Political Animal


February 10, 2012 10:53 AM ***Supply-Side Economics for the Working Man

By Ed Kilgore

If anything positive comes out of the contraception mandate brouhaha—other than, perhaps, some shred of a contraception mandate—it will be to bury once and for all the once-confident Beltway pundit belief that this year, finally, we’d have a presidential contest in which all those atavistic religion-and-rights based fights over “divisive” cultural issues would go away, making the fiscal and economic issues most Beltway pundits care about the only thing on the table. That’s why Mitch Daniels with his “culture issues truce” suggestion was such a hot commodity, and in some circles, still is.

But that sure ain’t where the wind’s blowing at the moment. Check out this Dave Weigel report from the beginning of today’s CPAC session:

Mike Huckabee opened the second day of CPAC with a predictable message for a packed room: Don’t forget social issues! The backlash against the administration’s conscience rule nix-out had proven how important these issues were.
“Thanks to President Obama,” said Huckabee, “we are all Catholics now!”
But after that, Huckabee — who has remained neutral between candidates, and come off as warm towards Mitt Romney — linked together the legality of abortion with the rise of economic uncertainty. Revisiting an old pro-life trope, he wondered how much stronger the economy might be if 50,000,000 fetuses hadn’t been aborted. The failure to recognize life as starting at conception bled into all sorts of social norms.

So suddenly, it seems, the tail is truly wagging the dog: the answer to our economics problem is a fertility festival! Wonder if that’s what Rick Santorum really means with his promise of “supply-side economics for the working man”?

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • mass on February 10, 2012 11:18 AM:

    So, when Huckleberry says "We're all Catholics, now!" does he mean we've got to start covering up the rape of children? Answering to some "infallible" German foof in the Vatican?

    Will Romney see this as an opportunity to bring back the LDS's right to marry multiple wives, since laws against poligamy certainly put a pinch on the Morman lifestyle in the 1800s?

  • RT on February 10, 2012 11:28 AM:

    Revisiting an old pro-life trope, [Huckabee] wondered how much stronger the economy might be if 50,000,000 fetuses hadn’t been aborted.

    We'd have 50,000,000 more unemployed, idiot!

  • revchicoucc on February 10, 2012 11:28 AM:

    I am a follower of Jesus who is strongly pro-choice. Although I don't know when life begins, I do not think it begins at conception, sometime between conception and birth, perhaps. Nonetheless, I respect the Catholic Church's theology on this matter, even though I disagree with it. I can see how someone would reach that conclusion.

    I cannot in any way understand the theology that says life begins before conception. That is the theological basis for opposing contraception -- each act of sexual intercourse between opposite gender couples has the potential of resulting in a pregnancy, of creating life. That potential must not be thwarted! I find no biblical or scientific basis for this view.

  • stormskies on February 10, 2012 11:29 AM:

    It is just more evidence that these Repiglicans live in an entirely alternate universe where all of their delusions are in fact reality. They actually believe their delusions which is truly the scariest thing about these people.

    They manage to create a whole universe of interlocking delusions that do not allow any actual facts linked with actual reality to penetrate at all. The U.S. Congress is now the hub of all those delusions: 'lawmakers' who make laws rooted in the delusions themselves that they then desire to enforce on everyone.

    Just last week, even though the corporate media totally ignored it of course, the U.S congress 'declared' that none of the massive deficit that we have was in anyway caused by the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Their delusional nature, and being so utterly lost to it, manifesting is their 'declaration' as if is so declaring that is simply become 'reality': the truth.

    This one example illustrates the whole delusional universe that these Repiglicans inhabit. It is truly scary shit.

  • jpeckjr on February 10, 2012 11:33 AM:

    If we're all Catholics now, does that mean we're all opposed to torture, want the death penalty abolished, support programs to assist the poor, believe the rich have a moral obligation to share their abundance with the needs, and believe all the Protestants are going to hell?

    No, I didn't think so.

  • jonas on February 10, 2012 11:34 AM:

    Funny that it never occurs to them that if more population growth is what will help the economy, they might consider immigration reform.

  • Ken on February 10, 2012 11:39 AM:

    I was reading “we are all Catholics now!” as "Time to do a 180 and get the evangelicals screaming about the Pope dictating to the government," but I suppose it's in how he delivered it.

  • mrgumby2u on February 10, 2012 11:41 AM:

    You'd think that a political party that bemoans the economic opportunity lost due to "50,000,000" abortions would welcome 11 million "illegal aliens."

  • Mimikatz on February 10, 2012 11:42 AM:

    And on the other side theory is "We are all working women now!"

    Really, on no other issue is the dominance of our discourse by tone-deaf males more on display than this contraception fight. Pregnancy is a health issue for women. Pregnancy is hard on women physically, physiologically, emotionally, economically and socially. Sometimes birth control pills are needed to regulate periods for health reasons. The idea that women should not have the power to control their reproductive systems on an equal basis with any other health issue is so backward as to be really absurd to 98% of women today. The idea that we would EVER go back to the days when we had to be at the mercy of men is this regard is a total fantasy on men's part. We (women, single peple, younger people) are solid majority on this issue, and we are the people who put Obama in office. The bishops are a throwback to the days of Torquemada and the Inquisition and as the protectors of child molesters are the last people on earth who should command any moral authority in the area of sexuality.

    What the Right and the Bishops are really afraid of Is the further development of post-coital forms of contraceptive pills that, taken in the first days or weeks will induce miscarriage. This would truly make at least early abortion a personal matter and take it out of their hands.

    I really, really hope Obama understands and sides with the vast coalition on the pro-contraception side and stops kow-towing to these medieval prima donnas who can't command authority even in their own flocks. Time to give the bishops their due place in the discourse, which is back in church preaching tom their own flock, not trying to restrict the freedom, religious and otherwise, of the rest of us.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on February 10, 2012 12:01 PM:

    [Huckabee] wondered how much stronger the economy might be if 50,000,000 fetuses hadn’t been aborted

    I hope those 50 million fetuses whose absence Huckabee's lamenting included non-white babies. But with the CPAC's overarching themes of "declining honkitude" (yeah, still funny a day later), I somehow kinda doubt it.


  • boatboy_srq on February 10, 2012 12:02 PM:

    we are all Catholics now

    As recently as twenty years ago, those would have been "fighting words" for ANY Protestant (never mind all the other non-Xtian faiths).

    And once again we see how easy it is for those who claim that THEY ALONE hold the one True Faith to use "faith" to coerce nominal Xtians to adhere to their cause.

  • low-tech cyclist on February 10, 2012 12:13 PM:

    "We're all Catholics now" reminds me of the Firesign Theatre bit (in "Temporarily Humboldt County" on their first album) where the conquistadores arrive in the New World, and in their initial meeting with the native Americans, a priest says, "by the way, domini, domini, domini, you're all Catholics now."

  • low-tech cyclist on February 10, 2012 12:15 PM:

    Temporarily Humboldt County, for anyone who's interested.

  • Hedda Peraz on February 10, 2012 12:18 PM:

    Time to head over to youtube, for a sing along with Monty Python's "Every Sperm is Sacred"

  • g on February 10, 2012 12:31 PM:

    Isn't one of the cornerstone ideas of "Freakanomics" the notion that since abortion became legal, the number of unwanted and abused children went down, leading to the statistical decline of violent crime?

  • emjayay on February 10, 2012 12:31 PM:

    I believe the Freakonomics guys theorised that not having done 50,000 abortions would have resulted in higher crime rates. Not sure if they also mentioned higher welfare costs, worse schools, etc.

  • emjayay on February 10, 2012 12:32 PM:

    Great minds...

  • Kathryn on February 10, 2012 12:37 PM:

    Stormskies is right on target, CPACers have been digesting right wing distortions for so long, it is true to them. As a former Catholic who attended twelve years of Catholic school in Baltimore (sorry theA), it is literally nauseating for me to witness the joining of forces by the Catholic Church in Rome with the evangelical hate machine of Huckabee and company, assuming former Catholics are allowed opinions.

    PS.....where is gulag today, miss you man.

  • Rugosa on February 10, 2012 1:43 PM:

    Right, just what the working class needs in addition to a shrinking job base and declining wages: lots of kids to raise! That's bound to encourage working class white men to get married (cf. Charles Murray).