If only Aaronovitch understood American politics


Regardless of the realities, what do the American people want? No poll that I have seen has suggested that a significant majority desire other than the status quo. They want Roe v Wade upheld but they don’t support the full rights of women to procure terminations that I would advocate. The American majority, however, is not what is now represented on the Supreme Court.

Sigh.

Roe v Wade puts abortion in the rights part of the constitution. If Roe is overturned then abortion becomes a matter for the legislature of each state. At which point the majority get to have their say, right? That being how democracy works?

16 thoughts on “If only Aaronovitch understood American politics”

  1. That is the reason that the woke love to boot laws about something up to the highest level of government.

    Thus the constitutional amendment allowing the Commonwealth to make laws about abos in Oz.

  2. “Take the state of Mississippi. There you can buy a machinegun without a background check and take it with you almost anywhere. However, should you want an abortion, then you must submit to counselling, including information aimed at changing your mind, you are forced to undergo an ultrasound…”

    Sounds fine to me, Mr. Aaronovitch. People usually buy machine guns for fun target practice or for defending their homes in extreme situations, and that hardly ever results in death. Abortion, however…

  3. Sam, did he really write that? That’s insane waffle!

    I’m not American, but even I know you can’t just go buy a machine gun. They are heavily controlled weapons, and have been since the 1930s. You not only have to get a background check (which you have to do on all firearms sales) but the machine guns are specially registered and you pay a few hundred dollars for a licence if you happen to pass the check.

    Also, I think, you can only buy guns manufactured before 1986. Though I’m not 100% on this. I do know there such a restriction on something firearms related since about that date.

  4. Slightly off-topic but it’s about America so anyway…

    Saw a lovely clip of Morgan Freeman being interviewed giving an answer that wasn’t expected when he was asked about ‘Black History Month’

    MF – I don’t want it. Why should there be a ‘month’ about black history? Which month is ‘white history month’?
    Floundering interviewer – um, well, there isn’t one, um, er, I’m Jewish
    MF – well, which month is Jewish history month?
    FI – there isn’t one
    MF – do you want one?
    FI – no
    MF – well, neither do I.

  5. “Sam, did he really write that? That’s insane waffle!
    I’m not American, but even I know you can’t just go buy a machine gun.”

    To people like Aaronovitch any firearm that can fire multiple rounds in quick succession and is suitable military looking is a ‘machine gun’. We are not dealing with people with any technical knowledge (or indeed any knowledge at all), or any respect for the truth, just lots of ‘feels’.

  6. He knows as little about US gun laws as he does about US abortion laws.

    There are 4 states in the US where there are no restrictions on abortion whatsoever (not even a requirement to get counselling). I presume he just assumes it’s all like Europe with term limits and other restrictions. But there are 4 states where you can literally get a no-questions asked abortion up to the moment of natural birth, which is impossible anywhere in Europe.

    On the other hand, there are exactly zero states where you can buy a machine gun with no restrictions: federally regulated since the 1930’s, the only transferrable ones have to have been in the system as of the 1986 cutoff date (so they’re super expensive due to scarcity), there’s a background check, license requirement, $200 transfer tax.

  7. Abortion is new front line in US culture wars

    New since 1973.

    If the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade it is ignoring the national mood and will set back progress by decades

    62 million dead babies isn’t enough progress, says bloodthirsty neocon who also got a stiffy for the Iraq and Syrian wars.

  8. Part of the problem here is the abject ignorance of firearms of the vast majority of commentators. When Aaronovitch says ‘machine gun’ I understand machine gun. He probably understands assault rifle (or, more likely, ‘scary looking black thing that goes bang more than once’).

  9. @Patrick: an “assault rifle” (which is a select-fire rifle according to the standard definition) is a machine gun under US law cos it can rock & roll. I think you’re confusing it with the “assault weapon” term from the 1994 ban (which lives on in certain states) defining semiautomatic firearms by certain cosmetic features with terminology deliberately intended to cause people make exactly that error.

    But in any case, you can’t buy a semiauto rifle from a gunshop without a background check in any US state either. Person-to-person sales aren’t regulated at federal level so escape the compulsory check unless there are stricter state laws which apply.

  10. If he wants to change the laws of Mississippi he should move to Mississippi and become a Mississippi citizen and vote for legislators to the Mississippi legislature to change the law.

    He does realise he lives in a Federation, doesn’t he? Where the States decide how to run themselves, not other states. I can’t change the laws of Japan because I’m not a Japanese citizen, if I wanted to change the laws of Japan I would need to move to Japan and become a Japanese citizen.

    Of course, people like this *do* realise they live in a Federation and *LOATHE* the fact. How &&&&DARE&*&&*&*&& other people not do what we think they should do. How ***DARE*** the structure of the country I live in prevent me from controlling other people’s lives. That structure must be destroyed.

  11. Dennis, He Who Knows The Difference Between A Machine Gun And A Semi-Automatic Rifle

    David Aaronovitch is a columnist at The Times who was once president of the National Union of Students and a communist, but is now a radical moderate. David is also a broadcaster and author.

    What is a “radical moderate”? A commie without balls.

    Just another whinging prole who doesn’t have a clue.

  12. The abortion debate is not “new” or on the “front line” in the U.S. The Supreme Court decided its legality back in 1970, and we aren’t becoming any more religious, so it’s unlikely to change at any point in my lifetime.

    The only substantial debate we now have is whether or not taxpayers should fund abortions, in which case anyone truly interested in national unity would say that abortion is a complicated, multifaceted issue, and that it’s cruel to force Catholics or other people of face to pay for it.

    It’s already legal on a national scale. And the beauty of a 50-state system means that, if your state requires the consent of your parents and they forbid it, you can still cross state lines and get it done. Other than that, the only difference is that some states require you to see the ultrasound, or hear the heartbeat before the procedure. If you’re willing to kill a baby, and especially if you only consider it a “cluster of cells,” then you should be able to handle that.

    The U.S. Constitution, when originally written by the Founding Fathers, was not asking the government to *provide* anything to citizens. That goes against the whole idea of self-governance. The Constitution’s purpose is only to state basic rights that human beings already have, that the government is forbidden to encroach upon. Anything outside of those basic rights is to be decided by individual states (also made clear by the U.S. Constitution). Even if you are a radical feminist who works at Planned Parenthood itself, you should be against the government (taxpayers) funding your operation.

    When you make the government pay for your cause, you give them more power over it. You can’t take money from taxpayers, both male and female, and then say “no uterus, no opinion.” That ain’t how it works. If you ask any sane person for a loan, if they give you any money at all, they will have some stipulations as to how that money is used. If you were to move back in with your own parents, they would still have a set of house rules to follow. If you want to make your own decisions for your body, then don’t make it someone else’s responsibility. And maybe be prepared for these kinds of tough situations if you decide to have sex with someone.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Abortion in USA is a fascinating story about how political sides can switch opinions just because the other side changed theirs:

    https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/blog/2020/214-the-great-abortion-switcheroo

    214 | The Great Abortion Switcheroo
    JANUARY 09, 2020
    In the final episode of our American Histories series, Sarah Churchwell tells the incredible story of the politics of abortion during the 1970’s. How did evangelicals go from supporting abortion to being its die-hard opponents, what did the switch have to do with the politics of race and what have been the lasting consequences for American democracy?

    TL;DL

    Up to the switcheroo Republicans were to a first order of magnitude pro-abortion, at least not against it, as a personal choice issue. Dems were against it because they were backed by large immigrant populations from Catholic countries, mostly the Irish and Italians.

    Then towards the end of the ’70s it got weaponised politically, mostly by Reagan, which prompted the Dems rethink and the switch happened. The rest, as they say, is history.

  14. While I see you can argue regulations are set to effectively creating a ban doesn’t this also create a slippery slope where the federal govt ends up setting a base regulation and the eventually taking over state powers to regulate on a whole range of issues.
    Even the sainted NHS has a religious objection for staff when it comes to abortion

  15. Tom
    May 20, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Machine guns weren’t really heavily regulated until post 1968 and, really, post 1986.

    On the 50’s you could get one delivered to your door, COD.

  16. Up to the switcheroo Republicans were to a first order of magnitude pro-abortion

    They still are, they just lie about it. The clue is how they’ve done literally nothing to stop abortion since 1973, apart from fundraise off the back of what they’re gonna do.

    Sometime soon, maybe even this century. You’ll see.

    Sort of like how the Tories are always gonna “fix” immigration, which always turns into whizzo schemes to give us more immigrants. (But don’t worry, this time they have POINTS)

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