Scott Lemieux

Scott Lemieux is an assistant professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose. He contributes to the blogs Lawyers, Guns, and Money and Vox Pop.

Recent Articles

BIRTH CONTROL "IS A PESTICIDE."

BIRTH CONTROL "IS A PESTICIDE." More reasoned discourse from America's profoundly serious and morally superior pro-life movement, this time from National Abstinence Clearinghouse Sweepstakes spokesperson Leslee Unruh . You will not be surprised to learn that Unruh and her spouse were featured "experts" of the uber-crackpot South Dakota Forced Pregnancy Task Force . More on Unruh here . [Via Feministing .] -- Scott Lemieux

PUNDIT PROJECTION.

PUNDIT PROJECTION. To follow up on Sam and Matt , I too find the focus on the short-term reactions to individual votes baffling. As long-term readers will be (all too) aware, one of my hobbyhorses is the tendency of law professors to assume that public reaction to Supreme Court decisions is based on the craftsmanship of the Court's jufiscatory reasoning, although the evidence is overwhelming that public reaction is based on outcomes. I think this is something similar -- political pundits seem to assume that since they pay close attention to particular votes that this also matters a great deal to the public. (My favorite recent example was the hand-wringing over the allegedly devastating consequences of Russ Feingold 's censure resolution, which if you recall played no role whatsoever in the '06 elections that his party won.) When it comes to the war, it's the big picture that matters, and for people who agree with withdrawal on the merits it will also be good politics in the long run...

MAUREEN DOWD DOESN'T...

MAUREEN DOWD DOESN'T WRITE FOR IN STYLE . In light of Maureen Dowd 's latest idiotic " Al Gore is Fat " column, I think Atrios makes an important point . It's not that there's anything wrong with writing about fashion or gossip per se. The problem is when major news organizations (and their would-be internet equivalents ) think fashion writing and gossip constitute political writing . In the 2000 campaign it was the lead reporters and columnists of America's elite newspapers, not just gossip columnists, who were writing about Gore's suits, his sighing, the salaries of (only his female) consultants, and so on. One would think that two terms of George Bush would remind our newspapers that making elections turn on junior-high-school trivia has consequences that are anything but trivial , but given Maureen Dowd's disgraceful ongoing presence on the NYT's op-ed pages sharing her insights about John Edwards 's haircuts, Judith Steinberg 's troubling lack of makeup , and Al Gore's waistline...

PRE-SUFFRAGETTE CITY.

PRE-SUFFRAGETTE CITY. Jill Filipovic points us to this Times article about the new strategy to justify using state coercion to force women to carry pregnancies to term by claiming that women are too irrational to know what's good for them, and offers a modest proposal. I would also urge you to read Reva Siegel and Sarah Blustain (see also here .) Quite simply, these justifications are premised on 19th-century conceptions of women as not being rational agents. And such justifications evidently underpin a great deal of anti-choice discourse and policy ( most obviously seen in the fact that the official Republican position that abortion is murder but women who obtain them should be entirely exempt from legal sanctions.) At least Kennedy was decent enough to give away the show, admitting that these assertions are backed by "no reliable data," leaving us with meaningless claims that some women may regret their decision to obtain abortions in retrospect. (If some women regret getting...

PAGING WILLIAM SALETAN.

PAGING WILLIAM SALETAN. Shockingly enough, the " pro-life case for contraception" continues to fail dismally among actual pro-lifers , as the Missouri legislature (with the strong support of Missouri pro-life, natch) voted down restoring funding for contraception because "it would have amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles." Which will mean more unwanted pregnancies and -- as a comparison of abortion rates in the United States with countries that permit both access to abortion and birth control will demonstrate -- more abortions. But what matters is that somebody will be able send a message about how evil the banal sexual behavior of consenting adults that one doesn't approve of is! I often talk about the flagrant inconsistency of American "pro-life" groups. But, in fairness, they are perfectly consistent about one thing: if they have a choice between reducing abortion rates and regulating female sexuality, they'll take the latter, as reliably as Carrot Top is unfunny...

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