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August 23, 2012 11:06 AM Do Conservatives Now Want Social Issues “Truce?” Let Them Go First.

By Ed Kilgore

A big chunk of the conservative commentary on L’Affaire Akin has been devoted to the idea that ol’ Todd is spoiling the laser-like focus of the GOP on Obama’s economic policy failures, and/or enabling a liberal effort to “distract” voters from same. I bet Mitch Daniels—implicitly vetoed as a presidential candidate for his heretical suggestion that conservatives declare a “truce” on social issues for the time being—is chuckling.

In any event, if conservatives do indeed want a “truce” on issues like abortion, that’s fine with me: let them start observing one. Leave Planned Parenthood the hell alone. Stop pushing for laws that challenge Roe v. Wade. Shut down all your ultrasounds. Tell Bob Vander Plaats to stop trying to run pro-marriage-equality judges off the Iowa Supreme Court. Take all those dog whistles about “respect for life” and “constitutional originalism” out of your platforms and speeches. Promise us you won’t put unholy pressure on a President Romney to ensure the next new member of the Supreme Court will vote to turn abortion policy back to the states or even protect zygotes under the 14th Amendment.

For the most part (with the notable exception of progressive efforts to take advantage of rapidly growing support for marriage equality), it’s the GOP and the conservative movement who are the aggressors in the culture wars at the moment. It’s gotten pols like Todd Akin and his Christian Right allies excited beyond all belief. You can’t complain at this late date that when he says something that reminds people of the underlying radicalism of the entire GOP’s position on reproductive rights, progressives are trying to “distract attention” from other issues by pointing it out.

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.

Comments

  • Neil B on August 23, 2012 11:13 AM:

    "Distraction" my eye! Social policy is *important* to voters, it impacts the very core of their lives. Whether you can get birth control, abortions, married etc - how dare the "look over there" conservative hacks or their codependent LSM (yes, Rush is sometimes right) enablers try to wave off
    1. the deep importance, yes practical too
    2. the extremism of the Republican positions
    regarding these vital issues that deserve a wide and very brightly illuminated hearing. Take the truth and pass it on.

  • c u n d gulag on August 23, 2012 11:18 AM:

    WITH their "Culture Wars," they can win by dividing and conquering.

    Without their "Culture Wars," they will have to spend time talking about THEIR economic policies.

    And FSM knows that they don't want to do THAT!
    They're running for political domination, "for pete's sake!"

    They'll lose without what they "brung" to the dance - HATE AND FEAR.

  • Ron Byers on August 23, 2012 11:23 AM:

    What they do is important, not what they say. Republicans have no intention of not advancing their cultural agenda.

    Fool us once, we won't be fooled again :) or something like that.

  • Josef K on August 23, 2012 11:25 AM:

    For the most part (with the notable exception of progressive efforts to take advantage of rapidly growing support for marriage equality), it’s the GOP and the conservative movement who are the aggressors in the culture wars at the moment.

    I thought that was obvious. Modern "Conservatives" are, after all, the offspring of multiple generations of warfare and military preparedness. Their grandfathers fought WWII (my own included), their fathers grew up during the Cold War, and they themselves grew up during the renewed Cold War (a la Reaganism), only to see the Soviet Union fall apart before we could take up arms against it.

    Is it any wonder this generation took up more metaphorical arms against the only enemy they could do so safely and still feel like their fight mattered, namely anything and everything that doesn't feel "right" in the world? Granted, some of these self-styled combatants have taken their call to arms a bit too seriously, and others have just gone off the deep end entirely.

    Still, given the renewed militarization of our society since 9/11, I doubt the rightwingnuts are even able to quit their absurdist crusades. More's the pity.

  • Josef K on August 23, 2012 11:31 AM:

    You can’t complain at this late date that when he says something that reminds people of the underlying radicalism of the entire GOP’s position on reproductive rights, progressives are trying to “distract attention” from other issues by pointing it out.

    Maybe they aren't so much worried about others "noticing". Maybe they're more worried about having to actually think about their own positions, never mind how indefensible they actually are.

  • Anonymous on August 23, 2012 11:38 AM:

    They don't want a "truce." They want the other side to disarm unilaterally.

  • grandpa john on August 23, 2012 11:47 AM:

    Heh, Well I am sure Aiken andhis supporters may be looking for a truce. Ras has a poll out this morning showing McCaskill UP by 10 points 48-38. If Ras has turned against you it is probably hopeless for a rep

  • neil b on August 23, 2012 12:26 PM:

    Uh, heh, @grandpa john: rassie is so completely a tool for Republicans they could *easily* be fronting that result up just to pressure Akin to resign, to help some other R win instead. But I hope they're right!

  • linu b on August 23, 2012 12:34 PM:

    Compromise: You give me what I want.
    Truce: You quit fighting back.

  • esaud on August 23, 2012 12:42 PM:

    Re: Republicans want to focus on economic policy failures:

    Ever notice how the very people who are suffering the most economically are the ones demonized as lazy, hammock-swinging, you-know-who's, that Obama, the food stamp president, wants to lull into complacency so they will vote Democrat?

    I guess as usual, the internal contradictions that right wingers harbor never crack through into any rationality.

  • SecularAnimist on August 23, 2012 1:57 PM:

    The GOP's "social issues" have never been anything but a distraction -- they distract white working-class Southern & Midwestern voters from the reality that the GOP's economic policies will screw them, big time.

  • Quaker in a Basement on August 23, 2012 2:46 PM:

    Can't wait for the debate. If 'Bam doesn't take him to the woodshed, I'll be amazed.

  • Quaker in a Basement on August 23, 2012 3:17 PM:

    OK, summarizing. The Romney team doesn't want to talk about:

    Social issues
    Romney's taxes
    The Ryan budget
    Medicare
    Bain and outsourcing
    Tax policy details
    Foreign policy
    The nutbars that populate various levels of the GOP hierarchy

    Fine. Rock, paper, scissors. Best two out of three?

  • SecularAnimist on August 23, 2012 3:49 PM:

    Quaker in a Basement: you forgot one.

    Global warming.

    But fortunately for Romney, Obama doesn't want to talk about that one either.

    Thus, an imminent existential threat to human civilization will not be an election issue.