Tuesday, June 29, 2010


What do you do when you make a mistake?  I try to fix it, you know, before anybody else notices.  Sometimes I might even let it go.  "Aw, screw it, I'm human."  I probably got some mistakes on this blog already, right?  Mostly I think they have to do with that frickin' html code.  But if I make a mistake, ahhhh, big deal.  Fix it.  Keep going. 

Other occupations, there's a bit more stress involved.  Say you're a surgeon, for instance, and you're operating, and you make a mistake.  Oh, that's not good.  You screw up in the O.R., you can kill somebody.

Luckily, being a doctor is a high status occupation.  You go out in the hall to talk to the loved ones.  "I'm sorry.  Your family member died."

"Oh my God.  What happened?"

"Complicated medical terminology."

Cause we're human, right?  We ain't God.  We're hairless, ass-wiping apes.  We're not even hairless, really.  I got hair in places I don't even need.  That's how animal I am.  But what do we do?  We pretend like we're better than we are.  We hide our mistakes.  We play it off like no mistakes were made. 

Did I make a mistake, when I was an attorney?  Uh, one or two.  No comment. 

You cover it up, right?  You hide.  One of the things journalists love to do is point out the mistakes of people in power.  "Ha ha, you made a mistake!  Oh my God that's so stupid."  And the people in power try to cover it up.  "I didn't make a mistake, I didn't make a mistake.  I have God-like authority.  How can I make a mistake?" 

One of the big journalist skill-sets is picking up feces and throwing it.  "Mistake!  Mistake!  You messed up."  Oh they love that.  That's pretty much Mike Wallace's career, right?  Pointing out the mistakes of other people.  Always fun. 

I think Harry Blackmun maybe knew that he was making a big mistake.  You read his secret memo, it's like he's got a warning bell going off in the back of his mind.  "I am finding this difficult and elusive."  That's Ivy League talk for "Help!  Help!  Oh my God I'm in over my head.  What if I screw this up?"  Right after he says it's "difficult" and "elusive," Blackmun says he's going with first trimester.  Which he says is "arbitrary."  And then he says maybe any other point is arbitrary, too. 

Do you want to go to a psychiatrist, Harry?  It's like he's a undergraduate student who just read Sartre for the first time.  Maybe the black robes got him depressed.  "It's all so arbitrary." 

What Harry Blackmun really needed was Hugo Black jumping up and down like a madman.  He needed some authority figure who takes his work very seriously and takes his Oath to follow the Constitution very seriously and he loses his shit when he reads Harry's arbitrary memo.  Harry Blackmun needed somebody to pick up a law book and throw it at his head.  Are you on drugs?  Did you try some of the happy weed in 1973?  Because that memo is an embarrassment to justice. 

Roe v. Wade is written by a guy who's oblivious.  He has no idea the size of the shitstorm that he is about to unleash.  "As I stated in conference, the decision, however made, will probably result in the Court's being severely criticized."  You think?   

I feel sorry for the guy.  I really do.  I feel sorry for Harry Blackmun in 1973, a newbie on the Court.  Fresh off the boat.  Barely got his feet wet, and Burger sticks him with Roe v. Wade.  You know in the Vietnam war, soldiers never wanted to learn the names of the new guys, because they often got shot right away.  You want a bunch of mistakes?  Let the new guy handle it.

I feel less sorry for him in every abortion opinion that follows, when he's in full blown denial mode.  "I didn't make a mistake.  No mistakes.  It's not arbitrary, it's required by the Constitution.  No mistakes.  It's perfect.  I speak for all women."  But in 1973, Harry Blackmun was like a judicial virgin.  He's about to make a horrible, horrible mistake.  He's sleeping with William Brennan, metaphorically speaking, and Thurgood Marshall, too. 

In their book, The Brethren, Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong interview scores of judicial clerks.  The clerks joke about Roe v. Wade, referring to it as "Harry's abortion."  What they mean is that it's a botched opinion.  It's a screw-up.

Psychologically speaking, that's more right than they know.  What is an abortion?  You're making a mistake disappear, right?  You're erasing it and starting over.  All the dissenters from Roe have this reaction to the opinion.  "It's a mistake.  Let's erase it and start over."  They want to abort Roe v. Wade.  What do liberals want to abort?  They want to abort any mistakes in the opinion.  They want to abort those pages and pages when Harry talks about the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association.  They want to abort that memo when he says first trimester is arbitrary, and any other point is arbitrary, too.  They want to abort that part of the opinion when Harry says states can't require doctors in the first trimester.  In fact they want to abort the whole trimester system and just go with viability.  And they want to abort all the photos of all the dead babies, and they want to abort all the pro-lifers and make them go away.  

Why is abortion a screw-up?  Because you screwed up your birth control.  And now you're trying to fix your mistake.  Which makes abortion a cover-up, too.  Shhhhhhhh!  Keep it quiet.  Because your mistake created a pregnancy.  Which might involve a human life or something.  It's kind of a big deal.  Which means if it's a mistake, it's a big mistake.  Not a little mistake.  

I admit to little mistakes all the time.  Kind of hard to admit to big mistakes.  You want to deny they ever happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment