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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Democrats, Abortion and 'Alfie' by that confused man, Richard Cohen, who writes for the Washington Post.

Dickens wrote "A Tale of Two Cities." Cohen will write "A Tale of Two Movies." The first is "Alfie," the 1966 film starring Michael Caine, and the second, as it happens, is also "Alfie," this year's remake of the original, with Jude Law in the title role. In the first "Alfie" a woman of his acquaintance gets an abortion. In the second she does not. Therein lies my tale.

The second "Alfie" was obviously made before folks such as me decided that moral values were what made George Bush the winner of this year's presidential contest. Still, very little about making films is an accident -- movies cost too much -- so I can posit that someone had sensed that the zeitgeist had shifted: Abortion is no longer seen as central to sexual liberation but rather as much more troubling and problematic. Over the years, the so-called right-to-life movement has changed some minds.
As you read on through, you'll learn that "abortion is tinged with regret."

As with Sarah Blustain's piece in the American Prospect, we're not dealing here with Democrats who didn't get the Celebrate-Abortion-I'm-Not-Sorry memo. They got it, and they rejected it.

Is that because they recognize that it's deeply implausible that voters will support the celebrate-abortion message, and are much more likely to relate to the "I regret my abortion" message?

Or are they sharing their gut-level reaction to abortion--one that makes them suppose that others will react the same way?

Either way, what Blustain, Cohen and the other recent abortion-rights heretic haven't done is explain just what it is about abortion that makes it something that leads to sorrow and regret.

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