Does the Shove Guv need to show a little love?
posted at 2:41 pm on January 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
The “Shove Guv” is the Boss Emeritus’ name for Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor who declared pro-lifers too extreme for the entire state of New York. Cuomo later claimed that his words had been distorted by the New York Post, which apparently made the mistake of quoting him accurately. Michelle Malkin demolishes this response and pretty much everything else Cuomo said on the matter as well, and advises the governor to pay attention to today’s March for Life — and history:
Cuomo also has set himself up for an unforgettable schooling by hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers who are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week for the41st annual March for Life. “I am guessing that Andrew Cuomo’s remarks are going to be repeated by every speaker on the platform,” Stasia Zoladz Vogel, president of the Buffalo Regional Right to Life Committee, predicted in the Buffalo News before the Wednesday march.
As for Cuomo’s reckless dismissal of what he considers an “extreme” minority, a recent poll of New Yorkers showed that the vast majority “support sensible restrictions on abortions, with 80 percent opposing unlimited abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy and 75 percent opposing changes in current law so that someone other than a doctor can perform an abortion.” Contrary to Cuomo’s distorted view, the 21st-century pro-life movement is a diverse convergence of increasingly young and minority activists, feminist pro-lifers, independents and social conservatives. And contrary to Cuomo’s reckless telling of history, pro-life activism is ingrained in New York history.
The suffragists who famously met at Seneca Falls, N.Y., were ardent advocates for life. They didn’t mince words. Elizabeth Cady Stanton condemned the “murder of children, either before or after birth.” Alice Paul, who crusaded for the Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.” Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, as Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser pointed out in her review of pro-life feminism, was horrified by the abortion industry and the women who enabled it:
“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.”
Now we know where Andrew Cuomo would have stood had he been around when pro-life suffragists came knocking on New York’s doors: blocking their way.
Jonah Goldberg takes a more sarcastic swipe at Cuomo, noting that while the media likes to think of “liberal intolerance” as an oxymoron, it’s more the rule now:
It’s an interesting — and repugnant — tautology: Extremists hold extreme views, and we can identify extreme views by the fact they are held by extremists.
Of course, Cuomo frames the matter to his benefit. Opposing same-sex marriage — the mainstream Democratic position not long ago — is now anti-gay. Being in favor of gun rights is pro–assault weapon (whatever that means).
Most vexing and revealing, however, is that Cuomo doesn’t even bother to wrap opposition to abortion in scary adjectives. Simply believing in a right to life is extremist, and such extremists have “no place in the state of New York.” Cuomo claims that he was being taken out of context. He was talking about “extreme” Republican politicians, not average citizens. Fair enough.
Still, given that Cuomo is the scion of one of the most famously Catholic families in America, it’s a pretty remarkable statement.
Imagine how much smoke would emanate from the liberal outrage machine if, say, Texas governor Rick Perry said that “extremist” Democrats who support gun control or gay marriage or abortion rights “have no place in the great state of Texas.”
However, in his “clarification” of his earlier remarks, Cuomo did change “right to lifers” to “anti-choicers.” He may have missed that trick once, but Cuomo wasn’t going to miss another opportunity to use loaded language at those who support the pro-life position.
I wrote about the blacklist impulse (with Cuomo as Exhibit C) at The Week, and previously blasted US News and World Report for offering its platform to a deranged essay from Jamie Stiehm that reeked of anti-Catholic bigotry. At National Review, Fr. Robert Barron offers a thoughtful response that ties Stiehm and Cuomo together:
Last week two outrageously anti-Catholic outbursts took place in the public forum. The first was an article in U.S. News and World Report by syndicated columnist Jamie Stiehm. Ms. Stiehm argued that the Supreme Court was dangerously packed with Catholics, who have, she averred, a terribly difficult time separating church from state and who just can’t refrain from imposing their views on others. Her meditations were prompted by Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s granting some legal breathing space to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who were objecting to the provisions of the HHS mandate. As even a moment’s thoughtful consideration would reveal, this decision hadn’t a thing to do with the intrusion of the “church” into the state, in fact just the contrary. Moreover, the appeal of American citizens (who happen to be Catholic nuns) and the decision of a justice of the Supreme Court in no way constitute an “imposition” on anyone. The very irrationality of Stiehm’s argument is precisely what has led many to conclude that her column was prompted by a visceral anti-Catholicism which stubbornly persists in our society.
The second eruption of anti-Catholicism was even more startling. In the course of a radio interview, Governor Andrew Cuomo blithely declared that anyone who is pro-life on the issue of abortion or who is opposed to gay marriage is “not welcome” in his state of New York. Mind you, the governor did not simply say that such people are wrong-headed or misguided; he didn’t say that they should be opposed politically or that good arguments against their position should be mounted; he said they should be actively excluded from civil society! As many commentators have already pointed out, Governor Cuomo was thereby excluding roughly half of the citizens of the United States and, presumably, his own father, Mario Cuomo, who once famously declared that he was personally opposed to abortion. Again, the very hysterical quality of this statement suggests that an irrational prejudice gave rise to it. …
That a governor of a major state — one of the chief executives in our country — could call for the exclusion of pro-lifers and those opposed to gay marriage suggests that the law could be used to harass, restrict, and, at the limit, attack Catholics. Further, the attitude demonstrated by the son of Mario Cuomo suggests that there is a short path indeed from the privatization of Catholic moral convictions to the active attempt to eliminate those convictions from the public arena.
Indeed. And this is, in large part, why the March for Life takes place around the country on the anniversary of Roe v Wade and why we do not remain silent in the public sphere about the nature of abortion. We are called to live our faith and our principles, not to practice it only within the four walls of a church. We will not get shoved aside, or silenced — not by Cuomo, or anyone else.