Oh, Look, a Woman, Surely She Believes in Women’s Issues, Yes? No?

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08/29/2008 12:10 PM |

Dahlia Lithwick, who touchingly continues to believe that things like Constitutional rights and stuff are winning issues for liberals (yesterday), wrote recently about why aren’t Democrats hammering McCain on abortion? As in: in this election that will decide the makeup of the Supreme Court for the next generation or so, why aren’t we saying that, despite being branded a “maverick” because once upon a time he ran a contentious primary campaign against George W. Bush, McCain is actually to the right of most of America on women’s issues? Well, because as her colleague wrote once in his really good book, the left long ago let the right set the terms (and, crucially, the language) of the abortion debate, and it’s kind of of a losing issue for us.

Now, John McCain has selected an honest-to-goodness lady as his Vice Presidential nominee, presumably because of all those (mythical?) Hillary holdouts really want to vote for change but can’t stand Obama. Now they have a new tough broad to vote for. Is this the logic? Probably. Well, said lady also happens to be stridently anti-abortion (the above-linked Times article includes a ringing endorsement from Ralph Reed, not exactly a champ of women’s issues in any forum). So perhaps now, in an effort to prove their credentials, the ticket with two dudes on it will actually have to talk aggressively about, like, protecting Roe v. Wade and stuff? I can haz frank and un-coded political debates about the importance of the right to abortion and government support of sex ed, birth control and family planning, plz?

Seriously, though, picking a lady so that ladies will vote for you… is progress?