I don't know if the cause is bacterial, viral, or environmental, but there's a sudden amnesia cluster on the right that warrants a prompt investigation from the Centers for Disease Control.
First, there's Peggy Noonan:
And you have to respect that as a wound, the Roe v. Wade decision never healed, never could. Josh Prager, in his stupendous history of that decision, “The Family Roe,” noted the singular fact of this ruling: Other high court decisions that liberalized the social order—desegregation of schools, elimination of prayer in the schools, interracial marriage, gay marriage—were followed by public acceptance, even when the rulings were very unpopular. Most came to have overwhelming support. But not Roe. That was the exception. It never stopped roiling America.
That's absurd, as Sherrilyn Ifill made clear in a Twitter thread, excerpts of which appear below:
Here we are in 1960. White parents in Louisiana so “accepted” Brown that 6 year old Ruby Bridges needed to be escorted by federal officers to and from school. pic.twitter.com/YruGSaSbXW
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) May 7, 2022
The next amnesiac is Andrew Sullivan:
Jeet Heer responds:
And then there's Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas:
Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the judiciary is threatened if people are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” and that recent events at the Supreme Court might be “one symptom of that.”
... “It bodes ill for a free society,” he said. It can’t be that institutions “give you only the outcome you want, or can be bullied” to do the same, he said.
... The court’s longest-serving justice said he also worried about a “different attitude of the young” that might not show the same respect for the law as past generations did. “Recent events have shown this major change,” he said.
Young people showed respect for the law in past generations? Really? Clarence Thomas was born in 1948. Did he sleep through the 1960s, when, if I remember correctly, quite a few young people had serious doubts about the need to respect the law?
I think I understand what's happening here. The right needs to make the reaction to this decision the real story, in order to distract from the decision's unpopularity and radical nature. Part One of this attempt to manufacture consent was the phony outrage at the leak, which the right blames on liberals, despite lacking any evidence to do so. I'm particularly fond of this crazed response to the leak, from a former vice chair of the California GOP who's a frequent guest on Fox News.
No normal person actually believes this, so the right is trying another tack: Hey, maybe the reaction to the draft decision seems well within the bounds of normal political discourse, and also seems appropriate given the magnitude of the likely changes to abortion law, but it's still extreme compared to the past, when no one ever complained about anything the legal establishment did in this country -- or at least they didn't before the original Roe decision, which caused all the problems in America.
I don't think anyone outside the right-wing bubble will buy this either, but right-wingers won't stop trying to gaslight us, because it's the only way they can defend what they're doing.
Posted with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog