Murder!

Every now and then you’ll read an item about some crazy right-wing legislator saying something like this Utah solon mocked at Think Progress yesterday:

“In a state where we can still allow people to kill their babies, we want to make it a felony to let chickens fight for the purpose of which they were raised,” said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden.

Christensen said cockfighting is not “beautiful” or “wonderful.” But the birds “naturally want to do this thing in their lives and we’re going to send their owners to prison for this, yet we allow people to go ahead and murder their unborn babies.”

And outrage, eh? But it’s useful to remind oneself that tone aside, this yahoo is articulating the position of the national Republican Party and nearly all of its elected officials, committed as they are to the recriminalization of abortion.

Technically, the charge that abortion is “murder” is not one that all anti-choicers would make, given the legal definition of the term with scienter requirements and all. And yeah, as we famously were reminded last year, many Republicans favor vast and generous exemptions from a general policy of criminalizing abortion for victims of rape and incest.

But Sen. Christensen isn’t all that far from the mainstream of his party on the underlying policy. He’s just being impolitic–not to mention tacky–in calling attention to it in so graphic a manner.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.