One from each side of the ideological spectrum. I’ll start with a smack upside the religious right’s collective head:
According to Rasmussen Reports, in a survey conducted after a presidential election in which abortion rights and the stupid statements of two GOP Senate candidates featured far too heavily, 54 percent of Americans describe themselves as “pro-choice” versus 38 percent who say they’re “pro-life.” This is in sharp contrast with Gallup’s finding back in May, in which half of respondents said they were “pro-life” versus 41 percent who were “pro-choice.” In fact, Gallup’s annual survey on the topic hasn’t found such a sharp pro-choice majority since 1995.
It will be interesting to see what Gallup finds on the question next May, after election-related passions have cooled. But to the degree the Rasmussen survey shows the consequences of changing what it means to be “pro-life,” I blame those right-to-life groups that have pushed politicians to oppose exceptions for rape and incest.
Senate candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana probably wouldn’t have even been talking about abortion and rape together if not for this anti-exceptions push, a.k.a. the “personhood” movement. I’ve explained my thoughts on personhood a few times before, and this was yet another election that bore out my point. In fact, my point about personhood being a political loser will, unfortunately, be truer than ever if one of the conservative Supreme Court justices or court swing vote Anthony Kennedy ends up leaving the bench during the next four years and President Obama gets to nominate his replacement. The question will truly be settled for another generation, in large part because the RTL groups tried to move the goal posts before they ever made much of a kick.
So, to the degree Akin and Mourdock hurt Mitt Romney’s candidacy — and I think Romney’s showing with women, particularly single women, and younger voters suggests they probably did — the hard-line right-to-lifers have really bitten themselves. Way to go.
Now for the stubborn boneheadedness from the other side, via the AP:
The maker of the iconic U.S. snack Twinkies said Friday it is going out of business and laying off all of its 18,500 workers after a national strike crippled its operations. …
Hostess Brands had warned employees that it would file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to unwind its business and sell assets if plant operations didn’t return to normal levels by Thursday evening.
Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden, er, snacks.
Insisting on your position as a union is tricky enough in normal times. When unemployment is around 8 percent and a bankruptcy judge has authorized the company to rework some of its labor deals, you’d think the union would be wise enough to realize things could end this way.
Apparently not. Well, they sure taught those capitalists a lesson, huh?
– By Kyle Wingfield