Kevin Drum has apparently just discovered that some folks see a link between eugenics, abortion, and stem cell research. Ross Douthat tries to bring him up to speed, but even a moment with Google might have been helpful in establishing that this is hardly a new debate.
And let me comment on the calm and thoughtful responses to this, such as:
The idea that progressives in any way support "eugenics" is so stupid that it should never get mentioned more than once...
Fine, let's not mention it. However let's mention the actual argument - progressives support particular policies and programs, such as unrestricted abortion rights or stem cell research, that may have consequences upon which a supporter of eugenics would smile. Selective abortion of Down's syndrome babies is the example cited by Mr. Douthat, but the controversial crime-abortion link might belong in the mix as well.
Now, one might argue that this eugenics debate is similar in spirit to the frequent insistence from the left that opponents of affirmative action are racist, since it is well known (or at least, well-presumed) that racists oppose affirmative action. One might also argue that opponents of affirmative action are implicitly racist in that they are not willing to support a program meant to reduce racism. Obviously, this argument founders if the premise - affirmative action does more to relieve than inflame racial tensions - is false.
Similarly, the eugenics-abortion link would founder if no one could point to eugenics-type outcomes as a result of unrestrictive abortion policies, but the links above suggest that that harbor is closed.
But on a simpler question - who really believes Kevin Drum is that ignorant? Put another way - is he that stupid, does he think we are that stupid, or is he correct that his readers really that stupid?
Yes, we tackle the toughies here.