Do Conservatives Now Want Social Issues “Truce?” Let Them Go First.

A big chunk of the conservative commentary on L’Affaire Akin has been devoted to the idea that ol’ Todd is spoiling the laser-like focus of the GOP on Obama’s economic policy failures, and/or enabling a liberal effort to “distract” voters from same. I bet Mitch Daniels–implicitly vetoed as a presidential candidate for his heretical suggestion that conservatives declare a “truce” on social issues for the time being–is chuckling.

In any event, if conservatives do indeed want a “truce” on issues like abortion, that’s fine with me: let them start observing one. Leave Planned Parenthood the hell alone. Stop pushing for laws that challenge Roe v. Wade. Shut down all your ultrasounds. Tell Bob Vander Plaats to stop trying to run pro-marriage-equality judges off the Iowa Supreme Court. Take all those dog whistles about “respect for life” and “constitutional originalism” out of your platforms and speeches. Promise us you won’t put unholy pressure on a President Romney to ensure the next new member of the Supreme Court will vote to turn abortion policy back to the states or even protect zygotes under the 14th Amendment.

For the most part (with the notable exception of progressive efforts to take advantage of rapidly growing support for marriage equality), it’s the GOP and the conservative movement who are the aggressors in the culture wars at the moment. It’s gotten pols like Todd Akin and his Christian Right allies excited beyond all belief. You can’t complain at this late date that when he says something that reminds people of the underlying radicalism of the entire GOP’s position on reproductive rights, progressives are trying to “distract attention” from other issues by pointing it out.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.