Two Corinthians walk into a bar …

Why does the campaign to discredit Kavanaugh continue with such intensity? Some critics might be concerned about his views on campaign finance reform or the unitary executive. But the matter that provokes the most passion is abortion.

When he takes a scalpel to Roe v.Wade,” Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz has said, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important: It is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.” The goal, it seems, is to preemptively discredit an unfavorable court decision by putting what Katz describes as an asterisk” next to Kavanaugh’s name.

This strategy is one indicator of the unhealthy focus of our entire political system on Roe v. Wade. Because it touches on the deepest issues of autonomy and human dignity, the legal status of abortion is crucial. The problem comes when we see all politics through the lens of one issue.

Many on the right justify support for Trump because his corruption and dehumanization are less important than saving lives from abortion. But it is a theory without a limiting principle. It would justify voting for some pro-life politician who is a child molester. It would, quite literally, justify voting for a pro-life president who shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

Many on the left rationalize using Trump-like tactics against someone like Kavanaugh on the theory that preserving Roe justifies any means. If you can’t control the Supreme Court, trash it. Call the legitimacy of rulings by the court into question. The politics of personal destruction have merged with the politics of institutional destruction.

But not all roads lead to Roe. And opposing it, or preserving it, does not justify every method.

Michael Gerson, (emphasis added).

Once a single-issue pro-life voter, I stumbled on my limiting principle” long before Donald Trump came along, when some other pro-life” fool or rogue sought my vote. The general insincerity of pro-life” Republican politicians (they do nothing, and they speak in the equivalent of Trump’s notorious Two Corinthians”) also disenthralled me.

September 20, 2019

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