Monday, March 12, 2007

QUINTESSENCE OF CORNER. If you want to explain NRO's The Corner to a neophyte, this series is pretty good.

1. Madman Larry Kudlow praises the ravings of "my friend," madman Zell Miller ("Military shortages, Social Security crisis, and illegal immigration all linked to abortion").

2. Jonah Goldberg seems about to veer dangerously close to sanity in rebutting Miller, but drifts back into his asteroid belt of Cheetos and ignorance, stipulating that, basically, he objects to judging any governmental instrument ("GNP, the crime rate, military readiness or anything else") by outcomes. (It only sounds like a moral argument if you read it, or write it, very quickly.) Then he invites Ramesh Ponnuru into the debate by asking if Ponnuru said something he thinks he heard somewhere about abortion and a decline in American births, using a classic Goldbergian "I can't remember... if I remember it correctly" syntax.

3. Ramesh Ponnuru gently corrects Goldberg's memory of his stats, but supports madman Miller's logic. Kudlow claims abortion is both evil and bad for the U.S.

4. Mark Steyn supports the instrumentalist position, says that nations that cannot be persuaded by moral claims (like Russia) might be swayed by the inescapable fact that abortion decreases population. "The country is also in net population decline. [Putin's] trying to figure out a way to reverse that... Right now the government would be very grateful for any anti-abortion argument that plays in whatever’s the Russian equivalent of Peoria." One gets the impression Steyn would also approve of such an approach here in the home of the actual Peoria.

PUNCHLINE: None of the participants mentions that between the time of Roe and the present, the population of the U.S. has increased by nearly a third.

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