is that humans have decided that we would like to separate sexual intercourse from procreation. This decision was not limited to a particular culture. It looks like the entire species adopted this stance.
That doesn’t mean we don’t want to procreate. We just want to do it when and if we decide we want to. Otherwise, we could engage in mass voluntary sterilization and the problem would be solved.
There are a lot of things about humans that I don’t like and I am sure that most conservatives feel the same way. But I am not sure that I can change the whole species. And I am not convinced that the current crop of conservatives can, either.
Do the ‘blue states’ really have a higher abortion rate than the ‘red states’?
No they don’t.
There certainly seems to be some outliers to the red/blue abortion rates, but it is a close correlation.
@PurpleGirl: Yeah, his issue has an ancient name…..it’s called [gasp] “Catholicism.”
I swear public devout Catholics are just a mystery to me: Hannity, Douthat, most of the Supreme Court, Tweety…. And, i don’t want to seem like a bigot or anything, since I disdain all religions, but public Catholics in this county are just reactionary scolds
@Sly: Sly and Paris:
Excellent points. Capitalism in its current incarnation is really anti-family. But conservatives cannot admit that anything at all is wrong with capitalism. Some of those folks say they worship God but in fact they worship capitalism.
It sounds to me like RoDo is saying that the blue states have abortion, not contraception, to thank for their social stability and prosperity.
Whether or not this is actually false, I’m surprised that he wants to go down this path, a path that would lead many to clap while hopping up and down, shrieking “yay abortion!”
Because the anti-abortion people want you to think that teen pregnancy is not the worst thing that could happen to a girl, and that Bristol Palin’s fate is just ducky, and that Real America is the place to be. RoDo’s point takes the opposite as a given. That’s pretty big.
They tend to take their cues from Savonarola, Chesterton and Huxley, obnoxious assholes all.
An additional observation I don’t see addressed very often in this debate: even if we completely outlawed abortion in the U.S., the well-heeled always have the ‘vacation overseas’ option to quietly ‘remedy’ daughters in the family way. Do you honestly believe wealthy Oklahoma families – even the über-anti-crowd – won’t simply go to France or Canada if necessary? All of this posturing falls squarely on teh poors.
@Johio: He’s a fucking moron, that’s why. He makes people like me, who actually worked hard for my English degree, bitter and angry that we don’t have a cushy NYT column spewing blathering fucking uninformed nonsense out our asses.
I mean, there are few commentators in the professional world who are less informed than Douthat. Brooks is one of them, but it’s really a toss-up. Either of them could be considered to be dumber, more ill-informed and less intellectually capable than the other. I guess it depends on the tides and the winds.
Yes. And that family stability, education and prosperity promotes abortion. Low birth rates and a higher quality of life are mutually reinforcing phenomena. One does not necessarily cause the other.
Of course, I’d argue that the thing RoDo ignores are the legal and physical barriers that people in “red states” have to contend with in order to actually get an abortion. Of course Wyoming has the lowest abortion rate in the country… 96% of Wyoming counties (where the same % of women in that state live) have no abortion provider.
What’s a Red state now? A state that voted for McCain, or one that voted for Bush? It’s also hard for me to accept California as an “outlier” amongst “blue” states. That’s a pretty big “outlier” — and they are amongst the lowest rates of abortion in the country. Same for Vermont, the most liberal state in the union. I think if one were to engage in some real analysis of the statistics there would be very little correlation between political affiliation (as shown by a presidential election, which is where the red state/blue state thing came from) and abortion rate. I might be wrong, but I just don’t see a correlation on that map.
@Elizabelle: “Fuckwit” works quite well.
@James Hare: Your not reading correctly; definition of Red state is any state the majority of the population agree with Douhat’s conclusion and Blue state is those who don’t. It all about the Truthiness.
@Michael: “Somebody needs to walk up and nut punch that chubby fuck, out of the blue.”
He probably nut-punches himself every time he has an impure thought.
It is foolish. Plain and simple.
Abortion rate aside, the implication here is that the teen pregnancy rate is just as high is laughable. The only blue states appearing in the top ten list are California and Florida. (I’m not sure I like the admission of Florida as a blue state, but it is what it is.
Man, but Douthat has the ability to piss me off faster than most of the male rightwingers for whatever reason. Maybe because he’s touted as a thinker (which he isn’t). He really should have lived his adulthood in the fifties. Then, maybe then, he would be happy and not have to inflict the rest of us with his drivel.
@James Hare: This sounds like a job for Nate Silver. Which AFAIK he hasn’t got round to yet. The closest I could find is an analysis correlating low abortion rates with anti-abortion polling.
Wiki: mountain west + plains + deep south. this is pretty much the traditional definition.
on the link i provided, CA is not an outlier, it’s an N/A. LA and NH, too. no data, not low rate.
no it’s not perfect. but except for Kansas and NC, the states with ‘high’ rates are the blue coastal states and the ‘purple’ states, NV and FL.
likewise, the states with ‘low’ rates are all in the red plains states and the pinkish mid-south.
It’s always been interesting to me that all the conservative intellectuals tout the values of Red states, but none of them live in one. They’re generally in NY and DC. Why don’t they move to Mississippi if they think it’s so damn swell.
Mississippi is where the *peasants* are supposed to live, Waynski. They don’t have the moral fortitude to resist temptation like Douchethat and their other superiors.
That article was one of the strongest pro-choice pieces I’ve read in the MSM in a while. I’m not sure Ross meant to do that.
The appended readers’ comments were, as always, better informed and less ideologically driven.
Got to hand it to Ross and/or his editors for choosing the 4 “highlights” letters they did.
Here’s link to page 4 of readers’ comments. Many readers took him to task for not examining the impact of Reaganomics, outsourcing and depletion of the middle class. All of these commenters live a more real world than Mr. Douthat, and can explain pithily what they see.
I didn’t think Douthat was trying – Brooks like – to force a conclusion on facts he disagreed with. Instead, the article read like he himself was confounded by the fact that high abortion rates tend to correlate with marriage stability.
I think you can argue that it’s not true that blue states have higher abortion, and he may have fudged the data (shocker).
But I don’t think he was making a moral argument about abortion. He really seemed confused that there might be a positive outcome from increased availability of abortion.