The extent to which liberals have gone bananas over the Dobbs case is a phenomenon that demands explanation. Most liberals, after all, understand that the Court has not banned abortion, or in fact placed any limits on it whatsoever. It has simply remitted the issue of abortion to the political sphere where it was prior to 1973, and where it always has belonged, thus ending a half century of usurpation by the Court.
Moreover, abortion laws in the U.S. have been extremely liberal compared with most countries–almost every country other than North Korea, in fact. This chart shows in striking fashion how liberal our laws have been compared with Europe’s:
Wow. Today I learned that Europe has more restrictive abortion laws than most of the U.S. did up until this week. https://t.co/h7cvIlIEMN
— Noah Smith 🐇🇺🇦 (@Noahpinion) June 26, 2022
One of the many ironies of post-Dobbs hysteria was French President Emmanuel Macron denouncing the decision, even though the Mississippi statute that the Court upheld was more permissive, more liberal, than France’s own abortion law.
Most liberals no doubt understand that they now will have to take their case to the voters, and that when the dust settles, American abortion laws will look pretty much like Europe’s. And some states will be extremely permissive–New York, for one, may legalize infanticide, which the states are perfectly free to do. So, once again–why the hysteria?
I think several elements are at work here, but the most basic is that liberals (Democrats) do not want to take the issue of abortion to the voters. They do not want to have to make their case. They do not want to have to argue and persuade. Rather, they want all views opposed to their own to be banned and unheard. Delegitimized.
This is perhaps the dominant fact of 21st Century politics. Liberals don’t want to debate, they don’t want to persuade. They want to censor. They want some higher authority, whether the Supreme Court, Twitter, or corporate America, to declare all views but theirs out of bounds. They don’t want to participate in democratic politics, they want to rule by fiat. For all their wailing about “our democracy,” the last thing liberals want is the actual give and take of a democracy, which usually entails compromise.
I think that is the key reason for the Left’s hysteria over Dobbs. For liberals, having to argue, to persuade, to run for office, to participate in the messy work of democracy where you don’t always win, is a step backward. They had everything going their way, and now…this.
Viewed in that light, I think the demonstrations, insurrections, encouragement of assassination of Supreme Court Justices, and arson at Christian maternity centers are understandable.