SHOW ME THE BOOK! Lord am I tired of all this whining about how liberals aren't reviewing Ramesh Ponnuru's book, The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life. I think Kevin Drum already wrote the definitive take on this, but I'll reiterate. On the one hand, at every possible decision-point the marketing here seems to have been designed to get liberals not to take this seriously -- from the title to the choice of publisher to the inside flap material. On the other hand, the topic chosen is one that's famous for not being amenable to interesting debates and discussions. On top of that, unlike Ann Coulter's vile little rants, it's not really an interesting cultural phenomenon to learn that American conservatives think abortion is seriously wrong and also oppose "euthanasia, embryo destruction, even infanticide."

But if everyone will promise to stop whining and, say, send me a review copy of the book (this is helpful in getting people to review your book), I hereby promise to read it and write something about it.

Meanwhile, I'm a little confused by Ross Douthat's apparent view that if I do read it, he thinks my "caricature" of "pro-lifers as women-hating religious fanatics and nothing more" will be dispelled. Obviously, "fanatic" and "women-hating" are loaded terms and I'll leave them aside. But Ross and Ponnuru both actually are serious Catholics who actually do subscribe to a whole set of conservative views about sex and gender beyond questions about the legal status of abortion. Now if you found a secular humanist who thinks premarital sex and gay marriage are great, and women who don't work are traitors to the sisterhood but who also thought that criminalizing abortion was a good idea, that might be an interesting book.

--Matthew Yglesias

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