The Corner

Adoptions and Politicians

Ramesh, you’re right. It’s nonsense for any politician to claim credit for a complex social change like a decrease in abortion or an increase in adoption. But there’s nothing inherently offensive about attempting to claim that credit — after all, politicians often are blamed for negative changes in their polities over which they have no control either. And there is one way in which it is probably very slightly acceptable — very, very slightly, though — for Rudy Giuliani to make such a claim. And that has to do with the atmospheric change in New York City under his tenure. The alteration of the city from the crime drop and from welfare reform was so profound that it is difficult quite to capture the effect. It was felt everywhere over time, and it wouldn’t be too sentimental to describe it as a restoration of normal patterns of life that had been disrupted over decades. To the extent that the disruption helped engender a spirit of hopelessness in many quarters — and a corresponding inability to imagine that there was a future that would be any better or different from the present — it certainly contributed to behaviors of hopelessness and an inability to imagine a future. That is, I think we’d all agree, one of the spiritual causes of abortion. The end of the disruption may have had some small effect on contributing to a new sense of possibility in New York City, and thereby played some part, albeit a very small one, in changing the circumstances of abortion and adoption.

Most Popular

Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
Elections

The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More