Thursday, May 07, 2009

BEN & JERRY'S OPPRESSED MY RIGHT TO HAMBURGER ICE CREAM, AND OTHER TALES OF MODERN CONSERVATISM. At RedState, Dan McLaughlin demonstrates that conservatives don't approve of all the blessings of the free market. Take, for example, a billboard company that refused to host a sign saying Obama is pro-abortion. The company made the Christers change it to "pro-abortion-choice," which would seem a caution to avoid arguable slander -- like saying Roosevelt caused men to die by sending them into World War II, rather than saying he was pro-death. Not the way everyone would play it, but that's capitalism, comrade: their boards, their choice.

McLaughlin is incensed, but though his rage draws him into the subject, he seems to realize that he isn't going to get far with a column about how unfair it was that a company exercised content restrictions on its own properties. How then to express his anger without also seeming to attack freedom?

His solution is ingenious: ignore the company that refused to raise their billboard, and instead yell at liberals as if it were their fault:
You may remember the flap over the Secret Service limitations on where protestors could set up near George W. Bush, and the wailing about “free speech zones” being an unconscionable restriction, etc. I have yet to hear anybody (1) complain about the Secret Service’s policy since Obama took over or (2) explain how the policy changed, as I suspect it has not. Like so many routine government activities, it’s only objectionable when it’s Bush...

The same people calling for displaying graphic photos of interrogation of detainees or who want soldiers’ coffins on the front page of the newspaper without the consent of their families are the ones who are horrified by the idea that any image should be displayed of abortion, the ones who even recoil at showing pictures of live unborn children in the debate.
Or maybe he's saying that abortionist hippies now run the American billboard industry. It's hard to tell.

Bonus points to McLaughlin for reviving the old illegal-vs.-immoral argument in a new and breathtakingly clumsy way:
A digression: when Sarah Palin talked recently about the choice to keep her youngest child, liberals argued that this was a concession - isn’t it wonderful, some of them argued, to live in a country that allows such choices? Um, no. Using cocaine and driving drunk are illegal, but we still speak of not doing them as being moral choices. If a teenager from a bad neighborhood refuses to join a gang, we can celebrate the positive moral choice without saying, “isn’t it great to live in a country where teenagers get to choose whether or not to join violent, drug-dealing street gangs?” No, it’s a tragedy.
When it comes to abortion, "choice" is just a crime for which we haven't figured out how to arrest you yet. Yessir, conservatives are going to pick up a ton of support from women in the next election. Keep rebuilding, Trike Force!

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