Saturday, October 09, 2004

Arcanum Arcanorum 

Another Presidential Moment that has generated a fair amount of consternation in Blog World:
BUSH: Uh, let me give you a couple of examples I guess of the kind of [Supreme Court justice] I wouldn't pick. I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words 'under God'' in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process, as opposed to strict interpretation of the Constitution. Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges years ago said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights. That's personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all - you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America.
Whatever point Mr. Bush had hoped to make about Dred Scott was quickly lost in a torrent of nonsensical, self-contradictory gobbledygook -- or so it must have seemed to most of America. But to his brethren of the religious right, who are adept at conversing in secret signals, and to such gifted exegetes as our colleague Paperwight, the President's message was actually quite clear:
It wasn't about racism or slavery, or just Bush's natural incoherence. Here's what Bush actually said:
If elected to another term, I promise that I will nominate Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.
Bush couldn't say that in plain language, because it would freak out every moderate swing voter in the country, but he can say it in code, to make sure that his base will turn out for him. Anti-choice advocates have been comparing Roe v. Wade with Dred Scott v. Sandford for some time now. There is a constant drumbeat on the religious right to compare the contemporary culture war over abortion with the 19th century fight over slavery, with the anti-choicers cast in the role of the abolitionists.

Don't believe me? Here.
UPDATE: Our esteemed colleague Prometheus 6 did some sleuthing, and discovered that the abortion=slavery meme most likely originated with (drum roll, please) . . . Alan Keyes.

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