Sunday, March 27, 2005

VAPID MUSH Anyone tasked with writing two columns a week is going to come up with a clunker now and then. But in his Saturday piece David Brooks coughs up a real hair ball:
If you surveyed the avalanche of TV and print commentary that descended upon us this week, you found social conservatives would start the discussion with a moral argument about the sanctity of life, and then social liberals would immediately start talking about jurisdictions, legalisms, politics and procedures...

Then, if social conservatives tried to push their moral claims, you'd find liberals accusing them of turning this country into a theocracy--which is an effort to cast all moral arguments beyond the realm of polite conversation.
Things David Brooks Doesn't (Or Pretends Not To) Understand:
1. The sanctity of the rule of law is a moral issue to many people.

2. Some people are even silly enough to believe that the sanctity of the rule of law is a more important issue, morally-speaking, than the end-of-life issues at stake in the Schiavo case.

3. Some people believe that moral arguments are a crucial part of political debate, even in a pluralistic society with an Enlightenment era legal pedigree, but that those arguments should appeal to reasons we can all share, whatever our religious background.

Brooks is being seriously disingenuous about the nature of the debate here--either that, or he missed a good chunk of high school American History class.

One wants to grab him by the lapels, shake him, and ask, What about no taxation without representation, David? Where does that fit in?

Just more jurisdictional, legal and procedural nitpicking?

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.