In today’s Peter Beinart-Jonah Goldberg video, Peter Beinart and Jonah have a bit of a meandering but as-always interesting abortion conversation. In discussing the lack of passion — or interest — in abortion among some Beltwayers (friends don’t let friends get into abortion debates at the Palm), Peter, I think misses something big: the ick factor, if you will, that has, I think, fundamentally changed the abortion debate. As Ramesh points out in his book, Party of Death, the partial-birth-abortion debate highlighted the extremism of many abortion activists and was more than a baby step of a turning point.
Peter’s observation about the lack of passion about abortion he sees around town may be something other than lack of interest in the issue of abortion. If you’re pro-choice, you probably really don’t want to be associated with this stuff in polite society — as even Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton talk about abortion being a bad thing. If you’re pro-life, the work is already being done to change hearts and minds out there, you don’t have to bring it up to Peter Beinart at a cocktail party.