“The oh-so-Catholic Supreme Court,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 1 November 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002607.html.
Tom Barnett isn’t just an important grand strategist: he is also a canny observer of American politics. If one corrects for Dr. Barnett’s political persuasion, one gets a reliable guide of what to do.
For example: I was uncommitted on Harriet Miers until Tom Barnett supported her. Why? Dr. Barnett accurately predicted that if Harriet Miers was withdrawn, the next candidate would be “a truly right-wing justice.” Sure enough, we got that candidate in Samuel Alito.
Now, Dr. Barnett confirms my membership in the Confirm Alito Coalition…
Bush went conservative all right, and now we’ve really got our threat to Roe v. Wade. The American Catholic church has let itself become defined by this issue, which accounts for the increasingly conservative caste of both the clergy and faithful.
Now, with Alito likely to join Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and moderate Kennedy on the bench, we’re looking at a majority Catholic Supreme Court. It wasn’t that long ago (my early years) that there was a single, dedicated “Catholic seat” on the Court.
He also correctly lays the credit for the Catholic (and Evangelical) rise to the people who made it all possible: abortionists.
Now, thanks to the divisive issue of abortion, the Catholics are running the Court more and more.
He’s obviously worried:
Really amazing when you think of it. When I was born, the great religious controversy was having the first (and to date, only) Catholic president, John Kennedy. Oh the concerns that the White House would be captured by the Vatican!
Well, the Vatican is coming awfully close to capturing the Supreme Court.
And as a moderate Catholic, I confess I am made nervous by this development.
Translation: as an abortionist, Alito makes him nervous. Good!
But then: Dr. Barnett jumps the shark.
Reversing Roe v. Wade is a chimera, a dream. With global connectivity, abortion can and will be outsourced to nations (like India, with its burgeoning medical tourism) on a low-cost basis. Our only alternative will be ultrasounds at airports to stop pregnant women from traveling abroad, which, quite frankly, will come off like some queer sci-fi future dystopia story or–worse–like some scene from a freaky socialist regime like old Nicolae Ceaucescu’s Romania (that’s how all those orphanages got filled up, my friends, not a pretty sight).
Foolish, foolish, foolish
Barnett’s words are just a globalized version of the “backstreet abortion” criticism: if you criminalize something, it will still happen.
Law do not end behavior. Law cannot create a perfect world. There will always be murders, infanticides, robberies, thefts, etc. But the important part is law can be a tool in reducing crime. We can never end crime, but we can manage crime. We can’t save all infants. But we can save many.
I would have expected a similar insight from Dr. Barnett, not an implicit comparison of the GOP to the Romanian Communist Party.