Andrew Sullivan is just sometimes content to embarrass himself for seemingly no other reason than because his ego is too large for him not to say anything about something he knows nothing about. Yesterday and today he's attacking Ramesh Ponnuru's book (which he hasn't read) because of its title here and here. Ramesh replies to Sullivan's first post here.
Sullivan says, "Conservative writers have now made fortunes calling their partisan opponents traitors, godless, and now pro-death. Their rhetoric increasingly equates being a Christian with being a Republican. I never thought someone as civilized and intelligent as Ponnuru would sink to this kind of rhetoric."
Pseudo-conservative writers now make fortunes calling the title of a book they haven't read "reprehensible." Their rhetoric now creates silly and ignorant strawman arguments since I've read the book and never noticed Christianity being equated with being a Republican. I'm well aware that someone as "knowledgeable" as Sullivan would attack a book he hasn't read based on nothing but the book's title even though he doesn't care seem what the author means by the title. Thanks Andrew. Never let your complete ignorance on a subject keep you from self-righteously taking cheap shots at others.
But I really think Andrew should read the book because Ramesh aptly discusses and logically destroys Sullivan's "personally prolife" position also famously held by Mario Cuomo. You see Andrew "abhors abortion as a moral matter" and "can never condone it" (seemingly because abortion intentionally ends the life of an innocent human being) yet he thinks that "attempt(s) of the government to police a woman's body in the first stages of pregnancy to be a deeply unconservative idea." Sullivan can never condone abortion yet thinks restricting abortion in the first trimester is deeply unconservative? Gee, thanks. How many sides of his mouth can he talk out of? Why attempts to police a woman's body later in pregnancy (after the first trimester) aren't "deeply unconservative" is never explained.
Sullivan provides no reasoning (except saying "balancing of goods") as to why it should be illegal to abort 12-week fetuses yet illegal to abort 13-week fetuses. What changes in that one week make the developing human being worthy of legal protection? Is there no real reason except to "balance the goods?"
Why the first trimester? Why not the first quadmester?
Nor does Sullivan seem to recognize in his second post that one branch of the federal government (the Supreme Court) has already imposed itself into the abortion debate.
If Sullivan took the time to research the book a little before commenting (if he didn't feel like waiting to read it) he might notice that various bloggers like Amy Welborn and Naaman have already shared what Ramesh says he means by the title.