Jay: As you mention, Eagleton made a devastating critique of McGovern, in an interview on background with Bob Novak: “The people don’t know McGovern is for amnesty, abortion, and legalization of pot.” (Swapping “legalization of pot” for “acid” — creating the triple-A candidate — came later but grew from Eagleton’s remark.) Here’s the rest of what Eagleton said to Novak: “Once middle America — Catholic middle America, in particular — find out, he’s dead.”
How will today’s Catholic middle America respond to last night’s abortionfest? I suspect that even pro-choice Catholics at least will prefer the old Clinton formulation: safe, legal, and rare. That last word — rare – always has seemed the operative one, because it tips its hat to the idea that if nothing else, abortion is sad.