Politics is a bitter business. It’s a zero-sum game, in which wealth is taken from some and given to others. This process can only be influenced by popular pressure and the ballot box, as the ruling class is increasingly willing to disregard legal restrictions it finds inconvenient, including those found in the Constitution.
Pressuring politicians and voting them out of office requires discipline. You have to assemble a large number of people and convince politicians that their votes depend upon the satisfactory resolution of certain issues. Grumpy individuals are of little concern; organized collectives armed with great stockpiles of votes and campaign cash are what gets Washington’s attention.
Holding a voting bloc together in a disciplined fashion, and keeping them motivated enough to show up at the polls, is difficult work. One of the most consistently reliable techniques is to make them angry, and give them someone to hate. Even if they grow somewhat cool towards the issues, they can always be lured to the polls with the promise of defeating the hated Other.
With that in mind, I give you the abortion fanatics of Texas chanting “Hail Satan!” to drown out pro-life Christians who were singing “Amazing Grace,” and forcing their young children to march around carrying signs that read, “If I wanted government in my womb, I would f*** a Senator.” In addition to being arguably guilty of child abuse, these lovely people are demonstrating against enhanced health standards at notoriously sloppy and dangerous abortion clinics… and yet they claim to be concerned about “women’s health.”
I’ve seen them mocked as lacking self-awareness. (I hate to break it to you, folks, but your beloved abortion-extremist President Obama is very much in your wombs, thanks to ObamaCare.) Perhaps the more salient point is that they have an excessive awareness of their political enemies. They’re absolutely obsessed with pro-lifers. Their primary goal is defeating what they perceive as holier-than-thou throwback religious bigots, to the point where they’ve lost track of what they’re actually arguing over.
Much of the extreme abortion fringe isn’t really arguing for anything; they only have a clear sense of who they’re against. That’s one reason they slip so easily into ridiculous hyperbole about how reasonable regulations will result in the banning of all abortion everywhere. And you’ll notice they’re far more animated when discussing what they think animates pro-lifers, as opposed to their own rationale for demanding the no-questions-asked termination of well-formed babies after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Nothing injects them with more rage fuel than the appearance of an easily despised demon figure. (Thanks for giving them what they needed, Todd Akin!) And their support for designated liberal heroes tends to be of an intensely personal, adulatory nature. It’s all about helping a designated hero defeat their villainous adversaries; what actually happens to the nation in the process is less relevant.
That’s all music to the ears of the politicians who manipulate them. Modern liberalism is an angry philosophy concerned with the defeat and punishment of perceived enemies. That’s why the die-hards are willing to quietly tolerate astonishing levels of failure from liberal policies. (Five years of recessionary unemployment? No problem, as long as the rich Mormon guy loses the election.) As dazed Obama voters gaze upon the wreckage of his foreign and domestic policies – and slowly digest that he just gave business interests a special break on ObamaCare mandates he’s fiercely unwilling to extend to the Little Guy – they might have a hard time remembering what they voted for. That’s okay, as long as they remember who to vote against when they’re marched off to the polls in 2014 and 2016.