The Corner

Joe & Roe

Bill McGurn’s got an excellent piece on Roe and Joe Lieberman and Dems in general in the Journal today. Subscription required for online access.

the Lieberman kerfuffle over Roe illustrates the curious position that ruling now occupies in the American body politic. It was radical enough when handed down in 1973. But today it has become less a matter of law than a sacred talisman, the one absolute in a Democratic Party that has never explained why if it’s OK to reverse a previous Supreme Court ruling on, say, sodomy, this one decision must remain untouchable.

Within the pundit class it is common to depict America’s ongoing battle over abortion (and now, gay marriage) as a irreconcilable clash of moral absolutes: between those who believe that each abortion involves the taking of an innocent human life and those who, with equal passion, believe that the right to an abortion is fundamental to a woman’s dignity. That’s true enough as far as it goes. But the way these debates play out on the political battlefield points to an even more troubling clash: between those who would work within our democratic system to realize their ends and those who simply rely on courts and judges to impose them.